Weekly Health Tip: The best things in life are free

As the holidays approach, money is at the top of most people's worry lists. Wanna look fashionable without the waste? Host a Naked Ladies Party. This need not be limited to women, guys! Cook up some cider, hot chocolate and have a bowl of crack-your-own mixed nuts on hands (kids are great at preparing these types of party favors). Invite your friends to your house and have them bring clothes that they love but that perhaps no longer fit, or of which they have simply tired. Everyone places their clothes in the middle of the room and an auctioneer shows them off for all to grab/try on/claim (thus, the "naked"). Everyone is guaranteed to go home with something new to love. Whatever is left can be reclaimed by the original owner or donated to charity such as Goodwill or Dress for Success.

Free, cheap, and charitable events by Recess

Forget about the noise canceling head phones.

Do you have a girlfriend who is always complaining about her "big butt"?

You know you do.

Do you know any guys who can't seem to stop talking about how they used to be able to "bench press 250"?

Uh-huh. We know.

While we can't help you with those noise canceling headphones that you so desperately wish you had every time your friend or loved one busts out a list of complaints about their body, we can offer some fun, affordable ways to be a great friend and get in shape at the same time.

Here is a list of specials, gifts and offerings that would make a great activity for you and your friend (or, just your friend) that you can give as a gift, or offer to join in an act of butt-melting, bench-pressing solidarity.

Give the gift of Recess, only, it's free

From now until December 31, 2006 Recess is offering one free class of your choice to new customers (minimum of 6 people per class). Get five of your friends, office mates, or even family together and schedule a session at your home or office. Call 503-282-5560 to book, or, for more details.

Stressed Out Sam and Sally? Free Dec. 5 Stress Recess workshop

This free workshop is being offered by Recess and Umpqua Bank from 8-9 a.m. at 1448 NE Weidler in Portland, OR.

Perception of stress and lack of control in our lives can lead to or worsen anxiety, depression and disease. Roughly 60% of doctors' visits stem from stress related illnesses.

The good news is, studies show that the physiological impacts of stress are often tied to our perception and can therefore be similarly impacted through learning to both manage the stressors that we can control and to find healthy coping strategies for dealing with those stressors we cannot change. Come to learn about some of the common sources of stress and ways that you can help minimize their negative impact in your life.

Beach Body Boot Camp - Registration begins in January

Why swelter away in a boring gym when the Pacific Northwest offers so many fun, exciting ways to get and stay healthy?

Recess and Oregon Surf Adventures offer a three-month, intensive swimsuit weather prep course that focuses on making you healthy from the inside out and getting you ready for a two-day surf camp in May:

Have so much fun getting fit that you'll forget it's supposed to suck

- Increase your capacity to handle stress
- Look better in and out of clothes
- Optimize brain and body function through better nutrition
- Have the energy to face life with confidence
- Positively impact your outlook on life and communication
- Meet a community of cool, like-minded individuals
- Run, jump, climb, box, stretch, surf!

Do it all for less than $8 per day! Heck, some people spend more than that on caramel latte frappacinos. More details to come in our January newsletter.

Women's Wellness Workshop - January 27

Seats are limited so sign up today. This event is a benefit for the Software Association of Oregon Foundation. To purchase a seat click here.

Recess, Lucy activewear and Whole Foods bring you a workshop for women in positions of power. In Recess’ polls, 70% of respondents say they would like be more active and eat better, but that they lack the time. This seminar addresses the challenge of making time for these healthy choices. It is a fun, inspiring way to integrate wellness into your home and work life.

Have more time with family and friends without sacrificing strength, flexibility and good physical health. Included in this session is the ever-popular workshop: Attack of the 2000 Calorie Burrito!

You like us! You really like us!

See what our customers have to say about us in their own words:

"Last year I discovered the benefits of yoga, however as I practiced more, I became frustrated. I knew I wasn't doing all of the positions correctly. In a large group setting at my club, it is difficult if not impossible to get individual direction.

It has been wonderful having a Recess teacher come twice a week to our small group. She is able to work with each of us individually to ensure proper positioning and personal attention.

I have advanced further, quicker physically than I ever could have from a large gym style class. Our teacher is such a great support and is always positive and encouraging - I never feel embarrassed or self conscious like I have in the past in large group club classes. Thanks Recess!"

- Gretchen in Tualatin, OR

Healthy lifestyle D.I.Y. - HoHoWhole-lotta fat in ham

Happy, healthy holidays are hard!

Do you fast for weeks and weeks during the first half of November and December just to avoid putting on that inevitable 2 pounds that never seems to come off in the new year? Well don't. This holiday, consider some simple variations to on tasty holiday meals without jeopardizing your chances of getting back into a size 6 come January.

Deer and ducks got Yuletide game.

If you aren't exactly a stickler for traditional ham then why not wow your guests with your offbeat and sophisticated love of seasonal game? While traditional cuts of beef and pork can have up to 35 grams of fat per serving, wild game such as: bison, deer, caribou, boar or rabbit tend to have fewer than 4 grams per serving. Osso Buco is the name of a cut of meat taken from the shank of the hind leg of the animal. Venison Osso Buco is a rich, stewy meat dish full of hearty, winter flavors. Seasonal roast vegetables such as: carrots, onions, turnips accompany the dish. Red wine and seasoning such as: celery, bay leaves, cloves, rosemary, and juniper berries give even the fussiest palate some layers to unravel. A Google search for "Venison Osso Buco" produces pages upon pages of variations on the theme. Specialty markets (like City Market and Zupan's in Portland) offer rabbit, lean duck, venison and bison meat that you can order to be ready for you within just days.

Will the in-laws revolt?

If your relatives threaten to revolt without the traditional mashed potato fare, try these simple substitutions to soften the blow on your waistline. After placing your potatoes (the peel is rich in nutrients and safe if you buy organic) in cold, salted water, boil until easily pierced with a fork. Instead of using heavy cream and butter before mashing your potatoes, substitute chicken or vegetable broth and some Tillamook fat free sour cream. While the potatoes are cooking, roast some finely chopped onions or shallots in a bit of olive oil at 375 degrees until brown and crispy. Sprinkle on the potatoes as garnish for a little extra flavor.

For dessert, cut and seed a pan full of apples, cover in the juice of one orange, a bit of orange zest, and bake at 350 until saucey and golden brown. Serve in bowls with a dollop of plain yogurt, a spoonful of maple syrup and a handful of walnuts. The tartness of the apples and yogurt, mellow sweetness of the maple syrup, and crunchy bites of walnuts are so satisfying that few, if any, will complain that you've cheated them their of their seasonal indulgence.

If you have a health topic that interests you and you would like to see it in the next D.I.Y. Healthy Lifestyle then write to recess@recessfitness.com with your request.