Friday, July 29, 2011

Cooking for the Rents

Top: Wet Seal
Capris: Target
Lighting is still not great . . . I will keep working in this!

I cooked for my parents this evening. On the menu: turkey burgers made with Bosc pears, onions and fresh elephant garlic, celery, and ground turkey breast; served with mixed brown rice medley (from Global Foods!); sauteed zucchini and peppers from their garden and salad (I had marinara sauce as a dressing for my veggies). Notice how I plated just like the new MyPlate tool used for meal planning :) My parents brought fresh melon and blueberries for dessert! SO nice to have them over. Back tomorrow for a review of nutrition articles and more tips from yours truly.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

How To Be Happy

1. Make other people happy

2. Love what you do

3. Nourish an attitude of gratitude

4. Love someone deeply

After Barbell Strength, I decided to hang out by the pool for a few hours before heading "back to work." I ate my protein bar, drank 20oz of water [unpictured since I had already chugged it], and read some classy/trashy magazines while getting my vitamin D for the day. I also managed to soak in the hot tub for about 10 minutes (yes, I realize it is 91 degrees outside) to soothe my achy muscles. I received a fabulous text that I thought I would share; it is from a client of mine who I have been working with:

" I wanted to thank you so much for all of your help. Although I have been keeping track of calories somewhat throughout the day it's been so different than ever before. I have so much peace of mind right now and feel relaxed after speaking with you. I haven't felt this much confidence in 5 months and simply a little less than an hour of speaking with you has brought that back. Thank you so much."

So number 1 on "how to be happy" is a check :)

Number 2 is an easy one now that I am working for myself and able to really follow my true passion. I LOVE to work with people and help them live better lives. Whether it is simply telling them something about food, cooking, their medical conditions that they did not know; or giving them a new thought process and changing their behavior, I feel like I make a difference. That is my purpose. That is why I got into the field of Nutrition. That is what makes me happy :)

Number 3 goes along with all of my family and friends who have enabled me to follow my dreams. Nothing is worth accomplishing without having special people to share those wonderful experiences and the journey itself, along the way. I try to thank everyone who is part of my journey/day/encounter whenever I can. I thank clients that I work with for making my life more meaningful and challenging. I thank my family for being with me; whether it be for meals, walks, celebrations, or even hard times, they are the backbone of my being. My husband can take credit for number 4, and just when I think I couldn't love him anymore than I already do --- I love him MORE!

So it may be a simple list, but many things in life really are simple. We just make things complicated. The next time you feel down, make your own list. I guarantee a smile by the end of this exercise . . .

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What to Wear

I need to figure out a new place to take pictures of my clothing options as the light in our bedroom is not photo-friendly. I went with the capris but was warm (it IS 96 degrees here, I should know better). Note to self- you cannot wear heels for more than 10 minutes. I have extremely sensitive feet and the only shoes that do not bother them are sneakers, no joke. I once had to have Director Doc bring the car around after walking the mall in flip-flops. My feet were literally bleeding. I consider it a blessing in disguise as it is healthier to wear shoes that have good arch support and do not put added stress on the ankles, knees, hips, you get the idea . . .

Favorite journal articles this week:

Eating Location Increasingly Important Factor In Diet Of American Children

I think children and adults can relate to the concept of eating among family and friends as well as in a "food-appropriate" setting versus on-the-go while multi-tasking. So get off of the phone, do not eat in your car or in front of the tv/computer, and sit at a table to promote mindful eating.

McDonald's to make Happy Meals more healthful

The fast food chain plans to add a serving of fruit or vegetable to all of the Happy Meals, which are aimed at children, and shrink the portion of French fries.,0,1399047.story

Shrinking the portion of fries is a start, and I am all for the inclusion of produce as long as they are not canned and not merely a sliver of tomato and/or iceberg lettuce.

Hospitals take cultural sensitivity seriously

Staffs learn about various customs to keep patients happy,0,2849109.story

This article reminds me about the importance of the cultural foods class that I took as an elective in college. It served as a great foundation for my culinary knowledge as well as ability to relate to a plethora of ethnic backgrounds. Happy Ramadan for those of you getting ready to observe this coming month.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Garden Variety

Not a fan of this H&M dress so it did not get purchased. I am not really a fan of the blousy material, angled cuts of summer-inspired dresses this season. They feel more like lingerie than something I could wear to work. I did like the pop of orange from the scarf/belt.

Moving on to leftovers for lunch. Yes, I bring a cooler to the mall filled with leftover tilapia, sauteed veggies, and a peach. I am in love with the diet lemonade from Chik Fil-A so that was my big purchase at the mall-- not bad for $1.76 (plus you get a free refill!!).

Dinner at my parents, after my dad let me loose to pick-my-own veggies from his garden: zucchini, several varieties of peppers, and a tomato. Yum!

On the menu: chicken fajitas (served over red cabbage and grilled eggplant for me), homemade guac with Xotchil chips (amazing!), sweet corn, and grilled pineapple for dessert. I am having them over for my "famous" turkey burgers on Friday to reciprocate. It really is nice having them close-by :)

I will leave you with a list of healthy fats (courtesy of today's clients):
Monounsaturated fatPolyunsaturated fat
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)
  • Peanut butter
  • Soybean oil
  • Corn oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Walnuts
  • Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
  • Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines)
  • Soymilk
  • Tofu

The best sources of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and fish.

  • Cook with olive oil. Use olive oil for stovetop cooking, rather than butter, stick margarine, or lard. For baking, try canola or vegetable oil.
  • Eat more avocados. Try them in sandwiches or salads or make guacamole. Along with being loaded with heart and brain-healthy fats, they make for a filling and satisfying meal.
  • Reach for the nuts. You can also add nuts to vegetable dishes or use them instead of breadcrumbs on chicken or fish.
  • Snack on olives. Olives are high in healthy monounsaturated fats. But unlike most other high-fat foods, they make for a low-calorie snack when eaten on their own. Try them plain or make a tapenade for dipping.
  • Dress your own salad. Commercial salad dressings are often high in saturated fat or made with damaged trans fat oils. Create your own healthy dressings with high-quality, cold-pressed olive oil, flaxseed oil, or sesame oil.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fish and Fore

My title is not only alliterative, but it illustrates how I spent my Monday with Director Doc (before he heads back to a long week at work) . .

Sauteed Tilapia for lunch:
4 oz tilapia fillet
2 Tbsp fresh dill
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil

Heat olive oil in a skillet and add the garlic. Cook garlic for 2 minutes before adding lemon juice to "deglaze" the pan and create a sauce to cook the fish in. Add the tilapia and cook for 2 minutes on each side (it is a thin fish so it cooks quickly-- note: you know when it is time to flip when there is a white border around the fish). Add the dill and cover for a 1 minute just to wilt the dill and allow the fish to rest. Serve over brown rice (I did) or with sauteed veggies (I did as well).

Nine-holes of golf (for him) and 9 holes of walking with a 40# golf bag (I'm a great caddy!!) for me. We just beat out the rain. It was hot but not as bad as it has been all weekend so we took advantage of the sun while it lasted. Afterwards, we hit up Robeks to redeem my GOTR coaching gift card. We shared a Guava-Berry Smoothie, which was a disappointment. Too sweet and not thick enough for my liking (I basically like fro yo with a straw and this was more like thickened juice). We are back at home now and doing work (well he is, I am reading blogs and googling future vacation spots!). Dinner is TBD.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Heat Wave

The above pictures were taken while I was waiting for my business meeting to start. Reston is a gorgeous town with lakes, upscale shopping and dining options, as well as lots of trails and paths for walkers/bikers/skaters/etc. I treated myself to a Whole Foods lunch after the meeting . . .

Quinoa/chickpea pilaf, Chinese-style "fried" rice with bok choy, dill tuna salad (not as tasty as my favorite cranberry tuna salad), and a fajita-style grilled turkey and pepper/onion medley. I got way-too-much food so that there were plenty of leftovers for another lunch (bonus!).

Startling stat:
Heat waves do more than make us cross and sluggish. Searing temperatures kill more people in the U.S. than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes combined. (José M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune)

Something that made me smile:
Hi Jennifer,

It's been awhile since I last communicated. I'm still making good progress. I've dropped 35 pounds since starting the plan in late March. The plan you gave me is easy to follow and I've had good success while traveling and eating out. Work in the gym is still 5 days a week, with both cardio and weights.

Thank you, thank you for starting me on a plan that I accept not as a temporary diet, but lifelong.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things

Since this is my blog, I decided to share a few of my personal favorite entities . . .ENJOY!

The pool! I LOVE going to the pool and lounging, reading, people-watching (especially since my pool is part of my gym), and swimming :) Side note, that random noodle reminded me to foam roll after my barbell strength class today (another favorite!!).

The W&OD (Washington and Old Dominion for the non-locals) trail is an endless resource for walks, bikes, runs, etc. If you squint, you can make out the deer standing right in the middle of the walker's trail. There was a mom and 2 babies. I have run into many a deer, bunny, snake, skunk, badger/opossum-type creature, and of course, a plethora of birds along the trail.

Summer rolls! I LOVE vietnamese summer rolls and try them whenever I spot a new/undiscovered restaurant. The peanut dipping sauce is one of my favorite parts, and I use every last drop (I save remaining sauce for dipping baby carrots or rice cakes!). My favorite combo has shrimp, lettuce, thai basil, rice noodles (not too much), bean sprouts, cucumber and shredded carrots- perfection in a roll.

I enjoyed this post, and hope you did as well. It may make a recurrence in the future ;)

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Working at the GI office (notice the plastic model of a stomach on the window sill. Classy . . .

Director Doc in action!

Director Doc's office. I brought my own lunch (see the cooler on the left with some carrots on the desk, so ME). I also made him the frame with a collage of family photos and adorned the border with cute fortune cookie affirmations.

In other news: CONGRATS to the Fitness Excellence winners:
Laura, Patty, LJ, Allyson, Sarah

I look forward to meeting all of you and helping you achieve your personal health and fitness goals :)

Speaking of fitness, I ran my favorite 13-mile loop today (it has taken almost 3 months to recover from my ankle and knee injuries)!! I AM BACK, and it feels amazing . . . time to go sit in an ice bath after watching such a dramatic end to a close World Cup final. Boo.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mixed Up Monday

I still do not know what day it is . . .

This photo does not do these homemade vegan pancakes justice, but they were SO amazing. Director Doc and I shared them ( I made him stop shoveling them into his mouth so that I could snap a pic). [unpictured] We also shared a vegan carrot "tuna" salad that was out of this world. I am not sure how they did it, but it tasted like real tuna but was basically shaved carrots with diced green onion and a very light dressing to make it the perfect "whipped" consistency. I am in love with the vegan food stand we found at our new fav farmer's market.

Today's Workout:
Spinning Class
35-minute stair mill
45-minute strength training circuit with Director Doc
20-minute easy swim (followed by sitting in the hot tub for a while)

News this Week:
Starting at my new office as part of the GI Associates in Prince William Hospital
8650 Sudley Road # 410, Manassas

Current Projects:
Kid-Friendly Nutrition Education Activities-- any ideas for campers?
Gluten-free bakeries and baked good products-- any favs/websites/contacts?
Fitness Excellence partnership to improve the health of current clients looking to get those results!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Belated Happy 4th of July!

Where have I been???

Some work . . .

Some play . . .

Living life and enjoying these warm summer days.
Deal of the Day

Organic, low-sodium & gluten- free :

$15 for $30 Worth of Specialty Foods and Condiments

Jennifer LaRue Huget
Jennifer LaRue Huget
Eat, Drink & Be Healthy Columnist

The Checklist: Health, nutrition and safety advice for July

It’s the peak of summer. Here are ways to stay at your personal best through July.

Bell peppers, now coming into season at area farms and backyard gardens, are nutritious summer vegetables – and they’re pretty, too.

Angela Ginn, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, says peppers are “rich in antioxidants,” vitamins that are thought to help fight disease by disarming inflammation-causing rogue oxygen molecules in the body.

Fairfax County dietitian Danielle Omar points out that a red pepper has 1.5 to two times as much Vitamin C as an orange; similar size green peppers also have more than oranges. The red variety, which is really just a ripened green pepper, also has lycopene, which may help reduce the risk of some cancers.

Peppers of all varieties make great summer snacks, Ginn says, because their taste and crunch are satisfying, but their calorie count — about 25 to 30 per medium pepper — is so low, you can even splurge a few calories on a dip.

Alas, peppers aren’t nature’s highest-fiber vegetables. But Ginn says they play well with fiber-rich foods such as salad, whole-grain pasta, brown rice and barley.

Both Ginn and Omar love roasting peppers. Ginn suggests removing the stem and seeds, brushing the outside of the peppers with a little olive oil or spraying with a vegetable-oil spray such as Pam, and placing them in the oven on a roasting pan for 40 to 50 minutes till they “have lost their shape and are tender and pliable.” Eat them as is or use them to top one of the fibery foods above.

For more ideas on cooking with peppers, go to The Washington Post’s Recipe Finder and look up the following: Avocado Bravado, Paprikish Pork Skewers, Beef and Black-Bean Picadillo, Grilled Vegetable Salad, Jalapeno-Spiked Corn Chowder With Red Pepper Coulis, Nutty Beefy Noodles and Penne With Grill-Roasted Peppers.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Body Pump No More

Since the Fitness First closed, I will no longer be attending my usual Body Pump classes. I wanted to remember the latest release, BP 77, so that at least I can still listen to the catchy music that powers any strength training I do solo:

Pump it Up!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fitness Excellence Friday!

Win a FREE Nutrition Consultation with Jennifer Haas, MS, RD courtesy of Fitness Excellence®.

Jennifer is a registered dietitian offering nutrient coaching and community wellness services in a unique manner. She promotes a comprehensive approach towards "reinventing the meal" by individualizing a nutrition care plan specific to each client.

The FREE consultation will be an hour in length and include a discussion of past medical history, current symptoms and/or conditions, as well as, future goals that will be used to ensure accountability and desirable outcomes. This is a $100 value!

Submit a brief explanation of the challenges you face while trying to live a healthy lifestyle and what you want to achieve in working with a nutritionist.

Email your entries to the addresses below by July 17th. 5 winners will be chosen for this special offer.