Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

WHAT IS A HEALTHY WEIGHT ANYWAY?

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Feb 21, 2014 @ 06:09 AM

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WHAT IS A HEALTHY WEIGHT ANYWAY?

You’ve seen charts that list a range for ideal body weight based on a
person’s sex and height. Some weight charts also add another variable – body
frame. People with smaller frames should theoretically have a lower ideal body
weight than someone with a larger frame.

A Quick Way of Calculating Ideal Body Weight

Health professionals sometimes use a formula to estimate an individual’s
ideal body weight based on their height. Based on this formula, women who are
five feet tall have a theoretical ideal body weight of 100 pounds. You would
then multiply each additional inch in height above 5 feet by five to get a
person’s approximate ideal body weight. For example, a woman 5 foot 4 inches
would have an ideal body weight of 120 pounds. (100 + 4 x 5). For men five feet
tall, 106 pounds is theoretical ideal body weight. For men over 5 feet, each
additional inch is multiplied by six to get ideal body weight. So, a man that’s
5 foot 10 inches would have an ideal body weight of around 166. (106 + 10 x 6).

BMI: Another Approach to Gauging Ideal Weight

Another way health professionals gauge a person’s weight is by calculating
their BMI or body mass index. There are BMI calculators online, like in our
Workout Manager, where you can plug in your numbers and get your BMI and look
at a BMI chart to see if you’re in a healthy range. BMI uses a formula based on
height and weight.

Both body weight and BMI are quick ways to assess someone’s weight but both
have limitations. They only take into account height and weight. There are a
growing number of people, especially those who don’t exercise, who are
“skinny-fat.” These people fall into the ideal range or under ideal on the BMI
and weight charts, but if you measured their body fat percentage it would be
high. That’s where BMI and body weight as measurements of ideal weight are
limited. They tell you nothing about body composition or how much of that
weight is muscle and how much fat.

The reality is an athlete with a very low body fat percentage and lots of
lean muscle tissue can fall into the overweight category based on body weight
or BMI. At the same time, someone with a high body fat percentage and little
muscle can still be in the “ideal” range. You can’t necessarily assume you’re
healthy from a weight standpoint just because you’re in the ideal range on
weight and BMI charts. A 5 foot 4 inch woman that weighs 120 pounds and has 35%
body fat is less healthy than a woman of the same height that weighs 132 pounds
and has 18% body fat.

 Body Composition Matters When it Comes to Health

A better indicator of health and fitness is body fat percentage. The most
accurate ways to measure body fat is a DXA scan (similar to an x-ray and
involves radiation) or air displacement plethysmography where you get into a
chamber that’s sealed off. Body fat percentage can be calculated based on how
much air you displace inside the chamber.

Another technique called near-infrared interactance delivers an infra-red
beam of light into a muscle and measures how much is absorbed by the fat
tissue. These are all accurate methods for measure body fat percentage but you
can’t do them at home.

What about body fat scales? Body fat scales for home use aren’t necessarily
all that accurate. They work by sending a weak electrical impulse through body
and measuring how quickly the impulse returns. The impulse moves more quickly
through lean tissue as opposed to fat. The reading is affected by factors like
how hydrated you are and when you last ate. Despite their lack of absolute
accuracy, body fat scales are helpful for following changes in body fat percentage.

Calipers that measure skin fold thickness are a low-tech way to estimate
body fat percentage. They’re reasonably accurate if you do the measurements
correctly and measure under the same conditions each time.

Another Measurement of Health and Fitness

When’s the last time you measured your waistline? An old-fashioned tape
measure can tell you a lot. Most importantly it can tell you your waist-to-hip
ratio or WHR. WHR is one indicator of cardiovascular risk and general health as
well. People who have a high waist-to-hip ratio have more visceral fat, deep
waist and belly fat that’s pro-inflammatory.

To measure your WHR, measure your waist at its narrowest point. If you have
a waist that bulges outwards, measure an inch above your navel. Get your hip measurement
by measuring at the widest part of your buttocks. Divide your waist measurement
by your hip measurement to get your ratio.

How did you score? If you’re female, your waist-to-hip ratio should be less
than 0.9. Males should have a WHR of less than 0.8 to place them in the lowest
cardiovascular risk category.

 

The Bottom Line?

Most people use the scale as an indicator of how fit and healthy, but
they’re not getting the full story. If possible, know and follow your body fat
percentage. Be sure your waist-to-hip ratio falls into a healthy range too.
These tell you more than your body weight or BMI.

For more healthy fitness tips and quick weight loss tips, contact our
fitness director/certified personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.
And visit our website www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com
for our latest weight loss specials and programs, and get great weight loss
coupons!

 

References:

Medical News Today. “What is a Healthy Weight?”

Southwestern Medical Center. “Waist-to-hip ratio may better predict
cardiovascular risk than body mass index”

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WINTER SPORTS = CALORIES BURNED PER HOUR

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Dec 11, 2013 @ 06:39 AM
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Take advantage of the winter weather! Get outside and enjoy some snow activities to burn calories and strengthen your muscles.  See chart below for winter sports calorie burn for one hour of the following activities!  And then get outside and enjoy the activities.
 
For more fit tips contact our fitness director, certified personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.  For our latest weight loss offers, go to www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com
 
 

Winter Sport

120-lb woman

150-lb woman

Skiing

273

340

Snowboarding

273

340

Snowshoeing

382

476

Cross-Country Skiing

436

476

Ice Skating

327

408

Ice Hockey

436

544

Winter Hiking

327

408

Shoveling Snow

273

340

Sledding

327

408

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Step Ahead Wellness Center Brings You CARB CHECK... Carb Blocking Supplement

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Dec 10, 2013 @ 03:11 PM
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If you've been battling carb cravings, Step Ahead Wellness Center can help!  We are thrilled to announce a new carb blocking supplement called CARB CHECK.
 
Carb Check contains a northern white bean that inhibits the breakdown of starch in the intestinal track, thus alleviating cravings for empty carbs. By blocking these empty carbs, you're energy/sugar levels remain steady throughout the day thus making it much easier to stick with your healthy eating plan, and your exercise regime!
 
Let us help you stay on your healthy weight loss track this holiday season and beyond!  Call today to learn more about Carb Check, and all of our weight loss programs:  Call 908-470-2235 or email drneiman@stepaheadwellnesscenter.comwww.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

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STAY FIT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON WITH STEP AHEAD WELLNESS CENTER'S FOUR EASY FITNESS TIPS!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Dec 04, 2013 @ 07:46 PM

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Stay fit this holiday season with Step Ahead Wellness Center’s four easy tips…

Set Realistic Goals:

Knowing it's a busy time of year, think ahead and revise your schedule if necessary, and then stick to it!  Think quality rather than quantity.  If you can’t squeeze in concentrated exercise,
move as much as possible throughout your day and stay away from the sweet treats to maintain healthy weight loss between Thanksgiving and New Years.   

Be Creative with your Time:

If you are finding it difficult to keep up with your fitness goals and the parenting demands this holiday season, then work out with your children.  Need to go Christmas shopping? Go to the mall for an hour or so before it opens and walk with your kids (maybe bring the hand-weights too
to increase the intensity). Or, go to a local gym and play basketball or go ice skating or swim at an indoor pool with your kids.

Stick to a Routine:

As much as possible, try to have a general schedule for your days. You and your family will be much happier if you do. Don't think you need "to do it all." You'll be surprised how much your kids would love to help with the baking, wrapping and decorating. You may have a little extra time here and there if you let them help, and more importantly, you'll be making great memories with them.

Take Care of Yourself:

It is so easy to get stressed with all the shopping, decorating, baking, wrapping, family obligations, parties, but breathe and relax.  As much as possible, strive for 7-8 hours a sleep a night, drink plenty of water and continue to eat well.

It's okay to enjoy holiday parties, just don't indulge in all those sweet treats. Have a taste, then move on to something a bit more healthier.  Don't forget to set time to exercise; you'll feel much better and will be able to maintain your healthy weight loss goals this holiday season.

For more holiday fit tips, contact our fitness director, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com or visit us at www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.  We’d love to hear from you… which health, wellness, weight loss, fitness topics are you most interested in learning more about.

 

 

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Countdown to Thanksgiving

Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Nov 18, 2013 @ 12:59 PM

Look for us at Step Ahead to help you get through the holidays with less pain and gain!  We are offering you a DAILY TIP to get through Turkey Day,

Either a calorie burner or a calorie builder- yes, exercises and recipes to help make this day more enjoyable and easier for you and your family.

 Today, we will start with one of our fabulous recipes from our dietician, Sari Greaves, who has unique recipes to add spice with very little calorie price!

Turkey with Herbes de Provence and Citrus

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1 (14 to 15-pound) turkey, neck and giblets reserved 
1 orange, cut into wedges 
1 lemon, cut into wedges 
1 onion, cut into wedges 
6 fresh rosemary sprigs 
6 fresh sage sprigs 
6 fresh oregano sprigs  
2 tablespoons herbes de Provence 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 
6 cups canned low-salt chicken broth (approximate amount) 
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour

To make the turkey: Position the rack in the lowest third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

Rinse the turkey and pat it dry with paper towels. Place the turkey on a rack set inside a large roasting pan. Place the orange and lemon wedges, onion, and 2 sprigs of each fresh herb in the main turkey cavity. Tie the legs together to hold the shape of the turkey. Stir the herbes de Provence, oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of each the salt and pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat just until the butter melts. Rub the mixture all over the turkey and between the turkey breast meat and skin. Place the turkey neck and giblets in roasting pan. (Recipecan be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before roasting.)

Cover the turkey breast with foil. Roast for 20 minutes. Pour 3 cups of broth into the pan and stir to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining sprigs of fresh herbs to the pan. Roast the turkey for 40 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.  Pour 1 more cup of broth into the pan. Continue roasting the turkey until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F to 175 degrees F or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer, basting occasionally with pan juices, about 1 hour and 30 minutes longer. Transfer the turkey to a platter and tent with foil. Let stand 30 minutes while preparing the gravy.

To make the gravy: Strain the turkey pan juices from the roasting pan through a sieve and into a 4-cup glass measuring cup; discard the solids. Spoon off the fat from atop the pan juices. Add enough chicken broth, about 1 to 2 cups, to the pan juices to measure 4 cups total. Add the whole wheat flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the broth. Simmer until the gravy thickens slightly, whisking often, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the turkey with the gravy.

Serving: 3 oz (white meat-very lean meats)

Calories: 105

Protein: 21g

Fat: 3g

 

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Tips to Avoid Tempting Halloween Sweets

Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Oct 28, 2013 @ 02:54 PM

Tips to Avoid Tempting Halloween Sweets

Keep your weight loss on track during the Halloween season with our simple strategies to enjoy the holiday without sacrificing your diet.

By Cynthia Pearson Reviewed by Melina Jampolis, M.D., 2009

Halloween brings many sweet temptations, each luring you away from heart-healthy eating. Our tips will help you navigate the ghoulish season with confidence -- from treat shopping to dealing with candy leftovers.

Rule No. 1: The basics of healthy eating don't go away during a holiday.

"Eat well," says Joanne Larsen, M.S., R.D., L.D. "Three nutritious meals with no more than four hours between them will keep you sated." Satisfied, with your blood sugar in check, the sight and smells of Halloween temptations -- be they waving from the grocery aisle, your candy-stocked cupboard, or a friend's party -- are less intense.

Most of us do better with healthy snacks between meals, so be sure to include them in your eating plan, Larsen says. Planning (not grabbing) is the key to keeping your overall daily intake of calories, fat, sodium, and cholesterol on track

Another tip: Stay hydrated, because thirst often masquerades as hunger. You may be tempted to eat a Halloween treat when you're really just thirsty.

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    • Buy Candy Late

       

      Having tempting candy around can be a big diet challenge. "There's no logical reason to purchase candy in advance of trick-or-treat night," says Jane Hemminger, R.D., L.D.

      Resist the urge to buy a bag of Skittles a month before the big night. By only storing the goodies for 24 hours, you can save yourself a lot of temptation. Also, you can usually find big discounts on candy sold that late.

       

    • Buy Candy You Don't Like

       

      Keep cravings at bay by purchasing treats that won't interest you. "Select trick-or-treat candy that you don't personally enjoy," says Jane Hemminger, R.D., L.D. "Then you won't be tempted to eat it."

      Not a coconut fan? Buy coconut-filled chocolate candy for your trick-or-treaters. Or maybe nut-filled treats don't tempt you -- Snickers or peanut M&Ms may be a good solution for your candy dish.

       

    • Store Halloween Treats Out of Sight

       

      Joanne Larsen, M.S., R.D., L.D., notes that we're much more likely to dip into food, regardless of whether we're hungry, when it's within view and in 2 yards' reach. So, store treats in drawers, behind doors, on high shelves, or in out-of-the-way pantries.

      Better yet, resist the temptation to open the bag. Once it's open, it's too easy to slip in for a quick bite.

       

      Eat Just the Best Parts of the Treat

       

      Baking Halloween treats at home can be its own temptation. Here's a trick: Don't eat the whole treat, just go for your favorite part. For example, if you love the tops of cupcakes best, eat just them; there's no rule saying you must also eat the base of the cupcake. It's not a free ride -- you're still consuming calories and fat -- but you're slimming down your totals with the smaller portion.

      Also, get rid of additional servings of Halloween candies. It's not budget-conscious, but it is belly-conscious. For example, if you love mellowcrème pumpkins but can't find them in a single-serving pack, set aside your allotted amount, then sit and nibble at each one, slowly, attentively. Then toss what remains

      This may seem wasteful, but in lieu of eating the whole bag during a sweet craving, give yourself permission to let the rest go. Or have a back-up plan like a friend at work who also enjoys the treats and will take the extras off your hands.

       

      Enjoy Parties for the Atmosphere, Not the Food

       

      Attend Halloween parties for the fun and friends, not the food. Note: Parties are full of fun distractions, including fun decor, making it a challenge to fully enjoy food and drink. Why waste allotted indulgences then?

      Joanne Larsen, M.S., R.D., L.D., suggests these Halloween party tips:

      - Have a healthy snack before you go so you arrive sated.
      - Plan ahead what you'll allow for food and drink, then stick to your plan.
      - Choose a small plate, allow yourself one trip to the spread, and sit and savor your food.
      - Position yourself away from food during the Halloween party.

      • Make Your Own Halloween Treats

         

        Halloween party is going to be full of tempting treats. Bring your own dish that you know you can healthfully enjoy.

        Be sure to bake shortly before the party rather than in advance so the dish won't tempt you for days. Divvy up any leftovers right at the party -- don't plan to take any home with you.

         

        Handle Halloween Temptation at the Workplace

         

        In a meeting where treats are served? You're a captive candy audience. "It's really, really difficult to pass up treats when someone brings them to the morning staff meeting and plops them on the table," says Jane Hemminger, R.D., L.D. "If you just can't resist, sample one small goodie or even just a bite-sized piece. Once everyone's had their turn at the offering, say, 'These look so good!' and move them to a side table where anyone wanting more will have to be deliberate about it or wait until the meeting's dismissed."

        This may seem a gutsy move, but most likely others will be grateful.

        If your workplace is a Halloween-treat offender (either before the season when coworkers are shopping or afterward when they dump their extra treats on the office), then hold off people by stocking the communal treat dish yourself. Hemminger suggests stocking the dish with treats you don't like so you won't even be tempted or fill it with healthier choices, such as plain nuts or small portions of these Heart-Healthy-approved candies.

        Another strategy is to reroute your normal walking path if you pass baskets of tempting candy. If you don't see it and aren't reminded of the treats, it's a lot easier to say no.

         

        Pack Sugar-Free Chewing Gum

         

        One simple, cheap strategy that works wherever temptation strikes -- at home, the workplace, or while shopping -- is to keep a stash of sugar-free gum on hand.

        "Faced with a temptation -- say, a sweet-smelling candy aisle or a pan of goodies awaiting departure to a party -- you can pop a piece of gum, deflecting temptation with bit of sweet chewing," says Jane Hemminger, R.D., L.D.

       

http://www.bhg.com/recipes/healthy/eating/tips-to-avoid-tempting-halloween-sweets/#page=11

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RELAXING YOGA BENEFITS EVERYONE!!

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Oct 18, 2013 @ 11:53 AM

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BENEFITS OF RELAXING YOGA BEFORE HIGH INTENSITY WORKOUTS!

How balanced is your fitness routine? If you do high-intensity workouts,
your body needs time to rest and recover between challenging sessions, yet it’s
important to still stay active. That’s where a relaxing yoga routine comes in.
A yoga workout is a way to stay active on a recovery day and it offers other
benefits as well.

Benefits of Yoga: It Helps to Lengthen Your Muscles

Doing high-intensity workouts causes high volumes of neural discharge. This
can increase the resting tone of your muscles after your workout is finished,
leading to muscle tightness and stiffness. Yoga helps to elongate the muscles
and relieve tightness. When one muscle group is tight it can affect the
performance of other muscles and increase the risk for injury. Yoga also
stretches and lengthens your spine and that helps to improve your posture. If
you sit hunched over at a desk all day, yoga helps reduce the risk of back and
neck pain by stretching and lengthening your spine and adjacent muscles.

Yoga is Good Mood Therapy

All forms of exercise help to relieve stress but, according to one study,
yoga may offer more mood-enhancing benefits than other forms of exercise.
According to a study carried out by Boston University School of Medicine, yoga
increases levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA that helps to ease symptoms
of stress. Higher GABA levels are linked with improvements in mood and a reduction
in anxiety. So convincing were the results that the researchers believe yoga
could help treat certain mood disorders including anxiety and depression. Yoga
has the power to alter neurotransmitters and brain pathways in much the same
way as medications used to treat mood disturbances and its 100% natural. Other
research shows yoga may be helpful for improving sleep quality in people with
chronic insomnia.

Improvements in Flexibility and Balance

The benefits of a yoga workout can transfer over into other parts of your
life. Yoga boosts muscle flexibility and works balance, both of which can
improve functional capabilities. When you’re more flexible, it reduces your
risk of injury by allowing your joints to move through their full range of
motion. Being flexible can help you perform better in certain sports as well.

Balance is another issue that becomes more important as we age. It’s loss
of muscle strength and age-related balance issues that cause older people to
become frail or suffer a fall. Research shows yoga improves balance and
postural stability and even helps stroke victims regain confidence and
functional capacity by improving their sense of balance.

Greater Body Awareness

Yoga teaches you to live in the moment and be more centered and focused. That
can help you be more aware and focused in other aspects of your life. There’s
even evidence that it helps to manage pain, especially back pain and, possibly,
arthritis pain and stiffness. It’s a workout that’s as good for your mind as it
is for your body.

 The Bottom Line?

Adding a relaxing yoga workout to your fitness routine can make it more
balanced and help with recovery from higher intensity exercise, both mentally
and physically. The benefits you get from yoga will transfer over into other
areas of your life by increasing flexibility and balance and giving you greater
functional capacity. It’s also the ultimate stress reliever. See what it can do
for you!

For more great fit tips, contact our fitness director/personal trainer,
Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.

 

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Recipe Corner: Black-Eyed Peas, Tomato & Egg Salad

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 @ 04:00 PM
black eyed peasIf you need an easy recipe for entertaining this Labor Day Weekend, here's a delicious protein & fiber-packed winner. In the South, black-eyed peas, also called cow peas are traditionally eaten as the first food of the New Year to bring good luck and prosperity. The best part is you probably already have all the ingredients on hand in your kitchen! This recipe also serves well for celebrating upcoming Jewish New Year!

Questions/Comments? Email sari@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

1/2 cup no salt added black-eyed peas, cooked (Rinse and drain canned beans to remove 40 percent of the sodium)

1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon reduced-fat feta cheese

1 hard-boiled egg, chopped

 

Mix all ingredients and enjoy. Serves one as a main meal or 4 small appetizers.

1 1/4 cup = 219 calories, 12g protein, 5g fiber

Appetizer serving size: 1/3 cup = 55 calories, 3g protein, 2.5g fiber (serve over mixed greens)

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SIGN UP FOR STEP AHEAD'S 6 WEEK CORE YOGA SERIES TODAY!! Series begins Wed, Sept. 4

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 @ 01:42 PM

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WE ARE THRILLED TO BRING YOU
OUR *NEW* 6 WEEK CORE YOGA SERIES!!!

       Build strength in core muscles, arms, legs, and abs

         Open hamstrings, hips, and side bodies

 

When:
Wednesday evenings

Date:
Series begins September 4

Time:
5:30-6:30; 6:30-7:30

 *email noelle@stepeadwellnesscenter.com to sign up, space is limited to 3 participants per class. Reserve your spot TODAY!!

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, Weight Loss, Sari Greaves, vegetarian, fitbit, Diet and Nutrition, fat burning classes, summer weight loss, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Fitness, Noelle Lusardi, group excercise classes, toning classes, Step Ahead exercise classes, Physician Weight Loss, Nutrition, online nutrition, Physician Weight Center, OptiFast, personal training, kickboxing, toning, toning walk, muscle conditioning classes, Yoga classes, Step Ahead, wellness, exercise classes, group exercise, kickboxing classes

Recipe Corner: Strawberry-Avocado Salsa with Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 @ 01:43 PM
strawberry salsa ck lHealthy snacking is a great way to combat hunger in between meals. The trick is choosing a snack that is satisfying and under 200 calories. This recipe is the perfect solution for a  sweet & crunchy craving. The fruit-avocado salsa is jam-packed with vitamin C and heart healthy fats. Makes 12 servings (serving size: 6 chips and 3 tablespoons of avocado salsa = 138 calories)

Make the chips in advance, cool completely, and store in an airtight container until ready to serve. Questions/Comment? Email sari@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com


    • 2 teaspoons canola oil
    • 6 (6-inch) whole-wheat flour tortillas
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped peeled ripe avocado (about 2)
    • 1 cup finely chopped strawberries
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
    • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
    • 1. Preheat oven to 350°.
      1. 2. To prepare chips, brush oil evenly over one side of each tortilla. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over oil-coated sides of tortillas. Cut each tortilla into 12 wedges; arrange wedges in a single layer on two baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until crisp.
      2. 3. Combine avocado, 3/4 cup strawberries, cilantro and lime juice; stir gently to combine. Sprinkle salsa with remaining 1/4 cup chopped strawberries. Serve with chips.
      Adapted from cooking light.com
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