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Chicken with Mushrooms and Raspberries

Posted on February 12, 2016 by

Don’t be shy – you’re going to love it!

Raspberry Mushroom ChickenIngredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Salt & pepper

1 Tbls olive oil

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 large shallot, chopped

1 c chicken broth

½ cup dry red wine

8 oz baby bella mushrooms

1 cup fresh raspberries

1 Tbls butter

1 Tbls balsamic vinegar

1 tsp grated lemon zest

 

 

Directions

  1. Season chicken with salt & pepper.
  2. Heat skillet over medium heat and add olive oil.
  3. Sear chicken on each side for about 3 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
  4. Add garlic and shallot to skillet and cook over medium heat for 1 minute.
  5. Add chicken broth and wine, cook until slightly reduced or about 10 minutes.
  6. Add sliced mushrooms and lower heat to a simmer.
  7. Return chicken to skillet, cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through or about 10 minutes.
  8. Add butter, balsamic vinegar and lemon zest. Stir to blend.
  9. Toss raspberries into and allow to warm about 1 minute.

 

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 258

Total Fat 11.5g

Total Carbohydrates 6g

Dietary Fiber 2g

Protein 38g

 

Print Recipe: Raspberry Mushroom Chicken

Adapted from Trisha Yearwood recipe on Food Network

Don’t Fear the Fat!

Posted on February 08, 2016 by

fats banner

Fat is one of 6 nutrients essential to good health. (Water, Protein, Vitamins, Minerals and Carbohydrates are the others). We can’t live without them. Unfortunately, fats have been demonized in the past few decades. The public was encouraged to cut out or drastically cut back on fat. Our fat intake dropped from 40% of our diet to 34%. Yet, the fat reduction didn’t help with our weight problems and the obesity epidemic spiraled higher.

Fats are more calorie dense than carbohydrates and protein, but it’s not just the weight of the food that matters. What matters most is what the food does inside; how they break down and are used by our bodies. When the food industry removed fats from our food, the fat was replaced with sugar or other staches.  ALL carbohydrates break down into sugar. They are the reason why Americans continue to struggle with their weight. Fat is not the culprit, it’s the carbohydrates.

*Our bodies use 3 types of fats for fuel:
Monounsaturated: These are the healthier fats found in olive oil, nuts and avocados.
Polyunsaturated: Mostly healthy fats found in sunflower oil, flax seed oil, salmon, and grape seed oil.
Saturated: Found in butter and lard, less desirable for the diet.

*Other types of fats:
Cholesterol: It’s been given a bad rap but is essential for life and normal cellular function. The body manufactures 85% and the rest is found in foods we eat. The building blocks of cholesterol are CARBS! So, to reduce cholesterol you must reduce the amount of carbohydrates you consume.
Triglycerides: Essential for life, provides calories, and can be burned for energy. To reduce triglycerides, you must reduce carbohydrates.
Trans Fats: These are man-made fats designed to preserve the shelf life of food. There is a direct association between intake of trans fats and increased risk of heart attacks. They can be found in fried foods, baked goods, crackers, and vegetable shortening. Consuming even trivial amounts can cause damage.

*The GOOD fats:
EFA’s are polyunsaturated fats that are essential for life, but the body can’t produce them. These fats are not used much as fuel, but they are the lubricant that keeps the engine going. The American Heart Association recommends 1 gram a day, but we should ingest even more.
Omega 6: Easily available in food.
Omega 3: Found in tuna, sardines, almonds, and walnuts.

Insulin is a master hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar from carbohydrates for energy or for storage. It helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Lipoprotein lipase is an enzyme needed to store fat in the cells. Insulin levels rise when we eat carbohydrates. It then turns on the lipoprotein lipase, which causes fat storage. Therefore, it’s not FAT that leads to fat storage, but CARBS! You can’t store fat unless your carbohydrate intake is high enough to release insulin.

Remember that fats are vital to good health! If you’re eating a fairly low-carb diet, you shouldn’t fear fat. Eating fat won’t make you fat. Everyone should consume more Omega-3 fatty acids and reduce carbohydrates. We sell EFA’s in our nutrition store here at The Center for Weight Loss Success. It’s your life. Make it a healthy one!

Boot Camp – A Workout for All Ages and Stages

Posted on February 01, 2016 by

BOOT CAMP BASICSI’ve been a fitness instructor for 27 years. I teach 12 classes a week, 8 different formats, to clients of all ages and fitness levels. Class participants often ask about my favorite class format. I always hesitate because I enjoy all my classes, but my secret favorite is BOOT CAMP! Just the name sounds intimidating to most people. This class is a combo of cardio and strength training and torches fat and calories. But is it really for EVERYONE?

Many people tell me they will come to boot camp once they got in better shape! That seems oxymoronic since fitness classes are meant to get people in shape. The mind set is that the class is so challenging that it can’t be attempted until a certain fitness level is achieved first. Well, I’m going to debunk that myth. First of all, we all have to start somewhere with our fitness level. You challenge yourself and do what you’re able. I don’t expect perfection in my classes. What I expect is effort.

Everyone needs to step out of their comfort zone and attempt the challenges. If it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you. Safety is number one and it’s perfectly acceptable to modify any of the moves. I have a variety of participants from beginners to triathletes in my class.

Boot camp is a great workout because:
1. Burns a lot of calories and promotes weight loss.
2. It’s diverse, yet intense.
3. Most of the workout is timed so you can go at your own pace.
4. All the moves can easily be modified.
5. There’s no choreography. It’s straight-forward, challenging but easy- to-follow moves.
6. Variety—it’s hard to get bored in this class! Different types of equipment are used: balls, Bosu’s, steps, gliders, and more.
7. Built in rest periods.
8. East to check your progress from week-to-week.
9. Comprehensive—you get everything you need in one workout and it’s highly effective in burning calories and fat. It incorporates strength training, cardio, speed, agility, power, flexibility, and more!
10. It doesn’t require much coordination.

The following people may NOT be good candidates for this class:
1. People with hypostatic hypertension or veritigo.
2. People with serious orthopedic problems—knee or back issues.
3. Pregnant women.

Examples of Modifications:
1. Wall push-ups in place of regular pushups (or on the knees).
2. Wall squats in place of standard squats (lower down as far as you can).
3. Stepping up and down on the step in place of jumping.
4. Floor touches instead of Burpees (or extending one leg at a time).

Boot camp classes should be designed to accommodate and challenge all fitness levels. It’s important to trust and enjoy your instructor. Shelly Thomas teaches Boot Camp every Saturday at 8:30 here at CFWLS. The members are thoroughly enjoying the class along with Shelly’s fun personality and expertise. Come join the fun every Saturday. It will be the perfect start to you day!

Arlyne Spalla-Benson, LWMC, CPT

***Watch for word on our Self-Defense Boot Camp course coming up soon!  This will be a 4-week course taught by Shelly Ann Thomas – beginning March 16th!  Sign up in the Nutrition Store or call us at 757-873-1880.  Price for WLF & WMU Members is $20 – Non-Members are welcome too for just $40!***

CFWLS Chicken Soup

Posted on January 22, 2016 by

Taste tested…Doctor approved!

CFWLS_chicken_soupIngredients:

1 box/7 packets protein chicken noodle soup mix
48 oz. chicken broth
2 pints sliced mushrooms
1 rotisserie chicken
8 oz. butter
Salt
Pepper
8 oz water

Directions:

1. Set crock-pot to low.
2. Mix chicken broth, water and all 7 packets chicken noodle soup in crock-pot.
3. Saute mushrooms in butter, salt and pepper to taste.
4. Saute celery with mushrooms, cook until soft.
5. Remove skin from chicken and discard. Pick all meat from the chicken, and chop or shred into bite sized pieces. Add to vegetable saute.
6. Cook vegetables and chicken together for a few minutes and add to the crock-pot of chicken soup.
7. Salt and pepper to taste. Additional seasonings may be added to taste.
8. Cook on high for 1-2 hrs.

Great served with cheddar protein chips!

Nutritional info:

Cal 235
Fat 12.5
Carbs 3.6
Fiber .3
Pro 25.5

Makes 16 servings (about 1 cup per serving)

Print Recipe: Chicken Soup CFWLS

 

 

3 Significant Reasons to Add Spice to Your Diet!

Posted on January 18, 2016 by

garlicThe use of spices and herbs dates back as far as early Egypt (2100 BC). Onions and garlic were used as medicine to maintain health. Then, they became essential in the embalming process to preserve against decay. In India, the spices enjoyed today have been used for thousands of years. Spices and herbs also played an important role in ancient Greek medicine. Hippocrates said great care should be given to the preparation of herbs for medicinal use. The numerous benefits of herbs and spices continue to be recognized and appreciated today.

basilThere are three significant reasons why herbs and spices have been savored by many societies for so long:
1. Weight Loss/Management: herbs and spices can decrease the amount of calories, salt, fat, and sugar without sacrificing flavor.
2. Health Maintenance: they help to protect against many chronic health conditions.
3. Flavor: they add flavor, texture, taste, aroma, and color to food.

Here’s a list of some of the more commonly used spices/herbs and their benefits:

Basil: often considered the ‘king of herbs’, has been used to treat stress, asthma and diabetes in India for centuries
Cilantro: rich in iron and fiber, disease-fighting phytonutrient
Rosemary: improves memory
Turmeric: anti-inflammatory that could stop cancer from growing
Cinnamon: antioxidant, lowers blood sugar
Nutmeg: contains antibacterial compounds
Cumin: anti-inflammatory that could help stop tumor growth
Cayenne Pepper: helps burn fat—boost metabolism
Ginger: diuretic, hinders cholesterol absorption, anti-nausea
Black Pepper: boosts metabolism and helps digestion
Oregano: natural source of omega-3 fatty acids

cinnamonThere are many ways to use herbs and spices in your favorite dishes. Cinnamon is a delicious addition to protein shakes. Chicken and curry pair well together. A delicious recipe for salad dressing: allspice (1 part), cinnamon (1 part), and black pepper (1/2 parts) mixed with olive oil and heated up. Turmeric adds color and flavor to veggies. Cilantro enhances the taste of salsa and guacamole.

Herbs and spices make food healthier and tastier. They add no calories and contain no sugar. So what are you waiting for? Enjoy your food like never before!

Chicken Ole’

Posted on January 15, 2016 by

Chicken_OleQuick & easy Mexican chicken dish – serve with a side of black beans!

Ingredients
4 chicken breast halves
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch of salt
Pinch of fresh ground pepper
Pinch of cumin
1 cup salsa
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Heat skillet to medium heat. Rub chicken breasts with seasoning mixture and place in hot skillet. Cook until browned on both sides and no longer pink, 10-15 minutes.
3. Transfer chicken to a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with salsa and shredded cheese. Bake until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 264
Total Fat 11g
Total Carbohydrates 4.9g
Dietary Fiber 1.1g
Protein 35.4g

Print recipe Chicken Ole

Adapted from allrecipes.com

 

Weight Loss Surgery Success – Ideas to Use Right Now to Lose Weight

Posted on January 13, 2016 by

Get It Right This Year!

Posted on January 11, 2016 by

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey said, “Cheers to a new year and another chance to get it right.” It’s no surprise that the number one New Year’s Resolution every year in the U.S. is losing weight. More than two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. Obesity leads to the following health problems/diseases: stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type II diabetes, gallbladder disease, and more. Don’t wait until the conditions in your life are perfect to start making positive changes. Starting NOW makes the conditions perfect. Each day, make a daily resolution to shed the bad habits, and establish and maintain healthier ones.

GOALS: The first step is to get a journal and write short-term and long-term goals following the SMART principle. Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Realistic goals will keep you focused and motivated. Example: “I want to lose 25 pounds by April 1st by increasing my protein 25 grams a day, cutting back carbohydrates, and exercising 5 days a week.”

OBSTACLES: Write down what your obstacles (“excuses”) are to achieving your goals. For most people, motivation is a huge factor. Being positive and optimistic are keys to motivation. Also, using rewards for achieving short-term goals are motivational, as long as the reward isn’t food related. Example: “I don’t have time for exercise and can’t give up the chocolate that I crave! But I’ll make the effort to get up 20 minutes earlier every day to walk because it will make me look and feel better. I’ll cut bread out of my diet and reduce the amount of chocolate to a few days a week. After I’ve lost 10 pounds I’m going to buy myself a new workout outfit.”

FOOD CHOICES: Keep blood sugar levels even by eating every 2 or 3 hours. Skipping meals will slow down metabolism. Consume protein at every meal/snack. Beef, pork, chicken, and seafood, are excellent choices. Strive for at least 100 grams a day. Berries are the best choice for fruit. Eat veggies that are low in carbs such as celery, radishes, spinach, broccoli, carrots, asparagus, and sweet peppers. Minimize your intake of potatoes, rice, pasta, and bread. Reduce calories and increase protein with meal replacements. Our protein shakes are filled with vitamins and minerals and taste delicious! Avoid drinking soda and juice. Fill up on water!

EXERCISE: Choose an exercise that you enjoy and will stick to. If aerobics classes are not your cup of tea, use the cross-trainer or treadmill. Walk as often as possible. Keep track of your mileage and aim for 10,000 steps a day (equivalent of 5 miles). Working out with a friend is always more fun because it’s more motivational. To reap the benefits of cardiovascular exercise, workout at least three times a week for 20 minutes minimum. Resistance exercise is crucial to weight loss because it raises Lean Body Mass. LBM is directly related to your metabolism and will help with weight loss. Examples of resistance exercises are dumbbells, weight machines, resistance bands, TRX (body weight exercises), and water exercise.

MANAGE STRESS: Our body can’t distinguish between good (job promotion) and bad (divorce) stress. It needs to be managed or it will wreak havoc on our body and sabotage weight loss efforts. Reduce stress by sleeping at least 7 hours a night, moderate exercise, relaxation (yoga), massage, or psychotherapy.

Be prepared to change your lifestyle and not look back. Every little change makes a difference. Take charge of your health before it takes charge of you. Understand setbacks occur, but remain focused on your goals and stay positive about your abilities. “People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.”