Archive for November 2013

Fitness Friday: The 7 Great Benefits to Interval Training

Why Interval training?

1.  Efficient:

 Ideally for a busy schedule, interval training lets you squeeze in a workout in the morning after waking up late or during lunch. Interval training is a way to get a great workout in less time. Intervals can be done with 30 seconds to 1 minute of work to one to two minutes of recover (see example to the right), or a method called tabata. Tabata falls under the category of high intensity training and consists of 20 seconds of maximum intensity exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest. This cycle is repeated 8 times, totaling four minutes. Who can make time for a 4 minute workout?  11291

2.  Burn More Fat:

When these intense exercises occur on a regular basis, the body increases its basal metabolic rate (BMR) to handle the new demands put on it. When you create an oxygen debt (for example: heavy panting during tabata) your body has burned off all of the blood sugar (glycogen) it has and needs to replace all of that energy. It does this by burning fat. Instead of trying to use fat while you are exercising, you use carbs as fuel while you are exercising and use fat after the exercise has occurred. The short duration workouts of tabata were shown to burn an average of 5x more calories AFTER their exercise is over.

3.  Healthier Heart:

Interval training pushing us into the anaerobic zone (the wonderful, “uncomfortable” place where breathing becomes difficult and feels like your chest is trying to jump out of your chest) producing cardio (heart) gains, making the heart recover more quickly by pumping blood and oxygen throughout the body more efficiently, thus ultimately reducing the time needed to recover.  11292

4.  No equipment necessary:

Doing high knees, jumping jacks, jump rope, sprinting, jogging in place, fast feet, or any plyometric movement (explosive movement) can get your heart rate up fast. Intervals can even be done inside or outside for a wonderful view as well!

5.  Lose Weight, not muscle:

While steady state heart rate seems to encourage muscle loss, interval training preserves hard-earned muscle mass while advancing weight loss from fat stores.

6.  Increase metabolism:

The increase in oxygen consumption following the interval workouts naturally increases your resting metabolic rate, which, in turn, allows you to burn more calories as a direct result of your workout. So interval training will increase metabolism even outside the realm of the gym, even when you’re at home resting. Cardio spurts combined with body weight resistance exercises (push-ups, dips, planks, squats, lunges) create a high-low-high-low intensity roller coaster which shocks the body’s metabolism and burns more calories on average throughout the workout.

7.  Challenging:

Interval training keeps your mind and body constantly moving. Because it is a reduced time workout, the intensity level is higher therefore pushing the workout to a new level. Interval training offers seasoned exercisers a new challenge and new exercisers an efficient way to see results!



H3 Recipe: Holiday Recipe Special

Check out our Holiday Recipe page full of your favorite dishes to make any holiday meal special!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Roasted Turkey, Gravy and Cranberry Relish

Roasted Turkey, Gravy and Cranberry Relish


Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Spiced Apple Compote

Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Spiced Apple Compote


Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup


Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie





Uncomfortable.  Uncomfortable is an adjective that can mean a few things:  experiencing physical discomfort; uneasy or ill at ease; causing anxiety; experiencing discomfort caused by stress or strain.  We have all felt this before and most people would agree that it isn’t a fun feeling.  However, embracing and accepting that feeling of discomfort is what makes us BETTER in the long run—even if there is an “I can’t do this” or negative outlook at the situation at hand…turn a difficult situation into a positive opportunity.

FITNESS:  Monday mornings I attend the 6:00 am CrossFit group class.  This past Monday’s strength piece (back squats, barbell on the back, 3 sets until fatigue– rest 60 seconds in between sets) was brutal.  Everyone’s legs, including mine, felt like Jello.  After 59 squats, I started the conditioning portion of the class.  It pushed everyone to the point that 75% of the group was lying on the floor from pure exhaustion (I was one of them).   I heard someone tell our head strength trainer and programmer, “thanks for that.”  He responded perfectly“it sucks getting better, doesn’t it?”  In order to reach our fitness goals, we have to be willing to get outside of our comfort zone.  Getting better is hard, but it makes the outcome special.  It means crossing the finish line, completing a push up or being capable of reaching your toes is the byproduct of your perseverance throughout your training.

NUTRITION: You get through an evening without binging.  You are invited to a nice dinner, but are afraid that it is going to set you back.  You decide to give up diet soda and drink water instead—something so simple but easier said than done.  You have a “bad” day of eating and think you’ve blown it.  Talk about some uncomfortable and anxious moments.  At Hilton Head Health we know going home is challenging.  We know cooking 5 nights out of the week is a huge success.  We understand most everyone is battling to either lose weight or maintain the weight loss—it can be a tough journey.  However, getting back on track, developing a healthier relationship with food and getting through tempting food situations are all VICTORIES.  It makes those uncomfortable moments worth it in the end… we are able to strategize, plan ahead, and set boundaries.  Again, it makes us better.

SELF:  Conversations centered on setting boundaries.  Accepting a new, yet challenging job; moving your family to a different city; changing careers; being a single, working mom.  Realizing there are certain relationships that could be destroying or sabotaging your personal health goals.  I am so thankful the guests have Lisette here.  She is such an asset to H3’s program—I would recommend you read her blogs.  If you are struggling at home then reach out to get support—even if it is just a listening ear with someone you trust.  I love when Lisette talks about “sitting in your emotion” during her Stress and Emotional Eating lecture.  She then proceeds to encourage us to “put your emotion at the altar.”  This is truly grasping the concept of embracing the uncomfortable.

 “In order to get from what was to what will be, you must go through what is.”  Anonymous



Book Review: Strength Training Anatomy 3rd Edition


 Strength Training Anatomy 3rd Edition is a great book to have around the house. Not only does this book do a great job of educating a person on the anatomy of the musculoskeletal system, but it also does a great job of providing a wide variety of excellent exercises (machines, free weights, and body weight exercises alike) that work specific muscle groups.

Using color coded pictures for your convenience, this book very clearly describes how to perform each exercise safely and effectively using terminology that the everyday person can understand. At the end of each section, a series of different stretches for the corresponding muscle group is also demonstrated.

One of my favorite aspects of this book is that it also talks about common injuries related to strength training and the best ways to prevent/reduce the risk and how to treat them. This book provides you with the tools to have a completely different full body strength training routine each time you workout, whether that be at home or at the gym.

Research continues to support the benefits of Strength Training for those with weight loss goals. Even though a Strength Training workout typically does not burn as many calories per session as a Cardiovascular-workout does, the long term benefits from strength training ultimately have longer lasting calorie burn benefits. The physiological changes that take place as a result of strength training are an increase in muscle mass. Muscle mass takes more energy to maintain than fat mass does. Muscle tissue burns about 9 times the amount of calories that fat tissue does, which means that more muscle = a faster metabolism.

As a trainer, two of the most common barriers that I hear of preventing people from strength training are a fear of “bulking up” and a lack of knowledge (fear of getting injured, not knowing which exercises work which muscle groups, etc…). When people say they have a fear of “Bulking up”, they typically mean they have a fear of looking like the top photo of the woman and the top photo of the man.


biglady1   litlady



bigboy  litboy

The reality is, it is incredibly challenging to achieve what those on the left have. “Bulking up” takes much more than just 2-3, 30-60 minute, full body strength workouts each week. If that were the case, I would be HUGE!!! In actuality, it is much more likely that your body would start resembling a figure more closely to the people on the right hand side as a result of adding regular strength training in your routine.

If a lack of knowledge (fear of getting injured, not knowing which exercises work which muscle groups, etc…) is the only thing holding you back from incorporating strength training into your routine, then Strength Training Anatomy 3rd Edition would make a great addition to your collection of books at home!



Healthy Recipe: Cauliflower Gruyere Gratin


This recipe is sure to be a family favorite. Here is a tasty dish your children will love and will also be getting their daily vegetable servings in at the same time.


5 heads Cauliflower, (6in heads) cut into medium size florets

2/3 cup Butter, unsalted

1/2 Cup  AP flour

10 Cup Skim milk, heated

½ tsp. White pepper

1 ¼ tsp. Nutmeg

1  2/3 Cup Gruyere cheese, shredded

1  2/3 Cup Parmesan cheese, shredded



  • Cut cauliflower into florets, then put in steamer for about 5 minutes. 
  • While cauliflower is steaming, in a saucepan melt butter, and add flour making a roux.
  • Pour the hot milk in the roux and whisk until it comes to a boil and starts to thicken.
  • Once thick pull off the heat and add salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  • Stir in cheeses.
  • Spray hotel pan, place cauliflower in pan then drizzle milk mixture over the cauliflower until covered.
  • Bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serving size:  ½ cup

Calories:          110

Fat:                  6 grams

Sodium            210



Fitness Friday: Holiday Travel Workout

Traveling this holiday season?  These are 3 easy 6 minute workouts that you can mix and match for a quick routine while you’re away from home!

Perform each exercise for 1 minute x 2 times.

Lower body:

Body Squat: Stand with the feet parallel or turned out 15 degrees — whatever is most comfortable. Squat by bending your hips and knees until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Make sure the heels do not rise off the floor. Press through the heels to return to a standing position.

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Reverse Lunge Knee-Up: Begin by standing on one foot, then step the opposite foot backwards into a reverse lunge. Powerfully push through the front foot and bring the opposite knee towards the chest. Quickly step back into a reverse lunge and repeat

Single Leg Deadlift: Start in a standing position with the feet together. Lift the right leg slightly, and lower the arms and torso while raising the right leg behind the body. Keep the left knee slightly bent and reach the arms as close to the floor as possible. Raise the torso while lowering the right leg. Switch legs.

Upper body:

Triceps Dip: Start seated near a step or bench. Sit on the floor with knees slightly bent, and grab the edge of the elevated surface and straighten the arms. Bend them to a 90-degree angle, and straighten again while the heels push towards the floor

Shoulder press (with resistance band): begin by standing on an exercise band so that tension begins at arm’s length. Grasp the handles and lift them so that the hands are at shoulder height at each side. As you exhale, lift the handles up until your arms are fully extended overhead

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Superman: Lie face down on your stomach with arms and legs extended. Keep your neck in a neutral position. Keeping your arms and legs straight (but not locked) and torso stationary, simultaneously lift your arms and legs up toward the ceiling to form an elongated “u” shape with your body — back arches and arms and legs lift several inches off the floor.

Pushup: Lie down on the floor with hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Raise body up off floor by extend arms with body straight. Keeping body straight, lower body to floor by bending arms. Push body up until arms are extended. Repeat.


Plank: Come up on elbows and toes, make sure the core is engaged and your hips are lifted, your spine, hips and head should be in a straight line. Hold that position.

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Flutter Kick: Start lying on your back with arms at your sides and palms facing down. With legs extended, lift the heels off the floor (about six inches). Make quick, small up-and-down pulses with the legs, while keeping the core engaged. Try to keep kicking it for a minute straight!

Bicycle: Lie down with knees bent and hands behind the head. With the knees in toward the chest, bring the right elbow towards the left knee as the right leg straightens. Continue alternating sides





I don’t have a clear definition for “personal health strategy” (title and theme of this blog), but I do know it would encompass the following variables:  exercise plan, meal plan, family plan, self-care plan, financial plan, career plan, etc.  These are the pieces of the puzzle.  These are the components that play an important role in your success.   Ultimately, we don’t have 100% control over numerous things in our life, but I hope the following components help you establish some strategic framework to your personal vision and health strategy.

  • Convictions— Why do you believe what you do? Why do you believe it is important to keep a gratitude journal? Why do you believe you need to practice yoga twice a week?  Why do you believe you need to eat a healthy diet in order to succeed?  It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief.  And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”  Muhammad Ali
  • Mission—To what purpose have you been called upon?  What do you DO?  HOW do you do it?  Whom do we do it for?  Every business has a mission statement…what is yours?
  • Vision—Who is your best self? Where are you being called to go?  What do you see yourself accomplishing?  Who is surrounding you?  How are you living life? This is a powerful thing.
  • Strategy—How are you being lead to get there?  Motivation is necessary here.  Without motivation then the HOW will either NOT happen OR it won’t happen very long.  Example:  Ms. Jones wants to lose 10 lbs., but she has no idea what is motivating her to stick to a lower calorie plan in order to reach that 10 lb. loss.  If it is only the # on the scale then I guarantee this lower calorie plan won’t last in the long-term.
  • Objectives IF YOU AIM AT NOTHING YOU HIT IT EVERYTIME.  YOU NEED GOALS.  Your objectives are the goals.  What 3-month goals are you making?  Have you developed weekly behavioral goals to set yourself up for success?  Example:  “I am going to CrossFit from 6:00-7:00 am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.”  If this is my weekly goal then it will help me reach my bigger goal: “At the end of 3 months, I am improving my mile time by 30 seconds.”  Check out more information with David’s post on Creating Goals Through a Vision.


Okay, so I’ve given you the strategic framework to develop your personal health strategy, but what next?

  • Make a date with yourself.  Figure out a time when you can sit down and go over these different components.
  • Write it down and keep it somewhere visible.  Keep a journal.  Use the journal.
  • Tell SOMEONE.  If you’ve taken the time to think about this and write it down then tell someone you trust to help hold you accountable as well as being a great support.
  • GET ACTIVE. ENGAGE YOUR GOAL.  Take the forward steps.
  • Re-write your weekly goals every Sunday or Monday.  Re-evaluation is necessary.


Wellness Wednesday: Spiritual Refueling

spirit tree

By Lisette Cifaldi, MSW, LMSW

Director of Behavioral Health, Hilton Head Health

The number one symptom of spiritual disconnection is serenity deficiency. When you are white-knuckling it through the day and even the smallest inconveniences have you gritting your teeth, then your serenity has been breached. All signs are pointing to a need for spiritual refueling.

Environment, culture, and lifestyle can all be contributing factors involved in the kidnapping of our peace and serenity. However, a well-nurtured spiritual connection provides a healthy immunity against the influences that compromise our peacefulness.  Below are a few ideas for how to begin spiritual refueling:

Laugh Until You Cry: When is the last time you had a good belly laugh? We allow life to become all too serious at times. Laughter is necessary for lightening your spirit and loosening strongholds on your heart. Have a marathon showing of funny movies or DVR some of your favorite sitcoms and watch them back-to-back.  Visit a local comedy club or just stand in the greeting card section of your closest Target reading the cards filed under humorous.

Full Service Please: Being of service to others gets us out of the monkey chatter in our head. When we help people in need our spirit blossoms. We become untethered from our thoughts as our spirit naturally takes the reigns. Service can take the form of volunteerism with local charities or non-profit organizations, as well as just dropping in on an elderly neighbor or bringing dinner to a sick friend. Don’t over-think it — just dive in and help.

Naturally Speaking: One way to spiritually refuel is to surround yourself with the beauty of nature. Set aside some time to create a mindful experience in the great outdoors. Try a quiet walk on the beach or a tranquil saunter through the woods. Work in your garden or arrange a picnic under your favorite tree. Feel the sun on your face, the breeze through your hair or the snow on the tip of your tongue.

Exercise Your Right Brain: Getting creative is a great way to awaken your spirituality. Our analytic thought can become a strait-jacket for our spirituality. Channel Houdini for help in escaping that strait-jacket by engaging in creative endeavors. Paint, collage, craft, photograph…instead of looking for beauty, create it!

Mischievous Merriment: Smiles, giggles, and feelings of happiness abound when we do something nice for others, especially without them knowing about it. Putting a smile on someone else’s face lights up your spirit from within. Get a bunch of $5 Starbuck’s gift cards and randomly give them away. Sing the praises of someone who has given you excellent customer service by writing their boss a letter. Send someone flowers, or put a small box of chocolates on their desk with a note that recognizes their hard work.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You: Gratitude is the doorway into your spirit. By purposively cultivating gratitude you align yourself with the abundance of the universe. When we expand our practices of gratitude “I’m not enough,” and “I don’t have enough” become, “I am enough” and “I have everything I need.” Start with a gratitude list on your refrigerator. Whenever you’re in the kitchen, write down one thing you’re grateful for on the list. Create a gratitude box at the beginning of the year. Once or twice a week, recognize something you are truly grateful for, write it on a note, and put it in the box. At the end of the year, open the box and reflect on all your blessings.

Pipe Down: Last, but not least, allow for silence in your life. Our mind, body and spirit need quiet. Find a place and time to rest peacefully with no distractions or noise. Let the commotion in your head and environment fall away so your spirit can surface and take center stage.



Nutrition: Tips to Boost Metabolism Naturally


If you are serious about boosting your metabolism, get serious about building some muscle. Muscles are the driving force behind your metabolism. Muscles are metabolically active, so the more you have, the higher your metabolic rate. Make sure to add some resistance (strength training) exercises to your program. You can lift free weights or use weight machines, do weight bearing calisthenics like pushups and squats, or use resistance bands.

This is especially important as we get older. Starting about age 35 – 40 we tend to lose muscle as we age, as a result, our metabolic rate drops. While maintaining or building muscle is the most important thing you can do boost your metabolism, it certainly not the only thing you can do. Each of the following tips have been shown to raise metabolism:

1. When you drink water, make sure it is cold. Researchers have found that that the body uses energy to warm the water.

2. Have smaller, more frequent meals. Each time you eat, your metabolic rate increases. If you divide a day’s worth of calories into 4 or 5 meals instead 2 or 3, the sum of those metabolic increases will be slightly higher.

3. Take a leisurely walk after a meal. When you eat, your metabolic rate goes up and when you walk, your metabolic rate goes up as well, so when you do them together it goes up a little more.

4. Drink a few cups of green tea per day. The combination of caffeine and other phytochemicals in tea a give your metabolic rate a boost.

5. If you like your food spicy, use hot peppers liberally. Capsaicin, the phytochemical in hot peppers that gives them their heat, can rev up your metabolism as well.

6. Make your exercise a HIIT. HIIT stands for high intensity interval training and for those who are fit enough and motivated to do it, you get an extra post-exercise burn as a result.

7. Be sure to consume high quality protein sources. Protein from fish, poultry, lean beef, and pork, eggs, nuts, legumes, and low or nonfat dairy foods is essential for preserving and building muscle. Also, make sure protein is part of your post work-out snack. A glass of skim or even chocolate milk or some peanut butter on a whole wheat sandwich gives your body what it needs to recover from a challenging workout.

8. Get 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night. Sleep deprivation lowers metabolic rate and saps your motivation to do the muscle building resistance exercises emphasized earlier.




   gf waffle

Waffles are great as a sweet or savory breakfast in the morning. Unfortunately, a lot of people cannot indulge in them due to food allergies such as intolerance to gluten. However, this delicious recipe provides one gluten-free way to enjoy waffles.


3 ½ cup Rice flour

2 tsp. Kosher salt

½ cup Sugar

1 cup Ground flaxseed

1 tsp. Cinnamon

2 T. Baking powder

5 each Eggs, separated

½ cup Egg substitute

3 cups Skim milk

½ cup Canola oil

2 tsp. Vanilla extract



  • Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.   
  • In a separate bowl, separate the whole eggs (yolks and egg whites separate—egg whites in large metal mixing bowl).  Using a hand-mixer, beat the egg whites until a stiff peak form.
  • Combine the rest of the wet ingredients, including the egg yolks, and mix well.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, the batter should be a little lumpy (that is okay).  Gently fold in the egg whites, in 2 separate batches, until just combined.
  • Preheat the waffle iron.  Add ½ cup of batter for each waffle.  Allow waffle to cook as needed.


AMOUNT PER SERVING:  recipe makes 16 large waffles, but serving size is ½ of waffle cut into quarters (2 quarters each)


NUTRITION:  150 calories, 6 gm fat, 19 gm carb, 1 gm fiber, 4 gm protein



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