Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Choose to Exercise During the Holidays

Getting support is one of the most important things you can do when becoming more active. This week, choose at least two people that you can contact to help keep you accountable for reaching your physical activity goals. Write down their names, call them up and ask them for help. Then thank them for their support.

Find some time in your schedule when you can be active, even if it's only 10 minutes a day. Early mornings are the best for me since I get to move and exercise my body so I feel more awake and energized. I have established a 25-30 minute yoga routine that I do daily. If I miss a day, I feel a difference in my energy level and mood.

Most people drop out of physical activity because they try to do too much too soon. Take time to warm up and cool down. Go for a walk after lunch or dinner. It helps your body digest the food and relax. 75% of all doctor visits are stress related. Regular physical activity helps reduce stress and improve overall health. You should start by leisurely walking for about 5 minutes and increase your pace to a brisk walk. Slow down towards the end and cool down with some hamstring or legs stretches.

Adapted from "Choose to Move" email from

Ingrid Cheng

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Walking for Health

The benefits of walking are that it helps:
1. Manage your weight. Walking burns calories, which can help you manage your weight.
2. Manage stress and boost your spirits. Going for a brisk walk is a great way to reduce stress. Regular walking also can reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.
3. Reduce your risk of a heart attack & type 2 diabetes.

I walk every day after dinner. I even go for short walks during lunch. I love walking because it helps me relax, feel good and have more energy. For an extra challenge, I walk uphill for 10-15 min. Then walk briskly on flat land for 15-20 min. I also take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Ingrid Cheng

Thursday, November 6, 2008

6 Diet Tips For the Holidays

6 Easy Diet Tips just in time for the upcoming holidays:

1. Stop mindless eating: If you're eating out, order a salad with a light dressing or a broth-based soup, then share a main dish with a friend or ask for a container & put half of the portion in it before you eat since restaurant portions are bigger than what's healthy. If you're cooking dinner, a soup or salad is a great filler.

2. Trick your sweet tooth: Eat high quality protein or soy products at every meal. If you still crave something sweet, eat an apple for a snack. I make baked cinnamon apple slices as treats during winter. Sprinkle some cinnamon powder onto apple slices, place on aluminum foil lined tray and bake at 300 degrees for 2-3 min. Yum!

3. Check your waist size: If your "slim jeans" feel too tight, it's time to eat less & exercise more (go for a walk).

4. Write it down: Keep a food journal & write down what you eat each day during the holidays. You're less likely to overeat.

5. Fill up on foods with high fiber or water content like fruits & veggies. Avoid fried foods, rich sauces, full-fat dairy products, ham, sausages & red meat.

6. Tell a friend about your goal: Whether you just want to maintain your current weight or loss a few pounds, get support. Ask a buddy to keep you accountable.

Enjoy your holidays by eating healthily & sensibly.
Adapted from:

Ingrid Cheng

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Choose to Move

During the Choose To Move 12-week challenge, women will not only engage in physical activity, but discover a community of women who share a common goal – increase physical activity in order to develop a healthier lifestyle. Their success is a direct result of determination, commitment and the support they received from those in the Choose To Move community. This is a free program by the American Heart Association (AHA). Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States?

Regular moderate exercise or physical activity has many benefits. It can:

1. Strengthen your heart and cardiovascular system
2. Improve your circulation and help your body use oxygen better
3. Increase energy level and endurance
4. Lower blood pressure
5. Improve muscle tone, strength, balance and joint flexibility
6. Strengthen bones
7. Help reduce body fat and help you reach a healthy weight
8. Help reduce stress, tension, anxiety and depression.
9. Boost self-image and self-esteem.
10. Improve sleep.
11. Help you feel more relaxed and rested.
12. Make you look and feel great.

Ingrid Cheng
Founder of Holistic Health Club

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Kabocha (Japanese Pumpkin) Recipe

Kabocha is known as Japanese pumpkin or kabocha squash. It has a dark green skin and a slightly sweet taste.

Wash good and dry. Put in microwave for a couple of minutes to make it easier to cut. Cut out a circle to make a lid. Clean out seeds and string.

1 Kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) 4-5 lbs
2 lbs Ground turkey
4 fat Shiitake mushrooms
½-1 can Water chestnuts
2 pieces Garlic
½-1 tsp Ginger
½-¾ cup Oyster sauce
1-2 tsp Shoyu
2 tsp Sugar
¼ tsp Garlic powder

Note: All measurements are approximate so use to your taste.

Brown meat with garlic and ginger. Add other ingredients.
Put pumpkin in microwavable dish, cover with saran wrap and cook for 15-20 minutes, depending on size.
If baking in oven, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours.

Recipe from Mark Chun

Thanks Mark for the delicious Kabocha dish. I'll make it for Thanksgiving.

Ingrid Cheng
Holistic Health Club