Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

These are a quick, healthy, delicious option for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 TBS brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup skim milk
1 egg (you can use 2 egg whites)
2 TBS applesauce
2 bananas (overripe/mashed)
*cinnamon optional

combine wet ingredients & then add dry ingredients're not hard core...unless you live hard core...

I love, love, LOVE to run. Crazy, i know, but true. Last summer I began training for my first full marathon. I had done my first half marathon the previous April and loved it so much I was sure the experience of a full marathon would be just as incredible. My training was going really well until i got up to my 18 mile long run. At this point i started to have major problems with my lower back to the point where i could barely walk, let alone run. Sadly, i had to pull out of training and take some time off of running all together. My back continued to hurt for several months, and all i tried to do to remedy it didn't seem to help. I sought the help of some doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists and was still having the same pain. At this point i decided to take matters into my own hands. After doing some research I found something I thought might help me. It is called core training. The term was nothing new to me, being in the fitness industry it is something you hear all the time. But, i had never studied it as in depth until this point. Your core is the center of your body, and when your core is strong everything stemming out from your core will have more power as well.
I began to add more core work into my workouts, and the difference I have seen has been incredible. Not just in my running, but in everything i do. I have really been incorporating more core training with my clients as well, and their response to it has been 100% positive. From improvements in snowboarding, to lifting children, to just getting up and down all the time. Balance, coordination, and overall strength is improved. I'm sold on the fact that core training is important. I'm happy to say i'm running again. I'm preparing for the Salt Lake half in April, and if all goes well I'll have my first marathon completed by the end of the year! :)
A Few Core Exercise Tips
-Do regular exercises such as a shoulder press or bicep curl on a bosu ball, or standing on one foot. This causes you to use those core muscles to balance while doing other exercises.
-Try one legged squats and lunges, again causing you to use your core to balance while you're working your legs.
-Hold the plank position. Get down on your elbows and toes, keeping your hips flat and your body in line. Hold this position for a minute. If that is too easy add a weight on your back or try lifting up one foot at a time. This position is great to work those abs and your lower back at the same time.
-Do walking lunges with a twist. Grab a 5 or 10 lb dumbbell and hold it in front of you. Lunge forward with your right leg and, holding the weight out in front of you twist over to your right as you lunge down. Step back together with your left foot and repeat on the left side. Remember to keep those abs tight the whole time!
-Do pushups! They are a great way to work those core muscles, and get your upper body as well.
-Remember to work the lower back. Most people think "abs, abs, abs" but don't realize that to whittle that middle you can't just work half of it. You've got to strengthen your lower back, and obliques as well....aka your core.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


One of my favorite findings as of late are these DELICIOUS wraps called, Flat Out Wraps. You can buy them at any grocery store, usually somewhere near the deli. You can buy the original version or the "light" version which has less calories, and i think tastes great. As far as nutrition info goes each wrap has 90 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 9 grams of fiber, and 9 grams of protein. WOW! amazing, i know. I usually make mine with lean sliced turkey, baby spinach, sliced tomatoes, and fat free ranch dressing, or mayo. It is really filling and low calorie. If you go to the website you can look at all the awesome recipe ideas they have listed including pizza, wraps, breakfast sandwiches etc. I keep mine in the fridge after i open them and they stay fresh for a few weeks. Try them out, i promise you'll love em!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Healthy Cooking Substitutions

Here are some easy substitutions you can make when cooking to make your favorite dishes and desserts healthier...

Instead of 1 large egg... use two egg whites, or 1/4 cup of egg substitute
-if you are baking, only substitute 1/2 of the eggs called for. For example; if a recipe calls for two large eggs. Use 1 large egg, and 2 egg whites. In doing this the consistency of the recipe shouldn't be affected. Using egg whites will reduce the fat and cholesterol in the recipe.

Instead of oil... use applesauce, mashed bananas, pureed plums or prunes, pumpkin, or non-fat plain yogurt.
-This will only work with sweet recipes, and you want to be careful which recipes you use them in. Plums or prunes would work well in a chocolate cake or brownies, but would obviously discolor a yellow cake. By replacing the oil you decrease the fat quite a bit.

Instead of cream...use skim milk, or fat free sour cream.

Instead of white flour...use whole wheat flour.
-Reduce the amount of white flour used by half and use wheat flour instead. For example; If a recipe calls for 4 cups of flour use 2 cups white flour & 2 cups wheat flour.

Instead of regular canned soups...use the "Healthy Choice" or low fat versions.
-Most of the time soups are used in dishes (such as cream of chicken or cream of mushroom, etc.) they are just the base of the recipe. So, using the lower fat versions reduces the amount of fat/calories in the recipe and doesn't affect the taste.

Instead of regular cheese...use a reduced fat cheese or a smaller portion of a stronger tasting cheese.
- some of the reduced fat cheeses might not taste as good, but if you get a stronger tasting cheese you can have a lot more flavor for a smaller amount, therefore reducing the calories and fat.

Instead of butter, margarine, or shortening...use applesauce.
- you can trade the amounts out straight across (1 cup of applesauce for 1 cup of butter). If you
are concerned about trading all of it out do 1/2 butter 1/2 applesauce.

Instead of white rice...brown rice.

Instead of Ricotta cheese...low fat or fat free cottage cheese.
-this is a great substitute in dishes such as Manicotti. You'll never know the difference!

Instead of Ice Cream...Sorbet or frozen yogurt.
- I LOVE frozen yogurt, so I'm definitely partial here but you are saving yourself a lot of fat and calories. A 1/2 cup of ice cream has about 8 grams of fat and 150 calories vs. a 1/2 cup of frozen yogurt which has no fat and usually about 90 calories. I also really like the Dryer's Grand Light ice cream, which cuts out 1/2 the fat and 1/3 of the calories, and still tastes delicious!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Fit Day!!!

Ok, so it's about time I post about my most favorite thing in the world. Well, one of them anyways. I have been in love with this website called for like two years. It is a free website where you can track your calories. It allows you to choose from foods that are already entered in their database, or you can enter in your own favorite foods. You can change the serving size, so it fits exactly what you've eaten. It adds up your calories as you enter them in and gives you the percentages of calories from fat, carbs, and protein. It really is SO amazing. When you are tring to lose weight tracking the food you eat is one of the best ways to shed some pounds. Most people highly underestimate the amount of food they eat, and the amount of calories that certain foods contain. With my clients, those who have success in weight loss are those who track what they eat. I know that tracking your food every day for the rest of your life sounds completely awful, and isn't very realistic. BUT, even just writing down what you eat for a week makes you very aware of what you're putting into your body, and can help you make some positive changes!!

Some of the things I noticed when I first started using this website that have helped me a lot since were... i was snacking a lot more than i realized (those little bites here and there add up!), i wasn't eating enough protein, candy is full of empty calories (dang it...ok i think i already knew that, but still), and i was way off on how many calories a lot of foods contained.

In addition to this, a few months ago one of my bestest friends Jenna showed me an even more amazing side of Fitday I'd yet to experience which made me fall in love with it even more. There is a version you can purchase on the website that is quite a bit more in depth than the online version. With the purchased version you can determine what your caloric intake should be, view a ton of different reports that come from the information you put in, journal your progress, input recipes and determine the nutrition info (one of my favorite parts), input your activity level, and a TON of other things. It's great!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fiberlicious...Delicious All Bran Muffins

Most Americans only get half of the recommended 25 grams of fiber per day, which isn't surprising when you consider how much fast food we eat, and how non-nutrient dense fast food is. Luckily it's not hard to get your 25 grams of fiber in if you try!
Fiber is so beneficial...helps with digestion, lowers blood cholesterol levels (reducing the risk of heart disease), helps manage blood sugar levels, and can help with weight loss (fiber makes you feel full longer).

My mom has been making Bran Muffins for us since i can remember. They are so healthy and SO delicious. These are a great snack, breakfast, or side dish to any meal. Each muffin has 5 grams of fiber which is great!
All Bran Muffins

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 TBS baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups of All Bran Cereal (ready to eat)
1 1/4 cups skim milk
2 egg whites
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine all Bran cereal and milk. Let it stand about 2 min or until cereal softens. Add egg whites and applesauce. beat well. Add flour mixture sirring only until combined. portion evenly into 12 2 1/2 inch muffin pan cups coated with cooing spray.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 min or until golden brown. Serve warm
Makes 12 muffins

Nutrition info: 124 calories, 1 gram of fat, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein.
This is another great recipe to double and freeze. These muffins are great quick breakfast to pull from the freezer and heat up in the microwave.

Where else can you find fiber? whole grains, beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and berries.

**it is important to note that as you increase your fiber intake you should increase your water consumption as well. Your body will need more water to process the increase in fiber.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Get Movin'

One of the common questions i get is how much cardiovascular exercise is enough? In answer to this question I would say it depends on what your goals are. For those who are just looking to stay healthy and get in a good day's workout, I would follow the ACSM/American Heart Association's recommendation of 30 min of cardiovascular exercise at a moderate intensity five days per week. For those who are looking for weight loss there are a lot of factors that play into your exercise regime, such as; how much you are eating, how hard you exercise, your metabolism and age, your fitness level, and your body fat percentage and weight. These factors aside, I would recommend 45-60 minutes of cardio at a moderate to vigorous intensity for 4-6 days per week. The most common thing that i see with my clients who are struggling with weight loss is they are underestimating the calories that they are intaking, and they think they are working harder than they are. I know that sounds kind of harsh, but it is true. You would be surprised at how hard your body can work when you push it! So, go ahead...Push it!

The bottom line here is our bodies were made to move! The benefits to cardiovascular exercise go way beyond weight loss. You will have more energy, sleep better, reduce stress levels, increase bone density, strengthen your heart and lungs, decrease chances of chronic disease and cancer, and on and on and on... For me exercise is a release. It's my sanity! So, GO! Find something that you like to do and get movin'!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Low Fat Zucchini Cookies

My family is and always has been a dessert family. We love our sweets! The most important thing to remember about dessert and any sweets for that matter is moderation. There are always ways to make desserts healthier, and it's fun to try new ways of making classic favorites. Cookies for example...

I figured first off I'd better post the recipe that i get asked for more than any other. These healthy cookies are low fat, and SO SO SO good! I usually double the batch and freeze the cookies. They taste great after popping them into the microwave for 15 seconds.

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup applesauce
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup chocolate chips
* Optional Items: Protein powder, wheat germ, craisins, etc.

Cream together sugar, butter, applesauce and egg. When well blended add dry ingredients, add zucchini and chocolate chips. When well blended spoon out onto cookie sheet sprayed with pam. Bake at 375 for 10-12 min. Makes about 3 dozen. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts: per 1 cookie
Calories: 86
Fat: 3 grams
(2 grams saturated, 1 mono-unsaturated)
Carbs: 14 grams
Fiber: 1 gram
Protein: 1 gram

This is great when compared to an average homemade chocolate chip cookies which would be about 120-150 calories, and around 7-10 grams of fat for one cookie.

Here Goes...

After graduating from BYU last April in Exercise Science I've been working as a personal trainer and a nutrition counselor. I have always loved talking about exercise and healthy eating, so my job is perfect for me! I am always researching new effective ways to stay healthy and eat right, so i decided to share my findings with the people i love! As if you don't hear enough from me already ;)... If nothing else it's another way for me to keep track of all that i find! I really believe that a healthy diet and exercise is a huge part of leading a happy life. I won't get on my soapbox now because there will be A LOT more where that came from I'm sure, but hopefully you'll find some good tips and tricks that can help keep you feeling your best!!!