Saturday, May 3, 2014

Stepping into your full a really sweaty way

Working the camera at the Shrink Session shoot.

I spent most of my #SweatySaturday in a fitness photo shoot for Shrink Session. (Pics coming soon!)  I spent hours jumping, smiling, and laughing with my fellow Shrink sistahs.  Keep your eyes and ears pealed for lots of new classes popping up around NYC.  The founder, Erin Stutland, aka Mama Stuts, has been pouring lots of love into coaching us all into our soulful, true power as instructors. 

If you haven't taken a Shrink Session class yet, it's a combination of kickboxing + dance + yoga + mantras + meditation.  I lovingly refer to it as really sweaty therapy.  You can take it for a test drive and download a FREE Shrink Session HERE

Not only does this workout burn 100's of calories, it gets into your head.  You find yourself shouting positive mantras as you push yourself to dance BIGGER, punch HARDER, be STRONGER.  What you don't realize is you are also breaking through mental barriers, beating down that terrible little voice in your head that so often stops you from living in all your beautiful, shining glory.  The whole philosophy is that "movement in your body creates movement in your life".  This class has rewarded me some major breakthroughs in both my personal and professional life.  I'm feeling pretty honored to now share this gift with all of you!

Shrink Session with yours truly will be:
Thursdays in May 
Chelsea Studios 151 West 26th St, (between 6th and 7th Ave), 6th Floor

"Drop -In" classes are $22 or can burn double the calories and generate even more mental magic by signing up for an UNLIMITED pass ($125) to also take Shrink Session on Tuesday's from 8-9pm with my good friend, Elyse Sparkes

8 chances to get your SHRINK on in May!
Tues May 6, 8-9pm-Elyse
Thurs May, 8, 7-8pm-Joanie
Tues May 13, 8-9pm-Elyse
Thurs May 15, 7-8pm- Joanie
Tues May 20, 8-9pm- Elyse
Thurs May 22, 7-8pm- Joanie
Tues May 27, 8-9pm- Elyse
Thurs May 29 7-8pm- Joanie

All you need to do is:
1. Click HERE to sign up for classes!
2. Wear your kicks (aka sneakers) & your favorite booty shakin' sweat wear.
3. Bring water & a towel (you will get sweaty, guaranteed!)

With love, peace and sweaty gratitude,


Joanie Johnson
Certified Personal Trainer / Health and Wellness Coach
Twitter(happy little nuggets of my day): @JJEatPlay
Instagram(adorable pics of my dog and my obsession with peanut butter) :@JJEatPlay
Facebook!(healthy tips and advice): Joanie Johnson
Blog(the occasional rant and kick@$$ recipes): Motivated Nutrition
Bonus Love from me: Grab a FREE Shrink Session Workout HERE and  join me for class Thursday's 7-8pm at Chelsea Studios

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spicy Avo Deviled Eggs

Whether you are celebrating Passover or Easter, it's egg season.  Eggs are everywhere you turn!  Our fridge has 3 dozen eggs in it as we speak.  (Nearly EVERY matzah dish requires them).

A favorite springtime recipe of mine is Deviled Eggs.  They remind me of warm weather, picnics and spending time with family and friends.  Think about it, how often do you whip up deviled eggs just for yourself?  Never!  They are the ultimate bring to a picnic to share food. And if you are sharing this dish made with love with your friends, why not keep their health in mind?  I feel there's nothing worse than going to a gathering and being horrified by all the unhealthy food.  (The granola health coach in me takes it personally...Ahhhh! Don't you want me to be healthy?!)  I love this version of the recipe because it uses avocado and greek yogurt instead of that awful ingredient, mayo.  (DIY: Commercially made mayonnaise may contain sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, thickeners, emulsifiers, EDTA, flavor enhancers, and water.) 
 Spicy Avo Deviled Eggs
  • 12 eggs- hard-boiled
  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Juice from 1 lime (I never have limes and substituted a lemon...which seemed to work out fine)
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne (I also accidentally used 1/2 tsp cayenne...I'm a disaster in the kitchen.  They still turned out fine.)
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • Paprika to make them fancy


1. Slice each hard-boiled egg in half lengthwise and very carefully scoop out the yolk.
2. Place the yolks in a bowl, and then peel and chop the avocado. Add it to the bowl with the yolks, then add the rest of the ingredients except for the garnish.
3. Use a fork to mix everything together until it is well combined and has a thick consistency.
4. If you are fancy, use a piping bag to fill each egg with the filling.  I am not fancy and used a spoon. 
5. Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika.

*This recipe is adapted from Wellness Today.

I'd love to hear your favorite healthy version of a deviled egg recipe!  Leave it in the comment love below.  Don't forget to swing by the Motivated Nutrition webpage for more recipes and inspiration! 

In eggcellent health,


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Homemade Granola Sundae

I love granola.  We're talking about an I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack on it all day kind of love.  I'm pretty sure it has something to do with my adoration of junky breakfast cereal.  I know it's terrible and packed full of unhealthy, over processed ingredients, but if it's in front of me, I can't help myself!  Cereal is my ultimate comfort food.  Instead of moping around feeling all deprived, I've discovered granola is cereal's healthy big brother.  And homemade granola is the bomb as far as nutrition goes.  I get to choose what goodies go in and can control the amount of sugar.  My homemade granola wins over my husband's sugar coated mini wheat's any day!  That's huge progress for me.

I cooked up a new batch yesterday and wanted to share the recipe.  This is shell of a a very forgiving recipe.  It's different every time I make it depending on how stocked my bulk items are so feel free to mix, match and make your own magic.  I like to call it a granola sundae!  It's takes about an hour in the oven and waiting for it is honestly the hardest part.  I may have burned my mouth trying to eat it right off the pan because I was so impatient.   

Homemade Granola Sundae

Homemade Granola Sundae


  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup of nuts of your choice (I used almonds, pistachios, cashews and Brazil nuts)
  • 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (sometimes I like to use coconut oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup of natural maple syrup 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 1/2 cups dried fruit(s) of your choice 
  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Prep a baking sheet with parchment paper.   
  3. Combine all ingredients except the egg white and dried fruit in a large bowl, mixing well.
  4. Whisk the egg white in a small bowl until frothy, then stir evenly into the granola mixture.
  5. Spread and flatten the granola across the baking sheet and place in the oven for 25 minutes.
  6. After 25 min, use a spatula to carefully flip over large sections, trying to keep large chunks of it together.  Place back into the oven for an additional 25 min. Oven times vary
  7. Remove when you see the granola is evenly browned and feels dry to the touch. Transfer onto a cooling rack (or in my case, my counter-top)  to cool.  Don't be tempted to eat it yet!  It's really hot! 
  8. Once it's cool, break it up and mix in your dried fruit(s).
*This recipe is adapted from one of my favorites, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.  The author, Deb Perelman is my small kitchen cooking hero.

I'd love to hear what your favorite granola additions are!  Leave them in the comment love below.  And check out the Motivated Nutrition webpage for more recipes and inspiration! 

In crunchy granola health,


Sunday, March 31, 2013

How to Trick Your Friends into Cleaning Your Bathroom

Harsh chemicals bombard our everyday lives.  We get so caught up in cleanliness that we forget about the nasty combinations of toxic fumes, formaldehyde, asbestos, petrochemicals and pesticides that we're putting onto our skin, clothing, and using when cleaning our homes.  In addition to being dangerous to our health, they are expensive.  We use our hard earned cash to voluntarily poison ourselves!  That's crazy town.

Sparkes Wellness and Motivated Nutrition say no more!

We're here to show you how to make a homemade bathroom cleaner using as little chemical as possible. 

It's cheap.   It's fast.  It will make your tub and shower clean!  (It made my tub smell like vanilla cake because of the milk and honey soap we used. Mmmm!)  AND, it's so novel, your friends will beg to help you!  (Rubs hands together with sinister smile).

Check out our homemade recipe below and watch as I get Sparkes Wellness to fall for cleaning my shower as I sneak off to eat lunch!

You will need: 
  •  Mixing bowl, spoon, sponge
  • 1 2/3 cups baking soda
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup liquid soap
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
***This recipe make a lot!  We cut it in 1/2 because I have a very tiny Brooklyn bathroom.  Depending on your space, you may want to do the same.  

1. In a medium bowl, combine baking soda, water, and liquid soap.  Mix well.
2. Add vinegar, watch it get frothy and mix again.
3. Apply to a sponge and scrub.
4. Convince your friend how fun this is so they scrub too!
5. Rinse
6. Back out of the room slowly as your friend cleans your bathroom.  ;)

Leave a comment if you have your own homemade cleaning recipe that you'd love to share. 

In healthy home happiness,


*Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channels so you don't miss any of our "Spring Cleaning from the Inside Out" series!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Detoxing with "Super Kale"

Spring is just around the corner!  Just like we take time to clear away the dust and stale winter air from our homes this time of year, it's important to do the same for our bodies.   Did you catch last week's episode on cleansing with "Lion's breath"?  For a good roar, check out Motivated Nutrition and Sparkes Wellness HERE.

Our bodies are smart and know how to clean themselves when we put delicious, nutritious foods into them.  My idea of a "detox" is to cut out everything that comes in a can, box or package, eating only foods that Mother Nature provides.  Spring is a time of rebirth, renewal and all things fresh and green.  This time of year, Mother Nature sprouts out a plethora of fibrous, nutritious, leafy greens for us to help clean out our bodies.  

One of my favorite leafy greens is kale.  This nutritional power house is loaded with vitamins A, C, and K.  It packs a punch of iron, calcium and a hearty dose of fiber and sulfur to boost our bodies natural detoxification enzymes. 

It's great sauteed, steamed or my personal favorite, baked into crispy kale chips!  This recipe is super fast, super easy and super awesome...just like super kale.  Speaking of super...don't Sparkes Wellness and I make a great team?*

 Kale Chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Wash kale
  3. Dry thoroughly (you can use a salad spinner or a paper towel) Any dampness will result in soggy chips!
  4. Remove stems
  5. Tear into bite sized pieces
  6. Spread kale across a baking tray
  7. Coat evenly with olive oil
  8. Sprinkle with sea salt
  9. Bake in the oven for 12 min (or until crispy)
  10. ENJOY! Mmmm

*Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channels so you don't miss any of our "Spring Cleaning from the Inside Out" series!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Managing our Fears

Managing our Fears
Pre swim school- Determined and Olympic bound

Dara Torres, the oldest swimmer to ever place on the U.S. Olympic team was once quoted, “The water doesn't know how old you are.”

This past Saturday, I donned a too tight swim cap, along with my newly purchased Speedo, and dove into my first swim class at age 31.  OK, so I didn't exactly dive.  It was more like cautiously stepped down the ladder and eased myself into the pool. 

I know what you are thinking.  How did I never learn to swim?  Well, I don't particularly like water. (I take really fast showers).  I hate the feeling of wet hair.  My "learn to swim" option growing up was a disgusting, fish filled, mucky bottomed family pond- so I opted out.  I once wore "swimmies" to a birthday pool party at age 12 and got made fun of so badly that I vowed I would never go in the water again.  I can float and doggie paddle so I could never really drowned.

I decided it was time to push my humiliated 12 yr old self aside and face my fears by enrolling in swim school.  I was incredibly nervous Saturday morning and felt like I was off to my first day of school.  I can't remember the last time I felt those emotions.  There were about 19 other non-swimming adults who looked as terrified as I felt and we all laughed nervously as we learned to blow bubbles, float face down, glide and eventually work our way up to alternating arm strokes while holding onto a paddle board.  I couldn't believe how much we learned in such a short period of time.  I thought I would come home as a master bubble blower and nothing more.  I couldn't stop gushing about my accomplishments for the rest of the day.  "I put my face IN the water and glided the ENTIRE width of the pool!  I was swimming!"  An outside observer even commented on how fast I was.  I told him it was probably because I was wearing my new Speedo and was aiming for the 2016 Olympics.  I'll probably be ready to qualify after my 9 remaining lessons.

Facing our fears can add a new level of excitement to our lives.  When was the last time you stood head to head with something that terrified, shamed, or belittled you?  All too often, we set ourselves up to overcome and then retreat the moment "waters get rocky".  Sometimes all it takes is a little direction and knowing how to break our fear down into manageable steps so we don't throw ourselves head first into the pool. 
  • Can you think of something that is both fearful and intriguing to you?  I've always been intrigued by other swimmers but was never able to consider myself as one.   
  • Think about the steps you need to take in order to make it manageable.  Step one: find a swim class.  Step two: buy a swim suit.  Step three, blow bubbles.  
  • Surround yourself with "experts" and supportive people.  I tried to learn to swim many unsuccessful times from friends.  Although they had good intentions, I realize now they serve as much better cheerleaders on the sidelines. 
  • Celebrate!  Don't downplay your accomplishments.  What may seem minor to someone else is a hugely valid success for yourself.  "I swam the ENTIRE width of the pool with my face IN the water!"  Do you have any idea how impressive that is? 

Have you overcome any fears lately?  Do you have any fears you want to share?  What were/are the steps to make it more manageable?   Leave your comment below, tweet MtvdNutrition, or post on the Motivated Nutrition Facebook page

In Future Olympian Health,


Joanie Johnson, CHC
Motivated Nutrition

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Princess and the Pea...and Other Nasty Things

The Princess, The Pea...and Other Nasty Things
Arctic Blast Bike Face
I've been sick this week.  I'm actually convinced that I'm not sick but I've (as my best friend stated it) "frozen my cilia" after riding my bike in the freezing cold without covering my face.  Bad move #1 this week.  NYC has been hit with an arctic blast and unfortunately, peddling is the quickest way for me to get from point A to point B when I'm training clients.  I noticed the heavy chest feeling at the end of last week and fought my hardest to keep the nastiness at bay.  My usual regime of greens, vitamins, zinc, tons of water, extra sleep and aromatherapy baths didn't do it this time.  Frozen cilia or not, whatever is going on in this bod, it's nasty.  (I've since adopted the amazingly attractive full face mask look above while riding).

Spending "sick" time in bed can be less than glorious.  After 2 days of fighting miserable boredom, I decided to "treat" my sorry self to a movie and some semi-sweet chocolate chips ( a personal weakness of mine) Bad move #'s 2, 3 AND 4

#2 Sugar temporarily suppresses the immune system cells responsible for attacking bacteria.  Consuming lots of sugar while sick is a terrible idea if you're trying to get better fast. 

#3 Eating in bed is disgusting.  The only thing you should do in bed is sleep...well, maybe not the ONLY thing, but that's for a different kind of blog post.  Remember the story of The Princess and the Pea?  Crumbs, peas, or chocolate chips in the bed are NEVER a good thing

...which leads me to bad move #4: Accidentally dropping chocolate in bed and then sitting on it for 4 hrs.  You can imagine my surprise when I stood up to find the bed, my back, my pants, t-shirt, pillow and yes even my computer was covered in melted chocolate.  I honestly thought for a brief moment I had an "accident".  My finance, Micah, happened to walk in at the exact moment of my discovery and had the same look of shock on his face.  I had to prove it was indeed chocolate by licking my t-shirt.  (Bad move #5?) 

Do you ever unhealthily "treat" yourself when you're not feeling well?  What's your guilty sick day pleasure? Leave your comment below, tweet MtvdNutrition, or post on the Motivated Nutrition Facebook page

In (less than optimal) health, :(


Joanie Johnson, CHC
Motivated Nutrition