Category Archives: healthy eating

Salmon and Snow

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and a SNOW DAY.

Drink ALL the antioxidants.

Drink ALL the antioxidants.

so, therefore WINE.  Naturally.

Anyway,  I whipped up some salmon dip for a little protein action to top off my salad for lunch.


Also making an appearance in this salad…TJ’s new Cruciferous Crunch (I roasted it last night, tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar at 400 degrees for 15 mins.)  New. Obsession. Can’t go wrong with these veggies!


Inside the salad: Spring mix, roasted TJ’s Cruciferous Crunch, salmon dip, feta cheese, balsamic vinaigrette

Salmon Dip

Created by: Katie Dondero


12 oz. of  TJ’s canned Alaskan Pink Salmon, drained (make sure its boneless!)

1 tbsp lowfat cream cheese

2 tbsp Plain Greek Yogurt (I used fat-free)

1 tbsp ketchup

Old Bay seasoning to taste

Smoked Paprika to taste

Directions:  Mix all ingredients together well, add desired amount of seasonings to taste.


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Breakfast of Champions

I wanted to share a recipe that I made for breakfasts this week. In my house, breakfast are often “grab and go” due to early work schedules and an affinity for the snooze button. But, often quick breakfasts like cereal leave me hungry in an hour, or give me a sugar crash from too many carbs/too little protein. This casserole is perfect to prepare at the beginning of the week, reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds, and It doesn’t leave me starving by the time I get to work. Bonus – it’s paleo friendly for all you caveman lovers out there! Enjoy!


Breakfast of Champions Casserole

1 lb chicken sausage, lightly browned (or pre-cooked)
1 sweet potato, roasted
1 cup chopped bell peppers
2 cups raw spinach, steamed
1/2 onion, diced
6 eggs
1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
Salt and pepper to taste
Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly brown chicken sausage on the stovetop over medium heat, then set aside. Slice sweet potato into thin discs and place on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray (I use TJ’s coconut oil spray). When oven is preheated, roast sweet potatoes in oven for 20 min.

While potatoes are roasting, whisk eggs together in a medium mixing bowl, then add almond milk and whisk again until we’ll combined. Add salt and pepper to egg mixture. Dice bell peppers and onion, and steam spinach on the stovetop. Add veggies to egg mixture, stir, and set aside.

Spray a 9×12 baking dish (I used Pyrex) with cooking spray. Line bottom of baking dish with roasted sweet potatoes. Next, evenly spread a layer of chicken sausage on top of potatoes. Lastly, pour egg and veggie mixture over sausage so that everything is evenly covered with the egg mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes or until eggs are set.

Yield: 8 servings

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Dinner Lately

While this is not necessarily a quick meal from start to finish, it was easy to prep (about 15 minutes). Once I put it in the oven, I was free to prep and cook some other meals I was working on for the week, including a yummy breakfast casserole that I will share soon.

This meal is high in protein, gluten-free, and includes some greens as well. Feel free to add more greens or whole grains as a side to round out your meal. It is also great for leftovers (if it lasts that long!)

Stuffed Chicken Meatloaf

Stuffed Chicken Meatloaf

Stuffed Chicken Meatloaf
(adapted from Bakin’ and Eggs, which was adapted from Seeded at the Table)

1.5 pounds ground chicken
1 cup marinara sauce, divided (I used Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic Marinara)
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon parsley
1/2 large onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan/Romano cheese
2 cups fresh spinach, steamed and water squeezed out
4 oz. pepper jack cheese, sliced (you could also use shredded)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch loaf pan with foil – shiny side down.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, 1/4 cup marinara sauce, oats, herbs, garlic, onion, eggs and Parmesan cheese and mix well.

Press half of chicken mixture into loaf pan. Make an indentation in the middle (lengthwise) for the stuffing. Line the indentation with thin slices of cheese, making sure to leave some plain edges so the meatloaf will seal the stuffing inside. Add the steamed spinach on top of the cheese in the indentation. Cover with the rest of the chicken mixture and seal the edges so that the stuffing doesn’t leak out!

Top with remaining 3/4 cup marinara sauce bake for 70-80 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. (Mine took closer to 80 minutes because I used about 1.4 lbs of chicken. If you only use 1 lb of ground chicken, it could be done in about an hour.)
Let cool and serve!

Yield: 6 servings

**Edited to add: Jen from Bakin’ and Eggs also just re-posted her version of this recipe on her healthy living blog – Peanut Butter Runner….so you can find some yummy inspiration there, too.  It’s like she read my mind that I just made it! 🙂

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A Few of my Favorite Things…

“These are a few of my favorite things…”  (for health and fitness)

Lululemon Wunder Under crop. Best Workout pant ever.

These are worth their weight in gold.  Awesome waistband, “no stink” luon fabric (look it up, it will change your life), and perfect for every type of exercise – from yoga to CrossFit.  They have also lasted so much longer than their cheaper, “knock off” counterparts from Target, Dicks, etc. which is perfect considering I wear some form of these pants almost everyday.

TRX Suspension Training System

The TRX system is probably one of the best “home gym” pieces of equipment to invest in, aside from maybe a yoga mat and stability ball.  You can do so many things with this system, and tailor it to your own ability level.  This is a hard workout for both beginners and advanced athletes, you will not get bored.

The Tofu Xpress

If you cook tofu on a regular basis, this is a must-have.  I just got one for my birthday (yes, lame, I know) and it is the best method for pressing tofu out there.  Easy to use, this tofu press helps press out water from your ‘fu, leaving you with delicious tofu -ready to marinate, bake, or broil.  YUM 🙂

All hail Trader Joe’s.

This is pretty much self-explanatory.  TJ’s is awesome because they are a cheap grocer who stands by their products and sells inexpensive, wholesome food without all the crap that you should be are reading the food label for.  They cut out the middle man because they make so many of their own products, making them affordable and more awesome.  And if you live in a state that sells wine/beer at grocery stores, I highly suggest the vino.

Strength Wraps

Inexpensive wrist support wraps that are great for powerlifting, Crossfit, etc.  Made by a fellow Crossfitter, and comes in lots of fun colors.  (Thanks, Ashley, for my pair!)

Soy Lattes

Soy Lattes.  No dairy, lots of coffee, pretty foam design :).  Awesome.

Merrell Pace Glove

Saucony Kinvara 2

I use the Merrell Pace Glove for CrossFit, speed work, and short runs.  These are “barefoot” shoes with minimal support, but have helped me build up my lower leg muscles for faster, more efficient running.  For longer distances greater than 3-4 miles, I use the Saucony Kinvara to provide more lower leg support during higher mileage.  These are a “minimalist” shoe, and therefore provide slighly more heel cushion without the bulk and weight of a regular running shoe.  These seem to have last much longer than my Nike Free’s, which felt good too, but wore out very quickly.

Kindle Fire

My new Christmas toy from Mom and Dad.  Love having my books on the go, with the option of internet access.  However, if you’re looking for more internet speed and capability, go for the iPad.  This is truly a Kindle first, with web access, not a computer.  Since I already have a MacBook, this was great for me 🙂

Lululemon Destined for Greatness Duffel

This bag will change. your. life.  I use this bag to take to work daily.  It holds my stethescope, workout clothes, shoes, Kindle, wallet, laptop, phone, lunch, water, chocolate, EVERYTHING.  And there seriously is a labeled “spot” for everything you can think of.  It even has straps to hold your yoga mat if you’d like.  Since I need to have so many things packed with me to go from work to CrossFit, to wherever, this bag fits everything without being bulky and somehow never getting heavy.  This also makes a great carry on bag for traveling.  IN. LOVE.

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Tofu – It’s What’s For Dinner

Ok someone please buy me one of these.  I feel like I am completely negating any positive impact eating a plant-based diet may have on my carbon footprint by using half a roll of paper towels to drain my tofu every time I make it.

makes so much more sense.

So, dinner tonight was yet another delicious recipe from Mama Pea‘s cookbook.

Teriyaki Tofu.  Served with a brown rice/red quinoa mix and edamame.

So good.

Would you guess that this whole meal took under 30 minutes to make…including homemade teriyaki sauce, pressing/marinating tofu, and ALL?!  Let me tell you, healthy food and convenience CAN be used in the same sentence and if you seen my general lifestyle, I do not have time to be slaving over complicated meals.  Nor do I eat your typical “fast food”.  But yet, my meals are fast, nutritionally balanced, awesome, and husband-approved.

What else could you ask for? (Besides Mama Pea’s cookbook.)


What I’m Reading

I often have ADD when it comes to reading, so I am almost always reading more than one book at once.  I am constantly talking myself out of buying more books to read, convincing myself I need to finish the one (or 10) I’ve started before I can buy a new one.  Realistically, I should probably own stock in Barnes and Noble or Amazon (someone please buy me a Kindle!).

Anyway, here are some great books I am in the process of reading…and I am always looking for new ones if you have any to suggest! Also, I have a variety of types of books that I am reading, depending on my mood.  Hence the categories below.

Summer is the best time to curl up with a book at the pool or on the porch, or after your workout of course! (all book images from

Educational read:

A great read about sustainability of food and land resources.  If you like local food, farmer’s markets, and eating a well balanced diet, this is a very cool read.

Mindless read:

If you have never read a Chelsea Handler book or seen her show, go out now and do so.  This. Is. Hilarious.  Like ‘pee your pants’ hilarious, and a quick read.

Storyline read:

This gal was originally homeless, and through hard work, dedication, and a love for learning, she found herself applying and being accepted to Harvard University.  I think she was on Oprah at some point if I remember correctly… Very interesting and empowering story about working with the hand you are dealt in life.

Hobby read:

Interested in barefoot running, or just how to rid yourself of running injuries in general? A must read.  I listened to the physical therapist who treated McDougall speak at the last ACSM National Converence in Denver, and I was so enlightened!  Lots of concrete, well-researched evidence on the benefits of proper biofeedback during running.

All are great so far.  I also highly recommend any of Michael Pollan’s books, especially The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals.  I “read” this on Audiobook during my crazy commutes and this has become one of my favorite books.  An incredible, eye opening read!

That’s it! I have so many more great books I can recommend, especially geared toward nutrition, exercise, and proper recovery.  Anyone interested in a fitness/health themed book post? Let me know.


I’m Baaacckk!!

Oh my GOSH do I owe you guys a post or 10!  Here’s some highlights of what I’ve been up to the past 3 weeks!

  • Heather and Sam’s Wedding – Athens, GA

The fam at Heather and Sam’s beautiful wedding

  • MURPH. (Memorial Day CrossFit Workout) RUN 1 mile, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 squats, RUN 1 mile again.  To see the history of the real “Murph” for which the workout is named, click here.
  • American College of Sports Medicine Conference 2011 – Denver, CO

Denver, CO

  • Race for the Cure 5K – Washington, D.C. – My client, a breast cancer survivor, raced this with me and had a PR time!!
  • ZOOMA 10K – Annapolis, MD – Hilliest 10K to date, no PR, but still a great race with great friends and ZOOMA ambassadors!

Ashley, Me, and Kaitlyn

  • Most Awesome Vacation Ever! (Charlotte, Asheville, NC and Charleston, SC) – included MetroDash, wakeboarding on Lake Wylie/Catawba River, eating at a vegetarian restaurant, biking everywhere (Mount Mitchell -highest point east of the Mississippi!, Mt. Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms), beach time and weddings!

Top of Mount Mitchell! hardest bike ride of my life!

Adam at one of the other views on the way to Mt. Mitchell

My veg meal – zucchini manacotti with spinach pesto (raw, vegan, GF)

Adam’s veg meal – veggie burrito and side salad

Homemade Kombucha tea!! mmm

Finn at the beach, laying in a freshly dug hole

Finn dug holes all around the umbrella

Man’s best friend

Such a happy dog!

Finn loves king sized hotel beds

Riding in the back seat of the truck

Beautiful Charleston harbor and the Cooper River bridge

  • Elyse and Chuck’s Wedding – Charleston, SC — Pictures soon!
No wonder I haven’t had any time to post!  Whew…back to reality!
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10 Healthy Living and Eating Tips

  1. Sweat every day.  Get your body moving everyday.  Some days can be more intense than others, but it’s important to keep moving.
  2. Count your veggies.  I had a running friend who used to say she was a walking V-8 bottle, always focusing on the amount of servings of veggies she was getting.  She would count her servings of fruits and veggies to make sure she got in the recommended amount each day (2-3 servings fruit, 3-4 servings veggies by the way), and then work her meals around those.  Obviously proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are important too, but we don’t seem to be lacking on those here in America, so if we focus our attention on the vitamins we’re getting through real food, the rest will come naturally.
  3. Strength train.  Are you a cardio queen trying to lose weight?  Yes, cardio will burn the most calories and give you the best burn for your buck, but weight training is equally as important.  Building muscle helps you raise your resting metabolism so that you will essentially burn more calories doing everything else you do.  Also, muscle gives your body a little shape and tone and allows you to be more efficient during those cardio bouts. If you’re clueless on proper form, take a Body Pump class at the gym, which leads you through a set routine, or hire me .  Hehe. 🙂
  4. Mix it up.  If you’re bored with working out, its probably because you’re doing the same thing way too often.  Take a new class, switch up your routine, or kick your weights up a notch.  The body is extremely adaptable and if your mind is bored, your body was probably bored a long time ago.  The best results happen when your body is outside its comfort zone.
  5. Start with a good breakfast.  Include some complex carbohydrates and protein, and possibly some fruit if you’re still hungry.  This combo will keep you full, and set a good tone for your eating the rest of the day.  Try oatmeal with banana and scrambled eggs.  Check out some of my links over on the Blog Love sidebar and you will surely find some creative, yet simple eats that are made for those on the go!
  6. Write it down…occasionally.  I personally HATE writing down my eats.  But if you’re not seeing results, try writing all your food, eat times, and portion sizes down for just 3 days.  If you’re not sure about portion sizes, look up the calories and write those down too. is a good resource for this.  This should give you a good idea about where you stand in your calorie budget, as well as what unneccessary things you might be grazing on randomly.  Make the necessary adjustments and get yourself back on track.  If you have to write down those 5 pretzels you might think twice about if you really needed them. 🙂  Note: if you do better electronically, here are a few good sites for online food journaling and figuring out your daily caloric needs: Fit Day, The Daily Plate
  7. Ask for help.  If you’re having trouble leading a balanced workout or eating life, look for a professional to help you, even if it’s only temporary.  You can use ACSM’s ProFinder to find an exercise professional, and find a registered dietician here.
  8. Set a goal.  Goal setting can be for all aspects of your life.  It helps you to stay accountable, feel accomplished, and work hard towards something that matters to you.  Follow Lululemon’s Goal Setting tips – a great resource.
  9. Drink water.  Lots of it.  You should have at least 64 oz. of water per day, and more before and after working out.  Water obviously helps you to maintain hydration, but also helps your body systems to work properly and efficiently.  Also, its a great way to keep your calories down during the day by not drinking your calories.
  10. Take a day off.  Work hard and eat well 90% of the time.  Save your cheat days and rest days for special occasions. Enjoy your cookie, your beer, your birthday cake, whatever.  Give yourself a little break, and enjoy it.  Then get back on the wagon 🙂

Lululemon Manifesto –

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Weekend Recap

Hello Friends!  A fantastic weekend is coming to a close, but there is so much to tell!

Friday started off with working some clients, followed by this Crossfit Workout:

Warmup: 400m Run, 20 Tire Flips

Main Set:

7 Rounds for time:

7 Deadlifts, 1 Gasser (20 x 10m sprints), 15 pullups, 1 min. rest

Cooldown: Stretch and foamroll. Whew! I finished in 24:25.  The workout was me and the boys this afternoon and I finished first! (But to their credit, they were lifting more weight of course 🙂 )

Saturday brought a very SORE wakeup call and I headed down to the pitch to watch Adam play in Severn River Rugby’s Playoff game against Brandywine.  They played the best game they had played all year against a really tough team, and won 33-15!  Great job boys!! They’ll be playing in the next round of the playoffs against Doylestown RFC next weekend at Brandywine’s pitch outside of Philly.  Go River!!

There’s my man! #9

Ball out! Go Adam 🙂

Go River!

Saturday night we thawed some bison steaks we had in the freezer from Maryland Table.  Never had bison?? It’s awesome.  Bison steaks (also called American buffalo) are one of the leanest meats you can get, and is in most cases leaner than chicken.  It also has more Iron and Vitamin B-12  per oz. than steak.  It tastes mostly like a lean steak, without any “game-y” flavor from what I’ve experienced.  We bought grass fed, local bison meat so even the smallest amounts of animal fat in these steaks contain healthy Omega-3s instead of antibiotics and hormones.  (More later on the benefits of eating grass-fed vs. conventional meats and eating locally!)  Also, Bison are naturally more resistant to diseases and grow faster than domestic animals, so there typically isn’t an incentive for hormones and antibiotics when raising bison.

Anyway, here’s how we prepared it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Cut the steak into four medallions (we had about 2-3 lbs of bison steak)
  3. Brown steak with Earth Balance Butter on the stove (or butter of choice)
  4. Top with seasonings.  We used Tennessee Whiskey Steak and Burger Seasoning, but any steak seasoning will do.
  5. Put steaks on a broiler pan in the oven, and bake for 30ish minutes until internal temperature reaches 140°F for rare, 150°F for medium*.
*Bison meat is typically enjoyed at a rare to medium temperature and tends to be slightly “sweeter” than regular steak.  It also cooks slightly faster so I definitely recommend watching the meat thermometer to make sure you aren’t over or under cooking the meat.

We enjoyed our bison steaks accompanied with some steamed asparagus, took a walk with the pup, and then the Rugby celebration commenced in downtown Annapolis for the remainder of the evening 🙂

Lastly, this morning, we went to a surprise brunch for the newly engaged couple!! Friday afternoon, we finally got word that my long-time best friend Sarah got engaged while on vacation with her boy!! We are so excited for Sarah and Dan, two wonderful people who couldn’t be better friends to me and Adam.  I just love weddings and can’t wait to help with all the planning and parties!!  Sarah’s mom had a beautiful brunch spread, with some yummy quiches, fresh fruit, homemade whole grain soda bread, and sweet potato muffins! (I must get that recipe!)  Congratulations Sarah and Dan!!

Look at that bling! 🙂

Sarah and Dan engagement montage 🙂 Love you guys!

So as we’re winding down from the weekend, Adam and I turned our leftover bison steaks into bison soft tacos with all the fixin’s and are sitting down to watch the Washington Caps playoff game 🙂  What did you do this weekend??   Hope it was a great one!

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Sweat Angels

This morning’s Crossfit workout left sweat angels on the floor!!


400m Run

25 Shoulder mobility “Dislocators”

25 Overhead Squats with PVC pipe

25 Pushups

400m Run

Main Set:

Here was the Prescription, scale down when needed:

For time:
25 Walking lunge steps
20 Pull-ups
50 Box jumps
20 Double-unders jump rope or 60 singles
25 Ring dips
20 Knees to elbows (hanging)
30 Kettlebell swings
30 Sit-ups
20 Hang squat cleans
25 Back extensions
30 Wall ball shots
3 Rope climb ascents or 15 ‘Floor to Standing’ reps

Whew! My finishing time was 21:05, followed by coach’s deep breathing exercises to cool down.  That’s when the sweat angels came out! 🙂

Also, Here’s what I got in my CSA this weekend:

  • Carrots
  • Hazelnut Mint
  • Micro Greens Mix
  • Red Russian Kale
  • Spring Onion
  • Sweet Potatoes (the biggest ones I’ve ever seen!)
Be on the lookout for Kale Chips and other yummy recipes coming from these veggies 🙂

What are you cooking for dinner tonight?? How are you getting your sweat on today?

Happy Monday!!

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