Archive for September, 2012


Change is hard for most people. For some, it’s harder than others but when it comes launching into a diet or exercise program, it’s challenging for most of us because it involves some form of sacrifice. Let’s face it–change means having to give something up. You might have to sleep a bit less to exercise prior to work; you might have to eat fruit instead of those delicious cookies; you might have to start cooking instead of simply ordering in. Please do not underestimate how difficult this process is.

I’m not trying to be discouraging. However, before taking the plunge, you have to truly prepare mentally, get organized and implement your plan. You can’t cook a healthy meal if you don’t have a recipe or the ingredients in your house. You can’t go for that morning walk if you don’t have a good pair of sneakers. You can’t have “healthy snacks” at work if you don’t pack them in the morning. All of this takes time and effort. It means you have to be READY not FAKE READY.

Fake ready means that you want to make changes but don’t have a plan, which sets you up to fail. It’s hard enough executing change when you are organized. If you try to “wing it”, it will be twice as hard.

So make an investment in a good plan before you dive in. Being READY makes all the difference in the world. If you’re FAKE READY you’re not likely to succeed.

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Pan-Fried Trout with Tomato Basil Sauté

If you are unable to find trout fillets, you can substitute the trout for salmon fillets. I did this and it was delicious!

2 ounces  pancetta, choppped

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cloves of garlic, minced

salt and black ground pepper

¼ cup small basil leaves

olive oil

4 (4-5 ounce) trout fillets

4 lemon wedges


Heat the pancetta in a large skillet over low heat. Cook for 4 minutes or just until pancetta begins to brown. Add the cherry tomatoes, garlic, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 3 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to soften. Stir in the basil leaves.

Push the tomato mixture to the perimeter of the skillet. Drizzle olive oil into the  pan. Sprinkle the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Add the fillets to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. (Note—if you are using salmon fillets, they might take longer to cook, depending on the thickness of the fish. In order to prevent the fish from drying out, lower the heat and cover and let the fish steam. Flip every few minutes.)

Serve the fish topped with the tomato mixture and with the lemon wedges.

(Adapted from a recipe found on

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Due to technology, we live in an instant world and are accustomed to instant gratification. However, when it comes to exercise, many of the benefits are far from immediate. Consider these wonderful “pros” of exercise that we can’t necessarily see or feel immediately:


  • improves cardiovascular fitness
  • increases bone density
  • increases muscle mass, making us more metabolic
  • improves cognition
  • reduces LDL cholesterol
  • improves posture
  • helps control diabetes
  • prevents back problems
  • decreases risk for several types of cancer
  • reduces blood pressure

To obtain these benefits, you can’t just exercise once and that’s that. So for many people, nothing on this list will be a motivator to start moving. So I thought I’d create a shorter list that focuses on what exercise can do for you NOW. This way, you can actually view exercise though “instant gratification” lenses.


  • increases energy
  • reduces stress
  • helps alleviates anxiety and depression
  • and my favorite one……..makes you feel good!

So don’t procrastinate exercising because you feel that you have a long time before you need to worry about your heart or your blood pressure or your brain. Just do it because exercise will make you  feel happier……….when you’re finished, of course!

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I consider myself to be a healthy person—I eat right and exercise regularly. I also consider myself to be a  happy person and try to keep stress under control. And yet there are times where I just can’t believe this aging process.

Two weeks ago, I wound up decapitating my side mirror while parallel parking and had to bring my car to the auto body shop for a week. During this time, I drove my daughter’s car, as she is away studying abroad. One week later, I noticed that my right lower leg was extremely tight. It was uncomfortable to point and flex my toe. Simply put, my leg was killing me!!

Well, surprise, surprise—my leg was a mess merely because I switched cars! In my daughter’s car, I have to sit closer and press down harder on the brake. Sitting closer and lower down and moving my foot back and forth from the gas pedal to the brake did this. I don’t even drive THAT much!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????

I know I can’t be the only one who is aghast at this BS aging process. So if you have any aging issues that you feel like sharing, please send them my way. It might make me, and my aching leg feel better!

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Shrimp Fried Quinoa


2 cups chicken broth

1 cup quinoa

1 T olive oil

1 bunch green onions, sliced

1 cup thawed frozen corn kernels

1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp

1 cup thawed frozen peas

1 T low-sodium soy sauce

1 t toasted sesame oil

½ cup chopped cilantro


Bring chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan, add quinoa, cover and cook quinoa at a simmer until the chicken broth is completely absorbed, about 18 to 20 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook green onions in hot oil until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir corn into the onions, reduce heat to medium-low, and continue cooking until the corn is lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until they are bright pink on the outside and the meat is no longer transparent in the center, about 5 minutes. Stir the peas into the mixture and cook just until the peas are hot, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir the cooked quinoa into the shrimp mixture. Return heat to medium. Pour soy sauce and sesame oil over the mixture. Cook and stir until completely hot, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and sprinkle cilantro over the dish to serve.

(Adapted from  “Victor’s Shrimp Fried Quinoa” found on

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