Thursday, December 13, 2012

New Year, new you?

Have you been naughty or nice this season?  I'm going to bet you've probably meant to be nice, but have fallen victim to the naughty Holiday temptations.

Take yourself off the merry-go-round of guilt and hop on the treadmill!  If only it were so simple, right?  You see those skinny bitches complaining about the SINGLE carb they ate and as you literally LOL you shove another gooey treat down your pie hole.

Do you equate diets with deprivation?  Are you giving yourself a free pass because it's the "Holiday season" and you don't want to be the only person denying your taste buds at that Holiday gathering? Guess what...deprivation gets you no where, fast.  Actually, it gets you into your fat pants.  That's a destination no one wants to visit.

The savvy secret is to have what you really want, satisfy that craving and move on.  But save your splurges for what really grabs you.

Isn't it hilarious you'll see gym memberships soar at the beginning of EVERY year, without fail.  Most of those same resolution makers (I omit keepers for a good reason) go to the gym for two weeks and then it's business as usual.  Sitting on the couch simply wishing your waistline would shrink without having to sweat it out.


Here's the sad reality - those same resolution makers are the people who fail because they just don't know what they're doing.  Who wants to exercise improperly?  It's totally pointless and results will never be gained.

I used to despise running the dreaded mile in school, every year for 12 years, because when I would run I would get cramps in my tummy and my body would hurt.  Why, for the love of God, does the country make children do such exercises without giving them proper instruction?  No wonder I always 'failed'.

I have been going to a few running seminars (free) and now I actually enjoy running.  I highly doubt I'll ever be a marathon enthusiast, but at least if George Clooney were 3 miles from me I could run to him in a decent time.  What I learned at these seminars was proper form.  What to do with my arms, what my stride should be in order to feel less fatigued and proper alignment.  It has made a big difference.  It only took me 32 years.

When I'm at the gym, I know what I'm doing now because I have educated myself.  I have worked in small group personal training (small price compared to 1:1) sessions.  I am now certified by the National Academy of Sport's Medicine to be my own personal trainer.  I hope to train others, soon.  Just need to gain more experience.  I'm also a certified Pilates instructor.  These certifications would not have been achievable if I didn't figure out how to work with my body.

Pilates, yoga, short distance running, weight training and swimming appeal to me.  My body feels so much better after an hour or so of each.  But the real secret is to combine what feels good.  I would not be this strong just doing yoga.  The other modalities have greatly improved my arm balances in yoga, for example.

So when the year passes and you commit to finding the 'new you' thirty plus pounds lighter...get some education.  Don't think by just suiting up and gutting it out for an hour will change you.  Enjoy what you're doing and do it right.  Be wary of over indulging your sweet tooth simply because you 'worked out' that day.  If you work out for 1 hour, that's 4% of your day.  The real trick is controlling the other 96% of it.

You are amazingly gifted and can achieve whatever you put your mind to with the right attitude and resources.  GO YOU!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

If you can't do the time, don't do the crime

If this Holiday season is proving too tempting for you, just ask yourself "Can I put in some time?".  If you answer, "no" (or any variation of HELL NO) then you should not be indulging yourself.  If you answer "yes" (per chance HELL YES) then you need not feel as shameful as a Kardashian at the altar.  Just get a movin'.  Start out simple, if you're new at this.  

Survey says - working out at least 3 days a week for a minimum of thirty minutes is the way to get your engine revvin'.  EVERY single BODY needs at least this.  What you choose to do on top of this is completely your call and will benefit you even more! 

Don't misunderstand, simply because you walked a leisurely pace for thirty minutes Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will NOT give you a green light to eat like you've lost your damn mind Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  This is a common trap foodies fall into.  

What I'm suggesting, is to give yourself a (mental) break if you just cannot resist some extra Holiday trimmings.  Just make sure you are getting your behind up off that couch and fighting the urge to take just one more little cat nap in front of the tele.  

Some benefits of being physically active:
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Releases endorphins in the brain (the hormone that makes us feel good)
  • Alleviates stress and anxiety
  • More muscles, better metabolism
  • Keeps 'ya away from the garbage some people consider sustenance
If you cannot keep your paws off the pecan pie with a whopping dose of ice cream, or the turkey with the loaded potatoes, or the hot totties...it's ok.  It's all good.  Just tell yourself, "If I can't do the time, I won't do the crime."  Gobble Gobble



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Holiday Bites

Alright guys and gals...it's that time of the year, yet again.  Time to bust out 'Joey's Thanksgiving Day pants' and step up to the trough of gluttony.  You may be one of the people who often claims, "I'll resolve to do better next year, but for now give me that pie/cake/donut/cocktail/extra gravy/mile high mashed potatoes!!!!"  Any of this sound familiar?

Honey, I'm not judging.  I'm exposing the mentality that we all have, or had.  It's the Holiday Season, so whoop dee do and pack on the pounds!

What this leads to is some serious regret.  If you limit your Holiday 'sins' to two days (Thanksgiving and Christmas days) you'll probaby be ok.  But for most of us, this is our 'get out of jail free' card and we like to play it for two solid months.

Peppermint mocha?  Don't mind if I do!!!  Holiday themed hostess cupcakes?  I mean, HELLO they only come around ONCE a year.  Cocktail parties every weekend?  CHEERS!!!  And can we get a great big HIP HIP HOORAY for fudge covered double stuffed oreos?  We're a Hershey's kiss away from fat pants.

You're not alone!  In fact, you're in a crowded sea of foodies.  Everybody wants to sell you some type of pill, weight loss secret or miracle cure for over indulgence.  ESPECIALLY this time of the year.  It's crazy...CRAZY!!!

Follow these savvy foodie principles now and throughout the new year...trust me they'll save you ;)

  • Pack your breakfast with a healthy dose of protein - This helps to keep us feeling fuller longer.  Less temptation for a "brunchy" (the time between breakfast and lunch) snack.  It also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and we won't feel 'starving' afterwards.
  • The first bite is the sweetest - We all love a tempting sweet something.  Have a bite or two and then be done with it.  Seriously, the rest of it is just fat and calories decorated in Holiday tinsel.  
  • Rev up your metabolism - Sorry to any gym phobics, but you've gotta get to a gym and pump some iron, do some push-ups and make your fat cry (i.e., SWEAT).  By getting a circuit program together and minimizing rest periods to no more than 30 seconds...you'll spike your metabolism and not your punch! But don't think once is enough, you've got to be committed to feeling the burn at least 3 times a week in order to let your metabolism do some butt kicking while you're at rest.
  • Close your kitchen early - Eat your calories EARLY and don't open the fridge again after 5 or 6pm.  I know, you may feel like a blue hair at Denny's, but they've got it right.  Our metabolism slows to a crawl at night so it's super important to splurge early and stop late.
  • Question your hunger - Before indulging simply ask yourself, "Do I really want this?"  Stop the mindless eating dead in its' tracks!!
  • Don't leave the table until your veggies are gone - Start with your veggies first! Give yourself a generous helping.  Watch for one's covered in butter.  Stray away from anything with a cheesy topping, too.  No silly, green bean casseroles don't cover it.  If you know your host/ess won't have organic veggies at the party, bring your own!  You might be THAT savvy foodie, but you'll fill up on yummy nutrion instead of fat laden dead veggies.  
  • GoodWill your fat pants - This will keep you honest.  If you usually reach for your sized up, elastic waist band pants during the Holiday season...get rid of them.  Let your skinny jeans be the ONLY pants you'll wear this season.
  • Be cool with hunger - I'm not suggesting you starve yourself...quite the opposite.  But trust that during this revolution, you may find yourself less stuffed.  It's all good.  
  • Grab a glass of water - When you feel hungry.  9 times out of 10 we're just dehydrated and not  hungry.
  • Save yourself - Set up a cheat meal!  Reward yourself and prioritize your calories.  If french fries are your weakness, indulge once.  Get your fix and then move on.  
  • Be nutty - Grab unsalted almonds, walnuts or pistachio's to get a serious fix.  Break up with peanuts...not a healthy nut.
  • Education is power - Read your labels and ask yourself if you're even eating real food!
  • Pump up the playlist - Christmas music may not be your thing, so make a gym playlist.  Pepper it with energy boosting jams so you can get your sweat on.

And finally...stay away from ANYTHING with the words 'Limited Edition Holiday' to help you gain perspective.  Just dressed up processed CRAP!


Put your armor on and don't be one of the mindless Holiday foodies, it'll be the best present you give to yourself...HEALTH!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Awesome info!!

Keep this handy when your at the store and then post it on your fridge when you're at home!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Not so 'super' market

We all need to eat.  We all need to get food in order to do so.  We pop in our car (or on a bike) and head off to the grocery store to get some good eats.

What awaits us is beautifully lined shelves stocked full of our favorite treats.  Bright colors, cool temps, wide aisles and more selections than there are women for Tom Cruise to choose from.  It's all designed to be appealing and trigger impulse purchases.

Do you know there are research and design teams whose sole purpose is to get us to buy their product, regardless of its' potential toxicity?  Companies who make their bread and butter from the average shopper don't give a rat's ass about what they are peddling.  They just want us to BUY, BUY, BUY, so they keep their job.

If you're a savvy shopper, you'll pick up on their ploys and put their product back where it belongs.  Well, ok...so it probably belongs in the trash, but seeing as how most grocery stores aren't keen on  shoppers throwing their goods in the trash...just refrain from buying their trash and put the item back where you found it.

As a savvy foodie (and savvy shopper) I have started looking at most grocery store food as nothing more than child's play.  Would I eat the play-doh french fries...um no, well why should I eat the real french fries?  They are equally nutritional.  Ever think of it like that?

The next time the donut box gets passed around at the office, try seeing the contents for what they are...fake food.  Feel like splurging on a sweet roll with your coffee?  Think again!  It's nothing more than disease, fat, high blood sugar, artery clogging causing crap.  It ain't food!  Most 'super'markets peddle fake food!  What's so super about that?

And don't think by shopping at Whole Foods you'll be as safe as a little kitten.  You still have to put your thinking cap on and discern the crap from the food.  My cap comes in the shape of education.  There are certain guidelines I follow when I'm shopping.   I always flip the item over and read the label.


LOOK FOR - 
  • ORGANIC
  • GMO - free (Genetically Modified Organism)
  • 'Meat that is organic and no antibiotics and/or raised without antibiotics' (Prevention Magazine, November 2012, pg. 16)
  • Very short ingredient list
  • Coconut oil is a safe oil
  • Short shelf life

AVOID - 
  • Put item back on shelf if the ingredients read like a novel
  • If I see the words 'soy' ANYTHING listed it automatically goes back on the shelf
  • Avoid pretty much ALL oils (Safflower, Sunflower, Vegetable, Canola, even Olive)
  • Drop item immediately if you see the word 'corn' in any form - usually it'll read 'corn syrup'
  • Shop the outside aisles - produce is safe, meat and some dairy
  • If something says it's 'low-fat/no-fat' this is an automatic NO-NO.  This will alter your metabolism and the sugar is most likely amped up to make up for the lack of taste.
  • Watch out for trick words like "low fat", "no fat", "all natural", "healthy" - 'this will only tell you that no artificial colors or flavors have been added.  
  • Don't trust 'anti-biotic free' or 'anti-biotic residues' - these are not USDA-approved terms for meat and should raise a red flag' (Prevention Magazine, November 2012, pg. 16)
Any questions, additions or comments....please share!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What's your type?




I just came across this website 'Bodybuilding.com' and they have a great quiz to help you figure out your body type.

Knowing if you're an endomorph, mesomorph or ectomorph will help guide you.  We cannot help the way we are built, but we can know how we are built.

Take the quiz to help you find out what you are!!



Sunday, October 14, 2012

Eatin' trash


I attended a nutrion workshop the other night.  I'm not being endorsed or anything, but the name of the program is Genesis Transformation.  The main idea is simple...eat real food.  The program also suggests drinking a gallon of water each and every day.  Skip alcohol (if weight loss is your aim) and try to quit your addiction to sugar.  They also touted the old belief of 'eat less, move more' is indeed passe.  We need to eat more REAL FOOD and always be sure to make exercise a part of our norm.  The instructor provided an hour and half pitch basically telling the group to enjoy NON-PROCESSED food.  To me, this is a no brainer.  I was happy to realize this program was not gimmicky, there was no 'buy this and you'll lose weight' sell and their bottom line "healthy eating will naturally lead to weight loss".  WOO-FRIGGIN-HOO!  And NO DUH!

I was held up on the dropping of the vino part.  I love my wine and dark chocolate and I'm not sure I will be able to part with these loves of my life.  Just as I desperately held on to the belief these two things are vital to my happiness, there was a woman in the group who was very resistant to the idea of foregoing her beloved sandwich. She asked the instructor if she actually meant that with this program bread was a giant 'no-no'.  The instructor reassured her it was difficult for her to give it up as well, but once she was able to drop the bread her weight dropped, too.  This woman dragged on the bread debate, for what seemed to be awkwardly too long, and even said, "I don't eat any other processed food but I need my sandwich for lunch at work."  I wanted to take this woman aside and ask her what she was actually putting on her sacred bread.  Last time I checked, bread was nothing more than a vehicle used to transport cured (code for sugar) processed meat into the body.

Check out the label of any bread found in your typical grocery store...fresh from the bakery or taking up an extended stay on the shelf.  PROCESSED TRASH!  That's all it is.  And don't even get me started on deli meat.  I made it a rule to fore go my former lover, turkey breast sandwich.  I know, it's super hard.  I wish I didn't know what I knew because then I might be able to eat like a foodie.  But folks, I'm a savvy foodie and it's impossible for me to stick my head in the sand and pretend that all food is good for us.  I used to believe, hand to God, if the grocery store sold it then it was ok.  I also sincerely thought that if it was super bad, the kind clerk would tell me I was purchasing poison.

Yeah...not so much.  Even the FDA doesn't have our best interest.  Food, for the most part, is manufactured.  The goal of the grocer and food producers is to keep their pockets lined with cold hard cash.  Our country is among the fattest in the world and there's a good reason for it.  We tend to believe there's a quick and easy method for everything.  When we hit our bumps, we take another route.  For me, it took over 365 days to start seeing a change in my body composition.  But with a beautiful blend of being a savvy foodie and a personal trainer in the making...I am seeing the results I craved.

You cannot stick your head in the sand and shove the sandwich in your mouth and expect things to change.  Life is hard.  Working out can suck.  There is information overload when it comes to diets.  Throw it all in the trash and EAT REAL FOOD.  That's the key.  Low fat, no fat, low calorie, no calorie, all natural, healthy...just words.  Words the greedy food manufactures use to get us to buy their crap and think we're 'eating well'.  Spin it 'round and READ LABELS!  Find out what exactly you're putting into your magnificent body.  Judge for yourself and trust no one.  Most of the stuff out there, ready for 'consumption' should be labeled....TRASH.  Why put trash into your body?

Don't worry my little savvy readers.  There is hope.  Just think outside the box and say it with me...EAT REAL FOOD.  The diet industry is a billion dollar one and you want to know why, because we hide from the truth.  There's no easy way out.  There's no pill.  There's no diet.  It's just eating natural food the good Lord provided.  Fruits and veggies.  Make those your main courses and you'll start seeing a difference.  It's all good.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How do you workout?

I've been (mentally) beating myself up thinking I NEED TO DO MORE WEIGHTS.  I do my circuit training program once a week.  Before and after that day you can find me in yoga, Pilates and XTend Ballet Barre classes.  Why?  Because my mind and body are in their happy places!

Truth be told...I really don't enjoy weight lifting.  It's not something that makes me happy.  I do love the feeling after completing my circuit training day, but I immediately feel ashamed because it only makes up ONE day in my week.

So then I started to think...hmmmmm...my newly defined biceps and deltoids (which I'm super proud of) still get attacked when I'm at the Barre or gettin' my yoga on. My inner thighs and unsightly 'saddle bags' are rapidly thinning out and disappearing.  While I know that incorporating weights is mandatory at this stage in the game, there may be a method to my madness after all.

Maybe you can identify with me.  Does it intimidate you to walk into a gym filled with people who look like they really know what they're doing?  Do you not really know what to do when standing in front of a complicated looking machine?  Where do you go from there?

If intimidation is keeping you from exercising, let this be a motivating post for 'ya.  Get a plan of attack together and figure out what makes your body feel good.  My best savvy friend is more into stair climbers and weights.  I run from stair climbers and well, you already know how I feel about weights. My savvy husband is ALL about lifting weights and cardio is a pain in his butt.  Not all exercises are created equally and people will respond differently to them.

I recently purchased 'Lean and Chiseled' via amazon for a whopping $8.99.  Click the pic for the link.  This is where it all begins.  Get this DVD and try it in the privacy of your own home.  If you're not feeling the burn within the first 10 minutes, then you're not doing it right.  This is a ridiculous workout!!  Here's a link to their website http://xtendbarreworkout.com/new/

I have tried to get both my friend and hubby into yoga and now I'm on a mission to bring the Barre into their workouts.  My husband will not join me at the Barre because he would be the only guy in the room.  Ok - I can respect.  Here is a sampling of the exercises you'll find at the Barre.

Disclaimer: Please use caution when attempting these exercises.  Be mindful if your knees, hips or back cause you any pain then you need to modify.

        
                 Balancing on the ball of your standing foot, you lift and lower your extended leg ever so slightly.

XTend borrows many of the exercises from Pilates.  Here your core is in total control - as you lift and lower your torso you alternate your arm positions.  It's a fancy sit up

More Pilates.  While engaging your core, you move your legs in and out. 

This one makes me cry and shake.  While in a squat, you are to lift and lower your body down and inch and up and inch. This is not for the faint of quad.

Super easy move that challenges your balance (which is code for core) and works your inner thighs. Simply hold in second position, or for a more intese exercise lift and lower your body.
If you don't have the barre, grab a chair and lift and lower yourself.






Friday, September 28, 2012

Easy Tamale Pie

YUM!

Serves 4

2.5 cups low sodium veggie broth
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 chopped onion
8 oz lean ground chicken breast or seitan
1 15-oz can cooked black beans, no salt added, rinsed and drained
1 4-oz can mild green chilies, diced
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1.5 cups fresh baby spinach, thinly shredded
1 tsp chili powder
.5 tsp cumin
PINCH cayenne pepper
1 TB lime juice
.5 cup of instant polenta
.25 tsp salt
.5 cup chopped cilantro
.5 cup mild salsa

Instructions
Heat 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth in a nonstick saute pan over medium high heat, add the onion and garlic and steam saute for 3-4 minutes until onions are translucent.

Add the ground chicken and cook for 6-8 minutes until cooked through (if using seitan, cook just 4-6 minutes).

Add the crushed tomates, spinach, cumin, cayenne, chili powder, diced green chilies, beans, spinach and lime juice.  Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, bring the remaining 2 cups of vegetable brother with the salt to a boil, sitr in polenta and cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.

Spray an 8 x 8 baking pan with nonstick spray (coconut oil, preferably); place the bean mixture in the pan.  Spread the polenta evenly over the bean mixture, then top with the salsa and spread evenly  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sweater Weather!

That's right guys and gals...go ahead and break 'em out.  Temperatures are dropping as spirits lift.  I, for one, think we ALL look marvelous in more clothing.  Now is the time when peeps are needing a little something extra to warm their bods.  Guess what this can lead to?  You guessed it, CREEPIN'.  I don't mean peeping tom action, I mean getting more relaxed and finding larger pants and XL sweaters to cover some questionable foodie decisions.

We all know, for warmer temps we need to shed the layers otherwise we'll pass out in the heat.  But as the temps fall and the frost appears, we get to hide...er wrap ourselves in yummy warmness.  I'm not suggesting you freeze your savvy booties in midriffs in November.

I will, however, insist you stay fit and savvy through the next few months.  Otherwise, you'll likely regain control of your senses and find yourself hoofin' it with the others on Jan. 2, 2013...at the gym.  There is NO need to beat yourself up (and down) at the beginning of the new year.

Start your resolutions NOW and stay strong.  There is no reason to let yourself go simply because you're celebrating.  Ask any fit and savvy person what the secret to their success is and I'll bet you'll hear "90/10" as the answer.  90% of the time they are eating sensibly and 10% they eat what they want.  This is the key to long term weight management.  Let yourself off the hook some of the time, but not all the time.

I have found it INCREDIBLY beneficial to follow these rules:
1- If you don't have the time, don't do the crime.  If I know I can't make it to the gym for a few days, I will make sure I watch it.
2- Fail to plan, plan to fail.  I know I'm going to the fam's for dinner and they usually don't have savvy options.  I make sure to eat before I arrive. I can achieve this by means of a protein packed green smoothie.  This can help me avoid making unsavvy decisions.
3- Give up the processed non-food, food.  Eat 'treats' I have personally made and KNOW what they contain.
4- Enjoy your "90/10".  I like what I eat.  The '90' is creative and tasty.  The '10' is savored.  Savvy eating is not depriving at all.  One has to get used to the way certain foods taste that contain less fat, salt, sugar, etc.  But it's all good.

This Fall leading into the Holiday season will not change my eating patterns.  I just have to stay savvy and eat in keeping with my goals.  I have worked so hard to get back into my skinny jeans and I'm not going back.  I love my sweaters and I can't wait to stay strong this season.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

C'mon get happy :-)

Did you know that by just smiling you relax the 40+ muscles in your face?  Yup...it's true!  I double dog dare you not to smile while watching this YouTube clip for the documentary 'HAPPY'.  You can watch the entire movie on Netflix, for free, if you have a subscription.  


I became inspired to write this blog after watching the movie.  They talked about the release of dopamine in the brain after an aerobic workout.  It's completely true.  When you're good to your body, you feel better.  I think when you do something that makes you happy, you can alleviate stress, anxiety and depression.

Here are a few of my favorite things!
Standing on the head really helps spark creativity. If you have hit a writer's block, get on your head and get the creative juices flowing.
Right on!



Dancing always makes me happy.

'Funny Face' is one of my favorite movies.  Audrey in ANY movie always makes me smile!

Puppies having fun always gets me!

Kittens....'nuff said.

Honest to God...nothing cuter than little ones in their leotards! Look at those tummies!!!!

If you couldn't tell, I'm a total girlie girl.  These are things that make me smile and thus make me happy!  Release some dopamine today, tomorrow and the next day.  You can thank me later!!


Monday, September 17, 2012

We're having fish tonight!


In honor of my favorite animated movie being re-released, I grabbed some fish and thought of the shark saying "We're having fish tonight!!!".  Yes, much like the ocean's top predator...I, too, will be dining on fish.

Here's how I cook it up.
Heat a pan with just enough butter to coat the bottom.
Take a fillet of Salmon or Tilapia (if you're not wild about salmon, tilapia is a GREAT non-fishy, fish).  
Generously sprinkle lemon all over both sides.
Pour a few splashes of Martini and Rossi dry vermouth.
Season with Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper.
Cook until fish is flaky and hard to pick up on one chunk.

This is a great meal and goes well with beans, broccoli, brown rice or some quinoa and hummus.  


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Be Strong


Today I'm feeling exceptionally inspired.  I think the coolest thing is strength.  Without it we'd all just be little piles of people on the ground.  We all posses strength...be it emotional, physical or both!  It's not an organic trait, but it's one we can cultivate and build.

Our bodies need muscle.  When we break it down, tear it apart and repair it our strength increases.  No pain, no gain...quite literally.  I used to hate sweating, now I live for it!  Sweat is fat leaving my body!  I love sore muscles because I know I'm changing the shape of 'em.  TAKE THAT CELLULITE!!!  HOW YOU LIKE THEM APPLES, GIGGLY THIGHS?!?!?

Keep improving your strength and watch your body magically take form into something you can be proud of.

When getting your exercise 'on' remember form is WAY more important than reps.  If you're not doing it correctly to begin with, your brain will think you are and it will be hard to re-train your brain.  Also, you'll be more likely to injure yourself and therefore NOT enjoy the workout.

Don't worry if you can't do many to start with...this is not a competition.  Do what you can and take it day by day.  The most critical thing - enjoyment!  If you don't enjoy the form of exercise you most likely will not want to return to it.

Here's a good beginners video from YouTube.  I am in no way affiliated with this group, but I like their instruction and routine!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Delish fish!

Here's the recipe:
1 tilapia filet (per savvy foodie)
1 lemon
Splash of dry white wine
2 Tbl of Fresh Basil
2 Tbl of Fresh Parsley
Dash of Herbs d'Provence (can be purchased at Williams-Sonoma)
Sea Salt to taste
Ground Black Pepper to taste
Olive Oil

1.  Preheat oven to bake at 375 degrees.  Place the lemon slices in a baking dish (2 slices per filet).
2.  Rub the fish on both sides with olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley, herbs d'Provence.  
3.  Place the tilapia over the lemons and bake for about 20-25 minutes.  When the fish is done, it will remain white in color but will break apart with the greatest of ease.

I just made this delicious lemon and herb baked tilapia.  It was incredibly easy to prepare and I'm left feeling satisfied and light!  Two adjectives I strive to achieve after eating dinner.  What is tilapia you may be asking?  It's a white fish that is easy to gril and/or bake.  Both of these methods of preparation are very savvy.  It's a mild tasting fish with little to no odor.  Even if you're not usually a fish fan, this one will make you go MMMMMMM.  Whatever you decide to decorate the fish with (i.e. lemons, herbs, etc.) this fish tends to take on your chosen flavors.  

Can I just say, I love fuel that burns!!  When I put this protein packed little number in my 'engine' it helps rev it up and burn, baby, burn.  "One serving of tilapia (4 ounces) has 29.5 grams of protein, which is more than 50% of your daily value of protein, meaning your body will be burning fat like crazy trying to process the protein!"  http://www.fatburningfurnace.com/blog/tilapia-nutrition-facts-%E2%80%93-health-benefits-of-tilapia
This fish contains vitamin B12 along with omega-3 fatty acids, which let's face it...we need!  Omega-3's help keep our blood pressure under control and ward off heart disease.  The carb count is incredibly low, there is no sugar and such low amounts of fat making this dish super savvy!!  
I originally found this recipe in a book called Boost Your Metabolism Cookbook.  I changed a few things, like using Tilapia instead of Halibut (due to the relative ease of purchasing tilapia) and mixed up the spices.  
Bon Appetit!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Friendly smack on the head!

Sometimes the sh*t hits the fan...it happens.  Guess what, all hope is not lost.  You are not defeated.  So you can't pass go.  So you can't collect $200.  So it has been too long since you've played Monopoly, I digress.

When you feel like throwing in the towel and saying, "It's too hard to be so good" just find something or someone who helps you get back on your savvy 'horse'.  Do not call your Debbie Downer enabler and wallow in the shallow water of pity...worse thing you can do.  Call up Positive Paul and get thee to a Whole Foods.  Smell the aromas of fresh Tarragon and regain control.

I've been having some doubts in my own abilities/capabilities and then, wouldn't you know, I got a call from a friend and I remembered why I'm still playing this savvy game.  

It's my life.  It's my health and damnit, no one else can do it but me.  

Press play and let the music inspire you...you've only got this one life.



Bring the 'beet' back!


My fabulous Veggie friend, Tambra Riddle, introduced me to a delicious spin on a burger,  (click on her name to check out her website which is chock full of other savvy ideas!).  She dropped the beets in this healthy burger and I was impressed with the yumminess so I cooked 'em up for the fam last night.  The results were overwhelmingly positive and now I'm passing the love along.

What's in a beet?  This powerful little phytonutrient (ala Belatins) provides a great source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C and iron...just to name a few.  They are also anti-inflammatory and give their consumers a boost of antioxidants.

"In recent lab studies on human tumor cells, betanin pigments from beets have been shown to lessen tumor cell growth through a number of mechanisms, including inhibition of pro-inflammatory enzymes (specifically, cyclooxygenase enzymes). The tumor cell types tested in these studies include tumor cells from colon, stomach, nerve, lung, breast, prostate and testicular tissue." -- http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=49

The recipe also incorporates brown rice, flaxseed and lentils...more sources of fiber and protein.  What's not to love?  I promise, after you try one of these beets, you won't miss the meat.  Hey...I'm a poet and I know it!

What's in your burger?
The good stuff - 
These portions will yield (approximately) 12 burgers...I highly advise freezing any unused portion and then cooking them when the next meal comes around.

If you don't want to put this in the food processor, getting to this step was yummy enough for me to eat as is! 


12 Tbl water
6 Tbl ground flaxseed (you can also use ground Chia seeds)  - DO NOT SKIP THIS INGREDIENT, this is the binding agent
2 Tbl olive oil (divided) - I used more than 2 via eye balling 
2 cups crimini mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped (I don't like mushrooms, so I skipped this)
1 cup yellow onion, coarsely chopped (I just used a small little onion, no measuring needed)
6 Tbl tamari (or low Sodium soy sauce, which is what I used)
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Dijion mustard
1 tsp salt (eye balled)
1 tsp ground rosemary (which, let me tell you is nowhere to be found, so I used 1/2 tsp all spice and 1/2 tsp coriander) 
1/2 tsp black ground pepper (eye ball)
3 cups cooked green lentils (drained)
3 medium sized beets finely shredded
2 3/4 cups cooked short grain brown rice, divided (p.s. short grain takes about 50 to cook)

This truly looked like raw meat, kind of made me think I could really fool some of my favorite carnivores...hmmmmm
1.  In a small bowl, combine water and ground flax or chia seeds.  Stir and set aside to thicken
2.  In a saute pan over medium heat, heat a splash of olive oil.  Add mushrooms and onion and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring infrequently, until onions are caramelized.  Add tamari (soy sauce), garlic, mustard, salt, spices and pepper.  Fold in lentils, beets and 1.5 cups of brown rice.
3.  In a food processor, add saute pan contents and seed/water mixture and process for (roughly) 20 seconds.  Transfer processed mixture into medium sized bowl.  Stir in remaining rice.
4.  In a saute pan or skillet over medium heat, heat remaining oil.  Once pan is hot, form small patties and cook 'em up.  Cook for 5 minutes until golden brown, flip, and then cook 5-7 minutes longer.  This time will varry.
5.  OR preheat oven to bake at 350 - place patties on a foil covered cookie sheet.  Be sure to put a bit of oil on the foil first!  Then slightly coat top of patties with olive oil.  Bake patties on one side for 20 minutes, take them out, flip them over and return to oven for another 10-15 minutes.

I put a bit of mustard on mine.  It's also fabulous with sliced avocado.  You can use a sprouted grain bun (or other types of buns). 

BRING THE BEET BACK!





Monday, August 20, 2012

Fun at the Barre!

Ballerinas...so graceful, so elegant, so sculpted.  Well, they don't get that way just sitting around thinking about it.  They get to the barre and WORK!  The new fitness craze brings ballet to the people!!  


I tried the Xtend Barre class on Saturday and 72 hours later and I'm still hurtin!  This is a crazy cool workout that fully engaged...EVERY PART OF MY BODY.  The instructor at  VFusion Studio handed me two 1 pound pink (super adorable and cute) hand held weights.  1 pound?  I didn't even know they made them so light.  Let me just tell you...those little pink adorable weights will make you cry, scream, curse and bring you to the edge of insanity.  
The Barre torture involves exercises using rubber balls, yoga straps, weights and bands.  I was moving the entire 70 minutes.  I had to take mini-breaks on my own, as the class just wouldn't quit!  I loved it!  I was sweating like a hooker in church and I wanted to get the hek out of dodge, but I endured the sweet pain.  

I'll be honest, this was a rather humbling experience.  This class challenged me and helped me realize I still have a lot to tone.  I took two Advils after class and two the next day.  It was an amazing class and I eagerly plunked down more cash to make it hurt so good (yet again).
This class came highly recommended to me and now I'm passing along the good word.  CHECK IT OUT! 


--
Xtend barre (60 mins):  Xtend™ is the most effective barre workout and the most efficient way to create a strong and healthy body at any age. The system focuses on sculpting the body proportionally with the use of a ballet barre, playground balls, hand held weights, and yoga straps. Using a series of isometric exercises and orthopedic stretches, clients can achieve firm and fast results.
The Xtend workout targets all the major muscle groups. Classes begin with an invigorating warm up, which increases the heart rate and prepares students for the work ahead. Then, the upper body segment begins using light weights to target the shoulders, biceps, triceps, and upper back muscles. Next, students challenge their entire body, including intense seat and thigh series, with the support of a ballet barre.
Xtend then engages the core deeper with an intense abdominal series performed on the floor. A calming stretch series relaxes the body and mind, concluding the Xtend class.