Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

During this last day of 2009, we all are thinking about resolutions. Though, this morning, I went to the new yoga class and studio in Union Square, and was happily surprised by the instructor speaking about changes not made on the outside but working on bringing peace to our minds from within. The instructor, Ossi, was so peaceful and helpful during this "Hour of Power" class. I will defintely be heading back in the next couple of days. The class was at 6:30am, but I loved the way she explained the poses and aiding in finding better positioning with the body.

Be Yoga(Union Square)
11b Bow St.
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 623-9642

I still haven't decided what my resolution(s) for 2010 will be, but every year Dave and I get together and write our resolutions together. It's a great way to help other meet our goals.

Our plans for the night might change now that we have about 2 inches of snow on the ground already today. The roads are pretty bad now, but hopefully by later this evening it will clear up, so we can get to our friend's dinner party and night fun!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

peanut butter cookies(gluten free)

Today was SO cold, but I got a lot of things taken care of including: taking my new car to the dealership to get a couple little things fixed, seeing my best friend and her new baby, getting a pedi, working out(JILLIAN and Wii Fit), and whipping up a new cookie recipe!

I had a friend over to do Jillian's 30 Day Shred level 3, and to play with my new Wii Fit. It was hard. Ugh, I need to get some good cardio in tomorrow. My plan is to go to 6:30am Yoga at a new studio in Union Square, and go to the Bunker Hill Monument for a good cardio workout and practice for a race I'm going in February.

After a nice busy day, I came home and had leftover split pea soup from the freezer, oh how I love having soups and stews in the freezer!

But, I still REALLY hadn't cooked today, and how I do love to be in the kitchen.
So, I made peanut butter cookies- gluten free!

Peanut butter cookies

1 cup of natural creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup of white sugar(1/2 cup of agave nectar)
1 large egg
dark chocolate chunks(for on top of each cookie)
*** Yes really this is the WHOLE recipe ***

Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the first four ingredients into a bowl and mix. Make tablespoon size balls of dough and place them onto a greased cookie sheet. Cook for 10 minutes. Take the cookies out of the oven, and place one chocolate chunk onto each cookie. Let cool.

Uncooked cookies

Finished cookies

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Meals out

It's been a whirlwind two days, with lots going with our little lady, Lola. Through all of this, Dave and I have gone out a TON for food including: dinner last night, lunch today and dinner tonight. It's so interesting to me that this is how almost half of Americans eat. I can tell you, I am missing my kitchen and will be whipping up some great meals starting tomorrow. Get ready!

Flatbread Company, has gluten free pizza and is almost all organic and made from local ingredients. I got a regular pizza(mozz and red sauce) and a mixed green salad for dinner. Their gluten free pizza crust comes from Mommy's Muffins from NH. She supplies a great, crisp crust to the pizza company. Yum!

Today for lunch I met Dave at PF Chang's. I really don't like Chinese food, I am more a Thai girl. But, they have a complete gluten free menu, so we shared these gluten free lettuce wraps. They weren't bad, but nothing like the fresh spring rolls I can get at our local thai restaurant. Overall, my review, fair, but we had a gift certificate! So free, is always a plus!

We went with friends and my sister and her boyfriend to Trina's Starlite Lounge. This place has a great environment, and the food is superb. I had their sweet potato hash with bacon, and their chili. Everyone at the table ending up going for the hash, it was SO good. Their chili was both savory and sweet. It's so good, and came to the table piping hot! Dave, of course, got a pepperoni roll and the mac and cheese. Oh how is loves his carbs and cheese. The mac and cheese, is made with shells and comes with Ritz on top, and looked and smelled delicious, so I had to have one shell :) My sister and a friend of ours, got the hot dogs and loved them. Overall, Trina's Starlite Lounge is a great place to go to for a warm and pleasing winter meal, where you can find both healthy and not so healthy options. Can't wait to back!

Flatbread Company
213 Burlington St
Bedford, MA

PF Chang's
100 Cambridgeside Pl
Cambridge, MA 02141

Trina's Starlite Lounge
1 Beacon Street
Somerville, MA 02143-4377
(617) 576-0006

Monday, December 28, 2009

Missing a little piece of heaven...

Sorry for the delay, it's been a hard couple of days on the home front with Lola, and it has been consuming us.

We had a wonderful time in the country, and thought that a couple of pictures were in order of our wonderful abode.

Our road... I love this road...

Rumbling Bridge

We had some wonderful food while we were away including a trip to the Rolling Rock Club, which was fabulous. I do love their Chippewa soup( tomato, split pea, curry and milk). It sounds weird, but it is just SO good. Everything on the table is so elegantly placed, and sometimes it is fun to dress up(in my new plaid vineyard vines strapless:) and have a nice dinner with friends and family.

Dinner at Rolliing Rock:
Chippewa Soup
Argula salad with sundried tomatoes and balsamic dressing
RRC Trout(farm raised there) with crab and roasted vegetables
Peacan ball(vanilla ice cream rolled in pecans) covered in hot fudge- this I shared :)

Dave gave me Wii Fit for Christmas which he is setting up right now! Ill write more on this later.

Total Exercise for the holiday week:
4x 30 Day Shred workouts
3 miles plus of hikes EVERYDAY
3x sledding

...not too bad....

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!!
The last day and a half have been really hard with Lola, who had a major setback with her training. Long
story, but she was not comfortable with the new additions to the house- ugh!!
We've sledding for two days- it has been fabulous. I forgot how truly wonderful it was sled and what great exercise hiking up that hill is.
Christmas eve dinner was mum's paella- with sea bass, scallops, grilled chicken, chicken sausage, lobster and mussels with tons of vegetables and stock broth. It was unbelievably delicious.
Tomorrow we always have smoked salmon, grapefruit, bacon for the boys ,and eggs for breakfast. Dinner will be turkey with very interesting sides like pear and bleu cheese salad, onions, and corn pudding( not as interesting). Our family tradition for dessert is peppermint stick ice cream with Christmas cookies crumbled on top.
I've done Jillian 3x times and am going to try to get two more in as I said I would.

Silent night everyone

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

First Christmas cookie

Today, we went sledding. I forgot how much fun it is, and what great exercise
walking back up the hill is everytime. Lola was a hoot, running after us trying to jump on the sleds.
We couldn't get the dvd player working, so no Jillian today! Dave and I did do level 3 yesterday, it was hard.

Now, on to the cooking of the day. I found last December's Eating Well at the house, with a date
cookie with sugar, coconut, rice krispies, and butter. They turned out pretty good, I think my next batch will use half
the sugar.
In the cookie:
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup of sugar(next time ill use half)
1 1/2 cups of chopped dates

heat these three ingredients in a pan, on low heat til they
become a paste consistency.

2 cups of rise krispies( ugh real rice krispies have gluten and high fructose corm syrup-ugh)
1 cup of shredded coconut
1 teaspoon of vanilla
wax paper
cookie sheet( to put balls in fridge to cool)

when they are slightly cooled, roll into little balls. Put onto wax paper on cookie sheet. Cool in the fridge.

Next time, I'm going to try agave nectar instead of sugar and brown rice cereal.

In Ligonier, a small town,a couple miles from our house, there is a new gluten free bakery. Of all places for a gluten free bakery, Ligonier
was a shock! The place is quaint and very sweetly decorated. Great cookies, and tomorrow I'll pick up some dinner rolls to try.
Bella Donna's Bakery
Cafe & Bake Shop
122-A N. Market St
Ligonier, PA 15658

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday appetizer

My mother asked me to take on a couple of cooking projects for the upcoming
holiday festivites including: some appetizers, side dishes, a dessert, and a turkey. One of
my favorite holiday appetizers is goat cheese encrusted in sunflower or pumpkin seeds and
dried cranberries. It's so easy and really pretty on a plate.

Goat cheese Encrusted
1x "log" of goat cheese(plain)
1/4 cup of dried cranberries(trader joe's are the best)
1/4 cup of roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
1x apple(cut into slices)
small rice crackers(mary's are declicious)
tlc crackers(for a gluten variety)

Roll the log of goat cheese in the dried crans and seeds. You
might need to push the seeds and crans in to get them to hold.
I think it looks pretty if some are around the plate too. Place the apple
and crackers around the sides. Serve.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holiday Reality

The reality during the holidays is that we pick. There is food everywhere- snacks, cookies, extra fixings from meals, etc. Ugh,
it's everywhere. My trick is to always make myself a cup of tea, to really decided if I truly am hungry or "just passing by the kitchen." I know it's hard to deny yourself during the holidays, but I think it's a great time to test out the good old "am I hungry" technique. For instance,
am I hungry or could I wait til the amazing dinner we're having tonight? Or do I want that cookie now, or later when I can sit and enjoy it? Let's challenge ourselves to enjoy our food and not eat when we're bored, tired, stressed over the holidays, etc.
I say to myself, how is this going to fuel my body! I think it helps me make better choices. Truth be told, I had two pieces of bacon this morning...and they were worth every bite!!! :)

Workout wise:
Saturday: 3x hikes through the property
Sunday: 1x long hike 2x short walks around the property & my first Jillian workout. It's 20 minutes but a pretty good workout!!
Monday: 2x hikes and Jillian

That's my plan for now-

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow flying down

My mother and I decided to head into town to get some books at the local library. My book group is reading Prodigal Summer, Babara Kingsolver, this month. It looks like a great read!

We're heading to the Giant Eagle, the local grocer, for some celery and "Dave snacks"(as he so kindly asked for:)and possibly a movie!


Oh boy, am I glad we left early- we already have four inches of
snow here- it took us 10 hours with three stops- not too bad since
we hit unplowed roads for the last 40 miles. Dave did an amazing job driving in
the snow- non plowed roads are not my cup of tea. Already, mum and
I have walked the dogs, had coffee and a chat, decided we're having coq au vin
for dinner, and talked shop for Christmas!! Great morning already. Projected
snow accumulation for today- 8-10 inches!! Sweet!!! I see some sledding in our future! I'm
having to write on my iPhone since we have no computer here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holiday Workout Goal

Many of my clients and family members have raved about Jillian Michael's(one of the Biggest Loser trainers) 30 Day Shred. So for this holiday season I am going to purchase her dvd and 5lbs dumbbells(or use the ones I gave my mum) and commit to atleast five day of Jillian.

Of course, since we'll be in the PA woods they'll be hikes around the property with the dogs everday, and hopefully some good sledding... bring on the SNOW & the CARDIO!!

Tuna Salad

Well, it's bitter cold here today, my fingers were numb walking Lola. Ugh. I had some leftover turkey chili for lunch, with a nice dollop of lowfat sour cream to warm up my belly.

Last week I made this delicious tuna salad.

Tuna, is a great addition to a diet, a couple times a week, to add some low fat protein. I always try to add vegetables or fruit with my tuna. I also try to make my own salad dressing instead of using mayo. But, when I go use mayo I use Hain's Lite Safflower mayo. It's delicious, and only 45 calories, with no saturated fat, and high in vitamin E.

Meg's Salad Dressing:

1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 to 2 teaspoon(or a squirt) of honey or agave nectar
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together the mustard and sweetner(honey or agave nectar). Then, add a shake of salt and the vinegar. Whisk together. Add oil. Whisk and add the pepper. You might need to play with the oil and vinegar amounts with how thick or thin you like your dressing. To really bring down the fat content, add only one teaspoon of oil, and one to two teaspoons of water.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cornbread Recipe(gluten free)


1 cup of corn meal
1/2 cup of soy meal
1/2 cup of brown rice flour or all-purpose gluten free flour
*** ALL Bob's Red Mills flours and meals ***
1 egg
1 cup of milk(I use 1%)
2 tablespoons of brown sugar or agave nectar
1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray pan and set aside. I use a pie pan.

Mix corn meal, soy flour, brown rice flour, salt, brown sugar and baking soda together. Add egg, milk and melted butter. Combine and mix, try not to overbeat. Pour into pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.



Well, my wrapping has begun. Ive gotten boxes ready for shipping, and friends' gifts all wrapped and ready. So excited to start sending them on their way...

Dave has left my Christams gifts out all week. He just loves seeing my face. Behind the gifts is our Advent Calendar(3-D), I love it!

To my surprise today, I received some presents of my own today!

A yogurt maker(Euro Cuisine)

I also was given a ham bone for making split pea or lentil soup. So tonight, I'm whipping up some lentil soup AND some turkey chili, for dinner. O' how wonderful it is to have two crockpots. :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rumbling Bridge Countdown

We are on countdown to the PA woods... t-minus THREE days til we leave and there is so much to do.
There was Interval Challenege this morning- what a killer!! I will report on soreness tomorrow. A puppy play date with MacGyver in our backyard. They dug a huge whole and were working diligently on it for about an hour. Good puppy time for Lola.

"what, we didnt do anything..."

Keep digging, you two!!!

Next, I was off to Natick to see a very good friend, and help her get some Christmas shopping in, we are SUCH a good team, even with the new baby in tow(hers!). He is the cutest. I even got my final gifts for our family cousin draw and a couple things for the ladies in our family. We shopped all afternoon, and I was toast after that. Quick trip to Trader Joe's for some wine(for the country) and some car snacks(I'll take pictures later), and home to a CRAZY puppy! She has been off the wall all night!!

Tomorrow,is a cookbook sale at one of Harvard's libraries, I will be there when it opens to finish off the rest of my list...hopefully! :)

Since I havent posted this weeks workouts.
Here they are:
Monday: cardio(30 minutes)
Tuesday: Interval Challenege
Wednesday: Spin
Thursday: dog walking/circuit at home(might try the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred)
Friday: cardio(hopefully)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Dog Treats

Well, it's been a very productive day- trip to the gym, ALL the Christmas cards written, Wrentham Outlets, and the first trial of dog treats for Lola's friends at the park. Not too shabby for my first official day off!!

This morning I woke early and got a good cardio session in. My hamstrings are
actually tight from the 5k. We got the results back, and I ran 9:40's- not too bad.

Wrentham was a hit. I got some good gifts for the family, and my first pair of Ugg boots. You can't go wrong at Williams & Sonoma Outlet- my smile was from ear to ear!!

But on to the cooking... I made some dog treats tonight- peanut butter and molasses. We'll see if Lola likes them before I write out the recipe.
But here's what they looked like:

- Interval Challenge
- trip to Natick to see my best friend & her Christmas shop(she has a new baby:)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

...not a lazy sunday...

Today has been a whirlwind.... from Market Basket at 7am, to finishing my last final this morning(woo hoo!), to running in a 5k, cleaning the entire house, and making dinner for eight- busy busy busy!!!

The 5k went pretty well. There were around 5500 people, all dressed up in holiday gear, including a whole group of reindeers and a santa, and two snowman! I felt pretty good until mile 2, and then my low cardio count for the week kicked in. Oops!

We had the family down from New Hampshire for dinner. I threw the stew in the two crockpots from 8am-5pm- I had marinated the meat overnight in red wine and rosemary. The roasted garlic was easy as pie, and the dates were so easy to make and looked so elegant on the platter! I do love when it all comes together!

Dinner menu:
dates stuffed with gorgonzola wrapped in bacon
extra lean beef stew
roasted garlic butter on whole wheat bread
Dr. Sharlin's gluten free chocolate cake(can't post the recipe, sorry)

Roasted Garlic:
- three entire bulbs of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- alumnium foil to cover the bulbs

-Preheat the oven to 375F. Cover the bulbs with olive oil, and make a foil tent to cover the garlic. Cook for 30-40 minutes.

Add to salad dressing/chicken/steak/butter

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Bread

Oh, did Dave ever get MAJOR brownie points today...he went up to New Hampshire to see his folks and pick up a couple things and came back with 5 yes 5 loaves of my gluten free bread. Now I know it's a little crazy to drive up to New Hampshire to get bread, but lets me be completely honest- most gluten free breads around here are disgusting tough bricks of rice flour. Most gluten free breads, can't withstand anything and crumble when you go to touch them. Abigail's Brown Rice and Millet bread is not only delicious, but withstands toasting, making a sandwich, breadcrumbs,etc. Also, Abigail's bread is around 120 calories for two slices, and about 5 grams of fiber- not too shabby for bread in general let along gluten free! Abigail's mills their own grains, and this bread has a hint of agave nectar which aids in a nice light touch! I LOVE THIS BREAD!!! THANKS DAVE!!

We just got back from a Yankee Swap
Our loot for the day:
- a Snuggie(forest green)
- A Kazoo and How to book
- 5 loaves of bread(ok not from the yankee swap but am still so excited about toast tomorrow morning)

Friday, December 11, 2009


My favorite show, this season was Glee. Let me perfectly honest, this is really the only show I walked regularly all semester long. Every Thursday, after Nutrient Metabolism I would sit down after dinner and watch it from the DVR. I love the music! The songs they use are great, and their voices are just amazing.

Check this link out for the promo:

If you like the promo go to where you can watch all the episodes for free!

Tonight, we're heading to Garden in the Cellar for dinner. I'll make sure to write a review this evening or tomorrow.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Events

Well, I now officially have two finals completed, and only one take home left. Of course, instead of working on it yesterday, I took Lola on some nice walks and cleaned the house. So, today I'm really trying to crank it out, before I start the weekend holiday fun! So, tonight thru Sunday, Dave and I have holiday plans!
Tonight, is the Beacon Hill Holiday Stroll. Tomorrow, we are heading to dinner with some friends to celebrate and get our yankee swap ideas in order. Saturday, a yankee swap- my gift is amazing, and I will post the picture on Sunday morning.:) Sunday am- is the Jungle Bell 5k- which in terms of my performance should be interesting since I have barely gotten a workout in ALL week! Sunday we are also having Dave's parents and my sister over for a little holiday feast!

Well, time to head back to Research Design... good times...

Here is the poster for tonight's stroll:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Two Finals left

I've got two finals left- one today, a take home to finish by Monday, and one paper left. I can taste the finish line...or atleast I can see it in the horizon!

On a rainy/snowy mess of a day in Boston, it's hard to think about doing anything except snuggling with Lola and settling down with a good book and a cup of tea.
My favorite tea right now is Yogi green tea. It's the only green tea I have found that doesn't have that awful green tea aftertaste. This tea, warming and has pleasing aftertaste, very subtle. I don't put anything in my green tea, because I think it takes away from the floral flavor.

I went to Forest yoga this morning at 6:30 with a friend, it was a good way to wake up and start the day. I'm feeling so zen, if that's the correct word, before my exam...

Monday, December 7, 2009

African Sweet Potato & Peanut Soup

I am in the midst of studying for my last Nutrient Metabolism final that is tomorrow. I thought it would be a good brain break to post my African Sweet Potato and Peanut soup recipe though. I do this recipe into class today for a project- it was a hit!

1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons of canola oil
8 Roma tomatoes
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 cup onions
1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
½ cup smooth natural peanut butter
1 cup unsweetened light coconut milk
1 quart organic low sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock
¾ teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon agave nectar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Coat the sweet potatoes with 1/2 tablespoon of the canola oil and place in the oven on cookie sheet- roast the sweet potatoes for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the potatoes are fully roasted and fork tender. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the potatoes and discard the skins. Reserve the sweet potato flesh until ready to use.

Place the tomatoes in a mixing bowl and coat with 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Lay the tomatoes on a baking sheet, skin side up, and season with salt and pepper. Place the sheet pan in the oven and roast the tomatoes until the skins are caramelized and wilted, about 25 to 30 minutes.I usually put them in with the sweet potatoes, for the last 25 minutes of the potatoes roasting, and let them cool together, while I get everything else ready! Remove the tomatoes from the oven, discard the skins, and set the tomatoes aside until ready to use.

Set a 4 quart stockpot over a medium high heat and add 1 tablespoons of canola oil. Add the curry powder to the pot and toast for about 30 to 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the onions and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

Add the roasted sweet potatoes and tomatoes to the soup. Add the peanut butter, coconut milk and chicken stock to the pot and stir to blend. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

With an immersion blender or a regular blender, puree until smooth.

A small portion(1 cup) of this soup is REALLY filling!

Back to studying...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Rosemary Tree


Since, we are going to be heading to the PA woods for the holidays, Dave and I decided to get a mini tree this year. I have always wanted a rosemary tree, and they were on sale at Whole Foods this week for $14.99!!It was meant to be... so was the savory extra lean beed stew I made today! So warm and comforting during a long snowy study day.

Dave's dinner plate tonight with gluten free cornbread.

Today I've cooked:

gluten free cornbread
beef stew
African sweet potato and peanut soup(school project)
Chocolate chip and oat cookies(school fundraiser)

Recipes to follow after final exams are done on Tuesday and Wednesday...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Grocery Shopping

It's snowing in Boston, and we took Lola out to see/play in the snow. She loved it. She kept trying to eat it, and bat it! So cute! What a wonderful night for a family walk. A great way to get some snow on your tongue(for all of us:), take a study break, and get a little exercise! I do love snow, but ice...especially the black kind- what a drag!
Hopefully, this wet but glorious snow will stay on the trees but leave the roads bare for my traditional 7am trip to Market Basket. My absolutely favorite inexpensive grocery store in the neighborhood. From their Cabot cheese, down to their Organic New England Cow milk, across and the down to the BEST produce in town... Market Basket is a great place to get some deals on the your families staples for the week. Yes, there is saw dust on the ground, and sometimes the lines are extremely long, but you suck it up and head out in the early am. Plainville turkeys that are at Whole Foods were on sale at Market Basket for one THIRD of the price. Their canned beans/dried beans are a complete steal compared to any other grocery store. I admit, I do not buy my meat their, other than Plainville ground turkey, but other family staples I sure do purchase at 'the bucket.'

My traditional staples from 'The Bucket':
Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar $2.19
50% light Cabot cheddar $2.00
Part skim mozzerala $2.19
Organic New England Cow 1% fat 1/2 gallon $2.99
Plainville ground turkey(94% lean) $2.99(this is true!)
canned black beans, chickpeas, and white kidney beans low sodium $.69-$.99
Bell & Evan Gluten free chicken tenders( the best gluten free chicken EVER) $4.99-$5.99
Willians Company(VT) organic whole wheat bread(for Dave) $2.00
Apples(whatever is local... and it's been Mactinosh) $.99/lb
Organic carrots $1.39 a BAG
Organic sweet potatoes $2.59/BAG
Organic onions $2.49/bag
Olivia's Organic salad greens $2.00- $2.50 a box

All other staples for the week, we buy at either Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. So yes, I am at atleast two grocery shops a week. But, we eat at home atleast six nights a week, and make our breakfast and lunches at home too! Our total bill range from $80-$110/weekly for two.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Happy Friday!
To celebrate this bright sunny, glorious Boston day...a poem!

Karma, Dharma, pudding and pie
by Phillip Appleman

O Karma, Dharma, pudding and pie,
gimme a break before I die:
grant me wisdom, will & wit,
purity, probity, pluck & grit.
Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind,
gimme great abs & a steel-trap mind,
and forgive, Ye Gods, some humble advice --
these little blessings would suffice
to beget an earthly paradise:
make the bad people good --
and the good people nice;
and before our world goes over the brink,
teach the believers how to think.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Humility is taking a group exercise class, and not being able to keep your rear up for the entire circuit on a ball. Oh my goodness, the burning this morning in my bottom...there I am arms up in the air cranking out chest presses and upper back exercises and BAM pain starts creeping down into my lower body. I officially need to start lifting more! After doing Interval Challenge and Muscle Conditioning, a spin class, and stadiums my body is in between being happy to get all this exercise and saying “hey lady, you are killing me!

On to training for a 5k- which I know training for a 5k is a little crazy- but hey I haven't been running and I would like to complete the race in around 25 minute(Please note- I am not and will never be a fast runner). We'll see!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Last two weeks of school

Well we're down to the last two weeks of school, which means late nights( for me past 10:00pm) and early mornings. Lola is getting a little annoyed with me...and last night she nestled in our bed and tried to entice me into it with this cute face! She isn't a very helpful puppy when it comes to study time!

A new breakfast(gluten free)

So this week, I'm out of my gluten free bread, and really wanted to try something different for breakfast. So oat bran it is, it's warm and doesn't take like oatmeal!! There is about 5 grams of fiber and protein, and it keeps me filled til lunch. I know that some gluten intolerant people can't have oat bran, or even oats, but the Bob's Red Mill oats and oat bran seem to fine for me. While Whole Foods oats, in their bulk bins, have me in pain for days! Anyways, my new breakfast consists of these ingredients:

Morning Oat Bran Recipe:

1 cup of milk(I use 1%)
1/3 cup of oat bran
1/2 tbls. of cinammon
1/2 tbls. agave nectar
1/8 toasted walnuts
apple(cut up) or pear
dried cransberries/cherries

Bring the milk to a boil- then add in the oat bran, along with the agave nectar and cinammon. Bring down to medium to low heat and stir, til the consistency you like. I then added the walnuts, and either fresh or dried fruit.

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Workouts this Week

The holiday is over, yet I took a major hiatus from exercise through the entire weekend!! Yikes!!
So this week I'm going to try and do something almost every day!

Here's the schedule:

Monday- stadiums
Tuesday- bootcamp/interval challenge( this am- I'm going to be sore!)
Wednesday- teaching indoor cycling
Thursday- stadiums
Friday- lifting or OFF
Satirday- teaching indoor cycling

I have finals next week, and of course all school projects are due- so bring ON the stress.

But, I read this article online and it's keeping me from ditching exercise while I'm stressed!
Why Exercise makes you less Anxious

Sunday, November 29, 2009

High Rise Bakery

I always forget how much I love High Rise Bakery! The smell of freshly baked bread is so comforting when you walk in the door. This morning, I took a friend from school for breakfast. I had the oatmeal, which other than High Rise’s, I DO not eat! Ugh, to me oatmeal is slimy and gross, and even though I KNOW it is good for me I never can stomach it! Their oatmeal is cooked in steamed milk, and has maple syrup, toasted pecans and dried cherries. It is SOOO amazingly delicious, and for small a good price at $3.50. My friend got the yogurt, granola and fruit, which I've also had, and next to my own granola is my favorite in town. It had the right ratio of dried fruit to oats and nuts, perfectly toasted and sweet! Overall, High Rise is known as being a little expensive, but the portions for breakfast or lunch sandwiches are HUGE! You can definitely share, which brings the cost way down. To me, the experience of seeing the day’s bread being made makes it all worth it!

High Rise Bakery
208 Concord Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138

High Rise Bakery(Harvard Square)
56 Brattle St
Cambridge, MA 02138

Lord Hobo

Last night, Dave and I checked out the new "beer" bar in Cambridge- Lord Hobo. We went around 6:30pm thinking that there would be no one there…the weekend after Thanksgiving. The place was packed! We got the last table, on the side. There were lots of people there, laughing and having a good time, even the head brewer from John Harvard's was sitting at the bar having a couple! Dave, of course, as a big beer guy, searched on the LONG beer menu for some new and amazing tastes, while as a gluten freer – stayed with the red wine. After ordering their truffle/parm "chips" for his birthday appetizer, our wine and beer came out. For $8, I'm sorry I do expect to have not a 1/8 pour in my glass. I had the saddest, smallest glass of wine.
Overall, the food was great. We had the truffle "chips" that came with four dipping sauces, truffle ketchup, an aioli, and vinaigrette- very yummy! We also got the deviled eggs- which were six very nicely plated varieties to try- chili pepper, truffle, and avocado- very smooth and creamy. For dinner, I got the mussels which came with MORE fries!! The mussels were cooked to perfection and the broth was very good. Dave got the hanger steak, which came out piping hot and melted in your mouth. The steak came with roasted garlic that you could break out the cloves from to smother on the steak! YUM! Boy heaven- fries, steak, and beer!!

Gluten-free wise, it was just not worth asking on his birthday! So, I have no idea what is gluten free or not. I will admit, I had some stomach pain this morning, but I'm guessing the fries were coated in flour.

After Thanksgiving and the beer bar, I definitely craving veggies and fruits today!!

Lord Hobo
92 Hampshire Street
Cambridge, MA 02141

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dave's birthday

Today is Dave's birthday. He asked for bacon and coffeecake for breakfast, a family walk, and a Shaw's sheet cake, and NO comments by me!! Yes, his girlfriend of almost four years could make him a wonderful cake at home, yet the boy wanted Shaw's!! Tonight, we are more than likely going to Lord Hobo, and I promise to write a review!

Cinnamon Streusel Coffeecake(Dave's Birthday treat)
Cooking Light Dec '96

1/3 cup chopped walnuts(I didnt use nuts!)
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Cooking spray
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil(I used canola oil)
2 large eggs(I used 3 medium eggs)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl, and stir well. Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray; sprinkle 1/3 cup of the walnut mixture into pan. Set walnut mixture aside.
Combine 1 1/4 cups sugar and vegetable oil in a large bowl, and beat at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; stir well. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
Measure 2 cups of batter; set aside. Pour remaining batter into prepared pan; sprinkle remaining walnut mixture over batter. Pour reserved 2 cups batter over walnut mixture. Bake for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Let cool completely on wire rack.

Post Thanksgiving Review

After about four calls and not having the correct ingredients- the corn pudding was probably a "9" out of 10...not too shabby!
The quionoa stuffing was delish! It was warm and hearty- I am going to keep this one on my list for Thanksgiving for years to come.
My squash(butternut squash, with a little butter and brown sugar)was gone after the boys(9 of them) first ROUND!!
The pumpkin squares were a HUGE hit... I told everyone they were gluten free AFTER consuming them OF COURSE!! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holiday Workout

My sister told be about a workout she heard about for traveling consisting of 500 reps(repetitions)! So I not only tried it, but modified it into a NEW Holiday Workout for all!

- 20x squat
- 20x pushups(knees or toes)
- 20x reverse lunges(alternating legs)
- 20x chair/bench dips
- 20 second plank
- 20x bicycle crunches

Complete this circuit 3-5x!

This workout could be done ANYWHERE- so why not complete it over the next couple days when you are on your turkey holiday!

Happy healthy eating.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Breakfast Favorite

This morning, I got back from the gym and was reminded of the fact that I didnt have any of my gluten free bread from Abigail's bakery. It's a brown rice and millet bread, sweetened with agave nectar, so amazingly good in a world of really awful tasting gluten free breads! A real bummer when I'm out!
Another go-to "quick" breakfast meal I make though - Sweet potato hash with poached eggs! So delicious!

- small sweet potato(shredded with cheese grater)
- small yellow onion(diced very finely)
- 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 tsp. white vinegar
- shake of salt
- 2 cups of water( for poached egg boiling)
- salt and pepper to taste

Place a fry plan on medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Then place the shredded potato, and diced onion in the fry pan and cook about five minutes, til slight brown coating is seen on the mixture. Bring a saucepan of water salt and vinegar to boil when the water starts to boil- place the eggs CAREFULLY into the water, and bring the heat down to low. Cook the eggs for around 3 1/2 minutes- depending on how you like your eggs cooked. I added a grapefruit, on the side, for a little fruit added to my morning!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Holiday Workout Week

This morning I blew it! I just couldnt get out of bed, there the alarm went at 6:32- and there my hand flew out from the covers to slap it off. The next time, I woke up it was 7:11. First off, I can't rememeber the last time I slept duirng a weekday til 7:11- it felt amazing! Secondly, it's one workout, it won't make or break my week.

My plan for this week:

Tuesday- run at the gym
Wednesday- spin
Thursday(Thanksgiving)- Dave and I are having our own Turkey Trot.
Friday- stadiums
Saturday(Dave's birthday)- whatever he wants...which could mean video games and beer all day!

Especially, during holiday weeks- I think it is important to keep moving. Whether it be to bundle everyone up and take a walk on Thanksgiving morning/afternoon or a flag football game with the whole brood.

Some of my family favorites:

-hiking in the Laurel Mountains
- sledding down Rea's Hill
- walking thru the VT woods
- making a "snow" turkey
- signing my ENTIRE family up for a Turkey Trot and not telling them until the morning before...I did this last year , and guess what- everyone loved it! ;)

Most important, make it a happy experience for all family members!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fall Weekend

Well, the leaves are falling off the trees, and to me these large piles of leaves mean a couple things....the semester is finally coming to an end...the holidays are almost here...warm soups and time!

I love warm chilies, sauces and stews that fill your body up, and keep you full for hours. Sometimes, I even have them for breakfast, it’s deliciously filling!

One of my favorites for Sunday Dinner:

Turkey meatballs (gluten free)

- 1/2 cup of oats (food processed to a meal)
- 1 medium egg
- 2 tbls. of tomato sauce(whatever you are using with your pasta or have in the fridge)
- 1 lb. of ground turkey meat (94% lean...I think Plainville)
- salt and pepper
- any fresh herbs you have in the house
- 2 tbls. of mozzarella or parmesans cheese
- Rest of the jar of pasta sauce or whole made sauce (I like anything with low sugar(aka. no added sugar in the sauce)
- pasta ( I use Eden Organics kamut- high fiber/protein)

Preheat the oven to 400F. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, and roll up mixture into little or big balls onto a cookie sheet or onto baking dish. Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes (until cooked thoroughly). On the stove, place a saucepan with sauce. When the meatballs are done, place them into the sauce on low heat until ready to heat or the pasta is ready. I sometimes add frozen peas and carrots into the pasta, when cooking for a little boost of fiber/daily veggies. Mix everything together, add some cheese on top and VOILA!

This Thanksgiving we are heading up to New Hampshire.

I am in charge of:
- the butternut squash( she asked for this one)
- corn pudding
- gluten free apple crisp
- quinoa stuffing
- sparkling apple cider

We'll see how it all goes, and I will take pictures of all the finished products...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tonight, some of the girls from school and I went to a new restaurant in Coolidge Corner (Brookline) called the Regal Beagle . Our waitress, Elizabeth, was very sweet and helpful, and added some helpful hints to our dinner decisions. We tried a nice mix of dishes from the entire menu. The date stuffed with gorgonzola and wrapped in bacon were unbelievable. Excellent flavor, beautiful presentation, with a balsamic reduction drizzled underneath, they are a perfect 10! We also, for appetizers, got the pumpkin hummus that had a great mix of vegetables and feta on top, very nice pleasant hummus taste, though I didnt taste the pumpkin. I had a side serving of butternut squash risotto that was good, but not excellent. One of the ladies got the Mac and Cheese with Ritz topping, which though not gluten free came to the table "piping hot" and was oozing with cheese. I had ONE small bite, and it was totally worth cheesy and creamy. Someone also had the chicken dish which came highly recommended and was served on polenta with mushrooms and I believe collard greens. It was delicious! I fully recommend this place, for food, the cool decor and great staff!

Regal Beagle
308 Harvard St.
Brookline, MA 02446

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bittman's 101 for Thanksgiving

Anyone who knows me - knows how much I love the Dining & Wine section of the New York times...especially the column by Mark Bittman called The Minimalist. His recipes are simple, ingredients lists aren't to long, and his joy over food is delightful to read about. This week he published - another one of "101" lists-101 Head Starts on the Day for Thanksgiving! Instantly, a smile was on my face!

Here are some of my favorites:

15. Thai Squash Soup: Simmer cubed winter squash, minced garlic, chili and ginger in coconut milk, plus stock or water to cover, until soft. Purée if you like. Just before serving, add chopped cilantro, lime juice and zest, and toasted chopped peanuts.

48. Cut sweet potatoes into wedges; boil until tender. Drain and toss with olive oil. Wrap each with a prosciutto slice and a sage leaf, then roast until browned.

49. Halve and seed acorn, butternut or delicata squash and roast until squash begins to soften. Meanwhile, cook bulgur, drain and toss with coarsely chopped pine nuts and currants. Add a bit of the stuffing to each squash half and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake until squash is tender.

66. In a blender, whip olive oil, lime juice, a little red onion and a stemmed and seeded jalapeño. Toss with lots of shredded raw sweet potato, diced red bell pepper and chopped cilantro.

67. Sprinkle shelled pumpkin or squash seeds with a little chili powder; roast, shaking occasionally, until lightly browned. Combine with grated sweet potatoes (raw or lightly sautéed in butter or oil), raisins and a vinaigrette made with red wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, a touch of honey and maybe a little more chili powder.

101. Buy some cheese. Unwrap it and put it on a plate with some walnuts and fruit; let come to room temperature. Serve with good bread.

The link for the whole article:

For the holidays and for everyday life- I think it's good to think "everything in moderation!" :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Lola, is our almost ten month old puppy. She is from a shelter in Indiana(Lucky Lab Rescue)and quite photogenic as you can see.:)She has been a lot of fun, but also more work than we had expected. Luckly, we have a park around the corner from our house,where she can play with her puppy friends twice a day! Not only is the park great for Lola, but we have met some really great people as well!

Recently, she had had some issues with lurching and jumping on people while on lead outside. We called the experts in from ARL(Animal Rescue League) & City Dog Training to help us out. Our little puppy has been diagnosed with fear aggression. So Dave and I have been working with her on commands and special techniques while on and off lead. Apparently, shelter dogs especially mixed breeds, seem to have more trouble with fear and anxiety than non-mixed breed. Who knew!

Monday, November 16, 2009

workout buddies

Since last summer a group of us have been getting together once mostly twice a week to "do" Harvard stadium. There are 37 sections, and with our team it now takes about 45 minutes to complete. It is so nice to be outside , chat while "sucking wind" and get a great workout in. We've even got a team together for the American Lung Association Climb in Feb '10- to race up 1 Boston Place.

Someone came up with the idea for a rogue bootcamp- where we meet on a gym floor about once a week. workouts include: sprint, tons of lunges, pushups, abs(including planks), and whatever fun exercises someone brings.

Every Sunday, I send an email to the group explaining what my workouts will look like for the week, if anyone wants to join.

A sample week:

Mondays- stadium 7am
Tuesday- cardio or rogue bootcamp- 6:30am
Wednesday- spin- 7am
Thursday- stadiums- 7am
Friday- rogue bootcamp 7am

I have loved having a group of people to workout with. It's motivating and keeps me on a much more regular schedule with my own workouts.

Granola Recipe

Granola Recipe:

- 2 cups of oats
- 1/4 cup of agave nectar or 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 1 tsp. cinammon
- 1/2 cup of chopped almonds
- 1/4 cup of oat bran
- 1/2 cup of raisins(or any other dried fruit)
- 1/8 cup of shredded coconut
- 1 tbls. of canola oil or olive oil
- cooking spray or rub canola oil(for baking sheet)
Add ins:
-1/4 cup of cocao nibs
-1/4 cup of pecans, walnuts, etc

Preheat oven to 350F. Place the oats and chopped almonds onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes to toast. Place all other ingredients in a bowl and mix. When oats and almonds are toast, add them into the bowl. Bring down oven temperature to 300F. Spray pan/coat with oil and place mixture on cookie sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until slightly brown in color. Let cool, then break apart into pieces. I keep my granola in the freezer, I think it stay fresher this way.

What I eat my granola with:
- low fat yogurt with a client's YUMMY peach and organge jam
- by itself in between class
- warmed in the microwave for 30 seconds and with about 1/4 cup of either pumpkin or vanilla ice cream(Breyer's if my favorite)

*** some gluten intolerant people can't have oats, due to contamination. If needed make sure oats are clean(aka- haven't been mixed with other grains) before using them****

Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili(Gluten Free)

- 1 lbs. of ground turkey(94% lean)
- 1 can of diced tomatoes(large)
- 1 medium yellow onion – diced
- 1 to 2 small sweet potatoes( diced)
- 1x can of black beans(drained and rinsed)
- 1x can of white kidney beans(drained and rinsed)
- ½ cup of water
- 1 tbls. of cumin
- 1 tbls. of chili powder
- 1 tbls. of Rooster sauce(found in Asian section of every grocery store)
- Salt & pepper to taste
Optional Add ins:
- 1x pepper(green or red)
- 1 to 2x shredded carrots(with cheese grater or by hand) ** I add these ***
- ½ can of adobo chili sauce
- 1 to 2 tbls. of agave nectar
- 1x can of tomato paste(I add this in mine)

Brown the turkey meat in a skillet, until cooked through- about 5 to 7 minutes on medium to high heat. Then add in the onion and the sweet potatoes to the skillet, cook for about 5 minutes. Next, throw all the kids (all the ingredients) into a large pot or your slow cooker. I usually cook the chili for atleast four hours on low in the slow cooker (crockpot) or 3 hours on the stove at low heat. Sometimes, I will make the chili in the morning, and leave it on all day (for about six hours) and it taste fantastic as well! This usually serves atleast two meals- dinner and lunch the next day for two people! We eat it with corn tortilla chips or my boyfriend loves his with pretzels!

Monday, November 9, 2009


Soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner is one of my favorites. I love having a warm bowl of soup for breakfast, it's filling- has protein, fiber and fills me up until lunch. Some of my favorites this season are black bean and pumpkin, sweet potato and peanut, turkey chili with sweet potato, and thai chicken soup(pictured).

Thursday, November 5, 2009


There are days when you want to cook and you don't want to cook- but there is always someone to feed... at my house...

tonight i found :
ground turkey(93% lean in the fridge)
soy.potato and rice pasta
cabot cheddar
frozen peas and carrots
lowfat milk (new england organic)

so.... turkey burgers and mac and cheese(healthy style) .....