New Things Saturday

Good morning! So last night, as told, we went to dinner at Kona Grill with good friends, Doug and Kelly. Keith and I were a little all over the place with our food selections. We actually had sushi and pizza. ha…don’t judge. We split a sushi sampler and a margarhita pizza. Kudos to our waitress…she didn’t even flinch when we told what we wanted! 🙂

Okay now I want to talk about something. I want to talk about the Green Monster. Now I know this was HUGE in the blog world a few months ago. And truthfully, I am not one to jump on a bandwagon because everyone else has. So I honestly just never got the appeal of the green monster smoothie trend. Well this morning after a killer weight workout, I wanted something COLD! So I thought I would finally try it. Into the mix went:

  • 8 ounces water
  • ice
  • 1 peach
  • 1 scoop Jay Robb Vanilla Whey protein powder
  • handful spinach
  • 1 tsp xantham gum

My First Green Monster (Oh and yes I was wearing a sweatshirt...the sweat combined with the AC made me cold! haha)

I blended, I sipped, and then I might have geeked out all over my kitchen! THIS WAS AMAZING!!! You can’t even taste the spinach! I know, I know 90% of you are rolling your eyes while the words “duh” are running through your head! What can I say, I am late to trends! Case in point, it took me forever to embrace capri pants. But back to the point…I loved it.

What’s your favorite Green Monster creation! Bring it on!!

Today, we don’t have too much on the agenda. Laundry, as usual, and some cleaning. GAG! For Keith’s birthday (last March) me, my mom and stepdad, Jim, went in together and got him a huge gift certificate at a massage place for multiple 90 minute massage and today he is cashing in on another one from 3:30 to 5:00! LUCKY GUY! 😉 Then tonight I am making my first recipe from the recipe contest I have going. We are making Hilary’s chicken enchiladas! Results tomorrow!

HAPPY SATURDAY!!

Date Night Friday

Happy Friday everyone! Well my day started out pretty nice. I did my 25 minute Jackie Warner HIIT and then did weights. (I am getting good at this weight lifting thing! haha)

  • Renegade Push-Ups (30 reps/3 sets)
  • Dumbbell Flyes (15 reps/3sets)
  • Squat Jumps (30 reps/3 sets)
  • Sumo Squats (30 reps/3 sets)
  • Narrow Presses (15 reps/3 sets)
  • Dips (15 reps/3 sets)
  • Dumbbell Transverses (30 reps/3 sets)
  • Single Leg Jackknives (15 each side/3sets)
  • Wide Dumbbell Pulls (15 reps/3 sets)
  • Wingmans (30 reps/3 sets)
  • Dumbbell Deadlift (15 reps/3 sets)
  • Cross-Knee Bridges (30 reps/3 sets)
  • Concentration Curls (15 reps each arm/3 sets)
  • Alternating Dumbbell Curls with Rotation (15 each side/3 sets)
  • V-Tucks (30 reps/3 sets)
  • Bicycle (30 reps/3 sets)

WOWZERS…feel the burn!!! 🙂

I hope everyone is excited for the weekend. I am! Who has what going on? Tonight we have plans with some of our good friends, Doug and Kelly. We are headed to two of our favorite places. First, we are doing dinner at Kona Grill. Love this restaurant! Love! Then we are headed to Yogurt Planet for some fro-yo! Could this BE the most perfect night…um YES!

What are you doing tonight? Any fun plans??

Dinner last night was another easy and simple one. We grilled chicken breasts (marinated in lime juice and garlic) with roasted broccoli (and balsamic vinegar) and a side of fresh pineapple chunks! Very summery and very yum!

Easy Summer Dinner

Funny story. Keith and I have been married for almost 4 1/2 years and in that time period we have gone through 3 toaster ovens. We bought our 4th one yesterday. Seriously, we are hard on a toaster oven. We use it every single day. It is by far our most “go-to” kitchen appliance. So here’s my question, is it just me or does it seem like toaster ovens don’t have very long life expectancy rate in our house? Surely it isn’t normal to have to buy a new one every year. And this one didn’t even last us a year…we got our last one as a Christmas present from my brother! Please tell me this is normal? haha!

What kitchen appliance are you hard on?

And with that: HAPPY FRIDAY!!

Food Color Additives…Safe?

I was persuring one of my favorite websites: About.com and came across this fabulous information by Peggy Trowbridge Filippone:

The FDA separates color additives for foods into two categories: Certifiable or Exempt from Certification. Cerfiable color additives are man-made. They must be tested for consumption safety and approved or certified by the FDA to be added to their list. There are nine certified color additives on the FDA approved list from which a multitude of colors can be mixed.

Certified color additives are known as dyes or lakes. Dyes are water-soluble and be used in beverages, dry mixes, baked goods, confections, dairy products, pet foods, and other products. Lakes will not dissolve in water and are more stable than dyes. They are best-used in foods containing fats and oils or those foods which do not contain a lot of moisture to dissolve dyes, such as tablets, cake mixes, hard candies, and chewing gum.

Name/Common Name Hue Common Food Uses
FD&C Blue No. 1
Brilliant Blue FCF
Bright blue Beverages, dairy products, dessert powders, jellies, confections, condiments, icings, syrups, extracts
FD&C Blue No. 2
Indigotine
Royal blue Baked goods, cereals, snack foods, ice cream, confections, cherries
FD&C Green No. 3
Fast Green FCF
Sea green Beverages, puddings, ice cream, sherbet, cherries, confections, baked goods, dairy products
FD&C Red No. 40
Allura Red AC
Orange-red Gelatins, puddings, dairy products, confections, beverages, condiments
FD&C Red No. 3
Erythrosine
Cherry red Cherries in fruit cocktail and in canned fruits for salads, confections, baked goods, dairy products, snack foods
FD&C Yellow No. 5
Tartrazine
Lemon yellow Custards, beverages, ice cream, confections, preserves, cereals
FD&C Yellow No. 6
Sunset Yellow
Orange Cereals, baked goods, snack foods, ice cream, beverages, dessert powders,

Exempt from Certification are those color additives derived from natural resources which are known to be safe to consume. These exempt additives come from such sources as vegetables, minerals, animals as well as man-made concoctions from natural foodstuffs. Normally man-made color additives have no flavor, while colors made from natural foods may well impart some unexpected flavor and color results. Keep this in mind if you plan on using homemade natural color additives at home.

Colors Exempt from Certification
Annatto extract Beta-carotene B-Apo-8′-carotenal*
Canthaxanthin Beet powder Carrot oil
Caramel color Cottonseed flour, toasted
partially defatted, cooked
Cochineal extract (carmine)
Fruit juice Ferrous gluconate* Grape skin extract* (enocianina)
Grape color extract* Paprika oleoresin Paprika
Saffron Riboflavin Turmeric
Titanium dioxide* Vegetable juice Turmeric oleoresin
*Restricted to specific uses

Food Color Laws and Regulations

The Food and Drug Act of 1906 in the United States established a voluntary certification program regulating the addition of colors to our foods in the US.

Mandatory certification came with the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic (FD&C) Act of 1938, regulating what color enhancers could be added to not only foods, but also drugs and cosmetics.

In 1960, the laws were further amended to require any color additive be on the Federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved list. And, most recently, the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 now requires that any certifiable color additive used in food must be listed in the ingredient statement by its common or usual name.

All new color additives must be tested and proved not to cause harmful effects when consumed, and are approved only by petition to the FDA to be added to the certified list. Once approved, the FDA may still restrict usage to only certain types of foods.

The United Kingdom also regulates food color additives in their territories.

The 27 countries comprising Member States of the European Union Community have also established regulations on color additives to foods with quite an extensive list. 

I know in today’s world we can’t really get away from food color additives, but how do you feel about the above information? Do you think the FDA is doing enough to regulate these chemicals?

Thursday Recipe Winners

Happy Thursday everyone!! Well last night was an easy (but delicious dinner) we had Tilapia, steamed broccoli and kidney beans. Boring…but tasty and it did the trick! I simply seasoned my tilapia with some fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper and some garlic. It was nice and light.

Look out veggies!!

Workout this morning was nothing short of exciting. Woo-Flipping-Hoo….can you just hear the excitement. I tried running again. Can you see where this is going? I ran 4 miles at a (I think I might cry) slow pace. (6.7 on the treadmill) then I followed up with 20 minutes of HIIT from Monday. I know I need to not be so hard on myself but I feel like such a baby…my workouts suck. Okay there’s my Thursday pity party…moving on.

Let’s talk about the fun stuff and what most of you really want to know! The recipe contest winners!!! Well I am excited to say that we got some AWESOME entries and for those of you I didn’t pick…don’t worry I am still going to be making them! But for this contest, Keith and I chose:

So over the next few days to a week we will be testing all three of these recipes out. I will post for you the recipe and pictures with mine and Keith’s opinions and ratings! Remember the winner is going to get a copy of my first cookbook and a feature in my second cookbook scheduled to come out this November! WOO HOO!

Which would you make first?

Question of the day: Do you have any addictions?

Me: I am totally addicted to:

  1. Orbitz Sweet Mint Gum
  2. Crossword puzzles
  3. Ebay

Let’s Not Forget The Veggies

Last week I posted The Top 15 Healthiest Fruits  well what about vegetables? We can’t really forget about those? I present you with….

The Top Ten Healthiest Vegetables:

1. Collard Greens: widely consumed in the Southern US for many years, this leafy green vegetable packs a lot of nutrient value. Collard Greens have high levels of calcium, Vitamin E, and beta-carotene. In addition to these nutrients, it also boasts high selenium content. Collard greens can be had throughout the year but most consider them to be best between January to April.

2. Sweet Potatoes: the anti-oxidant properties of sweet potatoes can help to rid the body of free radicals linked to many chronic illnesses including diabetes and colon cancer. They are also thought to be able to lessen the effects of asthma and arthritis due to their anti-inflammatory tendencies. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of iron, calcium and fiber, and best of all they can be used in a number of recipes.

3. Broccoli: like so many vegetables out there, this one is also great protecting your body from the ravishes of cancer. They are attractive enough to enhance any dish but their uses go far beyond aesthetics. With high folic acid levels, it is useful in preventing birth defects. In addition it is great for getting enough calcium and vitamin C in your diet.

4. Onions: this unassuming bulb actually offers more health benefits than you may think. They help to lower blood sugar levels in addition to promoting good cardiovascular health. It has been proven that adding onions to your diet can reduce your risk of developing certain cancers and contribute to gastrointestinal health.

5. Carrots: ask anyone to name a vegetable, and most of them will say ‘carrot’ right off the bat. There’s a reason why this vegetable is so popular. Apart from being one of the most commonly used, it is the best source of the pro-vitamin A carotenes. They are also known to help strengthen the vision, in particular night vision. Carrots can also be used to regulate blood sugar levels and are good for the health of the colon.

6. Spinach: while most people make a face at the thought of eating this vegetable, but spinach actually protects us from a number of illnesses like arthritis, heart disease and osteoporosis. Studies have shown that spinach contains a minimum of 13 flavonoid compounds. Serious illnesses like ovarian and prostate cancer can also be helped by consumption of spinach.

7. Kale: this vegetable has a multitude of benefits for the body. Like every other vegetable it contains important vitamins, but has more dietary value per calorie than most vegetables. Kale is known for its detoxing ability, as well as its proven capacity for reducing the risk of cancer, especially of the ovaries. Consuming adequate amounts of this vegetable can also help to keep lungs healthy. Maybe the best thing about kale is that it can easily be grown in home gardens.

8. Eggplant: studies have indicated that eggplant may have a protective effect on the brain. The fact that they are low in calories makes it a popular food among dieters and health conscious individuals. This vegetable has high levels of copper, potassium and fiber. Eggplants positive effect on cardiovascular health is well documented.

9. Cucumbers: widely acknowledged for its soothing effect on the skin, cucumber is popular not only for eating but skincare products. It has a positive overall effect on the body, including the ligaments, bones and muscles, and is also essential for a healthy complexion due to its hydrating properties. Cucumbers are able to help lower blood pressure if consumed in sufficient quantities.

10. Asparagus: aside from promoting healthy skin, asparagus also contains fiber and vitamin B6. It is a good food for pregnant women to consume due its high levels of folate, which also promotes heart health. Another advantage is that it is low in sodium, but contains potassium, and helps to maintain a healthy large intestine.

What is your favorite vegetable?

Wednesday Wonders

Good morning everyone! Happy Wednesday to you! It’s hump day…already! Is this week flying or is it just me? Last night I wasn’t feeling all that great so I (bad wife) left Keith to his own devices regarding dinner. I don’t really know what is going on with me but my energy level is about a 1 on a scale of 1 to 100 and I just feel blah. I don’t really have a reason to be so tired but….whatever…I am. So the bad wifey left Keith on his own. Sue me! 😉

I got a full 8 hours of sleep and I felt better this morning. My workout was a good one! I ran 3 miles (8:50/pace) and then did weights again. I was sore from Monday but in a good way…plus the burn does feel good. I have to admit. Today was:

  • Dumbbell Hammer Presses (15 reps/3 sets)
  • Reverse Dumbbell Presses (15 reps/3 sets)
  • Sissy Squats (30 reps/3 sets)
  • Front Dumbbell Lunges (15 each leg/3sets)
  • Triceps Kickbacks (15 reps/3sets)
  • Nose Busters (15 reps/3 sets)
  • Ab Hold (30 seconds/3sets)
  • Windshield Wipers (30 reps/3 sets)
  • Dumbbell Presses w/ Twist (15 reps/3 sets)
  • Dumbbell Flys (15 reps/3sets)
  • UFC’s (30 reps/3 sets)
  • Front Kicks (15 reps each leg/3 sets)
  • Headbangers (15 reps/3sets)
  • Narrow Presses (15 reps/3 sets)
  • V-Tucks (30 reps/3 sets)
  • Bicycles (30 reps/3 sets)

Now I need to STRETCH!!!! But I do need to show you something, first. Keith has our organic garden back in full force! So we have transplanted the following:

  • bell peppers (orange and red)
  • cucumbers
  • summer squash
  • zucchini
  • spaghetti squash
  • okra (I AM MOST EXCITED ABOUT THIS ONE!)

This is our second garden. The first one we had a lot of success with the squash and broccoli but our main problem was pill bugs. They literally starting eating our root systems. We want to have an organic (pesticide-free) garden so we tried a lot of natural remedies and nothing worked! But we are going to try and be more diligent this time and catch those guys before they start!

Do you have a garden?

How do you keep the bugs away and still be organic?

Don’t forget to enter my Cooking Contest. You have until tonight to enter! Keith and I are already torn at what to chose…keep those emails coming!!

Tuesday Contest!

Well hello there! Happy Tuesday to you! I am ultra sore (in an I freaking love it) kind of way from yesterday’s weight workout. Today was a cardio day. Love me some cardio. I started with the a 30 minute HIIT from yesterday and then did the elliptical:

  • 15% incline @ 4.0 (2 minutes), 1 % incline @ 6.5 (2 minutes), 3.5% incline @ 3.5 (1 minute): REPEAT 6 TIMES
  • 30 minutes on the elliptical (I climbed Mount Figi today…hehe)
  • I know sometimes the programs the machines have built-in are kind of cheesy but I like them when it comes to the stairmaster and the elliptical! One hour of cardio, 600 calories later and I am trying to remind myself that bum knee in all this was a good workout. I guess you can force a runner not to run but you can’t take the mindset out of her as easily.

    Do you ever do the built-in programs the machine offer?

    Last night for dinner I made some killer chicken strips! (Thanks to Jessica and Julie for the inspirations) They were so good! I also made cauliflower mashed potatoes and steamed some zucchini. It was quite the meal!

    OATMEAL CRUSTED CHICKEN TENDERS

    • 1 cup oats
    • 1/2 tsp. paprika
    • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
    • 1/4 tsp. cumin
    • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp. pepper
    • 1 pound skinless chicken breast tenders
    • 1/2 cup egg substitute (or 2 eggs, beaten)

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

    Mix everything together in a ziploc bag, except eggs and chicken. Beat the eggs and dredge chicken strips in egg mix. Place the eggy chicken tenders in the ziploc bag and shake to coat.

    Place tenders on a baking sheet, sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 15 minutes until golden and crispy.

    Serves: 4

    Per Serving: 218 Calories; 2.8g Fat (0.9g saturated fat); 65.7mg Cholesterol; 135.8mg Sodium; 27.2g Carbohydrates; 4.5g Fiber; 0.3g Sugar; 31.9g Protein

    CAULIFLOWER MASHED POTATOES

    • 1 head of cauliflower, trimmed to florets
    • 1/8 cup unsweetened almond milk
    • salt, pepper, to taste
    • paprika

    Steam Cauliflower until soft. Puree cauliflower, milk, salt and pepper in food processor until creamy.

    Pour into a baking dish and sprinkle with paprika. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees until bubbly.

    Serves: 4

    Per Serving: 52.7 Calories, 0,5g Fat (0.1g saturated fat); 0.0mg Cholesterol; 63.7mg Sodium; 10.9g Carbohydrates; 5.3g Fiber, 0.0g Sugar; 4.2g Protein

    Kelly's Healthy Chicken Tenders

    I loved chicken tenders and mashed potatoes when I was a kid and now I love having a healthy alternative to the fried calorie bombs that usually go with the word: chicken tenders! So this brings me to THE CONTEST! Leave me a comment or email me (Kelly0412@hotmail.com) your favorite healthified recipe. Meaning give me a traditionally unhealthy dish that you have made healthy! Anything is fair game….entrees, side dishes, desserts…whatever you want! Keith and I will go through all of them and decide to make three of them! From those three we will pick a winner. And the winner will get….drum roll please….a copy of my cookbook (that I published last November) PLUS a feature in my upcoming cookbook! I am hoping to have it ready by this coming November (just in time for the holidays) and you will get your own page and short bio. So start sending those recipes in folks! You have until Wednesday (at midnight) to enter! 3, 2, 1….GO! 🙂

    Get those recipes in people…Keith and I are ready to COOK! 🙂