What IS Healthy About Thanksgiving?

Quite simply, the majority of the food we see on Thanksgiving starts out healthy. By “starts out”, I mean when the food was in its whole form. For example, mashed potatoes. Potatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals, however when we start to add butter, cream, heaps of salt, that potato dish is no longer considered healthful. Another example could be, pumpkin pie. What is Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? Pumpkin in and of itself is highly nutritious, but again, when we add dairy, butter, refined sugar and flour, that nutrient dense pumpkin is no longer.

I imagine this is starting to get really depressing. Who wants to give up their delicious Thanksgiving traditions? I know that I don’t! I want to offer suggestions on how you can still make yummy dishes with just a few minor ingredient changes.

Ingredient swap:

Refined flours –> almond flour, coconut flour, brown rice flour, chickpea flour (garbanzo bean),

Refined sugar –> coconut sugar, date sugar, agave syrup, maple syrup

Oil –> look for: unrefined/virgin/cold pressed (quality oil)

Dairy –> almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, etc.

Egg –> ground chia seed, ground flax seed *combine 1 tbsp. seed, 3 tbsp. water

Butter –> coconut oil *1:3/4 ratio, pureed avocado *1:1 ratio

There seems to be a pattern here… do you see it? Plants! I highly encourage ingredient swaps. It’s a great opportunity for you to incorporate more nutritious plants into your meals. Below, are links to a few of my go-to holiday recipes. I recommend giving them a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Happy Holidays!

Gluten-Free and Vegan Mushroom Gravy

*you can substitute the recommended arrowroot powder for cornstarch and the raw cashews for a plant-based milk

Author: Maggie Vogelsang, Copyright 2017, Sullivan Personal Training LLC

Genetic Aging vs. Organic Aging

Genetic Aging vs. Organic Aging

This topic has become quite popular with the debate being between genes and lifestyle. Although these two possess their own argument, there are aspects of equal significance to both genetic makeup and lifestyle choices. I want to begin by stating that biology is not destiny. Of course, you cannot change your genes, however, you can slow down aging with proper nutrition and exercise. Cardiologist, Donald Lloyd-Jones states, “…healthy lifestyle trumps inherited risk.” Some scientist believe that only 25% of the variation in human longevity is due to genetic factors. That leaves a lot of responsibility for you to make heathy lifestyle choices. Here are some topics to think about that you can control when it comes to aging.


Hormones play a lead role in aging. Hormones are considered part of the endocrine system which is made up of glands, located throughout the body, that produce a multitude of hormones to regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, sleep, mood, etc. Hormone production decreases with age, resulting in a decline in the body’s ability to repair and function in top form.

A healthy lifestyle has a major impact on your endocrine system. Stress, environment, and disease all wreak havoc. Eating a well-balanced diet is considered essential for maintaining precise hormonal balance. Keep in mind that whatever you are eating is either promoting hormonal production, or causing unpredictable imbalances.

Here is a variety of foods that promote balanced hormones:

raw nuts and seeds, beans, lentils, avocados, veggies (colorful/dark green), starchy veggies, seasonal fruit, healing spices and herbs (turmeric, cinnamon, maca, ginger, garlic, rosemary). Don’t forget, clean water is important!

Free radicals are produced as part of the millions of chemical reactions your body performs to sustain life. Free radicals are also produced by your body in response to environmental toxins. Environmental toxins can come from cigarette use (1st and 2nd hand), alcohol consumption, pesticides, processed meats, heavy metals, and the list goes on. Free radicals sacrifice healthy cells to make themselves more stable. Overtime cells accumulate free radical damage resulting in destroyed/altered DNA.

When cells are continuously exposed to free radicals, the body’s defense system declines, allowing cell damage to persist. This process accelerates aging. We can remember the “Use It

and Lose It” theory-when our organs are consistently overused, deterioration and destruction are the result. Eating a diet high in antioxidants will assist in warding off free radicals and also help battle the damage that has been done.

Aging will always be unavoidable. It is a continuous process that affects all the systems and tissues. Premature aging is mostly caused by lifestyle, dietary habits, mental health, environmental factors in addition to genetic factors. Remember, you choose your lifestyle. That opportunity allows you a lot of power over the quality of your aging.

Author: Maggie Vogelsang, Copyright 2017, Sullivan Personal Training LLC

What is Personal Fitness Training?

Personal and Small Group Training

  • Specialized/Unique member experience
  • More fun and effective workouts
  • Private or semi-private atmosphere
    1. Reduces member intimidation/anxiety
    2. Surrounded by like minded members with similar or relatable goals
      • Weight Loss/Gain
      • Fitness Programming
      • Nutrition Counseling
  • Certified Trainers/Instructors: Fitness Experts
    1. Appropriate exercise prescription
    2. Know that you are using proper body mechanics
    3. Proper safety is implemented and reinforced at all times
    4. Healthy habit counseling to collaborate with training programs
    5. Professional supervision and advice along the fitness journey
    6. Client/trainer relationship is important for client results
      • Open communication
      • Accountability
      • Motivation
      • Exercise guidance

Safety Tips for Cold Weather Training

At Sullivan Personal Training, we take pride in training clients in all climate conditions and as Park Hills Trainers continue with their own strength and conditioning regimens in all weather types. From scorching heat to bitter cold, you can find them running at the track or engaging in outdoor circuit training sessions. While it is possible to continue training in all types of weather conditions, there are some things you should take into account when training in the cold weather. Five such insights are presented below from Farmington Personal Trainers.

Drink Water

When training in the cold, you may have the perception that you do not need to drink as much water because you are not sweating as much. While you may not be drenched in sweat like during the summer months, it is still critically important to stay hydrated during your training as your body is still losing fluids. Drink water continually to fuel optimal training.

Wear Layers

If you are training outdoors during cold weather, it is important to wear layers. When you initially commence training you may be very cold, but after a thorough warm-up, you may start to overheat when excessively bundled up. Layers provide flexibility and allow you the opportunity to adapt your comfort level to the training environment.

Consider Sweat Wicking Fabrics

In addition to wearing layers, consider purchasing some type of sweat wicking fabric to wear as your base layer. Sweat wicking fabric can keep you dry while you are training. Being wet and cold during a training session is never a good experience.

Wear Sunscreen

While it may be counterintuitive, if you are training outdoors, you should still wear sunscreen during the winter months. Even if the temperatures are not high, the sun can still damage your skin and exact a physiological toll that can negatively influence your training. If there is snow on the ground, this risk is amplified as additional sunrays reflect off the ground.

Avoid Ice at All Costs

Many people have preferred routes with regards to running outdoors. It may be tempting to persist in running along these routes no matter the conditions, but cold weather brings slick conditions. One fall and you may be out of commission for weeks. Consider shifting your running inside or to another route that you are absolutely sure is free of snow and ice.

Top 5 Reasons a Nutrition Counselor Can Help You

The common goal of Park Hills Nutrition Counselors is to create enjoyable yet structured personalized action plans in order to assist individuals with achieving their wellness short and long-term goals. By utilizing a formulaic approach, the body will receive the necessary nutrients to restore balance and vitality. Here are the top five benefits to participating in active nutrition counseling.

Improve Current Health Conditions
Many clients decide to partner with a nutrition counselor or registered dietitian after a thoroughly discussion with their primary doctor. In many cases, physicians urge their patients to pursue nutritional support if they are diagnosed with conditions such as: diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatism, menopause, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, hormonal imbalances, eczema, cardiovascular disease, acne, obesity, and yeast infections. Studies have shown that trans fat, high fructose corn syrup, sodium, artificial sweeteners, and chemicals are directly linked to major illnesses. Therefore, learning the correlation between food choices and health is vital to mitigating disease symptoms and improving overall well-being.

Maintain a Nutritious Diet
Nutrition Counseling in Farmington MO encourages their program participants to regularly consume foods that are rich in nourishing components such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, eggs, fish, yogurt, beans, nuts, raisins, and chicken. These edible selections contain many vital minerals, nutrients, and anti-oxidants that contribute to a low-fat diet, and ultimately helps manage weight.

Encourage an Active Lifestyle
Because eating and exercising are synergistically related, great nutrition counseling often facilitates an active lifestyle. According to much research, the consistent consumption of healthy foods contributes to increased energy levels and sustained positive moods; therefore, individuals who are committed to following a healthy diet will most likely maintain an active lifestyle as well.

Receive Vitamin Supplement Guidance
In addition to recommending fitness programs and exercise routines, most nutrition counselors encourage their clients to ingest nutritional supplements. By participating in customized nutrition counseling, individuals may glean knowledge from their health expert concerning the industry’s most potent vitamins and minerals.

Improve Overall Wellbeing
After many nutritional counseling sessions, clients will improve their confidence and self-worth as the structured program will positively impact every area of a person’s life. Many active participants also report renewed vigor as well as enhanced physical appearances. Some patients will even experience increased concentration and prolong memory.

Moreover, with the partnership of highly qualified physicians, successful nutritional counseling seeks to combat the underlying cause of chronic diseases, mental disorders, and other medical conditions.

Save Calories at Thanksgiving Dinner with This Stuffing Makeover

The average person eats 4,500 calories during Thanksgiving dinner. With leftovers, extra slices of pie and sitting on the couch while watching football, it’s easy to gain serious weight during the holiday season. Save your waistline this Thanksgiving without feeling deprived with healthier versions of the food you love.

Traditional stuffing is made with torn bread that is drenched in butter, herbs, spices and chopped vegetables. High in carbohydrates, calories and fat, stuffing is a side dish that can wreak havoc on a healthy lifestyle. Put your stuffing on a diet with this healthier version. Quinoa replaces the traditional bread, making it lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein. The butternut squash in the dish gives it a healthy dose of vitamin A and fiber, helping to keep you full. Finally, the cranberries and pistachios give it a sweet and salty taste that will make it a new family favorite.

Quinoa Pistachio Stuffing

Serves: 4-6 people
Preparation and Cooking Total: 45 minutes


1 white or yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and cubed
3 garlic cloves with peel still intact
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 cup of dried cranberries
1/2 cup pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil and brush lightly with olive oil.

In a large bowl, toss the onion, butternut squash and garlic together. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables until all are completely coated. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading evenly. Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over the vegetables. Bake for 30 minutes or until the squash is softened and starting to brown on the edges. Remove it from the oven and set aside. Once the pan has cooled, remove the garlic cloves and discard.

In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the quinoa, water and orange zest. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the quinoa for 20 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed. Fluff lightly with a fork and set aside until it has cooled to room temperature.

Once it has cooled, combine the squash mixture, quinoa, cranberries and pistachios in a large bowl. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve the stuffing immediately.

At Farmington Nutrition Counseling, we understand the temptations that come along with Thanksgiving. We are dedicated to helping our clients stay on track with their healthy lifestyles, without sacrificing the traditional foods of Thanksgiving.

5 Reasons to Have a Personal Trainer


Millions of people struggle with their body size and weight and overall fitness goals. However, these same people do not know what to do in order to change how they look and feel. A personal trainer can be a great resource for anyone looking to get back into shape. Here are 5 reasons to have a personal trainer.


Personal trainers should be able to provide motivation to you on your fitness journey. Changing your lifestyle can be difficult, and it is important that you have a lot of motivation while you are working towards a goal. Always remember to keep the long term in mind when going through a workout program.


A Farmington personal trainer, like the trainers at Sullivan Training,  will be able to provide expertise to your needs in the world of health. There are many people that do not have a background in health or fitness, and a personal trainer can be a wonderful opportunity to learn different aspects of this field. There are many things that the average person does not know about health and wellness, and anyone that is looking to increase their knowledge should get a personal trainer.

Diet Guidance

A diet plan is one of the most essential aspects of changing your fitness. There are many ways that a person can eat in a more healthy way. A personal trainer should be able to design a diet plan to fit your needs and workout goals. This is one of the most important aspects of increasing your overall levels of fitness.

Workout Designs

Different people should have different workout plans depending on their fitness level, age and goals. However, many people just want to do the typical exercises that they have heard about for years. Always look to a personal trainer for different workout designs for your needs. Over the long term, just minor tweaks in the workout design can go a long way in helping you reach your goals.

Supplement Advice

Finally, one of the most important pieces of getting in shape is supplementing with vitamins or protein. Depending on your workout goals, you may use a lot of supplements or very little. No matter what your goals are, it can be very beneficial to have a personal trainer walking you through all of the different types of supplements and how they may or may not help you reach your goals.

Fitness Fun in the Fall

Fall is an ideal time for engaging in a variety of outdoor fitness activities. Cooler temperatures mean added comfort and fewer physical demands in terms of hydration. The changing colors of the landscape during the season serve as a beautiful backdrop. Being outdoors during this time of year provides the chance to enjoy the wonders of nature. A personal trainer Fredericktown suggests that if simply walking or jogging seem mundane, there are various other options to stay active.

Visit a State Park

In southeastern Missouri, residents have the chance to venture out of the confines of Park Hills Fitness to one of the many local state parks. Conveniently located at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains provides the chance to enjoy a number of different outdoor recreations. Bring or rent a bike and explore the many trails while taking in the scenic views. Trails differ in difficulty and range from offering leisurely rides to more thrilling mountain biking adventures. Rent a kayak and experience the landscape from the river’s point of view while getting an upper body workout. If desiring more of a physical challenge, hike a mountain trail and scale one of the many peaks for total body fitness.

Learn Disc Golf

If traditional golf leaves something to be desired, consider a more interesting variation. Developed during the 1970s, the sport is similar to regular golf but requires throwing a disc from one basket location to the next in lieu of hitting a golf ball with a club. Engler Park in Farmington has an 18-hole disc golf course divided into a front nine and a longer, more difficult back nine. The layout is reminiscent of traditional courses that include water features and amazing landscape. Game participants get exercise by strolling around the course and work upper body muscles by hurling discs at the intended target. The course is free of charge and a sport that can be enjoyed by guests of all ages.

Outdoor Boot Camp

Led by a fitness coach, boot camps feature a variety of activities designed to sculpt and slim the body while providing a cardiovascular workout. Activities might range from performing a selection of warm-up exercises to running along hill trails, climbing trees or navigating natural or man-made obstacle courses. Sessions typically involve a group of like-minded people desiring to get or stay in shape while enjoying the great outdoors.

Glow Groups

Walking or running at night provides the chance to enjoy the tranquil side of nature. Participants typically wear reflective clothing, which includes carrying or attaching glow sticks for safety. The sticks and clothing ensure that individuals are visible from a 360-degree angle. If established groups are not available, people might encourage one or more friends or family members join them in the quest to achieve better health.

4 Tips for Beating Fall Allergies

At Sullivan Training, we have many people who come in that are experiencing fall allergies. Ragweed that blooms throughout the autumn months coupled with the falling leaves that become moldy after hitting the ground leave many allergy sufferers experiencing symptoms of allergies.

Approximately 10 to 20 percent of those in the United States suffer from fall allergies. Symptoms can include a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, coughing and an itchy throat. Farmington personal trainers recommend these four tips for beating fall allergies and enjoying the cool autumn months.

1. Stay Indoors When Pollen Counts are High

Ragweed’s pollen is released during the late summer and early autumn months. Studies have shown that pollen counts are highest in the morning. We are very pro-exercise at Sullivan Training. Those who enjoy exercising outdoors should move their workouts to evening hours to avoid high pollen counts. Following your local news can alert you to when pollen counts are especially high and can indicate that you need to stay indoors. Pets who spend time outdoors should be bathed regularly to avoid bringing the pollen indoors.

2. Clean Effectively

A high-quality vacuum should be used daily to remove pollen and dust that may come into the house. Brooms, however, are not as effective at removing allergens; damp mops and damp dust cloths should be used instead. Linens should be washed one to two times per week to remove animal dander, pollen and other allergens.

3. Run Your Air Conditioner as Long as Possible

Keeping windows and doors shut and running the air conditioner for as long as possible will help to keep pollen out of your home. A good HEPA filter on the unit will help to cleanse the air and remove allergens that come into the home.

4. Avoid Indoor and Outdoor Mold

Fallen leaves, compost heaps and rotting logs can all contain a large amount of mold. Removing dead vegetation promptly and keeping rain gutters clear of leaves will help reduce the mold in your yard. If you are outdoors doing yard work, be sure to wear a mask to avoid breathing in the mold. Check for indoor mold under sinks and around appliances. If leaks are found, repairs should be made and the mold should be removed.

These tips will help you to enjoy your fall season and stay free from the symptoms of allergies.

Healthy Yogurt Choices

When purchasing yogurt from your local Farmington MO grocery store, it is important that you select one that’s healthy for you. Today, there are many kinds of yogurt on the market that are over sugared and filled with little to no nutritional value. It can be hard to spot the difference between these types of yogurts, but below are some tips for choosing healthy yogurt over the rest:

Natural Sugar vs. Added Sugar

When looking at the nutrition label, keep in mind that any yogurt will have sugar in it. That’s because yogurt comes with natural sugar in it called lactose. Even plain yogurt will have a bit of sugar added to it to deliver a sweet flavor. The nutrition facts found on the label mix both the natural and added sugars together under the “sugars” category. In order to sort the natural sugar from the added sugar, you must look at the ingredients list.

According to The American Heart Association, it is recommended that a women’s maximum intake of sugar per day is 6 teaspoons. Men, on the other hand, have a recommended maximum intake of 9 teaspoons of sugar per day. Some brands of yogurts use sugar substitutes in their product instead of added sugar. When brands do that, the total sugar amount listed on the label will decrease. That is why a personal trainer Farmington will suggest that you buy a plain yogurt and flavor it yourself with all types of natural sweeteners such as maple syrup or honey.


Yogurt is often eaten as a snack or meal because of all the good bacteria it contains. The good bacteria is what’s known to help keep your digestive tract working properly. To see if the bacteria you want is included in the yogurt you picked out, read the ingredient list. Look for words like B. bifidum, L. casei and B. Longum.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt has been gaining in popularity over the years. This is due to the fact that Greek yogurt tends to have less sugar than the more traditional kinds found in the grocery aisles. That’s because, as any nutrition Farmington MO expert would tell you, some of the sugar in Greek yogurt is lost during the straining process. Besides this, Greek yogurt also contains less lactose per serving, making it much more ideal for someone who is lactose-intolerant.