Family at the dinner table at the Thanksgiving day.The first thing that I find makes a huge difference on any holiday where food is the main event, is NOT to skip breakfast that morning!  Have a protein shake or protein pancake to make sure you’ve gotten some quality nutrition in before you head to Temptation Island aka, the dinner table. Skipping meals just makes you overeat at the next one, so don’t do it!

Plan what indulgences you want to have.  For me, I want to have dessert so I’m planning on having the No-Sugar Cheesecake I am making.  I’ll also definitely want some of the stuffing. Have a game plan going in as to what you are going to indulge in so you can say no to the items that are just filler, like bread and cheese.  I also won’t have any alcohol so that will help keeping my calories down.

Bring Pellegrino with lemon slices to have in your wine glass so you don’t feel left out.  For me, it’s not a big concern because I rarely drink, but for many skipping the wine feels like missing out on something.  I promise, if you have a glass with fizzy Pellegrino and lemon you won’t even miss the wine!

Make sure to really enjoy the meal.  Sit down, don’t eat distracted (by watching TV) and really savor every bite.  This adds to your satisfaction when you can actually taste each bite.  We’ve all eaten something quickly and while distracted that we didn’t even taste the flavors.  Focus, slow down, savor and enjoy!

This is really the most important tip…Don’t let one meal derail an entire 4 day weekend! On Friday plan on a workout or going on a brisk walk.  Start off the day with a healthy breakfast with your shake.  Stay busy! If you’re home laying on the couch you will snack aimlessly, so plan some fun activities with your family or put up your holiday decorations!

Ok, it’s the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend – we are all admittedly a little bummed that summer 2014 is in the books.  Instead of being depressed about it today, I decided to make a list of all the great, wonderful things that I accomplished, experienced and loved this summer.  While we sat in the car (in traffic) on the BQE, Ran and I brainstormed our list.  This shift in our thinking was such a nicer way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon (in traffic, ugh) than being bummed about the passage of time – which, lets face it – none of us can stop. 

I realized lately that since I’m in the homestretch of my pregnancy, I was starting to get impatient for my new baby to arrive and was wishing late October would just arrive already.  I was “wishing the time away” and I reminded myself of a moment in time back in 1999 when I was a senior in high school.  Senioritis had definitely set in, and I was so excited for graduation, the prom, the summer, college and the rest of my lie to begin that I was wishing time away all over the place!  A girl that I went to school with said to me “Don’t wish the time away, just enjoy what we have left of this year because you can never get this back.”. I don’t remember her name, but I do remember her saying this and what a strong impact it had on me.  When all is said and done, all you have left is the memories so best to be in the moment and in the present as much as possible.  Truth be told, every day is a blessing and none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. 

On our list of “What I’m Grateful for Summer 2014 edition” were all sorts of different entries; (in no particular order)

-We potty trained our son

-We celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary in style and was floored by the outpouring of love from our friends and family

-We roasted marshmallows and made ‘smores with our family and watched fireworks for Fourth of July

-Dylan had a memorable 3rd birthday with lots of fun in the sun

-Marie got to celebrate her birthday surrounded by friends and family and an amazing round of celebrity

-We found out the gender of our baby!

-Dylan experienced his first trip to the Coney Island amusement park and went on rides till midnight!

-We both reached new milestones in our careers

-Marie’s BNI chapter launched

-Marie found out she doesn’t have gestational diabetes with this pregnancy

I love that I have this list preserved for posterity!  Maybe in February when it’s gray and cold, I will look back on it and feel a bit of warmth!  I am very excited for the fall to come and for another list to start to take shape.  One thing that’s great about the fall is that it feels like a new year since so you get a second chance in 2014 to achieve items on your list of resolutions. 

Enjoy one last day of summer tomorrow doing whatever you can to be in the moment and enjoy the ride.


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 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 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,


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!

Family at the dinner table at the Thanksgiving day.

Warning: Not My Family

If you’re planning on getting out of town this holiday season and don’t want to fall victim to unhealthy choices and unplanned weight gain, check out these tips to stay the course this holiday season!

Usually, I’m in town for the holidays because most of my family is right here in New York.  It makes it a bit easier to handle the holiday temptation, because after 1 day it’s back to reality.  But this year we are actually headed overseas for 9 days which include the mega holiday Thanskgivikah!  We’ll be out of our element for the whole time.  I definitely don’t want to derail all my progress for 2013, so I wanted to come up with some tips for those of us who want to stay the course during this holiday season.

                       How to Feel Good and Choose Wisely This Holiday Season

1)      Prepare food ahead of time – It’s not the sexiest tip in the world, but it works!  Plan snacks for the car like trail mix or sliced veggies.  I love sliced bell peppers with hummus.  If you have a small cooler bag, fill it up with snacks so that you don’t have the urge to stop at the rest area quite as often.  I use my cooler bag all the time for car trips because we can also keep our water bottles chilled.  But it’s also great for packing snacks that are elevated beyond pretzels and chips.  Take the time, you will be glad you did when you don’t have cheesy powder all over your hands from Cheetos.

2)      Avoid the “Meal Deal” – You may be forced to stop at a rest area if your trip is long enough and if you’re flying you’ll definitely be faced with fast food in the airport.  Since I’m one of the dozen people on the planet who don’t like French fries, I usually avoid the “meal deal” at fast food restaurants naturally.  I encourage you to do the same.  Get the sandwich of your choice and then opt for water or seltzer and a side salad.  Wendy’s has some of the best side salads that I’ve tasted, but they are becoming ubiquitous in the fast food world to offer you more healthy options.  By steering clear of the “soda, burger, fries” routine, you’ll feel lighter and be happy you got in a serving of vegetables from your side salad.

3)      Drink plenty of water – Staying hydrated is key to feeling satisfied.  If you are hydrated, you are less likely to overeat.  Sometimes our body is thirsty but we interpret that as hunger and eat calories we don’t need.  Especially if you are flying, make sure to drink water as often as you can.  Airplanes are known for dehydrating us both inside and out (ladies may want to put on extra moisturizer), so plan accordingly.  Bring your reusable water bottles and don’t be afraid to ask for refills.  Having your own water bottles on hand is also eco-friendly and cost-friendly (no more paying for bottled water!).

4)      Get Active! – If getting to the gym isn’t in the cards while you’re away consider adding in some activities that get you up and moving.  Take a walk, go hiking, or play hide and go seek with the kids.  Any activity that gets you off the couch will help you feel better once it’s time to sit down and eat that third serving of stuffing.  If you can get to the gym, do it!  Bring sneakers and go for a new class.  I’m planning to go to a Bikram yoga class while I’m out of town to see how they do it overseas as part of my “touristy activities”.  Last but not least, cue up any number of the DIY workouts on you tube and do it in your hotel room or host’s basement.  Even 10 minutes a day will be worth it.  Remember working out not only burns calories, but it also de-stressed you and raises your endorphin levels which might be just what the doctor ordered if your family is like the family in any holiday movie (read: crazy but lovable).

5)      Cook When You Can – If you’re at a family member’s house for the holidays maybe they’d be happy to turn over the kitchen responsibilities to you for 1 or 2 meals.  Cook up meals that you can easily double, like Turkey Chili, so you can have plenty of leftovers in the fridge.  This way you can avoid eating out for 3 meals a day and have some healthy meals among the pumpkin pie ala mode.  Just be prepared to also tackle the clean up!

Enjoy your holiday season!

Don’t these look yummy?


Courtesy of

I’ve made these frozen bananas quite a few times and they really are a nice sweet treat.  They couldn’t be easier to make, and they are a refreshing bite of fruit and chocolate on a hot day.  They can also be red, white & blue as seen here to fit in with your Fourth of July festivities.

I know we’ve all heard it before, but it’s worth repeating…

Holiday Survival Guide:

  • Do enjoy the company of family and friends tomorrow.
  • Do bring a dish you prepared and know is good and good for you.
  • Do remember it’s a one-day holiday.
  • Do fit in exercise so you get a healthy start on the day.
  • Don’t go for that old mainstay of flag cake – try something new!
  • Don’t eat to avoid talking to your family.  Go for a walk instead.  Or play with the kids at the BBQ.
  • Don’t use this one-day holiday as an excuse to go off the rails till Monday July 8th (I’ve been there, believe me, it ain’t fun coming back from that)

Happy Independence Day everyone!  Let me know on Facebook or Twitter how you spent the day – the good and the bad!

Here are my frozen bananas – still tasty but not nearly as well art directed as Skinnytaste 🙂

With nuts, I didn't have sprinkles on hand

With nuts, I didn’t have sprinkles on hand

A day sans meat

April 4, 2010

Good Friday, a day to skip the meat.  I’m not really a believer in all the “skipping certain food” rules – as I tend to feel that they’re pretty made up and don’t really bring you closer to whatever is you’re supposed to feel closer to.  But yesterday, in a last ditch effort to keep my toe in the Catholic pool I decided to refrain from meat.  It was a little harder than I thought it would be.  Breakfast was matzoh with butter and cheese -natch.  Lunch a spread of linguini with clam sauce, fried fish and fish francese.  Good god, you’d think we were dying of starvation.  I mean, we really could have had a bit of grilled salmon or something, but instead it’s “Let’s make the fish as unhealthy as possible.”  I enjoyed the meal, but by dinner time I was coming up blank with plans.  Can’t have more pasta (can I?) for dinner.  Decided on a pizza half with pepperoni for Ran and half with black olives for me.  I had no trouble staying away from pepperoni slices – but I felt like a the goodyear blimp afterwards. So much carbs, and cheese and carbs!  Thank god I never tried to go vegetarian, I would end up 300lbs.  I didn’t do much better today, as I was running around NY all day seeing plays and playing with my little cousins.  I had pizza AGAIN – oy.  This time with the pepperoni.

I friggin’ hate holidays.  All the stress and craziness leads to all the eating I shouldn’t be doing.  Tomorrow, I get to have two Easter meals – one with mom, one with dad.  I just hope I can squeeze in a plate of vegetables at some point!  Oh right, I’m tasked with bringing the salad course, so at least I know that will be there.  I just pray no one sticks a plate of antipasto in front of me.  Or even worse (better?) I hope my step dad didn’t make the pizza rustica. Cheese pie with sausage bits floating in a ricotta crust.  I realize it sounds gross, but it’s awesome – especially cold.  And it only gets made once year, so you have to indulge in a slice.

Time for bed, having enough sleep leads to NOT overeating, so sleep is important.

Good luck with your holiday eating.  I don’t want to end up like the good year blimp again.  Maybe this time I will have the grilled salmon.

Perhaps the worst day to have the office holiday party is the Monday after Thanksgiving when everyone is already feeling fat and grumpy.  And, of course, that’s when my office decided to hold the annual Holiday party (gotta remember to be PC here and not just call it a Xmas party).  I have been fighting tooth and nail to get back on track with counting points and tracking all my food (I bite it, I write it) and was absolutely dreading the enormous amounts of food I was going to be up against.

On Monday, I went to work after a weekend of eating with no abandon (hey the reunion was on Wednesday, so once that came and went I started to eat!) and was determined to get back on the wagon yet again.  I ate sensibly all day and then had an hour and a half between a doctor’s appointment and the start of the party.  I was stuck in midtown and ended up going to Moonstruck on 38th and Madison.  Moonstruck is a ridiculously overpriced diner that I used to eat at once in a while in my days at Lord and Taylor.   It was exactly as I remembered it, over priced and kinda crappy food.  I was starving when I got there at 5:30, no doubt because my stomach was used to the holiday weekend eating I had been doing.  I ate some crappy french onion soup and seriously bad zucchini sticks to pass the time.  I finished eating and immediately had this conversation with myself.

Marie 1 “What the hell are you thinking eating this crap?  It wasn’t even GOOD!”

Marie 2 “I don’t know, I’m bored and lonely and uncomfortable sitting in this diner by myself, so I ate”

Marie 1 “After nearly 2 years you still don’t know how to stop this? You’re an idiot.  I bet you’re going to let this ruin your day and your week!”

Marie 2 “Hmmm, you’re right.  I am an idiot.  But wait, I don’t need to let this ruin my day OR my week”

So, I went to the party.  I decided to walk the ten block there as a bit of a punishment for my feast at Moonstruck.  When I arrived at the party I saw some appetizers going around, but really nothing that tempted me.  I decided not to have any.  Thankfully, the appetizers were scarce (possibly, a sign of the economy??) so it was easy to say no.  I had a few sips of a mimosa, but decided it wasn’t worth it and ditched it for a diet coke.  So far, Marie 2, Holiday party 0.

Then the buffet.  Alright, I had some prime rib which was really delicious, a piece of chicken and salad.  That was it.  The buffet was pretty limited (read: no pasta) so again, easy to steer clear of it.  Then, THEN, the dessert.  OR lack thereof.  I mean, what the hell?  No friggin dessert?  What kinda party is this??

I stuck around just long enough to see that the “dessert” was cookies.  Cookies.  No tiramisu, no chocolate fondue fountain, no fruit!  NOTHING.  Just cookies.  I had one.  It was good.  Then, I left.  It was really lame.

Oh and I didn’t even tell you about the Lady Bunny look-a-like that showed up and the gay guy who attended the party with no shirt on and 6 inch heels.  It was really a sight.  The conservative finance guys were freaking out!

I said to my co-worker that I thought it was lame that we had such a stingy, tacky party and I would have preferred that they didn’t even have the party.  But then I thought, this was really great that it wasn’t a food overdose.  I was able to eat more sensibly than I have before at a party like that and I left not feeling like a fatty.  Maybe this shitty economy is going to help me lose more weight!

And, I didn’t let it unravel my day or week.  I’ve counted ALL my points this week!  So take that “Marie 1”.

Weighing in on Monday…

Today is Thanksgiving. A day of thanks and eating ridiculous amounts of food to prove to the world that here in the United States we can afford to eat ourselves into oblivion! Everyone dons their favorite stretchy pants for the occasion so that they can eat and eat and never feel the sting of pants getting snug, or buttons that need to be popped.

Think about this for a minute.

This is disgusting. Am I right?

An old WW leader of mine used to say that his mom made the most amazing Thanksgiving stuffing muffins (I have no idea what they are but they sound amazing) and that every year on the big day he would gorge himself on them. As a means of avoiding this toxic behavior he finally learned to have his mother make them a few times a year – rather than once a year – so that they were no longer a “treat”, no longer something you must eat before it disappears for another 365 days. I always thought this was a tricky maneuver because I would think that if they were available to you MORE often you’d eat more.

Today I’m wearing jeans (not stretchy pants) and trying to pace myself throughout the day. All I’ve had so far is 3 Hershey Kisses and half a plate of ziti. We are about to sit down to some antipasto, which is my favorite part of any holiday meal.

I’m going to be thankful that I have food to eat, family to laugh with and that I have the awareness to take it easy today and stop eating when I’m full. Of course, that’s half the battle.

Have a great day today! Enjoy the food and drink and company, and, as always, thank you for reading.

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