Sunday, November 25, 2012


I'd like to say "I'm sorry" to the (few) readers of my blog.  My posts have been so scattered due to school.  I have also been uninspired to write new recipes and workouts.  Luckily classes end in 3 weeks and I will have the time and energy again to bring y'all new stuff.  

On a different topic, I've started planning all my Christmas presents.  90% of the gifts that are being given to family are atleast partially DIY gifts.  The girls shopping is half done and a few other people's gifts have been bought.  Honestly though, I'm farther along than I normally am.  This time last year, and the year before, I probably had 2 gifts bought and I was freaking out.  But, since technically I don't have any gifts in hand besides the girls I'm behind AND ahead at the same time.  I would LOVE to share the instructions for the homemade gifts but since my family (HI DAD!) reads my blog I can't until after Christmas.  I promise I will though.

Until next time!

How  far along are you on your Christmas shopping?  Are you behind or ahead?  Do you have a shopping strategy?  (I have started buying 1 gift a week for each of the girls and it's been working out great)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I saw on Facebook that many people were doing something that they are thankful for every day this month.  I decided that since today is Thanksgiving I'd post them all today.

 1.  My Kids 
I love them and I couldn't imagine life without them

2.  My wonderful husband
Like I've said a million times.  He's my biggest supporter and my best friend

3.  My Family
I love them, they rock.  There's just no words (or way too many words) to describe how thankful I am for them

4.  My Health
I have amazed myself this year by the things my body can do.   

5.My Education
I love the I have the opportunity to go back to school to pursue a career in something that I love
6.  Food
I love food.  I love to cook it AND eat it.  But more importantly, I am thankful that I have it. 

7.  Friends
My friends have helped me through some rough times.  I am so thankful I have them in my life.  They may be 1000's of miles away but, they're still close to my heart

8.  Florida Winters
 I love the fact that the lowest temps are usually around 50.  My body cannot deal with cold temperatures anymore.  I'm thankful I don't have to deal with snow and extreme cold anymore. 

9.  Goals 
I believe that goals are what keep you going sometimes.  I'm thankful to have quite a few to keep me going.

10.  PB2
I couldn't live without peanut butter.  This stuff is a god send with only 1.5 grams of fat per serving.  You can learn more about it HERE 

 11.  Farmers Market
Where else can I feed a family of 5 for roughly $20 a week?  Not the grocery store!  Plus I get local produce and help the local economy.  The farmers market is good for the wallet, good for the waistline and good for the soul.

12.  Beach
It's my zen place, it's my gym, it's my playground,it's just plan GORGEOUS.  I'm so thankful I get to live near it and see it every day.

13.  Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
 I absolutely couldn't live without my fresh fruits and veggies.  I'm so thankful that they're available year round

14.  Mio
I love Mio.  It keeps me away from soda 99% of the time.  Find out more about it HERE

15.  Korean Food
I could move to Korea and be perfectly happy.  I love Mr. Amazing for introducing me to it.
16.  Monster
I drink this instead of coffee.  I couldn't wake up in the morning without it.

17.  Mr. Amazing's Job
Jobs = Money.

18.  My Car
It gets Mr. Amazing to work and gets us from one place to the other.  My car isn't the most awesome thing but I love it because it does what I need it to do.
19.  Social Media
I couldn't keep up with most of my friends in Virginia without Facebook.

20.  Calculators
They make math class so much easier.
21.  Coats
Winter would be awful without one
22.  My house
I love my house.  It's perfect.  But mostly I'm thankful that I have a house.  There are so many people in this world that don't have a place to live.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

3 Kids and a Turkey

Do your kids like helping you in the kitchen?  I know mine do!

They have each told me that they want to help with Thanksgiving dinner.  This of course means that dinner will take me twice as long (and there will be at least one fight during the dinner making process.)    

But I honestly believe that it's really good for kids to help you in the kitchen.  There are many skills that they can learn.   If nothing else though it gives me time to talk to the girls about random things.  Conversations seem to flow easier in the kitchen don't they?  I learn about the girls likes and dislikes, friends, and gossip.  

The topic of what ingredients are "healthy" normally comes up.  I have explained more than once about how butter isn't necessarily unhealthy you just need to limit it.  1 cookie is okay but, if you eat the whole batch then it's not.   

I let the girls measure everything even if there's nothing else for them to do.  This is excellent practice for fractions.  How do you double a recipe?  Or, I need 1 cup for flour but only have a 1/3 cup.  How do I do this?

Baye enjoys stirring and dumping.  This works on a toddler's motor skills.  

My kids are very creative.  They love to do arts and crafts.  Cooking is another way that a person can express themselves.  Like in the photo of the cookies.  The girls get to decorate those themselves.  We end up with some of the most interesting cookies.  

Math isn't the only class that kids get real world applications of while cooking.  Cooking also teaches them about science.  What makes bread rise?

You have to wait while your bread rises right?  Well, this is a lesson in patience.  Cooking requires a ton of patience.  My kids DEFINITELY need to learn this (don't most children though?)  

I love the look on their face when they taste something and figure out that they made something awesome.  It's a major self-confidence booster.  

If nothing else, cooking is a skill that everyone needs later in life.  You really can't live a 100% healthy life on packaged microwave food. 

Sorry that this post was so scattered.  My brain isn't working really well today.  So if you made it through this post then congrats!  So, question for you: Do your kids like to cook?  Do you allow them to help? 

Side note:  I read on this morning that Thanksgiving meals can have over 4500 calories and 229 grams of fat.  That's disgusting!  For low-calorie, low-fat Thanksgiving recipes take a look at my Thanksgiving menu recipe post.  (   )  And read the whole article I found this fact on HERE.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mod Podge Post

As I mentioned before I'm a bit behind on my posts.  I've decided just to post my missed posts as 1.  

The other day was my monthly trip to BJ's.  You never think of how much of a workout it is.  One time I mapped it and I walked close to 2 miles while we were shopping.  2 MILES!!  It's crazy that a store could be big enough for you to walk that far in it.  But getting a nice long walk isn't the only exercise you can get in while you're there (or at any store for that matter.) 

  1. Squats -- When your reaching onto lower shelves for things bend your knees and do a squat instead of bending your back.  
  2. Pushing the Cart -- Make sure to engage your core and working your arms
  3. Walking Lunges -- If you don't mind the possibility of people staring then do some walking lunges while pushing your cart around the store.
  4. Calf Raises -- Reaching for something a bit out of your reach?  Raise your heels up and down a few times
  5. Bicep Curls -- Stop your cart at the far end of the aisle and go pick up what you need and walk back to your cart.  On the walk back do some bicep curls with your purchase.  (This is especially good at a big box store where packages are bigger and bigger normally equals heavier)
Then there's the more well known ones:  

  1. Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator
  2. Park farther away from the store

Since we're on the topic of exercise in random places, I was so busy for a few days that I didn't have any time to get in a normal workout.  (Sad, I know)    While I was studying and working on my essay I found some little simple exercises I could do while doing my homework.  I like to call this a homeworkout

Jumping Jacks/Phantom Jump Rope
Sit Ups
Reverse Crunches
Leg Lifts   

These are a few links to some good chair workouts for while you're sitting at your computer:
Men's Health

When you need a break from homework do this awesome (and I do mean awesome!)  workout.
Blogilates Gangnam Style Workout

How do you sneak exercise into your day?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Baked Oatmeal version 2.0

I decided to do baked oatmeal tonite.  The girls loved it and I love one pot/pan meals.  Mix it together, pop it in the oven and VOILA!  yummy dinner in a short time.     I found the recipe from Skinny Taste


  • 2 medium bananas, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup
  • 1 cup uncooked Quaker Multigrain Cereal
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup of skim milk
  • egg whites or egg substitute equivalent to 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Spray a square baking dish with pan spray
  3. Lay the bananas and blueberries in the bottom, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the syrup and 1/4 tsp cinnamon.
  4. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes until the bananas are all nice and roasted
  5. In a separate bowl combine all the other ingredients.
  6. When the bananas come out of the oven pour the oat mixture over the bananas.
  7. Put it back in the oven for 30-45 minutes until golden brown and set.
The girls loved it and I love 1 pot/pan meals.  Mix it together, pop it in the oven and VOILA!  yummy dinner in a short time.  

Oatmeal has many health benefits.  It... 
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Reduces the risk of high blood pressure
  • Is full of antioxidants
  • Is filled with antioxidants
  • Protects against heart disease
  • Can protect against breast cancer
  • Stabilizes blood sugar
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Prevents diabetes
  • Can prevent weight gain
  • Is gluten free
 With all of these health benefits (and probably other ones I don't know about) what's stopping you from eating a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast (or lunch or dinner?)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fat Free Thanksgiving Menu

The countdown to Thanksgiving begins!  Since I know people are starting to figure out Thanksgiving dinner I'm going to give you my Thanksgiving menu.  I still need to run the calories on these since one of my goals is for Thanksgiving dinner to be under 500 calories.  I'm not 100% certain if I'll make it but I think I might be close. 

Main Dish (Meat)  
 Turkey Roulade stuffed with homemade stuffing
(Courtesy of Publix FamilyStyle Magazine)

Approx 2 cups stuffing
2 (1.5 lb) boneless turkey breasts

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Butterfly turkey breast (follow the instructions from the top picture above)
  3. Remove the plastic wrap and spread half the stuffing on each of the turkey breasts.  Make sure to leave space on either side of the breast.
  4. Roll it up starting with the long end.  Make sure the skin is on top when you end
  5. Tie with kitchen twine every 2 inches
  6. Brush with melted butter, or olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Place on a shallow baking pan and cook for 45 - 55 minutes until the internal temperature is 165 degrees (use a meat thermometer for this)
  8. Take it out of the oven and cover loosely with tin foil and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove twine before serving.
Main Dish (Vegetarian)

{My alteration:  I'm going to add sweet potatoes and acorn squash to it and use fat free feta instead of blue cheese}

Mashed Potatoes
{Boil a few pounds of potatoes until soft, drain then return to pan.  Use a potato masher to mash, add fat free sour cream and skim milk to the potatoes and continue mashing until smooth and creamy} 
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
{Follow the same directions as the previous recipe except substitute sweet potatoes for the white potatoes}

4 cups fat free vegetable broth
1/4 cup cornstarch

  1. Bring 3 1/2 cups of broth to a boil in a medium saucepan
  2. In a seperate bowl mix together remaining 1/2 cup of broth and cornstarch
  3. Add cornstarch mixture to saucepan and stir continuously until it comes back to a boil.
  4. Reduce to simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

I'm using this recipe for the bread for my stuffing also.  
I'm going to substitute cream cheese for the butter 

I'm not a fan of green bean casserole so, this is a perfect substitute for my table
This is my mom's recipe.  I've used it the past few years.  I love this stuffing.  I normally double (or triple) it because Kay could eat a whole pan of it by herself.  I've altered it slightly to be vegetarian.  You can substitute the veggie sausage for regular, the egg substitute for 2 eggs, and the vegetable broth for chicken or turkey broth.  I'm also using the same bread I'm making the rolls with for it.

Approx. 18 slices of bread, cubed
1 cup of onions, diced
2 cups of celery, sliced small
1/2 lb of (veggie) sausage [optional]
1 T poultry seasoning
1 T ground sage
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 cup veggie broth 

  1. Sautee onions and celery until soft (if you're using regular non-vegetarian sausage you want to cook it too at this point)
  2. Place all ingredients in a big bowl and mix together (use your hands, it works the best.  Don't be afraid to get messy!)
  3. Place in a baking pan and cover with tin foil. 
  4. Put into a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes
  5. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes until golden brown.

Brussel Sprouts
Here's a great link on prepping brussel sprouts: VeganYumYum

Brussel Sprouts (however many you want to cook is up to you)
Garlic (to taste)
Pan Spray

  1. Trim and cut your sprouts
  2. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  3. Lay out a sheet of tin foil large enough to hold all the sprouts and spray with pan spray
  4. In a separate bowl toss the brussel sprouts with garlic
  5. Place sprouts in the middle of the foil and spray with more pan spray
  6. Fold tin foil around sprouts and fold closed so no steam can escape
  7. Place in oven and bake for 35-50 minutes until soft.


Pumpkin Cheesecake
{Alterations:  I'm not putting a crust on it.  I'm using fat free cream cheese and sour cream instead of full fat and I'm going to use egg substitute instead of actual eggs.}

Friday, November 9, 2012

Eggplant Lasagna

I love it when a change I make in the house has a positive impact.  Here's something you might not know, this girl --->
(the one that's NOT me) LOVES meat.  She loves it as much as Mr. Amazing.  But, she also claims she wants to be a vegetarian.  (Ever met a meat-loving vegetarian?  Neither have I)  So when the following conversation happened I was very shocked.  

Kay:  "What are we having for dinner?"
Me:   "Chicken Nuggets."
Kay:  "Why have we had meat every day this week?"
Me:   "I don't know."
Kay:  "I keep asking myself when we're going to have vegetables.  I'm tired of meat!"

{Let me start out by saying that we have had veggies w/ dinner every nite but the main dish has been a meat product}  I eased her mind by letting her know that we aren't having meat for almost a week.  But honestly if it were up to me this house would be 100% meat free....except for holidays.  I would be nice on holidays. 

But I, of course, can't eat chicken nuggets.  I think that if she liked eggplant then she would have skipped the nuggets and opted to eat what I made for myself.  I've had a recipe floating around in my head for a while now.  I've been wanting to do lasagna with eggplant as noodles.  My fresh vegetable supply is getting low and I had an eggplant I wanted to do something more exciting with so, I found this recipe from Fatfree Vegan.  You could make this recipe non-vegan by substituting the tofu for ricotta.  (For some reason that sounds really odd, to make a recipe NONvegan...) 

An Eggplant Lasagna collage!  Super exciting!
Eggplant Lasagna
(adapted from Fatfree Vegan)

1 Large Eggplant
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed (I used the 1/2 bag of fresh I had)
1/2 lb Lite Tofu
2  tsp oregano
2 T minced garlic
1 tsp oregano
2 cups spaghetti sauce (you can use my homemade one here

  1. Slice eggplant into thin slices (I used my mandolin)
  2. Salt each slice and lay on a cookie sheet with paper towels and allow the eggplant to drain for 20 minutes.  When 20 minutes is up, rinse the salt off the slices and blot dry with paper towels.
  3. Preheat oven to 375.  
  4. Mash the tofu.  Add spinach and everything else besides eggplant and sauce.  Mix together.  (Make sure it's smooth)
  5. Put sauce in the bottom of a pan sprayed with non-stick spray.
  6. Layer the eggplant, then half the tofu mixture.  Repeat the layering.  Put one last layer of eggplant on the top and then add sauce.  
  7. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes, uncover and bake for another 10-15.

Do you have any dietary restrictions that your house follows?  How do your kids feel about them?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

FroYo Review

While my parents were here we went to the grocery store a lot.....I mean A LOT!  My mom is like me.  She likes to browse the grocery store.  She and I have always been able to spend hours in the store looking at different products and having a grand ole time.  

She loves strawberry ice cream and I love (almost) anything nonfat.  Well, our two worlds combined wonderfully when I found nonfat frozen strawberry yogurt.  You might have noticed that I don't do many product reviews.  Most of the things I eat are either A) pretty average or B) things that I've eaten for years that don't deserve a special mention.  

Run, don't walk, to get yourself some Blue Bell Nonfat Strawberry Frozen Yogurt!!

This stuff is incredible!  It tastes exactly like full fat ice cream.  There are HUGE chunks of strawberries, it's fluffy, and on top of all that, (I know...HOW could it get better??!!??) it's a gorgeous shade of pink.  Did I also mention it only has 110 calories in 1/2 a cup?

Isn't it pretty??

This works very well on grilled banana ice cream sundaes.  Ice cream, grilled bananas, peanut butter sauce, marshmallows, PERFECTION.  I'll have to save that for another day because I ate it before I remembered to get a picture.    

Prompt:  If you could have any job (and instantly have the training and qualifications to do it), which job would you want?

Answer:  I'd be on Sesame Street.  That's honestly my dream job.  I want to be a muppet.  Or I want to own an ice cream shop.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

Candy Workout


With 3 kids in my house we have seriously, an idiotic amount of candy (and my kids went slow this year and didn't come away with half as much as the past years.)  

I'm not going to say that Halloween candy is healthy, I will say that 1 piece is not going to ruin your diet.  It will set you back about 150 calories.  --Plus crazy amounts of fat and sugar, but that's a whole 'nother story--  

I designed a workout to strengthen your body and willpower.  It was also made so you can fit it into your schedule.  You can spend 5 minutes or 5 hours doing this.  There are 2 ways to do it:
1)  Everytime you pick up a piece of candy do the exercise associated with it.
2)  Pull out 1 or 2 large handfuls of candy and do the exercises

Which is tougher, the physical aspect of the workout or the mental?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Mr. Amazing!!


Today is my awesome husband's birthday!  He got to sleep in, then we went out to dinner after my class and then did cake and presents when we got home.  

I love him and I love the idea of spending 50 more birthday with him!

Do you like simple birthday celebrations or are you a more extravagant birthday person?