Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Festivities. Control Yourself!

Only YOU Have the control over what will enter your mouth this weekend!  Many of us will be hosting or attending picnics and barbecues this weekend.  Then by Tuesday morning we will be nursing a food/drink hangover.  Decide today that it won't be like that!  Here are some tips:

1.  The weather is supposed to be beautiful.  First tip is to get outside at least two of the 3 weekend days and exercise for 60 minutes.  I already booked my spin bike at The Revolution for Sunday at 9:15 a.m. and i am in the middle of an email thread with my friends to see who wants to run on Monday morning.  Saturday will be my off day.

2.  If you attend a barbecue, bring a healthy side dish that you know is "safe" and healthy.  A good choice would be a whole wheat pasta salad.  cook up a pound of 100% whole wheat rotini.  Add chopped cucumbers, green pepper, red pepper, onion, celery and carrots (LOTS of veggies).  Dump a 1/2 bottle of low-fat or fat-free Italian dressing on it.  Add a can of tuna in water if you wish.  This is a healthy, filling salad.

3.  Consider bringing a package of turkey or veggie burgers and a package of 100% whole wheat buns to share in order to avoid fatty hot dogs and greasy beef burgers.  Share with the group and they won't make fun of you for being on a "diet".  And if they do make fun of you, it just means that they are envious that you have self-control and that they do not.

4.  if you host a BBQ, throw the left overs away or give to your guests to bring home (except for the healthy pasta salad)

5.  BOOZE!  Enjoy a few drinks, but don't get loaded and stay away from sugary, fruity drinks.  Go for the lower cal, lower sugar choices such as light beer, red or white wine, or something like a vodka and seltzer with a twist of lime.

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's Time to Fire Up the Grill!'s nice enough to get that grill going!  This is the easiest time of year to eat healthy.  I know we are all strapped for time.  Baseball is in full effect and many evenings, many families end up at the drive thru because they are running around.  I have a solution for you....but it will take some work.  Come Hell or high water you MUST block out 2 hours per week to devote to grocery shopping.  Before you go, plan your meals for the week and make a list.  This time of year focus on grilling lean meats and eating lots of salads that are quick and easy.  My dinner last night is a perfect example:

I made grilled fish and veggies last night.  I went to Hannaford on Sunday and bought some Cod (lean, whitefish).  I bought enough for dinner for the family and for leftovers.  I was very busy yesterday so early in the day when I had FIVE minutes, I took the fish out and cut it into individual servings.  I then wrapped each piece in foil with a TEENY bit of olive oil, sea salt and pepper.  I then put it in the fridge.  At about 5:30 last night, I fired up the grill, grabbed it out of the fridge and slapped it on the grill for 12 minutes.  In the 12 minutes that it was grilling, I mixes some bean sprouts, asparagus, mushrooms and peppers (bought PRE-sliced) and sauteed the veggies with a little bit of olive oil.

In 15 minutes, my family was enjoying an extremely healthy, high protein, low calorie meal.  I have one piece of fish left and I will eat that over a salad or make  sandwich with it for lunch today.

If you plan ahead, you will set yourself up for success, not failure.  No one said eating healthy is easy.  However, with a little effort, it's very doable!

some other quick and easy grilling ideas:  pork loin, turkey burgers, portabella mushroom burgers, chicken breast.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Waterslide Wedding a SUCCESS (with some minor issues...)

Wow...I can't believe it's over.  My little sister finally tied the knot last Friday.  She looked absolutely gorgeous and her husband, Chad is perfect for her.  I can't move today...I am so tired from a whirlwind of fun and from dancing in my pink shoes all night long.  Definitely too much to eat and too much to drink over the last few days.  Back to the grind.  This is a very important day.  The Monday after a crazy, fun event.  It's cloudy out...there is that "after-party let down", the melancholy is in the air, the mental and physical exhaustion kicks in.  We can all relate. The is the time that we come to a crossroad.  We can feed our "blues" with sugary, starchy foods to get some immediate satisfaction and we can sit on the couch and be lazy all day.  OR we can bounce back to our great eating habits and drag ourselves out to get some exercise (this decision is much more challenging in the short-term).  I am back on the bandwagon today.  I decided last week that today would be a day off from the gym so I can catch up on work.  However, my schedule is mapped out for the rest of the week and I will be back at the gym tomorrow.  I started my day with a bottle of water, 2 cups of coffee (my Keurig is here!) and a very healthy spinach and egg white omelet breakfast.  Though I feel completely overwhelmed from taking a few days off from work and exhausted, I know that I will feel 100% better tomorrow if I make good choices today.  Now, back to the wedding....what memories. Beside the fire alarm going off in the hotel while we were having our hair and make-up done and the fact that my sister Ally and I screwed up the processional at the church so bad that the Priest made us go back to do it again, it went off without a hitch.  The best memory I will carry with me forever is the fact that both of my parents and all of my brothers and sisters were there.  My parents were both alive and well  to watch every one of their children get married (all five) and that I will cherish forever.   I have attached some pictures for your viewing pleasure.  If you want to hear more about the processional do-over, just's way too much to blog about....

Isn't she beautiful!

Matrons of Honor and Sisters...

Me and my boy Anthony

My brothers Tom and Todd, Dad, Nikki, Mom, Ally and me....what a family....

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mel's Turkey Taco Salad Recipe

This one is for my Times Union BCC Peeps:

99% fat free ground turkey
taco kit or make your own seasoning
romaine lettuce (shredded)
black olives
green chilies
low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
any other veggies you want!
chobani PLAIN fat free Greek yogurt

brown the meat and add the taco seasoning as the package tells you.  If you have high blood pressure, I would recommend seasoning it yourself to bring down the sodium content. 

fill a bowl with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sprinkle with green chilies, ONE serving of shredded cheddar and a few chopped black olives

add ONE serving of your piping hot turkey meat (on top of the cheese so it will get gooey and melt)

for the dressing:  mix a tablespoon of the Greek yogurt with some salsa and you have a super healthy, low fat dressing.

add your dressing and enjoy!

This is very low in fat and cals (only about 300 cals).  High in protein too and you get about 2-3 servings of veggies.  Woot Woot!  If you want a taco, put the ingredients in a Josephs brand whole wheat tortilla or La Tortilla Factory brand. 


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What's the Deal With Coffee?

This week I have been having a personal struggle with my coffee maker.  I have a single cup coffee maker and the motor died on Mother's Day.  I was looking forward to a cup of coffee in bed on Mother's Day and my coffee maker was dead.  So, every morning this week, Matt has been running over to Cumberland Farms after boot camp to pick me up a cup of coffee.  I can NOT physically get out of bed unless I have a cup of coffee.  So, today, I had a 30% off coupon to Kohl's and went over to buy a brand new, Mac Daddy Cuisinart single cup coffee maker.  It was the last one!  I scooped it up, went home and took it out of the box to begin setting it up.  I was only about 30 minutes away from a hot cup of coffee.  As I was unpacking it, I noticed an unpleasant scent of old coffee and saw grounds and water stains all over the coffee maker.  Someone apparently did not like their Cuisinart and brought it back.  I almost cried at this point.  I just wanted a cup of coffee!  I couldn't justify spending $150 on a coffee maker only to find it crusty with old grounds and used.  Plus, if it was used, there was probably something wrong with it.  I then thought I would give my Keurig one last shot.  I was desperate.  So, I called customer service (which was fabulous) to try to troubleshoot.  I filled the reservoir up with water and suddenly the motor started working and it was back in action!  Woot woot!  All this time, the reservoir was not sitting right.  What is wrong with me?   So, I sit here, blogging and drinking the best cup of coffee I have had in a LONG TIME!  So, what is the point of my story?  Clients ask me all of the time if coffee is okay to drink while trying to become healthy and fit.  The answer is YES (if in moderation!).  I am a huge believer in moderation.  I drink 2 cups of regular coffee per day and one decaf.  I also drink about 60-80 oz of water per day.  A few cups of coffee coupled with your water intake is just fine!  Drinking coffee before your workout may also help you perform better and burn more fat and cals!  So, enjoy that hot cup of coffee!!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011


My foot has been acting up over the past few months from running and today, after a month off from running, I finally felt ZERO pain.  I looked out the window and I knew immediately what my workout would be.  I got dressed immediately after getting out of bed and went downstairs to get the kids fed, lunches made and off to school they went.  About three seconds after the bus came, I put my ipod on, tied my sneakers and I was off. For me, it's crucial to workout before the day gets in the way.  I work from home and my day becomes very busy, very quickly. So, I need to leave the house for my workout as soon as the kids leave. I ran 5 miles and it felt great!  The sun was shining in my face, the air crisp and exhilarating!  I came home and immediately did 100 push-ups before jumping in the shower.  I have to keep my arms toned...strapless bridesmaid dress in less than two weeks.  It's crunch time...My message today is that if you have been contemplating an exercise program, today is the do not need a gym membership, you do not need any money....put your walking/running sneakers on and get off your tush.  Seriously....there truly is no excuse.  You do not have to run...just walk!  I challenge you to get out this week 5 times for 30 minutes each time.  Whether you are running or walking, it doesn't matter.  Just get out there.  The week is supposed to be beautiful so now is your chance.  And if it rains?  Unless you are made of sugar or are the Wicket Witch of the West, get out there!  You CAN do this!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Another Dinner Idea

I made a great dinner last night.  I love this time of year when I can GRILL!  Because I didn't have much time, I bought chicken breast from the butcher that was already marinated in Teriyaki sauce (just a little bit...low cal, low fat).  I grilled up the chicken breasts for 20 minutes, flipping them every five minutes.  I served with Quinoa and steamed broccoli.  I know this sounds boring, but it really wasn't.  Quinoa is a delicious whole grain with 6 grams of protein per serving and 3 grams of fiber.  So good!  I have included a photo of my plate.  Notice  that half the plate was filled with veggies and the other half was split between my meat and starch.  PORTION CONTROL!  Total amount of cals on my plate are approximately 330 cals.  I try to keep my cals lower at dinner and higher throughout the earlier hours of the day so I have the day to burn off my larger meals.  Happy cooking!

Monday, May 2, 2011


So, here is something about me that some of you know and some of you don't.  I have no time in my life for people who have "poor me" syndrome, play the "violin", or walk around with a storm cloud over them complaining constantly.  It's not a quality that I am proud of.  Who am I to judge what a true "problem" is?  A molehill to me, may be a true mountain to someone else.  I am working on this.  Really, I am trying to dig deep to find it in my to be more empathetic and open-minded.  Maybe it's because over the years, I have heard so many excuses from people on why they don't have time to exercise and I've become calloused to excuses and negative attitudes.  People will look me square in the eye and tell me that they do not HAVE TIME to fit exercise in with everything else they have going on.  Well, neither do I.  Who has time to exercise?  None of us HAVE the time.  However, those that are healthy and fit, have made a conscious decision to make their health a priority.  I work about 60 hours per week.  I love every minute of my work.  But nonetheless, I am trying to balance work, family and exercise into my life just like everyone else.  I have LEARNED how to schedule exercise in.  Every day, from 8-10 a.m. my calendar is literally blocked out with the word "workout" written in.  I do not schedule dr. appts, presentations, meetings with clients or conferences with teachers during this time.  This is MY time to focus on ME.  It works like a charm!  M-F, I exercise for about 90 minutes per day and I take the weekends off.  Once I got into this routine, it became very easy to sustain and maintain it.  So, where am I going with this?  I challenge you to take out your calendar right now and block out time for exercise every day.  Thirty minutes to start! Here comes the hard part....then do not let ANYTHING get in the way.  My advice....exercise early in the morning before the day can get in the way.  Do you want some guidance?  I still have some openings in my Boot Camp Challenge session that begins tomorrow morning at 5 am.  You can do it....let me know how you make out....