Classic Baked Vidalia Onions

July 28th, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

INGREDIENTS

1 Vidalia onion
1 vegetable, chicken or beef bouillon cube
1 – 2 Tbsp. grass-fed butter

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Peel your onion, leaving the root intact. If your onion sits level, you can leave it alone. If not, cut a thin slice off the root to create a flat bottom.
  • Use a paring knife to cut a 1-inch deep cone into the top of the onion. Insert a vegetable, chicken, or beef bouillon cube into the hole.
  • Fill the rest of the hole with butter, about 1-2 tablespoons. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the filled onion on a sheet of foil large enough to encase it. Wrap the onion in foil, bringing the edges up in the center. Twist the foil together to seal the onion in.
  • Place the foil-wrapped onion on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 45-60 minutes, until the onion is tender. Serve warm.

Courtesy of The Cookful


Lemon Broccoli

July 7th, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

Ingredients

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Cups large Broccoli florets
1 Pinch Sea Salt
1/2 Lemon cut into wedges

Directions

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat.
Add the broccoli, stirring constantly until it becomes tender.
Add salt. Serve with lemon wedges.

Ready In 7 minutes
Serves 4

 

by Dr. Mark Hyman


How To Get Back On The Wagon After COVID

June 4th, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

So the COVID wagon has taken us on a bumpy ride over the last few months!

Some of us have even fallen off the stay strong/clean eating wagon🤷‍♀️. But….no one says we can’t get back on. Is it going to be a smooth ride? That will be up to you.  We know we will be back in business soon, so how do you get back into shape?

You start with two 30-minute training sessions/week. Add in a healthy diet and some fun physical activity throughout the week that brings you joy.

I will assist you with:

  • Gaining lean muscle and losing fat
  • Assessing your physical condition and tracking changes
  • Setting and reaching your goals
  • Learning proper strength training techniques
  • Nutrition counseling

I’ll even sweeten the pot for a short time* and offer returning clients 2 FREE personal training sessions for each new client you refer (train for 2 months, 2x a week). It’s time to take control of your health and get back on track if you’ve slipped a bit. And if you haven’t slipped, I’m sure you are eager to resume your training regimen.

Here is an interesting article about how quickly you can regain muscle strength after an extended break.

*Now through July 4th


CHICKEN FAJITA LETTUCE WRAPS

June 3rd, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

INGREDIENTS

BRINE: The trick to juicy chicken fajitas is brining the chicken in saltwater prior to baking. It’s such a simple trick but it makes a big difference in taste, texture, and tenderness of the chicken.

  • 4 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 pounds organic, free-range, boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled + smashed with the side of a knife
  • 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns

VEGGIES + SEASONING:

  • 2 medium bell peppers (any color), cut into thin strips
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into 8–10 wedges
  • 3 Tbsp. avocado oil
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 lime
  • Black pepper, to taste

TO SERVE:

Iceberg or butter lettuce
Guacamole
Fresh salsa
Fresh cilantro
Cheese, grass-fed and organic
Hot sauce
Jalapeños

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, combine the water and salt, stirring until dissolved.
  2. Add the chicken breasts, garlic, and peppercorns. Let chicken brine for 30 minutes, uncovered, at room temperature.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Spray a 17 X 12-inch rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse under cold water, and pat dry with paper towels.
  6. Slice into 1/2-inch thick strips and add to a large bowl. If the chicken breast is thick, cut in half lengthwise, and then slice into strips.
  7. To the chicken, add bell peppers and onions.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together the avocado oil, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.
  9. Pour the mixture over the chicken and veggies, and toss with tongs until fully coated.
  10. Bake, uncovered, for 18-25 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through and vegetables are tender. Stir once halfway.
  11. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and squeeze fresh lime juice over the chicken mixture. Season with more salt to taste if needed.
  12. Serve in a lettuce cup with desired toppings of choice.

Courtesy of Little Broken


Inside Outside Egg Rolls

May 27th, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup cabbage or tri-color coleslaw mix, shredded
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
  • 6.5 oz lean grass-fed ground beef – you will need 4.3 oz cooked
  • 2 farm-fresh eggs, whisked
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp Chinese five-spice blend
  • 1 tbsp lite soy sauce or Braggs amino
Directions:
  1. Combine shredded cabbage, celery, and scallions. Toss together. Set aside.
  2. Brown ground beef. Throw the veggies in with the meat.
  3. Sprinkle stir-fry mixture with ginger, garlic, and five-spice blend.
  4. Add soy sauce and whisked eggs into the skillet.
  5. Continue to stir-fry until vegetables are tender, but firm. (No pieces of egg should be visible.)
  6. Remove skillet from heat and serve.

from Sandy’s Kitchen Adventures


How Exercise Supports Your Mental Fitness

May 18th, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

A healthy body is home to a healthy mind. However, there are numerous different types of sports and a wide range of exercise and training. Which type and how much exercise will keep your mind in top shape?

This is the question that has been explored by researchers at the University of Basel and their colleagues at the University of Tsukuba in Japan through large-scale analysis of the scientific literature. They have used this analysis to derive recommendations that they recently published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.

Coordinated sports are particularly effective

The research group evaluated 80 individual studies to identify a few key characteristics. Endurance training, strength training, or a mix of these components seem to improve cognitive performance.

Heavy lifting during strength training also strengthens bone density, which can reduce the risk of breaks and fractures as you age. If you lift heavy, you test your mental strength as well.

Lifting heavy increases production of a brain-derived neurotrophic factor, the neurotransmitter related to producing new brain cells and improves cognitive function.

However, coordinated and challenging sports that require complex movement patterns and interaction with fellow players are significantly more effective. “To coordinate during a sport seems to be even more important than the total volume of sporting activity,” explains Ludyga.

A higher total extent of activity does not necessarily lead to a correspondingly higher level of effectiveness for mental fitness. Longer duration per exercise unit promises a greater improvement in cognitive performance only over a longer period of time.

All age groups benefit

Just like our physical condition, cognitive performance changes over the course of our lives. It is great for the potential for improvement during childhood (cognitive development phase) and during old age (cognitive degradation phase). However, the research group of the Department of Sport, Exercise, and Health (DSBG) at the University of Basel was unable to find an indicator of different levels of effectiveness of sporting activities within the varying age groups.

Furthermore, sporting activities from primary school age to later age do not have to be fundamentally different in order to improve cognitive performance. Different age groups can thus be combined for a common goal during sports. “This is already being implemented selectively with joint exercise programs for children and their grandparents,” says Pühse. Such programs could thus be further expanded.

Intense sports sessions for boys and men

The same volume of sports activity has a different effect on physical fitness for men and women, as we are already aware. However, the research group has now been able to verify this for mental fitness. Men accordingly benefit more from sporting activity.

Differences between the sexes are particularly evident in the intensity of movement, but not in the type of sport. A hard workout seems to be particularly worthwhile for boys and men. Paired with a gradual increase in intensity, this leads to a significantly greater improvement in cognitive performance over a longer period of time.

In contrast, the positive effect on women and girls disappears if the intensity is increased too quickly. The results of the research suggest that they should choose low to medium intensity sporting activities if they want to increase their cognitive fitness.

Science Daily


Cauliflower Grits with Spicy Shrimp

May 11th, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

Ingredients

Cauliflower Grits

  • 1 cup unsweetened cashew milkor coconut milk or grass-fed whole dairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted grass-fed butteror ghee
  • ¼ cup unsalted chicken stockor vegetable stock
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup grated organic sharp cheddar cheese

Shrimp

  • 1 pound shrimppeeled and deveined, 16/20 count
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher saltdivided
  •  teaspoon black pepper
  •  teaspoon cayenne pepper
  •  teaspoon paprika
  • 4 slices nitrate free baconthick-cut, chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlicabout 4 cloves
  • ¼ cup yellow oniondiced into ¼-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup red bell pepperdiced into ¼-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oilto substitute bacon grease if desired
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup green onionsthinly sliced

Greens

  • 8 ounces swiss chardsliced into 1-inch strips

Instructions

Cauliflower Grits

  1. Grate or add cauliflower florets to a food processor. You want the cauliflower to be about the size of rice grains. See the video linked here.
  2. Add cauliflower to a medium-sized saute pan and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, constantly stirring to release some moisture from the vegetable.
  3. Add one tablespoon of butter, ¼ cup of cashew milk, ¼ cup of chicken stock, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir and cook until moisture gets absorbed and cauliflower cooks through about 5 minutes.
  4. sing an immersion hand blender or blender, pulse cauliflower mixture until it resembles the texture of grits (smooth yet still grainy). You don’t want the mixture to be completely smooth.
  5. Transfer back to the pan. Turn heat to medium and add in ¼ cup grated cheese, stir until melted. Slowly add about ½ to ¾ cup more cashew milk until the grits are smooth and creamy. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as desired. Keep warm over very low heat while making the shrimp.

Spicy Shrimp

  1. In a medium-sized bowl combine shrimp, ¼ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon pepper, ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, and ⅛ teaspoon paprika. Set aside. You can add more cayenne pepper if you like it really spicy.
  2. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add diced bacon and cook until crispy, frequently stirring about 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel and drain. Keep 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pan, or you can remove and use 2 tablespoons of olive oil instead.
  3. Heat pan to medium and add garlic and onion, stir and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add in the bell peppers and cook 1 minute.
  4. Turn heat to medium-high and add shrimp. Cook for 2 minutes on one side, and 1 minute on the other until pink. Add in 4 teaspoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons green onions and cooked bacon. Stir to combine, cook about 1 minute. Transfer shrimp to a warm bowl.

Greens

  1. In the same pan add the swiss chard. Cook on medium-high heat until wilted and tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

To Serve: Stir and reheat grits if needed. Divide grits, greens, and shrimp evenly among serving bowls.

by Jessica Gavin


Philly Cheese Steak Casserole

April 20th, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs lean grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 4 slices organic Provolone cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×9 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Dice the peppers and onions into bite-sized pieces. Mince the garlic.
  3. Add the ground beef to a skillet and cook over medium heat, crumbling as it cooks.
  4. When beef is broken apart, but still pink, add the peppers, onion, garlic, and seasoned salt. Continue cooking, stirring often, until beef is cooked through and vegetables have softened a bit.
  5. Drain grease from the skillet and pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  6. Tear the cheese into small pieces and place over the beef mixture.
  7. Add the eggs, cream, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to a mixing bowl and whisk well to combine.
  8. Pour the egg mixture over the beef and place the dish in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes or until the eggs are set.
  9. Let sit 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 366 calories, 23g fat, 33g protein, 5g carbs, 1g fiber

Courtesy of That Low Carb Life


Food Logging For Real

April 15th, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

When it comes to healthy eating for a fit and active lifestyle, certain facts are undeniable: Water is crucial, you can eat as many veggies as you want, and weight loss/maintenance is more a result of diet than exercise. Having said that, I recommend my clients log their food, especially when they are not seeing the results they are training for.

Does keeping a food journal help you lose weight?
Yes. Tracking what you eat at each meal or snack can help you improve your health and lose weight for two major reasons.

First, you’re accountable to an observant yet nonjudgmental party (the trusty food log). Consistently logging your food helps you consider why and when you’re eating and how hungry or satisfied you feel. This record-keeping can help you have a more positive relationship with food in general. It draws your attention to food-related pitfalls that may have previously thrown you off-track and gives you the information you need to move forward from a place of honesty.

The second reason why it works is that it provides you with a wealth of information. You’ll learn more about both the foods you enjoy and the places and situations that you find yourself eating. It can help you notice any negative feelings related to food and identify why you might be eating for reasons that have nothing to do with how hungry you actually felt. Part of being specific is being emotional. You don’t want to simply write about what you ate, you want to write about how it made you feel.

The power of the food journal is that it keeps you accountable and makes you more aware. You are less likely to grab that piece of chocolate cake if you know you have to write down later and face the ultimate critic (AKA you). Plus, you become more aware of the emotions tied to your food or the habits you’ve fallen into. Perhaps you find that you crave fatty snacks around 4 p.m. When you sit down and ask yourself the simple question “why” in your journal, you realize that 4 p.m. is peak stress time at work. The following day, you come prepared with a healthy snack to munch on at 4 p.m.; maybe you even excercise before work to prevent your stress.

How do you write a food journal?

Try to stay as consistent as possible and be patient with yourself while you adjust. If you miss a day, don’t sweat it. Just pick it back up the next. And keep in mind that it’s not foreverFood logs can tell you a lot whether you do it for a week or a month.

Pen and paper are a tried and trusty way to do it, but it may not be realistic for you. Try writing in a note on your phone, taking pictures, or using an app. MyFitnessPal and LoseIt — both free — are two of the most popular ones. Fitbit also has a food tracker built into its app.

To start:

You should include several pieces of information in your daily food diary. These are:

  • How much: List the amount of the food/drink item. This might be measured in volume (1/2 cup), weight (2 ounces), or the number of items (12 chips).
  • What kind: Write down the type of food/drink. Be as specific as you can. Don’t forget to write down extras, such as toppings, sauces, or condiments. For example, butter, ketchup, or sugar.
  • When: Keep track of the time of day you eat.
  • Where: Make note of where you eat. Keeping a physical or electronic record of where you eat will help you become aware of your current habits and the scenarios that impact them. If you are at home, write down the room. If you are out, write down the name of the restaurant or if you are in the car.
  • Who with: If you eat by yourself, write “alone.” If you are with friends or family members, list them.
  • Activity: List any activities you do while eating, such as working, watching TV, or playing a game.
  • Mood: You also should include how you feel when you eat. Are you happy, sad, or bored? Your mood can relate to your eating habits and help you change them.

Log foods as soon as you can. The key to nailing the whole food journaling thing is to actually record what you’re having at the exact moment you’re having it. But since that’s not always realistic, don’t fret. You can take a quick pic of your meal before you eat it and fill in the details after-the-fact, that’s okay too.

Note what you may have “missed” at any meal. Did you order a bunless burger at lunch today and ultimately down the contents of a cereal box while watching TV after dinner? Could you try adding extra protein to your lunch and see how you feel tomorrow? If you skip meals or skip satisfying components at a meal, you’re likely to overeat later on.

Use your food log as a library. It’s a go-to list of your favorite items to order, the restaurants where you picked salad when what you really wanted was a pizza, great recipes you enjoyed, and which options or modifications left you feeling satisfied, not deprived.

Be honest. If you’re using a food log but not being totally truthful in your entries, then it’s no longer working as a tool for you. The only person who has to see it is you. Start from a realistic place and make gradual changes. Habits are a result of the choices you make consistently.

You’ve kept a food diary. Now what?
After completing a week’s worth of food journaling, step back and look at what you’ve recorded. Search for any trends, patterns, or habits. For example, you might consider:

  • How healthy is my diet?
  • Am I eating vegetables and fruit every day? If so, how many servings?
  • Am I eating enough protein each day?
  • Am I eating foods or beverages with added sugar? If so, how frequently?
  • Do my moods affect my eating habits? Do I reach for unhealthy snacks when I’m tired or stressed?
  • How often do I eat on the run?

Are food diaries effective?
A food journal holds you accountable and creates a personal reference guide that can inform your future choices and, ultimately, your habits. However, it’s not for everyone. Keeping track of what you eat is supposed to help you stay mindful and accountable — not bad about yourself.

If a food log helps you make positive lifestyle changes, then that’s 15 minutes of your day well-spent!


Supporting You During Covid-19

March 24th, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

My biggest priority is keeping clients safe and strong during this #Coronavirus stay-at-home order. The effects of this pandemic are changing the world and we can only control what we can control, so with that in mind…

I’m taking workouts virtual and bringing DBM Strength Training to you! Let’s stay strong together by joining with our friends and training as together as we can right now.

Strength training classes are scheduled every Tuesday at 6 pm and Sat at 9 & 10:30 am EST. Cost is $10 per person, payment options include PayPal, Venmo, ApplePay, or cash app. You can pm or text me for details and the Zoom link.

With the mandated at home order, watch for exercise videos and virtual classes! Three weeks is a long time to be away from the gym.

While we are at home temporarily here are a few ideas;

Look for opportunities over the course of every day to put your body under some kind of brief resistance load. Even if you only work hard for one minute (or less) at a time but are relatively faithful incorporating these “micro” opportunities into your daily routine, the cumulative effect will still be incredible.

If you don’t have exercise equipment in your house, there is still a lot you can do to stay fit, active, and sane during these trying times. Online streaming services, the internet, and mobile app stores are loaded with a variety of free and low-cost at-home workouts for all fitness levels and workout preferences, and many don’t require any equipment.

Turn up your favorite tunes and dance like nobody is watching! Whether you are solo or with your fam, this can be such fun. Challenge yourselves to keep adding one more song and keep moving longer every day.

If you have the luxury of a yard (and many do not right now), get your rake out and clean up from winter. Your spring yard will thank you and so will your body.

Hit your local trails! Many of them are pretty quiet right now so dress for the temp and go exploring. Maybe meet a friend at the trailhead and keep 6′ distance while you hike together. The app Alltrails is great for exploring.

Staying socially engaged during a stay-at-home order requires creativity! There are some good ideas being shared on social media and this article has several.

Watch your diet! Eating nutritious food is best during times of stress. Let’s support your immune system with great recipes that will also support your fitness goals.

How many ideas can you share with the DBM community? We welcome your suggestions and tips.