Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Top 5 Healthiest Condiments (and the WORST)

The Top 5 Healthiest Condiments (and the WORST)
healthy or unhealthy condimentsby Mike Geary, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer

I'm sure you can think of all sorts of condiments that are obviously NOT healthy...
What about Mayo?  Sorry...
With processed refined soybean oil as the main ingredient in most mayos, there's NOTHING healthy about mayonnaise.  It causes internal inflammation and harms your omega-6 to omega-3 balance with excess omega-6 fats.   Tartar sauce has the same issues as mayo.  If you can find a mayo made with 100% olive oil instead of soybean oil, this would actually be a healthy choice.

Ketchup?  Not quite...
Yes, ketchup is made from tomatoes so it does contain the beneficial nutrient lycopene.  Unfortunately ketchup has a high % of sugar, and most brands are made with nasty high fructose corn syrup.  Not good.  Hey, I'm a ketchup lover myself, but I just try to keep the quantity small to minimize the sugar intake.
Barbeque Sauce?  Nope...
BBQ sauce is actually worse than ketchup because it has higher levels of sugar or HFCS and lower levels of actual tomato.  Strike 3 with BBQ sauce.
Salad Dressing?  Not most store brands...As you know from this salad dressing article of mine, there's not much healthy about most store bought salad dressings...most contain HFCS and soybean oil or unhealthy canola oil as the main ingredients.
Most "fat-free" salad dressings are simply loaded with extra sugar.  Plus, remember that you need a good fat source to go with your salad to help absorb the vitamins and minerals in your veggies, so fat-free dressing is not a good option.  Even most salad dressing brands that claim to be "made with olive oil" only have small amounts of actual olive oil, while unhealthy soybean or canola oils are main oils used.  Instead, follow my healthy salad dressing recipe if you want a lean healthy body.

So, what are the top 5 healthiest condiments?
Below, I give you my top 5 picks for the healthiest condiments for a lean healthy body.  Sure, there might be a few others not on this list that are also healthy, but these are my top 5 picks:
1. Mustard
That's right... mustard is absolutely one of the healthiest condiments!  First, it has no added sugar.  Also, mustard seed itself is a source of powerful antioxidants.  In addition to the antioxidants in the mustard seed, most yellow mustards also contain turmeric (one of the healthiest anti-cancer spices) and paprika, which both contain powerful antioxidants as well!
2. Guacamole
I know, I know... when do I ever stop talking about avocados and guacamole.  Sorry, it's one of my favorite foods, and I eat avocados or guac just about every single day.  At this point, I don't think I need to explain why Gauc is healthy, as I think everybody knows this by now... but a quick recap:  lots of healthy fats (that satisfy your appetite and regulate hormone balance), lots of fiber, and plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

And creamy guac just makes anything taste better!  I put it on eggs, on burgers, on chicken or fish, or just eat it with veggie sticks.  If you buy pre-made guac from the store, just be sure to check the ingredients and make sure it doesn't have added trans fats or other artificial ingredients.  But it's so simple and fast to make fresh guac, I don't know why anybody would buy pre-made guac.
3. Salsa
Although ketchup was on the unhealthy list due to the sugar content, salsa makes the super healthy list as it almost never has added sugars if you get a good brand.  Salsa is mostly just vegetables so it's hard to go wrong.  I like it on my morning eggs for variety sometimes.  I also like to mix salsa half and half with guac for a delicious party treat!
And if you're a ketchup lover and want to reduce your sugar intake, just try salsa instead for a much healthier option.  Trust me... salsa on a burger is just as delicious as ketchup on a burger.

Just remember that the corn chips that people generally cram down their throats with salsa are NOT even close to healthy.  Corn chips are almost always fried in a heavily refined omega-6 oil such as corn or soy oil, and are inflammatory.  Plus, most corn used for corn chips is genetically modified.   Organic corn chips are a small step in the right direction (this ensures it's not GMO corn), but I'd still try to keep the quantity small if you're going to eat corn chips with salsa.
4. Hummus
Hummus is mostly just chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon, and olive oil, and is easily one of the healthiest condiments or as a separate snack by itself.
The main thing to look for when buying a good hummus is to make sure it's made with olive oil and NOT soybean or canola oil.  Unfortunately most brands use cheap soy or canola oil, but if you're a label reader, it's easy to find a brand that uses solely olive oil.
One of my favorite snacks is just veggie sticks with hummus.  However, hummus is also a delicious condiment to go with sandwiches, on top of meat dishes, etc.

5. Pesto
Pesto is generally a mashed mix of garlic, pine nuts, basil, olive oil, and grated cheese.  It's a great source of healthy fats and also powerful antioxidants, mostly from the garlic and basil, but to some extent from the pine nuts and olive oil too.
Pesto goes incredibly well with sandwiches, on meat dishes, or surprisingly, even on eggs.
There's one more condiment we didn't cover yet that you might be wondering about...
What about hot sauce?  Actually, hot sauce is fairly healthy.  Most hot sauces don't have added sugars.  And the hot peppers are actually good for you too and could even cause a slight and temporary metabolism increase.  The only drawback to most hot sauces is a moderately high sodium content.   But unless you go nuts with loads of hot sauce on every meal, the sodium content in hot sauce will not be an issue.
So now that you know 5 of the healthiest condiments, don't be afraid to indulge next time you need one of these tasty additions to your meal.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Obesity is Growing!!

Obesity in the USA has inched up slightly over the past decade,
mainly because of weight gain among men and boys, new government statistics show.

The average body mass index (BMI) of men rose to 28.7 in 2010 up from 27.7 in 2000.

For women the average BMI remained unchanged at about 28.5.

The percentage of obese men increased to 35.5% in 2010,
up from 27.5% in 2000. About 35.8% of women were obese
in 2010, not a significant change from 2000. Adults are
considered obese if they are roughly 30 or more pounds
over a healthy weight.

About 16.9% of children and adolescents, ages 2 to 19,
were obese in 2010, up 13.9% from 2000. This was mostly
because of an increase in the percentage of boys who are obese.

Even though the bulge has "leveled off" isn't this crazy?

The weight loss industry is huge. The funny thing is the whole
key to staying fit is to eat less of the wrong foods and more
of the right foods. And then, workout everyday!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


t is often exciting to start an exercise program, but at some point the novelty wears off and real life kicks in again.  When this happens, you may find that you feel guilty or beat up on yourself because you're not doing everything you are "supposed to" do.  
Perfection does not exist in a fitness program.  Stuff happens.  You will overeat at a buffet.  You will go a week without exercise.  This is all normal!  The key is to not let these instances become all encompassing, defining your success or failure with fitness.
Here are some thoughts to keep you going:
  • Praise yourself for what you are doing well.  One workout, an extra flight of stairs, 500 more steps... focus on all the positive actions you are taking.  
  • Learn from mishaps.  If you miss several workouts in a row, identify what you could do differently next time.   
  • Remember that this is a process, the way you want to live your life - not a quick fix.  When you think about it that way, you can appreciate that all the little things you do are moving you toward the way you want to look and feel for the rest of your life. 
When you focus on your foundation (your vision) and the positive steps you are taking, you are more likely to stick with fitness and be happier to boot!
Today, make a list of at least five things that you are doing well to support your health and fitness.  Then congratulate yourself!
We can help you keep a positive focus, moving in the direction of your vision.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


We know there are a lot of choices for martial arts and fitness in Howard County. Many times we are asked what sets Indiana PIT apart from other businesses? I will now do my best to explain why we are different..

Indiana PIT is not your typical gym. Our clients have a name and all our staff work hard to know each person that walks through our doors. You not a bar code on a key fob. We don't enroll you and take you through a tour of the gym give you one personal training session and then wish you luck in reaching your goals.

You won't come to Indiana PIT find a tread mill get on it and watch TV or plug in your ipod and do your boring 30-40 minutes of cardio work and then go home (how do people do this?). You won't find a bunch of machines in our facility. You won't find a bunch of 'hidden' add on's once you've signed up for a 'basic' cheap intro program either. Yes many places will pull you into their business on the promise of a very cheap agreement but once you've signed you're normally on your own or if you'd like to try an additional class it will cost you more money. It's a well documented fact that 86% of people who join a gym quit going after the first month. Why is that? Boredom and no one keeping you accountable is my guess.

What will you find at Indiana PIT? 
Professional staff smiling to see you in class!
You're not in this alone, the teaching staff will help you gain back your health, energy, endurance and confidence that you can be successful in your goals.
We were the first to bring fitness kickboxing to Kokomo back in 1998 at Kokomo School of Self-Defense!
Structured classes designed to be challenging, different and fun! You won't be bored.
All classes led by a highly qualifed instructor!
Clean environment!
Accountability we are here to help remind you of your goals!
Family you have a name at Indiana PIT
Results driven...many of our clients have tried other programs and fad diets only to fall back into their old habits. We will show you how to make the proper adjustments to be the person you want to be.

There is so much more so come in or give us a call you'll be glad you did.

Monday, January 9, 2012

How can I keep my children healthy?

Physical activity:
Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day.
  • Aerobic activity should make up most of the 60 minutes.  This includes activities like walking and running.  Three of the days should include the more vigorous activities.
  • Muscle strengthening activities should be part of the 60 minutes, 3 days a week.  This would include gymnastic type activities or playing on a jungle gym.
  • Bone strengthening activities like jumping rope or running should also be done as part of the 60 minutes of activity, 3 days a week. recently reported that our youth are falling short of meeting the current physical activity guidelines. Only 18% of students in grades 9-12 met the recommendation. 

Children ages 8-18 years old reportedly spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media, including, TV, computers, video games, cell phones and movies.  83% of children from 6 months to less than 6 years of age view TV or videos for close to 2 hours a day.  TV viewing is considered a major contributing factor to childhood obesity as it takes the child away from possibly participating in physical activities and replaces that time with a sedentary activity.  Additionally, people tend to snack while watching TV.

Ways to get your child moving:
  • Set a positive example for your child, engage in physical activity yourself
  • Make physical activity part of your family's daily routine
  • Give your child equipment that encourages physical activity
  • Be positive and supportive about your child participating in organized sports
  • Limit entertainment media time
  • Get involved with your school to encourage daily, quality physical education
  • Sign your child up at Indiana PIT! Classes for 3-6 year olds, 7-12 year olds and Teens!


Four out of five people who make New Year's resolutions eventually break them and one third won't even make it to the end of January.

In a time of daily distractions and constant demands, we often neglect what we know is most important, settling for resolutions rather than results when it comes to creating the healthy lifestyle we desire and deserve.

So why do we keep making ourselves the same promises over and over—and risk ending up disappointed and discouraged?

It's simple, really: Resolutions require only words. Results take action.

Act now and ensure you have the energy and vitality you need for success in 2012. If you are not a member of Indiana PIT....WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR YOU CAN GET 30 DAYS FREE IF YOU ACT NOW...COME IN THIS WEEK ONLY (1/9/12)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Classes Coming Soon!

There is so much going on at Indiana PIT right now behind the scenes. We are planning on rolling out new programs that will again make us your one stop family oriented Martial arts and Elite Fitness facility. Right now we have several great opportunities coming your way which we hope to roll out in the next few months. More classes, more variety, more fun, more sweat and more goals being reached by our clients.
Our PIT Pee Wee's are now putting on the gloves and shinpads and interacting with each other. Our PIT Hawaiian Kempo class was better structured for progressive learning for our adults. CrossPIT students last night got a taste of new and challenging drills that were difficult to complete but with the challenges we saw so many people laughing and smiling while trying to perform them.
If you are sitting on the fence trying to decide if Indiana PIT is the place for you come try a free class. There is zero pressure sales on anyone coming in our door. We want our clients to be excited and happy about joining our family.