Archive for April, 2009

Energy Drinks and Mind Games

gatorade-20-oz-line-up1Energy drinks like Gatorade and Propel may help you achieve your fitness goals, a new study says, but not in the ways science previously thought. An article published in The Journal Of Physiology‘s latest issue finds that sugary drinks boost endurance even if they’re not ingested (the study’s subjects just swished the drinks and spit them out). This makes the scientists involved in the study think what the mouth tells the brain about these drinks — rather than their caloric content — is what makes them a must-have for high-performing athletes.

The coolest thing about all of this, in my opinion, is that it lends even more support to the idea that the brain is the biggest determiner of your ability. Muscles, heart, lungs… they’re all necessary, but your mind — and the way it processes information from your body — really is the limit when it comes to working out.

(Of course, this doesn’t mean you should go out and start chugging high-calorie sports drinks in the hopes of turning into Venus or Serena Williams. I’m no scientist, but I can safely say that the drink alone won’t do it for ya.)

Read Science Daily‘s take on the study here, or check out the study’s abstract here.

April 17, 2009 at 3:59 pm 1 comment

Take Me Out To The Haul Game

baseballYou need to know two things about me:
1. I am a Red Sox fan.
2. Thanks to The Boyfriend’s Yankees season tickets, the number of Yankees games I have attended (as a non-cheering observer, it should be noted) far exceeds the number of Red Sox games I’ve attended in my life. The things we do for love, eh?

Anyhoo, I accompanied him to one of the pre-season exhibition games a few weekends ago at the new Yankee Stadium. When not giving Jeter the hairy eyeball, I was pleasantly surprised to note that all of the food stands are now complying with New York City’s mandate to post caloric information on their menus. And because I love you all so much, I walked around to just about every counter, kiosk and stall in order to get an idea of what passes for healthier choices at the ballpark. ( Now with original reporting!)

So in time for Opening Day in the New York region, here’s a list of stuff you nosh at the ballpark. Keep in mind that the stadium is only required to post calories, not fat or sodium. Also keep in mind that some things, despite their ridiculously high calorie counts — souvenir bucket of popcorn, anyone? — are worth indulging in once in a while in the name of baseball, America and summer fun. And it’s actually a lot easier to eat healthy at the new stadium, with its sushi station and fresh fruit cart, than it was at the old. So here’s a list, broken down into chunks, of what the new Yankee Stadium has to offer.

Not a Yanks fan? Don’t live near New York? Couldn’t care less about pride, pinstripes, power? Take a look at the list below, anyway: Plenty of the selections are offered in parks across the country.

fruit30-500 Calories
Kozy Shack pudding: 140 cal.
Bud Light (regular size): 110 cal.
Bud Light (souvenir size): 220 cal.
Coffee (black): 6 cal.
Chicken noodle soup: 167 cal.
Chef’s salad (with turkey and cheddar): 241 cal.
Garden salad: 100 cal.
Nathan’s corn dog on a stick: 380 cal.
California roll sushi: 255 cal.
Veggie roll sushi: 160 cal.
Spicy tuna roll sushi: 195 cal.
Salmon roll sushi: 190 cal.
Shrimp tempura roll sushi: 340 cal.
Rainbow roll sushi: 330 cal.
New York roll sushi: 410 cal.
Bronx roll sushi: 310 cal.
Dynamite roll sushi: 350 cal.
Nigiri sushi sampler: 270 cal.
Sashimi sampler: 210 cal.
Edamame: 100 cal.
Avocado salad: 180 cal.
Calamari salad: 390 cal.
Spicy scallops salad: 220 cal.
Chicken noodle bowl: 320 cal.
Beef noodle bowl: 350 cal.
Tofu noodle bowl: 240 cal.
Egg rolls (2): 340 cal.
Dumplings (4): 300 cal.
American fries (small): 240
Beck’s (large): 286 cal.
Fries with cheese (small): 350 cal.
Famiglia cheese pizza (slice): 260 cal.
Famiglia pepperoni pizza (slice): 310 cal.
Fresh squeezed lemonade (24 oz.): 300 cal.
Cotton candy: 175 cal.
Premio sweet Italian sausage: 500 cal.
Premio hot Italian sausage: 500 cal.
Nathan’s natural casing hot dog: 297 cal.
Garlic fries (small): 250 cal.
Garlic fries (large): 330 cal.
Fresh fruit (no calorie counts listed)

501-1000 Calories
Hebrew National foot-long hot dog: 510 cal.
New York pretzel: 630 cal.
Utz potato chips: 563 cal.
Indiana Gourmet kettlecorn: 520 cal.
Indiana Gourmet aged white cheddar kettlecorn: 560 cal.
M&Ms (plain): 735 cal.
M&Ms (peanut): 770 cal.
Twizzlers: 525
Ovengold turkey and provolone sub: 840 cal.
Deluxe ham and imported swiss sub: 750 cal.
Deluxe roast beef and Vermont cheddar cheese sub: 760 cal.
Pastrami on rye: 526 cal.
Eggplant parmesan sub: 659 cal.
Eggplant parmesan dish: 529 cal.
Meatballa parmesan sub: 803 cal.
Meatballa parmesan dish: 772 cal.
Chicken parmesan sub: 819 cal.
Big Mike Combo: 670 cal.
Da True Bronx Tale: 665 cal.
Sweet Bird: 608 cal.
Veggie Special: 645 cal.
Baked ziti: 720 cal.
Chicken tenders: 702 cal.
Hamburger: 630 cal.
Cheeseburger: 705 cal.
Chicken pan fried noodle bowl: 720 cal.
Beef pan fried noodle bowl: 800 cal.
Tofu pan fried noodle bowl: 600 cal.
Popcorn (large): 745 cal.
Rocket single: 710 cal.
Chicken tenders and fries: 810 cal.
American fries (large): 520 cal.
Onion rings: 790 cals.
Fries with cheese (large): 630 cal.
Moe’s nachos: 880 cal.

More Than 1000 Calories
Antipasto: 1066 cal.
Zeppoles: 2046 cal.
Nathan’s crinkle-cut fries: 1236 cal.
Nathan’s cheese fries: 1341 cal.
Popcorn (jumbo): 1484 cal.
Popcorn (souvenir bucket): 2473 cal.
Rocket double: 1020 cal.
Moe’s nacho supreme: 1410 cal.
Bazzini peanuts: 1190 cal.

Hot chocolate: 252-336 cal.
Carvel helmet cup of ice cream: 550-590 cal.
Carvel waffle cone of ice cream: 540-570 cal.
Nathan’s beef frankfurter: 297 -350 cal.
Johnny Rocket’s original shakes: 760-890 cal.
Carolina pulled pork sandwich: 470-710 cal.
Pulled bbq chicken sandwich: 422-662 cal.
Bbq beef brisket sandwich: 572-812 cal.
Frickles (fried pickles): 173-309 cal.
Hush puppies: 904-1200 cal.
Non-diet sodas: 240-250 cal.
Iced tea, lemonade, Gatorade: 130-250 cal.

April 16, 2009 at 6:29 pm 2 comments

Run Wild!

tigerrunIf you’re free Saturday, April 25, here’s a cool run/walk that’s actually a bargain in disguise. The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Run For The Wild 5K takes place in the Bronx Zoo! The $30 entry fee gets you an event tee shirt, admission to the run/walk, snacks after the run AND admission to the zoo for the day — plus admission to the Congo Gorilla Forest. Sounds like a deal to me.

Here’s a tip, though: Don’t try to keep pace with the jaguars. Those buggers will make you feel like a real sloth.

I’ll be there. If you will, too, give me a shout!

April 15, 2009 at 9:11 pm Leave a comment

Clutter = Pounds?

Just to be clear, this isn't my clutter.

Just to be clear, this isn't my clutter.

Anyone who’s been to my apartment or office can attest to my horrible tendency towards clutter. “Organized chaos,” Courtney — one of the cool chicks who visits this site — called it last night, watching bemusedly as I burrowed through a pile of backpacks in an unfulfilled search for my heart rate monitor. I’m nothing like those crazy stories you see on the news, where people fill rooms with discarded pantyhose, newspapers and tinfoil balls. (Want to be horrified? Click here.) But I often pile papers to deal with later, stack books until they’re ready to fall on some unwitting bystander and toss just about anything into my gym bag until it’s a workout just to lift it on my shoulder. But could that clutter be holding me back in other ways?

This New York Times piece (which originally ran in January, a month famous for people trying to streamline their lives) suggests that clutter-free homes makes for healthier, happier people. Lynne Johnson, a professional organizer quoted in the piece, says organization sometimes equals weight loss. “I think someone decides, ‘I’m not going to live like this anymore. I’m not going to hold onto my stuff, I’m not going to hold onto my weight,’” she said. “I don’t know that one comes before the other. It’s part of that same life-change decision.”

Are you a Messy Molly or an Organized Olivia? Have you found a link between ordered living and your health?

April 14, 2009 at 6:30 pm 2 comments

Where’s Kim?

Here’s my schedule for this week:

Monday: 6:15 p.m. Arm Strength, 7 p.m. AbSolution, 7:45 Step at Palisades Sports and Fitness

Tuesday: 6 a.m. Spin at New York Sports Club in Butler, NJ; 6:30 p.m. Cardio Mix at  ExCel

Wednesday: Yvonne covers Step I at Feminine Fitness (thanks Yvonne!)

Thursday: 5:15 a.m. small group training (Boot Camp Spin), followed by 6:30 a.m. Step Blast at Feminine Fitness. Then, for the after-work crowd, 5:30 p.m. Hips/butts/guts and 6:30 p.m. Cardio Mix at ExCel

Friday: 6 a.m. Spin at Fitness Factory

Busy week! Come and keep me company!

April 13, 2009 at 9:25 pm Leave a comment

You really want that second helping of chocolate eggs?

easter_ferret1The Easter Ferret: Helping you keep your keister on the right bunny trail.  Happy holidays, everyone!

April 10, 2009 at 5:51 pm Leave a comment

Feel The (Realistic) Burn

calories-main_fullIt’s easy, once you’re done being active for the day, to think you’ve burned enough calories to merit that extra scoop of ice cream on top of dessert. The frustrating truth is, you probably haven’t. Most people grossly overestimate how many calories they’ve burned while moving their bodies. But all hope is not lost: You can come pretty close to an estimate of what you’ve actually burned with sites like Fitness Jumpsite, which uses your weight and length of time you’d like to be active to generate a list of 222 activities and how many calories you can burn doing them. For instance, I found that a 45-minute run (at my weight) knocks off about 550 calories. Woohoo! And 45 minutes of gardening, if I actually had a garden, would burn around 250. However, all of the plants would die due to my black thumb, and then I’d burn even fewer calories tending to them.

Find out how many calories you burn (remember, it’s just a ballpark number; intensity counts for a lot) for the activities you do on a regular basis. How do they stack up? More than you thought? Less? Leave a comment and let us know!

April 10, 2009 at 5:38 pm Leave a comment

Don’t I Look H-h-hot?

mittens300The good news: A few new studies show that adults may be able to reactivate the kind of fat that burns calories and could possibly reduce obesity. The bad news: You have to be really freaking cold in order for this “brown fat” to do its thing. “In addition to eating less and exercising more, people may one day be able to stimulate their bodies to get rid of stored energy — in the form of ordinary fat — purely as heat,” David Brown (no relation to the fat) writes in today’s Washington Post.

Before you run over to turn down your thermostat, you should know that “the only safe way to activate brown fat is to stay chilly, right at the verge of shivering, for prolonged periods. That reproduces the conditions that led to the evolution of brown fat — namely, life-threatening cold in babies and small furry animals that cannot put on clothes to keep themselves warm,” Brown writes.

So what’s it going to be, chicas? Thin or warm?

April 9, 2009 at 9:00 pm Leave a comment

Fuel Yourself: Passover cake

passovercakeThis one is straight from Weight Watchers. I made it last year and it was a big hit at The Boyfriend’s parents’ house. It’s pretty easy and really moist, plus it’s relatively good for you! Tastes really good with fruit. It’s great for Passover or any time you’ve got dinner guests. Happy Passover to anyone celebrating!

3/4 cup(s) matzo cake meal
1/4 cup(s) Manischewitz Potato Starch, or other brand
12 large egg(s), separated
1 1/2 cup(s) sugar
1/4 cup(s) fresh orange juice
2 tsp orange zest, finely chopped
1/3 cup(s) preserves, raspberry-variety
1 cup(s) unsweetened frozen raspberries, or fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift matzo cake meal with potato starch over a large bowl; sift again and set aside. In a large bowl with a whisk or an electric mixer on high power, whip egg whites until stiff and glossy; set aside. In a large bowl with a whisk or an electric mixer on high power, whip egg yolks with sugar until light and satiny; add orange juice and zest and blend well. Fold egg whites into yolk mixture until just blended. Sift in matzo cake meal mixture; fold delicately to combine. Carefully pour batter into a 10-inch, 2-piece ungreased angel food cake pan with feet or a sponge cake pan. Bake until center of cake springs back to the touch, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and immediately invert pan onto a wire rack; cool cake completely in pan. (If you do not have a pan with feet, invert pan over a wine or beer bottle.) Meanwhile, to make topping, heat raspberry preserves in a small saucepan over low heat and toss in raspberries; mix well. When cake is completely cool, run a sharp knife around the outside and inside rings of the tube pan to loosen cake; transfer to a serving plate. Slice into 16 pieces and drizzle each slice with sauce just before serving. Yields 1 slice of cake and about 1 tablespoon of sauce per serving.

You’ll need 1 large orange to yield the zest and juice for this cake.

Cooking Tip: Cooling the cake upside down is one of the tricks of making a sponge cake light and tall. Invert the cake immediately upon removing it from the oven. Cool completely in the inverted position.

This light-as-a-feather Passover cake can be made in a variety of flavors. You can substitute lemon or lime zest and juice for the orange zest and juice. Or forget the citrus juice and zest altogether and use two teaspoons of vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon of almond extract instead.

Not Passover? You can use 1 cup of flour instead of the matzo cake meal and potato starch, if desired.

April 8, 2009 at 8:53 pm Leave a comment

Your Vote Counts!

I’m thinking about what small group training we’re going to do next. What would you like to see?

April 7, 2009 at 1:45 pm 2 comments

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