Spiral Slicers

So I admit maybe it was a little selfish when I suggested to my sister that a cool gift she could get my husband for Christmas was a vegetable spiralizer. Just a little.  But, it wasn’t a terribly expensive investment, and I knew it would be good for the whole family!

And I’ll also admit 4 weeks later, I was still looking at this contraption wondering how in the world was I going to create those beautiful vegetable noodles like I’ve been seeing all over the cooking blogs and magazines?  I was very consumed with this thought that I would need a lot of time for this project, so I kept it on the back burner.
Much to my surprise, we created this in less than 30 minutes!

butternut squash 5

Now my mind is racing with ideas.  I’ll be able to make zucchini noodles with tomato sauce and get the kids to eat more vegetables. And I’ll make spiralized apple and carrot rings for beautiful salads. And I’ll make spiralized sweet potato French fries. The possibilities are endless!  Now I know how simple it is, and I can’t wait to share this with you.

Honestly, for $30, this is a fun addition to any kitchen.

I cut the thick skin off of a butternut squash, leaving the bright orange flesh showing. I set the bulb of the squash aside, and put the rest of the squash into “the machine.” A few cranks of the handle and 5 minutes later, these beautiful, squash “noodles” appeared.

butternut squash 2

I layered the noodles on a cooking sheet and baked them. (Full recipe below)

butternut squash 3

Baby scallops sautéed with olive oil, a little cherry tomatoes, onion, and cilantro were delicious served on top. Toppings are endless for these hearty, scrumptious vegetable noodles. For anyone looking for ways to cut down your pasta intake, or for all those people suffering with gluten intolerances, this is a game changer.

butternut squash 4

I can’t wait to try more fruits and vegetables with “our” new tool. See it wasn’t so selfish after all! Have you tried a veggie spiralizer yet? I would love to hear what you have made with it.

Have a great week,

Featured Recipe

Spiralized Butternut Squash Noodles with Baby Scallops served on top

1 medium butternut squash
1 package of frozen and defrosted baby scallops
Handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 onion, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced

To make the noodles:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the bulb off of the squash. Cut the flesh off of the remaining stem of squash, revealing the bright orange flesh. Place the squash into the spiralizer and turn the handle. Cut the noodles about every 12 inches. Place noodles onto a baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes. Increase the oven to broil and cook for another 4-5 minutes, watching closely so as not to burn the noodles.

Sauté the onion, olive oil, and cherry tomatoes in a large pan for 5-10 minutes. Add the scallops, cilantro, lemon juice, salt and pepper to your taste, and let simmer for another 15 minutes.

Serve the scallops on top of the noodles. Enjoy!

Revolutionize your lifestyle

Do you track?

Do you track anything?

It’s the small things in life that end up making a big difference. This is true for your finances, for your relationships, your house work, and especially for your fitness.

The extra $20 you could save each week by deciding to bring your lunch two days versus eating out could help you save over $1,000 a year. Walking up and down the stairs at work versus taking the elevator could give your body an extra 5-10 minutes a day of movement, and over time that movement will not only make your legs stronger but also improve your cardiovascular system.

The single biggest difference you can make to improve your behaviors is tracking. Starting today, if you set out to improve an area of your life, you need a measure. You need to be fully conscious and aware of the actions you are currently taking (or not taking!). And this measure can come by a simple tracking system.

Since this is the Just Feel it Fitness blog, let’s go with the example of someone wanting to lose weight by working on their nutrition. (Who doesn’t want to lose a few pounds, right?) This is not complicated, and this will not take any more time out of your day than the time you spend brushing your teeth. Do you have an extra minute to spend brushing your teeth? If the answer is yes, then you have the time you need to start tracking. Just take a pen and piece of paper and keep it with you all day. Any time you put something into your mouth, write it down. There are plenty of apps and spreadsheets you can download to do this tracking in a fancy format that will break down calories/fat/etc.  But, all you really need is a piece of paper.

Once you become aware of what you are putting into your body, you might think twice before eating the entire row of cookies, or the entire bag of chips, or that second glass of wine. Write down everything: every candy from the receptionist jar, every sample you try at Trader Joe’s, every piece of bread you eat waiting for your meal, you get the point. Write it all down. Be aware. This awareness will help you. And when you start realizing what you are putting into your body without even thinking about it, you just might not eat it the next time because you don’t want to write it down!

Maybe you want to improve your finances, write down every time you buy something. Have a measure, know where you are spending. Whatever your category is that you want to improve, write down everything.
Try it for a week, and then another week, and then one more. It takes three weeks to make or break a habit, start this one today. I guarantee you’ll be amazed by the results.

Small, consistent behaviors over time can lead you to amazing results.

Have a great week,

Love Your Body

Sign up now for the February “LOVE YOUR BODY” Challenge Group.
We’ll be focusing on weight loss, nutrition, and accountability.
Email for more info on how to sign up.

minute muffin with text

Featured Recipe

Blueberry Minute Muffin

1/4 cup ground flax
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1 tsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp sweetener of choice (I used stevia)
1/4 cup blueberries

Mix everything together in a coffee mug or microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for a minute. Dump out onto a plate.

This came out perfectly fluffy and delicious for a gluten free muffin!

Healthy, Happy Holidays

You’re busier than usual, you’re more stressed, and it’s cold out … so why not just take a break from your fitness program until the New Year?  There’s not enough time for everything, so why not just slack off on your fitness program for a few weeks?

NOOOOOO!!!!  Don’t do it.

Sure, you can always come up with an excuse not to exercise. But slacking off on your fitness program during the holiday season will only leave you with more pounds and more stress come New Year’s.  I get it.  The holiday season can be enough to derail even the most dedicated exerciser, but it’s also the most critical time to stick to your exercise program.  Your exercise regime will actually help you get through the season with less stress and more clarity to focus on the joy the season brings.  And maintaining some type of a workout schedule is even more important this time of year because most of us are eating more than usual.

Here are my top 5 tips to help you stay fit during the time-crunched, temptation-packed holiday season:

  • First, acknowledge that the holidays most likely will affect your exercise program to some extent. And then don’t beat yourself up when you can’t fit in every workout.
  • Take an honest look at your schedule, and instead of trying to squeeze exercise into your schedule, take other things out and make sure you actually schedule time into your day for exercise.  Be flexible when your days get busy. Instead of simply blowing off your 5 p.m. trip to the gym in favor of an office party at the same time, wake up an hour earlier and do a home workout. Squats, lunges, push-ups, and crunches are just a few of the many exercises you can do at home without any equipment. Or fit a brisk walk into your lunch hour.
  • To save time, try combining exercising and family commitments. For example, hauling the kids up a hill a few times can make a sledding trip as beneficial as a jog. Or take the family out for a long walk to look at Christmas lights.
  • Create a holiday wish list that includes something health and fitness related (some new workout clothes, a pair of dumbbells and gliders for your home workouts, or how about a block of personal training sessions? – check out the Just feel it fitness holiday promotion!)
  • Have a snack before you head out to the holiday party. Some carrots and hummus, or a small piece of cheese and some almonds. This way you won’t be starved and tempted to eat every single hors d’oeuvres that is passed.

Give yourself a little slack during the holidays.  After all, it’s a time to have fun and be with family and friends, and if you have a rigid attitude toward your diet and exercise, you may end up just giving up because you’ve set the standard too high.  Allow yourself some “cheat” days. In reality, what matters is the overall total calories you consume and the overall total you expend through physical activity over the entire holiday period. One or two splurges aren’t going to derail your efforts. Just make sure you’re still fitting in time to exercise. Make it a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season.

Have a great week,

shrimp salad

December Holiday party recipe ideas

Shrimp Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

For the Mango Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup peeled fresh or thawed frozen mango pieces
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. minced shallots
1/2 tsp minced chilis
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Dash salt
-Combine all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.

1 bunch of asparagus spears, blanched and chopped into 2inch pieces
1 1/2 cups peeled orange sections, pith removed (about 2 oranges)
1 bag (about 3/4 pound) of cooked shrimp

Mix together the asparagus, oranges, and shrimp in a large bowl. Pour the mango vinaigrette over the mixture and toss well.


The number on the scale.

Recently a client asked me “how often do you weigh yourself?” I found this such a great question with a really complex answer. So let me tell you about my relationship with the scale. This is by no means what yours should be, because let’s be realistic, everyone is different and everyone’s weightloss journey is also extremely different. Some people are trying to put on weight, some are trying to maintain, but most are trying to lose weight and my hope is that people in the last mentioned group are doing it in a healthy way without extreme dieting.

So back to the question- how often do I get on the scale? The truth- never. But that hasn’t always been the case. In fact prior to my 2 pregnancies and throughout them, I would weigh myself every single morning. And during the pregnancies, I wrote it all down in a chart and compared the two pregnancy’s weight gains. Why? I don’t know! I think I read too many “preparing for baby” books that talked about what the recommended weight gain should be and why. It didn’t make a bit of difference though, I still ate when I was hungry and I ate a lot. And I knew the number would go up each week, I just didn’t know how rapidly so I liked being able to monitor that. It gave me a sense of control in an experience that is completely out of our control. Like I still had a bit of control in what was happening with motherhood! Then what? Well, post pregnancy I lost the baby weight rather quickly. Nursing and running after the baby and my already fanatical fitness tendencies helped the weight to come off. And I continued to weigh myself daily until I reached a number I was happy at.

And now I am at a place in my health and fitness where I have realized that the number on the scale doesn’t matter that much. What is more important to me is how my body feels. I know exactly how much I weigh based more on my clothes and my emotions than that number on the scale. I know without a shadow of a doubt in the past 10 days I have put on 5-7 pounds. From heading to Chuy’s for Tex-Mex the minute the airplane landed (yes, after 4 hours on the airplane with 2 toddlers by myself, a beer was imperative!) to an absolutely beautiful wedding weekend with the best lemon wedding cake I’ve ever tasted, to girls dinner at Rise, to a Friendsgiving wine tasting at Times Ten Cellers, to Good ole Thanksgiving Dinner, brunch at Taverna, and of course pizza night atCane Rosso and a few other Mexican dinners thrown in the mix, this girl is ready for some serious clean eating! I wouldn’t trade any of it for a second but I know how my body feels when my diet is cleaner. I’m craving that feeling- the feeling when I’m not as bloated in my stomach and face, and when I’m not tired and lethargic. I need all the energy I can get to chase after my boys! So back to clean eating, December will be hard enough to stay focused with all the holiday parties and get-togethers so I’ll be starting off right with my December Graduates Challenge Group that begins today. We’re going to help hold each other accountable and stay focused all month long.

So how often should you weigh yourself? There’s not a one size fits all answer. If you’re the type of person who is motivated by the numbers, then by all means weigh yourself everyday. But if those numbers are going to make you crazy and you’ll not eat for a day because of the number, then weighing daily is definitely not for you. Once a week would be a better option. And please don’t think I’m suggesting that you never weigh yourself. Your weight is a total picture of your overall health, and it’s important that we keep good tabs on it.

I’m very curious, how often do you weigh yourself? Do you weigh yourself at the same time everyday? Can you tell what your weight is based on your emotions or by how your clothes fit? Let me know!

Have a great week,


December Holiday party ideas

For a beautiful and scrumptious  addition to your holiday party this year, try this salad of persimmon, pomegranate, goat cheese, and toasted walnuts, served over arugula.

1 packet of arugula
1 pomegranate (seeds removed)
3-4 persimmons cut into wedges
1 small log of goat cheese
3/4 cup of walnut halves, toasted

Lightly dress the arugula with a bit of olive oil and balsamic. Layer on the bottom of a large serving tray. Next assemble the persimmons, pomegranate, goat cheese, and walnuts on top. That’s it! Enjoy!

Keep It Simple

KISS is an acronym for “Keep it simple, stupid” as a design principle noted by the US Navy. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided. (Taken from Wikipedia)

This saying applies to so many facets of our lives. For me it especially resonates when it comes to nutrition. Did you know on average the typical household only has about 10 different meals that keep getting reshuffled onto the dinner table? Only 10. Wonder why? Because we are all creatures of habit and when we go to the store we buy the same thing, cook the same thing, and eat the same thing over and over again.

I have found that my diet consists of eating the same thing most days.  This truly helps eliminate decision making and stay on track as well as leave more time to focus on more important things.  How many times have you come across an amazing recipe on TV or a cook book and gone and bought all the 50 ingredients to make the meal just once? And then all those random ingredients sit in the pantry or refrigerator. Why is that? Because we are all creatures of habit. 80% of the time we’re going to make not only what is easy but something we know how to make without having to think. Since we know this is true, why not embrace it and focus on keeping it simple?

Just make sure those basic go-to meals that keep reoccurring in your diet are full of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and void of the processed stuff.  Would you like to see my typical “Keep it Simple” daily meal plan?  I’d be happy to share it with you, just ask!

Have a great week,


pumpkin mug cake

Featured Recipe

Individual Serving Pumpkin Mug Cake

¼ cup oats, ground (or oat flour)
1 teaspoon Stevia
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ scoop vanilla protein powder (I prefer SHAKEOLOGY, ask me why- I’d love to tell you!)
¼ cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1/8 cup almond milk
½ graham cracker sheet, crushed

1. Grind the oats
2. Add the pumpkin, egg and milk and stir well.
3. Spray the bottom of a mug or small bowl with cooking spray.
4. Sprinkle the graham cracker pieces on the bottom.  Pour the batter on top.
5. Microwave for 1:40 – 2:20, or until set but not overcooked.  Invert on a plate and serve.

(Recipe and image taken from