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Game Plan for December

Category : Active Living, Exercise, Healthy Eating

Of course you are busy! It’s the holiday season.  That is why you need to take a few minutes NOW to make Holiday resolutions. Why wait until January? What goals can you set to make the holidays healthier and happier? Here are some suggestions:

Write a specific exercise goal.

For example, “I will exercise ____ days per week for _____ minutes between now and December 31.”

Tight on time? Consider that exercising just 30 minutes twice a week can help you maintain your current fitness level. Another suggestion: 10 minutes on your home cardio equipment each morning is better than no minutes.  Just do it and you’ll feel better all day.

Tips on setting goals:

  • Write them down and post them somewhere you can review them on daily basis. Written goals are much more likely to be achieved.
  • Share your goals. Tell another person about your goals. Whether you enlist your spouse, your best friend or your personal trainer the support of another person will help you stick to it. If at all possible, find a friend who wants to set similar goals. This way you will have someone to hold you accountable.

Schedule your exercise sessions.

Writing an exercise goal is a great start, now get out your calendar. Instead of saying, “I’ll do it when I have time” schedule your workouts (date & time). Treat your workouts like you would an appointment with your dentist or hair stylist. In other words, don’t be late and always re-schedule missed appointments.

Keep a Journal.

This is where our Healthy Holiday Stars Program comes in!! Tracking both your exercise and food intake in writing can really help you stay focused. Exercise logs can help you see your progress and adhere to your plan. Once you get the momentum going you will not want to skip a day because you will want to record something in your journal. Food logs make you more mindful of what you are eating and how much. Studies show that keeping track of your eating in a journal is one of the keys to successful weight loss.

Set a daily quota for holiday treats.

For instance, “I will eat ONLY ONE holiday treat daily.” This gives you permission to have a little treat without feeling guilty. Feeling bad about yourself for eating something is no way to live. Instead, feel proud of the fact that you can eat just one! Completely abstaining from chocolate often makes cravings worse and can lead to a binge.

If you have a game plan for December you won’t feel as if you have to start all over again in January! Take time for YOU this holiday season!

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8 Tips for Eating Healthier on Thanksgiving

Category : Healthy Eating

Traditionally, Thanksgiving dinner goes hand-in-hand with a huge meal followed reclining (or napping) on the couch…here are hints to help you feel great instead of stuffed!

1) Don’t starve yourself.

Depriving yourself all day in anticipation of a big meal is not a good idea. Doing this just sets you up for a binge. You should definitely eat a healthy breakfast and depending upon when the big meal is being served you may need to eat a healthy snacks such as fruits or vegetables so that you aren’t ravenous by the time you sit down at the table.

2) Schedule the meal earlier in the day. 

Having the big meal as early as possible is a good idea because it gives your body a chance to digest your food before bedtime. Usually I’d suggest noon, but since the Packer game will be in full swing, perhaps an early evening meal  would be more realistic (with light snacks during the game, of course).

3) Take very small portions.

As you fill your plate, remember there are typically a lot more dishes on the table to choose from compared to your ordinary meal. With this in mind, take very small portions so you have room to “taste” everything.

4) Minimize the carb overload.

Just because sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing and rolls are on the table doesn’t mean you have to eat them all. You might not be in charge of planning the meal, but you are in charge of what goes on your plate and into your mouth. You can choose  NOT to put all of these carb-laden foods on your plate…just pick your favorite. It will save a ton of calories and you’ll feel less ‘stuffed!’ (pun intended!)

5) Eat lots of vegetables.

Put veggies on your plate first so that they take up the majority of the space. Eat a salad first if  one has been provided…better yet, offer to bring a salad. Beware of  heavy-duty casseroles…look for simple plain vegetables.

6) Avoid seconds.

Remember you will most likely be having dessert too, so one serving of dinner is enough. Pause and tune in to how you really feel…are you actually hungry or are you just trying to please your host by accepting seconds? It’s ok to say “no thank you” and perhaps offer to take home a small amount of left-overs instead. (If your mom is like mom she will appreciate this!)

7) Drink water. 

Drink a glass of water immediately before you eat.

8) Drink alcohol only in moderation.

Remember that alcohol has a lot of empty calories and also lowers your inhibitions so you may throw caution to the wind and eat more than you intended.

 Enjoy your family, friends and food (in that order) and you will feel great!

Comments Off on Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

Category : Healthy Eating

We declared Barb B. the princess of our pumpkin party for recommending this delicious and satisfying soup that turns out to be a celebrity weight loss secret.  Because this simple recipe makes a large quantity of soup, you can freeze servings to curb cravings anytime you need some comfort food without blowing your diet.  Our version differs from the original by using low fat coconut milk to maintain that guilty richness.

Butternut Squash Soup
In a large pot, saute until translucent:
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2T olive oil
Then add, bring to a boil and simmer 25-30 minutes until easy to pierce with a fork :
4 cups vegetable broth (canned or made from bullion)
1 large (2lb+) butternut squash, peeled and cubed in 1″ pieces
1 medium potato: any kind, cubed
2 large carrots, diced or sliced into 1/4 rounds
Remove from heat and add:
1 can low fat coconut milk
Next, puree  in batches using a regular or handheld immersion blender.  Then adjust the seasoning to your taste with salt & pepper, maybe even a dash of any one of the following: curry powder, garam masala, cinnamon or nutmeg.
110 calories per 1 cup servings (a bowl is likely a 2 cup serving)
4g fat, 16g carbohydrates,2g protein, 1g fiber, 340mg sodium


Comments Off on Wait! Don’t buy Halloween candy yet!

Wait! Don’t buy Halloween candy yet!

Category : Healthy Eating

Save your money, save your waist-line…

Karin and Jenny halloween  It’s the first week of October, so of course the stores are well-stocked with trick-or-treat candy, but does that mean you need         to stock your pantry?!? Probably not…be realistic, if you buy Halloween candy now will it actually be around on October 31st         when   the kids come knocking? I doubt it! Instead you or your spouse and/or your kids will have eaten it all up and you will           have to go buy more for the trick-or-treaters. 

  My advice, leave the candy in the store until just a few days before Halloween….otherwise, stepping on the        scale might get a little scary! 


Yours in Health & Fitness,

Karin Jennings
XO Fitness 

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Fresh Corn Tomato Salad

Category : Healthy Eating

This recipe uses  late summer produce (which we are still getting plenty of in September!!)Corn Tomato Salad including corn, tomatoes and basil. This a colorful and tasty side dish…perfect to bring as a “dish-to-pass” next time you head to a cookout! Thanks to Carla N. for the suggestion…we looked up “corn tomato recipes” online and started with a recipe, however, as usual Ryan did make some changes….hope you enjoy this!


3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 tsp.  salt (original recipe called for 2 tsp…that’s alot!)

Freshly black pepper

1/4 cup  olive oil

6 ears fresh corn, husked (about 4 cups corn kernels)

2 cups red or orange grape tomatoes, halved

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes

1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, chopped (Ryan actually added 2Tbsp. of pesto instead!)

Whisk the vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a steady stream, to make a smooth dressing.

Shear off the corn kernels with a sharp knife over a bowl. Toss in the tomatoes, scallions, and mozzarella. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat. Cover and let set for 15 minutes or up to 2 hours. Before serving chop the basil and stir it into the salad.

 Nutrition Analysis per 1/2 cup serving:

fat 10 g; carbs 43 g; protein 9 g; fiber 1.6 g; sodium 271 mg




Comments Off on Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini Muffins

Category : Healthy Eating

Zuchinni muffins GFThe zucchinis are still in abundance, so here’s another delicious recipe using our favorite summer squash! Thanks to Gini M. for the recipe from her cookbook, “Grain-Free Gourmet” and introducing us to almond flour. Thanks to Jennifer for the zucchini AND thanks to Jasmine for grating the zucchini!!  Note that this is not a low calorie food but is gluten and grain free.

Makes one 8×4-inch loaf or 12 muffins


3 heaping cups grated zucchini photo (4)

4 1/2 cups almond flour

1 1/2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

3 eggs

1/4 cup oil (we used canola oil)

6 Tbsp. honey

1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. cider vinegar

1 cup chocolate chips (optional…we added the chips; they were not in the original recipe)


1) pre-heat oven to 300 degrees

2) peel and grate zucchini. Place in middle of dish towel; gather sides and wring out as much liquid as you can. Set aside.

3) in  a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

4) in another bowl, combine the eggs, oil, honey, vanilla, cider vinegar. Then add the grated zucchini & chocolate chips (optional) to this mixture.

5) add the wet ingredients t0 the dry ingredients and stir until well-combined.

Zuchinni muffins GF 2

6) For muffins, evenly fill each baking cup with the batter. We like to use an ice cream scoop. Bake for 30 minutes & check (the cookbook called for 50 minutes which seemed like way too much time and I am glad I did not leave them in that long) They are done when the top springs back when lightly touched. For a loaf, scoop the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched.

Note about the nutrition facts:  Almond flour is a VERY dense food and is helpful for anyone avoiding grains or gluten.   When you eat one of these muffins you will very satisfied for a long time due in part to having 21% of your daily fiber (2000 calorie diet) and a high but healthy fat content.   Have we mentioned that fat doesn’t make you fat? It’s the removal of fat from carbohydrates that drives your hunger?  So with that little disclaimer, here’s your nutrition facts!

Serving size: 1/12th batch or 1 muffin

Calories: 381  Fat: 28g  Carbohydrates: 21g  Protein: 11g  Fiber: 5g  Sodium: 272mg



Comments Off on Friday Foodie: Zucchini Quiche on the Grill

Friday Foodie: Zucchini Quiche on the Grill

Category : Healthy Eating

So it turns out that real men not only eat quiche, they make it on the grill! The idea of baking things in my kitchen while the air conditioning is running is just unthinkable so Iphoto (4) resorted to using the grill as my oven and it worked reasonably well. Previously this summer I’ve baked lasagna and boiled a few dinners. It’s my summer kitchen.

This week’s Friday Foodie is Gini M. who introduced me to the recipe I adapted from Grain-Free Gourmet authors Jodi Bager and Jenny Lass. Thanks also to our business manager, Jennifer, who supplied the monster zucchini and Grandma Zuehlke from whom I inherited the 9×13 aluminum pan that is a prized possession in our kitchen. I doubled the quantities to make a 9×13″ pan to ensure leftovers for lunches.

This is not a ‘low calorie’ nor a ‘low fat’ recipe, however it is extremely satisfying and is a Low Carb Meal for our VEMMA carb-cycling clients .

Zucchini Crusted Quiche (makes 9×13″ pan, cut in half for a 9 or 10″ pie pan)
4 cups shredded zucchini patted dry

Zucchini Crust!

Zucchini Crust!

2 eggs
1 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese or Mozzarella cheese

8 eggs
2 cups plain yogurt ((I used 50/50 yogurt/cottage cheese)
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 10oz chopped frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese (I just used Mozzarella because I had it)
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese (I used 1 cup parmesan and 1 cup Mozzarella)

1. Preheat your oven to 350′ or turn all burners on your grill to low (obviously not an exact science, but since when has my cooking been scientific?)

Chopped Spinach

Chopped Spinach

2. Grate a Wisconsin-sized zucchini, then use a towel to squeeze all the excess water out of it to get about 4 cups of shredded Zucchini.
3. Mix shredded zucchini with 2 eggs and 1 cup Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese.
4. Press into a lightly greased 9×13″ pan and up the sides a bit to make the ‘crust’
5. Bake the crust for 20-30 minutes until cooked through and the edges are browned.

1. Make the batter: Mix together 8 eggs, 2 cups of plain yogurt, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon each of nutmeg, cayenne and black pepper.
2. Distribute the chopped spinach on top of the cooked zucchini crust.
3. Layer the cheeses on top.
4. Pour the batter on top.
5. Turn up the grill to medium high (oven to 450′) and bake for 10 minutes.
6. Reduce the grill to low (oven to 350′) and bake 20-30 minutes.
7. Remove from the grill/oven when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Zucchini Crusted Quiche

Zucchini Crusted Quiche

Nutrition (estimated)
Serving size 1/12 pan (3″x 4″ piece)
Calories: 322
Protein: 27g
Fat: 20g
Carbs: 10g
Sodium: 710mg (fairly high, try omitting salt to drop to 560mg/serving)



Category : Healthy Eating


Attend one of our SMART LOSS programs (10 am on June 8 or 22) OR schedule a one-on-one SMART LOSS session if Saturdays aren’t an option.

Register here…no obligation, just find out more!


Weigh-in & record your starting weight


Follow the eating plan:

  • Enjoy a Bode Shake for breakfast
  • Eat according to your plan for morning snack & lunch
  • Drink a Bode Burn as part of your afternoon snack
  • Eat a delicious dinner according to your plan
  • (Don’t worry, we’ll give you the plan and the recipes)

STEP FOUR: SUNDAY…Guilt-free day!

Weigh-in & record your weight

Eat the foods you love…it’s your guilt-free day!

Tell us how it went…we’ll be very excited to see how much weight you’ve lost!


What happens after the first week?

If you are satisfied with the results we’ll help you plan the next 4, 8 or 12 weeks!

Comments Off on Low-Carb Chicken Parmesan

Low-Carb Chicken Parmesan

Category : Healthy Eating

Trying to lose weight?

We invite you to check out one of our Smart Loss Programs to learn all about Carb-Cycling! The basic idea is that you alternate between high-carb days and low-carb days in order to rev up your metabolism. You will get a link to some great software which will help you plan your meals and incorporates recipes like the one below!

Chicken Parmesan~Serves 2

2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4-6 oz each) 
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated 
1 teaspoon oregano 
1/2 teaspoon paprika 
1 tablespoon butter 
1/2 tablespoon olive oil, divided 
Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 head romaine lettuce

1 tablespoon Caesar dressing, fat free 

1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

On a plate, combine cheese, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper. 
Lightly brush each chicken breast with a small amount of oil, then dredge chicken into the cheese mixture. In a small frying pan, melt butter and 1 teaspoon of oil together over medium-high heat. Lightly brown chicken on both sides then place in the foil lined baking pan. Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Serve with a side Caesar salad.


Toss Romain lettuce, fat-free Caesar dressing and a little grated parmesan cheese together. Go easy on the dressing! It doesn’t take much!

IF IT’S A HIGH CARB DAY: (or for the people in your house who aren’t carb-cycling) serve 2 whole grain bread sticks with Garlic bread seasoning.

Comments Off on Your Spring Weight-Loss Plan

Your Spring Weight-Loss Plan

Category : Healthy Eating

Spring is just around the corner…many of us are wondering how to drop a few pounds before the warm weather arrives. Do you have a plan in place to help you rev up your metabolism and lose those excess pounds? 

Here’s what you need to know:

  • What to eat
  • When to eat
  • How much to eat

Register for the next Spring Smart Loss Session to learn more, talk with a personal trainer and get a link to our awesome menu-planning software!

What to eat

Chris Powell, author of “Choose to Lose” and the star personal trainer for “ABC’s Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition” suggests Carb-Cycling. Here’s how it works:

Each week, you will have two cycles of two low carb days followed by a high carb day, followed by a guilt-free day on the seventh day of the week. For example, if you want Sunday to be your guilt-free day then Monday & Tuesday would be low-carb, Wednesday would be high-carb, Thursday and Friday would be low-carb and Saturday would be high-carb. Of course, you can decide when you want your guilt-free day and assign the other days accordingly.

Every day for breakfast eat carbohydrates, protein and unlimited veggies regardless of whether it is low-carb or high-carb day. Your carbohydrate can be a piece of fruit or toast/English muffin. Your protein at breakfast could be an egg, however a protein shake, cottage cheese or any left-over protein from last night’s dinner would be great.

On low carb days, the idea is to focus on protein and vegetable consumption and avoid the smart carbs, which include whole grains and fruit (except for breakfast).

On high carb days, all five of your meals will consist of a carbohydrate, protein and veggies. Providing your body with a healthy source of carbohydrates helps replenish glucose stores in the muscle and tissue. High carb days also help prevent your body from going into “starvation mode” (which may lead to a decreased metabolism).

Your guilt-free day each week is the day you are allowed to eat the foods you have been craving all week! It’s ok to splurge a little…I met a person who was very successful on this program while eating pizza and Zesty’s custard once each week!

When to eat

Eat five times each day. Your meals should be spaced about 3 hours apart. This keeps your blood sugar level and keeps you feeling satisfied instead of hungry.

How much to eat

This program is great because you do not have to measure your food or count calories/grams. Instead, just take a look at your hand and remember that a serving of carbohydrate is the size of your fist, a serving of protein is the size of your palm and a serving of fat is the size of your thumb. You can eat as many veggies as you’d like, so you don’t have to measure them at all.

 Which Carbs/Fats/Proteins should I eat?

  • Healthy carbs: fruit, whole grain bread, English muffins & tortillas, rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes corn, couscous, long grain brown rice, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, whole grain cereals,whole grain pasta,  wild rice, milk (1% or skim), yogurt and legumes including edamame.
  • Healthy fats: low fat cheese, feta cheese, olive oil, canola oil, flaxseed oil, fish oil, safflower oil, avocado, olives, almond butter (with salt), almonds (raw, whole), peanut butter (natural, with salt), peanuts (raw, chopped), pecans (raw, chopped), pumpkin seeds, sesame butter/tahini, sunflower seeds, soy nuts (roasted, lightly salted), walnuts (raw, chopped)
  • Healthy proteins: chicken, turkey, fish, lean beef, lean pork, cottage cheese (low fat), eggs, egg substitutes, Greek yogurt (nonfat plain), yogurt (low carb/high protein) and vegetarian options include  tofu, TVP and tempeh,

The key to success with carb-cycling is to plan ahead and know what you are going to eat at each of your five meals throughout the day. It’s important NOT to skip meals and remember that no one is perfect…if you slip up, don’t beat yourself up, just pick up where you have left off and keeping moving forward.

Contact us for more information on carb-cycling and we can help you plan for  a healthy spring!