Changing to a healthier lifestyle

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- Winter is cold and dark, and people often feel tired and without energy. Many share these thoughts and uncomfortable feelings on grey winter days. A good way to overcome this state of mind is to make a change toward a healthier lifestyle to feel fit again.

The Spangdahlem fitness center along with the health and wellness center offer programs to help people reach healthy lifestyle goals.

One program in particular is the serious weight loss clinic, which covers. healthy lifestyle practices. This clinic takes place at various times Monday, Wednesday and Friday. People can schedule to participate in a class by call the fitness center at DSN 452-6634 or 06565-61-6634.

The clinic teaches the first step to a healthier lifestyle is to review eating and nutrition habits, and incorporate a fitness schedule.

The base's fitness center offers several fitness programs to include personal trainers', which can help people lose those extra pounds, gainedover the winter months and provide guidance for a healthier lifestyle.

According to Jen Cherry, a personal fitness trainer at the Eifel Fitness Center and serious weight-loss clinic instructor, said to get in shape, all one needs to do is eat lighter and focus more on foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and whole grains. Also eating less fats and animal protein, fewer sweets and plenty of salads, fresh vegetables, potatoes and fruit will lead to a healthier diet and lifestyle.

Cherry states that it is important to reduce foods that have extremely high amounts of sugar, salts and fats. Sometimes drinks and meals can be deceiving as to how much of these items they contain.

For example, one glass of soda has the equivalent of 12 cubes of white sugar, a slice pizza has the same amount of fat as an entire loaf of bread, and 100 grams of salami can have up to 3.1 grams of salt.

She also recommends people read the nutritional information on packages and keep portions small. Spreading meals or snacks throughout the day is perfect. In addition, drink a lot of water and try to avoid sodas and alcohol, or at least reduce the amount.

When shopping for vegetables, choose crisp, firm, well-colored vegetables or fruits.

In her class, Cherry provides participants guidance on fitness, nutrition and low-fat recipes that help them get into shape for a change to a healthier lifestyle.

"I enjoy experimenting with foods and sharing recipes with my clients," said Cherry. "I like to eat clean, which to me means eating foods which have been minimally processed and are fresh."

The class also goes over incorporating healthy habits into everyday lifestyle.

"I advocate for a sustainable long term approach to diet and exercise," Cherry explained. "I hope people will find a lifestyle they can maintain for years while still enjoying themselves. I believe in whole health and making the best choice for you and your family the personal. Put good healthy food into you, move your body, and spend time with people you love."

Cherry explained that exercise styles vary for individuals, which is why she encourages people to just get out there and apply whatever style appeals to them.

"Some people enjoy groups or a buddy system to stay accountable," she said. "Others enjoy competition and the camaraderie that sports can bring. There are still others who enjoy exercising alone as a meditation or 'me time.'"

For Cherry healthy practices are more than a lifestyle.

"When you fall in love, as I did with boot Camp style workouts, making the commitment to health becomes enjoyable and sustainable."

Keep in mind that in order to maintain nutritional values, foods should always be treated and cooked gently or steamed.

If supermarkets don't have a particular vegetable in stock, visit an open market in the area or shop at local German "bio" markets, which offer fresh products year-round and typically
aren't sprayed with pesticides or herbicides.

To help with goals, here are two healthy recipes:

Morning fitness vitamin drink or smoothie
Combine the ingredients into a blender and blend.
100 grams fresh pineapple
Juice from half a lemon
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Mineral water with carbon dioxide (bubbles)

The blender transforms fruit and vegetables into a rich and delicious liquid with lots of vitamins.

Fitness salad
½ a cucumber
1 carrot
1 shallot
1 sliced tomato
5 green olives
1 clove garlic
1 artichoke hearts
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons of sunflower or olive oil
½ teaspoon mustard
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 fruit (apple or orange)
3 walnuts
Prepare:
½ cup vinegar dressing: mix balsamic vinegar, mustard, pepper, salt, sugar, oil
Serve dressing over a green salad or a vegetable salad and decorate with cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, walnuts, artichoke and/or fruit

Bratlinge
125 grams of whole-grain or seven-grain rice mix, or Soya mix
350 ml vegetable broth
100 grams of Quark or cottage cheese
1 egg
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons mixed herbs
Salt, pepper
1 pinch nutmeg
Small amount of fat for frying
Prepare Bratlinge:
Cook rice in vegetable broth for about 15 minutes
Stir with Quark or cottage cheese, egg, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, herbs, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a bowl
Form and shape hamburger-sized "Bratlinge" and fry in small amount of fat in a pan
May be served with a green salad or with tomatoes