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10 Fitness Apps You Can’t Miss

If your schedule is already tough, and still seems to get busier every day, most likely you rely on technology to keep yourself going. When and where do health and fitness fit? You squeeze it in when and where you can. Fitness experts understand how busy we are, so they decided to work with us by building a variety of health and fitness apps we can access from out mobile devices, with the goal of keeping us motivated and on track.

According the, the mobile fitness app market is quickly growing, and will quadruple by 2016! Here are some of the best and brightest out there right now.

UP from Jawbone

UP, now for both Android and iPhone, is a holistic approach to fitness. You are encouraged to wear your wristband as much as possible (even when sleeping) for the most accurate welness tracking. Not only does it cover diet and exercise, but it also monitors how you sleep, when you've been sitting too long, and sends every step you take back to the app on your phone. The wrist band has a 10 day battery, so don't worry about it losing power midday. The program can also be integrated with other fitness apps on the market like MyFitnessPal (see below). The whole package adds up to $129.99, which is pricey compared to the dozens of free apps out there, but after using it, many fitness professionals reported they couldn't live without it.


Fitbit puts logging calories and activities in the palm of your hand, and provides a giant food database (plus room for additions) for you to choose from. The app also allows you to program your own personal fitness goals and keeps you on track. Although the app is free, if you would like to upgrade and add one of their tracking devices, similar to the UP system, the price will range from $60-$100.

My Fitness Pal

My Fitness Pal is a very popular fitness and diet app. Not only is it free, but it also boasts a searchable food database of 3,256,00 different items, room to add personal recipes and is flexible enough to work with you on any diet plan. It also has interactive discussion forums to share support and motivation with other like minded individuals.

Lose It

Lose It is a basic, free app for mobile devices that has one goal. Weight loss. Using the app, you are guided through a personalized weight loss program that tracks not only calories, but carbs, fats and protein, as well as exercise. Over time it creates a graph based on personal data to give you a look at how you are progressing.

Fitness Builder

Fitness Builder is seriously intense. If you want a good workout, there are 200 different options that the program can be prompted to pick automatically, in order to build the optimal workout to reach your goals. Beside the 5 fitness timers and multiple calculators (BMI etc.), you also have the option to contact professionals with any personal fitness questions. For $9.99, it's like having a personal trainer everywhere you go.

C25K (Couch to 5K)

If nothing else, you have to love the name Couch to 5K, and really the program is just that. Ideal for beginning joggers/ runners, for $2.99 an individual is taken through a nine week endurance building program. As you progress, the program will prompt you to warm up, cool down, walk and run. By the end of those nine weeks, you won't believe how far you've come.

Run Keeper

Run Keeper (free), and Run Keeper Pro ($9.99), make tracking your workouts an interactive social activity. The app uses your GPS to track route, elevation, and speed and then uploads it to the Run Keeper website to review and share. The pro version even shouts updates through your headphones every five minutes to keep you going.

Good Food Near You

The Good Food Near You app is ideal for road trips or traveling for work, because no matter where you are, it works together with your GPS to guide you to the nearest healthy food options. No more roadside greasy burgers necessary. Download now while still in Beta.


A fantastic app to take shopping, Fooducate uses your smart phone's camera to scan barcodes on different food, and returns with a grade (A, C-, etc) based on ingredients and nutritional value. Wouldn't it be great to know which foods actually pass? And what a great way to explain to kids what they should be eating. The basic version is free on Android and iPhone, but more specialized versions targeting diabetes or gluten allergies, may cost a few bucks.


Did you know that in Japan, the most popular topping for pizza at Domino's Pizza is Squid? We didn't before checking InRFood today. The app and website have an enormous amount of information about food. It keeps detailed track of ingredients and nutrition values, as well as product recalls and health news worldwide. The app is still in Beta, so check it out before a price tag appears.

The Best Affordable Juicers of 2013

Juicing seems to be the newest trend in health and fitness, and it's a great way to add some of the nutrients we miss by skipping our fruits and vegetables as long as we monitor a balanced diet to go along with it. Truthfully, there are both pros and cons to the practice. On one hand, juicing saves money on nearly expired fruits and veggies, which says we lose the most money on when it comes to grocery expenses. On the other, important nutrients, like fiber and protein are lost in the juicing process by getting rid of the pulp instead of eating just the raw food as is. An all juice diet will quickly drop weight, but it will also slow your metabolism, which means once you start on solids again your body is more likely to store them as fat. Balancing juicing with the fiber and protein our bodies need, allows you to get the benefits without getting hurt.

Another downfall is that it's expensive. The Breville Juice Fountain Elite costs on the upside of $300, and even though it's "the Rolls Royce of Juicers," if you're not running a health club, for the average person a price tag like that is insane.  But we are going to fix that problem right now, with some quality affordable juicers for the everyman wanting to add the benefits of juicing without losing their shirt (and pants, and 3 weeks worth of groceries).

1. The Breville Juice Fountain Compact $99.95

*Ranks on Amazon as one of the top-selling juicers on the market today.

*Wide enough chute to take whole fruit without having to spend time chopping prior to juicing.

*Stainless steel, no staining from darker foods.

*Easy assembly, easy clean, dishwasher safe.

*Quick and quiet juicing.

*Detachable juice pitcher for easy storage.

*Staying within the same quality brand as the top dogs, but cutting the price by 1/3 is not a bad deal.

2. Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor 67650 $59.85

*Inexpensive for a quality juicer.

*Wide chute that fits whole foods.

*Stainless steel.

*Easy assembly, easy clean, dishwasher safe.

*Quick and quiet

*Large pulp container, so you can juice longer before cleaning it out.

*Detachable juice pitcher.

3. Jack LaLanne PJP Stainless Steel Electric Juicer $120.00

*Stainless steel.

*Easy to clean, dishwasher safe.

*Quiet, but needs some foods chopped before juicing.

*Pay attention to the filter and keep it clean to avoid jamming or backing up.

4. Oster 3167 450 watt 34oz Juicer $65.26


*Wide chute that fits whole food.

*Easy clean, dishwasher safe.

*Detachable juice pitcher.

*Large pulp container.

*Quick and semi-quiet.

*Plastic body (easier to stain) and stainless steel filter.

*Locking arm for safe juicing.

5. Black & Decker JE2200 $34.92

*Stainless steel.

*Easy clean, dishwasher safe.

*Quiet but not quick, since time is spent chopping food before juicing.

*Internal pulp collector for less mess.

*Needs a gentle touch to maintain proper function.

6. Jack LaLanne PJEW Power Juicer Express $90.98

*Wide chute can take whole food.

*Quick and quiet.

*Easy clean, dishwasher safe, no-drip spout.

*Plastic with stainless steel blade.

*Needs a gentle touch, forcing fruits or veggies will cause it to jam.

7. Waring JEX 328 Heath Juice Extractor $49.99

*Stainless steel.

*Easy clean, dishwasher safe.

*Quick but as it is centrifugal, it is not at all quiet.

*Stable on counter-top, but juice cup is not during juicing, and may fall if not monitored.


Every single one of these options are inexpensive, quality choices. Think about what you are going to use it for before deciding on one. How often will you be juicing, and for how many people? What will you be juicing? Items such as sweet potatoes are extremely pulpy when juiced, so you may want to consider an option that has a large pulp capacity and doesn't have a easily clogged filter. If you are juicing apples, you'll want a wide chute so you don't have to spend time chopping beforehand. But whichever you go with, it will pleasantly surprise you that you can get so much for so little from these lower cost appliances.

America’s Obesity Problem Today and Tomorrow

Obesity has long been a problem in the US, but in 1998 the numbers jumped dramatically and have been rising ever since. It's hard to look back and see us as all so different less than 20 years ago. Where did these crazy numbers come from?

To make you feel slightly better, it's important to realize that in 1998 the government redefined what it meant to be obese by lowering the standard BMI (body mass index). Now the requirement for obesity is a BMI over 30, while 27 and 28 used to be acceptable for men and women respectively. With that change, 29 million people went from being average to overweight. Not the greatest feeling for those people, but scientific advances in nutrition have guided and changed definitions before. Remember when eggs were bad and Jamba Juice was a healthy meal? So despite the definition of overweight becoming more inclusive, the bulk of the obesity numbers fall upon our daily choices.

According to the 2012 Gallup-Healthway Study, the following States have the highest percentages of obesity today:

  1. West Virginia: 33.5%
  2. Mississippi: 32.2%
  3. Arkansas: 31.4%
  4. Louisiana: 30.9%
  5. Alabama: 30.4%

It almost seems like the South is holding up back. But before you pass judgement on the statewide statistics, take a look at these:

Top 5 Obese Metro Areas

  1. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas: 38.8%
  2. Birmingham, New York: 37.6%
  3. Huntington-Ashland, W. Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio: 36%
  4. Rockford, Illinois: 35.5%
  5. Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas: 33.8%

Check out this map for a more comprehensive look at 2012.

Obesity in america

In a study by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a estimation of obesity's growth by 2030 was established.

Projected Obesity Statistics by 2030

Fattest States in America

Why is this happening?

Well, other than the reduction of BMI acceptable levels, and a possible change of that standard in the future from 30 to 25, our current lifestyles really aren't helping. Of course there are genetic factors that some struggle with more with than others, but in all honesty, there are some key factors that separate us from nations that don't have the epidemic type problem that we do with weight.

Junk. According to, junk food has risen to meet the same reward centered reaction we expect from sex, alcohol or drugs. Seeing easy, grease caked, quick food as a motivator or positive reward in any way, creates a pathway to addictive issues. Temptation is a strong pull, and it has become ingrained in our thought process that this type of food is a satiating experience.

Environment. The environment you put yourself in has a huge impact on your metabolic health. If you live with someone who doesn't care, it's more likely harder for you to keep up a personal health crusade. It becomes more exhausting and stressful when you have to battle yourself over the microwave burrito you would have never brought home in the first place. If your friends or family have obesity problems, or just poor diet and exercise habits, your standards slowly drop to an unhealthy level.

Technology. Technology is not a bad thing, it's actually pretty awesome, it's what we chose to do with it in our lives that becomes harmful. Sedentary lifestyles can easily be fallen into, considering the access we have to so much information while sitting at our computers or in front of the TV. Communicating with family and friends, no longer requires leaving the house or even standing, if you can teach the dog to get beer from the fridge for you. Cars, busses, any type of transport really, are lifesavers some days, but on others, getting outside and walking 6 blocks to the store isn't something that should be a hassle.

Respect. Respecting ourselves and our bodies seems to be something often put on the bottom of the priority list. At the expense of ourselves, we will skip meals, chose the quick but mediocre solution, and stress about anything and everything in our path. We not only lack respect for ourselves, but for the food we consume and the culture we cultivate. We skip breakfast and rush through lunch to get to a meeting or finish our work load. Taking a bit of time to both mentally rest and indulge  in the ritual of enjoying a well prepared meal, can actually improve your efficiency, stress level and metabolism. Studies show that family dinners actually reduce obesity risks.

We live in a scheduled world where minor changes to our lives are disruptive, and can become more difficult and stressful than they initially sound. Stopping for lunch sounds simple, but what about the work that must get done today? Changing your environment, especially when it comes to living situations and friends, is near impossible without incredible will power. Changing how our minds have been conditioned towards junk food and sugars is a huge task. Look at the statistics again, and think of the future health of yourself and those around you. No one ever said it's going to be easy, but it is more than evidently necessary to not put changing off any longer.

Get your health and weight under control with one of our Weight Loss and Fitness Programs in Chicago.

Torn Ligament Sidelines Boston Red Sox player; Andrew Miller

Boston Red Sox reliever, Andrew Miller, has been placed on the disabled list due to a ligamentous injury (believed to be the LisFranc's Ligament) that required season ending surgery.
The purpose of this blog is to discuss LisFranc's injuries, not this specific player.  The LisFranc's Joint involves the articulation between the metatarsal bones and tarsal bones.  The LisFranc's
ligament, which this player may have injured, joins two bones (the first cuneiform and second metatarsal bone) and is a very strong and important ligament for stabilizing the foot.
The metatarsal bones may also be fractured or broken and displaced (shifted) with this type of injury.

This injury can be caused by a variety of conditions:  falls, something dropping on this portion of the foot or crushing it, or situations where the foot is plantarflexed aggressively (pointed downward).  Athletes
are suffering from this injury more frequently in recent years, maybe due to better diagnosis and testing, or possibly, due to greater intensity with certain sports.  The patient will suffer from pain, swelling, and difficulty standing
or walking on the foot.

Conventional x-rays, along with MRI or CT studies, are needed to adequately diagnose this condition.  Depending on the severity, casting or surgery may be needed to treat the injury, and physical therapy is
often needed.

If you have a foot injury, please contact Dr. Bender at Advanced Physical Medicine for an evaluation.  Dr. Bender is a foot and ankle specialist and has been in practice since 2001.  Dr. Bender was a figure skater for 19 years, so
she understands how injuries can impact an athlete's life.  Call 708-763-0580 (Oak Park) or 773-776-3166 (63rd St./Chicago).

Electric Medicine

With Nicola Tesla’s 157th birthday just passing, we find ourselves celebrating science, progress and electricity in his name. Around the time of its discovery and harnessing, electricity swept through the community as a great new innovation, and to some of the medical community, a cure-all remedy had surfaced.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, the advent of electricity and the Industrial Revolution changed the face of medicine as people knew it. Many physicians and inventors began utilizing electricity in their treatment of all sorts of ailments. Looking back, we are grateful for the advances in medicine made in this time period, but it’s also fun to remember the epic failures and quack medical devices that had their fifteen minutes of fame before turning into doorstops or gathering dust in antique stores.

Dr. Scott’s Electric Corset

... electric elegance!

According to Dr. Scott, "...there is hardly a disease which Electricity and Magnetism will not benefit or cure," and that is exactly the claim made with the sale of these $3 Electric Corsets produced and sold in 1883. Not only does it promise to ward off disease with a flow of electric current through the body, it also keeps the wobbly bits in! Who could ask for more?

Dr. John Butler’s Electro-Massage Machine

Electro Massage Treatment

The fifth medical device to be modified for use in the home, The Electro-Massage Machine was invented to save doctor's time when it came to treating the defunct condition of hysteria in women. Hysteria, caused by sexually pent up energy, was treated with manual stimulation. But with the progression of electricity, hysteria was able to be cured at home with a miracle vibrating device. Hysteria fell off the medical charts around 1952, but the technology is still going strong.

Vacuum Stimulated Hair Regrowth

Old Electric Technology

New vacuum technology wasn't just for cleaning floors anymore, it was thought that stimulating the scalp with alternating air pressure and vacuum suction would stimulate blood vessels and eventually cure baldness.


Electric Bath

Electric bathThe electric bath was literally just that. Physicians used water in the bath to conduct a flow of electricity as a treatment for just about anything you can imagine. I wonder if this is why they tell us not to swim in a lightening storm.

Thompson Plaster Electrical Cabinet (UV Generator)

Thompson Plaster Electrical Cabinet

Thompson Plaster Electrical Cabinet provided a very popular treatment of the day. Violet Rays (UV rays) were thought to have healing powers, and applying them to whatever body part needed assistance, with a conductive glass device attached to a violet ray machine, would cure anything from baldness and skin diseases to gynecological problems.

The Owen Electric Belt

Owen Electric Belt

Electrical belts were usually advertised by a variety of robust and muscle laden men, who owed all of their success to a belt that provided them with a consistent electric shock. It was meant to cure weakness both inside and out, including kidney problems, lethargy, back pain, erectile disfunction and much much more.

There are so many more strange and questionable devices and treatments from way back when, there are even entire museums dedicated to some of the unbelievable things a person will go through when promised life changing results. It's the placebo effect in full swing, and if you think we've evolved beyond such gullibility, think again. Take a look at the infomercials and fad health solutions all around you today. Do you remember the electric fitness belt that promised a 6-pack from just wearing the thing? Or how about the wrinkle creams that make you look 2o years younger in just 15 minutes? Being wary of anything that seems too good to be true may be called skepticism, but if it saves you from foolish choices, what's wrong with that?

The Back of My Ankle Hurts!

There are many causes of ankle pain, but the purpose of this blog is to discuss Achilles tendon injuries.  The Achilles tendon is the structure that extends along the back of the leg from the knee to the back of the heel bone (calcaneus).  This is a very important structure and plays a vital role in the up and down movement of the ankle joint.  For example, it is critical for moving the brake and acceleration pedals when we drive.

As we are more active in the summer, injuries to the Achilles Tendon are more common.  Overuse injuries from hiking, running, or walking, can cause pain in the back of the heel or ankle, but also sudden or vigorous actions from basketball or other sports, can cause inflammation of the tendon. There may be inflammation of the tendon, also known as tendonitis, with pain and swelling, and this type of condition typically responds well to ice, rest, strapping, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, immobilization, and orthotic devices.     More chronic and also painful injuries to the tendon are called tendonosis and often do not include the acute inflammation.  Finally, the tendon may have a tear in it, which can cause severe pain, swelling, and difficulty with motion.  Tears can range from small microtears to large ruptures and are due to repetitive motion, poor biomechanics, or sudden injuries (falls, bad landings after jumping, twisting the ankle, and other causes).  Tears in the tendon require immobilization or surgery depending on the severity.

Conventional x-rays are taken for all of these injuries but only show bone injuries.  The Achilles tendon can only be adequately visualized with diagnostic ultrasound or MRI.

How can I protect my Achilles tendon?  Wall stretches with the knee bent and extended, supportive shoegear, and custom molded orthotic devices are great ways to protect the tendon.

If you think that you have injured your Achilles tendon or need a foot check up, contact Dr. Bender at Advanced Physical Medicine.  She practices at the Oak Park and Chicago/63rd locations.  Dr. Bender has been in practice since 2001 and treats all conditions of the foot and ankle.  708-763-0580 Oak Park and 773-776-3166 Chicago.

Summer Swimming Safety Tips

It's summer, and it's time to hit the cool water to stave off that hot sun. Whether it's floating, boating, or just taking a dip with friends and family, swimming safety should always be a concern.

According to the National Safety Council, 600 people annually drown in pools, over half of which are residential. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) adds that 75% of the people injured in pools are under the age of 19 and 2/3 of them are male.

Why are these statistics so high? There are quite a few factors that contribute to the injury or drowning of so many. The environment plays a big part in safety. Often a pool is not well guarded, or a gate is left open that can lead to a really unfortunate disaster. Other problems can involve a lack or awareness or education about pool safety and swimming in general. Here's what you can do.

Community Pools

  • Check for life saving equipment in the pool area.
  • Is there a lifeguard on duty at the pool?
  • Pay attention to the water safety rules posted.
  • Do not leave a child unattended or out of reach.

Residential Pools

  • Install a 4ft or taller fence around the pool/spa area with a door alarm on the self closing, self latching gate.
    • Make sure there is nothing near or on the fence, like bushes or non-vertical bars, that will enable someone to climb over.
    • There are also surface wave and underwater alarms available to be installed for increased safety.
  • Check that you have compliant drain covers. Drain entrapment is a hazard when it comes to endangering a life.
  • Mark water depth to keep everyone aware of where they can and cannot dive or swim if uncomfortable.
  • Keep toys away from the pool area when it's not in use, to discourage children from returning to the area unsupervised.
  • Use nonslip materials around the pool area, and establish and enforce rules regarding behavior in and around the pool.
  • Simple PleasuresKeep up with pool maintenance.
    • Maintain pool and spa covers.
    • Pay attention to chemical levels in the water to avoid infections and/or rashes.

General Preventative Measures

  • Teach yourself and your children to swim, the sooner the better.
    • The Red Cross and most local gyms and pools offer classes for all ages.
  • Understand the basics of life saving so you can assist if need be.
    • CPR courses are encouraged, and can be incredibly helpful in a scary situation.
  • Pay attention to the environment.
    • Where are the people you came with? Can you reach them if need be?
  • Have a pool safety kit.
    • Include a first aid kit, scissors incase someone needs to be cut free of something, charged portable phone, and floatation devices.
  • If out by the lake/ ocean or on a boat, wear a life vest.
  • Stay hydrated and protect your skin.
  • No one should swim alone, no matter how experienced or independent. Having a friend present could save your life.
  • If someone is missing, check the water first.

The best thing you can do, is make sure both you and your party know how to handle being in the water. Knowing how to swim is the number one preventative measure against injury and drowning. A CDC study in 1994 concluded that 30-50% of Americans cannot swim, placing themselves in easily preventable danger. If something does happen, be prepared and, when you can, report hazards and pool related injuries to the CPSC by calling 800.638.2772 to make sure it doesn't happen again to someone else.

For more safety and health tips for the summer, check out our blog at Advanced Physical Medicine.

What are these bumps on my Foot? Bug Bites and Other Summer Skin Issues

Summer weather can bring on changes to the skin on our feet.  Athlete's foot, which is caused by fungus, can cause scaling and blisters on our feet with itching.  Typically, creams and gels that kill the fungus can improve this condition along with keeping the feet dry during the warmer months.

However, other less common issues can arise during the summer months.  Bug bites can cause single or multiple areas of redness on our skin, sometimes with itching and warmth around them.  These areas can get infected easily, so if the condition worsens, it is essential to see a doctor immediately.  Antibiotics to fight infection may be necessary.  It is important to protect the skin while outside by using bug spray or keeping exposed skin covered with clothes.

Additionally, the skin can become irritated by various plants or weeds during the warm weather when gardening, mowing the lawn, or hiking.  It is important to wear socks that protect the feet and legs when around these plants along with closed toe shoegear.  It is never a good idea to mow the lawn or garden with sandals because the feet are exposed to dangerous things in the plants and soil and also with the lawn mower itself.  If your skin becomes red and itchy after outdoor activities, you may have contact dermatitis, which will require a cream to treat the area.  As with bug bites, the skin can also get infected with this condition (usually from itching), and antibiotics may be needed.


Dr. Bender is a foot and ankle specialist with Advanced Physical Medicine.  She has been in practice since 2001 and treats all conditions of the foot and ankle.  Dr. Bender lives in Oak Park and has two young children that keep her busy after work!  For your appointment, call 708-763-0580 (Oak Park) or 773-776-3166 (Chicago/63rd).

5 Healthy BBQ Recipes For a Lean Summer

There is no better time than summer to go outside, get a healthy dose of sunshine, and fire up the grill. Whether it’s a large gathering or just a family affair, barbecuing can be a fantastic (and fantastically tasty) change of pace. But there's a problem!  The traditional barbecue fare tends to be lined with fat and dripping with grease, and eating right is a big part of staying healthy and active for the summer.

Well have no fear, here are some no hassle recipes to help you stay healthy without giving up the mouth-watering goodness that comes with summer barbeques.


Grilled Chicken with Basil Dressing


  • ⅔ cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp of lemon juice + ¼ cup
  • 1 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 1 ½ tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup lightly packed basil leaves
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 3 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs + 3 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts


  • Whisk ⅓ cup olive oil, 3 tbsp lemon juice, crushed fennel seeds, ¾ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper in a resealable plastic bag.
  • Add chicken and massage in the marinade.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 min. or up to one day turning occasionally.


  • Blend basil, garlic, lemon peel, ¼ cup lemon juice, ¾ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper in a blender until smooth.
  • Gradually blend in ⅓ cup olive oil and season to taste.
  • Remove chicken from bag and grill until cooked, flipping halfway through. Top with dressing and enjoy.

Bobby Deen’s Special Thick-Cut Garlic Pork Chops with Bourbon Glaze


Pork Chop w/ Apricot White Wine Reduction Sauce

  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp bourbon
  • 1 garlic clove halved
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 ¾ -1 lb center cut bone-in pork chop


  • mix together the bourbon, brown sugar and dijon mustard and set aside


  • rub pork chops with garlic, salt and pepper
  • brush with glaze
  • Grill until slightly charred and cooked through (approx. 10 min each side). Some pink will remain in the center.
  • Brush with glaze before serving.

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

bacon wrapped asparagus


  • 10 fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 5 lean bacon strips, halved lengthwise (the more fat on the bacon, the less evenly everything will cook. The dripping grease will affect the flame level.)


  • Place asparagus on a sheet of waxed paper; coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle with pepper; turn to coat.
  • Wrap a bacon piece around each spear; secure ends with toothpicks.
  • Grill, uncovered, over medium heat for 4-6 minutes on each side or until bacon is crisp. Discard toothpicks.
Originally published as Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus in Quick Cooking March/April 2005, p24

Flame Licked Chili Flank Steak


Grill marks

  • 2 tbsp red chili paste
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tbsp cumin seed, crushed
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 2 lbs flank steak


  • Mix red chili paste, oil, peppercorns, cumin seed and sea salt in small bowl.
  • Coat steak evenly on both sides with mixture.
  • Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor.
  • Grill steak over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes per side or until done.
  • Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Cut steak across the grain into thin slices.
Recipe courtesy of Thai Kitchen.

Light and Lemony Grilled Lobster

Grilled lobster tails and asparagus AGAIN.

  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp melted butter (or butter substitute)
  • 1 tbsp minced or crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 4 lobster tails

  • Whisk together all ingredients except butter.
  • Let sit 1 hour (or more).
  • Add butter and microwave 1 minute or until butter is melted. Whisk or stir to combine.

Lobster Tails:

  • Rinse tails in cool water.
  • With a large, sharp knife, “butterfly” the tails (cut the flesh down the middle, lengthwise, keeping the tail intact).
    • If needed, use kitchen shears to cut through the shell down the same line as your butterfly cut.
  • Baste generously, let sit 5-10 minutes.Lay tails, flesh side down, grill 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Flip over. Pour rest of baste on top and close grill lid.
  • Grill 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove and serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of Kelly Anderson, Certified Chef & Culinary Consultant. 
Owner of, a resource for fun, healthy recipes for families.

AttributionShare Alike

Red fruits

There are other foods you can grill,Share Alike some unexpected, for a healthy side or snack. Here are some ideas.

  • Avocado: Slice in half, remove pit, and grill for 2-3 min. to create a mini bowl for salsa, addition to a summer salad or just a great side.
  • Summer Squash: Slice in half the long way, clear out the seeds, brush on some olive oil mixed with fresh herbs and seasonings, and grill face down until grill marks appear.
  • Zucchini: Prepared and grilled in the same way as the summer squash.
  • Peaches: Slice in half, remove pit, and grill face down for 5-8 min. Top with a dab of yogurt or cinnamon for desert.
  • Apples: Remove core and slice into eighths and grill, flipping once, for 4-5 min.

AttributionHealth Conscious Tips:

  • Not healthy enough? Replace the olive or vegetable oil in your recipes with coconut oil. Coconut oil is considered a good saturated fat, and is a heart healthy replacement for other cooking oils or butters.
  • Keep your grill clean, all of that charred mess that builds up may add a certain flavor to your food, but it also contains carcinogens that are potentially harmful to your health. (Coconut oil is also a great way to clean your grill as well. Seriously, get some.)
  • Marinade your Meat. Meat marinades insure that the meat you are grilling retains its full protein power. The marinade acts as a slight barrier protecting the goods and sealing in that juicy flavor.
  • Consciously chose your ingredients. Instead of the ground beef stacked up in the freezer section, grab a lean brisket and use it for your burgers. The meat is leaner, and you know exactly what's in it unlike pre-packaged hamburger meat.


For more healthy recipes and fitness tips, come visit our Chicago Health and Wellness page.

10 Activities That Don’t Feel Like a Workout

There are people that can go to the gym and enjoy exercising just for exercise sake. If you are not one of those people, dragging extra clothes around and altering your schedule just to end up running in place or climbing stairs to nowhere, may not your idea of a good time. Treadmills and ellipticals are not engaging. Even when there are little TVs attached to everything, how long can you expect someone to watch the Kardashians before jumping head first off the equipment?

We aren’t lazy, just bored with the lack of stimulation available when it comes to a traditional workout. So here’s a thought, lets ditch the mind-numbing stairs to nowhere and actually have fun. How? I’m glad you asked.

1.The simplest thing you can do is ditch your car.

Walking or grabbing your bike and getting out, exercises something other than your right foot on the gas pedal. Plus, it’s probably beautiful out and your vehicle is blocking the view. A fifteen minute walk to work in the morning will get your blood pumping and metabolism started for the day.

If you absolutely need your ride, stop looking for the closest parking spot. You don’t need it. When you go out to lunch, take the longer way around the block. Also, ignore the crowded elevator and make taking the stairs a habit.

Get active without exercise

2. Spend quality time.

Dogs are so much fun to get out and be active with. There is no one more appreciative than your k9 friend when he gets the chance to play with his favorite person. Grab a frisbee or a favorite ball and hit the park. You will both wear yourselves out and benefit from the activity.

3. Explore.

Find a hiking trail nearby, or pack a picnic, grab a friend and head to the nearest wooded area. Spending time getting to the top of a hill or the end of a hiking trail is more of a shared adventure than monotonous exercise. You’ll be too busy enjoying the company and nature around you to notice the effort.

4. Spend some time in the water.

Get in the water for exercise

The resistance water provides gives your entire body a low impact workout. Hit the pool or focus on your upper body and core by renting a kayak or going river rafting. Check out the wildlife (getting this close is not recommended. Otters like to try and climb aboard not realizing they could hurt you or vice versa). You’ll have fun, stay cool, and definitely feel the results later on.

5. Dance.

Going out and dancing is often just as good as taking a class at the gym. You’re body is constantly moving and burning off calories while you finally develop a social life by spending time with your friends or partner.

6. Join a team.

Adult sports leagues are everywhere. Indulge your competitive spirit and get involved in a kickball or softball league. Look online for a local organization near you, it’s not just for the kids anymore.

7. Volunteer.

Parks, animal shelters, Habitat for Humanity and many others are always looking for help. Picking up trash at the park, planting a few trees, or building a home will not only work up a sweat and burn calories, it will improve the world around you.

8. Get off the couch and go garden.

If you’re stuck at home, stop snacking because you’re bored. Spending an hour pulling weeds, mowing the lawn, or planting new flowers counts as being active. You are using your body, and burning calories while improving your yard.

9. Clean.

The house probably needs it, and cleaning is a whole body activity. Sweeping, mopping, and organizing your mess wears you out. Why? Because all that lifting, pushing and scrubbing is engaging your body in its own personalized workout.

10. Bring out the Wii.

Whether you are bowling, boxing or playing tennis you are making an effort to win. Involve your kids and friends to make it an event. Just 30 minutes of Wii boxing can burn over 200 calories.

No matter what you do, the point is to get up and do something. The more you’re moving around the healthier you’ll be. Spending time at the gym isn’t necessary, in fact many gyms promote getting outside and provide ideas and excursions for their members. Discover the opportunities available and take advantage of them. Engage your mind and body together for a happier you.

For more helpful tips and suggestions, come visit us at Advanced Physical Medicine.

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