Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Smart Macaroni & Cheese

Let me just start out by saying that I do allow my kids to eat packaged Mac & Cheese. I personally as a mom, prefer to make this home made recipe at my home. It is really simple, healthy and yummy. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with Kraft or Velvetta, but you can definitely make a healthier dish with the same taste instead. This recipe is so filling with the whole wheat pasta. This recipe comes out pretty cheesy so we usually half the sauce ingredients, but it just depends on how you like it. Just have your kids try it and see if they love it too!

1 pkg (14.5 oz) Whole Wheat Elbows, we prefer the Ronzoni Smart Taste
3 T butter
3 T flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 cup shredded cheese
1 cup frozen vegetable (peas, carrots, mixed)

Cook past according to directions, with four minutes left add frozen vegetables. In a medium saucepan melt butter. Stir in flour. Gradually stir in milk over medium heat, until sauce thickens. Stir in salt and pepper. Add cheese sauce into pasta and veggies.

If not serving right away, put in oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.

Makes 6 servingsr

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Benefits of Stretching

In my kick box class I was thinking today about stretching and why would should stick around the extra five minutes of class to do it. Well here is a list of benefits I have found:
  • Stretching increases flexibility. Flexible muscles can improve your daily performance. Tasks such as lifting packages, bending to tie your shoes or hurrying to catch a bus become easier and less tiring.
  • Stretching improves range of motion of your joints. Good range of motion keeps you in better balance, which will help keep you mobile and less prone to injury from falls — especially as you age.
  • Stretching improves circulation. Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles. Improved circulation can speed recovery after muscle injuries.
  • Stretching promotes better posture. Frequent stretching keeps your muscles from getting tight, allowing you to maintain proper posture and minimize aches and pains.
  • Stretching can relieve stress. Stretching relaxes the tense muscles that often accompany stress.
  • Stretching may help prevent injury. Preparing your muscles and joints for activity can protect you from injury, especially if your muscles or joints are tight.
  • Stretching improves energy. Taking in deep breaths while you stress allows better circulation and can give you more energy throughout the entire day.
I think I will definitely reconsider the next time I want to leave early.

Here is also a list of basic stretching rules:
  • Target major muscle groups. When you're stretching, focus on your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders. Also stretch muscles and joints that you routinely use at work or play.
  • Warm up first. Stretching muscles when they're cold increases your risk of injury, including pulled muscles. Warm up by walking while gently pumping your arms, or do a favorite exercise at low intensity for five minutes. Better yet, stretch after you exercise — when your muscles are warm and more receptive to stretching.

    One caveat: If you plan to stretch only after your workout, increase the intensity of the activity more slowly than you would if you had stretched your muscles before exercising.

  • Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds. It takes time to lengthen tissues safely. Hold your stretches for at least 30 seconds — and up to 60 seconds for a really tight muscle or problem area. That can seem like a long time, so keep an eye on the clock or your watch. Then repeat the stretch on the other side. For most muscle groups, a single stretch is often enough if you hold it long enough.
  • Don't bounce. Bouncing as you stretch can cause small tears in the muscle. These tears leave scar tissue as the muscle heals, which tightens the muscle even further — making you less flexible and more prone to pain.
  • Focus on a pain-free stretch. Expect to feel tension while you're stretching. If it hurts, you've gone too far. Back off to the point where you don't feel any pain, then hold the stretch.
  • Relax and breathe freely. Don't hold your breath while you're stretching.
For some really great stretches that target your large muscles go to Spark People.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Maybe we shouldn't go out to eat...

You may have seen this article by now, but if you haven't this is shocking and frightening. This was featured on Good Morning America; they researched how many calories were in restaurant kid's meals. Chili's was one of the restaurants featured and some of their kids meals contain up to 1300 calories...WHAT? Find the article here.

You will honestly be shocked. I think we need to find out what is in our food before we hit these restaurants from now on. I am definitely going to think twice before ordering my kids a meal next time we go out to eat!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Product Review

Kashi Cereals

If you haven't seen or heard of Kashi you've probably been on a different planet. This brand is growing very quickly and the popularity is greatly increasing. It started out only being available in health food stores now it is pretty much in every supermarket there is. And why is it so great you may ask, well it is jammed packed with the magic potion...FIBER! Fiber is such a great way to loose and/or maintain weight because it helps you feel full and digests much easier than the starchy carbs. The cereals also have an impressive protein, calcium, and low fat/low sugar amount as well. And what else, well it's organic. Sounds like DIRT right!

Well now we get to the best part. Every single one of their cereals is super yummy and healthy. My favorite is the GoLean. GoLean Crunch is very tasty too, but has quite a bit more calories. Seriously I don't have anything negative on the tastiness of these cereals. Try all of them and let me know which one you love.

A negative note or two. Well first, some of the cereals are a little high in calories. However, that being said, they do have a huge amount of filling fiber so it is justifiable. I would definitely stick to portion control. Just because it is health food, does not mean you can eat the whole box in one sitting. And lastly, a few years ago Kashi decided to revamp their Original Good Friends cereal. The older original was so much more yummy and had way less calories. Anyways, so that's it. Not much negatively to muster up on these peeps.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Recipe - Millions of Peaches

Grilled Peaches
If you haven't tried grilled peaches before they are so sweet and yummy. All you need to do it top them with a tablespoon of vanilla ice cream or frozen whipped topping and you have a perfect summer dessert.

Cut peach in half and remove pit.
Brush with a tiny bit of butter and sprinkle with a dash of brown sugar and cinnamon.
Put on grill and cook about 3 minutes or until slightly softened.

Peach Crisp (this would be great for Breakfast too!)
2 cups of peaches or other fruit, fresh or drained
1 cup of Grapenuts
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of cloves
2 teaspoons of margarine
2 packets of splenda

Place peaches in baking dish. Sprinkle one pack of splenda and half spices over them. Cover with grapenuts, rest of spice and sweetener. Place margarine on top and bake in microwave for 6 to 8 minutes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fitness Tips

One thing that summer usually brings to most families is TRAVELING. I love to fit in a workout while traveling, whether it be a jog or a hike, it makes me have more energy and feel good throughout my trip. And it is fun to exercise in new ways and new places. I compiled a list of ways to stay in shape while traveling. If you have any other ideas on this topic that you have found successful send them our way.

  • Check and see if your hotel has fitness equipments. A lot of big chains including Marriott and Hilton are not equipping all their hotels with fitness rooms. And the ones I have been in are pretty nice.
  • Some hotels may not have a fitness room, but work with local fitness centers and may have passes. Speak with your hotel about this service.
  • Running, I know not everyone is a runner, but you can pretty much run anywhere you visit. If you are unfamiliar definitely take a cell or a running partner.
  • Jump Rope, a great way to get active while watching TV in a hotel and a jump rope fits in any luggage.
  • Swimming Laps in the hotel pool
  • A brisk walk
  • Take the stairs, walk or run up and down the stairs in a hotel and you will definitely burn some calories
  • Alternate bursts of jumping jacks, lunges, tricep dips, running in place, and pushups
  • If staying at a relatives home bring a favorite exercise DVD. Some hotels have DVD players or offer them to be rented.
Trust me, you will feel great and maintain the fitness level you have worked hard to get to.

Monday, July 28, 2008


I am back..if anyone is still keeping up with Work It Mama! The summer has brought a new house and all that entails, reunions, vacations, and holidays. I would really like to keep this up. If you are a reader, let me know and also tell your friends and family about this site. Thanks and happy summer!

Okay, dread the thought...BACK TO SCHOOL!
Here are some tips from Kidnetic on how to pack a healthy and yummy lunch a kid will eat.

Think variety. Try to include something from most of the MyPyramid food groups in every lunch. Rotate choices to promote variety and prevent boredom. This also helps to ensure that lunch will provide about one-third of a child's daily nutrient needs.

Send what kids like. Ask your child to make a list of his/her favorite lunch ingredients from each MyPyramid food group. Then use this list to create his/her lunch menus. Better yet, get him/her involved in the shopping and packing.

Break out of the peanut butter rut. Experiment with some new fillings for sandwiches, like low-fat lunchmeats (try flavors like smoked turkey!), cheeses, grilled veggies or chicken, tuna and egg salad (see "Keep lunches safe" section below). And try using different types of breads, such as bagels, rolls, pita pockets, English muffins, raisin bread or waffles (use whole-grain varieties whenever you can). If your child is devoted to peanut butter, jazz up the old PB&J standby with sliced bananas or apples, raisins, shredded carrots or granola.

Go beyond sandwiches. The options are endless. Send pasta salad made with fun-shaped, colored pastas. Make a pizza or quesadilla on a tortilla or pita round. Or roll meat and cheese slices in a flour tortilla to make a pinwheel sandwich. Leftovers are great too—like spaghetti, a chicken leg or a hearty soup, to name a few.

Got milk? If your child's school serves milk, it's a good idea to send milk money each day. If not, look for individual milk boxes at the grocery store. Milk tastes best when it is ice cold, so freeze the milk the night before, and by lunchtime it will be thawed, but chilled. Mini-cheese wedges, cheese cubes and cheese sticks are kid favorites, too. Yogurt and pudding cups make a nutritious dessert.

Play up the produce. Baby carrots, celery sticks, sweet pepper slices, cherry tomatoes and other crunchy veggies are great for dipping in low-fat ranch dressing, salsa or hummus (chickpea dip). Slice apples, pears or other fruits for dipping in low-fat vanilla or lemon yogurt. Make fruit kebobs with fresh fruit chunks on straws. Or send single-serve cups of fruit, applesauce or dried fruits.

Pack some pizzazz. Kids love fun and surprises in their lunch. Be creative with shapes, colors, and themes. For example, pack a round meal—a bagel with veggie cream cheese, an orange, carrot rounds and jelly beans. Or cut sandwiches into puzzle pieces. Have a "red lunch" day with spaghetti, red grapes, strawberry milk and red fruit leather. Make a backward lunch with a sandwich made with the meat and cheese on the outside and a note written in reverse telling the child to eat dessert first. Throw in an extra touch with a love note, joke or comic strip.

Keep lunches safe. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Use an insulated lunch box or small cooler. Include an ice pack or frozen bottle of water, juice or yogurt to help keep things cold. Use a Thermos™ to keep soups, casseroles or chili hot.

Friday, June 13, 2008

MMM...Rumbi's Island Grill

So this is one of my most favorite restaurants. I LOVE their Aloha Mango Chicken Salad, minus the gorgonzola cheese. Ooo, it makes me want to shout just thinking of it. If you haven't been there it is super yummy, fresh and fast. They are most famous for their rice bowls and my husband loves their Hawaiian Teriyaki Bowl. I was a little shocked again by how many calories they have in their items especially their salads, but you can balance out your calories by eating fewer throughout the day, Totally Worth It for this salad!
Aloha Mango Chicken Salad
660 calories, 35 grams fat
(no dressing, you really don't need it, it has great flavor without)
430 calories, 10 grams fat
DUDE - what do they put in their dressing right?
So I usually can't eat the entire thing (they are huge) and it includes the flat bread which I usually just have one triangle versus 4. This is so yummy though.
Can I sell this enough?

Another Great & Popular Salad is The Voodoo Chicken Salad
650 calories, 42 grams fat
(no dressing)
440 calories, 15 grams fat

Half Rice Bowls
Teriyaki Chicken with Brown Rice
500 calories, 6 grams fat

Bali Island Chicken with Brown Rice
520 calories, 6 grams fat

This place is so delicious and fresh. Like an eating out experience enjoy, eat slowly and watch your portions. And HELLO, salads are not always the only thing to get while dining out. Hooray!

Looking Good
From now on I am going to just focus on one store per week and find cute stuff and great deals. This weeks : Shade Clothing.
My friend was telling my she got a swim suit last year from Shade and she loved it. I have ordered many a shirt from this place but hadn't considered swimmers. They specialize in layering tees and modest clothing. Since I HATE swim suits, I really wanted to see what this was about. So I ordered this one:
Balboa Swim in Black

And I LOVE it! It fits really well and it is comfy. Can't beat that.
I also ordered one of their new Boyfriend Tees. I really like it. It is not at all like the layering tees I have so if you have the cap sleeve tees, this one is a lot bigger and more just like a plain tee shirt. It is cute though and they have lots of fun spring colors.

This is the cap sleeve (I have white) that I wear every day under shirts for a layering look and just to smooth everything out.

And this cute Savannah Dress - Every girl needs a little black dress!

This store has tons of really cute good quality stuff so check it out and have a fun hopefully warm weekend!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Alternative English Muffin

So I was excited to find a new product from Western Bagel Company since I LOVE their alternative bagels. I picked these Alternative English Muffins up by the cheese and butter. So here's the review on the healthy option for an English muffin. I am not a huge English Muffin fan to begin with but I thought they were pretty good. I found them to taste very similar to a standard variety. However, I would say they were slightly dry. I did toast one and put a dab a sugar free jelly and it was very good. I will give them a B+, now that being from a girl who doesn't love English Muffins in the first place. So if you do enjoy a toasted crumbly bread, these are a great option. They certainly hold their own against any competition in my view. This product has about 50 less calories and 4 more grams of fiber than the standard English Muffin. So here is the bestest news of all - the nutritional info:
For an entire muffin
100 calories, 5 grams fat, 5 grams fiber

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Patriotic Trifle

I am an avid fan of any Trifle. They are so beautiful, quick and tasty. All you need is a trifle bowl (cheap ones at Walmart) and you have a gorgeous layered desserts. This one is so yummy and the colors are perfect for this time of year. Best of all - it's a super healthy option for dessert! Wahoo!
1-1/2 cups cold fat-free milk
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Fat Free Sugar Free Instant Reduced Calorie Pudding & Pie Filling
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP LITE Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
1 pkg. (13 oz.) angel food cake, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 6-1/2 cups)
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup blueberries

POUR milk into medium bowl. Add dry pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. Gently stir in 1-1/2 cups of the whipped topping.

LAYER half each of the cake cubes, strawberries and blueberries in large serving bowl; cover with pudding mixture. Top with layers of the remaining cake cubes, fruit and whipped topping.

REFRIGERATE at least 1 hour before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Serves 16, about 2/3 cup per serving.

Per serving: 120 calories, 2 grams fat, 1 gram fiber

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fitness Tips

Here is a list of some at home workouts to get your heart rate up if you can only squeeze in 10 minutes in a busy day. If you have a few times throughout the day to fit more than one segment...go for it. Just a little bit here and there really counts.
  • Jumping jacks
  • Jogging in place - lift your knees and pump your arms to get your heart rate up
  • Plyometric lunges - Begin in a basic lunge position. In an explosive movement, jump, switch legs in the air and land with bent knees into lunge
  • Ski hops - with feet together, jump from side to side, landing with knees bent. The wider you jump and the lower you squat into the jump, the harder you'll work
  • Jump rope
  • Skipping - you might feel silly, but it's much harder than you remember
  • Step jumps - Stand in front of step or platform and jump onto it, landing with both feet (harder) or a staggered landing. Step down and repeat
  • Squat hops - Stand with feet wide. Lower into a squat and hop forward 4 times, keeping feet wide, legs bent into squat. Walk back and repeat.
If you have 10 minutes for strength training try to hit the larger muscle groups to get the most out of your workout. You can do these easily while watching TV too.
  • lunges
  • squats
  • pushups
  • crunches
  • tricep dips (while seated on a chair, move your feet out and support your body with your arms on the chair. Dip up and down bending your elbows.)

Monday, June 9, 2008

I came across this website that has great ideas for "Family Fitness Fun". The site includes 99 ideas on getting active yourself and with your family. Check it out here! They really have great suggestions that anyone can do. Some of my favorite ideas were:
  • Use physical activity rather than food as a reward (e.g. family goes in-line skating).
  • Take the family grocery shopping so everyone can learn to read the nutrition labels (find the cereal that offers the most fiber per serving; find the tastiest non-fat cheese).
  • Play a "hot potato" game of Frisbee.
  • Create your own Olympic events at a family reunion or neighborhood block party.
  • Adopt a highway, park, or beach, and keep it clean.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Product Review

The Snack Factory's Pretzel Crisps
These tasty little niblets are my new favorite snack. They are described as thin crunchy pretzel crackers - and they are exactly that Pretzel Crackers. They are flattened pretzels which also makes them great for spreading. They are kinda challenging to find but they are worth the grocery search. In most grocery stores I have found in the deli section, but they could be anywhere. Just ask about them and see if they are available. These are so yummy dipped in a healthy dip like salsa - if you are a dipper. For 11 crisps they have 110 calories and 0 grams fat. So don't eat the entire 660 calorie bag, but they are a great single serving snack.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Grilled Chicken Kabobs
Super Easy, Super Quick, Super Yummy!
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
1 green pepper, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
1 zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1 red onion cubed
1/2 cup KRAFT Light House Italian Reduced Fat Dressing, divided

ARRANGE chicken and veggies alternately on four 10- to 12-inch skewers.

BRUSH with 1/4 cup of the dressing; cover. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight to marinate.

PREHEAT grill to medium heat. Place kabobs on grill. Grill 12 to 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, turning and brushing occasionally with remaining 1/4 cup dressing.

Per Serving: 200 calories, 6 grams fat, 6 grams fiber

8 Minute ARMS

So if you did the 8 minute abs video and liked it, you will love this. If you didn't try it, do both and you will totally get two great toning workouts. This video really focuses on every muscle in the arms to tone and tighten it. I was really sore the next day, which means it is effective. And who doesn't like to watch a video with these scantily clad know you do!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Monday - Family Health

6 nutrients your TODDLER absolutely needs!
With two toddlers in the house I am constantly trying to feed my kids healthy foods and have nutritional options available. So here is a list of crucial nutrients a toddler must have in their growing ages.
1. Calcium - 500 milligrams a day. Aids in strong bones, healthy teeth, enzyme maintenance, blood clots and more.
The best sources of calcium are yogurt, milk, cheese, fortified juice, ice cream, cottage cheese, sweet potato, and spinach.
2. Iron - your toddler needs 7 mg. of iron every day. Iron is important for making hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying red pigment in blood, and myoglobin, a pigment that stores oxygen in muscles. Lack of iron can cause anemia, which can result in fatigue, weakness, and irritability. Iron also affects brain development.
Iron is found in beans, meat, chicken, iron fortified cereal, fortified oatmeal, eggs, wheat germ, and raisins.
3. Zinc - Your toddler needs 3 milligrams a day. Zinc aids in digestion and metabolism. It also will aid in not stunting growth.
The highest sources of Zinc in lentils, corn, steak, hamburger, beans, bran flakes, and egg yolks.
4. Vitamin D - 5 micrograms per day. Vitamin D helps the body absorb minerals like calcium and builds strong teeth and bones. It's called the "sunshine vitamin" because the body can make it when the skin is exposed to sunlight. But vitamin D production is prevented by smog, clouds, dark skin, and sunscreen with an SPF of 8 or more, so it's a good idea to make sure your child gets 200 IUs of vitamin D every day from food sources.
Good sources include tuna, eggs, salmon, milk, margarine, and fortified cereal.
5. Vitamin A - Your toddler needs 300 micrograms of vitamin A daily. Vitamin A plays an important role in vision and bone growth, and helps protect the body from infections. Vitamin A also promotes the health and growth of cells and tissues in the body, particularly those in the hair, nails, and skin. The best sources are carrots, squash, milk, eggs, broccoli, and mango.
6. Vitamin C - Your toddler needs 15 milligrams of vitamin C a day. Vitamin C helps form and repair red blood cells, bones, and tissues.
High sources are papaya, orange, strawberry, mango, broccoli, bananas, tomato, potato, spinach, and grapefruit.

So obviously your kids aren't going to get all these things. But many healthy food not listed above full of nutrients. Especially fruit and veggies, lean meats, and dairy. Also, companies make cereal nutrient packed these days - and they will say exactly what they have in them. Just check the label on everything and make sure you are giving your kids food with nutrients in them.
Also, my kids love the Flinstone Sour Gummy Vitamins with Calcium. It is like a little treat for them and if I don't get all the nutrients to them in a day, they sure help out and make me feel better.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Vacation - well sorta!

So I just thought I would put out that I am taking the week off. I wasn't planning on it but this weeks has been swamped with birthdays, tube surgery, house building, and memorial day. I will return with a bang on Monday. Thanks for tuning in!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Eating Out and Looking Good

Tomorrow I will be Going to Old McDonalds, as my daughter calls it. So I thought I would thoroughly check out what's in store for our waistlines. I am not a huge fan of the greasy joint, but I know many people love it. And you can't beat the Play Place to burn off the fries. Warning, the first items may alarm you!
1 Hamburger = 250 calories, 9 grams of fat
Quarter Pounder with cheese = 510 calories, 26 grams fat
Crispy Grilled Chicken Sandwich = 630 calories, 29 grams fat
Filet of Fish = 380 calories, 17 grams fat
SMALL French Fries = 230 calories, 11 grams fat
Large FF= 500 calories, 20 grams fat
4 chicken Nuggets =240 calories, 12 grams fat
10 chicken nuggets = 430 calories, 44 grams fat
Salads: Southwest Grilled Chicken = 320 calories, 8 grams fat
Asian Grilled Chicken = 300 calories, 7 grams fat
Egg McMuffin = 300 calories, 11 grams fat
Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit = 520 calories, 46 grams fat
Fruit & Yogurt Parfait (small) = 160 calories, 2 grams fat
Ice Cream Cone = 150 calories, 5 grams fat
Oreo McFlurry = 550 calories, 17 grams fat

So I think the best thing to order at Mickey D's is the ice cream cone. It is cool, creamy, and delish. The sandwiches I listed are only a go-ahead if you don't order any sides. And I really love their Southwest Chicken Salad. The marinade on the chicken is super yummy and it makes it so you don't really need dressing. Kinda Scary still have to wonder what all goes into this stuff!

Looking Good!
I just wanted to share my favorite new purchase. Well it actually was a Mother's Day gift that I picked out - but I love them. These Roxy sandals are so comfortable, lightweight, and cute. I really love them and I can walk and chase my kid around in them. They were kinda pricey for flip flops but I think and hope they will last a while. Available at Nordstrom and Dillards for 29.99!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday - Product Review

Diet Root Beer...yes, I know it isn't a real "health" product but I really think it can help people stay on track. If you are a diet soda drinker and you use it kinda as your sweet fill then this is for you. In school I often learned the importance of trying to avoid drinking any calories (ie. real soda, lemonade, juice, punch) because they do not provide one ounce of nutritional goodness and one glass adds up immensely. So I drink DIET!
First off, I LOVE LOVE Diet Coke! I will never say it isn't a delicious beverage. But I really don't think all the caffeine is good for me so I try to tone it down. As a replacement I sip a nice chilled Diet Barq's or A&W Rootbeer. They are both so amazingly tasty. They both have a different taste and I couldn't even tell you which one I prefer. All I know is they are the "bomb diggity" - yeah, I know no one says that anymore, but that is just how excited I am about this stuff. A&W comes in a 12 pack of cans, a 2 liter, and just recently started providing 20 ounces for those gas station runs. Barq's offers 12 packs of cans and 2 liters; we'd like to see some 20 ounces from you too Barq's. Try some today!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fresh Asian Chicken Salad
1 small boneless skinless chicken breast half (4 oz.)
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup Kraft Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing, divided
2 cups torn salad greens
1 small navel orange, peeled, sliced
1/2 cup diagonally cut snow peas
1 Tbsp. Planters Slivered Almonds, toasted
1 small carrot, cut into matchsticks

SPRINKLE chicken with salt; brush with 2 tsp. of the dressing.

HEAT nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 2 min. on each side or until browned on both sides. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover. Cook 5 min. or until chicken is cooked through (170ºF), turning occasionally. Slice chicken.

ARRANGE lettuce, oranges, peas, chicken, almonds and carrots on two serving plates. Drizzle with remaining dressing.

Nutritional Info: 220 calories, 9 grams fat, 4 grams fiber

*from Kraft Foods

S.S. Salad

This is a pasta salad that my family has been making for yummy! So I wanted to health-ify it. It still isn't as nutritious as eating all greens but we need some carbs too right.

2 bags whole wheat shaped pasta, cooked (ie. rotini, penne, etc)
2 tomato, chopped
1 large cucumber, sliced
1 red onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 bottle of Light Zesty Italian Dressing (this dressing is key..must be Kraft Zesty Italian Light, not fat free!)
After cooking the pasta, run cold water over it in colander until chilled. Place in a large bowl and add vegetables. Stir in dressing until well mixed. Chill at least 1 hour.
You can add more or less veggies or noodles to this depending on your party size or preference. Just add dressing to your liking. So yummy!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fitness Tips

Fast Effective OUTDOOR Workout
It is Spring and the weather is perfect for being outside so why not squeeze in a workout while outside. Exercising outdoors can also be more challenging due to unexpected inclines, declines and obstacles which means more calories burnt!

1. Side Leap

Fitness Focus: Inner Thighs, Quads, Calves, Glutes

• Stand on a flat surface with your feet together.

• Bend your knees and hop as far as you can to your right, landing on the ball of
your right foot.

• Without returning left foot to the ground, bend your right knee and hop as far as
you can to the left.

• Work up to 20 hops on each side.

2. Park-Bench Dip

Fitness Focus: Triceps, Shoulders, Core

• Sit on a bench and place your hands on either side of your hips.

• Slide your butt forward, supporting yourself with your hands.

• Bend elbows, bringing upper arms almost parallel to ground, then return to
starting position.

• Keep lower back close to the bench throughout the exercise.

• Complete 12 to 15 reps.

3. Park-Bench Push-Up

Fitness Focus: Chest, Biceps, Triceps, Shoulders, Core

• Stand facing a park bench and place your hands on the seat; walk your feet out behind
you until your legs are fully extended.

• Bend your arms and lower chest toward bench, then push up.

• Complete 12 reps.

• Turn around and place your hands on the ground and your feet on the bench (not
shown); walk your hands forward until they’re aligned under shoulders, legs extended.

• Lower chest toward ground, then push up. Complete 8 reps.

• Work up to 20 reps of each.

4. Tightrope Walk

Fitness Focus: Calves, Quads, Core

• Find a curb or fallen tree with a smooth surface that is at least 6 feet long.

• Raise arms out to sides and walk across the “tightrope” until you reach the end (or go at
least 6 feet).

• Turn on the balls of your feet; walk in the opposite direction.

• Continue for 3 minutes.

5. Side Shuffle

Fitness Focus: Glutes, Inner and Outer Thighs, Quads

• Stand with feet hip-distance apart, elbows bent, with fists near ribs.

• Take three giant steps to your right, sliding your left foot to meet the right.

• Bend your knees and jump up, turning to face the opposite direction.

• Repeat, shuffling to your left.

• Continue alternating sides for 1 minute.

6. Side Step

Fitness Focus: Core, Obliques, Glutes, Upper Back, Shoulders

• Stand with right side facing a step, log or flat rock.

• Hold your arms out to your sides at shoulder height and bend elbows 90 degrees, palms
facing forward.

• Step up with your right foot, contracting abs while bringing left knee and right elbow
together in front of you. (Emphasize bringing your knee up rather than your elbow down.)

• Return to starting position; do 12 reps.

• Switch sides and repeat.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Family Health

20 Snacks to Feed Your Family:
Here is a list of snacks that I often have in my house. Personally I'm a grazer and I just love to have a few snacks throughout the day - why not make them good for you. My kids will eat all of these things too. They are all healthy, filling, and delicious for anyone. If you have any snack favorites let me know!

1. Low Fat Microwave Popcorn 100 calorie bags
2. Oranges
3. Pretzels
4. String Cheese
5. Granola Bar (fiber one, kashi, or anything reduced sugar)
6. Bananas
7. Ants on a Log (celery spread with peanut butter with raisins on top)

8. Apple slices
9. Fat Free Yogurt
10. Snow Peas
11. Carrots and Low Fat Ranch
12. Sugar Free Pudding
13. Baked Lays
14. Grapes
15. Unsweetened Applesauce
16. Dry Frosted Mini Wheats
17. Puzzle PB & J Sandwich (usually my kids share this)

18. Quesadilla with whole wheat tortilla
19. Fruit Kabobs
20. 100 calorie packs - our favorites are: oreo thin crisps, oreo candy bites, teddy grahams, chocolate covered pretzels, and the ritz pretzel can't go wrong with those flavors!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Eating Out and Looking Good

Today's Restaurant is the ever so popular Chili's. I must admit I was a little surprised again by their caloric amount for some weird reason. It is still somewhat shocking to me how much fat and calories are put into items we eat at restaurants. Here is some nutritional data for menu items at Chili's.
The bottomless chip and salsa (entire basket)..we get this every time = 480 calories, 36 grams fat
Boneless Buffalo Wings = 1170 calories, 87 grams fat
Maybe don't use all your daily calories on an appetizer.
Mashed Potato's = 500 calories, 32, grams fat
Homestyle Fries = 580 calories, 31 grams fat
Main Dishes:
Chicken Crispers = 1880 calories, 130 grams fat (Honey Mustard Dressing 260 calories)
Chicken Fajitas (2) = 530 calories, 11 grams fat
Oldtime Burger (without fries) = 880 calories, 71 grams fat
Cajun Chicken Pasta = 1500 calories, 31 grams fat
Country Fried Steak (with toast) = 1890 calories, 85 grams fat
Quesadilla Explosion Salad with drizzled ranch = 980 calories, 31 grams fat
Ribeye Steak without sides = 870 calories, 87 grams fat
Cheesecake (1 slice)= 720 calories, 81 grams fat
Molten Chocolate Cake with ice cream = 1270 calories, 72 grams fat
Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie (1 slice) = 1600 calories, 71 grams fat

You are probably thinking....WHAT?? Is this for real? Well I gathered this info from Chili's own website, so I doubt they would overestimate their own calories; I would more likely guess they underestimate. Holy Cow!! I think we definitely need some portion control or some seriously healthy options. So they now have the Guiltless Grill featuring the following:
Guiltless Chicken Platter = 580 calories, 9 grams fat
Guiltless Chicken Sandwich = 490 calories, 8 grams fat
Guiltless Salmon = 480 calories, 14 grams fat

Also, you can substitute any sides for these healthier ones:
Corn on the cob = 180 calories, 2 grams fat
Steamed seasoned veggies = 50 calories, 1 gram fat

So there are A FEW healthy options. We would definitely like to see more options Chili's People. I have had the chicken platter and it was very tasty and very filling. What can we take away from this, well hopefully a little more knowledge of what you are eating at these types of restaurants. And also, to try to at least throw in some healthy things into your meal if you still want to get what you want, but don't want to pay the price of the high calories.

Now to Looking Good - Jewelry
From Charlotte Russe
Earring $4 Bangles $4
Necklace $6

Watch from Target 12.99

From Forever 21
Earring $4.80 Necklace $6.80

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Healthy Product Review

In a crowded market of "healthy" food Curves has joined in to now offer a line of food products available in most grocery stores. Today I am reviewing their new line of granola bars, but I should add that I tried the cereal and it wasn't too bad.

Curves partnered with General Mills to create these 100 calorie granola bars with 5 filling and appetite suppressing grams of fiber. I tried both the Strawberry & Cream and the Chocolate and Peanut Butter bars. You know, I did like them. I really can't say I was jumping up and down after eating them, but they were good. And if you are a granola bar enthusiasts they are a very healthy option. A popular granola bar, Quaker Chewys, are 90-100 calories with 1 gram of fiber. One negative thing I will say is that I did find that the chocolate in one of the bars was a bit chalky, but what can you expect.

So to conclude, the bars were good. A much healthier option than a candy bar, potato chips, or soda. But for me Curves didn't bring or add anything much more valuable to nutritional market available.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Recipe Wednesday

Fire Up the's Spring! These are some fast, delicious and healthy grilling recipes that me and my family love.

Herbed Pork Chops
6 boneless pork chops
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. tarragon
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 T honey
Sprinkle all the spices over the chops. Allow 5 minutes for the meat to absorb the flavor. Coat grill with nonstick cooking spray. Grill each side of the pork chops on each side for 4-5 minutes. Spread each chop with honey and grill for an addition 2 minutes.
Nutritional Info: 3 oz of pork = 182 calories and 8 grams fat

Yogurt Marinated Chicken
1/2 cup fat free plain yogurt
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T lemon juice
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. chili powder
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
In a large resealable plastic bag, combine all the ingredients. Allow to marinate at least one hour or overnight.
Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray. Drain and discard marinade. Grill chicken, covered, for 20 minutes or until juices run clear. 6 servings.
Nutritional Info: 1 chicken breast half = 149 calories, 4 grams fat

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesday - Fitness

Here are some super fast toning exercises that you may not have considered and you can do at home or at your work.

To tone up Calves:
TIP TOE!!! While walking around the house lift your heel and walk around on the ball of your foot instead of the heel. Not only will this help tone up your legs, but it can help with hiking, running up hills, and biking. And do this whenever you feel like it: up the stairs, walking to the mailbox, vacuuming..maybe places where people can't see you.
Calf Raises - While standing and holding onto something like a desk, raise your heels off the floor. Do 3 sets of 12 lifts.

To tone up Thighs:
Plie & Releve - if you are a dancer you know how this can tone up the thighs. I did three sets of twelve today and am definitely feeling it. To do, stand with feel slightly wider than shoulder width. Point your toes outward and raise your heel (Releve). Now squat down keeping on your tip toes and repeat 12 times.
Warrior Lunge - Ahh..the dreaded lunge. While standing lunge one foot forward and bend knee towards the ground. Return leg to standing position and repeat with opposite leg. Do 2 sets of 12.
Hold up the wall - wall sits -With your back touching the wall, move your feet away from the wall so that the wall is supporting the weight of your back. Bend your knees so that your legs form a 90-degree angle. Hold as long as you can.

To tone up Buns:
Anytime you are sitting (driving, reading, TV, relaxing) you can do this fast . While sitting, just squeeze the muscle of your rear end. This is called an isometric exercise and so effective. Do this whenever you think about it.

To tone up Arms:
Do some dips- With the palms of your hands on your chair and feet on the floor, scoot your rear end off the end of your chair. Bend your elbows, lowering your body, then straighten your arms to return to the starting position.

To tone up Abs:
Stomach Vacuum - To perform this you actually pull your belly button up and in toward your spine as far as you can go. While doing this don’t forget to breathe. This exercise can be done standing, laying on your back, laying on your stomach, seated or kneeling position.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Family Health

Well I, like everyone, is just hoping sick season is over. You never know right! Well here are basic but helpful some tips from Healthy Utah Magazine on how to keep you and your family healthy.

1) Wash Hands: Frequent handwashing is a must if you hope to keep germs at bay. Viruses and bacteria can live for hours on surfaces touched by an infected person. Then they are transferred to the next healthy person to come along. Wash your hands vigorously with soap and warm water for 10-15 seconds. Use liquid soap rather than bar soap, and disposable paper towels to dry hands. Avoid overusing anti-bacterial soaps. They sound good in theory, but can actually support bacterial development.

2) Don't Touch: While handwashing is the first line of defense, even clean hands should stay away from eyes, noses and mouths to prevent germs from infecting the body. Avoid touching your face, and teach children to keep their hands below their necks whenever possible.

3) Use Hand Sanitizers:Instant hand sanitizers (like Purell or Bath & Body Works' Hand Gel) are widely available. These products use an antiseptic alcohol to destroy 99% of germs. Small containers are easy to carry in purses, pockets or backpacks and you can use them anytime and anywhere because they don't require soap, water or towels to be effective.

4) Bring Your Own :Carry your own sanitized items with you and avoid using public facilities. For example, carry your own pen to use at the grocery checkout or reading material for the waiting room. Pass by the public water fountain and bring your own drinks. Before you use any public item, consider who else might have access to it!

5) Cover Up: If everyone covered their face when they coughed or sneezed, germs wouldn't stand a chance! Unfortunately, many people just can't make this habit stick, and the germs fly free. Encourage kids to turn their head and cough or sneeze into the crook of their elbow -- rather than the palm of their hand -- to avoid passing germs by touch.

6) Segregate the Sick:Multiples are naturally close, and as much as we like to teach our kids togetherness and sharing, it will have to wait until spring! When a family member is feeling under the weather, keep healthy siblings far away! And, of course, don't send sick kids to school, day care, or activities.

7) Disinfect the House:Use germ-killing cleaning products, like Lysol, bleach or boiling water, to disinfect the house. Wipe down the phone, computer keyboard/mouse, door handles, bathrooms, toys, countertops and other common surfaces. Wash dishes in the hottest possible water and allow to air dry, or use an automatic dishwasher. Microwave sponges and dishcloths for 30 seconds to kill bacteria. Replace toothbruses often, especially after illness.

8) Avoid Contagious Crowds: You can't hibernate the winter away, but whenever possible, avoid situations where contagious people congregate. Unless it's an emergency, stay clear of the waiting room at doctor's offices, or seek out a "well" waiting area. Shop during off peak hours or in off-the-beaten-path stores. Think twice about attending playgroups or activities where sick kids might be allowed to roam.

9) Dont's: Don't smoke. Studies show that smokers have more frequent and severe colds. Secondhand smoke dries out nasal passages and makes people more susceptible to respiratory illnesses. Don't drink alcohol, except in moderation. Heavy drinking dehydrates the body and damages immunity. Most importantly, don't get run down. When you're stressed, tired or undernourished, your body just can't fight off illness.

10) Do's: Get plenty of sleep. Exercise, especially aerobic, increases the body's virus-killing cells. Even better, exercise outside in the fresh air, away from dehydrating indoor heating systems and recirculated, germy air. Eat healthy foods with lots of vitamins, like colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains and yogurt. Drink fluids; it flushes out your system. Take care of yourself!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Eating Out and Looking Good

The Restaurant of the week and Mother's Day weekend will be PF Changs China Bistro. I am not a huge fan of Chinese food, but I know it is a favorite of many. PF Changs is a very popular joint known for exceptional dining environment, fresh ingredients, and especially the lettuce wraps. I love the feel of this place; it has a modern feel but very relaxing. So how bad can it be right..well, here's a small look into some nutritional catastrophe's and some healthy options as well.

The Famous Vegetarian Lettuce Wrap, 1 wrap
281 calories, 3 grams of fat, 2 grams fiber
Sorta high for a vegetarian appetizer, but eating one is great. Totally worth it!

Chang's Spicy Chicken
990 Calories, 51 grams fat, 3 grams fiber

Orange Chicken
1151 calories, 61 grams fat, 14 grams fiber

Beef with Steamed Broccolli
910 calories, 59 grams fat, 7 grams fiber

Double Pan Fried Noodles with Chicken
1140 calories, 53 grams fat, 5 grams fiber

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but to let you know, most of the menu items at PF Changs were at least this high in fat and calories. Yikes, I know!! If you order some of these high calorie items I would just recommend portion control as a must.

Now for some semi-healthy options:

Steamed Buddha's Plate with brown rice
367 calories, 4 grams fat, 10 grams fiber

Chicken with Black Bean Sauce and Rice
667 calories, 14 grams fat, 12 grams fiber

Oolong Marinated Sea Bass, Yeah - I will pass on this, but you never know who likes some good sea bass
481 calories, 4 grams fat, 1 gram fiber

So through my "intensive" research you can see that the majority of the menu items are not great for the waistline. Definitely keep portion control in mind while dining here.

Looking Good - Who wears LONG Shorts?
I love that these long shorts are in style. So great for Mom's - here are some of my fav's!
AE Bermuda's Forever 21 Aimee Shorts
$44.50 $24.50

Dressy Bermuda Shorts
Both from Old Navy $26.50

Happy Mother's Day to all of you wonderful loving Mama's! My Mother-in-law sent me this poem and I thought it was cute. Enjoy yourselves and let your family spoil you - you deserve it!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thursday - Healthy Product Review

Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning
Okay, so I have loved this product for years. It is my very favorite way to jazz up, spice up, kick up, or flavor up pretty much any food. The spices in this Cajun blend are extraordinary. I put it on chicken breasts, pork, steak, soups, and any cooked veggies. Just use like salt for calorie free yummy-ness. You can get this stuff pretty much everywhere near all the spices..sells for $1.68 at Walmart and it lasts forever. Try it and tell me your opinions!

Now when I sprinkle this on cooked veggies I first spray with the next product of the day...drumroll please!!!
Parkay Spray Butter
For another guilt-free way to top anything I love this stuff. It has a great buttery taste with zero calories, zero fat. Now that is for 5 super quick sprays - which is qualified as a serving. So I wouldn't go dousing your hot potato with this stuff. I Can't Believe It's Not Butter also has a spray butter; they are pretty much identical from my observation. However, I usually go for the underdog in the grocery field and it is 26 cents cheaper at Wal-mart. Either way, you can do wonders for your food!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Recipe Wednesday - Slow Cooking Spectacular

I am an avid fan of the crockpot for my cooking. It is so simple, fast, and convenient for healthy family meals. Here are some fabulous recipes using the slow cooker.
Spicy Lemon Chicken
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 package (16 oz) baby carrots
1 large potato
3 celery ribs
2/3 cup water
1/3cup lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp each garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, and pepper
4 (4oz each) boneless skinless chicken breasts

In a greased slow cooker, add all the ingredients and turn to coat. Set cooker on high for 4 to 6 hours or until chicken is fully cooked.

If you want a healthy gravy for this combine 4 tsp. cornstarch with 4 tsp. cold water in a saucepan until smooth. Gradually add the cooking juices and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Serve over chicken. Serves 4
Nutritional Info: 220 calories, 5 grams fat, 5 grams fiber

Beef Pot Roast
1 boneless beef sirloin tip roast or eye of round roast (3 lbs)
1 1/2 cup water
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire's sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 medium onion
1/2 bag (16oz) baby carrots
1-2 large potatoes, cubed
3 celery ribs, sliced

In a nonstick skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray, brown roast on all sides. Transfer to a slow cooker and add all the ingredients. Cover and cook on high 5-6 hours or until meat is tender.
Remove roast and let stand 10 minutes if you are slicing.
For a gravy on this roast use 2 T cornstarch combined with 2 T cold water in a saucepan. Add juices and bring to a boil. Cook until thickened about 2 minutes. Serve over beef and vegetables. 8 servings with leftovers
Nutritional Info (3 oz beef, 1 T. gravy): 223 calories, 7 grams fat, 5 grams fiber

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tuesday - Fitness

Walking Workouts

Since Spring is FINALLY hear, walking outdoors is a great way to get in shape and tone up. Here are some great calorie burning walking routines. Also, studies show that if you walk or run with a stroller you burn 20% more calories. So all you Mama's with young kids get outside for a stroll to burn some serious calories.
If you're walking some days of the week for at least 30 minutes, you may be ready to make your routine less routine. Concentrate on increasing distance and speed, gradually working up to 45 minutes.

Speed: Pick up the pace until you're walking a mile in 15 to 18 minutes. (Wear a pedometer, or use your car to measure your route.) To speed up, take faster steps, not longer strides.

Extras: Add extra bursts of speed every 4 minutes to really get your heart rate up. Include hills in your route.

Goal: Set your sights on taking 10,000 steps every day, which adds up to about five miles. You'll take half of those steps just by going about your daily life — grocery shopping, climbing stairs, chasing the kids. The rest, about 2 1/2 miles, you'll need to add by fitness walking.

Posture Perfect: Bend your arms to about 90 degrees. That turns them into shorter, more compact pendulums. You'll be able to swing them faster and thus help your legs and feet move faster. (Just try running with straight arms.)


Say you're already getting a rigorous workout by walking and you begin to wonder, How can I up the intensity? You can pick up the pace even more or challenge yourself on harder terrain.

Speed: Speed-walking means setting about a 12-minute-mile pace. Racewalking is even more challenging (for tips on how to do it, see *Posture Perfect, below). Both take concentration. Unless you continually remind your feet to move unnaturally fast, you'll slow down.

Goal: You could walk two miles in 25 minutes at this pace. Or you could keep your workout interesting by following these two strategies:

  • Intersperse 10 one-minute bursts of speed-walking or racewalking throughout a moderately fast 45-minute walk.
  • Become a hiker. Going up hills is the best intensifie. Even though you may not walk as fast as you could on flat ground, you'll boost your workout substantially. And because you're moving up and down in addition to forward, your calf and thigh muscles will develop more tone.

  • *Posture Perfect: To visualize racewalking, think of children running around a pool and being told by the lifeguard to walk, not run; Imagine their upright posture, quick steps, fairly straight legs, and bent arms. And take fast steps: World-class female racewalkers maintain a blistering 200-steps-per-minute pace (or a 7- to 7.5-minute mile) for 12 miles.

    Walking Workouts from Real Simple
    And from Mark Fenton, the author of The Complete Guide to Walking for Health, Weight Loss, and Fitness

    Sunday, May 4, 2008

    Monday - Family Health

    Healthy Breakfasts My Family Actually Eats
    As the saying goes "breakfast is the most important meal of the day"and it is our topic for today. I often find it a little challenging to get my family fed, especially in the short amount of time available in the morning. And I only have two kids and I only have to do one girls hair; I can't imagine mother's with 6 girls, BLESS YOU! Here are some fast, healthy and yummy real breakfasts that my kids and husband enjoy, and it doesn't include scrambled tofu:
    • Frosted Mini Wheats, Original or Strawberry
    • Whole Wheat Waffles or Pancakes using Krusteaz Wheat & Honey mix, strawberries and Cool Whip Free
    • PB&J Toast - some might find this weird but it is delish. Just make a healthy PB&J with toasted whole wheat bread, we love Granny Delight Wheat & Fiber Bread or Sara Lee delightful with Low Sugar Preserves
    • French Toast using the same healthy bread, make FT coating with egg whites and fat free milk. Top with Sugar Free or Low Sugar Syrup
    • Banana Bread (healthy), made the night before. See Here for recipe
    • Fiber One Muffins (mix), also made the night before
    • Maple & Brown Sugar Weight Control Oatmeal, or any brand will do
    • Sweet Potato Pancakes, from Deceptively Delicious Cookbook. Recipe Here
    • Nutrigrain Eggo Waffles topped with Sugar Free Syrup or Fruit
    • Morning Pizza - using toasted Western Alternative Bagels top with scrambled egg whites and a little cheese and put in the oven until cheese melts
    • Fruit Pebbles, this yummy cereal now has 3 filling grams of fiber
    • Cinnamon Toast, toast lightly sprinkled with cinnamon sugar
    • Western Alternative Bagels with light cream cheese and jelly
    • Kashi GoLean Cereal or Fiber One, well I eat this
    • Whole Wheat Light English Muffins
    Any other breakfast ideas?? Send them to me!
    Oh, this bread that I speak of is Granny Delight Wheat & Fiber Bread available in any grocery store. 80 calories per slice and a whopping 6 grams of fiber - super filling. Also, for a smaller/thinner bread with even less calories is Sara Lee Delightful Bread, very good toasted!

    Thursday, May 1, 2008

    Friday - Eating Out and Looking Good

    Pizza Pizza Pizza if you please...
    Today I am going to be digging into the ever so popular delivery pizza. Who doesn't like a good piece of pizza on a Friday night?

    Pizza Hut
    1 Slice of Pepperoni Pizza, hand tossed crust with standard cheese amount:
    360 calories, 16 grams fat
    Also, we usually eat breadsticks with our pizza
    150 calories for one of their breadsticks.

    Mama Mia!! Just think if you eat 3 slices!
    Now they do have their new line of Fit n' Delicious and the results for the same size slice:
    200 calories, 6 grams fat

    I think it is clear what to select here!! Three cheers for Fit n' Delicious! Way to go Pizza Hut for providing us a healthy option. Gotta love that!

    And now to some healthy competition...

    Little Caesars
    1 slice of Pepperoni Pizza, hand tossed crust with standard cheese amount:
    270 calories, 9 grams of fat
    And let's not leave out their crazy bread. 130 calories stick.

    I am not sure why the calories differ, perhaps size of slice? Or maybe LC is underestimating their calories. Anyways, we can conclude not to go nosh crazy on pizza, duh right!
    Work It Mama EXCLUSIVE:
    I am sure you have all seen girls dabbing their pizza with paper towel thinking that girl is nuts. Well that girl is me and wanna know how many calories you save just by dabbing.
    20-40 calories per slice, 40 for aggressively dabbing!

    Now for Looking Good - Girly Stuff
    I love spring dresses and skirts and I thought these were so darling and affordable.
    Both Dresses from Down East Basics.
    Picnic $22.99
    Central Park $29.99

    Christa Taylor Skirt $43.00

    Thursday - Product Review

    Progresso Light Soups

    This Betty Crocker Company just came out with a new product line of light soups. The soup comes in five yummy flavor packed varieties: Italian-Style Vegetable, Vegetable & Noodle,Home-Style Vegetable & Rice, Savory Vegetable Barley, and Southwestern-Style Vegetable. They are all very good, I personally think they are better than Progresso's original line because they aren't as salty. And here's the awesome news - each serving is only 60 calories with 4 grams of fiber or an entire can is 120 calories with a whopping 8 grams of fiber. That is 50% fewer calories than a regular ready to serve soup. Other pluses include an easy to pop can, non-mushy veggies, and super flavorful broth. One minus I would say is relatively high sodium: 860mgs per serving - Whoa! , so limit your sodium intake on the days you take this for lunch.

    And what better to go with soup of course...

    All Bran Crackers

    Available in two flavors, Multi Grain and Garlic & Herb, these crackers are a great healthy option. For 18 crackers it is 130 calories, 5 grams fiber, 6 grams fat. It may sound a lot for crackers to some but let's compare to the very popular Ritz. For 5 crackers you rack up 80 calories, 4 grams of fat, and 0 grams of fiber. So nutritionally, this round of reviews goes to All Bran. Taste alone, you can definitely tell All Bran Crackers are a low fat, healthy baked cracker. They are not buttery soft Ritz, BUT they are still really good. I liked the Multi Grain a tad more; the Garlic & Herb is a bit too strong for me, but others may enjoy it. And they are super yummy with fresh salsa or crushed over your soup.

    Wednesday, April 30, 2008

    Recipe Wednesday - Muy Bueno!

    Black Bean Soft Tacos
    1 medium onion, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    2 cans (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes and green chilies
    1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
    1 T chili powder
    1 tsp cumin
    1 T Italian seasonings
    1/4 tsp garlic powder
    8 whole wheat tortillas
    1/2 cup shredded cheese
    In a nonstick skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, saute onion and garlic until tender. Stir in beans, tomatoes, chilies, and seasonings. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 3-5 minutes. Spoon about 1/2 cup onto each tortilla and sprinkle with cheese.
    Nutritional Info for 1 Taco:
    249 calories, 5 grams fat, 15 grams fiber

    Chicken Fajitas

    2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    Combine in a bag with chicken:
    2 T. lemon Juice
    1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt 1 1/2 tsp. oregano
    1 1/2 tsp. cumin 1 tsp. garlic powder
    1/2 tsp. chili 1/2 tsp. paprika
    1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
    4 whole wheat tortillas
    Over medium high heat, cook 1 sliced red
    Pepper, 1 green pepper, and 1 onion. Remove
    from heat. Cook chicken and seasonings until
    no longer pink. Return veggies to pan. Serve over tortillas.
    Nutritional Info for 1 Fajita:
    279 calories, 4 grams fat, 6 grams fiber

    These recipes also vary depending on the tortilla you choose. You can get some with 180 calories and more or you can get one for 90 calories. Just look around and find a lower calorie option. Don Pancho has a great whole wheat tortilla wrap that is yummy for both these recipes.

    Tuesday, April 29, 2008

    Fitness - 8 Minute Abs

    This is a wonderful workout for your abs. An old roommate of mine used to do it and it really helps a lot. It is all very basic abdominal moves but it really works every section from beginning to end. After 8 minutes your tummy will be on fire..FEEL THE BURN!

    Monday, April 28, 2008

    Family Health - How to Get Your HUSBAND Healthy

    Today's family health topic is focused on husbands or man in your life. I must admit, I definitely struggle getting my husband to be healthy. I really try to motivate him and cook healthy for him, but I can't force him to take care of himself. He and and some of my in-laws are doing a weight loss competition and I think the word "competition" is motivating..whatever works. I do think wives can really prompt changes toward healthier behavior. Since we are with more than most people, there is clearly a role and responsibility to help them look after their health. Here are some tips I found that can help save your husbands health.
    1. Know the warnings signs of bad health (i.e. fatigue, weight loss or gain, chest pain)
    2. Learn his blood pressure
    3. Promote healthy diet (portion control, 5 servings of veggies and fruit, less fat, calorie control)
    4. Stop Smoking and Reduce Alcohol Intake
    5. Exercise Regularly (give him encouragement and exercise together)
    6. Be realistic about weight: be honest with your husband or partner about whether he needs to lose weight and how much he needs to lose. The best way to do this is to follow a healthy low fat diet and regular gentle exercise.
    7. Reduce his cholesterol - get him to have his cholesterol levels checked and take appropriate steps to reduce it. If he is over 45 ask your pharmacist if he should take an OTC statin.
    8. Be Patient - the goal of taking a more active role in men’s health care is to get your husband to take better care of himself, and to get the next generation of men to start building good habits. A small change can make a big difference.

    Also, here is a list of healthy foods for men that can do their body good from Men's Health Magazine.

    Friday, April 25, 2008

    Friday - Eating Out and Looking Good

    Restaurant: Romano's Macaroni Grill
    This week's restaurant is so yummy and delish and it also is the best atmosphere ever. I love the charming dimmed lights and festive Italian feel. However, some of MG's menu items can be a disaster. Here are some, not all, of the dangerous digs:
    Capellini Pomodoro (pasta dish) = 1000 calories and 41 grams of fat
    Chicken Parmigiano (chicken and pasta) = 1490 calories and 68 grams of fat
    BBQ Pizza = 960 calories and 27 grams of fat
    Chicken Marsala (chicken and pasta) = 1130 calories and 70 grams of fat
    Chicken Calzonettos = 1540 calories and 84 grams of fat

    Yipes Stripes! If you are going to order a pasta dish I would recommend sharing it or eating just half of the plate.

    For some health friendly options I would shoot for a veggie salad without all the crazy calorie packed fixins. They also have a section of their menu called "Sensible Fare" which features lots of healthier options. Including a Sausage Tomato Soup, Steak Salad, Skinny Chicken and Salmon...gotta love that. I love the Chicken Florentine...minus the orzo and nuts and dressing on the side equates to 500 calories.

    One more comment go easy on the bread too..which boasts 2140 calories per loaf!!!

    Again, I will say it again, if you love something from hear and rarely go, you should splurge. Try to reduce your portion size and just enjoy yourselves. You can also balance out your calories throughout your day and relax and enjoy. But there are lots of healthy yummy options and it really is great place to go. You can't beat kids being able to color on the table. Genius!!
    Have a great weekend !

    Looking Good

    Swimsuit season is upon us..ahhh! Dreadful thought. Well we should at least try to look great and feel cute if we have to suit up. Here are a few I thought were super fun and flattering.

    Victoria's Secret Miracle Bra Push Up Tankini $98
    (I hate it when they use someone else's face on my body without my permission)

    Target Striped Tankini $17.99 for top

    Down East Basics Redondo Bandeaux Top $24.99

    Thursday, April 24, 2008

    Thursday - Product Review

    Product: Western Alternative Bagel

    Western Bagel Company in California has created bagels that will knock your socks off. Honestly, I expected the bagels to be dry or cardboard-ish, but these are awesome. And even better news is the nutritional information on these babies:
    1 bagel = 110 calories, 8 grams fiber, fat free, and sugar free
    compared to a standard bagel:
    1 bagel = 290 calories, 2 grams fiber, 2 grams fat
    You can get these bagels at any Wal-Mart stores or check out their website here for a store near you. They are usually found in the refrigerator section by the cheese and butter.

    Pizza Recipe with this product...that me and my family Love!

    Bagels, Roasted Onion or Sweet Wheat
    Spaghetti Sauce
    grated low fat mozzarella cheese
    toppings: pepperoni, veggies, or whatever you like.

    Separate bagels into halves and put on a baking sheet. Spread desired amount of spaghetti sauce on top bagels. Sprinkle with grated cheese and add whatever toppings you would like. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes and broil for 1 minute until all the cheese is melted. So simple and yummy!

    Tuesday, April 22, 2008

    Recipe Wednesday

    Soup Du Jour..."it's the soup of the day", ha, ha - that line never gets old right!

    Quick Tortilla Soup

    28 oz. prepared fresh salsa
    32 oz. chicken broth
    24 oz. frozen corn
    1 cup frozen sliced carrots
    1 4 oz. cooked shredded chicken breast

    Toppings (optional):
    light sour cream
    tortilla strips

    Put prepared salsa in a saucepan. Add chicken broth; bring to a boil. Add frozen corn, carrots and chicken and simmer for 8 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a few tortilla strips on top and add a twist of lime.
    Nutritional Info: 150 calories, 1 gr. fat, 3 grams fiber
    I serve with a side of cheese quesedillas made with whole wheat tortillas (at least 5 grams fiber) and shredded cheese.

    Minestrone, just like Olive Garden's
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1/2 cup zucchini
    1/2 cup frozen green beans, Italian-cut
    1/4 cup celery, minced
    4 teaspoons garlic, minced
    4 cups vegetable broth
    30 ounces canned red kidney beans, drained
    30 ounces canned white beans, drained
    14 ounces diced tomatoes, canned
    1/2 cup carrots, julienned or shredded
    2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
    1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
    1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
    3 cups hot water
    4 cups fresh spinach, small leaves
    1/2 cup shell pasta

    1. Heat three tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.

    2. Saute onion, celery, garlic, green beans, and zucchini in the oil for 5 minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent. 3. Add vegetable broth to pot, plus drained tomatoes, beans, carrot, hot water, and spices. 4. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. 5. Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until desired consistency. Makes about eight 1 1/2 cup servings.
    Nutritional Info: 164 calories, 1 gram fat, 5 grams fiber