Archive for June 2011

Taking Advantage of the Outdoors

outdoor exercise

This upcoming 4th of July, declare your Independence from the gym! Start your July with a SPARK of motivation and get OUTSIDE! Studies show there are numerous benefits to exercising outside. Some examples are as follows:

  • The best part of exercising outside is it’s free! There are no membership fees to explore what’s in your own backyard. You don’t need any special equipment and no matter where you are, it is always available for you to take advantage of.
  • The air is cleaner. You may be surprised to hear that the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that indoor air is more than twice as polluted as outdoor air.
  • A free daily dose of Vitamin D. Outdoor exercise is a great way to get your daily vitamin D. FYI: This is especially important if you are overweight — a recent study found that people who are overweight are almost twice as likely to be deficient in vitamin D.
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Get H3 Inspired: Dale Bornstein

H3 Roommates! Mary Kruse (right) and Dale (left)

H3 Roommates! Mary Kruse (right) and Dale (left)


I think I truly underestimated what stress can do to one’s mind and body. For the past two years, I was living in what I called “a perfect storm” – the combination of working full time in a senior leadership role at a global public relations firm, raising a pre-schooler with special challenges and heading into my late 40s with hormones dancing in all directions.

In February, I hit bottom. I found myself 35 pounds heavier than my usual adult weight and it was having a serious impact on my ability to function day to day and also manage my chronic health issues.  

No matter what I tried, I couldn’t make change stick. That’s when I realized I needed to get away. I needed to be able to wake up each day and make my health my priority.

Once I made up my mind, I got to work researching the possibilities and that’s when I found H3. 

For me, it was a big decision. If I was going to take precious time away from my family and my work, I needed to make sure that this would be the right place for me. I scoured the website, talked to Michelle and other H3 consultants and even connected with some folks who had just returned from the program. And as they all raved about the program and the people, I kept thinking, “this just can’t be as good as they say.” But everyone was right. This was among the best experiences of my life and the greatest gift I have ever given to myself.

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A Meal Planner’s Dream: Never Ending Recipes

recipe cartoon3

Looking for some new recipes beyond our website? I’ve recently discovered You can sign up for their free newsletter called Dinner Tonight.  During the week, each day you will receive an e-mail with a recommended recipe for dinner that night.  The recipes are pulled from Cooking Light, Southern Living, Sunset, Real Simple, and Health.  The nutritional information is provided along with the serving size. 

What I’ve enjoyed about the website is that it has a “recipe file” feature that I can save recipes to. Therefore, it saves me some time in researching new recipes to try. I simply receive an email – if it sounds good, I save it; if I think I would never make it, I delete the email and go about my day.  When I’m ready to try something new, I just go into my saved file and pick something from there. There is also a meal planning feature where you can use their recipes or even add your own.

Remember the guidelines we discuss at H3 – you may have to substitute white rice for brown or decrease the amount of oil used every once in awhile, but all in all, it gives you some more diversity to strive for in your meal planning.

 What other resources or apps do you find helpful with meal planning?  Please share!



H3 Recipe: Avocado Aioli

avocado aioliINGREDIENTS:

1 small Chili pepper (jalapeño)

1 medium Onion

1 small Garlic clove

2 medium Avocados, ripe/soft

¾ teaspoon Salt

1 dash Seasoned salt

1 cup 1% Cottage Cheese


  • Place all ingredients in food processor or blender and mix until smooth. 
  • Taste avocado spread to see if anything else is needed.

Number of Servings: about 15

Serving Size: 2 Tablespoon

Calories: 55

Fat grams: 6



Coaching Corner: Learning from the Best …Yourself

Wellness CoachingIt’s always interesting hearing the strategies others come up with to improve their nutrition, fitness, and well-being. Unique, always evolving, there is a new way to execute every healthy habit. Every time I hear a new strategy to overcome an obstacle it becomes that much more enticing to hear how it pans out for that guest. When we strategize and brainstorm, the key component is identifying what will work for us. We all struggle with a different component of our lifestyles and it’s important to remember that not every strategy is a one size fits all approach. The fact of the matter is we learn thru trial and error … Trial and error that has a purpose … Trial and error that must be evaluated in the end.

Sunday is a tremendous day to strategize for your week and who better to learn from than the best … yourself. Evaluate your commitments and progress on a week to week basis, remind yourself that every day requires a new focus and to get you started.


Absorb these top strategies created by the hard working wellness coaching members:

Situation: I can’t seem to get my sweet tooth under control, if it’s in the house I am going to eat.  

Strategy: I am going to put the brownies at the back of the freezer until my next get together with my friends on Saturday. I will have my coach email/text message me the question: Are all the brownies all accounted for in the freezer?


Situation: I am a single professional and can’t find the time to prepare healthy foods. It’s no fun cooking for one person.

Strategy: On Sunday, I plan to head to the grocery store and buy frozen vegetables that I can nuke quickly in the microwave. I will cook a 5 day portioned supply of chicken breasts to have for dinner each week night. I will wash the berries, cut the cantaloupe, and make this all happen on Sunday afternoon.


Situation: I am constantly going to social gatherings, parties, and events. I’m surrounded with bread, desserts, and alcohol. I don’t want to feel restricted, but know I need to do something to stick to my plan and not overindulge at these events.

Strategy: I am going to write my intentions down in my journal on the kitchen table right before I leave. I will choose 1 portion of alcohol, dessert, or bread to not feel over restricted. I will head in with a plan.


Situation: I am away traveling on business and have no control over the catered food during our meetings. I can’t be certain there will be an option that falls in line with my goals.

Strategy: I will grab metabo meals at the continental breakfast in the morning. After the accessing the catered food there’s nothing to eat! I keep my control and head out the hotel lobby to the closest healthy option and buy a low calorie sandwich.


 Situation: The biggest thing for me is first getting to the gym. I am intimidated and can’t find the motivation to just get through the doors. Once I am there I know I’ll work hard.

Strategy: I will call one of my friends and plan on a class time that we both can attend. I’ll focus only on my moves, repetitions, and how I feel. I could have my closest friend, coach, or sister plan to text me two hours after the time I designated to work out. They could ask: How much fun did you have at the gym?


Take this Sunday to strategize for your week and understand that the best way to learn is from yourself. Find your unique twist and when the strategy proves effective … know that you came up with it yourself!



Emotionally Intelligent Signage

Recently, I watched this “pecha kucha” presentation from Daniel Pink , author of DRIVE: The surprising truth about what motivates us.  Ever since, I have been a huge fan of his archive on “Emotionally Intelligent Signage”.  After seeing some of the examples and how effective they’ve been I realized that this could be a valuable tool in helping people change health habits.  In fact, it might be why the FDA has recently made their cigarette health warnings so graphic.

I decided to try this myself.  I’ve been struggling to drink enough water.  My day consists of very little time spent near my desk where the bottle resides. Therefore, I needed some type of “emotional” trigger that would force me to desperately reach for those 32 ounces of afternoon delight.  First, I had to decide what the message would be.  I knew that I needed to drink more water because it had been affecting my workouts.  I was feeling lightheaded and a bit dizzy after a taxing bout of exercise.  So, I create a reminder that would appear on my cell phone and computer every hour, “I know I’m busy, but drinking water is important to me.”   The message expressed empathy and contained an affirmation.

It has been working like a charm.  In the past two weeks I’ve consumed by 64 ounces of water per day!  What could be an “Emotionally Intelligent Message” that you use to trigger a health habit?



Friday Fitness: “Track” your Training

walking on trackYou don’t need the lengthy expanse of sidewalks and trails on Hilton Head Island in order to be active outside. Head to a local track for your cardio workout!  You can find access to a track either at a high school, college, or recreation center. Most are open to the public in afterschool hours (not a problem during summer vacation!) and on weekends. The track is a great environment to vary up your workout, build up speed, and get fit along with other local exercisers.

Some people are intimidated by the idea of a track workout. Where do I begin? Do I have to wear those funny spiky shoes and jump over hurdles? Nope!

Listed below are a few track workouts, bring them along and attack the track with no fear!

Start with a 5 to 15 min. warm up of light jogging or walking around the track. Remember that one lap around the inside lane is 400 meter.  4 laps = 1 mile. During warm up or if you are walking, move to the outer lanes to allow those doing speed work to have the inside lane. But remember that the outside lanes can be up to 50 meters longer, so plan accordingly!   

400 Meter Repeats

This is a popular track workout to build up speed and stamina. 400 meters is one full lap around the track. Run one lap around the track at you 5K race pace. Recover for 2 minutes with a light jog, and then repeat. Do this activity 8 to 10 times.


Ladders are a combination of different distances when put together gradually increase and then decrease. They are great to do on the track because it is easy to measure out the distance. An example of a ladder workout would be to run a 200(a straight and curve), 400(one full lap), 800(two laps), 400, 200. Even though the distances are different, try to keep the same pace for each. Performing this ladder twice will result in 2.5 miles.  This is a great way to split up your distances.  

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Potatos: The Cause of Gradual Weight Gain?

potato sack1“It’s 80% food and 20% exercise”, sound familiar? If so, you probably heard it from H3’s fitness director, Adam Martin, as he explains the impact of caloric intake vs. caloric expenditure on weight management during the Planning Your H3 Fitness Experience seminar. A study by Harvard researchers, published in today’s New England Journal of Medicine, confirms what Adam has been saying for years.

 The researchers tracked the diet and exercise habits of 120,000 health care professionals for at least 12 years. On average the participants in the study gained almost a pound a year. While that may not sound like very much, after several years it starts to add up. Dr. Frank Hu, one of the researchers, said,

“There is no magic bullet for weight control, diet and exercise are important for preventing weight gain, but diet clearly plays a bigger role”.

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H3 Tips and Tricks

walking on beachI have always considered myself a pretty healthy person. In college, while others were eating take out every night or Top Ramen sandwiches, I was attempting vegetable chili or hoisin lettuce wraps. I never realized how much I didn’t know until going through the H3 Healthy Lifestyle Program for two weeks. Yes, you learn a lot of nutrition and fitness tips from the presenters, but the Guests have tricks of their own! Here are a few tips that have really stuck with me as I continue to try to live a healthy lifestyle:

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“Legalize” Your Favorite Foods

no cakeDo you think certain foods—ice cream, cookies, chips, or pizza—are “bad” foods when you are on a diet? If you designate your favorite, high-calorie foods as forbidden, your desire and cravings for them may increase. Furthermore, if you call yourself “bad” when you slip and eat your favorite, “bad” foods, that downward spiral of shame and guilt may cause you to eat even more. Please give yourself a break, and don’t beat yourself up about your food choices, which are just that—choices, not a sign of a character flaw.

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