Thursday, October 3, 2013

Recipe: Peggy's Green Bean Salad

I consider myself lucky because I pretty much hit the mother in law jackpot when I married DH.

She loves to cook and prepare meals, and she probably loves it more than I do!
This recipe is one of my favorite salads that she makes and I finally made it myself for the first time last week.



-1/4 cup oil
-1/3 cup vinegar
-1/2 cup sugar (I used sugar in the raw)

-1 can green beans, french style (15 oz)
-1 green bell pepper, chopped (optional)
-1 tsp salt
-1 can white corn, 15 oz
-1 small jar pimentos, diced
-1 onion, chopped
-1 can English peas
-optional: 1 can black beans, 15 oz


-Boil oil, vinegar, and sugar until sugar is no longer granulated
-Mix with remaining ingredients
-Chill in refrigerator for 2-3 hours or until chilled
-Serve chilled

*This is the recipe that I was given from a local cookbook. If it is the same or similar to someone else's on the internets, I apologize, and please let me know.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Recipe: Pumpkin Bread

Apparently, I love pumpkins.

See the evidence here, here, here, here, and here.

I have already posted a couple of pumpkin bread recipes, but I have this issue where I don't really use the same recipe more than once. This is mainly because I try to use what I have in my kitchen and not have to go to the store every time.

I based this recipe on the one found here.

**This makes TWO LOAVES

-1 can pumpkin puree, 15 oz
-3 whole eggs
-1/2 cup unsweeteened applesauce
-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
-2/3 cup water
-2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/2 cup sugar in the raw*
-3/4 cup white sugar*
-3/4 cup brown sugar*
-2 cups whole wheat flour
-1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
-2 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp salt
-1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
-1 Tbsp ground nutmeg
-2 tsp ground ginger


Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix all wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well blended (either in a mixer, with a handle held mixer, or a fork).

In a separate large mixing bowl, mix all dry ingredients together until blended well.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing well.

Pour the batter into two greased bread pans.

Bake 60-70 minutes, until a knife or toothpick comes out clean from the center.

*I love sugar in the raw, but I ran out, hence the use of 3 different sugars. Use your favorite, but I would definitely incorporate brown sugar for a better flavor.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Recipe: {Slow Cooker} Turkey Vegetable Soup

This started out as chili...then it turned into vegetable soup...but, it turned out delicious!


-1 lb lean ground turkey
-1 package mixed vegetables for soup (found in Publix frozen vegetables)
-1 small can tomato paste
-2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
-1 tsp cumin, dried
-1 tsp chili powder
-1 tsp ground pepper
-1 can beans (I used red kidney)
-2 cups water


-Brown the ground turkey in a greased skillet
-Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, mixed vegetables, cumin, chili powder, and pepper
-Add the browned ground turkey
-Stir all ingredients together
-Add water, stir again
-Cook on low for 6-8 hours

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Recipe: Chicken 'Hot Pockets'

I decided to be somewhat adventurous tonight and take a chance on a recipe I made up in my head on the way to a meeting earlier this evening.

I wanted to try and make a 'hot pocket' with chicken, so I went for it.
DH and I really liked them!

(Edited to add:
Please feel free to dip these in a sauce! We didn't need any for ours, but it definitely wouldn't hurt.
I contemplated making more of a 'sauce' filling, but I didn't want the crust to be soggy (I knew we would have leftovers). However, I did think about making one with plain, nonfat yogurt and pesto.
If you want to take a chance and try it, just add about 1 Tbsp of nonfat, plain yogurt with 1 tsp pesto per pocket.)

Here is what I did:

- 1 package Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza Dough OR homemade dough
- ~1 lb chicken breast, sauteed and chopped
- 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables, cooked
(whatever kind you like; mine had a mix of broccoli, carrots, chickpeas, green beans, etc.)
- Cheese, shredded/grated (I used Mexican blend)
-Basil, dried
-Oregano, dried
-Garlic, powder
-Pam or Olive Oil

- Preheat oven according to directions for dough
- Spread out the dough and use kitchen shears to cut the dough in 4 or 6 sections (depends on how big you want your pockets)
- Sprinkle dough with basil, oregano, and garlic powder
- Sprinkle each dough section with desired amount of cheese 
(~1/8 to 1/4 cup)
- Divide chopped chicken pieces evenly among each section of dough
- Divide vegetables evenly among each section of dough
- Sprinkle a little more cheese on top of each section (~1 Tbsp)
- Fold each section over and smooth dough together (may need to wet fingers), then fold and press the ends
- Flip the 'pocket' over so that the 'seam' is on the bottom
- Use kitchen shears to make a small slit on the top of the 'pocket'
- Sprinkle pockets with garlic, basil, and oregano, then spray with Pam or brush with oil
- Place pockets on a greased baking sheet and cook according to dough directions
- Serve and devour!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Recipe: Sloppy Joes

I remember having Manwich when I was younger...and I also remember it being much better than it was a while back when I tried it again.

We had a lot of ground meat (my parents own a farm) that we needed to use and I was tired of spaghetti and hamburgers.

I decided to search for an acceptable 'sloppy joe' recipe that both DH and I would like.

I found this one at My Recipes and made only a few adjustments and it turned out GREAT. It was actually much better than I thought it would be. This recipe has a ton of flavor!


-1 pound lean ground beef or lean ground turkey (notice this is less than the recipe in the link)
-1 small (1 inch) onion, finely chopped
-1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
-2 to 4 tsp garlic, minced
-1 small can no salt added tomato paste
-2 tsp chili powder
-1 tsp ground cumin
-1 tsp salt
-1 chicken bouillon cube with 1 cup boiling water, until dissolved
-1 can no salt added corn
-Hamburger buns

-Spray a large sauce pan with Pam, add onion and pepper and sauté until onion becomes clear (medium heat, ~2 to 3 minutes)
-Add ground meat and sauté until browned, keep stirring
-Add tomato paste, stir
-Add chili powder, cumin, salt, and water/bouillon mix
-Simmer until mixture becomes thick (~10 minutes on low heat)
-Add corn, stir
-Spoon desired amount onto hamburger bun and serve!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Never Forget

I'll never forget where I was that day. I was in 9th grade and we were in Mrs. Kesler's class. At first everyone was confused because we weren't sure what had happened. They turned the TV on and we watched live as the second plane hit and we knew we were being attacked.

Remember ALL of those who lost their lives that day.

Remember all of those who were in the towers, just going about their everyday life. Keep their family and friends in your thoughts and prayers today as we remember what happened 12 years ago, because they live through the pain of losing their loved ones every single day.


The attacks on this day killed more law enforcement officers than any other incident in American history. As a wife of a police officer, I ask you to remember all of the police officers, firemen, first responders, and people who dropped what they were doing just to help. And to continue to keep their families and friends in your thoughts and prayers today, as well as the current law enforcement officers who work hard to protect us everyday.


Remember all of the victims of American Airlines flight 11, United Airlines flight 175, American Airlines flight 77, and United Airlines flight 93.


Remember those who lost their lives at the Pentagon.

Remember all of the service dogs who were at ground zero alongside their human companions.

Remember the men and women in the armed forces who gave their lives and be thankful for the men and women who have defended our country after the attacks and to this day.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Recipe: Broccoli Chicken Bake

I just kind of threw this together tonight and it worked, so here is the recipe!


-1 lb chicken tenderloins or breast
-1 cup brown rice (uncooked)
-1 package frozen broccoli, large about 14 oz
-1 can 99% fat free cream of mushroom soup, 1 can of water
-Parmesan cheese
-Bread crumbs (optional)


*Preheat oven to 350F

-Sauté chicken in a skillet with Pam or olive oil, until fully cooked
-Prepare brown rice according to directions on box
-Pour cream of mushroom soup and 1 can of water into a large baking dish
-Add frozen broccoli to large baking dish, with cream of mushroom soup and water
-Add chicken and brown rice to large baking dish, once cooked
-Top with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs, as much or as little as you like...
-Bake for 20 minutes

Monday, September 2, 2013

Recipe: Another Banana Nut Bread

I heart banana nut bread.

It reminds me of fall and I am looking forward to the fall season so much this year!

I based this recipe off of this one at simply recipes.


-3 ripe bananas, medium
-1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
-3/4 cup Sugar in the Raw
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1 egg
-1 package chopped walnuts (about 1/2 cup)
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 cup all purpose flour
-1/2 cup whole wheat flour


*Preheat oven to 350F

-Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl
-Add applesauce to mashed bananas
-Add sugar (in the raw)
-Add vanilla extract
-Add egg, mix well
-Add walnuts
-Add baking soda and salt, mix well
-Add flours and mix well
-Pour mixture into greased bread pan
-Bake for 1 hour, or until a knife comes out of the center of the loaf clean
-Cool before serving

Friday, August 23, 2013

How to: Registered Dietitian (RD) vs. Nutritionist

Have you ever wondered whether there is a difference in a 'Nutritionist' versus a Registered Dietitian?

Well, today is your lucky day.


First, let me preface this by saying this is not meant to 'bash' anyone who is a nutritionist. It is simply meant for people to understand the difference.


Let's discuss who can be considered a 'nutritionist.'

In *most* states, anyone can call themselves a 'nutritionist.'

Really. Anyone.

While some may actually have a degree in nutrition/foods, not all of them do and it is not required in order to be called a 'nutritionist.'

The term nutritionist is not protected by law, which is why they have varying degrees of education in nutrition/foods. This is not to say that someone who calls themselves a nutritionist cannot be trusted. It simply means that you should research what their qualifications are in the field of nutrition.

For example, some dietitians have the title 'clinical nutritionist.' The 'clinical' part is what distinguishes them and they should still have the RD credentials after their name.

A nutritionist cannot be involved in the diagnosis or dietary treatment of any type of disease (source).



A Registered and Licensed Dietitian (RD, LD) is considered a 'food and nutrition expert' because they have accomplished the following (source):

1) Completed a minimum of a bachelor's degree at a US regionally accredited university or college AND coursework accredited or approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

2) Completed a 1200 hour nationally accredited Dietetic Internship (typically 6-12 months)

3) Sat for and passed the national Registered Dietitian Exam

4) Licensed in your state as a Dietitian

The term Dietitian is protected by law in many countries.

A Registered Dietitian uses evidence based science in the area of nutrition and helps translate it into everyday and applicable terms. They can be found in hospitals working with doctors and nurses, in outpatient facilities, in health departments, private practice, long term care centers, foodservice, etc.

There are also additional speciality certifications that are offered through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for RDs and they include (source):

Pediatric Nutrition
Oncology Nutrition
Gerontological Nutrition
Sports Dietetics
Renal Nutrition

There are also RDs who are Certified Diabetes Educators (CDE).

Dietitians can be involved in the diagnosis and dietary treatment of a disease.


What should you take away from this?

Be sure to educate yourself and research who you are taking your nutrition information and advice from.

What to do if you want to become a Registered Dietitian?

Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website to see the steps you need to take in order to pursue your career as a RD.

Email me at: if you have any questions for me!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Fitness: What is BodyCombat?

I first experienced BodyCombat probably around 2007 or 2008. Then, our local instructor left and no one else was certified, so I haven't been able to do it since then. Although, I have begged my gym to get it for forever (sorry about that! haha). 
Well, we finally got it this year! I'm so pumped!
We had our first launch last night and it went great. 

half of us instructors that taught the launch! love these ladies!

BodyCombat is a Les Mills program and this is the description on their website:

"BODYCOMBAT™ is the empowering group fitness cardio workout where you are totally unleashed. This fiercely energetic program is inspired by mixed martial arts and draws from a wide array of disciplines such as karate, boxing, taekwondo, tai chi and muay thai."

They state that the 'essence' of BodyCombat is "the fiercely energetic martial arts workout where you are totally unleashed and empowered."

Here is the typical layout of a class:

1A) Upper body warm up

1B) Lower body warm up
2) Combat 1
3) Power training
4) Combat 2
5) Power training 2
6) Combat 3
7) Muay Thai
8) Power training 3
9) Conditioning
10) Cooldown


Let's do a brief break down the different martial arts styles in BodyCombat.


(This is from our training manual)

"Boxing is a combat sport where two participants fight each other with only their fists."


This is a Japanese style of martial art, which translated means "empty hand." There are typically 3 sections of Karate, which include:

1) Kihon (basics)

2) KATA (forms)
3) Kumite (sparring)


This martial art is referred to as 'The Art of the Eight Limbs' because you use mostly your hands, shins, elbows, and knees. This is also the national sport of Thailand


This is essentially a Chinese martial art that is practiced by Shaolin Monks. The movements mimic these animals:

1) The Dragon

2) The Snake
3) The Tiger
4) The Crane
5) The Leopard or Panther


This is a Korean martial art that means 'to strike or break with fist' or 'the way of kicking and punching.' It is flamboyant, agile, fast, and precise with 90% footwork and 10% hands.


This is a Brazilian art and combines these three elements:

1) Martial arts

2) Game playing
3) Dance


This is an internal Chinese martial art that is often practiced for health reasons. It can help with self-defense, focus, and breathing. 


This originated in India and was developed as a form of self defense by monks who traveled long distances. Today it is known as Brazilian Jui-Jitsu, which focuses on grappling and ground fighting. 

Who are the instructors/creators for BodyCombat?

Meet Dan and Rachael. They're pretty much awesome.


What are the benefits of BodyCombat?


Go to to find a class near you!

Friday, June 7, 2013

How To: BOSU

Do you look like this whenever you try to use a BOSU?

Then, let's go over some basic moves that you can do on a BOSU.

First, what the heck is a BOSU?

BOSU stands for 'Both Sides Utilized' according to the official website. It was invented by David Weck in 1999. It is used most often for balancing exercises.

BOSU Push Up:

Step 1:

Place the blue side down on the floor and place your hands on the edges where the 'handles' are. Engage your core and start in a full plank position (Modification: Start on your knees).

Step 2:

Keeping your core engaged, slowly lower down.

Allll the way down.

Come back up slowly and do it again.

Try for at least 10 reps.

BOSU Jog/Step Up:

This is the same type of 'jog or step up' that you would perform on a regular step. Make sure to step in the middle of the BOSU and try to get your entire foot on the BOSU.

BOSU Lunge

Place one foot in the center of the BOSU and step the opposite leg back. Keep legs hip width apart. Engage core. (Option: Hold free weights in both or one hand)

Keeping the knee on top of the ankle, begin to lower down while keeping the weight in your front heel.

Rise back up to the start position.

Try for at least 10 on each side.

BOSU One Legged Squat:

Start by standing to the side of the BOSU and put one foot on the top and center of BOSU.

Keep core engaged, chest up, as you lower down into a squat. Keep the weight in your heels (you should be able to wiggle your toes).
Knees should be behind your toes! You should be able to look down and see your toes. Rise back up, pushing through the heels. (Option: Add hand weights.)

Try for at least 10 on each side.

BOSU Up and Over

This is the same move you do on a step as well. You are simply moving to the side, up and over the BOSU. You can start out stepping and then work your way into the more advanced one picture, where you reach up in the middle. Again, feet in the center of the BOSU, core engaged.

BOSU Burpee

You didn't think I wasn't going to incorporate my favorite exercise did you?

Start out by picking up the BOSU. Core is engaged and use your legs NOT your back.

Two options here. You can either stop lifting the BOSU as pictured or you can lift the BOSU all the way over your head as in the next picture.

Begin to bring the BOSU back down to the floor, blue side facing the floor.

Place BOSU on floor, blue side down, then step or hop back into a full plank.

Step or hop back in.

Lift the BOSU again and repeat. 

Try for at least 10. You can do it!

Well, there are some basic BOSU moves. If you love "Burpees Forever" or want any other cool workout shirts, check out Abundant Heart Apparel! 

Crazy workout hair

What are some of your favorite BOSU exercises?