Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

Posts 11 - 20 of 452

Why Less is More When Working Out

By: Snap Fitness

The conventional way of performing aerobic exercise is for at least 30-45 minutes. This time commitment may not be feasible for many. Fortunately, there is a way to exercise in less time and attain results comparable to traditional endurance exercise: HIIT (high intensity interval training).

 

I’ve read that despite large differences in exercise volume, performing only two minutes of sprints interval exercise led to a similar 24-hour calorie burn compared to 30 minutes of continuous endurance exercise. It is suggested that the significant body fat losses came with sprint interval training. Want to try it? I recommend the 2:1 Interval. It’s two minutes of fast passed walking and one minute of jogging done for 20-30 minutes. For beginners, I’d suggest two minutes of walking and one minute of incline walking for a total of 20 minutes. You can change you tempos and inclines at any level of fitness.

 

Butternut Squash Soup

By: Snap Fitness

Soup can be a comforting way to fill up on a cold day. This butternut squash soup is vegan and full of vegetables. Adding a bit of full fat coconut milk at the end is a healthier way to get the creaminess you might be used to in soups. Enjoy this with some whole grain bread for dipping, a side salad, or a simply grilled chicken breast.

 

Butternut Squash Soup

 

1 medium butternut squash, halved and seeded

Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing the squash

2 medium shallots, diced

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 sprig fresh thyme, plus more for garnish

1 yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into two inch cubes

3 cups vegetable stock or broth (possibly more as needed)

A few teaspoons of full fat coconut milk (optional)

 

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the squash cut side up on a large baking sheet and coat lightly in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until tender when pierced with a knife, flipping once halfway through, about 1 hour. Allow it to cool slightly, then remove the flesh from the skin.

 

While the squash is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for one minute. Add the potato and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Allow the potato to cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the thyme twig.

 

Add the cooked squash flesh to the potato pot. Use an immersion blender to puree everything together, or work in batches to puree in an upright blender. If the mixture is too thick for your liking, add another cup or two of broth and stir to combine. 

 

Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with a drizzle of coconut milk and a few thyme leaves.

 

Know Your Fats

By: Snap Fitness

If you are trying to maintain a healthy balanced diet, don’t overlook the importance of fats. Getting enough of the right kind of fats in your body can help prevent heart disease, reduce total body inflammation, and achieve optimal body composition. Here are some sources of healthy fats:

 

Nuts

Most nuts and seeds are healthy choices, but almonds and walnuts are especially great. These are quick, delicious, and easy for a mid-morning or mid-day snack.

 

Avocados

Loaded with healthy fats, this fruit contains monounsaturated fats that help raise good cholesterol levels. Slice up an avocado to jazz up just about any salad or sandwich.

 

Olive Oil

Olives are also rich in monounsaturated fat. Olive oil is great on salads, sandwiches, and much more. It’s recommended that you purchase a dark colored bottle labeled, Extra Virgin.

 

Coconut Oil

Unrefined coconut oil is rich in fatty acids that your body will thank you for. Try using coconut oil instead of canola oil. Just make sure not to use high heat, as this will damage the fat.

 

Fish

Fatty, oily fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce the risk for heart disease and high cholesterol. Grab Salmon, tuna, or trout the next time you are at the store for some healthy fats in your diet!

 

Eggs

Not only do eggs contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but also a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. Prepare your eggs without breaking the yolk to avoid oxidizing the cholesterol. Poached and hard-boiled eggs are great options!

 

Bad Fats: Trans fats are chemically altered in order to increase the shelf life and flavor. This type of fat is highly inflammatory and can be detrimental to your health if regularly consumed. Here are some common sources of unhealthy fats that you will want to steer clear of:

 

-       Chips

-       Crackers

-       Baked goods

-       Mayo

-       Shortening

-       Fast Food

-       Frozen dinners

-       Fried food

-       Vending machine foods

 


 

What's your favorite healthy fat? Tell us on our Facebook or Twitter.

13 Fat Loss Tips

By: Snap Fitness

Do you want to wear a bikini with confidence, fit into those skinny jeans that you used to wear, or just want to improve your overall health? If so, then you are not alone! Ninety percent of people who join a gym have these exact goals. In an information-dominated world with so many contradictions on fat loss and training, it is easy to get confused with what works and what doesn't.

 

As a coach who specializes in fat loss, it is my number one priority to help my clients achieve their goals and get the body that they desire. Even though no two clients of mine are the same, these are a few simple protocols that they incorporate into their routine to help them get the body and life that they deserve:

 

1. Drink more water. Drinking water is one of the easiest and cheapest things to improve your health. Aim to have at least 3-4 liters a day.

 

2. Eat your calories, don't drink them. Avoid juices, milks, soft drinks and any other high-calorie drinks unless they are freshly-squeezed juices/smoothies that contain all the fiber from the foods used. Eliminate your alcohol consumption if you are serious about dropping body fat!

 

3. Do at least 45 minutes of exercise a day. Weight training is one of the best forms of exercise to reduce your body fat and should be performed 3-4 times a week for the best results.

 

4. Fasted cardio (before breakfast or four hours after eating) kickstarts your metabolism for the day and also accelerates the fat burning process.

 

5. Consume a diet high in fiber from green leafy vegetables. Aim to have green vegetables 2-3 times a day.

 

6. Have 100mg of caffeine before exercise for a thermogenic fat-burning effect. Coffee is packed with antioxidants, improves your sensitivity to carbohydrates, and is proven to increase fat burning.

 

7. Eat majority of your starchy carbohydrates around your training time (pre and post workouts meals).

 

8. Eat a good source of protein with every main meal.  Breakfast should contain lean protein and healthy fats to aid in the regulation of  blood sugar levels and help avoid cravings for sweets throughout the day. Why is protein so important? Protein is the building blocks of your body, getting enough protein in each day will lower cravings, boost energy and burn fat whilst shaping muscle.

 

9. Eat regular meals with smaller portions. Ditch the three main meal diet and replace it with 5-6 small meals evenly spaced throughout the day.

 

10. Incorporate high intensity interval training into your weekly routine . Most commonly referred to as HIIT it is usually done by sprinting at 100 percent of your max effort for a short amount of time (30 seconds approximately) followed by a rest period of between 30-60 seconds. Sprint training has been proven to be one of the best forms of exercise for fat loss! This could be in the form of stair runs, hill sprints, bike sprints, or simply sprinting outside.

 

11. Alkalize and detoxify your body by eating a diet rich in fresh organic green leafy vegetables. A diet high in animal protein, soft drink, sugar and alcohol alongside a stressful lifestyle will cause an acidic PH level in the body. A green supplement containing wheat grass, barley grass, green tea extract, and spirulina can also be beneficial to those who want to alkalize their body.

 

12. Avoid foods high in sugar or refined carbohydrates. Get into the habit of reading the nutritional label on foods that you are about to eat and look out for hidden sugars in the ingredients list. They may be called glucose, dextrose, cane sugar, fructose, corn sweetener, honey, lactose, malt syrup, maltodextrin, or sucrose. All of these are simple carbohydrates and will cause a spike in your blood glucose levels that can attribute to the storage of fat if consumed in excess.

 

13. Pre-plan your week and schedule in your workouts. Most importantly, stick to your plan!

 

Want to learn more about Jessica and her training experience with Snap Fitness? You can find more information about her here

 

 

 

11 Healthy Vegetarian Recipes

By: Snap Fitness

Did you know October 1 is World Vegetarian Day? By cutting meat out of your diet, you lose weight easier, help the environment, reduce your risk for heart diseases, shrink your cancer risk, and save animals to name a few benefits.

 

If cutting meat out of your diet isn’t in the cards right now, try giving up meat at least once a week. Make today that day and try one of these meatless recipes for every meal!

 

*Scroll over the recipe name and click for the recipe.


 

Breakfast

 

5-Minute Breakfast Burrito

These burritos hit all the major food groups! They're a great way to work more veggies into your breakfast. 

 

Protein Pancakes

Pancakes are always a crowd-pleaser, but a big no-no if you are trying to watch your diet. The answer to this dilemma? Protein Pancakes.

 

Spring Vegetable Frittata

This spring vegetable frittata is a great way to use those first farmer’s market finds of the season and add more vegetables to your diet. 

 


 

Appetizers and Side Dishes

 

Salsa and Avocado Salad

This easy dish is my “go-to” food when looking to enjoy something quick, healthy, and tasty. 

 

Quinoa Stuffed Poblanos Peppers

At less than 300 calories per serving (two stuffed pepper halves), you'll get plenty of flavor and texture without  sabotaging your workout. 

 


 

Lunch

 

Quinoa Tabouli Salad

If you haven’t tried tabouli, you’re missing out! It’s a major salad in Middle Eastern cuisine. The main components of tabouli are always the same: fresh parsley, mint, tomato, scallions, lemon juice, and oil. 

 

Corn and Sweet Pepper Quesadillas

Quesadillas are notoriously high in fat and calories. Satisfy your craving with this super flavorful lightened up version.

 

Southwest Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

This southwest salad allows you to enjoy your favorite Mexican flavors in a veggie-packed salad that's perfect for lunch.

 


 

Dinner

 

Spicy Black Bean Burger

Veggie burgers are a fantastic, guilt-free alternative to burgers. 

 

Farmer’s Market Lasagna Rollups

The individual lasagna rolls are packed with veggies and help keep servings small.

 

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Burger

These sweet and spicy patties are a great way to switch up your usual burger routine. They're vegan, gluten free, and made with wholesome ingredients like quinoa, sweet potato, white beans, and oat flour. 

 


 

 

What’s your favorite vegetarian recipe? Tell us on our Facebook or Twitter

Open Faced Mediterranean Egg Sandwiches

By: Snap Fitness

These open faced Mediterranean egg sandwiches are perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or luxurious Saturday brunch. Serving a sandwich open faced cuts your carbs in half and will save you around 100 calories depending on the type of bread you use. You can still get that great toasted crunch by using one slice of whole grain, seedy bread. Serve alongside thinly sliced carrots and radishes to mimic potato chips and give you the whole sandwich experience without all the fat.

 

Open Faced Mediterranean Egg Sandwiches

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), chopped

6-8 large eggs

2 ounces low-fat feta cheese

Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

6-8 slices whole grain bread, toasted

Fresh chopped parsley (optional)

 

In a large non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium low heat. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant and pale blonde, 1-3 minutes. Crack the eggs evenly around the pan and sprinkle with feta, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook undisturbed until desired doneness, 10-15 minutes. You can check the doneness of the yolks by jiggling the pan slightly. Runny yolks will move, fully cooked yolks will be firm. Transfer each egg to a piece of toast and sprinkle with parsley if desired.

 

11 Nutrient Dense Foods

By: Snap Fitness

Every day we make the decision of what foods we will eat to nourish our bodies. Most of us know what’s considered “good” or “bad” food, but is what you’re eating nutrient dense? Nutrient dense foods give you the most nutrients for the fewest amount of calories.

 

Add these foods into your diet to make sure you’re eating foods that carry the greatest amount of nutrients.  

Here are 11 of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet:

 

Spirulina

This natural algae powder has more antioxidants than any other food on earth and is loaded with protein and minerals, making it one of the most nutrient-dense food.

 

Berries

Nutrient-dense fruits like berries are packed with antioxidants, disease fighting nutrients, and fiber. Nothing beats a bowl of berries after a workout!

 

Egg Yolks

Egg yolks are loaded with vitamins, minerals and various powerful nutrients. They also contain high quality protein and healthy fats. Several studies suggest that they can help you lose weight.

 

Hemp Seeds

If you’re looking for protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, look no further then hemp seeds. This easily digestible seed is versatile and easy to incorporate into meals.

 

Dark Chocolate (Cocoa)

Cacoa beans are so nutrient-dense that scientists haven’t even begun to identify all the benefits in them yet. Make sure you select raw cacoa beans or 50-85% dark chocolate.

 

Garlic

Garlic is both tasty and extremely healthy. It is high in vitamins C, B1 and B6; Calcium, Potassium, Copper, Manganese, and Selenium plus the bioactive compounds in it have known disease-fighting properties.

 

Spinach

Pick fresh or frozen spinach rather than canned for antioxidants, protein, and fiber.

 

Salmon

Fish like salmon is loaded with beneficial fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is a good idea to eat this kind of fatty fish every week.

 

Kale

Kale is one of the most nutritious foods out there. It’s loaded with minerals, vitamins, fiber and amino acids, as well as important antioxidants that reduce inflammation and prevent cancer.

 

Chia

This super seed is loaded with omega fats, protein, and fiber. Chia is so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don’t deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid.

 

Broccoli

This green veggie is a great source of protein and dietary fiber. You also get various vitamins including A, C, K, E, B6, Folate, Potassium, and Manganese.

 

What’s your favorite nutrient dense food? Tell us on our Facebook or Twitter.

Cinnamon Roll Protein Shake

By: Snap Fitness

If you have a cinnamon roll craving but don’t want to ruin your diet, try this delicious protein shake. It will satisfy your sweet tooth any time of the day.  

 

Ingredients:

1 scoops of whey or soy vanilla protein powder

1 C. unsweetened almond milk

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. sugar-free, fat-free, instant cheesecake pudding mix

Low calorie sweetener of choice

4-5 ice cubes

 

Directions:

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

 

What's your favorite fall shake? Tell us on our Facebook or Twitter

3 Easy Ways to Improve Balance

By: Snap Fitness

Falls are the number one cause for injury in the United States with an estimated $30 billion in direct medical costs in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many injuries that come from falls require time away from the gym and time lost towards reaching a specific goal – not to mention the additional financial burden that comes along with repairing any damage from a fall, between medical bills and potential physical therapy.

 

Prevention is the key to avoiding all of that. It starts with a few easy steps to include in any workout regimen. No matter the goal or what an individual may be working towards, including a few easy exercises can go a long way in preventing potentially time and money-consuming issues.

 

Here are three easy ways to improve balance:

 

1. Achieving optimal balance starts at the feet. Our feet strike the ground differently depending on the footwear and the cushioning that lies underneath them. Shoes that become too worn changes how the muscles contract from the feet up to the hip, while extra cushioning can decrease the foot’s ability to contract muscles in the foot properly. Practicing standing on one foot without shoes on a couple times a week helps contract muscles effectively and improves foot to core sequencing (the chain of muscle contractions from the foot up to the hip and into the core). 

 

2. Strengthen the muscles involved in keeping a strong posture that engage when falling off balance. These include the glutes and the trunk (thoracic spine and rib cage). Exercises like lunges (in multiple directions), planks, and Supermans help coordinate and strengthen muscle activation patterns that can help catch someone during a fall.

 

3. Proper breathing techniques can stabilize and activate the deep muscles in the core, which reduces the need to brace or catch yourself, preventing a fall in the first place.

 

The Fat-Blaster Workout

By: Snap Fitness

An ideal fat blasting workout would involve heavy weights, but here is a weight-free alternative. 

 

50 jumping jacks 

10 burpees 

30 squats 

50 crunches

10 calf raises (go slow!)

30 mountain climbers

5 push-ups

5 dips

1 minute of jump rope

20 lunges

10 burpees

30 squats

50 crunches 

50 jumping jacks

 

Complete circuit three times.

 

Posts 11 - 20 of 452