Thursday, March 30, 2006

From St Pat's Day eNewsletter:

Top o' the mornin' to ya....How about celebrating this St. Patrick's Day with some green foods? What are your favorites? On every list of "Power Foods" or "Must-Eat-Often Foods" appear green stuff: spinach, asparagus, broccoli, kale, and all the leafy greens for folic acid. My favorite green food is sugar snap peas. Yum. If you're indulging in green beer, be smart, be safe and drink alot of water too so you stay hydrated.Remember to join us Saturday to walk!

The Phit Chicks walking club will walk from 7:00 to 8:00am, at the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church. We will walk outside if possible, but the forecast right now is for rain Saturday.
I will be there to get everybody started, but then I have to take off for St. Louis -- have to be there by noon for a yoga workshop, a refresher course in Sanskrit.

I"ve been asked lately about Foam Rollers. And stability balls. And dumbbells for home.

Here are a few vendors who can provide you with workout equipment:Fitness First -- local, they're in Shawnee and you get your stuff fast!Power Systems-- they sell the VersaBall, which is the best VALUE for home workout equipment available.Resist-a-Ball -- the absolute best of stability balls.Sport Block dumbbells -- win the award for "most space efficient strength training mechanism"Some of you have already registered for the Nike Women's Marathon. The race is Oct 22nd in San Francisco, and there are now over 20 Phit Chicks registered! We are walking the half-marathon, and if you want in our group, we chose 3:30 - 3:45 as our finish time. If you are going to do this event, or are very interested in this event, please email me here. I will start a separate email list so I don't bore the rest of the Phit Chicks with marathon info.

The Candy Woman Can!

From last week's eNewsletter:

I love my job as a fitness instructor, and every now and then I am insanely happy & excited about it. Yesterday was one of those days.

Candy Kerr has been taking my classes since I first moved to Liberty and taught step classes on that hard gym floor. She's been in Equilibrium: Balanced Fitness for Women for over a year now. In January 2005, Candy did 21 push-ups in one minute as part of a fitness test. (Which isn't bad, as the average person her age can only do 10*.) Yesterday she did 29!

That's an increase of almost 50% in the past year! She blew away the "Excellent" category on the fitness charts. And oh yeah, one small detail -- during 2005 when Candy made this amazing progress with her upper body strength, she was diagnosed, treated for and survived Breast Cancer.
Candy's workout buddies knew she left class for a few months, and returned from chemo with very little hair and one hell of an attitude. Everyone was proud of her inner strength. But we had no idea of her real, physical, "I am the queen of push-ups" strength.Incredible.
Give Candy major high-fives in cyberspace, in your thoughts or next time you see her. What an amazing accomplishment. And the coolness didn't end there.
Ms. Laura Shadid, who's weight loss you've heard me mention, oh -- only a million times now, made quite an amazing leap as well. In January 2005 she did three push-ups. Three, that she says with a smile, probably shouldn't have even counted. Yesterday she did over 30. Go Laura!
A reminder that you can click on any text in this blog that's in color/underline and get a link to a website or handout. A couple resources for you today:Some basics on Nutrition and Women's Health, and a host of medical articlesAn interesting tool to calculate your risk for Breast Cancer A handout on the basics of meditation A handout on increasing your sleep savvyJoin us to walk tomorrow at the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church -- 7:00am!
Make it a healthy day,
Angela Broderick, MA
*I mention above that the average person Candy's age can do 10 push-ups. I want to point out that is referencing "average' of people who take the test -- not every person. So, once again, Go Candy! You are awesome!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Using a crockpot to plan healthier meals

When we did "10 meals at Angela's house" last month, several of the Phit Chicks were intrigued by the ease of crock pot cooking. It wasn't long ago that I mentally categorized the crock pot with cassette tapes and stirrup pants -- just no longer en vogue. But I've found that this slow cooker has many possibilities for easy, healthy meal preparation, especially dinners. One of the keys is the slow cooker liners. You can buy them in the grocery store in the zip-a-lock bags & aluminum foil aisle. Here's how you can make three or four meals in 30 minutes.
1) Put the liner right in the crock pot.
2) Then put any meat (chicken breasts, fish fillets, even a roast) right into the liner. The cool thing is the meat can still be frozen.
3) Add some seasonings -- the kind you shake (poultry seasoning, tarragon, sage, oregano) or the kind you pour (soy sauce, a can of tomatoes) or mustard or lemon juice or whatever you like, right into the lined crock pot. Now, fresh herbs should not be added until closer to the end of the cooking cycle so they retain more flavor. And a good cook will tell you that even the dried herbs will lose some of their flavor. But the fact is,the seasoning adds alot to the dish, and it's lightyears ahead of boxed frozen dinnners or most of the microwaved meals you're spending too much money on at Applebees or Chilis.If you are using a recipe that calls for sour cream or milk or any dairy, do not add it until the end of the cooking cycle. But most things you can put right into the liner.
4) After all ingredients are in the liner bag, tie up the top of the slow cooker liner. Then put the whole thing into a large zip-a-lock bag. Sometimes when I do something heavy, like a roast or many chicken breasts, I put the filled liner bag on a paper plate then slide the paper plate and everything into the large zip-a-lock bag. (Like most meal planning, when you're in the assembly process, it's quite easy to make two or three of these dinners.)
5) After you have everything assembled and closed, put the meal into the refrigerator if you plan to eat it within a couple days, or put the whole thing in the freezer for later. If you freeze it, transfer it from the freezer to the fridge the day BEFORE you plan to cook it. Then the morning of, slide the liner right into the crock pot. At dinner time, you have a meal (minus preservatives and transfat and other crap that's in the packaged frozen dinners), and best of all, after dinner, NO CLEANUP! Yeah!I know when you're standing in the grocery store looking at four liners for $3, it seems like a less-than-frugal decision to buy them. But I guarantee you, having pre-prepared meals made of real food will save you money, calories and stress. And mentally, it's much easier to defrost a meal for dinner that you know won't require an hour of pot-scrubbing at the end of your day (that alone is worth three bucks!).You can find many more slow cooking hints and recipes here on the Crock Pot website.