Fitness Blog, Pt. II

Altonio Seahorn II, Master Trainer & Owner, Complete Victory Fitness & Health.

In my previous Blog, we said “Just do it, just get started” with a Walking Program. I trust and hope that you have begun that walking regiment.

Before, the challenge was to just get started, and now, in this next Blog, I provide you with tips to enhance or make your walking experience more challenging.  Are you ready and excited about this new challenge? Well, I am! I call it “3-Minute Stair Challenge!”

Now, that you have chosen to either park a further distance away and walk from your car to work or to walk with a group of friends during lunchtime or after work. It’s time to ramp things up a bit by combining another simple add-on.  Stairs—yes, stairs! If there are stairs in your office building, school or home, I want you to use them. If the stairs you plan to use resemble, let’s say, stairs at Joe Louis Arena—then, I would recommend that you start off slowly, and perhaps not go all the way to the top of the stairs on your first try, but rather build up to that point.

So, here’s what I challenge you to do. Begin with a set number of stairs to climb. If you have an unusually large flight of stairs, decide on the exact number of stairs you will climb before you get started and try to remain committed to that number. As an example, start with 10 to 15 stairs, which may not sound like a lot at first. However, it can be when combined with your Walking Program.

Next, set your cellphone timer for 3-minutes! Now, the fitness benefit with stairs is that real work is put in going up stairs—not necessarily coming down, LOL.  With that in mind, you want to walk up a flight of stairs to the next floor.  If you are not completely winded after, continue to work that flight of stairs up and down for the entire 3-minutes.

Otherwise, if climbing that one flight of stairs has you winded, then use the elevator as a rest period. Take the elevator down to your starting point then finish up with your Walking Routine. Adding this 3-Minute Stair Routine should be a challenge.  If your walking routine generally takes you 15 minutes, you now just added 3-minutes of stair work for a total of 18 minutes or if that proves, too, challenging for you, extend your walking program to 18 minutes.

Listen to your body. Whatever you decide to do—just have fun with it! Remember, the addition of a flight of stairs does not need to be so strenuous that you find yourself discouraged.  Recall, last time we chatted, I stated goals should be S.M.A.R. TSimple, Manageable, Attainable, Reachable, and Timely.

Suggestion: First starting out, chose something attainable such as using stairs in your home from the basement to the 1st floor or something as small as a flight of stairs that has between 4-7 steps and just do that for 3-minutes up and down. I conduct this simple assessment with each of my clients to test their cardio fitness level. It never fails–clients are always amazed at how much work goes into walking up and down stairs for 3 “full” minutes!

Until next time, remember—looking good makes you feel good. And when you feel good, you look good.  Have an awesome day!

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Fitness Blog

Altonio Seahorn II, owner, Complete Victory Fitness & Health

Exercise? Where do I begin? Well that’s the exact same question I asked myself when I was tasked to write this blog. Where do I begin? Like Nike says, “just do it!” So, what I’m telling you is to just do something today. Have a sense of urgency! Start with what you know…. Walking!! Real simple, it’s something that we do everyday. We walk to our cars to go to work and walk to our cars to drive home. Walking is an exercise we take for granted. We don’t really consider it exercise, because we do it without thinking and our bodies have become conditioned to performing the daily routine of walking to and from our cars.

However, there is a way to make walking more challenging—-I want to challenge you to park your car in a different location than normal. When I say different—-park your car further away. Whether, park across the street or park on a higher level in the parking structure or park in the furthest corners of the parking lot—-anywhere, but where you normally park. Now, you have just turned walking into an exercise! You have just asked your body to do something a little different than it is used to doing!

If you do not drive, then join a walking club or ‘start’ a walking club! There is usually a lot of walking “Gurus” at your local mall and perhaps at your job. You may find walking clubs at the mall, in the early mornings, walking around. You can also find them on your job and if you can’t, then grab a friend or two, and start your own club.
Walking can be done during your lunch break. Starting out, you may not be able to keep up with more seasoned individuals at the mall or on your job, but do not let this distract you. Your goal is to just start (“just do it!”). The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has a 4-letter acronym they teach you while obtaining certification. We use it to aide clients when helping them to set goals, it is called S. M.A.R.T.

Goals should be “Simple, Manageable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely”. Walking is Simple, Manageable, and Attainable. Pick a day or two and choose a convenient time. Start with say 15 to 20-minutes each session and do this for one calendar month. This plan is “Realistic and Timely”. Next blog, we will talk about stepping it up and making walking a bit more challenging, but for right now, remember, “just do it!” and start today!

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HEALTHY SNACK: Chicken Teaser on a Skewer!

Grocery list

1 head of romaine lettuce

small bottle of Dijon mustard

granulated garlic

granulated onion

small bottle of red wine vinegar

chopped parsley

2 chicken breast

1 package of cherry tomatoes



Combine 2 tablespoons of Dijon, 2 teaspoons of granulated garlic, 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons of granulated onion, and one tablespoon of chopped parsley in a bowl and set aside.

Boil the chicken breast in water and a pinch of salt for 10 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temp of 165.

Rinse and large dice the romaine lettuce

Rinse cherry tomatoes

Chop chicken breast into large dice

Now toss the chicken in the marinade and let refrigerate for at least an hour.

Take chicken out of fridge skewer a piece of chicken then lettuce and a tomato then repeat ending with a piece of chicken. Pour remaining marinade over skewers.

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BREAKFAST: Banana Blueberry Cobbler

Grocery list

2 16 oz containers of quick oats

1 medium bottle of Agave Nectar

2 packages of blueberries

1 bunch of bananas

3 cups of chopped nuts


2 cups of oatmeal cooked in either water or almond milk (preferably done the day before, if cooked the day of allow to chill)

1/2 cup agave nectar

1/2 cup of blueberries

1 cup of chopped bananas

1/2 cup of nuts

1/8 teaspoon or a pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Cook oatmeal as specified on package and chill.

Mix Agave Nectar with cinnamon to make a glaze.

Chop Bananas and set aside

Rinse blueberries and set aside

Sprinkle nuts in the bottom of the pan (may substitute nuts for oatmeal flakes)

Spread oatmeal over the nuts

Spread fruit in an even layer over oatmeal

Pour glaze evenly over fruit.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes


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More Favorite Recipes from Chef Chris!

Garden Vegetable Marinara / shiritake

2 large fresh squash
2 large fresh zucchini
1 pound of fresh shiitake mushroom
1 Tsp of Kosher salt
2 cloves of fresh chopped garlic
16 oz of Tomato juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 pound of rinsed and boiled Shiritake Noodle

Take olive oil turn to medium heat, sauté garlic and lightly brown, about 30 seconds, add squash, zucchini and mushroom and tomato juice and simmer together for 15 minutes, add salt, then combine with shirritake noodle

Pizza Portobello

2 large grilled portobello
10 leaves or plushes of basil
1 Tsp of olive oil
1/4 thinly sliced red onion
2 fresh tomatoes sliced
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 Tsp of salt
1 Tsp of black pepper

Per heat oven to 350• add 1 Tsp olive oil to sauté pan and turn to medium heat and sliced red onion, cook til onions are tender, add tomato sauce then simmer for 10 minutes reduce to thick sauce, place in portobello then top with sliced fresh tomato and whole basil left and roast in oven until entire mushroom is golden brown

Banana Pancakes

3 eggs
1 Tsp vanilla extract
3 Fresh Ripen bananas
1 Tbsp of Coconut oil
1 Tsp of agave nectar

Combine eggs , extract, bananas and agave nectar in blender and blend until smooth, heat sauté pan to medium add coconut oil and pour pancake size patties in heat pan, flip when browning begins.

Agave Nectar glazed grilled plums with lemon sorbet

3 plums
1-1/2 cup of Agave nectar
2 cups of lemon juice
1 cup of sugar
1 Tsp lemon zest

Grilled plums on open fire, until skim begins to split, brush with 1/2 cup of agave nectar the place to the side, combine 2 cups of lemon juice, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of Agave Nectar w/ 1 Tsp of lemon zest. Let churn til it becomes firm…

Yogurt fruit Popsicles

1 cup of strawberries
1 cup of cantaloupe
1 cup of watermelon chopped
1-1/2 cup of honey
1 cup of plain yogurt

Combine all ingredients and place in Popsicles molds

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More Healthy Substitution Recipes from Chef Chris

Enjoy these tasty new recipes from Chef Chris!

Zesty Chick Pea Popcorn instead of Chips or Buttered Popcorn

1 Can of Chick Peas
1 Tsp CoconutSpice mixture1 Tsp Chili Powder
1 Tsp Cumin
1/2 Tsp  Course Black Pepper
1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
3/4 Tsp Granulated Garlic
3/4 Tsp Onion
1/2 Tsp Dry Mustard

Combine all ingredients and roast in Preheated at 350 for 40 minutes or until  golden brownish appearance

Frozen Berry Sorbet instead of ice cream
1 cup of fresh strawberries
1 cup of frozen strawberries
1 cup of fresh blueberries
1 cup of frozen blueberries
1 cup of frozen raspberries
1 fresh banana
1/2 cup Agave Nectar
1 Lemon juiced
In food processor add fresh fruits purée till smooth, slowly add frozen fruits with agave nectar , finish with lemon juice.. Done !
Nutty Fruit bites instead of Candy bars
1 cup of steeped dates
1 cup of cranberries
1 cup of apricots
1 cup of dry bananas
In food processor chop dry banana into a dust remove for bowl set to the side, and also in the food processor chop dates up finely, add cranberries, apricots, until it’s a sticky fruit mixture,
Scoop mixture roll into a ball them roll in banana crumbs .. All done
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Exciting New Health Recipes From Chef Chris!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

3 large Sweet Potatoes
1 tsp Coconut Oil
1/2 cup of Maple Syrup
1 cup Agave Nectar
Zest and Juice of 1 Orange
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg


1.) Preheat Oven at 350

2.)Peel and Large Dice Sweet Potatoes toss in coconut oil place in oven and roasted til soft and golden brown

3.) In small pot place maple syrup, agave, nectar, cinnamon, nutmeg, zest and juice of orange. Simmer for 5 minutes

4.) Toss warm glaze on roasted sweet potatoes and try not to lick the pot!

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Building Health Eating Behavior

By: Debraha Watson, Ph.D.

Healthy eating behavior must be introduced in early childhood and continue throughout life.  Food and nutrition choices promote optimal childhood physical and intellectual development; preventing diseases such as diabetes, obesity, eating disorders, heart disease and tooth and gum disease.  Being overweight in childhood is also associated with bullying and low self-esteem.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 20% in 2008. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period.  Overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water, or a combination of these factors.   Obesity is defined as having excess body fat. Overweight and obesity are the result of “caloric imbalance”—too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed—and are affected by various genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors.

First Lady Michelle Obama speaks frequently about kids’ health, nutrition, and fitness.  However, many adults may not know that obesity in children is an epidemic.  Many of us grew up hearing that “the chubby baby was the cute baby, or that no one wants a bone but a dog.”  I had to belong to the clean plate club and I snacked on soda and potatoes chips, rather than water and apple slices.   It wasn’t until I became a middle aged adult diagnosed with diabetes that I paid attention to healthy eating and physical activity.  I not only had to change my habits, but I had to ensure that I passed healthier eating habits on to my children.

At the Mayor’s Summit on Food Deserts, Chicago, 10/25/2011, Mrs. Obama reminded us that “We all grew up in communities with grandmothers who cooked two, three vegetables that you had to eat. There was no ifs, ands or buts about it. But that’s because many of our grandparents, had community gardens; there was the vegetable man that came around. There were many other resources that allowed them to have access. So it’s not that people don’t know or don’t want to do the right thing; they just have to have access to the foods that they know will make their families healthier.” We must ensure that we continue to provide education to our communities and increase their access to healthy, fresh, affordable food.

Let me leave you with some strategies that we can all employ to keep ourselves healthy:

  • Reduce salt ,sugar and fat intake
  • Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grain
  • Adults serve as role models by monitoring our weight and exercising with children
  • Use incentives and verbal praise to reinforce healthy eating
  • Allow children to help with food preparation and snacks.  Even allowing them to come up with their own healthy recipes.
  • Encourage children to try unfamiliar and culturally diverse foods that are low in sodium, and added sugars
  • Go “old school” and start a garden allowing children to see the beauty of nature at work.
  • Advocate for healthy food choices in school cafeterias and vending machines

A suggested but not all inclusive list of healthy foods that children can prepare and enjoy:

  • Fresh fruits
  • Raw vegetables with low fat dip
  • Cinnamon or Peanut Butter Toast
  • ·      Fruit & Cheese Kabobs
  • ·      Yogurt Parfaits
  • Ants on a Log (celery, peanut butter and raisins)
  • Low fat cookies such as fig bars, gingersnaps, animal crackers
  • Micro-wave popcorn
  • Whole grain bread with peanut butter or low fat cheese
  • Low sugar cereals
  • Snack mixes of dried fruit, raisins, nuts and seeds

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Eliminating Childhood Obesity with Healthy Eating and Physical Activity


By: Dr. John M. Flack, Chair of Department of Medicine, Wayne State University

               Preventing obesity is the best approach for protecting our youth against chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, heart failure, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, and some cancers.  The best strategies for obesity prevention are relatively straightforward – however implementing these strategies is the challenge.  Our lives and our children’s lives are structured in a way that minimizes regular physical activity while exposing us to easily available energy-dense foods.  Over the long-term, this is a very efficient way to gain unwanted weight.  Energy-dense foods include fast foods, fried foods, pastries, and desserts.  To many of us these foods taste good.  When we eat these foods our brains release chemicals that make us feel good.  Humans eat until we are full; since energy-dense foods take up little volume we eat more of them, consuming more calories in the process.  Our preference for the taste of energy-dense food is learned very early in life.  Soft drinks that are loaded with sugar are another dietary exposure that our youth acquire a taste for that is a major contributor to the epidemic of obesity in our youth.

As parents, we must pay more attention to the foods that are readily available for our children.  Fruits and vegetables are not energy-dense foods.  These foods are much healthier than energy-dense foods because they have a high fiber and water content.  Thus, when we eat them they take up space in our stomachs, and we feel full after consuming fewer calories.  Our youth also do not get enough exercise.  Many schools have eliminated gym classes.  After-school television, computer time, and video games take up much of our youth’s time – at the expense of burning calories by playing sports, riding a bike, walking/running, etc.  How does this happen?  As parents we are busy and don’t always pay close attention to what our children are eating and how active they are.  Even school sports participation now costs us at many schools, which is another barrier to youth activity.

What are the solutions?  One suggestion is for us to set a good example for our youth by engaging in regular (appropriate) physical activity ourselves.  We can also give more attention to food preparation and the types of food available for our families.  Eating out by itself does not always equate to being un-healthy. You have to be very selective when ordering, though, because most places are likely to have few healthy options.  Avoid trying to be perfect.  I try and get my patients (and family) to embrace the 80:20 rule.  That is, it’s what  you do 80% of the time that causes trouble over the long-term not what you do 20% of the time.  If fruit and fresh vegetables, for example, are what you have to snack on rather than cookies, cakes, and sugar water drinks, our children will adapt.

Any change(s) you can make toward a healthier lifestyle, no matter how small or incremental, can make a difference.  If it was easy, everyone would already be doing it.  However, there is very little worth doing that is easy!

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A Second Glance: “Celebrating A Healthier Detroit”, Fitness & Wellness Tent

             If you did not attend The McKinney Foundation’s 3rd Annual Health Expo “Celebrating a Healthier Detroit”, I strongly suggest you mark your calendar for the next one, which will be Saturday, August 10th, 2013!

                On August 11th, 2012, I was a part of a movement that touched the lives of Metro Detroiters. With a combination of “live” entertainment, healthy cooking sessions and tastings, fitness demonstrations, interactive health seminars, immunizations, children’s activities and amazing give-a-ways, participants had a blast and received plenty of resources to help jumpstart their healthy lifestyle journey. This event was by far the most engaging health event that I’ve ever experienced and I believe anyone who went would say the same!

               Have you ever participated in Yoga? This was just one of the many fitness demonstrations that took place under this year’s Fitness Tent. Fitness Professionals from all over Metro Detroit gathered on August 11th to help educate people on the importance of physical activity and the benefits of incorporating fitness into their everyday lives. The fitness demonstrations were developed to encourage people of all ages and fitness levels to participate and get active.

Below you can read about one Instructor who graciously volunteered her time under the Fitness & Wellness Tent for the 2012 “Celebrating a Healthier Detroit” Health Expo.

 Yoga with Kristina Pruccoli 

               My first experience with yoga was in high school. I took my time experimenting with the many different styles of yoga practice. Then I left the practice for a period of time to pursue a degree in the Fine Arts and in Art Education.  In 2007, I reconnected with my mat and began my yoga journey once again.  I practiced with diligence and pleasure.  I studied and practiced under Linda Kay Nathan with her compassionate guidance and subsequently achieved the RYT designation. Cultivating my craft by experiencing many different teachers as well as a long time dedicated practice to Ashtanga.  I recently returned from 3 months in India studying Ashtanga with Sharath Jois.

I am a teacher in my heart and remain committed to life-long learning.  My mission is to serve yoga practitioners as a caring guide, helping them to explore and expand freedom of expression of the body, mind and spirit. Though teaching, I have the unique opportunity to continue to develop myself in the shared quest for the fulfillment of our human potential.

My blog:

Yoga is for everyone: for people old and young, thin and obese, yoga is accessible. There are many different options that make the practice of yoga possible for everyone. At the 3rd annual “Celebrating a Healthier Detroit Expo” participants learned just that. Under a tent with the earth as our mat we did chair yoga. It offered the opportunity for everyone to experience the power of yoga regardless of his or her condition. We did simple poses using a chair to open hips, hamstrings and groin; exercises that participants can take home or to work. Sharing the benefits of yoga with Detroiters showed them how it reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and strengthens the body and mind. What a wonderful opportunity!

Be sure to check back for future blogs that will feature other Fitness Professionals from The McKinney Foundation’s 3rd Annual, “Celebrating A Healthier Detroit” Expo. To learn dates of all upcoming Healthy Seminar series visit our facebook page or website at

Whitney Harrison is a fitness and wellness professional for CompuWare.  She served on the 2012 Planning Committee for The McKinney Foundation’s 3rd Annual, “Celebrating a Healthier Detroit” Expo.

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