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I think I have a Food Sensitivity: Do You?

Category : Healthy Eating

I think I may have a food sensitivity.  I’ve been getting increasingly fatigued in the afternoons to the point where if I take a nap, I have to force myself to get back up.  It’s not everyday, and I haven’t been able to figure out a pattern.  Could it be the food I eat?  Those who know me know my breakfast and lunch seldom change, and any food eaten too often could be the culprit.  Read on and I’ll tell you what I learned and the action I’m going to take.

Based on the Dr. Oz show that I recently watched, I learned that food sensitivities are a lot more prevalent than you would expect.  You may have one or more symptoms that appear and disappear sporadically and you would never suspect a food sensitivity as the cause.

Do you occasionally have headaches, fatigue, or experience weight gain? How about bloating, arthritis & joint pain, inflammation, diarrhea or constipation, addictive food cravings, mood swings, skin problems, ADD/ADHD, narcolepsy, & migraines?  Yikes!  And that is just a partial list of food sensitivity symptoms.

Let me point out that food sensitivities are NOT the same as a food allergy or intolerance.   A food allergy is where your body not only doesn’t recognize a food, but it actively creates anti-bodies to combat the foreign substance resulting in hives, breathing problems or worse.  A food intolerance such as lactose (dairy) intolerance is where your body cannot digest a food resulting in digestive issues such as diarrhea, bloating or cramps.  A food sensitivity is less immediate and usually less severe than allergies or intolerances, but the symptoms vary widely and may appear irregularly making it harder to establish the cause.

The good news is that if you have a food sensitivity, it’s not forever.  Once you identify it, you can remove it from your diet for 3 months and then re-introduce it to see if the symptoms return.

So, how do you know if you have a food sensitivity?  You eliminate the trouble foods and then add them back in slowly.  Here is your food sensitivity action plan.

  1. First, document the symptoms that you feel may be due to the foods you eat.
  2. Watch this episode of Dr. Oz with Dr. Mark Hyman for the details of the elimination diet.  It gives you all the details you need.  I’ve summarized the nuts & bolts of the diet below.
  3. Consult your doctor if you are unsure if you should try the elimination diet.
  4. Plan when you will start the diet and use Dr. Oz & Hyman’s elimination diet food list to shop for the necessary foods.
  5. Start the diet and follow it for 5 days!  During this time take special note of how you feel: more energy, better digestion etc…  Also note which symptoms disappeared.
  6. Continue the elimination diet but add one potentially sensitive food in any order (soy, citrus, dairy, eggs, corn, nightshades(tomatoes/eggplant), and Gluten/Wheat) at a time at each meal for two days and watch for symptoms to return.   One reference said to note both negative AND positive reactions to food additions as a sometimes a positive symptom like ‘more energy’ could be due to a stress response of the body. 
  7. Remove any foods that cause symptoms for 3 months and try to reintroduce the food to see if the symptoms return. 

That’s it.  It’s simple and straight forward and I’m going to do it starting March 3rd, 2014.  Are you?   Follow my progress via my facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/ryanatxofitness.  Email me at ryan@xofitness.com if you are joining me so we can share notes.

 

 

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February Events & XOlympics

Category : Upcoming Events

 
Roses are red, Valentines are pink,
February is flying by quick as a blink!!
 
(That’s good right? We’re getting closer to Spring every day!)
 
February is Healthy Heart Month
Did you know that heart disease is the #1 killer of men AND women?
Check out our latest blog post (complete with video!)
 
Wonderful Winter Weather!!
This weekend looks awesome…finally warm enough to get out and enjoy the snow.
 
The Brown County Trails and Hilly Haven each have snow shoeing and cross-country skiing opportunities! Please be aware that the Stump Farm Ski race will be taking place in the morning at the Reforestation Camp.
 
Mo-Yoga & Ski
Sunday February 16th, 10am-12pm
Hosted by Bay Nordic member Morgan Fisher. Morgan is an avid skier and yoga instructor who owns Mo-Yoga (www.mo-yoga.com). 
 
Location: Pines Building across from the NEW Zoo. Activities will include a 1 hour yoga session followed by 1 hour skiing (find a group at your own pace) capped with Tea and Hot Chocolate. 
 
Space is limited to 25 participants. Please RSVP to Morgan atmorgan@mo-yoga.com to reserve your spot. All levels and abilities welcome.
 
Freezer Meal Workshop
 
THIS Saturday, February 15th  at 12pm 

 

There are still a few spots available…if your plans have changed and you want to come we WILL squeeze you in!!


Make 10 freezer meals in about one hour! 

 

Recipes include: 

Sweet & Spicy Chicken 
Tropical Glazed Pork Chops

Chipotle Lime 

Flank Steak or Fish

Perfect Roast Chicken
Peppered Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry Sauce
Garlic Balsamic Shrimp

Garlic Pepper Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops

Citrus & Sweet Onion Chicken

The Best Burgers EVER!

Cheddar & Garlic Turkey Sliders

 Cost: $75 for Wildtree Spice bundle 

 Find out more!

 Contact Amy Gajeski ASAP to reserve your spot AGajeski1@gmail.com

 BTW: Some clients have requested a Vegetarian Freezer Meal Workshop. If that interests you, please let us know!! We’ll schedule it for Spring!

XOlympic Winter Challenge

February 10-22

We kicked off our own version of the Olympics at XO on Monday!

 Results are posted daily at the studio so that you’ll know what you’ve got to do to get the GOLD!

 Challenges are divided into three categories:

  • Feats of Endurance/Speed
  • Feats of Strength/Balance
  • Just for Fun
Gold medalists (so far)…
 
Name Event Time or Score
Devon S Hula Hoop 15:10 minutes
Terry A Ski Erg 1000 m 3:45 minutes
Joe K Row 1000 m 4:09 minutes
Danielle T Ski Erg 500 m 2:44 minutes
Susan Z Drinking Bird 90
Scott H Monkey Row Ups 30
Dave V Push Ups 55

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February is Healthy Heart Month

Category : Active Living, Exercise

Go Red For Women…What’s it all about?

It’s not just a fashion statement and it has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day.

It’s about heart disease awareness…especially for women because heart disease is the #1 killer of women.

 Warning signs of a heart attack

Every 25 seconds an American will have what the CDC terms a ‘coronary event’ or what most of us would call a heart attack.  The sooner a person receives medical attention, the more likely they are to recover. That is why it is critical that everyone knows the warning signs of a heart attack. 

If you’re experiencing a heart attack you’ll feel chest pain, right? Maybe…for many it is much less obvious. The National Institutes of Health lists the following symptoms:

  • Chest discomfort (still the most common symptom) usually in the center of the chest
  • Chest discomfort lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back
  • Can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body, including pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach
  • Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Nausea
  • Light-headedness

 Who is in danger? There are many risk factors which can contribute to heart disease:

  • Age
  • Family History
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Being overweight
  • Physical inactivity
  • High stress levels
  • Unchecked diabetes

 Of course, some risk factors cannot be changed such as your age and your family history. Men who are 45 or older and women who are 55 or older are more likely to have a heart attack than are younger men and women. If your siblings, parents or grandparents have had heart attacks, you may be at increased risk, so it is important to know your family history and share it with your doctor.

 What you can do to beat the “Silent Killer”

According to Heart Truth, “By doing just 4 things—eating right, being physically active, not smoking, and keeping a healthy weight—you can reduce your risk of heart disease by as much as 82 percent.”

Exercising 30 minutes per day can reduce your risk of heart disease by 30 to 40 percent and risk of stroke by 25 percent. Studies have shown that exercise can reduce many of the risk factors including your blood pressure, your weight, your cholesterol and your stress levels. 

If you are inactive, it’s time to get moving. Five times a week probably sounds impossible. That’s OK, start with 3 days per week and see how you feel. 30 minutes may seem like a very long time, if so, break it up! The AHA states that three 10-minute periods of activity are almost as beneficial to your overall fitness as one 30-minute session! You CAN do it. Do it for yourself, do it for your family! Be sure to check with your doctor prior to beginning an exercise program if you have any of the risk factors.

Please visit www.GoRedForWomen.org for more information!

If you have questions regarding starting up an exercise program to improve your health and reduce your risk of heart disease please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@xofitness.com

 

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The only Brussel Sprouts I’ve ever enjoyed!

Category : Healthy Eating

We’ve been meaning to share this amazing recipe from Eben Erhard ever since he unexpectedly showed up on our door step one winter in December with a sample.  Truly the only Brussel Sprouts I’ve ever enjoyed.  If you don’t know Eben, he is the husband of our trainer Lori. 

Here’s a note from Eben:

“On a whim for Thanksgiving I decided that along with the standard boring side dishes, I should add something healthy to the menu and what’s not to love about Brussels sprouts?  Lots, according to some people I guess, but I was not to be deterred.  What I came up with seemed to be more than palatable.  I hope you will agree.

The lovely Brussels Sprout is a great fall vegetable and cool to grow even you are reluctant to eat it.  They take the cold temperatures of fall and store well making them a great late season food.  My initial sprouts came from the grocery store, but later I found some in their natural form at the Green Bay winter farmer’s market.”

Brussel Sprouts in their natural form

Brussel Sprouts in their natural form

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients for Brussels Sprouts ala Eben:

1 – 2 cups of Brussels sprouts, halved or quartered depending on size.

1/3 T Coarse salt: Kosher Sea Salt

1T Olive oil

1 stalk celery

¼ cup chopped onions

1 small apple (or 3/4s of one if you are hungry)

¼ pepitas (pumpkin seeds – I used roasted with no salt)

Directions:

Shake the Brussels sprouts in a sealed container with enough olive oil to coat and a scant ½ teaspoon of salt. 

Place on cookie sheet or other backing pan and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Brussel Sprouts ready for roasting

 

 

 

 

 

While the sprouts are roasting chop up the onion, celery and apples into ¼ to ½ inch pieces. 

Other key ingredients

Other key ingredients clockwise: pepitas, celery, onion, apple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the sprouts have been in the oven for 15 minutes, caramelize the onions with some olive oil over medium high heat.  After about 1-2 minutes add the celery.  Cook until the onions have a nice translucent quality stirring often.  Add Brussels sprouts, apples and pepitas and cook for a minute or so until the chill is taken off the apples and you are ready to serve.

Brussel sprouts-the finished product

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nutrition Analysis:  Makes 3  servings.  175 calories/serving including 6g protein, 16g carbs, 10g fat, and 4 g of fiber.

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Law of Success #4

Category : Active Living, Exercise

The Law of Self-Efficacy

You have to believe in order to achieve!

  

Self-efficacy is the belief that you can do it!
  
Psychologist Albert Bandura has defined self-efficacy as 

one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed in specific situations.  

 

How confident are you?

The Physical Exercise Self-Efficacy Quiz

How certain are you that you could overcome the following barriers?

 

Rate yourself on the following scale:

1= Very uncertain; 2= Rather uncertain; 3= Rather certain; 4= Very certain

   

I can manage to carry out my exercise plans even if…

I have worries and problems

I feel depressed

I feel tense

I am tired

I am busy

  

The Nutrition Self-Efficacy Quiz

 How certain are you that you could overcome the following barriers?

 

I can manage to stick to healthful foods even if…

I need a long time to develop the necessary routines.

I have to try several times until it works.

I have to rethink my entire way of nutrition.

I do not receive a great deal of support from others when making my first attempts.

I have to make a detailed plan.  

  

If you scored high (mostly 3’s & 4’s) 

odds are you WILL succeed!

  

If you scored low (mostly 1’s & 2’s)

Identifying the barriers that are most likely going to trip you up 

will help you get past them. Take baby steps and you WILL succeed!

  

Think of self confidence as a bank…

Each time you keep a promise to yourself, 

your store of self confidence gets bigger, 

making it easier to keep the next promise to yourself! 

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Law of Success #3

Category : Active Living, Exercise

The Law of CONSISTENCY

Be relentless in your pursuit of success.

 

Consistency is the key to achieving any goal. 

It’s so easy to get distracted…

You must stay focused

in order to reach your goal. 

 

“If you chase two rabbits, 
you will not catch either one.”
~unknown

 

Write down your #1 goal

and follow the advice of Spencer Johnson, M.D.,

author of One Minute Manager:

  

Take a minute

Look at your goal

Look at your behavior

See if your behavior matches your goal

 

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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!

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Law of Success #2

Category : Active Living, Exercise

The Law of EFFORT 

 

The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary!

~Vidal Sassoon  

 

Losing weight is never easy…

You must 

plan ahead,

find the time,

exercise & eat healthfully.

  

Success is the sum of small efforts, 

repeated day in and day out.

~Robert Collier

 

Daily recommendations:

30 minutes of exercise 

Eat breakfast

Eat 4 to 5 times each day

Eat your vegetables 

Notice the emphasis on eating right…focus your effort on this!

 

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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
 
 
 
 
 

 

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I think I have a Food Sensitivity: Do You?

Category : Healthy Eating

I think I may have a food sensitivity.  I’ve been getting increasingly fatigued in the afternoons to the point where if I take a nap, I have to force myself to get back up.  It’s not everyday, and I haven’t been able to figure out a pattern.  Could it be the food I eat?  Those who know me know my breakfast and lunch seldom change, and any food eaten too often could be the culprit.  Read on and I’ll tell you what I learned and the action I’m going to take.

Based on the Dr. Oz show that I recently watched, I learned that food sensitivities are a lot more prevalent than you would expect.  You may have one or more symptoms that appear and disappear sporadically and you would never suspect a food sensitivity as the cause.

Do you occasionally have headaches, fatigue, or experience weight gain? How about bloating, arthritis & joint pain, inflammation, diarrhea or constipation, addictive food cravings, mood swings, skin problems, ADD/ADHD, narcolepsy, & migraines?  Yikes!  And that is just a partial list of food sensitivity symptoms.

Let me point out that food sensitivities are NOT the same as a food allergy or intolerance.   A food allergy is where your body not only doesn’t recognize a food, but it actively creates anti-bodies to combat the foreign substance resulting in hives, breathing problems or worse.  A food intolerance such as lactose (dairy) intolerance is where your body cannot digest a food resulting in digestive issues such as diarrhea, bloating or cramps.  A food sensitivity is less immediate and usually less severe than allergies or intolerances, but the symptoms vary widely and may appear irregularly making it harder to establish the cause.

The good news is that if you have a food sensitivity, it’s not forever.  Once you identify it, you can remove it from your diet for 3 months and then re-introduce it to see if the symptoms return.

So, how do you know if you have a food sensitivity?  You eliminate the trouble foods and then add them back in slowly.  Here is your food sensitivity action plan.

  1. First, document the symptoms that you feel may be due to the foods you eat.
  2. Watch this episode of Dr. Oz with Dr. Mark Hyman for the details of the elimination diet.  It gives you all the details you need.  I’ve summarized the nuts & bolts of the diet below.
  3. Consult your doctor if you are unsure if you should try the elimination diet.
  4. Plan when you will start the diet and use Dr. Oz & Hyman’s elimination diet food list to shop for the necessary foods.
  5. Start the diet and follow it for 5 days!  During this time take special note of how you feel: more energy, better digestion etc…  Also note which symptoms disappeared.
  6. Continue the elimination diet but add one potentially sensitive food in any order (soy, citrus, dairy, eggs, corn, nightshades(tomatoes/eggplant), and Gluten/Wheat) at a time at each meal for two days and watch for symptoms to return.   One reference said to note both negative AND positive reactions to food additions as a sometimes a positive symptom like ‘more energy’ could be due to a stress response of the body. 
  7. Remove any foods that cause symptoms for 3 months and try to reintroduce the food to see if the symptoms return. 

That’s it.  It’s simple and straight forward and I’m going to do it starting March 3rd, 2014.  Are you?   Follow my progress via my facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/ryanatxofitness.  Email me at ryan@xofitness.com if you are joining me so we can share notes.

 

 

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February Events & XOlympics

Category : Upcoming Events

 
Roses are red, Valentines are pink,
February is flying by quick as a blink!!
 
(That’s good right? We’re getting closer to Spring every day!)
 
February is Healthy Heart Month
Did you know that heart disease is the #1 killer of men AND women?
Check out our latest blog post (complete with video!)
 
Wonderful Winter Weather!!
This weekend looks awesome…finally warm enough to get out and enjoy the snow.
 
The Brown County Trails and Hilly Haven each have snow shoeing and cross-country skiing opportunities! Please be aware that the Stump Farm Ski race will be taking place in the morning at the Reforestation Camp.
 
Mo-Yoga & Ski
Sunday February 16th, 10am-12pm
Hosted by Bay Nordic member Morgan Fisher. Morgan is an avid skier and yoga instructor who owns Mo-Yoga (www.mo-yoga.com). 
 
Location: Pines Building across from the NEW Zoo. Activities will include a 1 hour yoga session followed by 1 hour skiing (find a group at your own pace) capped with Tea and Hot Chocolate. 
 
Space is limited to 25 participants. Please RSVP to Morgan atmorgan@mo-yoga.com to reserve your spot. All levels and abilities welcome.
 
Freezer Meal Workshop
 
THIS Saturday, February 15th  at 12pm 

 

There are still a few spots available…if your plans have changed and you want to come we WILL squeeze you in!!


Make 10 freezer meals in about one hour! 

 

Recipes include: 

Sweet & Spicy Chicken 
Tropical Glazed Pork Chops

Chipotle Lime 

Flank Steak or Fish

Perfect Roast Chicken
Peppered Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry Sauce
Garlic Balsamic Shrimp

Garlic Pepper Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops

Citrus & Sweet Onion Chicken

The Best Burgers EVER!

Cheddar & Garlic Turkey Sliders

 Cost: $75 for Wildtree Spice bundle 

 Find out more!

 Contact Amy Gajeski ASAP to reserve your spot AGajeski1@gmail.com

 BTW: Some clients have requested a Vegetarian Freezer Meal Workshop. If that interests you, please let us know!! We’ll schedule it for Spring!

XOlympic Winter Challenge

February 10-22

We kicked off our own version of the Olympics at XO on Monday!

 Results are posted daily at the studio so that you’ll know what you’ve got to do to get the GOLD!

 Challenges are divided into three categories:

  • Feats of Endurance/Speed
  • Feats of Strength/Balance
  • Just for Fun
Gold medalists (so far)…
 
Name Event Time or Score
Devon S Hula Hoop 15:10 minutes
Terry A Ski Erg 1000 m 3:45 minutes
Joe K Row 1000 m 4:09 minutes
Danielle T Ski Erg 500 m 2:44 minutes
Susan Z Drinking Bird 90
Scott H Monkey Row Ups 30
Dave V Push Ups 55

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February is Healthy Heart Month

Category : Active Living, Exercise

Go Red For Women…What’s it all about?

It’s not just a fashion statement and it has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day.

It’s about heart disease awareness…especially for women because heart disease is the #1 killer of women.

 Warning signs of a heart attack

Every 25 seconds an American will have what the CDC terms a ‘coronary event’ or what most of us would call a heart attack.  The sooner a person receives medical attention, the more likely they are to recover. That is why it is critical that everyone knows the warning signs of a heart attack. 

If you’re experiencing a heart attack you’ll feel chest pain, right? Maybe…for many it is much less obvious. The National Institutes of Health lists the following symptoms:

  • Chest discomfort (still the most common symptom) usually in the center of the chest
  • Chest discomfort lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back
  • Can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body, including pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach
  • Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Nausea
  • Light-headedness

 Who is in danger? There are many risk factors which can contribute to heart disease:

  • Age
  • Family History
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Being overweight
  • Physical inactivity
  • High stress levels
  • Unchecked diabetes

 Of course, some risk factors cannot be changed such as your age and your family history. Men who are 45 or older and women who are 55 or older are more likely to have a heart attack than are younger men and women. If your siblings, parents or grandparents have had heart attacks, you may be at increased risk, so it is important to know your family history and share it with your doctor.

 What you can do to beat the “Silent Killer”

According to Heart Truth, “By doing just 4 things—eating right, being physically active, not smoking, and keeping a healthy weight—you can reduce your risk of heart disease by as much as 82 percent.”

Exercising 30 minutes per day can reduce your risk of heart disease by 30 to 40 percent and risk of stroke by 25 percent. Studies have shown that exercise can reduce many of the risk factors including your blood pressure, your weight, your cholesterol and your stress levels. 

If you are inactive, it’s time to get moving. Five times a week probably sounds impossible. That’s OK, start with 3 days per week and see how you feel. 30 minutes may seem like a very long time, if so, break it up! The AHA states that three 10-minute periods of activity are almost as beneficial to your overall fitness as one 30-minute session! You CAN do it. Do it for yourself, do it for your family! Be sure to check with your doctor prior to beginning an exercise program if you have any of the risk factors.

Please visit www.GoRedForWomen.org for more information!

If you have questions regarding starting up an exercise program to improve your health and reduce your risk of heart disease please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@xofitness.com

 

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The only Brussel Sprouts I’ve ever enjoyed!

Category : Healthy Eating

We’ve been meaning to share this amazing recipe from Eben Erhard ever since he unexpectedly showed up on our door step one winter in December with a sample.  Truly the only Brussel Sprouts I’ve ever enjoyed.  If you don’t know Eben, he is the husband of our trainer Lori. 

Here’s a note from Eben:

“On a whim for Thanksgiving I decided that along with the standard boring side dishes, I should add something healthy to the menu and what’s not to love about Brussels sprouts?  Lots, according to some people I guess, but I was not to be deterred.  What I came up with seemed to be more than palatable.  I hope you will agree.

The lovely Brussels Sprout is a great fall vegetable and cool to grow even you are reluctant to eat it.  They take the cold temperatures of fall and store well making them a great late season food.  My initial sprouts came from the grocery store, but later I found some in their natural form at the Green Bay winter farmer’s market.”

Brussel Sprouts in their natural form

Brussel Sprouts in their natural form

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients for Brussels Sprouts ala Eben:

1 – 2 cups of Brussels sprouts, halved or quartered depending on size.

1/3 T Coarse salt: Kosher Sea Salt

1T Olive oil

1 stalk celery

¼ cup chopped onions

1 small apple (or 3/4s of one if you are hungry)

¼ pepitas (pumpkin seeds – I used roasted with no salt)

Directions:

Shake the Brussels sprouts in a sealed container with enough olive oil to coat and a scant ½ teaspoon of salt. 

Place on cookie sheet or other backing pan and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Brussel Sprouts ready for roasting

 

 

 

 

 

While the sprouts are roasting chop up the onion, celery and apples into ¼ to ½ inch pieces. 

Other key ingredients

Other key ingredients clockwise: pepitas, celery, onion, apple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the sprouts have been in the oven for 15 minutes, caramelize the onions with some olive oil over medium high heat.  After about 1-2 minutes add the celery.  Cook until the onions have a nice translucent quality stirring often.  Add Brussels sprouts, apples and pepitas and cook for a minute or so until the chill is taken off the apples and you are ready to serve.

Brussel sprouts-the finished product

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nutrition Analysis:  Makes 3  servings.  175 calories/serving including 6g protein, 16g carbs, 10g fat, and 4 g of fiber.

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Law of Success #4

Category : Active Living, Exercise

The Law of Self-Efficacy

You have to believe in order to achieve!

  

Self-efficacy is the belief that you can do it!
  
Psychologist Albert Bandura has defined self-efficacy as 

one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed in specific situations.  

 

How confident are you?

The Physical Exercise Self-Efficacy Quiz

How certain are you that you could overcome the following barriers?

 

Rate yourself on the following scale:

1= Very uncertain; 2= Rather uncertain; 3= Rather certain; 4= Very certain

   

I can manage to carry out my exercise plans even if…

I have worries and problems

I feel depressed

I feel tense

I am tired

I am busy

  

The Nutrition Self-Efficacy Quiz

 How certain are you that you could overcome the following barriers?

 

I can manage to stick to healthful foods even if…

I need a long time to develop the necessary routines.

I have to try several times until it works.

I have to rethink my entire way of nutrition.

I do not receive a great deal of support from others when making my first attempts.

I have to make a detailed plan.  

  

If you scored high (mostly 3’s & 4’s) 

odds are you WILL succeed!

  

If you scored low (mostly 1’s & 2’s)

Identifying the barriers that are most likely going to trip you up 

will help you get past them. Take baby steps and you WILL succeed!

  

Think of self confidence as a bank…

Each time you keep a promise to yourself, 

your store of self confidence gets bigger, 

making it easier to keep the next promise to yourself! 

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Law of Success #3

Category : Active Living, Exercise

The Law of CONSISTENCY

Be relentless in your pursuit of success.

 

Consistency is the key to achieving any goal. 

It’s so easy to get distracted…

You must stay focused

in order to reach your goal. 

 

“If you chase two rabbits, 
you will not catch either one.”
~unknown

 

Write down your #1 goal

and follow the advice of Spencer Johnson, M.D.,

author of One Minute Manager:

  

Take a minute

Look at your goal

Look at your behavior

See if your behavior matches your goal

 

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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!

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Law of Success #2

Category : Active Living, Exercise

The Law of EFFORT 

 

The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary!

~Vidal Sassoon  

 

Losing weight is never easy…

You must 

plan ahead,

find the time,

exercise & eat healthfully.

  

Success is the sum of small efforts, 

repeated day in and day out.

~Robert Collier

 

Daily recommendations:

30 minutes of exercise 

Eat breakfast

Eat 4 to 5 times each day

Eat your vegetables 

Notice the emphasis on eating right…focus your effort on this!

 

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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