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The Pulse - March/April 2009

Welcome to the Team John, Terry, and Robin!

John Bandurraga, BS
Certified Personal Trainer

John holds a B.S. from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and is a 2004 graduate of the Pima Community College Fitness Professional Certificate Program.

He is committed to educating his clients on the benefits of physical activity and guiding them in the right direction to achieve their goals. John has a gift for coming up with the most creative methods for training his clients and he believes in a functional approach to fitness. In other words, he strives to develop exercise programs that improve his clients levels of fitness and their capacity for using those improved levels outside of BodyBasics.

John is a California native. He and his wife, Sue, moved to Tucson in 2003 and have two daughters and four grandchildren. When not in the studio, John enjoys pursuing his own fitness goals, cycling, and golf.

Robin Eckert
Certified Personal Trainer
NESTA Certified Wellness Coach

Robin has worked as a fitness professional since 1998.

She has a special interest in working with clients to overcome structural imbalances, improve muscle gain, and develop a sound approach to nutrition.

Robin is a Pennsylvania native. She moved to Tucson in 1994 and enjoys cycling, yoga, cooking, and Arizona’s beautiful weather.

Terry Mamalis, BS
ACE Certified Personal Trainer

Terry earned a degree in Sports Management/Administration from Florida State University and has over 17 years of experience as a personal trainer.

His special interests include fitness training for runners, weight loss, body detoxification and nutrition.

Terry is a native of New York and enjoys running and international travel in his free time.

Farewell to Another

Please join us in bidding Cécile a fond farewell. As many of you may know, Céciles husband Chris has been working towards acceptance into the FBI for close to 10 years. Well, Chris is now just waiting for an acceptance to the FBI Academy as he has finally passed all prerequisites to getting in. Because of this, Cécile has decided to say good bye to us here at BodyBasics to give the Chris and her time to organize their affairs before he is accepted into the academy.

Cécile, thank you for being such a strong part of our team. We wish you and Chris all the best now and forever.

Take Time in 2009

As you may remember, our theme for this year is all about taking the time in 2009. While we seem to always be running out of it, we encourage you to make this year all about finding time in your life again. In the year 2009, it is time to make time for you and your health this year.

Recession = More Time for You?

In times of recession, stress levels sky rocket and put our mental health in jeopardy. Anxiety and depression are major causes of physiological stress on our bodies, which can decrease overall health. However, the New York Times recently reported that, “Recessions and depressions, of course, are not good for mental health. But, it is less widely known that in the United States and other affluent countries, physical health seems to improve, on average, during a downturn.” While it is true that missing a paycheck is stressful, the elimination of the job altogether may actually prove to have some beneficial effects on health. The improvements in physical health are attributed simply to having more time. People are commuting to work less, thus lowering the risk of accidents, as well as the stress of traffic. If people are spending less time on the road and/or in the office, then they have more time to spend on exercise, sleep, or time with the family.

What not to cut out

In times of recession, people start thinking about what they can cut out of their budgets. Often times, one of the monthly expenses that make that list is the gym membership or other monthly fitness costs. While this may seem like an obvious way to save money, cutting out your regular exercise may be one of the most detrimental decisions you could make for your physical health, especially in these stressful times.

Exercise has been proven to lower stress and many of the symptoms that accompany stress. These symptoms may include: anxiety, anger, alarm, lack of control, vulnerability, and depression. In the economic times that our country is in, there is no doubt people are feeling at least one, if not more, of the above symptoms of stress. Therefore, exercise may be more important now than ever before.

Many of us know and have experienced the stress-reducing benefits we feel when we exercise regularly, but did you know that a lack of exercise could actually attribute to more stress? When we exercise, we are essentially putting our body under stress; causing it to respond with an elevated heart rate, rise in blood pressure, and added labor on our respiratory system. When performed along specific guidelines of your professional Fitness Coach, this type of stress can be beneficial to the body. The important factor to focus on is the rate at which the body returns to homeostasis, or a “normal” state after exercise. A trained individual will not only return to homeostasis quicker, but he/she will reach a more complete state of “normal” than when compared with an untrained individual. Therefore, if we are under a stressful situation and are not exercising to give our bodies an outlet for this stress, our stress response will remain high and will take longer to return to homeostasis. In actuality, the body’s natural response to stress is to move and be active, as in exercise. If we remain inactive, we are putting an enormous amount of strain on our internal systems. Visualize those internal systems responding similarly to stepping on the gas pedal of a parked car “flooring” it while it stays in place.

Reduce your stress with exercise

Stress occurs when we prioritize things that are not important. Americans are experiencing a great amount of stress in today’s economy. Therefore it is imperative that we keep our priorities straight. By taking the time this year to focus on our health, we can better manage our stress levels and hopefully emerge from this downturn as healthier and happier Americans.

New York Times: Recession Can Change a Way of Life
Seward, Brian. Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for Health and Wellbeing. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 1999. P. 448

Upcoming Events: Energizing Your Body and Race for the Cure

Body Basics Health & Wellness Series
“Energizing Your Body”
Sat., March 21, 2009 1:00 pm

Join Body Basics Fitness Coach, Terry Mamalis, for this informative one-hour session. You will learn how to maximize your energy level so you’re better equipped to handle the demands of everyday living.

Race for the Cure
Sunday, April 19th 6:30 am

Join the Body Basics Crew and help us in the race to find a cure for breast cancer! Visit and click on the “Race for the Cure”. On the page that comes up next click on “Register”. After you have done so, you will be guided to another page that has an icon labeled “Register Here”. Click on it and then check “Join a Team”. Scroll the list of teams that will appear at the bottom until you have highlighted “BodyBasics Crew”. The rest of the registration process will follow.

The organizers of this event are providing mailed packets to all participants who register by mail postmarked Wednesday, April 1st or online by Friday, April 10th, 12 noon. We encourage all of you who are participating with BodyBasics Crew to register before these two deadlines.

We will also be ordering team shirts for all of us to wear in support of each other and the cause. Please email Chris at with your preferred shirt size for a cotton/poly shirt.

We will meet as a team on Sunday, April 19th at 6:30 for a team photo and to show support for our 1 mile walkers who will get underway soon after at 7:00 a.m. Look for BodyBasics Crew clad teammates somewhere around the Northwest corner of Reid Park on race day.

Race for the Cure is an event that is very near and dear to our hearts as so many of our beloved clients have been personally impacted by this cancer. Lets stand up as one on April 19th and show our support for each other and the community as all join to eliminate this awful monster!

iPod Music at Body Basics

Do you have a favorite workout song? What gets you pumped up? What songs make you want to move? Please email any and all songs that you would like to hear at the studio during your workouts. Well put them on the Body Basics iPod song list! Thanks!

Nutrition Corner – Make More Time in the Kitchen

In comparison to all the fast-food options out there, good nutrition may not seem the most convenient, the most economical, or the fastest way for us to fill our stomachs. In truth, good nutrition is not something that comes easy to many of us. However, it can become a good habit and even a hobby that one can learn and soon master with a little planning, preparation, practice, and patience.

Take the time to plan

Any goal can be achieved if a good plan is put in place and properly executed. If the goal is to eat healthier, having a weekly meal plan will help you improve your nutrition greatly. This meal plan will, most likely, include cooking more meals at home. Cooking meals at home is way you can control the ingredients and portion sizes more easily than dining at restaurants. If you have a plan in place, you are less likely to be “stuck” somewhere during your week without any healthy meal options. Simply take the time to make a plan, and you will be amazed at how much time you will save cumulative over the week by putting that plan in place.

We encourage you to plan your meals for the entire week at the beginning of the week (i.e. Sunday). Then write a grocery list and make one big shopping trip. You may have to make a quick trip to the store mid-way during the week to pick up additional perishable foods, but you should be able to purchase most of your food items on that one day. Having a list in hand will not only save you time in the grocery store, it will help you stay focused on what you really need so you can better fend off the urge for impulse buys.

Of course, we cannot always be prepared for everything that life is going to throw at us. Therefore, it is best to plan for the unpredictable as well. For those times, you can easily pick up a couple healthy frozen pizzas for those nights where all you may have is the 10 mins to throw a pizza in the oven and toss together a salad. Even if we are unable to stick to the original plan, we will be better prepared to handle hectic situations simply by having the plan.

Take the time to prepare

Rachael Ray, the master of the 30-Minute Meal, is constantly offering tips on how to minimize your time in the kitchen preparing your ingredients ahead of time. Sure, she has all her pots and pans out on the counter and ready for her, but if you notice, she does all her cutting, chopping, slicing, dicing, can-opening, and then the cooking all while the camera is rolling. One tip she repeats time and time again is to prepare your food when you get home from the grocery store. Specifically, she encourages the washing of all fruits and vegetables, herbs, lettuces, etc. Another good suggestion is to buy your meats in bulk. When you get home, trim the fat from the meat. Then store the food in the appropriate serving sizes for your family in freezer bags in the freezer for future meals. Taking the extra time to do this prep work ahead will dramatically cut down on the time it takes to actually cook your meal.

Take the time to practice and be patient

Managing your time is a skill that needs practice. In the beginning, schedule the planning time into your calendar to ensure you will not forget. Though the planning task may seem tedious, be patient and in no time you will become a time and money saving expert!

“Express Lane Meals”

Rachael Ray has written many cookbooks appealing to the home cook who wants a good meal in a short amount of time. One book, Express Lane Meals, gives a wide variety of meals that take as little as 15 minutes and no more than 30 minutes all with 10 ingredients or less. The lesson she teaches in the beginning of the book is how to stock your pantry. She gives a list of everything she recommends keeping on hand that will be the foundation of your meals. Therefore, when you make your quick trip to the grocery store, you can breeze through the express lane because you will only need to pick up 10 items or less! The concept is brilliant and truly a time saver!

See below for a delish quick, easy, and healthy meal!

Healthy Recipe: Leek-y Chicken and Couscous

Here is one of Rachael Rays recipes from her Express Lane Meals cookbook. This recipe can also be found on her Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine website

Leek-y Chicken and Couscous
Rachael Ray

1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup golden raisins (a couple of handfuls), chopped
*1 1/2 cups plain couscous
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), 2 turns of the pan
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 medium leeks or 1 large leek
1 cup dry white wine (eyeball it—about a third of a bottle)
Flat-leaf parsley, chopped (about a handful)

*try whole wheat couscous – its, as Rachael would say, Yum-o!

1. Heat the chicken broth and the butter in a medium saucepan. (Use a pan with a tight-fitting lid.) When the broth boils, add the raisins and the couscous. Take the saucepan off the heat. Stir the couscous and place the lid on the pan. Let stand.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Add the chicken in a single layer, season with salt and pepper, and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 3 to 4 minutes.

3. While the chicken works, trim the tough tops and root ends from the leeks. Cut the remaining white and tender green parts in half lengthwise, then cut the leeks into 1-inch half-moons. Place the leeks in a colander and run cold water over them. Separate the layers to release the dirt and grit. Rinse the leeks well, then drain.

4. Stir the leeks into the chicken and wilt for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine and let it cook down by half, 3 to 4 minutes. The leeks should be tender, with some bright green color, and the chicken should be cooked through.

5. Fluff the couscous with a fork and stir in the parsley. Spoon a bed of couscous onto dinner plates and top with the chicken and leeks.

Client Spotlight

Ann Marsh – March

Ann stepped into BodyBasics in March of ‘08’ with a very pained right shoulder hoping to find an alternative to surgery. She found one…and much more. Since starting, Ann has improved her shoulder range of motion and strength so much that any thoughts of surgery have been silenced. Since improving her shoulder, Ann has gone on to achieve much more. In fact Ann has completely adjusted her lifestyle to include better nutrition and much more physical activity than she has done in years. The results are evident. She has eliminated 11+ inches overall and dramatically improved her total strength. Way to go Ann!

Ian Hawtree – April

Ian started working out at BodyBasics on August 4, 2008. He and his family wanted him to improve his overall fitness and eliminate excess body fat. Since his start in August, Ian has been extremely committed to his schedule of 2x each week with Mike Donelan. In addition to his dedication at BodyBasics, Ian has also made great strides at home. He continues to improve his eating habits and he has added walking on a treadmill. The results are evident. To date, Ian has shed 25 pounds!
Ian we are all very proud of you and hope that you continue to strive for better health and fitness. You are an inspiration to all of us.

Our Mission

To empower people to realize their innate abilities by providing an environment that nurtures, educates, and inspires.

Keep Up the Great Work!

We are very proud of all of you!

Chris, Kathleen, Mike H., Katrina, Mike D., Jenny, John, Robin, and Terry

Staff picture February 2009

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