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Jersey Strong Shopping Spree

The holiday season can also bring about marathon shopping days, where you’ll find yourself in the car or mall for hours on the hunt for the perfect gift. While we commend the extra exercise walking store to store can bring, we don’t want you to throw too much caution to the wind, ending up in the food court, or even worse, not eating all day. Prepare ahead, eat before you venture out, and bring some snacks to keep your energy up throughout the day with these power foods for a long, Jersey Strong shopping day.almonds

Start your day with a hearty bowl of oatmeal before heading out. This slow-digesting carb will keep you full for hours after breakfast. We like to add chia seeds for added fiber and cinnamon, lowering blood sugar level to control appetite.

One of our favorite snacks to bring along when heading out of the house is raw carrots. Baby carrots are especially easy because there is no cutting or slicing involved, just a sweet enough snack to help curb our appetite and feel full. For an extra effort at battling hunger, we like to dip in hummus we can bring in an easy to-go container!

Forget to pack some lunch or snacks? Instead of a fast sandwich, opt for a salad with dark leafy greens like spinach, kale or swiss chard to fill you up and suppress hunger for a few more hours.

Whether you want to bring a whole apple, or pre-slice, apples are easy to pack and bring along when you’re on the go. With soluble fiber to keep you full, and natural glucose to regulate your blood sugar and give you refreshing burst of energy, some apples to snack on will ensure you walk right past any fast food choices in your line of vision.

One of the easiest snacks to pack is a serving of almonds. No crumbs, no residue on your fingers, just an easy snack full of antioxidants, vitamin E, and magnesium to help you feel full when hunger strikes.

What’s your favorite shopping snack? Let us know how you stay JERSEY STRONG during the busy holiday season!

 

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The Healthiest Meal of the Holidays

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be the beginning of a downward spiral holiday season filled with over indulgent cookies and cocktails. The Thanksgiving menu is usually stuffed with some of the healthiest ingredients, but are comprised by excessive fats. With just a few adjustments, you can manage to please a crowd at the dinner table, and save your (and your guests) waistbands from an increase. They’ll be especially thankful for you.

Fit Thanksgiving

Feeling like a turkey after holiday meals? Let the Personal Trainers at WoW help you get Fit in 4 weeks!

Sweet potatoes. Whether souffled or sliced, sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, meaning they will keep you feeling full while digesting a full holiday meal burning calories. Before making a sugary sweet side dish, consider a healthier option for your Thanksgiving guests this year. You’ll also find a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar in sweet potatoes, so you may even want to serve as an appetizer.

Cinnamon. When the temperatures drop we find ourselves sprinkling this spice on almost anything. With warm, earthy tones, cinnamon can make anything an instant comfort food. Also helping to regulate blood sugar, cinnamon can also slow digestion. Skip the sugar, and add extra cinnamon to your Thanksgiving recipes this year.

Pears. What we really love about fall is that many of our favorite recipes are made from fruits and veggies. Like apples, pears contain pectin, binding to water and limiting the amount of fat your body absorbs. Change up the dessert menu with a pear tart this year, or add a light glaze and serve as a side to your healthy sweet potatoes at dinner!

Turkey. Shed the skin and hold the gravy (ok, maybe just a little gravy), because turkey can be the secret to prevent you from going overboard on a holiday weekend. A lean protein, turkey will keep you full and take energy to digest for increased metabolism.

Dark chocolate. One of our favorite indulgences, dark chocolate as a health food isn’t new information, but it’s always good to remember. With ingredients to boost metabolism, satisfying your sweet tooth with a square of dark chocolate can come in handy if the wait for dinners becomes a littler longer than expected. Or bring a low cal dessert with dark chocolate so you know you won’t overdo it!

Need more help finding a balance between the holiday foods you love and fitting in your holiday outfits? Consult with one of our professional Personal Trainers to try a free session or X-LAB session. There’s also still time to register for Fit in 4; you’ll have the chance to lose the weight before the New Year!

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Save Calories with These Pumpkin Favorites

Last night gave many of us our first glimpse of snow for the season, a reminder to start bundling up for cold weather, usually with a hot drink in hand in a festive red cup. If you’re one to frequent your favorite chain coffee shop where holiday drinks are topped with frothy whipped cream and taste like dessert, you may be adding many unnecessary calories to you day.  We have a few substitutions your taste buds will enjoy and your hips will thank you!

Pumpkin Spice Coffee

image credit Google Images

For us, there’s no better way to start our mornings than with a cup of coffee for some pre-workout energy before our day. (Even if we skip a morning workout, our day still definitely requires coffee!) With autumn fully set in, we haven’t gotten tired of anything pumpkin flavored yet, but we have gotten tired of thinking about all the calories in a latte and stopping for a coffee every morning. To save ourselves from the lines at the coffee shop, we make our own version by just adding a few spices to our freshly brewed coffee, or to the grinds so you can brew the flavor right in. Depending on taste and size your are brewing, we like to add pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Adjust to your own liking by adding more or less spice, or more of your favorite spices like nutmeg. By just adding the flavor to your coffee, you can enjoy the taste you love without the extra calories of a latte.

Between the holidays, we love to enjoy a slice of homemade pumpkin pie, but we found the perfect way to limit our pie consumption. Our alternative gives us this decadent taste bright and early in the morning by adding a scoop of vanilla protein to stone ground oats, one tablespoon of pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and extra cinnamon to taste. This pumpkin oats breakfast will supercharge your day with protein, fiber and iron and starting your day off so delicious will definitely stop your from wanting to hit the snooze button. Be sure to use pumpkin puree rather than pumpkin pie mix which can be filled with added sugars.

Had too many lattes already this season? Get back on track with our Fit in 4 Challenge, registration is open until November 26.

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Holiday Weigh In

Do you feel like you’re doing everything right but still haven’t shed the pounds you were hoping to in 2014? With Halloween candy bowls emptying and more holidays right around the corner, you may feel as if you haven’t lost the weight yet, you’re going to slowly move downhill and instead restart your goals on January 1, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

You may be making a few common mistakes that are keeping you from losing weight, and it’s not too late to be able to conquer your weight loss goal by the end of the year. Here’s a few reasons your New Year’s resolution may have hit a plateau and how to revamp your routine.

Fit in 4 Weeks Challenge

Shed the weight, and win BIG!

1. Traveling.
Whether you’ve been traveling a lot this year, or planning to travel during the holiday season, jet lag from late night flights can confuse your body’s natural rhythm and eating schedule, resulting in weight gain. Prepare for your holiday travel by drinking more water than you usually would and packing probiotics for a healthy belly!

2. Too little protein and calories.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you may always be looking for the ‘low calorie’ options, but this strategy can be deceiving. When selecting pre-packaged foods with a low calorie stamp, they could be, instead, filled with increased amounts of sodium or sugar, or chemical alternatives your body cannot naturally break down. Where they lack in taste, you may find yourself craving more foods. Try to prepare more meals yourself, doing so ahead of time can also save you time and money the rest of the week, but you will also be able to add more protein to help you feel fuller longer, as well as portion control your meals to fully know what calories and ingredients you are consuming.

3. Not eating before exercising.
We know, this one is tough because you don’t want to see your lunch come up during your workout, but by preparing ahead of time, you can eat about 45 minutes before your workout to ensure you have the energy to fuel your session, without making you feel sick. Otherwise, your body may look to your muscles to burn calories. Be able to give 100% to your workouts by fueling your body properly.

4. Slice it up.
No, this doesn’t have to deal with pizza, unfortunately. This applies to your meals in general. Prevent over-eating by cutting up your food in smaller bites. Ever notice how kids take so long to eat food after it’s cut up? Slow yourself down, savor your food, and notice when your body gives you a signal it’s full. This will be easier to notice when you slow down the process taking smaller bites. (This actually can apply to pizza too, in moderation, of course.)

5. Skipping the weights.
We know, a lot of people are skeptical even though they may hear this advice all the time. While cardio is still necessary, adding weight training to your workouts will allow your body to raise its hormone levels to burn fat a full 24 hours after your workout. So start small, and give your body the extra nudge it needs to shed the pounds. If you need some help adding weight to your workouts, try out X-LAB at WoW and see how semi-private training can help you reach your goals!

Did you find any tips you may have been skipping in your routine? Let us know how you’re planning on staying dedicated to your goals this upcoming holiday season. Want to shed the pounds before the holidays? Get more info on our holiday Fit in 4 challenge to learn how you can shed the weight before the holidays!

 

Find these tips and more from this article’s original source here.

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Power Pumpkins

If you didn’t hit the gym this morning, it may be tough to make some time for the gym with all that trick or treating planned. Before you wake up with a blanket feeling of guilt from all the “fun size” candy bars you ate, we have some moves you can fit in wherever your plans lead you this Halloween!

photo credit: NY Daily News

If you spot a pumpkin, you already have a workout ready for you. Grab a decent sized pumpkin, don’t get tricky and pick up a gourd, and show the passing zombies and princesses what a REAL superhero looks like (yes, you, parents!) Use the pumpkin just as you would a weight or kettlebell and front squat while the kids are hitting up the next three houses for candy. Our trick here is that now you have to quick run to catch up with them, see what we did there. Yes, the pumpkin squats and sprints are a little ambitious, but we know you’re JERSEY STRONG.

Think your kids are old enough to trick or treat alone? They may be, but if you have the time, don’t put off getting that extra walk in. Before you tell us it’s too chilly, carry a soup can in either hand and power walk, your body temp is sure to warm up quick!

Waiting to try out your pumpkin squats after heading home? There’s plenty more you can do with just a heavy pumpkin before you hit the gym in the morning! Strengthen your core with russian twists or hold out your pumpkin when doing lunges.

When the sugar high subsides, check out an X-LAB session Saturday to get you right back on track without missing a beat!

 

Check out these moves and more here.

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From Fun to Serious

A lot can change in two years since Hurricane Sandy refocused Work Out World’s mission of Keeping Jersey Strong from fun to serious. To date, the Jersey Strong Foundation has raised over $200,000 to help New Jersey residents recover from tragedy. WE did this TOGETHER. Because TOGETHER we are Jersey Strong.

Share our Accomplishments by reading and watching Mary Roma’s full video blog post at her new weekly blog, Listen to Me. Be sure to text her for a Jersey Strong magnet at 732.328.7865.

Jersey Strong Foundation

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Lose the Extra Weight in 4 Weeks

Our WoWzers have done it again, reaching their fitness and weight loss goals. Not only can it be daunting to work towards a fitness goal, but it can be even harder to stay motivated, maintain progress without getting derailed, and set further goals to continue pushing yourself! Take it from our WoWzers and see just how Fit in 4 they became this season!

X-LAB at WoW

Congrats to Angela, our Fit in 4 Grand Prize Winner! Thank you for choosing Mary’s Place by the Sea to receive a matching donation from the Jersey Strong Foundation.

Congratulations to Angela, our Grand Prize Winner from WoW Freehold who lost almost 18% of her body fat in just 4 weeks! We couldn’t be more proud of her efforts for Keeping JERSEY STRONG with us and her commitment to creating a healthy lifestyle for herself with the help of our professional personal trainers. Angela received a Grand Prize of $1,000, and chose Mary’s Place by the Sea to receive a matching donation! Angela wasn’t the only one Keeping Jersey Strong during the Fit in 4 Challenge. Congrats to the first runners up as well! They are:
Shaun C. – WoW Tinton Falls
Peter T. – WoW East Brunswick
Carmen F. – WoW North Brunswick
Elaine A. – WoW Middletown
Arlene R. – WoW Ocean
Jacqueline D. – WoW Menlo Park Mall
Mary M. – WoW- Robbinsville
Tom H. – WoW Wall

Angela also isn’t accepting the Fit in 4 Challenge as the end to her fitness journey. Keeping up her momentum, she’s looking forward to continuing her Personal Training sessions as she sets new goals for herself. Are you looking to keep the momentum up without taking three steps back in your fitness progress? We have tips that will keep you on track outside the gym when you feel you’re losing motivation.

Start small with your fitness goals. Choosing a small goal will allow you to achieve it faster, so the feeling of reward encourages you to strive again. The Fit in 4 Challenge is a great example because you will start seeing results in less than month. Having a short term goal to complete, like drinking more water for a week straight, will diminish your chances of waiting too long to see results and giving up.

Just because you set short term goals, doesn’t mean you should ignore your long term ones. With these in mind, it’ll still motivate you for your weekly and daily goals. Are you striving to have more endurance to play with your kids, or to fit into that suit next summer? Deciding your long term goals will not only keep you motivated, they’ll help you figure out the best plan of action for your training.

Figure out which healthy foods you love. Depriving yourself of your favorite foods just simply won’t work, however, enjoying in moderation or finding alternatives will help you feel less like you’re making a sacrifice, and think more about the healthy choices you’re deciding to make. We could never give up pizza, but we can make a healthier version on pita bread, and add a side of fiber-rich veggies instead of eating half a pie.

Make sure your exercise is fun. You’re more likely to be dedicated to your workouts when it’s something you enjoy rather than feeling like a chore. Determine the exercises or classes you like so that you have something to look forward to during the week. Sometimes we’re at a loss figuring out which muscles to target, but we love small-personal training in X-LAB because we can gather all our gym buddies for one quick session and feel like we’re playing on our own adult jungle gym! In reality, we’re getting a butt-kicking workout without the stress of feeling like an obligation.

Do you use short term goals to stay motivated? Let us know how you keep up your momentum in the comments below!

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Fitness Fiesta

Launch weekend is upon is, and we are pretty excited to learn some new moves and prove that fitness can be fun (after all, this is like a weekend-long party for us)! We’re going to try and fit in as many Launch classes as we can into our own schedule, and, because of that, we need to fuel up right. Try out our hearty chicken quesadillas and some new Launch classes for a fitness fiesta weekend!

What we love about this recipe is how much fat you can cut out with just a few adjustments. We use a no-fat olive oil spray to grill chicken and saute fresh veggies, you can find this at your local grocery store, and it will probably become your new favorite part of cooking. Whole wheat tortillas and low-fat cheese make these quesadillas taste just like your favorite restaurant’s, without playing the guessing game of how much fat you’re consuming.

What you need:

1lb Chicken, cut into cubes
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow onion
1 jalepeno pepper (or more if you like more spice!)
1 bag shredded low-fat cheese (for each quesadilla you will use 1/4 cup serving)
1 package whole wheat tortilla rounds

Jersey Strong Kitchen

We made some protein packed quesadillas to fuel up for our fitness fiesta Launch Weekend in the Jersey Strong Kitchen this week!

Grill chicken, season as desired, set aside. We like to use a large saute pan, that way after our chicken is browned we can then use the same pan for our veggies (after wiping out some of the oils that have accumulated.) Slice peppers and onion, spray pan with your no-fat cooking spray, saute until softened, set aside. Now that you have all of your ingredients prepared, it’s quesadilla assembly time! This is a great time to get the kids involved in cooking and to help out adding what they would like in their quesadilla (and also to secretly have a lesson about portioning and cooking with fresh veggies!)

No need to switch pans, just spray your saute pan and place one tortilla round down flat. Add half of your cheese to one half of the tortilla. After a few seconds and the cheese is melted, add some of your chicken and veggies mix, at this time we season with garlic powder, top with remaining cheese (of the 1/4 cup serving size), and cover to allow cheese to melt, only a few seconds. Now you can fold your quesadilla and flip to ensure everything melts together.

Some tips to keep in mind:
When making your assembled quesadillas, heat should be no higher than medium to ensure you do not burn your tortillas. You can even spray the pan again before flipping over.
Add a few drops of hot sauce inside if you’d like to kick the spice factor up a notch.
Get creative and add whatever veggies you would like to your custom quesadillas!

Not only are these a great way for you to cut down on carbs and fat while getting a good serving of protein, they are also a great way to get the kids in on the cooking process and have fun customizing their own meal!

Are you as excited for Launch weekend as we are? Let us know what classes you’ll be trying out and how you prepare for a weekend of JERSEY STRONG fitness fun!

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Wake Up with WoW

As the sun sets a little later each day, at the end of the work day we just want to get comfortable on the couch, making the gym the last way we want to end the day. However, getting up early for a workout with cooler temps can be a bit tough, so we put together a list of foolproof ways to avoid hitting the snooze button and kickstart our day Jersey Strong!

Group Fitness Classes

Ensure your workout is a BLAST! Try out a Group Fitness class!

Get Motivated. Getting up earlier needs to be for a very good reason, so we checked out the Group Training schedule on the app and decided what better way to start the morning with an energized class like Kick or Blast? The high energy workout is the motivation we need to get out of bed bright and early and make sure to hit the gym on time.

Prepare. Don’t wait for 5am to come around and decide what you’re going to wear for your workout. Have it out and ready so all you have to do is reach around for it. Same goes for your pre-workout snack. Whatever your choice of nutrition is, make sure you to have it ready to go or easily accessible to prepare. We don’t want you to make any last minute decision to stay home, or get back into bed.

Sleep. Since you’re not going to be sleeping in, turn the TV off earlier the night before to get a good night’s sleep. It’s ok, you can DVR the new episode of American Horror Story and watch it when you get home from work, because you can…because you went to gym early.

Invite a Friend. Mary Roma will be the first to tell you “fitness loves company” so share your morning class with a friend. You don’t want them to be in Group Kick at 6am alone, so you’re more likely not to bail on the workout.

If your debating to try a Group Fitness class, new Group Training classes Launch next weekend! This means all of our Group classes will be revamped with new music, new moves, with everyone starting at the same place. Do you fit in your workout in the morning? What tricks do you use to motivate yourself for Keeping Jersey Strong early? Tell us in the comments below!

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Protein Packed Pizza

Not only is pizza one of our favorite indulgences, it’s also great for a quick meal when the family is rushing home from work, school, and back out to sports practice. While we want to argue pizza as a well balanced meal, (carbs, veggies, and dairy, what more could you ask for?) we have a simple recipe that can save you time and money when dinner time hits.

Requiring only a few ingredients to keep on hand, our personal pizzas can help you keep your calorie count in check, will take just as much time as calling and waiting 15-20 minutes for a take-out pizza to be ready, and will please everyone in your family since they can add on whatever toppings they choose, so your picky eater won’t fuss. Best of all, we like to pack on some protein to make our pizzas JERSEY STRONG.

Personal Pizza

Our baked egg on top let’s us indulge in our favorite food, while being filling enough not to regret it!

What you need:
Whole wheat pita rounds
Jar of your favorite tomato or pizza sauce
Package of low fat mozzarella cheese

What you can add:
Grilled chicken
Egg
Veggies: green peppers, onions, mushrooms, etc.
Spice it up: garlic, crushed red pepper, basil

Now for the fun part, assemble your pizzas!
Spray your baking sheet or foil with no fat olive oil spray to prevent sticking. Add up to 1/4 cup tomato sauce to pita. Top with 2 oz. low fat cheese. We like to crack an egg on top and have it bake right onto our pizza, this will call for a longer bake time as you’ll be able to judge when your egg is baked, but we love the added protein especially if we do not have grilled chicken already cooked. Bake pizza at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Whether you want to get the kids involved in making their own pizzas, or just want to make your own personal pita pizza to control your portion size, these pita pizzas are a great way to be able to make something with few ingredients on hand, keep your calories low, and easily add protein to your meal.

What are your favorite toppings you’ll be adding to your pita pizza? Let us know how you’ll be topping your pizza with protein!

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