Archive | December, 2012

Caesar The Great? Or your greatest downfall?

26 Dec

caesar_saladBy now, I think we can all agree that Caesar salad dressing is although delicious, yet famously fattening! Just to put things in perspective, each serving (2 tablespoons) of store bought, prepackaged dressing contains about 150 calories, 18 grams of fat and 360 milligrams of sodium. And let’s be honest, who can eat a decent-sized salad with only just 2 tablespoons of dressing? A generous pour could easily double the portions.

Another reason why you should stay away from prepackaged dressing is because of the preservatives. Flip to the back of the bottle and read them, does it still look like English? My rule of thumb is, if you don’t know/understand the ingredient, it’s probably not something you want to put in your body. Remember, you body is a sanctuary, not a trash can. Watch for these ingredients when shopping:

  • Calcium Disodium (EDTA): A preservative that presents air from spoiling food, known to cause skin reactions and upsets the GI (gastrointestinal) system. Also currently under FDA investigation for harmful reproductive effects. 
  • Caramel color: Food coloring known to be an immune suppressant and a carcinogen.

Enough scary talk, try to quick and easy U1st version of homemade creamy Caesar dressing, inspired by Alton Brown. You will cut about 80 calories yet keeping the tasty flavor.

What you need (Makes 1 cup):
1. 1 1/2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
2. 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
3. 1 1/2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar
4. 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
5. 2 cloves of garlic
6. A pinch of kosher salt
7. A pinch of black pepper
8. 2 ounces of grated parmasan cheese
9. 1 cup of silken tofu (Yes, tofu! but trust me, you’ll love it)
10. 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients besides the olive oil, pulsing in low speed until desired consistency. Slowly add and mix in the olive oil. Enjoy!


Plank 101

21 Dec

I cannot reiterate enough the importance of good form when exercising. Not only does it protect you from injuries, it also enhances your performance and results.

The Plank is one of my all-time favorite exercises. It is simple, yet works complexly throughout different muscles on your body-shoulders, back, core, arms and legs. However, not everyone knows how to perform a plank correctly.

So here you go! Learn how to plank accurately and add it to your exercise routine.


1. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart.
2. Squat down toward the ground and place your hands in front of your feet.
3. Gradually walk out using your hands until they are aligned directly underneath your shoulders. Make sure your back and butt are flat in a straight line, parallel to the ground, while keeping your core tight.
4. Hold plank position for 30 seconds, walk back up to standing position, repeat steps 1-3 for 5 sets. Continue to practice your planks, you will get stronger every day.

U1st challenge: Is your core strong? Test it out by holding out the plank for 60 seconds instead of 30.

Setting Your Goals

16 Dec

Do you have goals? Is it time to set new ones? Or finish the ones you have set already? Statistics shows that people who set defined, measurable goals are 80% more likely to reach their desirable outcome. Now that 2013 is almost upon us, let’s figure out how you can set effective goals to kick your fitness plan into high gear!

Here are some U1st H&W tips on putting your goals in action:

  1. Keep it real: Be realistic. Set small and obtainable goals first. Instead of dropping 50 pounds, let’s start with shedding your first 5-10 lbs.
  2. Commit to time: Make a schedule that you know you can dedicate to. Whether if it’s 1 hour 3 times a week, or 30 minutes 5 times a week, once the time has been set, stick with it. *Tip: Having a workout buddy is a great way to commit to time. Since you are holding someone else accountable for your time and vice versa, you are more likely to stick to the schedule so you don’t let your buddy down.
  3. Recognize your setbacks: Knowing your weaknesses is the first step to conquering your goals. Identify what are your areas for improvement so you know what you are working for.
  4. Celebrate the small things: Give yourself some credit! Create a daily chart of progression. It’s the sense of accomplishment that will keep you going full speed toward the finish line.

Welcome to my blog

11 Dec

Hi friends!

U1st H&W has finally joined the blogging world! Here, I want to share with y’all everything and anything about health and wellness. From workout tips to great meals and nutrition plans, follow my blog for a healthier lifestyle.