Thursday, November 29, 2012

how do you

Find more info here 

This powdered PB is genius and the recipe possibilities are endless,
My personal favorite: chocolate chip PB protein balls

You'll Need:
2 tbs PB2
4-5 tbs quick oats
1 tbs chocolate chips
1 tbs honey or agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla
and a few tbs water depending on thickness

Mix all ingredients in bowl. Refrigerate until you're ready to ENJOY!  
These are great post-workout snacks and it makes just enough!  If you'd like to enjoy these with your family, simply modify the recipe accordingly! 
Today's Workout:
My husband actually slowed his super-speedy pace for ME and we did a 5K in the neighborhood!  I was pushing it to help him still get a great workout, but I know I was holding him back AND there were several times during the run that I felt like I may barf!  Yea, he's THAT much faster than me.  But hey, I'm getting out there and getting in my workouts, so I can't be too hard on myself!  

This time between Thanksgiving and Christmas tends to be stressful on families, trying to get their shopping done, work, school, etc so keeping a healthy diet and getting in your exercise can be difficult.  Don't let it slip away!  
Stay focused and prepared!  

Keep a food journal.  As I've said before, "if you bite it, write it" so you're held accountable and don't overindulge at parties with junk food galore!!  

Sign up for holiday races because even if they aren't competitive, it's still a fun way to keep you active during this time of year and helps you set and focus on future 2013 goals!  

If running isn't your thing, set up some workouts with your friends!  
Try a new boot camp session together and allow yourselves to step out of your comfort zone :)

Introduce new foods to your dinner table.
If there's a new, healthy food on the market TRY IT!  If there's a veggie that your friends are raving about, give it a try!  If you eat all of your fruits, veggies and protein throughout the day, challenge your family to try something new!  
Or possible prepare a boring veggie differently, you can change their minds just by preparing it in a new, exciting way!  

Have you tried PB2? 
Have a favorite way you enjoy peanut butter?!

How do you stay focused this time of year?

Something to try,
After school, my boys are starving!!  It's a chore trying to find healthy snacking options so the other day I opened a can of pumpkin and mixed it with an 8oz container of fat free/sugar free cool whip!  Added a tbs mixture of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, refrigerate and serve with cinnamon graham crackers!  The boys went NUTS!!
This snack was lacking protein, but I'm sure I'll find a way to get it in there soon enough :)  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

gettin' my run on! and a recipe too

I'm up to 4 miles/day about 5-6 days per week!  I'm feeling good and am hoping to up my mileage this week when the boys are back in school!  My boys do a great job of riding their bikes while I run, keeps me at a good pace and motivates me to run MORE and stop to rest LESS! 

This weekend, on the 1st I'll be participating in a fundraising run/walk with my mom and my boys to benefit a woman from my mom's exercise class that was in a terrible boating accident and is now paralyzed.   
The 15th we'll be running with Santa!  The local gym is having their 1st annual Run/Walk with Santa and we can't wait!
...and more runs coming soon! I am feeling back to my old, running self again so that makes me happy!  I feel in the zone better than I have in months and there's no feeling like it!  Here's hoping the weight falls off because I definitely feel more toned 

Don't mind my tub in the background!!
 And although Texas weather was great for my Lucy compressions 
with temps in the 60's last week, today was about 80 and I was sweating!!  
Make up your mind, Lone Star State!  Let's pick one and stick with it!

And what's for dinner on a night when you haven't been to the grocery store in 2 weeks and you wanna make something healthy that doesn't involve turkey or dressing??

**Mexicorn Turkey Tostadas**
 1 lb lean ground turkey
1 can black beans, drained
1 can Green Giant Mexicorn with the juice
1/4 packet low sodium taco seasoning or use 2 tbs mix of cumin and chili powder
1/4 cup water
Brown meat, add ingredients and simmer until water is absorbed.
Serve on whole wheat tortillas 
*I pop mine tostada-style in oven at 400 for about 12 minutes until crispy, add Mexicorn Turkey mixture, a little cheese, salsa and plain Greek yogurt!  

My boys literally ask for this meal at least once a week!  It totally doesn't go together, but my son asks for Edamame with this...not even sure why!  Ha!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

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Are you prepared for Cyber Monday?  

I'll be sharing more great deals soon, so stay tuned!  

Hope you're preparing some yummy, healthy treats for your family this Thanksgiving!  

And keep in mind, a great workout always gets Thanksgiving off to a great start!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I had one of those workouts last week.  The one that takes you from "I have to workout today" to "I LOVED my workout today"...yea, it was a run and was THAT good!  I was smiling while sweat was pouring off of my face!  What a feeling.  I had missed those runs and hopefully I see them more often :)  I finally believed in myself again...

Do you Believe in yourself?  with weight-loss?  your workouts?  

*If you truly believe you can do it, you will exceed ALL of your expectations.  You are stronger than you ever thought possible, so go for it.  

My clients used to come to me wanting to lose weight, reach a goal and they'd say to me, "when I exercise, I'm achy.  I can't walk very far without becoming short of breath, I can't climb stairs, 
I can't...I can't...I CAN'T"
When they'd believe in themselves, change their mind set, I'd see an entirely different person walk through those gym doors.  It was incredible.  

Think about your goals, what you want when it comes to your health and the health of your family.  I often times see women concerned with their own health, but they allow the health of their children to slip right by.  Our children need our guidance...they need a role model.  
They WANT to live healthy too.  

Is it okay to take care of ourselves, to exercise, eat healthy and not do the same for our family? 

It takes a lot of preparation, trial and error with helping our kids to eat healthy and exercise but it's worth it.  Growing up as the unhealthy, zero-confidence child I would have given anything to have realized healthy living earlier in life.  ANYTHING.  Our children don't need to be deprived of every cookie and chip in sight, but they need to learn healthy foods, moderation, portion control, fruits and veggies and find the ones they love, they need to get outside with YOU and be active!  Exercise with YOU!  

It's a double-edge sword because unhealthy parents model the wrong behavior sometimes but a healthy parent can often times not see that they may be eating right and exercising for themselves, but what about their husband....children...they matter just as much!  Are they falling victim to fast food obsessions, overeating, lack of exercise?  We must understand that your children may not be getting enough exercise at school through physical education-which is unfortunate but we can pick up the slack at home.  Designate Saturdays as the family fun-exercise day!  And your children don't have to be young to enjoy this, your teens and tweens can play a game of basketball or football in your backyard, jump rope on the porch...anything!  
I'd work with overweight children with Type 2 Diabetes, I'd help them find exercise and an eating plan, then I'd meet their parents (happened more than once) and they'd be in perfect shape, in workout clothes like they had just left the gym and been there for hours...I don't like to judge, but are they doing the same for their children as they are for themselves?  
Our youth's statistics are SCARY...more obese/overweight and unhealthy children by the day so next time you hit the gym, think about taking your kiddos for a walk when you get home!  

Monday, November 12, 2012

are you prepared?

When it comes to Thanksgiving Day, we find ourselves enjoying time with family and friends.  But before the big day, most of us are stressing about what we are in charge of, in terms of the FEAST!  Right?  Well it doesn't have to be the "feast" from the past, you can spice things up by making a healthier Thanksgiving meal for your family this year!  

The original version of Broccoli Rice Casserole calls for a ton of processed cheese, white rice, and very little broccoli.  At least that's the type that's usually around our Thanksgiving table!  This year, think of alternatives to those fattening sides, ones with less fat and calories that are sure to be crowd-pleasers on Turkey Day!  

Spinach and Brown Rice Casserole

teaspoons olive oil
3 medium carrots, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
cup chopped celery
medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
clove garlic, finely chopped
1 3/4
cups water
can (10 3/4 oz) condensed 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup
boxes (9 oz each) Green Giant® frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
1 1/2
cups uncooked instant brown rice
teaspoon Italian seasoning
teaspoon pepper
cup diced cooked ham
cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (3 oz)
cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray
  • In 3-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water and soup; heat to boiling. Add spinach, rice, Italian seasoning and pepper; return to boiling. Remove from heat; stir in ham, 1/4 cup of the Cheddar cheese and the Parmesan cheese. Spread in baking dish. Cover with foil.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese.
    Or what about the dessert table?  We are Italian, so there's always too much bread and too many desserts at every family gathering, so if your family has a dessert table that's FAR too large, try adding some healthy alternatives to the mix so that you're able to enjoy some sweets too!
    Honey Pumpkin
    cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
    cup quick-cooking oats
    cup margarine, softened
    cup packed brown sugar
    cans (15 oz each) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
    cup evaporated fat-free milk
    cup fat-free egg product
    cup honey
    cup packed brown sugar
    teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
    teaspoon vanilla
    teaspoon salt
    cup frozen (thawed) fat-free whipped topping
    candy pumpkins
      • Heat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, mix crust ingredients with fork until crumbly. Press in bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch pan. Bake 10 minutes
      • In large bowl, beat filling ingredients with wire whisk or electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Pour over partially baked crust
      • Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until set and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 40 minutes
      • Cut dessert into squares. Serve with whipped topping. Garnish each with candy pumpkin.
        *And after the meal, instead of watching football together as a family, PLAY games outdoors as a family!  Go on a family walk, anything to keep the family active TOGETHER!  Start a new tradition this year and make it one that the family can get excited about!  The kids are always ready to be active and have fun, so have them convince the adults!  When your nephew, niece or grandchild is begging for you to play with them, it's harder to say NO!  So use them to your advantage :)
        *Use smaller plates.  There's no reason that Thanksgiving has to mean serving our food on platters and piling it so high that you can barely carry it to your seat!  Right?  
        * Veggies first!  Fill your plate with the proteins and vegetable dishes FIRST!  This saves less room for the high fat, filler foods!  i.e mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls
        *Come prepared!Don't attend your family Thanksgiving meal on an empty stomach.  Make sure you eat a balanced breakfast, munch on protein-packed, low sugar foods before you arrive.  This way you are less likely to graze and eat everything in sight when it's time for the meal!  
        *If you're really ready to make an impact, have your family find a local Turkey Trot 5K run/walk that morning!  This way you've all burned calories and worked out together, as a family on the day of Giving Thanks for all that we have.  
        Have some helpful & healthy Thanksgiving tips you'd like to share?    

Friday, November 9, 2012

in the raw

fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and fiber that promote good health.  
Most veggies tend to be very filling, so they provide a great snack alternative to the popular, processed snacks.  
Diets that are high in fruits and vegetables may also reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.
According to the CDC, half of our plate should be made up of fruits and veggies!  

Ask yourself, is your family getting enough fruits and vegetables each day?

Today's young people, on average are getting far too little fruits and veggies.  
Our children are turning to sugary, high-fat snack alternatives that can carry long-term health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
how do we help our children increase the amount of fruits and veggies in their diet?

Teach them the them learn about each one!
They more they know about a specific fruit or vegetable, the more they may give it a try.

Plant a garden.
Make this a learning opportunity to teach your children about these nutrients.  If they grow it themselves, they'll take pride in it and possibly want to add it to their dinner plate and share with friends and family. 

Serve them with every meal.
If a child knows that part of his/her plate is filled with healthy nutrients each time, one day they might stop focusing on avoiding it and they'll TRY IT!

Get creative!
I usually introduce a new fruit or veggie by my husband and I trying it first.  No pressure on the kiddos, but help them SEE that you love it, it tastes good and I've found that if we don't make a big deal about it, they'll pick it right up!  
*For picky eaters, try chopping the veggie into very small bites.  This way the texture tends to be easier for the child to handle.  I've added chopped zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, and other veggies to whole wheat macaroni dishes and the boys LOVE it!  

Cook with your kids.
If they are helping prepare the meal, they will be so excited to try all of the things they created.  I promise.  Roast the cauliflower and make "popcorn" as a before meal snack!  They'll think it's so fun to sprinkle and watch it in the oven that they'll possibly forget it's good for them too :)

**Obviously a vegetable is best when raw, HOWEVER some children have a texture issue or just plain do not like raw veggies.  
For these children, I suggest a Greek yogurt dip!  
You can add 1/2 ranch dry packet, onion, cheese...or any flavor choice and allow them to dip their veggies!  
It  makes snacking healthy and FUN!  We even prepare roasted veggies, barely cooked in the oven to cut the crunch and we still dip them!  
The Greek yogurt adds protein to their meal without them knowing it too!  Yay!

How do you help your family get the fruits and vegetables they need each day?
If you have a picky eater, I'd love for you the share your secrets with my readers...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It's coming...

The Holidays.
Time for parties, family gatherings and LOTS of...

At this time last year, we were having a photo shoot as we prepared for the Houston Half Marathon as a couple on our 7th anniversary :) 
We look so fancy, don't we?  Ha!  
I remember Justin thinking it was hilarious that we kept running back and forth in the same spot as the photographer snapped our pics!  And he insisted on wearing shades like his Daddy!

So this year, instead of waiting for the...

Let's set our goals sooner!
Pretend that January 1st comes in November!
I know for me, this time of year means to limit those junk food temptations!  
Although cookies and cake mixes line grocery store shelves this time of year and the recipes for delicious appetizers are everywhere we turn, we must practice self-control and discipline!
We have races coming up in December, January and February so hopefully that means we'll get ourselves back on track when it comes to running!  At this time last year, as I've mentioned a thousand times, we were training for the half marathon and in GREAT shape.  

I'd hate to admit that if I were to go for a 13.1 run at this time, I might die.  

Maybe not die, but definitely need emergency assistance :(  sad but true.

How are you preparing for a healthy 2013?

Friday, November 2, 2012

a twist on trail mix

My kids come home STARVING from school each day, so I decided to make a huge portion of trail mix!  To try a new variation I used pistachios, almonds, dried cranberries/raisins and a little of this 
Quaker Whole Hearts cereal, 

The boys love it and we do too!  It's a great alternative to the snacking that can be dangerous!  Ya know the bag of chips, a soda, cookies or candy-especially with all the leftover treats from Halloween!  Trade it all out for a great trail/snack mix!  The great thing about trail mix is that the possibilities are endless!  The varieties and tastes can vary so much, so it never gets old!  

Another great snack to keep on hand are peanut butter graham snacks-to make these just spread PB on a graham cracker and top with a few banana slices!  Super easy and delicious too!  You can also substitute the PB for another favorite protein spread of choice!  

What's your favorite combination when it comes to creating trail mix??
Have a go-to after school snack that your hungry kiddos LOVE?  I'd love for you to share!

Today's Workout:  3 miles pushing my son in the heat!  Ugh, I hate to complain because it could be worse, but it's November and when we head outside for a workout, we come home DRENCHED!  It's humid, sticky and GROSS, so bring on Winter!  At least the winter we experience here in Texas...mid-60's and a little sticky but MUCH better than what we've got now!  Ha!!!

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