Spotlight on a Fitness Girl

Jeanee’s fitness story.

At a brunch date in 2005, I listened to Karen’s stories about training clients and teaching classes in her neighbor’s loft. At the time I had a membership at the Y I rarely used, and before that, I belonged to an “artsy” gym where I exercised in spurts. Most of my workouts felt directionless, and no one cared whether I pushed myself or slithered off the elliptical machine a little early. I realized I was missing two elements that are now crucial to my exercise routine: accountability and socializing! I signed up for weekly personal training and group Pilates with Karen, because I knew she would care about me showing up, working hard, and enjoying myself.

I have plenty of body hang-ups and areas I’d like to improve, but envisioning a better figure doesn’t motivate me. The fulfilling relationships with the ladies I work out with are what get me off the couch. I have many good reasons not to blow off my scheduled workout with Karen: I know that she’s hired a sitter, that her free time is precious, and that we’re going to swap stories and laugh while I plank. I also like to attend the same yoga classes each week with teachers who take a spiritual approach. They’re almost like my gurus, so if I ditch, I miss out on wisdom I can use on and off the mat.

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My Mid-Morning Green Juice

My basic recipe for a little something green in a glass.

Throw these things in a blender, and you’ll feel amazing! Not to mention it will curb your hunger for pre-lunch snacks you shouldn’t be getting into.

  • 8 oz light/diet cranberry, grapefruit, or other juice–but make sure it’s VERY low sugar (maybe 5g). Better yet, mix a little water in with less juice.
  • A generous handful or 2 of spinach or kale (I use baby spinach or baby kale for a little sweeter flavor)
  • 4 or 5 baby carrots
  • 1 heaping Tbsp Arden’s Garden Power Fuel (or other green powder of your choice)
  • Handful of frozen blueberries, mangoes, strawberries, or other fruit
  • 1/2 to a whole banana (to your taste!)

If you leave out the frozen fruit, just make sure to add some ice for texture. Play with the ingredients a little and you’ll find a blend that tastes just right to you. Enjoy!

Blood Type Diet: Does it hold any weight?

The era of always seeking a reason

I set out to do a thorough discourse on the blood type diet, but I just don’t care enough about it to exert the energy. Maybe that gives you a sense of how I feel about it.

If you know me or have read my previous posts, you can guess that I could take or leave the whole theory that you should eat according to your blood type—and it is just a theory, without much in the way of evidence to support it. According to the diet’s founder Dr. D’Adamo, I should “focus on lean, organic meats, vegetables and fruits and avoid wheat and dairy which can be triggers for digestive and health issues.” Well, isn’t that eye-opening. Who decided this guy had something enlightening to tell us?

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#49 Squash-sta

Put a “spin” on your veggies

My kids call them snakes. Doesn’t bother me… as long as they eat those snakes. Check out the dinner Mike made tonight:

Squash Pasta

I got him a spiralizer for Father’s Day. That’s right. That’s what my sweet husband wanted for Father’s Day. Not an Xbox, but a spiralizer. So who am I to deny him?

What this newest kitchen contraption does is ingenious: It grasps onto the veggie of your choice (squash and zucchini tend to be favorites for this particular operation), and makes it into spaghetti-style noodles. Blended with a bit of real pasta and the sauce of your choice, you’ve got kids eating veggies. Not to mention an exciting new way to serve those veggies to grown-ups, too.

DIY Energy Bites

Pop a couple of these to get you through an afternoon slump. They’re good for you!

Fantastic Fruit Delights (aka Energy Bites!)

They’re raw, easy to make, and nutritious, and they’re known as “energy bites” in my home. Instead of buying a bunch of Power Bars, I make a batch of these. Just a couple fill my belly when it’s not quite mealtime, and they’ll last forever in the fridge.

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Spicy* Sweet Potato & Peanut Soup with Chickpeas

*leave out the spice if you want to!

Spicy* Sweet Potato & Peanut Soup with Chickpeas

1 T olive oil
5-6 c sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 c onions, diced
1 c celery, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t sea salt
2 t cumin
3 t ground coriander
1 t paprika
½ t crushed red pepper flakes (*or to taste)
2 c vegetable stock
3 c water
3-5 T fresh ginger, grated (we used the tube of ginger from the produce section at Kroger)
2 T natural peanut butter
2 c (1 can) chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
3-4 T fresh lime juice
Cilantro leaves, chopped, for garnish (optional)

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#42: Too Busy for Your Own Good?

Your life is full, but are you happy?

Do you ever sit down to eat dinner and say, “Wow. I think this is the first time I’ve sat down all day!” I do. It can’t be true, but it sure does feel like it sometimes. It is so easy to get caught up in the grind of life—running the kids around, getting some work done, picking up milk at the store, cooking if you’re lucky, more work, emails—to the point that you may have lost touch with your friends, family, or even yourself. If you are someone who says, “I don’t have time to exercise,” this might be describing you.

You might be busy, but are you happy? Think about that for a second. Are you making time for you to be happy? Sometimes when we are too busy, we overlook our own needs; a basic example is how you might be so focused on the presentation you’re writing that you put off getting up to use the bathroom for an hour or more. Caught you, huh? If you neglect yourself, you won’t be able to be the best you you can be.

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Meatless Monday: Fajitas

An Easy Weeknight Dinner


1 T olive oil
Green, red, and/or orange peppers (about 2 cups), sliced
Small onion, sliced
About ½ package Morningstar Farms or Gardein chicken strips
Dashes of each or any of these: cumin, coriander, oregano, chili powder or ancho chili powder, salt
Sour cream, salsa, and/or avocado for toppings
Small flour tortillas

Cook onions and peppers in the oil on medium heat. Add spices and cook about five minutes, or until the veggies are tender. Add the chicken strips and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until chicken is heated through. Warm tortillas in toaster oven or microwave, then add the fajita mixture. Top with suggested toppings, or come up with your own!

Afternoon Green Smoothie

A great way to curb the pre-dinner munchies

Several of you have asked for the recipe for the green smoothie I drink in the afternoons. Here it is!

About 1 T chia or flax seeds (throw them in first so they are weighed down in the blender or they’ll stick to the sides when you blend), a cup of almond milk, 1/2 or whole banana, healthy handful of spinach, 1 T nut butter (I’m using almond right now, but be creative), and a few ice cubes. Sometimes I add a few baby carrots, sometimes a T of carob powder.

That is it! It’s easy, delicious, and for me, fills the void between lunch and dinner. Let me know what you think.

Meatless Monday: Broiled Blackened Tofu

Neither difficult nor weird.

Broiled Blackened Tofu

2 ½ t sweet smoked paprika (if all you have is hot paprika, just eliminate the cayenne)
2 t ground cumin
1 t dried oregano
1 t dried thyme
1 t sugar
¼ t salt
¼ t cayenne
A few pinches freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced

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