Tricks or Treats?

Happy Tuesday!  Halloween is a week away which is crazy and with Halloween comes all the scary movies, jack o-lanterns and  Halloween candy. I have a major sweet tooth and am always tempted and usually lured in to eating some of that Halloween Candy. This year I am keeping these tips in mind so I don’t let that candy go to waist!

  • When possible, choose ‘Fun Size’ candy bars over regular candy bars. The portion size has already been reduced, decreasing the temptation to eat the entire regular size bar.
  • Regular milk chocolate is loaded with sugar. For example Hershey’s milk chocolate only has 11% cacao meaning the rest is filled with fat and sugar. Choose darker chocolate to increase the cacao and decrease the sugar and fat.
  • Choose the candy with the nuts. Having candy with nuts like almonds or peanuts increases fiber, healthy fats, and protein.
  • Wafer based candies are great options because they take up more space meaning less calories.
  • If you have diabetes, stick with the sugar free candy options. There will still be carbohydrates in the candy but the sugar will be from an alternative sweetener.


Tricks or Treats?

  • Kit Kat Bar (Fun Size) vs. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup

TRICK Reese’s Peanut Butter cup: 1 piece (0.74 ounce)=105 calories, 6.5 g fat, 12 g carbs, 10.5 g sugar

TREAT Kit Kat: 1 snack-size bar (0.53 ounce)=70 calories, 4 g fat, 9 g carbs, 7 g sugar

  • Milk Chocolate M&Ms vs. Almond M&Ms

TRICK Milk Chocolate M&Ms: 1 snack-size bag (21 g)=104 calories, 4.3 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 15 g carb, 13 g sugar

TREAT Almond M&Ms: 1 snack-size bag (21 g)=110 calories, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 12 g carb, 10 g sugar

  • Dove Dark Chocolate Miniatures vs. Hershey’s Dark Chocolate with Almonds

TRICK Dove Dark Chocolate Miniatures: 5 pieces= 210 calories, 24 g carb, 19 g sugar

TREAT Hershey’s Dark Chocolate with Almonds: 3 nuggets= 150 calories, 15 g carbs, 12 g sugar

  • Caramel Apple Pops vs. Sugar Daddy Pops

TRICK Sugar Daddy Pops: 1 pop= 170 calories, 2 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat. 36 g carb, 24 g sugar

TREAT Caramel Apple Pops: 1 pop (0.6 ounces)=60 calories, 0.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 15 g carb, 10 g sugar

  • Starburst Fruit Chews vs. Strawberry Twizzler Twist

TRICK Starburst Original Fruit Chews: 3 fruit chews (0.52 ounce)=60 calories, 1 g fat, 12 g carb, 9 g sugar

TREAT Strawberry Twizzler Twist: 1 regular-sized twist (0.4 ounce)= 40 calories, 9 g fat, 9 g carb, 5 g sugar

  • Brach’s Pumpkin Spice Candy Corn vs. Hershey Kisses Pumpkin Spice Flavor

TRICK Hershey Kisses Pumpkin Spice Flavor: 9 pieces: 210 calories, 12g fat, 24g carb,

TREAT Brach’s Pumpkin Spice Candy Corn:   140 calories, 19 pieces, 0g fat, 36g carb

  • Hershey’s Candy Corn white chocolate bar (per one mini) vs. Candy Corn m&m’s

TRICK Candy Corn m&m’s: 23 pieces=  220 calories, 11g fat, 29g carbs, 28g sugar

TREAT Hershey’s Candy corn white chocolate bar: 1 mini= 67 calories; 4g of fat; 8g carbs.  


What is your favorite Halloween tricks so you can enjoy the treats?






10 Nutritious Tips for Holiday Parties

The holidays are my favorite time of year. Between the Christmas decorations, spending time with friends and family and the parties, so fun and food to be had! Ah I just love it! However keep these tips on mind to keep you happy,and  healthy this holiday season!  
Holiday eating tips

Tip #1: Do not stand near the buffet table. Once you get the food you want, STEP AWAY. Go eat in a different room. This way you will be less tempted to grab more food.

Tip #2: While at the party, hold your drink in your dominant hand: right hand if you’re right handed, left hand if you’re left handed. This will make you think twice before grabbing another cookie or bite of spinach dip!!

Tip #3: Rest up the night before a holiday party by getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep. A short night’s sleep can cause adults to add an extra 300 calories and choose higher-fat, higher-calorie foods. By getting enough sleep, you’ll save calories and make healthier choices.

Tip #4: Choose your first round of food at a buffet wisely. You’ll consume the largest quantity of the foods you eat first, so set yourself up for success by starting with something low-calorie like fresh veggies or hummus instead of a creamy dip. And, swap crackers and breads for veggies. Avoid piling on the cheese. While cheese contains protein, it can be higher in calories, especially when we are eating a lot of it.

Tip #5: Count 1-2-3 when pouring yourself a glass of wine, to get an estimated 5-ounce serving. Choose calorie free beverages as mixers or to drink, so you can eat your calories and not drink them. Also pay attention to your hot drinks!

Egg Nog before adding alcohol: About 350 calories and nearly 12 grams of fat per cup VS. Hot chocolate w/out whipped cream: About 190 calories and nearly 6 grams of fat per cup

Tip #6: Downsize your plate to trick your brain into thinking you are eating more. Use an appetizer or salad plate instead of a dinner plate where you will find yourself eating less than half and cutting over 1,000 calories.

Tip #7: Take smaller sips and bites to trick your brain into eating fewer calories. It’s ok to nibble.  Research has shown that multitasking during meals can lead to mindlessly eating and increasing calorie consumption. If you’re chatting at a party, set your food down until you are done chatting.

Tip #8: Choose your indulgences wisely. Allow yourself to have the treats, but don’t go crazy. By allowing yourself to have a little here and there you are less likely to binge.

Tip #9: Choose items that are seasonal verses those you can have year round. Focusing on the special foods this time of year will make it seem more like a treat. Save the calories for these instead.

Tip #10: Enjoy in moderation. Treat yourself, and if you go overboard focus the next day on healthy eating. One party or meal is not going to wreck your diet.

What are your holiday party tips and secrets?? 




Gobble day prep

Happy Thanksgiving day Eve!!. Hard to believe that it is the end of November and we are going to be in December in a few days!! With Thanksgiving tomorrow, that means that I am home in wonderful Colorado at my parents. For some reason when I come home, I am able to completely relax and worry about anything. Unlike most weekend days in St. Louis where there are a million things running through my head that I need to get done and feel guilty when I sit on the couch or be lazy. Today I have been able to sip on some coffee, read food magazines, figure out food prep for tomorrow and just relax. And it feels wonderful. I also got to see some wild life this morning as well, moose in the back yard!!!


So now that I’ve oogled over the moose it’s time to get down to food talk. First let me give a few shout outs to my homegirls and their fabulous recipes for thanksgiving Alyson over at Simplynutricising and Katie over at Nutrafit.

And if you’re more of an auditory learner, you can also check out: Lightened up thanksgiving. This will provide you with some more recipes as well as some tips for lightened up thanksgiving.

However for some easy quick tips, here are my top tips for turkey day:
Thaw your turkey properly: Do not thaw turkeys or birds on the counter. Thaw them in the refrigerator, in cold water or the microwave. Did you know that 92% of food borne illness is caused by meat poultry and thawing techniques?? ( Be a safe thawer.

Use a Meat thermometer. After watching Thanksgiving Live on Food Network and hearing that Bobby, Giada, Alton, and Ina use meat thermometers, why shouldn’t we. The prob in the bird is not the most accurate way to assess if the turkey is done. Most cases, the turkey will be overcooked and no one likes a dry bird (scenes of National Lampoons Christmas vacation flash into my head). Set your oven to 325 and cook the bird to a minimum of 165 F. Most cookbooks state that it will be done with an internal temperature between 160-170F. Stick your thermometer in the middle of the breast to assess donness.

This thermometer is from Bed Bath and Beyond and can be found here


General rules of thumb for cooking times on turkey is: 20 minutes per pound for an 18-20 pound turkey and 15 minutes per pound for a 12-16 pound turkey. So for an 18 pound turkey, you’re looking at cooking it for 6 hours.

Nonfat greek yogurt is like the ultimate swap out food. You can use nonfat greek yogurt in place of heavy whipping cream, full cream, regular mayonaise, sour cream, or any other high fat product. Now I know there are some scratching of heads thinking I will lose all of the taste of the dish if I do this. Trust me I got an earful from my father about this (isn’t he lucky to have a dietitian foodie as a daughter 🙂 ). Use half greek yogurt half the other ingredient. You will still have the same great taste, with half the calories.

Avoid pigging out on appetizers (guilty of this!). If you are at a gathering more times than not there will be appetizers out before dinner. This can really add up of calories before a heavy calorie meal. Try eating before going over to avoid the stomach rumbling for appetizers; and you will have more room for the big meal!

Keep portions in check. Try not to load up on potatoes and only have a morsel of vegetables. Keep portions even and your plate colorful.

Add some activity in before the big meal. Run a 5k, play a game of football, go for a walk, just get in a bit of activity, you’ll feel better and be in a better mood.

Last but not least, dessert. Once again keep portions in check, maybe have a little less potatoes so you can have a little more pie at the end.

If you overindulge, well then you enjoyed yourself and tomorrow is a new day. Enjoy the time with family and friends, be thankful, i know I will be!

What are some your Turkey day traditions??



Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

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It’s a great day to be Irish! Green everywhere, Corn beef and cabbage, Guinness, Irish Soda Bread, bagpipes and irish music is making me one happy girl. Unfortunately the weather here in St. Louis isn’t the best for parade watching ( in the 30s, rainy/snowy) and I’m feeling under the weather, but cheers to St. Patrick’s Day!


This past weekend has been a productive weekend. Last night I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with the girls by making Corn Beef and Cabbage and Irish Soda Bread. I used the recipe found here:Irish Soda Biscuits



I’ll take some more pictures of the meal tonight from what I have left. I was so excited to make it and eat it that I forgot to take more pics. whoops :).
Some tips about corn beef:
-3 pounds generally feeds about 5 people. The butcher at a local grocery store informed me that you should budget 8 oz per person.
– the smaller the potato the better. I used the little red potatoes. If they are larger potatoes cut potatoes to make pieces just slightly larger than a large bite. ( too large takes a long time to cook, too small cooks too quickly then falls apart).
-cabbage cut into 4ths or 6ths depending on the size. The greener the cabbage the more flavorful it will be.
– I like adding turnips to my vegetables. It’s a nice complimentary root vegetable.
– carrots: the bigger the better, that way they don’t get as mushy.
– add a beer to the water. It makes the meat so tender and flavorful. ( I used Harp’s, brewed by Guinness).

Corn Beef and Cabbage

Serves 5
3 pounds of Corn beef. (If you get the spiceless Corn beef you’ll need 2 tablespoons of peppercorns and 2 bay leaves.)
1 medium to large head of cabbage
3-4 turnips
4-5 large carrots
about 12 small potatoes
1 beer
water to cover the corn beef ( typically 3-4 cups)

1. Put the corn beef in a dutch oven with spices and juices from packaging. (If no spices add the peppercorns and the bay leaves).
2. Pour beer into pot. Add enough water to cover the corn beef. Put on medium heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer for 2 hours.
3. During the 2 hours, scrub potatoes and cut any bad spots off. If larger potatoes, halve or quarter potatoes, and soak in water until ready to add.
4. Peel turnips quarter turnips and add to water.
5. peel carrots and chop.
6. rinse off cabbage and quarter.
7. After the 2 hours, depending on the meat may take closer to 3 (once it starts getting tender to fork touch, but not falling apart), add potatoes and turnips. Bring heat to a boil then turn down to simmer for another 30 minutes.
8. After 30 minutes add carrots, let simmer for about 20 minutes.
9. After 20 minutes add the cabbage. Let this simmer for about a half an hour. Cabbage should be soft. Meat should be tender falling apart when you fork it.
10. Plate and serve, and enjoy! ( can also leave on low heat until ready to eat!).

Printable Version:Corn Beef and Cabbage

I hope you enjoy this Saint Patricks Day!

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.







Living and learning

I am still in shock of the events that took place yesterday in Connecticut. My prayers are with the families and friends that were affected. It made me appreciate my family and call my brother who is away in college just to chat and say hi. I am thankful that I can still call and chat with my family and friends. It also made me realize that friends and family are important to me, and I need to do a better job keeping in touch them.
As the new year approaches the thought of new year’s resolutions surface. One that I am adding this year is calling friends and family more often- try to call a different friend each week.

This past week has been a busy, fun, frustrating week. Work was crazy busy, celebrating friends birthdays, went to the FUN concert, worked out, and went to a christmas party. The Christmas party inspired today’s healthy eating tips for the holidays. Lucky for you, I have 2 instead of one!

At the party, there were lots of delicious appetizers and goodies to eat. Most of the time there are mini plates for you to load up on.

Tip #1: Do not stand near the buffet table. Once you get the food you want, STEP AWAY. Go eat in a different room. This way you will be less tempted to grab more food.

Tip #2: While at the party, hold your drink in your dominant hand: right hand if you’re right handed, left hand if you’re left handed. This will make you think twice before grabbing another cookie or bite of spinach dip!!

Happy Partying!




15 days til Christmas!

After this past weekend, I am even more ecstatic about Christmas. I hosted an ugly sweater holiday/triple birthday party on Saturday night.


Let me tell you we know how to rock some ugly sweaters.

I had everyone over before going out and we made some homemade pizzas, found here : Pizza Dough 

This is an awesome recipe, you can make the dough ahead of time, either freeze the dough or cook over the stove or in the oven, then freeze it. It’s always great to get together with good friends, it reminds to be thankful for the great friends I have and the fun times we are able to have.

On this note, here another tip for tackling the holidays:

Watch what you choose to drink at holiday parties:

1- 8 oz glass of eggnog (nonalcoholic) is 362 calories

the typical 12 oz beer is 150 calories

a 3 oz martini 200 calories

the mixers for your beverages if not diet can contain 150 calories.

While these are all delicious, keep these numbers in mind as you sip, if you have a few of these, you may be drinking more calories than you think!!

Some alternatives: choosing light or diet drinks, soda water, slowly sipping your drinks, and having a spacer of water between drinks.

This girl is off to get some shut eye, nite!!



23 days til christmas

Happy December all!!

My christmas tree is up


christmas music is playing full blast and I’m getting the itch to bake!

I was so excited to get my tree, I love having a real tree, it makes my house smell so good! I went with my friend Alyson, check her blog out at Simply Nutricising.ImageImageImage

So now that the Christmas season is in full swing, we are starting the christmas count down 23 days til christmas. 

We have 23 days to a healthy happy holiday! From now til Christmas, we will discuss tips to help your holiday the healthiest and happiest it possibly can be!

Holiday Tip #1

Do some pre-holiday planning.

As the holidays fill up with parties, shopping trips, dinners, shows, etc; now is the time to plan ahead. On days that you don’t have a party, take advantage and make a healthy meal. Also plan out your exercise. You are more likely to exercise if you plan it out and write it down.

Take some time this week and plan out your meals and workouts. You’d be surprised at how much you accomplish by writing things down!

As I was looking online for recipes, I found this vegan, healthy, cinnamon rolls from Side of Sneakers

Go check it out! These will be made on Tuesday!!