Archive for August 2013

Fitness Friday: Dynamic Stretches for Running

Happy Friday everyone!  This weeks fitness friday demonstrates several dynamic stretches that are great for warming up before going for a run. Tomorrow, Saturday August 31st, is Hilton Head Island’s annual “Run for RET 5k”.  A local of Hilton Head Island, RET Thomas (Richard Eldon Thomas) was diagnosed with a rare form of pediatric cancer, Ewings Sarcoma. Unfortunately, after a year of battling this condition, RET passed away in April 2000. The “Run for RET 5k” not only keeps the spirit of RET alive, but also continues to bring the community together each year for a beautiful adventure through the Seapines Forest Preserve. To learn more about the Run for RET, go to the link below;





As I strive to achieve my weight loss and weight management goals, I want to do my best through getting most of my nutrition through whole foods.  However, I have heard so many mixed reviews about dietary supplements and which supplements may be worth taking.  I go into a vitamin/supplement shop and spend money on numerous products that sound great, but I’m not 100% convinced they are “doing” anything for me.


    1.  Under the Dietary Supplement Health Education Health Act (DSHEA) dietary supplements ARE NOT approved by the FDA.  The purity, safety or effectiveness is not regulated.
    2. The US government DOES REGULATE foods for ingredients, additives, manufacturing practices, safety, and packaging.
    3. The only way a supplement would be removed for purchase is if the FDA shows the product is “unsafe”—usually this occurs if numerous people are experiencing unhealthy side effects.  Example:  Ephedra has been banned for years due it its ability to increase the risk of strokes, cardiovascular events, seizures and more.  However, it took over 10,000 complaints to remove ephedra based products of the shelves—think Metabolife.
    4. Read the label closely.  Watch the video 😉

It can be easy to believe that “more is better”, but this is not the case.  Typically, the only way we could become toxic in a particular vitamin or mineral is if we take too much of in the supplement form.  For example, there are adverse side effects if one takes too much Vitamin A (especially from supplement form) due to its ability to store—Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin.  Those that need supplementation are typically those that have a certain health condition (e.g., untreated Celiac Disease), those that remove particular foods rich in specific nutrients (e.g., one that decides to become vegan) or those that are trying to achieve a particular goal (e.g., whey based protein powder post-workout to aide in recovery).


A well-developed meal plan will safely and efficiently give you the nutrients and energy you need.  There is still so much we don’t know about particular whole foods—shoot, I receive emails every week including studies that are telling me about certain phytochemicals or antioxidants in cherries, beets, blueberries, kale, the list goes on… at the end of the day these WHOLE FOODS are what we need to be consuming.  Not one pill or “blueberry powder” can supplement the power of the whole blueberry or food.  Start thinking about the QUALITY of your diet based in whole foods over the quantity of certain nutrients coming from supplements…this will keep you out of the confusing supplement aisle and more time in the produce section.



Devin’s Dash 5K Training Program – Week 1

H3 is introducing a 6 week training program that will help you prepare for our 4th Annual Devin’s Dash Memorial 5K, a Run/Walk.  This scenic, flat course starts and ends at Hilton Head Health, it is open to all runners, walkers and CrossFit Athletes.

Warm-up Routine

Walk for several minutes then jog at a conversational pace for 5-10 minutes to raise the heart rate.

Dynamic Stretching

Has proven to help improve range of motion, loosen up muscles and increase blood flow to help you run more efficiently

  • walk lunges
  • butt kicks
  • leg lifts
  • pike stretch
  • hacky sack
  • toy solider
  • inchworm

It is important to start off with slow movement and focus on using proper form before increase the speed of each stretch.

Cool Down

Bring the body back down to a resting state as efficiently as possible. Doing so will help prompt quick and complete recovery. The slowing of the heart rate gently will your veins time to constrict and your blood pressure time to drop. This will also help with the healing process as WBCs begin healing microtears in the muscles.

Static Stretching

 Designed to hold the stretch that is minimally challenging. Holding the position for 30 to 60 seconds as been shown to improve flexibility and recover after a hard run.

  • quad stretch
  • calf stretch
  • frog
  • pigeon

 All Cars Should Have Quick Brakes

  • Achilles
  • Calf
  • Shin
  • Hamstring
  • Quadriceps
  • Back

Make sure you sign up for Devin’s Dash!



Wellness Wednesday: Self-Improvement Strategy


The Self-Improvement Strategy with Biggest Payoff

When it comes to self-improvement, enhancing your body image offers a big return on investment. A negative body image pervades your entire life and takes pot-shots at your self-esteem. In fact, a negative body image never serves you well. Intuitively, you would think that feeling bad about your body would be just what’s necessary to finally do something about it. However, that isn’t the case. A negative body image can actually drive you further into the dysfunctional behaviors that helped to create the negative body image in the first place. Feelings of shame and self-loathing toward your body often lead to emotional eating and paralyze you where exercise is concerned.

Poor body image isn’t created over night so improving your body image is going to take a commitment. The effort will be well worth it though because accepting and loving your body, which may seem like an impossibility, can actually enhance your entire life. Think about it…what would you be free to do if you accepted your body? How would you feel if you really loved your body, even with all its imperfections? The answers are mind-blowing, right?

So let’s get started. Below are a few things to consider on your journey toward enhancing your body:

You are not your body. Your body is where YOU live. In order to begin loving your body you need to separate your body-identity from your self-esteem. Very often, our negative body image bleeds into our self-esteem which creates a vicious cycle of self-loathing. Begin this separation process by writing down ten things you like about yourself that have nothing to do with your body. For instance, do you have a good sense of humor? Are you creative, compassionate, loyal, smart, curious, determined, kind, brave, or accepting? Your list represents the qualities that comprise who you are — the qualities that people love or admire about you. Your body is the place that houses these qualities.

We take care of that which we cherish. If you look at the things in your life that you love and value, chances are you will probably find that those are the things you take care of and protect. Cherishing your body now is making a down-payment on what you are willing to do to improve it tomorrow. Loving your body today doesn’t have to mean that you give up on improving it. It just means that you are grateful for how it allowed you to experience life today. You don’t have to spend precious energy on wishing your body was different. You can actually begin thanking it for what it does for you each day. Before going to bed write down five things that your body did for you that day for which you are grateful. Did you use your arms to hug someone you love? Did you use your eyes to witness something of beauty? Did your feet take you somewhere you needed to be?

It’s also helpful to realize that this very body that we have, that’s sitting right here, right now…with its aches and its pleasures…is exactly what we need to be fully human, fully awake, fully alive.

~Pema Chodron

It’s time to make an amends. If you really think about it, your body has been a very loyal friend. It keeps showing up despite the damage you do to it. It’s time to mend the broken friendship. Write a letter to your body acknowledging the regret you have for behaviors you’ve engaged in that were harmful to your body. Apologize for negative comments you’ve made about your body. Then tell your body how you would like to change the relationship. Let your body know how you plan to treat it differently and better in the future. When you are feeling particularly bad about your body, take that letter out and read it so as to remind yourself of the commitment you’ve made to your loyal friend – your body.

If you talked to your friends the way you talk to your body, you’d have no friends left.

~Marcia Hutchinson




what soda does to the body

When helping our Home Coaching clients transition from their H3 stay to their home environment, it is essential for them to remember that when it comes to managing a nutrition and weight-loss/maintenance program, the quality of the calories you take in is critical.  To optimize energy levels and improve metabolism, it is important to plan meals and snacks that stay within your allotted calorie range and make sure the foods you choose meet all of the recommended nutritional guidelines.  With this in mind, people often are surprised to learn how many calories are in the beverages they consume.  Juice, coffee with cream and sugar, beer and wine, for example, can add significant calories to your daily intake.  The biggest culprit for many people however is soda!  It is often the hardest beverage for people to give up, but can have the largest impact on your health in more ways than calorie count.  In addition to weight gain, there is the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease (including heart attacks and stroke), and the side effects individuals may experience from the excessive caffeine intake which include headaches, insomnia, nausea, irritability and rapid heart rate to name a few.

In a recent Fox News report it was reported that ‘the average American consumes 45 gallons of sugary, sweetened beverages per year, according to a 2011 study by Yale University.’  They cite Dr. Christopher Ochner, assistant professor of pediatrics and adolescent medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who says that “If everything else in their diet is equal, a person who has a can of Coke a day adds an extra 14.5 pounds per year, just from the calories alone.”  And when it comes to the commonly held belief that ‘a calorie is a calorie’ Ochner refers to new studies that have emerged in the past decade that suggest all calories may not be created equal.  “We’re finding some research that seems to indicate that calories from sugar are more easily turned into fat in your body than calories from fat in food are turned into fat in your body, (translation: eating and drinking sugar makes you gain more weight than eating fat.)”.

Ochner states that with the overwhelmingly adverse health effects associated with drinking soda, he recommends that people should drop soda completely from their diets. But if you still need that 140-calorie fix, he said almost anything else is better than soda.  “There’s zero nutritional value.  None,” Ochner said.  “You’d probably be better off eating those calories at McDonald’s, because you’d at least get some nutrition.”

Here are some interesting statistics according to the Boston Public Health Commission:

Sugar may be sweet, but the health effects of sugar consumption are not. Drinking large amounts of sugar can lead to serious health effects.

Did you know…

  • Drinking large amounts of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) can increase the risk of gaining weight and developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and gout.
  • SSB intake is significantly associated with weight gain and obesity.
  • Women who drink one or more SSBs daily have almost twice the risk of developing diabetes as those who drink less than one SSB daily.
  • A child’s risk of becoming obese increases by 60% with each additional SSB consumed daily.
  • Children who drink carbonated sugar-sweetened beverages have almost double the risk of dental cavities.
  • Drinking just one 20-ounce can of a sugar-sweetened beverage per day can result in gaining 25 extra pounds per year.
  • The health costs of obesity in the United States are about $147 billion annually. That’s like buying everyone in the U.S. an iPad 2.


Healthy Recipe: Beef and Vegetable Lasagna

This week’s recipe is our Beef and Vegetable Lasagna.  It’s a super simple way to add lots of vegetables to a dish without adding lots of extra calories or fat.


4 cups Broccoli, cut small

4 cups Zucchini, cut small

4 cupsYellow Squash, cut small

1 Bag Spinach

1 pound Lean ground beef

1 pound Lean ground beef

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

2 teaspoon Oregano

2 teaspoon Basil

2 teaspoon Onion powder

2 teaspoon Garlic powder

1 cup Mozzarella cheese, part skim (reserve for top layer)

15 Lasagna sheets, Whole Wheat

3 cups Cottage cheese 1%

1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning

6-8 cups H3 Marinara sauce


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Steam veggies and drain well
  • Squeeze moisture out of spinach
  • Sauté beef with garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, and salt
  • Then add H3 Marinara to the beef mixture, about 4 cups
  • Reserve remaining marinara
  • Then turn down heat and let simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes; set aside
  •  Mix cottage cheese with Italian seasoning
  • Spray oil a 9 X 13 inch pan
  • Place one cup of marinara sauce on bottom of pan; top with lasagna sheets; top with veggies; top with a layer of cottage cheese and meat sauce; then top with lasagna sheets
  • Repeat
  • Top last layer of noodles with sauce
  • Cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap; then cover with aluminum foil
  • Preheat oven at 350˚ F, and bake lasagna primavera for 1hour 15 minutes
  • Remove covering and top with mozzarella
  • Bake 15 to 20 minutes longer to brown the cheese


Number of servings: 12 servings
Serving size: 1/12 of the pan
Calories:  380
Fat grams:  10




Fitness Friday: Sweating with a Sandbag


sandbag front squat

If you had the chance to work out with me you already know how much I love my sandbag.  I think the sandbag is a simple tool great for strength, endurance and power training.

What makes it such an effective tool?

For me, the greatest benefit of the sandbag is the fact that it is awkward to lift.  The load is constantly shifting, or at least requires effort to stabilize, and this produces an effect far removed from conventional weight training.

How can anyone integrate sandbags into their training regime?

The best advice for individuals who want to add sandbag training into their existing workout is to simply make substitutions. Take your regular exercises and perform them with a sandbag instead of the regular machine, barbell, kettlebell or dumbbell. Don’t be surprised if your poundage drops, this is natural and is testament to the challenge that the sandbag provides.

Focus on the basic lifts – squats, deadlifts, presses and pulls and begin adding more advanced moves when you feel comfortable.

To Make your own sandbag you will need the following:

-Sturdy gym or duffel bag

– Sand or Rice

tools for sand bag

Here are 4 of my favorite sandbag exercises (with photos included)

Sandbag Movements



More Fresh Herbs, Less Salt

garden sign

Fresh herbs are a fantastic way to add flavor, color, and nutrition to any dish. H3’s Registered Dietician, Lindsay Martin describes fresh herbs as mini vegetables.  Herbs are full of vitamins and minerals too!  With the addition of fresh herbs you will be boosting flavor in each dish; therefore you can skip adding too much salt.  Substituting additional sodium for vitamins and minerals sounds like a good plan to me!

Enjoy the wellness boosting benefits of fresh herbs by incorporating them into your meal plan.

  • Basil, a common ingredient in many Italian dishes, is a top-notch source of vitamin K, iron, calcium, and vitamin A. Incorporate basil into your diet by trying the H3 Pesto or H3 Heirloom Tomato and Fontina Frittata.
  • Parsley is loaded with carotenoids and powerful antioxidants. In fact, fresh parsley has almost twice the carotenoid content of carrots.  Parsley is also high in Vitamin K and Vitamin C, another antioxidant that also helps wounds heal and aids immunity. Try adding parsley to sauces and salads to add a fresh surprise to each bite.  H3’s Pork Tenderloin Burger or Macadamia Nut Crusted Fish with Mango Chutney are great recipes to start with.
  • Cilantro is my favorite fresh herb! Cilantro is bright in flavor and full of nutrients. Enjoy cilantro in avocado salsa, turkey burgers, or H3’s Thai pineapple and cashew fried rice.

Late August is a very appropriate time to celebrate fresh herbs. The harvests of garden herbs are at their peak. Check out your local farmer’s market to find fresh and local herbs.

To store fresh herbs, lightly wrap the herbs in a dry paper cloth inside of a sealed plastic bag.



Wellness Wednesday: 6 Rules of Life

arnoldBy H3 Fitness Director Danielle Dunn

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a very well known former professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, investor, and politician.  He began weight training at the age of 15, winning Mr. Universe at the age of 20 and Mr. Olympia seven times.  He remains a prominent presence in bodybuilding and continues to work-out an hour and a half with weights every day.  However, Arnold was not always successful.  He lost many competitions leading up to his big victories, had several obstacles in his way (born with a bicuspid aortic valve, breaking six ribs in a motorcycle accident, breaking his femur in ski accident), but he never gave up.  This clip shares Arnold’s 6 Rules of Life:


  1. Trust yourself
  2. Break some Rules
  3. Don’t be afraid to fail
  4. Don’t listen to the naysayers
  5. Work your butt off!
  6. Find time to give back

As Kelly Clarkson shares in her song, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  Your body has a mental red line which individuals reach first and physical red line much higher than the mental one.  The mental red line keeps us away from reaching our bodies’ limits.  The physical redline is somewhere our body rarely crosses (passing out), however fear holds us back of reaching past the mental red line.  How far can you go? Do you know or do you tell yourself to tone it down or slow it down because you are not sure if you can do it?  Our bodies are such incredible tools and only you are in control of the changes to your body.  If you don’t work to make changes, no one will make those changes for you!  Get out there, trust yourself, break some rules, don’t be afraid to fail, don’t listen to the naysayers, work your butt off, and find time to give back!



Coaches Corner: A Letter to Family and Friends

needing support from family

If you are reading this post, chances are, you have attended H3.  Obviously, most of the articles posted on this site are intended for you, this one however is for your  spouses, partners, friends and family members.

Sometimes it’s those people, the ones who care about you the most, the ones that  truly want to see you succeed and be happy, that say and do things that backfire.   A comment meant to motivate, might cause frustration and resentment.  Words of encouragement might be received as judgmental.  Rather than supporting the changes you are trying to make they might actually unknowingly sabotage your efforts.  That is what researchers found when they surveyed young adults in Minnesota, ages 20 – 31 who were in relationships.  The results, published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, confirmed that was the case,  especially when comments were made to a partner about their weight.  Marla Eisenberg associate professor of adolescent health and medicine at the University of Minnesota commented that “encouraging a loved one to diet may do more harm than good.” The findings of the study are summarized in the attached video.

Encouraging a loved one to diet

Fortunately in most cases your family and friends have your best interest in mind.  They just don’t what to say or do.  It is up to you to give them guidance as to how they can support you.  The attached  letter from H3 to your family and friends ( if it looks familiar, it is included  as a part of the packet you received when you left H3), provides some guidelines on how they can best support your efforts. So pass this post on to the people closest to you, by following the suggestions provided, they to you can be friendly and effective supporters rather than friendly enemies.





SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline