Paradise Valley Schools Annual 5k Fun Run – February 8, 2014 – Sign Up Now!

Paradise Valley Schools Annual 5k Fun Run – February 8, 2014 – Sign Up Now!

The Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) hosts an annual 5k run to encourage staff, students and community members to get out and live healthier and happier lives through exercise and community spirit.  The event, which is provided organizational support by the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT), is attended by hundreds and has categories and entries for all ages and abilities.


The event will take place in and around Horizon High School at 5601 E. Greenway Road.

Here is the flier for the event:

5k-flyer-2014- revised

You can also register online at!

Please support wellness and have some fun entering this great community event.  Congratulations to PVUSD and VSEBT for their continuing efforts to improve health in the community!




Tea Benefits: Weight Loss, Improved Bone Health and Mood

Tea Benefits: Weight Loss, Improved Bone Health and Mood

That moment in the morning when tea drinkers take their first warm sip can be amazing. And now, 12 new articles from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) show that tea may indeed be a magical elixir, as it was shown to promote weight loss, prevent chronic illnesses and improve mood. Whether iced or hot, on any given day, over 158 million people in the U.S. drink tea, according to the Tea Association of the U.S.A. And our British counterparts consume 165 million cups daily.


Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world, according to the Tea Association, beaten only by water. Though there have been a multitude of studies about antioxidants in tea and the resulting human health effects, these recent studies in the AJCN shed light on just how helpful tea is for our health. Experts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institutes of Health, UCLA and the University of Glasgow—among others—contributed to the AJCN body of evidence. Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, compendium editor for the issue, says, “The scientists who contributed their original research and insights are among the best in the world, and together, this body of research has significantly advanced the science of tea and human health.”

Researchers who looked at polyphenols—natural compounds in tea—found that they, along with the caffeine content, increased energy expenditure and fat oxidation, which resulted in weight loss and helped maintain a healthy body weight. One study shows that subjects who consumed green tea and caffeine lost an average of 2.9 pounds over 12 weeks, all while maintaining their normal diet. Other studies show that regular tea drinkers have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) and waist-to-hip ratios, along with less body fat, compared with non-tea drinkers. Additionally, another review showed that the increase in calories burned as a result of drinking tea equates to around 100 calories during a 24-hour period.


Another set of researchers found that the polyphenols in green tea may help to stop the progression of certain cancers. In one study, scientists observed that after a year, 30% of men in a placebo group progressed to prostate cancer, compared with only 9% of men who were in a tea-supplemented group. Other cancers for which tea provides protective health benefits are cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, lung, breast and skin, researchers say. A study conducted by Dr. Claudio Ferri in Italy showed that black tea reduced blood pressure in patients with hypertension and also neutralized negative effects of high-fat meals on arterial blood flow and blood pressure. Dr. Ferri comments on his findings, “Our studies build on previous work to clearly show that drinking as little as one cup of tea per day supports healthy arterial function and blood pressure. These results suggest that on a population scale, drinking tea could help reduce significantly the incidence of stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases.”

Another benefit of the polyphenols in green tea includes improved bone quality and strength, particularly in the wake of osteoporosis. Tea drinking in one study was associated with a 30% reduced risk of hip fractures in men and women aged 50 years or older. And if that fails to put individuals in a good mood, drinking tea will. In one study in particular, drinking tea was found to improve attention and facilitate better focus on tasks. Subjects in the study drank 2-3 cups of tea within 90 minutes, and this resulted in more accurate results during an attention task and feelings of being more alert, compared with subjects drinking a placebo. Researchers note that the amino acid theanine and caffeine in tea are thought to confer psychological benefits to drinkers, strengthening attention, mood and performance.


Humans have been drinking tea for some 5,000 years, dating back to the Paleolithic period,” says Prof. Blumberg. “Modern research is providing the proof that there are real health benefits to gain from enjoying this ancient beverage.”


Provided by Rebecca McGonigle, Wellstyles Newsletter, November 2013, Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT).


Rebecca McGonigle, Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT)


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Ten Fitness Tips that will REALLY change you.

Ten Fitness Tips that will REALLY change you.

This advice is aimed at men, and it’s aimed at men who are looking to become more attractive to women and improve their dating skills through physical fitness. If that’s not what you’re looking for, tough luck. If you want to learn how to attract women,  sign up for my FeedBurner Feed, which will give you free, quality advice on how to pick up and attract women every week.

In the past six months, I have completely changed my workout and fitness routine and achieved amazing results. I’m now back to my ideal weight of 170 lbs, and my bodyfat is down to 11%. At 28 years old, I’m in the best shape of my life. But I’ve also struggled with injuries, lack of motivation and lack of time – but I didn’t let that hold me back.

Working out is about discipline, it’s about pushing yourself. To truly get in shape, you need to change your attitudes and beliefs. This is not just about being better looking, it’s about building the confidence and discipline you need to be a good Pick up Artist and an attractive man. Here are the tips that most other websites won’t tell you – I had to learn this myself.


1 – Play a sport. If you’re a typical guy with a competitive instinct, you’ll find that sports are much more motivating than exercise for it’s own sake or bodybuilding. They get your testosterone flowing, and help build functional strength. And if you suck at first – now you have a good reason to practice more.  At the gym, work out with your sport in mind – it’s motivating.

2 – Screw bodybuilding. Most of the workout advice on the internet comes from a bodybuilding perspective, ignore it.  Bodybuilding doesn’t build functional strength, it’s motivated by narcissism, it’s not healthy, and it doesn’t even make women attracted to you. Ask you female friends whether they’d rather date a 220lb bodybuilder or a 180lb soccer player. Women like strength, not muscle.

3 – Work out a lot. Bodybuilders are the only “athletes” that only  train three times a week. For every other sport,  5-6 workouts a week is the standard. If you’re not competing at a high level, you don’t NEED to exercise 6 days a week – but try. That way, if you miss a few workouts a week (as we all do) you’ve still worked out 4 times. Once you start feeling the changes to your body and your energy levels, you will want to exercise every day. (FYI, you don’t want to lift heavy weights more than 3x per week).

4 – Stop making excuses. I just worked out yesterday. I’ll work out tomorrow. I haven’t eaten recently. I just ate. My joint hurts. My muscles are sore. I used to have all these excuses.  JUST GO. If you haven’t eaten properly, chomp down something quick on your way out, if you just ate, walk slowly to the gym. Things don’t have to be perfect.

5 – Lift weights for strength. Weight training and bodybuilding aren’t the same thing. Lifting weights can help build functional strength for sport and is good for your joints and bones. Bodybuilding is focused on cosmetics, and can lead to muscle imbalances and joint pain. Embrace weight training, forget about bodybuilding. If you want a recommendation, Mark Ripptoe has a great program for beginners to weight training. I try to lift weights 3x a week, and play sports 3x a week. This is what I do instead of watching TV.

6 – Weight lift with form to strengthen your joints. I used to have a sore back and knees that kept me from working out properly. I would baby them and avoid working them out too hard. But that just weakened the muscles around the joints, caused muscle imbalances and made my pain worse. Now I do weightlifting with proper form, and I’m strengthening my joints safely. Machine exercises don’t build strong joints. My sore knees feel 100x better since I started doing squats regularly. Again, I recommend you check out Ripptoe’s book, or other credible resources.

7 – Forget gimmicks. There are a lot of gimmicky workout routines out there. Some are total crap, some work but are for pro bodybuilders. If you’re new, you don’t need gimmicks, you need a conservative, hard, kick your ass workout to give you basic fitness and to get used to the idea of pushing yourself. Most gimmicky workout routines tell you that you can get fit without pushing yourself or working hard, but you want to work hard; that’s how you grow mentally and physically.

8 – Stop making excuses. I’m saying this twice because it needs to be said. Don’t have enough money? Don’t have enough time? Take your plasma TV or your Xbox 360 and pawn them on Craigslist. Now you have the time and the money. I’ve found that a good ½ hour workout makes me more focused and productive all day giving me more productive time. Workout regularly for a few weeks and see how much more time it creates for you.

9 – Eat healthy. No workout regime is complete without a healthy diet. Especially if your goal is to lose weight, you’re going to need to watch your diet. Lots of protein, watch your carbs, eat whole grains and veggies. There are a lot of good diet plans out there on the internet. Avoid gimmicks.

10 – Exercise your willpower. The best part of working out for me is the way it strengthens my willpower as it strengthens my body. Growth requires pain and discomfort, growth is exhausting. When you push through a tough workout or give your all in a big game, you’re training your mind to push through the troubles and the pain of everyday life. You get stronger, more confident and the slings and arrows of everyday life hurt less. It changes your life.

I’m currently following the Starting Strength workout program, which I recommend.

– See more at:

Gilsbar Nationally Recognized for the Fourth Straight Year By Modern Healthcare

Gilsbar Nationally Recognized for the Fourth Straight Year By Modern Healthcare

Once again, Gilsbar has been named as one of the Best Places to Work in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare. Gilsbar has been awarded this accolade for four consecutive years. Modern Healthcare presented its sixth annual Best Places to Work Award to only 100 national companies and organizations. This honor reflects each company’s outstanding and exceptional level of employee engagement and satisfaction.

modern healthcare best places to work

“Our employees are the best in the business. This award honors them, and they deserve every accolade that our industry has to offer,” said Doug Layman, Gilsbar’s Chief Sales and Marketing Officer.

Modern Healthcare is the industry’s most trusted, credible and relied-upon news source, examining the most pressing healthcare issues and providing executives with the information they need to make the most informed business decisions to lead their organizations to success. It is for this reason Modern Healthcare is deemed a “must-read publication” by the who’s who in healthcare.

Gilsbar & HBM tagline PMS281

About the Award Program
Modern Healthcare partnered with Best Companies Group, a PA-based firm that administers “Best Places to Work” programs nationwide. Modern Healthcare conducted this program to recognize outstanding employers in the healthcare industry on a national level. From economic development to employee retention, being named one of the Best Places to Work in Healthcare benefits individuals, organizations and the healthcare industry. The program collected information from both the employers and employees and was open to all healthcare companies in the United States with at least 25 employees.

About Gilsbar                                                                                                                                                 Established in 1959, Gilsbar® was formed through a single partnership and has since grown into one of the largest, privately-held insurance services organization in the country. Recognized as a catalyst for creating healthy business, Gilsbar® offers health and life benefit management services as well as specialty liability insurance for professionals. These unique products provide innovative, unanticipated solutions that improve the health and well-being of its members, while delivering long-term cost containment solutions for its clients.

Gilsbar® has been honored by Inc. magazine for its sustained growth, Modern Healthcare and Business Insurance magazines as a Best Place to Work, and WELCOA and the American Heart Association for its proven wellness methodology. For more information, visit

TPA Services, Self-Funded Health Plans, Population Health Management, Advocacy Services, Professional Liability, Professional & Association Services.

Media Contact
Katie Antony, Senior Marketing Specialist
(800) 445-7227, extension 593
Locally, in Arizona, Gilsbar has a working relationship with the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) to bring this high quality of service to VSEBT members present and future.  The above press release was furnished to by Sheri Gilbert, the Director of Marketing and Business Retention at Valley Schools.

A Beginner’s Shopping List: Quality Food For The Best Results!

A Beginner’s Shopping List: Quality Food For The Best Results!

As a beginner, weight training always comes first in one’s mind. You hit the gym and train like a freak, loving every minute of it. Be it that you are looking to lose weight or gain muscle the gym is the first place you focus on. Some of you will clean up your diet, but more often than not when I hear the statement: “I am eating better.” This means to me, you are just eating a little better than normal.

You really have not taken the time to research what are good foods and what are bad foods. Yes, you have cut out fast food and candy, but are you really eating high quality foods? High quality foods will help you obtain high quality results. Soon you wonder why you’re not losing more weight or increasing your muscles. You have done the same thing that 90% of all lifters do. You have put too much time and energy in the gym and not enough in the kitchen.

Below I am going to list all the foods that should be in your shopping cart and the ones that shouldn’t. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a cheat meal from time to time but sticking with the good foods will help you reach your goals a lot faster than the latter.

Good Sources Of Protein:

  • Egg – Grand Daddy of all foods. I like to have 1 whole egg for every 3 whites. So breakfast might include 6 egg whites and 2 whole eggs.
  • Liquid Egg Whites – This is just pure egg whites. More convenient than cracking all the eggs and discarding the yolk but will cost you a little more.
  • Skinless Chicken Breast or Cutlets – Lean, inexpensive, high quality protein; staple of every diet.
  • Lean Ground Turkey – Lean high quality protein. Little more expensive than chicken breast.
  • Top Round Steak – Lean cut of meat. Has more fat than chicken but great source of meat. Definitely something you want to have in the off-season and can be eaten while dieting in moderation.
  • Filet Mignon – Tasty lean cut of meat. Expensive but worth it every once in a while.
  • Buffalo – Lean red meat, very tasty but super expensive. Give it a try.
  • Flounder – Inexpensive lean fish.
  • Cod – Inexpensive lean fish.
  • Pollock – Lean fish.
  • Wild Salmon – Healthy fatty fish. I get my salmon wild because the quality is a lot better but that results in a higher cost.
  • Canned Tuna – Lean inexpensive fish. If you worry about your sodium you might want to cut down on this. Make sure you get the one in water not oil.
  • Turkey Bacon – Leaner than regular bacon, not something I have all the time but I am a bacon lover so adding this to my breakfast in the off-season is something I like.
  • Lean Ground Beef – Make sure you get something that is at least 90% lean. This can be a great off-season source of protein.
  • Cottage Cheese – Slow digesting form of protein. Great for having when you have to go a long time in-between meals and also excellent to have before bed.
  • Pork Tenderloin – Inexpensive lean protein.
  • Wild Sea Bass – Lean high quality protein. Expensive side.
  • Wild Swordfish – Lean high quality protein. Expensive.

Nothing says protein like a nice juicy steak. And if you’re careful to choose a lean cut, you can get all of the protein with far less fat. In fact, a lean cut of beef has barely more saturated fat than a similar size of skinless chicken breast.

Protein That You Should Stay Away From:

  • Skinned Chicken – The skin just adds extra fat that you don’t need.
  • Breaded Chicken – The bread crumbs adds simple carbs that you don’t need.
  • Deli Meat – Made with too many chemicals. Low quality of meat.
  • Bacon – Too Fatty, but so tasty. I love this food but it is not the best for you.
  • Farmed Fish – Have less omega-3s than wild fish, recent studies show that the farm raised fish’s fat is very unhealthy.
  • Fatty Ground Beef – Any ground beef that is below 85% is too fatty for me. Yes, they make tasty burgers or meatballs but that amount of fat is just too high to have on a regular basis.
  • Fatty Cuts of Red Meat – Just look at the steaks, if the outside of the steak has some fat on it but the body of the steak is all red then that is fine. All you have to do with those steaks is cut the fat off the edges. If the body of the steak is riddled with white fat you are getting a low quality highly fatty steak that might taste good but won’t be good for you.

Good Sources Of Carbohydrates:

  • Oatmeal – I like the slow cooked version but the quick one minute is fine. I have oatmeal with my first meal every day. It is a great slow digesting carb.
  • Steel Cut Oats – Similar to oatmeal. Slow digesting carb.
  • Fruit – All fruits are great but some are better than others for different reasons. Blueberries are at the top of the list for antioxidants and bananas are great for post-workout carbs. The majority of them digest faster than complex carbs so they are best used in the AM or pre and post workout.
  • Vegetables – Like fruit you really can’t go wrong when you eat veggies. During the off-season all veggies are great to have but when you are looking to diet I stick with just the green ones as they have less calories and net carbs. Veggies are a great source of fiber. Try to have some in every meal.
  • Sweet Potatoes/Yams – Tasty slow digesting carb. Add a little Splenda and you will be in heaven.
  • Brown Rice – Staple of a slow digesting carb.
  • White Rice – Faster digesting carb. Not a big fan as I think the brown rice is better overall option but white rice is good to have in the off season as it gives you the ability to bring in the carbs and calories need to grow.
  • Whole Wheat Bread – I like to have Ezekiel bread as it is not processed and not made with white flour. Great slow digesting carb.
  • Cream Of Wheat – Substitute for white rice. Faster digesting carb.
  • Cream of Rice – Substitute for white rice. Faster digesting carb.

Most high-protein diets limit grains to a couple servings a day, so you want to make sure the grains you do eat are pulling their weight. That means staying clear of white breads and pastas, which have little to offer nutrient-wise, when compared with their whole-grain cousins. Whole-grain breads, cereals, and pastas, on the other hand, are rich in fiber, which might otherwise be in short supply for people on a high-protein diet.

Carbohydrates That You Should Stay Away From:

  • Cereal – Most cereals today are loaded with sugar. Oatmeal is a better option. Add some blueberries and Splenda to it and I promise it will be as sweet as you need. On top of that you will be getting a much healthier carb source.
  • Candy – Loaded with sugar.
  • Chips – Loaded with simple carbs and bad fats.
  • Ice Cream – Loaded with sugar.
  • Soda – Diet version is fine but the regular stuff is just sugar water.
  • Sugar Juice – I am not a big believer in any kind of juice even most fruit juices as they are mainly sugar water. I would rather eat the entire fruit which has all the nutrients and is better for you.

Good Sources Of Fats:

  • Olive Oil/Flaxseed Oil – Great source of fat. Great to add to dishes.
  • Fish Oil – Staple source of healthy fats.
  • Almond Butter/Cashew Butter – Derived from the nuts but a good source of fat.
  • Almonds – Great source of fat and small amount of protein.
  • Pecans – Great source of fat and small amount of protein.
  • Walnuts – Great source of fat and small amount of protein.
  • Cashews – Great source of fat and small amount of protein.
  • Natural Peanut Butter – Not processed. Great source of fat and some protein. Love adding this to my shakes during the day.
  • Avocados – Healthy fat source. Love it in my sushi.

Fats You Stay Away From:

  • Fried Anything – I know that the government is making restaurants get rid of making saturated and trans fats in fried foods but you should still just stay away from fried food.
  • Butter and Margarine – Not healthy to add to the bread. Add oil instead.
  • Palm Oil and Coconut Oil – Not healthy fat source.
  • Vegetable Shortening – Not healthy fat source.

The List

Now you have an idea about many of the foods that you see at the super market. I am going to give you a shopping list to help you get started. If you don’t like the foods that I picked it is ok to substitute some things out.


  • Eggs
  • Chicken Breast
  • Top Round Steak
  • Cottage Cheese


  • Oatmeal
  • Fruit: Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Bananas
  • Vegetables: Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Onions
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Brown Rice


  • Olive Oil
  • Fish Oil – You can get the pill form if you like.
  • Almonds
  • Natural Peanut Butter

No matter the emphasis on protein, make sure you leave room for fruits and vegetables in a high-protein diet. These nutrient gold mines contain powerful antioxidants that aren’t found in most other foods, and research suggests that people who eat plenty of fruits and veggies may lower their risk of cancer.


The list above is a shopping list of things that will help you get the best results possible. By no means should you only eat these things as life is no fun without the treats and goodies. I am just laying out a blue print for what should be the staples in your refrigerator.

Remember hard training needs to be supplemented with a great diet so stick to the good sources of food above and your results will be great also. Good Luck.

Author: Alex Stewart