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(image: flikr, ulterior epicure)

(image: flikr, ulterior epicure)

I scream, you scream! We all scream for ice cream!

Ice cream is a cool treat from the scorching summer heat, but before enjoying your scoop, keep in mind these waistline-saving strategies.

  • Simplify your cone: Waffle cones, especially those dipped in chocolate, have as many as 350 calories– and that’s without ice cream in it! Order your ice cream in a cup, dish, or plain cone. A cake cone, for instance, has only about 20 calories.
  • Stick to the classics: Select classic flavors like vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, or coffee instead of the “loaded” ones like “chocolate peanut butter cookie dough.” You’ll save quite a few calories without depriving yourself.
  • Order a kiddie size: Do you really need 3 scoops of ice cream to satisfy your craving? A kid’s size scoop will likely do the trick and is often pretty close to the recommended half-cup serving size. If a kid’s size is not available, order a small. You want your serving to be about the size of a tennis ball.
  • Watch your toppings: It’s easy to get carried away with delicious ice cream toppings, especially the chocolate sprinkles, cookie dough, and candy bar pieces. For fewer than 50 calories, fruit toppings, such as fresh berries, contain healthy fiber and nutrients instead of partially hydrogenated oil. Nuts, in moderation, are also a nutritious ice cream topping.

Limit the extras: Think of ice cream as a treat all by itself. There’s no need to add extra sugar and calories with chocolate and caramel sauce or whipped cream. Enjoy your cone as is!

What is your favorite “guiltless” ice cream order? Leave your comments!



Healthworks is proud to sponsor the 2009 Witches Cup!

Here is a little History about the race:

In the cycling boom of the 1980’s, Salem proudly hosted annual elite caliber bicycle races with national exposure. It’s the goal of the Witches Cup organizers to revive the strong bicycle racing tradition in downtown Salem, Massachusetts. After a seven year lull, the Witches Cup under the direction of Salem-based promoters, returned in 2007.

The 2009 Witches Cup presents racing for both men and women at all levels.

This year is the 3rd year since the reincarnation of the Witches Cup and the 30th Anniversary of the original Witches Cup! This year will prove to be the biggest yet with a hospitality tent sponsored by Wachusett Brewing Company, racing for all levels, race winners jerseys provided by Primal Wear and equal prize money for the Men’s and Women’s races!

Be sure to Join us at the Wachusett Brewing Hospitality on Salem Common during the Race!

Leave your comments for chance to win a pair of VIP Hospitality tent tickets to the event. Ticket includes access to the hospitality tent and a complimentary Wachusett Brewery Beer!

By Melissa Wagenberg Lasher
Runner’s World

When it comes to cooking, runners-constantly pressed for time-often choose convenience over flavor: We pour a bowl of cereal, zap a frozen veggie burrito, or toss pasta with jarred sauce. But our mandate for fast food doesn’t have to mean losing out on taste. These four mouthwatering meals, made with nearly ready-to-use ingredients, will satisfy your calorie needs and your desire for delicious food-in less time than it takes to run a really fast 5-K.

Prerun Meal: Blueberry-Walnut Pancakes with Maple Yogurt

How To: Microwave ¾ cup frozen blueberries for one minute, rinse, and then drain them. Stir together four tablespoons plain yogurt and two tablespoons maple syrup. Prepare a part-whole-grain pancake batter according to the package directions. Gently stir in the blueberries. Cook pancakes. Drizzle with maple yogurt and sprinkle with two tablespoons chopped walnuts. Serves two.

How Come: The part-whole-grain mix makes sense, says sports nutritionist Colleen Cooke, M.S., R.D., because it provides both slow- and quick-release carbs; white-flour pancakes with syrup would cause a blood-sugar spike, while all whole grains would be hard to digest prerun. Fat and protein in the walnuts and yogurt also keep blood sugar steady. Eating antioxidant-rich blueberries with carbs and protein can “reduce the amount of muscle soreness that occurs after a high-mileage training run,” says Jackie Dikos, R.D., a nutritionist and competitive runner.

Prerun Snack: Coconut-Almond Bars

How To: Combine two cups rolled oats, one cup unsweetened coconut, and ½ cup each: dates (or raisins), raw almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and cashews. Mix 1 ½ cups tahini (or natural peanut butter) with one cup honey and one teaspoon vanilla. Microwave for one minute. Combine wet and dry ingredients. On a greased baking sheet, spread mixture into a one-inch-high rectangle. Cut into 12 bars. Or, if time allows, bake at 350° F for 15 minutes.

How Come: This recipe for energy bars, adapted from The Bakery in New Paltz, New York, has powered runners, bikers, and climbers for nearly 30 years. The dates and honey provide quick carbs, while the nuts are high in healthy fats, which help sustain energy levels. “People doing the fat-free thing often find they’re hungry all the time,” says Cooke. The oats keep cholesterol in check, and research shows “the fiber in oats may offset the risk of upper-respiratory infections, which are common in runners,” says Dikos.

Postrun Meal: Chicken Sausage Pasta

How To: In a pan, heat one tablespoon olive oil, two cups frozen broccoli florets, and one cup frozen sliced bell peppers. Cover and cook until vegetables are warm. Remove from pan. Slice two precooked chicken sausages into rounds. Cook in the pan with one tablespoon of oil until lightly browned. Cook two cups fresh rigatoni. Drain pasta and toss with vegetables and sausage. Top with fresh basil, four tablespoons crumbled feta, and freshly ground black pepper. Serves two.

How Come: This well-balanced one-dish meal provides protein for muscle recovery and ample carbs to restock glycogen stores. The chicken sausage and feta replenish sodium, and heaps of antioxidant-rich vegetables lessen muscle fatigue caused by the free radicals we produce when we run. Just don’t overcook your veggies. “A common way to destroy a vegetable is to boil it and then drain out all the water, which contains the nutrients,” says Dikos. This recipe’s quick sautee method keeps all the good stuff in.

Postrun Snack: Thai Beef Salad

How To: For the dressing, whisk together the juice of one lime, two teaspoons soy sauce, two teaspoons sesame oil, and a large pinch of red-pepper flakes. Combine two cups prewashed and precut romaine hearts, two cups preshredded cabbage, ½ cup mixed chopped herbs, and one thinly sliced scallion. Toss with the dressing. Top with eight ounces of precooked flank steak or deli roast beef and two tablespoons salted peanuts. Pair with whole-wheat pita chips. Serves two.

How Come: Beef is an excellent source of iron, which is essential for oxygen transport, and the body absorbs iron better from meat than plant sources. Avoid high amounts of saturated fat by choosing leaner cuts, such as sirloin, flank steak, and roast beef. Romaine lettuce, fresh herbs, and cabbage are good antioxidant sources. “Cabbage is a cancer fighter,” says Dikos. Studies show that sulforaphane, a chemical found in the oft-overlooked vegetable, protects against cancer by increasing production of the enzymes that help flush out carcinogens.

Eat Better

The key to preparing fast meals is to stock your kitchen with nearly ready-to-use foods, such as frozen produce, which is just as healthy as fresh.

Checkout Express

A list of staples for making healthy, tasty dishes-fast.

Frozen Fruit
Blueberries (or mixed berries, cherries, or peaches)

Frozen Vegetables
Broccoli florets, bell peppers

Fresh Produce
Prewashed and precut romaine hearts, preshredded cabbage,limes, scallions

Plain yogurt, feta cheese

Nuts and Seeds
Walnuts, peanuts, almonds,cashews, sunflower and sesame seeds

Dried Fruit
Dates, raisins, coconut

Olive, sesame

Basil, parsley, and mint

Fresh or dried pasta, part whole-grain pancake mix, oats, whole-wheat pita chips

Precooked chicken sausages, precooked flank steak or roast beef cold cuts

Seasonings and Condiments
Soy sauce, red-pepper flakes, tahini, natural peanut butter

Maple syrup, honey, vanilla

The Quickest Fix

Prerun snacks that are ready to eat now.

You’re going for a run in a half hour and your stomach is growling. What do you eat to tide you over without upsetting your stomach? Go for about 150 calories of low-fiber, low-fat foods that boost energy fast, says Cooke. Here are five of her favorites.

  • Handful of low-fiber cereal
  • A bagel with honey or jelly
  • A few graham crackers with a teaspoon of honey
  • Banana and a few nuts or teaspoon of peanut butter
  • Cup of fat-free yogurt

Note: This article can be found on at the following page

What are your favorite pre and post workout foods? Leave your comments!

(image: flikr, citymama)

(image: flikr, citymama)

In his August 2 article, in the NY Times Sunday Magazine, “Out of the Kitchen onto the Couch“, Michael Pollan looks at the relationship between time spent cooking and obesity.  He begins with Julia Child‘s remarkable ability to encourage women to challenge their cooking skills and leave their fears behind.  She cooked from scratch and her audience dared to do the same.  Her love of food preparation and partaking in the results was intoxicating and contagious.

Coincidentally, Julia’s series was first aired the same year that Betty Friedan‘s, The Feminine Mystique, was published.  Child was not anti-feminist but she did come on the scene when woman’s lives were changing.  What has ensued over the past forty-six years is that women, whether working inside or outside the home, are spending less time cooking.  Rather than following recipes we frequently use short cuts to assemble and combine processed foods.  Saving time has resulted in an increase in calorie consumption.  No time to make mayonnaise; just scoop the processed facsimile out of the jar.

David Cutler, a Harvard economist, led a study in 2003 that determined the rise of food preparation outside the home could explain most of the increase in obesity in America.  In addition, in their survey of cooking patterns across several cultures they found that obesity rates are inversely proportional to the amount of time spent on food preparation.  By using basic ingredients you eliminate many of the non-nutritional calories from sugar, salt, and fat that are abundantly present in processed foods.

I have no advice for you other than to suggest you read this very interesting article,,

and look at a copy of, former Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, Dr. David Kessler‘s book, The End of Overeating – Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite.

Debbie Jones-Steele

Do you have have time to cook from scratch? Leave your comments!

(image: flikr, *Amor Fati*)

(image: flikr, *Amor Fati*)

Growing up in Panama, I spent a great deal of time in the Sun. It was a way of life that brought me joy and high energy.

Coming to the US and facing the change of seasons was a culture shock to a very long list of things to get used to. I remember my first winter and seeing the Sun out and being excited that I could feel some heat on my skin. I quickly realized that the Sun could be out and it can be absolutely freezing.

After long winters, I would return home and feel the change in my movement. I had more energy to get through the day. Overtime, I realized that lack of sun exposure was affecting me.

I recently learned that I am low in vitamin D. I immediately called my Doctor to get more information. I shared the news with my Trainer Sarah who said to me very calmly, it is probably due to lack of Sun exposure. I then heard back from my Doctor and Sarah was right.

In our last Circle meeting, one of our members also shared that she was given the same information. I then realized that it is very common but undetected in communities of color.

The member of the Circle sent me some information from the Medical news. The title of the article, Vitamin D Levels among people in the US, particularly those with Darker Skin, focuses of communities of color. The following information comes from the article.

“Vitamin D deficiency might be on the rise due to more people avoiding the Sun to prevent Skin Cancer. According to Ginde, the abundance of the skin pigment melanin, which is prevalent in those with darker skin, can block ultraviolet light, which induces Vitamin D production. Vitamin D deficiency is particularly prevalent among blacks and Hispanics. Ginde said that those with lighter skin can boost Vitamin D levels by getting 10-15 minutes of sun daily, while those with darker skin need about five times that amount.”

With all this information, I now know that the Sun is even more important to our well being.

Today I shared with a member whose “Fabulousness” moves me that I will be out next week on a research trip to Latin America. She wished me luck and went on to workout. She immediately came back and said, “Do you ever think of going back permanently?” I said, yes. Her response was then, “Great, It is where your Spirit lives.”

Yes, My spirit lifts to his highest level for many reasons back home in Panama but  as I learn more about what helps my journey for  balance in my life, I learn that my Spirit reaches for the Sun to give me movement and energy.

Learn more about Vitamin D deficiency by visiting



Note: After Yvette wrote this post we came across the following article about Vitamin D deficincy in children.

How do you ensure that you get enough Vitamin D? Do you have a favorite Vitamin D rich recipe? Leave your Comments!