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Cook's Corner

  • Juice shop owners have big dreams
    Dani McGuire and Julia Haller are excited about Friday. The two will celebrate the grand opening of their business, Jai Juice and Cafe, of which they are co-founders. It’s located at 1301 Lafayette St.
  • Juice shop owners have big dreams
    Dani McGuire and Julia Haller are excited about Friday. The two will celebrate the grand opening of their business, Jai Juice and Cafe, of which they are co-founders. It’s located at 1301 Lafayette St.
  • Baker feeds customers, family from the oven
    Krysta Young of Fort Wayne has been baking cakes out of her home for a while.
I still want to learn …
A. how to make more Thai and Indian food at home.
I can’t wait to …
A. I’m a foodie, so eat dinner tonight.
Holt’s Cannelloni Bean Salad has tomatoes, peppers and onion.

Wellness coach pushes healthy foods

Photos by Diana Parker | The Journal Gazette
Personal trainer and wellness coach Pam Holt looks for fresh ingredients when cooking.

During her late teens and early 20s, Pam Holt, 57, had two motivating factors which caused her to become interested in health.

The first one was right out of high school and the second was the result of an accident involving a family member.

“When I first lived on my own, I just graduated from high school and didn’t have a car. I worked downtown and I was living on the corner of South Harrison and Creighton Ave. At that time I made my own clothes. I noticed that my pants were getting bigger. It was from walking,” says the New Haven resident adding, “When I was 20, my younger brother was in an accident and he became a quadriplegic. I went outside the old Lutheran Hospital on Fairfield (to walk) and said, ‘I will forever walk for you.’ I still get emotional over this.”

Soon Holt decided to take up dance classes and to teach.

“I started to teach dance aerobics, with the leg warmers,” she says smiling.

Along with exercising, Holt said she also noticed how important eating healthy was to her well-being.

Since 1984, Holt has run her own business, One-to-One Personal Training and Wellness Coaching ( Many of her clients are referrals from TherapyOne, part of Ortho NorthEast.

“I do corrective exercises for people who have pain and discomfort in their body. I also do high-end traditional training. I have to keep up on the research and science from mind-body work to nutrition to the latest strengthening. All of that is constantly evolving,” Holt says.

She continues, “I program for all the diseases. I paint a big picture for people and show them ‘this is where you want to be.’ Then I select with what we start with. It has to make sense for them personally.”

Asked about the challenges she faces with this type of employment and Holt says it’s totally about challenges.

She explains, “Food plays into this big time. All the amazing things we’ve learned about food and how it affects our body. I do not put together specific diets for people. Sometimes people need to drink more water or eat healthier foods.”

“Wellness coaching is a form of behavioral changing. It’s about assisting a person. It empowers people. It’s not my job to tell them (the clients) what to do. I will ask permission to make a suggestion. To lead them as a guide to find their own answer. My mission is to help people be happier.”

Q. What’s your favorite cookbook?

A. I like “Better Homes & Gardens Fast and Friendly Family Dinners,” also “Cook’s Encyclopedia 30-Minute Cooking” and “Cookery Classics.” I buy cookbooks with clients in mind. I’m really about eating fresh whole food. Organic when you can. My daughter Kelly and I do the farmers markets. I want to know where my food is being grown.

Q. What’s something people would not find in your refrigerator?

A. I don’t have a lot of processed stuff. Everything moves through the refrigerator. It’s fresh stuff. It’s perishable. It doesn’t sit on the shelf very long.

Q. What vegetable do you eat most often?

A. I eat a lot of broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes. All kinds of greens.

Q. If you were stuck on an island, what one food would you have to have?

A. First thing that came into my mind was Mexican food. The second was Ben & Jerry’s (ice cream).

Cannelloni Bean Salad

1 (19-ounce) can cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup cubed tomatoes

1/2 cup diced green pepper

1/2 cup diced red onion

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

2 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, diced

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind, if desired

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine the beans, tomatoes, green pepper, onion, parsley and mozzarella. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, vinegar, garlic, lemon rind, thyme and black pepper. Pour over the salad and toss well. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Makes 4 servings.

Vegetarian Chili

2 cups tomato juice

1/2 cup bulgur

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes

1 (19-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

8 ounces firm tofu, cubed

In a one-quart saucepan over medium heat, bring the tomato juice to a boil. Stir in the bulgur. Fluff with a fork. Cover, remove from heat and set aside for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat sauté the onions, carrots and green pepper in the oil for about 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin and red pepper; cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes with their juice, beans and tofu. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the bulgur to the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Thai for Two

4 ounces uncooked linguini

1/2 cup plum sauce

1/2 cup low-fat chicken broth

1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar

2 teaspoons grated gingerroot

1 teaspoon reduced sodium soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 cup carrot, cut into thin strips

1 cup zucchini, cut into thin strips

1 cup red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

8 ounces uncooked jumbo shrimp, peeled

1/4 cup chopped green onions

Prepare linguini according to package directions. Drain well and keep warm. In a small bowl, combine plum sauce, chicken broth, vinegar, gingerroot, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Set aside. Spray a large, non-stick wok or skillet with non-stick spray. Add carrots, zucchini and red pepper. Cook over medium heat until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Stir often. Add shrimp, green onions and sauce. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook and stir until mixture is hot and bubbly and shrimp is cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add cooked linguini to wok or skillet and mix well. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

Quick Pita Pizzas

2 whole-wheat pita breads

5 tablespoons store-bought tomato sauce for pizza

3 1/2 ounces canned tuna in water, drained

Heaping 3 tablespoons corn kernels

3 1/2 ounces mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

Preheat the broiler, lightly sprinkle the pita breads with water and toast one side until piping hot and springy to the touch. Remove the broiler pan from the broiler, turn the pitas and spread them evenly with the tomato sauce, followed by the tuna and corn and finally the cheese slices. Return to the broiler and cook until the cheese is bubbling and melted. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

Cook’s Corner is a weekly feature. If you know of someone to be profiled, write to Cook’s Corner, The Journal Gazette, P.O. Box 88, Fort Wayne, IN 46801-0088; fax 461-8648 or email