There is a continuous debate as to the fat burning effects of strength training versus a Cardio rich workout and some studies may be changing the general perspective. Picking up a set of dumbbells doesn’t have to mean you are in the gym to “bulk up” or aim for the infamous Arnold Schwarzenegger physique. If you rely solely on cardio as your workout of choice, it might be worth considering mixing it up as there are some great benefits to adding some weight training to your workouts.

In actuality, you need to use both techniques for the most effective caloric burn. The great thing about cardio is that it is continuous repetition, at an increased heart rate, with a high percentage of Oxygen intake. Strength training, on the other hand, requires bursts of energy for short periods of time with rest in between exercises. According to the Washington Post and Miriam Nelson, author of “Strong Women Stay Slim” and director of the John Hancock Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Tufts University. “You are probably burning more calories when you are actually moving a heavy weight than when you are doing aerobic exercise. But you are taking breaks, so over 30 minutes the actual number of calories burned doing strength training will be less.”

Another key attribute to strength training is that your muscles require rest for recovery. To put it shortly, if you want bigger biceps, doing curls everyday could actually have a negative effect. In strength training, the muscle fibers go through small tears and then are rebuilt. Proper nutrition and hydration can aid immensely in this recovery process. According to the Post, ‘Lance Berger, head trainer at Mint Fitness in Northwest Washington, he would recommend “circuit-style strength training” because it keeps the heart rate elevated, increases caloric after-burn and builds muscle. The exercises can be all strength exercises (switching muscle groups from chest to back or arms to legs) or a combination of strength and cardio exercises (a set of pull-downs followed by a lap around the track or three minutes on a bike).’ Calorie after-burn is your body’s ability to continue to burn calories long after your workout. Exercise scientists call this “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption,” or EPOC. Studies vary as to the length of this process but it could continue in excess of 36 hours. One of the great benefits of strength training is that it seems to push this a little longer than that of a constant cardio workout.

Burning calories is part of the weight loss equation but monitoring calorie intake is a crucial step as well. Have you ever gone for a long swim or run and finished incredibly hungry? The body responds to calorie output with the desire for replenishing the expensed nutrients. Making sure you are managing a proper amount of caloric intake is crucial any exercise program. As with any exercise program, it is important to consult your physician to determine the best methods to reach your goals. A nutritionist can be a great resource in helping you to structure a reasonable diet. We are here to help as well.

Washington Post

Women’s Health

Adventure Sports


We are here to help make your life a little easier and give you more time for the things you love. With that, Chef By Request will be running a Twitter sweepstakes to set you up with some free food! The sweepstakes will select one random winner each day from April 30th to May 5th.

Here’s how it works:

-Follow @MyChefByRequest on Twitter

-Retweet the tweet;

#Win awesome prizes from Chef By Request. Just follow @MyChefByRequest and retweet.

Good luck to all!

For official rules and restrictions go to: Official Rules.

Green Health

April 28, 2010

With this month’s focus on the environment, and preserving its integrity, I thought I would touch on some ways you can maintain a health conscious attitude while focusing on the health of the environment as well.

Eating Local

Locally grown food can provide fresh produce while avoiding some of the shipping costs associated with importing goods over long distances. With the shorter distances, less people are handling the food throughout the transportation process and there seems to be more of a focus on quality and freshness over ease of production and transport. If you are cooking larger meals, and your doorstep delivery won’t fit the bill, try checking out a local farmer’s market for some high quality meats and produce. (You could even ride a bike to save some energy and get your exercise in the process)

The New Oxford American Dictionary selected their word of the year for 2007 to encompass these concepts of eating locally with; locavore. The Oxford University Press states, ““Locavore” was coined two years ago by a group of four women in San Francisco who proposed that local residents should try to eat only food grown or produced within a 100-mile radius. Other regional movements have emerged since then, though some groups refer to themselves as “localvores” rather than “locavores.” However it’s spelled, it’s a word to watch.” If you are short on time and are not able to make it to your local farmer’s market, Chef By Request is here to help. Let us do some shopping for you!

According to Sue Nicholson Butkus, PHD, RD, director of Cornell University’s Farmers Market Nutrition Program, “The reality is that if you get tomatoes right out of the field, the vitamin C content is higher, as well as other nutrients. And I would believe that would hold true for other produce, too” If you have the time, and resources, growing some produce at home can be a great way to save some energy. Plants inside the house can provide food, supply additional oxygen and air purification, and have been known to psychologically affect your attitude in a positive way.

Use your own energy for exercise

Exercising occassionally without the use of a gym can also lower your total energy consumption. Getting outside for a run, or bike ride, will still allow for some serious calorie burn without having to plug in a treadmill or power the overhead lights. If you are not a runner, or don’t have  a bike at your disposal, try just going for a walk. Especially if you are short on time, an uphill walk can burn more calories than a run in some cases. Although, there are many benefits of the local gym workout like personal training, or the various weight programs, so if you live close enough to your local workout facility; try running or cycling to the gym for a solid warm up.


Oxford University Press

Planet Green

American Diabetes Association





These are the official rules that govern how the Chef By Request Sweepstakes promotion will operate.  This promotion will be simply referred to as the “Sweepstakes” throughout the rest of these rules.

In these rules, “we,” “our,” and “us” refer to Chef By Request, the sponsor of the Sweepstakes. “You” refers to an eligible Sweepstakes entrant.


This Sweepstakes starts at 12:01 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time (PT) on April 30, 2010, and ends at 11:59 p.m. PT on May 5th (“Entry Period”).  The entry period will consist of one prize period as defined in the table below:

Prize Period Start Date and Time End Date and Time
1 April 30, 2010 at 12:01 AM PT May 5th, 2010 at 11:59 PT PT

During Prize Period 1 participants will be required to enter separately each day and daily entries will not carryover into subsequent daily drawings.


You are eligible to enter this Sweepstakes if you meet the following requirements at time of entry:

  • You are a legal resident of the 50 United States (including District of Columbia), You are a resident, with a mailing address, in one of the following zip codes: 94102, 94103, 94104, 94105, 94107, 94108, 94109, 94110, 94111, 94112, 94114, 94115, 94116, 94117, 94118, 94121, 94122, 94123, 94124, 94127, 94129, 94131, 94132, 94133, 94134 (PO BOX are not valid for this contest)
  • You are 18 years of age or older.

If you are 18 years of age or older, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, you should ask your parent’s or legal guardian’s permission prior to submitting an entry into this Sweepstakes; and

  • You are NOT an employee of Chef By Request Corporation or an employee of a Chef By Request subsidiary; and
  • You are NOT involved in any part of the administration and execution of this Sweepstakes; and
  • You are NOT an immediate family (parent, sibling, spouse, child) or household member of a Chef By Request employee, an employee of a Chef By Request subsidiary, or a person involved in any part of the administration and execution of this Sweepstakes.

This Sweepstakes is void outside of the geographic area described above and wherever else prohibited by law.


The method of entry for each Prize Period is the same. To enter, you must do all of the following:

1.    Sign in to your Twitter account. If you do not have an account, visit to create one. Twitter accounts are free.

2.    Once logged into your Twitter account, follow the links and instructions to become a follower of @MyChefByRequest.

3.    From your own account, post a tweet using the following format:

#Win awesome prizes from Chef By Request. Just follow @MyChefByRequest and retweet.

By posting this tweet, you will automatically receive one (1) entry into the Prize Period sweepstakes drawing.

Polularity Contest Portion: After posting your tweet as described above, you can participate in the Popularity Contest portion of the promotion by getting your friends to retweet your tweet. You will collect one (1) point for each retweet of one of your original tweets; in order to receive a point, each retweet must adhere to the following format:

RT [Your Username]; [Your tweet].

Tweets cannot exceed one hundred forty (140) characters in length.

Prize Period 1: You will only receive one (1) entry into the daily sweepstakes drawing for your initial tweet and one (1) point for each re-tweet. Non-winning daily sweepstakes entries will not carryover to subsequent daily drawings; you must re-enter each day.


Prize Period 1:

Sweepstakes Drawing: At the close of each day during Prize Period 1, one (1) winner will be selected at random from among all entrants who posted the initial tweet described above (for an overall total of 1 daily winner) to receive the following prize:

  • One (1) 3 Day trial period of Chef My Request’s food service for one person. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) $120.00 each.

Winners have the option to submit for an additional weeks worth of food. Upon receiving the initial trial period, winners have one week to submit either:

-One video, at least one minute in duration, discussing winner’s perceptions and experience with food trial period. The video may not contain any profanity, or nudity, and must be appropriate for all ages. Video submissions must be approved by Chef By Request.


-One original written document, atleast 300 words in length, discussing winner’s perceptions and experience with the food trial period. In addition to this article, winner’s will be required to submit 3 photos covering their experience. The photos, and written submissions, may not contain any profanity, or nudity, and must be appropriate for all ages. Photo and written submissions must be approved by Chef By Request.

The total Approximate Retail Value (ARV) of all prizes: $1900

If you are a potential winner, we will notify you by sending a message to the twitter account you used to enter the sweepstakes.  If the notification that we send is returned as undeliverable, or you are otherwise unreachable for any reason, we may award the prize to an alternate, randomly selected winner.

If there is a dispute as to who is the potential winner, we will consider the potential winner to be the authorized account holder of the twitter account used to enter the Sweepstakes . If you are a potential winner, we may require you to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability/Publicity Release and a W-9 tax form or W-8 BEN tax form within 10 days of notification.  If you are a potential winner and you are 18 or older, but are considered a minor in your place of legal residence, we may require your parent or legal guardian to sign all required forms on your behalf.  If you do not complete the required forms as instructed and/or return the required forms within the time period listed on the winner notification message, we may disqualify you and select an alternate, randomly selected winner.

If you are confirmed as a winner of this Sweepstakes:

  • You may not exchange your prize for cash or any other merchandise or services.  However, if for any reason an advertised prize is unavailable, we reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value; and
  • You may not designate someone else as the winner.  If you are unable or unwilling to accept your prize, we will award it to an alternate potential winner; and
  • If you accept a prize, you will be solely responsible for all applicable taxes related to accepting the prize; and
  • If you are otherwise eligible for this Sweepstakes, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, we may award the prize to your parent/legal guardian on your behalf; and
  • Unless otherwise noted, all prizes are subject to their manufacturer’s warranty and / or terms and conditions;


Your odds of winning this Sweepstakes depend on the number of eligible entries we receive.


By entering this Sweepstakes you agree:

  • To abide by these Official Rules; and
  • To release and hold harmless Chef By Request, and its respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, employees and agents from any and all liability or any injury, loss or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with this Sweepstakes or any prize won; and
  • That Chef By Request’s decisions will be final and binding on all matters related to this Sweepstakes; and
  • That by accepting a prize, Chef By Request may use of your proper name and state of residence online and in print, or in any other media, in connection with this Sweepstakes, without payment or compensation to you, except where prohibited by law.


This Sweepstakes will be governed by the laws of the State of Washington, and you consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the courts of the State of Washington for any disputes arising out of this Sweepstakes.


If cheating, a virus, bug, catastrophic event, or any other unforeseen or unexpected event that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled, (also referred to as force majeure) affects the fairness and / or integrity of this Sweepstakes, we reserve the right to cancel, change or suspend this Sweepstakes.  This right is reserved whether the event is due to human or technical error. If a solution cannot be found to restore the integrity of the Sweepstakes, we reserve the right to select winners from among all eligible entries received before we had to cancel, change or suspend the Sweepstakes.

If you attempt to compromise the integrity or the legitimate operation of this Sweepstakes by hacking or by cheating or committing fraud in ANY way, we may seek damages from you to the fullest extent permitted by law.  Further, we may ban you from participating in any of our future Sweepstakes, so please play fairly.


We will post the names of winners who received a prize online at This list will remain posted until May 31, 2010.


Chef By Request

For more information on Chef By Request go to

Immunity Aid and Myths

April 9, 2010

The human immune system is strongest when the body is active and well nourished. In order to fight off, or help prevent, a cold, proper hydration and nourishment are crucial to the battle.

Make sure you have a jacket

The common cold cannot be picked up by solely stepping outside without a coat on. This is achieved by picking up a virus. Take, for example, the polarbear swim. For those of you who consider yourselves fitness enthusiasts, this one may be worth a try. For more information, check out the Dolphin club for some swimming aficionados. So go ahead and enjoy the cold weather. You may actually be safer outside as everyone else will be inside passing around these germs.

Spring Fever

A fever is the body’s response to a virus and is there for a reason in many cases. The increased temperature will improve the function of cells to help fight the infection as well make it more difficult for the illness to spread further. It is important you have plenty of fluids and nutrition as a fever requires excess energy from the body. Keep drinking plenty of water and eating a regular diet.

Sleep Tight

Proper amounts of rest can also boost the immune system as the body needs to time to rebuild. Energy expensed needs to be replenished and a full nights sleep can help. A recommended 7-8 hours a night will be beneficial.

Stressed out of work

Although hard to document specifically, it is proven that a more stress free lifestyle can boost the immune system. Emotional health is important to balancing out physical wellness and response to infection.

Exercise can help limit stress levels as well. A mild exercise program will get that blood pumping but too vigorous of an exercise routine can actually work the opposite direction. It can wear the body out and make you more likely to get sick.

-Karl Norelius



MSN Health

A month ago we had a blog discussion pertaining to kids nutrition and I feel it is worth re-addressing. This article has some great ideas and techniques to aid in the health of today’s youth and for very good reason. Personally, I greatly underestimated the severity of our current situation with the health of Americans of all ages.

There is a new TV show called Food Revolution with chef Jamie Oliver where Oliver looks to help change the food distributed at local schools and promote kids to take an initiative in the quality of their own diets. If you have not seen the show, I would highly recommend it. He has a unique approach which seems quite effective.

On Oliver’s website, he offers some facts and figures about the current health issues facing America, which you can find here.

A couple of the facts that stood out to me include:

– “Obesity, and with it diabetes, are the only major health problems that are getting worse in this country, and they’re getting worse rapidly”
CDC Director Thomas Frieden, told the Weight of the Nation Conference in July 2009.

– After smoking, obesity is America’s biggest cause of premature death

– Today’s generation of children are predicted to be the first which will die at a younger age than their parents due to obesity-related bad health.

-8% of the population, 24 million people, in the US have diabetes (of which more than 90% is type 2).

-Type 2 diabetes is the problem. It used to be an adult disease, appearing over age 40, but it is increasingly being found in teenagers, even children as young as eight.


I distinctly remember my personal experience of school lunches full of french fries, chicken rings and nuggets, nutty bars, and 50 cent sodas. How about 50 cents for a corn dog or three dollars for the salad bar? Little did I know that in fact these foods were not the healthiest options. Apparently I was not alone. According to Oliver, ”
31 million American children eat lunch at school, funded through USDA’s Child Nutrition Program. It was set up after the war to feed hungry children and deal with surplus agricultural commodities.” Now this all seems well and good but what happens when the food quality drops as the cost increases for healthier alternatives.

“The School Nutrition Association estimates it costs more like $3 to produce lunch – still cheaper than a cappuccino at Starbucks – but schools have to find the extra money, and often it comes from the sale of nutritionally poor foods sold through vending machines and snack lines. ”

I challenge you to consider what your kids are eating and what you can do to help prepare them for a healthier future. There are many examples of alternatives to “cheese zombies” and Chef by Request is only one of these options. Here are a few additional ideas- Healthy tips for kids nutrition If you yourself, or someone you know, has diabetes we have programs in place that can help. Check out the Chef By Request website for more information on availability and pricing.

If you are interested in the health profile of your community, check out the USDA’s Food Atlas website

I would love your feedback and further ideas on how to help kids, or adults, pay attention to their nutrition and diet.

-Karl Norelius

“Seventy-five to ninety percent of physician visits are related to stress and, according to the American Institute of Stress, the cost to industry has been estimated at $200 billion-$300 billion a year.” Many Americans lead their lives in the pursuit of stability and progression and in the process sacrifices are made. Time to relax with family and kids, spend time with family, travel, or take the necessary time to grow personally is becoming more and more sparse.

Health risk is another aspect of a high stress environment and as time becomes inevitably more valuable, less time is spent preparing quality food. As mentioned in a previous post, Stress relief can be aided through proper nutrition and avoiding some of those quick fixes on the way home from the office. We will dive into fast food on another day but there are healthy alternatives to some of these high calorie “meals”. Fruits and vegetables are great temporary solutions for hunger and to increase energy. When it comes time to prepare that full meal, you can spend over an hour with shopping and cooking to ensure all the proper food groups are in place. There is an alternative where you can avoid sacrificing convenience and still maintain a proper diet. The best part is it can be delivered fresh to your doorstep daily.

What would you do with the time you save from not having to cook? Or better yet, if you are already enjoying the benefits of Chef By Request’s service, what are you doing with that time?

If you have suggestions on topics you would like to discuss pertaining to health or nutrition, let me know! I would love your feedback.


Power of Water

April 1, 2010

What if you could lose weight just by drinking more water? The human body is made up of about 60% water according to Guyton’s Textbook of Medical Physiology. So how important is hydration in the interest of health and losing weight? Whether you are aggressive in your exercise plan or are just hoping to manage your weight, water can help.

According to Mara Z. Vitolins, assistant professor of public health sciences, and Science Daily, it can be hard to distinguish between being thirsty and hungry and when many people turn to their favorite soda or cup of copy to quench thirst, you can actually be taking a step backwards. Many sodas contain a high content of sodium and operate as a diuretic through caffeine content and can further dehydrate the body.

As a recommendation from Vitolins, try replacing these high calorie beverages with a glass of plain water. Not only will you decrease your calorie and fat intake but you could save some money in the process.

Drinking water has additional benefits for the human body including the removal of waste products, carrying vital nutrients, and regulating body temperature. A good way to ensure your body is receiving these vital nutrients is a well balanced diet like Chef by Requests zone inspired program.

The next question is how much water?

The amount of water to be consumed by an individual is a little subjective, and you should consultant a medical professional when making drastic changes to diet or fluid consumption, but Vitolins has a quick calculation to get you an idea. Take your body weight and divide it by two. This number is the amount of daily water consumption in ounces.

If you have suggestions on how to optimize your water intake, let us know! We would love to hear from you.


Stress is an inevitable part of daily life. Whether work has become overwhelming, home life a little too fast paced, or time to relax has moved just too far between, there are ways to help limit these daily doses of frustration.

One of the major influencing factors to stress is a lack of time to do the things that matter to you most. With a little help from Chef By Request, hopefully you can free up a bit of this time for some well deserved relaxation. A little dose of pre-planned and prepared meals with great nutrition can’t hurt either, right?

The mind and body both need to expend stored energy and a great way to help with that process is through exercise and stretching. Have you aver noticed a constant shoulder shrug or tightened neck in a time of intense focus? The neck and shoulders are some of the most common places that people store stress. This tightening can also carry down into the back and legs. Endorphins are the bodies natural combatant to stress can be prompted to help with tension release.

Everything from exercise to spicy foods and sex to dark chocolates have been known to help with the release of endorphins. Another great technique is stretching. Yoga, in particular, is well known for helping to calm the body and mind.
Here are a couple resources but make sure you’re  doing it properly. Without effective breathing and body placement you can risk additional muscle tension or injury. In addition, there are different types of Yoga which vary in intensity. If you are new to Yoga or just haven’t spent much time using stretching as a technique for relaxation, there are quite a few experts available to answer your questions.

Here are a few resources at your fingertips-

-Local gyms and/or personal trainers
-Yoga studios and instructors
-Physical therapists and medical professionals

For some more resources on stress relief check out these sites:

Stress Management


Everyone has their own techniques to aid in stress relief. If you have additional suggestions or recommendations, please feel free to share them with us!


Teaching your children to eat well has never been more important.

Childhood obesity has caught the public’s attention (it’s Michelle Obama’s big initiative). It’s not just unhealthy for the young child; the ensuing risks include cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

So—how do you get children to eat well from the get-go? Eating healthfully begins at home. We all know this. But it’s easier said than done.

Use these tips and eating strategies to help your children develop good food habits for life.

Set a healthy, positive environment.
“A positive environment from the beginning is very important,” says Janey Woo, a Seattle-based registered dietitian specializing in kids’ nutrition at Greenlake Nutrition. “Kids will mimic what they see around them.” In other words, it’s up to adults to set a pattern of good eating for their kids. Chef by Request meals can do just that. If parents consistently sit down for complete meals that include whole foods with proteins, a variety of vegetables and fruit—and enjoy eating them—the kids will follow suit.

Talk about real, whole food in a positive way.
Focus on the delicious flavors and interesting textures, and how the food makes you feel energetic and happy. Even if you see the kids writhing on the floor yelling, “noooooooooo!”—rest assured; the good stuff is sinking in.

Good breakfast foods: High-fiber cereal and milk. Yogurt with honey or yogurt sticks. Eggs. Nut butter or sunflower seed butter on toast or on a banana.

Be persistent with picky eaters.
“It takes at least a dozen times for a kid to try a new food,” says Woo. “Parents usually give up after the third or fourth try.”

Children go in phases. They focus on favorites and can eat the same few foods for months on end. Continue to give them the full-meal deal. They’ll eventually get bored and try something new. When kids see other people eating something, they’ll eventually try it too.

Avoid power struggles over food. “You don’t want to force-feed your child and make them resist eating,” says Woo. “This creates an anxious environment around eating.”

Healthy beverages: Avoid sugary soda as much as possible. Remember that water is important for children too. Serve a half cup of 100 percent fruit juice and add another half cup of water or seltzer water.

TV + eating = a big no-no.
Numerous studies connect TV-watching with weight gain and obesity. Part of the reason is that watching television defocuses people and they miss their fullness cues. Also, once TV becomes connected with snacking, every time your child sits down to watch TV, she’ll want something to eat. See where this is going?

Tasty after-school snacks: Kids love quesadillas. Cook them with veggies and put a bit of salsa on the side. If cheese is an issue, use beans for a mini-burrito. Try cottage cheese with their favorite fruit and a drizzle of raw honey. Have your children eat in a designated area for meals, which will help them focus on fullness cues.

Don’t use food as a reward.
Your son got an A in math, or first place in a swim meet. To celebrate, you let him have an ice cream sundae. See the pattern building? A food reward system.

Many parents do this because it’s their thing. Don’t make it your kids’ thing. Try to find celebrations that aren’t food related, and that instead reflect your young ones’ interests. For younger kids it may be colorful stickers or some 99-cent toys. Think of an activity that would be a fun change of pace.

Good dinner ideas: In general, have everyone eat the same meal. Kids need to eat the same whole, unprocessed foods as adults. Cook and eat at home as much as possible. If your child ate a nutritious after-school snack and can’t finish dinner, that’s okay. He probably got what he needs.

Get kids involved—let them play!
Woo counsels parents to take their children to the grocery store and explore the fruit, vegetable, and meat/seafood sections. Let your kids pick out something special for dinner—a sweet potato, bok choy, some giant shrimp, or a lamb chop. Ask them how they’d like to cook their food: sautéed, grilled, or boiled? Sliced or whole? At dinner, give credit: “We’re eating Anne’s giant kabobs and Bill’s crazy-looking bok choy.” At the dinner table, let them touch the food and smell it, and talk about how it tastes, what they like about it, what they don’t like. The more they’re involved in the process, the more they’ll buy into healthy eating.

Good food for school lunches: If your children buy school lunches, include some snacks to round out their options and nutrition. Try popcorn, fresh or dried fruit, nuts and seeds, or vegetables.

It’s true. The great eating habits you start at home can be foiled when your kids walk out the front door. However, if you consistently create a happy, healthful home base for your family’s meals, this will likely become their default setting—for a whole lifetime.

More links:

Read up on childhood obesity statistics from the CDC Web page.
Read the Mayo Clinic’s 10 Tips for Picky Eaters.
Get some SuperFoods in your family’s diet.
Learn more about Chef by Request.
Start your own healthful eating habits. Sign up for Chef by Request.