Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No Soup For You!

Seinfeld anyone? I love this episode.
Always funny. I don't know what it is about this cold the past few weeks, but all I've wanted is soup. I had some delicious Idaho spuds that a client brought for me, so I decided to work them into my dinner tonight. I definitely found a way to do so. I, unlike the Soup Nazi, have a great soup recipe for you. I always tend to stay away from any soup that I can't see through to the bottom of the bowl. Like I always recommend, broth-based soups are best. Cream based soups are (for the most part) scary calorie-wise. However, I have good news. This Potato Corn Chowder recipe makes you think you're eating a cream based soup, but you're not! It's so low in calories and fat you almost won't believe it. It's ridiculously easy. It will make your kitchen smell like heaven, and it's extremely delicious. The best part? You make it in the crock pot! Cooking it for several hours makes the flavors combine so well, and the potatoes are extremely tender. Once you get the prep work done you can walk away and not have to worry about it. What is better than that?

Potato Corn Chowder

 (Worst, most boring picture ever...I know. It doesn't do it justice. Just trust me on this one. It's divine.)

1 lb frozen whole kernel corn
1 large onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped (I am not a huge celery girl, so I used 1/2 tsp of celery seed instead)
1 tbsp butter or margarine (I used this because it was my first time making this recipe, but I think you could do without)
2 cups potatoes, diced
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup water
2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp salt (more to taste if necessary)
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp dried dill
6 tbsp flour
3 cups fat free milk

Combine all ingredients except flour and milk in a 3 ½ or 4 quart slow cooker. Cook on low 8-9 hours, or until potatoes are tender. At that point you're ready to add in the milk mixture. In a separate bowl, mix flour and milk until smooth. Stir slowly into corn chowder until thickened. Makes 7 servings - each serving contains: 180 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 3 grams fiber. Is that not amazing? I ate mine with some whole wheat pita bread, and it was really good! I think some corn bread would have really hit the spot. Make some soup, put on your jammies, and wrap yourself up in a blanket. It's cold out there folks.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Veggie Challenge

Fruits and vegetables are the fountain of youth. Some might say, anyways. I know I do. I remember this guy came and gave a BYU devotional a few years ago and he was like in his 90's and he looked maybe 50. I wish i could remember his name...but I can't. However, his devotional was all about staying healthy, exercising, and eating right. It was awesome. The best part about it? He was living proof of what he was preaching. He said he eats something like 15-20 servings of fruits and vegetables every single day; some awesomely ridiculous number. I would definitely agree that there is a correlation between your diet and your quality and longevity of life, it's been scientifically proven.

As I have mentioned before, my mom has always been a great advocate for healthy eating and always provided a lot of veggies and fruits for us to eat growing up. I remember one time my family was at dinner a year or two ago, and my mom made THIS Italian Vegetable Bake. My brother-in-law was dying because he counted like 14 different vegetables in the dish. He kept commenting on how not many people can't even manage to get one serving of vegetables in at a meal, let alone combine 14 vegetables. The best part about it was, everyone, (even the little kiddies), loved the veggies. It's become a favorite dish of my family's. Vegetables don't have to be gross if you take the time to find ones you like, and find ways to prepare them so you enjoy them. Don't give up on them after the first try! 

Vegetables are low calorie, full of fiber, filling, and chalked full of tons of vitamins and minerals that will increase your overall health. So, my challenge for you today is to see how many vegetables you can fit into one meal! I know some of you eat like PRO's and I want to see it! What are your best ways of getting veggies in? Your suggestions might be beneficial to helping others become veggie lovers too!

Here is my example for today...
For lunch I made a salad:

The salad had
1. romaine lettuce
2. spinach
3. green peppers
4. cucumbers
5. broccoli
6. beets *my mom will DIE when she see's I actually chose to eat these. They are a new love.
7. carrots
I also added some garbanzo beans, mandarin orange segments, and 1/4 cup of cottage cheese on top. It was SO good. I also ate a cinnamon sweet potato muffin with it, so I'm counting that as a veggie as well. That puts me at 8 total for the meal. Not bad, but I'm sure I can do better. I'm sure you probably already DO better. So show me. PROVE IT. Leave a comment about your favorite ways to get veggies in or feel free to email me a picture. (megolina21@gmail.com) I want to use your fabulous suggestions to help out other readers. We're all in this together folks.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

brain dump for the snow dump

I am currently in the car with my dad making the drive back from beautiful 70 degree Arizona to snowy Utah. I am on my phone. Who knew I could blog from my phone? I didn't. Until now of course. Going 10 mph on I-15 in solid snow helps you seek out any form of entertainment. And so here I am.
- Thanksgiving was awesome. It really is a great start to the holiday season.
- I got to go shopping with my mom for some new workout clothes and shoes for christmas which at the top of my list. Is that sad or cool, when all you want is new workout stuff?
- *fter being sick all week I think I'm FINALLY feeling better. Just in time. I'm ready to get back and get into my routine with full force. As much as I love leaving and traveling I do love my routine.
- My dad has the most eclectic mix of music ever. We've listened to journey, ace of base, kanye west, george strait, led zeplin, hall n' oats, and just about everything in between. I love it.
- I was stoked when the tiny gas station we stopped at last had fat free frozen yogurt. Way to be with the times people. That may have made my day.
-We've increased from 10 mph to 38. We are CRUISING.
-you know what another delicious discovery I made was? Trident layers. Both the strawberry and the green apple are delightful.
- my sister brought me a diet lemonade from chick fillet (is that even how you spell it? I don't know? I don't eat there) anyways, it was to die for. It tastes like fresh squeezed lemonade. Try it, and then thank my sister nichole for that glorious find.
- with this freezing snow I just want to be home in my jammies eating warm oatmeal. Is that weird? I really love the stuff. 
-I apologize for all the spelling and grammatical errors in this post...these words are like 1/4 of a centimeter tall

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Post Thanksgiving Survival Tips

I decided today that shopping is good exercise. You walk and walk and walk and you are happy about it. In fact, you are glad to do it. H&M is on the third floor of this mall? Sure thing. I'm on my way. Forever 21 is back downstairs? You better believe that is not a problem...and so on. It's great. I hope your Thanksgiving meals were not to detrimental to your awesome regimen you have going for you; and if it wasn't do like Aliyah says and brush yourself off and try again. Hopefully these tips will help you get back on your feet, both literally and figuratively. 

Survival Tip #1: Use your holiday leftovers to your benefit. Use your turkey to make healthy recipes. It's a great form of protein that is already prepared for you. Make a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread chalked full of veggies, a Southwestern BBQ Wrap, put it in a whole wheat pita with some hummus and grilled veggies, dice it up and makes some enchiladas, wrap it up with some spinach and fresh veggies in a La Tortilla Factory Tortilla, make some bbq turkey sandwiches, or shred it and top off one of your favorite pizza's.

Survival Tip #2: Make a game plan for December. This is when the holiday parties begin to get crazy. Reaaal crazy. The desserts with be coming at you like hot cakes. Set some goals for yourself. Only eat dessert on the weekends, or one or two days a week. Decide you are only going to have one portion of dessert when that time comes. If you have made up your mind ahead of time you will be more likely to stick to your plan of action when the decision comes to you. If you are wishy washy about what you want to do when that warm plate of fresh cookies arrives at your doorstep you are a lot more likely to succumb to the temptation. It's all about moderation. 

Survival Tip #3: Be party smart. Be the guest that brings the healthy salad, veggie tray, or fruit slices to the party. You'll notice that your healthy dish will almost always be gobbled up completely. People appreciate healthy food. If you are pretty sure the food options at the party are going to be less than stellar, eat before hand. If you are starving when you get there you will be a lot more likely to eat everything in sight. We make bad decisions when we are hungry. If you have to eat there load your plate up the smart way, and pay attention to your portions.

Survival Tip #4: Watch your Sugar intake. As I mentioned before sugar is a big down fall for a lot of us. Think of how many plates of goodies and treats you come in contact with from now until the end of December. It's frightening. Now think of what will happen if you partake of all of those treats...even more frightening. Be smart. Don't just leave all your gifted treats on your counter where you can freely graze on them without thinking about it all day. Re-gift them (yes, i just suggested that), throw them away (appalling...I know), send them with your husband or boyfriend to work, give them to your kids friend to take home, or freeze them. Whatever you do...DON'T leave them sitting out. You're asking for it if you do. 

Survival Tip #5: Stay Active. You'll be more likely to consume more this time of year, so be smart and move more. Don't skip your workouts, even though it's the easiest thing to drop off your to do list when things get busy. Add some fun active outdoor activities into your holiday traditions. Go ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, build a snowman, take a walk around the neighborhood to see the lights, have a snowball fight, go sledding, or shovel your walk. All of these things can be fun and make being active part of your lifestyle, not just forced exercise. 

Survival Tip #6: Be Merry and Bright. Cherish this time of year. Laugh a lot. Get outside when you can. Your body needs that sunshine and Vitamin D. Don't forget to smile and enjoy this fun time of year...and bundle up. It's cold out there!

Also, a reader asked what the nutrition facts were for THIS whole wheat bread recipe. I calculate that one loaf makes 24 servings. I cut the loaf in half and then cut 12 slices from each half. Well, technically we take it right out of the oven and eat it then and there, but the serving amount is still the same. Here are the stats: 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Day Recovery

I hope your Thanksgiving was marvelous! I hope your Black Friday was even better. Just remember that running through those shopping isles is totally burning you calories. More post Thanksgiving recovery tips tomorrow. Night!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving and a new adventure

As much as this holiday terrifies me for all of my clients, I love it. I love being with family and the smells in the kitchen. I love cooking with my mom and dad. Most of all I love the opportunity it gives us to realize how blessed we are. 

Take a second and be grateful for your good health and your amazing body that keeps you going day after day! 

This morning my mom and I went to her gym for a pre-feasting workout. She went to an aerobics class and I opted to do THIS workout on the stair mill. I love going to new gyms. It's fun to be out of the normal day to day routine that can sometimes happen when we're in the same surroundings all the time. I really like her gym. To start there was ten stair mills. TEN. I'm sorry but the one at my gym is great and all. I love fighting people for it, or waiting for 40 minutes... but ten?...yes please. 
 On top of that each stair machine had it's own TV. I could really get used to that.
I still am not feeling all that great, so my energy level is on the weaker side. After about 45 minutes of stairs I started to get pretty light headed and decided that falling from the top of them wouldn't be the prettiest sight. So, I finished the rest of my workout on the elliptical. I loved watching the Thanksgiving Day parade! 
While I was working out I noticed this big screen they have in the front of all of the cardio equipment and I realized it was the class that was going on they that were projecting on screen. I was dying. Can you imagine? One time I went to a zumba class at my gym and I ended up by the window where ALL of my friends happened to be working out. Believe me I heard about it for WEEKS. But, projected on a screen? Can you imagine the public ridicule? 
 That picture is awful, but I had to get a shot of it. My mom later informed me that it is only the teachers that are on camera...but still...yikes. You better be on your "A" game all the time. As we were walking out I was helping myself to a tour of the gym and I wanted to see the spin room. It was basically amazing. JANAE YOU WOULD HAVE DIED. I had to take a picture for you. 
This picture really doesn't do it justice. They were just finishing a class, and the lady in the pink wasn't too stoked on my paparazzi skills, but it was awesome. This is only one section of the bikes. There was a section of them like this to my right as well. The teacher was up on this sweet platform with a big projector screen behind her. Who knows what they do with that, virtual courses maybe? I was thinking it would be great for our spin class dance parties...I am going to try and get myself to a spin class before I go home. I'll keep you posted. Aren't those yellow bikes sweet though??

I hope you all have an incredible Thanksgiving. Don't forget to move a little today! Make good food choices, and laugh a LOT. (Laughing burns calories!!) Be grateful for all that you have, and be especially grateful for your good health and amazing body!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Healthy Turkey Day Tips

Happy Thanksgiving! Well, almost I guess. One more day until the caloric celebration begins. This day can be SCARY, being as how the average Thanksgiving dinner comes to about 3,000 calories. Because that is only one meal for the day your calorie count could easily skyrocket to a scary place. Here are some tips to keeping your calorie count at a happy place.

1. Start the day off with some physical activity. Participate in a local community Turkey Trot, or create one of your own! My family has had a tradition over the past few years of going and doing the 10K Turkey Trot in mesa the morning of Thanksgiving. It is so much fun and a great way to burn some extra calories! This year I can't run, unfortunately, so I think I'm going to go to the gym with my mom and sister and we'll hold our own Turkey Climb? (I'll be doing some stairs and the elliptical...I don't have a fun creative name for that.)

2. Eat a healthy breakfast...like reaaallly healthy. Although only eating Thanksgiving dinner, and avoiding all other meals may seem like a smart way for you to save on calories, it's not the best option for your body. You will cause your blood sugar to come down to a scarily low level, and then once you do eat it will skyrocket to a very high level. This will cause an excess of insulin to be released to bring that blood sugar back down, and because insulin is a storage hormone, it will cause you to store a LOT of fat. Eating a good breakfast will help you to regulate your blood sugar throughout the day. If you are eating later for your big turkey day meal, eat a good lunch as well. This will make you less likely to be starving and binge once dinner is served, and it may stop you from snacking on every possible thing that you pass by.

3. Try to "healthify" at least one of your dishes. You'd be amazed at how great food can taste without 18 sticks of butter, and 20 gallons of cream. There are healthy ways to make things, and have them taste good! Some of my favorites are...
Healthy Pumpkin Pie (And other pumpkin flavored goodness)

4. Be sure your plate gets loaded in this order...
Veggies - lots of them. Skip out on the butter and cream.
Lean - proteins Go for the white meat on the turkey, it's lower in fat and calories. Avoid eating the skin.
Carbs - go easy on the buttery spreads
Other Thanksgiving Delights...There is a possibility a lot of unknowns on the table. Unknown as far as...how foods were prepared. A delightful bowl of seemingly harmless green beans might be your downfall if they are swimming in butter. A good rule of thumb is, if you can't identify the ingredients in the dish, stay away. If it looks like something you're dying to try just get a small amount. That may just satisfy you.

5. Pick your favorite dessert and stick with it. Grandma may have made 20 pies, but that doesn't mean you have to try all of them. Pick a favorite, and stick to that one.
Read HERE for more Thanksgiving Survival Tips. 

Today I've been baking like crazy with my mom, in preparation for tomorrow. I made the healthy pumpkin pie recipe I mentioned above and some yummy healthy pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Cookie Nutrition Facts: (For One Cookie) Calories: 78 Fat: 2.4 grams Carbs: 12.9 grams Fiber: 1 gram Protein: 1.6 grams Sugar: 7.2 grams

I love baking at home with my mom because she has an awesome kitchen, all the ingredients for anything you can think up, and the greatest cookware. And of course...I get to bake with my mom. I hope everyone has an amazing, healthy, Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Missing The End Of The World. Dang.

Today has been a LONG day. I worked from 5:30-10:30 and then was off to the airport to catch my plane to AZ. I felt like I spent most of my day there...My plane was a couple hours late due to this crazy storm. I seriously can't believe all of this. You would honestly think that Utahns had never seen snow in their lives the way we are canceling school, work, life... Hide your kids, hide your wives, hide your husbands, cause the snow's gonna get everybody up in here. 

I guess the airport really did cancel all the flights right after my plane left, soooo it must be pretty bad. I'm just glad I'm here and not stuck there. I was only planning on being at the airport for an hour before my plane left, so I brought a protein bar with me for a snack. As soon as I heard how delayed my plane was I knew I was going to need to eat something real, so I started wandering around the airport trying to find something that would fill me up and would still be healthy. I settled on this sandwich from The Great American Bagel. It was SO good.
A toasted whole wheat baguette, smoked turkey, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, fire roasted red peppers, Dijon mustard, and a tiny bit of mayo. Delicious. I guess it'd better be for an $8.00 six-inch sandwich. Technically I could have had the bag of plain lays potato chips that comes with the sandwich, but I passed. I think regular lays are the biggest waste of calories ever. (My apologies if you like them, I just think they are gross.)
 While wandering I found some other possible healthy airport options...
- assorted fruit cup (totally over priced)
- assorted vegetable cup with ranch dip 
- assorted fruit; apples, bananas & oranges
- oatmeal from Starbucks (130 calories...awesome)
- sandwich from Quiznos (230 calories for a veggie, 360 in the turkey)
- fat free frozen yogurt from TCBY
- yogurt, fruit, & granola parfait (160 for a McDonalds Parfait, I'm guessing the others had 400 calories)
- tortilla soup from California Pizza Kitchen (300 calories)
- Convenience store options: dried fruit, trail mix, pretzels, protein bars, and granola bars. These can all be great options, but you want to be careful when you buy a whole bag of something like trail mix. Those calories can add up quickly. 

The best thing you can do, if possible, is try and plan ahead. Make yourself a pb and banana wrap, (or something that doesn't need to be refrigerated, and pack it with you. Take an apple, banana, protein bar, bag of carrots, etc. Planning ahead is the best way to keep your healthy diet on track. It's when we are hungry and unprepared that we make rash decisions that can be disastrous
P.s. I hope all you Utahns are safe and warm. Good luck with the Turkey Day preparations. I'll be posting some healthy thanksgiving tips tomorrow!! 

The Stair Climber - Not for the faint of heart rated.

Endlessly climbing stairs. Sounds like some awful form of punishment, right? Strangely enough I missed the stairs (the stair mill) more than I have missed running when I hurt my ankle. For some sick reason I love the challenge that comes from putting in a good session on the stairs. I sweat like a fool, and it keeps my legs in shape. It's killer. I've managed to get myself back on the stairs and although it was pretty painful at first, I actually think it's helping rehabilitate the torn tendons. 

One of my favorite things to do on the stairs is intervals. The program goes as follows...

5 min warm up (Level 8-10)

Interval set: 
2 min level 12 (moderate intensity)
2 min level 15-17 (high intensity)
1 min level 8 (low intensity)
*repeat this as many times as you can, i usually try to do 5 min warm up, 50 minute interval set, 5 min cool down

You'll be surprised at  how quickly the time passes when you are doing intervals. You will burn a TON of calories, and you'll be sweating like crazy. If these interval levels are too high you can take the whole thing down and work up to it. (Example: 2 min level 6, 2 min level 9-11, 2 min level 2 etc.) Your high intensity set should feel like you could probably go a tiny bit faster, but you don't want to kill yourself because you want to be able to complete the whole workout. One mistake that people often make with the stair climber is they crank up the speed and then proceed to lay their entire body weight on the machine...not the point. It would be better for you to take the speed down and not hang on with all your might. This will force you to build up stamina, engage your core, and burn more calories. You don't burn calories from lying on top of the equipment...weird I know.

A lot of people are afraid of the machine, but don't be. It is large, yes, but it's not that intimidating once you get up there. Just start slow. You'll get the hang of it. I just crank up my jams and watch the funny things my fellow gym goers do. (Due to the fact that the stairs are like a perch, it is a prime location for one of my favorite activities; people watching.) Now if my gym could just get one of those stair mills like on The Biggest Loser Ranch, that requires you to climb with your hands too...

Monday, November 22, 2010

An Experiment of Sorts.

I am leaving to go to Arizona tomorrow for Turkey Day. YAAAAY!! Which means I didn't go shopping for my produce for the week, which means I have none. I hate having no produce. I honestly don't understand what people who hate fruits and vegetables eat sometimes? So, I decided today to do an experiment. As I've probably mentioned before, I am a snacker by nature. When I am cooking dinner I'll grab a handful of Kashi to munch on, or a few blackberries from the fridge, or sometimes I'll even sneak a lick of peanut butter straight from the container with my finger. Gross, I know, but true. I wanted to be very conscious of my snacking today, so I decided to take a photo of everything that went in to my mouth. Keep in mind that having NO produce made for some interesting meals...I had to get creative to get those fruits and veggies in. 

Breakfast: Oatmeal with a swirl of honey and a lot of cinnamon mixed in, topped with some peanut butter and a sliced up banana. So good, and it keeps me full all morning at work which is great.
 Lunch: Lunch was all about the protein. I had a slice of wheat toast with ranch chicken on top, and a strawberry banana protein shake. (To make the chicken I used canned Costco chicken, and put two TBS of fat free ranch veggie dip and mixed it in with a little salt and pepper.) Because I don't love meat I have a hard time getting all my protein in, so this lunch was GREAT for me. For the shake I had 1/2 a frozen banana and some strawberries i'd frozen previously as well.
 Snack: A Cinnamon Sweet Potato Muffin and an apple. I made these muffins last week and threw them in the freezer because I knew I wouldn't eat them all. Thaw them in the microwave for thirty seconds and they are SO good.
 Dinner: At this point in the day I was absolutely CRAVING vegetables because I usually pack them in at lunch, and due to the fact that I'm produce-less I was dying. I was about to drive to Pizza Factory for one of my all time favorite salad bars, when I remembered I had some frozen veggies in the freezer, and a Smart Ones, Teriyaki Chicken Dinner. I always have some healthy frozen dinners on hand in case I absolutely have nothing, like tonight. So, i steamed the veggies and heated up the dinner and mixed them together. I threw in a few pineapple tidbits for some added sweetness. It wasn't bad. I'm not a huge fan of the chicken they put in those things, so I pretty much ate around it. I also only ate one of my pears because I was so full from all the veggies.The quality of these pictures is astounding...phone pics, what do you do?
 Dessert: I have a friend who has always thought I was crazy for loving frozen yogurt so much until like two weeks ago, when he miraculously decided he loves it too. Duh. So, tonight he decided he wanted some frozen yogurt, and I was willing to oblige. Tonight's delight included cookies and cream, coconut, and red velvet cake with some pretzels and cinnamon toast crunch. It's good. Trust me on the pretzels. You won't regret it.
The verdict on the experiment. It totally worked. I didn't snack at all except for my planned snacks. If I felt like I wanted to grab something I evaluated whether or not I was really hungry, and remembered I wasn't going to want to take a picture of it and declined. Although my food was kind of random today because I didn't have my usual goods, it wasn't a bad day overall, food-wise. I may try and keep the experiment up for the rest of the week to see how I do.

If you feel like you're a mindless eater/snacker give this experiment a try. Even if it just means writing down your food to keep track of yourself. You might just be surprised at what you are eating!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This is funny right?

Those advertisers can be pretttty creative. Yesterday we we somehow ended up watching The Food Network with some show about Thanksgiving hosted by Marc Summers. You know, the host of Double Dare, circa the early 1990's. (Don't ask, I have no idea how we ended up there...) Anyways, they were talking about vegetables, and they showed this ad. 
I thought it was pretty funny...

This morning I was up at 7:00 AM, which is far too early for a girl who doesn't have to be at church until 1:30. Once I was up there was no going back to sleep, so naturally I decided to bake. I had some has-been bananas on my counter screaming to be concocted into something, so I decided to make a low-fat banana chocolate chip muffin recipe to take to my meeting before church. I've made it before but it's been a while. 

Low Fat Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

 (One day I will stop taking pictures with my phone and actually use a real camera...one day.)

3 very ripe bananas, mashed 
1.5 Tbsp olive oil 
1/3 cup applesauce 
3/4 cup sugar 
1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt 
1 egg 
2 egg whites 
1/3 cup wheat germ 
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour 
1/2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
3 oz. mini chocolate chips

Directions: Preheat your oven to 350. Mix together the wet ingredients, then add the dry, adding the chocolate chips last. Fill muffin tins 3/4 way full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test. Allow to cool before serving. I actually don't love the olive oil in this recipe. Although it provides for some good, "healthy fats," I think it could be omitted, and instead increase the applesauce a bit. I also sprinkled a little mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon on top for a little sweet topping.

I also made a batch of not-so-low-fat pumpkin chocolate chip muffins because I know everyone doesn't always love the healthy treats I force on them. JK...usually people have no idea...muahahahahaah...(evil laugh.) I opted out of posting the pumpkin chocolate chip recipe out of fear that you'd make them, and eat the entire batch. I swear they are THAT good. So, if you want it, let me know, and I'll email it to you anonymously. ;) For the record...I still healthified the recipe. I can't not. Applesauce, egg whites, whole wheat flour, the usual, but it still didn't pass my post-able test. Like I said, they're dangerous. Both the banana and the pumpkin were a hit, so there is proof that foods don't have to be fattening to be enjoyed. 

p.s. I'm watching Home Alone right now. How funny is this movie? Sheesh...I love it.
p.p.s. I feel like I'm posting lots of recipes lately. What is it about the fall that just makes me want to bake all the time?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What are you going to do TODAY?

I hear it all the time. 
"Tomorrow is my fresh start."
"Once the holidays are over I'm going to be a lot better."
"As soon as life calms down, I'll be able to get a handle on my health."

Guess what? The chances are...life is never really going to calm down. So we have to learn to make the best of what we have today, and figure out how to improve ourselves in our circumstances TODAY. 
That doesn't mean you have to go from being a couch potato to a marathon finisher in one day. Everything takes time. However, if you are constantly waiting until tomorrow to start you won't ever see any results at all. 

So, my question for you is...What are YOU going to do TODAY? 

Pick a goal. Stick to it. Make it happen. You CAN do it. 

Today in spin I re-realized something that I haven't thought about in a while. Nobody can make us do anything. I have clients that come in some days, and it seems like I might literally have to take a shephards hook to get them to work out for the day, but at the end of the hour, every ounce that they put in comes from within them. Be it a half energy effort or the best workout they've ever had. Whatever they decided to do came from inside them. So, find that desire inside yourself to change your outlook. What are you going to put in to making things happen for yourself. Find that and decide, What are you going to do TODAY?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Workout Playlist Jams

It's getting cold. A lot of us are ending up working out inside, which means new music is in order. Here is my current play list.

All of the Lights - Kanye West ft. Rihanna
Firework - Katy Perry
We R Who We R - Ke$ha (She gets me every time)
Dancing On My Own - Robyn
Twilight Galaxy - Metric
Raise Your glass - Pink
Teach Me How To Dougie - California Swag District
Hands - The Ting Tings
Use Your Love - Katy Perry
Like A G6 - Far East Movement ft. The Cataracts
Take It Off - Ke$ha
Just The Way You Are (The remix) - Bruno Mars ft. Lupe Fiasco
Club Can't Handle Me - Flo Rida ft. David Guetta (It's been around for a while, but I still love it)
DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love - Usher ft. Pitbull
Give a Little More - Maroon 5
Undisclosed Desires - Muse
This Time - The Black Eyed Peas (This one is AMAZING.) 

Hopefully some new tunes will help you get your sweat on. I know it always helps me! Go HERE for my past playlists. Do you have any great songs for me that I need to add? I'm always up for suggestions!! I hope your weekend is awesome.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Healthy Cinnamon Sweet Potato Muffins

I LOVE to look at food blogs. I love to bake and cook and experiment in the kitchen. One of my favorite things to do is to take recipes and, "healthify," them. I saw this recipe on the darling blog, Sweet Treats and More, for Cinnamon Sweet Potato Muffins. I absolutely love sweet potatoes, so I was really excited to try making them. I made a few of my own adjustments to make them pretty dang healthy. 

Healthy Cinnamon Sweet Potato Muffins

2 medium sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into chunks
1 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 egg whites
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c skim

2 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Bring a saucepan 3/4 full of water to a boil, add the sweet potatoes, and cook until tender.  Remove from heat and drain thoroughly.  
Transfer to food processor and puree until lightly fluffy.  
Scrape into a bowl and let cool to room temperature. 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease muffin cups with butter-flavored nonstick spray. My recipe made 16 muffins total.
In a bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the egg whites, sugar, applesauce, and milk.  Whisk vigorously for 1 minute.  Add the mashed sweet potatoes and stir until completely blended.  Add the flour mixture and stir just until evenly moistened.  Don't over stir, the batter will be slightly lumpy.   

Spoon the batter into each muffin cup, filling it 3/4 full.  Sprinkle each muffin with cinnamon-sugar topping.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and passes the toothpick test.  Lightly dust with more cinnamon-sugar topping. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving. Serve warm.  These were SO delicious! They were a great fall-ish muffin, and I will definitely be making them again.

Nutrition Facts: 
Calories 107.3, Fat .4 grams, 23.8 grams carbs, 2.6 grams fiber, 10.5 grams sugar, 3.8 grams protein 

The self defeating cycle of eating your feelings

I received this question the other day...

"I was wondering if you had some awesome tips for avoiding emotional eating. If I've had a bad day I will use the excuse "I deserve this (fill in the blank, usually some sort of ice cream, chocolate, candy, cookies, etc.) after the awful day I've had." I can't seem to get past food as a reward, or using it to improve my mood. I also don't want to pass these tendencies onto my two daughters."

Oh, you are SO not alone my darling, and so smart for wanting to get this habit under control. Emotional eating is a huge factor in the obesity trend we are seeing running rampant these days. First, lets define what an emotional eater is. Emotional eating occurs when we use food to self-soothe. Call it food addiction, compulsive overeating, or emotional eating...it's all the same.

Eating becomes habitual for comfort, not for nourishment like it was intended. I have found that it is extremely prevalent in the LDS culture. For those of you who aren't familiar with the LDS faith, part of the practice that we believe in is to abstain from alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, and drugs. For many people in the world these are their leisure activities. Going to meet up with some friends for a cup of coffee, or a drink at the bar is part of their social norm. Because LDS people refrain from those activities they turn to food for social settings. Think about it, when was the last time you went to any sort of gathering where there wasn't food involved? We meet up to go to dinner, or for ice cream. We are constantly dropping off cookies, or bringing treats. Food is EVERYWHERE. This doesn't have to be a bad thing. Food is good, it really is. However, it is because of these habits that we start to feel like food is equated with having a good time, and in a sense happiness.
Now, let's take you out of the social setting. You're at home. It's been a hard day, or hard hour, or a rough ten minutes. You are feeling stressed and you want whatever is going to calm those nerves and make you feel better the fastest. The second your mind switches over to what might be in your pantry, your focus switches from whatever you were stressed/mad/sad/depressed about to the food. Your mind was quickly taken off of that negative feeling to a positive feeling you've equated with food. It doesn't even have to be a negative emotion, it can simply be boredom. this self-reinforcing habit becomes routine, which is where we see weight gain and over eating issues. The more you stop listening to the internal hunger cues in your body, the more likely you will be to over eat. Some signs to look for with emotional eating are: instant cravings and satisfaction, craving specific foods (with real hunger you will be more open to food options, with emotional eating you want a specific food), eating when you are full, and feelings of guilt associated with what you're eating.
This pattern of emotional eating can lead to a negative cycle. You eat poorly, you get angry at yourself for eating poorly, you have the, "well now I've ruined my good day of eating so i might as well kibosh the rest of it," attitude, and so you eat more. It's a bad road. Don't venture down there.

The specific question asked put an emphasis on the topic of food as a reward for ourselves, and for others. We quite often feel like we deserve different foods. After, for example, a hard day of work, an intense emotional  bout, a vigorous work out, etc. We reward our children with food for good behavior, and this becomes expected. Read HERE for an example of what "deserving things" can do for you, or NOT do for you for that matter.

So, what is the answer here? How do we overcome these habits that we've incorporated as part of our normal routines?

1. Recognize your triggers. Sit down and make a list of what sends you into an emotional eating frenzy. Boredom? Social situations? Stress? Sadness? Guilt? Routine? Part of knowing how to overcome this habit is knowing how to recognize it. Don't fill that void with food. Learning to address the issue will help you to remedy it correctly.

2. Distract yourself. Make a list of possible alternatives to eating that you can do when you are wanting to answer to that pattern. Get a drink of water, do 10 push ups, go walk to the mail box and back, pick up ten of your kids toys, etc. Whatever it takes to get your mind off of food.

3. Don't completely deprive yourself. For those who are trying to cut out unhealthy foods, emotional eating can come in to play when you feel like you are deprived of all your favorite foods. Allow yourself to indulge every now and then, in moderation. When you are feeling completely deprived it can set your brain off to obsess over whatever it is that you're depriving yourself of, more. If you're DYING to have something, try having a bite or two and waiting to see if you're satisfied. If you are then be done. Listen to your internal cues. Whatever you do, don't let that bite turn into a binge fest.

4. Ask yourself...Am I really hungry? Put up post it notes with this phrase on your pantry door, or fridge. Try to make a conscious effort to be alert to your hunger cues. If you aren't hungry and are just snacky or want something out of habit, try chewing gum. It can help to occupy that mouth without the calories.

5. Stop dieting and start eating healthy. Crash diets don't work long term. They will leave you feeling deprived and hungry more than anything. Rather than thinking about what you can't eat, think about what you can eat. Fill your cupboards with good healthy choices. Making healthy eating a lifestyle will do more than just help you lose weight, you'll feel better, and your family will too. 

6. Don't make food a reward. Find other ways to congratulate yourself, your kids, your family, etc. If you are trying to eat healthy, plan out what your rewards will be ahead of time. If you are dying to have that new pair of jeans, set a goal that you can have them if you workout consecutively for 60 days...or whatever your goal may be. With your kids find other means of rewarding them, stickers, quarters, trips to the movies, etc. If you create the habit of food being a reward for you and for your kids it will become the expected, and the norm. 

I think the most important thing to remember here is that food is fuel for your body, so eat good foods to fuel yourself, not just to fill time. You wouldn't go to fill up your car with gas and then stand there and try to fill your car as it overflows, just because you're bored. Don't do the same thing to yourself. Your real reward will come when you feel and look the way you want to. Emotional eating occurs when you trade what you want most, for what you want at the moment. Our society has such a quick fix, instant gratification mindset. Don't fall prey to this. With some determination you can get rid of your emotional eating habits, and help your self achieve results. Although you may feel like you're doing yourself a favor by allowing yourself to overeat this or that, but if you look at the big picture you're doing more harm than good.

Hopefully that helps somewhat! This is a big issue that requires some dedication to change, but overcoming it is definitely possible!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I have like 85 things I want to post about right now! But alas (yes i just said alas, it's 1495...duh)...it's past my bed time and tomorrow comes EARLY. So all 85 will have to wait. 

I do have to say, thank you so much for sending me your questions and concerns. It makes my day, it really does. Heck, I didn't even know people actually read this thing. But, great to know there are a few of you out there...(aside from my mom, sisters, Janae, and Benita)...I love your emails, comments, and questions, and I will do my best to answer them sufficiently asap! 
Nighty night!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Not feeling so hot? It seems like everyone I talk to is feeling a little under the weather. It comes with the season I guess. Unfortunately, the gym seems to be a prime location for swapping germs. Here are some tips to avoid getting sick at the gym...

1. Wipe down your equipment. Lots of sweaty bodies use the cardio equipment, and most people don't take the time to wipe their stuff down. Grab the disinfectant spray, do a quick spray down before and again when you're done. It takes like 10 seconds.

2. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, ears, and nose while you're working out. Although your body has protective membranes to try to help you fight germs, it's easy to transfer sicknesses by touching those openings into your body. Not worth it.

3. Get a waterbottle that doesn't require you to touch the mouth piece to open and close it. Avoiding contact with where your mouth is going to be touching is very important. This also goes along with touching your phone while you work out. It may be smart to wipe it down after you leave the gym with some disenfectant wipes or something to get all those germs off.

4. WASH YOUR HANDS. It's AMAZING and seriously disgusting, to see people leave the bathroom without washing their hands at the gym. I've seen it more than once, and it makes me sick. You'd better believe I'm watching to see where that little lassie goes, so I avoid ANY contact. So gross right? I know. Try to wash your hands when you're leaving the gym. before you get in your car as well.

5. Wear gloves to lift weights. Not only does this help you to avoid getting caluses, it also cuts down your gem contact. And you look super tough. ;)

6. Be smart. If you are super sick, don't bring the germs to the gym. If you can't miss a work out...because I know some of us feel that way, (and i have been a culprit...several times) just be curteous and wipe your equipment down afterwords. Your gym friends will thank you.

7. Get enough sleep. If you aren't allowing your body adequate rest, you're going to be more run down and your immune system isn't going to be as strong. Go to bed.

8. Be prepared. Try to prevent getting sick if possible. Take a multivitamin, and eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Getting a variety of good nutrients into your body will help you to strengthen that immune system.

Sometimes there isn't much you can do to fight it, but do what you can if possible. Who wants to be sick? yuck.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Easiest Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

Wheat Bread is GOOOOOD. We have actually made this bread at my apartment twice in the past week and it gets gobbled up in no time. It's DELICIOUS, simple, and really healthy. I got this recipe from one of my darling friends Lola. It's a keeper. 

Whole Wheat Bread
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 packet of yeast
3 Tbls. honey
1 tsp of salt
1 Tbls oil (optional- not needed if you eat the  bread in one day)
4-5 c. Flour (or as much as needed)

Mix warm water and honey together. Dissolve the yeast until frothy, this usually takes about 15 minutes. Add oil and dry ingredients. Knead for a few minutes. Roll into a ball, place in a bowl and let rise for an hour. Remove the dough and throw it on the counter, literally chuck it, as hard as you can. Apparently it gets all of the air bubbles out of it. Throwing it twice might not be a bad idea. Roll the dough into a loaf, or braid it. Place on a cookie sheet, not in a loaf pan and bake at 350 for 30ish minutes.

Seriously, could that get any easier? I think not...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Be A Weekend Warrior

Weekends can be rough on weight loss, diets, basic healthy routine, etc. But they don't have to be. Usually we use that as our excuse to cover our slip ups. "It was the weekend..." Don't get me wrong, we all need breaks from perfection. ;) Nobody can eat perfect one hundred percent of the time, or exercise perfectly, or sleep perfectly. It's impossible. We do need those times to break out of feeling like we're on robotic mode, and the weekend is a great time to do that.  Here are some ways to help get through your weekend woes. 

1. Save eating out for the weekend. It is more than likely that you are going to go out on the weekend. It is just what most people do. If you have eaten out all week, and then the weekend comes and you're still eating out you might not feel so great. Make a conscious effort to eat at home, or bring a lunch to work, all week so you'll look forward to getting to eat out and you won't feel so bad. Make smart choices when you eat out, and you'll feel even better. Look online for the nutrition facts to the restaurants your heading to. Being prepared is a key part of staying on track.

2. Get your move on. Make it a goal to get some Saturday morning exercise in. Sundays for most people are the day you take off, and when you have two days off in a row you can get feeling kinda gross. 

3. Avoid the Movie Theater extras. A large sized popcorn has 20 cups of popcorn in it, 1,200 calories and 60 grams of fat. 60!!!!! If you're going to the movies take your own snacks. (Yes, I am advising you to sneak in your own food. Totally against movie theater conduct.) Bring some air popped popcorn, yogurt covered raisins, jolly ranchers, waters, apple slices, whatever snacks you want. If you absolutely MUST have some popcorn from the theaters don't endlessly eat from the bag. Get yourself a serving of it and allow some room for it in your calories throughout the day. 

4. Make normal healthy eating habits a part of your lifestyle. If this is the case then when you have splurges every now and then you won't feel bad about them and you won't feel so restricted. The goal of a healthy diet is to make it a lifestyle, so you don't feel restricted all the time. Nobody wants to live like that! 

5. Take Saturdays to restock your produce. If you have the good stuff on hand, you will be a lot more likely to eat healthy. If you need to wash and prep your produce for the next week this is a great day to do it!

6. Bring a healthy option to the dinner party. If you are getting together with friends bring some healthy options. You'll be surprised at how quickly it will fly. Fruit and veggie trays are almost always the first things to go at parties. 

I hope you have a happy healthy weekend! Don't you just love Fridays??

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Sometimes I get a little tired of my foot being totally lame and I try to pretend like it isn't. 
Case in point...Wednesday's Activities:

50 Minute Leg Workout in the morning
Back to the gym in the evening for 45 Minutes on the Stairs (I had to get to the gym early to save a bike for Janae's Spin Class...It's like a trying to get a free computer on Black Friday to get a bike in there)
47 Minute Spin Class  I was literally SOAKED by the time it was over. It was such a fun class! You'd think she's paying me for these plugs...she's totally not. ;) 

Today, I'm re-learning the meaning of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness...and the meaning of resting your injuries. My foot is killing me. I have a hard time with being patient sometimes, oops. I'm trying to be better. If you are ever super sore the tendency is to want to sit still...not moving a muscle, but one of the best things you can do is get that blood flowing. Warm the muscles up and stretch them. It helps! 

I had a great discussion today with one of my clients about changing habits. She told me all of the great things that she'd like to do...never eat treats, only eat whole grains, fill her diet with tons of fruits and vegetables, and so on. We then talked about where she'd come from, and the small changes she'd made along the way that have made a big difference. Because she'd made these small changes, one at a time. It didn't seem like much. The changes seemed like her normal lifestyle to her now. The more we talked about it the more she realized what great progress she'd made, and how it isn't an overnight transformation. She still has a progress to make, but don't we all. It was a great reminder to me that we can't change every bad habit we have all at once. However, we can change little things at a time, and over time those little things will make a big difference. Pick something small that you can change this week. Once you've mastered that, and it's become a part of your lifestyle, change something else. It may not seem like you're making tons of progress all at once, but in the grand scheme of things you're making vast changes that will manifest themselves in your progress. Keep on keepin' on.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Post Workout Meals - Worth It.

Have you had a Pink Lady Apple? Sheesh. They are like candy. I used to be all Fuji, but I think I've switched over. I'm addicted. I absolutely hate mushy/mealy apples. They make me gag. On the other hand...a crisp cold apple? Yes please. You can't beat that. The Pink Lady will be good to you, promise. You know what else I love? Apple cutters. How easy does a healthy snack get? Apples are a great, inexpensive, healthy snack option for you and your kids! They can be a great grab and go food to take with you to work, school, or to run errands as well. This post was in no way intended to be about apples, but I was just so excited about my afternoon snack, (I had this and a couple slices of deli turkey), that i had to share. Anyways...

Wednesday nights I love to go to spinning. I talk about it all the time, I know...it's because I love it! A lot of the time when I get home it's later in the evening and I'm not all that hungry for a big meal. Sometimes I'm tempted just to go to bed, dinner free, but I know this isn't the best option for me. A lot of the time I end up eating cereal, which I know sounds like a cop out, but it's because the cereal combo I eat is whole grain, low in calories, really high in protein and great for after workout muscle repair.
My cereal combo is 3/4 cup Special K protein plus and 1/2 cup Kashi GoLean Crunch with a cup of skim milk. It ends up being just under 300 calories and about 25 grams of protein. Yum, yum, yum.

So what should you be eating after your workouts? First and foremost, you want to be sure to get enough fluid in you. After sweating through your workout you need to replenish your body fluids. If you want to get technical on how much fluid you're losing you can weigh yourself before and after, and be sure to drink the amount of ounces in water that was lost during your workout. Most moderate exercisers lose about 1 qt (4 cups) of water per hour. With that being said you'd be smart to drink somewhere around 16-20 oz of water after your workout. If you are engaging in an extremely intense exercise, causing you to lose more than 3-4 cups of fluid, you might want to consider replenishing your fluids with a sports drink that has electrolytes in it.

Your post workout meal should replenish about half of the calories that you burned during your workout. So, if you burned 800 calories, a 400 calorie meal would be ideal. You want 60 percent of your calories from your post workout meal to come from carbohydrates. Your glycogen stores have been depleted from your workout, and need to be replaces. Most people think that straight protein is the all you should eat after your workout, but your body needs more carbs than protein at this point. The moderate exerciser should consume around 30-40 grams of carbs. The intense exerciser should consume around 40-50. However, good quality protein is necessary. Your post workout meal should be comprised of about 25 percent protein. For most people this means about 10-20 grams of protein. 
not over eating. Fat doesn't play a big role in muscle recovery, and shouldn't be the focus of your post workout meal.

You will want to eat your meal within thirty minutes to two hours, after you've finished your workout. Your body is constantly working to return to homeostasis, and wants to recover your muscles and their fuel supply back to their normal state. If your appetite doesn't allow you to eat a meal right after you exercise, even a small snack of mainly carbohydrates and protein will do. Remember you're trying to help your muscles repair themselves, so you are primed and ready for your next workout. Smoothies, shakes, and protein bars are great ways to replenish your energy stores, and are easy to eat. I had a professor that swore by 1 percent chocolate milk as a recovery drink for all his athletes because it has the perfect amount of carbs, protein, and fat.

Be careful that you aren't overdoing it on your daily caloric intake. You want to be sure you're planning for these post workout meals, and that you're staying within your caloric ranges.

Some post workout meal ideas are: Toast and peanut butter, Whole wheat pita with hummus, an apple and some almonds, cottage cheese with fruit, yogurt and fruit, an egg white omelet with veggies and a piece of toast, cereal and milk, veggie stir fry with some lean meat, a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread, a wheat tortilla with turkey slices and veggies, vegetable soup with a slice of whole wheat bread, wheat crackers and a low fat cheese, a fruit protein smoothie, or brown rice and some chicken, an apple and peanut butter, oatmeal with nut butter, etc.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

More Veggies Please...quickly that is

I love veggies. Love. Some of the vegetables I love the most take forever to prepare, which is a major deterrent to eating them if you are in a time crunch. Two of my favorite vegetables, especially in the fall, are squash and sweet potatoes. Both of which take about 45 minutes to cook if you are doing so in the oven. Sometimes I can plan ahead like that...but...let's be honest, usually not. So, I've taken my preparation to the microwave. Yep. I'm nuking my veggies these days, and it's surprisingly good! 

For Squash:
1. Cut the squash in half, and scoop out seeds
2. Season (I sprayed mine with spray butter and added a little bit of brown sugar and salt)
3. Completely cover the acorn squash with saran wrap
4. place in a microwave safe dish and cook for 4-6 minutes, until tender
5. Scoop out of skin, or eat straight out of it like a dish! 

For Sweet Potatoes:

1. Wash Sweet Potato
2. poke several holes in it with a fork
3. place on a paper towel on a microwave safe plate
4. microwave for 5 minutes
5. cut down the middle and scoop out sweet potato or eat straight from the skin
6. season and enjoy! (I used spray butter and a little bit of salt, you don't need much)

I am also a big fan of the frozen steam fresh bags of veggies that you can get in the freezer section of the grocery store. It's a great fast way to get in some good vegetables servings for the day!
I have got an AWESOME response regarding the boot camp! Thanks for the comments, FB messages, and emails. We're looking to get things kicked off December 1st. I'll let you know more details and information as it comes. Thanks for being so great!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Boot Camp

I think the weather really is taking a turn for the worse. It's hard to believe that it's the second week in November and I still haven't had to resort to my winter uniform...North Face coat and Uggs. I'm not mad about it, not for one second. With the weather getting colder the option to workout outside become a little more limited, unless you have lungs of steel and you don't mind sweating through the cold. (Which would also mean you are a lot tougher than I am. I'll take a heated gym, thank you.) 

I have been wanting to do a boot camp for a while now, and I figure the cold weather forcing us all indoors is a great time to do so! As of right now I'm thinking it would be an hour long class in a circuit style format that would involve weights and cardio bursts, basically a sweat fest! It would be facilitated for all levels of fitness, so don't be discouraged if you are a beginner. (For those of you who participated in my Lab Rats work out it would be a format similar to that.) We would include a meal plan to follow and regular body composition testing to track your progress.

I want to know what your feed back would be. What would be the ideal time of day? Early mornings? Midday? Evenings? Where would an ideal location be? It would be affordable and worth your while! It's a great way to get the benefits of a personal trainer without the cost. It doesn't matter if I know you or I don't! Anyone is invited! Boot camps are a great way to workout with a support group and feel accountable to sticking to your workout schedule. Feel free to email me at megolina21@gmail.com or leave a comment, and let me know your thoughts! 

Thanks!! You guys are the bomb! :) 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pumpkin Invasion: Healthy Pumpkin Pie, Cookies, Bread, Muffins, and Oatmeal Recipes

With fall time comes the need to bake with pumpkin...or is that just me? I LOVE the way it smells, the flavor, and I think it is just so fitting for the season. But hearing healthy and pumpkin in the same sentence when baking doesn't usually happen. Until now that is. These awesome pumpkin recipes are sure to woo your audiences! 

Healthy Pumpkin Pie 
(From Hungry Girl)


For Crust

2 cups Fiber One Cereal (Original) 

1/4 cup light whipped butter or light buttery spread
3 tbsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener
1 tsp. cinnamon
For Filling

One 15-oz. can pureed pumpkin
One 12-oz. can evaporated fat-free milk
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute
3/4 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener
1/4 cup sugar-free maple syrup
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
Optional Topping: Fat Free Cool Whip


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine butter with 2 tbsp. water. Microwave until just melted, and set aside. In a blender or food processor, grind Fiber One to a breadcrumb-like consistency. In a medium mixing bowl, combine butter mixture and crumbs with remaining ingredients for crust. Stir until mixed well. Spray an oven-safe 9-inch pie dish lightly with nonstick spray. Evenly distribute crust mixture, using your hands or a flat utensil to firmly press and form the crust. Press it into the edges and up along the sides of the dish. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for the filling. Mix well. Pour mixture into pie crust. The filling may be taller than the crust. Bake pie in the oven for 45 minutes. Allow pie to cool slightly. Refrigerate for several hours, overnight if possible. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Cut into 8 slices and, if you like, top with Reddi-wip or Cool Whip before serving! 
* I made this for my family last Thanksgiving and they LOVED it. It is really delicious! 

Serving Size: 1 slice  Calories: 133 Fat: 3g Sodium: 236mg Carbs: 28g Fiber: 9g Sugars: 8g Protein: 6g

Healthy Pumpkin Cookies 

1 1/2 TBS butter
1 1/2 TBS unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 egg whites
1 TBS water
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup pureed pumpkin

1. Preheat your oven to 350
2. Mix together butter, applesauce, brown sugar, honey, egg whites, and water.
3. Add in your dry ingredients, and then your oatmeal and pumpkin.
4. Spoon onto cookie sheet (sprayed with Pam) and bake for 12 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup fat-free vanilla pudding
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (I'd maybe try using 1/2 whole wheat flour 1/2 white)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack, and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 152 (30% from fat) Fat: 5g (sat 1.2g,mono 2.5g,poly 1.1g) Protein: 2g Carbohydrate: 26.5g
Fiber: 1.1g Cholesterol: 0.0mg Iron: 1mg Sodium: 137mg Calcium: 10mg

Healthy Pumpkin Banana Muffins 


Yield: 30 muffins
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour 
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats 
  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon 
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger 
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg 
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup applesauce 
  • 15 ounces canned pumpkin 
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line muffin tins with paper liners. Combine flours, bran, oats, baking powder, spices, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Using whisk or spoon, stir until well mixed. Combine remaining ingredients (except nuts) in a large mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Beat just until combined. Spoon into prepared pans or tins (fill cups until just about full). Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan and cool on wire rack as soon as they come out of the oven. 

Pumpkin Pancakes 



  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/3 cup pure pumpkin 
Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg together in a medium bowl. Combine egg, oil, milk and pumpkin in a small bowl. Stir pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients. Leave to stand for five minutes. For each pancake, scoop 1/4 cup of batter on to a hot griddle or nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray. Turn pancakes when bubbles appear and edges are cooked, after about 2 minutes. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes on second side. Makes 8-10 pancakes. Add in chopped apples, craisins, or mini chocolate chips for a touch of sweetness. Serve with maple syrup. 

Pumpkin Oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1/8 cup pumpkin 
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar  
  • 1 (1 g) packet Splenda or Stevia 
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Add some chopped nuts, if desired. Microwave oatmeal for 2-3 minutes depending on your microwave. Be careful of the oatmeal boiling over. This could also be done on a stove top, campfire, or in a slow cooker. Stir your oatmeal and enjoy!