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5 Simple Rules for Using Sugar For Good Instead of Evil!

Few topics boggle boot camper and fitness enthusiasts the way sugar does.

Is this simple carbohydrate the key to unlocking elite sports performance (ie: chocolate milk is great after a workout…)? Or is it the chains that drag our country deeper into the obesity epidemic? Annoyingly, the answer is both. But before you throw your hands up in frustration and grab yourself a Twinkie®, let’s take a minute to talk about sugar.

It’s not as complex as it seems. In fact, with just a few guidelines, it’s incredibly easy to use these simple carbohydrates for good instead of evil. Anyone who has been to one of our Milwaukee Adventure Boot Camp nutrition seminars will tell you, your nutrition can either make or break your success. Read on to see how you can “indulge” in the sweet stuff without sabotaging your “assets.”

Rule #1: Just say “know.”

Here’s a grossly oversimplified look at how sugar, also known as simple carbohydrates, works. Just as with all carbs, you eat sugar and it’s absorbed by your blood, where, if you have the right amount of it, the insulin in your system converts the sugar to energy.  However, if you introduce too much sugar into your system, the insulin stores it as body fat. A little stored body fat is fine; the body likes some emergency fuel. However, if your blood sugar spikes too often and the insulin has to work too hard converting fat, this can lead to a variety of health issues, including type 2 diabetes and heart problems.

As you will see later, when your body obtains sugar from natural sources, like fruits and veggies, the process tends to be checked by fiber, which slows absorption. However, when you eat foods with added sugar, this can overwhelm the usual checks and balances, causing problems like those nasty blood sugar spikes. To make matters worse, consuming too much added sugar can cause a host of other problems, including tooth decay, increased triglycerides (or stored fat), and malnutrition (from over consumption of foods filled with empty calories and deficient in nutrients).

If you wanted one overarching rule to work from, you might choose to avoid added sugars entirely. You’ll get all the energy you need from foods with naturally occurring sugar. That said, there are times when refined sugar is okay or even beneficial. If you’re able to build yourself a lifestyle completely free of added sugar, nice work. But for the rest of us, the trick is moderation.

Rule #2: Less is more.

One teaspoon of table sugar has 15 calories. Honestly, if you have a couple of cups of tea or coffee in the morning and you dump the proverbial spoonful of sugar in each, that’s 30 calories. If the rest of your diet is tight and you’re active, it won’t matter. If you’re trying to lose weight and eating at a caloric deficit, you’ll probably want to skip those few spoonfuls of sugar, because table sugar is nutritionally void and you want every calorie to count nutritionally. Other than that, though, life’s short—enjoy your java.

Rule #3: High fructose corn syrup is the enemy . . .

In a recent study out of Princeton University, two groups of rats were fed a sucrose solution and a high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) solution. The rats that consumed the corn syrup got fatter.

“Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity,” said study leader Bart Hoebel, “but our results make it clear that this just isn’t true, at least under the conditions of our tests.”

There are a few possible explanations for this. One is that the ratio of fructose to glucose in HFCS is slightly higher. Another is that in the HFCS manufacturing process, fructose molecules are free and unbound, making them easier to absorb. The fructose in table sugar is bonded to the glucose, which means it requires an extra step to be used.

Rule #3.5: . . . and it’s hiding behind every corner.

And you thought Invasion of the Body Snatchers was creepy . . . Avoiding the obvious sweetened foods like soda, cake, cookies, and pies is only half the battle. Manufacturers add HFCS (as well as other sugars) to a mind-boggling amount of foods because it adds flavor. If it’s in a bottle, box, or can, read the ingredients. Don’t believe me, head into your kitchen right now and peruse your cupboards and refrigerator…go ahead…I’ll wait….see, told ya! You’ll find sweeteners in everything from ketchup to peanut butter to bread to salad dressing. With a little effort, you can usually find versions of the same food with no added sugars or HFCS that are more nutritious and taste just as good.

Rule #4: No, the sugar in fruit isn’t bad for you.

When the low-carb “revolution” hit, fruit was demonized for its sugar content. This is, in a word, ridiculous. Yes, fruit is loaded with sugar, but it’s also usually loaded with fiber, which slows sugar absorption, making it an ideal way to get your simple carbs without straining your little insulin buddies. Fruit is also loaded with easy-to-absorb vitamins and minerals. Most fruit is also filled with water, yet another benefit.

Even relatively low-fiber fruits like bananas offer far too many benefits to deny. Bananas, in particular, are rich in electrolytes, which are crucial to sports performance. As I always say, I defy you to introduce me to an overweight person whose biggest indulgence is fruit. To make sure you slow down the absorption of all that fruit sugar, eat it with a little bit of healthy fat (almonds, organic natural peanut butter)…you get the idea).

Rule #5: Occasionally, a hit of straight sugar is a good thing.

You’re sitting around watching television. You haven’t done much today. Your glycogen stores are up, and because you’ve eaten normally, your blood sugar level is balanced. Conversely, you just blasted a killer workout. You’ve blown through your blood sugar and your glycogen, leaving you shaky and tired. Now, getting some sugar in there to recharge quickly wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Furthermore, since it’ll rush in so fast, it’s a great opportunity to add some protein and micro-nutrients to that sugar blast, because they’ll rush into where they’re needed just as fast. Think post workout shake with fruit or have the treat meal you have been craving! If you genuinely gave the workout your all and you’re truly wiped out, you won’t even come close to storing that sugar as fat.

So there you go. Not so tough, huh? With a little forethought and self-control, keeping an eye on your carbs can be, ahem, a piece of cake.

~ Coach Catherine and the Milwaukee Adventure Boot Camp Team

Adapted from http://teambeachbody.com/about/newsletters/-/nli/168#53044314By Denis Faye

What’s Cookin’? Asparagus & Lemon Linguine

It’s asparagus season! Get it while it’s fresh.

Boot camper Nancy Munroe forwarded this yummy recipe to me and I thought I would pass it along. VIEW RECIPE

~ Coach Catherine and the Milwaukee Adventure Boot Camp Team


Pantry Raids Are A Big Hit?

Why in the world would you ever want someone to come into your home and go through your pantry, cupboards, freezers and refrigerators pulling out all the “not so optimal” foods you have stashed away and then have them explain why those foods are not your best choices?

Kind of intimidating right?  Well, you probably wouldn’t ask for this but we at Milwaukee Adventure Boot Camp have been successfully doing it since 2008.  It is easy for experts or even us as coaches, to sit back and tell you, “you need to eat better, you need to make better food choices.” But it is quite another to KNOW what that means to you and your particular lifestyle. We hear this everyday. So our goal when we initiated our infamous “Pantry Raids” was to directly help you, as campers and clients by consulting with you in your home and discussing what your food choices have been, why you made them and how you can adjust them for yourself and your family for optimal nutrition.

These “Raids” have been a super success.  Any “not so great” opened food items you allow us to take, we will pitch for you and any foods you allow us to take that are unopened, we happily donate to a local food pantry. It is a win/win situation. Along the way over the past few years, we may have snapped a few pictures here and there; take a look or view a pantry raid in progress.

If you are interested in having us come by for a raid, please contact us at 414-881-5348 or at email us at support@MilwaukeeBootCamp.com. We are happy to offer this educational consult service to anyone who thinks they may benefit from our expertise.

Skinny Jean and Muffin Top Melt-Off Challenge

Yep, we said it, skinny jeans and muffin top in the same sentence.  C’mon, we know that you  know exactly what a muffin top is so why not do something fun and effective and burn that extra fat before summer gets here. You can, and we are here to help!

If you have not already heard, here is how it works:

  • Bring in a pair of jeans from your closet or buy a pair you would like to fit into; jeans must be at least 2 sizes too small.
  • Your coach will take a photo of you trying to get’em on, over a pair of spandex shorts or pants.
  • We will then keep your jeans here onsite at the MABC facility and you can try’em on throughout the 8-week challenge.
  • You will then have 8 weeks to get into your jeans and melt off that muffin top… …at the end of the challenge you are a winner if you can say… “I can finally fit into my skinny jeans!”

Important Points of the Indoor Challenge:

  • This challenge is open to men and women and runs from 4/19-6/12.
  • All sessions are held indoor at the Milwaukee Adventure Facility at 4170 North Port Washington Rd, Glendale WI, 53212. We are the 2nd floor warehouse space above the DOC — doors face Olive Street.
  • Spots are limited to 40 since class sizes are kept small for personal attention.
  • Challenge includes four (4) indoor group sessions per week and you can choose between mornings and evenings and Saturdays.
  • Sessions are 45-55 minutes and times are:
    • Monday/Wednesday/Friday – 10:00 am
    • Tuesday & Thursday – 9:00 am
    • Monday – Thursday evenings – 6:00 pm
    • Saturday – 8:30 am and & 10:00 am
  • Includes an accountability reminder every Monday.
  • All participants are recommended to complete four (4) workouts per week during the challenge. Challenge is a combination of metabolic and strength training in small group fitness sessions with nutrition education. This is recommended to achieve maximum results.
  • Includes an 8-week Skinny Jeans journal with nutrition recommendations to guarantee you get into your skinny jeans.
  • Participants cannot transfer already existing boot camp sessions from an existing month.  Challenge must be purchased separately.
  • No refunds will be issued after registration fee is paid.
  • The pre-measurement will be the first week of the challenge (4/19-4/23). The post measurement must be done between June 14th and June 16th (no final measurements after June 16th).
  • Participants will be photographed onsite and a circumference measurement and fitness assessment will be given by an MABC certified fitness trainer.
  • All equipment is onsite, participants should dress in “workout” attire, bring a bottle of water, a towel and an exercise mat.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at 414-881-5348.

Challenge Fee:

$499.00 per person. That is only $15.59 per session with a certified and professional personal fitness trainer.

Challenge Results:

Once you have completed 8-weeks (32 sessions) of full body, metabolism stimulating, lean muscle toning and fun workouts and can say, “hey look, I fit into my skinny jeans,” you will be entered into a drawing to win a FREE pair of designer jeans.

**Already signed up for an outdoor boot camp, no problem, we will be holding a Skinhy Jeans challenge at all out door boot camps for those interested in adding an extra “goal” for themselves heading into the summer season. Coaches will discuss this further the first week of camp**

CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD: A Nutritional Powerhouse in a Bowl

If you have never tried bok choy before, now is the time to try out this nutritional powerhouse. Bok choy  is rich is vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and calcium (about the same amount as a 1/2 cup of milk).


4 cups chopped bok choy

3 cups diced cooked chicken breast

1 cup shredded carrots

2 tbs minced fresh chives or green onions

2 tbs hot chile sauce with garlic

1 ½ tbs peanut or canola oil

1 tbs balsamic vinegar

1 tbs soy sauce

1 tsp minced fresh ginger


  1. Place bok choy, chicken, carrots & chives in large bowl.
  2. Combine chile garlic sauce, oil, vinegar, soy sauce & ginger in small bowl; mix well.
  3. Pour over chicken mixture; toss gently.

Foods You Think Are Healthy…But They Are Not!

Today’s Boot Camp Health Tip

I came across this list of foods that people think are healthy, but really are not. Some will be obvious to you because you are so savvy and have learned a thing or two from your boot camp SMART Nutrition packet and have listened to our nutrition tips during camp…but others may not. I searched for this list in working with a new client who is extremely over weight (but she lost 6 pounds her first week of camp). I feel like her diet was so poor that even things that seem obvious to most of us, to her are not. She is making better choices in the scheme of things BUT still poor choices all around that are affecting her progress. Change happens gradually. I thought everyone would find this information helpful as it gives you some great alternatives to your current food choices. Pass this one on.

Foods and Drinks that People Think are Healthy but are Not Healthy

Written by Jeff Behar, MS, MBA

Today more than ever many people want to look good, feel good and fight the bulge, so many people try to eat healthy an unhealthy health foods try to eat good. I stress the word “try” because although many people want to eat healthy, so many people lack the basic understanding of nutrition, and in their efforts to eat healthy foods, many people eat foods that are totally unhealthy for them. Marketing tricks, marketing gimmicks and deceptive advertising of many food companies and also poor nutrition knowledge by the media and many people blogging about healthy foods across the web does not help matters. The following is a list off several “health foods” and “health drinks” that are just not that healthy.


Breakfast CerealBreakfast Cereals. Breakfast cereals may be quick, and many taste good, but most are horrible unhealthy cereals for your health

The downside: Most breakfast cereals are often high in sugar & salt and their vitamin/mineral content is chemical based. Drop that spoon.

If you can’t resist: Opt for cereals with LESS processed sugars. Do realize though, that not all low sugar cereals will be healthier than their full-sugar counterparts. When you pick up a box of cereal, read the ingredients list. Try to select cereals listing whole-grain wheat, whole oats or wheat bran as the first ingredient. Whole-grain cereals will have more fiber. These are the healthiest cereals because they stabilize the body’s sugar-control system, reducing the incidence of Type 2 diabetes and lower the risk to heart disease. Also look for cereals that are fortified with vitamins and minerals. Look for cereals fortified with B-vitamins, zinc and iron, as well as a high amount of vitamin C because it aids in iron’s absorption. Good examples include: Kellogg’s Complete Wheat Bran Flakes, Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats, and Kashi Heart to Heart Cereal. Of course there are many more. Just read the labels and choose wisely.

Healthy alternative(s): Healthy alternative: non-processed cereals like bran, or no sugar added oatmeal. Everyone knows how healthy non-processed cereals like bran cereals are; since they contain lots of fiber (a mere 1/3rd cup of bran contains about 14 grams of fiber). To improve the taste and add variety you can cut up small pieces of high fiber fruit like, apples, dates, figs, pears and prunes and easily reach your recommended daily amount of fiber before you even leave the house!

If you do not like the taste of bran type cereals a great Healthy alternative is oatmeal. A steaming bowl of fresh cooked oatmeal is the perfect way to start off your day, especially if you are trying to prevent or are currently dealing with heart disease or diabetes. With the exception of certain flavored varieties, oatmeal is 100% natural. Oatmeal contains several important vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, heart health fiber, and a wide variety of additional nutrients and phyto-nutrients important to good health. There are several confirmed health benefits attributed to old-fashioned oatmeal; as long as it is the unprocessed version. Oats, oat bran, and oatmeal contain a specific type of fiber known as beta-glucan which can enhance the human immune system’s response to bacterial infection, lower blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure, lower risk to several cancers, lower risk to type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, and lower the risk to cardiovascular disease which reduces the risk to conditions such as atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke. This soluble fiber helps remove LDL or “bad” cholesterol, while maintaining the good cholesterol that the body needs. An added benefit of beta-glucan, is there are studies that show beta-glucan enhances the human immune system’s response to bacterial infection. Study after study has proven the beneficial effects of beta-glucan on cholesterol levels. Studies show that in individuals with high cholesterol (above 220 mg/dl), consuming just 3 grams of soluble oat fiber per day (an average amount found in one bowl of oatmeal) typically lowers total cholesterol by 8-23%. This is highly significant since each 1% drop in serum cholesterol translates to a 2% decrease in the risk of developing heart disease. The soluble fiber in oatmeal absorbs a considerable amount of water; which significantly slows down your digestive process. This result is that you’ll feel full longer, i.e. oatmeal can help you control your weight.

Higher intakes of whole grains like oatmeal also increase insulin sensitivity by lowering the Glycemic Index (GI). The soluble fiber slows also down the digestion of starch which keeps blood sugar steady. This reduces the risk for type 2 diabetes. Oats are also a very good source of several antioxidants like, vitamin E, tocotrieonols, selenium, phenolic acids, phytic acid and a unique antioxidant compound called avenanthramide. These multifunctional antioxidants come in immediate-release to slow-release forms and thus are available throughout the gastrointestinal tract over a long period after being consumed. These powerful antioxidants prevent free radicals from causing damage to cells in the body, reducing the risk to several diseases, including cardiovascular disease, and for cancer, especially colon cancer and breast cancer. Oats and other whole grains contain many other important micronutrients like: phytoestrogens, plant compounds that may lower the risk to cancers, and positively affect blood cholesterol levels, blood vessel elasticity, bone metabolism, and many other cellular metabolic processes; B vitamins, minerals like copper, iron, phosphorus, zinc, manganese and magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the body’s use of glucose and insulin secretion. Oatmeal cooked in milk enhances the food value of the dish, as milk is rich in calcium and protein. Also consider adding a scoop of metabolism-boosting protein.

Instant Flavored Oatmeal: Instant flavored oatmeal is not the same as their 100% Quaker oatmeal natural cousins. Although they have oats in them, they are not as healthy as you may think.

The downside: Most instant oatmeal contains large amounts of sugars and has less fiber than the unprocessed versions.

If you can’t resist: Opt for 100% rolled oats and add in some fruit, or some natural sweeteners

Healthy alternative(s): 100% rolled oats. 100% rolled oats provide all the health effects discussed above.

Muffins. Many people reach for a bran muffin believing that a bran muffin is healthy and large bran muffin is a nutritious breakfast.

The downside: Most bran muffins contain little bran. Additionally many muffins today are HUGE. Years ago, one muffin was approximately 150, 3 to 5 grams of fat and about the size of tennis ball. Today, muffins are supersized! It is not uncommon for a muffin to be 350 to 450 calories, with 15 to 20- grams of fat. They also contain little to no protein. Protein is important to body functions and it also helps increase insulin sensitivity by lowering the Glycemic Index of the meal, and increase fullness.

If you can’t resist: Stick to muffins that are of normal size (or split one with someone). Opt for muffins with a short ingredient list, made from whole grain flour, corn meal or bran. Choose a muffin that has 5 or more grams of fiber, less than 200 calories per serving and no more than 5 grams of fat or added sugars.

Healthy alternative: Try a whole-grain English muffin. Spread a light layer of peanut butter on a toasted half, and then top with fruit. That will set you back only about 150 calories, plus you’ll have some healthy nutrients to show for it.

Bagel with Cream Cheese. Many people grab a bagel, often with cream cheese or jam in the bagels-and-cream-cheese morning. This may be easy and quick, but definitely not healthy.

The downside: A bagel at some of the bagel chains can be four servings of bread. Most also contain processed white flour, and simple carbs that will convert quickly to sugar once in your body. They also contain little nutrition and barely any protein. A bagel with cream cheese can top the calorie charts at approximately 500-700 calories and can contain upwards of 40 grams of fat! The bread is bad enough, containing 300 calories and 60 grams of carbohydrates, but add a healthy serving of cream cheese and your “harmless” bagel weighs in as worse than a Whopper.

If you can’t resist: If you must have a bagel, look for bagels made from whole grains where possible. This would make a slightly better choice, as the added fiber would help slow down the breakdown from starch to sugar. Eat half the bagel and top it with an egg white omelet or some tuna or white fish. This swap will save you nearly 200 calories, plus provide a surge of metabolism-boosting protein. Note: most bagel chains “whole wheat” bagels, are anything but whole wheat. Most “whole wheat” bagels are mostly white flour with a little whole wheat thrown in.

Healthy alternative: Skip the bagel and have a egg white omelet. This swap will save you nearly 300 calories, plus provide a surge of metabolism-boosting protein. And a recent study from the University of Connecticut found that eating eggs can help raise HDL (good) cholesterol.

Yogurt with Fruit at the Bottom. Individually, fruit and yogurt are two of the healthiest food choice at the grocery store. Yogurt is nutrient-rich. Live and active cultures are beneficial for the intestines and immune system. Fruit can provide lots of good vitamins and minerals, and also fiber. But Yogurt with fruit at the bottom does not offer the same healthy benefits of eating these items separately and in their unprocessed form.

The downside: If you are eating yogurt with fruit at the bottom in the morning, you might as well be eating candy. Manufacturers add corn syrup to most of these products; which effectively doubles the amount of sugar. A small cup can contain upwards of 30n grams of sugar! Even the fat free products are not necessarily healthy. They still contain lots of added sugars. The low sugar varieties may also not be so healthy. Most of these varieties contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame suspected to cause health effects.

If you can’t resist: Choose the lower sugar varieties that contain active yogurt cultures.

Healthy alternative: Make your own yogurt and fruit snack. Mix a cup of nonfat plain yogurt with a half cup of mixed berries. This way you minimize the sugar, and maximize the health benefits of the yogurt. Natural unprocessed yogurt contains live active cultures to help your digestive system, as well as metabolism boosting protein.


Store Bought Sandwiches. Most store bought sandwiches are anything but healthy. Even the subway-sandwich sandwiches labeled as healthy, can contain more calories and more fat than a fast food hamburger.

The downside: Most store bought sandwiches contain highly processed luncheon meets (see below) that are full of preservatives. They also often contain sugar-laden salad dressings, little veggies & proteins and too much white bread. The freshness is questionable and you need the foot-long to fill your stomach. The large amount of processed white bread and small serving of protein causes a surge in blood sugar. Because the protein serving is usually small, it does little to lower blood sugar and increase satiety (fullness) levels.

Often labeled “fitness” or “light”, but containing sugar-laden salad dressings, little veggies & proteins and too much white bread. Freshness is questionable and you need the foot-long to fill your stomach. Few things are quite as American as brown-bagging it with a bologna or ham and cheese lunchmeat sandwich. Indeed, refrigerated processed meats, including deli meats, brought in about $17 billion in 2004, according to a report by Packaged Facts. Refrigerated sliced lunchmeats are a $3-billion industry.

If you can’t resist: Look for sandwiches that are fresh, little to no preservatives, low fat dressings (e.g., mustard instead of mayo, or vinaigrette with healthy oils), and containing a healthy serving of low fat protein (e.g., fresh turkey breast).

Healthy alternative: Make your own healthy sandwiches with a healthy serving of low fat protein and healthy serving of vegetables.

Lunch Meats. Refrigerated sliced lunch meats are a $3-billion industry. Luncheon meats are easy; quick and convenient. For many it is a quick way to get needed protein into their diet.

The downside: Many lunch meats, including ham, turkey and roast beef contain added solutions of water, sodium and water or water and spices. Most luncheon meats contain nitrites and nitrates (preservatives), monosodium glutamate (MSG), and other coloring and flavoring additives that have been linked to cancer. Nitrates can lead to the formation of nitrosamines, “which have been identified as carcinogenic substances for quite some time. Cancers of the esophagus, larynx, mouth, liver and stomach seem to be associated with nitrosamines. Monosodium glutamate (MSG has been associated with sudden cardiac death, particularly in athletes, and excito-toxic damage to brain neurons. If this was not bad enough, in August 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved six viruses as a food additive to be sprayed on cold cuts and packaged deli meats to protect against the food-borne-bacteria Listeria monocytogenes that is sometimes found on cold, packaged meat products

If you can’t resist: Choose low fat luncheon meets that do not contain preservatives, coloring and other flavoring additives.

Healthy alternative: Have your grocer cut your luncheon meets directly from freshly cooked whole turkey or chicken breast.

Fast Food Salads. People today want to be healthy, and in an effort to be healthy many people choose unhealthy salads and opt out of the burger and fries at a fast food place and reach for what they believe to be a healthier alternative: a salad. However, all salads are not equal when it comes to nutrition, and just because a salad has a little lettuce and is served in a bowl does not make it healthy. In fact MOST store bought salads, and MOST salads from fast food establishments are anything BUT healthy.

The downside: Often these salads lack the darker healthier vegetables, use iceberg lettuce rather than a healthier alternative. These salads also often come with fattening products already on them, like whole eggs and cheese. Once you add the sugar-laden salad dressings, bacon bits, and the croutons; which tend to be fried or baked in oil, these “healthy” salads can top 800 calories and contain over 65g of fat. This is more calories and fat than a McDonald’s Big Mac and medium fries. A salad like this contains 70 percent of the fat that a man should eat in a day, and almost 100% of the fat that a woman should consume in a day.

If you can’t resist: Order a salad that does not come with fattening cheese and other fattening products on it. Look for a salad with lots of different colors as it’s likely to have one or two of your five to seven vegetables a day. Pass on the sugar-laden salad dressings, the croutons, the bacon bits and most of the other “sides” they throw in.

Healthy alternative: Make your own salads. This way you can control exactly what is in the salad. You can also ensure that you include enough veggies and enough protein and minimize unhealthy fats and toppings that are loaded with salt, sugar, preservatives and unhealthy fats. In regards to dressings, opt for balsamic vinegar. If you are creative, you can also create your own fresh healthy salad dressing, using ingredients like heart healthy olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and Dijon mustard. Beans, raw almonds, and tomato salsa can also make great salad toppers.

“Light and Healthy” Frozen Meals. Frozen meals are quick and convenient. There is no argument that frozen dinners have become less unhealthy over the years with the addition of such options as Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine, and South Beach. Although these ”healthy” versions include some vegetables and low fat protein, these “healthy” frozen meals are still not all that healthy.

The downside: These frozen meals are processed, high in sugar, and come with sauces and are still usually high in sodium. Many frozen dinners contain preservatives such as BHT, a possible carcinogen in animals, as well as polysorbate 80 and propylene glycol, the same ingredient found in antifreeze. Although consuming these preservatives from an occasional frozen dinner is unlikely to be harmful, combining frozen dinners with other processed foods on a daily basis could expose you to more preservatives than you need. Most frozen dinners also contain a minimum of 600 mg of sodium and may have as much as 1,900 mg of sodium. With these high sodium values, it can be a challenge to stay within the recommended daily sodium intake of 2,400 mg. or less daily. Additionally the entrée in a healthy frozen dinner is often short on protein, and the vegetable sides included are often well under a serving, limiting your ability to consume the recommended five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Eating too many heavily processed foods can also leave you short on key nutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

If you can’t resist: Choose brands like Healthy Choice which have less fat, less sodium, less fats and less calories.

Healthy alternative: A healthier alternative would be to spend a day cooking large batches of your favorite meals; then freezing them in convenient portion-sized containers. The advantages to making your own frozen meals are: you can control what goes in them, there’s no need for preservatives, and they save you money. Another advantage homemade frozen dinners help you use up all your groceries, including canned veggies. This can be a huge money saver if you’re someone who finds food going to waste in your fridge or in your pantry.

Processed Soy Products. While soy may be low in fat and has some cardiovascular and overall health benefits because of their high content of polyunsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals and low content of saturated fat, these benefits are not as substantial as was once believed. Emerging science is actually linking processed soy foods like soy milk, soy meat products, soy ice cream, soy energy bars, etc., to a variety of unhealthy conditions.

The downside: Despite the myriad of health claims that surround soy, processed soy foods like soy milk, soy meat products, soy ice cream, soy energy bars, etc., have been linked to:

  • Lower testosterone in males
  • Increased estrogen in males
  • Digestive problems
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Cognitive decline
  • Reproductive disorders
  • Immune system breakdowns
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer (Phytic acid, trypsin inhibitors, toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines are all highly present in soy products).
  • Increased incidences of breast cancer among women

If you can’t resist: If you want to eat soy, stick to the unprocessed versions (tempeh, miso and edamame). Eat all processed soy in moderation.

Healthy alternative: Any high protein whole food such chicken breast, turkey breast, fish, egg whites, low fat milk, goats milk, coconut milk, almond milk, high protein seeds, high protein beans, and lentils. High quality low fat natural protein powders made from whey and egg protein is also a good alternative.


White pasta, white bread, white rice, etc. These products are a staple for many. However, these products through processing have had many health benefits of eating them removed. Most people are unaware of the health implications that consuming too much of them can cause.

The downside: White paste, white bread and white rice have had have been stripped of their outer bran coating and inner germ during the milling process, leaving only the endosperm. This removes the healthy fiber, and many of the healthy nutrients, including the phytochemicals and antioxidants; which help to protect against coronary heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes. By removing the outer bran coating and inner germ during the milling process, the otherwise healthy lower glycemic foods become higher glycemic foods which increase the chances of developing insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and several other health conditions including obesity, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and many more. The bran also contains essential oils; which help lower serum cholesterol; which is a major risk factor in heart disease. Therefore the oil in the bran helps to reduce the risk of heart disease.

If you can’t resist: Eat these in moderation, choose smaller portions and add low fat protein to the meal which will lower the overall glycemic index and not raise blood sugar levels as badly.

Healthy alternative: Choose 100% whole grain versions of rice, pasta and bread, which have more fiber, more nutrients and have a lower glycemic index. Lower glycemic index foods are associated with a slower and less dramatic rise and fall of blood sugar.

Beans packed in sugary syrups (e.g., Boston Baked Beans). Baked beans are good for you because these types of beans are loaded with fiber; however this benefit comes with a number of downsides.

The downside: The sugary syrup that baked beans come in contains as much sugar as in a can of soda. This sugar spikes your blood sugar and insulin levels. This is never good for preventing heart disease or type II onset diabetes. It is also a very high caloric product that can contribute to weight gain.

If you can’t resist: Eat a small portion. Add in some low fat protein which will lower the overall glycemic index and slow the rise in blood sugar levels.

Healthy alternative: Choose red kidney beans or garbanzo beans which are packed with protein and fiber.

Fruit cocktail. Fruit cocktail has made the list for the obvious reasons, sugar and calories.

The downside: Fruit cocktails whether they come with heavy syrup or even in fruit juice are loaded with sugar. Typically there’s more sugar in a can of fruit cocktail than in a candy bar or a glass of soda. As far as nutritional benefits, because the fruit is processed you do not get the fiber and many of the nutritional benefits that you would get as you do with whole fruit. Also many of the brands also contain unhealthy preservatives. Stick to the real stuff.

If you can’t resist: Make your own fruit cocktail using whole fruits.

Healthy alternative: Eat whole fruit including the skin if possible, but limit it to one serving of fruit per meal/snack to avoid insulin spikes.


Granola Bars. Because granola bars contain two healthy ingredients, oats & nuts, people believe that granola bars are healthy. Adding to the confusion is they are often marketed as healthy food.

Last but not least, I actually saw advertised on a box of “Raisinettes,” yeah the chocolate covered raisin…contains Fruit Antioxidants and is 30% less fat.

Boy, they’ll stop at nothing to get customers! Buyers beware!

Thanks and remember we are here to help!

~ Coach Catherine and the Milwaukee Adventure Boot Camp Team


Get Your Kid To Eat Healthy

Getting your kids to eat healthy food can be a challenge, to say the least. Here are some tips to help you win the battle this holiday and for the rest of the school year:

  • Start early. Introduce as many flavors and textures as possible when you wean them onto baby food..
  • Do a PR job. “Sell” fruit as a dessert before your children get hooked on the idea of cakes and sweets as dessert. For example, try saying, “Mmmmmm. Mummy has got such a lovely mango for you today when you have eaten all your lunch.” This really works. My two see fruit as a real treat!
  • Pretend your children have never rejected a vegetable in their lives. Keep putting things on their plate that you know they are unlikely to eat. Casually suggest they try it. If they won’t try it, don’t react. If they do, give them lots of praise. This can be terribly disheartening, but trust me, persevering means that one day, the child will give in and try it. A woman I know got her son to start eating cucumber after putting it on his plate approximately 20 times. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, but you get the idea.
  • Go stealth. Hide vegetables. If they’ll eat Bolognese sauce, lasagna, curry – in fact anything sauce- or soup-based – grate carrots into it. Chop up mushrooms and peppers really, really small and throw them in. If they really like pasta, you’re onto a winner. Whizz up all sorts of vegetable concoctions, stir just a teaspoon or two into pasta, pile on lots of cheese, and they won’t even notice it.
  • Make your own burgers with mince, onion and grated apple.
  • Get creative; think laterally. Some kids won’t eat beef casserole on its own, but if mixed with a spoonful of it into a jacket potato, they’ll eat it with enthusiasm.
  • Remember that no matter how much they won’t eat, they will always surprise you. Never underestimate your children’s tastes!
  • Mash or slice banana into their breakfast cereal. Or, grate some apple in it.
  • Be discerning about convenient “snacks“. Cubes of plain cheese are much less processed than the brands marketed for lunch boxes. Choose yogurt-coated fruit or raisins as a “treat” instead of sweets, and rice cakes or a handful of seeds / nuts instead of chips.
  • Use “tricks.” The right reinforcement can work wonders. Some kids love a particular children’s TV program in which the lead character is very active and needs “”sports candy”” to give them energy. “Sports candy” is actually apples, and many kids will happily chomp through at least two a day. Also, if they are told that one of their best friends’ favorite food is broccoli, they are much more likely to try it. It’s even better if you can get the aforementioned friend to join you for lunch and eat the broccoli together.
  • Get them involved. It’s pretty easy to grow things like tomatoes in the garden, and they’ll enjoy watering and picking them.
  • Bribe them. OK, we’re onto desperate measures now. Bribing (“If you eat all your lunch, you can have x or y.”) works short term, but use it carefully and sparingly.

If all else fails, try not to worry. Also try not to get into big battles; it’ll convince your child that this eating thing is a horrible process. Keep in mind that with children, most things are phases and will pass. Just keep on offering healthy options. Let them see you eating and enjoying healthy stuff. Relax – life as a parent is full of worry as it is. And let’s face it, when they’re teenagers, they’ll spend all their pocket money on sugar-laden sweets and fatty chips, and we probably won’t even know about it!


~ Coach Catherine and the Milwaukee Adventure Boot Camp Team


Adapted from Shereen Flaxman- http://www.kidica.com/raising-children/child-health/kids-food.aspx

Nine Ways to Have a Great Holiday Season with Your Eating Plan Intact

The  Thanksgiving-to-New Year’s holiday season can be a fun time of celebrating with friends and family . . . but if you’re not careful, it can turn into a 5-week festival of overeating, too. Not only is this period associated with heavy winter comfort foods, but seasonal treats and big holiday meals can be a minefield for people trying to stick to a fitness plan. It’s no wonder so many people end up dieting in January just to make up for their recent excesses. But as someone committed to gaining and maintaining a fit body, you should know that it is possible to enjoy the season without feeling deprived or looking like a party pooper.  Follow these tips, and you can have a fun time and maintain your weight—or end up even leaner than before.

Forget the preemptive diet. A new British study found that lots of women crash-diet before the holidays in the expectation that they’ll overindulge during the season itself. But your goal should be to learn healthy eating habits that you can stick with over the long term, not to lose weight now just so you can gain it back later. That’s likely to lead to a yo-yo dieting cycle, which could lower your metabolism and make fat loss more difficult than ever. Instead, make the decision now that you’ll eat reasonable portions later and you won’t have anything to make up for.

Stick to your workout program – or start one! Exercise and eating right go hand in hand. When you’re working out, the food you eat goes toward energy and muscle, not fat. And you’ll naturally want to eat foods that fuel your body, instead of junk that detracts from your performance. And if you do indulge in occasional treats, your regular workouts will help prevent them from doing much damage. Remember, you’re building a habit of fitness that will last you a lifetime. When better to work on it than the busiest period of the year? You’ll learn how to devote time to your own well-being every day, even when you have a lot of other things to do. And when your friends and family see you getting leaner and fitter while they’re poking new holes in their belts, you’ll be an amazing inspiration.

Be careful with comfort foods. When it’s cold outside, you may be tempted to cocoon indoors with hot, hearty meals and snacks. This isn’t necessarily a problem if you make fitness-friendly choices. But if lousy weather or a lack of sunshine makes you crave carb-heavy dishes, prepare them with healthier carbs such as root vegetables and whole grains, not macaroni or mashed-potato flakes. And make them part of a balanced meal, not the whole thing.

Moderate your treats. More than any other time of year, the holiday season is associated with lots of “special” foods—turkey and stuffing, pumpkin pie, candied yams, green-bean casserole, latkes, Christmas cookies, etc. Some of these would put you way off your food plan, even if you managed not to stuff yourself the way so many people do. But others are just fine when eaten in moderation, or can be made much healthier—in fact, you couldn’t do much better than a meal of turkey, baked yams, and fresh green beans.

Plan ahead for parties. Cocktail parties can be the downfall of any food plan, but they don’t have to be. First, if you’re expecting to be served treats or hors d’oeuvres instead of healthful food, have a protein-rich snack before you go. It’ll prevent you from gobbling up appetizers or sweets out of sheer hunger, and will help keep your blood sugar steady even if you do have a few cookies or crab puffs. If there’s a buffet, watch your portions carefully; it’s easy to pile on the food, especially if there are a lot of choices you want to try. And if it’s a potluck, bring along a dish that’s both tasty and healthful—it’ll guarantee there’s something good for you to eat, and others will probably appreciate it, too.

Don’t stress out. A recent study at the University of California, San Francisco, confirms what you already know: You’re more likely to eat high-calorie comfort foods when you’re under chronic stress. And the holidays can be a perfect storm of stressful conditions and sweet treat availability. You probably can’t avoid the annoyances that come with too little time or money, holiday crowds, or lengthy family get-togethers, but you can keep them from getting you down. If you’re working out regularly, you already have a leg up on the average person, because exercise helps reduce tension and create an upbeat mood. Help yourself even more by doing something relaxing for a few minutes each day, whether it’s yoga, meditation, or simply listening to calming music. And if you do start feeling stressed, stop for a few seconds and take slow, deep breaths instead of reaching for an extra snack.

Don’t abuse the booze. Yes, a glass of wine or champagne can be a nice way to celebrate the season, and it’s pretty much obligatory on New Year’s Eve. But too much drinking has all kinds of negative effects: extra calories (which your body will burn while storing carbohydrates), lowered inhibitions (which can lead to overeating, or behavior that will require an apology later on), and a feeling of sluggishness or worse the next day that can derail your fitness plan. As long as you’re an adult and don’t have problems with alcohol, an occasional drink or two is fine—but if your cheeks regularly get as red as Santa, eventually your belly will resemble his, too.

Avoid the food-gift trap. You could stay away from heavy sweets all year and still find it hard to resist grandma’s special fudge, even if the box contains two full days’ worth of calories and enough sugar to fuel an army of hummingbirds. So what should you do with food gifts? Store-bought baskets of fatty sausages and “cheese food” are fine to re-gift (or donate to a food bank), but homemade goodies are trickier. You’ll have to be polite and enjoy a little, preferably in the giver’s presence. Leave the rest out for the family to share, or bring it to work (where it’ll probably be devoured quickly). If it’s a treat you really love, divide it into small pieces and freeze them in individual baggies, so you won’t be tempted to eat it all at once.

Give yourself a break. If you do overindulge at some point, don’t beat yourself up about it, or decide to give up entirely and start over in January. As long as you have a consistent fitness program, you’re unlikely to lose the progress you’ve made. Just keep your healthy routine and don’t forget about the advanced boot camps between

regular camp sessions. Every day, go back to your food plan, and look forward to your healthiest holidays ever.

~ Coach Catherine – Milwaukee Adventure Boot Camp www.milwaukeebootcamp.com

Adapted from Ben Kallen and http://teambeachbody.com/about/newsletters/-/nli/147#37039379

Stay Fit This Holiday Season

The holidays shouldn’t leave you looking like a bowlful of jelly. As fun as the holiday season is, it can be rough on your fitness program. Bad weather, stress, and lack of time can sap your motivation, while parties, visitors, and vacations can distract you from your workouts. It’s no wonder so many people gain weight in November and December, only to regret it on January 2nd.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can keep up or even improve your fitness level, stave off weight gain, and enjoy the holidays as much as ever. Just stick with the following guidelines.

Manage your time. Scheduling your workouts in advance, and letting those around you know (your family and friends so they can December calendarhelp you stay on track), is always a good idea. But it’s especially important over the holidays, when just saying “I’ll do it when I have time” can be a recipe for failure. Your free time is sure to get filled up with other activities, and it’s easier than ever to forget about working out. On the other hand, if you schedule your workouts just like any appointments, you’re much more likely to do them when the time comes. (Better still, invite some friends, neighbors or family members from out of town to join you for extra motivation.) If you absolutely can’t find time on a particular day, mark it as a recovery period, and make sure you have a workout scheduled for the day afterward. It’ll prevent you from losing the fitness gains you’ve built, and ensure that you keep your exercise habit intact.  Check out our December fitness  schedule.

Keep up your energy. If your holiday period is marked by flurries of frantic activity followed by a worn-out feeling, you’re not alone. But you can shorten those “dragging” periods with these healthy habits:

Stick to your food plan. Loading up on high-carb holiday treats can cause blood sugar fluctuations that leave you feeling tired, while subsisting on rushed snacks or skipping meals entirely prevents you from getting the fuel you need. But regular, high-quality meals and snacks will keep you running at top speed, whether you’re working out or fighting over the last “Dora the Explorer” doll in the toy store.

Take time to relax. A meditation session, a round of yoga, or just a few minutes sitting with a hot drink or your favorite music will go a long way toward recharging your batteries.

See the light. If your energy takes a nosedive in the wintertime, you may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder, a mood-dampening condition caused by too little light exposure. See if you perk up after getting more rays (either by spending more time outside on sunny days, or by using a full-spectrum light box). If that doesn’t help, see your doctor.

No skipping. If you feel a little tired before a planned workout, don’t take that as a signal to skip it. Chances are your energy levels will pick up once you start moving. And when you exercise regularly, you’re much less likely to experience those lulls during the rest of the day.

Travel right. This is a great time of year to take a vacation or visit family—but without advance planning, those trips can bring your fitness program to a screeching halt. Here’s how to avoid that:

Protect yourself on the plane. Since there’s no guarantee that an airline will have healthy food on hand, pack a meal or snack in advance, and make sure you drink plenty of liquids. If you’re worried about catching something on the flight, boost your disease-fighting ability by eating fresh veggies and fruit as much as possible. And use antibacterial hand products often.

Watch out when eating out. Travel often means a lot of restaurant meals, and that can derail your food plan in a hurry. Try to find restaurants that serve high-quality meals, or, if that’s not possible, order the best of what is on the menu. (Even the IHOP® has some healthful, high-protein selections these days.) But if you eat in a chain restaurant, check out the nutrition ratings just to make sure you’re not getting one of those 2,000-calorie salads.

Organize healthy activities. When you go to a warm beach or on a ski vacation, this is a no-brainer. But if you’re traveling to an unfamiliar city, you should find out in advance what you can do that requires a little movement. And if you’re staying with family members who prefer life on the couch, suggest some outdoor games—or, if the weather isn’t cooperative, healthy indoor activities. Even a post-meal walk will get everyone’s blood pumping and prevent total lethargy from setting in.

Take your workout with you. A band and a jump rope with your running shoes is all you need. Ask and we will be happy to send you the MABC vacation and hotel workout.

Take care of your health. Nothing can derail a workout program like getting sick. And you may be extra-vulnerable to illness at this time of year, when stress and bad weather collide with cold and flu season. But a few basic precautions can improve your odds:

Wash your hands frequently, especially before touching your nose or mouth. (A recent study found that it doesn’t matter how hot the water is, but for maximum benefit, you need to lather with soap for at least 20 seconds.)

Avoid germs. If you work out in a gym, clean the equipment with antibacterial spray, or at least cover it with a towel. Warm, moist surfaces are an ideal place for germs to live and grow.

Get plenty of sleep—less than 7 or 8 hours per night can compromise your immune system. (It can also slow your exercise recovery.) Try to save the late-night carousing for times when you can sleep late or take a nap the next day.

Drink plenty of water. It’s easy to forget when it’s cold outside, but staying hydrated helps keep your immune system in top working order.

Get a flu shot. Remember, there are different strains of the flu virus every year, so last year’s shot won’t keep you protected.

Maintain your healthy eating habits, and get a complete supply of vitamins every day. If you do come down with a mild cold, it’s okay to keep working out—moderate exercise can actually boost your immunity. If you’re following a high-powered exercise program such as Boot Camp training- and you have chest congestion, or if can barely get out of bed, it maybe a sign that you need to rest up and recover. When in doubt, ask your doctor.

~ Coach Catherine – Milwaukee Adventure Boot Camp – http://www.milwaukeebootcamp.com

Adapted from Beach Body and By Ben Kallen

A Simple Prescription for Good Health

Want the bottom-line prescription for good health?  Cut down on all food products made with any kind of flour and sugar.

According to best-selling author Andrew Weil, M.D. and founder/director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, sugar and processed carbohydrates are the primary culprits in the obesity epidemic. This is just one of the premises explored in his new book, Why Our Health Matters.

Weil emphasizes the importance of focusing on what you eat as much as how much you eat.  Health comes from eating the right amount of good foods and including exercise in your routine.Grocery Cart

With added sugars and refined carbohydrates jam-packed into every product, what can we do? When shopping, try to fill your cart with vegetables and lean meats.  Stick to the outside aisles of the grocery store, because that is where you will find the unprocessed foods. 
*Want some more guidance, check out the Milwaukee Adventure Boot Camp Grocery Tour Schedule

You can take responsibility for your health by making smarter choices for you and your family.  Every decision, even something as simple as quenching your thirst with water instead of sugary soda, is a step toward a healthier you.

Adapted from Jorge Cruise’s Fit Smart article, USA Weekend, October 2-4, 2009
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