Sunday, January 6, 2013

Even My Kids Eat Brussel Sprouts

      As a kid, I hated brussel sprouts. It was the kind of veggie I had to plug my nose, chew as fast as I could, swallow and chase down with milk. I even hated the smell of them. In an effort to eat cleaner, I decided to give brussel sprouts a "second chance" as an adult. Here are some of the reasons why:

1. The high fiber content of brussel sprouts lowers cholesterol.
2. There is a whole host of antioxidants found in brussel sprouts including, Vitamin A, C, and E, which      in turn help promote bone health, assure a healthy immune system, and lower blood pressure.
3. Brussel sprouts help prevent and fight against certain types of cancer.
4. Brussel sprouts aid in digestion, maintain low blood sugar, and keep you from overeating.
5. Brussel sprouts have been shown to fight inflammation in the body.

These are just some of the nutritional benefits of eating brussel sprouts. Obviously they are good for you, but how did I become a fan of the taste of brussel sprouts and even get my kids to eat them? It's all in the preparation. I came across this fantastic recipe. My whole family likes them now. I'm telling you, if you've never liked brussel sprouts it's time to reconsider and try this recipe out. My sister-in-law, whom also hated brussel sprouts growing up, tried this recipe at our house and called me days later asking for the recipe. She cooked them for family dinner over the holidays and they were a hit!

                                 Roasted Brussel Sprouts


1 lb Brussel sprouts with ends trimmed and cut in half
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp garlic salt
kosher salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil

2. In a bowl, combine brussel sprouts with olive oil and toss to coat.

3. Spread brussle sprouts in a single layer on the baking sheet

4. Cook in preheated oven for approximately 30 mins, turning frequently until tender.

Serve Warm. Voila!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It's a New Resolution

Like most people do on New Year's Day, I sat down to write my list of goals and resolutions (one of them was to work on this blog). Even as a fitness fanatic, many of my goals centered around getting healthier, eating cleaner, or working out harder. Not surprisingly the #1 resolution in 2012 was to lose weight. In 2013, it will probably be the same. As a fitness instructor, I notice this revived commitment to getting in shape every January, when fitness classes are packed and there are no empty treadmills to use. But I also notice in 6 to 8 weeks, the "Resoluters" have already lost their comitment to exercise. Only about 20% of people keep their New Year's resolutions. The fitness related resolutions seem to be the hardest to keep. Here are some tips on staying committed and sticking to those resolutions.

1. Choose an Obtainable goal-- Start small. Baby Steps. Set achievable goals that can be easily tracked. Don't kid yourself about what is realistic. Saying you are going to quit cold-turkey having your 3 cups of coffee a day might be setting yourself up for failure, but saying you are going to cut back on the amount of caffeine you consume might be more doable.

2. Create a plan of action--Decide when you'll workout each week and write it down. Put it on your schedule or calendar. Life get's busy, it's easy to say "I ran out of time today." Just remember that someone who is busier than you is probably at the gym getting in a workout, while you are making excuses for why you aren't.

3.  Enlist Friends--Don't go it alone. When you join forces and workout with a friend or partner, you are more likely to stay commited. You have someone who you are accountable to, so you are much more likely to stick with it. Plus it's fun. Many of my best friendships developed from walking, running or hitting the gym together.

4. Reward Yourself--Once you've stuck to your guns and finished what you accomplished, reward yourself. Come on, you've earned it. Extrinsic rewards can be highly motivating, pretty soon the pride and confidence you feel from reaching your goal will be satisfying enough.

5. Don't beat yourself up--Hey, we're human. Chances are your going to eat somthing you shouldn't have, relapse into your coffee habit, or miss a workout or two. Be patient. Focus on making a lifestyle change and work at it everyday. You WILL have setbacks, but be patient and don't quit. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

If the Shoe Fits......The Running Shoe Glass Slipper. workout shoe shopping. My best friend, Tiffany and I (T & T, yes that's us) were in search of new running shoes. Therapy at it's finest for fitness, shopoholics like us. Even my five year old daughter loves getting a new pair of shoes. With so many choices, styles, and brands how does a girl decide? Fitness industry recommendations are that you get new workout shoes every 3 months or so. Of course we just use that as an excuse to go shopping, but, honestly, it's true. If your feet start to hurt or your knees start to bother you, chances are it's time for new shoes. Trust me, I learned the hard way. I injured myself doing a long training day in an older pair of shoes 4 weeks before one of the half-marathons I was preparing for. I ended up with an illiotibial (IT) band issue. According to wikipedia, this is a common knee injury associated with running or weight lifting that causes a stinging sensation right above the knee joint and can cause pain above or below the knee. Ouch! Needless to say, I had to take some time off right before the race to let it rest. I also bought new shoes and luckily, didn't have any problems with my knee during the race.

     Tiffany, one of my besties and fellow fitness addict, has different issues when it comes to the "right" running shoe. We both wanted something fun and trendy for the summer. Neon, sweet, we'll take it, but not only does the shoe have to look good, it has to fit good. There just so happens to be a local running store that will do running evaluations to find the right shoe for your feet. Tiffany recommended we go there for advice. While I was at Soul to Sole I had a running assessment done. They pretty much told me what I already knew. I have high arches and am a pronator. I needed a support shoe that had a hard insole to support my arch to keep my feet from rolling inward. Although, there were several brands of shoes that make a support shoe, my choice... Asics. Twenty years of research and voted top shoes in America the last five years makes this shoe a definite must have. Here's my new kicks:

      Tiffany has a different issue when she runs. When she did her running evaluation she was a neutral runner. So, she always bought a structured shoe. Then she read Born to Run, about barfeoot runners. Basically, it blasts the shoe industry on all the hype, cushion, and fluff they put into shoe marketing. After reading about this, she decided to try a minimalist nuetral shoe without all the stability elements. Generally, it isn't recommended that you go from one extreme to another but hey, if the shoe fits??  Check out her top pick:

What's your favorite shoe? Check out Shape Magazines's 2012 Top picks for some really hot, shoes to throw in your gym bag now.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Islamorada Mango Salsa

   One thing I eat a lot of to try to maintain a lean physique is protein. That's why I love vacationing in spots where one of the main staples on the menu is fish. I wasn't always a huge fan of fish, especially as a child, but what I've learned is what makes it so yummy is the type of fish you eat and the way it is prepared. I prefer mild, white flaky fish like mahi-mahi. Luckily for me, on my recent trip to the fishing capital of the U.S, Islamoroda, FL, there was an endless supply of restaraunts that prepare mahi-mahi. The restaraunts, for a fee, will even prepare your personal catch if you take a fishing excursion and bring it back. Usually, they'll prepare it several ways, too.  If you are ever in Islamorada I highly recommend eating at Lazy Days and having your fish prepared Super Lazy Day Style. It's the bomb!!

  One way to add a lot of flavor without adding a whole lot of extra calories, is topping your fish with salsa. I love corn and bean salsa and tropical salsa. Here is an easy recipe that we tasted at the Cheeca Lodge and Spa on our recent vacation. We brought home a little taste of the Florida Keys with us and it's perfect for summertime:

Islamorada Mango Salsa

  • 2 ripe mangos
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 yellow, red, green pepper
  • 2 T. freeshly squeezed lime juice
  • 8 mint leaves


  Dice the mango, onion, and peppers into small cubes. Add lime juice. When adding the mint leaves, start with 8 and chop them fine and add to the mix. Adjust the amoiunt of mint to your taste (if you like a little heat and spice, you can add a jalepno pepper). Refrigerate for atleast 2 hours so the flavors have a chance to blend (the longer the better). Once chilled try this tasty recipe as a dip or granish over your favorite fish! Voila!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pyramid Sexy Muscle Workout

Barbell Lunges 20 reps each side
1 minute Squat hold (no weight)
Clean and jerks 20

Repeat the circuit 3x but each time add weight 
Decrease the number of reps on the lunges and Clean and Jerks from 20 to 15 to12

1 Legged Deadlift w/ Dumbell Reverse Flyes
Plank hold with 1 Arm Row

Repeat the Circuit 3x but each time add weight 
Decrease the number of reps from 20 to 15 to 12

Barbell chest Press
Chest Flyes
Tricep Push ups on knees

Repeat the circuit 3x but add weight for the Chest Press and Chest Flyes
Decrease the number of reps fron 20 to 15 to 12

Barbell Bicep Curls
Front Raises

Repeat 3x adding weight for the Barbell Curls
Decrease the number of reps from 20 to 15 to 10

I did this workout in one of my classes and some of the members that took class called me 4 days later and said they were still feeling it in their muscles!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Quick and Easy: Chicken Salad for Lunch

Here's a super quick and easy healthy recipe for Chicken Salad. Perfect for lunch.

4 Grilled Chicken breasts finely chopped, or if you are in a hurry 2 cans Kirkland Brand premium chicken packed in water from Costco.
1/2 c. Sliced grapes (I prefer red)
1/4 c. Diced purple onion
1/2 c. Finely Diced celery
1/4 c Raisins
1/2 c. low fat mayo (or you can do 2 Tbls. mayo plus 1/3 c. low fat plain yogurt)
2 tsp. Mrs. Dash seasoning salt
I mix cashew nuts in it as well, but if you are going to refrigerate it and save for later don't add the nuts. The nuts get soggy, so just top them on later.

Dice and mix all ingredients together. It's so yummy you can eat it plain or top it on one slice of Ezekial or whole wheat bread. Other great ideas,  roll it up in a whole wheat tortilla or stuff a pita pocket. Low calorie, and good for you.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fitness Friday: Circuit Workout #2

 Here is round two of the Metabolic Circuit that can be done at home or as a quick workout at the gym. This particular one focuses on the muscles of the legs:  glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves.  Complete the entire circuit three times to create an approximately 20 minute workout.  The leg exercises can be done with a set of dumbells for an extra challenge. Make sure you properly warm up for 5-6 minutes before you begin and coold down at the end.

1. Alternating Front Lunges (1 minute)
30 sec Ski in place
2. Squat with alternating hip abductions (1 minute)
30 sec High Knees
3. Squat with hip Extensions a.ka glute lifts (1 minute)
30 sec Clock hops 12, 3, 6, 9 
4.  Lateral Squats alternating legs (1 minute)
30 sec Quick Feet
5. Jump Squats (1 minute)
30 sec Mountain Climbers

Repeat entire sequence 3 times.