Low Fat/Low Calorie Holiday Cooking

It’s that time of  year again!  Family and friends gather together to celebrate and feast on some of their most favorite foods.  The following are just a few suggestions as to how to cut fat and calories while preparing your favorite holiday dishes.

*When basting the turkey, instead of butter or margarine, substitute cooking spray or low-sodium chicken broth or diet ginger ale.

*When making gravy, put pan drippings in refrigerator overnight, skim off fat and use remaining juice.  You can also substitute gravy with chicken broth, orange zest, bell peppers, leeks and seasonings.

*When preparing mashed potatoes, instead of mixing in butter/cream, mix roasted garlic, chives, skim milk and herbs or fat free evaporated skim milk.

*When making stuffing, instead of adding butter/margarine, use equal amounts of low sugar applesauce

*When preparing sweet potatoes instead of using butter and marshmallows, use apple or orange juice, low-fat pancake syrup, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.

*Instead of using regular cheese sauce on vegetables, use low-fat hollandaise sauce, egg substitutes, Smart Choice marg, lemon juice, dijon mustard and or ground red pepper

*Instead of creamy or oily based salad dressings, use balsamic vinegar and spice mix.

*Spread roasted garlic on bread and rolls rather than butter or margarine.

*Dips for vegetables and crackers can be made with low or fat free sour cream or light or fat free mayonnaise.

*Instead of cream cheese in Cheese cake, mix low-fat ricotta cheese and low-fat cottage cheese or yougurt.  If using fat-free cream cheese for baking, use blocked not tub cream cheese.

*When baking breads, muffins or cakes, instead of oil or shortening use applesauce or 50% buttermilk and 50% applesauce.

*Chocolate cookies and brownies can be made with pureed prunes for a portion of the oil. You can also use 3 Tbl of unsweetened cocoa instead of 1 oz baking chocolate.

*Rather than flour & butter when preparing pie crust, use graham crackers & either apple, grape, or orange juice to moisten.

*Sugar free pudding and skim milk can be used for pie filling

*To cut calories when preparing pumpkin pie, substitute Splenda for sugar, egg substitutes for eggs and use low fat/fat free canned milk or cream.

Beth Pirtle

Trading Places: 20 seconds= TOTAL difference (Monday, November 9th, 2009)

Happy Monday everyone!

Weekend recap: Survived bootcamp… It was great to see Todd and Shannon Johnson back from Buffalo! Shannon is 3 weeks from her due date and she STILL kicked some butt in bootcamp! If that’s not motivation for us “non-pregnant people” I don’t know what is!

Saturday morning I got in a pretty good hour full body strength training workout.  I wanted to work on my deadlift and bench press forms, so I didn’t do anything heavy, but plenty to get my heart rate and a good sweat going.

Sunday was my “day off”…

Monday, I got in 30 minutes of walking on the treadmill (I couldn’t do anything too intense, I had just gotten adjusted right before) then tonight, I went to bootcamp.

Ya know, about that bootcamp… It varies every day… And now we are going through 40 second stations instead of 60 seconds. You wouldn’t think “Oh, it’s only 20 seconds, it can’t be that much of a difference”… Oh, but yes… Yes, it can! Here’s what I figured out

Each bootcamp has an average of 10 stations. So if you take those additional 20 seconds from each station, that’s 200 seconds.  AND we usually go thru the whole thing three times.  So that means 600 seconds have been cut from the workout, which breaks down into 10 FULL minutes of solid working out.  That’s huge!  No wonder I can get through an entire round without running for oxygen! 

I’m not saying that the workouts are any easier, by any means.  The weights have gone up, the intensity has been kicked up a notch and the level of difficulty has definately increased.  But TRUST ME, I’m ok with getting my butt kicked for 40 seconds instead of 60.  My lungs thank you, Matt and Angie, however I will let you know about my muscles tomorrow. 

Tomorrow is cardio, Wednesday is workout with Matt…

Until Wednesday,
Kimberly at Emerge

Trading Places: So far so good (Friday, November 6th, 2009)

     The good news: I can walk.. I never had any severe soreness in my legs or butt… The bad news: my pecs/shoulders hurt like no other, still.  Today’s bootcamp was a core focused day, and my pecs/shoulders got a double whammy. (However, I was NOT cranky today…) I survived, in fact, I prevailed enough to go up and do another 30 minutes of cardio at the studio. 

     I spent the entire day on my feet, and the diet has been pretty good.  I’m heading into the studio in the morning to get in some lifting and cardio before the Hakweye game (GO Hawks!)


Have a great weekend everyone!
Kimberly at Emerge

Trading Places: Allergies gone, I'm back (Wednesday, November 4th, 2009)

It’s official, I am BACK at it. Ok, so I never quit training with Matt, but all cardio, bootcamps, and diet went on hiatus for a little while.  Guilty as charged.  And yes, Matt knows.  My allergies have NEVER been as bad as they had this year.  THANKFULLY, my “allergy season” is over; which means getting back into it and at 100%.  I have 42 days until my 27th Birthday and I’m going to be wearing those darn jeans!  Ok, not on my Birthday, since I will be working, but BY my birthday. 

My “get back in the game” started a week ago, when Pirtle flat out told me that Thursday, I WAS doing cardio and Friday I WAS going to the morning bootcamp.  So, Thursday I went in and did my cardio and Friday, at 8am I was at bootcamp.  I wasn’t speaking, but I was there physically.  It was a good/bad workout.  I liked the fact that we are going heavier weight, shorter time.  I feel like I can be a hundred times more effective in short periods of time with more weight than I can be for the full minute we were doing.  The only bad thing was that my shoulders were still incredibly sore from Wednesday’s workout, so anything shoulder related was not going so well; otherwise, GREAT workout.  Saturday morning I hadn’t decided if I was going to do cardio or lift, but since I didn’t get to Emerge until 10:15 and the Iowa Hawkeye game started at 11am on ESPN (yes, I am a Hawkeye fan), I opted for a quick weight session.

Sunday: Day off.  I watched the Rams WIN (Congrats to them!), and I got in some house cleaning.

Monday: I got in some morning cardio (30 minutes) and then I went to bootcamp that night.  (Tough, but great!)

Tuesday: I thought I had the flu coming on that morning (minus the fever) so I popped all of my vitamins, Airborne, and Zinc tablets and drank ridiculous amounts of water.  I got some rest, and woke up this morning 100%.  SO> No cardio, however, if this day prevented any sort of illness, I’m COMPLETELY ok with it.

Wednesday: Workout from hell with Matt.  I cannot for the life of me beat my max on bench press.  I’m stuck… I’m going to have to work on that and my shoulders on Saturdays, because after that we hit the rings, and I’ve never in my life felt like such a weenie in my life. I kid you not; the strength ratio from my legs to my upper body is about 4:1.  Lucky me, got to use ALL three of our new “toys” today.  I actually like all of them, just not in sequential order… The bounder thingie, we got from the Rams training facility, kicked my butt… LITERALLY.  I have never in my life felt the burn in my glues like I did on that thing.  By the time we finished I was jumping around with the biggest cramp in my butt.  But I would do that thing every day to replace jumping on the plyo boxes.  My knees felt GREAT on the bounder because there was no impact.  However, my quads and glutes will be hurting in the morning, I GUARANTEE it.  But that may be my new favorite exercise… “This burns so badly, I LOVE IT!”  Yeah, we trainers are janked in the head like that.

          50 minutes of high intensity of cardio and my Wednesday workout was complete.

My diet is going to be the tough part.  I’m back to that point again where I can’t stand the sight of chicken.  My cats got the biggest portion of the last rotisserie chicken I bought.  Blech… Chicken.  So now I REALLY need to find alternate sources of protein that don’t make me want to run for the Border (yes, I like Taco Bell, among other bad places to eat).  I’m not a big “fish” eater, so we will see what I come up with.  By the time I get home at night, I’m not in much of a cooking mood, so generally it’s soup.  I have to cut back on the sodium, I looked like a sponge Monday night at bootcamp.

          Tomorrow is simply a cardio day (if I can walk), and Friday 8am is bootcamp.  Due to keeping my journal going and keeping my sanity during the holiday season, I’m only planning on writing on the days I train or do bootcamps. 

          I hope you readers who have fallen off of the wagon or have been slacking jump on the bandwagon with me and get back into it before the “resolution-eers” do in January.  Just remember, a lot of photos are taken this time of year!


Until Friday,
Kimberly at Emerge Fitness

Do as your trainer SAID. Get what you want out of your workouts by understanding the SAID principle.

There is ALOT of information floating out there about health and fitness.  From the anecdotal how-to from the big gym dude, to the high drama on reality TV shows like the Biggest Loser, there is certainly not of shortage of supposed wisdom on health and fitness.  This is not necessarily a bad thing.  This information can be motivating and inspiring. 

It can also be potentially harmful, both physiologically and in your ability to achieve a fitness goal.  In this article, we won’t go into the just plain bad workout information that is everywhere, we will look instead at focusing your attention on the information that will help you realize success for all of your fitness effort.

Enter the SAID principle.  The acronym stands for specific adaptations to imposed demands.  This sounds bookish and not user or exerciser friendly.  So, broken down:

SPECIFIC: What specifically are you trying to achieve with your exercise program.  You will have much greater, faster success if you know what you are trying to do, exactly.

ADAPTATIONS:  This is what you are hoping for when embarking on an exercise routine.  An adaptation is a change your body.  Most people who exercise are looking for change.

IMPOSED DEMANDS: This is your program.  This is the sum of all the stimulus you physically impose on your body. Cardio, diet, supplementation, and resistance training.

So, the idea here is that a particular exercise regimine must be put together in a certain way to quickly achieve a specific goal.  Otherwise, you could be waisting your time, or worse, hurting yourself.

The dilemma is, if you talk to ten different people on the street or in the gym about what they are trying to gain out of their exercise routine, you are likely to hear a wide variety of answers, from people with a wide variation in age, fitness level, etc. 

So, there is no “cookie cutter” routine to fitness.  What one person does to acheive their goal may be the EXACT opposite from what you need to be doing to achieve yours.  Your body will react in a way consistent to the stimulus you give it.  If you train like an Olympic powerlifter, your body will adapt accordingly, and you will be able to powerfully lift heavy resistance.  That’s good if that is your intention.  If not, you need to re-formulate your exercise regimine.  This includes your diet, your aerobic training, and your resistance training.  Everything must be SPECIFICALLY designed to achieve a CERTAIN goal.

Don’t waste your time emulating everything you see unless you know for sure what you are trying to accomplish is in line with what you are actually doing.

Matt Pirtle

Emerge Fitness Training


Get Fit For Fido



Emerge Fitness Training would like to invite you to join us for a bootcamp workout for a great cause!  Our struggling economy has caused a lot of our four legged friends to become homeless and without families and with your help, Emerge would like to help!

  Having hectic schedules during the holidays, there’s no better time to take an hour and get in a total body workout. No worries, each class can be catered to your fitness level!

There is no fee; however we do ask that you bring a donation (Dog/Cat food, unused toys, treats).  All items will be taken to the St. Charles Humane Society

Please contact us at 636-925-1222 or check out our website www.emergefitnesstraining.com for more information.

(Due to a maximum class size, we ask that you sign up for a certain date.  The more people interested, the more classes will be available) 



List of Items needed:


Pet Needs:

Kitten and cat chow
Pediatric electrolyte
Litter boxes and litter
Kitty toys and dog toys
Puppy and dog chow
Canned dog and puppy food
Chew bones
Collapsible wire dog crates
Flea control- Frontline, Advantage
Flea combs
Brushes and combs
Shampoo- Flea and nice smelling
Harnesses & leashes
Dog collars with metal buckles
Safety release kitten & cat collars
Pet scale—large dog size

Shelter Needs:

Powder & liquid laundry soap
Towels, wash cloths, bath mats
Sheets & blankets
Trash bags– large
Paper towels
Toilet paper
Brooms, mops, buckets & dust pans
Kitchen & bath cleaning supplies
Power washer
Lawn care tools
Instant canopy for events – 10’ x 10’
Folding chairs
6’ or 8’ plastic tables
Canned soda & treats for our hard working volunteers

Office Needs:

8 1/2 x 11 white copier paper
8 1/2 x 11 color copier paper
Computer equipment
Various supplies- folders, hanging folders (legal size), pens, message pads, etc.
Craft Supplies for educational programs
Digital video camera

Disaster Supplies:

Tarps—all sizes
Batteries (9 volt, AAA rechargeable)
Zip ties (heavy duty)
Collapsible wire kennels
First Aid Kits (Human and Animal)
Hand sanitizer gel
Spotlights to plug into auto cigarette lighters
Duct tape

Trading Places: Still kicking (Tuesday, Sept. 29th 2009)

It has been a while since my last blog, but yes, I am still kicking.  Most people think that after the summer ends that schedules and lifestyles slow down… Not so much.  I’m still training with Matt once a week and I “attempt” to attend bootcamps both  Monday night and Friday morning, but that hasn’t happened in a while.  Allergy season has taken over my life.  You would think that I would have a six pack after all of the sneezing I have done.  The Kleenex company’s profits have to be on the rise.  From what I’ve heard, they are affecting many St. Louis’ians.  I emphathize, I really do.  Allergies definately have an affect on cardio, meaning I can’t do it.  Climbing stairs can make me wheeze.  Attemtping to do anything but a slow walk is a lot to ask out of my lungs.  Lifting I can do as long as it’s quick, short bursts. 

I’m hoping I can get an inhaler from the doc on Friday and I HOPE (I really do) to be back at the workouts next week.  I really do miss the bootcamps.  I don’t mind my muscles feeling sore or my limbs feeling like they could fall off.  I like the fact knowing that I just worked my butt off and I actually like to sweat.  I would like to say that my diet has been perfect since I can’t workout, but yeah, not so much…

Ya know when a kid goes to college for the first time and everyone tells them “Don’t gain the Freshmen 15!”.  Well, my fear is the “Fall 15″…  I’m lucky I haven’t gained any body fat, but if only my diet had been cleaner, my body fat would keep going down.  Between Cardinals baseball, college football, and the nfl, my butt doesn’t leave the couch much.  And if it does, then I’m at some sports bar eating bar food watching a game.  I have to work on an answer to this problem.  And I would say “well, I’ll watch a game while doing cardio”… Sure, I can do that when I can breathe.  So, as for right now, I just have to make sure that I keep all junk food out of my apartment.  Which means, I have to stay out of any store that contains junk food.  I went down the Halloween candy aisle at Target today and I could have picked up several bags of stuff.  Luckily I only came out with a bag of suckers, but I won’t lie, I was eyeing a bag of Kit Kats for a good minute or two. 

Being away from blogging has also given me a reason to lose some accountability.  When I was writing this every weekday, I knew that I had to behave because frankly, I’m a horrible liar, so I’d have to report what I did or didn’t do or what I did eat.  No blog, no tattling on myself; out of sight, out of mind as they say.  So, once I do start to feel better, I will start blogging daily again.  I’m aiming for next week. 

Until Next Time,
Kimberly at Emerge Fitness

Important to encourage physical activity at an early age

Get Fit Now

Early Exercise Pays Off

by Michael O’Shea
published: 09/20/2009

Physical activity early in life may help protect kids from excessive fat gains later in childhood—e ven if their activity levels drop off. Scientists at the University of Iowa studied 333 children, first at age 5 and then again at 8 and 11. They found that the more active the kids were when they were young, the less body fat they had later on.

“Some of the 5-year-olds did 10 minutes or less a day, while others were active for 60 minutes or more,” says Dr. Kathleen Janz, a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. “ When we measured the children at age 11, there was a 3.4-pound difference in fatness between kids in the most-active quartile and those in the least-active.”

5 easy-to-follow family fitness tips

Every additional 10 minutes of exercise at age 5 resulted in a third of a pound less fat at 11, regardless of whether the activity level had been maintained.

“Small changes now may result in meaningful differences later,” Dr. Janz says. “Young children who are inactive are missing out on this protective ‘banking’ effect.” Don’t wait until your kids are overweight. Take advantage of their boundless energy and free time now. They’ll thank you later.

Instructional Video Exercise Series: The Barbell Chest Press on Ball

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