January Jumpstart!

December 26, 2013

Are you ready to drop a pants size in 30 days?  Are you ready to have tons of energy in 2014?  Do you want to detox from over-indulging in holiday treats?

Then you are ready for the January Jumpstart: 30 Day Cleanse & Reboot that I’m hosting with fellow health coach, Trina Kincey.

Contact now for your personal assessment and for more details by emailing janjumpstart@gmail.com We are offering a $100 discount for enrolling before January 1st, just mention code CHEESE13.

This cleanse is a proven program that thousands of people have used to drop significant weight in 30 days.  Last summer after a glutinous trip to Las Vegas I did this cleanse and lost 15lbs. See my before and afters.  I felt fantastic fitting into my old clothes and even had to go buy a smaller size of jeans! I’ve been keeping off the weight since and feel great!

What will you look like "after"?

What will you look like “after”?

January Jumpstart: 30 Day Cleanse & Reboot

Hosted by Marie Ingrisano Isner & Trina Kincey, Certified Health Coaches

Cleanse begins January 15th!

We will guide you through a 30 Day Nutritional Cleanse with 5 group coaching calls tailored for your success.

As part of the program you will receive Breakfast & Dinner, nutritional supplements, a daily anti-stress rejuvenating drink, and the tools to keep the weight off.

You’ll be invited to a members only Facebook group so you can connect with your health coaches and fellow cleansers to have the real-time support to stay motivated.

Five group coaching calls will teach you everything you need to know!  Listen in from the comfort of your home.

January 13 8:30pm – Introduction to Nutritional Cleansing: All your questions answered

January 20 8:30pm – Eating right for your body: Learning how to identify what foods work best for you

January 27 8:30pm – Healthy Cooking with Ease: Learn new meals and snacks to never get bored while on the plan

February 3 8:30pm – Incorporating exercise into your busy lifestyle

February 10 8:30pm – Developing Maintenance Programs: Keep the weight off or lose more if you desire

Space is limited so please contact us now to secure your spot.  $100 discount expires January 2nd!  Contact me at janjumpstart@gmail.com to enroll!

Follow Us on Facebook HERE.

The Best Part of Christmas

December 25, 2013

merry xmas everybody


Whether your favorite part of Christmas is the food, the family or the presents – it doesn’t matter!  I love Christmastime for so many reasons it’s hard to pick the best part of Christmas. When I was in high school I loved the caroling, as a child I loved the presents, and now as a mom I love to see Dylan enjoy it all for the first time.  Seeing Christmas through his 2 year old eyes is definitely the best part for me now.

Enjoy your holiday!  Merry Christmas Everyone!

with love,


My Before and After

December 24, 2013

I’m “taking one for the team” to show you how successful my cleanse was this summer.  This is definitely a picture I would “untag” myself on Facebook, but it’s the truth, so here it is.

Marie, in purple dress, Pre-Cleanse

Marie, in purple dress, Pre-Cleanse

Over the summer I put on a few pounds, but I already had some weight to lose so it was really a dire situation.  Then a fellow health coach introduced me to a nutritional cleanse.  Both my husband and I did it.  Once completed, I’d lost a pants size and 15lbs.

"After" Cleansing!  Don't we look great!

“After” Cleansing! Don’t we look great!

I’m hosting a group cleanse this January called the January Jumpstart: 30 Day Cleanse & Reboot.  If you want to lose weight in 2014, contact me for details at janjumpstart@gmail.com, mention code CHEESE13 and receive $100 off the cost!

Trina Kincey, Certified Health Coach

Trina Kincey, Certified Health Coach

Trina Kincey is a certified holistic health coach, mother to a beautiful 4 year old girl, wife to a wonderful husband and has a passion for sharing health & happiness with those around her. Through her own struggles in dealing with her family’s poor health, she discovered that good food really is the best medicine! She loves sharing her experiences and knowledge with clients to help them and their families look and feel their best!

She received her nuritional training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she was trained in more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. Drawing on this knowledge, she will help you create a personalized “roadmap to health” that suits your unique body, lifestyle, preferences, and goals.


While in a health coaching session I blurted this out, “Look, for me, weekends end Sundays at 4pm.”  As soon as the words came out of my mouth my client was saying, “I love this idea!”. We love the idea that weekends end?  Yeah!  Because it gives us some time to actually prepare for Monday and the week ahead without feeling guilty.

This past weekend I stayed too long at the fair, so to speak.  We spend the weekend away and should have headed home around 3pm, but lingered until 7.  Then we hit an insane amount of traffic on the BQE and didn’t reach home until almost 9pm.  I had plans to make 2 more recipes and to prepare for my busy Monday of health coaching.  Getting home at 9pm was not really in the plan.  The good news was I’d already done my grocery shopping and cooked a few staples, so I was in a good position, just not the one I wanted to be in.  I scramble to make cashew nut milk and cashew cream cheese because I’d already soaked the nuts.  The milk came out divine!  I highly recommend making your own nut milk if you like the taste.  It’s super easy as long as you have a high speed blender and a nut milk bag.

The cashew cream cheese…not so much.  Probably in my haste I’d misread the directions because mine was a soupy mess.  I haven’t given up yet though.  I soaked some more cashews and am going to attempt to bring it back to life tonight.

This is what happens when I stay too late at the fair.  Raw cashews ain’t cheap and I might’ve wasted 2/3 of a bag because I was rushing to make the recipe at 9:30 at night.

Monday morning was more of the same.  I forgot my notebook, didn’t have time for a green juice (though I did throw together a quick superfood smoothie) and almost missed the bus on the way to my office.  Geez!  Mondays are so stressful even under the best circumstances. That’s why I’ve realized in the past few months that Sundays at 4pm I have to go into “weeknight mode.”  I start planning for Monday morning, take a shower, tidy up the house, whatever it takes to feel calm and sane on Monday morning.  I know that if I don’t cook a bit on the weekend we are ordering take-out by Tuesday night.  I don’t want to live like that anymore.  I want to be one of those people who seem organizing through thick and thin. That’s why my weekends start Friday at 5pm and end Sunday at 4pm.  Which is still 47 whole hours of weekend fun!

Friends and family may not be happy with you when you say at 3pm, “Alright, we’re gonna head home”, but that’s their problem.  I love to be out socializing, but my sanity has become more important to me.  Sunday brunch should be the last plans I make for the weekend so that afterwards its home and chores for me.  Look, I get it, this is not sexy at all.  Didn’t it always seem like the women on SATC had endless brunches and exciting plans on Sundays (and never folded a load of laundry)?  In real life underwear has to be folded!

Especially now that it’s winter (and cold as F*ck outside) think about structuring your weekends a little differently.  Schedule in some self-care (mani/pedi anyone?) or a workout just for fun.  Take time for socializing but plan in the “sanity building” activities like lounging on the couch with your spouse or tidying up a closet.  Then turn into a pumpkin at 4pm on Sunday! Then you can get back to the reality of Monday morning with as much grace as you can muster.  I have never woken up Monday morning wishing I hadn’t spent a few hours the night before getting ready for the week.  I am always so much less stressed and grateful to not have to start from scratch every Monday morning.

About 2 weekends ago, I was sick Sunday night and basically gave up and went to bed early.  The next day was insane!  I was running about 2 hours late for everything because I hadn’t done any of my usual preparations.  Because I was running around like a chicken without a head, I eventually ended up at the bagel place getting breakfast.  (read: not healthy).  The stress always leads me to bad food choices and I don’t want to start my week like that.

When I’ve got the green juice already juiced in the fridge I don’t even think about getting a bagel and hot chocolate (did I mention the hot chocolate?).

This weekend after Christmas and all the madness that comes with it, I really look forward to my weekend ending Sunday at 4 so I can get my act together and start the first week of 2014 the (healthy) way that I want!

A client of mine sent this over to me and it made me smile to read it.  Though it’s too long for my monthly newsletter, I wanted to print it in it’s entirety here.  Enjoy. -Marie

There once was a girl

with a curl right in the middle of her forehead. 

When she was good she was very, very good,

 but when she was bad she was awful.

This is a poem my mom would often recite to before bedtime when I was quite small.  I would laugh and laugh – because it was true.  She knew it and I knew it.  This poem was not only true when it came to my behavior as a child, but would later be true with healthy and healthy habits that would follow me throughout my life.

When I came to Marie several things were going on with me.

A)    I was engaged and getting married in a mere 3 months

B)    I was unemployed (I don’t do well idle)

C)     I was physically not were I needed to be (I couldn’t fit into my jeans from the previous year)

It was a trifecta.

I had never been to health coach before and was not sure what to expect.  I had no idea how amazing and how much it would change my life and my outlook.  Through Marie’s assessments and teachings, I was able to see that things weren’t as dire as I thought, the beauty of the 90/10 theory and easing my way into new habits was the way to success.

I have come along way, baby.  I now go to yoga 3 to 5 times a week.  I can now fit into my pants and feel so much better about myself.   My weight loss is slower this time around because I am doing it in a more healthy way. I have cooking schedule (I cook all day, once a week) and do my best to cut myself some slack.  After all, I am only human.

R.I., Brooklyn, NY 2013

“Health coaches can give patients specific recipes and hold their hands. I don’t  have the time to do that.” – Dr. Frank Lipman

Well said, Dr. Lipman!  This past week a friend and fellow health coach posted this story to her Facebook page.  A woman was at the grocery store trying to figure out which butter had more fiber in it.

Fiber in butter?  Um, no.

But it raises a great point.  The doctor told her to get more fiber into her husband’s diet and she literally had NO IDEA what to do.  She was probably not even sure what fiber is except something listed on a nutrition facts label.  This is scary.

What is fiber, anyway?

The reality of the situation is that most of us go to the doctor and get prescriptions like “lose weight”, “get your cholesterol down”, or “increase your fiber intake” and don’t know what to do.  Sadly, in the world we live in nutrition education is lacking and misguided.  The infamous food pyramid I grew up with is often regarded as the reason we are facing an obesity epidemic because it recommended all the wrong ratios of foods (6-8 servings of carbohydrates, mostly in the form of white bread and pasta, eek!).  When the doctor gives you these “prescriptions” they don’t have the time to help you see them through.  That’s where a health coach comes in.  Men’s Journal just did a fantastic article on “The Rise of the Health Coach”, that sums it up perfectly.

Every Monday I offer free health consultation ($100 value) to the people who read this blog and the followers of my Facebook page.  If you are interested in seeing what a health coach can do for you contact me at marie@thefamilyplate.com and let’s get your free consultation scheduled.  I can hold your hand through the ins and outs of getting your health on track when people like Dr. Lipman can’t.  Health in 2014, because you’re worth it!


Bring on the Chocolate!

December 15, 2013

Are you a chocolate lover? I am!  I mean, is there any more perfect food out there? Sweet, loaded with antioxidants and a little decadent.  Lately, I’ve been enjoying a square of dark chocolate a few nights a week as a little evening snack.  I also like to make smoothies and vegan chocolate pudding with Raw Cacoa powder that I got from Longevity Warehouse. 

While studying for my Health Coach certification, I learned of the raw foodist David Wolfe.  His passion for food and chocolate, specifically cacao, is truly infectious.  If you’ve ever been up at 2am watching the Nutribullet infomercial, you have already met David Wolfe as he is the spokesperson.  He’s definitely a less “hippy” version of himself in the infomercial, with his trademark long curls seriously cut down, but his passion is still there.

I decided this week to revisit my lectures from David Wolfe out of sheer curiosity.  I remember watching them back in February and it making a big impact on the way I thought about food.  He spends about 45 minutes just talking about making a smoothie! (Though, in my lecture he DOES NOT use a Nutribullet!).  After watching these lectures I ordered from raw honey, goji berries and raw cacao powder.  It was my “intro to superfoods.”  Since then I’ve learned you can find raw honey at almost any corner store in Brooklyn and that goji berries are great for smoothies and snacking.  I still have the cacao powder and use it for smoothies and desserts from time to time.  All in all, a good purchase.

In the lecture David says he’s been a raw foodist for 15+ years and he asks the audience, “Can you believe I’m still alive?”  Um, no, I can’t.  We’ve been made to think for so long that you need meat and dairy to survive (protein and calcium) and the more I learn about nutrition, it’s just not true.  I’ve mentioned many times on this blog that I still enjoy meat and dairy, though in much smaller portions.  Having said that, I do eat more vegetarian and vegan sources of protein and calcium than ever before.  And I like it!  I feel much leaner.  I don’t have any digestive issues and I’m finally starting to actually crave the veggies over the other stuff!

The thing with raw food (for me) is that in the winter, I’m just too cold to want to eat salads all day long.  I crave a hot soup or a Buddha Bowl loaded with veggies.  I want cooked food.  Cooked food is what makes up the intelligent race of humans we are today.  In Michael Pollan’s “Cooked”, he explains that once we learned to cook our food it enables our brains to grow making us smarter than the rest of the species on the planet.  We owe a lot to cooked food.  And hell, I love to cook!  So the idea of raw food 24/7 is not really in my “life plan.”  But here’s the message that David Wolfe stuck in my mind back in February, “It’s about adding in the good and all the joy that goes with it.”  He’s not saying (and neither am I) that you can never have pizza or eggplant parmigiana again.  He’s just saying add in the good.  Add in more veggies.  Add in more salads.  Add in more raw foods and see how your body feels.  I know for me, my green juice every morning is one of my ways of adding in more raw foods.  I also lightly steam my broccoli and green beans so that they retain their nutritional value so they are closer to the raw state (but, raw broccoli, ewe).  It’s all about recognizing your own “bio-individuality” and knowing what is right for YOUR body.

Especially at this time of year when we are faced with so many stresses and challenges the idea of just adding in joy seems just about right.  As you start to think about January and making some resolutions what if you just made resolutions that were about adding in the good instead of weeding out the bad?  What would that list look like?  Would it be the kind of list that you could actually stick to beyond February?  Would it be a kinder way to take care of yourself rather than bullying yourself with starvation and deprivation?

Just add in the good.  Start now.  Decide now to start loving yourself and taking care.  I am.  On Christmas eve I am enjoying and eating that delicious plate of antipasto and I’m not going to feel guilty because I take care of myself every single day.  And as any health coach will tell you, we strive for 90% perfection so there’s a little room for antipasto (or pizza or whatever your craving is).

If you’re ready to start blending up a superfood smoothie, check this out.  It’s how I started once I tuned into to superfoods and David Wolfe.  Enjoy!

PITA = Pain In The Ass

A client (and friend) of mine recommended a fantastic book to me. “Crazy Sexy Diet” by Kris Carr was my vacation reading last week in Israel. It’s not exactly a “beach read” in the vain of “DaVinci Code” but I really enjoyed Kris’ story.  Although, I have to admit I did sit by the pool reading this vegan manifesto while eating a few Bamba and Kinder Bueno!



The author, Kris Carr, was diagnosed with an incurable cancer at age 31 and faced with an incredible journey, took her life in her own hands and became a vegan and wellness warrior. Her documentary, “Crazy Sexy Cancer” was shown on TLC and she has appeared on Oprah spreading her message of “Make Juice, Not War.”

Kris Carr, from Origin Magazine

Kris Carr, from Origin Magazine

From Kris’ website, “My backstory and why the heck I know a thing or two … On Valentine’s Day in 2003, I was diagnosed with a very rare and incurable (yet thankfully slow-growing) stage 4 cancer. This whiskey tango foxtrot moment (that’s military lingo for WTF?!) sparked a deep desire in me to stop holding back and start living like I mean it! I wanted to feel better, love harder and enjoy my life more fully. So I hit the road on a deep healing pilgrimage and have never looked back. Nearly ten years later, my life is truly, madly magical–even with cancer. If I can pull that off, just imagine what YOU can do!”

I found her story inspiring and also a wake up call, even for me, someone who thankfully has never had to think about a cancer diagnosis. The message is so clear to me – eat a plant based diet to have the best health.

Wait, wait! Don’t go anywhere! I know the words “plant based diet” freaked you out and maybe made you want to run to Shake Shack for a burger. But wait, hear me out.

I’m not becoming a vegan.

Whew. (Side note, Jay-Z and Beyonce are becoming vegan according to the news today. I can’t believe we’ll never get the chance to bump into them at our local pizza joint, Lucali. They’ve been known to frequent it while in Brooklyn. Pizza ain’t pizza with the cheese, amiright?).

Having said that, I am adopting a 90% plant based diet.

I’ve been doing this for the last year, but always with some trepidation. Last year I attempted veganism for 1 week and I did so well it lasted 12 days. To which my cousin Paul (a well-known vegan in the family) scoffed, “12 days?!?!” Lame, I know. But it’s all I could handle at the time. I wanted a friggin’ poached egg at brunch, so sue me.

Veganism has always intrigued me because my blog is called MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH CHEESE. This is *not* a vegan manifesto. The idea of being so pure of body that you only put plants and nuts in your stomach seems romantic to me and lofty. “Only whole grains like teff and millet grace these lips, nothing so pedestrian as quinoa or god forbid – spaghetti. I’m just a perfect specimen of plant based godliness. I never crave pizza or Entenmann’s chocolate donuts. I only eat cocoa nibs for dessert once a month.”

Doesn’t sound like me at all. Yet, I’m intrigued by it. I admit it, I want a piece of that crazy sexy body and mind.

So since I am coming off of a vacation and admittedly a very stressful couple of weeks leading up to vacation, I decided upon return to “Make Juice, Not War.”  I had to go shopping for all the veggies and green apples for juicing first.  My fridge was so empty since we had been away, I only had a sad little piece of ginger in the crisper drawer.  I shopped and then I prepped all the goodies for juicing. I washed all the greens and chopped everything up into juicer friendly sizes.  Then I filled giant ziploc bags with the fixings for one juice where all the ingredients were ready-to-go.  This way in the morning when I am ready to juice, I just have to grab a bag and start chucking veggies down the chute!  I tried a new juice recipe from Kris Carr’s book that included kale, romaine, ginger, cucumbers, broccoli stem and a green apple. Surprisingly, broccoli stems are sweet and are a great source of Vitamin C & Vitamin K.  I also loved the idea of using the stems from broccoli that I would normally just throw out.


First juice in a while!

A few tips from Kris that I found really helpful were:

1) You can juice ahead of time and keep the juice in glass mason jars in the refrigerator.  Fill the juice up to the top so there’s no space for air,  to prevent oxidation.

2) When creating a juice recipe use the ration 3:1.  That’s 3 vegetables to 1 piece of fruit. This way you are making sure you get your veggies in but with a touch of sweetness from fruit that makes it taste amazing!

3) Once you’ve juiced all your ingredients, empty the bin with the leftovers and re-juice. Sending it back through the chute could yield you another half a cup of juice.  If you hate the idea of waste, juicing the ingredients twice will make sure you get the most out of them.

I even took the leftovers from juicing and tossed them into my Vitamix blender for about 7 minutes (with an additional carrot and tomato, for flavor) and made a soup out of it!  Sure, it was green, but I liked it!

So yeah, juicing is a bit of a PITA because you gotta prep the ingredients and clean the juicer, but I feel so good when I’m drinking juice!  I think it’s worth it.  I bought a cheap scrub brush from Container Store that makes cleaning my juicer even easier.  And hell, I have a dishwasher.

I just bought Kris’ cookbook as well, “Crazy Sexy Kitchen” and I can’t wait to try more vegan juices and main dishes.  Maybe I will get a small piece of that plant-based godliness after all.

It is with great excitement that I celebrate my graduation from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition on December 2nd. It’s a virtual graduation, because it is a virtual course, so I don’t actually get a cap and gown like in the past.  What I have received is my certification from the AADP as a Health Coach, and this is the basis for my new business The Family Plate.


Marie graduates HS, 1999

These are iPhone pictures of my graduation pictures that hang in my mother’s house.  I lovingly call this one, “The Giant Marie Head”.  It’s the largest picture of myself I’ve ever seen and since I am the oldest in my family, it hung alone on the wall for 3 years before being accompanied by the “giant Vincent head”. Graduations stick with us because they are natural milestones in one’s life.  After graduating college I didn’t think there would be more cap and gown photos in my future.  But in this past year of my self imposed “sabbatical” I’ve been given a great opportunity to go back to school and take a new direction in life.


Marie graduates College, 2003

This time last year, I knew I wanted to do something health related, but had no idea what.  I thought about becoming a yoga teacher but couldn’t find the right fit. Luckily, the universe sent an old friend to me with a wonderful idea – become a Certified Health Coach.  I began school in January of 2013 and have spent this year learning over 100 dietary theories.  It’s been exciting to be back in school and placing a focus on learning and expanding one’s mind. I’ve have a few weeks off since our lectures ended and I actually miss them!  (I always was a teacher’s pet!)
With my certification under my belt, I can now shift my focus entirely to serving my clients and working towards the optimal health of myself and those around me.  In fact today I made my mother vegan chocolate pudding, just to show her how it’s done.  We’re not vegan, but it’s fun to learn new recipes and try new methods for preparing food.  For me it’s all about moving forward and gathering up new bits and pieces of information as we go along.  What’s great about being a health coach is that I get to interact with my clients and learn from them as well.  
Many thanks to my husband Ran and my family for being so supportive.  Without their love and encouragement I’m not sure I would have been able to take this leap!
So here’s to 2014, a new year, a new career and many new people to meet!  



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