Thermador's Ali Cafferty has found a new healthy balance in her life. Cooking her food in Thermador's new steam oven might have something to do with it.

It’s never too late to start getting healthy!  This has been my mantra since September 2009 when I made a New Year’s resolution to myself to get started.  (I don’t believe resolutions have to be set or begin on January 1 — that’s too much pressure all for one day!)

I’m a 40-year-old working, traveling and professional mom of two kids.  (That’s me in the photo on a train ride with my 2-year-old son at a birthday party this summer.)  For me, getting healthy is two-fold:  eating good foods and exercising (and it didn’t hurt that my husband joined the “mission” with me!)

My exercise consists of 30-minute workouts during lunch break at the local gym (cardio and weights) plus in the evenings after the kids are tucked in bed, I select one of the workouts on my TurboJam DVD (highly recommend this dvd).  My husband has been lucky enough to have lost 18 pounds on our home elliptical trainer!  We don’t exercise every day, but at least four days a week.

Eating healthy is always a challenge when the kids could eat frozen cheese pizzas, chicken strips, or peanut butter sandwiches every day of the week!  And making two separate meals every night (one for them and one for my husband and I) gets old after a while. With two picky eaters in the house, it can seem impossible to prepare a healthy, quick meal the whole family will eat. But with a little help and advice from friends, it became as easy as one, two, three!

1)      Any recipe with quinoa — this is a seed which is high in protein, iron and fiber. I buy it in bulk online to save some money. This is a great side dish replacement for potatoes, pasta or rice and my whole family loves it.

2)      Salmon filets with broccoli or baby spinach. It was a happy day in my house when my daughter started eating spinach salad! Even if you’re not a big fan of salmon, you must try this recipe — it’s converted many of my friends!

Salmon filets:  marinate for 2 to 6 hours in equal parts Worchester sauce, soy sauce and two parts Italian dressing (such as Wishbone Zesty Italian).  Sprinkle generously with Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning (this is the secret ingredient — don’t leave it out).  Grill over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes on a side.

3)      Cooking with Thermador’s new steam oven: This oven does it all and makes me look like a chef in the process! Coming from someone who loves to bake but cannot make a moist roast to save her soul, the steam oven is a savior. Don’t be fooled by its name, this little gem can do everything from bake cakes and desserts to meats and soufflés to whole turkeys! I had the opportunity to cook with the steam oven at the Thermador Gallery and Training Center in Scottsdale, Arizona (the product is available at retail in October 2010).  Foods come out tasting better and lose fewer vitamins and minerals when cooked with steam. This will be the new game-changer in my house.  All of the foods mentioned above are excellent choices for preparation in the steam oven.

Every day is a new day — a fresh chance to start making small changes toward a healthier life.  The best part:  being healthy is contagious — my kids are talking about exercising and about making healthy meal choices, my husband is on his way to loosing over 20 lbs in six months, my colleagues at work are joining me at the gym during lunch break, and my husband and I have found a little ‘healthy competition’ in our mission to get fit! It’s never too late!