Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Grilled Cheese Please!

We had a Grilled Cheese Bar Birthday Party for a Co-Worker Today!

It was so much fun!  We all brought in something to share and set up the "make-your-own" grill cheese bar:

We had awesome tomato basil soup (best in the world!)
2 to die for salads!
4 kinds of bread: Marble Rye, Wheat, English muffins, and Italian
4 cheeses: Fontina, American, Munster & cheddar
toppings included: bacon, tomatoes, avocados, pickles, smooshed blackberries & ham

you got to choose your bread, toppings and grill it yourself!  We had a blast.  Here are some photos from this cool event!

toppings and cheese spread

tomato soup! YUM!!

OK.  I could not help myself and wait to take a photo before having a bite out of this....Wheat bread, fontina cheese, smooshed blackberries & basil...OMG!  You need to try that! Go. Do it.
This sandwich was inspired by this website How Sweet It Is

All the beautiful, talented ladies I work with!
another creation, marble rye, fontina cheese, tomatoes, avocados, & ham!

There I am with the Birthday Girl!

Thank you to all the fabulous ladies for your help with this and all that came out to party today!

Next time bloody Mary's instead of the soup.....well, maybe in addition to...that soup was good! :d

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Recipe: Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

Awesome recipe!  I had learned about this recipe on No Thanks To Cake, it seemed so easy and fresh and flavorful and boy was it ever!  It's a nice flavor and something great to make on the grill.  My family loved this, even my picky 5 yr old gobbled it up.  My husband is always skeptical (he's a food snob...really) and he enjoyed it.  He doesn't even really like chicken, but this was one of the few ways he liked it.
picture that inspired this meal, as it did for No Thanks To Cake

 Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup KRAFT Sun-Dried Tomato dressing, divided
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded 2% milk Kraft mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil leaves
3 cloves roasted garlic, sliced (I used chopped garlic from the jar)
cooking spray

Place a large sheet of heavy-duty foil over half of grill grate; heat grill to medium heat. Meanwhile, place chicken in resealable plastic bag. Add 1/4 cup dressing and seal bag. Turn bag over several times to evenly coat chicken with dressing. Refrigerate 10 minutes (I marinate it all day if I remember in time). Remove chicken from bag; discard bag and dressing.

Grill chicken on uncovered side of grill for about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/4 dressing, tomatoes, cheese and basil.

Turn the chicken over and place cooked-side up, on foil on the grill. Top with tomato mixture. Close lid. Grill 8 minutes or until chicken is done.


There are some cool photos on No Thanks To Cake of the cooking process to, check it out.  So far, this is the 3rd recipe I have made from her site and all 3 have been great, so check them out!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Slow Down & Taste Your Food - Mindful Eating

I have to frequently remind myself to slllloooooowwwww down when I eat and taste my food... enjoy and really connect with what I am nourishing my body with.

When I had to take classes about Gastric Bypass surgery, one of the sessions was about Mindful Eating.  It was fascinating to me.  Our teacher handed us all 3 raisins and asked us to eat them.  Then she handed us 3 more, but this time asked we chew slowly and think about the raisin and the texture, taste, smell, maybe where they came from (grapes etc.) and just enjoy them.  Al though, I got what she was making a point of and understood the whole lesson, I really do not like raisins....ha!  But anyway, it really made a big difference in showing you how to eat.  When you take the time to prepare, cook, and slowly eat your food, you truly can find that you will make better choices on what goes in your body and the amount that does.  Also, you are more able to start to feel what satiated feels like, not full, but satisfied.  So, when you know when your body gets to that point you stop eating.

After reading a little more about it on the web, I thought I'd share what this website says about Mindful Eating.  In fact, it's called "The Center for Mindful Eating"

Mindful eating has the powerful potential to transform people’s relationship to food and eating, to improve overall health, body image, relationships and self-esteem. Mindful eating involves many components such as:

  • learning to make choices in beginning or ending a meal based on awareness of hunger and satiety cues;
  • learning to identify personal triggers for mindless eating, such as emotions, social pressures, or certain foods;
  • valuing quality over quantity of what you’re eating;
  • appreciating the sensual, as well as the nourishing, capacity of food;
  • feeling deep gratitude that may come from appreciating and experiencing food
Do you try to slow down and Mindfully Eat?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

National Peanut Butter Cookie Day Today June 12th!

It's National Peanut Butter Cookie Day!!!!!!!!!
Yum!!! Here is a Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Cookie recipe that I love and no one would even know was not full sugar!  I love these too because they are only 3 ingredients and you can make them at the spur of the moment in no time at all!

Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Cookies courtesy of allrecipes.com


  • 2 cups smooth natural peanut butter
  • 2 cups granular no-calorie sucralose sweetener (e.g., Splenda ®)
  • 2 large eggs


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
    2. Thoroughly mix together the peanut butter, sucralose, and eggs in a bowl. Drop mixture by spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet.
    3. Bake in the preheated oven until center appears dry, about 8 minutes.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Just in case you need one more reason to hit the gym today...

Feeling tired, feeling lazy?  Have you just wanted to skip the gym, or karate class and just do nothing?

When you do how do you feel?

Unfortunately, real life often intrudes into the best intentions, and before you know it, one skipped workout turns into two, and three...and you've dropped your new routine entirely. The negative thoughts, feelings move in, you have a hard time getting back on track, your eating starts to get lax.  No good.

Here is some of the negative talk excuses we sometimes use:

1. I'm too busy
2. I'm too old
3. I don't want to go alone
4. It's boring
5. I got so much to do
6. My body aches
7. I have to make dinner, do laundry, etc etc
8. My kids need me home
9. I don't fit in at a gym
10. I'm too fat

Just a few of the thousands of reasons you can come up with to NOT work out.  When I get in that rut, I try to just go into "auto-pilot" where my body just doesn't listen to my stupid negative thoughts and just GOES to class.  Once I am there, I am fine and ALWAYS glad I went!

This post from CrossFit St. Cloud will give you the kick in the butt you need: Enough With the Bullshitting!

Here are some more reasons to get yourself to your class/gym:

1. Longer life
2. Stress relief
3. Better sleep
4. Cleanses your body of toxins
5. Self Confidence
6. Clarity and Concentration
7. Better sex life (proven!)
8. Enjoyment
9. Superior strength and endurance
10. Better moods

Something else that helps motivate me is looking at where I've been and where I got to in my weight loss journey.

Me at my heaviest 2007

Me with my Mom at Christmas 2011

You will NEVER regret a workout!!! Get your sweat on people!!!!   ;)

Monday, June 4, 2012

World Champion Lauren Kearney

Our karate school was lucky enough to have World Champion Lauren Kearney ISKA World Champion in Weapons, winner of twelve Grand Champions, Best All Around Girls Black Belt Youth, Youth Overall Girls Weapons and Forms Champion. Just to name a few...
She came to teach a class on Bo.  I was a little apprehensive since I have never even held a bo before and was afraid I might hurt someone else or myself!  But I got there an hour before the class with Lauren, planning to take the kick boxing class before her seminar.  Since I was the only one who showed up, my Instructor (knowing I had never held a bo, and was taking the seminar) kindly had me work with the bo for that whole hour before.  He showed me how to hold it, do basic attacks, and had me spin it in every direction.  I dropped it A LOT while spinning it! I actually found out that I was much more coordinated with my left hand.  He had me work with a really heavy wooden bo that was making me use my muscle much more.... his evil plan since I wasn't doing the cardio and strength training drills we normally do in the kickboxing class.  So, when it came time for Lauren's class and I borrowed a "competition" style bo, it was SO much lighter...it was a relief!

Lauren was amazing, you could tell she had unbelievable patience, especially for a girl in her 20's teaching the children's class first, and then another hour to the adults after that!  I really didn't feel as "green" as I thought I might.  And to my relief, didn't feel like I dropped the staff more than everyone else...even still I did a bunch of times! She did a fantastic job at going really slow at first and breaking down the moves, then as we understood them, and felt more comfortable, learning to use more force and speed behind them.  She walked around answering questions and helping those that were taking a little longer understanding (one was me!).  She was classy, mature, honorable, everything you would imagine a World Class athlete would be...or hope them to be!  She truly was!  She told us her Mom who coached her used to tell her she could not put a move in her form until she could do it 10 times perfectly!

She even ran past the hour and then even stayed for questions and autographs.  She had brought photos, but also signed people's bo's or whatever they requested.  She listened to everyone that spoke with her,  like you were the only one in the room.  She also did a bo form for the children at the end of their class and one for us without the bo as well. 

Here is an example from UTube of one of the moves she taught the "double double":

Here she is competing at Diamond Nationals 2007

She ROCKS the Bo staff!!!  Thank Lauren!  She even knew my original instructor John Payton who was a former member of the team she represents "Team Paul Mitchell", and from whom I received my black belt in Ty Kwon Do.

If you ever get a chance to train with Lauren...do it. you won't regret it. (period)