Just another Friday at ABG

Hello and welcome back to your Just another Friday at ABG Capital blog post! Let’s jump right in and see what’s been going on in the office this week.

First and foremost I’d like to extend a warm welcome to our newest employee, Santhi Arjunan. Santhi will be working with our Development team as a Java Developer. She earned her education in India and has been a Pittsburgher since 1989. Santhi has two daughters and enjoys spending her spare time cooking, taking walks and caring for others. Having worked at a large organization in Pittsburgh for the last 13 years, Santhi really knows her stuff and we’re happy to have her as part of our team!

Before I jump into our ABG Capital Biggest Losers updates, I want to mention a blog post that we’ve prepared for next week. Building your own startup is always a scary thing. Our blog post will help guide you through the process and ensure that your startup will be a success.

ABG Capital Biggest Losers Challenge And now for your weekly updates for our Biggest Losers Challenge! Today marks the end of the 4th week and also the half-way point of the competition. As you know, each week comes with a challenge for the participants. This week’s challenge was to keep a food journal. Everyone had to write down everything they ate from the moment they woke up to the time they went to bed.

We know that everyone is always attached to their phones so we suggested using My Fitness Pal and Livestrong, which are two different apps to help keep track of everything eaten during the day. These apps are great because they count calories and calculate your fat, protein and carb consumption. They’re also FREE to download!

As for the actual challenge, the participants were to track their daily food intake and then they would earn points based on these seven factors listed below.

  • Ate a healthy breakfast
  • Ate a healthy lunch and dinner
  • Had 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables
  • Ate healthy snacks
  • Drank 8 glasses of water (at least)
  • Avoided bad foods
  • Watched your portion control

This was a really great challenge because it shows you your eating habits, and you might be surprised! If you’re trying to become a healthier person, then start keeping a food journal and write down everything you eat no matter how big or small it is. It’ll hold you accountable for what you’re eating and hopefully you’ll start wanting to swap out the bad stuff for the good stuff.

Now that we’ve covered all of this week’s ABG Capital highlights, we want to share a few updates from the Month End Meeting that was held today:

  • Award Season: We’re in the process of going through the Best Places to Work in Pa and Best Places to Work in Western Pa surveys. We ranked on these lists last year and we can’t wait to share our rankings for this year!
  • May Employee of the Month: Mark Fleckenstein
  • June Honorable Mention: Jed Blazanin
  • June Spotlight: Jenn Williams
  • Promotions: Cameron Nutter was promoted to a Level 2 Technical Support Rep

Congratulations to everyone who has received some fantastic recognition his week!

Thank you for checking out the ABG Capital blog and we hope you have a great weekend!

Just another Friday at ABG

Happy Friday and welcome back to your weekly Just another Friday at ABG Capital! Today marks one week down for those who are competing in our biggest losers challenge! They still have 7 more to go, but we’re supporting every employee 100% of the way. This isn’t just about losing weight, this is about taking care of your body and starting a healthier lifestyle. This week’s challenges week’s challenges for the contestants were to drink more water and to track the minutes of exercise worked. One App that we recommended to everyone was called Water Your Body Lite. It takes your weight and then calculates how much water you should be drinking every day. Do you think you’re drinking enough water? The winner is one of our Billing Representatives, Nick Jenkner. He accumulated 7 hours of exercise this week! Nice job!

We also want to give a huge shout out to our Office Administrator, Sara Warhold, for driving this competition. Sara has an extensive background in this realm since she was a group fitness instructor for 8 years and was teaching 5 to 6 classes a week. She really knows her stuff and is a fantastic in-house resource for those who are trying to build healthier lifestyles.

To help out those participating in the contest, and also everyone reading this post, Sara provided us with a workout and healthy recipe for you to try out. She provided two variations of the workout since there are all different fitness levels out there. For the workout, you’ll need a set of hand weights (dumbbells) and if you’ve never used resistance training, we suggest starting with as little as 3 lbs. or omit the weight all together!

Beginner Version – Repeat 3 to 5 times then do the conditioning segment

  • Warm up:
    • Set timer for 2 minutes: 30 second march in place, 30 second alternating toe touch, 30 second step side to side, 30 second march in place.
  • 10-12 Overhead press (dumbbells in each hand at shoulder height, back straight, legs hip-width, press weights above your head, return to shoulder height)
  • 10-12 Squats (feet slightly wider than hip width, toes point forward if you can. It’s okay if they turn out a little but make sure your knees track over your shoelaces and do not collapse inward. Lead back with your hips, weight in the heels)
  • 10 – 12 Wall Push Ups (Stand about 2 feet away from a wall, hands flat against the wall at shoulder height. Complete a push up but in this standing position)
  • 10-12 “Beginner Burpees” (Watch this video for how to complete a “Beginner Burpee”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIQx1FiQt50) If this seems too intense do the following:
    • In a standing position, arms above head, bring one knee up as you pull both arms down toward the knee. Try to touch your elbows to the knee. Alternate legs. Do each leg 10 times.
  • Conditioning
    • Set a timer for 4 minutes. March or jog in place alternate 30 seconds on/30 seconds rest
  • Cool down by doing some side to sides until your heart rate settles, STRETCH!!

Advanced Version – Repeat 3-5 times then do the conditioning segment

  • Warm up:
    • Set timer for 2 minutes – 30 seconds on all fours, knees spread wide, rock back & forth for a deep hip stretch, bear weight through hands, 30 second laying on stomach, tilt head up breath IN, look at the floor breath OUT, on your feet 30 seconds alternating toe touch, 30 seconds jog in place.
  • 12 Dumbbell Thrust (this is a deep squat holding hand weights at your shoulders and finishing with an overhead press at the top of the movement)
  • 12 Weighted Squats (hold dumbbells at shoulders while completing the squat)
  • 12-15 Push-ups (modify as needed: All fours/Body in straight alignment but dropped knees/full push up)
  • 12-15 Burpees (modify as needed: complete a push up at the bottom of the movement or omit the push up)
  • Conditioning
    • Set a timer for 4 minutes. Alternate 30 seconds jog in place/15 sprint in place/15 seconds rest-recover
  • Cool down with some side to sides until your heart rate settles, STRETCH!

Healthy Dinner Suggestion

Baked Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes


28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, not drained

½ cup chicken broth

1/3 cup fresh basil, cut in thin slices – plus more for garnish

2 gloves garlic, chopped

2 cups gluten-free penne pasta – UNCOOKED

¼ cup olive oil

1 ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp salt

1 ½ tbsp. dried oregano

4-5 large, heirloom, or beefsteak tomatoes, sliced about 1/4 “ thick

Parmesan cheese for topping


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray baking dish (about 8×8) with cooking spray, set aside.

In a food processor, process the crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, basil and garlic.

Pour pureed tomato sauce into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the pasta, olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Heat for about 5-8 minutes.

Line the bottom of the baking dish with a layer of tomato slices. Pour the pasta and tomato mixture into the pan, over the tomatoes. Arrange the remaining tomato slices in an overlapping layer on top of the pasta mixture, making sure the mixture is completely covered. Season with salt & pepper, drizzle with a little olive oil.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the tomatoes are nice and crispy and pasta is cooked.

Let cool before serving.

Serves 5-6 (SERVES 5 TO 6!!!! Have just 1 helping!!)

In staying with our healthy lifestyle themed week, we had a great Lunch and Learn that featured a Yoga and Meditation workshop that was instructed by Adrienne Totino. During the workshop Adrienne covered a few different styles of Yoga along with the specific benefits of practicing it. There’s more to Yoga than deep breathing! It’s a technique that can help healing physical ailments, reverse disease, reduce stress and anxiety and also balance emotions. The best part of the workshop was that we actually had a mini Yoga class where we learned some great stretches that we can do right from our desks! It was an overall great afternoon in the ABG Capital office.


As we close up this week’s Just another Friday at ABG Capital, we want to show our love for the Pittsburgh Pirates! They play the Milwaukee Brewers tonight at 7:05 and to show our support, we were sporting our best Pirate gear today. Let’s go Buc’s!