Chicken Soup For the Soul – and the Flu!



Hi Everybody!

It’s that time of year again – people are sniffing and coughing and wheezing all around us, and flu season is almost here.  So I thought it would be a good time to share my recipe for chicken soup.  I am a very straight-forward cook, so the recipe is very basic – you can spice it up from here.  The only time-consuming part is preparing the bone broth in a slow cooker the day before, but that’s the most healing part of the recipe, and it makes all the difference in flavor.

Chicken Soup For the Soul


Ingredients for Bone Broth:


4 quarts of water
1 1/2-2 pounds of grass-fed beef bones
2 Tab. apple cider vinegar (organic, unfiltered is best)2 tsp. sea salt
Cloves from 1 whole head of fresh garlic, peeled & smashed

Put all ingredients into a slow-cooker and set the heat to high.  Bring the stock to a boil.  Then, reduce the heat to low.  Allow the stock to cook for 8-24 hours.  The longer, the better.

Turn off the crockpot and allow it to cool.  Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth.  Before using the stock, skim away and discard any fat that has solidified.  This will be the base for your soup.

The Soup:
2 Tab. of coconut oil
Two cups of chopped yellow onions
Two cups of chopped carrots
Two cups of chopped celery
One rotisserie chicken (organic or free-range is best)

In a large pan, melt the coconut oil and saute the chopped vegetables until softened, 3-5 minutes.  Add it to the bone broth and bring it to a boil.  Then simmer for 20 minutes on low heat, covered.  Add the chicken and simmer for 10 more minutes.  Enjoy!

As I mentioned, this is the basic recipe.  What herbs or spices would you add to this?

Four Pro-Active Steps You Can Take To Reduce Your Risk Of Breast Cancer


In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to share with you some pro-active  steps that you can take to lower your risk of developing breast cancer.

According to the Cleveland Clinic Medical Center, in the 1960’s, one out of every 20 women was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Today, one in eight women are likely to develop this disease.  Because breast cancer runs in my family,  I would like to think that I do everything that I can do to prevent it.   Of course I do the “active surveillance” that doctors recommend, meaning that I do self breast exams and go for periodic checks with the doctor with the hope that they don’t find anything.   To me, that seems more “in-active” than “active.”

What else can we do besides wait for breast cancer NOT to happen?  We can try to change the conditions in which the cancer grows in our bodies.  Here are three major steps we can take to keep breast cancer from thriving in our systems.

  • Decrease Sugar Intake:  According to Dr. Mark Hyman, director of the Cleveland Clinical Center for Functional Medicine, the number one driver of cancer is sugar.  In fact, sugar is one of the most potent toxins in our food supply.  On average, Americans consumer 152 pounds of sugar and 146 pounds of flour (which acts even worse than sugar in our bodies) every year.  Sugar and flour both increase the release of insulin in our bodies.  Because insulin is a growth hormone, having more of it in our systems makes cancer cells grow.  It also creates inflammation, both of which help cancer cells thrive.  Therefore, we want to have a low glycemic diet to reduce our risk of cancer.  For more about the glycemic diet, check out this link from Harvard Medical School:  .  Don’t wait to become diabetic before getting on a low-glycemic diet.
  • Increase Fiber, Prebiotic and Probiotic Intake.  In case you needed yet another reason to eat a high-fiber diet; a diet rich with fiber is important for your gastrointestinal tract (GI) and gut flora.  Did you know that 70% of your immune system is actually in your gut?  Furthermore, according to Dr. Hyman,  if the microorganisms in your gut are imbalanced, you run a higher risk of cancer.  Research shows that women who’ve take a lot of antibiotics in the past have an increased incidence of breast cancer because antibiotics affect the balance of gut flora.  In order to balance these microorganisms, consider eating more prebiotics, probiotics, and fermented foods, all of which are beneficial for the good bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract.  For more info click here:  and here: .
  • Get Rid Of Toxins.  Of course we don’t eat toxins!  Or do we?  Nowadays, we are surrounded by toxins:  they are in plastics, pesticides, dry cleaning, and even skin care products.  These toxins act like estrogens in our body, binding to the receptors that are meant for estrogen, which can stimulate the pathways that drive cancer.  How to avoid toxins:
    1. Drink filtered water.
    2. Eat organic food (see
    3. Reduce toxic household products, including skin care products (again, see for more info)
  • Alcohol.  There’s a reason I left this for last – it’s a tough one.  I was shocked to learn from Dr. Hyman that just one glass of alcohol per day increases your risk of breast cancer by 40%!  Because alcohol is a liver toxin, it affects your ability to metabolize estrogen, therefore there are higher levels of estrogen in your system if you drink alcohol. For more information regarding breast cancer and alcohol, check out this link:

    Here’s the takeaway:

  • Get rid of sugar in your diet.
  • Increase the amount of fiber, pre-biotics and pro-biotics in your diet.
  • Get rid of toxins in your food, water, skin care and household products by eating real food, filtered water, and using clean skincare and household products.  (Refer to
  • Limit alcohol to 3 glasses per week.

As I always say, just focus on one of these ideas, get it straight, and then add on another one.  Don’t try to do it all in one day.  What’s your first step going to be?

5 Unintentional Habits That Could Derail Your Healthy Eating



If someone were to ask me what I do to stay healthy, I’d tell them the surface-level things.  I’d say that I exercise a lot and try to eat whole foods whenever possible, and I make conscious efforts to de-stress my life.  But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  There are a lot of things that I’ve learned to do over time that make everything else fall into place a lot easier.

These are a few of the mistakes I used to make that have made a BIG difference since I changed them.

  1. Not getting enough sleep.   If you’re tired, you’re stressed.  And when you’re stressed, you crave carbohydrates.  It’s that simple.  At Weight Watchers, they wrote it out this way:  “Stressed spelled backwards is D-E-S-S-E-R-T-S.”  When you’re tired, you’ll also tend to make poor food decisions, and then be too tired to make a healthy dinner, or maybe too exhausted to exercise.  I recently read about establishing an “Amish hour” before bed, where you turn off all electronics and unplug your mind a little!  Love that idea!  Here’s a link from “Mark Sisson’s Daily Apple”  with tips for getting a better night’s sleep tonight:
  2. Over-exercising!  In a cruel twist of fate, over-exercising backfires.  The old mantra of “eat less and move more” is a fallacy that’s worthy of a whole blog in itself.  HOW you move matters.  The body perceives high-intensity exercise as a stressor.  While some stress is good, too much isn’t.  Excessive high-intensity exercise will cause carb cravings, and in the end, you’ll be eating all your profits!  Also, make sure your exercise is fun!  If you’re doing it for pleasure instead of punishment, you’ll be less tempted to use it as an excuse to overeat.  (Been there, done that!)
  3. Not being ready when the sweet tooth hits.  My friends calls her son’s after-dinner snacking  “late night foraging.”  My kids call it “second dinner.”  Whatever you call it, be prepared!  Having healthy, fresh snacks at eye level in the refrigerator will make it more likely to be eaten.  Studies show that you’re more likely to eat food that is visible to you (obvious, right?).  Cut-up fresh fruit works well in these impulsive eating situations.  Hummus with sugar snap peas and carrots are good for mindless munching, too.  I know that when I run out of those snacks in the house, batten down the hatches!
  4. Not drinking enough water.  This is SO easy to do; but it’s also easy NOT to do!  According to Paul Chek, internationally known health and kinesiology expert, the ideal amount of water to drink per day is 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water per day.  “Water is important since dehydration can cause a drop in blood pressure and blood sugar levels,” leading to … you guessed it …. sugar cravings!  Water helps your organs and even your cells function correctly and makes your stomach feel more full.
  5. Not grocery shopping often enough.  If you can get away with going to the grocery store once a week, you might be undermining your healthy eating efforts.  Why?  Because healthy food rots.  If you can go a whole week without grocery shopping, you might be eating too many processed foods that are full of preservatives.  (Exception:  Frozen whole food is the next best thing.)

    See you at the grocery store!

Are You Wasting Your Time At the Gym?

Is Cardio Making You Fat

You think you’re doing everything the doctor ordered.  Three times per week, you step on the treadmill and watch as the “calories burned” number racks up on the monitor, and then you step off 30 minutes later, having burned your desired number of calories, and having gotten in your prescribed amount of cardio.  And you even watched your favorite show on TV.

But lately you notice you’re not getting anywhere.  You seem to be staying at the same weight and your clothes aren’t getting any looser.  If someone asked you, you’d tell them that you go to the gym to be healthy.  But underneath it all, you really did expect to lose some weight, right?  I get it.  Been there, done that.

Here’s what’s going on:  With long bouts of low-intensity cardio (steady-state aerobics), your body adapts over time.  So if you just consistently log in for 30 minutes, the treadmill screen will tell you that you burned the same number of calories, but in reality, you’re not!  In a cruel twist of biology, your body adapts by getting more efficient at that exercise.  Furthermore, as soon as you step off the machine, your metabolism immediately returns to its pre-exercise rate.  (If you think you can outsmart your body by spending even more time on the treadmill, think again – over time you will find yourself hungrier and craving carbs like crazy!)

If the goal is fat loss, using cardio machines is not the most effective way to do it.  In fact, according to Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove, owners of Results Fitness in California (one of the most successful gyms in the country), steady-state cardio is the fifth-best choice for effective exercise for fat loss!

Here’s the best way to manage your time at the gym if you want to burn fat:

  1. If you have 3 hours per week spend at the gym, spend it doing resistance training.  Grab some heavy weights and start lifting!  Body sculpting doesn’t count.  If you can do more than 20 reps, you’re just doing aerobics, so go back and grab some bigger weights!  This will boost your calorie burn 24/7.
  2. If you have time 3-5 hours per week to spend at the gym, do weight training and add in some high-intensity anaerobic interval training.  (Example:  hill sprints!)  I’m talking MAX effort!  You’ll probably need a trainer to “encourage” you through these!  Now you’ll be boosting calorie burn 24/7 and raising your post-exercise metabolism.
  3. If you have 5-6 hours per week for the gym, add in some high-intensity aerobic intervals. (Example:  jog/run intervals.)  It’s still a higher intensity overall than steady-state aerobics.
  4. If you have 6-8 hours per week for the gym, and you’re still not losing fat, then you’d better take a very close look at your diet.  At this point, add a long bike ride or run at 75% of your maximum heart rate.  Why not do this all the time?  It will take away from other higher-priority fat-burning activities.
  5. If you have even more time, now add in your slow, steady cardio.  Go for long, fast walks or slow jogs.  This type of exercise is fifth on the list as far as effectiveness on fat loss, according to the Cosgrove coaches!

The Takeaway:  Overall, weight lifting is the best exercise for fat loss.  And if you’re going to be on a treadmill, make sure you get in bouts of high intensity.

Photo credit:

Does Your Decaf Coffee Come With a Side Of Paint Thinner?


I love my morning coffee!

Lots of times, I like to have another hit after my workout.  A few years ago, In an effort to be healthier, I started drinking half-caf.  What I learned from my son was that I could be drinking the same chemicals that are used for paint thinner!

When my son Nick was in college, he took a course called “The  Economics Of Coffee” (for which I probably paid a couple of thousand dollars!).  His professor said one of the most toxic foods on the market is commercial decaffeinated coffee.  I thought, “That couldn’t possibly be true.  The USDA wouldn’t allow such a thing.”  ( I used to be naive that way.) I assumed the professor was just trying to impress his students with alarmist statements.  But since I drank a lot of decaf,  I decided to research it for myself.  What I learned will really surprise you, considering how many people drink decaf coffee every day.  The professor wasn’t exaggerating!  Keep reading….

heisenbergcoffeeAccording to the specialty foods website, “After tobacco and cotton, conventionally-produced coffee is the third most heavily-chemically treated crop in the world. Not only are some of the synthetic pesticides and fertilizers used banned in most western nations; they’re often used without any genuine regulatory supervision.”


Regular commercial coffees:  In order to strip the caffeine from the bean, many brands use what is called the “direct process,” which uses the chemical methyl chloride.  According to, methyl chloride is “used in various industrial processes, in many different industries including paint stripping, pharmaceutical manufacturing, paint remover manufacturing, and metal cleaning and degreasing… OSHA considers methylene chloride to be a potential occupational carcinogen.”  It is also used as a refrigerant, and of course, to strip caffeine from your coffee. Methyl chloride is preferred over other chemicals because it leaves most of the flavor intact.  The EPA monitors employees’ exposure to methyl  chloride very carefully, but FDA regulations consider up to 10 parts per million to be safe for consumption.  Yup.


Organic Coffees:  According to, the only two processes that can be labeled Certified Organic are the “natural process” and the “water process.”  The natural process removes the caffeine using the plant hormone ethyl acetate or carbon dioxide.  Ethyl acetate is present in fruits and wines.  The water process uses no chemical agents, just pure H2O.  The beans are soaked in hot water for a designated period of time, and the caffeine leaches out.  While organic coffees are gaining in popularity, they can be very hard to find in the grocery store.

Higher Prices. Will you pay more for organic coffee? Yes, almost certainly.  In a pinch, I paid $15.99 for the decaffeinated Organic Vermont Coffee Company shown above.  But at least I know what’s not in it!

What do you think?  Do you think organically-decaffeinated coffee is worth the extra money?

Is “Excessive Celebration Syndrome” Making You Gain Weight?


The Fourth of July Weekend Is Here!

It’s time to celebrate, kick back, relax, and enjoy the long-awaited celebration!   Enjoy the fireworks, the hot weather, and the “Everything Under the Sun Buffet!”  On the menu: cheeseburgers, BBQ chicken, pulled pork, buttered corn on the cob, ice cream, and lemonade!  It only happens once a year, so go ahead and splurge!  Yippee!

Wait – hold on a second!  Didn’t we just say that last weekend at our Father’s Day barbecue? And the weekend before that at the graduation party?  And the kids’ end-of-the-year school party?

Is this really a special celebration, or just the featured celebration of the week?

Actually, the “celebration mentality” happens way more often than we like to think!  Sometimes it’s for a whole season!

Think of all the family birthdays, celebrations, and vacations that happen throughout the year.  Then add all of the official calendar holidays:

January – New Year’s and Martin Luther King Weekend

February – Valentine’s Day and February Break Week

March – St. Patrick’s Day

April – Spring Break Week and Easter – maybe a vacation, too!

May – Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day

June – Father’s Day, graduations, weddings and school end-of-year celebrations

July – 4th of July,  multiple barbecues and lots of hang time

August – Vacation

September – Oh shit!  Weighing in after a fun summer!

October – Halloween

November – Thanksgiving

December – Multiple parties and Christmas season (which adds an average of four pounds to September’s weight)

That’s a lot of celebrating!  If we were to enjoy each one of these occasions with a whole day of splurging, and then add the entire seasons of summer and Christmas, that’s a lot of “festive” eating! That’s more of a weekly pattern, not a special event!

Managing these occasions is key to successful weight management.

What I observe from my clients is that ones who are the most successful at losing weight are the ones who stick to their healthy habits consistently, even at parties.  They have their head in the game.  When they splurge, it’s never overboard; it’s usually one drink or dessert.  They choose their splurges wisely, and rarely drop their guard completely.  On the occasions when they do let themselves go, they get right back on track the next day.

How do you handle celebrations and barbecues?

Photo credit:

How To Stop Those Sugar Cravings!


Do you ever crave sugar, even when you’ve just finished eating?

Do you start foraging the cabinets for just a little something to satisfy a sweet craving, especially after dinner?  Then before you even realize it, you’ve added another 200-400 calories of crap to an otherwise healthy day?  If this happens to you, you are not alone!  And it could be causing you a lot of undesired weight gain and unhealthy side-effects.  In case you didn’t know, this is the exact method that Sumo wrestlers use to put on weight; they eat a lot of empty calories and then go to bed.

According to Dr. Mark Hyman, author of “The 10-Day Detox Diet,” it’s not a matter of having poor self-discipline.  “What happens is that your hormones are out of balance.”   There are a number of hormones that regulate your appetite including insulin, ghrelin, leptin, and peptide YY.  If you can learn to regulate those hormones, then your appetite and cravings for sweets will diminish.  These four hormone levels are all disturbed by eating sugar, flour, and processed foods.  Another important hormone is cortisone, which is your stress hormone.  When you’re stressed, your level of cortisol increases, which raises your blood sugar level and your appetite (for sugar in particular).

So what can you do to regulate those hormones and stop those post-meal sweet cravings, and end the night-time binges on desserts and snacks?  Dr. Hyman suggests the following:

1.  Have protein for breakfast.  I usually eat eggs, but if you’re not a fan of eggs, try a protein shake.  You can put the following in a blender, and it will satisfy you for hours:  a tablespoon of hemp seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almond butter, and coconut butter.  Then add some frozen cranberries and blueberries, topped with a little almond or hemp milk (unsweetened).  Blend until smooth.  If you’re not usually hungry for breakfast, I suspect that it’s because you ate a lot after dinner last night.  It’s all tied together.

2.  Don’t drink your calories.  Avoid any sweetened drinks like soda, iced tea, sports drinks, juices, lattes, or what I call “crappucinos.”  Many people don’t think of these drinks as sugar-laden, but they are, and they spike your blood sugar levels and increase your appetite.  Try to avoid adding artificial sugars to everything – even Stevia.  You want to stop whetting your appetite for the flavor of sugar all the time.

3.  Eat at regular times.  Have your breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner at regular intervals.  This will help keep your appetite and blood sugar levels regulated, and keep your body in a good biological rhythm.

4.  Eat a combination of protein and healthy fat every time you eat.   Have some combination of nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut oil, or olive oil, together with chicken, fish, or  grass-fed beef every time you eat.  Add lots of green leafy vegetables.  This will go a long way towards regulating your appetite and blood sugar levels.

5.  Manage your stress levels.  Have you ever heard that “Stressed spelled backwards is desserts?”  It’s true!  When you’re anxious or stressed, your appetite increases, and you will crave sweet food.  Try yoga, meditation, or exercise to help you balance your hormones again and reset your brain chemistry.

6.  GO TO BED!   Get a good night’s rest.  If you don’t get adequate, high-quality sleep, your hormones will be out of whack. The hormone that signals hunger (ghrelin) will increase, and the hormone that signals you to feel full (PYY) goes down.  So you will be hungry AND crave all the wrong things:  carbs and sugar.   The whole spectrum of health professionals recommend this consistently, but most people either don’t prioritize it, or vastly underestimate how much it affects their weight and health.

7.  Address your food allergies.  Most people don’t realize that a common sign of an allergy is that you crave the very food that you’re allergic or sensitive to.  And the two most common food sensitivities are dairy and gluten.   Try eliminating those two foods (dairy, flour and sugar) from your diet for a few weeks and see if your cravings stop.

8.  Supplements.  Fish oil, omega 3, and vitamin D3 tablets all help to regulate hormones and balance insulin levels.  Dr. Hyman also recommends what he refers to as a “Super Fiber” supplement called PGX.  If taken 10-15 minutes before meals and again after dinner, PGX will help to cut cravings, make you feel satisfied, and slow down insulin spiking.  NOTE:  You might be tempted to immediately order PGX on and then skip the rest of Dr. Hyman’s suggestions.  However, you can’t just supplement your way out of unhealthy eating habits.  To get off on to a running start, sure, this might be one way to get going.  But you need to COMMIT TO YOURSELF to a healthier way of eating, not just buy your way out of it or fix it with a pill.  (Takes one to know one – I myself felt like ordering a case of PGX when I heard his video).

As always, I suggest that you adopt ONE of these habits at a time, and then let me know how your night-time or after-dinner cravings go!  Good luck!



Photo from

How To Have Your Ice Cream – And Eat It, Too!



Everyone loves a delicious ice cream on a hot summer day!

I try to be humble about it, but I consider myself to be quite the ice cream connoisseur.  I grew up right across the street from a Baskin Robbins, and one summer my best friend and I challenged each other to trying all 31 flavors one summer – TWICE (remember Pink Bubble Gum flavor?)  So there’s that.  (Obviously that was back in my heavier days as a kid.)

In high school, I was a waitress at Friendly’s Ice Cream Shop.  It was the best job ever, except of course for my present job!  I still remember how to make a Fribble, a Jim Dandy (banana split), and the ultimate:  The Reese’s Pieces Sundae.  Good times, good times.  And I’ve even toured Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory in Vermont, including the flavor graveyard.

I feel that all that experience qualifies me as an ice cream expert.  BUT – I learned some new things recently from an article posted by Dr. Susan Albers, a psychologist from Cleveland Clinic, and author of “50 Ways To Soothe Yourself Without Food.”  It grabbed my attention because it was all about bringing mindfulness to eating ice cream.  (Anything that could enhance someone’s ice cream eating experience must be a good thing, right?)

Here’s the problem as I see it:  I talk and talk about my weekly dessert splurge, and it works for me because I’m usually satisfied by the time I get to the last mouthful.  But with ice cream, there’s just never enough.  It ends too soon.   And who doesn’t get sad when it’s over? I always want just a little more, and look to see if there might be one more spoonful to sneak from my husband’s cup. (Letting me do that was in our pre-nuptual agreement).  I suspect that I’m not really “savoring the flavor.”

The first thing Dr. Albers suggests is to eat ice cream from a cone rather than a cup.  According to a study in Eating Well Magazine, the flavor of ice cream is actually released when the fat within the ice cream warms up to your body temperature.  So by licking the ice cream, you’re actually releasing more flavor as it melts on your tongue, rather than if you have a plastic spoon insulate the ice cream from your tongue.  The other idea is that licking takes longer than spooning, so the experience is drawn out over a longer period of time.  WHAT??  That is such a crazy idea that it just might work!

The second step is to watch your portions:  While you’re standing in line waiting for your ice cream, observe the different scoop sizes.  Portions can vary from 5 ounces for a small to as much as 12 ounces for a large (that’s 3/4 of a pound).  Order a reasonable serving.  I go with the Goldilocks diet when I splurge. I get a medium; not too small, not too big.

My next suggestion is to avoid those self-serve ice cream places!  Whoever dreamed up this idea is probably swimming in cash right now!  The first time I did this, it felt like a buffet.   And you know how much more you eat at buffets, right?  First, I grabbed a cup (have you noticed they only have large cups?).  I served myself a splash of chocolate, twisted in a bit of peanut butter, sprinkled on a few Reese’s pieces, a spoonful of crushed Oreos.  By the time I was done, the scale revealed that I had whipped up a 3/4 pound monster! As my mother used to say, “That’s how they getcha!”  And she’d be right!

While I’m weighing in on this topic, as with any addiction, the first step is to acknowledge you have a problem.  If you can’t resist ice cream, don’t keep it in the house.  OR, if you do keep it in the house (“for the kids” – I’ve heard that one before), buy pre-portioned servings, and stick to one serving.  And no, I don’t mean those pint-size containers of Ben & Jerry’s that they sell at convenience stores.  A serving of ice cream is only 1/2 cup.  One pint equals 2 cups (4 servings).  Sorry.  Try Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches or something that is truly one portion – very satisfying!

I feel that I have worked through my issues with ice cream over the years, and I only eat it on occasion now.  It’s not because I don’t love it, but I just don’t find it as tempting anymore.  I suppose once you’ve cleaned up during the night shift at Friendly’s and had your pantyhose stuck to your knees with hardened, dried up, sticky melted ice cream and fudge, it loses its luster.  But I do hope you enjoy yours!

Happy Summer!  Let me know how the cone idea works!

Photo courtesy of “The Mindful Dose”

How Tracy Lost 40 Pounds Without “Going On a Diet”


Tracy Ippolito of Stratford, CT

Before and After Her 40 Pound Weight Loss!

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Tracy Ippolito of Stratford, Connecticut, is what I would call a poster girl for healthy weight loss!

Prompted by her son’s engagement last September, Tracy was inspired to lose weight for the wedding.  She had been on plenty of “diets” before, but decided to do it her own way this time; the healthy way!  Taking advantage of her initial enthusiasm, she started with what would be a bold move for anyone:  no alcohol.  Encouraged by her results after a month, she added on another healthy habit; she gave up beef and pork, and started eating chicken breast and white fish instead.  She likes to flavor up her dishes by playing around with hot spices.  Next, she started adding lots of grilled veggies and salad to her meals.

She also drinks Bragg’s organic cider vinegar – 2 tablespoons with every meal.  (This was new to me, so I’m including information about it here:  Health Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar )

“I can’t imagine going back to the way I used to eat,” Tracy says.  As you can see from the photos above, she looked absolutely fabulous for her son’s wedding in May!  Better yet, she feels fabulous, too.

What did Tracy do right?  She didn’t go on an unsustainable crash diet.  She mastered one simple habit at a time.  After a month of success, she layered on one more healthy habit.  Then another.  And another.  Gradually and sustainably, she built a portfolio of healthy habits into her life.  And now, 7 months and 40 pounds lighter, she wants to continue eating this way!

Looking good and feeling good!  Congratulations, Tracy!  You go, girl!

Tomato and Watermelon Salad

watermelon_tomato_saladI love to watch Food Network, but often the recipes are so complicated that I can’t pull them off at home.  Or they contain ingredients that I wouldn’t.  But I discovered this fresh salad recipe last summer, and it was a hit!  Now it’s one of my summer favorites!  Enjoy!  (Thank you to Chef Alex Guarnaschelli)

Tomato and Watermelon Salad:

Prep: 15 minutes

2 Tab. balsamic vinegar

1 Tab. fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Seal salt and freshly ground pepper

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half

2 beefsteak or other tomatoes, sliced

1-2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon

4 strawberries, hulled cut into small pieces

1 cup cubed cold watermelon


Whisk the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil. Add salt & pepper to taste. Spread the tomatoes out in a single layer and sprinkle with salt, pepper, & the sugar. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with half of the dressing. Add the tarragon and strawberries. Toss. Divide the tomato mixture among the plates. Drizzle with more dressing. Top with the watermelon. Serve immediately.