Overnight Oatmeal Recipe

Here is one of my favorite recipes, created by me, Cassandra Golden! 

-your Licensed and Registered Dietician

Overnight Carrot Cake Oatmeal 


2  and 1/4 cups water 

10 ounce crushed pineapples (in a can) 

3/4 cup oats 

1 cup shredded carrots 

1/2 cup cherry craisins 

1 tsp ground cinnamon 

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 

Directions: Coat crock pot with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients and cook on low, 6-8 hours. Add water as needed for desired consistency. Top with granola for a satisfying crunch!  

Which is Better, Machines or Free Weights?

This is a bit of a loaded question… functional fitness (which typically includes training with free weights, med balls, and physioballs, the TRX and other tools that ask you to balance and stabilize during the exercise) is all the buzz in our industry, and yes, I believe that doing things that are “functional” is the best way to train, but exactly what does that mean and does that there is no place for machines in your workouts? 

First, let’s define functional fitness.  To me, functional fitness is anything that helps you function or do the things you do on a daily basis better.  So from that standpoint, both machines and free weights are functional; both increase strength, and improving strength gets more important the older you get. 

With that said though, there are benefits and drawbacks to both types of training.

Free weight
Inexpensive, portable, versatile, functional (incorporates balance and stability work into the exercise), movements can mimic how your body moves in real life (multi-planar)
May take practice, must use proper technique to avoid injury

Effective for building strength, allows you to focus your effort on the exercise (strength move) vs. the stabilization and mechanics of the movement, allows you to lift heavier weights and target specific muscle groups, easy to use, safe
Expensive, requires dedicated space, must fit your body, exercises don’t require you to stabilize during the movement 

From a personal standpoint, I prefer to train my clients using body weight, balls, bands, and other tools that allow you to move like you do in real life.  I think balance and stability are just as important as strength as you get older, and free weights and functional training incorporate these essential fitness components; however, there are times when using machines is beneficial… especially for someone who is coming off of an injury or for someone who has a muscle imbalance that I am trying to correct.  Using machines may also be a good starting point for someone who is just getting into fitness and is a little intimidated by the gym.   But, the bottom line for me is this… doing anything is better than doing nothing at all so if you prefer machines to free weights, then use machines, but I would also encourage you to include some balance training, some flexibility work and some stability work as well. 

Examples of free weight exercise for strengthening the lower body: 

Examples of machine exercise for strengthening lower body:

By Tammy Mugavero MS., ATC/L, CSCS, TPI Level 2 Medical Certified

Young at Heart: Nutrition-focused blog for Bonita Bay Club

Adults are living longer, healthier and more functional lives than ever before! As we age, multiple changes occur that affect our nutritional status and ultimately our quality of life. No matter what age you are–it is never too late to emphasize the importance of nutrition and physical activity. The aging process influences how nutrients are absorbed and excreted, which makes following a healthy diet even more important. Unfortunately, we cannot control our age but we CAN control our diet.

Based on the Healthy Eating Index, older Americans need to increase their intakes of:

  • Whole grains
  • Dark green and orange vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Milk

Older American are recommended to lower their intake of:

  • Saturated fats found in high fat animal products (red meat and full-fat dairy)
  • Trans fats found in processed foods and bakery items
  • Added sugars found in juice, soda, sports drinks, energy drinks
  • Sodium found in processed foods, snack foods, microwavable meals, packaged foods in a bog, bag or can

The partnership of calcium and vitamin D:

  • With the aging process comes a higher need for calcium and vitamin D due to losses in bone mineral density
  • Vitamin D can help prevent softening of the bones and reduce the risk of bone fractures
  • Without vitamin D, your bones cannot absorb calcium
  • When you are young, your body makes vitamin D in your skin whenever you are out in the sunshine. However, older skin is not very efficient at producing vitamin D in response to sunlight.
  • Vitamin D is also found in some foods, like milk and oily fish like salmon and tuna. Some foods are fortified with vitamin D, such as cereals and orange juice.
  • Low vitamin D levels are now common in the United States
  • If you are over 65 years of age, it is recommended to have a blood test to check your vitamin D levels. Most guidelines recommend at least 800-1,000 IU (international units) of vitamin D every day for older adults.

Interested in learning more about incorporating calcium and vitamin D in your diet? Contact the Fitness Center at 495-1937 to schedule an appointment with Cassandra Golden, our Licensed and Registered Dietician.  Cassandra has office hours every Friday from 9:0 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. in the Fitness Center.

–Cassandra Golden MS, RD, LDN is our dietitian here at Bonita Bay! Cassandra is a Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist in the state of Florida, with a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science and a Masters Degree in Dietetics and Nutrition. Her approach to nutrition is to incorporate research-based recommendations and practical guidelines that can be followed long term.

Busting the Myth: Spot Reduction

“I want to get rid of this.  What is the best exercise for that? Or, can you give me one exercise that I can do?”  Most of the time, people are talking about their midsection or their stomach’s as they say, but my answer is always the same no matter what body part they are talking about…  there is no such thing as spot reduction.  Spot reduction is the ability to burn fat selectively off of trouble spots, and unfortunately, area-specific fat loss is a myth. 

Each person has a natural pattern of where fat is added or dropped.  Some people will lose fat from their stomach’s first while others might get slimmer hips or notice it in their faces.  My experience seems to be that the first place you put it on is usually the last place you take it off… but there’s no science behind that.   

What we do know for a fact is that you can’t out exercise a bad diet, so if you want to lose fat, you have to alter your diet.  The good news though is that exercise burns off calories so the more muscles you work (like full-body exercises), the more calories you burn.   If you want more definition in a certain area, you can train those areas (spot toning), but you still have to decrease the body fat or you may never see the results of your work. 

Avoid One of the Biggest Mistakes in Exercise

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when exercising is doing the same routine session after session, week after week and even year after year.  In doing this, you set yourself up for overuse injuries and limit progress because of adaptation.

From an injury standpoint, working the same muscles in the same way in every workout can lead to overuse.  Varying your workouts or cross-training will allow you to work out more frequently and for longer durations without excessively overloading particularly vulnerable areas of your body.  

Varying your exercise routine or cross training has a number of other benefits besides minimizing your risk of injury.  It helps you prevent plateaus and muscle imbalances, and it keeps you motivated. 

For the best results from your workout, change things up every 4-6 weeks.  Include all of the major components of fitness: weight training, cardiovascular work, and flexibility training.  If your workouts are cardiovascular-based, vary the type of cardio you do.  For example, if running is your primary workout, add the bike or swimming a couple of times per week to keep your workouts fresh, to minimize impact, and to get a more total-body workout.  This will go a long way in avoiding injuries and will keep you from getting bored with your workouts.

For a good cardio workout, mix it up:

:  This is a combination stepper/ elliptical.  It can be a challenging workout that takes a little getting used to; however, the motion is more natural than the up and down motion of a stepper.  Provides a non-impact work but allows you to be weight bearing. 

Recumbent Bike:  Provides a non-impact workout.  Good for those who have back issues as it provides good back support with a high-back seat that can be reclined to decrease the pressure on the spine.  Users will feel this exercise more on the backside (the hamstrings) vs. the quads as they would on an upright bike.

Treadmill:  Still one of the most popular pieces for a good cardio workout.  This can either be a low impact workout or a high impact workout depending on your settings.  You can walk (lower impact) or run (higher impact) on this piece, and the treadmill will pace (by adjusting the speed) your workouts unlike when you run outdoors.  You can vary the intensity by adjusting either the speed or the incline (or both).   It is good for those who are trying to maintain or improve bone density as it is a weight bearing exercise.

Upright Bike:  The upright bike is more like a traditional road bike except you don’t have to worry about falling off or getting hit by a car.  The work is mostly felt in the quads (front of the thigh) vs. the hamstring (the back of the thigh) as you would with a recumbent bike.  The upright bike is also good for those who are trying to improve knee ROM after surgery but may be problematic for those with back issues.

Elliptical:  This provides a weight-bearing, non-impact workout for the user.  This piece does not incline as research shows this puts a lot of stress on the ankle, you can adjust the resistance to make the exercise more intense. 

*Before starting any workout program, you should always consult your physician to see what’s right for you.  If you experience any pain, dizziness, or become short of breath, you should stop the exercise.

The Classic Lottery

First three in from last year’s waitlist…

David Klein
Ed Caffrey
Ed Novak

141 more from today’s draw…

  1. Frank Mergenthaler
  2. Christopher Shea
  3. Larry Taggart
  4. Rich Dell
  5. John Yedinak
  6. Randy Jones
  7. Bob Webbert
  8. Randy McDevitt
  9. Tom Claffey
  10. Bob Barnes
  11. Bill Clegg
  12. Brad Alspaugh
  13. Chris Shea
  14. Dick Tieva
  15. Richard Johnson
  16. Steve Lee
  17. Tom Kemp
  18. Tim O’Reilly
  19. Phil Ashkettle
  20. Keith Hynes
  21. Leif Nesheim
  22. Larry Pickering
  23. Dave Dutro
  24. Bob Ott
  25. Bill Cadigan
  26. Dennis Wilkie
  27. Terry Mulligan
  28. Mark Clark
  29. Roger Nolan
  30. Dick Etches
  31. Mike Zandlo
  32. Richard Fish
  33. David Kingland
  34. Bob Biggs
  35. Mac Godby
  36. Al Nicholson
  37. Max Lummis
  38. Forrest Frank
  39. Jon Munson
  40. Len Nuzzo
  41. Leo Hansen
  42. Brad Peete
  43. Walt Swiatek
  44. David Treadwell
  45. Gary Pottruff
  46. Ken Auerbach
  47. Henry Bauermester
  48. Ray Hedding
  49. David Wilson
  50. Steve Swigart
  51. Langlyn Capers
  52. Pete Saputo
  53. Donald Young
  54. Charlie Mong
  55. Randy Grow
  56. Ken Kummer
  57. Brian Grant
  58. Marty Klagholz
  59. Richard Neville
  60. Steve Hiatt
  61. Frank Genovese
  62. Kevin Ferraro
  63. Jack Carey
  64. Tom Iversen
  65. Dave Barry
  66. Larry Maddox
  67. Larry Andrews
  68. Richard Bailey
  69. Lee Baumann
  70. Dan Star
  71. George Lucke
  72. David Murphy
  73. David Vander Kam
  74. Frank Hake
  75. John DeMaria
  76. Dewitt Ezell
  77. Bob Hoehn
  78. Craig Hopple
  79. Steve Kneeley
  80. Jeff Guttenberger
  81. Gary Lashley
  82. Brad Seger
  83. David Verner
  84. Tim Dove
  85. Josh Nagin
  86. Wayne Hellman
  87. Steve Pino
  88. Bill Kranec
  89. Al Mettler
  90. Lewis Sfreddo
  91. Matt Wineinger
  92. Peter Waite
  93. Ron Tachuk
  94. Doug Hoogerhyde
  95. Bob Murphy
  96. Bill McSkimming
  97. Kevin Sullivan
  98. Bill Schieffer
  99. Tom Boyle
  100. Kim Shearburn
  101. Joe Hayes
  102. Bob Heyne
  103. David Guidubaldi
  104. Peter Jones
  105. Anthony Vuoto
  106. David Whitman
  107. Chuck Campbell
  108. Jay Johnston
  109. Ray Lenhardt
  110. Brad Wind
  111. Rich Kruzynski
  112. Lewis Nerman
  113. William Jennings
  114. Eric Bumstead
  115. Don Fochtman
  116. Jeff Baker
  117. John Register
  118. Arthur Helgerson
  119. Fred Uehlien
  120. Bill Griffith
  121. Duke Downey
  122. Steve Duffield
  123. Bob Castiglione
  124. Lynn Wolgast
  125. Tom Waterman
  126. Randy Seger
  127. Ron Rogers
  128. Mike Struna
  129. Walt Douglas
  130. Mike Harris
  131. Jim Oberweis
  132. Bill Steere
  133. Alan Pyott
  134. Larry Kellam
  135. Nick Borusiewich
  136. Dick White
  137. Bob King
  138. Joe Binns
  139. Richard Stanis
  140. William Britton
  141. Chris Edwards


  1. Louis Lataif
  2. Dave Heatherly
  3. William Hooper
  4. Chuck Tambornino
  5. David McMahon
  6. Russ Smith
  7. Chris Cummings
  8. Bashar Succar
  9. Richard Stover
  10. Dennis Meteny
  11. Dan Gilbert
  12. Steve Bransfield
  13. Willis Blackwood
  14. Mark Kinard
  15. Vince Murphy
  16. Ray Sutherland
  17. Dan Adams
  18. Paul Muehr
  19. Bill Setterstrom
  20. Michael Andelman
  21. Joe Waterman
  22. Gary Brooks

The Tennis Shot Clock Has Arrived

Basketball has one, football has one and now tennis has one, too! 

The Tennis Shot clock has officially arrived at the US Open. For the first time, it is being tested in junior girls and boys matches.

After points end, players have 25 seconds to start the new point. It has always been up to the umpire’s discretion to call time violations if players take too long between points. Now there’s a count down clock visible to everyone. If time expired before the ball is in play the server gets a time violation warning. It if happens again they lose points. The pros might adapt that system in the future. 

What does the serve clock look like on court? Watch it here in my video – it’s part of the scoreboard, left of the player. 

Dominique Levin
USPTA Head Tennis Professional

Labor Day Shopping – US Open

Labor Day is the best day to get some US Open shopping done: I tested the Wilson Ultra – so many pros have it! Looks amazing, too!

dominique levin blog pic

Did you know you can customize your Wilson racquet with your favorite colors?

I’m going to get one in black and gold – Go Colorado Buffaloes!

I also had to get Muguruza’s Adidas shoes. They fit amazingly well and look good.dominique levin blog tennis raquetIMG_4257

Marlaine already ordered them for our new pro shop!IMG_4268

Of course, I also had to get a pink US Open towel. No tournament is complete unless I come home with one.

Enjoy the rest of the Open!

Dominique Levin
USPTA Head Tennis Professional


Steve Kois Advances to Sweet 16 at World Long Drive!

Steve Kois advanced to the Sweet 16 of the Volvik World Long Drive Chmpionship today in Thackervile, Oklahoma.  Today he advanced out of the round of 32 by beating Josh Cassaday and world number 13 Jason Eslinger, winning one match by 10 inches. 
Tomorrow night’s quarterfinals will be broadcast live on the Golf Channel beginning at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
“I am really looking forward to this incredible opportunity. The support I have received from the members and staff at Bonita Bay Club has really helped me on this journey,” said Steve.
Congratulations to Steve on what is already a great accomplishment, we are all cheering him on for even greater success!

IMG_2792 (1)

Nutrition-Focused Blog Post: Common Mistakes Vegetarians Make

Should I say common “missed steaks” vegetarians make?! With the recent Netflix plant –based documentary “What The Health” propelling so many into a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, it’s important to recognize 3 mistakes to avoid on a vegetarian diet.

1.) Assuming a food labeled “vegetarian” is healthy.

Frozen veggie burgers, nuggets and meat alternatives, are often highly processed, with a long list of artificial ingredients. A meat-derived food item can now be created into a non-meat variety which sometimes comes at the cost of nutrients. While these items are convenient, they aren’t necessarily any healthier than non-vegetarian processed foods. Other meat-free items such as veggie chips, granola bars and what I call “vending machine foods” are often high in calories, yet lacking the protein, fiber and nutrients necessary for a balanced meal.

2.) Eating too many refined carbohydrates.

When a vegetarian diet is not strategically planned, pasta, rice, bread, bagels, and crackers often make up the majority of meals. My suggestion is to first switch to whole grain and whole wheat alternatives. Then, create balanced meals using whole wheat /whole grains products together with plant-based proteins such as beans, lentils, nuts, tofu, and tempeh.

3.) Using cheese as a replacement for meat.

Instead, replace with other plant based proteins rather than the saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol that can be found in cheeses. The key to a successful vegetarian diet is to plan out meals in advance to ensure no nutrient group is left behind (especially vitamin B12, iron and omega-3 fats!).

Are you interested in learning more about how convenient, nutritious and well-balanced a vegetarian diet can be for you? Visit me on Fridays starting October 20th in the Fitness Center. I look forward to meeting you there!

–Cassandra Golden MS, RD, LDN is our dietitian here at Bonita Bay! Cassandra is a Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist in the state of Florida, with a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science and a Masters Degree in Dietetics and Nutrition. Her approach to nutrition is to incorporate research-based recommendations and practical guidelines that can be followed long term.