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Information about fitness, health, nutrition and weight loss

Do you know of a new diet or fitness routine that you'd like us to review? Or perhaps you want to write a review yourself and see it in print! Got a great recipe you want to share? Let us know at

In this Section....

June Recipes - Click Here

This month is Father's Day and it's the beginning of summer and enjoying the great outdoors. Dad loves nothing better than standing in front of the grill and bbq'ing anything he can find. So this month's recipe are the perfect match. Happy Father's Day to you!!!

We'd love to feature one of your favorite recipes in any one of our monthly issues, just send them on to us at Hope to hear from all of you in the following months!

June Exercises - Click Here

Each month we will feature simple exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home and without buying fancy expensive equipment.

The Secret to the Perfect Burger

At the heart of every hamburger is the patty. Most typically people think of a hamburger patty as beef. This is a great place to start. When using ground beef to make hamburger patties you want to select the right meat. Lean ground beef like ground sirloin or the 7% fat meat will tend to make dry burgers. Remember, when you grill a burger a lot of the fat will drain off so starting out too lean can make a dry burger. But also remember that the more fat the more the burger will shrink while cooking. A 30% fat beef can shrink by as much as 25% leaving you a pretty small patty. Look for something in between. The 85% lean ground beef is good for burgers. They stay moist without shrinking too much.

You also want to get a coarse grind. Finely ground meat can become soft and mushy, making the patties hard to work with and more likely to fall apart on the grill. This is also the reason you want to be careful about what you put in the patty. Large pieces of onion, whole cloves of garlic or other smooth things can make the patty unstable. Finely chop vegetables and mince the garlic cloves. Also, avoid working with the meat too much. Fix it up, form your patty and leave it alone.

Moving away from beef, things like ground lamb, pork and ground sausage work well also, although ground turkey can be difficult to work with because it can get so soft. The best way to deal with this is to add dry breadcrumbs to the meat. It will soak up the excess water and make the patties easier to work with. This is also a good trick if you like to added things like steak sauce or applesauce to the meat.

Now while other meats also make a great burger, mixtures of meats make a fantastic burger. Try mixing 3 parts beef with 1 part sausage. Or you can add a lamb flavor by mixing equal parts beef and lamb. But remember when mixing meats together or in just preparing the patties for the grill, the more you handle the meat the softer it will become. Mix gently and as little as necessary.

Once you have your patties ready for the grill you need to know a few things about grilling the burger. Start with a very hot grill, as hot as it will go. Get everything ready and quickly lift the lid and gently place the patties on the grill. When the raw meat hits the hot cooking grate it will stick. It will seize the grate for dear life. If you try to turn it too early the burger will fall apart. The secret is to flip the burger the second it releases.

The process here is that as the bottom of the patty cooks the grease will create a non-stick surface on the patty and the heat from the grate will char the meat, separating it from the grate. At this point you want to lift the lid again and flip the patties, preferably to an unused part of the cooking grate. At this point the process will repeat. When the burgers have released again, flip them again and turn down the heat. It should only take about 1 minute per side to release from the grate. When you have flipped for the second time continue grilling for about 2-3 minutes. At this point there should be no pink left. Flip a third time and continue until done. This should be only about 2-3 more minutes. Remove the hamburger patty when done and let sit for a minute or two before you serve.

If you follow this plan you should get the perfect hamburger. From here you can build on with all the fixings.


Submitted by: Maria Albus

Why Is My Weight Stuck?

At times I wish I had a simple machine that would calculate body metabolism, calorie intake, hormones that affect both weight loss and gain, the genetic makeup of a person to determine appropriate ratios of macronutrients, and micronutrients, and also be capable of measuring brain peptides that relate to depression and stress. It would make my understanding of what is working (for weight loss) and what is not, much easier. But that machine does not exist.

Having said that, sometimes if we are to sit back and truly analyze our day and week, how much we ate, how much exercise and at what intensity, we might develop an answer as to why nothing happened with the weight this week, even though we thought we put in a good effort.

So, analyze the following and see if there is something that helps explain your situation.

  1. Metabolism. As you lose weight, your body metabolism will slow somewhat. If this is what is going on, then you must increase your daily activity, either in duration but preferably in intensity. If you are primarily doing aerobic activities, it is time to add in some weight lifting.
  2. Emotional. Stress, depression, loneliness, fatigue and even happiness can sabotage us. This might lead to extra snacks, or increased portions without us being aware. Even being successful for a few weeks can lead to a sense that we donít have to be as cautious with portions as before. So, check that you arenít snacking more or having larger meals. Practice stretching and deep breathing regularly to help with the stress. Exercise also helps reduce any kind of adverse emotion.
  3. Dietary. Sometimes, or bodies just adapt to how we are eating, and it may be time to alter how or what you are eating. Instead of salads at lunch, possibly you could have left over chicken with some vegetables. Adding in a bit of extra fat (i.e. almonds, peanut butter, etc.) can also help.
  4. Hidden stresses. Changes in jobs, illness, moving, job related stress all hinder weight loss. Similarly, sleep deprivation may also have an effect. High stress increases your body cortisol (a hormone) which will inhibit fat loss, and poor sleep messes with your night secretion of Growth Hormone which is good for fat metabolism and muscle growth.
  5. Portions and Frequency of eating. Are you still eating small portions frequently? Has your alcohol consumption increased? Are you going to more parties, or out to more restaurants for business or pleasure? Has something changed that would explain weight gain, or lack of weight loss?
  6. Exercise. This is very important. With our busy lives, it seems to be the first thing we give up, yet it is very necessary for health, stress, weight loss and weight maintenance. If time is a factor, do a more intense workout in less time (20 minutes and not 40, but push yourself harder during those 20 minutes). Donít make excuses of time. We can all do some pushups, squats, lunges anywhere anytime around the house. It doesnít have to be fancy, just do it when you have 30 seconds to do something.

Just donít ever give up. Try to find solutions, and try not to be frustrated. You can do this!

Written by: Dr Doug

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