Spice Up Your Spring

Guest Blogger [S. Palmer]

What’s a better time to start getting fit and eating healthy again, than springtime? The season shifts and we start cleaning up our closets. Why not clean up our eating and exercising habits as well! There’s a couple things that you can do of course, but here are some tips to get back into the swing of things – or if you’ve been staying strong through out the winter season, some tips to spice things up.

  1. Treat yourself to something new!

Go to a new juice place or grab a smoothie after a workout. Buy ingredients for a healthy recipe, or go buy new workout clothes that’ll make you feel great. Do something to get you out of the rut that you are in or just because you deserve it!

  1. Get inspired

Whether it’s Pinterest, Instagram or Tumblr, it doesn’t hurt to search inspirational quotes to encourage you! You could make it your phone background, or print it out and do some DIY framing and put it in a place that you’ll always see it.

  1. Find a  running or workout buddy & head outside

Head outside to find some new scenery & grab a friend for double the fun! This could help motivate you, encourage them, and make the workout [running, walking or however you sweat] a lot more enjoyable.  Maybe you even consider signing up for a race?  A new state?  A new distance?  Break out of your comfort zone!

Dublin 5K-40

These are just some quick and easy fixes for anyone who’s trying to break out of a winter rut or spice up their spring fitness regime!  Do YOU have any ideas for breaking free from the winter blahs?


Photo credits;, LeenaBee Photography

Pan-Seared Salmon: Detox the weekend & skip the McDonald’s

Several of us enjoyed Easter festivities over the weekend which often includes delicious [and not always  IMG_0013healthy] treats like chocolate, Honeybaked Ham, cheesy potatoes, and baskets full of candy.  This delicious ‘Nothing Bundt Cake‘ [pictured right] was on our Easter brunch table… yummy, but laden with calories!

So if you’re like us and you’re ready to DETOX from all that sugar and saturated fat, we’ve got a great recipe for you this week!


[Guest Blog Post by SK Palmer]

After a long day, I know how easy it is to just stop on the way home at McDonald’s.  Maybe you get a salad, maybe not. That’s not typically the healthiest idea in the world, so here’s a dinner recipe that will make you forget all about the McDouble.

Pan-Seared Salmon with Kale and Apple Salad

Four 5-ounce center-cut salmon fillets (about 1-inch thick)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
1 bunch kale, ribs removed, leaves very thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
1/4 cup dates
1 Honeycrisp apple
1/4 cup finely grated pecorino
3 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds
Freshly ground black pepper
Directions (Makes about four servings)
Bring the salmon to room temperature 10 minutes before cooking.
Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add the kale, toss to coat and let stand 10 minutes.
While the kale stands, cut the dates into thin slivers and the apple into matchsticks. Add the dates, apples, cheese and almonds to the kale. Season with pepper, toss well and set aside.
Sprinkle the salmon all over with 1/2 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Raise the heat to medium-high. Place the salmon, skin-side up in the pan. Cook until golden brown on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn the fish over with a spatula, and cook until it feels firm to the touch, about 3 minutes more.
The total time that this will take is about thirty+ minutes – I know that it seems like a long time, but I promise that it’ll be worth it when you’re feeling good about what you’re eating without ruining your workout!

Pan-Seared Salmon with Kale and Apple Salad

Pan-Seared Salmon with Kale and Apple Salad

Recipe & Photo Credits: Food Network

Healthy Recipe Ideas!

[Guest post blogger S Palmer]

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and also the hardest to fit into a busy life, (especially when you’re running late). Personally knowing these things I try to fit in some type of fruit or a bowl of Kashi, but eventually I miss real foods. Real foods being the kind that require ingredients and assembly.  I don’t want it to be high in fructose corn syrups or anything else that might make me tired during the day. So after recipe searching, I think I found a couple of tricks that could be helpful if you’re like me and only have a few minutes.

Banana Oat Pancakes

  • 2 bananas 
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup of oats
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • Optional fresh fruit and maple syrup to serve with the pancakes
  1. Turn on pan to a medium heat.
  2. Blend the bananas, eggs, oats, and baking powder with a blender – make sure you don’t let it get too thin otherwise the pancakes won’t cook properly.
  3. Spray coconut oil on the pan before ladeling out the pancake batter.
  4. Check the pancake side facing down on the pan – flip it once its turned a golden brown color.
  5. Once the other side of the pancake is a golden brown shade too, you’re done!

Finish making all of the pancakes, this recipe should make about 4-6 pancakes depending on the size you make them.

recipe from Simply Delicious


Overnight Oats

  • ⅓ cup of rolled oats
  • ⅓-½ cup of milk (depending on how thick you eat your oatmeal)
  • ⅓ cup of plain yogurt
  • ½ banana
  • ½ tablespoon of chia seeds
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cinnamon

Mix ingredients in a bowl and place in the fridge overnight. You may want to place your oats in a travel container if you know you’re gonna be on the go.

I like both of these recipes!  If you’ve got some time to spare, you can go for the banana oat pancakes. And if you know you won’t have enough time in the morning, you can prepare oats the night before and just grab and go!

Do you have a favorite (easy) morning recipe?  We want to know!

Sweat session recovery: Protein smoothie [guest blog post]

[Guest post by J Bondurant]
Protein after a workout promotes muscle recovery. Whether I workout first thing in the morning, mid-day or in the evening, I almost always have a green protein smoothie after my workout.  It fills me up just enough, and I sneak in lots of greens.  eat-your-greens
Recipe for protein smoothie
• 1 banana, frozen
• 2 cubes greens
• unsweetened vanilla almond milk (use enough for desired consistency)
• 1 scoop of [chocolate] protein (16 g)
Since I am a texture person, I prefer the greens and banana frozen so that my smoothie is like a milkshake.  The bananas are easy – I simply freeze them individually in sandwich bags. Greens certainly can be bought frozen from the store; however, I like to use fresh greens that I puree and freeze myself. Not only is it more economical that way, but also the greens are much smoother in your drink. I buy 2 large bags of a kale/spinach combination at Costco, puree it in the food processor (add a little water), freeze the puree in ice cube trays, and then store the cubes in a freezer bag for several weeks at a time.
Perhaps the biggest key to a great smoothie though is the right tool.  I absolutely love my Nutribullet 900.  In the medium size cup, I add the banana and greens first, fill to the line with almond milk, and then add the scoop of protein.  It comes out perfect every time.
Eat your greens photo credit to

A yummy lasagne recipe and a little #strikeapose yoga [challenge day 14]

FOOD –> Lan’s Lasagne

On last week’s long run, Lan was telling us about her constant hunger lately.  Marathon training will do that to a girl.

She told us about her latest home-made lasagne dish that satisfied her hunger pains and gave her carbs she needed to make it through that 18 miler.  She made it sound so fresh and delicious that we bugged her until she coughed up the recipe….

Total time = 1.5 hours  Serves = 8-10

We kept it healthy by using all fresh, clean [organic] ingredients and whole grain noodles.  Substitute or omit ingredients as you see fit based on preferences, dietary concerns, weight loss needs, etc.  We also love extra sauce, so we actually used an extra can of crushed tomatoes.

  • 2 TB Olive Oil  image(2)
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Meat option ~ 1.5 pounds sweet Italian turkey [or chicken] sausage, casings removed
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leafed (italian) parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tb kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 pound lasagne noodles, cooked or oven ready [we prefer whole grain, keepin’ it healthier!]
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese [partial skim to save fat & calories]
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 XL egg, beaten
  • 8-16 oz fresh mozzerella, thinly sliced [partial skim to save fat & calories, less cheese to save fat & calories]
  • [we omitted goat cheese, but her recipe also called for 3-4 oz]

Preheat oven to 400.  Heat olive oil in skillet, add onion and simmer for five min (low-med heat) until translucent.  Add garlic, cook additional minute.  Add sausage and cook for about 8-10 minutes.  Add tomatoes, paste, 1/2 parsley, basil, pinch of salt.

In a bowl, combine ricotta, 1 cup parmesan, egg, remaining parsley, remaining salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Ladle 1/3 of sauce into [greased] 9*13 baking dish.

Add layers as follows; noodles, 1/2 the mozzarella, 1/2 the ricotta mixture, 1/3 of sauce.


End with a layer of noodles, top with last 1/3 of sauce, sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly!


The aftermath/review  

It was DELICIOUS.  Seriously. 

If you wanted to be even healthier/cleaner, could probably do less cheese and more greens [perhaps spinach].  But hey, Lan runs 40 miles per week and does yoga #everydamnday so she can pretty much eat what she wants! 

Have a healthy version?  Or another favorite healthy or runner’s recipe?  Send us ideas at!

FITNESS –> RUN + YOGA challenge day 14

Didn’t have a ton of time today to get in a long yoga session, but squeeze it in where you can!

Several of us decided to #strikeapose wherever we were today and send to each other for some virtual motivation.

Here you go…

Today’s pose, Twisted Triangle.

Go ahead and strike a pose, wherever you are!!

Just joining us?  Here is the 30 day RUN+YOGA challenge we have been doing…


Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.56.30 AM

Bye bye for now!  Thanks for reading, and hopefully, striking a pose 🙂

Cajun Peel & Eat Shrimp

A healthy, EASY recipe… a family tradition!

Peggy’s Peel & Eat Shrimp photo-22

  • One and a half pounds large uncooked shrimp (the size we like are 26/30 shrimp per pound; approx $23 for wild shrimp @ Whole Foods)
  • 2 Tb Old Bay Seasoning (30% less sodium)
  • 2 Tb Apple Cider Vinegar

Add seasoning and vinegar to pot of water.

Bring water to boil.

Add shrimp.

Cook 3 minutes or until pink.  DO NOT OVERCOOK or they become chewy!

Feeds about 4.  Delicious!

Peggy’s Cocktail Sauce  

  • 1/2 cup low sodium ketchup
  • 4 Tb worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 cup horseradish – add more of this if you want it to be spicy
  • 2 Tb lemon juice

Measurements are estimated, she’s been making it so long, she just throws it all in a bowl!

Each week we will feature a [healthy] recipe.  Send ideas if you have any and check out previous recipes in our Weekly Recipes section.  

About the chef:  Peggy has degrees in both Nutrition & Chemistry and sees cooking as both an Art and a Science! She lives a FIT lifestyle and will be featured in the ‘Fit over Fifty’ section of the FIT Spotlight in the future.


Smoothies can be healthy snacks or meal-replacements and can be YUMMY.  Here are two of our favorites…

Gellenbeck’s Green PB Banana Smoothie

  • Half to full banana (no more than 1/2 cup fruit to keep sugar low – we like to peel our banana, cut into chunks and freeze)
  • Handful of spinach (or kale if you dare!) – also can be frozen
  • Scoop of supergreens (we use Amazing Grass Kidz Superfood)
  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1-2 TB peanut flour or natural Krema peanut butter (or sister co, Crazy Richard’s)
  • Small handful of ice
  • Blend & enjoy!


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Gellenbeck’s Green Berry Vanilla Smoothie

  • No more than 1/2 cup of frozen berries
  • Handful of spinach
  • Scoop of supergreens
  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1-2 TB Vanilla Protein powder
  • Small handful of ice (if you’re using frozen fruit, you don’t need ice)
  • Blend & chug!


Do you have a favorite smoothie or any super-food ingredients?

How long do smoothies keep you full?

We want to know!

Creamy [clean] Peanut Butter Dip

Peanut butter is DELICIOUS and if you buy NATURAL, can be low in sugar and high in protein… two good things!  It is high in fat, however, so too much of a good thing can be bad if you’re trying to lose weight.

These strategies will help you get the same great flavor with a lower calorie/fat count…

  • If a recipe allows, use peanut flour as its lower in fat & calories than regular pb
  • Mixing in the greek yogurt lowers the fat & calories and then a little pb can go a longer way!

This dip is also a healthy alternative to the yummy, but unhealthy fruit dip some make with marshmallow fluff and cream cheese.

Yummy, creamy, dreamy [clean] peanut butter dip 

  • 1 tb Krema natural peanut butter or two tb peanut flour
  • 2-3 tb of non-fat PLAIN greek yogurt (no extra sugar!)
  • Dash of Cinnamon if you’d like
  • Pinch of maple syrup or stevia (I won’t be adding this, currently following a clean, no-sugar meal plan)

Blend, mix, serve with fruit!


I heart vegetables


[Chicken] Lentil Soup

Fall and winter bring cooler weather… the perfect weather to make a warm, yummy [healthy] soup!  We’ve got two recipes for you below, both from Living Fit followers; 

Mahvish’s Lentil Soup 

  • 3T EVOO
  • 1T cumin seeds
  • 1T mustard seeds
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 2c red lentils
  • corriandar/ginger/red or black pepper & lemon to taste
  • cilantro for garnish
  • 8 c water

In a pot heat oil and spices over medium heat, once sizzling add lentils and stir for a few minutes, add water and bring to boil, turn heat to low and cover about 25 min until tender.

Josh’s Chicken Lentil Soup  IMG_1314

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
  • 2 lbs of chicken breast cut into cubes
  • 1 large white onion finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 2 large carrots finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried lentils..we use orange lentils
  • 1 can chicken stock (sodium free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can tomato sauce (10 ounce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (we use fresh)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Heat oil in skillet and then brown the chicken. Remove from skillet when done and set aside. Place onion in skillet and cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Mix in carrots, garlic, and celery. Stir in lentils and broth and season with salt. Bring to boil, cover, reduce hear to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Return chicken to skillet, cover and cook for 20 more minutes…if mixture becomes too dry, add in more chicken stock to moisten. Stir tomato sauce into skillet, season with rosemary and basil. Continue cooking for 10 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir in lemon juice and serve warm!