Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Eat With Me.

Seriously though, wouldn't it be fun if we could all just eat super healthy meals together all the time? I'd be down. I have had some questions regarding what I eat on a regular basis and why I eat it, so I thought I'd do a few posts of my meals every now and again and give you some explanation. Hopefully it will give you some new ideas!

Today's Breakfast: Chocolate PB Oatmeal
I like to eat oatmeal for breakfast because it fills me up and keeps me full through out the morning. I especially love it in the winter because it makes me warm. In my post on oatmeal a few days ago many of you mentioned that you like oatmeal but the oatmeal packets don't keep you full. I would recommend to you to try using the old fashioned oats that you buy in the big canisters instead. The quick oats (you can find them in the canisters as well and they are the type that come in the packages) are still good for you. However, the slow cook/old fashioned oats are lower on the glycemic index, meaning they won't spike your blood sugar, and they contain more fiber. Instant oats have been processed more than the old fashioned oats have and may have lost some of the nutrients in the process. I use the old fashioned rolled oats for everything. 

My oatmeal procedure: 
Mix 1/2 cup old fashioned oats & 1 cup water in bowl
microwave for 3 minutes, stir, microwave 1 more minute
Add 2-3 TBS ff/sf chocolate pudding mix, 2 tsp of cinnamon (or just a lot), and stir it together
add a few dollops of PB to the top of that
For this combo: 275 calories, 11 grams of protein, 11 grams of fat, 2 grams of sugar, and 8 grams of fiber. 
Sometimes I will add a drizzle of honey or some chopped up banana. 

Today's Lunch: Tuna Wrap & Salad
For the wrap I use a La Tortilla Factory Low Carb Tortilla, a big handful of spinach and an individual packet of tuna packed in water mixed with some fat free miracle whip. I try to get as much protein in at lunch as possible. 
This whole wrap is about 200 calories and 26 grams of protein.

To this combo I add my favorite little side salad.
 I use THIS quick steam method to steam about 10 baby carrots and a cup of broccoli. I put those over a big bed of spinach and then i cover them in mango salsa. You may think it's gross. I think it's DIVINE. salsa is an awesome way to add flavor to your salads without adding calories. I use a little bit of fat free ranch on the side, because I love ranch.

 For this entire lunch, both the wrap and the salad, it is 338 calories, 30 grams of protein and 20 grams of fiber. Yep almost all my necessary fiber for the day in one meal. AWESOME. I like to eat this lunch for a few reasons. 1) I try to get a lot of protein. 2) Between the veggies and the protein it's VERY filling, for a very low amount of calories. Vegetables are awesome like that. 3) It's really tasty. It is still weird to me that I can stomach tuna after hating it my whole life. I like to eat foods that are voluminous. A lot of food for a low amount of calories.

Snack: 1 egg plus one egg white
 I knew that I wasn't going to be getting in a ton of protein for dinner, so I wanted my snack to be straight protein. It's quick, easy, and tasty. I fry up one egg and one egg white in a non-stick pan with some Pam. I sprinkle it with a little fajita seasoning, and that is it. 
This comes to 87 calories and 9 grams of protein. If I have more calories to spare I'll add in two more egg whites.

 Today's Dinner: Salad at Pizza Factory
 This pic is kind of a struggle, but you get it. My salad consisted of: spinach, romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, LOTS of beets, a few spiral noodles, edama me, mandarin oranges, pineapple, cottage cheese, sunflower seeds, and some pretzels and goldfish for garnish. I get 1/2 fat free ranch mixed with 1/2 regular ranch on the side and just dip a lil' bit on my fork. The cottage cheese does most the work for the dressing. 
I also split 1/2 a dry breadtwist with Benita. 

Man I could eat this salad. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I LOVE it! It always tastes so fresh and good to me. I try and amp up the veggies and the lean protein here.
I estimate this meal with the bread stick included to be about 450 calories, 20 grams of protein, and 9 grams of fiber.

We also stopped at Maverick tonight for some fat free frozen yogurt. My cone was about 165 calories, bringing my day to just over 1,300 calories. Because of my goals right now I am aiming to eat 1,300 to 1,400 calories per day. When I am eating intuitively I tend to eat about 1,500 calories.

What I would consider pro's about my day:
TONS of fresh veggies.
No "in between" random snacking (handfuls here and there) I am a snacker, so this is big for me.
I made good choices when eating out. 
5 small meals throughout the day.

What I feel like I could improve on:
A little more protein. I ended up with 77 grams and I like to hit 90-100. My dinner was where I was lacking.
I really try to avoid processed white flour at all costs. Pizza Factory bread sticks are my vice, which is why Benita and I always just split one. That way I feel like I get a little indulgence without going over board. 
While frozen yogurt isn't a horrible choice, my last snack could have had some more nutrition to it. 

All in all I'm happy with the day's eating. 

Do you eat small meals throughout the day or are you a 3 square meals type of person? I like to eat several small meals. Probably because I love to eat! What are your favorite salad bar toppings/components? Mine are edama me and beets! I LOVE beets...I love everything on my salad pictured above. it's SO good.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How Many Calories Should I be Eating?

Food. It's so good. If you don't think so you are crazy. It is a huge part of our lifestyle. So many of our social events revolve around food; parties, meetings, celebrations, etc. It's absolutely impossible to get away from it. So, stop trying to. Instead learn to get along with it. Developing a positive relationship with food is essential to a happy, healthy life.

I have had several people ask me how many calories they should be consuming, so I figured I'd offer some help.
Because you see; I love food...
 My mouth is watering as we speak.
Seee....told you. I love it.

Caloric consumption has always been a huge topic of concern for my clients. How much should I be eating? I hate counting calories, but I still want to lose weight. I work out a ton, but I don't see any changes. These are some previous posts on calorie consumption that I've written for your literary enjoyment.

Click HERE to read about finding your basal metabolic rate and how to create a caloric deficit.
Click HERE to read about finding the right calorie balance dealing with losing weight and getting the correct amount of calories for your expenditure needs. 

Hopefully that helps some! If you still have questions let me know.

My disclaimer...calorie counting is not for everyone. It is all a matter of your goals. For those who are looking to lose weight I think that it's very important. Many people don't realize their bad eating habits and food journaling is the best way to determine these habits. If you are working out like a fiend and you aren't showing it on the scale, the chances are you are sabotaging your work efforts with your diet. This doesn't mean you have to become calorie obsessed, just food aware. Finding that healthy balance IS possible. For healthy eating purposes achieving intuitive eating as a habit is optimal. Being able to pay attention to your hunger levels and not just eat whatever you see is not easy to do, and getting to that point is like reaching the top of a very big mountain. The basic truth of the matter; MOST people underestimate the amount of food they are eating. Just because it is "good food" doesn't mean you can eat and eat all day long. This is where the journaling comes in again. It's about learning what works for you and for your body.

Do you count calories? I would like to say that I don't...but I am at the point that I know basic calories of most foods. Even when I'm not writing it down I'm mentally keeping track. Are you an intuitive eater? If you are that is a great! Keep it up :) Have you always been this way, or is this a learned habit?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mmmmm...that sounds good. I think I'll have that.

I am a huge fan of breakfast. Duh. Oatmeal is my number one choice. I love it. I am also LOVING that so many fast food and breakfast eatery's are now offering oatmeal as a quick and easy on the go option. Starbucks, Jamba Juice, even McDonalds are jumping on board. I've wanted to do a review of which of these options are best for a while now, so coming across THIS VIDEO made me verrry happy. It's a good quick overview of which on-the-go oatmeal options are best, and how to choose wisely when ordering this yummy delight.

Although I'll continue to stick to my chocolate peanut butter oatmeal

I still love these options for emergencies, road trips, or for those of you who otherwise wouldn't be able to get breakfast in.

Do you like oatmeal? I love it. It's cheap, filling and SUPER healthy. I especially love it in the winter when it warms me up! Have you tried any of the fast food oatmeal options? I haven't but I've actually heard a lot of good things about them. How do you eat your oatmeal? Chocolate PB combo and Banana PB combos are my fave...basically any combo that involves PB and a lot of cinnamon!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Stir Fry and Soft Serve

Today has been a glooorious day. Sundays are the only day that I get to sleep in, so I REALLY took advantage today. I didn't get out of bed until 11:15. Ridiculous? Maybe. Amazing? Most certainly. I can't even tell you the last time I was in bed that late. I woke up like 5 times before that, but the fact that I didn't have to get out of bed was amazing! Usually on a week day I'm done with all of my morning clients by then, or close to it. Crazy town.
I came home from church and headed straight over to my mom and dad's for a DELICIOUS dinner. Dinner tastes so good when someone else makes it for you. My mom and dad made us some chicken and vegetable stir fry with some fresh fruit and fruit dip. It tasted HEAVENLY. Thanks M&D.
Mom's Stir Fry
Spray heated pan with pam and add a bit of olive oil. Add whatever vegetables you like; broccoli, zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, snow peas, bell peppers, yellow squash, etc. Whatever you like! Cook them through.
Add cooked chicken. My dad grilled up some yummy chicken with a little salt and pepper. We cut that up and threw that in with the veggies. After that is heated through add the stir fry sauce.
1/3 cup karo syrup
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 TBS corn starch
Serve over brown rice.

You can cook the chicken first in the pan with a little bit of lemon juice, salt and pepper if you don't want to grill it. This recipe is so tasty and a great way get in a lot of veggies.

I have had so many people tell me that I need to try making banana soft serve from frozen bananas, that I FINALLY decided to try it. I sliced up some frozen ripe bananas this morning, and threw them in the freezer. (I separated them into portions because I'm a freak like that.) I just made this from one banana.
 Tonight I put the frozen bananas into my mini food processor.
 Next, i just whipped them up, until they made a creamy consistency.
 And that is all she wrote. I seriously loved it! It was such an easy treat, and one small banana only has 90 calories!  
I saw on the Today show they added peanut butter to a batch, and mini chocolate chips to another. Both seemed like fabulous additions to me. I really loved the stuff. Thanks everyone who has been trying to get me to make this for months. WORTH IT. You should totally try it! One day I plan on having a frozen yogurt machine in my house, but until then this will have to suffice.

What is the latest you have ever slept in? I think this may be my topper. I always wake up like 5 times during the night, so does that even count? Have you ever tried this banana soft serve? If you haven't get on it! I'd love to hear your variations. I promise I'll cool it on the banana posts...maybe.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Today was a deep cleaning day. I love the feeling of having a clean house after it's all done. It just feels SO good! Having the fridge all clean makes me want to fill it with fresh fruit and veggies.

Did you know...Heavy cleaning burns about 90 calories in twenty minutes?

I feel really good about that. In all of the cleaning I realized I have a bunch of bananas that are reaching peak ripeness. I started thinking about one of my FAVORITE desserts...Frosted Banana Bars. The nutrition facts for the original recipe looks a little something like this.
 These look like typical dessert-ish stats. If you ask me. Man those things are tasty, I decided to remedy the situation.

Healthier Frosted Banana Bars
(Makes 36 Bars)

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup splenda
1 egg
2 egg whites
1 cup fat free sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 bananas

In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs sour cream and vanilla. Combine flour, soda, and salt. Gradually add to cream mixture stir in bananas. Spread batter in greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 20-25 min. Cool and frost.

Cream Cheese Frosting 
Mix together:
8 oz fat free cream cheese
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup splenda

Here are the stats for the healthified Frosted Banana Bars: 
We cut out about 80 calories here, which is great news. Although they still aren't full of nutrition it is definitely a healthier treat...and oh so delicious! :)

Do you like to clean? I do, which is totally weird. My mom likes to remind me that as a teenager she and my dad would just shut my door because the piles of clothes on my floor looked like some sort of retail bomb went off. I am a TOTAL neat freak now. What do you do with your left over bananas? I have so many favorites...Healthy Banana Crumb Muffins, PB Banana Protein Bars, Low-fat Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, Low-fat Banana Bread, and Banana Oatmeal Cookies. Have a great rest of the weekend!

Friday, March 25, 2011

As Per Your Request

I have posted several circuits before, and I'm getting awesome feedback from you guys about them! I LOVE that you are doing them. I promise you they work. High intensity training is the way to go if you are looking to lose weight and tone up.

You keep asking for more, so I will keep them coming!
Saturday workouts are always my favorite for some reason. I think it's because I usually don't have any make up on when I go to the gym on Saturdays, and I always wash my hair on Saturdays...because of this I feel like I can really get my sweat on.

Since tomorrow is Saturday I thought I'd give you a new circuit workout to try out!

The Get Sweaty Circuit

Segment #1
20 Jump Squats (Yep feel the burn)
15 push ups straight into 15 leg jacks (Leg jacks...Start in push up position on your toes with your legs together. Jump your legs wide and then back in to start position. that counts as one)
40 Mountain Climbers
2 minutes running up and down your stairs (If you are at the gym you can do 2 mins on the stair machine. If you don't have stairs you can do 2 mins of step ups on a chair or bench)
*repeat this three times through

Segment #2
15 Squat-Curl-Press with dumbbells (Holding your dumbbells by your sides squat down, stand and do a bicep curl and then press over your head)
20 jumping skinny-wide squats. Hold a plate/dumbbell/med ball in front of you (I hold a 25 lb plate) stand with your feet together and squat down. Jump your legs out wide and squat down. That counts as one.
16 push ups with a rotation. Click HERE for a video description of these.
2 minutes running up and down your stairs
*Repeat this 3 times through.

Segment #3
20 Plyometric lunges (Remember these are jumping lunges. Start in a lunge position jump in the air and switch feet)
1 minute plank with hip dips (Start in plank position dip your hips down to the right touching the ground and then to the left. Repeat this as many times as you can for the full minute.)
15 Burpees Start from a standing position. Put your hands on the ground and jump back to a push up position. Do a push up if you can. Jump your feet back in and jump up as high as you can with your hands in the air. That counts as one.

2 minutes running up and down your stairs
*Repeat this 3 times through. 

Give it a whirl!

A lot of people ask why I always add so many legs into my circuits?
1 - Because it's a large group of muscles you burn LOTS of calories doing them
2 - Because it works everything from your waist down (most women's problem areas)
3 - Because they are my favorite muscle group to work
4 - Because what girl doesn't want BOMB legs?

Do you like circuit workouts? They are hard, but OH so good! Are you a fan of working the legs? I would rather do legs than any other muscle group!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Winners and Losers.

Sometimes we want to win, and sometimes we want to lose. I think it's safe to say that these individuals want to win.
congrats to......

KELSEY TUCKER!! Who won the first entry!


JULIA HUBBARD who entered with this photo of her delicious creation.

You two are our Yogurtland Giveaway Winners! Each of you will win a $20 gift card to Yogurtland in Orem. I am so excited for you two! I just went there tonight...I really am obsessed! Email me at megolina21 at and we'll get you all set up with your winnings!

Now to the losers...
As it comes to be that time of year when we know we may have to break that swimsuit out of the back of the closet many people realize they want to lose a few. I have received a few emails from readers who are really wanting to drop those last five, ten, or twenty pounds.

While those last few pounds can be SUPER frustrating they don't have to be final. You most definitely CAN drop the final few. It's all about what your dedication level is.

1) Commit yourself.
First, you have to ask yourself...Do I really want this?
Does eating dessert every night mean more to me than reaching my goal? Maybe it does. If you aren't going to be a happy person without your daily bag of Cheetos or your In N' Out Lunch, than you might just need to learn to be happy with where you're at.
On the other hand...if you REALLY want a change. You need to change something. Remember if you always do what you've always done, you'll always be what you've always been. Pretty simple actually. You need to find that place inside of you where reaching your goals (long term happiness) means more to you than that piece of pizza, or going for seconds when you're really not that hungry (short term happiness.)

2) Cut the crap. 
Literally get rid of the crap food your eating. Go to a whole foods approach, meaning all of the foods you are eating are as close to their natural form as possible. Lean protein, LOTS of fresh produce, whole grains, and healthy fats. Cut out the sugar. Cut out the processed foods. Cut out the crap. Remember that it's not easy to burn calories...think of the time and energy spent in your workouts. Its WAY too easy to consume calories. You can ruin the work of an hour long workout in five minutes flat...or less...scary.

3) Snack smart not sneakily.
It is VERY easy to grab a handful of cereal here, a few of your kids goldfish there, and whatever else you might grab as you pass through the kitchen. Make every meal you eat planned, not accidental. Aim to eat 5 smaller meals throughout the day. Include protein with each of these meals with other smart choices...what I'm trying to say is don't waste your calories. Just because nobody saw you grab it doesn't mean it won't count. It always counts.

4) Keep a food journal.
This is hands down the most successful tool for all of my clients. It makes you accountable. Write your food down. Don't cheat. You are only cheating yourself out of success.

5) Make your workouts a priority. 
It is very easy to find other things to do instead of getting a work out in. When you are looking to lose weight you need to create a calorie deficit. Keeping track of your calories and adding in exercise is the best way to do this. High intensity circuit workouts are the BOMB when it comes to fat loss. They are great as far as maximum calorie burn for your workout time.

6) Stop drinking your calories.  
I've said it once. I'll say it eight hundred more times. It's a waste.
7) Stop putting it off. 
I've heard it three billion trillion times. After this weekend I will start. I'll wait until next year. Just start now. You might slip up, you might have bad days, but keep restarting. Make the next hour better, the next meal, the next ten minutes. Just keep restarting.
You'll become stronger. You will improve your will power. You will accomplish your goals.

Weight loss and accomplishing your goals is possible. I see positive results every day. I also see people who don't believe in themselves enough to give reaching their goals a real shot. You are capable of doing amazing things. Push yourself. Achieve what you dream of.

Do you have any methods to sticking to your goals when motivational times get tough?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Money Maker of The Week

Oh you readers reallllly make my day sometimes. Let's be honest...lots of times. Last week fabulous reader Natalie emailed me with this AWESOME Peanut Butter No Bake Cookie recipe.

She said...
"I love all your healthy baking recipes! I don't have a blog (yet) to post my healthy recipes, so I thought you might like to share this one (or just use it for yourself). It is a healthy twist on the classic no-bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies. The average chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookie has 204 calories, 26 carbs, 10 grams of fat (EEK!), and 4 grams protein. This version (that tastes IDENTICAL to me) has 82 calories, 11 carbs, 3 g fat, and 3 g protein per cookie. Obviously amazing stats, right?"

Here's the recipe:

Natalie's Healthy No-Bake Chocolate PB Oatmeal Cookies 
*makes 24 cookies
6 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I substituted skim milk)
1/3 cup Splenda or other sugar substitute
1/3 cup light agave syrup (I used honey because I didn't have any agave)
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup peanut butter (I use natural PB)
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 cups oatmeal
*optional - 3 tsp ground flax seeds

Heat milk, sugar, and cocoa powder over high heat until boiling, stirring constantly.
Take off heat and stir in vanilla and peanut butter. Stir until peanut butter is completely melted.
Stir in wheat germ and oatmeal (optional - stir in ground flax seeds).
Drop by large spoonfuls onto cookie sheet covered in wax paper. Place in refrigerator. OR eat with a spoon right out of the bowl :)

"These are my husband's favorite cookies, and I'm so glad I can make them more often now that I came up with a healthier version."

Ok...I made these tonight and THEY. ARE. BOMB. Seriously SOOOO good. I love the original no-bake PB cookies, and I love this version even more. Thanks so much for the recipe Natalie! You are awesome, and you're going to make a lot of people VERY happy!

Do you have any favorites that you want made over? I love taking recipes that taste great and making them good for you too. Do you have any favorites that you have already made over? I would LOVE to try them!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Put a lil' Spinach in it.

Remember this guy?

All I think of when people say Popeye was how he ate lots of spinach and it made him big and strong. I wonder if this ever made kids actually eat more spinach? Pretty sure it didn't work on me as a child. Good things times have changed. I am a big fan of spinach these days. I eat a few cups of it every day. I think it's one of those "super foods."

I have been buying this bodybag sized bag of spinach at costco for about $4.00, and it's like a man vs. food challenge for me to eat it all before it goes bad.

Last time I ran into Costco to pick up a few things, and I had a new bag of spinach I happened to walk past a sample table of an employee who must not have been getting much attention. The conversation went a little something like this.

Costco: (Yelling at me as I walk past his table) You just come from the gym?
Me: Yep. Sure did.
Costco: You must workout a lot.
Me: Yeah, I do. It's part of my job.
Costco: What do you do?
Me: I'm a personal trainer, and a nutrition coach.
Costco: Ohh...of course you are. That is a lot of spinach. You eat really healthy. I bet I eat more spinach than you.
Me: Do you? Good for you. It is really good for you. (Me rearranging the 5 giant items in my hands, trying not to drop them)
*I never get a cart at Costco. I buy too much if I do.
Costco: I put it in pasta, eggs, sandwiches....(trailing off for 5 minutes...)
Me: Yep, it's great. (Juggling goods again) Well, I have to go. Have a good day!
Costco: Wait...personal do I make my chest huge?
Me: Get a personal trainer, and eat lots of spinach...

Anyways...despite the fact that I almost lost all of my purchases about 5 times while he stared at me juggling them around, I did like his point. You really can put spinach in anything.

Today for lunch my spinach addition went a little something like this...

Scrambled eggs...(1 whole egg, 3 egg whites) and a sprinkle of fajita seasoning. 
 To that I added a healthy handful of fresh spinach.
 It cooks down to basically nothing, so you can't even tell it's there.
I put that inside a La Tortilla Factory Whole Wheat Tortilla.
 Added some salsa. Because what isn't made better with a little salsa?
 And Ta-Da! It was real good...
(did anyone see the modern family episode with the "ta-da??")
You really can add spinach to anything.

Why is spinach so good?
- It's RIDICULOUSLY low in calories, but very high in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
- It is a good source of...(are you ready for this jelly?) an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6. It’s a very good source of protein, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc, dietary fiber, copper, selenium, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids.
- It contains flavanoids and antioxidants which are cancer fighters! (And just help to boost your immune system in general.
- It helps promote good digestive health. Sooo good for the colon.
- The carotine found in it helps keep your eyes in great shape.
- It contains a TON of iron. This is especially beneficial to women who lose a lot of blood through menstruation. It partners up with hemoglobin which delivers oxygen in the body. This means that if you have a low amount of iron you will likely have lower amounts of energy.
- It is SUPER versatile. Pasta, salads, sandwiches, smoothies, omelets, etc. Get creative. It's great.

My challenge to you? See what you can get spinach into! Oh and trade it out for that iceberg lettuce, it's not doing anything for ya...

What do YOU put spinach in? I think the possibilities really are endless here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Get Your Kiddies In The Kitchen

I grew up next to my mom in the kitchen.
 I had a little mini apron I would wear. She would let me measure and sift flour, help mix, and scoop cookie dough. I LOVED every minute of it. In my teenage years my mom assigned each of us in the family a night of the week that was ours to cook. I think I made the standard chicken and broccoli casserole or waffles every week because it was the extent of my cooking knowledge. 

I didn't realize it until I moved out and lived with other girls who hadn't had the same hands on experience how much my mom had taught me. Not only did she teach me the ins and outs of the kitchen, she taught me how to cook in a healthy way. She introduced me to a wide variety of nutritious foods, and taught me to love them! I still absolutely LOVE to cook with my mom. She is always willing to try new recipes with me and humor my new ideas. 

My mom really is an incredible cook, baker, hostess, and mom in general. Thank you mom. You are amazing! :) 

As I was thinking about this today. I realized how important it is to start teaching children good healthy habits from a young age, and so much of that starts in the kitchen. I contemplated some tips on how you can get your kids into the kitchen! 

- Allow them to help plan the menu. When kids have a say in what they are eating they are a lot more excited about eating it! This will make meal times a lot more stress free. 
- Allow them to get hands on. Measuring, whisking, creaming, mixing, and rolling are all kid friendly. Kids can also help wash fruits and veggies, read recipes, and taste test! As your kids get older they can help crack eggs, chop veggies, and take stove duty.
- Make kid friendly food. Ka bobs, mini pizzas, and anything requiring layered assembly are great kid friendly foods that they can help make and are fun to eat!
- Talk while you cook. Teach your kids why some foods are healthier than others. If you can ingrain healthy eating habits into them while they are young, they will be SO much better off in the future.

Now I would be rude to talk about my culinary staples as a child without giving you the recipes...

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
1 lb fresh broccoli washed and cut or 10 oz frozen, cooked
1 can healthy choice fat free cream of chicken soup
1/3 cup skim milk
½ cup grated reduced fat cheddar cheese
¼ cup whole wheat panko crumbs
1 ½ cup cooked chicken breasts cut up
Steam broccoli until slightly tender, arrange in bottom of baking dish. Top with chicken. Mix soup and milk, pour over chicken. Sprinkle with cheese. Sprinkle Panko crumbs over cheese. Bake at 375 for 25-30 mins uncovered, until hot and bubbly.
*You could also add precooked brown rice or quinoa to the bottom to make the meal a little more hearty. 

For the record...I made bisquick waffles, but these are just so much better. 
Banana Cinnamon Waffles

(This Recipe makes 8 servings of two waffles per serving.)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large eggs, 2 egg whites (lightly beaten)
1 large ripe banana, mashed
Cooking spray
Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, flaxseed, and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Combine milk, butter, and eggs, stirring with a whisk; add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until blended. Fold in mashed banana. Preheat a waffle iron. Coat iron with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter per 4-inch waffle onto hot waffle iron, spreading batter to edges. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until steaming stops; repeat procedure with remaining batter.

Did you grow up cooking in the kitchen? If so, what did you make? If not do you wish you had? Do your kids cook with you now? Do you have any tips on how to get them involved in the healthy cooking process?  

p.s. we saw a mouse in my house tonight. I might die. 
p.p.s. Don't forget to enter the YOGURTLAND GIVEAWAY if you haven't!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Arms like Madonna...but not in a scary going to beat you up kind of way...

One time one of my clients called her under arm flab her "angel wings." Darling right? If you're 70 like she was...then you can pull of saying things like that. Most of us would rather have super buff movie star arms. Here are some of the best ways you can tone up your upper body.

1# The Push up. 

You can't beat it. It will tone all of the muscles in your upper body, and work your core as well. There are so many ways you can incorporate these into your workouts.
I am a HUGE fan of anything circuit related or that will activate your core while you do it. Try some of these...

Another great way to incorporate push ups into your workout is to drop and do ten push ups in between every set of exercises your workout. It gets hard...promise.
You can also try this...

#2 Work the triceps. 
The muscle that runs along the back of the arm is the triceps muscle. Push ups will tone up this muscle but you can also try...

#3 Decrease your body fat. 
I hate to break it to you, but spot reduction just isn't possible. You can't pick to lose weight in one area. You have to lose weight all over. You can focus on toning areas, but you have to get rid of the fat to be able to see the toned muscles. You can decrease your body fat and increase your lean muscle mass through cardio/resistance training, circuit training, and improving your eating habits.

 Don't forget to enter the YOGURTLAND GIVEAWAY if you haven't done it yet!
Do you like push ups? I kinda love them? Sick and wrong, I know. They are just SO good for you. Are you having a good weekend? I sure hope so :) xoxoxo

Friday, March 18, 2011

Yogurtland...It's like an amusement park for your mouth.

I am pretty predictable. My friends/family make fun of me because it is pretty easy to determine what I do and don't like. I stick to what I know I like and then I go with it. I am habitual with things like my sleep, exercise, and eating habits. I have a few favorite restaurants that I know offer healthy foods, and I don't stray far from them. It's not that I don't like to try foods, it's just that I know what works for me health-wise. I've told you before that one of my biggest fears is eating locations with unrecognizable ingredients and no discernible nutrition facts. Sometimes I think I know too much for my own good when it comes to food.

Anyways...if you were to ask anyone who knows me well what some of my favorite foods were they would most definitely say frozen yogurt. I love the stuff. Call it a trend, or a fad. Call it whatever you want, but you'd better call it delicious. Because I haven't been eating sugar I've allowed frozen yogurt to be my treat. It is a healthy, low-cal, non-fat treat that actually has some nutrition to it! Bonus.

A few months ago I heard a rumor that there was going to be a Yogurtland opening right here in Orem, and I was STOKED. They have these allover in AZ, so whenever I go home to visit the fam we stop there at least once, and usually more than that. Lucky for me, and the rest of Utah county, the rumor was true.
This. My friends, is the best frozen yogurt I have ever had. That being said, you should know a few things. 

1) I have eaten a LOT of frozen yogurt in my day. I would even go as far as to say that I'm a connoisseur of sorts.
2) I am picky about my yogurt. While some may just eat whatever they see and not know the difference. I can tell you if it's not frozen enough. Hasn't been mixing for long enough. Etc. Sad? No way. Talent. 
3) I basically consider frozen yogurt a food group.
4) I wouldn't lie to you about such a beloved topic

When I was asked to do a review of what Yogurtland has to offer I was more than ready to come out with my best critiquing skills possible. 
The process goes a little something like this...
Upon entering you are given some sample cups in which you self serve the flavors you deem most delicious. They offer 16 different flavors which they rotate on a weekly basis. 
 You can then serve yourself up as much yogurt as you can handle. (Or as much as you feel like you should handle.) I'm pretty sure I could "handle" to eat a lot more than I should...
 You then weigh your yogurt and pay by the ounce. I love this aspect. You can go in and get just a little taste to curb your sweet tooth, get small sizes for your kids, or just get some yogurt for lunch. Done. Done. and Done.
 Today my fabulous creation went a little something like this...Peanut Butter Cup, Double Stuffed Oreo, and Vanilla Wafer Yogurt with a sprinkle of granola, and lots of fresh fruit. (Bananas, strawberries, kiwi, blackberries, and blueberries.) It was divine.
Clearly I was content with my choice...It was reeaallly good.
(I would apologize for the fact that I'm rocking my gym clothes in public, but let's be honest. That is me 98% of the week.) 

Some other great things you should know about Yogurtland...

- All of the yogurt flavors are made with REAL ingredients. Real mango, real pistachio, real peaches etc.
- 95% of their yogurt flavors are fat free. BOMB. The 5% that aren't are extremely low in fat.
- All of the yogurt flavors are high in calcium, and protein.
- Yogurtland's yogurt contains probiotics that are fabulous for your digestive health.
- The toppings are fresh! They are cut and prepared the same day. Fruits include; strawberries, mangoes, blueberries, blackberries, kiwi, watermelon, bananas, Lychee, and more fruits based on the seasons. I tried a Lychee's like a weird pear. I liked it! I didn't even know there was such a thing.
- Most flavors have about 35-40 calories per ounce no fat, and about a gram of protein.

 Frozen yogurt is a great healthy option for a snack, treat, and if you're me...lunch/dinner :) It's a great post workout food because it has a good amount of carbohydrates and protein, and it's just good. I HIGHLY recommend you get there and give it a try. You won't be disappointed...and we may just run into each other. I plan on spending a lot of time there.

This is my generous new friend Michael. 
He is the brains behind this yogurty goodness.
 Why is he generous you ask? 

Well...Michael is partnering up with MuncherCruncher to do a GIVEAWAY!! 
It's a good one too! 

Michael is giving away TWO $20 Yogurtland gift cards to my readers. I am so happy about this.

To enter to win the first gift card you must
1) Become a Muncher Cruncher follower and leave a comment saying you've done so (one entry)
2) Click HERE and join the I Love Yogurtland of Orem group on Facebook leave a comment saying you've done so (second entry)
3) Leave a comment on I Love Yogurtland of Orem's FB page telling them why YOU love frozen yogurt! (third entry)
4) Follow Yogurtland on Twitter. Click HERE to do so. Leave a comment (fourth entry)
5) Link to this post on your blog or FB page, or tweet about it! Leave the link as a comment. (fifth entry) 
Now, that is a lot of entry options!

To enter to win the second gift card you must
1) Visit Yogurtland at 534 E. University Pkwy in Orem, and take a photo of your yogurt and email it to me at megolina21 at
Both easy, and delicious. 

I'm sorry to all of you out-of-staters, but if you can't get to Yogurtland to redeem your goods, you aren't able to win, so you should probably move here just for this giveaway and so we can all work out together. Thank you SO MUCH for such an awesome giveaway Michael! Yogurtland is THE BOMB!
You have until Wednesday March 23rd at 11:59 PM to enter. The winner will be chosen through

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hump Day Brain Dump

Happy Healthy Hump Day. I like Wednesdays...not for any particular reason. I just do.

It's time for a brain dump of sorts.

- Who ever started calling Wednesday hump day? I mean I get it...but it always makes me laugh. When I was in college I had an awesome friend named Brad who would bring us "hump day treats" to get us through the rest of the week.

- I'm making Zucchini Cookies right now in honor of St. Patty's Day Tomorrow. They have green in them...festive right? I doubled the recipe. I probably shouldn't have done that. It just felt right. My house smells like Christmas.

- I am excited for tomorrow. I told you I am a nerd when it comes to holidays. They make me so happy. My mom used to greet us St. Patty's mornings with green pancakes, leprechaun footprints, and gold coins.

- Today I went with my sis and her babe-skis to Yogurtland. I LOVE that place. I had this...
Peanut butter. Double stuffed Oreo. Vanilla Wafer. Bananas. Granola. 
It. Was. Good. 
I turned around and guess who I ran into...Oh hey, Janae. Great minds really do think alike, and exercise alike, and eat alike. We are frozen yogurt partners in crime. Even when we don't mean to be. Get excited about an awesome upcoming Yogurtland giveaway. mmmmmhmmm.

- I must have a sign on my forehead that says. "Would you like to set me up on a blind date?" Seriously's unreal. I am not a fan of the blind date. I reaaaallly really don't like them in fact. Tell me to have a positive attitude. Maybe I'll just send them this photo before the date and it will scare them off.
Yikes, right? Have you ever been to a celebration of the festival of colors? It's pretty insane. Lots of people throwing colored chalk at each other. I had sunglasses on if you can't tell.

- We are watching the show "Hoarders" right now. WOW. Talk about a great thing to kick start you into a cleaning frenzy. It makes me sad. These people are so unhealthy because they can't see their kitchens, let alone think about something like exercising. I am going to go fold my laundry. Twice.

- I have to speak in church on Sunday. Fifteen minutes of time has been handed to me. Scary. Too bad my topic isn't health and exercise.

- I'm still recovering from The Bachelor.

- I can't get enough of this song. Adele speaks to my soul.
- I have a love/hate relationship with texting. Sometimes it's obnoxious...lot's of lame texts back and forth dancing around details...misread sarcasm...confusion. It's like just call me and we could chat this out in two seconds. Other times I LOVE it. Sweet little love notes...funny conversations...a great way to keep yourself entertained while you're getting your tires changed. An easy way to communicate instead of phone tag.

- My roomate SB talks to herself...and to the computer...and to the TV...we've just started answering her. It's a funny game. I love her to pieces, and I love this about her. It's pretty funny. Speaking of...these are the peeps I live with...
 Me, Benita, & Sara Beth.
These girls are phenomenal. Like...really amazing.

- I just filled out a March Madness Bracket...I have no idea what I'm doing.

- I need to go to bed.

- If you are looking for some fun, healthy, "green" recipes try...roasting your green vegetables, dye your pancakes green, or make some easy pesto & green veggie pita pizzas!

Do you have any fun St. Patty's Traditions? If not, you should start. Are you a texter? Do you participate in March Madness? Do you want to write my talk for me? 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Delicious is spelled: E.A.S.Y.

Sometimes dinner needs to come fast, and it needs to be healthy. Oh...and really easy. It's for night like these that we have recipes like this.

EASY Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Combine: One can of non-fat refried beans with green chilies.
 Add two cans of Rotel tomatoes with diced green chilies.
Two cans of chicken broth. 
and one can of sweet corn. 
Combine these ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it boils let it simmer for five minutes and then stir in as much chicken as you'd like. I used two large boneless skinless chicken breasts that I cooked on the grill with some fajita seasoning and then shredded.
Stir the chicken in and heat through. And there you have it. Now, I've had some pretty easy recipes...but come on. That is just about as easy as it could be. I love this recipe because this is all stuff you could have on hand, and you can have this made in about 10 minutes.
I like it all by itself, but you could serve this with some fat free sour cream, sliced avocados, cilantro, crushed tortilla chips, or as a side dish to any mexican meal.

oh...and the nutrition facts...they are unreal. This recipe makes 7 one cup servings.
Easy. Awesome. Delicious.

Umm...let me just take a moment to say I was RIGHT about the bachelor! How awkward was the after the rose follow up though? Yikes.

What is your favorite Mexican Dish? I actually hate all cheesey, authentic mexican food. Most authentic mexican restaurants cook with lard and coat their food in cheese, not exactly the picture of health. They make my stomach hurt.
I DO love tortilla soup, fajitas, black beans, and anything covered in salsa. I am a big fan of the fresh mex salads, (Cafe rio, Bajios, Costa Vida) and I love anything made at home. Chicken enchiladas, mexican chicken, and black bean salsa.  
Is daylight savings time killing you? I'm feeling it. I can't wait to be used to this. I do love it being lighter later!