Archive for August 2010

Trend in Fitness: Barefoot Running

At first thought this topic must sound utterly ridiculous.  I can only imagine the visions of welted feet and calloused toes that must have been going through your mind when you read the title.  However, I am hoping that after reading this post and watching the video below you will further investigate barefoot running.

The concept is simple, the human body has only been running in shoes with significant heel cushioning for the last 50 years.  It hasn’t been until only recently in human evolution that we started to change our stride.  Harvard professor, Daniel Liberman, and his colleagues have been investigating the difference in shod running versus barefoot running  The evidence is clear, barefoot “style” running produces much less impact on the foot, ankles, knees, hips and back.  Take the time to watch this video explaining why from the Barefoot Professor Himself:

Are you convinced?  What are your thoughts?  If you are thinking about trying make sure to follow these simple rules:

1. Build up slowly! If you vigorously work out any weak muscles in your body, they will be sore and stiff. Your foot and calf muscles will be no exception. So please, don’t overdo it because you will probably injure yourself if you do too much too soon.

2. Start by walking around barefoot frequently.
– First week: no more than a quarter mile to one mile every other day.
– Increase your distance by no more than 10% per week. This is not a hard and fast rule, but a general guide. If your muscles remain sore, do not increase your training. Take an extra day off or maintain your distance for another week.
– Stop and let your body heal if you experience pain. Sore, tired muscles are normal, but bone, joint, or soft-tissue pain is a signal of injury.
– Be patient and build gradually. It takes months to make the transition.

3. If you are currently running a lot, you don’t need to drastically reduce your mileage. Instead, supplement forefoot or midfoot striking with running the way that you normally ran before beginning the transition. Over the course of several months, gradually increase the proportion of forefoot or midfoot striking and reduce the proportion of running in your old style. Use the same 10% per week guideline in increasing the amount of running you do forefoot striking.

4. It is essential to stretch your calves and hamstrings carefully and regularly as you make the transition. Massage your calf muscles and arches frequently to break down scar tissue. This will help your muscles to heal and get stronger

5. Listen to your feet. Stop if your arches are hurting, if the top of your foot is hurting, or if anything else hurts! Sometimes arch and foot pain occurs from landing with your feet too far forward relative to your hips and having to point your toes too much. It can also occur from landing with too rigid a foot and not letting your heel drop gently.



Monday Motivation: Get H3 Inspired with Tracy Rodgers

Tracy Rodgers Before

Tracy Rodgers Before


My story is nothing new, really. I’ve struggled with my weight for most of my adult life. I’d try a diet and lose a few pounds, then gain them back (and then some!) when I went back to eating normally. For about a year, I gave up entirely. I was extremely overweight, and I knew it, and I hated it…but I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything about it.


Finally, something broke. I’m not sure what prompted it, but I was tired of being embarrassed by my size and concerned about my health. I’m twenty-nine years old, and there was no way I was going to still feel like that when I turned thirty. I did some research online and started planning my trip to South Carolina.


When I arrived at Hilton Head Health on March 29, 2010, I weighed-in at 219.4 pounds, officially the largest I’d ever been. I spent a week at H3 (with my mom!). While I was there, I tried my first-ever yoga class and promptly fell in love. I learned new ways to think about food and health, to really pay attention to the things I put into my body.  And most importantly, I think, through my time there, I finally made a real commitment to myself to make the changes I’d been putting off for so long.


tracyrodgersFour months after leaving Hilton Head Health, I weigh 175, just shy of 45 pounds less than I did when I arrived. The changes in myself are incredible. I read labels on everything. I don’t drink soda. I cook more now than I ever did before. I take spin classes, pilates, zumba aerobics. I’m even training for my first 5K.


I still have weight left to lose, but I know Hilton Head Health gave me the tools I need to succeed! I plan on returning later this year for another week of fun and fitness, and I can’t wait. See you there!


–Tracy Rodgers



For more stories like Tracy’s, click here.    If you have a story you’d like to share, please e-mail us at! Make sure to put ‘Get Inspired’ in the subject line.



H3 Recipe: Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu


A fan favorite at H3… Chicken Cordon Bleu


This generous entrée takes a little time to prepare but we know you will find it worth the effort. Get your butcher to butterfly and pound the chicken breasts and slice the Canadian bacon to save time.  Make a few extra servings for another day.  Serve with Dijon Mustard Sauce and Cauliflower-Potato Mousse.



6, 5 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butter-flied and lightly pounded

3 ounces Swiss cheese, (buy un-sliced and cut into ½ ounce batons)

12, 1/4 ounce (very thin) slices Canadian bacon (get it sliced at the deli counter)

12 cups, cleaned fresh spinach, wilted and drained

2 cups Panko Japanese style bread crumbs seasoned with1 teaspoon each:

onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, dried parsley, salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 cup egg whites or egg substitute



Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Clean chicken, carefully butterfly and lightly pound each breast (ask your butcher).  Place spinach in a large skillet (no oil or water needed), cover and gently heat, stir to wilt. Drain well and lightly chop.  Lay breasts out on a clean surface.  Lay 2 slices of Canadian bacon,  2 tablespoons of spinach and 1/2 ounce of  cheese on the edge of each breast.  Carefully wrap the chicken around the filling so there are no gaps in the edges.  Combine bread crumbs with seasonings in a large pie plate.  Place egg in a pie plate and carefully dip each breast in the egg.  Carefully roll each stuffed breast in the seasoned crumbs and transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until cheese oozes and breasts are browned.  Serve with Dijon Sauce and Potato-Cauliflower Mousse.


Serves 6

250 calories

10 fats



Grill out, but watch out for HCA’s!

Healthy Grilling


Its summer time and nothing beats grilling pork tenderloin, chicken breast or a filet on a Sunday afternoon.  But as good as it tastes, there may some risks lurking. When animal proteins are cooked at very high temperatures as they are when grilling, a potential cancer causing chemical called Heterocyclic amines (HCA’s) may be created. Other potentially dangerous chemicals are created when fat drips into the heat source, burns and creates smoke which floats back up and coats the meat.


Does that mean you should never grill, fortunately, it does not.  It does mean that if you grill regularly, you should take some precautions. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research you can drastically reduce your exposure to these chemicals by following these recommendations:


–  Limit the intake of grilled animal products to no more than 2 times per week.


–  Over cooking any animal products can create these potentially dangerous chemical but fatty meats are the worst offenders so choose lean meats when grilling and trim all visible fat.


– Marinate your meats. This will reduce the formation of HCA’s by as much as 90%. Citrus juice, cider, vinegar, mustard and herbs work best.


– Precook your meat part way then finish on the grill.


– Keep meats away from flame ups by not cooking the food directly over the heat source, and using lean cuts.


– Flip the meat frequently to prevent charring.


– Don’t eat the charred or burned part of the meat, (sorry, I know for some of you, that’s your favorite part) that is where the HCA’s consetrate.


– Enjoy grilled vegetables, veggie burgers, and tofu, as they produce little or no HCA’s when exposed to high temperatures.


By following these simple guidelines, you can grill your meat and eat it too.



Friday Fitness: Loosen Up Your Hips

 Hip Flexor


If you are like most people, you spend most of your day seated.  In result, your hip flexors will know up, creating discomfort and limiting your range of motion.  Below is a short video showing you two stretches that will help loosen up the hip flexors and provide some relief.  Perform each stretch for 1 minute on each leg for a total of 4 minutes of stretching.




Ask the Expert: Dealing with Unsupportive Friends & Family

 Q:   I’ve recently started making changes to my lifestyle to become a healthier person.  Unfortunately, I’m finding that one of my closest friends doesn’t seem to be supportive (or as supportive as I’d like).  She hasn’t come out and clearly stated this- though through her actions I can tell she does not approve.  How can I talk to her without losing her as a friend?


Beth LeermakersA:  Beth Leermakers, H3 Wellness Counselor:

Friends or loved ones who don’t support your healthy lifestyle behaviors—by being the “food police” or bringing tempting foods into your home—can interfere with your progress.  Your loved ones may be trying to help you (but don’t know how), or they may be unaware of how damaging their words and actions are.  To address these unsupportive behaviors, try using “I” statements that focus on your feelings, explain how another person’s behavior affects you, and asks for change. 


Here’s the format:

I feel (specific emotion:  angry, frustrated, annoyed, sad) when (describe the specific behavior that upsets you, in objective terms) because (explain why the other person’s behavior bothers you) and I want (describe specifically what you want the other person to do differently in the future).


For example:

I feel angry when you comment on my food choices and tell me I’m not supposed to eat something because I feel like you’re trying to control me and you don’t trust me to make the right choices.  And I want you to please let me make my own food choices.  I know how to follow a healthy eating plan, and occasional treats can be a part of my plan. 


When someone really wants to help you but doesn’t know how, think of specific ways for that person to help you.  For example, you might say “I appreciate your desire to help me.  You could really help me by choosing/suggesting restaurants that have healthier options on the menu, or by cooking a healthy meal once a week.” 


It’s hard to recreate an environment as supportive as Hilton Head Health – but don’t worry – you can stay connected with our staff and other guests via our Facebook page.  Look up a friend near you, post to the discussion board or connect with us on the wall.   A healthy lifestyle is a journey – and you are not traveling alone!



Who’s Who: Jeff Ford

If you are a follower of the H3 Daily blog or have visited us here in Hilton Head, you are sure to have come across our newest Fitness Specialist and H3 addition, Jeff Ford.  Read more to learn more about how he ended up at H3 and all of the exciting things up his sleeve for the future. 


Jeff Ford Growing up in Byfield, Massachusetts, a small town outside Boston, Jeff wanted to experience college in a new and different environment. That was his motivation for moving to South Carolina where he attended Clemson University. It was at Clemson that Jeff first learned of Hilton Head Health (H3) through the H3 Intern Program. Upon graduating in May with a B.S. degree in Marketing and a minor in Health Science, Jeff was offered a full-time position as Fitness Specialist. He is a Certified Personal Trainer through ACSM and is in the process of being certified as a Wellness Coach. As the newest addition to the H3 Fitness Team, Jeff is responsible for facilitating Health Habit Review sessions and personal training sessions, as well as fitness classes and lectures. He is also currently working on developing an Alumni Network Program to assist Guests on their continued journey once they return home.


Jeff’s inspiration comes from every Guest he meets at H3. He finds that there’s nothing better than when an individual begins to believe in himself/herself. “I love taking people to a place where they didn’t think they could go and helping them accomplish things they never thought possible.” Whether it’s during a one-on-one Health Habit Review session, fitness class or personal training session, Jeff enjoys challenging our Guests to their limits and helping them achieve their goals. If he could give one piece of advice to all Guests who walk through our doors, it would be to “set new goals and don’t stop until you reach them—AND ALWAYS remain positive.”


When he’s not at H3 helping Guests with their healthy journey, you can find Jeff at Crossfit class (a type of group personal training), training for endurance events like marathons and half-marathons, running local races, or spending time with friends and watching movies. 


Connect with Jeff on our H3 Facebook page or watch his Friday Fitness video’s on the H3 YouTube channel



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