8 Perfect Fitness Foods...More Nutrition Advice for Women

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jun 30, 2011 12:16:00 PM

Hard to believe it but yet another holiday weekend is upon us! Seems like it was just yesterday when we were talking about Memorial Day BBQ and now BAM, here we are facing another string of days that could spell devastation to all of our hard work! 

Don't let all of those hours you have spent toiling away in the gym go to waste! By now you know that making some healthier choices at the BBQ, picnic or party can make a difference, but we would like to add some suggestions (some that you can incorporate into this weekend) into your daily routines to ENHANCE your results. Chow down on these 8 power foods and you'll see better results in no time.

1.  Pineapple and Papaya    


Good for: Muscle recovery                                        

Both of these tropical fruits are loaded with bromelain and papain, enzymes that not only help break down proteins for digestion but also have anti-inflammatory properties to speed up your post-workout recovery.

Holiday Hint: Not only does it make a pretty fruit plate, throw these two into a  salsa which is yummy over grilled fish or chicken, or in a tasty alternative to traditional coleslaw that your guest will rave about!


2. Salmon

Good for: Cardiovascular fitness

Australian researchers found that cyclists who took fish oil for 8 weeks had lower heart rates and consumed less oxygen during intense bicycling than a control group did. The fatty acids in fish oil need to become incorporated into muscle and heart cells to have an effect, and that takes weeks of consumption-so either take fish oil pills each day or try to eat fish rich in fatty acids multiple times a week to see similar results.

Holiday Hint: Salmon is fab on the grill! Skewer it up with veggies on kabobs or grill it all by itself. Grilled Salmon Recipe


3. PB&J or Pasta With Meat Sauce

Good for: Muscle building and repair

The perfect post-weight training repast has about 400 calories, with 20 to 30 grams of protein (to build new muscle) and 50 to 65 grams of carbohydrates (to repair old muscle). Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or a small bowl of pasta with meat sauce fit that formula.

4. Pork Tenderloin

healthy grilling tipsGood for: Waist-trimming

Lean meats are a great low-calorie source of protein, and scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, found that eating more protein may reduce the fat around your midsection. People who ate 20 more grams of protein every day than the group average had 6 percent lower waist-to-hip ratios.

Holiday Hint: Low in fat, tenderloins may tend to dry out when grilled. Here are some tips to make juicy, tender, flavorful pork tenderloin every time!


5. 8 Ounces of Chocolate Milk

Good for: Hydration

The best sports drink may come from a cow. British researchers found that milk does a better job than water or sports drinks at rehydrating the body after exercise. Why? To begin with, milk has more electrolytes and potassium. The addition of chocolate gives milk the perfect balance of carbs, protein, and fat for speedy muscle recovery.

6. Coffee

Good for: Pain relief

University of Georgia scientists revealed that taking a caffeine supplement (equal to two cups of coffee) after exercise reduces muscle soreness more than pain relievers can. Caffeine blocks a chemical that activates pain receptors.

7. Green Tea

Good for: Muscle recovery

Brazilian scientists found that participants who consumed three cups of green tea every day for a week had fewer markers of the cell damage caused by resistance to exercise. So drinking a few cups every day may help your muscles recover faster after an intense workout.

iced green tea


Holiday Hint: Throw some fresh-brewed green tea over ice for a refreshing beverage for your BBQ or anytime!


8. Cold Water

Good for: Endurance

Drinking cold water before and during exercise can help improve your endurance. In a British study, cyclists who drank about 30 ounces of a chilled drink in the half-hour before riding in a hot, humid environment-and smaller amounts as they rode-were able to bike 23 percent longer than riders who downed lukewarm liquids. Drinking cold water may be the most direct way to reduce core body temperature, so it takes you longer to heat up and slow down.


At the Women's Club, we always want to bring you not only news and advice that we think you can use, but also topics that you want to read. Let us know what other topics that we can bring you in the future by leaving us a comment!

*Portions reprinted from Eat This, Not That.



Topics: nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, fitness tips, weight loss for women, fat burning, the women's club

Healthy Fitness Boundaries: The Ultimate Women's Wellness How-To

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jun 20, 2011 11:11:00 AM

Most of us are under the misconception that fit people work hard and spend most of their lives deprived in order to achieve their amazing bodies. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I'll let you in on a little secret ... it's not hard to get and stay fit. It's not about hard work and deprivation. It's all about boundaries.  Let me explain...

just say no to bad fitness and eating habits

When you were a child your parents set boundaries around you. They were the authority on what was or wasn't acceptable behavior. You had to complete your chores before dinner. You had to finish your homework before going out to play. You had to eat all your vegetables before dessert. If you failed to comply with these boundaries, then you knew that there would be consequences.

As an adult, you, and only you, are the authority on what is or isn't acceptable behavior. You are in the position to set boundaries around yourself. These boundaries serve as a framework of order around you - a rock of support in an otherwise chaotic world. With self-imposed boundaries, you can assure your success in anything ... specifically with weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Creating Your Fitness Boundaries

It's time to introduce boundaries back into your life. These boundaries are the key to unleashing your ideal fit and healthy body.

Fitness Boundary One: What You Eat
If you were to be perfectly honest with me, you could list off the foods that are unhealthy and fattening. So why are you still eating them? You know that refined, fried, processed, and sugary foods are not good for you. Place boundaries around what you will allow yourself to eat. Acceptable food items include whole foods, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean meats.

Fitness Boundary Two: How You Exercise
I know that you're not an Olympic athlete, but that doesn't mean that you can simply pass on exercise. By now you are well aware of the host of benefits that exercise provides. With regular exercise, you'll look great, feel amazing, and have more energy than ever. Place boundaries around how often you must exercise. Choose exercise that is challenging and fun - don't be afraid to try new activities that improve your strength and endurance.

Fitness Boundary Three: When You Indulge
Let's face it, we live in a world where indulging has become the norm, rather than the exception. When you live life without fitness boundaries, every day is an opportunity to indulge. These indulgences all add up quickly, causing your clothes to become tight and your energy levels to drop. Place boundaries around when you can indulge. You'll find that by limiting your indulgences you'll end up enjoying them even more.

setting healthy fitness boundaries for women

Putting It All In Action

Sit down and take a long, hard look at your lifestyle. Are you eating as healthy as you could be? Are you exercising 3-5 times each week? Are you indulging too often? Answer the following questions:

What 3 food items can I eliminate from my daily diet?
These should be nutritionally void items like high-calories beverages, fast food, packaged snacks, high-fat food, candy, or desserts.

When can I schedule exercise into my week?
Pick 3-5 days, and select a specific time frame. Example: I'm going to exercise on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays from 5 am-6 am.

When will I allow myself to indulge?
Don't go overboard here, especially if you need to lose weight. Enjoy a treat a couple of times each month, and do so guilt-free knowing that you've maintained healthy food boundaries the rest of the time.

Remember that self-imposed boundaries are self-empowering. Fitness boundaries put your fitness results on autopilot. If you know what constitutes an acceptable meal, then choosing what to eat just got a whole lot easier. If you're committed to exercising 3 times a week, soon it becomes second nature.


Need help defining and setting your fitness boundaries?

Our fitness and weight loss experts here at The Women's Club are more than happy to help you define and streamline your needs.

Call us at 703-817-0700

Email us at womensclub@aol.com

Or click here to request a free consultation.




Article orginally appeared in the June www.dinewise.com newsletter.


Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, health tips, fitness tips, fitness for women, exercise programs for women, weight loss for women

Nutrition Advice for Women: 3 Bathing Suit-Friendly Burgers

Posted by Angie Quehl on May 25, 2011 11:42:00 AM

Fire Up the Grill!

Memorial Day symbolizes the unofficial start to summer as well as the start of the barbecue season. Along with the weekend's festivities comes all of the food which can often (although tasty) mean a ton of fat and calories added to your diet. News flash...great grilling does not have to turn into extra pounds on to a frame you have been working so hard to get summer-ready. To help you not sabotage your efforts we offer you some great alternatives to an American BBQ standard, the burger. Delicious AND nutritious these babies will not only make your barbecue a hit and satisfy your guests but will also help you strut that bathing suit body all season long!

Turkey Gorgonzola Burgers                 nutrition tips for women turkey burger

 1 lb lean ground turkey
3 oz Gorgonzola cheese, chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp vegetable oil
6 100% whole-grain buns
6 Tbsp barbecue sauce
Shredded cabbage (optional)

1. Preheat grill to medium. Combine first five ingredients and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Lightly mix together and form into 6 patties. Brush them with oil.

2. Grill burgers for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until internal temp is 165°F. Toast buns for 2 minutes. Serve burgers on buns; garnish with barbecue sauce and cabbage, if desired.

Makes 6 servings . Per serving: 293 cal, 11 g fat (4 g sat), 27 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 545 mg sodium, 26 g protein


Garden Chicken Burger with Strawberry SauceNutrition Tips for women chicken burger

3 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 cups strawberries, sliced
1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled
1 medium zucchini, peeled
1 lb lean ground chicken breast
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
6 flatbreads or naan
1 cup arugula or baby spinach

1. Warm 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Add strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and black pepper; cook for 1 minute. Stir in mint and remove from heat.

2. Preheat grill to medium. Using a box grater or mandoline, shred carrot and zucchini, then chop into small pieces. In a large bowl, lightly mix shredded vegetables, ground chicken, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, egg, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Form into 6 patties and brush with remaining vegetable oil.

3. Place burgers on grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 165°F. Meanwhile, toast bread for 1 to 2 minutes per side.

4. Line flatbreads with arugula, add burgers, and top with strawberry sauce, then fold bread over burgers.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 387 cal, 8 g fat (2 g sat), 54 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 497 mg sodium, 27 g protein


Stuffed Portobello Burgers with Caramelized Onions

1 Tbsp butter                                             nutrition tips for women portobella burger
2 Spanish onions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
8 portobello mushrooms
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 eggplant, sliced into thin rounds
3 oz roasted red peppers
4 oz sliced low-fat mozzarella
1 loaf focaccia bread

1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Mix in brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pan, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium. Remove stems from mushrooms, brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Place eggplant slices on grill, cook for 2 minutes per side, then set them aside. Add mushrooms to grill, stem sides down, and cook for 6 to 7 minutes. Flip mushrooms and cook for another 4 minutes.

4. Top 4 mushrooms with red peppers and mozzarella, then cover each with a remaining mushroom, stem side down. (Stem sides should be facing each other.) Cook for 2 minutes or until cheese has melted; set aside.

5. Meanwhile, slice focaccia bread in half lengthwise down the side, then slice each half into 4 squares. Toast squares on grill, 2 minutes per side.

6. Place each stuffed mushroom on a focaccia square; top with onions, eggplant, and focaccia square.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 536 cal, 14 g fat (5 g sat), 81 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 909 mg sodium, 26 g protein


Get even more bikini-friendly burger recipes and other great healthy ideas perfect for any BBQ!


Add your favorite healthy bbq recipe to this edition of nutrition advice for women. Our Comment Section below is the perfect place to swap and share.  



* Some content originally appeared in an article written by Matthew G. Kadey, M.S., R.D for  Women's Health Magazine 


Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, weight loss for women, nutrition, the women's club, nutritional coaching for women

The Truth About Plateaus in Weight Loss for Women

Posted by Angie Quehl on Feb 4, 2011 12:39:00 PM

Plateaus and weight fluctuations are normal during weight loss for women. I wanted to take a second to help you all understandplateaus in weight loss for women what good things are happening to your bodies right now, even if the scale isn't showing it yet.
During Your Work Out:
1. You Strengthen Your Lungs- Your brain send signals to your lungs during exercise that causes your breaths to be both deeper and faster.
2. You Decrease Body Fat- Your body is breaking down fat cells to use as a source of energy.
Up to 1 Hour after a Work Out:
1.  You're in a Great Mood- During workouts your body releases mood-enhancing chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
2.  You're Burning Calories- For every 100 calories you burn during a cardiovascular workout you will burn about 15 calories in the hour afterward!
Up to 1 Day after a Work Out:
1. You have More Muscle- Your body repairs the microscopic tears you create in your muscle during a workout. This repair is how muscle mass is created.
2. Increased Metabolism- Your body's metabolism is based on the amount of muscle you have. So more muscle = more calories burned at rest.
Up to 1 Week after a Workout:
1.  You're in Better Shape- VO2 Max (aka how efficiently your body uses the oxygen you take in) will increase by an average of 5% the first week you work out regularly.
2. Lower Risk for Diabetes- When you work out regularly your body becomes more sensitive to insulin, which in turn lowers blood sugar levels.
In 1 Month:
1. You're Stronger- By now the amount of weight you use for strength training exercises has increased.
2. You're Smarter- Working out activated growth-stimulating proteins, including those in the brain
In 1 Year:
1. Working Out Feels Easy!- Your VO2 max can increase up to 25% in the first 12 weeks of consistent exercise.
2. Longer Life Span- Avid exercisers have slower DNA breakdown
3. You Lose Body Fat Easier-  Your body becomes more efficient at breaking down fat cells for energy. So you burn more calories all of the time!
So even if you feel like the scale is stuck at the moment, think of all the great things you are doing for yourself by continuing with your regular workouts!


Article Submitted by Jennifer O'Connor, Personal Trainer


question markHave questions? Thoughts you would like to share? Tips that you believe may be helpful for other Readers? Click the link or submit them in the Comments Section below! 

Ask a Question about fitness for women



Topics: women's health, Women's Wellness, fitness tips, weight loss for women, fat burning, the women's club

Say NO to that added 5-7 Pounds this Holiday Season!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Nov 16, 2010 2:14:00 PM

First things first. Everyone knows that the holiday season brings with it days when you are short on time and events that are typically long on food options. Everything seems to be in excess. At this time of the year, people tend to either remain really strict about their diet and exercise program or toss it all together for the six weeks of the "holiday period" according to Sue Cummings, MD at the General Hospital Weight Center in Boston. Clearly, there are better options in both scenarios that will allow you to enjoy all of the good foods you only get once a year without blowing off all of the hard work you have put in from January to November!

woman eating brownie resized 600

Keep in mind that the holidays are just that, DAYS not weeks or months.  After every holiday event, make sure to head back to your normal eating routine. Also, watch the calories in your favorite holiday spirits. Alcohol contains empty calories that can quickly add up. If you are curious about how many calories are in your favorites visit: http://www.wastedcalories.com/cocktails.html

Try using the 80/80 approach.  Janet Laubgross, Ph. D., a Fairfax-based weight management psychologist suggests that " 80% of the time you do 80% of the things that are healthy for you. During the other 20%, let go a little and enjoy small portions of your favorite foods." It is the thought of "blowing your diet" or trying to deprive yourself that sends most folks into a downward spiral. If you slip up and violate your own regimen all is not lost! Take it in stride and get back in the saddle the next day.

Avoid a fridge full of temptation.  Toss leftovers or send them home with your guests. Donating extra food to a local food bank is also a good idea to keep you from doing the midnight run to the fridge to indulge in holiday temptations. Out of sight, out of mind!

Make time for yourself this season.  Penciling in "downtime" can be key in avoiding the exhaustion that can lead to making poor food choices. Make sure you find time to exercise even if it is just as few a 30 minutes and few times a week. Group exercise classes can also be a fun way to reduce stress. You will find that taking a little time to yourself will help you get through the stresses of the holiday that can contribute to weight gain.

Be careful of where you indulge.  Don't burn up calories on something that you really don't enjoy or can get at any time of the year. Save your "splurge moments" for the holiday treats you are just wild about like grandma's pumpkin pie or Aunt Jane's world-famous mac & cheese. Make every calorie in those once-a-year pleasure count!

Take time to savor the flavors of the holiday.  Give everything you eat this holiday your full attention. Practice what Dr. Cummings calls "mindful eating." The basic principle is simple and sound...if you eat something distractedly it does not register. Even if it is something small, take time to put it on a plate, sit down and really ENJOY it. Don't taste test while you are cooking or stand over the buffet table at a party. Even though you are only taking in small amounts of food at a time, those calories count and can add up before you know it!

Be in control of what you are eating.  It can be very difficult at times to pass on sweet treats offered by your host or hostess at a holiday event, but chances are they will be too busy with other guests to notice what you are eating. Don't be impolite but you are the captain of your waistline and you should be able to pass on whatever you like. For the does and don't of buffets visit:  http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0846/is_4_23/ai_111146684/

Maintain, don't gain.  If you can maintain your weight through November and December consider yourself successful! The holidays are the WORST times to try and actively work on shedding pounds. The best present you could give yourself is not adding the stress of trying to stick to a weight loss program to the equation. Continue to exercise and be mindful of your portion sizes and you will find the scale tipping in your favor at season's end!




Topics: women's health, exercises for women, Women's Wellness, health tips, fitness tips, fitness for women, exercise programs for women, weight loss for women, nutrition

Women's Wellness Series: The facts about Cleanses and Detox Programs

Posted by Angie Quehl on Oct 15, 2010 1:50:00 PM

Detox Header


Cleanses and detoxes come in many shapes and forms. Whether strict water or juice fast or dietary modification with the addition of supportive herbs and nutrients for a period of time, the ultimate goal of a detox or cleanse is the same: reduce what’s coming in and increase what’s going out of the body to decrease the body’s overall “toxic load.”

The body has four primary routes through which it can eliminate waste products: the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the kidneys and bladder, the skin, and the lungs. Any time one or more of these pathways of elimination is not functioning well, the other pathways have to take up the slack or the body has to figure out how to store its toxic load in the least harmful way possible. When these situations arise, we often find the beginnings of illness. Many commercially available cleanse programs focus on the liver and the gastrointestinal tract, which are critical to the proper removal of waste and toxins from the body. Addressing the GI system is important, given the prevalence of processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and foods devoid of any real nutrition in our society, however, it is only one part of a larger picture and all of the body’s routes of elimination need to be supported and addressed.

Without a doubt, a detox in any form is hard work. The most difficult part of a cleanse for many people is the diet. Whether a cleanse is liquid-based or involves food, chances are it is will be a dramatic change from peoples’ typical eating habits. However, the choice of what we eat is an aspect of cleansing over which we have a lot of control and has an impact on both the “what’s coming in” and “what’s going out” parts of the detox equation. It is also the choice of what we eat that will have lasting benefits beyond the course of a cleanse. With benefits ranging from increased energy to reduced sugar cravings to weight loss, participating in a cleanse once or twice a year is a wonderful opportunity to break poor eating and lifestyle habits that we all inevitably slip into over time.


Article submitted by Dr. Lucky Bennett

Dr. Bennett will be conducting a 3-week Detox program at The Women's Club. Click here for more information.


Topics: women's health, Women's Wellness, weigh loss, fitness tips, weight loss for women, nutrition

How Fitness Boot Camp for Women Can Help You Get Big Results

Posted by Angie Quehl on Aug 26, 2010 10:42:00 AM

In the past, few women would have considered joining a fitness boot camp as an answer to their weight loss and fitness problems. However, today the obvious benefits of these boot camps workouts have made many women reconsider the advantages of using a fitness boot camp to improve their fitness. Many women have discovered that regardless of their current fitness and exercise level, it is very hard to beat the health and fitness benefits of consistent and regular boot camp workouts.

An important reason motivating women to choose a fitness boot camp is that the fitness boot camps offer one of the best workouts for rapid weight loss. Even women that have had difficultly losing weight in the past or following through on an exercise program have found great results after joining a boot camp class. A well-designed boot camp class will offer a progression of each exercise for novice, intermediate and advanced boot camp participants. As you gain fitness and strength, the progressive difficulty of each exercise will continue to challenge you.

boot campers with hands in

One reason that boot camp workouts work so well for weight loss and toning muscle is that these fitness workouts are based on exercise science and physiology, using the proven techniques of resistance and cardiovascular training, as well as specific weight training exercises. Building muscle is essential to boosting the body's metabolism and effectively and efficiently losing weight by burning more calories throughout the day.

Another reason that fitness boot camps are such a great way to get into shape and lose weight is that they provide structure and consistency. Without having structure to your fitness program, and consistently participating, your chances of reaching your goal of having a great looking and fit body are greatly reduced. With a fitness boot camp, not only are the workouts intense enough to provide you with the results you want, but you will find that the personal trainers and instructors help provide the necessary motivation to keep you consistent.

Fitness boot camps also provide significant health benefits. One of the most important health concerns for women is heart disease; so cardiovascular health should be one of the main goals when choosing an exercise program. Boot camp workouts provide enough cardio exercise to help keep a heart healthy and reducing the chance of suffering a heart attack or stroke. Another benefit of the boot camp classes is the decreasing risk of osteoporosis by improving bone density. The weight-bearing exercises often found in a boot camp workout are important in increasing a woman's bone density.

Another added benefit of fitness boot camp workouts for women is time management. In many cases its possible to get a full body workout in a brief 45 to 60 minute workout while burning over 600 calories. These fitness boot camps are typically far better than other workout programs which can often take much longer to burn the same number of calories. These high-intensity, fat-burning and muscle toning workouts can be a time savings to the busy professional woman.

Women from many fitness and health backgrounds can benefit from fitness boot camps specifically for women. Signing up for a fitness boot camp may be one of the best ways to get in shape and lose weight.

Have more questions or are ready to get started with a fitness boot camp for women right here in the Chantilly area? Click HERE to request more information.


Adpated from an article by John M. Martinez, M.D. and Greg Griffin


Topics: exercises for women, strength training, boot camp for women, fitness tips, fitness for women, exercise programs for women, bootcamp exercise classes, weight loss for women, Strength training for women

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