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Provincetown :: Monday, September 29th 2014

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Notes from Lands End

The Provincetown Fitness Challenge – Where Exercise and Nutrition Meet


March 4th, 2014

The threat of snow doesn’t deter the hearty and enthusiastic members of the 2014 Provincetown Fitness Challenge. Designed by Physical Trainer and Life Coach Denise Gaylord, the PFC is a favorite of residents who want to start the year off right and be in good shape by spring. We were gathered in the kitchen of the United Methodist Church for a cooking class with Heather T. Bailey, Certified Nutritional Consultant, and author of “The Flavors of Summer.”

Energy levels increase while stress levels decrease; the perfect recipe for improved health.

She opens her workshop with a description of the Optimal Diet: eating mostly fruits and vegetables and lean proteins from fish and plant sources, coupled with a regular exercise routine. The combination creates positive changes to both the mind and body and builds a strong immune system.

When asked about diet in relationship to the challenge, Heather said, “Yes, a PFC participant will most likely lose weight, which is most everyone's goal. More importantly, people feel healthier and stronger. Energy levels increase while stress levels decrease; the perfect recipe for improved health.”

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We learned how to make three different soups, a nutrient dense food that is brings comfort in the winter. As she minced, diced and stirred, Heather gave us cost cutting wisdom like:

When you go shopping: 1. Have a list. 2. Don’t go hungry. 3. Stick to the list.

We sampled three very different dishes: one Asian inspired with ginger, a five-ingredient Mexican soup and last, a hearty bean and greens soup. Each was surprisingly delicious given the super-healthy factor of the ingredients.

Denise Gaylord says, “In the third town-wide Provincetown Fitness Challenge, we are thankful to have Heather Bailey of The Optimal Kitchen, who is a great teacher and understands the science of food. She helps to cut through the “ugh” factor by showing us how to cook with simple, tasty meals with whole foods.”

The exercise component of the Provincetown Fitness Challenge includes a six day weight/cardio regimen. Outer Cape businesses are very generous and offer free days to experience group activities like Pilates and Yoga.

After the class, people were eager to chat about their experience. Jim Mauro, Business Manager for David, Marshall and Datz, has made big shifts in his lifestyle. Because of his career, Jim goes between two apartments and since the doing the Challenge, has more awareness of making healthy eating choices. Artist Polly Brunell (who also makes amazing bread) is getting a jumpstart on a new workout while integrating food awareness. Other participants said:

“I’m having the time of my life.” Sallie Tighes
“I like the focus on food and having a positive coach.”
- Rita Burke
“The Fitness Challenge is life changing.” George Myers

At a time of year often filled with isolation and hibernation, this wonderful program creates a profound experience of health and wellness in Provincetown. I know because I’m a member (2013).

Contact Heather T. Baily, CNC at theoptimalkitchen@comcast.net and Denise Gaylord at www.provincetownfitnesschallenge.com.

Photo 1: PFC Cooking Class
Photo 2: Nutritionist Heather Bailey, CNC
Photo 3: Denise Gaylord, Jim Mauro and Polly Brunell.

Provincetown author Laura Shabott has learned how to self-publish and is empowering others to do the same. Confessions of an eBook Virgin: What Everyone Should Know before They Publish on the Internet demystifies the process with a few hours of reading. Rated five stars, the book is available on Kindle, Nook and in Paperback.

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