Your Fitness

Still thinking about getting started on a fitness program?Consider joining a group class for major results and major fun!Here are some benefits of working out with a group versus working out by yourself.

Qualified Instruction

Attending a class that is lead by a trained and qualified professional is a surefire way to learn the correct form of each exercise and can help you improve how you move your body to prevent injury or prevent making an existing condition worse. They also can show you how to modify exercises if you are at a different level than the rest of the class.


Just like women, group exercise comes in all shapes and sizes. There are already a large variety of classes available at most gyms and studios and more formats are being introduced all the time. You just need to try all formats to decide which best suits you. Some popular classes today are latin dancing, indoor cycling and mind/body classes.


One advantage to group exercise classes is the accountability.If you decide not to attend classes, most likely your absence will be noticed. Consistency is huge when starting an exercise program and for this reason, the benefit of the accountability of a group exercise class will increase your results substantially. At RAM Fitness, we ask clients to sign-up in advance for classes to help schedule-in their workout. This adds another level of accountability to ensure your success.


Group exercise classes are a great way to have fun! If you are having fun, you will be more likely to go more often. Encourage other friends to join your class or make friends with the people around you. Many long-term friendships have been made with people just getting to know each other in an exercise class. Knowing that others know what you are going through will also help keep you coming back for more. And what could be more fun than a brand new fit and healthy body?

Come try out a group class at RAM Fitness! RAM Fitness offers a variety of small group classes to women of all shapes and sizes.

Ask The Fitness Expert

Q. I’m training for a 10k and have noticed that despite the hours I’ve spent on the pavement, my endurance has not gotten any better. I feel like my legs just aren’t strong enough to keep going. What can I do to keep this from happening so I can go further without tiring?

A. A simple solution is to incorporate a few days of strength training into your running program. Muscle fatigue is caused by a buildup of lactic acid (that burn you’re feeling) in your working muscles. Increasing your leg strength through resistance exercise will make your muscles more efficient at converting lactic acid into energy for your run – not to mention those hills won’t seem as treacherous once you’ve gotten stronger. Better yet, you’ll become less prone to injury since resistance training strengthens the connective tissue around and within the joints, not just the muscles themselves. One other thing you should consider is flexibility training. Tight muscles can fatigue quickly and are also more prone to injury. A personal trainer can design a customized resistance and flexibility program based around your running schedule and individual needs.

Blair Meadows is the manager at Fitness Together, a private personal training studio in Greensboro. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise and Sport Science from UNC-G and is certified through the American Council on Exercise, Titleist Performance Institute and The American Academy of Sports Dieticians and Nutritionists.

Reject The Diet Mentality; Cindy Mondello

Become an Intuitive Eater

In the August 2010 edition of Guilford Woman, I began writing a series of articles to share some information that every woman should have – the steps to freedom from the shackles of dieting and disordered eating! Research suggests that 83% of college women diet on a regular basis…no matter what they weigh. Another study by UNC at Chapel Hill reveals that 3 out of 4 women between the ages of 25 and 45 suffer from disordered eating. It is estimated that 30 billion dollars is spent in the weight-loss industry annually. And, yet, the reality is that nearly 95% of all diets fail.

So why are we women (and men) still allowing ourselves to be deceived by the dieting mentality…doing the same things over and over and expecting different results? This reminds me of an Old Testament Scripture found in the book of Deuteronomy, when Moses and the children of God were made to wander in the wilderness for forty years. In chapter 2, verse 3, the Lord spoke to Moses saying, “You have circled this mountain long enough. Now turn north.”

Do you feel like you have circled this mountain of failed diets and disordered eating long enough? Are you looking for the way to “turn north”? Well, if so, that is what this series on intuitive eating has been all about! Nutrition experts and authors Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R.D., and Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D., are responsible for paving the way “north” for us with their 10 Intuitive Eating Principles. And it has been my pleasure to provide you with a peek into the process through these summary articles featured monthly in Guilford Woman. (Find the previous nine in the online editions at However, before we say good-bye, we have one more step to take – the final principle in this life-giving, bondage-breaking journey we’ve been taking together.

Principle Ten: Honor Your Health e Nutrition

Many times when people hear about the intuitive eating principles, they mistakenly believe that it’s an “eat whatever you want, whenever you want, and don’t worry about health” program. While honoring your hunger and welcoming back all formerly forbidden foods is central to becoming an intuitive eater, making healthy choices is an equally important piece of the puzzle. Both Tribole and Resch are registered dieticians and have years of experience with nutrition. However, they also know that if nutrition and healthy eating are introduced too soon in the process, even the most sincere chronic dieter on the road to recovery will still equate “nutrition” with “diet.” And, if you remember, the first principle of this process is rejecting the dieting mentality. Therefore, it is with purpose and intent that nutrition comes last, suggesting the need for a healthy relationship with food to be in place first.

So, What Is Healthy Eating? This question is difficult to answer in light of a nation consumed with reading food labels and counting calories. Michelle Stacey, author of Consumed: Why Americans Love, Hate, and Fear Food, introduces a unique concept for healthy eating – enlightened hedonism, or a balance between information and pleasure. Information is derived from listening to your body, as well as following nutritional guidelines (a modified Food Pyramid presented in detail in the book Intuitive Eating.) In regard to pleasure, it is important to never lose sight of the satisfaction factor lest you slip into the role of diet/health martyr. In other words, you need to make sure you actually like the taste of the nutritional food you are choosing!

Healthy eating also includes choosing foods from across the food groups. Many chronic dieters have learned to “manage” their diets by just eliminating certain foods altogether. Yet, gentle nutrition involves balancing these foods into your meals, and for good reason. A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicated that people who omit several food groups from their diet have a higher risk of dying sooner! In summary, eating healthfully is not about a perfect diet. It is about choosing foods that honor your overall health and your taste buds!

Well, friend, this may be the end of the series, but if you choose to put into practice these ten principles of Intuitive Eating, it is just the beginning of a wonderful new way of living. You have been circling that mountain of dieting chaos for too long now. It is time to change direction. Turn north.

Cindy Mondello is a Licensed Professional Counselor and founder of Restoration Place Ministries, a local nonprofit organization offering significantly-discounted Christian counseling services for women. For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists, call 336-542-2060 or visit us at

Ten Core Principles of Intuitive Eating

by Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R. D. and Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D., F.A.D.A.

1. Reject the Diet Mentality

2. Honor Your Hunger

3. Make Peace with Food

4. Challenge the Food Police

5. Feel Your Fullness

6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor

7. Cope with Your Emotions without Using Food

8. Respect Your Body

9. Exercise – Feel the Difference

10. Honor Your Health – Gentle Nutrition

Ram Fitness

If anyone of you guys followed me from the beginning you would know that I had serious weight issues as a child but, now I am over it for almost seven long years but, there are still trials that I have to overcome because you still have idiots to deal with as the result of major weight loss.   When I discovered RAM Fitness its was a blessing because it was a place to work out along with Fitness together.

There was no way to understand true bodybuilding and the different types of bodybuilding until I started working out.  Here is Rae Anne Mullins on RAM  Fitness for those struggling with weight issues.

When Rae Anne Mullins opened RAM Fitness in November 2009, she fulfilled a lifelong personal and professional dream of providing a way for all women to live their healthiest and happiest lives.

Ever since I was 15, I’ve wanted to operate my own gym and create an environment for real women juggling real life commitments of work, home, and family.

From our class schedules to special events, RAM fitness is designed for busy women.”

Well-known in the Piedmont Triad as a personal trainer and fitness veteran, Rae Anne is a busy mother of two. She began her career at the age of 18 as an aerobic instructor while pursuing a degree in business administration from Roanoke College. Though she worked in the financial services industry for five years, her passion for fitness remained strong.

Realizing a need, and successfully starting a fitness program for employees in her workplace, Rae Anne soon realized that she was meant to work with people on their “bottoms” and not with their bottom lines. She returned to the fitness arena and hasn’t looked back.

“Taking care of yourself is very important and can be challenging.

I understand the conflicts and struggles that women have in trying to get healthy and stay healthy. I also relate to the setbacks.”

Rae Anne herself has lost more than 60 pounds and has kept the weight off for nearly four years. She ran her first marathon in 2007 and brings a plethora of credentials to RAM Fitness including Group Exercise Instructor from the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, Personal Trainer from the American Council on Exercise, Spin certification from MAD DOGG Athletics, PiYo and Turbokick certifications from Powder Blue Productions, and CPR certification from the American Heart Association.

The result is RAM Fitness being able to offer a wide range of affordable classes taught in a small group setting without the inconvenience of contracts or joining fees. Personal training is also available, using an individualized approach to jump start a fitness program.

According to Rae Anne, reaching individual goals is the top priority. All the programs of RAM Fitness seek to decrease body fat, tone or build muscle, improve balance, increase coordination, and improve flexibility.

“We are committed to providing women of all ages and backgrounds an extraordinary fitness experience by giving exceptional service, respect, motivation, and compassion.

RAM Fitness provides a clean, safe, and friendly environment with a wide variety of classes led by qualified instructors and one-on-one fitness training by certified trainers.”

Rae Anne also regularly schedules special fitness camps and workshops for her students including evening fit camp, outdoor boot camp, 5k training camp, and an 8-week weight loss camp, Special events include hiking excursions, Friday night yoga sessions, and group participation in local 5ks. The web site features popular recipes for eating healthy as well.

“Fitness is not exercise. It is a total way of life. It involves taking your life and your circumstances and finding a way to live healthier.”

The most rewarding part of my job is seeing women make real changes in their lives–making fitness a priority and sticking with it. Not all changes are physical either; many are mental and emotional. It’s exciting to support women on their journeys to develop greater self-esteem and confidence.”

Rae Anne is particularly proud of her work with Sanctuary House, a non-profit organization located in downtown Greensboro. Bringing fitness to those men and women who face difficult challenges both emotionally and mentally has made a difference in their lives–and her own.

As RAM Fitness approaches its first full year of business in the Piedmont Triad, Rae Anne is more committed than ever to sharing her enthusiasm and unique approach to fitness with women of all ages and all fitness levels.

“It’s possible to achieve a healthy and balanced life without starving yourself or killing yourself in the gym.

Everyday presents a new opportunity to live better.”

Top Excuses Women Do Not Exercise

Too busy/no time.

Schedule your workout just like any other important meeting or appointment. It really is that important! Put it in your daily calendar. We all seem to find time to watch our favorite show, so there has to be time to exercise.

RAM Fitness has classes at 5:30am before the kids are up, before work starts. There are also classes in the evening too!

Too out of shape/embarrassed to start/too old.

That’s exactly WHY you should get exercising, to get in shape. It is NEVER too late to start exercising. No one is expected to be in shape right away. The great thing about RAM Fitness is that it is a very safe environment where all fitness levels are welcome. NO need to feel embarrassed or worried about your fitness level. Hiring a trainer to help you set realistic and attainable goals is one way to ensure your success.

Don’t know how to exercise or where to start.

It’s okay. That’s why it’s a great idea to get involved with group fitness or find a partner. Hiring a personal trainer is a great way to get an exercise program to follow. Also, the trainer can show you how to do the exercises correctly and safely. Group fitness is great because you have a trainer with you every single time and other participants to help encourage and push you through the workout.

Exercise is boring.

Exercise doesn’t have to be boring. If you don’t like to run, don’t run! You can dance, jump, cycle or twist your way fit! There are lots of options when it comes to fitness, you just have to find something you enjoy and stick with it. RAM Fitness has lots of classes and they are a lot of fun!

Not only will the workout be fun, but it’s a great way to meet new friends.

I don’t see any changes when I exercise.

Maybe you aren’t seeing the scale change drastically, but there are many benefits to starting and sticking with an exercise program. Your scale may not change much, but your waist and thighs may shrink. Changing your body composition is very important, be sure to get measured and have your body fat percentage checked when starting your program so that you have more than just the scale. It doesn’t show the whole story. Also, you are helping your organs, your bones and your brain. Some of the many benefits of exercise are not noticeable from the outside.

Your Body Through the Decades

In Your 20s – Bodies can take a lot – Need to focus on strengthening your body to help prevent premature aging.

20s bodies can take a lot of abuse and usually does in the form of staying up too late, eating the wrong foods and crash dieting. Cardio and strength training are very important now to lay the foundation for a strong body and mind as women begin to age. Also, this is the age to learn to accept yourself for who you are and learn to love your body no matter what shape you have.

In Your 30s – The 30s are a busy time. Kids and careers often take over a woman’s life. This is the time a woman’s body can really start to age due to a slowing metabolism and decrease in lean muscle mass. By strength training to build lean muscle and eating a healthy diet and doing plenty of cardio, you can prevent early aging. Strength training is very important for keeping our bones strong too. By 30, a woman has reached her peak bone mass, so keeping what we have is very important. Circuit training is a great option for busy 30- somethings. It includes cardio and strength training. This is a great way to get in a fun workout in a fast and effective way.

RAM 40/60 is an example.

In Your 40s – An even slower metabolism, hormone changes and life changes all lead to more stress, more anxiety. It’s important to continue or start a very serious weight training program to build lean muscle. Focus on posture and balance as well. Exercising not only helps prevent unwanted body fat, but it will also help ease an anxious mind.

In Your 50s and Beyond – At this point the metabolism is crawling and weight gain in the mid-section, back of arms and bra area is normal. Adding as much activity to your life as possible is very important. Strength training is still very important, but the pounds lifted may need to be lower, especially if there are any joint problems. Balance is another area to work on.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust


• 1 teaspoon white sugar

• 1-1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

• 1 tablespoon active dry yeast

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 2 cups whole wheat flour

• 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour Directions:

1. In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy.

2. Stir the olive oil and salt into the yeast mixture, then mix in the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour until dough starts to come together. Tip dough out onto a surface floured with the remaining all-purpose flour, and knead until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the ball of dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes.

Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover loosely with a towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

3. When the dough is doubled, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 2 pieces for 2 thin crust, or leave whole to make one thick crust. Form into a tight ball. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled.

4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Roll a ball of dough with a rolling pin until it will not stretch any further. Then, drape it over both of your fists, and gently pull the edges outward, while rotating the crust.

When the circle has reached the desired size, place on a well oiled pizza pan. Top pizza with your favorite toppings, such as sauce, cheese, meats, or vegetables.

5. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes (depending on thickness) in the preheated oven, until the crust is crisp and golden at the edges, and cheese is melted on the top.

Easy Vegetarian Chili Ingredients:

• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

• 1 cup chopped onions

• 3/4 cup chopped carrots

• 3 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 cup chopped green bell pepper

• 1 cup chopped red bell pepper

• 3/4 cup chopped celery

• 1 tablespoon chili powder

• 1-1/2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms

• 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes with liquid, chopped

• 1 (19 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid

• 1 (11 ounce) can whole kernel corn, undrained

• 1 tablespoon ground cumin

• 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

• 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil Directions:

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onions, carrots, and garlic until tender. Stir in green pepper, red pepper, celery, and chili powder. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.

2. Stir in mushrooms, and cook 4 minutes. Stir in toma-

Eating healthy does not have to be boring or bland. Try these tasty recipes from Rae Anne.

Toes, kidney beans, and corn. Season with cumin, oregano, and basil. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium. Cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Baked Crab Cups (12 Servings) Ingredients:

• 1 can (6 oz.) White crabmeat, drained, flaked

• 4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. Pkg.) Light Crean Cheese or Neufchatel Cheese, softened

• 2 green onions, thinly sliced

• 1/4 cup Reduced Fat Mayonnaise

• 12 won ton wrappers Directions: Heat oven to 350°F. Mix first 4 ingredients. Place 1 won ton wrapper in each of 12 muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray, extending edges of wrappers over sides of cups. Fill with crab mixture.

Bake 18 to 20 min. or until edges of cups are golden brown and filling is heated through.

Directions for dough: Mix flour, yeast and salt in a bowl. Gradually add 1/2 cup warm (110 degrees) water until a soft dough forms. Divide dough into 4 portions. Using hands, roll dough into balls, coat with cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise 30 to 45 minutes.

When ready to cook, place each ball of dough on a piece of wax paper and flatten into a 4-inch circle. Coat grill with cooking spray and heat on high. Gently lift dough onto grill and cook until dough puffs and underside stiffens (about 30 seconds); flip and reduce heat to low.

Directions for topping: Mix topping ingredients, then divide among crusts; cover grill.

Grill until cheese melts, 5 to 6 minutes more. Slice and serve.

Directions: Heat oven to 350°. Heat oil on high in a 6-inch cast-iron skillet for 2 minutes. Add butter; when it foams, add mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and saute 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add onions and thyme; sauté 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in egg whites with a heatproof rubber spatula until eggs start to set. Transfer skillet to oven and bake 5 minutes, until golden. Sprinkle with remaining herbs and lemon juice. Cut into wedges and serve.

Directions: Coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion and garlic, stirring, until onion is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Combine 1/4 cup water with wine, basil, bouillon, cornstarch and oregano in a bowl. Add tomatoes and shrimp to skillet. Cook until shrimp begins to turn pink, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in wine mixture. Cover; simmer until shrimp is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Stir in parsley, cheese and pasta. Divide among 4 plates; serve immediately.

Baked Oatmeal Squares (Serves 4) Ingredients:

• 1 egg slightly beaten

• 1-1/2 cups rolled oats

• 1/4 cup honey

• 1/4 cup brown sugar

• 1/2 cup milk

• 1/4 canola oil

• 1/4 cup chopped nuts

• 1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• pinch of salt

• 1 teaspoon cinnamon Directions: Combine all ingredients, spread into 8 inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cut into squares.

Note: They tend to crumble, but taste delicious! I make it into granola when it crumbles too much.

Beef and Rice Stuffed Peppers (Serves 6) Ingredients:

• 6 medium bell peppers, tops removed and reserved, and seeds removed

• 1 tablespoon Olive Oil

• 1 yellow onion, diced

• 1 large carrot, diced

• 1 stalk celery, diced

• 2 cloves garlic, minced

• 16 oz. Lean (93 – 96% lean) beef (or lean turkey burger)

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1 teaspoon pepper

• 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes

• 1 cup cooked brown rice

• 1 cup of 2% grated cheese (your choice) Directions: Preheat oven to 375 F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add peppers and tops and cook until tender 5 – 6 minutes.

Remove peppers and drain fully.

Make filling: warm olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until clear. Add carrot, celery and garlic and continue cooking until vegetables are just softened. Add beef, salt and pepper and cook, breaking up large chunks, until meat is no longer pink. Add tomatoes and rice and cook 5 minutes longer, stirring. Stir in 3/4 cup of cheese.

Fill peppers with meat mixture, dividing evenly. Sprinkle mixture with remaining cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and peppers are heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve hot