Friday, October 28, 2011

Favorite Things Friday!

I have decided to start doing a weekly post each Friday on my favorite things of the moment.  Today I have 10 random items that I wanted to share so here we go!  In no peticular order...

1.  I'm rediculously addicted to the combo of Starbucks instant house blend coffee with French Vanilla Svelte Cal Naturale protein drink. (1 C coffee with 1/2 C Svelte). 

2.  My daughter, Mollie, who is now 18 months old is the most entertaining dancer I have ever seen.  Our dance parties in the living room had to be in my top 10 list this week.  I turn on the digital music channel on TV and we bust a move.  She doesn't judge me for my obnoxiously bad dance moves so it's all good!  Here's a little peek at Mollie's moves.

3.  Boots, tights & dresses!  I have been loving the Fall weather because I finally get to pair my dresses with some warm tights and cute boots.  My most resent splurge was a pair of Jessica Simpson boots I bought on our recent trip to Las Vegas.  They were super cute with black knit tights and a long sleeve dress I bought to wear to the Incubus concert while we were there. 

4.  Halloween weekend is here!  I am so excited to see all the kids dressed up in cute costumes.  My favorites are the babies and toddlers who get dressed up as little animals such a monkey or lion.  Last year Mollie was a baby duck, seriously adorable!

5.  Most recent iTunes downloads that I love:
Lil Wayne - How to Love
Jordan Sparks - I Am Woman
Jason Derulo - It Girl
Rihanna - Cheers (Drink to That)
LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem

6.  I'm really digging this cool Fall weather for running.  Okay, mornings not so much because it has been in the upper 20's around the 6 o'clock hour.  Brrrrr!  The afternoons are perfect though when it gets to the upper 40's.  I find that to be the ideal running temperature for me.  I like to bundle up a little and have cold air on my face.  Below is a picture of my ear warmer, this is a MUST when running in cold weather!  I bought this one at the The North Face store in Minneapolis, also available online here.

7.  My favorite sound right now is listening to Mollie talk.  She is starting to say new words every day.  This week she said please for the first time and it was so awesome!  She also tries to say "rock-a-bye" when she gets in the rocking chair in her room.  It's cute to hear her voice and it melts my heart.
Mollie's favorite thing: her new Cabbage Patch Doll named Paige.

8.  I'm trying to make an effort to drink more water and this week I was really loving it flavored with lemons or grapefruit.  My goal this week was to drink 100 oz. each day.
Water with strawberries and grapefruit - set in fridge overnight.

9.  I'm obsessed with bracelets right now!  I like to wear 2 or 3 bracelets mix matched.  I don't like them to be to matchy-matchy.  I really love this look I found on Pintrest:
and these are couple of my faves that I have now:
From left to right: forever 21, Lia Sophia & cancer bracelet my Mom gave me

10.  My hubby's new hair cut had to make the list!  He had been going for the longer, shaggy look for the past year which I loved.  He was ready for a change so when he got his hair cut this week the stylist went super short on the sides but leaving it longer on top.  Reminds me of Adam Lavine's (of Maroon Five) haircut.  I love it!

Coming next week: My favorite health foods. 

Have a great weekend!! :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Holiday Season: The Skinny Way

I am a member of the Tone It Up team and we are just finishing up the Fall Challenge.  After all that hard work I don't want it to go to waste!  I don't know about you but this time of year always seems to test my ability to make the right choices when it comes to food and exercise.  Whether it's the comfort foods that come with Fall and the cold weather in the following months it can be a challenge to stay on track or find motivation to keep going.  During the Summer months it seems so easy to get outside and go for daily walks and runs.  When the weather is hot I tend to eat lighter foods like salads and fruit.  Plus the idea of tanks tops and shorts makes me want to eat healthy food so I can wear those fun Summer clothes.  Here are some things I plan to do to this year avoid the holiday weight gain.
Found this on Pintrest, love it! :)

TIP #1: Comfort Foods Done Right
I find that if I deprive myself of foods that I love then I end up binging on them later.  So I am trying to come up with healthified recipes for the usual Fall comfort foods that I tend to go for.  My favorites are chili, spaghetti and hot casseroles.  I recently made white chili with a broth base and replaced ground beef with lean turkey.  It definitely did the trick and actually found that I enjoy it more than regular chili.  Top it off with greek yogurt instead of cheese.  I am going to limit my pasta dishes to once a week and will only use whole wheat pasta.  As for casseroles, these can be made healhier by using lean meats such as chicken or turkey.  You can also add in lots of veggies like carrots, broccoli and cauliflower.  Most casseroles call for cream soups so try to use the reduced sodium options and use about half of what the recipe calls for and replace with greek yogurt. 

TIP #2: Holiday Meals
One of my biggest mistakes is going to a holiday meal with an empty stomach.  In the past I have had the tendency to skip breakfast to save room for all the yummy food.  Not this year!  I will eat a light breakfast with protein and fiber to keep me full until it's time for our meal with family.  A good option would be whole grain toast with peanut butter and a banana or scrambled egg whites with vegetables (spinach, mushrooms and/or tomatoes) and a 0% greek yogurt, my favorite is Pomegranate Chobani 0%.  Remember to drink plenty of water too.  Staying hydrated not only helps to keep you full but it will help wash out the salt from the high sodium holiday foods.

TIP #3: Keep working out!
The days get shorter and the weather gets colder.  Here in South Dakota we get temps below zero and a lot of snow so working out outside gets to be extremely challenging.  Jason and I have invested in a treadmill, stationary bike and a weight set in our home gym.  No excuses!  We do have four gyms in our town, three of which are 24 hour, but since we have equipment at home I don't feel the need to buy a membership to a gym.  Sometimes I do wish I had access to some of the exercise classes, it would be fun!  I buy DVD's to keep things exciting and to be able to swich up my workouts.  Make sure to get a good workout in the morning before going to a holiday meal.  This way you can enjoy yourself a little and not feel competely guilty afterwards which can lead to a downward spiral of over eating.  Just remember to keep things in moderation.  I find that going for a 30 minute walk after a big meal feels amazing and you don't feel so miserable afterwards.

This year I am signing up for the Turkey Day run in our town.  It is a 5k race Thanksgiving Day morning and I am so excited to run it!  Last year I chickened out because the windchill was -28 degrees.  Brrrrr!  Do you have races in your area this Thanksgiving?

Time I want to beat!

Happy Holidays!! :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

*Healthy Banana Bread or Muffins*

I had three bananas sitting on my counter that were in need of being used up and since I already have an abundance of frozen bananas I didn't want to freeze these ones.  I searched high and low for a good banana bread recipe that wasn't full of butter and sugar.  I finally stumbled across one from and changed it up a bit to my liking.  You can find the original recipe by clicking here.

Here's my version of the recipe.

Healthy Banana Bread or Muffins

Mix in large bowl:
1/2 C Stevia
1/4 C brown sugar
1/2 C ground flax seed
1/4 C oat bran
3 large ripe bananas (smash with fork)
1 C unsweetened applesauce
1/4 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/4 C non-fat vanilla greek yogurt
2 tsp egg whites
1 C old fashioned oats
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Mix in small bowl:
1 3/4 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Optional Add-ins: 1/4 C chocolate chips, 1/4 cacao chips or 1/2 C raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 9x5 loaf pan or 2 muffin pans with cooking spray.  Mix large bowl and small bowl together.  Spoon in to loaf or muffin pans. 

Baking times may vary depending on your oven:
Muffins: 30-35 minutes
9x5 loaf: 55min -  1hr 10 min.

Try the toothpick trick:
**Baked goods can be tested with a skewer or a toothpick - stick it in the middle and if it comes out clean then it's ready!

Treadmill Intervals & Full Body Workout

I was needing some motivation to workout today so I started reading the Tone It Up Team tweets on Twitter and was pumped up in no time!  Works like a charm! :)

Today I chose a treamill interval which starts out pretty easy but the faster the runs get the more it really gets your heart pumping.  If I wasn't going to do a strength workout I would have done this interval twice through.  The full body workout was found on Pinterest.

Sweating it out in my favorite TIU shirt!

Healthy White Chili

I have always heard that White Chili is delicious and some even say they prefer it over regular chili.  I decided it was time to experiment by researching several recipes and making up my own based on my favorite ingredients.  My recipe makes a small batch and could easily be doubled for a bigger family.

White Chili
1 lb. ground lean turkey
1 4oz. can diced green chillies
4 C chicken broth (low sodium)
1 16oz. can beans (pinto, cannellini or your choice)
1 15oz. can corn (optional)
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 T ground cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
cayenne, paprika and pepper  - to taste
1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Drain and rinse can of beans.  Measure out about 1/3 cup of beans and mash on a small plate with fork and set aside.  In a stew pot cook chopped onion with olive oil on medium heat until translucent.  Add in turkey and cook until browned.  Then add chillies, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, paprika and pepper.  Stir and let simmer for 5 minutes.  Add in chicken broth and the mashed beans, stir well.  Add in the remaining beans and can of corn and stir. 

You can let this simmer on the stove for 30 minutes or place in a crockpot and cook on low 4-6 hours to let the flavors blend. 

You can substitute chopped chicken instead of ground turkey.  You could also add in 1/2 cup of cheese (pepper jack, monterey, muenster, provolone - your choice).

I like to top my chili with a dollop of fat free plain greek yogurt and chopped scallions.

Enjoy! :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Football, Incubus & Food

Is this really happening?  My husband has been a life long fan of the Lions and I am a rival Vikings fan.  Jason and I met over 8 years ago and the Lions have only beat the Vikings maybe twice in that time.  Now all of a sudden the Lions have started out their season 5-0!  I think my husband is beyond extactic to see his team on a winning streak.  One thing I love about Jason is that he is loyal and I have always admired him for that.  Today I had lunch with my Mom and she gave me this Sports Illustrated issue with the Lions on the cover to give to Jason.  I think he is loving every minute of the season so far.  (My Vikes are 1-4, OUCH!).

Jason and I just made our way home from Vegas on Monday night.  I swear we have spent the entire week trying to get caught up on sleep.  We had a great time between people watching, eating at great restaurants, shopping and going to an Incubus concert.  

Waiting for Incubus to come out on stage! :)

Incubus Lead Singer: Brandon Boyd

Incubus Drummer: Jose Pasillas & Jason!

Healthy choices while on vacation:
1.  Always order water with a lemon and if you want lemonade add a packet of Stevia.  

2.  Order salad when everyone else has pizza...cry a little then laugh because you know it won't be going to your thighs. ;) 

Wow...just moving from one topic to the next on this post!  I recently tried Synergy Kombucha and immediately my tastes buds were in love.  I wish I would have stocked up while I was at Whole Foods (Minneapolis is the closest one to me and it is 3.5 hours away!).  I looked up their website and it looks like they sell it at a health store in my town so I will be checking that out!! 

One more random food item before I wrap up!  My favorite new way to eat protein pancakes...throw the batter in a waffle press.  So fun and no flipping! :)

Have a great day everyone! <3

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