Category Archives: Nutrition

Let’s Talk About Stress

Let’s face it – life can be stressful. Whether it is from having a high-power career, a demanding boss, a rocky marriage, misbehaving kids, or an unplanned personal expense that pops up at the worst moment – we all have to deal with stress at one time or another. How we do so will ultimately affect the toll that each stressful situation we encounter has on our bodies as well as any lasting repercussions.

For example, I’m sure we all know that regular exercise is great in helping our bodies fight back against the harmful affects of stress. But did you know that certain foods could actually be helpful as well? That’s right a new study has revealed that certain foods can actually help our bodies recover from the affects of stress as well as helping to ward off the long term effects left behind that can leave you feeling run down, over whelmed, and even depressed.

An easy and great stress-relieving snack is Oatmeal with Berries and Walnuts. The oats in the oatmeal are packed with Vitamin B that can help to stabilize your mood, berries will provide a healthy does of Vitamin C to help keep the stress away, while walnuts are a great source of happy-boosting Omega-3’s. This snack is not only good for you; it’s quick, easy, and great on the go!

If you feel your stress level rising before your lunch break – it might be in your best interest to adjust your lunch plans to include a Salmon Sushi Roll with Brown Rice. Salmon is a fatty fish that contains high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to benefit the heart and help protect it from stress-reduced diseases. In addition, opting for brown rice over white rice adds a complex carb to your meal that your serotonin levels will get extra calming resources from.

Another all time favorite, that is actually good any time of the day, is a Kale Smoothie, or any other smoothie that has a dark green, leafy vegetable as its base. It is a great source of antioxidants and fiber which can provide a much needed energy boost to help you increase productivity and decrease anxiety, allowing you to focus on something other than your current stressful situation.

And for those of us who crave sweets every moment of the day, especially when faced with stressful situations – your sweet tooth is actually helping your body fight stress. That’s right, dark chocolate has been found to have many wonderful health benefits – but recently added to the list of its positives is that dark chocolate prompts the brain to release endorphins and can lower blood pressure. So, by all means when your body is telling you it needs chocolate – it probably does.

As with all food, moderation is key. Over indulging will not help fight the stress more then a healthy sized portion, but including foods like these into your diet when you are under additional stress will help alleviate any negative effects your body might be experience. In addition, if you include regular Tae Bo® Fitness workouts in your lifestyle, you will have the power and the fuel to fight stress head on without jeopardizing your health.

Healthy Brunch Bites

The biggest holiday season has passed, but we still have a few that we can’t forget about.. Easter is in a week and a half (yikes!), Mother’s day is a month after and then Memorial day just after that! That’s a lot of opportunity to eat those deliciously hearty brunch meals with family and friends. Since we know you don’t want to completely throw your healthy lifestyle out the door, here are a few healthy brunch bites to keep you and your loved ones on the right track!

Mini Frittatas

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Ingredients:

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

8 large eggs

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 ounces thinly sliced ham, chopped

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

-Spray 2 mini muffin tins (each with 24 cups) with nonstick spray.

-Whisk the eggs, milk, pepper, and salt in a large bowl to blend well.

-Stir in the ham, cheese, and parsley.

-Fill prepared muffin cups almost to the top with the egg mixture.

-Bake until the egg mixture puffs and is just set in the center, about 8 to 10 minutes.

-Using a rubber spatula, loosen the frittatas from the muffin cups and slide the frittatas onto a platter.

Serve immediately.

Apple Muffins

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Ingredients:

Cooking spray

1/4 cup chopped pecans

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1/4 cup canola oil

2 large eggs

1 cup natural applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup low fat buttermilk

1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch pieces

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-capacity standard muffin pan with cooking spray.

-In a small bowl, mix together the pecans, 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar and the cinnamon.

-In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole wheat flour, baking soda and salt.

-In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and the oil until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in the applesauce and vanilla.

-Whisk in the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Whisk just until combined. Gently stir in the apple chunks.

-Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with the pecan mixture.

-Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles.

-Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center of one of the muffins comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Cool completely on the rack.

Crunchy Zucchini Rounds

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Ingredients:

2 zucchini

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil (about 24)

3 ounces goat cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:
-Slice zucchini into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. (You should have about 24 slices.)

-Lay out on large platter; season with salt and pepper.

-Place a sun-dried tomato on each slice

-Top each tomato with a pinch of goat cheese

-Sprinkle tops with chopped chives

-Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil

Serve

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The Early Bird Gets The…….WHAT?

Have you heard the saying, ‘the early bird gets the worm’? Well, at Tae Bo® Fitness, the early bird now gets something a whole lot better! That’s right, Tae Bo® Fitness has implemented an early bird program that rewards current and potential instructors who plan ahead! It’s simple and it’s available to everyone. Simply log onto www.taebo.com, select the camp you want to attend during the early bird period and receive $50.00 off of your certification purchase! The early bird program works on Basic Certification Camps, Advanced Certification Camps, and Specialty Certification Camps! Early bird pricing is available on all posted camps up until two months prior to the camp date – planning ahead for your future has never been more rewarding!

With several different options available for assisting with obtaining, maintaining, and advancing your instructor status – being a certified instructor within the number one fitness program has never been easier or more cost efficient. Tae Bo® Fitness has discounts available on all camps from the time they are posted until the day of the camp! We offer Early Bird pricing on ALL certification camps purchased more than two months prior to the camp date. Once the Early Bird pricing is no longer available we have the Elite Instructor’s Promo Code that provides a 10% discount on Basic Certifications and Challenges and current T.B.M. members get 10% off of every Advanced or Specialty Course purchased through their membership. But wait there’s more! Certified Instructors also have the ability to purchase a certification extension to maintain their current certification until they are able to attend a certification camp. What is your future worth? There is no better time then now to invest in you and your Tae Bo® Fitness career!

WinterFoods

Bring On The Winter Foods

It’s definitely wintertime and putting the holidays to rest can be stressful and depressing, especially during the cold and gray winter months. Not to worry though, this is the time of year when eating your way to a better mood is actually acceptable! Well, that is if you are indulging in winter super foods that has been shown to fight depression and lift your spirits.

Topping the list are the ‘dark leafy greens’ that are at their nutritional peak during winter; such as spinach, kale, collard greens, and chard. These veggies are high in potassium, magnesium, and calcium, all of which help to maintain the bodies sleep cycles, restore tired muscles and regulate stress hormones. Having one to two cups a day will help get you into a good mood, naturally.

Eating peas and greens is a New Year’s Day tradition in the south, but everyone might want to take part in it throughout the winter months this year. After all, a half a cup of ‘black eyed peas’ a day, paired with collard greens makes for a fiber rich, high folate, super food which works wonders to fight depression as well as bring good luck; according to the old Southern tradition.

Another winter miracle food high on the list is ‘mushrooms’. They are packed with niacin and riboflavin, both B vitamins that are known to increase good moods. Eating half a cup a day can help replenish your vitamin D supply during cold, dreary, winter months, naturally increasing your good mood.

Another great food to snack on this winter is ‘pumpkin seeds’. They are one of the richest sources of tryptophan. Tryptophan is needed to produce serotonin, which encourages happy and relaxed feelings. The best part is that pumpkin seeds are versatile, they can be added to salads, granola, or simply snacked on alone. Plus, they are a great on the go snack.

‘Walnuts’ are a typical holiday nut that contains omega-3 fatty acids, a good-for-you fat source that naturally boosts moods. Walnuts can also help you sleep better during cold winter nights. Remember, it is easy to over indulge in nuts, so keep your portions down to a handful or an ounce and a half.

Closing out our list of winter foods are ‘citrus fruits’, oranges and grapefruits more specifically. They are both in season during the winter and are excellent sources of Folate and vitamin C. Eating one or two citrus fruits a day will provide the most benefit in escalating a good mood.

If you’re looking for a way to bust out of the winter blues, look no further! As with any dietary changes, consult your physician first. Another great way to fight off the winter blues is exercise! That’s right, exercise is another natural way to boost your mood and fight depression. Log onto www.taebo.com and find a Tae Bo® Fitness class near you and kick the winter blues out of your day.

How Soda Impacts Your Health!

Have you ever wondered how soft drinks effect your health? At Tae Bo® Fitness we recommend that you cut them out of your diet completely! Your mind and body will thank you for it.

See the chart below for the disturbing facts and their sources!

click image to enlarge
Soda_Body

StressFree

Don’t Stress!

You may think illness is the cause of that excruciating headache, your frequent insomnia or your decreased productivity in general. Did you ever stop to think that the amount of stress you are under is the cause of these concerns?

There’s good news and there’s bad news. The bad news: everyone has stress in their life and it is not ever going to leave… The good news: it does not have to affect you to the extent that you might be letting it!

Here are some helpful hints to keeping stress from getting the best of you–

GO! – That toxic mixture of Adrenaline, Cortisol and Norepinephrine that has reached its peak and is now running like a stampede of wild boars through your body will be incinerated by getting up and getting physical! Run, jump, dance, stretch- ANYTHING! Raising your heart rate and working up a sweat will force your mind to focus on regulating your entire body and calm the portion of your mind that is causing you distress.

SLEEP – Science has shown that people can survive longer without food than without sleep. When a person does not get enough sleep, they are less patient and easily agitated. Maintaining a regular cycle consisting of 7-9 hours of sleep every night will help when you are confronted with your day-to-day stresses simply because you are not tired. How painless is that?!

ACKNOWLEDGE TO CHANGE – Practice the art of identifying stress and notice how your thinking can contribute to that stress.
Ask yourself these 4 questions:

1. Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move on to 3)
2. Can you be absolutely positive it is true? (Yes or no)
3. How do you react when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be if you didn’t believe that thought?

By identifying the source of your stress and acknowledging your reactions and/or feelings, you are giving yourself the opportunity to grow beyond your deepest concerns. For every action there is a reaction. If you don’t like your reaction or the way something made you feel the last time, you now have the freedom to change it for the future.

It is easier said than done and stress is a constant battle for anybody, but there are millions of ways to ease the struggle. Who knows, maybe these tips will really help you as much as they have helped others!

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Come out and join Tae Bo creator Billy Blanks, at Bayside Marketplace in Miami on May 10th! Billy will be offering 2 free Tae Bo classes, along with fitness tips from Hollywood physique expert Eric the Trainer, and many local fitness providers. Sampling booths, workouts, music and more!

Blog5tips

5 tips to staying fit through the holidays!

Between Thanksgiving and the New Year, and all of your family’s delicious recipes, there is plenty of opportunity to lose sight of your fitness goals and gain a few more pounds than you expect. With a few helpful hints and a little bit of discipline, you can easily be the exception to the rule!

  1. Make your Fitness Routine work with your Holiday Schedule:
    Have you noticed that your routine is falling off at the end of the day because you have to go shopping, decorate the house and prepare food all at the same time? Waking up a little earlier to get your work out in first thing in the morning may help!!
    Having a consistent strategy is always an important part of every day life. As well as the importance of maintaining that consistency, getting the exercise part of your day out of the way in the morning will bring you to the rest of your tasks with more energy and less stress!!

  2. Don’t skimp on the vegetables!
    This is as simple as it sounds. Vegetables are FULL of fiber, which means they work wonders on your energy and metabolism. By filling your meals with different types of vegetables, taking in a handful of those big holiday meals won’t stick to your thighs so easily!

  3. On BIG meal days, set limits!
    This time of year that many of us spend with family is meant for us to enjoy! However, counting calories is not anyone’s favorite passed-time… We recommend, instead of spending your holiday meals distracted, set limits on the foods that you know you want to indulge in. By maintaining a cap on the amount of each of your favorite holiday treats, you are not abandoning your fitness goals and you are enhancing your inner strength with just a hint of self-control!

  4. Get out of the house!
    Just because it is cold outside, doesn’t mean there isn’t still plenty to do. Visiting your local activity Center may provide you with multiple indoor sports to play with your family, and who could forget about Ice Skating! Your entire family will benefit from the time spent together and the physical activities. Getting a little cold just to warm up again with the ones you love most doesn’t sound like too much torture, right? Right!

  5. Drink your water!
    Teachers, parents, fitness instructors, families and friends have been kindly reminding us on a regular basis how the body cannot perform without water and if you are starting to get thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Well, it’s true! Through the holiday season, it can get a little difficult to be sure you are drinking enough water, what with the cold weather and the holiday spirits. Just remember, staying hydrated will help your body heal faster when those inebriating elixirs become a little bit too exhilarating. Not only will you cure that morning-after headache, your brain will operate clearly and your metabolism will process everything you indulge in at a higher rate! Drink up!
Success!

Group Fitness Success

Is there a secret to being a successful group fitness instructor? Well, aside from being a certified instructor within the number one fitness program around the world. Members of the Tae Bo® Fitness Family gain instant advantages just from being part of a world renowned fitness program that has lasted over 30 years. Do you know what every Tae Bo® Instructor should master to take their business to the next level?

Successful group fitness instructors need to be able to teach students from all three learning styles simultaneously. They need to be able to give clear and detailed verbal instructions while providing visual reinforcement at the same time. Group fitness instructors use ‘cues’; such as a word or number to prompt an upcoming action or event, adding visual reinforcement to these verbal cues will strengthen your teaching ability. For example, during a Tae Bo® Basic Class you call out an exercise that focuses on ‘the obliques’, palpate the obliques on your own body as you give the verbal cue. Or if you call out ‘4 more Tae Bo® Jumping Jacks’, hold up 4 fingers at the same time you call it out. Adding these simple hand gestures to your teaching style will enable you to teach your students through ‘3-part cues’, which is the most efficient way to address any type of class or audience.

Being able to instruct a group fitness class using 3-part cues allows all of your students to easily understand as well as keep up. After all, any large group of people will have students from all 3 learning styles present. The auditory learners who learn easiest by listening to spoken direction, the visual learners who learn best by seeing and watching a demonstration, as well as the kinesthetic learners who learn best through ‘hands-on’ experience and participation. If you can master the 3-part cue, you will be able to connect to those students who have felt like they could never keep up in group fitness workouts.

In addition, keeping the word ‘don’t’ out of your workout vocabulary will not only keep the environment positive but it will reduce the chance of unwanted actions or movements. Think about it, if you say ‘don’t forget to breath’ or ‘don’t let your knees go past your toes in the squat’, you are actually giving a negative instruction. Processing a negative direction is difficult, especially if you are in the middle of a Tae Bo® Workout and are actively listening for the next cue. Using the word ‘don’t’ actually puts the unwanted action at the forefront of a student’s thoughts, increasing the possibility of it occurring. By using positive cues such as, ‘keep breathing’ or ‘keep sitting back so your knees stay behind your toes’, you avoid bringing attention to any unwanted action or behavior.

Can you believe that the success of a group fitness instructor can be this simple? Give it a try and see the difference it makes in your own classes. At first it might require extra focus and seem unworthy but after using 3-part cues consistently for a short period of time, they will become just as natural as being a mirror image for your students is. You have already proven your instructor skills by becoming Tae Bo® Certified; why not master the ability to teach using 3-part cues and take your teaching skills to the next level.

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Billy Blanks Trains With The Denver Nuggets!

Catch Billy Blanks as he and the Denver Nuggets ‘sweat it up’ in the first ever  team workout from Celebrity Sweat. Go behind the scenes to see how the Nuggets train, and how Billy spent the day going through their intensive training program! Special extended episode available for download at www.csweat.com – a portion of sales will benefit the NBA Cares Initiative.