Archive for January, 2013


Mushroom Frittata (serves 6) IMG_0726


2 ounces finely grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese

¼ t freshly ground pepper

8 large eggs

½ t salt, divided

1 T olive oil, divided

1 (8-ounce) package of sliced mushrooms

¾ cup chopped green onions

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

2 cups baby arugula

2 t lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 3500 F. Combine the first 3 ingredients; add ¼ t salt, stirring with a whisk.

Heat a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 t of oil and swirl to coat. Add mushrooms and remaining ¼ t of salt. Sauté 6 minutes or until mushrooms brown. Stir in the green onions and sauté for 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the egg mixture and the basil to the pan, stirring gently to evenly distribute the vegetable mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until the eggs are partially set.

Place the pan in the oven. Bake for 7 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through and the top is lightly browned.

Remove the pan from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Run a spatula around the edge and under the frittata to loosen it from the pan. Slide the frittata onto a plate or cutting board.

Combine the remaining 1t of oil, arugula and lemon juice. Cut the frittata into 6 wedges and top with arugula mixture.

(Adapted from a recipe found in Cooking Light, January/February, 2013)

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Acceptance is a bitch.

It’s not easy accepting the fact that we have so little control in life. It’s challenging accepting our own personal flaws. And let’s face it…….. we all have a rough time accepting the idiosyncrasies of our parents, our children and our spouses.

We also have a difficult time accepting certain aspects about our physical selves. I see kitten-looking-in-mirror-seeing-a-lion_crop380w-300x197this all the time with women and their bodies. More often than not, I will be looking in the mirror with clients and find that we see two different images: I see (and marvel at) newly developed muscles but my clients see things like “upper arm flap”, “that horrible double chin”, or “the jiggly spare tire”. That’s not what I see!

I’m guilty of this, too.  The other day I was talking to my friend about body shape. I told her that I have NO curves whatsoever because my ribcage is so BIG. Her perspective? “Your ribcage isn’t so BIG……..your hips are so SMALL.”

We’re all ridiculous!

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  1. It’s cold
  2. It’s dark
  3. It’s very difficult to exercise outside
  4. Everyone feels stiff in the morning
  5. Everyone is sick
  6. Everyone is cranky
  7. Everyone is depressed
  8. Everyone wants to eat comfort food
  9. Everyone wants to drink too much red wine
  10. No one wants to exercise because of #’s 1-9

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Moroccan Lentil Soup SP8217_Ardito_0


2 t olive oil

2 cups chopped onions

2 cups chopped carrots

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 t ground cumin

1 t ground coriander

1 t ground turmeric

1/4 t ground cinnamon

1/4 t ground pepper

8 cups vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth

3 cups chopped cauliflower (about 1/2 medium)

1 ½ cups dried lentils, rinsed

1, 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

2 T tomato paste

4 cups chopped fresh spinach or one 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 T lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste


Heat oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat; add onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon and pepper; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add broth, water, cauliflower, lentils, tomatoes and tomato paste; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender but not mushy, 45 to 55 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, 5 minutes.

Just before serving, stir in cilantro and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

(Adapted from a recipe found on “”)

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I learned the hard way how important it is to be CLEAR when giving instructions.

A while ago, I had a client who was on a quest to lose weight. I first suggested that she started measuring her food so she could understand portion sizes. I made the mistake of not reviewing the proper way to measure–I just ASSUMED she knew.  This became evident when she failed to lose weight. At that point, I asked her what was going on and stumbled across measuring gone astray.

Here is a quick  example of what I would consider “delusional measuring”:  Peanut butter. A serving size of peanut butter is 2 tablespoons, which will cost  you about 200 calories. I know we’d love to believe this but this is NOT 1 tablespoon.

Yes, we have to level it off. Instead, it looks like this:

While you can be more accurate by weighing food, if you are using measuring spoons or cups, you gotta level them off.  There is a big difference in 1 cup of pasta and one HEAPING cup. Ditto for 1/2 cup a rice vs. a 1/2 cup with an additional mound on top. It’s not really an issue if you’re inaccurate every now and then. But like my client, if you are consistently not measuring correctly, those additional calories will add up.

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I’d like to share a funny story about denial. item_4519

Let’s face it……….we all have issues of some sort. Sometimes we’re aware of them and other times, we are in denial about them.

Every time my husband and I go out to dinner with other people, I notice that someone makes a comment about my ordering. Mind you, I NEVER tell people what to eat or comment on what they order when we’re out socializing. EVER. However, I seem to get an earful. I hear things like this: “What are you going to order tonight, Rhonda,……..a glass of water?” Or how about this: My friend’s husband said to the waitress, “This lady would like a piece of broccoli now, and one for her main course.” After several of these incidences, my first thought was, “What’s wrong with these people?” My husband had to set me straight: It’s wasn’t the people…….it was me! I DO NOT ORDER FOOD LIKE MOST PEOPLE.

I was kind of shocked. But when I really thought about it, he was right. Most people DON’T order two appetizers and a side order of vegetables for dinner. I sometimes do. So yes………it is definitely me! I am officially out of denial.

The point of this story is that I was in denial about a specific behavior. Notice how I initially thought it was everyone else. Even though I will continue ordering what I want, I am no longer in the dark about my wacky restaurant conduct.

We can be in denial about all sorts of things:

  • If more than one piece of clothing is starting to get tight, you are gaining weight…….it’s not your dryer!
  • If you’re a boss and seem to be having issues with several employees………. maybe it’s you!
  • If you become short of breath when you’re climbing the steps or running for the bus…….you’re out of shape!

Bottom line: Embrace your denial. Maybe you will want to change a behavior or maybe you won’t. But you will never be able to change a thing without doing this first step.

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Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Walnuts IMG_0665

When I made this recipe, I realized that I had no walnuts in the house. I used pecans instead and found the dish to be delicious!


1 ½ lbs green beans, trimmed

½ cup chopped walnuts

2 T olive oil

2 large Vidalia onions, thinly sliced

2 t fresh thyme leaves

2 t white balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste


Cook the green beans in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well again.

Place the walnuts in a large non-stick skillet. Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking the pan frequently. Remove the walnuts from the pan and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Swirl to coat. Add the onions and the thyme to the pan and cook for 17 minutes or until the onions are very tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove the onion mixture from the pan and cover to keep warm.

Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the other tablespoon of olive oil. Swirl to coat. Add the green beans. Cook for about 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Add the onion mixture and vinegar to the pan. Cook 2 more minutes tossing to combine. Remove from the heat, sprinkle with nuts, and season with salt and pepper.

(Adapted from a recipe found in Cooking Light Magazine, November, 2012)

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