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Information about fitness, health, nutrition and weight loss

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October Recipes - Click Here

October is here and for most of us that means ghosts and goblins and spooky movies all month long!!!!  For our readers in Canada, it means they will also be celebrating their Thanksgiving Day the 2nd Monday of the month, so on October 8th, wish all your good buddies from up north a happy turkey day!!!  And in keeping with the holiday season, this month's recipes will incorporate both Canada's Thanksgiving and everyone's scary favorite - Halloween - in one awesome meal!!  There are recipes for both adults and children, and adults that enjoy being children, too!!!  So dig out those costumes, pick up a couple pumpkins, and let's celebrate October!!!

And please send us your recipes. Be sure to put your name and where you're from and send them, and a picture if possible, to and we'll be sure to print as many as possible.

Daily Diet Tip

A Guide to a Complete Body Chair Workout

Currently, gyms and home gym manufacturers do not offer specific equipment for overweight and/or obese clients. However, a great fitness program is just a chair away. So pull up an armless chair and a set of light hand weights for a great total body workout.

Throughout this workout, maintain good posture. This means chest high, shoulders back, head in a neutral position and no slouching Tightening your abdominal muscles helps achieve good posture and additional core strengthening.

This workout is designed for a beginner's level, regardless of weight or fitness ability. Complete one set of each exercise in order. Each set should consist of 8-15 repetitions, depending on your current training level and the amount of weight used. Add extra sets and/or heavier weights as your training levels increase.

1. Chair Row. This exercise targets your latissmus dorsi muscles. These are the big muscles that begin at the armpit traveling down to the small of the back. Building this muscle will help achieve not only a stronger back, it will give you a "V" shaped appearance which creates an appearance of a smaller stomach area.

2. Chest Squeeze. This exercise strengthens the inner portion of the chest muscles, the pectoralis major, a thick fan shaped muscle at the anterior of the chest.

3. Military Press. This exercise targets both the anterior and medial deltoid muscle in your shoulder. Sitting down during this exercise is a great way to prevent unwanted backwards lean, thereby improving the isolation on the deltoids. Remember not to "clank".

4. Biceps Curls. This exercise targets your biceps muscles. These are the muscles that would pop to life after Popeye would tip back a can of spinach. The idea is to curl the weights rather than swinging the weights up and down.

5. Tricep Dumbbell Extension. This exercise works the muscle in the back of the arms. It helps tighten up the jiggly arm.

6. Ab Rotation. Abdominal muscles include your oblique, transverse muscles deep in your belly, and the muscles along your spine. Strong muscles are the key in core stability Core stability improve balance, athletic performance, and potentially prevent a variety of injuries in people of all ages and fitness levels.

As with any exercise program, get a doctor's okay before starting if you have any medical conditions or health concerns. All 6 exercises can be done in one workout, 2 to 3 non-consecutive days per week. Be sure that rest and nutritious meals are part of your lifestyle. Without both of these elements, your muscular gains will suffer. Try combining this workout with additional cardiovascular workouts.

Sometimes your fitness routine is the first thing that gets crossed off the "to-do" list. Put your chair in front of a TV or out on your deck if that helps keep you motivated. Set realistic goals, be consistent with your workout, and always remember to reward yourself when a new goal is reached. Share your achievements with others, their acknowledge of your success will inspire your to continue to reach future goals.

Written by: Marianne Westervelt

Tips for a Healthy Halloween - Halloween Sweets: Trick or Treat?

With an estimated $1.93 billion in candy sales, Halloween is the sweetest holiday of the year, beating out Easter, Valentine's Day, and Christmas! With Halloween haunting us at the end of the month, now is the time to think about which sweets are unhealthy "tricks" and which are healthy "treats". Many of us will be tempted by our kid's goodie bags or by workplace candy dishes. The list below offers up some suggestion on how to have a "controlled" indulgence without going overboard on fat, calories, and sugar!

The key to this, and every holiday, is moderation. By keeping your sugar intake moderate, you will not run the risk of gaining weight, or of becoming "hooked on sugar". So limit yourself to about 100 calories of sugar per day, and restrict your Halloween indulges to a day or two. This way there won't be any long lasting detrimental effects (weight gain!).

More than 90 percent of children go trick-or-treating each year, according to the National Confectioners Association. But it's not just kids. Ninety percent of parents admit to sneaking goodies from their kids' trick-or-treat bags. And while I believe that small things make a difference and I strongly advocate dietary consistency for long-term weight-control success (no one-day breaks), I'm not going to spoil the holiday. However, I do have a few suggestions for making "healthier" choices.

Candy corn vs. Mini Chocolate Candy

Based simply on calories and fat, candy corn is a better bet. Because it's so sweet, it's hard to eat more than a couple of 1-ounce packages (220 calories for two packs) and it's virtually fat-free. With chocolate, on the other hand, you can eat a lot quickly. And each one of those mini candy bars has 45 to 80 calories. To be fair, even though chocolate has more saturated fat, it also has some antioxidants and calcium (but it is still not a health food). So choose the chocolate minis - but only two or three.

Pumpkin seeds vs. Gummy Bears

Gummy bears have fewer calories - 140 for 16 bears - and because they're so chewy and sticky, you may eat a lot less. But they offer no nutritional value, whereas pumpkin seeds are loaded with protein, healthy fat, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous and other minerals. Unfortunately, they also pack on the calories: 180 to 200 for a quarter cup, so eat them sparingly.

Chocolate Raisins vs. Hershey's Kisses

If you have six Hershey's Kisses (25 calories each), that's 150 calories, whereas 1 ounce of chocolate-covered raisins has about 120 calories plus you get the health benefits of the raisins. And, if you eat them one at a time they'll last longer than a few Kisses.

Fit Tip: Why not have plain old raisins? They have iron, potassium and fiber, are low in sodium, fat-free and loaded with antioxidants. While not a calorie bargain, they're still healthier than either of the above. A -1/2-ounce box can pack 45 calories - about one calorie per raisin.

Rice Krispies treats vs. Halloween sugar cookie

It's a close call: Rice Krispies Treats (90 calories, 2 grams fat, 18 grams carbs) are 10 calories less than a 1-ounce cookie (100 calories, 6 grams fat, 12 grams carbs). The Treats also are lower in fat and individually wrapped to help control overeating, which make them the better option.

Smarties vs. Skittles

Smarties, like their name, are the smarter choice. Two packages of Smarties (30 tablets) are 50 calories. Skittles have 170 calories per 1.5-ounce bag.

Cupcakes vs. Pie vs. Layer Cake

Layer cake is by far the worst choice, at more than 400 calories. The cupcake (290 calories) and the pumpkin pie (4.5-ounce slice, 300 calories) are close when it comes to calories, but since portion sizes are usually bigger for pie, a cupcake is typically your better bet. Skip the whipped cream if you choose pie - it adds 80 to 100 calories per serving.

Apple vs. Candy Apple

OK, this is a giveaway, but the point is the huge difference in calories: 60 to 80 for a plain apple; 330 or more for a candy apple.

Tootsie Roll vs. Tootsie Pop

Tootsie Pops - about 60 calories each - last a lot longer than a Tootsie Roll Midgee, about 25 calories.

Admittedly, eating candy on Halloween is a must. However, it does not have to be excessive or result in diet sabotage. Here are a few ways to compensate for Halloween indulgence.

For more information check out this website:

Written by: Maria Albus

Weight Loss Surgery can be scary words or they can be words of hope. Most SSBBWs have thought of or had someone mention weight loss surgery. It's obviously not for everyone. There are SSBBWs who have accepted that they are large and always will be. There are some who like being large and don't want to change. And there are others who live day to day with pain, both physical and emotional, of carrying the extra weight that have various reasons for wanting to do something about it.

Everyone has a view on weight loss surgery be it good or bad or even neutral. Which is perfectly fine as we are all entitled to our opinions. One reader has made the decision to have weight loss surgery and will take us on her journey. What are your thoughts on weight loss surgery? Have you had weight loss surgery? Our forums are available for you to discuss and give your views on this topic.

Click here to read about our readers journey with weight loss surgery.

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