Friday, March 30, 2012

Sugar Secrets

Did you know the average adult consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day? And really we should be limiting that to about 10 teaspoons. A major culprit is the sugar packed soda that is easy to find. But here are a few other ways sugar is sneaking into your diet that you might not have even known about!


1. dried fruit: Dried fruit can be a healthy snack, but many brands pack extra sugar. If you look a the nutrition facts of many dried fruit bags, sugar is listed before the actual fruit. Some fruits has 20 grams of sugar per serving! Eat the real fruit or look for unsweetened varieties instead.


2. yogurt: This isn’t all yogurt, but mostly just the flavored kind you should watch out for.Some contain up to 7 teaspoons of sugar—that’s about three times the amount found in plain yogurt. So get the plain stuff and top it with some fresh or frozen fruit.

3. cereal: We’ve talked about the dangers of this before. A serving of Post or Kellogg’s raisin bran cereal contains nearly 5 teaspoons of sugar. Other healthy-sounding offenders include Kashi’s GOLEAN Crunch! and Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran, which each have close to 4 teaspoons of sugar—that’s more than a Boston cream doughnut. So if you need to have that sweet cereal, eat less than a serving and combine it with a lower sugar option.

4. packaged oatmeal: This breakfast staple can also fill your bowl with sugar. Many flavored packets contain about 14 g—comparable to three Oreos. Try making your own from real oats and then adding honey or a small amount of brown sugar. A much better option!


5. Sports Drinks: A bottle of Vitamin Water packs nearly an entire day’s worth of sugar (33 grams) per bottle, while a 12-ounce serving of Gatorade contains about 21 grams of the sweet stuff. These are great to use when training for intense races or sports, but not on a regular basis.

6. Ketchup: A tablespoon of ketchup contains about a teaspoon of sugar, which means about one-third of each serving is straight-up sugar. Go easy on the condiment the next time you garnish your burger or dog.


7. Energy Bars: Nutrition bars are designed to give your workout a jolt, but if you’re not careful, they can also deliver a major unwanted sugar buzz. For example, a Clif bar serves up about 20 g of sugar, while Luna, NutGo, and Zone bars all have about 14 grams each.

8. Smoothies: Smoothies made entirely from fruits and veggies are a tasty treat that fill you up with vital nutrients and antioxidants. When sherbet and other sugary ingredients are added to the mix, however, you may as well be sipping a milkshake. Jamba Juice sneaks added sugars into its classic smoothies by blending sherbet with other natural ingredients. As a result, some of their cool treats contain more than 60 g of sugar (nearly two days worth) per 16 ounces. Smoothie King also adds sweeteners, resulting in 20-ounce frozen giants that contain a whopping 100 g of sugar—or more.


9. Jelly & Jam: Before you slather fruit spread on your sandwich, keep in mind that, while jams and jellies are made with fruit, the second ingredient is sugar. Two tablespoons will fill you up with about 13 grams.

10. Peanut Butter: Not all peanut butter, but most stuff at the stores does. Take a look at the ingredient list and you will find sugar (among other things) other than peanuts! Try to find a natural variety, and if you need to add a bit of honey to sweeten it up.

*The take-away? Be aware! Read those labels and look for ways to reduce that added sugar that can sneak in to our diets so easily.

Have a safe and fun weekend!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Coconut Lime Cookies

So after cracking open my own coconut, I decided I would use it to make something yummy. And on our counter sat a plethora of limes. So coconut lime cookies were born!

*original recipe found on Peas and Thank You

Coconut Lime Cookies
1 cup oats
3/4 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup white flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 cup shredded coconut
zest of 1 lime
1/3 cup honey or agave
1/4 cup milk
3 T. lime juice
1/4 c. applesauce
1 t. vanilla
1/3 cup chocolate chips
So first thing to do is shred the fresh coconut. You only need about 1/2 cup.

Then in one bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: oats, flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder and coconut. Then zest your lime into the bowl.

Next in a separate bowl mix together the wet ingredients: honey, milk, lime juice, applesauce and vanilla.

Now mix the two bowls together. Once mixed, fold in the chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 11-13 minutes.

They come out a bit flat, I think because of some reaction with the baking powder/baking soda and the lime juice. But they sure taste good!

And it wouldn’t hurt to listen to this song while baking these cookies!
Hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, March 26, 2012


This week in our neighborhood co-op my mom came home with a coconut. Yup. Full on coconut. So of course I started googling to figure out how to crack it open. After some research, I decided to share with you how it went for me. It was much easier than anticipated, but also fun. I felt like I was in Hawaii. For about 2 seconds.

To make the whole process go a bit smoother, the first step is to bake the coconut for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. This starts the process of separating the flesh from the outside shell.

After it is done baking, put it on a sturdy cutting board and get out a hammer and a screw driver. Find the 3 circles. Of the three circles, 2 have a ridge which is called the eyebrow (circled in red) and one doesn’t, called the nose (blue). You want to drill a hole completely through the nose of the coconut and then drill a hole through one of the other circles.


From there, grab a cup and empty the coconut water. This is not milk…you have to make milk from the water.

After that, hold the coconut in your hand with the 3 holes on one side and the other end on the other side. Then with your hammer, hammer down the center as you turn the coconut in your hand. It will start to separate the shell from the inside.

At this point I just went hammer crazy and the whole thing started cracking to open up to the coconut meat.

From here you can find other ways to use your coconut, such as shredding it, blending it, making milk or oil, or pretty much anything. I have a recipe for you on Wednesday!

~Have you ever cracked and used a coconut?

Friday, March 23, 2012

White Bean Chicken Chili

The weather has been so nice the last few weeks! Except for a 3 day spat of SNOW last weekend. Pretty much came out of now where.

But when it snows, its just an excuse to make something warm for dinner, right?

So that is what I did. An easy soup/chili recipe that sat in the crock pot most of the day and was ready to eat whenever! That’s pretty dang nice.

White Bean Chicken Chili

3 cans white cannellini beans
1 T. olive oil
1 jalapeno minced
2 poblano peppers chopped
1 onion chopped
4 garlic cloves
salt & pepper
1 T. cumin
1 1/2 t. coriander
4 cups chicken broth
2 limes juiced
grilled chicken
1/4 c. cilantro


First you need to open the 3 cans of beans and put half in one bowl and half in another (1 1/2 cans). One bowl you will mash the beans until they are more of a paste with some chunks. The second bowl you leave untouched.


Set those aside and in a pot put the olive oil, onion, garlic and peppers. Let the flavors combine for a few minutes until the onion starts to get a bit translucent.


Then add the 4 cups of broth and let those flavors combine until it starts to simmer.

Once it starts to simmer, pour into the crock pot and add your grilled chicken. We had left over chicken from the night before so that is what I used. You can use as much or as little as you would like, depending on the consistency you are looking for. Add the juice of two limes and top with the cilantro.

Let it cook in the crockpot on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-5.


Serve with a sprinkle of cheese and a spoonful of Greek yogurt on top. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Walking Workouts

In the past I have posted a few treadmill walking workouts. Walking workouts are great options for beginners, for cardio days off running, or just for a great workout. However, it is easy to make a walking workout too easy. So here are some tips on how to get the most out of your walks, whether they are inside or outside.

1. Mix up the pace: if you stay at the same pace, whether on the treadmill or out on a path, you aren’t getting the greatest burn. So take a watch or timer with you and walk fast for 1 minute, slow for 1 minute and alternate. You can up the time as you improve, too.


2. Wear good shoes: just like runners need good shoes, your feet need support while walking too.

3. Don’t hold on: if you have to hold on to the treadmill while walking, then you are going to fast or at too much of an incline. The point is to push yourself, and when you hold on, a whole lot of the work is taken out.

4. Use your arms: the faster you move your arms, the faster your legs move. So pump them! It gives you a better workout anyway.


5. Avoid heel striking: when you land on your heel and move forward you are much more prone to injury…try to land in the middle and roll to the balls of your feet

6. Keep your head up: if you are on the treadmill and find yourself leaning too far forward or slouching, you need to realign and stand up straight. You could hurt your back and your workout isn’t as useful.


7. Use hills: if you are outside, seek routes that have some up and down. If you are on the treadmill, always walk with at least a 1% incline and mix it up every few minutes to keep the burn. It is best not to exceed 8% though.

8. Go the distance: this is especially true if you are used to higher intensity workouts (like running or cycling). When you do a walking workout, be sure to put in enough time. It is low impact so your body can handle more, and your body needs a longer time to burn more, so don’t short change it!

Hope these help! Walking is a great option. Here’s 14 walking workouts in case you are looking for some variety.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Half and Half

Nope, we are definitely not talking about this stuff:


Instead, I’ve got a yummy cookie recipe for you using 2 kinds of flour…making up the half and half part! Usually I use all whole wheat or a mostly wheat and some white. I branched out and tried using almond flour!

Instead of going to the store to buy some, though, I just dumped some raw almonds into my blender and blended till I got a nice flour. Pretty dang easy! Just don’t blend for too long, or else you will get almond butter. Which definitely isn’t a bad thing…but just not what you are looking for right now!

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After that, I used both wheat flour and almond flour to make these cookies. Let’s just say they were a hit at home!
*You could use 100% wheat flour, 100% almond flour, or try another flour like coconut or oat to put in this recipe – it is pretty versatile!


Half & Half Cookies
makes about 24 cookies

1 cup almond flour
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 c. honey
1 banana
1/4 c. peanut butter (or almond butter!)
chocolate chips

Mix together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, brown sugar and salt. Then in a separate bowl mix the vanilla, honey, banana and peanut butter. Once mixed, combine with the dry ingredients. Scoop out the dough onto a cookie sheet and top each cookie with a few chocolate chips (you could mix some in, but I found that you use less if you just top with a few, and that is all you need!)

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn!


Let cool, and enjoy!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday’s Favorites

Hi, friends! Here is another round of Friday's Favorites! Hope you have a stellar weekend! I know I’m looking forward to a fun St. Patricks day party and some (hopefully) good weather!

- Emotional eating? I think we could all say we do it. But next time, when your body talks, listen.

- Some get bored eating salad. I could (and do) eat the same thing every day. But for your anti-boring people, here’s 45 Salad Recipes


- So you’re injured. Do you need RICE or POLICE? Interesting new find!


- This Southwest Quinoa Salad looks delicious…and makes me excited for summer and lots of vegetables!


- Here is a new treadmill interval run to try…looks fun to me!

- These Flaxseed Muffins pack 6 grams of protein and some healthy fats!

- Yesterday was National Peanut Lovers Day. Did you know that over 15% of the healthy oils are lost in the process of roasting nuts? Raw people, eat ‘em raw!


- I told you what motivates me. So here is another keep on moving.

Talk to you Monday! I’ve got a yummy new recipe to share :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

BodyMedia FIT CORE Armband

Hey friends, happy Monday! I have some pretty exciting news for you today!

You know when you are trying to lose or maintain weight, or maybe just trying to figure out what works for your body, and you basically are playing a guessing game to figure out how much to eat and how much to exercise? Or what about wondering if you are hitting enough carbs or protein or vitamins and minerals? Well…BodyMedia has come out with a slim arm band that can give you all the answers. All you have to do? Strap it on and go about your day.


BodyMedia offered to send me their CORE armband to try out. My consensus? It is wonderful. It is a bit of an investment ($179.99) if you aren’t looking to lose a ton of weight. But if you feel like you are stuck in a rut or really want to jump start your weight loss, the CORE armband is perfect for you.

It is super simple to use. After putting in your information online by plugging it in to the computer, you simply strap on the armband and wear it for a day. You place the armband on your upper left arm, snug but comfortable, and once you hear a series of beeps, you know that it has started tracking your information for the day. 

Capturing over 5000 data points per minute using four sophisticated sensors, this seriously smart device tracks everything from calories burned, steps taken and levels of physical activity to sleep. BodyMedia FIT Armbands give you the most accurate calorie burn in the market, and the technology used in the BodyMedia system has been clinically proven to improve weight loss by 3x!


At the end of the day, plug it into your computer by using the USB cable and your information will pop up. You can then input your daily food intake and it will show your calorie balance. Better yet, there is a BodyMedia FIT Mobile App for food logging and updates throughout the day!



When you receive the BodyMedia FIT CORE Armband, you are given a 3-month trial subscription to the online Activity Manager. After the first 3 months, a subscription will cost you $6.95/month, and is required in order to continue using and tracking your information from the armband.

I have some great news for you readers!

BodyMedia has offered a discount to all Trisha’s Training Tidbits readers! You can get 15% off your order now through March 19th by using the code BMTIDBITS

Let me know if you decide to try it out – people are having great success with it!

~What helps you stay on track or lose weight the most?

Friday, March 9, 2012


Did you know Wednesday was National Cereal Day? Pretty sweet, huh! Sorry I didn’t tell you in time to celebrate. Next year…mark it on your calendar.

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But someone’s gotta get the word out. 

So here’s the deal. Have your kids ever asked for cookies for breakfast? Or maybe the leftover cake from their birthday party? I’m guessing you said no. But guess what…many children’s cereals have just as much sugar as dessert. And sometimes more!

EWG reviewed 84 popular cereal brands.
Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, at nearly 56 percent sugar by weight, leads the list of high-sugar cereals, according to EWG’s analysis. A one-cup serving of Honey Smacks packs more sugar than a Hostess Twinkie, and one cup of any of 44 other children’s cereals has more sugar than three Chips Ahoy! cookies.
One cup of any of three popular children’s cereals contains more sugar than a twinkie: Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, Post Golden crisp, and General Mills Wheaties Fuel.

One cup of any of 44 children’s cereals – including Honey Nut Cheerios, Apple Jacks, and Cap’n Crunch – contains more sugar than 3 chips ahoy! cookies.

A box of Post Golden Crisp has more than one cup of sugar for 15 servings. A batch of 30 homemade sugar cookies only requires one cup of sugar.
10 Worst Children’s Cereals (based on percent sugar by weight)
Kellogg’s Honey Smacks 55.6%
Post Golden Crisp 51.9%
Kellogg’s Froot Loops Marshmallow 48.3%
Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries 46.9%
Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Original 44.4%
Quaker Oats Oh!s 44.4%
Kellogg’s Smorz 43.3%
Kellogg’s Apple Jacks 42.9%
Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries 42.3%
Kellogg’s Froot Loops Original 41.4%

EWG did offer steps on how to get a healthy breakfast into your kids, in place of those sugary cereals.
1. Avoid cereals that don’t meet nutritional guidelines. This can include too much sugar, too much sodium, too much fat, not enough fiber, or not made of whole grains.
2. Choose healthy cereals. Of the big brands, Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats: Unfrosted Bite-Size, Frosted Big Bite, Frosted Bite-Size, Frosted Little Bite
General Mills Cheerios Original, and General Mills Kix Original meet guidelines. Nature’s Path Organic also offers great options such as: Optimum Banana
Almond, Optimum Cranberry Ginger, Corn Puffs, Kamut Puffs, Millet Puffs, and Rice Puffs.
3. Look for three things on cereal labels. Short ingredient list, high in fiber, and cereals with few or no added sugars and colors.
4. Make a good breakfast at home. This can include oatmeal, fruits smoothies, green smoothies, eggs (scrambled, omelet, hard-boiled)
5. Follow three steps for a healthy breakfast. Foods with fiber or protein will sustain your child until the next meal or snack. Include a serving of seasonal fresh fruit or vegetables (frozen works as well). Skip the fruit juice—just eat the fruit!

The take-away? A sugary cereal every now and then won’t kill you. But to be eating that every day can really effect your child’s ability to work in school, stay energized, and have a healthy diet. So be aware of what is that box you pull of the shelf, and consider making some healthy switches.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Ever looking for a way to make a quick yet delicious dish? I have some great news for you. Just try adding OOPS.

Oh, you don’t know what OOPS is?

Olive Oil, Pepper & Salt (sea salt, please).

Seriously, it is all you need.

Put it on spaghetti squash, sliced red potatoes, some fresh salmon, sweet potatoes, kale chips, asparagus…you name it. It is a simple and healthy way to add flavor to your food.



As far as cooking method, you can even mix that up. Toss your potatoes in a little olive oil, spread them on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with pepper and salt and roast for 20-30 minutes.


You can grill your fish or asparagus after applying OOPS.


You can microwave your sweet potato and flavor with OOPS.


The possibilities are endless! Add some OOPS to your life :)

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