Fitness: Discover the AVAC® Difference!

21 Ideas For Energy-Boosting Breakfast Toasts

via Tashween Ali – BuzzFeed

Photos by Macey Foronda / Graphics by Tashween Ali and Chris Ritter

1. Sliced Avocado + Crumbled Feta + Pomegranates + Olive Oil

Sliced Avocado + Crumbled Feta + Pomegranates + Olive Oil

Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed

Drizzle olive oil to finish.

2. Raspberries + Blackberries + Basil + Light Cream Cheese

Raspberries + Blackberries + Basil + Light Cream Cheese

Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed

3. Ribboned Cantaloupe + Chopped Walnuts + Agave + Goat Cheese

Ribboned Cantaloupe + Chopped Walnuts + Agave + Goat Cheese

Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed

Use a sharp vegetable peeler to make cantaloupe ribbons.

4. Sliced Banana + Almond Butter + Chia Seeds

Sliced Banana + Almond Butter + Chia Seeds

Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed

5. Thinly Sliced Celery + Raisins + Peanut Butter

Thinly Sliced Celery + Raisins + Peanut Butter

Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed

Ants on a log, anyone?

6. Refried Beans + Salsa + Cilantro + Fried Egg

Refried Beans + Salsa + Cilantro + Fried Egg

Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed

7. Goat Cheese + Sliced Strawberries + Shelled Edamame + Balsamic Vinegar + Sea Salt

Goat Cheese + Sliced Strawberries + Shelled Edamame + Balsamic Vinegar + Sea Salt

Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed

Before adding them to the toast, in a bowl pour balsamic vinegar over sliced strawberries and macerate them. This way the bread won’t get soggy.

8. Sliced Pineapple + Cottage Cheese + Chopped Cashews

Sliced Pineapple + Cottage Cheese + Chopped Cashews

Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed

9. Sauteed Kale + One-Egg Omelet + Grated Cheddar Cheese

Sauteed Kale + One-Egg Omelet + Grated Cheddar Cheese

Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed

1. Heat oil in a frying pan until pretty hot and saute chopped kale (center ribs removed) for 2 minutes with a little salt. Set aside kale and wipe out pan.

2. In a bowl, beat one egg and season to taste. Add oil to frying pan. Pour beaten egg into pan and let it spread thinly. Lower the heat. Once the omelet is cooked, use a rubber spatula to gently fold the omelet into quarters.

3. Stack kale and egg on toast. Grate cheese on top. Place toast back into warm pan and cover for 30 seconds to melt cheese.

10. Sliced Dried Figs + Ricotta Cheese + Sesame Seeds

Sliced Dried Figs + Ricotta Cheese + Sesame Seeds

Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed

11. Sliced Mango + Sliced Fresh Mozzarella + Lime Juice & Zest

Sliced Mango + Sliced Fresh Mozzarella + Lime Juice & Zest

Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed

Use fresh mozzarella. Sprinkle with lime zest and sea salt to finish.

12. Mashed Avocado + Shelled Edamame + Sprouts + Lemon Juice

Mashed Avocado + Shelled Edamame + Sprouts + Lemon Juice

Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed

Let’s called it Green Monster toast, because it’s the deconstructed version of your favorite green smoothie. I used alfalfa and radish spouts, which is a great mixture because it adds a horseradish-y spice, but you can use whatever’s your favorite. Smash the avocado and spread evenly; the other ingredients stick better to the toast this way.

13. Sliced Pear + Ricotta Cheese + Honey

Sliced Pear + Ricotta Cheese + Honey

Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed

14. Hummus + Chopped Walnuts + Pomegranates

Hummus + Chopped Walnuts + Pomegranates

Macey Foronda /BuzzFeed

15. Mashed Chickpeas + Tomato Slice + Fried Egg

Mashed Chickpeas + Tomato Slice + Fried Egg

Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed

Rinse canned chickpeas in a mesh sieve, then mash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. After you fry the egg, use the same pan to gently heat up a slice of tomato. Then stack up!

16. Chopped Mejdool Dates + Sliced Feta + Sliced Almonds

Chopped Mejdool Dates + Sliced Feta + Sliced Almonds

Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed

17. Sliced Plums + Sunflower Seed Butter + Flaxseed

Sliced Plums + Sunflower Seed Butter + Flaxseed

Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed

18. Sliced Apple + Honey + Blue Cheese

Sliced Apple + Honey + Blue Cheese

Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed

19. Marinara Sauce + Poached Egg + Parmesan + Basil

Marinara Sauce + Poached Egg + Parmesan + Basil

Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed

20. Kimchi + Sliced Hard-Boiled Egg + Black Sesame Seeds

Kimchi + Sliced Hard-Boiled Egg + Black Sesame Seeds

Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed

21. Smoked Salmon + Ribboned Cucumber + Light Cream Cheese + Scallions

Smoked Salmon + Ribboned Cucumber + Light Cream Cheese + Scallions

Macey Foronda / BuzzFeed

Use a sharp vegetable peeler to make cucumber ribbons.

One Day At A Time

via Cathie Fincannon – AVAC


Ok, I need to preface what I plan to share with you by saying that I have worked at AVAC for 25 years, and you would think that because I work at an amazing Athletic Club I should be physically fit and healthy as a result. Unfortunately, I may work at an Athletic Club, but I don’t often work out at said Club!

I have many roles – employee, wife, mother, friend, etc. that place demands on my time, and are often used as reasons (substitute – excuses) to keep me from taking the best care of myself. I also need you to know that I love sweets, all kinds of sweets, any kind of sweets and I really love chocolate.

I am also a fan of The Biggest Loser television show. I love watching and rooting for the contestants as they work to make big changes in their lives. I do understand that how they are effecting these changes is not realistic for most people, however, I sit cheering them on for every pound they lose. Back in February I happened to be watching the finale, and after seeing all the transformations in these folks’ lives I decided that something needed to change in my life. I made the decision that day that I was going to cut out sugar from my diet with an ultimate goal of becoming healthier. Could I do that for the rest of my life? Probably not! But I could set a doable goal for myself. My daughter had a gymnastics competition in Belgium in April, and I determined that I was not going to eat sugar until we got to Belgium where I then intended to eat tons of Belgian chocolate and waffles! Once I set that goal, I knew that I would only be able to reach it with the help of everyone in my life. So I started telling everyone what I was doing. Our office usually has candy in a bowl readily accessible, so my co-workers were the first ones I enlisted to help. They were great about keeping the candy out of the office (or hidden) so as not to tempt me. My family was as helpful as could be when they remembered – my 16 year old ran into the room on Valentine’s Day with a huge heart-filled box of chocolate asking if I wanted some, and then apologizing when she saw the look on my face!

Was making this change easy? Absolutely not! Did I mention that I love sweets? But was it doable? The answer is ultimately yes. I took each day as it came, knowing that the goal was worth the effort. I made it through Valentine’s Day, my daughter’s birthday, and even my anniversary without giving in. It has been said that it takes 28 days to break a habit. I don’t know if that’s true, but I know that you can do anything you put your mind to if you set a goal, make yourself accountable to others, and take it just one day at a time. Does this sound like AbsoluteFit?! We headed to Belgium April 7th, and I did eat both chocolate and waffles, but within reason. Now that I am back, am I off sugar again? No, but I am much more deliberate about choosing what I do eat.

My next goal is to actually start working out at AVAC on a regular basis! Now that I’ve told you about it, you can help keep me accountable! Stop in the Business Office when you finish your workout and ask me how I am doing, and let me know how you are doing with your goals!

Coconut Paleo Cookies

via Afy Jones – AVAC

paleo cookies

This is my absolute favorite recipe now! I’ve been battling a sweet tooth lately. . . could be the little one’s craving growing inside of me 🙂 So I needed something to satisfy the craving and to stay in my ‘healthy’ diet. I say ‘healthy’ loosely since I’ve been giving into all my cravings but just eating in moderation and cooking healthier versions of my favorite foods. I came across a paleo cookie recipe, so I added my own twist to it. They are so easy to make I had to share the recipe. Enjoy!


  • 1.5 cups almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 eff
  • 1/4 cup honey (you can use agave too)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • a dash of baking soda and baking powder
  • dark chocolate nibs (optional, I used it on half of the batch)


Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, make 1 tablespoon balls (space them out since they flatted and get bigger when they bake), place it on a greased non-stick pan, bake for 7 – 10 minutes at 350 degrees. That’s it! So good and easy to make.


Is Aquatic Fitness For You?

via Sandra Escamilla-MeachamAVAC

sandra class

You don’t need anything but a bathing suit, and about 4 – 5 feet of water (shallow water workout) or deep water with a flotation belt. It’s all about moving your body, not making excuses, and most of all having fun! ANYONE, YES, ANYONE can do this workout. Whether you are 10 or 100, you can swim or not, it does not matter. You just have to love getting in a pool and moving around.

A Few Facts about Aquatic Fitness
Number one, you do not have to know how to swim. A shallow water workout is done in chest deep water. You do not ever submerge your head. Deep water workouts are done with flotation belts on, but you can do simple modifications if you still want to stay in shallower water.

Let’s talk a little about cardio. The best proven way to get the most effective workout is to do interval training. In my Aquatic fitness workout it is about getting the heart rate up to a mid level and then doing short burst of high level cardio, with slower toning moves in-between. Intervals not only give you the most caloric burn during your workout, but also keeps your metabolism up for a longer time after you workout. You just need to remember the rule.. “If you are talking you are not working!”

As for toning, there is eleven times more resistance in the water then on land. Plus the inertia you create by your own force and speed can make aquatic fitness an awesome toning workout. By building lean muscle we are burning more fat and calories. The only way to naturally raise your metabolism is to build lean muscle. So you are in control of your results and YOUR workout!

MYTH: Aquatic fitness is an easy workout….. TRUTH: Aquatic fitness is NOT an easy workout, it’s easier on your body and there is a far less chance of injury! Just like any workout it’s about what you put into it or not!

Health Benefits of Tennis: Why Play Tennis?

via Jack Groppel, Ph. D – USTA

Its historic moniker has been the “sport for a lifetime”.  But is this really true?  According to world-renowned scientists from a variety of disciplines, there is no doubt that tennis is one of the best sports for you to play.

Here are the facts:

1. People who participate in tennis 3 hours per week (at moderately vigorous intensity) cut their risk of death in half from any cause, according to physician Ralph Paffenbarger who studied over 10,000 people over a period of 20 years.
2. Tennis players scored higher in vigor, optimism and self-esteem while scoring lower in depression, anger, confusion, anxiety and tension than other athletes and non-athletes according to Dr. Joan Finn and colleagues at Southern Connecticut State University.
3. Since tennis requires alertness and tactical thinking, it may generate new connections between nerves in the brain and thus promote a lifetime of continuing development of the brain, reported scientists at the University of Illinois.
4. Tennis outperforms golf, inline skating and most other sports in developing positive personality characteristics according to Dr. Jim Gavin, author of The Exercise Habit.
5. Competitive tennis burns more calories than aerobics, inline skating, or cycling, according to studies on caloric expenditures.

With these results in mind, let’s take a look at 34 specific reasons why you should consider playing tennis regularly!

Physical Reasons to Play Tennis

Tennis helps your:

1. aerobic fitness by burning fat and improving your cardiovascular fitness and maintaining higher energy levels.
2. anaerobic fitness by offering short, intense bursts of activity during a point followed by rest which helps muscles use oxygen efficiently.
3. ability to accelerate by practice in sprinting, jumping and lunging to move quickly.
4. powerful first step by requiring anticipation, quick reaction time and explosion into action.
5. speed through a series of side-to-side and up and back sprints to chase the ball.
6. leg strength through hundreds of starts and stops which build stronger leg muscles.
7. general body coordination since you have to move into position and then adjust your upper body to hit the ball successfully.
8. gross motor control through court movement and ball-striking skills which require control of your large muscle groups.
9. fine motor control by the use of touch shots like angled volleys, drop shots and lobs.
10. agility by forcing you to change direction as many as 5 times in 10 seconds during a typical tennis point.
11. dynamic balance through hundreds of starts, stops, changes of direction and hitting on the run.
12. cross-training by offering a physically demanding sport that’s fun to play for athletes who are expert in other sports.
13. bone strength and density by strengthening bones of young players and helping prevent osteoporosis in older ones.
14. immune system through its conditioning effects which promote overall health, fitness and resistance to disease.
15. nutritional habits by eating appropriately before competition to enhance energy production and after competition to practice proper recovery methods.
16. eye-hand coordination because you constantly judge the timing between the on-coming ball and the proper contact point.
17. flexibility due to the constant stretching and maneuvering to return the ball toward your opponent.

Psychological Reasons to Play Tennis

Tennis helps you:

18. develop a work ethic because improvement through lessons or practice reinforces the value of hard work.
19. develop discipline since you learn to work on your skills in practice and control the pace of play in competition.
20. manage mistakes by learning to play within your abilities and realizing that managing and minimizing mistakes in tennis or life is critical.
21. learn to compete one-on-one because the ability to compete and fight trains you in the ups and downs of a competitive world.
22. accept responsibility because only you can prepare to compete by practicing skills, checking your equipment and during match play by making line calls.
23. manage adversity by learning to adjust to the elements (e.g. wind, sun) and still be able to compete tenaciously.
24. accommodate stress effectively because the physical, mental and emotional stress of tennis will force you to increase you capacity for dealing with stress.
25. learn how to recover by adapting to the stress of a point and the recovery period between points which is similar to the stress and recovery cycles in life.
26. plan and implement strategies since you naturally learn how to anticipate an opponent’s moves and plan your countermoves.
27. learn to solve problems since tennis is a sport based on angles, geometry and physics.
28. develop performance rituals before serving or returning to control your rhythm of play and deal with pressure  These skills can transfer to taking exams, conducting a meeting or making an important sales presentation.
29. learn sportsmanship since tennis teaches you to compete fairly with opponents.
30. learn to win graciously and lose with honor.  Gloating after a win or making excuses after a loss doesn’t work in tennis or in life.
31. learn teamwork since successful doubles play depends on you and your partner’s ability to communicate and play as a cohesive unit.
32. develop social skills through interaction and communication before a match, while changing sides of the court and after play.
33. have FUN… because the healthy feelings of enjoyment, competitiveness and physical challenge are inherent in the sport.

Summary and Reason #34

Is it any wonder that scientists and physicians around the world view tennis as the most healthful activity in which you can participate?  There may be other sports that can provide excellent health benefits and some which can provide mental and emotional growth.  But no sport other than tennis has ever been acclaimed from all disciplines as one that develops great benefits physically, mentally and emotionally.

Tennis is a sport for kids to learn early in life.  What parent wouldn’t want their children to get these benefits through their growing years?

It’s not too late for adults and seniors too!  The human system can be trained and improved at any stage of life.

Here’s the key… you must begin playing tennis now to get these benefits throughout your lifetime.  And that brings us to reason #34:  Tennis is truly  the sport for a lifetime!  It’s been proven.


Benefits Of Spinning

via Marcus EdwardesAVAC

spinning on deck

My love for SPINNING stems from the simplicity and purity in the mechanics of the exercise. We spin. We sit. We stand. And we change the resistance/cadence to simulate different road conditions. But we just Spin.

We don’t do jumps, we don’t lift weights, we don’t spin towels, and luckily for you I don’t sing along! It’s about commitment, focus, resolve, and when you spin with me, channeling the beat of the song into your pedal stroke.

At the highest level – the outcome of this effort for me is a level of self-satisfaction and mental clarity that easily surpasses any other workout that I have ever undertaken.

Let’s have a quick look at some of the other benefits:

  • Burn Calories Fast – drop pounds and reach your weight goals quickly (in conjunction with a proper nutrition plan)
  • Lower your Blood Pressure – the key to a long and happy life!
  • Strengthen your Cardiovascular System – boost your immune system and feel stronger in all walks of life 🙂
  • Increase Muscle Tone (without adding muscle!)
  • Low Impact – no pressure on your knees or other joints, perfect for runners who struggle with knee issues
  • Reduce Stress – intensive cardio workouts are the best way to relieve stress and feel refreshed!
  • Enjoy the Music – ride hard to some great tunes. Get pumped up and ride to the rhythm of the music, it’s a total blast!
  • Your Own Pace – don’t be intimidated! Start slowly with the help of an Instructor and build at your own pace to achieve your fitness goals

Cheers, Marcus!