July, 2011 | The Cycle Project

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July 30 – Vineman Ironman

July 30 – Vineman Ironman

Ironman – 2.4mi Swim, 112mi Bike, 26.2mi Run

This is the second year in a row I have run Vineman and the only 2 Ironman races I have done.  Last year I finished in 12hrs 22 min.  This year my goal was to go under 12 hours.




















Official SWIM – 58.53  - 38th Overall

Official Bike – 5:58:38 (18.7 mph average) – 192 Overall

Official Run – 4:20:44 (9:58 min/mi pace) – 162 Overall






















OFFICIAL FINISH – 11:27.17 – 25th in Age Group – 92nd Overall  55 Min faster than last year!


Strawberry Microgreen Salad

Strawberry Microgreen Salad

Microgreens are tiny leafed vegetables that are harvested when less than two inches tall. They have remarkably intense flavor and high levels of vitamins and minerals. Pair this salad with a piece of lean meat for an excellent, light meal.
Servings: 4

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 cups organic microgreens
  • 1 cup sliced strawberry
  • strawberry dressing (6 strawberries, 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon agave nectar, 1 teaspoon olive oil, dash of salt and pepper – blended)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Toss the microgreens with strawberries and dressing. Sprinkle with walnuts.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 124 calories, 6g fat, 8g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, and 2g protein.


America Sees Its Obesity Rates and Raises Them

By Katy Steinmetz

An annual report put out by two public health groups shows that America is getting fatter. Adult obesity rates have increased in 16 states in the past year, with 12 states now reporting at least 30% of their populations as obese.

Only one state in the nation, Colorado, long one of the slimmest, has an adult obesity rate below 20% — but at 19.8%, just barely. Mississippi ignominiously leads the fat pack with a 34.4% rate of obesity. No states showed a decrease since the previous year.

The swollen statistics come from the fifth annual “F as in Fat” report, put out by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This year was the first that the researchers also looked at data spanning the previous two decades, in addition to doing their year-to-year update, and the long-term comparisons show much starker jumps in obesity. Twenty years ago, no state had an adult obesity rate above 15%, and 15 years ago Mississippi was the fattest state, with a 19.4% obesity rate — notably lower that than of the least obese state today. When the overweight population is counted with the obese, current rates by state consistently top 60%.

“It’s not unlike with individuals,” says Jeffrey Levi, executive director for Trust for America’s Health. “You add a pound or two every year and after 10 or 20 years, it becomes a significant thing, and that’s sort of what the country has done.”

The highest obesity rates are in the South, large swaths of which are poor and rural, and where fried foods are eaten in abundance. Following Mississippi, the most obese states are Alabama, West Virginia, Tennessee and Louisiana. It’s not until No. 10 on the list, Michigan, that a state above the Mason-Dixon Line appears. The least obese states continue to be in the West and Northeast.

In a foreword to the report, former Surgeon General David Satcher presents a concrete number of Americans, 190 million, who are overweight or obese. And he outlines the most important facets of the “epidemic” as he sees them: the associated health problems that are on the rise, from Type 2 diabetes to cancer; bloated health-care costs; and “food deserts” where largely poor communities have little access to healthy food. As in previous years, the report showed that lower-income groups and minorities tend to have more widespread obesity.

Type 2 diabetes rates in 11 states and the District of Columbia have risen in the past year, the report found, and all but four states have seen increases in rates of high blood pressure in recent years. Today, every state has hypertension rates over 20%, with nine over 30%. Twenty years ago, 37 states had hypertension rates over 20%.

Satcher and Levi both warn against viewing the problem as a series of personal failures. “We need a combination of opportunities that will make healthy choices easier, on the food front and the activity front,” Levi says. “There’s always going to be an element of personal responsibility, but even when people are motivated, if you live in a neighborhood where the only food that’s available is high-density fast food, it’s going to be very hard to carry through on that personal commitment.”

Levi points to the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign as a model to follow. “You need to be addressing those environmental and those policy factors, but at the same time, you need to be motivating the country,” he says. “This isn’t going to be solved by Washington waving a magic wand. This is going to be solved community by community.”

The one piece of silver-lining news is that the number of states reporting increases in obesity in 2011 was down to 16, from 28 the previous year. The group of states maintaining their weight has been gradually increasing, Levi says, but “even if we’re leveling off, we’re leveling off at an unacceptably high level.”

Katy Steinmetz is a reporter at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @KatySteinmetz

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2011/07/08/america-sees-its-obesity-rates-and-raises-them



Every Little Bit Counts

Do you have diabetes or high blood pressure?

Did you know that by dropping as little as 5 to 10 percent of your body weight these problems can be greatly alleviated?

Just think how great you will feel after losing excess weight and improving your health!


7 Vacation Slim Down Tricks

Does your upcoming vacation have you worried about your waistline? You should be.

The average person gains almost a pound a day while on vacation.

But that doesn’t have to be you. Most of the time extra pounds sneak up on you when you least expect it, so decide right here and now that your vacation will leave you slimmer than when you left.

All you have to do is have a plan.

As you embark on your next vacation adventure, use these 7 tips to come home fitter than when you left.

Trick #1: Cut Your Carbs
Vacation days are notorious for carbohydrate rich meals, and it’s a well-known fact that too many carbohydrates will quickly add up to unwanted pounds. Combat this fat-trap by choosing one meal per day to go carb-less.

  • Breakfast: This may be the most effective meal to use the carb-less trick, since breakfast often involves breads, pastries or pancakes. Skip the toast and fill up on egg whites and lean breakfast meats.
  • Lunch: A great carb-less lunch is a salad with lean meat. It’s so filling and satisfying that you won’t even miss the bread.
  • Dinner: Since you’re on vacation, you don’t want to feel deprived, so dinner is the hardest meal to go carb-less. But if you’ve indulged at breakfast and lunch then make it a point to cut the carbs at dinner. Stick with veggies and lean meats.

Trick #2: Be Active
If your travels keep you too busy for a workout, or if your hotel does not have an exercise room, make a conscious effort to be active everyday. Go on a brisk walk after your day’s activities. This is a great way to see a new city, and also a great way to burn off extra calories. Take the stairs instead of elevator in your hotel and any other buildings you visit. Go on a short jog in the mornings or evenings of your stay. If your hotel has a pool, swim a few laps each morning or evening.

Trick #3: Indulge with Control
Eating out is a must while on vacation. Whether you’re visiting 5 star restaurants or fast food diners, you are faced with the same problem: large portions. While the easiest thing to do with a large portioned meal is to simply eat it all – you are on vacation after all…right? – that isn’t the best for your waist.

When you order your meal ask the waiter or waitress to bring you a to-go box. Take half of your meal and place it safely into the box before you even begin to eat. This gives you no choice but to eat a healthy portion. If you would rather not carry around a to-go box then ask that your entrée be made into a smaller portion. If it is dinnertime ask for the lunch-sized entrée.

Trick #4: Don’t Eat Late
One of the easiest tricks for preventing weight loss is to simply stop eating 3 hours before you go to bed. This is especially effective while on vacation. So skip that late night indulgence and wake up looking and feeling great.

Trick #5: Snack Healthy
Have you ever noticed how travel days create the perfect opportunity for snacking? A coffee and muffin before your flight, a snack on the plane and then before you know it – it’s lunch time! Taking a road trip? This opens up even more opportunities for regrettable snacking…rest stop vending machines, gas station quickie marts and of course the never ending string of fast food restaurants along the highway.

This summer cut unhealthy snacking off at the pass by brining along your own healthy options. Dried or fresh fruit, unsalted nuts, health bars, cut veggies and low fat crackers are a good start. By filling up on these healthy snacks between meals you will end up eating less when presented with a less-than-healthy meal.

Trick #6: Avoid Fried Foods
While fast food restaurants are definitely convenient, with their low prices and quick service, this convenience is not worth the additional pounds brought on by chips and fries. As you enjoy your vacation keep this in mind: avoid fried foods. While this is always good advice to follow, it is even more important to abide by while traveling.

While vacationing you will likely burn fewer calories each day than you would burn at home, and you are consuming more calories due to your schedule of eating out. You are walking a fine line, and eating fried foods would throw you right over the edge. A gram of fat contains 9 calories as compared to the 4 calories that proteins and carbohydrates carry – so you can see that consuming fried foods will drastically increase your caloric intake.

If I still haven’t convinced you to pass on the curly fries, keep in mind that heartburn and indigestion are never fun…especially while on vacation!

Trick #7: Team up with a Pro – Yours Truly!
Well, fitness is my specialty…and since you are serious about creating a healthy and fit physique – guarantee your results by teaming up with me.

Together we will come up with a fitness plan that is uniquely yours, one that fits your lifestyle and brings you promptly to your goals – something that you will appreciate while on vacation and at home.

Call or email today to get started.


Grilled Bok Choy

Grilled Bok Choy

Ready to grill? Throw some bok choy on the BBQ! Bok choy is packed with vitamins A, C and K, as well as beta carotene. This grilled bok choy has tender stems and crispy leaf edges.
Servings: 6

Here’s what you need…

  • 2 lbs bok choy
  • 1 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  1. Preheat grill and lightly oil the grate.
  2. In a small bowl combine the oil and seasonings. Mix well.
  3. Slice the bottom off the head of bok choy, and wash each stem.
  4. Lay bok choy on prepared grill. Brush with the seasoned oil mixture. Cover grill and cook until stems show grill marks, about 4 minutes. Turn the bok choy, brush with more seasoned oil mixture and grill the other side.
  5. Transfer to platter and serve.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 36.5 calories, 2.6g fat, 3g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, and 2g protein.



Food Pyramid Out; Food Plate In

Food Pyramid Out, Food Plate In…..
by Susan Weiner

Rather than reconstruct the already done and re-done Food Guide Pyramid, the USDA along with First Lady Michele Obama announced the government’s new food icon, Myplate. Since we actually eat off plates, the idea of MyPlate was designed to help consumers relate to eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, protein and dairy foods.

• 1/2 the plate has Fruits and Vegetables
• 1/4 of the plate has Whole Grains
• 1/4 of the plate includes Protein
• Dairy is on the side

MyPlate was designed to follow up the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans which came out this past January. MyPyramid has not gone away entirely. It will still be available on the USDA website. Later this year the USDA will release”go-to”, an online tool that consumers can use to manage their exercise and dietary choices.

“This is a quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods that we’re eating and as a mom, I can already tell how much this is going to help parents across the country,” said First Lady Michelle Obama.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack added, “‘MyPlate’ aims to show that nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated.”

Why Limit Veggies?
While I agree with the idea of the plate (just ask my patients, I’ve been using the plate method to explain portioning for over 20 years), I disagree with not specifically referencing healthy fats. As a nutrition educator, I fear that seeing veggies as a part of a plate, might actually limit rather than increase consumption of vegetables (which are high in fiber, packed with nutrition and low in calories). I understand that the plate is a “suggestion” and a “guide”. However, with the exception of those who need to reduce fiber consumption due to a clinical condition, fiber (in the form of vegetables) should be encouraged, and not limited to a little more than 1/4 of a plate. If I were designing the plate, I would have had veggies make up 1/2 the plate, and put “fresh fruit” in a dessert bowl. Unsalted nuts, nut butters, avocado and other healthy fats should find themselves on everyone’s plate, every single day!

Interestingly, the American Institute for Cancer Research has been using the plate method for teaching proper nutrition for years. They recommend: “2/3 (or more) vegetables, fruits whole grains or beans and 1/3 (or less) animal protein”.

I’m looking forward to reading more updates about MyPlate on social media sites such as twitter (#MyPlate). The USDA needs our feedback in order to figure out if efforts such as Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! movement and MyPlate will actually make a difference in our lives and overall health of our children.

Susan’s earned her Masters Degree in Applied Physiology and Nutrition from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. She is certified in “Adult Weight Management”, through the American Dietetic Association
Contact Susan: http://www.susanweinernutrition.com



Great News for LA Cyclists

Los Angeles’ best-known bicyclist – if not its most adept – ordered department heads on Friday to immediately launch an effort to build a 1,680-mile bikeway system and make the city more bike-friendly.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa issued the directive while participating in the Clinton Global Initiative America in Chicago, saying the plan would allow Angelenos to eventually have a bike path within a mile of their homes.

“The Bicycle Plan will help improve the quality of life for every Angeleno, by providing another clean transportation option for their daily commute, improving the quality of the air and make it more accessible to lead a healthy, active lifestyle,” Villaraigosa said.

The mayor became the city’s unofficial poster child for bicycle safety last July, after he took a tumble and broke his elbow when a taxi pulled in front of his bicycle while he was riding along Venice Boulevard.

The planned bikeway system would include a 707-mile “backbone” network, including bike lanes providing access to employment centers, transit stations and retail/entertainment hubs; an 834-mile network of local streets with low traffic volumes; and a 139-mile “green network” using bike paths to provide better access to parks and river channels.

Villaraigosa’s order mandates the construction of 40 miles of bikeways each year – a fourfold increase from the previous construction average, according to the mayor’s office. Funding for the construction will come through the Measure R transportation-dedicated sales tax, federal grants and other sources.

Councilman Bill Rosendahl praised the directive, which requires city agencies to include bicycle-friendly features in their programs and expand public education and training campaigns.

“We have been working more than five years to get this plan in place and it’s important that the mayor is telling department heads that they need to consider bicycles in their planning,” Rosendahl said. “The city car culture has to change.”

Glenn Bailey, an Encino bicycle advocate and vice chair of the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, said he also appreciated the order.

“This is what we have been working on for years,” Bailey said. “The mayor’s directive will help put all departments on the same agenda.”



Magic Pills?

I hate to break it to you, but there’s no such thing as magic weight loss pills.

Don’t fall for the latest diet pill craze. Have you ever noticed that every weight loss pill specifically states that it works when combined with proper diet and exercise?

Well, they are right—proper diet and exercise will cause you to lose weight—without costly bogus pills.



Grill Your Way Lean

Grilling is the most popular pastime of summer.

While outdoor cookouts are a great opportunity to relax and visit with friends and family, did you know that the average barbecue meal exceeds 1500 calories? That’s almost an entire day’s worth of calories in one meal.

That type of eating will do some serious damage to your waist over the course of the summer.

The good news is that barbecue season doesn’t have to be fattening. In fact, with a few small changes to your barbecue menu, you can turn summer into the perfect opportunity for weight loss.

So before you slather on the sunscreen and fire up your grill, read the following tips to grill your way lean this summer.

On the Grill: Believe it or not, grilling is actually a very healthy way to cook meat. Of course the type of meat that you choose will make all of the difference. Burgers and hot dogs are traditional barbecue meats, but they aren’t the healthiest. Try the following:

  • Choose lean cuts of beef, pork or poultry
  • Marinade with low fat dressing
  • Make hamburgers with extra-lean ground beef
  • Take the skin off chicken before grilling
  • Replace beef patties with ground turkey patties
  • Grill up salmon or cod
  • Forego the meat and grill veggie burgers

Side Dishes: This is where most people run into trouble. Barbecue side dishes are typically filled with loads of fat. Creamy coleslaw and potato salads can hold as much as 15 grams of fat per serving. Try the following instead:

  • Make veggie kabobs and grill them
  • Grill bok choy (see recipe below)
  • Replace the mayo in your salads with low-fat mayo
  • Serve fresh salad with light vinaigrette
  • Try whole-grain macaroni for your pasta salad
  • Grill up corn on the cob (pass on the butter)
  • Put out a veggie tray with low fat dip

Drinks: Most people don’t realize that beverages play a big role in summer weight gain. Margaritas, beer, soda pop and punch all contain lots of empty calories. Try the following:

  • Drink water, it is always your healthiest option
  • Stick with light beer
  • If you have to have a soda pop stick with diet
  • Brew unsweetened ice tea and serve with lemon

Dessert: Yes, there are ways to satisfy your sweet tooth while getting lean. Think outside of the box instead of turning to the typical fattening options like ice cream, pie, cake or cookies. Try the following:

  • Grill mango, banana and pineapple on kabobs
  • Stick with sorbet instead of ice cream
  • Replace peach pie with grilled peach halves
  • Choose light ice cream over regular

Remember, it’s ok to splurge every once in a while. Enjoy yourself. Just keep in mind that by taking a few of the above suggestions you can enjoy great food while getting back into great shape.

Want to shape up even more this summer? Call or email today to get started on a fitness program specifically designed to get you into your best shape ever.