2013 Pre-Holiday Special – now or never!

October 29th, 2013

Pre-Holiday Special: Sign up now through December 20th 2013 and get 10-20% off:

***Imagine starting the holiday season fresh, healthy, in shape and without any guilt – how great would that be!!***

If you sign up until November 3rd 2013,  you’ll receive a 10% discount. And if you sign up with a friend one of you will get another 10% off.

Free 1 Week Trial

January 17th, 2013

Just in time to have you stick to your New Year’s resolution of getting back in shape or starting a new fitness routine we’re offering

1 WEEK of Boot Camp classes for FREE!

Join us at Kezar Stadium or Lake Merced for unlimited workouts for a week. Check out our schedule for class times and locations. his offer is valid though February 15, 2013, new clients only.

Tell you friends, neighbors and co-workers about it! Now is the time to get the momentum going – and with our fun and friendly classes we’ll make sure the momentum keeps going.


Schnell Schnell on Facebook

June 25th, 2012

Check out our Facebook page and “like” us!  New pictures, fun facts & updates:


Or just join us in person at one of our workouts, much better than clicking…! :)

Spring Workout Intensive III – Evenings

May 17th, 2012

Spring Workout Intensive II: May 21 – June 7, 2012

Join us for a special 3-week fitness program to get in shape with speed, intensity & fun!

**Monday, Wednesday & Thursday evenings, 6-7pm**

We’re meeting at Kezar Stadium, bottom bench in section ‘A’.

Sign up now and save: $119 (paypal, valid through May 19) for the whole workout intensive. Pay on your first day: $129 (cash or check). Or sign up with a friend: $250 for both of you (first-timers only).

All fitness levels are welcome. Individual modifications are always possible.

Email me to sign up or if you have any questions!


P.S. I’m also available for private or small group training in the mornings and during the day. Contact me for details.

Start spring right: Get in shape, lean up, gain energy, meet great people – all outdoors in the fresh air!

Spring Workout Intensive II – Evenings

April 26th, 2012

Spring Workout Intensive II:  April 30 – May 17, 2012

Join us for a special 3-week fitness program to get in shape with speed, intensity & fun!

**Monday, Wednesday & Thursday evenings, 6-7pm**

We’re meeting at Kezar Stadium, bottom bench in section ‘A’.

Sign up now and save:  $119 (paypal, valid through March 28) for the whole workout intensive. Pay on your first day:  $129 (cash or check). Or sign up with a friend:  $250 for both of you (first-timers only).

All fitness levels are welcome. Individual modifications are always possible.

Email me to sign up or if you have any questions!


P.S.  I’m also available for private or small group training in the mornings and during the day. Contact me for details.

Start spring right: Get in shape, lean up, gain energy, meet great people – all outdoors in the fresh air!

Spring Workout Intensive – Evenings

March 24th, 2012

Spring Workout Intensive:  April 9 – 26, 2012

Join us for a special 3-week fitness program to get in shape with speed, intensity & fun! 

**Monday, Wednesday & Thursday evenings, 6-7pm**

We’re meeting at Kezar Stadium, bottom bench in section ‘A’.

Sign up now and save:  $115 (paypal, valid through March 25) for the whole workout intensive. Pay on your first day:  $129 (cash or check). Or sign up with a friend:  $250 for both of you.

All fitness levels are welcome. Individual modifications are always possible.

Email me to sign up or if you have any questions!


P.S.  I’m also available for private or small group training in the mornings and during the day. Contact me for details.

Start spring right: Get in shape, lean up, gain energy, meet great people – all outdoors in the fresh air!


January 24th, 2010

Just a quick hello from beautiful Puerto Viejo! It’s truly a paradise down here, the area is lush and tropical, the weather is just perfect to sit outside all day and night in a shirt and the ocean is refreshing without being cold. I’ve met great people – locals as well as tourists like me :) – and everyone is very friendly, happy and caring.

Today is a special day. Not only has it been exactly a week since I got here but I also acquired a surfboard just a couple of hours ago. Still needs a leash but I already tried it out paddling in the ocean for a while. It’s quite a different feel from the 8′ board I use at home – it’s only 7′ and oh boy, quite a challenge in balancing. Luckily, the water is very flat today, so I spend a good hour paddling around, falling off the board and climbing back on. I’m very glad the beach is deserted! :)

In other news:
Apart from relaxing I’ve talked to a bunch of people about the volunteer projects we’re organizing for March. If you don’t know yet, I’m involved in ‘Surf For Life‘, a San Francisco based non-profit that offers volunteer trips to anyone interested in making a difference for the inhabitants of coastal communities. All hands-on work is focused on schools, education and access to education. It looks like the projects will include the repair of a suspension bridge that’s vital for the indigenous Bribri to access town for food, water, schools and trade. Also, the basketball court in town urgently needs new surfacing, especially since most kids play barefoot. The basketball program is one of very few offerings for the local kids to spend afternoon and evenings. We’re hoping to put up lights as well, so they got a great place to go to to spend their evenings. More work will come up around the local schools and ‘El Puente – The Bridge’, a local non-profit focusing on providing much needed community services to the indigenous Bribri. I’ll keep you posted. www.surfforlife.org

I hope you’re all well and sending you a ton of sunshine! :)

Pura Vida,

P.S. Pics coming soon

Last Beach Boot Camp & Fundraiser!

January 6th, 2010

Beach Boot Camp Fundraiser
Sun, Jan 10th 2010 10-11:30AM
Ocean Beach, stairs #4
(Great Highway at Balboa St)

Work out for a great cause: I’m asking for a $25 donation (or whatever you can give) benefiting my fundraising goal for a volunteer trip I’m taking in March 2010. This trip is organized by Surf For Life, a local registered non-profit organization. All donations are fully tax deductible. More info at www.surfforlife.org.

Stick with your New Year’s resolutions and enjoy intense workouts with a fun group of like-minded people!

I’m looking forward to kicking your bootie, :)

Special Saturday Workouts

December 21st, 2009

Join us for our Special Holiday & New Year Beach Workouts!


Every Saturday morning for the next 3 weeks, free for Bootie Campers. Feel free to bring family & friends!

Work out for a great cause: I’m asking for a $25 donation (or whatever you can give) benefiting my fundraising goal for a volunteer trip I’m taking in March 2010. This trip is organized by Surf For Life, a local registered non-profit organization. All donations are fully tax deductible. More info at www.surfforlife.org.

Santa on the Beach
Sat, Dec 26th 2009 10-11:30AM
Ocean Beach, stairs #4
(Great Highway at Balboa St)

First Beach Boot Camp 2010
Sat, Jan 2nd 2010 10-11:30AM
Ocean Beach, stairs #4
(Great Highway at Balboa St)

Beach Boot Camp Fundraiser
Sun, Jan 10th 2010 10-11:30AM
Ocean Beach, stairs #4
(Great Highway at Balboa St)

Stick with your New Year’s resolutions and enjoy intense workouts with a fun group of like-minded people!

I’m looking forward to kicking your bootie, :)

I’m asking for a $25 donation (or whatever you can give) benefiting a volunteer trip I’m taking in March 2010. This trip is organized by Surf For Life, a local registered non-profit organization. All donations are fully tax deductible. More info on www.surfforlife.org. Why wait with your new year’s resolutions?

Holiday Schedule

December 21st, 2009

Tue, Dec 22 & Wed, Dec 23: Regular classes
Thu, Dec 24 & Fri, Dec 25: No classes

Tue, Dec 29 & Wed, Dec 30: Regular classes
Thu, Dec 31 & Fri, Jan 1: No classes

Additional Holiday Workouts — free for Bootie Campers: Sat, Dec 26 & Sat, Jan 2
(see separate post for details!)

Happy Holidays to you and your family!


October 17th, 2009



Serves 6:

1/2 cup goat’s milk yogurt (can be replaced with regular yogurt)
1/2 cup soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon (scant) vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
24 ripe black Mission figs, halved lengthwise
Fleur de sel (optional)
2 bunches pepper cress or watercress, thick stems trimmed (about 4 cups)
1 cup (loosely packed) small mint leaves
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 dried Indonesian long pepper* (also known as Balinese long pepper; available at specialty foods stores, Middle Eastern markets, and from zingermans.com)

Whisk together first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Season with salt and reserve. Sprinkle figs with fleur de sel; set in center of plate. Drizzle dressing on figs; scatter pepper cress and mint over. Season with olive oil and Indonesian pepper.

Enjoy! :)

[Source: Epicurious.com]


September 11th, 2009



Serves 6:

3/4 cup French green lentils*
6 cups 1-inch pieces peeled seeded sugar pumpkin or butternut squash (from about one 2-pound whole pumpkin)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika**
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 cups baby arugula
1 cup soft goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Place lentils in small bowl. Cover with cold water and soak 10 minutes; drain.

Cook lentils in boiling salted water until tender but firm, about 30 minutes. Drain lentils. Rinse under cold water, then drain.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place pumpkin in large bowl; toss with 2 tablespoons oil, cumin, paprika, and sea salt. Arrange pumpkin in single layer on baking sheet; roast 20 minutes. Turn pumpkin over. Roast until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool.

Combine lentils, pumpkin, and oil from baking sheet with arugula, half of goat cheese, mint, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among plates; sprinkle remaining goat cheese over.

[Source: Epicurious.com]

Gym Myths – esp. for Women

August 6th, 2009

Ladies (& Gentlemen), check out this article – you’ve probably heard some of this stuff before… :)



August 6th, 2009



1 red jalapeño chile
1 garlic clove, peeled
4 5- to 6-ounce halibut or mahi-mahi fillets
2 large red bell peppers, quartered lengthwise, seeded
Olive oil for brushing plus 1/4 cup
2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
2 teaspoons ground coriander, divided
1 lemon, halved

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Thread jalapeño and garlic clove onto metal skewer. Brush jalapeño, garlic, fish, and red bell peppers with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle fish with 1/2 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon coriander. Grill fish, bell peppers,jalapeño, and garlic until vegetables are tender and charred and fish is just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side for fish and 8 minutes per side for vegetables. Grill lemon, cut side down, until charred, about 3 minutes. Transfer fish to plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

Peel charred parts of skin from bell peppers and cut stem from jalapeño, and transfer to blender, discarding peel and stem. Add garlic clove, remaining 1/4 cup oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin, and 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander to blender. Process until coarse puree forms. Season sauce generously to taste with salt and pepper.

Place 1 fish fillet on each of 4 plates. Squeeze grilled lemon over. Spoon sauce over fish and serve.

Enjoy! :)

[Source: Epicurious.com]


August 6th, 2009

Fresh Greek-Style Salad


3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced crosswise
1 head radicchio (1/2 pound), halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
1 head romaine, coarsely chopped (6 cups)
2 small cucumbers, peeled if desired, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
2/3 cup mixed Greek olives (1/4 pound)

Whisk together lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl until sugar and salt have dissolved.

Add oil and whisk until combined well. Stir in tomatoes and onion and let stand 10 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat.

Enjoy! :)

[Source: Epicurious.com]


July 2nd, 2009



Serves 6:

3 1/2 cups ketchup
1 cup honey
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple in juice
2 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

3 racks beef back ribs (about 9 pounds total), each rack cut in half
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped celery
1 onion, halved lengthwise
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped carrots
2 whole bay leaves
10 whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon salt

Combine first 7 ingredients in large deep saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until very thick, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Cool sauce. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Place ribs in heavy large pot. Add celery, onion, carrots, bay leaves, peppercorns and 1 tablespoon salt. Add enough water to cover ribs and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until meat is tender, about 1 hour. Using tongs, remove rib racks from pot. Cool slightly. Cut between bones into individual ribs. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; refrigerate.)

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Brush ribs with some of sauce. Grill ribs until brown and thickly glazed, occasionally turning and basting with more sauce, about 10 minutes.

Enjoy! :)

[Source: Epicurious.com]


June 22nd, 2009



Serves 4:

1/3 cup soft herbed goat cheese
16 Medjool dates, pitted
16 large basil leaves
4 wide, thin slices prosciutto di Parma, each cut into 4 long strips
16 toothpicks, soaked in water 10 minutes

Heat broiler to low. Spoon 1 teaspoon cheese into each date; wrap with a basil leaf, then a prosciutto strip. Secure with a toothpick. Broil until cheese bubbles, about 3 minutes. Serve warm.

Enjoy! :)

[Source: SELF.com]


June 16th, 2009



Serves 4:
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from canned chipotle chiles)
2 limes
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 oz each)
1 large mango, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons sea salt
4 white-corn tortillas

Mix Worcestershire, soy and adobo sauces with juice from 1 of the limes in a bowl. Place chicken in a sealable plastic bag and pour in marinade. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine mango, avocado, cilantro, onion, salt and juice from remaining lime in a bowl, then refrigerate. Transfer chicken and marinade to a baking dish and cook until tender and no longer pink, approximately 20 minutes. Remove chicken from oven, place each breast on a plate and top with 1/4 of salsa. Serve with 1 tortilla each.

Enjoy! :)

385 calories per serving
9.6 g fat (1.4 g saturated)
44 g carbs
6.5 g fiber
31 g protein

[Source: SELF.com]

Exercising during Pregnancy

May 7th, 2009

Lately, I had many questions about this subject.  Maybe it’s the springtime? :)

As a Personal Trainer I know the basics about exercising during pregnancy but I had a few open questions.  To find out more I ordered and just received a fantastic book: “Motherwell Maternity Fitness Plan” by Bonnie Berk.  It’s recognized by the American Council on Exercise (ACE)  for their continuing education program and has received high praise from health professionals. I like it because it’s very easy to read! And it covers all aspects of Pregnancy and Fitness: Basics and safety guidelines, Q&A’s, eating, breathing, meditation, and a variety of strengthening and flexibilty exercises. If you are pregnant or planning to be this is a great resource for all phases.

Click here for a few excerpts and a table of content.

And as always: Let me know if you have any questions! :)


May 5th, 2009



Serves 4:
Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small shallot, chopped
1 cup packed fresh spinach, chopped
4 whole eggs
4 egg whites
8 sun-dried tomato halves, chopped
1/2 cup grated Asiago
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 slices whole-wheat toast
2 cups fresh berries

Heat oven to 425°F. Coat 4 small baking dishes with cooking spray. Set aside. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Cook shallot until soft but not brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add spinach; cook 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Lightly whisk eggs and egg whites in a bowl. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes, cheese, basil, spinach mixture, salt and pepper. Spoon into baking dishes; bake until firm in the center, 12 to 14 minutes. Serve each with 1 slice toast and 1/2 cup berries.

Enjoy! :)

Per serving: 289 calories, 13.4 g fat (5.2 g saturated), 4.3 g fiber, 27.7 g carbs, 17.5 g protein

[Source: Epicurious.com]


May 1st, 2009



Serves 4:
1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar plus extra for drizzling
Oil from jar of sun-dried tomatoes
Assorted crudités
Whole wheat pita bread, cut into wedges

Puree beans, olive oil, and 1 tablespoon vinegar in processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Drizzle with tomato oil and a few drops of vinegar. Serve with crudités and pita wedges.

Enjoy! :)

[Source: Epicurious.com]


April 13th, 2009



Serves 4:

6 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon rice wine (or apple cider) vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt

3 boneless, skinless whole chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon sweet chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 ears of corn, husked
1/2 pound asparagus stalks (about 10), ends trimmed, cut into thirds
3 plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons pine nuts
3 slices turkey bacon, cooked as directed on package, chopped

Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender. Sprinkle chicken with garlic and chili powders, salt and pepper. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet over high heat and add oil. When oil is hot, add chicken. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook for 6 minutes per side, turning halfway through. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook until chicken is no longer pink inside, 2 to 3 minutes. Cool chicken and slice thinly. Boil corn in a medium saucepan 5 minutes; cool, then cut kernels off cob; place in a bowl. Steam asparagus in 1 inch boiling water 3 minutes; drain and cool 1 minute. Add to bowl along with remaining vegetables. Heat a dry pan over medium heat. Add pine nuts. Cook, stirring often, until toasted, about 6 minutes. Place salad on a platter; top with chicken, bacon, pine nuts and dressing.

Enjoy! :)

[Source: Epicurious.com]

Nutritional Info: 450 calories, 11.4 g fat, 2.2 g saturated, 41.8 g carbohydrates, 2.8 g fiber, 45 g protein per serving


April 10th, 2009



Serves 6:
10 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup (packed) fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup (packed) fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves (pulled from sprigs)
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons herbes de Provence*
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 1- to 1 1/4-pound well-trimmed racks of lamb (each with 8 bones)

Combine first 6 ingredients in food processor. Blend until garlic is finely chopped. Add 4 tablespoons oil and blend until coarse paste forms. Sprinkle each lamb rack generously with salt. Transfer half of herb paste to small bowl and reserve. Spread remaining half of herb paste over lamb racks. Arrange lamb on rimmed baking sheet. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover lamb and reserved herb paste separately and chill. Bring both to room temperature before continuing.)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Place 1 lamb rack, meat side down, in skillet. Sear until golden, about 2 minutes; return to baking sheet, meat side up. Repeat with remaining lamb racks. Roast lamb until meat thermometer inserted into center of lamb registers 130°F for medium-rare, about 20 minutes. Transfer lamb to platter. Let stand 15 minutes. Mix any pan juices into reserved herb paste. Cut lamb between bones into individual chops. Serve with herb sauce.

[Source: Epicurious.com]


April 8th, 2009



Serves 4-8:
2 pounds medium shrimp (about 76), peeled and deveined
3/4 cup white-wine vinegar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup capers, not drained
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
7 bay leaves (not California)
2 firm-ripe California avocados

Accompaniment: Soft green-leaf lettuce such as Boston

Cook shrimp in a 5-quart pot of boiling salted water (use 1 tablespoon salt for every 4 quarts water) until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes, then drain in a colander.
Whisk together vinegar, oil, capers, salt, pepper, celery seeds, and Tabasco in a large bowl, then add warm shrimp, onion, celery, and bay leaves and toss to combine. Marinate, covered and chilled, 24 hours to 2 days.
Just before serving, discard bay leaves. Quarter, pit, and peel avocados and cut into 3/4-inch cubes. Gently stir into shrimp salad, then spoon over lettuce.

Enjoy! :)

[Source: Epicurious.com]


March 27th, 2009



2 pounds baby carrots, peeled, trimmed, leaving 1/2 inch of green tops attached
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter, diced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 small jalapeño (preferably red), seeded, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

2 1-to 1 1/4-pound pork tenderloins
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

For carrots:
Arrange carrots on large rimmed baking sheet. Whisk 2 tablespoons water and all remaining ingredients in small bowl; pour over carrots and toss to coat. Cover tightly with heavy-duty foil. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Toss to coat before continuing.

For pork:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Roast carrot mixture covered until just tender, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, arrange pork tenderloins on another rimmed baking sheet. Stir oregano, cumin, chile powder, smoked paprika, and 1 teaspoon coarse salt in small bowl; rub mixture all over tenderloins. Heat oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork to skillet and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Return to rimmed baking sheet.

Remove foil from carrots. Nestle pork among carrots on baking sheet, arranging carrots in single layer around pork. Roast uncovered until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 145°F, stirring carrots occasionally if beginning to caramelize, about 18 minutes. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes.

Transfer pork to work surface. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange carrots on platter. Top with pork slices, drizzling any pan juices over.

Enjoy! :)

[Source: Epicurious.com]


March 13th, 2009



Serves 4:

2 Kirby cucumbers, divided
1 1/2 cups non-fat Greek yogurt (3/4 pounds)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, divided
garlic cloves, minced, divided
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped mint
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 rounded teaspoon dried oregano
1 rounded teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
4 (8-inch) pocketless whole wheat pita rounds
1/2 roast chicken, skin discarded, meat shredded (about 2 1/4 cups), and carcass reserved for stock
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced

Preheat broiler.

Tsatsiki: Peel and grate 1 cucumber, then squeeze it with your hands to remove excess water. Stir together with yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, one third of garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.  Note: Tsatsiki can be made 1 day ahead, chill.

Salsa: Cut remaining cucumber into 1/4-inch pieces and stir together with tomatoes, onion, parsley, mint, remaining 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil and gently simmer with oregano, rosemary, remaining garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a small heavy saucepan, stirring constantly, until garlic is fragrant but not browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Toss chicken with a little bit of garlic oil and brush one side of pita bread with remainder.

Heat bread, oiled side up, in a 4-sided sheet pan, covered with foil, 3 to 4 inches from broiler 3 minutes. Uncover and broil, rotating bread for even coloring, until golden in spots, about 2 minutes.

Spread some of tsatsiki on warm bread and top with chicken and some of lettuce and salsa. Serve remaining lettuce, salsa, and tsatsiki on the side.

Enjoy! :)

[Source: Epicurious.com, with slight changes for a lighter version]


March 6th, 2009


so easy & gooooood!

so easy & gooooood!

1 9-ounce bag fresh spinach leaves
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium red onion, halved, cut into 1/3-inch-thick wedges with some core attached
1 7-ounce package feta cheese (light), coarsely crumbled
2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar

Place spinach in large bowl. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add onion; sauté until brown and softened, about 7 minutes. Transfer to bowl with spinach; remove skillet from heat. Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil and cheese to skillet. Stir to melt cheese slightly, about 1 minute. Stir in vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over spinach; toss to coat and wilt slightly.

Enjoy!  :)

[Source: epicurious.com]


February 27th, 2009



4 ounces cellophane noodles
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1–2 red Thai (or jalapeño) peppers, seeded and finely chopped (plus slices for garnish)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon (or lime) juice
4 tablespoons Thai fish sauce, divided
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced (3 cups)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 5 ounces each), cut into 2 1/2-inch-long by 1/4-inch-wide strips
1 cup light coconut milk
2 cups baby spinach
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro (plus sprigs for garnish)

Place noodles in a bowl; add enough warm water to cover and let sit until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain. Combine broth, pepper, garlic, ginger, lemon zest, lime zest, lemon juice and 3 tablespoon fish sauce in a medium saucepan. Season with salt. Bring to a simmer, add noodles and cook 3 minutes more. Using tongs, transfer noodles to a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Add mushrooms to broth; season with salt, if desired; simmer 3 minutes more. Add chicken and coconut milk and simmer, stirring, until chicken is just cooked, about 3 minutes. Stir in spinach until it begins to wilt, about 1 minute. Add chopped cilantro and season with remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce. Using tongs, divide noodles among 4 bowls. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with sprigs of cilantro and slices of pepper.

Enjoy! :)

[Source: Epicurious.com]


February 20th, 2009

I had to post this, it’s the German in me…


beer marinated...

beer marinated...

Serves 6:

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup dark lager beer (such as bock, märzen, or Samuel Adams Black Lager)
2 1/2 pounds trimmed hanger steaks (about 3 pieces)
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

Whisk first 7 ingredients in medium bowl, then whisk in beer. Pour marinade into large resealable plastic bag. Add steaks, seal bag, and chill 1 day, turning bag occasionally.

Spray large ridged skillet or grill pan with nonstick spray and heat over medium-high heat. Remove steaks from marinade and pat dry; discard marinade. Place steaks in hot skillet and cook until well browned and thermometer inserted into center registers 125F to 130F for medium-rare, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer steaks to carving board and let rest 5 minutes.

Slice steaks thinly across grain. Arrange on platter; spoon any accumulated juices over and serve.

[Source: Epicurious.com]


February 13th, 2009

Something new:  I made up this recipe last night.  It tasted great, just let me know if you need more directions or anything.
I bought all the ingredients at Trader Joe’s, so it’s easy shopping for you.

Enjoy! :)




Serves 2-4:

1 cup whole wheat couscous
1/2 cup water
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 zucchini (medium), cut into thin slices or sticks
1/2 onion, cut into half slices
4-5 artichoke hearts, cut into small pieces (can)
1/2 to 1 cup golden raisins
salt & pepper

Start with the raisins: Put a cup of raisins in a small pot, cover them with water, and simmer on low heat for about 40 minutes – until they’re soaked with water. Keep checking the water level, so they don’t burn.

In a medium sized bowl, mix 1 cup dry couscous with 1/2 cup boiling water. Add 4 Tbsp. olive oil and the juice of 1 lemon. Stir well and let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Cut up zucchini, onion and artichoke hearts and combine with the couscous. Add the golden raisins, including a little bit of the water they simmered in, and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you find the salad too dry, add a bit more lemon juice, olive oil and/or raisin water.

Tastes great with grilled chicken breast!


February 6th, 2009




Serves: 8

1 3/4-ounce package dried porcini mushrooms
8 large garlic cloves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 5-pound veal shoulder clod roast, tied to hold shape
1/4 cup olive oil
2 pounds meaty veal neck bones
4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup drained chopped canned tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grind mushrooms to powder in coffee or spice mill. Coarsely chop garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper in processor. Set aside 1 tablespoon garlic mixture; press remainder, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, into center of veal through openings of string (or poke holes in veal and push garlic mixture in). Coat outside of veal with mushroom powder.

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add bones and brown well, about 8 minutes. Transfer bones to bowl. Add veal to pot. Brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add reserved 1 tablespoon garlic mixture and any remaining mushroom powder to pot around veal and stir 1 minute. Arrange bones around veal. Add broth, wine, tomatoes, tomato paste and vinegar. Bring to boil. Cover; place in oven and roast until veal is tender, turning veal every 30 minutes, about 2 hours. Cool veal uncovered 1 hour. Discard bones. Refrigerate until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated 1 day. Scrape off fat from surface of sauce. Transfer veal to work surface, scraping any sauce back into pot. Remove strings. Cut veal crosswise into scant 1/2-inch-thick slices. Overlap slices in large baking dish. Boil sauce until reduced to 3 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over veal. TIP: Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover with foil and chill.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake veal covered until heated, about 35 minutes.

[Source: epicurious.com]


January 30th, 2009


smooth & spicy

smooth & spicy

For about 4 cups:
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)*
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher
1 teaspoon wasabi paste (horseradish paste)*
2 cups coarsely chopped trimmed watercress (leaves and tender stems from 2 medium bunches)
4 green onions, thinly sliced on diagonal (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup 1/3-inch cubes peeled jicama
2 large avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, cut into 1/3-inch cubes

Stir sesame seeds in dry skillet over medium heat until aromatic and light golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to small bowl to cool.
Whisk next 6 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Add watercress, green onions, and jicama; toss to coat. Gently stir in avocados. (Can be made 1 hour ahead.)
Cover; chill. Sprinkle salsa with toasted sesame seeds and serve chilled.

*Available in the Asian foods section of some supermarkets and at Japanese markets.

Tip: To keep avocados from discoloring after they’re diced, place them in a strainer or colander and rinse under cold running water, then drain well. The color will stay bright for at least an hour.

[Source: Epicurious.com]


January 23rd, 2009




Serves 4:

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil plus 8 whole large basil leaves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
8 radicchio leaves, thick ends trimmed
2 large mangoes, peeled, halved, thinly sliced
8 1/4-inch-thick slices fresh mozzarella cheese (from one 8-ounce ball)

Blend chopped basil, oil, and vinegar in mini processor until most of basil is pureed. Season with salt and pepper.
Overlap radicchio, mangoes, cheese, and basil leaves on plates. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve, passing remaining vinaigrette.

Enjoy! :)

[Source: epicurious.com]


January 16th, 2009


Great for lunch at the office!

Great for lunch at the office!

For 2 servings:

1 14-to 15-ounce can organic garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1 garlic clove, peeled3 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeño chile

4 5×3-inch slices whole grain bread
1 Persian cucumber or one 4-inch piece English hothouse cucumber, thinly sliced
8 fresh mint leaves
4 fresh cilantro sprigs
4 ounces feta cheese, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

For hummus: Using on/off turns, finely chop garbanzo beans and garlic in processor. Add 3 tablespoons lemon juice and remaining ingredients; process to coarse puree. Season to taste with salt and pepper and more lemon juice, if desired.

For sandwiches: Spread 2 tablespoons hummus over each bread slice. Top 2 bread slices with sliced cucumber, mint, and cilantro, dividing equally. Arrange slices of feta atop cilantro. Top each with second bread slice and press gently to compact slightly. Cut sandwiches in half.

Tip:  Homemade hummus can be made 1 week ahead. Transfer to airtight container and chill.

Enjoy! :)

[Source: epicurious.com]


January 9th, 2009



Serves 6:

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime peel
1/8 teaspoon (generous) chili powder
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of Sea salt (or fleur de sel*)

24 large sea scallops, side muscles removed, patted dry
3 firm but ripe nectarines (white or yellow), each cut into 6 wedges
Olive oil, for brushing
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels, cut from 2 large ears of corn
24 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup thinly sliced basil leaves
Pinch of Sea salt (or fleur de sel)

Basil Puree
3/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of Sea salt (or fleur de sel)

For dressing:
Whisk lime juice, lime peel, and chili powder in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season with sea salt & pepper.
For basil puree:
Blanch basil in small pot of boiling salted water 30 seconds; drain. Squeeze to remove as much water as possible, then coarsely chop. Puree basil and oil in blender until smooth. Transfer to small bowl. Season to taste with sea salt.
For salad:
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush scallops and nectarines with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill scallops until slightly charred and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Grill nectarines until slightly charred, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer scallops and nectarines to plate.    Arrange 4 scallops on each of 6 plates. Toss corn and 2 tablespoons dressing in medium bowl. Toss tomatoes with 1 tablespoon dressing in another bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon corn around scallops. Scatter tomatoes over corn. Arrange nectarine wedges decoratively on plates. Drizzle some dressing over scallops, then spoon some basil puree over. Sprinkle sliced basil and sea salt over corn and tomatoes and serve.

Enjoy! :)

Tip: Dressing and basil puree can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Return to room temperature before using.

*Fleur de Sel is a type of sea salt, available at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores.

[Source: epicurious.com]

More Fun on the Beach…

January 9th, 2009
Here are a bunch of pictures from our second special holiday workout on Ocean Beach at the end of last year!  It was nice getting up 3 hours later than usual…  And the sun was out!  The workout was tough but it looks like everyone had fun. :)   See you at the next beach workout – coming soon!


Getting ready!

Getting ready!

Shoulder Press Station

Shoulder Press Station

Still smiling...

Still smiling...



Med Ball Sit-Ups, yay!

Med Ball Sit-Ups, yay...

Nice, Allan!

Nice work!

You go, girl!

You go, girl!

looking nice, guys! :)

looking nice, guys! :)

Whoo-hoo, done!

Whoo-hoo, done!


January 2nd, 2009


mmh, fresh breakfast!

mmh, fresh breakfast!

Serves 2:

1 1/2 cups diced peeled tropical fruit (such as pineapple, mango, and kiwi)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger plus additional for garnish
1 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek-style yogurt
1 cup granola (with nuts and dried fruits, if desired)

Mix fruit, honey, and almost all crystallized ginger in medium bowl. Add about half the yogurt. Top with granola and fresh fruit. Spoon remaining yogurt in dollops over fruit. Garnish with remaining crystallized ginger and serve.

[Source: epicurious.com]

Feeling under the weather?

December 27th, 2008

An good question: Should you work out when you’re not feeling well? Or is it better to rest? It seems there hasn’t been done much research on this topic yet. What do you usually do? Read more on The New York Times, online.


December 19th, 2008


light & easy

light & easy

1 blood orange, Cara Cara orange, or regular orange
1/2 cup 1/3-inch cubes avocado
1/3 cup chopped red onion
2 teaspoons minced red jalapeño
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 6-ounce mahi-mahi fillets

Using small sharp knife, cut peel and white pith from orange. Working over small bowl, cut between membranes to release segments. Add avocado, onion, jalapeño, and lime juice to oranges in bowl; stir gently to blend. Season salsa to taste with salt. Heat oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Add fish to skillet and sauté until brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Place 1 fillet on each of 2 plates. Spoon salsa atop fish and serve.

Cara Cara Oranges: Although they look like regular navel oranges, Cara Cara oranges are tinged pink on the inside and taste a little sweeter. You’ll find them at some supermarkets and farmers’ markets.

[Source: epicurious.com]


December 12th, 2008


treat yourself!

treat yourself!

For 6 cakes:

Vegetable oil cooking spray

8 large egg whites
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves

6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 pint fresh raspberries

For cake
Heat oven to 350°. Coat bottom (not sides) of a 9” x 13” baking pan with cooking spray. Beat egg whites, 1 tbsp water, cream of tartar and salt in a bowl with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until foamy. Continue to beat, adding sugar a little at a time, until batter is fluffy. Add vanilla and beat 1 minute more. Sprinkle a small amount of the flour over top of batter and fold in; repeat 8 to 10 times or until you’ve incorporated all the flour. Spread batter in pan, coaxing evenly into corners with a rubber spatula, and shake pan once or twice to even out surface. Bake until cake is a light golden color and surface springs back gently to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes. Run a sharp knife around edges of cake to separate it from pan. Cool on a rack 2 hours.

For filling
Heat berry preserves in a small pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches a gentle simmer.

For frosting
Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Take bowl off heat; stir in sour cream.

For assembly
Place a cutting board over cake pan; invert cake onto board. With a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter, cut 12 rounds from cake. Top 6 rounds with 1 heaping tbsp of raspberry filling (you will have some left over), then place 6 remaining cake rounds on top. Spread 1/4 cup frosting over top and sides. (You should have some frosting left over.) Top with raspberries. Serve immediately, or refrigerate and bring to room temperature 1 hour before serving.

303 calories per cake
6.8 g fat (3.9 g saturated)

57.5 g carbs
3 g fiber
5.7 g protein

Mmh, enjoy! :)

[Source: Self Magazine, online]


December 6th, 2008

Since bugs are going around at this time of the year, here’s a great recipe for an old favorite: Chicken Soup.


feeling better already!

feeling better already!

Serves: 4 cups
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces chicken tenders, cut into bite-size chunks
1 small zucchini, finely diced
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons orzo or other tiny pasta, such as farfelline
1 1/2 cups packed baby spinach

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.Add zucchini, shallot, Italian seasoning and salt and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, wine and orzo (or other tiny pasta); increase heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the pasta is tender, about 8 minutes, or according to package directions. Stir in spinach, the cooked chicken and any accumulated juices from the chicken; cook, stirring, until the chicken is heated through, about 2 minutes.

Enjoy! :)

261 calories (per 2 cups)
12 g carbs
2 g fiber
31 g protein
8 g fat

[Source: Eating Well, online]

Fun on the Beach!

November 30th, 2008

Thanks to all of you for joining us on Thursday and/or Saturday for our 90-minute special Turkey-burning workouts!  It was lots of fun (at least for me… ;) ) and I can’t wait to see you next week!  Enjoy the pictures – courtesy of P.C.!



Getting the stations ready!

Getting the stations ready!

Stretching - the favorite part!

Stretching - the favorite part!

And "After": happy, proud, and a little sandy...

After: Happy, proud (and a little sandy)


November 21st, 2008




Serves 4:

1/2 pound cremini or white button mushrooms, very thinly sliced
4 celery stalks, from the heart of the celery, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon minced chives
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (or 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces shaved Parmesan

Toss together the mushrooms, celery, parsley, and chives, and season with salt and pepper. Mix together the lemon juice (or lemon juice and vinegar) and olive oil, and toss with the vegetables. Just before serving, toss again with the Parmesan.

Advance Preparation: The salad can be assembled hours before tossing with the dressing and the Parmesan.

Enjoy! :)

[Source: The New York Times, online]


November 14th, 2008

Here’s a really easy and super delicious recipe. The light sweetness of the balsamic dressing harmonizes great with the spicy arugula. I made it up myself, so please feel free to let me know how you like it. For easy shopping: I’m usually getting all the ingredients at Trader Joe’s.

Serves 4-6:
1 package Arugula
3 ripe Tomatoes, cut into cubes
1 cup part skim Mozzarella, cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Cut tomatoes and mozzarella into cubes, mix with arugula. Combine balsamic and olive, season with salt & pepper. Mix into salad right before serving.

Enjoy! :)


November 7th, 2008

Today, a special recipe for Banana Bread. Special because S. and I took a simple recipe and changed the ingredients to transform it into a healthy, guilt-free dish! :)   Enjoy!

BANANA BREAD – the healthy way!

4 ripe bananas
1/4 cup melted reduced fat margarine
3/4 cup splenda
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup pecans (optional but really great)
unsweetened chocolate flakes (optional and really great as well! :) )
pinch of salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Peel the bananas and mash them in a bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well with a spoon (or electric mixer). Use a little margarine on the inside of the loaf pan and pour in the batter. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, and check bread with a toothpick (stick toothpick into bread – it’s done if it comes out clean). Cool, slice, eat! :)


October 24th, 2008


Risotto, anyone?

Risotto, anyone?

Serves 4:
28 oz chicken stock
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup white wine
Large pinch of saffron1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus shavings for garnish (optional)

Bring stock to a low simmer in a medium pot. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat for 1 minute. Cook onion until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add rice and a pinch of salt. Sauté until rice is translucent, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine and saffron; bring to a simmer, stirring, until rice has absorbed most of wine. Add 2 ladles of stock to rice; simmer, stirring, until rice has absorbed most of stock. Continue adding stock, allowing rice to absorb it before adding the next ladleful. Cook until rice is al dente and mixture is a little loose. Stir in butter. Turn off heat. Stir in grated cheese. Cover and let sit 2 minutes. Divide among 4 bowls. Garnish each with cheese shavings, if desired.

Enjoy! :)

298 calories per serving
8.3 g fat (2.8 g saturated)
39.2 g carb
0.7 g fiber
5.1 g protein

[Source: SELF Magazine, online]

Nike Women’s Marathon – live

October 19th, 2008

Wow, this is amazing: Thousands (!) of people are running by our house. It’s the Nike Women’s Marathon 2008 and I can’t believe how many participants they got! I heard the number 20,000 last night. The stream of people running and walking towards ocean beach doesn’t end – in fact it’s getting bigger by the minute! We took a walk with Percy half an hour ago, and it was a serious challenge to cross the street…  Great atmosphere!  Lots of people cheering too.  And we got the VIP booth right here. :)


October 17th, 2008


rich and healthy

baking time!

For 18 muffins:

1 1/4 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup plain yogurt
3 medium, ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup agave syrup
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, whisk together oatmeal, flour, flaxseed, baking powder, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, yogurt, bananas, syrup, and oil. Add flour mixture and fold in walnuts. Divide batter into paper-lined muffin cups. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy! :)

147 cal per muffin
7 g fat (1 g sat)
103 mg sodium
20 g carbs
2 g fiber
3 g protein

[Source: Women's Health Magazine, September 2008]

Spot Reduction?!?

October 14th, 2008

Want to lose the cushion over your six-pack? Those love handles? Or the extra pound(s) on your thighs? Unfortunately, you can’t pick your favorite spot when it comes to weight loss, ‘spot reduction’ is one of those too-good-to-be-true myths.

Weight loss occurs all over the body, depending on genetics, age, gender and other factors. Doing thousands of crunches and sit-ups does build your abdominal muscles – but it doesn’t mean you’ll lose that annoying layer that’s covering your six-pack. There’s only one solution to burning stored fat: Cardio!

The good news is that cardio endurance training comes in such a variety that there’s probably an activity you actually enjoy!  Walking, hiking, jogging, intervals, bicycling, spinning, elliptical trainer, skating, swimming, running stairs – to name a few. Try it all out, experiment and choose activities you love. And/or join a friendly team for additional fun and support. I personally think fun is the greatest motivator of all – it takes your mind off exhaustion, boredom or any other negative feeling and can transform ‘have-to’ cardio into an exciting activity!


October 10th, 2008


fresh and delicious!

fresh and seasonal

4 1/2 to 5 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled seeded butternut squash (from about one 2-pound squash)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
Coarse kosher salt
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons walnut oil or other nut oil
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
4 ounces arugula (about 8 cups lightly packed)
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses*

Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss squash, olive oil, and crushed red pepper on large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Roast 15 minutes. Using spatula, turn squash over. Roast until edges are browned and squash is tender, about 15 minutes longer. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
(Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Whisk orange juice, walnut oil, and lemon juice in large shallow bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add arugula, walnuts, and pomegranate seeds; toss to coat. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. Spoon warm or room temperature squash over salad. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses and serve.

TIP: Serve with grilled chicken for extra protein.

* A thick pomegranate syrup; available at some supermarkets and at Middle Eastern markets, and from adrianascaravan.com.

Enjoy! :)

[Source: Epicurious.com]

Cleaning = Burning

October 7th, 2008

Finally, here’s strong motivation to clean the home and weed the garden: Simple activities around the house burn calories! As always: The more vigorous the activity the bigger the burn. So, choose your workout play list, grab the vacuum and off you go…

Check out a rough calorie count for only a 30 minute period (based on a person weighing 130 lbs or 175 lbs):

  • Chopping/Splitting wood: 177 or 238
  • Cleaning the house (moderate): 88 or 119
  • Cleaning windows: 88 or 119
  • Mowing the lawn (power/hand mower): 162/177 or 218/238
  • Raking the lawn: 127 or 171
  • Sweeping (outside): 118 or 159
  • Vacuuming: 103 or 139
  • Washing the car: 88 or 119
  • Weeding the garden: 132 or 178

For parents:

  • Child-care (bathing, feeding, …): 88 or 119
  • Playing with your kids: 118 or 159


  • Walking (3 mph): 97 or 131
  • Walking (5 mph): 236 or 318
  • And watching TV (aka sitting): 29 or 39 (probably a horror movie?!)

If you’re in dire need of chores, no worries, just give me a call, there’s plenty to do at our place!

[Source: http://primusweb.com/fitnesspartner/cgi-bin/fpc/actcalc.pl. That site offers a comparison to many more activities.]


October 3rd, 2008



Serves 4:

Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 head Boston (or bibb) lettuce, chopped
2 tangerines, sectioned
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp crushed coriander seeds
1 tbsp coarsely crushed black peppercorns
1 1/2 lb sea scallops
1 egg white

Coat grill with cooking spray; heat on high. Whisk juice, oil and 1/2 tsp of the salt in a bowl; set aside. Combine lettuce, tangerines, cucumber and tarragon in another bowl; set aside. Mix flour, coriander and peppercorns on foil. Sprinkle scallops with remaining 1/2 tsp salt and dip in egg white. Press scallops into peppercorn mixture, then slide onto skewers. Grill scallops, turning occasionally, until no longer translucent, about 7 minutes. Remove from skewers. Toss salad with dressing and arrange on platter; top with scallops.

264 calories per serving
6 g fat (0.5 g saturated)
21 g carbs
4.5 g fiber
32 g protein

Enjoy! :)

[Source: SELF, newsletter 7/21/08]


September 26th, 2008




Serves 4:

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 pounds red or red and yellow peppers, roasted
1 tablespoon slivered fresh basil
1 pound fresh ripe tomatoes, cut in wedges
1 head of leaf lettuce or romaine
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (optional)

For the Dressing:
Mix together the sherry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

For the Salad:
Cut the roasted peppers into 1/2-inch wide strips. Toss with two tablespoons of the dressing. Add half the basil, and toss again.
Remove and discard the tough outer leaves from the lettuce. Wash and dry the tender leaves and tear into bite-size pieces. Toss with the tomatoes and remaining dressing and basil. Line a platter or a wide bowl with the lettuce and tomatoes. Top with the peppers. Sprinkle on the goat cheese, if using. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

[Source: New York Times, online]

What’s Your Favorite Tomato?!

September 25th, 2008

What is your favorite tomato?  This urgent question came up today after our important apple discussion a few weeks ago.  Time for a post!

Why tomatoes, you ask?  If you need reasons other than the delicious taste, just have a look at this:

That’s pretty exciting for a single fruit (botanically speaking)!  For your enjoyment, here’s a great way to extend your breakfast/brunch/snack horizon with a simple 2-minute dish:


1 whole wheat muffin
1 tomato of your choice
1-2 tbsp non-fat cream cheese
pepper (optional)

Toast the muffin, spread with cream cheese. Top off with sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with pepper.  Tip: Sprinkle with fresh chives.  Enjoy! :)

[Source and more info: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=44, more sources named here]

Benefits of House Ownership – The Garden

September 23rd, 2008

Over the last year we’ve slowly come to terms with the fact that our backyard is a jungle.  Moving in it looked like a lush and beautiful oasis, and we used the garden often and wisely: Parties, BBQ’s, Housewarming or just an hour reading during lunchtime. Pretty, eh?

good times!

before - good times!

Then the cold and rainy season arrived and we watched our yard transforming: From the lush and pretty retreat to an overgrown, chaotic mess.  All in 4 months.  Amazing!

At this point most of you can probably tell that we are not the born-to-become-a-dedicated-gardener type…  Far we were from admitting it!  So, in April, for a special outdoor birthday party we got all excited (or was it desperation?) to whip our backyard into shape again.  We weeded, cut, hacked, pounded, dug and planted for about two weeks.  Plus, S. finally got to buy (and use) all kinds of interesting power tools.  It was quite a scene.  We managed to cut back the worst and make it look like we know what we’re doing.

Did you wonder why we didn’t have a single BBQ party this summer?  Looking at the backyard now I can only say: It’s a jungle out there!  I have no idea how so many weeds can grow and survive.

The relation to fitness?  Oh, isn’t it obvious?! :)   Well, let me quote: “Gardening is also a key tool for improved health by providing exercise, stress reduction, and relaxation. From the medical perspective, researchers have documented that people who interact with plants recover more quickly from everyday stress and mental fatigue.  For many, the garden is their escape from the pressures of the job and family responsibilities. This relaxation technique reduces stress levels and related issues like heart disease.”  ["Benefits of Gardening, Colorado State University].  There you have it!

Soooo, if you need a break from the stresses of reality, please feel free to contact me anytime!  We’ll provide you with German food, beer, entertainment and an assortment of random gardening tools!  Please don’t forget to bring a compass!


September 19th, 2008


Serves 4:

gotta try this!


Vegetable Slaw
2 carrots, peeled
2 parsnips, peeled
2 each green and red bell peppers, cored and seeded
1 small sweet onion
1 jalapeño pepper, cored (and seeded if less heat is desired)
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Vanilla Dressing
3 tbsp sugar
Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup nonfat sour cream
Sea salt and white pepper

Sesame Seared Tuna
1/4 cup white sesame seeds
1/4 cup black sesame seeds
1 tbsp wasabi powder (found at Asian grocery stores)
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 pieces tuna loin (about 8 oz each), cut in half

Slaw and Dressing:
Attach grating blade to food processor. Julienne each vegetable and set aside. In another bowl, mix all dressing ingredients and add vegetables. Add cilantro and combine gently. Let rest for at least 30 minutes.

Place a large nonstick pan over high heat until hot. Combine sesame seeds and wasabi in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. Coat pan with cooking spray; drizzle oil in pan. Lightly salt tuna; dredge in sesame-wasabi mixture. Reduce heat to medium and place tuna in pan. Sear until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Flip; cook 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and let rest for a few minutes. Divide slaw among 4 plates and top with tuna.

458 calories per serving
14.8 g fat (2.3 g saturated)
50.6 g carbs
7.7 g fiber
33.5 g protein

[Source: SELF, Newsletter]

What I Eat for Breakfast

September 18th, 2008

Healthy breakfast isn’t always easy, especially when you’re used to bread, butter and cold cuts. Luckily, thanks to the inspiration by a great diner close-by, I found my new favorite: A fruit omelet.

Sounds odd? Eggs and fruit? That’s exactly what I thought before trying it!  I was very surprised by how great it is. The egg whites don’t taste like much anyway, so it’s the perfect vehicle for a load of fruit – kind of like a pancake without the carbs. Add non-fat cottage cheese and mix up the fruit day by day and you have a great, delicious and healthy first meal!  Here’s the recipe for you to try – it’s really easy and super quick!

Serves 1:
A tiny bit of cooking spray
2-4 egg whites (depending on your starving mode)
2 tbsp non-fat cottage cheese
1/2 mango, cut into cubes
1/2 banana, sliced
1/2 cup blueberries

Spray a little bit of cooking spray into a small pan & heat it up. Pour in egg whites, cook omelet until firm (either cover with a lid or flip it). Carefully move omelet to a plate, add 2 cottage cheese and fruit.  Voila! :)

To mix it up: Try grapes, raspberries, strawberries, apple, pear, plum or any fruit you like.


Cheers to Germany!

September 17th, 2008

I’m back! :)   And I’m telling you: Two weeks in Germany, a challenge for fitness and nutrition.  Where else are you getting a half liter beer, sausage and pretzel with butter for breakfast?!

Breakfast for Winners!

I have to say that eating habits in Germany quite extremely differ from the nutritional approach I’ve taken to lately. I’m not sure I should say that Germans have no clue about nutrition. Maybe it’s more accurate to say that German people just have a different view of what’s healthy and what’s not? Hm.

Apart from meeting with friends and relatives, celebrating a wedding and many reunions, the most common activity was eating. EVERYONE cooked for us and visiting an estimated 3.67 people per day gives you an idea about how much food we had to dig through.  Did you know that it is considered rude not to clean your plate in Germany??!  Well, we knew.  And acted accordingly. A carefully placed request for health conscious food here and there fell on deaf ears – or was answered with rye bread with butter instead of wheat bread with butter.  Quite a sense of humor.  No, seriously, we appreciated the generosity and wonderful company of all our friends and family. And we happily dealt with our upset stomachs for about 10 days.  It really amazes me how my good old German body got used to low-fat, low carb & small portions and had serious trouble adjusting to the all-fat, full on carbs and red meat diet. Oh well, I guess I’m officially half Californian now…

Cheers to the Germans – for all the warm welcomes, delicious food and wonderful company!



(Yes, yes, AND the great beer…  And Schnaps!)


August 29th, 2008




Serves 8:

2 tsp canola oil
1 onion, chopped
6 stalks lemongrass, dry leaves removed, stems pounded; cut into 3-inch lengths
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 red Thai bird chiles, finely chopped (found in grocery stores’ Asian section)
2 cups dry white wine
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes, plus juice

1/2 cup Thai basil
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/2 cup cilantro sprigs
Juice from 1/2 lime
2 tsp canola oil

24 jumbo sea scallops
1 tbsp canola oil

Heat oil in a large, nonstick pan over low heat. Cook onion with a pinch of salt until translucent, about 12 minutes. Stir in lemongrass, garlic and chiles. Add wine. Raise heat to high, then simmer 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and juice; break apart tomatoes. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Force sauce through a colander and discard solids. Season with salt and pepper. Salad: Toss all ingredients in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. Scallops: Season with salt and pepper. Heat a large nonstick pan over high heat 1 minute; add oil. Cook 8 scallops 1 minute; reduce heat to medium-high; cook undisturbed until golden, about 4 minutes. Turn scallops over; cook 3 minutes more. Remove from heat. Repeat twice. Divide scallops and sauce among 8 bowls and top with salad.

295 calories per serving
5.8 g fat (0.6 g saturated)
17.1 g carbs, 2.6 g fiber
33.2 g protein

[Source: Self Magazine, online]

The Active Break!

August 27th, 2008

Bootie Camp might be in hibernation, but there are lots of activities you can do on your own.  Yes! :)   Here are a few ideas and guidelines on how to transform your two weeks off into one of the famous “active breaks”:

  • Rest! I recommend you take 3-5 days off to rest your body.  And then:
  • Try out something new & low-impact! Give your body a break from running, sprinting, hills, stairs and push-ups.  Rest & variety = good for you.  Have you tried Yoga?  Kayaking?  Pilates?  A long Walk on the beach?  Hiking Mount Tam?  Swimming?  Bicycling over Golden Gate Bridge?  Surfing?  A power walk along the bay?  Try it out!  And think of those activities as active leisure time – don’t try to break world records.  Tip: Take a friend with you and have fun trying out new things!
  • Keep the schedule! This is for those of you who have a hard time getting back into an early morning routine.  Set the alarm clock at the usual time and get up!  A great way to start the day is a light breakfast and a 20 minute walk.  Gets you up, out in the fresh air and energized all day.  Plus, you’ll feel proud of yourself.  The good news:  It’s summer now in SF, so this is a great way for you to spend time outside before heading to the office.  Tip:  Choose a great coffee shop that’s about 10-15 min. away (or take a detour) and walk there!
  • Team up! Team up with other Bootie Campers, friend, co-workers and family members to stay on track.  You could meet for a workout or just check in with each other for support.  Request a reminder from a friend or have them join you on the weekend for a fun walk along Crissy Field.
  • Kezar Stairs! For those of you who are planning to go to Kezar on your own, here’s a simple 50-minute stair routine:  Warm-up with 1 lap, stretch for 5-7 minutes.  Start at our meeting point: Single steps all the way – instead of turning back, sprint up the hill & jog down to the other side – Do double steps all the way – sprint up the hill & jog down, back to our meeting point.  Do another full lap just like that – but at the bottom alternate 10-15 push-ups, 12-15 dips and 20-25 Liz’ crunches. All the way ’round. :)   (If you’re crazy enough and have any air left, do one more lap without the push-ups, dips & crunches.)   Super YAY!!!

Let me know if you have any questions! :)

Pack an Apple!

August 27th, 2008

Apples are great!  They’re very tasty, and come in a great variety – green, yellow, red, sweet to sour, and all kinds of mixes. They’re also easy to transport, you can just throw them in you purse or backpack to have a healthy snack handy anytime. Now researchers also found that apples are a great addition to your diet: With 4-5 grams of fiber per apple, they make you feel full fast – and for a longer period of time than other snacks.  Furthermore, apples are a source of antioxidants.

Did I mention that apples are great?!

Tip:  Buy a weekly supply, take one to work everyday and place it on your desk.  When you feel hungry or craving sweets, just grab the apple.

[Source: Self Magazine, August 2008, "20 Superfoods for Weight Loss", p.129]

Low-Impact Fitness Classes in Golden Gate Park

August 26th, 2008

New 5-week session: Sep 16 – Oct 16, 2008
Every Tuesday & Thursday

Low-impact exercises including walking, power walking, stretching, core stability, upper & lower body strengthening, yoga, balance training, and more.

It’s a workout everyone can do!

Location: By Stow Lake, Golden Gate Park
We’re meeting right by the playground on
Martin Luther King Jr Dr., between 19th Ave. and Stow Lake Dr.
Click here for a map. Easy street parking.

Good to know: All levels are welcome! Please dress in comfortable clothes, incl. walking/running shoes. I recommend wearing layers. There’s a public restroom located right where we meet.

Please Bring: A yoga mat (portable, for ground exercises) and a bottle of water.

To sign up or if you have any questions please contact me, Jeannette: 415-336-5975 or email to fit@JRinspiration.com. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!


August 22nd, 2008


fiber galore!

fiber galore!

4 servings:

2 c chopped fresh mango
1/3 c fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp canola or olive oil
2 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 c shredded Romaine lettuce
1 c finely shredded red cabbage
1 c thinly sliced scallions
2 cans (15 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 c raw or toasted pine nuts

In a mini chopper or a blender, purée ¼ cup mango, OJ, oil, mustard, salt, and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine lettuce, cabbage, scallions, beans, remaining mango, and pine nuts. Toss gently. Add vinaigrette and toss just before serving. Divide evenly into four salad bowls.

372 calories per serving
14 g fat (1.5 g saturated)

665 mg sodium
52 g carbs
12 g fiber
12 g protein

[Source: Women’s Health Magazine, online]

Heat or Ice?

August 20th, 2008

When it comes to an injury should you apply ice or heat?

I’ve had this question many times over the years, so here are some basic guidelines for you:

Acute injuries (Involving swelling. Example: ankle sprain): Ice. The main reason for cooling is to limit inflammation and swelling. Ice is helpful for at least 48 hours after the injury occurs, so keep applying it. Use an icepack or simply put a bunch of ice cubes in a ziploc and apply for 10-15 minutes every few hours.

Chronic injuries (No swelling. Example: shin splints): Heat. Right before your workout apply heat to the affected area for about 15 minutes to warm it up and reduce stiffness. You can do so by using a heat pack or simply a towel soaked in warm water. If you feel soreness after the workout, try if icing reduces the pain.

These are only rough guidelines. As always, listen to your body! If symptoms persist, swelling doesn’t go down within a few days or the pain is too much, pay a visit to your friendly doctor.

[Source: Self Magazine, August 2008, p. 92]

Think Positive – More than a Saying

August 19th, 2008

When looking at our lives many of us tend to notice the things we do not like. Noticing is a good starting point. But how do we get to where we wanna be?

Being passionate about physical and overall well-being for most of my life I’ve read many many books, magazines, articles and other sources that are dedicated to that topic. There’s one recurring theme in many sources that is easily summarized as “Think positive!”. Now, we’ve all heard that one before… At least for me hearing this saying didn’t make a difference for me at all. Lately, I’ve become more aware of this thought and it seems like there’s also more and more research being done in connection with positive thinking and the power of the mind – for professional athletes as well as people like you and me.

What does “think positive” mean to you? It always seemed like an abstract concept to me and therefore had no practical use in my life. For me the question remained: How can *I*, as a relatively normal human being, benefit from positive thinking? Here are a few of my personal thoughts and ideas in relation to body, fitness and vitality.

  • Notice your thoughts! If you’re thinking about something you’re not happy with, be aware of it. It might sound strange but this is a great starting point. Note it and immediately ask yourself what it is you do want.
    Example 1: Thought: “I don’t like my thighs/butt/arms/…”. Write that down and right underneath jot down what it is that you want. “I want my thighs to be strong and lean” or “I want my arms to look toned when I’m going on summer vacation”.
    Example 2: Thought: “I’m so annoyed I gained so much weight. Again!” Want: “Wouldn’t it be nice if my body looked lean and sexy?”
  • Imagine! Once you’re clear about what it is that you want you can start imagining. There are many ways for us to do so. You can use your head only and imagine yourself in a good-feeling situation. Or, if you’re having trouble visualizing yourself with a body you like or running the half marathon you’ve always wanted to run in, start simple: Look at pictures that make you feel good. Maybe there’s that dress you love or a picture of a beautiful beach, anything works. Just make sure it feels good!
  • Relax! After practicing awareness of my thoughts for some time I can say for sure that my brain works in funny ways. ;) When confronted with a “problem” or something I don’t like, I usually have the best solution ideas right before falling asleep or when I’m doing something completely unrelated – and definitely not while thinking extra-hard about how to solve that ‘annoying problem’. What helps me: Looking at a beautiful picture, day-dreaming, taking a walk, meditating, reading a good book, listening to music, painting or any kind of activity or distraction that feels good.
  • Notice your thoughts – again! Maybe a new or old thought suddenly occurs to you. Notice it and write it down! Do not judge yourself for having seemingly unrelated (or “stupid”) ideas. Example: You’re still not happy with your body. You wrote down “I don’t like my big thighs and floppy arms”, and underneath you wrote “I want to look toned and fabulous on the beach in summer”. You know you’re in a negative place, so you’re taking a walk, let’s say in the park. You’re just strolling down the path and suddenly you see a couple of policemen on horses and you think “Wow, I haven’t been on a horseback since I was ten, it was so much fun”. Write that thought down! Do the same with all other random thoughts that come up.
  • Action! If a thought crosses your mind that feels great to you go for it! This could happen right away or maybe you’re looking through all your notes of the past weeks, and you’re suddenly getting an idea. You might try out a horseback riding lesson. Or you get present to your love for animals and start walking your neighbor’s dog. Or you meet someone who’s telling you about a fun fitness class or a soccer team who is desperately looking for members. If it feels good, go for it! Right away! (Try it before you can talk yourself out of it – you know what I mean…)
  • Notebook! A great way to be aware of your thoughts is to be writing them down. Pick out a nice notebook, attach a pen and carry it with you. Make it a rule to focus on good things when writing into the book. I have a tiny little book I’m carrying around with me all the time to jot down random thoughts, ideas, contact info, etc. Sometimes I tape in pictures I like or that inspire me. (A book like this also comes in handy in moments I wish I had a pen and paper… ) Other options: Use your phone, voice recorder or laptop to collect thoughts; or call your own voice mail and write it down later.

Have fun!

Organic & Local Produce Shopping Made Easy

August 18th, 2008

Many of us would like to eat more organic produce and support local farmers. But we lead busy lives and almost never make it to the farmer’s market. ‘Eating with the Seasons’ is a wonderful solution: They are “bringing the farmer’s market to you!”.

How it works: ‘Eating with the Seasons’ is a small family business that works with selected local organic farmers. You, the consumer, can sign up for a seasonal membership that will secure you a weekly produce basket. There are many different membership options: You cannot only choose the amount of produce you’d like to receive but also pick your favorite items every week – all online. The owners of ‘Eating with the Seasons’ deliver the food packages to diverse pick-ups stations all over San Francisco (and other cities). All you need to do for a whole week’s supply is stop by! An easy way to get your share of veggies, fruit and greens. :)

For more details, go to the ‘Eating with the Seasons’ website.

What is CSA? CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  CSA programs are a way for the consumer to create a relationship with a farm. Many of them include a a weekly basket of produce delivered to pick-up stations or directly to your door. By making a financial commitment to a farm, people become “members” (or “shareholders,” or “subscribers”) of the CSA. Apart from ‘Eating with the Seasons’ there are many other CSA programs that deliver produce baskets to pick-up stations or even to your door. For more details and listings please check out the USDA website.


August 15th, 2008



Great for your lunch bag!

Serves 4:

1 can (6 oz) chunk-light tuna packed in water, drained
1/4 cup reduced-fat salad dressing
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
8 niçoise olives, pitted and sliced
3 cups finely chopped mixed salad greens
6 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
4 whole-wheat tortillas
20 baked potato chips (optional)

Gently break apart tuna in a bowl. Mix in salad dressing, tomatoes and olives. Put 1/4 of the tuna mixture, 1/4 of the greens and 1/4 of the egg slices on each tortilla. Tightly fold first third of tortilla over mixture; fold in ends; continue to roll over tightly. Slice each wrap in half. Place toothpick into each section, or place seam side down, to prevent unwrapping. Serve each wrap with 5 chips.

446 calories per serving
17.4 g fat (3.9 g saturated)
42.4 g carbs
6.6 g fiber
27.3 g protein

Stretch It – In the Office!

August 14th, 2008

Feeling tight after sitting at your desk all day? Stretches can help relax and strengthen muscles and break up a strenuous day!

Our usual workday includes very few changes of body position (i.e. sitting all day), bad posture (i.e. having the phone handset between ear and shoulder), and a lot of small repetitive movements (best example: typing, using the mouse).

Upon request of a Bootie Camp team member, I’ve done some research about stretching exercises that you can perform in the office. Instead of trying to describe the motions in words and leaving you to figure it out, I decided to post links to websites that include helpful pictures. Some exercises you can do in your chair, and for some of them you’ll need to get up. Either way, try it out and see if it makes a difference for you. I’d love to hear about it!

As always, please be conscious of your body and don’t do any of the exercises if you’re experiencing any kind of discomfort, pain, tingling or numbness – that’s a sign to stop immediately and consult your doctor, just in case.

Here are the links:

Whole Grain – Great Stuff

August 13th, 2008

Whole grain is good for you. Check. But how can you easily adjust your eating habits to include this healthy food group? Here are the whole grain basics and simple ideas:

This is the whole grain kernel (in contrast to refined grain which is milled and missing bran and germ). Whole grain is considered healthier since it provides fiber, iron and diverse B vitamins. Health benefits include: Reduction of blood cholesterol levels and coronary heart disease, bone building, energy release and possibly help with weight management and constipation. Fiber also makes us feel full – with less calories.

Some common whole grain foods are: Whole wheat flour, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur (= cracked wheat), oatmeal, whole cornmeal.

How to include more whole grain into your diet:

  • Substitute whole grain for its refined equivalent: Eat whole grain bread instead of white bread. Cook with whole wheat pasta and brown rice.
  • Experiment with new recipes. Try out stir-fries, pilafs, stews and salads that include whole grains.
  • Taste uncommon grains like bulgur, amaranth, quinoa, and see if you can include them in your daily diet.
  • Look at the product name, and check the ingredient list: Choose foods with “whole” in the grain or flour name, if possible as the first (or at least in the first 3) ingredients.
  • Don’t let food labels trick you: Names such as “multi-grain”, “100% wheat”, “seven-grain”, “cracked wheat” or “bran” are usually NOT whole grain products!

[Source: USDA, online.  You can also find additional info including an extensive list of whole grains, serving sizes, tips and a helpful food gallery.]

Simple Ergonomics – Computer Work

August 12th, 2008

We can’t avoid it: Most of us are sitting in front of the computer for many hours every day. Here are a few easy guidelines to check your sitting habits at work. Make your workplace a safe place for your body!

How to sit right

And remember: The human body is not designed for sitting all day, so get up as often as possible and move around (for more ideas check out the “Sitting too much?” post).

For more details, please click here. The link will lead you to the NISMAT (Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma) website.

Sleep Well!

August 11th, 2008

A few tips for a better night’s sleep.

Are you sometimes wondering why you’re distressed, absentminded or cranky? It could just be a lack of sleep! Compared to 100 years ago we cut back sleeping time by about 30%. Our lives are busier than ever and this is not a bad thing. When you’re forced to cut back on sleep due to stress or insomnia though, it’s a different story. What happens while we sleep? The body is busy recovering: Bones, organs and tissue are repaired. Emotions and memories are processed. To be well rested, make sure you get in at least 6 hours – 7-8 hours is best for most people! No time for life?! Choose quality over quantity! And remember: Well rested you get more stuff done in less time – and you can enjoy it!!

Ok. But how to get back to restful nights? Try the following tips for peaceful zzz-time:

  • Add 15 minutes sleep time each week. Increase the time gradually, it’s easy and you’ll feel the benefit soon.
  • Routine. Routine sounds boring but it’s sometimes the only way we’ll keep doing what’s good for us (see sunscreen routine post). Knowing is a good start, but in the doing is the power. If you get in enough sleep during the week, you might even be able to get up before 10 on the weekend. Yay!
  • Ritual. Create a ritual before bedtime to relax and prepare your body & mind for the zzz. What relaxes you? Reading a book? Listening to your favorite chill soundtrack? Taking a bath? Meditating for 5 minutes? Visualizing your dream vacation? Think about what makes you feel good and enjoy it before you turn off the lights.
  • Calming your mind. Try a form of meditation that works for you. There’s plenty of different forms including yoga, dance, meditation, …
  • Darkness. Light lowers the melatonin level and can interfere with your sleep. Check out the light level in your bedroom tonight and cover unnecessary light sources. Examples: Get new curtains, turn off or cover luminescent electronic devices, or opt for a sleep mask.
  • Create a serene space. Look what surrounds you and what you’re looking at when you’re in bed. Move any potential anxiety items out of sight (aka computers, folders, schedules, calendars, piles of stuff, …)
  • Notebook. Store a cute little book under your bedside table. If you remember something you gotta do next day, simply write it down instead of worrying that you might forget. Write it down and say to yourself that you’ll handle it tomorrow.
  • Share responsibilities. Take turns to take care of your children at night.
  • Don’t force it. If you’re in bed and just can’t fall asleep, get up. Be nice to yourself, see it as me-time, make yourself a cup of decaf, read your favorite book or magazine and relax. Sleep will come. Always.
  • Morning walk. Go for a quick walk in the fresh air. The sunlight helps waking up (reducing melatonin level) and you’ll feel refreshed and ready for the day. Or join us at Bootie Camp – it’s fun!

And when you wake up, find one great thing that you’re excited about that day. Kind of like when you’re going on vacation: Even if the flight leaves at 5:30am, you just can’t wait to get up! If you can’t something to look forward to, create & schedule a fun thing to do that day!

Good night! :)

[Source: "Sleep like a Baby Every Night", in Women's Health 12 reports,  2006]


August 8th, 2008



lean mean protein...

4 servings:

3 Tbsp whole-wheat flour
3 Tbsp white flour
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 – 1 1/2 lb chicken cutlets
3 c sliced mushrooms
2 Tbsp thinly sliced shallots
1/2 c Marsala wine
1/2 c low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaf

In a shallow bowl, combine flours and pepper. Dredge chicken in mixture and set aside.

Lightly coat a large, nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium-high. Add chicken and sauté until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove cutlets to a plate and keep warm.

Add mushrooms and shallots to pan; stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine to pan. Reduce to a glaze, scraping any loose brown bits from bottom of pan. Reduce heat and add broth, parsley, and thyme. Stir; cook until broth reduces by half.

Return chicken to pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve hot.


224 cal per serving
2g fat (1 g sat)
400g sodium
20g carbs
1g fiber
27g protein

[Source: Women’s Health Magazine, online]

Walk Your City!

August 7th, 2008

Get online walking directions for your Sunday stroll.

Do you feel like taking a nice stroll on the weekend? Or do you just wanna get somewhere by foot? Either way, now you can look up ‘walking directions’ on Google Maps. Just enter directions as you usual, then click on “Walking”. (You can also look up public transportation in case you get tired… )

If you live in San Francisco, there’s no excuse to drive anymore: The city has just been voted #1 in “America’s Most Walkable Neighborhoods” on walkscore.com. Check out the best neighborhoods and look for more info about how ‘walkable’ is defined.

Off you go: Saving gas, grabbing a coffee, checking out the local stores and burning calories!

[Source: The Examiner, August 7, 2008, page 23f. Also: www.walkscore.com]

Wii Sports – Workout from the Couch?

August 5th, 2008

The Standard Wii Sports – Workout or just entertainment?

ACE, the American Council on Exercise, sponsored a study to examine the potential fitness benefits from playing Wii sports: 16 volunteers (age: 20 to 29) played all five Wii sports games (each one for 10 minutes, in a random order, with a five-minute break in between).

For all of you Wii players, here’s the bottom line on heart rate (HR), RPE* and calorie burn:


  • Heart Rate (in bpm): 103
  • RPE: 9
  • KCal per minute (per 30 min.): 4.5 (135)
  • Actual sport: Kcal per minute: 7.3 (219) for pitching.


  • Heart Rate (in bpm): 98
  • RPE: 8.8
  • KCal per minute (per 30 min.): 3.9 (117)
  • Actual sport: Kcal per minute: 7.2 (216)


  • Heart Rate (in bpm): 139
  • RPE: 11.3
  • KCal per minute (per 30 min.): 7.2 (216)
  • Actual sport: Kcal per minute: 10.2 (306) for sparring.


  • Heart Rate (in bpm): 94
  • RPE: 7.9
  • KCal per minute (per 30 min.): 3.1 (93)
  • Actual sport: Kcal per minute: 3.9 (117) at driving range.


  • Heart Rate (in bpm): 111
  • RPE: 9.9
  • KCal per minute (per 30 min.): 5.3 (159)
  • Actual sport: Kcal per minute: 8.1 (243)

As long as you actually get up from the couch and perform the movements similar to the real games, the Wii Sports provides more workout than a typical video game. It doesn’t replace a “real life” workout, but could be a good addition to people’s lives. I can say from own experience it’s definitely fun!

*RPE = Rate of Perceived Exertion. Participant is asked to rate their fatigue on a scale from 1 to 20 (1 being fresh, 20 being close to passing out).

[Study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise. Standard Nintendo Wii with Wii Sports. A new study regarding Wii Fit is under way.]

Exercise – Good for Body & Brain

August 3rd, 2008

We all know that exercising is a good for our bodies. Recent studies suggest that the brain is also impacted – in more than one way:

  • Mood-Lifting: Working out can help keep anxiety and depression at bay.
    A study compared the effects of physical exercise and so-called SSRIs (“selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors”, a class of antidepressants including Prozac) on neurotransmitters, and showed similar results.
  • Stress-Handling: Vigorous activity seems to enhance our ability to handle stress.
    Diverse studies on rats (yes, they are genetically very similar to humans) have shown the impact of exercise: Two groups of rats were exposed to the same nutrition and environment, but only one group used the running wheel every day. After 12 weeks, the ‘runners’ showed better handling of stress factors – which was attributed to changes in dopamine and serotonin levels.
  • Increased Brain Size & Strength, especially in the hippocampus which helps regulate emotions. Compared to past beliefs proclaiming that the brain stops developing new neurons in early adulthood, recent studies confirm the ongoing formation of new connections in response to environment and experience – by thinking, learning, acting, AND exercising.

With all these interesting insights it remains unclear what type of exercise is most beneficial – cardio, strength or flexibility training. Until further research is done it probably won’t hurt to mix it up.

Studies and research aside: Athletic workouts have different benefits for the individual. Most of us simply “feel good” during or at least after a workout – and isn’t that enough reason to put in another fun workout session?! :)

[Source: "This is your brain on exercise" by Jim Gerard. In: ACE fitness matters, Vol. 14, Issue 4, Jul/Aug 2008]


August 1st, 2008




Serves 4:

3 cups (about 3/4 lb) diced, cooked smoked turkey breast
1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup diced bell peppers (any colors)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3 cups arugula

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint (plus leaves for garnish)
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup tomato juice
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp sherry (or balsamic) vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil

Combine turkey, beans, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers and onion in a bowl. Whisk all dressing ingredients in another bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add dressing to turkey mixture and toss to combine. Divide arugula among 4 plates and top with turkey salad.


282 calories per serving
5.9 g fat (0.5 g saturated)
37.2 g carbs
8.7 g fiber

24.3 g protein

[Source: SELF Magazine, www.self.com]

Running Events of the Month – August

July 31st, 2008

Have you ever considered running a 5K? Or walking 10K for a good cause? Or just secretly thought a race could be a fun thing to do? There’s plenty of events to choose from – for any level!

This monthly listing includes a selection of San Francisco running events.

** If you’re a Bootie Camp team member, we wanna know when you’re planning a race – maybe you’ll even find a running partner in the team! And please let me know if you have any questions. **

Sunday, August 3: The San Francisco Marathon
Distances: 5K (Also: Half Marathon, Full Marathon
For more info and registration click here.

Saturday, August 9: Angel Island 12K and 25K, Tiburon
Distances: 12K (Single loop), 25K (Loop twice).
For more info and registration click here.

Sunday, August 17: Golden Gate Park Cross Country 5K, SF
Distances: 5K (Upper Speedway Meadow to Polo Field)
For more info and registration click here.

Sunday, August 24: Time is On Your Side 5K & 10K, Oakland
Distances: 5K & 10K (Loop around Lake Merritt)
For more info and registration click here.

Sunday, August 24: Plate to Plate 5K Run/Walk, SF
Distances: 5K (Finish is the Home Plate at AT&T Park)
Benefits Project Open Hand (Feeding seniors and people battling critical illnesses in San Francisco and Alameda counties.)
For more info and registration click here.

Please note that many races require registration in advance. For details, please use the links in the description of each event.

For a detailed list and links to other event pages, check out the Schnell Schnell Website.

Sunscreen Routine

July 30th, 2008

I know, you know – but are you really using it?

I’ve never been into beauty routines or into spending an hour in the bathroom to get ready. Especially since I’m getting up at 5:40am every day, it’s all about time efficiency – and what I can manage with eyes still half closed. The only cosmetic product that’s touching my hands in the early AM is sunscreen. I know it’s good for my skin. I know you know. But who is actually using it every single day?

It’s been a process for me. And you know what made a difference? Not the knowledge about UVA and UVB, not the fear of wrinkles or sun damage, or the awareness of skin cancer, nor the commercials by organizations and brands. That was all necessary and good to know – but it didn’t make me actually apply it (even though I had acquired a brand new fancy SPF 30 sunscreen.) For me it was and it is all about reminders and routine. Plain simple. Here’s what I did: I placed the pretty new product out on the shelf right in front of the bathroom mirror – the one I’m staring into every morning. Et voilá: There was no way of forgetting to put it on! And after about 5 days it became part of my morning routine – automatic sunscreen application! :) No matter if I’m spending the day outside or inside, rain or shine. I don’t even think about it anymore.

Here are a few ideas if you have trouble remembering – please feel free to add to this list:

  • Place the sunscreen in a place where you’ll clearly see it in the mornings.
  • Place a little cute sticker in the corner of the bathroom mirror.
  • Place a post-it on the bathroom door (inside!), so it reminds you before walking out.
  • Have an extra tube of sunscreen in your office and in your car – just in case.
  • Carry a mini container in your purse.

Sunscreen check at the next Bootie Camp class! :)

Bye-bye Trans Fats…

July 30th, 2008

California proves its health state reputation with a new law: No more trans fats in California restaurants by 2010 (same for retail baked goods by 2011).

Why is this good news?
According to research trans fats are linked to health problems like obesity, high cholesterol, and ultimately coronary heart disease – which is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Trans fats are mainly used to extend shelf life and can be found in many margarine, oil and shortening products – and, of course foods containing these (aka pastries, cakes, cookies, fried foods, etc.) It’s good to know what we’re eating!

For more info about trans fats and trans fat food sources check out this FDA site.

[NY Times, published online, July 26, 2008; also BBC News, published online, July 26, 2008]

Know Your Latte!

July 29th, 2008

Find nutrition facts for your favorite coffee, tea or smoothie.

If you’re like me and always confused about what to order at the coffee shop, there’s help! Some companies have published not only their full menu online but also helpful nutritional data. We all know that a black coffee is probably a low fat choice but what about tastier treats?! And how about iced drinks?

With the links below you can check out nutritional info of some of your favorites.

At some stores there are more than enough ways to customize your order. Saying “tall nonfat sugar-free vanilla latte”… Decidedly not an easy task at 7am with 17 people waiting behind me. I might just go to the local coffee shop next door, get a “coffee” and pour in non-fat milk! :)

BTW, have you SF guys tried Blue Bottle Coffee? Yum!

Some nutritional info available online:

Sitting too much?

July 28th, 2008

Sitting down for long periods of time linked to reduced fat burn.

According to a recent study (see below) the enzymes that are critical to the body’s ability of breaking down fat (lipase et al.) are suppressed when we’re sitting down. As a result, fat is stored – not burned. Apart from getting fat out of the bloodstream the enzymes are also responsible for cholesterol regulation.

Most of us are sitting the majority of the day – in front of our computer, typing or emailing, on the phone, at dinner, watching TV or hanging out with friends. Office jobs alone will keep us on our buttocks 8-10 hours a day. Since this is a given, I’ve been wondering about ways to get a little bit of action into my (and your) workday:

  • Every time the phone rings, make yourself get up and stand while you’re talking.
  • Instead of emailing your colleagues, walk over to their desks and talk to them in person.
  • Set yourself an hourly reminder to get up for a couple of minutes. Stretch. Or walk to the water cooler (this will also ensure you’re drinking enough fluids! :)
  • Take a walk during your lunch break, even if it’s just for 5 min. Get a friend/colleague to join in for more fun and accountability.
  • Schedule one urgent errand a day to take care of during your break if you need a good reason to leave your desk.

What are your ways to create movement during your workday?  Feel free to put them in a comment!

[Study, University of Missouri, published in November 2007 issue of "Diabetes".]


July 25th, 2008

A quick hello and welcome to everyone!

And a special *yay* to all of you Bootie Campers!

Enjoy the read,

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Photography by Mary Sylvester.