Wellness Wednesday…Make 2017 Your BEST Year!




This year is almost over! Can you believe it’s already time for New Years? With just a few days left, have you set any resolutions for 2017? Maybe you haven’t even thought about it yet. If that’s the case, here are a few tips to spark some ideas and get you moving in the right direction. Let’s make 2017 your BEST, healthiest year yet!


Five Things to Learn in 2017

  1. how-to-read-nutrition-labelsHow to really read nutrition labels and common marketing scams to watch out for.
  2. How to find an exercise routine that’s FUN.
  3. How to eat mindfully.
  4. How to say “no” sometimes.
  5. How to stand tall and improve your posture. (Ask us about signing up for a posture assessment!)



Five Ways to Save Money on Health and Fitness in 2017

  1. fitness-coverSkip the gym membership. Let us help you develop an in-home or outdoor healthy living plan just for YOU.
  2. Bike instead of drive.
  3. Instead of using your dryer, hang out your gym socks, shorts, and sports bra to dry. You’ll pay less on your electric bill and help the environment.
  4. Refill a BPA-free water bottle at the fountain instead of buying a new plastic water bottle every time you exercise.
  5. Never grocery shop when you’ve got the munchies. You’ll buy more than you need!


Five New Places to Try a Workout in 2017

  1. showimageThe beach – It’s such a refreshing and invigorating place to exercise.
  2. The swimming pool – Water aerobics is fun and easy on the joints.
  3. Your living room – Try a new workout video you can do in the comforts of your home.
  4. The stairs – Skip the elevator to burn more calories.
  5. Roser Church –If you haven’t tried our Boomer Bootcamp or Roser-robics Sit&Fit class, give it a try!


Five New Foods to Incorporate into Your Diet

  1. fruits3Pistachios – They lower cholesterol and contain heart healthy fats.
  2. Pomegranates – They’re packed with antioxidants and could help with inflammation.
  3. Salmon – In addition to heart-healthy omega-3s, salmon contains bone-strengthening vitamin D.
  4. Chamomile tea – A daily cup could help reduce your chances of diabetes.
  5. Basil – Researchers are now finding that the yummy herb has anti-aging properties.


Five Things to Cross Off Your To-do List

  1. d3c49deb00fea5cbf0478c7cac17a11b25294Learn about your health insurance or Medicare plan – your gym membership and other preventative services might be covered.
  2. Schedule your annual exams.
  3. Clean out your medicine cabinet, tossing all expired items.
  4. Find a workout or walking buddy.
  5. Get your flu shot.


Five Healthy Items to Invest Inmom-kirt-copy

  1. Health coach or personal trainer
  2. BPA-free water bottle
  3. Well-fitting sneakers
  4. Workout and food journal
  5. Small, portable cooler


Five Words to Incorporate into Your Every Day

  1. mindful-body-graphic-300x191“No” -as in, you’re not going to have that second slice of chocolate cake
  2. “Natural” -as in, peanut butter and sweetener
  3. “Brown” -as in rice, cereal, bread and any other whole-grain item
  4. “Mindful” -as in eating and living
  5. “Healthy” -as opposed to skinny or fat


Five Ways to Stay Motivated Right Through to 2018

  1. post-daniel-planJoin “The Daniel Plan,” an 8-week healthy living and weight-loss program starting at Roser Church in January. (More info coming soon!)
  2. Each month, learn at least one exercise you find intimidating.
  3. Find at least one restaurant near your home or work that serves a healthy meal you can eat on days when you don’t have time to cook.
  4. Load your phone or iPod with new, upbeat music.
  5. Work with a Boomers N Motion Coach!


Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!




Wellness Wednesday…Artificial Sweets in Your Holiday Treats

landscape-1445012269-gettyimages-132697630Cakes, cookies, brownies, and more…it is that time of year! A few weeks ago we discussed the dangers of Red 40 food dye in our favorite red holiday candies and treats. (If you missed that article, click here.) Today let’s switch gears a bit and take a look at sugar and the impact it has on our blood sugar, as well as some baking alternatives.  

So, what are your favorite holiday treats? For most of us, these treats equal a lot of sugar and calories that can lead to weight gain and inflammation.   I know that’s not on any of our Christmas lists this year.   So, is there an alternative to sugar that we could use in our traditional recipes that will allow us to have our cake and eat it too? Let’s take a look.

artifical-sweeteners-weight-loss-02Over the past few decades, we’ve seen a rise in obesity and diabetes. Ironically, we’ve also seen the creation of multiple artificial sweeteners. Commonly found in diet sodas, sugar-free gum, and other “diet” foods, artificial sweeteners play the role of a sweetener but without the calories and increase in blood sugar levels that come with regular sugar. There’s a lot of controversy over their efficacy and overall impact on health. Some studies actually show that these “fake” sweeteners can lead to weight gain and cause you to eat more instead of less. While this may be true, many people still ask the question, “Can artificial sweeteners be used instead of sugar in my favorite holiday recipes?”

The answer is both no and yes. To understand, let’s look at the role of sugar in baking. Baking is science. Just like the chemistry experiments you did back in high school, all the ingredients in a baked treats work together to create a chemical reaction so that you get the desired end product. Sugar plays various roles in baking. These include:01-too-much-sugar-opener-2

  • Sweetener
  • Browing agent
  • Moisture
  • Leavening
  • Imparts chewiness and crispness


Knowing this, it’s easy to understand that if you replace the sugar in a recipe, your end product can end up way different. Many people prefer to replace the white, refined sugar with a more natural sweetener. This is exactly what I would recommend, as I am a fan of anything natural as opposed to processed and artificial. Natural sweeteners include things like honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that while they are natural, they all increase blood sugar levels. They still act as sugar in the body.

2f3d5412fa79c4cb01443684b5bdcfdfIf the goal is to reduce the impact on your blood sugar and insulin production, then using an artificial sweetener may be an option. They aren’t all created equal, though, and most of them are not suited for high temperatures, as heat will cause them to break down and become bitter. Others don’t work because they will not contribute to the desired browning, moisture, or texture. The following list covers the most common artificial sweeteners and can help you decide to pick it or kick it when it comes to your favorite holiday recipes.


SUCRALOSE (e.g., Splenda)

Good for baking as long as you use the Splenda baking formulation, which has low-calorie fillers added for bulk. Sucralose is a distant cousin of sugar as it is made from sugar.

600-times sweeter than sugar

1 tsp. sugar = ½ packet or ½ tsp.


STEVIA (e.g., Truvia, PureVia, Stevia in the Raw)

These are not pure stevia, but a form of stevia known as Rebaudioside A. It is often mixed with erythritol after processing.

Heat stable so can be used in baking; however, these sugars do not caramelize or crystalize so you will not get the browning effect desired in certain baked goods. Not appropriate for use in meringues.

200 to 300-times sweeter than sugar

1 tsp. sugar = ½ packet


SACCHARIN: (e.g., Sweet‘N Low)

It can replace some of the sugar, but will leave a metallic aftertaste and may result in lumpy texture.

300-times sweeter than sugar

1 tsp. sugar = ½ packet or ½ tsp. bulk Sweet‘N Low


ASPARTAME: (e.g., Equal, Nutrasweet)

Not for baking as it loses sweetness in high heat. May work in custards and puddings.

200-times sweeter than sugar

1 tsp. sugar = ½ packet



Can be used in baking, but will yield a slight bitter aftertaste.

200-times sweeter than sugar

1 tsp. sugar = ½ packet


NEOTAME by Nutrasweet

Developed to be used in baking as the sweetness holds up to high heat with no metallic or bitter aftertaste.

8,000-times sweeter than sugar

Not widely available for purchase


ERYTHRITOL (e.g., Nectresse)

Good for baking with no aftertaste; has fewer calories than sugar, but is not zero-calorie like many other artificial sweeteners.

150-times sweeter than sugar

1 tsp. sugar = ½ packet or ¼ tsp.


100a95fd-096b-4ee5-a24a-45fac7c1dd48Although it is tempting to turn to artificial sweeteners to reduce sugar, carbs, and calories in your baked goods, I recommend that you stick to the natural stuff (like honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar) and try to increase the healthy fats in your recipe. This will help to stabilize your blood sugar and balance out your macro-nutrients too!


Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!



Wellness Wednesday…How to Survive Holiday Parties WITHOUT Gaining Weight

img_2154Holiday Party-Time!!!!  It’s that time of year again, and I keep hearing about all sorts of fun holiday parties and social gatherings you’re all attending.  I want you to enjoy the season to the fullest, and I don’t want you to feel like a stuffed sausage when the season is over. Whether you’re hosting or just attending holiday get-togethers this year, use the tips below to help you survive WITHOUT gaining weight.

Double-fist it!

Yes, you read that right. If you’re going to have alcohol, hold your alcoholic beverage in one hand and a water in the other. This works for a couple of reasons. First, if you alternate sips between the two, you’ll drink the alcohol slower and stay hydrated. And, if both hands are full, you can’t reach for all the snacks and appetizers that are so conveniently placed around the house.


2424b95500000578-2894311-image-a-3_1420198291270Use tall, skinny glasses for alcohol.

Whether you’re drinking (or serving) wine or eggnog, use a tall, skinny glass instead of a short, fat one. Research shows that people pour less liquid into a tall, skinny glass. This can keep you from drinking too much and help keep your calories down.



Chew gum.

If you’re preparing, cleaning up, or just hanging-out in the kitchen by all the food, pop a piece of gum. This will keep you from nibbling on extra food and calories. (I did this when I was cleaning up after our Thanksgiving meal, and it worked GREAT!)


Avoid white stuff.90a564bffcc1d0a5e51c1e31b6658517

While you might think of this during the main meal and skip on things like fluffy white potatoes or white rice, don’t forget this during the hors devours too. Breads, pastries, and even crackers can have an unpleasant effect on your blood sugar. Did you know…Ritz crackers are made with enriched flour AND high fructose corn syrup?  You don’t want that stuff in your body.


Serve restaurant-style.

This means when you sit down for the main event, leave food in the kitchen, away from reach. If you’re hosting the party, you’ll obviously have more control over this than if you’re a guest. But, listen to this… a study found that people who served themselves directly from the stove or counter ate 19% less total food compared with those serving themselves right off the table. Do yourself and your guest a favor, and leave the food in the kitchen.


 Bring a healthy dish to share.

couscous-stuffed-peppers-slRather than try to figure out what’s in every dish at a friend’s party, bring a healthy side dish or dessert to share. Taste what you want, but know you have a healthy alternative to fall back on if necessary. (Plus, when all your friends are making their New Year’s resolutions to eat healthy and lose weight, they’ll come to you for advice.)



Eat something healthy before you go.

This way you’re not starving by the time you get there, and you don’t end up binging on the appetizers before the main course is even served. Although this goes against the idea of “saving calories” for the party, it will likely leave you consuming fewer total calories when the night is over.  


Skinny-up your eggnog.l892641914

Fill your glass with half- to three-quarter-parts of low-fat or skim milk and one part eggnog. You’ll still get the flavor without all the calories. And, cut the fluff! Pass on the that big dollop of whipped cream to avoid the extra sugar and saturated fat.



Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!