Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Staying Fit While Traveling

Traveling, for some people, becomes a huge downfall for all their hard work and efforts for trying to stay healthy. The restaurant food. The lack of exercise. The lack of structure, and sometimes the lack of energy. It's hard to focus on being healthy when you have all these roadblocks in your way.
I've put together some helpful tips that have actually kept me sane and somewhat healthy while traveling. Some of them I got from other recourse's, and some of them I got from my own experience.

Hope this helps you for the next time you're scared to gain all your weight back from your next vacation! It's absolutely helped for me! Even with how much good food I still indulge while away.

Jet Lag: Here are some great pointers for beating jet lag. First, don't drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages on the plane. Drink plenty of water, and eat whole grain carbohydrates which may help calm your nerves. Then, after getting to your destination, take a ten-to twenty-minute walk as soon as possible, and eat a light snack. If you think you'd like a little nap, you will want to keep it to less than an hour-so you'll still be able to get to sleep at night.

Never Stop Moving: On a long flight it's important to get up every half hour and move around for a full minute to keep your circulation moving. Or if you're in tight quarters and can't get up, "wiggle" while you sit. Lift your heels and move them from side to side. Bounce your legs up and down on the balls of your feet, then put your heels on the floor, lift your toes, and wag them from side to side. Another good idea is to wear compression socks which gently "hug" your legs, helping to keep blood flowing back to your heart.

Eat Energizing Snacks: Airports and rest areas are notorious for snacks like chips, candy bars and soda-which are not only unhealthy, but can also drain your energy. A good idea is to take along raw seeds, carrots, apples and celery sticks, slices of green and red pepper, or fresh fruit. These enzyme-rich foods will help you maintain your energy much more effectively. Granola bars can also be tasty and are easy to travel with.

Take the Stairs: Remember, it's the small and simple that lose those pounds, not the dramatic changes. Those stairs might become your only source of exercise. Hotel stairs are a fantastic way to keep that heart pumping, especially if your on the 3rd or 4th floor. Take advantage of anything that can get your heart rate up-even if it's just for 10 minutes. Skip the elevator.

Drink Your Water: Water is always something most people forget while away. Always remember to get water whenever you think to. Pack a water bottle so when you see it, you'll think to fill it up and keep it close. Also, my suggestion for you is to drink 2 glasses of water before your meal comes, every meal. This helps you feel more full before your meal actually gets to you. Therefore taking in fewer calories. When you're traveling you want to eat till you're satisfied, not till you're sick.

Use that Down Time Wisely: Take full advantage of that down time. I don't mean go to the nearest gym and workout for an hour. I mean, stop to catch your breath. Literally take deep breaths. Stretch. Go for a walk. I promise you, you will feel more pro-active and energized if you wake up just 15 minutes earlier and go for a walk. Who knows, you might explore some things you've never seen before wherever your staying. The more your blood is regulated, the more balanced and over all healthy you will feel. Taking time for yourself is just as important as anything else that you do to improve yourself. A balanced lifestyle fosters a balanced mind.

Forgive Yourself: You know that there will be times when desserts will be irresistible. It's OK to indulge once in awhile, but the most important thing you can remember is to forgive yourself. Don't beat yourself up. Realize you slipped, forgive yourself and move on. Don't dwell on it and think you have to start over. Just promise yourself that you will eat healthy the next meal and find time to throw in an extra 10 minutes to your walk, or workout. Simple as that.

(Sources: Health.com)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Simple Ways to Lose Weight Without the Dieting

I always remind people that it's not the huge dramatic changes that keep you fit and healthy, it's the small and simple choices that make the biggest impact. I've seen that in my life as well as others.

This little slideshow/news bits (whatever you want to call it) has some great tips to help you make those small changes in areas you wouldn't think make a difference.

Click HERE to read it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Simple and Easy Exercises to Help You Stay Fit While at the Office

Most of us have desk jobs. As in, jobs from 8-5 involving sitting for 7 straight hours. Sometimes just that thought alone makes you feel that cottage cheese gathering right under neath you. I know from my own experience at a desk job.

Fortunately there are plenty of ways to get that workout in without having to leave your cubicle space. They will help increase concentration, productivity and efficiency. These little workouts can also enhance circulation, relieve stress, boost energy, improve attitude and for some of us the most important, reduce neck, back and wrist pain.

Don't be embarrassed when someone looks over and your doing push ups against your desk. Just remember your burning the calories......and they are not:).

1. The Squat
How to do it: Stand with your shoulders, hips, and knees in a vertical line. Draw your stomach in as if your making your waistline smaller. Slowly squat down as if you were picking something up. Keep your knees in line with your toes. Both knees should be facing forward. Repeat 5-10 times.

2. Single Leg Calf Raises
How to do it: Stand facing a desk, touching the top for balance. Place your right food behind the heel of your left foot. Raise the heel of your left foot off the floor as high as possible, pressing on the ball of your foot. Repeat the exercise with your left foot behind the heel of your right foot.

3. Leg Lift
How to do it: Try to do this exercise while eating your lunch at your desk. Sit on a chair with your feet on the floor. Lift one foot forward, straightening your knee. Squeeze the front of the upper thigh as you lift your leg and hold it for a few seconds. Lower and repeat with the other leg. Complete 8 repetitions on each leg.

4. Stand Up and Out of Your Chair
How to do it: Lift your body up and down out of your chair several times.

5. Push-Up Off of a Desk
How to do it: Stand facing a desk with your feet together. Keep your back straight. Lean forward and place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on the desk. Slowly lower your body toward the desk and then push away. Repeat up to 10 times.
6. Tuck in your Knees to Strengthen your Abs
How to do it: Sit in a chair with your hands holding the armrests. Tighten your stomach muscles as you pull each knee in toward your chest. Alternate knees and then pull in both knees.

7. Neck and Shoulders
How to do it: Sitting or standing, allow your arms to hang at your sides. Tilt your head sideways to your shoulder. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.

8. Back
How to do it: Standing or sitting, place your hands on your hips. Slowly twist at your waist as if you were looking over your shoulder. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.

9. Back and Shoulders
How to do it: Standing or sitting, reach one arm over your head, stretching toward the ceiling. With the opposite arm, reach toward the floor. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.

10. Seated Posture
How to do it: Without using the backrest on your chair, sit with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your shoulders back with your palms facing forward. Take four deep breaths from your abdomen. Perform frequently throughout the day.

Source: Select Health, GetFit

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

10 Ways to Never Skip a Workout Again

Something that I've absolutely grown to love about my profession as a Fitness Instructor, is that you meet some of the best, most motivating people from all over. They all have something different that sets them apart in the industry that add so much.

One of my good friends, Robin, that is a fantastic teacher has running down to an art. And I don't mean just form. I mean motivation, endurance, and making the time for it. She has a fantastic blog that I love reading and motivates me every time I do.

She posted a great article that I want to share with all of you! Normally I would post her words on here with her permission, but I wanted you to check out her blog and read more by going to her actual blog.

So for all you die-hard runners out there, check out her awesome blog Here.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I truly think that being a mother is one of the most beautiful choices a woman can make. But I do also know that it's one of the hardest. I don't have children, but we all know how hard mothers work daily to build their wonderful family. I'm a firm believer that feeling good about yourself is a huge part of being healthy! Exercise, diet, motivation, and energy all starts with how you feel about and view yourself.

I came across some tips awhile back and thought it would be a great reminder for all you hard working moms out there to take a step back and take care of number one! You deserve time to yourself. You deserve to feel good. You deserve to feel beautiful!

So here are 10 tips to help a mother take better care of herself and enjoy who she is!

.......and remember to have such a wonderful Mother's Day!

Top 10 Ways Working Moms Can Take Care of Themselves
by Jean Johnson

1. Get enough sleep.

This means making sure the kids go to bed early enough so you can. Have an evening routine that is calming for everyone.

2. Eat well.

Yes you know it. Most of you don’t do it. It is just as easy to grab a piece of fruit as a basket of fries. You and your kids will feel better if you eat three good meals a day. Do the shopping, planning and cooking together. This gives you bonding time and teaches the kids good skills to help out around the house.

3. Exercise.

I know you’re exhausted at night and don’t have time in the morning, but if you’re stopping for coffee or vegging out in front of the TV you have time. Do something - anything. It all helps. Better yet - take a class with the kids.

4. Look your best.

Get a great haircut. Wear the best clothes you can afford. When we look good we feel good and we smile more.

5. Smile.

You’ll automatically feel better. Even better - laugh.

6. Count your blessings.

Your mother was right, count your blessings. Make a gratitude list. We all have a multitude of things to be grateful for. Post your list and add to it. Have the kids make one too.

7. Ask for help.

We don’t have to do it all alone. Ask family, friends, co-workers, and organizations for help. From babysitting to yard cleanup to a ride to the store. People love to be needed. (Just don’t use them)

8. Help others.

Nothing feels as good as service. Get the kids involved. Serve others besides your kids. Helping each other makes all our lives easier.

9. Connect to your spirituality.

Whatever that is for you. Nature, music, church, gardening. Do something at least once a week that makes you feel whole.

10. Lower your expectations.

Yes - LOWER your expectations. Of yourself and of your kids. You’re not supermom and they aren’t superkids. Cut all of you some slack.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Slow Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I've been absolutely obsessed with the crockpot lately, and not just the crockpot, but a certain recipe. We've actually made it a weekly thing. On Fridays it's a given. Sweet Potatoes from the crockpot. I put it together in 5 minutes, head out the door to teach, come back and they are done to perfection and ready for eating.

Crockpot Sweet Potatoes
2 medium sized red potatoes (or use 2 sweet potatoes if you don't want red)
1 large sweet potato
3 tblsp. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tblsp. of Rosemary
Salt and Pepper to taste
This recipe feeds me and Brad perfectly. (serving size 2)

Cut all potatoes to however you want. Sliced or cubed. Throw in Crockpot and put in the olive oil, rosemary and s&p. Put on Low for 2 hours and enjoy one of the simplest side dishes you'll ever taste.

Whenever I am craving potatoes, I always make sure to get the medium sized, red. They are less starchy and have more fiber in the skin. If you want to skip the starch/red potatoes all together, Sweet Potatoes are always your best bet!

Sweet Potatoes are loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and is loaded with Fiber. That's just the tip of the ice-berg. They have a low glycemic index so they don't spike your blood sugars, and they are excellent for your skin. Just to name a few of the benefits.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The best way to get rid of belly fat.

I can't tell you how many times a week I get the question, "what can I do at home for my abs?", or "what is the best exercise for my stomach?". I'm here to tell you the answers to those questions, and fill you in on how to shrink that gut! Dozens of crunches, on their own, are not likely to help you lose the gut. What does work is a full body exercise routine that builds muscle all over. Since muscle burns calories even while you're resting, having more muscle helps to melt fat all over, including the belly. The best plan is regular cardio/aerobic exercise, resistance training, and of course a healthy diet. One of the main things, without fail, have my class focus on during the aerobic exercise is flexing there stomach. Most people don't know that if you're stomach is flexed during a workout, not only does it help stabalize the back and torso, but the stomach ends up getting just the same amount of exercise as the rest of the body. If you are a firm believer in those crunches, I recommend doing them AFTER you get that heart rate up by either cardio, or resistance. For example, if you're a runner, tone your stomach after your run to get better results. Also, you can always help tone that stomach all through out your day. Did you know that flexing your stomach for 5 seconds equals one crunch? Well now you know:). So get in the habit of flexing that stomach all day long, and while your burning those calories those muscles will start to shine. Another way to get rid of bloating (mostly for us women) is fixing that posture so your torso is nice and straight, and take deep breathes. In through the nose, out through the mouth. While you breath out slowly, keep that stomach flexed. Repeat as many times as needed or until your bloating is gone. It helps with stress relief too!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Starting over!

Every one of us hits a point where we've either lost motivation, our drive, or our reason to eat healthy and exercise. If you've never hit that point, will you please leave a comment of your deepest secrets of how to avoid that? Thank you.
For the rest of us, it comes whether we like it or not. We live in a time (and country) where food is everything. Our entertainment, our pleasure, our moods, and every part of our day is revolved around what time it is simply so we can eat. With so much of our lives being surrounded by food it's hard to avoid the good stuff (unhealthy). Little by little, taste by taste, we lose our drive.

Unfortunetely staying motivated is a life long goal. So it's absolutely normal to fall a little behind and need that boost back up. For some of us, it might be every day or every year. No matter how often we lose our motivation, we all go through it.

I have a few tips that have helped me with food and exercise that I'd love to share in hopes that it will help a little:).

2 things to remember before getting started with eating healthier:

1. Take each day meal by meal. Don't ever get motivated and say you're going to eat healthy for the rest of the year, or even month. Promise yourself you're going to eat healthy for the next meal. That's all you need. Meal by meal.

2. The last bite tastes the exact same as the first. Portion control is a never ending battle, but doable. Definitely doable. Something that helps me with dessert is to keep telling myself that no matter how much I eat of this cake, brownie or doughnut, every bite will taste the same. So 1-2 bites is all I really need. After that I'm just making myself sick and that ruins the whole experience for me.

2 tips that help with having the drive to exercise daily:

1. Exercise doesn't have to be 1 hour of sweat and nausea. It simply has to be 20 minutes of getting that heart rate higher. A walk outside, grocery shopping, cleaning, biking, weight lifts between commercials, rollerblading. Next time you feel like you're not in the mood to take 1-2 hours of working your hardest, stop and tell yourself today is a "half an hour of walking" day. It's as simple as that. People that end up skipping an exercise class or their normal routine end up doing nothing that day. It's not all or nothing. It's all or keeping it simple. If today has to be a simple day, then it's a simple day. Don't forget you're body all together just because you're not in the mood to run. Find something more enjoyable and less straining.

2. Do what you love. If you don't love something that keeps you active, then you haven't found it yet. There are more than a million ways to stay active and exercise. If you've decided that the only way to stay active is running or weights..you are very mistaken my friend. Find something, or a routine that you look forward to. If you don't look forward to it, then I can promise you it won't be a part of your life for that long. Trial and error. Go for a hike in the mountains. Don't like it? Try something else. Learn to swim. By a pair of roller blades. Invest in a new stroller that makes it easier to run/walk with your kid. Save up money and buy 10 new songs that you've been wanting for some time. All these small and simple decisions will lead you to more firm habits that are harder to break and a healthier you. Once you find that something that you love, you will know because it won't be something that you dread, it will be something you can't live without.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Make it Count

Every single person has a different body type I've learned. Therefore leaving it hard to see what works the best with and for your body when it comes to working out. Some people love running and see the best results from that. Some people run for miles and miles and don't lose a pound. Some stick only to weight lifting and get a little huskier than planned, and some tone down to only bone and muscle from lifting weights. Some love aerobic and some never see results.

So how can you get the most of your workout when you're not familiar with what your body needs in able to lose the fat?

I'm here to tell you, you do a combination of aerobic and resistance training. You need both in able to lose the weight. For awhile now I've been doing circuit stations in my classes along with my step classes that include cardio and weight training. I've seen the best results no matter the body type. And this is doing it only 2 times a week. Imagine if you did this every day.

I came across this study and it just confirmed what I witness with my classes when it comes to cardio fitness along side resistance training. So you can imagine how thrilled I was thrilled to find out how much circuit really does work not only with weight loss, but with your blood sugar levels as well.

Researches studied how various forms of exercise affected the blood glucose levels in nearly 300 sedentary people with type 2 diabetes. After the nine-month trial, people who had done both aerobic and resistance exercise lowered their A1C, on average, more than participants in a non exercise group. But the people who did only aerobic exercise or resistance training didn't lower their average A1C significantly compared with the sedentary group.

(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Motivational Quotes

This week has been hard for me to get excited about exercise for some reason. I'm sure it's this never-ending snow storm weather we have.
My teaching has been awful because of my attitude. And believe me, when my attitude is bad, the whole class feels that heavy weight too and makes them not want to exercise.
I'm sick of dreading my workouts this week, and I'm sick of not wanting to exercise. I want to change my attitude right now and finish the rest of the week excited about a healthy lifestyle and motivating myself to exercise.
I looked online for some uplifting quotes and it really did help me. It inspired me and got me wanting to workout and enjoy having a body that works with me and is able to do everything I physically want to do. I thought I would share these great quotes with you and hope it helps just as much:).
And yes, I even printed some out and taped them to my computer.

"Those who think they have no time for healthy eating, will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” – Edward Stanley

…“Today, more than 95% of all chronic disease is caused by food choice, toxic food ingredients, nutritional deficiencies and lack of physical exercise.” – Mike Adams, author, investigative journalist, educator

...“Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food.” – Hippocrates

"You don't drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there."-unknown author

Benjamin Franklin- "You may delay, but time will not."

Winston Churchill- "Never, never, never, never give up."

"Living a healthy lifestyle will only deprive you of poor health, lethargy, and fat."
-Jill Johnson-

Friday, March 4, 2011

Strawberry Whip Parfait

It would be a sad world if you went without some sort of dessert or treat throughout your week. That's my opinion anyways.
So as a diabetic, you have to find the best of both worlds.
Healthy and sweet.
With this new recipe that I found,
I feel like I've truly found the best of both.
I came across this recipe in the Diabetic Forecast and after making it I haven't been able to get my mind off of it. It's delicious, light, and again...extremely easy/fast to make.
Naturally, I wanted to share the yumminess with all of you!

Strawberry Whip Parfait
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups fat-free whipped topping
4 (1 oz.) slices of angel food cake (I made my own and used Splenda)

Place sliced strawberries in an electric blender. Cover and blend until smooth, stopping once to scrape the sides. Fold the strawberry puree into the whipped topping. Tear the angel food cake into pieces and fold into the strawberry mixture. Spoon into parfait glasses, cover, and serve chilled.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Imagine That!

Did You Know....

Researches found that people consume less of a food if they first imagine themselves eating it. Study participants were instructed to picture themselves either eating M&M's or popping quarters into a washing machine. Then they were offered M&M's. People were had imagined eating the candy at fewer M&M's than those whose minds were on laundry. The authors say thinking about a food's taste, smell or appearance can increase appetite, but that visualizing actually consuming the food can, in effect, help you fill up.

(Source: Science, Dec. 10, 2010)

**side note-before me and my husband starting going off sugar for the dreaded 12 months, to prepare ourselves we read in a book that in able to resist the desserts that you know you're about to face, go through each dessert in your mind and imagine saying "no" to them. Surprisingly, that's been the one thing that has got us through resisting sugar. So if you know what desserts are being made or eaten that night, go through and say "no" to yourself before you arrive....it will help, I promise!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Natural Remedies for the Cold and Flu

I'm so sorry I haven't been the best blogger lately. I've been out sick with..well, I don't know exactly what it was that I had, but it was bad.
I wanted to do a blog post on natural cures for the cold or flu because when you're sick, you're ready to try anything to feel better! Who on earth likes to be sick?!
I did some research on what's the best for your body and came across some fantastic information from WebMD. Thank goodness for good old WebMD. I took a lot of these things and I can honestly say they did help. I'm so grateful I came across this info, and wanted everyone in on the goodness to help with their sicknesses.

Echinacea is an herbal supplement that can boost immune system activity. But it’s unclear whether this boost helps fight off colds or flu. Some researchers have reported no benefits, but at least one recent study paints a more positive picture. Participants who took echinacea shortened their colds by an average of 1.4 days. Still, experts remain skeptical, and it’s best to check with a doctor before trying this or other herbal remedies.

Some studies show that Zinc appears to have antiviral properties. There is some evidence the mineral may prevent the formation of certain proteins that cold viruses use to reproduce themselves. While zinc does not appear to help prevent colds, some research suggests it may help shorten cold symptom duration. The FDA recommends against using zinc nasal products for colds because of reports of permanent loss of smell.

Vitamin C
The cold-fighting prowess of vitamin C remains uncertain. While vitamin C doesn't seem to prevent colds, some studies suggest it can help shorten the duration of the common cold slightly. In one large study, people recovered from colds more quickly after taking a megadose (8,000 milligrams) on the first day of the cold. But taking more than 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C per day may cause kidney stones and diarrhea.

Chicken Soup
Grandma was onto something. Chicken soup may help cold symptoms in more than one way. Inhaling the steam can ease nasal congestion. Sipping spoonfuls of fluid can help avoid dehydration. And some advocates say the soup may soothe inflammation. Researchers have found chicken soup has anti-inflammatory properties in the lab, though it’s unclear whether this effect translates to real-world colds.

Hot Tea-for us Mormons, Herbal is a perfect substitute.
Drinking hot tea offers some of the same benefits as chicken soup. Inhaling the steam relieves congestion, while swallowing the fluid soothes the throat and keeps you hydrated. Black and green teas have the added bonus of being loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants.

Garlic has long been touted for legendary germ-fighting abilities. While there is not enough research to recommend it as a cold remedy, garlic is very nutritious. In addition, it can help spice up your meals when a stuffy nose makes everything taste bland.

For a heavy dose of steam, use a room humidifier – or simply sit in the bathroom with the door shut and a hot shower running. Breathing in steam can break up congestion in the nasal passages, offering relief from a stuffy or runny nose.

Saline Drops
Dripping saltwater into the nose can remove virus and bacteria particles, while reducing congestion. Try over-the-counter saline drops, or make your own by mixing 8 ounces of warm water with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Use a bulb syringe to squirt the mixture into one nostril while holding the other one closed. Repeat 2-3 times and then do the other side.

Neti Pot
For a more systematic nasal rinse, the neti pot is an option. This small ceramic pot is used to flush out the nasal passages with a saltwater solution – a process known as nasal irrigation. The result is thinner mucus that drains more easily. Research suggests neti pots are useful in relieving sinus symptoms, such as congestion, pressure, and facial pain, particularly in patients with chronic sinus troubles.

Menthol Ointment
Days of wiping and blowing your nose can leave the skin around your nostrils sore and irritated. A simple remedy is to dab a menthol-infused ointment under, but not in, the nose. Menthol has mild numbing agents that can relieve the pain of raw skin. As an added benefit, breathing in the medicated vapors that contain menthol or camphor can help open clogged passages and relieve cough due to colds. Use only in children over 2 years of age.

Saltwater Gargle
For a sore throat, the traditional saltwater gargle has merit. Gargling warm water with a teaspoon of salt four times daily can help keep a scratchy throat moist.

Nasal Strips
Another strategy for relieving nighttime congestion is to try over-the-counter nasal strips. These are strips of tape worn on the bridge of the nose to open the nasal passages. While they can’t unclog the nose, they do create more space for airflow.

Let Your Fever Work
A fever is the original natural remedy. The rise in temperature actively fights colds and flu by making your body inhospitable for germs. Endure a moderate fever for a couple of days to get better faster. Just be sure to stay well hydrated. Call your doctor right away if the fever is over 105, unless it comes down quickly with treatment. In infants 3 months or younger call your doctor for any fever greater than 100.4. Children with a fever of less than 102 usually don’t require treatment unless they’re uncomfortable.

Bed Rest
With our busy lives, most of us loathe to spend a day or two under the covers. But getting plenty of rest lets your body direct more energy to fighting off germs. Staying warm is also important, so tuck yourself in and give your immune cells a leg up in their noble battle.

(Source: Webmd, Brunilda Nazario MD)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Please Pass the Potassium

Did you Know
that eating a diet high in potassium may help stave off type 2 diabetes, according to a large study. Potassium is an essential mineral (found in foods like bananas and prunes) that is believed to stimulate the production of insulin, the blood glucose-lowering hormone that is deficient in people with diabetes.

Participants with the highest potassium levels at the start of the study were 64 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes in the following 17 years than those with the lowest levels.
Take note-people with kidney problems or who take certain medications may need to limit their potassium intake and should check with a doctor before changing their diet.

(Source: Diabetic Forecast)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Perfect Oven Roasted Fries

I came across this recipe while trying to find that Tomatillo Soup on the Zupas Blog that my sister made and immediately tried/made them. I fell head over hills. Instantly.

I'd recommend these to anyone! Especially someone that's trying to rid fast food. They literally taste better than fast food fries in my opinion. But I would recommend Sea Salt, for some reason it makes a big difference.


"This is more of a method than a recipe, because times will all depend on how thick and big you cut your potato slices. But the secret? Boiling the fries before they go into the oven. Believe me - it makes the inside nice and soft while the outside gets crispy from a high oven temperature. And it speeds up the process as well!"

1st - set a pot of water over high heat to get it boiling. Also preheat your oven to the highest temperature it will go to.

2nd - cut your potatoes. I like mine thinner, but you can definitley do big wedges or small stick - however you prefer your fries. Leave the peel on or take them off -it’s all up to you!

3rd - drop the potatoes into the boiling water. Cook until just barely tender - make sure you don’t cook them so much that they fall apart!

4th - drain potatoes and transfer to a baking sheet. Cover with olive oil and any seasoning you want. Put into the preheated oven.

5th - Cook until crispy on the edges. I like to turn mine once or twice during this time so that they get evenly browned.

6th - remove from oven and enjoy - I like mine with some fry sauce!!

(Thanks Deborah from Zupas.com)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fat-Burning Foods

I came across a wonderful little slide-show that I thought you would enjoy.
It has some wonderful information about certain foods and why we should be eating them on a regular basis!

Click here to get the slide-show.

(thanks webmd.com)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tomatillo Chicken Soup

I've tried a lot of soups in my day. I love soup.
Who doesn't on a cold, winter day?
I've found the one that has topped them all! My sister Stacie is always coming up with these outstanding recipes, and this soup might have changed my life for the better. Very healthy, and out of this world good!!

It's not even a question, you HAVE to try it.

{tomatillo chicken soup}
serves 6-8 people

saute in big stock pot approx 10-15 min:
1/2 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb tomatillos, diced (about 5 medium size, don’t forget to remove the husk and wash)
1 tablespoon cumin

add the rest & simmer approximately 15-25 minutes:
3 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
1 49 1/2oz chicken broth can
1 16oz fresh salsa from the grocery store deli
1 15.5 oz cans yellow hominy (drained)
1 15.5 oz cans white hominy (drained)

**serve with:blue or white tortilla chips
avocado chunks
white rice
shredded cheese
sour cream
fresh lime juice

**these add-ons are a must! [they make the soup!]
i like to add white rice to the soup, then lime juice, sour cream, shredded cheese, and avacado slices. then, i eat it with tortilla chips.

(found at Zupas.com at the Cafe Zupas Blog)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Calorie-Torching Workout

Some of us like the calm Pilates and the low pace Yoga. That being said, some of us like the high intensity, sweat dripping, all-out workouts. I'm one of those people that like to push myself to the limits. Not all the time, please don't get me wrong. But those days I want to feel the burn, I would prefer the "I feel like I'm going to die", rather than, "I feel like I'm ready for bed".

For those of you who enjoy the high intensity, I have the calorie-burning work out for you.

"It’s got to be high intensity, whatever the workout is, if you’re going to torch calories -not just burn them,” says Bret Emery, a behavioral psychologist and weight loss specialist based in Weston, Fla. “Heart rate is key. That’s the speedometer of the body. If we speed the body up, it will burn more calories, just as a car will burn more fuel if it speeds up.”

From studying more than I would prefer about exercise, what I've learned is it comes down to interval training. I see the fastest results and get the most out of my workouts when I stick to interval. Always switching up the body is key!

This workout you either need a race track (nearest high school-and don't worry, it will only be cold for the first couple of minutes), or a treadmill.

Thanks to Michael Banks, owner of Body by Banks corporation in Salt Lake City, for putting together this doozy of a workout. Believe me, it will get the sweat going-and you'll be addicted to feeling stronger and firmer with every workout. I even take this workout with me to the gym.

The goal here is to push your body past your comfort zone. Once you've passed that zone, the calories literally start burning off.

Treadmill Torch
You'll need a set of dumbbells, I recommend either 5 lbs. or 7 lb.s

1. Warm Up: On the treadmill, with the incline set at a challenging angle, power walk at a speed of 3-3.5 for 7 minutes. Keep your elbows up above your heart. Stop, get off the treadmill, and stretch.

2. Sprint: Drop the incline to 0, increase the treadmill speed, and sprint hard for 30 seconds. Aim for 90% of your maximum heart rate. To recover, bring your speed down to 3.0 and walk for one minute.

3. Squats: Get off the treadmill and squat, with your bottom out to the rear and your legs slightly apart. Then jump from the squatting position into the air, landing in the same squat position as before (aka Thrusts). Do this for one set of 15 or 20, working your quadriceps. If you’re already in good shape, hold dumbbells by your sides.

4. Overhead Presses: Do 15 or 20 overhead presses with the weights, pushing them straight up and directly over your shoulders.

5. Sprint: Get back on the treadmill and sprint for 30 seconds (no incline). The goal is to be at 80% of your maximum heart rate. To recover, decrease your speed to 3.0 and walk for one minute.

6. Tricep Extensions: Using dumbbells, do one set of 15 or 20 overhead tricep extensions. Your elbows should point toward the ceiling, with the weights behind your head. Lift the weights directly above your head and back down again.

7. Pushups. Do one set of 15 push-ups, with your elbows at a 90-degree angle from the body. Modification: Do the push-ups with your knees on the ground, but do 25 instead of 15.

8. Sprint: Back to the treadmill. Sprint for 1 minute, aiming for 70% of your maximum heart rate. To recover, jog for 90 seconds.

9. Jumping Jacks. Do one set of 15 or 20 jumping jacks. If you're strong enough, add two 10- or 15-pound dumbbells -- lift up the weights when you jump out, in an overhead press position, pulling them back down to shoulder height as your legs go back together.

10. Finale: Incline your treadmill to an angle that really challenges you -but don't hang onto the treadmill's rails. Walk at a 2.0-3.5 speed for 30 seconds, aiming for 60% of your maximum heart rate. To recover, bring the treadmill down to a 1.0 incline and drop your speed to 1.9 or 2.0 for a 1-minute walk. Finish by stretching.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hot Silk Pure Almond Milk

Obviously I'm not the only one who has realized how extremely cold it is outside. And when it's cold outside, it usually means hot chocolate season. So what about the ones who are trying to watch our sugar levels? Hot chocolate, although warm and satisfying, is one of those drinks that are unfortunately drizzling in sugars.
I'm someone that likes to warm up to a blanket and hot cocoa like the next person. Yes, they do sell no-sugar added cocoa, but what about the rest of the flavours we miss out on?
I've come up with my own concoction that I've fallen madly in love with. It's not only a lot more healthier than hot chocolate, but I dare say it even tastes better.
Hot Pure Almond Milk
1 cup of Almond Milk
1 tblsp of Hazelnut creamer

Buy some pure Silk AlmondMilk and some sugar free Hazelnut creamer. Heat up a cup of Silk Pure Almond Milk for 50-60 seconds in the microwave. Add a tbsp. of creamer and WHUALA! You have your own mix of delicious, healthy hot AlmondMilk joy! Not only are you getting warm, but your choice is 100 times more healthier than the friend sitting next to you sipping down Stephen's, and in my opinion a lot more tastier.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Did You Know?

Did you know if you exercise
moderately for
30 to 60 minutes a day you may
have up to an
80% reduced risk
of developing breast cancer?