Friday, November 28, 2008

Post Holiday Workout -Circuit Training-

Post holiday workout-Try this training circuit to replace your cardio. Train your largest muscle groups without cardio going from one exercise to another without resting, 20 reps each repeat about 4 times. This circuit will jack-up your metabolism and blast away the extra calories consumed during the holiday.

Body Weight Pull-Ups (Assisted if needed)

Standing Overhead Alternating Shoulder Press

Body Weight Prisoner Squats


Body Weight Crossover Lunges (hands behind head)

Repeat 4 X's

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Three-Day Diet for a Six-Pack Stomach

Loop this eating plan for six days of sensible eating. Loosen up a bit on day 7 and enjoy one portion of your favorite food.
*Diet designed for women who are trying to blast away abdominal fat* Three day sample eating plan.

Day 1
Breakfast: 4 scrambled egg whites cooked with chopped bell pepper, onion and 4 oz cooked potato, cubed.

Snack: Protein Shake with strawberries

Lunch: 3 to 4oz baked chicken over large mixed green salad. Olive oil & vinegar

Snack: 1/2 cup plain, low-fat yogurt mixed with wheat germ.

Dinner: 3 to 4 oz. Grilled Salmon, 1 cup Broccoli and 1/2 cup Brown Rice

Snack: Apple and 1 oz. cold chicken.

Day 2
Breakfast: 1 Cup plain, low-fat yogurt, 1/2 cup Berries and 1 Slice Whole Wheat Toast.

Snack: 1 Small Apple and 1 oz unsalted Almonds & Walnuts.

Lunch: 4 oz. Tuna over Mixed Greens with 2 Unsalted Brown Rice Cakes.

Snack: 2 Egg Whites cooked with 1/3 cup Whole Oats, with Vanilla and Sweetener to taste.

Dinner: 3 oz. Cooked lean ground Beef with 1/4 cup Tomato Sauce served with Baked Potato.

Snack: 1/2 cup cubed Melon.

Day 3
Breakfast: Omelette made with 4 Egg Whites and 1 Cup Cooked Oatmeal.

Snack: 1/2 Cup Yogurt and 1/2 Banana.

Lunch: 3 to 4 oz. Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast, 1 Cup Cooked Spinach, and 4 oz. Cooked Sweet Potato.

Snack: 1 Apple with 1 Tablespoon Almond Butter.

Dinner: 3 to 4 oz. Chicken Stir-fried in 1 tsp. Olive oil with 1 to 2 cups of mixed Vegetables, served over 1/2 cup Brown Rice.

Snack: 1/2 Grapefruit

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Grilled Vegetable Medley

Great recipe to tackle on Sunday! Vegetables ready for the work week ahead. Healthy and simple, enjoy!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Flounder with Broiled Tomatoes

Inspired by the flavors of southern France, this easy prep dish is ideal for almost any white fish, like sole, cod or halibut.  Makes 4 servings.

4 Teaspoons fat-free Milk
1/4 Whole Wheat Flour
1 Egg White, lightly beaten
3/4 Cup dried Whole-Wheat Bread Crumbs
1 1/4 Pounds Flounder Fillets, cut into 4 pieces
6 Plum Tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
Fresh Parsley
Flax Seeds (optional)

Spray the broiler rack with non-stick spray; preheat.  Place the milk, flour, egg white and 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs separately into 4 shallow bowls.  Dip each piece of flounder first into the milk, then the flour, egg white, and finally the bread crumbs; transfer to the broiler rack. Broil 5 inches from the heat until the fish is just opaque, 4-5 minutes on each side.  Transfer to a platter and keep warm. 

Place tomatoes cut side up in a small baking pan.  Broil until lightly browned, 3-5 minutes.  Let cool slightly.  In a small bowl combine the remaining 1/4 cup bread crumbs with the thyme; sprinkle the bread crumbs onto the tomatoes; continue broiling until the crumbs are toasted, 3-4 minutes top with chopped parsley.   Serve with flounder.  

200 Calories per serving (1 Fillet & 3 Tomatoes) 2 grams Fat, 3 grams Fiber, 30 grams Protein
*Optional - adding Flax Seeds to your breadcrumb mix, you will never taste the difference and will increase the omega 3's in your meal.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi has long been a worldwide favorite.  This is a lightened up version of the typically fat-laden dish.  Lightened up by substituting broth for most of the oil.   High in protein, low in fat, tastes great, quick & easy!  Makes 4 Servings.

4 Teaspoons Olive Oil
1 1/4 pounds medium Shrimp, peeled (tails left on) and deveined
6-8 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Cup Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
1 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Plus 1 Tablespoon finely chopped Fresh Parsley
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
4 Lemon Slices

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil.  Saute' the shrimp until just pink, 2-3 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly.  With slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a platter; keep hot.

In the skillet, combine the broth, lemon juice, 1/4 cup parsley, the salt and pepper; bring to a boil.  Boil uncovered, until the sauce is reduced by half; spoon over the shrimp.  Serve, garnished with the lemon slices and sprinkled with the remaining tablespoon of parsley.

164 Calories, 6 grams Fat,  24 grams Protein  (8-10 shrimp )  
WW points value: 4

Friday, July 18, 2008

Guest Speaker

Robert (my son) and I worked together this week with two of my preteen clients who are training for football in August.  Robert discussed with them what it takes to be successful on and off the field.  Robert played football for nine years, pee wee to Varsity, in addition to many other sports.  Robert attends University of Rhode Island and plays Rugby, Flag Football and is Captain of the Rugby Team & Dodge Ball team.  He is also one of the founding fathers of his fraternity.

Robert discussed the importance of proper nutrition, training, adequate sleep and of course good grades.  They really enjoyed his visit as a guest speaker, and loved the drills he demonstrated for them to practice on their own.

Kid's Health

Make sure your young athlete is fueled up for his next competition  or practice with these quick and healthy snack ideas.  To avoid cramps it's best to  have him or her eat 30 minutes before hitting the field.

I work with many young athletes and they go from one activity to another.  It's very important to prepare some quality snacks to ensure your child is getting adequate fuel for his or her sport. Always try to keep fruit and bottled water on hand also.  Many kids are eating cookies and other sugary snacks between sports.  I hope you find the following snacks helpful.

English Muffin Pizza

Power Snack:   Top a toasted Whole Wheat English Muffin with 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce, 4 Mushroom Slices and an ounce of cheese; toast to melt

Scoring Ingredients:  The antioxidants and the protein in these pizzas will help rebuild muscle and restore energy after the game.

Peanut Butter Power Snack

Power Snack:  Spread 1 tablespoon Natural Peanut Butter and Honey on Whole Wheat Bread or Whole Wheat wrap.  Add 1/4 cup of Raisins and a sliced half Banana.

Scoring Ingredients:  The sugar in the honey will provide an instant energy boost, while the banana's potassium helps with hydration.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Blueberry Scones

These Scones are really fantastic and can be made in so many flavors. All you need to do is swap blueberries for another fruit, like peaches or strawberries. Great for a Sunday morning treat!

2/3 Cup Regular Old Fashioned Oats (not instant)
1/3 Cup Bisquick Heart Smart baking mix
3/4 Cup Fresh Blueberries
1/3 Cup Light Vanilla Soymilk
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar (not packed)
2 Teaspoons light Whipped Butter
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine dry ingredients with butter and mix well. Add milk and stir. Then fold berries berries into the batter.

On a baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray, divide batter into 4 mounds (leave room in between them - they expand). Bake for 10 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Per Serving: (1 Scone) 125 calories, 2.5 g Fat, 23 g Carbs, 2 g Fiber, 6 g Sugars, 4 g Protein

Chicken Strips

Fiber-ific Fried Chicken Strips, these chicken strips will quickly become a staple in your diet.

6 ounces raw skinless bonless lean chicken breast, cut into 8 strips
1/2 cup Fiber One bran cereal (original)
1/4 cup egg beaters or egg whites
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
Fresh Black Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a blender or food processor, grind Fiber One to a breadcrumb like consistency. Add garlic salt and black pepper to crumbs. Place crumbs in one small dish and eggs in another.

Coat raw chicken with egg then crumbs. Place strips on a baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Add a light mist of nonstick spray on top and place in oven.

Cook 10 minutes and then turn strips over. Spritz with another light mist of nonstick spray and cook for an additional 7 to 10 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked and crumb coating looks cripsy. Enjoy!

Makes 1 Serving (8 strips) 277 Calories, 3 g Fat, 26 Carbs, 14 g Fiber, 47 g Protein

Onion Rings

Using Fiber One as a low-cal, high fiber way to fake-fry is a great idea. An average order of onion rings contains 450 calories and 25 grams of fat! An average onion contains 50 calories and no fat. Check out this recipe, it ROCKS!

1 Large Onion
1/2 Cup Fiber One bran cereal (original)
1/4 cup egg beaters or egg whites
Dash of Salt
Optional: black pepper, oregano, garlic powder, etc.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut ends off the onion, and remove the outer layer. Cut onion into 1/2 inch wide slices, and separate into rings.

Using a blender or food processor, grind Fiber One to a breadcrumb-like consistency. Pour Fiber-One "breadcrumbs" into a small dish and mix in salt and any spices you like. Fill a small bowl with egg mixture. One by one, coat each ring first in egg and then in "breadcrumbs" . Evenly place rings on a baking dish sprayed with nonstick spray. Cook for 20-25 minutes, flipping rings over about halfway through. Makes one huge serving.

Per serving: 153 Calories, 1 g Fat, 16 g Fiber, 9 g Protein

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"Knockout" Training

If you want to improve your performance at sports, you need to strength train, work on your speed, balance/coordination and flexibility.

The first is strength.  Muscle strength is the foundation upon which you build.  The most important.  Being quick and developing your speed is also important.  As is flexibility training.
Our sessions consist of speed training outdoors (40 yard sprints) timed, body weight exercises (push-ups, pull-ups, squats) etc.  Training with pre-teens is a blast!  They have so much energy and love trying new exercises and competing with each other.  Brett & Michael are two of my many younger students. They are both trying out for the football team this year.  I am teaching them basic weight training exercises, along with speed work and some boxing (they beg for it) at the end of our sessions.  They love it!  

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Considered a condiment as well as a side dish, ratatouille hails from the sun-drenched region of Provence in France.  Eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, onion, and tomatoes simmer with garlic and fresh basil. Then it is served at room temperature.  This recipe can easily be doubled.  It's flavor improves with time.  I usually prepare this on Sundays when I am in Rhode Island. I hit the farmers market in the morning and prepare a huge batch for the work week.  We all love it!  Check it out!

1 small Eggplant, chopped
1 teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 medium Zucchini, chopped
1 red Bell Pepper
1 Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
1/4 cup Water
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
Fresh Basil
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add the eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, onion, and garlic;  cook, stirring constantly.  about 1 minute; then add water.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, shaking the pot occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes, basil, pepper, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; simmer, uncovered, until the liquid is evaporated, about 25 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature before serving.  

You can add anything you like I sometimes add carrots, celery and whatever else I feel like throwing in!  Definitely a basic staple!

About 75 calories per serving, high in fiber and free on weight watchers (maybe 1 point)  Enjoy!

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms on Greens

Meaty Portobello mushrooms are marinated in balsamic-thyme vinaigrette, charred on the grill, then sliced while still warm and arranged atop greens. Perfect for a light summer lunch!

1 tablespoon Balsamic or Red-Wine vinegar
2 teaspoons extra-virgin Olive Oil
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon minced fresh Thyme
4 fresh Portobello Mushrooms, stems discarded
4 cups Mesclun or Mixed Salad greens

Spray the grill or broiler rack with olive oil nonstick spray; prepare the grill or preheat broiler.

Combine the vinegar, oil soy sauce, and thyme in a shallow dish.  Add the mushrooms and let stand, turning frequently, about 10 minutes.

Grill or broil the mushrooms, brushing with any remaining marinade, until heated through, 1-2 minutes on each side.  Slice thinly and serve at once over the greens.

Makes 4 servings (1 mushroom about 1 cup greens):  60 calories, 3 fiber, 3 protein WW pts 1

Friday, May 30, 2008

Chopped Salad with Tuna and White Beans

Leave it to the Italians to create a winning combination like tuna and white beans.  I take this classic one step further by incorporating shredded romaine, arugula, and crunchy veggies.  The flaxseed oil in the vinaigrette dressing adds a great flavor-much like that of pecans.

1/2 cup reduced sodium Chicken Broth
2 Shallots, finely chopped
3 Tbspns chopped flat-leaf Parsley
1 Tbspn Flaxseed Oil
2 Teaspoons Balsamic Vineager
1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
3 Cups finely shredded Romaine Lettuce
3 Cups finely shredded Arugula Leaves
3 Plum Tomatoes, finely chopped
2 (6-ounce) cans water packed, solid white Tuna, drained
2 assorted color Bell Peppers, finely chopped
1 Cup canned White Beans, rinsed and drained
1 small Red Onion, finely chopped

Whisk the broth, shallots, parsley, oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Add the lettuce and remaining ingredients; toss to coat with the dressing.  Serve at once.

makes 4 servings - 214 calories - 7 grams fat - 6 grams fiber - 23 grams protein  4 WW Points

*Imported Italian Tuna packed in olive oil may be used (such as Pastene).

Fresh Tomato Flatbread with Arugula & Prosciutto

This yeastless dough bakes into a flatter, more crisp than traditional pizza crust, but you don't have to plan ahead to enjoy this from-scratch weeknight treat.

Flatbread dough:
1 Cup Bread Flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 Tsp salt
1/3 Cup Warm Water, plus extra if necessary
1 Tsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1 lb Fresh Plum Tomatoes, sliced thin
Salt to taste
Fresh Basil 
2 large Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Tblsp, plus 2 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Cups washed Arugula
6 Paper- thin  slices Prosciutto
2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano shaved with vegetable peeler

*Mix flour & salt in a food processor.  Mix water and oil and pour over flour mixture; form  a soft dough ball.  Process dough until well kneaded, 15 seconds.  (add extra water if needed).  *With floured hands, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut into quarters.  Working one quarter at a time, roll dough out to 12 by 4 inch rectangle, dusting with flour as needed.  *Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Place 4 flatbreads crosswise on the same sheet.  *Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 500 degrees.  *Arrange tomatoes over flatbreads, season with salt and garnish with fresh chopped basil.  *In a small bowl, mix garlic and 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Sprinkle over tomatoes.  *Bake until crust is crisp and golden and tomatoes are cooked, 10-12 minutes.  *Toss arugula with remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and salt to taste.  Remove flatbreads from the oven, top with prosciutto slices, arugula and parmesan .  Serve as individual flatbread pizzas.  

*Makes 4 pizzas, 301 calories each.  *You can add some cooked chicken or grilled shrimp on top for extra protein.  You can also add artichoke hearts and other veges to build it up.   A great friday night treat!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wine Biscuits with Cracked Black Pepper

Here's the recipe for those biscuits that sell in specialty shops.  Serve them alone or along side your garden salad.  Biscuits can be stored in an airtight container for up to one month.

1/2 Cup dry Red Wine
1 Cup Bread Flour
3 Tblsp.  Sugar
1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Minced Fresh Rosemary or Thyme Leaves
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
3 Tblsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

*In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring wine to boil.  Continue to boil until wine is reduced by half, 2-3 minutes.  *Meanwhile, adjust oven racks to lower-middle and upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.  *Process flour,  sugar, pepper, rosemary or thyme, salt and baking powder in a food processor to combine.  *Mix wine and oil and add to dry ingredients.  Process until dough just comes together.  Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and roll to a little more than 1/8 inch thick.  Using a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut out dough rounds and place on cookie sheets.  Roll scraps once or twice more to make 3 dozen rounds.  *Bake until golden and crisp, about 30 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool. 

 Makes 3 dozen servings; 29 calories per biscuit.  The perfect recipe for losing weight and eating great!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Creative Concoctions

Visit the home of any athlete or bodybuilder and you will find something in common; vitamins and protein powders covering the kitchen countertops and spilling out of the cabinets.  Planning, scheduling and eating 5-6 meals a day for you and your active family is not an easy task. It is very time consuming and requires planning.  Here are some creative concoctions I have collected over time.

Crystal Glute (Recovery)

Glutamine is one of the body's most abundant amino acids.  However, heavy training or dieting burns through so much of it, resulting in muscle loss and impaired recovery.  Taking this concoction post-workout will keep your body anabolic!  Mix 3-4 teaspoons glutamine powder with Crystal Light.   

Whey & Oats (Fat Blasting)

This is a perfect pretraining snack for the hardcore bodybuilder/athlete who is trying to drop bodyfat while maintaining muscle.  Prepare 1 cup quick oats mixed with water, add 20 grams whey protein and consume within one hour of your workout!

Omega Joe (Fat Blasting)

Caffeine and omega-3 fatty acids, is an ideal precardio concoction!  Brew 12 ounces black coffee.  Add no creamer and Stevia to sweeten.  Pour into a blender, then add 6-8 ice cubes and 1-2 tablespoons omega-3-rich flaxseed oil.  Blend 20 seconds for rich tasting iced coffee!

Sliced Tea (Fat-Blasting)

Fat burning effects of drinking 3 cups of green tea a day has made it a favorite among dieters.  Here is a souped-up version using MCT's, which are rarely stored as bodyfat, especially when calories and/or carbs are reduced.  With lower calorie dieting they can actually prevent muscle loss!  

Brew 2 quarts of tea using 10 bags of green tea.  Mix with Stevia to sweeten and add 4 tablespoons MCT oil.  Store in the refrigerator  and blend with crushed ice to prepare (this helps keep the oil and tea thoroughly mixed)

Quick Meal Replacement (Muscle Gaining)

Shortcut to a quick meal prepared in a shaker and a great way to get fast-absorbing carbs post-workout:  Gerber baby dry formula cereal and add it to your protein shakes.  The cereal's consistency is so fine, it mixes instantly with water and protein powder.  This is a great bloat-free combo!

Power Pudding (Muscle Gaining)

Prepare sugar-free, fat free pudding using water instead of milk, then add protein powder to it. It takes about a half hour to chill in the fridge.  Prepare according to package directions, mixing 20-40 grams whey protein powder (one or two scoops).  127-227 calories, 20-40 grams protein, 3 grams fat.  Enjoy!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Up Close with Katie Brown

Up Close with Katie:  Katie and I have been training for a few years.  Don't let her petite 5' frame fool you. She is definitely a little powerhouse!  Katie's training consists of power type exercises (Bench Press, Barbell Squats, Deadlifts) which she enjoys most.  We also incorporate other exercises like walking lunges, pull-ups, and dips etc.

Katie also incorporates yoga into her training regimen along with playing tennis, paddle and gardening in her English Gardens.  Katie has definitely added lean muscle to her frame with a    perfect balance of strength training and yoga.  She is 61 years old, beaming with tons of energy and has never been stronger!  She is totally an inspiration to others!

Katie is married and has three grown children.  Katie is an entrepreneur, landscape architect/designer, owner of Katie Brown Landscaping Design, Greenwich, CT.  Her home renovations and famous English Gardens have been featured in Renovation Style Magazine!  (I have had the pleasure of a personal tour of her breathtaking home and gardens)  Thanks for the gardening tips!  Stay jacked-up and strong!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Nutrition & Your College Student

This is a list I put together when preparing college “care packages” to send my son for his first year at college.

I was able to train with Robert via Internet, sending weekly lifting schedules in addition to his rugby training. I also insured that he was eating properly at the cafeteria and making the best choices (a lot of vegetables, fruits and lean proteins.) In addition to your meal plan, you need to have healthy snacks in your dorm. I have put together a list of foods and snacks I would regularly send. I hope you find this information helpful. Shop at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or your local market.

-Protein Powder
-Protein Bars
-Multi-Vitamins (Solgar)
-Essential Fatty Acids
-Emergen-C (1,000 mg Vitamin C)

Food List:
-Natural Almond Butter
-Brown Rice Cakes
-Ezekiel Bread
-Brown Rice Bowls Ready Made
-Canned Tuna
-All Natural Granola
-Green/Black Tea
-Oatmeal Packs
-Walnuts and Almonds
-Low Sodium Soups
-All Natural Cookies
-Case of 8 oz. Poland Spring Waters (for on the go)
-Poland Spring Gallons 

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Pregnancy & Weight Training

Carrie 5 months Pregnant!!  Amazing!

Inspiring MaMa!


Carrie is originally from Maryland and has been a lifelong athlete.  She received a full scholarship to Boston College for Lacrosse and also ran in the Boston Marathon. 

When she became pregnant for the first time, she gained a lot of weight (60 lbs) and rarely worked out.  She started training with me twice a week. She did cardio on her own 2-3 days per week.  And she also started preparing healthy meals. In return  she gained lean muscle and lost fat. 

Carrie is no stranger to strength training and admits the “Power-Rack” was her best friend while training at Boston College.

Carrie became pregnant for the second time and continued lifting 2-3 times a week and also incorporated cardio.  She kept her weight in control this time (25lbs).  She ran the New York Marathon after the birth of her second daughter. She also coaches lacrosse for a private all girls’ school.  She is truly an inspiration to others!

Carrie resides in Westchester, NY with her husband (college sweetheart) and two beautiful daughters.

Sweet-Potato "Fries"

2 pounds large sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Sea Salt to taste
Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste

These totally addictive baked "fries" are amazing.  Check em out!!

Makes 4 Servings: one cup serving, 234 calories, 4 grams Fat, 6 grams Fiber.  WW points 4.

Preheat the oven to 45o degrees.  Halve the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch wedges.  Toss with the oil, salt & pepper in a medium bowl.

Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on a nonstick baking sheet.  Bake, turning once, until browned and crisp.  about 35 minutes.

Chicken & Vegetables en Papillote

1 Cup fresh Snow Peas, trimmed
1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded & diced
2 Shallots, minced
1/4 cup reduced-sodium Chicken Broth
4 (1/4 pound) skinless boneless Chicken Breasts
1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon chopped  fresh Parsley

The french cooking technique en papillote refers to food baked in a wrapping.  I use this low-fat, high moisture method to wrap skinless, boneless chicken breasts, shallots, red bell pepper, and snow peas in heavy-duty foil (or parchment paper).  For extra flavor, add fresh thyme to each package.  

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray, over medium heat.  Add the snow peas, bell pepper, shallots and broth; cook, stirring constantly, until the vegetables just begin to soften, 2-3 minutes.

Place 4 (12-inch) squares of heavy duty foil or parchment paper on counter.  Place a chicken breast in the center of each square and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Top with vege mixture, drizzling any pan juices over the the vegetables, and sprinkle with parsley.  Make a packet by bringing the sides of the foil up to meet in the center and folding the edges of the ends together.  Allow room for the packets to expand, crimp edges.

Bake the packets until the chicken is cooked through, about 18 minutes.  Open the packets carefully, steam will escape.

145 Calories, 3 grams Fat, 24 grams Protein, 1 gram Fiber.  3 WW points

*These are great to make on Sunday - during the workweek your protein and carb meal is already prepared for a quick lunch, just reheat!

*I also make this with chicken/broccoli and Soy Vay Marinade.  I skip cooking the veges first, adding everything together and cooking on a cookie sheet for 45 minutes on 350.  Tastes just like chinese take-out minus the fat!  Great served over brown rice.

Individual Ham, Cheese & Vege Frittatas

2 Sprays cooking spray
1 Pound frozen Hash Brown Potoatoes, thawed
4 Large Eggs, beaten (Egg Beaters or Egg Whites may be used)
1 Tbsp Skim Milk
1/8 Tsp table Salt
1/8 Tsp Black Pepper
2 oz Cooked Lean Ham, finely chopped
1/8 Cup Sweet Red Pepper, finely chopped
1/8 Cup Green Pepper, finely chopped
2 Tbsp Onion, finely Chopped
1/2 Cup Low-Fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat 8 muffin tin holes with coooking spray.  Spread Potatoes around bottom and press potato up sides of each muffin hole; place in oven and cook for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat eggs and milk together in medium bowl; season with salt and pepper.  Add ham, peppers, onion and cheese to bowl; combine.

Remove potatoes from oven (after cooking for 10 minutes) and press potatoes down firmly with a spoon so that they are spread out like mini piecrusts (potatoes should cover bottom and sides of each hole).  Pour about 1/4 cup of egg mixture into the center of each muffin hole.

Return pan to oven and cook until potatoes are crisp and golden, and the egg mixture is set, about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let sit about 5 minutes before serving.  Yields 1 frittata per serving.  8 Servings,  2 weight watcher points each

These are great to make in advance and microwave on the go!!  The Incredible Edible Egg!!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Building a Strong Back

The Back contributes  to the overall shape of your physique ~ A well defined V-shaped back gives a smaller looking waist.  In addition to looking better, the result of training your back also adds strength in lifting for everyday daily activities.  A strong back determines your posture. Your lat muscles keep your shoulders from slumping.  No training program can be complete without a great back workout.

 * Use a comfortable weight to begin and master the exercise. When you have mastered the exercise feel free to jack-up the weight accordingly.  Focus on form, rest 30-60 seconds between sets and feel free to stretch between sets. ~ 3-4 sets of each exercise 8-15 repetitions ~

Bent-Over Barbell Row ~ Start with an overhand grip with a 30lb barbell. Stand with your feet hip width apart and knees bent.  Keep your chest lifted, your back straight and your torso at a 45-degree angle.  Keeping abs tight, pull the bar straight up until it touches your rib cage.  Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.

Stiff-legged Deadlift ~ Start with an overhand grip using a barbell or dumbells.  Keep your arms relaxed , your spine straight and your head lifted. Lower the weight toward  your feet and then return to your starting position (great for mid back muscles as well as hips, glutes and hamstrings).

Good Mornings ~ Start with an overhand grip. Hold a barbell across your upper back keeping your feet shoulder width apart, soft knees, abs tight and slowly lower your chest until your torso is parallel to the floor. Return to starting position (great for lower and mid back, as well as the glutes and hamstrings).

Pull-Ups ~ Beginners use assistance (pull-up) machine or a spotter.  Start with a wide overhand grip, cross ankles, pull your chest towards the bar and repeat (pull-ups work the entire back as well as the biceps).

Some other great exercises not mentioned:  Lat Pulldowns, One Arm DB Row, Hyperextensions, Seated Cable Rows, Reverse Flys etc.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Boost your Metabolism ~ Tips ~

Boost your Metabolism and encourage weight loss.  Some tips to get your started.

Drink lots of water ~ hydrate yourself with water.

Eat high fiber foods ~ fiber fills you up, sustaining you longer than foods without it.

Eat whole foods ~ Try to avoid most processed foods.

Eat 5-6 times per day ~ eat a serving of protein along with a complex carb every three-four hours.

Eat more vegetables ~ choose from dark leafy salad greens, asparagus, spinach, broccoli etc.

Eat fresh fruits ~ apples, melons, strawberries, blueberries etc.

Limit your salt & sugar intake ~ avoid soda, cake, canned soups, salty snack mixes etc.

Keep a food journal ~ either a notepad or online, get into the habit of writing down your workouts and meals.

Lift weights ~ Start a weight training program.  Builds lean muscle, builds strong bones, increases metabolic rate, reshapes your body.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


1 Green or Red Apple

12-15 Unsalted Almonds

Fresh Squeezed Lemon


Cut Apple into bite-sized pieces, squeeze fresh lemon coating all the pieces, add a generous amount of cinnamon, coating all pieces.  Transfer into a ziplock or plastic container and add almonds.   This is a great on-the-go snack I make daily (in between meals, car trips to Rhode Island).  It does not require refrigeration and tastes great!  A great protein and carb snack!  Try it out!  


Perform this workout 3-4 times a week.  Do these exercises continuously as a circuit with minimal rest in between.  To determine the amount of weight for you; if your last repetitions are not difficult to perform, move up to heavier weights.

Warm-up 7-10 minutes 


Stability Ball Wall Squats 2 sets    15-20 reps

Stationary Lunge 2  sets    15 reps 

Stiff-Legged Deadlift 2  sets 15 reps     15-20lbs  DB's


One-Arm Row 2 sets      15  reps   15-20lbs DB's

Lat-Pulldown       2 sets      15  reps    50-60lbs


Lying Chest Press 2   sets   15  reps   15-20lbs  DB's

Incline Flyes         2   sets   15 reps     10-12lbs  


Seated Overhead Press 2   sets    15  reps  8-12lbs   DB's

Side Raises                                       2  sets     15 reps    5-10lbs


Alternating DB Curl 2  sets   20  reps   12-15lbs  DB's


Dumbell Kickback 2   sets    15 reps   10-12lbs  DB's

ABS ~ 4 Sets 25 reps Bent knee.   
After weight training perform 20-30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio on the machine of your choice or outdoors.


1 Package of Lean Ground Turkey (20.8 oz)
1 Onion
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 15 oz Can Hunts Tomato Sauce w/half can of water
Red Pepper Flakes to taste

Saute turkey, onions and peppers until browned; add tomato sauce and water.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  optional: top with green onion & reduced fat cheddar. Serves 4.  Serve plain or with brown rice.  Easy to prepare, high protein and healthy one dish meal.  Just add a salad!


1/4  Cup Chicken Broth
1 Tablespoon Reduced-Sodium Soy Sauce
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 1/2 Teaspoons Grated Peeled Fresh Ginger
2 Teaspoons Canola Oil
2 Cups Chopped Bok Choy
1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
1 Cup Fresh Snow Peas, trimmed
1/2 Carrot, Thinly Sliced on the diagonal
1/4 Cup Canned Sliced Bamboo Shoots, drained
1/4 Cup Canned Sliced Water Chestnuts, drained
Combine the broth, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in a small bowl.
Heat a large non-stick skillet or wok over high heat.  Pour in the oil and swirl to coat pan, then add bok choy and bell pepper.  Stir-fry about 3 minutes; add the broth mixture, snow peas, and carrot.  Reduce the heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are crisp and tender, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the bamboo shoots and water chestnuts; cook, stirring frequently, until heated through, about 1 minute longer.  Makes 4 servings.
Calories:  65  Carbs:  9  Fat:  3  Protein:  3  Fiber:  3
This classic vegetable stir-fry is traditionally served on the Chinese New Year.  Unlike the takeout variety, this dish cooks the veges in a small amount of oil.
*Brown Rice is great with this dish! Add whatever vegetables you like.


1 16 oz can Whole Italian-style Tomatoes (Finely Chopped)
1 19 oz can Kidney Beans (rinsed & drained)
1 Box Birdseye Frozen Mixed Vegetables
3/4 Cup Ditalini Pasta (uncooked)
3 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil - 1 Clove of minced Garlic

Saute garlic and oil in saucepan, place all ingredients in saucepan.  Simmer 10 minutes or until pasta is cooked.  Makes 4 Servings.
This Italian-inspired, meal-in-a-pot is rich in fiber-filled ingredients like beans and vegetables.  It is tasty and, vitamin packed, meatless meal that cooks in no time.  Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese and serve with a slice of bread and a salad.  I make this a few times a week with our main dinner.  Everyone loves it!


1 lb Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips or bite-size pieces
2 large Egg Whites
1/2 cup Flour
1 Teaspoon Paprika
1-2 Teaspoons Cajun Spice (1 for spicy, 2 for hot!)
1 Tablespoon Accent or Mrs. Dash Spicy
Nonstick cooking spray
Combine spices and flour in a small bowl.  In another small bowl, beat egg whites with fork.  Thoroughly coat a nonstick pan with cooking spray.  Dip chicken pieces in egg whites, then in seasoned flour, pressing or pounding the flour into each chicken strip.  Arrange chicken pieces in skillet.  Cook over medium heat, turning after 5-8 minutes.  Cook another 5-8 minutes or until no longer pink inside.  Serves Four.
Calories:  195  Protein:  29 grams
Great recipe for watching football, we love it!!


Whole Wheat Linguine with Pinot Grigio and Shrimp
This is truly a "POWER" meal!  Quick, healthy & satisfying after a great "Leg" workout!

1 pound Whole Wheat Linguine
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
3 Shallots, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Cup Fresh Cherry Tomatoes Chopped in half
1 1/2 Cups Pinot Grigio
2 lbs Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes to Taste
Fresh Basil chopped
Fresh Parsley chopped

Cook Pasta according to package 8-10 minutes.  Drain.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add shallots and garlic and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the wine, shrimp and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer until the shrimp are pink, about 5-7 minutes, add fresh tomatoes and pasta.   Add salt, pepper, fresh basil and parsley and red pepper.  Serve immediately.


8 oz Chicken Breast, cut into bite size pieces

1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury) or your own

Cooking Spray

1/8 Teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons all-purpose Flour

1 Teaspoon dried rubbed sage

1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper

1 1/4 Cups Water

1 1/2 Cups Frozen Mixed Vegetables (Birdseye)

1 Cup Mushrooms quartered

1 (10 1/2-ounce) can condensed reduced-fat, reduced sodium Cream of Chicken Soup

*The Piecrust topping cooks on a baking sheet and is then placed over the filling, you don't need to use ovenproof bowls for the pies. Use a bowl or ramekin as a guide for cutting the dough.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut 3 (4-inch) circles out of dough, discard remaining dough. Place dough circles on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat dough with cooking spray, spirnkle evenly with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Pierce top of dough with a fork. Bake dough at 425 degrees for 8 minutes or until golden.

Combine flour, sage, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper with chicken. Heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add chicken mixture; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Stir in water. Stir in vegetables, mushrooms, and soup; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and cook 10 minutes. Spoon 1 cup chicken mixture into each of 3 (1-cup bowls), top each serving with 1 piecrust. Serves 3.

Around 374 calories each, and tastes great! Try it out, we love this recipe during the cool weather. Prep is about 30 minutes.


1 1/2 Cup Hodgson Mill Oat Bran Cereal
1 1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar -packed-
1 1/2 Tspn Baking Powder
1 1/2 Tspn Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
4 Egg Whites
4 Tbspns Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Walnuts (chopped)
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries

Bake 400 degrees 15-17 minutes or until golden brown.  These muffins are packed with fiber/protein and great for breakfast on the go!  Around 250 calories!  Replaces prepackaged Protein Bars!
*Add whatever you like (Flaxseeds, Raisins, Almonds, Sunflower Seeds)
*Serious Lifters/Bodybuilders can also add Protein Powder 


3/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 cup Dutch Processed Cocoa
1/2 tspn Baking Soda
2/3 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
2 Egg Whites (lightly beaten)
1 tspn Vanilla
Powdered Sugar (optional)
Protein Powder (optional) 1 scoop
Nonstick Cooking Spray

Spray a square baking pan (8x8 inches) with nonstick cooking spray.  Combine ingredients in large mixing bowl; blend well.  Pour into pan and bake 20-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool five minutes in pan.  Remove from pan place on wire rack and sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.  Cut into eight squares.  Makes eight servings.  95 calories each.
*serve with vanilla frozen yogurt on the side or
*serve with a tblspn of whipped cream (Cool Whip is chemical garbage)
Brownies aren't something you can include in your daily menu if flawless abs are your goal.  But wait!  This simple recipe is lower in fat, sugar and calories than what you would buy at your bakery.  Dutch processed cocoa is a surprising replacement for chocolate, and applesauce replaces oil.  I guarantee you won't believe the results!