Archive for April 2011

Every End is a New Beginning

devins dash

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Yesterday was my last day at Hilton Head Health.  I am not even really sure how to sum this all up in words – but it was definitely bittersweet!  I am leaving my H3 family of almost 5 years (including my internship) to pursue a nursing degree and continue to help others live their best life! 

I wanted to say thank you to each of you for supporting the blog, Facebook and Hilton Head Health.  I have enjoyed being a part of such a great company – and it will be greatly missed!  Check back next week to meet a new blogger face – you may recognize her if you were here recently. 

Best of luck in the future!




Friday Fitness: Row it out!

Adam Martin, Fitness Director at Hilton Head Health, takes you step-by-step on how to use a row machine. Follow his instructions for a great cardio workout.



What’s New with the Dietary Guidelines?

Several months ago I wrote about the proposed new Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. They are now officially available and can be viewed by clicking here. While there are no great surprises and the guidelines are very consistent with what they have been in the past, there is a wealth of information and it would be worth your while checking them out.

Key recommendations include:

  • Reducing daily sodium intake to 2300 mg per day. 1500 or less for those 51 years and older, African Americans of any age,   and those who have high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney disease.
  • Keeping trans fats as low as possible.
  • Limiting the consumption of foods that contain refined grains, especially refined grain foods that contain solid fats, added sugars and sodium.
  • Increasing the consumption of colorful fruits and vegetables.
  • Increasing the amount and variety of seafood consumed.
  • Increasing the consumption of fat free and low fat milk and milk products.
  • Increasing the consumption of whole grains.

While all of this may sound familiar, reviewing the guideline will help reinforce and fine tune what you already know about nutrition. Unfortunately knowing what to do and doing it are two different things, check out the chart on page 46 to see how we as a nation are meeting some of these important nutritional goals, then see how your diet stacks up.  If there are areas that need improvement, there are a lot of useful suggestions provided to help you put the guidelines in to practice.



Inspiration + Motivation + Perspiration = Results!


How many people can boast that they are in the best shape of their lives at age 48, after being treated for cancer, enduring chemotherapy, and going through menopause? I can, and although I worked hard for my now-fit body, I give much of the credit to Hilton Head Health and Bob Wright.

I first learned of Bob and Hilton Head Health (H3) after my dearest friend from high school attended the program in 1985. As students, neither one of us took fitness seriously. Looking back now, I realize we were not the best influences for each other in terms of exercise and diet. We made up excuses to skip going to the gym and would much rather raid the refrigerator instead. Then I went off to college where my bad habits got worse: staying up all night, smoking and eating chocolate (a lot of chocolate) while I studied. My friend decided to try the program at Hilton Head, and when she came home, she looked phenomenal! From that time on I vowed to make it to Hilton Head Health as soon as my time and wallet would allow. But the rigors of graduate school got in the way. It wasn’t until I completed veterinary school and my internship that I finally had the time and funds to visit H3. By 1992, I had quit smoking, but I was carrying about 60 additional pounds on my 5’ 2” frame. I was also sedentary, and was in the worst shape of my life. If I didn’t make a change, I knew things would get worse.

In 1992, just before beginning my new career, I took two weeks off to “get serious” about my health. The two weeks I spent at H3 gave me back control of my health and well-being. For the first time in my life, I made exercise and a healthy diet a priority. Listening to Bob Wright changed the way I thought of my own health, and after almost 20 years, his meaningful advice has stayed with me ever since. The top 5 most influential things Bob said to me:

Read the rest of this entry.



Getting Ready for Swimsuit Season

Water volleyball

With summer and hot weather approaching, bathing suit-and-shorts season is upon us.  Women (and men) often tell me that they will not wear a bathing suit, sleeveless shirt, and/or shorts because of their negative feelings about their body.  They are worried that people will judge them.  Unfortunately, because of their desire to feel psychologically comfortable, they may be physically uncomfortable.  Furthermore, they miss out on swimming, boating, or going to the beach–activities they would enjoy.   

If you avoid wearing certain clothes because you’re embarrassed about your body, start by challenging your fear that people are judging you.  Many people may not even be paying any attention to you or what you’re wearing.  How do you know that people are judging you?  Yes, some people may judge/criticize you because of your weight (and that reflects negatively on them, not you), but not everyone will do so.  Some people may give you credit for participating in the fun instead of sitting on the sidelines. 

Instead of saying “I can’t wear a bathing suit,” ask yourself “how can I wear a bathing suit?”  What could you do to feel more comfortable in your bathing suit?  Wear a t-shirt or cover up over it? 

Ask yourself whether it’s really worth missing out on feeling comfortable (physically) or participating in fun activities because of how you feel about your body.  Do you really want to allow your fear that people will judge you to control your behavior?




Potato Gratin


3 each Idaho potatoes, sliced thin (on mandolin or in food processor)

1 cup Leeks, washed and julienne

2 cups Mushrooms, sliced

1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced

1 cup Skim milk

1 cup Chicken stock or broth

¼ cup White wine, dry like Chardonnay

½ cup Gruyere, shredded

½ teaspoon Sea salt

1 teaspoon Onion powder

2 Tablespoon Thyme, fresh, chopped

¼ teaspoon Black pepper, ground

4 Tablespoon All-purpose flour

2 Tablespoon Parsley, chopped (as garnish)


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • In medium sized bowl, mix finely sliced potatoes, with salt, onion powder, thyme, pepper, and flour.
  • Preheat medium sauté pan, and spray lightly with pan spray.
  • Sauté leeks, mushrooms and then garlic, until tender.
  • Prepare baking dish, lightly spray with non-stick pan spray.
  • In large measuring cup, mix stock, skim milk and white wine.
  • Place half of the potatoes in bottom of pan.
  • Then place ½  of the sautéed vegetable mixture in the pan.
  •  Then drizzle half the milk mixture over the first layer.
  • Next layer with half the amount of cheese, and repeat the above.
  • Cover baking dish with plastic wrap and then top with aluminum foil- the plastic wrap will not melt as long as it is fully covered with aluminum foil. 
  • Bake in oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until fork tender, then pull out and uncover.
  • Bake for an additional 10 minutes to brown the top of the potato dish.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped flat Italian parsley.

Number of Servings: 8
Serving Size: about ½ cup
Calories: 195
Fat grams: 3



Fitness Friday: Unearth your Hidden Fitness

Did you know that in many elementary schools after Halloween and Christmas, Earth Day is the 3rd largest celebrated holiday? It is now observed by over 175 countries and is the largest secular holiday in the world with over half a billion people contributing every year. Also, did you know that Hilton Head Health’s newest pool addition built over a year ago is completely made from recyclable materials? Day-to-day our guests and staff recycle all plastics, aluminum, and paper. What is even more impressive is that our guests have now donated over 100 pairs of their old shoes to the Nike Re-Use a Shoe program, which goes to building playgrounds and basketball courts for children.

There are a number of different events going on today and billions of acts of green! In honor of Earth Day, let us H3 enthusiasts join together once more to not only think more green and recycle more often, but unearth our fitness with a quick workout highlighting the facts motivating today’s Holiday. The repetition scheme can unquestionably be recycled:

  • Glass decomposes in landfills after 1 million years.
  • Every hour Americans throw out 2.5 million plastic bottles.
  • Recycling one Aluminum can saves enough energy to watch a television for 3 hours.
  • Only 11% of the Earth’s surface is used to grow food.
  • For every ton of paper recycled we save 17 trees.
  • More than 20 million people participated in the first Earth Day in 1970.
  • CFL Light Bulbs use 30% less energy. If every house in America used one CFL light bulb we would save enough energy to power a city. 
  • The first Earth day started in 1970 and has stood strong for 40 consecutive years.

Join in today and complete a Fitness act of Green, Unearthing your hidden fitness:

1 minute of Jump Rope or line hops

2.5 minutes of Bicycle Crunch

3 minutes of Jumping Jacks

11 – Tricep Extensions

17 – Plie Squats

20 – Push Ups

30 – Mountain Climbers

40 – Power Blasts



Count Your Blessings


Do you tend to focus more on what isn’t working in your life than on what is working?  If so, a dose of gratitude may be just what the doctor ordered.  Studies have shown that grateful people take better care of themselves and engage in more protective health behaviors:  regular exercise, healthy diet, and regular physical examinations.  Grateful people tend to be more optimistic, and optimism boosts the immune system.  People who keep gratitude journals exercise more regularly, report fewer physical symptoms, feel better about their lives as a whole, and maintain greater optimism about the future.

To cultivate gratitude …

  • Keep a daily gratitude journal.  List 3-5 things for which you are grateful.  You can write at the beginning or end of the day, or even add to your list throughout the day.
  • Make a list of the benefits in your life and ask “to what extent do I take these things for granted?” 
  • Use reminders.  Post lists of your blessings around your house, office, or even in your car.  Set your computer or phone to beep once or twice a day, to prompt you to stop and count your blessings. 

What is going well in your life?



The Benefits are in the Bag

An excerpt


To show our support to one of the most popular weeks of the year on Hilton Head Island, the Heritage Golf Tournament, let’s tee off with a few health benefits of hitting the links. 

Grab your clubs and go – but leave the cart at home.  One hour of golf (walking and carrying clubs) burns between 300 and 350 calories.  Placing this into perspective, a study done by “Golf Science International” found that a typical round of golf (about 4 hours) is equal to an intense 45 minutes of aerobic exercise.  Walking a golf course is good for your health, good for the course’s health and good for the game’s health.

Improve your strength and core by carrying your own clubs.  Walking and hauling a set of golf clubs supports a strong skeleton and can prevent osteoporosis because it’s a weight-bearing exercise. Additionally, your muscular endurance will improve based off time spent on the links and even your flexibility thru swinging the sticks. 

Golf is a great stress reliever.  How can you beat a gorgeous day on the course?  Surrounded by trees, lagoons and fresh air, there is nothing better to relieve your daily stress.  The golf course not only tests your skills, but allows you time to let go within a peaceful environment.

You’ll sleep better.   Exercise has been proven to help individuals sleep better. Activities like golf certainly fall into the category of moderate exercise and this combined with a long day on the fairways will improve your overall quality of sleep.

All in all, golf is a timeless sport perfect for those of all fitness levels and ages.  Remember – the benefits are in the bag.



Let the Rhythm Move You

In a recent study conducted at The Ohio State University, researchers concluded that listening to music helped people with severe respiratory disease increase their fitness levels. Subjects with serious lung disease who listened to music while walking covered an average of 19 total miles over the course of an eight-week exercise intervention study. In comparison, the group that didn’t listen to music only walked an average of 15 total miles – 21 percent less by the end of the study. At several points during the study, participants were timed to see how much distance they could walk in six minutes. By the end of the study, the subjects who listened to music while walking for exercise increased the distance they covered per walk by 445 feet (136 meters), while the average distance covered by the non-music group decreased by 169 feet (51 meters) per walk.

This study is among many others that suggest music is a major asset to adhering and or enhancing an exercise program. In efforts to improve your cardiovascular fitness, the rule of thumb is to find music that carries the same beats per minute (bpm’s) as your pace, or even ideally a few beats higher to motivate you, thus allowing the music to reinforce a challenging pace!

To figure out how many beats per minute (bpm’s) your workout tunes should be, count how many times your feet hit the ground during a one-minute run or “purposeful” walk for those walkers out there. If you are walking take an estimated minute and a half count. This will be your beats per minute pace. 

Here are some suggestions on where to find great hits (bpm’s) to work-out to:

Order/download from iTunes

  • Search keywords: Fitness, Workout, Aerobic, Cardio, Power Music
  • Order whole cds or individual songs from the library

Websites to check out…



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