Tropical chicken salad

Recipe of the Month: Tropical Salad with Teriyaki Chicken

This salad is fun and full of flavor, made with nutrient-packed microgreens, sweet mango, tender teriyaki chicken and guilt-free onion rings. Eat this and give your body the protein it needs as well as a healthy serving of fiber.

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need…

  • 4 organic, free-range chicken breasts
  • ? cup Organicville Island Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • Dash of salt
  • ? teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk, full fat
  • 1 omega-3 egg
  • 4 cups organic micro greens or mixed greens
  • 1 fresh, ripe organic mango, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons organic goat cheese, crumbled
  1. Rinse the chicken breasts. Place in a large ziplock bag with the teriyaki sauce, mix until all the chicken is coated. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (Do it overnight for even better flavor!)
  2. Preheat oven to 400? F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with coconut oil.
  3. In a shallow bowl combine the almond meal, salt and garlic powder. In another shallow bowl whisk the coconut milk and egg.
  4. Dip each onion ring in the milk mixture and then coat with the almond meal mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, flip each onion ring, then return to oven for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Heat a grill pan and lightly coat with coconut oil. Place the chicken breasts on the grill pan, and cook 4 minutes each side, until there is no longer any pink in the middle.
  7. Remove chicken from heat and slice.
  8. Prepare each plate with a pile of micro greens, sliced mango, goat cheese crumbles, a few onion rings and then top with teriyaki chicken.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 366 calories, 2 g fat, 268 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, and 40 g protein

turkey soup

Recipe of the Month: Simple Turkey Soup

Make this wholesome, quick meal at home tonight. It?s high in fiber, packed with protein and tastes quite comforting and delicious. Enjoy the leftovers as a quick lunch or as tomorrow?s dinner.

Servings: 8

Here?s what you need…

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch of carrots, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1.3 lbs lean ground turkey
  • 4 cups veggie broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes
  • 4 ears of corn, kernels sliced off cob
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • Dash of salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. In a large skillet heat the olive oil. Add garlic. Add chopped carrots, cover for 5 minutes. Add onions, celery and fennel. Saut? until soft.
  2. In another skillet cook the ground turkey over medium heat until fully cooked, stirring often. Drain off excess fat.
  3. Transfer the veggies to large soup pot and add the remaining ingredients, and the cooked turkey. Cover and cook over low heat for 40 minutes. Add extra water as desired.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 274 calories, 6 g fat, 480 mg sodium, 34 g carbohydrate, 10 g fiber, and 21 g protein.

How to eat now

TIME Magazine: How to Eat Now

Eat at home because it?s good for you, it?s good for your family and it?s far easier than you think, says best selling food writer Mark Bittman, in a recent TIME?s cover story.

In today?s fast paced world we consume over 30% of our daily calories away from home. These less-than-wholesome calories are accumulating around our waists and draining our bank accounts.

So why do we eat out and shun the kitchen? Simple: convenience. We don?t have the time to toil away over a hot stove. However, evidence is mounting that we are paying big for the so-called convenience of outside food.

Obesity related diseases are on the rise, as are the number of folks who are just plain unhappy with how their bodies look and feel. Cooking at home seems to be the first step in our road to healthier bodies.

Here are the top 5 reasons that you should starting cooking and eating at home?

Reason #1: It?s Good For You

Hyperprocessed foods are harmful to our health, and that?s exactly where you?ve been getting the bulk of your calories. Even restaurant food that contains fresh produce, chances are high that the produce is not organic, or local or non-GMO. Most of us are eating less than half of the recommended amount of fiber, fruit and vegetables, which eating at home could quickly change.

Simple meals made at home with fresh produce and organic meats or eggs are nutritionally superior to over-flavored, over-processed restaurant food. Not to mention the high calorie beverages and starters that so often accompany a restaurant meal. When you eat at home you take in more nutrient-dense calories that are higher in fiber.

Reason #2: It?s Far Easier Than You Think

Eating out so often has conditioned our concept of a meal to be one with complicated flavors and accompaniments. This misconception has made us fear the kitchen. But I urge you to reconsider.

Meals made at home need not mirror those ordered in restaurants. On the contrary, simple is better when it comes to home cooking. Plan your entire meal around a couple of pieces of fresh produce and a wholesome, lean protein. No need for complicated sauces or sides ? these are where the harmful calories hide anyway.

Reason #3: It Costs Less

Fresh, simple ingredients do not cost much. Especially when compared to the cost of prepared meals. Bittman?s advice on ingredient shopping is to, ?Buy what you can afford, and cook it yourself. Rice, beans, bacon, salad, bread ?few things are cheaper than that.?

Shopping the perimeter of the store is always a good plan. Here you?ll find the fresh produce, meats, dairy and seafood. Venture into the aisles for oils and spices to compliment the fresh ingredients.

Reason #4: It Is Preventative Medicine

In the US the annual health care expenses related to obesity is $150 billion, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Worldwide this number is over $1 trillion annually. These numbers are staggering, and sobering when you think of all the individual lives that are being negatively impacted by obesity.

Rather than waiting for you and your family members to experience the health risks related to obesity, start your own mission to cook simple meals at home and redirect your future. Remember the words of Benjamin Franklin, ?An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.?

Reason #5: It Reduces Body Fat

Eating at home is also one of the best ways to reduce your body fat. Bittman states that meals eaten at home contain an average of 200 calories less than meals eaten out. Let me tell you, a reduction in 200+ calories per meal will quickly translate to pounds lost!

Start today, and don?t be afraid to start small.

Pick one meal that you?ll make at home either today or tomorrow, and write down your simple menu and grocery list. You could start with the Simple Turkey Soup recipe below.

And let?s not forget the place that a challenging, consistent exercise program has in your quest for good health and a fit physique. My programs are specially designed to blast fat and to build muscle in all the right places.

Call or email me today to get started on a fat loss program that really works.

Breakfast cookies

Recipe of the Month: Breakfast Cookies

Yes, these cookies make an acceptable, wholesome breakfast! You?ll notice that there is zero sugar added to these cookies ? the sweetness comes from banana and applesauce. Feel free to add a large scoop of vanilla protein powder to the dough, to increase the protein content of each cookie. While it does take some time to make a batch of these breakfast cookies, you?ll have instant breakfasts for days to come afterwards.

Servings: 20

Here?s what you need…

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • ? cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ? cup golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ? cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ? teaspoon sea salt
  • Optional, scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • ? cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ? cup sliced almonds
  • ? cup unsweetened, dried berries
  1. Preheat the oven to 350? F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, combine the bananas, applesauce, coconut oil, raisins, vanilla extract and vinegar. Pulse until smooth.
  3. In a medium bowl combine the coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and protein powder. Add to the food processor and pulse until combined. Add the coconut flakes, almonds and dried berries. Pulse briefly until just incorporated.
  4. Use an ice cream scooper to place the dough 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until golden and baked through.
  5. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 86 calories, 3g fat, 61mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 5g protein.


I have always been one to struggle with weight loss but I have also been the one to procrastinate. My main goal for coming to Advantage was to lose weight for my wedding. I started working out about five months ago, right about the time I tried on my wedding dress for the first time. Unfortunately my dress didn?t fit but with the help of all the amazing trainers, they really pushed me to strive for my goal of losing the weight. I went about a week ago for my final fitting, knowing I had lost eighteen pounds and the dress fit perfectly!

I also race motocross and I have noticed a drastic change in my riding. I usually get tired after about four laps, but now I can actually finish a race without being completely exhausted.

I never really enjoyed working out, because I never really knew what I was doing. Now that I have someone to motivate me and teach me, I really enjoy it. Even after my wedding I am going to continue with my workouts, so I can focus on my goals for racing next year. Thank you to everyone at Advantage Personal Training for motivating and helping me strive for my goals!

Krista Success Story

Krista Dobo

I?ve been active all my life, biking, running, gym memberships, yoga, P90X, etc.? After being diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in my mid-20s I also became very conscientious about what I eat.? I?ve never had to battle weight loss, and was confident in my ability to manage a healthy lifestyle on my own.

However about 2 years ago I started having pain in my left shoulder – the result of 16 years of sitting at a desk. I got some relief from physical therapy, but could not go back to strength training without pain.? I needed help!!? I heard about Advantage from a co-worker that had also recently finished physical therapy. When I started, my intent was to work with a personal trainer for about 3 months.? A year later I am still a member, and I have no intentions of leaving.? I work out with Will, my trainer, 3 times a week.? With Will?s coaching I?ve not only increased the strength and mobility in my shoulder, but also achieved a higher level of overall fitness than I ever could do alone.? Over this past year I have gained 7 lbs. as a result of creating a leaner body composition.? I?ve also learned how to move like an athlete, and have improved coordination.? I look forward to every work out!

Steve Majeika

Although I never had been overweight or terribly out of shape, the idea of working out had been in the back of my mind for several years.? One day, after reading about a new kind of gym that was opening in Old Mystic, I finally decided that I wanted to develop some muscles for myself.? My real ambitions were to look great in a pair of jeans and even better while wearing a pair of swim trunks during the summer.? I had also heard that regular exercise and working out might make me look and feel younger, as well as providing some of the cognitive benefits that can be derived from regular physical fitness.

As I entered my mid-forties, I noticed that my waistline had increased a bit and my pants and shorts were feeling tighter around the waist.? As I think back, I went from a size 32 waist to a more comfortable 33.? Then, after a few more years passed, I had progressed to a size 34.? I justified my ?middle-age spread? by reading that size 34 was the most popular size in men?s pants and shorts.? Nonetheless, I was feeling ?ill at ease? in my clothing, sometimes even having to loosen the top button for comfort while sitting.

I knew that I did not want to join a mainstream type of gym, where so many people use the expression ?I?m going to the gym,? as if it were a trendy fashion statement or some sort of chic expression to sound ?cool.?? What?s more, my job at Electric Boat (EB) had me deskbound for extraordinarily long periods of time ? sometimes up to 10 hours per day!? If I wasn?t sitting at my desk, I was chairing meetings or worse ? on company aircraft, enroute to another General Dynamics Operating Unit.

Back in the early days, Greg worked with me three days a week.? On certain days we would work the upper body and on others, the lower body.? There were times when we would mix it up, working all muscle groups with fierce intensity, although my favorite is ?classic bodybuilding.?? Greg took a personal interest in me, and was always asking about my diet.? He had me keep a log of everything that I had eaten on any given day, and would make recommendations for improvement, suggesting substitutions (or elimination) of certain foods for better nutrition.? Greg was also constantly challenging me to increase the amount of weight that I was lifting, but at the same time never allowing me to lose the proper form while attaining new levels of strength.

After a few weeks, I was starting to see some improvement and I definitely felt better.? I was sleeping so much ?sounder? ? especially after my sessions with Greg.? After several months, I found myself going down a notch or two in my belt, and curiously, and I had much more energy.? My reflection in the mirror was strangely different.? I was looking at an image of someone with muscles ? someone who was toned and ripped.? That person was me!? Now, I can wear any pair of jeans and look good in them.? At the beach, it?s great catching a glimpse of someone who is admiring my physique ? even at age 60!

When I stop to think that once upon a time, I couldn?t even do one pull up, and now I can do 30.? These days, I have progressed to ?advanced level? training and we are currently working on my endurance and stamina.? I love my ?new? body, complete with six-pack abs, vee shaped torso, and small waistline.?

Lisa Stevens

At just shy of 50 years old I was feeling more like 80.?A past injury resulted in the loss of the cartilage behind my kneecaps and is a source for the difficulty I experienced in climbing and descending stairs. This along with rheumatoid arthritis made every day chores seem like insurmountable tasks.

After years of struggling and compensating for my poor health I decided I had had enough and it was time to do something about it. Thus a year and a half ago I started working with Mike at Advantage Personal Training with a goal to become stronger and more flexible. I knew I could not expect immediate results so I kept telling myself, ?I will judge my success in a year? just keep going.? I knew this would be a lifetime commitment. Mike was great at accommodating for my limitations. I worked as hard as I could to do everything he had set up for me. I began to feel better all over and my joints did not hurt in the way they had previously. I began sleeping better at night and I had more energy during the day.

After about 4 months I was feeling good enough to set some new goals for myself. Now it was time to lose weight. I started a diet plan with Ideal Weight Systems and over the next 4 months lost 37 pounds. I was very excited to accomplish this.

Last summer I began working with Jesse and Denzel at Advantage who continued to challenge me and always come up with tough workouts to keep me on my toes. I have been able to maintain my weight and I feel like I continue to get stronger. My arthritis is not as noticeable these days with my only limitation being my knees. Though, with the strengthening of the muscles that surround my knees they have been feeling much better and I do not dread the stairs the same as I did a year and a half ago!

This past May I celebrated my 25th wedding anniversary and it was especially gratifying when I was able to fit into my wedding dress again! Now, I feel I can judge that the work I have done has been successful in getting me to my goals. Now I am feeling like I have a new life with energy, strength, and flexibility along with balance that I lacked over a year and a half ago plus the added bonus of being the size I was 25 years ago!

Thank you to all who have helped me along this journey for you have helped me stick with it for the long haul.

Couple Success Story

Manny and Irene Makiaris

Couple Success StoryJust a couple of weeks after Advantage Personal Training opened its doors, my wife and I were running errands in downtown Niantic where we saw the newly-opened Advantage Personal Training. Even though I was handling the normal activities of daily life pretty well, I was severely overweight, not exercising and had tried every weight loss program under the sun. On a whim, we went into APT, met Calvin McCoy and was immediately very impressed with him, his staff, their professionalism and the relatively small size of the facility as compared to the glitzy ?meat market? gyms. I signed up immediately, followed by my wife some time later. I began working out twice a week, eventually increasing to three times a week and rarely miss an appointment.? I look upon the decision to become a client of APT as one of the most important decisions of my life. Calvin, and later Paul Palazzo, worked with me in designing varied exercise programs that took into account my physical reality.

I was severely overweight, had osteoarthritis in one knee, and lower back pain. As time went on, my physical condition significantly improved but I still did not permanently lose significant amounts of weight.? In fact I actually gained some weight to where I weighed over 370 pounds. I realized that I had to do something.? To make a long story short, after doing lots of research and consulting with my personal physician, I made another milestone decision: gastric bypass surgery.? After a long and difficult process I am happy to say I?ve lost more than 150 pounds and have maintained my current weight for almost ten years.? Calvin, Paul and occasionally other APT staffers continue to play an important role in my efforts to stay physically fit and to maintain my weight. They have risen to the occasion, continuing to assess my personal needs in designing exercise programs modified to account for those needs. In recent years I have had back surgery, which unfortunately has not worked.? There is the possibility for more back surgery and perhaps other procedures. If this comes to pass, I will once again lean heavily on APT for their expertise and counsel. Thanks a million!

IRENE MAKIARIS: My original goal in joining APT was to encourage my husband to stay with his weekly workouts. I soon realized that I felt much better after working out and joined my husband regularly twice a week at the gym. I also began to walk daily and at times would ride my bike to the gym before my workouts. Calvin continued to encourage me and with weight training as a focus, I was quickly taken off my medicine for osteopenia and showed great progress in my bone density scans. ?Paul joined APT and became my regular trainer and he continues to train me as if I was 50 Years old ? but I love it!? My workout sessions are on my calendar and I schedule the rest of my life around my training.? Working with a group of individuals who are customer-focused has kept me on top of my strength and balance training which has allowed me to keep up with our 4 grandchildren.? I look forward to very long and continued successful training through my golden years. Thank you Paul and Calvin for keeping us fit and young!