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FOOD
Laughing Cow™ New Year's Hors d'oeuvres

Laughing Cow Light Wedge New Year's Recipes: Petit Hors d’oeuvre Trio gets your body back  in shape from the holiday season.

Creamy and Only 35 calories for each wedge !

Recipe for 1 each:

Herbed Stuffing  Laughing Cow™ Light Garlic & Herb Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 Shitake Mushroom-medium with 1 stem
  • 1 tablespoon of left over herbed stuffing
  • ½ wedge of Laughing Cow Light™ Garlic & Herb
  • 3 asparagus tips
  • *1 tablespoon of chicken stock

Directions:

  1. Remove stem from mushroom and save
  2. Steam asparagus and mushroom in stock in microwave for 30 sec to a minute-should be firm
  3. Use some of remaining liquid to moisten left over stuffing-stuffing should be on wet side
  4. Place cheese on mushroom caps inner side, top with stuffing and bake for 5 minutes in
  5. a 350’ oven. Use stem to tie asparagus bundle and place on top of stuffing

Roasted Sundbust Laughing Cow™ Light French Onion

Ingredients:

  • 1 Sunburst Squash
  • 1 tablespoon of left over Yukon gold mash (or any plain mash potato)
  • ½ wedge of Laughing Cow Light™ French Onion
  • 2” sliced of beef tenderloin (or any roasted beef, pork)
  • 1 tablespoon of water-slightly salted

Directions:

  1. Cut the Squash long ways in half-reserve the top
  2. Steam squash in salted water-microwave for 40 secs
  3. Gently scoop out center and reserve
  4. Mix cheese, squash with mash potato and heat for 20 secs in microwave-mix well
  5. Refill squash with Laughing Cow Light™ French Onion mash potato
  6. Slice tenderloin and place on top of mash
  7. Replace top of squash-optional
  8. Tenderloin- if not using left over
  9. Cut 2” slice, rub slice with olive oil and salt
  10. Use cracked black pepper or mixed pepper and pepper beef
  11. Spray pam on sauté pan-put on medium high heat
  12. Brown meat on both sides-cook to your liking- medium rare

Crabapple Vanilla and Laughing Cow™ Light Original Swiss Crunch

  • 1 crab apple
  • ½ slice Laughing Cow™ Swiss cheese light wedge
  • 1 tsp of bear naked “fit” almond crunch granola
  • ¼ tsp of molasses
  • ¼ tsp of agave lite
  • 1 dash of cinnamon

Directions:

  1. With a knife, slice line vertical down one side of apple. Do not cut all the way thru.
  2. Place in bowl and microwave for 40 secs.- gently open apple-enough to place cheese inside and sprinkle with cinnamon. Continue microwaving for 20 secs
  3. Mix molasses and agave together.
  4. Top with granola and drizzle with molasses and agave.
FITNESS
Foam Roller

Foam Roller

A foam roller is a long foam cylinder used for myofascial release.  Myo means muscle.  Fascia is the outer layer of muscle; it provides support.  So really myofascial release is a fancy way of saying self massage and stretching. Using your own body weight in different positions you roll the foam roller underneath you.  This may feel uncomfortable if you are particularly tight in one area but the reward of relaxation is well worth it.  The breakdown of tight fascia will cause increased mobility and blood flow and decreased tension in the area.  As an added benefit holding yourself in the necessary positions to roll properly is a great way of burning some additional calories at the end of your workout while gaining strength and toning your muscles. 

Foam rollers come in different densities.  If you are particularly tight and new to foam rolling you may want a softer foam roller.

If one spot feels particularly painful it is called a trigger point.  Try to stay here and release some tension for some extra time. 

Roll slowly and only over muscle

Foam rolling can be especially useful for runners who commonly incur tight IT bands.

Foam rollers range from $20-$60

http://www.sportsauthority.com/search/index.jsp?sr=1&kw=foam+roller&origkw=foam+roller&kwCatId=&pg=1

Some great foam rolling exercises available at

http://www.performbetter.com/catalog/assets/Exercisesheets/PDF/FoamRoller.pdf

Enjoy this great post workout tool!

As always please consult your fitness and medical professional before using this equipment.  Individuals with certain heart conditions may be advised to avoid this activity.

Cable Hip Abduction

Cable Hip Abduction

The cable hip abduction exercise is one of my favorites for many reasons.  Number one, it works your gluteus medius and gluteus minimus – two very important butt muscles.  The second reason I love this exercise is that side to side motion tends to yield results very quickly because it shocks the body.  Unless you play a lot of tennis or racquetball it’s unlikely that you shuffle back and forth sideways on a daily basis.  Most of the time we are walking forward using the same muscles over and over.  Let’s change it up and use those side stabilization muscles that aid in a tough toned lower half.

To start stand in front of a low cable facing one side.  Attach a cable cuff to the ankle furthest from the pulley.  Shifting your weight onto only the foot closer to the pulley, move your cuffed ankle in front of the weighted foot and kick laterally away from you and the machine.  Slowly lower.  Repeat 10-20x.

 If no cable is available a rubber resistance band or tubing can be used

A good thing to have checked in the balance between your hip abductors and adductors. They are very important stabilizers. 

Sliding Lateral Lunge

The lateral lunge is a great exercise for the advanced individual.  It utilizes some of your bodies largest muscles including the gluts which leads to a large calorie burn.  In addition, since lateral movement is uncommon in day to day life, adding lateral motion to your workouts can help to overcome plateaus.  The sliding lateral lunge increases the use of stabilizer muscles and hip adductor (inner thigh) muscles as you come back up.  Add weight only if you can accomplish 12 repetitions on each side with great form. 

 Stand on a hard wood floor.

  1. Place a towel under your left foot
  2. Keep your weight in your right leg as you push your butt back bending your right knee (as you would in a squat) while your left leg stays straight – make sure your right knee is behind your right toes
  3. Push back up to center pulling your left leg inward
  4. Repeat on other side

 

The Heart Rate Monitor

A heart rate monitor is used during a workout to gauge intensity.  Most models go beyond just noting the current heart rate.  Common information includes workout time, training zone, calories burned, and percent fat burned.  In my favorite model the polar F7 (http://www.polarusa.com/us-en/products/get_active/fitness_crosstraining/F7) at the end of the week an envelope pops up on your watch.  When you click the envelope it shows you a graph of your week – how many calories were burned – how many exercise sessions you participated in – how much time you spend exercising.  It keeps these weekly charts for you so you can review how this week compared to other weeks. 

I have found the heart rate monitor helps to avoid the plateau effect.  The idea of training is progressive overload.   Once the body adapts to an imposed demand there must be an increase in demand in order to achieve additional improvements – otherwise you will stay the same.  If someone using a heart rate monitor does the exact same exercise over and over without increasing the difficulty they will notice a much lower heart rate than they originally noticed.  It will beep at you and tell you to get your heart rate up.  This forces you to be aware of improvements and push yourself a little bit harder. 

It creates a greater awareness of how hard your body is working during any activity.  It is a tool I would recommend to everyone. 

 

Abdominal Bicycle Crunch

Favorite Exercise--Abdominal Bicycle Crunch

Swimsuit season is right around the corner but you’ve still got time to get bathing suit ready.   In addition to your new Reunion Diet and exercise routine you’ll want to throw in some extra core toning exercises.  Unfortunately, the regular crunch isn’t going to cut it; studies have shown the crunch exercise is actually one of the least effective abdominal exercises. (http://www.acefitness.org/getfit/studies/BestWorstAbExercises.pdf

Instead, try the abdominal bicycle crunch which has been shown to produce the most activity in both the rectus abdominus and the obliques.  To start, lye on your back with your hands behind your head.  Your knees should be bent to ninety degrees and legs lifted off the ground.  Tuck your chin down and twist your right elbow to your left knee, alternate so that your left elbow touches your right knee in a bicycle like motion.  Repeat as many times as possible.  The abdominal muscles are an endurance muscle so as you build resistance you’ll need to add time and repetitions to continue to challenge yourself.  Both twisting exercises like the roman twist and isometric contraction exercises like the plank are effective core toners.  The abdominal bicycle crunch combines the motions of both making it my all time favorite abdominal exercise. 

 

Women's National Running Series--Run Like a Diva!

http://www.runlikeadiva.com/Home_15550.htm

The Women’s National Running Series™ is a series that was developed as a celebration of Womanhood. You know who you are: you are beautiful, strong, inspiring, and you can do anything you set your mind to do. So let us pamper you in this half marathon series which honors and celebrates WOMEN. This is a running weekend for mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, friends and the men who love them too.

Alexander Pope wrote, “She moves like a goddess and looks like a queen”. These words embody and depict the feel and spirit of the running series and each individual running event associated with the running series. The Women’s National Running Series™ will launch with the Diva's Half Marathon at Long Island and will soon add an additional 2 unique events in sophisticated and exotic locations: the Wahine Half Marathon at Honolulu and the Mujer Half Marathon in Puerto Rico.                                                

So challenge yourself like a diva, run in this very unique event, and celebrate the power of being a woman with another 5,000 strong and beautiful ladies . After the run, receive an incredible blinged out finisher medal at the Jewelry Store in the finish line, dress up during the run at the feather boa station and the tiara stop, receive a rose from a handsome firefighter at the finish line, toast your accomplishment with champagne and dance the afternoon away at the Post Race Celebration

Diva Event Highlights

Success is always in the details

This event has some wonderfully unique perks that make this event different and makes you trully feel like a running DIVA:

  • Awesome, shining and spinning diva medals featuring a spot for your own photo so you can shine like a DIVA (for half marathon finishers)
  • Roses and champagne at the finish line so you can celebrate like a DIVA
  • Ladies tech shirts for all participants so you can strut like a DIVA
  • Live post race party so you can party like a DIVA
  • Feather boa stations and tiara stops on the course so you can look like a DIVA
  • 2 day Health & Fitness Boutique…because one day of shopping is never enough
  • Great goodie bags full of samples of women only products.
  • Race weekend also includes the Girls’ 5K, Movie in the Park, and Bachelor Auction so you can run, relax and laugh like a DIVA
  • Start and finish at historic Eisenhower Park
  •  USAT&F certified
  • 3.5 hour course limit
  • Official Finishers Certificate
  • Awards 3-deep in All Age Divisions
  • ChronoTrack Timing System
  • Participant Limit – 5,000 (half marathon) and 1,000 (5K)

 Finisher Medals

 

Runners travel from all over the world to run for a medal. Get ready to receive the most incredible medal in the industry. We have created the ultimate DIVA medal.  It is shiny, it spins and it even has room to put your very own picture finishing the race. This is definitely DIVA BLING.  Get ready for the unveiling on March 15.

Lisa's Tips

 

http://www.runlikeadiva.com/Diva_s_Half_Marathon/Training/Meet_Lisa_Dorfman_MS__RD__CSSD__LMHC.htm

 

 

 

 

The Yoga Block
The yoga block is an extremely versatile piece of exercise equipment.  It can be used to make almost any exercise easier or harder; it all depends on what you do with it.
One of my favorite uses of the yoga block is to place it between your feet during almost any abdominal exercise.  This will increase core strength while simultaneously working the inner thighs.  
It can also be used to intensify the push-up (one of my favorite full body exercises).  Holding a yoga block between your legs while doing a push-up will force your body into proper alignment and give your core the workout it deserves.   Another way to use a yoga block, for the advanced individual, is to place the yoga block on the floor and do push-ups with one hand on the yoga block.  If you are ready to progress, after each push up move to the other side so that the opposite hand is on the yoga block. Repeat.  You can also try push-ups with both feet on the yoga block. To progress from this, place one foot on the yoga block and one in the air.  Engage your core so that you body is still positioned in a perfectly straight line as though your foot were on another block.  
The block can also be used for balance, stretching, and meditational exercises.  I love the yoga block because it's not only one of the most versatile pieces of equipment, it's also both portable and inexpensive.  Add a yoga block to your workout if you are looking for a solid core this month.  
*The yoga block is extremely beneficial when used properly.  If you are unsure of how to utilize the yoga block please seek the advice of a local professional to ensure proper alignment.  
The Medicine Ball
The medicine ball is my favorite piece of exercise equipment.  
This ball can be used as an added challenge for stability exercises such as doing a push up with one foot on a medicine ball.  A medicine ball can be used for many great abdominal exercises such as Russian twists or throwing the ball to a partner as you both twist. Soon you can check out the website's workout section for some great interval training workouts using just you and medicine ball!
The Lunge
My all time favorite exercise is hands down the walking lunge.  It's not for everyone, so seek the advice of an expert before trying on your own!
This exercise gets your heart rate up and really works all areas of the butt and legs.  If done properly the core should also be engaged. The great thing about the walking lunge is how easy it is to spice it up with some added challenges. To build leg strength hold dumbbells or put a barbell over your shoulders.  To work the shoulders grab some lighter dumbbells and try doing a lateral raise each time you lunge.  If you are pretty advanced grab a medicine ball and twist your torso toward the direction of your front leg each time you get to the bottom of the lunge.  

FASHION
Fun Rain Boot
Tunics!
A dress that can be worn as a tunic with leggings or a great dress. Accesorize it with color!

Springtime Fashion Favorites!

This spring I suggest the perfect shirt. It’s on the pricey side, but Boy brand of outsider shirts is perfect worth every penny. Go to: http://www.openingceremony.us/products.asp?menuid=2&catid=21&designerid=92   

For a more reasonable version, try H&M’s Blues Campaign at: http://www.hm.com/us/#/theblues/  where you will find some amazing shirts. Add a crew neck sweater over your untucked, loosely buttoned blouse with khakis for a great new spring look.

 

Skinny Legging Jean

The super skinny legging jean is the best most flattering fitting legging jean on the market!  Not only does it fit all body types, it makes you look super skinny, enjoy!

http://www.martinandosa.com/web/browse/product.jsp?catId=cat40023&productId=1460_5212

Happy Holidays...Holly