Breakfast on the Go – Making Wise Choices

You always hear about breakfast being the most important meal of the day, some may beg to differ, but skipping breakfast or making poor choices can sabotage your energy levels and your health/fitness efforts. If you have time to make something to bring with you solid choices include fresh fruit, protein smoothies, or egg muffins. (check out this recipe for Gluten-Free Zucchini-Bacon Egg Muffins).

egg muffins in tin

If you have to run without food in hand forget bagels, donuts and hot cakes drenched in syrup. Here are some options when hitting some of the most popular fast food establishments:

Starbucks: Along with your coffee, why not add a little food try the low-fat bran muffins, the reduced-fat cranberry apple muffins, the low-fat oat fruit scone, or the reduced-fat cinnamon swirl coffee cake, each under 400 calories.

Subway: Egg white and cheese sandwich on a muffin or flatbread are two examples of healthy breakfast choices. Egg and your choice of veggies come in around 200 calories.

Dunkin Donuts: Try a veggie egg white omelet with a slice of reduced fat cheddar cheese, served on a multigrain flatbread. It’s under 300 calories, and packs 15 grams of protein.

McDonald’s: Their fruit and maple oatmeal comes with apples, dried fruit, a little cream, and a sprinkle of brown sugar, all for fewer than 300 calories.

Panera: The breakfast power sandwich made with egg, white cheddar, and lean ham is high in protein, fiber (when made on whole-grain bread), vitamins, and minerals.It is on the high side in sodium (830 milligram), but comes in at only 300 calories.

Common Misconceptions about Exercise

It could be something you learned as a child, a tip from your co-worker, or advice you read online. However, just because someone said it or because a lot of people believe it, doesn’t mean it’s true. Read on to learn the truth behind five popular exercise myths.

Myth #1: Lifting Weights Makes Women Bulky

The fact is, men and women are created differently, which prevents this from happening. The testosterone in men’s bodies enable them to bulk up and build muscle faster in response to strength training, but estrogen keeps women’s bodies from having this effect. Rather than bulking up, lifting weights helps women burn calories, lose weight, support healthy bones, and increase their amount of lean muscle, all which are desired results.

Myth #2: You Can Spot Reduce

Many people mistakenly believe that by doing exercises that target trouble areas like your belly, arms or thighs that they’ll see the results they want. Crunches to reveal six pack abs, dips to dissolve upper arm flab, or squats to thin the thighs unfortunately don’t work on their own. Yes, exercises tone underlying muscle, but until the outer layers of fat are gone you won’t see a difference. Lose the fat by eating a healthy diet and burning extra calories through regular cardio and strength-training exercise.

Myth #3: No Pain, No Gain

Sweat, tears, over-exertion, and pain aren’t what it takes to benefit from exercise. Discomfort is expected, but your body should never feel pain during a workout. Pain during or after exercise is a signal you’re doing something wrong or that you’re already injured. It also increases your likelihood of quitting. So disregard the advice to work through the pain. Rest until the pain subsides and if it doesn’t, see your doctor.

Myth #4: Exercise Means I Can Eat Whatever I Want

Just because you ran on the treadmill for 30 minutes this morning doesn’t mean you’re okay to eat a double cheeseburger for lunch. Your diet actually plays a larger role in weight control and overall health than exercise.

Myth #5: Stretching Helps Prevent Injury

Regular stretching improves circulation, reduces stress, and increases range of motion. But static stretching (holding a stretch for 10, 20, or 30 seconds) prior to exercise has been found ineffective at preventing injury and delayed onset muscle soreness. Static stretches should be done after exercise when your muscles have had a chance to warm up. The best way to warm up your muscles before exercise is with dynamic stretching, which involves moving your muscles and joints through their entire range of motion.

How to Tell when Your Workout is Too Easy


Talking on the phone while working out

Answering “No” to one or more of these questions, you may not be getting the most out of your workout.

Did You Break a Sweat?
Even if you’re exercising outdoors in the winter it’s normal to sweat during a challenging workout. If you consistently feel dry and fresh after your workouts, chances are you’re not pushing yourself hard enough. It’s true that some people tend to sweat less than others no matter what the temperature, but try to pick up the pace to the extent your body gets heated to the point it needs to cool itself through sweating.

Do You Try New Workouts?
Doing the same workout day in and day out will cause your body to adapt. You may love riding a stationary bike but after a while your body reaches a place where it’s no longer challenged and your calorie burn slows down. Switch things up every other day so your exercise program includes cardio exercise, strength-training activities, and flexibility exercises. Then every month try a new type of exercise. Instead of the stationary bike, try the treadmill or go swimming.

Do You Have Trouble Finishing All Your Sets and Reps?
Many of the benefits offered by strength training come from gradually increasing the amount of stress placed on your muscles. When you’re able to lift weights with little or no difficulty, your muscles aren’t getting much of a workout. If you’re able to lift your last rep as effortlessly as your first, take it as a sign that your workout is too easy. As you lift, use enough weight to make it a struggle to complete your reps, but not to the point your form is compromised.

Do You Feel Winded When You Talk During Exercise?
Exercising with a partner is a great way to keep you accountable and enjoy your workout. But if you find yourself able to talk comfortably the entire workout, you’re likely not pushing yourself hard enough. The amount you’re able to talk is one way to gage the intensity of your workout. At a moderate level it’s possible to carry on a conversation but only in chopped up, small phrases as you’re trying to catch your breath. In the midst of high-intensity exercise, speaking more than a word or two won’t be possible.

Do You Exercise Without Distractions?
Watching television or reading a book while jogging on the treadmill may help you exercise longer and make your workout more enjoyable, but distractions also have the potential to keep you from focusing on the challenge at hand. Make sure you’re not too engrossed in your entertainment to the point it prevents you from reaching your full potential.

How did you do? 

It’s Time to get Outside and Exercise!

Finally the warmer weather is here, and it is a perfect time to ramp up your fitness outside. Exercising outdoors is a great way to supplement your gym routine. From cycling, and hiking to running, and walking the options are endless to bring your fitness out into the open air.

Spring Outdoor Workout







Benefits of outdoor exercise

• Increases your vitamin D intake
• Improves concentration
• Natural light will elevate your mood
• Mixing it up keeps it challenging and fun
• If you have a pet, they can benefit too

Remember to dress appropriately in layers if needed, wear sunscreen and always exercise where you feel safe.

Worried about seasonal allergies? Check out this outdoor exercise checklist from WebMD.

Weight Loss Challenge Winner

Congratulations to Art Riley on winning the Ideal Body Personal Training Studio weight loss challenge!
Art lost 50lbs and 4.5% Body Fat in 10 weeks. Way to go and keep up the good work!!!

New Year’s Resolutions Often Fail

It’s that time of year again when we take stock in what we have accomplished in the past year, beat ourselves up, and promise to do better. When it comes to health and fitness there is no exception.

Coming off the holidays is the worst time to beat yourself up. Weeks filled with gatherings and rich, calorie laden foods that we normally don’t eat coupled with busier than usual schedules throws a wrench at even the most disciplined. Making a decision to try and undo all the bad we have done with a lofty, unrealistic goal is most likely going to fail.

Most New Year’s Resolution weight loss goals look something like this:

“I’m going to lose 30 pounds in 3 weeks”

“I’m giving up all carbs and the weight will fall off”

 ”I’m restricting myself to 800 calories a day and working out harder”

If you look at these 3 “solutions” they have one thing in common: FAILURE! They are all framed in absolute statements that are 1)Unrealistic, 2) Unsustainable, and 3)Short-lived.

Committing to being healthier requires:

  • A long term goal with manageable small goals along the way.
  • Understanding what you are capable of, your triggers and any obstacles at home or work that can get in the way.
  • Forgiving yourself when you falter and getting back up when you have fallen.
  • Celebrating your successes

Putting your mind to it is only part of the battle. Set yourself up for success!

  • Work out with a buddy
    • Keep each other accountable
    • Take a class together
    • Share a personal training session
  • Sign up for an event
    • Gives you a stretch goal to work towards
    • Gives you a sense of community through networking and keeping updated on others goals
    • Registration fee gives you a reason to stay motivated
  • Stock up on healthy snacks
    • If the right foods are available you will be less likely to grab the wrong choice
    • Eat small “meals” frequently to sustain energy and to regulate insulin levels
  • Treat yourself when you meet a goal
    • Buy a piece of clothing you have been eyeing
    • Splurge on a healthy lunch with a friend
    • Book a massage, facial, manicure/pedicure


Smart Snacks on New Year’s Eve

A Few Pick or Pass guidelines:

It is inevitable that you will be facing a table with snacks whether you go out, or over to a friends to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Navigating an array of tantalizing treats is less overwhelming if you are choosing wisely.

Chicken Wings or Pigs in a Blanket?

Choose the wings. Dogs have more saturated fat and the “blanket” increases insulin resistance.
Chicken Wings






Olives or Candied Nuts?

Choose the olives. Both contain healthy fats, but 6 large olives will only set you back 30 calories; 1 ounce of candied nuts has about 170.











Champagne Punch or Mulled Wine?

Choose the wine. The punch often has fruit juices, ginger ale or other sugary additives that add calories.

Milled Wine









Mozzarella Sticks or Brie and Crackers?

Skip the sticks. More fat, more calories and twice the sodium than brie, especially if on a whole grain cracker.

Brie and Crackers








Spinach Dip or Layered Mexican Dip?

Head south of the border. The only healthy ingredient in most spinach dips is the spinach. Mexican dip has nutritious ingredients like  avocados, beans, and salsa.

Layered taco dip


Holiday Treats: Choose Wisely and Work them Off

Everyone indulges at the holidays, and there are certainly treats that are hard to resist. If you do go for the dessert table keep in mind the required activity to counteract the calories consumed. It is also wise to eat clean and restrict calories the days before and after parties and get togethers that will lead to a higher caloric intake

Be sure to check out a healthier alternative below the table that makes a nice presentation!

Holiday Treats and Calories

Vanilla-Pomegranate Parfaits

Vanilla Pomegranate Parfait

Not only do they look festive, they are a rich creamy dessert that gives the illusion of indulging in something sinful without the calories and fat.

Makes: 6 servings
Active Time: Total Time: 



  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds (see Tip)
  • 2/3 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds for garnish
  • 6 mint sprigs for garnish


  1. To prepare compote: Mix 2 tablespoons sugar with 2 teaspoons cornstarch in a small saucepan. Add pomegranate seeds, pomegranate juice and lemon juice; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until syrupy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Refrigerate while you prepare the pudding.
  2. To prepare pudding: Combine milk and half-and-half in a medium heavy saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean (or add vanilla extract). Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk egg, egg yolk, 1/3 cup sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch in a medium bowl. Reheat the milk mixture just until steaming. Carefully whisk one-third of the steaming milk into the egg mixture. Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the pan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until very thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in butter.
  4. To prepare parfaits: Divide the pomegranate compote among six 6-ounce (3/4 cup) parfait glasses, ramekins or other small dessert cups. Spoon the pudding mixture over the compote. Cover and refrigerate until the pudding is well chilled and firm, at least 3 hours. To serve, garnish each parfait with pomegranate seeds and a mint sprig, if desired.


Per serving: 209 calories; 8 g fat (4 g sat, 2 g mono); 88 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrates; 15 g added sugars; 4 g protein; 1 g fiber; 48 mg sodium; 189 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 1/2 fruit, 1 1/2 carbohydrate (other), 1 1/2 fat

New Equipment Has Arrived

Come check out the new Smith Machine, Knee Raise/Chin/Dip Station, and Precor Elliptical