Archive for October 2010

Happy Halloween!

The Great Pumpkin

Have a safe, healthy and happy Halloween!

If you missed any of our Halloween-inspired posts, check them out:

Sweet & Spicy Pumpkin Seed Recipe

Thai candied pumpkin seeds


The Best & Worst of Halloween Candy




It Takes Two to Tango

Women's Health

We’re closing in on the end of our month-long focus to women’s health, and the month would not be complete if we didn’t talk about the importance of a strength training program.   

The Department of Aging and Geriatric Research at the University of Florida recently conducted a trial that looked at the effect of diet-alone program compared to a diet-with-exercise program among a group of obese older women (>65 years).  The purpose of the study was to examine the effects on weight loss, in addition to physical function in muscle mass and strength. 

The trial resulted in the group of women with “active intervention” (diet-with-exercise) achieving greater weight loss than did the group with the “control intervention” (diet-alone).  Additionally, the active intervention group also improved physical function, maintained muscle mass, and strength.  These findings support the belief that elderly women can effectively diet for weight loss, without compromising their physical strength, if an appropriate exercise routine is also followed. 

Strength training is about more than simply toning.  It’s about maintaining the functionality of life.  That is such a precious gift we’ve been given!  So ladies, ready to Tango? 

Check out our Body Sculpting guidelines for ideas on getting a great full body strength routine using two sets of hand weights.  Start out with 2 sets of 12 repetitions, using a weight that is challenging.  I know we ladies like to focus on our arms and abs, but don’t forget about the legs!  They are large muscles, which help you burn more calories and therefore burn more fat, but they are also crucial to functional movements like walking and standing up from a chair.   Following a program like this, 2-3 days per week, along with cardiovascular movement and a balanced diet, will not only help you achieve the weight loss you are looking for, but give you the strength to live the life you enjoy.  Shall we dance? 


Sports Medicine Bulletin.  “Active Voice: Exercise and Diet Promote Safe Weight Loss in Obese Older Adults”  Thomas W. Buford, Ph.D.



Friday Fitness: Myofascial Release

Today we will be using a tennis ball to help release tension in the chest, back and shoulders.  Myofascial release, a form of self-massage, can be used throughout the body at particular trigger points.  These trigger points can represent areas of hardened inflammation or connective tissue that is excessively tight.  The techniques in the video below will help relax the muscle fibers, open the shoulders and increase flexibility.  Have fun!



Ask the Expert: Halloween Candy


Q: With Halloween this weekend – I know I will want to splurge a little and enjoy a few of my favorite sweet treats.  What are the best options when deciding on which candy to savor and which to skip? 

A:  What’s Halloween without the candy? And what’s candy without the ghoulish amounts of fat and sugar?  Both of which inevitably wreak havoc on our waistline. Although candy has little, if any, redeeming nutritional value, don’t restrict it all together.  

In preparation for this fun and festive holiday, it is important that you enjoy and restrict in moderation. In this situation, it is important to have a plan. Thus, which candies are “unwise, better, best”, as Bob Wright would say? A recent study that I came across in “MyHealthNewsDaily”- MSNBC took at look at 37 of the most popular Halloween candies from Blow Pops to Skittles, Baby Ruths and 100 Grands. They reported on the five best and five worst based on their fat and sugar content. Take a look to see where your favorite candy landed on the list and then plan your Boo-licious holiday accordingly!

The Best:

1. Jolly Ranchers: Three of these hard candies have 70 calories, no fat and 11 grams of sugar. It’s hard to do much better than that.

2. Blow Pops: This 18-gram candy-gum combo has 60 calories, no fat and 13 grams of sugar.

3. Gobstoppers: Nine pieces of this everlasting treat have 60 calories, no fat and 14 grams of sugar.

4. Pixy Stix: There are 60 calories, 0 grams of fat and 15 grams of sugar in seven straws of this fruit-flavored candy.

5. Candy corn: Nineteen pieces of this ultimate Halloween candy has 140 calories, no fat and 32 grams of sugar.

The Worst:

1. Mr. Goodbar: A 49-gram Mr. Goodbar will cost you 250 calories, 17 grams of fat (including seven grams of saturated fat) and 23 grams of sugar.

2. NutRageous: Another nutty candy, a 51-gram NutRageous bar, will run you 260 calories, 16 grams of fat (including five grams of saturated fat) and 22 grams of sugar.

3. Snickers: Maybe a Snickers bar really should be a meal on its own. A 59-gram bar has 280 calories, 14 grams of fat (including five grams of saturated fat) and 30 grams of sugar.

4. Baby Ruth: A 60-gram bar has 280 calories, 14 grams of fat (including 8 grams of saturated fat). It also has 33 grams of sugar, the second-highest sugar total among the candies examined, better only than a 60-gram 3 Musketeers candy bar that has 40 grams of sugar.

5. Mounds: The only candy on our “Worst 5” list to not have peanuts, a 49-gram bar of this coconut treat has 230 calories, 13 grams of fat and 21 grams of sugar. It also has 10 grams of saturated fat, the most of any of the 37 surveyed candies.

Where does your favorite Halloween candy land – the best or worst list?



H3 Recipe Bonus: Sweet & Salty Thai Candied Pumpkin Seeds


All smiles - must have tasted his candied seeds!

All smiles - must have tasted his candied seeds!

Have you carved your pumpkin yet?  Make sure to save your seeds – and turn them into delicious Thai Candied Pumpkin seed treats! 

Trick your friends by surprising them with a nutritious and healthy alternative to the mounds of candy bars and chocolates handed out this weekend.  Pumpkin is a lower fat seed and rich in zinc and protein, but when mixed with sweet-hot-salty syrup and baked until crunchy they do become rather addictive so be sure to follow the portion size!

Here’s the recipe from the H3 kitchen:

Thai candied pumpkin seeds

Thai Candied Pumpkin Seeds


  • 1 cup Demerara (raw) sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 cups raw pumpkin seeds


• Heat oven to 400°.

• Combine first five ingredients in a sauce pot and gently simmer to a light caramel

• Stir in pumpkin seeds

• Spread seeds thinly on a spray-oiled baking sheet and place in hot oven for 10 minutes

• Remove from oven and stir seeds with a broad, flat, metal spatula, pulling seeds from the edges of the pan to the middle and the middle to the edges to help evenly brown

• Return pan to oven and bake 5-10 minutes longer until seeds are vigorously bubbling, watch carefully

• Remove from oven and stir again. The stirring causes crystallization

• Scatter seeds onto a sheet of parchment or wax paper and allow to cool

• When cool break apart

• Store in an air-tight container

Number of servings: 24

Serving Size: 2 Tbsp

Calories: 189

Fat Grams: 12

Protein: 8 grams



Health Benefits: Helper’s High

H3 Volunteers at Boys and Girls Club

Helpers High

Have you ever heard of the “runner’s high”? You may have never latched onto the high, but you’ve probably heard the phrase. What about the “helper’s high”? I wasn’t aware of this until I read a recent article, but volunteering actually leads to increased health benefits. There are many aspects that contribute to our overall wellness, obviously physical activity, nutrition, our environment, but how can volunteer activities help us live longer and healthier lives?

In a study conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service, volunteer activities not only provide individuals with a sense of purpose and life satisfaction, but the simple act can help service members become physically and mentally strong. In general, the study found that volunteers reported greater life satisfaction and better physical health than non-volunteers. At the same time, older adults experience greater positive changes in their perceived health as a result of their participation in volunteer activities. The results of the survey at large, found those that gave social support to others had lower rates of mortality, less incidence of heart disease and lower rates of depression.

The article went on to explain that the health benefits are derived from the increased sense of purpose. Additionally mentioning that one hundred hours a year is the “Volunteer Threshold” where no further health benefits will be derived from volunteer activities.

About three weeks ago, I implemented a Wednesday weekly fitness class, called “Fit for Life” at the Hilton Head Boys and Girls Club. I felt a need to volunteer because for every overweight or obese adult in the United States, there are at least two children. Who knew I’ll gain some additional health benefits along the way? The class will span over the course of eight weeks and each week, we will bust out some of H3’s favorite fitness classes. The past three weeks we’ve done lucky of the draw, some staple boot camp calisthenics and this week is core strength!  Zumba Instructor Jackie will be back over as she’s been there in the past to get the kids moving.  Also, Amber will soon stop by to get the kids pounding the wall with a little Cardio Boxing, do you think they are ready?


Read the entire Health Benefits of Volunteering report here:



Devin’s Dash Race Results

Medals Presentation - 1st Place in Age Group! 

The results are posted! 

Click here to view.



H3 Recipe: BBQ Chicken Pita Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza 


 4 each            Whole wheat pita bread

2 each            Red onions, cut thin, and caramelized in sauté pan

1 1/3 c.           Bell peppers, mixed colors, julienned or chopped (1/3 c./pita)

½ c.                 H3 BBQ sauce (about 2 T. / pizza)

1 c.                  Part skim mozzarella cheese, (1/4 c. / pizza)

8 oz.                Chicken breast, cleaned, grilled, and chopped small (2oz/pizza)


  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Grease sheet pan with pan spray
  • Layout pitas  on sheet pan
  • Ladle 2 ounces  of sauce over pita and spread
  • Spread out caramelized red onions over pizza about ¼ cup each
  • Then mixed peppers, chicken breast, and mozzarella cheese.

 Chef’s Note:  The calorie count may vary depending on the type and size of pita used.  Be sure to pick whole wheat versus multi-grain, as they tent to be the same size and lower in calories than multi-grain.  To up the filling effect, and add a serving of vegetables, add fresh spinach to the bottom before layering other ingredients on top.   

This recipe does great in toaster ovens, so if only cooking for one, that’s the way to go!


Serving Size:                       1

Calories:                               325

Fat Grams                             5



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