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February 24, 2011

One Pot Meals

Ok, so you don’t have time to cook?!  Here’s a great article from Joe with your answer!  This kind of info is why I love being a coach!  We get access to cool stuff like this…..

Down and Dirty One-Pot Meals

By Joe Wilkes

For a lot of us, an elegant sit-down family dinner means serving the chicken without the bucket. Having to work until 5:00 or 6:00 at night and then having to come home and whip up something your children will eat and won’t get you reported to Protective Services can be a challenge for anyone. Then after the cooking, the serving, and potentially the force-feeding, you get to spend the rest of the evening doing the dishes and cleaning your kitchen so you can do it all again tomorrow. They never show that part on Martha Stewart. No wonder you have the pizza place on speed-dial. But it’s possible to eat both quickly and healthily. Here are a few ideas for getting something nutritious on the table in a hurry, and the best part? Only one pot to clean!

(And for single people, invest in some airtight containers, freeze your leftovers, and be a slave to Lean Cuisine® no more!)

  1. Get to wok. Instead of summoning the deliverymen with the greasy white boxes, try making your own stir-fry feast. You can cut out most of the extra fat, corn syrup, and sodium your takeout place so kindly provides, and if you can enlist some prep help with the chopping, it takes only minutes to cook, and even less time to clean!
    • Heat enough olive, peanut, or sesame oil to keep food from sticking to the wok.
    • When the oil’s hot, add sliced meat or tofu with some crushed ginger and/or garlic.
    • When the meat is cooked through, add your favorite chopped veggies, like carrots, celery, cabbage, onions, snow peas, or scallions (you can chop the veggies while the meat’s cooking).
    • Add a dash of low-sodium soy sauce or tamari or a little orange juice to make a sauce and serve!

    If you’re not watching your carbs and don’t want to get another pot dirty, follow the microwaveable rice directions in the "Lazy Chef" article earlier in this newsletter. Same rule applies: Go for brown or wild rice. You can also make extra rice and make Quick Rice Surprise the next day, or stir-fry the extra rice with any leftover meat and vegetables. And if you scramble an egg into the mix, you’ve got healthy fried rice—increasing your meal output impressively for virtually the same amount of effort.

    Shortcut: Many grocery stores sell mixes of stir-fry vegetables already chopped and combined in their produce section or frozen. They won’t be quite as delicious as freshly chopped, but as long as they don’t have any extra ingredients (frozen mixes especially might add some sauce or salt you don’t want), they’re just as healthy.

  2. Loafing after work. The humble meatloaf. Most of us remember this classic treat from our childhood. It was usually an alchemic combination of ground beef, bread crumbs, ketchup, and whole eggs. Delicious? Yes. Nutritious? Not so much. Much of the deliciousness came from the beef fat soaking the bread crumbs and combining with the egg yolks to give us a couple of days’ worth of saturated fat in one serving. Then there’s all the extra salt and corn syrup the ketchup brings to the party. But it doesn’t have to be this way—a healthy ‘loaf can be made, still be flavorful without the fat, and still maintain enough structural integrity to be repurposed as a sandwich filling the next day.
    • Use extra-lean ground beef, or either ground turkey breast or extra-lean ground turkey. Check the label to be sure it’s extra-lean—if it just says "ground turkey," it can have 15 percent or more fat, and what’s the point of that?
    • Next, add some vegetables to the mix. You can add chopped or grated carrots, celery, onions, bell peppers, parsnips—whatever you like. Just watch the amounts of juicier veggies like tomatoes, which can turn your loaf into less appetizing soup. The amount of vegetables should be proportional to the meat. (This is also a great way of slipping veggies to the picky eaters in your family.)
    • Instead of adding bread crumbs, try a handful of rolled oats. You’ll get more fiber and they won’t absorb fat the way that bread crumbs will (not that there’s all that much to absorb with this revamped approach to the ‘loaf).
    • Add a couple of egg whites, which, along with the oats’ gluten, will provide enough "glue" to hold the ‘loaf together. Also add any fresh herbs, garlic, or other seasonings you enjoy. Mush it all together and shape into the familiar ‘loaf form beloved throughout history..
    • Most meatloaf recipes bake in a 350ish-degree oven for an hour or so and call for the ‘loaf to sit for at least 15 minutes to cool, letting the ingredients take time to cohere and giving the flavors time to marry fully.
    Shortcut: Take a look a little later on in this newsletter for a terrific reduced-fat meatloaf recipe that follows the principles we’ve just laid out for you. It’s delish!
    Also, not good at separating eggs? Most grocery stores sell cartons of egg whites on their own. Or you can use egg substitutes, like Egg Beaters®. In addition to being healthier, they’re also more convenient. No cracking, scrambling, or getting hands and bowls dirty. It may only save a couple of minutes, but those are minutes better devoted to serious ‘loafing!

  3. Stew in your own juices. Stew. Or as I like to call it, my vegetables’ last stop before Garbagetown. You’re cooking and cleaning out your refrigerator—now that’s multitasking! You can call it stew, goulash, gumbo, cassoulet, ratatouille, cioppino, or ragout, but most importantly, you can call it dinner.
    • Put a big pot on the stove. Put a little olive or canola oil in the bottom, and when it heats, brown some raw meat, poultry, fish (best if it’s not too flaky or delicate), or tofu. (If you’re using leftover or precooked meat, just throw it in with the vegetables, and ignore this and the next step.)
    • Put the cooked protein aside, drain the fat, and then deglaze the pot with a little red or white wine.
    • Next pay a visit to the vegetable morgue, also known as the crisper drawer, and add to the pot whatever looks like it won’t make it through the night (some garlic and onions are always good, too—even if they’re not at death’s door). Root vegetables are traditional favorites here: carrots, turnips, parsnips, and potatoes are all great ingredients for a hearty stew. Smaller ones can be scrubbed, trimmed, and cooked whole; otherwise cut them in one- or two-inch chunks.
    • Once the veggies have softened and relinquished their juices, add the meat back in, add some low-sodium chicken, vegetable, or beef broth and/or some no-salt tomato sauce, and cook on low heat until it reaches the desired consistency (about 15 to 20 minutes).
    • If you’re short on time after work, this could be thrown together in a Crock-Pot® or slow cooker in the morning, and when you return home, dinner’s ready!
    Shortcut: Most supermarkets’ meat departments sell pre-cut cubes of meat or fish, all wrapped up and ready to go. Also, it’s always good to have a couple of favorite staple vegetables in the freezer or a can or two of beans on hand to throw into the pot.

  4. The casserole—a pan and a plan. How would the cream-of-anything soup industry stay in business without casseroles? Not to mention the canned-french-fried onion companies. Casseroles, in and of themselves, don’t have to be bad for you. They start out with meat and vegetables, which are usually pretty healthy. It’s the improvisations that usually get our diets in trouble.
    • To begin with, choose lean meats. Sausage-and-whatever casseroles are usually yummy because the other ingredients soak up all the artery-clogging fat from the sausage. Using lean meat or poultry will help keep it healthy from the get-go.
    • Also, keep the vegetable-to-meat ratio fairly high. Imagine what a serving of a casserole would look like spread out on a plate in its component parts. You probably wouldn’t consider a pound of meat and a brussels sprout a well-balanced meal. Try to keep the meat to about 4 ounces per serving and fill the rest of the pan with fiber-rich, filling, healthy vegetables (not just potatoes, either).
    • For sauces, try to avoid cheese and anything that begins with "cream of," as well as actual cream itself. Canned soups, a casserole staple, usually rely heavily on sodium for flavor. You can do much better by using a low-sodium broth, which you can whisk together with some nonfat powdered milk and corn starch to make a faux cream sauce.
    • If you like pasta in your casserole, try using a whole-grain variety.
    • And instead of adding french-fried onions, how about thinly sliced almonds to provide a little crunch?
    Shortcut: Most casseroles can be assembled a day ahead of time, so if you’re anticipating a late day at the office, you can make the casserole the night before, and just pop it into the oven the next day. That overnight bonding time you give your ingredients will make the casserole that much tastier.

February 24, 2011

Weights vs. Resistance Bands

My latest video blog about the pro’s and con’s of bands and weights.  Get what fits your needs and your budget.

February 18, 2011

Visited Beachbody Headquarters

So I had a crazy week this week and was chosen to be in a coach training video for Beachbody, talking about what coaches do and how we do it.  So they flew me out to LA to do the video shoot and I must say it was a blast!  I love it every time I’m able to go to Santa Monica and be around the people at BB HQ.  It reminds me of why I got into this business.  It reminds me of how many people are out there that need our help and why it’s so important to help them.  When you’re out there with the "big wigs", you realize they’re very down to earth and genuinely care about ending the obesity trend in this country.  It’s not just some slogan to sell more dvds.  It starts at the top and flows down and I don’t think I’ve met one person there that wasn’t in love with their job. 

But I must say one of the coolest surprises was getting to see Tony Horton again.  I lucked up and they were rehearsing for the taping of P90X MC:2 (which will be out this summer), so that was an unexpected treat to see.  Every time I see him I can’t resist telling him how he helped me lose 70lbs of fat and unhappiness that I was lugging around for way too many years.  Yeah I know it’s me that did the work and me that pushed play….but it was his genius mind and Carl’s (BB CEO) drive to get the product out there.  A product that was different from anything the country or the world had seen before with home fitness and a product that gave me the tools to do it without the gym or a trainer.  It was the P90X infomercial that made me sit up and take notice of the 38 waist jeans getting tight.  I love bragging on him and what he’s helped me do since the last time I saw him and how I’m in love with the new "One on One’s" he’s putting out.  They’ve blown my fitness up and made P90X even harder.  It’s funny, it was just last January (2010) that I asked him for advice when I realized I wasn’t getting the results I wanted from P90X.  He challenged me to get stricter on the diet and push myself harder with the workouts.  He also recommended some supplements that I might want to look into and with that advice I was off!  I saw him a few months later in April and was down 18 more lbs. and he was happy.  I think his quote in January was "If you’re the same when I see you in April, then I’m going to kick your ….".  I didn’t need that as motivation…but I was happy to see that I met the challenge.  And it’s only gotten better from there.

Being out there this week, just re-energized my passion for helping people.  I know that there’s a lot of people out there that want to get in shape and need help and support to do it.  I also know that if I can do it, anyone can!  But it’ll take sacrifice, it’ll take you putting in the hard work and making the lifestyle change.  Yes, it’ll mean eating healthier and splurging less….but at some point you have to know the splurging will catch up with you….right?  If you don’t know that, I encourage you to grasp that concept. 

This company has changed my life both financially and physically.  It’s introduced me to people who made the decision and are now success stories.  Jamie Morgan in St. Louis who lost 80lbs with Insanity.  My dear friend Mason Brown in Miami who’s lost 60lbs with P90X and is still going!  You can be a success story too!  I encourage you to reach out to us and let us help you reach your goals.  Why not you?  What excuse do you have that out weighs your health and happiness?  Why are you putting it off?  It doesn’t have to be P90X or Insanity.  It can be Body Gospel or Slim in 6.  You can start off light and grow from there.

We’re here to help and will do whatever you need to keep you on track.  All we ask is you meet us halfway.  Or if you’re interested in coaching and want to join us in ending the trend of obesity, then contact us and join our team!  Hope this finds you well and look forward to getting to know you better.

February 18, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Healthy Taco Soup

You need a crockpot to cook this, as well as:

1 can black beans 
1 can garbanzo beans (you can choose other beans if you would prefer) 
1 onion, or some onion powder (cheaper & easier) 
2 zucchini 
1 yellow squash 
2-3 carrots 
1 can rotell tomatoes & peppers (the one slightly unhealthy ingredient) 
1 can no-salt added diced tomatoes 

1 can corn (optional) 
garlic (fresh, powder, or dried minced) 
chili powder 
Either 1 low sodium beef bouillon cube or vegetable stock 

1. Drain & rinse the beans and corn and put them in the crock pot 
2. Chop the zucchini, carrots, squash, and onion & add them in 
3. Pour in the cans of Rotell and tomatoes, undrained 
4. Put in cumin, chili powder, and garlic as desired (LOTS of cumin makes it taste taco-ey) 
5. Put in either beef bouillon cube and water until the food is covered & water’s about 1 cm above the other ingredients, or vegetable stock if you want to keep this vegan, to the same level. (Sorry, I don’t actually use measuring cups, so I don’t know the exact amount.)
6. Cover, heat on low for 4-6 hours

I always watch my crock-pot recipes occasionally if I’m able to make sure I don’t need to add water. 

Then, you can add in fat free sour cream, avocado slices, tortilla chips, or whatever else you have around for flavoring. 
This is a really adaptable recipe. You can switch up the vegetables as desired, you can replace the rotell with salsa, add meat if you want it… you get it!

February 9, 2011

Chill OUT! Don’t Get Frustrated!

My latest on people getting in their own way with their fitness…. 

February 8, 2011

Foods that Heat Up Your Love Life

Here’s a great article from Joe Wilkes at Beachbody….enjoy….

Named for Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, aphrodisiacs have been the stuff of legend and song throughout history. Lovers looking for a leg up in the libido department have gone to their shamans, medicine men, and herbalists for centuries, searching for the magic ingredient that will kick their mojo into high gear. And today the search has gone to the Internet. Anyone with a lackluster spam filter has probably scanned the hundreds of emails that arrive every day, advertising powdered rhinoceros horn or some unpronounceable chemical that promises to goose your or your partner’s desires. The efficacy of these miracle products is extremely dubious (and, in the case of the exotic animal parts, illegal), but there are plenty of products that you can find right in your grocery store or farmers’ market that can potentially increase the heat between the sheets. Here are some common foods and why they might be able to put a little extra oomph into that special evening. And over half of them are in the top two tiers of Michi’s Ladder, so you can have your cake and eat it, too! (Well, not cake, but asparagus and bananas!)

  1. Oysters. These are perhaps the classic aphrodisiacs of all time. The legendary lover Casanova reportedly consumed 50 oysters every day to keep his . . . um . . . stamina up. But until recently the powers of these bivalves were only backed up by anecdotal evidence and the testimonials of mollusk-loving Lotharios. Recently though, studies have shown that oysters and their shellfish brethren, including clams, scallops, and mussels, all contain chemical compounds that may aid the release of testosterone, estrogen, and other sex hormones in both men and women. Oysters are also full of zinc, a deficiency of which can cause impotence in men, another reason they can be man’s best friend in the bedroom. And then of course there’s the conventional wisdom that if you’ll eat an oyster, you’ll eat anything.
  2. Chocolate. What’s more associated with Valentine’s Day than chocolate? The ancient Aztecs considered chocolate to be an aphrodisiac for both men and women, and when the Europeans got wind of its inhibition-lowering properties, it wasn’t long before the candy treat became a must-have when pitching woo. Casanova and famed Louis XV courtesan Madame du Barry were reported to be great believers in the powers of chocolate, and there may have been something to it. Chocolate contains the chemicals phenylethylamine and serotonin, which are also naturally occurring chemicals in the brain, usually released when we are happy or in love. Its chemicals can literally cause your heart to beat a little faster. Add to that a boost of caffeine and sugar, and it can be a pretty good pick-me-up with a small side of euphoria.
  3. Figs. Maybe it wasn’t just the apple in the Garden of Eden that got things going. Remember, Adam and Eve ended up covering themselves in fig leaves. And it was also the favorite fruit of Cleopatra, who was certainly no slouch in the ways of love. In ancient Greece, fertility rituals would often follow the first fig harvest, and Greek portrayals of bacchanalia usually also included some fig action. In some European countries, figs are thrown instead of rice at newly married couples (ouch!) as symbols of fertility.
  4. Bananas. In the Islamic version of the tale, Adam and Eve covered themselves with banana leaves rather than fig leaves. Bananas are also considered a fertility symbol by the Hindus. Bananas can really get you going with their high levels of potassium and B vitamins, which aid the production of hormones. Bananas also contain the protease bromelain, which is believed to help circulation.
  5. Asparagus. It is rich in vitamin E, which is critical to the production of hormones. It also contains a lot of folic acid, which the body needs to produce histamines. And histamines are the chemical compounds that cause muscle contractions. A word of caution though—too much asparagus can cause flatulence, which might make the whole romantic plan backfire (no pun intended).
  6. Avocados. The Aztecs referred to the avocado tree as Ahuacuatl or "testicle tree." Apparently, the fruit usually hangs in pairs. There appears to be little besides anecdotal evidence to support its claim as an aphrodisiac, though it is rich in many nutrients, including vitamins B6, C, and E. The California Avocado Commission conducted a Valentine’s Day survey in 2000 of experts, 63 percent of whom concluded that the avocado does have some aphrodisiac qualities, some of which could be attributed to recently discovered phytochemicals.
  7. Caviar. This fish-egg delicacy has been enjoyed by lovers for centuries, including, of course, Casanova (which increasingly leads me to believe a lot of women were just sleeping with him to get to the buffet). Caviar is known for its silky texture. Naturally, eggs are common fertility symbols, but there may also be some chemical reasons for which they are rated so highly on the love-maker’s diet. Like oysters, they are high in zinc and rich in vitamins A and D and omega-3 fatty acids. They also are high in arginine, an amino acid which acts as a vasodilator, widening blood vessels and increasing blood flow.
  8. Truffles. Not the chocolate kind (although those count under the "chocolate" category) but the expensive underground mushroom kind that pigs and dogs root out of the ground. Unlike other foods, it is the musky scent of the truffle that is believed to be what gets us going. Scientists have recently discovered that black truffles contain the pheromone androstenol. There is some debate over how much human beings are affected by pheromones, but truffles have been considered to be aphrodisiacs for centuries, and this recent discovery could be one explanation.
  9. Champagne. When we think of romantic beverages, the list pretty much begins and ends with champagne. Most of the effects of champagne seem to be largely psychological, though. The purchase of an expensive beverage may set the mood for a special evening, and a mystique has been built in the media about the drink and its drinkers, from Marie Antoinette to Marilyn Monroe. But scientifically speaking, its amorous effects seem to come from the same place as most alcoholic beverages. Alcohol appears to have no positive effect on sexual function and, when overindulging, will usually move you in the other direction. It does, however, lead to a loss of inhibition and a decrease in judgment—in other words, a prelude to a kiss.

For any information or help, feel free to contact us today.

February 6, 2011

Shakeology Cleanse! Lose 4-7lbs in 3 days

So, not sure what Shakeology is or want to try it?  Want to kickstart your fitness routine or just do a cleanse and get your body back in alignment?  This is your answer.  The Shakeology Cleanse!  Watch the video and click here if you’re interested or have questions. 

February 3, 2011

Getting Out of the Injury Funk

I’m realizing the effects of an injury funk!  It can lead to some bad habits when you get out of your routine.  So here’s my weekly video diary of week 2 of my injury and how I’m dealing with the funk!


Here’s a great upper body core workout that I use from time to time and fit what I needed perfectly….

February 3, 2011

Healthy Superbowl Recipe: Buffalo Wings

Thanks to the people at www.eatingwell.com, here’s a great recipe for a healthy alternative to Buffalo Wings.  Enjoy!

8 servings (2 "wings", 1/2 cup vegetables & 2 tablespoons dip each)

Active Time:

Total Time:


Spicy Blue Cheese Dip

  • 2/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Wings & Vegetables

  • 3 tablespoons nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip)
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot, divided
  • 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, divided
  • 2 pounds chicken tenders, (see Ingredient Note)
  • 6 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
  • 6 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 cups carrot sticks
  • 2 cups celery sticks


  1. To prepare dip: Whisk sour cream, blue cheese, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. To prepare wings: Whisk buttermilk, 2 tablespoons hot sauce and 2 tablespoons vinegar in a large bowl until combined. Add chicken; toss to coat. Transfer to the refrigerator and let marinate for at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk flour and cornmeal in a shallow dish. Whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon hot sauce and 1 tablespoon vinegar in a small bowl; set aside.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and roll in the flour mixture until evenly coated. (Discard remaining marinade and flour mixture.) Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon cayenne.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken, placing each piece in a little oil. Cook until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a serving platter. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and chicken, reducing the heat if necessary to prevent burning. Transfer to the platter. Drizzle the chicken with the reserved hot sauce mixture. Serve with carrots, celery and Spicy Blue Cheese Dip.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: The chicken can marinate (Step 1) for up to 1 hour.
  • Tip: No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.
  • Ingredient note: Chicken tenders, virtually fat-free, are a strip of rib meat typically found attached to the underside of the chicken breast, but they can also be purchased separately. Four 1-ounce tenders will yield a 3-ounce cooked portion. Tenders are perfect for quick stir-fries, chicken satay or kid-friendly breaded “chicken fingers.”


Per serving: 256 calories; 10 g fat (4 g sat, 4 g mono); 83 mg cholesterol; 12 g carbohydrates; 31 g protein; 2 g fiber; 353 mg sodium; 248 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (120% daily value).

1 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 1/2 lean meat


NC Fit Club