1. Blueberry-Spinach Smoothie

    By Lisa Wright, CFT

    smoothie1*1½ cups coconut water
    1 T lemon juice
    ½ C plain low-fat yogurt, preferably Greek-style
    1 C packed baby spinach
    2 T unsalted almonds
    1 T honey
    ½ t almond extract
    ⅔ C frozen blueberries

    Place all ingredients into a blender in the order listed, and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Serves one.

    Per serving: 307 calories; 15 g protein; 7 g fat (2 g saturated); 51 g carbs, 10 g fiber; 405 milligrams

    FYI:  Have you ever used coconut water in your smoothies?  Here are some great facts on coconut water:

    *Naturally refreshing, coconut water has a sweet, nutty taste. It contains easily digested carbohydrate in the form of sugar and electrolytes. Not to be confused with high-fat coconut milk or oil, coconut water is a clear liquid in the fruit’s center that is tapped from young, green coconuts.  It has fewer calories, less sodium, and more potassium than a sports drink. Ounce per ounce, most unflavored coconut water contains 5.45 calories, 1.3 grams sugar, 61 milligrams (mg) of potassium, and 5.45 mg of sodium compared to Gatorade, which has 6.25 calories, 1.75 grams of sugar, 3.75 mg of potassium, and 13.75 mg of sodium.



  2. Do You Know What Your Basal Metabolic Rate Is?

    By Terry Cobb, CPT-CES

    Lisa and I had a very good conversation this morning around caloric intake and the need for people to realize that drastically cutting calories,  does their body a grave disservice.  We were discussing our new Weight Management program and the great information found in the manuals the participants will receive.   BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is discussed in detail in one of the chapters.

     BMR supports your bodily functions that occur without conscious awareness.  This includes heartbeat, breathing, maintenance of body temperature and the sending of nerve and hormonal messages to direct these activities.  They are the basal processes that maintain life.  The amount of energy required to maintain these functions is called your BMR.  For example, Lisa and I must consume between 1233 and 1277 calories, respectively, just to maintain our processes of life. Please note, this doesn’t include calories needed for daily physical activities.  You would need additional calories for that.   The chart below will give you a brief idea of how those calories are used:

    Energy expenditure breakdown

    Liver 27%
    Brain 19%
    Heart 7%
    Kidneys 10%
    Skeletal muscle 18%
    Other organs 19%

    BMR generally decreases with age and with the decrease in lean body mass (as may happen with aging).   Increasing your muscle mass, increases BMR.

    Illness, previously consumed food and beverages, environmental temperature, and stress levels can affect one’s overall energy expenditure as well as one’s BMR.  Any decrease in calories below this BMR will result in a decrease in lean muscle tissue.  This slows the metabolism which leads, eventually to an increase in body fat to protect the body from the perceived starvation.  So, you see, there is a science behind healthy weight loss and/or maintenance.  Use the handy link below to discover your own Basal Metabolic Rate.  How are you doing?



  3. Top Mistakes We Make When Grocery Shopping

    665728_448226461879674_1327986522_oMistake #1: You go to the grocery store following a workout.

    Most of us have heard the old adage about not grocery shopping when we’re already hungry, right?  But what about after a workout?  Oftentimes we are ravenous after working out.  By the time you have cooled down and got your shopping cart, guess what?  Hunger can strike.  Pretty soon, we are loading our carts up with “quick fixes” knowing we need to replace that lost glycogen!  The quick fix may not be a “healthy” quick fix.

    Plan:  Try to eat directly after your workout or carry a small post-workout snack.  Also remember to plan exactly what you are going to buy and stick to that list.

    Mistake #2: You buy a food simply because it’s organic.

    Just because a food is “organic” doesn’t mean it’s healthy or that it’s good for you. Organic chocolate or organic desserts are still “chocolate” or a “dessert”.  They still contain calories and fat.

    Plan: Read the nutrition label, as you would any other food label.  How much fat, sodium and sugar does it contain?  What are the serving amounts, etc.

    Mistake # 3: Purchasing various products because they are “made with real fruit.”

    Just because a product shows fruit on its label, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s made with fruit.  Oftentimes dyes and artificial sweeteners are used to give it a “fruity” flavor.

    Plan:  Try to eat whole pieces of fruit.  If the product you are eating doesn’t contain “real” pieces of fruit, do not buy it.

    Mistake #4: You avoid frozen produce and assume it’s not as nutritious as fresh.

    Despite good intentions we find that we have several items in our crisper that are now wilted because we did not have the chance to use them this week.

    The Plan: Stock up on frozen produce—it stays good for up to a year.   Frozen food can still be nutritious and they taste great.  We don’t have to worry about looking for produce that is “in” season.  We can enjoy it year round.  Farm fresh produce, on the other hand, may have travelled for several weeks, been exposed to light, heat and many handlers before reaching your table.

    Mistake #5:  Buying Anything from the Checkout Lane Aisles

    The items conveniently located at the checkout lanes are designed for impulsive shoppers.  They are things like, wrapped snacks, little gadgets, soft drinks and convenience type items.  The items here have a higher markup than most items.

    Plan:  Most items have a generic version that can be found in another section of the store-which will be far cheaper. So avoid the last minute impulsive purchases!

    So the next time you are in the grocery store, remember to try to put your family’s money toward purchases that will not only satisfy their appetites and nourish their health but that will save you a whole lot of money and prevent excess waste.

  4. Post Holiday Suggestions From Your Veteran YPB Fitness Professionals.

    We have had a few questions arise from one of our YPB clients this past month. ML Now that the holidays are over, Martha had some very good questions regarding post holiday health and some ways to burn off those extra calories.   She asks, “What could I have done differently?” “What can I do to get back on track?” and “What can curb my cravings?”

    Our most successful clients have been those who have a plan in place before the holidays begin and have found success by doing the following things:

    1.  Adhering to regular workouts (designed by a trainer).  The YPB Studio has incorporated the Winter Power Program that consists of Cardio resistance training.  This type of training combines strength training and short one minute intervals of intense cardiovascular exercises.   This type of training is geared to burn mass calories and boost metabolism.  Adding small things like using the stairs and parking your car farther away from your destination equals extra caloric burn!

    2.  Following a meal plan that includes breakfast every day, frequent small meals, fruits and veggies at each meal and sufficient water.

    3.  Eating a healthy snack before attending holiday gatherings.  Limiting alcohol, caffeine, energy drinks and soda.

    4.  Removing temptations from the house

    sleep5.  Getting 6-8 hours of sleep

    6.   Asking for help when feeling overwhelmed

    7.  Having a nonfood reward system

    8.  Enjoying fun and humor!

    9.  Moving their Focus Away From Food

    10.  Learning to curb their food cravings

    Continually eating the food you constantly crave, may just strengthen the habit. The more you eat sweets, the more you reinforce the cravings for sweets.  So should you go cold turkey? No. Feeling deprived of a favorite food often backfires and you end up eating too much. You can indulge in it, but just do it less frequently. We suggest an “eat off day” where you take one day to indulge in the foods you crave-with moderation, of course!  Do it in a portion-controlled way.

    Don’t let yourself get too hungry.  We recommend eating 6 small balanced meals throughout the day.  This way, you stabilize your blood sugars and limit the possibility of eating whatever’s in sight-simply because you are “starving”.

    It’s better to have a steadfast plan. Make sure to have sugarless gum on hand, for example, ready to pop into your mouth when the craving strikes. Or make it routine to take a walk at that time.  Habitually, you replace that craving.

    So, when the holidays roll around next year, have your plan in place.  Set yourself up for success.  Curb your cravings now and you will be way ahead of the game when temptation rears its ugly head!

    Read More:  http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-facts-about-food-cravings?page=3


  5. Which Foods Cause Inflammation and Why Is It So Important?

    By Terry Cobb-CPT, CES

    inflammation1According to the statistics from the World Health Organization, about 12.9 million people worldwide died from some form of cardiovascular disease in 2004. And each year, the World Cancer Research Fund estimated that some eight million people died from cancer. Heart disease and cancer, the deadly manifestation of chronic inflammation, are expected to remain as the leading causes of death in developed countries for many years to come.

    Studies do indicate that both the risk of heart disease and cancer are modifiable by our lifestyle choices which include the food we choose to eat each day. With every bite that we take, we’re either balancing the pro- and anti-inflammatory compounds in the body, or tipping the scale to one end.

    Here are the top foods found to increase inflammation in the body and possibly cause inflammatory diseases:

    Pro-Inflammatory Agent:

    1.  Sugars

    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: Opt for natural sweeteners like stevia, honey, or blackstrap molasses to flavor your beverages and foods modestly. Natural sugars found in fresh or dried fruits and fruit preserves with no added sugar are also great choices.

    2.  Common Vegetable Cooking Oils

    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: Replace your omega-6-saturated cooking oils with macadamia oil, extra virgin olive oil, or other edible oils with a saner omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids ratio.

    3.  Dairy Products

    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: Kefir and unsweetened yogurt are acceptable in moderation for those who are not allergic to milk. They are easier on the stomach as the lactose and proteins in the milk have been broken down by beneficial bacteria and/or yeasts.

    4.  Feedlot Raised Meat

    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: Organic, free-range animals that fed on their natural diet like grasses instead of grains and hormones contain more omega-3 fats

    5.  Red Meat & Processed Meat

    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: You don’t need to avoid red meat totally, though the same thing can’t be said for processed meat. No amount of processed meat is safe. Replace the bulk of your red meat with organic vegetables, poultry and fish, and relegate red meat to a weekly treat.

    6.  Alcohol

    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: A refreshing and thirst-quenching glass of pure, filtered water or Jasmine Green tea.

    7.  Refined Grains

    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: Go for minimally processed grains if you are not gluten intolerant or allergic to grains.

    8.  Artificial Food Additives

    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: Besides limiting the consumption of processed foods, use anti-inflammatory herbs, spices or natural sweeteners to add flavor to your dishes instead of relying on food additives.

    superomega3Other non-inflammatory foods:

    Seeds & Nuts:

    Focus on Chia Seeds, Walnuts, Ground Flaxseeds

    The ones listed above are especially high in essential omega-3 fatty acids, which lower inflammation throughout the body.  This is especially good for people with arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.

    No better time than the New Year, to resolve to make healthier food choices!  You don’t have to do it overnight.  But begin with a few small changes and over time, add a few more.  Remember small changes over a long period of time equal success! Bon appétit!

    Read more: http://theconsciouslife.com/top-10-inflammatory-foods-to-avoid.htmtries for many years to come.

  6. Lunch Roll-Up Wraps

    roll up

    We recently served these at our open house and they were an absolute hit. These roll-ups are a quick, easy, no-cook lunch or snack item that will please the whole family.

    Rollup Wraps


    Whole wheat tortillas or flatbread
    Your choice of mustard (we used Dijon, Regular & Jalapeno mustards)
    Spinach leaves
    Low sodium Turkey breast or Ham
    String Cheese

    Rollups Cheese StepRollups Meat StepRollups Spinach StepRollups Mustard Step





     Step 1                               Step 2                             Step 3                             Step 4————-

  7. Chicken Barley Chili

    Probably by now you have all figured out how much I like one dish meals that are hearty and healthy. I learned a long time ago that I would not be slim & fit on salad alone. (Listen to me ladies, salad diets DO NOT work….you will only get SKINNY FAT! )

    Anyway, this recipe has a unique twist with the barley and a bonus benefit for your heart health. The barley does not in anyway ruin the taste and in fact you will feel full and satisfied with only a cup of this dish and a salad on the side.

    ~ Lisa Wright


    1 (14 1/2 oz.) can   Tomatoes, diced, undrained. (may use seasoned tomatoes)
    1 (16 oz.) jar/can   Salsa or tomato sauce
    1 (14 1/2 oz.) can   Fat free chicken broth
    1 cup   Quaker medium barley
    4 cups   Water
    1 tablespoon   Chili powder
    1 teaspoon   Cumin
    1 (15 oz.) can   Black beans, drained, rinsed
    1 (15 1/4 oz.) can   Corn, whole kernel or corn with peppers, undrained
    3 cups (about 1 1/2 lbs.)   Chicken breast, cooked, cut into bite-sized pieces

    Reduced or no fat cheddar cheese (optional)
    Reduced fat or fat free sour chream (optional)

    In a 6-quart saucepan, combine first 7 ingredients. Over high heat bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans, corn and chicken; increase heat to high until chili comes to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer another 5 minutes, or until barley is tender. If upon standing the chili becomes too thick, add more chicken broth or water until chili is desired consistancy. If desired, top with shredded cheese and sour cream. MAKES 11 (1 CUP) SERVINGS

  8. Enjoy a Healthier Thanksgiving

    What if you started your Thanksgiving Day with gratitude for your healthy body and with thanks for the knowledge you’ve gained over the past year with regard to the care of your body. There really is no good reason to overeat today and the following tips may help you toward this end.

    1) Eat Breakfast so you won’t be starving at the next meal.

    2) Don’t snack all day & please do drink lots of water.

    3) Chew your food slowly & watch your portion size. It takes your stomach nearly 20 minutes to signal to your brain that it is full. If you are trying to control your portion size, then slowing down and chewing is crucial. Moreover, chewing your food aids healthy digestion. Breaking foods down more thoroughly ensures proper nutrient absorption and can prevent indigestion issues such as acid reflux.

    You can still enjoy all the fun holiday treats just choose smaller portions and you can enjoy whatever you want.

    4) Don’t waste your time or calories on foods you can enjoy all year.

    5) Lighten up on your cooking. Try to use fat free chicken broth for cooking or use fat free sour cream for dips.

    6) Go easy on the alcohol. Alcohol contains a lot of useless and wasted calories.

    7) BE ACTIVE. Start off the day with a workout. Burning calories early will set the tone for the rest of the day. You may feel guilty when you eat all those sugary snacks later in the day. Stay active throughout the day. Go for a walk after dinner, or try to do some type of activity/exercise every 20 – 30 minutes. Ex: 20 mountain climbers each leg, 10 burpees, 30 jumping jacks, etc.

    If all else fails, commit to regular daily exercise for 45-1 hour over the next two weeks and your body WILL recover….just in time for Christmas, when you can do this all over again! Just saying.

  9. Pumpkin Zuccini Loaf


    Servings: 12 servings / 3 servings per loaf
    Preparation Time: 30 min.






    1 cup whole-wheat flour
    1 cup oat flour
    2 tsp baking soda
    1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    3/4 cup wheat germ
    1/2 cup brown sugar substitute
    9 tbsp vanilla protein powder (soy or whey)
    3/4 tsp salt
    3/4 cup pumpkin
    3/4 cup skim milk
    4 large egg whites, beaten
    2 cups zucchini, chopped

    1    Preheat oven to 375° F

    2    Lightly coat the cooking sheet with butter flavored cooking spray.

       In a large mixing bowl, sift together wheat flour, oat flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Then add the wheat germ, brown sugar substitute, protein powder and salt. Stir to combine.

    4    In another bowl, combine the pumpkin, skim milk and egg whites. Pour pumpkin mixture into flour mixture. Stir just until all ingredients are moistened (batter will be lumpy). Then, gently fold in the zuccini until evenly combined.

    5    Spoon the batter into the loaf pan until each is almost full. Bake until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of muffin comes out “clean”, about 18 minutes.

  10. Southwestern Shrimp and Rice Skillet


    Often at the checkout line at HEB I will pick up a circular with recipes. This recipe came from Prevention Guide’s COMFORT FOOD COOKBOOK. I tweeked it, made it lower fat, cooked it and my family ate on it for a few days. Definately squeeze the lime on it and we love Cholulu sauce to spice it up a bit!            ~ YPB Owner, Lisa Wright



    Prep Time: 20 min
    Total Time: 1 hour
    Servings: 5

    1 cup brown rice
    1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
    5 cloves garlic, minced
    12 oz peeled and deveined medium shrimp
    1 can (15 oz) no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 cup medium salsa
    1/2 cup shredded cheddar
    1 lime, cut into wedges

    Prepare rice per package directions (makes 3 cups). Set aside.

    Heat oil in large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add shrimp and cook, stirring, until just pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in beans, salsa, and reserved rice.

    Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until shrimp are opaque in thickest part and mixture is hot and bubbly, about 5 minutes.

    Remove skillet from heat and sprinkle with cheese. Serve with lime wedges.


    Nutrition Facts
    379 calories
    19 g protein
    54 g carb
    9.7 g fat

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