Cold Weather Eating


As temperature gets colder, experts say our appetite increases – and so can our waistline.

Studies have indicated that we tend to eat more during the winter months, with the average person gaining at least one to two pounds – and those who are already overweight likely to gain a lot more. People who are affected with this tend to have lower blood levels of serotonin – not surprisingly, those carbohydrate-rich foods give us a serotonin rush, so for many people winter food cravings are a way of self-medicating – as the days get shorter the need for these ‘carbo-rich comfort foods’ increases. WHAT TO DO?

While cold winter weather may be encouraging us to eat more, experts say we don’t have to lose control of our appetite in the process. Here are 5 ways to get some winter comfort without packing on the extra pounds.

But what is about falling temperatures that urges us to eat more?

One reason is that food performs the simplest of winter functions: It helps keep us warm.

“Simply put, when outdoor temperatures drop, your body temperature drops and that is what actually sets up a longing for foods that will warm you quickly,” says Kristin Herlocker MS, RD, a nutrition expert with Diabetes Centers of America in Houston, Texas. In short she says shivering triggers a self preservation mode that sends our body a message to heat up fast! And while technically, any food – including fruits and vegetables – will boost our metabolism and help create the extra heat we crave, for most folks it’s the traditional “comfort” foods that come to mind when it’s cold.

While for some it’s the falling temperatures that set their appetite in motion, for others it’s the decrease in sunlight that increases the need to feed. The reason is a brain chemical dysfunction known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD– a type of depression that occurs in a response to a lack of sunlight. So what’s the link to an increased appetite? Experts say that the early winter sunsets combined with the cold weather means many folks simply stay indoors more this time of year – and that often means we feel isolated and, usually hungrier.

Winter often provides lots of excuses for moving less. Not only does it contain shorter days, it cuts our outdoor time by several hours –- in many locations the temperatures, as well as other weather related factors like snow and ice, make our chosen fitness activities, like walking or running, more difficult. Since exercise helps increase serotonin levels, the lack of activity can have a direct influence on how much we eat.

If we’re eating more and working out less, there’s no place for our weight to go but up!

1. The colder the temperatures the more you need to snack. But if you make it a high protein, high fiber snack you’ll rev up your body’s heat mechanism quickly and remain warmer longer.  And that means you’ll not only burn more calories, you’ll also have a less of a drive to eat more often.

2. Create Low Cal Comfort Foods – If you know that nothing take the chill off your bones like comfort food, look for ways to cut the calories and still get that warm and cozy feeling. Try a bowl of vegetable soup instead of a high fat chicken noodle, make your cocoa with non fat milk, try Mac & Cheese with no-fat cheese – be creative in finding ways to make feel-good food less fattening.

3. See The Light – Get in the SUN! Even an hour of direct sunlight a day can help elevate your disposition. Or if you definitely find yourself more hungry on dark, gloomy days talk to your doctor about light therapy. It’s a way of using artificial light to increase serotonin levels – and reduce your appetite.

4. Exercise Your Daily Life – If you can’t go outside to do your regular workouts, find a studio that has an indoor area – or even if the weather keeps you from getting to the gym – put more activity into your daily living. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, march in place while you’re sorting the laundry or doing the dishes, or clean out the closet/basement/garage instead of curling up with your favorite DVD movies every night. The more you move the warmer you will feel and the less hungry you will be.

Dinner Entree: Turkey Tacos


  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 6 ounces extra-lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 whole-wheat, low-fat flour tortillas, about 6 inches in diameter, warmed on a skillet
  • 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup salsa

In a small bowl, stir together the chili powder, cumin and oregano.

In a nonstick frying pan, add the ground turkey and onion. Cook over medium heat until the turkey is browned and onion is translucent. Drain well. Add the spices to the turkey mixture. Stir to mix evenly.

To serve, place a 1/4 cup of the turkey mixture in each tortilla. Top each with 1 tablespoon cheese, 1/4 of the diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup shredded lettuce and 2 tablespoons salsa. Fold in both sides of each tortilla up over the filling, and then roll to close. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis (per serving)

Serving size: 2 tacos
Calories 340 Cholesterol 49 mg
Protein 28 g Sodium 423 mg
Carbohydrate 31 g Fiber 7 g
Total fat 13 g Potassium 681 mg
Saturated fat 4 g Calcium 209 mg
 ** Tip: Taco seasoning mixes from the grocery store usually have large amounts of sodium. Here, the taco seasonings — chili powder, cumin and oregano — have all  of the taste but none of the sodium. *Also you can substitute the whole wheat tortillas with  lettuce leaves for less calories.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit  NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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Decrease cellulite by doing the following exercises

We all know what cellulite is: the unsightly dimpled appearance of the skin that is found most on the thighs, buttocks, and on the belly. According to Medical News Today, cellulite can be caused by any of these factors: hormones, genetics, diet and lifestyle factors. In an effort to eliminate cellulite, women have been known to try variety of cellulite creams, heat treatments, injections, and liposuction. While results may be visually apparent, they can be temporary on other times. Proper diet and exercise, however, may be the most healthiest and effective way to improve the appearance of and even eliminate cellulite. Here at NYC Adventure Boot Camp, we are dedicated to a healthy lifestyle not a temporary fix for weight loss.

Attacking cellulite requires a reduction in body fat, junk food and carbohydrates and an increase of protein in the diet and water intake. Exercises that stimulate the lymphatic system and increase circulation should be incorporated into the fitness routine. The lymphatic system is located just below the surface of the skin and is the responsible for fighting disease and infections. Recommended exercises to get the lymphatic system moving again include but not limited walking, jogging, running, jumping jacks and jump rope. These same exercises can improve the performance of the cardiovascular system by increasing blood circulation. For indoor exercises, cardiovascular machines such as the treadmill, stair stepper, rowing machine, stationary exercise bike, and the elliptical machine may be preferred. It is recommended to perform any of these exercises for at least 30 minutes a session between 4-5 days per week to help reduce body fat, increase circulation, and reduce the amount and appearance of cellulite.

Resistance training along with cardiovascular exercise is a great combination when trying to decrease cellulite. In order to lift weights, more oxygen is required in order for the blood to be pumped to the muscles. Lifting free weights whether using weighted machines, resistance bands, or performing body weight exercises are all great examples of resistance training. It is important to focus on major muscle groups when trying to reduce body fat; those include chest, back, core, buttocks and legs. For the chest, the bench press, chest press machine, and push-ups are especially effective. Dumbbell rows, lat pull-downs, and pull-ups work well for the back muscles. The lower body can be targeted with squats, lunges, leg press, and leg extensions.

When in a time crunch, circuit training is the most efficient way to combine cardiovascular exercise and resistance training. A 30-minute workout can begin with a 2 minute cardio warm-up, followed by some active stretching for 2-3 minutes. Then, one set of an upper body resistance exercise (5-10 repetitions) should be performed followed by another cardio exercise. Next, choose a core exercise (5-10 repetitions) and return to a cardio exercise. Finish with a lower body exercise (5-10 repetitions) followed by a cardio exercise and some cool-down stretches.

For those who have suffered injuries or have physical limitations, exercises such as swimming, seated stationary bikes, yoga and Pilates are all effective ways to achieve great results.

In summary, cellulite can be decreased by mixing cardiovascular exercises and resistance training paired with a healthy diet and increased water intake.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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Healthy Snacks

It may seem hopeless to find healthy snacks that actually fill you up and are good for you. The truth however is that there are some excellent snack ideas that can help you to fulfill your nutritional quota and that actually taste good. The key with this aspect of eating as with anything else is to be prepared. Though you think it’s impossible you can come up with some great snacks that are healthy and delicious.

You should also remember that healthy snacks fit in with the right way to eat. You want to focus on eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. That means that healthy snacks are a key and very important component to that and why you should be focused on incorporating these into your day. If you take the time to plan and pack the right snacks then your diet and your waistline will thank you.

Combine Food Groups

Whenever possible try to combine food groups as this really works. There are great snack ideas that do just this and you can figure them into your day really well. Consider a few ideas that come together from two various food groups. Remember the food groups include low fat dairy products, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, good fats, and whole grains.

So keeping that in mind a few examples of good combination snacks include:

  • Whole grain bread with turkey slices
  • Low fat cottage cheese with pineapple
  • Whole wheat crackers with hummus
  • Apple with peanut butter
  • Trail mix
  • Carrots with Greek yogurt dip

So you see that healthy snacks can include a wide array of different foods and when you combine them you get great value. You get key nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You get fiber to make you feel full longer, and in the end you get a lot of great value for one small meal as well.

Items for On the Go

You want to always be prepared and that means that you have the right foods to take with you anywhere. Chop up and prepare vegetables such as watermelon, apples, bananas, carrots, celery, and cucumber and then pack them in a cooler. Pack up some low fat yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, and string cheese in the cooler and you are always prepared.

Consider keeping a packet of oatmeal, some trail mix, some mixed nuts, or even some popcorn at your desk. Put some protein bars into your car or gym bag. Just think through what your daily routine looks like and then plan for it. That way you never have to be caught off guard and you always have what you need to eat the right way on the go. That’s what healthy snacks and smart eating are all about!

True Mini Meals Working For You

When you break down the more than likely huge meals that you eat now into smaller and more efficient mini meals then you can work really well in terms of planning. Consider packing a half of a turkey sandwich and some yogurt for your lunch. Save the orange and the almonds for a mid morning snack and then you are never hungry and you don’t overeat at once. The key is to eat the right way and to focus on eating smaller portions more frequently to get the most value out of your eating overall, and healthy snacks are a huge component of that.

How are you feeling about your fitness level? Do you have any goals that you want to reach this summer? Please contact me, Stacy Papakostas for a FREE consultation.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp or Fitness Boxing Classes please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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Why Boot Camp Works


Many women are fearful when they hear about a local boot camp, and this is a terrible mistake. This is not just the type of activity that is made for men and in fact women can benefit greatly from this type of workout. Though you may be new to it you are bound to pick it up fast and feel a challenge and empowerment that you have never felt before. This is the type of workout that every woman should try at some point in her life.

Though not all boot camps are created equally we can offer some really wonderful advantages. You are going to get in really great shape doing one of these and before you know it, your body will change and your strength will just continue to build. This is the type of workout that you will wonder why you ever did without and therefore it’s one that you should be focused on moving forward.

It Truly Challenges the Body

The problem with so many workout regimens out there is that they don’t offer enough of a challenge to the body. Either you get bored or the body becomes complacent after awhile. Just performing cardio won’t work in the long term and strength training alone can get really tiresome and make you feel like all you are doing is building muscle.

Therefore the one big advantage of joining NYC Adventure Boot Camp or one like it in your city is that it offers a very unique and real challenge to the body unlike anything else. You may feel as though you are doing too much but it’s because it’s an all over body workout. You are performing exercises that are more than likely new to you and that’s good because the body responds quite favorably. Therefore you end up doing some really great and challenging things and this is good for every aspect of your health in the long run.

It Works Every Muscle Group

Far too many workouts out there focus on one muscle group at a time. First and foremost there is no such thing as spot training. While you can focus on one muscle at a time, why would you want to do that when you can get it all done in one shot? With this type of workout through boot camp you are really training your entire body all at once. Far more effective and value for your workout time that way!

You are doing things that are cardio based as well as strength training based. So it’s a great aerobic and muscle building and endurance and stamina type of activity. It’s a great combination of activities as well so rather than spending time on one muscle group one day and then moving on the next, you are doing it all at once. This means you get some real bang for your buck and you will start to see that not only in your body changes but in your strength and stamina as well.

It Sheds Fat, Burns Calories, and Builds Muscle Tone

All the health experts out there will tell you that to lose weight we all need to do cardio plus strength training. Boot camp offers that and so much more as you are shedding fat off the body, burning some great calories, and you also happen to be building up some great muscle tone at the same time. This means that it’s a killer workout and you are getting everything you need all in one shot.

When you feel challenged like this is when your body will respond and change favorably. You will never get bored and you will continue to work towards that body that you’ve always wanted with this type of workout regimen. Boot camp really does work!

How are you feeling about your fitness level? Do you have any goals that you want to reach this summer? Please contact me, Stacy Papakostas for a FREE consultation.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp or Fitness Boxing Classes please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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The Power of a Colorful Plate

Here at NYC Adventure Boot Camp we believe in proper nutrition. If you eat healthy, you will be healthy. You may not have heard it before, but you will learn it now. The more color that you incorporate into your diet, the better off you will be. This is a lesson that holds true not only for proper nutrition, but to protect your health as well. When you eat foods that are loaded with color you are getting so many wonderful nutrients, and it’s so easy to do.

Think of the foods that offer the most color—the majority of them lie within fruits and vegetables. What’s so great about this particular food group is that all options are virtually fat free, low in calories, and yet they pack an intense nutritional punch. So if you want to really bump up the nutritional quota of your plate and enjoy healthy and delicious meals, this is the way to do it.

The More Colorful the Better

The very best nutrients come from those foods that have the deepest and most vibrant hues. So if you are looking for suggested foods within this category think of options like blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, sweet potatoes, broccoli, green beans, zucchini, oranges, apples, mangoes, and carrots. These are just a few but you see that these are the types of foods that have color to them and therefore that means great nutritional power.

Contained within these colorful skins and foods themselves are vitamins, minerals, and even antioxidants. What those do for you is naturally boost your immune system. They help to keep you healthy in the short term by fighting off the germs you come into contact with. They also have some great long term health benefits and therefore the more colorful the better it is for you.

Adding in Color to Every Meal

As a rule of thumb you want to add more color to every meal. We all have areas for improvement. Whenever you eat a meal you want to incorporate these colorful foods in somehow. Perhaps throw some blueberries in your yogurt for a nice twist that also happens to be delicious. Consider a salad made from broccoli and eggplant for a creative alternative.

Try to come up with creative ways of incorporating more color into your meals. You should also aim to combine food groups wherever possible. This means that you are going to want to combine low fat dairy products, lean proteins, and whole grains with colorful fruits and vegetables at every sitting. Before you know it, you will be eating with more color and not even realize it!

Create a Rainbow

It helps to instill these habits in kids in your life. Try to make a switch for your family to more colorful snacks as well as meals. Rather than turning to crackers or another processed snacks, try a fresh fruit salad or even a tangerine. The more that you incorporate these foods into everyday life, the more that they will become a main fixture.

Colorful eating can be fun too and that means that the whole family can embrace it. Rather than staring at a plate of bland looking food, you can now embrace the vibrant hues and enjoy just how delicious these foods are as well. Learning to eat with color is a wonderful way of improving your life and incorporating proper nutrition, so create a rainbow at every meal for the very best effects.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp or Fitness Boxing Classes please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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