Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Poultry Power!

Hey there! I can’t believe it is already Wednesday. This week seems to be going super fast. Fine by me!

So on Monday we talked about mixing up our protein sources. It is so important to mix them up because they all offer different nutrients that we need! Our body likes variety, because that way it gets all the good stuff.
But you see, last week I showed you this beauty…
and promised a recipe. So this does have chicken on it…but chicken is still good!

I started out with the wheat pizza crust from here. I LOVE her blog. She is a fellow Utah blogger, and I love all her recipes. Her blog says it is for kids, but I think we could all eat everything she puts up!

It was my first time making something with yeast. I was terrified. Yet it turned out fine! I baked the crust for 10 minutes with nothing on it to make it a but more crispy.

From there, I kind of just did what I wanted. We had spinach and a red pepper in our fridge, so I worked with it.

I failed to take pictures of the process, so bear with me. It is quite simple. I grabbed two handfuls of spinach (I know, so precise), and chopped the red pepper into small bite size pieces. In a large pan I drizzled a little olive oil and then put the spinach in to begin wilting a bit. As it starts to wilt, I chopped up some left over chicken we had into small pieces. I then added the red pepper and chicken to the wilted spinach and olive oil. Mix it all together.

Then, on the pre-baked crust I spread a little mozzarella cheese on the bottom. I then dumped (again, very precise) the veggie and chicken mixture on the pizza. Spread it around, top with a bit more cheese, and pop it in the oven at 475 for about 15 minutes. Then bang…you got a delicious pizza!

When I googled chicken…that came up. I couldn’t stop myself.
Anyway! Since this post doesn’t have enough writing in it (sorry about that), I thought I’d share some tricks when “decoding” labels on poultry. Then I’m outta here.
Free Range: A USDA-regulated designation, meaning only that the bird had access to the outdoors
Farm Raised: Usually refers to chickens raised on a local farm, but technically all are raised on a farm of some sort.
Certified Organic: All feed given to the birds must be certified organic – it doesn’t contain chemical fertilizers, pesticides, animal by-products or other additives.
Natural: The most commonly used label has nothing to do with standards of care, type or quality; it simply indicates no additives or preservatives were added after the poultry was processed
Hormone-Free: Irrelevant-no artificial hormones are used in any poultry production.
Raised without Antibiotics: Medications not classified as antibiotics may still be used.

Oh! One more thing. I hope you checked out my guest post on Moves n’ Munchies!
And…here are some more blog friends recipes for our protein mix-up.
Later, friends!
~Were you scared of people dressed up when you were little?
**Pretty sure I have a few pictures of me screaming on Santa’s lap. It was either me or my sister that would actually only go to Mrs. Claus. Really.
~If you had to eat one source of protein for the rest of your life, what would it be?
**I’m not sure why I asked this, because I hate questions like this. But it would probably be eggs. Or almond butter. Really.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Protein Mix-Up

Hello friends! It is Monday and I’m back in school. I miss Spring Break already…but I’m ready to finish this semester off right!
In my anatomy class right now we are learning about the muscles of the upper and lower limb. It makes it fun to lift weights (which isn’t always that fun, let’s be honest). I get to figure out which lifts build certain muscles the best!
Along with building muscles in the weight room, it is important to build them in the kitchen! That’s right. This week, my challenge is…
to mix up your protein sources!
This can work for everyone. What I want you to think about is where you usually get your protein, and try new ways to get it in your diet. Often people only think about red meat and chicken. Here are some good sources of protein that people don’t always think about:
  • eggs
  • quinoa (Here are some recipes for quinoa!)
  • nuts
  • beans (I LOVE black beans!)
  • fish (Check this out…fish AND nuts!)
  • yogurt
Here is an interesting article on the best and worst protein sources you could check out too.
So, look at the above list and find something you don’t normally focus on with meals. Then, center your meal around it! There are lots of ways to center a meal around beans, quinoa, fish and eggs. And you’ll find it is quite delicious too!
Have a great week! Filled with building muscles and eating yummy food :)
~What is your favorite source of protein?

~Do you have a favorite dish that uses one of those protein sources?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pictures and Words

Spring Break is coming to a close. Now it’s back to the books for 4.5 more weeks…then, SUMMER! Can’t wait. Here is my week in some pictures and words:
DSC00528green smoothie goodness

delicious fruit

outside runs

whole wheat veggie pizza

granola bar baking

lots of fun family time!

~What were your highlights of the week?
~Favorite fresh fruit? If you can even pick just one!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mega Important

Happy middle of the week! Spring break has been great – I love being able to chill at home. But I should probably be more productive than I’ve been. Oh well! The weather hasn’t been as “springy” as I’d like…but I did run outside on Monday!
Speaking of Monday, we started talking about how important Omega-3’s are to our body, especially as people that exercise and train regularly. I tried to cover the basics as to what they are and what they do.

Today, let’s talk about where we can get these great fatty acids and what they do for our bodies!

So…where can I get these fabulous Omega-3’s?

Excellent sources: flaxseed, walnuts, and salmon

flaxseed_mealVery Good sources: cloves, oregano, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, mustard seeds
Good sources: brussel sprouts, tofu, halibut, spinach, kale, shrimp, strawberries, tuna

There are also many options out there for fish oil supplement. I would recommend going to your nearest health food store and talking to a nutritionist there, or talking to your doctor. They can be very helpful in determining how much you need and what kind to buy.

So…what health conditions does it help improve?

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Asthma
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Eczema
  • High blood pressure
  • Huntington's disease
  • Lupus
  • Migraine headaches
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Obesity
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
In addition to helping all of those things, it is known to be an anti-inflammatory, help promote healthy skin and help ease the side effects of depression.

Pretty amazing, right?

Well…I’m signing off. But I’ll leave you with a picture to hint of things to come!
DSC00523 Yes…that is some delicious veggie pizza.

~Do you have a yummy homemade pizza recipe?

~What is your favorite Omega-3 food source?
**Mine are nuts, fish and broccoli. Love em all!

Monday, March 21, 2011

O-Me O-My

It is Spring Break, so this is going to be short and sweet!
At my nutrition class for athletes a couple weeks ago we got talking about Omega-3’s and fish oil supplements. This week’s challenge is to
increase your omega-3 consumption!
This is different for everyone, so it is important to do some research for what is right for you. But I will say, no matter who you are, it is so important that you are getting enough. Especially athletes and people training – it does so much for your body! Here’s some information on Omega-3’s.
So…what are omega-3 fatty acids?
You can get lots of good information at this site, but I will summarize it for you.
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated, unlike saturated fats in butter and like fats. Monounsaturated fats, found in olive oil, are liquid at room temperature, but harden when refrigerated. When eaten in appropriate amounts, each type of fat can contribute to health. However, the importance of omega-3 fatty acids can’t be emphasized enough! The three most nutritionally important omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
These fatty acids have traditionally been classified as "essential" because the body is unable to manufacture them on its own and because they play a fundamental role in several physiological functions. As a result, we must be sure our diet contains sufficient amounts of both alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid.

So…what do they do?

Here is a simplified version! Our cell membranes control what goes in and out of our cells and what leaves our body. Without proper function and fluidity in the cell membrane, we can’t retain nutrients and our cells can’t communicate…which ultimately results in disease and health problems. You see, our cell membranes are made up of fat. The integrity and fluidity of our cell membranes is determined in large part by the type of fat we eat. Remember that saturated fats are solid at room temperature, while omega-3 fats are liquid at room temperature. Researchers believe that diets containing large amounts of saturated or hydrogenated fats produce cell membranes that are hard and lack fluidity. On the other hand, diets rich in omega-3 fats produce cell membranes with a high degree of fluidity.
This is only the beginning! But I don’t want to overwhelm you. And I don’t want to sit at my computer longer than I have to this week…so…more to come on Wednesday about where we can get these Omega’s-3s and other important info. There are some great foods out there, as well as supplements that can be taken.

Have a good Monday!

P.S. I finished spin instructor certification! Can’t wait to get teaching!!

~Do you take an Omega-3 supplement?
~Do you have any favorite spin songs or spin workouts? Tips would be great!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Green With Vegetables


I realized yesterday how appropriate it was that this week we tried to eat more veggies, specifically green ones. And it was St. Patrick’s day yesterday! Fancy that. I hadn’t even thought of that when I decided the challenge for this week. I hope you got lots of greens in! My mom used to die the milk green on St. Patrick’s day, and also make us green eggs and ham. It was a fun tradition!

I’ve been thinking about how all of us are always looking for new, healthy recipes. So, I decided to host an online recipe swap! This is how it works:

1. Pick out your favorite recipe, preferably one that is on the easy side. We don’t like things that take THAT much effort…haha
2. Take pictures of that recipe and e-mail me with the name of the recipe, the recipe itself, and the pictures.
3. In the coming weeks I will then post some of the fabulous recipes I get and I will link it back to your blog!
4. Follow my blog. Okay, I’ll still post your recipe if you don’t. But I’m getting tons of hits every day and only have a few followers. So head over to the right side bar and follow me!

I think it sounds like a great idea. So get e-mailing! (

Here’s an inspirational quote to take you into the weekend. Or for me, into Spring Break! Yahoo!

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Got Kale?

I've sure been enjoying my vegetables this week! Have you?

So before I grace you with these stellar kale chips, I thought I'd touch on some benefits of vegetables and why they are just so dang important!
  • the fiber in vegetables (and fruits) reduce risk of disease, keep you full, and keep your body digesting properly
  • they are naturally low in fat and calories and high in nutrients, vitamins and minerals...SCORE
  • by eating an adequate amount of vegetables, you give yourself the daily needed intake of many vitamins and minerals needed to promote healthy bone, muscle and body function
Pretty much, they rock!

Now to the kale chips...
Oh man they are tasty!

All you need is:
- kale
- 2 T. olive oil
- sea salt
- and optional parmesan cheese

1. Wash the kale
2. Rip/chop it into chip size pieces
3. Put it in a bowl and drizzle olive oil on it and mix until they are all coated (it doesn't need to look like they are super coated, you will taste it...promise!)
4. sprinkle with sea salt
5. bake in the oven at 350 for about 10-15 minutes, or until nice and crispy!
6. sprinkle with cheese if you want, and let cool for just a few minutes
7. chomp away!

Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables out there. It is in the cruciferous vegetable family known to have excellent cancer fighting properties. Research suggests that these cruciferous vegetables contain a kind of phytochemical known as isothiocyanates, which stimulate our bodies to break down potential carcinogens. They work by preventing the transformation of normal healthy cells into cancerous cells. Pretty sweet, eh? Some other vegetables in this family are broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and radishes. These are all really important to incorporate in our diets.

~Have you had kale chips before?

~Do you have other healthy vegetable creations that taste not so healthy?
I think all vegetables taste delicious...therefore, healthy and tasty always go together!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Go Big or Go Home

How was your weekend? My nutrition class was really fun to teach, and everyone was asking questions and seemed interested...which I love! The weather was also fabulous, which is always a treat!

Let's jump right into things. On Friday I talked about an article from that talked about becoming vegan-ish by emphasizing plants in your diet. Can you guess what this week's challenge is?

increase your veggie intake!

How do you do this? Well, it is easier than you think. I've decided to break it down into some simple steps:
1. Determine how many servings you are getting currently. Look at what you eat on a day to day basis and count out the servings. 
 (This is what my personal fridge looks like. Clearly, I love vegetables.)
2. Set a goal for serving intake each day. I would encourage you to get 3 to 4 servings a day. You can check out to get an idea of servings and vegetable ideas. 

3. Sit down and plan out menu ideas that allow for adequate vegetable intake. I recommend starting in the morning! This can be done by making spinach shakes, juicing spinach and fruit, or making a veggie omlet. Then plan for small snacks through the day of chopped veggies, fit in a salad at lunch or dinner, and have a side dish of veggies. Then you're good to go!

 (ingredients: 2 big handfuls of spinach, frozen raspberries, a peach, water...delicious!)

A while back I talked about making a healthy switch from potato chips to kale chips...I will post that super easy recipe on Wednesday!

Until then...get your veggies! Just remember, go big, or go home :)

~What's your favorite vegetable?**pretty sure it is broccoli. But I also LOVE my spinach smoothie I have each morning

~How do you make sure you are getting enough vegetables in each day?
**Like I said earlier, I start with breakfast. Then when I want a snack through the day, I always pair it with some celery, carrots, or sliced peppers. I usually have a salad or veggie side dish for dinner as well.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Note Worthy

Hey friends! Happy Friday! Only one more week until Spring Break! And the good news is, it actually FEELS like spring outside!

Last year I went to the Tulip Vestival with my mom and sister. Pretty flowers everywhere! I took a whole bunch of cool pictures, then came home and made cards out of them online. It was fun!

So, I like to stay on top of what is being said in the “health world”. I get lots of e-mails with articles from various magazines and online resources. Some of them I read, some I don’t like, and some are winners! I thought I would share some of the “winners” that I found note worthy this week. So grab some veggies to munch on, sit back, and get your read on!

Emotional Eating – We all do it. I thought this was really interesting and had some good tips on how to acknowledge it and reverse it. There is more to it than just stopping eating the bad stuff.
Dark Side of Vitamin Water – This is why I tell people to just drink water. It solves LOTS of problems and you don’t ever have to deal with hidden sugars and false advertising. Water is just water!
Vegan-ish – I really liked this article. I’m not a declared vegetarian or vegan, but my eating is centered around veggies frequently. And I still like me some eggs and chicken. But can you still eat like a vegan? Check it out!
30 Healthiest Foods – I liked this because I like a lot of these foods! Haha! I eat/love 17 out of the 30. (Some of the foods I’m allergic too…so those won’t be happening any time soon.) What’s your score?

~Any fun plans for the weekend?
*I’m teaching a nutrition for athletes class tomorrow!

~Do you have a favorite health magazine or website that you check regularly?
*I really like Livestrong online…they have a variety of tools, articles and tips

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I’m On the Right Track

It's Wednesday already! Goodness. Have any of you put in your interval workout yet? I did a fun speed one yesterday, and will probably do my hills this weekend. 

It has been super rainy/snowy here since Monday. But tomorrow the forecast says upper 50’s! Woo hoo!


As promised on Monday I told you I would post the workout I did on Saturday, just to give you an idea of an interval workout. I have lots, so I'm considering making a page of them for people to use. How does that sound?

7 to 10 Workout
Each interval is in bold, and each set increases by a minute (from 7 to 10…get it?) The first section of the interval should be a pretty easy pace, the second about regular pace, and the third you should push yourself. Then, if you’re feeling really good, make each interval a little harder while adding the minute! For the last interval, the 10 minute one, I start at a slower pace and increase .1 with each minute. Of course, you should listen to your body and do the speeds you think you should. This is just how I did mine!




0 – 3 minutes 4.0 6
3 – 5 minutes 6.5 1
5 – 8 minutes 6.7 1
8 – 10 minutes 7.0 1
10 – 12 minutes 4.0 6
12-14 minutes 6.6 1
14 – 17 minutes 6.8 1
17 – 20 minutes 7.1 1
20 – 21 minutes 4.0 6
21-24 minutes 6.7 1
24 – 27 minutes 6.9 1
27 – 30 minutes 7.2 1
30 – 31 minutes 4.0 6
31- 41 minutes 6.5 – 7.4 1
41 – 45 minutes 4.0 1

I hope that makes sense. I liked it quite a bit!

As a side note, here is a cool music video that talks about loving your body the way you are! We all would like to make changes, but it is important to love the body we have been given and embrace it. We are bombarded with so many false images of how women “should” look that we often forget what normal is. So check it out!

Check out for more info!

~What do you love about your body?
*I love that I have a body that can exercise and be pushed and build muscle. It’s pretty amazing!
~Do you prefer hills or sprints?
*I like both at different times. They both work different muscles and give different workouts…and it always feels good when you finish!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Did You Know?

I hope it was a good weekend! I spent a lot of time studying for my next anatomy test this let's hope it pays off!

Before I announce the challenge for the week (that sounds quite formal for this quite informal blog...) I thought I'd share with you some funny "travel taboos" that I read in a magazine this weekend. Not that I'm traveling internationally any time soon, but still!

- never leave your chopsticks vertically in a bowl of rice in Japan. For the Japanese, this is reminiscent of grave markers.
- If you don't flush the toilet in Singapore, you may be charged with a $150 fine!
- Train passengers in Cheshire, England, should avoid overwhelming public displays of affection. "No Kissing" signs frequent the walls of the Warrington Railway Station to keep affectionate couples from delaying travelers.
- When in Egypt, don't put salt on your food unless you want to seriously insult the chef
- In Ukraine, giving an even-numbered bouquet of flowers is considered ill-mannered because they are traditionally used only for funerals (specifically yellow flowers and Easter lilies)

Pretty funny, eh? I enjoyed them. 

So this week the challenge was inspired by my great workout on Saturday! I loved it, so I thought I would challenge you to do something similar. This week, I challenge you to...

do an interval workout!

There are several reasons I LOVE interval workouts. I used to hate the treadmill...until I started doing one or two interval workouts a week. Now I usually do a day of hills and a day of sprints each week. They are great because you really can tailor them to your skill level and workout plan. You can do them on a bike, in a pool, on a run, and even walking. The purpose of interval training is to get your heart rate up quickly, sustain it, and then bring it down quickly, and repeat. It builds lots of endurance, burns tons of calories, and is never boring because you are always switching things up. 

On Wednesday I will share some of my favorite workouts. However, I am always trying new ones that I find on the internet, so don't hesitate to google it up! In general, I always start with a one mile warm up jog to get everything warm. From there I go into my interval sets...either hills or sprints with cool downs and speed changes. 

So give it a try! Push yourself during the hard sets, knowing that recovery is coming soon :)

~Do you have any interval workouts you really like?
~Are you a fan of the treadmill, or do you consider it the "dreadmill"?

Friday, March 4, 2011

March Madness

March is HERE. 
Weird? Yes.
Exciting? Yes yes yes!
 (My excited face! Don't you always tuck your sweatshirt into your sweats?!)

I have quite a few things to look forward to this month:
1. School ends in April. That is the next month
2. Teaching a nutrition class to some athletes next week...thanks Coach Ali!
3. St. Patricks Day! I love green...and St. Patrick's Day parties!
4. Spring Break in Arizona for some quality cousin time and sunshine!
5. Setting new goals for the month! Just like January and February. Yup, we like habits of setting goals!
6. Certifying to be a Spin Instructor!
7. Keep logging my 1,000 miles
8. Warmer weather...which means less driving in the snow!

(I pretty much hate it.)

It's been a good first week.  

~How was your spin class? (if you aren't a fan of spinning, maybe you could try this workout! haha!)
~Any sweet plans for March?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What's Your Excuse?

Pretty sure I'm super stoked for my cycling class today. I hope you have found yourself enjoying a class as well!

I saw this clip online about a week ago and LOVED it. So I thought I would share it with you. On Monday we talked about getting in a rut with exercise...and sometimes we use that as an excuse to not get out there and move our bodies. But really, do we have an excuse? Watch this!

Peace out - talk to you Friday :)

~What excuses do you find yourself using?
~P.S. Have you checked out my mileage for February? Booya!
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