Sunday, October 23, 2011

Wonder what the Weather will be?


Have you ever wanted to know what the weather might be like for your outdoor sporting event in the future, perhaps in another city? The big football game in a few weeks, or the marathon in a few months!

The following is also a great tool for planning a family vacation! Weather Underground provides a way to easy search weather history through their Trip Planner.

Use the following example to see the weather I might expect for my next marathon in Houston, Texas in January! Play around with it to see what you might expect the weather to be like for your next vacation, or destination marathon!

As another example, the average weather in Cleveland from May 15-25 is between 46-61 degrees -- Clevaland Marathon is on May 20 and somewhere in the middle of that range is the perfect weather for running!!

The report provides the average highs, lows, and chance in terms of a percent, that it will be a "hot", "warm", or "freezing" day, as well as the chance of precipitation. As you will see, there is a great chance that I will have quite perfect running weather for my next marathon in Houston!

You can select a single date, or for a better idea of the time of year, choose a range of dates around your specific date. For example, my race is on January 15, so I choose Jan. 12-18, in order to compile more data. Have fun!

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WHAT DO YOU THINK? TELL ME IN A COMMENT: What location/time of year would you look up? Did you get good news? Change plans?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

PB&J Poppers!


Craving peanut butter? No worries! It's a healthy fat that speeds up your fat-burning and overall metabolism! It's a great source of protein and FIBER, as well. Peanuts also provide vitamin E, folate, and magnesium.  For more on benefits of NUTS click HERE!

Be sure to eat "natural" PB; this is peanut butter with an ingredients list that includes only one or two items: peanuts, and perhaps salt.

PB and J Poppers

GRAB YOUR FOOD CHOPPER and whip some up!

1/2 c peanuts
1/2 c unsweetened raisins

Add 1/2 tsp chia seeds and 2 tsp water for an added nutritional punch!

Blend together until mixture begins to clump and then shape into balls! Addicting! For more hints about how to make these yummy treats, click here. Here is carrot cake flavor!  You can learn about Laraballs here!

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WHAT DO YOU THINK? Tell me in a comment below: do you like some other version of PBJ? Grape or strawberry jelly? Jam? Add dried fruit or nuts inside? Almond butter instead? Perhaps peanut butter and butter (Earth Balance spread) like my oldest daughter?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dr Oz's Tangy Green Drink



Here are some benefits of this tangy green drink! You get nearly 40% of the fiber you need each day, half of your iron, vitamins A, and folate (the important vitamin for pregnancy), tons of vitamin C (may help relieve arthritis) and vitamin K (well over daily requirement), 25% of magnesium and riboflavin and it’s a source of coenzyme Q10 (important especially for those on statin drugs).




There is lipoic acid which is important for fat burning capacity, lutein for your eyes, and glutathione an important antioxidant for cancer prevention. Silica helps with skin health and your overall complexion. Green drink also provides some calcium, potassium, zinc, selenium, vitamin E, and all but one of the B vitamins (7 out of 8).

Experiment with making it however is best for you, and you will certainly become more efficient with experience. Soon, you may find you miss it on days that you don’t drink it! I find that when we (my husband and I) are into the habit of making it, we are sick less often and feeling healthier overall!

1 c water
¼ c lemon juice (or 1/2 a lemon or 3-4 packets True Lemon)
2 large handfuls spinach
1 small handful fresh parsley
2 apples, chopped
1 inch cube fresh ginger, peeled
1 small cucumber (or 1/2 an English cucumber)
2-3 stalks celery

Combine all ingredients and blend to smoothy-like liquid. Note that blending time may warm drink and require chilling time in the frig or ice to drink right away! Preparation makes roughly two 32-ounce servings. Begin your day with a head start on your veggie intake, a good amount of healthy hydration, and a burst of energy from doing something for the good of your own body and well-being! Thanks Dr Oz!

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Tell me in a comment below: Do you watch Dr Oz? What is the best advice he ever gave you? What hints from him have stuck?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Calling All GIRL SCOUT THIN MINT Fans!








You can feel good giving your kids, these gooey, minty, chocolatey treats before noon! In fact, you’ll be giving them lots of great fiber, B-vitamins, and several key minerals! Free of sugar, butter, shortening, vegetable oil, or any of the many chemicals found in packaged treats!

Skinny-Mints (Girl Scout Thin Mint Laraballs)

In a food processor, combine ½ c pistachios, ¾ c pitted dates, 1/8 c unsweetened cocoa, 1-2 tsp peppermint extract, and 1 tsp vanilla. Blend until mixture begins to clump, simply shape into balls and enjoy this delight! Yum!

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Read on for more information about these yummy treats! They are similar in texture and consistency, and perhaps even more moist than Larabars. Larabars have a super-SHORT ingredient list and can always be available on the go! There are nearly 20 amazing favors. They are however (only shortcoming) expensive.

Really, for what you get, such nutrient-dense (tons of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and some "good" fat) product, the price isn't too bad, but looking at an individual bar, it's around a dollar when you "subscribe and save" on amazon.com, around $1.29 at Trader Joe's (cheapest at a store you can walk into), and more than that at any other store that I have seen.

It's fun to use the www.larabar.com website to make your own! Click on any of the flavors to see all ingredients. They list ingredients with pictures, as in cashew cookie: a picture of a cashew and a date. If you have a variety of nuts, plenty of dates, cocoa, some spices, and some different types of dried fruit, you can quickly make a batch of any flavor you choose!

For a consistency that will clump together nicely, you want around 1/2 c nuts (one type or a combination) and 1/2 c or so of dried fruit (such as dates). All ingredients can be blended at once. I small food chopper (like for baby food or chopping onions) works well. I have a Cuisinart 4-cup chopper/grinder that works perfectly! It is also easy to clean -- added bonus! It's small, so I can keep it on my counter, thus using it more than if I had to pull it out every time I wanted to use it!

Blend, blend, blend! As I said above, when you blend it long enough, it will begin to clump together. Now you can put the whole mixture into a sandwich bag, and have fun shaping! Your hands will stay clean (I don't like "food hands")! You can make balls out of the mixture -- it's like playing with play-dough! Then keep them in that bag -- the oils that remain will keep your treats moist -- though they might not have much time to dry out (too yummy!)!

WHAT DO YOU THINK? TELL ME IN A COMMENT BELOW: What flavor does your tummy's imagination want? Maybe I can come up with something you'll enjoy! You can also leave a comment about how your experience went when you tried making these "Larabar Balls". Have a great day!
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

2-Minute Friday Night Dinner*



Celebrate the end of the week with a quick dinner Friday night! Tonight, while you are surfing Facebook, cook some brown rice. When you prepare the rice ahead of time, dinner can be ready in just a few minutes!*

Prepare dinner in a flash!

Mexican Fiesta Bowl

Combine in a large glass bowl:
1 can black beans, drained (or 1 cup of cooked beans from dried beans ~ directions here)
1 cup salsa or diced tomatoes and chilis
1 avocado, cut in chunks
1 cup frozen corn
2-3 cups cooked brown rice (Click here for benefits!
Fresh cilantro chopped and lime juice, for extra awesomeness!

Stir it all up, pop in the microwave for a few minutes, and viola! Dinner is done!



For a slow cooker variation, you can put everything except the avocado in a slow cooker, along with lots of water, in the morning. End up with a lovely "tortilla soup" at the end of the day! Top with avocado slices, adding tastiness and nutrition!

The unlikely event of leftovers!




If you would like to see more recipes and tips, "like" my Facebook page!

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Tell me in a comment below: do you ever "cook" in the microwave? Besides just warming things up, what do you make?

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