Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

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
    • HUNGRY FOR MORE? CALL STEP AHEAD WELLNESS CENTER TODAY: 908.470.2235 TO LEARN ABOUT OUR FAST-TRACK WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAMS, EXERCISE CLASSES, AND MORE...

    Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, diet, jumpstart diet, Sari Greaves, swimsuit season, fruit recipes, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, Dr. Neiman, Dr.Oz, prevention, summer weight loss, beach season, high protein, Cooking Classes, Fitness, Bridal Boot Camp, Healthy Meals, Physician Weight Loss, Healthy Recipes, Nutrition, Prevention Heart Disease, lose weight, bootcamp classes, online nutrition, beach body, health, Step Ahead, wellness, healthy entertaining, lose weight fast, sharecare

    CHECK OUT STEP AHEAD'S *NEW* YOGA SERIES... 6 WEEKS OF CORE!

    Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Aug 07, 2013 @ 01:36 PM

    describe the image
      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!!



     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     




     




     
     
     
     
     






     
     
     
     
     




     




     
     
     
     
     







     
     
     
     
     









     
     
     
     
     




    Series begins on:

      September 4th, 2013

      Every Wednesday

      5:30-6:30pm or 6:30-7:30pm




     
     
     
     
     




    SPACE IS LIMITED

      Please contact Noelle if interested.

      noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com





     
     
     
     
     






    Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, Weight Loss, diet, swimsuit season, fitbit, fat burning classes, Dr. Neiman, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Fitness, Noelle Lusardi, group excercise classes, toning classes, Bridal Boot Camp, Nutrition, lose weight, bootcamp classes, online nutrition, OptiFast, personal training, kickboxing, toning, muscle conditioning classes, Yoga classes, walking Bridal Boot Camp, health, wellness, exercise classes, group exercise, kickboxing classes

    HOW DOES HEAT AFFECT YOUR WORKOUT? Find out here...

    Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Jul 26, 2013 @ 12:52 PM

    describe the image

     

    Exercising in warm weather is challenging. Whether you’re exercising
    indoors in a room that’s too hot or outside, heat makes the experience more
    unpleasant. The real question is how does heat affect your workout? Why are
    workouts in the heat more challenging and will the heat cause you to fatigue
    faster?

    How Your Brain Responds to Exercising in the Heat

    When muscles contract, your body produces more internal heat during
    exercise but it has evolved a number of mechanisms that allow it to control
    body temperature and keep it within a relatively narrow range. The “master
    regulator” of body temperature is a portion of your brain called the
    hypothalamus. One of the many jobs of the hypothalamus is to keep your core
    body temperature within a certain range. It’s the anterior part of the
    hypothalamus that responds to a rise in core body temperature, while the
    posterior hypothalamus regulates heat when temperatures are cold.

    When you exercise in a hot environment, receptors on your skin detect an
    increase in temperature and send a signal to the hypothalamus. When the
    hypothalamus gets the message, it initiates a series of events to help maintain
    core body temperature. The way it does this is by activating sweat glands and
    dilating blood vessels to help release heat. Blood flow also increases to the
    surface of the skin to help release heat.

    This feedback system works well, but when you’re working out in a humid
    environment or doing high-intensity exercise, the system may not be able to
    “keep up.” As you know, sweating releases heat and a humid environment can
    interfere with the ability of sweat to evaporate, making it harder for your
    skin to release heat. That’s why exercising in a humid environment can be
    particularly challenging and even dangerous.

    Exercise Performance in Hot Environments: Does Heat Cause
    You to Fatigue More Quickly?

    Exercising in hot weather poses challenges from a heat control standpoint
    but how does it impact performance? Not surprisingly, you become fatigued
    earlier when you’re exercising in a hot environment. Why might this be?

    One theory is when your hypothalamus senses a temperature rise, after being
    alerted by feedback from skin receptors, it sends less nerve stimulation to
    your muscles to contract so fewer motor units are activated. At the same time,
    your perception of how hard you’re working goes up. There’s more “perceived
    effort” and you’re likely to consciously reduce your exercise intensity.

    Another theory is that when you exercise in heat, your muscles produce more
    free radicals and these free radicals contribute to muscle fatigue. Some
    research also shows that glycogen stores are depleted more rapidly when you
    work out in a hot environment. When muscle glycogen levels drop, fatigue sets
    in.

    Likely, it’s a combination of a number of factors – both central feedback
    from the hypothalamus and peripheral influences like free radicals that cause
    you to fatigue more quickly in the heat.

     When Does Temperature Become a Limiting Factor?

    Interestingly, research shows that most athletes become exhausted and have
    to stop at a core body temperature of just below 40 degrees centigrade. This
    temperature is lower in untrained people who exercise in the heat. This may be
    a protective mechanism since heat stroke typically occurs at around 42 degrees
    centigrade. If you’ve been exercising in heat for several weeks and your body
    has become heat acclimated, it’ll take you longer to reach this core body
    temperature since your body is better at releasing heat, so you’ll be able to
    exercise longer in the heat without being limited by fatigue relative to
    someone who isn’t heat acclimated.

    How Does Exercising in the Heat Affect Your Heart?

    As your body diverts more blood flow to your skin to release heat, the
    amount of blood your heart pumps with each beat (stroke volume) goes down. At
    the same time, your heart rate goes up to compensate for the decrease in stroke
    volume. Since muscles need more blood flow during exercise and so does your
    skin, the two are essentially in competition with each other. This puts greater
    demand on your heart to meet the needs to both skin and muscle. At some point,
    the demands become so high that not enough blood flow reaches the skin and heat
    can’t be released as readily. At this point, your body temperature can rise to
    the point where heat stroke occurs.

    Tips for Exercising in the Heat

    Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Performance declines once you’re 3% dehydrated.
    Water is fine if you’re exercising for less than an hour. An electrolyte-rich
    drink is best for longer periods of exercise.

    Exercise during the coolest time of day. Avoid working out in a hot
    environment that’s also humid whenever possible. First thing in the morning is
    usually when it’s coolest.

    Wear light-weight clothing that’s light in color that “breathes” so your
    body can more readily release heat. Save the tight spandex for cooler days.

    Give your body about 2 weeks to acclimate to exercising in the heat. Until
    then, reduce the intensity of your workout and take frequent breaks. Once your
    body has acclimated to the heat, you’ll begin sweating sooner and more
    profusely, making it easier to release heat. Plus, plasma volume, the portion
    of your blood made up of water and proteins, increases and this helps your
    heart maintain a higher stroke volume. Once you’re acclimated, you also lose
    less electrolytes like sodium and potassium when you sweat.

    The Bottom Line?

    Heat has a definite impact on exercise performance. In general, you’ll
    fatigue earlier, especially if you aren’t acclimated. Take it a little easier
    when you’re exercising in a hot or humid environment. Push fluids even if
    you’re not thirsty and dress lightly. Fortunately, your body has the ability to
    acclimate to exercising in the heat and you won’t overheat as quickly once it
    does.

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

     

    Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, diet, swimsuit season, fitbit, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, fat burning classes, Dr. Neiman, summer weight loss, beach season, Cooking Classes, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Delicious Desserts, Fitness, Noelle Lusardi, group excercise classes, toning classes, Step Ahead exercise classes, Bridal Boot Camp, Physician Weight Loss, Nutrition, lose weight, bootcamp classes, online nutrition, beach body, Physician Weight Center, OptiFast, personal training, kickboxing, toning, toning walk, muscle conditioning classes, Yoga classes, health, Step Ahead, low calorie vegetables, exercise classes, group exercise, kickboxing classes, lose weight fast

    ARE CELL PHONES MAKING US LESS FIT??

    Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jul 24, 2013 @ 11:16 AM

    describe the image

     

    There’s no single factor that explains the rise in obesity. A number of factors play a role – increases in portion size, the popularity of processed foods and beverages, exposure to obesogens in the environment, stress and lack of physical activity all play a role. Not surprisingly, research points to another contributing factor to obesity and a decline in physical fitness – cell phones and smart phones.

    Smartphones and Physical Activity

    Technology makes life easier. These days you can control many aspects of your environment without getting up from your chair through the power of technology. Phones have become more sophisticated too. In less than 50 years, going from rotary phones you dialed by turning a disc to smartphones you can use to instantly connect with friends, give directions to almost anywhere and even handles voice commands. Not only has it made life easier – it’s reduced the need to move around.

    Researchers at Kent State University looked at cell phone use among 300 college students, how often they used their cell phones and how active they were. They also measured their cardiorespiratory fitness on a treadmill. They found those who were “high-volume” users of their phones were likely to be more sedentary and have a poorer fitness level than less frequent users. They were less likely to do a regular workout or engage in other calorie-burning activities.

    This study is hardly surprising. With so many functions – the ability to play games, listen to music and socialize by simply reaching into your pocket, smartphones are becoming the new television, a sedentary activity that takes away time from more active pursuits. Even people who do work out often carry them to the gym and interrupt their workout to make a call or respond to a text.

    Can Smartphones Help You Stay Fit?

    The news isn’t all bad when it comes to smartphones and fitness. Smartphone apps can track your activity level, serve as a timer during workouts, record workout specifics, play music during a workout, track your fitness progress, schedule workouts and make it easy to post the workout you just completed to social networks online. You can also digitally download workouts to your smartphone so you can do them when you travel or even at the office if you have enough space and privacy. Smartphones CAN make it easier to stay fit and active. The key is to use it for that purpose.

    Tips for Staying Fit in the Age of Smartphones

    Use your smartphone to help you stay active when you travel by downloading workouts you can do in a hotel room.

    Stay motivated by using apps to track your progress.

    Use your smartphone to take photos of your body so you can see how it changes over time as a result of working out.

    Take advantage of the fact that a cellphones and smartphones are portable. When you talk on the phone, take a brisk walk while you chat. You’ll burn far more calories than you will sitting in a chair.

    Use your smartphone to make smarter decisions about what to eat. You can access calorie and nutritional information or use an app to get healthy recipes or plan your diet. Before eating in a restaurant when you’re on the road, look at the menu and the nutritional information so you can order smarter.

    Use your smartphone to play motivating exercise music while you work out.

    The Bottom Line?

    Cellphones and smartphones can make you more sedentary or they can be a tool that helps you stay active. Use them for the right reason.

    Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, Weight Loss, diet, swimsuit season, fitbit, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, fat burning classes, Dr. Neiman, summer weight loss, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Fitness, Noelle Lusardi, group excercise classes, toning classes, Step Ahead exercise classes, Bridal Boot Camp, Physician Weight Loss, lose weight, bootcamp classes, beach body, Physician Weight Center, personal training, kickboxing, toning, toning walk, muscle conditioning classes, Yoga classes, health, Step Ahead, wellness, healthy entertaining, exercise classes, kickboxing classes, lose weight fast

    RECIPE CORNER: STRAWBERRY HUMMUS PITA SANDWICHES

    Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jul 10, 2013 @ 11:24 AM

    strawberry hummusDid you know that strawberries are packed with essential vitamins, dietary fiber, potassium, and disease-fighting phytochemicals? One serving- about eight strawberries or one cup- has only 45 calories and more vitamin C than an orange. Step Ahead's Nutrition Director, Sari Greaves R.D.N., says "strawberries are one of the most versatile fruits that pair well with both sweet and savory dishes. Try this easy to assemble sandwich for a refreshing summer meal!

    Bon Appetit! Questions/Comments email sari@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

    Makes 4 servings, 200 calories per sandwich half.

    Ingredients

    2 whole wheat pitas, cut in half (such as Sahara 150 calorie pita loafs)

    1 cup shredded cooked chicken breast

    1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

    1/2 cup sliced cucumber

    4 medium strawberries, sliced

    1 bunch watercress, arugula or any leafy green

    1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

    4 tablespoons (about 1/4 cup) plain hummus (such as Sabra)

    1. Combine chicken, strawberries and crumbled feta in bowl. To make the sandwiches, spread 1 tablespoon hummus inside each pita half. Fill with chicken mixture. Top with onion, cucumber, and leafy greens.

    HUNGRY FOR MORE? CALL STEP AHEAD WELLNESS CENTER TODAY: 908.470.2235 TO LEARN ABOUT OUR SUMMER WEIGHT LOSS PROMOTIONS!

    Recipe adapted from www.californiastrawberries.com

    Tags: Personal Weight Loss, diet, Sari Greaves, swimsuit season, fruit recipes, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, fat burning classes, Dr.Oz, prevention, summer weight loss, beach season, high protein, summer sandwiches, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Fitness, Bridal Boot Camp, Healthy Meals, Physician Weight Loss, Healthy Recipes, Nutrition, Heart Disease, lose weight, online nutrition, beach body, healthy entertaining, exercise classes, lose weight fast

    Best-Fat Burning Foods

    Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Jul 01, 2013 @ 11:50 AM
    Best Fat-Burning Foods

    Tags: Weight Loss, Sari Greaves, swimsuit season, healthy eating, fat burning classes, Dr. Neiman, Dr.Oz, summer weight loss, beach season, Healthy Meals, Healthy Recipes, Nutrition, Heart Disease, lose weight, online nutrition, beach body, OptiFast, toning, health, low carb, lose weight fast, sharecare

    Recipe Corner: Summer Strawberry Salad

    Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Jul 01, 2013 @ 11:47 AM
    Sari's Strawberry Salad- Fox News

    Tags: diet, Sari Greaves, swimsuit season, Diet and Nutrition, Dr. Neiman, Dr.Oz, summer weight loss, beach season, beach body, Step Ahead, wellness, summer recipes, sharecare

    EXERCISE ON VACATION? WHY YOU SHOULD!

    Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 @ 02:29 PM

    describe the image

    You have a big vacation planned – you’re headed to the beach to bask in the sun or to the mountains to breathe in some fresh air. It’s a chance to see new scenery, relax and unwind. It’s therapeutic to have a break and see new sites – but what about your workout? You’ve been exercising most days of the week and are enjoying the results you’re seeing. Should you work out on vacation or take a break?

     If You Take a Break, Will You Become Less Fit?

    Here’s the good news. Even if you take a full week off from exercise, you won’t experience a decline in your fitness level. Detraining doesn’t happen that quickly. It usually takes 2 weeks away from endurance exercise to experience a decline in aerobic capacity and you won’t begin losing your strength gains for three to four weeks. So you’re not going to lose the gains you worked so hard to achieve by taking a few days or even a week off.

    The Argument for Exercising on Vacation

    Before leaving your exercise clothes at home, there are some good reasons to work out even when you’re on vacation. Most people feel better when they stay active and stick with some semblance of a routine when they’re away from home. Plus, you probably won’t eat as cleanly as you do at home, so exercise will help you compensate for those vacation splurges and those high-calorie restaurant dinners. If you’re taking a short vacation, a night or two away from home, it’s easy to justify taking a break, but if you’re taking a vacation that’s longer, you may miss working out after a day or two.

     Keep It Simple – Bring Along Your iPad and a Download

    The good news is it’s simpler than ever to exercise on vacation. Download workouts onto an iPad, laptop or iPhone to guide you through a quick sweat session in your hotel room. Choose a short, high-intensity interval workout. Do it as soon as you get up to get it out of the way. You’ll give your metabolism a boost and keep it elevated for hours, while you’re enjoying the sand and the surf. There’s another advantage. You’ll feel less guilty when you nibble on things you wouldn’t routinely eat.

    For resistance training, drop some resistance bands into your suitcase or travel bag. Resistance bands travel well and are one of the most versatile pieces of exercise equipment around. Kickboxing workouts are another heart-pumping workout you can do in a small space with no equipment.

    You can also get an effective workout using only your body weight. Start the morning off with a circuit-style workout. Do a strength move followed by a cardio move, alternating back and forth for 20 minutes. It’s one of the most time expedient ways to work out and you can do it in even a small hotel room. Even though a number of hotels have exercise rooms, many of them are small, hot and have only the standard pieces of equipment – elliptical machine, exercise bike treadmill and, maybe, a few weights. Bring along your iPad or other device with your favorite workouts downloaded and exercise in your room.

    A Little Routine is Good Even When You’re on Vacation

    If you go on a longer vacation and stop exercising entirely, it may be harder to get back into the swing of things when you get home. If you need a break, reduce the frequency of your workouts or do lighter workouts. Then try to stay active. Skip the hotel elevator and take the stairs. Leave the car parked at the hotel and walk wherever you can. Take long walks on the beach or hike if you’re in the mountains.

    Whatever you do, pack your exercise clothes – even if it’s a short vacation and you’re convinced you’re not going to work out. You may change your mind after you get there and want to “recharge” by doing a quick workout, especially after overindulging in a few too many vacation meals and snacks. Don’t forget your exercise shoes. You’ll be glad you brought them along.

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

     

     

    Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, Weight Loss, diet, swimsuit season, fitbit, Diet and Nutrition, Dr. Neiman, summer weight loss, beach season, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Fitness, Noelle Lusardi, group excercise classes, toning classes, Step Ahead exercise classes, Bridal Boot Camp, Physician Weight Loss, Nutrition, lose weight, bootcamp classes, online nutrition, beach body, Physician Weight Center, OptiFast, personal training, kickboxing, toning, muscle conditioning classes, health, wellness, exercise classes, group exercise, lose weight fast

    Step Ahead's July 4th Weight Loss Promotion

    Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jun 12, 2013 @ 05:17 PM
    describe the imageAchieve Independent Health with
    Step Ahead's July 4th Weight Loss Promotion
    Offer valid from July 4th- August 1st 2013
     
    One simple step, BIG benefits…
     
    * Make an appointment by July 4th and receive 25% off any personal training, exercise class, Optifast package, or visit with doctor & nutritionist.
     
    * Offer includes a FREE Calorie Counter handbook!
     
    Call us today at 908-470-2235 or

    Tags: Weight Loss, swimsuit season, summer weight loss, beach season, beach body, toning, wellness, summer recipes

    Step Ahead Recipe Corner: Tasty Toppings For Greens

    Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jun 12, 2013 @ 04:50 PM

    USA BerriesIt's easy EATING GREEN  this summer with a few cooking secrets from the kitchen of Registered Dietitian, Sari Greaves. Leafy greens are nutritious superstars jam-packed with vitamins A, C, and K, folate, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, lutein, and fiber. They pair well with a splash of lemon juice or red wine vinegar. Feeling creative? Try any of the following savory toppings with 3 simple steps:

    1) Pick your green: spinach, swiss chard, kale, mustard, or collard greens

     2) Boil 8 oz. until tender (baby kale takes about 30 seconds), or steam for about 2 minutes.

    3) Drain well and toss with any of these delicious toppings!

    Serving size: 1/4 of the recipe (green + topping)

    Melt In Your Mouth Mushroom Topping:

    In a large skillet, saute 1/2 lb.  sliced cremini mushrooms in 2 Tbs. olive oil until well browned, 5-7 minutes. Add 1 Tbs. reduced-sodium soy sauce and 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar and cook for another minute. (110 calories per serving, mushrooms are a good source ofthe antiaging antioxidant selenium)

    Sizzling Sausage Topping:

    Remove 4 oz. chicken or turkey sausage fro the casing. Saute with 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes in 1 Tbs. olive oil, breaking sausage up into small pieces, until browned and cooked through, 3-5 minutes. Season with freshly ground pepper. (140 calories per serving, packed with 8 grams of filling protein) 

    Crunchy Nut & Garlic Topping:

    Slice 5 cloves garlic, then saute in 2 Tbs. olive oil with 1/4 cup pecan or walnut pieces until garlic is lightly  golden , about 1 minute. Season with 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar, and freshly ground black pepper. (110 calories per serving, the garlic & heart-healthy nut combo can help bring down your blood cholesterol)

    Sesame Delight Topping

    Whish together 2 tsp. sesame oil, 1 Tbs. reduced sodium soy sauce, and 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar. Garnish with 2 Tbs. sesame seeds and 2 tsp. grated bottled or fresh ginger.

    (100 calories per serving, sesame seeds offer heart-healthy package of vitamins, minerals, and oils) 

    Recipes adapted from Nutrition Action Healthletter, June 2013 issue.

    Got a question or suggestion? Email sari@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

    Hungry for More?

    Call Step Ahead Wellness Center today at 908-470-2235 to learn more about our sizzling summer weight loss and fitness specials! 

    Tags: Personal Weight Loss, diet, meal plans, Sari Greaves, swimsuit season, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, Dr. Neiman, Dr.Oz, summer weight loss, beach season, high protein, Cooking Classes, Bridal Boot Camp, Healthy Meals, Healthy Recipes, Nutrition, Heart Disease, lose weight, online nutrition, beach body, Physician Weight Center, OptiFast, Step Ahead, low calorie vegetables, low carb, summer recipes, healthy entertaining, lose weight fast, sharecare