Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes!

Click on the links below to see the recipe’s for the following healthy Thanksgiving Recipes!

Tricolor Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

tricolored roasted parsnips and carrots

Roasted Cauliflower with Green Olives and Pine Nuts

roasted cauliflower green olives and pine nuts

Ginger Pumpkin Souffle

Celebrate Hipcooks

Sweet Potato-Pecan Casserole

Sweet Potato Pecan Casserole

How Important Is a Good Nights Sleep?

You probably have heard that not sleeping is bad for weight loss.  Have you ever wondered why?  Here are a few reasons behind the theory.

  1.  Calories burned while just living decree significantly when you are sleep deprived.  Your energy expenditure can go down by 5% per day during periods of sleep deprivation.  Your post meal energy expenditure can also go down by 20%.  Those are both two huge differences in the amount of calories you burn.  Have you ever heard the term speed up or slow down your metabolism?  The bottom line is this.  When you don’t sleep your metabolism slows down.
  2. When you sleep less you eat more.  Studies have shown that people on avg. increase calorie consumption by 350 calories on the day after you have slept poorly.  Night time snacking also increased when people had not slept well the night before and they craved high carbohydrate foods.
  3. Food cravings are increased when you don’t sleep well. Sleeping too little impacts your hormone levels in ways that can undermine the efforts of even the most determined dieter. That’s because insufficient sleep raises the levels of ghrelin, the hormone that tells you to eat. When it comes to weight gain and loss, this hormone plays a leading role.  Ghrelin’s job is to boost your appetite, increase fat production, and make your body grow-which are undesirable effects once you’ve passed your teenage years. Lack of sleep also lowers levels of leptin, the hormone that says, “I’m full; put the fork down.” Leptin’s levels run high during the night, which tells your body while you’re sleeping that you don’t need to eat. Its levels drop during the day, when you need food as energy. So high leptin levels keep hunger at bay. So after even one night of too little sleep, leptin and ghrelin become dietary gremlins bent on diet-wrecking mischief. The lower leptin levels mean that you still feel hungry after you eat. And ghrelin, for its part, magnifies the problem by stimulating your appetite, setting the stage for a day of unsatisfying, high-cal feasting after a restless night.
  4. Sleeping less makes you hold on to fat.  The hormone changes mentioned above directly affect fat burning.  One study showed that people who slept more burned 200% more fat than the sleep deprived group in a two week period.
  5. When we are awake we can eat more.  Period!!!!!!

Below are some tips for getting a better night’s sleep.

1.   Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, Nicotine, and Other
Chemicals that Interfere with Sleep

2.   Turn Your Bedroom into a Sleep-Inducing environment

3.   Go to Sleep When you’re Truly Tired

4.   Don’t Be a Nighttime Clock-Watcher

5.   Keep Your Internal Clock Set with a Consistent Sleep Schedule

6.   Lighten Up on Evening Meals

7.   Balance Fluid Intake

8.   Exercises Early

9.   Get a wearable device such as a fit bit to track your sleep – seeing how many hours of sleep you actually get can be a great motivator to end your day a little earlier each night

For more details on getting better night’s sleep take and research on how sleeping less makes you gain weight take a look at the following articles.

Musclea Activation Techniques News Stories

Greg Roskopf is getting some national media since he started working with Carson Palmer to help him with his neck injury.  He was mentioned two weeks in a row during the Washington Redskins game about working with Palmer.  Check out the links below for more information.


3 Great Healthy Pear Recipes for the Fall

Below are three healthy and great tasting dishes featuring pears.  I especially love the Chopped Cucumber Pear and Fennel Salad.  The crunchy fennel and sweat pears go great together.

Chicken Paillards


Celery and Pear Bisquecelery_and_pear_bisque

Chopped Cucumber Pear and Fennel Salad



  1. In what year were yellow tennis balls first used at Wimbledon?


  1. How much was the prize money for winning the first round of mixed doubles at the 2014 U.S. Open?


  1. In 2014, Sabine Lisicki landed at the top of the list of the fastest recorded women’s tennis serve, ousting Venus Williams.  What was her serve speed?

131.0 mph (210.8 km/h)

  1. Who tops the men’s fastest recorded serve list, with a speed of 163.7 mph (263.4km/h)?

Samuel Groth

  1. In what year was each of the four grand slam tournaments first held?

The Championships, Wimbledon: 1877

US Open: 1881 (originally as US National Championship)

Roland Garros, French Open: 1891

Australian: 1905

  1. According to the International Tennis Federation, what is the regulated weight range for a Type I tennis ball?

56.0-59.4 grams  (1.975-2.095 ounces)

How to Improve Your Ankle Mobility/Flexibility!

The foot is your point of contact to the ground.  Some would say that all function starts with the feet.

I tend to agree.  Over the last 15 years I have been watching and directing people through exercise programs.  I take a global view when observing motion and one area of the body which people are most often deficient is the ankle joint.  The lack of mobility in the ankle joint can be the cause of many injuries in other parts of the body.

As tennis players you are constantly moving in all directions and countless stresses are being placed on many joints within your body.  Maintaining good foot and ankle strength are very important to your mobility, speed, and positioning for hitting good shots.

Perform the following exercises as a warm up before playing tennis.  For better results perform them every day and you will see your Range of Motion increase and your legs will get stronger.

Supine Ankle Rotations 

  1. 10 circles clockwise
  2. 10 counter clockwise 
  3. 10 point/flexes (point/flex =1 rep)

Supine Ankle RotationsSupine Ankle Dorsi Flexion and Plantar Flexion

1. Lie on your back with one leg extended and the other leg bent and pulled up toward your chest

2. Clasp your hands behind the bent knee

3. Keep the foot on the floor pointed straight up toward the ceiling and your thigh muscles tight

4. Circle the lifted foot one way for the indicated number or repetitions, then reverse direction for the same number of reps

• Make sure the knee stays absolutely still with movement coming from the ankle and not the knee

5. For the point/flexes, bring the toes back toward the shin to flex, then reverse the direction to point the foot forward for the indicated number of reps

6. Switch legs and repeat

Purpose: This exercise promotes proper function of the lower leg muscles and encourages stabilization of the hip joint on the same leg

Standing Leg Swings – Front to BackSagital plane leg swing

Stand next to the wall, one arm’s length from the wall. Swing the leg closest to the wall out in front of you to roughly hip height, and then swing it back as far as you can without arching your back. Slightly bend the knee of the leg that you are standing on.  Push the foot that is on the ground into the ground and move the lower leg forward and backwards during the leg swing.

Repeat 10 times on each side.

Leg Swings – Across the BodyFrontal Plane Leg Swing for increased Ankle mobility

Face the wall and put both hands on the wall. With your right foot a few inches off the ground, swing your right leg in front of your left leg as far across your body as you can. Then reverse and swing the leg out to the side. Try and keep your left heal on the ground but allow your left ankle and knee to rotate.

Repeat 10 times on each side.

Click here for some great stretches for maintaining and increasing ankle dorsi-flexion.

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers


Portobello Mushroom


4 large portobello mushrooms (1 cap per sandwich)

4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Rock or kosher salt and pepper to taste

4 oz. low-fat mozzarella

4 large pieces roasted red pepper (roast yourself, or if you go with the ready-made stuff, pat it dry with a paper towel.)

4 whole wheat pitas or 8 slices of light bread

Greens (arugula, iceberg, whatever you like!)

Low-fat mayonnaise or store-bought pesto, if desired


  1.  Remove and discard mushroom stems. Brush top of mushroom caps with a bit of the olive oil. (You really do not need to slather it on.) Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Lightly coat your grill with cooking spray. Grill mushrooms, covered, for approximately four minutes; turn and grill another three, or until tender.
  3. Place flat side of mushroom up on the grill, and top with a thin slice of mozzarella and a nice juicy piece of red pepper. Cover and cook one minute more, until the cheese is melted. At same time, toss your roll, pita or light bread onto the grill until lightly toasted.
  4. Put a layer of greens on the bread (or in the pita) top with a mushroom cap and add a bit of low-fat mayo or prepared pesto sauce.

Serves 4

Utter Failure: Why we should Embrace It!

Summer is here, high school and college graduations have passed for 2014 so I thought I would share a few tips from a commencement speech that really got me thinking. DJ Patil performed the commencement address to the 2012 graduates of The University of Maryland.   DJ received his PHD in 2001 from The University of Maryland. The topic he chose to speak about was Utter Failure.

You might be wondering why I have chosen to discuss failure.  Most “glass is half full” people don’t like to discuss failure, but we are all products of failure.  He points out that life starts out with failure after failure, from trying to roll over, to standing, to potty training.  We don’t consciously realize it at the time but with each and every failure the same thing occurs.  We try again, and if we fail again we try harder the next time.  We don’t even think about.  We just do it.  Most of these early failures are physical.  Trying again makes us stronger.  Tenacity and failure go hand and hand. A transcript of his full speech is Here.

The term failure has been used in the weight room for years and we never think of it as a negative.  In weight training, training to failure is repeating an exercise to the point of momentary muscular failure, i.e. the point where a repetition fails due to inadequate muscular strength. Training to failure is only performed by experienced weight lifters and adequate recovery is needed following workouts of such high intensity.  When fully recovered the body is stronger.  In an aerobic exercise, such as biking or running failure is sprinting until we can no longer continue.  Challenging your body at this high level will increase your cardiovascular fitness and burn the most calories possible in the least amount of time.  After adequate recovery the next time you sprint you will be faster.

Let’s take your workouts to a new level!   Fail as often as you can, but never stop trying!

May Tennis Tip of the Month – 4 Hip Strengthening Exercises to Help Prevent Shoulder Injuries

As promised here are your tips for preventing shoulder and wrist injuries using hip and core strengthening exercises.  I won’t bore you with the biomechanics of the body this time.  Let’s just remember that foot bone is connected to the ankle bone and so on up to the top of your head.  When a weakness in one muscle is present typically another muscle or group of muscles will have to work harder to compensate for this weakness. Often times during this compensation injuries occur.  If the weaknesses are not addressed the injuries can become chronic and very difficult to resolve.  Don’t just play tennis!  Prepare for it!

Bottom Line:  Everything is connected –You Are Only As Strong As Your Weakest Link!

Here are some definitions to ensure that you understand the movements.

Lunge – A quick movement in one direction and then returning to the starting position.  It can include a reach and can be a small or large step.

Lateral – Means moving to the side.  Either left or right.

Same Side Rotation – Means to rotate your upper body in the same direction as the foot you are stepping with.   For example, if you step with your left you will turn your trunk towards the left.

Bilateral – Using both hands during your rotation.

Side Bending – Flexing from the waist and moving towards the sides.  It is a lateral movement of your upper body.

Below are 4 exercises which I believe are the most effective at keeping your hip rotators and spinal rotators strong and flexible.  Please follow some simple rules to reduce the risk of injury while doing something new.

  1.  The exercises should be done initially without any weights.
  2. Be certain to have warmed up your legs and upper body before you perform these movements.
  3. Perform one set of each lunge and then move on to the next one.
  4. Once you have performed all 4 then repeat the circuit 1 or 2 additional times depending how you feel.
  5. The routine should be done a minimum of twice per week to be most effective in strengthening your legs and hip rotators.
  6. Perform each exercise 10 -15 repetitions on each leg.

Overhead Bilateral Side Bending with a Stretch Cord:  Standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart.  Hook a stretch band on a bar at your head height or above.  Grasp the band with both hands together and reach your hands straight over your head as high as you can.  The band should be taught.  While keeping your arms straight, bend from the waist to the side increasing the tension on the band.  Move as far as you can to the side without rotating and return to the starting position.  A less stressful modification is to do the exercise holding the band at head level instead of overhead.  To view a video of this movement click here.

Lateral Lunge with Single Arm Same Side Rotation:  Standing with your feet facing straight ahead and together step to the right with the right foot.  Both feet should continue to point forward while stepping.  The distance you step is completely up to you.  I would start with a small step of about 12 inches the first time you try this.  As you get more comfortable doing this pain free you can increase your stepping distance.   As your step foot is about to hit the floor you should begin your rotation in the direction you have stepped.  Your right hand should reach behind you as your shoulders turn towards the right. As you finish your rotation begin to push off your right foot and return your trunk to facing forward as you return to the start position with both feet facing forward.  Concentrate on using the leg muscles to keep your knee in place.  To view a video of this movement click here.

Rotational Lunge with Single Arm Same Side Rotation:  Standing with your feet straight ahead and together step back and to the right.  The direction of your stepping foot when you step should be diagonally over your shoulder.  Be sure to keep your knee over your foot.  The foot should be pointed in the direction of your step and your stationary foot should not slide or rotate.  When your moving foot hits the ground you should rotate your upper body in the same direction as you are stepping.  Your hip rotators will need to work very hard to help decelerate this movement.  Be very careful the first time doing this exercise because you can over rotate and put too much stress on your knees and or your lower back.  Start with a small step and a very slow rotation.  As you feel comfortable and pain free you can increase your stepping distance and trunk turn.  To view a video of this movement click here.

Forward Lunge with Bilateral Arms to Opposite Side Rotation:  Stand with feet about shoulder width apart. Step forward with your left foot into a lunge position.  Be sure to keep your knee over your left foot; don’t twist at the knee.  From your torso, twist your upper body to the right with both hands. Then, reach across your right side with your arms out-stretched. (Think of pointing to the right from your belly button).  Maintain a slow and controlled movement throughout the exercise.  To view a video of this movement click here.

If you have any questions feel free to Email me at  I am always happy to assist you.