Last Chance to Order Your Trading Cardio for Cosmos SWAG!

You have just two days left to purchase your “Trading Cardio for Cosmos” and “Never Miss a Monday” tees, tanks and totes!

img_1943We are accepting orders now through 12noon on Friday, April 29th at our

Trading Cardio for Cosmos Shopify Store

The tanks and tees were specially selected for their great quality, and everything is locally sourced from mom & pop businesses, which makes me feel like I’m supporting individuals, not corporations!

Your purchases also help support the web-hosting and content for Trading Cardio for Cosmos. This is a hobby for me, and I appreciate your purchases as they help me defray those out-of-pocket expenses!

Thanks so much for supporting Trading Cardio for Cosmos, and for being part of our community!

xoxo, Alexis

Twenty Questions with ILENE!

Each Tuesday we feature a different success story from the Trading Cardio for Cosmos community in a segment called “Twenty Questions With…” Young, young at heart, marathon runners and those who can’t exercise at all, vegetarians, pescatarians, working mommas, work-from-home professionals and retirees. We’re going to showcase them all, because when you read about someone like you succeeding, I think it gives you the confidence that you too can succeed!

Today I want to introduce to you Lifetime Weight Watcher member and new Weight Watcher employee Ilene. Ilene is a Simply Filling devotee, and she balances an active social life with a good dose of moderation and a realistic approach to her weight loss journey. She’s also incredibly positive and encouraging, and I definitely recommend finding her in the “Simple Cooking With Ilene & Friends” page on Facebook!

The Questions:
1. Give us the basics about you – your first name, age, region you live in, etc.
My name is Ilene. I’m 52 years young and I live in Forest Hills, NY.

2. When did you start your weight-loss journey? What was the “tipping point” that made you start?

ilene before
I started my weight loss journey September 2014 because I was so unhappy with my weight. I had gained 40 pounds when my mother died, and ate all my emotions. I couldn’t stand myself! I was so out of control with my eating. I was depressed and I became an addicted to food. I was a bottomless pit and always hungry.
The depression really made me become an introvert where I wouldn’t want to go out with friends, go to a party and even getting dressed deciding what to wear was stressful. I wanted to be happy again and knew I needed a change. I joined Weight Watchers as a meeting member and changed my attitude and life by practicing the Simply Filling Technique.

3. What is one piece of advice you wish you had known when you started out?
I am really lucky to have had Weight Watchers as my plan and very fortunate to have found certain Facebook groups that dedicated themselves to the Simply Filling lifestyle 24-7. But one piece of advice I have for others is to be consistent and never give up, as well as the importance of having a support network at all times.

4. How much weight have you lost? If you are done losing, and are on to maintaining? How long have you been maintaining your loss?

ilene now
I have lost 44 pounds! I’ve been maintaining for 5 months but have lost additional weight since reaching goal. I am finally at peace with my appearance!

5. How do you keep your motivation up?
Motivation comes in waves for me. When I am good, I am very, very good. And when I am bad, I fix it with the very next meal and remember why I started and how depressed I was! And I love clothing so that is a good motivator!

6. How do you handle cravings?
Cravings, for me, come when I over-indulge in sugar. I get back to basics and eat whole, non-processed foods and concentrate on lean protein. Simply Filling all the way!

7. What are your top three tips for success?
1. Consistency is key.
2. Focus on what you really want.
3. Remember your “WHYS and “HOW.”

8. Do you exercise? If so, how often, for how long and what type of exercises do you do?
I never liked formal exercise, but my Fitbit helps me move more! I do try to get in 10,000 steps every day.

9. What is your favorite breakfast?
My favorite breakfast is 1/2 a cup of egg whites with a cup of veggies and a tablespoon of FF ricotta cheese! Yum! Simply Filling and full-plate living!

10. What is your go-to lunch?
My go-to lunch is a mixed green salad with a can of tuna and colorful raw veggies! Easy peasy! I will on occasion have 5-6 pieces of sushi made with brown rice and a side salad.

11. What does a typical week night dinner look like? What about a weekend dinner?
I love fish for dinner! I love hamburgers for dinner! I use 96/4 ground beef and light sandwich thins to make a mile high skinny burger with lettuce and tomato!

ilene food2
My husband and I go out to dinner on the weekends and while I do try to make better choices, most of the time I practice portion control and split a meal, unless i know exactly what the point values are. There are 21 meals in a week, not including snacks, so I’ve found when I keep that in perspective, those one or two meals where we share can be appreciated without guilt.

ilene dinner
I may say no to bread with butter if I’m having a cocktail or planning to share dessert. Always making happy compromises! It’s a trade-off, but no deprivation!

12. What kind of snacks do you like?
I eat apples and berries, such as sliced strawberries or blueberries mostly. I also eat at least 2 fat-free dairy servings a day, which are either a Dannon Light & Fit Greek or Fage 0 yogurt. I also combine my fruit and yogurt to make a more textural treat! I find the protein I get from the yogurt in between meals helps keep the “hangries” away and keep me satiated until the next full meal rolls around.

13. What kind of desserts do you eat?
I love dessert! I usually have an individual container of plain greek yogurt that I mix with a level tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and one packet of splenda, roughly five nights a week. I call it chocolate “pudding” and I think it’s better than the full-fat version!

ilene dessert
Sometimes I layer the yogurt with some berries in a wine glass and top it with a shot of FF redi whip for good measure! I also enjoy 10-calorie lime Jell-o cups. On the weekends I will share one piece of cake or other dessert with my husband or when we go out with others, divided by 4.

14. What kind of adult beverages do you enjoy?
Tequila- no doubt about it! Two shots is ideal for me, but I will have a margarita if I’ve been on a low-carb menu for at least 5 days!

15. What is your favorite meal to eat in a restaurant?
I love a raw bar! Sitting at a great seafood restaurant and enjoying raw clams, cold lobster, chilled shrimp with a shot or two of tequila is pure heaven for me!

16. Do you have a favorite fast food/casual dining meal?
Once in a while my husband and I enjoy Outback Steakhouse. Their 6 ounce signature sirloin is a perfect size and I have it with a naked sweet potato and a side salad with no cheese and no croutons with blue cheese vinaigrette on the side. Yum!

17. Do you have a favorite weight loss blog/website/FB group that you visit for inspiration?
My favorite blog is “Trading Cardio for Cosmos” and I have my own Facebook page at “Simple Cooking With Ilene & Friends.”

18. Do you have a favorite website for healthy recipes?
I’m not a recipe person, but I do try to adapt classic versions of meals with fat-free chicken stock and lower-fat protein options, with no or low sugar.

19. Do you have a favorite quote, meme or thought that keeps you motivated?
Remember why you started! Don’t do it alone!

20. What’s one final thought you can share with someone who’s interested in losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight?.
For me, being a Weight Watchers meeting member has been instrumental in my weight loss and maintenance goals. I weigh in just about every week and never miss a meeting. The program and tools they provide are excellent for me and i enjoy the ease of use!

Ilene, thank you so much for sharing your journey with us! Have questions for Ilene? Share them in the comments below!

7 Meal Prep Hacks to Save Money & Lose Weight

You know I love my meal prep, and I really do consider it to be one of the top three habits that have helped me lose -115lbs!

Check out my column for Organize Yourself Skinny, where I share 7 meal prep “hacks” I use to save money and lose weight at the same time! 

7 Mea Prep Hacks to Save Money & Lose Weight!

Happy Birthday: Trading Cardio for Cosmos Turns 1!

Happy Birthday Trading Cardio for Cosmos Fam! 
I cannot believe it’s been one year since I started blogging about my weight loss journey! It feels like yesterday some days, and then others it feels like 1,000,000 years ago! 

I am so proud of what we’re building, friends. I started TCFC to give a voice and tell my weight loss story to prove you could do it while remaining positive, and that if you set your mind to it and truly follow through, you can change your life! 

  The community that has grown around that idea via this blog, Facebook and Instagram, is nothing short of spectacular TCFC is a safe place to share your stories, your successes and your struggles, and the support you provide me and each other is simply amazing! I couldn’t do this, and I wouldn’t want to be on my weight loss journey, without you guys!!

I am also super grateful to the folks at Weight Watchers and Organize Yourself Skinny, who have made me part of their families. And of course(!), I’m thankful for all the great help and recipe sharing I get from our friends at Emily Bites, SkinnyTaste and Simple Nourished Living!

Well, I think we’ll just keep on doing what we’re doing, and see what happens next! We’ll continue with our daily doses of humor, encouragement, recipes and inspiration, as well as: 

  • Twenty Questions Tuesdays
  • Recipe Roundups on Fridays
  • And my weekly column for Organize Yourself Skinny

We have a “me time” giveaway from Jamberry starting on Monday, May 2nd, and I’m planning a BIG giveaway when we break through 20,000 FB fans!

I’d love to add more features and do more, but as you can see, you guys, my day job and Mr. Big keep me pretty busy! Still, I’m not closing the idea of adding photo diaries and more live classes as my schedule allows!


Online classes via Periscope are coming (FINALLY)! 

Trading Cardio for Cosmos 101 is an introduction to my Top Ten Weight Loss Tips, as told through my weight loss journey. I’ll also be sharing all about:

-My advice for how to “Spring” into Fitness

-Food finds and menu planning help

-And how you can improve your emotional wellness in just 2 words!

The class is 1.5 hours in length, and is only available through Periscope, which you can use via a desktop or as an app you download to your phone or tablet. 

There are two sessions being offered, and you can pick which session works best for your schedule:

  • Sunday, May 8th at 7pm EST
  • Wednesday, May 11th at 7pm EST 

Registration is $20 per person, and you will receive an email with the Periscope directions and log-in info the morning of May 8th. As a BONUS, you will also receive a Trading Cardio for Cosmos tote bag mailed to you to keep all your weight loss info in one place! 

  Registration for the classes goes live on Saturday, April 30th at 8am at our Shopify storefront


In honor of our first anniversary, we’re also selling Trading Cardio for Cosmos swag for one more week, through 12noon on Friday, April 29th! These tanks and tees are super soft, great quality and come from a local supplier, so we’re supporting a Mom & Pop shop, not a giant retailer. Your purchases also help support the web hosting for Trading Cardio for Cosmos, which is my hobby and *not* something I profit from. 

You can order your tanks and tees at our Shopify storefront

Thank you so much for being here, for being part of the community and for giving me the encouragement, support and love that enables this blog, and my own weight loss journey! Love you guys!! xoxo


10 Ways to Eat Healthy Through Social Situations

Check out my weekly column for Organize Yourself Skinny!



Between work events and our friends & family, I eat out a lot during social events and had to find ways to enjoy myself without going overboard. So this week’s column is: “Ten Ways To Eat Healthy Through Social Situations!


Having company to your home? You can also check out my “28 Super Appetizer Recipes (With Their SmartPoints)!