Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad

I was looking for something easy to make with chicken the other night and I came across Ina Garten’s Lemon Chicken recipe. I made a few small changes and the end result was a tasty, colorful meal that everyone will enjoy! Start this several hours ahead to marinate the chicken for best flavor.


Prepare the Chicken

3-4 chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4″ thin

2/3 cups olive oil

2/3 cups lemon juice (3 lemons)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon fresh thyme and or rosemary leaves, minced (I used lemon thyme) or 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs.


Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Combine with the breasts in a large zip lock bag or glass bowl and marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours. When ready to serve, grill the breasts then chill in refrigerator or serve at room temperature.

For The Salad

Sliced lemon chicken breasts into 1/2″ pieces

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 large lemon)

1/4 olive oil

1 1/2-2 cups sugar snap peas, stems and strings removed

1 red bell pepper, cut into thin slices

1 yellow pepper , cut into thin slices

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 lemon, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Taste for seasoning and adjust if desired

What Is Total Wellness Anyway?

Total Wellness Challenge

Wellness can be defined as “the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort.” I believe each of us has a great amount of control over our day to day health … Continue reading

Pumpkin Pie Raw Dessert


One of the best ways to satisfy the old sweet tooth is to create raw desserts using a few simple ingredients. I generally combine almost equal amounts of dates and nuts. Dates are super sweet, have no added sugar and provide fiber, calcium and iron. Cashews are packed with protein and iron.

During our Fall Total Wellness Challenge I swore off baked goods and anything with white flour for 30 days. When I had a craving for dessert I pulled out my food processor and got to work. I made this sweet snack several times and even brought a batch to a party! This time I substituted pumpkin pie spice for chocolate and the result was quite delicious. The finished product tastes a little like caramel. Yum!


1 overflowing cup dates, pitted
3/4 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup pecans
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt


Put the dates into a food processor and pulse until broken up but not paste-like. Add nuts, spice and salt. Continue processing until mixture become like dough. Bits of nuts should be visible.

Remove mixture from processor bowl. The easiest step is to roll the dough into small balls, about 1″. If you prefer bars, simply roll the dough into one large ball then put into a large ziplock bag. Using your hands or a rolling-pin, flatten the dough to about 1/2″ and form into a long bar. In both cases refrigerate for 30 minutes to set. If making squares carefully remove the bar from plastic and cut into desired size squares or bars.
If you don’t have pecans just use 1 cup of cashews.
Happy Fall!

Exercise On Vacation- No Excuses!

posummerMost of us enjoy group fitness classes because, lets face it, exercising alone isn’t nearly as much fun! At classes we get to connect with friends and fellow exercisers, many of whom motivate us to push ourselves a little bit harder. Being accountable also adds to the benefits of group fitness; it helps when we have a specific time and place to show up to!

This might partially explain why many of us slack off our fitness regime during the summer months. It’s ok to take a week off here and there but months at a time will only make it more difficult to return to our workouts in the fall.

If we devise a plan to stay on track we’re more apt to stick with it. Even a simple 30 minute workout that incorporates cardio and strength training will keep us fit and strong when we’re away from home.

Knowing you’ll be getting up in the morning to exercise will keep you mindful of what you’re eating and drinking the night before too!

Here’s a simple workout anyone can do..almost anywhere. Start with the basic plan and mix it up by reversing the order of the exercises or adding a second round of the strength moves.

Do this type of workout two or three times a week. Everybody’s “run strong” is different. Be sure to challenge yourself for maximum benefits!

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Don’t Be Afraid Of Fat!

healthyfatsDo you ever find yourself starving in the afternoon even after you’ve eaten what you considered a healthful lunch? Chances are you may not have included enough healthy fat in your breakfast and lunch so your body is feeling the need to replace it’s sugar stores.

Our bodies can burn either sugar or fat for fuel. Most of us have plenty of fat stores to burn but since we also have ample glycogen stores that we constantly replenish our bodies rely mostly on sugar for primary fuel.

When our diet consists or predominantly vegetables and healthy fats though, our body learns to burn more fat.

For the past 50 years or so we have been led to believe that all fat is bad for us including saturated fat. Most medical and health authorities now know this to be untrue.

In fact healthy fats should be included as part of our daily healthy diets.  Healthy fats provide important health benefits and keep us feeling full and satisfied for several hours. Those who try to avoid fat (because they think it will make them fat) often times feel hungry and tired all day and may find themselves gaining weight. Instead of reaching for low-fat snacks, crackers, chips or sweets next time try a handful of nuts, 1/4 of an avocado or some plain yogurt (not fat-free) with a few berries. You’ll be amazed how much better you feel and you might even remove a few unwanted pounds!

Best Fats For Good Health

Avocado- High in monounsaturated oleic acid, a heart healthy fatty acid. Provides Vitamins K, C, B5, B6 and E. Also a good source of folate and potassium.

Coconut oil- Has special fats called medium chain triglycerides. It has been shown that breaking down these types of healthy fats in the liver leads to efficient burning of energy and can increase energy expenditure.

Olive oil- Contains monounsaturated fat which helps fight against inflammation. In studies olive oil has proven to be the only source of monounsaturated fat associated with a reduced risk of stroke and heart disease.

Grass-Fed Organic Butter- Is particularly rich in Vitamin K2, which can have powerful health benefits.

Nuts- It’s true nuts are high in fat but eaten in moderation they will not make you fat. Nuts contain a good balance of protein, healthy fat and fiber. Don’t go overboard; if you have a tendency to binge on nuts be very careful to count out a serving size and put the rest away!

The bottom line: Eat healthy fats to keep you healthy. Choose your fats wisely and don’t be afraid to eat them every day!

Coconut Shrimp & Snap Peas

This is our first year growing sugar snap peas. Now we have tons of them so I’ve been looking for ways to enjoy them besides the obvious one — eating them right from the vine!



A few days ago I tried this shrimp recipe, not something I make often but wow, was it ever tasty!

The sweetness of the sugar snap peas, coconut milk and shrimp pairs beautifully with the mild curry flavor.

Coconut-Curry Shrimp With Snap Peas


1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp (not jumbo)
1/2 pound sugar snap peas (about 1 cup)
2 teaspoons Indian curry
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
2 tablespoons white wine
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 tablespoon arrowroot (can use cornstarch if necessary)
3-4 green onions sliced thin


Melt butter in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add shrimp and snap peas. Sprinkle with curry powder and garlic salt. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until shrimp begins to turn pink.

Stir coconut milk, wine and lime juice into arrowroot until smooth. Add to shrimp mixture, stir constantly and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer two more minutes. Serve over rice or cauliflower rice if desired. Sprinkle with green onions. Savor the flavor!


Which Shrimp Should We Buy?

It’s confusing to know which products, from which countries and raised in which method is best for us. Consumer Reports recommends “buying farmed shrimp raised without chemicals, including antibiotics. That can include shrimp farmed in large outdoor ponds that mimic the natural habitat or in tanks that constantly filter and recycle water and waste.”

Consumer Reports has evaluated organizations and stores that certify whether farmed shrimp—both domestic and imported—have been raised without drugs and chemicals. We recommend farmed shrimp labeled Naturland, Aquaculture Stewardship Council, or Whole Foods Market Responsibly Farmed. Another common certification is Best Aquaculture Practices, but we found antibiotics on four samples with that label.”

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