Healthy Recipe, Salmon Patties

There are many great reasons for always keeping a can of salmon in your pantry: It’s inexpensive, has a long shelf life, and is an excellent source of protein and good-for-the-heart omega 3s. And with a few other staples it can transform into a delicious dinner in minutes. This is a case in point. Both the patties and the sauce are infinitely adaptable to other tasty tidbits you have on hand. Serves 4-6. – Susan Puckett Sauce

  • ½ cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salmon Patties

  • 1 (14.75 ounce) can salmon
  • ½ cup seasoned dry breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more, as needed

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, mix the yogurt, capers, lemon juice, and zest. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Drain the salmon, reserving the liquid. Place the salmon in a medium bowl. Add breadcrumbs, onion, egg, and mustard; mix well to combine.
  • Shape the mixture into 8 to 12 patties and set them on a tray, adding reserved liquid from the salmon if the mixture is too dry. Line a plate with paper towels and set near the stove.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and add patties, leaving several inches of space in between. Cook until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Add a little more oil and repeat with the remaining patties.
  • Serve patties with the sauce.

Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.

20 Fun Facts & Hacks about Fitness over 50

We’re sharing a ton of short, useful tidbits about fitness over 50 – fun facts and hacks to make your life easier.The goal? To show you the overwhelming evidence: If you want to stay healthy, strong and independent, you simply must keep moving.

  1. GET OUT: Just being outdoors, especially in green spaces, quickly improves our health and happiness. — The International Journal of Environmental Health Research
  2. HEART STRONG: Weightlifting has a greater effect than running, walking or cycling on lowering the risk of heart disease, according to research in the British Telegraph.
  3. HIIT HAPPENS: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is good for everyone “and has even bigger benefits for older adults.” — The Mayo Clinic
  4. A GRAND IDEA: “I want primary care physicians to prescribe not only antidepressants but also prescribe a dose of exercise for the treatment of depression.” — Dr. Madhukar Trivedi
  5. FEEL BETTER: Exercise alleviates aches and pains, including low back pain, the second most common cause of disability in the United States.
  6. PROTECT YOURSELF: The Alzheimer’s Association says regular cardiovascular exercise can help reduce the risk of getting the disease.
  7. BURN FAT: Resistance training burns fat. Think it’s all about cardio? Wrong.
  8. YOUR BUTT: The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body.
  9. MIRACLE DRUG: Exercise is good for your bones, muscles, balance, heart, mental health and sleep.
  10. SMILE: Maintaining a positive outlook adds years of healthy life.
  11. WE’RE HOT: Fitness training for mature adults (over 50) has ranked near the top of global fitness trends the last few years.
  12. AT 100: “I do as I feel, and I like to stay active and be around people. I still want to keep moving. If I sat down, I think I’d just give up.” — Toni Stahl of Kentucky, who worked out regularly at age 100.
  13. THINK: Jimmy Hatcher of Georgia prizes the meditative aspect of exercise: “It slows you down and requires you to focus on the moment, not what you need to do later.”
  14. HAVE FUN: “Exercising makes me feel good when I’m done, and even when I’m doing it.” — Sue Heaton of Chicago
  15. SPORTS EDGE: Gym workouts give you a competitive edge in golf, tennis, running and other sports.
  16. EAT THE RAINBOW: Get five servings of fruit and vegetables a day; it helps to keep a frozen stash.
  17. STAY HYDRATED: Don’t wait till you’re thirsty to drink up.
  18. REMEMBER: You’re just one workout away from a good mood.
  19. OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES: “We don’t quit playing because we grow older; we grow older because we quit playing.”
  20. JACK LALANNE: “People don’t die of old age. They die of inactivity.”

What are some of your favorite morsels about living your best life? Let’s keep this going! We’ll share more later.


Exercise Fights Depression as Well as Therapy, Study Finds

Millions of people struggle with depression, and lots of those take medicine or talk to a therapist for treatment.But did you know physical exercise is just as effective, according to research?“Exercise is an effective treatment for depression, with walking or jogging, yoga, and strength training more effective than other exercises, particularly when intense,” the authors write in The BMJ. “These forms of exercise could be considered alongside psychotherapy and antidepressants as core treatments for depression.“Exercise may be an effective complement or alternative to drugs and psychotherapy.”Depression is a leading cause of disability around the world, the authors write. It lowers life satisfaction more than debt, divorce and diabetes, and worsens comorbidities such as heart disease, anxiety and cancer.The researchers analyzed data from 218 studies on depression and exercise involving some 14,000 people.Previous studies have come to similar conclusions: Exercise is effective against depression. Experts say it should be considered in treatment, along with therapy and anti-depressants.Don’t take your mental health for granted. If you’re having issues, talk to your doctor or counselor. Take this study as further proof of the powerful mind-body connection – and that physical exercise is always good for whatever ails you.And remember to choose exercise that you enjoy. If it’s not fun, you’re less likely to stick with it and gain the most benefits. We are here to help.

Healthy Recipe, Broiled Sea Bass 

Fresh fish doesn’t need a lot. Just a little TLC. This recipe, adapted from Eric Ripert’s “Seafood Simple,” calls for running the fillets under an oven broiler set on low (400 degrees), which also keeps it from falling apart upon flipping. The fish is seasoned only with salt and pepper, and then dressed with a vinaigrette in which lemon halves are charred before squeezing, giving it a deep, slightly smoky dimension. Serves 4. Ingredients

  • 1 pound small Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and halved
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon minced chives, plus more for garnish
  • Canola or other neutral oil for the skillet and for brushing
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for sauteing
  • 1 bunch broccolini, thick stems removed, or broccoli or asparagus
  • Big pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 4 sea bass fillets
  • Pepper

Instructions

  • Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water by an inch. Add a couple of teaspoons of sea salt, bring to a boil, and cook 8 to 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife. Drain, stir in chives, cover and keep warm.
  • Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Brush the skillet with a little neutral oil and place the lemon halves cut side down on the hot skillet. Cook until charred, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Squeeze the lemon juice into a small bowl, then strain out the seeds into another small bowl. Stir in the vinegar and a pinch of sea salt, to taste. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk until emulsified; set aside.
  • Place broccolini in a large skillet, cover with about 2 inches of water, bring to a boil, and cook until bright green, 1 or 2 minutes. Drain. In the same skillet over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil, or enough to cover the bottom. Add the blanched broccolini to the pan and cook until crisp-tender and tips of florets are slightly charred, for 2 or 3 minutes. Season with red pepper flakes and salt and set aside.
  • Set an oven rack 4 inches under the heat source and preheat the broiler to low. Set the fish fillets on a plate and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Place on a sheet pan (lined with foil for easy clean-up), and brush fillets lightly with neutral oil. Place under the broiler and broil for 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Check for doneness by inserting a metal skewer in the thickest part of the fish for 5 seconds; it should be warm to the touch on your wrist when done.
  • Transfer the fish to a platter or individual plates, surround with potatoes and broccolini, and pour enough vinaigrette over all to cover (leftover dressing will keep covered in the refrigerator for at least a week). Serve immediately.

Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.

Meet our Inspirations of the Week: Scott & Gloria

To celebrate the month of love we have one of our many couples here at FCF…

Scott & Gloria and their unique story…

Today if you were to pass them on the street you would notice a fit, healthy couple and when you find out they regularly exercise even think, ‘well of course they “look” like fitness people’. However, their story shares a different tale of why they regularly train with us at FCF.

We absolutely love both of their positive attitudes, even when it’s a tough day. They come in, do the best they can that day, and leave feeling 10x better than when they walked in. Where many people who see obstacles, they see a reason to a maintain a healthy training program, so that they not only benefit today, but their future self in 20 or 30 years. These rockstars have maintained dedicated to their fitness program, have great work ethic, have persevered through various health challenges, and hit so many personal milestones, which makes them our inspirations of the week!

Here’s their why…

Almost 7 years ago, Scott woke up one morning with excruciating pain in his neck. This eventually led to a major neck surgery, some nice hardware and a change in Scott’s lifestyle. Post surgery the things he loved, like surfing, was off the table due to the uncertainty of permanently damaging his neck. His exercise routine of boxing in the garage and road biking all became a challenge or not an option. Life took a turn and now he had to figure out how to regain his strength and find new safe activities to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Two months post-surgery, his friend and former law partner told him about Full Circle Fitness and since physical therapy hadn’t helped manage his pain he reached out for help from Rosa. After meeting Rosa and putting together a plan that started with some mobility work and pilates, he was sold and became a dedicated member. Gloria says, “Rosa’s knowledge, good nature, and empathy for his situation helped him immeasurably.”

Over the last 6 years at Full Circle Fitness Scott’s training program progressed from mobility and pilates, to strength training, and now he participates in small group training sessions and some yoga to help manage his pain and alignment. He can’t say he loves it all the time, but the routine provides relief and that’s what’s most important.

He will tell you, “There are days I wake up with incredible pain, but after a session with Rosa, I am able to sit at a desk and work, as well as to be able to manage some outdoor activities that I enjoy. What a miracle and a blessing. I have been working with Rosa twice a week for almost 6 years.”

After 2 years of training, he was even confident enough to try surfing again when the conditions are right, has returned to road biking and even participated in a few 50 mile and 100 km races. That’s the truly important stuff here. His passions that he thought were gone after surgery, are back! To say I am proud as his coach is an understatement.

Although there are still some days where there is more pain, after a training session he always leaves feeling better and is able to take on the day!

As for Gloria, well….Her reason for starting a training program was completely different, but equally important.

Here’s her story…

” I absolutely abhor exercise.”

Scott said, ‘no come in and meet the folks at FCF. They’re great. I think you’ll like it.’

She’d heard that before from Scott; some trickery to try to get her to exercise!

“Skeptical, but I had a goal and needed help. You see my son was getting married the coming September and I was not in shape – let’s just say my underarm kept waving hello after I had stopped. TMI?
I went and met Rickye. She’s tough, but wow she’s wonderful and I was sold. The genuine care and support everyone at FCF has for you to succeed, to meet your goals, whatever they may be is inspiring. My goal was to build strength while increasing my core power and reducing my overall body fat. By the date of the wedding, I felt I met all of those goals. My weight stayed pretty much the same but it sure moved around.
My favorite part of FCF is the FCF community. The coaches, the folks who show up every day who create that great vibe of support for each other. This is also what keeps me coming. The members encourage and support each other. We learn about each other’s lives and we are a community.
Since starting at FCF I feel better about myself. Maybe because I’m physically more fit and I look way better in my clothes, in and out. But this is a double-edged sword because none of my pants fit so oh no, I had to buy new clothes!! Also, my shoes fit better?? My confidence has boosted. At 58 I’m in better shape than I was at 28. But most importantly I don’t feel old. I can pick up a 5 gallon jug of water without struggling. I find personal satisfaction when I can move up in weight for any exercise because it means I’m getting stronger! Sure, I still can’t do Arnold presses or halo but I’m still working on it with Coach Mercedes’ never ending energetic encouragement.
For me FCF has been all about helping me get to a better physically place to allow me to get to a better mental place.
Thanks to all the coaches at FCF. Couldn’t have done this without you 🫰🏻”

You see… everyone has a journey and although they start at different times, for different reasons, and has different goals, the most important part is that they started and encourage each other.

They didn’t give up or stop when severe pain, migraines, surgeries, business travel or a variety of other stressors came up in life. They took a day, or two or even a week off then came back with a vengeance, they know their deeper why and Scott and Gloria had each other to keep each other accountable.

They had a mutual goal this past year as well…their son’s wedding!

They doubled down, cleaned up their nutrition a bit and attended their son’s wedding feeling confident, with enough energy, and enjoyed the special moment. That’s what matters!

If you’re ready to find out how to create a realistic and maintable fitness program, we would love to help. Just text or call us at 657-231-6207.

Talk soon,

Coach Rosa

‘Skip-Gen’ Trips and Other Travel Trends for 2024

Travel and grandchildren rank as top motivators for people over 50 to get in shape or stay in shape. Both those are combined now in one of the top 2024 travel trends for mature adults: the “skip-gen” trip, as in “skip a generation.” It’s when grandparents take grandchildren on a vacation without the parent in the middle. “I work hard to stay in good shape so I can enjoy my sports, my retirement – and my grandchildren,” says Sammye, who took her first grandchild, Mia, to Paris to celebrate graduation from high school. It’s something she’ll do for each grandchild, a special experience they can share alone together. “We covered a lot of ground on foot. We climbed a lot of stairs. And we had a blast,” says Sammye, who is in her 60s and enjoys gym workouts and competing in triathlons. “The next granddaughter wants to go to Rome. I’m ready!” Traveling of any kind requires strength, endurance and agility. And spending time with a teenager alone? Oh, yes. We’ll make sure you’re ready to make the most of your travel this year. Here are some other top trends for mature travelers. “Bleisure” TravelThis is a combination of “business” and “leisure” travel. If you’re still working and you want to mix and match, why not? It can be a great way to take advantage of an opportunity to spend time in a new or interesting location. Rest and RelaxationTravel industry experts say more people are looking to just go somewhere and chill – including focusing on getting plenty of good sleep, spa treatments, and exercise. Sounds like heaven to us! National ParksThe United States is blessed with a series of national parks worth exploring. Check out the promotions at the National Park Service website. From Alaska’s Denali to Florida’s Everglades, you won’t believe the richness that awaits. Bucket ListsThese are always popular with people later in life: Places to go and things to do before you kick the … well, you know. What’s on your list? What’s holding you back? If it’s your physical fitness level, don’t let that stop you! We’re here to get you wherever you want to go. AdventureWe know a man in his 50s who’s determined to ride his motorcycle on every continent. Could this finally be his year for Antarctica? Do you want to go white-water rafting? Heli-skiing? The possibilities are wild – and endless. Small GroupsGather friends or talk to a travel agency about joining small groups for travel. Just make sure you’re not the one stuck behind in your hotel room because you’re not able to make the most of the opportunities! The world remains your oyster for as long as you keep yourself motivated to enjoy it. We are here to help your travel dreams come true, whether they’re with grandkids in Europe, hiking at national parks, or checking off those “bucket list” items. Come see us today.

Exercise Can Help Fight Signs of Dementia, Study Says

You already know that exercise is good for your body. You might also know that it helps your brain, as well. But now, new research in the journal JAMA Neurology shows that living a healthy lifestyle protects the brain from cognitive decline even if it already shows signs of Alzheimer’s hallmarks or other brain pathologies that can occur long before dementia. Scientists said the study is “an important step” in understanding how people can change their lifestyle habits to lower their chances of getting Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. In the research, they examined the brains of 586 people during autopsies, along with 24 years of data that was collected on how those people lived.  “This study found that in older adults, a healthy lifestyle may provide a cognitive reserve to maintain cognitive abilities independently of common neuropathologies of dementia,” the scientists wrote. The authors report that five lifestyle factors (diet, physical activity, cognitive engagement, smoking, and alcohol consumption) “may operate through both prevention and resilience in that cognitive benefits were observed even for those who had neurodegenerative pathologies,” according to an editorial accompanying the research. More than 88% of a person’s cognitive abilities were directly associated with lifestyle, the researchers found. Developing dementia is one of the most common fears about growing older. The researchers note than 40% of worldwide dementia could be prevented through lifestyles changes. Are you doing everything you can to protect yourself?

Healthy Recipe, Sweet Pea Pesto Crostinis

Healthy Recipe, Broiled Gochujang-Glazed Salmon

Gochujang is a Korean fermented pepper paste with a spicy-sweet, pungent flavor that can take the bland out of practically anything. Here it’s the key ingredient in a simple glaze that’s brushed on omega-rich salmon fillets. Pair it with your favorite green vegetable or any grain for a simple but elegant meal. Leftovers are great flaked into a rice bowl with veggies. Adapted from skinnytaste.com. Serves 4. – Susan Puckett Ingredients

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang
  • 2 teaspoons mirin
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 4 (4- to 6-ounce) salmon fillets
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 or 2 thinly sliced scallions
  • Black or white toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions

  1. Position a rack 4 to 5 inches from the heat source and preheat the broiler to high.
  2. Line a sheet pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking oil spray. Set aside.
  3. Make the glaze: In a small bowl, stir together the gochujang, mirin, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger until blended.
  4. Place the salmon on the prepared pan (skin-side down if skin on) and sprinkle lightly with salt. Run under the broiler for 2 minutes.
  5. Brush the salmon with the glaze and broil 3 to 5 minutes longer, depending on thickness, just when the flesh begins to flake when pressed with a fork.
  6. Transfer to a platter or serving plate and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds, if desired.

Take Steps Toward Better Heart Health

Bernadette Harris knew she needed to make some changes in her lifestyle. “I was working 15, 16 hours a day. I wasn’t eating right. I wasn’t exercising,” she recalls now. Her high blood pressure scared her. “I don’t want to be the grandma on a walker,” Bernadette says. “If I didn’t make some changes, I was not going to be here for my daughter.” She started making changes advocated by the CDC Foundation for American Heart Month in February.  Exercise is among the most important steps we can take for heart health to prevent heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and more. “Physical activity is key to a healthy heart,” the CDC campaign says. “Even small steps toward being more active can add up to big health benefits over time.” The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, broken up any way you want, and two weekly sessions of strength training. Other steps the CDC and heart advocates support include:

  • Managing risk factors like blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Working with healthcare providers
  • Eating right
  • Reducing stress
  • Quitting cigarettes

“Making these changes was about really enjoying life more, really living, not working all the time … recognizing the things and the people who matter most,” Bernadette says now. Talk to your doctor about your heart health. And, if you’re not already working out with us, let’s get you started today for a stronger tomorrow. Call us today to get started!

Healthy Recipe, Charred Broccoli

“Scrumptious” isn’t a word you often hear to describe broccoli, but it applies to this recipe, lightly adapted from Michal Korkosz’s “Polish’d: Modern Vegetarian Cooking from Global Poland.” Charring the florets lends a smoky flavor enhanced by a drizzle of tangy soy-based dressing that gives a boost of umami, or “fifth flavor.” A dollop of lemony mayo provides a richness and creamy contrast. Poppy seeds add a flavor and crunch. Serves 4. — Susan Puckett

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar (or other sweetener, to taste)
  • 1/3 cup regular or vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Fine sea salt, to taste
  • 1 pound broccoli (1 large or 2 medium heads)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Make the fifth flavor sauce: In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and 3 tablespoons of water.
  • Make the lemony mayo: In another small bowl, mix mayo and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt.
  • Prepare the broccoli: Cut off the stem, separate the florets, and cut each floret in half lengthwise.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat, add the broccoli florets cut-side down and char them until dark spots appear, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully pour ½ cup water into the skillet and cook until the water evaporates, and the broccoli is cooked through but still retains some crunch.
  • Place the broccoli on serving plates and drizzle with the fifth flavor sauce. Add a dollop of the lemony mayo alongside. Sprinkle with the poppy seeds and season with pepper before serving.