Archive for November, 2012

CoachMeFit Blog

Monday, November 19th, 2012
Jen Rowley, A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer

Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor

Happy Thanksgiving! What are your traditions? Like most, it probably involves a lot of  “f-words”: family, feasting, and football. No worries…we’ve got you covered for this holiday with fun alternative activities and recipes.

First of all, CoachMeFit will be open on Thanksgiving day! Start your day off the right way with a solid workout with your trainer. Starting your day off with a endorphin-boosting  activity will make your day better, and not just calorie-wise. In one study, researchers found that those who got regular vigorous exercise were 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder over the next five years. Exercise is also considered vital for maintaining mental fitness, and it can reduce stress. Studies show that it is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate. Or your ability to be kind to your in-laws!

Or, how about these “f-words”: fun family fitness! Sign up for a fun Turkey Trot in the area. Here are two of our favs that will be sure to start your day off right. Earn your turkey this year!

Not a runner? How about your first annual Turkey Bowl, 2012!! I know my family will be doing our second annual Turkey Bowl this weekend, t-shirts and prizes included. Gather your own friends and family, split up into teams, and have a bowling competition. It is a fun, non-traditional way to spend fun time with loved ones without sitting around and over-eating. Like other non-competitive sports, bowling burns a mere 204 calories per hour for the 150-lb. participant. Bowling should be thought of as an enjoyable activity instead of a serious form of exercise, but it sure beats couch surfing!

Still not sold? How about this “f-word”: fresh air. There is something to be said for getting outside in the fresh air…there is nothing like it! Whether it is to play a friendly game of football, go for a post-feast stroll, or to walk your dog around the neighborhood. Just get out there and enjoy!

Here is a list of important health benefits of fresh air:

  • Fresh air is good for digestion.
  • Improves your blood pressure and heart rate.
  • It makes you happier.
  • Strengthens your immune system.
  • Fresh air cleans your lungs.
  • You will have more energy and sharper mind.

What to do with all those leftovers? Try some of these healthy recipes in the days to follow Thanksgiving:

Turkey Couscous Salad
Look for Israeli couscous (sometimes called pearl couscous), a big brother to the regular variety, near the rice and grains. The flavors are similar, but this one’s texture is even more pleasing.
  • Prep Time15 minutes
  • Total Time40 minutes
  • YieldServes 4
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  • 6 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 package (10 ounces) white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 packed cups loose spinach (about 5 ounces), trimmed, well washed and dried
  • 1 pound cooked turkey, thinly sliced, room temperature


  1. In a large nonstick skillet with a lid, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high. Add mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are browned and have released their liquid, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low. In same skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in couscous, 1 1/4 cups water, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until couscous is tender, 8 to 10 minutes (liquid should be completely absorbed). Stir in dried cranberries.
  3. Meanwhile, make vinaigrette: In a large bowl, whisk together remaining 4 teaspoons oil, lime juice, and mustard; season with salt and pepper. Pour half the vinaigrette into another large bowl. To first bowl, add couscous mixture and mushrooms (along with any accumulated juice), and to the other, spinach. Toss contents of each bowl until well combined.
  4. Divide spinach among 4 serving plates; top with turkey slices, and serve with couscous.

Many Thanksgiving devotees look forward to the leftover turkey sandwiches as much if not more than the main meal itself. Assemble these sandwiches ahead of time and all you’ll need to do is heat up a skillet for a warm, satisfying winter supper in minutes.

Turkey, Cranberry, and Fontini Panini


  • 8 slices whole-grain bread
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced Fontina cheese
  • 8 ounces sliced leftover turkey
  • 1/2 cup leftover cranberry relish
  • 1 cup arugula leaves
  • Extra-virgin olive oil


For each sandwich, lay 2 slices bread on a work surface. Lay about 3/4 ounce cheese on one slice of the bread; top with 2 ounces turkey meat, 2 tablespoons relish, about 5-6 arugula leaves and an additional 3/4 ounce cheese. Top with the other bread slice (there should be cheese next to each bread slice). Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Brush the top of the sandwich with olive oil; heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Put the sandwich, oiled-side down, into the pan, place a small heavy pan, or aluminum foil-wrapped brick on top of the sandwich to press it down. Cook until bread is golden and crisp and cheese is beginning to melt, about 5 minutes. Remove the heavy pan or brick, brush the top of the sandwich with oil and carefully flip it. Put the heavy pan or brick back on top of the sandwich and continue cooking until bottom bread slice is browned and crisp, cheese is melted, and sandwich is heated through, about 5 minutes more. Remove from the pan and cover to keep warm while cooking the remaining sandwiches.
As for all of that extra pie? Plate up those leftovers on cute paper plates, cover it, and send it along with your dinner guests. They will be happy to have some of the delicious leftovers and you don’t have to worry about that pie calling to you later that evening.
Which brings me to my last “f-word”: fight. As is fight the urge to overindulge! Enjoy yourself, but in moderation. See you next week in the studio!
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!