Renewing Your Fitness Goals

September 7, 2012 By: afeldman 1 Comment

Hey everyone, I am writing my first Shane Diet & Fitness entry of the fall addressed to all guests of the past. Whether you were with us this season, last season or any prior seasons, I’d like to re-emphasize your journey.

For those of you who have been home for some time, you know it can be hard to translate an exercise routine from a structured program like ours to your home life. Well, I would like to remind you that it is never to late to start fresh. If things did not work out quite as planned upon your return home, ask yourself why. What was it that really made it hard? What can you take away as a learning experience from previous attempts at weight loss?

If there is one thing that I know about this, it is that there is no such thing as failure if something can be learned from the experience. Let’s face it, we can always learn something from our mistakes of the past, we just have to look deep. For those of you who may have fallen off the fitness wagon, I challenge you to think about those mistakes of the past and take what you can out of them to make you ahappier and healthier person moving forward. Then, I would like you to use this information to dust yourself off, get back up and get back in the game.

When you joined us, you made a promise to yourself to meet a goal, to get from A to B. We want to help you keep that promise to yourself.

So here I am calling everyone out. Have you been staying true to that promise? It’s ok to be honest with yourself. If you’re one that has been successful at home or that has not been home long enough to know, use these thoughts to prepare you for possible hard times in the future. However, if the transition has not gone as planned, let’s address this. Even if you transitioned smoothly but fell off the wagon recently, how can you change direction and start moving forward again? To better help you at home, we would like to provide you with some tools. The Shane Team and I will be posting regular fitness blogs with topics relevant to fitness, healthy living and motivation. We will also be posting fitness challenges, exercises, inspirational thoughts and quotes. I plan on increasing my own physical fitness over this next year starting with my marathon at the end of this month and continuing afterward. I invite all of you to join me by increasing your own fitness. If you were with us before, it is not too late to dust off the old exercise program, and get started again. Tomorrow is a good day to also start that healthy eating plan , to start incorporating more movement in your day and to build positive thinking into your life.

For those who have not been with us before, visit us at www.shanedietresorts.com and check out our new website. With our new Texas location opening next month, we are available to change your life for the better, year round.

Portion Size

June 21, 2012 By: office 1 Comment

Everywhere we go there is food. Our environment has a tremendous effect on when we eat and what we choose to eat. It is crucial to become aware of your own triggers to eating, other than true hunger, and exploring methods in which to manage them to achieve healthy patterns.

It is equally important to become aware of and control the portion size of meals and snacks. It is helpful to learn what serving sizes are and to select appropriate portion sizes. Eating mindfully incorporates measuring foods (using measuring cups, spoons and a food scale) which trains the eye to learn what healthy serving sizes look like. Most people greatly underestimate the volume of food that they consume. As a matter of fact, reports show that people often eat almost twice as many calories as they think they do.

It is a critical component of weight loss to eat smaller portions of food. Restaurants often serve 2-5 times the recommended portion size and Americans have grown accustomed to what this volume looks like. This “super-sized” portion has become the new norm. By decreasing the size of meals consumed, the stomach will shrink and adapt over time. This smaller amount of food will lead to satiety.

Remember it is one meal at a time. You can do it!

Simple Swaps for Baked Goods

June 21, 2012 By: office 2 Comments

Most baked goods are often high in fat and sugar. Muffins, often assumed as a healthier choice, can even sometimes be a “cupcake” in disguise. You may think it’s impossible to create a lower calorie, healthier baked good that is just as tasty as the original.

Try these simple swaps the next time you’re baking.

Ingredient Healthy Substitution
Whole milk (1 cup) 1 cup fat-free or nonfat milk plus one tablespoon of unsaturated oil like canola oil
Heavy cream (1 cup) 1 cup evaporated skim milk 

or

1/2 cup low-fat yogurt and 1/2 cup plain low-fat cottage cheese (pureed)

Evaporated whole milk Evaporated skim milk
Sweetened condensed whole milk Evaporated skim milk
Cream cheese, full fat Fat-free or low-fat cream cheese, Neufchatel 

or

low-fat cottage cheese, pureed until smooth

Sour Cream Plain Greek yogurt
Butter (1 tbsp) Vegetable oil
Oil Natural Fruit Purees (no sugar added) 

Examples: Applesauce, Pumpkin Puree, Mashed banana, etc.

Shortening (1 cup) Earth Balance or Smart Balance
1 Egg 2 Egg whites 

or

“flax eggs” = 1 tbsp ground flax seed whisked with 3 tbsp warm water until the consistency of eggs

or

1/4 cup egg substitute

 

Chocolate Chips (1 cup) 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips 

or

Carob chips – similar to chocolate chips, produced from a carob plant, with a slightly bitter and nutty undertone, works best with baking when the chips are incorporated in the baked product.

Sugar Reduce sugar by half and intensify sweetness by adding vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. 

or

Honey, Agave nectar

Syrup Pureed Fresh fruit
Fruit canned in heavy syrup Fruit canned in its own juices, or fresh fruit
Flour, all purpose Whole-wheat flour for half what the recipe calls for along with the all-purpose flour 

 

*Note: Whole-wheat flour is less dense and works well in softer products like cakes and muffins

Chopped nuts, 1 cup 1/2 cup toasted chopped nuts 

* By toasting them brings out their flavor and only need half.

Sweetened shredded coconut 1/2 cup toasted coconut + 1/2 tsp coconut extract
Traditional Pie Crust Graham Cracker crust

 

Busy Schedules Don’t Have To Be Unhealthy

February 7, 2012 By: consultant 1 Comment

The most common excuse I hear about why someone isn’t eating healthy is: “I don’t have time to eat healthy” (of course, there is always the “healthy foods taste like cardboard” excuse, but that’s an entirely different subject).  So why don’t people have time to eat healthy? School, work, and family are the most common healthy-eating deterrents.  However, a busy schedule doesn’t have to mean fatty, high sodium, processed foods.  It can be just as simple to eat healthy on a busy schedule as to eat unhealthy.  It takes the same amount of effort to order a salad than it does a slice of pizza and it takes even less effort to grab an apple than it does to heat up a pop-tart.

So when you wake up tomorrow morning think to yourself: “My eating yesterday didn’t make me feel very healthy. Today I want to make a healthy change.” It is as simple as that. When you start your day with a healthy mindset, making healthy decisions will easily follow.

The first meal of the day is the most important. Breakfast will give you the energy you need to stay on track all day, not to mention that when you start your day with a good food choice you are more likely to make better choices throughout the day.  We all know what a good choice is: oatmeal and other whole grains, fruit, eggs, veggies, and other natural choices.  If you don’t have time in the morning, prep the night before. A good breakfast is an essential part of a healthy day.  Before you leave the house, grab a few pieces of fruit, maybe some nuts or trail mix to have with you as snacks throughout the day.

So this is where the hard part starts; lunch out with friends, family or coworkers.  Whether you order out, eat out or dine in there is always a healthy option, even if it doesn’t seem like there is.  Half the battle in making a healthy decision is knowing what a healthy choice is, such as watch out for heavy dressing, added sodium and highly processed foods. Instead, stick with a protein source, a vegetable and a whole grain.  The other half of making a healthy food choice is having a healthy mindset. “I want to be the best I can be and feed my body what it deserves.”  With that mindset and the knowledge you already have, you are ready to make healthy choices every day.

At Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, our fitness, nutrition and behavior change coaching classes can assist you in making those healthy food choices, and exploring your old bad habits and creating new ones.   Once you leave our program you will feel confident, look great, have more energy, and have a stronger and healthier mindset!  When you are good to your body, it will be good to you in return.

 

New Year’s Resolutions: How to stick to your fitness goals

December 28, 2011 By: office 2 Comments

Each year, I witness the same thing at the gyms; and influx of people signing up for memberships during the month of January and February. These individuals are armed with their New Year’s Resolutions and ready to workout.  They go nice and strong for about a month or two and then suddenly they start to drop off.  I know people who pay for a gym membership but only use it 4 times a year! Why does this occur? These people have all the right intentions, but they don’t have concrete goals.

This January, Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts is running a New Year’s session just in time to help with those fitness and weight goals. With all the latest in fitness classes, nutrition education and cooking classes and behavior change group coaching, we are the perfect way to kick start your new healthy lifestyle.  If you are not able to join us in the New Year, I have put together a short list that will hopefully not only help you set your goals, but also help you stick to them.

Short and long term goals- You may want to lose 50 pounds, but we have to look at the smaller, more attainable number first.  Set smaller goals, say 5 or 10 pounds to start, and each time you achieve it you will feel much more rewarded as you will be achieving your goals right from the start.

Non-weight loss goals- Setting goals that are easily achieved will help keep you motivated and happy. Try something that you have never done before, Zumba, Yoga or maybe Kick boxing. Make the goal not only to try a class, but put a time frame on it to try a class by the end of the month… and then keep going!

Make your goals more specific- Instead of “take a yoga class,” try “take yoga by January 5th.” Instead of “do some strength training,” try “hire personal trainer for three sessions to teach me strength training.”  The more specific you are about the goal, the more likely you are to do it and the easier it is to track your results.

Some is better than none- Are you the type of person who is of “All or Nothing” attitude?  This is a great time to try and alter that way of thinking. Everyone has an off day.  Even if you can only get to the gym to squeak out a simple 2 mile run or a ½ on the elliptical, it’s better than doing nothing at all. Just pick up your routine tomorrow, without punishing yourself.

Tell everyone- Do you have a hard time holding yourself accountable?  When you set your fitness goals, tell your friends and family.  Social media such as Facebook is a great way to announce what your goals are and your friends will be there to cheer you on. Maybe you can inspire your friends and acquire a workout buddy!

Make an appointment- write your exercise time into your calendar on your phone or computer, and DON’T double book the appointment. This is your time to get healthy and fit!

Reward yourself- Don’t punish yourself for goals you didn’t achieve, rather reward yourself for the goals you DID achieve.  Be careful here, don’t reward yourself with food! Look towards your long term goals for reward ideas such as a new clothing for the new wardrobe you will have to buy after you lose the 50 pounds, or a manicure/pedicure to relax your tired feet from all the running on the treadmill you have been doing.

Try to be as organized as you can when planning you fitness schedule and don’t feel funny about asking a trainer at your local gym for help. The more knowledge your have, the more armed for success you are.  Happy New Year!

 

Healthy Diet Pizza!

November 21, 2011 By: consultant 2 Comments

Nutritious eating is key to your healthy lifestyle. The key foundation to any healthy diet is moderation.

Many “dieters” believe that pizza is off limits when trying to lose weight. That’s why diets don’t work. Try not to think of food as being “off-limits”.  The second you decide certain foods are off limits, it becomes natural to crave them more.

Think smaller portions. Start small and think about serving sizes in realistic terms. Restaurants typically have 2-3 servings on one plate, which can lead to overeating and weight gain. Split an entrée with someone and order a salad with it. At home, try using smaller plates to encourage a healthy portion for weight loss.

Growing up, my family usually ordered pizza on Friday nights.  Many people on a weight loss diet view foods like pizza as “cheating.” No food should be viewed as cheating because after eating it, a feeling of guilt will occur. You can still enjoy pizza without feeling the guilt.

Healthy Diet Pizza

Tip #1: Enjoy your pizza with a side salad.

Tip #2: Cut your piece of pizza in half. Now you have two pieces to enjoy.

Tip #3: Skip the extra cheese and meat for toppings and swap for vegetables.

Tip #4: If the pizza place offers a whole-wheat crust, choose that.

Tip #5: Try thin crust pizza.

Healthy Diet: Sneaking in More Vegetables

November 15, 2011 By: consultant 4 Comments

We all know how difficult it can be some days to get the daily recommended amount of vegetables in your weight loss diet.  There are little tricks to sneak in vegetables for your healthy lifestyle and you won’t even realize you are eating them.

Regardless of the season, smoothies are a delicious treat. When ordering a fruit smoothie out, it can be loaded with sugar, fruit juices, ice cream, and often times no real fruit. It can be misleading when you think you are picking a healthier option for weight loss success. For example a popular smoothie chain has a flavor of banana berry flavor which racks up 560 calories and 115 grams of sugar.

By making one at home you can control what goes in and can also sneak in some vegetables with it. Would you ever think that spinach could go into a fruit smoothie? Most people automatically crinkle their nose and question it. Spinach in a smoothie? It may sound like a strange ingredient, but you cannot even taste it and you are able to get a serving of vegetables in for the day. It gives the benefits of nutrition, plus it turns your smoothie into a pretty green color!

Banana Berry Smoothie
(serves 2)

Banana Berry Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup strawberries
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup low fat vanilla yogurt
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup of ice

Combine the banana, strawberries, blueberries, yogurt and water in the blender. Blend until smooth. Then add in the spinach and blend again until smooth. Add ice and blend and then serve.

Each serving is only 152 calories. It’s a perfect treat for any occasion! Fruit smoothies are so versatile you can create your perfect smoothie with your favorite fruit combinations. Try combining some of your own favorite fruits and veggies to see what you like best and feel free to share your new recipes with us here!

Obesity and Overeating: Breaking a Bad Habit

November 9, 2011 By: office 2 Comments

Do you ever find yourself eating when you’re not even hungry? Do you need to have a snack at the movies or while watching television? If you said yes to both of these questions, you may be in the habit of overeating. It’s a bad habit, but the good news is, any bad habit can be broken! This was the topic of discussion in a recent article from ABC News.

Obesity and Bad Habits

Research finds that some people have gotten into a habit of eating when engaging in certain activities, such as popcorn at the movies.

Psychologists David Neal and Wendy Wood from the University of Southern California have come up with a simple formula that may help break the habit of overeating, which may lead to weight loss for many people who struggle with this habit. They say that rather than trying to overwhelm the habit with a strong sense of self control, alter the environment that triggers the automatic response, or habit. This conclusion comes from the findings of a very interesting study involving a movie theater and a bag of stale popcorn.

Neal and Wood, along with several colleagues, wanted to find out if people who nearly always eat a bag of popcorn when at the movies would eat it, even if it was old and stale, simply because it has become a habit.

Several hundred participants were recruited, some who really wanted popcorn with a movie, some who sometimes wanted popcorn, and some who really didn’t care either way. Each person attending a showing in a regular theater was quizzed on how much they liked popcorn, how hungry they were, and several other things. They were not allowed to sit near anyone else.

Half of the participants were given a bag of freshly cooked popcorn, and the other half were given a bag that had been sitting around for several days, leaving it stale. After the showing the bags were collected and weighed. Participants who could take it or leave it left the stale popcorn almost untouched. But habitual popcorn eaters ate the whole thing, regardless of whether their bag was new or stale. This goes to show that it isn’t so much about the taste or hunger level for these participants, but rather about the habit.

In the second experiment, new participants sat in a meeting room, as opposed to a movie theater. Again, half the participants were given a fresh bag of popcorn, while the other half received a stale bag. This time, even the habitual popcorn hounds ignored the stale popcorn and the only change was the setting. This goes to show that a small alteration can greatly impact the habit.

In a third experiment with new participants, the setting was back to the movie theater. Again, half the participants received fresh popcorn, while the other half received stale popcorn. This time, however, the participants were instructed to eat only with their “non-dominant” hand. None of the participants cared much for the stale popcorn, even in the movie theater setting. This goes to show that even a small cue can overwhelm a habit because it causes the person to have to think about what they were doing, rather than just going through the motions.

“On average, people have more good habits than bad,” said Neal. But bad habits can be particularly destructive, contributing to the current obesity crisis, he added.

Neal has some simple tips to help you in your weight loss efforts on the path to a healthy lifestyle. Put the cookie jar where you can’t see it. Look only at the salad menu in your favorite restaurant. “Basically, it’s not really a matter of setting the right goals or having enough will power,” he said. “Those things are valuable, but they don’t really get you over the line. The critical thing to focus on is the environment.”

This news should be encouraging to most, because bad habits can be broken. Camp Shane weight loss camps for children and Shane Diet Resorts weight loss program for adults know the importance of getting into good lifestyle habits, while leaving the bad ones behind. If you eat healthy every single day, it will become a habit. If you exercise daily or a few times per week, it will become a habit. If you currently experience bad habits, it is time to make small adjustments in your life!

Do you have any bad habits that you need to break? Or, have you already broken a bad habit? We would love to hear from you.

Got Milk? Healthy Diet Tips

October 28, 2011 By: consultant 2 Comments

As a child, weren’t you always told to drink your milk to build strong bones? Milk has a rich source of calcium and phosphorus. Milk also provides a source of protein as well as vitamins A, B, and D, which help proper growth and development for your weight loss diet.

Years ago, there was just whole milk. Now, when you go to the grocery store, there is a wide variety of milk and milk alternatives available for your healthy lifestyle. All milk alternatives are fortified to contain approximately the same amount of calcium and vitamin D as cow’s milk.

So which one do you choose for your healthy diet?

Here’s the skinny:

Nutrition Facts: Skim Milk

(1 cup)

Soy Milk

(1 cup)

Almond Milk

(1 cup)

Rice Milk

(1 cup)

Coconut Milk

(1 cup)

Calories 90 90 40 120 80
Total Fat 0 g 3.5 g 3.5 g 2.5 g 5 g
Total Carbohydrates 13 g 8 g 2 g 23 g 7 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g 1 g 1 g 0 g 0 g
Sugars 12 g 6 g 0 g 10 g 6 g
Protein 8 g 6 g 1 g 1 g 1 g

Skim milk:

Skim milk is whole milk from dairy cows that has most or all of its fat removed. When the fat is removed, what is left is the protein-rich milk. If you are transitioning from whole milk to skim milk the taste may seem to be very different. Whole milk is much creamier because of the fat content. If you want to slowly transition to skim milk try starting with reduced-fat milk first, then to skim milk.

Soy Milk:

Soymilk is made from pressed soybeans. Sugar or sweetener is then added to the flavored varieties.  It is the most popular choice among individuals who are lactose-intolerant and who are vegetarian or vegan.

Original soymilk is the closest alternative to skim milk. It has a naturally low level of saturated fat because it is a plant-based protein. It provides a significant amount of protein. Make sure the check the label for “whole soy bean” and avoid brands that list “isolated soy protein”.

Almond Milk:

To make almond milk, almonds are finely ground with water and sometimes sugar (for the sweetened varieties). Almond milk is mostly water by weight causing it to have a thinner consistency. It has a mild nutty flavor. Almond milk is a choice or people who are lactose-intolerant and who are vegetarian or vegan.

The downside to almond milk is that it only contains 1 gram of protein with is significantly less than cow’s milk or soymilk.

Rice Milk:

Rice milk is a mixture of partially milled rice and water. Rice milk is a choice for individuals with allergies to other types of milk. It is another option for people who are lactose-intolerant and vegetarian or vegan.

Along with almond milk it is low in protein and only contains 1 gram per serving. Rice milk can taste a little watery or chalky.

Coconut Milk:

Coconut milk is another alternative for people with dairy allergies, vegetarian, or vegan. It is higher in fat, but these fats are medium chain fatty acids, which are good fats.

It doesn’t taste like traditional milk. It does have a distinct sweet flavor. Coconut milk is an okay substitute while baking, but not the best choice for cooking, unless the recipe requires a sweet flavor.

Switching Up Your Grains For Weight Loss

October 11, 2011 By: consultant 4 Comments

A healthy diet consists of 50-65% of grains. At least half of those grains should be whole grains. Switching to just whole grains may seem intimidating at first. To gradually get used to the flavorful taste of whole grains, start out by mixing what you normally like with whole grains. For example, mix 3/4 of a serving of regular pasta and 1/4 of a serving of whole wheat pasta. Then gradually mix 1/2 of a serving of regular pasta with 1/2 of a serving of whole wheat pasta. Soon enough you will be at a whole serving of whole grains!

What exactly is a whole grain? A whole grain consists of the bran, germ, and endosperm.
Whole Grain

The bran, or the outer shell is high in fiber. The germ is a polyunsaturated fat, in simple terms a healthy fat, and also full of vitamins. The Endosperm is the starchy component. White grains are processed and the germ and the bran are stripped away which also strips away the good nutrients from the bran and germ.

Many people automatically think of whole grains as whole wheat flour, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice. There are so many more whole grains out there to try like amaranth, barley, couscous, kamut, millet, oats, quinoa, rice, rye, spelt, teff, wheat, and wheat berries. Try incorporating more types of grain into your weight loss diet for a healthy lifestyle.

A type of couscous, Israeli couscous, which is sometimes called pearl couscous, are small, round, pasta-like granules made from semolina and wheat flour.

Other grains are typically dried and packaged and then rehydrated when cooked. Israeli couscous is toasted instead. It gives a distinct nutty flavor and a sturdier composition which makes is such a versatile grain that can stand up to any type of sauce, soup, or salad.

Israeli couscous has great nutritional benefits. A 1/2 cup of cooked Israeli couscous is 88 kcal, 3g protein, 18g carbohydrates, 0.1g fat, and 2g fiber.

Israeli Couscous Salad with Shrimp

Israeli Couscous Salad with Shrimp

Israeli Couscous Salad with Shrimp

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup Israeli couscous
5 tablespoons of olive oil
6 ounces of shrimp, grilled
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
2 lemons, juice
A large bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly grounded pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  Bring the chicken stock to a boil. Pour over the couscous in a bowl and leave to sit or 10 minutes.

2.  Place 5 shrimp on a skewer. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with minced garlic. Grill over high heat until fully cooked.

3.  When the couscous has absorbed the chicken broth, add the olive oil and lemon juice. and break up any lumps that may have formed with a fork. This will give a lighter texture to the salad.

4.  Peel the cucumber and cut lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and dice. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Add the cucumbers and tomatoes to the couscous.

5.  Stir in the chopped cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Add more lemon juice as needed.

6.  Let the couscous salad marinate together for at least 20 minutes for flavors to enhance.

7.  Serve with grilled shrimp.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 279 kcal
Total Fat: 17.5 g
Total Carbohydrate: 19.9 g
Dietary fiber: 2 g
Protein: 11 g

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