Eating Healthy at Subway

subway logo picSomething that I have always struggled with is eating a healthy lunch. Mostly because I am always on the go and finding time to make a healthy lunch to bring to work or class can be very time consuming. And trying to find somewhere quick to stop and eat healthy can be almost impossible. So decided I’d do some research of my own and figure out, if I have to, where to go out to eat and what to get.

In case you didn’t have time the night before, or whatever the case is, Subway is one of the healthiest “fast food” chains that most people will have in driving distance of where they work, without spending a fortune. Now the trick is to order the right sub, with the right toppings and dressings.

First lets start off with two of the better choices for 6” subs on 9-Grain Wheat bread, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers and cucumbers (does not include cheese):

Veggie Delite

230 Calories

2.5g Total Fat

0.5g Saturated Fat

280mg Sodium

5g Fiber

8g Protein

Oven Roasted Chicken

320 Calories

5g Total Fat

1g Saturated Fat

610mg Sodium

5g Fiber

23g Protein

 

Next we’ll take a look at two of the options to stay away from. Also remember that these numbers are only for a 6” sub. These subs are on 9-Grain Wheat bread, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers and cucumbers (does not include cheese):

Spicy Italian

480 Calories

24g Total Fat

9g Saturated Fat

1490mg Sodium

5g Fiber

20g Protein

Big Philly Cheesesteak

500 Calories

17g Total Fat

9g Saturated Fat

1280mg Sodium

6g Fiber

38g Protein

 

The best and worst choices for bread are:

Best:

9-Grain Wheat

210 Calories

2g Total Fat

0.5g Saturated Fat

280mg Sodium

4g Fiber

8g Protein

Worst:

Roasted Garlic

230 Calories

2.5g Total Fat

0.5 Saturated Fat

1240mg Sodium

2g Fiber

9g Protein

 

The best and worse choices for cheese:

Best:

Swiss

50 Calories

4.5g Total Fat

2.5g Saturated Fat

30mg Sodium

0g Fiber

2g Protein

 

Worst:

Processed American cheese

40 Calories

3.5g Total Fat

2g Saturated Fat

200mg Sodium

0g Fiber

2g Protein

And last but not least we have condiments. This is a tricky one because the best condiment is no condiment. I’ve seen plenty of times when someone ahead of me has a very promisingly, healthy looking sub and steps up to the last station and says “a bunch of mayo”. There is more fat in a single serving of mayo than in a lot of subs! So be careful when it comes to this.

Best:

Vinegar (1tsp)

Vinegar has no nutritional values and helps the taste of subs by making it not so dry.

Yellow or Brown Mustard (2tsp)

5 Calories

0g Total Fat

0g Saturated Fat

115mg Sodium

0g Fiber

0g Protein

 

Worst:

Mayonnaise (1tsp)

110 Calories

12g Total Fat

2g Saturated Fat

80mg Sodium

0g Fiber

0g Protein

Chipotle Southwest:

100 Calories

10g Total Fat

1.5g Saturated Fat

220mg Sodium

0g Fiber

0g Protein

Well to recap, in order to want to eat at Subway and be healthy about it, you have to restrict your options to certain choices.

Watch the sodium intake. There is a large amount of sodium found in a lot of restaurants like Subway, so remember to keep that in mind in order to keep a balanced diet.

Condiments: the biggest danger of all. Make sure to really know how many calories and grams of fat each one has before making your next visit to Subway.

Skip the soda and get a free cup of water. There are empty calories and sugar in soda that can be easily avoid for free! Actually you will save money by saving your health.

Skip the chips and get a bag of apples. After all, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Hopefully this can be as eye opening to you as it was to me about the choices you make at places like Subway

If you are interested in seeing the nutrition facts on your favorite subs or other choices at Subway, you can find all of that information here.

Yesterday you said tomorrow.

-Eric Hess

Don’t Panic, Eat Organic!

organic picSummer, a time where you not only get three months of (almost) worry free bliss and warm weather, but a time where some of your favorite fruits and veggies are in season. For me personally, summer calls for eating more whole foods because I have more time on my hands to prepare and cut up fruits and veggies and discover new recipes with fresh produce. Plus, I think it’s safe to say that we all love a good slice of watermelon or some delicious strawberries on a summer day. We love fruit during the hot weather because it’s refreshing and healthy, what could be wrong with fruit? It is natural after all. However, have you ever found yourself in the midst of indulging in a slice of watermelon wondering why there are no seeds in it? …Probably not, since a lot of us think of seedless watermelon to be more convenient because who wants those annoying little black seeds in the way of you going to watermeltown? But the unfortunate truth is that a lot of our beloved fruits and veggies that we assume are totally fresh and natural may have been genetically modified and/or have been raised using conventional methods to fertilize and control weeds. Terrifying I know, so what is the solution to this you ask? Organic and GMO free products!

Now, what qualifies as organic? Organic means that agricultural product such as fruits, veggies, grains, dairy products and meat has been grown or raised without using conventional methods. Instead, organic farming practices use natural fertilizers to feed soil and plants with crop rotation or mulch to manage weeds.

What is GMO? GMO means genetically modified organism, for instance, seedless watermelon. The label “organic” usually means GMO free but unfortunately not all of the time! Since there are loop holes, produce can be genetically modified and considered “organic”. So keep an eye out for the GMO certification as well as organic!

What are conventional methods and why are they bad? As far as conventional methods go there are a few different types that come with their own con’s and risks. First off, there is the use of chemical and synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, which is harmful to the environment and to us. These chemicals contain neurotoxins which are damaging to brain and nerve cells. Not only are they used within conventional methods but eighteen percent of genetically modified seeds are engineered to produce their own pesticides. Even worse, studies show that these seeds may continue to produce pesticides after you’ve eaten the food that grows from them. I don’t know about you, but eating food that manufactures it’s own pesticide inside of you is not my cup of tea. Another conventional method is the use of antibiotics which are used to speed growth and fatten up animals in the meat and poultry industries. These are only a couple of the methods used on conventional farms, you can check out more methods such as mono-cropping and genetic-engineering and modification and details about them here.

What are the benefits of organic food? A common misconception of the idea of organic food is that it is a guarantee that it is healthier. But it really depends on what type of food you are banking on to be deemed as healthier. For example: unfortunately, your organic potato chips still aren’t going to be your healthiest pick at the grocery store. However, just because the label “organic” doesn’t mean unnatural products like chips are healthy, it does mean that any whole foods that are natural are increased in nutritional value if they are organic. According to care2.com research shows that organic food is higher in nutrients, and in vitamin C, antioxidants, and the minerals calcium, iron, chromium, and magnesium. So if you’re talking organic produce oppose to factory made groceries, you go ahead and get down with your organic eatin’-bad self because there are many health benefits that come along with organic eating.

Some may be skeptical about the idea of organic eating. Due to inconvenience and the price ect. Going about your life constantly asking and checking if a certain food is organic is a concept that makes some people cringe due to it seeming to be a huge hassle. But you do not have to go to the extreme of being one hundred percent organic in order to receive the benefits that come with organic eating. Simply incorporating more organic food into your life will be a positive impact to your health. When it comes to expenses, organic food is making it’s way into more stores and restaurants therefore making it more common, accessible, and affordable. So next time you see the word organic labeled on a food product, think about what it means and the benefits that come with it.  Being knowledgeable about conventionally raised produce will help you avoid enduring the negative effects that come with it. So switch up you summer fruit feasts and make it organic, and eat clean to feel healthy!

“It’s a good day to have a good day!”

-Alena Purpero ♡

Kickboxing

kickboxing picWhen I think of kickboxing I tend to think of tough, ripped, really intense people who spend all day punching bags. It is a sport that I’ve always been interested in, but being the yoga lovin’-paddle boarding-runner that I am, I’ve never considered myself that “tough,” therefore I’ve been too chicken to try it. After seeing my friend promote her kickboxing class on social media for a few weeks, I decided to give up my sissy ways and take the plunge.

My first thought when I started the class was, “woah.” Half way through the class my thoughts progressed to, “WOAH,” and when the class was over, my body was too tired to even process thinking. I knew kickboxing was intense, but I never imagined it being THAT intense. It was awesome.

The 9Round Fitness Gym is a kickboxing gym made up of 9 stations that each person rotates in and out of. Here is a brief description of the stations directly from the website:

Stations 1 and 2 consist of “STRENGTH BUILDING”. You will use Dumb Bells, Kettle Bells, Medicine Balls, Jump Ropes, and other equipment to build strength and stamina.

Stations 3-8 are where the real FUN begins. You will strike a variety of bags including 100lb Heavy Bags to build power, double end bags to increase hand eye coordination and timing, and speed bags to develop shoulder conditioning and speed.

Station 9 is dedicated to the core. We want to get you as strong as possible and the CORE is the key. Besides all the other kicking and punching that you will be doing, we dedicate a full station to strengthening the most important part of your body

All together the full rotation is 30 minutes long. Each station is 3 minutes long, and then you do 30 seconds of intense movement (ex: burbees, pushups, jumping jacks, mountain climbers) until your next station.”

Although the workout is short, my friend and kickboxing trainer Brittany assured me, “The stations incorporate different kickboxing and boxing techniques through circuit training, strength training, aerobic and anaerobic exercises.” She also went on to saying that on average you burn anywhere between 300-500 calories. Not bad for 30 minutes! And I believe it too, because after that time I was feeling the burn.

I personally found the whole experience very transforming. It gave me the chance to feel tough and powerful, and not like a weak duckling for once. This is something that I would recommend to ANYONE who has ever had the urge to try kickboxing. Although intimidating at first, at 9Round they have personal trainers guiding and pushing you the whole way. On top of that, your first class is free! The 9Round gyms are located in Oak Creek, Brookfield, Madison East and Madison West, but if you have your eyes on another kickboxing gym go check it out! It doesn’t hurt to just try it, and believe me, if I can do it, you can do it. I was afraid to try it and now I can’t wait to go back! Good luck!

Stay Healthy, Stay Strong.

Mary Marren

To check out more information about kickboxing or prices to the 9Round gym, please feel free to visit their website!

Love your Metabolism

how-to-increase-metabolism

Ah, the beautiful phrase “high metabolism”. Having a high metabolism essentially means that you can eat more food and not have to worry about the consequences. Those with lower metabolisms struggle burning the food they ate off and have to eat less in order to lose weight. While everyone is trying to get on diets to lose weight, maybe it’s time you try and speed up your metabolism instead. “Wait you can do that?” You sure can and here are some ways how!

Drink more water! Drinking more water has so many benefits it’s almost unbelievable. Drinking water can boost your body’s ability to burn fat and when you drink water before your meals, your body gets full faster, so you naturally eat less. There are millions of blogs to read about the benefits of water itself. Here is a calculator to figure out how much water you are supposed to drink a day.

Work out. Studies have shown that people with more muscle, have a higher metabolism and burn more calories. Every pound of muscle burns about six calories a day, when fat burns only about two calories a day. Every pound of fat takes 3500 calories to burn and you’ll be three times faster to burning fat if you work hard.

Eat healthier. I don’t just mean eating food that you hate. Eat all of the food groups and try to get your recommended servings of each. The natural vitamins and minerals in healthier foods help spark your metabolism into action. And if you can, eat spicy foods. Spicy foods also have natural metabolism boosters if you can handle the heat. The spicy foods have something called capsaicin in them, which is where they get their heat. This element also gives a temporary rise in metabolism of up to 8% and can help suppress your desire to eat.

Caffeine. Drinking a cup of coffee or tea a day with caffeine in it actually helps your metabolism speed up as well for short term. How many calories we burn at rest is called Resting Metabolic Rate and the higher our metabolism is the higher our RMR is. Caffeine increases our metabolism speed in some studies by as much as 29%!!! Caffeine can also increase your endurance while you exercise and in some cases give you a better workout.

Mix up your cardio. If you always go for long runs or bike rides, mix it up and do some hill sprints or anything that really gets your heart going. It changes up your routine and gives your body something different to deal with which in return speeds up your metabolism. Try the insanity classes at the Williams Center for example, or any other of our great group fitness classes. They will get you heart going for sure!

CHEAT. Give yourself a cheat day and indulge yourself with your favorite juicy hamburger every once in awhile. It helps your body almost restart your diet and tricks your metabolism in a way. After all, you deserve it. Just make sure to not go overboard.

Have any suggestions? Or did you try out these tips? We’d love to hear your results if you did.

Yesterday you said tomorrow.

-Eric Hess

Sources: http://www.mensfitness.com/training/lose-weight/the-8-best-things-you-can-do-for-your-metabolism

http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-boost-your-metabolism

Claim vs. Truth: Do Weight-Loss Supplements Really Work?

Admit it; the first time you saw a commercial for a supplement that was going to help you “lose weight fast without having to exercise or diet” you were a little bit intrigued. The ads ALWAYS have a sexy, tan, muscular man or women giving you an image to compare your current self with. At some point, they usually say, “It takes more than nutrition and exercise to get six-pack abs.” It all sounds legit. Let’s take a look at the three top-sellers and see if they really work or if it is all a scam.Claim vs. Truth

Claim: Raspberry Ketones Raspberry ketone is the natural phenolic compound found in red raspberries (Rubus idaeus). This chemical compound is what gives raspberries their scent. It is used to promote lipolytic activity, which in layman’s terms means it “breaks down fat”. This supplement is one of the top “doctor recommended” products making it one of the most popular in stores.

Truth: Raspberry Ketones is NOT a weight-loss miracle in a bottle. The Huffington Post wrote about Raspberry Ketones and found out that “Raspberry ketones have never been tested on humans in scientific studies.” (Raspberry Ketones) The article also advises, “When you hear raspberry ketone claims such as “slicing up fat molecules,” “burning fat easier,” or “weight-loss miracle,” change the channel.” There also has been no testing on what the right dosage really is in order for it to be safe. Also, have you ever read the bottle of Raspberry Ketones? This is what is what you would find: “This information has not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, nor has it gone through the rigorous double-blind studies required before a particular product can be deemed truly beneficial or potentially dangerous and prescribed in the treatment of any condition or disease.” (Raspberry Ketones)

Claim: Green Coffee Bean Extract helps you lose weight without diet and exercise. It contains chlorogenic acid, which comes from not roasting the beans. It helps control the body’s blood sugar and metabolism. The article Enough is Enough–The Scientific Truth states that “Chlorogenic acid is supposed to slow down your body’s absorption of glucose, which promotes weight loss.”

Truth: Research has found that those claims have ONLY occurred in severely obese individuals. Also it can negatively affect your body due to the caffeine you would be consuming as mentioned in the article Helpful or All Hype? Too much caffeine causes insomnia, gastrointestinal problems, and increased heart rate. Also, Dr. Oz conducted his own test with 100 women. In 2 weeks, the average weight loss was two pounds whereas the women taking the placebo pill lost one pound.

Claim: Garcinia Cambogia helps burn fat and decrease your appetite. It is also known as Gambooge and has been described as “magic”, “holy grail”, and “body-fat buster” according to television commercials. The Enough is Enough–The Scientific Truth article states “Gambooge is supposed to burn fat because it is a great source of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is supposed to decrease your appetite. The supplement you buy is usually the HCA extracted from the fruit.”

Truth: The Helpful or All Hype? article states, “In traditional medicine, garcinia cambogia is used as a laxative!” You pop the pill, eat, and then poop it all out. How can anyone think that is “healthy”? Also, according to the Enough is Enough–The Scientific Truth article, this study has only been done on rats, NOT humans. Consumer reports states that the supplement “slows the body’s ability to absorb fat,” “replaces fat with toned muscles,” and even improves your mood and suppressing “the drive to react to stressful situations with food.” (No Miracle Weight-Loss Pill) In the article, Steven Heymsfield, M.D., the former head of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. Explains that “HCA does do that—but in a petri dish and converting that to actual weight loss in humans would take 1,000 steps beyond that.”

It is all about hard work and dedication. Make healthy changes in your life to lose weight. Don’t rely on a pill to do it for you. You will have more pride in yourself and more confidence in your body because you did it all with your own inner strength. I, myself, have lost 70lbs. in the last 2 years all because of healthy eating and exercise. People thought I was on a supplement because they didn’t think I could lose the weight all on my own. I proved them wrong, and I did it in a healthy way. If I can do it, I promise that you can too!

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”

~Kenzi Weidman

Sources: Green Coffee Bean Extract, Helpful or All Hype?, Fat Burners: The Unadulterated Truth, Raspberry Ketones, No Miracle Weight-Loss Pill

Water-huh, What is it good for?

WaterSummertime sippin’ is one of the most exciting things to do! The real question is, are you sippin’ enough of the right stuff? One of the hardest things to remember in the summer is that your body needs WATER! Fruit juices, coffee, soda, and/or alcoholic beverages will not keep your body hydrated like water does. Here are some facts on why water is important and also some helpful tips to staying hydrated but yet still have fun throughout your summer activities!

What’s the point? Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. If you don’t have enough water in your body, how can it function properly?

How does it affect your weight? Drinking water won’t make you lose weight, but it will certainly help with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Penn State PhD, Barbara Rolls gives the advice in the article Benefits of Water “what works with weight loss is if you choose water or a non-caloric beverage over a caloric beverage and/or eat a diet higher in water-rich foods that are healthier, more filling, and help you trim calorie intake.” Moral of the story, DON’T DRINK YOUR CALORIES!

Did you know…? Drinking lots of water keeps your muscles strong, your skin looking better, and makes you feel like you have more energy. One of the greatest benefits of water is it helps your “system stay clean”. What does that imply? Simple as this, lots of water makes you poop! The next time that you feel bloated or have a stomach ache, try drinking more water.

How much should you drink each day? The Food and Nutrition Board for Doctor Oz recommends, “ A person should have 1 ml (about 1/5 of a teaspoon) of water for each calorie he or she consumes. The average diet at the time was approximately 1900 calories, meaning you needed about 64 ounces of water per day.”

What is really in those powder packets? Many of you, like myself, add crystal light, Great Value energy, Mio or whichever flavored packets or flavored liquids you prefer to add to your water. Although, have you ever really looked into the ingredients and seen what they are made of? Well don’t worry, I have. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest “Two of Crystal Light’s ingredients — aspartame and acesulfame potassium — have been linked with a risk of cancer.” The Center for Science also stated “Aspartame might also lead to neurological concerns.” Those two ingredients are not just found in Crystal Light but in many of the powdered packets or liquid flavorings you consume.

For example, here are the ingredients for Grape Mio: Water, Citric Acid, Salt, Propylene Glycol, Potassium Phosphate, Malic Acid, Contains Less than 2% of Niacinamide, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Natural Flavor, Sucralose and Acesulfame Potassium (Sweeteners), Potassium Citrate, Polysorbate 60, Red 40, Blue 1, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative).

All of those ingredients for a “healthy, zero-calorie” beverage? I just am not so sure about that! Next time, before you tear the packet and add it to your water, check the ingredients. Sure, maybe there are barely any calories in the additive, but the health risks with get you later on in life.

Looking to really spice it up? Choose a healthier and more natural way to flavor your water. One of my favorite things to do is add some slices of lemon and lime in my bottle of H2O. Adding fruits and veggies to your water not only adds flavor, but also some additional nutrients to your diet. Check out some of these great recipes:

Strawberry, Lemon, and Basil

Citrus and Cucumber

Rosemary and Grapefruit

Honeydew and Raspberry

Staying hydrated is VERY important everyday, but especially when you’re spending most of your day’s outdoors! Get into the habit of drinking enough water now and it will just come naturally in the future. See you at the water fountain.

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”

~Kenzi Weidman

Sources: Benefits of Water, How Much Water Do You Really Need? Cons of Crystal Light, ‘Water Enhancers’ Don’t Live Up to the Name

Coffee Savy

coffee savy picNow in days, walking into a coffee shop can be a bit intimidating. Not only are the drinks at coffee shops complicated and European sounding, the sizes are just as confusing.  To cut some of the stress you experience while translating the menu, I thought I’d explain some of the basic drink options, and the best ways to order without busting your diet.

Latte / Mocha Latte
Let’s start with the classic Latte. This is a popular favorite drink to on the menu, because it is simple and not too intimidating. Lattes are made up espresso and steamed milk, topped with a little foam.  Mocha Latte, is simply a latte with dark chocolate sauce added. It you’re someone who likes your drink sweet; try it with skim milk and a sugar-free flavoring.  A Mocha Latte is about 330 calories, verses a classic Latte that has only 190 calories.

Cappuccino
Similar to lattes the Cappuccino is solely steamed milk and espresso. The only difference is that the Cappuccino has more foam on top. That’s it. For someone who doesn’t like the taste of steamed milk, ask for your Cappuccino dry, this just means less milk and more foam. For a 16 oz. drink you’re looking at around 140 calories.

Macchiato
A Macchiato is one of the most commonly forgotten about drinks, thanks to Starbucks. Unlike the Starbucks version, a real Macchiato is just espresso topped with foam. If you’re looking for a caffeine kick, it will definitely get the job done.  The real Macchiato has about 6 calories, but the Starbucks version has about 240 calories in a 16 oz. cup. Ouch! Try it skinny (Skim milk, sugar free flavoring, and no whip cream) to save about 100 calories!

Red Eye
Speaking of getting your caffeine fix, a Red Eye can also offer that. This drink is coffee and espresso. Although this may seem tempting when tired, be careful about your caffeine intake. You should be drinking twice as much water as coffee to stay properly hydrated. This coffee beverage has roughly about 10 calories in a 16 oz cup.

Americano
A favorite to many (well, to me at least) the Americano consists of espresso and hot water. Ultimately it tastes similar to coffee with the main difference being that it has more caffeine.  For this delicious beverage enjoy it for only 6 calories!

Frappuccino
The Frappuccino was basically developed for those who do not like the taste of coffee but want the caffeine… and calories. They are blended Lattes with added caramel or chocolate as well as topped with whipped crème. If you were trying to be careful about which coffee drinks to order, I’d stay away from this one. BUT if you are an absolute lover of the Frappuccino, try to ask for non-fat milk as well as passing on the whipped crème and extra toppings on top. This option will bring your calorie count down to about 250 versus the average 410 calorie drink. This is also based off of the 16 oz. size drink.

Overall the best drinks to order are the ones not including extra whip crème, flavoring, or toppings. The least calorie drinks include Red Eyes, Americanos, Coffee, or Esspresso. Although the Lattes, Mochas, and Frappuccinos are yummy, try to not make those an everyday drink or your diet will suffer. Perhaps even making them your special occasion drinks!

Another option to think about is going decaf or half-caf. If your dietary needs do not allow you to drink caffeinated drinks, ask for DECAF. Most of the time any of the drinks listed above can be made with decaf coffee/ decaf espresso. Or you can ask for half-caf. which is half the amount of caffeine.  According to the Mayo Clinic, the average adult can drink up to 400 mg of caffeine a day and still be OKAY. This totals to around 4 cups of coffee.

Whichever the coffee drink is that you prefer, I hope this helps you to decipher the menu next time you so bravely step into a coffee shop. There’s nothing worse than ordering something you don’t know what is that, just to find out it is filled with hidden calories!

* The calorie counts were taken from the official Starbucks Coffee nutritional facts sheet and are subject to change according to where to buy coffee. They are meant to be rough estimates. *

Stay Healthy, Stay Strong,

Mary Marren

Hello, Nice to meet you!

AlenaHello there! I am Alena Purpero, the newest addition to the Warhawk Fitness Public Relations team. I look forward to sharing what I have learned about fitness, nutrition and over all wellbeing with all of you! I am so grateful and excited to be a part of the team for many reasons. To explain further why the idea of this opportunity appeals to me, I’ll give you the same spiel I gave to my now fellow PR team members when they asked me why I wanted to be a part of the team. I explained that this opportunity is a complete combination of two things that I am passionate about and enjoy doing.  That is:

1.)   Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and telling others about how to do so while on the way learning and growing, myself.

2.)   Using creativity as a medium to reach out to others, whether that means writing blogs like this, come up with catchy Facebook and Twitter posts, or constructing videos about health.

With these two qualities being said, I think it is important for me to explain why health is something I value and focus on. First off, let me provide a disclaimer for you all. If you know me you know that I am not and have never been the MVP player, die hard gym class participant, or athlete. Which I have learned is completely okay, even for people like me who try to make health a priority. I was not one to be in every sport in high school, so therefore as far as exercise routines go, I relied on my own ability to think outside of the box and construct work out routines that are fun and rewarding. On the way I’ve discovered that I enjoy many activities, such as biking, yoga, Zumba, making my own work out at the gym and more. I eventually learned that exercise and a healthy lifestyle are accessible to all and does not rely on skill, but rather the yearning to do so.

Following that, whenever I’m asked why I am interested in health or why I’ve focused my major on it I refer to my go to answer: I’ve been there and back trying to figure out how to achieve a “healthy lifestyle”, and let me tell you it has been quite the journey. Consisting of ups and downs, healthy moments and weak moments, all of which eventually resulted in me achieving what I believe is (so far) the closest I have ever been to feeling the most content, healthy, and happiest version of myself. The best part of it all is it only gets better from here, and I’m learning more and more every day. As I continue to learn what a healthy lifestyle is for myself, my willingness to share it with others increases.

Lastly, let me tell you some unrelated, basic facts about myself. I am going to be a sophomore this fall here at Whitewater, and I am majoring in communications with an emphasis in health and corporate and minoring in health promotion. I live in Muskego and attended Martin Luther High school. As I mentioned before I wasn’t one to be in a bunch of sports, however I was on the swim team and enjoyed it very much. It not only was a good way to stay in shape but it built a lot of character.

Finally, I look forward to writing more blogs and sharing tips, advice, and other health related ideas with you all! Thank you for taking the time to read my life story especially if you aren’t my grandmother. Have a great summer!

It’s a good day to have a good day!”

-Alena Purpero ♡

Farewell to Warhawk Fitness

Farewell to Warhawk FitnessBy: Abbey Bowen

Last week, the public relations team started looking for new candidates to replace me, as I will be graduating in a week.

During the interviews, we asked “What does Warhawk Fitness mean to you?”

I would like to take a moment to reflect on my answer to that question.

I started working at University Fitness during my sophomore year. I applied for the position on a whim, and didn’t think I had any chance of getting it.

To my surprise, I was selected out of a pool over 100 other people. My membership in the highly-desired Warhawk Fitness family soon began.

Working at the gym gave me so much more than an hourly wage.

Socially, I was immediately welcomed and assimilated into the group. I made instant friends with the other supervisors I worked with.

Physically, on the other hand, working for Warhawk Fitness kept me motivated to be the healthiest version of myself.

I had always tried to stay fit and eat a healthy diet, but working around other individuals who ate, slept and breathed fitness truly inspired me.

This aspect of my new, healthy life gave me the desire to work as part of the public relations team. I wanted to give others access to the information I had learned while working at the UF.

More than anything, Warhawk Fitness kept me accountable throughout college. Not only did my colleagues motivate me to be healthier, but the relationships I formed made me a better “me” overall.

As I sit here reflecting on my time working for Warhawk Fitness, three words come to mind when I think of what being a member of the Warhawk Fitness family means to me: inspiration, motivation and friendship.

The friends I made working as a fitness supervisor and member of the PR team inspire me, and will continue to inspire me, to continually seek a healthier lifestyle. They have motivated me to do so through their own example and actions. They’re supervisors and promoters for a reason; they know what they’re talking about! Some of the most dedicated people I have ever met work for Warhawk Fitness.

Above all, my fellow employees have provided me with unconditional friendship. Some day when I’m old and grey, I know I will always chuckle while thinking back to the UF’s Christmas parties, which were properly named “Snowballs and Booty Calls,” and the time we ran in the freezing cold “nearly naked” to raise money for charity.

I would also like to thank Jen Kaina for everything she’s given me. She first hired me to be a fitness supervisor and later as a member of the PR team, two opportunities I would’ve never had access to without her. She is one of the most hardworking and caring people I will ever have the pleasure of working for. I also know it is thanks to her and her talent for writing recommendation letters that I was accepted to attend law school at Marquette University next fall.

As I leave my Warhawk Fitness family next week, I will make the commitment to continue improving myself every day. I will also leave with warm memories of all the amazing people I have met.

Thank you all.

~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~
Abbey :]

Kale: What’s all the hype about?!

Kale PhotoIt seems to me everyone these days is talking about kale. For those who have not yet heard of it, kale is by definition is “a hardy variety of cabbage that produces erect stems with large leaves and no compact head.”  Based on my research, kale is basically the super food that would knock Popeye off his feet. After hearing about all the health benefits to kale, I thought I’d see what all the hype is about.

Let’s get the facts on what this leafy veggie offers: 

  • Low Calorie (36 calories per cup)
  • High in Fiber, Iron, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium
  • Zero Fat
  • One cup has about 3g of Protein (Not a lot, but for those of you who don’t eat meat, it’s something!)
  • Anti-inflammatory food: Which can help fight against asthma and arthritis
  • Detox food: With the combination of fiber and sulfur, kale is sure to keep your liver healthy.

Now I know that the majority of you have heard some of the hype about kale, but if you follow this link, it will give you a refresher as to WHY it is so good for you.

Not convinced?! Check this out!

With all of those benefits it is hard to ignore the hype. Adding kale into your everyday routine does not have to be a complete difficult, but more so a healthy addition. If you normally eat salad with iceberg or romaine lettuce, try mixing some kale into to add the benefits while keeping the taste you love.

Another way to incorporate kale into your everyday diet is to puree it. When you mix a large handful of kale into a fruit smoothie you can hardly taste it!

There is also possibility of making kale chips. This is a recipe I have tried numerous times, and I have yet to be disappointed. All you need to do is preheat oven to 350 degrees. Break the kale into pieces as large or small as desired. Drizzle olive oil, sea salt, and any other seasonings you’d like over the kale and bake for 10-12 minutes (depending on your oven) on middle rack. Pull out of oven when the edges begin to brown, and they are done! Volia! This is not only delicious, but it won’t be a diet buster as well. You can keep little kale chips like this around your house as a healthy substitute for potato chips.

One last idea for now, is also the route of chopping up kale and adding it to your pizza as a topping, spaghetti sauce, soups, sandwiches, or anything else you can think of. These recipes, from experience truly do deliver in satisfaction, but just remember that eating kale, or any vegetable for that matter, is going to offer you the most nutrients and full supply of vitamins it offers if eaten raw.

Check out this link for some more awesome recipes!

Hope this inspires you to try kale soon!

Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.
Mary Marren