Archive for September 2012

Coaching Corner: Take a Pause to Celebrate Achievement

The journey to weight loss and lifestyle change is often a path paved in goal setting and achievement. We set big goals that provide a direction and vision of our ideal level of wellness; smaller goals are then established to close the gap.

 What happens when we reach a goal though? Often times we pause for a moment to look around and reset to the next goal on our path.  We are on a journey after all and want to continue moving forward, but it is the pause that I want to look at today. Just like in the flow of music down a stanza, the pauses and rests can be just as powerful and meaningful as the notes being played. Our pause at the attainment of a goal is a valuable part of our journey.

Sometimes we do not want to pause out of fear that we will lose momentum. If this is the case, go back to your vision of your ideal level of wellness and what you want as part of your future. Reconnect with that vision and what that means to you. Often times after a significant pause or rest in music it begins to builds, the momentum picks up and you reach the most exciting and meaningful part of the song. You do not turn off the iPod at the rest thinking that the song is over, you embrace the pause and wait with anticipation for the music to build and continue on.

Once you achieve a goal, whether a milestone or an inch pebble, take a moment to celebrate.

5 ways to celebrate your achievement:

  1. Write down the date and specifics of the achievement in your calendar. It is a historic day and worth recording. Continue to do this and you will be able to go back and reconnect with past achievements in your journey. Stay close to what you have done and how far you have come.
  2. Tell someone. It is not bragging! Think about how excited you are to celebrate good news with a loved one. Don’t celebrate alone. By verbalizing your success it reinforces the achievement and allows you to share your journey with those close to you. We were not made to be alone.
  3. Do something about it. Use your new success, put it into action. Show it off. If you reached a fitness goal, seek out a way to enjoy it. Go hiking, kayaking, or sign up for a 5k. If it is a weight loss goal, go shopping for something new. It doesn’t have to be a new closet of clothes, but something new that you are proud to put on. If it is a nutrition related goal, try cooking a healthy balanced meal for others. We have some great ideas for you!
  4. Give thanks to those who support you. Show gratitude for those who are with you and offer support on your journey. Gratitude is good for your health. It is amazing the impact that a 99 cent greeting card with a hand written note or a simple thank you can have. Whether it is your trainer, friend, spouse, or the butcher who portions out your meat at the grocery store, give gratitude for those who build you up.
  5. Take a picture. Snap a pic of the meal you made, fitness adventure, or even the scale! Print it out and fill your space with snapshots of achievement. These will be reminders to you on good days and bad that you are a success!




Seafood 101

Seafood can be such a wonderful meal, but gosh it sure can be tricky to prepare. At least that’s what many of us think. We are afraid that it will smell up the house, or we are just not sure when it’s done. So many questions and so much fear for a nutritional meal! Let’s start with the basics… first, make sure that you are buying a good quality fish that is either fresh or it’s only been frozen once. Know the area that you’re buying fish in. If you are land locked then clearly you are probably going to be getting seafood frozen then thawed. If you are on the coast then you should be able to get some local caught fresh seafood. Now, what’s the real difference between farm raised and wild caught? The simple answer is the quality of the seafood; another factor is that the fish is a bit fattier. There are many things to consider when cooking seafood, but first just know where it’s coming from and know how it was fished. After all that, it’s easy!
Once you’ve purchased your seafood, there are two main things to remember when cooking it. First, make sure your seafood is fresh and hasn’t been sitting in the refrigerator for a couple days. Second, don’t overcook it! If you dry anything out, a quick fix is to sauce it! That said, extra sauce equals extra calories so try to cook your food to perfection. To do this, use a thermometer when cooking your food. Thermometers are wonderful things, and most of us have them we just don’t use them or know how to use them. Start by cleaning your thermometer and making sure It reads the room temperature. If it reads something way out of that range then you need to calibrate it in a glass of ice water until it reaches 32 degrees. Once it has reached 32 degrees, dry it off, then let it come back up to room temperature. Now we may begin! Follow the chart below to know when your fish is done:

Fish and Seafood Internal Temperature Chart

Fish (steaks, filleted or whole) 140 degrees F flesh is opaque, flakes easily

Tuna, Swordfish, & Marlin 125 degrees F cook until medium-rare (do not overcook or the meat will become dry and lose its flavor)

Medium-size, boiling 3 to 4 minutes cook until medium-rare (do not overcook or the meat will become dry and lose its flavor
Large-size, boiling 5 to 7 minues cook until medium-rare (do not overcook or the meat will become dry and lose its flavor
Jumbo-size, boiling 7 to 8 minutes cook until medium-rare (do not overcook or the meat will become dry and lose its flavor

Boiled, whole – 1 lb. 12 to 15 minutes meat turns red and opaque in center when cut
Broiled, whole – 1 1/2 lbs. 3 to 4 minutes meat turns red and opaque in center when cut
Steamed, whole – 1 1/2 lbs. 15 to 20 minutes meat turns red and opaque in center when cut
Baked, tails – each 15 minutes meat turns red and opaque in center when cut

Bake 12 to 15 minutes milky white or opaque, and firm
Broil milky white or opaque, and firm

Clams, Mussels & Oysters
point at which their shells open – throw away any that do not open

Something fun about fish is that you can usually pan sear, panko crust, bake, steam, or grill. There are so many options to make your seafood different every time—also, try adding variety by making something other than fish. Visit to find out some of our seafood recipes! Some of my favorites are the panko and almond crusted fish, and the coconut and macadamia nut crusted and served with a pineapple sauce! Yummo!



Fitness Friday: Trigger Point Therapy for Knee Pain



Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk With A Healthy Lifestyle

My last two posts had to do with the impact of our lifestyle on and our opportunities to lower our risk for cancer, and for good reason. For most us, cancer continues to the disease we fear the most. But if you over 65, there is something you likely fear more than cancer, Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Much like cancer, many people not only fear it, but feel they have little control over it. But as in the case with cancer, there is much that can be done to lower the risk.

AD is the most common form of dementia among older people. Dementia is a brain disorder that seriously affects a person’s ability to carry out daily activities. AD usually begins after age 60 and it first involves the parts of the brain that control thoughts, memory and speech. It is estimated that over 5 million Americans have AD. Data presented at the 2011 Alzheimer’s Association Annual Conference suggested that over 40% of Alzheimer’s case could be attributed to lifestyle factors including lack of physical activity, smoking, hypertension, obesity and diabetes. If those risk factors sound familiar, they should; they are the very same factors that place us at risk for heart disease. In fact, a simple way to remember the major risk factors for AD is the phrase “what is good for your heart is good for your brain.” And the evidence continues to mount.

Researchers at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville Tennessee, suspected that both good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol play a role as well. Their research suggests that low levels of HDL and high levels of LDL may contribute to the development of amyloid plaques. Amyloid plaques in the brain are one of the distinguishing characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease. When asked what could be done to help fight dementia, Peggye Dilworth-Anderson, president of the Gerontological Society of America and a board member of the Alzheimer’s Association responded, “invest in (and use regularly) a good pair of walking shoes.”

As mentioned earlier, AD first affects the portion of the brain that controls memory; the hippocampus is the main area of the brain that controls memory, especially short term memory. Even without the influence of AD, the hippocampus tends to shrink in late adulthood as a normal part of aging. An exciting study published the January 31, 2011, edition of the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that people in their late 50’s to early 80’s who exercised aerobically for 40 minutes, three times a week not only prevented normal age related brain tissue loss, but INCREASED the size of their hippocampus by 2%. As a result, the participants experienced improvement in their memory function. These findings suggest that aerobic exercise may be effective at not only preventing, but reversing hippocampal volume loss. The potential implications of this study are significant. If exercise can reverse normal age related loss of brain tissue, perhaps it could help reverse the loss of brain tissue as a result AD as well.

For more information about AD, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website at

For a good general overview of AD and to see what happens inside the brain as a result of AD, take a look at this video:



Get H3 Inspired: Kerry Seiberlich

There were times when I really didn’t think I could handle life anymore. It was almost normal for me on my way to work to seriously consider how much damage hitting the freeway barrier at 70 mph would do, and whether or not the impact would kill me. A lot of the time, I hoped it would. 

I never got to the point of actually following through on these thoughts (thank goodness), but the fact that they even existed were a serious indicator that I needed a change. It wasn’t until almost a year later that the truth of it hit me – I was extremely unhealthy, extremely unhappy, and so lost that I didn’t even know how to begin to fix it. A close friend of mine recommended that I get the heck out of dodge. “Blow this popsicle stand,” he said. We spent some time brainstorming and eventually the idea of a health retreat came up. We got online, and Health Head Health’s website was professional, informative, and well-designed; it immediately caught my eye. 

From there, it only took about three weeks until I was signed up and headed south for H3’s Extended & Intensive (E/I) program. I was terrified. I didn’t know… well, anything. What to expect, whether I would be able to last the full 14 weeks, or even what kind of a social life I would be able to find.  The fact that I had been pretty overweight since early childhood – I distinctly remember being called “a fat alien” by some meaner classmates the one and only time I ever wore pigtails to school – only made the idea of ever making friends that would understand my situation seem outlandish.

I moved in, met the staff, and gradually started to make friends. I won’t lie – the first few weeks were pretty difficult. My depression and obesity made waking in the morning a really difficult task for me, but by the time I hit my one month ‘anniversary’ at H3, I was springing out of bed in the mornings, actively looking for new things to try, and, for the first time in years, feeling good about who I was and where I was headed. I had finally made a good decision about my health. 

I began to open up about the darker parts of my recent past to Amber, H3 Fitness Specialist, who I had chosen as my coach and fitness trainer, and to Lisette, H3 Director of Behavioral Health, with whom I had bi-weekly personal counseling sessions. I told them about everything: the suicidal thoughts, the depression, the drugs, and the awful relationship I had with my family – particularly my mother.  Being able to talk about these things was so refreshing. I wasn’t lying any more. I didn’t feel guilty or ashamed, and in this liberation I found a new kind of recovery. It wasn’t only my physical being that convalesced, but my state of mind as well.

I journaled. I participated in workshops. I went to the seminars and cooking classes. I discovered and nurtured a love of yoga. I kept track of my weight loss. After a month at H3, my mother was inspired enough by my success to participate in the program with me for several weeks. Background: my mother and I had essentially been strangers living in the same house for almost ten years. Even just the idea of it was so intimidating – four weeks of living with just her and doing all the same things every day. I really was expecting the worst but the program ended up only bringing us closer together. Now, barely six months after I enrolled in the program, we get along and support each other rather than pushing and pulling in opposite directions.  

So, two months in – I was happier, healthier, and healing relationships I wouldn’t have ever expected to be able to fix.  Problems were bound to arise at some point, though. I ended a long-term relationship around this time, and a few weeks after that I injured my foot badly enough that I was completely laid up for a week, and in pain for more than a month afterwards. It was so frustrating. My weight loss plateaued and I began to doubt again – what was I going to do once I got home? Would I even be able to maintain the progress I’d made? This was where the friends I’d made within the E/I program and the H3 staff really kept me going. It was so nice to have a support system of people that truly believed in me and pushed me to do better—even if that sometimes meant actually resting my injury rather than pushing myself out of frustration and ultimately making it worse. 

By the time my 14 weeks were up, I had lost nearly 30 inches from my total measurements and 16% of my starting body weight. I was ready to go home and truly feeling confident about what I could accomplish. About a month after I left H3, I hit the 20% mark. Very recently, I got on the scale and, for the first time in years, saw a “1” at the beginning of the number. Words cannot describe how grateful I am to myself for making the decision and following through, and how grateful I am to H3 for helping me begin my journey.

-Kerry Seiberlich; Pewaukee, Wisconsin



Lessons Learned: Healthy Environments


Logic tells us that environments affect our behavior. It makes so much sense when we consider examples like flowers and their need for soil, sun and water; or kids who grow up around gang activity and end up following that same path. Why is it so difficult for us to apply this same important observation to our ability to live healthy lives? We learn how to apply our critical thinking skills to problem solving in our careers… We need to use those same skills to create an environment that breeds healthy living. Here are some ideas to get started:

  1.  Break Room Bests: At the beginning of the week encourage co-workers to donate a fruit of choice to be shared throughout the week. A bag of apples, a bunch of bananas… Before you know it, you’ve just filled the break room with an assortment of fresh fruits instead of donut boxes or candy bars.
  2. Walking lunches: Scout out your neighboring areas with a fresh look to see if there are any new healthy lunch spots within walking distance. You’ll be surprised how helpful that 10 minute walk is, along with controlling your portions and skipping dessert. A little fresh air never hurts either!
  3. Get organized: If it takes 10 minutes or your entire afternoon, the time spent organizing can be priceless in terms of efficiency and stress management.
  4. Add color: Blue for creativity, red for details… Whether it’s painting a room or just adding some flare to your desktop background, color can be such an inspiration.
  5. Make a commitment: Set a deadline for the first piece to a large project, or pick an activity and ask a friend to commit along with you for support. Mark it on your calendar. Goals without deadlines never make the transition to accomplishments.
  6. Identify the weed: Identify one obstacle that’s in your way of achieving your goals; this could be anything from “your kids’ Oreos”, your snooze button, or even a sabotaging friend or spouse. What can you do to minimize your exposure to that obstacle.

Change your environment, change your life!!!



Healthy Recipes: Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Hummus

This is a fun, show-stopping dip! Who doesn’t love a dip that tastes like cookie dough?


2 cups Garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup PB2

½ cup Peanut butter or Almond butter

1 cup Water

1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

2 tablespoons Sugar

½ cup Mini chocolate chips
• Combine all ingredients into a food processor, puree until smooth and whipped.

Chef’s Note: Add a ½ cup of mini chocolate chips to make a “cookie dough dip”. A half cup of mini chocolate chips will add 30 calories per serving. Serve with an apple, banana, or graham crackers.

Serves: 20

Serving size: ¼ cup

Calories: 150

Carbohydrates: 17 grams

Sodium: 210 milligrams

Fiber: 5 grams

Protein:  12 grams



Coaching Corner: What makes someone memorable?

With Devin’s Dash 2012 now in the books, I find myself asking the question, what makes someone memorable? Is it who they are? Is it what they do? Do “memorable” people all exhibit the same attributes and qualities?

Not everyone wants to be memorable. Many of us want to be tucked back within the crowd, but being memorable is something you should think about. Gregory “Devin” Sheaffer had nothing short of pure energy, but something tells me he also exhibited something much greater.
If you ask someone off the street this question, they may tell you that a “memorable” person is attractive or “memorable” people have good personalities, but I think it goes much deeper than that. I have met so many people in my life and profession; with that said, it seems the people who stand out the most are the ones that know WHO THEY ARE.

I feel like memorable people live by a self-imposed set of standards. No one has to tell them the right thing to do. They do it because they want to; for the fact that it’s the right move. These people live with NO EXPECTATION of a reward for their actions. As an example, Devin had a lot of this where he always treated people the same. I believe that memorable people are GENUINELY CONFIDENT. They have self-respect for who they are and every single person around them.

In my heart, I think everyone should strive to be memorable. I believe this is important because you never know how DEEP YOUR ROOTS RUN. How we effect people is within our control and making a difference in other’s lives whether you’re a teacher, investment banker or stay at home Mom is why we’re on this planet.

Memorable people leave their TRADEMARKS on others…what impact will you make?



Race Recovery Nutrition

Today is the big race! Hilton Head Health‘s staff has been bustling around all week long finalizing all of the exciting activities for this weekend.  And you, I bet you have been preparing too! You have been training these past few months, eating mindfully, and stretching/rolling it out. All of your preparation is admirable but what about crossing the finish line? You have finished the race (yay!), then what? Let’s chat about that post workout meal/snack.

What you eat after your workout is crucial for optimizing the recovery process (and feeling great). The recovery process begins immediately after your workout ends. When choosing a post workout meal/snack choose an option that will supply your body with the nutrients it needs to ensure full recovery and enough fuel  allowing it to adapt and improve the way you want it to. The two important nutrients that we need in a post workout meal/snack are carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates will replenish muscle glycogen that was depleted during your workout. Protein will reduce muscle breakdown caused by exercise. When choosing your post workout meal/snack keep in mind your goals. Whether you are looking to lose weight or maintain your weight, choose options that fit comfortably in your meal plan and daily caloric needs.

Here are a few post workout meal ideas:

  • Banana (carbohydrate) and hardboiled egg (protein)
  • Apple (carbohydrate) and protein shake mixed with water (protein)
  • Whole wheat bread (carbohydrate) and Almond butter (protein)
  • Smoothie: mixed berries, yogurt, and skim-milk (carbohydrate and protein) (This is what H3 is serving at the post race party!)
  • Pineapple (carbohydrate) and low-fat cottage cheese (protein)
  • Whole wheat pita chips (carbohydrate) and H3 Light Hummus (protein)
  • H3 eye-opener oatmeal (carbohydrate and protein)
  • Fresh fruit (carbohydrate) and low-fat yogurt (protein)

Don’t worry, the second you cross the finish line you don’t have to immediately start eating. However, you should consume your post workout meal within 30-60 minutes prior to your workout.

P.S. Don’t forget to hydrate before AND after your workouts!



Friday Fitness: Speed Training

Tomorrow is race day here at Hilton Head Health. It is the eve of our 3rd annual Devin’s Dash and the air around H3 is buzzing with excitement as people get ready to travel the 3.1 miles from start to finish. Everyone goes into the race with a different goal in mind, some are going just to complete. Others are looking to improve their time and set a new PR (personal record). One thing that I often hear is, “aright I have done the impossible..I know that I can run a 5K without stopping! Now I want to work on getting faster!”  So how do I go about building up speed?

First off, it is important to have a foundation of training. You should be able to consistently run at least 3.1 miles. If you are still building your base and growing the amount of time that you are running, focus on that first. Having that solid foundation is crucial for building up speed and injury prevention. Speed work should make up no more than 20% of your total weekly mileage and should be done on non consecutive days.

Here are 4 workouts that can be done to build speed:

  • Striders
  • Tempo
  • Interval
  • Fartlek

Striders: These are short burst of swift running for about 30 seconds. Begin on a flat straightway, gradually accelerate for first 10 second to a challenging speed maintain for about 10 seconds and then decelerate for last 10 seconds. Keep the body upright and relaxed. Focus on a quick and relaxed cadence.  Repeat about 6 times post workout. Great place to do these repetitions is barefoot on a grass.

Tempo: This is a swift, sustained pace workout designed to build up the pace and encourage you to run faster for set period of time. For the 5Kers out there a great tempo workout is do a 5-10 min warm up at an easy pace. Follow that with 15-20 mins at a more challenging pace. Then finish the workout with 5-10 mins a easy pace. How do I determine how fast I should run? The quick and dirty advice is find a pace that it uncomfortable and hold there for the 15-20 mins. How often too we find our conversation pace and fall into a routine. This workout is designed to push you out of that routine and out of your set pace. It is more uncomfortable but that is where the speed is built!

Interval: Intervals are structured bouts of speed for a specific distance or time, followed by a specific recovery period. For those of you who have built your base off of Couch to 5K plans, these are walk/jog intervals where the walk is the recovery and the jog is the speed. These can be done my distance (the track is a great setting for these) or by time. If going by distance at the track a great workout is run 200 (half a loop) at a challenging but sustainable speed, then jog a 400 (one whole lap). Repeat this 6-8 times.

Fartlek: This is Swedish for “speed play” and that is what this workout is all about, playing around with speed intervals. They are unstructured intervals that can be included into a workout. Ex. From here to this fence I am going to run hard. Find that challenging speed, accelerate to the fence and then settle back into conversation pace. These can be a fun way to shake up the usual route. Just like the other workouts, keep good body position, body upright and relaxed.



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