New Taste Bud? Umani

Sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami? It may be new to you (and me), but umami, another taste experience for the human tongue, has been around since 1908. Let’s start with the basics, what are taste buds? Taste buds make up most of the little bumps on your tongue, specifically referred to as papillae. Taste buds have tiny hairs on them which send messages to your brain after eating something to let you know what taste buds it actually hit. Interestingly enough, your taste buds, all 10,000 plus of them, turns over about every two weeks. So for those of you who say you don’t like vegetables, eat them a few times so that your taste buds adapt and learn to like those nutrient dense foods.

UntitledWhile eating dashi, a Japanese based soup, chemistry professor Kikunae Ikeda from Tokyo detected a new taste on his tonge. Professor Ikeda was determined to figure out what the dominate taste in this soup was as it did not catch any of the original 4 taste buds. After a few classical chemical procedures, Professor Ikeda discovered another taste. It was from glutamic acid (also known as glutamate). He named it “umami” based on the Japanese adjective “umai” meaning delicious.

Umami can be described as a mild flavor. Foods such as aged cheese, seafood, tomatoes, beets, corn and soybeans all carry the signatures of umami. Here is a Five-Spice Shrimp & Vegetable Packets recipe to test those taste buds out!


  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, (see Shopping Tip)
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine, (see Shopping Tip) or dry sherry
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder, (see Shopping Tip)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, (optional)
  • 1 1/4 pounds raw shrimp, (26-30 per pound; see Note), peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels, (from 1 large ear; see Tip)
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces


  1. Combine soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine (or sherry), honey, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, five-spice powder and crushed red pepper (if using) in a large bowl. Add shrimp and mix well. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F
  3. To prepare packets, start with four 20- to 24-inch-long pieces of parchment paper or foil. Fold in half crosswise. With the parchment or foil folded, draw half a heart shape on one side as you would if you were making a Valentine. Use scissors to cut out the heart shape. Open up the heart.
  4. Combine corn with snap peas and bell pepper in a medium bowl.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer one-fourth of the shrimp to one side of each open heart fairly close to the crease and leaving at least a 1-inch border around the edges for folding. (Reserve the marinade.) Place one-fourth of the vegetable mixture (about 1 cup) on top of each portion of shrimp.
  6. Close the packet to cover the ingredients. Starting at the top, seal the packet by folding the edges together in a series of small, tight folds. Twist the tip of the packet and tuck it underneath to help keep the packet closed. Place the packets on a large rimmed baking sheet (packets may overlap slightly). Bake until the shrimp are just cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, place the reserved marinade in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high and boil until reduced slightly, 3 to 5 minutes.
  8. Let the packets rest unopened for 5 minutes. Serve the shrimp and vegetables drizzled with the reduced marinade.



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Written By: Brittany Schneider

What are “Minimalist Shoes”?

There always comes a time of year when you realize your current exercise shoes are not cutting it for your workouts. Either they are too old, not supportive, or overly supportive – not allowing you to move properly. While in your pursuit of a better shoe, you may come across a buzz word “Minimalist Shoe.”

What is a minimalist shoe you ask? It is a lightweight shoe that creates a similar feeling to being barefoot. Most of the midsole of the shoe, also known as the cushioning between the outsole and insole, are removed.  The removal of the midsole creates a lighter shoe that has less cushioning and less lateral stability. Due to the lessened amount of support given by the shoe, it will require individuals using a lightweight type of shoe to engage their physiological systems to achieve stability.


The next question you may have is, “Well, should I get them?” The answer to that depends. If you were shopping for the perfect pair of pants, you would have to figure out what size you are, if you need a larger or smaller waistband, along with the length of the inseam, etc. You wouldn’t ask your best friend who is the complete opposite size of you for those measurements as they would most likely be incorrect. Just like pants, shoes are very particular to certain individuals. It is not a “one size fits all” kind of thing. If you have purchased or plan to purchase a pair of minimalist shoes, be sure to transition slowly into running or weight lifting. Start off using the shoes once a week. If it feels comfortable, increase it to twice a week. Be sure to stay in-tune with your body in order to avoid any injuries. Wearing minimalist shoes require feet, ankle, and core strength, so if you lack in any or all of those areas, be sure to take even more precaution.

With any new coming – fitness and nutrition alike – do your research and talk to experts in the area. Stop in to a specialized running store to have them analyze your feet to see if it would be beneficial to train with or without a minimalist type of shoe. Even if you are not an avid runner, these types of stores can help you get into the best type of shoe for YOU!

Written By: Brittany Schneider


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Types and Styles of Strength Training to Beat Boredom – Part 3

For those individuals who have considered themselves an avid exerciser for a year or more, the following advanced training styles are for you!


Volume Training: This is a type of training meant for intermediate and advance exercisers. It involves a lot of repetitions, less weight than you would usually do, and more time. Volume training is usually done 8×8 (8 repetitions for 8 sets) or 10×10 (10 repetitions for 10 sets). You will want to choose anywhere from 5 to 6 exercises, usually the same muscle group. How this training works: Choose a weight 60-80% of your maximum capacity for lifting the weight for 10 to 12 reps. For example, if you usually lift 100 pounds for legs, only lift 60 pounds for volume training. Next, choose how much time you will be resting and stay consistent with that rest period for the entire workout (start with 60 seconds). Complete your first exercise for eight repetitions. Rest 60 seconds, then complete 8 reps again. Do this for a total of 8 rounds (completing 8 reps then resting 60 seconds). When you do this exercise again next week, keep your weight the same, but decrease your rest to 50 seconds, and the next week 40 seconds, etc. Before you go on to the next exercise, rest for 1 – 3 minutes.


  • Example – Chest exercises 8×8
    • o Incline Dumbbell
    • o Flat Bench
    • o Incline Flyes
    • o Cable Flyes

Drop Sets: This type of training allows you to go beyond what is your normal stopping point – taking your muscles in to a failure state. Your entire workout could include drop sets, or you can pick one exercise out of a series to perform a drop set.  How this training works is you pick a weight to start off that gets you in your normal rep range. From there drop the pin (in the weight stack) or weight and continue completing reps. Drop the weight 4 to 6 times and do as many reps as you can.

  • Example: Lat pulldowns à start off with 72lb. You complete 12 reps, and cannot do another one, so you drop the pin to 60lb. and complete 10 reps, and realize you cannot do another one with good form, so you drop the pin to 48lb. and complete another 8 reps. When you cannot do any more reps, drop the pin.

Negatives: Also referred to as eccentric training, this style of training is powerful if you are looking to increase your strength. You may want to have a partner or a “spotter” to help you with this type of training as it is generally recommended that you should start with a weight 105% of your one repetition max. For example, if you lift 100lb. for a chest press, you would want to start with 105lb. It involves loading the resistance beyond your maximum and only performing the exercise in the muscle-lengthening movement – referred to as the eccentric movement.

  • Example: Barbell Chest Press
    • Lying on a bench, face up; lower the bar to your chest – very slowly! At least twice as much time as it usually takes you (3-6 seconds). When the bar touches your chest, your partner or spotter will provide be spotting you and the bar to the starting position. Repeat. Again, slow and steady!

Rest Pause Training: This type of training is usually geared towards those looking to increase muscle strength and size. It requires you to rest in between each rep. So, you would perform your exercise repetitions normal, except you rest for 3 to 4 seconds at the bottom of each exercise, and then continue.

  • Example: Chest press
    • o Bring the bar down to your chest, and then back to the top. At the bottom hold for 3 to 4 seconds and then bring back up, slowly. Repeat.

** Doing just one of the following styles, such as negatives, should not be the backbone of your workouts. Change it up daily or weekly to avoid boredom and more importantly injuries.

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Types and Styles of Strength Training to Beat Boredom – Part 2

This week’s styles and trainings revolve around those of you who have worked out pretty consistently for 6 months or more and are looking for a new way to spruce up your routine. The following styles of trainings are for intermediate exercisers. (As always, consult with your physician before beginning any physical activity program as well as talking with a fitness professional to ensure proper form.)


Tri-Sets: Like superset, but instead of two exercises, you do all three exercises back-to-back-to-back with no rest. Rest for 30-90 seconds and repeat that same tri-set for however many rounds you plan to do before moving on to the next super-set.

  • Example – Back – 10 repetitions of each exercise:
    •  Tri-set 1: Bent Over Dumbbell Row; Pull-Ups; Dumbbell Reverse Fly
    •  Super-set 2: Seated Row; One-Arm Dumbbell Row; Plank with Alternating Row

Giant Sets (aka Circuit): Like super-sets and tri-sets, but there are 4 or more exercises in which you do back-to-back without any rest.

  • Example –12 repetitions of each exercise:
    • Giant Set 1: Seated Bicep Curls; Triceps Overhead Extension; Dumbbell Angle Bicep Curl; Triceps Pushups
    • Giant Set 2: Bent Over Row; Pull-Ups; Upright Row; Bent Over Fly

21’s: This type of training can only be done with a few exercises like bicep curls or squats, for example. You would complete 7 reps on the bottom half, 7 reps on the upper half, and then 7 reps full range of motion. I would advise not doing your entire workout with this type of training, rather choose one exercise to perform this with

  • Example: Bicep Curls
    • 7 reps starting at the bottom and coming up to only 90 degrees
    • 7 reps starting at 90 degrees and coming all the way up to your chest
    • 7 reps full range of motion bicep curl

Written by: Brittany Schneider

Types and Styles of Strength Training to Beat Boredom – Part 1

When it is time to exercise you walk in to the gym or your basement and begin the same redundant routine you always do. Three sets of five different exercises and then you are done. You leave with some sense of accomplishment, but you were bored out of your mind, only to think you have to get up and do it all over again tomorrow. Stop!! If this sounds like you, this article series is a must read. Surprisingly, your body is quite smart. If you are doing the same routine day in and day out, your body is no longer burning as many calories as once you first started. It has become very efficient at knowing what you do and keeping the calorie burn low. Change up your workout routine a lot! The more variety within your workouts, the better off you will be physically and mentally. Over the next few weeks I am going to share a variety of training styles and types to kick boredom to the curb from beginner to advanced! So stayed tuned each week to find out more.  And as always, consult with your physician before beginning any physical activity program as well as talking with a fitness professional to ensure proper form.


Straight Sets: This is a basic type of training in which you have an established number of sets. For each set you complete the same number of repetitions (aka reps) and use the same weight throughout. This is very useful style when you are starting out a strength training program.

  • Example – Bicep Curls:
    • o Sets: 3
    • o Repetitions: 12
    • o Weight: 15lb

Pyramid Sets: This style of training is great if you are looking to increase your strength.  First, establish the number of sets you want to do (pyramid training can be used in sets of 3, 5, or 7 – change it up!). The first set will be the highest number of repetitions you will do with the least amount of weight. After you finish set 1, rest for 30-60 seconds, then complete set 2. This time you will decrease your repetitions slightly, and increase your weight slightly – increase your weight no more than 10% between each set to start with. When you are finished, rest, and pick up the heaviest weight you will do and complete the lowest number of repetitions. Rest and then work your way back up. See below for an example. (You could even do this style of training backwards, starting with your heaviest weight and least amount of repetitions working your way up and back down.)

  • Example  – Chest Press  5 working sets:
    • o Set 1: 12 reps with 60lbs.
    • o Set 2: 10 reps with 65lbs.
    • o Set 3: 8 reps with 70lbs.
    • o Set 4: 10 reps with 65lbs.
    • o Set 5: 12 reps with 60lbs.

Super-Sets: This type of training is great to do if you are in a hurry. Choose your exercises in pairs of two and decide how many repetitions you will do for each exercise. You can do antagonist (opposite muscle groups – example chest and back) or agonists (same muscle group – example chest fly and chest press).  Complete each super-set back to back with no rest in between. Rest for 30-90 seconds and repeat that same super-set for however many rounds you plan to do before moving on to the next super-set.

  • Example – Biceps and Triceps – 12 repetitions of each exercise:
    • o Super-set 1: Barbell Bicep Curls and Lying Barbell Triceps Extensions
    • o Super-set 2: Dumbbell Hammer Bicep Curls and Triceps Dips
    • o Super-set 3: Cable Bicep Curls and Cable Triceps Kickbacks

Written by: Brittany Schneider

What about detoxing?

 DetoxWith the New Year here you have probably read up on every diet and exercise regimen available. More likely than not you have come across the term “detox” as it tends to appear in some of those articles. So, what actually is detox? Do they work? Is it something you should do? Let’s discuss the truth about detox.

What is detox?

Detox is short for detoxification. The theory behind detoxing is that it removes toxins from our bodies. A variety of detox diets exists. Some include fasting (which means not eating anything, for a certain amount of time). Other detox diets include a drink cleanse followed by a few days of strict eating.

Do detox diets work?

Detox diets have not been proven to work scientifically. Evidence that toxins are actually removed from the body has not been confirmed. The possible benefit from a “detox diet,” according to the Mayo Clinic, is the removal of processed foods that we eat during that period of time. During a detox you are typically required to avoid highly processed foods that contain added sugars and fats. Detox diets are not typically considered a long-term solution. For long-term results, you are much better off learning how to eat a healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources.

What are possible side effects with a detox diet?

Like with any diet, side effects will vary from person to person. Some overall possible side effects could include, but not limited to, dehydration, going to the bathroom more than normal, dizziness, lightheaded, nauseated. Be sure to listen to your body if you do decide to do a detox and discuss with your doctor.

Should I consider doing a detox?

With any type of diet or exercise plan, first and foremost you need to assess if it is something that will help you, if it something you can maintain for the rest of your life (lifestyle change), and if it is something you want to do. In addition, make sure you talk with your doctor before starting any diet program to ensure sure you are aware of any side effects. Some detox diets can lead to fatigue due to the limited amount of protein intake. Long-term effects of detoxification include vitamin and mineral deficiencies, cramping, bloating, nausea, vomiting, and dehydration. So be sure to consult with your physician if this is something of interest to you. Take all precautions.

Written by: Brittany Schneider


Announcing the Inaugural Salus Snowman Challenge!

Did you know that building a snowman is a great workout?!  You bet it is!  One can burn between 200 – 350 calories per hour while building a wonderful snow companion.

We are kids at heart over at Salus, so we want you to tap into your inner child and participate in the Salus Snowman Challenge!

Here are the details:

Round up the family, friends or co-workers for the Salus Snowman Building Challenge. The challenge is to construct the most creative snowman. Build one, build many and while you are at it why not decorate, dress-up or put a fitness spin on your creations. Don’t forget that when you are out gathering and rolling up all that snow to build Frosty, you could be burning 350 calories per hour.

Please submit your snow person creations to the email address below or post on our Facebook page. We will take a vote and announce the Top 5 and then let fellow Salus fans vote for the Top 3 winners via Facebook! 

Deadline to submit your snowman is February 5th, 2014!!

With the snow coming into Wisconsin right now, you should have plenty of materials to create a great snowman and get in a good workout!

Email creations to OR post to our Facebook page: