Friday, December 27, 2013

Homemade hot pockets!

Made this tonight for the kids.  It was a hit with ALL of them!  So quick and so easy to make AND only 330 calories each!  



3 Tablespoons olive oil 
8 oz  (1 cup) whole milk ricotta cheese 
4 oz  (1 cup) mozzarella cheese shredded
1 oz (1/2 cup) Parmesan cheese shredded
1 garlic clove 
1 tsp minced fresh oregano 
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 (16 oz) tube refrigerator biscuits - 8
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 450 - place rack in the middle position.  Take a rimmed baking  sheet and brush 1 Tbs of the olive oil on it.  Then put the remaining 2 Tbs in a bowl and add remaining ingredients - except the egg.  Mix well. 
The egg you are going to be using to brush on the hot pockets - so you'll break that into a bowl and slightly beat it.   Take the 8 biscuits and press them out into 6 inch diameter circles. Spread the filling evenly over the bottom half of each dough round, leaving about 1/2 inch border at the edge. Brush dough edge lightly with the egg, then fold the top of the dough over the filling, leaving 1/4 inch lip of the bottom exposed. Fold bottom lip over seam and press firmly to seal. Lay the pockets with the seam facing down on the baking sheet. Brush with the egg and make 2, 1 inch steam vents along the top with a knife.  

Bake 10-12 minutes- rotating the baking sheet, half way through the baking time. 

We added 4 oz of frozen broccoli florets, thawed, patted dry and chopped to the filling. This is included in the 330 calorie calculation.   Serve with heated tomato sauce. 

I know it's not low fat - but 330 calories isn't bad - it satisfied me and that's what I needed!! 

Enjoy!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Yummy Asian Chicken Salad

It's hard enough to find delicious, low calorie and low fat foods for yourself to eat when you are trying to be mindful about what goes in your mouth. But throw kids in the mix and it seems practically impossible to suit their taste buds as well!!  This is a family favorite of ours - Asian Chicken Salad, found on Allrecipes.com (a great resource).  My kids like it SO much, that they request to always have it on hand for after school snacking - no joke.  In fact, my daughter Elly had it for breakfast this morning!  


Below are the ingredients and directions - now I know it says that there is 414 calories per serving - but it's all relative.  It also says it makes 6 servings - when I get more like 8. You can put as much or as little dressing and rice noodles as you'd like on it - and that is where the bulk of the calories come from anyway - 

Enjoy!!

~Carrie


Recipe Details


recipe thumbnail

Asian Chicken Salad

star rating
6 Servings, Prep Time: 15 Minutes, Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Description

A perfect salad for leftover BBQ, boiled, broiled or baked chicken. A very crunchy salad with a tasty sweet Asian-style dressing. The kids love it too! The Chinese rice noodles are of the cellophane type and can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores. They are often in rectangle form and in clear packaging.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 (8 ounce) package dried rice noodles
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce - rinsed, dried, and chopped
  • 4 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and shredded
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

Directions

  1. Prepare the dressing 30 minutes ahead of time by combining the brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, salad oil, and rice vinegar in a salad dressing carafe.
  2. To prepare the Chinese rice noodles, heat a skillet with a few tablespoons of oil and break off a little bit of the noodles and add them to the skillet and fry them. They will puff up in the skillet, so only add a few at a time. As they begin to puff up, remove and drain them on paper towels. Be sure to cook long enough as the under cooked noodles will be like eating needles. Once cooked, add them to the salad mixture.
  3. In a large bowl combine the iceberg lettuce, cooked and shredded chicken, green onions and toasted sesame seeds. Let chill about 10 minutes, and just before serving add the cooked rice noodles. Serve in salad bowls and offer the dressing in a pourable container so your family can add as much dressing as they want. You can also pour the dressing over the top of the salad, toss, and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information

Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 414


Carbohydrates: 39.2g
Dietary Fiber: 2.0g
Fat: 18.0g
Cholesterol: 55.0mg
Sodium: 224.6mg
Protein: 22.7g
Sent from Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner Pro for the iPhone

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, November 4, 2013

Something to snack on

I tried these granola bars on for size this weekend - they are pretty good. One thing I like is how easy it is to tweak the recipe and add what you want. I made them just like the recipe was laid out - right away I would add some chocolate chips - and also, I probably wouldn't chop up the fruit into such fine pieces - I like the fruit to be a little more chunky. But all in all - a great healthy snack!!


Total Time: 0 hours 35 minutes

Prep:
Cook:
0 hours 15 minutes
0 hours 20 minutes

Yield:

20 bars

Level:

Easy

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup pitted dried dates
  • 1/2 cup powdered nonfat dry milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Place all ingredients except the syrup and eggs in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. Add the syrup and eggs and pulse until the mixture is well combined. It will resemble a coarse paste.
Transfer to the baking pan and spread evenly. Bake until just done, about 20 minutes. Cut into 20 squares.

Here's the link if you are interested...
 ~ Carrie

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Confessions of a Personal Trainer

Back when Melaine started this blog and asked me if I'd like to be a part of it, I had no idea what was in store for me and the crazy turns that would take place in my life. Since then - I have met an incredibly humble, selfless, sensitive, loving and kind man, fell head over heals in love and married him. We have moved our family out of state and started a new life in Utah. One of the many blessings that has taken place in all of this, is that for the first time in 20 years, I don't HAVE to work. I get to live my dream of being a "stay at home" mom and wife!! And along with this blessing has come a new perspective, appreciation and recognition of how challenging fat loss or weight maintenance can really be!!! 

 Life used to be pretty simple. I would just wake up each day, go to work and the stress of being a single mom providing for my kids and constantly being "on the go," was enough to keep the unwanted pounds off. In fact - I could eat quite a bit and not gain any weight because of how "busy" I was and all the movement I had going on each day. This is NOT the case anymore!! WHAT THE HECK???!! All of a sudden I REALLY need to watch what I eat - and I'm learning that I pretty much stink at it! Those aren't the habits I developed over the years - ugh! Even armed with all the knowledge, understanding and equipment - I'm struggling to be disciplined with my food and exercise. I am having so much fun baking treats and yummy comfort dinners - and I'm stuck in that world of LOVING it and NOT all at the same time. It's done its damage - Lol - recently, I just mailed a pair of my "skinny jeans" to Melaine. Lol - granted I haven't gained so much weight that I need to buy a new wardrobe, that is the direction I'm heading if I don't get a handle on this NOW!! There are a couple pairs of jeans I simply don't fit and a few more that I fit but are not comfortable to wear - I'm sure some of you know what I'm talking about. 

 So - here we go... need to be more diligent and consistent with the tracking of calories and consistent exercise - need to reach down deep to find the discipline necessary to do this. I wish I could say I'm better than I really am at this - but I'm really not. I've never been the trainer that was all cut with the hard body, spending hours and hours and hours, each day in the gym. I've never been the trainer that thrives on eating only fresh, raw and whole foods (way to difficult to do with kids at home). I've been the trainer that has to share her life with the title and tasks of a mom. I'm a trainer that always strives to keep a balance between work and home. Being a parent - a GOOD mom, was always the 1st priority in my life. I think that is partly what attracted my clients to me - I was realistic about the amount of time that can be dedicated to exercise and knew how to get creative with the schedule and balancing family. Anyway - here it is, my turn, to put my words into TRUE practice - use my own advice for things that were never an issue for me before. This will be fun, right??? Lol - we'll see - 

By the way - for whatever reason, I'm unable to respond to comments - so I may address them in later posts. Will continue to work on figuring that all out. 

 Carrie

Monday, September 2, 2013

~zucchini nachos~



-Zucchini Nachos- Wash then slice 1 large zucchini into "chips" Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until tender in a single layer. Top with shredded cheddar and colby cheese and return to grill until melted. Remove from the grill and top with your choice of toppings, I chose: sliced tomatos, avocado, green onions, and cilantro. I then squeezed half a lime over the whole thing. And there you have it, a perfect summer side dish, or main entree {maybe serve along side beans and rice} without all the guilt. Melaine

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Spark!

How many of you enjoy kick-starting your day with a little caffeine? I know I do - when you have to get up early and you have kids and no matter how hard you try, you seem to get to bed too late, a little caffeine in the morning is a great way to jump in. Sometimes it feels like the only way to jump in. 

 

This is my absolute favorite drink and the pink lemonade is my favorite flavor. 

Why I love it....... I love that it's not carbonated. I love that it's chalk full of vitamins and minerals - so it's a healthier alternative to coffee, soda and other energy drinks. I love that I don't get jittery after I drink it - but I feel more focused and can move through my tasks in a more concentrated fashion. I love that it tastes so good - Lol - and I love that because of Spark, I get to see my son more often!! He loves it too - and will randomly stop in all the time for a quick drink and a chat, LOVE that!! 

Spark comes in tons of different flavors - Watermelon,  Mango Strawberry,  Pink Lemonade, Mandarin Orange,  Fruit Punch,  Grape,  Cherry,  Citrus

If you are wanting to try it out - just click on the spark link -  SPARK!! 

Shine on -
Carrie

Monday, July 15, 2013

~paleo friendly mini blueberry muffins~

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a mixer, blend: 3/4 cup egg beaters 3 T. honey 2 T. coconut oil, melted 2 T. coconut milk 1/4 t. salt 1/4 t. vanilla In a separate bowl mix the following: 1/4 t. baking powder 1/2 cup coconut flour Add the dry mix to the liquid mixture, and blend. Add 1/2 cup fresh blueberries. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. This is a small recipe. Mine made 8 mini muffins at 103 calories each. Melaine

Thursday, July 11, 2013

~instagram questions answered~

Wow! You guys really blew me away with all your kind comments and "likes" It's always a little intimidating putting your photo out there for all to see. What a wonderful group of followers/friends I have! I wanted to take a minute {or 60} to try and answer all your questions. First I want to say, I am no expert. This is just what I have been doing, and what has worked for me. We are all different and I know you will have to tweak things according to your likes, dislikes, and lifestyle. So, let's start with the before. And, of course I am having trouble loading the photo! Darn! Well, the before was actually 5 months into my routine. However, it wasn"t until the beginning of June that I decided to change my eating habits. I kept reading all this stuff about how "abs are made in the kitchen" etc. and thought I'd give it a try. I stopped reaching for the ice cream {even if it was within my calorie budget for that day} and started making fresh fruit and veggie juices and loading up on veggies and hummus. I have also slowly transitioned from reg. nonfat milk to almond and soy milk, in my lattes. However, with anything, I don't think you should do something that you can't can't reasonably continue for the rest of your life. It's not realistic for me, at least at this time, to give up my mexican coffee creamer, or my midnight scoops of nutella right out of the jar. :) Do everything in moderation. I drink a ton of water, gave up sodas and anything carbonated, and in June I started taking advocare. Reason being this. I had heard great things about it and my body was kinda "stuck" I was doing the same thing, going to the gym, and eating healthy, but wanted that little extra nudge in the right direction. I posted a link where you can buy it. Look on the top right side of this page. I don't know if the results I am getting are just from eating cleaner, or are a combination of that and the advocare, but I like what I see, so I will continue to take it! Her is a list of what I am taking: Every morning with breakfast I take a multi vitamin and a fish oil pill {not advocare} Throughout the day I take: carb ease plus thermo plus catalyst and fibo-trim I also like the pink lemonade Spark drink, but gave it up to save $. Ok, onto answering questions! I will try to do my best to answer them all! karigrousepointfarms: Help, I need your regimen stat, no gym workouts though. ANSWER: You don't need a gym, really. Half the time I work out, I just run. I also am a firm believer in push ups. You can do jumping jacks, you can run up and down the stairs, anything to get your heart pumping! jensmith70: I am right where you are 5 lbs ago sister. I need an example of a daily menu. ANSWER: It changes daily, but I usually burn right around 300-400 calories working out, so I try to eat around 1600 calories a day. If I don't work out, I'll eat around 1200. Daily menu, well, I'll give you what I ate yesterday: Breakfast: coffee and creamer {something I won't give up just yet!} strawberries and blueberries and greek yogurt and water. Taken with carb ease, daily vitamin, and fish oil. Snack: pure protein bar and water with fibo trim pill. Lunch: protein spinach salad {yesterdays post} water, and taken with thermo plus. snack: fresh fruit and veggie juice, made in my juicer, and coconut almonds. water, water, water. 1 oreo stolen from son. Dinner on the go: 2 pieces cinnamon raison Ezekiel toast with can't believe it's not butter spray. 1 tall vanilla soy latte {decaf} from Starbucks. 8 pm soccer game with 3 bottles water. come home and scrape the sides of a nutella jar and have a decaf coffee with more of my yummy creamer. Jodiannlor: pls share more on clean eating. ANSWER: I don't know much. Just trying to eat fresh, fresh, fresh. Nothing processed and I am trying to stay away from packaged foods. However, I do love my protein bars. Torigilliam: pls. do a post on clean eating/workout tips. ANSWER: clean eating tips~see above question. Workout tips: I'd say just try and do a little each day and gradually increase time. And, lift those weights! You will see a huge difference in how your body looks! Amyvermillioninteriors wrote: I so agree with the possibilities. I've seen incredible results without even exercising! ANSWER/COMMENT: So true! I wish I would have known this sooner! lovelylittleparties: wow. 7 days a week? ANSWER: Yes. Not that I will beat myself up if I don't work out, but I like to eat, therefore I work out. I do take days off though. There are days when I am sore, or just too busy. You can't get mad at yourself if you miss a day. Thechroniclesofhome: whoa. A month?! ANSWER: YES! :) kcsnead: love it!!! What's your new blog? ANSWER: you found it :) annmarie19804: where do you get your clean eating ideas/recipes from? ANSWER: I have a blog list on the right side of this page. I also follow a lot of clean eating people on instagram. They post a lot of recipes etc. Plus, I like to just make stuff up in the kitchen. I love to cook! lucki19: what program are you on? ANSWER: no program, don't think I could stick to one. sanctifiedpearl: do you mind me asking how often you are at the gym and how often you do at home workouts? ANSWER: Not at all. I don't really have a set schedule. If I get up and feel like running, I'll do that. If it's raining and crappy, I'll go to the gym. I also play soccer, so that counts for one day of exercising. I'd say I'd average 4 days at home and 3 at the gym. Hope that helps! ciaomarezy: any suggestions for food and exercises to get started? ANSWER: start slow. Do what you can and increase over time. When I started I would get winded running down to get my mail. Since then I have ran a half marathon. Baby steps, don't think things will change overnight. It takes time, but time passes by anyway, so might as well make the most of it. With food, same thing. Don't go overboard on eating all clean at first because chances are, you won't be able to keep up with it. Gradually add in fresh fruits and veggies. I used to HATE veggies, now I crave them! Ok, I hope I answered all your questions! Any more, leave them in the comments section here and I will reply there as well! Thanks again for all your kind comments! Melaine

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

~protein packed summer salad~


This was a delicious salad I made for lunch, so I thought I'd share it with you. It's packed with protein and is very filling.
Mix 1 can tunafish with 2 teaspoons of mustard and 1 tablespoon olive oil based mayonnaise. Place on top of 1 cup mixed greens. I got mine at Trader Joes, mix of lettuce, kale, etc. Squeeze on a little fresh lime juice and top with dressing of your choice. I used reduced fat cilantro dressing from Trader Joes which was delis! Melaine

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Track Your Progress!!

Eventually, I'm sure, Melaine is going to post her progress and results we have been tracking all along the way through her journey.  Nothing is more discouraging than working so hard, only to be disappointed because we don't feel like we are making any progress, but not having any good solid information or data to direct us one way or another.  Well - my take on this is... if we don't track what we are doing as well as tracking what the results are, of what we are doing, then how can we ever know how to course correct??  So - how does Melaine track her progress?  On one of these....

The InBody 230 is a body composition analyzer.  This is what it looks like!  I'm going to try to answer several questions in this post like...

1.  How does it measure your composition?
2.  How accurate is it?
3.  Who can be assessed and who can't?

 

Answers:
1.  How does the InBody measure your composition?  The InBody uses BIA (bioelectrical Impedance Analysis) to analyze your body composition.  If you are accustomed to using calipers to track your composition or any other tool - just remember that you can't compare this method with anything else.  You'd be comparing apples to bananas - because BIA is a technique that measures body impedance by sending an electrical current through the body.  NO - you do not feel the electrical current at all, it is very low and very safe.  The current only passes through the water fluids inside the body, and based on the impedance values collected, the body water volume is calculated.  Since water fluids are usually inside muscle tissues, by using the water volume, the fat-free mass can be calculated.  Body fat calipers measure skinfolds to calculate how much subcutaneous fat(fat under the skin) a person has.  So,  a couple of advantages here by using the InBody - it's highly accurate and not subject to human error (me pinching in different places) AND you don't have to put up with getting pinched which is a pain especially if I haven't filed my nails - and plus, let's face it - it really puts us in a vulnerable spot.  Who likes to take their shirt off and let someone pinch their fat?  However - the volume of body water fluctuates (I know this is common knowledge here) to sustain homeostasis in the body - which in turn, will affect each measurement.  So - with this in mind, we need to be as consistent as possible by following some standard preset guidelines under the same conditions.

2.  How accurate is this?  The InBody uses 8-point tactile electrodes - that easily contact the body at 2 points in each hand and foot.  All other BIA devices use 4-point tactile electrodes.  The 8 point method, divides the body into 5 regions (left and right arm, trunk, left and right leg) with minimal error rate, enhancing measurement reproducibility.  The common method using 4 electrodes, divides the body into only 2 regions (the upper and lower body) which gives over-generalized inaccurate results.  The 8-point tactile electrode method measures the 5 segments of the body directly, giving pinpoint measurement of each section.  This method minimizes the error and detects the body water content and the level of muscle development in each segment.
In addition to this 8-point tactile method, InBody also uses a multi-frequency analysis.  Other BIA devices use a single frequency and estimates the amount of intracellular water from the extracellular impedance values.  A single, low-frequency current hardly travels through the intracellular water resulting in inaccurate measurements.  The proportion of intra and extracellular water is consistent in a healthy body; however, in children, elderly people and obese people their amounts may be imbalanced.  Generally, extracellular water is measured by low frequency currents and intracellular water is measured by high frequency currents and it is important to know both.  InBody uses a multi-frequency analysis - accurately assessing both intracellular and extracellular water.
Add the 8-point tactile electrodes and the multi-frequency analysis capabilities to the fact that it measures 5 separate segments separately to measure the amount of body water and fat-free mass in each segment - makes for highly accurate results because each measured part isn't affecting the measurements of the other parts.  So it's not an estimation - but rather a direct measurement.

3.  Who can use this and who can't?  It is safe and accurate for kids, elderly and anyone up to 500 lbs.  It is NOT good for anyone with implanted defibrillators or pacemakers.  Although the electrical current that is sent through the body is extremely low, it is not recommended.  They also discourage anyone that is pregnant to use impedance - 

Anyone want to see Melaine's Inbody progress reports??

Shine on!  
Carrie

Thursday, June 27, 2013

~espresso protein shake~

I was craving something sweet this morning so I whipped up a concoction and it turned out delicious!


Enjoy!
Melaine

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

~leg and butt day~

I ran for 20 min in my neighborhood and then did the rest in my driveway in the pouring down rain.
A hot shower never felt so good afterwards!
Your legs should be shaking, have fun!
Melaine

Thursday, June 20, 2013

~clean banana muffins~

Looking for a healthy way to start your day?
Give these muffins a try.
Recipe makes 12 muffins at 199 calories each.



Melaine

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

~build lean muscle tissue to increase your metabolism~


Back on May 18th - I posted information regarding metabolism, in hopes to bring understanding in this, sometimes frustrating, area.  I explained the difference between your BMR, RMR and TMR.  There are different ways we can increase our metabolism in these different areas.  One fantastic way to increase your RMR, or resting metabolic rate, is to increase your lean muscle tissue.  If I remember correctly, it's like an additional 50 calories per lb of muscle.  I know this is an area where a lot of women, particularly, get a little skittish. They are afraid of getting big and bulky. Although there are a few women out there that do grow muscle easily, for the majority of us- it's REALLY not like that. In order to look like some female body builder - you need to be on the steroids and eating/ building plan to do so. Yes - you can do it "naturally" too - but it's NOT easy.  It's not going to happen on accident or unintentionally.  

Now - you might be looking at your program and wondering if it's considered one that will build the muscle that you want, so you can increase your metabolism.  There are tons of programs out there that are online that can help guide you - one of my favorites is Core performance.  It does cost money - so if you need something cheaper, like free, you can easily come up with a muscle building program without it. Just keep in mind, heavier weight and lower reps. The risk is going too heavy and injuring muscles or joints - so be smart about it, always warm up prior to your strength training. 

Increasing your metabolism is always a great goal!!!  What this means is we can eat more - relax, enjoy food!!!  

Shine on -

Carrie

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

~make the time~

I have had a lot of people ask me where I find the time to work out.
Well, I make it. It doesn't always happen everyday, but I try to, because it makes me feel so much better and have so much more energy.
Here is what my Monday looked like, and I still managed to squeeze in a 4 mile run :)
  
~there you have it~
now, go lace up those tennis shoes and do something active :)
{tip: try to get a full nights sleep, I usually aim for 8 hours, and
 drink LOTS of water throughout the day}
Melaine

Monday, June 10, 2013

~the best homemade pesto recipe~

I love pesto, especially on sandwiches, or crackers, or pasta......
Here's one for you to try!
Nutritional info per 1 Tablespoon:
fat: 3.6 grams
sat. fat: 0.4 grams
sodium: 2.7 mg
cholest. 0 mg.
carbs: 1.4 grams
fiber: 0.6 grams
sugars: 0.3 grams
protein: 1.3 grams

Melaine

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

~clean out your closet~

Clean it out.
As you start to lose weight, do not hold onto those items that are too big.
~Get rid of them~
Part of the fun of losing weight is buying new clothes. 
If you hold onto your fat jeans it will be too easy to fall back into that lifestyle of not watching what you eat, speaking from experience!
Take your clothes to a consignment store and make some money off of them!
Just a little piece of advice.
Melaine

Monday, June 3, 2013

~a couple recipes~

Kale Chips:
Wash and dry your kale. 
Tear apart leaves and toss in a bowl with sea salt, olive oil, and garlic.
Put olive oil on a cookie sheet and spread the kale leaves out in a single layer. 
Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. 
Let cool. They will crisp up as they cool.
 Pumpkin protein muffins:
Mix together 2 scoops vanilla protein powder, 4 tablespoons pumpkin puree, 2 cups egg whites, 1 1/3 cups oats, 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice, and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. 
Bake at 350 for approx. 20-25 min. 
Makes 9 at 95 calories per muffin~give or take depending on your protein powder.
Enjoy!
Melaine

Saturday, June 1, 2013

~an eating clean dinner recipe~

I do not eat clean.
I admire all the people that can do it, but I would just miss my cookie dough too much.
However, the idea is enticing to me.
I have a couple back issues of Clean Eating Magazine and I was flipping through them and came across a recipe that looks very yummy.
I haven't made it yet, but thought I'd share in case it looks like something you'd like to make!


I love squash so I am dying to try this.....


Butternut Squash Lasagna with Caramelized Onions & Walnuts


Serves: 12
Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 lb)
  • 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 3 medium Spanish onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 10 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups Everyday Marinara Sauce
  • 1/2 lb oven-ready whole-wheat lasagna noodles, about 12 noodles (TRY: DeLallo Organic Whole Wheat No-Boil Lasagna)
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Lightly brush cut sides with 1 tsp oil and place, cut sides down, onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake in oven for 25 minutes, until squash is tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tsp oil in a large sauté pan on medium-high. Add onions, stir and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until onions begin to soften. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook for about 40 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are very soft and golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
  4. Scoop out flesh of squash into the bowl of a food processor. Add ricotta, nutmeg, egg whites and Parmesan and process until smooth. Add sage and season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and gently fold in caramelized onions.
  5. Reserve 1/2 cup mozzarella, cover and refrigerate until needed. Assemble lasagna: Cover bottom of 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with about 1/2 cup Everyday Marinara Sauce. Top with a single layer of lasagna noodles, overlapping slightly, then 1 cup butternut squash mixture and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat layers once, starting with 1/2 cup Everyday Marinara Sauce. Sprinkle walnuts evenly over mozzarella. Repeat layers once again. Finish with 1/2 cup Everyday Marinara Sauce, a layer of noodles, remaining butternut squash (about 1/3 cup, depending on size of squash) and remaining 1/2 cup Everyday Marinara Sauce. Cover dish with foil, place onto a baking tray and bake in oven for 45 minutes at 375°F. Remove foil, top lasagna with reserved 1/2 cup mozzarella and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Remove lasagna from oven and allow to rest and set for 15 to 20 minutes before cutting into 12 servings. Enjoy! Lasagna can be kept frozen for up to 3 months, refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.
Nutrients per 1½-cup serving: Calories: 260, Total Fat: 9 g, Sat. Fat: 3 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Carbs: 34 g, Fiber: 7 g, Sugars: 8 g, Protein: 14 g, Sodium: 250 mg, Cholesterol: 20 mg
TIP:
Try roasting the squash the evening before you put this lasagna together. The caramelized onions may also be prepared ahead of time. Prepare both in large batches and refrigerate in 1-cup servings. To use, simply drain any excess water and use as desired. By using these time-saving tips, you can whip up our veggie lasagna in about 1 hour!

Recipe from here.
Melaine

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

~PB2~{and another smoothie recipe}

 I discovered PB2 not that long ago, and found it is a great alternative to high fat peanut butter. 
You can order and read about it here.
I bought the plain powdered version, but am anxious to try the chocolate.
I tried the recipe below yesterday and it was so good, I finished it off before remembering to take a picture for you. Yes, it was that good.
This is not a very low cal. option, but good for after a hard workout.
It says it serves 2, but I drank the whole thing.

Here is the list of ingredients from powdered PB2. As you can see the calories in 2 Tablespoons are only 45, compared to regular peanut butter which has about 190. 
Quite the difference.
I shared a cookie recipe using PB2 on my friend Tessa's blog a while ago.
  Here is the link if you want to look that up.
I have found that getting enough protein in your diet is very important.
It not only helps keep you full feeling longer, but it also helps in building and repairing muscles.
If you are wondering how much protein you should eat per day {it's more than I bet you think}
bodybuilding.com has a way to calculate it. Go here for that info.
I've found it tricky finding high protein and low fat foods. Here are a few of my favorite choices:

nonfat greek yogurt
turkey jerky
southwestern egg beaters
PB2
supreme protein bars
nonfat milk aka tall nonfat vanilla latte at Starbucks :)
chicken and hummus plate at Starbucks
protein plate at Starbucks
are you seeing a trend here? 
So, calculate your protein intake for the day and see how many you are consuming.
It's hard and you have to gradually work your way up.
Good luck!
Melaine

INGREDIENTS:

Roasted peanuts, sugar, salt.
Serving size: 2 Tablespoons (12 grams)
Servings per container: 15
Calories: 45
Calories from fat: 13
Value and % Daily Value*
  • Total fat 1.5 g 3%
  • Saturated fat 0 g 0%
  • Trans fat < 0.01 g
  • Cholesterol < 0.01 mg 0%
  • Sodium 94 mg 4%
  • Total carbohydrate 5 g 2%
  • Dietary fiber 2 g 8%
  • Sugars 1 g
  • Protein 5 g
  • Vitamin A < 1%
  • Vitamin C 0%
  • Calcium <1%
  • Iron 0%

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

~pumpkin protein shake~

Here's an easy dessert you can whip up in your blender that is full of protein!



~enjoy~
Melaine

Monday, May 27, 2013

~body weight exercises~

You don't have to belong to a fancy gym to exercise.

There are so many different ways to exercise using no equipment at all.
Besides running for cardio, here are a few of my favorites that I like to do.

Shoulders and arms:

Tricep dips: Get seated near a step or bench. I use the bottom of my stairs. Sit on the floor with knees slightly bent, and grab the edge of the elevated surface {in my case, the bottom step}  and straighten the arms. Bend them to a 90-degree angle, and straighten again while the heels push towards the floor. 

Core:

Side plank:  Roll to the side and come up on one foot and elbow. Make sure the hips are lifted  and your core is tight. Hold for 30-60 seconds.
Each time increase by a 10 seconds or so.
Remember to breathe.

Bicycle: Lie down with knees bent and hands behind the head. With the knees in toward the chest, bring the right elbow towards the left knee as the right leg straightens. Continue alternating sides.
Just like riding a bike in the air.

For your legs:

Squats: Stand with the feet parallel and about shoulder width apart. Slowly squat down bending the hips and knees until the thighs are at least parallel to the floor, like you are going to sit in a chair~keep your back straight.  Make sure your knees don't go over your toes. Make sure the heels do not rise off the floor. Press through the heels to return to a standing position. 

lunges: Stand with the hands on the hips and feet hip-width apart. Step the right leg forward and slowly lower your body until the right knee is close to or touching the floor and bent at least 90 degrees. Do not let your knees go over your toes, this means keeping your back straight. Return to the starting position and repeat with the left leg. Try stepping back into the lunge for a different variation.
Start with 15 on each side.

Chest:

push ups:With hands shoulder width apart, keep the feet flexed at hip distance, and tighten the core. Bend the elbows until the chest reaches the ground, and then push back up (make sure to keep the elbows tucked close to the body).  Do as many as you can like this, try for 15 for starters. If you need to, you can drop to your knees.

Remember to track how many calories you burn during your workout, so that you can reward yourself by eating those calories! If you don't have a way to keep track a good rule of thumb is to multiply 5 calories per minute of working out. If you work out for 30 min. You can calculate 150 burned. I usually aim for 60 minutes, as I like to eat! 


Melaine

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

~the easiest dessert for that sweet tooth~

Sorry, I know this recipe contains bananas and y'all asked for non banana desserts.
More to come, I promise.
This one was just too easy not to share.

Simply mash 2 ripe bananas, add 1 cup oats and 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips.
Bake at 350 for 15 min.
Enjoy!
Melaine

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Understanding Your Metabolism

Not to confuse you - (although I might), I want to go over what metabolism is and the different measurements of your metabolism, because in future posts - I'll probably refer to these different measurements and I want to be sure we are all on the same page. 

First - a standard definition of metabolism:  
 metabolism  -  |məˈtabəˌlizəm|
noun
the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life.

BMR - stands for Basal Metabolic Rate.  This is the amount of energy your body needs to sustain life at it's most complete state of rest.  This is what it needs for basic life functions - brain activity, organs functioning - etc.
RMR - stands for Resting Metabolic Rate - this is your resting metabolism.  Much like the BMR, but not as stringent - you are reclined, resting - but awake.
TMR - stands for Total Metabolic Rate - this is the number of calories your body needs to sustain life - (or your BMR), plus the amount of calories you spend during the day - your physical (or non-physical) as well as the energy you spend digesting food.

When I measure someone's metabolism through gas exchange - I will draw out a pie chart - and divide it into thirds.  Sixty % of your TMR, is used for your basic life functions - your body at rest, your RMR.  Ten % of your TMR, is used for food digestion and 30% of your TMR is used in your daily activity (not including your exercise).  I'm talking just your regular work day - running errands, things like that.  

No matter who you are - the goal is typically to increase your metabolism.  You can do this from 2 different directions.  You can increase your BMR/RMR - and/or increase your TMR.  In order to increase your BMR - you need to focus on increasing your muscle mass.  In order to increase your TMR - you can do lots of things - but one very general one is to simply increase your daily movement!!  Start there - just move more.  And I will give tips in future posts on ways you can increase your metabolism.  

I know sometimes if feels like we are always moving - but we really aren't.  For instance - I am CONSTANTLY on the "go."  But - I'm in the car a LOT - driving to clients homes, taking my kids to softball or other activities, then I'm sitting there waiting for them - or watching the games - it's a lot of sitting during the day - yet, I'm exhausted because I'm constantly on the go.  
So - I'd invited you to really look at your daily schedule - how much are you sitting and how much are you really moving??  Get out and work in the yard, clean out the garage -pick a project in the house and just dig in and move.  Avoid the couch - avoid the t.v. - just move.  Start there - and I'll share more ideas later.  

Shine on ~
Carrie

Friday, May 17, 2013

Metabolic Meltdown!

Metabolic Meltdown!! This is what you could have if you aren’t careful and eating enough!  Yes, you heard me correctly, eating enough!  I’ve been assessing metabolism for over 5 years now and have run over 600 assessments.  What I have found to be the case, probably 90% of the time, is that people aren’t eating enough!  My niche is fat loss, thank goodness since there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of it – and when someone comes in to see me, the story is always the same, maybe with small variations.  But the story goes like this:

I must have a REALLY slow metabolism cause I have been trying to lose 20 lbs for the last 6 months and it doesn’t seem to matter how well-behaved I am, I can’t seem to take it off.  The first 10 lbs came off real easy, but these last 10 are stubborn!!!  So – I added a couple more workout days, and I’m working out 6 days a week instead of 4 and I’m eating healthier than ever.  STILL – nothing!  I can’t possibly cut out any more calories – I must be broken or something, or have the slowest metabolism in the world.  Its ridiculous and I’m fed up and ready to give up!

Story sound familiar?  When this is going on - I have found there to be several reasons,..

1.  They aren't eating enough and are unintentionally in starvation
2.  There are hormone imbalances
3.  There are issues with their thyroid
4.  They tried the HCG diet and killed their metabolism - and it is now EXTREMELY low

There are ways to remedy each problem and work with them - but first you have to figure out what it is.  Number 2 & 3 need to be diagnosed and or ruled out by your physician.  Then ask yourself if you have tried the HCG diet - if you have, there is a good possibility that your resting metabolic rate IS very low and yes - it will be a challenge to lose the fat, but yes - it can be done.  If you have never tried that diet and number 2 & 3 aren't an issue - then there is a good chance that you simply aren't eating enough.  

If you live in an area where you can have a metabolic assessment done on yourself - through gas exchange, I highly recommend it.  They usually run between $250.00 - $300.00.   You will be able to learn what your caloric boundaries are by measuring your resting metabolic rate as well as your metabolism while you are exercising.  This is actually what we did with Melaine and Chris a couple years ago - it's the best way to go.  However - that is a bit more than what some can afford or want to spend - these days and or, you may not have one accessible to you.  

Another option is having your composition measured on a regular basis on an InBody.  Over a few weeks - having been measured consistently and regularly, you can see the trend - what your composition is doing and will be able to tell if you are losing lean muscle tissue or fat - and will then know, whether or not you need to increase your calories or cut them back.    

Something to be aware of though - your metabolism is dynamic and will change - for the better or worse, depending on your behavior.  Melaine and I will be sharing more information on the InBody - what it is, what it looks like - etc, in future posts.

Hope this helps a little - maybe give you some ideas or directions to go.

Carrie

Thursday, May 16, 2013

~2 easy banana dessert options~

I have a HUGE sweet tooth, so finding desserts that don't come with 5000 calories is hard for me.
5 chocolate chips isn't gonna cut it.
Here is 2 dessert options I have made recently
{sorry, the photos aren't that great}
and loved!

The first is a shake.
It comes in at 225 calories.

Mix in blender: 

1 frozen banana
{peel before freezing}

1/2 cup almond milk

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Blend until smooth.
Obviously you will need to adjust the calorie count depending on your protein powder etc.


 The second dessert is like a sundae and it comes in at 256 calories.
This recipe serves 2.

layer in a bowl:
{remember, cut this recipe in half for 1}

1 large banana

1/2 scoop protein powder mixed with 6 oz. nonfat greek yogurt

sprinkle on 1/2 cup blueberries

and
5 sliced strawberries

add
1/4 serving of granola

and
20 chocolate chips

DELISH!
If you have any good dessert options I'd love to hear! 
Melaine

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What to do when you really don't have a lot of time to work out

Okay - so you don't have a lot of time to exercise and you feel like you can't get a good enough workout in, in say - 20-30 minutes?  Try this...

10 push ups (on your knees if you need to)
10 dumbbell bent over rows - use a band if your don't have dumbbells
10 walking lunges - if lunges bother you, do body weight squats
10 sit ups
Then do some sort of cardio... either run around the block - do 1/4 of a mile - or jump rope (150 jumps), if you have an elliptical at home or a rower - do those for a specific distance

Repeat this circuit as MANY times as you can in 20 minutes.  Set the timer and GO!  The timed aspect of this workout is what will drive the intensity up. 
Keep track of how many circuits or rounds you were able to do in that time, so the next time you do the workout, you are going to try to beat that number.

Now of course - as with any workout regimen - if you need clearance from your Doctor - please do so.  Keep it safe - the goal is to keep you around for a while!!