Posts Tagged ‘healthy eating’

Salvere Blog: The Scale — UGH!

January 26, 2016

by Salvere Health and Fitness

 scale hammer

This little measurement tool seems to haunt us no matter where we go – Dr’s office, tv commercials, radio ads, nutrition discussions, exercise success measurements. Very few people seem to be truly motivated by the scale. Actually, quite often, we see the opposite. Through years and years and countless clients with scale struggles, I sat down and really thought about how we use the scale and what, if anything, we cannot determine via another method other than the scale.

If a diabetic loses a certain percentage of weight, their blood sugar improves – is it the weight loss or the healthier living? Do blood tests show all the info we need?

Losing weight helps decrease the risk of developing certain illness such as high blood pressure and cholesterol – is it the weight loss or added exercise and more nutritious eating? Again, blood tests and blood pressure cuff tells the progress.

What about weight loss that happens through eating packaged, minimally nutritious foods? Great job on weight loss, goal achieved but what about improved health?

What about the person that does not need to lose weight and shows health problems but never exercises and eats poorly? This person needs to make changes but the scale does not show that.

So, here’s my analysis so far on why we use the scale but if we really NEED it or not.
  1. Health Issues – blood tests show this across the board and include everyone
  2. Weight Gain – how your clothes fit tells this story
  3. Exercise Enough – if you’re moving your body most days
  4. Eating Nutritious Foods – write it all down and you can see the full picture
Can you think of anything that we NEED the scale to determine if we’re doing what we need to for our health????

by Lisa Martin, owner and personal trainer at Salvere Health and Fitness. If you’d like to contact Lisa, email her at or call her at (410) 707-0055.

Salvere Blog: Starting Again

December 30, 2015

by Salvere Health and Fitness

Okay, with prime diet and exercise month right around the corner (yes, January) we wanted to touch on the “I’m starting again” struggle. We say this quite a bit with regard to healthy eating and exercise, especially with dieting.

So often, something sounds perfect on the surface but then does not carry the same impact long term and may even bring the opposite effect. Next year, when thinking and setting your goals and/or intentions for 2016, reflect on your previous experiences. Think about how each of them felt —

one step penguin

Before setting about on taking action, step by and reflect on why you want to change your health — Write it down! Make small changes a little bit at a time to things that you can do, one step at a time. Slowly build on each one, one step at a time. Make allowance for life to happen, it always will!  These changes will stick around so you don’t have to “Start Again”.

by Lisa Martin, personal trainer and owner of Salvere Health and Fitness. If you’d like to contact Lisa, email her at or call her at (410) 707-0055.
We welcome your thoughts and ideas!  Thank you for reading and taking the steps to become a healthier YOU.

Salvere Blog: Thanks-Giving and the Holidays

December 1, 2015

by Salvere Health and Fitness

Last week, Thanksgiving started a typical month of tons of hustle and bustle – and family and friends and food and drinks and partying. FUN TIMES!! As you look to the month, all this can be stressful if you let it — It can also be a great opportunity to remember the things to be grateful for and take the chance for giving.

With all the parties, we indulge in foods we normally do not eat throughout the rest of the year and sometimes end up with a full calendar that impacts the exercise piece. Often we beat ourselves up over our decisions. Two things to think about:

  1. Go easy on yourself, enjoy this time of year and spend some time relaxing.
  2. Make a plan to incorporate healthy eating on those non holiday party days and include movement (like hiking, walking, dancing, etc.) as part of your spending time together.
by Lisa Martin, personal trainer and owner of Salvere Health and Fitness. If you’d like to contact Lisa, email her at or call her at (410) 707-0055.




Salvere Blog: WHO Said Meat Was BAD?

November 4, 2015

by Salvere Health and Fitness

So the big news last week came from the World Health Organization surrounding meat. Meat causes an increased risk of cancer, so the report says. The full report can be read here. Or you can read the NPR summary and takeaway discussion here.

Okay, so like much of the other food research that comes out, how to sift through this news to know what to eat? First, realize that this information is not new. Eating processed/cured meats such as bacon and hot dogs contain nitrates and nitrites. The USDA proposed a ban on sodium nitrite in the 1970s and the meat processing industry lobbied against such a ban. So again, this news does not really come as a shock.

Now, does this mean you can never eat a hot dog or piece of bacon again? No!!! Consume them sparingly. Nitrates and nitrites do occur naturally in some foods and do come in some chemical fertilizers. Make the decision for yourself on how to make your own healthy eating choices. Read things beyond the headline and know multiple factors come into play with just about anything.

by Lisa Martin, owner and personal trainer at Salvere Health and Fitness. If you’d like to contact Lisa, email her at or call her at (410) 707-0055.

We welcome your thoughts and ideas! Thank you for reading and taking the steps to become a healthier YOU.

Salvere Blog: Sometimes it’s the Little Things

October 21, 2015

by Salvere Health and Fitness

Ever read the ingredient list on the back of the food label and thought “what the heck is that”? Maybe you recognize the first several ingredients but then comes that list of Thiamine Mononitrate, Trisodium Phosphate, Carrageenan, Titanium Dioxide, Phenylalanine, etc. Forget identifying these things when simply pronouncing these words becomes a challenge. Many of these food additives help to preserve the food or make it look and taste more appealing.

When it comes to food additives, we need to pay a little more attention especially if you consume a diet high in processed or packaged foods. Many of these additives need more research but, regardless, the best research happens when we each pay more attention to how our own bodies respond. While these ingredients could be lengthy discussions by themselves, we wanted to at least define a few of them for you.  This blog is a little longer then our usual so bear with us!

Carrageenan: “a nondigestable polysaccharide extracted from red edible seaweed.” Makes sense now, huh? Okay, so you will see this in many of your non dairy milk alternatives such as almond and coconut milk. It acts as a thickener and stabilizer in foods. Now, carrageenan can be found in a food grade form and non food grade form. Some research shows it can cause inflammation and irritate individuals with GI issues such as IBS and Crohns.

Titanium dioxide: “the naturally occurring oxide of titanium.” Again, this sure clears things up! In food, this additive makes things look more white. Think skim milk and powdered sugar on donuts. You will also see this in cosmetics such as sunscreen and lotions. This too has been show to possibly irritate the GI tract and negatively impact individuals with IBS and  Crohns.

Chicory root: “a woody, perennial plant usually with bright blue flowers.” Pretty easy to understand this one. Both the root and flowers/petals can be consumed. Often you will see this ground and used as a coffee substitute. Additionally, you’ll see it in foods, possibly listed as chicory root fiber/inulin/extract, that promote fiber content such as the high fiber bars, cereals and breads. Some people do well with his particular ingredient and for others, it’s not really your friend!

Soy lecithin: “an oily substance extracted from soybeans chemically (using hexane) or mechanically, it is a byproduct of soybean oil production.” Check out the back of any processed food in your pantry and chances are pretty good you’ll find Soy Lecithin. Companies use this product as an emulsifier in foods such as chocolate and salad dressings. It keeps the oil and other stuff from separating. And it can be found quite cheap in the US as the government often subsidizes soy crops. Issues may arise in some people with soy allergies, although uncommon.

Sorbitol: “a sugar alcohol with a sweet tastes that the body metabolizes slowly.” You’ll see this in chewing gum and diet food products. It’s also used as a laxative. This again is one of those products that can cause bloating and other GI “disturbances. In cases of health issues such as IBS and Crohns this additive may cause irritation and flare ups.

Xanthan gum: “a substance produced by the fermentation of Xanthomonas Camestris.” Huh??  Its basically taking a substance that forms as a result of fermentation and processing it into a powder that works great to help those herbs stay suspended in your salad dressing and keeping your ice cream creamy! Some people do have allergies to Xanthan gum and it to can contribute to GI discomfort.

Guar gum: “the ground endosperm of guar beans.” Basically they take the guar seeds, remove the husks, mill them then screen them to leave a white powdery substance that is guar gum. Use guar gum as you would corn starch. Check you soup, salad dressing and condiment labels to find this ingredient. Guar gum is a soluble fiber so it will aid in digestion and elimination by helping to create bulk. It was once used as a weight loss pill.

by Lisa Martin, owner and personal trainer at Salvere Health and Fitness. If you’d like to contact Lisa, email her at or call her at (410) 707-0055.

We welcome your thoughts and ideas!  Thank you for reading and taking the steps to become a healthier YOU.

Salvere Recipe: Roasted Winter Squash Soup

October 17, 2015

by Salvere Health and Fitness

Oh, fall!  What a wonderful time of year and it’s been beautiful so far with the crisp mornings and colorful trees. This time of year is also perfect for soups. This soup pairs nicely with a variety of different meal options.

In this recipe, roast troasted acorn squashhe squash before putting it in the soup. Roasting brings out a much different flavor then simply boiling. Plus, have you ever tried peeling an acorn squash raw??  It’s a true exercise in patience and knife skills — Also, the combination of acorn and butternut squash provide something unique! Feel free to try your own combination of winter squash.

Roasted Winter Squash Soup

squash soup

1 butternut squash, cut in half and seeds removed
1 acorn squash, cut in half and seeds removed
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Black pepper
3 tbsp butter (ghee or even coconut oil if you prefer!)
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 granny smith apples, peeled and diced
1-2 jalapenos, diced (optional)
1 tbsp fresh sage, diced
1 tbsp fresh thyme
3 cans (or 42 ounces) of chicken broth (low sodium if you need to be aware of salt intake)

Preheat oven to 400.  Place halved squash in glass dish, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast 25 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. Remove from oven and let cool.  Once cooled, peel and roughly chop into large cubes.  (You will puree this so they do not have to be uniform or neat!)

In large pot, melt butter or oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, apples and jalapenos. Cook until slightly brown and add herbs. Add broth and squash.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and puree — Use an immersion blender right in your pot provided it’s safe for the pot.  Or add to your blender and do it in batches. Enjoy!!!!

by Lisa Martin, owner and personal trainer at Salvere Health and Fitness. If you’d like to contact Lisa, email her at or call her at (410) 707-0055.

Salvere Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies

October 2, 2015

Yes, that is correct — We sent out a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Two important items when it comes to eating such foods.  First, a cookie is a cookie even if it is gluten free, fat free, sugar free, made with sweet potatoes, etc. The second, learn how to incorporate such things into your “regular healthy eating plan”.  That does not mean eat them daily yet eat them on occasion and enjoy every bite.

This particular recipe uses almond flour for the base instead of white flour made from wheat. In our previous recipe for the scones we discussed the differences in almond flour and almond meal. Remember, with coconut oil, the difference in refined and unrefined? In addition to a higher smoke point, refined tastes less like coconut then unrefined. Use either one in this recipe. We took this recipe directly from the below link:

 Chocolate Chip Cookies

chocolate chip cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips of choice (I used dark chocolate chunks from Whole Foods!)
  • 2/3 cup toasted walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F.

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, coconut oil, and brown sugar. Add the vanilla and eggs, mixing until incorporated.
  3. Mix in the baking soda and salt. Add the almond flour, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts with a wooden spoon.
  4. Form the dough into tablespoon rounds and place on the lined baking sheet about 3 inches apart. Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until golden brown around edges. Cool and enjoy!

by Lisa Martin, owner and personal trainer at Salvere Health and Fitness. If you’d like to contact Lisa, email her at or call her at (410) 707-0055.

Salvere Recipe: Muesli Scone Recipe

September 12, 2015

By Salvere Health and Fitness

This week, the muesli scones use nuts, seeds and dried fruit to add flavor and nutrition. The base incorporates almond flour instead of wheat flour for a higher protein content. Almond flour has grown in popularity with the recent discussions on gluten. Lets first discuss gluten.

Gluten is actually composed of two different proteins and found in wheat, rye and barley. It nourishes the plant during germination as well as contributes to the chewiness of bread through the kneading process. There’s much more scientific stuff to it but we won’t get into it here. Pay attention to different ways your body may respond (skin, digestion, energy, etc.) and if you have Celiac Disease, it’s advised that you avoid wheat and other like foods.

Before we get to the recipe, lets chat a little bit about almond flour and almond meal. The meal is often more course and will still contain the skin (hence the little brown flecks) whereas the flour is ground a little more fine and the skin gets removed through blanching.  Okay, the SCONES!

Muesli Scone Recipe

nuts and seeds

Makes about 8 servings

• 2 cups blanched almond flour
• ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• ¼ cup dried cranberries
• ¼ cup dried apricots, apples or other dried fruit, cut into ¼-inch pieces
• ¼ cup sunflower seeds
• ¼ cup pine nuts
• ¼ cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
• 1 large egg (size does matter as dough will not hold together with a small or medium egg)
• 2 tablespoons agave, maple syrup or honey

1. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt and soda
2. Stir in dried fruit, seeds and nuts
3. In a small bowl combine egg and agave
4. Stir wet ingredients into dry
5. Use your hands to form dough
6. Shape dough into a 6 ½ x 6 ½ square that is about ¾” thick
7. Cut dough into 16 squares
8. Bake at 350° on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for 10-12 minutes
9. Serve

by Lisa Martin, owner and personal trainer at Salvere Health and Fitness. If you’d like to contact Lisa, email her at or call her at (410) 707-0055.

Salvere Recipe: Roasted Pear and Arugula Salad

September 4, 2015

by Salvere Health and Fitness

Salads — So many ways to make them taste absolutely delicious. This recipe combines different types of greens and fruits to make a wonderful fall salad. First, lets tackle arugula. Yes, some people will say they don’t like it — It comes with a little bit of a peppery taste so can be hard to eat in a salad without combining it with other, more mild tasting, green stuff. The pear and arugula in this particular salad help to balance the flavors of the peppery arugula and sweet pear.  Try it!!!

Arugula belongs to the same family of veggies as kale, Brussels sprouts and broccoli and comes with many of the same health benefits. Pears and pomegranate seeds bring a balance of nutrients, fiber and flavor. In this recipe, we also provide a recipe for a homemade salad dressing. As we discussed in a previous recipe post, this is where the quality of your oil and vinegar do make a difference.  Yes, they may be a little more expensive but tastier and less expensive then pre made dressings.

Roasted Pear and Arugula Salad

roasted pears6 ripe pears
Honey or Agave nectar
Pomegranate Seeds
Candied Pecans
Gorgonzola Cheese
3 cups arugula
3 cups mixed greens, romaine or spinach

Preheat oven to 350.  Peal and slice pear in half and remove seeds.  Drizzle with olive oil, honey or agave and sprinkle with sea salt.  Roast until brown and tender about 30 minutes.  Remove from pan and let cool.

for the dressing combine:

1/2 cup pomegranate vinegar
1 shallot, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp honey
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/8 ground chipolte chile or ground cayenne

Whisk in: 1/4 cup olive or walnut oil (I prefer walnut here!)
salt and pepper to taste

Place combination of arugula and mixed greens on plate.  Put half pear in center of plate, sprinkle with gorgonzola cheese, pomegranates and pecans.  Drizzle with dressing and serve!

by Lisa Martin, owner and personal trainer at Salvere Health and Fitness. If you’d like to contact Lisa, email her at or call her at (410) 707-0055.

Salvere Recipe: Roasted Summer Veggies

August 14, 2015

Oh boy summer time — zucchini and tomatoes and eggplant oh my oh my!  This time of year these little veggies taste so much better. Find your local farmers market or friends back yard garden and enjoy. By now you know, before we get to the recipe, we have to get into a little bit of something educational.

First, the eh, bad-ish news.  Ever heard the term “nightshade” vegetable or fruit? Tomato, eggplant and peppers fall into this category. These types of foods can contribute to inflammation and GI discomfort in some people, especially those with autoimmune disorders. Pay attention to how you feel after eating them if you struggle with arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia or other joint issue.

Tomato: Aside from tasting so yummy right off the vine, this fruit (yes, it is!) has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers. Tomatoes come in many, many varieties — cherry, tomato, heirloom, beefsteak, roma and the list goes on. Some varieties do contain less acid so if you find them hard to eat, look for these with lower acid.

Eggplant: This spongy little veggie comes packed with phytonutrients that help to lower blood cholesterol and act as an antioxidant. To cook with the skin or not? In the larger eggplants skin be slightly more bitter. Some of the decision making here depends on personal taste/texture. Eggplant varieties include Japanese, white, purple, zebra (with purple and white streaked skin) and Chinese. They vary in size and shape.

tomatosOkay okay, on to the recipe!

Roasted Summer Veggies
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • 1 medium-sized zucchini, cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 1 medium-sized yellow summer squash, cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 sweet bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange), cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 12 oz. fresh mushrooms, halved (small ones can be left whole)
  • 1 large onion, sliced vertically into chunks
  • 1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, thyme and/or basil, chopped
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

Place all cut veggies in a large bowl or baggie. Pour in olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper.  Shake or stir to evenly coat.  Pour veggies into a large baking sheet into a single layer.  Be sure to not let them overlap for even cooking.  Place in oven for 25-35 minutes until desired doneness (I like mine a little on the crunchier side!). Stir every 10 or so minutes as to ensure even cooking.



by Lisa Martin, owner and personal trainer at Salvere Health and Fitness. If you’d like to contact Lisa, email her at or call her at (410) 707-0055.