Jan 302015

Super Bowl Party and Healthy Eating

super bowlNo matter if your favorite team made it to the Super Bowl or not chances are you have a party to go to! I know in my house – it is almost the mid winter tradition! Food, fun, friends, family and of course football and fun to watch commercials! Maybe one of these years my favorite team will be playing! There is no way around the fact that parties, Super Bowl or any other kind of get together, always present diet challenges! Follow these insider tips and stay on track at your Super Bowl Party!

1.  Scope out the buffet table first to see what is available then stick to just a few items. Studies show that the more different tastes & flavors of food you have the more likely you will be to over eat.

2.  Go with Healthier Options!  Try some of these!

  • Chicken tenders or chicken fingers instead of wings
  • Veggie or turkey chili
  • Plate of veggies with low fat or yogurt dip
  • Potato skins with salsa
  • Pulled pork instead of hot roast beef
  • Soft cheeses like goat cheese, brie or feta
  • Baked chips & nachos or pretzels

3.  Be aware of the calorie content in your alcohol, dark and specialty beers can contain a lot of calories.

4.  Stay as far away from the food as possible – if you can’t see it you’re not as tempted!

5.  And of course – portion control! Remember it takes an additional 3,500 calories to gain a pound!

Enjoy your Super Bowl party, have fun, make healthy choices and make sure to do your workout first thing Monday morning!

Be Fit, Be Happy, Be Healthy

Aug 152014

Be Sure Your Summer Salads are Healthy

saladWhat do you think of when someone says healthy food? Chances are salads are on your list!  Some are healthy and some – well as I like to say – You should have just had a ‘Big Mac!’ Let me explain, Shrimp Salad, Egg Salad, Tuna Salad, Macaroni Salad, Potato Salad and other mayonnaise based salads can be very high in fat, calories and cholesterol; not to mention the high cholesterol in the shrimp or eggs and the carbohydrates in pasta. When ordering out or purchasing pre-made mayo based salads, the calorie and fat content can be as high as 250 calories and 14 fat grams per serving, and some even contain transfats. When making summertime salads at home some healthier options are low fat or no fat mayonnaise and whole wheat pasta. When it comes to pasta salad along with the whole wheat pasta try a flavored olive oil instead of pre-made bottled dressing and a low fat or soft cheese.

Building a salad at the salad bar can be tricky as well. Being aware of the calories and fat grams in toppings and dressings are key! Check out my blog “Salad Bar Savvy” for all the details!

Remember just because something is called a ‘salad’ –  it is not necessarily healthy!

Be Fit, Be Healthy, Be Happy!

Feb 042013

February is all about having a Heart. Nearly 50 years ago February was designated “American Heart Month” by an act of Congress; while over 1,700 years ago, so the story goes, the kindly Bishop Valentine defied the then Roman Emperor’s ban on marriage and was martyred on February 14th around 270 A.D. thus giving birth to Valentine’s Day. The long and short of February; this is the month to address matters of the heart. So I’ll cut to the chase, how healthy is your heart?

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), physical inactivity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and most Americans are not physically active enough. AHA and the American College of Sports Medicine both recommend that all adults (ages 18 to 65) should be getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days per week to gain any health benefits. It is really a lot easier than you think when you incorporate a couple of these suggestions into your daily routine.

· Exercise can be as simple as walking, if you are just beginning a fitness routine – start slowly and always listen to your body

· Progress from walking to an easy jog or hills if you are outside

· In the gym be sure to vary the cardio equipment you use

· A great way to really increase the intensity of your cardio workout is to incorporate plyometric training or short bursts of high intensity training, try step ups, box jumps, lunge jumps or jumping jacks

· Remember to incorporate both strength training and cardio to get the best possible results and to keep your heart healthy year round

· Other things that you can do to keep your heart healthy include; monitoring your blood pressure, keeping your cholesterol & blood sugar in check and of course eating healthy

For the more romantic matters of the heart we have Valentine’s Day. Gifts to ones sweetheart such as chocolate, flowers or cards became popular in Victorian times and remain so today. A gift of chocolate on Valentine’s Day not only says “I love you,” but now research shows that it may have real heart healthy benefits! In fact studies have shown that it contains antioxidants & flavonoids that help to lower blood pressure & bad cholesterol. Plus dark chocolate also contains serotonin, a natural mood-boosting anti-depressant and it stimulates pleasure-inducing endorphin production. To be considered true dark chocolate it must be made of at least 65% cacao. European chocolates typically contain the highest amount of the beneficial flavonoids. Even with all the health benefits of dark chocolate – remember, all things in moderation. Just so you know here are some nutritional facts.

· 5 Dove dark chocolate pieces (40 g): 210 calories, 13 g fat

· 4 Ghirardelli dark chocolate squares (43 g): 220 calories, 17 g fat

· Lindt Excellence dark chocolate (40 g portion): 220 calories, 17 g fat

Keep your heart healthy this February and all year long!

Be Fit! Be Healthy! Be Happy!


Nov 222012

No Equipment … No Gym Necessary


10 reps of each exercise with no break
{click on each exercise name to view the video}
3 to 5 sets with 1:00 rest between sets
Warm up & Cool Down for 5:00 to 7:00

Jumping Jacks

  • Begin standing in a neutral position – feet hips distance apart, knees soft, abdominals tight & chest lifted
  • Simultaneously jump feet out to the sides wider than hips distance while raising both hands out to the sides and over head
  • Jump back to return to starting position


  • Stand with feet wider than shoulder distance apart, knees soft, toes pointed slightly outward & abdominals tight
  • Hold 1 dumbbell with both hands, arms extended toward the floor, look straight ahead & squat down as far as possible or until thighs are parallel to floor, keeping knees over ankles & in line with toes
  • Exhale & straighten legs to return to starting position
  • Continue until all reps are complete

Mountain Climbers

  • Begin in push up position, hands aligned under shoulders, toes on the floor hip distance apart, body in a straight line from top of head to toes, step the left foot in towards the chest, keeping left knee facing forward
  • Jump up & switch feet in the air, bringing right foot toward the chest & left foot back to starting position
  • Continue alternating the feet as fast as you can

Scissor Jumps

  • Stand in a stagger step neutral position with left foot forward over a tube, jump rope or straight line with knees soft, abdominals tight & chest lifted
  • Jump straight up & switch feet in the air so right foot is forward
  • Land on your toes and absorb the shock of the jump with the balls of your feet and glutes

Push Ups

  • Begin in push up position, to make it easier place your hands on the edge of a bench, chair or stable surface, body in a straight line from top of head to toes
  • Keeping abdominals tight, lower body down, raise body back to starting position by fully extending elbows while keeping them soft
  • Continue lowering & raising the body until all reps are performed

1-2-3 Lunge Jumps

  • Begin standing in a neutral position with left foot forward and right foot back in a wide stance with feet hips distance apart, knees soft, abdominals tight & chest lifted
  • Jump with 3 small explosive jumps straight up in the air landing on your toes
  • On the 4th jump, explode up as high as you can & switch feet in the air bringing right foot forward and left foot back
  • Absorb the shock of the jumps with the balls of your feet and your glutes
  • Continue with 3 small explosive jumps with right foot forward & then switch feet in the air to complete 1 rep


  • Lie face up on mat with knees bent, feet wider than hips distance, heels on floor, toes pointed to ceiling & fingertips on back of head with elbows back and pointed to the side
  • Contract abdominal muscles, flatten low back, keep neck and chin in a neutral position
  • Exhale & slowly lift shoulders up as high as you can shortening the torso then slowly lower back down keeping shoulders off the mat
  • Continue until all reps are complete

Squat Thrusts

  • Begin standing in a neutral position – feet hips distance apart, knees soft, abdominals tight & chest lifted
  • Squat down keeping your knees forward & hips and shoulders square, place hands on the floor outside of your feet
  • Immediately jump both feet back and land in a standard push up position, keeping abdominals tight and back flat
  • Immediately jump feet back in between your hands & stand back up to starting position
  • Continue until all reps are complete

Twisted Crunches

  • Lie face up on mat with knees bent, feet wider than hips distance, heels on floor, toes pointed to ceiling, arms by your sides with palms facing your body
  • Contract abdominal muscles, flatten low back, keep neck and chin in a neutral position
  • Exhale & slowly lift shoulders up as high as you can shortening the torso then using your oblique muscles (the sides of your waist) rotate your upper body to the right then to the left keeping shoulders the same height off the floor, slowly lower back down keeping shoulders off the floor
  • Continue until all reps are complete

Reverse Lunges

  • Stand with feet hips distance apart, step your left foot back & land on the ball of your foot keeping both feet hips distance apart
  • Bend both knees to lower body down as far as possible or until left knee is close to but not touching the floor
  • Keep right knee directly over right ankle, back straight, chin up & abdominals tight – your left knee, hip & shoulder should be in a straight line
  • Exhale, extend both knees & step left foot back to starting position
  • Switch & step backward with right foot
  • Continue stepping backward with alternating feet until all reps are complete
Nov 102012

Step Ups:

Step Ups are great because they are so versatile, when you add them into your strength training routine you are not only upping the intensity but also burning a ton of calories! If you don’t have an exercise step use the bottom step on a flight of 340 - Step Upsstairs or bleachers, a curb or even a park bench! Remember the higher the step the more challenging the exercise! To really increase your calorie burn add 10 to 20 Step Ups per foot, 3 to 5 times during your next workout! Even with Steps Ups form is important CLICK HERE for all the details!

Be Fit, Be Healthy, Be Happy!  ~ Tanya

Imagine a Fit & Healthy YOU!
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Nov 052012

It is always good idea to take a close look at your eating habits every so often just to tweak and refine them – nothing drastic just a few small changes that can really make a big difference. Before the holidays is the perfect time to do this. Start with the basics, when weight loss is your goal, keep in mind that 1 pound equals 3,500 calories. Eliminate 500 calories everyday through diet and exercise and you will lose 1 pound in a week! Then see if any of the following common ‘diet destroyers’ are impacting your healthy eating efforts. If they sound familiar, try incorporating the easy solutions provided and you will be on your way to accomplishing those small changes that turn into big results!

No Game Plan
It is no surprise that studies show that we have a tendency to over eat and make the worst food choices when we are hungry and do not have a game plan! If you are like me when you are starving the last thing you are thinking about is calories and serving sizes!

Solution: Take a couple of minutes each evening to plan your next day’s meals and snacks (or plan the whole week over the week end). Be sure to include beverages and treats and then stick to your game plan so you know what and when you are going to eat without even having to think about it!

Too Much of a Good Thing
You are eating healthy foods, good for you food; fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats but you are still not achieving the results you want – it could be your portion sizes and hidden sugars and calories even in the healthiest of foods that are sabotaging your efforts.

Solution: Learn to read the nutritional labels, pay particular attention to serving sizes; more often than not what appears to be a single serving sizes could actually be 2, 2 ½ or even more servings. Certain fruits can contain a high amount of sugar, be aware that you can always over eat good food – learn more about fruit here!

Taking the Weekend Off
It is often times a common practice to eat healthy all week long paying attention to portion sizes and calories; including enough carbohydrates, proteins and fats and then to take the weekend off eating and drinking whatever you want. In theory that sounds like a good idea; 5 days good … 2 days not so good, but in reality those week ends add up to 104 days a year of not so good food choices; which can really hurt even the best efforts!

Solution: Rewarding your self for a healthy week is definitely important and a great form of motivation! However, instead of taking the entire weekend off pick an event, a yummy snack, a happy hour or a party during the weekend as your ‘cheat time!’ Then keep the rest of the weekend closer to your work week choices.

Eating for the Wrong Reasons
If you find yourself eating for no apparent reason, not really tasting or even enjoying the food, chances are something else has triggered your desire to eat. Some common causes of “mindless eating” are stress, boredom and lack of sleep. If this becomes a habit the calories can add up very quickly.

Solution: Before you put something in your mouth stop and ask yourself why are you eating it? If you can not come up with a satisfactory answer then don’t eat it! I know it is much easier said then done. The next time you are tempted to eat when you are not hungry have an alternate activity already planned out. Take a minute and think of something that you can do when you want to eat but are not hungry. It can literally be anything from reading a book, standing outside, brushing your teeth, putting on lipstick, etc. the possibilities are endless – the key is having something other than eating to do!

Be Fit, Be Healthy, Be Happy!  ~ Tanya

Exercising & Healthy Eating are the Perfect Combination!
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Jul 132012


A cup of coffee isn’t what it used to be!  Not only can you get coffee black or with cream & sugar, you can get it flavored, whipped, topped, iced or even frozen.  Depending on the kind of milk and ingredients used, a large specialty coffee can contain anywhere from 250 to 570 calories & up to 20 grams of fat.  No need to give up your favorite coffee drink, just watch what you are adding to it and know what you’re drinking!

Coffee Treats:                     Fat (g)    Calories


Whole milk                         7       137
Low-fat milk                      4       109
Fat free milk                    0.4        80

Coffee Latte

Whole milk                          9       212
Low-fat milk                       6       167
Fat free milk                     0.6       123

Coffee Mocha (whole milk)

With whip cream                 20       340
Without whip cream          10       260

Coffee Mocha (low fat milk)

With whip cream                16       302
Without whip cream           6       220

Coffee Mocha (fat free milk)

With whip cream                 11       264
Without whip cream            2       182

* values above are based on a 12 oz serving size and are the averages of several brand

Be Fit! Be Healthy! Be Happy!   ~ Tanya

Diet & Exercise Go Hand in Hand

Jul 102012

Parties, picnics, celebrations – just like portion control with food, knowing the portions of your libation is critical because cocktails and other alcoholic beverages, except canned & bottled beer, don’t come with nutritional facts or labels and their volumes vary widely!  For example a martini at 1 bar may contain 300 calories, while the 1 at “Big Bob’s” may have over 500 calories!  Don’t worry – you don’t have to just settle for seltzer while everyone else is sipping margaritas – Check out the guidelines below and remember to always drink responsibly!

Amstel Light (12 oz)                                          98 calories
Budweiser (12 oz)                                           147 calories
Red Wine (6 oz)                                              126 calories
White Wine (6 oz)                                           120 calories
Champagne (6 oz)                                          120 calories
Bloody Mary (6 oz)                                         138 calories
Gin & Tonic (6 oz)                                           141 calories
Vodka & Tonic (6 oz)                                      154 calories
Rum & Coke (6 oz)                                         171 calories
Cosmopolitan (6 oz)                                        218 calories
Frozen Margarita (6 oz)                                  234 calories
Margarita on rocks (6 oz)                               295 calories
Pina Colada (6 oz)                                          352 calories
Martini (6 oz)                                                   374 calories
Be Fit!  Be Healthy!  Be Happy!  ~Tanya

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Jun 182012

The old saying, “You are what you eat!” has never been so true! Research and studies show time and time again that when you eat healthy, all natural, whole foods like fruits & vegetables and whole grains along with the proper amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates you will be able to maintain a healthy weight, have more energy, be more focused and even sleep better. However, studies also show the opposite to be true, if your diet consists of  mainly processed, high fat, high sugar foods you will tend to be less healthy, less productive and even overweight. We have all heard of ‘super foods’ and their many benefits, I’ve spotlighted 6 of these good for you foods as well as included helpful hints along with calories and serving sizes. Check out the list below and you will see how easy it is to add these nutritious foods into your diet and truly get the benefits of the saying, “You are what you eat!”

Good Source of:  Antioxidants and phytonutrients
Serving Size: 1 cup
84 calories*

Blueberries are low in calories and high in water and fiber so they not only help to control blood sugar but also keep you feeling fuller longer. Important research is now showing that blueberries may slow and even reverse many of the degenerative diseases associated with aging and the brain, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Eat more:
Add them to cereal or oatmeal at breakfast, toss them in a salad for lunch or for a tasty treat dip them in yogurt and freeze.

Good Source of: Omega-3 fatty acids
Serving Size: 1 fresh filet (approximately 200g)
280 calories*

Omega-3 fatty acids help to lower the risk of heart disease. In fact it is so good for you that the American Heart Association recommends eating fish such as salmon two times per week. Salmon is also low in saturated fat and considered a good source of lean protein.

Eat more:
When fresh salmon is not available look for canned or frozen.

Good Source of:  Protein, vitamins and minerals
Serving Size: 1 whole large hard boiled egg (approximately 50g)
78 calories*

Eggs are inexpensive, versatile and easy to make. They contain 12 vitamins and minerals as well as the nutrient choline. Choline, according to WebMD helps to block fat from being absorbed in the body and can also help to prevent memory loss. Eating a breakfast high in protein will help keep your hunger away throughout the morning.

Eat more:
Eggs are not just for breakfast; add them to a salad, hard boiled eggs make great snacks and deviled or pickled eggs are great for appetizers and picnics.

Good Source of:  Protein and healthy fats
Serving Size: 1oz of dry roasted almonds
170 calories*

We tend to think of nuts as high in fat and calories. The key to eating nuts is portion control, be sure to stick to the 1 oz serving size! The healthy fats found in nuts are high in fiber and antioxidants which can help lower cholesterol as well as aid in weight loss.

Eat more:
Add nuts to your salad, sprinkle on veggies, add to a stir fry and they make a great mid morning or mid afternoon snack.

Good Source of: Fiber and antioxidants
Serving Size: 1 cup
30 calories*

Broccoli is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available and because it is so low in calories and so full of fiber it helps to curb your appetite. It helps to detoxify chemicals in your body and according to new research from John Hopkins University broccoli may contain a cancer prevention compound along with its cancer fighting abilities.

Eat more:
Add it to an omelet or scrambled eggs, eat it raw with a healthy dip, toss it in a salad or include it in a veggie stir fry.

Dark Chocolate
Good source of: Polyphenols
Serving Size: 1 oz
164 calories*

Research shows that the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of dark chocolate contribute to a healthy heart by lowering blood pressure and increasing blood flow. The key is to eat only dark chocolate as opposed to milk or white chocolate and to keep your portion sizes in check.

Dark Chocolate is a yummy treat so I am thinking we really don’t need to find ways to eat more!

Be Fit, Be Healthy, Be Happy!  ~Tanya


Chick Here and Get in Shape for Free!


*calorie count from: http://www.acaloriecounter.com  & Basic Nutrition & Diet Therapy
source: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/10-everyday-super-foods?page=2