My Food Diary

‘At the Training Table’ Articles

Break out the good China!

What are you saving it for anyway- Christmas?!  This little trick sounds too good (and too easy!) to be true!  But trust me, it works like a charm!  Instead of piling fruits and veggies on your kids’ regular dinner plate, serve up new varieties in fancy dishes or glasses.  Your team will be much more accepting of fruit for dessert if it’s served up in a way that makes it look extra special.  Serve cut up berries in a footed glass dish or place baby carrots in an individual bowl with a ramekin of hummus or low-fat ranch.  Watching those babies gobble up the good stuff will be well worth the extra effort!    If you’re really nervous about breaking your good dishes, invest in a couple of inexpensive but fancy looking pieces.  It’s a great way to keep your team on the healthy track!

Soup’s On!

Here’s an easy, healthy and hearty soup to serve your team on cool autumn nights!  It’s Coach’s own personal creation- we think you (and your team!) will love it!


2 T. Margarine

1 c. chopped celery

1 bag shredded carrots

1 white onion chopped

6 T. all-purpose flour

¼ t. pepper

2 box Uncle Ben’s Fast Cook Long Grain & Wild Rice Blend (prepared)

4 ½  c. reduced sodium chicken or vegetable stock

2 c. skim milk

1 rotisserie chicken- skin & bones removed, chicken chopped into bite size pieces


Heat margarine in large soup pan over  medium-high heat.  Cook celery, carrot and onion until onion is tender.  Add chicken.  Stir in flour and pepper.  Stir in prepared rice and chicken stock.


Heat to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in milk and heat just until hot, but not boiling.


Serve with a hearty piece of bread and salad or fruit.


Save the family dinner!  Make this soup on the weekend and simply heat and serve during the week for an easy meal you can all feel good about!

Serve it up Family Style!

This is so easy it’s scary!  I picked up this little gem from the Weight Watcher’s Family Power book.  When I read it for the first time, I was skeptical to say the least. But, WOWee ZOWee does it work!  The trick works like this (or at least this is how it worked for me): Put the food for your meal in bowls or platters on the kitchen counter and let your kids dish out their own food onto their plate!  You will be astounded at how your players know exactly how much they need.  It’s like magical portion control.  Encourage (but don’t force!) kids to try at least a little taste of everything.  It’s amazing how much better kids eat when they feel in charge of their own plate!  Imagaine….no more cajoling your third grader into finishing his carrots! Try it….you’ll like it!  I promise!

Wonderful Waffles!

Time for another FFC All-Star Recipe!!  This one is for a healthed up version of waffles.  Looks like a breakfast treat, but we tweaked the recipe to make it a great (healthy!) way to start the day.  You can mix up the batter and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days- just be sure to mix well before pouring into the waffle iron because the ingredients will separate.


2 eggs (or ½ c. liquid egg substitute)

1 c. all purpose flour

1 c. White Whole Wheat Flour (my team prefers the Hodgson Mill brand)

1 c. All-Purpose Flour

1 ¾ c. skim milk

½ c, unsweetened applesauce

4t. Baking Powder

1 T. Sugar

½ t. salt

1 t. Vanilla

(makes 6 servings)


For topping:

Light whipped cream

Sliced strawberries

6 T. semi sweet chocolate chips (optional)


Preheat waffle iron.  With electric mixer, beat eggs until fluffy.  Add in rest of ingredients until blended.  Spray waffle iron with non stick spray.  Pour batter onto iron.


Top with tons of strawberries, 1 T. chocolate chips and a small dallop of light whipped cream.  Yummers!


A little extra note:  If your team is a little hesitant to try the wheat flour mix it in in smaller amounts.  You can up the proportions gradually as their tastebuds adjust.  As long as the total flour is 2 cups, the recipe will be great!

Eating Well is Just a Bowl of Cherries!

….or grapes or carrots or cauliflower….

Set out a bowl of washed and ready-to-eat fruit or vegetables at every meal and watch them disappear.  You know how quickly snacks like chips or crackers get gobbled up?  The same is true of the good stuff!  The trick is that you must NOT SAY ANYTHING!!!  Be stealth and sneaky!  Set out bowls of washed and cut fruits and veggies on the counter in the mid-afternoon, while you’re preparing dinner and most definitely always at the table.  Your team will not be able to resist grabbing a handful and popping them like cheetos- only wAAAAY healthier!  Mix it up, too, to keep it interesting.  Some great ideas are baby carrots with low-fat dip or hummus, peeled and sliced cucumbers, bell pepper strips, zucchini slices, berries, grapes, BIG carrots or melon.  Always have a bowl of something healthy no matter what the meal.  Even on pizza nights, you can set out a bowl of grapes or baby carrots next to the pie to help fill ‘em  up and not out. So, go get sneaky!

Mexican Madness!

Does your team love Mexican?  Try this new, healthier twist on tacos but whatever you do….don’t TELL anyone they’re healthy.  In fact, why don’t we go ahead and call them Tasty Turkey & Frijoles Tacos?  There, now no one will mistakenly forsake these little beauties before they have a chance to love ‘em!!  De nada!



1 lb. ground turkey breast


1 15 oz can Southwestern style Black Beans


1 pkg reduced sodium taco seasoning


Reduced fat shredded cheese- cheddar or Mexican blend


Fat free tortillas (look for ones under 100 calories per tortilla- they’re out there, but some tortillas can have over 180 calories PER tortilla, that’s just crazy kids!)




Reduced Fat or Non Fat Sour cream



Brown Turkey breast.  Add taco seasoning according to package directions.  Drain excess liquid from black beans and add to seasoned turkey.  (hint: if some of your team won’t do the black beans, set aside half the turkey mixture before you add beans- then you can offer them a choice!)


Warm tortillas.


Spoon meat & bean mixture into tortillas and top with cheese, salsa & sour cream.  Lettuce, diced tomatoes and fresh spinach make great toppings, too!  Get creative!  Muy bueno!








Farm Fresh Fun!

A great way to get kids excited about trying new veggies and healthier foods is to take them on a trip to your local farmers market!  Let them browse around and buy a few things they’ve never tried before.  Don’t impose your preferences or attitudes on them-  just see what they think looks interesting and have fun trying it!  This time of year, farmer’s markets across the country are jam packed with delicious, beautiful and fragrant fruits and vegetables.  It’s the perfect time to check them out and eat fresh, locally grown foods.  Bonus points: you’ll all get a bit of exercise walking around the market as well!  Even more if you can bike to the market!  Have fun & let us know what you find!

FFC’s Soon-To-Be-Famous Breakfast Sandwich!!

It’s time for another All-Star recipe from Family Fitness Coach!  This one’s for one fAAAAAbulous breakfast sandwich that is everything coach stands for : quick, easy, healthy and above all DIVINELY DELICIOUS!!!!


1 Thomas 100 calorie English muffin (coach prefers the multi grain but they do make a plain white version with plenty of healthy fiber for rookies)

1 wedge Laughing Cow light cheese (FFC loves original swiss for this recipe!) OR

1 reduced fat 2% cheese slice- any variety

½ c. liquid egg substitute OR 2 egg whites

4 or 5 sprays of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray

If desired, 1 thin slice Canadian bacon or 2 slices turkey bacon


Toast the muffin (this is the hardest part!), spray with butter spray, layer cheese, cooked egg substitute and meat, if desired, on one half of muffin. Place other half on top. ENJOY!!  Watch out Mickey D- FFC is coming after YOU! 

Keep Your Players Involved!

One sure fire way to make your players feel part of the team is to keep them involved in game time decisions.  In other words, give them a say in what’s on the menu!  Let your kids surf the net or browse healthy cookbooks or magazines to find some fun, nutritious new recipes to dish up.  Select one or two each week to try and cook them together.  You’ll get triple crown results:  1. you’re teaching the kids healthy cooking techniques 2. you’re all trying new foods and avoiding a dreaded ‘food rut’ and 3. you’re all eating healthier meals together!!!  WOOHOO!  We recommend you check out  or – a couple of our favorite places to find exciting new vittles!  Have fun!

SU-PER Yummy Brownies!! (FFC style!!)

Here’s a super sneaky trick….next time you’re in the baking mood, replace the oil with applesauce or pureed prunes and use egg substitute instead of real eggs.  I’ve even heard of some super stealth chefs who sneak pureed spinach and minced zucchini into their brownies and cookies.  Get creative!  Get sneaky! And get your veggies on!


Try this recipe to get you started and experiment to find your own all-star recipe:

1 box brownie mix (the kind that calls for eggs & oil in the recipe)

½ cup egg beaters

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

¼ cup water

Mix well.  Spray a pan with non-stick cooking spray. Bake according to box directions. This part is important: Do NOT tell anyone what you’ve done!!!! 

Watch them all disappear!  ENJOY!!!