Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sweet Treats and Strawberry Eats

I hope your long weekend was fabulous. Today I have one of my FAVORITE bloggers doing a guest post for me, and I know you'll love it. Kristy's blog is full of so many great recipes it makes me want to get cooking every time I look at it. She is absolutely darling too..FYI. I adore her! Thanks so much for your help today girl!! xoxoxo

Hi! I'm Kristy, from Sweet Treats and More.  I'm happy to be guest posting for Megan while she's off laying on a sunny beach (ok, actually I'm a little jealous!).  You can probably guess that I have a thing for sweet treats, and you might be expecting a super naughty dessert from me (probably something loaded with chocolate and peanut butter) but we know Megan wouldn't allow that;)  So today I'm here to share a healthy(er) cookie with you.  I think you'll love it!

You might find it surprising that I don't just eat brownies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day.  Although, sometimes I want to:)   I actually try hard to eat healthy and to make healthy and wholesome meals for my family of three! We I just like to save room for a little dessert.  And, I love to bake.  

But I do really love cookies.  They are one of my favorite things to bake, and eat. A really good cookie is my weakness.  

So it's a good thing these Strawberry Almond Oatmeal Cookies are healthy!  Because they are so. dang. delicious.   I don't waste calories on mediocre cookies, so trust me when I say they're amazing. 

I have made these cookies with half whole wheat flour and half white flour and both ways work well and taste great.  I will say I prefer the half and half option, but if you want to make them even healthier, go the 100 % whole wheat flour route!

At 75 calories a pop, I don't feel so bad enjoying a cookie (or two) after dinner.

Strawberry Almond Oatmeal Cookies

Makes 28 cookies 
1/3 c butter, room temp
2/3 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp almond extract
2/3 c pureed strawberries  (about 6-8 large strawberries, I like to leave it a little chunky)
1/2 c wheat flour
1/2 c white flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
2 c oats

Preheat oven to 375.

1.  In a medium bowl, mix wheat flour, white flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt together.  Set aside.

2.  In another bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar until smooth.  Add egg, almond extract, and strawberries and beat until combined. 

3.  Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and mix until evenly combined.  Lastly, stir in oats (can use a wooden spoon here if you'd like).  


***The dough should be a thicker dough.  If it appears too wet, add a few more tablespoons of wheat or white flour. 

Place rounded spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 8 minutes.  Do not over cook. 

Let cool for a couple of minutes before moving to a cooling rack.  

Thanks for having me Megan!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Quack Quack.

Why was I not informed that Duck Beach is quite possibly the coolest place in the whole world? We're staying here.  
 These houses line the beach. It makes for a picturesque view. I am in love with it. I'm going to try and capture it on camera, but I don't know if it will do it justice.
The beach is so beautiful. I am seriously in love with this place.
 We of course had to do a quick photo shoot on the beach.

 My hair gets reaaaal crazy sometimes...

 Good news. I went running this morning :)
We've been staying up reaaallly late, and I am still on west coast time, so by the time I got out it was after 10:00 AM and by 11:00 when I came back I was sweating up a STORM. My foot did OK. I may take tomorrow off, just to be sure I don't overdo it, but it was SO fun to run around a brand new place and explore. It was 96 today. I hear P-town was not so summery...yikes. I could get used to this...
I hope you had a fabulous Memorial Day!

How was your holiday weekend? I hope you did something fun and fabulous.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day Eats

Duck Beach is Beautiful...in case you were wondering. I'll definitely get some pics up. Until then, here are some healthy recipes you can include in your Memorial day celebrating. Check out THIS POST on making your Memorial Day a Healthy One.

Or, you could try some...
Healthy Mac N' Cheese
Please a crowd of different taste buds with Individual Pizzas 
use your crock pot for some Elegant Chicken or some BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
or use your chicken for a Southwestern BBQ Chicken Wrap
Make a big batch of Sweet Potato Fries 
If BBQing is what you're into check out THESE TIPS on making your BBQ a healthy one and Fire up the grill with these Grilled Chicken Tenders with Cilantro Pesto and some Grilled Asparagus Rafts

If you're assignment is dessert
Layer Up some Low Fat Chocolately Parfaits or a delicious English Trifle 
try some light and fluffy Angel Food Cake Delight
or some Healthier Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies  
These Frosted Banana Bars serve a crowd easily. 

Most Importantly...
Enjoy yourself and be safe!
Try to get out and do something active!
And say a prayer of thanks for those who have died in our service. :)

What are your Memorial Day Plans? I plan on lying on the beach all day. :) Are you cooking for family? Friends? BBQing? Any healthy recipes you are planning on whipping up? I always have a Memorial Day BBQ, but this year we'll be out enjoying the sun!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Vacation Chronicles - Chapter 1; Airport Food

4:50 AM came waaaay to early today. I realize that is pretty close to the usual wake up call time, but I didn’t go to bed until 2:30, so it felt a lot earlier today. Naturally, I wanted to save as much time for sleeping as possible, so I didn’t ration out any time for breakfast…or makeup.

Ever eaten all three meals at an airport? I hadn’t until today. Eating healthy when you are traveling can be hard, but it seems like some places are actually getting a clue and we getting more healthy options all the time. I love that. Sometimes it takes some searching, and sometimes it takes some willpower. Bypassing the smell of fresh Cinnabons and walking past the perfect looking Krispy Kreme doughnuts wasn’t easy this morning. Especially because by the time we actually had a spare second to find some food my stomach was growling. My body is used to eating breakfast right when I wake up.

Eating as soon as you wake up is a habit you should really try to incorporate. Your body has been in a fasting state all night long, and your glycogen levels are low. Eating a good, healthy breakfast when you wake up will help get your metabolism going, will help your brain function better (it needs that glucose to run!), and will actually save you from overeating later in the day. Crazy right? It’s true. It has been proven that those who eat breakfast are less likely to binge and overeat on a larger lunch and dinner because they a) feel like they are “making up for lost calories” and b) are so hungry by the time they do eat they consume more than they need. Waiting to eat also causes your blood sugar levels to drop dramatically. This causes you to crave high sugar foods and carbs to boost that blood sugar back up, causing a surge in your insulin. As I’ve mentioned before insulin is a storage hormone, and excess insulin can lead to storing fat. This is where the principle behind eating smaller meals throughout the day and the science of the glycemic index comes from. Broken down simply. Eating breakfast = avoiding fat storage.

I told you I was going to show you some of my vacation eating to try and give you some ideas of how to manage on all of your summer vacations.

Chapter 1: Vacation Meals at the Airport

Starbucks Plain Oatmeal with cinnamon, a sprinkle of cocoa powder, a sprinkle of brown sugar, and 2 packets of Splenda. The brown sugar costs extra, but they provide cinnamon, cocoa powder and Splenda for you to add at your delight. I liked that. As you know, I looooove cinnamon.
Total Calories: 150 (Starbucks has their nutritional info posted online)

I posted previously about all of the new fast food oatmeal options that have been made available, but I had yet to try any of them until this morning. I mean why in the world would I pay $3.00 for oatmeal when I make it at home for $.25 in a way that I LOVE. Although I was glad that I could find a breakfast option that I liked; (it was very tasty), it seemed like more of a snack. My old fashioned oats fill me up and usually tide me over for a few hours, and I was still hungry after I ate these. Nonetheless, a healthier, low fat breakfast option.
We hopped on our first plane oatmeal in hand, and two hours later we landed in Houston, TX. Luckily I was able to sneak in some shuteye and found some time to apply some makeup. I’m sure the people of Texas appreciated that.  Benita’s sister lives in Texas, so she came to the airport to say hello and eat some lunch with us while we waited for our next flight.

Whole wheat chicken wrap with roasted chicken, tomatoes, pickles, red onions, lettuce, salsa, and a dab of mayo and mustard, with a side of low-fat strawberry yogurt.
Estimated Calories: 400 for wrap and 75 for the yogurt (I only ate about 1/3 of it because I figured it was pretty high in sugar)

I checked out all my options before deciding on this little number, and it was actually really really good. The chicken was roasted and had some awesome flavor to it. I loved that they offered salsa as a topping too. I mentioned earlier this week how much I love salsa as a flavorful light topping. It is definitely a good idea to eat with your head not your stomach when you are in places like mall food courts or airports. There are always a lot of options and often times we go for the first items we see out of hunger instead of looking to find what is going to be the healthiest option. I am a firm believer in the fact that most of the time you can find something that is a healthy option if you look.

Now, it should be known that I always come prepared. I have some protein bars and some raw almonds in my bag as healthy snack in case I can’t find anything to eat. I always have an apple, banana, clementines, fiber one bars, cliff bars, zone bars or pure protein bars as back up items in my purse in case I find myself foodless. Let’s be honest, nobody wants to see that! ;) I’ve said it a bazillion times, the key to eating healthy and losing weight is preparation! The times we make poor eating decisions are usually the times we aren’t prepared and we start thinking  with our stomachs.
Back on the plane. This time we’re headed to Cleveland. Are you jealous of all of these layovers? I bet. Another two hour flight provided me some time to take another lil’ nap and watch some Friends on my computer. Did I mention that my baby’s fixed? Just in time to bring her along for the trip. Turns out the rice thing helped, and the motherboard didn’t get damaged. The only damage was done to the top case, which had to be replaced. Lesson learned: water + electronics don’t mix.
Lucky for me the man sitting next to me on the plane found what I was doing/reading/texting/watching far more entertaining than what he brought in his goody bag. Pretttty funny.

We're currently waiting to board our last flight to Norfolk, VA! YAY!!

 Snack Time: Pure Protein Bar Peanut Butter Marshmallow Eclipse

Calories: 180
I brought this one with me because I knew my protein would be the hardest thing to get in. Boarding call just came!
Off we go!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Beach Bound

Today has looked something like this...
Work 5:45 AM - 4 PM with a few breaks in between due to canceled clients.
The cancellations were welcomed today because it meant I got to work out! I was seriously questioning if I would even get to break a sweat today because I knew I was going to be slammed.
My workout ended up being...
60 mins of intervals on the elliptical
30 mins on the stairs
60 mins full body circuits with my bootcampers
Not too shabby considering I didn't even think i was going to get to work out today.

Now...Dinner at The Pizza Factory with my sister and her darling kiddies...I'm extremely predictable there.

Some last minute errands and shopping.
Packing. I hate packing...I always over pack. Always.
Cleaning. I DETEST leaving my house messy. Who likes to come home to a mess?
Hopefully get some more writing in before I leave. (I do some at home writing for a company alongs side my training.)
Sleeping for 10 seconds. At least I'm sure that is what it will feel like. We're LEAVING for the airport at 5 AM.
But, I'm not complaining...this is in my future.
We paid a flat rate for food and to stay in the beach house we are staying at with a bunch of people. I have not one ounce of control over the food that is planned. If you're wondering if that makes me nervous it does. Usually "group food" is something like...hamburgers, potato salads, chips, and casseroles. None of which are part of my usual food regimen. To tell you the truth I'm kind of excited to see how I do. I think this will be an awesome experiment to help all y'all find the best things to eat when you're hitting up the family vacations this year and you find yourself in similar situations, wanting to eat healthy. 

I also have been really REALLY good about not running on my foot because I knew I was going to want to run there. I have no access to a gym, so I will be letting you know my vacation workouts! Can't wait. Wish me luck that my foot has done some MAJOR healing these past few weeks!

Now, I'm off to my checklist :) xoxoxo

Do you like to workout on vacation? I LOVE to run in new places. It's so much more exciting, and I feel like I'm exploring. I tend to eat out of the norm, so I like to workout to feel like I'm offsetting that a bit. Do you watch your food intake on vacations or are you an all out type of person? I'm just in the mode where I watch my food all the time. If I eat gross, I feel gross. I also really enjoy the foods I eat on a normal basis. So, I do my best and try to eat as close to my norm as possible.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Like a Kid Again

Last night my sis let me babysit her little babeskis. These kids are beyond adorable...
Yep. They are for reals that cute. Ugh, I could just eat them right up.
My sister said the kiddies could pick a snack before they went to bed, and after a lot of debating between creamies and popcorn, we decided on some popcorn. (Don't tell my sister that I actually just let them have both...) I served up a lil' bowl of popcorn for each kid and we talked and laughed. I LOVE the funny things that kids say. They are so honest. While we were snacking, the conversation with my niece went as follows.

Savy: "Meggie. When are you going to have a baby? You need to have a baby...I want more cousins to play with."  (Don't worry this isn't the first time we've discussed this topic)
Me: "OK, who should the dad be?"
Savy: "It doesn't matter what his name is, he just needs to be a husband."
Me: "Well if you could pick his name, what would it be?"
Savy: "Ugh...it doesn't even matter. I just want cousins. Just find a husband."

From the mouth of babes? I guess so. She isn't kidding around. ;) 

So, between talk of babies, bites of popcorn, and licks of creamies. I remembered how incredibly sad I'm going to be when my sis and her family move back to Austin this August. Reconsider Linds? I'll babysit all the time...promise!

I laughed as the kiddos ran away from their half eaten Creamies and partially eaten bowls of popcorn to find something better to do. Why can't we adults be like this? I want to eat like a kid again.
As a child I...
- Filled my plate but never finished it. (My mom always said my eyes were bigger than my stomach.)
- Ate until I was full and then was done.
- Was more intuitive
- Practiced moderation...for the most part (We all know kids have crazy candy binges every now and again.)

I feel like for the most part, I know there are some exceptions, kids are intuitive eaters. I think us adults are the ones that change that in them. While there are times when all kids want are sweets, and some kids are definite, "eaters," most kids eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full.

I feel like we could revert back to our childhood ways and help ourselves out in the eating department.
- Don't clean your plate just because you have a plate of food in front of you. Eat what you have if it's good and worth eating. If it isn't or if you are full, be finished with it. Far too often we just keep eating because food is there. Do you ever see kids doing that? Not usually...
- Maybe don't finish everything? Just saying. I have heard people say they have stopped overeating habits by trying to leave a few bites of everything on their plate.
- Ask yourself if you're really hungry? Are you eating because you think it's a scheduled time you should be eating, or are you really hungry?
- Try the bite method. A lot of times when kids eat, even with sweets, they are happy to just have a bite. Then it's off to find something better to do.
- Find something better to do? Instead of snacking like it's your job...find something better to do.
- Get excited. You know how kids are ecstatic over having a treat? Are you that excited when you have a treat? Or have little sweets lost their umph because you have so many? Maybe cut back on your sweets/indulgences so when you actually do have them you enjoy them! Moderation baby.

Do you eat like a kid? or have you turned into a plate cleaning, second portion devouring adult like most of America? Are there some kid like eating habits you could adopt back into your lifestyle?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Garden Fresh Salsa = To Die For

I know my last post was a recipe...but this one is just too good NOT to share. Remember how I was obsessed with my mom's garden in AZ? The fresh tomatoes were off the hook. While I was home my mom whipped up a batch of this fresh salsa, and I was basically drinking it. It is so easy to make and tastes good on just about anything.
(Let it be known that my mom also has the cutest dish collection ever.)

Garden Fresh Salsa (mild)
Combine the following in your food processor: 
You are more than welcome to chop everything by hand, but the food processor sure makes it a lot easier.

6 tomatoes
green onion
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp red cider vinegar
1 jalapenio pepper
1 anaheim pepper
2 tbsp cilantro
1 clove garlic
1 tsp salt

Done. Just like that. You can add the tomatoes last if you wish to keep it chunkier. I always like the chunks.

I love salsa with my baked tortilla chips, on salads, over chicken, with baked potatoes, and of course it's always great with any sort of Mexican inspired dishes. It is such an awesome, flavorful topping and it SO low in calories.

What do you like to eat your salsa with? Do you like homemade salsa or store bought better? I love homemade salsa, but as I've mentioned before I am also in LOVE with Costco's mango salsa. It's drinkable. I seriously eat it straight out of the jar with a fork. So dainty...I know.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Bread...Healthified

Oh Helloooo out there. I'm back. T'was a quick trip, but so worth it. My niece is darling, and we had an awesome weekend with family and friends. (FYI I started this post yesterday and am just barely getting it up. SHEESH. Crazy monday!)

Now for the Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe as was promised HERE...
I got this recipe from the Our Best Bites Cook Book. It is an AWESOME. My mom gave it to me upon my arrival in AZ and I was so excited about it! I am sure I'll have more modified recipes from there in the future, because they have some great ideas! One of my favorite things to do when I go home is cook with my mom because she always has everything on hand. None of this...run to the store business. It's the greatest. She is always up to let me try out new things too which is great.

This bread turned out awesome. We made one loaf and 18 muffins. My mom informed me later that I used the wrong bread pan, which is why it is so flat. oops...

Healthified Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Original recipe found HERE
(I have included the regular recipe with my modifications)

2 cups flour (I used 2 cups whole wheat flour)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup plus 2 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup canola oil (I used 1/2 cup applesauce instead)
1 cup granulated sugar (I used 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup baking splenda)
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 eggs (I used egg beaters)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream (I used 1/2 cup 0% Fage Greek Yogurt, fat free sour cream would work as well)
3 cups shredded zucchini
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (I left these in...because they made it MONEY)

2 TBS brown sugar
2 TBS granualted sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Mix topping ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Place flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
With a stand or hand mixer beat oil, white sugar, brown sugar, and eggs until combined and slightly fluffy, 1-2 minutes.
Add vanilla and sour cream and mix until combined.
Gently stir in the grated zucchini
Take a spoonful of the flour mixture and stir in with the chocolate chips (that will help keep them evenly distributed.) If you only have regular chocolate chips, or a chocolate bar, just give it a chop so it’s the size of mini chocolate chips.
Add the remaining flour mixture to the batter and stir just until combined. Add chocolate chips and stir to combine.
Divide the batter between the two pans (8" pans...not 9" like i used). and sprinkle topping over each. Place pans on a cookie sheet for easy moving.
Bake in your preheated 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes. Set your timer for 45 minutes and then keep an eye on it for the remainder. When it’s done a toothpick or skewer should come out without goopy batter on it and the top will be gorgeous and cracked with sugar.
It makes fantastic muffins as well.Cook them at the same temp. Set your timer for 10-12 minutes and then keep an eye on them.

I haven't worked up the nutrition facts on these because we ended up splitting them up between the bread and the muffins. I will work on that. I must admit that I am such a fan of quick breads. I think they are SO DANG TASTY, and one chalked full of zucchini? What's not to love?  

Do you like veggie inspired baked goods? (Zucchini/Carrot/Pumpkin/Sweet Potato?) I LOVE them. In fact these Sweet Potato Muffins are a favorite of mine as well as these Oatmeal Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.  

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Today in Photos...

Today went a little something like this...
Thumbing through this gift from my sweet madre, I got the itch to bake. 
So I did what I do best, and healtified this awesome recipe...
 Recipe to come soon...you'll want it. It's a good one! 
My mom makes it VERY easy to bake in her kitchen.
 I'm also in LOVE with my parent's fridge. It tells you how many oz you're drinking, so it becomes a game for me.
The neighbors are clearly ready for summer...this is for real. 
 I could lay out and read all day everyday. Just saying.
Lunch. Partial repeat of yesterday...
 with some of this
 and M&D decided to make my day with some fresh guacamole and some fresh salsa with garden tomatoes of course...recipes to come.
7 different veggies/fruits in one sitting. That is just how my mama cita works people. 
 Dinner at my favorite place in AZ The Pita Jungle.
 If you live near and you haven't been there...GO. NOW. It is SO good.
The evening was topped off with some swirl it. which i devoured too fast for photos, and a family film night. Good times. So glad I'm here. Already sad to be going home tomorrow.

Do you notice what is missing from these photos? A workout. I purposely have decided that yesterday, today, and tomorrow are going to be rest days for me. A forced break to try and get this dang foot better. It's been rough, but good! More on that later. Back to rainy UT. Boo hoo.

Congrats to ASHLEY and RACHELLE for rocking the Ogden Marathon today!!!

Do you find yourself getting in lots of veggies in one sitting, or is it a conscious effort every time? I am usually pretty good about it! I love them, so it's what I want to eat! Do you keep track of how much water you drink every day?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Oh The Things I Would Do...

My mom told me I could go pick some fresh tomatoes from the garden yesterday. Heaven.
 Tell me those aren't absolutely beautiful. All I could do was think...oh the things I would do and make and create if I had a garden of my own.
 Unfortunately my condo in Provo is pretty optionless as far as a garden goes. We don't even get enough sunlight on my porch to have a potted plant.
So, for now I will just be jealous, and dream of the fresh things that I would make...if I could. 
A fresh Greek Salad
Chicken Scampi with fresh tomatoes
a variety of omelets with veggies galore
my favorite easy veggies soup
and of course a constant flow of low fat zucchini cookies. Why else do you grow zucchini?
But yesterday I just stuck with this combo...
It was straight up divine.

What is your favorite way to enjoy garden fresh goodness? My absolute favorite garden item is fresh tomatoes, but if it's fresh and it's from the garden, you better believe I will be eating it. I think everything tastes better fresh. Don't you? Are you planting a garden this year? What veggie/fruit are you most excited for?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I Don't Wanna Grow Up Cause I'm a Toys R' Us Kid.

If someone could please tell Utah to SNAP out of it and stop trying to be Seattle I'd appreciate it. Thank you. It seriously hasn't stopped raining for like 5 days. I'm going to have to start canoeing to work if things don't calm down. 

Some updates...
I mentioned how AWESOME the new Provo restaurant Station 22 Cafe was in THIS post a few days ago. Well the owner contacted me and let me know that the hours have changed and they are now open until 8 PM everyday but Monday, when they are only open until 4 PM. I was super busy yesterday so I ran in there to get a salad to go. $4.50 for a huge salad to go, piled high with amazingly delicious vegetables with some cottage cheese and egg whites. They even have unique things like jicama, fresh green beans, slivered almonds, and other delicious additions.

Also...I know you were all reaaallly concerned. Today was the test to see if my computer is ok...and it won't turn on :( I'm distraught about it. Does anyone know of a place where Macbooks grown on trees?

My darling friend Julia made my Healthy Zucchini Lasagna yesterday and hers looked like it turned out GREAT. I love to hear when you try my recipes, so please tell me what you think!! Glad you liked it girl!

Workout for today had to be quick, so it was another circuit day. I did one similar to Tuesday's workout because I got such a good sweat in.

So...the surprise I mentioned yesterday?

I got to fly to Arizona today with my dad because THIS darling girl is turning 16. Oh, and I couldn't be happier to get out of Utah's constant attempt at a reenactment of Singing in the Rain. Not working for me.
Meet my niece Kiley.
I absolutely adore her. We are besties. Ten years apart what? We meet somewhere in the middle. She is the happiest, most beautiful, positive, loving, ADORABLE, fun girl in the world. I could hang out with her all day, and sometimes I do :) Anyways...she is turning 16 this weekend and I get to surprise her! She doesn't know I came to the fabulously warm and sunny state of AZ to celebrate with her. I can't wait to see her tomorrow!

I already love being home. I think I revert to childhood mode. I don't want to grow up.
I love going to dinner, just me, mom, and pops. We went to Oregano's in Tempe. Have you been there? GO.
I love going shopping with M&D. 2 cute new pairs of shoes and a tank later...
I love coming home to my parents darling house to all of the comfortable things I know and love...same room, same pantry staples, same jar of gumballs, etc.
I love sitting in my PJ's watching American Idol curled up on the couch.
I love knowing I get to sleep in tomorrow. No alarm clock = best feeling ever. 
So, for this weekend. I don't want to grow up. K?

Total side note...I noticed they put the nutrition facts on the peanuts on the plane, and on the fortune cookies at Oregano's. Is the world finally getting a clue?? I HOPE SO!
P.S. Did you know one fortune cookie has 210 calories in it? I'll pass thanks. Not even worth it for one second. Especially when my fortune said, "Two hens in one cage can't get along." ??? Interpretation anyone?

Have you tried any recipes of my blog that you've liked or even disliked (but hopefully there isn't many of those!?) I'd love to hear about it!! Do you ever revert back to child-mode? I think we all need to every now and again! :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Things That Make Me Go Mmmmm....Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

You would think we'd be into some summer recipes about now, right? Well, the rain is relentless, so I just want warm and cozy still. Plus, this recipe is BOMB.
Workout today:
90 minute intervals on the elliptical 
10 mins of core work
Usually Wednesday nights are spin nights for me, but I have to work tonight due to some surprises this weekend that I can't WAIT for...more on that tomorrow :)

I am totally chilled to the bone because of this dreary weather, and I was feeling the need to bake some warmth back into my life! Just having the oven on and the smell of baked goods warms my soul. My friend SB was watching me cook yesterday and she said..."Your favorite spice must be cinnamon." I laughed because she is TOTALLY right. I put it in everything...my oatmeal every morning...my protein shakes. I bake with it constantly. The smell makes me so happy, and let's not kid ourselves, it tastes divine. 

Cinnamon has also been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, and help regulate blood sugar levels. Some studies also show it has an anti clotting effect on the blood, and may help decrease belly fat. Not bad if you ask me.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Muffins 
Makes 12 Muffins 

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 small mashed ripe banana
1 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup splenda (or agave/honey/sugar free syrup)

Cinnamon Swirl Topping
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl combine mashed banana, skim milk, vanilla, and splenda. Mix that together. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to the wet and combine. In another small bowl combine white sugar and cinnamon.
Spray your muffin tins or line tins with muffin liners. Put a large spoon full of batter into each tin. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar mixture. Cover with another spoon full of batter and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar mixture. You can swirl each muffin with a toothpick to create swirls in the batter if you like. Bake in oven for 17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!

I loved these muffins because they are dense and delicious. They have a sweet crisp outer shell, and are soft and moist inside. I ate mine with a little spray butter and it was YUMMY! Oh, and my kitchen smelled heavenly!

Nutrition Facts for One Muffin: 101 calories, .3 grams of fat, 21.6 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber, 4.3 grams of sugar, and 2.9 grams of protein.
I think next time I will add a cup of greek yogurt to boost up the protein content and increase the moisture even more.

Do you like cinnamon as much as I do? What are your favorite uses for it? If not cinnamon, what is your favorite spice?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sweat like whoa.

First things first. Thanks for all the love/support/advice for my poor little Macbook and I. She is currently in off mode still and getting de-moisturized with rice as was suggested to me by many peeps. I REALLY hope this works. I'm going to leave it off for a few more days, and then we will find out. Keep your fingers crossed for me? Kapeesh?

Second things second. My darling lil' besty, Benita, was kind enough to let me use her old computer whilst I'm waiting for mine to work again. (Power of positive thinking.) Thanks Benits. You are thebomb.com.

Sometimes I get to work out with my boot camp class, which I love! This was the case this past Saturday and as we were working out one of my clients told me she thought I didn't sweat. This is DEFINITELY not true. Had she seen me today she would have taken those words back very quickly. I was dripping.

I wanted my circuit to be strongly cardio based, so I really got a good sweat in.
Today's circuit workout went a little something like this...

10 Mins on the elliptical (warming up, getting that heart rate up)

Repeat this three times
15 weighted burpees with a push up with 20 lb Dumbbells
40 alternating walking lunges holding a 25 lb plate out in front (This works the biceps and shoulders as well)
20 plank mountain climbers
20 plank mountain climbers opposite knee to elbow (this is the same as the previous exercise except you are bringing your right knee in and across your body aiming for your left elbow. Repeat on the other side.)
5 minutes on the stairs Level 15-17

repeat this three times 
15 assisted pull ups
15 squats with a bicep curl with 50 LB bar
1 minute plank with 25 lb plate on my back
5 minutess on the stairs level 15-17

5 minute cool down on the elliptical

Like I said, I was drenched. It felt great. I loved increasing the intervals to five minutes. It really helped me feel like I was getting worked. Full body workout, intense cardio bouts, with a lot of core work. I think so.

If you are wondering why I love circuit workouts so much read HERE and you'll find out why they really are amazing.Oh, and don't worry if you are a sweaty mess or a glistening sweat-less beauty while you're working at it hard core. We all sweat differently depending on our age, gender, genetics, fitness level, environment, and the amount of sweat glands we were born with. Women naturally tend to sweat less than men and at a higher temperature than men. those who have more fat on their bodies tend to sweat more because fat acts as an insulator and raises the core body temperature quicker. Fit individuals sweat sooner into their workout and at a lower body temperature. There are some individuals who suffer form Hyperhyrdrosis, a condition in which one sweats excessively, and those individuals can receive treatment.
Are you a sweater? I may not always sweat when I'm lifting, but if there is any elevation in heart rate I'm a sweat machine. Do you prefer a good sweaty workout out, or do you like to keep it clean? I usually don't feel like I have worked hard enough if I'm not sweating. So sorry for the lack of pics today! Let's hope my computer is back in action soon!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

i'm not gonna cry. I'm not gonna cry. I might cry.

So, last night while I was typing up my post I had a friend come visit. He and I were chatting and I turned to face him and my elbow knocked my glass of water right onto the keyboard of my macbook. :( there wasn't a ton of water, and I immediately turned the computer off, placed a towel in between the keyboard and flipped it over. It's been off ever since. (I'm coming at you via blackberry) however, I want your advice?!? Any tips on how to save my baby from being broken. I've read random things like don't turn it on for a week or put it in a bag with some rice, but I don't know what to do! I keep people healthy, not computers!! Give me your best! I need it! :(

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Getting Local and Keeping it Healthy - Station 22 Cafe

I have a new love. Not like in a...I'm cheating on The Pizza Factory kind of way, but in a I'm VERY surprised that I found another salad bar that competes kind of way.

Today's workout was just fab.
Worked out with the boot campers. 60 mins.
65 mins on the elliptical.
25 mins more lifting to finish off my weights workout.

A Saturday lunch outing on our cruisers (with the exception of one rollerblader) was in order again this week, so we rounded up a group of about 10 of us and headed on our way.

We decided to go to a new restaurant in Provo that I keep hearing about called Station 22 Cafe.
It is on Center Street in Provo which is a part of Provo I LOVE. Riding bikes downtown in Provo is the best, in case you were wondering. I feel like I'm in a movie or something.
The menu is lighter fare. We're talking sandwiches, soups, baked potatoes, and a KILLER salad bar. The salad bar is insanely fresh and full of everything you could ever want. I was instantly in love. Tell me this doesn't look AWESOME.
Spinach, chopped Romaine, quinoa (it's buried in there), broccoli, red and yellow bell peppers, cherub tomatoes, heirloom baby tomatoes, beets, cucumbers, peas, grapes, a few boiled egg whites, cottage cheese, sunflower seeds, and a few peanuts. With some ranch on the side for dipping. Guess how much their salad bar is? $4.50 Not a joke. I wouldn't joke about matters such as these. So much fresh goodness for under five bucks!?!? Take that 13 dollar salad bar!! Seriously it was awesome. Everyone was joking about how many veggies were piled on my plate, but we discussed how it would probably cost about the same if not MORE to go to the store and get all of the different veggies, chop them up, and have them as fresh and delicious as this salad was. I felt like it was a GREAT inexpensive meal. Don't tell me eating healthy is always more expensive. Not true. Think about it...probably about the same price as a combo meal at any fast food restaurant and about 700 times the nutritional value. Worth it.

Everyone else got a smattering of sandwiches and salads, and everyone seemed really pleased. I will most definitely be back. If you are close to the Provo area GO THERE. If you aren't, COME HERE, and then GO THERE.

The Station 22 Cafe is located at 22 W Center St. in Provo and is open from 11- 4 Monday through Saturday. If anyone wants me to accompany them to try it out I would be willing! ;) 

Any local Provo peeps that have visited Statiton 22 yet? Do you have any local favorite restaurants in your area? There are a LOT around here that I love! Do you feel like eating out and trying to eat healthy is more expensive or less expensive?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Did What I Could. Calling it good.

I don't know what my problem is today, but it's like someone zapped all my energy from me. 
It could be because I had to get up super early today.
It could be because I had a GREAT but intense workout yesterday.
It could be because I have pulled some late night/early mornings back to back a few times this week.
Who knows why, but it was seriously a struggle to be pepped and enthoused during work all morning, not because I wasn't excited to be there. I actually had some of my favorite clients. I just was dying energy-wise. I hate when this happens.

I had an hour break in between clients and I planned on getting in an interval workout on the elliptical. I jumped on feeling drained and busted out a 45 min workout that was OK, but not my best work. After I got done training I'd planned to go and finish my cardio and get some good resistance training in. I decided not to workout at work, but to come to the gym by my house, hoping a change of scenery would help out with the low energy? Usually if I can just get myself to the gym I'm good to go. I got there, warmed up 5 mins on the treadmill and went at it. I got through the first set of alternating exercises and I was still feeling so tired, not to mention hungry. That is never a good combo. On to set two...still reaaallly not feeling it. I thought about just getting in some more cardio and calling it good, but even that sounded impossibly hard. Approximately 18 mins into my being at the gym I decided I just wasn't hacking it today.

So, I left. Just like that. On the way home I started to beat myself up about it, thinking of all the reasons I should have just toughed it out and stayed.
BUT I then started thinking about my week. I realized that I have had awesome workouts this week, and I've done great with my eating as well. I also thought about the fact that if my body is dragging as much as it is, it's trying to tell me something. I should probably listen to it, right? I reminded myself that I did get some cardio in this morning, and although not much, a few reps of resistance training, and that is better than nothing. I did what I could for the day, and I'm going to be happy with that, and call it good.

Sometimes I think we need to remember that we deserve a little bit of a break every now and then too. I'm not saying use this mentality as an excuse to give yourself so much wiggle room that you don't see any progress. I think there is benefits that come from being disciplined, but I also believe that we can't be perfect 100 percent of the time. Sometimes we need to take a breather and just be happy with what he HAVE done instead of focusing on what we HAVEN'T done.

When my clients are feeling extra discouraged or down on themselves I always ask them two questions. 

1) Name off the good things that you have accomplished today/this week? Focus on those positive things, and how you're going to continue to incorporate them into your life. It can be small things like drinking more water or big things like getting in at least 60 mins of exercise every day this week. Celebrate the small victories!

2) What are you going to do better from here on out? Just because you had a bad day, week, month...doesn't mean you are destined to fail. It just means you need to find out what is causing you to slide back into old habits or keeping you from allowing yourself to embrace new ones. Change is hard and it's a process, so the key is to do the best you can, but be sure you are pushing yourself through the process.

You know who isn't feeling discouraged? 
 This guy.
When I was in San Diego last summer this guy was doing some intense ab work on the picnic table next to us. I couldn't help but snap a photo...I'm a bad person...I really hope that isn't your grandpa. If it is. Tell him I'd love for him to do a guest post. :)

Do you ever have days where you just are NOT feeling it? Do you manage to push yourself through, or do you give yourself a day off? I am usually one to push through, and I feel better when I'm done. However, days like today sneak in every now and again and I know I just need some time to chill! What small victories do you celebrate? I am always happy when my eating goes well, or when I have a great workout for the day!