Weekend Challenge: Plank-A-Day

Friday, August 31, 2012

We are going to keep it short and simple this week.  Your challenge will only take you a total of 3 minutes.  One 1 minute forearm plank today, tomorrow, and Sunday.  You definitely have the time to do this one!  If your core isn't strong enough, feel free to drop to your knees but keep the core tense.  If you are on Twitter, use #plankaday and tell me your have done it (@PTMollie).

White Bean and Arborio Rice Soup

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Originally, I tried to post a recipe for Sausage and Lentil soup from Finding Joy in My Kitchen but I had trouble with the formatting.  I am sorry for the recipe post delay this week.  I hope this recipe for White Bean and Arborio Rice Soup from the Vegetarian Times.  Soup seems to be appropriate today as the cool breeze and colder temps make it feel like fall (or autumn, depending where you are from).

The recipe says the toasted breadcrumbs and pine nuts give a cheesy-flavor without the cheese (and therefore without the fat!).

3 Tbs. olive oil, divided
2/3 cup Arborio rice
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
3 ¼ tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups sliced cabbage
1 bay leaf
2 slices Italian bread, torn into 1-inch pieces (1 cup)
¼ cup pine nuts
1 15.5-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1. Heat 2 Tbs. oil in pot over medium heat. Add rice, and sauté 6 minutes, or until toasted, stirring occasionally.

2. Stir in garlic and rosemary, and cook 2 minutes more.

3. Add broth, cabbage, and bay leaf; cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes.

4. Pulse bread and pine nuts in food processor until small crumbs form.

5. Heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumb mixture, and sauté 5 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are crisp and toasted.

6. Add beans to soup, and cook 5 minutes more, or until rice is tender.

7. Remove bay leaf, and stir in breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Guest Post: The Parkour Movement

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bounding over obstacles. Leaping across gaps. Climbing up walls. You’ve seen those YouTube videos, right? The videos are usually of young men and women moving through a cityscape, over and under various barriers, apparently without effort.  This new movement is called “parkour”, and has risen to immense popularity in the last few years, making appearances on TV commercials and Hollywood movies, like the chase seen from Casino Royale.   The activity originates from France (hence the French name), but can now be found across the world. 

If pressed to give a definition of parkour, a traceur (parkour practitioner) will likely tell you that parkour is the discipline of being able to move through one’s environment with maximal efficiency and fluidity.  Consider this analogy: If karate is the “art of the fight”, then parkour is the “art of the flight”, or the ability to get away from danger quickly.   Don’t get too caught up that concept though parkour can also be practiced for fun, as well as for a wicked workout.

A few basic parkour movements include:

·         Vault: Moving across a waist or chest high obstacle, using your hands or feet for support.  There are multiple varieties including the speed vault, kong vault, and dash vault.
·         Precision jump: Leaping between two targets, emphasizing full balance and control.
·         Wall run: A method to climb a wall, running up it a few steps, then using your upper body to propel the last few feet upward.
·         Cat Leap: Jumping from one surface to grab another surface with your arms, so you end up hanging from your hands.

Interested in trying parkour?  There has been a rise in parkour gyms across the globe, so if you’re lucky there might be one close to your home where you could take some beginner classes. If there aren’t any gyms nearby, try to find a meet-up group and start slow, learning cautiously from the more advanced traceurs. Likewise, there are numerous helpful websites that provide great video tutorials on a variety of parkour moves.  A few of the best sites include AmericanParkour and 3Run.

Aside from the pure thrill of moving across obstacles quickly, parkour can also be performed as a form of fitness training, emphasizing awesome body-weight conditioning.  Jumping up form the ground.  Pulling your self over a wall.  Walking across a narrow balance beam.  These are all great calisthenics and can be performed in different sequences, as a form of circuit training.  

Consider adding these sorts of skills into your regular fitness regimen.  You will have fun - guaranteed.   Welcome to the Parkour Movement!


Ben Musholt is a physical therapist with over 10 years experience, who lives in Portland, Oregon, USA.  He posts garagegym workouts on StrengthMob.com and just launched Parkour Parkour to blog about his new passion.

Quickie Workout #26

Sunday, August 26, 2012

You can use a kitchen timer to keep track of your intervals.  Remember to go for QUALITY over quantity.  If you are unclear what the exercise is I am describing, please look for a video or arrange for an in-person tutorial with me.

Please consult your doctor before engaging on any fitness regime.

Don't forget to breathe! Please email me if you want tips on how to make the quickies easier or more challenging (mollie@ptmollie.com).

Warm up- Skip rope for 1 minute, skip across a field and back for 1 minute, skip rope for 1 minute
30 sec- Lay down on your right side so bottom arm is extended and head is down on the arm.  Lift the top (left) leg up as far as it will comfortably go (up to 90 degrees).  Keep leg straight.
30 sec-  Bend left leg so left foot is on ground in front of right knee.   Lift right leg up as far as is comfortable to you.  Keep leg straight.
30 sec each- Repeat two previous exercises but on other side.
1 min- Forearm plank
30 sec-  Push/press ups in a "normal" positions on your toes (not on your knees if possible.  At least give it a try!)
1 min- Standing squats (try to get low, stick out bum and keep your weight in your heels)
1 min- Prisoner squats (keep hands on head to engage abs though this exercise)
1 min- Calf raises, preferably on a low-step to allow for a large range of motion.  Hold on to the railing!
1 min- Bicep curls (you can use books, cans of soup, water bottles, etc if you don't have weights)
1 min- Lateral raise by raising arms to side to form a "T" shape with your arms at shoulder height.

Amazing job!  Can you do it again?

Weekend Challenge: Get a 6 pack

Friday, August 24, 2012

Tricked ya! Not a cold beverage 6 pack, but strong abdominals.  Most people have a little bit of extra weight around their tummies, and that is ok.  Nutrition is what will help melt the ice that covers your 6 pack.  In the meantime, start stengthening and developing your abdonimals as your core (abs AND back) are used in about everything you do. 

This weekend's challenge is to do 10 minutes of abdominal exercises each day (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).  The 10 minutes can be accumulated (so 1-2 minutes at a time throughout the day) or, if you are more advanced, done in one session  Some exercises I would recomend are:

Boat pose
Toe touches
Reverse curls
Supermans (as we need to also train our lower back)

Please do not strain your neck.  You can avoid this by looking up and behind you when performing exercises on your back.  Another good tip is to keep your fingertips around your ears (think earmuffs) instead of your hands pulling on the back of your neck.

One more thing, remember that celebrities don't have "real" jobs.  They have personal trainers, cooks, nannies, Photoshopped pictures, etc and therefore plenty of help in achieving a slim physique.  Women are not designed to have a 6 pack (that whole baby thing) and would require a very low body fat percentage to achieve defined abdominals.

Work with what you got, be happy you are blessed with the ability to exercise, and the drop and then give me 20 'real' pressups!

Comment below if you have a killer 10 minute abs routine to share!

"Walking Wally" walks to a healthier life (video)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

This is an inspirational story, demonstrating that all you need to do is start moving to become healthier.  Big thanks to Fox 25 Producer, Sarah Burgess, for the story!

"Walking Wally" walks his way to a healthier life - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Recipe: Homemade Nutella

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

When you look at the ingredients portion of Nutella, the second ingredient is palm oil.  Palm oil is controversial as it is produced on farms in tropical climates.  To create these farms, forests need to be cut down, impacting the local people and native species (some are endangered).  There is a movement for sustainable palm oil, but in the meantime how can I get Nutella back in my cupboard?*

During my vacation in Italy, my friend, Emilie, made her own Nutella.  Here is one variation I found online from David Lebolvitz if you would like to try it yourself (Emilie's contained Chestnut paste though rather than roasted nuts and only dark chocolate.  Be creative!).  I would love to hear from a dietitian on whether this version is healthier than the original (in nutritional content, not environmental impact).

If you are really Nutella-crazy, The Huffington Post has 5 different Nutella variations you can try.

1/3 cup (40g) whole almonds
1 1/3 cup (160g) hazelnuts
1 3/4 cup (400g) whole milk (see Notes)
7/8 cup (60g) powdered whole milk
3 tablespoons (40g) mild-flavored honey
pinch of salt
6 ounces (170g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
5 ounces (140g) milk chocolate, chopped (use one that’s at least 30% cacao solids)

1. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet, keeping the almonds separate, and toast the nuts in a 350ºF (180ºC) oven, stirring a few times, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the hazelnuts are browned.

2. While they are roasting, warm the whole milk and powdered milk in a small saucepan with the honey and salt just until it starts to boil. Remove from heat.

3. In a clean, dry bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, or in a microwave oven, melt the chocolates together until smooth.

4. Once the nuts are well-toasted, remove them from oven and use a spatula to place the warm hazelnuts in a clean tea towel, then fold them inside the towel and rub them vigorously to remove any loose skins. They don’t need to be pristine; just try to get as much off as possible.

5. In a food processor, grind the warm hazelnuts and almonds until they’re as fine as possible. You may not be able to get them completely smooth, depending on your food processor. (I have a brand new one and even after five minutes, there were little bits of nuts in mine, which is normal.)

6. Add the melted chocolate and continue to process the mixture, stopping to scrape down the sides of the work bowl, as necessary.

7. Once the mixture is smooth, add the warm milk mixture and process until everything is well-combined.  (The original instructions here said to strain the paste, which I didn’t do because I don’t mind the little bits of toasted nuts, but you can.)

9. Transfer the mixture into two jars and refrigerate until ready to use.

Storage: The Chocolate-Hazelnut Paste will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

* Yes, I realize Nutella isn't really that good for you even though it has hazelnuts in it.  But it is yummy on toast and crepes.

Guest Post: 4 tips for protecting your skin from the sun

Monday, August 20, 2012

Proper summer-time sun protection is one of those things that many people forget to take care of for years. They feel fine, aside from the occasional sunburn or two, and think nothing of it; that is, until a doctor discovers skin cancer one day -of all the cancer types, probably one of the most easy to avoid. Cancer risks aside, letting your skin get baked by the sun on a daily basis any time the sun gets nice and hot is a great way to wrinkle earlier in life and create other skin effects that can ruin a smooth unblemished look.

To cover just a few: overexposing your skin can cause anything from several types of carcinoma and melanoma, skin lesions, freckles, wrinkles to dermal discoloration.

Here are several sun protection tips that will let you enjoy the lovely summer rays without all the danger.

Cover Up Effectively
Of course, you don't want to be completely wrapped up like a mummy whenever you're out in the summer sun, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't at least cover your skin from needless exposure. If you're just walking around and running errands, or maybe working in the open midday sunlight, use a hat, put on some sunglasses with good UV protection and wear shirts with longer sleeves. Unless you're sun tanning, these are the best and first line of protection so use them when there is no good reason to expose.

Avoid the Worst Sunlight
Not all the sun's rays that pass through a day are created equal. The sun is at it's worst by far between the hours of 11 am and 2 pm. If you want to be extra cautious, between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. Avoid the direct sunlight during these hours and you drop your chances of dangerous UV exposure dramatically. Instead of going to the beach at midday, wait to have a nice afternoon barbeque and beer get-together with friends; the water is warmest in the afternoon anyhow. If you're out during the hottest hours, try to stick to the shade and take a beach umbrella if you go to the beach.

Slather on the Sunscreen
This is an obvious step in protecting yourself from the sun. Buy yourself a good quality sunscreen that has a Sun Protection Factor of at least 35 and apply it whenever you're at the beach or heavily exposed to the UV rays. If you're swimming or sweating a lot during the day, make sure you reapply the sunscreen every two or three hours. Slather it particularly generously on your shoulders, back, arms and face. If you're bald, don't forget to protect your dome.

Take Care of Your Skin
Your skin is the single most beautiful organ on your body, the one you'll have to show to everyone for as long as you live; take good care of it. This means that, aside from all the usual sun protection tips, you should also get it regularly checked up by a general practitioner or even a dermatologist. Keep an eye out for any strange lesions and moles, and get them checked out if you find them. As a final skin care tip, use moisturizing creams and vitamin supplements that are known to improve skin quality, in addition to the sunscreen you apply daily while in the sunlight.

Debbie Sweet has worked as a skin care specialist for many years and has handled a wide range of acne treatments.

Quickie Workout #25

Sunday, August 19, 2012

You can use a kitchen timer to keep track of your intervals.  Remember to go for QUALITY over quantity.  If you are unclear what the exercise is I am describing, please look for a video or arrange for an in-person tutorial with me.

Please consult your doctor before engaging on any fitness regime.

Don't forget to breathe! Please email me if you want tips on how to make the quickies easier or more challenging (mollie@ptmollie.com).

Warm up- Walk up and down stairs for 3 minutes
1 min- Around the world lunges (Right forward lunge, left forward lunge, left side squat, left back lunge, right back lunge, right side squat, Repeat)
1 min- Jumping jacks/star jumps
1 min- Squats (aim to get thighs parallel to the ground)
1 min- Jumping jacks/star jumps
30 sec- Stand in a door way and press arms out to side against door frame
1 min- Skip across the lawn, down the hall, or with a rope
30 sec- Stand in a door way and press arms out to side against door frame
1 min- Run in place with high knees
1 min- Tricep dips with a sturdy chair, stool, or step
1 min-  Crab walk across the lawn or down the hall.

Nice work! Remember to hydrate after the workout.

Weekend Challenge: Eat In Season

Friday, August 17, 2012

Summertime brings bountiful fruit and vegetables in the grocery store and farmer's market.  This weekend, I challenge you to find out what food is in season in your area and cook a meal with it (feel free to look back at the recipes on this site for inspiration).  If you shop at a grocery store, look to see where the food came from.  Try to buy local (in your state or county) as that food will be fresh and in season.

If you live in the UK, take a look at Eat The Seasons.  In the US? They have a site for you too.  If you live somewhere else, visit a public market or do some research online to find out what you should be buying.

Eating in season is good for the local economy and reduces impact on the environment as less energy is needed for transport.  Plus it is delicious!

Vacation, all I ever needed

Monday, August 13, 2012

Happy Monday!  So much has been going on here in London with the Olympics, we here at PT Mollie needed a break.  When we return on Wednesday, we'll start writing up fantastic posts on the Olympics, a Q&A session with Paula Radcliffe and Carl Lewis (thanks Nike!), and the results of our running analysis with the Running School in Chiswick.

Feel free to have a look back at our previous posts. Until the next time!

Quickie #24 - Take it outside

Sunday, August 12, 2012

This workout is best to do outdoors as you will need room to run and a park bench.  Remember to go for QUALITY over quantity.  If you are unclear what the exercise is I am describing, please look for a video or arrange for an in-person tutorial with me.

Please consult your doctor before engaging on any fitness regime.

Don't forget to breathe! Please email me if you want tips on how to make the quickies easier or more challenging (mollie@ptmollie.com).

Warm up - Walk 1 min, jog 1 min, sprint 1 min, skip 1 min
Walking lunge 1 min
Sprint 30 sec
Alternating side squats 1 min
Sprint 30 sec
10 burpees
Sprint 30 sec
Jumping jacks/ star jumps 1 min
Sprint 30 sec
Jog 1 min
Tricep dips on park bench 30 sec
Forearm plank 1 min
Pilates boat pose with arms in lateral raise 1 min
Toe touches 1 min

Enjoy the sunshine!

Weekend Challenge: Buck Furpees!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hopefully you have been inspire by the London 2012 Olympic Games and are ready to be fit and healthy.  Your challenge (should you choose to accept it) is to perform 10 burpees this weekend.  These can be all at once or one at a time.  If you workout regularly, aim for 10 on Friday, 10 on Saturday, and 10 on Sunday.

Burpees have been embraced by CrossFitters and personal trainers.  They are a fantastic whole body workout that gets your heart pumping in no time.  Are you a burpee master?  If so, give the jump a plyo flair by raising your feet up as high as you can while you jump.  Or after your press up, roll over, do another press up, roll back, press up, then complete the burpee.

I'd love to hear if you have any other challenging modifications for to the classic.

Summer Berry Parfait with Yogurt and Granola

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Here is a little summer treat from www.allrecipes.com for you to enjoy while berries are in season.  We keep a bag of mixed frozen berries on hand for emergency smoothies and yummy treat.  The granola is a nice change in texture for some crunch while the yogurt offers smooth.

3/4 cup sliced strawberries
3/4 cup blueberries
1 (6 ounce) container vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon wheat germ
1/2 banana, sliced
1/3 cup granola

1.  Layer 1/4 cup strawberries, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1/3 container yogurt, 1/3 tablespoon wheat germ, 1/3 of the sliced banana, and about 2 tablespoons of granola in a large bowl. (To wow your audience with presentation, use a tall glass for individual portions)

2.  Continue to build the parfait, repeating the layers until all of the ingredients are used completely.

Interview with Team France's Reina Flor Okori (100m hurdler)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Living in London has created an Olympic Fever.  Everyone is glued to the TV and radio hoping their country wins another medal.  The Olympic Park and Athlete's Village is one Tube stop from my work so I went over there yesterday in the hopes of interviewing another athlete.  Reina Flor Okort, France's 100m women's hurdler, was kind enough to speak to me as she waited for her family.  This is her third appearance at the Olympics and she had competed earlier in the day.  The semi-s and finals are tonight.  We wish her the best of luck!

Mollie (M):  Who is here to cheer you on?  Your whole family?
Reina (R):  No, my family is too big!  My mom, brother, and boyfriend are a few of the family  members that are here.  I am waiting for them now.

M:  Have you competed yet?
R:  Yes, I came in 2nd place in my heat today and the finals are tomorrow.

M:  When did you arrive in London?
R:  I came 3 days ago to get used to the environment.  It is an amazing event to be held here in London.

M:  How do you feel about completing in England when there is always a little rivalry with France?
R:  We each have a great history and live so close to each other, yet we are very different culturally.  I really like how into sport Great Britain is.

M:  With the success of so many female athletes, will the Olympics change women participating in sport?
R: For the average woman, it is very important to be healthy and stay in shape.  I think the Olympics will encourage that.

M:  Does your family exercise with you?  Was your mom active when you were growing up?
R:  No, my training is too extreme but my family is active.  My boyfriend is Dutch and cycles a lot.  My mom is adventurous and recently tried hang gliding, but she wasn't that sporty growing up.

M:  Why did you become an athlete?
R:  I switched schools and the coach saw something in me.  I was able to travel for free so I said yes.  There are so many different faces and mentalities to see when I travel.

M:  Are there any high-profile athletes you are hoping to meet, such as Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps?
R:  Since I do athletics, I am around Usain on the track.  In the end of the 2004 Olympics, I went to a party with lots of the athletes and Michael Phelps was there.  I am more interested in meeting people who have achieved the goal they set out to do, like Jessica Ennis.

M:  If/when you win a medal, where will you keep it?
R:  I haven't thought about that, but I know I am going to give thanks to God.

M:  What is next for you?
R:  Right now I am focusing on my dream of getting a medal.  Athletics season is just starting so I have the Diamond League circus competition next.

M:  Is there any advice you would give aspring athletes?
R:  Believe in yourself, not the dream killers who say negative things about you.

Guest Post: Top 10 Dangers of Chronic and Crash Dieting

Monday, August 6, 2012

Every New Generation We Get Another Wave of the Same Old Thing
Maybe it's the high fructose corn syrup in today's super-size soda drinks that's making every body fat and needing to go on a diet. But, little girls still play with ultra-thin Barbie Dolls. And that old adage, “You can never be too rich or too thin.” is still being talked around. The old Fen-Phen diet was a killer, literally. The drug made people’s hearts explode. That was pulled from shelves but others may be as dangerous showed up to replace it.

The Tape-Worm Diet
Back in the Sixties of the last century, some people went on a tape-worm diet. People would swallow a slimy worm and supposedly it would suck up all the calories. When you reached a desirable weight, you'd take an antibiotic to kill the worm. The famous ultra-thin model of the time, Twiggy, was supposed to have had one; supposedly the opera singer Maria Callas had one, too. It could be deadly, or at least cause stomach bloating, neither a desirable effect for someone who just wanted to be skinny.

Unachievable and Unrealistic “Ideals”
Nowadays the old stand-bys, crash dieting, chronic dieting, yo-yo dieting – all more or less the same obsession-driven ploys – are being used once again, or as always. And once again the old warnings are being ignored. People are putting their health and their lives on the line because of poor body image, poor self-image, or silly societal or cultural “ideals” that are unrealistic and often unachievable. Obviously, our Western Culture must rethink its definition of what really makes a “Good Woman” or a “Good Man” and attempt to change the “imprinting” effects the old definitions have had on our young people.

All Are Signs of Eating Disorders and Psychological Issues
As mentioned above, extreme dieting can take a number of forms. And they are all eating disorders and are usually the result of psychological issues. Here's a list of the most common types of “dieting” you're apt so see amongst today's population:
        Crash   Dieting
This “diet” requires a severe and sudden restriction of caloric intake. It may indeed cause weight to fall off rapidly, but at with a severe threat to physical health and an almost certainty that the weight will be regained.
        Chronic Dieting
A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition calls this a “syndrome” and it is diagnosed when a person             severely limits their caloric intake on a regular basis. The subject usually has an an obsession with body weight and size and goes off and on a “diet program” over the course of months or years, even if weight loss results.
        Yo-Yo Dieting
Also called weight cycling, this “diet” involves the repeated quick loss of weight followed by a period of weight gain. It can have the ultimate effect of leading to obesity, believe it or not; or at least the “dieter” being in much worse shape than when started.
Diets” Offer No Lasting Good Results
The “diets” listed above focus on either dramatically decreasing calorie consumption, or they rely on some “miracle” drug or food that will burn fat for you – dietary aids, supplements, or diuretics. Often, extreme exercise is included in the “weight loss” regimen. Or, no exercise at all is deemed important, that somehow one will lose weight without any exercise program. Well, these regimens won't help one lose weight in a beneficial way, and they can potentially cause great harm and even death. The ten most common maladies suffered:
        ONE:   Organ Damage
Your kidneys, pancreas, and liver, can sustain severe damage, sometimes enough to lead to transplants, dialysis, or even death.
        TWO: Cardiovascular Damage
Cardiac stress sufficient enough to increase the risk of heart attacks and the development of atherosclerosis can occur. Repeated bouts of crash dieting can cause a dramatic change in cholesterol levels and bring on high blood pressure.
        THREE: GI Problems
You may consume so few calories your body may begin burning muscles which means tissues such as the stomach and intestines will start to erode. Muscles that make up other internal organs will also erode to help the brain survive. If your dieting is complicated by bulimia, stomach acids can erode your oesophagus.            
        FOUR: Immune System Damage
Weakens the function of the immune system, which relies on white blood cells and your lymphatic system to function properly, making you susceptible to all kinds of disease.
        FIVE: Bone Conditions
Osteoporosis and rickets are common. These conditions cause your bones to become brittle, which increases your risk of broken and fractured bones. The hips and spine may be affected, making mobility difficult, perhaps causing scoliosis or other deformity.
        SIX: Malnutrition
Vitamin deficiencies can occur, especially of iron, vitamin B12, potassium, sodium, and magnesium. Signs of malnutrition include rapid weight loss, fatigue, and dizziness. Crash diets cause the dieter to risk not getting enough of the proper vitamins and minerals needed to be healthy. A dieter is at risk for such problems as iron deficiency anaemia, vitamin B-12 deficiency, and potassium and sodium deficiency. With those deficiencies, the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the tissues.      
        SEVEN: Obesity
Restricting caloric intake too much can actually cause your metabolism to slow down, which will hinder weight-loss efforts. As the body tries to conserve energy, it erodes muscle first. When calories increase, they are first stored as fat. Ironically, you could actually get fatter with extreme dieting.
        EIGHT: Mental Health Disorders
Crash dieting can make dieters weak, irritable and much less able to resist inevitable food cravings. When crash dieters give in to these food-related temptations by eating too much or eating foods forbidden by the crash diet, they feel more unhappy with themselves and are more likely to try increasingly outlandish crash diets in an attempt to break the cycle. Mental disorders such as depression, and eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia can set in.  
        NINE: Chronic Diseases
Crash diets put you at higher risk of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cancer, and those can all lead to premature death.
        TEN: Diet Drugs or Supplements
Experts are predicting that weight loss drugs or supplements may be the next big drug safety issue. Weight loss products are being infused with potentially dangerous ingredients – far      riskier than prescription diet pills because you would be under a           doctor's care. One expert even warned that if a weight loss supplement is working, it's probably due to a stimulant whose safety            is unproven. These are common symptoms:
Increased Heart Rate                                     – Changes in Taste, Metallic Taste
Increased Blood Pressure Levels                    – Dry Mouth
Insomnia                                                        – Numbness of Skin
Nervousness                                                  – Nausea
Headaches                                                     – Abdominal Cramping
Dizziness or Lightheadedness                          – Liver Problems
Weakness                                                      – Diarrhea, other Gastrointestinal Issues

Think About Dieting and the Reason You're Doing It
Are you using dieting, binging or eating to satisfy needs that are not being met? The difference between a crash diet and a healthful weight loss program is that a well-rounded, sustainable weight loss plan focuses on a nutritious, varied diet. Lifestyles changes such as regular exercise and gradual weight loss are the sensible way to go. Consult a physician or dietician for guidance. An at-risk person should understand that they don't have to face alone the yo-yo their life has become. They should reach out to a trusted friend or loved one or scour the Web for venues to rescue themselves from the horribly debilitating – mentally and physically – diet hell.

Krisca Te works with Open Colleges, Australia's leading provider of TAFE courses equivalent and nutrition courses. When not working, she enjoys spending her day with her 2-month old son.

Quickie Workout #23 - 1000 Reps

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The workout below lists the total number of reps you need to do for each exercise.  You can mix and match based on how you feel. If you want to combine exercises (such as squat, then overhead press) feel free.  Just be sure to listen to your body.  Remember to go for QUALITY over quantity.  If you are unclear what the exercise is I am describing, please look for a video or arrange for an in-person tutorial with me.

Please consult your doctor before engaging on any fitness regime.

Don't forget to breathe! Please email me if you want tips on how to make the quickies easier or more challenging (mollie@ptmollie.com).

100 jumping jacks/star jumps  ** start with this exercise as a warm up please **
100 push ups/press ups
100 crunches
100 toe touches (the ab exercise)
100 walking lunges
100 squats
100 calf raises (on a low step if possible)
100 box jumps (or step ups as a lower impact option)
100 overhead presses (you can use weights, bottles of water, cans of soup, etc)
50 frontal raises with arms (you can use weights, bottles of water, cans of soup, etc)
50 lateral raises with arms (you can use weights, bottles of water, cans of soup, etc)

= 1000

Terrific job! 

Weekend Challenge: Enjoy the Olympics!

Friday, August 3, 2012

I never though I would say this, but I am encouraging you to watch the Olympics.  Tune in to a sport you don't know anything about and catch Olympic fever.  Last weekend, James watched 9 different sports in one hour.  He and I have figured out handball (I think) and I am learning a ton about cycling and rowing.  He has always been a sports enthusiast, but I am the type who would rather play a sport than watch it.  We went to watch some of the events this week (more details to be posted soon!) and it was amazing.  The energy, the fitness levels, the patriotism from the fans- just unbelievable really.  I am so blessed to be able to witness such an amazing part of history.

After you tune in, I encourage you to then try an Olympic sport with a lower profile (not necessarily one you watched)- such as badminton, table tennis (NOT beer pong), fencing, rowing, canoeing, you get the idea.  When you find a sport you like, exercising won't seem like such a chore.  I hope you find something you enjoy and pursue a new hobby.

As an example that it is never too late to start something new, let me introduce you to Helen Glover (Team Great Britain).  This 26 year old was a physical education teacher before she started training for London 2012.  in 2008, she quit teaching to train as a rower.  She won a gold medal in pair rowing with Heather Stanning.

To recap the challenge: 
1.  Watch the Olympics
2.  Try an Olympic sport
3.  Let me know what you did.  Send a photo to mollie@ptmollie.com and I will post it here!

Easy Cheesy Crackers

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Today, a friend on Facebook put up a link to 100 Days of Real Food.  The creator, Lisa Leake, was inspired to overhaul her family's eating after reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.  There are so many resources on this site, I could spend all day on there. You should have a look as there are tips for cutting out processed foods, eating well on a budget, and free meal plans.


From this eye-opening blog, I have chosen a recipe for Easy Cheesy Crackers.  We often will have crackers and hummus as a snack or light meal.

Ingredients (Yields 2 dozen)

1 cup whole-wheat flour
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into tablespoon size chunks
4 oz. or 1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese…the sharper the cheese the cheesier the crackers

* If you are adventurous try adding different spices to the dough: black and red pepper, fresh or dried rosemary, diced olives, or jalapeños

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

2.  Combine all three ingredients in a food processor and blend. The mixture will eventually turn into one big ball chasing itself around the bowl. Be patient because it can take a few minutes.

3.  Roll the ball into a log about 1 ½” in diameter. At this point you could refrigerate the dough until later.

4.  With a sharp knife slice ¼” thick pieces off the log (pictured above) and place each one flat on an ungreased baking sheet.  Try to rotate which side you are cutting down on because the top of the log does start to flatten a little. It is like your very own homemade slice and bake!

5.  If you want your crackers to look a little fancy, take a fork and gently mash down the top of each one before baking.

6.  Bake for 8 – 14 minutes or until golden brown. The thicker the crackers the longer it will take.
These crackers can be stored in the freezer so double the recipe and save some for later!