Friday, April 30, 2010

Eat Well for LESS

Think healthy food is expensive - or boring? Here are two ideas that will change your mind!

Stuffed potatoes (Serves 4, $1.75 per serving)

From your pantry
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder

On your shopping list
4 large russet potatoes
1 cup part-skim ricotta
1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained

Bake potatoes in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour or until soft. Remove from oven and carefully slice each potato in half. Scoop insides into a bowl, setting skins aside. Mash potatoes with a fork. Combine with ricotta, Cheddar, spinach, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Spoon potato mixture back into skins. Warm in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Chicken Fajitas (Serves 4, $2.80 per serving)

From your pantry
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt

On your shopping list
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch strips
1 15.5 oz can black beans
4 honey-wheat flour tortillas
1/4 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar
1/4 cup salsa

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and peppers and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove vegetables from pan and put aside. Heat additional 1 Tbsp olive oil in pan. Add chicken breasts and season with chili powder, garlic powder and salt. Cook for 7 minutes, turning halfway through. While chicken is cooking, drain and rinse black beans and warm in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and serve over tortillas with sauteed vegetables, cheese and salsa. Serve with warmed black beans.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Steak with mixed peppercorns and pomegranate glaze

Prep: 25 minutes
4 Servings
Peppercorn melange is a mix of whole black, white, pink, and green peppercorns; it's often sold in a grinder in the spice section of the supermarket. The peppery blend and sweet glaze in this recipe make the most of an inexpensive cut of meat!!

1 - 1 1/4 pound top sirloin steak (about 1 inch thick)
Peppercorn melange, coarsely ground
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 1/2 tsp olive oil, divided
1 cup pomegranate juice
4 tsp (packed) golden brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar, divided
4 cups arugula

Sprinkle steak very generously with coarsely ground peppercorn melange and salt. Sprinkle each side of steak with half of chopped rosemary. Heat 1 1/2 tsp olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add stead; cook to desired doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steak to platter. Add pomegranate juice, golden brown sugar, and 2 tsp balsamic vinegar to skillet; boil until reduced to scant 1/4 cup glaze, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Season glaze to taste with salt.

Toss arugula with remaining 1 tsp olive oil and remaining 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar in medium bowl; season to taste with salt. Divide arugula evenly among 4 plates. Slice steak; divide and arrange alongside arugula. Drizzle glaze generously around steak and serve.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring Outfits

Spring is perfect. Not too hot, not too cold. Here are my 5 favorite go to spring outfits.

They're simple, but stylish. Comfortable and fun. Plus, you can mix these pieces to make several more outfits.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Blogger AWARD!!

I would like to thank How To Girl for this honor. What a lovely start to my day. To follow the rules, I must say 3 things I love about myself.

My full lips, my carefree personality, and that I am an AWESOME mother!

Now a quote I love.

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. John Lennon

Now I need to tag three others and send them this award.

Journey of the Incessant Dieter for her diet tips and the ability to laugh at herself
Daddy's Neatness because I LOVE the styles and
Holiday Haven for her excellent tips and ideas

Ab Toner with a Twist

Plank with leg raise
Works core, butt, arms, and chest

1. Get in modified plank position, balancing on your feet and forearms, with elbows aligned under shoulders and palms on the ground. Make sure your abs are pulled in tight.
Bend right knee 90 degrees, foot flexed. Keeping hips squared, press right foot up.
3. Lower right leg (but keep your knee bent) and repeat. Switch sides to complete set.

4. Do 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps.

How to be Jennifer Aniston not Paris Hilton!‏

Now they both seem to have boy problems so we are not talking about their relationship issues, because it seems too hard to keep up with; instead their skin. Jennifer Aniston maintains a natural glow all year, but yes she probably can afford the best of the best. Paris Hilton can too but she seems to look like a pumpkin all year. Too avoid Paris Hilton's chester the cheeto look stop tanning everyday! Never do a spray tan unless you want to be a 'Guido' and to save money and get the Jennifer Aniston look you need to do this.
1) Buy Dove's Self Tanning Lotion
2) Do not overuse it
3) Only 4 days a week put a thin layer all over at night before bed, make sure you take a shower in the morning. If you don't then you will have the greasy feeling all day, yikes.
4) Also, Hoola Bronzer from Benefit is a very good way to add an extra bronze

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Get Good Hair

No more morning flat head! Try this secret for a trendy, textured look. At night, wash and towel-dry hair. Apply a leave-in conditioner or serum such as Sally Hershberger Supreme Head for Wavy Hair Style Primer, $13. Comb into six sections and braid each loosely. In the morning, untwist, flip hair over your head and finger-comb. Spritz with hairspray, shake strands into place and go!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

DIY TRICK - Your goal: No More Grays‏

Revive the Roots. To mask any silver streaks, focus the pigment on the new growth at your scalp. The bottom half of your hair, which is older and drier, will absorb color much quicker than the roots. Brush a semipermanent dye, like Clairol Natural Instincts semipermanent hair color ($8.99, drugstores), on the top of your head, and in the last five minutes, do the bottom half.

47 Hours............

is the average a woman can keep a secret.

So, think twice before you spill the beans to anyone: A recent poll shows there's a good chance the private info will get passed on - even if your friend promises it won't!

Friday, April 23, 2010

DIY - Exfoliating Scrub

This is a soothing, cleansing body treatment that will leave your skin feeling baby soft and refreshed!

In a medium glass mixing bowl, combine:

4 cups sea salt

1/4 cup baby oil

1 cup purified water

Wet entire body in a warm shower. Turn off water. Scoop out a handful of salt mixture and rub onto skin in a gentle circular motion. Add more mixture as needed. Be sure to avoid face and genital areas. Rinse. Wash with a rough, soapy washcloth. Rinse. Wait 2 hours before using a moisturizer. Avoid open sores and varicose veins.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Save your free time!

There are 64 hours between 5pm Friday and 9am Monday - and you want to make the most of every minute, not fritter them away on social events you really don't want to attend. Before you accept any invite, ask yourself.....

What's my gut reaction? If you tense up when the invitation arrives, that's your body's way of saying, I don't wanna go.

Would saying no be a big deal? Has turning down an invite ever caused friction with this person? It's doubtful passing up an everyday party would be a problem. (But blowing off your parents' 40th-anniversary bash? Not OK!)

How do I feel once I think it over? Maybe you're nervous about going solo. (Ask if you can bring a pal.) But if you're still not feeling up to it, RSVP a polite "No, thanks."

How do I want to spend my time? It's your choice! Say no to the big bash now and ask the hostess to dinner later, so you can enjoy the time together.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Soba Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables

1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 tsp Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)
1 (12 ounce) package soba (buckwheat noodles)
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1 pound chicken breast tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
2 large zucchini, cut into julienne strips
1 large carrot, cut into julienne strips
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl.

2. Prepare noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain.

3. Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, and chicken to pan; saute for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth mixture, zucchini, and carrot to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add noodles; cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, tossing well. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pan-Seared Scallops with Lemon Vinaigrette

12 ounces sea scallops, thawed if frozen
2 lemons
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium red onion, cut into wedges
salt to taste
pepper to taste
2 - 3 fresh basil sprigs, including stems
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, cut into strips (optional)

1. Rinse the scallops and pat dry. Set aside.

2. With a sharp knife, score one lemon lengthwise in four sections and remove the peel from each section. Scrape the white portion from the peel; discard. Cut the peel into very thin strips and set aside. Squeeze 2 tablespoons of juice from the lemon; reserve.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the asparagus and onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes; season to taste with the salt and black pepper. Transfer to a serving platter and keep warm.

4. Combine the lemon peel, basil sprigs and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet. Cook for 1 minute or until heated through. Remove the lemon peel and basil sprigs with a slotted spoon, leaving the oil in the skillet; discard.

5. Cook the scallops in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes or until opaque, turning once. Stir in the reserved lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

6. Place the scallops over the asparagus mixture. Cut the remaining lemon into wedges. Garnish the scallops with the wedges and, if desired, the fresh basil.

190 Calories, 16 g protein, 6 g carbohydrate

Monday, April 19, 2010

DIY TRICK - Your goal: Brighter Highlights‏

Don't go overboard. The smaller the chunks of hair you highlight, the more diffuse the finished look will be. Take sections of about 10 hairs spaced at least a half inch apart. A kit that makes sun-smooched streaks a cinch; L'Oreal Paris Touch-On Highlights ($12.99, drugstores), which comes with a brush that fits on your finger and glides the product through strands.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Soft Hands Treatment

You can have beautiful hands overnight! This treatment is especially good in the winter months when skin gets chapped and dry. It is inexpensive and effective.

1. Wash hands with a moisturizing soup or mild facial cleanser. Rinse and pat dry.

2. Rub moisturizing lotion on hands. Pay close attention to the skin around cuticles and knuckles.

3. Carefully pull on each finger to stretch. Apply pressure to the palm of each hand (one at a time.)

4. Generously apply petroleum jelly to both hands and cover with gloves overnight.

5. In the morning, remove gloves. Wash and rinse hands thoroughly.

Soft, smooth and beautiful overnight!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is having its moment in the sun. Lauded for boosting immunity; helping to cut the risk of breast, ovarian, and colon cancers; and keeping you happy, this nutrient is the new health star. Experts say we need 1,000 to 2,000 IU daily. Sun exposure is the best way to get it, but in the winter bone up by drinking vitamin D-fortified milk and eating salmon. You may need a supplement, too; talk to your doc.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Healthier Fast Food Breakfasts!

The DUNKIN' DONUTS EGG WHITE TURKEY SAUSAGE FLATBREAD SANDWICH packs a lot of protein (19 grams) for just 280 calories and 6 grams of fat.

STARBUCKS' PERFECT OATMEAL is a whole-grain standard. You get 140 calories without toppings (dried-fruit and nut packets are 100 calories each)

The classic MCDONALD'S EGG MCMUFFIN is worth a trip to the drive-through. It's packed with 18 grams of hunger-squashing prtein for 300 calories and 12 grams of fat.

JAMBA JUICE'S BLUEBERRY OATCAKE is a cut above most muffins. Sweetened with agave nectar, it has 280 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 6 grams of protein.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Safe Suppers

Safeguard your bird against chemicals and pathogens with this poultry prep plan.

* Splurge on USDA-certified-organic chicken to steer clear of chemicals. It costs more than nonorganic poultry(about 37 cents more per ounce), but those extra dollars guarantee that your dinner was raised without antibiotics or arsenic, a growth promoter used in most conventionally raised chickens. (Gross)

* Handle with care. Raw chicken (organic or not) is likely to be carrying bacteria that can make you sick. After you touch uncooked meat, wash your hands with hot, soapy water before touching anything else (like that salad!). The same goes for any utensil or surface that comes into contact with the raw bird or its juices.

* Take your dinner's temperature. Germs can't stand the heat, so use a meat thermometer to be sure your bird is cooked. Breast meat should register at 170 degrees and bone-in chicken at 180 degrees.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Homemade Hair Shine

Here is a recipe that is sure to make your locks SHINE, SHINE, SHINE, and you should be able to find it all in your pantry.

Take 1/2 avocado, 1/2 cup coconut milk and mix it together well. Apply mixture to hair and let set for 15 minutes. Wash and rinse in the shower and voila!! Beautiful, shiny hair.

Make a yummy sandwich with the other half of the avocado and your tummy will be satisfied too.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

5 Dinners at about 550 calories each‏

Spiced Salmon over Brown Rice - Rub a 4-oz wild salmon fillet with 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder (or a dash each of cinnamon, clove, ginger and black pepper). Bake at 350 degrees until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Serve over 1 1/3 cups cooked brown rice with 1 1/2 cups broccoli stir-fried with 2 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp chopped garlic.

Pesto-Portobello Napoleon - Bake 1 portobello cap on a baking sheet coated with olive oil cooking spray at 350 degrees until mushroom is tender, 15 - 20 minutes. Saute 1 1/2 cups baby spinach in olive oil cooking spray over medium heat until wilted. Spread 1 tbsp prepared pesto onto baked mushroom cap. Top with 3 oz grilled skinless chicken breast, spinach and 1 tbsp grated Parmesan. Serve over 1 1/3 cups cooked quinoa.

Farfalle with Veggies in Creamy Marinara - Combine 1 1/2 cups cooked whole-wheat farfalle, 1/3 cup part-skim ricotta and 1/3 cup reduced-sodium marinara sauce in a saucepan over low heat. Warm mixture until steaming hot, stirring occasionally. Serve pasta with 8 asparagus spears sauteed in 1 tsp olive oil and sprinkled with 2 tsp grated Parmesan.

Apricot-Glazed Pork Tenderloin - Season 4 oz pork tenderloin with salt and pepper and saute in 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat until browned, about 1 minute on each side. Heat over to 425 degrees. Top tenderloin with 1 tbsp apricot preserves and bake on a baking sheet until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Coat a second baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray. Toss 1 1/2 cups cauliflower and 1/3 cup apple slices with cooking spray; bake 20 minutes, stirring once. Serve port over 1 1/2 cups cooked bulgur (or brown rice) with cauliflower and apples.

Black Bean, Zucchini and Smoked Gouda Baked Burrito - Fill an 8-inch whole-wheat wrap or tortilla with 3/4 cup reduced-sodium canned black beans, rinsed and drained; 2 tbsp grated smoked Gouda cheese; and 1/4 cup each zucchini, chopped onion and red pepper, all sauteed in 1 tsp olive oil. Roll into a burrito, spray lightly with cooking spray, and broil until golden brown and crispy on the outside. Top with 2 tbsp nonfat plain yogurt and 1 tbsp prepared salsa. Serve with 3/4 cup chopped zugghini sauteed in 1 tsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp chopped garlic. Serve with half a large pear, sliced and sprinkled with fresh lemon juice.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Puppy Power

Playing with Fido gives you an instant joy boost. And it's got to be the most fun way we've heard of to keep pounds away. People who walk a dog 20 minutes a day shed about 14 pounds a year, research from the University of Missouri says.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chop-chop chicken in lettuce cups

This colorful creation is a feast for your eyes: It offers loads of vision-helping vitamin A. Cut portions in half for a festive appetizer. Serves 4.

2 tsp canola oil

3 tbsp black bean sauce

2 tbsp finely chopped shallots

1 tbsp finely chopped garlic

1 tbsp grated ginger

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6oz each), cut into 1/2 inch pieces

3/4 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced carrot

1/2 cup diced daikon (reserve 1 tbsp for garnish)

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper (reserve 1 tbsp for garnish)

1/2 cup diced zucchini (reserve 1 tbsp for garnish)

2 tbsp hoisin sauce

3 iceberg lettuce leaves

1/4 cup chopped almonds

2 tbsp finely sliced scallions

Heat oil in 12" heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Cook black bean sauce until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add shallots, garlic and ginger and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add chicken and cook about 6 minutes. Add celery, carrot, daikon, bell pepper and zucchini. Cook until slightly soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in hoisin; season with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture onto lettuce leaves and garnish with almonds, scallions and reserved vegetables.

343 calories per serving, 20.7 g carbs, 2.7 g fiber, 44.1 g protein

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pesto salad with chicken, tomatoes and mozzarella

Protein and greens get an italian twist in this dish. Plus, you'll net a day's worth of energizing niacin per plate. Serves 4

Olive oil cooking spray

4 bonesless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cups packed fresh basil

2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan

1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted 10 minutes in a cast-iron skillet in a 350 degree oven

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 tbsp olive oil

4 cups lettuce (such as frisee)

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup cubed part-skim mozzarella

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Season chicken with salt and pepper, place on sheet and bake until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Cut into 1/2 inch slices. Pesto: Pulse basil, Parmesan, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. With motor on, slowly add broth and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss lettuce with lemon juice; coat chicken, tomatoes and mozzarella with pesto. Divide among 4 plates.

319 calories per serving, 6.1 g carbs, 2.3 g fiber, 44.5 g protein

Friday, April 9, 2010

How do you save money dining out?

Eating out is a treat - more than ever in a tough economy - but there are ways to do it while spending less.

Dine Early - Take advantage of early-bird specials. They're usually before 7pm at most restaurants. Not only are they cheaper, but there's also less chance of a wait.

Bring Sippies - If you have kids, bring their own cups of milk or juice, then the adults can order water. You can typically save $8.00 a meal.

Have Apps at home - Before dining out with friends, invite the group to meet at your home for a glass of wine and an appetizer.

Lunch instead - Save money by dining out at lunch instead of dinner. The prices are lower for the same quality. Also, portions tend to be smaller, so its friendly to your waistline.

Stretch the servings - Entrees are large, so eat half and save the other portion for lunch the next day.

Connect - Sign up for restaurant' mailing lists. They often send coupons for free drinks or desserts.

Watch out for specials - Look for restaurants that offer pairings, happy hour specials, 2 for 1, etc... They are a great way to sample new items for a fraction of the cost.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Salmon in Foil Packets - Serves 4

One 7-ounce can Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

4 small plum tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

2 garlic cloves, pressed

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

2 cups finely shredded iceberg lettuce

Four 4 - ounce salmon fillets

Lime slices to garnish (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil.

2. In food processor or blender, puree chipotle peppers with sauce until smooth. Transfer 2 teaspoons pureed mixture to medium bowl; refrigerate remaining mixture, covered, for use at another time.

3. Stir tomatoes, cilantro, garlic and lime juice into pureed peppers; set aside.

4. Onto each of four 12 x 12" pieces of foil, place 1/2 cup of lettuce; top each with 1 salmon fillet, then one-fourth of the tomato mixture.

5. Bring 2 opposite sides of foil together; fold over to seal. Fold remaining 2 sides to seal. Place packets seam side up on prepared baking sheet; bake 20 minutes (salmon should flake easily when tested with fork).

6. Open packets carefully, allowing steam to escape; garnish with lime slices if desired.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Plants that detox your home

Instead of heavy air fresheners, try nature's purifier: plants. Peace lilies remove toxins like acetone, benzene, alcohols, and ammonia. To get rid of formaldehyde indoors, add a few bamboo palms and rubber plants. Also great: English Ivy and Lady palm.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Nonstick cooking spray
1 Large red bell pepper, diced
1 Large green bell pepper, diced
2 lbs asparagus, trimmed and cut 1 -2" lengths
2 tsp minced lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp cornstarch
1 cup non-reduced sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped parsley

Spray nonstick cooking spray in skillet and heat to medium. Add bell peppers, asparagus, lemon zest and 1/4 tsp salt. Stir occasionally until veggies begin to soften. Transfer to bowl and cover. Add remaining salt with garlic and sweat about 1 minute. Add shrimp and cook 1 - 2 minutes. Add cornstarch and broth in a separate bowl and stir until smooth. Add to pan with a dash of salt and cook, stirring until the sauce has thickened slightly and shrimp are pink and cooked through. (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Serve over veggies and garnish with parsley.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sore Throats

In the Ukraine, many people relieve sore throats by gargling every two hours with a glass of hot water mixed with a tablespoon or so each of honey and vinegar. While this isn't the tastiest elixir, vinegar works as an astringent to clear secretions and restore pH balance, and it discourages bacteria growth. Honey is an anti-inflammatory.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Open-Face Caprese Sandwiches

2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp minced garlic
8 slices crusty Italian bread
3 ripe medium tomatoes, sliced
1 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly
16 medium basil leaves
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Prepare a grill for medium heat. Combine 1 tbsp oil and the garlic and brush onto 1 side of each bread slice.
2. Lay bread oiled side down on grill and cook until slightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Turn bread over, lay tomato slices on bread to fit, overlapping if needed, then lay cheese slices over tomatoes. Cover grill and cook until cheese starts to melt, about 4 minutes.
3. Transfer sandwiches to a platter. Put 2 basil leaves over each sandwich and drizzle with remaining tbsp oil and the vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I have always wanted to start a blog, and since I am such an enthusiast when it comes to living happy and healthy, I thought that would be the subject of my blog! Join me daily, 365 days a year, for a tip or recipe that will help you, too, live a happy and healthy life. I hope you enjoy the information as much as I enjoy sharing it with you.

I will keep a directory of all posts so you can easily look up posts by subject. This way, you can visit me anytime and easily look up advice or recipes that are of interest to you. Or...just visit everyday and live a happier and healthier life!

Thank you for visiting me and I hope you will become a follower!