Fitness: Discover the AVAC® Difference!

Tuesday Wellness Series: Join Us and Be Well

well•ness. /welnis/. Noun-the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort.

AVAC strives to enrich all areas of your lifestyle, not just physical. For decades, our wellness programs have done exactly that through education, social events, trips, mindful meditation and more. Enter our newest program, free of charge, which highlights hand-picked local experts on topics we feel will enrich your life. Nutrition, travel, spine health, raising children, healthy aging—the topic and speaker will be unique each time. Our Free Wellness Series occur once a month on Tuesday evenings in the AVAC Conference Room. However, this month we are featuring two sessions. Come join us and be well!

October’s Wellness Series Sessions:

Everything You Want and Need to Know about Medicare
Tuesday, October 14 | 7 – 8 pm

Do you know what Medicare is? If yes, do you understand all your options and changes for 2015? How’s your drug plan working out for you? What is the difference between the Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplement plans? What is Part C? Did you know that the Medicare Advantage plans have an Open Enrollment every year, while the Medicare Supplement plans have a one-time-only Open Enrollment? What else are you curious about?
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Mobility & Movement: The Benefits of Arthrokinematic Health
Tuesday, October 21 | 7 – 8 pm

Are you “moving”? I mean, are you REALLY “moving”? I mean the type of movements that promote proper and long-term postural, muscular, and joint health? Not sure? We’re here to help you answer that question!
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5 Tips for Eating Healthy at Restaurants

via – Chelsea Sherman (coastalvirginiamag.com)

Ways to eat healthier while dining out

photo cred: coastalvirginiamag.com

It’s Friday  –  The odds are you’ll probably be enjoying at least one meal out this weekend. With this in mind, check out some great tips from coastalvirginiamag.com to ensure that you enjoy a healthy meal without overdosing on the calories!

It’s not impossible to eat healthy when you go out, but it is a great deal harder than stopping at your favorite burger joint and ordering a No. 5 with extra mayo. Eating healthy at a restaurant requires some dedication. You have to be willing to spend a little time figuring out the healthiest options. You also have to be okay with possibly annoying your server with your special requests. And let’s be honest; you have to accept that the people around you are probably going to be eating chili cheese fries and towers of onion rings. While it’s certainly okay to cheat every once in a while, if you’re someone who goes out often, you don’t want to end up having to justify cheat meals all the time. Instead, use these tips to have a healthy restaurant dining experience:

1) Start with water. It can be tempting when the restaurant offers a huge selection of sugary frozen lemonades or syrupy martinis, but try to resist the urge. Those drinks are generally extremely high in sugar or sugar substitutes, they don’t actually quench your thirst and they bring your tab up substantially. If you have to have an alcoholic drink, try to go for something basic like a glass of wine or a tequila with club soda. Even then, remember to order a water as well, as alcohol is dehydrating.

2) Don’t look at the pastas. Just don’t do it! There is nothing that you need on the pasta page. It’s just a list of differently-packaged carbs all smothered in more carbs. It’s a big ol’ carb party and you don’t want to join in.

3) Choose something well-balanced. You want to choose your meal based on the criteria with which you would make it at home. Does it have a good amount of protein? Are the sides healthy vegetables? Do you have the option to switch out an unhealthy side for a better one? (Unfortunately, the answer to that last one is usually “Yes, but it’s going to cost you.”) Although he/she might not be thrilled with you, your server is there to answer those questions for you. It’s always worth it to ask.

4) As a general rule, try to avoid restaurant sauces, dressings and condiments. Yes, they’re delicious. But those food accessories you love so much are usually jam-packed with sugar and fat. Try your salad with just oil and vinegar or enjoy the natural goodness of your filet, sans steak sauce. The less you consume those unhealthy things, the more your palate will adjust to not needing them.

5) Find out the ingredients before you decide. I know that sounds annoying, and your server might not be all that happy about it, but it’s worth it. Many restaurants have the nutritional information on hand and will provide it for you if you ask. You don’t necessarily need the full recipe, but it’s helpful to know what’s being put in your food so you can determine whether or not it’s a good choice.

Lee’s Journey Through AbsoluteFIT… “It’s gotta be the shoes”

Not that I needed an excuse to buy more shoes, but: My AbsoluteFIT workouts go better with these rad new Asics than with old running shoes.

Not that I needed an excuse to buy more shoes, but: My AbsoluteFIT workouts go better with these rad new Asics than with old running shoes.

It’s gotta be the shoes

Quick gear note: AbsoluteFIT does not require special gear beyond your regular workout clothes. That said, it only took me about two sessions before I realized my long-demoted running shoes (you know, the ones you can’t run distance in anymore, but are still mostly OK?) were not cutting it. So I asked around — and my coaches and the Internets agreed it would be better to get a pair of the new cross-training type shoes.

I got recommendations for a few brands (e.g. inov8, Nike Free, Merrell, Skechers), all of which I’d seen people wearing in the sessions, but in the end, I went with my beloved Asics. I’ve worn Asics Gel-Kayanos as my #1 running shoe for years and I know and trust their fit — it’s perfect for my long, narrow ex-dancer feet.

So I ordered a pair of Gel-Fortius TR trainers, and you guys — I love them! They’re light, flexible, and breathable, with just the right amount of support and excellent traction, plus they’re super-cute — so many wild colors to choose from! I want to wear them all the time now, but I save them for the gym.

Do you have a go-to shoe for workouts? Share your thoughts and recommendations!

—Lee M.

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I Had Lunch With a Whale the Other Day…


I had lunch with a whale the other day…in fact, I almost was lunch. Believe it or not, this is not an unusual experience for me. How many people get to combine a full-body workout with natures beauty? When I first tried paddle boarding in Hawaii, my goal was to escape the hustle and bustle of life and enjoy the peace and serenity of what nature has to offer. Along the way, I found that I was also getting an incredible head-to-toe work out. After my first paddle boarding excursion I came back exhausted and sore, but the relaxation I felt got me hooked.


I spend as much time as possible on the ocean. There is nothing like the sound, scenery, smell and sensation of the pacific surrounding me. We have incredible wildlife right here in our backyard. One of my fondest memories occurred while I was sitting on my board miles from shore having lunch. I was enjoying my sandwich when a mama whale and her calf came up to greet me. They spent a good amount of time watching what I was doing. ..maybe they wanted a bite of my sandwich? They were not the only friends that met me for lunch that day. I was surrounded by dolphins, sea otters and seals as well. In fact, I had to fight one seal from steeling my board for a quick siesta. Since that day, I have been paddle boarding weekly. My new exercise regimen includes surfing with my paddle board… talk about a workout! One hour of surfing is fun, 5 hours is exhausting, but with such gorgeous views and friendly visitors, it is easy to be caught up in this “exercise”. If you want a complete work out that includes mind, body, heart and soul….you should try paddle boarding.

-Manny F. | Team AVAC

Lee M’s AbsoluteFIT Journey…If You Bite It, You Write It

If You Bite It, You Write It

My Pal is kind of a jerk, because my Pal won’t let me lie, or even fudge just an eensy little bit. My Pal is always just there, lookin’ at me from my iPhone with eyebrows slightly raised, like “Really? …

I mean MyFitnessPal — the food-and-exercise tracking app that my coach, Oceana, is having me use as part of my AbsoluteFIT experience. Actually, what she said — laughingly, but dead serious — was, “If you bite it, you write it.” I hear her every time I open the pantry door, y’all.

I love food, real food, but I have been known to eat half a bag of Pirate’s Booty over the kitchen sink, chase it with cold black coffee, and call it lunch. Not every day, but I’m a writer and a full-time mom — on most weekdays, kid in school and toddler napping, my only window of productivity for the day sliding shut? My own lunch is the very last of my priorities. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Pirates Booty

Tracking was hard the first week. It got easier the second. And now it’s automatic — and most definitely making a difference.

But now that I’m tracking, I’m sort of … prodded into eating better — and that’s a good thing! I needed to treat myself better, to fuel my body properly, to actually get the nutrients my muscles and heart and brain crave.

It’s still gotta be fast — but could I eat a hard-boiled egg, an apple, and a piece of multi-grain toast in the same time as I could hoover up all that Pirate’s Booty? Yes — and not only would I feel better physically, I’d like the look of it on the page better when I’m tracking it, and I wouldn’t be insanely hungry again an hour later.

MyFitnessPal has also made me conscious of how much I do the “just a little bit here and there” type snacking: a handful of M&Ms, another half-glass of wine, the rest of that sleeve of Ritz crackers so I don’t have to put them away — daaaaang, those little bits add up. Understand: If I *want* those things, I eat/drink them — but now that I’m tracking my food, I eat what I like on purpose, instead of mindlessly and without even appreciating it.

Tracking was hard the first week. It got easier the second. And now it’s automatic — habitual, ingrained, and most definitely making a difference.

Lee M.