Archive for March 2012

How to Poach an Egg

Poaching eggs is a healthier option when preparing eggs because you do not have to use oil or butter. Poached eggs are “eggcellent” as they are great on a salad or eggs benedict. The perfect poached egg will have a smooth, unbroken yolk surrounded by a shiny egg white that sits perfectly around the yolk.  Don’t be intimidated, these poached eggs are just as simple as they are perfection.


6 cups Water

2 teaspoons White vinegar

1-8 each Eggs, large

  1. Gather your mise en place: Gather all of your ingredients before you begin to cook. Timing is everything.
  2. Choose the right pot:  The saucepot should be wide enough to easily add the egg to the water or remove it from the water.
  3. Simmer: When poaching eggs the trick is to take your water just to a simmer, not a rapid boil.  A simmer is when the water temperature reaches 160- 180 degrees. You will notice small movements in the water.
  4. Vinegar: Add 1-2 teaspoons of white vinegar to the water. The vinegar will enhance the eggs appearance because it assists in coagulating the egg white (Keeping the egg white together).
  5. Crack and go: Slowly add each egg. When you lower the egg into the saucepot, get as close to the water as possible. By easing the egg in, the yolk has a better chance of not breaking.
  6. Easy: Start by adding 1-2 eggs at a time. If you overcrowd the saucepot it will reduce the water temperature and the eggs will not cook evenly.
  7. Wait: Allow 3-5 minutes for the egg to reach its perfect temperature. You will know when the egg is ready, the yolks will begin to thicken and the egg white will be set.
  8. Remove: Remove the poached eggs with a slotted spoon. Allow the poached egg to set on a cloth to allow excess water to run off.
  9. Serve: Enjoy poached eggs on their own or with H3 Faux Hollandaise as Eggs Benedict.


Friday Fitness: CrossFit Q&A

FULL DISCLOSURE:  I’ve been participating in CrossFit for over three years and have been a member of a CrossFit Affiliate gym for the last two.

I recently received an e-mail from a guest of H3 that writes for a major Chinese newspaper.  He was interested in writing an article on a growing fitness phenomenon called CrossFit.  You may have recently seen the CrossFit Games featured on ESPN.  The CrossFit community has outgrown Bally’s, 24 Hour Fitness and Gold’s Gym combined.  And, within the last two years CrossFit has inked a multi-million dollar partnership with Reebok.  CrossFit’s mentality has often been described by the following 100 words that were originally coined by the founder, Greg Glassman:

“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.”


I was asked to answer the following questions about my experience with CrossFit and my thoughts on their style of training:

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The Obesity-Cancer Connection

For most Americans, cancer continues to be our greatest health fear and—second to the common cold— the one we feel we have the least control over. What happens when you combine fear with a sense of little control? More fear and inaction. But surprisingly, there is a lot you can do to lower your cancer risk.

Avoiding tobacco has the biggest impact, but maintaining a healthy weight and getting sufficient exercise is a very close second. A new report published in the Cancer Journal strengthens the weight, fitness, cancer connection. Mary Plescia M.D., director of the division of cancer prevention for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, commented that while Americans know about the link between obesity, diabetes and heart disease, they don’t understand the connections between cancer and obesity. This new awareness may help those who are concerned about cancer to be more motivated to increase their physical activity and make healthier food choices.

Another study presented at the European Breast Cancer Conference suggests that overweight and obese breast cancer patients are at increased risk for the reoccurrence of the disease. Dr. Jennifer Ligibel, medical oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and an associate professor at the Harvard Medical School, said that “obesity is a modifiable risk factor, and although there is not yet enough evidences to say with certainty that losing weight or exercising more regularly will reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence, there are consistent links between factors such as diet, weight and physical activity patterns and breast cancer prognosis. If future studies show that making changes in lifestyle behaviors for women with early breast cancer will improve survival rates, then lifestyle interventions may one day become a standard part of breast cancer care.” So whether it is preventing cancer or the reoccurrence of breast cancer, it appears lifestyle plays a powerful role.

For more on the relationship between diet, weight, exercise and cancer risk, visit the American Institute for Cancer Research website.




Zzz’s to Success

Last year, I wrote a blog post on how sacrificing a few Zzz’s was worth getting up early to walk along the beach. Recently, I had to remind myself of how true this statement really is.

I am hands down a night person. Many of you may be just like me—you feel tired all day but are wide awake at night. Needless to say, getting up before I absolutely have to is a struggle for me. I’m not exactly sure why I thought attending a 6 AM boot camp would be perfect for me but I purchased the pass for the class and am now finding myself dragging to get out of bed in the morning.

To overcome my sluggish attitude, I’ve tried a few things that have seemed to help me in the mornings. I call these tips my “Zzz’s to Success.”

·         The first thing I do when the alarm goes off in the morning is hit the snooze button and roll over. I now set my clock radio to help me wake up in the mornings. For some people a radio may help, others may need to turn on the news or set a clock in a different room. Whatever you do, try to switch up your normal routine.

·         The second thought that goes through my head is “oh, you don’t have to workout now. Just wait until after work.” This excuse always fools me because I never actually feel like working out after work. Plus, there will always be some reason to not workout later in the day. I’ve grown to overcome this “I’ll get around to it later” mentality, by really focusing on the task at hand. It’s only for one hour and I know I’ll feel better once it’s accomplished and out of the way.

·         What actually pushes me to get out of bed in the morning though is thinking about how much I really enjoy Boot camp. From some of my other posts, you probably already know that I enjoy group fitness but Boot camp really pushes me like none other. To me, boot camp is like having a personal training and a personal cheering squad all in one. Not only am I getting in a full body strength and aerobic workout, but I’m also meeting new people, in a better mood and have more energy throughout the day. I’ve also noticed that being up a little earlier than normal has prompted me to eat an even healthier, well-prepared breakfast and increase my water intake.

The last thing I’d like to leave you with is this quote, found on our Pinterest page. Remember this the next time you need a little motivation to start your workout:

Need a jumpstart?! Join us for our 3-day Next Level Fitness workshop coming up in May. Similar to boot camp, you’ll enjoy team building exercises and excursions. For more information, check out the sample schedule.



Running on E?

From Samantha Newman, current Program Intern from Arkansas

With all the time and energy demanding “to do” lists require every day, how can we stay “fully charged” to face tomorrow? Since none of us are the energizer bunny here are the top 5 energizers to reboot and finish our days with ease and peace.

1. Drink water to energize– thirsting for energy? You may be more so than you think. Dehydration is the number one factor in fatigue. So fill and refill that water bottle!

2. Eat for energy- try eating strategically by focusing on timing, balance and variety. When it comes to meeting your energy needs, the right foods at the right times will give you the “fountain of youth” energy you need. Don’t forget to eat your MetaboMeal to help you get from meal to meal. Bananas, nuts and oats are great sources of energy that will keep you going throughout the day. You could also whip up a Super Smoothie for a sweet burst of energy.

3. Jump start your energy with exercise– just thirty minutes a day can boost your energy, moods and alertness which means happier days and less stress. For a quick boost-get moving!

4. Rest for energy– aside from food; sleep is one of your body’s main sources of fuel. Sleep deprivation can take a toll on your health and productivity. So “hit the hay” a little earlier so that snooze button is less appealing in the morning.



H3 Recipe: Seared Tuna in Santa Fe Marinade



1 cup Lime juice, fresh or concentrate

4 cups Chicken stock or vegetable stock

1/2 cup Cilantro, fresh, chopped

1 Tablespoon Garlic, fresh, minced

1 Tablespoon Cracked black pepper


2 – 4 ounce Tuna fillets Or any other type of fish

1 teaspoon Olive oil

Pinch Salt and pepper


  •  Marinate tuna in Santa Fe Marinade for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375˚F.
  • Preheat saute pan to medium high heat.
  • Add olive oil
  • Season tuna filets
  • Sear each tuna filet on hot saute pan for about 4 minutes, Do not touch the tuna for at least 2 minutes while it’s cooking!
  • Then place the pan in the oven. If cooking ahead, simply sear each side and when ready, finish cooking in the oven and follow remaining directions.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes.
  • Serve with your favorite sauce or the Peanut ginger sesame sauce.

Number of servings: 2

Serving size: 1- 4 ounce fillet

Calories: 190

Fat grams: 7 grams



Coaching Corner: Don’t Let Time Pass You By

Yesterday I walked into the grocery store at the south end of Hilton Head and the place was packed!! I had to stalk people leaving the store trying to find a place to park. Spring break has officially hit the island! As I was checking out I wished the clerk “good luck” with the rush of people. She replied “I actually do not mind being busy, it makes the day of faster.” That is a phrase that I have used before (not at H3 of course!) but this was the first time that I stopped and thought about what that meant. Why do we want the day to go by fast? Do we just want to get it over with? Is that how we want to live our lives…watching the clock and waiting for the time to pass?

There are some jobs or tasks that are not as exciting as we would like them to be. There are workouts that seem to last forever…but do we really want to wish our time away? I keep a sand hourglass on my desk at home to remind myself that time in not round as a clock face would suggest. Time is passing, just like those grains of sand, and we cannot get it back or get more of it.

There are times at the end of the week when I look back on the week and feel like a bull running through a china shop. When I am busy, I put my head down and push on. It is time that we start looking up and embrace each passing moment. Yes, we may not love the task at hand, but what can we do to bring life to this moment. How can I contribute and benefit the lives of others during my time? What can I notice that makes me smile and opens me up to the richness and depth of life? Whose day can I make? Giving away a thought, a smile, or a kind word can have a huge impact on another person’s day and make your time, no matter how monotonous it maybe, worthwhile.



Tiny Seed… Big Benefits

Flax seed contains many healthy components. Some call it one of the most healthy plant sources on the planet! There is evidence that flax seed can help lower cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation and work as a laxative. Flax seed is available ground or as a whole seed.
It packs so many great health benefits, now how do you incorporate flax into your daily diet?
1. Start Your Day Right! Sprinkle ground flax seed onto your normal breakfast cereal, or yogurt and berries—or try something different and add 1 teaspoon of ground flax seed to the H3 Eyeopener Oatmeal.

2. Dress it up! Add ground flax seed to your favorite salad dressing. Try the H3 Mirin Flax recipe. This salad dressing is amazing; it has a sweet taste with a zesty Asian flair.

3. Bake it! Enrich baked goodies with ground flax seed. Mix 1 teaspoon of ground flax seed into muffin or pancake batter. (Avoid the halo effect; the calories will still count despite the added fiber.) The H3 Banana Flax Muffin is a great recipe to try out for fun!

4. Shake it up! Your afternoon MetaboMeal is begging for a flax smoothie! In a blender, blend your favorite fruit, low-fat plain yogurt, skim milk and ground flax. Boom! You have a delicious, easy and healthy treat!



Friday Fitness: Connecting the Elements with Four Basic Yoga Asanas

As many of you may know, our (H3’s) annual spring Yoga Retreat is just around the corner. In efforts to engage and encourage more yoga into your daily routine, I have decided to make yoga this Fitness Friday’s theme. As the weather begins to shape up, and spring begins to bloom, let’s take our yoga outside and re-connect with the four classical elements.

There are four basic outdoor asanas (postures) that yoga practitioners can easily integrate into their outdoor practice. Each posture and the elements of nature they represent have a corresponding impact on the physical as well as the spiritual body.
For example, earth exercises help to provide a grounding effect on our physical and spiritual body. These postures/exercises help to add more stability. Meanwhile, wind postures/exercises represent the ability to achieve freedom and self expression. These will help to nourish your body. Fire exercises present strength, power and zest. These postures represent the continual effort to meet and achieve goals. And lastly, water postures/exercises are the closing postures in your outdoor asana practice. The element of water represents rejuvenation and calm. As you practice your water asana outdoors, feel the elements of nature like a tide washing through your body. Let the water flood your body with soothing energy. As the water asana helps to calm and sooth, it resulting exceeds past your physical body and into your spiritual body.


(Descriptions below)

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Food Addiction Recovery Has Arrived to Hilton Head Health


Hilton Head Health is a very successful business by many standards. You can’t remain in business for 35 years without offering a superior product or service. They have withstood the test of time while changing countless lives for the positive. I am thrilled to be a part of this very functional family.

However, my arrival here did not come without some hesitation and some pretty substantial scrutiny by the H3 staff. Likewise, I had to do some soul-searching to make sure the job they ultimately offered me (after a month-long, very demanding interview process) was a good fit for me. You see, they don’t let just anyone work here. They have a clear vision for how to help others enhance their health and are not derailed or distracted by health-enhancing fads or waves of popular research. The employees at H3 walk-the-walk and don’t promote the profuse number of quick-fix solutions that inundate all of us on a daily basis.

When I shared my story of recovery from food addiction during my interview process, the H3 staff responded positively to my experience but was apprehensive about my use of the term, “food addict.” Their concern with me referring to my struggle with food as an addiction, and my ultimate desire to share this label with H3 guests, was that it would create a negative stigma, or defeatist tone that might be counterproductive to the healthy lifestyle strategies they promote. It took some convincing on my part, and a lot of trust on the part of H3, to allow me to stick to my principles. I would move forward with my position as the new Director of Behavioral Health with aspirations of expanding the concept of food addiction within the H3 curriculum.

Fast forward seven months, I’m still here and the concept of food addiction has seamlessly made its way into several of my lectures. In fact, it has been enthusiastically embraced by many of our guests and has provided them with a new perspective on their struggles with weight. The dialogue has begun, and although it may only apply to a specific few, it may very well be life-transforming for those individuals. No longer do they have to look at their inability to control food as a defect in character or a complete lack of willpower, both of which produce shame and pervasive feelings of failure. Food addiction can be regarded as a flaw in the brain reward system, just like any other addiction, and can be managed quite successfully just like diabetes or heart disease. Fifty pounds lighter, six years now, and I can say with certainty that food addiction is treatable.

Now that the door has been opened, if you are interested in learning more about food addiction and its treatment, join me for an intensive three-day Food Addiction Recovery (FAR) workshop in June. Please take a look at the flyer and sample schedule for more details.



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