Oregon Athletic Clubs at RiverPlace member Caroline Eccles took some time out of her busy schedule to share her fitness success story with us: how she learned to love exercise and overcome her physical setbacks by re-kindling a childhood love for water.
Throughout most of my adult life, I have struggled with injuries and ailments. I was diagnosed Fibromyalgia, and after 26 years as a Computer Programmer, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I also have severe sciatica, neck issues, and shin splints just to name a few. I never considered myself to be unhealthy but I never really enjoyed exercising even though I did it.
Two years ago, I joined Oregon Athletic Clubs at RiverPlace and began taking morning aqua classes three days a week with the “Ladies of the Pool”, as we like to call ourselves. The members in these classes are very inspiring! They’ve run marathons, had hip and knee replacements, kidney transplants and heart attacks. There’s so much friendship and laughter, and everyone gets in a great workout.
After taking a few classes, and through the encouragement of my friend Arleen, I began arriving early before aqua class and swimming laps. I went from gasping for breath after five laps, to gradually completing a mile. My kids gave me a waterproof iPod for Christmas, and I was able to push past the mile mark while listening to my favorite tunes. On the recommendation from my chiropractor, I also started using a snorkel and goggles, and was able to reach the two mile mark.
A swimmer was born! Now I take aqua classes three days a week from Stephanie (Drill Sergeant as I fondly call her), Michelle (The Runner) and Josie (Smiley). I sometimes start early, and swim two miles before class, or work up to eight miles on the Elliptical Machine. On Thursdays, I join my friends along the waterfront and we walk for five miles.
I wish I had discovered that swimming was my happy place earlier in life—I grew up playing in the water in my native South Africa, but had never swum laps before. The key is to just start moving! And I still take it one day at a time, one lap at a time.
I would like to thank Stephanie for all of her encouragement, and Arleen for pushing me through those early morning swims. I would also like to thank my husband Colin, who has run 27 marathons and ultras, for his support. Most importantly, I would like to thank the “Ladies of the Pool”. They often tell me how proud they are of me, and I have to say, I’m proud of me, too.
See you at the pool!
By Kristi Tamaki, Dietetic Intern, Oregon Health and Science University & Jamie Lee, RD, LD with HealthFull Nutrition, Expert nutritional services located within OAC’s RiverPlace location
Beans are anything but a boring staple. Full of flavor, fiber, and protein, this humble little superfood is both versatile and surprising! Power up with tasty, yet inexpensive, savory combos like the classic Red Beans & Rice or Tuna & Cannellini Salad. White Bean Dip with Oregano & Parmesan is a delicious appetizer when paired with fresh spring veggies or pita. And don’t forget dessert! Black beans are the star of our decadent Dark Cocoa Brownies. Try out some local heirloom varieties, and have fun exploring the range of fresh, dried or canned options.
Did You Know? Beans and rice contain different amino acids profiles. Separately, they’re considered “incomplete” proteins. But paired together, beans (which are low in methionine, and high in lysine) compliment rice (which is high in methionine, and low in lysine).
Here’s a Tip: Minimize gas by rinsing beans of the water they were soaked in, and cooking them in fresh water.
White Bean Dip with Oregano & Parmesan
Servings: makes 1.5 cups
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannelloni (white kidney beans), drained
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. fresh grated Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, chopped
1. Combine first 6 ingredients in processor. Blend until almost smooth.
2. Transfer to bowl and season dip with salt and pepper.
3. Serve with pita, crackers, or veggie sticks.
Advance preparation: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover, chill and bring to room temperature before serving.
Nutrition Facts: Calories: 60, Calories from Fat: 30, Total Fat: 3.5g (5%), Sat Fat: 0.5g (3%), Cholesterol: 0mg (0%), Sodium: 105mg (4%), Total Carbohydrate: 6g, Fiber: 2g (8%), Protein: 3g, Vitamin A: 2%, Vitamin C: 2%, Calcium: 2%, Iron: 4%
Dark Cocoa Brownies
Servings: 16 brownies
- ½ cup dark cocoa powder
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 tsp. baking powder
- ½ cup butter or margarine
- 1 cup canned black beans, pureed
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt (reduce to ½ tsp. if beans include salt)
1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. Mix cocoa, butter, sugar, black bean puree and eggs until well blended.
3. Sift together dry ingredients and stir into wet mixture.
4. Grease 9×9 baking dish and pour batter into pan.
5. Bake for 25 minutes or until done.
Nutrition Facts: Calories: 200, Calories from Fat: 70, Total Fat: 7g (11%), Sat Fat: 4.5g (23%), Cholesterol: 60mg (20%), Sodium: 180mg (8%), Total Carbohydrate: 33g, Dietary Fiber: 1g (4%), Protein: 3g, Vitamin A: 4%, Vitamin C: 0%, Calcium: 2%, Iron: 6%
Classic Red Beans & Rice
- 1 ½ cups kidney or mixed beans, soaked
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
- 4 Tbsp. vegetable or olive oil
- 5 celery ribs, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp. cayenne
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper (or more to taste)
- Salt to taste
- 1 ½ cups long-grain white or brown rice
1. Drain the beans, cover with 6 cups cold water, and boil 10 minutes. Remove any foam, then add the bay leaves and half the thyme and oregano. Simmer, partially covered, until barely tender, about 1¼ hours, adding 1 teaspoon salt after an hour.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large sauté pan and add the vegetables, garlic, remaining thyme, and oregano. Fry over medium heat until the vegetables are nicely browned, about 20 minutes. Add the cayenne and pepper and season with salt. Combine the vegetables and beans and continue cooking until the beans are completely tender.
3. Boil the rice in 4 cups lightly salted water until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain and add the liquid to the beans. Return the rice to the pan, cover it and let stand 5 minutes to steam. Fluff the rice and serve it on plates surrounded with the beans and their juices, which should be thick, rich, and full of flavor.
White Rice Nutrition Facts: Calories: 520, Calories from Fat: 130, Total Fat: 15g (23%), Sat Fat: 2g (10%), Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg (0%), Sodium: 590mg (25%), Total Carbohydrate: 84g (28%), Dietary Fiber: 3g (32%), Sugars: 5g, Protein: 13g, Vitamin A: 35%, Vitamin C: 100%, Calcium: 15%, Iron: 30%
Brown Rice Nutrition Facts: Calories: 500, Calories from Fat: 140, Total Fat: 16g (25%), Sat Fat: 2g (10%), Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg (0%), Sodium: 600mg (25%), Total Carbohydrate: 77g (26%), Dietary Fiber: 11g (44%), Sugars: 6g, Protein: 13g, Vitamin A: 35%, Vitamin C: 100%, Calcium: 15%, Iron: 20%
Source: Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, by Deborah Madison
Tuna & Cannellini Salad
Servings: 2 as a main, 4 as a starter
- 1 small red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
- 1 (6 ½-ounce) can water-packed tuna, drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini or borlotti beans, drained through a strainer and rinsed
- 3 fresh sage leaves, slivered
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 small or medium garlic clove, finely minced
- ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. plain low-fat or nonfat yogurt (or omit and use 4 Tbsp. olive oil)
- ½ Japanese cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and sliced for garnish
1. Place the onion in a bowl and add 1 teaspoon of the vinegar and cold water to cover. Let sit for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, then dry on paper towels.
2. In a medium bowl or salad bowl, combine the tuna, beans, onions, sage, and parsley.
3. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together the remaining vinegar, salt to taste, freshly ground pepper, garlic, and Dijon mustard. Whisk in the olive oil and the yogurt. Toss with the tuna and beans and serve, garnishing each plate with cucumber slices.
Advance preparation: This salad will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts: Calories: 260, Calories from Fat: 110, Total Fat: 12g (18%), Sat Fat: 2g (10%), Cholesterol: 20mg (7%), Sodium: 470mg (20%), Total Carbohydrate: 20g, Fiber: 6g (24%), Protein: 18g, Vitamin A: 6%, Vitamin C: 10%, Calcium: 8%, Iron: 10%
Source: New York Times Health
A home-made version of Tom Ka Gai. Simply substituting light coconut milk saves 170 calories and 19 grams of fat (17 grams of them saturated) without sacrificing taste.
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 3 lemon grass stalks, tough outer leaves removed, bottom 5 inches halved lengthwise and sliced thin crosswise
- 3 large shallots, chopped
- 8 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped coarse
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 (14-ounce) cans light coconut milk, well shaken
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 lb white mushrooms, cleaned, stems trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise and sliced on bias into 118-inch-thick pieces
- 3 tablespoons juice from 2 to 3 limes
- 2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 serrano chiles, sliced thin
- 2 scallions, sliced thin on bias
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until just shimmering. Add lemon grass, shallots, cilantro, and I tablespoon fish sauce; cook, stirring frequently, until just softened, 2 to 5 minutes (vegetables should not brown). Stir in chicken broth and I can coconut milk; bring to simmer over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until flavors have blended, 10 minutes.
Pour broth through fine-mesh strainer and discard solids in strainer. Rinse saucepan and return broth mixture to pan.
Return pan to medium-high heat. Stir remaining can coconut milk and sugar into broth mixture and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium, add mushrooms, and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until no longer pink, I to 3 minutes. Remove soup from heat. Combine lime juice, curry paste, and remaining 2 tablespoons fish sauce in small bowl; stir into soup. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro, chiles and scallions. Serve immediately with lime wedges.
8 as an appetizer
Nutrition Per serving:
140 calories; 7 g fat (5 g sat); 17 mg cholesterol; 3 g carbohydrate; 8 g protein; 0 g fiber;
640 mg sodium.
The taste testers at Cook’s Illustrated preferred the richer flavor of “A Taste of Thai” brand lite coconut milk. Reducing the amount of fish sauce is the easiest way to cut back on sodium in this recipe. Using two tablespoons instead of three will reduce the sodium content per serving to 475 mg. Per serving using full-fat coconut milk: 310 calories; 26 gfat (22 g sat); 17 mg cholesterol; 7g carbohydrate; 10 g protein; 3 gfiber; 640 mg sodium.
Legacy Heart Services. Recipe adapted from: Cook’s Illustrated Magazine. January & February 2007.
- Muscle strengthening (neck, legs, hips, arms/shoulders, and back) in order to reduce the effects of cervical osteoporosis
- Core strengthening for improved balance
- Increased cardio endurance and resistance
With Kimberly’s guidance, Pam has learned how to approach her workout focusing on proper alignment and positioning—both crucial aspects for exercises to be effective. She also discovered that more weight and bigger/faster movements weren’t appropriate for her body’s individual needs.
Since starting her challenge, Pam’s right hip hasn’t caused her pain. She can even sleep on her side! The lateral leg lifts (and other exercises) that Kimberly taught her, have definitely helped. Pam has noticed a marked difference in strength, flexibility and in her core. She’s hopeful that the stiffness in her neck will also reduce in time.
Pam, who has suffered from cervical issues for at least ten years, has tried acupuncture and chiropractic treatments, medical massage therapy, physical therapy, and cervical injections, and nothing has given her relief, until now.
She sends her thanks to trainer Kimberly Berg, and the rest of the OAC at RiverPlace team who helped her achieve these goals!
Interested in joining an OAC’s fitness challenge? Contact the fitness dept. at Bethany, Hawthorn Farm or RiverPlace for more information. Already a devoted challenger? Share your story on our Fitness Challenge facebook page!