You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2009.

 

Healthworks Mother’s Group is proud to announce our first big event!

Come join Healthworks Moms at our Back Bay Club for an afternoon of activities on Sunday May 3rd at 1pm. Bring your friends, non-members welcome! Walk-ins are welcome also, but to make sure that you have a space reserved email Matt Harrington:mh@healthworksfitness.com

 1:00PM-1:30 PM: Buying safe kids products by going Green!

-Presented By Erin Boles the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition

-A brief seminar on how some basic knowledge of harmful chemicals in your baby’s everyday products can lead you to making smarter decisions when buying.

 1:30PM-2:00 PM: Mommy and Me Class

-Led by Group Exercise Pro Eden Kessler!

-This is an abbreviated version of Eden’s Popular ‘Mommy and Me’ Class, to give you a taste of how much fun you can have while working out with your baby.

-Recommended for non-walking children ages 4 weeks and up (but as always check with your doctor)!

2:00PM-4:00 PM:  Socialize with other Moms!

-All attendees will receive a Whole Foods Gift Bag full of great products, information from ISIS maternity, and more.

-Hang out with fellow HW mom’s and their children while receiving freebies and information from our partners at: Baby Loves Disco, MyGym, and Happy Baby Food.

-Not to mention complimentary Nail Services by MiniLuxe!

-Complimentary snacks and beverages provided by our café

Complimentary “Stroller Valet” available!

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Store coupons are not the only way to save money when food shopping.  The following are tips from the May, 2009 Consumer Reports.

 

 1.  SLOTTING FEES.  Manufacturers often pay stores extra to get products placed prominently. Check for lower pricing of similar items above and below the prime eye level area. 

 2.  EYE END CAPS.  Do not assume that products on aisle ends are on sale.  Such placement can boost sales of soon-to-expire items without lowering prices.  Also watch for product where one item is discounted and the other is not.

 3.  COMPARE UNIT PRICES.  Best way to determine lowest price.

 4.  CONSIDER ORGANICS.  For foods that harbor pesticides, like: strawberries, peaches, bell peppers, organics are healthier.  Meats and dairy could also be worthwhile but not seafood as there are no standards in place.

 5.  WEIGH THE COST OF CONVENIENCE.   For example, compare the price of a bag of shredded cheese versus doing it yourself

 6.  BAGGED PRODUCE.  If the product has a long shelf life it is usually a better buy.

 7.  AVOID CHECK-OUT TEMPTATIONS.  These items are invariably over priced and often can be found for less elsewhere in the store.

 8.  GO DEEP TO GET THE LONGEST SHELF LIFE.  Burrow to the rear of the shelf, refrigerator, or freezer.

 9.  READ SUPERMARKET FLIERS OR CIRCULARS CAREFULLY.  Manufacturers pay for ad placement, do not assume featured products are on sale.

10.  WATCH FOR SNEAKY SIGNS.  Promoting “five” items for a sale price does not mean you must buy all “five” to get the discount.

11.  CHECK LOCATIONS.  Different locations can offer different prices for the same item.

12.  CHECK OUT THE BAKERY.  Store-made goods are often less expensive than the commercial alternatives.

13.  CHECK THE RECEIPT.  Even scanners can make errors.  In this event many stores will give you the item for free but you have to point out the error.

 

Debbie Jones-Steele

Minor Changes and Expensive Memberships

So, you may remember me mentioning some blog “changes.” Well, don’t fret, it’s nothing major. I’ve decided to change the “format” of my blogging for a number of reasons:

With all of these factors converging at once, it makes sense for me to change how and when I blog. With my fancy-schmancy one-month membership to Healthworks and my goal to exercise consistently in the mornings once again, I have decided to combine my breakfast and lunch posts into one, instead of posting 2 separate posts for each meal. However, my morning post is my favorite post of the day (I’m not sure why… it just is!), so I might have a way to fit in both my morning workout at Healthworks and blog about breakfast. We’ll see if I can finagle it! So, no major changes in the blog– just a little something to keep you on your toes!

Workout + Breakfast

So, let me explain my one-month pass to Healthworks. As you know, I contribute twice per month to the Healthworks blog, Boston’s Women’s Wellness. As a thank you (I assume), the marketing department kindly gave me a gift certificate for a free one-month membership at any of the Healthworks locations! Obviously, I was psyched! You guys have heard me rave about HW many, many, many times on CNC in the past, but I just need to reiterate that it is still the best all-women’s gym in the area. Healthworks has the best facilities, best classes, best instructors, best staff, best programs and events… they’re just the BEST!

After my free month, I might just join HW again. I need to look at my finances to see if I can afford the membership! You get what you pay for when it comes to gym memberships! What’s the most you’d pay per month for a membership at a really nice healthclub?

After my workout, I headed to the office, where I ate breakfast at my desk while catching up with emails. Today’s breakfast was a mix of oats, wheatberries, ground flaxseed meal, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and a squirt of agave nectar for some added sweetness. I’m not going to lie, I missed my peanut butter this morning!

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With an orange, iced coffee with soy milk from Starbucks, and H20 for rehydration…

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Lunch

Hooray! The Cafe Rojo Gato has outdoor seating! It’s the little things in life that make all of the difference, right? Warm weather (and everything that goes along with it) just makes me so happy! And, rumor has it that Boston might see close to the 80’s this weekend! That’s summer weather in my book!

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Today’s lunch was a repeat from yesterday. I actually made three salads the other night: 1 for dinner and two for lunch this week. It so much easier when you have all of the ingredients ready to be chopped and tossed into a salad than doing it three separate times.

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Close-up shots…

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The rest of lunch included peanut butter Puffins mixed with chocolate chips, a very ripe banana, and a Sigg full of water.

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Cafe 908

After my commute home this evening, I walked into my apartment to see this scene:

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My wonderful and amazing husband created, what he referred to as, “Cafe 908” for our dining enjoyment this evening. (FYI: Our apartment is #908.)

Mal also washed, dried, and folded 5 loads of laundry! Now, isn’t that a gal’s dream!?!

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Ok, back to this romantic scene…

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Mal had planned to serve dinner outside on our balcony, but the weather turned cold right before I arrived at home, so he moved Cafe 908 inside, next to the balcony, which was just as nice and sooo much warmer!

On the menu at Cafe 908 was Kashi’s Fiery Fiesta flavor from their 7 Whole Grain Pilaf Sides, which combines 7 whole grains with roasted corn, tomatoes, red bell peppers, black beans, cilantro, and fiery poblano chilies. The Whole Grain Pilaf can be prepared via microwave in just 60 seconds.

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Mal turned this side dish into a full-on meal by adding a can of black beans, chopped red pepper, and half of a diced onion. With Mal’s ingredient additions, this meal was delicious and very satisfying.

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The Kashi pilaf is great as a pre-packaged, convenience food, but it wasn’t as flavorful and robust as the “real deal.” Mal’s additions definitely made the meal.

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With ice water and candlelight…

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After dinner, Mal suggested opening a bottle of citrusy-sweet Pomelo, Sauvignon Blanc for dessert. But, first, he had to check the label to make sure it was an appropriate option for Cafe 908’s dessert menu.

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Yep, it passed all of the Cafe 908 criteria!

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Mal and I each enjoyed a glass of wine while catching up with Tuesday night’s American Idol performances. (What is up with Anoop’s eyebrows!?)

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I’m hitting the hay early tonight! I need to get back on schedule with my early morning workouts. Good night!!

Posts from Tina H’s blog, Carrots ‘N’ Cake

Visit Healthworks online!

 

NEWWW

If you don’t acknowledge how largely weather can affect your mood, inspire or prevent you to go outdoors and exercise, you should visit places where sunshine is aplenty year-round, just for contrast.

This past weekend was my third time in the best city of the Golden State. It’s funny how there are natural niceties in California that will make you if not a lover of fitness and health, then at least conscious of what it means to maintain it—like abundant sunshine and plentiful local produce readily available almost year round.

It’s that gorgeous, inspiring weather that they have for granted that makes us Bostonians really, really appreciate when we finally get a sixty-plus degree day without wind, humidity, or impending rain storms. We are so grateful for those few perfect days and weeks that the second the thermometer reads over sixty and “sunny”, we don our summer gear no matter what time of the year it is, and head outdoors to enjoy the scarce gift of mother nature.

Now look west—way west—to San Francisco. In addition to being a beautiful city, it and the people who inhabit it overall look healthy, relaxed, calm…almost glowing. Life does not seem as hectic, the dress code not as formal, and the people not as stressed out all the time.

There are farmers’ markets with local produce. There is a plethora of restaurants with the freshest morsels of seafood and delicious local ingredients. And then, of course, there are those famous city hills. Formidable at times, it feels like hiking just walking around the city in some areas. Imagine having an apartment on one of those hilly streets—and walking home with a bag or two of groceries in your hand—you’d be in shape in a couple of months just by going about your daily business!

Apart from its natural beauty, San Francisco is one of the cleanest and greenest cities in the country—which is progressive, compared to our dear State. It looks clean, fresh, as if it has just taken its morning shower. Either the residents care or California laws care for them—the end result is a pleasant environment which is inviting to visit—and I’m sure, enticing to live in.

Whether the Golden Gate bridge kisses the last rays of sunlight, or invites the cool Pacific fog in the morning, it is an architectural wonder that is a pleasure to behold—and if you add cool weather and a surrounding park with paths leading up to the panoramic view of the bridge, you’d be hard pressed NOT to want to go out and either hike, run, or bike those paths—if not for any reason but just because it’s there and you can.

The gift of abundant sunshine and consistently warm weather certainly contributes to the general attitude of San Francisco’s residents. Come to think of it, I marvel at the sheer willpower of Bostonians—we have to deal with snow and slush, Nor’easters, humidity, and locking ourselves indoors for most of winter—and yet we still manage not to get depressed and make the most of our seasons.

Our resilience is admirable. But you can’t beat that nature-given weather. You can’t help but remain a little jealous of that Pacific city with its natural healthy vibe.


Boston Wine Examiner
http://www.examiner.com/x-1602-Boston-Wine-Examiner

 

 

 

 

Please visit Healthworks Fitness at: http://www.healthworksfitness.com/

 (Images: from Flikr, asmythie)

 

 

Healthworks Mother’s Group is proud to announce our first big event!

Come join Healthworks Moms at our Back Bay Club for an afternoon of activities on Sunday May 3rd at 1pm. Bring your friends, non-members welcome! Walk-ins are welcome also, but to make sure that you have a space reserved email Matt Harrington: mh@healthworksfitness.com

 

1:00PM-1:30 PM: Buying safe kids products by going Green!

-Presented By Erin Boles the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition

-A brief seminar on how some basic knowledge of harmful chemicals in your baby’s everyday products can lead you to making smarter decisions when buying.

 

1:30PM-2:00 PM: Mommy and Me Class

-Led by Group Exercise Pro Eden Kessler!

-This is an abbreviated version of Eden’s Popular ‘Mommy and me’ Class, to give you a taste of how much fun you can have while working out with your baby.

-Recommended for non-walking children ages 4 weeks and up (but as always check with your doctor)!

 

2:00PM-4:00 PM:  Socialize with other Moms!

-All attendees will receive a Whole Foods Gift Bag full of great products, information from ISIS maternity, and more.

-Hang out with fellow HW mom’s and their children while receiving freebies and information from our partners at: Baby Loves Disco, MyGym, and Happy Baby Food.

-Not to mention complimentary Nail Services by MiniLuxe!

-Complimentary snacks and beverages provided by our café

 

Complimentary “Stroller Valet” available!

YOGAAAA

It is not for me. I am not flexible, I am too old, too fat. It is too slow, it is too fast. These are some of the statements associated with yoga.

What I found to be true is that on my yoga mat, I have the deepest inner dialogue with my Self.

I take a variety of classes yet, Iyengar is the one tradition that speaks to my spirit. I get lost moving through the chakras as I navigate my inner landscape.

My introduction to yoga was joyful. I began to do research on the chakras and their significance to my own spiritual practice. Once that connection was made, It was my, aha Moment!

This joy is also related to finding that teacher that spoke directly to my deepest self. In the book, Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar writes, the obstacles, trials and tribulations in the path of Yoga can be removed to a large extent with the help of a Guru. (the syllable gu means darkness and the ru means light). He goes on to share that the Guru, is not an ordinary guide. He is a spiritual teacher who teaches you a way of life, and not merely how to earn a livelihood. He transmits knowledge of the Spirit.”

I found this in Michael at my Healthworks Iyengar classes. Michael’s caring and loving words and his presence as a teacher allowed me to get lost in the moment. I found myself planning my Saturdays around this class.

In this class I went deeper into my landscape. I found myself crying in certain poses and laughing with great joy in others. I am not the most flexible person but the pleasure of being the best you can be is indescribable. I faced my deepest fear of my body and expectations of self on the mat and found clarity in my silence.

Every class brings forth new experiences. I am still very much in the beginning of my journey on the mat but know that I can be me. Yoga allows you to be truly gentle with your body, mind and breath.

Spring is the perfect time to find that class, that teacher that begins your journey into the core of your being. Yoga can be detoxing for the mind and body. They are poses that I feel like a sponge being rung out.

Many of us find ways to begin the new season, the Earth season as we call it, by long runs or walks, spring flowers in our garden and light colors in our homes. After a long winter, and a long winter we had, reintroduce yourself to your body. Find that class that feeds your soul and reenergizes your being.

For this spring I share with all, reach your heart up to the sky and breath a new sense of life into the center of your being.

 

Yvette

 

(Images: from Flikr, myyogaonline)

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Once one decides to lose weight, there are a plethora of options to choose from. Or, at least companies would have you believe. You can cut all your carbs and eat only meat, or you could cut all your meat and eat only vegan. You can eat like they do in the Mediterranean, or you can eat like they do in Hollywood (which I’ve heard is not a lot, actually). You can count points and get your meals in cardboard boxes and freeze-dried packages sent to your home. You can buy magic machines that will work-out your entire body in fifteen minutes and magic pills that will shrink inches from your waist in days. What do all of these products have in common? The asterisk.

Yes, it’s true; a friend pointed it out to me this week. All of these glorious schemes to shed your weight (and your wallet) are followed by two statements: “results not typical”, and “healthy diet and exercise is required.” Let me save you the hassle and let you know that all of these products are placebos, and the only thing that is going to make a difference to your body IS healthy diet and exercise.

I spent many, many years of my life blaming my metabolism and waiting for a quick fix. I always told myself that I wanted to lose weight, and if I wanted to hard enough, then it would happen. Nothing happened. It’s something that people don’t want to hear, but losing weight and changing your lifestyle really do take hard work and knowledge. Last summer I finally decided I was serious about wanting to change the way I was living. I was still very skeptical. I had NEVER managed to lose a substantial amount of weight, let alone keep it off, and I struggled even keeping the scale from creeping ever upward. I was afraid that joining Healthworks and signing up for RESULTS was going to be another failure for me, another bottle of worthless diet pills or fancy exercise machine, proverbially collecting dust in the corner.

Thankfully, I was wrong. My trainer motivated me, and her support and my success for those 12 weeks gave me momentum; I not only lost 22 pounds DURING the program, but I have kept on track so that four months later I have lost another 30 pounds. My trainer gave me knowledge, and now that I know how to treat my body, I’ll never have to buy into another gimmick ever again. I feel like the RESULTS program was a course in how to live in my body, and there’s no asterisk needed for that because it’s the real thing!

Amber Kendall

Find out more information about Healthworks’ RESULTS program click here.

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Unfortunately none of the Boston area PBS stations carry this show. I found out about it from someone who lives in Washington, DC. One download of a podcast and I became a subscriber. A radio food show might sound counter intuitive but it relies on talk, not demonstration and in the hands of Lynne Rossetto Kasper and production manager Sally Swift it works very well.

The format is simple and usually the same. Jane and Michael Stern (authors of Road Food) travel around the country looking for the best of corned beef hash, Thai food, filled donuts, fried chicken, etc. and each week they describe their latest find. The last half of the show is devoted to listener call-ins which generally are questions about a variety of food-related topics. In between these two segments Lynne informally interviews various food specialists. They generously give tips, suggest resources, and offer cooking know-how to get the most out of ingredients.

In addition to the show, the website is a treasure trove of information. You can access past shows, find out where the Sterns have eaten (particularly helpful if you’re going somewhere they have been), subscribe to the Weeknight Kitchen Newsletter, browse the recipe box, and check out the Splendid Cheap Eats – which are inexpensive recipes distinguished by a cent sign. I recommend the show because it is produced with an awareness of real life constraints such as time, money, and experience. The tone is relaxed, unpretentious, and encouraging. Kitchens are not treated as expert zones but as places to learn, enjoy and eat.

One last thing, do not, under any circumstances, go food shopping while listening to a podcast. You’ll go way over budget. I learned this the hard way.

Debbie Jones-Steele

For more information about Healthworks Fitness Centers for Women, visit www.healthworksfitness.com

 

 

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When I was a little girl, I dreaded recess at school. Most of the kids would run to the playground and immediately start a game of kick-ball or soccer. But I preferred to look for four-leaf clovers and show off my new pink skirt. 

My only physical activity consisted of weekly ballet classes and lifting the occasional box of Barbie accessories. In a nutshell, fitness was not in my future.

Then, I gained a lot of weight in college. I enjoyed too much junk food and too much beer, and suddenly I realized that I needed to burn some calories and boost my metabolism.

More than anything, I wanted to be healthy. But how? Flash forward ten years, and countless gym memberships, and the truth is I still struggle with this very question. I’ve tried everything. I’ve kick boxed, run miles and miles, practiced yoga, shown a severe lack of coordination in step class, and even braved the world of weight training. I wish I could say that today, I am a sporty, toned babe. I’m not. But I have grown to realize that it’s really important to stay active anyway. It’s not always fun, but it’s important. I think the key for me has been accepting where I am coming from. I am girly. I like wearing cute gym clothes, and I like aerobics classes that blare pop music. I adore yoga, because it lets me focus on flexibility and meditation. I like weight training at Healthworks because I am not intimidated by men who are much stronger than me, (and who keep checking me out.) And finally, I love taking long walks and going hiking. Finding activities that fit your personality is critical. And even though it can be a struggle to get motivated sometimes, choosing the right exercise will increase your chances a thousand-fold.

Nina Braten

My personal blog: naturallynina.com

My Boston Examiner blog: http://www.examiner.com/x-7305-Boston-Friendship-Examiner

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A New England spring is more of a concept than a season. No matter, it does mark the end of winter – and the start of asparagus season, which when fresh has a wonderfully sweet and subtle flavor. But it’s not just delicious; it is also very good for you. According to the National Cancer Institute asparagus is the food highest in glutathione, an important anti-carcinogen. In addition, it is also rich in vitamins A and C as well as selenium, all of which are fierce cancer fighters. And if that is not enough, it is an excellent source of potassium, fiber, thiamine, vitamin B6 and rutin, (this strengthens capillary walls). When shopping for asparagus look for smooth skin, bright green color, compact heads, and freshly cut ends. The stalks are pencil thin early on and get thicker as the season advances. Tenderness is not linked to girth but to freshness. European white asparagus if also seasonally available. This is grown under the soil to keep it from turning green. I have no idea how growing without sunlight impacts its nutritional value. Though many love it, I think the green is more flavorful. Asparagus is not really a great raw vegetable but you can boil, saute, or roast it. My preference is the latter. Very easy – after washing and drying place it in a baking dish, baste with olive oil, add pepper, sea salt, and if you like some fresh lemon juice, put it in a 450 degree oven for 5-6 minutes (could be a little less time for thinner, a little more for thicker). When it’s done you can serve it as a meal, a side dish, or cut it up, add a little butter, Parmesan cheese and mix it with cooked pasta. It is simple but mouth memorable.

Debbie Jones-Steele