Archive for December 2011

Mindful Meal Planning

Here comes the New Year! Every year millions of New Year Resolutions are made, this year I challenge you to make your resolution one that sticks! Resolve to plan meals a week at a time forever and always! Meal planning will help you eat nutritiously, save money at the grocery store, and keep you from panicking and attempting to throw a dinner together when dinner hour rolls around.

1. PLAN AWAY! Take about 30 minutes of your day once a week, sit down, and decide what you would like to eat this week. Keep your goals in mind, whether you are choosing to eat more vegetables, cut calories, or incorporate more fiber. I recommend starting by planning about 3 lunches or dinners a week. Start small, once you become used to your system plan every meal. Hopefully, you will have leftovers from a few meals that you can eat another day too. Some meals like breakfast can be the same or repeating.  

2. WRITE A GROCERY LIST! Write your grocery list according to your meal plan. Include the obvious items too such as skim milk, eggs, and berries. Don’t leave anything out. This will help you limit your grocery visits to just once a week saving you time, calories, and money.  Stick with your list even if something other then fruit and vegetables look tasty.

3. PREPARE EVERYTHING! On Sunday or any day you have time, reserve some time to prepare all of your meals for the week. Prepare everything, including your vegetables for omelets, peeling oranges, making sauces for each meal, etc…  Also, I strongly recommend preparing a larger recipe, and freezing it. That way in a few weeks when you are ready for that meal again it is already prepared. Use a lot of tiny Rubbermaid containers to ease portion controlling.

4. EXECUTE IT! All you have to do is come home and pop your dinner in the oven or heat a few things up. Having your dinner already prepared will help you avoid ordering pizza for dinner or just making quick unhealthy dinners.

Meal planning takes some time in the beginning of your week, but will save you time, money, calories, and stress. A few recipes that I love to include on my weekly meal plan are:

¨     Chicken Cordon Bleu (Prepare the chicken ahead, make a few extra, freeze them, and reheat at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the center reaches 165 degrees, when frozen. Make the Dijonaise sauce ahead and prepare your vegetables too.)

¨     Pita Pizza (Make your marinara, freeze it in small containers. Prepare your entire pizza, wrap it, and freeze the entire pizza. Reheat when frozen at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes or until the cheese has turned a light brown color.

¨     Beef and Vegetable Lasagna (Use your H3 Marinara you already prepared and make the Beef and Vegetable Lasagna then freeze it. Reheat when frozen at 350 for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the center has reached 165 degrees.)

Planning ahead will make your life a little easier, the more you plan the easier it will get.

Happy New Year’s Resolutions!



Friday Fitness – Happiness Expression Challenge

One of the joys of yoga is the feeling of being free and light.  I encourage you to cultivate that happiness by becoming aware of and grateful for the present moment.  This Friday marks the last Friday Fitness of 2011 – so let’s celebrate our lives, our freedom and our light right now in this moment! 

Below are three yoga poses – in each of the poses, I challenge you to bring attention to your limbs (in the Happiness Expression Challenge), as these are extensions of your heart.  Allow your arms and hands to create and express your happiness in the current posture.

Crescent Pose /// Warrior III /// Chair Pose

Step by Step: Crescent Pose

1. Start in Downward-Facing Dog. Exhale and step your right foot forward between your hands, aligning your knee over the heel. Keep your left leg strong and firm.

2. Inhale and raise your torso upright. At the same time, sweep your arms wide to the sides and raise them overhead, palms facing each other.

3. Be careful not to overarch the lower back. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor (tuck your tailbone under and pull your low core in).  Reach back through your left heel to activate your left quad to help create an equal balance between both legs. Come into your right leg, (bend-lunge position) weight staying in the heel.

4. As you inhale grow taller through the torso. Be sure not to press the front ribs forward. Draw them down and into the torso. Lift the arms from the lower back ribs, reaching through your little fingers. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to a minute. Repeat the posture on the opposite side.

***Happiness Expression Challenge: As you hold Crescent Lunge, instead of reaching your arms up, open your arms out by your side. Turn your palms upwards as if you were catching raindrops. You are nourishing your very own happiness.  Be open and ready to receive the blessings of each moment. Smile…Let happiness in!

Step by Step: Warrior III

1. From the lunge (crescent lunge) position, stretch your arms forward, parallel to the floor and parallel to each other, palms facing each other. Exhale and press the head of the right thighbone back and press the heel actively into the floor. Synchronize the straightening of the front leg and the lifting of the back leg. As you lift the back leg, resist by pressing the tailbone into the pelvis.

2. Normally students come up into Warrior III by lunging the torso forward. This tends to shift the body weight onto the ball of the front foot and unbalance the position. Don’t allow the torso to swing forward as you move into position; instead, as you straighten the front knee, think of pressing the head of the thighbone back. This centers the femur in the hip joint, grounds the heel into the floor, and stabilizes the position.

3. The arms, torso and raised leg should be positioned relatively parallel to the floor.  For many students the pelvis tends to tilt. Release the hip [of the raised leg] toward the floor until the two hip points are even and parallel to the floor.  Energize the back leg and extend it strongly toward the wall behind you; reach just as actively in the opposite direction with the arms. Bring the head up slightly and look forward, but be sure not to compress the back of your neck.

4. Stay in this position for 30 seconds to a minute.

***Happiness Expression Challenge: When you transition into Warrior III, place your hands in prayer position at your chest. As you glance at your hands, be happy for your friends and loved ones – share your hearts energy and joy.

 Step by Step: Chair Pose

1. From Warrior III, bring your extended leg down to meet the root leg as you pendulum back into an upright position (feet together). Inhale and raise your arms perpendicular to the floor.

2. Exhale and bend your knees, trying to take the thighs as nearly parallel to the floor as possible (squat position). Keep your weight back in your heels, hugging your legs in towards each other.

3. Firm your shoulder blades down, relaxing your shoulders and releasing the tension in your neck. Lengthen your spine with every inhalation and root deeper (sink into the squat) with every exhalation.

4. Stay for 30 seconds to a minute. To come out of this pose straighten your knees with an inhalation, lifting strongly through the arms. Exhale and release your arms to your sides, back into mountain pose.

***Happiness Expression Challenge: As you place your feet together in chair position, open your arms out wide to your sides and give the world and yourself a great big hug.

 Go through this series of three movements on your right and then your left side. Feel free to improvise according to how you feel. Remember to be true to your physical needs and your hearts expressions!



Need a dose of exercise motivation (or re-motivation)?

Dr. Mike Evans

23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?

Debbie Daniels,  who many of you will remember from the show Heavy, posted this video on her Facebook page. Outside of Adam Martin’s Exercise Prescription seminar, it may be one of the best presentations I have ever seen on the benefits of exercise. The information is great, but it is the way that it is presented that made it so interesting. This is the time of year for new beginnings, if starting an exercise program is on your list, this video will help inspire you. If you are a seasoned exerciser, it will help keep you inspired. Thanks Debbie, for passing this on. Happy and healthy New Year to all.



Get H3 Inspired—Darlene Beilfuss

My weight loss journey started last Christmas. I made a trip to California to visit my family and friends and it had been about 4 years since they had seen me. The trip was miserable.  I was embarrassed about my weight gain and my appearance. Arthritis had crept into what seemed every joint of my body and was a constant reminder that every step was painful. Everyday life had become a burden I could no longer endure. I was stuck in a downward spiral. I felt helpless and hopeless. Everyone was concerned for my health. At 55-years-old I was unable to enjoy life and participate in anything I once enjoyed. Where to go from here I wondered? There has to be something out there that can save my life.

After returning home, I started watching the Heavy series that was running on the A&E network. I watched every episode multiple times and became convinced that Hilton Head Health was my answer. I spent hours on their website and finally got the courage to call and ask about the H3 Extended & Intensive 6-month program. I spoke to Jessica Noble who quickly calmed me down and explained in detail about the program and assured me that I could do it and be successful. All I had to do was get there.  After gathering my courage and my family’s support, I made the call back to Jessica and committed to the 6-month program.

My first day at H3 was May 23, 2011. My weight was dangerously high and my health assessment numbers were not good either. High blood pressure, high sugar, high resting pulse and my measurements were that of a very large box! Helpless and hopeless was replaced with helpful and hopeful for the first time in years! From that first day I was surrounded with constant support, encouragement and the chance to focus on myself and getting my health back. Everyone there was completely invested in my success. They were all committed to helping me help myself. From the outstanding lectures on healthy lifestyle, the amazing food and so many different exercise classes to choose from, I was in it for the long haul and gave it my all. I worked out with Amy, Amber and Katie more hours than I can count but worth every minute.  Being totally committed to the program allowed me to replace my bad habits with healthy ones. Eating and physical activity was only part of it. I had to learn to love myself again. That’s where my life coach Bob Wright and therapist Beth stepped in.  Weekly sessions are part of the H3 Intensive program and were instrumental in me changing the way I felt about myself. I got rid of all the negative self-talk that played over and over in my head. As the numbers dropped on the scale, my mobility increased tenfold. I was swimming, riding a bike, doing all kinds of exercise classes, not to mention doing all of those things pain free! From eating the healthy fresh food and participating in the fitness classes, my arthritis had disappeared. That in itself was dramatic and life changing.

At my final weigh in [after 3-months onsite] I had dropped 50 pounds. My size 26/28 exercise clothes were long gone and replaced with size 18! My blood pressure was normal, blood sugar was out of the pre-diabetes danger zone, and my resting pulse went down from 86 to 74. My daughter  joined me for my last week there and seeing how proud she was of my accomplishments made it all worth it. I like to say I left enough sweat and tears to fill the pool at H3, but what I took away was life changing. My husband is so proud of me. He got his wife back and says I look 10 years younger. I certainly feel ten years younger. There are no restrictions on life anymore. I get up in the morning and look at the possibilities; a far cry from counting the hours down until I would be forced to get something done. My H3 journey continued on for 3 more months as I participated in the H3@Home Coaching program. My coach Amy was there every step of the way ensuring my success continued. Since being home I have been able to lose 15 more pounds. I joined a great gym and work out regularly. I walked in my first 5K, have done lots of biking and swimming too. This fall I spent hiking in the beautiful Kentucky Red River Gorge area.

What a difference a year can make. We just got home from a week in Cancun, Mexico. This was our family vacation that had been on hold for years, waiting for me to lose weight and get in shape. There are no words to describe how great I felt doing everything my family wanted to without any restrictions; no sitting on the sidelines watching anymore. I went bicycling, swimming, visited the ancient Mayan ruins, even went snorkeling and it was all amazing!

Without my time at H3 none of this would have been possible, I am sure of that. If you are looking for an answer, look no further. Go to H3 and Get Inspired; it’s never too late to change your life.

-Darlene Beilfuss; Fisherville, KY



The Motherhood Transition

As I move well into my 3rd pregnancy, it’s amazing to think about all the changes that have happened around me, and inside of me, over the past four years.  I started off as a career-driven young woman who was petrified to have children.  The labor process was especially frightful to me, and on top of that, seeing how much time and energy children took—it was one more reason to doubt I would want any of my own.  Apparently it was in the stars for me anyway, and now that I have 2 sweet angels of my own, I wouldn’t change it for the world. The nurturing and love for your child is something greater than you could ever believe.  They can brighten my day in an instant through a simple smile, hug or funny phrase.

Let’s be real though, it’s not all sunshine and roses.  The body changes and schedule changes alone can throw anyone for a loop.  Change happens in areas you never even imagined. The guilt you can also feel if your child is sick or hurt can be hard to bare. Although reality tries to reason with your thoughts to help you understand you do not have complete control over everything, it rarely wins the battle.  The transition back to work, what you feed your child, how you discipline, how you interact with your spouse in front of your children…so many new challenges and the strongest desire not to fail you’ve ever felt… all happening at the same time. 

For many women, the greatest struggle with motherhood is learning how to create the right balance between providing care for your kids and care for yourself.  Whether you have young children like me, you’re facing those challenging teenage years, or your children have grown and started their adult lives, I know you can relate to this challenge of self care. With that in mind, I am excited to share with you the anticipation of a new workshop we are developing for 2012.  The workshop will be for Mother’s to unite together to discover and practice self care. Developed in collaboration of myself and H3’s Director of Behavioral Management, Lisette Volz (mother of 2), this workshop will feature group support around issues like Wearing all the Hats, and Wearing them Well, A Mother’s Body Image, Finding Peace in Hectic Schedules, Fitting in Fitness, Life’s Cycles: Hands-on Cooking, and the much needed Girls’ Night.  Whether it’s baby weight, emotional weight, the pressure of time or managing the total load, we are planning a weekend focused on health, fitness and relaxation that any Mother needs.

I am very excited for the opportunity to work with this woman’s only workshop.  If you also share an interest in this topic, please share any ideas or areas you would like to see addressed!  Stay tuned for dates and more information for this workshop coming in Fall 2012!

**Official Workshop dates have not been set. If interested, please call (800) 292-2440 to speak with a program consultant.


My Little Angels




H3 Recipe: Sauteed Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Marsala

Muschroom Marsala Sauce


2 Tablespoons Shallots, minced

1 Tablespoon Garlic, fresh, minced

2 cups Mushroom, sliced

1 teaspoon Thyme, fresh, chopped

4 ounces Marsala wine

1 ½ cups Veal stock or brown sauce reduced

2 Tablespoons Half and half

1 Tablespoon Parsley, fresh, chopped

½  teaspoon Salt

½  teaspoon White pepper

¼ cup Cold water

2 Tablespoons Cornstarch (mix with cold water to make slurry)                    


  • Heat sauce pan; spray with cooking spray.
  • Sauté shallots for about two minutes on medium heat.
  •  Add garlic, mushrooms and thyme; sauté for another two minutes.
  • Add Marsala wine and let reduce for about 1 minute.
  • Add the veal stock, or beef stock, parsley, salt, and pepper; then let this reduce by 1/2 for

             approximately 5 minutes.

  • Add a cornstarch slurry if a thicker consistency is desired.  Slurry is corn starch and cold water about one to one ratio.

Chef’s Note:  This technique can be used with any type of liquor or wine. This sauce goes well with chicken breast, beef tenderloin as well as pork tenderloin.

Number of servings: about 6

Serving size: 2 ounces

Calories: 50

Fat grams: 3


Grilled Herb Rubbed Fillet




2 each Beef tenderloin, cut into 4 ounce portions, trimmed


1 teaspoon Rosemary, fresh, chopped


1 teaspoon Thyme, fresh, chopped


¼ teaspoon Salt


¼ teaspoon Crushed black pepper


1 each Non stick pan spray




  • Preheat grill, cast iron skillet, or sauté pan.
  • Season filets on both sides
  • Lightly spray pan with non stick pan spray
  • Once heat source is hot, place filets on cooking surface.
  • If grilling or using a cast iron skillet with ridges, make cross hatches by placing filet on surface for about 4 minutes, then turning the filet 45 degrees on the same side. 
  • Flip filet over and repeat.  This should achieve a medium rare filet.


Chef’s Note:  Remember that different thicknesses will determine cooking time.  If filet is really thick, you may want to grill mark it and then finish cooking in the oven.  Medium rare reaches about 135 degrees internally.


Number of Servings: 2


Serving Size: 1 filet


Calories: 190


Fat Grams: 8




12 Days of Christmas Recipe Countdown: Stuffed Pork Tenderloin toppped with a Pear and Fig Compote

Pear and Fig Compote


2 each Pears, peeled and cored, cubed

1 each Shallot, chopped

½ cup White wine

1 ½ cup Apple juice or apple cider

½ cup Figs, halved

1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

½ teaspoon Cinnamon, ground

¼  teaspoon Cloves, whole

1 each Vanilla bean halved or split open

½ teaspoon Salt

2 teaspoon Cornstarch + cold water about 2 tsp.


  • Warm sauce pan to a medium heat
  • Once pan is hot, add shallots and cook until tender; then add pear cubes.
  • Let pears cook for about 5 minutes stirring frequently.
  • Then add apple juice, figs, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla bean and salt.
  • Stir frequently and bring pears to a simmer until they are tender and sauce has a slight thickness to it.  If more thickness desired, add small amounts of cornstarch in cold water (slurry) until you have reached your desired consistency.
  • Serve over pork tenderloin or your favorite protein.

Chef’s Note:  This sauce is great over Roasted Duck breast, or even as a stuffing for pork by removing the apple sauce from the recipe.  If compote is too spicy, cu, with more apple cider and apples, however, if you want it spicier you may add more red pepper flakes.  Remember that because they are dry spices, they will take a few minutes to rehydrate and release their flavor so add flakes slowly.

Number of Servings: 4

Serving Size: approx ¼ cup

Calories: 45

Fat: 0


Stuffed Pork Tenderloin




12 ounce Pork tenderloin, cleaned and butterflied


3 each Granny Smith apples, peeled, diced medium


2 each Shallots, chopped


¼ teaspoon Sea salt


½ teaspoon Black pepper


¼ teaspoon Nutmeg


½ teaspoon Cinnamon


¼ teaspoon Cloves, ground


¼ cup Dried cranberries, chopped


¼ cup Dried figs, chopped


2 teaspoons Fresh oregano, chopped




  • Preheat oven to 375º.
  • Ask your butcher to butterfly the tenderloin for you. Lay the pork out on a flat surface and season the inside with salt and pepper.
  • Spread the apples, shallots, cranberries, figs and spices on the tenderloin.
  •  Roll the tenderloin up and tie with butcher string.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray.
  • Brown stuffed tenderloin on all sides; about 1 minute per side.
  • Transfer sauté pan to oven or place tenderloin on baking sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes or until thermometer registers 155º F.
  • Remove the tenderloin from the pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Slice into four equal portions.
    • If you prefer your pork a little pink, pull out of the oven at about 145 degrees then let set for 5 minutes.


Chef’s Note:  This can be served with a spiced apple cider sauce, pear and fig compote or served as is.


Number of Servings: 4


Serving Size: 4 oz or ¼ of tenderloin


Calories: 160


Fat Grams: 4.4




Coaching Corner – Defining Family

I’ve been on Hilton Head Island now just shy of 2 years and to tell you the truth it gets tough being so far from home at times. If I want to visit with my Dad or Grandmother, it’s onlya 19-hour drive or 4-hour plane ride away to make it happen. Quite a haul and with a busy lifestyle, lots of races, I definitely don’t get enough opportunities to head up north. When I’m there though, I fully take advantage.

How do I manage? Straight out of college, no immediate family members in the vicinity, I must get homesick right? Well of course we all miss our families at times, but what really makes someone a member of your family?

According to the Merriam-Webster online Dictionary there are several definitions for family. A group of people who live under one roof, group of common ancestry; however the one I like the most reads as so: a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation. 

So far from home I think it’s essential to establish a family. The biggest supports we have in our lives don’t just include the environments we set up or the structures we put in place, but the people we surround ourselves with on a daily basis.

Take a good hard look this holiday at the people in your life who’ve contributed to the person you are today. Give only your time to the individuals who’ve impacted you positively and focus not just on your immediate family, but the people outside of your relatives that you wouldn’t go a day without. 

For me, this holiday will be spent with my immediate family and for that I am without words, very grateful. On the Island, I am fortunate to have surrounded myself with a group of individuals who truly share the same passions for life as I do. Hilton Head Health Staff and Guests, CrossFit Hilton Head, and my roommates will always be considered family. Who do you consider family this season? Make sure they know how much you care. Tis’ the season!

Happy Holidays.

Jeff’s Team at the NH Marathon October 2, 2010



12 Days of Christmas Recipe Countdown: Vegetable Strata


1 cups Skim milk

4 each Eggs or 2/3 cup egg beaters

2 Tablespoons Turkey bacon bits (optional)

2 cups Crimini or button mushrooms, sliced

2 cups Roma tomatoes, diced

1 cup Bell peppers, chopped

1 cup Onion, chopped small

4 pieces Whole wheat bread

1 teaspoon Salt

¼ teaspoon Pepper (white pepper if possible)

1 cup 2% sharp or mild cheddar cheese


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Pre-grease 9 x 9 baking dish with pan spray.
  • In a hot sauté pan, sauté onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and bell peppers; stir frequently.
  • Meanwhile, in mixing bowl, place eggs, skim milk, salt and pepper.
  • Whisk until ingredients are well mixed.
  • Place bread slices in the bottom of the baking pan.
  • Once vegetables are tender, sprinkle over bread slices.
  • Then pour egg mixture over vegetables and bread slices
  • Bake for 20 minutes, covered with plastic wrap then foil.  (plastic won’t melt)
  • Pull out strata after 20 minutes then add low fat cheddar cheese and place back in oven for about 5 minutes to melt.
  • Pull out of oven and let strata sit for about five minutes; cut and serve!


Chef’s Note:  Strata can be varied with different vegetables and even using different flavors of cheese, such as Gouda, feta, parmesan, mozzarella, Colby jack or Swiss cheeses.  Turkey bacon, tofu, Boca burger crumbles, and chicken breast are other ingredients that can be used; just remember the calories change when using calorie dense ingredients.

Number of Servings: 9

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories: 110

Fat Grams: 3.5



12 Days of Christmas Recipe Countdown: Christmas Sugar Cookies


1 stick Unsalted butter

¾ cup Splenda Sugar (or sweetener of your choice—may change calorie count)

1 each Egg

2 teaspoons Pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon Baking powder

2 Tablespoons Skim Milk

3 cups All purpose, unbleached, flour

1 pinch Salt


  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • In mixing bowl, mix butter, Splenda, egg, vanilla, milk, baking powder and salt. 
  • When evenly mixed, add flour.
  • Sprinkle about ½ cup of flour on the counter. (Be sure to also flour rolling pin, and the top of the dough.) 
  • Using only half of the dough, roll out into nice medium thickness sheet.   (Make sure surface is well floured to prevent sticking).
  • Cut dough with your favorite cookie cutters, then place on baking sheet and bake for about 5-10 minutes depending on oven, and golden color of cookie.

Yield: 45 cookies

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Calories: 45

Fat: 1.5 grams



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