*Delicious Broccoli Salad

Here’s a tasty, healthy salad from Missy Finstead, user of the BodyWorksBand®!

2 ½ pounds broccoli crowns (remove florets and trim to approximately the same size. You should have about 8 cups.)

1 red bell pepper, cut into strips about 1 ½ ”  by ¼”

8 ounces brown baby bella mushrooms stemmed and thinly sliced

¼ to ½ cups toasted pine nuts, depending on your taste (toasted coarsely chopped almonds would work, too).

For the dressing, whisk together the following:

¼ cup white wine vinegar (red wine is OK, too)

¼ cup sesame oil

¼ cup olive or canola oil

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari

1 clove garlic, pressed

¼ teaspoon cayenne or a dash of your favorite hot sauce

Roast the broccoli in a rimmed baking sheet at 400 degrees until crisp and tender. Remove broccoli to a bowl and roast the pepper strips in the broccoli roasting pan until tender but not mushy. Put on top of broccoli. Put the sliced mushrooms in the bowl with the dressing and allow to marinate for 5 minutes. Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon and put in the bowl with broccoli and peppers.

Stir the veggies together and taste for seasoning. Add as much of the remaining dressing as you wish. Salt if you like.

Put toasted nuts on top. Serve at room temperature, and now.enjoy!

Serves 6


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Health & Fitness Tips

BodyWorksBand® health fitness tips

The internet is great, but with so much information available, it can be hard to sort through everything to figure out what’s reliable and accurate. As a personal trainer with over 25 years of experience, I’d like to share some health and fitness tips that you can trust.

Women & Strength Training

Starting at around age 40, unless a woman is strength training, she begins to lose approximately ½ pound of muscle per year replacing that muscle loss with 2.6 pounds of fat per year. Strength training helps to avoid this from taking place by developing muscle and 1 pound of muscle burns about 50 extra calories per day. Muscle increases metabolism so that calories are burned at a faster rate at all times. So you don’t have to get fatter just because you’re getting older as long as you weight train 2-3 times per week.

Safe, Long Term Weight Loss

The recommendation for safe, long term weight loss of body fat is to lose no more that ½ to 2 pounds per week. There are a couple of options available to choose from to achieve this goal.

  • One pound of body weight is equal to 3,500 calories, so if you subtract 250 calories per day from your diet, you will lose ½ pound per week. If you subtract 500 calories per day, weight loss will equal 1 pound per week.
  • If you don’t wish to decrease the number of food calories from your diet, choose to engage in an activity that burns 250-500 calories daily. For example, walking briskly for 2 ½ miles for 37 minutes will expend 250 calories.

Sticking with an Exercise Routine

50% of adults who begin exercising quit within the first year. here’s how to NOT be among that 50%.

  • Have reasonable expectations.
  • Begin at a comfortable level, and then progressively increase time and intensity.
  • Choose methods of exercise that you enjoy; it will be much easier to stick with it.
  • Schedule regular times for your exercise sessions, just as you would other appointments.
  • Have a routine time and place for exercise, and talk frequently with friends who also exercise, it’s infectious!
  • Last, use reinforcement to increase the probability of continuing your exercise routine by finding ways to reward yourself for your efforts.

Exercise & Depression

The effects of exercise on depression can last longer than those of antidepressants without the unwanted or harmful side effects or the expense associated with drugs. Exercise causes your body to release endorphins, those good chemicals that circulate throughout the body. Endorphins do so many good things for us; in addition to improving natural immunity and reducing the perception of pain, they also serve to improve mood. Endorphins trigger positive feelings in the body which can be accompanied by a positive outlook on life.

For more tips, follow BodyWorksBand® on Facebook.

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Can you afford to be too busy to exercise?

BodyWorksBand® too busy to exerciseI just can’t seem to find time to exercise.  I’m too busy! How often have you thought this? The problem, though, is that you suddenly wake up ten years later and your body has changed and grown in directions and areas that you hadn’t planned on!? And all those health risks you’ve always heard about become reality, another thing you hadn’t planned on!

Daily exercise is a commitment, it’s true. And in a world where we’re already so over-committed to family, friends, school, and job, it is difficult to imagine making one more commitment. But what about your commitment to yourself and to your health? Eventually, when you physically, mentally, and emotionally burn out, what good will you be to all those other people? Long-term exterior commitment begins with oneself; not the reverse. When was the last time you made yourself exercise on a regular basis until it became so enjoyable that you actually couldn’t live without it? Well, guess what? You can’t live without it!? At least not a long, healthy, and vivacious life filled with energy, strength, and vitality.

Chances are you’ve heard most of these before, but let me remind you of some of the benefits of exercise.

  • Healthy heart and lungs
  • Improved metabolism for fat burning
  • Reduced risk of osteoporosis or reversal of loss of bone density
  • Increased energy and stamina
  • Increased muscular strength and endurance
  • Reduced risk of injury
  • Improved balance
  • Development of “functional strength” for daily activities
  • Improved self-esteem and stress relief!

When I look at how my clients are transforming physically, mentally, and emotionally, I have to ask myself how the non-exercising population can do without having this in their day. Now’s the time to make time!


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Hotel Room Workout


Working out while traveling is a challenge for many, but it doesn’t have to be. The BodyWorksBand® is a lightweight, portable resistance band with a total-body workout routine printed right on the band. To add some variety to your traveling workout repertoire, we’ve created a hotel room circuit workout that combines cardio and resistance exercises.

For this circuit workout, perform each exercise listed below for 30 seconds each. Move quickly from one exercise to the next. At the end of the circuit, rest and grab some water if needed. Repeat the circuit 2-3 times depending on your fitness level and time available.


Jump Squats (speed squats for beginners)  30 sec

Right Side Plank Hip Abduction  30 sec

Left Side Plank Hip Abduction  30 sec

Jump Squats (speed squats for beginners)  30 sec

Prone Back Extension  30 sec

Jump Squats (speed squats for beginners)  30 sec

Back Lunge Overhead Press (Right Leg)  30 sec

Back Lunge Overhead Press (Left Leg)  30 sec

Jump Squats (speed squats for beginners)  30 sec

Pushup with Band Resistance (knee pushups for beginners)  30 sec

Jump Squats (speed squats for beginners)  30 sec

Squat Row  30 sec


Watch the video below for a demonstration of the band exercises included in this hotel room workout.

BodyWorksBand® Hotel Room Workout from BodyWorksBand® on Vimeo.

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*Kara’s Delicious Granola

BodyWorksBand® Granola

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup nuts (I like cashews, pecans or both)

1/4 cup raw sesame seeds (gold and/or black)

1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (I prefer the larger shreds)

1/2 cup toasted wheat germ (I omit)

1/2 cup raisins and/or dried cranberries

1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil (or butter)

1/2 maple syrup

Spices to taste approx: 1Tbs cinnamon, 1/2 Tbs cardamom, 1tsp nutmeg

Directions: Heat oven to 300*. Melt coconut oil to liquid, by putting the jar in a pot of warm water while oven preheats. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl except fruit, mix in oil, then add syrup. Mix completely. Spread on un-greased pyrex or cookie sheet with sides. Drizzle w/ honey (optional). Cook for 15 min, stir to turn & allow even toasting. Cool for 15-20 min until golden, keep an eye in it, it can burn fast. Take out of oven, immediately mix in dried fruit. Store in airtight container.

Be well and enjoy this delicious, healthy treat!

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Why Exercise?

why exercise

Written by Estelle Underwood

Why exercise? Ask 100 people and you’ll get 100 different answers.

To lose weight. To fit into my skinny jeans. Because my doctor told me to. To look good in a bathing suit. To have energy to play with my kids. For my job. Because I love it. Because I feel like I have to.

In this article, we’re going to answer the question of why exercise not from the subjective, but from the objective. What does the research have to say about why exercise is so important? Let’s take a look.

  1. Exercise overall decreases the risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, and even decreases depression.
  2. We must stress the bones with weight bearing on the muscles to send the message that they need to create more tissue to be strengthened. This is what increases bone density, and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
  3. Skeletal muscles are the largest reservoir for protein in the body. This is what the body draws upon to provide protein to repair wear and tear on the other organs. And we already know that weight bearing exercise increases bone density, so the more bone we have, the more protein is available to our other systems.
  4. Our muscles support the bones to create good posture. The stronger our muscles are, the better able they are to do this. Poor posture is ultimately damaging to the joints.
  5. Muscle mass metabolizes and disposes of sugar (glucose). The more muscle you have, the better you are able to handle sugars resulting in decreasing your chances of developing diabetes.
  6. Aerobic exercise decreases the chance of developing colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and endometrial cancer.
  7. Aerobic exercise increases your capacity to extract and utilize oxygen from the bloodstream, resulting in more energy. Other benefits are stress reduction and mood elevation.
  8. Activity increases the blood flow to the organs and brain, resulting in good brain function for a long time.
  9. Weight training increases metabolism, or the rate at which you burn calories even while resting, thus offering a means for weight control and decreasing body fat.

Pretty impressive. So get out there and get moving!

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Do You Really Want to Eat That?

Because I am not a nutritionist or registered dietician, I don’t usually write about nutrition even though I do, when appropriate, help my clients evaluate their daily eating habits. After all, that is part of a good weight loss program, since the other side of the fitness equation is nutrition and it is a big part, indeed!? But because I work with a lot of middle-aged clients, the topic of belly fat often comes up, as it is a common issue in this demographic. Clients are usually concerned about the cosmetic problem but more important is the correlation between belly fat and disease. So I thought I’d give some simple suggestions about foods to avoid that are known to keep the fat on that midsection and possibly cause diseases.

1) Concentrated Fruit Juices: When fiber and water are removed from fruit juice in order to make concentrate, guess what’s left?? You got it! Sugar. And excess sugar puts your body in fat storing mode. Fruit juice concentrates have an equal amount or more sugar than soda. These beverages spike blood sugar and lead to insulin overload, which ultimately can cause hyperglycemia and diabetes. (http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/agave-glucose-and-other-names-sugar/4-fruit-juice-concentrate)

2) Margarine: Your new mantra is “butter is better”. Obviously I’m not suggesting enormous amounts of butter, but don’t be fooled into thinking that margarine is a good substitute for butter. It contains trans fat, increasing LDL levels (the bad cholesterol) and decreasing HDL levels (the good cholesterol that you want more of) thus putting you at risk for cardiovascular disease. Butter, on the other hand, contains saturated fat, a good source of fuel. The Journal of Epidemiology published a 20 year study called Margarine Intake and Subsequent Coronary Heart Disease in Men. The study showed that as margarine consumption increased, so did heart attacks. But with an increase in butter consumption, heart attacks went down. So, remember that mantra “butter is better”. (http://journals.lww.com/epidem/Abstract/1997/03000/Margarine_Intake_and_Subsequent_Coronary_Heart.8.aspx)

3) Whole Wheat: Many people mistakenly believe that whole wheat bread is more healthful than white bread, and that’s what food marketers would have you think. But they’re wrong! Just like white bread, whole wheat breaks down into glucose as soon as it is digested, causing a surge of insulin to get it out of your bloodstream. True whole-grain foods, on the other hand, are much better for you because they’re packed with fiber which slows digestion and the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose. The result? Your blood sugar remains stable and receives a steady energy release instead of a sudden spike and drop! Two studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition support the idea that whole grains (NOT whole wheat) play an important role in lowering the risk of chronic diseases and also contribute to weight management and gastrointestinal health.(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3078018/)(http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/80/5/1237.abstract)

4) Processed Soy: I know, soy is supposed to be good for us, right But vital nutrients and minerals are stripped out of 91%? of soy in the U.S. and it is highly processed and genetically modified not a good thing! This can cause hormones to be thrown out of balance, causing infertility, reproductive problems, allergies, cancer, and heart disease. I’m sure you agree that these are problems best avoided.

5) Corn: Here I go again, messing up your summer barbeque plans! But before you throw those store bought ears of corn on the grill, you might want to consider a study published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences (http://www.ijbs.com/v05p0706.htm). In this study, scientists did a comparison of the effects of three GMO corn varieties on mammalian health. The results showed signs of toxicity, causing organ damage in rats and possibly failure not to mention that GMOs also cause weight gain, and we already know the diseases that weight gain sets us up for. I bet you can do without the barbecued corn now, right?

Well, there you have it. I may have ruined your dinner, but hopefully I’ve helped you to make decisions that will improve your health. Information is power, and when it comes to our health, we have to remember that nutrition is a large part of that. I can train people to exercise all year long, but you can’t exercise your way out of poor nutrition! Take a look at your choices and then you decide. Remember, you’re worth it!

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*Spicy Quinoa, Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Try this delicious Spicy Quinoa, Cucumber and Tomato Salad for a real refreshing summer treat!

1 cup quinoa
3 cups water
Salt to taste
2 cups diced cucumber
1 small red onion, finely minced (optional)
2 cups finely diced tomatoes
1-2 jalapeno or serrano peppers (to taste), seeded if desired and finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus extra sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 avocado, sliced, for garnish

1) Place the quinoa in a bowl, and cover with cold water. Let sit for 5 minutes. Drain through a strainer, and rinse until the water runs clear. Bring the 3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add salt (1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon) and the quinoa. Bring back to a boil, and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and translucent; each grain should have a little thread. Drain off the water in the pan through a strainer, and return the quinoa to the pan. Cover the pan with a clean dishtowel, replace the lid and allow to sit for 10 minutes. If making for the freezer, uncover and allow to cool, then place in plastic bags. Flatten the bags and seal.

2) Meanwhile, place the finely diced cucumber in a colander, and sprinkle with salt. Toss and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Rinse the cucumber with cold water, and drain on paper towels. If using the onion, place in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for 5 minutes, then drain, rinse with cold water and drain on paper towels.

3) Combine the tomatoes, chiles, cilantro, vinegar, lime juice and olive oil in a bowl. Add the cucumber and onion, season to taste with salt, and add the quinoa. Toss together, taste and adjust seasonings. Serve garnished with sliced avocado and cilantro sprigs. Enjoy!

Yield: Serves 6. The quinoa freezes well, and the assembled salad will keep for a day in the refrigerator. The leftovers will be good for a couple of days.

Nutritional information per serving: 236 calories; 14 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 25 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 12 milligrams sodium (does not include salt added during cooking); 6 grams protein

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Sitting – why it’s bad for you & what to do about it

BodyWorksBand® sittingBy now, most people know that prolonged sitting is not a good idea from a health perspective. Back in early 2012, BodyWorksBand® creator Estelle Underwood wrote “Don’t Just Sit There – Take a Stand!“for Huffington Post that helped shed light on the dangers of prolonged sitting. Just this week, the topic has been re-ignited with a twist by an article published by Runner’s World titled Sitting is the New Smoking Even for Runners.

It’s an interesting twist and one that deserves attention because often the assumption is that prolonged sitting is only a problem for people who don’t exercise. However, the reality is that regularly exercising doesn’t exempt you from the risks associated with prolonged sitting. So, what exactly is the problem with sitting?(exercisers pay attention because these apply to you too)



Sitting is bad for your health because

  • When we sit for prolonged periods of time, we put ourselves at risk for developing poor posture, knee pain, herniated discs and other back and neck problems.
  • The rates of cardiovascular heart disease, diabetes, and obesity are doubled or sometimes even tripled in people who sit a lot.
  • When we’re sedentary for long periods of time, our muscles cease to move and circulation slows down, causing a decrease in the consumption of calories. Translation – weight gain and an increase in body fat.
  • More than 90,000 new cancer cases a year in the US might be due to prolonged periods of sitting.
  • Prolonged sitting increases your chances of developing depression.

While reading that list might be depressing to you in and of itself, the risks are real and it’s important to understand just how prolonged sitting can negatively impact your health. Instead of just leaving you on this note, we want to give you specific things you can do to reduce your sitting time and therefore your risk of developing a host of health problems.

Practical ways to reduce your sitting time:

  • Switch to a higher desk that allows you to stand up when you’re on the computer.
  • Keep your printer in a different room than where your computer is so that you have to stand up & walk to go get your document.
  • Drink lots of water while you’re working so that you have to get up to use the restroom frequently.
  • Set a timer for every 15-20 minutes to remind you to stand up.
  • When watching TV, get up and do simple exercises such as squats (or just stand) during commercial breaks.
  • Or, if you have a generous employer, ask for a treadmill desk.


We want to hear from you. what are your tips for reducing sitting time?

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Resistance Band Pyramid Workout

The BodyWorksBand® team created a special Resistance Band Pyramid Workout for you! The only equipment you need for this workout is your BodyWorksBand® (if you don’t have one yet, they’re only $14.95 – now that price fits with any budget).

The format of the workout is a “pyramid” which in this case means you’ll do 10 reps of each exercise in the sequence, then go back to the beginning and start the sequence again but this time do 9 reps of each. Keep repeating the sequence, each time decreasing the number of reps by 1. Your final set will be 1 rep of each exercise in the sequence. Stay hydrated and take rest periods as needed.

Watch the video below for a demonstration of the 4 exercises in the Resistance Band Pyramid Workout. Enjoy!

Resistance Band Pyramid Workout – BodyWorksBand® from BodyWorksBand® on Vimeo.


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