Friday, October 28, 2016

Enjoy Pumpkin This Fall

It's pumpkin time! From the Pumpkin Spiced Latte at the coffee shop to pumpkin "everything" at the market, we notice the flavor everywhere in the fall. Most of the processed foods touting pumpkin flavor contain too many sugars and the wrong kind of fats. Do we have to skip our favorite fall flavor? Not at all.

Pumpkin not only tastes good, but it’s a nutritional powerhouse. Just 1 cup of mashed pumpkin contains 200 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A. Not only that, but it’s low in calories, rich in fiber and a great source of beta-carotene, one of those antioxidants touted by the medical community.

Try a Pumpkin Parfait for breakfast. Combine canned pumpkin with cinnamon, ginger & nutmeg. Layer with Greek yogurt and granola.

Add pumpkin to pancake batter. (Reduce the liquid a bit.) Top with bananas, cinnamon & walnuts.

I love to use hummus as a veggie dip, wrap filler with greens or instead of mayo in a sandwich. Try this one!

White Bean Pumpkin Hummus

  1. 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  2. 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini (large white) beans, rinsed and drained
  3. 2 tbsp. tahini
  4. 2 ½ tbsp. fresh lemon juice (from about half of a large lemon)
  5. 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  6. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  7. 1 tsp. cumin
  8. ½ tsp. smoked paprika, plus extra for serving
  9. Kosher salt, to taste
  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add a pinch of kosher salt, then blend again and taste. Add more salt if desired. Serve in a bowl with extra smoked paprika sprinkled on top.

Enjoy the flavor of fall with pumpkin!

Stay Active, Keep Moving and 
Enjoy Your Food

Friday, October 21, 2016

It's Time to Register for the Turkey Trot

Did you know? More Americans participate in races on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year! Join the crowd and start your holiday on the right foot by participating in the Burbank Community YMCA Turkey Trot. This family friendly 5K/10K race is open to runners, walkers, stroller-pushers and pets. Costumes welcome! There is a Pre-Race Expo for all and Kid's Fun Zone for the little ones. In addition, you'll get a commemorative race T-shirt to wear around town throughout the year. Everyone will know you did the race Thanksgiving morning.

The Turkey Trot is a great Burbank community day with people from all areas of city life coming together to move their bodies before sitting down to dinner. It's fun to see so many friends gathered for the event. John and I will miss this year, but we will be doing a Family Turkey Trot on-board a cruise ship. (Yes, I make people exercise on their vacation!) I have costumes for all twelve of us!

Don't miss this year's Thanksgiving morning fun! Save $5 and pre-register now at

Stay Active, Keep Moving 
Have Fun

Friday, October 14, 2016

Are Gym Machines a Good Workout Choice?

Your gym is probably full of shiny machines designed to hit every muscle in your body. Most weight machines do that in two ways: limiting your range of motion and isolating a muscle group. This format is great for bodybuilders and those recovering from an injury.

If you are not in one of those two groups, which is unlikely, choose a workout that uses multiple muscle groups at the same time. Our bodies are meant to jump, crawl, dance, sprint, squat and lift. Plus, using multiple muscle groups at the same time will raise your heart rate and burn more calories in less time. Here's a few overall workout principles:

Dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, and medicine balls are far more versatile than machines. They help you build functional strength because they require you to move in all three planes of motion (sagittal, frontal and transverse) whereas a machine moves you through only one at a time. And, with free weights, you're more likely to eliminate weaknesses and imbalances because you can't compensate with your dominant side the way you can when lifting on a fixed-path machine.

There are endless ways to use your body as resistance - yoga poses, push-ups & burpees, planks, etc. - and most such exercises have you moving naturally, the way you were meant to, while engaging tons of muscles. To continue getting fitter, simply increase your reps, sets or pace or make your moves more challenging by adding instability.

When you do cardio, make your workout more efficient by heading outside. Run. Take a hike. Ride a bike. The change in terrain as well as the weather - wind, heat, humidity - provide added challenges that can result in better fitness gains. 

Step away from the big, clunky machines and move your body using integrated exercises and natural movement for a more effective workout that burns more calories in a shorter amount of time.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and 
Enjoy Your Food 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Halloween Candy Horrors

October is here and that means Halloween. Halloween means candy - and lots of it. When you are on trick-or-treat duty, it's hard to resist dipping in, but those fun-sized bars can add up to hundreds of calories. Here are four tricks to fend off those little treats:

Put empty wrappers on display. A Cornell University study found that people who left these visual reminders ate nearly half as many candies as those who tossed them out.

Don't buy your favorites. Stock a treat that you don't particularly love, so you won't be so tempted to go overboard.

Promise yourself a future treat. In exchange for avoiding the candy you don't really like, promise yourself that you will get to eat a fun-sized version of the treat you REALLY want at another time. And then, keep your promise!

Hide the candy. Use an opaque container with a lid to stow your stash so you won't snag a piece each time you walk by. Make it more difficult to get to the candy so choosing one piece is a conscious choice.
You can be successful in conquering your sweet-tooth this Halloween. Identify the cues that lead to nibbling Halloween candy, make a plan and follow through! 

Stay Active, Keep Moving and 
Enjoy Your Food!