Friday, April 23, 2010

Review: Power Oatmeal Pancakes

These turned out GREAT! Even after freezing them and re-heating for my 3 year old in the mornings this week. Above, I had them with non-fat vanilla yogurt and sliced strawberries.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Barbeque Chicken

I promise this will be the last of my barbeque sauce recipes for a while, but I just had to post this one because it is my favorite. My friend Darla brought this chicken over for me after I had my second baby and it was so delicious, I called her immediately for the recipe. To my surprise, it was the easiest crock pot recipe I've ever heard! I now make it all the time for salads, sandwiches, or just to have in the refrigerator as a snack.

Crock Pot Barbeque Chicken

1.Fresh or frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders
2.A bottle of your favorite barbeque sauce
3.Shredded cheese
Pleace chicken and enough barbeque sauce to cover the chicken completely in a crock pot. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Remove chicken and shred with a fork. Serve over salad greens or on your favorite whole wheat roll with shredded cheese and extra barbeque sauce.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cheat Day- Crock Pot Ribs

Besides the recipe for banana muffins on the previous post, I could NOT make it through my second pregnancy without barbeque ribs. The weird thing was that I had always hated barbeque sauce, but thanks to weird pregnancy/nursing cravings, I can't get enough of it now! I found this recipe for crock pot ribs and they are absolutely delicious and ridiculously easy to make.
(Sorry, I seriously ate them all before I remembered to take a picture. That's how good they are)!
3 lb. boneless country cut ribs
1 onion, sliced
1 and 1/2 cups barbeque sauce (I prefer Lucille's)
pepper to taste
Put meat on bottom of crock pot; add onions and pepper. Top with BBQ sauce. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or at high for 4-5 hours.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hailey Muffins

Although I wouldn't call these muffins "healthy," I thought i'd share this recipe with any pregnant/new/nursing mother. My mom first made these when she was staying with my sister after she had her first baby, thus the name "Hailey muffins." I think my mom and sister pretty much lived off these things for the first week of Hailey's life. The ingredients are staples you always have on hand, they are very simple to make, and they are great to have around for any visiting company or when you need something to eat in the middle of night. They have quickly become a staple in our homes before and after we have babies.

Hailey Muffins

3 large ripe bananas
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup melted butter
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Mash bananas
2. Cream sugar and butter.
3. Beat in egg and bananas.
4. Sift in dry ingredients and stir until moistened.
5. Bake in greased muffin cups at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

*tip: they are also great with the buttercream frosting recipe I posted on the very first post (banana cake).

Friday, April 9, 2010

Power Oatmeal Pancakes

My 3-year-old has to have pancakes every morning for breakfast. Most days I just heat up a gross store-bought frozen pancake for her. I'm making these this weekend and then freezing them so she can have something a little more substantial and healthy (I'll let you know later how they taste after being frozen). I'm looking forward to having these readily available for my own breakfast as well.

Power Oatmeal Pancakes
from Tosca Reno's, The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook


6 egg whites, beaten until fluffy
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 scoop whey protein
1/2 cup oatmeal (uncooked)
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup flax seed
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp canola Oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon


1. Place all ingredients except beaten egg whites in a food processor and pulse or blend until mixture is uniform.

2. Pour blended ingredients into a bowl and add the egg whites. Fold until just blended.

3. Prepare a griddle with cooking spray. Ladle pancake mixture onto griddle and cook until both sides are browned.

(My daughter will have syrup on hers; I'll try serving mine and my husband's with non-fat vanilla yogurt and sliced strawberries. Not sure how that will taste, leave a comment if you have a better idea of a topping for these pancakes)

*sorry no pictures, I will take some when I actually make these and upload them along with an update about how they taste after being frozen.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Multi-grain Linguine With Creamy Tomato Ialian Sausage Sauce

My husband's side of the family introduced me to the combination of pasta and sausage and I really enjoy it. I found this recipe on and adapted it to so it would have fewer calories, fewer carbs, and leaner protein. My husband thought it tasted great and had no idea it was "healthy."

Multi-grain Linguine with Creamy Tomato Italian Sausage Sauce

2 tbsp. olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 pound sweet Italian Sausage, casings removed (I used Jenni-O)
1/2 pound spicy Italian Sausage, casings removed (Jenni-O)
1 cup whipping cream (I tried to substitue it with low-fat milk, but the whpping cream makes the sauce so much better and thicker. Use it if you have calories to spare :)
2 (14.5) oz. cans diced tomatoes in juice
1 tbsp. dried sage
3/4 pound multi-grain linguine
1/2 cup grated (reduced fat) parmesan cheese
1. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add sausages and satue until no longer pink, breaking them up a bit, about 5 minutes. Add cream; simmer 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice. Add sage. Simmer until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
2/ Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
3. Return pasta to same pot; add sauce. Toss over medium heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if mixture is dry. Transfer to bowl; sprinkle with cheese and serve.
Serves 6

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Training Tips......

First off, I'd like to Introduce myself, my name is Christina Norris, I've been training for almost 7 years and absolutely love it. The best "job" in the world, if you can even call it that. A little bit about me... I was born and raised in Carpinteria, CA. Went to Whittier College and got my BA in Athletic Training and played water polo and swam there. After graduating I went to South Bay Massage School and am a certified massage therapist. I'm currently finishing up my Thesis at Cal Poly Pomona to get my Masters in Exercise Physiology.

How Effective Are Your Workouts?

Here are a couple of ideas that may help amp up your workouts......
  1. Limit your workouts to 30-40 minutes. Though the tendency of some people who really want to get a lot out of their workouts is to spend a lot of time at the gym, the truth is that after 30 or 40 minutes, the benefit isn’t as great. To go that long, you’d have to lower the intensity of the workout, and that means that you’re spending too much time working out. It’s better to work out at a higher intensity for a shorter amount of time.
  2. High-intensity workouts. If you’re just starting out with exercise, it’s best to take it slow. If you’re running or cycling, for example, build up your endurance for at least a month before you get into anything more intense. That means going at a rate where you can easily talk without being out of breath. However, once you have that base of endurance, step up the intensity to step up the effectiveness of the workout.
  3. Protein. Many people don’t pay enough attention to getting the protein their muscles need to rebuild. If you don’t, you are going to get very little out of your workout, as both cardio and strength workouts require protein for building muscles. I recommend either whey or soy protein shakes.
  4. Water. Be sure to hydrate throughout the day. It takes a couple of hours for your body to absorb the water, so you can’t just drink right before exercise. Make it a habit to drink water regularly throughout the day.
  5. Carbs. Although the low-carb craze might say otherwise, carbs are our body’s main source of fuel. If you do intense workouts, you will need carbs, or you won’t have enough energy. If you do a shake, be sure to include carbs — or a banana is a great source of low fiber/high glycemic carbohydrates that you need for exercise.
  6. Shake before and after workout. It’s best to take a protein/carb shake just before your workout and then just after. Taking it before your workout increases the flow of amino acids to your muscles during training, giving them the building blocks they need. After the workout, the shake stimulates muscle growth. Also take a small protein/carb meal 60-90 minutes after a workout — a meal replacement bar would work fine.
  7. Slow lifting. Many people contract their muscles slowly and then release more quickly. But if you lift slowly in both directions, you are maximizing each move. Lift and lower to a 5-second count in each direction.
  8. Heavier weight. When you’re starting out, it’s best to start with lower weights so you can focus on good form. But once you’ve gotten your form down, it’s best to lift the heaviest weights you can lift while still keeping good form. Don’t sacrifice form for heavy weights — that is ineffective. But heavy weights, with good form, can give you better results in a shorter amount of time. Heavy weights are not just for those who want to bulk up — that’s a common misconception.
  9. One set, to failure. Instead of doing 2-3 sets, as many people do, maximize your effectiveness by doing just one, with heavy weights, until you can no longer keep the proper form. Lifting to “failure” doesn’t mean that you should lift the last few times with a wobbly or inefficient form.
  10. Compound exercises. Instead of isolating your muscles with exercises such as the bicep curl, you can maximize the time you spend in a workout by doing exercises that work out multiple muscle groups at once. With just a few exercises, you could get a full-body workout. Another benefit is that your muscles are working together as they do in the real world, rather than alone. Some great compound exercises include squats, deadlifts, good mornings, lunges, pushups, bench presses, military presses, rows, pullups, dips, and more.
  11. Balance lifting. Instead of having exercises where you’re sitting down or holding on to something or otherwise stabilized, it’s more effective to do them standing up, or on one leg, or on a Swiss exercise ball. These types of exercises force you to balance yourself while lifting, which brings your core muscles into play. This gives you a stronger overall body and allows you to lift more over time.
  12. Pick a cardio exercise you enjoy. It’s no fun to exercise if you hate it. And you won’t keep it up for very long. Pick something that’s fun — running, walking, swimming, biking, hiking, rowing, stairmaster, etc. After the initial phase when you’re getting used to exercise, you’ll start to have a blast and look forward to it.
  13. Mix it up. Don’t stick to the same workout routine for too long, or your body will adjust to the stress level and you won’t be getting an effective workout. For strength training, change your routine every few weeks. For cardio, it’s best to cross train rather than, say, to run every time.
  14. Good form. For strength training especially, and swimming, form is very important, but it’s also important for other types of exercise. If you’re strength training, start with lighter weights so you can work on your form. It’s good to have an experienced spotter or trainer who knows good form to help you for the first month or so. Never sacrifice form for heavier weight. For swimming, you’ll need to get a coach to teach you form.
  15. Hills. If you run or bike or walk for cardio, you’ll want to incorporate hills (after the first month or two of doing it at an easy pace on flat ground). These will make you stronger and make your limited workout time even more effective. Take them easy at first, but once you’re used to hills, you can get a good pace going. Either use a hilly route or do repeats on one hill.
  16. Circuits. One mistake that people make is to do multiple sets of the same exercise without rest between the sets. This doesn’t allow your muscles to recover and it’s a waste of your workout. But instead of doing a set, resting, and then doing your second set, it’s more effective to move on to multiple exercises in a circuit, so that you don’t rest between exercises but do rest each muscle group. This will give you a good cardio workout while you do your strength training.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

My pilates instructor knows how much I love to bake, so she wanted me to try this recipe she found in her Cooking Light Magazine. I was asked to bring a dessert to an Easter party tommorrow morning, so I thought tonight would be the perfect time to make this cake and I can't even tell you how delicious my house smells right now. And the cake tastes even more delicious than it smells! This recipe is a great alternative to the usual heavy, buttery coffee cake I'm used to making.
The "Enlightened Cook" (who published the recipe) explains, "Some coffee cakes might as well be called fatty cakes...We slimmed down this classic and used whole grains in the batter. The result: a moist and satisfying breakfast cake. Light baking is always tricky and adding the whole-grain goal upped the ante again. A combination of all-purpose, whole wheat, and homemade whole-grain rolled oat flour anchored the batter. With a little butter, light sour cream, and a mix of granulated and brown sugars, we acheived the best texture and flavor for the fewest calories and saturated fat."

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, divided
cooking spray
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, divided
1/3 cup butter
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (8 oz.) carton light sour cream (such as Daisy)
2 tbsp. finely shopped walnuts, toasted
1/2 tp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. chilled butter, cut into small pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350 degress.
2. Spread oats in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 30 for 6 minutes or until oats are barely fragrant and light brown.
3. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
4. Reserve 1/4 cup oats, set aside. Place remaining oats in a food processor; process 4 seconds or until finely ground. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine processed oats, flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; stir with a whisk.
5. Place granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/3 cup butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.Add eggs, 1at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
6. Combine remaining 1/4 cup oats, remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon in a bowl. Cut in 1 tbsp. butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until well blended. Sprinkle top of batter evenly with nut mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 38 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, top is golden, and cake begins to pull away from sides of pan. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes; remove from pan. yield: 10 servings

Nutrition Facts:
calories 276, fat 11.5g, protein 5.5g, carb 38.5g, fiber 14g, cholesterol 61mg, iron 1.5mg, sodium 247mg, calcium 59mg