Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Eating Out

At restaurants, only eat half your meal. Ask for a to-go box when ordering. Place half the food in the box. Don't eat so fast and give your brain enough time to let your belly know it's full.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Total Body Workout

The Key To Fitness is Intensity;
You can achieve the same or better results working out in 20 minutes or less as you could in one hour or more. 

Just because you think your tired doesn't mean your body is...

This is a total body workout with no rest intended between exercises. Try to complete 20 reps per exercise. Use appropriate weigh for exercises requiring it and keep a record of your progress.


Standard dead-hang pull up is grasped with an overhand grip. Then the body is pulled up until the chin clears the bar, and finished by lowering the body until arms and shoulders are fully extended. Use a chair or stool to cheat placing one foot on chair or stool to give yourself just enough help to complete extra reps.

Dumbbell Straight Leg Deadlift

Stand with shoulder width or narrower stance. Grasp dumbbells to sides.
With knees straight, lower dumbbells to top or sides of feet by bending hips. Bend waist as bar approaches feet. Lift dumbbells by extending hips and waist until standing upright. Pull shoulders back slightly if rounded. Repeat.
Begin with very light weight and add additional weight gradually to allow lower back adequate adaptation. Throughout lift keep arms and knees straight. Keep dumbbells close to legs. Do not pause or bounce at bottom of lift. Lower back may bend slightly during full hip flexion phase. Do not lower weight beyond mild stretch throughout hamstrings and low back. Full range of motion will vary from person to person depending on flexibility. 

Spider man Push-up

Come into plank position (top of a push-up), with your hands under your shoulders, and your body in one straight line. If you can't do a push-up this way, just lower your knees to the floor
As you bend your elbows out to the side and lower your torso toward the floor, bend your left knee and touch it to your left elbow.
As you straighten your arms, come back to plank position with your left foot next to your right. Now lower your torso down and touch your right knee to your right elbow. Then return back to plank position.
This counts as one repetition.

Oblique V-Up (20 per side)

Lie on your left side, legs angled 30 degrees from your hips. Rest your left arm on the floor and put your right hand behind your head. Lift your straight legs off the floor, bringing your torso toward your legs. Slowly return to start. That's one rep. Do 20 reps on each side.

Lunge & Press

Stand facing forward with feet hip-distance apart; hold dumbbell in your right & left hand. 
Then lunge, keeping your left knee directly over your left toe.
Return to starting position and press both arms toward the ceiling. Lower the dumbbells slowly to your side. Complete 10 reps, then switch sides.

Band Row

This is a great home exercise. All that is required is an exercise band, a stationary object at stomach level and some motivation. Begin this exercise by getting in a squat position with the exercise band wrapped around an object while holding firmly with two hands. Now slowly bring the band into your body as you would do during a seated row. To vary the intensity stand further back. Make sure to keep your elbows in close to your body.

Squat & Press

Stand on the floor holding dumbbells at shoulder level with palms inward and your feet shoulder-width apart. Position your feet so that your toes are pointed straight ahead.
From the starting position, slowly lower down to a fully squatted position, pulling your weight down through your leg muscles as you descend. Keep your weight back on your heels as you go down. Push your chest out very slightly in front of you to counterbalance the heavy load on your heels. Keep your palms facing inward and the dumbbells at your sides throughout the exercise.
When you have reached the depth of the squat, reverse motion and drive up through your heels to return to the starting position.
At the top of each squat, perform a neutral-grip (palms facing inward) shoulder press up to full flex and back down to shoulders, and then move into your next squat

One Leg Push-up

Starting position: 
assume the standard push-up position, but place one foot on top of the other so only the lower foot is in contact with the ground.
Step 1: breathe in as you lower your torso to the ground, stopping when your elbows form a 90-degree angle and your chest is an inch or two from your hands. Keep your elbows close to your body.
Step 2: breathe out as you push yourself up using your arms. Think of raising yourself by attempting to push the ground away from you. The power for the push will predominantly come from your shoulders and chest.

Hip bridge with Ball

Lie on your back with your lower legs on a stability ball. Raise your hips until they're aligned with your feet and shoulders.  Press your heels into the ball and roll it toward your butt. Roll the ball back out. Keeping your hips lifted.

Chin-Up Underhand

Standard dead-hang pull up is grasped with an underhand grip. Then the body is pulled up until the chin clears the bar, and finished by lowering the body until arms and shoulders are fully extended. Use a chair or stool to cheat placing one foot on chair or stool to give yourself just enough help to complete extra reps. 

Prison Squat

Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and lace your fingers behind your head.
Keeping your elbows back, bend at the hips and knees to lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Press back up to the starting position and repeat. (If the basic prisoner squat is too easy for you, try this: At the bottom of the move, explode upward so your feet come off the floor a few inches. Land softly and sink into your next repetition.)

Modified Dive Bomber

start with feet and hands little more than shoulder width apart, forming the body into an upside down "V" and keeping the head, neck, and spine aligned. From this starting position, commonly called Downward Dog, one bends the elbows, lowering the head towards the ground and bringing the chest almost to the ground, then "swoops" forward to a Cobra Pose. To return to the Downward Dog position, from the Cobra Pose, raise the abdomen into a normal plank position, then push backward into Downward Dog.

Hanging Leg Raise

Grab a bar and just hang, let the momentum disappear and do nothing until your body is still and the legs are straight.
Flex all your muscles especially your Lats, Abs, and muscles surrounding your elbows.
Slowly raise your feet up to the bar, remember to keep your legs straight.
Lower your Legs and Repeat.
The duration should be slow so as to use no momentum, try 5 - 8 seconds up, 5 - 8 down.


You start by squatting, placing your hands on the floor in front of you.
You kick both of your feet back at the same time putting you into a plank or push up position.
You do a push up.
Jump your feet back up towards your hands into the squat position.
From that squat position, you jump as high as possible with your arms reaching to the sky.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Divine Desserts


 Lemon Peachy Parfait

I just like saying Parfait


5 large peaches, chopped (if you keep each peach separate you'll have accurate measuring)
1 cup 1% low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 tsp lemon zest 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp honey 
4 cups low fat or fat-free vanilla yogurt
1 cup Granola Cereal


  Blend 1 of the cut peaches, cottage cheese, lemon juice, vanilla extract and honey in a blender until smooth.

  Layer, in each of four parfait or wine glasses, the following:
1/4 cup yogurt
1/8 cup granola
1/8 cup cottage cheese blend
1/2 one peach


Refrigerate until ready to serve

Apple Cake

Smashing Side's

Fresh Apple Salsa


  • 2 tart apples, cored and cubed
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 fresh Anaheim chile, seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. In a large bowl, stir together apples and lime juice. Stir in jalapeno and Anaheim chile slices. Stir in onion, cilantro, walnuts, ginger, and salt. Mix thoroughly. Please! You can place this on top of sliced chicken, or grilled fish, or just scoop it up with some tortilla chips! Super, Yummmm



2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped onion
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/3 cups uncooked brown rice
2 3/4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
3 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
1 1/3 cups whole corn kernels, blanched
1 cup black beans, cooked and drained
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
freshly ground black pepper
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, cut into wedges

In a heavy saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and the chopped onions; saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Mix in the bell pepper, chili powder, ground chili flakes, cumin, and cinnamon. Saute for 2 minutes.
Pour the rice into the saucepan and stir to coat. Add the water and 1 teaspoon salt, and bring the rice to a boil over high heat. Cover the pan and turn the heat to low. Simmer the rice for 25 minutes.
When the rice is cooked, mix in tomatoes, corn, black beans, and pine nuts. Stir in salt, pepper and lime juice. When the mixture is heated through, spoon it onto plates and top with the sliced red onion and cilantro. Serve a wedge or two of lime with each plate to squeeze over the rice.

 Curried Cauliflower

2 small heads cauliflower (3 to 3 1/2 pounds total), cored and cut into medium florets
6 tablespoons butter, melted*
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the cauliflower in a large mixing bowl.
In a smaller mixing bowl, melted butter, salt, curry powder, cayenne pepper. Stir to blend well, and then pour the spice mixture over the cauliflower. Toss until the cauliflower is thoroughly coated with the ghee and spices.
Transfer the cauliflower to a large baking sheet, and roast until the cauliflower florets are caramelized around the edges and crisp-tender, 18 to 20 minutes, stirring it once midway through cooking. Serve hot.

Choice Creamed Spinach

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 shallot, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup whipping cream
Bunch spinach, stemmed, washed thoroughly and dried
2 tablespoons freshly chopped tarragon leaves
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons white wine of your choice
Kosher salt
Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over high heat. Add the shallot, and red bell pepper, and saute for 1 minute; reduce the heat to medium. Stir the mustard into the cream, and pour the cream into the pan. Allow the liquid to reduce slightly and achieve a thick consistency.
Add in the spinach, and toss until the greens are slightly wilted. Add the tarragon, and lemon juice and wine to the spinach, and toss to combine. Adjust the seasonings with salt, to taste, if desired.

Delicious Delicata Squash
Marinated Luscious Mushrooms
100 calorie SNACKS

Seductive Pastas


Shrimp Lemon Pepper Linguini


  • 1 (8 ounce) package linguine pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add linguine, and cook for 9 to 13 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and saute garlic about 1 minute. Mix in chicken broth, wine, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat, and simmer until liquid is reduced by about 1/2.
  3. Mix shrimp, butter, parsley, and basil into the saucepan. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, until shrimp is opaque. Stir in the cooked linguine, and continue cooking 2 minutes, until well coated.

Spinach & Tomato Tortellini

 Tres Pepper Cheese Ravioli

Scrumptious Salads



Blue Cheese Pear Salad


  • 1 head leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 3 pears - peeled, cored and chopped
  • 5 ounces Blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 avocado - peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste


  1. In a skillet over medium heat, stir 1/4 cup of sugar together with the pecans. Continue stirring gently until sugar has melted and caramelized the pecans. Carefully transfer nuts onto waxed paper. Allow to cool, and break into pieces.
  2. For the dressing, blend oil, vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, mustard, chopped garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. In a large serving bowl, layer lettuce, pears, blue cheese, avocado, and green onions. Pour dressing over salad, sprinkle with pecans, and serve.
Serve this scrumptious salad with a Sparkling Wine or Pinot Grigio

Edamame Salad

Super Sandwiches

Cool as A Cucumber Sandwich


  • 4 thick slices 12 grain bread (toasted)
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 8 slices cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons alfalfa sprouts
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tomato, sliced thick
  • 2 romaine leaf lettuce
  • 2  pepperoncini, sliced
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • Serves 2


  1. Spread each slice of bread with 1 tablespoon cream cheese. On one slice of bread, arrange 4 cucumber slices in a single layer. Cover with sprouts, then sprinkle with oil and vinegar. Layer tomato slices, lettuce, and pepperoncini. Spread other slice of bread with mashed avocado. Close sandwich and serve immediately.

Burly Beef

Beef is available in many cuts of varying tenderness and quality. According to USDA standards, beef is graded as Prime, Choice, and Select. Prime is mainly sold to restaurants and some specialty markets. Choice and Select (the leanest) are readily available to consumers.
 All beef must pass USDA inspection based on the age and health of the animal and the appearance and cut of meat after processing.

Some cattle, usually steers, are more desirable than others for producing quality beef. Top breeds include Angus and Charolais. It is helpful to know which part of the cow you are buying to understand why beef is tender or tough.

Loin – This portion of the cow is very tender and more expensive. Familiar names include fillet, tenderloin, T-bone, Porterhouse, and sirloin.

Chuck – This is from the shoulder and neck and tends to be more muscled and tough, but excels in flavor. These meats benefit from marinating, and slow cooking. Cuts include roasts, stew meat, top blade steak, and ground chuck.

Rib – Meat around the rib section is tender with good marbling. While these may not always reach the “prime” classification, they are sold in stores as prime rib.

Round – This section is actually the back of the cow. Because it is well-muscled, these cuts will be tougher than most.

Breast/Flank – The breast and flank area produce steaks, short ribs, and brisket. Some of these are tough.
Miscellaneous/Specialty – All other parts of a cow fall into this grouping including tongue, liver, and bones.

Buying Tips
Beef (with the exception of ground) should be firm to the touch. Any signs of graying, sliminess, or fat that has yellowed means the meat is past its prime. Aged and vacuum-packed beef products are always darker than commercially packaged types.
Marbling adds flavor and tenderness to cooked meats. In lesser-quality cuts, the white veining will be tough and stringy or nonexistent.

Storage Tips
When cooking within 2-3 days after purchase, leave beef in its original wrapper. Check for leakage and double wrap or place on a tray if necessary. Roasts and steaks should be used or frozen within 4 days; hamburger within 2 days.
Don’t be alarmed if a package of hamburger is grayish in the middle. Beef reacts to oxygen in the air, which gives it a deeper coloration.
To freeze, remove from package and double wrap –first in a layer of heavy-duty foil, then a freezer bag. Beef will keep in the freezer for several months. However, check occasionally for signs of crystal formation and freezer burn. If frozen beef begins to deteriorate, thaw and cook immediately.

Usage Tips
• Always defrost meat completely for even and thorough cooking.
• Thin strips of beef are easier to slice if the meat is partially frozen. If it is fresh, place in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
• After cooking, let beef stand for at least five minutes (longer for larger pieces). The juices will have time to spread throughout the meat instead of running onto the plate or platter.
• Cook whole beef to 145 degrees and ground meat to 160 degrees.
• Frozen meat can be easily defrosted in the microwave. Rotate often to keep the edges from cooking.

Delicious Fishes

Roasted Flounder With Shrimp Stuffing

1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Pine nuts
3 Scallions; finely chopped
1 Garlic clove; finely chopped
1/2 lb Cleaned and shelled shrimp
1/2 tsp Freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/4 c Unsalted butter; room temp
2 Whole Flounder
Salt; to taste
1/2 c Dry bread crumbs
3 Tbsp Chopped fresh sage
2 Fresh jalapeno peppers;
1 Fresh Lemon squeezed no seeds
Black Pepper; freshly ground
Olive Oil

Well in advance of cooking the fish, prepare the stuffing. Combine the sage, softened butter, lemon juice, spice and seasonings, bread crumbs, pine nuts, jalapenos, garlic and coriander in the bowl of a food processor, pulsing to combine well. Remove and place in a bowl. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Season the flounder with salt and pepper and rub the trout with olive oil. Divide the stuffing between the 4 fish evenly and spread an even layer inside the cavity of the fish. Divide the shrimp in the same way and add the shrimp in a layer in top of the herb butter. Close the fish to seal in the stuffing. Lay the fish on an oiled rack and set in a roasting pan. Place the fish in the oven and roast for 12 minutes on each side. Remove and serve immediately.
A Chilled Sauvignon Blanc compliments this dish beautifully.
I also served a chopped spinach side dish which was easy to make... That will soon be in the Smashing Side Dishes


Grilled Tilapia greets Mango Salsa
Grilled Spicy Lime Shrimp
Salmon in Vodka Cream Sauce
Balsamic Glazed Salmon Fillets

Rikki's Incredible Meals

This is the official page of the RIM (Rikki's Incredible Meals).
I try just about every cooking show and website recipe that intrigues me and I like to serve them to my friends and family. Only those that have been tested and enjoyed by all will be posted here.
In addition to familiar recipes, I will share my own creations that I whip up here at The RIM.

Get a new daily recipe and watch for videos on cooking whole meals or even how-to's in the kitchen.

Get to know how easy cooking fabulous quick and healthy meals can be. I support all the recipes and meals that are recommended in the literature sponsored on this website. Some recipes are very good and some just do not meet my taste expectations. So those recipes I think are good will be posted on our site.

Besides Recipes, I'll offer some clever tips I have learned throughout the years and 'must-haves' that no kitchen should be without.

If you have a clever tip or a great recipe you'd like to share, please go to our comments page and tell me all about it. I will, of course, give you full credit and if you send me a picture of you and/or the dish; you can become a RIM celebrity!
I'm really looking forward to sharing new kitchen ideas with you!

Kettle Worxx Review

When we decided to try the Kettle Worxx workout, we were watching the infomercial, probably just like you! Well, the kit is reasonably priced unless you want to upgrade to a heavier kettlebell, then the price goes up as well as the S/H. That aside, when I received the workout info, I popped the DVD in right away and tried the introduction workout. Seriously, I was shocked and excited that after just a few minutes I could be sweating, Just Like He Says!!

Both Waco and I have enjoyed the 20 minute, that's right! Just 20 minutes, work out and love to feel all of our muscles being fired up, along with a great cardio sweat each session.
The short and skinny of this DVD set is the workouts are all short segments put together and arranged on different  DVD's to make up more than it appears. Don't get me wrong, I love the full body workout! I love that you can switch the kettlebell weight for what you can handle. It's even easy to remember the exercise because you see it repetitively throughout all the DVD's. Also, specifically, you will see some exercises on targeted DVD's, like Legs and Thighs, that you won't see on others like Arms and Shoulders.

There are exercises I have never seen before and it strikes muscles that really need attention that other fitness programs just don't hit. For instance, that area under your arms that folds over when you wear a tank top and the "muffin top" area around the waistline! I feel a good sore the next day which means it is working, right? Right! We definitely SEE the improvements as well!

Here's another helpful tip. Buy the smallest kettlebell with the DVD set. Some of your big retail stores, like Wal-Mart and Target (depending on where you live), sell the generic kettlebells at a much lower price and you don't have to pay shipping and handling. Then you can raise your kettle weight as you need it without lowering your wallet!

I hope you enjoy the Kettle Worxx System as much as we have! Enjoy!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Review - Shakeweight

First and foremost I have no intentions of building up or tearing down this product.

I first saw the Shake Weight on TV and didn't really think much of it other than there's another contraption to stow in the closet after using it once or twice.  Come on, there is just so much crap that gets sold on the infomercials now days that isn't worth the box it came in.

About a month ago I was at Wall Mart and saw it on the shelf for about 20 bucks, I thought not bad if it works.  Of course I got home and had to try it out.  I read the instructions that came with it for the six minute workout and watched the video attached at the bottom of the page.

The first time using the Shake Weight I actually found myself laughing a few times as it was a little hard to do.  I definitely felt a burn in my arms, shoulders and chest during the first minute.  After finishing the whole six minute routine I did have a pretty good pump going on.  I set it down for about 30 minutes and went on about other things and then decided to pick it up again.  The second time around was a bit harder still feeling a little fatigued and the awkwardness of shaking it behind my head and with each arm.

After using the Shake Weight a few times I began to get a feel for it and just where and how to hold it to really target the muscle group that I was working.  Like any muscle group doing the same routine repeatedly I noticed my muscles getting used to the workout, I found by adjusting the position of the Shake Weight and adding more intensity (shaking faster) I could still achieve that good pump.  There are many other little things you can do such as isolating your chest by squeezing your pecks while shaking the Shake Weight really intensifies the workout.

Overall I thought the Shake Weight was a pretty good buy for $20.00.  I'm pretty sure no matter how much you use it you're not going to look like the ripped guys in the video, but I think for people who don't have a fitness program it's definitely a good tool to get your heart rate up, add some definition and maybe even add a little bit of bulk.

For those who don't get out much, work behind a desk or have similar types of lifestyle, I think this would be an excellent choice in fitness equipment.  It's small enough to stow most anywhere, very durable and it only takes six minutes to get in a workout.



Monday, September 12, 2011


Your body's protein needs depend on your gender, body weight, age, physical activity level, and other factors.  All other things being equal, men need more protein than women.  According to the Institute of Medicine, the recommended daily allowance for an average adult man is 56 grams per day. Adult women need 46 grams, teenage boys 52, and infants 10.
For example, a typical day of protein intake of 50 grams would include:  Chicken, 3 ounces, 21 grams; two large eggs, 13 grams; 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 8 grams; and 8 ounces of yogurt, 8 grams.
More specific recommendations, based on body weight, call for adults to get  about 8 grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight.

Protein is an essential part of every cell of your body, comprising about 15% of your body weight.  It has a wide variety of uses and functions, including providing energy, helping to build the structural skeleton of cells, moving molecules from one place to another, breaking down toxins, and repairing bones and muscles.

Most of the time, eating more protein than you need is not a problem.  But if you eat too much protein, you're taking in unnecessary calories, which can lead to weight gain.  And if the protein is from meat or other animal sources, it might be high in saturated fat, which can lead to high cholesterol levels and heart disease.
Too much protein can also cause problems for people with specific medical conditions, such as kidney disease or diabetes.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Starters & Soups

Double Tomato Delicious Bruschetta


  • 6 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, stems removed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 French baguette
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese, Sliced (1 large ball)
  • 1/2 cup fresh Asiago cheese, shredded finely


  1. Preheat the oven on broiler setting.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the roma tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Cut the baguette into 3/4-inch slices. On a baking sheet, arrange the baguette slices in a single layer. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly brown.
  4. Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the baguette slices. Place a mozzarella cheese slice on each piece of baguette, then sprinkle Asiago over the top.
  5. Broil for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. 



Wine Pairings

Food and wine pairing is the process of pairing a food with complementary flavors, aromas, and textures found in wine. The main rule to remember about pairing wine with food is that there are no rules: you should drink the wines you like with the foods you like.
For me, the best pairings with wine is absolutely CHEESE!
Here I will give you some Wines and the Cheeses they compliment the best. Then at the end of each main course recipe, I'll recommend the perfect wine for your dining pleasure.
First the Wine & Cheese:

Red Wine
BeaujolaisAsiago, Brick, Brie, Camembert, Edam, Feta, Fresh Mozzarella, Gouda, Havarti

Cabernet SauvignonBlue, Fromage, Gruyere, Goat Cheese,  Havarti, Romano, Pecorino, Swiss

MerlotCheddar, Gorgonzola, Goat Cheese, Monterey Jack, Parmesan

Pinot NoirAsiago, Blue, Brie, Fontina, Fromage, Gruyere, Havarti, Pecorino, Swiss

Syrah ; Blue, Camembert, Cheddar, Fromage, Gruyere, Provolone

Zinfandel ; Blue, Cheddar, Gorgonzola, Havarti, Kasseri, Romano

White Wine
Champagne ; Brie, Camembert, Edam, Gouda

Chardonnay ; Asiago, Brick, Brie, Butterkase, Camembert, Fresh Mozzarella, Parmesan, Provolone

Pinot Gris ; Cheddar, Edam, Feta, Gouda, Monterey Jack, Parmesan, Swiss

Riesling ; Asiago, Blue, Cheddar, Feta, Fontina, Monterey Jack, Pecorino, Swiss

If you have a favorite wine that is not listed here, please go to our comment page and let me know your favorite and I'll give you the cheeses or recipes it will compliment the wine of your choice.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Critique Corner

We will be providing reviews on equipment gear, nutrition and so much more. If you would like us to review something specific, send a comment on our Contact Page and we will provide you our mailing information.

Beat the Freshman 15

 We've been there, done that! This website is so informative about staying healthy in your first years at college! You need to read it!
 Did you know that if you exchange 1 (that's right! Just One, soda per day for a glass of water, you will prevent 4 pounds a YEAR from tagging on to your butt?) Seriously! If you want to stay trim, and not look back at all the "Best Times Of Your Life" photos with a chunky butt, read this website and keep it in your bookmarks for daily updates!
I'm not your mother!

The Truth About Females and Lifting Heavy Weights

By Flavia Del Monte – RN, CPT, Precision Nutrition Certified

The Truth About Females and Lifting Heavy WeightsBy Flavia Del Monte – RN, CPT, Precision Nutrition Certified
Expressing fear of building muscle and looking like a man by merely hitting the weights is like me saying “I don’t want to play golf because I’m afraid I’ll turn pro….”
Nothing just happens – including building muscle!  If your body was destined to look like a man,than you would probably already know it!  Genetics don’t change over night….
Unless you have a river of testosterone flowing in your blood, the fear of getting big is unfounded!  Competitive female bodybuilders train at least three hours a day and perform 20-30 sets PER body part with their women fitness programs in hopes of getting a fraction of the size of their male counterparts.
GETTING BIG IS NO EASY TASK FOR A FEMALE…  and if it were than you would see Jane swinging from the vines and swimming with the alligators, not Tarzan!
Simply put, this myth has no scientific backbone. It is very hard for most men to build muscle; let alone women. I hear of men who are eating thousands of calories and lifting heavy weight but don’t put a pound of lean muscle mass on their bodies. Yet, females are afraid lifting weights will make them look like a man!
Little-Known FACT
Not only lifting weight, but lifting heavy weight will give you definition and that toned look that is desired from EVERY female all over the world.


First off, men have 10 to 30 times higher levels of testosterone than females.
Women do not have a large testosterone production in their body, making it impossible to build muscle at the same intensity as a male. A male is made up of a lot more muscle than women. 23% of a women’s weight is muscle, compared to 40% of a male’s weight.
Women simply do not have the genetics to build muscle and the women that have done so, have done so by genetically altering their bodies.
I can take a guess that most women want a TONED look. When your muscles look etched, it is because of a low percentage of fat around that muscle.
Toning and muscle building is one in the same!

There are 3 ways growth occurs in muscles:
during resistance training (followed with precise nutrition)
natural growth period (such as puberty)
during pregnancy
In order to build lean mass, you must have an access of calories:
energy in > energy out
That said, in order build muscle, you MUST tailor your diet for muscle building. And that applies to women who want to “TONE”. You have to first BUILD the muscle in order to have a toned look.
Increase in CALORIES + lifting heavy = muscle mass
There are three different body types:

ectomorph (naturally thin)
mesomorph (naturally muscular)
endomorph (naturally broad and thick)

All three different body types need to eat and train a certain way in order to build muscle and lose fat.
The issue here is that there is only so much storage in a muscle. You need to lift heavy weight in order to increase the size of your muscle.
If the unlikely chance of too much muscle being built, all you would need to do is drop the weight, and take in less calories.
Resistance training is essential to a balanced and effective training program. You need to lift heavy in order to build muscle.
You cannot change your genetics to the degree to look like a man if you are a women unless you are “trying” to do so by working out at least 2-3 hours a day and lifting 20-30 sets per body part.  I m guessing you don’t do that? I didn’t think so so flush that fear down the toilet.
Questions for Flavia?  Post them below.  Please keep your questions SPECIFIC to the topic of this article.  Thanks

What You Must Understand About Calorie Counting

By Flavia Del Monte – R.N., C.P.T., Precision Nutrition Certified

Can you get away with just “eating healthy” or do counting calories really make a difference in losing fat?  Is calorie counting better than counting “portions”  Should you be relying on a food journal?  Is calorie counting the price you must pay to get the body you always wanted?  Here’s what you must understand about calorie counting and the good news is that you won’t need to become a number-crunching food fanatic in your quest for a useful women fitness plan!
Calorie counting had been around for as long as we can all remember.  Today a lot of diet programs recommend “portions” because counting every single calorie in the literal sense will drive you insane and it’s not a long-term lifestyle solution.
I have no problem with people counting portions because it recognizes the importance of portion control and affirms that calories do matter.  On the other hand, be careful of anybody who tells you that “calories don’t matter” and you can “eat whatever you want as long it’s healthy” and still lose fat.
I’m living proof that this logic is flawed.  Marketers will continue to tell you what you wish to hear in hopes that you pull out your credit card and buy their new gimmick.
The Reasons Why Calorie Counting Doesn’t Work Are
Quite Detailed So Lets Look At It As Simple As Possible…
A Calorie is defined as the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one kg of water by one degree.
The only way to truly test this measurement is by measuring the combustion of food. How many food products are in the grocery store?  And how many of them do you believe determine the exact Caloric count?  Not many.
Therefore it can be assumed the food labels on products are a mere estimates.
Bottom line: calorie counting and meal plans are simply an educated guess. They are simply a starting point to assess what changes must take place next.
Let’s add the factors of digestion and adsorption loses with food ingestion and you have a very difficult Caloric equation to figure out.
On the other end of things, determining how many calories the body needs is also a difficult task. Sure there are estimated equations but those do not take into account basal metabolic rate, resting metabolic rate, thermogenesis effect, purposeful exercise and our daily exercise expenditure from activities of daily living (ADL).
Although I do believe calorie counting is useful, it is an estimate and focusing on calories, instead of quality of our food is usually the problem. Learning to replace old habits with better ones should be our focus.

Why Low-Calorie Diets Will Make You Fat!

By Flavia Del Monte – RN, CPT, Precision Nutrition Certified

Science shows that diets that restrict calories can actually make it harder to lose fat and keep it off.  Learn how to stop the never-ending struggle with stubborn fat in your women fitness routine.

Being a woman is tougher than ever with all the hype and “1 strange weight loss tip” on the market. Celebrity diets have populated the magazines; even gaining favor in television shows. Horrible!
Low calorie diets rave how “normal” people like you and me can look just like celebrities.  But do you really want to be starved of nutrients, while your hormones are completely unbalanced, causing feelings of helplessness and depression?
Everything in moderation.”
Ever hear that one? Although there is some weak truth to that, eating everything in moderation will keep you overweight!
Women all over the world are suffering from eating disorders who are clearly unaware of having one. If you’re skipping meals or eating very little in order to lose weight….STOP!!
These actions will only make you pack on the pounds, sometimes at rapid rates.
Eating less than your body requires will slow your metabolism, making weight loss impossible and will negatively affect your health.
As you have heard, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and yet many people still confess to eating only a piece of fruit for breakfast.
Food is used for energy, cell structure, regulating hormones and chemical reactions.  Food takes one of three directions upon ingestion: energy use, storage, or excretion.
The body receives energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. If our stores of carbohydrates and fats are in short supply, our body will turn to muscle for breakdown of amino acids (stored proteins) for energy, causing muscle atrophy.
Let’s Not Be Mean But Who Looks Better?  Higher Calorie Girl or Lower Calorie Girl?
  • Low Carbohydrate diets deplete the liver and muscle of energy, which causes muscle wasting, lack of energy, and will compromise your health.
  • Low Calorie diets, while reducing body weight (usually for a short period of time), will ultimately poorly affect your health and in most cases will have a rebound effect.
  • Low calories will reduce muscle mass and strength.
When nutrient intake is low, the metabolic rate will become low for three reasons: Decreased thyroid function, reduced thermic effect of eating and reduction in muscle mass.
While reductions in muscle mass causes a lack of endurance (especially during exercise), in turn will lead to osteoporosis and lack of independence as you age.
The Worst Part: FAT STORAGE
Fat storage is the largest form of storage in the body. Low calorie diets, and long waits in between meals, signal the body that starvation is occurring. With this signaling, the body will turn on the storage mode.
Eating every 2-4 hours has been researched to show a positive effect on body composition and overall heath.  Frequent eating boosts metabolism, regulates blood sugars and maintains muscle mass.
Expert Nutritionists believe obesity occurs from a lack of nutrients in diets. Hunger never subsides as the body is signaling for nutrition to be ingested.  We are seeing vitamin deficiency diseases come back that haven’t been around for decades.
Your body doesn’t understand what to do with processed foods. Diets high in sugar, sodium and processed foods do not seem to signal the body of being full and therefore leads to hunger.
Eating fewer calories than body requirement will deprive your body of essential nutrients that will poorly influence your health.  If you have any questions, I always welcome them below.  Keep your questions specific to the article content above.