What’s For Dinner?

What’s For Dinner?

I’ve been back on the East Coast this past week visiting family and friends, which means lots of meals on top of two special family occasions. Come on… I’m Jewish and everyone knows we love to eat!

There is a part of me that says, “I keep a very healthy and clean diet in LA, so I can enjoy myself and indulge this week.” Thank goodness for the bigger voice in my head that says, “you know how to stay on track with your healthy clean eating even when you’re traveling and cooking. Stay focused, as you know what it feels like when you get off track. It is ok to indulge in a treat here and there…just don’t go overboard.”

Have you said above to yourself time and time again? I bet the answer is YES! I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t need to be hard to live a healthy lifestyle no matter where you are or what you are doing.

The key to health and wellness is keeping it simple. It’s important to eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day and have balanced meals to ensure you’re getting needed carbohydrates, proteins and fat to maintain your energy level throughout the day.

I love to cook, but unfortunately my on-the-go lifestyle in LA leaves me very little time. Being home in Jersey this past week has given me the opportunity to really enjoy spending time with my mom in the kitchen. Trust me…this woman CAN cook! Holy moly WOW!

We prepared one of my favorite meals this week and Mama B makes the BEST: chicken, sautéed vegetables, and salad.

The chicken is marinated with a touch of BBQ sauce for a nice, tangy flavor. We threw asparagus, one of my favorite vegetables, in the sautéed mix and added snap peas, onions, zucchini, red peppers, and sweet potatoes. I’m known as the girl who loves to throw in a lot of fun stuff and have lots of fun putting things together in my salads however this salad was quite simple: romaine lettuce, cucumbers, carrots (of course), yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes, and avocado.
Cooking with my mom is always a highlight of my trip home. She has fancy tricks with spices and marinades, but loves learning some of my healthy secrets.

Do you have any fun cooking stories or tricks to share? I want to hear them! Please comment below. Remember – always bring it back to the basics – simple is key! No need to reinvent the wheel.

#YoullThankMELater

xoxo,
Ilyse

When You Think You Know Where You Are Going and Things Change…

When You Think You Know Where You Are Going and Things Change…

I don’t know about you but when I was a little girl (like most little girls) I planned out exactly what I wanted my life to be like. I would always dance around the house screaming, “My name will be in lights one day and I will dance and choreograph for all the big stars! Then, I will get married, be VERY successful, and have a family.” Isn’t that what every girl dreams about: her career, man of her dreams, white picket fence, and family?! Come on…you know that I am almost 100% right?!

Sometimes “your plan” doesn’t always turn out to be what you thought it would be or it does. Take me for example, I never thought that I would be a Dance and Fitness Expert and you know what??? I couldn’t be happier that I am and that I am beyond blessed how far I have come and where I am going.

I started dancing at age 3 and to this day (we won’t talk about my age now) I am still dancing! When I moved to Los Angeles 10 years ago, my plan was to be a back up dancer for Artists like Beyonce, Madonna, Missy Elliot, Britney Spears, etc. Then I wanted to be on TV shows like Glee and Old Navy Commercials and Films. My list was endless. I just wanted my talent to be recognized and would have no problem with fame! ☺ Being the motivated and unstoppable girl that I am, I hustled, I networked, I auditioned, I trained, etc. I did whatever I needed to do to get closer to my childhood plan. My determination, passion, training, and work ethic got me a lot. I soon found myself working with Celebrities like LeAnn Rimes, Rihanna, Christina Milian, etc. It was incredible however I still wanted more! I remember telling my sister that I booked this amazing show and her response was, “Why are you not more excited? This is outstanding news!” I responded, “I am happy however I want more!” She then said, “Oh gosh, I can’t wait to see what your reaction will be like when NYC Broadway calls you.” I then said, “Well Broadway would be an opportunity of a lifetime, however yes, I will want more after that too!” ☺ That is just my work ethic. It is called: Ilyse plans to climb her ladder to the moon and back again.

So as years went on living in LA, I started finding myself at auditions for fitness DVDs and fitness shows. I started booking a lot of work in the fitness industry working as back up talent. I was also teaching dance at the time and noticed that a lot of the dance fitness classes were missing something: ME! My career started shifting more into the Health and Fitness Industry and I loved it! I was blessed to meet and work with some amazing people who are now my best friends and mentors. Talk about climbing the ladder…these individuals are top of the top and I got to work with them.

At this point, I realized that my childhood plan was shifting a bit however my gut said, “GO WITH IT!” This was just another step up on my ladder. That was exactly what I did and WOW…I couldn’t be happier! I do what I love and love what I do EVERY single day of the week.

Life can do funny things to us sometimes and usually when you surround yourself with the right energy it always works out in a great way! Always trust your gut and stay positive. Keep your ears, eyes, and mind WIDE OPEN as you never know what you will hear, who you will see/meet, and what you can create. I say, “It is endless what “we” all can do and achieve!” Go for it all and #YoullThankMELater! It is ok if your childhood plan doesn’t work out the way you planned…remember that everything happens for a reason!

Now it is your turn…would you like to share your childhood plan? Did it turn out how you thought it would? Please feel free to comment below and share with your friends.

Xoxo,

ILYSE

2014: Only the Beginning, Only Just the Start

2014: Only the Beginning, Only Just the Start

I’m looking forward to a great 2014, both personally and for the people with whom I teach; and the best is yet to come!

My 2014 journey started out being interviewed by Tafiq Akhir, America’s Healthy Lifestyle Coach, on the Global Voice Broadcasting network.  Tafiq’s show is broadcast live Friday nights at 9PM EST / 6PM PST on www.globalvoicebroadcasting.com, focusing on fitness, nutrition and wellness support.

Tafiq is a jack-of-all trades and incredible at what he does.  We first met a couple months ago on a Qignition fitness shoot and hit it off right away.  I was incredibly honored, flattered and excited that Tafiq invited me to share my thoughts about business, fitness and health on his show for a complete hour!  We chatted about New Year’s resolutions (Tafiq calls them “goals”), nutrition, healthy eating, diets and much more and I was able to talk with a caller who has a couple of children and doesn’t have time to work out and share my ideas of how she could make exercise part of her daily routine.

Click below to WATCH and LISTEN:

“To Your Health and Fitness” – January 3, 2014 with Special Guest Dance and Fitness Expert, Ilyse Baker

From a business perspective we talked about the importance of fitness pros working together and never being negative about others, that some people like different pro’s energy and some people will like my energy and others will like someone else’s energy better, and that’s okay! We also talked about my “Dancinerate” DVD and digital downloads (you can get a discount on my Website by putting in the code “dance247”) and much, much more.  You know the old cliché “time flies when you’re having fun?” Tafiq and I had such a great time the hour flew by and we couldn’t believe that the show was over.

My interview with Tafiq was incredible; I’d like all my friends to ‘like,’ ‘follow’ and check out Tafiq on all his Social platforms and website:

http://tafiqsphysiques.com/

http://txthomefitness.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TafiqsPhysiques

https://twitter.com/TafiqsPhysiques

2014 is going to the next step in my journey that started with this interview, and I’ve been asked to do others over the next couple of months.  I’m incredibly excited about my DVD, the Weight Watchers DVD I created and look forward to helping people get fit and have fun in the New Year.

Until next time, I leave you with the following thought from Tafiq: “There is nothing to it, but to do it!” 

xoxo,

Ilyse