December 2016

Featured News

The Caloric Expense of Alcohol During the Holidays

For those of you wanting to drown your sorrows of a holiday season gone mad with copious amounts of spiked eggnog or bringing good cheer by combining large amounts of high-fat treats with high-caloric alcohol, the New Year may start with a rude awakening.

Researchers at the Laval University in Saint-Foy, Quebec found that combining high-fat foods such as glazed ham, stuffing and pecan pie with alcoholic drinks causes people to put away many more calories than eating fatty foods with nonalcoholic drinks, or eating low-fat foods with or without alcohol.

Considering that a traditional holiday dinner can easily add up to more than 1,500 calories—a plate filled with ham, cornbread with butter, a slice of cheesecake, mashed potatoes with gravy, salad with croutons and vinaigrette, and a glass of beer—consuming additional calories from alcohol is likely to put extra pounds on your frame.

Some alcoholic beverages are more forgiving— at least in terms of their caloric intake— than others. In general, hard liquor and cocktail drinks tend to have many more calories than a glass of beer or wine, but having one cocktail or multiple drinks can easily add up to a meal.

Let’s take a look at some popular seasonal choices for alcoholic beverages:


One cup of eggnog (250 ml) contains 160-290 calories and a shot of spirits adds about another 60 calories, a fine dessert in itself.


Red and white wine have about the same amount of calories, 121-125 calories per 5-ounce glass. Dessert wines tend to have more calories: A 3.5-ounce glass, for instance, has about 165 calories.


Among the popular non-light beers on the market, a 12-ounce bottle of Corona Extra (148 calories, 14 g of carbs and 4.6% alcohol by volume) is the “lightest” pick.

Samual Adams Boston Lager comes in second with160 calories, 18 g of carbs and 4.8% alcohol content; Bass Ale ties with 160 calories, 13 g of carbs, but a higher 5.5% alcohol content; and George Killian’s Irish Red a close third with 163 calories, 14 g of carbs, and 4.9% alcohol content.

Better for your waistline are the following two “light beers”: Beck’s Premier Light with 64 calories, 4 g of carbs and 3.8% volume of alcohol and Michelob ULTRA, which has 95 calories, 2.6 carbs and 4.1% volume of alcohol. Amstel Light, which packs 99 calories, 5.5 g of carbs and 3.5% volume of alcohol, is a true alternative to Amstel’s heavyweight Cream Stout.

Hard Liquor and Cocktails = Hard to Burn Calories

When it comes to hard liquor, a 1.5-ounce glass of 53-proof Kahlua has 170 calories, which is only 10 calories shy of a whole wheat Krispy Kreme doughnut.

A frozen margarita made with 2 ounces of tequila, 4.5 ounces of Jose Cuervo margarita mix, and salt will set you back about 246 calories, the equivalent of a 4-ounce serving of Baskin-Robbins Cherries Jubilee ice cream.

A 12-ounce serving of Rum and Coke will set you back 361calories, or those packed in Carl’s Jr. Charbroiled BBQ Chicken Sandwich.

A 2-ounce Martini, made with Gin and dry Vermouth, has 119 calories; a 2.1-ounce serving of a Manhattan, made with Whiskey, Vermouth and Bitters, has 132 calories. This makes these two “Ms” the low-calorie cocktail drink alternative.

A Happy Holiday

So whether you’re struggling with holiday angst or excessive holiday cheer, try going for a walk, a bike ride or any other type of physical activity that will lift your spirits.

Being physically active before or after a meal will not only help burn calories, but is also a great way to deal with holiday stress.

Then get the family and friends together watch a movie or play a game.

Pilates Special

Take advantage of this special before it expires on 12/31/2016. Sessions must be purchased by this date, however, sessions can be used in 2017.

Trainer Quote of the Month

“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.”

-Joseph Pilates

Everyone has a different reason why they choose to exercise. But, one common goal most clients share is to improve their heath. Perhaps their doctor has told them to lose weight, or maybe they are struggling to keep up with their grandchildren. At the end of the day, exercising to improve your health also improves your happiness.

In Pilates, we focus on “a uniformly developed body”. Starting from the core and moving out to our limbs we create long, strong, and supple muscles capable of supporting and facilitating our “varied daily tasks with zest and pleasure”. Yes, we want to be able to get through the day, but we shouldn’t we also feel happy and energized in doing so?

In Pilates we also focus on developing “a sound mind”. Pilates is a mind body form of exercise. We integrate breathing, and body awareness to create a deep neuromuscular connection. When we understand our bodies, and learn how to move in a safe healthy manner that’s when we are most at ease and peace within ourselves.

I particularly like this quote by Joseph Pilates because it shows that exercise and particularly Pilates, is about more than just physical fitness. It’s about learning about our bodies, bringing knowledge and awareness to our mind, and ultimately becoming a happier person.

-- Leah Rothlein

Exercise of the Month

With TRX’s Plank to Pike you strengthen your arms, increase your core strength, and add flexibility in your hips and legs. Rancho La Puerta’s Fitness Instructor Ethan Carter demonstrates during a TRX class.

1. Put feet your feet into the straps and get on your knees and hands.

2. Walk hands out, shoulder width apart. 

3. Brace your abdominal muscles and find a neutral spine.

4. Lift your knees off the floor, straighten your legs, and find a plank position.

5. Hold plank and try to keep the straps still to prevent your body from swaying.

6. Lift your hips, allow your head to lower between your shoulders, look toward your feet, and hold. 

7. Lower your hips back into plank and repeat.

How many can you do?

Thanks to Rancho La Puerta for this challenging exercise!

Fitness Calendar

October Fitness Calendar

Balanced Mind Meditation Center Calendar

Recipe of the Month

Butternut Squash Flan Recipe

From the Kitchen at Rancho La Puerta 

Corn Poblano Souffle 

Are you looking for a unique alternative to traditional pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving season?  The Butternut Squash Flan recipe from Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta: Recipes from the World-Famous Spa may be just what you’re searching for.

Traditional flan is creamy, rich, and heavy. This lightened version is based on a naturally sweet butternut squash puree with a zing of orange in the syrup. Baked and pureed yam may be substituted for the squash.

Serves 6


  • ⅓ cup  plus ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • ¾ cup cooked, pureed butternut squash (or cooked, pureed yam)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • Seasonal fruit


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° degrees F.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine ⅓ cup of the brown sugar and the orange juice, and cook over low heat until the sugar is melted and bubbles form across the surface of the syrup, about 3 minutes.
  3. Divide the syrup evenly among six 6-ounce ramekins.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and ¼ cup brown sugar. Heat over low to medium heat, stirring constantly, to dissolve the sugar. Set aside to cool.
  5. In a bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy. Add the squash (or yam), cinnamon, vanilla, and orange zest. Stir in the cooled milk mixture. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any traces of the squash fiber.
  6. Divide the custard evenly among the ramekins, filling to within ¼-inch of the rim.
  7. Place the ramekins in a rectangular baking pan with high sides and carefully pour one inch of boiling water into the pan. Cover with foil and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes, or until the custards are no longer jiggly in the center and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, take off the foil, and let the custards cool in the water bath. Once they are cool, remove from the pan, cover, and refrigerate for at least three hours.
  8. To unmold, press gently around the edge of each flan to break the seal. Invert onto a dessert plate. If you prefer, the flan may be served right in the baking dish. Top with seasonal fruit.

Ask the Trainer

Question:  I'm a senior. Is it okay to lift weights?

Answer: Not only is it okay, is is highly recommended that you do.  After the age of 35, we lose about 10% of muscle mass every decade which means not only a loss of strength but a slower metabolism.  Weight lifting can help slow down this process.  

Answered by Robyn Cohen

Jacobs Fitness Center Hours

Monday – Thursday: 6:00 am – 9:00 pm
Friday: 6:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm  

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