Summer is here!

Jumping Summer People. Healthly young people vector illustration

FitCrush is thrilled to introduce new options for monthly memberships – just in time for summer vacation! With rates starting as low as $59/month, you can choose a level that suits your fitness needs and change levels at any time as your schedule changes. Join now for more ways than ever to crush it!

bigstock--186650764.jpgDiamond Membership – Unlimited classes – bring a guest to every class – $130/month

Sapphire Membership – 8 classes per month – $10 per additional class – $89/month

Onyx Membership – 4 classes per month – $12 per additional class – $59/month

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Want to Challenge Yourself This Summer?

Wondering how you’re going to stay accountable to yourself over the temptations of summer? We have a plan!

Instead of a traditional HealthCrush Challenge, we will be doing a virtual challenge for the summer. We will have a Facebook group and offer weigh-ins to help keep you on track throughout the summer months.

Join our Facebook group to gain group support and we will post articles, tips, and more at-home workouts so you can have options when you’re traveling.

Weigh-ins will be available weekly (or on whatever schedule you prefer), for $5 per weigh-in. Their is no additional cost for the Challenge for current members. If you continue a membership for the summer, you will automatically be put into the Facebook group, and it’s your choice how often you want to weigh in.

If you’re new to FitCrush and the HealthCrush program, email info@fitcrushstudio.com to set up a nutrition consultation for $49 and join our challenge!

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The Hard Gainer’s Dilemma: Getting On the Horse

I have been ultra-lean my whole life. Last week I disclosed to the family my intentions to “bulk up.” My teenage daughter sneered and said; “why would you want to do that?” Before I could reply, my son retorted; “Look at him! He disappears when he turns to the side. It’s like a sheet of paper with a head on an Adam’s Apple.” He is always so cleaver.  If I wanted their approval, I was getting it in a very unusual way.

I had always thought of myself as being consigned to the “skinny” (read: sickly) category for life. I suppose that’s the reason I historically preferred the running track to the weight room. I always felt intimidated by all of… what one finds in those places. And, I really do enjoy running. I ran two marathons while in the Air Force; my mental reprieve from the anxiety I struggled through during training and education.

My wife’s recent counsel regarding nutrition turned a new leaf for me. She sat me down with one of her macro-tracker books and we hashed out all of the food I had eaten the previous week. The result: I wasn’t eating enough.

Caloric intake for a man of my height and desired size was 900 calories more than I was consuming. The culprit? My lousy appetite. And why did I never feel like eating? Because I’m always stuck behind a desk playing “Pong” with mouse and keyboard. …okay, not ‘’Pong.” Still, my sedentary lifestyle was making me crave less food.

My diet was limited to morning coffee, an office “communal snack” of bagel or doughnut for lunch and then home for a late, rushed dinner. Midday hunger? Coffee. Always coffee. It staves off hunger for sure. It also makes me a nervous wreck and decreases my focus when on task. Not good for someone whose employment it is to sift through seemingly trivial details to find correlative anomalies. Boring stuff. It requires focus, not nervous tension.

I am highly pragmatic about changes like these. I typically use a standardized military concept of operation (CONOP) when approaching things like this. The stages are: Assessment (current state vs. desired future state), Planning, Execution, Assessment and Lessons Learned, [Repeat].

So, I’ve “assessed” a current state (175lbs @ 23%) and a desired future state (195lbs @ <15%). I’ve assessed this desired future state mostly because my dad (nearly identical build) maintained 195 from his separation from the Army and well into his 70’s. I’ve chosen the proposed BMI because 12-15% is a healthy index that can be maintained without having to do the “bulk/shred” regimen. I want to stay away from the “bulk/shred” stuff. Because I think it is evil.

Planning:

  • Eat breakfast, Plan lunch and dinner with appropriate snacks in between.
  • Eat plenty of veggie fiber. Count my calories (within reason).
  • GET TO THE GYM (not the track).
  • Find someone to work out with (works for the gym and distance training alike).
  • Work with Elisabeth to build a work out regimen that accomplishes my goals.

My name is Jonathan and I have decided to blog my progress for several reasons. Partly to show off the tools and resources available through FitCrush; partly to give an inside look into what it takes to make this happen for someone like me, but mostly to show that it is even possible for someone like me (very skinny, GIANT Adam’s apple, marginally sunken chest, stubborn belly) to get a large chest, prominent shoulders, abs; and generally sport a body I don’t feel ashamed of pool-side. The objective is to sculpt my body with lean gains. It is possible and I want to show the proof of concept.

Coconut Turbot with Mango Puree

Serves: 4

Even though it seems like we’re still waiting for the weather to catch up with the fact that its spring, before you know it, summer and bathing suit season will be here! To ensure you’ll feel your best as the weather gets warmer, start making healthier habits now like incorporating more fish into your diet and eating plenty of bright, fresh produce.

This recipe takes wild-caught turbot from Canada and covers them in a crunchy layer of unsweetened coconut. It is served with a mango puree that doesn’t need any added sugar thanks to the natural sweetness of ripe mangos. It’s basically a tropical paradise on a plate. Make this recipe a full meal with a healthy starch (like rice, quinoa, or roasted butternut squash) and a green vegetable (like asparagus or broccoli).

From now till March 31 at Whole Foods Market…

Wild-Caught Turbot Fillets are on sale for $11.99 (Save $3/lb!)

Ataulfo Mangos are on sale 5 for $5 (save $1.25 on 5!)

Ingredients

3 large egg whites

1 tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 lb. fresh turbot fillets

1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

Coconut oil

1 ½ cups mango chunks

1 lime, juiced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper

Whisk egg whites with the salt, pepper and garlic powder in a large mixing bowl.

Place coconut flakes onto a large plate.

Dip each turbot fillet into the egg mixture, letting the excess drip back into the bowl and place on the plate of coconut flakes. Toss to coat. Put the filet back into the egg mixture and then into the coconut flakes one more time. Press the coconut onto the fish to coat well.

Brush the parchment paper sheets with melted coconut oil

Bake the fish for 6 minutes, turn over and cook for another 5- 6- minutes or until the coconut is golden brown and the fish is easily flaked with a fork.

While fish is baking, prepare the mango puree.

To make the sauce put the mango and lime juice in a blender and blend until pureed.

Serve the fish fillets with the sauce underneath or on top.

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Allison is the Metro Healthy Eating Specialist for the Bethesda, Friendship Heights, and Tenleytown Whole Foods Market locations. She loves to help customers find their healthy eating balance. She offers a plethora of free services including, one on one consultations, store tours and events, food and recipe advice, and coaching on how to make healthy choices. Email her at allison.godfrey@wholefoods.com to ask any questions, plan an event, or to set up a consultation.

Twitter: @WFMBethesda

Instagram: @WFMBethesda

(Image Source)

Crockpot Shredded Beef

Everyone knows that making more of your own food from home is a guaranteed way tp consume less calories and junk. But cooking all of your meals is definitely easier said than done. The idea alone can be intimidating and overwhelming. One of the easiest ways to tackle cooking more of your own food is to take the time to meal prep and plan at the beginning of the week. Block out 2-3 hours on one of your off days to do some of the time consuming prep work for the recipes you plan on making that week. Cooking big batches of grains, cleaning and chopping vegetables, and even assembling spice blends ahead of time, will save you time throughout the week.

This is a great go to recipe to include in your meal prep day. Beef isn’t the leanest of animal proteins, but when balanced with plenty of vegetables and a healthy source of carbohydrates (starchy vegetables or whole grains), it can be a great affordable source of nutrition. And having a cooked, ready to eat source of protein in your fridge is awesome for building quick meals. You can toss this beef onto a salad, put it on top of a baked potato, pair it with brown rice and sautéed veggies, or even fold into a whole wheat tortilla to make a quesadilla.

From now till March 24 at Whole Foods Market…

USA Boneless Beef Sirloin Steak is on sale for $7.99/lb (Reg. $11.99/lb- Save $4/lb)!

Ingredients

2-3 lb. sirloin steak

1-2 large yellow onion, sliced

½ cup beef broth

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. black pepper

½ tsp. chili powder

Put the meat in the crockpot first. Then add the broth- then the onions, and then the spices. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Once down, take two forks and shred the meat. Eat right away or let come to room temperature, divide into 4 oz. portions, and store for up to 5 days in the fridge.

headshotAllison is the Metro Healthy Eating Specialist for the Bethesda, Friendship Heights, and Tenleytown Whole Foods Market locations. She loves to help customers find their healthy eating balance. She offers a plethora of free services including, one on one consultations, store tours and events, food and recipe advice, and coaching on how to make healthy choices. Email her at allison.godfrey@wholefoods.com to ask any questions, plan an event, or to set up a consultation.

Twitter: @WFMBethesda

Instagram: @WFMBethesda

(Image Source)

Salmon and Mango Salsa

Ready for winter to be over? Transport yourself away from the snow and cold with this tropical feeling dish. Deeply colored and richly flavored fresh, wild-caught salmon is an excellent match for a sweet-tart mango salsa. The pairing will have you feeling like you’re on a paradise island.

Ready for winter to be over? Transport yourself away from the snow and cold with this tropical feeling dish. Deeply colored and richly flavored fresh, wild-caught salmon is an excellent match for a sweet-tart mango salsa. The pairing will have you feeling like you’re on a paradise island.

Salmon is one of the healthiest sources of protein out there. It is loaded with essential omega-3 fatty acids which support a healthy heart, joints, healthy immune system. It is also chockfull of vitamins A, D, B6, B, and E. Wild salmon is a better option than farm raised salmon which has potentially been exposed to artificial coloring, an unnatural environment, and the use of antibiotics.

Mangoes are one of the most widely consumed pieces of fruit in the world- and for good reason! Not only are they juicy, sweet, and smooth, but they are antioxidant power houses. Their vitamin C and A will give a boost your immune system and their acidity can even aid in digestion.

Until February 3 at Whole Foods Market…

Wild-Caught Coho Salmon Fillets are on sale $11.99/lb. (reg. $16.90- save $5/lb!)

Whole Trade Organic Mangos are on sale $4 for 2 (reg. $3.49 each- over 40% off!)

Salsa Ingredients

½ medium red onion, minced

½ jalapeno chili seeded, minced

½ avocado, pitted and diced

1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and diced (about 1 cup)

2 tbl. cilantro, chopped

2 small seedless and/or persian cucumbers, diced (about 1 cup)

Juice of one lime

Coarse salt (optional)

Salmon Ingredients

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tbl. coconut oil

4 salmon fillets (about 6 ounces each), patted dry

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine salsa ingredients and season with salt if desired.

Rub the coconut oil on the salmon fillets and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the salmon on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook for about 6-8 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.

The salmon will be done when easily flaked with a fork. If you want to use a thermometer to check for doneness, the internal temperature should read 145 degrees.

To serve, place fillets on serving plates, and spoon salsa over fish.

Serve alongside a green vegetable like asparagus or brussels sprouts

headshotAllison is the Metro Healthy Eating Specialist for the Bethesda, Friendship Heights, and Tenleytown Whole Foods Market locations. She loves to help customers find their healthy eating balance. She offers a plethora of free services including, one on one consultations, store tours and events, food and recipe advice, and coaching on how to make healthy choices. Email her at allison.godfrey@wholefoods.com to ask any questions, plan an event, or to set up a consultation.

Transformation – Rebecca

All my life I’ve struggled with my weight. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been obese, or even that over weight. My struggle was a mental one. I was never skinny enough, and somewhere in my life I had begun to equate my fat content with self worth, so I was never good enough. Not by the standards I had set for myself, which, to be honest, were deeply influenced by the media’s unhealthy standard of beauty. Eventually I developed an eating disorder. My relationship with food was completely destroyed.

After several years, I realized how destructive I was being toward my body, and began working toward recovery. I was able to stop a lot of the destructive behaviors, but my negative mentality remained, and still, despite my best efforts not to, I linked my happiness to my weight.

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Elizabeth has made me feel like Wonder Woman!

A few months ago, I moved to the DC area. This meant having to find a new house, doctor, dentist, and of course, gym. I went on Groupon to see if there were any discounts in the area, and that is where I saw FitCrushDC. I had never done fitness classes before, and I thought it might be fun to try. Little did I know these classes came with the most amazing instructor and coach, Elizabeth. As part of my Groupon, I could also meet with her once a week to discuss my goals, needs, and progress. At our first meeting I opened up to her about my issues with disorder eating, and to my surprise, she had a lot of experience working with people like me. When we sat down to develop a workout and excursive plan for me, we also worked on how I could learn how to dress my own mental blocks when it came to health and food.

It’s now been almost four months, and I yes, I’ve slimed down and toned up, but the thing that is the biggest change for me is the support I’ve gained as I work toward having a better mental health about myself. I feel more confident and relaxed. Elizabeth is the most encouraging person, and she always knows how to help me toward my overall goal, which is living a well balanced, happy life. I recommend FitCrushDC to everyone, but especially to those who feel like their relationship with their own body has become lacking. I wish I had had this in my life when I was a teenager, because I honestly believe it would have saved me lots of pain and heartache by laying a foundation of good habits and a good attitude toward myself.