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Definitely De Pere Art Walks 2015

Category : Upcoming Events

You are invited!

Presenting-Sponsors-Art-Walk

5-8pm on these Fridays:

May 29th

June 12th

June 26th

July 17th

July 31st

August 14th

XO Fitness is just one of many businesses hosting artists!

We hope you will stop in and say hello.

For more information visit Definitely De Pere’s website

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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!

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Pumpkin Workout

Category : Exercise

The Pumpkin Workout is designed to help you burn off any extra calories you happen to eat on Halloween.
 
Grab a pumpkin and let’s get going!
 
Exercise #1: Pumpkin swings
 
Exercise #2: Step back lunge with a pumpkin twist
 
Exercise #3: Side-to-side lunge with a pumpkin curl
 
Exercise #4: Sumo squat with pumpkin up & over
 
Every time your eat a piece of candy do this workout & have fun!
 
P.S. The pumpkin I used for this video weighed 7 1/2 pounds and it was plenty heavy. If you can’t find a pumpkin that’s the right weight for you it’s OK to use a med ball or a hand weight instead.
 

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>Tricks for Avoiding Treats

Category : Healthy Eating

>1) Postpone buying candy until just a few days before trick-or-treat. The candy companies set up their Halloween displays in September enticing you to stock up early. Why bring candy into your house where it can tempt you for the whole month of October? Leave it in the store where it is safe and sound until just a few days before the big event. 2) Buy candy you don’t like. If you LOVE chocolate, hand out fruit chews instead. You will be less likely sample if it is not your all time favorite. Always be mindful when you consider eating a piece of candy: ask yourself, “Do I really like the way this tastes?” or “Why do I want to eat this?”. 3) Buy chewing gum instead. Sugar-free chewing gum has less calories and sugar than most treats. Also, while you are chewing you are less likely to snack on other things. 4) Buy something other than candy as a treat. Every year our studio participates in the Downtown De Pere  trick-or-treat and we have opted to give away apples and pencils with raving reviews from parents and children alike. 5) Store candy out of sight. If you have to climb on a chair and open the highest cupboard you are less likely to nibble than if the candy bowl is sitting on the kitchen counter screaming your name. This will also help your kids forget it exists! 6) Buy less candy. We all live in fear of running out of treats and disappointing the kids, but when was the last time you actually ran out? Try to avoid overstock. 7) Get rid of the leftover candy. Starting November first, give it away, take it to work or throw it away. It may seem wasteful, but throwing out a few dollars worth of candy is much better than gaining weight and feeling guilty about it. Trust me, you will be proud of yourself for disposing of it. 8) Allow yourself to indulge a little. You don’t have to be perfect. Thankfully Trick-or-treat candy tends to be packaged in small, bite-sized portions. If you allow yourself one piece, you will satisfy that craving. You can even make a deal with yourself to have one treat per day. It beats “being good” all week and then bingeing. Hopefully these suggestions will help you have a happy, healthy Halloween! Best Witches, Karin.

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Pumpkin Foodie: Pumpkin & Pasta

Category : Healthy Eating

Ingredients 1/2 small sugar pumpkin 4 T extra-virgin olive oil (divided) 1/2 t salt 2 T honey 1/2 lb. whole grain pasta 2 t minced garlic 2 minced anchovies (optional…we skipped these) 1/2 C  finely chopped walnuts 1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese 1) Peel half of a small sugar pumpkin and cut into 1-inch chunks.  (about 4 cups) Toss with 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt & honey. Roast on a baking sheet at 425 degrees until tender, about 45 minutes. 2) Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. When done cooking, drain but reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water. 3) When pumpkin is done is cooking, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add minced garlic, cook about 1 minutes (until garlic is softening) then add walnuts and pumpkin. Stir to combine without smashing pumpkin chunks. 4) Combine pasta with 1/2 cup pasta cooking water and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with more olive oil. 5) Transfer to bowl and toss with pumpkin mixture. Serve! Nutritional info(serves 4): 521 calories 5 g saturated fate 21 g unsaturated fat 61 carb 16 g protein (that would be with the anchovies, mind you) 7 g fiber    

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XO Foodie: Curry Pumpkin Hummus

Category : Healthy Eating

Lori & Eben shared this Curry Pumpkin Hummus recipe with us. It was delicious! Eben says he rarely follows a recipe, but (mostly) followed this one: Ingredients 1 T extra virgin olive oil 2 Cloves garlic, minced 1 T curry powder 1.5 T honey 1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed 1 can (15 oz) unsweetened Pumpkin Puree 1.5 t finely minced fresh ginger 1.5 t koser or sea salt In a small frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil.  Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. Add curry and saute for 1 additional minute. Stir in honey and remove from heat. In a food processor, chop garbanzos until they are finely mashed.  Add pumpkin, ginger, salt and garlic mixture. Process until hummus is smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste. Set aside for a least 1 hour. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds if desired. Sorry, no pictures…we ate it all up before I thought of that!!

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Fall Fitness Routine

Category : Active Living

by Karin Jennings The trouble with summer is that people tend to be very inconsistent about exercising. This happens for a multitude of reasons: a) it’s hot; b) the kids are home;c) week-long vacations and travel; d) relying on outdoor activities like gardening and walking for exercise.

Now that it’s Fall, it’s time to get your fall fitness routine together!

How to start? ”Back to School” and “Back to Fitness” have a lot of similarities. The “Three R’s” of fitness include: 1) Regular Routine, 2) ‘Rite it down, and 3) ‘Rithmetic.

1) Regular Routine

Consistency is the key to success. Schedule your exercise. “I am going to get in shape this fall” is far too vague. Instead, say “I am going to exercise for 30 minutes three days a week for the next 4 weeks.” You should consider being even more specific and schedule the days you will exercise on your calendar. Notice how this statement is measurable in couple of ways (minutes of exercise & days per week) it also has a time frame of 4 weeks. Remember that nobody’s perfect, if you miss a day try to reschedule it as soon as possible. Progress, not perfection should be your mantra.

2) ‘Rite it down

Three things you should consider writing down:

Your goals.

Post them somewhere you can see them regularly and act upon them. It is important to review your goals daily…for one minute. Spencer Johnson, M.D., in his book The One Minute Mother gives us this motivational quote: “I take a minute, I look at my goals, I look at my behavior, I see if my behavior matches my goals”.

Record your workouts.

It may seem silly, but most grown-ups are just as motivated as grade-schoolers by something as simple as a chart on the wall with gold stars. Try this at home: Place a calendar which is dedicated to keeping track of your workouts in a prominent location such as your refrigerator. Everyday you workout give yourself a star on the calendar. You may also want to record your time, distance and/or the activities you completed. How many minutes and/or miles you complete weekly or monthly? This will keep you motivated to keep moving.

Record what you are eating.

If one of your goals is to lose weight, a food log is an excellent way to get started. Studies show that writing down everything you eat throughout the day can double your weight loss. This works because it makes you much more aware of what you are putting in your mouth.

3) ‘Rithmetic

A lot of us are motivated by the numbers. Most people feel they MUST weigh themselves, however don’t measure success by that number alone. Here are some other numbers to consider:

Body composition

This is the ratio of fat to lean body tissue and it is much more important. This can be measured with a skin fold calipers or a bio-impedance device. If you would like to have this measured by a trainer at our studio please let us know.

Inches lost

It’s tricky to use a tape measure and because it’s hard to measure at exactly the same spot the next time, so instead identify a piece of clothing that’s a little too tight right now and try it on again in 4 weeks to see if it fits better.

Measure your fitness

How many push-ups you can do without stopping, how many chair squats you can complete in 30 seconds and how long can you stand on one foot?How long does it takes you to walk/run a specific distance such as one mile (works best on a track)? Re-test every four weeks and you will be impressed with yourself! Turn over a new leaf…follow the “Three R’s” and get your fall fitness routine in shape! autumn_leaves_png3601

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Poisonous Plants

Category : Active Living

Don’t let these poisonous plants ruin your summertime fun!

A couple of poisonous plants that are very common in Wisconsin include poison ivy and poison parsnip.

Poison Ivy…leaves of three, let it be

Of course, avoiding contact with poison ivy is the best case scenario, so being able to identify it is important. In the picture below you can see smaller light green leaves and more mature darker green leaves of the poison ivy plant.
Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy along the Fox River Trail

If you do come in contact with poison ivy  wash your skin as soon as possible…experts recommend within 30 minutes of exposure. Use soap and water to remove the oils. If you are out in the the middle of nowhere with no soap available rinsing in a lake is a good alternative. Also, wash your clothing and bathe any pets you suspect may have been in contact with it.

How to treat Poison Ivy

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following: Take short, lukewarm baths. To ease the itch, take short, lukewarm baths in a colloidal oatmeal preparation, which you can buy at your local drugstore. You can also draw a bath and add one cup of baking soda to the running water. Taking short, cool showers may also help. Consider calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. Apply calamine lotion to skin that itches. If you have a mild case, a hydrocortisone cream or lotion may also help. Apply cool compresses to the itchy skin. You can make a cool compress by wetting a clean washcloth with cold water and wringing it out so that it does not drip. Then, apply the cool cloth to the itchy skin. Consider taking antihistamine pills. These pills can help reduce itching, however use with caution. You should not apply an antihistamine to your skin, as doing so can worsen the rash and the itch. According to WebMD: The rash usually takes more than a week to show up the first time you have a reaction to the oil. It develops in a day or two on later contacts. The rash may form in new areas over several days, but you will only get a rash where the oil touched your skin. The rash usually lasts about 10 days to 3 weeks. But it may last up to 6 weeks in more severe cases.

Poison Parsnip

I had never heard of this until Ryan cam in contact with it about 10 years ago during an adventure race. Somehow we had never noticed it before, but now I see it everywhere I travel in Wisconsin.
Poison Parsnip along the Fox River Trail

Poison Parsnip along the Fox River Trail

According to the Wisconsin DNR:

When sap contacts skin in the presence of sunlight, it can cause severe rashes, blisters, and discoloration of the skin (phytophotodermatitis). Once exposed, your skin will turn red within 24 to 48 hours. In many cases, after the skin reddens, blisters appear–some of them pretty big. Sometimes the area that was burned takes on a dark red or brown discoloration that can last for as long as 2 years. The good news is, while it might hurt for awhile, the burning feeling will go away in a day or two. This is different from poison ivy where the itching can last for weeks.   You can treat blisters with cool compresses. Try to keep blisters from rupturing as long as possible. If blisters do rupture try to prevent infection. Clean the sores with soap and cool water. Apply an antibiotic ointment with painkiller and a sterile bandage to keep contaminants out. Change bandages twice a day or as needed to keep the area clean and dry.

Have fun & enjoy to the great outdoors, but be careful out there!

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Nutritional Benefits of Watermelon

Category : Healthy Eating

by Karin Jennings
I recently read a very interesting article about the nutritional benefits of watermelon. I have always been a fan of this fabulous fruit because it’s refreshing and sweet, but I learned there are even more reasons to enjoy watermelon!

Why eat watermelon?

  • First of all, it’s a great source of vitamin C, Vitamin A and potassium.
  • Secondly, it will help you stay hydrated because it is 92% water.
  • Also it contains citrulline and lycopene, according to Penelope Perkins-Veazie, a professor of horticulture in the Plants for Human Health Institute at North Carolina State University. (She has been studying watermelon nutrients for 15 years!!)

How does citrulline benefit your body?

I hadn’t heard of this non-essential amino acid prior reading about it last week, but here’s what found out: It is involved in producing nitric oxide which relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure which benefits the both the brain and heart. It also helps to flush the kidneys.

How does lycopene benefit your body?

The tomato industry has been touting the benefits of lycopene for a while now (I see it on every bottle of ketchup), but it turns out that lycopene is more abundant and easily absorbed from watermelon than from tomatoes. (That’s good…I like watermelon better!) Lycopene reduces plaque build up in arteries and helps prevent prostate cancer.

For those of you who prefer lists…watermelons will improve the following:

  • muscle pain after workouts
  • blood pressure
  • plaque build up in arteries
  • inflammation of the prostate
  • erectile dysfunction
  • menopause symptoms
  • acid reflux

Watermelon is a very healthy snack…here’s the nutritional information:

Two cups of watermelon contains:

  • 80 calories
  • 21 grams of carbohydrates (mostly sugars)
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of protein

What about all the sugar?

Don’t worry, according to Perkins-Veazie there is an enzyme present in watermelon which regulates the glucose. It is much healthier than any pre-packaged, processed snack you can buy off the shelf!

Go ahead, enjoy your watermelon!!

 

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>3 great summer recipes: Pesto, Hummus & Fresh Salsa

Category : Healthy Eating

>Summer always brings opportunities to savor vegetables fresh from the garden and enjoy them with friends at a backyard gathering. Here are three of my favorite recipes that either use fresh farmers market ingredients (pesto, salsa) or are my favorite to bring to a party (hummus & salsa). Let’s start with Pesto since it is packed with Omega 3’s:
  • 1 bunch Fresh Basil: Washed, Stems removed and Chopped coarsely.
  • 1/4 to 1/2c Olive Oil (Omega 3’s)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3c Walnuts (Omega 3’s) or pine nuts or raw peanuts
  • 1/2t Salt
Blend 1/4c olive oil, salt and garlic in blender. Slowly add chopped fresh basil. Blend coarsely, adding olive oil as needed to create a thick paste. Blend in nuts. Salt to taste and freeze any extra in small containers with little air gap. Pesto is good on Barilla Plus Pasta (more Omega 3’s!), but have you ever made a salad by simply mixing pesto, fresh mozzarella balls and halved cherry tomatoes? Wow! It’s extraordinary and a real spotlight of a meal. Hummus is a favorite food of mine and it is SO simple:
  • 1 can chick peas (AKA garbanzo beans) drained (liquid reserved)
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 T sesame tahini
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3+ t lemon juice
  • optional: chopped fresh parsley
Coarsely mash the chick peas with a fork or potato masher. Then mash in all the other ingredients, adding some of the reserved liquid to achieve a thick paste. Finished hummus is naturally a bit lumpy, so don’t worry about getting it perfectly smooth. Experiment and enjoy. Salt to taste. And Finally, Fresh Salsa. Possibly the best blend of all that fresh goodness of the Farmer’s Market.
  • 4-6 tomatoes finely diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, rinsed, stems removed and finely chopped.
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (careful, raw garlic can add serious heat!)
  • 1 jalepeno pepper, seeds and veins removed. Finely chopped
  • 1 bunch green peppers, thinly sliced or finely chopped
  • 1/2 to whole lemon juice (3+ tablespoons)
  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • 1 T vinegar (cider, wine or rice vinegar)
  • 1/2 t salt (salt to taste)
Mix ingredients together and allow to rest for at least 1/2 hour before serving.  

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Dairy Pros and Cons

Category : Healthy Eating

by Karin Jennings

 

June is Dairy Month, and at the risk of being thrown out of Wisconsin, I will say that dairy has its pros and cons. Contrary to what the USDA recommends you do not need to consume dairy products daily. Some people can enjoy dairy as part of a healthy diet, but many others cannot and should not consume dairy products.

 

Here are some frequently asked questions about dairy:

 

Do we need dairy in our diets?

It really depends upon who you ask. The USDA recommends three servings of dairy daily, but many nutrition experts will tell you dairy is optional or that you should avoid it completely.

 

Check out the difference between the Harvard Plate and the USDA Plate and you can see they are quite similar, but Harvard has left out the milk. Why? According to the Harvard School of Public Health website: The Harvard Healthy Eating Plate is based exclusively on the best available science and was not subjected to political or commercial pressures from food industry lobbyists. Read full article

 

Harvard School of Public Health

Harvard School of Public Health: Milk is NOT included as part of each meal They recommend one to two servings of dairy daily

   
USDA plate

USDA plate: Recommends 3 servings of dairy per day and implies drinking a glass of milk with each meal.

 

Dr. Mark Hyman, author of Ultra Metabolism argues against daily milk consumption: “From an evolutionary point of view, milk is a strange food for humans. Until 10,000 years ago we didn’t domesticate animals and weren’t able to drink milk (unless some brave hunter-gather milked a wild tiger or buffalo!). If you don’t believe that, consider this: The majority of humans naturally stop producing significant amounts of lactase — the enzyme needed to properly metabolize lactose, the sugar in milk — sometime between the ages of two and five. In fact, for most mammals, the normal condition is to stop producing the enzymes needed to properly digest and metabolize milk after they have been weaned. Our bodies just weren’t made to digest milk on a regular basis. Instead, most scientists agree that it’s better for us to get calcium, potassium, protein, and fats from other food sources, like whole plant foods — vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and seaweed.”

 

How do I know if I should give up dairy?

Try an elimination diet. Cut dairy out of your diet completely (no milk, cheese, yogurt, or ice cream) for two weeks and see if you feel better.

 

You may notice improvements with the following: · acne · sinuses · post-nasal drip · headaches · irritable bowel syndrome · body weight

 

After two weeks start eating dairy again and see how you feel. If you feel worse, you should try to give it up for life. If you don’t see any changes after eliminating dairy (except for craving ice cream) and you don’t note any difference when you add them back into your diet then you can probably continue to eat dairy on a limited basis.

 

Should I eat/drink low-fat or no-fat dairy products?

Here’s an excerpt from TIME magazine, March 2015: “In terms of obesity, we found no support for the notion that low-fat dairy is healthier,” says Dr. Mario Kratz, first author of the review and a nutrition scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Of the 25 studies included in his team’s review, Kratz says 18 reported lower body weights, less weight gain, or a lower risk for obesity among full-fat dairy eaters. The other seven studies were inconclusive. “None of the research suggested low-fat dairy is better,” he says.
According to Michael Pollan in his book In Defense of Food: “To make dairy products low fat, it’s not enough to remove the fat. You then have to go to great lengths to preserve the body or creamy texture by working in all kinds of food additives. In the case of low-fat or skim milk, that usually means adding powdered milk. But powdered milk contains oxidized cholesterol, which scientists believe is much worse for your arteries than ordinary cholesterol, so food makers sometimes compensate by adding antioxidants, further complicating what had been a simple one-ingredient whole food. Also, removing the fat makes it that much harder for your body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins that are one of the reasons to drink milk in the first place.”

 

How much dairy should I eat?

As mentioned earlier, it depends upon who you ask. The USDA recommends three servings; Harvard School of Public Health recommends one to two servings and many other experts will say to skip it altogether. That leads us to another good question…

 

What is a serving?

At XO Fitness we have adopted Precision Nutrition’s advice and advise clients to use their hand to judge their serving sizes. Some dairy products are considered a protein such as cottage cheese so a serving would be the size of you palm (Men can have two servings while women should have one). Others are very high in fat (such as butter or cheese) so the serving size is one to two thumbs. In most cases, we recommend referring to the label on the package. Milk (skim & 1%) is not are considered a protein, but instead it is classified as a carbohydrate because is has a lot of sugar (lactose).

 

What are some good milk alternatives?

Lisa Leake, author of 100 Days of Real Food, suggests that if you drink milk alternatives you should be sure to choose those that are unsweetened. Her top choices would be either unsweetened full-fat coconut milk or almond milk…or even brown rice milk. She does not recommend soy milk because soy is already an additive in so many packaged foods.

 

Do I need dairy for healthy bones and teeth?

No. If you want healthy bones, get plenty of weight bearing exercise and supplement with 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily. In fact, some parts of the world with the lowest incidence of osteoporosis also have very low consumption of dairy.

 

What about getting enough calcium?

Dr. Hyman recommends getting your calcium from foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, sesame tahini, sea vegetables, and sardines or salmon with the bones.

 

So, here’s my two cents worth:

When it comes to dairy, the health effects seem to vary greatly between individuals. If it negatively affects you there is no harm in cutting it out of your diet. If you like dairy and it likes you then go ahead and enjoy it, but keep in mind the portion sizes mentioned earlier! Personally, I am able to consume dairy without any negative side effects. I avoid low-fat and no-fat dairy products, but eat cheese, cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt, and use butter and half-and-half (coffee without it just isn’t the same). I choose not to eat meat, so I utilize dairy to help me get enough protein.

 

Brief Disclaimer: XO Fitness, LLC and employees do not claim to be dietitians and cannot render specific nutrition advice related to a medical condition or provide detailed nutritional analysis.  Individuals seeking these services should see a registered dietitian. The information in this article is meant to help the reader become more aware of the wide range of opinions on the consumption of dairy and encourage individuals to decide what is best for them.

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Definitely De Pere Art Walks 2015

Category : Upcoming Events

You are invited!

Presenting-Sponsors-Art-Walk

5-8pm on these Fridays:

May 29th

June 12th

June 26th

July 17th

July 31st

August 14th

XO Fitness is just one of many businesses hosting artists!

We hope you will stop in and say hello.

For more information visit Definitely De Pere’s website

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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!

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Pumpkin Workout

Category : Exercise

The Pumpkin Workout is designed to help you burn off any extra calories you happen to eat on Halloween.
 
Grab a pumpkin and let’s get going!
 
Exercise #1: Pumpkin swings
 
Exercise #2: Step back lunge with a pumpkin twist
 
Exercise #3: Side-to-side lunge with a pumpkin curl
 
Exercise #4: Sumo squat with pumpkin up & over
 
Every time your eat a piece of candy do this workout & have fun!
 
P.S. The pumpkin I used for this video weighed 7 1/2 pounds and it was plenty heavy. If you can’t find a pumpkin that’s the right weight for you it’s OK to use a med ball or a hand weight instead.
 

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>Tricks for Avoiding Treats

Category : Healthy Eating

>1) Postpone buying candy until just a few days before trick-or-treat. The candy companies set up their Halloween displays in September enticing you to stock up early. Why bring candy into your house where it can tempt you for the whole month of October? Leave it in the store where it is safe and sound until just a few days before the big event. 2) Buy candy you don’t like. If you LOVE chocolate, hand out fruit chews instead. You will be less likely sample if it is not your all time favorite. Always be mindful when you consider eating a piece of candy: ask yourself, “Do I really like the way this tastes?” or “Why do I want to eat this?”. 3) Buy chewing gum instead. Sugar-free chewing gum has less calories and sugar than most treats. Also, while you are chewing you are less likely to snack on other things. 4) Buy something other than candy as a treat. Every year our studio participates in the Downtown De Pere  trick-or-treat and we have opted to give away apples and pencils with raving reviews from parents and children alike. 5) Store candy out of sight. If you have to climb on a chair and open the highest cupboard you are less likely to nibble than if the candy bowl is sitting on the kitchen counter screaming your name. This will also help your kids forget it exists! 6) Buy less candy. We all live in fear of running out of treats and disappointing the kids, but when was the last time you actually ran out? Try to avoid overstock. 7) Get rid of the leftover candy. Starting November first, give it away, take it to work or throw it away. It may seem wasteful, but throwing out a few dollars worth of candy is much better than gaining weight and feeling guilty about it. Trust me, you will be proud of yourself for disposing of it. 8) Allow yourself to indulge a little. You don’t have to be perfect. Thankfully Trick-or-treat candy tends to be packaged in small, bite-sized portions. If you allow yourself one piece, you will satisfy that craving. You can even make a deal with yourself to have one treat per day. It beats “being good” all week and then bingeing. Hopefully these suggestions will help you have a happy, healthy Halloween! Best Witches, Karin.

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Pumpkin Foodie: Pumpkin & Pasta

Category : Healthy Eating

Ingredients 1/2 small sugar pumpkin 4 T extra-virgin olive oil (divided) 1/2 t salt 2 T honey 1/2 lb. whole grain pasta 2 t minced garlic 2 minced anchovies (optional…we skipped these) 1/2 C  finely chopped walnuts 1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese 1) Peel half of a small sugar pumpkin and cut into 1-inch chunks.  (about 4 cups) Toss with 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt & honey. Roast on a baking sheet at 425 degrees until tender, about 45 minutes. 2) Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. When done cooking, drain but reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water. 3) When pumpkin is done is cooking, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add minced garlic, cook about 1 minutes (until garlic is softening) then add walnuts and pumpkin. Stir to combine without smashing pumpkin chunks. 4) Combine pasta with 1/2 cup pasta cooking water and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with more olive oil. 5) Transfer to bowl and toss with pumpkin mixture. Serve! Nutritional info(serves 4): 521 calories 5 g saturated fate 21 g unsaturated fat 61 carb 16 g protein (that would be with the anchovies, mind you) 7 g fiber    

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XO Foodie: Curry Pumpkin Hummus

Category : Healthy Eating

Lori & Eben shared this Curry Pumpkin Hummus recipe with us. It was delicious! Eben says he rarely follows a recipe, but (mostly) followed this one: Ingredients 1 T extra virgin olive oil 2 Cloves garlic, minced 1 T curry powder 1.5 T honey 1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed 1 can (15 oz) unsweetened Pumpkin Puree 1.5 t finely minced fresh ginger 1.5 t koser or sea salt In a small frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil.  Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. Add curry and saute for 1 additional minute. Stir in honey and remove from heat. In a food processor, chop garbanzos until they are finely mashed.  Add pumpkin, ginger, salt and garlic mixture. Process until hummus is smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste. Set aside for a least 1 hour. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds if desired. Sorry, no pictures…we ate it all up before I thought of that!!

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Fall Fitness Routine

Category : Active Living

by Karin Jennings The trouble with summer is that people tend to be very inconsistent about exercising. This happens for a multitude of reasons: a) it’s hot; b) the kids are home;c) week-long vacations and travel; d) relying on outdoor activities like gardening and walking for exercise.

Now that it’s Fall, it’s time to get your fall fitness routine together!

How to start? ”Back to School” and “Back to Fitness” have a lot of similarities. The “Three R’s” of fitness include: 1) Regular Routine, 2) ‘Rite it down, and 3) ‘Rithmetic.

1) Regular Routine

Consistency is the key to success. Schedule your exercise. “I am going to get in shape this fall” is far too vague. Instead, say “I am going to exercise for 30 minutes three days a week for the next 4 weeks.” You should consider being even more specific and schedule the days you will exercise on your calendar. Notice how this statement is measurable in couple of ways (minutes of exercise & days per week) it also has a time frame of 4 weeks. Remember that nobody’s perfect, if you miss a day try to reschedule it as soon as possible. Progress, not perfection should be your mantra.

2) ‘Rite it down

Three things you should consider writing down:

Your goals.

Post them somewhere you can see them regularly and act upon them. It is important to review your goals daily…for one minute. Spencer Johnson, M.D., in his book The One Minute Mother gives us this motivational quote: “I take a minute, I look at my goals, I look at my behavior, I see if my behavior matches my goals”.

Record your workouts.

It may seem silly, but most grown-ups are just as motivated as grade-schoolers by something as simple as a chart on the wall with gold stars. Try this at home: Place a calendar which is dedicated to keeping track of your workouts in a prominent location such as your refrigerator. Everyday you workout give yourself a star on the calendar. You may also want to record your time, distance and/or the activities you completed. How many minutes and/or miles you complete weekly or monthly? This will keep you motivated to keep moving.

Record what you are eating.

If one of your goals is to lose weight, a food log is an excellent way to get started. Studies show that writing down everything you eat throughout the day can double your weight loss. This works because it makes you much more aware of what you are putting in your mouth.

3) ‘Rithmetic

A lot of us are motivated by the numbers. Most people feel they MUST weigh themselves, however don’t measure success by that number alone. Here are some other numbers to consider:

Body composition

This is the ratio of fat to lean body tissue and it is much more important. This can be measured with a skin fold calipers or a bio-impedance device. If you would like to have this measured by a trainer at our studio please let us know.

Inches lost

It’s tricky to use a tape measure and because it’s hard to measure at exactly the same spot the next time, so instead identify a piece of clothing that’s a little too tight right now and try it on again in 4 weeks to see if it fits better.

Measure your fitness

How many push-ups you can do without stopping, how many chair squats you can complete in 30 seconds and how long can you stand on one foot?How long does it takes you to walk/run a specific distance such as one mile (works best on a track)? Re-test every four weeks and you will be impressed with yourself! Turn over a new leaf…follow the “Three R’s” and get your fall fitness routine in shape! autumn_leaves_png3601

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Poisonous Plants

Category : Active Living

Don’t let these poisonous plants ruin your summertime fun!

A couple of poisonous plants that are very common in Wisconsin include poison ivy and poison parsnip.

Poison Ivy…leaves of three, let it be

Of course, avoiding contact with poison ivy is the best case scenario, so being able to identify it is important. In the picture below you can see smaller light green leaves and more mature darker green leaves of the poison ivy plant.
Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy along the Fox River Trail

If you do come in contact with poison ivy  wash your skin as soon as possible…experts recommend within 30 minutes of exposure. Use soap and water to remove the oils. If you are out in the the middle of nowhere with no soap available rinsing in a lake is a good alternative. Also, wash your clothing and bathe any pets you suspect may have been in contact with it.

How to treat Poison Ivy

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following: Take short, lukewarm baths. To ease the itch, take short, lukewarm baths in a colloidal oatmeal preparation, which you can buy at your local drugstore. You can also draw a bath and add one cup of baking soda to the running water. Taking short, cool showers may also help. Consider calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. Apply calamine lotion to skin that itches. If you have a mild case, a hydrocortisone cream or lotion may also help. Apply cool compresses to the itchy skin. You can make a cool compress by wetting a clean washcloth with cold water and wringing it out so that it does not drip. Then, apply the cool cloth to the itchy skin. Consider taking antihistamine pills. These pills can help reduce itching, however use with caution. You should not apply an antihistamine to your skin, as doing so can worsen the rash and the itch. According to WebMD: The rash usually takes more than a week to show up the first time you have a reaction to the oil. It develops in a day or two on later contacts. The rash may form in new areas over several days, but you will only get a rash where the oil touched your skin. The rash usually lasts about 10 days to 3 weeks. But it may last up to 6 weeks in more severe cases.

Poison Parsnip

I had never heard of this until Ryan cam in contact with it about 10 years ago during an adventure race. Somehow we had never noticed it before, but now I see it everywhere I travel in Wisconsin.
Poison Parsnip along the Fox River Trail

Poison Parsnip along the Fox River Trail

According to the Wisconsin DNR:

When sap contacts skin in the presence of sunlight, it can cause severe rashes, blisters, and discoloration of the skin (phytophotodermatitis). Once exposed, your skin will turn red within 24 to 48 hours. In many cases, after the skin reddens, blisters appear–some of them pretty big. Sometimes the area that was burned takes on a dark red or brown discoloration that can last for as long as 2 years. The good news is, while it might hurt for awhile, the burning feeling will go away in a day or two. This is different from poison ivy where the itching can last for weeks.   You can treat blisters with cool compresses. Try to keep blisters from rupturing as long as possible. If blisters do rupture try to prevent infection. Clean the sores with soap and cool water. Apply an antibiotic ointment with painkiller and a sterile bandage to keep contaminants out. Change bandages twice a day or as needed to keep the area clean and dry.

Have fun & enjoy to the great outdoors, but be careful out there!

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Nutritional Benefits of Watermelon

Category : Healthy Eating

by Karin Jennings
I recently read a very interesting article about the nutritional benefits of watermelon. I have always been a fan of this fabulous fruit because it’s refreshing and sweet, but I learned there are even more reasons to enjoy watermelon!

Why eat watermelon?

  • First of all, it’s a great source of vitamin C, Vitamin A and potassium.
  • Secondly, it will help you stay hydrated because it is 92% water.
  • Also it contains citrulline and lycopene, according to Penelope Perkins-Veazie, a professor of horticulture in the Plants for Human Health Institute at North Carolina State University. (She has been studying watermelon nutrients for 15 years!!)

How does citrulline benefit your body?

I hadn’t heard of this non-essential amino acid prior reading about it last week, but here’s what found out: It is involved in producing nitric oxide which relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure which benefits the both the brain and heart. It also helps to flush the kidneys.

How does lycopene benefit your body?

The tomato industry has been touting the benefits of lycopene for a while now (I see it on every bottle of ketchup), but it turns out that lycopene is more abundant and easily absorbed from watermelon than from tomatoes. (That’s good…I like watermelon better!) Lycopene reduces plaque build up in arteries and helps prevent prostate cancer.

For those of you who prefer lists…watermelons will improve the following:

  • muscle pain after workouts
  • blood pressure
  • plaque build up in arteries
  • inflammation of the prostate
  • erectile dysfunction
  • menopause symptoms
  • acid reflux

Watermelon is a very healthy snack…here’s the nutritional information:

Two cups of watermelon contains:

  • 80 calories
  • 21 grams of carbohydrates (mostly sugars)
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of protein

What about all the sugar?

Don’t worry, according to Perkins-Veazie there is an enzyme present in watermelon which regulates the glucose. It is much healthier than any pre-packaged, processed snack you can buy off the shelf!

Go ahead, enjoy your watermelon!!

 

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>3 great summer recipes: Pesto, Hummus & Fresh Salsa

Category : Healthy Eating

>Summer always brings opportunities to savor vegetables fresh from the garden and enjoy them with friends at a backyard gathering. Here are three of my favorite recipes that either use fresh farmers market ingredients (pesto, salsa) or are my favorite to bring to a party (hummus & salsa). Let’s start with Pesto since it is packed with Omega 3’s:
  • 1 bunch Fresh Basil: Washed, Stems removed and Chopped coarsely.
  • 1/4 to 1/2c Olive Oil (Omega 3’s)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3c Walnuts (Omega 3’s) or pine nuts or raw peanuts
  • 1/2t Salt
Blend 1/4c olive oil, salt and garlic in blender. Slowly add chopped fresh basil. Blend coarsely, adding olive oil as needed to create a thick paste. Blend in nuts. Salt to taste and freeze any extra in small containers with little air gap. Pesto is good on Barilla Plus Pasta (more Omega 3’s!), but have you ever made a salad by simply mixing pesto, fresh mozzarella balls and halved cherry tomatoes? Wow! It’s extraordinary and a real spotlight of a meal. Hummus is a favorite food of mine and it is SO simple:
  • 1 can chick peas (AKA garbanzo beans) drained (liquid reserved)
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 T sesame tahini
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3+ t lemon juice
  • optional: chopped fresh parsley
Coarsely mash the chick peas with a fork or potato masher. Then mash in all the other ingredients, adding some of the reserved liquid to achieve a thick paste. Finished hummus is naturally a bit lumpy, so don’t worry about getting it perfectly smooth. Experiment and enjoy. Salt to taste. And Finally, Fresh Salsa. Possibly the best blend of all that fresh goodness of the Farmer’s Market.
  • 4-6 tomatoes finely diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, rinsed, stems removed and finely chopped.
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (careful, raw garlic can add serious heat!)
  • 1 jalepeno pepper, seeds and veins removed. Finely chopped
  • 1 bunch green peppers, thinly sliced or finely chopped
  • 1/2 to whole lemon juice (3+ tablespoons)
  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • 1 T vinegar (cider, wine or rice vinegar)
  • 1/2 t salt (salt to taste)
Mix ingredients together and allow to rest for at least 1/2 hour before serving.  

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Dairy Pros and Cons

Category : Healthy Eating

by Karin Jennings

 

June is Dairy Month, and at the risk of being thrown out of Wisconsin, I will say that dairy has its pros and cons. Contrary to what the USDA recommends you do not need to consume dairy products daily. Some people can enjoy dairy as part of a healthy diet, but many others cannot and should not consume dairy products.

 

Here are some frequently asked questions about dairy:

 

Do we need dairy in our diets?

It really depends upon who you ask. The USDA recommends three servings of dairy daily, but many nutrition experts will tell you dairy is optional or that you should avoid it completely.

 

Check out the difference between the Harvard Plate and the USDA Plate and you can see they are quite similar, but Harvard has left out the milk. Why? According to the Harvard School of Public Health website: The Harvard Healthy Eating Plate is based exclusively on the best available science and was not subjected to political or commercial pressures from food industry lobbyists. Read full article

 

Harvard School of Public Health

Harvard School of Public Health: Milk is NOT included as part of each meal They recommend one to two servings of dairy daily

   
USDA plate

USDA plate: Recommends 3 servings of dairy per day and implies drinking a glass of milk with each meal.

 

Dr. Mark Hyman, author of Ultra Metabolism argues against daily milk consumption: “From an evolutionary point of view, milk is a strange food for humans. Until 10,000 years ago we didn’t domesticate animals and weren’t able to drink milk (unless some brave hunter-gather milked a wild tiger or buffalo!). If you don’t believe that, consider this: The majority of humans naturally stop producing significant amounts of lactase — the enzyme needed to properly metabolize lactose, the sugar in milk — sometime between the ages of two and five. In fact, for most mammals, the normal condition is to stop producing the enzymes needed to properly digest and metabolize milk after they have been weaned. Our bodies just weren’t made to digest milk on a regular basis. Instead, most scientists agree that it’s better for us to get calcium, potassium, protein, and fats from other food sources, like whole plant foods — vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and seaweed.”

 

How do I know if I should give up dairy?

Try an elimination diet. Cut dairy out of your diet completely (no milk, cheese, yogurt, or ice cream) for two weeks and see if you feel better.

 

You may notice improvements with the following: · acne · sinuses · post-nasal drip · headaches · irritable bowel syndrome · body weight

 

After two weeks start eating dairy again and see how you feel. If you feel worse, you should try to give it up for life. If you don’t see any changes after eliminating dairy (except for craving ice cream) and you don’t note any difference when you add them back into your diet then you can probably continue to eat dairy on a limited basis.

 

Should I eat/drink low-fat or no-fat dairy products?

Here’s an excerpt from TIME magazine, March 2015: “In terms of obesity, we found no support for the notion that low-fat dairy is healthier,” says Dr. Mario Kratz, first author of the review and a nutrition scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Of the 25 studies included in his team’s review, Kratz says 18 reported lower body weights, less weight gain, or a lower risk for obesity among full-fat dairy eaters. The other seven studies were inconclusive. “None of the research suggested low-fat dairy is better,” he says.
According to Michael Pollan in his book In Defense of Food: “To make dairy products low fat, it’s not enough to remove the fat. You then have to go to great lengths to preserve the body or creamy texture by working in all kinds of food additives. In the case of low-fat or skim milk, that usually means adding powdered milk. But powdered milk contains oxidized cholesterol, which scientists believe is much worse for your arteries than ordinary cholesterol, so food makers sometimes compensate by adding antioxidants, further complicating what had been a simple one-ingredient whole food. Also, removing the fat makes it that much harder for your body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins that are one of the reasons to drink milk in the first place.”

 

How much dairy should I eat?

As mentioned earlier, it depends upon who you ask. The USDA recommends three servings; Harvard School of Public Health recommends one to two servings and many other experts will say to skip it altogether. That leads us to another good question…

 

What is a serving?

At XO Fitness we have adopted Precision Nutrition’s advice and advise clients to use their hand to judge their serving sizes. Some dairy products are considered a protein such as cottage cheese so a serving would be the size of you palm (Men can have two servings while women should have one). Others are very high in fat (such as butter or cheese) so the serving size is one to two thumbs. In most cases, we recommend referring to the label on the package. Milk (skim & 1%) is not are considered a protein, but instead it is classified as a carbohydrate because is has a lot of sugar (lactose).

 

What are some good milk alternatives?

Lisa Leake, author of 100 Days of Real Food, suggests that if you drink milk alternatives you should be sure to choose those that are unsweetened. Her top choices would be either unsweetened full-fat coconut milk or almond milk…or even brown rice milk. She does not recommend soy milk because soy is already an additive in so many packaged foods.

 

Do I need dairy for healthy bones and teeth?

No. If you want healthy bones, get plenty of weight bearing exercise and supplement with 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily. In fact, some parts of the world with the lowest incidence of osteoporosis also have very low consumption of dairy.

 

What about getting enough calcium?

Dr. Hyman recommends getting your calcium from foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, sesame tahini, sea vegetables, and sardines or salmon with the bones.

 

So, here’s my two cents worth:

When it comes to dairy, the health effects seem to vary greatly between individuals. If it negatively affects you there is no harm in cutting it out of your diet. If you like dairy and it likes you then go ahead and enjoy it, but keep in mind the portion sizes mentioned earlier! Personally, I am able to consume dairy without any negative side effects. I avoid low-fat and no-fat dairy products, but eat cheese, cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt, and use butter and half-and-half (coffee without it just isn’t the same). I choose not to eat meat, so I utilize dairy to help me get enough protein.

 

Brief Disclaimer: XO Fitness, LLC and employees do not claim to be dietitians and cannot render specific nutrition advice related to a medical condition or provide detailed nutritional analysis.  Individuals seeking these services should see a registered dietitian. The information in this article is meant to help the reader become more aware of the wide range of opinions on the consumption of dairy and encourage individuals to decide what is best for them.