health and wellness

Eat This Not That (BBQ Style!)

EAT Bratwurst NOT Hotdogs

Most commonly hotdogs are made with pork, beef or chicken and tend to have “additives”. Bratwurst are made with pork, beef or veal and are typically fresher and more pure. 

Now learn how to serve up the perfectly Grilled Brats.  

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EAT Lean Cuts of Beef NOT Fatty Cuts

Sometimes in can be overwhelming picking out the perfect steak for your barbeque. Some of the fattier cuts such as the Rib Eye and the Strip steak have as much as 20-40 grams of fat, 30% of that being saturated fats. On the other hand, the leaner cuts such as the Eye of Round and Sirloin Tip Side will keep your fat content down in the single digits, significantly lowering the saturated fat consumption!

Lean Cuts

  • Eye of Round Steak
  • Sirloin Tip Side Steak
  • Top Round Steak
  • Bottom Round Steak
  • Top Sirloin Steak 

Fattier Cuts

  • Rib Eye
  • New York Strip
  • Skirt Steak
  • Porterhouse/T-Bone
  • Filet Mignon

Now that you’ve made your decision on the cut, check out “How to Grill the Perfect Steak”!

EAT lots of veggies NOT just corn and potato salad

Grilling veggies at a barbeque is a great way to get your micronutrient fix. Soak up all the vitamins, phytochemicals, trace mineral and antioxidants you can.

Here are some of our favorite ways to grill veggies.

Zucchini and Eggplant Slices

Slice up some zucchini or eggplant into half inch circles. Brush (not drizzle) some olive oil on each side on the slice, add some salt and pepper and you’re ready to grill.

Cauliflower and Broccoli

Chop up a handful of cauliflower and broccoli. Throw them both into a piece of aluminum foil, drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper, mix around and wrap it all up. Place the foil at the top of the grill and let it sit there until the veggies are softened.

Asparagus

Grab a bunch of asparagus, cut the end of the stems, roll in oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper and throw on top of the grill . Turn every minute until slightly charred and soft.  

EAT fresh fruit NOT pie

This is an obvious one, so make a fruit platter like no other. Grab strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, watermelon, and any other fruit of your liking. Wash em, dry them, and spread them on a plate. This will give you that sweet tooth fix without the added calories that a pie provides.

If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, give this awesome watermelon cake recipe from Paleo Cupboard a try!

Why You Should Focus on Your Own Healthy Journey

The P.E. Club - Kayley Stevens - NYC Fitness

By Kayley Stevens


How many times have you compared your body to another’s? How many times have you heard about a friend’s special diet that you decide to try because of his or her results? How many magazines have you read about celebrities and what they do to stay healthy/in shape?

We are always looking at outside sources for help when it comes to fitness and a clean diet. For decades, our society and the media have carefully manipulated us into believing how we can achieve a healthier, stronger, better body. Unhappy with yourself? Follow this celebrity trend. Take more classes like “Sally” does. Buy this. Eat this. Work-out here. Do this exercise.

What if we took that focus on others’ diets, workouts, and regiments & used it instead to concentrate on what makes us feel and look our best? What if it really is that simple? What if the answer is this: make your health journey less about others, more about YOU.

This small change can help us find peace and success with our bodies.

Inside the fitness world and out, men and women compare themselves to others. It’s a primal quality we have. Whose muscles are bigger? Who can run faster? Who eats better? Who has better results than me?  We can’t help it. Humans have competed with each other since the beginning of time. This “race” against others, however, can sometimes hinder our happiness and hinder our results.  Many of my clients and peers desire arms like one person, abs like another. They read about what diet is working for fit men and women around them. By making goals based on another person, we already set ourselves up for disappointment. Implementing a plan similar to someone else’s is fine, and in fact, can work in some cases. But making comparisons along the way will only distract and frustrate.

Factors like genetics, sleep, digestive differences, and even your daily routine can affect results on your health journey. Each and every one of us will respond to workouts and diets differently.

Kayley Stevens - The P.E. Club - NYC Fitness

For example: “Person A” may be able to lift heavy weights, barely do any cardio, eat whatever they want (carbs, sugar, alcohol galore) and remain super lean. However, “Person B” might not feel as great eating loads of carbs and sugar. They may feel or look best doing long hours of cardio, minimal strength, and sticking to a super clean diet. The variations are endless. The factors are endless. Each one of us falls into a different rhythm of health, a different pattern.

Let me use myself as another example. As a dancer and instructor teaching 15-17 classes a week, I am moving and strengthening my body MANY hours a day.  Being extremely active allows me to pretty much eat anything I want. You name it. Fries, burgers, pizza, ice cream, wine, beer—I don’t hold back. I eat healthy 50% of the time and not so healthy the other 50%. My results cannot be compared to a person who works long hours an office or as a full time parent. I admire NYC workout warriors so much—the clients who show up to the P.E. Club after hours of working and walking kids around and cleaning to get a great sweat in. Your results are right there in front of you. Each time you show up in class, each push up, each rep you finish, compare THOSE. Compare the strength you began with and the strength you have after a few classes.

Here’s something to try...

Instead of letting your focus be someone else’s body or nutrition, try looking inwards for answers. Become your own inspiration. Look to YOURSELF for guidance. Discover what kind of workouts make you feel your best; eat the foods that make you feel great. Compare ONLY your results, no one else’s. Instead of making your goal someone else’s body, try and envision the kind of strength you’d like to have on your own body. How many push-ups or sprints do you want to be able to complete? How many could you do before? Such a small mental shift can really change the fitness game for all of us.

YOU are a champion-- you don’t need to look elsewhere for inspiration. Look inside yourself.


Live out your healthy journey dreams this week by reserving your TRX with Kayley!

Why You Should Focus on Changing Shape, Not Size

By Trainer Andrew Leidal


Changing Shape, Not Size - The P.E. Club Extra Credit Blog, by Trainer Andrew Leidal

There’s a common misconception out there that to get the body you want, you have to become ever and ever smaller.  Do cardio to burn off that tummy fat!  Don’t eat those carbs or you’ll blow up!  Spin five times a week and you’ll have that perfect summer bod!

Any of these sound familiar?  They probably all do - and while there is some truth behind them (even though carbs don’t make you suddenly fat) - there is a lot of misinformation and emphasis place around restriction.  Skinny, skinny, skinny.  That’s become a new ideal.  But what if you don’t just want to be skinny?  What if you want toned abs, a nice butt, shapely legs, broad shoulders, muscular arms, a rippling back, or any combination of the above?  Attacking the cardio machines and avoiding carbs like they’re your worst enemies every day isn’t going to help you see those results. 

Side note: Don’t get me wrong - cardio and diet are vitally important to anyone’s workout routine.  Don’t ever neglect them.  But I’m here to talk about how you can change your SHAPE, not just your SIZE.

There are a few basic concepts we need to cover here first so that I can make myself understood.  The first is the difference between shape and size, which might seem obvious to some of you, but I’m going to cover that briefly anyway.  As stated above, there seems to be a general emphasis in the fitness industry on your size - meaning that men and women both should ever be getting either smaller, or bigger. 

Women...there is a huge amount of pressure for you to be as tiny as possible; to have the flattest stomach, the leanest legs, the ever-present thigh gap. 

Men...your chest can never be too big, your shoulders too broad, nor your arms too ripped. 

Right?  These cues are based around one thing - size.  Be bigger.  Be smaller.  Not all of us are going to be big or small, though.  Most of us are big in some places and small in others, comparatively speaking.  Most of us are perfectly happy with certain parts of ourselves while disliking others.  Well guess what - strength training can allow you to target specific areas of your body to help even you out proportionately. 

Want broader shoulders that are pulled back, not rounded forward?  Strengthen your back and shoulders to bring those things up and back.  Want a firmer butt?  Train your glutes to be strong to counteract all of that sitting that you do.  Train your core to help tighten your waist, which will only help to accentuate those curves that you’re working hard for (this is for men and women both - guys, women like nice butts too!).  Building muscle can help you to make adjustments to that “body that you’re born with” in ways that destroying yourself on the treadmill or bicycle six days a week can’t.  The idea is to grow, not to shrink.

Changing Shape, Not Size - The P.E. Club Extra Credit Blog - By Trainer Andrew Leidal

The second concept that I want to cover here is that of spot treatment.  We are told by sources that you can trim off that belly fat just by wrapping yourself in plastic, or that you can take away that pesky skin around your armpits by lifting two pound weights all day.  This is wrong.  Now, this may seem paradoxical to what I just told you in the previous paragraph, so let me go into more detail on this:

  • Muscle and body fat are two very different things that - although are inextricably linked - are targeted in very different ways.  Your body fat percentage, or BFP, is the primary factor behind looking either “soft” or “lean”.  This is a measure of the overall percentage of your bodyweight that is strictly fat and, despite what sources tell you, is nearly impossible to reduce one spot at a time. 
  • Body fat distributes itself relatively evenly across your body.  While there ARE certain areas where it will tend to sit more heavily on you than someone else, it does a pretty good job of making it all the way around your person.  So as you watch your diet, introduce more cardio into your system, and build muscle, your BFP will drop evenly across your entire body.  Sorry guys, can’t get rid of that tummy fat without getting rid of fat period.  This might be discouraging to some, but I would argue that you should feel ENcouraged by it, because your body is smart and will look better as a whole! 
  • With that said, there are certain areas where vestiges of fat will stubbornly remain after all else is gone.  Don’t stress - keep working hard.  Nobody said that this was easy.

You are stuck with the body that you were born with only to a certain degree. Strength training won't allow you to make the bones in your shoulder or hips smaller, but tightening your core with regular ab, oblique, and lower back work will make either of them look much more proportionate. Not everyone is born with a nice butt - but anyone can build one with hard work. You don't have to accept the fact that you can only get bigger or smaller, because this is simply not true. You can get bigger where you want and smaller where you want with just a little bit of knowledge, a plan, and the willpower to see it through to the end.  Your body is your piece of marble, and you can chisel it as you please.


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