Personal Training Diet

Weight Loss Dinner: Chicken Shawarma with Spinach and Veggie Slaw

After two and a half years of dating, I finally realized that I'm the sous chef in the kitchen. Here is last night's tasty Mediterranean-influenced weight loss dinner from Chef Sammy-my personal trainer in the kitchen! Remember to add your baby spinach and favorite hummus to the plate.

Ingredients for Chicken:

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (2 large breasts)
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (4 large thighs)
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp allspice
3/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne
Salt and black pepper
Nonstick cooking oil spray

Directions for Chicken:

-Slice the chicken breasts into 5-6 pieces each and the thighs into 3-4 pieces each. Place them in a marinating dish or large plastic zipper bag.

-In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil, the spices, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper (if you're salt sensitive, use 1/2 tsp of salt).

-Pour the spice marinade over the chicken pieces. Stir with a spoon till all the chicken pieces are evenly coated in the marinade. Cover the marinating dish with plastic wrap, or close the zipper bag.

-Place chicken in the refrigerator and let it marinate at least 1 hour, up to overnight.

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking oil. Place the chicken pieces on the sheet, evenly spaced.

-Place the chicken in the oven. Let it roast for about 15 minutes till cooked through, turning the chicken pieces once with tongs halfway through cooking.

-Take chicken out of the oven and let it cool slightly. Use a sharp knife to slice the meat into small, thin shawarma-like pieces. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a skillet on the stovetop over medium.

-Pour half of the chicken into the skillet and saute for 3-4 minutes till the smallest pieces of chicken turn brown and crisp. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired.

-Remove the cooked chicken from the skillet. Heat another 1 tbsp of oil and saute the remaining chicken in the same way. Serve warm.

Chicken recipe courtesy of

Directions for Veggie Slaw:

-Toss a package of broccoli slaw, 12 quartered cherry tomatoes, 4 tbsp of pine nuts, 1 tbsp of rice vinegar, 1/2 of a squeezed lemon, a dash of salt, and a dash of pepper.

-Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Serve cold.


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Article Credit:
Weight Loss Dinner: Chicken Shawarma with Spinach and Veggie Slaw
Weight loss recipe for chicken and spinach.
2/13/2015 8:55 AM
Chicago Personal Trainer and the Self Improvement Book Redefine Yourself

Chicago Personal Trainer and the Self Improvement Book Redefine Yourself


Weight Loss Recipes: 15 Minute Mahi Tacos

Looking for the weight loss recipe your Chicago personal trainer will be proud of?  Check out this easy 15 minute fish taco recipe to liven up your weight loss lunches and dinners!

****Saute Trader Joe's frozen Mahi with 1 tbsp of olive oil until you reach the temperature of 175 on low heat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Meanwhile, finely chop 1 cup of spinach, heat 1/2 cup of vegetarian refried beans, and warm 2 El Milagro corn tortillas.  

Once everything is heated, create your taco and top it with your favorite salsa or hot sauce!


Weight Loss recipe your Chicago personal trainer won't yell at you for.

The Bitter Face of Supplements

Do you find yourself bouncing from one supplement to another?  How do you know what works best while you meet with your Chicago?  Sadly enough, you don't and probably won't find out unless you perform blood tests for an extended period of time.  

Nevertheless, despite not knowing the real total effects of supplements on your body or anyone else's, personal trainers in Chicago still blindly recommend weight loss supplements for short term results and/or financial gain.  

There's no avoiding this fact:  Most supplements aren't FDA approved or have gone though non-privatized funded projects.  Should you lay your body in the hands of a miracle pill that hasn't been tested?  Do you need to take this risk when you haven't scientifically tested you're true physical need?  

It can be good to push your boundaries during a personal training experience.  This doesn't mean jumping off a cliff without looking when choosing the right nutritional path.  Reconsider taking supplements.

What are easy strategies for weight loss in Chicago?

While meeting with your Chicago personal trainer, there are a number strategies that you will employ in and outside of the fitness gym to lose weight.   While you may feel overwhelmed  with these new fitness and dietary strategies at first, they will collectively aid you in your path to a new you.

As a personal trainer in Chicago, I especially know the challenges for this change.  After all, the core of most functions and events include eating and drinking in the Midwestern culture.

The Dietary Guidelines offer several great suggestions for your initial step for weight loss:

- Choose smaller portion sizes (contributes to weight loss).

- People who eat at fast food or quick restaurants more than once per week are at high risk for weight gain and obesity.   Reduce your frequency.

 - Increase your intake of vegetables and fruit (especially high fiber choices) for a lower body weight.

- Decrease your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages. 

Adapt these easy weight loss strategies to heighten your personal training experience in Chicago today!

Personal Training Nutrition: Is There a Magical Weight Loss Pill?

During my personal training sessions in Chicago, clients often ask about magical weight loss pills.  Usually the statement begins with "I recently saw on Dr. Oz....".  I'll admit that I don't know the positive effects of every dietary supplement out there.  In fact, as a Chicago personal trainer, I will admit that I don't know much about most dietary supplements.  

And I'm not alone.  The federal government doesn't either.  Surprisingly, supplements aren't regulated under the FDA and their claims on effectiveness is usually based on privately funded studies.  Is this right considering the harmful risks of this massive industry?

Even Dr. Oz-the self-proclaimed medical expert on TV-has fallen prey to the unregulated hype.  Check out the youtube video of  Last Week Tonight with John Oliver:  Dr. Oz and Weight Loss Supplements for surprising commentary on this topic.