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Archives for March 2010

Shelley’s is Giving Away Ellie!

By now most of you know I am on a “Wellness Journey” to a healthy makeover. I started this journey a little over three weeks ago with a nutritionist who I meet once a week and a trainer who I work out with three days a week plus added cardio another 2-3 and I’m happy to report I’ve lost 10 pounds so far.

Last week my nutritionist told me that I need to “step up” my exercise a bit and take an extra walk or find something else I like to do to get my bootie moving a little more. My daughter who was home last week on spring break and I shook our booties to exercise TV which I didn’t even know we had, Disco Abs baby! Lol but I have heard some great things about Zumba so I’m on a mission to find a certified teacher to give it a try. Meh, one thing I’ve learned in my life is “what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger” I think this is true of exercise too! LOL

I love to cook for family and friends and entertain, so going on this healthy living jaunt I was worried about future entertaining and holidays but have since learned that there are ways to “skinny” down a recipe and make it healthy for everyone.

I’ve tried some new foods which I never had before and the recipe below for quinoa is an example of one of those. Quinoa pronounced keen-wah is a grain much like rice but can be used as a side dish or even as a breakfast in place of oatmeal. Give it a try…

photo credit: The Food Network Ask Ellie


• 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
• 1/4 cup pine nuts
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
• 1/4 cup raisins
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


Place the quinoa in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until toasted, about 2 minutes. Add 1 3/4 cups water (or use low-sodium chicken broth) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add the olive oil and garlic to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer the garlic to the plate, reserving the oil.

Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Add the pine nuts, garlic, reserved oil, parsley, raisins and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss.

Per serving (3/4 cup): Calories 300; Fat 15 g (Saturated 2 g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 5 mg; Carbohydrate 37 g; Fiber 4 g; Protein 8 g

I have been using Ellie Krieger’s “So Easy” cookbook a lot and have loved pretty much everything that I have made. So I thought it would be a fun idea to have a giveaway for this cookbook.

To Enter:

Be a follower of I’m Still Standing via Google Friend Connect (2 entries)

Add my button to your blog (1 entry)

Follow me on twitter (1 entry)

You may enter as often as you like by doing any of the following (be sure to come back here and let me know)

Extra Entries:

Tweet about this giveaway, may be tweeted once a day for 1 entry each tweet. You must leave a link of your tweet in your comment and add @shelleyellen to each tweet

Get a friend to follow I’m Still Standing via Google Friend Connect, your friend must comment telling me you sent them (4 entries)

Blog about this giveaway, linking back I’m Still Standing (5 entries)

Become a fan of Shelley’s Wellness Makeover on Facebook (2 entries)

Contest open to the U.S ONLY. Ends on April 9, 2010 at midnight. You must leave your email address in your entry as I will email the winner and then the winner has 48 hours to reply. If the winner does not reply within’ 48 hours, I will award the cookbook to the “next in line”.

Good Luck!

it was a green-green week!

This past week was a “green green” week full of eating out, shopping and sights of new green growth.

This past week my oldest was home for her last spring break from college, here we go again with the “lasts” it is easy to do this year since it is her final year at school down south. I was a bit fearful for what the week had in store since I knew her two favorite things to do when she is home is eat and shop… Uh, in the midst of my “wellness makeover” I was honestly a bit freaked. If that girl could eat out morning noon and night everyday I think she would be happy, but I really enjoy cooking and eating at home, not that I don’t like to eat out for the experience once in a while, I just don’t think that it is the best thing to do for me financially or for my nutrition, since we all know that most restaurants give you double what you should eat at one sitting.

At the beginning of the week, we had lunch with Rebecca who enlightened me yet again in about the first 10 minutes when I was half way done with my fish that I was eating wayyy to fast. Hmm, no wonder I’m done with dinner in 15 minutes. But actually I was never a slow eater and again, probably never tasted my food just fork to mouth.

Rebecca told me to try and chew each bite 30 times… OMG, 30 times per bite… at around 10 my throat glands are ready for “swallow.” This was hard. She also told me to try this, after 2 bites (and chewing 30 times each) put down my fork, have some water, and chat for a bit, then go back and start over. She explained this way when you are eating out it becomes more about the experience and the company as well as the food, relax and enjoy. Well, I tried it and I brought home a bit of my lunch because I did stop for a while and realized I wasn’t hungry anymore. Hmm, just think about all of the calories I have ingested over my life when I wasn’t even “hungry.” That was a big eye opener.

I knew we had a dinner with our contributing writers for the DC Ladies on Tuesday evening and now I felt a little more prepared about going out with them, plus it was an exciting event because it was the first time we were actually getting together with these fine ladies who write for us on a weekly basis.

Our dinner was a success! And my dining out experience was a success too; I stayed away from “saucy” foods, and asked for a grilled chicken salad with the dressing on the side. The salad had a huge variety of veggies in it along with apples and walnuts. I tried to follow as Rebecca had told me the day before and I did pretty good, I ate about ½ the salad in about 30 minutes, and I brought the rest home, and I enjoyed the evening very much!

On St. Patty’s day we had one of our “mommy and me” shopping days. We saw some very funny folks, some yummy green chips, cupcakes, and in the spirit of “green” I spent some on my little girl. Lol I guess I should tell you I didn’t eat the green chips but did eat some guacamole with my chicken at lunch at Rio Grande, and the cupcakes although I’m sure if I was “hungry” I could have had a bite I brought them home for my family.

Gotta love Georgetown Cupcake!

even the chips were green today.

this lady was a bit crazy with all of her green!

Friday, we were back at it shopping and eating… We headed down to Georgetown for the day and were having lunch with a friend from California who was here for a meeting. So another meal, a few more shops, some great conversation, and yes at that lunch I ate in 30 minutes but we talked for 3 hours…

I knew that Sunday morning was “weigh in” day, I actually was curious to see just how I did this week eating out as much as I did Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. I know I followed what Rebecca told me and so I wasn’t so scared, and I kept telling myself this is all part of the “journey” and I am proud to say that I lost 1.5lbs this week so that’s 10 pounds in 3 weeks, I think I’m doing pretty good. I’m just learning to do things a little differently and take it one meal at a time, be it at home or away…

and yay for the green buds of the trees

How often do you eat out?

Follow my wellness makeover on facebook.

A single step

photo credit: LA Times Magazine

Well, it’s been a solid two and a half weeks now since my “Wellness Makeover” kicked off and I’ve been pretty successful. I hate to write down how many pounds I’ve lost because that is sooo not what this whole process is about. Plus I am having a “little” inner self struggle with the fact that I only wished I had started this journey last summer. But that is me “beating myself up.”

Last week when I spoke to Rebecca on our check in phone call, she asked how everything is going and I told her that I only lost a measly ½ pound that week. I think she wanted to jump through the phone and strangle me. Seriously, she was pretty upset with me not for the ½ weight loss but for my “attitude” towards the whole thing.

I guess I am still having “dieter’s remorse.” After being a chronic dieter for so many years I am sooo married to the scale and the number it reads, and it is hard not to focus on that because we all know at what “number” or around what “number” we look good in clothes and out of them. If you have ever been a “dieter” you know what I’m talking about. And I was also focusing on the fact that “if” I had started my wellness make over last summer the “number” I started out with would have been 15 lbs lower and therefore would take me a shorter time to reach my ideal weight where I will live “healthy ever after.” Butt, then I think, well, I could have waited a few months longer and then started at a much higher number too, if I kept on gaining weight.

The other day on the way to the TV studio Rebecca shared the following famous quote… “A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.” That is exactly what I need to concentrate on the “journey” and this moment in time “Right here Right now.” This is where I am starting and I am moving forward towards a healthy attitude about my “wellness” as much as my nutrition and exercise.

I laughed in the car when Rebecca gave me an A for both nutrition and exercise but an F for well being. An “F” yup, that’s right you know failing grade! Uh, and one thing I know is I am my worst critic! Unfortunately again that falls under what we shall call “unfinished business,” which Rebecca and I have also spoken about. One really needs to get as clear a mind about one’s self image as possible to move forward with a “healthy lifestyle.”

A healthy lifestyle change is about the long term but I need to not beat myself up over the past and concentrate and move forward in the present one step at a time…

Follow along on facebook!

Tune in Tuesday

Week Number three, we talk about healthy eating and cooking. I spent a good part of last week remaking family favorite recipes and also trying some of Ellie Kriegers new recipes which our family loved. I will be posting the recipes through out the next few months under “shelley n ellie.” You can also hop over to my facebook fan page for shelley’s healthy makeover to check out more.

How are you doing with your healthy living?

Yummy Chicken-Mushroom Quesadillas


chicken mushroom quesadillaLast weekend as I was scrounging around the refrigerator to decide what to make that would be good for lunch i stumbled upon some left over chicken from the night before and thought hmmm I remember seeing what looked like a tasty recipe from my friend “Ellie” for a chicken quesadilla. So I pulled out all of the ingredients and within hmmm I’d say 30-45 minutes we had our very tasty chicken-mushroom quesadillas! So easy… follow along and let me know what you think!

Makes 4 Servings
1 Tb canola oil
1 large onion
8 ounces white mushrooms, coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)
3 garlic cloves minced
2 cups cooked diced skinless boneless chicken breast
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
2 c baby spinach leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
4 10″ whole-wheat four tortillas
1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
1/2 c salsa
1/4 c reduced fat sour cream

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the onions and mushrooms, stirring occasionally for 5-7 mins.
Add the garlic and good for 1 more minute.
Add the chicken, cumin, chili powder, and oregano and stir until all the spices are incorporated.
Stir in the spinach, salt and pepper and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.
Lay the tortillas on a flat surface.
sprinkle half of the tortilla with 2Tb of shredded cheese.
Spoon 1/4 of the chicken mixture on top of the cheese on each tortilla
then top each with 2 mor TBs of cheese.
Fold the tortillas over into half moons, pressing down lightly to seal them closed.
Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and preheat over medium heat.
Place 2 quesadillas in the pan and cook, turning once until lightly browned and the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes per side.
Repeat with the remaining quesadillas.
Slice each quesadilla in half.
Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Notes from Shelley’s Kitchen:
This was one of those recipes that “everyone” in our home loved! My husband didn’t even question if it was “good for you food!” It is crunch, cheesy, and soooo yummmy! We didn’t use the salsa this time but I’m sure in the summer we will. This will be a definate staple in our home from now on!

Do you know the “Kitchen Dance?”

photo credit: gymkhana

In the last weeks I have had a few new things enter my life and a few things come back into my life, exercise being in the later of the two. By now you know I have a “love hate” relationship with exercise, I hate going but I love the feeling I get when I’m done. I don’t know if it’s that “ahhhh” I did it feeling, or those little endorphins we hear about and I just have a much better outlook for the day…

In any event last week I had a little “revelation” when I took off my armband to sync it up and check out my “calories burned” for the day. I noticed a few things:

1. When I’m sitting and typing as I am now I might as well be sleeping or not breathing because I would burn the same amount of calories… um that means flat line… none… nil… I was shocked! Now I understand just how easy it was for me to gain weight. Again, I knew if I sat around all day and did nothing other than work it really isn’t good for me but to actually see it with a graph… Wow! I’m a visual person so it really opened my eyes! So, I know I need to get up and move around every hour or so if it’s going to be a long day on the computer. Bring in the bosu ball (yes, I broke down and actually paid money and bought one of these torture apparatus’s for home.) and do some balance exercises every so often, move your blood around. I know you’re thinking well, what do I do if I’m at an office? I can’t very well say “ok bosu time!” Well then get up and take a little walk around your office, if it’s nice outside at lunch break up the day and go for a quick walk…

2. I was also surprised, actually, almost devastated lol to see that when I was weight training with Ryan my calories expended weren’t “huge.” As much as I huff and puff like an old woman I thought for sure I’d be burning huge amounts of calories. I asked Ryan about this and he told me that we are actually working on getting my muscles in “shape” and then he went on to explain how after we build up the muscle mass in my body that will work to my advantage to burn more fat and calories. So in the long run I guess that makes sense…

3. My little trusty arm band also told me an interesting fact. On Friday, we had a little girls’ “kitchen dance party” where we hit the CD player with Season 2 of Glee and we chopped and danced and danced and danced… Something that you can usually see if you look in my window around dinner time. lol I’m thinking of doing a video post on this in the future to scare all of America! Anyhow, when I synched my armband up a day or two later, I forgot about our little “dance party” and I saw my calories burned and was like…. “What was I doing Friday afternoon? My cardio numbers were huge!” Hmmm, o yes, it was my “kitchen dance party!” You can be sure we have implemented this little shinding into our dinner prep a few days a week… So come on…

I invite you to join in the “kitchen” dance party! Send us over your favorite tunes to jump and jiggle to! I promise no judging here!

Tune in Tuesday

Well week number one done! Yay!! And I’m proud to tell the world that i have lost 8 pounds! And that is without being hungry, or having “boxed” foods, or counting points but actually “listening” to my body and asking “Are you hungry?”

I would love to help a few of my friends in blogaspher out, I know I’m not the only one who has been a chronic dieter! Please join my facebook fan page, you can ask any questions of Rebecca, Ryan or me!

Until next week, I’ll keep going, and hope you will stay tuned!

It’s Fresh Flavor Friday


pasta and turkey meatballsI love to cook! Therefore during my “wellness makeover” I will be sharing recipes with you that I think are delicious and that your whole family will love on Fresh… Flavor… Friday!. Good nutritious food, not “diet” food rather food that will appeal to you and your families taste as well as nutritious value. My family loves “Italiano” so I turned to the Food Network and was curious to try Ellie Krieger’s Turkey and Meatballs with whole wheat spaghetti.

I’m happy to report this was wonderful and not one person said anything about it tasting like “diet food.” It was fresh and filling. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Join my “wellness makeover” facebook fanpage for more delicious recipes!

Ellie Krieger’s Turkey Meatballs with quick and spicy tomato sauce and Whole Wheat Spaghetti
Yields: 6 servings



• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 (28-ounce) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, liquid included
• 1 teaspoon finely minced canned chipotle en adobo and sauce, or more to taste
• 2 teaspoons chopped oregano leaves
• 1 sprig fresh rosemary
• Salt
• 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves


• Cooking spray
• 1 pound ground turkey meat
• 1 slice fresh whole-wheat bread , crusts removed, pulsed into crumbs
• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
• 1/2 cup finely grated carrot
• 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
• 2 large cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
• 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 box (16 ounces) whole-wheat spaghetti


Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil for pasta.

Make Sauce:

In a 4-quart saucepan heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions until translucent, about 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add tomato paste, tomatoes, chipotles, oregano, rosemary, and salt. Bring all the ingredients to a low boil, reduce heat and cook for approximately 15 minutes, until liquid has evaporated slightly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. While sauce is cooking, make meatballs.


Preheat the broiler. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine the turkey with all other ingredients in a large work bowl. Form into 2 1/2 -inch balls and place on a baking sheet. Broil for 10 minutes, or until browned and almost entirely cooked through.

Meanwhile, remove rosemary sprig from sauce and add fresh basil. Add the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and cook additional 10 minutes, or until sauce has slightly thickened and meatballs have absorbed some of the sauce. While the meatballs are cooking, cook the whole-wheat spaghetti according to package directions.
Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the sauce and meatballs, toss and heat through over medium heat. Divide evenly among 4 pasta bowls and garnish with parsley and 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan.

Yield: 6 servings (1 serving equals about 1 1/3 cups pasta and sauce, plus 2 meatballs

Bosu balls and balance… blah blah blah…

photo credit: style with anna

My trainer Ryan has been so patient with me! I’m not sure what he makes of this do I dare say it “middle aged” mom who wants a “wellness makeover.” I have worked out with him for just over a week now and he is really trying… He has his little book that he writes down every exercise and the number of repetitions that he “asks” me to do. I usually oblige with a little smile, usually gritting my teeth but knowing that no matter what he is doing this to help me start my journey.

Seriously, I give him props! Taking on someone who really is NOT in any shape, well, wait I take that back, I am in a shape; round… He is the nicest and very caring young man. Knowing that I have high blood pressure he has structured a program with this in mind. But he is a trainer and his job is to get my butt moving towards “wellness” as much as the nutritional component of my program is.

I have committed myself to training with Ryan 3 days a week and doing cardio another 2-3 and to be honest, I feel great when I’m done but I’m just not a “gym girl!” When I first got married after work I would go to what I will call a “deb aerobics studio.” Where the whole front of the “studio” was a “fashionista bevy of the best and most expensive work out clothes” Why not wear it everyone else there was. So we all looked so “pretty” sweating and jumping around.

But the Aerobics studio is a far cry from the gym and hopping around the studio to Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” is much different than attempting to balance and pick up weights and jump over the bosu ball. Does anyone other than my husband really like that thing? A half ball that I practically kill myself on each week, I pray I don’t fall and break my neck.

I keep moving on thinking this is a “life change” you need to get off your butt and exercise on a daily basis. OK, I might not want to lift weights forever maybe I’ll take up some type of dancing but I know, I know, that this is forever, I keep telling myself that but for now it’s one day at a time…

How are all of you doing exercising? What do you do?

If you have a facebook I’d love you to follow my “Wellness Makeover” page, you can ask Rebecca or Ryan any questions that might help you!

Tune in Tuesday

So what did I learn last week besides I’m an emotional eater? Well emotional eating turns to chronic dieting. The constant yo-yo syndrome. And over time this is not healthy. I had enough of this and as Rebecca told me it’s like “divorcing” myself from dieting… Ok, this is a tough one because it is all “new” to me… Please join me in this venture and follow along! Leave any comments you have for me or Rebecca or for my trainer Ryan. If you have a facebook please join our facebook and check back next week to see how Rebecca and my trip to Balducci’s went.