Running for All

May 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Exercise, School's Out

Down below is a running program given to me by a colleague who overheard me murmer that I’d like to run continuously for longer distances.  She’s a marathon machine herself and surprised me one day at work by placing the following program on my desk.  If I can do it, you can do it.  I’m not a runner by any means but following this program is making me run for longer stretches of time than I thought possible.

Upon completion of this 8-week program, I will be able to run 30 minutes non-stop.  I’m over half way there!!

I feel giddly, like a little girl again, in the middle of a great cardio session.

Try it with me!!

Points to consider before you begin this 8-Week Beginner’s Running Program →

1.  If you are not accustomed to any exercise, consult your physician first.  Unless you have a known health risk, your doctor will probably encourage you to begin a run-walk program such as this.

2.  Schedule your workouts!  You won’t find time unless you make time.  Put them in your BlackBerry, computer, appointment planner, on your fridge . . . wherever.

3. Expect bad days.  Everyone has them, but they pass quickly, and the next workout is often better than the previous one.  I find my body actually bounces back stronger after I’ve rested for a day (or week) or two.

4.  Don’t rush.  Rushing leads to injuries and discouragement.  Be patient and go slow.  The goal is to reach 30 minutes of continuous running, not to set any records getting there.

More GG Training Tips ➔

~ To fuel up for your workout, have a snack about 1 hour before.  To ensure you don’t lose all those hard earned muscles afterward, have a snack afterward. Click here for my list of pre- and post- workout snacks to fuel and replenish you: Best Pre- and Post- Workout Snacks

~ Always walk a couple of minutes for warmup before you begin and walk another couple of minutes afterward.  Don’t stretch before running.  Save it for after your workout or in the evening while watching T.V.  I get some of my best stretching and yoga moves in that way!

~ On occasion, skip your running workout and do a cross-training instead.  Bike for 30 minutes, elliptical train, do the row machine, or walk the stairmaster.  The break from running will refresh you plus you’ll develop new muscle.

Beginner’s Running Program → → →

(indoors or outdoors)

Week 1

Day 1 – Run 1 min, Walk 2 min, Repeat 10x

Day 2 – Walk easy for 30 min

Day 3 – Run 1 min, Walk 2 min, Repeat 10x

Day 4 – Walk easy for 30 min

Day 5 – Run 1 min, Walk 2 min, Repeat 10x

Day 6 – Run 1 min, Walk 2 min, Repeat 10x

Day 7 – Rest

Week 2

Day 1 – Run 2 min, Walk 1 min, Repeat 10 x

Day 2 – Walk easy 30 min

Day 3 – Run 3 min, Walk 1 min, Repeat 7x, Run 2 mins

Day 4 – Walk easy 30 min

Day 5 – Run 4 min, Walk 1 min, Repeat 6x

Day 6 – Run 4 min, Walk 1 min, Repeat 6x

Day 7 – Rest

Week 3

Day 1 – Run 5 min, Walk 1 min, Repeat 5X

Day 2 – Walk easy 30 min

Day 3 – Run 5 min, Walk 1 min, Repeat 5X

Day 4 – Walk easy 30 min

Day 5 – Run 6 min, Walk 1 min, Repeat 4x, Run 2 min

Day 6 – Run 6 min, Walk 1 min, Repeat 4x, Run 2 min

Day 7 – Rest

Week 4

Day 1 – Run 8 min, Walk 1 min, Repeat 3x, Run 3 min

Day 2 – Walk 30 min

Day 3 – Run 9 min, Walk 1 min, Repeat 3x

Day 4 – Walk 30 min

Day 5 – Run 10 min, Walk 1 min, Repeat 2x, Run 8 min

Day 6 – Run 11 min, Walk 1 min, Repeat 2x, Run 6 min

Day 7 – Rest

Week 5

Day 1 – Run 12 min, Walk 1 min, Repeat 2 x

Day 2 – Walk 30 min

Day 3 – Run 13 min, Walk 1 min, Repeat 2 x

Day 4 – Walk 30 min

Day 5 – Run 14 min, Walk 1 min, Repeat 2x

Day 6 – Run 15 min, Walk 1 min, Run 14 min

Day 7 – Rest

Week 6

Day 1 – Run 16 min, Walk 1 min, Run 13 min

Day 2 – Walk 30 min

Day 3 – Run 17 min, Walk 1 min, Run 12 min

Day 4 – Walk 30 min

Day 5 – Run 18 min, Walk 1 min, Run 11 min

Day 6 – Run 19 min, Walk 1 min, Run 10 min

Day 7 – Rest

Week 7

Day 1 – Run 20 min, Walk 1 min, Run 9 min

Day 2 – Run 20 min, Walk 1 min, Run 9 min

Day 3 – Run 22 min, Walk 1 min, Run 7 min

Day 4 – Walk 30 min

Day 5 – Run 24 min, Walk 1 min, Run 5 min

Day 6 – Run 26 min, Walk 1 min, Run 3 min

Day 7 – Rest

Week 8

Day 1 – Run 27 min, Walk 1 min, Run 2 min

Day 2 – Run 20 min, Walk 1 min, Run 9 min

Day 3 – Run 28 min, Walk 1 min, Run 1 min

Day 4 – Walk 30 min

Day 5 – Run 29 min, Walk 1 min

Day 6 – Run 30 min!!!!!

Day 7 – Get that well-deserved rest!!!

*Always walk 2 – 3 minutes for a warm up before you begin to run and walk another 2 – 3 minutes as a cool down.  Don’t stretch before running.  Save it for afterward (think of it as a reward!)

GG’s Gym Etiquette 101

January 31, 2010 by  
Filed under Exercise, School's Out

My Tried & True Dos & Don’ts For the Gym!!

These peeps all seem to be using proper gym etiquette.

The gym is a place to release tensions, detoxify, energize and renew.  When I walk through the doors of my gym, I immediately feel a sense of relief – it’s my place to unwind while maintaining fitness.  I’m very lucky to have met quite a few very dear friends at the gym as I spend a significant amount of time there.  In order to get the most out of the gym and earn those friendships, there are etiquette rules gym goers should follow.  Here are those that immediately come to mind ~


  • Do invest in gym attire that you feel good in.  True, you are going to be sweating up your duds in no time flat but, trust me, if you feel good you will perform your exercises with that much more vigor and get a better workout.  Here is one of my personal favorite sportswear lines – Body Language Sportswear.
  • Do wear color from time to time.  Everyone wears black.  Try a brighter color to boost your mood.  In fact, invest in colors you can mix and match.  GG Tip:  Feeling a couple pounds heavier? – Wear the same color top and bottom; the monochromatic effect will slim you.
  • Do wear white socks.  Period.  Any other color will make you look like the lights went out in the locker room when you were changing and you didn’t get a chance to check yourself in the mirror.
  • Do wipe down the cardio machines after you use them.  You just spent 20, 30 or 45 long, hard minutes grinding away . . . the next person doesn’t want to share your excretions.
  • Do let others work in during your rest periods between sets. This may not always be practical, but offer to share when you can.  It’s an easy way to make friends too or meet that cute guy or girl.  🙂
  • Do refrain from melodramatic squeals and moans while pushing your limits with the iron.  There is one particular character at my gym who obviously thinks he is much more macho than he is.  He apparently has no peripheral vision to see all the rolling eyes around him.


  • Don’t wear dirty gym clothes.  This would officially make you disgusting.  Yes, everyone around you could tell.  One way to avoid being a skank is to take your gym clothes with you into the shower and let them hang to dry for tomorrow.
  • Don’t wear baggy pants or shirts.  Not only will you not feel good in them, you won’t be able to see the muscle work you are accomplishing.
  • Don’t get overly skimpy.  You don’t want something flying out that shouldn’t during an overly enthusiastic aerobic jump or superhero set.
  • Don’t hover around a person while waiting for the machine he/she is using.  Either ask politely to work in or find another exercise to do while you wait.  There’s always something else you can do to be more productive than make the other person feel hurried.
  • Don’t stand directly in front of someone performing his/her set.  Chances are, the person is checking himself in the mirror and nothing breaks up the pumping pattern more than an oblivious hogger.
  • Biker shorts, fanny packs, thong leotard over spandex.    Enough said.

Marvelous Mint Chocolate Brownies!

December 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Recipes, School's Out

Who doesn’t love brownies?!  I’m kind of famous for these at work.  If I don’t make them at least twice a year, I lose tenure!  🙂  My dear friend, Mary, gave this recipe to me years ago back when we were next-door neighbors.  I’ve been making them ever since.  WARNING:  These are ooey, rich and gooey – addiction is imminent.

I apologize to my clean-eating followers.  This is NOT an eat-clean dessert.  Hey, we have to splurge once in a blue moon! 

Mint Chocolate Brownies!!!
These are richly delicious!!!  Make them for Christmas & St. Patrick's Day!

These are richly delicious!!! Make them for Christmas & St. Patrick’s Day!

Ingredients ~

* Brownie Mix

* 1 ½ stick butter (I use unsalted)

* 3 Tbs. Crème-de-Menthe

* 2 Cups Powdered Sugar

* 1 Cup Chocolate Chips (or Mint Chocolate Chips)

* 1 package Andies thin mint candy

Bake and cool your favorite brownie mix according to package instructions. (13 x 9 pan) I like Duncan Hines

Cool completely before spreading the crème-de-menthe layer.   DO NOT CUT.Crème-de-menthe layer:
Beat ½ cup room temperature butter. Add 2 cups powdered sugar and 3 Tbs. green crème-de-menthe liquor. Spread over brownies.  Let this set before spreading the chocolate glaze.

Chocolate glaze:
Stir 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or mint chocolate chips for more mintness!) and 6 tbs. butter in a saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. COOL. Pour over crème-de-menthe layer and spread evenly.

Before glaze sets, sprinkle with coarsely chopped Andies candy. Enjoy!!

Good Dessert, Bad Dessert

November 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Recipes, School's Out

I made this last night for tonight’s dessert.  It is actually good for you while tasting indulgently yummy!  I can’t take the credit for this concoction.  I stumbled upon the recipe in the November/December 2009 issue of Clean Eating – GG’s favorite cooking magazine, by the way!!!  It took me all of five minutes to mix all the ingredients in my blender.  This is my “good dessert” for the evening:

Spiced Pumpkin Mousse

Serves 10 (I cut this recipe in half.)

This luscious dessert contains 35% of daily rec for manganese and 15% for fiber!

This luscious dessert contains 35% of daily rec for manganese and 15% for fiber!

  • 2 15 oz. cans 100% pure pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 1-lb pkg silken tofu, drained well
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I used sugar-free)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 3/4 tsp ginger, ground
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1/4 tsp cloves, ground
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (I eliminated this ingredient)
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek-style yogurt (I used my very fave 0% Fage!)
  • 1 oz dark chocolate, cut into thin shards

In the bowl of a food processor (I used my blender), combine pumpkin and tofu.  Process until combined, about 30 seconds.  Add maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt.  Process until combined, about 30 seconds more.

Transfer mousse to a resealable container, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Drain any water that has accumulated from mousse.  Give it a quick stir and scoop 1/2 cup mousse into each of 10 small glasses or ramekins.  Top each serving with 2 tsp yogurt and 1 tsp chocolate.  Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.  (for those extra sweet tooths, fat free Cool Whip works well too)

This tastes like a very gooingly good pumpkin pie without the crust and more of the scrumptious filling!!

Now, my daughter’s palate does not yet appreciate consistently clean eating as I’ve grown to love; her younger metabolism can afford more cheats.  Soooo . . . being the wanting-to-please everyone cook that I strive to be, I’m making this “bad dessert” tonight as well:

Thank you to my very kitchen-capable bro who introduced me to this easy sweet treat!



Serves 4

Place the cookie dough as one sheet in an 8 X 8 pan.  Bake according to package directions.

Immediately warm out of the oven, divide the cookie into four parts.  Place each warm “cookie” in a large bowl.  Scoop the ice cream on top and serve immediately!  Hmmmmmm . . . . .

Cookies that Won’t Turn You Into a Pumpkin

October 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Recipes, School's Out

This is one of my favorite desserts of the fall and winter seasons. Pumpkin is so good for you! Not only is pumpkin loaded with vitamin A and antioxidant carotenoids, but it’s also a good source of vitamins C, K, and E along with lots of minerals including magnesium, potassium, and iron. Wooo . . . that’s alot of punch to this bright orange veggie.  My mom has been making these cookies for as long as I can remember; she, however, makes the delectable original version.  Here’s my slightly “doctored,” eat clean version that tastes just as sinful.  I’ve included the original as well.

Old Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies

Mmm, one of my faves of the season!
Mmm, one of my faves of the season!
  • 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour (original 2 1/2 cups flour)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (2012 update:  my bro used pumpkin butter which made the cookie denser)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 egg whites (original 1 egg)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix butter, pumpkin, egg and vanilla in another bowl. Beat until light and creamy. Mix dry ingredients until well blended with the pumpkin mixture.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Smooth tops of cookies.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Cool on wire racks.

**Drizzle with your favorite homemade vanilla frosting recipe.

( I combine skim milk (about ½ cup), butter (about 2 tbs), powdered sugar (about 2 cups), and vanilla (about a teaspoon). I don’t have specific amounts. I blend these to taste.   2012 update:  My bro just made these for us; he used maple syrup instead of butter for the frosting.  Pumpkin & maple syrup combine to form one fine fall indulgence!

Nuke and Eat Stir Fry

October 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Recipes, School's Out

I found this in a past issue of Women’s Health and made it the other night so that I wouldn’t have to worry about making lunches for the week.  I just savored my last portion for lunch.  I hunt for recipes like this that don’t taste as “clean” as they are.  The spices coupled with the fresh veggies and tender beef make for a satisfying meal that provide the right ratio of protein, carbs and fat.  This can also make for a perfect post-workout meal or delicious dinner.

An A+ Dinner

NUKE-AND-EAT ASIAN STIR-FRY   from Wurmwood10 on Flickr

Time-saving Tip: Make this recipe on Sunday, then freeze it in single-serving portions—you’ll have a healthy “fast-food: meal ready anytime you want it.

(I modified to make it even cleanier by eliminating extra salt, replacing one egg with two egg whites, and using low-sodium soy sauce.)

  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 4 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 lb beef sirloin, sliced into 2″ strips
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 carrots, sliced into 2″ strips
  • 1 8 oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced into 2″ strips
  • brown rice (you can make a batch of this ahead of time as well and portion it along with the stir fry)

In a bowl, combine the egg whites and 1 Tbsp of the soy sauce, and stir well. Then add the sirloin strips and set aside to marinate. Next, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet while you mix the remaining soy sauce, the cornstarch, and the crushed red pepper in a bowl—this is your sauce, to be used later. Once the skillet is hot, stir-fry the garlic and ginger for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Then, at 30-second intervals, individually add the carrots, water chestnuts, onion, and scallions. Next, remove all the vegetables from the skillet and place them in a bowl. Put the beef-marinade mixture in the skillet, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then pour in the sauce, stirring and cooking until it’s thick and bubbly. Finally, add the vegetables back to the skillet, and cook everything together for a couple of minutes, or until hot.

Let it cool, then place individual portions in plastic containers and freeze. When you’re ready for a quick lunch, microwave the stir-fry for 3 minutes or until hot and serve with one serving of the brown rice. Makes 3 servings

Per serving: 486 calories, 42 g protein (2.2 g leucine), 45 g carbohydrates, 16 g fat, 7 g fiber

GG’s Tip:  You can substitute with other veggies you have on hand . . . broccoli, cauliflour, red peppers . . .

Cherry DeLIGHT

August 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Recipes, School's Out

An A+ Dessert

A reader asked me why I only post healthful (not healthy) recipes so I decided to post a more decadent dessert that only seems un GG-like.  This is actually fat free despite its creamy richness.  So go ahead, we all need to splurge once in a while.  Everything in moderation . . . including moderation.  🙂

I love all things cherry – I eat marochino cherries out of the jar, cherry lifesavers are my favorite candy, and I pop bing cherries like popcorn.  My mother’s Cherry Delight dessert may have been the dish that started it all.  I fondly recall racing my dad to the fridge for the last piece of this no-bake treat.  I was working out yesterday, of all things, and was trying to think of a way to give this dish an “eat clean” makeover.  I had a taste for it and can’t remember the last time I enjoyed it.

Using fresh cherries rather than canned cherry pie filling cuts out the sugar.

Using fresh cherries rather than canned cherry pie filling cuts out the sugar.

GG sits before you now exclaiming that the experiment worked.  I have to say it tastes more sinful than it is.  This is a great warm weather dessert that’s always been a crowd pleaser in our family.  If you like sweet, if you like creamy, and if you like cherry, check this out.  It’s real simple and quick to whip up (unless you’re feeling the urge to make your own angel food cake, like I did):

Cherry DeLIGHT
  • Angel Food cake, cut into small cubes (homemade or store bought) ****Don’t forget, there are no egg yolks in angel food cake.  That means no fat!!***
  • 2 packages sugar-free vanilla instant pudding mix (original recipe calls for regular vanilla instant pudding mix)
  • approx. 2 cups of pitted Bing cherries (original recipe calls for 2 cans of cherry pie filling) **my favorite cherry pitter is from Williams Sonoma
  • 1 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt (original recipe calls for one pint sour cream)

In a 9 x 13 pan, spread half of the cubed Angel Food cake on the bottom.  Make the pudding according to package directions (use skim milk).  Mix the yogurt with the pudding.  Layer half of the pudding mixture on top of the broken cake in the pan.  Place the second half of the cake cubes on top of the pudding.  Layer the second half of the pudding on top of that.  Place the cherries on top.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  That’s it!

There you have it ~ a family recipe made over into a non-fat decadent dessert!!!!

Make or Break Your Workout

August 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Nutrition Tips, School's Out

Yesterday was one of those days that flew by – I spent it with a very dear friend of 17 (update, make that 20!) years.  We met as next door neighbors when we settled into our new homes.  Our girls, just two weeks apart in age, are still best buds and we are close friends forever.  We’ve both since moved and I sometimes really miss those days when we walked into each other’s houses as if they were interchangeable (and it was usually through the back doors), used each other’s yards as our own, and knew we were only steps away from good company and fun laughs.

Much of our lunch conversation yesterday centered on food and nutrition.  She’s as fanatic about working out as I am; I recall those evening bike rides with fondness.  Anyway, she asked me what I eat before and after working out as she’s trying to add more protein to her diet.  I’ve been meaning to post a blog about this because it’s so important yet so many people neglect this part in their workout regime.  Without energy from proper nutrition, exercise will be sluggish and potential results cannot be attained.  By the same token, muscles that just worked so hard will not recover without recovery fuel.

My Favorite Pre-Workout and Post-Workout Snacks!



PRE-WORKOUT: (within an hour before exercise)

protein + slow-digesting carbs

You need a good source of protein to get your muscles growing.  Slow-digesting carbs gives good energy without the unnecessary fat.  My Muscle & Fitness Hers May/June 2008 magazine says that 20-30 grams of protein and 30-40 grams of slow-digesting carbs is needed. If you’re in a hurry, grab a yogurt and a piece of fruit.  If you have a few moments, here are a couple examples from the magazine that I personally have been using for the past year:


1 scoop whey protein
1 cup skim milk or 1 cup low fat yogurt
1/2 cup All-Bran cereal (GG says this is the world’s most versatile cereal)



1/2 cup whey protein
1/2 cup soy protein
1/2 cup low fat Greek yogurt (GG’s fave is Fage!  Check out my review of it.)



1 scoop whey protein powder
1/2 scoop soy protein powder
2 cups water
3/4 cups rasberries
3/4 cup blueberries (is there such thing as eating too many berries a day???  cause I could pop strawberries, rasberries, blackberries, blueberries, mulberies, goji berries in my mouth aaaallll day)

POSTWORKOUT (within 45 minutes after workout)

protein + fast-digesting carbs

Protein powers our muscles that just worked so hard and the fast carbs boost insulin levels to help that protein get into muscles.  M & F Hers recommends 40 grams of fast-digesting protein and 30-40 grams of fast-digesting carbs.  If you’re in a hurry, just mixing a scoop of protein powder with water is sufficient until your next meal.  If you have a few more moments to prepare something, these are perfect:


1 scoop whey protein
1 cup water
1/2 cup Rice Krispies
1/2 cup mini marshmallows  (confession:  I decided I have to take a break from these because, when I have them in the house, I can’t control myself.  I ate a half of a bag in one sitting the other day.  Ugghhh)



1 scoop whey
1/2 scoop soy protein
2 cups water
1/2 bag 94% fat-free popcorn



1 scoop whey protein powder
1/2 scoop soy protein powder
2 cups water
1 Tbsp. jelly
1 slice white bread (hmmmm)

Post-workout snacks are delish because of the sweet stuff!!!! Ummm, just don’t overdo it like I did with the marshmallows.

Happy Healthful Snack

May 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Recipes, School's Out

Two A+ Energizing Snacks

As I illustrate in my post on healthful eating shortcuts, I make as many meals and snacks from scratch as I can to avoid unneccesary additives and preservatives. But who has time to spend hours in the kitchen?  Working all day, devoting a couple of hours in the evening to a workout, and spending quality time with my daughter leaves little time for much else.  I’m forever looking for easy, quick recipes that don’t require a lot of labor.  Here are two of my new favorites that I happened upon in one of my favorite fitness magazines, Oxygen.  I made these last week, they satisfied my appetite between meals, and they helped to fuel my workouts.  These are “repeaters,” as my daughter would say.

TLC’s Trail Mix

1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup banana chips
1/2 cup apple chips
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup carob chips (optional . . . I didn’t have these last time I made this, and it was just as yummy)

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and divide into 1/4 cup servings.

Makes 12 servings

Energy Bars

1 cup natural peanut butter (I used reduced fat)
1 cup honey
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
1 cup dried apricots, chopped

1. Combine peanut butter and honey in a large nonstick pot and heat on low until runny. Mix in the oatmeal, apricots and nuts, stirring until all ingredients are well coated.

2. Line a 9 x 9 inch pan with waxed paper. Press the mixture into the pan. Let cool, then cut into 16 bars.

Makes 16 servings

Both of these snacks taste more sinful than they are!!!

Breakfast in a Blender

April 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Recipes, School's Out

GG’s Power Protein Shake = A+

I make this at least three mornings a week.  It’s my favorite Saturday breakfast right before going to the gym for a nice long weekend workout.  It tastes much more sinful than it is.   It only takes a couple of minutes from start to clean up too.  I’ve also varied this with frozen strawberries and a scoop of strawberry whey protein for a different treat.    Go ahead ~ put that blender to use.


GG’s Power Protein Shake

1 frozen banana
1/3 cup oatmeal
2/3 cup water
1 scoop vanilla, cookies n cream, or graham cracker flavored whey protein powder
1 tbs oat bran
1 tbs flaxseeds and 1 tbs chia seeds
1.5 tbs wheat germ

2 tbs natural applesauce

**When I really feel like getting my greens, I add a handful of baby spinach and/or mustard greens.  It mixes well and tastes surprisingly good with the banana!!!
A small scoopful of ice

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.           Breakfast in a blender!

Hummus to Hum About

April 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Recipes, School's Out

GG’s Hummus = A+

Yes, I gave myself an A for my own recipe. You’ll taste why when you try this. Want a guilt-free dip that is actually very good for you? This is soooo easy to make.  I whip this up in about one minute.  I never buy store-bought hummus anymore because, honestly, this is way better . . . creamier and all natural ingredients!  Try it and let me know what you think. 



GG’s Hummus to Hum About

1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp Mexican seasoning

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup olive oil

1 – 2 (jarred) roasted red peppers

Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Enjoy with pita pieces or baby carrots.

Diet, Exercise, or Act of God?

April 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Exercise, School's Out

I’ve heard many line openers at the gym but the title to this post particularly sticks out in my mind.It certainly is more creative than “Can I work in with you?”  Or these . . .

Line Openers at the Gym

·I like your shoes/ Did you get new shoes?/Those are interesting shoes. – (For some reason, this one’s a biggie.Do my feet stick out or something?)

·____ is your color. (Boring.)

·How long have you been working out here? (Also boring.)

·Wow, if I do those exercises, will I get those abs?(hmmmm)

·You look like my future girlfriend. (Now that’s cute!)

To answer the first question . . . while I’ve been blessed with a fairly fast metabolism (thanks, Mom!), maintaining a low fat diet and working out 6 days a week certainly plays a factor in maintaining my physique. Here’s a set of exercises I’ve been doing – without fail – since a week after my daughter was born.I gained 33 pounds when I was pregnant with her and lost it all within 3 weeks. Now, I am currently in my 40s and maintain my “6-pack.”  Unfortunately, because I am a teacher, you’ll just have to take my word for it or ask one of my gym buds.  No pictures allowed!! 🙂  


15 minutes, five mornings a week – if I miss a morning, I do them at night; it doesn’t matter which days of the week, as long as it’s five times within the week.I can honestly say that I’m in the best shape of my life and this little routine definitely plays a factor toward that.So, sshh, don’t tell . . . here it is ~

GG’s No Fail Daily Exercises

On the floor:

1.  100 crunches . . . lie flat on your back, bend knees, feet planted, hands behind neck

2.  50 alternate side crunches . . . same as above except crunching (25 each side, alternating with each crunch)

3.  For more challenge, add this:  50 alternate side crunches w. knee lift . . . elbow reaching to opposite knee as knee lifts to meet elbow (25 each side, alternating with each crunch)

4.  For even more challenge, add this:  100 “bicycle” crunches. . . legs raised an inch, parallel to ground, elbow reaching to opposite knee as knee lifts to meet elbow (50 each side, alternating with each crunch & keeping legs raised)

That’s it!  We can pin exercise routines on Pinterest until our fingers fing, but the truth is one needs only find that one routine that works and makes one feel comfortable and  the results will follow!!  Now let’s get those 6 packs popping!

(Ba)Nana Bread

April 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Recipes, School's Out

New ‘Nana Bread = A+

What’s a (grading) girl like myself to do when I come home from a great workout with papers ready to grade, new blog pages ready to fill, and a sweet tooth that won’t subside. Well, I found a solution this evening that won’t waste those hours at the gym. I’ve been searching for a healthier banana bread recipe in fitness and nutrition magazines, but never discovered one quite as delicious as the original; the alternatives are either too dry or bland. Thankfully, my sister-in-law solved this dilemna with her latest kitchen experiment – it takes the grade, peeps! Moist and sinfully sweet as dessert yet happily healthy as whole grain. Mmmm . . . this aroma makes the words fly out of my fingertips. . . Try this – no guilt required.

New (Ba)Nana Bread ~

Sift the dry ingredients:
– 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (original = 2 cups all purpose flour)
– 2 teaspoons baking soda
– 1/4 teaspoon salt

Mash :
– 3 or 4 ripe bananas
– 1 tablespoon milk
– 1/2 cup blackberries (this addition is key!)

Mix the following in this order:
– 1/2 stick melted butter (original = 1 stick)
– 1/2 cup Truvia or Splenda blend (original = 1 cup sugar)
– 1 egg, 2 egg whites (original = 2 eggs)
– 1 teaspoon vanilla

Add the dry ingredients and the mashed banana mixture alternatively to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

Bake in a sprayed loaf pan @ 350 degrees for 1 hour, 10 minutes.


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