Showing newest 19 of 23 posts from September 2009. Show older posts
Showing newest 19 of 23 posts from September 2009. Show older posts

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A GIANT Meatball!

I got a text message request for a special dinner last week from Danny. So I had to put something together when I got home. Luckily I took out the meat in the morning, I made a lean turkey meatloaf with some baked sweet potato fries. I wanted to make the meatloaf so it was done in about forty minutes, from start to finish. After mixing everything together I decided to make two mini meat loaves so they would cook faster. My version of meatloaf is basically like giant meatball. It is how my family has always, always made it. (Sometimes my grandma would throw in carrots, but we never really enjoyed veges in our meatloaf, although I probably would like it more now!) It was very simple and very, very quick!
I had a big family 3 pound pack of lean ground turkey that I separated into 1 pound packages. It lasted us three dinners, this was the last of it. ( I made turkey lettuce wraps, Italian wedding soup, and now this.)
1 pound lean ground turkey
4 or 5 leaves of fresh basil
fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh (I use whole wheat) breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 oz fresh mozzarella chopped into small pieces or shredded
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat over to 400 degrees. Mix everything very well into a large bowl, save some mozzarella for the top. Split the loaf into two pieces and mold into an oval shape. Sprinkle leftover cheese on the top. Cover meatloaf with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Take foil off and let brown for about ten minutes. I also like to make brown gravy to go with the meatloaf.
This goes perfect with sweet potato fries! Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Baked, not fried fries!

Do you ever crave French fries? I do, and Danny certainly does, considering he grew up with real deep fried french fries that require a small vat of oil. (I have to admit, I do enjoy eating them when we are at the beach....)

Sometimes I will make a meal that just requires fries to go with it, like when I make my favorite turkey burgers. Instead of whipping out the deep fryer, I’ll make sweet potato fries in the oven. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, complex carbs, beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin b6. In other words, they are GREAT for you.

It’s very easy. Just preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut up the sweet potatoes (1 per person is plenty, and you can also use white potatoes if you need to) in slices. Spray a non-stick cooking spray on a cookie sheet. (You may need two sheets.) Then arrange the sliced potatoes on the sheet, so you will have enough room to flip them. Sprinkle salt (sea salt if you have it), pepper, garlic powder (I like to add grated parmigian cheese as well). Stick them in the oven for about 50 minutes, flipping them halfway. Check them about every ten minutes after you flip them. They are done when they are crispy to your liking! Add ketchup and you are good to go!

Enjoy your baked fries without worrying about your waist!

Monday, September 28, 2009

A MUST read!

You all know I love SELF magazine and frequently blog about what they have on their website and their issues every month. As I checked their website this morning, this one touched home. They posted their 2009 Women's Cancer Handbook. After somewhat of a debate I decided to blog about it because I lost 2 people in one year to lung cancer. These two people were so near and dear to my heart and this is sort of a way to remember them to reminding other to be healthy.
The number one thing you can do to prevent cancer is prevention. Take amazing care of your body. Exercise your body and mind. Eat well as much as you can. Don't smoke. (DON'T smoke!)
So check out this website and see what you can do for yourself. Send it to someone you love so they can do the same.
And make sure you check out how to eat for cancer prevention here:
Be well and make good choices.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tunnel to Tower Run Day

WOW - what an eventful weekend! We went to Providence for the day to see my sister for her birthday. Danny and I got the tour to see all the new things they have done in the past year. Of course they have really cool things now like coffee shops, huge flat screen TVs and WIIs for any student to use. Why didn't they have these things when we were there??
Then Sunday we did the Tunnel to Towers run. It was amazing. There were so many people who came out to run/walk in this event, even in the pouring rain. It was VERY wet out, but seeing all the firefighters, policemen and volunteers was inspiring. We finished in a little less than 28 minutes, which was good. The official times aren't up on the website yet. It was a slow start with all of the people there and the U-turn you had to make, so you had to walk the first few hundred feet. I actually think the run is a bit longer than 5K. Does anyone know if it actually is? I mapped it on and it came out to be around 3.6. Anyways, despite the rain it was a great race. I look forward to doing it again in the future.
It was SO rainy and cold, I ran with my raincoat on. You couldn't believe all of the people in just tank tops and shorts, SOAKING wet. My sister and I on the Slavin Lawn. Look at the gym in the background that they did NOT have while I was were. Thayer Street in Providence. Lots of food, drinks and shopping!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tunnel to Tower Run

Happy Friday!
This weekend Danny and I are doing the Tunnel to Tower run. It starts on the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Tunnel and goes for 5k. I've wanted to do this run since it started and we finally are doing it. (I don't know why I've waited so long to do this, but there must have been a couple good reasons...)
I am excited to do it because as a New Yorkers, 9/11 will always, always, be remembered. This run honors Firefighters, Police officers and all victims of 9/11, and more specifically retraces firefighter Stephen Siller's steps as he ran into the city on that tragic day. Read more about his story here.
If you aren't doing anything this Sunday, come down and run the race.
You will be following in the footsteps of a hero!
Read more here:

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Are you exhausted by mid week? I definitely am. I love sleep and during the week I try to get it. Nine hours is my number that I need a night to feel great the next morning, eight is okay, but anything less than seven and a half hours and I am basically a basket case. My family tends to laugh at me because I am a little (a lot) crazy about getting my sleep in, but it’s all for good reason.

Harvard researchers say that people who slept five or fewer hours a night have a 39% chance of having heart disease. “Deep sleep is restorative for your body,” says Edward Suarez, Ph.D. “Not spending enough time in bed means your body can’t repair the daily damage to cells and tissues. This can lead to inflammation, the immune system’s response to injury.” Inflammation can cause fatty deposits to build in your arteries.

Trouble getting enough sleep? Try these tips!

  • Try to take 30 minute naps on the weekends to catch up on your sleep.
  • Try turning off the television and computer. It stimulates your mind.
  • Don’t take in caffeine or nicotine a couple of hours before bed.
  • Take a couple of deep breaths and stretch to relax you before you get into bed.
  • If you can’t fall asleep after an hour, get up and read a book or stretch again.

That’s enough reason for my head to hit the pillow a little earlier each night!

More tips on falling asleep:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Another Birthday!

Today is a special day!! Today is my wonderful sister's birthday, she's 20! I can't believe she entering into a new decade already. She is away at college in the lovely state of Rhode Island, so I won't get to see her for it, but I made sure to send her lots of cards and a special package. (Ehhh, it's coming Chris, I swear!)
I really miss her even though it's only been a couple of weeks, so I decided to do a post that I knew she would love. She has been doing a phenomenal job learning about how to eat and not to eat, but we all know how the rules kind of go out the window at college. She making good choices as best she can and I know she's doing great!
So if I was with her I would have made her ANYTHING she wants, but maybe she'll make this for herself (she does have a small kitchen) or her boyfriend because I KNOW she LOVES this soup. Italian Wedding Soup! Obviously it is better when Grandma Nicky is rolling out these meatballs, but I do a pretty good job with Giada's recipe.
Giada deLaurentils's Italian Wedding Soup (In Giada's Family Dinners)



  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 slice fresh white bread, crust trimmed, bread torn into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 8 ounces ground pork ( I use all lean ground turkey instead of pork and beef)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 12 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound curly endive, coarsely chopped (1 pound of escarole would be a good substitution)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


To make the meatballs: Stir the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the cheese, beef and pork. Using 1 1/2 teaspoons for each, shape the meat mixture into 1-inch-diameter meatballs. Place on a baking sheet.

To make the soup: Bring the broth to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and curly endive and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through and the curly endive is tender, about 8 minutes. Whisk the eggs and cheese in a medium bowl to blend. Stir the soup in a circular motion. Gradually drizzle the egg mixture into the moving broth, stirring gently with a fork to form thin stands of egg, about 1 minute. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve. Finish soup with parmesan cheese if desired.

Recipe from Food Network.

So Chris, have a safe, happy, wonderful birthday. Know I am thinking of you and your present is on the way (seriously!). Make sure you treat yourself today because you DESERVE it. Love you!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Biggest Loser Time!

Yes! As soon as I woke up this morning I knew I had something to look forward to tonight, that involves my couch, tv, and some serious yelling. Did you guess? It's BIGGEST LOSER! My closet (or maybe not so closet) addiction. I was SO happy, excited, motivated last week when it finally came on. This season is called "Second Chances". At first Danny and I thought it was second chances to be on the show, but after hearing some of their stories (and crying hysterically for that amazing woman who lost her ENTIRE family...) we realized they were getting a second chance on life.
Biggest Loser is one of my favorite shows on TV. I love how they go through this amazing weight loss journey/transformation and become new, strong (physically and mentally), beautiful people. I love how they start to relearn how to eat and make better choices for the first time in their lives. Not to mention I LOVE Jillian (and Bob too). If you like the way the BL trainers yell and scream and weight train then you should look for some of their Biggest Loser items. They have cookbooks, weight loss books, strength training books, and they are pretty good. But what I like the absolute best I stumbled on by accident.
Last year I was disgusted with the weight floor at my gym so I was looking for something I could do at home. I turned on Exercise TV on demand and VOILA...Jillian Michaels. She came out with three new workout series in the past year or so and let me tell you, ALL of them kick your butt!!
The Shred series is a 20 minute full body workout. It incorporates cardio, weights and abs. Yes, it's only 20 minutes and it truly is AMAZING. There are 3 levels, getting increasingly harder. Let me tell you, anyone should start with level one first just to get the idea of how it goes. Then she has two others, No More Trouble Zones (full body weights) and Boost Your Metabolism (cardio). Those are 40 minute workouts with a 5 minute warm up and cool down. So get off your couch (after you watch Biggest Loser) and give these a try. And no she doesn't yell at you like she does on the show! :)
Watch some of the here:
Check out her website here:

Monday, September 21, 2009

More Muffins!

Happy Monday! On our way to another weekend!

Have you been frustrated lately about bad bananas? (hah, this is the least of my worries, but anywayss...) This is the reason I have been on a muffin kick lately. What else can you do with too ripe bananas? I won't eat them after they turn one small spot of brown, so muffins it is. And it turns out pretty great. Nothing beats going into the freezer, seeing three different types of muffins and 30 seconds later, yum, warm muffins! (from 5 bad bananas!)

When I was going down the beach I wanted to make some muffins so I could NOT eat a bagel every single day down there. I found these great muffins from ( I knew I had 3 overripe bananas in the freezer, so I needed to use them ASAP!)

Banana, Cranberry, Apple Muffins


  • 3 ripe bananas

  • 1 apple

  • 1 cup of dried cranberries

  • 1 egg
1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • Pam (or some type of non-stick spray)
  • 1 tsp baking powder (this is not in the original recipe. I added it. See note at bottom.)


Preheat the oven to 325° F.

Peel all three bananas and mash them in a bowl with a fork.

Now peel and dice the apple and add that to the bowl with the mashed up bananas.

Add the egg, cranberries, cinnamon, and salt, and mix well with a fork.

Add the flour and sugar, and stir it all up until it's all moist and looks like this. Now use the oil to grease two mini muffin pans. Spoon batter and fill up each hole all the way. Top with a sprinkle of walnuts.

Bake the muffins for about 20-25 minutes.

****These muffins come out with a banana bread type of consistency. They also seem kind of heavy, but don’t worry, they are amazing! If you want them to rise and be a bit lighter add 1 tsp. of baking powder. I did this the second time I made these and they were even better! Give ‘em a try! What is your favorite type of muffin?

Enjoy! These are definitely a good choice!

Friday, September 18, 2009

You can do it!

I am laying on the couch right now before I go to spin class (very, very early, 6 AM). I took my first spin in college when I was trying to put through that “freshman 15” (or was it sophomore 10?) Thinking back to the first time I took the class I am glad I did, because if I didn’t try it out with a group of friends I don’t know if I ever would have.

Spin can look intimidating with that dark room and blaring music, not to mention the instructor usually screaming out loud commands like “GET TO THE TOP OF THAT HILL” or “ADD ON ONE BIG TURN!!” (more resistance). But once you hop on that bike, your ride/workout is really up to you. The instructor is just there to guide you and to pick music that is supposed to motivate you to kick your own butt. It really is very simple; there are only three different positions, (one is sitting, two is standing straight up, three is leaning over with your butt back over the seat).

I love it because you get a killer heart-pumping aerobic workout (with a huge emphasis on your legs). You are in control of your own pace and tension, so you can make it easier or harder as you need too.

So give it a try, I promise you will not only love the 450 calories you will burn, but you’ll love the class as well.

Have to go before I don't get my favorite bike! Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How green are you?

Most people have, at the very least, thought about what it means to be “green”. More and more you see people carrying their own reusable bags (when we remember) or using a (hopefully BPA free) reusable water bottle. But have you switched to “green” cleaners yet? We have sort of switched. I have bought Clorox Green Works glass and surface cleaner for a while now to clean my kitchen counters. Recently when my Lysol chemical filled bathroom cleaner ran out I decided to try Clorox Green Works bathroom cleaner. I am still a little skeptical, but it does say Clorox strong, and I believe that Clorox bleach is strong, so I’m trying it out.

I decided to try it after reading in SHAPE magazine that a new study from Spain’s Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology said that people who used a cleaning spray (with chemicals) were 49% more likely to suffer asthma symptoms such as wheezing and coughing. Chemicals found in cleaners like bleach and ammonia can irritate and inflame airways.

Have you ever been in the bathroom with the door closed cleaning and had a coughing attack?? I have, which is why I decided to try it. So far, so good! It’s definitely worth a try, so GO GREEN (and save your airways!)!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How big is your ice cream bowl?

I love ice cream, but serving size can be scary. Did you know that when you read the serving size of ice cream or frozen yogurt it usually is for ½ cup (generally, one scoop)? That is the equivalent to a Dixie cup or half a tennis ball. (Which, in reality, means it’s really NOT a lot.)

If you are going for pre-mo ice cream, it could set you back 500 or so calories (because they are usually 250-300 for a ½ cup serving!) If you are going slightly healthier with a slow churned (usually runs about 100 calories per ½ cup) then you will be taking in about 200-250 (if not more) calories in a normal size bowl or cup.

Obviously, ice cream is worth the splurge once in awhile, but make sure you are aware of the serving size. Try having it at home in a small ice cream bowl so you can control your portion size. Or for really portion controlled ice cream try the Skinny Cow or Weight Watches individual ice cream varieties!

Check out this Hungry Girl site, where she answers some tricky questions:

Click here!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kick back and relax, but first, TAKE OFF THOSE SHOES!

After we finally moved into our own place when we got married, obviously, we had to do our own cleaning. Every week we would clean the floors and be amazed at how dirty they had gotten in just one week. We started thinking about it and we wanted to see if there would be a huge difference if we took our shoes off when we walked in the door.

After cleaning the floors one week after starting this we couldn’t believe we ever wore shoes in our apartment. The floors were SO much cleaner, it was unbelievable. When you think about it, think of all the places you go and all the surfaces your shoes touch (especially if you travel on the NYC subways). We did some research and found out that your shoes pick up particles from paint (which is lead), pesticides from lawns, allergens from plants and bacteria from animal remains (ew). When you wear your shoes in the house you carry them all over, which can increase your risk of health problems. (When we have company we don’t ask people to take off their shoes because we don’t want other people to feel obligated to do this, except our family, of course.)

Try it and see how much less cleaning you have to do!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lovin' these lettuce wraps!

Do you have a small addiction to ground turkey like I do? I think we go through one pound of ground turkey every week. (I usually buy whatever one is on sale which varies between lean or extra lean.) I take the turkey out in the morning before I went to work and when I came home it was basically defrosted. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make, turkey burgers, turkey meatloaf, or tacos. After looking in my fridge it was tacos. I had all the ingredients, turkey, reduced fat Mexican cheese, whole wheat tortillas and lettuce. I threw a fajita packet in with the turkey and 15 minutes later it was done. I noticed I had a container of mushrooms in the fridge so I threw those in with the turkey. (I have to be sneaky with my vegetables to get Danny to eat them. If they blend in and aren’t super easy to pick out he’ll surrender, even though I think he secretly likes them at this point.)

To go with the turkey taco meat, I made 2 servings of brown rice (instant, even though the longer cooking one is better, but who has the time??). When the rice was done I mixed in half a can of (drained and rinsed) black beans and half a small can of tomato paste. Heat it for 5 minutes on low and it’s like a healthy version of Spanish rice.

I warmed 3 whole wheat tortillas for Danny and I rinsed whole leaves of romaine lettuce for me. (I like to use lettuce wraps so I can have rice and not carb overload. You can use whatever type of lettuce you'd like) It’s like a mini fiesta! Give these a try!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Margarita, Mojitos and beer, oh my!

Week 1 of school down, how many more to go? I thought I would do us all a favor and write about something us teacher could use right about now...a drink! I know this is a topic I've written about before, but it just seems to be one that keeps coming up! haha
Don't forget that you DON'T need to derail your diet in order to have that cocktail! Try these smart switches on your drinks and your pants will fit just fine the next morning.
A mojito: Normally 242 calories - save calories by asking the bartender to cut back on the sugar and add more club soda. (For an at home switch try these mojitos)
Frozen Strawberry Margarita - 564 calories! To make it less calories order a plain margarita with no salt (the salt on there is more than your WHOLE days worth of sodium!)
Gin and tonic - 164 calories - trade the tonic for club soda or seltzer - which will save you about 70 calories. (You can also ask for 80 proof alcohol, rather than 90 or 100. The lower the proof, the less calories)
Sangria - 258 calories - For a healthier option try a simple glass of red wine. Or try making some less calories sangria at home.
Beer - 156 calories - Order a bottle of beer instead of what's on tap. Bartenders tend to over pour by 22% so you are getting more than one serving size (and more calories!).
Enjoy your weekend! Drink safe and make good choices!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Let's Fight Fat!

Over the summer I picked up a couple of websites that I would browse daily. Besides some other blogs, they consist of,,, and USMagazine (have to be up on daily celeb gossip)! has really interesting posts and articles everyday and I love blogging about some of them. One I found today was about 30 foods that fight fat, and who doesn’t love fighting fat??

Turns out, fighting fat is YUMMY! I love most of the foods on the list. What is better than seeing foods you love and the reasons why they are good for you?

Here are some of my favs from the list:

Egg whites – help build lean muscle. I admit I don’t eat these as much as I should. Breakfast for me during the school year usually means eating at my desk five minutes before the kids roll in.

Oatmeal – I LOVE oatmeal (especially with craisins). But again, it’s a weekend breakfast for me. Just NO time during the week!

Beans – filled with protein and fiber.

Carrots – low in calories and full of fiber

Hummus – hummus on anything to me is good. Whole wheat pita, carrots, celery, ANYTHING.

Edamame – yum – lots of fiber and protein

Sweet potatoes – have you tried these as homemade fries yet?

There is a ton more to the list, these were just my favs.

Check out the full list and start snacking!

Which ones are your favs?

Check out the full article at:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Students are here...

Oh, the dreaded words, back to school, back to work. Now that I have a couple years under my belt, I have built up some immunity but I still have to take some precautions. While reading SHAPE magazine I found a couple of things to present me from getting sick. (Besides, vitamin C and D!)

Drink more TEA: Antioxidant chemicals found in white and green tea may prevent the growth of bacteria that can lead to strep throat, pneumonia and staph infections.

Eat more APPLES: Apples have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties (also found in broccoli, red onions and berries). This can help your body maintain its natural flu fighting abilities.

Get more YOGURT: Lactic acid bacteria in yogurt can activate immune cells that fight illness.

Load up on CHICKEN SOUP: This yummy soup can get rid of cold symptoms by blocking a type of white blood cell that triggers colds.

So basically everything your mother used to tell you was right! I guess I should be asking for an apple a day from my students this year!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A back to school salad

Now that it’s back to school (today) my daily salads are back in swing. I am looking for something a little different so I don’t get bored quick. I found this salad from It has two of my favorite things, chickpeas and pitas. I may add feta and some grilled chicken.



cup ReaLemon juice


teaspoon ground cumin


tablespoons olive oil


thinly-sliced scallions (white part only)


cups sliced cucumber


pint cherry tomatoes


cups cooked chickpeas


cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


cup chopped mint


bag pre-washed spinach


6-inch toasted whole wheat pitas, broken into bite-size pieces

Salt and pepper to taste


In a large salad bowl, whisk together lemon juice, salt, cumin, and oil. Add scallions, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, parsley, and mint. Toss to combine. Add spinach and pita chips. Toss again. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

To Boost Nutrition: Top salad with 1/3 cup of crumbled feta cheese to add 38 calories, 3 g fat, 2 g protein, and 69 mg calcium. Serve with 4 teaspoons of prepared hummus to add 41 calories, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein, and 20 mg calcium.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day!

We were back at the beach for Labor Day and well…dessert is a big part of being at the beach. Instead of getting ice cream or frozen yogurt everyday (or one of Danny’s mom’s famous chocolate chip cookies) I have thought about giving these brownies a try. Now Danny normally makes a box of brownies a week (and goes through them all) by himself. But I bet if I made these he would give them a try. I found this recipe on Skinny and the City. It replaces 1 egg with 2 egg whites and uses non fat Greek yogurt to lower the calories and fat.

MMM, brownies for a quarter of the calories, how can you go wrong?


  • 1 ¾ cup flour
  • 2. ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 3. ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4. ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 5. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6. 2/3 cup sugar
  • 7. 1 tablespoon oil
  • 8. 1 egg
  • 9. 2 egg whites
  • 10. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 11. 2 tablespoons brewed coffee, cooled
  • 12. ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 13. ¼ cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 14. ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 15. Nonstick cooking spray

Cooking instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

With a mixer, beat the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes, or until creamy.

Add the oil, egg, egg whites, vanilla extract, and coffee. Beat until well incorporated.

Slowly add the flour mixture and continue to beat until well incorporated.

Add the yogurt and mix gently until combined into a thick batter.

Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Coat an 8-inch square baking pan evenly with nonstick spray, then pour in the batter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and enjoy!

Nutrition content: 
Per serving (1 brownie, 2” x 2”): 125 calories, 5 g fat, 4 g protein, 2 g fiber, 18 g carbohydrate

What do you think about them? Will you try?


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