Sneaky Veggies: 3 Ways to Sneak Cauliflower into Dinner

For many, it’s more likely to become an Olympian than to get their child to happily eat – and enjoy – their vegetables. But thanks to our best friend, cauliflower, the odds may become ever in your favor. Cauliflower is incredibly versatile and, when cooked creatively, nearly undetectable to even the youngest of palettes. Here are three ways to sneak it into your meals:

Pizza
Have you tried cauliflower pizza crust yet? If not, be prepared to be amazed. It does take a bit of time, but you can make it ahead to make it more weekday friendly. You’ll need:

  • One head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 teaspoons dried Oregano
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup soft cheese (goat cheese, cream cheese, etc.)

Start by pureeing the cauliflower into “rice,” then steam it for about five minutes. Then, carefully drain it and squeeze it through cheesecloth or a dish towel to remove as much water as you can (this is really the part that counts); careful, because it will be hot. Combine the cauliflower and remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly, then spread out into a 1/3-inch thick crust on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes (until just browning), then top with your choice of toppings and continue baking until the cheese is bubbly and melted (five minutes approximately). Try making these as individual pizzas and letting your kids top their own; kids always seem to eat what they make!

Fried Rice

Who doesn’t love fried rice? Cut the carbs and sneak in another veggie by ditching the rice for cauliflower – and knock out dinner in 15 minutes, while you’re at it. You’ll need:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 ½ cups Mirepoix mix frozen vegetables
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Cut the cauliflower into florets, then rice it in a food processor. In the meantime, heat half the sesame oil in a large pan. Saute the garlic and ginger approximately 30 seconds, then add the frozen veggies and cook until they’re no longer frozen. Add the cauliflower and remaining sesame oil and stirfry approximately two minutes; you want it cooked, but not mushy. Make a well in the middle and pour in your eggs. Stir gently and continuously until the eggs are cooked, then add the soy sauce and toss everything together. Try adding in chicken or tofu to make it an entrée.

“Mac” ‘n Cheese

Mac ‘n cheese doesn’t get much easier than this… Cut a head of cauliflower into small florets, then cut into approximately ½-inch pieces; steam until al dente. Then, melt 2 Tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Add to that 2 Tablespoons of flower and whisk to combine. After about 30 seconds, add ¾ cup milk; whisk continually until thickening and bubbly (don’t let it get too thick!). Turn off the heat and add in your choice(s) of shredded cheese (around 1 cup). Stir until melted together, than toss with the cauliflower to combine.

Kuddos to you for keeping your kids active!

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that we’re doing everything right as parents – but there’s one thing you’re doing right without a doubt: keeping your kids active. Whether they’re in gymnastics or martial arts, or soccer or baseball, what’s important is that they’re doing something active. But in case you need a reminder of why you spend your weekends and countless hours of your year attending practices, meets and games, and tournaments, here are five reasons why keeping your kids active is important.

  1. Healthy body – Sports build healthy bones and muscles, which in turn burns even more calories. This maintains (or creates) a healthy living weight which will benefit them and give their better chances of staying at a healthy weight throughout their lives.
  2. Lowers health risks – But more than improving external health and appearances, staying active changes the body’s internal chemistry as well. Activity and maintaining a healthy weight help to regulate blood sugar levels, a key component to preventing Type 2 diabetes.
  3. Improved sleep – Getting enough activity during the day is proven to help children get enough sleep during night. Activity helps to not only tire kids out and expend energy, but to regulate proper sleep patterns throughout the night and manage the internal clock.
  4. Stress management – Physical activity goes a long way to releasing some steam and stress. Though the pressures of school and growing up may seem small to us as we put them in perspective within our own lives, to our children, those pressures are very real and a huge part of their world. Sports are a great outlet to relieve that stress and tension, helping children to refocus and drive productivity.
  5. Confidence and social skills – Sports are a great way to build friendships and social skills. Team sports and individual sports both have their merits, helping children to learn emotions, empathy, and how to work as part of something bigger. Additionally, one of the byproducts of staying active is building a healthy physique which can lead to self-confidence.

There are so many reasons to keep your kids active – and to be an active part of that activity. Beyond the health and social benefits, their activities also present a great opportunity for you to be a part of something that matters to them. So take advantage of the moment and encourage that activity – kudos to you.

Winners never quit and Quitters never win.

There are many phrases that quickly send even the calmest of parents into a frenzy. “I want to quit” ranks up there for many of us.

It doesn’t matter how old they are, the scenario runs pretty much the same. They go to practice or the game or match and are a little sullen after. Typically on the ride home (sometimes mid-event for the little ones), they say the dreaded words. Your pulse and mind start racing. Panic over the investment you’ll lose and dreading what to do with all that extra energy come quickly into play. What should you say? Do you really let them quit?

Yes. And no.

Yes, you should not force your child to participate in an activity they truly aren’t interested in. But that doesn’t mean that as soon as they utter the request you withdraw them or simply say “OK.”

First, make sure you know where the request is coming from. Did they simply have a bad day? Did something happen at practice? Are they maybe just not ready for that particular activity? Or has quitting truly been on their mind for some time?

If after discussion, they have you convinced that quitting really is right for them, do two things:

1 – Finish what you start. Even individual sports are team efforts. There’s a coach, a facility and, likely other athletes, that still rely on the athlete in some way. Team sports should go without saying: Your child is a member of that team and they should honor that commitment. Athletics are about so much more than physical feats alone and not quitting mid-project or mid-commitment is important of anyone’s character throughout life.

2 – Quitting this doesn’t mean coach-potato-ing is approved. That particular activity may not be the right fit, and that’s ok. But make sure that they replace the dropped sport with something new. Find out why they want to quit and then try to pair them with a new activity that fits their personality and interests and, ideally, offers potential to overcome the flaw with the current activity. Not every sport is right for every person – but odds are that there’s something out there that your child will love; the challenge is finding it.

Truth be told, there is something to the old adage, “quitters never win and winners never quit,” but it isn’t quite so black and white. In the grey space lies the option to continue on with something else – and that’s ok! Just make sure any outstanding commitments are fulfilled first.

On-the-go Eats your kids will love.

Odds are that you’ve already kicked off 2020 with plenty of promises and intentions to carry through the year with a happier, healthier family. Keep your kids – and yourself – running at your peak with healthy eats, no matter how on the go your life may be.

  1. Deli wrap-ups – Deli meat has plenty of on-the-go potential and, added bonus, it’s versatile. Simply top it with your choice of dressing or spread and wrap it around your choice of filling. Here are a few favorite combos:
    • Turkey + mustard + dill pickle
    • Chicken + chipotle low-fat mayo + celery stick
    • Ham + cheddar + pretzel stick
    • Turkey + Greek yogurt cream cheese + apple sticks
  1. The “Un-wich” – Bread-free sandwiches are a great way to get rid of unhealthy starches while also being easily transportable. Iceberg lettuce doesn’t offer much in the way of nutrients and Romaine can prove a bit messy, so consider opting for Bibb, Boston, or Butter lettuce which offer nutrients and flexible wrapping options.
  2. Tapas On-the-Go – You know what they say; variety is the spice of life. Plus, what’s more fun than finger food? Have some fun and mix things up with a healthy bento box of finger foods. Consider low-fat cheese cubes, travel-friendly fruits (such as grapes or clementine slices), olives, hummus and veggies (carrots, celery, cauliflower, and broccoli florets all keep well), raw nuts, and an easy whole wheat starch, such as Wasa crackers.
  3. Yogurt – Yogurt is the gift that keeps on giving, providing Calcium and, in many cases, fruits. Opt for a low-fat Greek yogurt and make sure to check the labels before buying – though many are called Greek yogurt, they’re still loaded with sugars (sometimes as high as 24 grams in a serving!). If you can’t find a fruit option with low sugar content (no more than six-seven grams per serving), opt for plain. Top it off with a natural, no sugar added granola and fresh fruit for a well-rounded meal any time of day.

Staying healthy on the go doesn’t have to be impossible, require Pinterest-worthy plating, or take tons of time. Keep it simple and you’ll keep it achievable – this month and the next 11 that follow.

3 Questions to ask yourself when starting a Fitness Goal

3 Questions to Ask Yourself when Setting a Fitness Goal

by Patrick Wood, ATC, CSCS

One of the hardest questions to answer in fitness is, “What’s next?” The first step in figuring out this complicated and challenging question is to decide on your goal. For some, it might be training for a specific sport, adding muscle, or losing fat. For others, it might just be for general fitness and feeling better. Whatever your goals are, here are three questions you can ask yourself to make sure you achieve your goal.

How does my body feel?

As someone trying to get back into fitness, you have to be realistic with yourself. If you’re forty years old, thirty pounds over your goal weight, and haven’t touched a weight since you lifted in high school for football, you might want to start off slow.

Progress slowly to avoid injuries and so you don’t burn yourself out. If you’ve been intensely training and feel completely dead, maybe you should take a week to recover so you don’t end up overtraining and moving backward. If you’re feeling energized but experiencing some joint pain or tautness, you might want to take some extra time to address the discomfort before jumping back into training.

Making sure you’re in tune with your body is important in staying healthy. Don’t let your ego put you at risk for potential injury. In other words, don’t try to be so impressive at the gym that you push your body beyond its limits. A fitness-related injury could be something small like a strain that could set you back a couple of days to a week or something much more serious like a complete tear. The former could interrupt your fitness routine, and the latter could affect your training for the rest of your life.

Make it a priority to always think about the long term. It’s better to stop one rep short of your limit or even take some time off to address an issue than to sustain a major injury that sets you back for weeks or even months. This is why assessing where you are at and how your body feels should be the number one priority when considering what to do next in fitness.

How’s my mind?

Are you still enjoying what you are doing or do you dread training every day? If you’re enjoying your training, keep on keeping on. If thinking of your next workout brings back a feeling of dread, something needs to change. If you dread your workout because you’re tired after a long day of work, try starting off your day with the workout instead. If you hate working out because it takes so long and you usually workout for two hours, it’s possible to get in a very beneficial workout in half that time. If you just don’t enjoy the style of training you are doing, then find something you do enjoy!

If you can only get yourself to workout once a week doing that, it would be better to challenge yourself and be more consistent doing the ten to twelve rep range with cardio you enjoy. Remember, it’s better to do an okay training routine consistently than a perfect training routine inconsistently. If you’re not doing something you enjoy, you’ll be less likely to give it your all and be consistent.

How’s my progress?

If what you’ve been doing has been working and you’re still making good progress, then nothing needs to change. If you feel like your progress is starting to slow down or has come to a standstill, you should switch it up.

In fact, it’s generally recommended to add some variety to your workout every three to four weeks. That’s how long it typically takes for your body to get used to working out, making progress, and making proper adaptations. Anything after that tends to have slower progress. If you are a powerlifter and have been training only five sets of 1-3 reps, try doing three sets of ten. It might not be what the books say is best for your progress, but you will see the most improvement in the things you do the least. Do a couple of weeks of this, and then go back to your regular training to see if you’ve improved.

Always keep in mind that there is no single right answer to what you should do next. Each person has a different goal, different injuries and restrictions, different enjoyments of different styles of training, and bodies that respond differently to different styles of training. Just because one person achieved great results training a certain way doesn’t mean you’ll get those same results. Just because someone didn’t achieve great results training a certain way doesn’t mean you can’t achieve great results with that style of training.

“What’s next?” takes a lot of practice to answer. You have to try new things and learn what works and what doesn’t work for you. As long as you ask yourself these questions, you can at least be guided in the right direction.

It’s Mean, It’s Lean, It’s Protein!

Putting the power in your workout hour.

You see it everywhere.

It’s poking around in the back yard, it’s treading through your local lake, it’s floating around the sky above.

It swims, it walks, it crawls, if flies, it does all of the above.

It’s your protein source.

This is hardly a secret to bodybuilding fanatics. While most of what you eat is generally from sources of carbohydrates, approximately one-fourth of the calories in your daily intake should consist of protein.

Otherwise, your workout hour will consist of anything but power.

Too often, dieters indulge in low-fat diets that deprive their bodies of much-needed protein. Thus, the body begins to devour its muscle tissue like a hungry vulture.

In order to nourish your body with the proper amount of protein, it is first necessary to determine what your body fat percentage is and then weigh your lean body mass up against your level of physical activity.

For example, if you are somebody who exercises on the average of an hour per week, then you’ll need to nourish your system with .7 grams of protein for every pound of lean body mass. So, if you have 140 pounds of lean body mass, you’ll need to take in 98 grams of protein per day.

If you are a more hard-core trainer who works out on the average of five hours per week, you’ll need to upgrade your protein intake to .9 grams per pound of lean body mass, which for the same person, would equate to 126 grams of protein per day.

Even couch potatoes need their protein, at least .6 grams for every pound of lean mass. Otherwise, serious health problems could result.

To engineer your protein diet, here are a few sources to guide you.

CHICKEN BREAST: This doesn’t necessarily come before the egg, but chicken breasts are among the most common of protein sources. Low in fat, remember to tear the skin off first while avoiding any fattening seasonings. Honey mustard is usually a great way to add some taste. The average chicken breast consists of 35 grams of protein.

EGGS: For a hard-boiled body, egg whites are tremendous in delivering the proteins that you need. Be sure to remove the yolk first (it’s loaded with cholesterol) before letting ‘em down the hatch. There are approximately 4 grams of protein in each egg white so you can load up on them throughout the day. Also, egg whites are fat free!

TUNA: Sparkle up your protein diet with Sparky himself. As long as you’re not mixing it with that fattening mayonnaise, tuna is an excellent dietary food that will provide you with the protein you need. There’s approximately 25 grams of protein in a can of low-fat tuna.

Of course, you don’t need necessarily need to swim or fly to get your protein fix for the day. You can always stroll up to the juice bar and order a delicious protein drink, made from your favorite protein powdered supplement.

Article provided courtesy of RaiseYourPulse.com, encouraging you to get out and raise your pulse by participating in regular physical activity!

10 Things You Might Be Missing Out On as a CG Member


10 Things You Might Be Missing Out On as a CG Member

One of our most important goals at Cheergyms is to offer as much
value as possible in your Membership. Often times our Members are
not completely up to speed on all of the great opportunities
that are available to them. Hopefully this post will help. 

The more variety that your athlete experiences, the quicker
they will improve and build confidence!

1. Cheergyms Membership Facebook Group
If you’re not yet a part of this group your’e missing out. Tons of
videos, photos, and information is posted here. Make sure you
join right away with this link.
https://m.facebook.com/groups/186950868500663 

2. Cheer FUNdamentals Class
This is the answer if your athlete needs a new challenge!
CG teaches 3 levels of Intro to Cheer classes. These classes are
included in your Membership and your athlete will love it!
See Bobby at the front desk. A new session is starting 11/5.

3. Discount, Discounts, Discounts!
Nearly every last extra service that Cheergyms offers comes with
a solid discount for current Members. Privates, Apparel, Camps,
Clinics, Featured classes, Teams, and more.

4. Showcases!
Every 3 months or so, Cheergyms holds Event Showcases. They are
free for current members. These Showcases are a great way to
show off all the hard work they’ve been putting in. Each child is
recognized and awards are handed out for various milestones.
Invite the Grandparents and help us celebrate all the hard work!

5. Open Gyms
November and December are a bit of a down time for Open Gyms
but they’ll be back on the schedule soon. Open Gyms are the best
way for your athlete to make new friends and practice their skills.

6. Special Events
Cheergyms prides itself on being more than tumbling and cheer.
Keep an eye out for all of our cool special and fun events for
all ages. Paint Night. Slime Night. Tye Dye Night and more!

7. Tumble Stars!!
Now that you’ve got your athlete in classes and improving fast,
It’s time to put those skills to the test! Tumble Stars is a
competitive tumbling program that places your child on a team
to train their skills for scores, medals, and most importantly,
The valuable feeling of accomplishment and confidence!

8. Performance and Competition Teams
Getting started in the Cheergyms Team program is a big step.
We know that and that’s why we offer lots of baby steps to get
started. One thing we promise…there is nothing that Cheergyms
offers that is more rewarding to both athletes and parents alike
as our Team Programs. Inquire today and we’ll explain all of
your options.

9. High School Classes
Cheergyms now offers classes exclusively for athletes that are
currently in High School. Membership is not required but classes
are free for current Members.

10. Piggy Back Private Lessons
New! Starting in November, any 2 athletes that have Private
Cards can Piggy Back each others Private Lessons. This means
that you can double your instruction time with no extra
expense to you. Ask Bobby at the front desk for more info!

For more information on any of the services above, contact
Danny by text message at 925-382-8922

Help Your Child Become Body Confident

Help Your Child Become Body-Confident

We all want our kids to be happy – and a big part of achieving that happiness is finding happiness with themselves. As our social media feeds fill up with stories of bullying and peer shaming, it’s hard not to feel like we’re fighting for the unattainable. So how can parents help their children to attain a healthy body image in spite of the constant negativity in this world?

For starters, realize that it isn’t just about body image: it’s about helping them to have a healthy self image as a whole. Help them to understand that they are more than just their physical self. Yes, they have a body and need to take care of it – but they are also a soul, full of potential with hobbies and talents and goals. Help them to define those goals and map a plan to achieve them. Come back and discuss them – not in a business-like manner, but as a coach and friend. Attaining their goals and knowing that they have a true supporter interested not in just whether they check off that checkbox, but how they are doing on their journey towards it, goes a long way in building confidence and a sense of self worth.

Set a good example. Make a point to stay active yourself – but make sure that you’re balanced and not obsessive: constantly talking about your weight will only build the idea in your child’s mind that the number on the scale is a top priority. Beyond that, don’t put yourself down – your children are listening and form their own understanding of body image and how they should value and critique themselves from you. Beyond that, try not to comment on the physical – on them, yourself, or others. It is perfectly welcome – and encouraged – to pay compliments, but know that there is a difference between complimenting someone for looking particularly nice and complimenting certain attributes. Don’t comment on weight – good or bad. Don’t mention that someone walking in the mall is so thin or that the player on the other team has perfect “____.” Your child hears that you wish they were that way.

Your kids are watching and listening, and they are taking note of what you do and what you say – about them, yourself, and others. Think not just about what you say in words, but how your child will relate it to and apply it to themselves.

Finally, help them build confidence. Not based on physical image, but on achievements elsewhere. Take note of school achievements – not just for great grades, but for improvements. Take note when they achieve a new skill in their sport of choice. Notice how they play with friends and let them know how much you appreciate their kindness or compassion. And let them know that you notice. They may seem bashful or shy at first, but those positive comments will stick with them and build them up over time.

Building a positive body image comes from building a positive image as a whole. Help your child love who they are and that physical piece becomes one small part of their whole.

Help Your Kids to Create Healthy Habits

Help Your Kids to Create Healthy Habits

We all want our kids to be healthy – and a big part of succeeding in that goal is to help them create healthy habits that they will carry throughout their lives. Here are a few ways to help foster those habits and encourage healthy behaviors at every age.

Find exercise everywhere. 
In our adult lives, many of us spend a full day at the office, leaving little time to spend time with family, take care of the house, and maintain a social life – let alone get the minimum hour of activity we need every day. Teach your kids how to find balance and make activity part of their lives. That might mean a daily trip to the gym – or, it might mean a daily walk as a family after dinner, waking up early to walk the dog in the morning, jumping on the Xbox for a Just Dance tournament, or simply getting up and playing tag; Red Rover; or Simon Says instead of crashing in front of the TV. But beyond conscious activity, there are every-day and around the house ways to move – think raking leaves, mopping floors, taking out garbage. These mundane tasks keep us moving – and are also great motivation to stay active (so we can lift what we need to lift, push those strollers up those hills, and play with those we love).

A few notes about incentives.
 Incentives are a great way to get kids to do things – think of all those potty training sticker charts and M&Ms, for example. But there’s a plus and negative to incentives…

On the plus side, we like to reward good behavior. You likely do it for good grades, completing chores, and any other number of things – why not also start incentivizing healthy habits? Consider reward tracking for consecutive days of healthy eating or activity.

Which leads us to the down side… how we incentivize. Often times, we head for the ice cream shop or with ordering out. There’s nothing wrong with it on occasion, but if it becomes a frequent occurrence, it can lead to replacement bad habits. Consider instead letting someone choose dinner for the night (preferably something healthy), getting to ride in the front seat, or picking the movie for the family movie night.

By all means, use incentives – they’re a great way to get everyone on board and reward good behavior… and that repetition is how we build habits!

Be a role model.
 Your kids are watching you, so be someone you want them to watch. Be active yourself. Take the time to actively play with them. Eat healthy yourself (they know when there are empty ice cream containers). Don’t make negative comments about yourself.

The road to positive, healthy habits begins with you.