Memorial Day Murph Fundraiser Raises Over $2,000 For Veterans

The 2018 Memorial Day Murph Fundraiser  at Ultimate Fit Zone in Monmouth County for Unbroken Warriors has raised over $2,000 for the organization.  Unbroken Warriors is a local Holmdel, NJ organization founded by a combat veteran who struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder upon returning home from service.  After experiencing first hand how expensive and difficult it was for him to receive treatment, he set up the organization to help others manage their PTSD symptoms and regain control of their lives.

Murph is a popular CrossFit workout named in honor of Lt Michael Murphy of Patchogue, NY.  He was killed while on duty in Afghanistan. The workout, which encompasses a 1 mile run followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 pushups, 300 squats and a final 1 mile run, was his favorite.  Ultimate Fit Zone’s fundraiser attracted more than 40 people who came to show their thanks to America’s service men and women with a donation to Unbroken Warriors and participation in the workout in honor of Michael Murphy.

The Murph Fundraiser at the Monmouth County cross training gym will be an annual tradition.  In 2019, the gym hopes to exceed their collected donations and again support Unbroken Warriors.

Boxing Classes Coming to Boot Camp in Monmouth County

Ultimate Fit Zone, a cross training and circuit boot camp training center in Monmouth County, will introduce cardio and strength boxing workouts to their popular IT 360 program.  IT 360 is an interval and circuit boot camp program that takes participants through various strength and cardio exercises that range from high intensity battle ropes to low intensity dumbbell exercises.  The boxing station will add to the boot camp program’s already popular cardio workout.

Cardio boxing is an excellent total body conditioning workout that increases stamina and overall strength. Boxing can also help tighten and tone the muscles in your arms, shoulders and back.  The core muscles also come into play to stabilize the body during punches and impact.   The boot camp gym will add squats, burpees and other exercises to the boxing stations so that participants utilize all muscles of the upper and lower body during this circuit.

Boxing Boot Camp In Monmouth County

Ultimate Fit Zone offers two distinct boot camp workouts, IT 360, as mentioned above, as well as their hallmark program, ZONE 360.  ZONE is exclusive to UFZ, created by the gym’s owner and lead trainer, Eddie Albert.  As a lover of CrossFit and a former body builder, Albert’s original programming fuses together strength exercises from barbells, kettle bells, body weight movements with lots of cardio coming from rowing machines, jump ropes, outdoor running and more.

The boxing circuit will take place during IT 360 which is Tuesdays 7am, 8am, 9:30am and 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 6:30pm, and Thursdays 6am, 7am, 8am, 9:30am and 4:30p and 5:30pm as well as Saturdays at 9am.

ZONE 360 workouts take place Mon, Wed, Fri at 6am, 7am, 8am, 9:30am and 4:30pm, 5:30pm and 6:30pm (except Friday) as well as Saturdays at 8am.

For more information about joining, please text Stacey at 732-757-7944 or send an email by clicking <<HERE>>.

High Protein Red Bean and Garlic Veggie Burger- With Spinach and Hemp!

I’ve been light on food shopping over the holidays, so I literally have nothing in the house to make for lunches and dinner. I’ve been scraping boxes of pasta together and making some cream sauces out of cashews to try and come up with inventive dinners that don’t totally bore my hubby.  I’ve got to get back on track with food shopping- but for now, my laziness led to a new veggie burger recipe out of desperation to feed him!

These red bean and garlic burgers have a really nice mild taste.  To boost their nutrient content I added organic baby spinach as well as the world’s healthiest seed…hemp seeds!  I love adding hemp to burgers, salads, oatmeal…basically anything I can.  Hemp seeds are very soft and easy on the digestive system.  They are LOADED with healthy, plant derived protein, about 3 grams of protein per tablespoon.  More importantly than the protein though, are the Essential Fatty Acids they contain (EFAs).   EFAs are, as their name implies, essential to our health.  Our bodies need them to maintain health but we don’t make them on our own. That means we MUST get them from our diet.  Hemp seeds are an excellent source of EFAs. I add 1 tablespoon to my oats every morning as well as 1 tablespoon to my Sunwarrior Protein Shake every day.

So these burgers are gluten free and protein packed.  There is about 8 grams of protein per burger patty- if you use a 1/2 cup measuring cup to make your patties.  I topped mine with a little Daiya Vegan Mozzarella shreds and some Earth Balance mayo.

Recipe: Vegan and Gluten Free Red Bean and Garlic Veggie Burgers

Red Bean and Garlic Veggie Burger with Spinach and Hemp

High protein red bean burgers with spinach and hemp seeds.  Lots of nutrients, essential fatty acids and anti-oxidants packed into these burgers along with fiber and protein. 

  • 1 14 oz can Red kidney beans
  • 1/2 onion chopped ((I like vidalia))
  • 1/2 cup Rolled Oats (plus 2 tablespoons) (Quick cook is fine, gluten free if necessary)
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 3 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1.5 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt ((omit for high blood pressure individuals))
  1. Add onion and garlic to food processor. Pulse about 10-15 times.  Add remaining ingredients to food processor and pulse until mixture is smooth.  You don’t want to completely puree the mixture, but you don’t want it lumpy either. 

Transfer mixture to a bowl. Heat a pan and spray with non-stick spray. While your pan is heating, use a 1/2 cup measuring cup to form patties.

    Cook burger patties for about 2-3 minutes per side, until a slight golden brown forms.

      Topping suggestions: Earth balance mayo, Daiya mozzarella shreds, avocado, roasted red peppers.

        Cross Training Boot Camp Can Help You Be A Better Athlete

        Being strong but slow in sports is not ideal.  Top athletes, whether it be running, playing football, baseball, basketball, cycling, etc,  all have one thing in common: they are strong and they can move quickly.  Being strong but slow in most sports isn’t ideal. Being able to produce force rapidly is part of what creates a top athlete.

        A cross training boot camp like the one offered at Ultimate Fit Zone in Monmouth County, combines traditional strength training exercises with athletic performance exercises to create a diverse, multi-dimensional training program that can help athletes excel to the top.

        A comparison of a strict strength building exercise with a strength and force building exercise is the strict overhead press and the push press.  The strict overhead press is what many body builders and strength trainers are accustomed to.  It involves isolating the shoulder muscles to push weight over the head.  It is great for building muscle and strength.

        The push press is used in CrossFit and cross training programs to help build strength, force and speed.  The push press contrasts the strict press in that it calls on a larger variety of muscles (add in the lower body) to drive, push and stabilize the bar overhead.  This helps build power, speed and stability- things all athletes can benefit from.

        Developing this explosive power and speed helps athletes run faster, cycle harder, be more nimble on the field, duck and dodge tackles, exert more force and be more agile.

        Many of the cross training exercises in our Monmouth County boot camp gym are based on these principals.  We use a combination of these exercises plus traditional strength movements as well as cardio and body weight bearing movements to thoroughly work and train the muscles in the body not just for strength, but for speed and athleticism.  This program can benefit anyone looking to be more fit overall, even non-athletes.

        About Eddie Albert, NJ Personal Trainer

        Eddie is the owner of Ultimate Fit Zone and a personal trainer in Monmouth County.  He has a body building background with a mix of CrossFit and personal training.  He designs workouts for individuals of all ages and fitness levels and is the director of training for the boot camp gym and his 24 hour gym, Ultimate Fitness.  Both gyms are in Ocean Twp (Monmouth County).

        Flourless Vegan Fudgy Brownies

        These brownies are very chocolatey and fudgy- everything you would want in an ooey, gooey brownie…and don’t tell the kids but there are veggies in these brownies! I promise no one will ever know that there is a full cup of grated zucchini in there!  The only ‘con’ to these brownies is that they don’t fluff up much while baking.  They stay pretty thin but the flavor more than makes up for it.

        We had ours warm with a little Ben & Jerry’s non-dairy ice cream on top. AHHHHHHmazing!

        This recipe has been modified from its original version on RunningWithSpoons.com

        Flourless Vegan Fudgy Brownies

        These brownies are delicious and fudgy.  They don’t bake up like thick brownies so double the recipe if you want them to be larger.  Mine were thin and gooey and we liked them 🙂

        • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter ((or any nut butter of choice))
        • 1 ripe medium banana
        • 1 Flax egg ((1 tbs ground flax mixed with 3 tbs water-mix and let sit for 2 minutes))
        • 1/4 cup Maple syrup ((or agave))
        • 1/4 cup Cocoa powder
        • 1 tsp vanilla
        • 1/2 tsp baking soda
        • 1 cup Shredded zucchini ((this is about 1 medium zucchini. Squeeze some of the excess water out after shredding))
        • 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
        1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8×8 baking pan with non stick spray or line with parchment paper. 

        2. Add all of the above ingredients (except for the zucchini and chocolate chips) to your food processor. Process until a smooth brownie batter is created.  Stir in the shredded zucchini and chocolate chips.

        3. Pour batter into your 8×8 baking pan.  Bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick or knife comes out of the center clean.  Let cool and enjoy.  You can store these in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in an air tight tupperware. 

         

        Vegan Mexican Casserole Recipe

        vegan-mexican-casserole-recipeThis is the easiest Mexican casserole and what I love about it is that it can be used as a main entree or as a dip for chips and veggies at a gathering.  I chose organic ingredients for this meal.  In many cases, organic canned beans are just about $.20 more than regular canned beans.  For corn, organic non-GMO is always a must. Even choosing organic, this was a very cheap dish to make.  Enjoy! We enjoyed ours with Sea Salt & Lime Tortilla chips and guacamole.

        This will make about 6 servings.

        Ingredients:

        • 1 x 15 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
        • 1 x 15 oz can black beans, rinsed well and drained
        • 1 cup salsa of choice ( I used milld)
        • 2 cups of Daiya vegan shreds + another 8 oz for topping (I used a combination of Cheddar, Pepperjack and Mozzarella)
        • 1 x 10 oz can of Rotel tomatoes with chiles (I like the cilantro/lime variety. If you like SPICY – the fire roasted variety will add a good kick)
        • 2 cups cooked rice (Wegman’s sells frozen organic rice that is already cooked. I didn’t even have to defrost it–just added it right to the bowl of ingredients)
        • Optional- 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika (I happen to love smoked paprika so I add it to many Mexican dishes.  It tastes amazing but is not necessary)
        • Optional- sliced olives as a toping for the casserole

        Directions: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 11 baking dish with Olive oil baking spray. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large mixing bowl (except the 8 oz of cheese for topping). Transfer to baking dish.  Sprinkle the 8 oz of cheese on top and sliced olives if you are using.  Bake for about 50 minutes.  Let cool a little before you slice it. It will be ‘gooey’ so you may need to use a spatula along with a large knife for serving if you want to try to keep the ‘square’ shape. Otherwise, spoon it onto plates.  Serve with tortilla chips, avocado or guacamole.

        Enjoy 🙂

         

         

        Recipe: Polenta with Spanish Rice and Beans



        spanish-polenta-recipe-1I found this recipe in The China Study Cookbook and thought it looked so tempting! I was right!  It’s amazing and my husband loved it too. I made a few changes from the original recipe.  Mainly just doubled the amount of polenta because I wanted a thick layer underneath the beans and rice and I love smokey flavors so I added in diced smoked tofu (organic, non GMO variety).  Also, I used organic frozen brown rice (it’s already cooked) instead of regular brown rice because that cut the cooking time down by 45 minutes. What you see below is my slightly revised recipe from the original.

        Polenta with Spanish Rice and Beans

        Ingredients:

        For the Polenta:

        • 4 cups waterspanish-polenta-recipe-2spanish-polenta-recipe-3
        • 1.5 cups polenta corn grits
        • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

        For the spanish rice and beans:

        • 1 small onion, diced
        • 3 cloves garlic (or use 1.5 teaspoons mince garlic or 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic
        • 1 x 14.5 ounce can diced tomato ( I always try to get a brand that says ‘BPA Free’ on the label
        • Some vegetable broth (just for sautéing so the onions and rice don’t stick to the pan)
        • 1 tablespoon (or less) chili powder
        • 1 cup frozen, organic brown rice
        • 1 x 15.5 ounce can black beans, rinse well!!
        • 1 cup salsa
        • Guacamole (to add when serving)

        Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit

        To cook the polenta, bring the water, polenta and salt to a boil. Lower, stir often for a few minutes. It will thicken quickly. Transfer the polenta to a baking dish (I used a square dish about 13×13 or so…) and spread it evenly into the dish. (Spray baking dish with non fat cooking spray. I use olive oil spray). Leave that there and go work on the rice and beans.

        Sautee your onion, garlic, and chili powder for about 3 minutes to soften onions.  Use your vegetable broth to prevent sticking. Then add in the frozen brown rice.  If anything is sticking, add another splash of broth.  Sauté another 2 minutes to mix all flavors together.  Stir in the tomatoes, then the black beans. Mix all together.

        Pour the rice and bean mixture on top of the polenta mixture and smooth out with a large spoon.  Spread salsa on top of the mixture.

        Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.  remove from oven.  When serving, add a dollop of guacamole on top.   I served mine with marinated kale greens.

         

         

        Barbell Babes at Ultimate Fit Zone

        The women impressed again at last week’s double AMRAP session with a deadlift/box jump AMRAP and a row/dumbbell snatch AMRAP that followed.

        Looking good ladies!

        Deadlift, box jump. Snatch, row. Two different AMRAPs going on together. #crosstraining #fitfam #ironwomen #barbellbabe #deadlift #boxjump #snatch #monmouthcounty #fittest

        Ultimate Fit Zone is a Cross Training Boot Camp in Monmouth County.

        Yoga For Beginners

        yogaComplimentary Yoga for Beginners – Pre Registration Required

        Taught By Alexandra Jacob

        This is a Five Week Karma Yoga class beginning Sunday February 15th 8-9 am at Ultimate Fit Zone in Ocean Township.    Each class will be an hour long.  Karma yoga is of no charge to you.  It is completely complimentary.  A course for the yoga beginner, including all the inside information you need to feel comfortable when you are starting a yoga practice. Find out how to pick a yoga style, observe proper yoga etiquette, and avoid injury. Each week you will also get the answer to a frequently asked question (FAQ). At the end of this five-week course, you will understand the principles and origins of yoga, and know how to practice beginning-level poses.

        This class is great if you have never taken a yoga class or if you are looking for a better insight within yourself.

        Alex is studying to become a certified yoga instructor by Yoga Alliance. This is a part of her clinical study, in which she will ask you to complete a form about how the class benefited you. Supplies needed:  Just you, a towel (large), men’s tie (for strap work) and a water bottle. 

        REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

        To register, please visit https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/home?studioid=129958

        If you are not a current Ultimate Fit Zone client, please create an account and book yourself in for any Yoga sessions you may be attending.  If you are unable to attend please make sure you remove yourself from the class you are booked in for.

        Ultimate Fit Zone is located in Middlebrook Plaza at the corner of Deal Road and Highway 35 South in Ocean Township.

        1466 Highway 35 South – 732-428-2111 – www.UltimateFItZone.com

        Meatless Monday Meal Plan 10-20-2015

        We’re thrilled that so many of you have taken an interest in Meatless Monday.  this is a worldwide cause to become healthier individuals, protect our planet and protect animals.  Yes, not eating meat for just ONE day can do all of that!!!  Our goal is to spread awareness of the cause throughout Monmouth County and get more businesses, schools and organization supporting the cause!

        Some of you asked what types of meals to prepare, so we created a sample Meatless Monday meal plan for you.  We will publish more each Monday.

        Meatless Monday Meal Plan

        Breakfast: Sunwarrior Protein shake blended with ½ frozen banana, 1 tbspn natural peanut butter, 8-10 ounce mix of unsweetened almond milk and water

        Snack: 1 slice Ezekiel toast (get this in Wegmans in the frozen aisle across from the almond milk) with hummus

        Lunch: Giant mixed green salad ( I get the organic Spring mix in Wegmans) tossed with ¼ c chick peas, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, olives.  Topped with light Balsamic Vinagrette dressing.  Side: ¼ cup cashews (or walnuts or almonds)

        Dinner:  Sautee: ½ eggplant (peeled and cubed), 1 cup broccoli, 1 cup mushrooms sliced.  I like to season mine with some cumin, curry powder, garlic, pepper and a light mix of marinara sauce thinned down with some water.

        On the side: Cauliflower rice:

        Recipe:

        This will make the whole head of cauliflower, chop ingredients in half if you don’t want to make it all. But I would make it and keep the rest in the fridge so you have it for the week)

        • 1 medium head (about 24 oz) cauliflower, rinsed
        • 1 tbsp coconut oil
        • pinch of salt
        • spray
        • 1/2 small onion, diced fine
        • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
        • optional- add about 1 cup sliced mushrooms if you like shrooms ☺

        3 tbsp Braggs Liquid Amminos, or more to taste (Tamari for Gluten Free)

        Chop head of cauliflower into smaller florets, place florets in food processor and pulse until it is about size of brown rice (careful not to over process) – set aside

        In large sautee pan, add 1 tbpn coconut oil, garlic and ½ small onion. Sautee about 5 mins until onion is soft (also add mushroom if you are using)

        Add cauliflower ‘rice’ to pan along with the Bragg’s amminos and sautee about 2 mins on high heat.  Then lower heat and cover and cook approximately 5 to 6 more minutes, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower is slightly crispy on the outside but tender on the inside.