One Ingredient Ice Cream.....

When I first saw this post title on another blog, I was so intrigued that I couldn't resist Not clicking on it....  1 Ingredient Ice Cream. Awesome.    
and to think that it is 
Dairy Free.
Fat Free.
With No added Sugars or Preservatives. 
So what is the 1 Magic Ingredient..... 

We usually go through bananas quite quickly so there isn't really ever a surplus lying around.... so when my Local grocery store had them on sale for .17 cents a pound I loaded up with 3 large bunches with the intention of freezing a good majority of them.... I was so glad I did cause that is when I  ran into this post about the banana Ice Cream.  
I was a bit skeptical at first.... thinking that it couldn't be anything like ice cream.  
I tried it..... 
and can testify on my own that it really tastes like Ice Cream.  

I used my trusty magic bullet and it worked like a charm. I used about 2 medium sized bananas. The frozen banana would get stuck on the sides so I had to scrape them down a few times and repulse. It really is like the texture of ice cream.

It's creamy, cold, and delicious.... (that is if you like bananas).
 Click here or here for a detailed account of the recipe, greats pictures and tutorials on the how to... 
Others  recommend adding in cinnamon, chocolate, honey, and other sweets. I liked it all on it's own.  

** One more thing I wanted to point out.....  Although this 'ice cream' is fat free-dairy free-with no added sugars.......... you still need to remember that bananas have quite a few calories.  A medium banana (7" long has about ~100 calories.  So for the small bowl that my 2 bananas made, it still had about 200 calories.  Def. not the best low calorie treat.  
Let me know if you try it out! I would love to hear if you like it.... I know I will probably make it a time or two again. 


Bird in a Pie. It's whats for Dinner.

I had been wanting to make a
Chicken Pot Pie 
for a good little while, so when I saw Guy's Big Bite the other day and he was making his version of it I had to try it for dinner.  He called in Bird in a Pie.... He made it look easy and delicious.So I tried... and it turned out great. (next time I'll get pics)
Here are a few notes:::::::::::
Beware..... the crust is far from healthy...
it's a pie crust so it is packed with butter....... so this may be one of those once in awhile foods. Remember Moderation in all things..... The filling is pretty healthy (packed with veggies and lean chicken without added creams that many pot pies have). I loved the added seasonings (thyme and sage) that are in the crust.  It gave it a bit of zing. Guy's recipe makes enough for 4 (5 inch pie tins)....  Because I was baking for two I halved the recipe.  I also don't have little pot pie tins so I made it into one larger pie.  I think my pan was a 5x9 glass baking dish.  It worked perfectly. I liked that the filling wasn't too runny or creamy.  It was more than enough for Adam and I for dinner.... plus we had leftovers.  I basically followed the recipe exactly ..... oh ya I boiled some red potatoes, diced them into small pieces and added them in with the rest of the veggies.  So here's the recipe in detail.

BIRD IN A PIE.... Chicken Pot Pie. 

For the Crust:

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for board
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 4 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 4 teaspoons dried sage
  • 4 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces
  • 12 to 16 tablespoons cold water

For the Filling:

  • 2 T. Butter
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 5 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups hot low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and chopped
  • 2 cups frozen diced carrots and peas
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • Salt and black pepper TT
  • 1 egg, whisked, for egg wash
  • Special equipment: 4 (5-inch) aluminum pot pie pans

To prepare the crust:


Combine 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons thyme and sage in a food processor, pulsing until combined. Add in 2 sticks butter, 4 tablespoons at a time, pulsing after each addition until mixture forms coarse texture. Slowly add in 6 to 8 tablespoons cold water while machine is running, 2 tablespoons at a time until dough balls up in processor to one side. Remove dough onto a lightly floured board, cut in half and form into 2 (8-inch) rounds. Wrap each tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Chill for 30 minutes prior to rolling out. Repeat to make second batch of dough.

To prepare the filling:

In large saute pan, heat butter til hot; add onions, shallot and celery. Saute until just starting to brown. Stir in flour and saute for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in hot stock, stirring well. When bubbly and thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes, stir in chopped chicken, carrots and peas, and sage. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Let cool while rolling out dough.

To assemble pies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On lightly floured board, cut the rounds of dough in half. Roll pieces into 6-inch rounds, about 1/4-inch thickness. Place a round in the bottom of 4 aluminum pie pans and lightly press the sides and bottom to fit the shape of the pans. Generously top with filling until full and slightly mounded. Top with second piece of crust and pinch seams together. Cut 2 small slits in top. Brush with egg wash. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until tops are golden brown and filling is bubbling.


5 Healthy Nuts.

Nuts--- should you eat them?
Should you not?
They are one of those foods that are often looked down upon because they are loaded with fat... but don't be scared of them. Yes they are high in fat, but the majority of the fat is monounsaturated fat (the good kind). They will help keep your heart healthy and help in lowering your LDL cholesterol levels.  Nuts are also packed with vitamin E, magnesium, fiber, and protein.  All good for your overall health.

So here are 5 of my fave healthy nuts
Remember when it comes to Nuts. Less is More. Recommended serving size is 1 oz; on average enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Try to stick with the raw nuts. No added salt or other seasonings.

1. Pistachios (1 oz. portion/49 nuts) 
Calories = 158      *** you get the most nuts for the least amount of calories.
13 grams fat (11 grams from mono fat)
3 grams fiber
Are packed with more than 290 mg of potassium per ounce; which is important in heart health.

2. Almonds (1 oz. portion/23 nuts)
163 Calories
14 grams fat (13 grams are from mono fat)
4 grams fiber
Packed with Vitamin E (over 1/2 of what you need daily)
Also contains a good portion of Calcium.

3. Pecans (1 oz. portion/20 halves)
196 calories - a bit higher in calories so watch how many you eat.
20 grams of fat (18 grams is mono fat)
3 grams of fiber

4. Walnuts (1 oz. portion/ 14 halves) 
183 Calories
18 grams fat (16.5 grams are mono fat)
2 grams fiber
Have the most omega 3 fatty acids than any other nut.

5. Cashews (1 oz. portion/18 nuts)
156 Calories
13 grams Fat (11 grams are mono fat)
1 gram Fiber
High in Iron- which women are often lacking in.


200 Calories is What??

I am a visual learner. So I love this site by Wise Geek that shows common foods and 200 calorie amounts of them. It really puts things into perspective.
Click here to see all the pictures and amounts.
200 Calories =

Baby Carrots.
570 grams (58 carrots) = 200 Calories

385 grams (about 2 medium apples) = 200 Calories

Fastfood Cheeseburger
75 grams (1/2 Burger) = 200 Calories
Sesame Bagel
70 grams (2/3 bagel) = 200 Calories

Gummy Bears
52 grams (17 bears) = 200 Calories

Snickers Bar
41 grams (3 inches(2/3 bar)) = 200 Calories

Peanut Butter
34 grams (2 Tablespoons) = 200 Calories

Raw Broccoli
588 grams (8 1/2 cups raw) = 200 Calories

Coca Cola
16 oz. (2 cups) = 200 calories

Now you can decide... Do you want
60 Baby Carrots, 2 apples, 17 gummy bears, part of  Snickers bar, or 2 T. peanut butter......


Sugar Alcohols.. what are they?

If you consume sugar-free products (candies, cookies, baked goods, gums, and hard candies) you are probably consuming Sugar Alcohols. I'm sure most of you are thinking, 'what the heck are sugar alcohols?' 

Are they a sugar? Are they an alcohol? What are they? 
Check out this article to get all the entire low down on sugar alcohols. Here is a quicker version of what they are. 
What are Sugar Alcohols? 
 Sugar alcohols get their name from their unique chemical structure, which resembles both sugar and alcohol. But they're neither a sugar nor an alcohol. In fact, sugar alcohols are a type of carbohydrate that sweetens foods.. When reading a food label, the following ingredients are all sugar alcohols- they usually end in -ol. 
Erythritol, Lactitol, Maltitol, Mannitol, Sorbitol, Xylitol.  
Sugar alcohols can be tricky ingredients to interpret. A product can be called "sugar-free" and contain sugar alcohols. In that case there must be a separate line for them on the nutrition label.

So why use them?

  • Fewer calories. They contain fewer calories (0.2 to 3 calories per gram- see chart below) than sugar (which is normally 4 calories per gram) does, making them a diet-friendly choice for people who want to limit their caloric intake, but still enjoy sweet foods.

  • Ingredient
    Maltitol Syrup
    Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate
  • Safe for diabetics. Sugar alcohols are absorbed more slowly (and incompletely) by the body. But don't think that you can eat huge amounts of these and have them not affect your blood sugars... they will... just not as much.   
  • Better dental health. Sugar alcohols do not promote tooth decay since they are not metabolized by the bacteria that produce dental cavities. 
  -When sugar alcohols are consumed in excessive amounts of sugar; digestive stress, diarrhea, bloating, and flatulence may occur.   A weird after taste may result if you are used to regular sugar free candies.
Next time you are checking at the grocery store, check the label of sugar-free goods and see if you can spot the Sugar Alcohols. 


Magic Bullet = Fruit Smoothies

I love my Magic Bullet.

 I got it way back in 2004-straight from the infomercial. This was before they were offered in your local Walmart or Target. Probably the greatest Infomercial product ever. It started with me in Logan,Utah, flew cross-country with me to Boston, and then headed to the mid-west with me to endure the cold of Iowa.

 I am sure many of you own.... or at least have seen the magic bullet. For those of you who have been living under a bush for the last 5 years, let me explain just what the Magic Bullet is. The 'Bullet' consists of a base with various different sizes of plastic cups and screw on blades that go on the cups. Load the ingredients into any of the cups. Twist on the Blade until the blade and cup have a tight seal. Flip the cup upside down, and lock it into the blender base; Then abracadabra, the Bullet blends away! It's fabulous.

I have used mine so much that I don't think that it is going to make it on to the next journey of my life. The Cross blade has been used so much that it has wore down the bottom and no longer blends. I have a feeling from the odor the motor spits out, it too is about to give up on me . Sad sad day.
In memory of my Magic Bullet I want to share with you what it was that has caused this.
Fruit Smoothies. 
Yes it's been used for making salad dressings and chopping nuts, but I would say 80% of it's use has come from making Fruit Smoothies. The magic bullet makes it so easy, with virtually no mess to clean up.

Here is my basic how-to on creating easy, healthy, and delicious fruit smoothies.
1.Grab one of the nifty cups.
2. Fill the cup 1/2 way up with frozen fruit (I love using mixed berries and peaches).
3. Add a small banana (or half of a large one) this is a great way to use your extra ripe, darkened bananas. (Bananas thicken it up and give it a good texture).
If I have other fruits laying around I often throw them in.
For even more nutrients you can be brave and throw in some mixed greens of spinach. It doesn't add too much taste.
4. Top it off with some nonfat yogurt (1/4 cup or so)--- or a splash of milk.  I usually use vanilla (but other flavors are just as good).
5. Screw the blade to the base, insert onto stand, and mix away.
6. You may need to take the cup out of the base after about 20 seconds, shake it to redistribute the ingredients, then put it back on and blend for another 20 seconds or so.

  No ice. No ice cream. No additional sugar. Basically fruit and yogurt.  So easy and so quick.
*if you don't have any frozen fruit, but do have fresh....  you may need to add some ice for best results.


Thanks for FOOD.. Pray for Haiti.

I have been thinking a lot about how the Haitian people and the awful circumstances they are going through at this time. I was able to spend a summer attending to orphaned children and babies there.  Even then they barely had enough food to keep their bellies full and it was the same food (Rice, beans, and noodles) day after day after day. With the turmoil of the earthquake; I am sure that food is even harder to come by.  
So my message for you today is to "Don't take food for granted, savor every bite, and as you are sitting down to your plate full of food, be sure to give THANKS. We really are so blessed in so many ways.  
Don't forget to keep the people of Haiti; especially the babies and children in your prayers.   


Milk Haters.

If you are not a milk drinker (which I know many of you are not).......

  there are plenty of other ways to get your daily Calcium needs.
Most individuals need about ~1200 mg Calcium a day.
When looking at a a nutrition label, Calcium is only given in a %. To convert it to milligrams multiply the percent by 10.  Ex: A container of yogurt might list 30% DV for calcium. To convert this to milligrams, multiply by 10, which equals 300mg of calcium for the yogurt. 
Here items (other than milk) that have Calcium in them:

  • Fruit juice fortified with calcium (watch the sugar content)
  • Low-fat or fat-free yogurt
  • String cheese snacks
  • Slices of cheese on sandwiches and crackers
  • Dark, leafy green vegetables such as kale, romaine lettuce, spinach, bok choy, or collard greens
  • Cereal (and some breads) fortified with calcium
  • Smoothie made with milk or non-fat yogurt
  • Flavored low-fat milk
  • Hot chocolate made with milk (or there are some powders that are fortified with calcium
  • Soy milk fortified with calcium
  • Soy nuts, almonds 
Calcium is important for many life cycle stages in helping build and keeping bones strong and healthy, so eat up!


Chicken Enchilada Makeover

Chicken Enchiladas are often given a bit of a bad rap when it comes to being healthy.  They are usually loaded with sour cream, creamed soups, cream cheeses, white rices, and topped with all sorts of shredded cheeses. I love this recipe that my Mom made for us when growing up. It is packed with lean chicken, veggies, and beans--- you'll get your protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals, without all the added fats.   

Chicken Enchiladas
1 pound boneless skinless chicken
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 (16 oz.) can refried beans
1 (10 oz.) can enchilada sauce
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
8 tortillas (whole-wheat or I have even used these as the tortillas) 
1/4- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 13x9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spray large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. Stir-fry chicken for 2 minutes. Add bell peppers, onion, and cilantro; stir-fry for 3-4 more minutes until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from heat. Stir in the refried beans. 

In a medium bowl, combine enchilada sauce and tomato sauce. Spoon 2 Tablespoons of the sauce into the bottom of the spray-coated baking dish. Set aside the remaining sauce. Spoon 1/2 cup chicken filling down center of each tortilla; roll up. Place seam side down in baking dish. Pour the rest of the sauce over enchiladas; cover with foil. 

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with cheese. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve with plain non-fat yogurt or salsa. 

Enjoy.  Click here for other tips on how to transform your mexican dishes into healthier options. 


Eat Slow = Eat Less

It is something I have done my whole life.....
Just ask my husband. My plate is wiped clean, while he still has half a plate of food left.  He hates it.... so one of my New Year's Resolutions is to SLOW DOWN while eating. 
This won't only please my husband, but it will be good for my health.

Check out this study that shows how Eating Slowly translates into Eating Less.

Some of their findings were: 

•When eating quickly, the women consumed 646 calories in about nine minutes.
•When eating more slowly, they had an average of 579 calories in about 29 minutes.
"They ate 67 calories more in nine minutes than they did in 29 minutes," says lead researcher Kathleen Melanson, director of the university's Energy Metabolism Laboratory. "If you add that up over three meals a day, that's a big difference in calories."
Upon completion of the meal and an hour afterward, the women were less satisfied and hungrier when eating quickly compared with when they ate slowly, she says. They said they enjoyed the meal more when they were taking their time.

click here for other benefits of eating slowly.


How Sweet It Is-- Sugar Substitutes

Do you have questions about the taste, safety, or cooking capabilities of sugar replacements and sweeteners? If so take a look at this great article, 'How Sweet It is,' by Robyn Webb. She has some great info about how and when you should replace regular sugar. Check out the entire article for all the details...... here are a few of my highlights. 

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), people following a 2,000-calorie diet should get no more than 40 grams of added sugars daily—the equivalent of 8 to 10 teaspoons of sugar, or the amount in one 12-ounce soda. The problem is that, according to USDA data, most people get more like three or four times that amount. “Even if you don’t have diabetes or if you have pre-diabetes, watching the amount of sugar in your diet is prudent,” says Marlene Koch, RD(click here to see how much sugar is in the food you are eating).
An easy way to slash sugar is by using sugar substitutes, many of which are calorie free and don’t raise blood glucose levels. They pack a wallop when it comes to sweetness, but with far fewer calories than the real deal. Of course, you must still mind your carbs and calories. “Just because we’re replacing the sugar doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all,” says Pauline Williams, MPA, RD, CD. 
Don’t know which little packet to choose? Here’s a quick primer of 5 common sweeteners.  All of them are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but they do vary in flavor and uses, so you may find you need to do a taste test of your own.


Brands: Sweet’N Low and Sweet Twin
Sweetness: 200 to 700 times sweeter than sugar
Taste: Some people report a bitter aftertaste.
Safety: First produced in 1879, saccharin is the oldest of the artificial sweeteners. In 1970, a study in rats found that the sugar substitute was associated with bladder tumor growth, resulting in an eat-at-your-own-risk warning on the pink package. Years later, however, the warning was revoked as more than 30 human studies reported no saccharin-tumor connection.
How to cook with it: The Sweet’N Low brand sells packets as well as a bulk version for baking, a liquid formula, and a brown sugar blend. When baking, replace 1 cup of sugar with 24 packets, 2 tablespoons of saccharin liquid, or 1 cup of brown sugar saccharin.


Brands: Equal, NutraSweet, Natra Taste
Sweetness: 180 to 200 times sweeter than sugar
Taste: There’s no aftertaste associated with aspartame, though some say it has an unnatural flavor.
Safety: Search the Web for aspartame’s side effects and you’ll find stories about its purported link to cancer, dementia, headaches, and depression. Most scientists maintain that the powder is a safe alternative to sugar for people with diabetes. One caveat: Aspartame contains phenylalanine, which can be harmful to people with the rare disease phenylketonuria and should be avoided by them.
How to cook with it: High temperatures can diminish aspartame’s sweetness, so even though some brands (like Equal) sell bulk versions, most chefs avoid 
baking with them.


Brand: Splenda
Sweetness: 600 times sweeter than sugar
Taste: Though some sugar purists say an aftertaste lingers, most sweetener fans maintain Splenda is the most natural tasting of all.
Safety: Since Splenda is the newest artificial sweetener to hit the market, there are fewer long-term studies of it than of saccharin and aspartame. That said, the FDA says that Splenda is safe.
How to cook with it: Splenda sells various baking products, including a granular version that measures cup for cup with sugar. If you use the half sugar blend or half brown sugar blend, replace a cup of sugar with a half cup of the blend.


Brands: Truvia, PureVia, SweetLeaf, Stevia in the Raw, Sun Crystals sugar-stevia blend
Sweetness: 250 to 300 times sweeter than sugar
Taste: Some people say the sweetener derived from the whole leaf of the stevia plant leaves behind a licorice taste. Brands that use a purified portion of the leaf known as rebaudioside A have less of an aftertaste.
Safety: Stevia has been used as a sweetener in Japan for years, but the FDA had previously banned its use because of reports of reproductive problems in lab animals. In late 2008, the FDA approved the purified part of the stevia leaf for American consumption. Look for that form—rebaudioside A—in the list of ingredients when purchasing stevia.
How to cook with it: Each stevia brand recommends its own sugar-to-stevia ratio (so check your brand’s Web site), and some brands sell the sweetener in liquid or bulk form. A good start is to replace a cup of sugar with 24 packets of stevia.

Agave Nectar

Brands: Wholesome Sweeteners, Madhava, and Volcanic Nectar, among others
Sweetness: Somewhat sweeter than sugar, so use between a quarter and an eighth less agave nectar than if you were cooking with regular sugar.
Taste: The lighter, golden version tastes syrupy while the darker, amber variety has a more intense honey flavor.
Safety: Agave nectar isn’t carbohydrate or calorie free—it has the same amount of calories and carbs as sugar. But since it’s a food with a low glycemic index, the syrup won’t raise your blood glucose levels as much as sugar or honey do. Plus, it’s sweeter than sugar, so you’ll use less.
How to cook with it: Sweetening with agave nectar is simple if you’re swirling it into coffee. Things get more complicated when you start baking with the syrup. To adjust a recipe, replace each cup of sugar with two-thirds to three-quarters cup of agave nectar, then reduce all other liquids in the recipe by a quarter. Lower your oven temperature by 25 degrees to prevent burning, and shorten the cooking time on cookies by 3 to 5 minutes and cakes by 7 to 10 minutes.


Increasing Your Metabolism.

I always hear people complain that they are fat or overweight because their metabolism is so slow.

What is metabolism: Most simply, the rate at which your body burns the calories from the food we eat.
It then converts it into the energy our bodies need to function. The faster your metabolism, the more calories you'll burn.

Here are things that can do to increase your metabolism--- which will burn more calories--- which leads to weight loss.  Here's how.
1. Do not Skip Breakfast: Skipping Breakfast leads to intense hunger, making it difficult to make wise choices. Eating breakfast jump starts your metabolism, and you start burning calories earlier in the day.
2. Drink Water: Water is the body's most important nutrient. If the body is lacking in water it will slow the metabolic rate. The liver will begin to retain water rather than burn fat.
3. Replace fat with muscle: Tone UP! Muscle burns more calories than fat. We are able to maintain our weight more easily if we replace fat with muscles.
4. Age: It's a fact, as we age our metabolic rate slows down. It is a natural part of the aging process. It may have something to do with the fact that as we age our muscles begin to transform into fat.
5. Don't skip meals: Denying the body of these essential elements throws the system into survival mode, slowing metabolism and encouraging the storage of energy in the form of fat.


Whole Wheat Pizza Dough.

Cheaper. Healthier. Easy. Delicious. 
Why not Give it a try?
This way you have control of you pizza toppings and the amount of cheese. No more of the greasy toppings and cheese that you get from most pizza chains.  Load up on your favorite veggies(peppers, onions, pineapple, mushrooms, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes) and lean meats(stick with canadian bacon and turkey options vs. your regular pepperoni and sausages).
Her is one of my fave Pizza Crust recipes.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust:

Combine in bowl:
1 heaping Tbsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water
Mix and let yeast begin to ...um... 'work'. (takes 5-10 minutes)

Add in:
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour

Knead until well mixed. Then let rise for ~20-30 minutes. Roll out and top with favorite toppings.
Bake for 15-20 minutes at 425.
Makes: 1 Large Pizza- thicker crust or I like to make it into two thinner crust pizzas for an even healthier option.
What are your favorite Pizza Toppings?


Let's Be FAD FREE.

This time of year, Fad diets are being promoted everywhere.  Miracle pills. Magic exercise gadgets that shrinks the pounds. Crazy food restrictions.
How do you know what really works and what doesn't.

Here are a few tips on how you can weed out the truth from the insane.

  • Avoid Diets that Advocate:
    • Magic of miracle foods
    • Rapid weight loss. (>3 pounds a week) 
    • No Exercise involved
    • Bizarre quantities of one type of food (ex: grapefruit or cottage cheese diets
  • Stay Clear of Diets that have wording:
    • Fast 
    • Miracle
    • Banish Fat
    • Secret Formula 
    • Easy Weight Lost 
  • A Healthy Diet Includes: 
    • Lifestyle changes that can be permanent 
    • A variety of foods from the food guide pyramid that you enjoy. Remember you don't have to cut out anything, just limit the amounts.
    • A gradual weight loss of 1-2 pounds a week.
    • Regular Physical Activity. 

If it sounds too good to be true...... It probably is! 
Remember it all comes down to Balancing Energy In and Energy Out.
Richard Simmons was on Ellen today. He is as crazy as ever. Who knew he was ever still around. I loved the 3 things he tells us all to do for the New Year.
1. Love Yourself
2. Eat Less-- Cut down your Portions
3. Move your Buns
It is as easy as that.  Thanks Richard


Perfectly Portioned Pasta.

When I saw this cool gadget in a magazine, I instantly wanted it.  When it comes to measuring spaghetti noodles in their correct portion size, I am the worst. I always seem to make way more than needed-- so I either end up eating the extra or letting it go to waste.
Now with this tool I will never accidentally cook-- and EAT--- more than I should.

It works by setting the devices camera-like aperature for the number of 2-ounce portions you want (that would be about 1 cup cooked.) You then place the dry pasta in the opening. You'll get the perfect portion every time. 
You can get this device at www.josephjoseph.com They have 4 different colors to choose from.

There are other devices that work in similar matter. 
This one if from Typhoon.

This one is from Danesco.

Here is another option, from Zach.


Love Yourself

One of my personal goals this year is to
Love Everything About Myself....Flaws and All. 
As women I feel like we have so many unrealistic expectations of what we should look like, how much we should weigh, how our hair should be styled, and what we should be wearing. We are constantly surrounded by ads of 'pretty' women. But are these 'pretty' women really any prettier than we are when they are in their natural form.  I love the following clip done by Dove on what really goes on behind the scenes to create this artificial beauty. 

Not even this model was pretty enough for billboard.....They had to photoshop like crazy to get her pretty enough for the billboard. So next time you are comparing yourself to the women in magazines and billboards, remember this.
So although I may not always love my nose, or I think that my hair is to thin, or my hips are too big..... I am going to be proud of who I am..... Because we are all beautiful.