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Zero to Delicious in Five Minutes

Delicious, fresh, filling salad in five minutes.

You need:
mixed greens (pre-washed)


goat cheese

balsamic vinegar

olive oil

                                                              raspberry jam

Toast pecans on small pan over low heat, tossing often.
Place 3 cups of mixed greens in large bowl.
Seal 2 teaspoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of raspberry jam into a small plastic-ware container, lid, then shake vigorously.
Pour dressing over greens.
Toss to coat.
Scrape 1 ounce of soft coat cheese over greens with fork.
Remove pecans from heat once they start to lightly brown (should begin to smell delicious at this point) and place over salad.

Add to a protein for a spring meal or alone as a filling snack.


Love it? Share your favorite salad with us on our Facebook page.


Side note: This picture includes fresh raspberries. Although delicious on their own, it didn’t work in the salad for me. Save them for dessert.

Let Them Eat Cake

1243My husband and I just celebrated our 9 year anniversary on Tuesday. Client feedback coupled with reflections on the last nine years of marriage afforded me a small insight. Just as each of us have relationships with other people, we all have a relationship with ourselves. And, like a marriage, our self-management skills play heavily into our struggles and successes.

Part of our wedding process ten years ago, involved pre-cana (a Catholic tradition involving time to reflect on the marraige journey.) Our course was led by a couple married 40+ years, who suggested a banking paradigm involving metaphorical deposits and withdrawals. Too many deposits and few withdrawals leaves one individual feeling depleted. Too many withdrawals and no deposits, the bank will eventually close your account (eh-hum). I wonder if we can’t extend this analogy to our healthy living?

The holiday weekend is upon us. Many of us are going to make some withdrawals on our healthy living account: increased indulgent eating, high alcohol consumption or stressful travel. And, many of us are going to make some deposits: sleep, rest, quality time to socialize with loved ones or time finish personal projects. We can’t have too much of one or the other and expect to have a healthy state. All work and no cake makes Jane a dull girl.

Strive for balance in the big picture. A holiday weekend of indulgences is no big deal to a person the consistently takes great care of herself. On the flip side, one great weekend of sleep cannot undo months of deprivation and stress (although, it is a step in the right direction.)

Enjoy your long weekend as you see fit – eat a piece of cake, sleep longer than usual, have an uninterrupted conversation or take time to cook your favorite recipe. Consider your healthy living bank account and applaud yourself if you’ve struck a fulfilling balance. Not quite there yet? Today is a great day to start.

Email to learn more about training with Blakely FIT.
Strength Training Exclusively for Women
Chicago, IL

Unique Mother’s Day Gifts

Here are a few healthy gift ideas

for the mom that has been asking for a little help:


  • Pedometer and a Promise -if she has expressed an interest in exercising more, why not schedule a weekly date to go for gentle walks together?
  • Activity tracker: consider her needs and mobile devices to find one that fits best
  • Class – pay for and gift a water aerobics, fitness class or dance class to take together
  • Picnic in the Park – pack a Sunday morning picnic and enjoy it together in a beautiful park, fresh air, time to talk and walk, few distractions
  • Advocate to Mom – attend her next doctor’s appointment with her, exchange contact info with her doctor, ask questions when appropriate and take notes so your mother can feel supported
  • New Kicks – a great new pair of walking shoes or workout clothes can help with getting moving again
  • Mix Tape – inexpensive and heartfelt -why not make Mom a new walking or workout CD of all of HER favorite music
  • Fun with Flowers – buy your mom flowers for her outdoor spaces and plant them together (remember use proper body mechanics)
  • Basket of goodies – reusable water bottle, dried fruit, dark chocolate, homemade banana bread (use apple sauce instead of oil), and any other small items that would make healthy snacking or exercise easier for her.  Spring Flowers

Who’s the best?! You decide…

Best Of Chicago best13all32014 elections are here and small businesses like mine
thrive on your votes.
Your vote makes all the difference!
(Ends May 12th.)
  1. Click here: Best of Chicago 2014 Voting
  2. Enter name and email
  3. Vote for “Michelle Blakely” on Page 5 for Best Personal Trainer
  4. Pick nine other favorites

No time to pick nine more? Here are our other top picks…


Page 1

Florist: Fleur de lis Florist

Auto Repair Shop: Erie LaSalle Body Shop

Internist: Kevin Hunt

Best Mani/Pedi: Belle Spa and Nails

Massage: Urban Oasis

Hair Salon: Charles Ifergan Salon

Best Place to Get Married: Ravenswood Event Center or Old St. Pat’s


Page 2

Best Local Brewery: Three Floyds

Best Bang for Your Buck: Stanley’s

Best Tacqueria: De Cero


Page 5

Best Neighborhood Park: 31st Street Beach Park

Best Place to Kayak/Row: Kayak Chicago

Best Personal Trainer: Michelle Blakely


Page 6

Best Suburb: Frankfort

A million thanks!!!

Hold Your Horses


Books, experts, programs… who hasn’t looked into one of these to live more healthfully? It is an investment of our precious time and energy. And often, the search leaves us unfulfilled:

  • an expert that didn’t deliver,
  • a diet that wasn’t practical or
  • a book touting complicated solutions.

Before you get too frustrated: hold your horses.

I’d argue that every effort in the right direction is a step in the right direction. Take a moment and re-examine what you did learn from those “failures.” Maybe there was a great snack idea, maybe you learned how to gauge your cardio exertion, maybe there was an insight that changed your perspective, maybe you acquired a contact that can get you to the right contact. Many of us are skilled at applying “learning process” model to our careers but often we neglect to give that same understanding to healthful living.

So, the next time you are tempted to “chalk that one up to a failure,” hold your horses and appreciate the very positive nature of your efforts. Every step counts.

Email to learn more about training with Blakely FIT.

Strength Training Exclusively for Women
Chicago, IL