Maintain Don't Gain Challenge

Week #3

SIMPLE WAYS TO SNEAK IN FITNESS

The holiday season is one the busiest times of the year. Between parties, traveling, baking, and shopping, there’s not much time for exercise. And this is the season when you need it the most. It can help you beat stress, boost energy, and burn off all those homemade cookies. Every step counts on your mission to manage your weight!


• Move more. Use the stairs. Take a stroll at lunch. When you run errands, walk as much as you can. Basically, anytime there’s a chance to move, do it.

• Make it social. Start a walking group at work. Keep your dog happy with a quick run. Catch up with an old friend or family member while you boost the health of your heart.

• Break it up. If you don’t have time to exercise for 30 minutes, split it up into two 15-minute workouts or three 10-minute walks. You will get the same health benefits.


Exercising doesn’t have to be a chore! Find ways to spice up your routine and make being active and getting fit a fun thing!

THIS WEEK’S RECIPES

Spiced pumpkin stew

Spiced Pumpkin Stew

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin (curry powder may be substituted)
  • 1 15-ounce can pureed pumpkin (2 cups fresh may be substituted)
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, no salt added, drained
  • 1 15-ounce can yellow corn kernels, no salt added, drained (1½ cups fresh or frozen may be substituted)
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (vegetable broth may be substituted)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup plain, low-fat yogurt (optional)

Directions

In a large saucepan, warm oil over medium heat. Stir in peppers, onion, and garlic and sauté for roughly 6 minutes until peppers and onion soften. Next, stir in cumin and continue to cook 1-2 minutes.

Pour in pumpkin, beans, corn, tomatoes, and broth. Add 1 teaspoon cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil then reduce heat. Cover and simmer 25 minutes.

Divide stew among four bowls and garnish with cilantro and yogurt, if desired.

Nutritional Information

  • 301 calories
  • 5 g fat (1 saturated fat)
  • 57 g carbohydrates
  • 14 g protein
  • 14 g dietary fiber
  • 307 mg sodium

Black Bean Brownies

Serves: 12 (2 mini-brownies each)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup maple or cane syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup quick oats
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed

Directions

Gather all ingredients and equipment (mini-muffin pan, blender or food processor, spatula, bowls).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a blender, grind oats into fine powder. Pour ground oats to a medium-size bowl.

In the same blender, combine all other ingredients. Blend until very smooth then add the bowl of ground oats.

Mix well and transfer to a greased mini muffin pan.

Fill cups to just below the top.

Bake for 8-12 minutes until done.

Nutritional Information

  • 180 calories
  • 3 g protein
  • 8 g fat
  • 25 g carb
  • 3 g fiber
  • 45 mg sodium

THE SEATED WORKOUT CHALLENGE

Too much time in your vehicle, plane, or office? Want to spend it working out instead?

Here is a simple guide to turn passive wait time to active workout sessions!


All you need is a tennis ball.

*Note - these moves are designed for a parked car or passengers. Don’t risk a ticket (or your life) by getting your fit on at a red light!


GRIP STRENGTH

Wrap the fingers of one hand around your tennis ball and squeeze using maximum strength for one second, followed by one second of relaxation. Complete 15 repetitions on each side, aiming for two sets with each arm.


CHEST & SHOULDERS

With a tennis ball between the palms of your hands, interlace fingers over the top of the ball. Raise elbows out to the side in line with your chest. Begin pushing palms toward one another, then releasing. Feel the work in your chest and shoulders. Complete two sets of 15 repetitions to start, working up to four sets over time.


INNER THIGHS

Position a tennis ball between your knees and give it a powerful squeeze with your inner thighs, holding a few seconds with each contraction. Complete two sets of 15 repetitions to start, working up to four sets over time.


CALVES

With both feet flat on the floor of the car, perform 20 heel raises with each leg. Alternate sides and complete two sets for each leg. To increase difficulty, position tennis ball under the ball of the foot and complete leg raises with a greater range of motion.


CORE Sit up tall in the seat of your car, making a straight line from your tailbone to the crown of your head. Draw belly button towards the spine before engaging abdominal muscles. Focus on the lower abdomen, just below the naval and above the pubic bone. Hold engaged muscles for 15 seconds, working up to one minute. Perform 2-4 sets.


GLUTES Tone your glutes using a similar technique as you did with the core. Engage glutes while sitting tall in your car seat. Hold engaged muscles for 15 seconds, working up to one minute. Perform 2-4 sets.

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