Saturday, December 31, 2022

A Workout to Welcome 2023!


Happy New Year! If you are struggling to recover from last night, feeling great or just don't know what to do with the day, this workout can help you feel your VERY best. Welcome in the new year with this fun little varying rep bodyweight workout. 

Here's the deal:

Do each of the 10 exercises listed for 3 reps, then 13 reps, then 23 reps, then 13 reps and finish up with 3 reps of each-done!

Bonus...go on a walk before or after the workout to get your body moving even more!

Here's the work:

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Right lunge
  • Left lunge
  • Butt Kicks
  • Pushups
  • Squats
  • Jump Squats
  • Dips
  • Bicycle crunches
  • Mountain Climbers

Strech or walk to end!

Friday, December 30, 2022

Warm and Cozy Clean Chicken Corn Chowder

I made this on Christmas day for a family gathering, and it was a hit-warm, cozy, filling, flavorful and healthy-it's the perfect cold-weather meal! 

What you need: 

  • 1 lb cooked and chopped chicken thighs* or shredded rotisserie chicken 
  • 1 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 small can green chilis
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 baking potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic 
  • 3 cups far free chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin 
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 cup milk of choice (I like coconut milk for this)
  • Fresh cilantro 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What you do; 
  1. Put chicken, peppers, onions, corn, chilis, garlic, chicken stock, and tabasco in a crock pot and cook on low all day or on high for 3-4 hours.
  2. 30 minutes before serving, whisk together milk and corn starch until smooth and stir into crockpot
  3. Chop cilantro and stir in right before serving
That's it! :) 

If you want to be "extra" and like your soups a bit on the thicker, stew-side, before serving, when you do the cornstarch and milk-of-choice deal, put a cup of the soup (with everything in it) into a blender and whip...add it back in-trust's a good step!


*do the chicken thighs in advance and freeze if more than a day before you do the soup. 3 hours in the crockpot on high-that's it!

Eat MORE Veggies in 2023

We know that balanced eating includes eating lots of fresh veggies. But sometimes just because we know something, doesn’t make it easy to do.
 In fact, according to the CDC, only 1 in 10 Americans get the recommended veg in their mouth every day.  What's the recommended amount, you might ask? Well, friend, it's 5 (or more) servings a day.

Why eat your veggies? For many, many, many reasons, but here are a few compelling reasons for loading up your plate and snack drawer with things that grow in the ground.

  • Vegetables contain essential vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to operate. Plus, they are a great source of fiber! Studies show that those who eat a diet rich in fresh produce have a lower incidence of disease such as cancer, cardiovascular issues, diabetes and stroke.
  • Eating fresh veggies can help you control your weight. Vegetables are naturally low in calories, rich in nutrients and most are virtually fat free. them first thing at a meal to eat less calories and more of the good stuff overall.
  • Eating veggies will make you feel good. When you eat whole foods (unprocessed food), your body responds well, your skin glows and your systems work like they should.

5 servings of vegetables might seem like a hard pill to swallow or get into your schedule. But it’s actually very easy if you make sure to have a serving at every meal and snack. Here are a few simple ways to get your daily quota without blinking an eye. (Also...can you tell that I'm obsessed super versatile cauliflower rice? :) )

  • Breakfast: 
    • Throw some peppers, zucchini and broccoli in your morning omelet
    • Scramble eggs with cooked cauliflower rice (1/2 cup in the microwave for 2 minutes)-it gives them bulk and doesn't add flavor
    • Make a tasty smoothie with a bunch of baby spinach and kale, your favorite fruit and unsweetened almond milk (you won’t even be able to taste the greens…I promise)
  • Lunch: 
    • Top your sandwich with actual veggies (forget the sad piece of lettuce and tiny sliced tomatoes…they don’t count). Add cucumbers, peppers, spinach, mushrooms, etc.
    • Hit the salad bar and load up with all colors of pre-cut vegetables including dark leafy greens, tomatoes, carrots, turnips, peas, cabbage, you get the picture…lots of veggies. 
    • Make soup! And make it creamy by adding in cauliflower rice whipped in the blender with your preferred milk choice (here's an example recipe)
  • Dinner:
    • Load your spaghetti sauce (or any sauce for that matter) with tons of veggies. My favorites are broccoli, zucchini, onions, and mushrooms...and cauliflower rice.
    • Make stir fry with lean meat and lots of veggies such as cabbage, carrots, broccoli, snow peas, mushrooms and celery...over a bed of cauliflower rice mixed with brown rice.
    • Steam, sauté, roast or air-fry your favorite veggie and have it on the side…have lots on the side…so much so that it looks like it’s the main course
    • Eat a side salad before dinner to eat less
    • Make an old school vegetable soup with lots of chunky veggies-frozen count too!
  • Snacks:
    • When you go to the salad bar for a salad, get lots of pre-cut veggies to munch on when you get hungry
    • Make sure to have cut up carrots, broccoli, peppers, celery, jicama, etc for crunching and dipping in protein packed dips like hummus.
    • Celery with natural peanut butter
    • Steam a bag of veggies (frozen veggies are just like fresh…as long as they aren’t in sauce)
    • Get a pre-cut veggie tray and eat off of it (often)
What looks like a serving or half cup? Besides the obvious measuring techniques, keep these easy to remember tips close at hand:

  • 5 broccoli florets
  • 6 baby carrots
  • 1 large handful of raw greens (spinach, kale, lettuce, cabbage, etc.)
  • 1 large stalk of celery
  • 7 circle slices of zucchini or yellow squash
  • 6 bell pepper strips
  • 1/2 cup riced cauliflower

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Keep Warm While Working Out in the Cold

It’s winter in the Midwest, so that means fair weather one day and then cold fronts the next. Don’t get caught in the frigid temps without knowing how to workout safely in the cold. Outdoor lovers, just follow a few simple tips.

  • Cover Up: When we are cold, our body focuses most of its heating effort to the core to protect our heart and other organs. Therefore, make sure to cover up your extremities (arms and legs, hands and feet as well as your head/ears).
  • Choose layers: Our bodies generate a great deal of heat when we exercise…enough to make it feel as much as 30 degrees warmer that the actual temperature, so dress in layers when exercising outside; you can always take off clothing as you start to heat up and put layers back on if needed. Wear fabric that is a synthetic moister wicking material as your first layer then proceed with cotton or fleece layers as well as a waterproof layer if it is snowing or raining. For those with asthma or working out in temperatures below freezing (sub 32 degrees), cover your mouth with a scarf or mask...we have plenty of those, right?
  • Keep hydrated: Even if you don’t feel thirsty or sweaty, you need to drink lots of water. The recommended amounts are the same for cold weather as they are for hot weather: 8 oz of water before the workout, 4 oz every 15 minutes of activity and 8 oz post workout. You can still get dehydrated in the cold so drink up.
  • Check the weather: Before you venture out on your walk, run, hike, etc. make sure that the conditions in your area are safe. Snowstorms, icy conditions, hail and driving rain are not appropriate weather in which to exercise. 

Too dangerous to workout in the great outdoors or can’t get to the gym because of the road conditions? No problem, click here for the Snowed-In Workout for a total body indoor workout that combines both strength and cardiovascular training.

BE ALERT: Can you recognize hypothermia?

Hypothermia occurs when the core body temperature falls below 95 degrees. This is a serious condition which can cause irregular heartbeat and even death if not treated immediately. If you’re working out outdoors in the cold, watch for these signs of hypothermia.

  • Excessive shivering
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Exhaustion

Get medical help immediately if you feel these indicators or think you or someone you know might be suffering from hypothermia.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

The Too-Cold-to-Leave-the-House Workout


Thinking that maybe you’ll just stay in today and avoid the snow-covered roads or freezing temps...or just don't want to drive to the gym? Me too! But don’t let your body suffer by skipping your workout. Checkout this body-warming, calorie scorching, muscle burning workout (see what I did there? Feeling hotter already?!)

Here's the Deal:

Each Tri-set contains 3 strength moves and 1 cardio burst for a calorie-killing circuit workout. Repeat all exercises for 1 minute before moving onto the next exercise in a tri-set and complete each tri-set three times before moving on to the next. Minimal rest between sets is encouraged to keep your heart pumping as well as getting the most calorie burn and strength gain throughout your workout. You'll be finished in less than 30 minutes, and you will have warmed up and burned hundreds of calories…so get moving!

Here's the Work:

Warm up: 1 minute jumping jacks, 1 minute stair climb

Tri-Set #1

Traveling Lunges: Lunge around the house. Make sure to press through your heel on your way up and keep the knee from coming over the toe.

Push Ups: On your toes or your knees…or even against a counter. Just make sure to keep your abs in tight.

Bicycles: Keep your eyes on the ceiling and never pull your head/neck with your hands. Bring your shoulder towards the opposite knee.

Cardio Burst — Squat Jumps: Explode out of the squat and then land with soft knees.

Tri-Set #2

Tricep Dips: Do these off of a sturdy chair or step. Dip down so that your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Pull the legs in toward the body to make the dips easier or straighten the legs to make them harder. If you need even more of a challenge, lift a foot off the floor.

Walking planks: Start in plank position on your forearms then stay in plank while pushing your body up to your hands, one arm at a time, and then back down again and repeat until your minute is up!

Back Extensions: Get on your belly with hands and legs extended…lift the chest and legs up off the floor while contracting your lower back and butt. Keep your abdominal muscles tight during this movement and make sure to breathe.

Cardio Burst — Jumping jacks with burpees thrown in. Every 5-10 seconds interrupt your jacks with a burpee and get right into the jacks. 


TRAINER TIP: This is an intense workout so make it work for you. If you are feeling too winded or can’t repeat all sets and repetitions, don’t beat yourself up. On the flip side, if the workout is not challenging enough for you, do each move for as long as you can or increase the Cardio Burst times.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Healthy Holiday Party/Event/Get-Together Survival Guide

It's already mid-December and the family celebrations, friend get-together, dinners out, holiday parties, office treats and candy canes are in full swing. We just made it through candy-filled Halloween and the feast we call Thanksgiving and are looking forward to Hanukah, Christmas, New Year's Eve and so on which are all also accompanied by excessive amounts of food. The holiday parties that consume December can cause some of the biggest health traps of the season. But not to worry, you don’t have to finish out 2022 with that bloated, lethargic feeling we get when our bodies have had too much food/drink devoid of real nutrients. Here’s the holiday event diet survival plan:

  1. Don’t go hungry. A great tactic to ensure that you won’t overeat at parties is to not go to them hungry. Eat a light but satisfying snack before you go. A half turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, veggies and hummus, cup of soup or a protein shake should do the trick.
  2. Bring the veggies. Make sure that there is something at the party to fill up your plate that is filling and nutrient dense. If you are hosting or helping fill out a spread at a gathering, fill it with veggies and hummus and fruit. That way, you can fill up on peppers/carrots/zucchini/berries/etc. so you don’t go overboard on the cookies and such.
  3. Take a step back. You see that delicious food on the seasonally decorated table and want to make a bee line for the buffet. Go for it, but once you’ve gone through the line once, plant yourself out of arms reach of the goodies and better yet, keep your back to the food table. With this little trick, you are less likely to snack absent-mindedly.
  4. Exercise portion control. Holiday parties should not be viewed as all you can eat binges. Fill up on fresh veggies, fruits and a small amount your other favorite treats…”favorite” being the key word here. Don’t waste precious bites on food that you don’t love. Pick out your favorites and savor slowly.
  5. Drink and be merry. If you decide to have a cocktail or two at your next holiday bash, choose champagne (120 calories in a 7 oz flute) or wine (100 calories for a 4 oz glass) over chocolate martinis (315 calories for a 7 oz drink) and eggnog (343 calories in 8 oz).
  6. Skip the hangover. Schedule a sweat session with a friend (who you know wont bail on you) for early the morning after parties. This can make you think about how much you are drinking, plus you are burning calories from your “favorite” treats that you indulged in AND zapping fatigue and holiday stress all at once.

Armed with these tips, you are ready to go to holiday parties, family get togethers, cookie exchanges and wherever else the next few weeks take you. Remember, it’s okay to indulge every once in a while, just don’t make it a habit.

Friday, December 2, 2022

E.H. Fitness Super-Simple Ham and Mushroom Quiche

When I was growing up, my mom used to make this quiche that had ham and mushrooms and corn and cheese, and it was sooooo good. So good, in fact, that I asked for it each year as my birthday meal. 

Now, since I can't eat dairy or gluten, it has felt like a stretch to make something like that...until now. I tried it and it is deliciously easy and tasty and reminds me of the "old days." Enjoy!

What you need:

  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup ham cubes (cut into small pieces)
  • 3/4 cup whole corn kernels (I do the canned kind :))
  • 3/4 cup favorite non-dairy cheese
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened original almond milk
  • 3/4 tsp ground pepper
  • cooking spray (or use a silicone pan!)

What you do:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Sprinkle mushrooms, ham, and cheese in the bottom of a greased baking dish (or use my favorite, a silicone pan)
  3. Wisk together eggs, milk, oil, salt and pepper
  4. Pour egg mixture over filling mixture
  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbling a bit and brown around the edges
  6. Let sit for 15 minutes before slicing in and enjoying!
NOTE: You can totally do this same recipe in your pie crust of choice...just be sure to bake the crust and let it cool before adding the other stuff :)