Wednesday, August 20, 2014

RIPPED Season 17 Launch and Nutritious Food Tasting

On Wednesday, August 13th, we had a great time launching the newest season of RIPPED with a team of instructors and also exploring the "D" (diet) afterwards! Instructors provided some healthy foods and beverages to try that contained protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats, along with some other nutritional ingredients. Enjoy the recipes and the pictures from the summer party!

Quinoa, Chickpea & Avocado Salad

Mango and Black Bean Salsa
1 mango chopped
I can black been
1/3 cup finely chopped red  onion
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (or more to taste)
1/2 chopped red pepper
2 minced garlic cloves
I jalapeño seeded and chopped
2 TBL fresh lime juice
1 avocado (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste.

Cowboy Caviar
1can black-eyed pea been (drained)
1can corn (drained)
1 avocado chopped
1 jalapeño seeded and chopped
2/3 cup green onion chopped
2/3 cup cilantro chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Creamsicle Breakfast Smoothie

Strawberry Banana Smoothie with Chia Seeds
1 cup sliced strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1 peeled banana (frozen)
4 cubes of ice
1 T chia seeds soaked in 1/4 cup of water
1/3 cup light coconut milk.

Combine and blend in blender, adding water to thin in necessary.

Dark Chocolate Banana Smoothie
1 cup Dark Chocolate Almond Milk Silk
1 frozen banana, peeled
4 cubes of ice

Combine and blend in blender.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mind Games and Food - A visit from The Wellness RN

We were thrilled to welcome Heather Ratliff, The Wellness RN to our FUEL discussion.  Heather is a Registered Nurse and Health Coach. Heather is passionate about helping people dig through all the information and discover a what healthy lifestyle really looks like... and how to get there.

In our "Mind Games and Food" discussion, Heather talked about the barriers we are up against when it comes to eating healthy.  We have printed handouts at Just Move or if you contact us, we will email you the PDF.

Some food for thought from Heather Ratliff:
  • The most sacred thing you do for your health is go to the grocery store.  (think about that for a minute - Wow!)
  • About 8 hours of your day should be getting good sleep, 1 hour should be spent on food preparation, about 30 minutes should be exercising and 30 minutes on mindfulness/stress management.  That leaves 14 hours left in your day!  How are you spending your time?
  • Four keys to a healthy lifestyle:  1) 80-90% of your food should come from a plant - this includes nuts, whole grains fruits and veggies.  2) Move - exercise every day!  3) Sleep - consistently getting 6-8 hours every night  4) Stress management - find ways to practice mindfulness and relieve stress
  • Food as a form of entertainment is a very recent change - just in the last 40 years.  Many of our grandparents ate the same things every week.  How does that impact the choices we make now?  Our bodies haven't adapted well to this change...
  • Healthcare statistics are staggering...  75% of healthcare dollars are spent on health related diseases!
We left the discussion feeling empowered to make healthy decisions about our food.  It's not easy, but it's very affordable and achievable with a little extra effort!  We'd love to talk to you more if you feel like you want to make changes in your food choices.  Or, check out the resources below.

Additional resources:
  • Contact Heather Ratliff, The Wellness RN at or 269-303-0847 or visit her web site at
  • Eating Well -
  • 100 Days of Real Food -
Want even more?  The Organic Gypsy and The Wellness RN are partnering up for an educational Detox Workshop on Monday, March 10th from 5:30 - 7pm.  There will be dinner included and a presentation on a step-by-step process for detoxification using whole foods.  There will also be a juicing demonstration and tasting.  Class and dinner cost:  $35  Register at:

Sunday, February 16, 2014

On-The-Go Snacks: Fueling Up Without the Drive-Thru

 Eating right on the go can be difficult if you're not well prepared. This week, we take a look at some of our favorites....and even sample some! On the table above, from left to right...

  • Kind Bars (Maple Pumpkin Seed)- big hit
  • bananas- for obvious reasons
  • Go Picnic's snack pack- there are many variety's. Amanda likes the sunflower seed butter one and Sara likes the black bean and plantain chips.
  • A dry oatmeal pack- can be used in a pinch for something hearty and warm, just stop somewhere where they'll give you hot water).
  • Planters cocoa almonds- great if you're looking for something sweet. 
  • Trail Mix- your favorite blend or mix your own at home. 
  • LaraBars: These two flavors are big hit's with Sara's two kiddos.

  • Cliff bars: Pictured is the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bar.
  • Applesauce pouches- great after a workout when your blood sugar is low.

Hope you find this helpful! Have any of your favorites you'd like to share?

What's In Your Instructor's Gym Bag?

Our instructors are asked often about our favorite brands, tips, tricks, etc. It's high time you are in the loop! We thought we'd share a few of our favorite things or the things we can't go without. Keeping it simple, everyone's gym bag should include the basics:
  • Ideal shoes (see previous post on that)
  • A water bottle, 16 ounce and up
  • A towel
Find a great bag that suits your needs. Some are more ventilated than others, larger in size, straps, zippers, etc. Some of our instructor tips when looking for a bag are:
  • Look for a side exterior pocket for a water bottle. 
  • Look for one that has a small pocket for keys/phone or consider a bag insude a bag for the small stuff you need right after a workout. 

Instructor Spotlight:
Amanda never goes anywhere without her: 24 ounce insulated water bottle by hyroflask.
 "I love this water bottle because of the small twist off top but it comes with the sip or straw kind as well. I love that it will keep things cold forever (even with the lid off overnight, ice stayed as ice) and it will keep things warm, too, but I haven't tried it. It doesn't have an alluminum taste like other cheaper bottles and it is leak proof. We went looking for water bottles we could use while traveling through Italy and were reluctant to spend $30 per bottle but I haven't regretted it once!"

Instructor Spotlight:
Sara never goes anywhere without her: FRS chews.
"I chew one of these if I'm going to teach a class and I'm drained of energy. They say to chew 2 but 1 is enough for me. It provides me with that quick energy boost so I can be at my best."

Instructor Spotlight:
Leigh ever goes anywhere without her: Face and body wipes by Dickinsons. 
"I use to clean up a bit after sweating in a class. This brand in particular is great on my skin, especially on my face. These babies are life savers!" The other instructors went crazy over these as well, some of us use just baby wipes, but this would be great for sensitive skin. We all wipe the sweat off where we can after classes, especially when leaving to teach another.

What's the one thing you don't want to be without? See you all next week!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Nutrition Labels - Decoding the Mysteries and Myths

We had a super informative discussion today about the basics of nutrition and what to look for when reading nutrition labels.

The "Fab Three"
  • Protein builds muscle and is key for movement and cell productivity.  You can't get protein from within the body, so we must add it to the body.  Cutting back on this when "dieting" or trying to lose weight will only result in exhaustion and muscle function breakdown.  Examples of good protein sources:  lean meat (non-breaded chicken, turkey, grass fed lean cuts of beef and fish), dry beans, eggs, nuts, seeds, dairy products, whole grains.
  • Carbohydrates provide your body with glucose giving you quick energy.  Many think carbs are the enemy, but keeping your carbs "whole" - like whole grains and "fresh" - like fruits are the way to give your blood sugar a healthy boost.  Avoid white pastas, breads, sweetened cereals, etc.  These may give you quick energy, but are don't have other valuable nutrients.
  • Fats satify and sustain our appetites.  Try to keep these in small amounts and spread them throughout your day so you are not left feeling unsatisfied.  Avoid foods containing trans fats or high saturated fats.   Examples of good, healthy fats include olive, canola and sesame oil, avacado, nuts and nut butters, sesame, pumkin, chia and flax seeds, salmon, tuna, trout, soy and tofu products.
Think Nutrition Labels are confusing?  You are not alone.

Some final tips:
  • Be wary of claims like "all natural," "good source of ___," "low fat," "low sodium."  Chances are that those foods can be packed with sugars and chemicals to enhance flavor... and that can be worse than the sodium or fat!  Also, some claims are regulated and some are not.
  • Watch out for portion sizes!  Food packagers cannot take into account your personal daily needs.  You have to be aware the things that are going to impact your serving sizes and food choices such as activity levels, metabolic conditions, age, weight, etc.  (If you are struggling, you may want to talk to your doctor or a good nutritionist.  Just Move also offers meal planning via Evolution Nutrition.  Contact us for more information.)
  • As always, the best choices are the whole foods that are in their original state.  (Need recipe ideas?  Check out the awesome recipes from our class participants in the "Challenge Recipes" section of this blog!)
  • If you are interested in taking things a step further and buying organic, start with "The Dirty Dozen."  This is a continually updated list of the produce that is most impacted by pesticides and other harmful products.  You can view that list here.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Finding the Shoe that Fits!

Our first guest speaker, Ellen Hector, D.P.T., A.T.C. of Physical Therapy One led us in a discussion that included everything from shoes to how our body moves.  We had lots of different types of shoes and inserts for hands-on exploration and we evaluated people's walks!  Printed handouts from this discussion are available at Just Move.  Ask us for one next time you're in!

Some great take away tips from this discussion:
  • Our feet take the brunt of our daily activities and have many, many bones and ligaments. Understanding the chain of how our precious feet work with the muscles in our legs, hips and glutes and how our walk or foot shape impacts our joints and ligaments is WORTH it!
  • While the right shoe can help alleviate a problem, long term, it's good to evaluate how our body is working as well.  Often, we don't even realize the ways our body will compensate until we experience pain or injury.  For runners, the Good Form Running program at Gazelle is a great resource.  Another resource is at Agility Physical Therapy.   These places will break down things like how your feet hit the ground, your hip angle and many other things.  Understanding how your individual body works is a big part of selecting a shoe.
  • When selecting a shoe, it's important to keep in mind the activity it will be used for.  Most shoes are built for a specific activity.  For example, running shoes are designed for forward motion.  If you are participating in group fitness classes, a running shoe many have too much tread or to much forward pitch for comfort in other activities.  Most cross-training shoes are designed to give good multi-directional support, but may have too much tread for a dance fitness class.  There are shoes that are specifically designed for dance fitness and have a circular tread, but not all have good support.
  • To check for how supportive your shoe is (and not everyone needs the same amount of support - this is why understanding your gait or walk and body mechanics is important!) you can:
    1) Fold the shoe - it should only fold where your foot would bend naturally
    2) Twist the shoe - if you need arch support, you don't want that shoe to be able to twist
    3) Look at the foundation - at the arch and at the heel, you can check for a change in color to know that the types of materials used for support in that area are different
  • Your shoes don't last as long as you think they should!  They wear out long before they start to LOOK worn.  You begin to risk injury when you out wear your shoe life.  There's not a simple answer to know exactly when your shoe life is up unless you wear a pedometer or fit bit.  Then, most studies say that, depending on the shoe and type of use, you should replace them after 300 - 500 miles.
 NEXT WEEK 1/23 - DECODING FOOD LABELS!  Join us at Just Move at 10:15am

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Goal Setting for Success!

Thanks to everyone who came to our first FUEL - More than Movement discussion!  We talked about what to expect the coming weeks and even had some great suggestions from participants of new topics to add to the schedule.  We love the feedback, so keep it coming!

Here are the highlights from our Goal Setting for Success Discussion.

S.M.A.R.T. Goals = Smart, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.  We passed out a template that can be used for setting SMART goals.  You can download it here.

  1. You should have both Progress and Process Goals.  Progress Goals are the "achievement" goals, such as losing weight or decreasing blood pressure.  Process Goals are about the lifestyle and behavior changes you will make, such as walking one mile per day for the next 100 days.
  2. Make sure to set multiple time bound goals.  For example, if you had a goal to run a 5k in 2014, you might first have a goal of being able to run 1 mile in the next 3 weeks, then 2 miles in the next 6 weeks.  Setting multiple timeline goals also gives you room for being flexible when needed...
  3. Be flexible and ready to redefine your goals!  Life is going to happen.  It's inevitable.  Don't throw your goal out the window when you get off track for a week or two.  One participant had a great example of how she set a goal and stayed with it for 10 weeks, but as soon as she missed a week, she gave up.  What she realizes now is that if she had just redefined her goal a little and been flexible with her timeline, she would be feeling much more successful right now.
  4. Write stuff down.  You are more likely to follow through with things when they are written - or typed into an app if you're "techy."  If you need additional support with this step, contact us at Just Move Fitness and More, and we'd be happy to schedule a session where we can work on the goal setting or do some personal training or even meal planning.
  5. Manage your expectations.  Talk to others about their health successes and failures and find out what worked and what didn't.  No matter how many images you see in the media with amazingly fit women's bodies, it's not real life.  Healthy looks and feels different for EVERYONE.  (P.S. Check out this image from the Gorgo - Women's Fitness Magazine - Real Strength Campaign!  Realistic expectations are easier when we SEE what real healthy looks like!)  :)
One final note as you set your goals, we hope you keep in mind that what you look like and what size jean you wear are only ONE indicator of health...  Here are some others to consider:
  1. Emotional health - exercising improves mood, energy levels and sleep quality!
  2. Resting heart rate - exercising can help decrease your resting heart rate (meaning your heart doesn't have to work as hard!)
  3. Muscular strength and endurance
  4. Flexibility
  5. Balance
  6. Skill level (we see you rocking those dance moves!)
  7. Medical indicators - exercise lowers blood pressure and improves cholesterol and blood sugar levels
See you next week when Ellen Hector from Physical Therapy One joins us for The Great Shoe Debate!  (Why do shoes matter so much and why are there SO many to choose from???)  We'll have a bunch of shoes on hand for you to look at and you are welcome to bring your shoes to get some feedback.