July 25th, 2014

#GameOnWater FUN IN THE SUN Schedule

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Join us for some FUN IN THE SUN at our Whitehall Pop-Up Beach! 

Beach Belly Dancing: Monday 7/21

Belly Dancing is a great way to burn calories and sculpt your abs for that beach fit body.

Surfin Yoga: Thursday 7/24

A Vinyasa Style yoga class with an emphasis on strength, flexibility, balance  and breathing. Get your body and mind in surf mode.

Round The Sand Barre: Monday 7/28

Round the Sand Barre uses a Hula Hoop for resistance to challenge your core & lower body.

Masala Bhangra presents Bollywood Beachside: Thursday 7/31

Burn calories and dance the day away with Bhangra dance steps and Bollywood moves.

Beach Boot Camp: Monday 8/4

An Outdoor HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Boot Camp that will challenge, sculpt and strengthen your body.

Bikini Ready Workout: Thursday 8/7 & 8/14

A total body workout that will chisel and tone and get you beach ready. 

INSANITY at the Beach: Monday 8/11

Take the INSANITY Beach Body Challenge! Get results with MAX Interval Training.

Hula Hoop: Monday 8/18

Hula Hoop your way to a strong core and toned lower body all while getting your heart rate up and having a blast.

Beach Box: Thursday 8/21

Beach Box is an interval training class that alternates cardio and strength to keep your beach body strong this summer.

Zumba on The Sand: Monday 8/25

Dance with us to all your favorite Latin & Caribbean rhythms.

BareFIT in the Sand: Thursday 8/25

A barefoot workout that utilizes a 6ft Dyna-Band that will help create a lean and toned body.

SEE YOU THERE!

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July 23rd, 2014

Apricots: My Precious…Golden Apple

image(Photo: Goat Cheese Stuffed Apricots with Honey and Pecans via Domestic Fits)

Referred to as the “golden apple” in Greek mythology and meaning “precious” in Latin, it seems we need to take a closer look at apricots! Often overshadowed by their fuzzy cousin, the peach, a fresh apricot deserves attention with only 17 calories, 3 grams of sugar and almost 1 gram of fiber. What a find! They are also high in potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C, making this “precious” fruit an ideal low-calorie summer snack! 

Just wait until you see the Goat Cheese Stuffed Apricots with Honey and Pecans recipe we found. But first, a little bit about this delicious treasure. We know dried apricots are readily available, but NYHRC RDNs encourage fresh fruit whenever possible because fresh contains significantly less sugar per serving. Did you know that dried fruit can be coated in a preservative, sulfite or sulfur dioxide to maintain a bright color? Many people have an intolerance to this preservative, experiencing head fog or headaches, wheezing, hives and in some cases, anaphylaxis.

How to Pick

Apricots are easy to choose! They are show-offs when it comes to ripeness. Fresh apricots are a beautiful bright orange-gold color and slightly soft. And get your nose into it, they let off a strong, sweet smell when they’re ready to eat. Avoid pale yellow or tinted green as they’re not quite ripe, and wrinkly apricots have gone bad.

How to Store

Keep apricots in the refrigerator to avoid over-ripening. You can also preserve apricots in the freezer. If you purchase unripe apricots that are still hard, try this trick, place them in a paper bag and leave them on the kitchen counter to speed up the ripening process. Just remember to check on them daily to evaluate whether or not they are ready to eat; they should take about two or three days.

You’re going to love this Healthy Summer Treat!

Goat Cheese Stuffed Apricots with Honey and Pecans

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July 18th, 2014

Killer Kettlebell Series: THE DEADLY FIVE

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Challenge yourself this weekend with a Killer Workout by one of our toughest Kettlebell Instructors, Victor Preuninger, CPT, KBC. 

Be sure to concentrate on form and do as many as possible within the time limit! Then…

DEFY DEATH: DO IT AGAIN!

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July 10th, 2014

Detoxification: The Cold Pressed Truth

*This is a small taste of the exciting Detoxification & Cleansing 101 seminar at our NYHRC 23rd St location on Monday, July 14th at 6:30pm. Complimentary to all members! 

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What do you think of when you hear the words detox and cleanse? Extreme Diet? Starvation? That really testy person at the office drinking something green? A healthy break from your favorite “bad” foods? The words detox and cleanse hold very different meanings depending on whom you ask. Today, they are typically associated with fads touted by those who are not qualified nutrition professionals, often celebrities. The popular notions tend to go hand in hand with extreme diets (remember The Master Cleanse?), the elimination of entire food groups (most juicing regimes), or significant and unhealthy calorie reduction, which is why most dietitians try to steer their clients away from “detoxing.” This isn’t because detoxification isn’t real—get this, it’s actually one of the processes our body does best! How else would we be able to handle the margaritas, hamburgers, and questionable dietary decisions after a long weekend?! Give a round of applause for your liver and kidneys!

While our bodies are performing detoxification functions on a daily basis, there is a lot we can do to support these processes, such as eating the right foods, proper portion control, hydrating, improving digestion and making better lifestyle choices (being active, practicing stress management). In some cases, aiding our bodies in detoxing can indicate dietary supplements but the theme here is balance, not extremes.

Detox vs. Cleanse

Although used interchangeably, they actually mean different things. Detoxification is the process of clearing toxins from the body or neutralizing them, i.e. ridding yourself of the excess “gunk.” Cleansing, on the other hand, involves eliminating culprits like trigger foods, additives and processed foods, while also introducing new and rejuvenating items to your diet, like antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. As a Registered Dietitian, I encourage my clients to embrace the Detox+, a combination of ridding toxic substances while replenishing with healthy foods. Think of it as a whole-food based cleanse without the pesky hunger pangs or calorie counting that can lead to throwing a green juice at your boss’s head. 

So Why Detox+?

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July 3rd, 2014

Red, White and Sip!

Holidays are a time to celebrate, and the Fourth of July is no exception! But you shouldn’t feel the need to sacrifice your health (or hard-earned beach bod) every time you attend a BBQ or go to a party. There are plenty of healthy and tasty alternatives to traditional BBQ fare—check out our posts on healthy BBQ tips, and try our recipe for jalapeno-spiked burgers. Speaking of spiked, healthy drinking is a huge part of healthy eating and the holidays! Scroll down for a few of my sip tips and favorite, low-calorie cocktail recipes. Cheers!

Smart Drinking

Okay, so maybe drinking isn’t necessarily part of a healthy diet, but if we’re going to indulge (let’s be honest) we can at least be smart about it. By following some good drinking habits, such as those listed below, we can raise our glass just as high as the rest.

TIP 1: Have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink and slow down. Alcohol is a toxin; therefore your liver will always try to eliminate it first, bypassing food to process the alcohol. When you drink water, you give your liver a chance to catch up, plus, there is no end to the benefits of water.

TIP 2: Ditch the added sugars. Mixed drinks (typically 12oz) are extremely caloric because they are loaded with sugar in addition to alcohol. For reference, a Dark & Stormy or a Margarita can range from 350 to 600 calories, respectively. Is that really worth it? By nixing the sugar, you will not only cut calories but also be able to taste the strength of the alcohol, which naturally slows you down.

TIP 3: Get creative with natural flavors. Using fruits, naturally sweet herbs, or flavored seltzers instead of sodas can add that tinge of sweetness or bite without the calories! My favorite flavor boosters: basil, mint, rosemary, cucumber, lemon, lime, lemon/lime zest and orange slices.

*Bloody Beer

An alternative to a vodka Bloody Mary. Who said you can’t get your veggies in a cocktail?!

Ingredients per drink:

  • 6 ounces of beer such as Modelo Especial, Presidente, Aguila, or even Budweiser
  • 4 ounces of V8 (my pick is the spicy hot, low sodium)
  • 1 twig of rosemary
  • A few slices of cucumber
  • Stick of celery
  • 3 drops of Tabasco sauce (optional)

Instructions: Pour beer into a cold glass or frosty mug with ice. Make sure to add beer at a 45-degree angle to avoid foam. Add garnish and Tabasco. Top off with V8 juice.  Mix and sip. Calories: 95 per drink. 

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June 25th, 2014

CSA: The Local Food Lover’s Delight

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The NYHRC Registered Dietitians are excited about CSA! CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and it’s exactly that. It gives you the opportunity to buy a “share” of fresh produce (like eggs, meat, and dairy) from a local farmer before the start of the season. You are essentially investing in a future crop. It’s a great and easy way for city dwellers to reap the nutrition and flavor benefits of high quality, fresh foods for pennies on the dollar while also supporting local agriculture!

How CSAs Work

  • CSAs typically offer amazing food throughout the warmer months. The “share” is purchased upfront to ensure that the farmer can adequately prepare for the season. Buy your share in March or April and get your bounty from June to October/November.
  • The farm you have chosen will deliver your share of produce to a convenient drop-off location on a prearranged schedule. CSA distribution sites vary but can be found all over the city, from gardens, and markets to housing developments and restaurants.

What to Expect

  • You will receive a weekly or bi-weekly newsletter listing the current share’s produce (usually 7-10 different types of vegetables and 1-3 different types of fruit).

Sample week of a fruit and vegetable share: 1 head romaine lettuce, 3 kohlrabi, 1 bunch collards, 1 pound purple string beans, 2 delicate squash, 3 sweet bell peppers, 1 bunch braising greens, 1 bunch arugula, 1 Italian eggplant, 3 pounds McIntosh apples

  • Some CSAs even provide delicious recipes featuring the week’s bounty!
  • Incredible fruits and vegetables, that will remind you just how flavorful and delicious healthy food can taste.
  • A BYO Bag operation—In the vein of going green, CSA’s make an effort to reduce waste so bring a few large reusable bags to hold your fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • A feeling of connectedness to your community.
  • Flexibility! There are many options in terms of the size of your share. You can find the best fit for your needs whether you are feeding a large family or cooking for one. Cost varies depending on the size and type of share.

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June 18th, 2014

IRONMAN SAM

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This past weekend our Corporate Wellness Director, Sam Cardona competed at the Grand Rapids Half Ironman Distance Triathlon with hopes of qualifying for the USA National Team.

“Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.” –Brian Tracy

Cardona has competed in races all over the world including France, Germany, Switzerland and he most recently completed his 9th Full Distance Ironman In Cozumel, Mexico. Not shy of setting goals that seem unattainable to most, he signed up for this race to compete not only against his own Personal Best Time, but also against some of the best triathlets in the country in hopes of qualifying for the USA National Team. His training includes swimming in the NYHRC Saltwater Pools, clipping into a bike at our challenging Cycling Classes and joining the NYHRC Running Team. Though Sam continues his training long after our last loop in Central Park and even after a 45-minute Cycling Class, he considers the time spent with a team just as important and motivating. He believes that is it important to be part of a Team because long after your legs have hit the wall, you have the cheers and support of teammates to keep you going. 

Race Day

The day started off rainy and cold as over 700 of the country’s top Triathletes hit the water for the 1.2 mile swim. Not letting the weather stand in his way, things quickly heated up for Cardona on the bike as he worked his way to the top of the field. He covered the 56 mile bike course in a blazing time of 2:24, shaving off a total of 11 minutes from his previous personal best bike split! But he wasn’t done yet, he followed that astounding time with a 1:31 Half Marathon to secure a Top 11 finish in his Division!

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June 4th, 2014

Wham! Bam! Strawberry Pop!

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Strawberries are the most cultivated berry in the country, and lucky for us in the Northeast, they are the first fruit to ripen in spring and early summer. These delicious heart-shaped fruits are naturally sweet and simply jam-packed with healthy nutrients such as fiber, folate, potassium, vitamin C and phytochemicals. Here are a few of their benefits:

  • Fiber helps us feel fuller, longer (increasing satiety)
  • Folate lowers our homocysteine blood levels and therefore aids in heart health
  • Vitamin C helps support a healthy immune system
  • Potassium has been shown to lower blood pressure
  • Phytochemicals, specifically flavonoids, give strawberries their bright color and contain cancer-fighting properties

Nutrition Facts

One cup of strawberries has only 45 calories, absolutely no fat, zero sodium, 3 grams of fiber, 7 grams of natural sugars and 1 gram of protein. Strawberries also give any dish a punch of color and are generally considered people pleasers, satisfying even the pickiest of eaters—you know who you are!

How To Buy Strawberries

I don’t usually push for shopping organic, but in this case, I definitely recommend choosing local or organic strawberries if possible. Strawberries are #2 on the Dirty Dozen List for 2014, which means they are on the top tier of produce that has the highest amount of pesticides. Their skin is so thin that pesticides can easily slip in and are hard to clean out; research has even shown that conventionally grown strawberries are lower in cancer-fighting phytochemicals! Nothing beats fresh, local berries, but frozen works just as well in a pinch.

Outside the Box Strawberry Recipes

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May 21st, 2014

The Eggcellent Egg

imageGuacamole Deviled Eggs by SkinnyTaste.com (recipe below)

May is National Egg Month!  Even though eggs (or should we say, egg yolks) are nutrient powerhouses, they have gotten a bad rap—mostly due to their dietary cholesterol content and its presumed link to heart disease. Here’s what you need to know…

Eggstra Special Nutrition

Eggs contain the most bioavailable protein of any food on earth—7 grams of protein per large egg, to be exact. They are loaded with 13 vitamins and minerals and all for a measly 70 calories!  

What’s in an Egg?

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Get Cracking 

Research suggests that even though a whole egg has approximately 212 mg of cholesterol per large egg yolk, it has a marginal impact on our blood cholesterol, unless you have diabetes. Interestingly, it’s the types of fats in our diets (saturated vs. unsaturated) that influence our total cholesterol—lousy cholesterol (LDL) and healthy cholesterol (HDL)—more than the cholesterol found in foods.

In order to keep your cholesterol in check, you should reduce sources of saturated fat such as fatty pieces of meat, whole fat dairy (butter, cheese, whole milk), fried foods and baked foods. Consider swapping out the cheese for an egg and staying away from unhealthy pairings like bacon, cheese and buttered toast! 

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May 20th, 2014

Bali: For your Mind and Body

imageThe Bare Feet™ Tour in Bali, Indonesia

I just got back from a surprising cultural journey of music, dance, art, food, ceremony, nature and of course, fun! While Bali was my destination, enlightenment is really where I arrived. I am thrilled to incorporate everything I learned into my NYHRC classes and share this experience with my students!

As an NYHRC instructor and Personal Trainer of eleven years, I strive to bring the most up-to-date exercise expertise to my classes. After Bali, I am excited to share a cultural experience. I have traveled to many countries and have delighted in their culture, but never before has a trip inspired me this much.

I traveled with Bare Feet Tour group and what an experience! From sun salutations and laughing yoga to exotic dancing, a Sacred Monkey Forest and a hike up Mount Batur, I was in awe of this lifestyle I had never experienced.  My mind and body were eager for each new activity.

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Since visiting this truly inspiring province of Indonesia, I have a renewed sense of self. I follow what I consider to be the fitness professional’s “live fit” code. But, stress, and the fast pace of NYC life can cause ripples in this schedule. One of the most restorative things I learned in Bali, was the importance of the meditative and calming arts. I am known for my hard-hitting high intensity interval training (HITT) style classes, and I push my students and we get results. But meditation, stretching and yoga are now part of my everyday routine and are being added to my classes. By adding these changes, I’m finding a big shift in my commitment to my mind and body. My students are, too.

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