April 2014

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Recent Posts

  1. Salmon Panzanella - Perfect for Warm Weather!
    Thursday, August 04, 2011
  2. Family Fitness
    Wednesday, June 08, 2011
  3. Ground Turkey Wraps with Mango Chutney
    Tuesday, May 17, 2011
  4. Toning Shoes?
    Wednesday, May 04, 2011
  5. Take a Stand Against Sitting
    Wednesday, April 27, 2011
  6. Tea Time!
    Friday, May 07, 2010
  7. Fiber
    Thursday, May 06, 2010
  8. Eating and Exercise
    Wednesday, April 28, 2010
  9. Breathe
    Thursday, March 04, 2010
  10. Supplements
    Wednesday, November 04, 2009

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Fitness 360's Personal Training BLOG

Salmon Panzanella - Perfect for Warm Weather!

If there's one thing that the hot weather brings out in the people of San Diego, it's the desire to have some fun in the sun! And what tops off a day of activities in the beautiful sunshine better than a fresh and easy dinner like this Salmon Panzanella from (you guessed it) This fresh-tasting Italian bread salad is low calorie, low carbs, simple and delicious. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!


  • 8 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 thick slices day-old whole-grain bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (see Tip)
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled (if desired), seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1 pound center-cut salmon, skinned (see Tip) and cut into 4 portions
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Preheat grill to high.
  2. Whisk olives, vinegar, capers and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in oil until combined. Add bread, tomatoes, cucumber, onion and basil.
  3. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Season both sides of salmon with salt and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Grill the salmon until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  4. Divide the salad among 4 plates and top each with a piece of salmon.

Tips & Notes

  • Tips: If using fresh bread, you can grill the bread slices along with the salmon and then cut them into cubes. Alternatively, cut bread into cubes, place on a baking sheet and bake at 300°F until dry.
  • How to skin a salmon fillet: Place salmon fillet on a clean cutting board, skin-side down. Starting at the tail end, slip the blade of a long knife between the fish flesh and the skin, holding down firmly with your other hand. Gently push the blade along at a 30° angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through either.
  • To oil the grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to spray the food with cooking spray before placing it on the grill.


Per Serving: 362 calories; 21 g fat ( 3 g sat , 12 g mono ); 72 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 29 g protein; 5 g fiber; 386 mg sodium; 1002 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (67% daily value), Vitamin C (30% dv), Potassium (29% dv), Vitamin A (20% dv), Magnesium (18% dv), Excellent source of omega-3s

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 2 fat

Family Fitness

Getting your kids involved in your fitness goals not only helps them build a strong foundation for healthy living, but it can help increase your motivation when you know you've got those cute little eyes watching you. What's more, a little extra family time in a relaxed environment helps strengthen the bond between you and your kids. Find something that the whole family enjoys (game of tag in the backyard anyone?) and the word "exercise" won't cross anyone's mind!
's family section has a great list of fun family activities from bike rides to frisbee games. You can plan a week in advance (build up the suspense so everyone's excited for Saturday to roll around!) or set aside a half-hour after dinner and dishes are done for a walk around the neighborhood.

Start early to help make your kids healthy adults! Check out all of the ideas HERE

Ground Turkey Wraps with Mango Chutney

For most of us these days, it's difficult to find time to take care of ourselves. With jobs, kids, appointments and errands, the list can seem endless and time is always short. So it's no wonder that we run through the drive thu or call in a pizza at the end of the night.

(Okay, enjoying an occasional slice of pizza will not hurt you. But too much of a good thing is just that. Too much!)

Most people think that as a trainer, I do not struggle with these issues. But I assure you, I do. With our busy schedules, my wife and I constantly have to remind each other of the importance of taking care of ourselves. Lucky for me, she likes to experiment in the kitchen! Unlucky for her, is that she often has little time to whip something together, particularly during the week.

So with smart phone in hand, she's turned to the internet to do her "what's for dinner" thinking for her. And not surprisingly, she's found quite a few great resources that not only help figure out what's for dinner, but also allow her to choose how much time she wants to spend making it, what ingredients she wants in it, and how many nutrients (and let's face it, calories) we're getting out of it.

In fact, she's gathered up so many healthy dinner winners as of late, that I thought I'd start sharing some of them with you.

Tonight's recipe was adapted from (her favorite and most used site to date). Mind you, she often times makes a few tweaks here and there, but typically the changes she makes are not ones that would exceed the nutritional value of what is listed.

Try this one and let me know what you think. It's definitely been put on our go-to list!

Servings: 4
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 4-10 inch tortillas (preferably whole-grain) or lavosh bread
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, divided
  • 1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
  • 4 tablespoons mango chutney (see Tips), divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Finely chop enough onion rounds to equal 1/3 cup. Combine the chopped onion with turkey, 1 tablespoon chutney and salt in a medium bowl; gently mix with your hands until well combined. Form into 4 patties (kind of kabob style), about 1 inch thick and oval-shaped to match the shape of the bread.
  3. Oil the grill rack (see Tips). Grill the remaining onion rounds until softened and blackened in spots, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Grill the patties until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 165°F, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Grill the bread lightly, about 1 minute per side.
  4. To assemble sandwiches, spread the remaining mango chutney on the bottom pieces of baguette. Top with a turkey patty, grilled onion and lettuce. Wrap it up!
Tips & Notes
  • Look for prepared mango chutney—a sweet, tangy and spicy condiment—near other Indian ingredients in the international aisle at most supermarkets.
  • To oil a grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)
Find the original recipe HERE.

PLEASE NOTE! The following nutritional information refers to the ORIGINAL recipe, made as a turkey "burger" with whole grain baguette. (The wife's recipe is a little more carb and calorie friendly than what is listed below.)


Per serving: 345 calories; 8 g fat ( 2 g sat , 0 g mono ); 65 mg cholesterol; 44 g carbohydrates; 9 g added sugars; 30 g protein; 6 g fiber; 735 mg sodium; 376 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (41% daily value)

Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 carbohydrate (other), 3 lean meat

Toning Shoes?
Personal Training

In our busy lives, we always keep an eye out for shortcuts (me included!). Fitness shoes (anyone seen the Kim Kardashian commercials?) fit right into this desire. Ultimately, most of us know that staying active and eating healthy is the only way to sustain long-term health. Need to be convinced? Read this article about the fitness shoe phenomenon.....

"The right shoes can make your workout more comfortable. But can they increase your muscle tone or help you burn more calories? 

Toning shoes have an unstable design—either a uniquely rounded sole or rounded pods built into the front and heel of the shoes and extra cushioning. This design deliberately forces you to struggle to maintain equilibrium with each step. They’re also about 4 to 7 ounces heavier than traditional running shoes.

The payoff? Their instability will supposedly make your leg muscles work harder and, along with the added weight, up your calorie burn.

It makes sense, which may explain why toning shoes are all the rage. But a pair of studies funded by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and carried out by University of Wisconsin–La Crosse exercise physiologists found that none of the toning shoes tested (Skechers Shape-Ups, MBT, and Reebok EasyTone) performed any differently than regular running shoes.

In the studies, 24 physically active women, ages 19 to 27, each completed a dozen exercise trials in which they walked on a treadmill for five minutes wearing each type of shoe in random order. The result? “There is simply no evidence to support the claims that these shoes will help wearers exercise more intensely, burn more calories, or improve muscle strength and tone,” ACE concluded."

Click HERE for full article

Take a Stand Against Sitting
Personal Training

Thought I would share this article because I think it makes some good points about our typical work day.  Try to be more aware of how much you spend sitting during the week and see if you can make some basic changes. 

"The more time you spend planted on your couch or at your desk chair, the greater the risks to your health and longevity. The solution? Get on your feet and move.  Sitting for hours at a time has been linked with weight gain and obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease risk factors, and unhealthy eating habits. It’s also a culprit in deep-vein thrombosis. In this potential killer, a blood clot forms in a large leg vein and travels through the bloodstream to the lungs, where it can block blood and oxygen flow. 

Every hour or two that you’re at your desk or sitting in an airplane, boost your circulation by taking at least a five-minute break from sitting. Stand up, stretch, walk around, or climb stairs if possible.

Meanwhile, make the rest of your day active by moving around whenever you can. When you’re talking on the phone, for example, stand or pace. Pump out a few desk push-ups while you’re viewing a Web conference.

Not only will you feel better physically, but the exercise can help you cope with stress and enhance your ability to concentrate, learn, and think creatively. Strive for at least 150 minutes of moderately intense activity like brisk walking every week."

Click HERE for the full article.

Tea Time!

The benefits of tea (green, black, even white!) have been talked about for
ages. And many ancient cultures have used tea in culinary and ritualistic
applications for centuries. With so many varieties, it could be confusing to
dig through all the information to find what their exact benefits are, and
whether some have more positive health impacts than others. So here's a
quick breakdown.

The average American drinks 155 cups of tea a year. Although the US ranks a
bit lower in tea consumption (it's number four), worldwide, tea is second
only to water as the world's most frequently consumed beverage. Tea's
popularity owes much to people's beliefs about its health benefits-verified
to some degree by recent studies.

Where Does All the Coloring Come From? .Green, black, white, and oolong tea
all actually come from the same plant. The different colors and tastes are
determined by the leaves' level of processing, country of origin, and
growing region.

In essence, all tea leaves are dried and heated. Leaves that are allowed to
ferment and oxidize yield black tea, green tea is not fermented, and oolong
falls somewhere between black and green tea in processing. White tea comes
from the unprocessed buds and possibly leaves.

Health Benefits .Studies suggests that all tea contains a major group of
antioxidants known as catechins, which help the body fight cell-damaging
unstable molecules called free radicals, which in turn, may cause cancer
cells to die. Green tea contains higher levels of antioxidants than black
tea, perhaps because of less processing.

According to the National Cancer Institute, studies have shown tea catechins
act as powerful inhibitors of cancer growth by removing free radicals before
cell injuries take place. In mice, this reduces the size of liver, skin, and
stomach tumors. However, to date, cancer studies involving humans have been
mixed. Some studies comparing tea drinkers to nondrinkers find the beverage
helps prevent cancer; others do not.

Aside from cancer-beating benefits, the American Academy of Family
Physicians has concluded green tea is effective in treating genital warts
and may help people lose weight, lower cholesterol, and reduce the risk for
stroke and heart disease.

Everything in Moderation.While no one's sure how much tea you need to drink
to reap its benefits, people in Asia tend to drink three or more cups a day
of green tea brewed using 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried tea in 8 ounces of
boiling water. One study found that steeping black or green tea for about
five minutes released more than 80 percent of its antioxidants. Instant iced
teas also contained few antioxidants, and bottles and cans of prepared green
tea contain various amounts of antioxidants, however, often with additional
ingredients. Green tea extract is also available in capsules. But since such
dietary supplements are unregulated, they may contain contaminants and
varying amounts of tea. Therefore, recommended doses are not certain.

Moderate tea intake is considered safe. However, drinking large amounts of
tea may make it harder for the body to absorb some medications and iron
supplements. The caffeine in tea can interact with medications, including
some pain relievers, blood thinners, anticoagulants, antacids, antibiotics,
and other drugs.

The main downside of drinking tea stems from ingesting too much caffeine.
That can lead to nausea, trouble sleeping, and frequent urination. People
who have anxiety attacks or irregular heartbeats should limit their intake.
Women who are breast-feeding or pregnant shouldn't drink large amounts of
tea due to its possible effects on the baby.

That said, people have been drinking tea for thousands of years with few
dangerous effects-and several potential benefits. Although further studies
are needed, drinking tea appears to be a low-risk, cost-effective, and
enjoyable complementary therapy worth cultivating.

Adapted from an article by Barbara Floria, senior writer for Vitality. For
more information, visit the National Center for Complementary and
Alternative Medicine at

Personal Training

Officially, fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can't digest. Most  women should shoot for over 20 grams of fiber a day; men should shoot for over 30 grams. Great sources are whole fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and breakfast cereals, and all manner of beans. 
So next time your at the grocery store look at the nutrition label and look for the idem with the highest fiber content.   Generally speaking things that are high in fiber are usually healthy for you. 

Eating and Exercise

Personal Training

Keep these tips in mind and see if you can incorporate them into your daily routine:  

  • Eat a healthy breakfast. Wake up early enough to eat breakfast. The majority of the energy you got from dinner last night is used up by morning. Your blood sugar may be low if  you don't eat, you may feel sluggish or lightheaded while exercising. If you plan to exercise within an hour after breakfast, eat a smaller breakfast or drink something to raise your blood sugar, such as a sports drink.
  • Time your meals based on their size. If you eat a large meal wait at least three hours before exercising. If you eat a small meal you should wait at least two hours before exercising.

    Most people can eat snacks right before and during exercise. The key is how you feel. Do what works best for you.

  • Don't skip meals. Try not to skip meals because they can cause a low blood sugar level, which can make you feel weak and lightheaded. If you're short on time before your workout, eat a protein bar, it can improve your performance, compared to eating nothing.  Also keep in mind that for some people, eating something less than an hour before exercise can cause low blood sugar. Find out what works for you.
  • Eat after your workout. To help your muscles recover and to replace their glycogen stores, eat a meal that contains both protein and carbohydrates within two hours of your exercise session if possible.
So remember next time your planning your workout keep these tips in mind.   Listen to your body and make adjustments based on how it responds. 

Personal Training

Whether you're a casual gym-goer, a mall walker, a mountain biker, an actor, singer or dancer, putting your breath at the core of your discipline will help you achieve far more than you ever thought.  During exercise, the body's demand for oxygen increases and our breathing volume or ventilation must also rise.  This requires numerous muscles surrounding the lungs to contract in a highly coordinated manner.  As the intensity of exercise increases, these respioratory muscles must contract more forcefullly and more rapidly to keep pace with the body's substantial increase in metabolism.  By increasing the strength and stamina of your respiratory system, your breathing becomes more efficient, requiring less energy.  Therefore you can take slower, deeper breaths, getting more oxygen out of each breath, you don't have to work as hard to get it, because you don't have to breathe as many times to get the same amount of oxygen.  Most people hold their breath when they lift something heavy or do a difficult movement and that's exactly what you don't want to do.  It's important to inhale on the eccentric phase and exhale on the concentric phase.  In other words breath out when you lift, push, or pull a weight and inhale during the negative phase.  So for your next workout try inhaling through your nose and exhaling out your mouth for the duration of the exercise.  It my seem hard at first but in the long run it will help you with your strength and stamina. 


Personal Training Tips

My position at Fitness 360 in regards to Nutritional Supplements is very simple- It is outside the defined scope of practice of a fitness professional to recommend, prescribe, sell, or supply nutritional supplements to clients.  Recommending supplements without possessing the necessary qualifications can place the client's health at risk and possibly expose the fitness professional to disciplinary action and litigation.  There are also potential issues with interactions between supplements and other drugs clients may be taking.  Supplements aren't regulated by the FDA, so there's no guarantee of purity, strength or interactions with other drugs.  A personal trainer's main scope of practice is to help people improve their health and fitness through exercise and behavior change. Trainer's are not qualified to go beyond educating clients in nutrition matters. 

So remember a trainer can educate you on nutrition but make sure you consult a registered dietitian before you start a particular supplement or a new diet program.

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