Fitness: Discover the AVAC® Difference!

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Zucchini Fritters – Mmmm!

via – Wellness Mama

zucchini fritters Zucchini Fritters

I’m always looking for fun ways to prepare veggies, and this is a kid-favorite at our house. These Zucchini fritters are similar to tater tots or hash browns in taste but are more nutritious. They are also very simple to make and reheat well (and leftovers are great in omelets or with an over-easy egg for breakfast!)

Easy Zucchini Fritters
Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 20 mins | Total time: 30 mins
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 onion
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese (optional, can replace with almond flour or 3 tablespoons of coconut flour)
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, salt, pepper and basil leaf
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grate the zucchini with a cheese grater or food processor. Add the salt and squeeze very tightly with a towel or some paper towels to get the excess liquid out. Put in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Grate the onion and add to the bowl. Add the eggs, parmesan cheese and almond flour. Sprinkle the spices on top of the mixture and mix until evenly incorporated. To bake: well grease a baking sheet or muffin tins and put tablespoon size amounts of the mixture onto the baking sheet or fill the muffin tins ½ full.
  3. Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes or until tops and sides are starting to brown. Serve alone or with homemade ketchup. Can also pan fry in coconut oil for a crispier outer coating.
  4. Enjoy!


Baby, It’s Hot Outside!

Dehydrated? These 7 Foods Will Satisfy Your Thirst and Hunger
Treat your taste buds and replenish your water

via – Health Hub, Cleveland Clinic

When heat and humidity soar, keeping your body hydrated matters more than ever. Did you know you can hydrate with what’s on your plate — not just what’s in your cup?
The following foods are heavy on the water content, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nutrient database. In several cases, they’re also full of nutrients that will help you fight disease. So eat up, and beat the heat with your fork.

Cucumber1) Cucumbers

Hydrate and replenish your skin with fresh cucumbers. In addition to containing 95 percent water, cucumbers are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds that help remove waste from the body and reduce skin irritation. Preliminary research also suggests cucumbers promote anti-wrinkling and anti-aging activity. Find them at your farmers market; they’re in season from July to September.

Celery 2) Celery

Celery will satisfy your craving for crunch. It’s also tied with cucumbers and iceberg lettuce at 95 percent water by weight. You can feel good about eating celery because of its low calorie count and high value in vitamin K, folate and potassium.


Iceberg lettuce3) Iceberg lettuce

The “ice” might as well be melted, since this type of lettuce contains 95 percent water. That makes it a good hydrating base for your summer salad. However, if you prefer the heart-healthy benefits of leafy greens instead, spinach is a good alternative at 91 percent water by weight.

Zucchini 4) Zucchini

Watch for fresh, in-season zucchini this summer. Like its relatives in the cucumber and melon families, this popular summer squash has a high water content — almost 95 percent. Better yet, zucchini packs in antioxidants such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Those last two are especially important for eye health.

Watermelon 5) Watermelon

No surprise here — “water” is in the name, after all. Watermelon flesh contains 91 percent water. This summer treat also contains abundant lycopene, which can help protect cells from sun damage and improve your complexion.


Strawberries6) Strawberries

They’re sweet enough you can eat them for dessert. But the benefits of strawberries go beyond flavor and 91 percent water content.They provide a rich source of flavonoids, compounds associated with improved cognitive function. For example, one study associated eating more berries with delayed cognitive aging of up to 2.5 years.

Cauliflower7) Cauliflower

Surprised? Well, cauliflower is actually 92 percent water by weight. It’s rich in vitamin C, vitamin K and other key essentials. Cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables contain nutrients that may help lower cholesterol and lower cancer risk. Try it mashed as a substitute for mashed potatoes.

Accidental Exercise

By Katie Kennedy, AVAC

Empty Lot

My Sister-in-Law coined the phrase “accidental exercise” and I love it! It encompasses any extra exertion you put out during your normal day. For example, not finding a parking space right next to the building, or walking from one store to the next instead of driving. Maybe the elevator is broken and you have to take the stairs instead. All of these things are accidental exercise.

The challenge is to make accidental exercise not so accidental. Capitalize on any opportunity to burn a few extra calories and you will be surprised at how fast they add up. Park at the back of the parking lot on purpose. Make extra trips up and down the stairs. Walk your kids to the playground and instead of sitting on the bench and watching them play, join in the fun. If you work at an office make the trip to a coworker’s office to give information rather than sending an email.

It sounds simple but the results are fantastic. Even if your goal is not to lose weight, the extra activity will have you feeling great!

19 Insanely Clever Hacks And Tricks To Improve Your Run

via James Grebey Buzzfeed.com Staff

19 Insanely Clever Hacks And Tricks To Improve Your Run

Turn miles of trials into miles of smiles with these tips.


1. Prevent shin splints by drawing the alphabet with your toes.

19 Insanely Clever Hacks And Tricks To Improve Your Run

Doing this strengthens your calf muscles, which can prevent injury. Try it the next time you’re sitting at your desk.

2. If you have to run on a treadmill, set it to a 1 degree incline to make the effort comparable to running outside.

19 Insanely Clever Hacks And Tricks To Improve Your Run

However, according to Runner’s World, the 1 degree incline only makes a difference if you’re running faster than 7:09 per mile.

3. Cover the clock on treadmills.

19 Insanely Clever Hacks And Tricks To Improve Your Run

Without any changing scenery, running on a treadmill can seem like it’s taking forever, and watching the clock only makes it worse.

4. If you’re not feeling motivated, just focus on putting on your running gear. Often that’s half the battle.

If you're not feeling motivated, just focus on putting on your running gear. Often that's half the battle.


And if you’re really concerned you won’t even make it that far, some people recommend sleeping in your running clothes so you have no excuse when you wake up!

5. Keep your running clothes on when you step into the shower to prevent them from stinking up your place.

19 Insanely Clever Hacks And Tricks To Improve Your Run

Universal Pictures / Via finalimageblog.com

You’ll be able to get away with doing less laundry too!

6. Don’t bother doing static stretches before a run.

19 Insanely Clever Hacks And Tricks To Improve Your Run


Studies have shown static stretches offers no real benefit, and in some cases can actually be harmful. Experts recommend active warmups instead.

7. If you’re running to music, pick songs with BPMs (beats per minute) that match your pace.

Relativity Media


Find out what you should be running to here.

8. Try listening to a book on tape or a podcast if you’re going on longer runs.

Try listening to a book on tape or a podcast if you're going on longer runs.

ajt / thinkstock

It helps time pass when you’re out running for a while, and wanting to hear the next chapter can help motivate you to lace up in the first place.

9. Pay attention to your hands!

19 Insanely Clever Hacks And Tricks To Improve Your Run

DreamWorks Pictures / Via pandawhale.com

According to famed marathoner and coach Alberto Salazar, running with your thumbs up strains muscles in your forearms and ultimately your legs. Instead run with lightly-curled fists.

10. Make untying your shoes a snap by tying double knots this way.

19 Insanely Clever Hacks And Tricks To Improve Your Run

11. Keep your shoe’s tongue from sliding around by lacing them like this.

19 Insanely Clever Hacks And Tricks To Improve Your Run

12. Track the milage on your shoes and get new ones when they’re worn out.

19 Insanely Clever Hacks And Tricks To Improve Your Run

thinkstock / James Grebey

Depending on your form and the type of shoe, you should get new shoes every 300 to 600 miles to prevent injuries.

13. If you’re very blister-prone, you can wear pantyhose feet under your socks.

If you're very blister-prone, you can wear pantyhose feet under your socks.


Some soldiers swear to the technique to stop their feet from getting cut up.

14. There are lots of cheap ways to prevent chafing.

19 Insanely Clever Hacks And Tricks To Improve Your Run

Deedle-Dee Productions / Via gaykillam.tumblr.com

Costly chafing sticks or gels work wonders, but inexpensive Vaseline will do in a pinch, and Breathe Right nasal strips will protect you from the dreaded nipple chafing.

15. Hold on to your keys without having to actually “hold on to your keys” by sticking them in your laces.

19 Insanely Clever Hacks And Tricks To Improve Your Run

16. And stop them from jingling by putting a hair tieon your key ring.

19 Insanely Clever Hacks And Tricks To Improve Your Run

A simple hair tie stays out of the way when you don’t need it, but you can wrap it around the keys before you head out for a run.

17. Keep your feet dry while running in the rain or snow by duct taping the tops to prevent water from getting in.

Keep your feet dry while running in the rain or snow by duct taping the tops to prevent water from getting in.

Sandy James / Via sowhatirun.com

It won’t keep out the water forever, but it will certainly help.

18. When buying new running shoes, ask if they have the older model of the shoe you’re looking for.

19 Insanely Clever Hacks And Tricks To Improve Your Run


The changes from model to model are usually fairly minor, and you can sometimes save a ton of money by opting for the other, just as good shoe.

19. Lick yourself after a run to see how dehydrated your are.

19 Insanely Clever Hacks And Tricks To Improve Your Run

If it’s really salty, you’ll need to replenish electrolytes. And you’ll often find that the more acclimated you become to running in warm weather, the less salty you’ll be.

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Healthy & Easy Breakfast Bowl

via – jeanetteshealthyliving.com

Healthy Refried Bean Breakfast Bowl Recipe

This Healthy Refried Bean Breakfast Bowl makes a protein-rich breakfast or a versatile side dish at dinnertime.
Top with salsa, avocado, a poached egg and hot sauce for the ultimate Refried Bean Breakfast Bowl.

Healthy Refried Beans © Jeanette's Healthy Living

One of my boys has been on a huge breakfast and workout spree. You should see the spread that he makes for himself each morning. He’s decided to workout and “get big” by the end of the summer, which includes eating a big breakfast, packed with protein. He started eating beans with poached eggs for breakfast as part of his breakfast routine, which all started when I made Brazilian Beans for a barbecue earlier in the summer. For some reason, the beans I’ve made since that batch just haven’t been quite up to snuff for him.

Breakfast Refried Bean Bowl © Jeanette's Healthy Living

At first, I thought I didn’t add enough flavor to the beans, so I started making them spicier and adding more herbs, onions and garlic. But, then my son told me the other day, “Mom, you need to make more beans…I mean another kind.” That was his nice way of telling me he didn’t like the last batch of beans. When I asked him what he meant more specifically – was it the texture or the flavor – he couldn’t quite explain what exactly he wanted. When I finally got to the bottom of it, it turned out he wanted just plain beans. Nothing fancy.  I’m recording this recipe on my blog for the “plain old” refried beans I made that hit the mark with my son so I can replicate them. Sometimes, the simplest of recipes is hard to remember as I have a tendency to make things more difficult than they need to be.

There’s nothing fancy in this recipe. I just sauteed some leftover uncured deli ham, bell peppers, onion and garlic, then added them to a pot of pre-soaked pink beans along with a piece of kombu (a type of seaweed). Pre-soaking beans and using kombu are supposed to reduce flatulence (a.k.a. gas).

Breakfast Refried Bean Bowl © Jeanette's Healthy Living

Pureed, left whole, or somewhere in between, these beans are creamy and can be served at breakfast or at dinner.  My son likes to melt a little cheddar cheese on top of the beans too. I served this Refried Bean Breakfast Bowl to my husband’s cousin and niece from Taiwan with a little melted cheddar cheese, salsa, avocado slices, and a poached egg on top and they loved it.

The final approval came after I made this batch for my son…”Mom, those beans are good.” Phew….


Refried Beans
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 thin slices uncured, antibiotic-free ham, chopped (leave out for vegetarian option)
    • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 bags pink beans (2 pounds total)
    • 1 piece kombu, about 3″ x 3″ square
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 bay leaf
    • sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Breakfast Bowl Toppings
  • shredded cheddar cheese, optional
  • poached egg
  • salsa
  • sliced avocado
  • hot sauce


Refried Beans
    1. Soak beans in water overnight or use quick method on package of beans. Drain beans and put in pressure cooker.
    2. Saute ham, bell pepper, onion, and garlic in oil until fragrant. Add to beans, along with kombu, oregano and bay leaf. Cover with water so that water is about 1 inch above surface of beans. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes until beans are soft. Remove kombu (if there are small pieces left, don’t worry).
    3. Use immersion blender to puree some or all of the beans, depending on the desired texture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Breakfast Bowl
  1. Spoon some hot refried beans into a bowl.
  2. Melt a little cheese on top if desired. Top with poached egg, a dollop of salsa, a few slices of avocado and hot sauce if desired.

The Journey Thus Far…

britini pic

By Brittni Lauper – Almaden Valley Athletic Club

Humans are by nature resistant to change. Change is a scary thing! And even the smallest change can be a rollercoaster of emotions and a never ending hill climb. I applied for this job at AVAC, a short four months ago, to be a part of a positive work culture; a strong team and a group of people that enjoy being around one another. As a member, I saw these qualities in the AVAC staff. To my pleasant surprise I was sucked into the idea of Absolute Fit.

The Absolute Fit program is so much more than people perceive it to be. It’s not just a workout program; it is a support system, a total body transformation and most importantly a new life style. My journey began in May and slowly but surely my habits, body and state of mind are beginning to change.

My favorite part of the Absolute Fit program is being able to meet with my coach, Jon Cebula and work one on one to plan ahead, stay on track, set specific goals and, well, talk about just anything. In my opinion this type of support is the key to success. Jon has a unique style of coaching skills and goes above and beyond to help me keep a positive attitude.

Not only is there constant support from my coach but every absolute fit class is a burst of motivation. Each instructor pushes me to my limits and I learn something new about my body after every workout. My fellow Absolute Fit participants have become enjoyable familiar faces and we all urge each other to work as hard as we can in class. It is a great feeling to be surrounded with people who want to better themselves just as I do.

Even though each workout is a struggle the feeling of accomplishment after every session is what keeps me going. I know that if I continue to work hard, meal prep and stick to the plan I will reach my goals.