Recipe of the Week:
Warm Beet & Spinach Salad
(from www.eatingwell.com)

Nutrition Profile: Diabetes appropriate, low calorie, low cholesterol, low saturated fat, low sodium, heart healthy, high fiber, and healthy weight appropriate.

Ingredients:
8 cups baby spinach
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons sliced Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups steamed beet wedges, or slices
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions:
1. Place spinach in a large bowl
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until onion starts to soften (about 2 minutes). Add tomatoes, olives, parsley, and garlic and cook, stirring, stirring until the tomatoes begin to break down, about minutes. Add beets, vinegar, salt, pepper and cook, stirring, until the beets are heated through (about 1 minute more). Add the beet mixture to the spinach and toss to combine. Serve warm.

Nutrition Per Serving (2 cups): 122 calories; 5 g fat (1g sat, 4g mono); o mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 4 g fiber; 729 mg potassium.

Fit Tip of the Week: TRX Suspension Trainer Professional Review

Many fitness enthusiasts today are looking for effective, space saving and cost effective ways to bring the gym into their very own home. Many have turned to TRX Suspension training, specifically the TRX Suspension Trainer Professional product. Originally born by way of the Navy SEALS, the TRX Suspension Trainer Professional kit is composed of 12 feet of industrial-grade nylon webbing equipped with handles and foot straps. It looks similar to resistance tubing with handles but a little more advanced in design. The kit also comes with instructional DVD’s and illustrated workout as well as a storage bag. The manufacturer promotes the product as being highly portable, versatile, and appropriate for all fitness levels. This device can be anchored to a door frame, exercise machine frame, or other sturdy weight bearing structure and uses a combination of the exerciser’s body weight and gravity as resistance to perform various exercises. Because the body is partially suspended, the exercises requires the user to draw on the core and other stabilizing muscles through each movement.

Pros of the TRX system:

1. The TRX is lightweight and portable, allowing the exerciser to work out in a variety of locations and in a small amount of space.
2. The system encourages exercise in all three planes of motions, providing a functional challenge to the body’s core muscles. Our bodies move in several planes of motion throughout our daily activities so it makes perfect sense to be functionally strong in all said planes of motion.
3. The TRX allows for the performance of each exercise at various skill and fitness levels and the exercises performed on the TRX can add an element of variety to any fitness routine.

The Cons of the TRX system:

1. The TRX is a bit pricey for a light weight, portable piece of exercise equipment. Prices range from $149.99-150.00.
2. Initially, the exercises can be awkward and challenging to master for new users.
3. The DVD and instructional brochure that accompany the system are well-produced, but I would have liked to have seen a larger variety of exercises.
4. Many of the exercises promoted for the TRX can be performed more comfortably and with less confusing using other equipment, such as stability balls and elastic tubing.

Would I recommend the product? Yes, I would, if it’s in your budget. The TRX system provides great benefits in lightweight resistance training and flexibility. I find this product being used more and more by athletes, fitness enthusiasts of all levels, and even physical therapists. It is great for those who are looking to sculpt, tone, and build muscle endurance as opposed to actually building muscles (or “bulking up”). It’s also great for the days when you just can’t get to the gym for your strength training session as well. Many fitness clubs are offering TRX Suspension Training as apart of their group fitness schedules, which is perfect for those new to the system and exercises. A TRX group fitness class will allow a trained fitness professional to help you perfect your form and technique. In all, outside from the price, this product can definitely a great and challenging lightweight resistance workout.

Very Respectfully,
G. Nicole Shea, BS, ACSM-CPT
ACSM Certified Personal Trainer
Zumba® Fitness Instructor