Written by Sonya Luisi, MS Dietetics and Nutrition
This week at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts (SDR) NY, the Nutrition Team led a cooking demo on how to incorporate whole foods in your diet with a peach and tomato salsa recipe and baked whole-wheat pita chips. Fresh salsa uses an array of whole foods, or foods in their natural state with all of its nutrients in tact. Tomatoes, peaches, garlic, jalapeno, lime, and cilantro pack this salsa with a potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C.
Including peaches in salsa makes a luscious, flavorful and affordable summertime treat since peaches are in season from June to September. Serve as an appetizer while entertaining guests, or save in Mason jars for a daily nutrient packed and low-calorie snack!
Makes 10 servings
Serving Size: ½ Cup
Combine all ingredients, cover and allow flavors to marry for at least 1 hour. Season to taste before serving.
2 ½ cups peaches, peeled and pitted, small diced
2 ½ cups tomatoes, seeded, small diced
4 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
½ jalapeno, diced (remove all seeds and white ribs)
½ tsp. garlic, crushed
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 lime juiced
¼ tsp. salt
Total Fat: 0.3 g
Total Carbohydrates: 7.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.4 g
Protein: 0.7 g
Spring is the perfect time to embrace the idea of seasonal eating. Right now there are so many fresh fruits and veggies available, such as asparagus, broccoli, pineapple, mango, collard and mustard greens, snow peas, strawberries, and so much more!
Eating produce based on what is available seasonally has several benefits. First off, it is a great money-saver – when certain produce is in season, prices tend to be much lower for those foods than they are the rest of the year since the availability is so great. These foods will also taste better. Simple concept behind this point: when fruits and vegetables are in their peak season, there is more flavor, and also greater nutritional value. If you’ve ever walked into the produce section during the summer and immediately caught the sweet aroma of the fresh peaches, you’ve experienced the difference of the smell/taste of produce that are in season.
Most of us enjoy a little variety in our eating plan, and changing up foods each season can be just the thing to help stay on track with diet while adding different produces and spices throughout the year can be just the thing to keep your diet interesting and delicious!
Check out this website to find out which fruits and veggies are in season:
Nutrition Spotlight: Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are tiny black and white seeds that have recently caught the health industry by storm, and with good reason – These little seeds are a nutrition powerhouse. With origins in Mexico and South America, chia seeds were once thought to have supernatural powers. They are in fact excellent sources of several nutrients; just 2 tablespoons (one serving) contains 138 calories, 9 grams of heart- healthy fat (excellent source of omega-3), 5 grams of protein, and 18 percent of the Daily Value for calcium. The taste is very similar to flax seeds, mild and nutty, and chia can be used similar to flax.
If you’re looking for a nutritious recipe and simple ways to boost your eating plan, try sprinkling ground or whole chia seeds over foods like yogurt, cereal, salads, mixing them in smoothies, or even use as a replacement for eggs in baked goods. One very unique property of chia seeds is the ability to form a gel when mixed with liquid. In just a few minutes, a smoothie will thicken into a creamy texture; you can even make jams and pudding out of them.
Info gathered from Food and Nutrition Magazine, Jan/Feb 2014 Issue
Here’s a nutritious recipe to try:
Lemon Chia Pudding
Makes 4 servings
Recipe from Food and Nutrition Magazine, Jan/Feb 2014 issue
• 1 TBS olive oil
• 2 TBS maple syrup
• 2 TBS granulated sugar
• 1 large lemon, juice and zest
• 1 cup nondairy milk, such as coconut or almond
• ¼ cup chia seeds
Blend together the olive oil, maple syrup, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and almond milk. Add the chia seeds, whisk together and let sit for 15 minutes until gelled.
Amber Ketchum, MDS, RD
Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts
Original Article Courtesy: La Agencia De Viajes Magazine.
Translation: Miranda Southwell
San Antonio is, for many, the shopping mecca of the United States. But, beyond the shopping, the locale offers an ideal space for travelers looking to change their eating habits for the better. Shane Diet & Fitness Resort is located in the La Cantera Hill Country Resort hotel and offers physical fitness and weight loss programs for adults. The Executives: Ziporah Janowski, co-founder and president; Debbie Davis, program director and fitness coach; and Jackie Poplanski, program developer and behavior coach, are the ones responsible for personally tending to guests of the resort and offering them access to nutrition programs, physical fitness and dietary counseling so that, day by day, they learn to incorporate healthier choices into their lifestyle.
Eating proper portions of well-balanced meals, learning how to change unhealthy dietary habits, developing a regular exercise plan and being able to do it all in a setting that truly encourages and inspires its guests are the four fundamental cornerstones that the program offers potential visitors.
Regarding the variety of different people that attend the program, Janowski commented that there were distinct plans to accommodate every circumstance, such as their Corporate Weight Loss and Bridal Packages. “The Corporate Package is designed for business executives and human resource professionals who need to deal with their own weight issues and physical fitness needs with a personalized plan of 3, 7 or 21 days,” she told us.
It’s important to note that Shane Diet & Fitness Resort is in operation throughout the year with programs that vary in length, starting with the shortest 3-day program. Rates include luxury accommodations, meals, group classes, workshops and activities as well as individual sessions with nutrition and fitness professionals.
So you’ve gotten a weight-loss surgery, what next? A lot of people who undergo lapband surgery, gastric bypass or liposuction seem to believe it’s a free pass to continue eating the way they were accustomed to. The SAME way that led them to the point where they needed weight loss surgical intervention in the first place!
We at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts know that weight loss is a matter of behavior modification. It starts with you! Changing your mind is the only real way to create lasting change within the body and when your insides are feeling strong, your outsides are sure to reflect that.
There simply is no substitute for adequate exercise and a balanced diet that suits your body’s own unique needs in a way that’s both satisfying and conducive to good health. By all means, utilize surgery as a first step, but take it for what it is…a stepping stone to a place you couldn’t get before and a start to the new lifestyles you need to cultivate a future brimming with the best you have to give.
By: Debbie Davis
“What exercise fits you best?” is a pretty straight forward question with an even more straight forward answer. It’s simply the kind of exercises that you like and are more likely to do! The bigger issue here is that our preferred exercise is usually not enough. Our guests at Shane Diet and Fitness Resorts tell us all the time, “I love Zumba but I hate cardio, weights etc.” Rarely do they incorporate strength training, stretching and cardio into what would be a more balanced, effective workout regime.
The exercise that fits you best is clearly the exercise you will do. If you enjoy it, you’re more inclined to do it with more consistency. But the key point to remember is to make sure you are including a balance of all exercises. You may never love stretching but it is imperative for overall performance that you stretch your muscles. You may never run a 10K, but cardio training is critical for your overall heart and lung health. Many won’t be entering Strong Man competitions, but strength training is critical for bone and muscle preservation, which additionally benefits your quality of life as you age.
So, by all means begin with the exercise you most enjoy doing, take that exercise and excel, practice, train and challenge yourself. Then take the forms of the exercise that are not your favorite and implement them into your routine in an effective way. If cardio is your thing and you perform cardio 5 days a week, consider taking that to 4 days a week and adding 2 days of strength training (one of which can be included on a cardio day). Another idea is possibly taking two days a week to perform a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout which has a cardio component as well as a strength training component. Stretching for better range of motion and flexibility should be included in your daily workout routine. As a personal trainer for over 15 years, I understand loving some forms of exercise and hating others. I would like to challenge you, though, to continue to excel at what you enjoy but to also consider taking your challenge one step further and adding what you’re not so comfortable with for better overall physical health. Your body will thank you!
Below is a link to a fun quiz that reveals your exercise personality type, it takes 1 minute. See how accurate it is for yourself and then post it on our Facebook page. Happy Fitness!
In the 80s everywhere you went, from the grocery store to your nearest vending machine, that familiar phrase “Low Fat” rang out time and time again. It was almost as though fat was worse for you than the myriad chemicals present in the diet soda or ranch dressing you were consuming. Now, years later, we find things to be quite different. So much so, that a few years back a certain soft drink company rebranded themselves by launching a “Throwback” drink whose singular claim to fame was that it was making use of real sugar again…leaving us all to question, “Well, what was I drinking before?” A return to basics is being touted as the healthiest way toward staying…well, healthy.
Still, fat has been one of those persistently hounded culprits in the battle of the bulge. And with good reason, I mean…isn’t that what we’re all being told to burn and limit? Fat? Cholesterol? Calories? They are the enemy! Not necessarily. It’s important to stress, as a good part of any diet, the ability to differentiate between good fats and bad ones. So if you’re going to be watching fats as part of your weight-loss regimen, keep these important points in mind to dispel whatever myths you may have been fed about fat in the past.
- Fats can be divided into two teams…the “hero” fats and the “bad guy” fats. Stick with the hero fats, unless you want to get locked up in a prison of your own creation! “Hero” fats include: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. “Bad Guy” fats include: trans fats and some saturated fats (excluding the aforementioned ones).
- Never judge a food product by its label alone. “Fat-free” or “low-fat” isn’t an invitation to gorge yourself on whatever it is you’re consuming. In fact, many of these products have been reently found to include ingredients with addictive properties that leave you coming back for more and overeating, as a result, so watch it!
- Become a fan of the “FANS” acronym. And keep it in mind when deciding which fats you should be eating more of. Fish, Avocado, Nuts and Seeds contain some of the very best complex fats that your body needs to consistently feel and look its very best.
So to recap, not all fats you come across are out to get you, it’s just important to be aware of the ones that are!
A month ago I was invited to spend a week at a weight loss camp in San Antonio, Texas. Even though I don’t consider myself overweight, I will admit that since the birth of my baby, it’s been much more difficult for me to control my diet, do exercise and keep myself in shape. It was a hard week because it made me realize that I’m very far from my ideal physical condition. Additionally, my daily meal portions tended to be much larger than they ought to have been.
A week in this resort was enough to make me see that I can improve, day-by-day and that daily habits are the ones that make a difference in your desire to lose weight. This experience granted me the tools for transformation that I needed to create substantial change in my daily life. While I was there, I lost a kilo (approx. 2.2 lbs.), and after one month at home, I lost two more by making simple changes to my routine. Here are some of the things that I learned during my stint in the program that have helped me keep the weight off:
- You don’t have to wait until you become what you believe to be the worst version of yourself to join one of these programs. It’s a program of behavior modification that can help you far sooner.
- Involving yourself in one of these programs is a decision rooted in self-love. No one can be obligated to go. It only works for those who are thoroughly convinced that they need a vital change to improve their lives.
- It’s never too late to change your eating or fitness habits. Every day is a good day to start to work toward better health. It’s not just about losing weight, it’s also about changing your habits in ways that you can keep up with over time.
- Doing exercise is a habit we can all acquire. In a weight loss program, you simply show yourself that it’s just a matter of taking that first step and discovering that exercise can be a fun habit, which also changes your energy levels and outlook on life for the better.
- One of the most valuable tips that I learned is that you should stop drinking your calories! Sugary drinks are not your friend. There are lots of drinks disguised as “healthy” or “natural,” when in reality they’re anything but. There’s no healthier substitute out there for you than that clean, natural old staple…water.
- There isn’t a better way to know what you’re really eating than by cooking it for yourself and choosing all your own ingredients. By avoiding processed products or fast food, you’re saving both yourself and your family, a boatload of calories and unnecessary toxins.
- When exercise is a daily habit, your body starts craving healthier, lighter foods instead of greasy, heavy ones.
- Cooking healthy doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor! My favorite: a blueberry muffin recipe is one of many you can learn to make during your stay at Shane Diet & Fitness Resort, since healthy cooking classes are included in the program.
- Eating slowly and enjoying each bite makes you feel full faster. Eating quickly is one of your enemies when trying to lose weight.
- Upon arriving at Shane Diet & Fitness Resort, you quickly realize that you’re not alone. There are lots of other people who deal with many of the same battles you’re facing. Being able to discuss and listen to common experiences allows you to put your life (and your weight) into perspective.
- In many cases, the way you feel in the clothes you wear has a direct impact on your self-esteem. In the Shane Diet & Fitness program, fashionable fitness accessories are provided to make you feel comfortable in your own skin.
- The program at Shane Diet & Fitness Resort offers you a short, daily exercise program that you can complete in just a half-hour. This makes continuing the process at home much easier.
- Temptations will always be around. They’re in the supermarket, on TV, at the movie theater and even in your own pantry. A behavior modification program gives you the tools you need to keep those temptations from overpowering you.
The program I went to is the Shane Diet & Fitness Resort. There, you’ll find programs for adults, children and entire families; although there are also many other weight loss camps out there to suit your own unique needs.
By Amber Ketchum
We all hear that sleep is important, but the reality is that most of us just don’t get enough of it. One important aspect of health people often overlook is the connection between weight and sleep. Let’s look at a few factors that can create a cycle of poor health habits:
Not getting enough sleep makes you tired. This sounds pretty obvious, but being tired is one of the biggest reasons that keep people from exercising, which is an important component to weight loss and overall health. Ironically, exercise can also help improve sleep.
Many of us are also much more likely to swap out healthy snacks for sugary, caffeinated foods and beverages to get enough energy to make it through the rest of the day after an insufficient night of sleep. Caffeine acts as a stimulant, so while it helps provide a quick boost of energy, its effects often linger later in the day, making it hard to fall asleep. This results in staying up late, which can create several extra hours of opportunity to eat/snack. Many people consume hundreds of extra calories in the evenings simply because they are up late and more likely to eat at that time.
One more factor to consider is the effect that a lack of sleep can have on our hormones. Insufficient sleep has been found to alter the balance of our appetite-regulating hormones. This basically means that people often feel hungrier as a result of poor sleep. Similar to how we often mistake thirst for hunger, we can interpret the need for sleep as hunger.
All of these create a cycle starting with bad sleep, which leads to exercising less, eating more, and sleeping worse, bringing us right back to the beginning of the cycle. If you’re stuck in this cycle, it’s important to evaluate your day and sleep patterns. Fist, cut out stimulants like caffeine after lunch. Focus on eating fresh, healthy foods at regular times throughout the day, drinking plenty of water, and fitting some kind of exercise into most days. You might consider stopping the use of electronics (computers, phones, TV) about an hour before bed, as well as going to bed earlier. Sleep is essential to the body repairing and rejuvenating, so start making these changes for a better night’s rest, improved control over your lifestyle habits, and a more energized life!
Check us out! Our Texas location has been revving things up south of the border and getting some fabulous mentions in several publications! Here are some links to a couple of the most recent for all our Spanish-Speaking friends! (but not to fear, mono-linguists, Google Translate provides easy translation)