tips

Butternut Squash Season!

Rachel Lifestyle, Nutrition Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , ,

chopped_butternut_squash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butternut Squash is a personal fall favorite.  Versatile, filling and chock full of vitamins and minerals (think beta carotene, potassium and fiber), this staple can be made into soups, savory dishes, sweet desserts and, of course, roasted as is!  A plethora of wonderful recipes are a mouse-click away (check out www.foodnetwork.com and www.cookinglight.com) but a personal favorite involves the combination of this autumn staple with everyone’s favorite superfood quinoa!  The following is a Rachel Rettman original, simple, easy recipe bound to please even the most finicky eater:

  • 1.5 cups white quinoa (remember to use a 1:1 quinoa to water ratio to truly cook the quinoa properly)
  • 1.5 cups cooked butternut squash (cube into 1/2 inch pieces, toss with salt and olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for 15 min)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sauteed white onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery or jicama (crunch factor)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • *optional – add a 1/2 cup of chopped apple of choice
  • leave plain, or use salt/pepper, a tsp of honey, 1-2 tbsp olive oil and your choice of lemon juice/vinegar and some mustard (1/2 to a whole lemon, 2-4 tbsp vinegar, 2 tbsp mustard depending on preference) to make a light dressing

 

Cook the quinoa, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Saute onions with a dash of olive oil, also seasoning to taste.  Combine cooked quinoa, cooked squash, onions and mix.  Add cranberries, celery/jicama and optional apple and mix, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Add light dressing or skip it, then sprinkle walnuts on top and enjoy! Want things a little sweeter???  Add candied walnuts for a savory/sweet explosion of taste (For fewer carbs, stick to plain nuts and omit apple and cranberry).

Serve this alongside a protein and another veggie (think spinach or kale salad) or all by itself for a wonderful seasonal dinner!

 


Values in Action – Live your Goals!

Rachel Lifestyle, Nutrition, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , , , , ,

sbuxfood3

 

 

 

 

 

When considering any life change, whether it be buying a couch or taking on an entirely new eating plan, it is important to consider the reasons behind the decision.  Do you need a new couch because the old one looks bad, or because there are springs poking you in the behind?  Is the couch you are considering comfortable or does it just look good in a living room, and what do you plan to use it for?  Will it rarely be used or will the family spend lots of time on it talking, playing games, watching movies and otherwise relating to one another?  Purchasing furniture might seem simple, but understanding your values and the WHY behind choices can make a huge impact on the final decision.

The same holds for health-based changes, such as beginning a new eating plan.  Are you doing it because you want to lose weight, feel better when you wake up, play with your kids/grand kids more easily, or to attenuate the effects of an illness or looming potential disease?  Maybe a new mom is looking to get the pre-baby body back, or an elderly person is trying to prevent hip fractures; the point is, these kinds of motivators must be internalized and understood in order to not only choose the best path, but also to stick with that path in the long run.

Whether we know it consciously or not, our underlying values drive our ability to make and stick with both (seemingly) less important decisions like purchasing a couch, and more important decisions around making fundamental healthy living improvements.  If we spend some time thinking about the drivers behind why we want what we want, the chance for long-term sustainable change and incorporation of new lifestyle habits becomes second nature.

The next time you have a sizable decision to make (we are not talking about broccoli vs. asparagus), take the time to align your personal WHY with the choices you have in front of you.  Pick the option that best represents your belief system, then sit back (on the couch) and reap the benefits of such a thoughtful investment!


Wellness at Work – Let’s Take a New Approach

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Wisdom, Workplace Wellness Leave a comment   , , , , ,

veggies and lady

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Workplace wellness is a hot topic… and a burgeoning $6 billion dollar a year industry.  Unfortunately, a recent study by RAND, commissioned by the Obama Administration, concludes that wellness programming does NOT produce statistically significant benefits to employees, while costing employers, on average, $521 per employee per year.  How is this possible? How can health-promotion NOT lead to positive, measurable results?  The answer is simple – Both employers and program providers are focusing on the WRONG topics and interventions.

Typical programs are focused on short-term goals, like getting a health screening or going to the doctor; more involved programs might include smoking cessation counseling.  But trying to get blood pressure monitored without other lifestyle intervention, or getting someone to stop smoking without properly addressing the myriad behavioral issues surrounding smoking on a larger level is pointless.  Small changes may be observed, but as the RAND report shows people almost always return to their original status quo.

Programs needs to focus first and foremost on long-term health habits – creating and sustaining healthy behavior that becomes part and parcel to each person’s daily life.  Moreover, these programs need to be individualized to mesh with company culture, complete with adaptations that reflect individual employees as well as larger company value systems.  Successful programs will address the whole person, in and out of the office, and encourage camaraderie and peer support while fostering a positive environment of health.

Thus, the top 3 most important considerations for a corporate wellness program are the following:

  1. Aligning wellness programming with company culture, creating a visionary values-driven unique approach to health.
  2. Addressing the whole person, in and out of work, and providing individualized support to achieve this goal recognizing that people will have unique priorities and stressors, requiring different intervention techniques to be successful.
  3. Deliver thorough but slow and steady change – no one likes a shock to the system,so programming should reflect the pace at which buy-in is both observed and fostered.

Biometric screenings and other sophisticated-sounding but realistically underwhelming tools are a thing of the past; from here on out wellness providers must stay focused on meaningful, values-driven programming if they are to prevent, or even reverse, the upward trend of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other (primarily) lifestyle-related illnesses.


Make Healthy Eating Fun For Kids!

Rachel Nutrition Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , ,

5_colors_a_day_produce

 

 

 

Make Healthy Eating Fun!

Instead of ‘tasting the rainbow’ according to Skittles candy, encourage kids to eat healthy by tasting the rainbow of fruits and veggies available throughout the year!  Here are some ideas for each color:

  1. Red – Strawberries, raspberries, red pepper, tomatoes, red apples, pomegranate, cherries, radishes
  2. Orange – Carrots, orange pepper, oranges, kumquats, clementines, yams, honeydew, papaya
  3. Yellow – corn, squash, yellow pepper, sweet potatoes, yellow zucchini, lemon, banana
  4. Green – broccoli, peas, green beans, green apples, kiwi, lettuces, cucumber, green grapes, pears
  5. Blue – Blueberries (can anyone think of anything else)?
  6. Purple – eggplant, grapes, marion berries, blackberries, red/purple beets, purple onion
  7. White – cauliflower, potatoes, jicama, coconut, white onion

Have fun, make it a game, and encourage suggestions from the kiddos!  Maybe they will even want to help with dinner!

 


3 Simple (Healthy) Rules for Weight Loss

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Pilates Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , ,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The elusive struggle to lose weight continues to confound most people.  It seems like the more articles / research / self-help books on weight loss, the bigger we get.  It is an inverse relationship that does not make logical sense, yet when we look at our current lifestyle choices it makes all the sense in the world.  People think losing weight is hard…and it is in some ways.  Truthfully, though, it is easy on a physiological level and difficult from a mental and personal perspective.  Losing weight is hard because people kinda don’t wanna do it.  They sorta don’t feel like changing their eating habits.  They really like chocolate, cookies and endless pasta bowls.  They like their routines, and we all are creatures of habit.  So what is a person to do?

Instead of trying to follow a super strict eating plan, start out with guidelines that create healthier habits.  Check out this article to find out about 3 simple ways to lose weight.  In summary, you want to:

  1. Keep a food journal and record what you eat
  2. Avoid skipping meals (do NOT skip)
  3. Minimize (or eliminate) eating out, especially at lunch

See…simple!  Just write it down (creating awareness and understanding habits), eat at regular intervals (never allowing yourself to get too hungry or over-eat down the line) and prepare your own food thereby maintaining control over what is in it and how many calories you consume.

Of course calories matter, and it is still a ‘calories in, calories out’ equation such that if you consume more than you burn you will gain weight.  There is no way around that one.

The last point made in the article, and one of the most important yet, is that losing weight and keeping it off VITALLY DEPENDS on regular physical activity.  Nothing is better than an up-tempo training session, so ditch the lasagna, check out our offerings, and sign up for Pilates Bootcamp today!


Fitness and Fashion Converge!

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Pilates Leave a comment   , , , , , , ,

Tomorrow is the June Portland First Thursday in the Pearl…and Leanna NYC is featuring local artists, musicians and fitness!

Rachel Rettman – Fitness. Nutrition. Lifestyle. will be raffling off private training, nutrition consultations, and free classes!  This is a great opportunity to ask fitness and nutrition questions, meet Rachel, and mingle with fun people.

More about the ‘LeannaNYC Keepin’ it Local First Thursday’ event can be found on Facebook

Get fit for those skinny jeans, find awesome summer fashions, and of course drink free booze.  Summer is back…so is First Thursday!


Tipping Trainers

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Money, Pilates, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , ,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tipping etiquette is a touchy and debatable topic, but the question of tipping personal trainers, Yoga & Pilates instructors, etc. is an issue worth addressing.

While tipping is technically never required, it is something we do to express gratitude for a job well done, and ultimately it is an engrained part of American culture (others as well, to greater and lesser extent).  Overall Americans are generous tippers.

It is standard to tip hair stylists, massage therapists, aestheticians, and other one-on-one service providers between 15% and 20%.  These service providers have undergone special training and are creating a (hopefully) positive experience that clients both want and need.  When it comes to trainers, private exercise instructors and the likes, in theory it should be no different.  Once again this is a specialized individual whom, at least in the case of a comprehensively trained Pilates instructor, has spent many hundreds of hours learning and honing his or her skill set.  A private session is taking place, and individualized attention to specific needs, conditions, concerns, and more are factoring into the interaction.

If you think about it, physical trainers are facilitating physical wellness; from a physiological, purely medical perspective this is very important to living a long, healthy life.  Indeed haircuts and facials are important and beloved services, but someone could suffer from serious and life-threatening conditions and find help through something like Pilates or Yoga (burn fat, build muscle); no one ever died from not enough hair cuts or too few massages.  Having said that, one would think a client would LOVE tipping the health instructor who is making life more livable.

It is also important to consider things like rental space and other costs that instructors incur.  Just like many hair stylists split their earnings with the salon, instructors give a (sometimes very large) percentage of earnings to the studio they use.  Or, if employed by a studio, work at a rate that is often far less than is paid by the customer.

Bottom line, as a society we are not conditioned to tip trainers in the same way as we are hair stylist, massage therapists, etc. and yet these services fall within similar categories.   If you see an instructor 3 times a week a smaller tip is certainly understandable, but overall a Pilates or Yoga instructor or Personal Trainer working in a private setting (versus a big box gym with certain policies) should be viewed like a ‘body’ stylist and tipped accordingly.  Remember, personal exercise instructors/trainers are not dieticians or acupuncturists; those are medical providers and often are dealt with and paid for by insurance companies.

Next time you take a private Pilates or Yoga lesson for $70 consider giving the instructor $10 -$15.  Of course there is no need to tip in group classes – the point is to express gratitude for a customized, individual service.

 

 


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