Archive for May 2013

Fitness Friday: Quality AND Quantity

5.31 clog

Many times in life we ask ourselves what is more important to us, quantity or quality? Perhaps it depends what we are referring to. When it comes to spending money on a movie, many of us look for a quality movie that we hope to enjoy. Sometimes, if you’re like me and my enjoyment for Star Wars, you might hope that greater quantities of movies are made just so you can see those same characters return in another exciting adventure. Ideally, those sequels should be just as good if not better than the first one. However, many of us know that sequels do not always turn out the way we hoped for, as was the case for the new Star Wars trilogy.

Outside the realm of movies, many people also toss back in forth the importance of “Quality of Life” vs. “Quantity of Life”. Would I rather live a short and exciting life?… or a longer less exciting life”? Well, the good news is, it is certainly possible to have both. Most people know that exercising is good for you. But sometimes people forget why it is good for them. The two benefits of exercise, cardiorespiratory exercise in particular, that I would like to point out today are; 1) Improved Energy levels (increased VO2 max) and 2) reduced resting heart rate.

When you hear people talking about VO2 max, they are talking about a person’s maximum capacity to take oxygen and deliver it to muscles for energy during exercise. The more oxygen your muscles receive during exercise, the longer you will be able to continue the activity at a higher intensity. More simply put, the more energy you have, the more things you can accomplish at an “easier” rate. Perhaps you’ve heard someone say they do not want to exercise because they would rather spend their time doing something else. It turns out, with regular exercise, you could do both and more!

The American Heart Association has found that the average human heart beats about 2.6 billion times in a lifetime. This is the same for those who are healthy and those who are unhealthy (assuming they did not pass away pre-maturely). It is known that with regular cardio-respiratory exercise a person’s resting heart rate decreases. Heart rate is measured in beats per minute. The slower a person’s heart rate is, the less times a heart has to beat in a minute, the less times it beats in a day and in a year. Therefore, since the amount of beats is fairly consistent for healthy and unhealthy hearts, the less frequently it beats, the longer you will live.

So let’s get this straight. Exercising increases your energy in a day and allows you to really put a lot of quality into it. Not only that, but it ALSO slows down a person’s “living timer”?! Wow! It sounds like it really is possible to have both quality and quantity in a lifetime! Let’s just hope the next Star Wars trilogy “exercises” that same pattern!



Hundreds of Studies Prove Mediterranean Diet the Way to Go


According the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), hundreds of scientific studies have linked the Mediterranean diet to reduced risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and other conditions. The evidence is so overwhelming that Dimitrios Trichopoulos, MD, the Vincent Gregory Professor of Cancer Prevention at the HSPH describes the Mediterranean way  of eating  “possibly the best ever”. A new study published on February 25th on the New England Journal of Medicines web site adds more evidence to support Dr. Trichopoiulos’ belief. In fact it might provide the strongest evidence to date. Quoted in the New York Times Rachel Johnson called the study “really impressive” Johnson, a professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont and a spokesperson for the American Heart Association added, “And what is really important – the coolest thing – is they used very meaningful endpoints. They did not look at risk factors like cholesterol or hypertension or weight. They looked at heart attacks and strokes and death. At the end of the day, that is what really matters.” The study found that participants at high risk for heart disease and stroke cut their risk by 30% by switching to the Mediterranean diet.

But what is the Mediterranean diet and is something that most people could live on. The Mediterranean diet, according the Mayo Clinic, emphasizes:

  •   Getting plenty of exercise
  •   Eating primarily plant based-based food, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains legumes and nuts
  •   Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive and canola
  •   Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  •   Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  •   Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  •   Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
  •   Enjoying meals with family and friends

If this looks familiar, it should, our guests have been enjoying this type of delicious culinary experience here at H3 for years. Including providing the meals a pleasant, family style environment with interesting, friendly people from all over the world.



Wellness Wednesday: More on Weighing In

nutrition lecture

Back in April, I wrote a blog article (Weighing In) that shared some of the insights revealed during my weekend seminar on Weight Mapping.  This past weekend we had some more Ah-Hah moments worth sharing.  Check out how to do this activity yourself, and you might have a small revelation too.

More Ah-Hahs from Weight Mapping:

  • Steady weight gain is often experienced by individuals who have never placed a lot of focus on their weight.  Other things in life have always taken priority, whether it be a career, family, volunteering, etc.  These individuals often find success by making a series of small sustainable changes towards a healthy lifestyle.  Big, fast change does not lead to adherence long term.
  • While for some, the gaining phase of weight cycling can be associated with stress or disturbance in routine of some kind, for others, complacence or a lifestyle with too much routine can also trigger weight gain.  Work towards a balance of routine mixed with a little excitement or challenges from time to time.
  • Particularly for some women, there may be an inner conflict when weighing the pros and cons of losing the weight.  Extra body weight can represent feelings of protection (from being physically attacked), authority or strength (in the home or in the workplace) and even intelligence (acceptance from peers).  For some, self-worth and self-esteem may actually be higher with a higher body weight.  For these individuals, separating self-esteem / personal confidence from the weight on the scale is a critical factor no Fad diet will ever address.
  • A healthy weight throughout our lifetime has to survive through pregnancies, job changes, cancer, family losses, and travel, annual holidays… the list goes on and on.  Fad diets or spontaneous attempts to get healthy just don’t go the distance.  It requires a healthy lifestyle approach, with active support from your spouse or others in your life.  Do it together, and do it forever.

A special thanks to all the guests who shared their story in the seminar.  Now it’s your turn – what have you learned about your weight patterns, and more importantly, how have you found success? Share with us!  Comment here on the blog or join the conversation on Facebook.



Reminder: The Importance of Sunscreen


Last year around this time, Adam Martin posted about the FDA unveiling new labeling guidelines for sunscreen. Now that summer is in full effect, we would like to remind you the importance of wearing sunscreen.

If you regularly soak up the sun’s rays without proper protection, you could be setting yourself up for serious skin damage. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can begin to harm your skin within only 15 minutes of being outside, even on cloudy and cool days. When it comes to using sunscreen, keep these tips in mind:

  • Try to put on sunscreen before you go outside to get full protection. And remember to reapply every 2 hours, more frequently if you are in water.
  • Always use a sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher. The higher the SPF number, the higher the protection.
  • Put a thicker layer of sunscreen on the most exposed body parts: arms, legs, neck, back and face.
  • Protect your lips with sunscreen lip balm.
  • Avoid using sunscreen on babies younger than six months—use hats, clothing and shade for protection.
  • Think about using cosmetics that contain sunscreen. Even these should be at least SPF 15.
  • Choose a broad spectrum of products that guard against the sun’s ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.

Getting sunburned or tanned could be a red flag about your skin’s health. When you’re in the sun, make sure to slather on some sunscreen and reapply after being out for more than two hours to keep beauty—and your health—skin deep.



Healthy Recipes: Macaroni Salad


What do people do on Memorial Day? Memorial Day is an important day in America. It’s a day to give thanks, to pay tribute and to remember those who gave their lives to protect our country. In reality, we should be thankful every single day of the year, but the third Monday of May is the official day where we all come together to honor our fallen soldiers. It’s also a time to have picnics, Cook outs, spend quality time with family and friends and celebrate loved ones. Let us be a part of your Memorial Day this year and bring our H3 Macaroni salad to your gathering!


1 cup                          Whole wheat macaroni

¼ cup                         Low-fat mayonnaise

2 tablespoons           Apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons           Sugar

2 tablespoons           Mustard, yellow

1 teaspoon                Salt

½ teaspoon               Ground black pepper

½ cup                         Onion, diced

3 stalks                       Celery, diced

1 cup                          Green bell pepper, diced

½ cup                         Carrot, diced


  • In a medium saucepot add water, and bring to a boil.
  • Add pasta, once the water has reached the boiling point.
  • Allow the pasta to boil 10-13 minutes (a little past al dente).
  • Strain the pasta out of the water and spread on a sheet tray, allow cooling.
  • Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper mix well, to make a dressing.
  • Prepare all of the vegetables and toss with the pasta and dressing. ac






FIBER 2 grams


FAT .5

PROTEIN 2 grams

Chef’s Note: Adding onion, celery, carrots, and peppers to this salad will bulk up the nutrition of the salad and make the serving size seem larger.



FOOD FOCUS: To Soy or not to Soy?!


Over the past few years I have heard an increasing amount of questions in regards to the benefits of soy protein as well as the potential link to cancer, especially breast cancer.  Researchers started exploring the impact soy has on one’s health as it had become clear the incidence of overall cancer and breast cancer was lower among those living in Asia compared to those in North America.  This sparked numerous studies to be launched to explore soy foods because Asian diets are saturated in soy-based foods (e.g., tofu and edamame).

Soy and Cancer Risk:

Phytoestrogen, a soy isoflavone, had been thought to potentially bind to estrogen– which would then decrease the development of cancer.  This thought is due to excessive or high levels of estrogen has been linked to cancer promotion.  Some earlier studies (with rats/mice as the subject) using soy showed soy had been linked to breast cancer promotion due to an increasing growth of an estrogen receptor.  However, as of 2011 the American Institute of Cancer Research determined that mice or rats (used for a lot of earlier soy research) metabolize the isoflavones differently than humans.   This is a huge factor when it really boils down—not only do we metabolize soy differently, but the amount of soy in our diet comes into question.

In general, Americans consume, at most, 1-2 mg/day (half of one serving) of soy protein according to the American Cancer Society.  This amount is much less compared to the Asian diet as they consume up to 2-3 servings of soy protein per day.  The largest study to date looked over 10,000 breast cancer survivors and actually showed improved outcomes—those consuming 10 mg/day of isoflavones had 25% decrease in recurrence of breast cancer.  This helps clear the air.  The next question would then be “what foods can I eat to get more soy into my day??”

Soy and Other Health Benefits:

Adding soy protein in its least processed form is most ideal.  This does not mean loading up the cart with soy protein nuggets and burgers from the freezer isle.  This means incorporating edamame, tofu, tempeh, soynuts and soy beverages.  The minimally processed soy protein sources have been linked to heart health and is packed with protein, fiber, potassium, magnesium, calcium (in some sources), copper, manganese, and phytochemicals such as phytic acid, phenolic acid and more.  Here are some ideas for your weekly meal plan:

  • Meatless Monday:  Tofu lasagna for dinner
  • Tuesday:  ¼ cup edamame for one metabomeal
  • Wednesday:  Silken tofu, ground flaxseed, frozen berry, and ice smoothie for breakfast
  • Thursday:  Tempeh chili incorporated at dinner
  • Friday:  2 T. roasted soynuts on your lunchtime salad
  • Saturday:  Sushi night with edamame as your first course
  • Sunday:  Buckwheat tofu and banana pancakes (made with silken tofu)


Hilton Head Health Earns 2013 Certificate of Excellence


Hilton Head Health has received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award! The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 percent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.


To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.


“Hilton Head Health is pleased to receive a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence,” John Schmitz, Owner. “We strive to offer our customers a memorable experience, and this accolade is evidence that our hard work is translating into positive reviews on TripAdvisor.”



Coaching Corner: The “Black and White” Truth of Activity Tracking Devices

women power walking

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been a part of a test group for activity trackers like the Nike Fuel Band and Fitbit.  As a coach, I understand the benefits tracking activity and calories – it’s a way to provide accountability, if only unto yourself.  But now, companies like Nike and Fitbit have taken it to a whole new level.  With colored lights that measure your fuel or even a flower that grows the more you move, it’s no longer written in “black and white”.  With dynamic apps, blue tooth capabilities, personal communities, and more, these little devices act as your journal, your training partner, your cheerleader… and even your disciplinarian.  By tracking steps, calories, weight loss, food and water intake, and even sleep, these trackers learn more about your lifestyle than even your doctor might know.  You can see your charted progress at any moment, plotted by day, week, or month.  You can set personal targets and even challenge your friends, have a competition with someone from miles away.  But…. it can’t workout for you.  It can’t make the right food choices for you.  We still have to find it within ourselves to make the right choices for the healthy active life we pursue.  So while the Fitbit or Nike Fuel Band may not be the magic diet pill we all may secretly wish it would be… they certainly can help!  Moving a little more to make your last light show up on your band, or a friendly competition within a private group leader board is certainly more support than we had even 5 years ago… not to mention the convenience of having access to it all right on your smart phone.  I can honestly say, it doesn’t always make me smile when I get messages like “Pick it up, Jess”… but it does increase my awareness, it does push me to go even a little bit further, and it does make me smile when it rewards me for hard work.

Do you use an activity tracking device?  If so, share with us and other readers – what about yours motivates you??



Healthy Recipes: Blueberry Cobbler

blackberry cob

With blueberry season quickly approaching, this is the perfect way to utilize your blueberries! I promise you will not be let down by this tasty treat!


1 ¼ cup                       Flour

½ cups                         Brown Sugar

2 teaspoon                 Baking Soda

½ teaspoon               Cinnamon

Pinch                            Nutmeg

¼ teaspoon               Salt

¼ cup                          Butter, Unsalted, softened

½ cup                          Non-Fat buttermilk



¾ cup               Granulated Sugar

2 Tablespoons   Cornstarch

1 cup                Water

6 cups              Blueberries



  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • In a small bowl mix brown sugar, flour, butter, buttermilk, spices, baking soda and salt.
  • Mix until butter is evenly distributed.
  • In a medium sauce pot, mix sugar and cornstarch.
  • Add water, and cook until you have made sugar syrup.
  • About 5 minutes.
  • In a medium size Pyrex dish, place blueberries in dish, then pour sugar syrup over blueberries.
  • Then place cobbler mixture over the top.
  • Bake in oven for about 30-45 minutes.
  • Serve warm with your favorite low calorie ice cream.


Number of servings: 20

Serving Size: 1/20th of the pan

Calories: 135

Fat: 4.5 grams




No Tutus Required!

Barre workout is like the dancer training without the dance.

It Is a no-impact workout that allows you to lengthen and strengthen your body as well as improve flexibility and balance.

Utilizing a Ballet Barre, a countertop, or even the back of a chair, todays workout will focus on your lower body with 3 simple exercises where you will perform small isometric movements working each muscle to fatigue.

This simple 3 exercise routine will focus on your lower body:

1. Wide Plie : works on quads, inner thighs and calves

How to do it: Stand with legs straight and feet wide apart, toes turned out. Do 10 to 20 deep plies, bending the knees deeply until they’re directly over your toes.

wide plie

2. Parallel Plie Pulse: works on glutes, quads and abs

How to Do It: To start, stand with your feet parallel, knees together. Rise onto balls of the feet, bend your knees into a deep plié and lift half way up 10 to 20 repetitions.

Parallel Plie Pulse


3. Heel lift: works on hips and glutes

How to Do It: Facing the back of a chair, hinge at hips with a flat back. Bend right leg and lift to hip height, pushing heel toward the ceiling. Keeping hips square, pump leg up and down 10 to 20 times. Repeat on other leg.

Heel lift



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