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Work it Off: Biscuits and Gravy

When I have visitors to my (new) hometown of Portland, Oregon, they all want to go on the same sort of sightseeing tour—one that focuses on all of the delicious food available. So when my friend Beth arrived last week from Colorado I had all of my hot spots queued up: Pok Pok for its Asian Wings, Salt and Straw for its Salted Caramel Ice Cream, and Olympic Provisions for its killer brunch. But of all of the indulgences we shared, the one I was most worried about burning off was a large plate of biscuits and gravy from Portland’s J&M Cafe.

biscuits and gravy

I did some searching online and found a big range for the calorie count in a serving of biscuits and gravy—estimates were anywhere between 200 and 530 calories. Judging from the flakiness of the biscuits, the size of the serving, and the sausage that was blended into the thick gravy, I’m going to guess the plate I ate was packed with about 450 calories. Eek!

Just how does one burn off a meal of that size? I grabbed a calculator—and the American College of Sports Medicine’s Compendium of Physical Activities—to find out. Here are three ways I could have burned off a 450 calorie breakfast of biscuits and gravy:


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Dr. Jason Cleveland Followed His Own Medical Advice to Lose 60 Pounds

It was around the age of 9 that Dr. Jason Cleveland of Lake Worth, Florida, started to develop a weight problem. Eating too much and choosing poor quality food were his primary downfalls – a result of poor eating habits he learned from his parents. Cleveland, now 42, doesn’t necessarily fault his parents. However, he does admit they simply didn’t know much about proper nutrition for kids – a problem that’s becoming more and more prevalent in today’s society.

This poor nutritional foundation ultimately resulted in Cleveland reaching his highest weight of nearly 250 pounds. It wasn’t until attending a wedding in May 2010 that he realized it was time for a change. “I had to have my entire tuxedo enlarged to wear. I am a wellness practitioner, and I could not believe how far I had fallen,” he said.” The next day I started my quest.”

To lose the weight, Cleveland adopted an 80% diet-20% exercise motto – a plan he created years earlier for patients at his practice. “I do not start any of my clients on exercise until they have lost a significant amount of weight for fear of injury,” he said. After losing the first 40 pounds, Cleveland began cardio only – something as simple as jumping rope.
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Saturday Morning Drill: Jump Rope It

Jumping rope is such a versatile exercise because it can be done anywhere, any time, literally using just a piece of rope. It’s also extremely effective and can burn upwards of 730 calories an hour depending on your weight and intensity level, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The best part? You feel hardcore jump roping and it’s fun! It’s an activity for kids and adults, no matter what your experience or fitness level may be.

In this full body workout we use nothing but a jump rope to scorch calories and tone your muscles. Complete the circuit once all the way through, take a three minute break and then repeat it all over again once and even twice for more of a challenge.

If you don’t have a jump rope, just complete the moves as described holding an “imaginary” jump rope. Let’s get started!

View Saturday Morning Drills: Jump Rope It Slideshow



A Spooky Tunes Halloween Workout Playlist

By Tish Merritt for FitBottomedGirls.com

I love me some Halloween! There’s nothing more fun than a night of mischief. But there’s also nothing like a Halloween workout! So I say grab a jump rope and a treadmill or a short trail and try the following: Jump rope for an entire song, then run/walk for the next song. Keep switching between the two different cardio workouts until you reach the end of this 45-minute playlist. It’ll be scary how much your cardio endurance improves…Terrifying how strong your calves and legs will become.


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Blast Calories While Trick or Treating

There are many October activities that are fun and incidentally, great exercise. Corn mazes, haunted houses, harvest festivals, pumpkin patches, scavenger hunts and colored-leaf-scouting all provide great reasons to get outside the house and get moving. Let’s be real though, for many kids Halloween is still all about the trick-or-treating. A lot of parents dread the night of walking up and down the block, endlessly taking step after step. The attitude there is all wrong. Trick-or-treating is the perfect family outing! This year, maximize the time you spend taking your kids door to door. Make it fun and make it active. Here are a few ways to do just that:

  • Trick-or-treat in an area where the homes are farther apart. More walking equals more calories burned.