Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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Quinoa-Stuffed Mushrooms

By: Snap Fitness

Counteract the holiday season (the endless sweets, parties and booze!) with these light stuffed mushrooms! Each mushroom has less than 50 calories and is gluten-free, whole-grain and guilt-free.

 

Makes 12-14 mushrooms.

 

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp butter

1 shallot, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup quinoa

2 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (+ 1/8 cup more)

salt & pepper

8 oz crimini mushrooms

optional garnish: toasted pine nuts, chopped parsley

 

Instructions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt butter in small saucepan and add shallot and garlic.

Cook for about a minute and add in quinoa. Stir occasionally for about 3 minutes, until golden brown.

Add broth, bring to a boil and let simmer for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through and liquid is gone.

Stir in 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Wipe mushrooms with paper towel and remove stems.

Place stem-side down and bake for about 10-15 minutes to release liquid. Shake off excess liquid and wipe down pan or parchment paper.

Fill mushroom caps with quinoa mixture.

Top with pine nuts and remaining parmesan cheese.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until golden brown.

Top with parsley and serve!

 

Note: you’ll only use about 1/3 of the quinoa, serve the rest with dinner, it’s delicious!

 

Nutrition: (approximate, per mushroom)

43 calories, 2 grams of fat, 4 grams carbohydrates, 0 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, 2 grams protein

 

Sugar, a Sweet Addiction

By: Snap Fitness

It can be very difficult to consume a diet with limited sugar, and this blog is meant to bring awareness to the biggest “secret” killer amongst us. Recently, some clients have gone through a remarkable transformation with one trick: eliminating sugar from their diets. We decided to implement this plan because we noticed progress slowing down significantly after an initial weight loss. Everything seemed to be on point, from the workouts to the daily breakdown of macronutrients and everything in between. Strength development and weight loss had been significant, however the weight loss had slowed noticeably. We then decided a sugar “detox” may be necessary to continue weight loss goals.  

 

For the next week, she experienced flu like symptoms, fever, sweating, stomach pains as well as personality changes. She was “snappy,” unfriendly, short to people at work, couldn’t concentrate, and just overall not happy. She struggled to maintain a normal energy level and food lost its flavor. These are the same symptoms that accompany detox from serious drug addiction. While it may not be quite the same level, the fact that these symptoms are present is evidence that sugar is a poison to the body and can be as detrimental as any drug. In fact, sugar should be considered a drug.

 

How It Begins

 

Sugar is a highly-addictive substance due to the response by the brain to release dopamine, the feel-good hormone.  When sugar is consumed, there is a response in the pleasure center of the brain triggering feelings of happiness and alertness. It is impossible to get the same response from natural foods, so the only way to feel this short-term cognitive boost is to consume something containing added sugar. Drugs such as heroin and cocaine have very similar effects on brain activity. This helps to partially explain why they can be sugar can be addictive once the body gets a regular dose. Personalities that tend to be more addictive constantly crave that response to be triggered in the brain, making sugar a staple of the diet.

 

Changes in the Body

 

Sugar intake can change how and what hormones are released in the body. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. It will allow the body to absorb glucose from the blood stream into muscle cells. Insulin will also cause fat to be stored or used as energy. If there is a constant influx of these simple carbohydrates into the body, a greater amount of that energy will be stored as cells become resistant to insulin. To combat the increased level of sugar in the blood stream, the body will continue to release insulin, which is futile since the cells no longer respond to the hormone. The liver is then forced to break down these simple carbohydrates and releases them as fats into the blood stream. With a consistent intake of sugars, insulin resistance increases, which in turn raises levels of fat and insulin in the blood stream.

 

Lasting Effects

 

Insulin resistance is one of the leading factors responsible for a number of diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease ,and obesity. It was previously believed that saturated fats were the main cause of such diseases but recently has been discovered that sugar has more of a role in developing these health issues then diets high in fat. The human body struggles to deal with stress, both mentally and physically — that goes along with a diet high in sugar.

 

As the sugar detox went on, the pounds seemed to fall off her body, as well as inches.  The cravings subsided and her energy levels returned to normal, allowing workouts to improve greatly. Her mood returned to normal and became excited to eat the foods within her diet instead of the dangerous food filled with sugar. She now claims that she has never felt better and the week or so of struggling without sugar in her diet was completely worth it. Keep this in mind as we are now in the midst of the holiday season, where sweets are bountiful and a sugar habit can develop quickly without even knowing it!

 

Tis the Season to Put on Muscle

By: Snap Fitness

I've always thought that the holiday season was a great time to focus on putting on muscle mass rather than trying to lean out or cut up.  Because of the difference in body types and individual commitment levels, ''growing'' muscles can be easier for some while frustrating and difficult for others. But for everyone, it is the same basic formula of eating more calories and training in a progressive overload manner. 

 

Between mid-November and early January, there never seems to be an end to the gatherings of family, friends, and food! Calories, calories, calories. Some people may be freaking out and trying to figure out how not to gain unwanted weight this upcoming season, but think about this: more muscle will increase your metabolism, which in turn will burn fat for energy.

 

During an intense workout, your body's oxygen levels are depleted and especially after high-intensity strength training, your body must work hard to build those levels back up. This is known as Excess Post Exercise Consumption or ''the after-burn.” It keeps your body at a heightened  metabolic rate for up to 24 hours after your workout! 

 

Since high-intensity resistance training creates a greater EPOC than cardio, the key is to focus on lifting moderate to heavy weights with a routine that utilizes large muscle groups and compound movements (squats, bent-over rows , push presses, etc.). Staying consistent with this type of routine during the holiday season can help keep body compositions at a desirable place by preserving/building muscle.

 

 

Even though most of us get that it takes extra calories coupled with consistent resistance training to increase muscle, don't think the holiday season is your green light to gorge yourself, but to use it to your advantage of increasing mass. 

 

Gingerbread Protein Shake

By: Snap Fitness

What do you think about a gingerbread cookie in a cup? This protein shake tastes just like a gingerbread cookie without all the extra unhealthy stuff.

 

Ingredients:


1 Scoop Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
1/2 Tbsp. Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup
1 C. Fat Free Milk or Almond Milk
1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
1/4 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
4-6 Ice Cubes

 

Directions:

 

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy immediately! 

Cardio and Core Workout

By: Snap Fitness

This simple but effective workout will get your heart rate up and abs burning! All you need is a mat to lay down on, a skipping rope, and a stable box to jump on.

 

Here are the exercises:

100 skips

20 leg raises

15 burpees

10 box jumps

15 butterfly crunches

20 jump squats

100 flutter kicks

 

Do this routine three times through.

 

Countdown to 2015 Workout

By: Snap Fitness

You don’t have to wait until Dec. 31 to count down from 10! This circuit combines cardio and strength-training moves using only your body weight. Transition between sets as quickly as you can, but focus on maintaining good form during push-ups and squats. Take water breaks as needed.

 

Start with a quick warm-up. Jog lightly for 10 minutes on the treadmill.

 

Here’s the circuit:

Jumping jacks

Push-ups

Squats

Crunches

Jump ropes

 

Do 10 reps of each exercise. After you finished the 10 jump ropes, do nine reps of each exercise. Go through the rest of the countdown (8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1). Cool down with stretching and a five-minute brisk walk on the treadmill.

Recipe: Gingerbread Cookies

By: Snap Fitness

Looking for a healthier holiday treat to bring to your next party or family gathering? Try these Gingerbread Cookies! This recipe is gluten-free and doesn’t contain eggs or dairy. Grab your favorite cookie cutters and get to baking!

 

Ingredients

4 cups gluten-free, dairy-free shortbread cookie mix

1/3 cup packed-light brown sugar

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 ¾ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ cup molasses

6 tablespoons canola oil

¼ cup water

 

Directions

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

-Put cookie mix, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, and nutmeg in a bowl. Mix together with a fork.

-Add molasses and canola oil to bowl and blend together with fork.

-Add water and mix with fork until content forms a dough.

-Place dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out ¼-inch thick.

-Refrigerate 10 minutes.

-Using cookie cutters, cut out shapes from the dough.

-Transfer the cookies to parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 8-12 minutes.

-Let cookies cool and decorate as needed!

Fun Fitness Holiday Gifts

By: Snap Fitness

Tis the season for giving! Nothing puts a damper on the holidays like mall crowds and the stress that comes with last minute shopping. Fitness is always in style, so give family and friends the gift of wellness. From the fitness beginner to workout guru, the following items are perfect for all your loved ones. We won’t judge if you want to keep one or two for yourself!

 

Activity trackers: Want to know how many steps you take in a day? You can track that and so much more with the cool technology products out today. Fitbit and Jawbone, to name two of the many options, have bracelets available that record your daily personal metrics.

Touch-screen friendly gloves: Ideal for runners! Skipping to the next song during your 3-mile outdoor run has never been easier.

Beat-box water bottle: Stay hydrated and motivated with this bottle! It holds iPhone 4s and 5s while amplifying your tunes.

Yoga mat sling: Forget the balancing game with your mat, water, and towel in your hands! Snag a sling that can conveniently hold all your items.

Water-infusion jug: Add some flavor to your water! Just drop any fruit in the pitcher and you’ll have a refreshing beverage in minutes.

Snap Fitness gear: For the Snap Fitness enthusiast in your life! Check out our gear here.

 

Happy holidays, all!

Tips for Eating Healthy While Traveling

By: Snap Fitness

With holiday breaks coming up, you might be logging a lot of hours driving or flying to see loved ones. When you’re traveling, healthy dining options can be limited. Fast food restaurants and cheap snacks at gas stations may be convenient, but they are not the best choices – especially if you’re stopping at them throughout your trip!

 

Just like packing your clothes, take a little time and try to plan out what you’ll be eating during your travels beforehand. Not only will it save you money, it’ll help you avoid unhealthy choices like French fries, greasy double cheeseburgers, and more.

 

Here are some easy tips to follow when it comes to eating while traveling:

 

Pack snacks. This is a great way to avoid grabbing candy or chips at the airport or gas station. Pick foods that are nutrient-dense and good sources of protein; they’ll help you stay full longer. Granola bars, dried fruit, and trail mix are solid snack options. Keep portion control in mind so you aren’t eating several servings in one sitting.

 

Drink more water. There are countless benefits to drinking water: flushes out toxins, boosts your immune system, improves skin complexion, and more. If you have the choice between water and soda, water’s always the clear winner.

 

Don’t skip breakfast. You need a morning meal to get your metabolism going. The longer you go without eating a meal, the hungrier you’ll be and in turn, more likely to over-eat. Start your day with a serving of oatmeal and a banana to get some energy!

 

Download a nutrition app. There are plenty of them available on your smart phone or tablet, like MyFitnessPal, Calorie Counter Pro, and more. If you’re ever unsure of the nutritional content in a meal or food item, simply scan the bar code or look it up by name.

Peter's "Triple T" Smoothie

By: Snap Fitness

 

The “Triple T” (The Taunton Treat) Smoothie is our CEO’s go-to daily smoothie.  The combination of ingredients makes it both delicious and healthy. 

 

 

Ingredients: 

 

1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder

1 C. Ice

1 C. Unsweetened Almond Milk

½ Banana

1 tbs. Natural Peanut Butter

1 C. Spinach

 

Directions:

 

Combine all ingredients in a Nutribullet and blend until smooth. Enjoy immediately! 

 

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Posts 11 - 20 of 503