Archive for January, 2015


This is a very flavorful, hearty dish. Perfect for these very cold, winter days!

ingredients (serves 4) l_RU237804

1 1/2 lbs chicken sausage

1 handful sage—2 T finely chopped, 2 T coarsely chopped

1 t fennel seed

¼ t ground cloves or ground allspice

coarsely ground black pepper

1 T olive oil

1 ½ lbs butternut squash, cut into 1” cubes

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, sliced

½ – 1 t crushed red pepper

¼ t freshly grated nutmeg

salt to taste

½ cup low-sodium chicken broth


In a medium bowl, mix the sausage, finely chopped sage, fennel seed, cloves and lots of coarsely ground pepper.

In a Dutch oven or a large skillet with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage mixture and cook, breaking the sausage into large pieces with the back of a spoon, until browned, about 6 minutes.

Add the squash, onion, garlic, crushed red pepper, nutmeg and coarsely chopped sage. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, 2-3 minutes. Add the broth and cover. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes.

(Adapted from a recipe found in “Every Day with Rachael Ray”, January/February, 2015)

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This is a hearty & healthy dish–perfect for cold weather! Love the flavors!

ingredients oh-fall-vegetable-curry-new-x

1 ½ teaspoons olive oil

1 cup diced sweet potato

1 cup small cauliflower florets

¼ cup thinly sliced yellow onion

2 t curry powder

½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth

¼ t salt

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

2 T chopped fresh cilantro


Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potato to the pan and sauté for 3 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium. Add the cauliflower, onion, and curry powder and cook for 1 minute, stirring the mixture constantly. Add the broth, salt, chickpeas and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with brown rice.

(Adapted from a recipe found on


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Sometimes I feel like a priest, as I often hear major confessionconfessions from clients about food. I’ll hear things like,

“OMG, Rhonda, you have NO IDEA how much cake I ate last night.” OR

“You will FLIP OUT when I tell you what I ate for brunch.”

When someone splurges, I always want to know how they physically felt afterwards. If you put fatty, greasy, fried, or heavily sugared food in your body, you are NOT going to feel well. So I am expecting to hear things like,

“I felt stuffed–I had to open my pants.” OR

“I felt so BLOATED.” OR

 “I had horrible heartburn and felt miserable.”

Instead, most often I hear, “I felt really GUILTY afterwards.” GUILTY?!

I think this is indicative of the main problem: We don’t connect the dots and take the time to reflect on how food makes us feel. Food is our fuel that is designed to give us energy. If you’re feeling bloated, gassy, tired and fatigued, your diet could be the culprit.

So skip the guilt and focus on how you’re feeling after you eat. Keep a food journal. Pay attention to the foods that make you feel good and get rid of the foods that weigh you down and make you feel awful.

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I never made Manhattan clam chowder before because it OD-BE939_MEGA_M_M_20150107140042seemed daunting. This recipe popped up in The Wall Street Journal and it’s EASY and DELICIOUS!  It’s origins are from The  Oyster Bar Restaurant in Grand Central Station!

ingredients  (serves 6)

1 T olive oil

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced celery

½ cup diced green peppers

24 littleneck clams, well scrubbed

2-3 medium red potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes

1 (28-ounce) can chopped plum tomatoes with juice

½ cup tomato purée

3 cups water

1 cup dry white wine

1 t dried thyme

2 T chopped fresh flat-leap parsley

1 bay leaf

½ t black pepper

1 cup finely crumbled saltines


Heat the oil in a lidded soup pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions, celery and green peppers, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the clams, cover the pot and cook until the clams open, about 5 minutes. Use tongs to remove the clams from the pot, discarding any that did not open. Shuck the clams and set the meat aside: discard the empty shells.

Add the potatoes, tomatoes, tomato purée, 3 cups of water and wine and let simmer until the potatoes start to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the clam meat and simmer until the clams are cooked but still soft, about 3 minutes. Add the thyme, parsley, bay leaf, pepper and cracker crumbs, and simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Whisk in butter and season with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaf before serving.

(Adapted from a recipe found in the Wall Street Journal, Sat/Sun, January 10-11, 2015)


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Often, in January, people seek out professionals to help them achieve their lifestyle goals. Folks will turn to personal trainers, nutritionists and/or life coaches for advice. I think it’s wonderful to get help. However, prior to your first appointment, do your homework: Figure out what you want to achieve. If you do this, you will be able guide your professional so that the two of you can work together as a team.

As a trainer and nutritionist, I have people come to me with very ambiguous goals.

“I want to get fit.”

“I want to tone up.”

“I want to eat healthier.”

I can interpret each of these in many different ways. For example, Does eating healthier mean drinking more water? Adding fiber to your diet? Reducing fried food? Eating more fruits and vegetables? Eating breakfast instead of skipping it? Eliminating sugary drinks? What does this mean?

The reality is that showing up for a training session or for imagesnutritional counseling is not enough. You have to be focused, have a goal, and be willing to work towards that goal.

So do your homework. Dig deep, figure out where the weaknesses lie, take charge, and guide your professional. Believe it or not, you have all the answers!

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