Christmas and Holiday Fitness Gift Ideas

The Christmas and Holiday Season is near.  No need to worry about what cool fitness gifts you should buy, this post has got you covered.  From the person who is getting back into fitness to the hard core fitness enthusiast, this article will give you ideas for gifts for friends and loved ones of every fitness level.

Image result for fitness resistance bands

  1. Exercise Bands-  Bands are great because they are so mobile!  You can get handles that attach as well and use them at home or on the road.  You can get different strengths starting around $15 to $20 not including handles.
  2.  TRX Strap–  There are other versions, but a TRX like body weight suspension trainer is clutch. They are also easy to bring with on a trip.  They can be hung from a door or your ceiling at home.  The best part is that you can work any body part and movement pattern using only your body weight for resistance!  One knock off brand that is a lower cost is called the Jungle Gym.
  3. Adjustable Dumbells–  Adjustable dumbells are compact and take up very little space.  You can get lighter weights all the way up to 90lbs and beyhond!
  4. Water Bottle Holder Glove- For your outdoor run or bike enthusiast, a waterbottle holderglove is a must!  It is basically a glove that attacthes the waterbottle to the back of your hand so that you don’t have to carry it.
  5. Flip belt– Flip belts are great for runners, walkers, bikers, hikers…  They are a lot like a fanny pack.  You can put important keys, phones, money and other things in them with out having to hold them in your hand.
  6. Metabolism Testing– For some one who wants to know how many calories to eat in order to lose weight or what macronutrients they burning for energy, they can get tested.  DeVetter Fitness uses the Breezing to test Resting Metabolic Rate in case you are looking for some where to get it done;)
  7. Rower– This is definately higher priced that many of the things on the list, but is well worth the cost if you will use it!  Rowers can give you a very tough work out that burns a lot of calories or they can be used for a beginners to gradually work on their conditioning.  The best rower that I have found is a Concept II.  These rowers usually cost around $1000.00.  Most rowers also fold up and take up very little space.
  8. Apple Watch–  Since we are talking a bit pricier items… The Apple Watch Series 2 can be a great fitness gift.  The new Apple Watch now offers the ability to track your heart rate and caloric expenditure as well as GPS and it is water resistant.  The Apple Watch Series 2 starts around $269.00
  9. Blue Tooth HR Monitor– For a less expensive way to track your heart rate and calories burned you can get an H7 Polar Heart Rate Strap.  It will give your heart rate, calories burned and syncs with an ap on your phone.  It is ideal for indoor fitness training, not out door running or biking.  These straps can range from $79 to $99
  10. Jump Rope– It may sound old school, but not too many little pieces of equipment have so much bang for your buck!
  11. Fitness Challenge or Group Training–  Give the gift of motivation and accountability with a Fitness Challenge or a Group Training Package.  Sometimes it is all that is needed to get out of a rut and get back on track.  DeVetter Fitness has our Total Transformation Challenge starting on January 9th!
  12. Spark- Many days you are tired and don’t feel like working out.  The best way to muster up a little energy to rock your work out is some Spark, from Advocare.  It is by far the best selling supplement that we offer.
  13. Interval Timer– You can buy different apps that will time your intervals when you work out on your own.  Whether you are doing a tabatta for 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off or 2 minutes with a 4 minute rest, an interval app can really help your work out.
  14. Quest Bars– Our favorite healthy snack and protein bar.  Quest bars make a great stocking stuffer and their is a deliscious new flavor, Rocky Road.

Image result for Epsom salt

Once your worker-outer works out with their new equipment, they will need to recover and get ready for the next work out.  Here are a few ideas for recovery.

15. Foam roller- Nothing beats a good old foam roller for loosening up those tight muscles for cheap.

16. Massage-  Massage is a great way to get your work out buff feeling rejuvinated and relaxed.

17. Epsom Salt-  A great way to unwind and recover is an Epsom Salt Bath.  The salt is not cheap though and may make a good gift.

I hope these ideas help!  Feel free to add any other ideas that you might have to the comments below.


Posted in Fitness, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Belly Breathing as a New Year’s Resolution

With the hustle and bustle of every day life and the stresses that come with it, something as simple as breathing can make a HUGE difference.  That is why I asked Dr. Katie Briley if I could post a very good article about the benefits of belly breathing.  Check it out!



By Dr. Katie Briley Performance Chiropractic and A.R.T. Specialist

At least 80% of all Americans will experience low back pain at some point in their lives.   A key component to managing low back pain is BELLY BREATHING, or diaphragmatic breathing.

This breathing is accomplished with proper use of the diaphragm muscle; a large, dome shaped muscle located at the base of your lungs. Proper use of this muscle creates a stable site between the diaphragm and pelvic floor along with the abdomen and spine.  Belly breathing strengthens the muscles that wrap around your abdomen and back creating a nice support.

Other Advantages:


  1. Belly breathing is like meditation. It helps to balance your nervous system and allows your body to reduce stress hormones.
  2. It improves mental focus and clarity by increasing blood flow to your brain.
  3. Improves sleep quality.
  4. Helps with fatigue.  You are less likely to fatigue faster when you belly breathe because you are allowing more oxygen to penetrate your muscles.
  5. Decreases blood pressure.


How to belly breath:

*Lay on your back.  Now place one hand on your belly and one on your chest.

*Breathe naturally. As you breathe, concentrate on your stomach expanding 360 degrees before your chest. If it would make it easier for you, place an elastic band around your waste and watch it expand as you breathe.

*Do this for 3-5 minutes at a time.

Take a little time this New Year to practice your belly breathing!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Year, New You?

So how is it going?  You know, the New Year’s Resolution.
Many of us including myself have resolved to get back at it with our healthy eating and fitness.  I know personally, I had more than two weeks of eating unhealthy foods and not being as active as I would like to be.
So how about you?  How did you do?
Maybe you were in the same boat as me.  Maybe you were active and have been eating healthy with out skipping a beat during the holidays.  It is also possible that you have been out of eating healthy and active for a long time.
No matter what your situation, I wanted to share some tips for getting back on the horse!
1. Forgive yourself. Not being active or eating healthy happens to every one once in a while.  It is not the end of the world.
2. Set realistic goals.  Better yet, set process goals.  For example, instead of I want to lose 50lbs ASAP!  Start with the actions that will get you there.  If it were me and my goal was to lose weight, the 1st two things that I would do is to track every thing that I eat on MyFitness Pal (a free ap) and set a goal to work out 5 times per week.
3. Re-prioritize your schedule.  We all have 24 hours in a day.  Take inventory of how you are spending your time.  If you are trying to lose weight, time spent going out drinking, cupcake tasting or just laying around on the couch is time wasted.  You can’t be the best donut connoisseur in Omaha, Nebraska and be lean.  You have to decide which you want most.
4. Re prioritize how you spend your money.  Yes, I went there… You would not believe how many people I meet that won’t pay for healthier food options, fitness training, work out gear or supplements because they are too expensive, but some how have enough money to take lots of trips, go out to expensive dinners, buy expensive alcohol and junk food…  Be honest with yourself.  You can choose to invest your money in other things, but don’t lie to yourself by saying that you can’t afford health and fitness.
5. Find a buddy.  Social support is huge.  If your friends and family are trying to eat healthy and be active it will be easier for you to do so.
6. Get into it.  The grass grows where you water it? If you want to get or stay motivated then get into it.  Find some health and fitness blogs to follow, buy a new healthy cook book, get on YouTube to look up your favorite exercises and athletes, buy new fitness clothes, aps and gear.
7. Take it one choice at a time.  A healthy lifestyle includes saying no to things that you want or feel like now in order to be a healthier version of you.  That does not mean that you can never have a cookie or glass of wine again.  It does mean, that more often that not you will have to choose to delay instant gratification in order to achieve your long term goal.
Although, by no means is this a comprehensive list, hopefully it helps.  Good luck.  Let me know if you would like some help getting back on track.
Chas DeVetter
Posted in Fitness, Nutrition & Healthy Eating Habits, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Some “Different” Healthy Food Options to Try

Today I wanted to do a picture blog of some of the fun, tasty and healthy foods that we get when going to the store.  Today, the foods are all from Natural Grocers.  Feel free to take some pictures of your favorite Natural Grocers bought foods to post below in the comments.

If you are stuck in a rut of the same old foods, try to give some of these a try!


These Waffles are very filling and full of protein.  Very tasty as well!

food blog 2

A great choice for a wrap to change it up a bit.

 Food blog 4

These are not cheap!  But they have bacteria to help with digestion.  They have a unique taste, you will either love them or hate them.

food blog 3

Another healthy complex carb- repeat after me, carbs are not the enemy… You just need to keep it around 40% of calories from GOOD, complex carbohydrates and not the poisonous white breads, crackers, rolls and candy…

 Food blog 6

A unique cereal for those cereal lovers!

food blog 7 food blog 8

Some seasonings to add more flavor to your favorite healthy foods.

food blog 9

A healthy dip for veggies or use as a sandwich spread.

food blog 10

Quick and easy.  Kids love them!

food blog 11

High in protein, low in sugar and tastes great.  I like the Wallaby brand as well as the Siggy’s brand.  This one is low fat, but don’t be scared to get full fat.  The fat helps your body absorb vitamins and you need somewhere around 30% of your calories from fat.

 food blog 13

Flavored with sea salt and olive oil and delicious. You’ll be how surprised how good this healthy popcorn is!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How Often Should I Work Out?

Family work out

Family work out

How much you should work out depends a lot on what your goals are.

Some people just want to be healthy to play with kids and grand kids. Some people want to improve their time in a race or increase their strength in a competition. Others want to improve their athletic performance. The list goes on and on.  The most common goals that we help people with at DeVetter Fitness are weight loss, body fat loss and maintenance once they have reached those goals.   So, for the purposes of this article I am going to stick to weight loss, body fat loss and maintenance of those goals once accomplished.

We talk a lot about nutrition with our clients because it is so important to weight loss, body fat loss, over all health and just how you function in general.  And eating healthy is counter cultural.

The other main reason that we spend so much time talking nutrition is that when some one works out at DeVetter Fitness we give them every thing that they need from a work out stand point to be successful, so nutrition is the other main variable to dial in.

So, how often should you work out to lose weight or body fat? 

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 5 times per week for an hour per session.

That is our recommendation as well. At least 5 times per week.

Some people have asked if it is ok to work out more often than that. To that we always tell them that you can definitely work out more than 5 times per week if you can make the time to do so. In fact you can add extra walking, jogging, rowing, elliptical and other types of cardiovascular and conditioning exercises in if you are really motivated.

Athletes and body builders often work out 2 times, sometimes 3 times per day, which is part of why they are in such great shape. So, you are welcome to do that if you have the time. The main thing that you need to be careful of with working out so often is over training. If you find yourself extra tired, groggy through out the day or even with a faster resting heart rate, then there is a good chance that  you are over training and should back off a bit.

Many of our clients do not have that much time.

DeVetter Fitness clients are typically regular busy people with jobs, families, outside activities and do not have excess time to work out. That is why many of our clients will work out here two to three times per week and find other cardiovascular exercise to do outside of here.

The nice thing about hitting it hard and getting to your goal is that it actually gets a bit easier once you reach your goal.

To maintain we recommend that you still work out a minimum of 3 times per week and ideally closer to 4 or 5 times per week (remember it’s about creating a lifestyle, not just dropping exercise and healthy eating after you get to your goals!)

So my recommendation is to hit it hard like a crazy mad man/women until you get to your goal.  Then just maintain many of the lifestyle habits that you have developed!

I hope this post helps!

If you have any questions post them below.

And if you would like to sign up for a free health and fitness consultation just e-mail me at

Posted in Fitness | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Fitness Christmas Gift Ideas



I have been getting a lot of questions about fitness gift ideas for Christmas.  So, I thought that I would post some of my thoughts on the blog.


My top Fitness Gift Ideas


  1. H7 HR Monitor–  There are a lot of heart rate monitors on the market.  I chose to sell Polar at DeVetter Fitness because of their reputation for quality.  Polar has in my experience the best heart rate sensors for the most accurate read.  The H7 is a blue tooth strap that will sync with your iPhone or android phone.  The app that you use with it is called Polar Beat and it is FREE!  The H7 Heart Rate straps are great for strength training or exercising in a small area, but not as handy for running or biking long distances.  We have H7 Heart Rate Monitors for sale at DeVetter Fitness and can help you set them up after you purchase.


  1. Polar Loop– There are even more FitBit type activity monitors out there this year than ever before.  The reason why I like the Polar Loop is that it syncs with an H7 Heart Rate Monitor.  That gives you a much more accurate count for calories burned during your work out.  The other activity monitors can be very inaccurate as far as calories burned in activity.  The Polar Loop also tracks your sleep patterns and has a very cool website that you can check all of your stats.


  1. TRX– Extremely light weight and mobile the TRX will give you a great work out without taking up much space.  This is almost like a home gym and for less than $200 it is great value.  If you have to have piece of equipment for most people this Is it.


  1. Adjustable DB set–  Adjustable dumbbell sets can go from 5lbs to 35lbs even up to 90lbs or more if you need it.  Even better they take up about 2 feet of space.


  1. Rowing Machine– This is a bit more expensive.  I recommend the Concept 2 rowers.  They have been around for a while and have a proven track record.  These rowers will cost somewhere around $1000, which is a lot less than a good elliptical or treadmill.  Plus rowing is much more enjoyable that the other cardio options in my opinion.


  1. Stability Ball–  Sstability balls are very affordable and can be great for in home work outs.  Make sure to get the commercial grade and not the cheappies or your ball will leak and not last very long.

  1. Foam Roller– Foam rollers are great for self-massage also known as myofascial release.  They can help you improve your mobility and just feel better.  Also, don’t get a cheap foam roller.  If you do it may not be long before your roller is dented and does not work.


  1. Advocare Spark and other Supplements–  Even if you ate more than the recommended daily allowance of healthy foods you would not get all of the nutrients that your body needs to feel great at function at it’s best.  Certain high quality supplements can be like an insurance policy to ensure that you get the nutrients that your body needs.  Plus, everybody loves SPARK!


  1. Quest Bars and Chips– Quest provides some quick protein filled snack options.


  1. Sand Bell or Sandbag– These “weights” are versatile and don’t take up a lot of space.  Great for small in home gyms.


  1. TRX mobile app– This is a fun app that will give you work outs to do with your TRX.  Simply download that App and you are up and running.


There you go.  Feel free to comment below with any other ideas that would be helpful.   Also, for those of you looking to buy Polar products and supplements we may have a Christmas Stocking Stuffer Sale coming very soon;)


Posted in Fitness | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fast, Healthy Meal Ideas for Busy Parents!

You are busy!  Every day there are a million things you have to do.  Work, cleaning, errands, shopping for groceries, shopping for other necessities, taking kids to school, taking kids to sports, hanging out with family, hanging out with friends if possible…  The list goes on and on and on!

So when do you feed yourself and your family?  You obviously find a way.

What I have found is that a lot of moms and dads who are trying to make quick easy meals would love to also have healthy food… but who has time to find healthy things let alone cook them?

Luckily for you I am going to help today.

This idea of fast healthy meals for kids would make for a great cookbook, but since I have not found healthy, quick meals for busy parents cookbook (not enough time to look:)) I wanted to give you a few of my favorite recipes today.

Make sure to leave a comment below if you have any other quick, easy healthy recipe ideas.  Also, let me know if you plan on trying any of these.


1. Chicken Sausages in various flavors

  • Spicy Jalapeño
  • Sweet Apple
  • Spicy Italian
  • Sun-Dried Tomato
  • Spinach, Fontina, and Roasted Garlic

Some of my favorite chicken dogs come from Trader Joes and Costco.

Trader Joe's Chicken Sausages

2. Turkey Meatballs

Trader Joe’s also has some tasty turkey meatballs.  The Trader Joe’s brand Turkey Meatballs are fully cooked and heat up in the microwave in 3 minutes.  2 of these filling meatballs are 100 calories and 12 grams of protein.

3. Homemade Mini Pizzas

You’ve heard of whole wheat sandwich thins for sandwiches.  Throw on some organic marinara sauce, grass fed hormone free cheese, and turkey pepperoni then bake for a quick and tasty treat.  PLUS, your kids will have as much fun helping to make dinner as they will eating it.

4.  Annie’s Mac and Cheese

Annie’s does a great version of this classic quick kids meal.  This mac and cheese includes whole wheat pasta, real cheese and 10 grams of protein per serving!  Not only that, but your kids won’t even know the difference.


5.  Banana Pancakes

I’ve posted this recipe before in a breakfast post, but why not have breakfast for dinner? And can you think of a bad time to eat pancakes?  Am I right…?

Letting the kiddos help mix or flip pancakes is a great way to get every one involved in dinner.   Instead of syrup, try butter, almond/peanut butter or coconut oil.  That way you don’t have all of the added sugar.

6. Whole Meal Waffles

Again, never a bad time for breakfast.  These waffles are a meal by themselves.  They will fill you up and have you feeling good.  Quick hint: 2 tablespoons of Natural by Nature organic whipped cream  from Whole Foods is only 1 gram of sugar and 15 calories.  It tastes like you are indulging, when you are not.  Just be careful, because it is easy to end up with more whip that waffle!

  • 1 cup Whole Foods 365 Organic Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix
  • 1 egg
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup Fage Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp buttermilk powder

Mix all ingredients and pour into waffle iron. Cook until golden brown.

7. Burgers with precooked sweet potato fries

The lean grilled burger is a quick easy main dish.   One quick side that you can add is sliced sweet potatoes.  They come frozen, presliced and ready to bake.  Just add some coconut oil or olive oil with salt and pepper. Otherwise try cinnamon and you have an All American Meal.

sweet potatoes

8. Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken with Green Beans

  • 4 oz green beans with stems removed
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast half
  • 3 thin slices prosciutto
  • Lemon wedge, for serving

Heat broiler. On baking sheet with a rim, toss green beans with 1 tsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and push to one side of pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Wrap with prosciutto. Place chicken, seam side down on the other side of the pan. Rub with remaining olive oil. Broil until chicken is opaque throughout, 15-20 minutes. Serve chicken and green beans with a lemon wedge.

9. Uncle Ben’s Ready Whole Grain Medley

90 seconds.  Add to any meal.  ‘nough said.

rice and quinoa

10. Sliced raw veggies and fruit

Quick, easy, colorful and tasty.  Just because they are simple does not mean that you should forget about theses tasty treats!

I hope that list helps.  Don’t forget to share your favorite quick, easy and healthy meals/snacks by posting below!



Posted in Healthy Recipes, Nutrition & Healthy Eating Habits, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments