What Should I Have For Lunch??

A friend of mind posted on Facebook the other day asking for healthy lunch suggestions. I too am usually wracking my brain with what to make for lunch, because I can never figure out what I want. So, this inspired me to come up with a list of healthy and easy lunch options you can take with you on the go. I’ve scoured my favorite food websites for healthy, quick, and mostly cheap lunches that will hopefully make your life much easier, and tastier.

Here it is…

Pasta, Tuna (or chicken), and Roasted Pepper Salad
Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque
Curried Red Lentil Soup
Turkey, Corn, and Sun-Dried Tomato Wrap
Spaghetti Frittata
Couscous Salad With Chickpeas and Tomatoes
Little Italy Chicken Pitas With Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
Peanut Chicken Soba Noodle Salad

And finally, a few tips:

- When making dinner, cook a little extra to take with you the next day.
- Always have healthy staples on hand, such as fresh veggies, cut up fruit, whole-grain bread, turkey slices, light cheeses, and a variety of condiments. This way you won’t find yourself in a bind in the morning.
- Decide the night before what you’re going to make for lunch the next day, so that you don’t end up in a last-minute rush. Prep ahead if you can.
- Bring healthy snacks with you as well for the inevitable 4:00 slump.

If you have a favorite lunch, please share it with us!

Let’s Play A Game…

Ok, here’s what you’ll need:

- 1 bottle cap (unscrewed from the bottle)
- A piece of paper
- A pen
- A chair to sit in while you play the game, unless you’re the standing type, in which case forget the chair.

Now, look at the bottle cap and ask yourself, “what else could this be?” Flip the cap over, lay it on its side, and play around with it. Give yourself 5 minutes and write down all the possibilities on your sheet of paper.

No really, don’t just read on to see what I have to say about it, try it out for yourself…

Ok, time’s up. Here’s a few things I came up with…
1. A tiny hat for a tiny man.
2. A water bowl for a mouse.
3. A plug for a hole.
4. A chew toy for my dogs.
5. Something to trace in the event I needed a perfect circle.
6. A tiny ashtray for the tiny man’s tiny cigarette.

Did you come up with the same things? Did you come up with some things I didn’t even think about? Or did you not come up with anything at all?

There are countless things that this bottle cap can be that have nothing to do with closing a bottle. And that’s exactly my point. Nothing in life is every simply how it seems.

Take for example the dreaded “I feel fat” scenario we’re so good at. You can think to yourself, I’m fat, my clothes don’t look good on me, everyone else thinks I’m fat, and I’ll never be anything else. Or, you can think of all the other things you are. Maybe you’re strong, an amazing writer, a fantastic friend, a great listener, good at your job, a loving wife, sister, or daughter… The list can go on and on, but you have to make that list and begin to see the good things that you are, not the bad things.

Reframe the way you think about yourself.

Yes, this may seem so simple compared to what you’re feeling, but if you really want to change the way you think about yourself you have to start somewhere.

This all came to my on my run just now. I haven’t really run at all in 4 months. Well, aside from the time in May when I tried to run around the block and thought I would pass out from utter exhaustion before I even got to my door, and 2 weeks ago when I finally gave it another shot, today was my third day out in 4 months. It’s been too hot to run in the summer and honestly, this baby is kicking my butt when it comes to working out.

So, there I was today, in the park, starting my run (er, jog, umm, bounce…) and I was thinking about how far I would go. Being as how I haven’t done this at all in a while, I was thinking that I should exercise caution and not do the whole loop, which is 3.4 miles. I decided to run 1 1/4 miles forward and 1 1/4 miles back, for a total of 2 1/2 miles.

Now, for those of you who are rolling your eyes and saying, “at least she ran that far, I couldn’t even run a block”, you have to realize that everyone has their beginning point. There was a time I couldn’t run a whole block either and then managed to train myself to run a half-marathon. You can do that too. For me though, today was a defeat because I should be able to run 2.5 miles without a problem.

Or was it?

The first quarter of a mile was ok and it slowly started get more difficult, and by the time I got to the 3/4 mile mark I couldn’t believe how draining it was. My hips creaked and my back felt tights, but I just kept putting one foot in front of the other though, singing my ABC’s (They tell you to do that so you can you see how high your heart rate is. As long as you can sing it without taking too many big breaths you’re ok.), trudging and plodding back up the hill I so easily came down before.

What popped into my head then was how frustrating this was and how much of my ability I’ve lost. I’ve run three half-marathons and now 2 1/2 miles is enough to make me weak in the knees and need to take a nap? It’s unnerving, unsettling, and beyond frustrating. What if I can never gain back the ability I once had? What if it’s too hard, to draining, and I never pick up the motivation to do it?

But then I got a dose of reality and now I know that’s crazy. Of course I can gain it back. I did it once before and I will do it again. For right now though, I need to reframe the way I think about fitness, because if I keep focusing on the things I can’t do now I will surely lose the motivation.

Before I got pregnant it was all about staying toned and pushing myself to challenging limits, but now that I have this little growing baby inside of me I need to think about fitness in terms of being the healthiest I can be for my baby and me. It’s not about losing weight or looking great in a pair of jeans. It’s about making sure that my baby has the best start to this life that I can give her. You think that’s easy? Not really. I need to constantly remind myself about that and fight the urge to push myself further.

When I work out my baby works out, which means when I diet my baby diets. Who would ever recommend a diet for a baby in the womb? That’s just insane. On the trek back up the hill I became acutely aware of my heart rate and that it’s ok for it to feel more difficult now, because the bigger picture here is not that I’m going to look good from running, it’s that I am strengthening my baby’s heart and lungs. It’s that I am doing this to give her oxygen and life. And let’s face it, it’s pretty darn amazing that I even got out there in the first place. There aren’t many pregnant women out there running.

I came home completely beat and made sure to have a proper recovery snack (chocolate milk and a pear), again, not because I need to look good and the refueling will help, but because my baby needs it.

This photo doesn't do the way I really came home justice...

So, here’s my point: There are going to be times when you’re feeling stuck or bad about yourself. Maybe it’s today. When you’re feeling stuck and like things won’t ever change, I want you to think about that bottle cap. Think about how maybe you’re not seeing all the possibilities. Only seeing the bottle cap for closing a bottle is thinking in terms of black and white. It either is or it isn’t. Don’t forget that there is a whole realm of in-between and possibility. You just have to rethink it.

On this note, before I go, I just want to give a bigger than huge shout out to my clients Kelly and Jen Z. for being braver than they even know these past few weeks. They are what got me thinking about this post really, because they are beginning to see things for what they could be, not for what they are. You have made me so proud and honored to be your trainer and coach.

(I would love to hear your list and see what you came up with. Please share…)

Products I’m Obsessed With: Misto!

I always wondered why my omelette pan always felt so sticky, even after I’ve washed and re-washed it several times. And then I came across this from Cooking Light Magazine:

“Cooking spray is a no-no on nonstick pans. It contains lecithin, which leaves a gummy residue that interferes with the nonstick qualities.

Aha! Now I see…

Luckily I’ve switched from cooking spray to using strictly olive or canola oils since I found this little handy gadget…

One of my favorite kitchen tools

Meet Misto! This handy little fella gets almost daily use. Simply fill the bottle with oil, pump the cap a few times, spray the nozzle, and voilĂ , you have a fine mist of oil that coats your pans, coats your veggies, and won’t leave a mist all over the room.

And because I really want you to have it, here is a handy little link to buy it.

Happy misting!

Think About It

I’ve become a bit of a wuss lately.I’m way more cautious and nervous about things I never would have thought twice about before this pregnancy. Like, should I cross the street now even though the orange standing man is steady on the cross walk and the next car coming down the street is 3 stop lights away – what if my sense of distance is off and I misjudge how fast the car is really going?

Should I have an apple now because that’s what I’m in the mood for or should I have a well-rounded balanced meal, because that’s what I’m told I should do?

Maybe I shouldn’t be walking on those subway grates or metal doors that go to who knows where underneath stores – what if after all these years of walking on them I fall in?

The other day, crossing the street, Roman and I both had the same hesitation. I laughed at how pathetic we were and so did he, but then he said rather seriously, “it’s just that now we have too much to lose”.

That got me thinking: Do we have too much to lose now just because I’m pregnant and we’re going to have a baby that’s more precious than our own lives or did we always have so much to lose, but never thought about it until now? So, I started making a mental list of all the things I had before this pregnancy that are too much to lose. I’ll share it with you…

1. Roman, who I love with not just my whole heart, but every cell of my body. I can’t imagine life without him.

2. Our home that we decorated together, and already in just two and a half years has way too many memories to count.

3. My mom who would build me wings if I told her I wanted to fly.

4. My sister who would fly right beside me just because I wanted her to.

5. Billiam and Ozzie, the 2 best dogs that I could have asked for and who have taught me so much about discipline, love, affection, taking care of something, determination, and balance.

6. My friends who I know are there for me whenever and if ever I need them.

7. My passion for life and the willingness to live on my own terms.

8. My clients who have impacted my life as much as I hope I’ve impacted theirs.

And the list goes on and on…

I always knew I had these things, but I never really THOUGHT about it. And that got me thinking about even deeper things.

When you’re struggling with something you think you’re never going to get through and never figure your way out, you tend to see the world as black and white. Things are either amazing or they are the worst they could be. You feel stuck, and it’s easy not to realize all the things in between that black and white that you need to be thankful for. Things that are there even if you’re too fat, too thin, struggling with emotional eating, not being where you expected to be in your career, fighting with your family, and feeling like you’ll never get to a happy place. The thing is though, you have to not just selectively see the bad, but you have to selectively see the good that is there too.

If you just realize all the things you have to lose you’ll realize that your happy place is already right here. You just need to recognize it.

Now it’s your turn – Make list of all the things in your life that would be too much to lose.

Big Huge Massive News!

I’ve teased all you followers on Facebook for weeks about some big announcements that I’m dying to tell you. I can’t reveal all of them now, but I will let you in on at least one very huge one…

Very Personal Training is turning 2 years old this month and in honor of our birthday I am so proud to announce that we are moving to a brand new personal training studio! This is a massive step for this little baby that has been 2 years in the making and I am ecstatic to finally say that it’s happening!

Stay tuned for info on the grand opening. Let the demolition, construction, and decorating begin!

Products I'm Obsessed With – Fit Deck

What makes working out fun, less confusing, easy to follow, and super transportable? You guessed it, Fit Deck.

Fit Deck is a super portable deck of cards designed to take the confusion out of working out. Each deck of cards comes with easy to read and follow instructions for different exercises. And each deck comes with its own unique theme, such as bodyweight, stability ball, Yoga, resistance bands, plyometrics, dumbbells, prenatal, senior fitness, and even travel. Oh, and I forgot my favorite – Playground! I love the travel and bodyweight ones, because then there’s never an excuse to not exercise, and I don’t have to lug tons of equipment with me.

I own about ten different decks (they have over 25) and seriously don’t travel anywhere without it. If you’ve got your Fit Deck and your body then you’re ready to go and don’t have to have the excuse that you couldn’t find a gym or don’t have fitness equipment.

Each deck comes with its own set of exercises with options for beginner, intermediate, or advanced worker-outters, plus ideas for games that you can play with the cards. That’s right, you heard me, games! Who says working is boring and tedious?

Right now they’re offering 50% off their mobile app. You can check that and all the other decks out here.

Products I’m Obsessed With – Fit Deck

What makes working out fun, less confusing, easy to follow, and super transportable? You guessed it, Fit Deck.

Fit Deck is a super portable deck of cards designed to take the confusion out of working out. Each deck of cards comes with easy to read and follow instructions for different exercises. And each deck comes with its own unique theme, such as bodyweight, stability ball, Yoga, resistance bands, plyometrics, dumbbells, prenatal, senior fitness, and even travel. Oh, and I forgot my favorite – Playground! I love the travel and bodyweight ones, because then there’s never an excuse to not exercise, and I don’t have to lug tons of equipment with me.

I own about ten different decks (they have over 25) and seriously don’t travel anywhere without it. If you’ve got your Fit Deck and your body then you’re ready to go and don’t have to have the excuse that you couldn’t find a gym or don’t have fitness equipment.

Each deck comes with its own set of exercises with options for beginner, intermediate, or advanced worker-outters, plus ideas for games that you can play with the cards. That’s right, you heard me, games! Who says working is boring and tedious?

Right now they’re offering 50% off their mobile app. You can check that and all the other decks out here.

Stretch It Out – Ooooh That Feels Good!

I’m always nagging my clients to stretch daily. I see so many people complain of aches and pains that would go away with just 5-10 minutes of stretching every day.

Most people treat stretching as something that they do if they have time, but what they don’t realize is that it’s actually one of the most important components to building healthy, strong, lean muscles. The thing about not stretching is that you when you notice an ache or a pain, in let say your back, if you don’t stretch then that pain suddenly starts to run down your legs or into your shoulders. Ever have that happen to you and you assume that there’s something wrong with you or that you’re “getting old”?

All it takes is a few short minutes a day – less time than it takes to take a shower – and can really alter the way you live. One of the things I love most about stretching is that it makes me feel about an inch taller, which is an important thing for a vertically challenged girl like myself!

Here are 8 common stretching mistakes that people make and how to avoid them…

Products I'm Obsessed With: BootyWrap

I’m not normally an O Magazine reader, but I happen to have an issue in my house at the moment and have come across so many things that I must tell you about. In the coming weeks I’ll list the others, but for now, here’s one…

From the maker of the Invisibelt (a belt that leaves no lumps, bulges, or bumps!) comes the ingenious BootyWrap. It’s part sweatshirt, part fanny pack, but without the embarrassing fanny pack part.

It ties around your waist like a sweatshirt and has smooth zippered pockets to carry all your essentials without the bulk. Take it to the gym, on vacation, or to walk your dog. Perfect for when you just need your keys, some cash, lip gloss, and a cell phone, but don’t want to be bothered by a bag. It comes in 4 different colors and 3 different sizes, and at only $30 how could you say no!

Note: I offer these product tips merely as things that I’m literally obsessed with. I’m not paid for posting them, so when I say I love these things, I mean it!

Products I’m Obsessed With: BootyWrap

I’m not normally an O Magazine reader, but I happen to have an issue in my house at the moment and have come across so many things that I must tell you about. In the coming weeks I’ll list the others, but for now, here’s one…

From the maker of the Invisibelt (a belt that leaves no lumps, bulges, or bumps!) comes the ingenious BootyWrap. It’s part sweatshirt, part fanny pack, but without the embarrassing fanny pack part.

It ties around your waist like a sweatshirt and has smooth zippered pockets to carry all your essentials without the bulk. Take it to the gym, on vacation, or to walk your dog. Perfect for when you just need your keys, some cash, lip gloss, and a cell phone, but don’t want to be bothered by a bag. It comes in 4 different colors and 3 different sizes, and at only $30 how could you say no!

Note: I offer these product tips merely as things that I’m literally obsessed with. I’m not paid for posting them, so when I say I love these things, I mean it!