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BFIT Healthy Chili and Vital Juice Interview

Please click to enjoy our interview with Vital Juice Chicago – free meditation audio, chili recipe, picnic idea and healthy finds.

Serves about 6

1 lb. lean ground round (90% lean ground beef) cooked and drained

3 (15 oz.) cans of your favorite beans (red kidney beans work great)

3 (15 oz.) cans of diced tomatoes

2 c. beef broth

2 onions, chopped

3 red peppers, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tsp. cumin

1 Tbsp. oregano

1 tsp. black pepper

dash of cayenne pepper (or 1 tsp. if you really like a kick)

Add everything to your slow cooker and cook for five hours on HIGH or eight to ten hours on LOW. Garnish with your favorite cheese, sour cream and sliced green onions.

Source: Michelle Blakely, personal trainer, Blakely F.I.T.

Doctor Feel Good

Doctor Feel Good: December 31st is fast approaching. Take advantage of your health insurance and your deductible, make an appointment to see your Internist and Ob/Gyn practitioner. This is an outstanding way to catch problems early and establish a quality relationship with one of your best health resources. Please make both appointments. There are several important screens/discussions performed by each physician that are not addressed by the other. Need a great Ob/Gyn or Internist or Dermatologist referral? I highly recommend Dr. Shayna R. Rubin for Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Kevin Hunt for Internal Medicine and Dr. Katherine Wier for skin needs.

Eat Your Wheaties…or egg whites, or fruit smoothie, or lean ham and cheese. Whatever you prefer, start the day with breakfast. I sympathize with the urge to skip your morning meal before or after holiday indulging. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help and often hurts. Keep your metabolism revved up, your nutrient intake high and your body and brain fueled by eating a healthy breakfast.
Friday morning November 26th?
Stroll along our beautiful lakefront.
Give Thanks… to your body. Think of five things you LOVE about your body. Yes, I’m serious – five things. Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude; appreciating our bodies should be no exception. Think of how it functions, how it recovers, how it moves, how it looks … whether it’s inheriting your grandmother’s cheekbones or your natural gift of flexibility, whether you have always had radiant skin or kicked cancer’s butt, take the time to appreciate your miraculous vehicle. We can’t move forward, until we appreciate what we’ve got. Taking a little time to appreciate our bodies can be a very meaningful and uplifting Thanksgiving moment.

Hold Strong: Generally speaking the goal during the holidays should be to maintain your current weight/fitness level. Goals should always be sensible and attainable. Striving to lose weight amidst the parties, treats and stress is unrealistic, especially without the weekly support of a fitness professional. This year, enjoy yourself and keep your eye on maintaining your exercise regime and size between now and January first.

Location, location, location…

Friday Quickies: Part II

Location, Location, Location…
Use this realty slogan when you mingle at a party. Delicious food at a party is great. I would argue a very fun part of the party. But, often we eat foods just because we are near them – stand right next to the bacon wrapped dates for ten minutes – you’ll probably eat more than you planned. Try to move your conversations away from the buffet. Enjoy the company, the food and the party – just be mindful of where you park your conversations.

Sweet Potato Casserole Try this simple, client tested recipe. Packed with vitamin A, sweet potatoes also hold a healthy dose of fiber, protein, potassium and vitamin C. You will need: 5 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced (use a mandoline if you have one), 3/4 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup water, raisins & chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Spray baking dish with olive oil/canola oil

Spread sweet potatoes (slightly overlapping) in a baking dish. (Sprinkle with raisins and chopped pecans).
Pour OJ over the sweet potatoes
Bake in the preheated oven until sweet potatoes are tender (time ranges – about 40 min)

Let it go: You wouldn’t hang a picture in your home that made you feel bad about yourself – why do it with your clothes? Holding on to clothing that doesn’t flatter stirs negative feelings about our body. And despite popular habits, holding on to too small clothing does NOT translate into motivation to slim down. As you try on your holiday outfits this season, instead of holding on, let the clothes go. Donate quality clothing to charity or sell more expensive pieces at a consignment shop. When you hit your goal fitness level you will not want to wear those ten year old jeans. (I promise.) Make room for clothes that feel fabulous and celebrate the skin you are in right now.

Shake it up: Literally. What music makes you move? I encourage you to take just five minutes, play your favorite tunes and dance. Yep, dance. Quick, healthy and easy, this stress reliever is a simple way to get silly and get moving. (My inspiration? Elmo and my two year old daughter)

Timing is everything… even with exercise. Your body DOESN’T care much if you strength train at 7am or at 7pm. Your body DOES care that you get it done. Exercising in the morning increases the likelihood that you will complete it. After work workouts are great in theory but, often there is more competition for your time and a greater likelihood you will cancel exercise. Try to get moving in the mornings – you’re more likely to reap the benefits because you’ll be more likely to get it done.

Finding these helpful? Have some tricks of your own? I’d be happy to hear from you:

Toss it!

Wonderful parties, time with loved ones and delicious eats abound as we slide into the official start of the holidays. Unfortunately, a tradition of stress and weight gain is on the horizon as well. I’d love for you to avoid those pitfalls so, Blakely FIT is here to help.

Every Friday from now until 2011, I’ll be sending my best tips for navigating holiday challenges. Realistic simple solutions are on their way. Meet me in your inbox every Friday or become a friend on Facebook Find us on Facebook for weekly posts . With tricks and treats each week, we CAN celebrate this season while keeping our healthy glow.  All my best, Michelle

Five on Friday: Part I

  • Toss it: Most of us have leftover Halloween candy lying around and if it’s there, eventually we will eat it. Take two minutes today and pick out the few pieces you LOVE and then toss the rest. No sense wasting calories on candy you don’t really even like – save it for the really good stuff.
  • Bedtime: However childish it may seem, I’d like you to decide a bedtime. Quality sleep is an outstanding asset for the months ahead. So, know your bedtime and start winding down about 15 minutes before you need to be asleep.
  • Join ‘Em: Thanksgiving is coming and so are parties and potluck. If hosts ask you to bring something, offer to make a dish that is nutrient rich or on the healthy side as opposed to the usual bread or wine.
  • Be distracted: We all need a break at times, but the holidays can afford little opportunity. I recommend having “quick treats” on hand. On of my favorites: compilation books. Listed below are a few humorous texts written in essay form (i.e. you can finish one story in 5 to 15 minutes):
David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day;
Sloane Crosley, I Was Told There Would Be Cake;
Laurie Notaro The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death;
Chelsea Handler Are you There Vodka, It’s Me Chelsea?


  • Free Foot Massage: Who doesn’t love foot massages? Here’s a great quickie foot massage you can do almost anywhere. Pop your shoes off and place a tennis, racket or golf ball under your foot. Standing or sitting, gently roll the sole of your foot over the ball taking time over areas that need extra relief. Bonus for my high heel wearers: gently roll calves over the ball while seated on the floor with your legs out in front of you.