Healthy Habits

Back to Basics

Like many, Labor Day will be celebrated with a pool party and a cook-out, marking the last big hoorah of summer. Now it’s time to push the reset button, and get back to basics. But what are the basics? With so much information out there: low fat, low carb, low sodium, what are the basic guidelines we should follow for health?

We all know making lifestyle changes that foster better health include becoming physically active, and eating a healthy diet. Healthy diets are full of lean proteins and fruits and vegetables, whole grains rather than refined carbohydrates, lowering salt intake, limiting alcohol consumption and lowering fat consumption. One of the basics to lowering fat consumption is to switch from deep fried foods to baked foods. It’s a basic we’ve all heard but what’s the premise behind baked, not fried?

Baking requires little or no oil. The amount of oil that is necessary to deep fry food is well-absorbed by the breading or coating that normally covers deep fried foods. Each tablespoon of oil adds 120 calories and 14 grams of fat to your food. Additionally, deep frying food has to be done with oils that can handle high temperatures, excluding the use of healthy monounsaturated fats like olive oil. A simple kitchen swap we can all make is to bake, not fry. zucchini 2

Check out our recipe below for these delicious baked zucchini chips.

Go enjoy your cook-out today and for more information on how you can get back to basics, learn how to incorporate a fitness routine into your daily life, and learn what foods to be eating, join one of our monthly Challenge groups. Results guaranteed. Our next group starts October 5th.

Have a great week,


Featured Recipe


Zucchini Chips

It’s zucchini season!

Not exactly like the fried zucchini and eggplant from Panama, but this baked version of zucchini chips is an excellent example of how good baked, not fried can taste! Try serving these with tzatziki at your next dinner party.

1 large zucchini
2 Tbsp olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 225.
2. Using a mandolin, slice your zucchini.
3. Place the zucchini slices between sheets of paper towels to draw out the water.
4. Line 2 baking sheets with foil or parchment paper. Place the zucchini slices on the prepared sheets.
5. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat all the zucchini slices with olive oil on both sides.
6. Sprinkle the zucchini very lightly with salt.
7. Bake in the oven for 2 hours, until the chips start to get crisp.


Self Myofascial Release

“OUCH.”  “What the??”  “This hurts!!”

These are all common responses I hear from someone the first time they try self myofascial release. (SMR)

foam roller

No, this isn’t one of my toddler’s toys, and it’s not a noodle for the swimming pool. This is a foam roller, found at most sporting goods stores for around $20-$40.  I have found that utilizing stretching alone is not always enough to release muscle tightness, especially when I am doing a lot of running.  Regular use of a foam roller releases trigger points and helps to reestablish proper movement patterns.  Foam rolling offers many of the same benefits as a sports massage, including reduced inflammation, scar tissue and joint stress, as well as improved circulation and improved flexibility.

Our bodies learn to compensate for what we throw at them every day, but we can exceed our ability to recover via too many intense workouts, poor posture, and other lifestyle factors.

Our fascial network is a system of fascia and connecting ligaments, tendons, organ bags, and muscle envelopes that provide movement and stability to our bodies.  Fascia is a loose connective tissue, with a woven appearance.  In young people, fascial fibers are two-directional, both vertical and horizontal.  As we age, the fascial architecture becomes more multidirectional. Fibers lose their elasticity, flatten out and can stick to one another.  Eventually they can become matted together.

Effective myofascial release work combines pressure and movement to rehydrate and “unstick” the collagen fibers. By using a foam roller, you can perform self myofascial release (SMR). Place the foam roller under sections of the body and slowly roll across the area to help release myofascial tissue below the skin. The key is applying just enough pressure so that the muscle remains pliable, and to make slow and controlled movements. When you find areas that are tight or painful, pause for several seconds, breathe deeply, and relax.  When our muscles are taken care of properly we can experience improved flexibility, mobility, and better overall daily performance.

Never roll over a bone or a joint, and avoid your neck and lower back.

My favorite area to foam roll is the IT band. It hurts like heck, but doing this regularly has truly helped me to avoid painful runner’s knee. Have you tried foam rolling?  How has it helped you? I’d love to hear.

Have a great week,

inhale exhale

Featured Recipe

Easy Salsa

I love to keep a batch of this on hand in the fridge. Add to your eggs at breakfast, as a snack with carrot sticks, or as a topping for chicken or fish at dinner.

1, 14 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes
1, 4 ounce can chopped green chilies (found next to the taco kits)
1/2 cup sliced scallions (white and green parts)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh tomatoes

Place all the ingredients except the chopped tomatoes in a blender and process until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the chopped tomatoes.  Enjoy!