October Client Spotlight: Molly Efland

Fall is such a great time to witness the changes in nature, and make some changes to your own life. This month I wanted to spotlight a client who has made some amazing changes to her own life, in turn helping her husband become healthier too. Molly has lost over 15 pounds in less than 9 months due to her new healthy habits! Congratulations Molly Efland- you've done an amazing job of adding exercise into your daily activities and planning nutritious meals. I know you'll continue to inspire others, just as you have inspired me this past year!


In her own words...

I started working out at TransFit last February. I retired from full-time teaching two years ago and I wanted to devote more time to regular exercise and healthier eating.  After I reached the age of 55, I kept gaining small amounts of weight and those small amount where adding up. I had that stomach bump that comes with a certain age and extra weight here and there. My body was changing and I really didn’t like that.  I didn’t have as much energy as I thought I should either. I’ve always been an active person, but I wasn’t seeing or feeling the changes I wanted working on my own. I needed someone to guide and challenge me to change my body.  Caroline is just the person for that!

I enjoy exercising because of the way I feel when I’m finished. Even though I often feel like a limp noodle when I’m done I am much more alert and have more energy for the rest of the day. When I started working out at TransFit we set some goals and I worked hard to meet those.  As I saw my body changing, I was more motivated to keep on going. I have become more comfortable doing strength exercising on my own and now schedule periods of working out rather than finding time to ‘squeeze it in if I can’. That is one of the most important things I’ve learned over the past few months. I have to make a commitment to working out and follow through! I swim 2-3 days per week and attend yoga classes 2 days as well. I walk just about every day and do strength exercises on my own 2 days.  I used to say many excuses to not exercise such as not having a good place in our home, not enough time, I’ll get to it tomorrow, I don’t have the proper weights, etc.  Now I just make it happen by scheduling it into my day.

My eating habits have changed as well. My husband and I have been pretty healthy eaters, but we needed to make some changes. Instead of putting stir- fry veggies on pasta or rice, we’ve just been eating them on their own. Now we have pasta every now and again as a nice treat. I’ve become addicted to quinoa and have some form of quinoa salad for lunch just about every day. Spaghetti squash has become another favorite of mine as well. Even my husband enjoys it! I read labels now on just about everything I buy at the grocery store. It’s amazing to see the difference in sugar and fat content of similar items. I had not been consistent at planning meals for the week before, but I now see the benefits of that. I’ve also learned about eating healthier snacks and planning those. When I started at TransFit, I wrote in my food journal, and part of the journal had a section for snacks. I hadn’t really carried a snack around with me, but now that I do I eat less at each meal because I’m not as hungry. I also have more energy to keep going through the day. Being organized with meal planning (and snacks) has made life easier and more efficient.

I feel more energized and happy since working out consistently and changing my eating habits. Maybe it sounds crazy, but I think that my brain is working better. I work as a consultant now and love the challenge that brings to my day. I think I am a better problem solver than I was before and along with suggestions on teaching practices, I find myself giving advice about taking care of yourself to the people at work.

One of my favorite new recipes is Greek Turkey Burgers.

Photo By: Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Greek Turkey Burgers


  • 16 ounces 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Cooking spray

Tip: Overworking the mixture can result in tough burgers.


  1. Mix all ingredients until just combined.
  2. Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Divide the meat mixture into 4 round balls. Flatten the burgers with your hand and press your thumb in the center of each burger (this keeps the meat from rising too high as it cooks).
  3. Cook the burgers 5-6 minutes per side, flipping once, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Hope you enjoy Molly's favorite turkey burgers! Try putting a burger on a whole wheat bun with avocado on a bed of leafy greens for a healthier option!



Farro with Feta Cucumbers & Sundried Tomatoes


This salad combines farro with Mediterranean ingredients such as cucumbers, lemon juice, feta and mint for a delicious salad you can enjoy as a side dish, or even for lunch! This would be perfect to bring to a potluck or BBQ this Memorial Day weekend!

I'm in love with farro these days and I have been having so much fun cooking with it lately. Farro is an ancient Italian grain that has been rediscovered and is becoming quite popular in the US and throughout Europe. It's a great source of fiber, protein and iron, with a nutty flavor and chewy texture. It's wonderful in salads, side dishes and even soups. The pearled variety is as easy to cook as boiling pasta, takes only about 15-20 minutes.

Here in New York I can easily find farro in any natural foods market but I realize some of you may not be as lucky, so if you can't find farro where you live you could use barley, quinoa, whole wheat couscous or even whole grain elbow macaroni in it's place. If farro is available near you, I highly encourage you to try it!!

Farro with Feta, Cucumbers and Sun-dried Tomatoes

4 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
241 • Fat: 6.5 g • Protein: 9.1 g • Carb: 39.1 g • Fiber: 5.8 g • Sugar: 1.9 g
177.3 mg (without salt)


  • 1 cup uncooked pearled farro
  • 2 tbsp minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup minced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated feta
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped cucumber, seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint or parsley
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

    Cook farro in salted water according to package directions until al dente, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Find this recipe and many delicious others at Gina's Skinny Recipes!