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How to Keep Muscle Mass While Sick and Achieve a Quick Recovery

How to Keep Muscle Mass While Sick
Thanksgiving is generally a time when we all worry about unwanted weight gain.  However, this Thanksgiving (as described in my Mom’s story below) our family was faced with a whole other challenge:  How to keep our hard earned muscle mass while sick with the stomach bug.  As personal trainer and nutritionist (and Brad a fitness model) our lively hood revolves around maintaining a lean and muscular physique.  Getting a gut wrenching stomach virus has the possibility to hinder the hard work we put in on a daily basis and set us back in our physical gains.  However, by following these five simple steps, we kept ourselves from falling into a huge setback.
In order to best prevent the loss of muscle during times of illness try theses remedies:
1. Believe it or not, when you are sick your metabolism speeds up (even if you aren’t moving) in order to help repair your body.  So, adequate nutrition is a MUST.  Start with a bland diet (bananas, rice, apples, toast) and add protein as you can stomach it.
2.  DRINK plenty of water and try pedialyte or gatorade to get vitamins, minerals and electrolytes back in your system.  Also, while your caloric intake is low, try drinking 5-10g of BCAA’s every 2-4 hours and 1-2g of buffered creatine (Kre Alkalyn) up to two times a day.
3.  Take a probiotic.  (IF you’ve had a run with the stomach virus, though you’ve cleared out all the bad bacteria in your system, you also cleared out all the good bacteria.  Take a probiotic to reintroduce those vital good bacteria to your system.)
4.  Eat or drink adequate protein.  Try a vegan based protein powder, Greek yogurt, and bland chicken (when you are able to stomach it).
5. REST and get plenty of sleep.  As mentioned above, your body is in overdrive working to overcome your illness and thus is going to need plenty of rest for your quickest recovery.
The story below was written by my Mother and Aunt, two other victims (of the 11) to our Thanksgiving fiasco, who also fought the good fight back to HEALTH and preserved muscle mass along the way by following these simple steps to recovery.
Script and pictures  by Nancy Blue (Nana) and Kathy Blue (Aunt Kathy)
You are now hearing the voice of Rod Serling…..
   Rod Serling
You unlock this door with the Key of imagination….
Beyond it is another dimension.
A dimension of sound…
A dimension of sight….
A dimension of mind….
You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance…..
Of things and ideas…
You have just crossed over into ….                                 
                                                                        Twilight Zone PicDOO-DOO-DOO-DOO…..DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO…DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO—-
It was an ordinary day in Brevard North Carolina, much like any other day just before Thanksgiving…..
The weather was exceptionally nice for a late November day and the Blue family was busily preparing for a joyous holiday weekend of fun and feasting.
nana graham
As the guests began to trickle in from Dacula, Atlanta, and Cashiers, all were happy to be reunited and to share in the joy of the new baby Graham.
mandy brooke cooking                       table 1
Festivities were enthusiastically underway as pies, cookies, casseroles and a grand Turkey were lovingly prepared, and a beautiful table was set to perfection.
Yes….it was a picture perfect setting….you could say, just like a Norman Rockwell painting…until……IT HIT !!!
Now officially documented by the CDC as THE H 2-0-1-2 … a sinister, insidious virus with NO KNOWN CURE !!
pukin pumpkin
First to fall was Nana… hardly finished with her Thanksgiving meal….she was hit hard…..
cute sick pumpkin
Followed shortly by Big Mike….it wasn’t a pretty sight!
2 sick pumpkins
Next to go were Aunt Mandy and Aunt Taylor, forced to huddle together on the bathroom floor, shivering in the night.
2 more sick pumpkins
And FINALLY…… the last to go…. Brad and Aunt Kathy.  We thought they were in the clear, but NOTHING escapes the deadly grip of
THE H 2-0-1-2 VIRUS !!!!!  Yes….it was a ghastly sight…..
survivor collage
And there were many casualties…….
family sneaking away                   germ graham
Then,as swiftly and unassumingly as the Heberling family came, they disappeared down the misty mountain road back home taking with them, their
secret biological weapon…..
sick supplies 
Leaving only some “Sick Supplies”…….
And a note which read…… ”We came…We infected… We ate… and… We left….We Love You!”
Hazmat Suit    hazmat_taining2 shokotan_hazmat_1  Hazmat wash down
Well, it is said that Love can be expressed in many different ways…..so next year….
the family will be ready for whatever expressions of “Love” may come their way !!!
And so…..until then….. “Village Under Quarantine For 30 Days” !!!
      Rod Serling
And so, my friends, goes another Thanksgiving in…..
                                                                                       Twilight Zone Pic
Happy Thanksgiving!
We decided we better give Santa fair warning…
Santa in Hazmat Suit
“ Well, here I am at the Heberling’s……good kid, that Graham, but germy…..”
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Healthy Holiday Alternatives

We all love the holidays.  It is the one a day we all sit around the table enjoying friends and family and stuff our selves silly, and then go back for seconds and try not to feel guilty.  In order to help you alleviate some of that guilt and refrain from putting yourself back to the starting line with your fitness goals, I am going to offer you some healthy alternatives to your traditional Thanksgiving feast. These flavorful options will not only satisfy your Thanksgiving taste buds, but also help you cut down on calories and fat and help you return for seconds guilt free!

Starters:  Turkey Apple Slices and Dip

Turkey Day Appetizer

I love this fun and festive turkey idea for a pre-dinner snack.  Apples are full of fiber, vitamins and nutrients that are sure to keep your crowd pleasantly pleased as you put the finishing touches on your Thanksgiving feast.  Simply slice various types of apples and put a small dish of dip in the center of a plate.  A super easy apple dip is all natural raw almond butter.  For a little more protein try putting plain non-fat Greek yogurt in a bowl and mix with cinnamon and stevia.  Yum!  Always a crowd favorite!

Sweet Potato Casserole

(Serves 9)

healthy Thanksgiving alternatives

  • 2 1/2 lbs peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup fat-free half and half
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar blend
  • 4 1/2 tsp cubed Smart Balance 50/50 butter
  • 1/4 chopped pecans
1.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Place sweet potatoes in large pot and cover with water.  Bring pot to boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 12-15 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.  Remove from heat.  Let cool a bit and then drain.
2.  Mash sweet potatoes in large bowl.  Add next four ingredients and mix well with beater.  Pour mixture into greased 9×13 casserole dish.
3.  Grind oats in a blender.  Add sugar and butter, and pulse until pieces are the size of peas.  Add pecans and pulse brieftly.  Distribute over sweet potatoes equally.
4.  Cover with foil  and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Nutrition:  198 Calories, 5g protein, 34g carbs, 4g fat
Simple Orange and Rosemary Roasted Turkey

Simple Orange and Rosemary Roasted Turkey

 Serves 22
  • 13 lb turkey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 chopped stalks celery
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 1 peeled orange, cut into rings
1.  Whisk olive oil and vinegar together in small bowl.  Stir in parsley, rosemary, thyme, garlic and salt.
2.  Pour balsamic oil mixture over turkey, rubbing into outside and inside of bird (if you have an injector you can also inject some into turkey).
3.  Gently place half of the orange rings under the skin, being careful not to tear.  Place the remaining rings, onion and celery in the cavity of the bird.  Tie legs together.
4.  Place turkey in roasting pan.  Add about 1/4 inch of water or broth to the bottom of the plan.  Roast turkey according to package instructions.
5.  be sure to baste turkey occasionally to keep it moist.  One indication of doneness is that the juices run clear when the turkey is pierced with a fork.
Check back later this week for my favorite HEALTHY pumpkin pie recipe!  It is packed full of protein and no sugar added!
-Mandy Malool
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Gym Equipment You Should Avoid??

ATTN Ladies: Are you being scammed at the gym?

As an Atlanta personal trainer, I work with a variety of clients, primarily female, that vary in age, size and shape. Despite the variety of clientele, many of my personal training clients upon beginning training have one common area they would like to focus on, legs. More specifically, generally women want to focus on those tough to tone inner and outer thighs (saddle bags) to create long, lean appearance to their legs adding length and height to their physique. Acquiring the thighs of your dreams is achievable. It does take a combination of weight training, sound nutrition and cardiovascular training. The underlying scam falls into the category of toning through weight training.

Myth busted…use the abductor and adductor machine to help tone the inner and outer thighs.

It is a HUGH misconception that swarms the fitness community that you can spot tone fat away. When we hear personal training clients say, “I wan to tone these areas”. Ideally they mean remove fat and reveal the lean muscle. Though you can focus on an area of muscular growth, you can not spot remove fat and create lean toned muscles by performing strength exercises alone. That is one reason I strongly discourage the use of the hip adductor and abductor machines in a leaning a toning strength routine. These machine DO aid in helping to building and strengthening muscles in these areas; however if you are not simultaneously following a strict nutrition plan and intense cardiovascular routine you run the risk in building muscle under the already stubborn fat and in return having larger thighs than you began with. So, STAY AWAY from the weighted machines that focus on these areas of your legs and pick up the intensity through a dumbbell focused routine and by adding segments of high intensity cardio burst between leg exercises.

Try this plyometric (quick and powerful exercises) lower body routine for developing longer leaner legs:

Exercise                              Circuit 1     Circuit 2     Circuit 3     Circuit 4

Box Jump                                20               20               15              15
Bench Step-Up                       20                20               15              15
One-leg Bench Squat             20               20                15              15
Exercise Ball Hip Lift               20               20                15              15
Calf Jumps                              30               30                25              25

*between each circuit, complete 5 minutes on treadmill, step mill, or elliptical at 70-75% of your maximum heart rate.
**adapted from muscleandfitnesshers.com


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Workout While At Home for the Holiday’s

Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays Workout

In home workout for beginners, intermediate and advanced. Just grab a pair of dumbbells and get started.

Don’t let your fitness commitments go out the door as your friends, family and holiday parties begin to flood in. Between decorating, cooking, wrapping and shuffling from here to there remember to make room to squeeze you fitness routine in. By continuing with your regular workouts, you will have a jump start on reaching your New Year goals. This workout makes use of compound movements–exercises that use multiple muscle groups for maximum results–and its is designed for speed so you can finish it in 30 minutes without compromising your time invested in holiday festivities OR most importantly your results.

All you need is a dumbbell (10-15 llbs.) or medicine ball. Do as many reps as you can in 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next exercise. Repeat the circuit 4-8 times.

1. Jump squat
2. Dumbbell single leg dead lift with a row (20 seconds each side)
3. Mountain climber
4. Walking lunge with torso twist
5. Alternating lunge jump
6. Dumbbell squat/front raise/press/curl
7. Jumping jack
8. Explosive pushups
9. Overhead Dumbbell crunch
10. Burpee

**As you become more proficient at this workout, you can bump up your interval to a 30 seconds on/15 seconds rest and after that 40/20 intervals.

Written by,

Mandy Malool ISSA-CFT, SFN

Atlanta Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutritionist’s Rules for Flat Abs

As one of Atlanta’s top personal trainers at Brad Kolowich Jr’s Personal Training Studio we frequently are asked by clients, “How to I get flat Abs?” Getting flat abs has a little to do with performing abdominal exercises yet obtaining flat abs also involves implementing these other key factors into your daily routines. Below are six quick rules to help you acquire that flat midsection of your dreams.

Flat Ab Rules
1. Try something new–our abs are just like any other muscle. You need to vary training exercises, reps and sets to continue to see progress.
2. Do Not Procrastinate–take a moment to think about not only how you train your abs, but when you train them. If you have always trained them after a weight or cardio workout, while that’s not wrong, at the end of the workout you may be short on time, energy and strength. If you feel that may be your struggle, try adding them in at the beginning of your workout.
The exception–if you are new to exercise or have a weak core, wait until the end of your workout. Otherwise, those muscles may be too fatigued to keep your body in proper form during other exercise.
3. Be stingy with the reps–just like other muscle groups, abdominals need to be strength trained. Try adding some weights and decrease your repetitions. Also, like other muscle groups, you should rest your abs for 48 hours between training sessions to allow for full recovery before training them again.
4. Find stability–abdominals need not to only be trained for mobility by doing crunches and sit-up variations, but also for stability with exercises like the plank.
5. Eat wisely–working out your abs alone will not give you the flat abs you are seeking. You must follow other healthy lifestyle habits such as eat carbs early, choose your fats wisely (no-to-low saturated fats are best), add less salt to food. As a personal trainer and nutritionist in Atlanta I often hear clients say, “I hear it is 80% what you eat and 20% what you do in the gym”. I am not sure where this misconception began but, it is 100% what you eat and 100% what you do in the gym!!!! Without complete dedication to both your workouts and diet you will never reach your full potential!
6. Get some “vitamin I”–add “intensity” to your workouts. Try decreasing rest time between sets, add burst of sprints to your cardio sessions, supersets to your lifting program, etc. All these strategies will help you put your body into that fat burning mode and help to shed some weight off your midsection.

Our moto in this gym, in order to reach the goals you wish to achieve, roots from the biblical story of Nehemiah and the work he committed to in building a wall. In Nehemiah 6:3 he says, “I am doing a great work and cannot come down.” Building the abs of your dreams must take the commitment Nehemiah did to the wall. You must climb your wall and not come down until the good work is done. So pick a rule one day at a time and climb that wall and don’t stop until your work is done. Just keep going until you’ve achieved your best!

*****IF you struggle or want to learn how to better incorporate these rules into your workout habits and lifestyle, join us for Ab-Attack on Tuesdays and Thursdays @ 6:30. Atlanta’s top personal trainer and fitness model, Brad Kolowich Jr. models and teaches these habits each session!

Written by,
Mandy Malool