Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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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.

 

Race Day Recipes

By: Snap Fitness

 

Get ready for the NASCAR race by making some of these crowd-pleasing recipes. 

 

Cucumber Salsa

This recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser at your upcoming race party. It takes little skill and time to prepare. 

Get the recipe here.

 

Avocado Hummas

It’s amazing how adding one simple ingredient to a recipe can take it to a whole new level. In this recipe, we’ve taken traditional chickpea hummus and added an avocado to the ingredient list.

Get the recipe here.

 

Fish Tacos with Red Cabbage-Apple Slaw and Mango Salsa

Try this twist on the classic taco instead! This recipe is light, and turns up both the heat and nutrition of this delicious meal.

Get the recipe here.

 

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Burger Recipe

These sweet and spicy patties are a great way to switch up your usual burger routine.

Get the recipe here

  

Chicken Satay Skewers

These Chicken Satay Skewers are loaded with flavor. Lemon grass, ginger, garlic and cumin combine to make a fun and flavorful marinade that everyone can enjoy.

Get the recipe here.

 

Baja Chicken & Slaw Sliders

Flavorful and tangy, Baja Chicken & Slaw Sliders will be a hit at your racing party.

Get the recipe here.

 

 

What's your favorite recipe to eat on race day? Share it with us on our Facebook or Twitter

 

Roasted Vegetable Tostadas

By: Snap Fitness

Mexican food doesn’t have to leave you feeling bloated and heavy. Satisfy your craving by making your own veggie filled Mexican entree at home. Corn tortillas are naturally gluten free and can be baked up crisp like chips. Go light on toppings and choose fresh, low-fat options to complete this tasty meal.

 

Roasted Vegetable Tostadas

 

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

2 bell peppers, any color, chopped

8 ounces button or portobello mushrooms, sliced

3 ears of corn, cut off the cob (or frozen, thawed, about 1 1/2 cups)

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for spraying

Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

8-10 corn tortillas (preferably sprouted yellow corn)

Monterey jack cheese (optional)

Diced avocado (optional)

Diced tomatoes (optional)

Finely chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Lime juice (optional)

Plain 0% fat Greek yogurt (optional)

 

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Arrange onion, bell peppers, mushrooms, and corn in a single layer across one or two baking sheets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Roast in the oven until the veggies begin to brown and caramelize, stirring two or three times, about 30 minutes.

 

When the vegetables come out of the oven, arrange the corn tortillas in a single layer on a baking sheet (working in batches as necessary) and lightly spray or brush both sides with olive oil. Bake the tortillas until crisp and just beginning to brown, 10-15 minutes.

 

While the tortillas are cooking, toss the roasted vegetables with the black beans and adjust seasonings as necessary. When the tortillas are done, top with the vegetable mixture. Finish with a tablespoon of cheese, avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, and a drizzle of yogurt if desired.

 

5 Strength Training Essentials

By: Snap Fitness

Starting a strength-training program will cause neuromuscular adaptations initially, where the brain connects more efficiently to the muscle fibers. This will provide a quick increase in strength gains within the first few weeks. After that initial strength gain, certain factors become increasingly important to continue to improve.

 

Here are five tips to help you continue to meet new strength gains at the gym:

 

1. Work through a full range of motion. Limiting your range of motion will reduce potential strength gains, as the muscle will only increase strength through the range the muscle works.  Full range makes the muscle stronger overall, helps build lean muscle easier, and will burn more calories. Don’t cheat yourself!

  

2. Form is everything when it comes to strength training. Without proper lifting technique, joints become at risk for injury. If the load put on the muscles is too high, the stress in the adjoining joint increases dramatically, putting ligaments that hold joints together at risk to be injured. While increasing weight is important, it is not as important as maintaining good form.

 

3. Once technique is perfected, it is essential to go through cycles of heavy lifting every 4-6 weeks. Lowering repetitions and working in a 4-5 repetition range will allow you to continue to build muscle and strength while avoiding plateaus. Changing the volume (how much weight and how many repetitions) is crucial to progressing in any strength program. 

 

4. Lifting 15 repetitions and beyond is working on muscle endurance. This will not help increase strength or create lean muscle. Always strive to reach 12-15 repetitions and if you can the weight needs to be adjusted.

 

5. While changing up workouts periodically is important, sticking to “big lifts” is a must. These exercises include squats, deadlifts, bench press, rows, and shoulder press. When completing these lifts, multiple joints are used, forcing many muscle groups to work together to complete the exercise. It is fine to include complementary exercises but the complex movements will provide the most strength gains.

 

Now go lift!

 

Farmer’s Market Lasagna Rolls

By: Snap Fitness

The farmer’s market is a great place to get farm fresh vegetables at a low cost. Use up the last of summer’s bounty with this healthier take on comfort food. The individual lasagna rolls are packed with veggies and help keep servings small. For additional protein, eliminate the eggplant and replace with up to 1 cup diced cooked chicken or lean ground beef.

 

Farmer’s Market Lasagna Rolls

 

1/2 large eggplant, skin removed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

1 1/2 cups marinara sauce

12 lasagna noodles

1/2 large onion, chopped

1/2 zucchini, shredded

1/2 yellow squash, shredded

1 cup chopped cherry or roma tomatoes

1 cup chopped baby spinach

1 clove garlic, minced

15 ounces low fat ricotta cheese

1 large egg, beaten

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Finely chopped fresh parsley and/or basil (optional)

 

Preheat the oven to broil and place a rack in the highest position. Arrange the eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet and spray or brush lightly with olive oil. Toss to coat, then broil, tossing once, until soft and brown, about 15 minutes.

 

When the eggplant is done, preheat the oven to bake at 375ºF and move the oven rack to the middle position. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil and pour in about 1/2 cup of marinara. Spread the marinara to lightly coat the bottom of the pan and set aside.

 

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. When it’s done, drain into a colander in the sink and place under cold running water until cool enough to handle. Lay each noodle out on a clean kitchen towel or paper towel and pat dry.

 

While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, and tomato and cook, stirring, two minutes more. Add the spinach and garlic and continue to cook and stir until the spinach is wilted and the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute more. Remove from the heat. If a lot of liquid has accumulate, drain a little off.

 

In a large bowl, combine ricotta, egg, eggplant, onion mixture, and 1/2 cup Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the filling onto each lasagna noodle, leaving about 1/2 an inch of space at the end. Roll the lasagna up and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Cover with the remaining marinara sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.

 

Personal Training Benefits

By: Snap Fitness

For decades now, gym-goers have sought the expertise of fitness coaches to help them attain their desired tone and physique. There are plenty of reasons as to why a personal trainer’s help can be so beneficial, beginning with the accountability factor.

 

When we choose to build new routines in our lives (fitness-related or not), half the battle is sticking to the plan. The support provided by your trainer is a two-way street, and that alone requires you to show up! Pre-scheduled workouts are your ticket to solidifying a new regimen, with the expectation that you’ll make it count and give 100 percent every time.

 

Your trainer will handle the details with precision, including professional guidance on proper form and technique. Your improvement will be carefully tracked with various measures of progress, such as your weight, measurements, body fat percentage, strength, and speed increase. Best of all, your workouts will be uniquely crafted to fulfill the needs of your body type and fitness goals - with variations and new exercises along the way.

No matter if it’s temporary or long-term, the decision to hire a personal trainer is an investment towards the wellness goals you wish to achieve with promising results! 

Healthy Tailgate Snacks

By: Snap Fitness

Football season is back! You know what that means – going to games or yelling at your TV watching your favorite college and professional teams. Didn’t you miss the emotional roller coaster than comes with being a football fan?

 

One of the best fall pastimes is tailgating before a football game. If you’re at the stadium or your living room, having the right food is a must. Brats, burgers, and beer quickly come to mind. They may be the easy choices, but if you’re trying to keep a healthy lifestyle outside of the gym, they’re not doing you any favors.

 

Here are some healthy and delicious alternatives that’ll fuel you up and give you energy for the big games:

 

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites: Who needs chicken wings when you can sauce up veggies? Take one head of cauliflower and chop it into bite-size pieces. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup water, pinch of garlic powder, and pinch of salt thoroughly with a whisk in a small bowl. Dip cauliflower in the batter then place them on a greased, non-stick baking sheet. Bake for until the batter hardens (about 10 minutes), then flip with a spatula and bake for another five minutes. In a separate bowl, mix 1/2 cup of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and 1 tsp. butter together. When the cauliflower bites are done, brush each piece with the hot sauce mixture. Put the cauliflower back in the oven again until the pieces are crispy.

 

Black Bean Hummus and Veggies: Great substitute for chips and dip, not to mention a lot less sodium. Black beans are filled with fiber, protein, and iron. Carrots and celery sticks are perfect for dipping! All you need is one can of black beans, two tablespoons of lemon juice, two tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin, and 1 minced garlic clove. Blend everything together in a food processor and you’re good to go!

 

Sweet Potato Fries: The perfect comfort food, minus all the guilt! Peel and slice five sweet potatoes into 1/4-inch long slices and 1/4-inch long strips. Toss sweet potatoes in a bowl with olive oil. Sprinkle with seasoning of your choice (salt, pepper, paprika). Spread potatoes out on a cooking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 450 degrees. Turn potatoes occasionally, until golden brown in color. Let cool and enjoy!  

 

What’s your favorite healthy tailgate snack? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

Posts 21 - 30 of 456