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Ask A Tampa Bay Expert: Best Workout Recipes

As a New Year's resolution or in preparation for swimsuit season, many of us want to attain our ideal level of fitness. However, exercise only accounts for half of the equation. For the other half, the fuel portion, we asked four leading local experts in the field of fitness for their favorite recipes. While their backgrounds range from a personal chef to personal trainers and an up-and-coming blog writer, each was happy to provide quick, easy and healthy meal and snack ideas to help us prepare for a workout, or to recharge after it's complete. These low-fat and protein-filled ideas will help you reach your fitness goals, hopefully before you get invited to the first pool party of the season.

Chef Eileen Morris
Personal Chef Tampa Bay
APPCA, AllerTrain Certified
P.O. Box 82
Crystal Beach, FL 34681-0082
(727) 787-3663

While originally from New Jersey, personal chef Eileen Morris has called Tampa Bay home for nearly 35 years. An avid fan of cooking since an early age, she decided to venture into the industry professionally in 1995. With an education from the elite culinary arts school of Johnson and Wales and other adventures around the world under her belt, Eileen promises to integrate her past experiences to create and deliver both healthy and delicious meals. She is happy to work with each person individually to customize her meals to the client's needs, schedule and price specifications. Her personal philosophies of "eat well, live well" and "life is too short to tolerate bad food, bad wine or bad people" resonate as appropriate for this era of shift from quantity to quality.

Power Shake - A healthy, high protein shake, perfect for before or after a workout.

  • 4 ounces yogurt with fruit, nonfat, artificial sweetener
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup skim milk, juice can work as a substitute
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 4 Tbsp whey powder
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 Tbsp psyllium husk
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp wheat bran or wheat germ


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend.
  2. Drink immediately for optimum nutritional content.

Power Anti-Ache Snack - This simple mix of healthy ingredients helps to prevent and allieviate aches in the joints and muscles after a workout.

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and lightly salted
  • 1/2 cup dried, tart cherries
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet or dark chocolate chips


  1. Place ingredients in a zipper bag and close.
  2. Shake to combine and enjoy.

Related: Best Chefs Heating Up The Tampa Bay Culinary Scene

Julie Zammito
Personal Trainer, Total Body Results
815 Gulf Blvd., Suite #2
Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785
(Note: Corporate address, see website for boot camp locations)
(727) 709-3854

A personal trainer for more than a decade, Julia Zammito says she was passionate about health and fitness from an early age. Her parents raised her on an organic diet, where processed sugars weren't permitted. Working in gyms since her teen years, this fitness fanatic loves sharing her knowledge and techniques with clients and friends alike. She considers herself on a mission "to help others achieve their maximum fitness goals." Together with her colleague Danielle, a certified physical instructor, she runs Total Body Results and the Pinellas Boot Camps. For this article, Julia wanted to remind readers that the body requires snacks to fuel itself, especially during intense workout periods. She believes that eating frequently, even once every few hours, will keep the metabolism active and prevent a drop in blood sugar. In addition to the two recipes below, Julia shared her easy banana roll-up recipe: spread all-natural peanut butter on a whole wheat tortilla, place a banana in the center, (optional: drizzle with honey and/or almond slivers) and roll. This works as an excellent pre- or post-workout snack for an immediate, vitamin-rich energy boost.

Greens Shake -

Julia says, "I drink 32 ounces of green smoothie every morning and I can't tell you what it does for me. I'm stronger, my body is running cleaner, whiter teeth, clearer skin and even better vision. They are delicious."

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup mango (organic, fresh or frozen)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1-3 cups spinach


  1. Blend well.
  2. Add additional water if needed.

Turkey Meatloaf -

A healthy take on the classic American dish, in this meatloaf Julie replaces ground meat (usually heavy in fat) with lean ground turkey. In addition, rolled oats as a substitute for white bread crumbs adds fiber, and a "rainbow of veggies" doesn't disturb the moistness or flavor of the original version. Julia explains, "This is one of my favorite dinners and tastes great as a leftover."

  • 1/2 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup oats


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Put all ingredients in a medium boil and combine.
  3. Mold into a loaf shape and place in the middle of an 8 x 8 square pan.
  4. Bake for 1 hour or until cooked through.

John Kent
Personal Trainer, North Pinellas Adventure Boot Camp for Women

3377 Covered Bridge Drive W.
Dunedin, FL 34698
(727) 420-8139

John Kent started off his fitness career as a stage performer, which required constant physical conditioning and endurance. A fan of exercise, he sought personal training certification and was inspired by a boot camp in Southern California. Thus, John's Adventure Boot Camp was born, a place where women could gather for "a fun-filled hour of activity and movement... to achieve your fitness and weight loss goals." As far as personal philosophy, John thinks exercise should not be laborious, repetitive or boring. It should be filled with excitement and intensity to maximize benefits for the body by creating a "metabolic disturbance."

Chicken, Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Pizza - 

For a great post-workout repair meal, John recommends this pizza.

  • 6 ounces cooked boneless skinless chicken breast (cut into 1/2-inch strips)
  • Sea salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 whole wheat tortilla
  • 3 Tbsp pizza sauce
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (thin sliced and not soaked in oil)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (aged white cheddar or Mozzarella)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub chicken breast lightly with olive oil and season chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and place chicken breast in pan.
  3. Cover pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes for each pound of chicken you are cooking.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly coat baking sheet with spray and place the tortilla on the tray.
  5. Spread the pizza sauce evenly around the shell leaving the outside inch free for the crust.
  6. Layer spinach, chicken and sun-dried tomatoes on top.
  7. Top with cheese and bake until the cheese is melted and the shell is lightly toasted (about 10 minutes).

Mary Baum
Personal Trainer (NASM certified)
Runner and Blogger, Food and Fun on the Run

A native of Tampa, Mary first tried out running in high school as a way to stay fit for other sports and she hasn't stopped since. In fact, her love of the sport encouraged her to pursue NASM certification last year. She has competed in more than six marathons so far, including the famous Boston Marathon in 2011. In addition, Mary started blogging about fitness and running as a way to share her experiences with fellow fitness enthusiasts. Already profiled in Fitness Magazine as an up-and-coming blogger, she admits her guilty pleasure is chicken fingers and french fries with a side of honey mustard. To her, "attitude is everything," and we can create any reality we set out to achieve. All that matters is that we try.

Peanut Butter and Coffee Protein Smoothie - For spring and summer, Mary wanted to share a refreshing drink ideal for breakfast or post-workout. What started out as some leftover coffee ended up a delicious and energizing treat. Mary adds that for a thicker consistency, you can reduce the milk to 1/4 cup.

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk of your choice
  • 1/4 cup coffee
  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
  • 2 Tbsp of peanut butter
  • 1 large handful of ice
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon


  1. All you have to do is blend it together, and then you have a nice smoothie to perk up your day.

Related: Nutritionist Reveals Best Fatigue Fighting Foods

Head to CBS Tampa's Best Of pages for more local tips on family fun, shopping, nightlife, food, culture and more!

Aaron Phillips has experience in marketing and journalism. Recently back to his hometown, he's excited to discover and share what Tampa has to offer. His work can be found at

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