Archive for December 2013

How to Spend the Last Day of the Year

2013 2014

You made it! It’s the last day of the year, and since you are reading this insightful blog that means you’ve survived 2013. You’re not done yet however. You have a few more hours to go before ringing in the New Year. How do you want to spend it? How do you want to spend the last day of the year?

Do you want to wallow in resentment? Do you want to sit on the couch, numbing gaze, while watching another episode of Law & Order? Do you want to waste mental and emotional energy reflecting on the hardships of 2013, clinging to a desperate hope that 2014 will be a better year? Do you want to stare at your reflection with self-loathing because your body still has a ways to go before reaching an acceptable appearance?


Do you want to float in love and gratitude? Do you want to feel the exhilaration of achievement and hard work that comes from exercising? Do you want to call the people who have nurtured your soul and thank them for their presence in your life? Do you want to walk through your work day grateful for the ability to share your unique skills while feeling the security of knowing that you have an income? Do you want to thank your body for providing another year of experiencing life…hugs, kisses, adventures? Do you want to reflect on the abundance in your life? Do you want to recall the opportunities that have been presented to you — the opportunities to learn, evolve, grow, and succeed? Do you want to witness the beauty around you with a deeper appreciation?

You choose. You can choose how to spend the last day of the year.

I have chosen to feel a deep sense of gratitude that comes from doing what I love. I have chosen to reflect on the immense honor that my clients bestow upon me as they open up their hearts in my office and trust me with their vulnerability. I have chosen to acknowledge how my clients help me as much as I help them. I am choosing to thank you all for the gift of your presence in my life.

“The winds of grace blow all the time. All we need to do is set our sails.” ~ Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Have a Happy New Year all!




brussel caserolTender, sweet and just a little nutty, Brussels sprouts add a delightful crunch to many healthy recipes.  ENJOY!


8 cups  Brussel sprouts, halved

2  cups Cream of mushroom soup (Healthy Request) or

 H3 Cream sauce

 1 cup Skim milk

½ tsp. Salt

Pinch Pepper

1 tsp. Onion powder

1 cup Brown rice, cooked (optional)

½ cup 2% Sharp cheddar cheese

 1 cup Panko crumbs (Japanese bread crumbs)

 2 T. Parsley, fresh, washed, chopped fine

 1 T. Butter, unsalted                               



  • Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  • Place all cut vegetables in mixing bowl.
  •  In smaller sauce pan, warm H3 cream sauce or healthy request soup, and add skim milk or soy milk.
  • Warm sauce until hot, and season with salt, pepper, and onion powder.
  •  Lightly spray a 9×9 casserole dish with pan spray.
  • Then add cut brussel sprouts to casserole dish.  If adding rice add now with the brussel sprouts.
  • Pour “cream” mixture over vegetables.
  • Wrap casserole dish with plastic wrap and foil, and bake for about 20 minutes.
  • In another bowl, melt butter and mix with panko crumbs, and fresh chopped parsley.
  • After casserole has cooked for 20 minutes, unwrap and sprinkle on 2% sharp cheddar cheese.
  • Sprinkle panko mixture over the top of casserole for an added crunch and color
  •  Bake in oven for about 10 to 15 minutes or until panko crust is golden brown.

 Number of servings: 9

Serving size: 1/9 of pan

Calories: 80 calories do not include rice

Fat grams: 3



Fitness Friday: Gateway Exercise


There are many people out there who simply dread the idea of exercising. I believe that with the right type of exercise (a “Gateway Exercise” so to speak) and an open mind, people can discover their own passion for exercise. For those of you who have been to Hilton Head Health while I have been here, you have probably noticed that I love my job. I think it is possibly the greatest job in the world, or at least it is for me. I absolutely love that I get to be active as a part of my paying work day. A stressful day at work quickly becomes less stressful when I get the rush of endorphins coursing through my veins after a 50 minute treading class. I have more energy, my mind is more focused, and I am able to manage stress in a seemingly perfect way. Not only that, but I get to share these experiences with guests from all over the world. However, my love of exercise was not always existent. In fact, there was a time in my life when the thought of exercise was a dread to me as well. It was not until I found an exercise that I do love, my gateway exercise, which I started to notice myself enjoying others as well.

Throughout middle school and high school the most physical activity that I ever got was during football season. Not because I was an all-star football player or anything, but because I played the Tenor Saxophone in the high school marching band. “You were in the marching band, David?!”… Heck yes I was! In order to have effective performing posture, the core has to be engaged at all times. Not only that, but we easily exceeded the daily recommendation of 10,000 steps per day during our 2 hour rehearsals. Don’t get me wrong, in a fitness contest we would lose BIG TIME to a football player, but it was still a physically demanding activity that kept us moving. Not only that, but the marching band was fun. I have always enjoyed a good melody; what a better way to get exercise in my life than to combine it with something else I enjoy.

When I look back on it, as silly as it sounds, the marching band was my Gateway Exercise. It got me used to moving more than I usually do. It got me used to being on a regular schedule with a physical activity. It got me excited to improve my physical capabilities so that I could perform better as a musician. Eventually I hit a point when I was getting sick and tired of feeling so scrawny and weak just from holding the Saxophone. That’s when I started to adopt a strength training routine so that I could bulk up a little bit (plus I figured I would have a better shot at being noticed by the ladies as well). One of my marching band buddies became my weight lifting partner. We would go to the high school weight room after classes at least 4 days a week for about 5 months. I was so motivated when I realized how quickly my strength was increasing. Heavy weights quickly became my new favorite form of exercise! I loved it so much that I decided to sign up for the summer football training bootcamp my senior year of High School. This is when I started to realize that, mentally, I was changing drastically. I joined a football bootcamp with no intentions of playing football. The bootcamp itself was fun enough for me. One year before this, I would have laughed at the idea of doing a bootcamp… especially just for fun! This bootcamp involved a whole lot of conditioning and a whole lot of elevated heart rate. The best part of it all is that my physical stamina and capabilities in the marching band my senior year was amazing compared to the years previous.

Now, not only did I love moving more, but I also loved heavy lifting and interval training. In fact, I loved them so much that I decided to go on and study Exercise Science in college.  So, let’s take a step back; because of my Gateway Exercise, I became open to other forms of activity. Even some that I remember hating in the past like jumping rope. It’s amazing how much the realm of possibilities open up when an open mind comes in contact with a Gateway Exercise. All of a sudden, being active is no longer a barrier to your every day life, rather, a natural part of it instead. I was fortunate to realize the marching band as my Gateway Exercise. What will yours be?




As 2013 is coming to an end, I would like to highlight Hilton Head Health moments that have made an impact on me, the program and the staff over the past 12 months.

  1.  Devin’s Dash.  This was only my 2nd year being a part of this special event, but it brings everyone together for a great cause.  Some guests ran or walked their first organized 5k this year and most said they would do it again.
  2. Cooking Demos.  It has been a blast to be standing next to Karla Williams during the Monday Cooking Demonstrations offered in the Healthy Kitchen.  It has also been an honor to witness guests try something new for the first time, have an “ah-hah” moment or get excited about our Roasted Butternut Squash Soup—it’s the little things in life, right?
  3. THAT FEELING after treading.  Lets be honest—treading is HARD.  Treading is exceptionally hard when you are at a 15 degree incline and expected to hold that for an entire minute before moving it down to a 14 degree incline—yes, we realize this isn’t a huge difference.   TO ALL GUESTS:  we are inspired by your hard work and determination during that class.  Thank you for grinding out the full 45-50 minutes.
  4. That SPECIAL thermal walk.  There was one particular guest (you know who you are) that asked to meet with me.  Instead, we went on a thermal walk that turned into a deep and spiritual conversation.  It changed everything.  It ignited what was REALLY going on with her and how she could let go of things in the past—she realized the only way to move forward was to rely on the very thing that had already forgiven her, loves her and believes in her.
  5. Halloween.  There is nothing better than seeing the staff dress up—Kate Nolan as the Facebook Hashtag, Chef Jen as a Fire Fighter (she seriously kept that up ALL day in the kitchen) or Lisette as the Food Police.
  6. Michael B.  This special guest, whom most of you might know, made a physical transformation that would inspire even a 5 year old who doesn’t even know what transformation means.   Check out this video from H3 daily.
  7. Guests participating in the local Beach Bum Sprint Triathalon.  What a wonderful day it was—guests who had been practicing their swim, bike and run actually went to a local event and DOMINATED.  Seeing them supporting one another, giving the high fives and battling the heat was amazing.  Big goals were hit that morning.
  8. Dancing when it doesn’t make sense.  For all of you H3 Dance Fusion/Zumba/Wii Dance lovers… this video is for you.
  9. Witnessing guests achieve something for the first time in years.  Touching the toes, walking a full mile without stopping, completing a full body push-up (with correct form) or finishing their first Bootcamp class.  Your exciting achievements pump our stuff up—we love every second of it.
  10. William and the dining staff’s decorations.  This year, there are avocado ornaments on the tree.  That’s creative right there.  I love how the dining room and Healthy Kitchen feel during the holidays—they put a lot of thought, detail and love into making those rooms cozy yet elegant.   Thank you!!


Happy Holidays from H3

staff christmas (420x229)

We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Remember, if you need anything, we are always just a phone call away.




Make Healthy Choices Easy with the “Unwise, Better, Best” Jingle

For most of you, the phrase “unwise, better, best” is not new but if there is ever a time to apply it, it is during the holidays. For many, it is unrealistic to attempt to stay on an aggressive low calorie plan in the midst of travel and holiday parties. This is a time to give yourself a little more flexibility than usual. If you have a treat, make sure you eat it slowly and mindfully and savor every last bite. When out to dinner, at a cocktail party or looking over the choices available at the holiday buffet, categorize the options into “unwise, better or best.” The goal is make better choices than you may have made in the past; not necessarily the best, but consistently better. To help you remember the phrase, and apply it, Hilton Head Health has put it on refrigerator magnets and t-shirts. Now, we have one more way to help make this phrase stick in your mind.

Those of you who have had the pleasure of meeting and working with David Chesworth is also a musician and a song writer and has written a little ditty about the “unwise, better, best” dieting principle.

It is very catchy and in fact hard to get out of your head once you hear it. David is not only a song writer, but also a video director. So along with Greg Moore (video producer) they have produced H3’s very first music video, and here it is. Enjoy it and let us know what you think.

Have a very happy, healthy holiday season.

Unwise Better Best

 Written by – David Chesworth

Inspired by – Bob Wright


When Life gets ya down

Because ya gained a few pounds

And ya ask yourself…

What should I do?…

You’ve tried all kinds

Of diets that worked for some time

But in the end…

ya don’t have a clue


If only there were somethin’ easy

Like a word, a mantra, or a phrase

to remind ya when you’re feelin’ lazy

You will succeed, when I say….


Unwiiiiise    betterrrrrr    best

Just make good choices

And life will take care of the rest

Unwise better best

Just make good choices

And life will take care of the rest





coconut macaroonCrunchy on the outside, chewy in the middle, a good coconut macaroon is an irresistible thing!


            1 Egg white

            1 T. Sugar

            ¼ tsp. Vanilla extract

            1/8 tsp. Almond extract

            ¾ c. Sweetened flaked coconut


  • Preheat oven to 300°F
  • Lightly spray baking sheet with pan spray
  • Separate egg, and use egg white only, place in medium sized bowl or stand mixer bowl with whip attachment.
  • On high speed with an electric mixer or stand mixer whip egg white, slowly add sugar as the egg is whipping.
  • Egg white mixture will form stiff peaks.
  • Fold in vanilla and almond extract then gently fold in flaked coconut.  If over mixed egg mixture will break and fall.
  • Then scoop tablespoon size macaroons onto baking sheet, leave each macaroon about 1 inch apart.
  • Bake until tops are pale golden about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Number of servings: 12

Serving Size: 1 each/ 1 tablespoon

Calories:  75

Fat Grams: 3.5



Friday Fitness: Exercise – The New Holiday Tradition

For many of us, the holidays are a time to get together with friends and family. We laugh, tell stories, give presents, and of course eat. The average American says they think they gain around 5 pounds during the holiday season. Let us be the exception! The holidays do not have to mean weight gain—only if we allow them to. Why not add to the list of family traditions, some physical activity! Remember that it is not all or nothing. It is not the food we eat that we remember, it is the people we are with and the things that we do together that we remembered throughout the years. Below are a few ideas for activities that you can do and recruit the family to join in on—enjoy the holidays!

  1. Incorporate the thermal walk after your big holiday meal. Remember one of the ideas behind the thermal walk is to carry the conversation away from the dinner table. Instead of sitting around and picking at food when you are no longer hungry, take the family out for a walk. Make this a new holiday tradition.
  2. Get some physical activity and spread the holiday cheer by shoveling the snow on your driveway and neighbor’s too!
  3. Make healthy treats such as a trail mix and walk these treats over to your neighbors.
  4. Spend 30 minutes cleaning up the house of wrapping paper and toys.
  5. Offer to wash and put away the dishes.
  6. Find a local 5k or fun run/walk to participate in with the family.
  7. Play a game of touch football in the backyard.
  8. Go ice skating.

Here are some ideas for those lucky enough to have a white Christmas:

  • Sledding
  • Building a snowman
  • Starting a snowball fight
  • Making snow angles

Happy Holidays from H3!




Coaches Corner: What’s the RUSH


Sunday, December 8th 2013. This is the day that I will always remember as the day that I realized, “What’s the Rush?”  I was on a two week vacation in Hawaii, the island of Oahu to be exact. This was a big vacation for me, it was my first big trip that I planned and paid for entirely on my own.  I had big aspirations of things to accomplish while I was there. I wanted to go hiking, see the sights, go to Pearl Harbor, learn to surf, body surf big waves, run a marathon, snorkel, cage dive with sharks and skydive. Some of you may be thinking, “gosh this guy is crazy”! Maybe I am, but I was extra motivated to be adventurous in Hawaii. I’m very happy to say that I was able to check off everything on my Hawaii bucket list. Everything turned out just like I had hoped it would, everything except for the marathon…

It was 5am on Sunday, December 8th 2013 and the Honolulu marathon (my very first marathon) was about to begin. I was confident and excited as well as nervous and doubtful. I knew that mentally this challenge was something I could overcome. I knew that cardiovascularly my heart could handle it and I knew that I had trained appropriately for it.  However, I also knew that about one month prior, I had experienced muscle tightness and pain in my right knee.  That didn’t matter, the pain was long gone and I knew that I had to be present in the moment because all I could worry about was the 26.2 mile journey ahead of me.  I had a vision; to be able to say I have completed a marathon. I had goals; Goal #1: Keep running, no matter what. Goal #2: Finish the race in less than 4 hours. Based on my training, I knew that this was realistic.

30,000 people geared up at the start line ready to go. An eruption of fireworks went off, essentially a Fourth of July finale lasting 5 minutes, to start the race.  With that display my confidence skyrocketed.  I started off smart, running at a pace that I knew I could maintain, eventually speeding it up.  The first 2 miles seemed to go by in no time and my excitement only continued to rise. I knew in my head that there was nothing I could not accomplish. Less than 1 mile later, everything changed. My extreme highs were soon to become extreme lows. I began to feel symptoms of pain in my right knee, just like I had one month before. Within minutes my knee was so stiff that simply bending it was intolerable. I already knew that I would not be able to achieve goal #1 (keep moving no matter what) at mile 3. I knew that if I wanted reduce the pain, I had to stop and stretch. I thought to myself, no big deal it’s just a tight muscle, this won’t slow me down too much. I was relieved to see that the pain went away, so I started to run again. Less than 3 minutes later the stiffness in my knee started to act up again. I stopped to stretch again. This sequence of events happened about 3 more times by the time I finally reached mile 5. It was at this point when my heart sank and the unsettling realization kicked in that I was not going to accomplish any of my desired goals during this marathon. I still had 21.2 miles to go and I had already stopped running to stretch numerous times. Not only that, but my knee couldn’t even handle the intensity that I had trained to go at for this race.

The next 5 miles were a big emotional roller coaster. So much negativity coursed through my veins. All I could think about was how pointless it was for me to be continuing. I can’t even accomplish my goals. If I try to go fast, I feel pain. The slower I go, the longer this takes. I’m tired. The end is never going to come. I should just stop. Even if I want to stop, I don’t have a phone, everyone I know is sleeping, I don’t know how to navigate Honolulu, and gosh darn it this just sucks! I stopped to stretch again. During this stretch session I was forced to think about what was truly important to me. I was caught in a heated debate with myself about what action to take next. On one hand, I knew that I could push myself, suck it up and ignore the pain. I could still finish in a time close to 4 hours. I can still achieve my goal of being a sub-4-hour marathon runner. On the other hand, I could respect my body and do the best I can one step at a time. Maybe I won’t achieve my goals, but I will still reach my vision of completing a marathon. But… I’m a fitness specialist, this shouldn’t be happening to me, I’m better than this, I can overcome it. At that moment, I started listening to what I was saying… “exactly”, I thought…. “I’m a fitness specialist… at a healthy lifestyle resort… who preaches making decisions that will improve quality of life… How would I coach a client through something like this?… well… Would it improve my quality of life to ignore my knee pain, push through it, finish my first marathon in 4 hours or less and risk permanently damaging my knees, reducing my chances of being a great marathon runner in the future?… no… Would it improve my quality of life to give up?… no way… would it improve my quality of life to accomplish this amazing task in the way my body is ready to, and be able to call myself a 2013 Honolulu marathon finisher?… ABSOLUTELY!!!” I had nowhere to be later. I had no plans. In fact, it was barely 6:30am and the sun was about to rise in arguably in the most beautiful place in the entire world, “What’s the Rush?”

This marathon put me in a place that many guests at H3 know very well. This is a place of going on a journey. This journey is a place of being enthusiastic to get started; a place where you have mathematically calculated when and where you will arrive at your dream destination; a place that surprises you with unforeseen challenges. A place that makes you want to quit; a place where you ask yourself, why can’t I just be there now? A place where you grow in ways you did not expect to grow; a place where you realize what is truly important to you; a place where you ask yourself… “What’s the Rush?” This is a place where YOU CAN go the distance. The destination may not be as easy to get to as expected, but the change of scenery along the way is beautiful, enjoy it. The destination isn’t going anywhere, you are.  You can choose to move towards it, or away from it. What do you choose? =D





So far you have survived Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and a few weekend shopping frenzies at the mall.  Feeling merry and bright?  Chances are you’re finding yourself more stressed out than ever.  Welcome to the Holiday season!

It’s that ‘most wonderful time of the year’ when your head is spinning just trying to keep up with your ever growing ‘to-do’ list and the frantic schedule of events your trying to manage.  Pretty far removed from those peaceful, serene images glorified in the carols you hear playing around the clock.  Don’t feel left out, there are no chestnuts roasting on an open fire in our house either!

It’s hard to keep your healthy habits in place with so much going on, and so easy to let it all slide during the season.  But you can undo a whole lot of hard work by letting go, even for a couple of weeks.  In Nutrition and Wellness Coaching we encourage our clients to create a VISION and set GOALS to help them realize that vision.  Take a few minutes and write down a VISION for yourself – a healthy statement for your life defining who you are and what health promoting, life-giving behaviors you want to do consistently.   Next list a few goals that will help you reach that vision (fitness, nutrition, or self goals).   Below are a few suggestions to get started.  Remember, you MUST stay confident and strong in willpower to avoid setbacks in your wellness program.

  1. Write down your food rules and keep them handy.  No exceptions!
  2. Find a mantra that helps you stay focused: ‘I am worth it’, ‘I am strong’, ‘I can do this’, ‘Mind over Matter’, ‘I’m going to make it happen’, etc.
  3. Get a buddy (friend, relative or spouse) you can partner with to keep each other on track.
  4. Write down three things that make you happy or put you in a good mood that you can think about when you feel stressed or overwhelmed (an event, place, person or accomplishment).  You want to keep negative thoughts and feelings at bay as much as possible.

At least one of your goals should be fitness based.  Our Home Coaching Challenge for December is to log at least 200 minutes of purposeful physical activity each week.  This is a great goal for everyone this month!  With that in mind I put together a workout to get you started.

In the spirit of the season:

12  Minutes of Power Walking

11  Walking Lunges (2 sets)

10  Jumping Jacks or Heel Kicks (3 sets)

  9   Biceps Curls (3 sets)

  8   Elbow to Knee Crunches (on the mat or standing) (3 sets)

  7   Push-up’s (on the floor or wall) (2 sets)

  6   Sets of Stairs (up and down)

  5  Shoulder Presses (3 sets)

  4  Chair Squats-Plie Position (4 sets)

  3  Minutes jogging in place

  2  Sun Salutations

  1  Minute hold a plank

                                                …..and a Partridge in a Pear Tree!


Happy Holidays!



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