Home Meal Delivery, then… and Now…

21st Century Fast Food

We all know it: that dire moment when we return home exhausted from a harried day and realize we have no idea what to make for dinner and no bandwidth to even consider cooking from scratch. In the past, options for fast, convenient nourishment were to nuke a TV dinner or call for fat-soaked pizza or the sodium tsunami of Chinese take-out. How times have changed. Home-delivered meal kits have become one of the biggest, um, home-cooking trends.

In just a few years, dozens of companies—including Sunbasket, Terra’s Kitchen, Blue Apron and Purple Carrot—have jumped into the meal-kit game. For your buck, you get a kit of food replete with all the preportioned ingredients down to the sesame oil and necessary recipe instruction to crank out a complete meal in a flash. A far cry from freezer- burnt Salisbury steak, meals can range from Cuban shrimp mojo tostadas to bison vegetable stew. Many companies accommodate a wide spectrum of dietary lifestyles, from paleo to vegan, and some have a dietitian on staff to monitor the meals’ nutritional value. Some stress eco-conscious kits made of organic and/or locally sourced edibles.

Advocates believe meal kits arriving on doorsteps give a fuss-free, healthy-eating solution to Americans who find menu planning, grocery shopping and prepping from scratch too taxing. But skeptics say that handing over recipe and food-selection duties to others sacrifices a big part of the home-cooking experience. They also point out that weekly meal kits can quickly blow up a food budget. And one consistent grumble is excessive packaging that serves a delicious meal with a side of garbage.

Have you tried one of these direct-to-consumer meal delivery services? Do you think they are helping or hurting the long-term goal of getting Americans to eat better? Send your responses to Sandy Todd Webster at swebster@ideafit.com.

IDEA Fitness JournalVolume 14, Issue 7

Pilates and all Athletes…weekend warriors to pros

How Pilates Helps Athletes

by Nora St. John, MS on May 18, 2017

Professional athletes of all kinds have discovered that adding Pilates to their training can improve performance, reduce injury, speed recovery and help their hardworking bodies stay balanced and healthy (Caple 2016; Knowlton 2016; Knowles 2016; Saxon 2016). For recreational athletes or simply athletic clients in general, Pilates can provide the same benefits professional athletes enjoy. A well-rounded program, particularly one offered in a fully equipped Pilates studio, can do wonders for athletic clients of almost any age, ability or sport. Let’s look more closely at the advantages.

Multiple Benefits for Recreational

Pilates is a whole-body exercise system that can develop strength, functional flexibility, coordination and balance in athletes wanting to improve their skills or in clients returning to an activity after an injury or a hiatus. Here’s how.

Builds a Good Foundation

According to Jonathan Hoffman, PT, developer of the CoreAlign® training system that categorizes exercise methods as foundation training, fix techniques or fun activities (Hoffman 2016), Pilates is a type of foundation training.

Foundation training denotes an exercise method that works to consciously improve movement quality in a safe, effective manner. It is distinct from the fix techniques used in rehabilitation and from fun activities performed with minimal conscious thought. As foundation training, Pilates helps clients improve their movement patterns by engaging the mind to change the body. Helping clients to feel their imbalances and teaching them how to improve them is a key element of Pilates and of mind-body training in general.

One good case study of effective foundation training involves a client of mine I’ll call Alice. She was moderately overweight and walked with her hips in external rotation. Alice decided to join Team in Training and work toward running a marathon. She had never been much of a runner or an athlete, and she was 38 years old. Through Pilates, she worked on aligning her legs in a more parallel position, stabilizing her core, and developing strength and endurance in her lower body. Pilates, combined with the coaching she received from her Team in Training mentor, allowed her to run a full marathon 8 months later without significant injuries.

Improves Core Strength and Lumbo-Pelvic Stability

Pilates teachers often use lumbar stabilization exercises and concepts in their sessions, and many Pilates exercises incorporate lumbar or lumbo-pelvic stabilization. In athletic clients, greater stability in the lumbo-pelvic and hip regions can increase flexibility, generate power for throwing or rotational sports, and decrease lower-back pain and injury. A comprehensive Pilates mat or studio-equipment program designed to strengthen the trunk in all planes of motion can improve dynamic stability in the core. The emphasis Pilates places on the core, or “powerhouse,” provides an environment for safely developing a base level of lumbo-pelvic stability (Kloubec 2010; Phrompaet et al. 2011). As athletic clients improve their skills, challenges such as standing exercises, plank-based exercises, free weights and unstable surfaces can be added to provide a higher level of difficulty.

Develops Sport Skills

Coaching in specific sport skills may be limited or nonexistent for recreational athletes. A good Pilates teacher with skills or experience in a client’s activity of choice can act as a coach to help the client develop particular skills and optimize movement patterns. For example, if a client who played baseball or softball in college decides to join a recreational league in his or her late 30s, a Pilates teacher can work on leg alignment, strength and balance for running and core support and can help to develop balance in rotation for throwing. A good teacher who understands the demands of an activity can analyze the strength, range of motion, coordination and movement patterns necessary for success and can use the flexibility of the Pilates environment to tailor exercises to the client’s sport. A Pilates expert can also address any physical limitations that may hamper the client’s chances of success.Balances the Body; Counteracts the Effects of Training

Many recreational or occasional athletes develop muscle imbalances and poor posture from combining a sedentary occupation with their sport. For example, bicycling has become the sport of choice for many middle-aged men and women. Cycling has obvious cardiorespiratory, strength and endurance benefits, but as a repetitive activity it puts strain on the lumbar spine, neck, shoulders, arms and legs. Combining daily work sitting at a desk with hours on a bicycle in deep hip flexion can decrease flexibility in the hip flexors and lower back, leading to stress in these areas. An appropriate Pilates program would emphasize hip, lumbar and thoracic extension to counteract the effects of repetitive stress in a seated position.

The same principle applies to rotational athletes such as tennis players or golfers. The asymmetrical nature of their activities can lead to misalignments and strength imbalances on either side of the body. A specifically designed Pilates program could target the neglected side of the body or work on the opposite movement pattern to cross-train the body and improve symmetry.

For more information (including a segment on injury prevention), plus a full reference list, please see “Pilates for Athletic Clients” www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/pilates-for-athletic-clients in the online IDEA Library or in the April 2017 print edition of IDEA Fitness Journal. If you cannot access the full article and would like to, please contact the IDEA Inspired Service Team at 800-999-4332, ext. 7.

IDEA Fit Tips, Volume 15, Issue 6

Menopause & Movement

Mind-Body Exercise and Menopause

Are you in menopause? Chances are that you sometimes feel that you are not in control of your body! If you are seeking ways to cope with unpleasant menopausal symptoms, you may want to try yoga and other mind-body practices.

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year, an award-winning author and IDEA’s mind-body spokesperson, explains the research and application of mind-body exercise on menopause.

Irritability and Mood Swings

Yoga and other mind-body activities can help you overcome mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and even feelings of hopelessness and sadness coming from hormonal fluctuations. The most recent review of randomized controlled studies on yoga’s effectiveness for menopausal symptom relief found moderate evidence for short-term improvement of psychological symptoms, such as mood changes, anxiety and depression; the review was based on four studies with a total of 545 participants (Cramer et al. 2012).

Hot Flashes

To date, the most successful intervention for reducing both the frequency and intensity of hot flashes and night sweats is deep breathing as paced respiration—ideally 6–8 breaths per minute in twice-daily 15-minute sessions (Sood et al. 2013). These researchers also noted that since women reported difficulty in finding time for two practices per day, it would likely be beneficial to find a once-daily practice that would still maximize beneficial effects.


Estrogen loss affects the urethra and bladder, resulting in urinary urgency, frequency and incontinence among some women (Kim et al. 2015).

In a randomized pilot study, University of California, San Francisco, researchers found that a 6-week yoga therapy program consisting of twice-weekly group classes and once-weekly home practice decreased incontinence frequency. Subjects practiced Iyengar yoga with an emphasis on alignment, pelvic-floor structures and muscle awareness, prop use for support, and mindfulness—rather than cycling rapidly through postures, deep breathing and relaxation (Huang et al. 2014). Pilates practice, with an emphasis on alignment, core conditioning, breathing and muscle awareness, particularly of pelvic-floor structures, has also been found to help some women with incontinence (Pedriali et al. 2016).


Booth-LaForce, C., Thurston, R.C., & Taylor, M.R., 2007. A pilot study of a Hatha yoga treatment for menopausal symptoms. Maturitas, 57 (3), 286–95.

Cramer, H., et al. 2012. Effectiveness of yoga for menopausal symptoms: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. doi: 10.1155/2012/863905.

Huang, A.J., et al. 2014. A group-based yoga therapy intervention for urinary incontinence in women: A pilot randomized trial. Female Pelvic Medical Reconstructive Surgery, 20 (3), 147–54.

Kim, H., et al. 2015. The recent review of the genitourinary syndrome of menopause. Journal of Menopausal Medicine, 21, 65–71.

Pedriali, F.R., et al. 2016. Is Pilates as effective as conventional pelvic floor muscle exercises in the conservative treatment of post-prostatectomy urinary incontinence? A randomised controlled trial. Neurology and Urodynamics, 35 (5), 615–21.

Sood, R., et al. 2013. Paced breathing compared with usual breathing for hot flashes. Menopause, 20 (2), 179–84.

IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 14, Issue 6

Reflection Develops Growth

As we reflect on 2016, what have each of us gleaned? Out of our experiences comes personal development. Have the trials you faced this past year developed strength, perseverance, character?…failures-new goals, determination, purpose?…successes-humbleness, sharing, joy? What will these past experiences bring to your future maturity? If we are not learning, growing and expanding our physical, mental & spiritual lives we stay where we are. Write down your 2016 experiences. How can each experience develop our future capabilities? What areas in your life needs reflection & fulfilment? I am humbled to have served my clients & participants. What a joy it is to watch each one grow, obtain goals & improve their wellness journey. I thank the dear Lord for allowing me this gift. A jubilant New Year to you & your loved ones from our staff, my family and myself! Marked by Grace, Marianne King-your humble servant.

Personal Training Special

It is not too late to take advantage of our Holiday/New Year’s Personal Training Special! Purchase 5 sessions and receive 1 Free. Expires Jan. 31, 2017. Good for new clients. Give the gift of health to yourself, friend or loved one!

Roger always working hard!

Roger always working hard!

Never to old to stay health

Never to old to stay healthly



2-15 Tracy marcy (2)

Rose keeping fit!

Rose keeping fit!

6-16 Marcy TRX12

Nutrition Facts Panel Puts Spotlight on Added Sugars

Nutrition Facts Panel Puts Spotlight on Added Sugar

by Sandy Todd Webster on Jul 21, 2016

Food Policy
















It’s been more than 20 years since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave the Nutrition Facts Panel on packaged foods a major retread; the current one was long overdue, say nutrition experts.

Among numerous changes, the revamp includes a line disclosing “added sugars,” along with a corresponding % Daily Value—based on a limit of 50 grams (roughly 12 teaspoons) of added sugar toward the daily 2,000 calories recommended for most adults. Average Americans consume an estimated 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day, most of which comes from processed and prepared foods.

Until now, it has fallen to consumers to scan ingredients and determine how much sugar is added. The release of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines included a recommendation to limit added-sugar intake to less than 10% of daily calories; and the new panel puts this into practice. Once implemented, consumers will have a clear way to see how much added sugar they are consuming in comparison to the suggested limit for a day.

Other Label Changes

  • A new design puts greater visual emphasis on calories.
  • The “calories from fat” reference has been removed. This reflects the new understanding that saturated and trans fats increase the risk of heart disease, while polyunsaturated fats and oils can reduce that risk. However, “Total Fat” is still featured, in tandem with a % Daily Value that assumes a limit of about 35% of daily calories.
  • Declarations for vitamins A and C, of which most Americans get plenty, are now voluntary.
  • Declarations for potassium and vitamin D are now mandatory.
  • The Daily Value for sodium has been lowered slightly, from < 2,400 milligrams per day to < 2,300 mg per day.
  • Serving sizes will now reflect amounts typically consumed. For example, the serving size for ice cream will be two-thirds of a cup instead of half a cup, and labels will show proportionately increased calories, saturated fat, added sugars and so on. The serving size for soft drinks will increase from 8 ounces to 12 ounces. The serving size for bagels, toaster pastries and muffins (except English muffins) will increase from 2 ounces to 4 ounces. And single-serving packages of foods that weigh up to (but not quite) twice the standard serving size will be considered just one serving. Hence, a 20-ounce bottle of soda will have to be labeled as one serving.
  • “Dual Column” labels will indicate both “per serving” and “per package” calorie and nutrition information for food products that could be consumed in one or multiple sittings, such as pints of ice cream or bags of chips. This update is designed to clearly inform individuals what they are consuming when they eat or drink the entire product at one time.

Most food manufacturers will be required to use the new label by July 26, 2018. For a comprehensive list of label changes, go to www.fda.gov.

Recipe for Health: Millet Cherry Bars

4ef4dcccc9821df18e09b2dcba0f8121-card-wideFrom: IDEAFit

Here’s more proof that you don’t need to dish out your hard-earned cash for energy bars designed in factories when making your own inspiring version is easy, even for the culinary challenged. Not just for the birds, millet is an inexpensive gluten-free grain that gives these bars great texture and nutritional firepower. This recipe is excerpted from the new book, Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports and Adventure (VeloPress 2016), by James Beard Award-winning author and regular IDEA contributor Matthew Kadey, MS, RD. Check out the book and more easy, delicious, sensible recipes at www.rocketfuelfoods.net.

Notes: This recipe is dairy-free, freezer-friendly, gluten-free, and vegan or vegetarian; serves 9. The flat side of a measuring cup is a perfect tool for pressing the bar mixture into a flat, even layer in the pan. Placing the uncut bars in the refrigerator for a couple of hours can make slicing them easier.

1 C roughly chopped pecans

½ C raw millet

¼ C raw shelled sunflower seeds

¼ C raw shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1 C dried cherries

2 T honey

zest of 1 medium orange

½ t salt

Recipe Key:

C = cup

T = tablespoon

t = teaspoon

Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Spread pecans, millet, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven and heat, stirring a couple of times, until golden and fragrant, 10–12 minutes. Line an 8- × 8-inch square baking pan with a piece of parchment paper large enough so there is a 1-inch overhang.

Reduce oven temperature to 200°F. In a food processor blend cherries, honey, orange zest, salt and 2 tablespoons water into a paste. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the toasted pecan mixture. Press firmly into a prepared pan in an even bars and bake until just slightly sticky to the touch, 25–30 minutes.

Let cool completely in the pan before using the parchment overhang to lift the uncut bars from the pan. Cut into 9 bars. These can be kept chilled for 2 weeks or frozen for up to 2 months if wrapped tightly.

5 game changers: 1. Replace pecans with almonds. 2. Try raw quinoa as a replacement for millet. 3. Swap out cherries for cranberries. 4. Use brown rice syrup or agave syrup instead of honey. 5. Add lemon zest instead of orange zest.

Source: Republished with permission of VeloPress from Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports and Adventure by Matthew Kadey, RD. See more recipes at www.rocketfuelfoods.net.

IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 13, Issue 5

Start Memorial Day Off with a Bang & a Bend.. Then Honor our Service Men & Women


We are having a Special Memorial Day Core N’ Strength Pilates based class

Monday May 30, 9-10am  special holiday fee: only $5 a person

Just Dance Conservatory
7900 Steubenville Pike Imperial, PA 15126
in the Essex Plaza where Garden of Eating

Wake up, stabilize, mobilize for your day’s activities: biking hiking, flipping burgers, playing with family

PRIZE for the best RED, WHITE & BLUE outfit.

Bring your favorite Picnic recipe to share!

We will be done in time for the Findlay Township’s Memorial Day ceremony at St. Columbkille Cemetery at 11:30am.

Reserve your spot today with Marianne at: mkfitness@comcast.net  724-695-2239
or just fill out the below form!

2-15 Tracy marcy (2)

Good Friday

Time to be humble and thankful for the life one Man give so we could have ours!


My Winning Words©

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, 
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  
John 3:16
It seems contrary to human reason and logic to call this day in the Church calendar “Good Friday.”  After all, today is the day when congregations around the world remember Jesus’ crucifixion and death.  Images recount the day: scorn, thorns, hatred, grief, sorrow, injury, tears, darkness, and death.  How can we use a word like “good” in the same breath with this day?  What good, we ask, can come from Jesus’ death on the cross on a day long ago on a hill called Golgotha—“the place of the skull?”

This day is called Good Friday because it honestly expresses the heart of God in relationship to all humanity.  “For God so loved the world, that he sent his only Son…”  Jesus Christ—the Son of God, the flesh and blood example of God’s will to love men and women and children and the world—laid down his life to bring us back into a right relationship with God.  This willingness to go all the way, this one-sided, unconditional, unsolicited love defines the nature of God’s covenant with his chosen people and all his creation.  In the words of the Apostle Paul, “God demonstrates his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Good Friday is not about us.  This day is not about doing good deeds, or worshiping God to repair the relationship which sin has torn asunder.  Good Friday is about our relationship with God.  From Adam and Eve to you and me, all humans were created to walk and talk and live every step of our lives with the ever-present Lord.  We are intended to be as close with our Creator as we are with our own breath!  But when sin entered the world, we became estranged from God.  Our First Parents ate the forbidden fruit, and ever since, humanity has been robbed of a healthy relationship with God.

This day, Good Friday, is the lens through which we can see just how much God loves us—not because we deserve his love, but because we need it.  What we deserve is death, since “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).  Through his sacrifice on the Cross, Jesus has paid our wages and so set us free to be children of God.  The relationship is now restored.  In the words of Paul, “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself…that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them….” (2 Corinthians 5:17-20).

Because of what Jesus did for us on that first Good Friday, we are forgiven sinners. We are men and women who can face the darkest Fridays of our lives with hope, because we have been reconciled to God.  Because Jesus was willing to become our perfect sacrifice, God is with us all the way, all the time.  He is faithful to his promise to never leave us or forsake us until the end of time—not even when we are in deepest valleys.  Because God is God, he is powerful enough to fulfill his promise, for nothing is too hard for our Lord.  Neither sin nor death can stand in his way to do for us what he says he will do.  Because of Good Friday, there is now no condemnation for those who believe in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

On this Good Friday, it is my prayer that all who call Jesus Savior and Lord will spend time meditating on what God, in Christ, did for us on that Friday in history we now refer to as “Good.”
The cross was two pieces of dead wood;
and a helpless, unresisting Man was nailed to it;
yet it was mightier than the world,
and triumphed, and will ever triumph over it.”

~~Augustus William Hare


A Question to Ponder: On this Good Friday, spend time pondering what God, in Christ, did for you on that Friday in history we now refer to as “Good.”

A Prayer to Offer: Loving Lord, today your people mourn as we see Jesus, your Son, our savior, giving his life for the salvation of fallen humankind.  Were it not for his perfect sacrifice, offered to bring us into a right relationship with you, we would be lost; we would be sinners without hope and without God.  How thankful I am for Jesus, and all that he has done for me!  Because he was willing to drink the bitter cup of wrath, I can drink from the cup of blessing.  Because he was willing to die, I can live forever.  On this “Good Friday,” help me to understand in new ways just what Jesus’ death and resurrection mean to me—and to all who profess Jesus as savior and Lord.  I also pray for those, dear Lord, who have yet to come into a right relationship with you; those who are still walking in the darkness; wondering far from home and trying to fill the place in their lives that you were meant to occupy with other people, places and things.  Forgive me for taking this precious salvation, gained by such a high price, for granted.  By the power of your Holy Spirit, empower me to live for the One who died for me.  Amen.

An Action Step to Take:   On this Good Friday, spend extra time in prayer, giving thanks and praise to God for sending his Son to save you from a life of sin and death.


“Sweetheart” of a Deal for You for February


We are offering a heart pumping personal training special for “Heart” month. Purchase 4 personal training sessions & receive 1 FREE. Why give flowers that wilt in a week or candy that is sugar laden? Heck we just got back to our regular eating habits after the holidays. Maybe you started out in January with a bang & the spark has run dry. Maybe you or your loved one needs specialized assistance to meet your or their goals. We get all the hype in January. “Lose 10 lbs. in a week”. “Get 6 pack abs, by using the piece of equipment 10 mins. A day!” When we do not attain those unrealistic goals, we before discouraged. Let us help you design a wellness program that meets your needs that are attainable, sustainable & enjoyable! Enjoy the snow that finally arrived last week!