Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews

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What Food Labels Really Mean

by Suzanne Andrews

What You Must Know Before You Go To the Grocery Store!


  1. FRUIT: If there are four numbers in the price look-up, this means that the produce was grown with pesticides.
  2. STICKER BEGINS WITH A 9: If a price look-up sticker begins with a 9, this means that the produce was grown organically.
  3. LOW FAT, LOW SUGAR, LOW CALORIE If an item is labeled "low" in a particular element, it means that you can eat several servings without exceeding the recommended daily limit. Low-fat products have fewer than 3 grams of fat per serving; low-saturated fat items have less than 1 gram per serving. Low-sodium means the food has 140 milligrams or less per serving; low-cholesterol means 20 mg. or less and fewer than 2 grams of saturated fat. Low-calorie products have fewer than 40 calories per serving.
  4. TRANS FAT: This is partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and responsible for LDL cholesterol which is the “lousy cholesterol.” LDL causes heart attacks.  If the label says no trans-fat, there still can be ½ a gram of trans-fat and if you eat a lot of that food, the trans-fat can really add up.
  5. Natural: The food manufacturer decides how to label their food natural. If the food does not contain added coloring, artificial flavors and/or artificial ingredients they can decide to call it natural.
  6. ORGANIC: This means that no growth hormones, pesticides, DNA altering was done to produce this food. If the label says, “made with organic ingredients that means that at least 70% was made with organic ingredients. If it says 100% organic, that means that at least 95% was made with organic ingredients. 

            Source: Health US News

            Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here. </p

            Women Over 40: Listen Up

            by Suzanne Andrews

             

            Six Unexpected Reasons Why You Should Strengthen Your Abs!

            We all know that flat abs are attractive, but there are even more important (and surprising) reasons you need to blast belly fat and strengthen your core

             

             

            1. To play sports and other awesome activities. With a strong core, you can be flexible and ready to take on activities such as putting the grandkids in and out of the car, (and to keep up with them!) Tennis anyone? You need a strong core so you don’t hurt yourself when you swing the racket. The same goes for golf. What about activities that involve balance? A strong core gives you better balance.
            1. To tackle housework. If you don’t have a magic genie to do the housework then you have to have a strong core to be able to make home repairs, to carry stuff, mop, vacuum and to make the many household chores and activities easier.
            1. To ward off a heart attack. A weak core is usually accompanied by belly fat. You need a strong core because belly fat puts you at high risk of having a heart attack. In a study of over 5,000 participants, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute found that the risk of heart failure was 34 percent higher for overweight individuals and 104 percent higher for people classified as "obese."
            1. To have good posture. You’re not getting any younger and poor posture will only make you look older and tired. Improve your posture by strengthening your abs and you will literally slash off years from your looks.
            1. To develop a healthy back. Back pains are often caused by weak abs. Since most back pain can be successfully treated with therapeutic exercises, when back pain strikes, rehab therapists, including myself, recommend a string of core-strengthening exercises. A study by researchers at Duke University suggests that not exercising is an especially effective way to put on belly fat. The study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, found that just eight months of inactivity increased visceral fat -- the potentially dangerous layer of belly fat -- by about 9 percent. On the bright side, people who exercised vigorously for eight months actually reduced their visceral fat by about 8 percent. You can get an amazingly strong core with chair exercises or standing exercises instead of engaging in floor crunches that can hurt your neck
            1. To enjoy good sex. When you get older it makes it tougher to enjoy sex and a strong core is your powerhouse and will help you enjoy better sex!

            Start training now and live your life the way it was intended – a functional life filled with energy and abundant health.

            Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.

            Get a Firm Belly

            by Suzanne Andrews

            Get a Firm Belly Without One Floor Ab Crunch!

            Are you tired of all those ab moves that insist on doing crunches on the floor?

            You can firm and tone your belly with just weights and a chair.  If going to a gym is not for you, you can get excellent results with chair exercises or standing ab crunch without the fancy gym equipment. 

            I’m writing this because the one thing I don’t like about floor ab workouts is that they hurt your neck, even when done with proper form.  And if you’re just beginning, you can get severe neck pain from floor ab crunches.  But if you’re sitting on a chair or standing, you’re in what we rehab therapists call a “gravity eliminated” position which also eliminates neck pain and helps to isolate the ab muscles making them firmer and toned.    

            Because I am a clinician, I feel it is only ethical to tell you that you must also follow a well-rounded weight loss diet plan in order to see your toned belly. I’ve seen far too many fitness “gurus” tout the latest 6 pack abs by just doing an ab workout.  That simply isn’t scientifically correct because even if you have a six pack: if you eat too much, you will never see the six pack because it will be covered with a layer of adipose tissue (fat).

            Here’s how to do an ab crunch without getting on the floor! (As seen in our newest DVD, Suzanne Andrews Functional Fitness Total Strength and Conditioning).

            Standing or Seated Crunch

            Grasp hand weights as tolerated - (how heavy depends on your fitness level).  Bring elbow to opposite knee as shown.  Repeat on other side. Do one set of 15 and work your way up to 3 sets of 15.

            OSTEOPORISIS (Thinning Bones) PRECAUTIONS: 

            The added benefit of doing an ab crunch while seated on a chair is that you don’t have to bend your back!  (Demonstration of osteoporosis safe crunch shown in the seated level).)

              

            Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.

            How Medical Yoga Speeds Weight Loss

            by Suzanne Andrews

             

            How Medical Yoga Speeds Weight Loss

            I’ve been practicing yoga way before it became popular. I did my first yoga pose 30 years ago and I was hooked so it was only natural to incorporate yoga into my patient's treatment plan to help them decrease stress. What followed was surprising - my overweight patients who had tried diet after diet unsuccessfully were losing weight.

            Even my paraplegic patients who were in wheelchairs lost as much as 50 pounds and another obese patient bound to a wheelchair, a 60 year old male, lost 145 pounds. The most challenging part is convincing them to do the yoga, but once they see the results, there's no stopping them. Dr. Marcella Bakur Weiner, Ph.D. states, "Simply put - we deplete ourselves by constantly thinking, worrying and wondering. Then when clear thinking is needed, we may lack the focus and reserve to a satisfying functional life. Medical yoga offers a way of gaining control above the over - expansion of your emotions and removing all the distracting debris in the overactive mind."

            What is Medical Yoga?

            Medical yoga's unique approach to weight loss focuses on both physical fitness and physiological fitness of the mind, body and spirit offering cutting edge weight loss techniques. With its focus on gaining control over stress eating medical yoga offers a distinctive solution to promote weight loss through scientifically researched therapeutic yoga techniques.

            How Does Yoga Help You Lose Weight?

            By recognizing that meditation is undoubtedly the most important step one can do to lose weight, medical yoga centers on the most important aspect of successful weight loss - our minds. Meditation increases self-awareness, so that we are in tune with what we need to do. Instead of eating mindlessly, one becomes aware of their actions, resulting in a "domino effect" empowering the mind's ability to fine tune what the body really needs instead of what it wants. By combining stress releasing meditation with modified yoga poses, the plus size person eliminates cravings for food that sabotage a weight loss plan and is able to participate in yoga poses designed especially for the larger sized person.

             

            For myself, there is a personal side to offering medical yoga for the larger size population because with my 5'2" frame, I was a very uncomfortable size 18 and I wasn't able to participate in the unattainable yoga poses made for the slimmer population. By combining medically proven stress releasing techniques I changed my relationship to food and began eating to achieve fitness of the mind, body and spirit.

            Release Stress and Lose Weight Now with Beginners Dynamic Yoga for Stress Release and Weight Loss which includes doctor recommended meditation for weight loss made exclusively for plus size. Used in medical centers as a weight loss aid to eliminate stress related eating and instructed by licensed occupational therapy practitioner, Suzanne Andrews.

            Suzanne Andrews is a licensed Occupational Therapy Clinician with 30 years exercise expertise. Airing to over 49 million on Public Television, Suzanne Andrews, a licensed Occupational Therapy Clinician, (they specialize in function) creates evidenced based fitness programs for specific health conditions. Originally created in 2008 with it’s first run on WDSC TV, Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews broadcasts on 113 Public Television stations.

            Women's Weight Loss Bible

            by Suzanne Andrews

            10 Amendments for Successful Weight Loss

            Are you tired of feeling like you're literally weighed down and want successful weight loss? Get ready to lift your spirits and lighten up your body with these 10 'Amendments' to losing weight and keeping it off for good.  

            Amendment # 1: Thou Shall Stop All Excuses

            Three of the most common excuses for living an unhealthy lifestyle are:

                    1. A) I don't have the time
                    2. B) It's genetic, my family is overweight.
                    3. C) I'm too tired to exercise

            30 minutes a day is better than days, weeks or months spent being sick and tired. Our culture has ingrained in us to do things the easy way. We live in a country where if we could we'd probably drive ourselves to the bathroom! 

            As far as your genetics - most of the chronic disease today is linked to poor eating habits, smoking, inactive living and stress. These are things that you can take charge of.

            You just must commit to do it. 

            Here is what a good fat burning fitness program does for you:

            1. Reduces your risk of getting heart disease
            2. Increase your level of muscle strength
            3. Improves the functioning of your immune system
            4. Helps you manage stress
            5. Helps you lose weight
            6. Improves the likelihood of surviving a heart attack.
            7. Helps relieve tension headaches
            8. Improves your body's ability to burn fat
            9. Decreases Injury risk
            10. Increases bone density
            11. Reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure
            12. Increases levels of healthy cholesterol
            13. Reduces your risk of developing non-insulin dependent diabetes 

            Amendment #2: Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Childs Food

            Are you a member of the clean plate club for yourself, your children and everyone else sitting at the table? Do you feel compelled to finish off juniors food because you don't want it to go to waste? You can change this by changing your thinking to, "I don't want juniors' leftovers to go to my waist." Those extra calories add up to increased inches on your waistline. 

            Amendment #3: Thou Shall Not Eat Poisonous Fatty Fast Foods

            Do you eat fast foods because you're in a hurry and don't have time to make something? By taking the time to prepare your meals you'll add years of time to your life and save yourself a lot of money both in the short term with immediate food bill savings and in the long term with medical bill savings. 

            Amendment #4: Thou Shall Love Thyself

            Love thyself is not just a cliché. By getting in shape, you are essentially saying to your partner and all those that love you, I love myself enough to take care of my health and I want to be around a long time to share my life with you. When we commit to love our body, we make wholesome choices and feel free to discover the restorative powers of good health. 

            Amendment #5: Thou Shall Make Time To Exercise 5 - 6 Days a Week

            Whether you feel you don't have the time to exercise, or you feel you get enough during the day - to lose the weight you first need to lose the excuses. In order to burn fat you need to do at least 30 minutes of sustained exercise and get your heart rate pumping. 

            Amendment #6: Thou Shall Learn How To Manage Stress

            If you eat from stress, you're not alone. A large majority of my clients eat out of stress and this causes weight gain which causes stress which causes weight gain... and a cycle is born. A stressful day can be dramatically transformed with purposeful exercise. Learn to exercise and stay mentally focused on your muscles being worked. By spending time on just yourself and letting go of responsibilities, even if just for 30 minutes, you will take years of stress away from your mind/body and spirit. 

            BEGINNER'S DYNAMIC YOGA WITH SUZANNE ANDREWS

            Amendment #7: Thou Shall Have Patients With Thy Weight Loss Plan

            Weight is not gained overnight and it won't come off overnight either. By falling for every lose weight quick scheme you are only cheating yourself from having the healthy, shapely body you will have by following a sensible diet and exercise plan. Have patients with yourself and you'll have a far less likely chance of becoming a patient.

            Amendment #8: Thou Shall Not Halt Thy Weight Loss Plan Because Thou 'was bad.'

            Let's face it, we're not perfect and we all have slip-ups. During a taping of one of my exercise shows for television, I slipped on wet grass and decided to keep it in just to demonstrate that you don't have to be perfect or beat yourself up if you fall. Just get right back up again and keep going. 

            Amendment # 9: Thou Shall Be Strong For Thyself

            There will be times when you are around people who mean well when they say, Oh come on, just try my delicious cake, it won't hurt. True it won't hurt - them, but you yes, it will hurt your goal to arrive at your destined weight. In those moments of weakness when there's that little guy on one shoulder saying, "come on, have a bite, just one, it won't hurt, or you can exercise tomorrow," you need to be strong for yourself and keep your vision on your goal. 

            FUNCTIONAL FITNESS: ARTHRITIS RELIEF WALKING WORKOUT

            Amendment # 10: Thou Shall Make Conscious Choices

            What is consciousness? It is you. You are consciousness. It is this very consciousness that tells you innately who you are and what choices you need to make. It is your deeper self, your greater self. Call it what you will. The important thing is that it is within you.  It is your world. You can't see it, smell it, touch it or hear it. But you can, and do, feel it. Being aware of yourself and your actions gives you the ability to make healthy choices.

             

            Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.

            What Does a Hurricane Have To Do With Your Health?

            by Suzanne Andrews

            With the impending Hurricane Irma predicted to land in Florida, we are busy preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. There are long lines to purchase water and it seems like the entire town has purchased all the non-perishable goods. I’m going over my check list and making sure we have enough supplies. Not sure if we’re going to have to evacuate, but if it’s headed for us, we’re not sticking around. A category 5 is serious business.

            Just like your health, preventative measures are a must. Don’t wait till your health is hit by a storm. So many patients I’ve treated could have prevented their heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer, diabetes 2 and other lifestyle diseases. That was one of the catalyst for me producing Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews on Public Television. I provided it as a public service because it is heart breaking to hear the ones who survived reply (when asked what they liked to do) say, “I like to read.” Reading is good, don’t get me wrong.  When pressed further, I ask if they did any physical activity prior to their rehab admittance and the response? “Well I walk to my mailbox and the bathroom.”

            Did you know if you sit a lot your legs can become fixed in that position? (Knees bent as if you’re sitting). Your hamstring muscles shorten and it makes it impossible to walk.  

            Try this test:  (Do not do this if you have osteoporosis).

            See how far you can bend down and touch your toes while keeping your legs straight. Make sure to not lock your knees while keeping them straight. 

            Is this hard to do? Does the back of your legs (your hamstrings) feel tight? That’s a warning signal. It means you need to add stretching into your routine daily... (Please scroll down to keep reading)

            FUNCTIONAL FITNESS: TOTAL STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING 

            Tip: Since tight hamstrings also cause back pain, stretching them can help your back.

            I’ve seen too many people wondering why they can’t walk. That’s why reading, which I confess is an enjoyable past time of mine, should not be all a person does. It’s important to practice prevention. 

            Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.

            What You Need to Know About Balance After 40

            by Suzanne Andrews

            Did you know that balance is not natural? That's right -we must work on balance to keep it as we begin to lose it as early as age 40. Another thing to note is the exercises you've been doing to improve your balance might not be enough. Keep reading and I'll explain: (I'll keep it brief)

            Maintaining and improving balance is an important factor in enjoying a healthy lifestyle, strengthening your body and preventing injury. Most falls occur within the home, (from my experience as an occupational therapy clinician, the bathroom is the number 1 place to fall.) These injuries include broken hips, wrist/shoulder fractures and brain injuries. 

            Not only do these injuries result in long hospital stays and painful recoveries, they also cause loss of independence, decreased daily function and loss of the ability to participate in social activities. Lack of proper balance can inhibit daily activities that we often take for granted such as getting in and out of bathtubs, climbing stairs and using a car. It is important to be proactive in your health and prevent balance injuries before the happen by participating in an exercise program that strengthens “spinal stabilizers”, (back and abdominal area) your legs and specific balance exercises to increase your “proprioception”, (your brain's ability to sense where your limbs are positioned in space).  Since your proprioceptors weaken over time, it is vital to strengthen this sense, just like you strengthen your muscles. 

            You won't find these balance exercises in most DVDs as these specific balance exercises are therapy based. Therapists will place you on "uneven surfaces" to strengthen your balance muscles and your proprioception. Why? Because when you are on an uneven surface, you activate all your balance muscles by challenging them. That's why in the Get Stronger Bones DVD, you will see the most advanced version demonstrating on an uneven surface.   

            If you're not ready for that, it's advisable to start either seated on a chair - and yes - you can strengthen your balance muscles sitting if done to medically proven exercises. If you're beyond chair exercises, you can do the modified standing version using a chair for balance when necessary. Happy balancing and if you have any questions about your exercises make sure to message me - (link below).

             
             
            Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.

            Why 95% of Diets Fail (and 6 Ways to be in the 5%)

            by Suzanne Andrews

               Would you like to achieve amazing weight loss results while outsmarting your body and still eating what you want? Learn how now in today’s Functional Fitness blog. 

               How many times have you gone on a diet, only to give up because of hunger and frustration before your goals were met? Chances are, you've done this a few times and you've known others who had similar experiences. 

               That's because when you diet, you set yourself up for failure. 

               95% of diets simply do not work. Let's take a look at the reasons why, and then learn how to attain that most coveted goal of all dieters: long term weight loss that leaves you healthier and happier. 

               First, the reasons why most diets fail: 

               Reason 1: Diets are Temporary. 

               A diet is a temporary solution to a long-term problem. Dieters often find themselves thinking in the short-term. "If I can just get to my goal weight," they tell themselves, "I'll be able to eat my favorite foods again!" 

               That's exactly the thought process that leads to failure, because returning to old habits leads to regained pounds. If you want lasting weight loss, stop dieting and make some permanent lifestyle changes you can comfortably live with. 

               Reason 2: Diet is Only One Half of the Weight Loss Equation. 

               Trying to lose weight through diet alone is like trying to swim using only one arm. Can it be done? Yes, if your 20 something and don’t have any metabolism issues. 

               Exercise should be a part of your healthy weight loss plan. Without it, you'll experience a very slow weight loss, or you'll have to cut so many calories that you'll

            end up feeling hungry and deprived. Don't do that to yourself. Exercise doesn’t have to consist of insane moves to be effective for weight loss. As a producer of Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews on PBS TV, I get to hear lots of feedback from viewers like Julie, a 53 year old lady who emailed me and said, “I started doing your show and at first I thought, the exercises were too slow for me and not fast enough to lose weight but somewhere along the line, something amazing happened.  My clothes got too big, my blood pressure got better and my doctor (who insisted on I do your workouts)took me off my blood pressure medicine!” That’s because all of Suzanne Andrews Functional Fitness programs are medically designed with years of proven results and research in every workout. 

            While you won’t find our workouts free on You Tube because all the doctors, physical therapists and occupational therapists who’ve contributed to each workout are highly regarded experts in their field. On the other hand, at only 19.99 a DVD, we make each Functional Fitness program very affordable as you don’t pay the $280.00 plus fee or ($400.00 plus a month co-pay once your deductible is met) that these experts charge for a session with them. The savings in medical bills, pills and sick days far out weigh the cost of your healthy functional lifestyle! 

               Reason 3: Diets are not Satisfying 

               Some diets require you to eat low-calorie foods that contain very little fat. Others require you to eat very small quantities of food. Others encourage you to eat plenty of protein but drastically cut your carbohydrate consumption. 

               None of these diets will satisfy you for very long. The healthiest and happiest eating plans are those that contain a mixture of lean protein, heart-healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. 

               Add plenty of fiber and water, and your body will be more satisfied with the fuel you put in it. 

               Reason 4: Diets Can be Expensive. 

               Healthy food typically costs more than junk food, but special diet foods can really strain your food budget!

               The expense of special bars, shakes, and supplements is pretty appalling, not to mention unnecessary. Diet plans that require you to buy pre-packaged meals are the most expensive of all, and they often contain additives that can sabotage your weight loss. 

               Don't waste your money on special foods. Get your nutrition through whole, natural foods that you can cook for yourself. Your budget - and your waistline - will be thinner as a result. 

            Suzanne Andrews Functional Fitness Tip: Cook a bunch of foods at once and put it in correct size portions.  Freeze what won’t be eaten in 3 Days. You’ve just saved your stomach, your waistline and your budget with preservative free natural foods. 

               Reason 5: Diets don't Easily Fit into Your Lifestyle. 

               Have you ever watched your friends and family eat normally while you had to settle for a liquid or prepackaged meal? Do you spend an inordinate amount of time trimming, weighing, and measuring your food while everyone else digs in? 

               It's hard to feel like one of the crowd when you're following an inconvenient diet. That's another reason why so many dieters give up in despair and frustration. 

               Your lifestyle is an important consideration. Don't choose an eating plan that requires a radical departure from the norm. 

               Reason 6: Too Much Dieting Can Cause Weight Gain. 

               When you go on a diet, your body reacts by squeezing every bit of nourishment from the foods you do eat. After the diet ends, your body still processes food with

            increased efficiency, causing you to pack on the pounds even though you're eating "normally". 

               This is a survival mechanism that helped our ancestors survive times of famine. Diets are the new famine, and they can actually leave you weighing more than you did  before the diet! 

               How to Succeed 

               For weight loss to be safe and permanent, it needs to come as the result of a lifestyle change. Find a healthy eating plan you can stick with for the rest of your life. Add exercise 5-6 days a week that doesn’t make you feel like you got hit by a truck or that you have to keep up with a 20 year old. You’ll stick to an exercise plan and won’t injure yourself (which could really set you back). 5- 6 days of working out is best because consistency is key.

               With those bases covered, you're free to live your life without constantly worrying about your diet. The weight you lose will stay gone, and you will enjoy greater health and happiness. 

               You can achieve amazing weight loss results by outsmarting your body with a sensible eating plan and following the program millions of women and men over 40 follow on PBS TV with Suzanne Andrews Functional Fitness

            Get started today and be on your way to a happy healthy you.  See results in 30 Days!

             Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.

            Spinach-Ricotta Portobellos

            by Suzanne Andrews

            This vegetarian treat goes great with whole wheat pasta and a side salad. As an added bonus, each stuffed mushroom cap serves up a healthy dose of calcium and protein!

              What You'll Need:

            •    4 large Portobello mushrooms (caps)
            •    1/4 tsp sea salt
            •    1/4 tsp black pepper, divided
            •    1 cup reduced fat ricotta cheese
            •    1 cup fresh spinach leaves, chopped
            •    1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided
            •    2 tbsp kalamata olives,diced
            •    1/2 tsp Italian herb seasoning
            •    3/4 cup marinara sauce  

            Cooking Instructions:

            1. Coat a baking sheet with no-calorie cooking spray and preheat oven to 450 degrees.
            2. Place Portobello caps on baking sheet, gills facing up.
            3. Sprinkle with sea salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper. Cook until tender (about 20 minutes).
            4.  While caps are cooking, mix ricotta cheese, spinach leaves, 1/4  cup Parmesan cheese, diced olives, Italian seasoning, and remaining pepper in a bowl.
            5.  Pour marinara sauce into a separate bowl and cook or microwave until hot.
            6. Remove caps from oven and drain them. Place them back on the baking sheet and spread 1 tbsp marinara sauce on each.
            7. Heap each cap with 1/3 cup ricotta spinach filling. Sprinkle all caps with remaining Parmesan cheese.
            8. Bake for 10 minutes, and serve with remaining warm marinara sauce.

             More Tips

              Here are some more tips for putting together exciting and healthy recipes:

                * Try new meats. Veal, lamb, and bison are ultra-lean and full of flavor.

               * Add color to your recipes. A balanced diet should contain plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables. Take this opportunity to try new varieties of produce.

               * Use whole-grain rice and pasta. Whole grain products provide plenty of fiber and keep blood sugar spikes to a minimum. Many dieters also find them to be heartier and more satisfying than regular white flour products.

                Remember that with "Eating for Energy" you can fall in love with beautiful, healthy foods you never knew existed and be on your way to a slimmer, healthier you.

            Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.

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