Pumpkin Recipes

Did you know that pumpkin has 300% of your daily recommendation of vitamin A in 1/2 cup? This is truly a wonderful vegetable to add to breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Pumpkin Pudding
1 small box vanilla sugar-free, fat free pudding mix
1 1/2 cups skim milk
2 scoops natural flavored Designer Whey
1/2 c 100% pure canned pumpkin

pumpkin pie spice and/or cinnamon to taste

Put milk into mixing bowl then add pudding mix, protein powder, pumpkin and spices, if using. Whisk together for at least 2 minutes, then divide into two or three pudding cups. Refrigerate until set, at least 20 minutes.

You an use different flavors of pudding for this recipe. I've tried the banana flavor with delicious results. I find that using vanilla praline flavored protein powder also works. I use the Designer Whey brand whenever I need to mix the powder with anything. We here at Baseline have found that this brand blends better than others without being chalky or gritty. They've started selling Designer Whey at Kroger, but for the best price go to and search for "Designer Whey natural".

Protein Pumpkin Pancakes
1 scoop Designer Whey natural flavor
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup 100% pure canned pumpkin
4 egg whites, or 1/2 cup liquid egg whites (can use egg beaters)

Splenda, cinnamon,and pumpkin pie spice to taste.
For fluffier pancakes, add 1/4 tsp - 1/2tsp baking soda

In a blender or food processor, mix all ingredients together until smooth. Spray a medium skillet with non-stick spray and heat to medium low. Pour batter onto the skillet and flip when bubbles start to form and pop in the middle of your pancake. Serve with applesauce or sugar free maple syrup.

You can substitute Fiber One for the oatmeal if you want the extra fiber. You may need to use more than 1/4 cup.

Adding almond butter or peanut butter to this recipe makes it an extra special treat. You can also top these with a few pecans. Sometimes my husband will add 1/2 a small banana to his mix for added flavor, just make sure that you account for all the calories the nut butters and extras may contain.

Hot Cereal
1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill 10 grain cereal
1/4 cup 100% pure canned pumpkin
1 tsp flax seed oil
1 scoop Designer Whey natural flavor
Splenda and cinnamon to taste

Cook hot cereal in microwave according to package directions (add extra water if you do not like thick hot cereal).
Add pumpkin, oil, protein powder, Splenda and cinnamon. Mix well and enjoy!

1152 Miles in Three Months!

The new Baseline Client Challenge is to walk the distance from Columbus, Ohio to Miami, Florida before the holidays are over. That's 1152 miles in twelve weeks! Here how it works:

We ordered the best-of-the-best pedometers* for our clients to track of their steps. EVERY step counts, not just cardio steps.

Every week that our clients attend all of their scheduled training sessions, those clients will get an 80 mile credit (or a "Baseline Bus ride" as we like to call it). If a client can only make two out of three sessions, they still get a 25 mile credit for every session they do attend.

Every Monday we will download the pedometers onto the front desk computer at Baseline, and move them however many miles south on our map. The first one to reach Miami before New Year's Day receives bragging rights and glory. We decided not to have an entry fee or big reward for the winner. Everyone's cardio routine is different and someone who is a runner will arrive in Miami far before any walker. The goal is to keep everyone moving as holiday cookies and cakes start to become frequent fixtures at social gatherings!

Over the next several weeks we will also be helping Westerville salon Perfect Image track their challenge participants. The Perfect Image challenge is based on body composition, and anyone participating will have their body fat checked at least twice using our Bod Pod. The salon is working hard to keep everyone motivated, and has outlawed any fast food inside the building! Look for the challenge results coming in the next several weeks.

Good luck with the challenges everyone! We will keep you posted with results.

*the pedometers we found are the Omron Go Smart HJ-720ITC model. They are very accurate and come with PC Software so you can download all of your data into the computer. This model will also work if kept in your pocket or purse. We have extra pedometers available at Baseline Fitness for $39 if you are interested in tracking your steps.


2009 Challenge Winners!

The challenge is over and after three months of consistent dieting and weight training, the winner is Alexis!

Alexis lost 7.9% body fat over twelve weeks. She is one of Scott Buxton's personal training clients, and someone we will have to look out for in future challenges! Over the past three months, winning Baseline's challenge was not her only goal; she was gearing up for the "America's Perfect Miss" National Pageant in Florida, where she finished in the top fifteen! As winner of the challenge, Alexis received the sum of the entry fees, which totalled $250. Congratulations Alexis!

Second place went to another one of Scott's clients, Tony. Tony started the challenge two weeks later than everyone else, but still managed to lose 6% body fat! He gained 9.6lbs. of lean mass and lost 27.5lbs of fat. Tony received a $100 gift card for Lowe's to help with his new house.

Third place with 5.5% body fat reduction is Jon. Jon has been training with Scott for less than a year but has made huge gains. His lean mass continues to increase as his fat weight drops. Jon received a gift certificate for a massage therapy session at Baseline Fitness for finishing third.


Lululemon Discount Today!

Everyone here at Baseline Fitness loves the Lululemon Athletica clothing line. We are big fans of their pants because they won't budge while working out (even when stretching or doing squats!). Lululemon opened it's first Columbus store down the Short North last fall, but you can also buy items online at their website (

The member-only online boutique Rue La La is offering Lululemon clothing at a discount for a short time today. The boutique opens at 11:00am, and will only be open for a short period of time, so make sure you get there today!
You must be invited by a member to access the boutiques, but as a thank you to our blog readers we are extending an invitation to join Rue La La! (it's free to sign up and you are not obligated to buy anything). Once you are a member you can browse the boutiques and get great deals on designer clothing. Click the link below to accept our member invitation!


Baseline on Facebook

Visit our Facebook page for more information about our services, clients and staff. We've posted pictures from past Arnold Fitness Classics and other various events in which some of our clients and staff have participated. You can also view some our client's amazing transformations and check out the staff photos.


Why you Can't Eat "Just One"

I heard NPR's Ira Flatow interview Dr. Kessler, former Federal Food and Drug Administrator last Friday and want to share the link with you all.  Kessler's understanding of how our brains react to sugar, fat and salt combinations gave me some great insight on why is it so hard for many of us to stay away from the foods we know are making us fat and unhealthy.  I've beaten myself up many times for eating that extra brownie or cookie, when I know I didn't really want it.  Kessler explains the science behind why we are drawn to these foods, how large corporations are capitalizing on our weaknesses and what we can do to re-teach our brains not to go back to the sundae bar again and again.
The link sends you to NPR's website, click the "listen now" button to hear the interview in it's entirety.  You won't be disappointed!

Get the Most From Your Meals

The above meal is eight ounces of broccoli and six ounces of cod.  It has 239 calories, 45 grams of protein and only 12 grams of carbs.  Now, that's almost one pound of food, so you won't have to worry about being hungry.  It's also low in fat (about 2 grams) and will most defiantly keep you full for at least two hours.  If you add lemon juice and salt for flavoring, the meal only has four ingredients.  
Many people who come into Baseline are worried about getting enough protein in their diets while trying not eat too many calories.  The trick is figuring out where the majority of your calories are coming from.  For example, if you eat lots of "junk" foods like crackers, cereal bars, chips, cookies, sauces, etc.,  you are consuming a very high amount of carbohydrates but almost no protein.  There isn't any reason you can consume over 150 grams of protein a day while still losing weight, if your calories are coming from the right sources.
The meal above has 239 calories, as I mentioned before.  What does that look like?

Foods with comparative calories:
3 Oreo cookies
1 small McDonald's french fry
2 1/2 tablespoons of butter
1 cup tomato soup
2 1/2 ounces of cream cheese
1/3 cup almonds
1 Hershey Bar
1 Grilled Snack Wrap from Wendys
1 and 1/2 Nutri-Grain Bars
1 cup frosted shredded wheat with 1/2 cup milk
1 Three Cheese and Broccoli Lean Pocket

Some of the foods above are not "bad" for you, but you can see that for the same amount of calories in the pictured meal, you will not even come close to getting the amount of protein in these comparative meals.  1/3 cup of almonds contains high amounts of heart-healthy fats, but only 11 grams of protein and 19 grams of carbs.
Something else to consider when fixing your plate for dinner is the "staying power" of the foods you are about to eat. Tomato soup may sound like a healthy option, but is it going to sustain your hunger until your next meal?  The same thing goes for the lean pocket and Wendy's Snack Wrap.
Getting the most out your meals can be easier than you think.  Load up on veggies like broccoli, asparagus, green beans and salad greens.  These foods take more work for you to digest and help keep you full longer, not to mention they have lots of antioxidants and vitamins for good health.  Lean protein in 4 to 6 ounce portions is an excellent way to consume your protein without consuming all the extra calories you'll get from ground beef, fried chicken, or any processed meats.  Chicken, white fish, tuna, salmon and buffalo meat are all very lean and offer upwards of 45 grams of protein per serving, and contain 200 calories or less.

Protein Pudding Recipe

I use this whenever I desperately need something chocolaty but can't bring myself to buy an entire chocolate bar.  I usually eat this as a snack or small meal replacement.

Protein Pudding
2 servings

You will need:
1 and 1/3 cup skim milk (107 calories, 16 carbs, 11 grams protein)
1 small box of sugar free, fat free instant chocolate pudding mix (140 calories, 32 carbs, 4 grams protein)
2 scoops Designer Whey protein powder, natural flavor (200 calories, 4 carbs, 40 grams protein)

Add pudding mix to cold milk.  Whisk for a minute, then add the two scoops of protein powder. Whisk until blended, about 2 more minutes.  Divide into two servings and chill until set ( you can usually eat this within 5 minutes, but waiting 20 minutes will yield thicker pudding)


I have tried other brands of protein powders but the natural flavored Designer Whey mixes and tastes the best.  I have also used other flavors of pudding mixes, with generally delicious results.  Sometimes I will use the "cheesecake" flavored sugar-free, fat-free instant mix and use 1/2 scoop strawberry flavored Designer Whey protein powder, along with 1 and 1/2 scoops of the natural.  Yum!

Nutrition Facts per Serving:
223.5 calories
26 grams of carbohydrates
27.5 grams of protein


Ohio ties for 10th Fattest State

Some of you may remember last year's newletter where I was happy to report that Ohio had dropped in the United State's obesity percentage ranking. Unfortunatly, this year we regressed back to tie for 10th fattest state in the nation, according to the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Tied at 28.6%, Ohio and Arkansas aren't as fat as Mississippi, the fattest state in the nation with 32.5% of it's population being obese. None of the states saw a decresease in their obesity percentages, and almost half saw an increase. Colorado stands alone as being the fittest state in the nation with between 15-20% of it's population categorized as obese.

The economy seems to be taking most of the blame for the country's increasing obesity problem. With unemployment at a record 26-year high and health care costs soaring, more and more Americans are spending less on their own health care, while at the same time seeking out cheaper foods that don't offer the same type of quality nutrition that fresh foods have.

The most upsetting part of the study was the prevalency of obesity amoung young people. 28.6% of Ohio's population is obese, but of people aged 10 to 17, 33.3% were obese. The future looks even more grim when I consider the cost of health care as these young ones get older. The Ohio Department of Health is taking a closer look at the state's youth and the quality of food being offered in schools, and there is talk of developing an Office of Healthy Schools. This new office would be involved in developing guidelines for foods that are offered at state schools.

We can't leave everything up to local and federal government! You can take small steps toward improving you health, even if you decide to improve your eating only one day a week. Invest in a pedometer to help you count your steps for the day (a great goal is 10,000 steps/day) and if you always eat out for lunch, begin by starting a "pack your lunch Tuesday" rule for yourself. Weight loss can be slow, but making changes over time will help ensure you develop new patterns and start living a healthier lifestyle.

You can read more about Ohio's plan to combat obesity at


Box Squat Demo

Scott Buxton's training client Jon Weiss demonstrates proper form while doing box squats.


Decoding Food Labels

Today I saw a commerical that was so decieving, I felt the need to blog about nutrition labels. So many foods are starting to target markets that are concerned with health and weight management, so it's no surprise that advertiser are twisting the way things are worded or presented in order to make their product appear less bad for you.

For example, the current Country Crock Buttery Spread commercial features active kids and warns that active children often don't get enough calcium. But, fortunatly for you, Country Crock now has added calcium so you can rest easy. One serving contains a whooping 100mg of calcium!

Wait a second. 100mg is only 10% of my daily calcium requirement. I can get more than twice that amount in a glass of skim milk, minus the all the fat calories. The advertisers at Country Crock are evil geniouses. They're warning viewers that their children are not in fact as healthy as they appear, but thank goodness for Country Crock Buttery Spread, because when you eat it you'll get the calcium you need. It fails to mention that this "buttery spread" is mostly fat calories. Advertising has becoming so misleading, I think manufacurers could add some protein to a Snickers bar and call it an energy bar.

Wait, that's already happened.

Seriously though, we Americans are busy with so many other things, the last thing we want to do is scrutinize every food advertisement or decode every food label at the grocery store. Here's a little cheat sheet to help you decide if what you're looking at is really good for you, or if it's junk food marketing itself as healthy.

The word REDUCED is very misleading. Reduced fat peanut butter does not mean that it is low fat. "Reduced" or "Lower" is only allowed to be used on food labels if that food contains at least 25 percent less than the given reference food. So reduced sodium pretzels may have less sodium that the regular full-salt variety, but can still contain more salt than may be good for you and your diet.

Fat-Free doesn't actually mean free of fat. The FDA guidelines say that in order for a food to be marketed at a fat-free food, it must contain less than .5 grams of fat per serving. Eating three serving of fat free yogurt may yield you up to three grams of fat!

The Sugar-Free guidelines are much the same. FDA guidelines for this label are less than .5 grams of sugar per serving. A food additive for baking may say it's "sugar-free", but given enough serving, the small stuff can add up!

Be wary of the number ZERO.  Any food will contain calories, given enough of it.  The FDA guideline for a labeling something as a"calorie-free" food is less than 5 calories per serving.
Let's look at cooking sprays, for example.  The nutrition label on the back of Pam Cooking Spray tells the reader that there are NO CALORIES in one serving.  Looking at the ingredient list, however, reveals that the first ingredient is canola oil (ingredients are listed in order of amount, from largest to smallest).  The reason that Pam can market itself as a zero calorie food  is because of their suggested serving size.  A serving of Pam is a 1/3 second spray.  I know that I can't cook my veggies without at least a one second spray, so I'm probably getting at least 4 serving each time I cook with Pam.  Spray butter is another way to tack on undercover calories to your diet, so be wary of the label's suggested serving size, and always look at the first ingredient listed.  If it's any kind of oil, make sure you are only using one serving at a time.

A good rule of thumb when looking at the ingredient list of any food, is to only purchase and consume edibles with five ingredients or less.  The more ingredients a food contains, the more likely you are consuming extra calories, extra chemicals, additives and non nutritive fillers.


Deadlift Demonstrations

Scott demonstrates and explains proper form for standing, straightleg and dumbbell deadlifts.

These are great for toning and shaping your hamstrings and butt!


Some links to consider

All of the articles I've linked to below were very interesting, especially the Time article exploring the link between anorexia and autism.  Hope you enjoy!

Learn more about the Nestle Toll House Cookie Dough recall

Time magazine explores a possible link between Autism and Anorexia

Walking test can help determine mortality risk

What the big deal with protein?

Protein is an essential element of any diet.  Every cell in your body is using the amino acids that make up protein to function.   It is a key part of life, and necessary for survival.

Weight Training
The goal of weight training is to breakdown your muscle, and rebuild it stronger than it was before.  When you are lifting really heavy weight, you are tearing the fibers in your muscle.  In order for those fibers to repair and re-grow, you need to consume protein after your workout. Consistent weight training sessions let your body know that "hey, I need more muscle in order to lift weight", and it will want to respond by building bigger muscle in order to meet the training demands you are putting on yourself.  Muscle is mostly made up of water and protein and cannot re-grow without it. Failure to eat protein within three hours of your workout will result in little to no gains. After you finish training, the body will go into recovery mode and work hard to rebuild, but it cannot do this unless you feed it the amino acids that it requires.  You also need protein to maintain your current muscle mass, so even if you are not lifting weights protein stills plays an important role in maintaining healthy body functions.  If the body cannot get adequate protein from food, then it will respond by breaking down it's own muscle mass to help cells continue to do their work and keep you alive.  
If you have spent hours weight training but are not making gains, you may need to look at how much protein you get everyday.  Most likely you are simply not consuming enough to be able to repair, rebuild and re-grow your muscles.  

Feel Full Longer
Protein takes longer to digest than carbs or fats, moving slowly through the gastrointestinal track.  Slower stomach emptying means you will feel full longer and get hungry much later. Fullness will last longer after you have eaten a chicken breast than if you had eaten the same amount of calories from something like a piece of bread.

Burn More Calories
The breakdown of protein within the body also burns more calories than the breakdown of carbohydrates or fat.  Anytime you eat something, you body will burn calories simply digesting it.  Eating a diet rich in protein can boost your daily calorie burn.  If you have two people (assuming they are eating at the same time of day and have the exact same genetic makeup) who both eat 1,500 calories a day, except one of them is consuming more protein than the other, the person who is consuming more protein will have a higher metabolism.

Slow Rise in Blood Sugar
Protein also slows down the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose in your blood-stream, keeping your blood sugar levels stable. Remember that protein takes longer to digest, so when you pair it with carbohydrates you have less chance of your blood sugar rising like it normally would when you consume only carbs.  A sudden spike in your blood sugar triggers the pancreas to release insulin, and a sudden increase in insulin greatly affects your body's ability to burn fat.

Vacationing from your diet

Did you know that the average person who goes on a two week cruise will gain ten pounds? Have you gone through an intense workout and diet regime to get into shape for vacation, but when you come home you've put on all the weight you've lost, and possibly more?

Getting away for a week or two this summer is a great way to relax and spend time with family and friends. Although the news is reporting more people are taking "staycations" (vacationing within the state) because of the economy, I know three separate families who are on their way to the beach right now, along with other friend who is visiting a friend in Florida and another who is in Vegas. Next month a client at Baseline is going to Italy for a couple weeks. For my husband and I, vacationing is the one week a year we really look forward to. It's a week when we can be on our own schedules and slow down a bit. So, how can you maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine without feeling like it's taking away the fun from your getaway?

First, you must realize that if you go out to eat every night you will be faced with all sorts of diet sabotaging situations. Eating out once a week while you are at home can be mitigated by a week of clean eating, but the damage that eating once or twice a day while on vacation can't be undone so quickly. Mentally prepare for the fact that you will be seeing a dessert menu, and decide before you go to the restaurant if you are going to indulge. Be aware of things that are adding tons of extra calories, like the bread the server will put on your table, any mixed drinks, appetizers, etc. If you are renting a space with a kitchen, your best bet is to grocery shop the day to get to your destination for the week. This will put you more in control of the things you eat, and help to alleviate that piece of chocolate cake you want to have at a restaurant. Cooking for yourself during your vacation will also save you money.

If you are thinking that exercise is the last thing you want to do while vacationing, then understand that if you stop your exercise routine and abandon healthy eating habits, it is very likely you will gain fat weight. However a beach vacation can be a great way to burn fat. Walking through sand will burn 20-50% more calories than regular walking. Most beaches have places where you can rent bikes and kayaks. Water sports will eat up lots of calories, as will walking tours of local sights. The client we know who is going to Italy next month is going on a bike tour. She'll be biking most of the day, so she will be able to consume more calories in delicious Italian food without gaining the weight she would if she was sitting on a beach during the vacation. Another option is the hotel gym. Almost all hotels have a gym or a pool near the lobby, and a quick twenty minute run or walk on the treadmill may be more accessible than you think (it's also a great excuse to get away from the family to have some time to yourself. Everyone sleeping and eating together for a week or more can get stressful, especially if you are vacationing with several families).
Deciding on what you want your diet and exercise routine to be like before you reach your destination will help you stay on track. If you want to eat at restaurants while on vacation but are worried about gaining weight, make a mental promise to yourself before you leave to get in extra cardio that week. Research the area you are visiting, and if there are any bike or walking tours sign the family up! Chances are they won't even know they're getting extra exercise because they'll be having so much fun. And that's just what vacationing is about!

Scott's Lower Back Exercises

Bod Pod, medical bills, and other neat links
Experts say you may need more protein that previously believed

Finding fat with the Bod Pod and how your body's shape is related to your health

Quiz! Do you know your portion sizes?

Interesting article on how American's medical bills are a huge contributing factor to bankruptcy


Ab Exercise Video

Scott from Baseline explains different exercises you can use at home or at the gym to help tighten your abdominal muscles.
Thanks to Alexis Semach for demonstrating the movements.


Baseline 2009 Client Challenge

This summer we decided to put together a challenge for our training clients.  So far, we have twenty-five participants!  Everyone paid an entry fee of $10, and did a Bod Pod at the start of the challenge.  The challenge is twelve weeks long, and the winner will receive the sum of the entry fees.  The participants give us weekly feedback as to how they doing with meeting their goals, and everyone is encouraged to do a Bod Pod every two weeks to help track their progress (Bod Pods are free for our training clients).
Clients' goals are to improve upon their own body composition numbers.  They are encouraged to meet their water, cardio, and protein goals each week to help them achieve success.  Bonus points are also awarded if they attend all of their training workouts, and if they do anything above and beyond that will help them reach their goals.

We can't wait to see the changes that everyone has made come August! Good luck everyone, and remember that you can talk to Eve Ann or I (Kate) about setting personal fitness goals.


Are you a cardio queen, but just can't lose fat?

I have seen many people who come into the gym tired, frustrated and desperate. After hours and hours spent at the gym they are not seeing the results they want. I had one woman tell me she does three hours of cardio a day, yet her body fat percentage was still very high. I want to explain some of the reasons why someone who does tons and tons of cardio may be stuck in a fat-loss rut.

1. You think because you do lots of cardio, you get a free diet pass.
I always say it takes me 5 minutes to eat 500 calories of ice cream, but it takes me an hour of running to burn it off. I see this problem a lot with people who run often; usually they feel like since they are outputting so many calories in exercise everyday, it puts them in a position to eat whatever they want. For someone who loathes cardio (like myself), it's horrible to find out that all those hours on the treadmill were eclipsed by some really bad diet habits. I used to go out and eat all kinds of junk and justify it by saying "I worked out today, I deserve this". Not only was I eating all the calories I just burned off, but I was eating sugar and fat calories that usually came with my cardio "reward" meal.

2. You are exercising above your anaerobic threshold.
For every body, there is a certain amount of "work" that your body cannot handle. It doesn't matter what type of activity you are doing. Once you encounter a certain insensity in any exercise, you body will stop burning fat completely. Yes, you heard me. At that point you are burning 100% of your calories from carbohydrates. I'll say it again. YOUR BODY STOPS BURNING FAT. Unless you are an elite athlete, there is no reason to train at this intensity. If I got on an elliptical machine and went as fast and as hard as I could possible go for a full hour, I probably did nothing to help my body shed fat. The machine I used will tell me I burned a heck of a lot f calories, but if I haven't burned any fat calories then I'm not going to lose fat.
Many people, women especially, feel that if they just take off running and go as fast as they can, then fat loss will come more quickly. Believe me, this is one thing you don't want to do. You may see a drop in your scale weight the first week after beginning an intense training routine, but this is most likely due to water and/or muscle loss. You will have much more success if you slow down and stay in your target heart rate zones.
For example, at a heart rate of 112 bpm I burn about 7 calories a minute, with 5 of those calories coming straight from fat. At a heart rate of 170 bpm, I'm burning way more calories per minute (about 12) but I only burn 2 calories from fat. That means I would have to spend more than twice the time at a higher heart rate to burn the same fat calories that I would normally burn at a much lower intensity.

3. You are not eating enough.
If you are someone who does hours of cardio but doesn't consume enough calories during the day to support that level of activity, then your body will respond by lowering your metabolism. Your body needs a certain number of calories to function, and if you aren't eating enough to support a healthy, functioning body, AND you are exercising a great deal, it is very likely your fat loss will stop. This is your body's way of trying to keep you alive by holding onto all your fat stores.

If you are stuck in a rut, get yourself a heart rate monitor and have a cardio respiratory test done to determine your own unique fat burning zones. Once you know the heart rate where you are going t be burning the maximum amount of FAT calories, and if you consistently train in your zone, you will see the results you want. Start writing everything down that you are consuming so you can have a clear picture of your calorie intake, and remember to work smarter, not harder!

Weekly Exercise: Squats with Scott

Scott demonstrates different types of squats that will help strengthen and tone your glutes.
Muscles worked: Quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, hip flexors and calf muscle.


Worst Summer Drinks

While few mixed drinks are "good" for you, some favorites are much worse than others.
Liquid calories are consumed much faster than anything you have to chew, so be careful when enjoying these popular summer drinks.

Worst Summer Drinks

Starbucks Vanilla Bean Frappuccino Blended Creme (grande size)
470 calories, (62 grams of sugar!)

Long Island Iced Tea
700 calories

Pina Colada
625 calories

500 calories

417 calories

Another drink that makes the list is Vitaminwater (20 oz).  This drink likes to market itself as a health food, but with a whooping 33 grams of sugar per serving and 130 calories, you may as well be drinking a regular soda.

Finally, I hate to do it, but good old fashioned lemonade is something else to limit or avoid. Even though this drink is so often associated with lazy summer days and good memories, it contains about 50 grams of sugar for 16oz. Luckily you can save yourself the calories and make it with an artificial sweetener like Splenda and you probably won't miss out on taste.

Think You Get 10,000 Steps Everyday?

I try and wear my pedometer everyday. One evening I was bragging to my husband about my step count for the day when he became curious about his own number of daily steps.  He was positive he got in at least 10,000 steps a day, since he works in a library and is always walking up and down the stacks.  I lent him my pedometer for the day, and he went off to work confident that he would return and show me at least 10,000 steps on the pedometer.
Well, he came home a little disappointed.  He managed to get in 7,000 steps that day.  
The American Council on Exercise tracked the average number of steps taken by police officers, lawyers, nurses, restaurant servers, mail carriers, factory workers, custodians and construction workers.
Can you guess which of these occupations had the most and the least amount of steps?

MOST - Mail Carriers.  People in this profession take about 1,900 steps AN HOUR!

LEAST- Lawyers.  This is probably not much of a surprise, considering all the research and paperwork lawyers deal with everyday.  Lawyers took an average of about 600 steps and hour.

There are lots of great pedometers out there if you are interested in counting you steps, and most are very affordable.  At Baseline Fitness our clients use the pedometer shown above (Omron model HJ-720ITC) because it tracks total steps, aerobic steps, mileage, and it comes with computer software so you can download your step count into your computer.  

Why We Are Fat

Ok, so America is not the "fittest" country in the world. According to we are #9 in the list of fattest countries. How did this happen?
I recently read an article in the Harvard Gazette explaining why citizens of modernized countries are overweight. Anthropology professor Daniel Lieberman believes that our weight-gain really started about 10,000 years ago. Way back then, we were still hunter-gatherers, and our bodies needed food that was calorie dense to keep up with the physical work we were doing. But about 10,000 years ago we switched from hunting and gathering to farming. Over time this switch has enabled us to increase our population and given us more leisure time, and while our diets are very different than they were long ago, our bodies are essentially the same.
This really got me thinking about what kind of physical activity our bodies need. Hundreds of years ago our springs were spent planing and tilling and raising livestock. We were in constant motion. Most Americans today, well, we sit on our butts. The American College of Sports Medicine estimates that the average american takes between 3,000 and 5,000 steps daily, which is about half of what is recommended for a healthy activity level. So not only are we not moving enough, we are eating way too many calories for our underproductive bodies.
Next time I get on the treadmill and think I've done my cardio for the day when I hit thirty minutes, I'll think about my ancestors hauling logs and plowing fields for 6-8 hours a day. I bet that will kick my butt into doing a full hour! :)


All Calories Are Not Created Equal

People are always asking me how many calories they should eat in a day, and I am never able to give them a straight answer.  Daily caloric needs can vary widely from person to person, and even if you take two people of the same weight, height, age and gender, chances are the calories they need is going to be very different.
If I eat 1,800 calories of pizza, soda and fried chicken, I will most likely gain weight, not maintain or lose.  But if I eat 1,800 calories or steamed vegetables, complex carbohydrates and lean proteins, then I will probably lose weight.  20 calories of chicken breast and 20 calories of a calzone are not the same thing!  

Calories come in three forms; fats, carbohydrates, and protein.  You need all three forms of calories to support a healthy body.  One gram of fat contains nine calories, and one gram of carbohydrates contains four.  One gram of protein also contains four calories.  Let's look at these three calorie sources more in-depth.  If you have a pure fat, like oil, you can assume that all of the calories in that food source come from fat.  Since most of what we eat is a combination of fats, carbs and proteins, it's always a good idea to really get to know what you are eating, especially if you are trying to lose weight or put on muscle.

Something else to consider when planning out your calories, is how often you are eating.  If I eat 1,800 calories all in one meal rather than spacing out my 1,800 calories throughout the day, my body will store of my that food as fat.  Eating regular, small meals keeps your metabolism high.  You will burn through your meals more quickly, with less of a chance for your body to store what you just ate as fat.  Eating only one large meal everyday signals the body to store everything you just ate, because it isn't expecting to be fed again for another 24 hours.  Keep meals small and eat every two or three hours and you will see a big change not only in your metabolism, but also in your body composition.