Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Stay Fit through the Holidays

It's the Most WoNdErFuL Time of the year? Right? or am I right?

I sometimes find myself dreading this time of the year, and it makes me angry, because it should be The Best Time of the year full of giving, love, and Peace. Let's all love to Give all of our unnecessary treats away, so we can have peace:) (I'm kidding) Here are some rules that I have given myself to stay fit through the Holidays,

Rule #1 Set a goal. Remember where you want to be on January 1st this year, and keep that in mind throughout this next two months. Make you goals reasonable. Do you want to maintain your weight, or do you want to lose weight during this Holiday Season. Set your goals reasonably knowing yourself. My goal is to maintain my weight, and increase my strength.

Rule #2 . Write down your goals. Use a blog, Facebook, or any other form of letting others know of your plan. You will notice if you have to let others know of your goal, you will most likely stick to it.

Rule #3 Make sure it's worth it. Let's talk about food. I for one can not avoid the tempting treats of the Holidays. So my plan is to make sure the food is Worth it. Don't eat things unless they are completely 100% worth it. For instance, a donut is just not worth it---it is available ALL year long! But Grandma's homemade caramels are! My Grandma makes homemade caramels for me every year. This is worth it to me.

Rule #4 Drink a lot of water. Instead of drinking the holiday punch, drink water. When it is cold outside, we forget dehydrate ourselves, and we tend to eat more food. Also, if Hot Chocolate is a must because of the cold weather, mix it with water instead of milk. It will lower the calories, and still warm you up. I know egg nog is a favorite, and if you can not avoid it, mix it with skim milk, it will still taste yummy, and will lower the calories.

Rule #5 Be active! Play with the kids after dinner, run up and down your stairs, the kids will think it is the funnest game ever. Get outside and walk. Run in the snow, it is much better for your knees, and is so rejuvinating.

Rule #6 Get Plenty of rest. Remember that muscle builds while you rest and cortisol levels (which increase fat deposits in your belly) will rise under periods of less rest and higher stress.

Rule #7 Eat more vegetables with your meal. Instead of loading up with potatoes and stuffin, choose to have more vegetables with your turkey. Vegetables are free calories, learn to love them for that. (of course the ones that are not sauteed in butter and oil:))

Rule #8 Have a smaller dessert. I know we've talked about desserts, but this is something we have to tell ourselves over and over again. You don't need to skip dessert, just moderate it. Have a smaller sliver of pie with a larger serving of Fat-Free Cool whip it has less calories than a scoop of ice cream. Just be aware of what is going into your body, and if it is worth it, enjoy it SLOWLY.

Rule #9 Allow yourself to cheat. Taking a day off every once in a while gives your body time to rest and recover. Eating "bad" foods every once in a while will not make us gain weight, if we are smart and do our best to stick to our rules. Remember, MoDeRaTiOn is the KEY!!! Enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend, and don't forget to list all that you are Grateful for.
I am grateful for the knowledge I have gained to know how to take care of my body, and for the ability to make mistakes and get back on track. My body is good to me, and I am so grateful for it. I am determined to have a wonderful Holiday full of laughter and gratitude.

Rule #10 GIVE. If you can not have sweets in your house without eating them all to yourself, give them away. If you enjoy baking, make sure you are baking for someone, and do not bake more than you need.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Zion National Park

I am just going to redirect you to Cindy's (our hiking director) personal blog so you can see the love she has for hiking, and also for the beautiful National Park that is so close to us. Each week we plan to take our guests for a day in Zion. There is so much to see here, and we have guides that absolutely love to do this! Click Here to check out her blog.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Fitness Diary

We are so excited to introduce James Keilman's new blog, click here to view. James is a partner at Desert Cliffs, and has been a part of the fitness world for 15 years. He is a valuable and important part of your success in achieving your weight loss goals. He has started a blog to teach you what he has learned. It is a personal fitness diary and may contain valuable information that will help you better understand the sometimes complex world of fitness.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Third Ravine

Tomorrow we will be hiking Third Ravine, wish you were joining us!

Friday, November 13, 2009


I love this picture, because I think we all have experienced this, we sneak that chocolate bar when no one is watching. We think that if we hide from everyone it is ok, but we are forgetting we are hiding from the one person that should count the most....OURSELVES!!!
This is a gret picture, something we all face, the chocolate bar or the apple? Well, if the chocolate bar is NOT in my pantry, then I chose the apple. The trick has been to go to the store and pass the chocolate bars and pick up the apple instead.
I am confused by this picture, why are the parents so in love with the fact that their little girl has a bowl full of candy? I'm sure it was an advertisement of some sort, and she is an adorable little girl, but these are the distractions we are faced with every Day.

They are everywhere, they are distractions that keep us from reaching our goals. I think we each wake up each day with a goal in mind, and then we are faced with all of the distractions. If you walk into a grocery store, there are all types of candy, goodies, sweets, and then you walk by the bakery isle... it's just seems impossible to avoid all of these distractions, so what do we do?

I can only speak from experience, I have always loved sweets. These are the ways I try to avoid these distractions;
1. Drink lots of water
2. Do not go to the grocery store hungry
3. I try to keep sweets out of my pantry
4. Practice making better choices every day
5. Be accountable for the calories, read the labels, if sweets is a must, then only eat the serving size

I have always strived to be healthy like most people but have made mistake after mistake. Lately I have seen food in a different light. I think the distractions have become less of a distraction than they used to be. I have been able to distinguish the important things in life, or rather what something is worth. I have established a (healthy) anger against the things that have hurt me, and have been able to put myself 1st, my hppiness 1st, my future 1st. I walk into the store and have a different perspective, I look at the candy, and see it as empty calories that have hurt me in the past, and I am not going to let them hurt me again. Now this isn't to say that it still isn't hard, but I believe it is because of the education, and daily practice that has gotten me to this point. I am not going to let these useless calories win. They are not worth my time and energy.
Remember to ask yourself, "Is this worth it?"

Now I know the holidays are coming around the corner, and they are associated with in my opinion some of the best food of the year, family, friends, and SWEETS!!!! I plan to arm myself with the right gear, and I will not be one of the millions that gain 5 pounds because of the Holidays, but I will be one who enjoys the Holidays, sweets and all in a moderate and smart way. That will definitely be one of my blogs to come.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Healthy and low calorie Shepherd's Pie

I used a normal recipe and tried some different things to make it healthier, and it turned out delicious!!

1 lb lean ground turkey
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 bell pepper chopped
4 stalks of celery chopped
4 carrots chopped
4 potatoes boiled
1/4 cup worchestershire sauce
can of chicken broth (low sodium)
a squirt or two of ketchup
fresh thyme chopped up (I used dried)

Brown your turkey, add thyme, and then add onions, pepper, celery, and carrots let cook for a while and then add your chicken broth, bring to a boil. Then add 2 TBS of flour, mix it in really well to help thicken, then add worchestershire sauce and 2 squirts of ketchup to taste. Let simmer while you mash your potatoes with a dash of dill, and two squirts of dijon mustard.

In a 9x13 dish add your turkey mixture, and then on top add the potatoes. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.

My kids loved this. It was really tasty, and hard to not eat a lot, but fortunately, my family cleaned up the dish, so I really only got my fist full serving. Make sure you serve it up with a big green salad and portion yours on your plate, so you don't go back for seconds.

This is just a recipe I serve at home, I am not a chef, and I am not a dietician, but I want to share with you the ways I try to eat healthier with my family. Tonight my kids want me to make oatmeal cookies with butterscotch chips (ugh!) But I will only use half of the chips, half the sugar, and I replace the oil with applesauce. You can also use an egg substitute if you like for the eggs.

Come visit our resort and receive many cooking lessons with our wonderful chef who makes the most amazing, low calorie, but filling meals and she will give us all cooking tips to help take home as we all try to continue on our lifestyle of healthy living!!!
Thanks a bunch,
Leanne Kemp

Post us a comment and share with us ways that you cook healthier at home.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Glass 1/2 Full

I always seem to have a way of setting high goals, and never really reaching all of them, but I've always been very optimistic, and have been able to not be too hard on myself when I don't quite reach it, and then I set another one just as high. This latest goal is to many, "very silly" but I want it, and it involves a yoga pose. I have always loved yoga, which is ironic, because I am so unFLExIbLe! Well the goal is set, and I am working every day (give or take a few:)) and I will try to reach this goal.....until I set a new one :). I'm just not sure if this yoga pose I am aspiring for is reachable with my flexibility, but there is nothing wrong with trying, and becoming stronger because I tried.

This last weekend I was able to attend a conference called, "Time Out for Women". This Conference really helped me gain some more confidence, to get through each day stronger. We all struggle with challenges, and many of us feel our challenges are too much to bear, but we are here together, all struggling with similar challenges, and it sure helps to hear from those that are reseting their goals also.

Optimism is a quality that I believe I have grown to achieve through my struggles throughout my life. I wasn't always optimistic, but now I believe it is the only way to go. One of the many things that struck me from this conference, Mary Ellen from TOFW talked about "David and Goliath" from the Bible, if you are familiar with the story, remember David was up against a Giant, and he defeated him because of his optimism. David did not let the size of Goliath scare him. Mary Ellen says, "A Pestamist looks at Goliath and says, 'He's so huge, I'll never be able to take him down'. The Optimist looks at Goliath and says, 'He's so huge, I can't miss!"

Let us continue daily to set goals, and reset goals, stay optimistic in all we do, and set that goal to reach the highest mountain, and never give up.
Leanne Kemp

This is not me, but it is my goal

Friday, November 6, 2009

Red Cliffs Hike

One of our favorite hikes to take guests on, it is just beautiful, and so much fun!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Alot-a-Pain! NO gain!

If you have ever attempted to lose weight, then you’ve most likely had the following conversation with someone: “I’ve been running my legs off and doing cardio workouts till I puke and starving myself to lose weight but… I haven’t lost any weight” or” I’m gaining weight instead”. To which your friend gives you the comforting reply: “You’re probably staying the same or gaining weight because your gaining muscle and muscle weighs more than fat and that’s why”. Really??

Think about it. If you take a pound of fat and a pound of muscle and weigh them side by side, wouldn’t they both weigh a pound? And if you’re doing a lot of cardio training and no resistance training, then how are you building muscle? The truth is that muscle is more dense and has less mass (takes up less space) than fat. Recent studies show that the average weight trainer (someone who lifts weights 5 times a week) gains 3-5 lbs of muscle every 3 months. So unless your waistline is shrinking, your weight gain has nothing to do with muscle gain.

So why aren’t you shedding the pounds? You’re killing yourself and suffering the pain for no gain! How is this possible?

Over the past 15 years I have been in and around the exercise industry and have found that the greatest results have come by simply learning and sticking to the fundamental basics of exercise and weight-loss. In an age where thousands of weight-loss programs, fad diets, pills, potions and lotions promise guaranteed results; it’s not surprising that millions of people jump from one exercise program to the next “magic” pill to the next fad diet, to the next piece of “must have” exercise equipment sold on T.V. only to find themselves feeling deflated, depressed and defeated as they look in the mirror and see little to no results for their efforts.

Over the next few days I will share with you the Why’s, the How’s and the basics of proper weight-loss. Most people spend maximum effort on things that have minimum impact on weight loss. Follow this post daily if you want to find out how making little changes can bring huge results.

-James Keilman

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What we are About.....

We love our website, and want to thank Rick Williamson and James Keilman for all the work they put into it, but are always up for suggestions, and some of the things that I have heard from guests are that we need to better show our philosophy, and they would also like to see a schedule of our daily activities, so for now until we add it to our website here it is;


We have passion!!! Our passion is health, fitness and the beautiful outdoors. I have always loved fitness..... Yoga, cycling, boot camps, volleyball, basketball, softball, aerobics, pilates, kick boxing, circuit, treading, ball works, running, etc. Since moving to St. George 4 years ago, the one exercise that will never get old for me is hiking. There is so much of it here, and as much as I have hiked since I moved here, I still can't get enough. Scroll down to the next post to see the benefits of hiking. This place is just BEAUTIFUL, and I have hiked with a lot of people from all over the world, and so many say this area is just INCREDIBLE. We want to share that with you.
Our other passion is health. I have always been cautious of what I eat, but then I have always LOVED to eat. I have been fooled by the nonfat twizzlers, and the very lowfat snackwells, and of course the famous DON'T EAT THE BUN, but enjoy the burger,lettuce, and tomato! I have been to many lectures, and was told once for my body type I should eat a boiled egg, and a handful of almonds for breakfast. (that's actually not a bad suggestion, but EVERYDAY? come on) The diet soda has not gotten to me very well, but it sure sounds enticing to enjoy soda and not down a single calorie!!! What I have learned is to go back to the basics of nutrition, and practice eating healthy every Day, and to be very aware of what I put into my mouth through education, and practice.
I remember when I was younger wanting to go to all the basketball camps, music camps, volleyball camps, etc. It was a week of focusing on that one skill, and because of it we saw improvement in our overall performance. We are a fitness camp! We want to show you, remind you and concentrate on practicing being healthy, fit and having fun while doing it. I believe that we need to keep reminding, educating ourselves and practicing what is healthy. That is where we at Desert Cliffs come in. Eventually you will see that it works, you WILL start eating healthier, exercising more, and as a result lose weight and live a HEALTHY life.

Three days a week we are going to extend our hikes! We are going to start hiking in the morning, enjoy a healthy nutritious lunch, and continue hiking. During our lunch break, we may incorporate some yoga, or stretch depending on the groups preference. After the hike we will come back to the resort, and enjoy a water aerobics class. We will have dinner back at the house, and you can be a part of the preparation of the meal since the kitchen is the center of your house here at Desert Cliffs.

On the days that we do not have an extended hike, we will educate you on strength training, cardio toning, power yoga, and a new fun class called cross fit. These are fun classes and most of what you will find where you live, so we will introduce you to them and help you understand a little bit more of the benefits each one has to offer. Again we will have a delicious dinner; after dinner give you more education on better food choices, ways to eat healthier, and cook healthier.

Each week we will take you to Zions National Park. We just feel that your visit to Utah needs to include this trip. It is breathtaking, and it will rejuvinate you, cause you to ponder on your life, reflect on making better health choices, and of course burn some calories. We are so lucky to have on our staff people who LOVE Zions, and know all of what it has to offer. This will be a great day to bring your journal and write down your thoughts.

So there you have it, we do not have it written down, because each week we will receive a different group of guests, and because we are such a small group, each week we will get to know each of our guests personally, and figure out what their needs are and incorporate them into the week.

Come and join us for a week or two or more of an unforgettable journey to become more healthy and happy. START IT HERE!

Happy Hiking,
Leanne Kemp
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