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Winy's Kitchen

Couscous Salad

Servings: 4
2 cups dried couscous
3 cups water
6 tablespoons olive oil
Lime juice from 3 limes
½ cup onion, finely chopped
½ cup of parsley, finely chopped
4 tablespoons of mint, finely chopped
Optional 4 tbsp of basil, finely chopped
2 tomato, diced
2 Persian cucumbers, diced
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix 3 cups of boiling water with 2 cups of dry couscous. ( ratio is 1.5 : 1). Add olive for moisture. Stir well. Cover and let it sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.  
  2. Add lime juice, onion, parsley, mint, tomatoes, and cucumber. Stir well. You may choose to increase or decrease these ingredients depending on preference.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Toast lightly and refrigerator for 15-20 min to let all the flavor blend together.  
  3. Fluff with a fork and serve.  

Note: You can substitute bulgur for couscous if you want a crunchy, grainy texture.

Southwestern Lentil Salad

Servings: 4

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
½ lb red lentil, cooked ( about 2 cups)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 cup chopped red onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro or parsley
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 
1 clove garlic, minced 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon pepper  


  1. Cook red lentils in boiling water for about 3-5 minutes until just done and not falling apart. Rinse over cold water and set-aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In a jar with tight-fitting lid, combine the remaining ingredients and shake well. Pour over vegetables and toss. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Note: Do not overcook the lentils. 

Asian Kale Salad

Servings: 4

3 cups raw kale (about 8 oz.), chopped and stemmed
¼ cup shredded carrots (optional for color)
½ cup shredded purple cabbage  (optional for color)
1/3 cup almond slivers (optional for texture)
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
¼ cup apple juice ( or 1 ½ teaspoon sugar)
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients. 
  2. To make the dressing, combine oil, vinegar, sesame oil, & apple juice.  Shake them well. Pour over it over the vegetables and toss well.  Season with salt and pepper. 



Winy’s Tips

New Years Resolution
Each year, many Americans make a New Years resolution to lose weight. While this is a popular goal, the reality is less than 50 percent actually stick to their goal after three months. Quick fixes like fad diets, diet meals, or even bariatric surgery rarely work long term. It is about shaking up these unwanted habits and make permanent lifestyle changes.

To help you focus on healthy behavioral resolutions for 2012, here are some suggestions for you. 

1) Follow a plant-based diet. Instead of looking for low calorie or low fat products, focus on eating more fresh fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes.

2) Stop grazing or unnecessary snacking. Many people tend to eat because it is there. Mindless snacking can rack up as much as 600 calories a day. Next time you are tempted by a treat, ask yourself if you are truly hungry.  

3) Stay in the present. Being more mindful allows people to live a more purposeful and balanced life. Studies have shown that mindfulness results in an improvement in mood and a reduction in stress. You can practice mindfulness with exercises like yoga, meditation, tai-chi, pilates, or even breathing! You can practice to be a mindful eater by paying attention to how you choose, prepare and eat your food.    

4) Bike or walk to work once a week. While biking or walking to work is greener and cheaper than driving, it can also have serious health benefits. If you are already committed to exercise, why not combine commuting on a bike or walking.

5) Prioritize sleep! Americans are increasingly sleep deprived and pushed to do more with less. One survey found that nearly 30 percent of adults sleep six or fewer hours a day, yet the target number is between seven to nine hours a day.  A good nigh sleep not only benefits the way you feel, it also promotes better eating habits.

Trainer’s Corner

I often fill this section with juicy workout tips and new exercises, but this month I wanted to get down to a few of the bare facts. Data from national statistics databases show some startling facts. Here are just a few facts that really help put the whole subject of fitness and nutrition in perspective.

  1. 63.1% of adults in the U.S. were either overweight or obese in 2009. Up from 62.2% in 2008.
  2. Only three in ten (30%) adults report getting the recommended amount of daily activity.
  3. Most pre-diabetics will develop Type II Diabetes within 10 years unless they lose 5-7% bodyweight through healthy nutrition and regular physical activity.
  4. Heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the US; cancer is the next biggest killer.

Why am I telling you all this? Because it’s pretty simple really: most of the conditions mentioned above can be prevented, or improved, through healthy nutrition and regular physical activity.

My last fact?

5. Adults of all ages need 30 minutes of activity on 5-6 days per week for health optimization. Those seeking to lose weight or maintain weight-loss need closer to 60 minutes.

So, for the sake of your own good health and quality of life, use the CHF to help you build the healthy, happy lifestyle you deserve. Whether it’s Personal Training, Group Exercise classes, or simply looking forward to seeing friends while you exercise; find that SOMETHING that keeps you coming in, and just do it.

$2,000 in Prizes for All You Do!

CHF is a unique community fitness center and we’re proud that members like you invite others, purchase classes and benefit from personal training. Now you can be rewarded for everything you do!

From January 11 to February 29, each time you do one of the items below you’ll be entered for a chance to win one of 20 prizes—valued at more than $2,000. It’s our way of thanking you for being so good to CHF.

Earn ticket entries to increase your chances of winning!

1 Entry Each Time You:

  • Refer someone who takes a tour of CHF*
  • Bring a guest to a yoga or Pilates class**

5 Entries Each Time You:

  • Purchase a 12-pack of classes
  • Register for a 12-week session

10 Entries Each Time You:

  • Purchase a 12-pack of personal training or private Pilates
  • Refer someone who becomes a member of CHF


  • 32” flat-screen TV
  • Tablet
  • iPod Touch
  • iPod Shuffle
  • Kindle Reader
  • $100 Lululemon gift card
  • $100 Visa gift card
  • 12-week sessions
  • Hermosa Cyclery beach cruiser
  • Six months of Unlimited Membership
  • Six months of Basic Membership
  • CHF gift cards
  • CHF t-shirts

* First-time members only, at least 12-months since any CHF membership.

** New guests only, at least six months since last class.

Classes and 12-Week Registration

Yoga and Pilates participants now have the ability to register for classes in 12-week sessions. Twelve-week registration offers the best value and guarantees participants a place in every class.

It’s not too late to register for the 12-week session that began Jan. 2, and you’ll receive a prorated rate for the days you’ve missed. See the front desk for details.

Have an existing pack?

You can apply the remaining value of your packs toward a 12-week session. Please register in person at the front desk.

Prefer to drop-in or purchase packs?

Nothing has changed. Drop-in passes and packs will still be available to purchase at the same low rates. But for the best value, consider registering for a 12-week session.

Member Highlight: KC Fitzpatrick

After visiting a family member in the hospital, KC Fitzpatrick began evaluating her own health and decided it was time to lead a better life. That was five years ago, just before KC joined CHF to start losing weight and work on joint limitations that affected her mobility.
Now, more than five years later, KC is still committed to eating better and working out four times a week using the treadmill, weight machines and stair stepper. And her results speak for themselves.  KC has lost more than 70 pounds total, and her mobility and flexibility continue to improve.
“I can do so much more than when I started,” said KC. “I find myself wanting to go more places  because I’m able to walk with ease, and I wouldn’t be able to do that before. I’ve been so successful because everyone at CHF is so helpful and nice, I love them, it’s such a happy place.”
KC has made her health and well-being a priority, and staying diligent is one of the keys to her success.
According to personal trainer Rachel Ragona, “KC is a ray of sunshine here at the CHF. We see her here working hard each morning and taking the time to spread cheer to members and employees alike. It’s been amazing to see how much KC has achieved, with hard work and dedication, but also to see the joy with which she goes about her wellness journey.”

Class Survey Winners

Thank you to parents who participated in our Class Survey. Your feedback about our classes will help us offer the best options for you.
Congratulations to the $20 Center for Health & Fitness gift card winners!
Katherine P.
Jay H.
Marlise W.
Kadice O.

Winy’s Tips

Thoughtful Holiday Gifts

With the holiday season here, many of us are scrambling to find the perfect gift for loved ones.  We often get caught up in searching for something tangible, but rather than purchasing something they can wear, hold, or play with, consider alternatives that would benefit their total wellbeing. 

Gifts could be an experience you purchase or a service you provide. Refinancing the house is a great example of a service that one can provide to improve the financial wellbeing of the whole family.  Offering to clean out the garage is also another great way that helps promote a healthier home environment and spousal relationship. A well thought out letter along with a photo album may take some time but is only a small cost to you and is greatly appreciated. The ideas are limitless, but here are some of my suggestions: 

  • Gift certificates to a fitness center like the Center for Health and Fitness (massage, personal training, WellBeing program, yoga, etc.)
  • Gift certificate to a health spa (Facial, Mud Bath, Soak/Scrub)
  • A wellness basket that may contain fresh fruits, body lotion, a relaxing CD and/or a book
  • A vacation like a short trip or an extended stay
  • A family outing trip, such as camping, whale watching, botanical gardens or aquariums.
  • Donating to an organization/charity in your loved one’s name (such as the Adopt a Senior program through the Beach Cities Health District.)

When putting the “perfect gift” together, think about the person you are giving to and what brings them the most joy and happiness. You’ll find the “perfect gift” idea will come to you.

Trainer’s Corner

Be social. People who have regular interaction with others live longer, healthier lives; and those who exercise with others are more likely to stick with the program than those going solo. So make a workout date with a friend or go to group exercise classes to stay fit and meet more people.

Be More Flexible. Focus on stretching tight, problem areas. This sounds obvious, but many people do just the opposite because it’s easier to stretch muscles that are already flexible. Typical problem areas are: hamstrings/lower back; neck/shoulders; and hips.

Stay Healthy. If you’re pushed for time to exercise, at least do 3, 20-minute aerobic or strength sessions per week. Research has shown that those maintaining this relatively minimal amount of activity have fewer sick days or illnesses per year than those not exercising at all.

Prevent Back Pain. For each set of abdominal exercises you do, perform a set of lower-back strengthening exercises. Focusing only on abs may result in a strength imbalance, which may lead to postural problems and lower-back pain.

Spot-Reduction is a Myth!!! No amount of crunches and triceps presses will get rid of belly fat or batwings without a sensible mix of challenging strength training, regular cardiovascular exercise, and a healthy diet.