Tips for Healthy Living

Try It Tuesday

Hello Y Community,

Welcome back from a glorious long weekend.  I hope you are all well rested and had a little fun over the holiday. Time to step up, seize the day with a positive attitude and tackle this Tuesday with some gusto. You may not know what is going to happen when you try, but if you do not try, nothing will happen.

“Store your distraction and feed your focus”.

Enjoy your Tuesday to the fullest,

Workout of the Day

5:30 Virtual Live All Levels Yoga with Vibha. Email Carrie for details. 

Recipe of the Day

Ground Beef Taco Casserole

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for the baking dish
1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
15 ounces tomato salsa
1 1/2 cups shredded mild cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
1 medium tomato, diced
Greek yogurt or sour cream, for serving

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350℉. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with oil; set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the beef and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a plate, then drain any fat from the skillet.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, and heat until shimmering. Add the onion, pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Return the beef to the pan and stir in the beans. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the salsa and 3/4 cup of the cheese. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup cheese.

Bake until the cheese is melted and casserole is heated through, about 20 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Top with lettuce and tomato, and serve with Greek yogurt or sour cream.

Posted 5/26/2020

Memorial Day

Dear Y community:

Traditionally Memorial Day signifies the kick off of the summer season with family barbecues, picnics and gatherings. Let us not forget the reason for today. Memorial Day, which is formally known as Decoration Day, which commemorates all the men and woman who have died in military service for the United States. Be sure and take a moment out of your day to honor all the brave and selfless individuals who have given so much to fight for our freedom, our beliefs and our independence.

The Meriden-New Britain-Berlin YMCA thanks those in uniform who have served in the past, we honor you today and every day.

“United we stand, divided we fall.”

Thank you for your service,

Workout of the Day

DYNAMIC WARM-UP - 30 seconds each

  • Jumping Jack
  • Right/Left Leg Swing (front/back)
  • Arm Circles
  • Butt Kick
  • Squat (make sure your feet are hip apart)

KILLER BOOTY - 20 second each (3-4 x)

  • Lung (Right/Legs)
  • Squat/Jump Squat
  • Bridge abductions (place bands on your knees for resistance)
  • Slow Squat (Sumo Squat optional)

UPPER BODY – 10-12 reps (3-4 Sets)

NO dumbbell NO problem – use water bottle or can

  • Front Raises (Right arm)
  • Chest Flyes (use water bottle or cans)
  • Front Raises (Left arms)
  • Chest Press 
  • Front Raises (Right/Left arm)

Recipe of the Day





  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • ½ cup sweetener - powdered erythritol sweetener
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt


  • ½ cup almond flower
  • 1 tbsp sweetener - powdered erythritol sweetener
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp butter - melted


  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease a 6 cup muffin tin, or prepare with paper cupcake liners.
  • Make the crust: Combine almond flour, sweetener, cinnamon and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir well to break up any lumps in the almond flour.
  • Add the melted butter to the dry ingredients, and stir to combine. Using your fingertips, press down flat into the bottom of the muffin tin.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes, until just beginning to brown. Remove, and let cool at least 10 minutes while you make the batter.
  • Make the cheesecake batter: In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Add the sweetener, egg, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir together until well combined.
  • Pour the cheesecake batter on top of the crusts. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Check the cheesecakes for doneness, removing when the center of the cheesecakes still jiggles a bit when you tap the side of the pan.
  • Remove from the oven.  Let cool on the counter for 30 minutes, then cover and chill in the refrigerator.

Posted 5/25/2020

Sweet Sunday

Dear Y family:

Welcome to Sweet Sunday.

If you had to choose between being kind and being right, choose kind because you will always be right. Sundays are awesome because they give us a chance to refuel our exhausted souls with new hopes and new dreams for a new week ahead. May this Sunday bring all things good and sweet to your life.

Wishing you all sweet Sunday blessings,

Workout of the Day

We have two workouts for you to choose from today:

Recipe of the Day

Fresh Strawberry Crisp

5 heaping cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup all Purpose flour
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a deep dish pie plate or large baking dish with butter or cooking spray and set aside. Combine chopped strawberries and sugar in large bowl and mix until strawberries fully absorb the sugar. Add in cornstarch and vanilla and stir until all of the strawberries are evenly coated. Pour into prepared baking dish. In a separate medium sized bowl combine flour, oats, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt and cinnamon then pour in melted butter and stir well until crumbly. Sprinkle crumb mixture over top of strawberries. Bake for 35-40 minutes until fruit is bubbly and topping has browned. Cool slightly before serving. Top with a whipped topping or vanilla ice cream (optional). Happy sweet Sunday!

Posted 5/24/2020

Sensational Saturday

Dear Y community:

Treat this beautiful extended holiday weekend like a much needed and deserved mini vacation. Dust off that lawn and patio furniture, power wash that deck and create that outdoor oasis you enjoy so much on beautiful sunny days. Create a fun outdoor game and play area for the kiddos with corn hole, croquet, volleyball or whatever it is your family enjoys doing, but get out and enjoy! The sun is beginning to set later and later each night extending our days and giving us that summer feeling we all crave. Let the weekend therapy begin.

“Better days are coming - they are called Sunday and no work Monday.”

Wishing you a peaceful day,

Workout of the Day

Choose your workout:

Recipe of the Day

Grilled Hawaiian Foil Packets

*4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
*1 cup BBQ Sauce of choice (recommend Sweet Baby Rays)
*1 15ounce can pineapple slices (drain but save juice)
*2 tsp. soy sauce
*1 tsp. chopped garlic
*1 medium bell pepper chopped
*2 medium zucchini sliced
* ½ cup diced green onion to garnish
*heavy duty aluminum foil

Preheat grill to medium heat. Cut 4 pieces of foil big enough for chicken and veggie packets. Place chicken in center of each foil and equally divide the veggies adding 2-3 pineapple slices in each packet. In large bowl mix BBQ sauce, juice from canned pineapple, soy sauce and garlic. Spread 2 tablespoons of mixture on each packet making sure to reserve ¼ cup. Place packets on the grill for 13-15 minutes, flipping after 7 minutes. Once cooked remove from grill and baste with remaining marinade and garnish with green onions. Super easy, super delicious and healthy!

Posted 5/23/2020

Fantastic Friday

Greetings Y community:

It’s finally arrived and there's one legit way to describe how it feels to reach Friday - Boom Shakalaka! For most of us a Friday holds the anticipation of what a weekend has in store especially an extended holiday weekend. Put this past week behind you and just keep shining and smiling and the rest will fall into place.

Have a fantastic Friday,

Workout of the Day

Friday's workout of the day is from Agnes.


  • Hip Circles (Right/Left Side) 15 reps each leg
  • Arm circles - 30 sec
  • Lung (Right/Left Leg) - 15 reps each leg
  • Run in place - 30 sec

FULL BODY WORKOUT - 30 second each (3-4 x)

ROUND I - Upper Body (use bottled water to replace dumbbells)

  • Hammer curls
  • Mountain Clumbers
  • Shoulder press
  • Seated Side Raises
  • Shoulder taps

ROUND II - Legs & Glutes  

  • Wall sit - tap out
  • Wall sit - leg extensions
  • Wall sit - calf raises
  • Wall sit - seated crunches

ROUND II - Core   

  • Leg pull-ins
  • Squat/oblique crunch
  • Rising flutter kicks
  • Butterfly crunches

Recipe of the Day

Today's recipe of the day is from Agnes

Crispy Baked Zucchini Fries 


  • 2 medium Zucchini
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper (optional)


Preheat the oven to 425F. Line and lightly grease a baking sheet. (Parchment paper works best, but foil might be okay if you grease it very well.)

Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise 4 times (to make eight long sticks from each squash). Then cut the sticks once crosswise, making 16 sticks from each squash, approximately 4 in (10 cm) long and 1/2 in. (1 cm) thick.

Prepare two shallow bowls - one with beaten egg and one with a mixture of grated parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and black pepper. Dip each squash stick in the egg, shake off the excess, then press into the parmesan mixture, coating all sides. (Use one hand for the egg and the other for the parmesan, to avoid getting too much egg in the parmesan which will make it clumpy.) Place on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer without touching.

Bake for about 20 minutes flipping the fries and rotating the pan halfway through, until fairly dark golden.

Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, until darker golden and crispy.

(You can use Air Fryer instead of the over if you have one)

Posted 5/22/2020

Happy Thursday

Happy Thursday Y Family:

Think big, believe big, act big and the results will be big. If you cannot find inspiration today be an inspiration.

Wishing you a happy and joyful day,

Workout of the Day

  • 10:00 AM Pilates with Sharlene
  • 5:30 PM PILOXING® with Annie O
  • Email Carrie for live class details.

Recipe of the Day

Mediterranean Stuffed Tomatoes

Makes 4 servings

A ripe tomato is good by itself, but adding a little fresh basil and feta cheese makes it amazing.

4 medium ripe tomatoes
1 cup cooked brown rice or quinoa
1/2 cup no-salt-added canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup torn fresh basil leaves
1 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Cut the tops off the tomatoes and discard. Carefully scoop out the tomato pulp, leaving the shells intact and reserving 1/2 cup of the pulp. Finely chop the reserved pulp. Place the tomato shells in a small square baking dish. Combine the chopped tomato pulp, rice, beans, basil, feta, oil, pepper, and salt in a large bowl. Divide the mixture evenly among the tomato shells. Bake until thoroughly heated, about 12 minutes.

Posted 5/21/2020

Walk It Out Wednesday

Dear Y community:

Your wellness challenge for today is 10,000 steps. Get up, get out or hop on that treadmill and walk it out! I can’t stress enough the overwhelming benefits walking has on our bodies both physically and mentally. If you were to get all 10,000 steps in during one walk it would take you about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes, depending on how briskly you walk. The distance is five miles and will have you burning between 400 to 500 calories. If time is a factor, try starting with a brisk thirty minute walk then spend your day moving about to make up the difference in steps until you reach the 10,000 mark. The results will amaze you and the feeling of accomplishment is priceless.

“If we are facing the right direction all we have to do is keep on walking”.

Have a wonderful Wednesday,

Workout of the Day

Get your steps in by walking and working out. Here are three great live classes to choose from:

  • 6:00 AM Total Body Conditioning with Annie O 
  • 6:30 pm Yoga with Lynn
  • 6:30 PM ZUMBA® with Gia
  • Email Carrie for meeting info

Recipe of the Day

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup onion diced finely
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 lb. ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 mozzarella cheese strings


  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce 
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter melted
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Cook onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until softened. Cool completely. Mix all meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl just until combined.

Place 2/3 of the mixture on the loaf pan and form into an 8"x4" square. Make a small indent in the middle and add cheese. Top with remaining meat mixture and form a loaf sealing cheese in. Top with marinara sauce and bake 45 minutes. Combine bread crumbs, butter, parmesan cheese and parsley. Top meatloaf with mozzarella and bread crumb topping. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until the center of the loaf reaches 165°F. Cool 10 minutes before slicing.



Posted 5/20/2020

Terrific Tuesday

Totally Tuesday

Dear Y community:

Ever wake up and think, “Wow it’s been a long week”, only to realize it’s just Tuesday? It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and a bit exasperated, especially if you are living in a full house and or juggling many tasks and wearing many hats. Stop for a moment, step away from what you are doing and give yourself a little reprieve. Find a quiet spot, close your eyes take several deep cleansing breaths and regain your focus. Give yourself a couple minutes of peace and quiet to regroup and take on what needs to be done. After all we are only human and everyone reaches that breaking point at one time or another. Take good care of yourself so you can be all you need to be for those around you.

“You cannot make everyone happy, you are not coffee”.

Have a totally terrific Tuesday,

Workout of the Day

Here are two workouts to choose from:

Recipes of the Day

Cappuccino Cooler (serves 4)

1 ½ cups cold coffee
1 ½ cups chocolate ice cream
¼ cup chocolate syrup
crushed ice
1 cup whipped topping

Blend coffee, ice cream, chocolate syrup in blender. Pour over crushed ice top off with a dollop of whipped cream.

Looking for a lighter version of a coffee treat? Check out these Healthy Coffee Drinks.

Posted 5/19/2020

Magical Monday

Dear Y community:

Where there is kindness there is goodness and where there is goodness there is magic and sometimes we all need a little magic in our lives. I find myself humbled on a daily basis at all the amazing, selfless acts of kindness and giving that surrounds us during these trying and uncertain times. Whole communities and organizations and small businesses working together to help one another in so many different ways. Sharing resources, ideas, offering comfort and assistance help many people all over.

On behalf of the Meriden-New Britain-Berlin YMCA, we couldn’t be more proud of our organization to continue to be a resource to our members and our communities. Remember, stars cannot shine without darkness.

Make today magical,

Workout of the Day

6:30 PM ZUMBA® with Gia

Email Carrie for meeting info.

Recipe of the Day

Indoor S’mores

Bring the s’mores indoors with this yummy S’mores Dip recipe.


*8 oz. cream cheese
*1 cup powdered sugar
*1 cup fudge sauce
*7 1/2 oz. marshmallow fluff
*1 tsp. vanilla
* graham cracker sticks for dipping
* mini chocolate chips and mini marshmallows for topping

Directions: In large bowl blend together with a hand mixer the cream cheese, powdered sugar, fudge sauce, marshmallow fluff and vanilla. Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and mini marshmallows and serve with graham cracker sticks. Enjoy!

Posted 5/18/2020

Affirmation Sunday

Dear Y community: 

All things seem possible in May.

MAY you be happy.
MAY you be well.
MAY you be safe.
MAY you find comfort.
MAY you have strength.
MAY you have courage.
MAY you find healing.
MAY you have peace.
MAY you have joy.
MAY you be filled with kindness.
MAY you be blessed.

Face today with a positive attitude,

May you have a blessed day,

Workout of the Day

Breathe of Joy Yoga with Sue

Recipe of the Day

Slow Cooker Lasagne

1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground Italian sausage (I use hot)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, chopped*
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 Tablespoons dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauces
6 oz. can tomato paste
29 oz. tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups water
8 oz. lasagna noodles, uncooked
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

In a large skillet over medium heat brown the ground beef, Italian sausage and onion. Add salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, tomato sauce, sugar, and water. Stir and simmer 15-20 minutes. (You could make the sauce in advance.) Spread a fourth of the meat sauce into the bottom of your slow cooker. Arrange a third of the noodles over the sauce (break the noodles to fit, if necessary). Combine the mozzarella, ricotta cheese and parmesan cheese; spoon a third of the mixture over noodles. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining meat sauce and sprinkle with extra mozzarella cheese, if desired. Cover and cook on low for about 4-5 hours or until noodles are tender. Serve with a garden salad. Mangia!

Posted 5/17/2020

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