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Yield: serves 6-8
Recipe Revised from The View from Great is Land


• 1/2 pound trimmed asparagus (asparagus that has already had the lower 1/3 cut off)
• 15 ounce can chickpeas (or other bean) well rinsed and drained
• 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
• 5 radishes, trimmed and cut into wedges or chunks
• 1 cucumber, chopped
• 1/2 cup chopped red onion
• 1/2 cup cherry tomato halves (cut in wedges if they are larger)
• 1/2 cup colorful bell peppers, chopped
• 1/2 cup black olives
• 1/4 cup roasted red peppers (from a jar) chopped
• salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
• 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Garnish with fresh thyme

Dressing Ingredients
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
• juice of 1/2 lemon
• 1/4 tsp dried thyme
• pinch of salt and pepper
1. Blanch the asparagus ever so briefly to take the raw edge off. To blanch, bring a pan of water to a boil, plunge the asparagus in, and remove it in exactly 60 seconds. Set the timer and don't leave it in the water any longer than that. (The only exception is if your asparagus stalks are very thick.) Rinse in cold water, or drop the asparagus into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and preserve the color. Once completely cold, dry on a clean towel. Slice the stalks into 2 inch pieces, on the diagonal.
2. Add the asparagus, chickpeas, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, peppers, and olives to a large mixing bowl. Toss with enough dressing to thoroughly moisten, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let the salad chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve, best if you can give it at least an hour.
3. Toss the salad and add more dressing if needed. Transfer to a serving bowl, top with the feta cheese and fresh thyme.
4. To make the dressing: Whisk together the ingredients and taste to adjust any of them.
Nutrition Facts for 1/8th of total salad
Salad + Dressing:
Calories: 183.6 Protein: 5.7g Fat: 10.9g Carbohydrates: 16.9g Fiber: 3.85 g
Sodium: 170 mg

     When you go to exercise you are probably thinking about some of the ways you would like your body to adapt: lose fat, gain speed, gain strength, become more flexible...When you consider these things, have you ever stopped to think about how you adapt? If your thoughts immediately go to your muscles, then you are only halfway there. It is actually your brain and nervous system that adapt first. Let's dive into this a little deeper.
All of our movement actions are linked to our nerves, specifically groups of them referred to as motor units. Motor units extend throughout our body and send the signal to move from our brains to our muscles. From a twitch in the eye to a long jump, movement is only achieved through motor unit action. It only makes sense that as we push ourselves to move in new and challenging ways, the nerves that enable us to move would adapt.body
You may have noticed that when you first perform a new movement, such as a new type of lift, the movement may feel awkward and heavy, but over time it becomes more comfortable. This is due to adaptations in your nervous system. Your motor units begin to coordinate their actions better to allow for smoother movement, and your nervous system starts to recruit larger motor units at a faster pace in order to more readily handle heavier loads. This lets your muscles work together far more efficiently and enables you to work out harder. If these coordination adaptations never happened, then getting any kind of rigorous exercise would be very difficult, because your body would always be awkwardly navigating the movement pattern as if it were the first time.
The body helps in another way during exercise: it is constantly pumping the brakes in the nervous system to prevent us from going too fast or too hard, which serves to keep us from hurting ourselves when doing basic movements. Whenever you move a muscle, there is another muscle that acts to slow down your moving muscle. As we train, the opposing action of our muscles is reduced, and we are able to perform stronger actions. Similarly, the strength with which a motor unit activates also increases. This means we are capable of more because not only is the signal from our brain stronger, but our muscles oppose the movement action to a lesser degree.
You may think to yourself, "Why does this matter?" That is a fair question, so let's dig into it. We need to understand how the body adapts so that we can have reasonable expectations of the changes we can expect from our exercise. Neural changes occur first, and we may not see any changes to muscle size until six weeks or so. In addition, we need to be aware that this element of neural adaptation is critical for us to learn how to smoothly perform new actions. If we only train the chest by doing the bench press, then we only have a movement pattern learned for the bench press. Instead, it is better for us to try many different kinds of exercises for the same muscle group, as this leads to increased variability in our movement patterns. Basically, this means that our brain learns many different ways to accomplish the same kind of training. This diversity in movement is extremely beneficial if for some reason we have to try a new movement for our exercises. This could happen because the bench press is full, the treadmill is out of order, or due to a knee injury you need to get your cardio training on the Upper Body Ergometer.
What does this mean for us when it comes to movement in our daily lives? Training the brain and central nervous system to accomplish new tasks is just as important as training our muscles. We need a nervous system that has been exposed to many different ways to move so that we can move more efficiently in many different scenarios outside of the gym. Lifting furniture, climbing a ladder, taking the stairs, getting a heavy dish out of the top cabinet – these are all activities that use muscular strength, and having worked those muscles in various ways helps you be ready for anything. I encourage you to change up your workout, try new machines, and try new kinds of movements that you have not before. Train your brain, and you have a lot to gain!
©Horton Doughton 2018

Needle, Alan. "Motor Units." Appalachian State University, Feb. 2018, Boone, NC. Speech.
Needle, Alan. "Motor Variability." Appalachian State University, Mar. 2018, Boone, NC. Lecture.
Baechle, Thomas R., and Roger W. Earle, editors. Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning.
3rd ed., Human Kinetics, 2008.


   You work hard in the gym and you want it to show. Unfortunately, that stubborn layer of excess bodyfat keeps you from getting the look you are after. Since you don't ha

ve all day to pound away on the treadmill, you need all the tricks you can find to help burn bodyfat quickly and efficiently. Try these 3 proven fat burning weapons to help burn fat.


Use High Intensity Interval Training To Tap into the EPOC


        Contrary to popular belief, spending hours on the cardio machines is not the best or quickest way to lose bodyfat. While it is true that moderate intensity,


steady-state cardio uses fat as a primary fuel source, that's not the whole picture.


        One study that compared the fat burning effects of traditional cardio and high intensity intervals showed impressive differences in the two training methods. Group A performed traditional cardio for 20 weeks, while Group B performed high intensity intervals for 15 weeks. In the end, Group B lost 9 times more fat than Group A and in 5 less weeks.


Why is interval training so much more effective?


Interval training places a great demand on your body and all of it's systems. The demand is so great that it can take hours (24-36) for your body to return to a normal state. This means you'll be burning calories for hours and hours after your workout is over. This fat burning "afterburn" is known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC).


Plus, interval training is fast. A quick, intense 20-25 minutes will do the trick.



Build Muscle To Burn Fat


Muscle is a metabolically active tissue, meaning it takes calories to build, maintain and repair. A pound of muscle burns about 7-10 extra calories per hour1. (In the past we thought 25, but it has since been proven too high.) While that doesn't sound like it would make much of a difference, it's only one part of the story.

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brownie bites

Author: Demeter | Beaming Baker

Recipe type: No Bake, Brownies, Chocolate, Paleo, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Dessert


Dry Ingredients

  • ¾ cup finely ground, blanched almond flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • ½ cup Paleo-friendly vegan chocolate chips (mini and regular)

Wet Ingredients

  • ¾ cup natural, unsalted creamy almond butter (mine is very liquidy)
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 2 tablespoons Paleo-friendly vegan chocolate chips (mini and regular)


  1. In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients: almond flour, cocoa powder, flaxseed and chocolate chips.
  2. Add almond butter, maple syrup and vanilla. Using a sturdy spatula, stir and fold together until well incorporated.
  3. Using a cookie scoop, scoop and drop a ball into your hands. Here are the 2-tablespoon and 1-tablespoon scoops I use. Roll and press into bites. Optionally, press chocolate chips into bites. Enjoy!

- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 weeks.
- For melty, warm brownie bites: heat in the microwave in 10-second increments until warm. So delicious—like fresh brownies!

Nutrition Facts


Calories: 131     Total Fat: 10 grams     Saturated Fat: 2 grams     Sodium: 28 mg  

Total Carbohydrates: 11 grams   Dietary Fiber: 3 grams   Protein: 5 grams

Ski Ergs

For those of you looking for a great way to improve your fitness or stay in shape for ski-season year –round, we have exciting news. The Wellness Center just recently added two new Concept 2 SkiErg machines. The Concept 2 SkiErg simulates the sport of Nordic skiing, which is recognized as one of the most challenging workouts around. Nordic skiing, a sport that that requires a combination of both strength and endurance, provides an amazing full-body workout. Not only does it effectively work the core, but also requires you to utilize all the major muscles in your arms and legs. The SkiErg also accommodates those dealing with lower body injuries by offering a low-impact workout that’s easy on the joints. The exercise can even be modified and performed kneeling or in a wheelchair, offering another way for adaptive athletes to challenge themselves. In addition, our members already utilizing the Concept 2 rowers will find that the SkiErg is a means to add variety and compliment your workouts. Below is a breakdown of the movement with diagrams demonstrating what muscles are used during each phase of the exercise:


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Aging is accompanied by many physiological changes. One of the most predominant physiological changes is sarcopenia, which is the loss of muscle mass and strength with age. It is estimated that after your fourth decade, you lose about 1% of your muscle mass each year. This depletion of muscle mass contributes to increased disability, frailty, and risk of falls and injuries as you age. Strength training helps combat sarcopenia by increasing muscle mass and strength. Strength training also reduces the risk of falling because it causes improved balance and coordination. Adapting a strength-training program can help elderly people maintain independence in performing tasks of daily life.

Download the flyer here or scroll down to see it below.


resistance benefits


changes with age





Why you should get in the WATER

For many people, aquatic exercise is a little taboo or not even an option. The thought of putting on a bathing suits and smelling like chlorine is the last thing on their To-Do list. For the individual who comes to the wellness center and participants in weight training or our land base classes, adding one more mode of exercise might be hard to incorporate. The fact of the matter is, our members have access to one of the best pools in Watauga County and can benefit from all it has to offer.

"It's recommended to have 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (five days per week) or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (three days per week)" (New Recommendations on Quantity and Quality of Exercise, ACSM, 2017). For many people, this type of impact is not tolerated well and leads to fatigue, tight muscles and burnout. We here at the wellness center have the ability to cross train all fitness levels to tolerate their exercise programs and function in their activities of daily living. A well rounded aerobic and strength training program in the pool can provide low to high intensity workouts with deep water exercises, lap swimming or shallow water aerobics. Participants of all levels have the tools to increase their resistance with water buoys, noodles, and weights. The addition of 1-2 aquatic workouts weekly could possible help detour injury and increase the benefits of land exercise.

For many people with chronic pain, arthritis, balance limitations and/or mobility challenges, the aquatic environment is ideal for exercise. Water exercise takes away the impact of gravity and allows joints optimal flexing, which can improve range of motion. The water's natural compression encourages improved blood flow for people with poor circulation. "Water also has greater resistance than air, which means walking in water requires more effort and ultimately burns more calories than walking on land" (Water Walking 101, Camille Noe Pagán and Sean Kelley,

For more information on The Wellness Center's aquatic options, please follow this link to our aquatic page. We offer several types of aquatic classes, swimming clinics and aquatic personal training.