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10 Best Standing Static Stretches

Trying to loosen up your muscles? Stretch. Trying to improve flexibility? Stretch. Trying to cool down at the end of a workout? Stretch. Trying to reduce injuries? Stretch. Watch my 6-minute video and learn 10 stretches that you can do every day.

 

 

10 Best Standing Static Stretches2020-04-16T11:16:17-05:00

Learning Speedbag Boxing Basics

Looking for an exercise that you can do at home? Laugh and have fun learning speedbag boxing basics with Eric Foxman. Enjoy!

Learning Speedbag Boxing Basics2020-04-02T08:38:44-05:00

Pearl Couscous Salad

Looking for an alternative to rice, pasta or quinoa? Then check out our Pearl Couscous Salad that we made yesterday. Makes for a great appetizer, side dish or a snack on its own. Super tasty and filling. Every bite is flavorful and the couscous has a pleasant chewy texture.  The prep time is only 20 minutes, and the cook time is just 30 minutes. You can do that. (Adapted from Allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

3 tbs olive oil, divided

2 cups pearl couscous

2 1/2 cup water

1/2 cup French lentils

2 tomatoes, diced

1 small cucumber, diced

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup dried goji berries, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes to hydrate [original recipe called for 1/2 cup dried cranberries]

1 tsp dried chives

1 tbsp fresh flat parsley, chopped

1 tsp ground sumac

Dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp honey

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

  1. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir couscous in the hot oil until toasted and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups water to couscous and bring to boil; cover skillet and cook until couscous is tender, about 10 minutes. Rinse couscous in a colander with cold water and transfer to a bowl. Mix 2 tbs olive oil into couscous and stir to coat.
  2. Place lentils in a small pan and cover with water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until lentils are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and rinse lentils under cold water in a colander; add to couscous
  3. Mix tomatoes, cucumbers, raisins, goji berries, chives, parsley, and sumac into couscous-lentil mixture.
  4. For dressing, beat 1/4 olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper together in a bowl; pour over couscous-lentil mixture and stir until coated. Refrigerate salad for flavors to blend, 8 hours to overnight.
Pearl Couscous Salad2020-03-12T14:22:56-05:00

Chicken and Barley Soup with Root Vegetables

It’s cold, overcast and I’m hungry. Plus I have another child home from school with a cold. I hear my mom’s voice in my head. She says “Make chicken soup. The broth is good for them.” Mom’s Jedi powers are strong. I defrost some chicken, chop up some veggies and we’re good to go. Chicken soup is simmering on the stovetop, and Heather just said “It smells soooo good.” Thanks, Mom. Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1.5 pounds chicken meat (breast and/or thigh), chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium rutabaga, chopped

3 parsnips, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, diced

8 ounces brown and white mushroom, chopped

10 cups chicken broth

1 tsp parsley, sage and thyme

1 whole bay leaf

1/2 cup pearl barley

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

Add olive oil to a large soup pot. Set heat to medium-high, then add chopped chicken meat. Stir frequently to make sure chicken is thoroughly cooked and does not burn. Once chicken is no loner pink (about 10 minutes), add onions, garlic, carrots, celery, mushrooms, parsley, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for approximately 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Once onions begin to sweat, add the rutabaga and parsnips. Then add the chicken broth and bay leaf and bring to boil. Once boiling, set heat to low, add barley, stir and cover. Let cook for 30 minutes. Ready to eat!

Another fantastic one pot meal!

Chicken and Barley Soup with Root Vegetables2020-01-30T13:33:18-06:00

Mung Bean Soup Recipe

 

Looking for a warm, filling and delicious recipe on a cold winter’s night? Then check out this Mung Bean Soup Recipe (adapted from PinchofYum.com).

Ingredients

2 cups dry mung beans, monggo beans or green lentils

8 cups vegetable broth

1 tablespoon peanut oil

1 onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1 cup coconut milk 

1 cup chopped spinach

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

  1. Bring the broth to a boil in a large pot. Add the rinsed mung beans and cook, uncovered, for about 40 minutes. * You can also add the broth and beans to the pot at the same time and then bring to a boil. Since this was the first time preparing the dish, I wasn’t sure what consistency to aim for. I have prepared both lentil soup and split pea soup before. With lentil soup, the beans are still intact (just soft), and with split peas, they often dissolve and it turns into more of a porridge.  
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic, and ginger in the oil until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add to the mung pot and allow the mixture to simmer together for a few minutes.
  3. Stir in the coconut milk and chopped spinach. Serve over rice or plain.

Apparently this was so good that my oldest son asked to bring some for his school lunch today!

Mung Bean Soup Recipe2020-01-28T11:50:03-06:00

My New Favorite Protein Powder

A question I often get asked is “Should I be drinking a protein shake or take some kind of protein/amino acids supplement?” You already know my answer.  “It depends.” How many meals and snacks are you eating each day? Do you have a balanced diet? Are you a vegetarian? What are your health and fitness goals? How often, how intense and how long are your workouts? You’ve heard this routine of mine before.

Over the years I have run across all sorts of formulas to help calculate how much protein people need. Anywhere from 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight to over 1 gram per pound of weight. That’s a huge difference. Often these calculations are purely arbitrary. Having done extensive reading and research over my 24+ years of Personal Training, I’ve come to realize that the average person doesn’t require nearly as much protein as the high level elite athlete. Someone who is constantly breaking down muscle tissue and needs to repair, recover, prevent/reduce injury and improve his/her performance. That’s an entirely different thing all together. Just remember, though, that protein is just one part of your dietary equation. That’s why it is key to keep a journal of your food intake and workouts. The tendency is to focus on the workouts, specific training routines, amounts of weights, etc. When in fact, that should be secondary to a diet that complements your exercise program and will lead you to your health and fitness goal(s). 

So why do I have a pic of me holding a tub of protein powder? To promote it? Partially. To educate you? Yes, that too.  My wife, Heather, recently picked up a container of Orgain Protein Powder from Costco.  She knew that I liked to make smoothies and thought this would be a tasty and healthy addition. My typical smoothie (without any protein powder) consists of 1/2 cup plain or Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup dairy, soy or almond milk, 1/2 cup frozen fruit, a couple kale leaves chopped and one medium size banana.  The reason for these amounts is that it fits in the 16-ounce cup of my Ninja Blender. I looked at the protein powder ingredients and was pleasantly surprised: Organic vegetarian protein blend (organic pea protein, organic brown rice protein and organic chia seed), organic acacia, organic high oleic sunflower oil, organic rice dextrin, organic rice bran extract, organic rosemary extract, organic erythritol, organic alkalized cocoa, organic acacia, sea salt, organic stevia, organic guar gum, natural flavors, xantham gum and probiotic (bacillus subtilis). Plus it has 21 grams of protein per serving, 6 grams fiber and 255mg of potassium.   I added the protein powder to my regular smoothie ingredients and blended it up. Since it was a little thicker than usual, I needed to add a bit of water. Now came the official taste test.  Drum roll please. It was delicious, and the chocolate flavor did not have an artificial/synthetic taste. I’m a bit of a chocolate snob. The fiber made it filling too. Overall, I really enjoyed it and felt satisfied. Best of all, I had no gastrointestinal issues with it. And let me tell you, over the years, I have tried many supplements: protein powders, shakes, pills, meal replacement shakes, pre and post workout powders, etc. Many of them would absolutely rip my insides apart. 

After drinking the shake, did I feel a surge of power like when Popeye eats his spinach? Nope. This is not a pre-workout drink loaded with caffeine and other stimulants.  For me it’s an excellent accountability and motivation tool. . . and I get my chocolate fix. It’s like buying a new pair of athletic shoes, purchasing personal training sessions or picking up a healthy recipe book, they all encourage you to make healthy choices. Each time you look at those athletic shoes, hopefully you’ll think of exercising and doing something good for yourself. When you see your PT appointments in your calendar you’ll be motivated to stay on track between workouts. That healthy cookbook sitting on your kitchen counter is just begging you to open it and try a new delicious recipe. For me, this protein powder is a keeper.

My New Favorite Protein Powder2020-01-22T10:47:56-06:00

How to Make Time for Exercise

We are all busy, and sometimes it can be challenging to carve out time for yourself for exercise. There’s work obligations, family commitments, social events, etc. Days fill up fast, but what’s left for you? Watch my 12-minute video and learn step-by-step how to free up your schedule and make time for your health and fitness. Enjoy! 

How to Make Time for Exercise2019-12-19T08:45:32-06:00

Give the Gift of Health for 2020

Not sure what to get your spouse, relative or friend this holiday season? Give a gift that will make a positive difference in their life. Buy a package of personal training for that special person. Don’t stress out standing in long lines at the store, throwing money at another electronic device that will break or be obsolete in a year or wonder if your on-line order will be delivered in time. Personal training is an experience and not just another thing that you pull off a shelf. A Personal Training Gift Certificate shows that you care about a person’s health and well-being. It’s also a great way to help someone achieve their fitness goals faster, stay on track, and have fun along the way. I have four private training packages to choose from. If you are having difficulty choosing, here’s some motivation. From now through the end of the month, you can buy any training package (1, 5, 10 or 20 sessions) at my best session price of $70/session if paid by check or cash. That’s a $15 savings for a single session and a $50 savings on both the 5  and 10 session packages. For your convenience, I can attach a gift certificate to print out or email. So don’t wait. The clock is ticking.

Contact me today (608)798-0081 or balancepersonaltraining4u@gmail.com.

*For new clients only.

Happy Holidays from Eric and Bob ❄️

Give the Gift of Health for 20202019-12-04T13:28:34-06:00

Bison and Root Vegetable Crock Pot

Root vegetables like parsnips, rutabagas and beets are often overlooked. Instead, we go for carrots, onions and sweet potatoes.  Why? Familiarity and taste. Depending on where you do your grocery shopping, you might need to rummage around the produce section to find certain root vegetables. Also, many root vegetables have an earthy flavor and may not be as sweet as carrots or sweet potatoes. But if you’re trying to manage your weight, eating earthy root vegetables is a good thing. They won’t leave a sweet and sugary taste in your mouth, which makes you want to eat more high carbohydrate foods. This Bison and Root Vegetable Crock Pot Recipe is high in protein and antioxidants, low in fat and full of flavor. Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 pounds bison stew meat, cubed

5 parsnips, chopped

5 golden beets, chopped

3 red potatoes, chopped

3 yellow potatoes, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

10 white and brown mushroom, chopped or left whole

1 14-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes, crushed

1 tablespoon parsley

1 tablespoon ground rosemary

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

 

Directions

Chop all vegetables and place in crock pot. Add cubed stew meat and cover with crushed tomatoes, herbs and spices. Cover with lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

 

 

 

 

Vegetables in the crock pot.

Bison stew meat from Catnip Hollow Bison in Mount Horeb. Thanks, Mark Koeppl. 

Everybody in the pool and covered with herbs and spices.

Served and ready to eat.

Bison and Root Vegetable Crock Pot2019-11-19T10:38:43-06:00

Get Stronger Legs with the Compact Leg Sled

For years I have wanted a quality leg press machine that wasn’t too expensive and didn’t have a big footprint. It had to be solidly built and not a flimsy throw-away piece of exercise equipment. Most importantly, it had to be safe and ergonomically correct to protect the knees and the back. Looks like I found it!  My new compact leg sled is cost effective and doesn’t take up much space. It’s sturdy, like what you expect at a fitness club.  The pressing action is smooth due to the nylon rollers, while the firm seat and backrest are comfortable. There is no compression of the spine as with most inverted leg press machines or hack squats. Lastly, it’s easy to get in and out of the sled.  Watch my 4 minute video and learn how to get stronger legs.

Get Stronger Legs with the Compact Leg Sled2019-11-17T21:56:45-06:00
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