Sunday, September 16, 2012

"What's Cookin' This Week!" 9/17-9/23

Here's what's going to be cooking in my house this week. I hope you find at least one of these recipes worthy of cooking for yourself or your family. I always try and find kid-friendly recipes because mine are super-picky!! If you ever have any suggestions or low-calorie recipes that you enjoy then please share them with me. You can email me the recipe or post it on my facebook to share with everyone. Enjoy!!!

Monday - Baked or Grilled Chicken w/Rice & Lentil Salad by Eating Well & Lemon Lovers Roasted Asparagus

I will plan on either grilling or baking my chicken breast with a little Mrs. Dash Seasoning (salt free) and serving it with the rice & lentil salad. The salad has about 250 calories per serving so, for myself, I will add a 3-ounce chicken breast to minimize the calories (which will add about 80 calories to the meal). I LOVE roasted veggies!! Roasting always seems to bring out the best flavors in a veggie (plus it's super easy). If you don't like lemon, then you can take it out of this recipe and it will still taste great. When roasting my asparagus I will keep checking for doneness (crisp-tender) by poking it with a fork There's nothing worse than overdone mushy asparagus....yuck!!

Tuesday - Almond-Crusted Chicken Fingers by Eating Well w/baked sweet potato and side salad

My sides will be sweet potato and salad. Cooking the potato in the microwave is much quicker than trying to bake it in the oven. I will usually have a 3 to 4 ounce serving size of a sweet potato sprinkled with cinnamon (which yields approximately 80 to 100 calories). If you are dressing your salad, then make sure you measure you try and measure it. I like bolthouse farms dressings cause they are all natural and low-calorie.

I will end up using field greens for my salad since this is what I usually buy for my side salads. I love adding salad to my dinners because it gives my family a variety of veggies and makes up for what they don't get throughout the day. As for the bacon, I always get Hormel's Natural Selection Bacon because it's nitrate free. 

I will use LaTortilla Factory High-Fiber Low Carb Tortilla to save some calories. I have made the cucumber, mango, black bean salad before and it is really tasty. I don't like spicy food so I leave out the jalapeno.

Even though I am a meat eater, I don't miss it in this recipe. It's because of this recipe that I now prefer to have meatless chili!

This meal is great if you don't have a lot of time to prepare dinner. I will use a pinch of ginger powder instead of peeled fresh ginger to save time and money. The brown rice will be plain but you could always cook it with chicken broth in place of water to add a little more flavor.

I have used this recipe several times and have replaced it with lean stew beef (already cubed) and also venison. The mixture of the seasonings with with the broth and wine make it really flavorful (and the house smells great when its cooking). This recipe takes about 2 to 3 hours to make (mostly simmering time) so make sure you plan to make it on a day where you will be lounging or puttering around the house. 

**If you need help or guidance with developing a personalized exercise or weight loss regimen then please feel free to contact me at or call (386) 295-3926.  I offer one-on-one personal training services with several personal training package options that can be tailored to your specific goals and needs. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

"What's Cookin' This Week!" 9/10-9/16

It has been a couple of weeks since my last post. As you can see, I have been trying to spice up my blog a bit (visually). I am far from a graphic designer but at least it is a little more personalized:)

I have been getting a pretty good response from my dinner recipes so I wanted to make it a point to get back into it asap! Instead of just calling it "my dinner recipes" I am going to change it up to "What's Cookin' This Week!" (hopefully you don't think its too cheesy). If this is your first time visiting my recipe links then I have to let you know that I only pick from low calorie resources so you don't over do it with too many calories. Just make sure you pay attention to portion sizes. Enjoy!!

Monday - Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts from Health Magazine (with a side salad)
My family doesn't care for leeks so I will probably omit them. The reviews I've read from other people who have made this have used an onion in place of the leek and it turned out fine. You may also choose to use fresh spinach instead of frozen.

Tuesday - Turkey, Apple and Swiss Melt by Cooking Light (with raw veggies and light ranch on side)
The bread in this recipe can make it or break it! Try and choose a lower calorie bread (around 50 to 70 calories per slice). Some breads can be as much as 120 calories per slice....ouch!!

Wednesday - Roast Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers by Cooking Light (over brown rice)
Even though the recipe says to brown the chicken in olive oil, I will probably use cooking spray to slightly reduce the calories. I will also use dried rosemary instead of fresh. Dried herbs are more convenient and cheaper (you just have to reduce the amount used in place of fresh).

Thursday - Pork Chops with Dijon Herb Sauce by; with Parmesan Zucchini Sticks
I'm not going to make the sauce that is included with the zucchini sticks. Its too much work and I love roasted zucchini by itself. The recipe also calls for egg substitute but I will use egg whites instead (egg substitute is just egg whites with coloring).

Friday - Chicken and Bean Burritos by Cooking Light (with a side salad)
I will end up using LaTortilla's high fIber, low carb tortilla due to its low calorie content (and high fiber...which is always beneficial). I will also opt for salsa instead of pico.

Saturday - Lasagna Roll-ups by Dashing Dish (with a side salad)
I have made this dish before and it really is a great way to control portion sizes and calories.

Sunday -   Mixed Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette and Crisp Panko Chicken by Cooking Light 
One of my good friends sent me this recipe. It looks super easy and tasty! If the hoisin vinaigrette doesn't sound good, then you could use any light dressing that you enjoy.

**If you need help or guidance with developing a personalized exercise or weight loss regimen then please feel free to contact me at info@centralfloridapersonaltrainers or call (386) 295-3926.  I offer one-on-one personal training services with several personal training package options that can be tailored to your specific goals and needs. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dinner Recipes 8/20-8/26

Here is another week of recipes that I will be using for my family dinners. I hope you find at least one that you like. If you ever have any low-calorie recipes that you can recommend then I would love for you to share them with me on my blog or facebook page at ENJOY!!!

Monday - Balsalmic-Glazed Chicken and Bell Pepper Sandwiches (**I will probably use 100-calorie sandwich thins to reduce the carbs and calories that are found in focaccia)

Tuesday - Mediterranean Chicken Couscous from Southern Living; Near East makes the couscous that is called for in this recipe.

Wednesday - Warm-Tortellini Salad and Cherry Tomatoes; I don't use onions but do add asparagus and sometimes red and green peppers. Any veggies you like are great with this recipe!

Thursday - Southwestern Style Shrimp Tacos

Friday - Double Bean Burritos; A great tortilla to get is the low-carb, high fiber tortilla made by LaTortilla Factory. It only has 80 calories per wrap and they are HUGE! I also make this without the bean dip only because its not something I use a lot of so it will usually go bad before I have the chance to use it again.

Saturday - Luscious Lean Burgers; I will end up using the 100-calorie sandwich thins for this also.  My side will be raw veggies or a salad.

Sunday - Shepard's Pie Lightened-up

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Dinner Recipes 8/13-8/19

Every weekend I sit down and plan out my dinner recipes for the upcoming week. I wanted to to start to share these just in case any of you are interested in trying them or following my menu. All of my recipes are from low calorie sources so, as long as you are staying within the portion size recommendations, you don't have to worry about ruining your waistline. If any of you have any recipes you would like to share with me then I would love for you to leave a link to that recipe on my blog. I am always open for suggestions and love to try new recipes! I hope you enjoy:)

Monday - Skinny Orange Chicken w/Brown Rice and Steamed Broccoli

Tuesday - Crock Pot 3-Bean Turkey Chili w/Side Salad

Wednesday - Southwest Chicken Roll-up w/Lemony Sugar Snap Peas

Thursday - Skinny Coconut Shrimp w/Side Salad

Friday - Low-fat Baked Ziti wSpinach and a Side Salad

Saturday - Hoison Grilled Sirloin w/Brown Rice and Snow Peas

Sunday - Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks (I won't be using tilapia but will be using trout that my hubby brought home from fishing) w/Raw Veggies and Greek Yogurt Dip

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Essentials to Successful Weight Loss

Several years ago when I first became a personal trainer, I wasn't really sure what my "knack" would be. Every trainer has a special area in which they focus and then build their clientele around. While I have had clients with a wide variety of goals, the majority of my clients have, and continue to be, in the area of weight loss. With each new weight loss client comes a new learning experience for not only them, but also for me. Even though my approach with each client can be very different, there are a few key elements that I have found work well for everyone.

Food Journaling
This is my very first recommendation to every weight loss client. Research has proven time and time again that people who track their calories lose more weight than those who don't. You can keep a written journal (in a regular notebook or a specialized food journal book) or an online journal (my two favorites are and Whatever route you decide, make sure your journals are as accurate as possible. Studies have shown that people can underestimate their calories by as much as 40 percent when trying to eyeball their portion sizes. Weigh and measure everything! 

Everyone knows that exercise is an essential part of weight loss but how much should you do to lose weight?  Personally, I recommend that my clients get at least 2 to 3 days of full body resistance training along with 4 to 6 days of cardiovascular activity. But the bottom line is this, you have to burn as many calories as possible within an exercise session (and throughout the day) to help you lose weight. Keep in mind that you are trying to create a calorie deficit by burning more calories than you eat. You have to keep moving during your workouts and try to stay active throughout the entire day so you are constantly using energy, therefore burning calories. If you find that you are sedentary most of the day (i.e. sitting at a desk all day) then you need to find ways to get up and move. Park your car far away, take the steps, or get a pedometer/calorie burning tracker to monitor what you are doing throughout the day.

Preplan Meals
I once heard someone say "fail to plan, plan to fail". If you are going to be away from your home most of the day, then you need to have a plan for your meals. You should pack enough food to eat every 3 to 4 hours so you don't risk becoming over-hungry (which can lead to junk food cravings and overeating). Try to avoid eating out as much as possible. This is important because you don't know how your food is being prepared plus you can't measure it for accuracy. I know that this isn't always possible, so if you are going to eat out then try to preplan by looking up the calories. Sometimes big chain restaurants have the nutritional info of their food menu online. If that's not available, plan what you will eat and then calculate your calories before arriving at the restaurant. 

Stay Consistent
Weight loss isn't a part-time job. To be the most successful at it you have to apply everything that I mentioned EVERY DAY! I see so many clients do well throughout the week and then fall off track on the weekends (only to regain what they had lost the week prior). So you have something to look forward to, allow yourself a cheat meal one day a week. This can consist of about 500 to 800 extra calories and can be whatever you want (i.e. pizza, ice cream, a cocktail). 

Trying to lose weight is one of the hardest things to do. It is an up and down roller coaster of emotions that requires perseverance and dedication. You should plan to have  occasional set backs and weeks where you may not lose anything. If this happens, reevaluate what you have been doing, make changes where you feel it is needed and you should be back on the right track. 

If you need help or guidance with developing a personalized weight loss program then please feel free to contact me at info@centralfloridapersonaltrainers or call (386) 295-3926.  I offer one-on-one personal training services with several personal training package options that can be tailored to your specific goals and needs.