Super Bowl Snack Fave: Skinny Buffalo Chicken Dip

Health Super Bowl Recipe: Skinny Buffalo DipThis is the perfect dip to add to your Super Bowl snack mix!

It’s easy to whip up, rich in flavor and lighter on the calories. If you love the spicy tanginess of buffalo wings, try this lighter version with the same bold flavor. I used canned chicken and served it with pretzels, pita crackers, and of course, carrots and celery sticks – the perfect buffalo wing paring. And, if you’re more of a ranch person, you could easily switch out the blue cheese dressing for ranch – it still tastes great!

Ingredients:

8 fat free ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup reduced fat blue cheese (or ranch dressing)

1/2 cup Buffalo or Red Hot sauce

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese

2 cans (9.75 each) Premium Chunk chicken breast, drained, or 2 cups shredded cooked chicken

Directions:

  1. Place cream cheese first into the bowl. Stir that until it is smooth.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until heated through. Or Warm in the microwave about 2-5 minutes until heated through.

Recipe Adapted From Home Cooking

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Wellness Support: 10 Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

benefits of lemon waterAt this point, you’ve probably heard about the lemon water trend. But, do you really know about all the benefits scientists and nutritionists found in these little, yellow round fruits? I’ve heard bits and pieces of how beneficial lemon juice can be in supporting ones overall health and wellness regimens, but as I dug in and read more, I found a lot more jam-packed into lemons than I realized.

How much lemon juice should you have a day?

Before we get into the benefits, you may be asking how much is best. Here’s a good breakdown to give you an idea of how much lemon juice to squeeze in your water in order to experience these types of benefits.

If you weigh less than 150 pounds and you’re in good health, squeeze half of a fresh lemon in 8 to 12 ounces of filtered water. For best cleansing benefits, drink it first thing in the morning.

If you weigh over 150 pounds, squeeze the juices of a whole lemon into 24 to 32 ounces of filtered water. Here again, for best cleansing benefits, drink it throughout the morning.

10 benefits of lemon water

If drinking lemon water isn’t already a part of your daily health habits, you might want to think about trying it for at least 30 days to see if you experience these benefits:

  1. Aids Digestion: Lemon juice does a few things in the area of digestion. It loosens toxins in your digestive tract, and helps to relive symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, burping and bloating.
  2. Natural Flush: It helps you flush out the toxins in your body by enhancing enzyme function, stimulating the liver.
  3. Boosts Immune System: Vitamin C helps bump up our immune’s health, and lemon juice is full of it. The level of vitamin C in your system is one of the first things to decline when you’re stressed, which is why it’s recommended to pop extra Cs during your stressful days.
  4. Brightens Skin: The antioxidants help your skin look brighter and more radiant, as well as decrease blemishes and wrinkles. It can also aid in helping reduce the appearance of age spots and scars.
  5. Helps Maintain Health Weight: Lemons contain fiber, which helps when fighting hunger cravings.
  6. Reduces Inflammation: Inflammation is caused by high acid levels in the body, and drinking lemon water regularly helps decrease the levels of those acids. Joint inflammation is mainly caused by the buildup of uric acid in the joints. By taking lemon water, you will prevent this build up, reducing joint inflammation.
  7. Excellent Source of Potassium: Lemons are high in potassium, which is good for heart health, as well as brain and nerve function.
  8. Freshens Breath: Just another way to freshen breath naturally! It also helps relieve toothaches and gingivitis.
  9. Gives an Energy Boost: Who doesn’t love an extra jolt of energy! Lemon juice provides your body with energy when it enters your digestive tract, and it helps reduce anxiety and depression.
  10. Helps Fight Viral Infections: Warm lemon water is the most effective way to diminish viral infections and the sore throats that usually come with them. Plus, the lemon juice is also boosting your immune system, you’ll simultaneously fight off the infection completely.

Don’t keep these tips to yourself, share with your friends on social media! Help get them going on a path to better wellness.

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On-the-Go Workout for Two!

Couple's workout

A Workout for Two!
Get sweaty with your sweetie (or a friend!)
You’ll need: A partner, one stable chair, and a clock.

Warm-up: 20 jumping jacks, 20 squats, 20 lunges X2

Section 1 (8 minutes on the clock, move to section 2 after 8 minutes)

Partner A: 25 step-ups on the chair, then tag out your partner.
Partner B:
6 push-ups, 6 Mountain Climbers (right and left), 6 jumping jacks, repeat over and over until partner A tags you out, then move to the chair
Each time the partner on the chair gets 25 step-ups, you’ll trade places.  Keep going until 8 minutes is up!

One minute break!
Section 2 (8 minutes on the clock, move to section 3 after 8 minutes)

Partner A: 25 burpees, then tag out your partner.
Partner B:
10 triceps dips on the chair, 10 sit-ups with feet on chair, 10 chair hop-overs (stand to the side of the chair, squat with one foot on chair, then hop over the chair, landing on the other side with foot on the chair) repeat over and over until partner A tags you out, then move to burpees.
Each time the burpee partner gets 25 burpees, you’ll trade places.  Keep going until 8 minutes is up!

One minute break!
Section 3 (8 minutes on the clock, then you’re done!)

Partner A: 50 toe taps on chair, then tag out your partner
Partner B:
6 squat jumps, 6 butt kicks, 6 lunge jumps. repeat over and over until partner A tags you out, then move to chair toe taps.
Each time the toe tap partner gets 50 taps, you’ll trade places.  Keep going until 8 minutes is up!

**Note: If you want to do this workout by yourself, just start with the partner A part, time yourself, then do the Partner B part for the same amount of time it took you to do Partner A, keep going back and forth for each 8 minute section!**

Content courtesy of Enrgi Group Fitness Defined

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Recipe: Sugar-Free Dark Chocolate Truffles (Perfect for Valentine’s Day!)

sugar free dark chocolate truffles

Ingredients

5 ounces unsweetened, dairy-free baking chocolate, chopped

1/4 cup coconut oil

3 tablespoons honey

Sifted cocoa powder, for garnish

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave for 30 seconds. Then stir. Repeat microwaving and stirring in 30 second intervals until the mixture is completely smooth.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or until the mixture has hardened and cooled completely.

Remove the bowl from the fridge, let warm up for 10-15 minutes. Use a heaping table spoon to scrap out then with damp hands roll into balls.

Roll each ball into sifted cocoa powder, tapping to remove excess. Refrigerate the truffles until ready to serve.

Nutrition per serving (1 Truffle) : 165 calories, 16g fat, 11g carbs, 2g protein

Enjoy!

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How Can You Dine Out and Still Keep a Healthy Diet?

Healthy dining optionsNorth Americans eat out a lot. How much is a lot? According to the Center for Science in the Public interest, the average American eats out four times per week – a whopping 208 times per year. This means that since the food is prepared by someone other than you, you probably don’t know exactly what ingredients you’re putting in your mouth. Lard, butter, salt or artificial ingredients take over the dish, making them loaded with calories and not so nutritious.

For example, some fast food strawberry-flavored shakes don’t have a single gram of strawberry in them. Rather, the strawberry comes from a jar of pink crystals created in a lab somewhere. And, some restaurants give their french fries a sugar bath before they’re tossed into the deep fryer, adding more calories. Worse yet, many restaurants bathe veggies in a coating of butter and salt to improve flavoring. Do we really need to improve on something that tastes delicious already on its own?

Although it’s a bit of a slippery slope when trying to eat healthy and eat out, I have some simple solutions to help you improve your dining out experience.

  1. Prepare yourself mentally. Check out the menu online and get an idea of your best options to choose from before heading to the restaurant. Make a plan to order clean foods (or as clean as possible) before you step foot in the restaurant. That means, avoiding the obviously fatty, sugary traps like greasy burgers, cheese, gravy and sugary foods and even cocktails.
  2. Eat a healthy snack before. Have a low calorie snack before going to the restaurant. A handful of almonds or grapes, a yogurt light on calories and sugar will help curb your cravings when temptation is staring you in the face (literally) when you’re browsing the menu.
  3. Limit the alcohol. A lot of cocktail, wine and beer options have a lot of empty calories and even sugar. If you’re choosing to have a drink, make it a spritzer or limit yourself to one glass of wine or beer.
  4. Cook it right. Order your protein grilled, steamed, poached or baked. These are the least fat-loaded preparation techniques.
  5. Skip the dressing. Most dressings are terribly fatty. Try your salad with olive, avocado or pumpkin oil. Mix it up with balsamic vinegar or lemon wedges.
  6. Load up on steamed vegetables. If your meal comes with a huge helping of mashed potatoes, fries or sauced-covered rice, ask if the chef can make a substitution of steamed vegetables instead.
  7. Eat slowly. Take your time chewing your food, and take sips of water in between bites. This will help your stomach adjust to the food being put in it. As you eat, you’ll notice a signal letting you know you’re full and satisfied.
  8. Watch your portions. Meal sizes are bigger than ever before. You can see right away if the food you ordered is going to be too much. Remember to pay close attention and stop immediately when you feel full.
  9. Try sushi or shashimi. These are normally light calorie options. Sushi-grade tuna is beautifully lean and delicious. The portions are usually just right too.
  10. Think positively. Know that even though you’re in a tempting spot, you’re making the right choices. Dining out can still be fun, even if you’re not allowing yourself to indulge. Keep your eye on your goal of eating healthy and order what’s going to help you get there. Your new self in a few months will thank you for making these choices.
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Top 10 Exercises for Women

Author: Scott Mautz, Store Manager/Certified Fitness Trainer, Mequon, WI

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A recent blog post talked about the importance of strength training for women.

Next question is “What do I do???”

A variety of aerobic activities and resistance exercises are best for enhancing a woman’s overall health.

Courtesy of the American Council on Exercise (ACE), Here are the Top 10 exercises for Women.

If you need a little technique guidance on some of the exercises, please visit any local 2nd Wind Exercise store, we will gladly assist!

1. WALKING: safe, effective way to improve aerobic endurance and reduce stress, while also decreasing the risk of coronary heart disease.

2. SQUATS: These target the major muscles of the lower body-the butt, thighs and hamstrings-all in one movement.

3. LUNGES: Need help going up stairs? These are your exercise. Like the squat, these work the hip and thigh area.

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4. CRUNCHES: Best done a stability ball. The abdominal area helps support the lower back and the spine.

5. BACK EXTENSION OR COBRA: Back extension and the Cobra yoga pose strengthen the lower back, which stabilizes the core and helps keep the body in proper alignment. These muscles in the lower back are used in nearly every activity.

6. ROW: Performed with dumbbells, one arm at a time. Great exercise for posture, upper-back strength and osteoporosis prevention

7. PULL-UPS: Defines the back, shoulder and arm muscles. Keeping these muscles strong can help prevent the gradual stooping that often occurs with age. It takes time to build up enough strength to do a full pull-up without a spotter or assistance. Use a chair for support until no longer needed.

8. TRICEPS DIPS: As women age and tend to use their arms less, they lose muscle. Dips can be performed anywhere (including an office chair), helps keep the back of the arms toned and strong.

9. PUSH-UPS: upper body exercise that helps define shoulders, arms and chest. Since a pushup can be tough for some, you can do a modified version starting on your hands and knees (instead of toes).

10. REVERSE DUMBBELL FLY: This works the muscles of the upper back. Great exercise for improving posture and helping to prevent rounding of the back.

Contact us at www.2ndwindexercise.com to learn more!

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Strength Training + Women= Ultimate Health!!!

Author: Scott Mautz, Store Manager/Certified Fitness Trainer, Mequon, WI

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Again and again, research has shown that women who maintain a regular, moderate strength training program enjoy a long list of health advantages. Some women still fear that weight training might bulk them up in unfeminine ways.

Weight training expert and researcher Wane Westcott, Phd, gives 10 important reasons why women need to take strength training seriously.

1. You’ll lose more fat then you’ll gain in muscle. Westcott’s research shows that the average woman who strength trains 2 to 3 times per week for 8 weeks gained 1.75lbs of lean weight (muscle) and lost 3.5lbs of fat. Unlike men, women typically don’t gain size from strength training, because compared to men, women have 10-30 times less of the hormones that cause bulking up.

2. Your new muscle will help fight obesity. As you add more muscle from strength training, your resting metabolism will increase, so you’ll burn more calories all day long, notes Westcott. An example, if you gain 3lbs of muscle and burn 40 extra calories for each pound, you’ll burn 120 more calories per day, or approximately 3600 more calories per month. That equates to a loss of 10-12 pounds in one year!!

3. You’ll be a stronger women. Moderate weight training can increase strength by 30-50%. Extra strength will make it easier to accomplish some daily activities.

4. Your bones will benefit. Spinal bone mineral density can be increased by 13% in 6 months.

5. You will reduce your risk of diabetes. Adult-onset diabetes is a growing problem for women and men. Research indicates weight training can increase glucose utilization in the body by 23% in four months.

6. You will fight heart disease. You cholesterol profile and blood pressure improve, according to recent research. Don’t forget about the cardiovascular exercise and flexibility training.

7. You will be able to beat back pain and fight arthritis. Studies have indicated weight training can ease arthritis pain and strengthen joints. One study found strengthening low back muscles had an 80% success rate in eliminating or alleviating low back pain.

8. You’ll be a better athlete. Golfers can increase their driving ability. Improve your proficiency but also decrease your risk of injury.

9. It will work no matter how old you are. Westcott notes, strength improvements are possible at any age (70’s, 80’s) however a strength training professional should always supervise older participants.

10. You’ll strengthen your mental health. A Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling did. Women commonly report feeling more confident and capable as a result of their program.

Take advantage of the long list of benefits from strength training. Start a new program today.

Contact us at www.2ndwindexercise.com to learn more and to get help with a new strength training routine!

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