Friday, October 12, 2012

Feeling Sluggish, Tired, or Out of Sorts? Try A Cleanse.

I'm in the process of moving my blog to WordPress.  I'll post the link next week when it's all ready.

Baked Butternut SquashI’m a foodie and in autumn I think of warm and grounding foods.  Foods that are a bit heavier and more satisfying than what I ate throughout the summer months. Butternut squash, pumpkin and asparagus all come to mind right now.  I’m thinking cinnamon and ginger.
I enjoy eating so I used to kind of dread the word cleanse, to me it brought up fasting, not chewing and pain.  But then I discovered whole food cleansing and realized that I could do this.  I could eat delicious seasonal meals that were simple, still sexy, and still reset my eating habits
So why does the body need a break?  You may have a pretty clean diet but still breathe in toxins from the air or absorb them through your largest organ, the skin, if your water isn’t filtered.  Maybe you drink socially, have a lot of caffeine, eat sugary treats or just a few too many healthy treats.  It could be that you’re having a little too much pasta, bread, potatoes or cheese.  Many of our convenience foods have ingredients that our bodies do not recognize as food and they confuse our system.
It might be that you’re stuck in a rut and not sure of what your next step should be.  Your imagination could be blocked and shutting down your creativity.  If you find yourself irritable and not really sure why you might want to give a cleanse a try.
A cleanse is not a fast.  It’s more of a rejuvenation and a reminder to feed your body what it really needs and not just what you are craving.  It’s something I like to do, especially in the spring and the fall, a sort of prep for the upcoming seasons.  In the autumn we are prepping for winter, clearing congestion out so our immune system is in top form and can resist colds and flu.
Think this is something you would like to do?  I am offering a seasonal cleanse that includes:
Daily email support
An information packet that lets you know what to do before, during and after the cleanse
A recipe booklet full of seasonal recipes
Intrigued? Click here for more information
For a simple butternut squash side dish:  cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  Place in a baking dish with 1/2 cup of water and cover.  Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes. Make it sexy:  sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.  Use the left overs in place of pumpkin for a smoothie.
1/2 c canned or fresh roasted pumpkin
1 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 large banana
1 -2 tsp maple syrup (omit and it’s cleanse friendly)
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or more to taste)
2 Tbs ground flax-seed
Blend all ingredients until smooth, enjoy!
Serves 1

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Today's guest post is by Karen Welby.  Coach Karen is a Holistic Health Coach, Running Coach and Personal Trainer.  Today she shares a blog on building speed and learning pacing through track work outs.

Track Workout for Runners – Repeat 400s

Whether you’re training for a 5k or a half marathon, this workout is perfect to help you learn pacing. When I was a Cross Country Coach at Stevens Institute of Technology, we would run this workout every 3-4 weeks during the Cross Country season, increasing reps and decreasing rest (and speed) as the season progressed.
I recently had one of my half marathon clients run this workout and she did great – running every 400 faster than goal half marathon pace.

Running Workout = 16 x 400meters with 60-75 seconds rest

The breakdown:
Warm up for 1 mile run – nice and easy
Stretch – A mix of dynamic and static stretching
(4) 50- 70meter strides (Running at 75% of all out pace) This gets the legs moving and blood flowing.
Head down to the starting line. You will be performing 16 400s (400 meters = 1 lap, so 16 laps) at slightly under goal race pace. If you have any questions about pace, tweet me @coach_karenw.
The rest between each 400 is 60 – 75 seconds.
Cool down for 1 mile – nice and easy
Download the 400m spreadsheet here to record your times: 400M Repeats Track Workout.
The goal of this workout is to get you moving faster than race pace with rest, so that running at race pace with no rest feels comfortable.
About the Author: Karen Welby is a certified Holistic Health Coach, Running Coach and Personal Trainer.  For more about Karen’s integrative health and fitness coaching programs, visit Run With Nutrition. She can be found on Twitter(@coach_karenw), Facebook (Run with Nutrition) and Pinterest (coachkarenw)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Taking Charge of Your Health

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." Hippocrates said.  I believe that food is one of the best ways to take care of yourself.  A healthy clean diet goes a long way to  preventing disease and keeping you energized.  It supports you in you daily life in a way nothing else could.

But I also believe that there is a time for medicine and for taking care of yourself with preventative measures.  We tend to only go to the doctor when we are sick.  To have health care you need to schedule a visit when you are feeling well and get yourself checked out.  Otherwise you're just participating in sick-care.

This morning I had blood work done for my physical. While I don't enjoy going, it was not really a big deal.  Honestly, the worst part for me is not eating breakfast when I want to.  The lab takes appointments now.  One tube of blood, a little urine sample and I was on my way out the door 15 minutes after I arrived.

 I'll have a follow up visit with my primary doctor to discuss the results and see if there are any areas that I need to tweak.  I'm not expecting anything other than my iron not being as high as it could be, but I like to be certain.  And if something else does show up then I can work on correcting it.

I have family and friends who prefer not to know if something is wrong.  As if not knowing is going to make them better or change their diagnosis.  I get being afraid but being informed gives you some choice as to what to do as well as a chance to change the outcome.  A lot of diseases are reversible and can be affected by diet and exercise.  And if it requires further attention you should be able to avail yourself of it.

So take charge of your good health and schedule that appointment you've been putting off.  Take someone along for moral support if you need to, but just go.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Running With Friends For a Push

I was at the park on Saturday participating in a fun run sponsored by one of our local running clubs.  I like the camaraderie of running in a group.  It pushes me to run faster in a shorter run and it takes my mind off how long I'm going in a long run.  In this group no one ran at my speed, which was still fine.  I had people to speak with before and after the run and who waved and offered encouragement during the run.

I am not a fast runner and I'm okay with that.  I do want to work on my speed but I am more concerned with finishing a half marathon than running a 9 minute mile.  I'd rather finish smiling than hurting and sucking air.  On the other hand, I want my times to improve with each run; especially if it's on a course I've run before.

We all know that feeling of ugh, my time could have been better.  We think I should have run harder, faster or smarter.  I say be grateful for what your body did for you that day.  Maybe you were not at your physical or mental best but you finished.  Maybe you could have trained harder but you didn't and you still finished.  Your body did something amazing for you, thank it.  Figure out what didn't work for you and concentrate on improving that for your next race.

On another note, that morning another runner asked me what I thought of him eating meat.  I answered that we need protein and meat was definitely one way to get protein in.  He explained that he used to eat more carbs but he wasn't feeling his best.  Since he started adding lean meats in he feels much better.  I think it's brilliant that he listened to his body and fed it what it truly needed to function more optimally.

Protein is what helps repair the micro tears our muscles endure from running.  People who participate in endurance sports need slightly more protein than an average exerciser.  On average a person needs about .04 grams of protein per pound of body weight but when training for an endurance event you want to bump that up slightly to a range of .05 - .07 g per pound.  (a 150 lb athlete would need about 75 - 112 g of protein).

Most of us get adequate amounts of protein in our daily diet without even trying.  If you aren't feeling your best it is wise to listen to your body and see what it wants/needs.

Need help figuring out what foods make you feel your best?  Not sure where to start with a healthy eating plan?  Send me an email,, to schedule a 30 minute consultation so you can decide if working with me is right for you.  You can also visit my website,, for more information.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Running Along and Then - Ouch, What Was That?!

If you do any type of fitness activity I know you understand.  Things are going along just fine and then, there it is, that quick sharp pain.  Oh no, you know deep down that it's not going to go away but you are hoping that some ice and rest are all it needs.  In most cases that's true, but when it's not the frustration sets in.

The first time that it happened while running I was training with Team in Training for my first half-marathon.  I was excited, I'd never run the mileage that I was doing and I was eager.  I was running one night and something in my back hip didn't feel right.  A few days later I participated in a race and I was very sore afterward.  Limping sore and I rested a few days.  My next run had me in tears and limping again.  I just knew it was bad and it was not going to go away on its own.  

After a few sessions of physical therapy (yes, I was still hoping it wasn't too serious) I was not getting better.   Sitting for too long and even walking around Target would have me in pain.  I had to go see the sports medicine doctor and get checked out.  He was very kind and he knew right away that I had a stress fracture in my hip.  No race this time around, no running for at least 2 more months and more PT.

I cried again, I was so frustrated and I had invested a lot emotionally as well as physically.  I did the physical therapy and I did what ever other exercises I was allowed to do to keep up my fitness.  Biking, swimming and the elliptical machine were all okay so I temporarily joined the gym.

I watched my teammates get ready for their races and I was jealous.  I am not proud to say that I also wanted to trip random runners when I saw them out blissfully going about their routines.  I went to Florida as planned, since I already had the airfare but I could not watch the marathon.  I was just not there emotionally yet.  I was also worried that I would not be able to run again.

Another annoying thing was I had to adjust my eating again.  I wasn't logging in the mileage and I was starting to gain back some of the weight I'd lost.  I had finally figured out what worked for me as a runner and now I had to go back to the drawing board.

I'm happy to say that the work paid off.  I have completed two half-marathons, a few 10ks and several smaller races since then.  I've had other injuries to deal with that kept me side-lined at times but I knew just what to do until I could get back to my training plan.

Are you frustrated by being side lined and wondering what in the heck do I do now?  Not sure how to adjust your eating?  Send me an email,, for a 30 minute consultation to see if we can work together to get you back on track.  You can also visit my website,, for more information.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Yoga & Running Workshop Strikes a Balance

Sunday I took a great workshop, Yoga for Runners, at 5 Boro PowerYoga led by Paulina Underwood.  If you've been reading this blog for a while you know that I'm a runner and that I also practice yoga.  I love running and it does put a pounding on the body.  Yoga stretches out and lengthens the muscles that running contracts.  It's pretty much the reason that I can get out of bed and walk around without too much grumbling.

So I was excited to see a 2 hour workshop dedicated to runners and yoga.  I've been to this studio before and I find the teachers warm, engaging, and very hands on.  Yoga at 5 Boro is done in a room heated to 85 degrees, which lets muscles be more pliable.  It's no where near as hot as a Bikram class so I felt energized rather than sapped at this temperature.  

We started with breath work and also learned why Ujjayi breath worka as well with running as it does yoga.  I've been working on implementing breathing through my nose while running but not with this particular breath work.  As an fyi:  breathing through your nose actually does let you breathe better while running although it does feel difficult at first.  You can read more about this in Dr. John Douillard's book Body, Mind, and Sport.

We then moved on to a series of sun salutations with a lot of hip opening exercises.  As expected there were a lot of warrior, triangle and pigeon poses.  There were blocks and straps to let you better access a pose.  While I don't always need a prop it really does let you focus on really lengthening a muscle rather than an ego based desire to get the pose right.  (I'm talking about my own ego but I suspect I'm not alone on this one).

There was also a tutorial on chattaranga which was enlightening.  It's a pose I've struggled with, I have a block in my brain that says I don't have enough upper body strength for this pose.  My aha moment was yes, I do have the strength to do this.  I've just been hovering too low and too far forward - hence my collapsing.  Honestly, that alone would have made my day.  

I left feeling stretched, enlightened, and part of a community.  Not bad for 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon.  I am definitely looking forward to more classes.  (note:  there are more workshops being offered in October and you can find more information on their website:

Are you struggling to find the right exercise for you?  Do you need support to get your eating and exercise habits in alignment?  Send me an email,, for a complimentary 30 minute health consultation.  Together we can come up with a plan designed just for you.  You can also visit my website,, for more information.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Training for an Event and Gaining Weight?

Frustrating isn't it?  I'm training for a big event, running 15 miles on a long run and that scale is going up - not down?!!  How is that even possible?  It seems crazy, especially if you're training for a half or a full marathon.  I'm doing all of these extra miles so how can I be gaining weight?

Part of it may be that your body is becoming more dense with muscle.  That will happen, in this case you really need to go by how your clothes are fitting and how your body is toning up.

Another possible reason is that you are storing some glycogen for your long run.  The body uses water to do this and you may fluctuate for a few days.

The third reason is really the most common, you aren't eating the right foods.  A lot of us think because we are in training we can eat whatever we want.  You are going to need extra calories the day of your long run but you should be eating nutritious foods and not empty calories.  The other days you do not need as many calories because you're not burning as much.

Think about what you are reaching for after your long run.  Is it a real meal or is it something out of a package?  Are you reaching for whole wheat pasta, veggies, and chicken or are you reaching for Ben & Jerry?  It really does make a difference as to what you refuel with.  The wheat pasta with veggies and chicken should keep you full and happy, ice cream is going to have you searching out more food in an hour or two.

This isn't to say you can't have a treat, heaven knows after a long run I love a good dark beer with dinner.    Just remember that treat foods:  a) are empty calories that don't build your body back up and b) are going to leave you with a sugar crash and searching for more food.

Keep your house stocked with the right foods so when you are hungry the first thing you grab is going to be nutritious.  Food/training logs also keep you honest on what you are eating and how much you are exercising.

Do you need help with a food plan for your endurance event?  Send me an email,, for a free 30 minute consultation to see if we can work together to come up with a plan for you.  You can also visit my website,, for more information.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Losing Motivation? How To Hang on to the Goal.

Let's face it, any long term goal can seem impossible to reach.  It seems that we're chugging along and still the end goal is not quite in sight. It can be so frustrating.  The first key is to remember why you want this goal in the first place.  It has to be something that motivates you and you alone.  It cannot be something you are doing for someone else.

Are you running a race?  Why?  What are you going to get from finishing that race?  Imagine the tangibles:  how will your body feel?  how will your self-esteem be impacted?  how will you look?  (it's fine to be a sweaty mess - you just completed a race)!  Now think about what else it might realistically lead to, your possibilities are endless.

Do you want to lose weight?  Again, ask yourself why.  It could be for health, to fit into clothes, to improve your quality of life.  Again, imagine the outcome.  How will you feel and how will you look?  What else could you accomplish? Be realistic - weight loss is not a magic cure for all of your troubles in life.  You will, however, enjoy the new found energy you have.

Post these goals and reasons every where.  I'm not kidding.  Use them as your computer log ins, put post-its on your mirror and the fridge, stick notes in your wallet or purse, put reminders in your calendars, your car, and anywhere else that will jog your memory.

The other tip is to break down the long term goal into smaller bite size chunks.  I do this with my clients in my coaching programs and I do this myself as a runner.  I know darn well that I'm not going from running 3 miles to 13.1 in three weeks.  There has to be build up, 10% mileage increases, speed drills and hill training.  I set a goal for the week and work at it.

It's the same thing for weight loss.  I'm not going to lose 20 pounds in two weeks and keep it off.  But I can add vegetables to my meals and next week I can eat one less treat per day.  I can swap a sweet drink for seltzer with mint and lime and another week I can add in exercise.

Make it a game.  What makes you feel your best?  Notice what meals or workouts make your body feel alive and doing what it is meant to do.  Notice what makes you feel sluggish and drained.  Write them down so you can repeat what works and discard what doesn't.  Journaling is one way to notice and keep track of progress and goals.

Do you need help resetting your eating?  I'm leading a whole food cleanse on October 14th.  You can visit the events link in my website for full details,

Friday, September 14, 2012

Exercising & Eating Well But Not Losing Weight?

I've had several people tell me recently that a) they're exercising and not losing weight and b) that they're not eating a lot of food.  I understand, I've been there too.  You're watching what you eat, working that cardio, and still you're not getting the results that you want.

You're starting off on the right path and to get the most out of exercise you need to mix it up.  Strength training is going to rev up your metabolism and keep it stoked.  You will burn more calories throughout the day since muscle uses up more energy than fat does.  Your body needs to repair itself after strength training and that helps keep you burning calories.

Another way to rev up your metabolism is through interval training.  Adding short bursts into your cardio routine maximizes your workout.  They should be repeated regularly throughout your workout.  So if you walk briskly add in jogging spurts.  Do you ride the bike or do the elliptical?  Crank up resistance and pedal like you're being chased.  Even your regular aerobic workout can have higher intensity bursts.  Your body has to work harder and it will also need to recover afterwards.

Another reason you might not be losing weight is due to food sensitivities.  When your body feels as if it's under constant low level attack you develop inflammation.  Your body is defending itself and it's not likely that it's going to shed pounds.  I recommend doing an elimination diet for 10 - 21 days to rid yourself of any toxins that are accumulating in your body.  After this period of time you start slowly adding foods back in to your diet.  Your body will react to the foods it has sensitivity to.

A sensitivity is not a full blown allergy.  An allergy will trigger symptoms right away and your body cannot tolerate the offending item.  It is an immune system response and it mistakes foods for an invader.  Some of these allergies are very serious and can prove to be fatal.  A sensitivity is a caused by a food that you cannot digest properly or breakdown easily which can lead to bloating, cramps, headaches, or irritability.

Do you feel that this applies to you?  If so send me an email,, and we can set up a 30 minute consultation to if we would like to work with each other to solve your challenges.  You can also visit my website,, for more information.

Friday, September 7, 2012

My New Breakfast Obsession

I've had this breakfast every morning for the past three days.  It's like a pudding rather than eating oatmeal.   I'm thinking of making it again with some different flavors for tomorrow.  What can I say, I love my overnight oats?  I find regular cereal does not keep me full, even when it's full of fiber and low in sugar.  I don't always want a smoothie and it's been too warm for cooked breakfasts.  Plus, honestly, I don't usually feel like cooking in the morning.  I've got other things to do and I want to get out the door quickly.

This is quick to put together the night before.  It needs time to set up and for the milk to be absorbed so it doesn't really work as well in the morning.  On the other hand, it only takes 5 minutes to put together; including chopping any fruit that you want to add.

I find that if I use banana or mango it does not need any added sugar but you might want to add a little maple syrup or honey to yours.  I use rolled oats, steel cut oats will not soften properly and quick oats can get mushy.  The chia seeds, which can be found in health food stores, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe's, give the cereal its pudding consistency.

The below recipe is what I've been eating.  For tomorrow I'm thinking of using mango, coconut, and vanilla protein powder and eliminating the cocoa, almond butter, and strawberries.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
1/3 c rolled oats
1 c milk of your choice (I use coconut milk beverage -  not the canned one)
1 Tbs chia seeds
1 Tbs raw cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbs peanut or almond butter
1/2 banana, chopped (or fruit of your choice)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 or 5 strawberries, cut into bite sized pieces (or fruit of your choice)

Mix all ingredients, except for strawberries, in a large cereal bowl or a container with a lid.  When there are no lumps add in the berries.  Cover and put in the fridge overnight.  Uncover in the morning and enjoy.

You can top this with coconut, cacao nibs, extra milk or a little natural sweetener.

Tired of the not having energy during the day?  Bored with your same old meals?  Send me an email,, for a free consultation.  You can also visit my website,

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Other Ways to Get Some Exercise

A client and I were speaking recently and he mentioned how annoyed he gets by women who say that their housework is exercise.  I had to get him to say a bit more about that before I gave a reply and to not voice the first response that sprang to my mind.  He went on to say that going up and down the stairs with laundry a few times wasn't really exercise.  To which I was able to reply, no, it's not.  But giving the house a thorough cleaning for at least an hour; including scrubbing, vacuuming and mopping is quite a good workout.  You work up quite a sweat on a good house cleaning jag.

Another great way to build in exercise?  Gardening.  You get to be outside and connect with nature.  I trimmed the ivy and dug up some rouge trees this morning.  My shoulders and arms ached pleasantly by the time I was done and I worked up another good sweat.

If you live in a walkable area you can leave your car at home and do your errands on foot.  There is no need to take the car on small errands such as going to the bank or the drugstore if you can walk it.  (I know this is not an option in all areas).  Walk like you have somewhere to be and you can get a decent workout in there too.

Do you have a pet?  Give your pooch a good walk or explore your local park's hiking trails.  If you don't have a pet can do some good by walking a shelter dog.  He or she will love the attention and you get a walk or run in as well.

Stuck in an office all day?  Use your lunch time to walk or use the stairwell for a great workout.  Jog up a few flights of stairs and then make games out of stepping to the corners of the steps in a zig-zag motion or skip every other step for a few more flights.  You can also use the steps for some lunges or do sets of squats on the landing.  Just have some baby wipes handy for a quick clean up after your stair session.

So on days when you aren't able to hit the gym or get a run in, you can still sneak some fitness into your day. And your house, yard or pet can also benefit.

What's your favorite way to sneak some exercise in during your day?

Do you want to start an exercise plan but don't know where to start?  Send me an email,, and we can set up a free consultation to see whether I can help you with your goals.  You can also visit my website,, for more information.

Friday, August 31, 2012

I've Been Cooking Up a Storm This Week, Who Am I?

Truth be told I usually cook the first 3 days of the week and re-purpose my foods into new meals two other days.  This week I've been on a cooking and baking kick.  You would think fall has arrived!  I've made ratatouille, grilled fish with bok choy & brown rice, cauliflower crust pizza (yes, that's right - cauliflower in the crust), grilled chicken, pesto, steak and roasted potatoes, and Chocolate Girl Scout Cookie Truffles.

Today I baked chocolate chip cookies and banana bread.  There's no big ta da for dinner tonight though.  I'm going simple with chicken burgers, roasted sweet potatoes and chard.  All of it will be cooked on the grill, including the chard.  The a/c worked hard enough while I baked!

Most of the cooking was done in two days with light prep and finishing touches on the other nights.  I'm a big believer in cook once, eat at least twice.  I do not feel the need to stand in front of the stove for every meal every day if I can help it.  If I'm chopping zucchini and eggplant for ratatouille I'm going to chop enough to have it for a few meals.  It was a side dish two nights and the topping for the cauliflower pizza crust another night.  The trick is spacing it out and re-purposing them so you don't feel like you're eating the same thing over and over. It can as simple as adding the pesto into the ratatouille to change up the taste or using left over chicken for chicken soup another night.

The cauliflower pizza crust is not a recipe I can claim as my own.  There are a bunch of versions of it on the internet and I picked the one that went a little easier on the cheese.  It's simple and it tastes good when topped with whatever you're in the mood to put on your pizza.  For me it was ratatouille, pesto, mushrooms, turkey bacon and a little more shredded cheese.  It's not really something you can pick up and eat with your hands but it is satisfying.  The picture above is a double recipe, but I still only used one egg.  It stayed together just fine.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza
1 cup riced cauliflower
1 egg
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 tsp Italian herbs

To rice the cauliflower pulse 1/2 a small head of roughly chopped cauliflower in the food processor.  It should resemble rice pellets.  Put into a bowl and add the egg, cheese & seasoning; mix well and spread out on to a baking sheet to form a crust.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Top with your favorite pizza toppings and bake another few minutes until they're warmed.

If you don't have a food processor, steam the cauliflower a few minutes to soften.  Use a grater to grate the cauliflower into little pieces.  Let cool and then add in the rest of the ingredients, mix together, and bake.

Need help in creating healthy meals for your busy week?  Send me an email,, and together we can set up a plan that works for you.  You can also visit my website:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kind of Bummed so I Made Truffles

I'm kind of bummed and not be these very yummy truffles.  Two of my favorite sites have closed.  One has "reinvented itself" and I'm not sure I really like the new format.  The other sent out it's daily email as usual and then this afternoon sent a goodbye email.  No warning, just thanks but we're closing the doors here.  Weird to not even make it to the end of the month.

I know it's hard to keep things going.  Getting new ideas and keeping things fresh on a daily basis is sometimes trying.  I just can't help but think there's still more that can be explored and more stories to tell. Truth be told, the site that folded is one I get some of the ideas I share on Facebook and Pinterest.  I will still have healthy bits to share but I'll have to broaden my scope of where I find them.  That's a good thing for me and who ever reads these items.

One of my recent findings is Chocolate Covered Katie, a vegan healthy dessert blog.  I've made several things and the chocoholic that I'm married to has no clue the treats are vegan until I tell him.  The chocolate chip muffins with garbanzo beans were a hit (no taste of bean at all), as were the Fudge Daddy silken tofu brownies.  Honestly, I could have eaten the pan myself.  Have I piqued your interest?  I tinkered with her Girl Scout Cookie Truffle and the recipe is below.

Chocolate Girl Scout Cookie Truffle
Recipe based on Girl Scout Cookie Truffle by Chocolate Covered Katie

1/2 c pitted dates (packed)
2 Tbs unsweetened coconut shreds
1 Tbs raw cacao or unsweetened coco powder
1 Tbs coconut milk or 2 tsp coconut oil
1 Tbs chocolate chips
1 dash vanilla
1 pinch of salt

Put the items into the food processor and blend until mostly smooth.  Roll into balls and you can garnish with a few extra chocolate chips.  I made 8 small truffles.

Do you want to live a more energetic & vibrant life?  Then send me an email, and we together we will create a plan that works just for you.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Doesn't Look Like a Last Minute Meal

I was tossed on a few ideas for dinner the other night but none of them sounded like what I wanted to eat.  We had chicken a few times, I didn't want fish and dinner had to be a fairly quick affair because my husband was running out to teach a guitar lesson.  Which also meant he was not going to have time to grill a steak.  By the time he called me to tell me he was leaving work and on his way home I still had no real clear plan on what to make.

And then I saw a recipe for chickpeas and broccoli with onions over pasta.  It sounded good but I didn't want pasta.  Then I thought about what I did have and the fact that I had about 30 minutes to get everything together and on the table.  So out came the small pink eggplant, the onion, the tomatoes, and the broccoli.  All sauteed together in some olive oil and garlic and  topped with fava beans.  I love fava beans because they're firm and meaty.  And, yes, they go nicely with a glass of Chianti.  (for all of you Silence of the Lamb fans).   I would use whatever vegetables you have on hand.  You could also add some broth or tomato paste if you would like to put this over pasta.

1 small head of broccoli, chopped (trim the stems & slice them into coin size pieces and use them as well)
1 small eggplant, chopped into 1 - 2 inch cubes
1 small onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped and seeded
1 can of organic fava beans, rinsed & drained
1 Tbs olive oil
1 large garlic clove, smashed
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onions in the olive oil for 5 minutes over medium heat.  Add the garlic and saute for another minute or two.  Add broccoli stems and saute for 3 minutes, then add the rest of the broccoli and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add the eggplant, tomatoes and fava beans, sauteing until cooked through, about 5 - 7 minutes.

I served this over amaranth grains but you can use wheat pasta, brown rice or quinoa instead.  I put some feta cheese on my dish and my husband put some Parmesan on his.  This is a great choice for Meatless Monday or any night when you just need a quick dish.  It's hearty enough not to miss the meat.  We also had the leftovers as a side dish a few nights later, it was still tasty.

Need ideas for meal planning?  Send me an email at

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Constant Cravings

I'm an emotional eater and when something bothers me my instinct is to reach for something sweet.  I know this and I have tools for dealing with the cravings rather than eating.  Still, there are days like today when I find myself walking over to where the biscotti are taking a deep breath and having some water only to find myself holding the container of ice cream and a spoon.  More deep breaths and thinking about what I want, am I hungry and what the hell is bugging me?

So no, I'm not hungry but I'm having an intense chocolate craving.  Yes, there are some things on my mind and a call just triggered them into a bit of overdrive.  So I decide to visit the thoughts and see what's going on there.  The feelings might be intense but they won't kill me.  I most likely will not solve the problems right now but I can change how I respond to them.  I cannot change other people or their behaviors, I can only change my own.  Starting with putting the spoon back in the drawer and the ice cream back in the freezer.  Sometimes I put it in the downstairs freezer so temptation is that much further away.

If nothing was bothering me and I wasn't hungry I might have a little chocolate. Since I really prefer to have a treat at night I come up with an alternative to something sugary.  It's always good to have a few go to items that help with a craving.  I'll make a smoothie from spinach, banana, almond milk and raw cacao powder; a plain yogurt sprinkled with cacao nibs and some honey; a frozen coffee drink (blending coffee, unsweetened cocoa, almond milk and ice); or I'll take a frozen banana and put it in the food processor with cacao powder to make a coco-banana "ice cream".  (you can use unsweetened cocoa instead of raw cacao if that's what you have on hand).

There are other tips and tools to use if you are experiencing emotional eating.  You are not alone in this and it can be solved. If you want further information please send me an email at  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tired of Figuring Out What To Eat?

I've had a few people tell me recently that they were just tired of figuring out what to eat.  What was healthy and what hasn't, who had the best diet and what they did not want to give up.  It's tough, I know.  There was a segment this morning on Good Morning America with three people featured in People Magazine.  All three had lost 100 pounds or more and none of them did it exactly the same way.  What they all had in common was they changed their eating habits and exercised.  All looked fabulous and no one was rich or famous.

But what diet do I follow?  Well, it depends on if you have allergies or not and what feels good to you.  Do you like eating raw foods or mostly vegetables?  Do you like grains or prefer protein?  What gives you the most energy?  You learn this over the course of a few weeks, of adding in new foods and writing down what you ate, what your mood was and how you felt later on in the day.  I feel my best eating steel cut oatmeal with nuts and fruit, having smoothies with vegetables and fruit or, if I'm running, sprouted bread with almond butter and banana.  (peanut butter gives me agita when I run).

Do you notice what all of those breakfasts had in common?  All consisted of whole foods.  Nothing was overly processed or came in a box.  I could identify all of the ingredients and my great-grandmother would recognize them as food too.  No added sugars, no weird ingredients and real foods - not food like substances masquerading as food.

Buying foods in season will keep costs down and frozen vegetables and fruits are always an alternative when fresh are not available.   Bulk bins are a great way to buy grains, nuts and seed while also keeping costs down.  I get very large bag of oatmeal at the bulk bin for less than $2.  There is a great website called 100 days of real food that can also give you some great tips.

As always, I am happy to support you on your healthy journey.  Send me an email,, at or visit my website,, if you would like a complimentary consultation.  

Friday, August 10, 2012

What Is In My Ice Cream?

Yes, I eat ice cream and, yes, I have a sweet tooth.  I believe the occasional treat keeps me happy and prevents all out binges.

A friend and I were talking snacks recently and she said she only eats real ice cream.  I mentioned that I liked a churned variety that was lighter in calories.  She asked if I read the label and I had to admit I didn't.

It wasn't a particularly long ingredient list, sugars weren't off the charts and the calories were low.  However, the second ingredient was sugar and the third was corn syrup.  Not high fructose corn syrup but, still, why two sugars?  Because when you take away the fat you need to add more sugar, which I'm sure you know by now.  I do too but I was hung up on the calorie count.  So I decided to read the various ice cream labels, since my husband was off looking for something else.  He has patience but I only like to push it when I really need or, let's be honest, want to.

So, most of the ice creams have a list of really long ingredients, with a lot of odd or undesirable ones.  And Breyers, who I always thought of as the natural ice cream, now has cartons labeled ice cream and others labeled frozen dairy dessert.  Um, what the heck?  It turns out that frozen dairy dessert has a lot of ingredients that I don't want to ingest.

Breyers ice cream, on the other hand, had a short list of ingredients and the only one I wasn't sure of was tara gum.  Tara gum is a thickening agent that, from what I've read, is not linked to anything funky the way carrageenan is.  The Breyers chocolate clocks in at 140 calories, 7g of fat and 16g of sugar, which is respectable for a treat.  Most importantly, it tastes rich and chocolatey.

Yes there are other ice creams and non-dairy treats that have a decent ingredient list too.  I like So Delicious Coconut Milk Chocolate as well as a few other brands.  Read your labels and let your taste buds help you out.

What is your favorite brand and are you comfortable with the listed ingredients?

Need help figuring out labels?  Send me an email at

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pizza with Shrimp, Arugula and Roasted Tomatoes

This was one of my favorite dishes at a restaurant we used to go to.  I haven't seen it on any menus in a while and I've been craving it.  It was very filling with the shrimp and tomatoes.  I served a salad and some roasted Parmesan fennel as an appetizer.

I spread pesto, the same recipe I blogged on last week, on as the base but you can use tomato sauce or brush the crust with garlic olive oil.  I'm a big advocate for using what you have on hand.  I used a pre-made wheat pizza crust.  You can use your favorite pizza dough for this and if you make a wheat crust from scratch share the recipe please!

1 pre-made pizza crust
Pesto to cover the crust
1 large tomato, roasted (recipe follows below)
1/3 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2  bunch of arugula, washed and spun dry
feta cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Spread the pesto on top of the pizza crust.  Put on your shrimp, roasted tomatoes and feta cheese.  Bake according to dough directions.  Put the arugula on top to wilt.  

Roasted Tomatoes
2 - 3 large ripe tomatoes, cut into large wedges and squeeze gently to remove seeds*
Olive oil, 1 TBS or mist with olive oil sprayer
3 - 4 garlic cloves
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 450
put tomatoes on a jelly roll pan or in a large shallow pan
Drizzle the olive oil over them
Add in the garlic cloves randomly
Season with salt

Roast tomatoes for 35 minutes - should start to turn brown but not black.  You can keep them in the fridge for a few days or freeze them for up to 6 months.

* You can use cherry tomatoes for this but don't remove the seeds

If you are interested in learning more about seasonal cooking send me an email at,

Friday, August 3, 2012

Do You Have Olympic Fever?

I've been asked by a few people if I've been watching the Olympics and even my nine year old godson is quite taken with the games.  He's smitten with Gabby Douglas and wanted Ryan Lockte to beat out Michael Phelps for the gold.

In truth I have watched some of the games.  I get nervous for the gymnasts and it doesn't matter what country they're from.  I get the same way with the skaters in the winter games, I'm really not sure why.  The other sports I can watch much more calmly.  I guess they just bring up more emotion for me or maybe I can relate to the disappointment of a teenage girl more readily than that of an adult.

And the games inspire me.  I'm in awe of what they do and what they sacrifice in order to make their dreams happen.  Just to be picked to be on the Olympic team is amazing and far more than what most of us accomplish.  I certainly can't imagine being at swim practice at 5:30 am every morning before school or work, can you?  And then more practice later in the day?  It kind of boggles my mind.

And while I don't expect to be an Olympic runner, gymnast or skater, I let them motivate me during my workouts and runs.  I figure I can give up an hour or so and live with some soreness as I push myself just a little bit further than I have.  Maybe I can try the next difficulty of a workout, add some weights to my squats, or add a little mileage onto my weekly runs.  Again, not going crazy but pushing things up one notch.

So what do the games inspire you to do?  How can you let yourself answer the challenge of your next level?

And, send me an email if you need help in planning workouts or figuring out what to eat to support your lifestyle.  I can be reached via my website,, or at

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What's Delicious, Versatile and Easy to Make?

Pesto!  I love the taste of homemade pesto.  It's simple to make and you can use it as a sauce, a condiment, a salad dressing or a marinade.  I tend to make my pesto on the thicker side and with less oil.  I'm not against olive oil, I just don't like oily tasting food.  I feel the basil is the star here and it should shine through.

I made a batch last week and I've used in on fish, pasta, salad, scrambled eggs, a dip for vegetables and as a marinade for chicken.  It literally took me minutes to prep and make it.  You want to look for bright green and fresh looking basil, if you grow your own even better.  And feel free to send me some if you have an abundance!

You can freeze the extra pesto in ice cube trays so you can have pesto when you want it.  One cube is a perfect serving.  (do not add Parmesan cheese if freezing - it freezes better without it). 

Here's what you'll need:

1 batch of basil (about 4 cups loosely packed - I use it stems and all)
2 TBS olive oil
1/2 - 3/4 cup of chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
4 large garlic cloves
1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Pulse basil, garlic, nuts, olive oil and broth in a food processor until smooth.  Add in salt, pepper and cheese if using.  

A nice twist is to add in some roasted red peppers.  It gives an extra flavor layer and adds some pretty red flecks into the green.

Need help planning quick health meals for your busy life?  Send me an email,, and we can work together to have a plan that fits you.  

Friday, July 27, 2012

Trying Meditation, Again...

I've taken on the 21 day meditation challenge again.  True to form I'm a little behind on it.  I feel better when I meditate and when I do it at night I sleep better.  Here's the catch, I sometimes wait too long and fall asleep   instead.  I have tried it during the day or first thing in the morning.  I do stick with it better if I do it upon waking.  

I find it easier to meditate with the challenge as well.  This is the third or fourth meditation challenge that I've participated in and I stick with it through the end, even if I miss a few days I always make them up.  It's keeping it going regularly when the challenge stops that I run out of gas.  I'm not sure why, I guess I don't feel accountability or 3 weeks isn't long enough for me to totally develop a habit.  

This particular challenge is interesting, we're meditating on love and healing.  Letting go of past hurts, including childhood trauma, and opening ourselves up again.  It's been interesting and much easier than one of the meditation cds I purchased.  One of my first blog posts relates how I yelled at the woman leading the meditation, not very zen.  And, of course, it did not open me up to the practice of meditation at all.

My own challenge is how to keep the practice going once this current series is finished.  I have meditations by some of the leaders of this current series, I just don't always practice them.  I guess I will have to create my own challenge and see if I can make this a daily habit for myself. Maybe the trick is to explore alternate forms of meditation, such as a walking meditation.  There's also a group that meets on Tuesdays at a local college to meditate, perhaps I can pick up some new tools there as well.  For now, I have almost 2 weeks left of this challenge so I'll see how it goes the week that follows.

I recently sent out my monthly newsletter.  If you don't receive and would like to you can sign up for it at my website,  The sign up is on the front page, bottom right.  You'll receive my Top 3 Power Breakfasts as a thank you for signing up.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Farmers Market and a Watermelon Recipe

I received an email today that said you are what you eat.  It made me laugh because yesterday almost everything I ate, including the 1/2 of a blueberry scone, came from the farmers market.  I do like to have a treat, I believe in balance.

The farmers market is amazing right now.  It's very easy to pick up health fresh fruits and vegetables.  I have a hard time not buying everything in sight.  I wash and freeze berries so I can have them throughout the winter.  I juice a lot of the vegetables, make salads and have stir fries or foil packets of vegetables on the grill.  I get eggs and some fish or meat, depending on what's available.

Yesterday's lunch, pictured above, was a salad topped with egg salad and home made guacamole.  Dinner was chicken burgers, roasted eggplant and zucchini, corn on the cob and gazpacho.  Dessert was a popsicle that I made by blending watermelon with lime and mint.  Tonight I'm making a ratatouille from eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini and yellow squash.  I'll toss in some of the basil I picked up as well.  

Here's a quick watermelon recipe that you can use as a drink, freeze as an ice or blend with tequila or vodka for a cocktail.  To make a sports recovery drink add in 1/4 tsp of salt, preferably Celtic sea salt since it has a lot of minerals in it:

Watermelon Mint Cooler

5 cups of watermelon
juice of one lime
1/2 stalk of mint - stems and leaves

Put in blender and puree.

What is your favorite summer fruit or vegetable?

If you would like to learn more about seasonal eating send me an email at  I look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hitting the Salad Bar? Add the Avocado and Olive Oil!

Do you ever do the salad thing for lunch and then a few hours later you're hungry again?  It's probably not the volume of what you're eating, it's the content.  I would make a gorgeous salad for lunch, enjoy it and be happy I was doing something healthy for myself.  And then in a few hours I'd be jonesing for something else to eat.  Something that inevitably wasn't as healthy as my salad.

I was leaving out some very important key ingredients:  healthy fats and protein.  Once I started adding in some avocado, a few nuts, a little cheese and a protein (egg, chicken, beans, shrimp, etc), I was feeling much better.  I also like to use olive oil and vinegar for my dressing, I know it's simple with no added sugar or weird ingredients.  Seriously read the back of a diet salad dressing bottle, it's scary.

Rather than grabbing for a roll, see if the salad bar has any whole grains on it.  Places like Whole Foods have quinoa, farro and/or brown rice on their bars.  A good healthy option that adds some protein as well as carb to your meal.

Finally, do stay away from the fried, the gooey and the sauced options.  You don't know what's in them and the calorie count really isn't worth it.  Remember just because they are sitting there does not mean they are healthy options. And Jello salads aren't really salad, I don't care what the name implies.

Need help navigating your own eating plan?  Not sure what foods will fill you and make you feel your best?  Together we can come up with a plan that works for you.  Send me an email,, to schedule your free health consultation.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Chill Out with Blender Gazpacho

New York City is on it's fourth heatwave of the summer and heavy hot food does not sound appealing right now.  The farmers market had lovely fresh Jersey tomatoes, cucumbers and red bell peppers on Sunday so I stocked up.  I use them in salads, in juices, raw pastas, etc. but I had a craving for gazpacho.  Cool, fresh and delicious gazpacho is like the best of summer.

While I love gazpacho I'm not a fan of the super chunky kind, it feels like I'm spooning up salsa.  I puree mine in the blender and then add in some extra vegetables for something to chew.  If you happen to enjoy yours a bit chunky use your food processor instead.  Here's what you'll need:

4 large vine ripened tomatoes, cut into large pieces
3/4 of a large cucumber, roughly chopped
1 red or yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 cup onion, roughly chopped
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 cup of water

1/4 of a large cucumber, finely chopped
1 small zucchini, diced
Optional toppings:
cooked chilled shrimp, shells removed
lump crab meat, picked over to remove pieces of shell

Put the first 10 ingredients into your blender and whirl away.*  Pour into your bowl or storage container and stir in the finely chopped cucumber and zucchini.  Chill for 2 hours to let flavors meld together.

I like to top mine with avocado for garnish and I'll add some cooked chilled shrimp or lump crab meat to make it a meal.

*If your blender is not large enough to handle all of these ingredients at once do this in 2 batches and combine in a bowl

Friday, July 13, 2012

Escape Summer's Heat Through Healthy Living

Today's post is by guest blogger Nili Abrahams.
Summer is upon us, and thanks to climate change it feels hotter than usual all around the world.
Are there any secrets to staying cool when the temperatures are reaching record highs? Is there a better way to eat or exercise for heat relief?
According to an ancient medical science called Ayurveda the summer is the fire season or the Pitta season. This science teaches us what to eat and how to act to balance this Pitta element so that we will feel cooler and more comfortable all season long. The summer or Pitta is made of fire and water, and its qualities are hot, sharp, oily, and light. During summer season you can reduce the heat within your own body by eating a diet of cooling foods and moving in a cooling manner.
So what is this cool way of eating? The best food choices to stay cool include: sweet, juicy fruits like melons, plums, and peaches. Add bitter and astringent vegetable such as cucumber, mint, collards, kale and cilantro while including digestive spices to your food such as cumin, coriander, fennel and turmeric.  You should limit hot, spicy, fermented, salty, oily, fried foods as it will increase the heat in your body and make you feel hotter. And finally reduce or eliminate alcohol and caffeine as they are both sharp and hot keeping you hot when you want to cool down. Please remember to drink plenty of cool, fresh water.
It is always important during every season to exercise regularly, but the type of exercise you do should also be in balance with the time of year. During the heat of summer, it’s best to swim and do gentle yoga. If you prefer biking and running, try to save doing these activites in the early morning and evening when the temperature is slightly cooler.
Many people love to do Bikram’s hot yoga, but I would encourage them to switch to a cooler type during the heat of summer. Specific yoga postures and breathing exercises are more cooling than others.
So follow these simple changes and feel comfortable this summer.
About the Author: Nili Abrahams, Certified Holistic Health Coach, MBA has 25 years experience in academia, corporate training and institutional food sales.  She currently has a Health Coaching practice in Israel where she offers workshops, group programs and one-on-one consultations. Hear her on Arutzsheva Radio each Wednesday on the hour, every half hour at

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Some Days I Just Don't Feel It

Today was one of those days:  I've been exercising pretty intensely the past few days, today was very warm in the house and I've been doing school work most of the day.  Generally sitting for a while has me anxious to move, today not so much.  I would really rather have sat and read my new book.

I was also feeling a little out of sorts and a little sad.  That is really what got me up off the couch, I like to increase my endorphins and boost my mood naturally.  I honored the tiredness my body was feeling though and stuck to a Pilates mat workout.  My abs and legs definitely felt the work, I wasn't gasping for air and concentrating so hard on form keeps me from being blue.

After I finish working out I never think, wow, I wish I hadn't done that.  I have sat on the couch at night and felt badly when I haven't worked out.  I look at it this way, I can always stop if I don't feel well or if I am in pain.  ( And you should always stop if you feel sharp or intense pain)!  Today I said hello to a few muscles I haven't visited this week but overall it felt good.  My mood is better and I'm ready to take the dog for her pre-dinner walk.

What do you regret when you don't do it?

Do you need help getting motivated?  Send me an email and together we can figure out a plan works for you,

Friday, July 6, 2012

Push Ups Every Day, Because Why?...

Yes, I have challenged myself to do push ups and drink a green drink every day for 21 days.  And I've gotten a lot of curious questions about it.  I've been asked:  Why?  Where does the challenge take place? Who knows you're doing it?  What if you don't do it one day?

So here's the why:  I took two classes and realized my upper body was much more sore than my core and my lower half.  I don't want "bye-bye arms" either.  You know, when you wave bye and your arm keeps moving.  As for the green drink, I ordered a juicer and I wanted to see how I would feel adding in a green drink to my day.  And, honestly, I like to shake things up to keep me fresh. 

The challenge takes place in my head and when I post it online.  No one is checking on me to see if I did the push ups or if I had a juice or smoothie.  The people who see the Facebook pages know I'm doing it as does my husband and a few friends.  

One day I missed the drink but I ate a boat load of vegetables that day and had some fruit as well.  I kind of missed the juice but wasn't worried that I didn't get an adequate intake of produce.  I haven't missed a day of push ups though.  I do a minimum of 25 but generally do at least 50.  I do a combination of full push up and from the knees - I'm not up to 50 full push ups yet.  That can be the next challenge.

Tomorrow will be the 21 days and I can say I've noticed a change in my arms.  I'm going to extend it to a month and see how they look then.  I feel pretty strong and want to increase the strength I've got.  I've also noticed a change in my skin, which has been clearer and more glowy, I'd say the juice is reason for that.  It also curbs cravings and keeps me from wanting sweet treats.  It's definitely something I'll continue with.

Stuck in a routine and want to shake things up?  Why not try my Summer Cleanse?  You will get your eating habits back on track with 3 meals a day of whole foods.  You will receive recipes, support, as well as tips for pre-cleanse, cleanse and post cleanse.  You can choose from 5, 7, or 10 days.  You can sign up for it by clicking here: and clicking on health coaching/paying via paypal.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Quick Meal: Chicken Sausage with Eggplant & Tomatoes

I like to keep certain staples on hand for emergency meals or quick meals.  A few go-to staples on hand make my life much easier after a busy day working or running around.  One of the items I rely on are nitrate free, natural chicken sausage; another new staple is chia pasta.  With the chicken sausage I can make a few different meals and they cook quickly.  The chia pasta has protein, fiber, iron and cooks in 3 minutes, definitely something to keep on hand.  I had some eggplant, tomatoes and onions in the fridge so I decided to make a quick meal out them, add the sausage and throw it over the chia pasta.

2 Italian style nitrate free chicken sausage, sliced
1 large tomato, diced
1 small eggplant, peeled and diced (you can leave the peel on, I don't like it)
1/2 large sweet onion, sliced
a handful of sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 TBS olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped or dried basil to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Chia pasta - cook according to package directions

Boil water for pasta.

Heat olive oil over medium heat, add onions and cook until softened, about 3 - 4 minutes.  Add garlic in, saute 2 minutes.

Add eggplant, saute for 3 - 4 minutes, then add in both tomatoes and simmer for another 5 minutes.  Add in sausage and cook for another 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta.  Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of cooking liquid.  If sausage, eggplant and tomato mixture seems dry add in 1/4 cup of reserved liquid and top pasta with the mixture.  Top with basil, fresh ground pepper and salt.

That's it, dinner in under 30 minutes with chopping.

What is your favorite emergency or quick meal?

Not sure what you should be eating?  Do you need help in planning meals for yourself?  If so, send me an email,, and together we can come up with a plan that works best for you.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Trying New Things

I don't belong to a gym and I rely on programs like SportSkool and Mag Rag to give me new workouts.  I mostly don't miss the gym since I have a lot of that equipment in my house and I'm pretty motivated to workout regardless of where I am.  Having said that sometimes I miss the camaraderie of the fitness classes.  I don't have someone telling me if my form is off or just the commiserating with other students.

This week I was excited to attend a Barre3 class that Well & Good was offering to their readers.  I knew the program from the now defunct Exercise on Demand.  Sadie Lincoln, founder of Barre3, was coming to New York City and teaching the classes herself.  She was warm, engaging and pushed you while offering modifications if you needed or wanted them.  

Barre3 is a blend of pilates, yoga, and ballet.  You engage your small muscles as well as the large ones and you work your whole body.  I left with legs that were a little shaky and a core that I felt every muscle of.  I know from the comments of those around me I was not alone.  

The other class I took this week was yoga on the beach.  It was held to welcome in summer and was a pretty active practice.  The energy was amazing and our instructor was enthusiastic.  There were two assistants helping us to go further into our poses and a few "models" to follow along with.  My shoulders and back felt the numerous planks, chatarungas (pictured above, courtesy of and updogs.  

Both of the classes had live deejays and it made a difference in the energy of the practice.  Especially in the yoga class, where we had contemporary music rather than the music I normally hear.  There is an element of fun when you are doing flipdogs to I'm Sexy and I Know It.  I don't know that I want to hear that all of the time but it was appropriate for the time and place.  

Trying new things gives me a lift and a better knowledge of what I appreciate about my current practices and what I might like to add or stop.  We all need a boost or a tweak to liven things up.  What new thing have you been meaning to try?  Why not go give it a whirl?

Need help figuring out what you want to do?  Send me an email,, and together we can come up with a plan that works for you!  You can also check out my website,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Some New Treats - Including a Juicer

Friday was a really great day.  The weather was beautiful and I had two deliveries.  My monthly treat box came from and my new juicer arrived.  The juicer had me so excited I ran outside to meet the Fed Ex lady (and startled her, unfortunately).  What can I say?  I am nothing if not enthusiastic!

My box had a few things that I'm really excited about:

Sharkies Organic Energy Sports Chews - a good alternative to my Honey Stingers Gel.  I am not a fan of gels and chews filled with ingredients I don't understand or that contain high fructose corn syrup.  These taste good and I knew what the ingredients were.

Artisana Organic Raw Cacao Bliss - it's chocolate coconut butter sweetened with nectar rather than sugar.  It's vegan and it's raw.  Mostly, it's darn delicious.  I've had it on toast, crackers, bananas and right off the spoon.

Al Dente BonaChia Fettuccine pasta - It's made with chia grains, it has a good texture and taste.  It's high fiber/low carb and it has protein, calcium, iron and antioxidants.  It also cooks in 3 minutes.  My husband said yum when we ate this last night.

There were also fiber sprinkles, which I've tasted but not really used.  They taste like a rye cracker and I'm going to try them in place of bread crumbs later in the week.  I'll let you know how that goes.  I've also not tried the Kookie Karma Holistic Chocolate Chip Cookie yet, mainly because I baked up a batch of Nikki's Healthy Cookies and I want to finish those before opening something else.

My juicer probably deserves it's own blog.  I got a deal through Good Morning America and it was a little more than half off the regular price.  It's an Omega 8005 Nutrition Center.  It makes pasta and nut butters, grinds coffee beans, minces and chops as well as juicing.

I'd also like to say that Omega was a pleasure to deal with.  After waiting a few weeks I inquired to see when I was to receive my juicer and I got an immediate response back from them.  My order didn't print out and they would send it Fed Ex 2 day service without any extra charge.  It came in 2 days as promised.

I have only used it for juicing so far.  It's quiet, easy to clean and doesn't take up more room than the Juiceman Jr. that I had.  I can also put citrus fruits it, which I couldn't do with the other juicer.  The con is the shoot is very small so fruits and vegetables need to be cut fairly small.  That's not a big deal to me but I can see if time was tight I might stick to foods that fit right in:  carrots, greens, celery.

I am loving the fresh juice and knowing that the sugar content of what I'm making isn't through the roof.  Bottled green juices tend to have a lot of fruit and the sugar content is pretty high and there's not a lot of fiber to slow the sugar's entry into your bloodstream.

Are your snack habits getting the best of you?  Do you need some new ideas?  Send me an email, janinemchale@empoweredplate.comand together we can come up with a plan that works best for you and your lifestyle.  You can also visit my website,, for inspiration.