Archive for May 2011

Does Exercise Really Make a Difference for Women in Menopause or Post Menopause?

PD*27366597Okay ladies, some of this is not fun to hear, but I promise there’s a happy ending.  We hate talking about our hormones don’t we?  With rising hormones, people will swear that we are crazy and we fly off on the smallest of things, while a low level of hormones causes lovely symptoms like hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mood swings, urinary incontinence, and weight gain.  Furthermore, when you hear statistics like “a third of a woman’s life is post menopause” (average age of menopause is 51, with life expectancy in the early-mid 80’s), it really puts a damper on thoughts of those golden years. 

So with all that fun stuff on our plate, let’s tackle the weight gain issue.  While we, and others, often like to blame the hormones for weight issues during menopause, it is clear that a woman’s experience during this phase can also largely be affected by her expectations, emotional state, social support, and the lifestyle interventions that she chooses to incorporate during this transition.  For example, if a woman moves into this stage and retires around the same time, she can choose to have a couple glasses of wine and throw dinner parties every night, or she can choose to focus on her walking program… each has their own results. 

 In addition to the overall weight gain associated with menopause, there is also data that shows abdominal fat increases as women enter postmenopause – even with no change in total body weight.  Visceral abdominal fat in particular is risky because it increases the probability of cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure. 

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H3 Recipe: Refried Beans

bean burritoINGREDIENTS:

½ cup Onion

½ teaspoon Cumin

¼ teaspoon Oregano, dried

1 teaspoon Sea salt

4 Cups Water

Pinch Black pepper

½ Cup Bean juice (after you have cooked the beans)

2 Cups Pinto beans


  •  Rinse beans in colander when out of the bag.
  • Then place beans in container and fill container with about four cups of water.
  • Let sit overnight.
  • Drain off water and re-rinse beans one more time.
  • Then fill sauce pot with four cups of water and add beans.
  • Cook slowly on a medium heat.
  • Once beans have been cooked half way through, add salt.
  • When beans are done cooking, drain off water and reserve about 1/2 cup of the bean juice.
  • Mince onion in food processor.
  • Sauté onions. Meanwhile place beans in food processor to make a smooth paste.
  • After onions are translucent, add pureed beans, cumin, pepper, and a pinch of salt.
  • Then slowly add your bean juice to adjust the consistency if a smoother consistency is desired.

 Enjoy your beans in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, soups, or just as a side dish!


Number of servings: 4

Serving size: ½ cup

Calories: 160

Fat grams: 0



Coaching Corner: Sharing Success – Kappy Strahan

As a wellness coach, you tend to learn a lot about people. Above all, every single person is unique and distinct. For this week’s coaching corner, I would like to share with you the success of a young lady named Kappy Strahan—someone who is younger than ever at the age of 66.


In late January, Kappy’s journey began at Hilton Head Health and from there on she unlocked something inside of her that can never be taken away. If you asked her in January what she enjoyed most about exercise, Kappy wouldn’t have been able to give you a straight answer. During Kappy’s final days at H3, she attended a personal training session with Fitness Specialist Amber Shadwick; where she learned about Pose Running Technique, a safe and efficient way to run.  She wondered could I really start running at 66 years old?

The answer was YES of course. Beginning the H3 @ Home Program, Kappy started to incorporate run/walks into her morning routine and weekly goals. Kappy discovered she didn’t enjoy the gym … she had to be outside. Being able to feel the endorphins and remain as free as possible invigorates Kappy, and it’s grown to be more than just a sporadic exercise but is now a morning ritual. She began to slowly build from 2 days a week to 4 days a week—and from there, 1 block a day to 5 miles a day. She’s now regularly training, or in Kappy’s words, “enjoying [her] body’s posture and way of moving” by hitting a distance of at least 2 miles each morning, 5 times a week. As a result of her new passion, Kappy told me she had to have a yard sale one weekend for all the clothes that no longer fit.

What’s more enticing is the difference the people closest to Kappy see inside her.  Kappy’s whole perspective has changed and her positive love-for-life attitude is affecting others. As one of Kappy’s bold three month goals, she decided to pick a road race and finish it. This weekend Kappy will be running in the 33rd Memorial Day Boulder 10K with her daughters and family members. One of the largest 10K races in the country boasting over 50,000 runners, Kappy will begin her run at 9:10 am. Please wish her luck as her journey continues and as she crosses her first finish line. The truth is … Kappy has already crossed it!

Kappy Strahan2Please enjoy other thoughts from Kappy on her H3@Home Program Experience:

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Why Worksite Health?

Ever found yourself nodding off at your desk after your lunch of burger and fries? Or taking the elevator up to the next floor to use the restroom so that you don’t have to pass by your co-worker’s desk with the big bowl of chocolate temptations? Dreading that departmental meeting because you know lunch will be provided by the pizza place down the street?

All these scenarios make it very difficult to lead a healthy lifestyle. Quitting your job isn’t always an option, so what other steps can you take? Whether you are a leader in your organization or not, a good idea can be generated from any level. Consider advocating for or implementing health and wellness policies that would be beneficial for all employees. Consider factors like:
• Workplace smoking bans
• Alcohol policies
• Incentive programs
• Healthy food menus from which selections must be made for company functions
• Designated areas to eat lunch from home rather than being required to eat out

For example, the first two scenarios above might be avoided by implementing a policy for a designated break room. In which, should be the only area where food is visible. Providing healthy options at company events/meetings can be a relatively easy way for a company to meet the needs of their employees. Worksite wellness programs can be as simple as an annual screening and access to online resources, or it can involve organization-wide programs with activities and goals; implemented within policies and procedures; and even some friendly competition between departments.

Our environment plays a vital role in our success to grow and maintain a healthy lifestyle, so if you’re asking yourself “is it worth the trouble?”… the answer is “Yes! YOU are!” Take an opportunity to discuss some options with your organization’s leaders, and if you need any tips or assistance, contact Alicea Glover at to inquire about what we provide our employees through H3Direct, our worksite wellness program.



Friday Fitness: Make your lazy day at the beach a productive one

mid-day_beach_walkWhile lounging around at the beach for the holiday weekend, make sure you’re not sabotaging yourself. A lot of times we have a tendency to use holidays as an excuse to cheat on our weight loss programs. The beach is a great place for exercise and perfect for bringing more variety to your routine. Here are some tips to help your stay on track while enjoying the breeze and sounds of the ocean.

  • Be Prepared. Bring healthy snacks with you to the beach. Fruits and veggies make excellent beachside snacks because they are easy to travel with, contain nutrients that benefit the body, are also a great source of water to help hydrate you while sitting in the sun.
  • Beware of drinking your calories. Although beachside cocktails may sound like a good idea, they are usually filled with sugar, can be high in calories, and the alcohol within them may contribute to dehydration. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and try drinking a sport drink if you would like something flavored. Sport drinks help balance your body’s electrolytes. Freeze your sport drink and you’ll have a tasty, low-calorie slushy.
  • Go for a stroll. Because there is give to the sandy surface on the beach, it’s not as harsh on your joints at the pavement. Go for a walk or run on the flattest part of the beach to add a little beach excursion to your day.
  • Have some fun in the sun. Get a game of beach volleyball, frisbee or mini golf going. If your beach allows, you could even go on a bike ride. As much time as you spend sitting, spend doing some form of physical activity. Just have fun!


Lower Your Risk: Be Sure to Clean Your Fruits and Vegetables

If you are one of the 48 million who has experienced the unpleasant symptoms of food poisoning each year, I am sure that it is something you never want to go through again. While most of you know that animal products such as chicken, beef, pork and eggs can be the culprit, you may be surprised to find out that in recent years there have been large outbreaks of food borne illnesses caused by fruits and vegetables including spinach, tomatoes and lettuce.

According to the FDA, if you follow these nine recommendations you can dramatically lower your risk.

  1. Do not buy damaged or bruised produce.
  2. Refrigerate precut items such as watermelon and lettuce.
  3. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing fresh produce.
  4. Cut  away damaged or bruised areas before preparing or eating.
  5. Gently rub produce while holding it under plain running water. There is no need to use soap or a produce wash.
  6. Wash produce BEFORE you peel it, so dirt  and bacteria aren’t transferred from the knife onto the fruit or vegetable. 
  7. Use a clean vegetable brush to scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumber.
  8. Dry produce with a clean cloth or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present.
  9. Throw away the outer most leaves of a head of lettuce or cabbage.

To see these recommendations in action view the video below. For more information on food safety in general, visit to



Get H3 Inspired: Joy M. Nonweiler, Ph.D., Esq.

Today, we have a special H3 Get Inspired message from Joy Nonweiler! I’m sure that Joy’s message will resonate in many of you as it has in me. Next Wednesday, I will share the story of my struggle with weight loss as part of my “From an Intern’s Perspective” series. I hope that everyone enjoys Joy’s post! Feel free to comment if you have a story you’d like to share or were inspired by Joy’s message. 


Betrayal from Within
Well, it may sound dramatic, but “betrayal from within” perfectly describes what I felt about menopause and advancing age’s effects on my body. I was 56, married for nearly 30 years, and an overachiever with degrees from bachelors through doctorate, and multiple successful careers in medicine, business and most recently as an attorney. In addition, I was concurrently a part-time group fitness instructor, and had been for over 20 years. But for about the past five years I was also miserable. Overweight by at least 50 pounds, uncomfortable in my own body, and ashamed that with all my resources, education and background I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. I was usually the one other people came to for guidance, but I could not “heal myself” this time. I knew I needed to take action, but I felt like such a failure because I didn’t know what to do.

Just before Christmas 2010, I was reviewing my budget. I hadn’t been on vacation for many years, and I thought maybe my husband and I could take the whole family to Disney before my nephew went off to college. We had the money, but our two 14 year old dogs were no longer hearty enough for travel or boarding. I was disappointed, but determined to still find a way to decompress. After much thought, I decided to look into a fitness vacation.

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Just Say It!

women talking on beachDuring a recent discussion about binge eating, the group agreed that people sometimes over-eat to avoid confrontation. Using food to stuff your anger or hurt may seem safer than standing up for yourself and/or expressing your feelings. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, it may seem impossible to think of what to say. However, in many situations you have another opportunity to address the problem later. The next time you’re steaming about a conflict, put your energy into planning what you’ll say to address the problem.

“I” statements avoid the defensiveness that often results when you use “you” statements (e.g., “You always sabotage my weight loss efforts”). “I” statements focus on how you feel, and they request a specific change:

I feel (emotion: angry, hurt, sad, disappointed, etc)
when (specific, objective event or behavior—not an inflammatory label such as “sabotage” or “food police”)
because (your interpretation).
And I want (specific change you’re requesting in the future).

For example:

I feel angry
when you ask whether I’m allowed to eat a cookie
because I feel like you’re trying to control me, and that you don’t trust me to make my own decisions.
And I want you to please let me make my own food choices.

What conflict or conversation have you been avoiding?



H3 Recipe: H3 Eye-Opener Oatmeal

H3 Eye Opener OatmealBegin every morning with the famous H3 Eye-Opener Oatmeal! Top with fresh berries, ground flax seed or granola.



1 ½ Cups Water

1 ½ Cups Skim Milk

½ Cup Oat Bran

½ Cup Quick Oats

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1 Banana, mashed



  • In a sauce pot, add liquids, cinnamon, vanilla, and mashed banana
  • Bring to just below a boil
  • Turn off heat; whip in oat bran and quick oats
  • Mix well; cover and let sit for 10 minutes or desired thickness


Number of Servings: 3

Serving Size: 1 Cup

Calories: 140

Fat Grams: 2.5



H3 in 60 seconds

I have to give it up to Weight Watchers, because man are those new Jennifer Hudson commercials inspiring! From the song to her hew look, everything about those commercials makes me want to throw out all the junk in my pantry! As I watch this new series of commercials from Weight Watchers, I can’t help but to think what a Hilton Head Health commercial would look like. How do you capture the essence of Hilton Head Health and the program in 60 seconds?

This is a breakdown of my vision for a Hilton Head Health television commercial: (Please note that I am not in the film industry so go easy on me. :-) )

There’s a panoramic view of the outside entryway to Hilton Head Health, then slowly the camera focuses in on one guest nervously entering Calibogue for the welcome session led by none other than Bob Wright. Bob goes over the basics of the program and then asks this specific guest to introduce himself. The guest then shares where he is from and why he decided to visit H3. Through a series of clips you see the guest meeting other guests from all over the nation, taking in the beauty of the sunrise on the beach with Beth Leermakers, getting some resistance training in the pool with Adam Martin, sweating it out in cardio boxing with Amber Shadwick, learning some low calorie tricks in a cooking demo with Chef Jen Welper, increasing his incline while getting “pumped” in Jeff Ford’s treading class, developing personal goals with Jessica Lynn, and finally enjoying a relaxing message the day before leaving H3.

You then see him doing all the same activities at home. He’s cooking healthy meals, has joined a gym where he can continue to attend some of his favorite cardio classes, and you even see him on a thermal walk during his lunch break with friends from work.

The catch is, that throughout the whole commercial, other than the full body shot shown in the opening scene, you only see the guest’s face as he does all these activities. In the end, you see the new him sharing his testimony in a video found on H3Daily. During the video he talks about the people he met and still keeps in touch with, how he lost not only pounds, but inches, and his sugar and triglyceride levels lowered as well.  It is then revealed that this is the real-life story of an H3 guest. Now I think that’s an inspiring story! Who needs Jennifer Hudson when we’ve got so many encouraging and motivating people right here in our own H3 family?!

How would you describe H3 in 60 seconds?

post-race group shot



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