Archive for August, 2012


Asian Barbeque Chicken (serves 4)


¾ cup barbeque sauce

¼ cup sliced green onions

2 T reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 T toasted sesame seeds

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 t fresh ginger, peeled and minced

2 lb lbs of skinless chicken pieces with bones (legs, thighs, breasts)


In a small bowl, combine the barbeque sauce, green onions, soy sauce, sesame seeds, garlic and ginger. Stir to combine. Remove 1/3 cup, cover and refrigerate.

In a ziplock bag, combine the chicken and the remaining barbeque sauce. Seal the bag and marinate for several hours or overnight.

Remove the chicken from the bag and discard the excess barbeque sauce. Cook on the grill for about 7 minutes per side. Brush with reserved marinade and cook a few minutes longer on each side.

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Lately a few of my clients have been feeling frustrated. They are trying their best to eat right, exercise, and be more active and yet their annual blood test values are saying “Eh……….not so good.” It’s hard not to throw up your hands in disgust and say “WHAT MORE DO I HAVE TO DO?”

Unfortunately, there is that genetic pull. Having a family history of heart disease or diabetes means that you are more likely to develop these diseases. This doesn’t mean you should stop exercising, or eating right; it simply means that you have to be realistic and continue to do the best you can.

Just remember—exercise helps in so many ways other than promoting weight loss and improving cardiac health: it enhances mood, increases energy, helps with anxiety and depression, improves cognition, increases bone density, and promotes better sleep. Eating a healthy diet can also make you feel a heck of lot better than eating junk. So hang in there and keep pluggin’ along!

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Tomorrow, I’m getting on a plane and taking my youngest child—my baby—to college. Am I ready for this? No. Is HE ready for this? No. However, I’m coming to the conclusion that we’re never really ready for change.

Change is hard: becoming an empty nester, moving, going to college, starting a new job,  losing an old job, becoming a parent, dealing with divorce, fighting an illness, losing a parent………..are we really ready? We can apply this to smaller issues: Are we ready to stop smoking? Start exercising? Make significant changes in our diet? Get out of denial and face a health issue? I still think the answer is NO.

When change is forced upon us, we have no choice but to deal with it. If, instead, you are deciding to take a leap and to make a change, don’t think about waiting for the right time. There never IS a right time for change. Just go for it because the bottom line is, we’re never really ready anyway!

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Flattened Chicken


3 ½ lb organic chicken flattened (see note below)

4 garlic cloves

3 tbs thyme leaves

extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 lemons

directions for the oven

Preheat the oven to 400o F. Wipe the inside of your flattened chicken and trim off any fat. Lay the chicken out, skin-side down, on a board. Using your finger, gently push the skin away from the meat, creating pockets.

Peel the garlic and finely chop with the thyme, adding 1/2  teaspoon of salt. Push this mixture into the pockets and scatter the remainder over the surface. Turn the chicken over and use the seasoning that has fallen off to rub into the skin side.

Drizzle an oven tray with olive oil. Lay the chicken skin-side up. Squeeze over the juice of 1/2 lemon, and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 30-40 minutes, basting occasionally with the juices from the pan and the remaining lemon juice.

Carve by cutting across the chicken in thick slices.

directions for the grill

Pre-heat the grill on medium heat. Follow the instructions as above. Place the chicken on the grill and  cook for about 5 minutes on each side. Squeeze the remaining lemon onto both sides and cook for another 3-4 minutes per side until the chicken is cooked through. Cooking time will vary depending on your grill and the thickness of the chicken.

NOTE: This recipe is only easy if you can get your butcher to bone the chicken for you. Ask to have it boned out through the back bone, keeping the breast in one piece, removing the carcass and the leg bones.

(Adapted from a recipe found in the River Cafe Cook Book Easy)

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About a month ago, I started bike riding on a very light road bike. When I first started, I was terrified. When I was on the road, I was petrified of the traffic, was too nervous to get the water bottle out to get a drink and couldn’t even find the courage to take my arm off the handlebars to signal. Since I’m a real beginner, I decided to get this bike with regular pedals and did not want to wear bike shoes where I had to clip in and out of the bike.

I figured that practice would help and so most mornings I went riding. I’ve made progress! I can actually take my arm off to signal and can take a drink of water when I need to. Surprisingly, I am enjoying bike riding far more than I thought I would—it gives me a tremendous endorphin rush. Feeling confident, I decided to take the plunge and bought bike shoes. I ditched the pedals. I thought I was ready to clip in and clip out.

This past weekend, I practiced clipping in and out in a parking lot. I was doing OK! And then I fell. Putting aside the scrapes, the bruises and the impact of the fall onto my left side, as my 49-year old body hit the pavement, my confidence shattered. I didn’t want to get up. I didn’t want to get back on the bike and I actually contemplated getting in the car, driving to the bike store and screaming “PUT MY PEDALS BACK ON.”

As much as I wanted to do this, I didn’t. Instead, I started talking to myself. And I somehow convinced myself that I could do this. I went out the next day on the road. I did better. I fell again but I was ok. The next day I tried again and didn’t fall. It was NOT easy–it took A LOT of encouragement from both my family and from within myself.

We all need to do this when we’re faced with situations that make us feel uncomfortable.  It could be pushing yourself to get your resume together or finally deciding to take care of a health issue. If you find yourself in a circumstance  where you’ve “fallen” and just don’t want to get up, force yourself to push through. It will be scary  (I’m still scared!), but you will also feel a tremendous sense of satisfaction.

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As some of you know, I LOVE to learn. When I was becoming a personal trainer and when I recently was back in school studying nutrition I often found myself saying, “OMG……….how cool is that?” So, I figured that every now and then, I’ll share one of these moments that I had and maybe you will find it cool, too.

The first “OMG……….how cool is that?” moment was when I learned WHY we start to breath heavier when we exercise. Here’s why: When we inhale we take in oxygen (O2) and when we exhale we get rid of the waste product, carbon dioxide (CO2), that builds up in our bodies. O2 and CO2 always need to be balanced in the body. Since exercise produces more CO2, the body tries to get back to equilibrium. It does this by causing us to pant or breathe heavier allowing us to take in more O2.

Pretty cool, huh?

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Arugula, Fennel and Orange Salad


¼ cup minced shallots

3 T olive oil

1 ½ T fresh lemon juice

2 large oranges

7 cups of arugula

1 large fennel bulb, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, cored, thinly sliced

1 small red onion, thinly sliced


Wisk shallots, olive oil and lemon juice in a medium bowl to blend. Season the dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Cut all peel and white pith from the oranges. Working over a bowl and using a small, sharp knife, cut between the membranes to release the segments.

Combine the arugula, fennel and onion in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing. Add the orange segments and toss to combine.

(TIP: If you want to take the “bite” out of the onion, soak it in ice water for 30 minutes and then slice.)

(Recipe found in Bon Appétit)

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