Archive for October 2013

Coaching Corner: Self Care is not selfish


The best feeling as a health promoter is learning from my own students and in this example a past guest of H3. Dr. Romie has been a guest several times at H3 and came just last month as a special guest speaker to share with present guests how to Empower Your Brain, Transform your Body. She brought up a very interesting topic which I would like to share:

Why do we put ourselves last?

“Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.”

~Parker Palmer

How many times have you heard a misrepresentation of self-care?  Of course I am taking care of myself, “I just bought a great new pair of shoes” or “I just went on a wonderful vacation!”  While none of these are wrong, they are just another part of self-care.  The self-care I am referring to is about embracing your inner child and doing some real parenting of that little kid.  You are the only person who can do that for yourself!  Self-care does not have to mean ditching our daily responsibilities and running off to a spa or on a vacation alone, self-care is taking just a few moments in each day to honor our bodies, our minds, and our souls.

Remember there is a difference between being self-absorbed and having a narcissistic behavior and sound internal self-care.  Self-care is about taking good care of our own feelings so we don’t project them onto others, act out of character, or cause barriers in relationships.  Being in touch with our own feelings, providing care for our emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental needs, and embracing them is the healthiest thing we can do.

Create a YOU List…Take the time to write and note the responses to these questions:

How do you care for yourself?

How do you acknowledge and validate the care for yourself?

What activities give you renewed energy, hope and/or calm you?

What activities drain you of energy or knock you off balance?

What brings you joy? If you can’t think of anything what used to bring you joy?

Make a list of ways that you can care for yourself better and put joy as a center point of your life.   It may be taking a nap, listening to your favorite song, phoning a friend, hugging your dog or child, taking a walk, lighting your favorite scented candle, or starting a new book.  Submerge your senses in sounds, sights, feelings, and tastes that create happiness, relaxation, and joy in your life.

As we learn better self-care, we become better people in general. When we are in touch with our own feelings, we can then reach out more effectively to others and show and share love and empathy.  If we are filling our own personal tanks with self-respect and loving care, we have much more to give to our families, friends, and the world in general.  What can you do this Thursday for twenty minutes of self-care?

Try to do something from your YOU list every day!

Dr. Romie has a wonderful website where you can find her “Self-Care is not Selfish” mantra and also many more inspiring and motivational topics:





Normally, when it comes to a book review, I rely more on the nutrition and diet based books.  For example, we’ve done blogs about the ever-so-popular Paleo Diet, Blood Type Diet or we highlight various books you can find at your local Barnes and Noble.   This time around I chose to go a different direction…a cookbook.   This cookbook has the potential to positively transform your continued weight loss or weight management journey as well as open your mind and stomach to a healthy, international cuisine.  JERUSALEM, written by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, has inspired not only Chef Jennifer Welper, but has sold over 80,000 copies.  This year, The International Association of Culinary Professionals awarded JERUSALEM Cookbook of the Year Award as well as the top International cookbook of the year.  The James Beard Foundation gave JERUSALEM the 2013 International cookbook of the year.    We’ve got 2 or 3 copies in our kitchen—maybe that is a little excessive and we could potentially give one away, but these are the main reasons why we at H3 love and hold on tight to this book:

  1.  It is more than a cookbook.  Yotam and Sami take you through their “home.”  They make you want to travel and they motivate you to actually get in the kitchen and cook.  You get a taste of the history—the Muslim, Jewish and Christian community blended within Jerusalem gives you an appreciation for this Middle Eastern cuisine.
  2. The pictures.  Let’s be honest… what is a cookbook without gorgeous pictures?!  For example, I’m not a huge eggplant fan, but these authors and food photographers have a way of making eggplant look like the star of the show.  Wait until you see the roasted potatoes with caramel & prunes or the root vegetable slaw with labneh incorporating beets, carrots, celery root and kohlrabi—you’ll be drooling over vegetables.  A perfect book for your coffee table.
  3. Plant-based cuisine.  JERUSALEM not only touches on a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans, but the use of fresh herbs and spices are what really make this cuisine so special.  Garlic, mint, sumac, saffron, oregano, parsley, cumin, smoked paprika, cardamom and more…your health will appreciate this.  A perfect book to rely more on plants for fuel.
  4. 120 inspirational recipes.  Chef Jen loves this book—she would tell you herself.  She has used JERUSALEM as a guide and I can’t wait for guests and future guests to get a taste of these delicious, healthy dishes.  Greek Yogurt Flatbreads, Lamb Kofta, Tahini Sauce, Conchiglie with Yogurt and Peas, and more.  A perfect book to keep handy in your kitchen.


Guest Testimonial: Linda & Vince Ferrigno


By Linda Ferrigno
When we go on vacation, we come back needing a vacation. Not at Hilton Head Health. We come back feeling MARVELOUS! We love it so much; we brought our three adult daughters with us last time. It was the best vacation ever.

My sweet husband is Italian and he is so much FUN. We celebrate every holiday, vacation, and social occasion with food. Dinners with friends and family were three or more hours of eating, drinking, and laughing. We tried diets and joined health clubs but the waistlines kept expanding. Everything we tried was just a temporary fix. We were going out smiling, but if we didn’t change our ways, we were going out soon.

Hilton Head Health changed our lives. We have smaller waistlines, lower cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting glucose, blood pressure, BMI, and body fat percentages. The change is so much deeper than all of these wonderful numbers. Through the classes we learned about the science and psychology of staying fit. We are preparing delicious, healthy food at home and no one would ever label any of it “diet food”.

The active life is becoming our life. I ran my first race in over 20 years at H3 and since coming home have done more. I walked a million steps in less than 90 days with an amazing tracking device they helped me discover. My husband has a bad knee. He learned things he COULD do, like water classes, fit ball, and an amazing NuStep machine in their gym. For the first time in our lives, we are part of our own team. It isn’t “us against them” like it was most of our lives.

The staff is so nice! They know your name. They care and it shows. No matter what stands in your way, they are there to help you find a way over, under, around, and through the obstacle. When you ask a question, they really listen. If they don’t know the answer, they tell you the truth and go to find the real answer. No egos, just love and support. H3 is a little piece of heaven. To say we love it would be a huge understatement!



Healthy Recipe: Severed Finger Sugar Cookies

halloween healthy snack

These are perfect for Halloween parties! They’re finger licking good!


1/2 cup Apple butter

1/2 cup Butter, unsalted

1 cup powdered sugar

1 each Egg

1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

1 cup Whole wheat flour

1 3/4 cup All-purpose flour

1 teaspoon Baking powder

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1/4 cup Almonds, sliced

1/4 cup Strawberry jam


  • In a large bowl, beat the butter and apple butter until creamy. Mix in the sugar, egg and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add the dry mixture to the sugar mixture.
  • Preheat oven to 325° F
  • Using your hands roll a tablespoon of dough into a finger shape. Place the “fingers” on a greased cookie tray. Stick a sliced almond on the end of each finger for the fingernails. Use a table knife to make three indents for the knuckles.
  • Bake until lightly golden, about 17 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
  • In a small sauce pan, cook the strawberry jam over low heat until it reaches a thin consistency.
  • Remove from the heat and dip the “severed” end of each cookie into the sauce.


Servings: 40

Serving Size: 1 cookie

60 calories

Fat: 3 grams



Fitness Friday: Functional Strength of the Upper Body

Probably one of the most beneficial types of strength training exercises for the general population is “Functional Lifting”.  Functional lifting exercises involve multiple muscle groups working together in order to complete a task.  The reason these movements are so beneficial is because they not only have the ability to improve muscular strength and endurance, but they also improve the amount of control a person has over his/her own body weight.  I think it is fair to say that having optimal control over your own body weight is ideal for creating a better quality of life.  Especially as we get into our later years we really value the ability to continue our activities of daily living; (i.e: walking up and down stairs, mowing our own lawn, standing up out of a chair, grabbing high-to-reach objects, etc…)  Your body is something that you have for your entire life, why not form a positive relationship with it and make it great.  Please enjoy the above video demonstrating the progression of two different functional training exercises that will help increase upper body strength; the push-up and the pull-up.



Coaching Corner: Persistence


The obvious goal that most people have when they start a weight management program is to not only lose weight but keep it off.  Unfortunately, the reality is that they gain some, if not all of their weight back.  When this pattern repeats itself over time it is referred to as yo-yo dieting, or weight cycling.  There is a common misconception that this pattern can lower, if not “destroy” your metabolism; making future weight loss difficult if not impossible.  If you believe that you have destroyed your metabolism as a result of previous dieting behavior, you might assume that you can’t lose weight, so why try?  The good news is that according to the National Institutes of Health’s, Weight Control Information Network (WIN), studies show weight cycling does not affect your metabolic rate.  Results for the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), a data base of 10,000 successful maintainers support those findings. The participants of NWCR have lost on average 50 – 70 lbs. and maintained that weight loss for 7-10 years.  Most of the participants had lost and regained weight many times prior to successfully maintaining their weight.  While no one is suggesting it is a good idea to lose and regain weight repeatedly, studies have shown that it does not predict your chance of success in the future.  One common characteristic of the members in NWCR is that they didn’t give up working on managing their weight.  They kept at it, learned from their experience and finally found a plan that worked for them.  In other words, they were persistent.   For those of you who are successful in managing your weight, congratulations, keep up the great work!  For those who have found that goal elusive, do not give up.  Weight management can be compared to many aspects of life; it’s not the one that gets it right the first time, it’s the one who does not give up until they got it right.

As you may know, I am a big fan of quotes.  Sometimes the right quote can help keep or regain focus. Here some great quotes about persistence.

“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”     Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.”  William Feather

“Ambition is the path to success.  Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.”  Bill Bradley

“It doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop.”    Confucius

“Giving up is the only sure way to fail.”   Gena Showalter

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”   Thomas Alva Edison

“Fall seven times, get up eight.”   Japanese Proverb



Wellness Wednesday: Staying Healthy Means Staying Connected

circle of friends

As the school year has blossomed, my social life has withered.  Soccer games, tennis practice, dance class and homework have my role as Mom taking center stage.  Although I cherish that role, my physical and emotional health suffers when it dominates to the point that my social life becomes non-existent.

Human beings are social animals. We need others to fully thrive.  In fact, our lives depend on other humans.  If you think about it, as infants we rely completely on others to care for us.  So the need for human interaction starts from day one.  We develop and learn about the world around us through the filter of other people.  Our connections to others are essential to our survival, as well as to our happiness and success.

Research has shown that having few friends and weak social ties to the community is just as harmful to your health as being an alcoholic or smoking nearly a pack of cigarettes a day.1  Studies have also found that weak social ties are actually more harmful to our overall health than a sedentary lifestyle and twice as much a health risk as obesity.Knowing that complete health involves connectedness to others, this is an important time to protect and nurture your relationships.

When the weather gets colder and the days get shorter we find ourselves spending more time indoors.  Couple that with the craziness of the holidays and it’s easy to put our social life on the back burner.  All those factors contribute to an unhealthy recipe for loneliness, depression and isolation.

Catching up with friends and family doesn’t have to require a lot of work or a huge time commitment.  Just start by making several phone calls a week to touch base with the people in your life that provide you with positive support.  Invite a friend or family member for lunch, a cup of coffee, or a cocktail once a week.  See if your neighbor wants to join you on your next power-walk.  Stay healthy and help others in the process – reach out and remain connected.


1.    Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review, Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Timothy B. Smith, J. Bradley Layton



Tuesday Fit Tip: workout on the go


With our everyday busy schedules, whether its traveling or keeping up with kids, we may find it hard to get in a good effective workout. Not only are we hindered with everyday duties, but time and actual effort plays a major role as well. Below is a 5-10 minute total body interval training workout that increases your aerobic capacity and burns lots of calories!



-Stable Chair


Jumping Jacks

Tricep dips

Jump Squats

Incline Push ups

Wall Sits



1. Warm up body with a simple jogging in place.

2. From the exercises given, in sequential order, do each one, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off.

3. Start new exercise on list.

4. Complete list repeating the rotation three times.

5. Cool down and Stretch!




Healthy Recipe: Meringue Bones with Bloody Berries


With Halloween around the corner – enjoy our Meringue Bones with Bloody Berries at your next spooktacular event!


1 ½ teaspoons Pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon Cream of tartar

1 ½ Tablespoon Cornstarch

1 ½ cups Sugar

¾ cup Egg whites, large (room temperature)

Pinch Salt


4 cups Strawberries, sliced

2 cups Raspberries, cleaned

2 Tablespoons Honey


• Preheat oven to 275°F.

• Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

• Portion out vanilla and cream of tartar and set aside.

• In medium bowl, mix cornstarch and sugar.

• Place egg whites in large mixer bowl of standing mixer. Make sure bowl is clean and free of any debris.

Use whip attachment for the whipping of the egg whites.

• Start whipping eggs on low speed while adding cream of tartar and salt, then increase speed to medium

until soft peaks start to form.

• Move speed up to medium high and gradually add sugar and cornstarch mixture.

• Then add in pure vanilla extract and increase speed to high and whip until meringue is glossy and stiff

peaks form. About 4 to 5 minutes.

• Pipe mixture onto prepared baking sheet, making about 20 medium sized “bones”.

• Reduce oven heat to 250°F and bake for about 50-60 minutes. Make sure bones don’t crack or start to

turn tan or brown. Lower heat if this is the case by about 25 degrees.

• Prepare topping while bones are cooking. In a saucepot, add berries and honey. Cook on low-medium

heat, allowing the berries to become juicy. Remove from heat and allow cooling.

• Once cooled, place ¼ of a cup of fruit in a small bowl and serve with one meringue bone.

Number of Servings: 20

Serving Size: 1 Bone

Calories: 55

Fat: 0

Carbohydrates: 14

Fiber: 0.5

Protein: 1.5

Sodium: 17.5





 As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we are focusing on cancer prevention in our cooking demos, I was inspired to create a sample vegetarian meal plan.   The American Institute of Cancer Research recommends a diet full of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans , legumes, lean animal protein sources, nuts, healthy oils, seeds, alcohol in moderation (if ever) and absolutely zero tobacco use.  I know this may be a stretch for some, but you could simply take one meal per week and make it completely plant-based or try an entire day of lacto-ovo vegetarian (including eggs and dairy).  The sample plan will include the use of eggs and dairy but will not have the caloric information; however, nutritional balance is there…






Greek   yogurt parfait with berries & macadamias

Squash   Quesadillas (2 slices) with Avocado Aioli

Vegetable   Lasagna (H3 recipe—omit the beef)


Breakfast   burrito—omit chicken sausage

Chickpea   salad sandwich on rye and tomato soup

Tofu   stir fry with peppers, onions, garlic, coconut rice


Smoothie   using Greek yogurt, pineapple, 2 T. oats, ground flaxseed

Squash   Quesadillas (other 2 slices) with salsa

Cranberry   pecan quinoa Pilaf with 3 oz. baked tofu & steamed broccoli


H3   Oatmeal with toasted walnuts and berries

Leftover   tofu stir fry and coconut rice

Vegetable   Lasagna


Vegetable   omelet with Banana

Spinach   salad with black beans, quinoa, tomato, 2% cheddar, H3 Dressing

Vegetarian   soup with whole wheat crostini


H3   oatmeal with macadamias and berries

Vegetarian   soup and side salad

Black   bean and tofu burger with sweet potato fries


Vegetable   frittata and breakfast potatoes

Chickpea   salad sandwich on rye and tomato soup

Pita   pizza—omit turkey bacon



SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline