Thursday, March 31, 2011

Oriental Lettuce Wraps

Craving PF Changs?  Well crave no longer, actually you may have to continue craving for 15 minutes put that's it because that's how long it takes to make these delicious lettuce wraps. If your trying a "Meatless Monday" or your Vegan or Vegetarian TVP or Tempeh makes a great substitute for the Turkey Burger. 
Lightly brown 4 oz. turkey burger (use cooking spray, no oil)
Add ½ c chopped celery ½ c chopped onion & ½ can water chestnuts. Continue cooking over low heat
Add in 1/3 c precooked rice
Season w/ soy sauce, ginger, and garlic
Spoon into 5 large lettuce leaves and eat!
Serves 1 – 5 lettuce leaves per person

270 calories per serving
Or… 1 lettuce leaf with 1/3 c filling = 52 calories
*TIP* Use reduced sodium soy sauce and be sparing with it. For good flavor with less sodium, add more ginger, garlic and even a little lemon juice.

DNF: Not an obstacle but an opportunity

There is a Scottish Proverb that says, “Open confession is good for the soul.” On that note, I have three confessions. First, I am a bit of a perfectionist (others may argue that “a bit” is an understatement). Second, I am insanely competitive, and that is not an understatement. And third, I got a DNF (Did Not Finish) at my last race. Whew… my soul feels better already.

I’ve run and finished 45 races in my lifetime. Being a perfectionist and very competitive I’ve always prided myself in not being a quitter. I’ve been injured at many races, sick at a few, but I always finished. That is until yesterday, at race #46, where I had to drop out at mile 11. It was an intense 25K (15.5 miles) trail run. The first 6 miles were delightful, and then the direct descendant of E. Coli and Montezuma’s Revenge stopped me dead in my tracks. My body and mind duked it out for the next 3 miles and after round 3, my body won. I still had 2 miles to go till the next aid station, which I swear they kept moving farther and farther away.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Skinny Poppers

In case you didn't get the memo, deep fried jalepeno poppers aren't very good for you no matter how delicious they taste.  Typically they range from 80 - 140 calories per popper and they are loaded with fat.  Not so great considering an order is typically 5 or more.  Ok, ready for some great news! I've redone the jalapeno popper and it is now "healthy" - only 40 calories a piece and insanely delicious!


2 bell peppers or 8 JalapeƱo peppers

4 Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedges (any flavor)

8 slices Center Cut Bacon

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Health Management: a twin to money management

I signed up to go through the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Program and a lot of what I’ve learned in regard to smart money management can be applied to physical health as well as financial health. Here are 4 principles that stand out to me:

1st – It’s all about delayed gratification. Losing weight and becoming fit is a matter of having the patience to persevere when you are tired and not expecting instant results

2nd – It’s about investing in things that matter. We all know that “we need to take care of ourselves” however we often put everything else before our own health. Sometimes we feel selfish by taking the time to care for ourselves, or we diminish how important the investment our own health is. Well let me tell you, “Your physical health is AN INVESTMENT THAT MATTERS” It should be at the top of your priorities because without your health you no longer have the ability to invest in anyone else.

3rd – Now is the perfect time to start! In all actuality there is no “perfect time” to start eating healthy, or exercising. There will always be something standing in the way if you let it. It’s easy to put off making needed changes till everything in life is calm. Let me assure you, it will never be that way. That being said, there is no better time to improve your health than NOW!!!

4th – You won’t regret the hard work you put in now! I’ve never heard someone say, “If only I hadn’t exercised all those years.” Or “I just wish I’d hadn’t cared that my food choices were leading to a heart attack” It just doesn’t happen! I guarantee you will NEVER EVER regret all your efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle. However if you choose not too, you may always regret it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

PROCRASTINATION: a big step towards failure

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing. ~Eva Young

A year from now you may wish you had started today. ~Karen Lamb

When it comes to daily exercise one of the biggest road blocks is PROCRASTINATION. Saying, "I'll do it later today" or "I'll workout tomorrow instead" is sure way to not workout today or exercise tommorrow.

Martin Luther said, "After adequately thinking over a matter, people should follow through with their intentions quickly and bring it to pass without delay." Bonaventure said, "Those who pass up great opportunities will be passed over themselves." Both statements are true. The longer you "consider" working out, pondering it, weighing the pros and cons, the more likely you are to not do it.

The brain is a powerful thing and it is a master at tricking us into believing we will have better resolve an few hours from now. The truth is however, that our resolve or determination does not grow over time when we do nothing, instead it weakens. The only way to strengthen your determination or resolve is to ACT NOW! Consistent immediate action is habit forming, and good habits are the key to battling procrastination.

So, don't procrastinate when it comes to exercise this week. Do it earlier rather than later. Don't let your brain trick you into beliving you'll squeeze it in at another time. Do it NOW! Enough time of doing that and I promise it will become a habit and you will no longer have to go through the daily internal battle of "should I or shouldn't I?"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Over-Day French Toast

This is same concept as "Overnight French Toast" - where you prepare it the night before and then bake it in the morning.  However, being a cereal eater for breakfast, I prefer to eat this in the evening as dessert instead.  But suit yourself, it'll work morning or night - as long as it has at least 6 hours to SIT before you bake it.  This recipe works great with gluten free bread, as soaking it all day or night makes it much softer than it typically is. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

This is a test...only a test

Are you up for a quick test? There’s only 1 question and it’s multiple choice – you can handle it. Here goes. Pick the best scenario below:

A. It’s July 4th, you enjoyed a delicious BBQ about 2 hours ago, now it’s time to hit the gym for a hard workout to work off that huge burger and your neighbor’s wife’s famous cheesecake.

B. It’s 6:00 p.m. , you’re last meal was at noon, your starting to feel a little hungry but you know if you don’t get a workout in before you head home for dinner, it just won’t happen. You figure a good 45 minute workout will make dinner taste just that much better too.

C. It’s 5:00 a.m. which is too early for breakfast, but a little snack will give you the boost you need for that 5:30 a.m. run. You grab an apple and a mini snickers bar before you head out the door. A little fruit and sugar will get you going.

D. You’re only time to workout today is during your 12:00 lunch break. You opt to skip lunch, you’ll eat it at your desk later. Instead you have half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at 10:30 to tide you over till your late lunch.

I considered putting the answer upside down at the bottom of the page, but since it’s a major pain to turn a whole newspaper upside down, I figured I’d cut you some slack and just tell you the correct answer. The best scenario is D. Did you get it right? If you did – way to go! If not….I’m sorry about the major gastrointestinal distress you’ve been having during your workouts, and I’m probably going to blame that smell in the room on you.
What to eat and when to eat is often overlooked when it comes to your workout routine. The focus is typically on other body systems such as the musculoskeletal system or the cardio respiratory system. However, the digestive system plays a major roll when it comes to the quality of your workouts as well as your recovery time and progress. So I’m going to break it down for you. What should you eat before and after you exercise? When should you eat? And how much?

Thursday, March 10, 2011


There is a starting point for anyone who embarks on journey to becoming healthier, fitter or leaner. That starting point is desire. There is something that they want. They may desire a smaller body. They may desire the ability to do more things without huffing and puffing. They may desire to be alive, healthy and well for their children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren.

At the starting point, that desire is so motivating. You know what you want and you are bound and determined to achieve it. However over time the hard work and time it takes to achieve something great can start to drown out the pull of that desire. Little by little you become "ok" with life as it was before. You become complacent and comfortable, but NOT SATISFIED.

I challenge you to remember what you desired when you started striving for a healthier life. Remember why it was SO important, why you were willing to make the initial changes. Don't become comfortable again. Keep that desire alive, keep striving, only then will you truly achieve great things and be truly satisfied with your own life, body and health.

Consistency Is Crucial!

In order to make any progress in your personal health and fitness you must be consistent.  Consistency is important in every area of life however it is often disregarded when it comes to eating right or exercising regularly. 

We all know that we must brush our teeth every day in order to avoid a mouthful of cavities.  We know that we must bathe daily in order to stay clean.  There are so many things that you must do every day; eat, sleep, bathe, brush your teeth. If you skip a few days on any one of those things, the results will be very unpleasant. 

The same is true of healthy eating & exercise.  It is something you must be consistent in.  The body NEEDS daily exercise. The body NEEDS to be fueled RIGHT every day.  Skipping a few days of exercise or a few days or healthy eating will yield BAD consequences. 

Start viewing care of your health and fitness as a daily routine.  BE CONSISTENT, NOTHING LESS WILL WORK!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Sans Allergies

Food allergies or food intolerance are common, nevertheless the can be very frustrating.  Discovering that you can't have your favorite foods can be quite a let down.  Some of the most common food allergies/intolerance are wheat, eggs, corn, peanuts, dairy, soy, and believe it or not...sugar.  My personal belief is that one reason so many people have allergies, and especially intolerance to these foods is that there is an excess of them in our diet.  For instance...corn or sugar is added to most processed foods in one form or another.  Despite the reason though, you still must learn to enjoy what you eat with whatever allergy or intolerance you have.  It's usually relatively easy to change what fruits, vegetables or protein sources you eat to accommodate food allergies and intolerance.  The hard part is find substitutes for sweets and treats...things we all crave but which are often made with "common - allergen" foods.  I know it's a little out of season, but I've created an "Allergy Free Pumpkin Pie" - it's healthy too.  So if you happen to be someone out there with lots of allergies or intolerance and you've been craving a delicious piece of pumpkin pie - today is your lucky day. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


March always seems like the endless month to me. It’s still the dead of winter, but it feels like it’s time for spring, or whatever they call it in Wyoming. Then there’s the fact that’s it’s almost 5 weeks long, which isn’t kind to my paycheck or my sanity. Once April comes, I can at least pretend that spring is about to arrive. I know it’s happening in other places, and that brings some consolation. By this point many New Year’s Resolutions have fallen by the way side, and the motivation that summer swimsuits bring hasn’t quite reached those of us in Wyoming.
If you’re someone who lives for March Madness, kindly disregard my objection for March and read on anyway.

So what to do with March? Well, I’ve decided it doesn’t have to be a wasted month for me or for anyone else. So I’ve come up with a way to tackle March and not let it get the best of any of us.
I want to challenge you to change ONE thing each week in March. Just ONE, I’m not asking for a complete lifestyle overhaul, just one little thing. I believe that making just one good change in your life can have great implications for your health, fitness, and overall well-being.