A Recipe That Boosts Your Metabolism

Photo by Salvatore Brancifort

Now that marathon season has arrived, you'll need a hearty meal to power you through your races.

This heart-healthy barley risotto recipe, from Jillian Michaels' The Master Your Metabolism Cookbook, is made from all-natural ingredients including pearled barley, asparagus, mint leaves and lemon for a healthy boost of energy.


Fitness expert Jillian Michaels, perhaps best known as the hard-hitting personal trainer on NBC's reality series The Biggest Loser, has made a career out of transforming the lives of others. In her most recent endeavor, Losing It With Jillian, a reality series she executive produces and stars in, Michaels, 36, moves in with families across the country to address the physical, mental and emotional factors preventing them from leading healthy lives.

She hopes viewers will become inspired to make positive changes in their lives through watching her show. "I would love for people to realize that no matter how bad things have gotten, it's never too late to live your dreams and improve your health and happiness," says Michaels, who knows this is true from personal experience. Overweight as a child (she reached 175 pounds at the age of 12), Michaels got involved in martial arts to lose weight--a decision that would change her life and eventually open the door to her current successes.

Although Michaels is known for using a tough-love approach on The Biggest Loser, she admits this method isn't for everyone. "I only use the tough-love tactics when all else has failed," she admits. "Often, I'm dealing with life or death stakes and massive time constraints, so I am forced to create a breakthrough as quickly and intensely as possible.

The truth is that each person is different and requires a different approach to motivation." For that reason, it is important to know what will motivate you when setting personal goals like losing weight or training for a marathon

Throughout her experiences, Michaels says she notices similar nutrition faux pas among her clients. "People don't count their calories, and they still haven 't gotten the message about removing processed foods," she says. "Get rid of all trans fats, MSG, HFC and artificial sweeteners immediately."

Along with one of her Losing It families, Michaels recently participated in her first 5k. She doesn't know her actual time because she was keeping pace with one of the contestants. "I'm actually a terrible runner, but with that said, I do it more than any other form of exercise," Michaels says. "It's wonderful for building a lean, mean, cardiovascular-conditioned body."

With a fitness empire that includes reality shows, books, workout DVDs and even a Nintendo Wii video game, Michaels has seemingly conquered the world. What's still left on her list? "I'm terrified of running a marathon," she says. "And for that reason, it's something I'd love to tackle by 40."

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