Fitness: Discover the AVAC® Difference!

Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters

via Lexie’s Kitchen

pomegranate cluster

Makes: 20
Prep Time: 15 minutes


1 cup chocolate chips
1 pomegranate


1. Slice pomegranate in half and then into quarters. Place in large bowl of water and soak 5 minutes. Begin to break pomegranate apart under water, allowing arils to fall to bottom of bowl. Remove rind and membranes. Remove seeds from bowl, picking out any debris. Place on a paper towel-lined plate and blot gently with more paper towels. Arils must be completely dry. Let me stress that again, completely dry. To ensure this, I leave them out to air dry further for a couple hours or place them on a plate in a barely heated oven (that has been turned off). Any residual moisture will prevent the chocolate from binding to the arils and the clusters will fall apart.

2. Line a mini muffin pan with 20 mini muffin cups/liners.

3. Pour chocolate chips into a heavy-duty zip top bag, shake down into one corner. Place in microwave and heat in 15-20 second intervals, removing each time to knead. Continue until chocolate is smooth and viscous. Squeeze chocolate down into one corner. Snip off a tiny corner to make a makeshift piping bag.

4. Drizzle chocolate into bottom of cups. Add a layer of pomegranate arils to each cup. Drizzle with more chocolate. Repeat so that you have four layers of chocolate and three layers of arils.

5. Allow to harden in a cool, dry place.

T’ai Chi – Gentle Does Exist

via Mary Ann Smith, Wellness Director, AVAC

tai chi exercise

Exercise without breaking a sweat.

Raymond Reid, 67, of Portland, Maine, was suffering from high blood pressure when his doctor told him it was time to get serious about exercising. Reluctant to jump into a vigorous exercise program, Reid instead signed up for a class in T’ai Chi Chih (pronounced tie chee chuh), a mix of meditation and movement that focuses on balance and the circulation of energy known in Chinese philosophy as chi.

T’ai Chi Chih is a variation of tai chi but simpler. T’ai Chi consists of 108 movements, while T’ai Chi Chih as 19 stand-alone movements and one pose.

“I loved the simplicity of it,” says Reid, a retired pastry chef who is now a certified T’ai Chi Chih instructor.  Within six months, Reid lost 38 pounds, normalized his blood pressure and with his doctor’s blessing, cut his medication in half.

Known to practioners as “the effort of no effort,” T’ai Chi Chih was developed in 1974 by T’ai chi master Justin Stone as a gentler form of T’ai Chi for older students. It’s easy to learn and offers benefits beyond fitness. A University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse study found that older adults who practiced T’ai Chi Chih for five weeks experienced less stress and greater well-being. – Roselee Blooston for AARP The Magazine.

Easy Organic Coleslaw With Dried Cranberries

via Organic Authority

cabbage salad

This delicious and healthy coleslaw recipe is easy to make. The addition of sweet pink lady apples, and cranberries are a tasty twist on an old favorite. Make it in advance to let the flavors permeate and serve chilled.

1/2 head of green cabbage
1/2 head of red cabbage
1/2 of small red onion, sliced thin
1 pink lady apple, cored and sliced thin
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup of organic mayonnaise (or 4 tablespoons of olive oil)
1/4 cup dried organic cranberries

Remove tough outer leaves and core from cabbage and slice into thin shreds. Place shredded cabbage, sliced onions and apple into a medium size bowl.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together ingredients for dressing. Taste for acid and salt and pepper. Pour dressing over cabbage, apples, onions and toss until completely combined. Stir in cranberries. Taste again for salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or chill to allow the flavors to permeate and cabbage soften.

DIY Lotion

via Fit & Frugal



  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup beeswax (I used a 1 ounce pastille from Sprouts, which I broke up a little first)
  • 1/4 tablespoon vitamin E oil (I squeezed out 3 vitamin capsules (optional)
  • about 10 drops essential oil of choice (optional)

Combine  the oils and and beeswax into a pint sized canning jar. Put the jar into a saucepan filled with water reaching 3/4 of the way up the jar, not so high that water could be at risk for bubbling its way into the oil mixture. Heat over medium/low, stirring occasionally until everything’s melted. Let cool to room temperature,  stirring vigorously with a fork every 15 minutes or so. Once at room temperature, add in the Vitamin E and essential oil, and voila! Quick fun, the job’s done.