Wednesday, September 21

From "Fat" and Happy to Lean, Clean and Ecstatic


I have been healthy and active my entire life. Well. . . almost my entire life. I participated in sports and danced competitively through high school and was one of the few girls I knew not to gain the freshman fifteen in college. In fact, collegiate cheerleading, running and tae bo (remember that craze?) kept me so fit I graduated college at 110 lbs.

Law school renewed my motivation to run as it was my only form of stress relief. I started running every morning, eventually working my way up to my first half marathon, followed by three more half marathons, a full marathon and a sprint triathlon.

After law school I discovered a new "sport". . . . kickball. For those who aren't familiar kickball isn't really a sport at all but rather an excuse to spend the day drinking excessive amounts of beer. Add to that the fact that I was now living in a trendy Santa Monica neighborhood with bars on every corner, the closest to my apt specializing in "southern food" (fried pickles anyone??) And I now had enough money to eat out occasionally . . . or frequently as the case may be.

By Christmas of 2010 I weighed a whopping 138 lbs. Almost 30 lbs more than when I graduated college! This is when I decided enough was enough and made it my new years resolution to lose 10 lbs.

I launched my "weight loss plan" the first week of January...only it wasn't much of a plan. I thought once I started working out regularly the weight would fall off. But I was working out every day, including twice a week with a trainer, and losing less than a pound a week! After the first month I had only lost 3 lbs. I was exhausted, frustrated and discouraged.

Then I remembered hearing about Tone It Up. I hadn't thought I needed it at the time. Afterall, Tone It Up focused on nutrition and what I needed was to get my @#$ off the couch and exercise. This was of course before I realized weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. 20%?!? No wonder I wasn't losing weight. . . my "plan" was missing the most important component!

Reading through the Tone It Up nutrition plan I realized that, although I had been doing almost everything wrong, the changes I needed to make were actually very simple. Soon I was losing 1-3 lbs a week, was full of energy and felt better than I had in years. I met my goal of losing 10 lbs in less than two months and, although I stopped consciously trying to lose weight, I have continued to live the "Tone It Up" lifestyle (eating clean, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly.) Just recently I weighed myself and was shocked to find I have lost five more pounds bringing the total to 15lbs. What I wouldn't have given to lose weight without trying back in January . . . and now I have:)

I hope you enjoy the recipes, advice and personal anecdotes I have provided here. Please don't hesitate to ask any questions you might have about weight loss or "clean" eating. It motivates me as much as it does you! Good luck :)

Monday, June 1

Spaghetti Squash with Clams

Linguine with clams used to be one of my FAVORITE dishes pre grain-free phase. And it's one thats very special to me as my dad makes it for Christmas eve dinner every year. Why it took me so long to figure out how to make it with spaghetti squash I have no idea!

If your squash is "crunchy" after following the below directions saute for a little longer. Oven temperatures may vary and I've had it turn out both over and under cooked.


3 tablespoons coarse sea salt
1 large spaghetti squash
12 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 pound clams, scrubbed
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped


There are two ways to prepare spaghetti squash. The quicker, easier way is in the microwave. Poke holes in squash(es) and nuke for 10 minutes.

If you don't have a microwave, or prefer to bake the squash, cut in half lengthwise, remove seeds, and place cut sides down in 1/2 inch water in a baking pan. Bake on 375 for 40 minutes

Meanwhile, with about 10-15 minutes of cooking remaining, saute 6 tablespoons extra- olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add garlic and sauté until just golden, about 30 seconds. Add clams and 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes and sauté 1 minute. Add wine, juice, and 1/2 cup parsley and simmer, uncovered, just until clams open, 7 to 8 minutes.

Remove squash from microwave or oven. If not already cut in half do so now. Once squash has cooled, remove seeds and discard, then use a fork to remove the "noodles" from the two halves. Simmer, tossing occasionally, until noodles are just tender, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and extra-virgin olive oil, tossing to coat. Transfer to serving dish and serve immediately.

Thursday, April 30

Salmon with Garlic and Red Pepper Flakes

Salmon is one of those foods that I struggled with for years. Sooooo fishy. And yes, I realize that shouldn't some as a surprise. However, I tend to enjoy the more mild fish that absorb the flavor of the sauce or preparation.

Luckily I have found a few ways to "tolerate" salmon and others to make it downright delicious. This is one of the delicious options and SO easy. Enjoy!

2 salmon fillets
1/2 cup white wine
olive oil
1 tsp french dressing
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
pepper to taste

Preheat over to 425.
Mix wine and french dressing in a bowl. 
Coat the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil. Place salmon filets in dish.

Cover fish with wine and dressing mixture. Top with garlic salt, red pepper flakes and pepper.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Tuesday, March 31

Grilled Sea Bass with Cucumber Clementine Salsa

Say what you will about Gwyneth Paltrow but that chick has some amazing recipes. I especially enjoyed this one since the ingredients were purchased from the Santa Monica farmers market which is where I used to buy my produce. I also enjoy yoga and am a huge Coldplay fan. So...Gwyneth and I are basically the same person ;)