Thursday, May 7, 2009

I Want My Bikini Body - Sneak Peek!!

The girls from stopped by a couple weeks ago to get a sneak peek at one of my upcoming "I Want My Bikini Body" workouts . . .

Like what you see?
This is just a small sample of what's you can expect from the "I Want My Bikini Body" workouts.

"I Want My Bikini Body" is coming Monday, May 18th!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Today on the fifth of May, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated by native Mexican (and American) people everywhere. This observance of the Cinco de Mayo victory is a special symbol for all Mexican people who celebrate their rights of freedom and liberty. In the spirit of this holiday I'm sharing 3 of my favorite Mexican recipes, ole!

I love mexican food! I could eat it every day at any meal. However, if you're eating your basic American/Mexican (you know, cheese quesadillas, enchiladas, taquitos, and chips) you are seriously de-railing your chance for a bikini body anytime soon. Fortunately, there is a way to get your Mexican food fix without having to fall off the Red Carpet Ready track.

Here are 3 of my favorite Mexican recipes - one for each meal of the day!
The third recipe (and what I believe to be the best recipe) is brought to you by my good friend and Red Carpet Ready contributor, Gavan, The Healthy Irishman.

For Breasfast: Val's Easy Breakfast Taco

Servings: 1

1-2 corn tortillas
1/2 cup of Eggology or 3-4 egg whites
1 tablespoon shredded cheese
1 tablespoon of salsa

What To Do:
Spray Pam in a non-stick pan and heat the pan on medium.
Add the egg whites and cheese, and turn the heat to low.
Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, heat tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Serve the cooked egg whites in the tortillas, top with salsa, and enjoy!!

For Lunch: Ay Caramba! Chicken Salad

1 Chicken Breast
2 cups of roughly chopped lettuce
1/2 chopped tomato
1/4 of an avocado, sliced
1 tablespoon of shredded cheese
1 tablespoon of prepared salsa
1 tablespoon dressing of choice
Chipotle seasoning by Mrs. Dash

What To Do:
Pound the chicken breast to make grilling faster.
Season your chicken with Mrs. Dash Chipotle spice, and grill on the BBQ or in a stove top grill pan, on medium/high until the meat is fully cooked through (about 8 minutes total).
Allow the chicken to cool off before chopping.
Assemble your salad - lettuce, tomato, and you dressing of choice.
Place the chopped chicken on top of your salad and then add cheese, salsa, and avocado.

For Dinner: Cinco de Mayo Red Snapper Veracruz
All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers’ market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients.
Fueling your body with healthy food. Fueling your mind with the wealth of health.

Veracruz is a central Mexican city on the Gulf of Mexico. Food is the passion of virtually everyone who lives there and seafood in particular, is eaten all through out the day. This sauce, although Mediterranean in style, is a classic dish from this area and goes down as a treat with all the locals. You'll love how easy this is and the taste--man, outrageous!

RECIPE: Serves 4

4 x 5 oz Red Snapper fillets
1/2 cup white onion - fine dice
2 garlic cloves - minced
1/2 large Jalapeno - cut in 1/2 lengthwise
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup green olives - pitted, chopped
2 tbsp capers - drained & chopped
1/4 cup fresh oregano - chopped
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat skillet on medium heat for 1 minute. Add olive oil. Saute onion for 1 minute, stirring. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add chopped tomatoes, olives, capers, oregano and bay leaves. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer on low until sauce begins to reduce and thicken about 25 minutes approx. Taste and season.
Preheat oven to 425F. Lay 4 tbsp of the cooked sauce in bottom of baking dish. Season each snapper fillet with S&P and place fish on top of sauce. Spoon remaining sauce over each fillet and bake uncovered for 15-18 minutes, until fish is firm to touch.
Fresh, simple, healthy and muy delicioso! (says the Irishman)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Secrets Of The Red Carpet

One of the perks of being a celebrity trainer is that something you get to go to movie premiere. Last week and I had the good fortune of attending the premiere of "Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past", starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner. I loved this romantic comedy about a notorious photographer (McConaughey) with a bad boy reputation of loving beautiful women and dumping them when they fall in love with him. On the eve of his brothers wedding, the infamous bachelor is haunted by the ghosts of his past girlfriends and gets a huge wake up call.

Jennifer was radiant in the movie, and luminous on the Red Carpet - just 3 and a half months after giving birth. While celebrities have resources that might not be as readily available to most of us, there are some secrets that can have you on your way to looking Red Carpet Ready.

1. Start Now
Jennifer knew months ago when this premiere would be, so we circled it on the calendar and started exercising a few weeks after Serafina was born. In the weeks in between, other press opportunities came up. Fortunately, we had not delayed getting started. You may not have a movie premiere coming up, but with Summer fast approaching, you may be invited to the beach or a pool party. How would you feel if you were asked to put on a bikini, today? It's possible that you would skip the event or keep yourself covered up if you did attend. Then don't wait! Start a comprehensive fitness program such as Red Carpet Ready today, and notice results in less than 2 weeks.

2. Eat Better
You cannot look and feel your best if you are eating junk. You will see the most dramatic weight loss if you eliminate processed foods and refined carbohydrates.
- Focus on real food
- Eat 5-6 times per day (3 meals, and 2-3 snacks)
- Include a small portion of protein and a large portion of veggies at each serving
- Get adequate fiber, this means 25-30 grams, spread throughout the day
- Drink lots of water. About 80-100 ounces/day

3. Be Accountable
People are more likely to stay committed to their diet and exercise program when they have someone to be accountable to (this is part of the reason personal trainers are so popular). Try getting a workout buddy, or creating your own blog, so that you can share your progress and your slip ups. Online communities and forums are also very popular for the very same reason. Many of the women in my Red Carpet Ready Club find the support they receive to be invaluable. Regardless which avenue you choose, you are more likely to stick with it if you have someone counting on you, and visa versa.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Red Carpet Ready on E! News

As many of you might already know, I have a segment airing on E! News every Monday. I am coaching 2 women (Julie & Maria) to lose weight and reach their fitness goals. The girls have been following my Red Carpet Ready program and both of them have seen amazing results. Maria has already lost 20 pounds, and Julie is down a could dress sizes, in just 6 weeks!!

I'm so proud of Julie and all of her hard work. Julie started the program with no exercise experience and struggled through the first couple weeks. Now, she is starting to enjoy the process and has been successful in making Red Carpet Ready a part of her new and healthy lifestyle.

Maria, while familiar with exercising, found out that in order to see Red Carpet Ready results she needed to increase the intensity of her workouts. Additionally, Maria enjoys going out with her friends and co-workers, so it was an initial challenge for her to get over the hump of Happy Hour temptations. However, she is now able to make smart choices when it comes to her diet, even when eating out.

In an upcoming segment, my friend Gavan - The Healthy Irishman - stops by to show the girls, and E! News viewers some delicious and healthy meals that anyone can cook in the comfort of their own home. I'll be sure to keep you posted!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Earth Day is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. With all the talk about global warming and the current condition of our Earth, we have to wonder: what can we do to help protect our planet? There are organizations online that offer the opportunity to adopt a rainforest, or donate money to preserve our wildlife, but what would you say if I offered a suggestion that would help you lose weight, save you money, and help the environment all at once?

Bring your lunch to work.

Believe it or not, something as simple as bringing your lunch to work can reduce your carbon footprint - which means that you can be proud of yourself on Earth Day (and every day) that you're not contributing to the 1.8 million tons of trash created by the packaging that take-out food comes in. That's a whole lotta trash!! An added bonus is that you're not only helping preserve Earth's environment, you're also saving yourself the money of eating out. If you were to eat out during the work week, let's say spending $7 a day on your eats, you'll be saving yourself a whopping $140 a month by bringing your lunch to work! Additionally, you'll be sparing your body the aftermath of what you might have consumed had you gotten your fast food fix. Even if you were attempting to make a healthier decision by heading to Subway for a tuna sandwich, you'd be consuming around 700 to 800 calories (that's after the drink and bag of chips to make your meal a combo). By packing your own lunch, you will be much more aware of what you're putting in your body and therefore less likely to overdo the sodium, fat, carbohydrates, and overall calories. So come Summer, not only will you be rockin' your hot bikini body, you'll know that you've done your part to preserve the planet we live on.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Kicking Off Motivational Mondays

This past weekend in LA was truly spectacular - it was a little taste of Summer! Many people were enjoying their time on the beach, soaking up the sun. If the thought of being in a bikini has you in a bit of a panic, don't worry, my "I Want My Bikini Body", the ultimate beach beach body workout, is coming soon. These workouts will help you burn excess body fat, flatten and tighten your belly, lift and shape your butt, and tone your arms. Some of the girls in my Red Carpet Ready Club have been sampling these workouts for the past couple weeks, and loving them. Here is what one of them had to say:

"Oh, my gosh. What an incredible workout! In my opinion, this workout was one of the most intense workouts, but incredibly enjoyable ... I loved this workout. I liked the combination of valslide/valband cardio, traditional strength and then the sculpting exercises. Val, I cannot tell you how excited I am to get this ebook. I think my body will really respond well to these workouts."
-Jennifer Hardy

Since my beach body workouts aren't quite ready for release, I wanted to provide another form of motivation to get everyone fired up for Summer - it's just 5 weeks away!! I've found that we often respond very well to a visual stimulus of what we hope to achieve in terms of goals having to do with how we look. Taking that into consideration, here are what I believe to be bikini worthy bodies:

All of three of these women have made diet & exercise a priority in their life, and it shows!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Your $30 Treadmill

Want to get a kick-butt, heart thumping cardio workout without going to the gym, or having to spend $3000 on a treadmill? I specialize in fast pace circuits that burn a ton of calories, while sculpting a lean and sexy physique.

Here is a new workout that I created to beat beach body panic and to get you bikini ready in time for Summer. You might be skeptical and wondering how the workout below is going to take the place of a treadmill, but trust me on this one. The combination of these exercises will get your heart rate up and I promise, you will feel this all throughout your body!
All you need are your Valslides and about 8 square feet. You might want to also have a bottle of water, because you're going to get thirsty!!

Take a few minutes to warm up, and then get ready to SWEAT:

Squats - 20 reps
Skater Jumps - 20 reps
Valslide Reverse Lunge - 20 reps (each leg)
Valslide Side Lunge - 20 reps (each leg)
Valslide Tricep Push-Up - 10 reps
Valslide Mountain Climber - 20 reps
Valslide Painful Push Away - 20 reps
Valslide Sliding Crunch - 20 rpes

Do this circuit 3-4 times, with 1-2 minutes rest in between each circuit

To find out more information about the Valslide, visit

In you're interested in additional workouts, such as the one featured in this blog, be sure to check out my e-book Red Carpet Ready at

Monday, April 6, 2009

25 Random Things About Val

A few weeks ago I got tagged on Facebook with with a chain letter message. Unlike a typical chain letter, this one required me to fill in 25 things about myself that most people may not know, and then continue the chain by tagging my friends with my post. I had a lot of fun filling this out and thought it would be even more fun to share with you, 25 random things about me!

1. It's been more than 18 years and I still get a thrill out of training clients. I love seeing their lives change as a result of becoming more fit.

2. I believe in manifesting, karma, and intuition.

3. Lessons I learned at High School track practice still influence me today.

4. I grew up in "The OC".

5. Cindy Crawford was my first celebrity client, and we worked together for 15 years.

6. I used to eat Tom Ramen or Taco Bell Bean Burritos nearly everyday (fortunately, I got over this!).

7. I work at being motivated to exercise. I often remind myself of my motto, "You are only one workout away from a good mood", to get myself to the gym.

8. I love my dogs, Cody & Lexi, and feel so blessed to have them. They bring me joy each day.

9. Growing up, I owned a horse.

10. I love to surf, even though I'm afraid of waves over waist high, I am afraid of running into someone, I don't like seaweed and I freak out when fish touch me. In spite of these issues, I keep trying.

11. I prefer "1 on 1" or small groups rather than big parties or events.

12. Mexican food is my favorite!! I could eat it everyday.

13. I love Twitter! Twitter changed my life - follow me at

14. You will never find me at a horror movie. I don't even like seeing the commercials or trailers for them. They give me nightmares.

15. My parents had a small garden when I was a kid. I think it is so cool that I was able to watch things grow, pull them from the ground, and eat them for dinner. One Halloween, we planted the seed from our Jack O Lantern, and about 10 months later we have a gazillion pumpkins. We made pumpkin soup, pumpkin muffins,pumpkin pie, and more!

16. I am very proud to have created The Valslide. This very simple exercise tool can add dozens of new exercises to your repertoire.

17. I love to read. Recent favorites are: The Outliers (by Malcom Gladwell), Force of Nature: Mind, Body, Soul (And, of Course, Surfing) (by Laird Hamilton), and Words That Work (by Frank Luntz)

18. I used to be a workaholic. I am so much happier and healthier since I cut back.

19. Kauai is my favorite place. One of my best friends owns a company called Pure Kauai that provides luxury health and fitness services. I go at least once a year to surf and take in the beauty of the island.

20. I attend a lot of trainer conferences such as Perform Better, to learn new stuff, but also so that I can run with my tribe.

21. I love LA! I am truly a sunshine girl.

22. I stepped into a weight room for the first time at the age of 15. I haven't stopped lifting since!

23. As a trainer, the people who have inspired me the most are Mike Boyle, Alwyn Cosgrove, Gray Cook, and Mark Verstegen.

24. I have a love/hate relationship with Yoga. I love how good it makes me feel when I'm done, I love my instructor, and I know it's good for me. But, it is still torture while I'm there. I would rather be lifting weights.

25. Favorite Sundays go something like this: Wake up and have coffee, walk the dogs, go surfing, take a hot shower, eat a mexican breakfast, crawl back into bed and read/nap (Cody & Lexi like this part too!), go to farmers market, go to yoga, see a movie with a friend.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Hooray for New Playlists!

I am off the gym with my IPOD filled with a new playlist that one of my clients sent me. I always feel like my workouts go up a notch when I have new music I love. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Val's Latest Playlist

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

If you need some extra motivation right now, the girls in my Red Carpet Ready Club have a Bikini Challenge going on. Come join in on the fun at

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Celebrating The Valslide

One of the things I enjoy most is getting e-mails from customers sharing with me how pleased they are with their Valslides. I designed the Valslide with simplicity in mind, and knew that this effective exercise tool would provide results in record time. It makes me feel so great when Valslide users contact me to share their positive feedback and their love for my product.On that note, about a month ago I opened this e-mail:

Hi Val,

I just had to write & thank you!
I have worked out my whole life. Everything from step aerobics (way back when), yoga, pilates, weights, the ball, the bean, etc. etc. Although, I was blessed with great genes, I always disliked my little pooch of a stomach and the lack of a backside. (I am 5'5 and about 118 lbs since forever.)

I was never able to rid myself of the little shelf I called my stomach no matter how hard I tried. I just figured that's the way I was born.

Well, at 44, thanks to less than three months of the Valslide, I have a different body! I have a butt and a defined, flatter midriff which just amazes me!

I absolutely love my Valslides and tell everyone about them. I am a true believer!

Thank you, Val!

Hallie H.

When I read this e-mail, it makes me so happy! The Valslides really can change your body, and they do really work. No matter what other workouts you've tried, you will not be disappointed with the results you see from using the Valslide.

Because the Valslide is such a versatile exercise tool, I'm always coming up with new exercises. The latest new move, Valslide Reverse Lunge With A Reach, is a modification of the original (and highly effective) Valslide Reverse Lunge - check out the video below.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Val's Top 5 Bikini Body Shortcuts

Spring has sprung, and bikini season will be here before we know it. Can you imagine yourself on the beach in a bikini? If that thought has you mortified then read on for my "Top 5 Bikini Body Shortcuts".

1. Start Now!
Don't wait for Monday or until you're less busy, stressed, tired, etc. You can make simple changes right now that will have you feeling bikini ready by June.

2. Kitchen Purge.
This is a great place to start. If you've decided that you're ready to get a bikini body, then it helps to take immediate action. Get a large trash bag and throw out all the junk. This includes cookies, crackers, white rice, bread and pasta, sodas, peanut butter that isn't all natural, and any other overly processes food. The reason for this is to eliminate temptation. I believe that if you have to rely on willpower, your program will ultimately fail. If your trigger food is not in the house when a craving hits, you are far less likely to eat it. If you want to be bikini ready, you will need to learn how to eat "clean". In my book, Red Carpet Ready, I share with you the best foods to have on hand, but to get you going, choose foods with few ingredients, ie. chicken breast, spinach, eggs, oats, apples ... you get the idea.

3. Strength Train.
The best shortcut to a bikini body is to use resistance. It can be body weight, stretchy bands, machines, or free weights. My specially designed circuits will blast fat and create sexy curves in record time. You can do them at home or at the gym, so there is no excuse!

Val's Sample Circuit:

Valband side to side hops (20 reps)
Single leg reach across (15 reps)
Valslide reverse lunge with 2 arm row (12 reps, each side)
Dumbbell chest press with twist (15 reps x 10lbs)
Stability ball roll-aways (15 reps)
Crunches on stability ball (20 reps)
**do circuit 3 times**

4. Be Accountable.
One of the reasons I am so successful with getting clients in shape is that I hold them accountable. I have my clients write down the foods they are eating and I review this with them. While not everyone has a trainer to be held accountable to, the Red Carpet Ready Club (members' forum) does an amazing job. As one Red Carpet Ready member said, "The forum is one of the first things I think of when I might get off track with my eating or exercise. To know that everyone is supporting me and cheering me on towards success keeps me motivated to stay on track, be accountable for my workouts and think twice before I eat something I know I shouldn't" -Nikki
Get 2 months free access to the Red Carpet Ready Club when you purchase the e-book at

5. Get Valslides.
The Valslide was voted "Best Stability Trainer" by Men's Health magazine for good reason. The Valslide will accelerate the results of any fitness program and will add dozens of new exercises to your repertoire. You will be amazed at how fun yet challenging using the Valslides can be. Get yours at

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day is a national holiday in Ireland observed to commemorate one of their patron Saints. Here in the US we've taken it upon ourselves to use the day as an excuse to turn things green.

To show my holiday spirit on St. Patrick's Day, here are a few of my favorite and not so favorite green things:

Cody & Lexi wearing GREEN bandanas to show their holiday spirit! (a favorite)

GREEN Bagels, NOT a favorite. Bagels are not on the Red Carpet Ready plan when they are NOT green, so adding the food coloring just doesn't help!

Show your St. Patrick's Day spirit by taking your Valslides (they're GREEN and a total favorite) to the gym with you!

GREEN Eggs & No Ham - delicious and Red Carpet Ready. How could this not be a favorite?

GREEN Beer, NOT a favorite and NOT great if you want to look Red Carpet Ready

The Luck of The Irish Tropical GREEN Smoothie. Nutritious, delicious, GREEN & a favorite!

I've listed below the recipes for the Green Eggs and the Green Smoothie, enjoy!

Green Eggs & No Ham (serves 1)
1-3 egg whites OR 1/2 cup Eggology liquid egg whites
1 green onion (chopped) including the green part but reserve the green part for topping
3 cooked asparagus spears (I used grilled asparagus from a left over dinner, but you could easily microwave 3 spears in about 30 seconds)
A bit of cheese (I used about 2 tsps of goat cheese but any or none will do)

Spray skillet with Pam cooking spray and heat to med-high.
Add green onions and cook until it begins to wild (1-2 minutes).
Meanwhile, whisk egg whites with a teaspoon of water and salt & pepper.
Add the chopped asparagus spears and give a bit of a stir.
Add the egg whites and turn heat to low.
Gently stir your mixture and add the cheese.
Cook for about 2 minutes.
Top with green part of the green onion.
*Serve with fruit or 1 piece of Ezekial toast

Luck of The Irish Tropical Green Smoothie (serves 2)
2 big handfuls of raw spinach
1 mango
1 banana
1 cup of water
Some ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Valslides In The Media

Valslides' popularity is growing!!

In the past month alone, Valslides have been featured in Men's Health magazine (pg.92), on an E! News segment, and on a television show in the UK called "Superzise Super Skinny", which swamped us with international orders.

In celebration of Valslides success, I made you a video with two new exercises:
Valslide Reverse Lunge to Overhead Lift
Valslide Tricep Push-Up

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Scoring BIG on Super Bowl Sunday

The Menu:
Val's "Holy Mole" Guacamole - Baked Chips - Spicy Buffalo Chicken Strips served with Celery & Carrot Sticks along with Blue Cheese Dip - Spinach & Artichoke Dip - Val's Black Bean Soup - Val's Beef & Raisin Chili - Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Super Bowl Sunday isn’t a day associated with healthy eating. In fact, some say that the idea of a healthy Super Bowl Sunday is an oxymoron. The Super Bowl is more than a football event, it has become an eating event. It should come as no surprise that after Thanksgiving, Americans eat the greatest amount of food on Super Bowl Sunday. Let’s keep in mind that when we say “food” we are referring to fried finger treats, hot & spicy buffalo wings, loaded nachos, pizza, and a variety of chips & dips (just to name a few). According to the Calorie Control Council, “the average Super Bowl armchair quarterback will consume 1200 calories and 50 grams of fat”, and that’s just from snacking. Factor in your meals for the super day and you’re not headed for a touchdown or even a field goal, but 2500 calories or more --- not the makings of a MVP.

Everyone knows that the proper execution of any play requires a game plan. Super Bowl Sunday eats are no different. To ensure that the men are satisfied and that the ladies can still fit into their jeans the day after the big game, I’ve put together some tasty Super Bowl recipes that wont threaten your waistline or your mans taste buds. To ensure that everything runs smoothly on Sunday, and that you score big with the crowd, here’s the game plan:

The day before Super Bowl, make the Beef & Raisin Chili and the Black Bean Soup. This way, you’re not stuck in the kitchen during game day. Plus, both of these delicious recipes taste even better the day after they’re cooked. I didn’t think they could taste any better than they already do, but trust me! On Sunday, all you’ll have to do is place your soup and chili on low heat over the stove an hour before the game, and they’re ready to serve. The Black Bean Soup is a perfect option for vegetarians, but I can guarantee that non-vegetarians will love this soup too.

Servings: 8

A little over 1 lb of lean ground beef
Vegetable Oil
1 whole red onion
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
2 stalks of celery
1 cup California Raisins (secret ingredient!)
1 - 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
2 - 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
1 small can of sliced olives
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 Teaspoon garlic salt or garlic powder (optional)
3 Tablespoons cumin
3 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Teaspoon of ground clove

Brown the ground beef over the stove in a little bit of vegetable oil. Be sure to break up the meat so that it browns evenly and cooks thoroughly. In a separate pot on the stove, combine chopped red onion, chopped celery stalks, and sliced mushrooms with a little vegetable oil.

Once the ground beef has browned, drain the excess fat and add to the pot with onions, celery, and mushrooms. Mix in chili powder, cumin, garlic salt or garlic powder (optional), ground clove, sugar (optional), and salt to taste.

Stir in crushed tomatoes with the meat, vegetables and spices. Add the whole tomatoes to your chili pot, making sure to break up the tomatoes as you stir them in. Mix in small can of sliced olives and California Raisins

Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce and allow to simmer for at least an hour.

Garnish with shredded cheese (optional) & serve hot


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 (15oz) cans of black beans
1 cup of chopped celery
¾ large onion, chopped
2 cups of water
2 teaspoons of finely chopped jalepeno
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup of cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 (14.5 oz) can of Rotel (tomatoes with green chili’s)
Red pepper chili flakes
Soy Bac-o-Bits (optional for garnish)

Combine ¾ of the beans with ¾ of the tomatoes, and water in a large non stick pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and use an immersion blender to puree contents in the pot. *if you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer mixture to a blender and pulse until well pureed.

Add the celery, onions, jalepeno pepper, garlic, cumin, along with the remaining beans, and remaining tomatoes. Season with black pepper and red pepper flakes. Cover pot, leaving lip slightly ajar to allow the steam to escape, and reduce heat to low.

Simmer 25 to 30 minutes (or until vegetables are tender)

Serve soup while still hot, and top with Soy Bac-o-Bits or real Bacon Bits (optional)

On the day before the game, be sure to also prepare you veggies. Wash & slice the vegetables you'll be serving with your blue cheese dip/dressing and those you'll be serving with the Spinach & Artichoke dip. You can separate your cut up veggies in plastic bags or containers and place them in the fridge until you're ready to set them out the next day. The chicken that you'll be using for your Spicy Buffalo Chicken Strips can be marinated on the day before to ensure that they are juicy and savory when served during Super Bowl. Also, fully prepare your Spinach & Artichoke dip and refrigerate it - on the the day of the game all you have to do is heat it up,add Parmesan cheese on the top and place under the broiler (just enough to melt the cheese). The only item that you'll be preparing on Super Bowl Sunday is the Guacamole, which should take you no longer than 5 to 10 minutes - I'm all about keeping it simple!

Servings: 8

1 can (14oz) artichoke hearts in water, rinsed, drained, and coarsely chopped
4oz reduced-fat bar cream cheese
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, chopped
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 scallions, sliced
1 package (10oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
Raw veggies for dipping (red & yellow bell peppers, asparagus, carrots, celery, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower)

Place half the artichokes in a food processor; add cream cheese, ¼ cup Parmesan, lemon juice, garlic, cayenne pepper, and 3 tablespoons of water. Process until smooth.

Add scallions, remaining artichokes and spinach; pulse briefly. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl.

Top with Parmesan cheese (1 tablespoon) and place under broiler just until cheese has melted.

Servings: 2 (we had to taste these... but this recipe will yield more than is pictured below in final photo)

12 chicken tenders
3 teaspoons of honey
3 tablespoons of hot sauce
2 tablespoons of low sodium Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic
1/2 teaspoons paprika
Blue Cheese Dressing, low in fat (Ken's Steak House Lite)


Stir together the hot sauce, honey, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and paprika in a small bowl. Microwave for 10 seconds, stirring if the honey clumps.
Place the chicken and half of the spice mixture in a large ziplock bag and shake until coated. Refrigerate until you're ready to grill.

When ready to cook the chicken, put the coated tenders on the grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, checking to make sure they're cooked sufficiently inside. Baste with the remaining spice mixture.


2 large avocados
2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Jalepeno pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons Mexican spice
1 teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons salsa
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Juice of ½ to 1 lime

Peel and mash 2 avocados, then add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Garnish with cilantro & serve with baked chips, pita chips, and veggies.

Don't think I forgot about dessert...
Chocolate covered strawberries, and you guessed it, prepare these delectable treats the night before the game.


16 large strawberries (about 1lb)
2 4oz bars of dark chocolate

Melt the chocolate either in the microwave or by using a double broiler.

Wash the strawberries and make sure they have dried.
Dip each strawberry in the melted chocolate and then place on a cookie sheet that's been lined with parchment paper.

Refrigerate until 1 hour before serving

I hope you enjoy the menu that I've put together for Super Bowl 2009. While you're enjoying these delicious and good for you eats, be sure to pay close attention to the commercials during the game ... the trailer for GI Joe (which features Action Hero Babe, Rachel Nichols) is scheduled to air right before kick off!!