Going green!

Salads. I love them in every shape, form and kind. There are fruit, pasta, lettuce, spinach, potato, egg and hundreds of different types of salads. I think I could eat a salad for breakfast, lunch and dinner! They can be done however you want them, but if you’re not careful they can become unhealthy fast! Here are few of my favorite (healthy) salads that you can try out for when you’re in the mood!

Fruit Salad with Vanilla Yogurt

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16 ounce) package fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

  • 1 large peach, pitted and cut into bite-size pieces

  • 2 plums, pitted and cut into bite-size pieces

  • 2 kiwi fruit, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces

  • 1 cup dark sweet cherries, pitted and halved

  • 1 cup honeydew melon balls or cubes

  • 1 cup cantaloupe balls or cubes

  • 1 cup cubed fresh pineapple

  • 1 cup grapes

  • 2 (16 ounce) containers low-fat vanilla yogurt

Directions:

  • In a large salad bowl, lightly mix together the strawberries, peach, plums, kiwi fruit, cherries, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, pineapple, and grapes until the fruit is well mixed. Serve in bowls with yogurt spooned over the top.
  • Enjoy!

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Photo Credit: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/fruit-salad-with-vanilla-yogurt/detail.aspx

Garden Salad

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (1 pound) package frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans)
  • 3 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

Directions:

  • In a large serving bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, grape seed oil, cilantro, lime juice, sugar, salt and garlic. Set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the soybeans and boil for 3 minutes. Add corn to the boiling water and continue cooking for 1 more minute. Drain very well, and pour into the bowl with the dressing. Gently mix in the green onions and black beans. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to chill and blend the flavors.

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Photo Credit: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/healthy-garden-salad/detail.aspx

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Spring Forward for Autism 5K

Today my whole family ran and walked in a 5K for Autism. It was the best turn out. It was so much fun to see active, genuine and competitive people out there running and walking today. My mom (walked), dad (ran), brother (ran) and boyfriend (ran) were all there, along with 10+ family friends! My parent’s good friends son (Steven) was diagnosed with autism and when he asked us to come support him and his team, we couldn’t pass it up! It was such a family oriented and just good-hearted event, I commend everybody to get out there and not only sign up for a race but sign up for a race with a cause!

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(My Dad and I)

Team Steve-O was our name and we did awesome! We had 2 first place medals in the group and Steven raised more than $700 for the cause. At 8:40 a.m. we showed up ready to race and have fun! By 9:00 a.m., we were on our way around UNR’s campus. We all went in thinking we were going to have to run 12 laps around the track to get our 5K in but when we showed up, the great surprise was that the course took us around the shady and pretty campus. We saw goslings, geese, ducks, swans and tons of other animals! It made the run go by so much faster. My dad, brother, family friend (Andrew) and I all ran together for about the first 2 miles, then my brother and Andrew pushed ahead while my dad and I finished the thing together. I did beat my dad by 30 seconds, so I still have that on him! My boyfriend just kicked everybody’s butt so I don’t want to mention him much🙂 I had such a blast, got a good run in and got some sun! Everybody there had such a good time, I couldn’t imagine a better Sunday.

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(My Brother and Andrew)

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Days Off!

When you work out and are consistent with your workouts, you need to remember that to get true results, you need time to rest. Giving your muscles time to rest is when you build muscle! When you workout your muscles are slightly tearing, these tears are constantly rebuilding and forming new muscle and if you don’t give your body rest then you really don’t recover for the next workout.

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One of the hardest things to do sometimes is nothing, but that is exactly what is needed to give your muscles a chance to repair and build.  The beauty of a day off doesn’t mean you need to lay in bed or sit on the couch and watch the television. Off days can consist of taking the dog for a relaxing walk or read a book outside in the sun. Working out consistently and having the right routine makes your body very sore to keep being able to endure the hard workouts, your body needs to be fresh. When your body feels good life is good. Treating your body is not just for your muscles but it is also for yourself. Give your self a day to just relax and enjoy the little things in life. With everything going on with everyone’s busy lives it is important to sit back and really just relax. Whether you spend time with family or this rest day is the same as your day when you treat yourself to those sweets you’ve have been craving all week, just take it off. Taking a day off will not only help you recover it is just nice to appreciate and enjoy the hard work you have been putting into your workouts. It’s time to show off your hard earned results!

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Homemade Lasagna Soup!

This recipes is by far one of my favorites! It so so so so good! I found a similar recipe on Food Network but added some of my own flare to it! I made this for a bonfire and everybody loved! They were asking me for the recipe all night, so I finally sat down and figured out what I put into this masterpiece! Hope you enjoy!
Ingredients:
1 pound ground chuck
1 onion, chopped544148_10200395273738629_2075879292_n
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
1 (32-ounce) box chicken broth
2 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups broken lasagna noodles
1 (5-ounce) package grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Garlic Bread (not in picture):
1 thin French baguette
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves smashed garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
-In a large Dutch oven, combine ground chuck, onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until beef is browned and crumbles. Drain well.

-Stir in thyme, brown sugar, broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Add noodles, and simmer until noodles are tender. Stir in Parmesan cheese.

-Preheat broiler. Ladle soup into 8 to 10 ovenproof bowls. Evenly sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Broil soups, 6-inches from heat, 3 to 4 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbly. Add a garlic bread slice on top. Serve immediately.

For the garlic bread:
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

-Cut bread into 1/4-inch round slices. Place on baking sheet and brush each slice with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; place in oven and bake until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Rub each side with smashed garlic cloves.

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Benefits of Running

When people hear, “I like to run for fun,” they call me crazy. Running use to be a punishment if we messed up in sports, the coach would say go do liners or take a lap. As much as I hated running for punishment when I was younger, now that I run for fun there is nothing else like it. Nothing can clear my mind in an instant and send endorphins straight to my brain faster. Running outside when the weather is nice, nothing can beat it. Cardio is important to the heart to the lungs and to the blood. When your heart rate increases, it causes your heart to pump faster, when your heart is working hard it is pushing against your arteries causing circulation to be increased. In a way you could consider this to be cleaning out the veins.It is so easy to come up with excuses not to go on a run whether it be too cold outside, the wind is blowing or just the lack of motivation. But the beauty of running is that you don’t need any fancy equipment, all you need is the motivation. Running is the best way to get in shape; it is truly a full body workout. You use your core, biceps and everything in-between. The benefits of running is, the more you run the more “cardio fit” you get, which lowers your breathing so your lungs don’t have to work as hard to get air into your blood stream. Running has many benefits that are endless but my favorite thing about running or doing some sort of cardio exercise is the endorphin rush you get.

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Endorphins rush to your brain giving you a boost of energy so amazing that you feel like you’re on top of the world. This “natural high” as it’s called, makes me want to run faster and work harder. Running has so many benefits to the body and the best part is you don’t need to pay a for a gym membership. You can run at any time of the day or night and you are only benefiting your body, your heart and your lungs. Running can be hard to get motivated to go do but the benefits once finished are well worth the struggle.

There is something strange about people who enjoy running, but before you knock it, try it. You might be sore for a couple days but I promise the more you do it the quicker that endorphin rush will come and the more stress free your life will be. Running is a time to clear your mind, relax and plan your day. It is time for you when nobody else will bother you and nobody to tell you what to do. If you do something for yourself then that is the best reward. Not because someone told you so. NOW go out there and personally see the benefits of running. I promise that the more you do it the more you will want it to be part of your daily routine. Go run! Not for anybody else but for yourself!

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Balsamic Grilled Chicken. It’s What’s For Dinner!

I have too much fun in the kitchen🙂 Today’s creation was balsamic grilled chicken with spinach, sauteed onion and laughing cow garlic and herb spread. And I made a side of green beans with almonds and cranberries. All topped with the most delicious balsamic glaze you’ll ever taste! In the middle of making my first video (on my about me page), my butt was getting sore from sitting for so long, so I decided to take a break and whip something up in the kitchen. I had just been on a big grocery shopping trip so there was no need to run to the store! Everything only took me about an hour to make, but 5 minutes to eat! It was so delicious that I can’t wait until tomorrow for leftovers!

Ingredients:

6-4oz Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast (Fresh or Frozen)
1 cup water
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 tsp dried onion flakes
3 tsp Italian seasoning
3 tsp ground mustard
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp salt

1 bag of Steam Fresh frozen green beans- cook in microwave then chill                                                                                                                                  1 cup spinach- sauteed
1/2 cup chopped onions- sautéed                                                                                                                                                                                                 1/2 cup laughing cow garlic and herb spread                                                                                                                                                                              1/4 cup dried cranberries                                                                                                                                                                                                               1/4 cup sliced almonds

Directions:chicken

-Mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning, thyme, salt, pepper and onion flakes in a 1 gallon resealable plastic bag. Spoon out about a 1/2 cup of the mixture for the green beans.

-Add the 8 boneless/skinless chicken breasts to the balsamic mixture and allow chicken to marinate for at least 1/2 hour.

-While chicken is marinating, saute onions and spinach together with laughing cow garlic and herb spread.

-Heat grill. Place chicken on grill and sear both sides. Then cook until the meat is white through-out or at an internal temp of 180 degrees fahrenheit.

-When chicken is done, top chicken with any extra balsamic glaze and sauteed onion/spinach/laughing cow mix.

-Mix green beans, cranberries and almonds together and top with balsamic glaze!

-Enjoy!

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Healthy Breakfast Hash

IMG_2668My favorite meal of the day, and the most important is breakfast! I couldn’t function without having at least a bowl of cereal in the morning. “People skip breakfast thinking they’re cutting calories, but by mid-morning and lunch, that person is starved,” says Milton Stokes, RD, MPH, chief dietitian for St. Barnabas Hospital in New York City. “Breakfast skippers replace calories during the day with mindless nibbling and bingeing at lunch and dinner. They set themselves up for failure.” Eating early in the day keeps us from “starvation eating” later on. But it also jump-starts your metabolism!

The right breakfast foods can help you concentrate, give you strength and even help you maintain a healthy weight. This recipe is very easy, healthy, can be made ahead of time and put in the refrigerator or freezer for the next day or week! Warm up a bowl of this Breakfast Hash in the morning to get your day started the right way!

 

Calories per serving (1 cup): 130 calories

 

Ingredients:

1 bag of Ore-ida hasbrowns (cubed potatoes)

1 yellow bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

2-3 handfuls of baby spinach

1/2 cup red onion

1/2 tsp. chile powder

1 cup sausage (I used Jimmy Dean)

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Spray bottom of pan with non-stick cooking spray. Cook potatoes on medium for 5 minutes (covered).

2. In a separate pan, cook sausage thoroughly.

3. While potatoes and sausage are cooking, chop yellow and red bell peppers and onion. Tear apart baby spinach into quarter sized pieces. This will help the spinach cook down faster.

4. After potatoes have cooked for 5 minutes, add yellow and red bell peppers, onions, spinach and sausage (if done). Cover the mixture and stir occasionally.

5. After your potato, sausage and veggie hash has cooked for about 10 minutes, add the chile powder! Cook for about 5 more minutes, still stirring occasionally and covered!

6. Add salt and pepper if needed! Enjoy!

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