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Laura Loves Lean Protein!

With Mark Bucher, Founder & Executive Chef of The Burger Joint

I thought we’d kick off the new work week by talking turkey: literally!

Thanks to another fun collision between my two professional worlds, I learned how to add some lean and lower-calorie options to this summer’s grilling season. While I’m not a licensed nutritionist or registered dietitian, I still get lots of questions on how to cut calories and make better food choices. So, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to share a tip or two for the summer ahead!

At the end of last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Mark Bucher, founder and executive chef of The Burger Joint, to film a segment for the upcoming July edition of “Health & Home Report.”  (Hosting the show is part of my production job at West Glen Communications, Inc.) Our interview was one of many TV, radio and blog spots Mark participated in as part of a satellite media tour for the National Turkey Federation.

Here’s what happened when Mark,  the burger guru, showed this non-culinary-expert (anyone who knows me will tell you I am NOT a cook!) how to use ground turkey to create the “Ultimate Turkey Burger.”

As Mark mentioned, you can get more ideas at

Here’s to a great grilling season filled with light and lean meals that compliment your active lifestyle and all your efforts to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Get Some Sleep!

With Chris Freytag, Chairman of the Board, American Council on Exercise (ACE)

I know it’s Workout Wednesday, but I wanted to take this opportunity to discuss something too many of us are slacking on when it comes to trying to follow a healthy lifestyle: catching those much-needed zzzzzz’s.

If you woke up today after a less-than-restful night, you’re not alone. Here are a couple of eye-opening facts from the Better Sleep Council:

  • 73% of Americans are only getting seven hours of sleep or less per night during the work week
  • 70 million Americans are affected by sleep problems

Today, my two professional worlds collided and I was able to learn about the effects of not getting enough shut-eye from one of the country’s most respected health and fitness experts. I was thrilled to work with Chris Freytag as the producer on her satellite media tour where she discussed the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep. She also revealed some interesting results from research conducted by Beautyrest to find out just how much sleep we’re missing out on across the country. Check out the video below to see my one-on-one interview with Chris.

(The interview will also be featured in the upcoming July edition of “Health & Home Report” – another element in my production life for West Glen Communications, Inc.)

Surprisingly in the Beautyrest survey, New York didn’t live up to its name as the “city that never sleeps.” It came in at number 22 on the “Top 30 US Cities Most In Need of Recharging” hit list. (Not so surprising? Las Vegas came in at number one.) Click here to find if you live in one of the country’s sleepiest cities!

Remember, if  you’re striving to enjoy a healthier lifestyle, make sure to add getting more zzzz’s to your overall plan to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

The Power of Walking

We’re busy people.  Between work, family and social engagements, there never seem to be enough hours in the day.  Whether your day job involves chasing your kids and running the household, sitting behind a desk, standing on your feet for hours, or catching a flight to the next meeting, sometimes the idea of working out is just too much.

Except for the kid-chasing duties, any day at West Glen Communications, Inc. can involve almost all of the above.  When I’m not putting together the lineup or filming for “Health & Home Report,” I may spend a day (or night) “in the field” with corporate clients for a video shoot followed by an edit. Or I may be at the computer writing scripts about everything from the latest Beta blocker to a survey about diapers.

So, after the multi-tasking, problem solving and brain-power depletion, am I up for going to the gym every single day? No! And I’m here to tell you – as a certified fitness professional – that it’s okay to take a day off.  There are several reasons why you should, but here are my two “favorites”:

First, your body needs recovery time. In activities like resistance training, the goal is to place enough stress on your muscle tissues to cause the changes you want. But too much stress is never a good thing, especially when it comes to your muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. Second, I know firsthand that if you’re completely exhausted and force yourself to go to the gym, chances are you won’t focus on your form and you could end up injured. Then you’ll be out of the game for more than one day.

If you can’t stand the idea of being totally inactive, here’s an idea: Slip off those work shoes, lace up the sneakers (no flip-flops, please!) and take a walk!

If you live in a city like I do where you can walk from home to work or at least part of the way, give it a try. Between the fresh air and the people watching, it never gets old. If the traffic lights cooperate, you can get a good pace going and get your heart rate up.

General health guidelines call for 30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular activity each day. That includes walking, using the stairs, gardening and mowing the lawn.  And guess what?  Studies show performing three 10-minute bouts of exercise can have the same benefits as one 30-minute continuous exercise session.  Need some combo ideas?

The High Line: A Great Place to Walk!

Morning: Walk 10 minutes from your home to the office, or walk to a subway or bus stop that’s a little farther away. Or take a couple of laps around your child’s school after dropping her off.

Lunchtime: Instead of grabbing a salad next door, walk 10 minutes to a different place. At home? Get out in the yard.

Evening:  Enjoy those last 10 minutes on foot in your own neighborhood, and bring someone special along. If you’re stuck working late  – there’s always a staircase to climb.

Whether you’re a power athlete or just getting started on a fitness routine, taking it easy is good for the body and the soul.

In the end,  just remember to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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