Try it Tuesday – Baking Substitutions!

try it tuesdayToday’s Try It Tuesday is a direct results of me not having any butter in my house. I wanted to make cookies yesterday and didn’t have ANYTHING. But there are ways to get around that. And I also found – there are HEALTHY ways to get around that.
Here are some options for replacing:
White flour for whole wheat flour – adds extra fiber to the cooking. Replace every 1 cup white for 7/8 cup whole wheat flour.
Unsweetened applesauce for sugar – one cup of sugar has 770 calories while one cup of applesauce has about 100 calories. Here’s the way to do it – replace one to one ratio BUT reduce the liquid in the recipe by about 1/4 cup.
Unsweetened applesauce for oil/butter (I use this one!) – Start with half so if recipe calls for 1 cup oil do 1/2 cup oil 1/2 cup applesauce. If you like the taste – try subbing out more next time.
Mashed banana for fat – this is another way to replace oil. Replace one cup oil for one cup mashed banana. The consistency is the same and you get more potassium!
Out of eggs? No problem! Flax seed to the rescue – I also use this one often.  Mix 1 tablespoon of flax seed meal with 3 tablespoons warm water. Whisk with a fork and let it sit in fridge for about 5 minutes. This is “one egg.”
So today’s challenge – try a simple substitution and see what ya think…see if your family notices! If not – sub away and increase your vitamin intake by decreasing your fats and calories.

Try It Tuesday – Meatless Dinners?!?!

try it tuesdayAnyone here ever do a meatless meal once or so a week?

We try to do several nights of meatless meals or at least once a week to help with our budget. Eating beans is just cheaper!  But besides just saving money –  there are health benefits as well. When you cut meat from the meal – you end up having to replace it with more veggies and whole grains (which protects against heart disease). Also, when we cut the meat from our meals, we often cut the saturated fat from our meal as well.

For us we find that when we cook a meatless meal, we up our fiber intake at dinner. I also love the challenge to get a bit more creative in the kitchen when we do it.

So maybe this is something you can try too! Try upping those veggies and fiber and whole grains in your meal by replacing your “meat” with quinoa. Use veggies as your base (sweet potato and bean nachos) or mushrooms for portobella pizzas. Trying this may help you get out of a food rut and experiment with new things.

So want some yum ideas?
Here are some of my favorites:…/

This one is super quick!

And another favorite!…/

I asked my boot camp ladies to share their favorite meatless dish and here is what they shared:

Diane:  We do as many meatless meals as we can. This lentil quinoa taco recipe is a weekly event in our house because the kids scarf it down. And its so easy! Lentils, quinoa, garlic and taco seasoning (we skip the other spices because its easier to dump it in from a packet) and you’re done! We always cook beans and corn to go along with it.  We do them in hard shells to give it more texture, or over nachos or sometimes bake sweet potato nachos, or inside quesadillas for the kids. endless options

Amy:  One of my faves is fettuccine with marinara and a poached egg on top. Yummy!! Rao’s marinara is a bit spicy and works really well

Heather:  We are vegetarian so we have a bunch of recipes. We like to get Trader Joe’s dough and make calzones, either mozz cheese and veggie or spinach and feta. We also use Trader Joe’s steamed lentils a lot. They are good with fried onions and Greek yogurt and cucumber.

Nancy:  I make a meaty chili that was my husband’s favorite dinner, but I started experimenting with healthier recipes and he actually likes veg chili even better (and it’s easier to make 🙂 ) I use a couple of tweaks from the top review and throw in any fresh veggies I have around. And it saves me from making dinner later in the week when it reappears as chili dogs -ha!

Aspen:  My mom just made lentils last night. Her version isn’t completely meat free because she uses a little bit of pepperidge farm summer sausage to season it, but it’s a negligible amount from a cost standpoint. She serves them over rice. It’s a filling, delicious and easy meal that I had totally forgotten about! Going to put it on our rotation.

And Naomi adds:   I have a Spanish version (w/ chorizo) that is AWESOME and like you said, w/ the amount you use, it isn’t like cooking up 4 steaks.

Julie Ann:  Love making shepherd’s pie and trying different veggies and no meat.

So Try It Today! Try one of the many varieties we have shared – you may just stumble into a new family favorite.

When to Buy New Shoes

try it tuesdayToday’s Try It Tuesday is from our awesome instructor Eileen Glass! Such great info from a pro about taking care of ourselves just by what we purchase!

“When should I replace my workout shoes? This morning as I was running along in my new shoes I was commenting to myself about how much “squishier” (that is a technical term) they were feeling as I completed my run. Every time I get new shoes I wonder to myself..”why did I wait so long?”. I, like most of you, are budget conscious. I don’t want to shell out $100 for a new pair of shoes, but what a difference a new pair makes!! On average you should replace your “workout” shoes every year. Of course, if you workout/run every day or close to it you might need to replace them more frequently.

Not all shoes are created equal. It is worth every penny to replace your shoes. The life you are giving back to your knees, legs, hips, totally worth it.

Take the TIME to go and be fitted properly for your shoes..whatever kind you choose. Potomac River Running in Burke does this as does Road Runner Sports and Metro Run and Walk. There is never an obligation to purchase any shoes from them after your fitting. After you have picked your shoe, keep an eye on it. Every year the brand of that shoe will come out with a new release. For example, I wear Brooks Ghost and have for years. The Ghost 9 just came out..guess what? That means the Ghost 8’s are now on sale! Once you find a shoe you love, keep buying it. Towards the end of the shoes cycle they will always be ON SALE. Scarf them babies up! They put old colors and old “editions” on sale every year. They may have “upgraded” one little thing on the shoe to make it the new years shoe. So no worries when it comes to buying old editions. DSW sells older editions. Wherever you purchase the shoe from will always make room for the newer pay attention and buy on sale!

Below is a good link for signs of various kinds of wear on your shoes. When I buy new shoes I save the box from the old shoe and date it when I purchased it. That eliminates the ” I can’t remember exactly when I bought these shoes.”

Click here for the article!

Thanks so much Eileen for the awesome info!


From Real Moms!


If you look back, I shared a post here about some awesome hunger-pain smashing snacks. These are snacks that are packed with protein and vitamins and fiber and really get the job done. Because – let’s face it – as moms…we don’t have the luxury of sitting around all day and picking away at snacks here and there. We need power packed food that will fuel ALL the things we have to do.

When I shared the list with my boot camp mamas, they had some awesome ideas for snacks that I thought I would share here too. They are just too good to keep secret.

  • ok sweet potatoes weren’t on the official list but they should have been. And what about sweet potatoe w/greek yogurt and black pepper? Thanks Jennifer and Rachel!!
  • I bake eggs, egg whites, red pepper, mushrooms, spinach (and a little feta) in the pampered chef brownie pan (so they come out in little squares). Yum Jennifer!!
  • Ideas for oatmeal:
    Adding some vanilla extract helps to not add so much sugar too – perfect tip Naomi!
  • You can also add cocoa powder, vanilla and raspberries! I use a small amt of real maple syrup to sweeten. – Genius Rachel and totally happening for me tomorrow!
  • I add almond butter to my plain oatmeal! Extra protein! Double bonus!! Thanks Tristan!
  • Now here is one I haven’t thought of…ever.
    I like instant Irish oatmeal, I’ve been eating cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread with cream cheese & hot sauce ! (Pickappeppa) Suzie and Janis are creating some serious flavors over here!
  • I have discovered my new favorite breakfast after seeing the idea in a magazine…scrambled eggs with cottage cheese on top…it is SO yummy!!! Thanks for the tip Laura!
  • Genius way to make popcorn:
    Trick for microwave “Air Pop” brown lunch bag, 1/4 kernels (maybe more been a while since I did this), folder or twist or secure the top with a microwave safe material. Not sure how long, but do it by ear. – Thanks Kristin!
  • You guys are soo great for sharing. Do you have some good hunger-smashing snacks/meals up your sleeve? Share them with us!

Try it Tuesday – 10 Super Filling Foods

try it tuesdayI was reading in Women’s Health magazine and came across an article I thought I would share. It talks about 10 power foods that really smash hunger pains. I like the idea of really realizing that all calories are not created equal – eating these foods packed with fiber and vitamins will leave you feeling full and satisfied for so much longer. Here’s the list of 10 to try. What do you already eat? What do you need to go pick up and try today?

Spinach – this dumps a bunch of satiety-boosting hormones into your body and floods your system and fills you up. Don’t love spinach? Try putting in the food processor and mixing in hummus for dip! Mix it into your meatballs!

Cottage cheese – the amount of protein here is incredible! 28 grams in a cup. I love this idea. Blend it with garlic powder, lemon pepper and oregano for a dip! Or mix it into your smoothie instead of milk to make it super creamy.

Apples – fiber!!! Here’s an idea. Instead of jelly – how about a pb and apple sandwich. Or chop and put in your quinoa for a yummy side dish.

Walnuts – put these in your quesadilla or on flatbread or as a pizza topper with feta and beets!

Eggs – One study showed that those who ate two eggs with toast and low cal fruit at breakfast ate 164 calories less at lunch those those who had a bagel with cream cheese!

Oatmeal – I eat this every morning! Oatmeal has soluable fiber so that it slows digestion and delays hunger. I can always tell when I eat something else for breakfast.

Raspberries – Well there ya go. These have more fiber per serving than any other fruit. Eat a bowl of these (about a cup) before dinner and studies show women consume less at the meal. You can make a fruit salsa by mixing them with garlic, onions, and lime juice and put over salmon or chicken!

Kidney beans – A top bean for fiber! Saute them in a bit of olive oil and add garlic and onions and mash. Yum dip!

Popcorn – Air pop! (Which I have yet to learn to do). A three cup serving without butter gets you about 100 calories or so. A huge serving like that (big volume, few calories), will help with hunger longer.

Rye – This is a carb with some staying power. Studies show people who have rye for breakfast are less hungry than people who have other types of breads. A fiber that is in rye has a stabilizing effect on metabolism compared with the one in whole wheat.

So….whatcha gonna add this week?

Thanks Women’s Health magazine for the awesome article! Love all the ways to mix and match the foods!

Try It Tuesday

try it tuesdayHere is a quick move to get the heart rate up and work the entire body.  Try it!

This is a slow and steady burpee.

So you  first do 4 upper cuts to get the shoulders working.

Then drop into a burpee – keep the core tight to make the abs work and protect the back.

Give me a push up for those upper body workouts (chest and shoulders and triceps!)

Jump up into a plyometric vertical jump.

Then nice and slow land in a soft squat – coming low to work the quads and glutes and engage the large muscles.



Slow that burpee down today to contract the muscles and make them work.

Happy Tuesday friends!


Try it Tuesday – Week 9

try it tuesdayToday I thought of a little Try it Tuesday tip after chatting with some of my friends about how I keep track of my food. One thing I like to do is TRACK BEFORE I eat. So basically I get up and put in ALL my food for the day – what is my plan? That way I can see how many calories I may have to “wiggle” room with. If I eat everything I plan to eat – am I getting enough? If not, I know I need to throw in an extra snack. Is it too much? Maybe see if I can cut down with a dinner side item. It makes me feel as though I can plan my day better. Also it keeps me on track because I know if I am about to grab a handful of my kiddo’s snacks to stay away because they weren’t on my plan.

So try it today – putting in your plan. Let’s be PRO-active instead of RE-active.

Again I use My Fitness Pal but I don’t necessarily use their recommended amount of calories. I had a full assessment done at Max Muscle so I can know exactly what I need based on my fitness level. If you have any questions at all about that – let me know!


Try it Tuesday – Week 8

try it tuesdayToday I thought we’d talk trying to be healthy for the entire family.  What about trying some new toys for the kiddos? Things that will keep them active and moving all winter long (remember this is about a healthy lifestyle for everyone!)  Maybe yall have some to add to the list?
Ok here is a short list of some ideas.
Rody ponies – we have two and honestly my 5 (almost 6) year old STILL plays with hers. They LOVE them. Great for imagination and great for getting the wiggles out.
Bilibo seats – we don’t have one of these but we’ve tried them. I even like to play on them. Super fun!
If you have enough room – what about a tumbling mat? Just to let them explore different gymnastic moves?
I thought this yoga cards with yoga activities would be really fun for kids and moms. I think I may get this for us this year!
Do you have any great suggestions? Let’s TRY and keep everyone active and moving this winter!

Try it Tuesday – Week 7

try it tuesdayToday we are traveling so for your TRY IT Tuesday post, I want you to think about trying one new “traveling FIT” tip.


Couple of options for things to try to keep your road trip FIT:

  1.  If you want a coffee on the road – consider the amount of pumps you put in your drink.  Take this tip from our guest blogger Mary Jenny, “A talle flavored latte has 3 pumps, a grande has 4 and a venti has 5.  Each pump of regular syrup contains about 20 calories, so one of the first things you can do to experiment is reduce the number of pumps in your cup.”
  2. Find places to workout along the way. When we stop – we look like that #specialkindofcrazy family but we are all doing lunges and burpees beside the car.  Get up and MOVE when you can.
    • Park further away and walk to the stores.
    • Take the stairs in the hotel (run up them with your kiddos and race – they will love it and you will be sweating!)
    • Get active on your vacation. Have some activities with your kids that involve movement – go swimming, take a bike ride around the new city, stop at a new park and check it out together.  There are great ways to get moving and see new sights!
    • Do a few sit ups and push ups in your hotel before you go to bed
  3. Just HAVE to have a bakery item?  Ok check this out: The higher fiber would keep you fuller longer!

    Starbucks offers a couple of lower-fat bakery options, both with 3 grams of fat and from 3 to 5 grams of fiber:

    • low-fat Cranberry Apple Muffin (290 calories)
    • low-fat Oat Fruit Scone (320 calories)

    Coffee cake options have a bit higher fat content:

    • Reduced-Fat Banana Dulce Coffee Cake: 360 calories, 7 grams fat.
    • Reduced-Fat Blueberry Coffee Cake: 310 calories, 10 grams fat.
    • Reduced-Fat Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake: 300 calories, 8 grams fat.
    • Reduced-Fat Orange Crème Coffee Cake: 320 calories, 8 grams fat.

    For comparison – something like the Devils Food Doughnut has 430 calories and 23 grams of fat.

    These have lower calories but are lacking in the fiber department:

    Petite vanilla scone has 120 calories and 4.5 grams of fat but 0 fiber

    Flourless chocolate cookie 170 calories, 4.5 grams of fat and 2 grams of fiber

  4. Best advice? PACK your own snacks for the car.  I usually have a protein shake for lunch and then pack tons of other things that keep me away from aforementioned bakery items!
  • nuts
  • dried fruit
  • raw veggies
  • cheese sticks
  • hard boiled eggs
  • protein bars

Alright – tell me ONE thing you are going to do differently on this road trip to keep you FIT?

Try it Tuesday – Week 6

Today I want to talk ATTITUDE. I want us to think about something SUPER important when it comes to FITness (especially I think this time of year with all the parties and get togethers). I want us to TRY and eliminate the ‘all or nothing’ mentality right now. I think this is honestly where we begin to “fail” on our FITness journeys and we fall into that yo-yo dieting problem.

This unrealistic attitude of ‘it has to be perfect all the time’ can lead to burn out, frustration, boredom, fatigue, and guilt. If you feel it has to be ‘all or nothing’ you often quit at the first slip up.

Keep in mind, mistakes happen – life happens. This is part of the process. So what do we need to do?

Don’t stress about your weak moments or lose sleep over a mistake you made in your journey. Instead, look at it – learn from it – and move on. Maybe you didn’t do great with breakfast yesterday – learn to prep breakfast the night before. Maybe you had a terrible gas station snack because you were hungry – you learned to pre-pack your snacks. Maybe you craved carbs all day because you were exhausted – go to bed earlier. Make sense? LEARN from it.

Two things I want you to remember:

1. PROGRESS not perfection.. Look how far you’ve come and celebrate that.
2. DO NOT SNOWBALL. One slip up doe snot have to lead to 1,345 slip ups. Brush it off and continue making the right choices. Don’t say ‘well I had that doughnut at 8 am so I might as well just eat junk all day.’ NO! Move on – work hard all day – and it is OK. Does that make sense?

Ok today – try it! Don’t beat yourself up but celebrate your progress, get back on track, and realize this is a marathon NOT a sprint.

Love you guys!try it tuesday