Saturday, September 29, 2012

Good Morning

Good Morning!  I'm back.  Fall Fundraiser ended Thursday evening with an amazing final hour being the biggest in 88.5 WJIE history!  Thanks to everyone who helped us reach our goal!  This morning I am taking it a bit easy.  Hope you are enjoying this sleepy Fall day as much as I am.  I'll be better at blogging now that Fundraiser is over.

Baked Oatmeal:
Tried my hand at baked oatmeal this morning, and I came across this recipe after I mixed up my own baked version of the way I typically like oatmeal.  Which means, I tossed this and that and a bit more cinnamon into a customizable baked oatmeal recipe.  I think I will try this recipe next time.  It sounds very good, but I think I'll skip the cranberries.  If you have any left over, it is suppose to reheat well in the microwave for busy weekday mornings.  Try replacing the cranberries, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice with chopped apple, applesauce, and allspice.   Here's the recipe

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I forgot to post all of the things that I said I would Saturday and then over the past couple of days.  With the 88.5 WJIE Fall Fundraiser coming up, my schedule is a bit crazy so I'll be playing catch up.  I'll try to have everything posted at some point today.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Blueberry Tuesday: Blueberry Cake Cups

Here is another easy recipe for Blueberry Tuesday.  These lovely little cake cups are perfect for an Autumn evening.  They look so cozy!  Enjoy.

Blueberry Cake Cups

Monday, September 10, 2012

Meatless Monday: Butternut Squash & Parmesan Bread Pudding

It's Meatless Monday.  I have to admit that I've not really been fully participating, but I do try to when I can.  Here's a good Veggie Friendly recipe for chilly Autumn days!

Butternut Squash is in season.  I found a few of these lovelies at my grocery store on Saturday.  I really love Butternut Squash in Chicken and Thyme Soup.  I'll have to post that recipe for you one day this fall.  It's a very cozy soup; this casserole also looks like a great recipe for crisp weather.  Try pairing it with a side of sauteed kale greens.  Enjoy!

Butternut Squash & Parmesan Bread Pudding

Motivation for Monday Fitness Tip:
Bob & Caroline Scott recapped a popular Fitness tip this morning about the benefit of Smoothies.  You can check out all of their great tips and Smoothie Recipes at this{Link}

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fall Fitness Tips

Trainer Tips for Fall Fitness:
I love Fall more than any other season.  I love everything about it from the crisp air and colors to the smell of fireplaces on cool evenings.  I especially love Fall Baking; with apples, pears, and pumpkins in season it's very hard for me not to treat myself more than I should.  So this year, I'm trying to stay ahead of the game, on the fitness front at least; and Fall is the perfect time to exercise.  With cooler weather and beautiful scenery, it's a great time to get outdoors and get moving.  So I thought I would share some tips that I found to keep us all Fit this Fall.

1) Trick your self into Motivation: If you can only work out in the afternoon or evening, leave your house keys and workout clothes at the gym locker in the morning on your way to work or after dropping kids off at school. This way you HAVE to go back to the gym before you go home. Or, if you work out at home, keep an exercise-only calendar on our wall. This way you see what you have done already this week, and mix it up for cross-training. It'll give you one important thing to cross off each day.  If you can work out in the morning, sleep in your workout clothes, put out your sneakers, and set your alarm music to fun encouraging music. This way you just get dressed and get inspired, then get through your workout before you know it. 

2) Multitask your workouts. Why stand still doing just doing biceps curls when you could combine them with lunges? Multitasking means more calories burned, a boosted metabolism, and increased heart rate during workouts which results in more muscle toning in half the time! Sprinkle in some cardio intervals between sets for even more health and slimming benefits. There are a lot of great fitness programs and DVDs that use this strategy.  I have some dvds that I use and they are great, but I also try to fit in some different fitness classes to keep my workouts interesting and to target different areas.  There are a lot of options.

3) Plan meals on Sunday. The more natural fruits, veggies, fiber and lean protein like fish and chicken that you can prepare for your week in small portion sizes, the less fried or processed food you will need to rush to later. Invest in zip lock bags, blenders, portable coolers, ice packs, Tupperware, plastic utensils, and slow cookers or steamers.  There are a lot of make-ahead recipes that will save you time and calories throughout your week!

4) Look for Excuses.  Look for reasons to be outdoors with your family and friends.  At half time, challenge everyone to your own game of football.  Hiking trails, walking the dog, or riding your bike are all great ways to get the whole family moving.

Only Have a Minute? 
Experts recommend working out 45 minutes to an hour a day (30 minutes for beginners) for weight loss and fitness. But if you're like most women, you don't always have a block of 30 to 60 minutes a day to devote exclusively to doing your workouts.  If you think that short bursts of activity have a no or little effect on your fitness program, think again. One study found that women who split their exercise into 10-minute increments were more likely to exercise consistently, and lost more weight after five months, than women who exercised for 20 to 40 minutes at a time.

Here's some tips from Prevention Magazine that will help you squeeze in a bit of exercise when you're short on time:

1. When you go outside to pick up your morning newspaper, take a brisk 5-minute power walk up the street in one direction and back in the other.  I enjoy walking around my neighborhood with my cup of coffee in the mornings.  Those extra minutes of exercise really add up.

2. If you're stuck indoors, hop on an exercise bike or do a treadmill workout while your kids nap or while you watch the morning news.

3. Try 5 to 10 minutes of jumping jacks. A 150-pound woman can burn 90 calories in one 10-minute session.  You don't have to do all 10 minutes at once.  Like I said, it all adds up.

4. Cooking dinner? Do standing push-ups while you wait for a pot to boil. Stand about an arm's length from the kitchen counter, and push your arms against the counter. Push in and out to get toned arms and shoulders.  This also helps strengthen your arms and wrists if you aren't very good at regular push ups.  (Ahem, me)

5. After dinner, go outside and play tag or shoot baskets with your kids, extended family or friends.

6. Just before bed, do a few repetitions of some dumbbell exercises, suggests exercise instructor Sheila Cluff, owner and founder of The Oaks at Ojai and The Palms, in Palm Springs, CA, who keeps a set of free weights on a shelf in front of her bathroom sink.  I keep a set of free weights on a stand next to my stationary bike.

7. Walk around the block several times while you wait for your child to take a music lesson. As your fitness level improves, add 1-minute bursts of jogging to your walks.

8. Walk around medical buildings if you have a long wait for a doctor's appointment. "I always ask the receptionist to give me an idea of how long I have left to wait," Cluff says. "Most are usually very willing to tell you."

9. While your son or daughter plays a soccer game, walk around the field.

10. Turn a trip to a park with your child into a mini-workout for you. Throw a ball back and forth and run for fly balls.

11. Walk to work if you can. "I walked to work for months, 1 1/2 miles each way," says Mary Dallman, PhD, professor of physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, and she really saw results.  At the very least, try to park as far back in the parking lot as you can.

12. If you dine out on your lunch hour, walk to a restaurant on a route that takes you a little bit out of your way.

13. If you have a meeting in another building, leave 5 or 10 minutes early (or take some time afterward), and do some extra walking.

14. On breaks, spend 5 to 10 minutes climbing stairs.

15. If you're pressed for time and must wait for an elevator, strengthen your core with ab exercises. Stand with your feet parallel and your knees relaxed. Contract the muscles around your belly button. Then elevate your upper torso, and release.

16. Use a ringing phone as a reminder to stretch your back.

17. Put away your remote and change channels the old-fashioned way—by getting up and walking to the television set.

18. Dance as if you were 16 again. Crank up the radio and dance around the house.

19. During commercials, jog in place. A 150-pound woman can burn up to 45 calories in 5 minutes. 

20. Do leg exercises and lifts with small weights while you watch tv.

21. Pack your sneakers and a fitness DVD while on vacation. Call ahead to make sure your room has a DVD player. If it doesn't, ask to rent one from the hotel.

22. If you're traveling by car, stop twice a day for short, brisk walks and some stretching.

23. During layovers at airports, avoid the mechanized "moving carpets" that transport travelers from concourse to concourse. "If you're in between flights, walk around the concourse as much as you can," suggests Cluff.

24. When on vacation, book a hotel room between the fifth and eighth floors, then ignore the elevator. Better yet, take two stairs at a time. Double check with the hotel ahead of time, because for security reasons some hotels do not allow guests to use stairs except for emergencies.

25. Stretch your calf muscles while riding in elevators.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Apple Recipes and Tips & How to Have Productive Day

Cooking with Apples: Tips & Recipes
School's back in session, leaves are just starting to turn on the trees around the studio, and apple season here.  Today on Fact or Fiction we did some Apple Trivia so I thought I would share more trivia, baking tips, and recipes in honor of my most favorite time of year - Fall!

Types of Apples and How to Use Them:
There have been times when I wanted to make a recipe with apples, but either couldn't find the type of apple the recipe recommended or the recipe isn't specific to begin with.  Here's a go-to guide for apples to give you an idea of which ones would best suit all of your delicious fall recipes!

Pre-Cooking Apples for Pies:  Pre-cooking apples before using them in a recipe is very important.
1) Shrinks the apples allowing more fruit per inch of the pie
2) Eliminates the gap between the fruit and the top crust
3) Reduces the chance of the pie's juices overflowing the dish.

Apple Trivia: 

Apple Recipes:
Fall baking is one of my favorite things.  Apple and pumpkin recipes are probably some of my favorite treats.  Last weekend, I made some Apple Pie Bread.  I will try to find and post that recipe later this evening too.  If I can't find it in time, I will post it tomorrow morning with the Saturday's recaps.

Free-Form Apple Pear Tart w/ Cranberries
Blue Ribbon Deep Dish Apple Pie
Caramel Apple Muffins

Tips for a More Productive Day:
This morning we also talked about some ways to be more productive.  Some of them aren't what you would think.

The Inbox Can Wait: We are all more connected than ever with texting, emails, social media capabilities through our cellphones.  If your not careful, all of those emails and texts will distract you from getting your work done. Designate communication-free times that you dedicate to real work - say 60 to 90 minutes.  Then check and reply to all messages that you received during that time.

Write Everything Down: This tip comes from David Allen's book Getting Things Done. Any time an idea or to-do pops into your head, immediately write it down. A lot of times we often have so much on our plates or so many back-to-back meetings that we can forget critical thoughts and ideas we have throughout the day.  Our general manager also shared a tip with us that his wife recommends.  She says it's helpful to keep a notebook on your night stand.  If you have so much to do the next day that it's affecting your sleep, writing these things down will keep you from thinking about them at night so you can rest and be more productive the next day.

Take Breaks: An often overlooked pillar of productivity is to make time for yourself to do something you truly enjoy like spending time with family/friends, taking an exercise class, enjoying your lunch break away from your desk, or not working late so you can have dinner with your family.  It is important to take the time to refuel and recharge so you are ready to attack your to-do list again tomorrow.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Top 5 Foods Americans Waste

Top 5 Foods that Americans are Wasting:  A study was conducted a few weeks ago that said Americans are wasting $2,275 worth of food each year by throwing out 40% of the food.  Here are the top 5 foods we waste and some tips to help you use them faster

  1. SOUR CREAM:  Sour Cream isn't a food that you can really stock up on. Most recipes just call for a dollop or a couple of tablespoons, and since it is dairy-based it won't last as long. Advice: Stick with smaller containers or to use up sour cream fast make a quick dips with prepackaged dip mix or try using lemon, salt, and herbs. You can also use sour cream as a substitute for mayo in chicken or tuna salad. 
  2. PRODUCE:  Produce actually gets tossed more than any other food group. Celery is one of the worst offenders because many recipes just call for a few stalks at a time due to its strong flavor.  Another type of produce that goes to waste is one we tend to assume offers little value: fronds. "Fronds are those leafy tops to vegetables we often chop and throw out. Try re-purposing veggie & herb tops by using them (ie beets, radishes and fennel) like an herb.  You can add these to a gazpacho or spread over fresh fish.
  3. FRESH HERBS: Going through an entire batch of cilantro or parsley can be quite the challenge.   Especially cilantro since a little goes such a long way.  Try to treat them like flowers. Either keep a plant in a small pot on your window sill, or put them in little jar of water and then tent  a plastic bag over them.  They will then keep in your fridge giving them a much longer shelf life.  To use up your herbs fast, mash them into a soft cheese like cream cheese for a quick spread. Or try drying them by hanging bundles against a sunny windowsill.
  4. CITRUS:  A lot of recipes require lemons all the time, but most of the time there's a lot left over.  To not let yours go to waste, freeze them in ice cubes for use in water or tea
  5. BREAD:  Most of you probably know that you can refrigerating and even freezing whole grain bread. The simplest thing to do is just cut them and use croutons.  I promise it's super easy.  Just take any kind of stale bread, slice into one-inch cubes, coat with olive oil and seasonings. I use garlic, parmesan, fresh ground black pepper, and a bit of salt.  It's also easier if you mix your seasonings and oil in a freezer bag first.  Toss in the bread.  Seal and shake the bag then spread the cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Presto!  Amazing homemade croutons.

Here's some more tips to keep more of your grocery budget in your wallet:
Shop wisely. Plan out what you want to buy before you go to the grocery store, so you don't end up buying more than you'll actually use.  Most of the 40 percent of food we throw out simply goes bad before we have a chance to eat it.

Cook wisely.  Don't cook more than you can reasonably eat in a given time, and be sure to include leftovers in your calculations.  A lot of recipe sites give you ideas on how to multipurpose your meals with tips on how to make creative meals from left over foods.  There are also a lot of recipes that you can make in batches and freeze in family-sized portions.  Which will save you time as well.

Understand expiration dates. Those dates on most pre-packaged products isn't really an expiration date, it's a "use-by" date. A lot of people see that date and throw the food out right after, but most of them are not meant to indicate the safety of the food. "They're not federally regulated," says Dana Gunders, a project scientist in the food and agriculture program at the National Resources Defense Council. In many cases, "they just indicate peak quality." According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the date is there to help stores decide how long to display the product, and to help consumers know when the product is best to eat. "It is not a safety date," the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which regulates food safety, states on its website. "After the date passes, while not of best quality, the product should still be safe if handled properly and kept at 40 degrees F or below for the recommended storage times."

Use your freezer. I mentioned this earlier, but a lot of foods can be safely frozen like bread and milk. Homemade foods, like mashed potatoes and cooked meats, can also be frozen which will give you a chance to use up your leftovers at a later date.

Watch what you order when dining out. Jumbo-size meals in restaurants lead plenty of people to leave food on their plates, and that food ends up in landfills. "Our food waste has increased about 50 percent since the mid-'70s," Gunders says. "Along a similar timeline, dinner plates have increased their diameter by over 30 percent."  Still have too much food on your plate?  Ask for a to-go box.

Understand portion sizes. The average cookie has quadrupled in size since the mid-'80s, the average service of soda has gone from 7 oz to 42 oz since the 1950s, and recipes in "The Joy of Cooking" have an average of 30 percent more calories than they did in 1996. Portion sizes "are just bigger, or the recipe serves fewer people" than it did in previous editions, Gunders says.

Yahoo: Americans Waste $2275 of Food
Yahoo: Top 5 Wasted Foods

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How to Stop Procrastinating

This morning we talked about some tips on how to stop procrastinating that I found on Real Simple.  Here's a list of my favorites:

Do the Worst Thing First:   This isn't the easiest strategy, but there’s a good reason for starting your to-do list with the items you are dreading most. “We have a limited, depletable supply of willpower and resources,” says Piers Steel, Ph.D., a professor of human resources and organizational dynamics at the University of Calgary  Attack the hardest task when your energy is fresh and you give yourself the strongest chance of success.  Likewise, putting off the most dreaded items saps your strength because you spend so much time worrying about getting it done.

Start Your Day Over at 2:00 pm:  This is probably my favorite tip on the list.  Everyone has days when your morning schedule is out of balance causing your day to be less productive that you'd like.  Combat this by implementing a daily reboot: “At 2 p.m. every day, assess how much you’ve accomplished, remind yourself of what’s critical, and alter your plan so you can tackle the most important thing,” says Wisnik. Give yourself a second morning in the middle of the day.  If a new project that has become high priority, you still have the time and the energy to start it.. Whereas, if you wait until 5:00 pm to evaluate your day your stress level may be through the roof as you scramble about in crisis mode.

Make the Job Smaller:  Everything is easier to tackle if you divide it up into smaller portions.  Instead of being disheartened by how much you can’t do, look at how much you can.   Also, cut yourself some slack.  Let yourself off the hook on things that don't require perfection;  it's ok to do a good enough job on menial tasks.

10-minute Challenge:  I use this one with exercise, and it works.  So I was excited to see it on this list as well.  If you are having trouble even beginning a project, try setting a timer for 10 minutes. Work in a focused manner for that short stretch, and watch what happens. “Anyone can do 10 measly minutes,” says Debbie Mandel, a stress-management specialist in New York City.  In fact, most of the time, you will probably find yourself doing more than 10-minutes.  Sometimes it's beginning a project or workout session that is the hardest.  

Unprocrastination Day:  Schedule one day to devote to all of those things you've been putting off.

Be Accountable to Someone: It’s easy to put things off when you're only commitment to yourself. But make yourself accountable to a friend and suddenly potential embarrassment becomes a powerful motivator. It’s “positive pressure,” says life coach Cheryl Richardson

Get Rid of Tech Distractions: If the constant barrage of technological devices and being constantly "connected" is keeping you from being productive, try these apps.  There are lots of applications you can download to block electronic distractions. Here are a couple recommendation from Real Simple.  Freedom (, $10) disables all roads to the Internet for an allotted amount of time, and cheating isn’t easy.  To sneak back online early, you have to reboot your computer. You can also try RescueTime (free,; this app tracks your every online move and provides easy-to-read, painfully revealing charts that display your wasted time in pretty graphs.  (That’s how many hours I spent on Facebook yesterday?) 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Blueberry Tuesday: Blueberry Scones

I have to admit that I feel a bit sleepy this morning.  The rainy weather is making me want to have my eighth cup of coffee.  Ok, it would only be my fourth; but you know...  Since it's gloomy outside, I thought I would share a scone recipe I found.  Sounds like this would be cozy comfort food for this rainy day.

Blueberry Scones

Monday, September 3, 2012

Motivation for Mon Fitness: Healthy Pregnancy

Mon Fit Tip: Healthy Pregnancy
Today ("Labor Day") Bob & Caroline Scott of the Louisville Athletic Club were shared some tips for staying healthy and exercising during pregnancy.
"Moderate physical activity is considered not only safe, but also very beneficial for mom and baby.  Exercise during pregnancy can help expectant mothers:

  • Look and feel better
  • Reduce bloating, swelling, and leg cramps
  • Relaxation
  • Improve Posture
  • Build Strength & Stamina
  • Sleep better
  • Prepare for labor & delivery
  • Get your pre-pregnancy body back quicker.
Make sure you consult with your doctor and get medical clearance first, and be aware of a few changes that your pregnant body will go through.  First, your joints and ligaments stretch because of hormones released during pregnancy.  Therefore, they are more prone to injury.  Second, your balance and center of gravity will change because of your expanding middle making you a little less stable.  Finally, your heart rate will increase while you are pregnant so workout at a slower pace than you did before you were pregnant.  Keep in mind that when you heart rate increases, your baby's will as well.  Your heart rate should not exceed 140 beats per minute when exercising during pregnancy." - Caroline Scott
Bob Scott's tips for exercising during pregnancy are:
"Those who have exercised prior to becoming pregnant can and should continue to perform the exercises you have always done, within reason.  If you are new to exercise, it is fine to start when you become pregnant.  Just remember, whether you are an experienced exerciser or not, pregnancy is NOT a time to take on a new intense sport or a time to try to shed pounds.  Some of the best options for exercise during pregnancy include:
  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Jogging
  • Low-impact aerobics
  • Prenatal Yoga
  • Slow, controlled strength training
Just remember that you should: (1) exercise to maintain a safe level of fitness (not to lose weight), (2) always warm-up, (3) not get overheated, (4) drink plenty of water, and (5) take breaks if needed.  If you become faint, dizzy, short of breath, have chest pain or pain of any kind, trouble walking, or contractions that continue after rest, bleeding, leaking, etc stop your workout and call your doctor.  Most of all enjoy your pregnancy and all the blessings from God that come along with it!" 
For more health and fitness tips, check out Caroline's Blog:

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Power of Listening

The Hidden Power of Listening:  At the beginning of the year, I set a Kindness Resolution for myself, because I wanted to challenge myself to show God's love in a more tangible way this year.  Throughout the year, I've renewed my resolution and God has been teaching me new lessons about kindness.  One thing that God has been teaching me lately is that I needed to be a better listener.   I've got a couple of mentors who are some of the best listeners that I've ever met.  Yesterday, I came across a blog post about the Hidden Power of Listening. The writer was talking about some misconceptions that she had of people who appeared to be quiet. She used Jackie Kennedy as an example. To her Mrs Kennedy didn't appear to have much to say and when she did her voice was almost a whisper. The blogger said that her friend interviewed Jackie Kennedy and found her to be calculated and wise. He told the blogger that she wasn't just quiet she was listening and taking in everything that went on around her, and when she spoke her answers may have been quiet but she chose her words carefully and you'd find yourself really listening and putting more weight on what she had to say than the rest of the political hub bub swirling around them. As I'm reading this I'm seeing that while my personality is a bit different from Mrs Kennedy's I really could learn a lot from her example. Of all of the times I've gotten myself in trouble it's usually because I spoke before I really thought about what I was saying. The blogger ultimately decided to challenge herself to a weekend of listening and modified silence. Here is a bit of what she learned, and a bit of what I'm learning as well.

I'm finding that one of the greatest kindnesses that we can give to the people in our lives is to be fully present and to be aware and sensitive to what's going on in their lives through genuinely listening to what they are saying. There were several times while reading the article that I found myself laughing outloud, because I see a lot of similarities in the writer and myself. At one point she said that if a transcriptionist where to try to write down a normal conversation between she and her friends that the transcriptionist would be overwhelmed to tears. Maybe that's not you, but for me some conversations are so filled with high energy randomness that I wonder if I'm really listening to what is being said. Am I fully engaged and present in the conversation, or am I more concerned with what my next witty comment is going to be. Difficult lesson, eh? During her Listening Challenge, the writer said she noticed that her conversations with her friends during this time were richer. She was able to really be there for her friend and give her the advice that she needed which ultimately gave her insight into her own life as well. On the third evening she attended a reunion dinner and came across a woman that she met in college that she perceived to be icy and fierce - basically intimidating. She said at first glance nothing seemed to have changed. Somehow the blogger ended up seated near her and because she was taking time to really listen to the woman she realized how much she had misjudged her. The writer was able to draw the woman out with her questions and her pauses to listen and she let her guard down and revealed her insecurities and worries. Ultimately they had a great healing conversation that never would have happend if the writer hadn't taken the time to really invest in a conversation with her. People aren't always as they appear to be, and I'm learning that I need to be more sensitive and observant to those around me.