Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Future Chefs in Family Fit Zone Class #6!

2-25-07: Class #6 was about modifying recipes. This allowed the kids to get their hands into the food and we created a healthy recipe that was modified from the original. Earlier that day, I made the original banana bread recipe, along with a very healthy version. In the class, we made a healthy version with the addition of Splenda Brown Sugar.

That's whole grain flour he's holding there.

Thanks to Dr. Olivia Moses for taking these pictures.

Adding the applesauce instead of the oil!

While the kids and parents were doing their exergaming workout, Dr. Moses cut up the finished banana breads, all 3 versions.

Zone Staffers Ricardo and Kelly (back to camera) sets up Version C Banana Bread for the families to taste.

Hmmmm, the kids try out all 3 versions. Which did they prefer?

Table A had the totally healthy version--no sugar, whole grain flour, egg whites, no oil = .4 g. of fat and very low kcal. For those of us used to that, we prefered it. Table B had the original recipe, which was almost 9 g. of fat per serving. Table C was modified just like "A" with the addition of the splenda. As you can guess, many liked the original, but most also said that the splenda version was good, too. Not too many preferred the ultra-healthy one except Ricardo and I!

For our exergaming challenge, we did a 5-min. relay on the 3kick, with contestants doing 30-second bouts each and then changing out. Here the moms went first to set the bar.

The kids were watching closely as the moms set a high score of 840 points in 5 mins. Could the kids beat that?

The kids were motivated, cheering their teammates on.

Look at her move--a blur of speed!

Like a well-oiled NASCAR pit crew, the kids changed teammates efficiently.

With the clock widing down, the kids cheered on the last boy.

The results? Moms = 840; Kids = 800! Guess who had to do 10 jumping jacks...again!

And so ended another fun Family Fit Zone class at the XRtainment Zone.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

First presentation of 2007

2-20-07 This was a sharing forum organized by the Desert Sierra Health Network (DSHN), part of the SB County Public Health Dept. and sponsored by the 5-a-day program. This forum focused on healthcare workers, public health, school nurses, RDs, PE teachers, and those working with kids and health. This was the first of several speaking engagements that I have (March, I'll be speaking in Baltimre and in April, speaking in Atlanta, so stay tuned!)

My topic was on the use of BMI for screening kids, other forms of body composition, and local resources (such as the XRtZ) for helping fight pediatric obesity.

There were close to 200 people at this forum which heard from various speakers throughout the day.

XRtZ also had a booth space there where we set up a video clip of the Zone and our My 13 news clip running and another TV for a Xavix Dash competition.

During the breaks and over the lunch period, various attendees tried to be one of the top scorers on the Dash. Some, like uber-triathlete (i.e. super competitive) Andrea tried it several times, trying to increase her score each time. She got up to her PR of 95 by the end of the day, good enough for 4th place.

It didn't matter if they were all dressed up--they gave the Dash a try!

One of our vendors, Sportwall, had a booth there as well. Run by Cindy, she invited people to try out DDR, many who were doing it for the first time. Then XRtZ Junior Staffer, Jake "the DDR Great" Knowlton showed up and wowed the crowd with his amazing footwork on standard.

Some of the last contendors of the day. From this young group of friends, the eventual winner would emerge.

Dr. Knowlton helped answer questions and run the Dash, which was a big help while I was getting ready for my talk.

Attendee Darryl, with his score of 108 (pointing to his score on the TV screen), was the high score among attendees (Jake got a 112, and I got a 117, but we didn't count! LOL!) and chose a cool XRtZ t-shirt for his prize.

Overall, it was a great start to the presentation circuit and we made a lot of excellent contacts there, and now more people know all about XRtainment Zone as a key resource in famil wellness in our local area.

Family Fit Zone update

2-18-07 Here's an update from our Family Fit Zone class. This shows the kids (and moms!) doing their "XRGaming Rx" after which, they can do free play the rest of the time. They keep track of their scores for their various exergame stations in their Rx. We're hoping to see an improvement in their scores over the 7 weeks, indicating an increase in their fitness.

Mom watches her daughter as she does a high kick on the 3Kick.

This mom's getting busy on "Raven" in Xavix Power Boxing.

She's approaching a squashed hula hoop obstacle, which she made it through ok!

Another mom keeping an eye on her daughter doing the Makoto.

She's jumping hard (see hair) playing the Trazer.

Mom and daughter play dance on the DDR.

Our only guy, Christian, jumping over the obstacles in the Xavix Jackie Chan run.

Nice lunge, Makoto Warrior!

Competing against each other on the sportwall.

At the end of the session, we held a little competition on the Sportwall between the moms and the kids. The kids really got excited about the chance to beat their moms. You can see they were all getting into it.

The competition was fierce, with the moms taking the first two rounds. The kids had to do 10 jumping jacks each time they were defeated. Then they would request a re-match!

Could the kids pull off an upset? Here, in the last round, you can see the last 4 seconds, with the kids holding a very slight lead. Would it hold?

Hehehehe, the moms are doing the jumping jacks, much to the delight of the kids!

And so ends another fun class at the Family Fit Zone program. Next week, you'll see some of the activities we do inside the classroom!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

2007 off to a great start!

2-15-07 Finally updating our blog here in the new year. A lot has been happening behind the scenes with new classes and programs at the Zone. Check out our Jan. and Feb. '07 newsletters for all the latest at www.xrtainmentzone.com and click on "newsletters" at the bottom.

One of our biggest news in January was the start of our Family Fit Zone class and collaboration with Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP). IEHP is paying for eligible members to attend our 7-week Family Fit Zone class and up to 4 months of membership after the class is finished. Then we can continue following them and working out with them. Here's a shot of me teaching the first class.

We also had some new staff starting. These are students from U of R and we're glad to have the extra help! Welcome Tori, Heather, Stephen, and Conner!

In February I went to a pediatric obesity conference and besides networking with a lot of folks in healthcare and government, I was able to meet some celebs who are doing a lot of good things for kid's health. Jake (of Body by Jake fame) is the current chairman of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness here in CA, so I got to meet him and tell him about the Zone. I was also introduced to his exec. dir., who I also got to fill in on some ideas.

The other celeb was Allen Rossum, who has an org. of pro athletes who do things for kids. Allen is a returner on the Atlanta Falcons, and one of the most feared punt returners in the game. He was a very nice guy and said that he got all messed up on DDR!

Also this month, Tammy, a doctoral student from Loma Linda Univ., has started her dissertation research on an afterschool program utilizing exergames. Here she is setting up the room.
Here's she's explaining to a teacher how the Xavix j-mat works.

We host many parties and events here. One that was special to myself (Ernie) and Kim (Dr. Knowlton) was hosting our alma mater, Andrews University's, alumni gathering at the Zone. Here is President Andreason talking with an alumnus and Tami Condon, the Alumni Director (in black t-shirt).

Here's VP David Faehner talking with some alumni.

After a yummy meal of gourmet pizza, salad, and other goodies (here being served by alum Corey), Prez Andreason gave an update on AU, including a detailed report on the dairy.

It wasn't all meeting, the alumni got to try out our delicious smoothies, compliments of the Alumni Assoc. and try out the games.

Finally, most recently last Sunday (Feb. 11), our youngest sister, Lesley Taylor, had her baby shower at the Zone. She lives in Phoenix, and had friends from all over the country come in just for her. Here's Matt, bowing after contesting in the 3kick.

See if you can name all the people Lesley grew up in Berrien Springs with in this picture. The middle guy is a toughie!

We got to meet "Dan the Man" and his sister Sabrina, our brother-in-law Robbie's niece and nephew. The last time these 3 were together was at Lesley and Rob's wedding, back 5 or so years ago. They've grown!

Some other news: we'll be starting more Family Fit Zone tracks, and a Spanish version of it as well. We're also getting ready to start up 2 tracks for our Homeschool Zone, a 12-week nutrition and exercise program, complete with Fitnessgram testing. Stay tuned and thanks for your support!