Week of Thanksgiving

ONLY ONE class THIS week: mONDAY, nOV. 21.  We’ll resume classes on Monday, Nov. 28.

Turkey Trot in Westford

Yesterday was the Westford Turkey Trot. 10k run; 2-mile walk/run; 50 yd dash (ages 5 and under). It’s a great family event with homemade food and a prize table with something for everyone! Race fees support programs for Westford children and families.

The day was full of so many “feel good” moments. The Turkey Trot brought together a movement of all ages . . . Our Boot Campers & our kids made up a large % of participants . . . It was occupy Westford today! TY Courtney Turpin Boutin for being my partner…you’re awesome! Major Milestones: 1st time 10K Laura Gorsky, Betty Benson, Gigi Provost Chapman, Kelli Langlois, Amy Black; 1st time 2m Donna Liberty, Rebecca Gill, Val Pineo, Karen Gissendanner. Let me know if I missed any 1st timers.  Other boot campers were Paula Coli, Dana Clark, Randie Fontaine, Lonnie Poland, Anne Maloney, Carma Stark, Max Rooney, Sydney Rooney, Autumn Durocher, Bill West, Chelsea Metayer and Beth Nichols (I apologize if I missed anyone).

Next Race, the December Santa Run!!


Prepare and bring at least one healthy meal to your holiday gatherings . . . if you’ve always made the rich dips, nibbled on the never-ending plate of cheese, crackers and pepperoni , then STOP! Place a bowl of fresh fruit on the table for everyone to nibble on. Replace the deadly dips with hummus, pesto, even the Walnut Red Pepper Dip (recipe bel0w).  I’ve also posted a breadless stuffing and a refreshing salad idea.

Walnut Red Pepper Dip

2 cups shelled walnuts (soak them for at least 1 hour to soften them; it’ll be easier to process them this way)

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. salt

1 jar (12 oz.) roasted red peppers – drained

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. lemon juice

In a food processor, pulse walnuts, cumin, and salt until walnuts are finely ground (like the consistency of Hummus). Add peppers, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice.  Whirl until smooth.

Beef, celery, walnut & apple stuffing

 Who says turkey stuffing absolutely has to be made out of bread? This version made with lean ground beef, celery, apples and walnuts tastes amazing and is way, way healthier. The ground beef has to be very lean not because we are scared of the fat in any way, but because the fat changes the taste and texture and creates something much different looking and tasting than a traditional stuffing. With the celery, apples and spices used, the aroma and texture will be very similar to the traditional stuffing. Cooked outside the bird, stuffing was traditionally called dressing, but now the names seem to be interchangeable. The usual spices used in a turkey stuffing are often sold in a mixture called a poultry mix and include rosemary, sage, thyme, and marjoram. Of course, the result will be much better if you chop yourself fresh herbs than if you buy a mix of dried a dried version of them.



■1 lb extra lean ground beef;

■1 tbsp cooking fat;

■4 stalks celery, diced;

■1 medium onion, diced;

■1 apple, diced;

■2 cups finely chopped walnuts;

■1 clove garlic, minced;

■Generous amount of poultry mix or springs of fresh rosemary, sage, thyme, and marjoram, very finely chopped;

■Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste;


1.Preheat your oven to 375 F.

2.In a large pan, sauté to ground beef and celery with the cooking fat for about 3 minutes. Make sure to crumble the ground beef to small pieces.

3.Add the diced apple and onion and continue sautéing for another 2 minutes.

4.Add the fresh herbs or poultry mix, minced garlic, walnuts and season with salt and pepper. Mix well. The meat should still be somewhat pink, it’ll finish cooking in the oven.

5.Put the mixture in a baking dish and bake uncovered for about 30 minutes in the preheated oven.

Sweet Potato Salad with Apple and Avocado

Sweet potatoes provide the base of the yum and some vital nutrients to this flavorful salad while avocado and pumpkin seeds give you heart-healthy essential fatty acids and the protein content of the two combined makes this more a delicious meal for anytime!  Serve it over spinach or arugula for an extra boost!


■1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

■1 cup frozen corn

■1/4 cup unsalted hulled pumpkin seeds (or pepitas)

■1 medium red apple, diced (1 cup)

■1/2 small onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup…I like red onion)

■1/4 cup (or more) chopped cilantro

■1/4 cup lime juice

■2 tblsp olive oil

■1/2 avocado, finely diced


■Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, and cook 3 minutes.  Add corn and cook 1-2 minutes more or until potatoes are tender.  Drain in colander and rinse under cold water to cool.  Drain well.

■Toast seeds in a dry skillet over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes or until they begin to pop.  Cool on plate.

■Combine apple, onion, cilantro and lime juice in a large bowl.  Stir in the sweet potatoes, corn and oil; add salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in avocado and toasted pumpkin seeds just before serving.

Nutrition Info: 6 servings: Per serving: 179 calories; 3 grams protein; 9 grams total fat (1 g sat fat); 23 grams carbs; 4 grams fiber

 What’s the Single Best Exercise for Your Body?

I’ve heard about burpees and walking lunges, but I wanted to search the internet to see what other sources are saying and to see how our boot camp matches up.  Bottom line (pardon the pun): You’ve been performing the best exercises to lose weight.  No surprise I know, but at least it validates all your blood, sweat and soreness:

Mental Exercises…A Must Have: No single exercise can make up for terrible eating habits or never having a plan for your workouts. Figuring out your mental game is more beneficial then anything you can do.

The Push-Up: say no more . . . we do plenty and you’ve seen the results.

Burpees: Considered the ultimate full-body exercise.  With each repetition, you’ll work your chest, arms, front deltoids, thighs, hamstrings, and abs.  A crowd favorite!

Circuit Training: Unquestionably one of the best ways to lose weight.

Back to Mental Exercises, here’s a brief article by Beth Benson that addresses this highly important topic:

Motivation is the key to figuring out a healthy, sustainable weight loss plan. Everyone kind of would like to lose weight – why are you ON FIRE to get fit and healthy? Is your reason healthy? If you have a healthy motivation, rather then fear of rejection, I think your results will be much better.

If you have a fear of rejection as your primary reason for losing weight, inevitably you’ll find out that people can be cruel and will find other reasons to reject you Their hangups might be about something besides weight. How can you keep motivation then? This fear can be useful for your initial planning – but search for other reasons after you start. Isn’t a beautifully implemented exercise a pleasure? Can you feel your thoughts clearing as you move? Can’t you feel worries leaving you with your sweat? How much lighter do you feel after a healthy fish or fresh fruit then after leaden processed foods and semi-foods? Keep track of these positive feelings, how much easier will it be to make good choices? How much cleaner will you become?

Laziness creeps in, and cravings are hard to resist – so also develop your commitment abilities! Plan times for working out and healthy meals. Be accountable for following your plans. Recruit someone to keep you accountable, publish your plan to lose weight and keep it updated in an online forum. Don’t keep junk food in your kitchen. You may have heard these tips before – it works!

Decide on an action plan for weight loss that will motivate you, and don’t give up. This is obviously easier to read about then implement, but the mental exercise of discovering sustainable motivation will provide far better results


2 responses to “Week of Thanksgiving

  1. I’ve come to “EMBRACE THE BURPEES”. It took me two years….But I’ve done it! Gotta love um!

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