Monday, July 15, 2013

Food of the week: Oikos Yogurt Dips

I tried these for the first time this weekend and they are so YUMMY!  For lunch today, I had a plate of veggies and tried 3 of the dips.  :)
The choices of dips are French Onion, Roasted Red Pepper, Veggie and Herb and Cucumber and Dill.  I couldn't find the cucumber and dill dip at the 2 stores I went to.  

The wonderful thing about these dips are that they are made of Greek Yogurt and even if you go absolutely crazy, the entire 12 oz tub would only set you back 275 calories.  YOWZAAAA!  

So, take these to your next picnic or barbecue and feel no shame for eating up some veggies and dip.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cheesy Roasted Veggies

Looking for a yummy side dish for dinner tonight?  Try this!

1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups cauliflower
1 garlic and cheese laughing cow cheese wedge

I roasted the veggies on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet (I even lightly misted the veggies) at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes or so.  The time will vary depending on how big your veggies are.  When they were done, I zapped the cheese in the microwave for about 15 seconds in a ramekin.  Then I mixed the cheese in with the veggies in a bowl.  I totally sat down and ate the whole bowl.  It was delish and only 130 calories.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Almond Butter Cookies

Look!  A cookie recipe that has no refined sugar or white flour!  Try these out because they were seriously good.  Even small children liked them.  :)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

1 large egg
1 cup unsweetened almond butter
1/3 c raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 c almond flour**
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

**If you do not have almond flour (I got mine at Trader Joe's) you can make it by zapping raw almonds in your food processor until it is a fine meal like consistency.  

Mix the first 4 ingredients together and then add the last 3.  This recipe makes 12 good sized cookies.  The Nutritional below is per cookie.  

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Quinoa, Red Pepper, and Cucumber Salad With Avocado and Lime

Here is my salad for the week!  I am thinking this will be yummy in a wrap as well.  :) I adapted it from here.  

Kosher salt

1 cup quinoa

1 garlic clove, pounded to a smooth paste with a pinch of salt

1 large shallot, finely diced

1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced

Juice of 3 limes
1 medium red pepper, halved, seeded, and finely diced

1 English (seeded) cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 cup)

1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish

3 ripe avocados, diced
1. Cook 1 cup of uncooked quinoa according to package directions.
2. Put the garlic, shallot, jalapeño, and lime juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and stir to combine. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. 
3. Put quinoa, red pepper, cucumber, diced avocado and chopped cilantro in a medium bowl. Add garlic, shallot, jalapeno mixture.  Fold to combine.
Makes 5 servings

Friday, May 24, 2013

Food of the week: EBOOST

Do you drink coffee all day?  Do you look for those energy drinks that have loads of calories or chemicals to help you get through the day?  I found a NATURAL energy drink that has only 10 calories.  It is EBOOST and I LOVE IT!  When I find myself dragging, I get the powder packets and dissolve one in a glass of water and go about my day.  There is pink lemonade and acai pomegranate.  There is also one that is Immunity Boosting.  Both of my kids had colds, so to try to not get a cold myself, I drank the Natural Orange to help boost my immunity.  It worked!!  I also love the fact that I don't crash after a few hours.  I found mine at the Vitamin Shoppe and at Amazon.  I highly recommend these as you can also keep some in your purse to have when you really need it.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I got a new fitness gadget for Mother's Day!  The Jawbone UP and I love it!  So much fun information!  It goes along the free UP app on my iPhone and it syncs with other apps I use like MyFitnessPal and MapMyFitness.  It tracks my food, my sleep and how much I move each day.

This technology stuff is really taking off.  It blows my mind sometimes.  :)

You set goals for yourself.  You set a goal for how much you want to sleep (my goal is 7 hours a night) and how many steps you take during the day (my goal is 10,000 steps).  The bracelet you wear around your wrist holds all of this information and then you can plug it into your iPhone and you get all of this fabulous information.

It is addicting!  They recommend syncing it 2 times a day, but I do it A LOT more just to see where I am at any point during the day.
My Goals for the day

On the home screen, you can see an overview of my goals for sleep, activity and food.  Then it is broken down by goal.

This is an overview of my activity.  You can see the 2 huge spikes are when I worked out before work and again at lunch.  Then after work, I took the dog on a walk and it was logged as the little walking guy on the bar graph shows.
Information about my activity levels

 You can see my sleep patterns as well.  You can see when I was in light sleep and deep sleep.  It can even show you when I got out of bed to go to the restroom in the middle of the night (the orange line.)

                                                                                            My sleep patterns (how does it know??)

I highly recommend the Jawbone Up.  It keeps all of your fitness information in one app, which I LOVE!  The bracelet also comes in many color choices.  

As always, let me know if you have any questions!  I am happy to try to help in any way!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Strong is the New Skinny...

I have been thinking about how I used to struggle to be skinny when I was younger.  I don't think I was ever happy with the shape I was in.  I was always one of the tallest girls.  I am 5 feet 11 inches, now.  Growing up, people would say, "She is so tall and has high cheek bones.  She could be a model."  HA!  Comparing myself to the models I saw in my magazines, I would never be able to be like them.  I tried.  When friends would say how much they weighed, I would always just say I didn't know.  I would NEVER be able to be the 120 pounds that they were.  Even at my skinniest, I felt terrible.  I was always hungry.  I was grumpy.  I was tired.  I was UNHEALTHY.

These are all problems that almost every teenage girl goes through.  They look at the magazines and the TV shows and the movies and aspire to be like them.  Uggg, it is the worst.

Now, I work out 5-6 days a week and most of the time it is when the kids are at school.  I wake up and put on my workout clothes every school day.  They know I am going to workout when they leave.  My seven year old daughter asked me the other day why I worked out.  She asked me if I thought I needed to lose weight.  Thinking before I spoke, I told her no.  I worked out to be strong and healthy.  Do I think that response is going to change her outlook on herself when she is older?  No, but I think it is important to teach this to kids at an early age.  So maybe what you say is louder than what the media says.

I am 38 years old.  I am in the best shape of my life.  I am almost never sick.  There is no fad diet.  There is no secret.  It all happens by eating right and exercising.  Who knew that actually works?

I find myself pushing myself everyday to challenge myself.  I can do things now that I never thought I would be able to do a couple of years ago.  I like being strong.

I eat better.  I eat actual food, not food that has been overly processed and full of preservatives....for the most part.  I don't deprive myself.  If I want dessert, I'll have dessert.  It may not be the HUGE dessert that I used to comfort myself with because I wasn't skinny, but I eat a reasonable amount.  :)

I try to instill this same behavior in my kids.  Food is fuel.  Would it be yummy to eat dessert all day?  Totally!  Would it make you sick?  ABSOLUTELY!  Just eat a balanced diet and go run and play!  Unplug from the tv, ipad, computer....Go DO something!

Phew!  Moral of the story....Strong is healthy, confidence boosting, and beautiful.

STRONG IS THE NEW SKINNY!  Spread the word!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Food of the week: Fold it SOFT PRETZEL!!!

Who doesn't LOVE a soft pretzel?  Look at this!  It is a Fold it (from the makers of Flat Out) for your sandwich!  It is only 100 calories and 6 grams of protein!  It is so yummy!  Enjoy this soft pretzel sandwich with your favorite sandwich fixings.  You won't regret it!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Food of the week: UNREAL

Maybe I have been watching too many food documentaries.  I have been taking a hard look at processed foods.  There are far too many processed foods in the world and I am trying to be more cognizant of the foods that I put in my body and my family.  Now, I know I won't be one of those people who will cut all processed foods out of my diet but I certainly can reduce it.

My kids love M & M's and Peanut Butter cups...heck, who am I kidding?  We all love them.  I came across these little gems and was very pleased with them.  They are kid approved and contain no artificial ingredients, no hydrogenated oil, no corn syrup, no preservatives and no GMOs.  Even the coloring for the candy coated chocolates come from beetroot juice, turmeric root extract and purple cabbage juice.

I wouldn't call them healthy candy, but I can feel good about the fact that my family is eating food and not some Frankenfood.  Give them a try!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Food of the Week: NuttZo

I LOVE peanut butter!  That is no secret.  I have even been known to just pass through the kitchen to get a spoon full of the nutty goodness.  I found Nuttzo at Earth Fare (you can get it at Whole Foods as well).  The Original Blue Label is an Organic Omega-3 seven nut and seed blend.  There's only 2g of sugar  (2T), 50% of your daily value of Omega 3 ALAs (2T), and a complete protein –so eat it right out of the jar (You don't need to tell me twice)!  There is no added sugar or hydrogenated oils and it is also vegan and kosher.  

NuttZo Original for 2Tablespoons
There are 3 different kinds of Nuttzo.  The Original Blue label that has Peanuts, Cashews, Almonds, Hazelnuts, Brazil Nuts, Sunflower Seeds,  Flax Seeds and sea salt.  The peanut free red label kind has Almonds, Cashews, Brazil Nuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Chia seeds,  Flax Seeds, Hazelnuts, and sea salt.  There is also Chocolate Nuttzo!  It has Peanuts, chocolate chips (organic cocoa liquor, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic cocoa powder), Cashews, Almonds, Brazilian Nuts, Sunflower Seeds, Flax Seeds, Hazelnuts, and Sea Salt.

I just want you to know that this stuff is not cheap.  At $12.99 for a 16 oz, I still think it is worth it.  I'm not making sandwiches with it.  I'll eat it with apple slices after a workout or as a snack in some celery. It is really delicious.  Give it a try!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

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Apple Cider Vinegar

Before every meal I have been having a full glass of water with a couple of tablespoons of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar to aide in digestion.  It is rich in vitamins and minerals, eases digestion and washes toxins from the body.

If you feel like you are coming down with a cold, add it to your water and drink it 3 times a day.  It is an immunity booster.  I have read that it helps with lice, warts, and reverse aging.  There are so many uses for ACV.  What are some ways that you use it?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hi German Visitors!!

I was just reviewing my site activity and noticed that I had almost 1000 new visitors from Germany in the past 48 hours.  They are landing on Blogger's mirror site

That is a huge increase from my normal daily visitors.  What brought you to my site?  Please leave me a comment and let me know!

Thanks so much for visiting!!

Food of the week: Quest Protein Bars

I know.  I haven't posted much lately.  Our kitchen is being renovated and it is not a big motivator to try new recipes.  We should be back to normal soon.  Hang in there with me.  All I wanted was a new backsplash and it has snowballed into something much bigger.  We are all waiting on the new counter tops now.  :)

In the meantime, I found my PERFECT 3pm snack!  Quest Protein bars!  They are HIGH Protein (20 grams!!), high fiber and gluten free!  They are the perfect snack to get me from lunch to dinner.  Plus, they are yummy!  There is quite a selection of flavors.  The only downside is that I can only get them at my GNC.  They aren't available in grocery stores.  Check out the link and see the flavors and the nutritional info.  You will be surprised all this great stuff can be found in one bar.  I love them!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Les Mills Combat

As some of you may know, I am trying a new workout.  I am familiar with the BeachBody programs.  I have dabbled in P90X.  You may have heard of some of their other workout programs like INSANITY, Turbo Jam, 10 Minute Trainer, Les Mills Pump, Les Mills Combat, etc.  These programs are complete workout programs that come with multiple workout
DVDs and a schedule to follow so you know which workout to do on what day.

I am currently on day 10 of Les Mills Combat.  It is a 60 day workout of DVDs that are based on martial arts.  I must say, I am loving it!  I was very worried that I would get bored doing the same type of workout every day.  That being said, I typically workout for about an hour a day and some of the Les Mills Combat workouts are 30 minutes, so I can add some of my other favorite workouts for the rest of the time.  I love not having to think about what workout I am going to complete that day.  There is a schedule that I follow that comes with the program.

Things I LOVE....
-I am, and have always been, a fan of punching and kicking.  This workout is right up my alley.
-I love the motivating trainers.  Each workout is high energy and challenging.
-Each workout has someone doing the workout with modifications as well as someone who does more challenging moves.
-The workouts are different!  One day you are doing a purely martial arts workout, another day a plyometrics workout and then the next a strength workout with weights.
-The only equipment that I need are hand weights.

Things I could do without...
It is difficult to believe that I am training to be a warrior when the trainers are singing the workout track during the workout.  :)  Evanescence and Fall Out Boy are not on my kick butt playlist....

I am already dabbling in the thought of doing Les Mills Pump next.  Who knew I would enjoy working out this much....certainly not this girl!

I absolutely recommend Les Mills Combat.  It is definitely an awesome workout!  It is a great self confidence booster and who doesn't want to feel like a bad ass?  :)

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions.  Also, feel free to follow Missy-Fit on Facebook.  She is a Beachbody Coach and she helped me decide on which program would work best for me.  She is very motivating and knowledgeable.

So, if you are looking to change things up or just get bathing suit ready for the summer, this might be a great option for you!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What is your Excuse?

No Time
Dirty Workout Clothes
It is Too Hot
It is Too Cold
Don't Like Sweating
Too Many Bags To Carry
I'll Just Eat Less Today
Hard Day At Work
Need a Break
Great Day at Work
Need a Reward
Just One Day Off

I've used most of these before.  You need to MAKE time for yourself just like you do for everyone else.  Do laps around the soccer field during your child's soccer practice.  Set your alarm 30 minutes early and get in a work out first thing in the morning.  Schedule a workout in your calendar just like you would any other appointment and stick with it.  Workout with a friend.  You wouldn't want to skip that workout and let them down.  JUST GET MOVING!  You will feel so much better when you do!

Friday, March 15, 2013

My Workouts

It is no secret that I love myself some Jillian Michaels workouts.  I would say about 90% of my workouts are Jillian's.  I love the circuits.  I love changing exercises often.  I love strength training and cardio all in one workout.  I also love that she has so many DVDs that I can have a different workout or combination of workouts every day for a couple of weeks.  Sometimes I combine workouts in the same muscle groups and sometimes I try to mix it up.  For most of her workouts you will need some hand weights.  Start out small and work your way up.

I have had a lot of questions about what workouts I like the best and why.  Well, that is kind of hard to do because I like them all for different reasons.  I workout for about 45-65 minutes, 6 days a week and I often complete more than 1 DVD in any given workout.  Here is my overview of my workout collection.

Jillian Michaels The 30 Day Shred-This is the one I started with when I first decided I needed to get in shape.  I think it is often the one that everyone starts with.  It is a series of 3, 25 minutes or so workouts, with the 3-2-1 system.  This is 3 circuits of 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of abs.  All of the exercises are different in each circuit.  All of these workouts have a modifier to watch for the beginners.

Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30-This is the second one I bought.  It has 4 different workouts with the same format as The 30 Day Shred.

Jillian Michaels Extreme Shed and Shred-I must say that I really love this one.  This one has 2 different workouts.  They have the same warm up and the same cool down.  If done separately, the first workout is about 37 minutes and the second is about 42 minutes.  If you do them together, it is about an hour long (only doing the warm up once and the cool down once.)  This does not have the 3-2-1 format but still goes through many exercises (strength AND cardio) throughout the workout.  I love the variety of this workout.

Jillian Michaels Cardio Kickbox-This one is a little deceiving.  It isn't really much of a kickboxing workout.  Sure, there are some kickboxing moves and you will get a great cardio workout, but I think calling it kickboxing is a stretch.  This one is about 27 minutes long and I normally combine this with a 30 Day Shred workout, an ab workout or Shred it.

Jillian Michaels Kickbox Fast Fix-This one is 3, 20 minute kickboxing workouts.  The first is for upper body, the second for lower body and the third for abs.   I am not going to lie, I am not the most coordinated person in the world, so some of these kickboxing combinations were difficult for me, but I can do them fine now after practice.  I normally do a couple of these at a time depending on my mood.

Jillian Michaels 6 week Six Pack- This DVD has 2 (35 minutes or so) workouts.  It uses hand weights and combines cardio and strength.

Jillian Michaels Killer Abs-3 great workouts, about 30 minutes each.  Beware of the 3rd workout if you have bad knees.  My knees aren't that great and I hurt myself on the third workout.  I only do workouts 1 and 2.

Jillian Michaels Killer Buns and Thighs- This one has 3, 30 minute workouts.  You need hand weights and a chair.  You will certainly have sore buns and thighs after these workouts.

Jillian Michaels Shred it with Weights-LOVE IT!  It is a Kettle bell workout.  If you don't have a kettle bell, you can just use a hand weight.  Just be careful with the hand weight because I whacked myself in the shin once.  Not pretty.  ;)  There are 2 (35 minutes or so) workouts.

Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones-This is one of her first DVDs and it is an effective one.  There is only 1 workout in this one.  It is about 50 minutes long and focuses on shoulders, chest, arms, abs, back, legs, hips and glutes.  Many of these exercises work many muscles at once.  She starts working on an area and works it until you are shaking, then she moves on to something else.

Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown-This is a nice change.  Now, don't think to yourself, "WOW, I'm sore.  I should do the Yoga Meldown for an easier workout."  There are 2, 30 minute workouts on this one and they are challenging.  It requires a lot of balance.

Jillian Michaels Hard Body-see yesterday's review of this new, awesome workout.

Other frequently used workouts:

P90X Ab Ripper X-This is a 16 minute that focuses solely on your abs/core and like Tony Horton says, "I hate it, but I love it."  It is challenging for the entire 16 minutes.  It is from the Beachbody series.  You can't buy this DVD separately.  You CAN find a friend who no longer uses their P90X DVDs and snag this 16 minute gem.

This is Taebo-Yup, Billy Blanks...I owned his VHS tapes when they were sold late at night on TV back in the 90s.  I love myself some kicking and punching so I tend to do this once a week or so.

Taebo Cardio Explosion-This one is similar to the previous one.  It has "Cardio" in the title, but I don't think it is any more "Cardio" than This Is Taebo.

Bob Harper Body Rev Cardio Conditioning-Everyone thinks that Bob is the nice one on The Biggest Loser, but let me tell you something.  He is ruthless.  This is over an hour long and TOUGH!

Bob Harper Pure Burn Super Strength-You use weights the ENTIRE time.  It is pretty repetitive and PAINFUL.  You use weights the entire time and talk about sore arms?  OUCH!!

Winsor Pilates- another late night TV purchase.  LOVE IT.  Works your core.  I like doing this one because it lengthens and strengthens.  No cardio here, just a good workout.

If you were to ask be what my top 5 favorite workout DVDs would be, I'd say 30 Day Shred, Extreme Shed and Shred, Kickbox Fast Fix, Killer Abs, and Hard Body.  My 6th favorite is Shred It with Weights.  ;)

If you have any questions about these, don't hesitate to ask.  I will do my best to answer.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Jillian Michael's Hard Body

I was ecstatic when I heard that Jillian had a new DVD coming out.  Hard Body has 2, 45 minute workouts.  Today, I did work out one.  I can tell a good workout by how un-cute my hair looks by the end.  I had horns after this one.

For the first 25 minutes of this workout there was a 5 minute warm up and then 6 different circuits.  After 25 minutes, the 6 circuits repeated.  As usual, Jillian gives modified moves as well as more advanced moves.  I loved the fast pace.  It was a sweat-fest.  What excites me now, is that I know what to expect.  I know the moves.  I will burn more the next time.  I love the challenge!  Needless to say, I definitely recommend this workout.

The only thing that was strange for me was that there was a whole new cast of workout buddies with her in this one.  Normally, you can depend on at least 1 familiar face (besides Jillian) on her   DVDs.  See?  I do these so much that I miss seeing Anita, Natalie, Basheera, etc.  LOL!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Breakfast Coffee Protein Shake

I love coffee.  I drink it A LOT.  This morning, I decided to make a protein shake with my morning coffee and it was DELIGHTFUL!

I made some coffee and let it cool while I was getting the kids ready so that it wouldn't melt my ice.  After it was cool, I added to my blender:

1 cup of coffee
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2-1 frozen banana
1 scoop of vanilla or chocolate protein powder
2 handfulls of ice

Blend to your desired consistency and ENJOY!

**TIP:  I almost always have frozen bananas in my freezer.  When I see that my bananas are getting too ripe, I peel and slice them and put them in a baggie to toss in the freezer.  They work well in banana ice cream when I am craving something sweet at night too.  :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Bites

Pinterest strikes again!  I came across these little numbers and at about 35 calories a piece, I couldn't help but make this apple pie tasting goodness!  I adapted the recipe from here.

1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup quick oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 cup chopped apples
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined.  Spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
I plan on breaking a few of these up and putting them in my yogurt.  Oh my!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Salt-Free Taco Seasoning

In an effort to lay off of the salt, I decided to put my laboratory goggles on today and make some homemade taco seasoning.  It is certainly less expensive than the packets you buy in the grocery store and you probably already have all of the ingredients to make it.  I just made a big batch so I could use it whenever I needed it.  Use 2 Tablespoons of it in your beef or chicken along with 1/4 cup of water for tacos or enchiladas.  Add a Tablespoon or two to some fat free sour cream or greek yogurt for a yummy dressing or dip or sprinkle it on your salad for a yummy kick!  The possibilities are endless!

Double, triple or quadruple this recipe and keep it in your pantry!

2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1 Tablespoon Cumin
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Using my Pinterest powers for good.....

Normally, when I am on Pinterest I am surfing for 1 of 2 things....healthy recipes or desserts.  Who knew that there were other reasons that Pinterest was helpful?  Today, I made laundry detergent.  The recipe is all over the place on there, so I have no idea who to give credit to for this.  

1 (4 lb 12 oz) box of borax
1 (3 lb 7 oz) Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 (3 lb) container of Oxy Clean
2 (14.1 oz) bars of Zote soap or 7 (4 oz bars) Ivory, grated
1 (4 lb) box of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda
1 or 2 (55 oz) bottles of Pyrex crystals fabric softener

I got a handy dandy 5 gallon bucket with a lid from Home Depot and added all of the ingredients.  To make life easier, I used my food processor to grate the soap.  That made it easy peasy.  Plus, it was easy to clean up because...ummmm, it was already soapy.  

In order to make it more manageable in the laundry room, I poured some of my mixture in the Oxy Clean container so I didn't need to use the huge 5 gallon bucket every time I wanted to do laundry.  I am also using the scoop from the Oxy Clean as well.  They say this recipe lasts about 6 months, 2 tablespoons per load.  We will see.  I seem to do a million loads of laundry every week, but I will let you know when I reach the bottom of my bucket.  

Did I mention that all of these ingredients were about $30 total?  Just thirty dollars for 6 months of laundry detergent sounds dreamy, doesn't it?

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Decadent Dessert

You know when you just NEED to have a treat?  Well, that was me last night.  I went all out.

I got 2 Ghirardelli Bittersweet chocolate baking squares and put 2 teaspoons of almond butter in between them.  The darker the chocolate, the less sugar, so be sure you are choosing your chocolate wisely.

It took me 10 minutes to eat it.  I savored it and it hit the spot.  It was so good.  Now, it was 205 calories of heavenly goodness, but it was a much better option than any of the other sugar filled treats that were racing through my brain.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Note to self...

Yes, you have a few pounds to lose again from the winter, but you are NOT the girl on the left.  Stop thinking you are!  You are back on track to eating right.  You have lost 80 pounds.  So what if you have to lose the same 6 again.  Only 6 more pounds to go to get back to where you were.  You can do it!  Shake it off and keep swimming (I love Finding Nemo).  Why is it so hard sometimes to be your own cheerleader?  Ugg.  Negativity stinks!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Avocado Egg Pizza

This morning I decided to change things up a bit and made myself a breakfast pizza!  I put a multigrain tortilla in the oven at 350 degrees right on the oven rack until it was crispy (about 10 minutes).  Then I sprayed a pan with cooking spray and cooked an egg.  When the tortilla was done, I spread one laughing cow light garlic and herb cheese wedge and then half an avocado.  I put the egg on top and added some freshly cracked pepper!  DELISH!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Wheat Berry Salad

Have you ever had wheat berries before?  They are the whole wheat kernel, composed of the bran, germ, and endosperm.  They are a true whole grain.  This is what I have made for my lunch for the week.

I decided to add some wheat berries to some veggies to make the salad I found here.  Ir is so yummy and I LOVE the crunch of this salad.  It is very satisfying.

Serves 4

1 cup wheat berries, preferably the soft white variety
1 lb tomatoes, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and finely chopped
3 celery stalks, cut lengthwise into thirds and finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
the juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Soak the wheat berries for 8-16 hours.  Drain them in a fine-mesh sieve or colander. Pour wheat berries into a large saucepan, fill it about two-thirds of the way with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until grains are tender with some chew still left, about 1 hour. Drain, then run under cool water to bring wheat berries to room temperature. Drain thoroughly. Add the chopped vegetables.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Time to get serious again....

It is winter and we have all been inside hibernating, waiting for it to get warm so we can enjoy some fresh air and stretch our legs again.  I must admit that I have some work to do before it gets warm again.  I have gained about 8 pounds over the winter and I am not ashamed to admit it.  I still work out about 45 minutes to an hour a day, but I have been eating way more comfort food than I should.  Anyone who is facebook friends with me can confirm the amount of baking that has been going on at my house.

For the first time in my life, I am fine with the extra weight.  It is winter.  It is going to happen.  I told myself that I would never deprive myself of the things that I love and since I can't go outside and walk the dog, go to the pool, or play outside with the kids, I am going to bake.  I have loved the heck out of it.  I finally feel in control of it all.  I had lost about 80 pounds....losing 8 again shouldn't be too bad.  I just need to stop eating the junk.  I enjoyed the Halloween candy, Thanksgiving meals, Christmas goodies and Valentine's sweethearts....spring is just around the corner, time to get back to work.

Anyone who has a fitness goal, whether it is to lose weight or maintain, don't get discouraged if you have a setback.  Just pick yourself back up and try again.  Never give up on yourself!  You can do it!  Just believe that you can!  

So, join me in my Spring time shape up!  Make better choices on what you eat.  Yes, there will be cravings.  Yes, you will eat ice cream/cookies/cake etc, but if you eat 80% of your daily allotted calories of good quality food, you will reap the benefits.  You can still treat yourself.  Just don't go crazy.  Measure your teats.  Serving sizes are important.  Just remember that the first bite of that cake tastes exactly the same as the 8th (I repeat this in my head all the time).  So I need to savor that first bite and know when to say when.   

This is my plan.  Does anyone else have a goal they are working towards?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

"Baked" apples

As you may know from reading my blog in the fall, I love apples.  I go apple picking with the hubs and our kids every year.  I love apples baked/cooked in everything too.  It is a cold and snowy day here and I just needed a snack that would warm me up and make me think I was eating something that wasn't so good for me.  :)

I cored and sliced an apple and threw it in a Tupperware container that had a vent on the top.  You can use your own favorite container you toss your leftovers in.  If it doesn't have a vent on the lid, just don't close it all the way.  Once the apple was in the container, I sprinkled about 1/4-1/2 tsp of cinnamon over them, 1 packet of stevia and a hand full of raisins.  Then I added 1/4 tsp corn starch and 1 tablespoon of water.  I put the lid on, gave it a shake, vented it, and put it in the microwave and cooked for 2 minutes.

Yummy, pie-like deliciousness!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Fruit Dip

I am a huge fan of dips.  I loooove fondue as well.  Here is a healthy snack that won't break the calorie bank.  I made 2 dips, one peanut butter and one chocolate to dip my fruit in.

Chocolate dip
6 oz container of FAGE yogurt
1/4-1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa (according to taste)
1-2 Tablespoons of honey (according to taste)

Remember that you won't need it to be too sweet because you are dipping fruit in it.

Peanut Butter Dip
6 oz container of FAGE yogurt
1/4-1/2 cup of PB2 (Powdered Peanut Butter)
1-2 Tablespoons of honey

As a note, it can last a few days in the refrigerator, but it thickens.  You may need to add some almond milk or milk to thin it out a little so you can dip in.

Just as another side note.... if you were to pop these in the freezer until frozen and perhaps put it on top of your favorite brownie, right out of the oven, that would be some darn good fro-yo.  Just saying.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mediterranean Farro Salad

I love farro.  I love salads.  I love making salads on Sundays to have for lunch all week.  :)

I adapted this recipe from here.  Actually, the only thing I changed, was I omitted the olive oil.  

  • 10 ounces farro (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  • 8 ounces green beans, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives
  • 1 medium red pepper, cut into thin strips (about 4 ounces or 1 cup)
  • 3 ounces Parmesan, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 small bunch chives, snipped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, combine 4 cups of water with the farro. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the farro is almost tender, about 20 minutes. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and simmer until the farro is tender, about 10 minutes longer. Drain well. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.
Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and stir. Cook for 2 minutes.  (I used a frozen steamer bag of beans that I tossed in the microwave, so either way will work.)   Transfer the cooked green beans to a bowl of ice water and let cool for 2 minutes. Drain the green beans.
Once the farro has cooled add the green beans, olives, red pepper, Parmesan, and chives. Stir to combine. In a small bowl mix together the sherry vinegar, mustard, pepper, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine. Pour the sherry vinaigrette over the farro salad. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

French Onion Soup

I LOOOOOOOVE French Onion Soup, but a lot of them aren't very good for you.  This is what I whipped up today and I must say, it is delicious!

Makes 5 servings

3 large sweet onions
Cooking Spray
6 cups beef broth
1/2 cup Sherry
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
3 sprigs of fresh thyme chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2.5 oz grated parmesan cheese

I sliced the onions in about 1/8th inch slices and tossed them in a stock pot that had been sprayed with cooking spray.  I started them off on high and cooked them down for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Then I lowered the heat to medium-medium high and cooked until golden and caramelized (about 20 minutes more).

Then I added the sherry, balsamic, thyme and pepper.  I stirred it all until it was incorporated and then added the beef broth.  I brought it up to a boil.

I added 2 cups of soup in my mug and grated 1/2 oz of parmesan on the top.  Oh MY!  SO YUMMY!  I know what you are thinking, "What about the baguette, Kim?"  Well, I didn't add it.  It ends up being a soggy lump anyway (In my opinion).  If you miss it, think about adding a few croutons before adding your parmesan.  That would be easy peasy.

Nutritional Info:  161 calories for 2 cup serving, Saturated fat: 2 grams, Dietary Fiber: 3.6 grams, Sugars: 8.8 grams, Protein: 8.6 grams

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dessert for 1!

I love desserts and will never give them up, but making desserts and then having left overs in the house for days after they are made are no good for me.  My thinking is either, "Man, One cookie is good....surely 6 more would be even better." I also think, "I need to get these cookies out of the house so I am not tempted to eat them every day, so maybe I'll just eat them all now and be done with them."  Yes, I have been known to be a binger.  Confession made.

Since I have accepted a life that includes desserts, I have discovered making smaller batches so that there are no leftovers.  I do not have dessert all the time.  Sometimes, you just need a cookie or some cake.  I am not including calorie counts for these things because, honestly, I just don't want to know.  If I want dessert, I eat dessert.  Then I just continue eating right and working out.  No big deal.  Just so you know...the following desserts, I have tried and tasted in the last 24 hours.  I love writing this blog.  :)

Chocolate chip cookies!  This recipe says it makes 2 cookies.  I made them for my kids and they are HUGE cookies.  I will make 4 cookies from the recipe next time.  They are DELISH!  This was MY FAVORITE small batch dessert I made.

Mug Cakes...They can be tricky.  You can put them in the microwave to bake them, but you need to keep an eye on them.  Most of the recipes say to put them in for 1-2 minutes.  I highly recommend you put them in for only a minute, take it out to test the center of the cake to see if it is done.  If it isn't done, put it back in the microwave for an additional 30 seconds and repeat test for doneness.  If left in the microwave for too long, they will be rubbery and gross.  I have also been known to put the mug in the oven at 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes.  Be sure your mug is oven safe.  Mine are Fiestaware, and they work just fine.

I made 2 more mug cakes in addition to these and they just weren't very good.  I am not going to be posting them.  I guess that is the good thing about making a dessert that isn't very good.  If you don't like it, you can just throw it out .

Coffee Cake in a mug.  I am a fan of eating coffee cake with my coffee and this hits the spot.  The hubs thought so too.  :)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake  This was very rich and yummy.  I am a big fan of frosting, so I tried finding a cake that I didn't want to add heaping Tablespoons of buttercream on and this one hit the spot.

I also have a recipe for carrot cake in a mug, but I didn't get around to making it as I didn't have the buttermilk needed on hand.  I WILL be making it though.  :)