Monday, January 31, 2011

Cooking Success...2 More Great Products

This past weekend was an absolute cooking success! After my husband ate my "make-ahead Curry" I received glowing text messages about what a wonderful cook I am. If he only knew how easy it was ;)

Last nights dinner was another healthy option that was simple and quick to make. My husband approved of this healthy meal too, requesting it be made again soon :) Always good to hear from a very honest (picky) eater! These great products made my weekend a solid 2 for 2! I barbecued chicken breast after marinating in Mrs. Gooch's natural barbecue sauce and served it with a yummy sweet potato hash. I cooked the sweet potatoes and veggies a little longer than the package called for because I like them a little crispier.
Alexia Brand's NEW "Chipotle Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Vegetables"

Mrs. Gooch's All Natural Barbecue Sauce
Voila! Dinner in less than half an hour.
5 oz chicken breast and 1 cup sweet potatoes and veggies turned out to be a 300 calorie dinner.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Classic Curry (Make ahead Meal)

With a busy weekend approaching, I decided to make up Curry Chicken with Vegetables that could be reheated throughout the weekend as needed.  It was quick and simple, taking about half an hour including prep and cleanup.  This recipe yielded 4 servings and I pre-portioned them in separate containers in the fridge.  I recommend pre-portioning because not only is it quick and convenient, it prevents over-indulging.

2 Airchilled chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces (Whole Foods)
1 Jar Spicy Nothings Classic Curry Simmer (Whole Foods)
Frozen Mixed Vegetables - Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower
Curry Sauce from Whole Foods

In a large saute pan, bring half inch of water to boil and add chicken breast.  Gently boil until no pink is visible, then drain water and add frozen veggies to chicken.  Cook vegetables and chicken until veggies are somewhat tender.  Then add jar of curry sauce, mixing well.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
I like to serve the curry over Quinoa/Brown Rice or steamed broccoli.

Nutritional information (1/4 Recipe): 244 Calories, 8g Fat, 575mg sodium, 11g Carbs, 5.5g Fiber, 2g sugar, 27g Protein. *This will vary depending on product and servings used.  My recipe and products yielded 4 servings.

Friday's Fit Breakfast

This week's Friday Fit Breakfast was an Amy's brand Tofu Scramble in a Pocket (Organic Tofu, Red Pepper, & Shiitake Mushroom).  It's a great option for those in a hurry that want something warm and filling.  It has 180 calories, 11 grams of protein and it's vegan.  Even though I am not vegetarian/vegan, I find the sandwich pocket delicious and think it's a great option for anyone.  I prefer to cook the sandwich pocket in the oven which takes about 25 minutes, or microwave it on high for 2 minutes and then put it in the oven for a couple minutes at 375°.

Check out the Amy's website to view all of their great products:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bobo's Oat Bars

Today at Whole Foods I stumbled across these delicious wheat free/vegan/all natural bars.  I had half of one this afternoon before spinning class and it gave me all the energy I needed to get through that grueling hour.  They are all natural (with many organic ingredients), low in sodium, and taste great.  The only caveat is watch the serving size!  Each bar is actually 2 180 calorie servings.
Nutrition: 180 Calories, 6g Fat, 20mg sodium, 29g Carb, 3g Fiber, 9g sugar, 3g Protein

Natural & Organic budget finds!

On my recent trip to Targ├ęt (yes, I pronounce it with a french accent and have for years) I found a few items I just had to blog about!  My first two finds were the Bear Naked granola cereals, which I love, they were only $3.50/$3.54 each.  Packing 11 servings, this turns out to be about $0.32 per serving, not bad for an all natural breakfast.  My BIG find of the day was a USDA certified organic peanut butter for only $2.49!!  The Organic Laura Scudder's peanut butter is a great find for those looking for a bargain.

I also just ordered this product to try!  I wonder how it will work??  It is supposed to do the messy stirring of the separated peanut butter for you.  I'll let you know how it works out...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Getting the most out of your green veggies??

We all know that leafy green veggies are nutritional powerhouses, loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber.  But many people don't know that they might not be absorbing all of the vitamins and minerals, therefore not realizing the full health benefits of the veggies.  This is because many green veggies are packed with fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E & K.  These vitamins require the presence of some sort of fat to be properly absorbed.  I prefer to use a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), some avocado slices, or a healthy salad dressing (I prefer those with all natural ingredients).  Another option is adding a small serving of heart healthy almonds, cashews or walnuts to achieve the necessary intake of fat, but watch the portion size (10 almonds contain about 70 calories).  So next time you are sauteing your spinach or assembling your salad, make sure to add some "good fat" to get all the health benefits of those greens.

"Go to" Bun-less Burger

For lunch today I needed something quick and easy because I was short on time, but it also had to be high on protein and made from what I already had in my fridge. I decided on a bun-less turkey burger over a bed of romaine with stoneground mustard. It's one of my 'go to' meals because it only takes about 10 minutes to cook, can be made with any lean ground meat, and is served over lettuce (which I always keep fresh in the fridge). I cook the meat patty in water to minimize fat and prevent the patty from drying out. Many times I get more creative and add grilled onions, tomato and avocado, but I chose to keep this one simple. At under 200 calories and 24 grams of protein, this low fat meal really satisfies and keeps me full all afternoon!

All you need:
-4 oz Lean Ground Turkey Breast
-Chopped Romaine Lettuce
-Stoneground mustard
*Seasoning for turkey (I used freeze dried salad herbs)
*Fresh ground pepper for salad greens

1. Heat frying pan filled with small layer of water (1/4'') over medium-high heat, until water boils.
2. Form ground meat into patty with preferred seasonings and place in boiling water.
3. Cook burger patty, turning occasionally, until the meat is fully cooked. *this varies greatly depending on meat, cookware and cooktop.
4. While burger cooks, chop romaine lettuce and arrange on plate. Top with fresh ground pepper, if desired.

5. Place cooked burger on top of bed of lettuce and serve with stoneground mustard, or favorite (healthy) dressing.

Feel free to comment and let me know how you like to 'dress up' your bun-less burgers.

Replace 'I have to'

Yesterday I spent the morning with a girlfriend having coffee and taking a nice long walk. We chatted about life and being thankful for all of our blessings, even when they present themselves as challenges or unpleasant tasks. She told me that she has begun replacing every statement that would normally be 'I have to' with 'I get to'. I absolutely love this! Many things that we dread doing can actually be counted as a blessing that we get to do. For example, some days I really don't want to go grocery shopping but instead I should feel blessed that I have access to such high quality and nutritious foods. This change of attitude can really be applied to many daily activities that we have aversions to. I'm hoping that I can help some of my clients adopt this attitude toward going to the gym and eating healthy/nutritious foods. Instead of avoiding these healthy activities we should embrace them and feel blessed to have the opportunity to take such great care of ourselves!

Please comment and let me know what activity you are going to apply this new outlook to!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Kid's Activities

It's a major challenge for many parents to get their kids off the couch and away from the video games.  I have come up with a few ways to sneak some physical activity into your child's weekend without them knowing it!  It is also a great way to spend time with your child, or teen, and find out what's going on at school and with their friends.

1. Go to the Zoo (or Aquarium)- Walking around the zoo or aquarium is a great way for your child to get exercise and learn at the same time.  Many children love going to fun places with exotic animals, they won't even realize they have been walking around for hours.  It's important that you walk the zoo, if you pay to ride on a tram-tour you will lose all the exercise benefits of a day at the zoo.
2.  Take Fido for a walk - It sounds like a no brainer, but as Americans have begun to lead more sedentary lifestyles many of our four-legged friends are paying the price.  Why not take your kids and furry friend for an after-dinner walk?  This could become a very healthy ritual that everyone in the family can enjoy and benefit from.
3.  Museums & Art Galleries - Another great way to blend exercise and education is by visiting local museums and art galleries.  This is especially great during winter seasons in cold climates.  You can spend hours walking around a large museum or gallery.  The best part is you will be expanding your child's mind while getting exercise.
4.  Go Window Shopping - This is another option for those making it through cold winters in the north, or hot summers in the south.  Taking your kids window shopping at a large indoor mall will get their muscles going without them realizing it.  The key is to make sure you walk around the mall for at least an hour, and don't make any major stops to rest.
5.  Putt-Putt Golf - This is one of my personal favorites.  If the weather allows, take you kids to a fun putt-putt golf course.  Many will give you a discount to play it more than once, this can really keep you moving for an afternoon.

The point of these suggestions is to highlight that exercise is about getting the body off the couch and moving!  Not everything has to be jogging, bicycling, etc.  Many children just need to increase their regular activity through daily activities.  I hope that this inspires some more creative ways to get your kids moving.  Please comment below and tell me how you get your kids moving.

My niece after hours of fun running around Dave & Busters.
She even won a HUGE stuffed pony :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Why I chose the name "Fun Fit Lifestyle"

I would like to take a quick moment to discuss where the name "Fun Fit Lifestyle" came from.  I have a great passion to help others on the journey of leading a healthy lifestyle; whether through private consulting, blogging, or writing (it's all based on the individual's needs).  When deciding on a name for my business, I really took my time and thought about what I was trying to help others achieve.  I asked myself, how did I want to portray myself and my services?  For me, being physically fit and healthy is a lifestyle.  I don't believe in "diets", calling something a diet is setting it up to be a temporary solution.  And how do you achieve long-term change and lasting results with a temporary solution?  It's just illogical.  I choose to live by the mantra that life is about having fun.  Caring for the body through exercise, massage, stretching, nutritious foods, and a positive attitude contribute to living the most fun lifestyle possible.  I think this mantra and approach is so effective because it works for any age and either gender.  Any individual that is empowered with the right information can begin to make better choices, from foods to exercise.  Life is supposed to be fun, and I have found that treating your body well will lead to a more fulfilling & happy life.

On vacation (Bahamas 2010), Living a Fun Fit Lifestyle

Organic Apple Cinnamon Dog Cookies

It is always important to me that I take the time to take care of every member of my family, even the four legged ones.  I decided to bake up treats for my two yorkies, Baron and Cooper.  The dog treats are healthy and nutritious, nothing that I wouldn't eat myself!  I chose to use all organic ingredients, but that is all about personal preference.

1 Cup Oat Flour
4 oz Unsweetened Apple Sauce (1 individual portion, as shown)
2/3 Cup Rolled Oats
1 Egg
1/2 tsp Wildflower Honey
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
*Cookie Sheets & Parchment Paper

All Ingredients from Whole Foods Market
*Preheat oven to 300°F, have 2 cookie sheets lined with Parchment Paper
1. Place Rolled Oats in food processor and work until they are a fine consistency.

2. In a large bowl, combine the finely processed Rolled Oats & Oat Flour
3. In separate bowl, whisk Egg then add Unsweetened Applesauce, Cinnamon & Wildflower Honey. Mix/Whisk together wet ingredients well.

Dry Ingredients and Wet Ingredients - ready to MIX

4.  Add wet ingredients to large bowl containing dry ingredients and mix well to form dough.  Then set dough aside for 5 minutes.

The Dough - ready to sit for 5 minutes

5. Arrange dough as desired on Parchment Paper, size/shape depends on individual dog.  I personally like to make smaller cookies because my dogs are so little.  Sometimes I score the cookies down the middle with a knife, then they break apart easily when I'm handing out treats :)  This time I made mostly small cookies (some scored) but I also made a few larger cookies so you could see what they look like.

Smaller Cookies - about size of nickles
Larger Cookies - Scored to break apart easily
6. Bake the cookies for 40-45 Minutes @ 300°F.  Let cool before serving to your pups!
Storage: I keep my dog treats in storage bags (but they don't last long in our house), I know you can freeze them for 3-6 months.

If you try this recipe please comment and let us know what you and your furry friends think!  Next time I am going to try a recipe from Whole Foods for Banana Peanut Butter dog treats!

My two yorkies (Baron & Cooper) very satisfied after their fresh Organic Apple Cinnamon Dog Cookies.  They are on the couch all ready for movie night!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Introduction - Who I am

     I would like to start out by explaining who I am and why I am here.  As someone who struggled with health and weight issues as both a child and adolescent, I know how it feels to be hopeless.  I never thought I would be physically in shape, enjoy eating health food, or even be truly happy in life.  Working (and suffering) through my own childhood and adolescent struggles has inspired me to want to help others.  I wish that someone had been there to help me all those years ago, or even someone to look to for inspiration that knew what it was like to be in my shoes.  My parents tried the best they could, but they simply felt lost and didn't know what to do.  I personally know the pain of being made fun of because of my weight and the way I looked.  I suffered foot and knee pain from the excess weight, making gym class even more unbearable (as I couldn't run due to pain).  The teasing about my weight led me to fake illnesses to stay home from school, which just led to more emotional discomfort.  While swapping stories with a formerly obese personal trainer in Sacramento, I discovered I had all the typical stories of a bullied, overweight child.  The pain that children and adolescents endure because of their weight is so immense, I can still feel it today.
     I am glad to say that the sadness I just discussed is all in the past.  It takes a turning point, a decision to take control of your own life and health, that can change it all.  Healthy lifestyle choices can help anyone live a better quality of life.  I now lead a healthy lifestyle, choosing nutritious foods, exercising regularly and focusing on the blessings in life.  Of course I have the occasional treat, you can't completely deprive yourself :)  For me it is all about moderation and balance, this supports both physical and mental health.
     My goal is to help children and families lead all-around healthier lives.  Choosing healthier foods and incorporating more physical activity can create real change in a child's life.
     I hope to get to know many different families and individuals through this blog.  I will discuss everything from healthy eating, new recipes, exercise ideas, to healthy lifestyle product reviews.  Feel free to email me with any questions you have.