Thursday, November 29, 2012

November Mix Giveaway! Thankful Tunes

Well, November has been good to us. It has brought with it some good new tunes as well, so of course...I have decided to share. This months mix giveaway has some great songs that I have been blasting in the gym, in my house, and in my car. That is when you know they are good ones.

The songs of the month are...

Video Games - Lana Del Rey
Bittersweet - Ellie Goulding
Thinking About You - Calvin Harris
Where I Come From - Passion Pit
Girl On Fire - Alicia Keys
Jump - Rihanna
Holy Ground - Taylor Swift
Diamonds - Rihanna
Born To Die - Lana Del Ray
Found My Swag - The Bangz
Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap
How to Love - Justin Bieber
Anything Could Happen - Ellie Goulding
I Cry - Flo Rida
Turn Up The Music -  Chris Brown
Summertime Sadness - Lana Del Rey
Nothing Fancy - David Barnes

To enter to win this mix...
1) Become a follower and leave a comment letting me know that you are one!
2) For an additional entry...leave a separate comment telling me what you are grateful for this November!
3) For more additional entries...tweet about the giveaway, blog about it, pin it, etc. and leave a separate comment for each telling me you did so!

Good Luck! The contest will end Monday December 3rd at midnight! The winner will be announced on Wednesday the 4th.

For previous workout playlists click HERE.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Paleo Zucchini Bread

I am ALWAYS looking for new fun and delicious Paleo recipes to try out. I have a whole Pinterest board full of them, HERE. Because of this, I love when people give me new ones to try out. My sweet friend Chels sent me the link to a website I'd never seen before that is full of fabulous looking recipes. The site is and I highly recommend checking it out! It is where I found the recipe for this delicious Zucchini bread.
Paleo Almond Flour Zucchini Bread
recipe from Against All Grain

1-1/2 cups blanched almond flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 eggs beaten
1/4 cup honey
1 ripe banana
1 finely shredded, unpeeled zucchini

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place eggs in bowl and beat them gently. Add honey and banana, and beat until frothy. Stir in shredded zucchini to combine. Add in dry ingredients and combine. Place in two mini loaf pans and bake for 30-35 minutes. SO TASTY! Thanks Danielle from Against All Grain for the great recipe, and Chels for finding it for me!
Now, tell me that doesn't make your mouth water? 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Get Your Family Moving!

On Saturday, my family decided to take a hike to the Wind Caves. My family definitely loves to eat, go to movies, sit and play games, and relax...BUT we always try to do some things that are active as well. Sometimes we run together, like we did for our Turkey Trot...and sometimes we shop together. (I totally count that as physical activity.) But on Friday, we hiked together. 
I think this is SO important for parents! Helping your kids to get physical activity is crucial. It is really easy to let them sit and watch TV or play on the computer all day, but that isn't doing much for their health.
We had a great time hiking, talking, and laughing...and of course taking all sorts of photos. Aren't those cacti unreal? I think they are such weird plants. Don't mind that I am the shrimp of the family. 
Plus, when you get to spend time outside, you will probably find some amazing sights to behold. It is a gorgeous world out there.
 The view from the top was awesome!
The scenery is so different from the pretty Utah landscape I am used to, but this is a definite desert kind of beautiful.
It was such a fun thing to do with the whole family! It definitely felt good to get moving after all sorts of Thanksgiving eating had gone down! Do you have fun ways to get your family moving?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Let Them Eat Turkey!

Thanksgiving dinner most definitely happened here. I think I am still full from it.
 We ate outside, which was awesome. It was in the eighties, and I loved every second of it! (You know I love everything having to do with the 80's...temperature, decade, music, those born in the decade...) My job was to create the veggie tray that looked like a turkey.
 Who said eating healthy wasn't fun? I think I may have a future in food art. Don't you? I was actually pretty close to my paleo self with my turkey day meal. The one exception being my mom's corn bread stuffing, which is absolutely to die for.
 My other standard Turkey day job is to roll out the rolls. I may or may not have made some as large as footballs...your welcome family. My nephew Blake, threw down about five of them...nbd.
 Yes, that is a roll in his hands. It is smothered in my mom's homemade jam. Elaine doesn't disappoint! I had so much fun spending the day with my family, and then of course getting to relax with a full tummy!
 The Smith Family turns out some good people, I must say.
We spent a lot of the day playing games. Our traditional bocce tourney was so much fun...maybe because I won...
And let's be honest, I don't hate winning at all... ;)
 It was such a great holiday! I have so much to be grateful for! I hope your holiday was just as fabulous! :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gobble Gobble!

Happy Thanksgiving! This fabulous day has just begun, and I already love it. We started off the morning with the Gilbert Turkey Trot that my brother-in-law puts on. We all know there is a LOT of eating that goes into this fabulous holiday, and so getting active first thing is a GREAT way to start the day!

My sister and I got up and ran 4 miles prior to the trot, to make sure we got some good mileage in.
We ended up doing the 5K as well, so we totaled at around 7 miles. Not a bad start tot he day. 

Now...onto the food! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The 1-10-20-30 Workout

I'm home! Arizona home that is. I planned on sleeping in...which for me means not setting my alarm and getting up whenever I happen to wake up. Today that was 7:00 AM, and instead of lying in bed I decided to get up and go for a run. The weather here is SO nice! I was loving my life. Just running along, listening to T-Swift as the sun came up...delightful.

I got back from my run and I wanted to do some core/strength exercises to finish, but I didn't want to be too loud so I went through this simple series of exercises a few times. This is an AWESOME workout that you can literally do anywhere. On vacation, in your bedroom, at the gym, at the name it...chances are you can do it there too.
Start with a one minute plank. You can make this harder by taking it to one foot, widening your leg stance, or adding in hip dips, etc.
Next, go to your walking push ups. Start standing, keep your legs straight and bend at the hips, putting your hands down on the floor. Walk yourself out to a push up position. Do a push up, walk back, and stand up. That counts as one.
Next, do 20 air squats in place. Go as deep as you possibly can, and stand and tuck those glutes. The bigger the motion the more you will be working it!
Lastly, do 30 full sit ups. Start lying all the way down on the ground, arms over your head, knees bent. Bring your arms over your head and sit up, until you can touch your shoe laces. That counts as one.

The great thing about this workout is you can repeat this simple process as many times as you need to. You could even add in some cardio bursts after the sit ups to elevate that heart rate. Awesome right? Try it out!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Going Going Gone.

Whenever I know I am leaving to go out of town my supply of fresh fruits and veggies tends to dwindle. I HATE not having fresh produce. It is one thing that really stresses me out. I know that lack of good food leads to increase of poor eating decisions. It's all about the preparation people. Luckily, one of my favorite salad bars is just down the street.

Enter, Brick Oven.
Doesn't that look awesome? If you only knew how excited I get when I am the first one to dive into this fresh deliciousness. I highly suggest you find a healthy "go to" quick place to get some healthy food, so you don't turn to bad decisions when you are short on time or groceries!

Today I am driving to Arizona to spend Thanksgiving with my family, and I can hardly wait!!! My sister sent me this yesterday...
Yes, Nichole. Yes, I am ready.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Happy Monday! Yesterday I took dinner to a friend who underwent knee surgery, and I decided to try out a new recipe a client brought me. I wish I knew the source of it, but she brought me a copy of a paper that had been torn out of a, this soup's creator remains anonymous.

I LOVE butternut squash soup. The reigning champion at the current moment is the butternut squash soup from The Blue Lemon. If you ever come to Utah, eat there please. The butternut squash soup is like Christmas in a bowl. Anyways, I have always wanted to make it myself, but I have hesitated to do so because cubing the squash seemed like such a hassle. However, now you can buy pre cut and cubed squash in the refrigerated produce section at Costco. Hello. Talk about time saving. This soup was pretty dang easy.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup
1/4 cup butter
1 rib of celery, diced
2 cups of onion diced
4 tsp of curry powder
2.5-3 pounds of butternut squash cut and cubed
3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
3 cups of water (or chicken or vegetable stock)
1/2-1 cup cider
salt & pepper to taste

In large pot combine butter, celery, onion, and curry powder. Cover and cook on low until vegetables soften. Add to the pot squash, apples, and water. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until squash and apples are cooked through. Drain liquid off and reserve to later add back in. Use an immersion blender or a regular blender to puree squash and apple mixture. Return pureed mixture back to pot and add in desired amount of cider and previous liquid unti you achieve your desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. I also ended up adding in some nutmeg, and a bit of cinnamon. Garnish with a dollop of greek yogurt, sour cream, grated apples, or cinnamon. Recipe serves 10.

We are definitely entering soup season, and soups are great when you are trying to watch what you are eating. They are filling, and can be very healthy!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Favorites

I get a lot of questions about my favorite this or that, so I thought I'd give you a list of some of my favorites as of late. 

- Oh Boy Oh Berto Natural Teriyaki Turkey Jerky. I get the double pack of this from Costco because it is a smoking deal, and it helps me to be sure I get some protein in me even when I am really low on time. 
- Emerald Cocoa Roasted Almonds. I LOVE these. LOVE . LOVE. LOVE. I love almonds anyways, but these have a little sweetness to them, and they can come to the rescue for chocolate cravings. 
- Baby Carrots. I go through phases with these. I try not to overdose on the carrots because they are a little higher in sugars and carbohydrates, but they are another easy way to get some nutrients on the go.
- Pink Lady apples. Oh my delicious. If you want a crisp apple, these are AWESOME.
- String Cheese. Apparently I've been in a big hurry lately, because this is another portable snack I can grab and eat as I am running out the door. Easy and delicious.

- Kettle Bell Lunge Passes. You could do these with a single dumbbell as well.  Start standing with the kettle bell in your right hand. Step back into a reverse lunge with your right leg, pass the kettle bell underneath your left leg to your right hand, and return to standing. Repeat the same motion, stepping back with your left leg, and passing the kettle bell under your right leg to your right hand.
- Walking push up pyramid. Start standing. With legs as straight as possible bend over and put your hands on the ground. Walk out to a push up position. Do 10 push ups. Walk the hands back, and stand again. Repeat, and on the next round do 9 push ups, then 8, 7, etc. Stopping at 1.
- Burpees with a pushup. Sucky as they may be, they make for an awesome addition to any workout.
(Although my clients may disagree)

- Nike climacool half zip pullover. (As seen here) It has thumb holes. Who doesn't love thumb holes?
- Nike Free's (Sans Halloween socks)

- North Face Coat. This becomes a part of my winter uniform because it keeps me so warm! Best purchase ever. If you don't have a winter coat, you should probably consider this one.
This pic was taken tonight at the Riverwoods holiday lighting celebration. Christmas is upon us my friend, and I couldn't be happier. 

- Jump, Rihanna. My neighbor just showed me this one, and it was insta-love. AMAZING. 
- The Lucky One, Taylor Swift. 
-  Die Young, Ke$ha. Maybe I should start spelling my last name with a dollar sign . $mith is way cooler than Smith. 

I hope your weekend is Amazing! TGIF!! 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving Preparation

It almost seems like Thanksgiving and Christmas have been rolled into one 5 week celebration. I don't hate it. So, this post technically could be titled Thanksgiving AND Christmas preparation. Either way you look at it, the holidays are charging at us, and so are all of the parties, dessert trays, neighborhood gifts, Costco samples, and seasonal goodies that come with it.

As you know, I LOVE all holidays. It is just in my blood. I get SO excited to decorate, celebrate, bake, and enjoy the festivities of the season with the people I love. I assume many of you feel the same way. With the holidays come a lot of fun and fabulous traditions. Many families have certain foods they love to eat, parties that they always attend, and outings that occurs each year. With these traditions come a lot of traditional holiday goodies, and often we find ourselves using the holidays as an excuse to go buckwild at the dessert table. Many people even decide to throw in the towel, and start saying things like..."I'll just start over for New Years." Oh if I had a dollar for every time I have heard that one. Let's make that ten dollars, I might as well make the big bucks.

While New Years is a fabulous time to refresh goals, and get revamped for progress that is coming ahead, why not keep making progress through the holiday season instead of setting yourself back. Here are a few ideas that may help keep you moving forward. For Christmas this year, you should give yourself some healthy progress or some weight loss!

1. Set guidelines now. Make some goals for yourself as to how you are going to plow through the holidays with ease. Maybe your goal will be to allow yourself one dessert a week, or you may even want to decide that you are not going to partake of all of the neighborhood goodies that come your way... GASP!?!?!?!...I know. I said progress...remember?

2. Make exercise a priority. As times get busy with holiday fun, or schedules become extremely full. With these full schedules we start shuffling things around, and quite often exercise seems to fall of the to do list. Don't let it! It may be a good idea to try to get your workout in first thing in the morning to make certain that you don't get to the end of the day and find that you are out of time.

3. Choose to keep your family and friends active. Add some new traditions to your family fun like skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, neighborhood Christmas light walks, and hiking to cut down your own Christmas tree. There are more holiday traditions than the ones that just involve eating. Weird, I know.

4. Stay in check. Make a schedule that allows you to visibly cross off your exercise, weigh yourself, track your food, or whatever else helps to keep you honest.

5. WATCH YOUR SNEAKY HANDS. I can't emphasize this one enough. Dessert trays, bags of treats, food preparation, and any other events with food can allow for forgetful hands. What do I mean by this? I mean that it is really easy to grab little handfuls, bites, and tastes here and there without even thinking about it. Be aware of what you are eating! Little bites (especially of decadent sweets) quickly add up.

Alright Holiday Season...Here we go. Let's DO THIS!! One wintery step at a time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Weekend Weather and Wednesday Wonders

So if you weren't in Utah this weekend, you missed out on QUITE the storm. My sweet and darling family was in town, so we all were able to enjoy it together!
They were here visiting from Arizona, so they were thrilled to see a white out. If only I shared the same enthusiasm.
The weight of the snow wreaked some havoc on the trees by my house, and we got a whole lot of this...
Needless to say, some of us were home bound for a while.
But it does look pretty...from the inside?

Some of you have wondered about some healthy and delicious recipes for the upcoming holiday season, and so I thought I'd share some of my favorites...

- English Trifle
- Healthy Banana Puff Pillow cookies 
- Cinnamon Bun Cake
 Make your holiday preparations smart ones! xoxoxo

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Circuit for Sweating and Strengthening

So. This is me at work. I'm not going to lie...I kinda love where I work. :)
We were doing a circuit workout that was killer! I say "we" all the time with my clients...and they always make fun of me for it. For example, I'll say..."Ok, next we are going to do a plank series," and they always say..."oh are WE?" Because they are actually going to do it while I time them through it. I still feel involved? Anyways...Here is the circuit WE did on Monday.

Set #1 - (repeat this twice)
1 minute sprint
1 minute pushups
1 minute of squats with heavy dumbbells (at least 20 lbs)
1 minute of pull ups from the ground with the TRX
1 minute of plank slides with the towel

Set #2 - (repeat this twice)
12 Single arm lunge, row, curl, press with dumbbell on the right (With these you step back into a lunge with your right leg, row with your right arm, stand, curl with your right arm, and press with your right arm. Repeat on the same side)
12 Single arm lunge, row, curl, press with dumbbell on the left
low side stepping squats right (1 length of the floor)
low side stepping squats left (1 length of the floor)
1 minute plank 

Set #3 - (repeat this twice)
20 plank hip dips  (start in regular plank and touch hips to each side)
15 slow release/reverse sit ups (start sitting up and slowly roll back and then come up, 3 cts each way)
20 cherry pickers

cool down/stretch!
It's a killer work out! Try it :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

So Many Winners Being Picked Today...

What a day! With the election in full swing, I'm sure many of you are feeling the intensity of it! Aren't we so lucky to live in a country where we get to vote and have a say? Regardless of who you are voting for, I think we are so blessed with our freedom! I hope you voted! I sure did!
Along with the winner of the election...I have an equally important winner to announce. OK, maybe not as important...but equally exciting?

It's time to announce the winner of the Chobani Giveaway! Wahoo...drumroll....
Congrats! Email me at megolina21 at and I'll get you your free assorted case! And, YES, the champions flavors are AWESOME. You'll LOVE them.  Happy Election Day!! xoxoxo

Monday, November 5, 2012

October Mix Giveaway Winner!

Although it may have somehow turned to November, (I am still baffled by how that happened) it's time to announce October's Mix Giveaway winner!
The lucky winner is...
Send me an email at megolina21 at and I'll get your music to you!
Speaking of have until midnight tonight to enter to win a FREE case of Chobani Greek Yogurt of your choice. Click HERE to enter the giveaway if you haven't already!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Chobani-licious: Chobani Product Review & Giveaway!

First things first. It's been about a year and a half since I discovered greek yogurt. Thank goodness that happened, right? I have since then learned that there are some wannabe greek yogurts, and there are some REAL greek yogurts. Chobani is DEFINITELY one of the legit kinds, and so I was STOKED to do a product review for them. I love getting mail...especially when it is in food form.
The fantastic people at Chobani sent me a case of the flavors of my choice.  I usually just go with the plain yogurt, so wanted to try some flavors that I hadn't yet tried before. I went with the low fat strawberry banana, the Chobani Champions chocolate chunk and the chobani champions orange vanilla. 
 Oh my goodness. So tasty!The thing that I loved about these flavors is they are not only tasty, but they are packed full of protein. They make for an awesome snack, part of a perfect meal, or even a sweet dessert. The Champions yogurts were made with little ones in mind, and I am certain that any kid would think they were delicious! 
Another reason to LOVE Chobani products is the fact that they use only natural ingredients in making them, so you don't have to worry about any strange additives being added in to your food. They are DELISH! 

The good news? The fabulous people at Chobani have offered to give one of YOU an assorted case of your choice! 
To enter to win your own case of Chobani... simply leave me a comment telling me which of their flavors that you want to try! For additional entries, you can tweet about the giveaway, blog about it,  or FB it and leave additional comments telling me you've done so! The last day to enter this contest will be Monday, November 5th, 2012 at midnight. The winner will be announced on November 6th! Good luck to ya! 

And while we are talking about giveaways...don't forget to enter October's Mix Giveaway!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

New Start November

Welcome to November. WTF? How in the world is it already November? I feel like time has flown by?? The past couple months have been a little crazy for me for a wide variety of reasons. Between traveling, birthdays, emotional chaos, and everything else in between...I feel like my diet has been mediocre. I have still stayed paleo, I've kept up with my working out, and I'm sure to some people my efforts would be great. However, I don't feel like I've done as well as I could have, and I want to get back to feeling like myself again. So...I bring you...

New Start November. 

Remember how yesterday was Halloween? Chances are you may have indulged a little more than you wanted to, so if you'd like to jump on board with me, feel free! Today is a new day, a new month, and a new beginning.

My focus points for the month...
- Cut out mindless snacking (this is my weakness...bored/emotional eating)
- Pay attention to hunger signals
- Get in 3 circuit workouts and 3 interval cardio workout per week
- Drink more water

Basically...just get back to being on top of things! It makes me feel better. :) Do you have any goals that you would like to set for New Start November? I'd love to hear them!

Also...It's hard to believe that just a couple weeks ago I was in New York enjoying pretty blue skies.

I send all my love and prayers to anyone on the east coast dealing with the terrible storms!