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Beyond The Mat – Instructor Munah Holland

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Tiger Schulmann's Sensei Munah Holland interview

An Interview with Sensei Munah Holland

How has martial arts become an integral part of your overall health?

I lost 50 pounds the first year and half of training; the training helped me to keep disease at bay and gave me a tremendous amount of energy. Autoimmune diseases run in my family, my sister has lupus, my mom had thyroid issues, my other sister had parathyroid-ism and my older brother has hypoglycemia. Needless to say I was concerned when my doctor said they needed to run more tests because I was showing signs of a possible thyroid disorder.  After only 3 months of training the doctor could not find any symptoms that I was previously displaying. It dumbfounded my doctor and since then I have never had to worry about any negative test results. Training became my life and changed my thinking about food/nutrition and overall physical and mental health. My health and wellness became a priority, which in turn, positively affected everyone else around me, my performance in college skyrocketed and I felt more confident at work which help me get promoted and further my career. 

What separates Tiger Schulmann’s training from other types of gyms?

Inspiration, incredibly motivating instruction and a workout that is so much fun it always pushes me to my limits and beyond. I am constantly challenged. My mind and body are always connected when I train. I never think or worry about anything while I am training. I enjoy what I am learning so the time of the workout really does fly by. I always leave feeling better than when I came in and that is thanks to having excellent instructors and very motivating classes.

Share a story of a student that joined Tiger Schulmann’s to make a dramatic change in their health and/or their overall fitness. What results did they achieve under your guidance?

A female student, Erica. It is not so much her health, she is a petite woman who did not have any health risks, but she never ever imagined doing something like this. She had convinced herself that she couldn’t or wouldn’t ever do martial arts. She came to a mother’s night class and really enjoyed it, followed up with the free month offer we provide and that showed her that she absolutely can do it.  This took her completely outside of her comfort zone. It has given her a different level of empowerment and confidence. In addition, she has toned up her body and firmed up areas that were previously thin but not strong. She carries herself with strength and piece of mind. It was really more about her mental health and gaining physical confidence. I was happy to have been there to help her see and feel that she’s capable of doing anything!

How do you make your teaching connect to students’ real-world experiences?

Martial arts is all about the battle, ups and downs, working hard and smart and overcoming obstacles so you can achieve your goals. This mirrors life very well.  All of our students experience loss, failure and disappointment as well as happiness and joy. When I teach, I know these students well, I know their goals, so it isn’t hard to weave real life experiences into how it relates to what we are doing in the class. It isn’t just how the techniques relate to a real-life self-defense scenario, although I will weave current events into the classes when it is called for, it is more often helping them overcome a mental weakness that they have experienced in their job, at school, with relationships, or family.    

Have you competed in martial arts competition? If so, how do you think you benefited from your experience(s)?

Yes I competed often. It made me a more attentive, more patient, and more compassionate instructor. It taught me what I was truly made of and I was able to prove to myself that even under the worst circumstances of loss or failure, I could come back and be an even better version of myself. A version that had more humility and a truer understanding of  reality…you can often do everything right to prepare for a competition and still lose. How I dealt with and how I overcame my losses was what really showed me how strong I really was, mentally even more than physically. Competing enabled me to see the challenges my students were facing in their own training/lives and help them to overcome them more effectively. It was also ridiculously, wonderfully fun!

What are you thoughts about the importance of competition for your students?

I honestly feel that it is an integral part of improving your martial art skills, your mental and physical confidence and to teach you the ever important life lesson of success and failure. How do you stack up to others at your level? Where do you really stand? Can you handle loss, if it comes, what will you do with that loss? How will you overcome it?  You will never be the same after competing, it defines you, guides you and prepares you for the things life will eventually throw your way.

Interview with Munah Holland from Tiger Schulmann's

How do you motivate and set goals for your students?

It is all about taking the time with them and really asking questions to help them open up and then LISTENING, really listening and hearing what they are saying.  I will always make sure I understand what a student is truly seeking and as I get to know them better, their goals will change/evolve and I need to be sure to continue communicating with them to stay on top of that.  If I understand my student well then it is not hard to motivate them in the classes by helping them to accomplish those goals. I will not give up on them, they know that! I will often take a few minutes after class and pull a student aside to ask how they felt in the class, if there are any concerns, I address them and help them overcome their concerns. I try to always set a positive example, I stay fit and healthy, eat healthfully, train well and often and they see that.

Share an example of how you helped coach or mentor someone. What improvements did you see in the person’s knowledge or skills?

William Sosa, now a teenage student, who started as a much younger child. William struggled with ADHD and when he started I had to have many a meeting with his parents and William to help him control his frustrations. He struggled in school and socially in the beginning, but I would always speak with him and help him to find better alternatives than getting angry and giving up. I am incredibly proud of him because he not only started to really excel in school after training with us but his behavior and overall attitude has taken a 360 degree positive turnaround. He is able to achieve whatever goal he sets, not just in martial arts, in school and with his other sports. He has so much confidence now that he is excelling in other sports, sports that in the past he would never have even attempted to be part of. We continue to have many talks and often they are tough talks to help guide him in the mayhem of teenage life, but he listens and takes the advice. He has made some poor decisions along the way, but we always find a way, together, to sort through the decisions and consequences of his actions.  His martial art skills have become incredible, but I am most proud of his positive attitude and improved self-discipline.

Why did you become an instructor and what does it mean to you?

I had an exceptionally motivating and very tough instructor, Sensei Paul Querido who always teaches with his whole entire being. I saw the care and attention he gave all of his students, the time, commitment and selflessness he portrayed. I enjoyed watching him teach and seeing the reaction of the students. I often laughed and laughed while watching him teach the kids because they loved him but were very disciplined and did everything he asked of them. Sensei Querido asked me to come in and help in some of the kids classes on the weekends and that is when I became obsessed with wanting to learn how to teach.  I wanted to give back the positive guidance I had been given. I believed I could truly improve someone’s life, just as mine had been. Teaching is fulfillment, joy, pain and pride.  

Tell us about the path you took from student to instructor.

 The fulfillment, joy and pride of seeing your student achieve and succeed is incredible and the pain you feel for your students who may be struggling in life or in their training (what I mean by this is, as their teacher, you want to relieve and remove that pain, but it can be a long journey).  The pain does not last, you know you will get your student (s) through these rough times/spots and then there is the joy and fulfillment once again. I think I may have explained that in the question above…however, I started because my sister Rofiah recommended it for me. At the time I was 50 lbs overweight and had never taken any form of martial art, not seriously. I had tried Taekwondo in Texas but only for 3 months as a trial period. I did not like the Taekwondo classes at all. I became a student simply to lose weight and learn self-defense, but I fell in love with the training and learning.  It wasn’t soon after that Sensei Querido entered me into tournaments, from their things just took off. Before I became an instructor I worked many different jobs, the last of which was in an advertising and marketing business. I made very good money but was not happy. My sister kept saying that I should speak to my instructor about possibilities of working at the school. Before I knew it Sensei Querido was asking me to come and help in classes and then one day he asked if I would be interested in making this my career and learning to run a school and teach. I jumped at the opportunity and now my life is fuller and happier for it.

Define “Tiger Schulmann’s” in 3 words.

Joy. Empowerment. Fulfillment.

How do you make learning fun for your students?

It is fun when you feel you can do it and that you are getting better.  I try to make sure they always accomplish something in the class so they can walk away and say, “that was fun, I feel great because I was able to do that move really well today.” 

Cooking With Sensei – One Pan Chicken with Spring Veggies

By Diet and Nutrition, TSK No Comments

Today on Cooking with Sensei, we’re keeping it easy with a one pan chicken dish to make a super healthy, family-friendly meal. We’ve all heard the excuses before like, “I’m too busy to cook”, “it’s too hard” or “I’m too tired”. Today’s recipe to will make life easy again. Just grab a pan, add some of your favorite protein and veggies, add a little of this and little of that and bake. It’s that simple to have a meal perfect for any night of the week. Let’s get started!

Cooking With Sensei – One Pan Chicken with Spring Veggies

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of chicken breast
  • 1 lb asparagus 
  • 1 bunch of radish
  • 1 bunch of carrots
  • 1 dozen small potatoes 
  • 1 cup of brussel sprouts

Marinade Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ teaspoon of dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon of dried rosemary
  • ¼ teaspoon dried sage
  • ½ teaspoon salt 

Instructions

  1. Whisk together marinade ingredients.
  2. Cut chicken breast in half and place in Ziploc bag with half of the marinade for 1 to 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Chop all your veggies into bite-sized pieces.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking pan with foil. Add veggies and toss with extra marinade. Then add chicken and spread everything evenly.  
  5. Bake for 15 minutes loosely covered with foil.
  6. Remove foil cover and continue cooking for another 15 or 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Enjoy!

 

Sensei’s Tip of the Day

When cooking chicken breast, remove skin to lower fat and calories.  

Motivational Quote

“Effort in the kitchen goes a long way in the gym!”

 

Check me out on on IG at @tsmmaglendale | @chris_iavarone

Cooking With Sensei – Grilled Skirt Steak with Tomato Salad

By Diet and Nutrition, TSK No Comments

Today on Cooking with Sensei, let’s fire up the grill because we’re making some of the most amazing skirt steaks! In this dish, a little marinade goes a long way and when it’s simple, it’s even better. I personally like my meat cooked medium rare, which keeps the steak moist and full of flavor. Now that the warmer weather is here, this might be your go-to summer time meal. We are also bringing some garden freshness to the plate with a beefsteak tomato salad to compliment the steak. No matter what time of year it is, using the barbecue helps me stay on track with my meal prepping all year long. Let’s get cooking!

Cooking With Sensei – Grilled Skirt Steak with Tomato Salad

Marinade Ingredients

  • ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup a reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil 
  • 3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2 ½ pounds of skirt steak
  • Cooking spray 
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt 
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper

Tomato Salad Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil 
  • 1 shallot minced 
  • 4 ripe beefsteak tomatoes cut into wedges 
  • 1 medium size red onion cut thinly 
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • pinch of black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large Ziploc bag combine balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, honey, oil, garlic, and skirt steak. Seal the bag and shake well. Then refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
  2. Heat grill and cook skirt steak about 3-5 minutes on each side on high heat. Let rest before cutting.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the salad dressing ingredients red wine vinegar, oil, shallots and oregano. 
  4. Cut tomatoes into wedges and mix with red onions then add dressing. Finish with salt and pepper. Serve!

 

Sensei’s Tips of the Day

When buying steaks try to buy meat that has a good balance between lean and fatty.

Motivational Quote

“Everything in moderation!”

 

Check me out on on IG at @tsmmaglendale  | @chris_iavarone

Beyond The Mat – Instructor James Simpson

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An Interview with Shihan James Simpson

How has martial arts become an integral part of your overall health?

I’m 56 years old and still in great shape, physically and mentally! I rarely get sick and I attribute that to working out at Tiger Schulmann’s, combined with proper nutrition.

Have you competed in martial arts competition? If so, how do you think you benefited from your experience(s)?

I was in sports and competed for many years but haven’t competed recently. Competing always made me strive to push myself to be better.

What are you thoughts about the importance of competition for your students?

Competition is more than winning a medal. It’s about overcoming fears and fighting through them. If you can do that here, you can do it in daily life.

How do you motivate and set goals for your students?

The class is always filled with excitement which tends to generate positive motivation on it’s own. I also tell my students that you can do or be whatever you want, but it starts by setting goals, working to achieve them and not giving up.

Share an example of how you helped coach or mentor someone. What improvements did you see in the person’s knowledge or skills?

I had a young boy who was shy, often bullied and not wanting to go to school as a result. Then he started training with me at Tiger Schulmann’s. Right off the bat, he was extremely hardworking. He learned quickly and eventually became strong, fit and outgoing! After some time, he became the kid at school that everyone wanted to be friends with. 

Why did you become an instructor and what does it mean to you?

I always loved martial arts and loved to train so when asked to be an instructor, I was so excited. It still means the world to me and has changed my life in many ways. I very proud and honored to be one of the instructors in such an amazing organization.

How do you make learning fun for your students?

Just by having a great attitude and loving what I do shows in class.

How important is family support to the success of a student?

A family that trains together stays together, family is everything!

If I were to talk to your students, what might they say about you?

Shihan Simpson is dedicated.

Cooking With Sensei – Bell Pepper & Onion Frittata

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Today on Cooking with Sensei, we’re going to make a frittata. Growing up my mom used to make them all the time as a quick easy meal for my brothers and I.  Frittatas are often considered a breakfast item in the United States but they can be eaten for any meal of the day, either hot or cold.  They’re typically cooked in a cast iron pan or oven safe skillet because they start cooking on the stove top and finish cooking in the oven.  Unlike omelets, frittata fillings are mixed in with the egg mixture, rather than folded in the center.  I could seriously eat eggs anytime of the day and for multiple meals.  They are such an amazing source of protein and taste great.

Cooking With Sensei – Bell Pepper & Onion Frittata

Ingredients

  • 8 large whole eggs
  • 16 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk 
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 
  • 1/8 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of chopped red onions 
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers 
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell peppers 
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°
  2. Lightly spray a 9-inch round cake pan or 8-inch cast iron skillet with quinoa oil spray.
  3. Whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. 
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat and sauté the onions, red bell peppers, and yellow bell peppers until tender. Season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Add the onion mixture and cheddar to the egg mixture and stir until combined.  Pour the mixture into a pan. 
  6. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until eggs are cooked and the cheese melts. 

 

Sensei’s Tips of the Day

1. Always purchase eggs from refrigerated case.

2. Choose eggs with clean and not cracked shells.

3. Always check the expiration date.

Motivational Quote

“Have your next meal ready to avoid making a bad choice later.”

Check me out on on IG at @tsmmaglendale  | @chris_iavarone

Beyond The Mat – Instructor Chris Iavarone

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Sensei Chris Iavarone’s Thoughts On Being An Instructor

What separates Tiger Schulmann’s training from other types of gyms?

There are many things that separate Tiger Schulmann’s from other types of gyms and the biggest one is atmosphere.  From the minute someone walks through the door, they are greeted as if they’re already family. There are so many relationships are built under the TSMA roof. By the end of your first week everyone knows your name. 

Share a story of a student that joined Tiger Schulmann’s to make a dramatic change in their health and/or their overall fitness. What results did they achieve under your guidance?

We as instructors are very fortunate to have such an impact on someone’s life. In all my years of teaching one student comes to mind, Sarah. She came in and asked if we taught adult classes. Sarah explained to me that she tried other gyms but none of them seemed to work for her. She was tired of walking aimlessly around the gym wondering which machine to use and worse, nobody was ever around to show her proper technique. She felt like it didn’t even matter if she went because no one would notice. After much debate, she ended up trying out a class. She was amazed how a one hour class could feel like 5 minutes and be so enjoyable. Sarah continued to train and lose 48 lbs over the course of a year and was the happiest she has ever been. The look on her face when she told me that she fit into the same size pants as she was years ago was priceless.

Have you competed in martial arts competition? If so, how do you think you benefited from your experience(s)?

Yes, I have competed in more competitions than I can remember. Starting at the age of 10 years old competing has made me a more confident person and has taught me to find a way to get through any challenge.

What are you thoughts about the importance of competition for your students?

Every student should experience competition and all it has to offer. It is very important to know what it’s like to train for something and be okay with what ever to outcome. Win or lose, a true competitor will get backup and try again.

How do you motivate and set goals for your students?

What motivates one person might not motivate another. We get to know each individual and find out what their strengths and weaknesses are. I believe positive reinforcement is the best way to motivate. Goals should be set according to the students potential.

How does the competitive nature of martial arts play into your teaching philosophy?

I think that being competitive is important in life. My teaching philosophy is simple, try your best to be the best!

Share an example of how you helped coach or mentor someone. What improvements did you see in the person’s knowledge or skills?

A few years back a little girl walked into the school with her parents and she was so shy, she didn’t even look up at me when I said “hello.” Her parents went on the tell me the biggest reason they were there was to build her confidence. The next day she came back to take a trial class. She didn’t want to go on the mat. I told the parents that this was normal and it had to be her own terms, but not to worry because Tiger Schulmanns is exactly what she needs. Over the course of a month, and 10 tries, she completed her first class. They signed her up and it was on to the next challenge, counting to 10, an exercise we do in class to build up our students confidence. Soon enough Jane was heard loud and clear as she became one of the loudest in class. Jane’s parents couldn’t have been any happier.

Tell us about the path you took from student to instructor.

My path from student to instructor started in 1989 when I was only 10 years old. Never really involved in sports, I was overweight and not very confident. My mom had asked if I wanted to try a karate class and I said yes. It was the best decision I had ever made. It really became the place I went to feel good about myself and all the physical activity made it easy to lose the excess weight. Reaching my first black belt in record time (less than two years) gave me the confidence I always lacked and skills to defend myself. At an early age I learned the power of self discipline and what can be achieved. Continuing my training through my teenage years, while going to school and having a part time job to help my parents pay the bills, I never let go of the feeling training gave me. After working as a stock broker trainee in my twenties and becoming a series 7 certified broker, I quickly realized that it wasn’t for me. I knew what I wanted to do and I took a position at Tiger Schulmann’s – Bayside and never looked back.

Cooking With Sensei – Cold Noodle Salad

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Today on Cooking with Sensei we are making a wonderful cold noodle salad that can be made in advance to save you more time. Our salad calls for udon noodles, which are thick noodles made of wheat or brown rice. This dish is easy to prepare and affordable too.  It’s perfect for preparing a healthy meal in minutes. Udon noodles are very low in calories and rich and complex carbs as well as protein. I really love to mix it up in the kitchen using all different kinds of ingredients and make eating healthy fun again. 

Cooking With Sensei – Cold Noodle Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sliced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup of chopped scallions
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup of sliced carrots
  • 3/4 cup of shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons of black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup of water

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger juice
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine the cucumbers, scallions, and peppers in a medium bowl then refrigerate.
  2. Preheat wok and spray lightly with canola oil.
  3. Sauté carrots, mushrooms, sesame seeds and water a little at a time, then let cool.
  4. Combine the carrot mix & cucumber mix.
  5. Mix together the dressing ingredients. 
  6. Toss salad with dressing and enjoy!

Sensei’s Tip of the Day

Use the “Clean” as you go method instead of leaving it all at the end; just take a moment to wipe down your workstation.   

Motivational Quote

Tell yourself the challenges isn’t over, it only continues.

Check me out on on IG at @tsmmaglendale  | @chris_iavarone and make sure to tag your healthy meal photos with #My90Day

Challenge of Champions 46 Recap & Team Champions

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Challenge of Champions 46 Recap & Team Champions

On June 2nd, over 1600 athletes from across the Tiger Schulmann’s organization gathered in Edison NJ to compete in the 2019 Challenge of Champions event. Students both young and old squared off against their peers in a competition of skill. Each school showcased their top talent in the disciplines of kickboxing and/or jiu jitsu. In front of cheering crowds, students displayed their skill and dedication for friends, family and spectators alike.

Challenge of Champions 46 Winners Collage

For many students competing, the Challenge of Champions is a rite of passage. One that solidifies their dedication to the sport of martial arts and allows each student an opportunity to test their skills and push themselves to levels they never thought possible. Competition is more than just winning an award. It’s the journey of training, the comradery of a team, the accomplishment of a personal goal that you set for yourself. For many, it goes far beyond the day of competition and becomes a way of life. As students advance in martial arts, they learn more about themselves, about who they want to be as a person and build lasting respect for their Sensei, their training partners and their teammates.

While attending this year’s event a young, first time student was discussing his match results with his parents. It was the simplicity of his comment that stood out among all others that day and that best captured the essence of the tournament – 8 simple words that encompassed the importance of effort, the spirit of self-discipline and the ability to overcome obstacles both on and off the mat.  As he turned to his parents I heard him quietly say, “Training and trying makes me a better me.” Wise words we call all live by.

Until our next competition – Osu!

Here are the Challenge of Champions 46 Team Results.  Congratulations to this year’s competitors!

Challenge Of Champions – Beginner Division

1st Place – Seaford

2nd Place – Huntington

3rd Place – Mount Kisco

Challenge of Champions 46 Beginner Division Winners

Challenge Of Champions – Intermediate Division

1st Place – Tottenville

2nd Place – Princeton

3rd Place – Williamsburg

Challenge of Champions 46 Intermediate Division Winners

Challenge Of Champions – Advanced Division

1st Place – New Dorp

2nd Place – Elmwood Park

3rd Place – Syosset

Challenge of Champions 46 Advanced Division Winners

Challenge Of Champions – Expert Division

1st Place – Bay Ridge

2nd Place – Rockville

3rd Place – Manhasset

Challenge of Champions 46 Expert Division Winners

Cooking With Sensei – Grilled Shrimp Tacos

By Diet and Nutrition, TSK No Comments
Tiger Schulmann's Sensei Iavarone teaches us how to cook grilled shrimp tacos.

Today on Cooking With Sensei, we are making Grilled Shrimp Tacos with a Yogurt Cabbage Slaw.  Just think about having this yummy refreshing taco on a summer’s day with friends and knowing it is good for you.  Grilling up shrimp happens to be one of my favorite things to cook during the warmer months. Did you know Americans eat one billion pounds of shrimp every year?  Instead of using regular old taco shells, we are using whole-wheat tortillas wraps that we downsized a little to lower the carb intake.

This will be a three part recipe that will come together very quickly. Let’s get to cooking and making so healthy food!

Cooking With Sensei – Grilled Shrimp Tacos

Ingredients

Shrimp:

  • 1 lbs. cleaned large shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder

Yogurt Sauce:

  • 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • juice from half lime

Cabbage Slaw:

  • 1 cup of shredded green cabbage
  • 1/2 cup of shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/4 cup of shredded carrots
  • Sliced Avocados for garnish
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas

Instructions

Shrimp:

  1. Either fire up the grill or a pan on the stove top to cook shrimp.
  2. Combine the shrimp, olive oil, parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and mix in a bowl.

Yogurt Slaw:

  1. In a mini food processor combined the yogurt, honey, garlic, salt, pepper, cilantro, apple cider vinegar, and lime juice then mix until smooth.  
  2. Mix the green and purple shredded cabbage with the carrots.
  3. Add yogurt sauce one spoon at a time until desired consistency is reached and it’s mixed well. Save extra sauce to pour over tacos later.
  4. Assemble tacos and enjoy.

Sensei’s Tip of the Day

Lower your carb intake by cutting off 1/4 inch around the edge of tortillas, using a pizza cutter to get a nice circular line.

Motivational Quote

Eat healthy long enough and you’ll begin to think it’s just the way it is.

Check me out on on IG at @tsmmaglendale  | @chris_iavarone and make sure to tag your healthy meal photos with #My90Day

Cooking With Sensei – Eggplant Chicken Parm

By Diet and Nutrition, TSK No Comments

Today on Cooking With Sensei, we’re going “Italian style” but with a healthy twist!  There’s nothing more comforting than having a warm meal especially when it’s topped with melted cheese. 

Now being Italian myself, I grew up with the smell of food on my clothes and it was even worse when my parents were frying something up. Fast forward to the present and my house now is a “no fry zone”.  In our recipe today, baking is the preferred cooking method, and for a good reason.

My mission is to make food healthy, tasty, and most of all, well balanced with the right ratio of macros.  As you’ll see switching out all purpose flour for whole wheat flour or regular bread crumbs for whole wheat bread crumbs are just a couple of ways we can adjust some of the classics. 
This is what you’ll need….

Cooking With Sensei – Eggplant Chicken Parm

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of sliced chicken breast
  • 1 large eggplant sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 can of olive oil spray
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves
  • 6 slices of mozzarella cheese
  • 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce (mine is Cucina Antica)
  • 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Make your dredging station with 3 large bowls, in the first bowl combine flour, garlic powder, dried parsley, salt and pepper then mix well; in the second bowl beat the eggs; in the third bowl put bread crumbs in.
  3. Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch slices an pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Proceed to coat them first in the flour then the egg and last in the bread crumbs.
  5. Lay them flat on an oil sprayed baking sheet as well as a little spritz on each and cook for 25-30 minutes.
  6. Repeat step 4 for chicken breast and cook for 30-35 minutes.
  7. Above steps can be done day before….
  8. The last step is the assembly, layer eggplant, chicken, eggplant, sauce, cheese and baked in oven or for smaller batches use toaster oven for about 8-10 minutes or until cheese starts to brown.
  9. Top with fresh basil & serve!

Sensei’s Tip of the Day

Choose baking over frying to lower fat and calories. Anything that is fried can be baked and baking requires little or no added oils making it a healthier choice!

Motivational Quote

Be conscious of everything you eat and you’ll make better choices.

Check me out on on IG at @tsmmaglendale  | @chris_iavarone and make sure to tag your healthy meal photos with #My90Day