Friday, January 27, 2012

Healthy Tips for Everyone!

Ok so last week I quickly learned that my work computers are not updated enough to keep up with the new Blogger website. I knew I had to write a new post, however, so I took to a Word document. I ended up writing 3 so bear with me as I try to play catch up...At least I got it done, right?

So recently, I took it upon myself to sign up for a bunch of races to make sure I stick with my goals this year. I am so excited to add to my race list (as well as get some tax write- offs!) and am determined to have them keep me accountable. Some of the races I am going to be running in include a Valentine’s Day race, a race that supports domestic violence, Warrior Dash, a 10K race my high school sponsors, and the Tough Mudder. These are only to name a few. New races come out every week it seems but I will keep you all up-to-date on the races!

So we are now, almost one month into the new year. Have you kept with your resolution/goals? As everyone says, “It takes 21 days to form a habit.” Are you stuck with it now?? Well, whether you are new to the fitness/exercise world or have been knowledgeable for years, everyone could use some fast tips on how to lose that fat! I wanted to share some with all of you so you can drop that last 5 pounds or even a whole dress size! J

Food Tips

·         Get creative with your lean proteins! If you can, try lean turkey, venison, or even bison. Put the grilled red meat over a salad for a low-calorie, protein-packed meal!

·         Try a milk alternative. Swap out cow’s milk for an unsweetened almond milk in your cereal for a lower calorie/lower sugar substitute.

·         Eat breakfast- and make it high-protein! This gives you the fuel to conquer the day . You can also help yourself feel fuller longer and prevent you from getting those cravings around mid-morning!

·         Plan a healthy dinner party with some friends! Everyone can bring one of their favorite recipes and bring recipe on an index card for you to add to your own collection!

·         Drink water before every meal. This can help you consume fewer calories!

·         Snack smart! Load up that huge bag (that every girl has and every girl knows they all become bottomless pits!) with baggies of pre-made almonds, trail mix, string cheese, berries, etc. If you are running late, caught in traffic, or can’t leave your desk, these will help you with the need to stop at a fast-food restaurant!

·         Getting a sweet tooth craving? Indulge in nature’s candy- berries! Have a small bowl of them with a tablespoon of whipped cream and dig in!

·         Make it a point to have a shake after each workout! (You should indulge in some kind of whey protein once a day!)

·         Take your time! If you eat too fast, you are not giving your brain enough time to realize that you are full. This can cause overeating and an increase in caloric intake.

Fitness Tips

·         Heat things up! Try a hot version of Pilates or yoga to get the sweat flowing and the metabolism boosted!

·         Replace two long distance running sessions a week with a HIIT running intervals.

·         Invest in a pair of great running shoes. You’ll be able to workout harder, longer, and your feet will thank you in the long run (No pun intended)!

·         Love to hate burpees. Adding them into your workout (between a set or in a series of plyometric moves) packs that extra “oomph!”

·         Run the stairs at a local high school stadium. Too cold? Use the stairs in your gym, house, or apartment. Hellooooo glutes!

·         Take shorter rests between sets to keep your heart rate up (you burn more calories!)

·         If you hate running (like me) just know that you don’t have to run a marathon to burn fat. Start with 20 minutes and work from there!

·         Change things up! Varying the intensity, weights, reps, and sets of your workouts will kick your metabolism into high gear!

·         Make time for fitness. Whether that’s at 7am or 7pm, get it in! Make your workouts fit into your schedule!

·         Break out of your shell! Try a workout or an exercise you have never done before. (Anyone up for pole dancing??)

·         Split your training by doing cardio in the morning and weights in the evening. More energy without feeling like you live at the gym!

·         Try CrossFit, a program that incorporates endurance, plyometrics, calisthenics, lifting, and gymnastics.

·         Commit to a 5K. Prepare yourself by making short term goals and a training schedule. Ask some friends to join you!

·         Give it a rest. Overtraining is stressful on your body and can be dangerous. Make sure to give yourself at least one day off a week.

·         If you think you’re working out hard enough, work out harder!

Life Tips

·         Get that beauty sleep!  Sleeping for 7-8 hours every night is key to weight loss. Getting an extra 30min. of sleep can also help you make smarter choices, food wise.

·         Keep a strong support group around you at all times. If you feel weak or not motivated at all, call them and voice your concerns. Their job is to remind you of your goals and encourage you to get the job done!

·         Take an adventure vacation! Let’s face it, as much as we would all love to be sitting on a beach drinking a Pina Colada, there are more active ways to enjoy time off! Try hiking through Yellowstone Park or take up skiing/snowboarding!

·         Take progress photos! Start with a “before” photo and continue every 4 weeks. Though you may not notice a change at first, photos don’t lie!

·         Host a workout clothes/DVD swap with some friends! Leave behind the worn out stuff! One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

·         Keep a food diary. Holding yourself accountable helps you stay consistent with your program and reminds you when you are falling off the wagon.

·         Don’t compare yourself with others- especially fitness models. Each one of us is beautiful no matter what our size is- be happy with you and the rest will follow!

·         Stay positive! Determination is everything! You can do anything you set your mind to! 

So there you have it. Just some tips to help you keep your eye on the prize!

I hope you all are logging in your #jogforjanuary time! Winner gets their own GOSportID and maybe a couple of surprises from me! I am excited to also soon post about another product review/giveaway for Think Thin bars , my Foodie Penpal exchange, and our 3rd monthly #BMOREToned social event :) Stay tuned!

I hope you go out there and accomplish those goals and resolutions...on your own two feet...

Until the next step bloggers...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Food Fight!!

Ok so you have probably heard many different theories about different foods and how they are good for you and what they accomplish in your body and so on and so on, right? Well, which "like foods" would win in a battle i.e. tuna v. salmon? Cow v. goat milk?

Let's get ready to rumble!

Popcorn kernels v. Microwave popcorn

Usually this tasty treat gets a bad rap because of the nasty movie theater butter option, however, if properly prepared, it can be a great, low-calorie snack! Popped kernels are packed with fiber, but stick to those found in jars or bulk bins. The bagged versions can have a load of carcinogens in the packaging, not to mention a load on your wallet.

Get creative: Fancy it up! Top your popcorn with curry powder, cayenne pepper, old bay, smoked salt, or grated dark chocolate to satisfy other cravings!

Whole Wheat Bread v. Rye Bread

Many of us believe that whole wheat bread is the greatest thing on Earth. But did you know that rye bread has almost twice as much fiber per slice?? For us ladies especially, keeping our fiber levels up can help with controlling our weight, keeping a healthy digestive tract, and maintaining blood sugar. Make sure to look for "rye meal" or "whole rye flour" as the main ingredient though! There are many impostors out there!

The Champ? RYE BREAD
Get creative: Use rye to make sandwiches or as your toast in the morning!

Goat's Milk v. Cow's Milk

Sure they both have essential amino acids needed for muscle building, but goat's milk also contains omega-3 fatty acids AND the bone-building trio: calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Lactose intolerant? Goat milk contains less lactose in its protein!

The Champ? GOAT'S MILK
Get creative: Use it in cereal, coffee, or smoothies!

Frozen v. Fresh Blueberries

Besides the price difference, frozen actually has more health benefits than you may think. Frozen fruit is usually known to be picked at peak ripeness and then soon after frozen. This is known to lock in antioxidants, flavor, and nutrients.

Get creative: Toss berries into oatmeal, smoothies, or pancake batters to give your meal a little more "oopmh!"

Canned Tuna v. Canned Salmon

I hate to break it to you but salmon ranks superior in this battle. It contains higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids as well as Vitamin D.

Get creative: Use canned salmon instead of beef when making meatloaf or cooking burgers!

Green bell v. Red bell pepper

No contest here, too! Ok so red bell peppers are just green peppers that have ripened, but they also have TONS more Vitamin C and beta-carotene (helps boost your immune system)! Higher intake in Vitamin C can reduce your risk of upper respiratory tract infections too! In these cold months, you need all the help you can get, right?

Get creative: Add slices of this sucker to salads, tacos, sandwiches, salsa, and slaws!

The champions have spoken! We have our winners and all with good reason!

Have you checked out my Jog for January challenge ?? Keep up with it for your chance to win a GOSportID !

So when it comes to a battle of the foods, I hope you notice what is better for you. Though all of these are/can be healthy choices, it is always good to know which ones are the best so that you can live life to the fullest... and on your own two feet...

Until the next step bloggers...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Running 101

Ok so I am not a huge runner. To be honest... I hate running. I get bored so easily. Am I the only one who feels like they have A.D.D., and when I start concentrating on something else, lose focus on things like breathing, pace, and time?  Ugh. When I do cardio, I always do circuit cardio. I have to switch it up every 10-15 minutes or else I would never get through a workout.

However, if someone would have told me things I needed to know before starting to run in general, it probably would have helped me out a lot. So that is what I am here to do for all of you beginning runners! :) Hopefully this will help you newbies get off your couch and go!

1. Go shopping. Though running requires a very little amount of equipment, it is still important to get the best and most supportive. To be honest? All you will really need is a great pair of running shoes and a great sports bra. Look up a running specialty store and get fitted in person.

2. Start out easy. Running can be an extremely challenging physical activity. When starting out, stick to a flat path or run on a treadmill without an incline. Why make it more difficult for yourself?

3. Set a personal goal. Aim to run a certain number of miles or minutes a week. Use short and long term goals to help keep yourself accountable. Make sure they are reasonable and attainable. After a couple of months, register yourself for a 5k. 

4. Warm up and cool down. Easing your body into a run can help you sustain enough effort to keep pushing through the pavement. You should start and finish each run with about three minutes of walking. 

5. Follow the three-week rule. Doing too much too soon is the number one reason why people will quit a new running program. Stick with a routine you are comfortable with for at least three weeks. Give your body time to adapt before amping your running rules. 

6. Walk, run-walk, then run. Start by walking several times a week for about 30 minutes. Gradually throw some running in there (15-60 seconds worth) for every three minutes of walking. Slowly but surely, you will start to run more and walk less! 

7. Take the talk test. Remember that you are starting out easy. If you are alone, try to recite Happy Birthday, the ABC's, or the Pledge of Allegiance a few times. If you are struggling to get the words out, you're running too hard.

8. Track your progress. Many people I have talked to say that keeping a log or a journal is a great way to see where you have been and where you want to go. Things to include? Your pace, your time, and how you felt to see if what you are doing is working for you.

9. Mix in activities you love. Once you get the hang of a fitness routine, you should start cross-training. Trying classes like yoga, pilates, or just getting outdoors for some biking gets you moving without letting your body become tired or bored.

10. Have fun! We have all heard that exercising with friends helps you stick with a program. Many employers, gyms, or even running stores offer beginner's programs or running groups. You can meet new people and have a great time!

Runner's Slang
Runners can sometimes sound like they have their own language. Here are some "must-knows"...

Chip: A timing device built into a race bib number or can be attached to your shoe that clocks exactly when you crossed the start and finish lines.

Chub rub: Chafing that is caused by the upper thighs rubbing together that can be painful.

Negative split: When a runner finishes the second half of a run/race faster than they did the first half.

PR: A "personal record" or best time for a certain distance.

Speedwork: Hard workouts, often done on tracks, that includes fast-paced intervals or sprints.

Tempo run: When a runner sustains a comfortably hard effort for an extended period of time.

So there you have it. Running 101 in a nutshell. Get out there and get moving!...on your own two feet...

Until the next step bloggers...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Timing is Everything!

Thank God that I saved my Nutrition book from the class that I took! I forgot it had so much information in it that could be so helpful to me right now! So I decided to do some searching and researching as far as workouts and snack were concerned. If I could snack all day, I would! But if you are like most people who forget to include snacks in your daily diet, than this is the post for you!

Of course we all want more energy throughout the day so when it comes time for our workout, we accomplish great things. Well, when it comes to supporting that active body of yours, eating foods at the right time can make all the difference.

It is important to know and understand how timing nutrient intake and eating the right foods affect your sweat sessions.

Morning Snack

What's the goal? Boost your energy! You never want to be running on empty and risk an unstable blood sugar level. Eat a small, rich meal with carbohydrates that doesn't spike the blood sugar.

1 slice whole-grain bread + 1 Tbl. natural peanut butter + 1 cup protein-fortified skim milk

1 packet plain oatmeal made with 1 cup low-fat milk + 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 med whole-grain tortilla + 2 Tbl. hummus + 2 tomato slices + 4 cucumber slices + 1 oz. tuna (opt)

Afternoon Snack

What's the goal? Slow down those cravings and restore sugar levels! Do you get those afternoon slumps when you are constantly looking at the clock and yawning every 5 minutes? Snacking two hours after lunch has its benefits! It helps keep your blood sugars normal which will help keep you from munching on those vending machine goodies. Make sure it contains fiber, some protein, and healthy fats as it will help slow down digestion and provides a slower release of energy. Sugary sweets release a big gush of energy which causes you to be tired earlier.

1 small pita + 3 oz. chicken breast + 1/2 cup cucumber slices + 1 slice tomato

1/2 cup whole-grain couscous + 4 oz. cubed tofu + 1/2 cup broccoli + 1 tsp olive oil +
1 Tbl. balsamic vinegar

Before your Workouts

What's the goal? Energize those sweat sessions! Eat a carb-rich snack within an hour or two of your gym time and you'll be able to go harder and consequently, burn more calories. Make sure to drink water with this snack as well to improve your strength and performance at the gym!

If you are doing a strength training session, your gym time utilizes muscle carbs as a fuel source, so keeping yourself "fueled" is essential. Heidi Skolnik, a dietitian and author, says that you should "aim for 15-25 grams of carbs before weight training." Are you working out first thing in the morning? You should add 6-15 grams of protein to the mix.

1 slice of toasted rye bread + 2 Tbl. hummus + 1 sliced hard-boiled egg on top + 8 baby carrots
20 unsalted dry-roasted almonds + 1 cup mixed berries
1 cup vegetable soup + 3 small whole-grain crackers + 1/2 cup applesauce
3 rye crisp crackers + 1/2 cup cottage cheese + 1 small piece of fruit

During your Workouts

Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! It is a must, especially when your resistance training sessions are back-to-back with cardio. However, if you are one of those people with a "fast metabolism" and it's hard for you to gain muscle (I wish I had your genes!) you should have some carbs during a workout, whether it be a sports drink or energy bar. Small amount of protein wouldn't hurt either, though!

After your Workouts

What's the goal? Repair and jump start muscle recovery! Up to an hour post sweat, your muscles are like sponges waiting to refill those sugar stores. Make sure it contains carbs and protein with low fat.

Known as the "window of opportunity," this definitely is not the time to miss a meal! You should be replenishing fuel stores and jump start your body's repair and rebuilding by eating some carbs and protein within ONE HOUR of your last rep! Carb replenishment is based on the intensity and duration of your sweat session, but you usually need about 45-65 grams post-workout. Whole foods work great for this, but supplements (like a whey protein shake) works wonders as well if you are in a hurry!

Chicken and Acorn Squash Tacos
(510 calories, 54g carbs, 37g protein)

1 acorn squash, cut into cubes
6 oz. chicken breast, cooked and chopped
1 Tbl. fajita seasoning mix
2 8" whole grain flour tortillas
1/4 cup low fat shredded Swiss cheese
1 whole avocado, cubed
1/2 cup salsa

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place squash in a baking pan with 1/4" of water. Bake for 45 minutes, until tender.

3. When done, add to a skillet set on medium heat. Mix in chicken and seasoning and let warm.

4. Divide chicken and squash mix evenly among tortillas. Add cheese, avocado, and salsa to tacos.

1 cup skim milk + 1/2 cup strawberries + 2 scoops whey protein powder

1 1/2 oz. roasted, unsalted soy nuts + 1 medium orange

Bedtime Snack

What's the goal? Stop cravings and prevent muscle breakdown! If you are genuinely hungry after an active day (which I usually am!) this meal can help. Though not a time for heavy carbs, starch, or fat, munching on a high protein treat can help you feel full through your Zzzzz's and until breakfast! Protein also releases amino acids to the muscles for repair while you count sheep.

1 low-fat string cheese + 1 small pear

1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese + apple slices

1 cup low-fat milk + 1 scoop whey protein + 2 strawberries + 1/4 cup blueberries

So there you have it! As you can see, timing is everything! Your snacks help burn more calories, regulate your body's normal levels, and help restore muscle strength while you aren't working out. Make sure you pack those snacks! No matter what time a day you are working out, snacking can make it or break it when it comes to toning and losing! Now you can pack your meals with knowledge and reason behind it and of course you can spread the word on the importance of snacking...on your own two feet...

Until the next step bloggers...  

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Party It Up the Healthy Way!

I am very lucky to have an amazing group of girls that inspire and motivate me to live a more healthy lifestyle. We make an effort once a month to have a pot luck/go out night.

As the time draws near for us to be heading to Super Bowl parties or hosting some winter house parties ourselves (Go Ravens!), there IS a way for us to party it up in 2012 the right way!

Millions of us make that vow on December 31st to lose weight or get more healthy, but a lot of people will flake out by February. Eating at home can help this downfall, but doing a little planning can go a long way.

Benefits to dining in rather than out:
  • Cheaper! When you add the cost of a restaurant, taxes, tip, and even gas (Damn you $3.30 gas prices!) it can be a burden our your wallet, especially right after the holidays!
  • No hidden surprises! You have complete control over your ingredients when you eat from home. You know exactly what is going into each dish so there isn't a secret salt or sweetener stash somewhere that you don't know about!
  • Great opportunity to catch up with friends! You can help each other eat more healthy, exchange recipes, or gossip while you all are cooking together!

You Are Who You Eat With??

According to a study, women who eat in large groups consumed, on average, 100-150 calories MORE than those who ate in smaller ones! (Ok ok ok so there are about 10 of us in our group...We love each other too much and we are too good of cooks to dwindle down now!) Also, women who dined with men, on average, ate 100 FEWER calories! Try to keep your party to three or four to avoid overeating! Evidence:

This was our Friendsgiving spread! Ahhh SO much food!

Our Christmas party spread half gone- again, SO much food!

Social groups can influence the eating patterns of others. If you make a healthy decision while out or going to a party, you are likely to be a positive influence for the others involved! Who wouldn't want to take the time to cook healthy for the ones you love??

Our wonderful Thanksgiving recipes!

Exchanging recipes at our Christmas party!

FUN FACT: Those who did not eat food from a window were more successful at losing weight than those who ate from fast food restaurants twice a week or more!

Blame It on the A-A-A-A-A-Alcohol!

Ok ok we indulged a little bit...

Alcohol can contain about 75 calories per ounce, yet it is usually the highlight of every adult party. It promotes fat storage by not allowing your body to burn fat as a fuel. Want some tips?

Spa Water Slice a lemon, cucumber, and an orange and place into a large glass pitcher. Fill with water and let chill overnight in the refrigerator. Calories per drink? 0

White Wine Spritzer with Grape Cubes Wash and freeze a handful of green grapes. Place several of the frozen grapes in a tumbler with ice. Mix a half cup of white wine (My favorite is Riesling) with a half cup of seltzer and pour over the ice and grapes. Calories per drink? 104

Ok so now that you want to be a positive influence for your friends and for your party, what should you bring??

Here are some great ideas for meals that can feed many yet still remain healthy:

Appetizer: Butternut Squash: This winter treat is rich in antioxidants and vitamins that work together to promote healthy eyes, teeth, and bones, as well as boost your immune system, and help with a healthy circulatory system.

Curry and Ginger Butternut Squash Soup

1 butternut squash
4 cups water
2 tsp canola oil
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp curry powder
1 Tbl. fresh ginger (about 2" long), grated
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Place face down in a baking pan with water. Bake for 45 minutes or until soft when pierced with a fork. Let squash cool and save the water the squash was cooked in.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium high. Add onions and garlic and saute until golden. Stir in curry powder, ginger, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Simmer on low for a few minutes.

3. Pour the water the squash was cooked in into the skillet and hear. When squash has cooled, scoop out the flesh, leaving the skin, and add to the skillet. Remove from heat and let cool. When room temperature, puree the vegetable and spice mixture in a blender or food processor with the broth. Serve.

125 calories per serving, 26 mg sodium, 3g protein

Pear and Brie Bites

1 can Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creation
1 pear, peeled and finely chopped*
1 Tbl. packed dark brown sugar
1 sage leaf, finely chopped
8 oz. Brie cheese, rind removed, cut into squares
2 Tbl. walnuts, chopped

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or spray 12 mini muffin cups. Unroll dough onto work surface. Using a small circle, cut out 12 circles. Gently press into mini muffins.

2. In a small bowl, mix pear, sage, and brown sugar. Place 1 cheese cube in each cup. Top with pear mixture. Sprinkle with walnuts.

3. Bake 10-15 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown. Cook 5 minutes and remove from muffin cups.

*Can substitute dried cranberries for nuts or replace pear with grapes and sage with rosemary.

-Thanks Lauren for this recipe!


Chicken Florentine

1 tsp olive oil
4 x 4oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 4oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp oregano
1 Tbl. fresh basil
10 oz. fresh spinach
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbl. freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the oil and cook chicken until lightly browned on each side (approx. 6 min).

2. Reduce heat to medium and stir in tomatoes, oregano, and basil. Place spinach on top of the chicken and cover tightly.

3. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through (approx. 15 minutes). Stir in salt and pepper and top with cheese.

260 calories per serving, 320 mg sodium, 3g fiber, 40g protein, 3mg iron

NOTE: Spinach is very high in iron. Iron works to deliver oxygen to your muscles which increases your ability to exercise harder and burn more fat.

Quinoa A L'Orange Salad

2 cups water
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup diced celery
2 Tbl. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup orange juice
1 Tbl. olive oil
1/2 tsp grated orange rind
1/4 tsp sea salt
ground black pepper to taste

1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa. Return to a boil and simmer until water is absorbed (approx. 15 min.) Remove from heat and place in a large mixing bowl to cool.

2. Add tomatoes, celery, and parsley to the bowl. Mix together with quinoa.

3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients to make dressing. Pour over salad and toss well to combine. Serve with Chicken Florentine.

200 calories per serving, 161mg sodium, 4g fiber, 7g protein

NOTE: Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids which is linked to tissue repair and growth.

Stuffed Peppers

3 large green peppers (hollowed and halved)
1/2 lb/1 pack sausage (chorizo or turkey sausage)
1 can corn (Del Monte Summer Crisp)
1 egg
1 onion (chopped)
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4-1/2 cup salsa
2 Tbl. olive oil (divided)
1 cup cheddar cheese (divided)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread 1 Tbl. in the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan and arrange halved pepper on it facing upward. Drizzle 1 Tbl. olive oil in a large pan and saute onions and sausage until sausage is cooked through and browning.

2. In a large bowl, combine sausage mix, egg, corn, salsa, breadcrumbs, and 1/2 cup cheese then season with salt and pepper. Spoon an equal amount into each hollowed pepper.

3. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top of each pepper. Bake for 1 hour until peppers are tender/al dente and cheese begins to brown.

-Thanks Kate for the recipe!


Mini Chocolate Souffles

Nonstick cooking spray
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 Tbl. white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup low fat milk
6 Tbl. honey, divided
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray the bottoms of 4 single serve ramekins.

2. In a heavy saucepan, combine cocoa and flour. Add milk and 3 Tbl. honey and whisk until smooth.

3. Cook, stirring, over medium low heat until thick (approx. 2 min). Stir in vanilla and set aside to cool slightly.

4. Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a small mixing bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining honey and continue beating at high speed until stiff peaks form.

5. Fold 1/4 cup egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in remaining whites. Divide mixture evenly into the prepared ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes, or until puffy and set. Serve immediately.

140 calories per serving, 37mg sodium, 2g fiber, 4g protein

NOTE: Egg whites are a great protein source that are low in calories and fat free. With only 16 calories and 4g of protein a piece, they are a great addition to any recipe.

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

1 4oz. bar of your favorite milk or dark chocolate
Your favorite peanut butter
Chocolate chips (optional)
Peanut butter chips (optional)
cinnamon (optional)

1. Prepare about 10 tiny muffin cups to spoon mixture into. Melt about 2 squares less than half of your chocolate bar with about 1 Tbl. peanut butter. Spoon this mixture into the bottom of the cup. Let the first layer set in the freezer.

2. Remove cups in the freezer. Melt 2 Tbl. of peanut butter and spoon in small amount in the middle of chocolate. Let sit in the freezer and repeat for as much peanut butter as you want. Be sure to freeze in between each layer setting.

3. Melt the rest of your chocolate with another Tbl. of peanut butter. Spoon on top of peanut butter layers in cups. If desired, add chocolate/peanut butter chips. Allow to sit in the freezer.

4. Melt a small amount of peanut butter to drizzle over top of cups and sprinkle with cinnamon. Let sit in the freezer and keep cool until ready to serve.

-Thanks Brittany for the recipe!  
-Thanks Oxygen for some of the recipes!

We get excited for Molly's desserts aka Pie/Cake Pops!

Ok, we get REALLY excited about Molly's desserts...

So now you are ready for that house party with your girlfriends. You can still have a great time but do it in a healthy way!

Don't forget if you participate in my Jog for January Challenge, you have the chance to win a GoSport ID at the end of the month! Just make sure to use the hashtag #jogforjanuary and LINK UP to my blog every MONDAY! :)

Now is your chance to "wow" your friends with your party hosting skills and they will be amazed that you did it...on your own two feet...

Until the next step bloggers....

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How is Your January So Far??

Hello everyone! How is your January so far?? Are you sticking with those goals and resolutions?? How are you staying motivated?

I hope you all are getting in your Jogging for January challenges in! Walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily can help you build up to a run or a new personal record (PR).

I wanted new inspiration to come onto my blog so I asked Kasey over at PowerCakes to write a little something. There can never be too much inspiration!

Here is her story:

Hi all! My name is Kasey & I’m a Senior Health & Physical Education Major! I blog over at ! I’m also a FitFluential Ambassador! I love being able to give people ideas to live a healthy lifestyle!! I’m so glad that I was asked by Sarah to do a guest post! Here’s a little background about my story!

So where does "PowerCake" come from, you ask?  Well, ever since I can remember my family has had huge Sunday morning breakfasts. Whenever I was younger; I was NOT a fan of healthy food.

Sidenote: My mom is a personal trainer & would always have healthy options; but I always threw temper-tantrums in the cereal isle because all I wanted was sugary cereals! Anyways, On Sunday's my dad would always make pancakes before my soccer games. (I've played soccer since I was 6!) My mom would always ask, "did you sneak in protein powder to make them powercakes?" See, being the "healthy eater" that I was not as a child, my mom always wanted to make sure that I had some form of protein so that I had energy to play in my soccer game! So for years now I've called our pancakes, "powercakes"!

Which really means, a very healthy pancake

that gives you "power" to get through your day!

Cooking and baking has always been a part of my life!

Growing up, I had many stomach issues 

and we got frustrated not being able to find the problem behind them.

I thought I was eating so "healthy" by constantly eating whole grains and whole wheat everythingggg. But in reality, I was over-doing it and I developed an intolerance to Gluten. I also developed more recent allergies of Almonds, some beans, green beans, and egg yolks. 

I was told I was just eating too much of these foods and

my body developed an intolerance to them.

So after figuring out this on-going stomach trouble, I got super creative in the kitchen!

I was driven to figure out

healthy alternatives to all 

of my favorite foods.

Which leads me to my decision to do fitness competitions:

Last year I decided to compete in my school's Body Building & Figure Competition. I've always been a competitive person - I've played soccer and I ran track (triple jump and hurdles) since 7th grade. I've also play numerous intramural sports here at school!

My friend from here did the show the year before and I was amazed at her results.
So I decided to train with her.
I started a year ago, in the fall - building muscle.
After months of training and "dieting",
I competed in our school's show in the Spring!

I got 2nd in my height class - it was such a great experience!
I ended up competing in 2 more shows after that last year.

This whole "dieting" concept sparked my interest into the different ways that I could do this the healthy way. I listened to so many people telling me to cut things out of my diet like carrots & blueberries...When in reality, I was just making myself more un-healthy and I wasn't listening to my body. So, I decided to listen to my body & give it the nutrients it needed.

This past Fall I competed
in Miss Bikini New York!

I ate CLEAN ;
veggies, protein, healthy fats, fruits, dairy, carbs
just broke it up into 6 small meals a day!

I didn't weight myself once; just used the mirror to
check on my progress.

I feel very strongly about "dieting" the healthy way (or as I like to call it, my LIFESTYLE). With eating 5-6 small meals a day and getting every component of a healthy diet in each meal.

There are some unhealthy ways to go about it,
but I really stay true to being healthy and I'm proud of myself for it!

I believe in a balanced life.

Clean Eating & Working hard in the Gym!

I try to make the most of it
with my amazing family & friends.

My Website is currently under-construction, so take a look for my recipes but keep an eye out for my UPDATES!! :]

 I can’t wait to get it where I want it to be!!

You can Follow me on Twitter @PowerCakes

Instagram: @Powercakes

Thanks so much Kasey! You have such an awesome story and you are such an inspiration! What a gorgeous girl!

How have your New Years workouts gone so far?? How are you going to keep with them??

Until the next step bloggers...