Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

Posts 391 - 400 of 526

The Difference Between Treat & Snack

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

So often the choices we make within our diet are based on convenience and taste.  While a snack is typically categorized under something you need to grab and go, it should also be nutritious. Somehow snack has become synonymous with treat.

 

My kids are a great example.  They are hungry, their blood sugar is dropping, they want something to tie them over until mealtime, and they want it “Now!”  Though they know that they can’t have candy bars, cakes and other junk food for a snack, but they usually try to con me into things such as crackers, sugary granola bars, or chips. 

 

Guess what, those crackers, bars and chips are treats.  They are void of nutritional value, full of sugar, and far from “real food.”  So, what are the alternatives?  I won’t let them go hungry and I know they want something quick and tasty. There must be a compromise.

 

For yourself or your family, it comes down to a little know-how and a little planning. It’s simple really – a snack is something that is healthy and enjoyed daily, a treat should be left for special occasions.

 

Here are some of my favorite snacks that offer protein, vitamins and minerals, fiber and most important – taste!

 

Fruit with Peanut butter. 

If on the go, a piece of fruit (always a portable option) and a handful of nuts

 

Yogurt with oats, raisins, and nuts

Look for Yogurt that is low in sugar.  For myself and my family, I choose plain and “flavor” it with fruit, nuts, seeds, etc.

 

Beef Sticks

Look for organic, grass-fed, and high in protein sticks

 

Peanut Butter Packs

Kids love them plus, they are full of good-for-you fats

 

Cheese Sticks 

String pulling goodness that is high in calcium, protein, and low in fat

 

Convenience doesn’t have to mean something processed, loaded with sugar, and full of artificial ingredients.  Redefine your definition of snack and align it with the same healthy choices you would make for meals.  This will help you and your family get on the right track to better health!

 

4th of July Picnic Makeover

By: Snap Fitness

Who doesn’t love a 4th of July picnic? Sun, games, fireworks and delicious food.  But for someone that is watching their diet, picnics can be a disaster. This year, Snap Fitness has given your typical picnic a makeover.

 

Follow the guide below to help you navigate the red-checkered tablecloth and avoid the foods that will cost you weeks of hard work in the gym.

 

Instead of: Fried Chicken

Try: Grilled Chicken

Why:  Fried chicken may be tasty, but it is loaded with calories, sodium and fat. You can cut those numbers in half by choosing to say good-bye to the fried chicken.

 

Instead of: Full Hamburger

Try: Drop the bun

Why: By eating your hamburger without the bun, you will shave calories off your meal. Bonus points if you wrap the burger in lettuce leaves for an added punch of greens.

 

Instead of: Bread, cheese and cold cuts

Try: Lettuce wrap with cheese and avocado spread

Why: Cold cuts contain high amounts of sodium, which can add up quickly if you stack your sandwich high. Avoid the bread and cold cuts, and choose to make a lettuce wrap with a slice of cheese and mashed up avocados to save calories and avoid high sodium levels.

 

Instead of: Potato salad

Try: Coleslaw

Why: Traditional potato salad is packed full of calories, fat and cholesterol thanks to the mayo and eggs. Cut those numbers with coleslaw, which traditionally contains veggies (cabbage and carrots) and uses cider vinegar, not mayo.

 

Instead of: Pasta salad

Try: Fruit & veggie skewers

Why: Pasta salads get overloaded with high-fat dressings. Avoid the added calories by making veggie and fruit skewers on the grill. Peppers, pineapple and mushrooms make for a fun and nutritious skewer.

 

Instead of: Packaged chips & dips

Try: Fruit & cheese platter

Why:  Though it may an easy snack, packaged chips and dips tend to be packed full of calories, sodium and fat. Grab a tray of fresh fruits and cheese to make a platter that will satisfy- without causing havoc to your diet.

 

Instead of: Lemonade

Try: Water with a lemon

Why:  Store bought lemonade contains a lot of sugar and calories. A typical 12-ounce glass of sweetened lemonade can have 140 calories depending on the brand. Opt for a glass of water and squeeze your own lemon to achieve a refreshing taste without the added calories.

Snap Workout: Chest

By: Snap Fitness

The Warm-up:

 

Select your favorite cardio machine and get your body loosened and blood flow moving for 5 minutes. The warm-up should increase your heart rate, but it should not leave you feeling fatigued.

 

The Workout:

 

3 sets of 10-15 reps

 

1. Smith Machine Bench Press 

 

2. Dumbbell Incline Press 

 

3. Seated Chest Press

 

4. Machine Chest Fly

 

The Cool-down

 

End your workout routune with some ab work and stretching

 

1. Straight Arm Plank (1 min.)

2. Bicycle crunches (30)

3. Elbow Plank (1 min.)

4. Stretching exercises for 3-5 minutes

Featured Recipe: Greek Yogurt Mini Cheesecakes

By: Snap Fitness

We have hit the month of July, which means 4th of July picnics are in our future! Picnics can be a challenge for those that are trying to watch what they eat, especially when it comes to dessert time.

 

This recipe is modified to use less cream cheese, and in its place use protein-rich Greek yogurt. It is also crust-less, which is great news to those on a gluten-free diet!

 

This recipe can be made in ramekins, or small bowls. Traveling with your cheesecakes? Make them in small mason jars so you can easily cover them with the lid!

 

Top the cheesecakes with strawberries and blueberries and you have your red, white and blue festive dessert. Or, provide several different toppings and let everyone top their cheesecakes themselves! 

 

Makes: 4 individual cheesecakes. Double or quadruple the recipe for larger batches.

 

Cheesecake Ingredients:

 

1 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup (4oz.) reduced fat cream cheese

1/3 cup honey

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

 

Topping Ingredients:

 

Blueberries

Strawberries

Shredded coconut

 

Other ideas: graham cracker crumbs, other fresh fruit, chocolate, caramel, cookies, nuts)

 

Directions:

 

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease your small ramekins or bowls.

2. Combine cheesecake ingredients in a mixer or blender. Mix the ingredients until the mixture is creamy and smooth.

3. Divide the blended mixture between your small bowls. Place the bowls into a 9x9 pan or larger if you double the recipe. Pour water into the pan until the water is halfway up the sides of your ramekins.

4. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the cheesecakes are set and jiggle slightly.

5. Once cooled to room temperature, refrigerate until chilled or overnight.

6. Top with your choice of toppings and serve! 

Featured Recipe: Coffee Protein Shake

By: Snap Fitness

Tired of drinking your same old boring protein shake? Need your coffee in the mornings? We have the perfect combination for you!

 

This Coffee Protein Shake is a great way to get your protein while also satisfying your coffee habit!

 

Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

 

1 scoop protein powder (vanilla or chocolate)

1 Cup brewed coffee

1 Cup milk (almond, skim, soy)

½ banana (frozen works best)

2 handfuls of ice

 

Directions:

 

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

30 Minute Stationary Bike Workout

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

 

The stationary bike is an excellent cardiovascular workout – the key is to challenge yourself by varying both cadence and resistance.  Plus, this equipment is one of the best low-impact options for saving your hip and/or knee joints.

 

Warm up at a moderate pace of 80-90 revolutions per minute (RPM), with a light resistance. 

 

Follow the chart below to optimize intervals of both high cadence, moderate resistance (similar to pushing speed on a flat road while biking), followed by low cadence and higher resistance (similar to climbing a steep hill while biking). 

 

 

How to Prepare for Your First 5K

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

This is the time of year when gorgeous weather gets us moving outdoors, or motivates us to hit the treadmills with a little more intensity to prepare for an outdoor running event!  If you haven’t run a 5k and you’ve always wanted to, this article is meant just for you!

 

According to Running USA, roughly 23,000 5K races were held across the country in 2012! With over 13 million road race finishers, running is not slowing down any time soon.  I want you to be a part of that trend AND improve your overall health and fitness in the process.  So, I have put together a 5k training program that you can do right in your Snap Fitness club.  Taking the first step is always the toughest – let’s leap!

 

Check back for Part 2 of “How to Prepare for your first 5k” in 2 weeks.  At that point, you will have 2 weeks of this training plan under your belt and will be ready to focus on some of the common problems or errors that beginning runners make.  I’m here to guide you along the way so that you have a great 5k experience.

 

Rundown to Running: Here is an 8-week sample workout to get you up and running and ready for your first 5k race!

 

Snap Workout: Shoulders

By: Snap Fitness

The Warm-up: 

 

High knees – 60 seconds

Mountain climbers – 60 seconds

Jumping Jacks – 60 seconds

 

The Workout:

 

3 sets of 10-15

Rest 30 seconds to 1 minute between each set

 

1. Dumbell Overhead Shoulder Press

 

2. Dumbbell Front Raise

 

3. Upright Row

 

4. Dumbbell Lateral Raises

 

5. Dumbbell Shrug

 

The Cool-down:

 

End your workout routine with stretching exercises for 3-5 minutes

 

10 Healthy Food Swaps

By: Snap Fitness

With these simple substitutions, you can start cutting calories from your diet without sacrificing taste! 

 

Instead of: Sour cream

Try: Plain Greek yogurt

Why: Substituting plain Greek yogurt for sour cream is an easy way to cut out calories and add a punch of protein.

 

Instead of: Spaghetti

Try: Spaghetti squash

Why: A great substitute if you want a lighter alternative to pasta, or if you just want to add another vegetable to the meal.

 

Instead of: Mayo

Try: Avocado

Why: By swapping avocado for mayo, one-to-one, you will eliminate almost 70 calories! 

 

Instead of: Pizza dough crust

Try: Cauliflower crust

Why: This substitute mimics regular flour pizza crust in taste and texture, but is a low-calorie, gluten-free alternative!

 

Instead of: Cow’s milk

Try: Almond milk

Why: Almond milk is safe for those who are lactose intolerant and has high levels of a wide rage of vitamins and therefore has a higher nutritional value than cow’s milk.  

 

Instead of: Table salt

Try: Sea salt

Why: They both contain the same amount of sodium, however, sea salt is obtained naturally and goes through little to no processing, which allows sea salt to retain minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium.

 

Instead of: Breadcrumbs

Try: Rolled oats

Why: Next time you are craving breaded chicken, opt for rolled oats because they are healthy carbohydrates and high in fiber.

 

Instead of: White rice

Try: Brown rice or quinoa

Why: Brown rice and quinoa are packed with nutrients and vitamins you can’t find in white rice.

 

Instead of: Tortilla wraps

Try: Lettuce leaves

Why: Use lettuce leaves as a lighter alternative that will shave calories off your sandwich.

 

Instead of: Coffee creamer

Try: Almond milk or Coconut oil

Why:  Avoid empty calories by opting for almond milk or coconut oil in your morning coffee. These two options are healthier and a safe alternative for people that are lactose intolerant.

 

Featured Recipe: Black Bean & Corn Stuffed Peppers

By: Snap Fitness

This dish is quick, healthy and delicious - making for a great weeknight dinner.

 

The stars of this recipe include lean ground turkey and black beans that give you a healthy boost of protein.

 

This recipe is sure to be a winner with its flavor combination and healthy ingredients!

 

Enjoy!

 

Makes: 3-4 servings

 

Ingredients:

 

3 large green bell peppers, halved and de-seeded

½ pound lean ground turkey

½ onion, diced

1 15 oz. can of black beans

1 15 oz. can of corn

1 Tbsp taco seasoning

Shredded cheese for topping

 

Directions:

 

1. Place your green pepper halves upright on a baking sheet. Drizzle some olive oil over them and place them in a preheated oven at 350 degrees. Let them bake for 20-25 minutes or until they are blistering.

2. While the peppers are baking, in a large skillet, sauté the diced onions in olive oil. Once the onions are tender, add in the ground turkey. Once cooked all the way through, add the taco seasoning, rinsed black beans and corn. Combine all ingredients and let cook for 5 minutes longer.

3. Take your pepper halves place them in a casserole dish. Scoop the filling inside the peppers – overstuffing the peppers is good. If you have extra filling, you can fill in around the peppers

4. Top with a shredded cheese of your liking. Place the casserole dish under the broiler until your cheese is melted

5. Enjoy!

Posts 391 - 400 of 526