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Curly Nikki

KinkyShea’s Health and Fitness Tip of the Week

By January 27th, 20217 Comments
Recipe of the Week
Pecan & Toasted Oat Nuggets

Pecans are ground into a delicious nut butter to form the base of this whole some and nutritious treat. Using a mini muffin pan for baking will help to control the portion size, but if one is unavailable, spread the batter into a 9in x 13in baking pan (coated with cooking spray) and bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes. Allow the pan to cool and then cut into 24 squares.

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

½ cup water
½ cup dried figs, finely chopped
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
¾ cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, or walnuts
1 large egg
½ cup packed light brown sugar or ¼ cup Splenda Sugar Blend for Baking
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 24 mini (2 inch) muffin cups or baking pan with cooking spray.

Bring water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Remove from heat, stir in figs and set aside to plump.

Spread oats in a small baking pan and bake, stirring twice, until light golden and fragrant about 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

Grind pecans (or walnuts) in a food processor until they form a paste. Add egg, brown sugar (or Splenda), oil and vanilla; process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides. Add to the dry ingredients. Add the figs (with liquid) and oats; stir just until combined. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups or baking pan.

Bake muffins until the tops spring back when touched lightly, 12-15 minutes. Let them cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then loosen the edges and turn out onto the right to cool slightly before serving.

Nutrition Information Per Muffin: 102 calories; 5 g fat (1g sat, 1 g mono); 9 mg cholesterol, 13 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 2 g fiber; 58 mg sodium; 60 mg potassium.

Fit Tip of the Week:

“Game, Mission and Life” is the guiding principle behind CrossFit™, a unique training approach to building a broad, general, but inclusive definition of fitness. Essentially, it is a form of functional training that utilizes constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement patterns to improve activity of daily living (ADL) efficiency. Or according to CrossFit™, these workouts are designed to “prepare the body for any physical contingency-not only the known, but also the unknown.”

CrossFit™ is built upon three fitness standards that embody their training approach:

1.The true definition of fitness encompasses 10 parameters of physical fitness. This means health related parameters (cardiorespiratory endurance, muscle endurance, strength and flexibility) and skill related parameters (agility, balance, coordination, speed, power, and accuracy).

2. True fitness implies the ability to perform as many tasks as possible, efficiently and effectively. This “generalist” approach is reflected in their assertion that “our specialty is not specializing. This concept advocates for universal scalability, where the same exercises are sued for everyone regardless of experience, but scaled by load, intensity (with some accommodation for substitution), rather than by program.

3. Energy required for all human activity draws upon three energy pathways and true metabolic conditioning targets all three in a balanced and coordinated manner, much like we utilize these systems in life.

Although these principals speak volumes of truth at the same time they raise legitimate concerns. My purpose is not to endorse or oppose CrossFit Training (as I have not personally participated in this program), but to highlight keep benefits while identifying concerns that merit consideration for individuals participating or thinking about participating in these workouts.

Let’s start with benefits this program can deliver. It is worth noting that one can burn and impressive number of calories with these high intensity workouts. On average women can burn104-120 calories in an eight minute circuit and men can burn 120-144 calories in an eight-minute circuit, plus additional bonus calories during recovery following high-intensity workouts. High-intensity, multi-joint movements compromise the bulk of CrossFit exercises. These exercises are not for the week at heart and as some individuals will say these workouts will “wreck you”. That being said, you can get hurt due to the stresses placed on the joints and muscles. While this raises a significant concern with respect to technique and injury (often associated with high-intensity workouts), it is also important to recognize that CrossFit does place value in the importance of safety, which is evident in their website. Because of the injury risks associated with high-intensity workouts I would highly recommend to those seeking to start this program to find CrossFit coaches to ensure safety and use of proper techniques.

Another aspect that catches my attention with this program is the difficulty. Of all the individuals who start and quit an exercise program, 56.2 percent cite program difficulty as the number one reason for quitting. CrossFit is generally geared towards those who are an athlete or ex-athlete with a competitive background. Although CrossFit does offer beginner workouts, pushing someone to complete a 500m distance on a rowing ergometer as fast as possible on day one is a little excessive. For the general public who feels compelled to exercise to maintain their health, improve aesthetics, or simply because their doctor advised them to do so, CrossFit’s high-intensity approach may not be an ideal match.

Bottom line, this program does give you results but there is a high risk of injury. Also people who start this program may quit because they simply find it too difficult. There are both benefits and concerns to this method of training. If you are a seasoned exerciser seeking a multi-faceted, challenging workout that will prepare you for life’s’ challenges, and allow you to savor some good old muscle soreness (and a healthy dose of competition), then CrossFit might be a fit for you. If you are someone just getting started in a healthy lifestyle then I would suggest seeking an alternate form of circuit training to kick start your fitness routine.

A quick note:

This week’s article is unfortunately my last article. The upcoming demands of school and work in the next semester will unfortunately leave me with little free time. I would like to thank CurlyNikki and the CN Community for allowing me the great pleasure and opportunity to serve and educate. My sole purpose was to empower readers with the knowledge to make smart decisions towards a healthier life. If I have helped just one person in some small way then my goal has been accomplished. I wish everyone a beautiful, bright and healthy New Year and the best of luck on their healthy lifestyle and natural hair journey. Blessed be to all!

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


  • dora says:

    GOOD LUCK GOOD LUCK GOOD LUCK!!! I love your articles and I hope you come back one day =)

  • mothereartha says:

    wow i'm sad to hear that. good luck! we will definitely miss you!

  • Andree says:

    you will be missed! good luck in your future endeavors and i hope you come back.

  • Bridget says:

    Thank you so much for all your amazing advice and insight. Best of luck to you in all your future endeavors!

  • Kinky-curly chica says:

    AWWWW! I love your articles, well I hope you have a good spring semester and finsh STRONG!!!! 🙂
    P.S I hope you do come back one day!

  • Anonymous says:

    The fact of the matter is that no matter where you go in the world you're always black– meaning you will always stand- out, draw attention, etc. After doing considerable amounts of traveling, I realize that 50% of people's reaction is due to "small mindedness" but bigger than that is simple lack of exposure. Except for small populations of North Africans in many European countries, these people have no interaction with us outside of seeing us in music videos, and acting in often unfavorable or stereotypical ways on television [usually, American television.] Even in a place as close as Mexico, people ask me "Are you Tyra Banks? Are you Whitney Houston" with magnifying- glass type, uncomfortable amounts of interest and exoticism OR will be rude, ask me to dance/sing, comment on my skin. To be fair, sometimes the attention is just that– it's curiosity at seeing something [someone] you have never encountered before. In Asia, people were genuinely just curious. In white and European countries [particularly, in Eastern Europe where people iN Prague REFUSED to serve us in restaurants], that racial heirarchy is still pretty evident. That said, it happens here too– we know, we know what the issue is, and we know that regardless of how much we "get out there" these people will make assumptions and accusations. The best you can do is a) not support their economy by traveling [but no one wins then or b) travel to your heart's content, identify people's perceptions, but not stress yourself about it. That burden and stress we carry as a result of the perceptions of us literally kills us. Just enjoy your trip!

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    We'll miss you boo!!!


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