Tag Archives: health

I Love My . . .

Today is Love Your Body Day, a campaign by the National Organization for Women Foundation that focuses on helping women to love what they see when they look in the mirror.

This may seem like a tough concept for some of us.  I mean, I know some people who truly do love their reflection (you know you are), and I consider them to be lucky guys and gals. I, essentially, know that I need to be thankful for my body — my legs and arms, mostly 20/20 eyes (except for those darn readong glasses) and good health.

But sometimes, when I look into the mirror, — and I don’t think I am alone — it is easy to get carried away with picking at my body. “I wish I could just change this a little” or “If only this was a bit tighter, then …”

It’s stupid, but inevitable.

Or is it? Perhaps, it is possible for us to lean on positive messages like the ones put forth by the Love Your Body campaign and, instead, focus on the positive aspects of our body.

Lets try it. Today, I am thankful for my long legs. People ask me all the time if I am a dancer and, hey, I’ll take that as a compliment.

What about you?

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Filed under Eat, October 2008, Pray, Run

Berry-licious Water!

I love cool, refreshing water, but sometimes it is fun to add a little pizazz! I particularly like fresh lemon or about 1/8 cup  of all-natural cranberry juice added to my agua. But protein and fiber? I never really considered that as an option, but I came across this Kellogg’s Special K2O Protein Water with a mixed berry flavoring and I decided to give it a try.

This bottle of water has 50 calories, 0 grams of fat, 5 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein and 6 grams of sugar. And, gals and guys, it sure is yummy!

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Filed under Eat, Pray, Run, September 2008

Try This Bar!!

Good morning, lovely readers!

So, y’all know that I am a devout Larabar lover. But I just have to introduce to you this bar that I had the opportunity to try this weekend. This Kardea Nutrition Bar was sent to me last week from founder Rob Leighton along with a few others to try …. people must know I just love my bars. I had one of these babies pre-workout on Friday, and I have got to tell you — it is YUMMY, YUMMY, YUMMY! I went in with the intention of eating just half, but ended up gobbling the whole thing down! (; The chewy texture and banana flavor was just right.

Here are the stats for the Banana Nut: 150 calories, 5 grams of fat (0.5 saturated), 7 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar. 7 grams of protein and 0 mg of cholesterol.

The bonus is, of course, that the bars also help with cholesterol managment which is more than important to help maintain cardiovascular health. A perfect fit, seeing as how September is Cholesterol Awareness Month!

Kardea also carries supplements, such as Omega-3 and Whole Psyllium Husk, and olive oil pumped with 500mg of sterols.

Now, I just have to try the lemon ginger, chai spice and cranberry almond ….

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Filed under Eat, Pray, Run, September 2008

Bake Up Some Homemade Energy!

As promised … the Energy Bars!  These are a yummy treat, too, and I feel like it is a recipe you can really play around with. For example, I added a 1/2 cup of oat bran to my batch for a little extra fiber. And Dan made ones that were flavored with peanut butter instead of the raisins and apricots that are used in this recipe. Another thing I am going to try is substituting the eggs with bananas. By the way, this is another one from Ellie Krieger. I love this book!

Have fun, and create your own. They are tasty!

Energy Bars
Makes about 20 servings

Ingredients:

Cooking spray
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup pitted dried dates
1/2 cup powdered nonfat dry milk (I used about 1/3 cup soy milk instead.)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place all ingredients except the syrup and eggs in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. Add the syrup and eggs and pulse until the mixture is well combined. It will resemble a coarse paste.

Transfer to the baking pan and spread evenly. Bake until just done, about 20 minutes. Cut into 20 squares.


Nutritional Analysis (per serving):
Calories: 133
Total Fat: 5 grams
Saturated Fat: 0.6 grams
Protein 5 grams
Carbohydrates 20 grams
Fiber 2.5 grams

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Filed under Eat, Pray, Run, September 2008

It’s Going to Be a Nutty Weekend!

Happy Saturday!!

I have two fabulous recipes that I absolutely have to share with you.

Here is the first, and I will post the other one a bit later:

I made this oh-so-yummy granola from Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave on Thursday evening, and I cannot stop eating it. The toasted nuts are so tasty and it smell like warm apple pie when you are baking it. Mmm … fall is in the (kitchen) air. I doubled the batch and we are already almost through the first. Make this a Sunday project!

Nutty Granola

Makes 4 ½ cups

3 cups old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup chopped raw, unsalted walnuts

1/2 cup chopped unsalted almonds

1/2 cup chopped unsalted pecans

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup raisins, optional (I made it with 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 cup dried blueberries.)

______________________________________________________

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl combine the oats, nuts, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon and the raisins, if using. Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet and bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Transfer the sheet to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Take a look-y at the final product at top — Dan put some nutty granola on top of his yogurt and finished it off with some fresh strawberries. Soooo good!

Nutrition Information

(Per ½ cup serving)

Calories 280

Total Fat 15 grams

Saturated Fat 1.5 grams

Cholesterol 0 mg

Sodium 67 mg

Carbohydrates 34 grams

Protein 7 grams

Fiber 4.5 grams

Check back later for a recipe for Energy Bars … these babies are so easy and yummy, too!

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Filed under Eat, Pray, Run, September 2008

Go Ahead and Stuff Your Face with These Healthy Eats …

I know this is a weekend for indulging, but I must share with you a few of my newest favorite healthy foods:

1. The Peanut Butter Cookie Lara Bar

Health foodies everywhere are raving about this bar, and I feel as though I definitely need to add my two cents. This bar rocks! I am a peanut butter lover, and this Lara Bar tastes exactly like a peanut butter cookie. Too good to be true, right?

2. Lentil Salad

I made this baby with a three simple ingredients: Pre-cut veggies from Trader Joe’s, steamed Trader Joe’s lentils in a package and about 1/2 bottle of Annie’s Naturals Lite Gingerly Vinaigrette.

3. Food Should Taste Good Chocolate tortilla chips with salsa

These chips are so freaking good it’s ridiculous. The combination of a chip and chocolate (and salsa) sounds a bit strange, but the savory mixed with sweet is AWESOME. I am obsessed.

If you are looking for a tasty, healthy treat this weekend, give one of these a try. They are yummy, yummy in your tummy!

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Filed under August 2008, Eat, Pray, Run

Weekend Wiffle Ball and Sushi . . . Oh, Geez!

Wow! What a busy weekend. I did one thing after the other and, before I knew it, it was over. It’s always a bit sad to say goodbye, but it is also nice to start the week off having had a great weekend.

On Thursday evening, I went for a run with my brother, Luke, and sister, Amanda. We hit the trails in Schenley Park and had a fun, albeit sweaty, time. It was hot! I had a bit of trouble breathing the thick air, — even at 6:30 it was still in the high 80s — but made it through the 40-minute workout anyway. Luke is training for soccer and Amanda is gearing up for a marathon, so I was traveling with quite the athletically-inclined pair!

Thank goodness for Anthony, my sister’s boyfriend, who greeted us at the end of the trail with water bottles and Edy’s Whole Fruit popsicles. Yay, for Anthony!

After our run, we hit the Squirrel Hill sidewalk sales where I got a cute sleeveless shirt for $1.00 (Yes, $1.00!!) at Avalon and a used copy of one of my favorite movies, Now and Then, at the Exchange. Both stores are places where you can trade clothing and accessories (Avalon), or DVDs, CDs and records (the Exchange) for money or items of equal value. You can also go in and check out the many items that people have traded in, purchasing them at a much lesser cost than you would if you were to purchase them new. I love the idea of reusing everyday items, and the sidewalk sale fulfilled my recycling dreams! (;

While we browsed, I had a honey green tea with tapioca pearls (boba) in the bottom. If you have never had these babies before, they are quite tasty. They are also pretty high-calorie, –about 100 calories every seven — so I do not drink boba tea often. I did not finish this one because the tea was a bit too fragrant for me.

Friday morning and afternoon was work, work, work and then, pack, pack, pack. I cannot believe we are already moving this Sunday! After many hours spent with the computer and boxes, Dan and I decided to take a short walk (about a 1/2 mile) and do some quick shopping at Whole Foods. We also sat down at one of the tables indoors, cooled off and ate some sushi. Mmmm … this was so yummy.

Saturday was another exercise session on the trails. This time my sister and I walked, and my brother, Isaac rode his bike along side of us. We made a plan to meet on the trails, but completely forgot there was a grand prix this weekend. The event caused some major blockage of the entrances to the trails, and it took about an hour for me to finally get to my brother and sister. I was on the trail and they were not allowed access it. So, I walked by myself until they found me. It was frustrating, but also quite humorous when my sister told me she feigned tears to woo a security guard into letting her on the trail — it didn’t work. (Giggle.) Oh, Amanda! Once I met up with them, we walked for about 45 minutes. My bum was a little sore after almost 2 hours of walking!

Sunday was more packing. I packed the entire closet! I also got rid of a lot of clothing that I haven’t worn in ages and it felt good to purge. Later that night, Dan and I made our way over to my parents’ house for our traditional Sunday night dinner. After dinner, we geared up for a new Shannon family tradition — wiffle ball! I have been a cheerleader the last few times, but this time I joined in and, boy, did I work up a sweat. I typically completely stink at all sports involving a ball, so I was completely surprised when I actually hit the ball! I even made a few runs into home plate. Go me! (Sorry for the dark picture.)

I wanted to focus this post on fitness because I promised to show you more of what I do for exercise. I used to be a hardcore exerciser and, while I am still pretty adamant about it, I have learned a few lessons along the way. One being that it is OK to slow down every now and then. When I was younger, exercise had to be my way or it didn’t count. Now, I have learned that it is OK to not always take fitness so seriously and have some fun à la a wiffle ball game!

I am curious: What is your favorite way to exercise? Has your philosophy changed over the years?

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Filed under Eat, July 2008, Pray, Run