Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bella's Half Birthday

Hard to believe that our baby girl turned 6 months old on Sunday! Where has the time gone? We spent the day together as a family, as we do every Sunday. We  try to spend all day on Sundays the 3 of us...doing everything together since its the only day of the week that we are all home. It was Brett's birthday as well, so we went to lunch with David, Rebecca, Brett & Grant at PF Changs and then spent the rest of the day hanging out at home. Nothing too exciting, but those days are the best sometimes:)

We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Anastasia Kensington Raymont, Megan and Max's baby girl who is due tomorrow! I do believe Megan is in the early stages of labor as I type this and I am very excited for them. They are *very* dear friends of ours and I can't wait to meet this little girl! 

Friday, March 27, 2009

Recipe of the Week

Provolone Chicken Melts

4 6oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
4 slices whole wheat or multigrain bread
1 large garlic clove, cut in half
1 whole roasted bell pepper (from a jar), cut into 4 pieces
4 slices of reduced fat provolone cheese (or any other 2% flavor of your choice)
salt and pepper

Heat oven to broil. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper; heat 2 tsp of oil in large nonstick skillet and saute chicken until cooked about 5 mins per side. Transer to plate. 
Lay bread slices on baking sheet, drizzle with remaining oil and rub with the cut sides of the garlic clove. discard garlic. Place under broiler until toasted, about 1 minute.
Top each bread slice with 1 pepper piece, 1 chicken breast, and 1 cheese slice. Broil until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Serve warm.

4 servings.
350cals, 12g fat, 49g protein, 13g carbs, 2g fiber, 340mg sodium

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Recipe Share, Bella & exciting news:)

Hello hello! A fun new recipe for you all to try first: 
Chicken Tamale Pie

1c shredded 2% mexican blend cheese
1/3c ff milk
1/4c egg beaters or egg whites
1 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp red pepper, ground
1 can of cream-style corn
1 box corn muffin mix (8.5oz)
1 4oz can of chopped green chilis, drained
cooking spray
1 10oz can of red enchilada sauce
2c shredded cooked chicken breast (or you can used canned if you are in a time crunch)
1/2c low fat sour cream

Preheat oven to 400. Combine 1/4c cheese and next 7 ingredients (through chilies) in bowl and stirl until moist. Pour mixture into sprayed 13X9 baking dish. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until set. Pierce entire surface with a fork, pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken. Sprokile remainder 3/4c cheese. Bake at 400 for 15 mins or until cheese melts. Remove from oven, cut into 8 pieces. Top each piece with 1 tbsp sour cream.

354 calories, 14g fat, 19g protein, 2.5g fiber, 36g carbs

Other news...

Bella will be going to the doctor on Friday for her 6 month appointment. I can't believe it! We also got to meet Elijah this week; AJ and Katie's new baby. He is adorable! I attached a picture of them together :) 

Other exciting news...

I just learned that my Nutrition Specialist certification has now been accredited by the American Academy of Sports Dieticians and Nutritionists! This is very elite, and  very exciting because its a certified body that is insured and backed my licensed nutritionists. I am hoping to get the Nutrition Manager certification next, which would also give me licensing to use software to help my clients further. I'm pretty excited about this! 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Diet Coke Cake

I've heard of using this before but I had never tried it. I decided to use my friends Megan, Windi and Marie my guinea pigs to try this recipe out and they approved! 

1 box chocolate cake mix (but can use any flavor)
1 can diet coke
2 egg whites

Mix together, bake according to cake directions! I made cupcakes out of the them. Yummy alone or top with light cool whip! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thai Chicken for Crockpot

Another recipe to share this week :)

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4c salsa
1/4c natural peanut butter
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp ginger
2tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Place chicken in crockpot. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Remover chicken and if sauce is very thin, add 1tbsp cornstarch. Pour sauce over chicken and serve warm!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mock Mashed Potatoes

A sneaky way to get more veggies...with less calories than regular mashed potatoes!

Mock Mashed Taters

4 cups of cauliflower florets
1 oz fat free half and half
1 tbsp butter 
pinch salt
pinch pepper

Steam or microwave the cauliflower until soft. Puree in food processor, add butter and half and half to taste. Season with salt and pepper.

Big Ten Champs!

This past weekend Bella rooted on Purdue as the new Big Ten Champs! She was pretty excited:) She also went out to dinner with us with our friends, Basilios and Angela. We got to use a giftcard to Bella Vita and enjoyed yummy food! Bella did such a great job and sat in the highchair like a big girl and played with her toys. It amazes me how big she is getting every day. I can't believe its already been almost 6 months since I had her. As much as we have watching her grow and interacting with her, it makes me a bit sad. It goes way too fast! 

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bella update...

She's sleeping 12 hours at night, rolling both directions, she's scooting, she's squealing, she's smacking her lips, clicking he tongue, getting hereself stuck into small places in the living room (hahaha), laughing outloud at the dogs ALL the time, using her strong "baby abs" to try and sit herself up, sitting unsupported for about 3 minutes at a time, responding to her name, singing and yet she continues to amaze me everyday! 

I made her some new food this week... things she is going to try this week: peas and pears! Things she has had so far: oatmeal, rice cereal, apples, bananas, green beans, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, peaches and avocado. Her favorites are DEFINITELY sweet potatoes and bananas! 

We also had a mommy group this past weekend at my friend Jessica's house. Jessica has a daughter named Jasmine, who is 9 months old. It was so fun to see them play together! Elaine with 2 month old Dylan was there and a very pregnant Megan as well! Next time we get together, Anastasia will be joining us!!

The Grocery Game Update Week 9

I love saving money :)

Total savings this week:

Kroger: Spent $38.89, saved $48.70!!
Meijer: Spent $63.36, saved $27.49!!

Total: Spent $102.25, saved $76.19!!!!! YAHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! :) Thats a 45% savings!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Link to my Mashed Sweet Potatoes Recipe!

Fitness DVD Review

I'm constantly asked about what at home DVDs I would recommend for exercising. My answer is simple, if you enjoy it, then do it! Thats key to sticking with something. I do like having some DVDs at home, because they are always there and they can be an easy way to fit exercise in when you don't have transportation, a gym membership or if you have kids. I will say though, that getting yourself out of the house has many advantages and many people have really expensive fitness equipment that never gets used because they need the accountability of someone else or the fact that they are paying for a membership somewhere. However, there are some really good DVDs out there. So here goes what I've tried. Changing your workouts frequently is necessary for consistent results though, I have found!

TurboJam: www.turbojam.com : This is the at-home version of Turbo-Kick which is the class I teach. Its fun! A mixture of kickboxing and dance, the music is good and Charlene is great. Think Tae-Bo minus that funny clothes and dorky music. Its a great workout. Not as tough as Turbokick, but it gets the job done. My favorites are Cardio Party 3, Cardio Party Remix and Punch Kick Jam.  I did this workout throughout my entire pregnancy.

Cathe: www.cathe.com; she does a lot of step and strength but this gal is tough! Thanks to my friend Tina, I discovered Cathe and I think she is one of the toughest collection of at-home workouts out there. Definitely check it out if this is your thing! 

TaeBo: Billy Blanks... I have a soft spot in my heart for Taebo since I was one who became part of the craze back in the 90s. It helped me shed some weight and have fun working out for the first time. I don't find the workouts hard enough for me anymore and the music is dorky but I have heard wonderful things of his Amp workouts! 

10 minute solutions: This collection is a great addition. Quick workouts for abs etc; Not enough by itself, but a good addition. 

Do you have another DVD you'd like me to review for you? Send me a comment and I'll see what I can do! 

The Grocery Game

Those of you who haven't heard about the Grocery Game, should! Check out www.thegrocerygame.com to ready all about it. I've become obsessed with saving money and getting good deals and this system totally works! Did you know that if you go to get something on sale, and they are all out, you can ask the store for a raincheck.. .then go back when the shelves are stocked and get it all?? Seriously, it rocks!!! I have to thank my friend Amy Abell for introducing the program to me. It takes about 12 weeks to start seeing the savings and we are in week 9, and finally starting to see the results! I have more meat, veggies, and cheese in my freezer than I have ever had before (and paper products too!) and its so nice! I will start posting my spending and savings on here to share with all of you. We already went to Kroger this week. At Kroger we spent $39.38 and we saved $48.70!!!!! Today is my Mejier day and I will also stop by CVS and Walgreens if needed. I'll keep you posted. My goal is to keep our weekly grocery bill under $100. :)

Raising a healthy Family

When Bella was born almost 6 months ago, suddenly Jerry and I's life was no longer all about the two of us anymore. Its all about her. Our top priority is making sure that she is healthy, loved and taken care of. The minute I found out I was pregnant I promised myself that I would raise a healthy child... that I would not pressure her to fit into a "standard" of thinness and that I would teach her to love and respect herself. I also promised myself that I would serve her healthy meals and introduce her to an active lifestyle early on. Not for "looks" but to be healthy.

I know she is only 6 months old, and we have a long road ahead of us, but I was just thinking about this this morning. For those of you who don't know, I am making my own baby food for Bella. And as I was steaming peas this morning and baking a sweet potato in the oven, I was just thinking that I sure hope she still enjoys eating these vegetables when she's 5. I don't know who I'm kidding... haha!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Foods that are not used enough!

Mandy's Top 10 list of foods people forget about...

1. Butternut squash..
. I seriously had forgotten about this one. Super low cal, TASTY, high fiber and lots of nutrients. Bella loves it and so do I!

2. Canned Pumpkin... if you don't have any in your pantry right now, go get some. So versitile for desserts, breakfast and dinners. 

3. Apples.... probably one of the easiest and downright necessary snacks to have in the house!

4. Oatmeal... Plain ol' Quaker Oats. Not the instant. Not the sugar-filled packets. One of the slowest digesting carbs out there, oatmeal is SO good for you. I spice mine up with some Splenda and frozen berries every morning. Think outside the cereal box! I'm also able to use these same oats to make Bella some!

5. Frozen Chicken Breasts... Um hello! Think Staple!! This puppies are cheap if bought on sale, and you won't have to worry about them going bad any time soon. You can throw them in a crockpot easily and they are done by dinnertime!

6. Cottage Cheese... the low fat kind. And again, think outside the box. Cottage cheese is low fat, low carb and tasty. You don't have to eat it plain. Its got so many choices!! You can use it in pasta dishes. You can eat it by itself. Mix in fruit. Mix in tomatoes. Or my favorite weird concoction... blend with natty pb and some sweetner for a "pudding" that is healthy! 

7. Egg Whites... by the box.... these things are super duper easy and pasturized. Saves you time from seperating eggs. Nothing is wrong with a whole egg but if you are watching your cholesterol and short on time, the egg whites in liquid form are a must-have. Hardly a day goes by that I don't utilize these. 

8. Frozen Veggies... Many people tell me they don't buy vegetables because they go bad quickly. This is true. I buy lots of frozen veggies to help this. Broccoil, peas, lima beans, asparagus, diced green peppers, onions. You name it, I've got it. We now have vegetable for every lunch and dinner in our house. And I can often find them at Kroger or Meijer in the 10 for $10 deals!! 

9. Milk. What they say is true. Nonfat milk does a body good. Don't forget about it! 

10. Beans. These things are good for you. Yes, you can overeat beans, but a serving or two a day are good fibrous carbs that are filling and full of nutrients. My favorites include kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans and garbanzo beans (chick peas!). Eat them on salads, in wraps, in chili or roasted by themselves! Yum!

Bella the scooter...

Bella has now discovered she can scoot backwards. And quickly. This morning I put her down in the middle of the living room and by the time I turned back around, she was in between the loveseat and the chair... hahaha! 

I guess this is a sign for things to come ;)

Fitting Fitness in your busy life...

I often get asked how to find time to fit exercise into your life. Not everyone works at a gym, not everyone enjoys exercising for that matter... and not everyone makes it a priority. Thats okay. I am fully aware that not everyone shares the same passion for fitness and health that I have. But the one thing I like to emphasize for everyone I talk to about this is that you can make time for YOU. And you should. Being active is going to give you more confidence, which in turn is going to make you WANT to be more active which boosts your immune system and helps you lead a healthier, longer life. 

The new guidelines for exercise have increased. Minimum recommendations for health is 60 minutes most days of the week. This number is daunting, but remember this does not mean that you need to walk on the treadmill for an hour everyday! This is total activity. So here are the things that can be added into your 60 minutes/day:

-parking further away from the door in a parking lot That walking COUNTS!
-playing with your kids and/or animals
-grocery shopping
-walking the dog
-taking the stairs instead of the elevator

ALL of these things count into that. So I bet most of you, unless you are sitting at your computer all day long are getting more activity than you realize. And if you have a desk job-- take a break in between calls or clients and walk around the building. C'mon skip the elevator! Research shows that people who do these small things actually have better overall fitness levels and weight management than those that try to just get it in at the gym. While the gym most definitely counts in these numbers, its not everything. And this is important to remember.

So get moving everyone!

Bridal Bootcamp at PUSH

If you live in the Indy area and are getting married soon... 

Bridal Bootcamp includes

*6 PUSH-IT! classes (group personal training)
*3 individual personal training sessions
*1 60 minute nutritional coaching session 
*accountability & support

Contact me for more details :)

Camp Wellness!

Those of you that know me well know that Camp Wellness has been a big part of my career since I started at PUSH Fitness. I came up with the name, the concept and have lead the team as well. Its been a huge success so far and I don't think I've talked enough about it. Camp WEllness is different from every other weight loss "program" out there. Its more about lifestyle changes, and helping you set up changes that are realistic and help you see results ongoing. It includes group personal training, individual personal training, individual nutrition coaching, behavior coaching, group field trips (grocery store and restaurant) and friendship. 

The first camp of '09 had 3 enthusiastic campers. I love these ladies. They all did awesome. At the end of the 6 weeks, Member A lost a total of 12 pounds and 24 inches. Member B lost a total of 8 pounds and 12 inches and Member C lost a total of 6 pounds and 12 inches. All 3 ladies are not done... they are continuing to eat well and workout with me! 

Push-It Baby Bootcamp!

Those of you with babies... I'm now teaching a Mommy & Me bootcamp class! I am so excited about this and Bella is too :)

Here are the details...

$50 for a package of 5 classes. You have 10 weeks to use your classes (use it or lose it). Anyone and everyone welcome, you do NOT have to be a member of PUSH to take part in this!

Let me know if you are interested and I can give you more details. The first class is scheduled to take place Thursday mornings from 9-10am. 

More pictures of Bella...

Just sharing the love!

Lean Turkey Chili.. by popular request!

1lb lean ground turkey
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 large (16oz) can crushed tomatoes
dash of garlic powder
dash of chili powder
pinch of brown sugar
bag of frozen chopped green pepper
bag of frozen chopped onion

This recipe can be made in crockpot or alone. If using crockpot, just throw all ingredients in crockpot and cook for 6-8 hours. If not using crockpot, brown turkey first, then transfer to pot and add rest of ingredients and simmer till warm. 

Pesto Chicken

Another quick and easy recipe! I modified this recipe from a cookbook I own :) 

Pesto Chicken

1/2c store bought pesto 
chicken, boneless & skinless
1/2c low fat mozerella cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Spray baking dish. Spread 1/4c pesto on bottom of dish. Add chicken. Top with remaining pesto. Top with foil and bake for 30 minutes. CAREFULLY remove foil and add cheese. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes.

Taco Crockpot Chicken

Here is a recipe to share with all of you:) Yum yum yummy! I have become a fan of the crockpot since I became a new Mommy. Fast, healthy and easy!!

Taco Crockpot Chicken
4 boneless skinless frozen or fresh chicken breasts
1 packet low sodium taco seasoning
1 cup salsa
1 bag frozen chopped onions
1/2c low fat sour cream
1 cup low sodium chicken broth

Place chicken, seasoning, onion, salsa and broth in crockpot. Cook for 6-8 hours. Add sour cream and stir. Serve warm!

March Madness

Hey all!

Here we are in March already, can you believe it? Bella is going on 6 months old already. I don't know where the time has gone. She is beautiful and growing and has 2 teeth to show for it. She is also eating lots of Mommy's homemade baby foods already, including sweet potatoes, green beans, butternut squash, bananas, applesauce, peaches and oatmeal. So far she pretty much loves everything... although her favorites are definitely sweet potatoes and bananas so far :)

My best friend Megan is quickly approaching her due date of her baby girl Anastasia Kensington... we can't wait to meet her! If you are reading this, please keep Megan and Max in your prayers for a safe and easy delivery! They are going to make wonderful parents!

My mom also turned 50 this past weekend. She is the cutest 50 year old you ever did see :) Seriously though she doesn't look a day over 40, and I'll stand by that statement, thank you very much!! We had a wonderful party for her where we all had a great time. 

Other news.... I'm going to begin posting lots of my fitness and nutrition updates on my blog as well. Its a big part of my life, so I figure I can share it with all of you! Things at PUSH are growing well and my first Camp Wellness of 2009 ended with fabulous results!

The new things at PUSH that I'm a part of these days are Camp Wellness (a 6 week weight loss and lifestyle program), Bridal Bootcamp (a 6 week bootcamp package to help you get buff for your special day), Push It! group training classes ($12/class...personal trianing in a group setting limited to 6 per class so you still get personal attention at a cheaper rate)... and Push It! Baby Bootcamp ... which is MY baby..a stroller based fitness class priced at $10/class. Let me know if you are interested in any of the above!

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