Category: Diet & Nutrition

Worksite Warrior Recap – May 2015

Worksite Warrior is a team weight loss competition at the Seattle Athletic Club where local corporate teams of 6+ participants band together for 30 days using a team personal fitness trainer, the group exercise classes and the whole facility to see which team can lose the largest percentage of weight.

 

This quarter we had two teams Big Fish Game and Open Market participate in our Worksite Warrior competition. We are proud to announce that Open Market (trained by Shay Massey) won the competition losing 2.97% of their total team weight. Even though Open Market won the competition each team had some great individual results which you will see below:

 

1st Place Team Open Market:

  • 3 teammates were male and 3 teammates were female
  • 66% of them lost over 4.5 lbs in the 4 weeks
  • Their team lost a total of 37.1 lbs in the 4 weeks
  • The largest percentage of body weight lose by a team member was 6.04%
  • The average lost per person was 6.2 lbs

 

2nd Place Team Big Fish Games:

  • 1 teammate was male and 4 teammates were female
  • 80% of them lost over 3 lbs in the 4 weeks
  • Their team lost a total of 19.6 lbs in the 4 weeks
  • The largest percentage of body weight lose by a team member was 4.3%
  • The average lost per person was 3.9 lbs

 

If you think your company would be interested in participating in next quarter’s Worksite Warrior competition please contact Fitness Director Jacob Galloway.

Women’s Health Week Recap

Last week, our Wellness Director, Kendra Kainz, had a question of the day that related to Women’s health. Members were able to drop their guess into a box for prizes. Every question related specifically to women. Here are the questions for you to try to answer. The answers will be listed at the bottom of the page, but how many of them did you get right?

Question #1: Often Called the “The Silent Disease”, it is estimated as many as 8 million women are diagnosed with this disease in the United States.

Question #2: One in four women within the US die of this disease, making it the leading cause of death among women. That’s more than all cancers combined. The older a woman gets, the greater her risk.

Question #3: It’s estimated that 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with this health issue and it’s the 2nd leading cause of death. However, early detection and treatment can increase survival rates

Question #4: This health threat is responsible for almost 8 percent of all female deaths and leading cause of long-term disability in the United States. Almost 55,000 more women have this each year, and about 60 percent that die from this are women.

Question #5: This treatable endocrine disorder affects 20 million people in the US, mainly women.  Left untreated, this disorder can cause several other health issues.

 

Answers:

Question #1: Osteoporosis

Question #2: Breast Cancer

Question #3: Heart Disease

Question #4: Stroke

Question #5: Thyroid Disease

 

Next month, we will be doing a similar activity during Men’s Health Week so stay tuned and keep your out for the table for your chance to win fun prizes.

Lose It! 2015 Recap

The Seattle Athletic Club just wrapped up another very successful 12 week weight loss competition for 2015. This year we had 24 participants looking to start healthy habits and begin their weight loss journey; 63% of the participants finish the challenge by attending all 12 weekly weigh-ins. Of those that completed the challenge 86% lost weight. Of those that lost weight 85% lost over 5 lbs.

I wanted to take a moment to single out our top finishers for the competition and tell their weight loss transition through their numbers.

1st place Seth Cruse
Seth lost 22.13% of his body weight, decreasing his body fat by 14.04%.
He dropped inches from these main areas: Chest – 6”, Waist – 10” and Thigh – 1.2”.

 

Before and after photos.
Before and after photos.

 

2nd place Denise Kilgore

Denise lost 18.41% of her body weight, decreasing her body fat by 14.63%.
She dropped inches from these main areas: Chest – 3”, Waist – 4.7”, Hip – 6.3” and Thigh – 5.1”.

Denise before and after.
Denise before and after.

 

3rd place Rosie Cruse

Rosie lost 16.74% of her body weight, decreasing her body fat by 5.57%.

She dropped inches from these main areas: Chest – 3.5”, Waist – 4.1”, Hip – 3.4” and Thigh – 2”.

 

Rosie before and after.
Rosie before and after.

 

We are proud of all the hard work and dedication from everyone that participated in our competition. Many of our participants had great things to say about their Lose It! experience and how it helped them change their lives.

 

If you are looking to start a fitness program, please come see any of the fitness staff. Everyone at that Seattle Athletic Club is here to help and assist all members with any fitness endeavor. As you can see, you can be more successful using a structured program and network of people looking to help you out. So, when it comes to your next fitness adventure, come talk to the professionals at the Seattle Athletic Club!

 

For more information about healthy weight loss, please contact Fitness Director, Jacob Galloway.

Inspirational Member of the Month – Denise Kilgore!

Denise Kilgore has gone through a lot of changes in her life; if you saw her 5 months ago you may not actually recognize who she was. Starting before the New Year, Denise decided she needed to make a change, a change which came in the way of becoming a healthier person. She has always struggled with her weight, so much so that she couldn’t find many pictures to submit for this article because she hated being photographed. After hearing about the Club’s Evolve program, Denise decided she wanted to start the program right away. She started by working with Tom Sheriff three times a week, she did spin every day she could get into the club (which, yes it meant she came in before working out with Tom), she decided she would try a meal delivery option where you are delivered all the ingredients, a recipe and you cook your own fresh food.

 

Even though Denise works long days sitting at a computer, she told herself that she can still make it into the gym every day and cook her own meals. She has stuck with those things and made it a habit. I can tell you that every day around 6 am Denise will be in the club spinning and around 9 am three times a week she is in here doing her weights. As the week progressed we all saw Denise shrink down as her strength shot through the roof. Half way through her journey she even was able to take off her braces and smile at all she was accomplishing.

 

Denise has lost over 45 lbs and decreasing her body fat by over 15%. She has lost so much size that she has had to throw out all of her old jeans and shirts and is swimming in her workout clothes. Denise has dropped life changing inches from these main areas: Chest -3”, Waist –4.7”, Hip –6.3” and Thigh –5.1”.  All together Denise lost almost two feet of circumference from her body, she has regained a body weight she hasn’t had since her twenties and has exponentially increased her strength and stamina.

 

Denise finished second place in our Lose It! weight loss competition and should feel so proud. What I think is amazing about her is that before the competition was over she had already made up her mind that she would be continuing to train with Tom three times a week (she still has her goal of bench pressing a plate on each side of the barbell) because she sees the value in what she has earned and doesn’t want to slow down. The second thing that is amazing about what Denise did is that she didn’t look for a special diet, or try the newest fad in exercise or weight loss; she made up her mind to eat fresh foods, committed herself to getting in her cardio and weights every week and continued on with her life.

 

It has been a true pleasure to see her transformation unfold before my eyes; all of us at the SAC are excited to see just how far she pushes herself toward her goals.

Denise before
Denise before
Denise after

For more information on weight loss programs or to nominate a Member of the Month, contact SAC’s Fitness Director, at Jacob Galloway.

15-Minute or less meal ideas!

Effective meal-planning must encompass the nights when things blow up and you need to get dinner on the table for yourself and/or your family in 15 minutes or less. If we have the right ingredients on hand we can always have a meal back-up plan.

Below is a list of some of my favorite 15-minute meal ingredients. I’ve separated them into Proteins, Starches and Vegetables. A healthy meal can combine all these into a well-portioned “balanced plate”: ¼ protein, ¼ starch and ½ vegetables.

 

Quick Proteins (1/4 of plate):

Leftovers or Rotisserie Chicken, Precooked Chicken Sausage (Adele’s or Trader Joes), Precooked Turkey Kielbasa, Canned & Rinsed LS Beans, Eggs, Tofu, Frozen Edamame, Precooked Veggie or Salmon Patties, Canned Tuna or Salmon, Frozen Turkey Meatballs

 

Quick Starches (1/4 of plate):

Frozen Microwaveable Rice, Microwaved Sweet or Russet Potato, Frozen Peas or Corn, Roast a bag of pre-cut Squash, Sweet Potato or Fingerling Potatoes, Microwaved Spaghetti Squash, Frozen Grain Blends, Couscous (takes 5 minutes to cook), Quinoa or White Rice (15 minutes to cook),Whole wheat pitas/tortillas/bread

 

Quick Vegetables (1/2 of plate):

Frozen: Broccoli, Asparagus, Pepper Strips, Brussel Sprouts, Frozen Specialty Blends with or without Sauce (Trader Joes has a lot of interesting blends), Bag of Broccoli Slaw (Add raisins/craisins, sunflower seeds and poppy seed dressing), Bag of prewashed & cut veggies (Green beans, mini zucchini, cucumbers, snap peas, baby carrots, mushrooms, specialty mixes), Bagged Fresh Lettuce: Romaine, Spinach, Mixed Greens (Add shredded bagged carrot, grape tomatoes, pre-sliced mushrooms)

 

Kathryn Reed

Next time you meal plan – buy the ingredients for a quick meal as a back-up. An example would be a flavored pre-cooked Adell’s chicken sausage, a box of couscous and a new frozen vegetable blend. These ingredients will keep for weeks/months – and you’ll always have a quick meal on hand – and avoid the pitfalls of dining out.

STRENGTH TRAINING FOR YOUTH ATHLETES

Most parents know that strength training is an essential component of maximizing their child’s athletic potential but many don’t know when to start said training. When asked this question I like to refer to the ACSM research article that states, “Generally speaking, if children are ready for participation in organized sports or activities — such as Little League baseball, soccer, or gymnastics — then they are ready for some type of strength training.” If you feel your child has the emotional maturity to take part in an organized sport then they are perfectly capable of taking up strength training with a qualified professional.

One concern many have is that strength training will negatively affect bone growth in youth athletes. This is a myth that is taking much too long to go away. There hasn’t been documentation of this actually occurring while there is in fact ample evidence to the contrary. Strength training has been shown to actually increase bone density, peak bone mass and bone strength.

Strength is the only physical attribute that has a direct impact on all other areas of athletic performance and has the highest potential for growth when compared to other qualities such as power and speed. In an article from the Mayo Clinic the author states that when done properly, strength training can:

  • Increase your child’s muscle strength and endurance
  • Help protect your child’s muscles and joints from sports-related injuries
  • Improve your child’s performance in nearly any sport, from dancing and figure skating to football and soccer
  • Develop proper techniques that your child can continue to use as he or she grows older
  • Strengthen your child’s bones

A properly designed program for a youth athlete must be created and executed by a qualified coach and of course I am partial to myself because of my education, credentials, and experience. Currently my youngest client is a 12 year old basketball/football player whose performance has skyrocketed since he started strength training. I have also worked with the Skyline High School Girls Basketball team, the Bellevue High School Track team, and many individual youth athletes from around the area competing in lacrosse, football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and even cheerleading.

 
I have seen over and over again what strength training can do for a young athlete and have come up with some guidelines that can serve any coach or parent working with young athletes.

General Guidelines for Strength Training Youth Athletes:

1. Master the basics while focusing on proper movement patterns. With young athletes it is best to first master general movement patterns and body weight exercises before moving on to more advanced strength training modalities. Great exercises include: jumping/landing, med-ball throwing, body weight squats, push-ups, pull-ups, and sled pushing/pulling.

2. Use proper loading parameters. Strength training doesn’t always mean loading up a squat bar and going as heavy as possible. As a general rule with young athletes it’s best to stick with body weight exercises or exercises with loads that allow the athlete to complete 8 to 20 repetitions each set. As the athlete advances the intensity of exercises can advance as well.

3. Teach proper force absorption. Learning how to properly land and decelerate will be invaluable in preventing future sports injuries for any athlete. Deceleration is also a crucial factor in agility performance.

4. Don’t specialize too early. Young athletes should build as broad an athletic base as possible in order to maximize athletic potential. Performing only exercises that seem “sport specific” is not an effective way to build an athletic base. While this might make for a good basketball or soccer player now, it will actually do them a disservice for their athletic future. Specializing early is also a great way to burn a kid out on a sport.

5. Make it fun! Strength training should be something that the kids look forward to and enjoy. This is an opportunity to set them up to not only maximize their athletic potential but also create life-long healthy habits. If your kid does not enjoy training they won’t reap maximum benefits and will likely discontinue training at the first opportunity they get.

I started seriously strength training for sports at 15 years old and I only wish I would have started sooner. At that time I started working with a strength coach named Mike Seilo, and I am not exaggerating when I say he changed trajectory of my athletic and eventually my professional career. Strength training with a qualified coach dramatically increased my athletic performance and without Mike I don’t think I would have gone on to compete in track and field at the collegiate level. Outside of improving my sport performance Mike influenced me to become strength coach and work with young athletes. Mike’s influence on me went way beyond sport performance and I can only hope to have the same influence on kids during my career.

Under the right supervision strength training can be a huge benefit to any young athlete. Not only will they improve athletically, they may learn some valuable lessons that serve them inside and outside of the gym as well as develop life-long personal relationships. If you have a child involved in athletics I highly recommend you find a qualified coach and get their strength training career underway.

If you have any questions regarding youth strength training please contact PFT Tom Sheriff CSCS (tsheriff@sacdt.com)
206-443-1111 ext. 292.

Go with Your Gut

There is some important and growing research on our gut microbiome and its relation to our body weight that I’ve been paying attention to lately and so should you.

In a nutshell, it’s not just what we eat or how we eat, it’s how our food is being digested that can affect how we store and absorb calories and their nutrients. In a study published recently in JAMA, scientists took the gut bacteria from fat mice and healthy weight mice and then implanted them in the other. Shockingly the fat mice lost weight and the normal weight mice got fat – and they were given the same type and amount of food!

We have not yet distinguished which of the gut bacteria are the culprits in terms of keeping us slim or fat. But what we do know is that we need a healthy and diverse microbiome in our gut and we need to feed our gut the foods that allow the healthy weight bacteria to flourish.

Here are my recommendations to make sure your gut bacteria are at their most optimal balance:

1)     If you need to go on an antiobiotic please take a probiotic or yogurt with live active cultures daily so that your gut diversity is kept intact. Antibiotics kill the bacteria that’s making you sick along with some of our beneficial gut bacteria.

2)     Keep your gut bacteria and the mucosal lining of your intestine intact by feeding yourself enough fiber – every day. Recommendations are 25-35g daily and sources can come from fruit, vegetables, whole grains and the fiber that is added in various processed bars, etc. Studies have shown that it takes just one day of eating low fiber to reduce our mucosal lining where our healthy gut bacteria live and flourish.

3)     If you went through courses of antibiotic use throughout your life (tetracycline was often used to treat acne in teenagers) and you fear that your digestion has been compromised – and your attempts at losing weight have often failed – it may be time to visit a Naturopath. A Naturopath can help you improve your digestion and re-colonize your gut bacteria so that it’s more diverse and balanced.

Now we know that eating enough fiber every day is not only what keeps us feeling full with less calories – it helps us feed a microbiome that’s likely to keep us at our healthiest weight.

You’re welcome to contact Kathryn at kathrynr@soundhealthconnect.com to discuss your current diet and strategies to better feed your healthy gut.

 

Good Health and Good Relationships Susan Raab-Cohen, PhD Psychologist & SACDT Member

Most of us at Seattle Athletic Club are swimming, running or lifting because we want to increase our odds of living today and tomorrow with strength, vigor and flexibility.

It could be, though, that we are overlooking one of the most important variables contributing to good health: the quality of our primary relationships. A good relationship is the single best recipe for good health and the most powerful antidote to aging.

Research shows:

Men gain health benefits simply by getting married. Their health status improves, negative physical symptoms decrease, and positive behaviors increase.

For each year of marriage, a woman’s risk of dying prematurely decreases.

Consistent emotional support lowers blood pressure and bolsters the immune system. It appears to reduce the death rate from cancer as well as the incidence of heart disease and infectious disease.

A secure connection significantly lessens susceptibility to anxiety and depression and makes us more resilient against stress and trauma.

Close connection is the strongest predictor of happiness, much more than making masses of money or winning the lottery.

A successful, long term relationship may do as much for your longevity, mood and physical resilience as the hours you spend working out. However, a lack of attention to your relationship may have the same negative consequences as inactivity:

Men who are divorced experience health risks equal to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.

Women‘s health appears to be more susceptible to marital discord than men’s health. For women, poor relationship quality is associated with an increased risk of premature mortality and an increased risk of heart disease.

Obviously not everyone wants to be in a relationship, nor is it easy to find the right person even if you want to do so. Many people persist in relationships while feeling lonely, angry or hopeless. They have done whatever they can to improve their relationship but their efforts have been unsuccessful. Resignation seems the only possible outcome.

However, we now know more about strengthening the underlying bonds of marriage for straight, gay or transgender couples than we ever have. We understand that the attachment bond that defines the parent/child bond also defines the underlying bond of adult commitment. We see the power of that bond to build resilience in adults. We know what happens when the bond is broken—and we now know much more about how to repair it.

John Gottman, PhD, here at the University of Washington, did pioneering work describing what happens in the interactions of marriage. While Gottman studied thousands of hours of couples trying to get along, Sue Johnson, PhD, watched thousands of hours of couples in marital therapy and figured out what works. She developed Emotionally Focused Therapy, a theory and practice of couples therapy that has an extensive research record demonstrating its effectiveness. She also wrote a book: Hold Me Tight, which gives consumers a theory and outline for improving their relationships.

Sue Johnson also developed a consumer workshop based on her book:
Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for Connection®. This workshop is also evidence-based. It is now being offered all around the world.

My colleague, Dorsey Green, PhD, and I will be offering this seminar here in the Pike Place Market March 7-8 and May 30-31.

Rob Lauren has seen a direct connection between the mission of the Seattle Athletic Club and a focus on relationship health as related to physical health. We are appreciative to him for his willingness to partner with us this spring. SACDT members may attend Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for Connection at a discounted rate. This program is nonjudgmental (neither of you will feel blamed) and intimate (10-15 couples with significant time spent talking 1:1 in a structured way).

Interested?  You can learn more about the workshop as well as see comments from past participants on our website: www.holdmetightseminars.com.

Still curious? Click on this four minute video—What Is a Healthy Marriage? http://www.holdmetightseminars.com/what-is-a-healthy-marriage/

Lastly, the video below explains a very powerful research study that describes how love and trust change our neurochemistry and resilience to pain:

Soothing the Threatened Brain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J6B00d-8lw

**Research references available upon request

American Heart Month

The month of February is synonymous for the heart driven holiday of love, this month is also American Heart month. In honor of this observance, it’s important to find out if you and your family members are at risk for this preventable disease.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD)—including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure—is the number 1 killer of women and men in the United States. It is a leading cause of disability, preventing Americans from working and enjoying family activities. Although health disparities based on geography, race, ethnicity, gender, age, or genetics cannot be altered, lifestyle changes are the easiest way to gain control of your health and avoid potential risk factors.

You have heard it many times, eat your veggies and exercise to keep your heart strong and happy, diet is a big player in Cardio vascular disease prevention. A balanced diet of nutrient rich foods can have the biggest impact on your heart. Adults should have at least 5 servings a day of fruits and veggies, eat foods low in trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and increase high fiber foods. Physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight and control blood pressure. Be sure to include varied physical activity such as cardio, strength training, and flexibility modalities at minimum 150 minutes a week into your lifestyle.

Smoking and/or alcohol consumption combined can lead to higher chances; moderation or cessation is key. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes harm the heart and blood vessels, increasing your risk of atherosclerosis (artery narrowing)—even if you smoke only once in a while. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can increase your blood pressure. Men should stick to no more than two drinks per day, and women to no more than one.

Diabetes has recently been added to the list of factors according to the National Diabetes Clearing House, “If you have diabetes you are twice as likely as someone who doesn’t for the disease.” Over time, high blood glucose levels (blood sugar) can increase the deposits of fatty materials in artery and blood vessel walls, increasing the chances for artery narrowing and hardening (atherosclerosis). Scientists have discovered that all cholesterol is not the same, aim to get your cholesterol levels checked at least once every 5 hrs. The so called “good” cholesterol –HDL- is actually protective against heart disease, it can help reduce inflammation, which contributes to heart health. HDL lower than 40 mg/dl increases your risk of heart disease, while HDL above 60 mg/dl may offer protection against heart disease.

As you begin your journey keep a few things in mind to keep you on track; Partner up, the journey is more fun. Don’t get discouraged, you will create unnecessary stress on your heart, and try not to get overwhelmed with vast information, the smallest steps are the most important.

March is National Nutrition Month: A Focus on Preventing Diabetes

Did you know that 86 million Americans – 1 in 3 adults have pre-diabetes? Shockingly, 9 out of 10 don’t know they have it. What is it? In general terms, your blood sugar has been tested in a higher than normal range and you haven’t been officially diagnosed with diabetes.

Pre-diabetes increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and stroke. More specifically, 15-30% of those with pre-diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years without any lifestyle changes. The good news is that If you’re overweight or obese you can cut your risk in half by a) losing a modest amount of weight (5-7%) and b) maintaining 150 minutes of moderate activity per week (includes brisk walking).

This is a great time to focus on small changes you can make to your diet that can add up to sustainable weight loss. Here are the diet principles that can maximize your weight loss potential while stabilizing your blood sugar.

  • If you work out first thing – have a pre-workout easily digestible carbohydrate. If you don’t have any calories your body will break down muscle for energy (glucose).

o   Examples: yogurt or banana or toast or granola bar

  • Have breakfast consistently to wake up your metabolic rate and prevent muscle loss.

o   Best to add protein: egg, protein powder, milk, yogurt, protein-rich cereal, nuts, peanut butter, a bit of cheese.

  • Eat every 3-4 hours
  • Balance your plate at lunch and dinner: 1/3 protein, 1/3 grain or starchy vegetables, 1/3 vegetable/fruit.
  • Stay hydrated – goal slightly clear urine throughout the day.

If you keep it simple and use healthy eating principles vs. following a strict diet you have truly made a sustainable lifestyle change and can look forward to maintaining your weight loss. If you have any other questions about managing pre-diabetes or diabetes with nutrition principles (or any other nutrition-related topic) – please email Kathryn at kreed@sacdt.com .