Saturday, July 30, 2011

Make This for Lunch Today and Be Happy.

If you have a stovetop available, you’re ready to make this delicious lunch I whipped up in no more than 15 minutes!

INTRODUCING: Mediterranean Cous Cous w/ Sardines and              Mushrooms!!!! (accompanied by Fruit Salad)



Ingredients:
Mediterranean cous cous (I bought The Near East brand, available at most grocers)
Canned sardines packed in oil (I like the Ocean Prince brand)
White mushrooms (the heads of about six medium-sized ones)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Strawberries
Cantalope
Blueberries

Directions:
Bring water, cous cous seasoning mix, extra virgin olive oil, and mushrooms to a boil then stir in cous cous, cover and set aside.

While that’s setting, if you haven’t already, wash and chop up your fruit.

After the cous cous has had time to "fluff", add the sardines (oil and all!) into the mix and stir well.

Arrange neatly on plate (or not... after all, it's your dish!)

EAT.

And if you really want to get a dose of fruit in, make this super healthy shake as well! I will call her.... B.B.



Ingredients:
One cup of Greek yogurt (Regular yogurt works well, too, but I love the Greek variety)
Uno banana
Blueberries (Mmmmmmmmmm, antioxidants GALORE!)

Directions:
Toss 'em in a blender.

Blend.

DRINK.

By the way, not only is this lunch so delicious and healthy, it’s super affordable, too. I made everything for under $10 and, because I couldn’t eat it all in one sitting, I had plenty left over for dinner.

NOTE: Before you get totally grossed out over the use of sardines, keep in mind that with this recipe, you don’t have that fishy taste because of the intense cous cous seasoning flavor mix.

In addition, here are some fun facts about SARDINES:
1) They’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids which have the ability to regulate and lower cholesterol in the body.
2) They’re a great source of iron (particularly useful for women during that time of the month).
3) Because sardines are so low on the oceanic food chain, they contain lower amounts of mercury and other toxins that accumulate in longer- living marine predators such as salmon and tuna.


OH! Did I mention they’re cheap and delicious?! Because they most certainly are.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Centered


Ahhhhhhhhhhh..... I finally made it to another class and it couldn’t have been soon enough. Yesterday, I took a walk around the corner from place to Strala Yoga in NOHO. In just over an hour, I was able to rid myself of a nagging headache, general sluggishness, and find the focus I have been so desperately seeking this week.

Strala Yoga is known for a couple of things: First, its extra affordable classes. They used to be even more affordable at just $10 a pop but the owner has recently increased them to $15 (for those of us who aren’t commitment-phobes, there are better package rates available as well and even an unlimited monthly rate). 




And speaking of owners, that’s the second thing the studio is known for- Owner Tara Stiles is a former model turned yoga-practitioner turned yoga teacher who got her foot in the OHMMMMMM door by posting her yoga practices on Youtube! Tara’s nontraditional start foreshadowed her nontraditional approach to yoga as something, well, not to be taken too seriously. She focuses on yoga as more of a physical activity and less as a spiritual or philosophical endeavor. I find that, no matter your view, the practice of yoga takes extreme mental concentration and you really are “inside your own head” most of the time so I’m cool with her approach. I definitely left the class feeling physically and mentally more limber and lighter.

So, the class! Strala Yoga offers STRONG (that’s their signature class and is most challenging), RELAX (which is definitely less intense and designed to simply open you up) and BASICS (which is an hour of most of the “standard” yoga poses with a real emphasis on breathing). Can you guess which one I took? That’s right- RELAX. And oh-em-gee, bright idea of the day!

Brigitte, a gorgeous (honestly, perfect) French woman, led the class and started us off by stretching. Actually, that’s basically what the class was and I LURVED it. No jumping up and down to do a million Sun Salutations in a row (hey, that’s stressful for someone who is never quite sure what she’s doing!) We did do a few Downward Facing Dog poses (I can handle this all-over stretch) and several Warrior poses. Besides those (plus a few more poses that I can’t remember the name of because I’m a rookie) and all the stretching, the remaining time in class we focused on breathing. I swear, at one point, I thought I was candid camera or something because Brigitte had us stick out our tongues and fold it to make a “straw” (only some people can do this ya know- has to do with genetics) and breath in deeply through our “straw” and out deeply through our nose. I felt like such an ass… but I also felt relaxed.



Lastly, Brigitte had us lie on our backs to do various restorative poses (Corpse Pose, Reclining Big Toe Pose, and Reclining Bound Ankle Pose) for about ten minutes. She walked around the room and gave each of us a 15 second shoulder and head massage with the most amazing scented oil I’ve ever smelled, then we ended our practice and broke for the day. I felt… high. Seriously, lifted. I wish I could go back today!

Sooooooo, would I do it again? Yes. SO HAPPY it’s in my neighborhood!

PROS: This class is good for those of us who like yoga but aren’t that great. It’s relaxed and definitely a go-at-you-own-pace type of class. I’ve been sorer after other yoga classes but I definitely feel like I got my money and time’s worth.

CONS: The only thing I wish was different about this particular class is the core focus (or lacktherof). As I’ve mentioned before, I’m obsessed with core work and it would have been nice to do a little more. Then again, maybe it’s me- I probably could have focused on tightening my tummy a little better for some of the moves we did.

                  Ok, so who’s coming with me next time???

Monday, July 25, 2011

Excuses & FLUFF

Did anybody else nearly die from the high temps we have had over the past week or so all up and down the East coast? I broke a sweat sleeping so you can imagine the enormous mind hurdle it was to convince myself to work out. Even walking or taking the subway to a perfectly air conditioned gym or exercise studio was just too much to ask.

Or was it?

It occurred to me last week, as I stopped off at my neighborhood Starbucks (pulling a heavy suitcase, no less- I was en route to the airport following my caffeine refuel) that I was making excuses solely to not exercise. Obviously, I made it to work, Starbucks, out to party and grab dinners with friends despite these insane temperatures yet I was so quick to write off getting in a good workout! Why is that?

In Texas, where I had the chance to see some of my family and you can bet it was hotter than hell, I admitted to myself that I’ve been weak about working out lately and now I’m determined to get in physical activity. So rest assured, this week, I’ll be movin’ and shakin’ in classes around the City and sharing with you!

In the meantime, enjoy a little interwebz fluff in the form of my beautiful niece and nephews! 




My niece partook in a brief little workout with resistance bands I brought along on my trip... I think she burned more calories than I did....   






My older nephew got in a little cardio on his rocking horse....

video


                 and my youngest nephew did some somersaults to get his heart-rate up! 




                    So. Jealous. Of their energy levels! 


Also, please share: Besides weather, what are some of the excuses you find yourself coming up with not to work out? I know we all make ‘em so SPILL!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

pUnK RoPe

Boxers do it at lightening speed. The girls on the playground do it and add cool tricks. When I was in Mexico last summer volunteering, it was super popular with the children I was teaching. What could I be talking about?

Why, jump roping of course!

When I saw a class offered called “Punk Rope” at the 14th Street Y in NYC, it called out to me so I signed up in anticipation of a very fun class. Did they deliver? Yep.

I headed over to the east side after work armed with my water bottle and tennis shoes. The 14th Street Y is community-based gym housed in a Jewish community center but it’s open to people from all backgrounds. When I entered, I was greeted warmly by the front desk security guard and a receptionist. I signed in and was directed upstairs to the gymnasium. Because I was early for the class, I decided to explore the premises. The Y only takes up part of the building; the rest of the building is comprised of an elementary school. The Y’s fitness center, yoga studios, swimming pool, and locker rooms are all on the main level and the basketball court is on the second level. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the womens locker room has a sauna! Pretty fancy for a Y!

Explorations complete, I headed upstairs to the gymnasium. A few guys were already there shooting baskets so I headed to a bench to stretch and prepare for my class. Looking around at the brightly painted room with shelves of gym equipment and school flags hanging on the wall made me think of my own years in middle and high school. Seven o’clock rolled around and the basketball players were shooed away by our class teachers, Tim and Shana. Time to start!

The 20 or so of us grabbed our ropes and spread out around the gym. As I mentioned, the class is called “Punk Rope” so it’s set to (you guessed it) punk music. Not generally my taste in music but, as it turns out, perfectly appropriate for a class like this!

A brief description of “Punk Rope”: It’s “a cross between recess and boot camp. Themed classes (my class was held close to Bastille Day so we listened to French punk music), creative drills, relay races, and raise the roof music are intended to improve heart, lungs, figure, bones, coordination, and strength.  Oh, and, it inspires to bring out the kid in all of us!” I have to say, it DEFINITELY did!

The hour-long class consisted of first stretching and warming up, then a jump rope drill for about ten minutes, then a quick solo dance number we did in one spot, another ten minute jump rope session, followed by a partner-based dance, followed by a shorter jump rope practice, followed by a relay race in which we were put into teams of three, another jump rope drill, and finally a fifteen minute cool down and stretching period. Holy moly- I was WIPED OUT. I’ve never felt so… old… Jump roping is no joke! Such great cardio conditioning!

Would I do it again?
Yes. It turns out, I have HORRIBLE coordination. Actually, I was already aware of this weakness of mine but it was blatantly obvious as I struggled to jump rope. By the middle of class, I could finally jump rope for about five minutes straight without messing up but I never managed to do any of the moves (such as kicks or crossing my feet in between jumps) our instructor would call out to us to try. The class is not competitive at all, though, and Tim was encouraging so I had a good time despite my lackluster performance.

PROS: Price. Using a deal I found online, I paid just under $5 for the class. In addition to the class, I could’ve worked out in the fitness center, taken any of their other classes held that day, or even taken a dip in the pool so I’d say the price was very reasonable! If I didn’t have the deal I found, it would have been $12 to drop into the class that day. A membership at the 14th Street Y is comparatively reasonable (more so if you are a student or senior citizen), especially for this city. It includes access to all of the fitness classes and to the pool.

Besides the price, the energy in the class was DYNAMITE! Everyone was so positive and I felt like a kid, wrapping up the hour feeling almost giddy.

Cons: None!

If you’re curious about this class, I encourage you to look into signing up!

LINKS:
 Punk Rope (my class) : http://punkrope.com/home/about/
                     

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sure, You Know Your Height and Weight- But Do You Know Your GAIT???

Running. Some people are avid fans who don’t mind waking up early to pound the pavement. Others would rather walk through fire.

I’m somewhere in-between. I go through phases of wanting to run everyday, pining for the runner’s high. Other times, I just can’t rally myself to run even a mile. At this moment, I’d say I'm somewhere in-between. I could go for a run but I’m not dying to.

I decided it was the perfect time for me to invest in a new pair of running shoes. However, rather than just head to an athletic store, I thought I’d try something I recently heard about and had been meaning to look into: Gait analysis.

The Running Company is an athletic store dedicated to runners. In addition to the shoes, apparel, and accessories they sell, they also offer books, coaching, sponsorship for racing teams, and onsite gait analysis.

Gate analysis is an evaluation of the manner or style of walking, usually done by observing the feet as they walk or trot in a straight line. A Running Company associate then fits you for a running shoe, providing extra cushioning for support wherever necessary.

Some terms associated with Gait Analysis are:

PRONATION: the act of assuming the prone position, or the state of being prone. Applied to the foot, a combination of eversion and abduction movements taking place in the tarsal and metatarsal joints and resulting in lowering of the medial margin of the foot, hence of the longitudinal arch. Basically, it's the way your foot hits the ground when you run or walk.

SUPINATION: a corresponding movement of the foot and leg in which the foot rolls outward with an elevated arch so that in walking the foot tends to come down on its outer edge

NEUTRAL PRONATION: hitting the outside of the heel and ball of the foot evenly across the foot to properly reduce impact on the foot

UNDERPRONATION: occurs when more weight is absorbed by the outside of the foot rather than evenly through the foot strike.

OVERPRONATION: occurs when there is too much roll on the inside of the foot, consequently distributing the weight and shock of impact more heavily on the inside of the foot rather than evenly throughout the foot as found in neutral pronation

To begin the process, I hopped onto a treadmill near the back of the store and proceeded to run at six miles per hour for five minutes. Behind me, a store associate (Daniel) had set up a small video camera which recorded my feet as they hit the treadmill. Directly in front of me, up on the wall, I could watch my feet in real time as I ran. When I finished, Daniel hit a button on the camera which immediately resulted in an analysis of my running gait. It turns out, I have a neutral pronation, which is good! My feet absorb the impact of hitting the ground properly, resulting in less pain and risk of injury for me! Hurray!

Daniel then directed me to two rows of shoes (a selection of about 20) for me to select from. There were, of course, other rows of shoes for those who need extra support in their shoes due to a tendency to underpronate or overpronate. I tried on two pairs and to tell you the truth, I didn’t notice a huge difference from the pair of shoes I already own. When I mentioned this to Daniel, he told me that’s to be expected since I have a natural pronation but that someone who under- or over- pronates would probably be able to feel a significant improvement if they were to try on shoes designed specifically for their running style.

I’ll have to take Daniel’s word for it…. 

Unless one of you wants to have your gait analyzed, learns that you under or over- pronate, buy a shoe accordingly, and gets back to me! 

By the way, a gait analysis at the Running Company is free!

The Running Company (multiple locations): http://www.therunningcompany.net/ 
Big Peach Running Company, Atlantahttp://www.bigpeachrunningco.com/

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Eat Your Fruit & Veggies... Frozen?!

Ahhhhhhhhhhh, summer time in the City. I love it. There are street fairs every weekend, parades, beer gardens, and beaches to fill your days and nights. But….

It's. So. HAWT.

I've been in my new place for about three weeks now and I LURV it but there is one drawback that I must admit has been tough to handle: No central air. 

For the first week and a half, I suffered through 90 degree temps with only the slight relief of a fan in my bedroom that my roomie so generously allowed me to borrow. Did I mention I’m on the fourth floor, too? Heat rises, people! Ugh- I slept with my windows open but still occasionally awoke in the middle of the night, sweating. No bueno. Luckily, I bought and installed a window AC unit and all is well again.... at least, in my bedroom. The rest of the apartment remains as hot as ever which is why I was inspired yesterday to create some healthy and COOL snacks to help me bear the tropical climate we are currently enduring in our little abode. 

First up is a combo blueberry/strawberry/low-fat vanilla yogurt/pomegranate juice ice pop. YUM. I doubt I have to convince any of you how delish it is. 



My second concoction may take a little more convincing. I combined tomato juice, mushrooms and carrots to make these iced veggie pops! Again, YUM! (Seriously.) 



Both were super easy to make. I just tossed the ingredients into a blender, poured the mixtures into a popsicle mold I bought for $4.99 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and gave them about eight hours or so to freeze. After trekking home from work today, it was the perfect way to chill out.


                Easy, healthy,  & REFRESHING! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I Want to Ride My Bicycle, Bicycle...

I’ve lived in N.Y.C. for a little over two years now and I have yet to drive a car here. Until yesterday, the same was true for riding a bike.

Now, I do consider myself a pretty aggressive walker. I don’t hesitate to tell novice walking texters to “LOOK UP” when they come dangerously close to running into me nor do I have a problem zooming past people who like to lollygag or (shudder) take a photo every. two. feet. I’m looking at you, tourists in Times Square/ CentralPark/ 5th Avenue! Truly, walking in NYC is a sport and a competitive one at that! I like to think I’m pretty good at it due to practice.

But back to wheels. I’ve always been a bit intimidated to take anything other than take a cab, some mode of public transportation (bus/subway), or depend on my own two feet. Once, I was dating a guy who had a Vespa and he picked me up on it- Between the Upper East Side and Chelsea, I saw my life flash before my eyes no less than seven times not because he was a bad driver but because there are so many taxi drivers and regular car drivers who I’m certain are driving with suspended licenses. (Ok, and let’s be honest, Vespas don’t get much respect on the road…)

So when it was decided that I would attempt to ride a bike in NYC for the sake of a good workout, I knew I’d need a buddy… someone to serve as an extra pair of eyes and ears with all the chaos that makes up Manhattan streets (and someone to keep me from backing out of the plan). My friend J obliged and I anxiously made a reservation: two bicycles and two helmets for two hours.

We arrived at the bike rental shop Midtown Manhattan which turned out to be inside of a parking garage. A man with a thick Russian accent (a good sign to me because I'm fascinated by Russians. All of them.) introduced himself as the person I’d spoken to over the phone and had us pick out our bikes from a fleet of about 30. I opted for the free basket to be put on mine so that I had an oh- so- convenient way to store my purse and away we went!

These cyclists are much harder core than J and I were... 

We rode three blocks west to the Riverside Drive bike path that follows the Hudson River. And we rode… and rode and rode and rode. It was a perfect late afternoon for it- Being so close to the water kept it somewhat cool and we kept our pace up for the most part. The view of the sailboats, motorboats, ships, and the occasional canoe was just gorgeous, especially factored in with the George Washington Bridge in the background. Of course, because it was such a pretty day out, there were a lot of runners, walkers, cyclists, rollerbladers, and kids on scooters out as well. I started to think of it as a combination ride of an obstacle course and a game of chicken. Obviously, for the little kids, I slowed down and was careful to avoid them but for those adults who were not obeying the rules of being on the path, I showed no mercy… 

Haha, just kidding but I did quickly realize that there are certain “Rules of the Road” so to speak, especially when it comes to private wheels (bikes and rollerblades):

1. If you’re slow, stay to the right and leave room for people to pass by you on the left.
2. If you need to stop, fine, but pull off the path- do not just stop in your lane. Duh.
3. Don’t ride paired up- Form a single file line.
4. If you’re going to pass someone, alert him or her by saying “On your left!” and/or by ringing your bell. I was sorely disappointed I did not have a bell on my bike.
5. Don’t stop short. (It seems to me like this one should go without saying but for some it does not… and resulted in a brief tiff between me and a punk yesterday…. But anyway.)

After pedaling it up to Hamilton Heights, J and I decided to turn around and head for the Intrepid, then turn it in. So we pedaled about five miles back downtown, took in the sights of the beautiful ship and Chelsea Piers, then headed back for the rental shop. I was hot and sweaty but WOW, what a great ride!

Would I do it again?
Yep. I don’t have it on the calendar yet but it’s definitely something I’d like to do again before winter.

Pros: It was so nice out and it felt great to get some fresh air. I’d say we rode approximately eight or nine miles altogether and it was a bit tiring (what good workout isn’t?) but definitely something I could do on a regular basis. Plus, it was fun to do it with J. Even though we couldn’t talk much while we were riding (see Rule #3 above), we stopped a couple of times to check in with each other so we had some time to catch up. It probably benefitted the workout aspect of our ride that we couldn’t speak to each other and just had to focus.

Cons: Well, I think if I were to make this a habit, I’d want to invest in my own bike or borrow one from a friend because it cost $13 for the two-hour rental (per bike). Say I rode three times/week; at that rate and I’d be looking at a $156 cost/month. To ride a bike. :( That's better than the price it costs to take some classes the same number of times or to pay for a monthly membership at certain gyms but... Meh- No  me gusta. I think I’ll file this under “Something fun to do when with friends or sporty out-of-towners”. Also, the seats were not exactly the most comfy. ‘Nuff said.

On those notes, if anyone wants to go on the occasional bike ride, I'm no longer scared for my life so give me a ring! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

STILETTO STRONG

I have a pair of Nikes I adore. They’ve seen me through countless workouts, runs, and pilgrimages around this beautiful city. I’ve actually had them for awhile and it’s about time to trade them in for a new pair but they (along with my red iPod shuffle) are still my tried and true companions when it’s time to get my sweat on.

Of course, occasionally, I throw them aside in favor of going barefoot for yoga, swimming, or (after last week!) CoreFusion. But otherwise, they are always with me for breaking a sweat…. Until now. Enter The Stiletto!



Yes, I wore these bad boys for a new workout I tried called (wait for it....) “The Stiletto Workout”!

Lemmie tell ya, I participated in this 45 minute class Saturday afternoon and not only am I feeling it majorly right now but I felt the burn as soon as I took the elevator down from the class loft! That usually doesn’t happen so quickly and I have to say, I rather liked it.

A modern studio in Chelsea houses NDG Wellness which is where classes are held. It is large, well-lit and decorated with a feminine touch. In my class, there were five of us- two newbies (one being me) and three others who had taken the class before. The heels pictured are the ones I wore (because, after impulsively buying them in a Carrie Bradshaw moment, I can find no other place to wear them but I still can’t bear to throw them out) Another woman wore clear, platform stilettos ( aka “stripper heels”) and the other three wore closed-toe heels with backs on them. Our fabulous instructor, Nicole, specifically warned me to be careful of where I placed my weight on my heels during the workout (ball of the foot- good versus the heel of foot- bad) because my strappy heels offered no support. She also warned stripper heel lady to be sure not to bear her weight on the outside of her shoes as she would probably fall and bust her ass (or worse… break her ankle).

The workout itself was pretty basic aerobics: lots of squats, controlled kicks, balancing poses, and the use of free weights for some added oomph. The kicker, of course, is that you’re doing all of this in really high frickin’ heels! This makes the balance and a focus on the core infinitely more important!

Nicole was great and got us started at 3 o’clock sharp. I originally wondered why the class was 45 minutes rather than a full hour but based on the rate of my heartbeat and amount of sweat I was producing, I think I “get it” now. I could probably go for the extra 15 minutes but I was not begging to, that’s for sure!

Bottom line time.

Would I do it again?
Yep. I already have plans to return.

Just for kicks, let’s go with the Cons first this time. Hmmmm, let me think…. I suppose the only thing I’d prefer to be different would be the amount of stretching we did, particularly at the end of the class. You KNOW how it is to wear stilettos for any extended period of time and I think it’d be helpful and healthy to take an extra five or so at the end of the class for everyone to remove their shoes and stretch their calves and lower back muscles. Of course, you can do this on your own as well but most group classes incorporate a little more time for stretching together, to instill good habits and prevent hurting yourself. And… that’s it. No other negatives.

Moving on to the Pros: Finally, price is something to celebrate! NDG Wellness offers spectacular package deals and, better than that, they do so often! I still have four more classes in my package (of which each class was only five bucks!) Not only do they offer these deals via group couponing sites but they have extremely competitive weekly and monthly package rates. Perhaps I’m jumping the gun here, having taken only one class so far, but if all the classes are as good as that one, I’ll definitely be investing more of my dollah dollah bills, ya’ll.

Besides the price, two other things stood out to me. The music. Oh man- it was like being at a party! Not just the electronica stuff instructors typically play in fast-paced classes but the stuff Smantha Ronson and DJ Khaled are probably spinning somewhere right now which added, I think, to the second thing I noticed about the class: the sense of dancing with your girlfriends rather than suffering through another workout in pain. When one of us had trouble holding a pose and fell out of it awkwardly or when someone else couldn’t quiiiiiite find the beat, we laughed and had a good time about it- no feeling uncomfortable or being self-conscious here! I seriously credit the music (and Nicole, of course!) for setting the feel good vibe.

This is the first time I’ve ever really heard of a “Stiletto Workout” being offered (other than the Pole Dancing courses that have cropped up around the world). Actually, NDG Wellness does offer those types of classes as well (and will I be partaking in them? You betcha!) but I’m glad I took this class before the others because it focused solely on the basics rather than attempting to get fancy with tricks and all.

So check out your local listings for any “pole dancing 101” classes as I’m sure they offer a similar “Stiletto Workout”. 


And if you’re ever in NYC, you’re coming with me to work up a sweat with Nicole at NDG Wellness!





Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ex-Quiche Me

Yesterday was one of “those” Saturdays. You know the kind. A “greeted by the sun when you open your eyes- prepare a big breakfast- mosey around your neighborhood- check off a couple of enjoyable things from your “To Do” list- catch up with friends you haven’t seen in awhile” kind of Saturdays. In a word, it was awesome.

My friends, feast your eyes on deez:




What you see pictured is Spinach and Mushroom Quiche, fresh watermelon slices, peanut butter on wheat toast, a banana, coffee, and a Bloody Mary (… don’t judge me).


The quiche recipe I snagged from the foodnetwork.com website was the “experimental project” of the breakfast composition and I have to say, it turned out well! I’m not generally a picky eater but the texture of quiche has always weirded me out so I can’t say this will be a recurring meal for me but I am glad I tried it. Oh, my only suggestion: Definitely top it with more turkey bacon!

Here’s what you need to make the quiche:
                Cooking spray
                6 strips (3 ounces) turkey bacon
                1 tablespoon olive oil
                10 ounces white mushrooms, coarsely chopped
                1 small shallot, thinly sliced
                Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
                2 cups baby spinach
                Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
                4 large eggs
                 4 egg whites (I doubled up on these versus using the  4 large eggs.)
                1/4 cup skim milk (I used soy)
                1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated Fontina cheese

And here’s how you make it:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 12-cup nonstick muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Mist a large nonstick skillet with more nonstick cooking spray and put over medium heat. Add the turkey bacon and cook turning frequently until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and coarsely chop.
3. In the same skillet, heat the oil. Add the mushrooms, shallot, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until shallots are soft and the mushrooms are dry and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the baby spinach and nutmeg until the spinach is just wilted, but still bright green, 2 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
4. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, egg whites, milk, and salt and pepper until well combined. Stir in the cheese. Divide the egg mixture evenly between the muffin tins, filling them about halfway. Top evenly with the mushroom and spinach mixture and then the chopped bacon.
5. Bake until the quiches are well-risen, golden brown and set, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*** Nutritional analysis per serving (2 mini quiche)
Calories 180; Total Fat 11.5g (Sat Fat 4g, Mono Fat 5g, Poly Fat 2g); Protein 14g; Carb 6g; Fiber 1g; Cholesterol 162mg; Sodium 538mg

While some of those numbers are higher than I’d prefer, a few things make me feel better about this meal:  the amount of veggies, the fact that I substituted 4 egg whites for the 4 large eggs, and the other food accompanying my quiche. It still seems to be a well-balanced meal to me. Plus, I stayed full for several hours and had a lot of energy (enough to take an intense class I'll tell you about next time!).

So there you have it- Easy peasy Spinach Mushroom Quiche. Now, go forward and make them for yourself! Be sure to let me know how they turn out.