Thursday, July 14, 2011

My love for July

     I love July! I love how the sun really starts to kick in and leaves us sun kissed after spending a few hours at the beach or pool. Even more importantly... I love the 4th of July! Besides Christmas, this is my favorite holiday! Each year, the traditions repeat... bikes to the beach, pool, BBQ and fireworks at our house, and then back with friends at night. It can't get better than that! The only thing that was a little different this year was my dad's surprise...buying some healthier choices :). He came home from Costco with some Jennie-O Turkey Burgers and hot dogs, and whole wheat buns! What a sweetie! I'm pretty sure I was the only person who jumped for joy when my Jennie-O came off the grill but I was so excited to try it! It was TASTY and all natural! I know my dad is one of those people who cringes when I offer him anything that is healthier but there are so many things that are worth trying!
    The way I see it....if there is a healthier alternative to something such as a burger that is very high in fat or undergoes a lot of processing and the alternative tastes just as good or even better, why not choose that instead? Of course it's not a crime to eat certain things once in a while but I think it's great that there are ways of enjoying our favorite foods while being conscious. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

          Who doesn't love oatmeal cookies? My sister and I decided to try a heart healthy twist to one of our favorites! These Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies have a "wheaty" taste to them, making them perfect for a morning pick-me-up or even an afternoon snack! They are a good source of fiber too!


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat bran

  • 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (light if you can)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 cup applesauce

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 egg

  • 1 Tablespoon butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    2. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl
    3. Blend the egg, butter, vanilla, and applesauce in another large bowl.
    4. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Stir in the cranberries last
    5. Scoop individual tablespoons of batter onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Slightly flatten each cookie with the back of a spoon (they don't spread)
    6.  Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden
    7. Cool on a wired rack

    Eat with a cold glass of skim/low fat milk and you will be one happy camper!

    P.S. If you have any suggestions of recipes/foods you'd like to see up on my blog, let me know!

    Monday, June 27, 2011


                       First of all...I'm sorry for leaving this poor little blog in the dust for the past few weeks! I really don't want to make excuses but FYI, I'm finally done with my hectic spring classes and I'm home in California! To make up for my horrible blogging skills, I will be putting a couple of more posts up this week!                
                      So in case you were wondering why this title is 13.1...I finally ran my half marathon! The theme of the Utah Valley Marathon is "Pain You Enjoy" and I definitely understand why now! Although I literally walked like a penguin for the following 2 days after my race, I can honestly say I enjoyed every minute of those 13.1 miles! I loved being surrounded by beautiful scenery and  by so many people who were striving to reach their goals. Let me give you the inside scoop on the race day!

     3:30 am- Woke up, ate some toast with Peanut Butter and bananas and headed over to the Provo Mall where buses shuttled all of the runners to the start!

    Ran into some friends before the race :)
     This was my view from the bus: Tons of runners huddled up around fire pits trying to stay warm, stretching, and making sure to hit up the bathrooms. Pumped me up for sure!

       Warm and ready to go! The sun was dying to come out!

    The start of the race...pretty!

    The photographer caught me cruisin' through the canyon!

    1 hour and 44 minutes later...all done!
    After crossing the finish line, I loaded up on all of the free replenishing snacks and drinks and got a much needed massage :)  Definitely one of the best parts of my day because my calves were on FIYA!

    Goal accomplished! I ended up getting 10th place in my division!

          Training and dedicating myself to this race was one of the coolest things I've ever done. I think it was even more worthwhile because I struggled at times during the preparation. Basically, my body was a mess for a while! I had to take a week off for my stubborn little knees and then I iced one too long (I still have the ugly evidence).  My first aid teacher told me I gave myself a little case of frost bite...that made me feel brilliant haha. Then once my knees were ready to cooperate again, my ankle started bugging me and I had to whip out a brace. The obstacles kept sneaking up on me! But despite all of this, I prayed that I would be able to do my best with as little pain as possible and I did it!
               This has taught me so much about determination and faith. You can't just sit around and expect to make progress in life. It there's a desire in your heart, nurture it.  Once you are 100% positive that you are going to work towards your goal, start taking a few steps at a time. Lastly and most importantly, have faith in yourself. If you don't think you can do it, you can't expect others to believe in you and provide support.
               Now that being said, if you have any desire to run a half or even a full marathon, I challenge you to do it! It's a great way to stay on top of your cardiovascular health and become more in tune with your individual mental strength. Well that's all I have for now! Keep checking for a new recipe!

                                                          love always,



    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    Nature Makes Me Happy

            Today was a special day...I went on my last Saturday run! YAY! I can't believe I'm running a half marathon in 1 week!!! Helloooooo carbs!

                 My day got only better after my run. I got home, hopped in the shower and got ready for a little "morning date". My friend took my on his motorcycle through Provo Canyon, where I will be running the first 7-8 miles! I haven't been through the canyon since it was covered in snow, so when we took the first turn...I was in awe. It is SOOO BEAUTIFUL! Imagine: Green everywhere...little waterfalls flowing over huge rock canyon walls...a rushing river surrounded by tall grasses and flowers...simply put: INCREDIBLE. If you haven't been to Utah, trust me when I say it's worth a visit! Especially for any  of you nature lovers! So I couldn't really take pictures while we were riding (I would've most definitely dropped my phone at the speed we were going) but I took a few at a little spot we stopped at.

    And that's only a little of what you get to see!
              Anyways, after our ride we went to breakfast and then I had a Statistics review. That killed my Saturday...well not really. It started off too great to be ruined by that! :)
    Reflecting on today has really got me thinking about how many beautiful places there are in this country and the world for that matter. As much as I love getting a good workout in at the gym, I would much rather be running next to majestic mountains or on the soft sand of the beach.  It's summer! Perfect time to be outside! My tip of the day to a healthier and happier you? Take advantage of Earth's beauty and stay in shape while soaking up the sun!

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    A Berry Yummy Snack!

          Snacks. They get me through the day! Especially when I'm posted up at the library...I can't sit still for hours without having a couple of goodies to munch on! One of my favorite snacks is inspired by a PB and fruit sandwich from a hip little coffee/fro yo shop right by my house in Costa Mesa..Milk and Honey. Love it! 

    My version is the Berry Lover snack! It's easy, loaded with vitamins, high in fiber and it features my favorite fruit...BLUEBERRIES!

    You'll need:

    Almond Butter
    Orowheat 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins

    Spread the almond butter on the sandwich thin (just 1/2 of the roll). Slice up the berries and put them on top. Eat any extra berries on the side. VOILA!

    Did you know?

           Berries are phytochemical powerhouses! Phytochemcials are active plant compounds that seem to have powerful effects against disease. Some phytochemicals act as antioxidants which protect the body against oxidation from free radicals. Thousands of free radicals are constantly attacking cells which can play a huge factor in the development of illnesses such as cancer. This means...EAT YOUR BERRIES! :) Some research has also found that blueberries particularly help prevent brain function/memory loss that occurs simply by aging and oxidative stress.  Strawberries are a superfood in my book too! One cup contains about a day's requirement of Vitamin C.  Just another reason to make this Berry Lover snack!

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Saturday Run...Ain't No Picnic

              It's SATURDAY! After staying out late and catching only a few zzz's, you'd think I'd want to sleep in and watch t.v. all day. As relaxing as that sounds, half marathon training= getting up early enough to beat the sun at it's blazing time and to get a bunch of miles in! It's hard to get out of bed sometimes but today I was excited to try my new Nike GPS watch on a long run! Let me tell you....I'm OBSESSED! It is amazing and I recommend anyone who is into running to get one! It tracks your distance, calories burned, time elapsed, pace, and all your history and good stuff. This personal coach even gives you comments after your run...sweet huh?!  AND on the watch strap there's a little USB connector so you can plug it in to your computer and use to track everything. GENIUS!

        As fun as it was to run with my little precious, I did find myself getting pretty tired today. Luckily, something kept me going...the thought of my favorite, HEAVENLY shake I was going to make after my run! If you like Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Bananas, you will LOVE it. It is a great source of protein and many other nutrients you will need to keep you going all day! Try it or else! jk here's what you need:

    Rita's Fav. Shake:

    1 small banana
    1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
    1 heaping spoonful of Peanut butter (or almond butter if you're hard core)
    3/4 cup milk (low fat or skim)
    1/4 cup water
    3+ ice cubes 

    Blend that all up and enjoy! You can thank me later ;)

    Sunday, May 8, 2011

    Happy Mother's Day!

                 Happy Mother's Day! Today I want to dedicate this post to the most amazing woman in my life, my mom! She has taught me so much of what I know and I am grateful for all that she does for my family and I. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be the "health freak" I am today!
                Mom, thanks for always being so caring and wanting to share all your cool little nutrition facts. I look back and think it's so cute how you would save all those magazine articles and share something new with us. Most importantly, thank you for always doing your best to keep us healthy. I could use one of your delicious and nutritious meals right about now! You're the best! I miss you and I wish I could be with you to celebrate :/ LOVE YOU!