Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

As we end the year, many of us are eager to erase 2009 from our memories. We are focused on all of the things we failed to accomplish and all of the things we will accomplish next year. Instead of focusing on our failures let us focus on what we did do this year.

Here are some of my accomplishments from 2009:
  • I started doing volunteer work with NY Cares.
  • I graduated from IIN as a certified holistic health counselor.
  • I ate kale, quinoa and bunch of other foods that I have never tried before.
  • I am cooking more than I ever have.
  • I eat less junk and processed foods.
  • I eat more fruits, veggies and whole grains.
  • I am able to identify my trigger foods.
  • I know that working out is not an option for me. It not only helps me stay in shape but it calms me like nothing else does.
  • I learned that I need sleep to not only function but to make better decisions about my health and well being.
  • I learned to give up some of my obsession surrounding food and weight loss.
I would like to wish everyone a healthy and happy new year. Be Well!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 30

Here it is, Day 30 of my GMST Challenge. So, how did I do?

I need more sleep! I need to pick a time to turn everything off and get into bed; no exceptions. When I am well rested I have the energy to workout and take care of myself. I was not able to reduce the use of the snooze button. I will tackle this once my bedtime is set.
I have reduced the amount of fast food, junk food and eating out. I plan to try more recipes, cook more and reduce the organic frozen meals that I eat when I don't feel like cooking. I need to remind myself that cooking will nourish me more than a frozen meal will (even if it is organic).
I worked out 18 out of 30 days. I would have liked to see more workout days however, 18 is not too bad. I will continue my workouts and will be adding a whole lot of running into my schedule. (I still plan to run the Country Music 1/2 Marathon in April). I started going to yoga on Sunday mornings.
Self Care:
I volunteer, I go to yoga, I workout, I am running again, I have reduced foods that do not nourish me, I go to acupuncture and I am working towards improving my sleep.

Overall, I feel good, more in control and more together. My skin is a little clearer and has a glow. My pants feel a little lighter and my head feels a lot clearer. I can see a little muscle tone coming back to my legs and abs. I learned that I need sleep in order to take care of myself. I feel like my shit is a little more together and that was my goal.

I'll be back in January with another challenge for myself as well as some New Year's Resolutions. Until then, Be Well!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 28-29

1 more day to Day 30! So here's what's going on with me:

Fantastic! I sleep at least 8 hours every night. Vacation is great :)
My eating habits are a little looser while on vacation but not bad by any means. I am trying to keep everything in balance.
I am averaging every other day while on vacation.
Day 28: Squats w/kickback, plank, pushups and 30 min on the treadmill (incline workout).
Day 29: Rest
Self Care:
I am sleeping well, reading and spending time with the family. Everything is good!

Until tomorrow...Be Well!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 27

Today is Christmas Eve. I did not workout, I did not worry about what I ate and I did not feel bad about it. I did get lots of sleep, relaxation and family time in today. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Be Well!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 24-26

Made it to FL! Now for my stats...

Day 24-25: Not good at all. I only had 3 hours of sleep Day 24 b/c my flight was at 6AM the next day and I was up late getting ready. Needless to say, I was exhausted Day 25 and extremely cranky. I ended the day with a killer migraine-like headache. I will do better now that I am on vacation.
Day 26: I felt well rested.
Day 24: What a crazy day. I was so busy at work and I had to do a million things to get ready for my trip. With all of this craziness I did manage to eat very healthy. Again, I had a TON of veggies (kale twice in one day!). Trying to use up all of my food before I left town worked out to my advantage.
Day 25: Since this was a travel day I came prepared. I had a Lara Bar and an apple with me to hold me over until I arrived in Florida. These came in handy with all the delays that came up.
Day 26: Mom and I started out the day with breakfast at Let's Nosh. I had challah french toast and it was fabulous. I would definitely go back to this place. Lunch was at La Nopalera with a friend from high school. I had beans, rice and part of a chicken quesadilla. The food was delicious and so cheap. Another place I would visit again. Dinner was pasta at home with Mom.
Day 24-25: No time.
Day 26: I did 3 sets of 12 lunges per leg, 3 planks (2 @ 45 seconds and 1 @ 35) and some hamstring exercises. For cardio I jogged/walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes.
Self Care:
Day 25: I brought food with me and was not subjected to unhealthy airport food.
Day 26: I dragged my Mom to Whole Foods and we stocked up on veggies. My mom is not a big veggie eater and neither are my brothers. I am going to try out a few recipes on them while I am here and hopefully convert them. I'll let you all know how it goes. 

Until tomorrow...Be Well!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 23

What a productive day! I woke up at 8:30 and immediately threw on my boots and coat and went outside to see the snow. It was beautiful!

So here's how I did today...

Nothing to report. I feel rested today.
I had the last of my Trader Joe's pumpkin pancakes and coffee for breakfast. For lunch it was all veggies. (I am going out of town and I am trying to use what I have in the frig.) Also, I knew I was going out for dinner and I wanted to keep it light. For dinner my friend and I went to York Grill. The food was great! We shared Crispy Spring Rolls (shrimp and vegetable spring rolls with a sesame seaweed salad and three dipping sauces). These were ok, nothing spectacular about them. For my main course I had Grilled Atlantic Salmon (served over a crispy Idaho potato-bacon-arugula cake topped with a shaved carrot salad with a drizzle of arugula emulsion). This was amazing. I wish I had taken a picture. I had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc with dinner. Not my favorite white wine but is was good. For dessert we split a molten chocolate cake w/a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This was quite yummy. Overall, I really liked this place and definitely plan to go back.
Yes, I finally worked out today!!! I did 90 minutes of weight training at home including stretching and foam rolling. Woo hoo!! To get cardio benefits I threw in jumping jacks, random dance moves and I didn't rest between exercises.
Self Care:
I was able to get a lot of things checked off my list. One more day at the office and then I am off to Florida to spend the Holidays with family. Yea!!

Be Well!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 20-22

I know, I haven't posted in 3 days but I have been slammed at work. We have been pretty slow and then all of a sudden, madness!! To make things worse most of my staff is taking off for the Holidays, including me so we are way behind. I actually went into the office today to get some work done. But enough about work, let's talk GMST!

I have made an effort to get to bed at a decent hour and I have been doing pretty well. I have been getting up on time if not early too. Yeah me!
With all of the stress you would think I would be eating everything that isn't tied down...but I'm not! After all of the meat eating and other randomness from earlier in the week my body was craving veggies!  
Day 20: I made quinoa, steamed veggies and a veggie burger for lunch (told you I needed veggies!).   
Day 21: I had more steamed veggies over couscous w/a tuna burger. 
Day 22: I had a vegetarian burrito bowl from Chipotle.
What can I say, I like my veggies :)
When I am slammed at work the first thing to go is the workout.
Day 20-21: I added some walking to my commute but did not make it to the gym.  
Day 22: I did quite a bit of walking while running errands.
Self Care: time! I have to work on this.

Tomorrow I have more work to do but luckily my software at home is fixed and I will not have to go into the office. I plan on going to my 8:30 AM yoga class unless they cancel due to snow. Either way, I will get some kind of a workout in tomorrow. Until then...Be Well!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 18&19

It's been an interesting week. Here's what is going on with me.

I have been turning everything off by 10 and getting into bed. I usually spend a little time reading before I turn off the lights. I find that reading before bed time helps me unwind and sleep better.
Random! We had lunch catered the last 2 days and I definitely found myself eating things I wouldn't normally eat.
Day 18: I had Dinosaur BBQ yesterday. It was fan-freakin-tastic!! I think I ate more meat yesterday than I have in the last 6 months.
Day 19: Another great meal for lunch. This time is was pasta, green beans and some kind of chicken.
Day 18: Rest
Day 19: I didn't have a lot of time today but didn't want to skip another day. I did 100 jumping jacks, 3-40 sec. planks and 60 push-ups. I wish I had the time to do more but I did something and that is what counts.
Self Care:
I need some serious self-care. A mani, pedi, a movie...I need something as I don't feel myself this week.I am not sure I will have time before I travel to FL next week.

Monday, December 14, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 17

Ok, Day 17 feels so much better than Day 15 & 16. My body needed rest, relaxation and a whole lot of nothing and that's exactly what I gave it.

I went to bed early and got up early. I was able to enjoy my oatmeal and coffee and did not feel rushed this morning. I even had time to run an errand before work! I like this going to bed early thing :)
Other than some random candy nibbling in the office, today was a good day.
I wasn't able to go to the gym during my lunch hour like I normally do so I went for a jog/walk when I got home. I did 2.76 miles. 
Self Care:
I am going to read tonight instead of vegging out in front of the TV. I love to read and do not allow enough time for it in my day.

Until tomorrow...Be Well!

GMST Challenge-Day 15&16

Not a problem since it was the weekend. I try to go to bed and get up within an hour or two of my normal week day time to keep everything consistent.
Let's just say it could have been better but it's wasn't terrible.
Had every intention of going for a run Day 15 but when I got up it was 29 degrees and I felt crappy. The only exercise I did was walking around the city on Day 15 while shopping.
Self Care:
Let myself relax and do nothing since it seems that is what my body wanted. I gave myself a facial on Day 16 which made my skin look fabulous.

Friday, December 11, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 14

I went to bed too late but managed to get up early which was hard b/c it's really cold outside (21 degrees this morning!).
Not too bad.
I had an awesome workout today. I took a little extra time at the gym this afternoon. I did full body weight training, jogged/walked 1.25 miles and stretched. I will feel a little pain tomorrow but it's worth it.
Self Care:
I allowed myself extra time at the gym.

I am 1/2 way through my challenge.  To recap, here's what I am trying to accomplish with this challenge:

It means no more excuses to stay up late. No more hitting the snooze for hours and then running around barely making it to work on time. No more lazy workouts. No more fast food, junk food and foods that hurt rather than help me. It means doing more yoga, making my workouts count, self care and cooking nourishing foods for myself even when I feel overwhelmed and stressed out. It means putting me first!

So how have I been doing? Not too bad. The hardest thing for me right now is the sleep part. I easily get sucked into something on TV or Facebook and then I stay up way too late. I have managed to get up earlier leaving me a little time to enjoy my oatmeal and coffee at home. For the next 2 weeks I plan to focus more on my bed time, the snooze button (limiting it) and giving myself more time for "me" in the morning.

The food part has been good. I have not had any fast food in 2 weeks and I have significantly cut down on the junk food. By listening and observing my body I've discovered that junk food has started to affect me in a new way; swelling. For the remainder of my challenge I will continue to cut out the crap. This is going to be really hard considering I have 3 holiday lunches planned next week and I have no control of what is being served on 2 of those days.

My workouts are better. I have been more consistent and I have been going to yoga on Sunday mornings.

How do I feel after 14 days...good! I feel lighter emotionally and physically. I may have lost a few pounds but I really don't know (I don't weigh myself). My pants do feel a bit looser though.

I would love to lose weight but right now it's not my main focus. What I need right now is to get control of my life. This means sleeping better, working out, eating less crap and taking time for me. This will make me feel happier and more alive.

Until tomorrow...Be Well!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 13

Ok guys, Day 13!

Could be better but could also be worse. I need to go to bed earlier.
Ok, so I had Hostess Mini Donuts last night and today...swollen legs and ankles! I recently wrote about my visit to the doctor. I called my doctor back after 2 more weeks of swelling and requested an ultrasound of my legs to rule out leaky veins or blood clots. Everything was fine. On Day 4, I had an appointment with my acupuncturist and she mentioned that she had 2 patients with swollen legs and ankles like me. It turned out they both had an allergy to corn, specifically high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Well, here I was on Day 4 having significantly reduced my junk food intake and my legs were noticeably better. Then yesterday I had junk food and today, swelling! This was an AHA! moment for sure. 
Today was supposed to be a resting day but I did get a little walking in; about 1.94 miles.
Self Care:
Came home and made a lovely dinner and did not snack!

10-day Cleanse in January

My friend Hadley is offering a 10-day cleanse program. Check it out!

*You do not have to live in NYC to participate*

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 11&12

Sleep has been better this week. I ended up going to bed really early on Monday night which refreshed me and I have been able to get up at a decent hour too. I still need to wean myself off of the snooze button.
I've been snacking. Not crazy, out of control, binge snacking but sort of a controlled snacking if there is such a thing. I am still standing strong on the no fast food (yea!!) but I need to reign in the snacking!
Day 11: I did 35 minutes on the elliptical, 50 girl style push-ups and abs.
Day 12: I jogged/walked 2.67 miles. This is good for me. I've been having problems jogging lately but today I did better than usual. I was able to increase my speed and the time of actual jogging. The only problem is that my heart rate went too high for me. I felt like I couldn't breathe and I felt pressure on my throat. When this happened I backed off and started walking until I felt better. Although I usually start out a workout with a goal I need to listen to my body. I know the difference between feeling tired or lazy and my body needing  rest.
Self Care:
Since my knees and hip flexors are feeling sore I will ice, stretch and foam roll tonight (even though foam rolling is painful!!).

Monday, December 7, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 9&10

Ups and downs...

I was in bed at a decent hour last night and I am still exhausted today. I had trouble sleeping through the night. First, I was hot. I cannot sleep when I'm hot. Second, the cats were running around at 2:30 AM!!! Once I ripped off the comforter and the cats settled down again I was able to sleep.
Day 9: I got a little off track. I had ice cream...a lot of ice cream and I feel like crap!! Not so much emotionally as physically. My body felt great without the crap and then to put all that ice cream in it...not good! I feel bloated, heavier, lethargic, less focused and I have a wicked headache coming on. Looking back at the act of eating the ice cream I notice that it wasn't the usual binge. I wasn't sitting around inhaling it like it was my last chance to eat ice cream...ever. It actually took me a while to eat it. I enjoyed the rich, creamy flavor; savored it. I am not sure if this is a good thing or not but it's definitely different.
Day 10: It's a new day and so far so good. I am eating as I normally would. I am not cutting calories or restricting myself in any way. Whatever happened with my food yesterday is in the past and I cannot change it. All I can do is treat my body with love and respect by giving it nourishing foods today.
Day 9: Yoga and a little walking
Day 10: 2 mile jog/walk
Self Care:
I am scheduled to volunteer tonight but if this headache keeps up I will have to cancel. I really don't want to cancel. Either way, I plan on getting to be early.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 7&8

Happy Saturday everyone! It's Day 8 and I'm feelin great!!

I need to work on getting to bed earlier. If I don't, I am worn out by the end of the week. When this happens I am more likely to eat unhealthy foods and ditch the workouts.
I let myself indulge in a piece of flour-less chocolate cake last night. Whole Foods sells it by the slice so I didn't have to buy an entire cake (which would be dangerous!). It was yummy and totally worth the splurge.

In the past 7 days I have not had any fast food and only ate outside of the home once for breakfast (Day 6). 
Day 7: I went to the gym and did weights for about 40 minutes. I feel a little sore today which feels great!       
Day 8: Most Saturdays I walk with disabled people in Central Park. Today however, it's cold and rainy. Rather than going back to bed, which was tempting, I got up and did a Tae Bo and Pilates video. My abs are tired!!
Self Care:
I worked out 6 out of 8 days...even when I didn't feel like it!

Since it's cold and rainy I am going to stay indoors and tackle my to-do list. I need to purge, organize, clean and get my Christmas cards ready to send out. Crossing things off my to-do list always gives me a sense of accomplishment.

How do you feel about your to-do list?

Until tomorrow...BeWell!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 6

6 days down!!!

Went to bed earlier than Tuesday night but not early enough. 
I had to buy breakfast b/c I got up too late this morning. I had eggs w/cheese on whole wheat toast. I thought about a muffin but decided eggs would be better. The rest of the day was good.
Today was a day of REST!!! It's important to schedule in some down time or you may burn out.
Self Care:
Gave myself a day off from the workout and my eating was decent.

Tomorrow is Day 7!!! I am thinking about working in a treat...maybe a cookie or something. To deprive myself will eventually cause a binge. Planning in an occasional treat is necessary for me as long as it really is occasional and of a reasonable portion. I'll let you all know what I end up getting. Until tomorrow...

Surviving the Holiday Party

Tonight I am attending my first holiday party of the season. I find it so easy to get sucked into all of the excess this time of year. Here are my top 5 tips to surviving the holiday party.

1: Remember all the hard work you have done this year. Make a list and review it before you head out the door. Thinking about all you have accomplished will help you stay positive and focused on your health goals.

2: Think about where you want to be at this time next year. If your goal is to fit into your favorite little black dress then eating an entire cookie tray and downing a bottle of wine just because it's the holiday season isn't helping you work towards your goal.

3: Eat something healthy before you go out. If you arrive hungry you will be more likely to binge.

4: Set an alcohol limit. Making a conscious decision about how many drinks you will consume will help you stick to your health goals.

5: At the dessert table ask yourself what you really want?  Is a cookie what you really want? And if so, what kind of cookie? If your favorite is double chocolate chip and they only have oatmeal and sugar then skip the cookies. I find that if you don't eat what you really want you will overeat to compensate. Scan the dessert table and find something you truly desire and eat a reasonable portion. This will leave you satisfied and feeling guilt-free.

If after all the planning you happen to overindulge don't beat yourself up. Tomorrow is a new day. Do think about why you overate and what steps you can take next time. Remember, we are all human and we all make mistakes.

Be Well!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 5

Day 5!!!!

Went to bed too late again and was tired all day. I need to work on this.
I ate more for lunch and it made a difference. I had the desire for a vending machine treat but it wasn't b/c I was hungry. The desire was b/c I was tired, bored and needed comfort food. I did not go to the vending machine though. Instead, I drank water and then about 4:30 I had an apple with pb.
Went to the gym and barely made it 2 miles on the treadmill. I started out doing a jog/walk and ended up walking most of it. I was so tired...this is why I need to get to bed on time!!
Also had a 1 hr Pilates private lesson and it was fantastic!
Avoided the vending machine and worked out.


Got cravings? If so, you may be lacking something in your life. Maybe your life is too boring or stressful. Maybe you are overwhelmed and not able to schedule in enough "me" time. Whatever it may be, a craving is a signal from your body telling you that something is out of balance. A craving for something sweet could mean that you need more love or sweetness in your life.

No person, book or dietary theory can tell you how and what to eat. Listen to your body. The next time you have a craving, try these tips: 
  • Have a glass of water and wait 10 minutes.
  • Eat a healthier version of what you crave. For example, if you crave sweets try eating more fruit or sweet vegetables.
  • Create a nourishment menu. A nourishment menu is a list of things that nourish you. Yoga, Pilates, mani./pedi with the girls, long hot bubble bath...these are just a few on my list. I keep this list on my refrigerator to remind me that food is not the answer.
  • If you do decide to give into a craving do not punish yourself. Ask yourself what was going on at the time you had the craving. Were you stressed? Overwhelmed? Lonely? Notice what is out of balance in your life and works towards creating balance in those areas.
Listen to your body and it will tell you everything you need to know.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 4

My day was so-so. I went to bed a little later than I should have and got up late. I managed to eat breakfast at home and get to work on-time but I was rushed and felt a little "off" all day.

Went too bed too late.
Had to hit the vending machine this afternoon b/c I was STARVING! My vending machine choice...animal crackers. Animal crackers are low in fat and calories but high in processed stuff. In my mind it was a better choice than M&Ms. Tomorrow I am going to try to eat more at lunch and see how that works.
I was tired today and did not want to go to the gym but I did. When I feel lazy I usually do the bike. I did 30 minutes on random hill program with 10 resistance. Woo hoo!!
I went to acupuncture after work. I started going about a year ago to help with sleep and now I go monthly for a tune-up.
I also managed to go to Whole Foods and leave without 1 bakery item. For those who know me, this is a HUGE deal. I always pick up 1 or 2 or 5 (not proud of the 5) items from the bakery. Not only did I leave empty handed but I didn't even browse. I had no desire. This could be due to my relaxed state after acupuncture or maybe these last 4 days without the junk has started to diminish my cravings for sweets. Whatever the reason, I am happy!!

Be Well!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 3

So far so good!

I made it to bed at a decent hour and was able to get up by 6:30. Not too bad.
Good. I was tempted to hit the vending machine around 3:30 but had some water and made myself busy. The urge passed.
2.5 mile jog/walk
Self Care:
Tonight I volunteered at a church serving meals to over 200 people in need. It was chaotic but made me feel warm and fuzzy inside :) If you are interested in volunteer work and live in NY check out the NY Cares website.

My December newsletter is coming out tomorrow. Sign-up now so you don't miss out!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

GMST Challenge-Day 2

I made it through 2 days of my challenge! Here's how I did today:

Good, went to bed a little later than I should have but managed to get up to go to yoga.
Food: junk food or crazy eating.
Made it to yoga at 8:30AM on a Sunday!!!
Walked 2.9 miles and did this ab workout I found on another blog site. I did everything but the plank rotation.
Self Care:
Nothing particular but did eat well and worked out.

I have to say, I feel lighter. Obviously I didn't lose weight, as in pounds, in 2 days but I still feel lighter. My head is a little clearer and my mood feels a bit uplifted. Until tomorrow...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Time to Get My Shit Together!

If you know me, you know my story. For those who don't, here's a quick overview.

I went to college weighing in at about 135 and a size 6. I was healthy, worked out and generally watched what I ate. Fast forward 6 yrs to graduation weighing in at around 230. I moved to NY about at week after I graduated (August 1998). I started eating healthier and exercising, even joined a gym, and found myself losing about 60 or so pounds. Fast forward to a new job, became a manager, stress, money forward to Spring weighing in at 252!!! (Picture is from January 2005)

I knew had to make a change. I joined Jenny Craig and for the first month all I did was follow the meal plan. I bought their meals and supplemented with fruits and vegetables. I lost about 7-10 lbs the first month and then decided to add in exercise. I started walking. After more of the weight came off I went back to the gym and hired a personal trainer. Fast forward to Fall 2007...was down 102 lbs, size 4 with about 20-25 lbs of muscle. I was also a gym going, calorie counting freak!! I knew how long I would need to work off almost everything I ate. People at work would ask me the calories in a certain food and I would know. I was working out twice a day most days of the week and only eating about 1200 calories a day. It was insane and not very realistic to maintain. (Picture is from November 2007)

About this time several things changed in my life and eventually the stress and anxiety came back. I ate my feelings rather than dealing with my problems and slowly put some of the weight back on. Now here we are, Winter 2009 and I cannot seem to get it together. I have learned a lot about health, emotional eating and weight loss and I even counsel people on their health. So why can't I get it together?

I honestly do not know but it's time I stop the excuses and get back to work. I have worked too hard for my own health and happiness and I will not throw it all away. So, what do I have in mind? A 30-day "Get My Shit Together" challenge. (GMST Challenge)

What does this mean? It means no more excuses to stay up late. No more hitting the snooze for hours and then running around barely making it to work on time. No more lazy workouts. No more fast food, junk food and foods that hurt rather than help me. It means doing more yoga, making my workouts count, self care and cooking nourishing foods for myself even when I feel overwhelmed and stressed out. It means putting me first!

Ok, so here's how I did today.
No problem, it's the weekend!
Pretty good so far. No random eating or junk food.
30 second plank 3 times
3 sets of lunges, 10 on each side per set
50 girl push-ups
80 jumping jacks in between sets
3.6 miles alternating jogging and walking
Self Care:
Did my toes Kangarooby Red!

Stayed tuned for updates and wish me luck!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Recap

What a lovely day. The weather was great. I got up early and went to the Macy's parade across town. It was super crowded but fun. I am glad I went this year.

Went I got home I was famished. I made Trader Joe's pumpkin pancakes and coffee. Yum! After breakfast I did a little house cleaning and then it was time to cook.

Stuffed Acorn Squash-This was so easy to make and very tasty. I loved it and so did my picky eater friend who joined me for Thanksgiving dinner.

Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Risotto- OMG, this was so rich and creamy but time consuming to make.

And of course...pie!!! Found this Sweet Potato Pie recipe and knew I had to try it out. It was fabulous. Definitely the best part of the meal.

Needless to say, there were a ton of leftovers. This morning I wasn't feeling like my usual oats. I had leftover quinoa so I threw it in a bowl with a little almond milk, maple syrup and a slice of leftover pie. Oh how delicious!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday randomness

I got up at a reasonable time this morning and was able to make my breakfast and eat it at home with a cup of coffee. Usually I make it and bring it to work to eat. It's not very satisfying that way.

Since the weather turned colder I have been eating oatmeal for breakfast. For a little variety, I decided to use leftover coconut milk to cook my oats this morning. I used 1/3c oats in 2/3c coconut milk. I added a tbsp each of ground flax and wheat germ. When it was done cooking I added a mashed up banana and placed it in a bowl and then sprinkled a little granola on top. It was so yummy and satisfying.

For my lunch hour I went to the gym as usual. Today was a running (jogging really) day for me. As mentioned in a previous post, I want to do the Country Music 1/2 Marathon in April but am finding it a struggle to run even a 1/4 of a mile. Today I alternated jogging and walking for 2.4 miles. I was able to keep my heart rate under 150 which is really good for me. The last few times my heart rate went sky high the minute I started to jog so I am happy that my body is getting use to the activity again.

I have decided to cook for Thanksgiving this year. I am not making a turkey but will be making a few dishes that I have wanted to try such as Stuffed Roasted Acorn, Pumpkin Risotto and a healthier version of Sweet Potato Pie. I will let you know how it turns out.

What I will not do this holiday season is stress about what I eat. It's a holiday and I plan to eat whatever I want within reason. And if I decide to have 2 slices of sweet potato pie then I will not punish myself or feel bad about it. So there! :)

Monday, November 16, 2009


Most of us are aware of the importance of drinking enough water. Getting our daily dose of water helps our organs perform their functions, keeps our skin clear and hydrated, and allows physical action in our bodies to flow smoothly. Even with this knowledge, it can still be challenging to drink all the water our bodies deserve daily. Those who are not drinking enough may experience poor digestion, sluggish thinking, skin breakouts, headaches, bad breath and general fatigue.

To start your day right, drink a glass of water when you wake up. Drinking water first thing in the morning pulls out toxins from the previous day and freshens your system for the day ahead. Keep a bottle of water accessible throughout the day, whether you are on the go or at a desk. If you drink most of your daily water before early evening, you most likely will not be thirsty before bed. This is good, because drinking before bed and then waking to use the bathroom disturbs your peaceful night's sleep.

What about quality? Some people like bottled water, while others prefer filtered water. The key is to like the taste of the water you are drinking, and the water should agree with your body. If the taste of plain water is unappealing, experiment to see how you can make it tasty and drinkable. Try adding a few mint leaves, a wedge of lemon, a sprig of parsley, slices of cucumber, a twist of lime or a squeeze of orange to make water more tempting.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Root Vegetables

The roots of any plant are its anchor and foundation; they are the essential parts that support and nourish the plant. Root vegetables lend these properties to us when we eat them, making us feel physically and mentally grounded and rooted, increasing our stability, stamina and endurance. Roots are a rich source of nutritious complex carbohydrates, providing a steady source of necessary sugars to the body. Instead of upsetting blood sugar levels like refined sweet foods, they regulate them. Since they absorb, assimilate and supply plants with vital nutrients, roots likewise increase absorption and assimilation in our digestive tracts.

Long roots, like burdock, carrots, parsnips and daikon radish, are excellent blood purifiers and can help improve circulation in the body and increase mental clarity. Round roots, like turnips, radishes, beets and rutabagas, are nourishing to the stomach, spleen, pancreas and reproductive organs and can help regulate blood sugar and moods, and alleviate cravings.

Roasted Root Vegetables
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25-35 minutes (Cooking times vary. It may take 45-60 minutes depending on your oven, pan size and how full the pan is.)
Yield: 4-6 servings

1 sweet potato
2 parsnips
2 carrots
2 turnips or 1 large rutabaga
1 daikon radish (or substitute/add in your favorites, like squash)
olive oil
salt and pepper
herbs: rosemary, thyme or sage (fresh if possible)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Wash and chop all vegetables into large bite-sized pieces.
3. Place in a large baking dish with sides.
4. Drizzle with olive oil; mix well to coat each vegetable lightly with oil.
5. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs.
6. Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes until vegetables are tender and golden brown, checking every 10 minutes to stir and make sure veggies are not sticking.

Note: Any combination of vegetables will work. Roasting only one kind of vegetable also makes a nice side dish.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Food Obsessed

I often get asked if I keep a food journal or count calories. Generally, I do not. I have spent most of my life obsessing over food and I feel that journaling and calorie counting keeps me stuck in the obsessive cycle.

This doesn't mean that I never journal or count calories. Recently I have been experiencing swelling in my legs and feet. I started writing down what I was eating so I could see how much salt and processed foods I was consuming. I did this for a few days and then adjusted my diet as needed. It turns out the swelling is most likely not related to my diet but it was good to check in and see how I was doing.

I occasionally count calories as well. If I feel stuck in my weight loss I may count calories for a few days to see where I am. Two weeks ago I tracked my calories for a day (that's all I could tolerate!) and discovered that my breakfast was way too high in calories. I have been cutting back on my portions at breakfast and still feel satisfied. Although I eat plenty of fruits, veggies and whole grains it doesn't mean I can overindulge. Healthy foods still need to be eaten in moderate portions.

Checking in with yourself is a good way to stay on track. You don't need to obsess about food. It's not healthy and will drive you mad. Try to eat foods that you like, that satisfy you and make you happy. Making small adjustments to your diet and lifestyle will equal big changes in the long run. Stop obsessing and start enjoying food!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Visit to the Doctor

I went to the doctor Wednesday because my legs and feet have been swelling several times a week. My doctor happens to be out on maternity leave but I was able to see someone else in the same office. The visit took all of 10 minutes. She felt up my legs a little bit, asked a few general questions and then excused herself so she could think about it. On her return her only suggestion was to try compression stockings. She didn't ask about my diet or if I exercised. She did ask if I walk a lot which is a foolish question since I live in NYC but I told her that yes, I do walk a lot. She didn't take blood which I fully expected her to do. Needless to say I was rather disappointed with the overall lack of thoroughness she provided.

That same night I took a Pilates private lesson with a woman who is studying to be a physical therapist. She suggested I stick my legs up the wall to balance the blood flow. This yoga move called Viparit Karni did the trick. I got home late Thursday and my legs were swollen. I put them up the wall for about 10 minutes. My legs immediately felt and looked better and today there was little to no swelling. Could this be a coincidence? Yes, but I will keep trying it because the thought of wearing compression stockings is not appealing! Here's a video showing you how to get in and out of the pose.

Some of the benefits of Viparit Karni are:

  • Redirects the flow of blood from feet to heart with pull of gravity for detoxification.
  • Relieve the varicose veins, edema, and elephantiasis.
  • Massages the abdominal organs with blood circulation & tones up the abdomen.
  • Relieves constipation.
  • Increases the cardiac output and strengthens the wall of the heart & cardiac muscles.
  • Activates the thyroid & parathyroid glands.
  • Balances the metabolism of the body & rekindles the gastric fire.
  • Activates the synthesis of protein and vitamin.
  • Reverse the aging process.
  • Helps absorb the nutrients from the food consumed.
  • Activates the mind by reducing mental sluggishness & lethargy.
  • Diverts the flow of blood to the brain.
  • Increases the efficiency of sensory organs

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A 1/2 Marathon???

I have decided to run the Country Music 1/2 Marathon in April 2010 in Nashville, TN. I wanted to run in 2008 but hurt my knee when I started training. I was extremely disappointed not to have been able to run especially since I was in the best shape of my life at the time. Now I am a few years older and not in the shape I would like to be. I feel I may be in over my head.

 I have not run regularly in months due to a slight ankle sprain. I started jogging again last week and it was hard...I mean really hard. I am more out of shape than I thought! While I haven't been running I have been able to work on my leg strength. It's really important for me to strengthen my quads and inner thighs in order to protect my knees. The last thing I need is another knee injury and 6 months of PT! So, any advice from runners out there is appreciated. I can definitely use all the advice and support I can get. I will post periodically about how I am doing. Wish me luck!!

PS-My friend Dara is in the picture. She ran by herself after I bailed on her. Isn't she amazing!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Natural Sweeteners

Who doesn't love sweets? When it comes to sweeteners, not all are created equal. There are side effects and health risks from refined sweeteners like white table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, and from artificial sweeteners like NutraSweet, saccharin and Splenda. Since refined sweeteners have been stripped of vitamins, minerals and fiber, they can spike blood sugar, which can often lead to cravings and mood and energy fluctuations. Instead, using naturally and minimally processed sweeteners can reduce cravings for sugary things.

Here are a few natural sweeteners to substitute in drinks, food and baking. You can find them in most supermarkets or natural food stores.

Raw Honey: Honey is one of the oldest natural sweeteners on the market. Wherever possible, choose raw honey, as it is unrefined and contains small amounts of enzymes, minerals and vitamins.

Agave Nectar: Agave does not stimulate insulin secretion as other sugars do, so it does not create a "sugar rush." It has a light and mild flavor.

Maple Syrup: Maple syrup adds a rich, deep flavor to foods and drinks. Make sure to look for 100% pure maple syrup, not maple-flavored corn syrup. As with all sweeteners, organic varieties are best.

Sucanat: Sucanat is unrefined cane sugar or sugar in its most natural form. Sucanat can be used instead of brown sugar in recipes. I have also used it instead of white sugar (1:1 ratio) and had good results.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Applegate Farms

I mostly eat chicken and fish but occasionally I like to have bacon or a hot dog. My main issue with bacon and hot dogs is nitrates. Nitrates are used as a preservative and to prevent the growth of bacteria. Nitrates are not harmful however; nitrates can turn into nitrites, which can form nitrosamines, a cancer-causing chemical. This is not good.

So what's a girl to do? Enter Applegate Farms. Applegate Farms manufactures an entire line of organic and non-organic meats that are uncured and nitrate free. YEA! Look for Applegate Farms in your local grocery store.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lara Bars

 I have a new favorite bar…Lara Bars. They are perfect before a workout or as mid-day snack. They are all-natural and contain 8 ingredients or less. They are a true whole food.

Flavors I have tried: Cocoa Mole, Apple Pie, Banana Bread, Cinnamon Roll, Coconut Cream Pie and Chocolate Coconut Chew. So far my favorite is Banana Bread...yum!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Go Green!

What can you do to go green?  

  • Switch to paperless statements
  • Bring your own reusable bags when shopping
  • Ditch the plastic water bottle for a reusable aluminum bottle
  • Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs
  • Buy energy efficient appliances
  • Reduce junk mail at Catalog Choice
  • Turn off lights
  • Don't run the water while brushing your teeth
  • Lower your water heater to 120 degrees
  • Fix leaking faucets, toilets etc.
  • Install efficient shower heads
  • Seal air leaks
  • Wash clothes in cold water
  • Air dry your clothes in the Summer
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  • Switch to greener products such as: Method, Earthworm or Seventh Generation
  • Carpool, walk, bike, roller blade, take mass transit whenever possible
  • Buy organic, local foods
  • Buy products made of recycled materials
  • Reduce fast food and take out. The containers are wasteful.
  • Plant a tree
  • Tell your friends!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tofu 101 with Peter Berley

I took a cooking class tonight at Whole Foods Bowery here in Manhattan. If you live or work in the city I highly suggest checking out their class schedule. The classes are small and less expensive than some of the other cooking classes in NY.

Tonight's class was Tofu 101 with Peter Berley working chef and author of Fresh Food Fast and The Flexitarian Table. On the menu was Thai-Style Tofu and Vegetables, Salt Seared Tofu with Salsa Verde and Sweet Potato Tart with Pecan Crust.

The Thai-Style Tofu and Vegetables was amazing. The colors of the vegetables and turmeric spice were vibrant and the coconut milk added a wonderfully subtle flavoring to the dish. I plan on making this for friends and family.

Next up was the Salt Seared Tofu. Although this was a hit with everyone else I was not a fan. Don't get me wrong, the presentation and everything was great but it just wasn't my kind of dish. If you like tomatillos you will love this recipe.

Finally, it was time for the Sweet Potato Tart. What can I say but wow; simply delicious. The only thing that could have made it better would be a dollop of fresh whipped cream...or maybe a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Seriously, it was fantastic as is. This is another recipe that I will make for family and friends.

Sweet Potato Tart with Pecan Crust
Serves 6-8

For the crust:
1 c pecans
1c whole wheat pastry flour
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4c melted unsalted butter

For the filling:
1 large sweet potato or garnet yam
1c silken tofu
10 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (or 2 tsp powdered ginger)
1 tbsp finely grated orange zest
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4c arrowroot powder

1- Preheat over to 400 degrees. Prick the sweet potato all over with a fork and rub the skin with a little vegetable oil. Bake until tender about 1 hour. Allow the sweet potato to cool then peel and mash. Measure 1c and set aside.
2-While sweet potato is cooking, grease a 9" tart pan with a removable bottom.
3-In a food processor, combine the pecans, flour and salt and grind to a fine meal. Add the maple syrup and butter and pulse a few times to form dough. Transfer the dough to the tart pan. Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the dough and spread to fill the bottom and sides of the pan. Remove the plastic wrap and prick the dough all over with a fork. Bake for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
4-Combine the sweet potato with the remaining ingredients in a food processor and puree until creamy smooth.
5-Poor the filing into the tart shell and bake for 40-50 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
6-Cool on a rack and serve warm or chilled.


Salt Seared Tofu with Salsa Verde
Serves 4

For the tofu:
1 lb extra-firm tofu, sliced
3/4 tsp coarse sea salt or kosher salt
extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

1-Wick away moisture from the slabs of tofu with a paper towel or clean cotton cloth. Season one side of the tofu with half of the salt.
2-Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat for several minutes until hot.  Place the tofu in the pan salted side down. Sprinkle with remaining salt. Cook until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes per side.
3-Drizzle tofu with EVOO and serve with salsa verde and quinoa.

For the salsa verde:
2 jalapeno peppers
1 tsp toasted and freshly ground cumin
1 lb tomatillos, husks removed
2 tbsp finely chopped sweet white onion
1/2c packed chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1-1/2 tsp sea salt

1-Without slicing the jalapeno peppers in half, remove their core by cutting into the stem ends with the tip of a pairing knife. With the palm of your hand, roll the peppers on the counter, applying enough pressure to loosen the seeds. Empty the seeds out through the hole and discard.
2-Warm a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and toast for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer the seeds to a mortar or a clean electric coffee mill and grind to a fine powder.
3-Add the tomatillos and jalapenos to the skillet and cook for 12-15 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time and occasionally turning the tomatillos over with a pair of thongs until they are speckled with black marks.
4-Transfer the contents of the pan to a food processor and puree. Add the chopped onion and pulse a few times to blend. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and stir in the cilantro, lime juice and salt. Add additional salt to taste and serve.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Organic vs Non-Organic

Originally, all foods were grown organically without the use of pesticides and chemicals. Our food these days is not only deficient in nutrients, but also full of pollutants and farming chemicals. Eating organically not only keeps chemicals off your plate it also saves energy, helps small farmers, protects the water and soil quality and most of all, food grown organically just tastes better.

What's stopping you from going organic? Is it the higher prices? If you are concerned about price you should prioritize your organic purchases based on which type of produce has the highest pesticide residues-and which do not. Check out the lists below for the 12 most/least contaminated produce.

12 Most Contaminated:
Sweet Bell Peppers
Grapes (Imported)

12 Least Contaminated:
Sweet Corn (Frozen)
Sweet Peas (Frozen)
Kiwi Fruit

Monday, September 14, 2009

Nutella as a health food?

Have you seen the latest ad for Nutella? There's a mom putting it on healthy food to get her kids to eat it. As I was watching I couldn't help but think this was the most ridiculous thing I had seen since the High Fructose Corn Syrup ads. Now, I am not knocking Nutella. It's yummy, but using it to get your kids to eat healthy foods?

This picture is featured on the Nutella website as "The ideal balanced Nutella® breakfast, as pictured here, is close to the breakfast recommended by the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans."

Really? It's all sugar. Sugar in the orange juice, the fruit, the Nutella...even the glass of milk has sugar! Not a good way to start your day. 

Ingredients: sugar, modified palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (from milk), soy lecithin: an emulsifier, vanillin: an artificial flavor.

21 grams of sugar....that's almost 4-1/2 teaspoons per serving! The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for sugar is 0. That's right none. Some experts think we do not need any sugar in our diet at all.

Modified palm oil = 18% saturated fat. Saturated fat elevates your bad cholesterol levels.'s a nut so it must be healthy right? Hazelnuts contain vitamin E and selenium and can provide health benefits when not consumed with the fat and sugar of a spread.

What about soy lecithin? Some experts said it's bad for you and some say it's ok in moderation. But what is it? It's a by-product of soybean oil used to keep the cocoa and butter from separating. Do I want to eat a by-product?

The purpose of this article is not to tell you to stop eating Nutella. I want you to be informed that it is definitely not a health food and should be eaten in moderation if at all.

Everyone should start their day with a hearty breakfast that gives you energy throughout the morning. If you need to add sweetness to your food use a natural sweetener such as agave nectar, pure maple syrup, Stevia or raw honey. For breakfast ideas check out the recipes found here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chicken, Kale and Couscous

I got home tonight and felt tired, worn out and not in the mood to cook. I thought about throwing a frozen pizza (Amy’s Organic, my “I don’t feel like cooking” choice rather than ordering take-out) in the oven but then I remembered I had thawed chicken that had to be cooked today. I went through a mental list of what I had in the kitchen and came up with chicken, kale and couscous.

For those of you not familiar with kale let me introduce you. Kale: the wonder green! Kale is high in fiber, vitamins A & C and loaded with calcium and at only 43 calories per cup virtually a free food. Kale also contains many phytonutrients which have been known to prevent cancer. There are many varieties of kale such as Curly, Ornamental and Dinosaur.

Curly kale has ruffled leaves and is usually deep green in color. It has a lively pungent flavor. This is the type I most commonly use.

Ornamental is often referred to as salad savoy. Its leaves may be white or purple and has a more mellow flavor and tender texture.

Dinosaur is the common name for the kale variety known as Lacinato. Its leaves are dark blue and have a sweeter more mellow taste than curly kale.

So here’s my recipe:

• Chicken breast cubed and dipped in bread crumbs (substitute extra-firm tofu if vegetarian/vegan)
• Kale, washed and chopped
• Couscous, any variety (I used tomato tonight)
• Toasted Sesame Oil for cooking (substitute oil of your choice)

Put toasted sesame oil in a pan and heat. Once pan is heated add chicken pieces and brown. While chicken is cooking chop kale. When chicken is almost finished add the kale to the pan and cook until bright green and heated through (about 2 minutes or so). Make couscous per instructions on package (boil water, add couscous, stir, remove from heat and cover for 5 minutes). Spoon couscous onto a plate and top with chicken and kale. Super simple!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Spring Street Natural

I had brunch at Spring Street Natural (62 Spring St. @ Lafayette) today with a fellow IIN grad. What a great place!

The day was absolutely beautiful and we decided to take a seat by one of the large windows at the front. The service was fantastic. Our waiter showed us just enough attention without making us feel stalked or neglected. The atmosphere was busy but not chaotic and the food was gorgeous and yummy.

Everything on the brunch menu looked great and I found myself having a hard time deciding. I finally chose the Mayan eggs: 2 eggs on a yellow corn tortilla with black beans, Monterrey Jack cheese, guacamole, lettuce and ranchero sauce. When the dish was brought to the table it looked like a work of art. I wanted to take a picture. And the taste...yummy! The dish had just the right amount of flavor without being too spicy or too bland.

My friend had the Salmon Eggs Benedict. She was very happy with her choice and kept raving about how fresh everything tasted. I will definitely go back to this restaurant.

Spring Street Natural is also featured in Jared Koch's book Clean Plates NYC. Check it out!

PS-They have live jazz on Thursday nights starting at 7:30.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Make Eating a Ritual

I ate dinner at my new dining room table tonight. I know, not terribly exciting so why am I blogging about it? Well, I live alone and tend to eat at my desk while on the computer and with the TV on in the background. Being distracted while eating makes it easy for me to scarf down my food without tasting it and often leads to overeating.

I usually eat breakfast and lunch in my office at my desk in front of the computer. There's not much I can do about that but I can change the way I eat when I am at home. Eating should be a ritual. When you have others over for dinner you set the table, get out your best dishes and silverware, you light candles and maybe even set the mood with relaxing music. You want to make your guest feel special. Well, what about doing that for yourself? Are you not special? Take the time to make yourself feel special. Eat at your table, light candles, play soothing music or do whatever else makes you feel special.

I know we are all busy but try doing this once a week to start. See how it feels. Notice if your feelings around eating change. Do you slow down while eating rather than inhaling the food. Can you taste your food;I mean really taste it? Remember, you are special and you deserve to treat yourself!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Move Your Body

It's important to incorporate exercise into your life. Exercise helps to keep you in shape, lowers blood sugar and blood pressure, reduces body weight and body fat, helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression and can even improve your sex life!

Personally, I like the gym. I like to jog, walk, take classes and lift weights. I also enjoy yoga, Pilates and dance class. I try to get in 3-4 days at the gym and 1-2 day outside of the gym. Maybe you like to play soccer, swim, run outdoors, yoga, Pilates or doesn't matter just do it. Move that beautiful body of yours!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Black-Bean Quinoa Salad

I cooked again for my mother. This time I made black-bean quinoa salad. She loved it and wants the recipe!

Makes 4 cups

For the dressing:
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

For the quinoa:
1 cup dry quinoa
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 cups water or vegetable stock
1 12-oz can black beans, drained
1 large tomato, diced
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste


For the dressing:
Whisk all ingredients together and set aside

For the quinoa:
-Place the quinoa in a sieve and rinse under cold running water. Drain and set aside. (You can also buy the pre-washed and skip this step)
-Heat oil in saucepan over medium-low heat and add onion. Saute until transparent. Add garlic and saute another minute.
-Add quinoa, bay leaf and water or stock. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20-30 minutes (about 15 for pre-washed) or until quinoa is tender and fluffy. Remove from the heat.
-Remove bay leaf. Add black beans, tomato, cilantro and dressing then stir gently. Add salt and pepper if desired.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Spinach, Feta, and Tomato Quiche

My mother is visiting for a few days and I decided to cook for her. I told her I found a recipe for quiche and she was excited for me to make it.

I started with the crust. I usually buy the pre-made kind but I decided to make it myself. This was my first time using phyllo and I have to admit I was a little nervous. It's paper thin and kept tearing but it really didn't matter. It created a light, flaky crust that didn't overpower the rest of the dish.

I then cut up a red onion and mixed it with the spinach as directed. I put the feta at the bottom as the recipe instructs but I would have preferred it to be throughout the quiche. I topped the filling with regular tomatoes since I did not have cherry tomatoes on hand.

The finished product! My mom did not like the quiche. She said it tasted like spinach. I was not offended because I know her taste in food is more limited than mine. I thought the quiche was yummy and will make it again. The full recipe is listed below. Feel free to change the filling to include veggies and cheese that appeals to your taste. Enjoy!

Spinach, Feta, and Tomato Quiche (Vegetarian Times)
Serves 6

6 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

1 10-oz. pkg. frozen spinach, thawed, all liquid squeezed out
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
10 cherry tomatoes, halved

Quiche Batter:
2 eggs
1 cup low-fat milk
Pinch ground nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. To make Crust: Coat 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray. Lay 1 phyllo sheet on work surface, and brush all over with oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds. Top with second phyllo sheet, and brush with oil. Top with third phyllo sheet, brush with oil, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds. Repeat phyllo and oil layers twice more. Sprinkle fifth phyllo sheet with remaining sesame seeds, and top with sixth phyllo sheet. Press into prepared pie pan; trim edges with scissors.

2. To make Filling: Stir together spinach and onion. Sprinkle feta cheese over Crust. Top with spinach mixture. Arrange tomato halves over quiche.

3. To make Quiche Batter: Whisk together all ingredients in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Pour Quiche Batter over Filling in Crust. Set quiche on baking sheet, and bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until top is brown and center is set.

Monday, August 10, 2009


One of my favorite kitchen gadgets is the Misto. I love to cook with olive oil but find that I tend to pour it on instead of using it in moderation. The Misto sprays a light coating of oil onto your food and/or pans. It's simple to use, easy to clean and lets you prepare your food in a healthier way. It's also good for the environment!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Banana Ice Cream

Have you tried the banana ice cream recipe in the August newsletter? Well I just did. I took 2 frozen bananas slightly thawed and popped them into the food processor until creamy. I then sprinkled the creamy banana creation with almonds and dark chocolate. It was amazing! It was exactly the kind of after dinner treat that I needed. See the full recipe listed below and enjoy!

Banana Ice Cream
from The Whole Truth by: Andrea Beaman

6-8 ripe bananas, peeled, cut into chunks and frozen overnight
1/2cups walnuts

Freeze bananas overnight or 8-10 hrs. Remove bananas from the freezer and thaw 5-10 minutes. Put bananas in a food processor or blender and puree until you achieve ice-cream consistency. Serve immediately, topped with crushed, roasted walnuts. Serves four.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Capellini with Pine Nuts, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Chicken

Just made this yummy recipe I found on Give it a try!

• 4 oz Whole wheat capellini or angel hair pasta
• 3 oz Dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes
• 1 1/2 tbsp Olive oil
• 8 oz Chicken breast tenderloins, cut into bite-size pieces
• 1/8 tsp Salt
• 3 cloves Garlic, minced
• 1/4-1/2 tsp red-pepper flakes
• 1/4 c Sliced fresh basil
• 1/2 c Pine nuts, toasted

1. Prepare pasta per package directions without adding salt. Meanwhile, soak tomatoes in hot water 10 minutes or until soft. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of water, and chop.
2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat while pasta cooks. Season chicken with salt. Add chicken, garlic, and red-pepper flakes to skillet. Cook, stirring, until garlic turns golden, 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and reserved water and cook 2 to 3 minutes until chicken is completely cooked.
3. Drain pasta, add to skillet, and toss. Add basil and toss. Divide pasta equally among 4 bowls and sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons of pine nuts. Top with more basil, if desired.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Self Care

It's important to take time to care for yourself. Make a list of things that bring you joy, peace and happiness. Walking your dog, take a bath, yoga, going for a walk, spa treatments or talking to a friend; these are just some of the things you can do to care for yourself.

Many people say that they just don't have the time to do some of these things. If you don't put yourself first who will? Taking care of yourself will make you a better friend, mother, daughter, wife etc. You deserve some time for yourself so take it!

I found a coupon for a local massage center and took advantage of it. I had a one hour, full body massage tonight and it was fantastic!! Go ahead,take some time for yourself. You will feel happier and healthier. Be well!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Graduation Day!!

Today was a big day for me. I graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I am now board certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners as a holistic health counselor. I would like to thank my friends family who supported me in this new endeavor. To find out more about what I am doing or to sign up for my newsletter visit my website. Thank you and be well.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I went to acupuncture this afternoon. I have been going on and off for years to help with stress, anxiety and sleep problems. After today's session I feel calm and relaxed.

The practice of acupuncture uses small needles to stimulate specific parts of the body to restore and maintain health. Interested in acupuncture treatments? Check with your insurance carrier as some cover alternative treatments. Make sure you find a qualified practitioner.

Be well!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Daily Affirmation

I am good enough.
I am not restricted by old, limiting beliefs from my family or from society.
-Louise L. Hay