Tuesday, January 31, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 29

Well I've survived 29 days of working on a healthier me. I have done really good only truly cheating one day when I had a cheeseburger and fries at a tradeshow beccause my options were really limited and I had ice cream twice. Portion control has been key and I'm noticing my stomach not needing as much to be full.

I have worked out more in the past 29 days then I did in the previous 60. It is nice to have Pinterest (I'm sure you all are sick of seeing that word) to be able to collect work outs that I can easily do in my room at a hotel, at the guy's place or at home giving myself no excuse not to work out but it has also been very helpful to have my IPad to keep me occupied and prevent boredom.

I have lost weight, but I will be checking my body fat when I am back at the gym in KC and give a full report. This isn't the end of my healthy eating and working out, this was a lifestyle change that I am keeping up with. Cool part is that I have friends that want to run a 5K as part of our next girls trip so I think in March I'm going to start working on the couch to 5K, February is just too crazy with my travel to keep up.

Monday, January 30, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 28

ABS! So not only am I trying to eat foods that are good for your abs...for example it is widely reported that low-fat dairy products are good for helping to fight belly fat. Since November I have probably drank more milk (1% or Skim always) than I drank in all of 2009 and 2010. I once purchased Oreos with the thought that I would allow myself two Oreos if I would drink a glass of milk...that lasted through about a half gallon of milk and a full bag of Oreos so I didn't follow my plan very well. But for some reason I have really enjoyed milk...you are welcome my dairy farming friends.

Anyway I did this workout last Friday...and do you know it is pretty difficult to do 100 high kicks...I guess not if you are a Rockette but fortunately for me they weren't looking for any 5'4'' members with a 32 inch inseam..even though I know how they have no love handles on that stage giggling around...it really works your obliques.

Try it out...it was fun and only took about 7 minutes.

Isn't this a creative way to show this? Image from here

Sunday, January 29, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 27

This will be my biggest challenge week and it is interesting because my challenge is almost up but I'm not stopping my healthy eating or working out.

I've downloaded a new TV series to follow, Hart of Dixie starring Rachel Bilson. It seems cute and happy which I need after watching Hell on Wheels which I loved but need something a little more light hearted.

Image from here
This I've also printed off and put into my planner. Being at a week long, demanding tradeshow with early mornings and late nights will make it a challenge to work out.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 26

It's Saturday and I'm planning to go to the movies with my mom and grandma. Janet Evanovich's book series about Stephanie Plum has now been turned into a movie called One for the Monday...which is also the same name as her first book. (there are now 18 books in the series!)

Everyone loves buttered popcorn at a movie and only god knows how many calories are in that oily butter substance that you pour over the top of the popcorn outside the concession area. So looking at some lighter options on snacks for the movie theater and it looks like I need to bring my big purse and some snacks inside there. Here are some great snack options for a movie or any other trip that you have planned (for example great for traveling or a road trip).

Prepop a bag of 98% fat free popcorn at home
Homemade Trail mix with raisins, almonds, coconut
Fat-free pretzels

Hope you take some time this weekend to relax and enjoy your family and/or friends!

Friday, January 27, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 25

So who needs a sweet treat to finish out this week? I do! I do!

I've always heard that you can add a can of Diet Sprite or Diet Coke to a cake mix and it makes it wonderful and low fat, this photo and link below shows how to make strawberry cupcakes for less than 100 calories each. This recipe is for strawberry, but think about the other options you could do....

Vanilla Cake Mix with Diet Orange Sunkist for a yummy Dream Sickle flavor
Lemon Cake Mix with Diet Sprite and add some lemon juice or zest for extra flavor
Chocolate Cake Mix with Diet Coke
Cherry Cake Mix with Diet Dr. Pepper

Image and recipe from here

Thursday, January 26, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 24

More Mexican items! You all know I love Mexican...here are some other great healthier recipes!

Black bean, feta and zucchini taco from here

Skinny Enchiladas only 158 calories per enchilada...seriously! Recipe pinned here

And even a breakfast option...Huevos Rancheros

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 23

I get BORED when I work out...I mean BORED...I am excited to work out, I like to work out then I get to the gym and even if there is a TV in front of me when their commercials come on I am BORED. Commercials bore me, shhhh don't tell the industry that I am working in!

So I found a couple links on Pinterest (shocked I know right?) that had the best songs for running and working out.

Link from Pinterest

Link to Pinterest
But there comes a point and time when no matter how many new songs you add, you need something else...when I hit this wall I remembered my friend Angie always watching episodes of her favorite TV shows and I thought I could do that from my I-Pad. So I downloaded a new TV show I had wanted to watch...Hell on Wheels on AMC and only allow myself to watch it while I'm on the treadmill. Great motivation. I actually catch myself on the treadmill longer than I plan which is fantastic.

If you have suggestions on shows I could watch please leave a comment!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 22

I made a delish meal last night...and it was all healthy and the main recipe came from my Pinterest board.

I made Asian Chicken Drumsticks (recipe below), acorn squash and jasmine rice. The acorn squash was soooo simple. Cut the squash in half and clean out the pulp, strings and seeds. Place cut side down in a baking dish with a 1/4 inch of water and bake on 400 for 35 minutes. At 35 minutes discard the water and turn over the squash, add brown sugar or honey and a little butter and broil for 5 minutes. The jasmine rice I made directly from the package directions and it was soo sticky and yummy!!!

Image and recipe from here

Asian Glazed Drumsticks

8 medium chicken drumsticks, skin removed

olive oil spray (I used my Misto)
1 cup water
1 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce (more or less to taste) -- I'm not a big fan so we used some chili powder
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ginger, grated
2 tbsp chives or scallions, chopped
1 tsp sesame seeds

In a heavy large saucepan, brown chicken on high for 3-4 minutes with a little spray oil. Add water, balsamic, soy sauce, agave, garlic, ginger, hot sauce and cook on high until liquid comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes. Remove cover and bring heat to high, allowing sauce to reduce down, about 8-10 minutes, until it becomes a thick glaze, turning chicken occasionally. (Keep an eye on glaze, you don't want it to burn when it start becoming thick) Transfer chicken to a platter and pour glaze on top. Top with chives and sesame seeds and serve.

Monday, January 23, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 21


Anyone can do this and it is quick!

Image from here

Copycat recipie - IHOP Corn Cakes

So this weekend we found out that the guy has a love for IHOP's Corn Cakes. You might be asking what are they, well we didn't know and we found out that he had them once and they took them off the menu so he is boycotting IHOP. Good to know. So the next morning we found my mom looking up the copy cat recipe for IHOP's corn cakes that she was going to make for breakfast...sweet. On a side-note we also found out that my mom is using the Granola Recipe that I posted and adding it to pancakes to make them heartier and healthier and my dad loves them, so he suggested we put the granola in the corn cakes. We didn't know how that would work exactly but tried it and IT WAS AWESOME. The best part wasn't only the great texture from the corn cakes, think pancake with cornbread type texture but also the cinnamon really popped from the cakes and they were pretty awesome. I've put the recipe for the corn cakes below and off to the side I've added comments on how they could be made lighter if you were so inclined. How to add the granola is simple, after you pour the cake batter into the pan sprinkle the granola on top of the surface of the cake and it will bake right in without getting too soggy. How crafty is Janet?

Copycat Recipe for IHOP's Corn Cakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour OR you could use whole wheat flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs OR you could use egg substitute
2/3 cup granulated sugar OR you could use a sugar substitute like Stuvia
1 cup whole milk OR you could use 1% or skim milk (which is what we did)
3/4 cup buttermilk OR you could use low-fat or fat-free buttermilk (which is what we did)
1/3 cup butter, melted
butter, oil, or non-stick cooking spray (not olive oil)

1. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. In another bowl, blend eggs and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add milk, buttermilk, and melted butter and mix well.
3. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with your mixer until smooth. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes.
4. Heat a large skillet or griddle to low-medium heat. Add butter or oil to pan or spray the hot pan with nonstick spray.
5. Spoon 1/4 cup portions of the batter onto the prepared pan -- cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until brown. Serve pancakes with butter and syrup.
Makes 16 to 18 pancakes.

Hint: To freeze leftover pancakes, place in small stacks (of 2 or 3) in sandwich-size zip-top bags. To reheat, take the frozen stack of pancakes out of the bag. But them on a plate and heat in the microwave for one minute on high or until hot.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 20


I love all things pumpkin which I showed off in some posts last fall...

Pumpkin Risotto
Pumpkin Cupcakes

Those probably aren't the healthiest of menu items, but they sure are tasty and good to have on occasion, but not ever day. So I found a couple of recipes that could be healthy...first and foremost I love pumpkin butter and thought that I could put it on my Low-Fat Eggo Waffles instead of all-natural peanut butter, put it on toast, add it to pancake batter, the list goes on and on...so here is a great recipe for pumpkin butter and also a way to use it in a great low-fat smoothie!

Pumpkin Smoothie
Pumpkin Butter

Saturday, January 21, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 19

So all this travel has been getting in the way of my cooking...and when I finally am somewhere I can cook I don't know my way around the kitchen so sometimes it is more frustrating than not. So I'm sharing two recipes today that I hope to make early next week before I have to go back to another trade show. I love breads but haven't cooked much with wheat flour...I learned today listening to the Martha Stewart Channel on Satellite Radio (yes I know, I am a dork, but after 14+ hours of driving in a few days you need something other than music) that you can't just swap out wheat flour for white unbleached flour. So I found a couple great recipes that already use that, plus they have some sweetness to them which I haven't been craving a lot, but you can never be too prepared.

Low Fat Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Low Calorie Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Bread

If I get a chance to make these next week I'll post some pictures!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Agriculture Degrees Are VALUABLE

So my blood was boiling as well as many others of you who have agricultural degrees when Yahoo posted a blog by Terence Loose entitled College Majors That Are Useless and Agriculture topped the list at #1. But the more perplexing thing was that Animal Science and Horticulture were broken out separately from Agriculture and came in at #4 and #5. That tells me a little something about Mr. Loose and the experts that he is using considering most if not all Animal Science and Horticulture degree majors fall under Agricultural Colleges or Departments in most colleges, universities, junior colleges, technical schools and community colleges; especially when they define the #1 Useless Major: Agriculture as coursework in crops, plant diseases, animal husbandry, basic veterinary science (both of the last two would definitely be Animal Science related).

As a blogger myself I know that there is some opinion on sources and information so I am not going to take a swing at Mr. Loose and his experts or the Department of Labor's numbers. Instead I want to remind everyone about a couple things: 1. how statements can be used in beneficial ways and 2. how important agriculture is to your every day life.

  1. Statements can be used in beneficial ways: It would have been pretty simple for the title of this blog to have been College Majors with Fewest Job Opportunities (if in fact these are the top majors for that) vs. College Majors that Are Useless. Now the word useless as defined by an online source is; being of having no beneficial use; futile or ineffective. No use huh? Well that brings me to my second point...
  2. How important is agriculture to your every day life: Do you eat? Then very important. Do you wear natural fiber clothing? Then very important. Do you wear make-up? Then very important. Do you wear leather shoes, carry leather handbags, have leather seats in your car? Then very important. Agricultural touches everyone's lives world wide. It affects you if you choose to eat conventionally raised foods or organic foods; if you are a grocery store shopper or have your own garden in your back yard; you prefer grass fed beef or corn fed beef. There are many parts of agriculture that are often forgotten about like those that are trying to help feed a growing world population with a decreasing farm land mass. Those that are trying to find alternative fuel sources through bio fuels reducing our dependence on foreign oil fuels. Those that are trying to increase the nutrient value of foods by altering the genetics of those foods from the seed source.
I am an ag major, proud graduate from the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources with a General Agriculture degree and have had a job from the moment I graduated from college steady through today almost 10 years later in agriculture but not on the production side. My brother is also a graduate from Missouri State University with an Animal Science degree and the University of Missouri with his Veterinary Medicine Degree and works in a very important side of animal production without being directly involved in agriculture production through his chosen profession but we both are active on the farm so possibly could be considered farm managers.

As an employer I manage a marketing team of seven people who are focused every day on agriculture but not focused on daily production. I do look for agricultural majors when making hiring decisions and I think they are not useless employees but bright, hard working and educated individuals who are working in a field they are excited and passionate about...agriculture, the industry that feeds and clothes us.

Here are a series of posts with Ag Facts in them I did last summer:
Ag Fact About Corn
Ag Fact About Pork
Ag Fact About Farms
Ag Fact About Wheat

So this blog was more therapeutic for me than anything else. I hope those of you who may have considered Mr. Loose's blog to be very enlightening will think again about the uselessness of an agriculture degree. I'm sure Mr. Loose has received many disgruntled messages from angry aggies across the country. If the title was used for hype and attention, it worked, and it gave us in the ag industry the perfect platform to share our stories with the world. Thanks for the attention, we love it!

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 18

So this is a little healthy food Superbowl preview...I unfortunately will not be enjoying a Superbowl party this year because I will be traveling back from a roping that weekend. But I have been pinning some recipes that I have been dying to try with friends in a party atmosphere like watching a game, etc. Here are a couple of recipes you can try if you are looking to lighten up your Superbowl fare this year...fair warning I have not tried any of these recipes so if you do, please let me know how they turn out.

Skinny Coconut Shrimp
Image from here
Baked Southwest Egg Rolls

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 16

So week two staying at hotels. I am fortunate that the hotel I am in this week has a 24 hour fitness room; but last night it was PACKED! So I have really wanted to do this 100 workout which is similar to a workout that I do at the gym with my trainer but this doesn't require anything but some space and a treadmill (or the outdoors if I wasn't in Minneapolis and it wasn't -2 degrees this morning). But last night there wasn't enough room so I am bound and determined to try it tonight when I'm done with the show.

I found the workout on Pinterest.

Image from here

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 15

Half way point here...and I have to say I feel like I am healthier but I am not going to take any quantitative measurements until the 29 days are complete. I do know that I have not been eating as big of portions so that is awesome, I've been eating waaaay more fruits and vegetables and I have not once been forced to eat fast food aside from Subway. Today I picked up some meal replacement bars knowing I am going to be at a trade show and not sure what kind of food there will be available at the show.

I've been thinking about Mexican food a lot...I love Mexican food, I love the chips, cheese, burritos and quesadillas covered in cheese but know that isn't on the weekly plan but is something I can have every once in a while. We were fortunate enough to be invited to dinner to a friend's house on Saturday night for tacos which completely satisfied my Mexican food craving and also a margarita or two to wash them down. So I got to thinking yesterday, what is a way to cut the fat and calories in Mexican food, specifically tacos or what is the comparison?

I pulled this information from a calorie comparison site called Calorie King.
  • Ground Beef (218 cal, 13 grams fat in 3 oz browned) vs. Ground Turkey from breast meat (161 cal, 6 grams fat in 3 oz browned)
  • Taco Shells (62 cal, 3 grams fat in 5 inch diameter) vs. Fat Free Soft Taco Wraps (90 cal, 0 grams of fat, 6 inch tortilla)
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese (100 cal, 8 grams of fat in 1 oz) vs. 2% Milk Reduced-Fat Cheddar Cheese (80 cal, 6 grams of fat in 1 oz) vs. Fat Free Cheddar Cheese (45 cal, 0 grams of fat in 1 oz)
  • Sour Cream (26 cal, 2.5 grams of fat in 1 tablespoon) vs. Light Sour Cream (18 cal, 1.4 grams of fat in 1 tablespoon) vs. Fat Free Sour Cream (8 cal, 0 grams of fat in 1 tablespoon)
  • Salsa, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, olives, etc. are pretty much freebies so enjoy as much as you want!
So the full fat version would tally at approximately 406 calories and 26.5 grams of fat and the lightest fat version would come in closer to 304 calories and 6 grams of fat. Now you could pick and choose your demons...like me for example I love me some beef so I would likely not replace turkey for the beef in a taco but I could do all the others. If you wanted to add some more protein to the meal do what I do on occasion and add a can of black beans to the meat you use, use fat free plain Greek Yogurt and/or avocado on top.

Being completely honest I'll take the full fat version any time. I also want to promote the taco seasoning that our friends used the other night. It was amazing, just like Mexican restaurant seasoning not like the orange stuff I usually use! It was Chi-Chi's and it was really good. I've never seen it at my grocery store but they do have it on Amazon!

Image from here...

Monday, January 16, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 14

So I used to have an obsession with Panera's Baked Potato soup, but know that isn't on the 29 days healthier train, so I was on the search for a healthier version and of course came across one on Pinterest. The soup turned out pretty good and it was hard to believe that you could add cheese, bacon and sour cream (even though we are using fat-free plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream these days) and it was still healthy. I will warn you that if you have texture problems then you need to make sure you have an immersion blender like they suggest, I did not have one of those and I had an electric mixer and it left some grainy chunks but they did smooth out with some sour cream and cheese when added, but the taste was awesome.

Many of these recipes I've been using have been from a site skinnytaste.com. Check it out sometime.

Doesn't this look YUMMY! Image from here...

Baked Potato Soup

Servings: 5 • Size: 1 cup • Calories: 207.6 • Fat: 7.8 g • Carb: 22.5 g • Fiber: 2.4 g • Protein: 11.9 g

2 russet potatoes, washed and dried
1 small head of cauliflower, stem removed cut into florets
1 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth
1 1/2 cups 1% reduced-fat milk
salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup light sour cream
10 tbsp reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 tbsp chopped chives, divided
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (you can use turkey bacon if you prefer)

Pierce potatoes with a fork; microwave on high for 5 minutes turn over and microwave another 3 - 5 minutes, until tender. Or if you prefer to use your oven, bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes.

Meanwhile, steam cauliflower with water in a large covered pot until tender. Drain and return to pot. On medium heat, add chicken broth, milk, potatoes and bring to a boil. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Add sour cream, half the chives, salt and pepper and cook on low another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat. Ladle 1 cup soup into each bowl. Top each serving with 2 tbsp cheese, remaining chives, and bacon.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 13

This is the best idea ever for quick morning smoothies and a great way to ensure the big containers of yogurt you get at the stores don't spoil before you get through them (or at least that is my reasoning because I live alone and travel and sometimes I just don't get all the way through them but they are so much cheaper).

Using a muffin tin (I used a mini, this used a regular, whatever you want works) put your yogurt in the cups, freeze until solid and pop out using a spoon (they come out very easy!) and freeze up in individual containers with the fruit of your choice for a grab and go smoothie. Add the container to the blender with some milk or juice and there you go. And of course I got this idea off Pinterest!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

29 days to a healtier me - DAY 12

Who doesn't love corn bread? It is so good and so comforting and so corny...well not the kind I make because I am a strange person who doesn't like actual corn in things. I like corn...corn on the cob, corn from the cob, corn frozen from the cob, but that is about how I like corn...not in soups, not in salsas, not in casseroles. Ok so I will eat it in all of those last three but they aren't my favorite. Anyway back to the cornbread...I found a great recipe online that is a low fat corn bread, in fact there is less than 1 gram of fat per serving. Amazing. So I whipped up some this past weekend and we had it with a version of my Mexican Chicken Soup. This recipe was also for sure guy tested and guy approved. The guy also warmed up a piece and put a little honey on it later that night for a sweet dessert treat.

I got the recipe off food.com, and made it in about 2 minutes.

Low Fat Cornbread
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
2 eggs beaten (or 1/2 cup egg substitute which is what I used)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Stir in yogurt and eggs. If you want to add anything else like jalapenos or corn or chilies or anything else you like in your cornbread this is where you would add it as well. Pour into an 8 inch square pan sprayed with cooking spray, bake for 20 minutes.

Friday, January 13, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 11

Happy Friday the 13th! I made this great hummus last weekend and put into small containers so I had little snack containers all week. You could flavor with anything you wanted though like roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, flavored olive oils or other herbs...make it your own. If you like it smoother then make it in the blender, if you don't mind a little grit then the food processor works great.

Homemade low-fat hummus
1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek)
1 TBS tumari
1 clove of garlic (crushed)
2 tsp fresh dill
1 TBS fresh squeezed lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined and to the consistency you like. Add more yogurt to make more creamy or a little bit of olive oil to break down the consistency.

Love my little mini chopper...all the goods ready to be mixed!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - Day 10

So I am a salt freak, I love salty things especially crackers and chips. I've always heard about baked kale leaves can replace a craving for chips so I thought it was worth the try...and drum roll please...it wasn't half bad, but the worst part was I over salted mine so I couldn't eat all of them, but I will for sure make them again.

Making the Kale Chips was pretty simple. I pulled the first recipe off the internet I could find and used it.

Baked Kale Chips
1 bunch of kale, hard stem removed, rinsed and dried
olive oil

Preheat oven to 375. Toss kale in oil to just start to coat, I used a little more than 1 tbs but had a decent sized bunch of kale. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes until edges start to brown but don't burn. Remove and let cool, sprinkle lightly (VERY LIGHTLY) with sea salt or seasoning salt and enjoy!

Please don't critique my pan...I know it needs help...but the kale is pretty!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - Day 9

Last weekend I needed comfort food, I needed something yummy and meaty so I took to the internet to find a recipe for low-fat meatloaf. As you can imagine most of the recipes included turkey, now I've never worked with ground turkey before so I had an eye-opening experience when I got it out of the package and it was like soft mush. I also, being the good beef raising girl I am, I had to add beef to the recipe, it just isn't meat loaf without some beef in it. My own twist was using chili sauce, you can get it in the ketchup section and it is a sweeter version of ketchup...there is NO spice to it, I like to add it to things that you would normally add brown sugar and ketchup to like ham balls and little smokies. This has been guy tested and guy approved and that is saying something from a meat and potatoes loving guy. We paired it with boiled and roasted red potatoes and roasted asparagus. I got the base of this recipe from a recipe on Good Housekeeping.

Turkey Meatloaf
1 pound turkey
1/2 pound ground chuck (or other lean beef)
1/4 cup skim milk
1/3 cup egg white/egg substitute
12 saltines (crushed)
2 tbs worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tsp mustard (Dijon or yellow)
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the turkey, beef, milk, egg, saltines, worcestershire, 1/2 cup of the chili sauce and salt and pepper in a bowl. If the meatloaf is runny add more crackers, if it seems too dry then add more milk. Shape into a loaf, now because of the consistency of the turkey the loaf won't hold shape quite like an all beef one does so if you have a loaf pan I'd go with that. Combine the remaining chili sauce, ketchup and mustard and pour over the top of the meatloaf. Cook for 55-60 minutes being careful not to overcook and dry out the meatloaf.

Leftovers make great sandwiches or can be frozen to eat later if you make a whole loaf for just one or two people. We had 6-7 good servings out of this recipe.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 8

Today is the first day of this challenge that I am traveling for work. For those of you who travel for work you know how difficult it is 1) stay on a work out schedule, 2) eat well (airports aren't always a hotspot for healthy fast food and 8:30 p.m. customer dinners at steak houses don't digest well), 3) drink enough water (because the last thing I want to do is have to pee on a plane, I am a window seat sitter so that is just a pain for everyone) and 4) stay on a sleep schedule.

Ways that I have learned to combat some of these 4 challenges are...1) take exercise bands so you have them in your suitcase and you feel guilty that you packed them and didn't use them...teasing, kind of, but exercise bands really give you a great way to work out in the room even if it is for 10 minutes. You can even use them as a jump rope so great dual purpose. 2) Learn not to get sucked into the 8 course meal. If appetizers are ordered look for something like shrimp cocktail or pass all together; beware of salads, especially Cesar's because they are horrible in fat, always ask for your dressing on the side or ask for oil and vinegar; soups are very filling but can have a lot of hidden fats so watch cream based soups; order the smallest cut of meat you can find or share with a coworker if appropriate, I have been ordering fillets lately because they are typically available in 8 ounces even though I prefer a strip or rib eye but they are normally cut in minimum 10 ounces and I don't need that much food, plus I always feel guilty seeing half a beautiful steak go to waste so I end up eating it; sides are hard as well...go for the fresh veggies...steamed asparagus or broccoli are almost always offered at restaurants and if you have to have a dessert like I often do after all that food just see if you can have a bite of someone else's dessert or see if they have berries or sorbet. 3) Since water bottles are a no-no in airport travel I suggest taking a refillable water bottle that you empty before going through security and can fill on the other side instead of paying $5 for a bottle of airport water. 4) Learn to say no, know when you need to go to bed not only for your health but for your ability to get work done the next day. So now let's see if I can follow my own rules.

I was also out of town this weekend, not for work though, but still not near the gym or a treadmill that wasn't in a scary basement (ok so the basement isn't so scary, I just don't know my way around) and it was a good excuse to try out an on-the-road cardio/strength training exercise.

This was a great exercise and one that was extremely good for the butt! It is a great series to do if you are in a hotel that has a fitness center that closes before you are done with meetings or if you get back from dinner and feel horrible from all the food you ate. It took me less than 10 minutes to complete the entire series twice through. You can find this on my Pinterest Board.

Monday, January 9, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 7

One week in and I am excited about this lunch option great for anyone looking for something fresh. I made this the week between Christmas and New Years and paired it with a soup I had in the freezer for dinner one night when I was probably playing on Pinterest instead of doing my laundry and cleaning my house...but who is going to tell on me?

Try this sometime this week...you'll be happy you did. When I made this I didn't add the hot sauce because I'm not a fan of super spicy foods. I also only made one half a pita and ate the rest of it out of the bowl like a salad with a spoon. It wasn't my idea, but it was a good one, especially if you are watching carbs and I'm going to use it.

Spiced Avocado Sandwich

All the goodies chopped with the orange juice. I think you could use lemon juice if you don't have an orange close by...isn't this so pretty for a winter sandwich?

Hungry pita goodness. This whole wheat pita has 110 calories and no fat.

So last week I mentioned I was going to start doing a cycle in the mornings to boost my metabolism, honestly if I didn't have to put on a sports bra to do it I would have done it every day but the thought of doing that when I first wake up just makes me more tired. Well that happened for two whole days and both of those days I felt awesome, so I am setting a goal to complete them all 5 days this week. The cycle again is 50 jumping jacks 5 pushups 20 sit ups 20 mountain climbers 30 second plank 7 burbees and you are supposed to repeat it 2 times. Honestly it only took me like 7 minutes to complete with a couple minute break in between curcuits so I could get a drink. This week I'm upping the ante and trying to add some intense ab work to it, which I know will significantly increase the time, but good for me. This fun little image I found on Pinterest says to do morning and night to reduce belly fat. I'm going to focus on once a day at first and maybe ease into twice a day if I can master the morning part.

You can find this image on my Pinterest Board. I am doing each exercise 10 times two times through with the exception of the last two, I'm doing a minute plank and skipping the last one since I am partnerless.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 6

After a weekend if I can I like to settle in for a nice Sunday night of watching football and make a nice home cooked meal. Last Monday, I invited Amber over and we had smoked pork chops and this new side of Butternut and Barley Pilaf. So I've never cooked barley before and not sure if I have had it aside from the Beef and Barley soup from Hereford House so I was excited to try it and it is a whole grain and very healthy for you.

Now I purchased the quick cooking barley, so I had to adjust when I put it into the broth, water and butternut squash mixture so you could either purchase the quick cooking and add it with 10-15 minutes left to cook or get the full strength stuff and follow the recipe exactly. Like I said we had a smoked pork chop with this but if you don't have something salty I would add a good amount of salt to the side-dish because it needs it to bring out the flavors.

Add this to a smoked pork chop or chicken breast with a herbed marinade for a homey, comforting Sunday night meal.

Butternut and Barley Pilaf

Saturday, January 7, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 5

Weekends kill me...I'm typically not home on the weekends, not that I am home a lot during the week. So not being at home means I can't control my meals like I can during the week when I am home. Here is a great recipe that we made last weekend with the 5 Spice Turkey Lettuce Wraps or if you remember we used pork not turkey. A super bonus to this meal is that it is only 171 calories per serving so if you have this alone as a meal you could add chicken or pork and not overdo the calories.

Moo Shu Vegetables

Friday, January 6, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 4

Friday! Day four is Friday and Friday's for me will be motivation days since weekends are rough for me. I'm usually hanging out with family or friends...often at a bar or somewhere there is a lot of yummy and bad for me food and alcohol.

Here is my motivation for today and the weekend!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 3

Day three, cleanse is over and time to eat some healthy, home cooked meals..starting with these tasty lettuce wraps. Now if you love PF Chang's like I do then these are a good healthy alternative and close to what you get at the restaurant, we made these last weekend and paired them with Moo Shu Vegetables which I will post on Saturday. You all know I don't like spice so I didn't go heavy on the 5 spice powder and we used ground pork instead of turkey. I'm sure that adjusts the fat and calories but I'm just not ready for ground turkey yet.

The one thing that these are missing is all the sauces. Honestly it really could use one of the sauces or some added soy sauce to provide a little more moisture and salt, but all in all very good.

5 Spice Turkey (or Pork) Lettuce Wraps

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 2

Day two of a healthier me in 29 days. Making sure I'm active each and every day is a challenge for me especially right now when I'm busy with work, it is cold outside and it it dark before I get home from the office. U.G.H.

So I am going to start trying to do this circuit starting today every morning for a week to see if I can see increased energy from getting started with exercise in the morning. This is something I can easily do in my home in less than 15 minutes with a little rest in between circuits.

Morning Energy Circuit

This isn't going to replace treadmill time at the gym, but it will hopefully get me motivated each day before I head out the door.

 I'm on day 2 of my cleanse, but I had to slightly modify it last night when I was at dinner with a vendor, but I still stayed with my protein and green's theme. Also here is a healthy recipe for the day...disclaimer I have not tried this yet but hope to possibly this weekend.

Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

29 days to a healthier me - DAY 1

As I mentioned yesterday I am starting off with a cleanse with normal food...veggies, fruit and protein...I'm going to use chicken as my protein.

Day 1 and 2 Cleanse

Monday, January 2, 2012

29 days to a healthier me

So I have been trying to eat right and work out more in the past 6 weeks. Which, considering the past 6 weeks has included Thanksgiving, Christmas (3 of them if you include all the different families) and New Years and also trips to Chicago, Vegas, DC and St. Louis it has been a challenge but I was able to come in a couple pounds under my starting weight. But the funny part is that I am much better about working out when I am on the road but eat worse; then when I am at home I eat better but don't work out as much except when I meet with my trainer. So for the next 29 days I am setting a goal for myself...this is not a resolution...this is the continuation of a change I made to my life in 2010 when I set out to eat better, take care of myself, loose weight and reduce my body fat index.

Being realistic I know I am not going to get started on this until I'm back in KC on the 3rd when I'm going to start out with a 2-day cleanse. This is not a crazy liquid only diet cleanse, it has actual food with real nutrients involved so I can still function during the two days and it has foods on it that I can find at the grocery store and can be conventionally raised/grown. It is designed to reset your system which is just what I need.

From there starting on the 5th I've been collecting healthy recipes through my board on Pinterest called "don't worry, be healthy" to be able to make during my 29 days to a healthier me. If you are not on Pinterest and would like to be let me know and I'll send you an invite it is an amazing place to keep ideas.

The challenge of this 29 days is that I will be traveling a minimum of 14 days. This will make me focus on eating healthy on the road, packing healthy snacks, keeping up on my water in-take and getting into the gym even if I have to beg the hotel staff to allow me in before or after hours.

Regardless, I will post 29 healthy meals that I have collected off Pinterest to this blog throughout my 29 days, some of which I will have tried...others I will have not due to travel but I'll do my best to try them before posting them. I will also have little work outs that I have found online that I am going to try while on the road along with ones that my trainer has provided to me especially for hotel work outs.

Check back tomorrow for the cleanse I'm following.