Healthy Eating Tricks

The idea of eating healthy can be really overwhelming and is often conquered by taking small steps. Most people who eat on the healthier end of the scale have a few tricks. Here are mine…

Ground turkey/chicken

I pretty much replace ground beef with ground turkey or chicken in every recipe. Chili, tacos, meatloaf and some meatballs. Meatballs can be tricky and I often look up a recipe specifically for turkey or chicken. For example we love these turkey meatballs.

I struggle with making my own turkey or chicken burgers – frankly, I over cook them. We rarely eat burgers – more of a summer treat on the grill so I don’t mess with it much.

Leaving out the egg

This is nothing against eggs, they are a great source of protein, but they are unnecessary in a lasagne as there are plenty of protein sources in the dish. I have never put it in ricotta – ever and it’s still delicious!

I almost never dredge my chicken. The best alternative is mustard. I often use mustard on my chicken before coating. Sometimes I play with the mustard, yellow, brown, honey mustard, etc depending on the flavor I want. A less healthy alternative is ranch dressing. I do this for “ranch chicken”. I coat the chicken in ranch then coat in breadcrumbs before baking.


I rarely buy them. Sometimes I keep panko breadcrumbs in the house for specific recipes, otherwise I use whole wheat bread in the food processor. This is a great way to add flavors such as garlic cloves, and herbs plus you control the amount of salt.

Fruit and veggies everywhere

Ok, maybe not everywhere, but easily accessible. From fall through spring there is at last one bowl of fruit on my counter (fruit flies in the summer so it goes to the fridge). This makes it easy to grab. The boys’ friends also grab fruit at will, often apples.

I put out fruit or veggies with each meal and often snack. When their friends are over I put out junk and fruit or veggies, it’s always devoured.

Where I don’t substitute 

French fries. I know some of you just laughed out loud 😉 I’m sorry, but veggies baked in bread crumbs are not the same. I would truly rather have celery sticks or a salad. I’ll even make veggie fries but I don’t call them fries. Perhaps these work for you and that’s great!

As I mentioned earlier, I like a good burger. These are both foods I don’t eat often and frankly, I’m not giving them up. 

The beauty is you don’t have to give up something you love either. Maybe change the frequency or portion size but you don’t have to give it up completely.

What are some of your healthy tricks?

Rethinking “should”

This is a funny post to write because it’s basically a “should” in itself 😳. I hear “I know, I should be doing…” all the time and it has never once been said by someone with an empowered smile on her face. It got me thinking, how can we fix this idea of “should”…

I think it begins with what is being seen. Mostly, this applies to social media. If your feed is filled with super fit women eating a piece of lettuce in a luxurious location, it might seem the whole world is doing something you “should” be doing too. The best part about this one – YOU are in charge of what you see. Feel free to use the hide function and even unfollow when necessary. 

After cleaning up your feed comes the really important question when facing an “I should” moment: “do I want to”. There really is no point in worrying about what you “should” be doing if you don’t want to do it. (You are still the boss in your life)

Next, try replacing “should” with “can”. For example – I “can” eat more vegetables sounds more empowering than I “should” eat more vegetables. If the answer to “I can…” is yes, ask for help if you need it and start taking the steps you want to take 😊

Do you get caught feeling you “should” be doing something?

First Day 5k ~ 2017

You may recall, we ran this race last year and our youngest experienced every running emotion possible over three miles (you can read about it here). This year, we stayed at a New Year’s party until the ball dropped – making everyone a little tired. Of course, my husband and I still planned on going and “coerced” the little men out the door.

The weather was perfect for a January run in Massachusetts, sunny and 43*. The crowd was a little bigger than last year’s and everyone seemed in good spirits. We met up with one of my running friends as we were walking to get our numbers.  (Our color scheme wasn’t planned 😉)As always, I ran with our youngest (carrying his inhaler), but this time the oldest joined us; rather than run ahead.  The boys and I picked our plan: running to a landmark the youngest picks, walking to the next one, etc.We had a great time, we talked and laughed and ran plenty!  It’s funny when you walk/run because you pass the same people along the course. There were a few families moving along at our pace making for a fun and festive time.

While it took some effort getting out the door, it was a great experience. I may have threatened that we won’t do it next year, but I changed my mind 😉

Tracking movement vs food ~ reward vs punishment?

Over the last few years wearable fitness trackers have gained popularity and for good reason. It’s fun to see how much you move in a day and give ourselves a mental high-five!

Interestingly, we feel the opposite when it comes to tracking food. Somehow, we see more failure with food tracking – even when we are making good decisions.

Like most things, this can change with perspective. What if, we competed with friends over eating different colored vegetables? Probably sounds lame, but I’d bet you never thought you’d compete with friends over how many steps you walk in a day ;). It could even be something like cooking dinner at home or packing lunch for work.

Here’s a challenge: pick a group of 5 people (friends, family, co-workers, whomever) and challenge them to a healthy eating competition. Take a photo (it can be fruit, veggies, a meal you made, a snack, etc) post it to Instagram and use #SFHWhealthyeatingchallenge and tag me @susanfishback and your friends!  Post between January 3 – 13 and I’ll pick a winner of $20 to Trader Joe’s – if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s, we’ll figure it out ;). 

Have fun!!!

Finding your fitness home

Fitness is not one size fits all! That’s why there are so many options, but let’s face it – all the options can be pretty overwhelming. Without getting into all of the different styles, let’s talk about the different locations.


Workouts at home have been big for decades and really work for some people. When it comes to working out at home, commitment can be the hardest part. An easy way to work around this is to set a timer on your phone/set an appointment on your calendar and let others know that you are unavailable at that time.

You can try a variety of styles online and see what works before making a large financial commitment to workouts or equipment. It can be as cheap or expensive as you like 😉

A gym

There are so many options for this one. Everyone is looking for/needs something different. Take some time and figure out what you are looking for. Try the classes you are interested in, go to use the equipment at the time you will be using the gym, or check out the different trainers.

People often visit gyms on lunch breaks or when they are out running errands and are surprised that it is quite different before or after work. A good gym will be more than happy to let you check it out and answer any questions you have.


This can be yoga, pilates, spinning, boxing; there are many variations. It’s often a smaller environment with a tight, community feel. Some people love this and others don’t. That’s ok, be sure to check it out. Attend at a time you plan on going. Again, this lets you see how the crowd is and what the feel will be when you go regularly.

The only expert for what works for you is you! Everyone is looking for something different and there is nothing wrong with trying a variety of options. Don’t let a wrong fit lead you to giving up – simply try something else. I promise you will find your groove. It is meant to be fun and make you feel good. There will be workouts that are less fun, but they usually break through to a great one 🙂

Where do you workout?  Have you tried somewhere and then found a better fit?

Playing with yoga and fitness

As many of you know, I absolutely love the BOKS program! I was introduced to Kathleen Tullie and all of her amazing BOKS staff four years ago. Over the years I have had the joy of running the program and attending a few different events at Reebok.

This fall, through the trainer Facebook group, I learned that Tara Stiles would be leading a yoga training in December – I called my friend (and fellow trainer) and we signed up.

I was lucky enough to take a class with Tara in NYC when I attended the Fitness Magazine meet and tweet a few years ago. I loved her practice and couldn’t wait to learn from her again.

My friend and I ventured up to Reebok not really knowing what to expect. These trainings are always fun and hands on, but what would this one look like?

Once we were there, we grabbed some coffee and found a spot at a table with yoga mats placed nicely for each of us. I chatted with a few of the BOKS ladies I had spent the day with at the PTA summit.

The training began with Kathleen giving an introduction and then Tara took over. She lead us through a great practice! Her style of flow is filled with play as she weaves in options and it feels amazing. 

After leading us through the flow, Tara and her husband Michael talked to us about their yoga philosophy (Strala Yoga). Michael really hit on the importance of using the body to heal the mind and how yoga can help everyone.

Tara demonstrated different ways of structuring the flow and more importantly how to lead. She taught us a flow with a very authoritative manner and then with more ease and joy. Cueing people to play in a pose or stay longer, really finding what feels good.

I loved this as it is how I lead my classes. It can be difficult to convince adults to play in class and find what works for them. Conversely, there is a balance to keeping kids in the moment and not leaving the practice behind.

I, personally, was interested to learn Tara found yoga through her dance training, just as I did. I find it interesting that we both enjoy the concept of playing with movement when some forms of dance are very structured.

After lunch (and shopping) Tara and Michael spoke some more about their philosophies and how important it is for the instructor to follow her own advice. If you tell your class to stay in the option that feels best, than be authentic and stay in the position that feels best for you. The ideas of having fun and authenticity came through over and over again. I loved it!

Kathleen concluded the day announcing BOKS would be featured on the Today show as Natalie Morales had chosen BOKS as her charity (you can find the story here). It was a great day and truly continued to strengthen my love for this program and all it has to offer!

Do you play in your yoga practice? Have you been involved with BOKS? What was your favorite part? Curious about bringing BOKS to your school?

Excited about Susan Fishback Health and Wellness coming in 2017? Me too! Join my email list here to get more information as it becomes available!

Running a trilogy

A few years ago, my husband and I decided to try a 10k; but the race was cancelled due to snow. We ran other races, but always had this particular event on our radar. The race happens to be the first one held by the organizers each year (they run three different events over the year). Running all three was appealing, but they only offered the half marathon in all three. This was a little too far for us; BUT last year – they decided to have a 10k trilogy and we were sold!

Here are a few things I learned along the way…

Anything for bling…

Seriously, medals are so much fun and this series has some great ones! There is the added bonus of a jacket if you run all three. This jacket was quite the motivating force! My friend and I consider it our varsity letterman jacket. We don’t get them until the race in February and we are ready for them! As we “prepared” (seriously, the training wasn’t great 😉) for the last race, our mantra was anything for a jacket.

You may recall our mantra from the winter warrior challenge being anything for our name on a shirt (I know, we have issues). In all seriousness, having something fun to focus on really got us through the training and running of the last leg in the trilogy.

The gift that keeps on giving…

It’s one thing to sign up for a race when you’ve been training, but committing to three races over the year is a different animal. Once you’re done with one, you realize there’s another one coming. This really helps when you hit the blahs. You have to keep running, or in our case keep trying to get runs in 😉

Even now when I’m feeling less motivated to run, I think about how much fun we had and that I don’t want to give it up.

Going the right distance…

Because it can be challenging to maintain training enthusiasm, it’s important to pick the right distance. The 10k is right in my sweet spot! I really love this distance and the training is manageable. I haven’t ventured into the half marathon range, but know many people who love the distance.

It’s nice to find a distance that’s enjoyable and also a challenge. I still can’t believe I enjoy running six miles!

Running into friends (pun intended😉)…

Running the trilogy provided more opportunities to see friends. We have run enough races to have made race friends (people we see consistently at races and have become friendly with) and many of them were at all three races. We also saw co-workers, other parents and my friends from high school.  

One of my favorite parts of the trilogy was it allowed me to cheer on friends running their first half marathons (we did this at all three!). I love it when I can be a participant and spectator!!

Have you run a series? Is it a goal to run a race series?

Excited about Susan Fishback Health and Wellness coming in 2017? Me too! Join my email list here to get more information as it becomes available!

Here are the race recaps: first, second, third