Hi everyone! My name is Carrie and I am one of the two fitness interns at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts weight loss camp for adults in Texas. I am currently in my last semester at the University of Texas in San Antonio (UTSA), planning to graduate in May with a degree in Kinesiology with a specialization in Exercise Since. I am also a certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor. Fitness is my biggest passion, I love it and wouldn’t give it up for the world. Well, that’s enough about me. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty!
Liz, our supervisor, challenged Alyssa (the other intern) and I to use our internship not only as an amazing learning experience but also to set goals for ourselves physically and nutritionally. She asked us to also write a blog about it and see all of the changes that can happen in 13 weeks. As you can see, challenge accepted!
I am so excited to get to have my own Shane experience and share it all with you.
My Goal: I have to admit that I have never been much of a goal setter. Yes, I have a goal weight that I would like to be at and I want to one day run a half marathon, cycle 100 miles in a day, back squat 200lbs, bench press 135lbs and be able to do body weight pull ups. But when it comes to individual weekly goals, those kind of just go out the window.
So my goal for this first week will be to keep doing what I am doing physically but to sit down and come up with a game plan for the next 13 weeks.
Neck — 12.5 inches
Chest — 37.25 inches
Under Bust — 30.25 inches
Navel — 33 inches
Hip (Gluteal) — 44.5 inches
R. Thigh — 27.5 inches
R. Arm — 12 inches
Eat more fruits and vegetables for a healthy heart!
While Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S., many of the risk factors are largely preventable through healthy eating and lifestyle patterns. One of the most important dietary factors often overlooked is our intake of fruit and vegetables. We all hear that eating more fruit and veggies is important, but most people aren’t getting nearly enough of these amazing disease-fighting foods. While the USDA recommends adults consume at least 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables each day, the Produce for Better Health Foundation published findings that the average person consumes only 1.8 cups combined of fruit and vegetables each day, which is less than half of the recommended amounts. In terms of heart health, fruit and vegetable intake is closely correlated with healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, along with reduced risk of heart attacks.
A very important study (The Nurses’ Healthy Study and Healthy Professionals follow-up study) concluded that people who consumed larger amounts of fruit and vegetables had a reduced risk of developing heart disease. In fact, those who had 8 or more servings of fruit and vegetables each day were 30% less likely to have a heart attack than those who ate the fewest servings. Those who ate 5 servings of fruits and veggies still had a 20% reduced risk of having heart attacks.
Not only are fruits and veggies great sources of fiber, vitamins and minerals, but they also contain antioxidants, which are compounds in fruits and vegetables (especially deeply colored ones) that may help reverse cellular damage and may play a role in the prevention of illnesses like cancer and heart disease.
If all of this isn’t enough to get you running to the nearest farmer’s market or produce section of your grocery store, here’s another great benefit of getting in those fruits and veggies: these are some of the best “diet-friendly” foods because they are what we call “nutrient dense” meaning they have very high nutritional value for minimal calories. They’re the foods that are always great to eat more of if you’re still feeling hungry but trying to watch your calorie intake, which is something we tell our guests of our adult weight loss camp. So make a point to add more fruits and veggies to your day to improve your health!
Here’s a fresh, delicious, and heart healthy recipe. It’s a delicious green smoothie we make at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts for a healthy snack or dessert. Our guests love it, and this is the perfect way to sneak extra veggies into your day!
Berry Spinach Smoothie
Makes 4 servings (about 10 ounces each)
- 2 Bananas
- 2 cups ice (preferably crushed)
- 1 cups Blueberries
- 1 cup Strawberries, chopped
- 2 cups spinach (packed)
- ½ cup plain Soymilk
- Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. If needed, ingredients can be added individually if the blender is too full.
Nutrition Info Per serving (about 10 ounces): 115 calories, 24g carbohydrate, 1g fat, 4 g protein, 41mg sodium, 14 g sugar
- Hung HC, Joshipura KJ, Jiang R, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of major chronic disease. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2004; 96:1577–84.
- State of the Plate: 2010 Study on America’s Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables, 2010.
- Produce for Better Health Foundation. Web. http://www.pbhfoundation.org
There are studies that show that music can fuel your workout. Music is an amazing distraction and can even motivate us to push out an extra 100 calories or dig deep within and log an extra mile or two. Research is also showing that music can change heart rate, impact blood pressure, change metabolic rate, reduce physical fatigue and mental stress. And we keep these things in mind when we are playing music in any of our fitness classes at our weight loss camp. Here is a list of some of my favorite workout music! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! – Fitness Intern Carrie
- Awake & Alive — Skillet
- Monster — Skillet
- The Hardest Ever — Will.I.Am
- Rolling in the Deep — Adele
- Countdown — Beyonce
- Evacuate the Dance Floor — Cascade
- Smooth Criminal — Glee
- Trouble Maker — Olly Murs
- My Heart Skips a Beat — Olly Murs
- Let’s Go — Calvin Harris & Ne-Yo
- Werk Me — Hyper Crush
- Right on Time — Skrillex
- Pyromania — Cascade
- Dinosaur — Glee
- Misery Business — Paramore
- Untouched — Paramore
- Drop it Low – Ester Dean & Chris Brown
- Let it Rock — Kevin Roudolf & Lil Wayne
- Payphone — Maroon 5 & Wiz Khalifa
- Move, Shake, Drop — Dynamic Music
- Thrift Shop — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
What is your favorite music to listen to when you’re working out. Tell us what the song is and why it’s a favorite to work out to.
We’re always looking for ways to eat better and save money. At Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, our weight loss camp for adults, did a fun little experiment for a quick snack bar that that tastes just like the real thing you’d find at the grocery store. Take a look at the recipe we used for a homemade version of a “KIND” bar.
This recipe is great! It really tastes just like a KIND Bar, and instead of paying $1.50 per bar, Monica Matheny, the author of the post, estimates the cost around $0.44 per bar, which is a huge savings!
This recipe makes 20 bars, so you can wrap them individually in parchment paper and pop them in the freezer for later use. These make a tasty snack or quick breakfast on the go. They are also a great source of heart-healthy fat found in nuts, they contain protein, fiber, and less sugar than many other bars out there. Can it get any better than that? Take some time to have a little fun in the kitchen – find recipes for some of your favorite healthy snacks, try them at home and tell us how they turned out!
According to research, only 20% of jobs in the work force require moderate physical activity. That leaves 80% of jobs that are sedentary or require very little physical activity. Research is also showing that 1 in 3 Americans are obese. Coincidence? I don’t think so! But instead of blaming your job, use it to your advantage. A trainer at our weight loss camp came up with the below tips and exercises to do around the office and get you moving!
1. Make the most out of your commute to work. Walk, run or bike.
2. Walk around the office every chance you get. Instead of emailing the person four doors down, get up and walk to deliver the message
3. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
4. Trade your office chair in for a stability ball. Or stand at your desk instead of sitting.
5. Treadmill Desk – In fact, Mayo Clinic researchers estimate that overweight office workers who replace sitting computer time with walking computer time by two to three hours a day could lose 44 to 66 pounds (20 to 30 kilograms) in a year.
1. Desk Push-up
2. Desk Moutain climbers
3. Chair sit to stand or Squat
4. Knee lifts or jogging in place
Want a workout out of it? Try making the exercises a Circuit!
Grab your phone stopwatch, or a clock. Try completing as many reps as you can of each exercise for 1 full minute. Take a 15 second break in between, and then move to the next exercise. Repeat the circuit 2-4 times and you can get in a quick 10-20 minute office workout!
These days, living without a job is almost impossible, and with that job taking up so many of our waking hours it seems like our personal workout time is always the first thing to go, but now it doesn’t have to. Have fun working out around the office! And if you really want to make it interesting, start a friendly competition with some of your coworkers to see who can get the best workout done around the office.
Do you already work out at the office? If so, tell us what your favorite office exercises are! Or if you’re going to start, tell us how it’s going! We want to know how everyone is doing!
At our weight loss camps, we get a lot of questions about additives in our food. Additives are used to maintain freshness, add flavor, and enhance color. One of the additives very commonly found in processed meats are nitrates.
What is it?
Sodium nitrate is a chemical compound composed of sodium, nitrogen and oxygen. When added to meats it helps preserve the color of the meat, which is important since the meat may not sell right away.
What is it found in?
We typically see this additive in processed meats, such as pepperoni, spam, hot dogs, luncheon meats (like ham and turkey), sausages, and pastrami. It is also in many canned meats. Sodium Nitrates do exist naturally in soil so vegetables and fruits can have trace amounts but not much compared to processed meats.
What are the possible effects?
When consumed, nitrates react in our body to for nitrosamines, which may have a carcinogenic effect (meaning cancer-causing). There are still studies being done on how much it takes to be detrimental to our health.
What are the recommendations?
The general recommendation is to limit processed meats as much as possible. If you still choose to eat processed meats it is recommended not to overcook them especially when grilling because the compounds released in charring may also have a carcinogenic effect. Also pregnant women, elderly, young children and those with a compromised immune system should avoid processed meats.
Cooking fresh meat such as chicken breast, lean beef, or fish is a great way to consume healthy protein sources without having to worry about harmful preservatives or additives.
Not sure where to start? We have created a cookbook to help individuals having the same issue. Meal Simple, the Camp Shane Cookbook offers a variety of recipes for anyone who is wanted to cook and eat healthier food.
I’m sure you’re thinking what is Flexitarianism? Megan Ware, one of our weight loss camps RD’s explains. The newly coined term can be used to describe anyone following a plant-based diet that occasionally consumes meat. Any time you replace meat with vegetables, you are cutting back on calories and gaining valuable nutrients. If weight loss isn’t enough of reason, check this out:
It has been estimated that 8% of deaths in women and almost 10% of deaths in men could be prevented if people consumed less than half a serving per day of red meat, according to Adam Bernstein, research director at the renowned Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute.
The National Institute of Health-AARP conducted a study on half a million people and found that those who ate the most red meat had a 30% higher mortality rate than those who ate the least.
The risk of colon and rectal cancer rises by about 20% for every serving of red or processed meat you eat in a day, according to the National Cancer Institute.
This doesn’t mean you have to become a strict vegan. Start small:
The next time you’re ordering or preparing anything from an omelet to a burrito, replace the meat with tomato, spinach, mushrooms, peppers, onions or any other vegetable you enjoy. You can turn any mediocre meal into healthier one using this tip—pizza, spaghetti sauces, wraps, sandwiches, you name it.
Go meatless one day per week. Participate in meatless Monday, a campaign launched in 2003 in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The “cut out meat one day a week” program is active in 23 countries and growing! Start by trying this alternative to the classic burger:
Black Bean Burgers
Makes 6 servings
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or granules
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot sauce to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive or canola oil
6 whole wheat hamburger buns
6 green leaf lettuce leaves
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- Put beans in a large bowl and mash well with a fork. Add egg, yellow onion, bread crumbs, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Mix well to combine then shape into 6 patties.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Arrange patties in a single layer (working in batches, if needed) and cook, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to buns, top with lettuce, tomatoes and red onions and serve.
Nutrition and Cooking Tips:
Black beans are included in the family of dried beans and peas known as legumes. They are high in protein and fiber, low in fat, and rich in several essential vitamins and minerals. The nutrients in black beans aid in normal body processes, maintain good health and fight chronic disease. They are great source of iron and 5 percent of the daily value for calcium. Black beans also provide significant amounts of the minerals magnesium, phosphorus and manganese, and the B vitamins -thiamin and folate, or folic acid. www.Livestrong.com
Make your own whole wheat bread crumbs. Either use stale whole wheat bread or toast up some whole wheat bread and process in a food processor until there are crumbs. Season with herbs.
Scoop out the whole wheat bun if serving on a bun. Other options are eating it open faced or on a bed of lettuce.
Top your burger with a variety of vegetables.
Nutrition Facts: Calories: 290 kcal Total Fat: 7 g Total Carbohydrates: 47 g Dietary Fiber: 10 g Protein: 12 g
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.” – Michael Pollan
Giving or receiving holiday gifts can be a terrific opportunity to bump up a fitness program. The below list of equipment complied by fitness trainers at our adult weight loss camp supports a healthy lifestyle, well-being and of course weight loss. You can please your health conscious spouse, a faithful workout partner, and even an open minded couch potato. Need a gift for office buddies? Turn it into a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year by developing a time to use the fitness gift during the day on a 15 minute break or lunch hour. You can also use this list to drop hints for yourself.
- Exercise Tubing and Bands are portable and versatile, perfect for toning muscles. A recent study shows, with proper form, tubes and bands are as effective on muscle development as dumbbells and machines. Great for hiding in a desk drawer.
- Foam Roller uses self-massage and acupressure techniques to get rid of knots, drive out lactic acid, and relax your muscles after a vigorous workout. Using a foam roller increases circulation to soft tissue.
- Gift Certificate to Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts will be the best gift of all! You and your buddies and/or loved ones can come together to one of the wonderful adult weight loss camps to recharge your battery, learn better eating habits, and get inspired with fun creative classes to teach you how to use all these exercise gadgets.
- Heart Rate Monitor comes with a chest strap you wear during your exercise program. It helps you stay within your target heart rate zone for a safe and more effective workout.
- Kettlebells are a terrific workout tool. Studies show that you burn around 20 calories per minute, since it combines strength training and cardio at the same time. Great for adding functional fitness to your existing program. Women should start at 8 lbs, men at 10 lbs.
- Medicine Balls are fun and functional. Terrific for abdominal work and come in a variety of sizes and weights to add unlimited variety.
- Pedometers, perfect for your office buddies. Wear them during the day at the office and see who accumulates the most steps. They also keep you mindful of achieving your weight loss and fitness goals.
- Running Shoes are a great idea since we tend to keep our sneakers long after they are worn out. Get a gift certificate so they can be properly-fitted and are happy with the styling.
- Stability Balls are great to use at home and at the office to sit on as well as exercise and stretch with. They come in a variety of sizes to suit your height. Short – 55cc, Medium – 65 cc, Tall – 75cc.
- Stretch/Yoga Mats can get worn out with lots of use. It is always a nice thought to find one that is made from recycled or eco-friendly ingredients. Keep in mind the mats thickness – some people appreciate the extra padding.
- Stretching Strap/Yoga Tie will come in handy to assist with all types of flexibility exercises for a more effective routine. You relax and let the strap do the work.
- Yoga Blocks are wonderful for someone beginning a yoga class or who does not have a lot of flexibility. They help you perform certain standing and seated positions intended to improve strength, stamina, and flexibility.
Remember, you can be a positive influence in the lives of the people you care about. Your gift can enhance some ones quality of life and give you another exercise partner to support you as well. It is a win-win!
During this time of year, with it being fall and winter, weather isn’t always the best. It gets darker earlier, in some areas it’s snowing, raining or foggy and let’s face it, we could all use a little more sunshine.
Our weight loss resort in Texas made a Sunshine Cinnamon-Maple Quinoa with Pecans and Fruit for a cooking class. A delicious dish that will help brighten your day!
Sunshine Cinnamon-Maple Quinoa with Pecans and Fruit
Makes 4 servings
- 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (can also use skim or soy milk)
- 1 cup chopped apple
- ½ cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans or sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- In small pot over medium heat, cook quinoa in water with cinnamon for about 20 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is cooked (check liquid after about 15 minutes, and if needed add and extra ½ cup water and finish the 20 minutes of cooking time).
- While quinoa is cooking, toast pecans in a skillet on medium-low heat until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add maple syrup, pecans, apple, and blueberries to cooked quinoa.
Nutrition Info: Calories: 338, Total Fat: 17g, Sodium: 48mg, Total Carbohydrates: 39 g, Dietary Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 10g Protein: 8g
Tips To Help Make Weight Loss Successful
Here is a post from Tara Heath, a freelance writer on health and wellness, offers a fun personal take on some common tips and knowledge that she’s found useful in her own weight loss journey.
About three months ago, having indulged in a delightful—albeit, not especially healthy—summer of margaritas, barbecues and yes, I’ll admit it, the occasional GIGANTIC ice cream cone, I found myself standing on the scale in my bathroom and staring at a truly disturbing number. My mind flashed forward to the pending holiday season and I shuddered. I could just imagine all my well-meaning-but-judgmental relatives whispering behind their hands about my new . . . uh. . .voluptuousness.
It was time to go on a diet.
I confess I was not especially optimistic. After all, I’ve done the dieting thing once or twice (or seventy billion times). Who amongst us hasn’t? And, while I could usually drum up some impressive motivation at first, after a few weeks I’d decide that I didn’t really need to get all the way to my goal weight. Sometimes I’d manage to keep off the weight that I’d lost up to that point– more often I did not. So, this time, I decided to do a little research and find some changes I could actually stick with.
And you know what? I learned a lot.
For one thing, losing weight doesn’t necessarily mean immediately dropping all the foods I love and replacing them with nothing but salads and skinless chicken breast, nor does it mean hours in the gym every day. Gradual changes in diet and exercise can actually be much more effective, because they’re easier and don’t make you feel deprived and discouraged. Healthy weight loss takes time.
Here are a few other things I’ve learned:
1. Focus on what you’re adding to your diet, rather than what you’re taking away.
For me, this was really important. In the past, I’ve often struggled because I’ve felt frustrated at having to give up the things I loved and replace them with things I really didn’t love, and I hated always feeling hungry. When I started putting my attention on simply adding more good stuff –like fruit, spinach and healthy smoothies—rather than sacrificing all things yummy, I immediately felt better about the whole concept of dieting.
2. Eat when you’re hungry
There are actually two parts to this little gem. One of them, of course, is the need to really stop and examine your motivations for eating. Am I actually feeling hunger, or am I just giving in to that craving for some salty potato chips? However, the second part of this equation was more surprising for me. “Eat when you’re hungry,” means just that: eat. when. you’re. hungry.
When you feel those pangs, stop what you’re doing and take the time to eat. So often we wait until we’re ravenous. And what do you do when you’re starving and faced with a whole refrigerator full of food? If you’re anything like me, you pretty much eat everything in sight– not good for the weight loss thing.
3. Choose healthier nighttime snacks
I know. Some people swear that in order to succeed, you can’t eat anything after 6:00. Unfortunately, I’ve just never been able to make that happen. However, I have found that I can choose healthier snacks. Rather than buttery popcorn or a cookie, I’ll have a low-fat yogurt or a fruit smoothie.
4. Don’t eat your stress away
Sigh. I am a stress eater. There’s no two ways about it. Things get crazy in my life and I immediately head for the freezer. A pint of Ben and Jerry’s has gotten me through more hard times than I care to admit. So, I had to find new ways to deal with my stress. Long walks have proven to be a surprisingly enjoyable substitution for me.
In the end, for me, it’s worth it. Judgmental relatives aside, I want to live a long, full life. According the National Institutes of Health, obesity can cause high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer and perhaps most alarmingly, heart disease, which is the #1 cause of death in America. Simply ignoring heart disease won’t lower your risk. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating well and exercising regularly can dramatically reduce the risk of these problems and so many others. and I like my life– love it, in fact– and I’m not planning on going anywhere, anytime soon.
Tara Heath is a health enthusiast and freelance writer living in Southern California, and her writing covers everything on personal wellness and lifestyle. While she may indulge in the occasional treat now and then, she makes sure to remember that moderation is everything!