Rocky Gorge WellNews Early Spring 2023

Rocky Gorge WellNews Early Spring 2023

Spring Tidings (It’s Easy Eating Green)

March is National Nutrition Month! With the green promise of Spring, we look forward to fresh green foods.

In this edition, let’s look at green pulses (the edible seeds of legumes) that supply the highest protein content of all plant-based foods. They rank high in dietary fiber, which supports gut health and reduces inflammatory risks for conditions such as heart, bowel, and joint ailments. Pulses also supply vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, carotenoids, not to mention flavor. They are all sodium- and cholesterol-free.

Pulses contribute prebiotic compounds that nourish our gut bacteria, which in turn play a role in supporting the immune system, blood sugar levels, and as recent research suggests, emotional wellbeing. These pulses are good sources of folates, vital to red blood cell formation and cell growth, especially important for expectant mothers.

We appreciate the nutritional value of the fresh and frozen forms (virtually as nutritious as the raw) of these vegetables and don’t recommend the canned varieties. Optimally, all vegetables are cleaner and greener when they’re organic and non-GMO.

Sweet Peas or Garden Shelling Peas

Peas thrive in cooler weather, so they’re among the earliest Spring crops that find their way to our tables. Fresh out of the pod, peas possess incomparable sweetness and crunch. The same goes for snow peas and sugar snaps, harvested before the peas mature in the pods.

All three versions can be eaten raw (the sugar snap and snow peas, pods and all). Cook lightly to retain flavor, vitamins, color, enzymes, and crispness. They add brightness and crunch to pasta and rice dishes, such as linguine primavera and risotto, as well as stir-fries and salads. Spread springy pea shoots on sandwiches and salads or as a garnish.

Garden Pea Nutrition Facts

One cup includes:

117 calories; 8 grams protein

21 grams carbohydrates (8 g dietary fiber, 8 g sugar)

64% daily value of Vitamin C

Iron and potassium; the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect eye health.

Omega 3 and -6 fatty acids, which support heart health.

Sugar Snap and Snow Pea Nutrition Facts

One half cup includes:

13 calories; zero fat; 1 gram of protein; less than 3 grams of carbs

The vitamins A, C, B, K, and folates.

Split Peas

Dried split peas are a pantry staple that contribute robust, satisfying flavor to soothing soups, stews, curries, and even hummus dips.

Split Peas Nutrition Facts

One cup includes:

231 calories; 16 grams protein; 16 grams dietary fiber

Less than 1 gram fat

Split peas are a good source of vitamins (B vitamins and folates) and minerals (iron, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, and selenium).


Edamame is fresh, unprocessed soybean. Soybeans are valued for their high protein and versatility in fermented products (tofu, miso, soy sauce or tamari). It’s a popular ingredient in East-Asian cuisines, usually served steamed in their pods and lightly salted. Of all plant-based foods, edamame ranks highest in complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids. Keep frozen shelled edamame on hand to add protein and fiber to stir-fries, soups, stews, casseroles, and other dishes.

Edamame Nutrition Facts

One half cup includes:

94 calories; 9 grams of protein; 4 grams of fat

7 grams of carbohydrates, including 4 grams of dietary fiber

A good source of vitamins (A, C, B, K, and especially folates) and minerals (calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese)

Lima Beans

Lima beans: you either love them or you don’t. Most lima beans are purchased frozen, but if you see fresh ones in the pods at a farmers market, go for it! A simple, delicious side dish can be made by simmering a cup of frozen lima beans in just enough water to cover for 6-8 minutes. Add a tablespoon of butter or nondairy shortening and a touch of sea salt (optional: a dash of garlic and/or onion powder) and braise for another 5 minutes until tender.

Lima Bean Nutrition Facts

One cup includes:

216 calories; 15 grams of protein; less than 1 gram of fat

40 grams of carbohydrates (they are a starchier bean), with 13 grams of dietary fiber

A good source of vitamins (B and folate)


Sufferin’ Spring Succotash!

This satisfying side dish brings together the vitamins, protein, and fiber of pulses. In the summer, use fresh-cut corn kernels. The corn protein complements the bean protein.

  • One half cup each of thawed frozen lima beans and edamame
  • One half cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • One small, chopped onion
  • One large, chopped carrot
  • One or two cloves of sliced garlic
  • One half cup of chicken or vegetable broth, or water
  • Two tablespoons unsalted butter or vegetable oil (or a combination)
  • One teaspoon of dried thyme (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the onions and garlic in the fat until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the carrots and cook about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are almost soft. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir in the beans and blend until they are coated with oil. Add the broth or water and braise until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the corn. Add more liquid if needed. Continue braising until most of the liquid has cooked down, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Sweet Pea Risotto (“Risi e bisi”)

Prepare arborio rice or risotto mix according to package instructions. Three minutes before the rice is done, top the rice with a handful of fresh or frozen sweet peas and cover for the remaining cooking time. Let the pot sit for five minutes, then blend the peas into the rice before serving. The peas will be steamed and plump, adding vivid flavor to the rice.

Optional: Top with shaved Parmesan or Romano cheese and fresh parsley (or pea shoots!).

Note: This method works well with other types of rice.

squat tee shirt

Squat 101: Squat Basics

Gardening? Golfing? Grandparenting? Not on your list? How about walking, biking, climbing stairs, rising from a seat, picking up low items, cleaning, petting your dog, dancing to your favorite playlist? These activities of daily living (ADLs) require bending and lifting. You get it. You do know squat!

Performing squats lowers the risk of injury, no matter what you’re doing. Squats are considered one of the best daily exercises to strengthen multiple areas of the lower body. They can be done in a very short time and they’re easy! What better way to welcome Spring than to spring into action with squats?

The Benefits of Squats

The benefits apply to ALL age groups:

  • Strengthens the core: Improves posture and spinal integrity.
  • Strengthens lower body muscles, include the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.
  • Burns fat calories through movement, and builds muscle mass, which in turn increases fat-burning basal metabolic rate (BMR).
  • Improves range of motion (ROM), agility, balance, ankle stability, and jumping ability.
  • Supports joint flexibility: hips, knees, and ankles.

How to Safely Perform Progressive Squats:

  • To begin, stand erect, with your back in a neutral position. Don’t arch your back or flatten the curve of your lower back.
  • Your knees are centered over your feet, with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Slowly lower your body, making sure your weight is in the heels with the hips pressing backwards as though you’re going to sit on a stool. Can you see the tops of your shoes? If not, correct your position to avoid hurting your knees.
  • Extend your arms forward to shoulder-level as you squat, as though you’re grasping ski poles.
  • Progress slowly and cautiously by just going a couple of inches, then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat, each time squatting down a little further. Complete two sets of five repetitions.
  • Do not bend your hips below a 45-degree angle.

As your balance and strength increase, your hips, thighs, and quads can handle a full squat. Increase full squat repetitions to fifteen per set. When you’re ready for more advanced squats, you can hold light free weights as a level of resistance to increase bone density.

After performing squats, gently stretch the quads and hamstrings. Then you can conquer your garden chores!



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Abby’s passion is to help individuals achieve a healthier lifestyle through safe and effective exercise and balanced nutrition.



Abby’s passion is to help individuals achieve a healthier lifestyle through safe and effective exercise and balanced nutrition.


At MediFit, Inc., we believe that “Movement is Medicine™.” We provide corrective exercise protocols that help each client understand their own individual body alignment and anatomy. It is not uncommon for people to do all the “right” exercises incorrectly, thereby aggravating or prolonging chronic conditions. Medical exercise training will enable you to regain mobility, functional strength and enhance overall wellness.



Dear Resilient Clients,
This has certainly been a long and challenging season for all of us…and I do hope you are all doing well.
Currently, Howard County is in Phase Three, which allows gyms and private studios to open—under CDC guidelines.
I want to assure you, again, that I am being extremely cautious in how I schedule clients/classes and am taking all necessary precautions to ensure a safe and healthy exercise environment.
I will continue to do virtual trainings/classes and am also doing sessions on my large outdoor patio!
I totally respect and understand each individuals’ personal concerns and restrictions, but I want to let you know that I am here and am ready to support you with your health and fitness goals.
I would love to hear from you and hear how each of you are doing; I do hope all is well with you and your family.
Please take time to get outside and enjoy this wonderful sunshine, wear your masks, and stay away from crowds!
Let’s continue to do our due diligence to safeguard the welfare of all of those around us.
Also, please remember that I plan to do a “reset,” with each of you as you return: a fresh fitness assessment, updating all intake forms—including any current medications/injuries—as well as addressing any newly occurring issues since the March 2020 shutdown.
To your robust health,
Be sure to read our latest Rocky Gorge Wellnews newsletter here.
Abby Dixson, MES ACE Gold Certified Health and Fitness Coach Rocky Gorge Wellness/MediFit, Inc. Body and Soul Fitness Instructor MES, Post Rehab Conditioning Specialist/AAHFP Member of ACSM, IDEA, Wellcoaches “Movement is Medicine”

Dear Resilient Clients,

I hope all of you continue to do well, during this challenging time!

Although I have been in touch with many of you, I wanted to reach out with an update, regarding opening Rocky Gorge Wellness Studio in the weeks ahead.

For those who have been doing zoom sessions, I am happy to continue virtual training/small group classes for as long as each deems necessary, for their own individual health restrictions.

As we look towards the State of Maryland (Howard County) opening up in its various phases, I want to assure you that we are taking all the necessary steps to ensure a safe exercise environment!

As in-person appointments are scheduled, I will be spacing clients so there is no overlap, to limit individuals’ contact with each other and to make sure all equipment and surfaces have been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

I plan to do a “reset,” with each of you as you return: a fresh fitness assessment, updating all intake forms—including any current medications/injuries—as well as addressing any newly occurring issues since the March 2020 shutdown. Remember, we also have warm weather coming and outdoor sessions are also an option!

I will have a full supply of disposable masks and gloves, but will ask for you to be prepared to have + bring your own initially. Gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer will be available in the Studio.

As all of you know, my passion is to help each individual achieve optimal health through safe and effective exercise and balanced nutrition! I am proceeding cautiously and will comply with the State of Maryland and CDC guidelines for all operations.

FYI: We have a monthly wellness support group focused on nutrition, diet challenges, and overall support. Please let me know if you would like to join us this Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 11:00am via zoom.

Please let me know any thoughts or concerns you may have, as I would love to hear from each of you!
Let’s stay Safe! Let’s stay Strong! 😁💪🏻🏻🌡

Remember: “Movement is Medicine,”



Abby’s passion is to help individuals achieve a healthier lifestyle through safe and effective exercise and balanced nutrition.

Abby Dixson, MES, CES, is a certified Medical Exercise Trainer/Post Rehab Conditioning Specialist with the American Academy of Health, Fitness and Rehabilitation Professionals (AAHFRP). Abby is also a certified Cancer Exercise Specialist with the Cancer Exercise Training Institute (CETI).

Abby is an ACE Gold Certified Advanced Health and Fitness Coach, holding certifications in;

Group Fitness
Personal Trainer
Lifestyle Weight Loss Consultant
Clinical Exercise Specialist
Senior Fitness

Abby is also certified as a Wellness Coach with Wellcoaches®. She is a fitness instructor with Body & Soul Fitness®, teaching a variety of programs including cardio strength, power strength, Pilates and dance blast.

Abby is also certified with Barre Above®, with an emphasis on Pilates.

Abby is a featured speaker in seminars and conferences and has served as a faculty member in the area of continuing education with the American Council of Exercise (ACE).

At MediFit, Inc., home of Rocky Gorge Wellness, we believe that “Movement is Medicine™!”