Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ohh the holidays. Here they come...

Tis' the season of excuses. 
Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas...I LOVE time of year in my personal life. Full of football games, parties, great food, family, fun traditions, weather changes, and good times all around. I DO NOT love this time of year in my professional life. Don't get me wrong, I always love my clients. BUT...let the excuses begin...

"I bought too much Halloween Candy."
"We had 3 parties last night."
"My family insisted on pizza and chips to watch the game."
"There were 4 kinds of stuffing. I had to try/eat/devour all of them."
"I had to eat the cookies left for Santa."

I sympathize. I know. It's reaaaalllyy hard to eat well and keep up with your exercise routine this time of year. There are so many opportunities to do just the opposite. This is where you have to make a decision. 
You can succumb to the many millions of reasons why you could and "should" eat crappy, and allow yourself to slip into bad habits until New Years when you'll start over...again. 
OR you can make smart decisions and keep progressing, becoming the person you want to be. 

I know it's hard, but I also know you can do it. Set some limits for yourself, set some goals. Leave yourself some wiggle room so you don't feel completely restricted, but remember that if nothing changes, nothing changes. If you want to lose weight, look better, be healthier, you have to decide now what you're going to do about it. 

Decide how your holiday season is going to go this year. It doesn't have to be the same old gain 10 lbs, only to turn around in January to fight to lose it. Stick with a routine, and figure out what it's going to take to keep yourself on track! You can do it!

Monday, September 20, 2010

South Western BBQ Chicken Wrap

I struggle with protein. It's a known fact. I love all fruits and veggies. I do NOT love meat. I can handle lean chicken and turkey. Not just any chicken or has to be prepared well with virtually no fat. Picky...I know. With that being said, I'm constantly looking for new ways to pack my protein in, in forms that I can handle. My newest creation is just downright delectable, and super easy!

Southwestern BBQ Chicken Wrap

1 chicken breast boiled and diced into small pieces
2 tbs bbq sauce
1/4 cup black beans
1/4 cup sweet corn
1 La Tortilla Factory Smart & Delicious Low carb Tortilla
*optional fat free ranch dressing

Combine chicken with bbq sauce in a bowl. Add black beans and corn. Heat up in microwave for 45 seconds if you want the wrap hot. Heat up tortilla in microwave for 20 seconds. (These AMAZING tortillas are now available at Costco by the way...awesome.)
Dish out bbq contents on tortilla and drizzle with ranch if desired.
Fold up, and Voila! I promise it's divine.

Nutrition facts:
347 calories
37 grams of protein (awesome)
8 grams of fat
48 grams of carbohydrates
19 grams of fiber healthy and SO freaking good for you. Try it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Keep on Keepin' on

Questions...I love em'
So please let me know...what is it you have questions about? I try my best to answer them, and if for some reason you asked and I haven't answered PLEASE ask again!
Feel free to leave message in the comments about what you're wanting to know about and I'd be glad to answer!

In regards to THIS post on a healthy vegetable chili, Kara recently asked...
"Could you substitute olive oil for the vegetable oil? (I'm still a little freaked out by your veg. oil post recently). It seems like it wouldn't change the taste...right?"

Great question Kara. I am a bigger fan of olive oil, and was actually was going to change the vegetable oil to olive oil in the recipe when I posted it. Due to the fact that I got the recipe from, I decided just to leave it how it was with the nutrition facts straight off the website as well.

Here is the difference: Olive oil has more flavor to it and has a lower smoke point, which makes a difference when you're frying or searing food. It doesn't get as hot as vegetable oil does, and if you are looking for heat doesn't work as well. From a health perspective, olive oil is full of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. Studies have shown that including olive oil in your diet can lower LDL "bad" cholesterol, and increase HDL "good" cholesterol. It is well tolerated by the stomach and can actually lower the occurrence of gallstone formations and aid in the prevention of heart disease and colon cancer. Olive oil is high in calories and fat (although good fats) one should still use in moderation.

Vegetable oil is actually a combination of canola, sunflower oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil and/or peanut oil. Although I gave it a bad wrap in THIS post on my zucchini bread recipe, vegetable in small amounts isn't horrible for you. It has some of the same health benefits as olive oil as far as monounsaturated fats go, but it IS high in calories. My point in that post was to prove to you that substitutions are WELL worth it when baking. That much vegetable oil condensed into a small serving of bread is a LOT of fat and a LOT of calories, which I don't think it worth it. Like i mentioned above, vegetable has a high smoke point so it get's really hot, making it great for cooking. It also has virtually no flavor, so it won't compete with the flavors of the dish. answer to your question, you really can use either and feel good about it. I personally always pick olive oil. I never bake with oil because I think it adds too many calories and fat, and it's just not worth it. With my own food choices I prefer olive oil because I feel it offers more health benefits. Hopefully that helps! Remember...keep the questions coming!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fall is in the Air

The temperature is dropping. With that comes a change in the recipe roundup. It seems like we turn more to our warm comfort foods to heat us up from the inside out. Chili is a definite fall food and this vegetarian chili recipe is one you'll want to try. This recipe is low-calorie, low-fat, and packed with protein. It is a great meal for leftovers as well, and something that would be perfect to take to work and reheat if you needed a meal on the go!

Delicious Vegetarian Chili
recipe from


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
Preparation: Heat the oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell peppers, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add sugar and remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Makes 8, 1 cup servings.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 257 (9% from fat)
Fat: 2.7g (sat 0.3g,mono 0.5g,poly 1.2g)
Protein: 12.8g
Carbohydrate: 48.8g
Fiber: 14.2g
Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Iron: 4.5mg
Sodium: 876mg
Calcium: 150mg

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mythbusters: Keep crunching to lose that spare tire

Crunches are great.
They are. They are great in the right doses, that is. I laugh a little bit inside/(feel bad and want to shake some sense in to people) when I see them doing countless reps of crunches, believing that is going to get ride of that plush midsection they've acquired. If only it were that easy.
The TRUTH of the matter?
Doing crunches all day is NOT going to get ride of your belly fat. Doing crunches alone won't burn enough calories to get rid of the fat you're storing.

What will get rid of that excess fat around your waistline that we all hate?
A combination of a few things...

1. Increase your cardio. You have to burn off the fat that is being stored on your body. When you lose weight you lose it all over. Because you can't specifically target one area for fat loss, you need to do enough cardio to lose the excess weight from allover, and in doing so losing it from your trouble areas as well. Cardiovascular exercise is the best way to do that. If you want to lose weight you have to create a caloric deficit, meaning you're burning more calories throughout the day than you are eating. Burning off excess calories is a great way to do that. If you are serious about dropping the LB's I'd recommend 60 mins of cardiovascular exercise 4-5 times a week.

2. Watch your diet. Here is another place where you can create that caloric deficit. If you aren't a calorie counter, cut out the junk foods. Cut out the snacks, and the extras. Try writing down your food to see if you're overdoing it. Make quality food choices. Eat foods closest to their natural form. Pack your meals with whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, and lean protein. Cut down on the carbohydrates, limiting it to about 4-5 servings of carbohydrates per day. Try to cut out the fats and sugars from your food choices. All of these little decisions can make a big impact.

3. Include strength training in your regimen. Building muscle on your body increases the amount of calories your body is burning all the time. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn. It's a math thing. You won't become bulky. That is the number one concern I hear, and I can promise you. Weightlifting will actually make you drop inches, and become more condensed. Compact, in a sense. Women don't have the same genetic makeup as men, and because we lack the hormone Testosterone, we don't physically have the ability to become large and muscular like men.

4. Make all your training core training. You can strengthen your core and abs in everything you do. Balance on one foot while doing bicep curls. Do a plank in between every exercise you do. Incorporate core specific exercises into your daily workout routines. Include some abs and crunches in as well, but if you're working your core all the time you won't need to be doing a million sets of crunches.