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.