Archive for May, 2013

CRUNCHY LENTIL SALAD

Crunchy Lentil Salad IMG_0782

ingredients

1 T Dijon mustard

2 T balsamic vinegar

4 T olive oil

½ t salt plus salt and black pepper to taste

1 1/4 cups of dried lentils (can also use 2 cans of lentils, rinsed and drained)

2 ½ cups lower sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes

1 cup peeled and chopped English cucumbers

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped celery

¼ cup chopped scallions

¼ cup chopped dill (can also use parsley)

directions

In a medium sized saucepan, combine the lentils with the broth. Heat over medium-high heat. Once the broth begins to boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Drain excess liquid and set aside to cool.

Chop all the vegetables.

Mix the mustard, vinegar, oil, and salt in a large bowl with 2 T of water. Whisk until well combined.

Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss until coated with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

(Adapted from a recipe found in “Women’s Health”,  June, 2013)

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BE THE BEST GIRLFRIEND TO YOURSELF

If you’re a woman ponder this: Imagine your life without your close imagesgirlfriends. Impossible, right?  I don’t know about you, but without my girlfriends, I could never navigate through this jungle of life!

I think one of the greatest aspects of girlfriends is the symbiosis that occurs. Beyond the mutual benefits that we derive, female friends are the best cheerleaders around, offering something even greater than just support.

Here’s something else to think about: Imagine if, we could be our own best girlfriend?

The other day, I was talking to a client, who has made incredible lifestyle changes over the past several months. I got the feeling, though, that she wasn’t seeing her accomplishments—that she felt “EH” about all that she’s achieved. I then asked her to imagine one of her closest girlfriends achieving what she’s accomplished. Funny, but when we changed the perspective, my client WAS able to her success in a much clearer way. I even asked her to tell me what she would say to her friend, and  her response was far more than just “EH”.

Change is hard so even the smallest lifestyle changes are huge successes. If you’re able to do this, you need to celebrate and be your own cheerleader. If you can’t, try the trick– imagine this on one of your girlfriends. You’ll then be able to see it and perhaps even able to give yourself some well-deserved praise!

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BUCATINI WITH FRESH AND DRIED OREGANO

Bucatini with Fresh and Dried Oregano IMG_0777

(serves 4)

ingredients

2 handfuls fresh oregano, very finely chopped

2 tablespoons dried oregano

16 ripe red cherry tomatoes, seeded and chopped

16 ripe yellow cherry tomatoes, seeded and chopped

3 T extra virgin olive oil, divided

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lb bucatini (can also use linguini if you can’t find bucatini)

directions

Mix the fresh and dried oregano together.

Marinate the tomatoes in 1 T of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Cook the bucatini in generous amounts of boiling salted water, then drain thoroughly and return to the pan. Toss the oregano mixture with the remaining 2 T of olive oil. Place a small amount of the tomato mixture on the top of each serving.

(Adapted from a recipe found in “The River Café Cook Book”)

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THANK GOD I GREW A THICK SKIN

I consider myself a fairly sensitive person. But when it comes to personal Unhappy-customer-300x199training, I’ve grown quite a thick skin. And it’s a good thing that I did. If I didn’t, I would just stick my head in the oven. Check out what I hear all day, every day:

  • Where do you come up with this shit?
  • Are you kidding………we have TWENTY minutes left?
  • Can I pay you to leave now?
  • We’re doing that again—can’t you come up with any new ideas?
  • What’s with you and push-ups?
  • I HATE YOU!
  • I HATE THIS!
  • This exercise is AWKWARD!
  • What can I say………..I’m NOT like you…………I don’t like exercise!
  • Boy, this hour is just DRAGGING!!!
  • Are we done yet???
  • I can’t believe I have to PAY for this!
  • Why do you keep saying “LET’S” instead of “YOU”???
  • This room is a torture chamber.
  • Have you always liked bossing people around?
  • THANK GOD I’M DONE!!! I’M OUTTA HERE!

In spite of this, I’m still standing. So bring in it on………..I can take it, thanks to my thick skin!

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TABBOULEH-STYLE BASMATI RICE SALAD

Tabbouleh-Style Basmati Rice Salad (serves 8) rice_tabouleh

ingredients

1 cup uncooked basmati rice (can also use brown basmati)

1 t kosher salt, divided

¼ cup olive oil

3 T fresh lemon juice

½ t minced garlic

1 T tahini

pinch of cayenne

2 cups diced seeded tomatoes

1 cup diced seedless cucumber (can also use English cucumbers)

1 cup finely chopped curly leaf parsley, including stems

½ cup thinly sliced scallions

¼ cup finely chopped mint, plus a few sprigs for garnish

cherry tomatoes for garnish

directions

Heat 1 ¼ cups of water to a boil in a shallow saucepan. Add the rice and ½ t of salt. Cook covered over a low heat until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 12-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, ½ t salt and cayenne in a large bowl. Add the rice, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, scallions and mint. Toss to blend. Spoon the salad onto a platter. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and mint leaves. Serve at room temperature.

(Adapted from a recipe found in “Food and Nutrition”, May/June, 2013)

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OMG……..A NEW ACRONYM?

Even the “more mature” recognize acronyms like OMG, WTF, LOL and BTW. How about this one: MONW. This stands for Metabolically Obese but Normal Weight. Basically this means “Skinny-Fat”. So, you can be thin but unfit and unhealthy.

This is one of the reasons why I HATE the scale—it doesn’t tell you the whole imagesstory—it just gives you a number. It doesn’t indicate your level of fitness OR how much muscle mass and fat you have on your body. This means a normal weight person, who you’d consider to be “thin”,  can also be flabby, out of shape, have high blood pressure and even be diabetic. On the other hand, someone carrying around extra weight can be just the opposite—metabolically sound and yes, even fit.

The greatest danger with a MONW person is the false sense of security they have. They might think they’re healthy and not even go for regular check ups.

So, if you’re over 40 and your weight is “just fine” but your not exercising, you might want to rethink things. There is only so long you can get away without exercising. Regardless of what that scale says, you gotta keep moving!

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THE CURSE OF MOTHERHOOD

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mothers out there. Who knew that this cartoonwould be the toughest job on the planet? Motherhood changes our very being from the time of conception. And while initially we are in physical hell, we slowly morph into creatures who are emotionally tortured by our children. (If you have teenagers or older children, you know what I’m talking about.) While motherhood is filled with wondrous joy, it is also filled with feelings of incredible insecurity that can bring us all to our knees. (“Am I doing the right thing?”, “Is there a real problem here or am I just over-reacting?”, “This worked with the first one, why not now?”, “Where’s the instruction manual?”)

I find the greatest challenge for many mothers is making time for themselves. Somehow we get sucked into that motherhood vortex and wind up putting ourselves last on the list. It seems impossible to carve out anytime for just you. And yet ironically, forcing yourself to make time for just you, is the greatest gift that you can give to your family. Why? You’ll be happier!

I’ve been lucky to be blessed with a “selfish gene”. And when I use the word “selfish”, I’m using it in the most positive way. I always knew deep down inside that I would be a better mother if I put myself first. So, I’ve always made time to exercise–it was my escape. Exercise not only enhances my energy levels but it is my #1 de-stressor–almost like a survival tool.

While exercise might not be your thing, find something that is, make time for it, and do it–especially if you’re a new mother. You will be setting a standard for yourself that will hopefully continue throughout your life.  It will be your “time out” to re-charge so you can handle this grueling, but rewarding,  job.

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