Special Veteran’s Day Offer – 50% discount for Boot Camp.

It’s Veteran’s Day so please take a moment to recognize those who are serving and who have served our country.

As a former sailor, I want to take this opportunity to offer a Veteran’s Day special. From now until midnight Friday, November 12th, you can sign up for Maplewood Boot Camps for 50% off the regular price.

You can sign up to take camp 2 or 3 times a week for 4 weeks, for an unlimited number of times throughout the month or you can buy a 10-class card.

There is no limit to how many camps you can buy with this discount.

Sign up with a Friend for the Price of One!

Give the Gift of Boot Camp to Friends and Family!

Buy 3 Camps to Set Yourself up Now for Your New Year’s resolutions!

Enter the code VETERANS at checkout to receive the 50% discount.

Offer good until Friday, November 12th at midnight and applies to the current and future sessions of camp.

Sign up and receive your 50% discount today.

A Creative Boost – Unleash Your Inner Child!

Want a bump in your creative juices? Unleash your inner child!

Sometimes, ideas simply come to you. And when they come, there’s practically nothing that can stop you. But then there are those times when you can’t find the solution to even the easiest problems. What can you do to jumpstart your creativity and ensure your ability to think creatively whenever it’s needed? Give these childish ideas a try.

Live Right Now

Adults have a bad tendency of thinking about what is not in front of them. If you find yourself ignoring the world around you to focus on something you did wrong in the past or worrying about a decision you have to make in the future, it’s time to live in the now. Doing this is not as easy as it seems, but do whatever you can to absorb yourself in what is directly in front of you and leave your troubles for another day. Giving yourself this distance will help you enjoy life today and make a better decision tomorrow.

Get Spontaneous

When was the last time you had an idea to do something fun and just did it? Kids do it every day, and they reap great rewards as a result. Not only do they get to experience new things, but they come against new challenges that they must tackle on the fly. Grow your creativity by acting on your spontaneous urges.

Be Free with Your Time

Somewhere in your past, there was a mythical creature known as free time. Now, every bit of free time you have gets swallowed up in responsibility. Have a free minute? Better spend it getting ready for that presentation or cleaning up the kitchen. Not any more! Make full use of your free time by allowing it to truly be free. Instead of being a slave to your adult responsibilities, use free time to do nothing at all or something out of the ordinary.

Laugh at Yourself

As a child, you probably had dreams of being a professional baseball player or ballerina, as these would be such fun occupations. Now that you’re in corporate America, you have determined that fun does not belong in the workplace. And something is wrong with this. Take a good look at yourself in the mirror and laugh a bit. Stop taking yourself so seriously and realize that while you have a job to do every day, it doesn’t define you. That’s right – you can still be a ton of fun, even if you’re an accountant.

Change It Up

Life can get a bit boring. After all, work has you doing the same thing day after day, week after week, year after year. But you don’t have to approach every day the same. To add some creativity enhancing excitement to your workday, approach an old task in a new way. By doing this, you may find a more efficient or enjoyable way to perform an old task that everyone in your company could benefit from.

More Creative Help

Children aren’t the only resource for increased creativity. If you need a little more assistance being more creative, give these tips a shot.

  • Keep a small notebook and pen on hand at all times. When inspiration strikes, write it down to ensure you’re not stuck trying to remember your great idea later.
  • Take a walk or hit the gym to get the blood flowing through your body. Increased blood flow improves your health and helps your brain work faster.
  • Listen to classical music, such as Bach or Mozart.
  • Read books and magazines and talk with other people about them.
  • Avoid watching television unless absolutely necessary. When it is necessary, keep your brain engaged by talking with someone about what you’re watching.

2nd Annual Maplewood Boot Camp Food & Coat Drive

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Bring a non-perishable food item or a gently used coat to camp between 11/13 and 11/20  and attend that week of camp for free. Food and coats will be donated to MEND (Meeting Emergency Needs with Dignity) which serves Essex County.

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You probably know about the AWESOME 12-Week Body Transformation Challenge going on at Maplewood Boot Camp. There are fresh new routines, videos campers can follow at home, and everyone in camp is looking and feeling great.

All that is great and all, but what is even cooler is our 2nd Annual Maplewood Boot Camp Food & Coat Drive that starts this weekend, November 13th and runs through next Saturday, November 20th.

Anyone who brings a non-perishable food item or a gently used coat to camp can attend class for free for the week of  11/13 to 11/20. Food and coats will be donated to MEND (Meeting Emergency Needs with Dignity) which serves Essex County.

In Essex County an estimated 115,000 people live below the poverty level and of that number, 38,000 are children. MEND works to bring food to those who need it the most.

You may not know it, but I grew up in the housing projects in Brooklyn and know firsthand what it’s like to live in need. Our family had very few resources but our holidays were always special because we were together.

The towns of Maplewood and South Orange helped me start my business and realize my dream. I have been able to achieve my success because of the help that was given to me by others more fortunate and I feel it is my responsibility to give back to the community.

So please let’s work together to make a difference again this year to help our neighbors in Essex County.

Recommended items:

  • Canned foods, i.e. meats, fruits, sauce, soups, vegetables, etc
  • Beverages: Protein drinks, 100% juice, coffee, tea
  • Toiletries: diapers, feminine products,
  • Baby items: formula, wipes rice cereal, baby shampoo
  • Avoid Glass and perishable items
  • Gently used coats for adults and children
Photo: MEND

Cut Calories in Your Drinks

And watch your waistline become the shape you always wanted.

For most people, calories are thought of in solid forms, via meat and potatoes, fruits and vegetables, and cake and ice cream. But if you’re not careful, the liquids you drink each day can add hundreds of extra calories to your daily diet without you ever knowing it.

Which drinks should you be wary of during your daily grind?

Soda

One of the easiest ways to pile unwanted calories on is through soda of any sort. And while you may think that a diet soda is better for you (it does have fewer calories), many diet soda drinkers wind up drinking more soda as a result. Do yourself a favor by skipping soda and opting for water instead.

Fancy Coffees

Yes, they taste delicious and give your energy an instant boost, but that large café latte made with whole milk is also sending 265 calories directly to your belly. Chop the calories in half by downsizing your drink and making it a skinny, which is made with fat-free milk.

Sports Drinks

You work out pretty hard and are convinced that you need a sports drink to replenish everything your body loses as you exercise. Unfortunately, your conviction is nothing more than a response to good advertising. Unless you’re exercising hard and heavy for 90 minutes or more, your sports drink is leaving you with many more calories than you burned during your routine. Keep your body hydrated the old-fashioned way: with water.

Sweet Tea

Though you may consider it the healthy alterative to soda, sweet tea packs nearly 200 calories in a meager 16-ounce bottle. Unless you’re a professional body builder and have an extra thousand calories to use up every day, drinking sweet tea chops out a big portion of your daily calorie allotment without giving you much benefit.

Smoothies

Quite possibly the healthiest drink known to man, smoothies are both delicious and nutritious. However, if you work at a desk all day and don’t take time to get to the gym, a smoothie a day may actually bring extra pounds your way. That’s because while they are very healthy, they have hundreds of calories. Eat a daily smoothie each morning in addition to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and you can easily suffer from calorie overload.

Alcohol

Whether you prefer lager or pina coladas, all things alcohol come with a calorie count that can easily be overlooked. To keep these calories to a minimum, watch the amount of alcohol you consume. Also, choose light beer, a small margarita, and the proper amount of wine instead of the excessive amount provided at many restaurants.

Beyond the Drink

In addition to what you drink, how you drink and what you combine with your drink can all add up to extra unwanted calories. With a few easy steps, you can sidestep hundreds of calories.

Prepare Properly. Certain drinks work well with certain foods. Unfortunately, soda and alcohol often taste best with greasy, unhealthy foods. Instead of falling prey to such figure-killing choices, have healthy alternatives readily available and train yourself to choose healthy foods in those situations.

Go Slow. If you’re prone to drink three or four glasses of soda at a restaurant or don’t shy away from multiple drinks at the bar, you can slow down your caloric intake by breaking between each fill. When your glass is nearly empty, ask for a glass of water and don’t drink anything else until your water is gone.

Drive the Car. Have friends who enjoy getting a little rowdy at the local bar? Save yourself from joining in their calorie-rich alcoholic fun by being the designated driver. You keep your friends safe and get to hang out without worrying about adding to your calorie count.

Seasoning Without Salt

A dash of seasoning techniques that put salt on the sidelines.

A little bit of salt won’t do you any harm. In fact, your body needs a bit of the stuff to stay well balanced and healthy. However, eating too much salt can lead to some rather serious health issues, so you should do what you can to avoid pouring teaspoon after teaspoon of salt on your foods.
If you find yourself starving for more flavor in your food, leave the salt in the cabinet and reach for one of these alternatives.

Homemade Meals

One of the fastest ways to rack up your salt intake is to eat at fast food restaurants or to bring home lots of prepackaged foods filled with preservatives. If you find yourself eating out of a can or a to-go bag on a regular basis, find ways to stop supporting your local fast food joint and begin supporting your good health by preparing your own meals. It takes extra time, but in the long run it will be less costly on your pocketbook and your health.

Caramelized Onions

They look great in most meals and taste even better. To make them, grab a handful of large onions, dice them well, and sauté in four tablespoons of olive oil. Stir the concoction frequently until the onions are browned. The process takes about an hour, but you can refrigerate them and pull them out to add to anything and everything from meats to soups and beyond.

Burnished Veggies

Want to add some flavor and color to your favorite meals? Grab some carrots or Brussels sprouts and toss them in the oven at 375 degrees with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. After 20 minutes, give the veggies a visual check. If they have browned edges, remove and enjoy. Otherwise, flip and continue cooking.

Simmering Juices

No, you don’t want to drink excessive amounts of fruit juice (especially if it has added sugar), but you can use your favorite juice to spruce up any food that needs an extra hand. To start, simmer a cup of juice (apple or orange juice works well). Once it simmers down to half its original amount, pour it over your food of choice, and enjoy!

Wine Bits

Prefer a fine wine to fruit juice? No problem. After you’ve done a bit of cooking, don’t just scrape the scraps left on the pan in the trash. Instead, scrape the bits up and leave them loose in the pan. Then pour in a cup of your favorite red wine, crank the heat up to high, and let the wine reduce to half its original amount. Take the mixture off the stove and pour it over your meal. Whether you’re flavoring rice or potatoes, meat or vegetables, it’s as good as it sounds.

Zesty Citrus

If you’ve done much cooking, you’ve probably had a few opportunities to use a zest of some sort. When looking for a salt-free choice to flavor foods, zest is a great choice. Just grate the skins of lemon, oranges, or limes, and add it to your food. You can even combine one or more zests for a new burst of flavor. Just be sure the fruit was grown without pesticides or other chemicals that could put you in harm’s way.

Oily Enhancement

Need to impress someone on the fly? Combine some thyme, rosemary, or other herbs to a bit of warm olive oil. Let the mixture sit long enough to steep and apply to your food. Then take what is left over and put it in the refrigerator to use when needed. This works particularly well on meats and vegetables.

How Much Salt Is Too Much?

It is suggested that healthy individuals eat no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, the equivalent of one teaspoon of salt. For those with high blood pressure or other pre-existing conditions, 1,500 milligrams of sodium is a daily maximum.

What Are Refined Carbs?

Understanding the difference between refined carbs and those other ones.

You’re bombarded with information about carbohydrates. You may have even been frightened of them at one point – or maybe you are right now. However, not all carbs do the same thing.  Actually, some carbs are good for you and necessary to keep your body going strong. Where do refined carbohydrates fall on the health scale? You’re about to find out.

Not the Best

To get a refined carbohydrate, a food is taken that contains carbs. Then, everything else in the food is taken away, leaving only the refined carbohydrate, which is either a starch or a sugar.

When eaten, refined carbohydrates give your body a quick boost in glucose (a.k.a. sugar), which can be helpful right before you get started in some sort of athletic endeavor, such as a sprint or a soccer game. However, eating refined carbohydrates on a regular basis, regardless of what you’re doing afterward, can leave you with a rather useless store of carbs.

See Them Now

To avoid eating too many refined carbohydrates, you should know what they look like and where they’re most often found. Thankfully, they’re rather easy to see, so you can sidestep them with ease. Most often, refined carbs are white on their own, but they can hide inside various foods without being recognized.

The following are a few common foods that contain refined carbohydrates:

  • white bread
  • white rice
  • foods ending with the word “starch”
  • foods that use puffy or shredded grains

What to Choose Instead

Since refined carbohydrates aren’t doing your body much good, you ought to do your best to go for foods with the other kind of carbohydrates. Whether you call them good carbs or all-natural carbs doesn’t matter. What matters is what comes with these carbohydrates that is stripped from their refined peers.
One of the items that gets stripped from carbohydrates during the refining process is fiber. Since fiber is helpful in your goal of good bowel health; avoiding diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and kidney stones; and obtaining and maintaining a healthy weight, you don’t want to spend much time eating foods that have gone through a fiber-stealing process. Instead of going with fiber-stripped carbohydrates, choose foods that contain fiber-rich carbs. Good choices include fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.

Your Need for Carbohydrates

Still not convinced that you need carbohydrates in your diet? Has the popular no-carb diet craze messed with your head so much that you continue to fear this necessary part of your daily regimen? Then there’s something you should know.

While you don’t want to fill up on refined carbohydrates (as you already know), you do want to eat plenty of good carbohydrates. In fact, otherwise healthy adults ought to use as much as 65 percent of their daily intake of calories to consume carbs. That means that every other bite you eat should contain healthy carbohydrates for optimal health. So what are you waiting for? Wave goodbye to those white, worn out refined carbohydrates, and open your arms and your mouth to health-boosting whole grains, fruits, and vegetables!

Why No-Carb Diet Works

If you’ve ever gotten into a diet that cuts you off from all carbohydrates, you probably lost some weight. If you’re supposed to need carbs, why did you have such great weight loss success when you cut them from your diet? There are three reasons.

The first is that cutting carbohydrates from your diet often results in a loss of water weight, as not eating carbs may cause you to urinate more frequently and with greater volume.

The second is that any diet that forces you to avoid one sort of food altogether will result in eating fewer calories. While this is a good thing at first, it’s healthier to trim calories from all the food groups instead of picking on carbohydrates only.

The third is that diets that trim carbohydrates do not trim protein or fat, which both cause you to feel full faster and longer, reducing your desire to eat.

Make Exercise Fun

What you can do to have a better time in the gym and reap better results.

Exercise routines, like everything in life, can become a bit too routine. After a while, working out can seem more of a chore than anything, and when this happens, it becomes difficult to muster up the will to get to the gym. But working out doesn’t have to be dull and lifeless. With some fun-boosting steps, you can add some new life to your routine and cause you want to get in the gym more often.

Wondering what you can do to put a smile on your face when you’re under the barbell or in aerobics class? Wonder no more!

Switch It Up

Burn out occurs in the gym when you do the same thing day in and day out. The most obvious solution is to do new exercises that stretch your abilities. Turn to an exercise pro to learn some new exercise ideas to slip into your repertoire. You can also fun up your routine by walking out of the gym and going to your local playground. Grab a bar for a few pull-ups and then head over to the monkey bars. Go back and forth a couple times and then head to the swing set for some swinging. Do all these exercises with joy and vigor and you will easily reach your target heart rate, all while having a good time.

Grab a Partner

Is there someone in your life who makes everything a little bit more fun? Why aren’t you exercising with him or her? Whether it’s a spouse or significant other, long-time neighbor, coworker, best friend, or priest, working out with someone you enjoy spending time with will make your workouts more fun as well.

Push Yourself

If you’re not making the most of your time in the gym, you’re probably not going to enjoy being there. While forcing yourself get in one more rep may not seem like a blast, it can be extremely gratifying. And for most people, doing a job well translates to fun. So if you want your routine to be more fun, you should work your body as hard as you want it to appear you work it.

Go Mental

Another fun way to improve your exercise is to use your imagination. Sure, you may be surrounded by average Joes and Jos in the gym, but you don’t have to see it that way in your head. Instead, picture a gym full of elite athletes, all working as hard as possible to be the best in the world. Just remember – you’re one of them, so you have to work just as hard – if not harder than – them.

Move It or Lose

Some of the most fun workouts occur when you’re not worried about how many calories you’re burning. Instead, you’re simply playing a game that requires a lot of movement. If you’re not into basketball or tennis, try something that requires you to move or be moved, such as kickboxing, boxing, or mixed martial arts. Each of these sports requires you to be in optimal shape. And if you don’t stay mentally focused and on your toes at all time, you’ll be on your backside in no time. Pretty good incentive to work harder than your opponent.

Game Away

Though video games have traditionally been a detriment to good health, a number of new video game systems and arcade games require players to be on the move. If you have access to these games, use them for a change of pace in your routine, as you dance, jog, and play your way to a better, more fun workout.