Tuesday, September 08, 2009

JUST MOVED TO FITNESS & SPICE!

I finally finished packing up all of My Favorite Things and moved to my new home at Fitness & Spice.

I can't wait for you to see my new place! Web designer Mack Richardson gave my new site an extreme makeover (blog edition)!

Here's my new address:

www.FitnessandSpice.com


Join me at my Fitness & Spice, where fitness, food, and fashion get a healthy shake!

I'm saving you a seat!

Balancing acts

Do you live a balanced life? I do, when all of the stars are aligned. But when there's a star out of place, watch out world!

We all have a lot to balance everyday from work, school, family, friends, fitness, nutrition, errands...you name it. When your schedule gets out of sync because of a sick kid, a broken down car, bad weather, a long day at school or work, an unexpected errand or favor, what's the first thing to go?

When my days got out of whack, my workouts used to be the first thing cut from my to-do list. I was an "all or nothing" kind of girl in terms of my fitness. But no longer. If I don't have the time to go to the gym or to complete my entire workout, I look for ways to modify.

Here are some of the things I do:

  • Take a couple of trips up and down the stairs
  • Complete a few body weight circuits (Like: Push ups, squats, tricep dips, planks, forward and reverse lunges)
  • Work in a shorter session in my home gym (consisting of light weights, a spinning bike, and pull up bar)
  • Go for a walk or bike ride
  • Workout to a DVD
What do you do?

I am a firm believer that on a busy day, or any day for that matter, that it is OK to make time to take care of yourself. Be selfish. Be creative. A healthier you will make you a better employee, student, friend, spouse, or parent (or maybe even all of the above).

The next time you find yourself too busy to workout, plan ahead and move from all or nothing to all or something.

"To keep your balance, you must keep moving." -Einstein.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Sunday School

I hope your long weekend includes good food and good friends...and in either case, a few nuts.

Looking for a great way to round out your weekend? Watch some TV or rent a great movie (speaking of nuts, here is short clip from one of my favorite movies, Best In Show). Or, just find time to unwind and make something new, or simply light a candle or two.

Which brings me to your Sunday School assignment.

Take a moment to reflect on this quote:

"A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle." - James Keller

You are so bright. Pass it on.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Honey, What's for dinner?

What's for dinner? Don't ask me, ask Supercook. Supercook is a recipe search engine that simply helps answer the question, "What's for dinner?"

With Supercook, all you have to do is enter in items you already have in your kitchen and it instantly searches major online cooking sites and pulls up recipe suggestions.

It is so easy.

My Mom sent me the link to Supercook and within minutes I was whipping up dinner and dessert! I just entered eggs, cheese, broccoli, onion, and BOOM! Up popped several recipes. I picked quiche, because who doesn't love breakfast for dinner?

And, for grins, I typed in eggs and peanut butter. Supercook asked me if I had sugar, too. Splenda for baking? Close enough. And, up popped a recipe for Easy Peanut Butter Cookies. So, I made some cookies with my Honey (nut butter).

Here's the recipe:

1 cup Justin's Honey Peanut Butter
1 egg (or egg beater)
1 cup sugar (or Splenda for baking)

Stir. Spoon on to a cookie sheet. Flatten with a fork. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees. This recipe makes 8-10 cookies depending how much batter you eat.

So, Honey, the next time you're wondering "What's for dinner?" skip the trip to the supermarket and make a trip to Supercook. A few clicks and you will be on your way to being a Supercook and maybe even a Superbaker.

Justin's Nut Butter Winner

Congratulations, Michelle! You won the Justin's Nut Butter prize package! You are so lucky.

Take Shannon's suggestion and serve it with a banana, or stir some into some greek yogurt, I think that could work, don't you Josie? Or, even spread it on an apple or celery...sounds like something Erin might do! Whatever you do...enjoy it!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Peanut Butter & Justin

I had a nasty break up with peanut butter a few months ago. I blame myself. I was becoming rather obsessed, constantly nagging it, sticking my knife in it over and over again. And then one day, I covered the remains in Comet and buried it in my garbage can. And I haven't invited another nut like that back in my house since.

Until! One day, following this domestic disturbance, I did a double take at the grocery store. It was love at first sight. Justin's Nut Butter packaged in single serve packets! Could this be the start of a healthy relationship? YES! We have been seeing each other ever since.

I am just starting to get to know Justin but I already knead to squeeze him every time we get together! We go on long walks, bike rides, picnics, and sometimes I'll make dinner at my place (I make quite a spread).

I've been introduced to a few members of Justin's all-natural and organic family: Honey and Classic 
Peanut,
 Honey and Classic Almond and their daughter,
 Maple
. I think he said there's a Cinnamon Peanut, too, but she must have been on a date. So far, I like them all even though they are a little nutty.

In the Fall, Justin promises to introduce me to his friends: Organic Chocolate Peanut, All-Natural Chocolate Almond and All-Natural Chocolate Hazelnut. Naturally, I can't wait to meet them, they sound sweet.

If you haven't met Justin yet, here's your chance. I have an entire 16 ounce jar and ten 1.5 ounce packets to share with one lucky reader. Tell us 1 healthy thing you are obsessed with in the comments section below and you will be entered to win this prize package. Be sure to enter the drawing by 12:00 A.M. CST and check back Justin-time on Friday to see if you are the lucky winner.

Food Should Taste Good Winners!

CONGRATULATIONS!
  • Bobbie
  • Chrisanne Romeo
  • Dawn
  • Geri
  • Shannon
You each won a bag of Food Should Taste Good chips! Please send your mailing address to joanna.sutter@gmail.com and I'll mail your coupon!

Thanks to everyone who entered their tasty flavor suggestions (even though some of them were a bit cheesy). I'll forward olive-our ideas to Food Should Taste Good and see what they whip up.

Just a reminder, if you become a fan of Food Should Taste Good, you will receive a $1 coupon instantly. I hope you'll pick up a bag (or ELEVEN) to share over the upcoming long weekend.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Chip, Chip, Hooray!

What do you eat with dip? Chips? Crackers?

Me? I eat dip with a spoon. Salsa? Bean dip? Just give me a separate bowl and a spoon, please. While I love chips, I have control issues so I usually pass.

As I was passing by the chip aisle at Whole Foods a few weeks ago, a display caught my eye. I think it was the simplicity of the packaging that drew me in, and then the name: Food Should Taste Good. I can't argue with that. I stood there mesmerized by the design and the ELEVEN varieties to choose from. ELEVEN. I knew I wanted to try them, but I couldn't decide on the flavor so I left the store without a single bag.

When I got home, my curiosity got the best of me. I mean, if I'm going to break down and actually eat a chip, then it has to be good. So, I logged onto www.foodshouldtastegood.com.

I discovered these chips are:

  • Made from the highest quality, all-natural ingredients
  • Gluten free, cholesterol and trans fat free, and do not use genetically modified ingredients (GMOs)
  • Certified Kosher
  • Lower in sodium
  • A good source of dietary fiber
Sold!

On my next trip back to the store, I picked up 3 bags of Food Should Taste Good chips: Olive, Sweet Potato, and Chocolate. To my delight, each chip (or are they crackers? I'll let you decide) looked exactly as pictured on the package. Each bite delivered a depth of the flavor that gourmet chefs would celebrate.

As silly as this sounds, I tested the chips as if tasting a fine wine...with appreciation. And, like fine wine, the good people at Food Should Taste Good actually went to the trouble of making recommendations on what to serve with each flavor. They put their pairing recommendations right on the package and even included some amazing recipes on their Web site.

So the next time I make dip, I'm going to keep the spoon in the drawer and serve it with these chips. Chip! Chip! Hooray! Can you tell I'm a fan? You can become a fan of Food Should Taste Good, too by joining their Fan Club, and when you do, you will receive a $1 Coupon instantly. While you're visiting their site, check to see where they sell these chips in your neck of the woods.

Did I mention these chips come in eleven varieties? Multigrain, Sweet Potato, Olive, Jalapeno, The Works!, Buffalo, Chocolate, Potato & Chive, Cinnamon, Lime and Yellow Corn.


I think they should create at least one more flavor so they have an even number. That way they can start a flavor of the month club and we could be their charter members. To help them fulfill this (really good) idea, I thought we should brainstorm the 12th flavor on their behalf.

I have 5 coupons for one FREE bag of chips to give away. Just enter the NEW flavor you would recommend adding to their line up in the comments section below.

Be sure to submit your response by 12:00 A.M. CST and you will be entered into the drawing. I'll draw 5 winners and announce them here Thursday, September 3rd.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The limelight

This is a really bright idea.

I was reading Food Network Magazine and came across an article about making votive candles from hallowed out oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes. I had some lemons and limes in the house so I decided to give it a try.

I didn't follow the instructions exactly, I simply gave them a slight twist.

Here's what I did:

  • Sliced a lemon and lime in half
  • Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each half so they would stand up straight
  • Juiced each side of the lemon and lime
  • Placed a tea light candle inside each citrus shell

I think these lemon and lime votive candles would produce a nice centerpiece when:
  • Serving Mexican food or making your favorite salsa recipe calling for lemon or lime juice
  • Blending up Margarita's (this might be fun to do if you are entertaining your Margarita Club, right Mom?)
  • Making fresh lemonade
  • Life gives you (more) lemons
  • Feeling a little fruity
  • You just need to lighten up
I hope you'll give this fresh and really easy idea a try! Glow on.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Must Move TV

If you are like me you just might be looking forward to the upcoming season premieres of your favorite television shows. My three favorite shows? The Biggest Loser, Grey's Anatomy, and The Office.

In some cases I tape these shows, watch them at a later time, and buzz right through the commercials. When I catch an episode at its regularly scheduled time, instead of sitting on my comfy red chair for 30 minutes to 2 hours(!) straight, I make myself get up and move. Commercial break workouts have become a great way for me to get in some extra exercise and can keep me from feeling like a complete coach potato.

Lucky for me, I have a spinning bike placed right in front of my television set. It's pictured here along with my handsome workout partner, Bella. Speaking of commercials, Bella probably belongs in one...just look at that face!

Anyway, sometimes I'll do interval sprints during the frequent commercial interruptions. For example, I will sprint one commercial, recover the next, and repeat this sequence until the show comes on again. The next commercial break I might crank up the resistance and climb a hill for the first commercial, then release the resistance and sprint for the next commercial, repeating this sequence until the show returns.

Other times, I'll do some body weight or light weight exercises during the commercial breaks. For instance, I'll pick 4-5 exercises and complete 15-20 reps of each one, repeating the circuit until the advertisements are over. Here are some of the movements I pick from:

If I want to get my heart rate up a bit more, I might mix in 30-60 seconds of some of the following moves with the exercises above:
  • Jumping jacks
  • Running in place with high knees
  • Running in place with butt kicks
  • Air jump rope
  • Burpees
  • Tuck jumps
  • Single-leg hops
Then, at the end of the show while waiting patiently for a preview of the next episode, I'll stretch out. Before I know it, I've completed a nice interval workout in no time while indulging in my favorite primetime comedy or TV drama.

So, instead of feeling like The Biggest Loser just watching Grey's Anatomy, I'll work on my own, all while getting a little McSteamy (that's what he said).

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday School

I was a Military Brat so I grew accustomed to moving around quite a bit. Just when my family would get a little comfortable in one state, sure enough it was time to pack up and move. While packing and unpacking was never the fun part of the journey, it was always an amazing adventure.

The framed needlepoint that adorned our walls said it best: Home Is Where The Air Force Sends You. Each new home meant a fresh coat of paint, a brand new bedroom to decorate, and new friends to meet.

Speaking of new friends, I'd like to introduce you to my new friend Mack Richardson. Mack has been helping me make a blog move...does that make me a Blog Brat? Don't answer that! Over the weekend we've been packing up articles and pictures, water bottles, bracelets, and all of My Favorite Things. Heck, we've even been moving some furniture around.

Actually, Mack has been doing the heavy lifting, I've just been on the sidelines cheering him on and telling him where to put things. Mack is one patient and talented Web Designer who is probably exhausted! I should get him some water with a little EBOOST.

Your Sunday School assignment is to pause and be grateful (right, Shannon?) for friends old and new who help you make a change for the better. It's friends like this that make sure you feel comfortable and are at home wherever your path sends you.

I am beyond excited about my new site, it has a new location, brand new furniture, a new coat of paint, and I think you'll agree the logo is HOT.

I'll be changing the locks soon and rolling out the welcome mat. Be on the lookout for change of address cards and an invitation to the house warming party, you can bet there will be lemonade!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Water on the rocks

When life gives you lemons you can do one of two things:

#1. When life gives you lemons: Cut them up and turn them into ice cubes.

If we have spoken, in say the last 2 months, then you are painfully aware that my ice maker is not doing its job. I ask that machine to do one thing, ONE THING! and it's letting me down. Ok, in all fairness, I'm asking it to do two things: Freeze the water and drop it into the bucket. Apparently, that is too much to ask.

After doing as much troubleshooting as I possibly could, I went out in search of ice cube trays. I will warn you, if you don't own ice cube trays, they are not the easiest things to find. Bed Bath & Beyond, my final stop, has them (and in more shapes than are really necessary).

As I was thinking about new ways to give water a twist of flavor, without adding many calories, I found an article in the August issue of Body+Soul Magazine. The article featured ice cubes infused with herbs, fruits, and vegetables. I couldn't decide which flavor I wanted so I went with a variety of ingredients so I could test them all. Now, I did not use the recipes in the magazine, I simplified the already simple recipes and just did the following:

  • Washed and cut up fresh mint, basil, seedless cucumbers, limes, and of course lemons
  • Washed fresh blueberries and raspberries (frozen would do just fine, too)
  • Divided the herbs, fruits, and vegetables into my brand new ice cube trays
  • Topped some of the fruit cubes with 2-3 drops of liquid stevia (I used NuNaturals Pure Liquid Clear Stevia)
  • Covered the fruit with water and popped them into the freezer
You know when you have something baking in the oven and you open and shut the door to check on the progress even when you know you shouldn't? Well that's what I did with the freezer to check on these ice cubes. Now that I think about it, this might explain why my ice maker doesn't work.

Anyway, these ice cubes are ahhh-mazing!

They are refreshing, delicious, and quite pretty if I do say so myself. I will make them again and again. Next time, I'm going to make some with Strawberry Italian Sparkling Mineral Water, because I'm fancy like that.

Now that I've put my water on these rocks, I almost wish my ice maker would have stopped working long ago. Almost.

Moving on to the second thing to do when life gives you lemons...

#2. When life gives you lemons: JUST KEEP SWIMMING!



Now you know what to do when life gives you lemons: Put some water on the rocks and just keep swimming.

KOR Water Contest


Congratulations, Carrie!

You won yesterday's drawing for the KOR One Hydration Vessel! Send an email to joanna.sutter@gmail.com with your mailing address and we'll get your KOR ONE on the way. And, congratulations to everyone who entered this contest who continue to keep their glass half full.

If you did not win, do not be blue. Be Ice Blue, Sawgrass Green, Sunrise Orange, or Orchid Pink! Visit www.korwater.com where you can shop for your KOR One.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

KOR Water Contest: Final Day!

Congratulations Marlow! You won yesterday's KOR One Hydration Vessel drawing! Please send an email to joanna.sutter@gmail.com with your mailing address and your prize will be on the way!

Today is the FINAL day to win a KOR One. To enter today's contest:

  1. Share the quote featured in the article below titled "Keep your glass half full" with three of your amigos
  2. Then, in the comments section below type: My glass is half full
This contest ends at 12:00 A.M. CST and the winner will be announced on Friday, August 28th!

Keep your glass half full

"If you think you can't, you're right. If you think you can, you're right." ~Ken Hatton

I ran across this quote and quickly scribbled it on the bottom of my new training program. It certainly came in handy to help push me through my workout when I thought I couldn't finish a set. I thought wrong.

It goes without saying this quote can be applied to many areas of life. Keep this quote in mind when:

  • Training for a race
  • Trying to lose a few pounds
  • Making healthier food choices
  • Finding time to volunteer or take a vacation
  • Working on a tough paper or project
  • Searching for a new job
  • Saving a little money
  • Trying to drink more water
If you think you can, you can.

Speaking of drinking more water, I wanted to share one of my favorite movie clips from The Three Amigos. It looks like Chevy Chase has the right idea:



Is your glass half full or half empty? Either way....go fill it up!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

KOR Water Contest

Congratulations to Andrea for winning yesterday's KOR One Hydration Vessel drawing! You are going to love sipping water from your KOR One bottle after going for a run!

To enter today's drawing to win a KOR One Water Hydration Vessel:

  1. In the comments section below type: I am going to drink more water then I did yesterday.
  2. Drink more water then you did yesterday.

This contest ends at 12:00 A.M. CST and the winner will be announced Thursday.

To your health!

H2O Hero

You know Trista Sutter, from ABC's The Bachelorette? We're totally not related.

Nevertheless, Trista and I share something in common besides our last names. Trista recently posted a link on Twitter about a campaign started by Yield Clothing called Millions From One. Yield Clothing is in the business of giveness.

The mission of Millions From One is: "To save millions of lives by providing long-term clean water to those most in need across the world." They are fulfilling this mission by raising money to build water wells in areas in need.

Here are some facts about the water crisis from the Millions From One Web site:

  • Water-related diseases kill a child every 8 seconds, and are responsible for 80% of all illnesses and deaths in the developing world.
  • 2.4 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation.
  • One person in six lives without regular access to safe drinking water.
  • Across the world, water-related diseases are the leading cause of death for children under 5 years old.
  • At least 1 billion people must walk three hours or more to obtain drinking water.
  • At any given time, half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from a water-related disease.
(Sources: United Nations, World Health Organization, National Geographic Society, WaterPartners)



As you learned in the video, to raise money, Yield Clothing created a bracelet. The purchase of one bracelet is enough to provide 30 years of clean water to one person in need. Each bracelet is $10 and half of the profits go directly to building water wells. The remaining profits go to helping Yield Clothing develop their infrastructure and additional programs.

So, what do Trista Sutter and I have in common? We're simply passing the information on to the heroes among us.

Visit www.millionsfromone.com to learn more.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

KOR ONE Contest

Dawn is the winner of our first of four KOR ONE Hydration Vessel drawings! Dawn said she would write, "I'M WORTH IT" under her KOR ONE cap. I couldn't agree more! What a great statement. Watch this short video to learn more about the statement you can make with KOR Water and then read below to see how you could win a KOR ONE, too!



To enter today's contest:
1. Go drink a glass of water
2. In the comments section below tell us the number of ounces you just drank
3. Go refill your water

This contest will end at 12:00 A.M. CST and the winner of the drawing will be revealed on Wednesday!

Cheers!

Water works

Water is essential for good health.

Every part of our bodies from our skin to our brains count on water to function. If something as simple as drinking more water can improve one of our greatest gifts, our health, then I propose we drink up!


(I'll wait here why you go get yourself some water)



I'm not going to lecture you on the benefits of drinking water because (I am not qualified to do so and) I'm kind of thirsty.


In a nutshell, here are the top motivators to get ME to drink more water.


H2O:

  • Suppresses my appetite naturally and aids in digestion
  • Provides me energy throughout the day (seriously!)
  • Keeps my skin clear and healthy
  • Cushions and lubricates bones and joints allowing me to preform better in the gym
  • Transports nutrients throughout my entire body
  • Helps maintain my hard-earned muscle
  • Reduces water retention
  • Increases my metabolism
Speaking of metabolism, I recently read 3 interesting claims about the impact water can make on this very subject:
  1. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that drinking about two cups of cool water on an empty stomach resulted in a 30 percent leap in metabolism.
  2. Even mild dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3% (according to an article referenced on definingedge.ca). GULP!
  3. Researchers at the University of Utah found that subjects who drank eight to 12 eight-ounce glasses of water per day had higher metabolic rates than those who only drank half as much.
Just reading these three points again are good enough reasons for me to commit to drinking more water.

While the experts agree there are many benefits to drinking water their recommendations vary on how many ounces you need.They usually calculate their recommendations on a complicated equation based on the weather, your activity level, your weight, and the last four digits of your social security number (kidding)!



Some experts will tell you to drink 8 cups of water 8 times a day, others will tell you to double that on days you exercise while supplementing with a sports drink. Still others recommend dividing your weight in half and consuming that many ounces, plus an additional 24 ounces on training days. I'm sure you've read some of these recommendations along with a few others. It's confusing, isn't it? Whatever equation you choose the most important thing is to pick one that is right for you and start making water part of your healthy lifestyle.



If you were to ask me how much water I drink a day, I would probably say not enough. I do drink quite a bit of water, but I could do better. If you're already in the habit of drinking water then I give you a standing H-2-Ovation!


If you are looking for ways to add more water to your day, here are a few tips that might help you get your fill:

  • Fill a water pitcher each morning and make sure you drink the entire thing by the end of the day. The pitcher I use makes fruit infused water.
  • Find a favorite water bottle (like the KOR ONE Hydration Vessel) and refill it throughout the day
  • Carry a bottle of water with you everywhere you go
  • Drink a glass of water before each meal and one during each meal (sometimes I mistake hunger for thirst, so this tip can help me reduce the amount of calories I consume)
  • Freeze half a bottle of water and then top off the rest of the bottle with cold water to make ice cold water to go
  • Drink a bottle of water every hour. Sabrina gave me this tip! I'm going to try to set my Blackberry to go off once an hour as a reminder.
  • Drink 4 gulps of water before returning every email
  • For a little variety add lemon (right, Amy?), lime, orange, or cucumber slices. Sometimes I will add a cinnamon stick or even a few mint leaves to a bottle that I refill during the day.
  • Keep tabs on how many glasses you've had by entering a tick mark on your calendar, on an index or business card, or whatever is convenient for you

Now, I'd like to hear from you. What tips do you have to make sure you're drinking enough water?

While you're doing that, I'm off to the loo.

Salute!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Water Bottles Redesigned

If the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wanted to add a 4th "R" to their Reduce, Reuse, Recycle campaign, then I would suggest adding "Redesign" and the KOR ONE Hydration Vessel should be its mascot.

The truth is, I am a self-proclaimed water bottle critic. Because I drink a lot of water on the go I happen to be a little picky about the reusable water bottles I purchase from the shape, size, lid, mouth, weight, and even the color.

I have my fill water bottles in my cupboards, but only one water vessel. I recently received a KOR ONE Hydration Vessel as a gift and now it's one of my favorite things. There are many features that make this vessel unique including: The sleek contemporary design, the easy-open hinged cap, and the cushioned base that protects furniture. It's the water bottle redesigned.

The KOR One holds 25.3 ounces, is BPA-free, and is made to stand up to extreme use and repeated runs through the dishwasher. It is also taste, odor, and stain-resistant and can tolerate hot liquids and even freezing. All of this makes this water bottle critic rejoice!

KOR's exceeded my expectations with the design elements alone and then they went ahead and out-did themselves. KOR's takes social responsibility seriously. Very seriously. They donate their time and 1% of sales to non-profit organizations focusing on water-related issues. They operate under stricter environmental production standards than required by law, and they will even pay the postage to have your water vessel recycled when it's ready to retire.

As if all of this wasn't inspiring enough, the KOR One features a secret space inside the cap so you can to write yourself a personalized note. So, each time you take a drink you read a motivational message. You can change the message as often as you like. I love this feature, especially when taking a sip of water during an especially grueling workout. Right now, the message under my lid says "Difficult, Difficult" click here if you need a refresher.

Did I mention the vessels come in 4 colors? Ice Blue, Sawgrass Green, Orchid Pink, and Sunrise Orange. For the next four days we'll be giving away one KOR ONE Hydration Vessel, one in every color!


Here's how you can
win a KOR ONE Hydration Vessel today:

  1. Repeat this contest information to a few of your friends in an email, on your blog, on Facebook, OR, retweet it on Twitter ( RT@joannasutter H20 bottle redesigned! Win 1 here 2day http://bit.ly/4psBnN )
  2. Then, enter your name and what inspirational message you would write under your cap in the comments section below.

Today's contest ends at 12:00 A.M. CST, one winner will be drawn from the entries, and the winner will be announced back here on Tuesday.

Now, I really must go, it's time for a refill!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday School

RISE AND SHINE! It's time for Sunday School! Throw on your good shoes, grab some snacks, and pack your Wordlock so it can keep a Birds Eye view on all of your favorite things.

Then, get moving and enjoy the wondrous world out there...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Wordlock Contest Locked Up

Congratulations to Joe for winning the final Wordlock drawing. Joe entered GOLF as his favorite 4 letter word.

Thanks to everyone who joined in the fun this week during our Wordlock contest series.

I hope you have a great weekend whether you GOLF, DRAW, chop an ONION, enjoy some good FOOD, or just go a little LOCO! But, as DAWN suggested, make sure you build in some time to REST!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Wordlock Contest for Sports Nuts

Congratulations to Pintarosa for winning the Wordlock en Español! Pintarosa entered the word LOCO as her favorite 4-5 letter word, isn't that crazy? Thanks to everyone who played along! You guys are bien! Pintarosa, please send your address to joanna.sutter@gmail.com and your loco lock will be on the way.

You have one FINAL chance to win a Wordlock today! We are giving away a BIKE Wordlock so to enter the drawing submit your favorite 4-5 letter sports or fitness related word in the comments section below. This contest ends at 12:00 A.M. CST. Check back tomorrow to see if you won!

Go to it sports NUTS!

Sometimes you feel like a nut

You might think I went to (entirely) too much trouble putting these nuts on a pedestal, but I happen to believe that is exactly where they belong.

Two of my favorite things, almonds and chocolate collided and as a result, Emerald Cocoa Roast Almonds were brought to market. These almonds are not wearing a chocolate candy coat, but more like a baked-in dusting of dark cocoa. They are a great afternoon snack and have a knack for helping me knock out my sugar cravings.

If you don't have an nut allergy, then you simply must give these almonds a try. They come in 100 calorie packs, jars, and if you are a Sam's Club member then consider yourself blessed because you can buy a vat of these almonds on your next visit.

I think Emerald can sleep better now because with Cocoa Roast Almonds the slogan "sometimes you feel like nut, sometimes you don't" does not apply. Now that these almonds hit the shelves, I always feel like a nut.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wordlock Contest en Español

Congratulations to ERIN for winning Wednesday's Wordlock contest.Yesterday's challenge was to list your favorite 4-5 letter VERB. Erin entered DRAW, which is entirely appropriate because I've seen her work and this girl has SKILLs!

You can enter today's drawing to win a Wordlock en Español! That's right! Wordlock created a lock that uses palabras en Español, no números! To enter today's drawing, in the comments section below, list your favorite 4-5 letter word en Español.

Be sure to enter before 12:00 A.M. CST and check back on Friday to see if you are número uno!

Hasta luego!

Shoes with a soul

When I grow up, I want to have a title like 'Chief Shoe Giver'. Blake Mycoskie's holds this title as founder of TOMS Shoes. TOMS Shoes, named for the idea that there can be a better tomorrow, is a company that incorporates giving in every thing they do. For every pair of TOMS shoes purchased they give a pair of shoes away to a child in need.



Chances are you've seen the AT&T commercial featuring TOMS Shoes, or watched Blake's story on CNBC's The Entrepreneurs, or even read about TOMS Shoes somewhere along the way. My friend Sheila actually took the extra step and ordered a pair of their shoes and inspired me to write about this amazing organization.

As I was researching TOMS Shoes I was moved by the magnitude of their mission. Since they started in 2006, they have given away 140,000 pairs of shoes and plan to give away 300,000 pairs of shoes this year. Because of this, children in need around the world have protection from disease that can spread through foot sores. Not only that, these children can walk longer distances to get things we take for granted everyday like food, water, clothing, shelter and medical attention.

I encourage you to stop by www.tomsshoes.com to learn more about this organization. If you need a new pair of shoes, you might as well shop while you're there. I have my eye on a pair of TOMS boots that I might pick up for the Fall. I guess if I can't be a 'Chief Shoe Giver' I can step up and be a 'Pretty Good Buyer'.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordlock Contest

The winner of Tuesday's Wordlock challenge is ALI! Ali's favorite 4-5 letter food is ONION. No need to cry if you didn't win because you have another chance to win a Wordlock today!

Since it is back to school time, we are going to break out our English books. To enter today's drawing, in the comments section below, enter a VERB containing 4-5 letters.

JUMP on it, the contest ends at 12:00 A.M. and the Wordlock winner will be announced on Thursday.

Rise and Shine

From what I can remember, every Sunday morning Mom would start the day by singing "RISE AND SHINE" to get my brother, sister and I out of bed. But truth be told, what really got us "up and at 'em" was the sweet smell of potatoes, green peppers and onions sautéing in the kitchen. Those mouth-watering flavors and the crackling sound of vegetables sizzling in a hot pan always bring me back to memories of home sweet home.

Dad was always in charge of making breakfast, from Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes to vegetable filled frittata's. A frittata is an Italian omelet often made with meats, cheeses, vegetables, and of course, eggs. In other words, a frittata is like a crustless quiche, capisce?

I can picture Dad standing in front of the stove with a dish cloth tossed over one shoulder flipping our frittata ever so carefully in order to cook both sides of the egg bake. It was quite a
balancing act. He would invert a plate covering the hot skillet, flipping the frittata, and returning it safely to the pan. I think I held my breath every time I watched him.

Dad made frittata using this technique until a few years ago when we discovered an easier way. Our friends, the Calphalon's, created the Unison Slide Nonstick Frittata Pans. The pans are sold in a set and have interlocking handles for flipping frittatas right on the stovetop, eliminating the need to use a plate. The pans are available at Williams-Sonoma and are sold in two sizes. Dad has the large set of pans that make a 10' diameter frittata and I am the proud owner of the
small set that make an 8" frittata. I have to say these are my favorite pans in my kitchen.

There are a million or more recipes out there for frittata, just ask Google. Below is the recipe I've been flipping up lately. I love the simplicity of this recipe and the fact that you can add in whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand.

Buon giorno Frittata
(Makes 1 serving)

3-4 eggs (I've been using egg beaters or egg whites)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. olive oil
1 handful of fresh spinach
1/4 cup broccoli
1/4 cup red onion

Directions:
In a bowl, gently beat the eggs and whisk in the pepper and cheese. Set aside.

In the deep half of a frittata pan warm the 1 tsp. olive oil. Toss in the vegetables and sauté until tender.

Add the egg mixture and cook, using a spatula to lift the cooked edges and allow the uncooked eggs to flow underneath. Continue cooking until the eggs begin to set.

Set the shallow half of the frittata pan over medium heat and lightly coat with olive oil. Place the shallow pan upside down on top of the deep pan and flip the frittata into the shallow pan. Cook,
covered, until the eggs are set, about 5 minutes.

Gently shake the pan to loosen the frittata and slide it onto a serving plate.


I've never made a frittata as good as Dad's, but they never fail to help me Rise and Shine!
Buona fortuna!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wordlock Contest

Congratulations to Yum Yucky for winning a Wordlock in Monday's Wordlock drawing. The 4 letter word that makes her smile is FOOD.

To keep her smile going, today's contest is to list your favorite FOOD containing 4-5 letters. No, Jen, BEER is not food!

Submit your entry in the comments section below before 12:00 A.M. CST and check back on Wednesday to see if you won a Wordlock.

I would submit my answer, but you might think it's a bit CORNY.

Fast Food


I just happen to be a vegetarian and I find it a bit fishy that even I can enjoy something from a company called BIRDS EYE. They might consider opening another division and call it something like "Apple of My Eye" specifically for their vegetable line (but, that might be a little fruity).

Nevertheless, I will continue to buy Birds Eye Steamfresh Fresh Frozen Vegetables by the case full. I love that you can stick the entire bag in the microwave for 5 minutes and have perfectly steamed vegetables in, well, 5 minutes.

My friend (and figure athlete!) Sabrina steams her favorite vegetable blend, mixes them with a little bit of cheese, mustard, tuna, and almonds....and bingo...lunch is served! Now that's what I call fast food! I think I have created a similar vegetable bowl every single day since she gave me this tip. That was 3 months ago.

Birds Eye offers us their Steamfresh line in a variety of combinations. I happen to be in love with their healthy mix of broccoli, edamame, carrots, and crunchy water chestnuts. They call
this their Baby Broccoli Blend. Who knew broccoli had babies? I think this calls for a meeting with the Big Birds Eye himself so I can give him a little ear full.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Word-to-your-locker

How many PIN numbers do you have to remember? Well, I have great news! You can now lock up your favorite things without having to remember yet another 4-5 digit code. The creators of Wordlock have taken the numbers out of traditional locks and replaced them with letters.

Instead of having your locker combination be something like 4-2-9-6 it can be something W-I-L-D instead! With Wordlock you create your locker combination out of 4-5 letters to form a word that you can actually remember. So, LOCK up your BIKE, your PURSE, your BOOK, your DOOR, your BEER, and especially your WINE with EASE!


WATCH and LEARN:



You have 100,000 words to choose from and 5 chances to win a Wordlock right here every day this week!

Here's today's GAME:
I'm sure many of us can think of plenty of 4 letter words to describe Monday's, but let's START this week off on a positive note. Besides, the makers of Wordlock built-in an algorithm to lock-out bad words. So let's keep this contest CLEAN! ; )

In the comments section below enter your name along with a 4-5 letter word that makes you SMILE! The contest will close at 12:00 A.M. CST. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Tuesday, August 18th!

Have a BLAST!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday School

What's on your plate today? Maybe a little Peanut Butter & Jelly Salad or some Una Bella Salsa?

Speaking of food, after my workout I am heading to brunch with my sister Jennifer and then off to see Julie & Julia with my (niece) Ali.

Good food and girl time...life really is good!

Here's to a great week of full plates and Clean Slates!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Salsa Saturday

What do you get when you cross a Mexican and an Italian in the kitchen?

Una Bella Salsa!
From the kitchens of Carlos Orduna & Joanna Sutter

6-8 Roma tomatoes
3 jalapenos
1 vidalia onion
1 red onion
2-3 garlic cloves (not optional)
4-5 scallions
1-2 avocados
1 can black beans (optional)

Thyme
Cilantro
Lime juice (1/2 lime)
1/4 cup pineapple juice
Salt and black pepper

Chop, chop, chop. Mix together and let stand for one hour before serving.

Now, my sister-in-law Dawn makes a mean Polish Salsa...I would give you
that recipe but I'm running out of thyme.

Ciao, Amigos!

EBOOST & SUTTERSPICE...So Nice!

Congratulations, Courtney! You are the winner of a box of EBOOST! You are going to love this powdered, portable, energy boost!

This wraps up our EBOOST contest series. I learned a lot about the great people who played along...you are all Rockstars in my book!

Just a reminder, if you want to give EBOOST a try head on over to www.EBOOST.com to pick up a box or two. Enter SUTTERSPICE in the promotional code at checkout and get free shipping on your orders through September 10th, 2009.

Friday, August 14, 2009

EBOOST CONTEST: DAY 5

EBOOST CONTEST: DAY 5!


KRISTINA is the lucky winner of the EBOOST Day 4 drawing! The good news is that Kristina won an entire box of EBOOST, the bad news is that it doesn't include her dream vacation! (Kristina, Send your mailing address to joanna.sutter@gmail.com and your shipment of energy will be on the way!)



Here's the scoop for the FINAL DAY of the EBOOST Contest Series.

To enter today's drawing, answer this question in the comments section below:


What promotional code do you enter at www.EBOOST.com checkout to get free shipping on EBOOST orders now until September 10th?

Be sure to leave your name so we can notify you if you are the winner of a box of EBOOST. The contest will close today (FRIDAY) at MIDNIGHT CST and the winner announced here tomorrow!

Swimming Lessons

Each year we wrapped up the swim team season at our annual awards ceremony. When I was 10 years old my coach handed me my participation trophy at the banquet along with a button that read:

"The more you complain the longer God lets you live."

I think this was his subtle way of saying I was an absolute joy to coach.

I have to admit, my joy for cardio induced workouts has not improved over the years, because I'm still complaining. Put a barbell or a dumbbell in my hand and I'm happy, but put me on a treadmill and the 10 year old girl in me emerges and she's usually whining.

Yesterday's workout called for 30 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). To shake things up a bit, instead of hitting the cardio equipment, I made a detour to the weight room. I knew I could get my heart rate up using light weights and body weight movements if I put my mind to it.

I ended up breaking my workout into three 10 minute segments. Here's what I did:

ROUND 1: 10 Minutes
I grabbed an empty 45 pound barbell and did the following barbell complex:

10 Deadlifts
10 Overhead presses
10 Squats
30 Seconds rest

I repeated this sequence 1 time through (without putting the bar down between movements) and repeated the set 4 more times.

ROUND 2: 10 minutes
10 Pushups
10 Weighted step-ups to a bench (10 steps-ups per leg)
25 Jumping jacks
30 Seconds rest

I repeated this set 4 more times.

ROUND 3: 10 minutes
30 seconds jump rope
30 seconds reverse lunges
30 seconds skipping
30 seconds rest

I repeated this set 4 more times.

Before I knew it I knocked out 30 minutes of HIIT, completed a full body workout, and worked up a great sweat...all without complaining. I completed my workout and I actually enjoyed it. The next time you're dreading a workout, you are more than welcome to borrow this one, or find a way to incorporate things you love into your session to help you get the most out of your training.

Now, I'm hoping to live a long and healthy life, so if the saying on my button is true, that God really let's complainers live longer, then I best be on my merry way to find something else to complain about.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

EBOOST CONTEST: DAY 4

EBOOST CONTEST: DAY 4!

Congratulations to SHANINREALLIFE for winning our EBOOST Day 3 drawing! Shan won an entire box of EBOOST. Thanks to everyone who entered yesterday's contest...YOU ALL ROCK!


Here's the scoop for EBOOST Contest Day 4:

I'm sure a lot of you could use a vacation. Sometimes just the thought of a vacation can give you a boost! So for today's contest just answer this question in the comments section below:

If you could go anywhere on vacation where would you go?

Be sure to leave your name so we can notify you if you are the winner of a box of EBOOST. The contest will close today (Thursday) at MIDNIGHT CST and the winner announced here tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Peanut Butter & Jelly Salad

I made Peanut Butter & Jelly Salad for lunch yesterday. WHAT? You heard me right, Peanut Butter & Jelly SALAD!

I'm pretty sure Rachael Ray inspired me to toss this creation together after reading two of her recipes, one for something like peanut butter and jelly trail mix and the other for peanut butter salad dressing. I simply mixed the two ideas together and ended up with this tasty little number.


Here's the recipe:

  • Spinach
  • Dried cranberries
  • Peanut butter mixed with water

That's it! 3 ingredients...4 if you count the water. I'm not sure if it's legal to call this a recipe, but I'll risk the ticket.

As you can see in the picture, I used a powdered peanut butter called PB2, but any peanut butter diluted with water will do to make the dressing. I like PB2 because I cannot be trusted with a jar of peanut butter. It's too easy for me to overdose on just about any nut butter, to be honest. However, I can handle this powdered version as it needs to be mixed with water to form a peanut butter-like consistency.

If I do say so myself, I think this turned out to be a wonderful Peanut Butter & Jelly creation, minus the
Wonder Bread. I think you should give it a try.

Now, I'm off to go work on my pitch to the Food Network for a show called "30 Second Meals " as I think this recipe would make a great season premier. While I have an appreciation for Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals program, I think even Rachael would agree sometimes you just want a meal on the lighter side and one that saves you 29 and 1/2 minutes.

EBOOST CONTEST: DAY 3

EBOOST CONTEST: DAY 3!

Congratulations MEGS for winning our EBOOST Day 2 drawing! You've won a box of EBOOST! All you have to do is decide if you want the orange or pink lemonade flavor. Decisions, decisions! Thanks to everyone who shared their favorite energy boosting songs with us. You can bet I'll be downloading a few of them today.


Here's the scoop for EBOOST Contest Day 3:
  • To enter today's contest all you have to do is go out and give someone a boost.
  • Once you've completed the first bullet, then in the COMMENTS section below this post just type, "I ROCK!" that's it!
  • Be sure to leave your name so we can notify you if you are the winner of a box of EBOOST
  • The contest will close today (Wednesday) at MIDNIGHT CST and the winner announced here tomorrow!

The Clean Slate Club

I woke up yesterday ready to tackle the day and all of a sudden I felt like I was hit by a Mack truck after discovering my Mac computer would not turn on. My hard drive crashed and I lost all of my files, every single one. The "Mac Genius" at the Apple store said, "When you get it back it will be like a brand new computer."

It goes without saying, I should have my files backed up, but I do not. So, I am starting with a clean slate.

Maybe that's not such a bad thing. Maybe a fresh start is exactly what I need. A brand new set of files, a brand spanking new resume, and a brand new way of organizing my work. A clean slate.

When we would set out to create a new business plan, my boss would tell us to "start with a clean piece of paper." Meaning, don't just dust off an old file, bring something new to the table. Start with a clean slate.

My personal trainers at Precision Nutrition also have a clean slate policy. If you miss a lesson, skip or have a less than perfect workout, or even indulge a little too much on your diet, you're forgiven. You don't look back and beat yourself up, you just pick up where you left off. You instantly get a clean slate.

I attended a Webinar this week with business consultant Carrie Wilkerson,
The Barefoot Executive. She was coaching the audience on risk taking and said something along the lines of, "You win some, you learn some." I think that was my take home lesson of the week. Not everything is going to go as planned. Every risk you take isn't going to be a home run, just find the lesson and move on. Wipe that slate clean.

When I got home from the Apple store, I took a deep breath, booted up my computer and pushed the "RESTART" button. I was greeted by the word "Welcome" and a bright blue, blank screen ready to fill up with some brand new ideas. And for the first time in quite a while, I felt rather optimistic.

To help me remember how good it feels to have a fresh start, I decided to begin the Clean Slate Club. You might be a good candidate for membership if you ever encounter a technology glitch, a nutrition slip up, a skipped workout, a business challenge, or any place you need to hit the RESTART button. I think we should borrow Carrie's quote for our team motto: "The Clean Slate Club...where you win some, you learn some."

So, welcome to day one of the Clean Slate Club! I better roll up my sleeves and put my "new" Mac to work. My first plan of attack? I'm going to hit up Mr. Clean to be our team mascot, I hear he has a Magic Eraser.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

EBOOST CONTEST: DAY 2!

EBOOST CONTEST: DAY 2! 

Congratulations to Olivia for winning our EBOOST Day 1 drawing! You are the lucky winner of a box of EBOOST...that's 24 packets of energy! I'll send you an email with all of the details!


Here's the scoop for EBOOST Contest Day 2:
  • In the COMMENTS section below this post tell us what song gives you a boost
  • Be sure to leave your name so we can notify you if you are the winner of a box of EBOOST
  • The contest will close Tuesday at MIDNIGHT CST and the winner announced here tomorrow!

The song that gives me a lift? Baby Got Back. Now it's your turn, what song gives you a boost?

Pizza Tuesday

Growing up, my family used to have "Pizza Tuesday" for dinner. I'm not sure how it started really, my guess is that we just coincidentally made pizza two consecutive nights in a row, and bingo, a tradition was born!

I still love pizza but I also love fitting into my favorite jeans, therefore, I must enjoy real pizza in moderation. So I can get my pizza-fix any day of the week, without getting Pizza Butt, I turn to a recipe I call Cauliflower Pizza Kitchen.

Because I tend to shy away from white flour I've been making pizza crust out of another white food....cauliflower. 


Now, you may argue (and you would be right) that this is not as good as the real thing, but it is a great substitute. Give it a try.


Cauliflower Pizza Kitchen
Hats off to Chloe for this recipe!

(Makes one small pizza)

1/2 package cauliflower, steamed and riced (I use a bag of frozen cauliflower, microwaved per the instructions on the package, and then chopped with a vegetable chopper*)

1 egg (or 2 egg whites)

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

1 t fennel

1 t oregano

1 t parsley

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Mix the cauliflower, egg, and cheese in a bowl and place onto a prepared cookie sheet, forming a shape of a pizza crust. Add the fennel, oregano and parsley evenly on top and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven, top with your favorite pizza toppings, and toss under the broiler for a few minutes. Enjoy!

My pizza's lately have been topped with low-carb marinara sauce (doctored up with just about every Italian seasoning in my cupboard), spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta cheese. Now there's a veggie-lovers pizza for ya!


*Now for the footnote. You're probably wondering how I rice my cauliflower. I use a fabulous gadget you might have seen on TV called the Vidalia Onion Chop Wizard, pictured here. Their marketing team should really give me a call because it has far more uses than slicing just onions, but that's not important right now. My favorite sister-in-law was the first in our family to discover this little time saver. Guess where I found mine? Walgreens.

Once your cauliflower is steamed, just pop it into the chopper and press. The Vidalia Onion Chop Wizard (that really needs a new name) also makes homemade salsa a snap! But since this article is all about Pizza Tuesday, you'll have to wait for Salsa Saturday for that one. It'll be spicy!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Take a nap without taking a nap

Have you ever had one of those days when you really needed a 15 minute power-nap but didn't have 15 minutes to spare? I had one of those days last week and that is when I fell in love with EBOOST.

After a sleepless night, I needed a pick-me-up. You know those kind of nights, the kind where you have too much on your mind and all you do is toss and turn, stare at the clock, and count the number of hours before your alarm clock goes off. 

Those kind of nights make for a rough kind of next day. As predicted, I was sluggish and dreaded the very thought of dragging myself through a workout on a half tank of energy. Lucky for me, I had a packet of EBOOST in my glove compartment so I tore it open, poured it into my water bottle, and sipped it on my drive to the gym. And guess what? I felt refreshed and I ended up having a workout that would have knocked Rocky out.

EBOOST is an effervescent, great tasting drink mix, packed with Vitamin C, B6, B12, Zinc, Green Tea Extract and more. The makers of EBOOST created a natural blend of vitamins and minerals said to support energy, immunity, recovery, and focus. Now, I am not a doctor, I just play one on my blog, and even then I cannot confirm or deny that EBOOST cranks your immunity and improves your recovery and focus. BUT, I will tell you that it gives me energy (and if it does all that other stuff, too, well then that's just a boost).

EBOOST comes in orange and pink lemonade flavors, and in your choice of packets or tablets that dissolve quickly into water. The oomph I get from EBOOST really feels like a natural energy lift, not that jittery feeling you get with some mass-marketed energy drinks. And, I've never experienced an energy crash from EBOOST either.

I have been an EBOOSTelite subscriber for a few months now (that's just a fancy way of saying every month I get a box of energy in the mail without going to a lot of trouble).  Heck, anything that is only 5 calories and can make me bubbly when I'm not feeling so bubbly, is a
winner in my book.

If you want to give EBOOST a shot head over to 
www.eboost.com. You get FREE SHIPPING on orders when you enter "SUTTERSPICE" in the promo code at checkout. Get moving, this offer expires September 10, 2009!


CONTEST! CONTEST! CONTEST! CONTEST! CONTEST!

Now, I know you might be a little fatigued since you haven't had a nap and you don't have your EBOOST yet, but trust me, you'll want to wake up for this one! For 5 consecutive days we are going to give away one box of EBOOST! So be sure to check in every day to enter for your
chance to win.

Let's get started! On the EBOOST Web site they list types of people who benefit from EBOOST. To enter today's contest, in the comments below, tell us your name and the type of person YOU are! Below is the list to pick from.

What type of person are you?

Jet setter
Fitness buff
Bartender
Mom
Investment banker
Lawyer
Sailor
Party animal
Biker
Systems analyst
Student
Professional athlete
Nurse
Airline pilot
Drummer
Supermodel
Pirate
Railroad tycoon
Graphic designer
Security guard
Or, are you something else? Tell us! We're curious!

Enter the drawing right now. Monday's contest ends at midnight CST. Our first EBOOST winner will be announced tomorrow!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Sunday School

Welcome back to Sunday School!

Here are a few homework assignments:

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