Archive for November 2010

Get Back on Track After Thanksgiving

Last week I sent a Thanksgiving e-card to my friends: A Chihuahua with a crazed look in its eyes saying “Step Away from the Stuffing!”  A cute card with a potentially guilt-inspiring message (unintended on my part!) …

If you over-indulged on Thanksgiving, it may be hard to let go of the guilt and get back on track with your healthy eating and physical activity.  Many people succumb to the “I’ve already blown it, so I may as well keep eating” mental pitfall.  This all-or-nothing attitude can derail your weight management and fitness progress.  To get your mindset back on track:

Keep your temporary setback in perspective.  Instead of saying “I’ve totally blown it,” say “Oops, I slipped.”  What do you do when you slip and fall down?  You get back up.  Right away; not next week or next month. 

Do the math.  Figure out how many extra calories you consumed.  If you consume 3500 extra calories, you will gain one pound.  Therefore, even if you ate an extra 4000 calories on Thanksgiving Day, which only amounts to a gain of 1.14 lbs – if you get right back on track with your eating and physical activity.  If you keep eating for the next two weeks, then you can really gain weight. 

Forgive yourself.  Instead of saying “I’m so weak. I have no self-control.  I’m a failure,” remind yourself “I am human.  I chose to eat that 2ndpiece of pie.”  You are going to slip occasionally, and that’s normal and ok.  What is important is how you respond to that slip.  By acknowledging that you chose what to eat (instead of saying you have no control), you can plan to make healthier choices in the future. 

Focus on getting back on track.  Tell yourself “If I get right back on track and do a little extra exercise this week, I haven’t done much damage.  I can still succeed at my weight management goals.”

This week, think about on what small steps you will take to get your eating and physical activity headed back in the right direction.  Have a great week!



H3 Recipe: Quick and Easy Soup and Sandwich

Roast Beef and Tomato Soup

When pressed for time this holiday season and need a quick, easy, healthy and delicious dinner idea – try our Roast Beef Philly Melt and Creamy Tomato Basil soup.  Warm up on a cold day with this classic comfort meal!

Roast Beef Philly Melt


4 each            Whole Wheat Bread or Arnold’s Sandwich Thins Whole Wheat

2 each            White onions, julienned (cut long and thin)

2 cups             Button or crimini mushrooms, quartered

½ teaspoon   Black pepper

½ cup             Fat-free cream cheese (2 Tbsp per piece of bread)

12 each          Roast beef, deli sliced thin, low sodium(3 slices per slice of bread)

4 slices           Swiss cheese, reduced fat


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Heat a large non-stick sauté pan over medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray and sauté onions and mushrooms. Add pepper.
  • Spread 2 Tablespoons of cream cheese onto each slice of bread.
  • Arrange three slices of roast beef over bread, then top with 1 ½ cups of onions and mushrooms.
  • Then top off with slice of Swiss cheese.
  • Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbly.

Chef’s Note: Calories will vary dependent on the type of bread used.  To save a few calories, try using Arnold’s Sandwich Thins.

Number of Servings:         4

Portion Size:                        1 slice

Calories:                               199

Fat Grams:                           2.2


Creamy Tomato Basil Soup


1 T.                  Olive oil

4 each             Garlic cloves, minced

1 each             Onion, chopped fine

1 T.                  Basil, dried

1 T.                  Oregano, dried

1 T.                  Sugar

½  cup             Tomato concentrate

8 cups             Diced tomatoes, canned

6 cups             Vegetable stock, broth or water

12 leaves         Fresh basil

2 cups             Skim milk

1 T.                  Sugar (if needed in addition)

½  tsp.             Salt

To taste           Ground pepper

2 T.                  Arrowroot or cornstarch

2 T.                  Cold water for arrowroot or cornstarch (to thicken)


  • In a large saucepan, heat to medium low and warm the oil.
  • Add the garlic, onions, seasonings, sauté until lightly golden.
  • Stir in the tomato concentrate
  • Add the tomatoes and vegetable stock.
  • Bring to a simmer, and stir occasionally until the tomatoes break down.
  • Add fresh basil.
  • Remove from heat and let cool slightly and then put in food processor or blender and process until smooth.
  • Pour blended soup through a fine strainer or even cheese cloth.
  • Then place back into soup pot.
  • Make sure to taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  • Bring soup back up to heat, and add your thickener of choice.  Make sure soup thickens before adding next ingredient.
  • Then add skim milk or half and half, to achieve the creamy color.
  • Taste soup before serving to make sure it has met your taste buds satisfaction.

Number of Servings:            15

Serving Size:                         ½ cup

Total Calories:                      75

Fat Grams:                             1



Fundamentals of Finding Your Stride

turkey trot

With another Turkey Trot in the books, I figured how could there not be a better time to go over a few points to tweak our running technique. My love for running started as an H3 program intern, and as a full-time member of the H3 squad, I’m amazed of how much this sport motivates our guests. Many of our guests come in never expecting to participate, but in the end push themselves to where they think they can’t go, while enjoying the experience.

Personally, I see running as not only an opportunity to challenge yourself, but at the same time it allows one to remain free and relaxed. Every time I go out for a run, I honestly learn something new about who I really am as a person. We’re beginning to see a popular trend in the sport, and the best part is every single runner has different goals – anyone can compete. If you’ve ever experienced these feelings then you probably know that the single best feature of running is that it’s INTENSE no matter who you are.

Walking, jogging, and running come naturally to many of us, but have you ever been taught the proper technique? A lot of the time we tend to focus on the aerobic benefits of cardiovascular training (which don’t get me wrong is phenomenal), but if you’re looking to improve your running performance it’s important to take a step back and find your stride. In any sport, improved skills can lead to better economy of movement with additional savings in energy. Why is this important? It allows you to exercise for a longer duration (stamina), improve your times (new PRs!), and probably the biggest gain is that you’ll experience less running related injuries.

Running is very complex with many actions that we will not even begin to go over; today we’ll focus on the key elements that will get you off and running.

1.  Posture – chin on chest, shoulders slumped, back humped over, arms nearly straight or held in front of the chest crossing the midline – these are probably the biggest energy wasters when it comes to running technique.

–          Keep chin high, eyes looking into the distance

–          Shoulders relaxed in line with your trunk

–          Arms should remain close to your side with a normal rhythm

How to improve? Have a friend shoot a video of you running, check the cues.

2.  Vertical Foot Movement – “Pose Method” of running technique formulated by Nicholas Romanov. The basic tenet is that runners should experience his/her feet moving up and down – not swing backwards and forwards.

–          Recovery foot lifted toward butt, fall straight back down to surface

–          Keep a small acute angle with knee under your hips (“short pendulum”)

–          Increases stride rate and makes a runner more efficient

–          Diminishes impact forces, thus reducing injury

 3.  Minimal Support Time – This one is all about your foot strike. The distance you move while running is determined by how long your feet stay on the ground. In a nut shell, shoot to decrease contact time with the ground and eventually aiming to land on the ball of your foot.

–          Three types of landing: Heel Strike, Forefoot Landing, Mid-foot Landing

–          As a heel striker, runners  become way more susceptible to injury especially to the leg bones, ankle, knee, hips, and lower back

–          Gradual progress and work on your foot strike – Do not go from a Heel striker to Forefoot

 4.  Minimal Vertical Oscillation – too long of a stride where your foot is ahead of your trunk. This results in bouncing up and down on each and every movement even creating a greater impact.

–          Create horizontal movement by landing on mid-foot

–          Foot should strike just slightly in front of your center of gravity

–          Lean from the ankle (a straight line should be able to be drawn from ear-hips-ankle)



Friday Fitness: JumpFit

Most would agree that jumping rope is for play, not for exercise. After all, many of us jumped rope as a kid on the playground. Therefore my question is – why can’t exercise be play? Not only can it be play – it should be!

For years, athletes have been utilizing jump ropes to improve their conditioning. Next week our athletes here at H3 will have the opportunity to participant in our very own jump rope conditioning class a.k.a. “JumpFit”. This class will essentially be an interval/circuit class. The 45 block will be spent alternating between two minute jump intervals and two minute strength intervals, similar to the popular ULTRA circuit.

The class will be a great option for in-house guests, giving them a chance to participate in a new high energy class.  For those who can’t be here to join in the jump rope fun, I encourage you to try it at home.  A great way to add variety to your home and gym workouts, the jump rope is the perfect solution.  With that being said, this post gobble gobble Friday’s Fitness Challenge is for you to grab a rope, and join us in jumping ourselves fit!

Why you should jump rope:

  • It’s inexpensive. Most ropes cost less than $10. Higher-quality ropes are around $20 and top-of-the-line models are near $25.
  • You can do it practically anywhere. A jumping surface like hardwood, rubberized flooring, or very thin carpet is preferred, but any hard surface works fine. Outside, inside, at the gym—anything goes.
  • It burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time. It is estimated that 10 minutes of jumping rope (at 120 turns per minute) has the same benefit as jogging for 30 minutes. Those are great numbers for people short on time.
  • It’s compact. A jump rope makes a great addition (or start) to your home gym. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a piece of equipment that takes up a lot of space. A jump rope can rest nicely in a drawer, on a shelve, etc.
  • You’ll notice improvements. Jumping rope helps build agility, speed, balance, and coordination, while improving your overall fitness level.
  • You can do it with your family. Because jumping rope is a fun activity that almost anyone can do, it’s also an easy way to get your whole family exercising with you. Try making a game out of it. How many jumps can you do in a minute? How many jumps can you do without stopping or messing up? What kind of cool tricks can you do while keeping the rope turning?

What you should know before you begin:

Before you start, let’s make sure you have the right size jump rope. When you step in the center of the rope, the handles should just reach your armpits. Check the chart below for the correct length rope according to your height.

Your Height      Rope Length

Under 5’                      7’

5’ to 5’5”                     8’

5’6” to 6’                     9’

Over 6’                        10’





Happy Thanksgiving from Hilton Head Health!

Have a wonderful day with your family and friends!  Enjoy fellowship, great food and cherish the time spent with the ones you love.

What are you thankful for?



Reunion Week Finale – Murder Among the Matey’s Dinner Party

I would like to send a BIG THANK YOU to all of you who were with us and participated this past Friday in our murder mystery gourmet dinner.  From captain to deck-hand, you all did a magnificent job getting into your characters!

For those of you who missed out, take a look at these photos – it was so much fun!  Each guest was provided a character role and a costume, and with objectives to complete throughout the evening, enacted a murder investigation for a matey who was murdered in their very presence.  With delicious healthy food, good company and lots of laughter, what more can you ask for?  After a week filled with fitness challenges, cooking demonstrations, and again, great company, it couldn’t have ended on a better note.  We hope you’ll join us next time for some harmless fun!

Reunion Week

Reunion Week Dinner

Reunion Week

Reunion Week

Reunion Week

Reunion Week

Reunion Week



Cold Weather Workouts: Deciphering Degrees

See - it does get cold in South Carolina!

As winter approaches, the temperature is not only changing, but our thoughts of exercising outside begin to freeze. We start to say to ourselves: “Not today, it’s too cold to exercise outside; I’ll exercise when it warms up!” Well here’s the deal, it’s never to cold to exercise if you prepare!

With a few myths out there, it’s time to learn what’s factual and ten secrets to battling through tough temperatures.

Dispelling Cold Weather Myths

Cold-weather exercise isn’t safe.
False! Nearly everyone can exercise safely in the cold, even individuals with heart issues or asthma. As long as you check with your doctor and learn the H3 ten tough temperature secrets you’ll be fine!

I don’t need to drink as much water since I’m not sweating.
False!  No matter who you are, you can become just as dehydrated in cold weather. It’s important to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your workout because hydration allows your body to regulate body heat. 

Ten Tough Temperature Secrets

1. Layer Up.  It is essential to dress in layers so that you can easily remove them as the workout progresses. Start with a thin layer first – preferably material that draws away sweat like polypropylene.  Make sure to avoid cotton and don’t over layer! Remember, exercise does generate a good amount of heat, thus the goal of clothing preparation is to  balance sweating versus shivering.

2. Block It.  You may not be aware, but the sun can be just as harmful (if not more so) in the winter months. Go ahead and put on some sunscreen, lip balm, and sun glasses.

3. Head towards the Wind.  If at all possible, begin the walk, jog, bicycle loop or other workout in the prominent direction of the wind. This way on the journey back home, you’ll  not only have an extra push, but you’ll be much less likely to get the chills.

4. Make your Motivation.  Obviously we’d rather reside in our nice warm beds, but it’s important to maintain our fitness levels over the wintry weather months. This year really make yourself accountable by recording your workouts or performing them with a friend or next door neighbor. Set a goal for the spring and come up with your own personal rewards system for venturing out into the icy elements.

5. Know the Signs.  Be able to recognize the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. These are two injuries that can with no trouble result from exercising in cold weather. By understanding the signs and symptoms you can easily avoid and treat these common cold weather injuries and  know when to head home!

Signs of frostbite include: numbness, burning, tingling, skin turning white, hard, starts to itch, and/or peels.

Signs of the more severe hypothermia include: shivering, goose bumps, confusion, muscle stiffness, lack of coordination, slurred speech and even unconsciousness.

6. Protect the Essentials.  Exposing yourself to the cold certainly poses greater risk to your extremities. Bundle up your hands, feet, and head to protect yourself from frostbite. Lastly, make sure to follow these ten secrets because each will factor into a safe winter exercise experience.

7. Stay Dry.  Clothing that becomes wet from rain or precipitation will unquestionably effect your body’s ability to regulate heat.

8. Check the Weather.  You’ll not only know how many layer to wear, but sometimes it is just too cold or windy to exercise outside. Pay attention to the wind chill because it is one more factor to increase the need for insulation.

9. Switch to a Wintry Weather Workout.  Pick up or learn a new sport/exercise specific to the winter months. Try cross-country skiing, ice skating, snow shoeing or even snow boarding. If snow is unavailable you’re your looking to stay warm, find another alternative hit up the gym scene or a new exercise video. 

10. Consume Complex Carbohydrates.  Just like exercising in the heat, foods high in carbohydrates enable the body to properly regulate its temperature.  Additionally, they provide the body that extra energy if need be. Warm complex carbohydrate foods are particularly ideal such as breads, soups, potatoes and cereals.  

Or if all else fails, take a trip down to Hilton Head Health, where we are enjoying 70 degree beautiful weather!



Friday Fitness: On the Go!

H3 Fitness Director Adam Martin and H3 Guest Lisa give you a quick and easy workout for those on the go!  With a resistance band, you can get in a full body routine practically anywhere in under 15 minutes.  No excuses!



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