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Last week my best friend Jody put in a request for a virtual meal.  Jody lives in Miami and I was so excited she asked me to make this, because it has been a long time since I made them, and I love them. Jody has been my best friend for 13 years and I value her friendship more than words can say. She moved to Miami from Michigan a few years ago for an amazing job opportunity, I miss her everyday, but she is my forever friend and distance does not change our friendship.

So after work I ran out and got some ingredients and made her request. Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

This is an easy, fast recipe.

Lots of healthy ingredients.

Cooking time was less than 8 minutes.

Made a fresh salad to go along with this light dinner.

Yummy, crisp and light.

Love the crunch from the water chestnuts. Amazing how much flavor they absorb from the sauce.

Also made my new favorite dessert. I just love me some Chobani Cheese Cake.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Adapted from Real Simple. 

Ingredients

  • 3  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3  tablespoons  honey
  • 2  tablespoons  canola oil
  • 1 1/2  pounds  boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • black pepper
  • 2  cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1  tablespoon  grated ginger
  • 1  bunch scallions, trimmed and sliced
  • 1  8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/4  cup roasted chopped nuts
  • 1  small head Boston or Bibb lettuce, leaves separated
  • Garnished with mung bean sprouts

Directions

  1. Combine the soy sauce and honey in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes.
  4. Lower heat to medium and stir in the garlic and ginger. Add the scallions and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Stir in the water chestnuts and half the soy sauce mixture. Continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle with the chopped nuts.
  6. Divide the lettuce leaves among plates and spoon the chicken over the top. Serve with the remaining soy sauce mixture for drizzling. Top with mung beans sprouts for garnish.

Jody I hope you enjoy your virtual meal! I had fun making them. 

I also just found out yesterday that Jody is coming back to Michigan for the Thanksgiving holiday for a visit. Her family still lives in Michigan and when she comes to visit her family, they welcomes me into their home like I am part of the family. So I am over the moon with excitement that I get to see my Jody in 146 Days. Jeff and I went to Miami in March to visit Jody, so this is quite a treat that I get to see her twice in one year. 2012 is turning into an amazing year. Love you Jody.

Now onto a Fitmixer update.

So I have been doing the Fitmixer Bootcamp since May 14th. and we have just passed the 1/2 way mark. We completed a fit test on our first day and again at the 1/2 way point. I am happy to report that I was able to complete with ease several additional reps to each task. One exercise that I was really happy with seeing an increase was the Burpees. I did an additional 5 reps with ease and really felt like my form was solid the entire time, where the first time I felt like I was getting really sloppy towards the end.

So in addition to the workouts, I also walk a local farm trail which is a 2 mile walk. I walk it most weekdays and it ends up being a nice 30 minute walk. Walking helps keep me stretched after a good boot camp workout.

Question of the Day:  What’s you favorite workout right now? I am loving my boot camp workouts.

Check ya Later.

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Can a nice day get any better? Yes it can. All you need is a perfect dessert. It just so happens I just have a recipe for that dessert. Wait for it….

Pineapple Chobani Cheese Cake. Yep. Perfection.

Just make this easy crust and fill it.

No cooking is required. You just chill in the fridge and it is ready to enjoy. Healthy, cool and refreshing.

Think I will be making a few of these for a bbq I am having over the 4th of July, I think they will go over well with my friends.

Summer fun foods at its finest.

This little round delight made my husband one happy man after dinner. Now here is the recipe so you can make your family happy.

Pineapple Chobani Cheese Cake

Adapted this recipe from:
Ingredients: For Filling:
6oz  Chobani Greek Yogurt – U pick the Flavor
1/2 Tbsp Jell-O sugar-free instant pudding mix – vanilla flavor
Ingredients: For Crust:

1/2 cup fiber bran cereal
4 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp unsalted almond butter
1/4 tsp stevia
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Preparation: Add the vanilla flavored pudding mix into the yogurt and stir until well combined. Set yogurt mixture aside. In a food processor or blender, grind the bran to a fine texture. In a small mixing bowl, add the ground bran with all dry ingredients, (stevia, cinnamon, and nutmeg) and mix evenly. Then add the almond butter and water and stir until it becomes moist and sticky. If the batter is still crumbly, add additional water in 1 tsp increments until desired consistency is achieved. Pour the crust mixture into a small 4 inch circular pan. Pack the crust along the bottom and sides of the dish to create a pie shape. Pour the filling on top of the crust and smooth evenly along the top. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and enjoy cold.
Question of the Day: What cool refreshing dish makes your family happy? 
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When I saw this recipe over at The Lean Green Bean, I knew I had to make it. Plus Chobani just sent me a 12 pack of their Pineapple Yogurt, so I was all over this recipe. I am on a frozen fruit bar kick right now, so it only makes sense to try a frozen yogurt recipe next. I really love Chobani yogurt and I also love the company Chobani, I have so much respect for them after meeting them at the Blend Retreat. They are such a customer based company with healthy living as a priority.  So here’s how the pops came together.

Add your Chobani and Granola together and mix it up.

After mixing up the ingredients, you just spoon into an ice-cube tray.

I placed a toothpick into the center of each cube and placed them into the freezer to set-up. After they set-up it was time to dip them.

Dip them in what?

Chocolate, that’s what…

I tucked away this amazing chocolate disk I received from Alaina, at the Jogging Concierge. She sent me an amazing Foodie Pen Pal Box a few months ago and I have been waiting for the right time to break it out.

Well, the time is now.

So glad I placed in those tooth picks, they really helped me out when it was time to dip them in the chocolate, not so much help getting the pops out of the ice-cube tray, but they kept my fingers out of the chocolate.  Then I pulled out all the tooth picks, those little buggers are sharp.

Perfect treat for a warm day.

Here’s the Adapted Recipe from Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean

Frozen Granola Yogurt Chunks Dipped in Chocolate

Makes 14 Chunks

Ingredients:

  • 12 Ounces of Chobani Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Cup of your Favorite Granola
  • 1/2 Cup Melted Dark Chocolate

Instructions:

Mix the yogurt and granola together and spoon into ice-cube tray, place a tooth pick in the center, freeze until set. Remove from ice-cube tray and dip in melted chocolate. Place back into the freezer to let the chocolate set.

Then Snack Away.

Question of the Day:  What is your favorite summer snack or treat? It’s between chips and salsa and frozen fruit bars for me right now.

Check Ya Later.

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I was lucky enough to meet a few of the ladies from Chobani at the Blend Retreat. Chobani was one of our amazing sponsors. Check out their Blend Retreat Blog Post. 

They provided our Sunday breakfast. I could eat Chobani everyday, well I kinda almost do. Someday’s it’s my snack, other days it’s my breakfast.

During the Blend Retreat I had a serious love affair with Pineapple Chobani. I lost count after three bowls.

Mixed with granola or added into oatmeal is my favorite way to enjoy Chobani.

Chobani Rules!

So when I came home to this on my front porch, I was beyond excited. A few week’s back I received an email from Lindsay and Emily telling me that they were sending a case out to me as a thanks for attending the Blend Retreat, and a few days later I received an email from Ashley telling me when to expect my delivery. Even though I knew I was going to get the shipment I was still super excited when I saw the actual box on the porch. Jackpot.

I wondered how they could keep it cold during delivery and couldn’t wait to open it up, and check it out.

So it comes packed in a box that is insulated with a bag.

Once you open the insulated bag, you find that the inner case box that is surrounded by ice packs.

They ensure that the box stays cold and that the yogurt arrives safe and sound and ready to be eaten.

Seeing these 12 beauties smiling back at me made this girl Happy! Very Happy.

Thank-You Chobani for loving your Blend’s so much, we love you right back! Blend’s + Chobani = Healthy Happiness, and on that note, I have a date with a cup right now.

 

Stay tuned for some recipes to follow.

Question of the Day: What’s your favorite yogurt flavor? Clearly mine is Pineapple.

Check Ya Later.

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SWAG, How Many Of Us Love It!

This is my final post on the Blend Retreat. I’m sure from time to time I will add comments or bring up things that happened at the retreat. I hope you enjoy this post on some good eats and treats.

Today’s post is dedicated to the Swag we received. So to start we all received these great t-shirts and name badges.

This is what made it home with me. I was nervous packing all these liquids in my bag, I was so worried that my drinks would explode in my bag, but it was worth the risk, and I am happy to report that nothing broke open. I had to laugh at how scared I was to open my bag and see if there was a mess. So with caution I unzipped my bag and on top of my cloths there sat a note from a TSA officer stating that they had checked my bag. At first I could not tell my bag had been opened and checked, it looked just how I left it, then I noticed that the decorative plastic bags that the Xagave was in was torn open. I guess when my bag was x-rayed it must have looked to delicious not to investigate it. I was so glad that they were so respectful and only looked at what looked suspicious.

During the closing ceremonies I won the Nature Box, and I am just so excited that I did, I have always wanted to try out one of these monthly foodie boxes. I will post about it when I receive my prize.

I put all the goodies back in the bag so I could get a picture to share, I guess I forgot to do that at the retreat, because I could not find a picture of one on my camera, bad blogger…or hungry snacker…

Had to take pictures of my boys trying to help themselves. They felt the need to protect this bag, food makes them crazy. They were so cute peeking into the bag.

This bag was taller than Stuart but that didn’t stop him from getting a look.

Killian really stood guard over the bag. He’s always on the ready for things that fall.

Oh popchips how I love thee. I tried most of the flavors at the retreat and I love them all, but I think the spicy jalapeno is my ultimate favorite flavor.

Then came the Fitmixer swag. We each received a blender bottle and a full size amino powder. Fitmixer was at the retreat with us and they participated in all the activities. Having them at the retreat worked out really well for me because I start the Fitmixer Boot Camp on May 14th. So I asked lots of questions and got a great preview of the products. I will be doing posts on my progress during the Fitmixer Boot Camp. I’m working on building muscle and strength.

Xagave gave us each a full size container and recipe cards, plus they provided an amazing breakfast on Saturday morning. I look forward to baking with this real soon.

Bob’s Red Mill also sent a full size product for us in our swag bag. I have had pearl couscous before, but never whole wheat so I am excited to try this.

Beanitos were also in our bag and I had never tried them and they did not disappoint, they were a great snack.

Love the flax seeds in the chip, they give it a nutty flavor.

Cheribundi is a cherry juice, it is tangy and tart, and I loved it. I am hooked on the Ginger Cherry flavor, and have already experimented with it in a cocktail. Check out this post for a refreshing Adult Cocktail. There are 50 cherries in each container and they are packed with an abundance of antioxidants and nutrients.

Chobani sponsored our breakfast on Sunday morning, we also had lots of bags of Love Grown granola to add to our yogurt. Love Grown also gifted us a full size bag of granola.

 

Our swag bag had this little gem in it. I love Larabar and here they gave us a 4 pack of their new Uber bars.

 

Bobo’s Oat Bar Amazing. The texture and flavor were out of this world. I really dug into this one. It was like eating a wonderful piece of cake.

The Simply Bar was our Flat Iron Hike sponsor and we also received a few bars in our swag bag. They were a great treat and really tasted good. I love nutrition bars and this one is a new favorite.

Cascadian Farm sent us away with a full size box of cereal and some trail mix bars. Really excited to break into that box of cereal.

Core Power was always available at the retreat, which was great because I think I had one after each of the three workouts. I was excited to try this premixed protein drink, and I am so glad I did. Tons of flavor, lots of protein and I loved the smooth texture.

Twin Cakes Bakery also sent us away with some really taste treats. Loved the flavor of the Chia Brownie Bites they were a rich chewy brownie that will satisfy your chocolate cravings. Perfect balance of sweetness. Perfect for an afternoon treat.

Pure Bliss Eats gave us this cute little packages of their Goji Berry Granola. I am saving this one for a special occasion, it looks so delicious I do not know how long I can hold out.

Lush Gourmet Nuts which happen to be made in Kalamazoo Michigan. They are  handcrafted sweetly coated peanuts. Love the sweet flavor and love that they are a Michigan company. Here at 40 Fit in the Mitt I totally love to support companies in my State. Go Michigan.

Nuts about Granola made a special batch of granola for the Blend Retreat. Here’s what they made for us. Ingredients: Whole oats, honey, almonds, organic chia seeds, dried cherries (Bing cherries, sunflower oil), coconut oil, organic wheat bran, pure cherry extract, cinnamon, natural sea salt. Let me say this, “Amazing” look at the size of those Cherries.

 

NuNaturals gave us bottles of their liquid flavored NuStevia and their NuStevia packets. I am really looking forward to trying this out in some baking I have planned soon.

Colorado Fudge Maker, I did not get to try this, my husband got to it before me, but he said this about it, “I want more”! It was packaged so cute for us, I loved all the detail some companies went to. Classy, very classy.

Hanna’s Herb Shop, scored with this one, I get to try out five different types of supplements, again classy touch with the drawstring bag.

 

Pangea Organics gave us a facial scrub and a mask, I plan on using these next week after I have a massage, it will be like a spa day.

Optimun Nutrition , gave two large samples of their Whey Protein Powder, I will be making some smoothies with those babies soon. They were kind enough to give us a chocolate and a vanilla sample.

Attune Foods gave us a box of Erewhon cereal, which I love to make my version of a healthy crispy treat bar.

Mix1 was in our swag bag also, but I drank it on Saturday night and I forgot to take a picture of it, but let me tell you this, I really like it and enjoyed the vanilla flavor, plus it really filled me up. Protein shakes are such a great way to add protein to your diet.

mix1berry.png

Also Dry Soda was in our swag bags and available for us to drink in the Mission Lodge, I tried the cucumber and the vanilla bean. Love them. They were light, sparkling and refreshing, not heavy like a cola.

 

Another fun thing during the retreat was getting other bloggers business cards, some cards were just so darn cute. I might have to think about getting some cards for next years retreat.

So this concludes my Blend Retreat posts. I tried to cover all the events, meals, bloggers and treats from the retreat. I had a great time and feel like I am even more apart of the blogging community, everyone was so nice and I enjoyed the fellowship with all the bloggers. Thank-you Blend for a lifetime of memories.

Check Ya Later.

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So now for the Blend Retreat Part #2.

The hike was my favorite activity. I looked forward to doing it from the moment I signed up for the Retreat. This hike was legit, it very challenging and the terrain was rocky. Then add the altitude and the elevation and there you have the 4 mile Flat Irons Hike.

My heart was pounding out of chest within the first few minutes of the hike, I was feeling really out of breath from the altitude, so I adjusted my pace so I could enjoy the hike and the scenery. But you really had to keep your eyes on the path, it was a very rocky path once you got off the main trail leading up the hill.

Stopping to take a picture with Katie was a great way for me to catch my breath.

It was so cool to see the line of bloggers making their way up the mountain.

Felt like I was on a stair stepper for most of the hike. There were portions of the hike that these short little legs had to really stretch out and up to get up on a rock, but that was the best part of the hike, I love a challenge.

The trail winded up and around and sometimes seemed to get quite narrow.

Again, stopping to take pictures helps one catch their breath.

Along the way we were greeted by this little hiker, Bella. She was so cute, and seemed to hike effortlessly.

On the hike I found myself with different groups of bloggers/hikers along the way. Kim and Meghan were great company.

At the Sentinel Pass I found Tiffany, and from there we hiked the entire way back down the hill together.

The landscape is so amazing in Boulder, it’s picture perfect. I swear it was like looking at a postcard.

Loved all the boulders in Boulder. I love rocks, I love taking pictures of rocks, clearly.

Post hike protein shakes provided by Core Power. I needed fuel after that hike and the vanilla shake hit the spot, it was very taste. It was real milk protein designed for post workout recovery. Recovery is just what I needed.

After the hike we cleaned up and headed out to lunch. We went to lunch at the Mountain Sun Brewery and Restaurant.

Mountain Sun had so many beers to choose from, and I was not sure what to order so I was given a sample, but unfortunately another side effect from the high altitude is alcohol can go straight to your head, and after just the sample glass I realized alcohol was not a good idea for me, so I went back to water. I think I drank gallons of water over the week-end. The shuttle bus driver told me it was a great way to help ease altitude sickness when I first arrived in Boulder, so I took his advice and chugged. I was bummed out that I could not sample a few different beer flavors, I love me a nice cold beer.

Beers, beers and more beers, I did not get to drink.

Lunch was a blackened shrimp and blue cheese wrap with a side salad, it was so good. After lunch I headed back to my cottage and took a nap, I was tired.

When I woke up I wanted a snack so I looked in my swag band and found some popchips. Can I just say this, I am in love with popchips, they have so much flavor. They are all natural popped snacks. I had several different flavors at the retreat, but I think the Jalapeno and the chili lime are my absolute favorites. Spicy, tangy and crispy. Perfection. I love it when I find a really good healthy snack.

Zesty also comes to mind.

Most of the girls went back out for dinner and drinks later in the evening, but I stayed back and relaxed on the back porch and had some more snacks from my swag bag. I called my husband and took a long hot shower. I went to bed early in anticipation of the Boot Camp that we were having bright and early on Sunday morning.

Putting my feet up is all I wanted to do.

Sunday morning Boot Camp was led by Tiffany at Chobani Fit, she kicked our butt’s, plus it’s 7am and it’s cold.

She was very good at motivating us, she really got my pumped up and ready for a great workout.

No excuses here, these girls are tuff and a little cold and an early start time can not stop them.

Learned a new stretch called the Pigeon Pose. Where have I been, this stretch was perfect for my tight hips.

After the workout we all headed to breakfast which was sponsored by Chobani. I had the pineapple yogurt with some simply oats Love Grown granola. Talk about a perfect combination.

Then came the Closing Ceremony and Raffle. Which made me super sad because I knew that this was our last activity and that we would all be going home soon.

I was super excited when I won the Nature Box Raffle. This entitles me to one month’s worth of healthy snacks. So looking forward to getting this package in the mail.

After the raffle took place, all the ladies went outside and we took our group photo. Photo taken from Ashley at Edible Perspective.

After the photo it was time to checkout of our cottage.

A bunch of us meet outside the main lodge and waited for our taxi’s and shuttle bus.

Last minute hugs and goodbyes were everywhere.

I made my way to the airport and had my gopicnic in the laptop/cell phone charging station area.

This lunchbox has all my favorites.

Hummus and crackers always make me happy.

I am really looking forward to Blend 2013. Our hosts were amazing, the swag was stellar and company was outstanding.

Check Ya Later.

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So a few weeks back one of my favorite bloggers Annette tackled a question I have long been confused by. How much protein do I need.

With magazines and diets stating the importance of protein in today’s diets, it’s important to know this essential nutrient does a lot more than fill you up. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues, and it is an important building block of muscles and bones.

So how much protein do women need? According to studies some say most women need between 50 and 60 grams of protein a day, I have even read that active woman need up to 80 grams of protein a day. I used Annette’s method and found that I should be getting 63 Grams of protein per day. Well I wanted to see if I was close in my day-to-day meals so I randomly choose a day and calculated it.

Protein Challenge:

Breakfast: 22 Grams Total

  • Chobani 6 Ounce Yogurt – 13 Grams
  • 3/4 Cup Go Lean Cereal – 9 Grams
  • Fuji Apple – 0 Grams
Lunch: 33 Grams Total
  • Sabra Hummus Singles – 4 Grams
  • Whole Wheat Pita Bread – 3 Grams
  • Hard Boiled Egg – 17 Grams
  • Serving of Pretzels – 3 Grams
  • Mozzarella Cheese Stick – 6 Grams
Dinner: 19 Grams Total
  • 3 Ounces Marinated Lime Roasted Tofu – 8 Grams
  • Roasted Broccoli with 1 tbsp Oil – 3 Grams
  • 1 Cup Nasoya Japanese Noodles – 8 Grams
Snack: Zero
  • Archer Farms Dried Fruit Bar – 0 Grams
Results:
I came in at 74 Grams! 
But here’s the thing, I am not at all happy with the 19 grams for dinner. That’s the one meal I eat with my husband and I know he needs more protein than that, this of course is not our dinner every night, but it is a typical Monday night meatless meal for us. So I think in addition to the tofu, I will start adding an additional protein to this meal.
Another problem I found is that I change-up my cereal and I eat the Kashi Berry Blossoms and that cereal only has 3 grams of protein verse the Golean Crunch that has 9. So just by making a small change like switching cereal flavors and not looking at the protein values I could short myself 6 grams of protein. So all in all this has opened my eyes.

What are the best sources?

Most people with a well-rounded diet eat enough protein, but it’s important to include complete proteins, which contain all nine of the essential amino acids. Sources of complete protein include meat, fish, eggs, most dairy products, and soybeans. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are often missing certain amino acids, but they can be combined to make a complete protein meal.

And although meats contain high amounts of protein, be sure to consider how much saturated fat is in your cut. Here are a few good examples of low-fat, protein-packed foods:

Protein source Amount of protein (grams) Serving size
Tuna (yellow fish) 33 4 oz.
Roasted chicken 32 3/4 cup, diced
Lean flank steak 31 4 oz.
Soybeans 21 3/4 cup
Lentils 17 1 cup
Non-fat plain Greek yogurt 15 6 oz.

Some of my favorite foods scored really high on the protein list, here’s a few:

  • Tofu has 8 to 11 Grams of Protein in 4 Ounces
  • Quinoa has 9 Grams of Protein in 1 Cup
  • Veggie Burger has 13 Grams of Protein per Patty
 The great thing about learning new information is this, it’s never too late to make a change, it’s never late to improve your diet. That’s why Healthy Living Blogs are an essential part of my day, they feed me ideas, information, tip and support.
Question of the Day: Do you know how much protein you’re getting in your meals?
Check Ya Later.

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