two years ago…

…was my very first blog post. We’ve had quite the history over the last two years, this little blog and myself.

I’ve changed the name, changed from blogger to wordpress to self-hosted, changed the “look and feel” and have a few more things (my own logo!) currently in the works that I’m really excited about.

Blogging is a very odd thing. Some days I feel like the un-cool 7th grader who can’t eat lunch with the popular girls. Some days I’m amazed that I’ve “met” so many people that share the same interests and passions as me, yet I probably haven’t actually met them in person. Some I have met. (Thanks for the picture Holly!)

But what keeps me going isn’t the number of comments that I get each day or my “stats.” It’s my readers, my friends who faithfully read on a daily basis, my family members who always know what’s going on in my crazy, little life and the Taster who “suffers” through luke-warm dinners on a regular basis, yet has still always encouraged me to keep blogging.

I won’t lie – there are times that I’ve wanted to quit. (Would you want to feel like an un-cool 7th grader again?!)  There have been conversations…

Me: No one even reads my blog, it’s pointless, wah, wah, wah.

Taster: We just bought a DSLR camera – you CAN’T quit!

Me: Urghh, can we return it?!

Then there are the times when I think about opportunities I’ve had, people I’ve met along the way and it makes up for all of the late night work. And best of all – when I hear that someone made (and enjoyed) a recipe; tried something new or has changed their life for the better – thats really all I need to keep going.

So Thank You! For reading, for commenting and for sticking around. :) If there’s anything you would like to see more or less of this next year let me know!

in the news: the human project

For the next month, Scott is living in a glass house in the middle of the Mall of America. He has been challenged to “groove his body every day, eat better and encourage others to join him in this healthy lifestyle via social media.”

This is all for the world to see his every move – on webcam, facebook and twitter.  You can even vote on what activities he should do next. :)

This is part of the do campaign by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Minnesota – they have some pretty clever commercials, I’m sure the locals have seen it  – just inspiring people to do something active.  It’s a message I can get behind!

What I’m asking you for is your favorite ideas for staying healthy whether they are related to eating, movement or just inspiration – I want to share your ideas with him!

What tips would you share with someone starting a healthier life?

italian chicken burgers

It may come as a surprise, but there are times when I’m completely satisfied with plain, un-exciting food. Think frozen chicken burgers with frozen green beans. A little horseradish mustard and maybe a pickle on the side and Tuesday night dinner is served.

The Taster on the other hand thinks a meal like that is simply horrifying! (Which is why those meals happen on Tuesday nights when he’s playing BBall) Where is the bun? What are the toppings? He just will not stand for such a minimalist dinner. So I gave him the task of jazzing up those plain old chicken burgers and oh he did just that.

I present – Italian Burgers. Ciabatta bread, fresh mozzarella, fire roasted tomatoes and basil. It was deliciously fresh and so filling. I’m putting him in charge of dinner more often. But not shopping. He’s expensive. ;)

Italian Chicken Burgers – 2 servings

  • 1/2 loaf ciabatta bread
  • 2 chicken burger patties
  • 2 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1/3 cup fire roasted antipasto tomatoes (from Whole Foods) or use fresh
  • 4 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped

Prepare the chicken burgers as directed.

Meanwhile warm bread in hot oven until golden brown.

Layer the chicken burger with mozzarella slices, tomato and basil.


ask the nutritionist: eating for cholesterol health

Do you like my heart health picture?! :)

One thing I’ve always disliked about diets and “healthy living” is that much of the focus tends to be on what you CAN’T have. I think this can be daunting, especially when someone is in the process of just changing their dietary ways.

I like to focus on what you CAN and SHOULD have. Today’s post is about just that.

Eating for Cholesterol Health

Quick Info:

  • HDL cholesterol is the “good” cholesterol which essentially works to remove the dangerous cholesterol out of your body for disposal – levels should be over 60.
  • LDL cholesterol is the “bad” cholesterol which can eventually cause plaque buildup in the arteries – levels should be below 200.
  • Cholesterol levels have an affect on heart health in that high levels of LDL cholesterol and low levels of HDL cholesterol are a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

What to Eat:

  • Monounsaturated Fats (olive oil, avocado) can help lower LDL cholesterol
  • Fiber (especially soluble fiber) helps lower cholesterol (foods like oatmeal, pinto beans, red kidney beans, brusssels sprouts and sweet potatoes are high in soluble fiber)
  • Omega 3’s help to lower triglycerides which in turn help raise HDL cholesterol levels
  • Nuts (especially almonds), Coconut Oil, Wine, Milk (Calcium and Phosphorus), Soy and Garlic can also all help
  • Exercise (I know this isn’t something you eat, but exercise seems to help everything, doesn’t it?)

Quaker and SUPERVALU (Cub is the local Minnesota SUPERVALU store) have teamed up to offer cholesterol screening with the purchase of three Quaker Heart Healthy Products (Instant Oatmeal, Quick or Old Fashioned Oats, Oatmeal Squares).  What a great local resource. I know I put off getting my cholesterol checked for a long time but there really is no excuse now. Everyone needs to eat breakfast, right? :)  The Power in Numbers program has a great page on understanding your numbers so that you can interpret what your levels really mean once you get them.

Go head to your local Cub* (store finder) and get your cholesterol checked! Have any questions? Email me:

*Or other SUPERVALU store in your area

Disclosure statement: This post is part of a sponsored partnership between myself and Quaker Oats.  I was compensated for my time and writing but my opinions are my own.