Help us pick our new puppy!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Early Morning Wake Up Call

My morning started at 5:00 a.m.  Bright and early, too early sometimes I think for training with Mike.  Today we worked on several moves using negative resistance.   According to Northwest University Health Sciences:
Negative training refers to emphasizing the eccentric or negative part of the contraction. This can be a great tool for reducing momentum that you might be using to help you and to break past plateaus you may have reached in your training. Typically, you lift the weight for 1-2 seconds and lower it for 2-4 seconds. In eccentric or negative training, you would still lift the weight for 1-2 seconds but would take 8 to 10 seconds to lower it, thus forcing the muscle to control the weight in a different part of the movement.

I didn't exactly leap out of bed this morning eager to have my butt kicked but I felt great when I was done.  Workout?  Check!

Vega Shake & Go Smoothie

After my workout with Mike, lunch could not come fast enough!  I stuffed an Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Tortilla full with Oregon's Choice Gourmet Albacore, fresh baby spinach, red onion and avocado. And sliced up a bunch of cucumber on the side.  It was really filling and held me over until my late afternoon snack that I was very eager to try!

I was just sent this package of Vega Shake & Go Smoothie, a plant-based protein powder that I mixed with a frozen banana and a little nonfat Greek yogurt as an afternoon snack.  Packages are available on the company website for $23.95.  It looks like the Tropical Tango is currently out of stock but other flavors are available.

Vega Shake & Go Smoothie is packed full of nutrients including protein, fibre, Omega-3, probiotics and greens, it combines whole food goodness with fast food convenience.  The Smoothie contains: 
Two servings of veggies 
2500 mg Omega-3-6-9 
11 g complete protein 
Only 100 calories 
1 billion probiotics cultures
The Smoothies come in four flavors:  Bodacious Berry, Vanilla Almondilla, Choc-a-Lot and Tropical Tango.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Exhale Core Fusion Body Sculpt

Breakfast this morning was simple but really tasty.  Its hard at work sometimes to get protein in but I've discovered that I can quick microwave egg whites, toast Orowheat sandwich rounds and have a super yummy, low calorie breakfast sandwich in minutes. 

And since I ran really short on time today, I threw together another sandwich for lunch.  This time with sliced pear and turkey breast meat.  I added a few almonds on the side for some healthy fat.

Remember my obsession with Exhale Mind Body Spa?  While in New York I picked up a couple of their fitness DVDs and finally had the chance tonight to give it a try.  Note to self, when I have training with the Evil Training Monster scheduled for 6:00 a.m. trying a workout like this the night before maybe is not the smartest move.

One word:  OUCH!

But if I can get my stomach to look like this it is SO worth it!

Chile Stuffed Sweet Potato

After my workout and walk with Hunter I needed an easy, healthy dinner to put together so I grabbed Amy's Organic Chile and made stuffed sweet potatoes topped with lowfat cheddar.  Half a sweet potato, 1/3 cup of chile and cheese is only 184 calories and is packed full of great nutrients!

Here are some of the benefits of the sweet potato from North Carolina Sweet Potatoes:

The Vegetable with Super Food Powers

Did you know that…

  • One cup of cooked sweet potatoes provides 1,922 mcg_RAE of beta carotene (Vitamin A).
    It would take 16 cups of broccoli to provide the same amount.

  • Sweet potatoes have four times the US Recommended Daily Allowance (USRDA) for beta-carotene when eaten with the skin on.

  • Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin E, and they are virtually fat-free, which makes them a real Vitamin E standout. Most Vitamin E rich foods, such as vegetable oils, nuts and avocados, contain a hefty dose of fat.

  • Just two thirds of a cup of sweet potatoes provides 100% of the USRDA for Vitamin E, without the unwanted fat.

  • Sweet potatoes provide many other essential nutrients including Vitamin B6, potassium and iron.

  • Sweet potatoes are a good source of dietary fiber which helps to promote a healthy digestive tract. Sweet potatoes have more fiber than oatmeal.

  • Sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate which means they digest more slowly than white potatoes and therefore will not cause your blood sugar to spike.

  • Sweet potatoes are virtually fat-free, cholesterol-free and very low in sodium. One cup (200 grams) of cooked sweet potatoes has 180 calories. 

    Of course, dinner included a salad (as most of our dinners do), but instead of dressing I topped with lots of veggies and homemade vinegar from my friend Jolee.  So good!

Win It Wednesday - Chico Bag Produce Stand Starter Kit

This week's Win It Wednesday is a complete Chico Bag Produce Stand starter kit!  I recently received the bags from Chico Bag and love them.  They work great and keep your produce fresh a lot longer than keeping them unprotected in your vegetable compartment.

The Produce Stand collection by ChicoBag™ is the first reusable line of produce bags specifically designed to maintain optimal humidity and air flow keeping fruits and vegetables fresh and healthy. The Produce Stand Collection consists of three different reusable produce bags. Each produce bag is constructed from a different fabric designed to optimize freshness when paired with the right produce. All three bags are machine washable and stuff into an adorable apple pouch with an attached carabiner, making it easy to carry and store your bags when not in use.
Ready to win it?  Email me with your response to the following question at  Good luck!!

If there is only one vegetable you could eat for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Arousal of the Senses: An Evening of Feast & Folly

Last month while in New York for the Fancy Food Show I was invited to a press event hosted by Chuao Chocolatier and Sip, Smoke, Savor called Arousal of the Senses:  An Evening of Feast & Folly.  My colleagues Joyce and Jeff, and I completely indulged in a series of single malt scotch paired with Chuao Chocolates.

Chocolatier and Chef Michael Antonorsi giving us the ins and outs of pairing flavor profiles of his unique chocolate

And my favorite pairing of the night, which brought out the citrus flavors in both the chocolate and the scotch.

What a great swag bag!

I know I'm just getting around to posting about Chuao, having only dipped into my stash yesterday by savoring one of their mini Spicy Maya "Chocopods" which they say pairs perfectly with coffee.  Okay, two of my favorite things! What I like about the Chocopod is you get both portion control AND your sweet tooth cured.  If you can stick to one that is!  You can get Chuao chocolates online, or in many retail chains around the U.S.

Here's a little more about Chuao from the source:
Unusual flavor combinations are at the heart of Chuao Chocolatier’s unique experience including: Firecracker, a chipotle caramel fudge truffle with popping candy, a hint of salt, and dark chocolate and Pan Con Chocolate, a dark chocolate bonbon filled with roasted Panko bread crumbs and olive oil ganache with a touch of sea salt.
Chuao Chocolatier (pronounced chew-WOW) is the first Venezuelan Chocolatier based in the United States and Southern California’s premier artisan chocolatier.

Founded in 2002 by Master Chef Michael Antonorsi and his brother Richard Antonorsi - the company's CEO; Chuao Chocolatier is pioneering “fusion chocolate” through a commitment to creating unusual, unexpected and delicious flavors using their secret blend of premium chocolate and fresh natural ingredients.

Am I the last person on Earth to find out about this?  I was at dinner with my friend Paul who told me all about the wonders of, a site that allows you to get 50% off of restaurant certificates across the country.  Of course, I came home and started plugging in searches for restaurants in downtown San Diego, north by my office and out east by our house.  MOTHER LOAD!

So maybe many of our favorite restaurants are not on here (they probably don't need to be), but still there are quite a few places that we go to, or we have wanted to try, that are making pretty steep offers!

Ex-San Diegan Revisits the Fish Taco

I've been friends with Paul for 10 years and, though I can't understand why, he moved awhile back from San Diego to Austin leaving behind a cadre of great friends and the staple food of my city, the Fish Taco.

So tonight before Paul heads back to Texas, Michael and I met up with him for taco night at the Brigantine

I started with a simple garden salad with balsamic vinegar

And ordered my taco in my usual, modified way:  Grilled, not fried, no cheese, no sauce.  They goofed on the no sauce part (argh!). 

Dodgers were playing the Padres so Paul and Michael were a little distracted by the TV sets.  I'm still not sure who won!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tastemaker Video Series

Our team just launched a new video series featuring chefs in San Diego who participate in our annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival and the first two videos are up on our website! I'm really excited to be able to share them with you as they are fun and informative with good tips and recipes.  Enjoy the first two featuring Chef Bernard Guillas of the Marine Room and Chef Anthony Sinsay of Harney Sushi!


Menu Shocker

I was starving by the time lunch rolled around and not too sure why.  Breakfast was among my usual standbys of Fage, Ezekiel, berries and Agave syrup.

By the time I got to the restaurant I knew it could be a scary scene if I did not find something fairly healthy to eat.  Plates of pizza, pasta and the like rolled past me, which is usually not horribly tempting.  But when your really, really hungry?  Game over.

So, I met up with Ken for lunch at BJ's Brewhouse to talk logistics on our upcoming Festival and quickly asked for a nutrition menu which thankfully they have.  If you have never asked for one of these bad boys in a chain restaurant I highly recommend you do.  I'm a pretty seasoned pro at this and even I get shocked by the calorie count on some of the dishes.

I tried to prepare by going online before I got to the restaurant but could not find any nutrition content.


I ordered the minestrone soup

And the Thai Shrimp wraps

And stole a small sliver of Ken's flatbread cheese pizza which rang in at 99 calories, or so the menu said!

Such a Softie!

The path we take Hunter on for his evening walk takes us right past our neighborhood grocery store, Henry's, so on many nights I pop in to pick up what I need for that evening's dinner and always emerge with a doggy treat from the bulk bin for our favorite lab.

Only, Henry's has just done away with the bulk doggy treats and tonight, I just could not deal with the look on Hunter's face when I came out from inside the store without a special "prize" for him.

So, even though we have a TON of treats at home, I purchased another box to avoid the guilt.

How could I say no?

After our walk, I warmed up leftover chicken from last night, with quinoa, avocado and sweet red peppers for dinner.  I put it all in an Ezekiel wrap that I heated on a griddle.

I thought this was an interesting tidbit about why Ezekiel utilizes sprouted grains in their product:
Sprouting is the only way to release all the vital nutrients stored in whole grains. The sprouting process activates beneficial enzymes which cause the grains to sprout and become living and nutrient-rich. Stores of vitamins and minerals dramatically increase over the amount available in flour. Sprouting also converts the carbohydrates in grains into maltose, which is ordinarily done by the body during digestion, thereby predigesting nutrients for you. The enzymatic action enables the body to assimilate the vitamins and minerals more efficiently. Plus, the sprouting process naturally increases the protein content and decreases the calories and carbohydrates found in the original grain.
These sprouted grain tortillas are a complete protein and an entire one is only 150 calories.

I also like to warm them with a tiny bit of peanut butter and banana for a low-cal breakfast...hmmm maybe tomorrow!

Michael built a fire outside so its time to relax with my boys and finish up a tiny bit of work!

Good night!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

BIG Salads

Sunday is Big Salad night, mainly because it is when I prepare my On the Go salad for the week.  I always keep a huge container of it in the fridge so that assembling salads for lunch and dinner are easy and filled with lots of Super Foods.  I decided to put a slight Asian twist on tonight's dinner and used a rub filled with sesame seeds and Chinese Five Spice.

In tonight's salad:

  • Baby Spinach
  • Baby Romaine
  • Red Kale
  • Green Onion
  • Radish
  • Chicken Breast
  • Quinoa
  • Toasted Almonds
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Garbanzo Beans
  • Galeo's Miso Ginger Dressing


Time for a Hike!

This morning, we got up and headed out for a hike on Cowles Mountain.  My normal Sunday routine is to power through an hour of Kickboxing followed by an hour of yoga at the gym so this was a really nice change of pace.  A beautiful way to start our Sunday outdoors!

And good exercise for Hunter too!

At the top!

And the Lucini Italia Cinque e' Cinque Winner Is!!!

There were so many entries to last week's Win It Wednesday Friday which is wonderful but also always makes me feel a bit bad as only one person gets to win.  Luckily, we have some pretty fun fitness and gourmet food products to share each week with some really exciting prizes coming up over the coming weeks.  Please keep trying if you don't win!  All responses were tossed into a hat, and the winner is.......

#32, Kelly Schaefer.  And here is her response to last week's question on what she planned to do over the weekend that was just for herself:

Firstly, I took a 3 mile walk this morning in this blistering heat.  I felt great, soaked in sweat, but was great think time for me.  Now that its later in the day, I am thinking of trying out a new recipe for dinner.  Something that I want to try, not that everyone is clamoring for me to make them!  Later, I am going to relax and catch up on some of my reading.....magazines have been piling up.

Thanks for asking.  Sometimes, well, ok, most of the time, its hard for us to concentrate and do something just for ourselves.  Thanks for the reminder!
Kelly won a package of the Lucini Italia Cinque e' Cinque and Whisk!  
Congratulations Kelly!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Win It Friday! - Lucini Italia Cinque e' Cinque Tuscan Chickpea Frittata Mix & Whisk!

Okay, I know, we usually do fun giveaways on Wednesday but this week's Win It Wednesday actually required some extra prep on my part.  After our workout with Mike, I came home and made Lucini Italia's Cinque e' Cinque Tuscan Chickpea Frittata Mix for dinner.

I first learned about the products at the Fancy Food Show and was super excited to get a package from them with a variety of mixes to try. 

In the Tuscan town of Livorno, Italy Cinque E' Cinque is served as a healthy snack.  I'm loving it already!  Here is more from the source:
Cinque e’ Cinque, also known as Faranita, is a storied Italian entree. In the Ligurian region of Italy, bake shops and pizzerias traditionally post signs in the store front window saying when this baked chickpea frittata will be ready, and customers stand in line waiting enjoy these treats right out of the oven. The name “Cinque e’ Cinque” was coined in the early 1900s by sailors coming through Livorno and refers to the going rate – five cents for the patty and five cents for the bread. 
A healthy and simple dish to make at home using only two common ingredients already in your kitchen, Cinque e’ Cinque is high in fiber, contains 9g of protein and is gluten free and vegan. Enjoy in a variety of different ways; sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper and serve on a baguette, use as protein in a main dish, create a side dish topped with fresh tomato and basil, or use as a blank culinary canvas for any delicious combination.
Last night I made the Rosemary:

And topped with a little marinara sauce.  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.  Word of caution however.  I was starving after working out and a little impatient.  Directions tell you to let the dish cool for 10 minutes before serving, which, of course, I ignored.  Cutting into it early does a total disservice because what you get is goo.  Once rested, it forms into a beautifully dense patty.  Totally worth the wait!

This Week's Win It Wednesday Friday! winner will get to try Cinque e' Cinque and will also get this cute whisk the company sent as well!

To enter, just email me at and answer the following question:

What is something you are doing just for you this weekend?

Happy Friday!


Munch, Munch, Munch, Munch

I feel like all I did yesterday is munch!  For breakfast I heated up a packet of Nature's Path Organic Oatmeal and mixed in a little Bear Naked Fit Vanilla Almond Crunch to give it some texture.  My new fave thing to do is to warm up frozen berries and add it to my oatmeal.  I felt like I was eating a little bowl of dessert which is never a bad way to start the morning! 

I snacked on Doctor Kracker Hummus Maximus crackers, Mini Babybell light cheese and a couple of dried figs before heading out for my meeting.

Its been ages since I have been to Gourmet Bagger so on my way to the office after my meeting I stopped in to pick up a modified version of their Turkey Grinder which usually comes with breast of turkey, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, sweet peppers, provolone cheese, mayo, italian seasonings on an 8” french roll.

Instead, I modify mine:  turkey, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, sweet peppers, provolone cheese, italian seasonings on wheat.  (I wind up taking 1/2 the cheese and the top of the bread off).

Now, here is the spoiler.  At the bottom of your brown bag Gourmet Bagger always slips in a fresh from the oven, piping hot chocolate chip cookie.  I thought I could resist it but the power of the cookie was too strong for me today.  Good thing they are small!