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