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A Five Starr Pilates & Fitness Shining Star!

By Laura Scavuzzo Wheeler
Professor of English at Long Beach City College for (can it be?) twenty years.
I’ve been scheduling in an hour of Pilates six days a week for about two years now. Because I teach English, I spend inordinate amounts of time—hours and hours every weekend in addition to moments snatched between my classes and office hours—grading essays. After a good ten hours of grading, I can feel myself transforming into a hunched gargoyle; Pilates has helped to keep my posture and mood elevated and my days balanced. Nutritionally, I aim for moderation: I cook the meals for our family nearly every night, striving to help our family eat tasty, healthy, nourishing foods. Our daughter is off at college; our son, who’s a junior in high school, is often ravenous when it’s time for dinner, having run cross country and being, of course, a teenage boy. I don’t do diets or any extreme regimens. Instead, we eat lots of Mediterranean dinners, a nod to my Italian heritage—I could never renounce carbs!—and lots of fruit and fresh veggies, which I love. An occasional indulgence—cheese, wine, dessert—is part of the pleasures of life.
As someone who grew up not playing sports but studying ballet, I find that Pilates appeals to my sense of discipline—ballet emphasizes form and control—and leaves me feeling better than when I came into the studio. Five Starr Pilates has been wonderful. Not only is it close to where I live, but its schedule allows me to manage a class after work and before I make dinner, or to come in early on Saturdays before the real day’s activities begin. The variety of instructors keeps classes from feeling routine. I am consistently amazed at the creativity the instructors bring to their approaches—some emphasize breathing and form and classical Pilates moves, others more athletic conditioning and cardiovascular challenges. My running days are, I think, past—I find the notion of running uninspiring now that I seem to develop shin splints!—and intense training that involves my being yelled at has never been appealing. But Pilates offers me an avenue to fitness that I can sustain, and I can feel the ways in which I’ve grown stronger as I’ve made Pilates a consistent part of my routine. Once it’s scheduled, my time in Pilates becomes part of my day, and even when I’m exhausted on my way to class, I’m always glad I’ve gone as we finish and stretch. I’ve been inspired to see my classmates in Pilates who have been doing this form of exercise for many more years than I have, and I hope to be able to keep up my flexibility, strength, and balance for years to come as a result of this practice.

Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

What a Mom Wants…

We’re proud moms, but that doesn’t mean that all of our jewelry has to be engraved with our children’s names or that the only artwork we want on display is an abstract doodle by a 4-year-old. And it certainly doesn’t mean that we want another machine-washable “handbag.” This Mother’s Day, the items topping our real wish list aren’t exclusive to moms, they’re not necessarily practical, and they’re definitely not for sale at Babies”R”Us. Consider this a list of what we really want this year . . . or any day we need a reminder that while we’re moms, we’re also just women who love a good spa treatment.

Stylish Sunglasses

A Body Scrub Treatment

Nice Perfume

Artwork

An Ongoing Supply of Wine

A Future Heirloom

Unique Flowers

A Designer Handbag

A Decorative Object

Stud Earrings

A Memorable Experience

 

Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Five Spice Crusted Salmon

Five-Spice Crusted Salmon with Ginger Pan Sauce

Serves: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 (5-ounce) salmon fillets, skinless and pin bones removed
  • 2 teaspoons ground Sichuan pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground star anise
  • 2-½ teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 medium garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and minced ginger
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup chicken broth, low-sodium
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce, more to taste
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish

Procedures:

In ancient China, the number five was believed to have curative powers. Most modern five spice powders may contain more than five, consisting of a various spices including cinnamon, star anise, fennel, clove, ginger, licorice, Sichuan peppercorns and even dried tangerine peel.

Preheat an oven to 425 degrees and position an oven rack in the center.

To prepare spice mix: In small bowl, use a whisk to combine the pepper, star anise, fennel, cloves and cinnamon. Set aside.

To prepare salmon: Press the spice mixture into the salmon and set aside. Place a large skillet on the stove over a medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the salmon fillet, presentation side first, and cook until lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Using a fish spatula, carefully flip the salmon and transfer to the oven to cook in the pan until the fish begins to flake, about 8 minutes.

To prepare the sauce: While the salmon is cooking, place a medium skillet on the stove over a medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the shallots and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine, bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, taste and adjust seasoning.

To serve: Transfer the salmon to 4 warmed dinner plates. Ladle the ginger pan sauce over and serve immediately.

Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

How to apply sunscreen

How to apply sunscreen

Sunscreen is safe and can protect your skin against skin cancer and premature aging. However, it is not as effective unless it’s applied correctly. Follow these tips from dermatologists when applying sunscreen:

Choose a sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher, is water resistant, and provides broad-spectrum coverage, which means it protects you from UVA and UVB rays. Follow these helpful tips when selecting a sunscreen.

    1. Apply sunscreen generously before going outdoors. It takes approximately 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and protect you. If you wait until you are in the sun to apply sunscreen, your skin is unprotected and can burn.
    1. Use enough sunscreen. Most adults need at least one ounce of sunscreen, about the amount you can hold in your palm, to fully cover all exposed areas of your body. Rub the sunscreen thoroughly into your skin.
    1. Apply sunscreen to all bare skin. Remember your neck, face, ears, tops of your feet and legs. For hard‐to‐reach areas like your back, ask someone to help you or use a spray sunscreen. If you have thinning hair, either apply sunscreen to your scalp or wear a wide‐brimmed hat. To protect your lips, apply a lip balm with a SPF of at least 15.
  1. Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours to remain protected, or immediately after swimming or excessively sweating. People who get sunburned usually didn’t use enough sunscreen, didn’t reapply it after being in the sun, or used an expired product. Your skin is exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays every time you go outside, even on cloudy days and in the winter. So whether you are on vacation or taking a brisk fall walk in your neighborhood, remember to use sunscreen. For more skin cancer prevention tips, see a board-certified dermatologist.

People who get sunburned  usually didn’t use enough sunscreen, didn’t reapply it after being in the sun, or used an expired product.

Your skin is exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays every time you go outside, even on cloudy days and in the winter. So whether you are on vacation or taking a brisk fall walk in your neighborhood, remember to use sunscreen.

For more skin cancer prevention tips, see a board-certified dermatologist.

Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Mother’s Day Brunch Ham & Egg Crepe Squares

med106461_0111_how_ham_crepe_vertINGREDIENTS

  • Simple Crepes
  • 8 slices black forest ham
  • 4 large eggs
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • Chopped fresh chives

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 4 crepes on a rimmed baking sheet. Place 2 slices ham on each crepe. Crack 1 egg into center of each; fold edges toward center. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until egg white is set and yolk is still runny, 12 minutes. Top with chives.

 

Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

2016 Fitness Trends

2016-fitness-trends-infographic

Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Plan a meal today…..

Check out these two salad recipes…DELICIOUS!!!!

 
AVOCADO-KALE CAESAR SALAD
serves 4
1 bunch lacinato kale, tough ribs removed, leaves torn
½ Fuji apple, halved and thinly sliced into half-moons
1 avocado, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons hulled hemp seeds
LIGHT CAESAR DRESSING
2 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Prep the vegetables for the salad. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, pepper, sea salt, and Worcestershire sauce. Add the chopped kale and Fuji apple slices to the bowl and toss well to coat with the vinaigrette. Plate the salad and top with the avocado cubes and hulled hemp seeds.
LEMON-SOY EDAMAME BARLEY BOWL
Serves 4
4 cups cooked pearl or hulled barley*
4½ cups water
1½ cups shelled, organic edamame
2 cups wild baby arugula
2 blocks savory, baked, organic tofu (firm or extra-firm), cut into 3⁄4-inch cubes
1 ripe avocado, halved and thinly sliced
LEMON TAMARI DRESSING
4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
Combine the barley and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 40 to 50 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon juice, oregano, and lemon zest until well combined. Add the slightly cooled barley to the bowl and toss to coat.
Add the shelled edamame and arugula and toss gently to combine. To serve, divide the barley salad among four bowls and top with tofu and avocado slices.
* Hulled barley is barley in its most natural state, which means it needs to cook for quite a bit longer than pearl barley — 1 to 1½ hours longer. Pearl barley has the hull removed and is therefore less tough. Adjust your cooking time based on the variety you choose.

Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

MUMMY TREATS!

low-sugar-halloween-treats-02Makes:  12-15 Mummies/Things
Active Time:  30 minutes
Total Time:  3-4 hours

Ingredients:

3 large BANANAS
3 tablespoons gently melted, food grade COCOA BUTTER
3 tablespoons powdered COCONUT SUGAR
CANDY EYES, “safe” chocolate chips, currants or raisins

Directions:

Have the kids peel and slice (butter knife it) the bananas into 1-1/2″ chunks. Skewer bananas with lollipop sticks (available at most craft stores), or use kabob skewers cut in half using wire cutters as I did. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze.

For the candy coating; in a small bowl, mix the melted cocoa butter with the powdered sugar.

Spoon a little drop of candy coating on a frozen banana and stick on an eye (or two, or three). Using a spoon, have the kids drizzle candy coating over the bananas in all directions, avoiding the eye.

An egg carton turned upside down with little holes poked in the bottom made a good stand as we worked on them.

For the “Things”; We made the orange shredded coconut by mixing a few drops of yellow and a drop of red India Tree Liquid Natural Decorating Colors with some unsweetened shredded coconut. We opted to toast the coconut for a few minutes. Voila, colored sprinkles. To assemble the “Things”: Attach eyes with a dot of candy coating. Drizzle candy coating on to coat front, avoiding eye(s). Sprinkle with coconut. Drizzle to coat back. Sprinkle again. Drizzle to coat top. Sprinkle again. You gotta work in stages as the candy coat hardens real quick on the frozen bananas.

 

 

 

Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Get some ZZZZZZZZ’s

Surprising Health Benefits of Sleep

Sleep makes you feel better, but its importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing under-eye circles. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more.

Sleep makes you feel better, but its importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing under-eye circles.
Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more.
Not anymore. Here are some health benefits researchers have discovered about a good night’s sleep.

Improve memory

Your mind is surprisingly busy while you snooze. During sleep you can strengthen memories or “practice” skills learned while you were awake (it’s a process called consolidation).  In other words if you’re trying to learn something new—whether it’s Spanish or a new tennis swing—you’ll perform better after sleeping.

Live longer?

Too much or too little sleep is associated with a shorter lifespan—although it’s not clear if it’s a cause or effect. (Illnesses may affect sleep patterns too.)  In a 2010 study of women ages 50 to 79, more deaths occurred in women who got less than five hours or more than six and a half hours of sleep per night.  Sleep also affects quality of life.

Curb inflammation

Inflammation is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. Research indicates that people who get less sleep—six or fewer hours a night—have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more.  A 2010 study found that C-reactive protein, which is associated with heart attack risk, was higher in people who got six or fewer hours of sleep a night.  People who have sleep apnea or insomnia can have an improvement in blood pressure and inflammation with treatment of the sleep disorders.

Spur creativity

Get a good night’s sleep before getting out the easel and paintbrushes or the pen and paper.  In addition to consolidating memories, or making them stronger, your brain appears to reorganize and restructure them, which may result in more creativity as well.  Researchers at Harvard University and Boston College found that people seem to strengthen the emotional components of a memory during sleep, which may help spur the creative process.

Be a winner

If you’re an athlete, there may be one simple way to improve your performance: sleep.  A Stanford University study found that college football players who tried to sleep at least 10 hours a night for seven to eight weeks improved their average sprint time and had less daytime fatigue and more stamina.   The results of this study reflect previous findings seen in tennis players and swimmers.

Improve your grades

Children between the ages of 10 and 16 who have sleep disordered breathing, which includes snoring, sleep apnea, and other types of interrupted breathing during sleep, are more likely to have problems with attention and learning, according to a 2010 study in the journal Sleep. This could lead to significant functional impairment at school.    In another study, college students who didn’t get enough sleep had worse grades than those who did.

Sharpen attention

A lack of sleep can result in ADHD-like symptoms in kids.    Kids don’t react the same way to sleep deprivation as adults do.  Whereas adults get sleepy, kids tend to get hyperactive.  A 2009 study in the journal Pediatricsfound that children ages seven and eight who got less than about eight hours of sleep a night were more likely to be hyperactive, inattentive, and impulsive.

Have a healthy weight

If you are thinking about going on a diet, you might want to plan an earlier bedtime too.  Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat—56% of their weight loss—than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle mass. (They shed similar amounts of total weight regardless of sleep.)  Dieters in the study also felt more hungry when they got less sleep.  Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain.  When you are sleepy, certain hormones go up in your blood, and those same hormones drive appetite.

Lower stress

When it comes to our health stress and sleep are nearly one and the same—and both can affect cardiovascular health.   Sleep can definitely reduce levels of stress, and with that people can have better control of their blood pressure.  It’s also believed that sleep effects cholesterol levels, which plays a significant role in heart disease.

Avoid accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2009 that being tired accounted for the highest number of fatal single-car run-off-the-road crashes due to the driver’s performance—even more than alcohol! Sleepiness is grossly underrated as a problem by most people, but the cost to society is enormous.  Sleeplessness affects reaction time and decision making.  Insufficient sleep for just one night can be as detrimental to your driving ability as having an alcoholic drink.

Steer clear of depression

Sleeping well means more to our overall well-being than simply avoiding irritability.  A lack of sleep can contribute to depression.  A good night’s sleep can really help a moody person decrease their anxiety. You get more emotional stability with good sleep.  If you think the long hours put in during the week are the cause of your anxiety or impatience,  sleep cannot necessarily be made up during the weekend.  If you sleep more on the weekends, you simply aren’t sleeping enough in the week. It’s all about finding a balance.

Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Mix It Up!

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In a world of constant change and innovation we all are trying to stay up to date and current on anything in the news about health, aging, nutrition, and exercise.

Research shows that mixing up your workouts is a good idea. Not only do you add some variety, but you also give your metabolism a shot in the arm with a new class here and there.

If a regular workout routine works for you, why should you change up your fitness style? Here’s why it’s important to mix it up every now and then.

  1. You don’t want to plateau. Adding variety to your workouts will keep your exercises from becoming ineffective. If you run at the same speed on the treadmill everyday for 20 minutes, your body will eventually hit a plateau. You will still be burning calories, but you’ll need to increase your resistance levels or speed if you want to really maximize results. This is why personal trainers always push their clients to do more reps each workout session, because it helps boost their metabolism and as your strength and endurance grows, so should your workout.
  2. Your body needs time to repair itself. A friend of mine has the best workout routine: Mondays and Wednesdays she goes to yoga and Tuesdays and Thursdays she runs five miles. Because running can be hard on her body, she gives herself a day or two in between to recuperate. If you do the same intense workout each day, you won’t be giving certain muscle groups enough time to heal between each workout, and you increase your chances of being injured. Just make sure you have low-intensity workout days between your intense workouts to prevent your body from becoming overtrained.
  3. Burnout prevention. The last thing you want is to get bored with something because you do it so much. Loved biking as a kid but now it only reminds you of your loathed spinning class? Here’s the thing: if you keep doing the same workout routine each day and your results start dropping, you’re more likely to get bored and give up on your fitness goals. To prevent this from happening, always keep your workout schedule mixed up so things don’t become repetitive and boring.

We have added some new fitness classes to our schedule for this exact reason.  We are even offering YOUR FIRST CLASS FREE so you can try it out and see for yourself how great you feel!  Come join Johnny for CORE CAMP – The class on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6pm or Saturdays at 7am.  Karla and Sarah teach BODY BLAST – you and gravity on Monday and Wednesday mornings at 7am.  Just call the studio to sign up for your free class today!  562-595-7888