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Brain Food:
When Your Kid Stinks at Sports

By The Numbers:
You are Getting Very Sleepy...

The Better Buzz:
Help for the Hard Core Smoker

What Were They Thinking?
Watch What You Eat

Your Gold Standard Cookbook
Scrumptious Chicken Piccatta

In the News:
Plus One's Designs are Five Star

Also in this issue:
Better letter
Plus One Better Letter by Advantage Fitness Products
by ADVANTAGE Fitness Products February 2006
20 - The number of hours without sleep that affects your reflexes as if you had a blood alcohol level of 0.08 - considered legally drunk in many states.

60 - The average number in millions of people in the United States who suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia.

6.5 - The average number of hours of sleep that most Americans get on a weeknight.
90,000 - The yearly average number of car crashes that drowsy U.S. drivers cause, resulting in 1,500 deaths and 71,000 injuries.

2.1 - The number in billions that Americans spent on the sleeping pill Ambien in 2005, followed by the sleeping prescriptions Lunesta at $322 million and Sonata $117 million.

My kid stinks at sports. I don't want to be mean but he's really bad. What can I do?
View Answer

- Compiled by Liza Hall, Group Fitness Director, Plus One, California

Better Letter Trends

Buff Fluff Enough
Moderation Feeling Powerless Overindulgence
Being responsible for your own happiness
Mind-grinding about how things "should be" Jealousy and Envy
Recharging your batteries through a favorite exercise, activity, journaling and meditation. Thinking you can and should do everything Letting stress rule your life and burn you out

The Better Buzz

The Better Buzz

Smokers. They are quite the pariahs these days. Banned from smoking indoors they huddle in rain and snow to catch a fix, ignoring the looks of disgust and disdain from non-smokers. If you are a smoker you may find yourself labeled as "damaged goods" by a prospective partner, and you may have to pay more for your life insurance. People seem to feel comfortable and justified in displaying their disapproval of smokers, especially now that we now know the dangers of second hand smoke, or "passive smoking". The smoker inhales filtered smoke, but a non smoker is actually inhaling an unfiltered mix of poisons. Not only is the habit killing smokers it's killing us.

What makes smokers willing to carry such a fierce addiction for 20, 30, or 40 years; go to bed with a pack of smokes nearby, ready to go for the middle of the night fix and ready to go first thing in the morning, or willingly give up the ability to run, to ride a bike, to climb a flight of stairs without gasping for air. It's almost certain that most heavy smokers will endure a painful future of cancer, emphysema and/or heart disease. According to the American Cancer Society, smoking kills more Americans than car accidents, suicides, AIDS, drugs and alcohol, and homicides combined. That's just frightening. But speak to addiction counselors, therapists, or anyone who has tried to quit a cigarette habit and they will tell you that nicotine is genuinely one of the hardest addictions to break.


An interesting study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that providing intensive phone counseling with medication, such as nicotine replacement therapy works. The study focused on what could arguably be thought of as the least likely group to quit; about 837 heavy smokers, most of them men, half of whom had been smoking at least a pack a day for over 40 years. The smokers were broken into two groups, one received medication and phone counseling. The other received quit smoking advice from their primary care physicians with little or no follow up. A year later 13% of the group that had received ongoing phone counseling were still smoke free, and only 4% of the other group had been able to quit. The secret to the success appears to be in the support.

The American Cancer Society offers a program called Quitline that's proven highly effective. Many large American companies and corporations now offer Quitline at their companies to help their employees quit and reduce the number of sick days and health care cost. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention smoking costs businesses $3,150.00 per smoking employee.

If you or a loved one wants to quit, call the American Cancer Society toll-free at 1-800-ACS-2345 to be directed to a Quitline in your state and request self-help materials. People who live in states without Quitlines can get information about participating in a clinical trial of cessation strategies. You've put a tremendous amount of energy, finances, and your health into that smoking monkey on your back. Let a professional who knows how difficult it is to quit help you change that.

- Liza Hall, Group Fitness Director, Plus One, California (Source:

What were They Thinking?

What were they thinking?

I usually use this "What Are They Thinking?" section to share the secrets of our Team of Experts by analyzing examples of how they use their knowledge to help members at achieve results. Plus One values results. It is very important to our Company that you achieve success.

To succeed, many of our members want to lose weight. As simple as it sounds one of the most effective ways to achieve and maintain your weight loss goals is to simplify the phrase; "Watch what you eat".

Really? Sounds like the simplest piece of advice for weight control as there are many research studies that show diets just do not work. They succeed in getting weight off but rarely keep the weight off. Losing and gaining weight in a cyclical fashion is also proving to be detrimental to your health and makes it increasing more difficult to lose weight with each successive cycle. So what are the best ways to watch what you eat?

Keep Track
Self-monitoring means to observing and recording some aspects of your behavior, such as caloric intake, number of servings from fruits and vegetables, exercise adherence, and fluid intake. You can also record direct outcomes of these behaviors, such as weight, waist size, body fat composition or BMI. Self-monitoring of


a behavior usually changes the behavior in the desired direction and can produce "real-time" records for review by you and your health care provider. When keeping a record of your weight, a graph may be more informative than a list of your weights. When weighing yourself and keeping a weight graph or table, however, remember that one day's diet and exercise patterns won't have a measurable effect on your fat weight the next day. Today's weight is not a true measure of how well you followed your program yesterday, because your body's water weight will change much more from day to day than will your fat weight, and water changes are often the result of things that have nothing to do with your weight-management efforts.

Portions Matter
Diets typically call for wholesale elimination of foods that you like to eat. This is really not necessary or healthy. Contrary to what you may have been taught as a child, the preferred strategy is to leave food on your plate. Take fewer servings. Dish our smaller portions and in general take every opportunity to reduce the total volume of what you put in your mouth during every meal. You can still enjoy sweets just enjoy less of them. Bread is OK but promise to take only one slice. When you are out to dinner with a friend help each other out by sharing one entree instead of buying two. Decide to take food home or split a dessert. This way you still enjoy the food and the company while saving money at the same time. So if a healthy body weight is your idea of success take heed of two simple strategies. Write down what you are doing and develop the discipline to enjoy food but just less of it. The results may surprise you.

- Mike Motta is President of

Your Gold Standard Cookbook

Your Gold Standard Cookbook

Chicken Piccatta

1 - 12oz can artichoke heartsĀ chopped (packed in water, not oil)
4 - 4oz chicken breasts
1/2 - cup capers
1/2 - cup lemon juice
2 tsp.- minced garlic
1/4 - cup flour
2 Tbsp. - olive oil
1 package sliced mushrooms
3 tbsp. parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. of fresh parsley

Coat chicken with flour. In a large skillet, cook garlic and oil over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until garlic is pale gold. Add chicken and brown 2-3 minutes on each side.

Add lemon juice, artichokes, capers and mushrooms. Simmer, covered, for about 30-35 minutes. Turn and baste the chicken occasionally. Cook until chicken juices run clear.


Sprinkle parmesan cheese and parsley on top of chicken when done.

Serving size: 4

Nutrition Facts per serving:
345 calories, 12 g fat, 2.7 g saturated fat, 40.5 g protein, 18 g carbs.

Olive Oil is a source of monounsaturated fat.

Monounsaturated fat consumed in moderation is believed to lower blood cholesterol, and may assist in reducing heart disease. Like polyunsaturated fat it provides essential fatty acids for healthy skin and the development of body cells. Moderation is key, 1 teaspoon of olive oil is equivalent to a 45 calorie serving, most people need anywhere from 4-7 servings a day depending on their caloric requirements. Other good sources include avocados, nuts and canola oil.

-Compiled by deNelle O'Connor, RD & Meredith Hill Marketing Manager Plus One Fitness, New York

In The News

Plus One Health Management provides design, development and consultancy for fitness centers and luxury spas throughout the US. As a leading company for world class design and development solutions, we provide innovative and cost-effective services that are tailored specifically to each client's needs. For the past 20 years, Plus One has successfully designed and managed some of the top organization's fitness facilities and spas. We have worked extensively with architecture and design firms throughout the world in all aspects of the planning and design process for fitness, spas and wellness centers. With Plus One you will experience unparalleled expertise in developing a state-of-the-art fitness and spa facility. Our clients include Fortune 500 companies, luxury properties, financial service firms, law partnerships, publishers, pharmaceutical companies, community centers, and hospitals.

Brain Food

When I was 12, my mom bought me a brand new, matching, two-piece sweat suit, for gym class. It was green. A white stripe ran down the arms and legs. And, when I wore it, because I was so skinny, everyone called me "green bean". The next day class had a rope climbing contest. Where such a skill fits into life, I'll never know. But there I was, my enflamed hands trying to hang onto the rope. My bony arms, shaking, fatigued even before I began. My spindly legs swinging wildly. I tugged and I pulled. Kids chanted "green bean, green bean!" Suddenly my sweat pants gave me a wedgie. I reached back to pry it loose. I had only climbed as high as my tip-toes, as if on Pointe... a green 12 year old boy, in gym class, on Pointe... when I slipped and crashed to the floor. The class roared. Somehow I tore a hole in the crotch. A new chant: "Split pea, split pea!"

Don't try this at home! Better yet, don't let your kids try this at school!

The moral to the story? What do you do if your kid stinks at sports? For starters, don't make 'em climb a rope! If it's not in them, no amount of urging or encouraging or insisting is going to make them any better. Or any less humiliated.

For years there's been an on-going debate regarding Nature vs. Nurture - the relative importance of an individual's innate qualities ("Nature") versus personal experiences ("Nurture") in determining or causing individual differences in physical and behavioral traits. Face it, some kids are good at some things while others excel at others.

Fitness is not about a lifetime of sports or specific activities. It's simply about movement.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that children and adolescents participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. "Find activities that not only suit them, but ones that can keep them moving". Of course, it's not necessary to get out a stopwatch or put a chart on the refrigerator. The goal, says AHA, is to simply "promote physical activity in as many ways as possible".


Increased physical activity has been associated with an increased life expectancy and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. It produces overall physical, psychological and social benefits, including gaining more self-confidence and higher self-esteem. Inactive children are likely to become inactive adults - according to the AHA, about 21 percent of children ages 6 to 17 are obese.

** Make exercise fun. Find activities your child enjoys. If he doesn't like it, he ain't gonna do it.
** Set a good example. Parents who are overweight send mixed messages to their kids about the importance of fitness.
** Motivate by being a good role model. Chances are, if you make exercise and good nutrition a part of your daily lifestyle, your children will follow suit.
** Exercise with your kids. The whole family has to be involved. Don't sit on the couch and tell the children to go out and play. Do it with them. You need it too.
** Look beyond organized sports. If your child's not good at team sports, the mere thought of participating could set her back. Don't limit your child to what schools offer. Look outside the box. Bike riding, swimming, tennis... whatever.

Bottom line: get your kid moving. If he likes to run, get him running. If she likes to skate, buy a pair and hit the park. And do it with her.

Immediately following my disastrous rope climbing debacle, I discovered dancing. My physical activity. It was not an organized sport. It made me happy. Gave me confidence. And kept me moving. And, today, it still keeps me moving.

Help your kids find theirs. They're worth it. And, of course, so are you.

- Jeffrey Fox - Group Fitness Instructor, New York

Please address all comments, feedback, and questions to [email protected]; 212-791-2300; 75 Maiden Lane, Suite 801, New York, New York 10038. Kindly make a notation on all correspondence specifically meant for Brain Food.

The Better Letter is a free publication brought to you by Plus One Health Management. Current circulation: 25,142.
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