Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Recipe of the Day

Black Bean Quinoa Quesadillas

This recipe provides 4 servings.


1) 1/2 cup water
2) 1/2 cup cooked black beans
3) 1/4 cup quinoa
4) 1/2 cup finely diced fresh tomatoes
5) 1/4 cup corn kernels
6) 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
7) 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
8) 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
9) 8 soft whole wheat tortillas or brown rice tortillas


1) Bring water and quinoa to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork and set aside.

2) Preheat the oven to 375 F. degrees. Combine the 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa and black beans in a medium bowl. Lightly mash the mixture with a potato masher to bind it together. Add the tomatoes, green onions, corn and cilantro and mix thoroughly.

3) Place 4 of the tortillas on 1 large or 2 small baking sheets.

4) Spread the mixture evenly over the tortillas. Sprinkle evenly with the cheese and cover with remaining 4 tortillas.

5) Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 12 minutes, until cheese is melted and the filling is heated though. The edges of the quesadillas should be lightly browned.

6) Remove from the oven and cut into triangles. Serve with guacamole, sour cream or salsa.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

My Health Coaching Services...

What are my health coaching services in the simplest of terms?


For me, it is assisting you accomplish your goals. You, ultimately possess the answers and insights to reaching your goals. I have a “tool box” full of techniques, exercises, interventions, and suggestions to guide you to reaching any goal that you seek to fulfill.  This “toolbox” of valuable resources has been acquired through an extensive history and on- going education based in the fields of psychology, personal training, wellness coaching, and performance enhancement techniques.

Please click on the “6 Facts about my Coach Approach,” on the right hand side of the home page, for further information.

Recipe of the Day

Lentil Salad with Soft-Cooked Eggs

This recipe provides 6 servings.


1) 1 1/4 cups dried petite green lentils
2) 6 large eggs
3) 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4) 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
5) 2 1/4 teaspoons minced garlic
6) 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
7) 3/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8) 1 1/4 cups diced red bell pepper
9) 1/2 cup chopped scallions
10) 1/2 cup diced celery
11) 9 cups baby arugula


1) Place lentils in a medium saucepan. Cover with water to 3 inches above lentils; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer approx. 20 mins. or until lentils are tender. Drain and keep warm.

2) Add water to a large saucepan to a depth of 3 inches; bring to a boil. Add eggs; boil 5 minutes. Drain. Plunge eggs into ice water; let stand 5 minutes. Drain and peel.

3) Combine oil, garlic, mustard, vinegar, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Set aside 2 tablespoons oil mixture. Add lentils, bell pepper, celery, onions to remaining oil mixture; toss gently to coat. Place reserved 2 tablespoons oil mixture and arugula in a large bowl; toss to coat.

4) Place approx. 3/4 cup lentil mixture and about 1 cup arugula mixture on each of 6 plates/portions. Cut eggs in half lengthwise; top each serving with 2 egg halves. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.

Nutritional value per serving:

Calories: 300
Total Fat: 16 grams (saturated 3grams)
Protein: 16 grams
Carbs: 27 grams
Fiber: 7 grams
Sodium: 400 mg


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Recipe of the Day

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Cakes with Avocado Salsa

This recipe provides 4 servings ( 1 patty and approx. 1/2 cup salsa).


1) 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
2) 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3) 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
4) 5 garlic cloves, crushed
5) 1 3/4 cups grated sweet potato ( approx. 8 ounces)
6) 5/8 teaspoon sea salt, divided
7) 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8) 1/2 cup panko
9) 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
10) 1 (15-ounce) can unsalted chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
11) 1 large egg
12) 1 cup chopped, peeled avocado
13) 1 cup chopped tomato
14) 1/2 cup sliced red onion
15) 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper


1) Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.

2) Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add yellow onion, jalapeno, and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add sweet potato, 3/8 teaspoon sea salt, and black pepper to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Combine  potato mixture, panko, chickpeas, 1 1/2 tablespoons juice, and egg in a food processor; pulse until chickpeas are coarsely ground. Divide potato mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 4-inch patty. Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add patties to pan; cook 3 minutes or until browned. Carefully turn patties over. Place patties in oven; bake at 400 F for 5 minutes, or until browned .

3) Combine avocado, red onion, tomato, remaining 1 tablespoon juice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and red pepper in a bowl; toss together. Serve the salsa with the cakes.

Nutritional value per serving:

Calories: 335
Total Fat: 16 grams (3 saturated)
Protein: 9 grams
Carbs: 40 grams
Fiber: 8 grams
Sodium: 400 mg


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Remember this...

"Goals are dreams with deadlines."  Diana Scharf Hunt

Common "Road Blocks"

The following are a few "road blocks" that keep many of us from reaching our goals, and realizing our dreams:

1) "I can't do this."

2) "I don' really have a good reason to do this."

3) "I have never done this."

4) "It is too difficult."

5) " I don't have the time."

6) " I can't get started."

These "road blocks" do not have to stop you from creating goals and accomplishing them!

I can assist you in eliminating each obstacle. Please click on the "6 Facts about my Coach Approach," tap on the right hand side of my homepage.

Recipe of the Day

Pasta with Roasted-Tomato Meat Sauce

This recipe provides 4 servings (approx. 1 1/2 cups).


1) 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
2) 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
3) 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
4) 9 ounces 80% lean ground pork
5) 1 tablespoon minced garlic
6) 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
7) 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
8) 3 canned anchovy fillets in oil, drained and chopped
9) 1/4 cup dry sherry
10) 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
11) 1/4 cup basil leaves


1) Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.

2) Place tomatoes on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 F degrees for 10- 12 minutes, or until tomatoes are lightly browned.

3) Cook pasta according to package directions.

4) Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, pork, salt, pepper, and anchovies to pan; cook 4 minutes, until pork is browned, stirring to crumble. Add sherry to pan; cook 30 seconds, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add tomatoes and vinegar; cook 2 minutes or until tomatoes release their liquid and sauce is slightly thickened. Combine pasta and sauce in a large bowl; toss to coat. Lastly, sprinkle with basil.

Nutritional value per serving:

Calories: 430
Protein: 20 grams
Total Fat: 15 (saturated 6 grams)
Carbs: 46 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Sodium: 400 mg


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Recipe of the Day

Mac and Cheese

This recipe provides 6 servings (approx. 1 cup).


1) 10 ounces large whole wheat elbow macaroni
2) 2 tablespoons canola oil
3) 3 garlic cloves, crushed
4) 2 1/4 cups lower-sodium chicken stock, divided
5) 1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
6) 8 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
7) 4 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese
8) 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
9) 3 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded ( approx. 3/4 cup)
10) 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
11) Cooking spray


1) Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Set aside.

2) Preheat broiler to high.

3) Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add garlic to pan; cook approx. 3 minutes, until garlic is fragrant, stirring frequently (do not brown). Stir in 1 cup stock; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute. Combine remaining 1 1/4 cups stock, milk, and flour; stir with a whisk, until flour dissolves. Add milk mixture to garlic mixture, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook 5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Remove milk mixture from heat; add cream cheese, stirring until smooth. Stir in salt and pepper. Add cooked pasta to milk mixture, tossing to coat. Let stand 5 minutes. Pour pasta mixture into a 2 quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle cheddar evenly over pasta mixture. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown. Let stand approx. 5 minutes. Ready to eat.

Nutritional info per serving:

calories: 360
Total Fat: 15 grams (saturated 6 grams)
Carbs: 40 grams
Protein: 14 grams
Sodium: 400 mg


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Weekend Insight

It is Sunday, thus the weekend. It is your choice regarding which day (Sat. or Sun) to pre-plan and prepare some of next week’s meals. This is very important if you are one of the many who lead busy lives, and find eating whatever is convenient, such as fast-food, or skipping meals.

A little pre-planning will go a long way in eating healthy and feeling great!


Recipe of the Day

Roasted Red Onions and Delicata Squash

This recipe provides 6 servings (approx. 1 cup).


1) 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2) 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
3) 2 teaspoons olive oil
4) 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
5) 3 garlic cloves, sliced
6) 2 (12-ounce) delicate squashes, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch slices
7) 1 (1-pound) red onion, cut into 12 wedges
8) 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
9) 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
10) 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
11) cooking spray


1)  Place a baking sheet in oven. Preheat oven to 475 F. Leave pan in oven.

2) Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add squash and onion; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle vegetable mixture with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Carefully remove preheated pan from oven; coat pan with cooking spray. Arrange vegetable mixture in a single layer on a pan. Bake at 475 F degrees for approx. 20 mins or until tender, turning once. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and chopped parsley.

Nutritional value:

calories: 125
Total Fat: 4 grams ( 2 grams saturated)
Protein: 2 grams
Carbs: 22 grams
Sodium: 210 mg


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Recipe of the Day

Chickpea, Red Pepper, and Arugula Salad

This recipe provides 4 servings.


1) 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2) 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3) 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4) 4 cups arugula
5) 1 cup unsalted canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
6) 1/4 cup bottled roasted red bell peppers, drained and cut into strips
7) 8 pitted Italian olives (for example, cerignola), halved
8) 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, pepper in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add arugula, chickpeas, and bell peppers; toss to coat. Sprinkle with olives.

Nutritional value per serving:

calories: 98
Fat: 5 total grams (saturated 1 gram)
Protein: 3 grams
Carbs: 10 grams
Sodium: 220 mg


Friday, December 19, 2014

Recipe of the Day

Basic and Delicious Mashed Potatoes

This recipe provides 8 servings (approx. 3/4 cup).


1) 3 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2) 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm half-and-half
3) 2 tablespoons butter, melted
4) 1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
5) 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


1) Place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer approx. 15 mins., or until tender. Drain. Mash with a potato masher to desired consistency.

2) Add half-and-half, butter, salt and pepper; stir well to combine.

Nutritional value per serving:

calories: 200
Carbs: 35 grams
Protein: 3 grams
Sodium: 345 mg
Fiber: 3 grams
Calcium: 38 grams
Fat: 5 grams


Thursday, December 18, 2014


The term motivation comes from the Latin word "movere,: meaning "to move," and describes the powerful inner force that activates you to direct behavior in a specific way.

Recipe of the Day

Avocado and Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

This recipe provides 4 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich)


1) 8 ( 3/4-ounce) slices multigrain bread
2) 3 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded (approx. 3/4 cup)
3) 8 tomato slices
4) 1 ripe peeled avocado, cut into thin slices
5) 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6) 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
7) Cooking spray


1) Sprinkle 3 tablespoons cheddar cheese over each of 4 bread slices. Top each with 2 tomato slices. Arrange avocado slices evenly over tomato slices. Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Top with remaining 4 bread slices. Lightly coat outsides of sandwiches with cooking spray.

2) Heat a grill over medium heat. Place sandwiches in pan; cook approx. 3 mins on each side or until bread is toasted and well marked and cheese melts. Cut each sandwich in half; ready to serve.

Nutritional value per serving:

calories: 275
Fat: 16 grams (6 grams saturated)
Protein: 11 grams
Carbs: 24 grams
Fiber: 7 grams
Sodium: 480 mg
Calcium: 208 mg


Good to know info...

If you would like super crisp radishes, submerge in ice water for two hours!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Recipe of the Day

Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprout Salad

This recipe provides 8 servings (one cup per serving).


1) 1 pound Brussels sprouts
2) 8 radishes
3) 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4) 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
5) 1 tablespoon sugar
6) 1 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
7) 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
8) 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


 Slice Brussels sprouts and radishes in a food processor fitted with a slicing blade. Combine Brussels sprout mixture and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss well to coat.

Nutritional value per serving:

85 calories
Fat: 6 grams ( 1 gram saturated)
Protein: 2 grams
Carbs: 8 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Sodium: 190 mg
Calcium: 25 mg


5 Basic Steps to Goal Achievement

1) Decide exactly what you wish to achieve.

2) Identify the obstacles that are preventing or slowing your progress.

3) Decide what is necessary to assist you clear those obstacles.

4) Establish specific goals to assist you in tackling those obstacles one by one.

5) Stay focused on the present, you cannot change the past, as for the future can only be improved by what you do now.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Recipe of the Day

Warm Spinach Salad

This recipe provides 4 servings (serving size 1 cup).


Place 6 cups baby spinach leaves in a large bowl. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil; swirl to coat. Add1 teaspoon minced garlic and 3/4 cup grape tomatoes, cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons honey, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and a 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, stirring with a whisk. Add vinegar mixture to spinach; toss to coat.

90 calories per serving


Health Coaching Services...

* In regards to obtaining my health coaching services, please click on 6 Facts about my coach approach for further information. Additionally, for direct communication, e-mail me at: 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Recipe of the Day

Kale and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

This recipe provides 4 servings (one sandwich).


1) 4 medium to large kale leaves, stems removed
2) 2 teaspoons canola oil
3) 2 medium red onions, cut into 1/2 inch-thick slices
4) 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
5) 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6) 8 ( 1-ounce) slices multigrain bread
7) 1 ounce finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided (approx. 1/4 cup)
8) 3.5 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese
9) cooking spray
10) 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar


1) Preheat oven to 300 F degrees.

2) Bring to a small pot of water to a boil; add kale. Remove from heat; let stand 3-4 minutes, until kale is bright green. Drain; rinse kale under cold water until cool. Pat leaves dry.

3) Heat a skillet over medium -high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion, pepper and salt. Cook 10 minutes or until onion is tender and browned, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar, tossing to coat. Coarsely chop onion.

4) Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat 1 side of each bread slice with cooking spray. Working with two slices at a time, arrange bread in a pan, sprayed side down. Cook 1-2 minutes or until bread begins to brown. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon Parmesan on 1 bread slice in pan. Top with 1 kale leaf, one- forth of onion mixture, and approximately 1/4 cup Gruyere cheese. Top with other toasted bread slice. Transfer sandwich to a baking sheet. Repeat procedure with remaining 6 bread slices, Parmesan, 3 kale leaves, onion and cheese. Bake sandwich at 300 F. degrees for 4- 5 minutes, until cheese melts.

Nutritional value per serving:

calories: 320
Fat: 15 grams (6 saturated)
Protein: 17 grams
Carbs: 31 grams
Fiber: 6 grams
Sodium: 655 mg


Friday, December 12, 2014

The Importance of Body-Fat Distribution

Where a person tends to store body fat is one of the determinants of future health.

Studies suggest that weight gain in the abdominal area (referred to as apple shape), or android obesity doubles the risk for coronary heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke, compared to people of the same overall body fat who tend to store fat in the gynoid pattern, namely in the hips, buttocks, and thighs (pear shape).

The reason for this difference seems to be that fat in the abdomen is more easily mobilized and sent into the bloodstream, thus increasing the risk of disease - related blood fat levels.

In general, men tend to gain weight in the apple shape pattern, while women are more likely to store fat in the pear shaped pattern.

To determine body-fat distribution pattern, a very simple waist-to-hip ratio can be utilized. If the ratio exceeds 0.86 for women and 0.95 for men, there is an increased risk/tendency to store fat in the android (apple) pattern.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Carbohydrate,Protein, and Fat- Daily Recommendations

Recommended intake as a percentage of total calorie intake, according to the American College of Sports Medicine:

Carbohydrates: approx. 60%

Protein: approx. 15%

Fat: approx. 25%

*These percentages are slight approximations, as fitness level and goals influence individual recommendations.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Recipe of the Day

Spaghetti Squash & Pork Stir-Fry

This recipe provides 4 servings (approx. 1 1/2 cups each).

Recipe Tip: To make this meal ahead, prepare the squash (Steps 1&2), cover and refrigerate for up to 48 hours.


1) 1 3-pound spaghetti squash
2) 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
3) 6 medium scallions, thinly sliced
4) 2 teaspoons toasted  sesame oil
5) 2 cloves garlic, minced
6) 1 tablespoon  minced fresh ginger
7) 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
8) 2 tablespoon reduced -sodium soy sauce
9) 11/2 teaspoon Asian red chile sauce, such as chile oil or sriracha
10) 2 tablespoons rice vinegar  


1) Preheat oven to 350 F.

2) Cut squash in half. Scoop out and discard seeds. Place each half, cut side down, on a baking sheet. Bake until the squash is tender, approx. 1 hour. Let cool for approx. 10 mins. then shred the flesh with a fork into a bowl. Discard the shell.

3) Slice pork into thin rounds; cut each round into matchstick like sections.

4) Heat a large wok over medium-high heat. Swirl in oil, then add garlic, scallions, ginger and salt; cook, stirring until fragrant, approx. 30 seconds. Add the pork; cook, stirring constantly, until just cooked through, 2-3 mins. Add the squash threads and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add soy sauce, chile sauce (or chile oil); cook, stirring constantly , until aromatic, approx. 30 seconds.

Nutritional Info:

240 calories per serving
6 grams of fat ( 1 gram saturated)
22 grams. of carbs.
5 grams of fiber
27 grams of protein
708 mg sodium


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Did you know?

Spaghetti squash is a quality low-calorie substitute for "real" spaghetti: a 1/2 cup serving has only 21 calories.

Book Recommendation

“Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers,” Third Edition, by Robert M. Sapolsky

Monday, December 8, 2014

Good to know info...

The secret to flavorful salads is clean, dry greens. Excess water will lead to bruised, and poorly dressed salad greens.

The answer to this issue is a salad spinner, which spins greens dry and ready for use in minutes!

Tasty, healthy food is the fuel to keep us feeling great on our path to leading a healthy lifestyle.

Recipe of the Day

Wheat Berry Salad with Red Fruit

Recipe Insight: Wheat berries are whole kernels of wheat with just the outer husk removed. When cooked they have a chewy bite and nutty flavor. For this sweet and tart salad, they are blended with cranberries, apples and pecans and tossed in a raspberry vinaigrette, a tasty, winning combination. A good idea, serve over a bed of peppery arugula for lunch or light dinner.

This recipe provides 6 servings (approx. 1 cup each).


1) 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2) 1/3 cup dried cranberries
3) 1 large Fuji apple, unpeeled, diced
4) 3 cups Cooked Wheat Berries
5) 1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted and coarsely chopped
6) 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
7) 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
8) 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


1) Combine orange juice and cranberries in a small bowl. Let stand for approx. 15 minutes.

2) Combine wheat berries, apple and pecans in a large bowl; stir gently. Drain the cranberries, reserving the juice. Stir the cranberries into the wheat berry mixture.

3) Whisk the reserved orange juice, vinegar and oil in a small bowl until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and stir gently to coat. Refrigerate for approx. 30 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Serve cold or at room temperature.

320 calories per serving