Thursday, December 19, 2019


There is SO much to indulge on during the holidays. Moderation is definitely the key to avoiding unwanted weight gain during the holidays. Another tip is to make "healthier" alternatives to your favorite treats.  

This recipe is a healthier option to the all famous "Christmas Crack", without sacrificing on flavor!  Put a healthier spin on a not-so-healthy classic, and save some calories at your next holiday gathering.

36 square Whole Grain crackers
1/2 cup Coconut Sugar (this is a natural sweetener, like cane sugar, but lower on the glycemic index.. meaning it sweetens your food without spiking your blood sugar)
1/2 cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter
1 cup Dark Chocolate
1/4 cup Chopped Almonds
2-3 TBL Dried Cranberries (chopped)
Canola Cooking Spray

-Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
-Line a 9X9 square pan with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. Arrange crackers in a single layer to cover the bottom of the pan. 
-In a saucepan over medium heat, add butter and sugar. Stir with a whisk until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Bring mixture to a low boil and let boil for 4 min. Remove from the heat and immediately pour the mixture over the crackers and use a rubber spatula to spread over the crackers.
-Place in the preheated oven, now melt your chocolate; add chocolate chips to a glass bowl and heat in the microwave for 20-sec intervals, mixing between intervals. Once most of the chocolate is melted, remove from the microwave and stir until it is completely melted and smooth.
-Remove crackers from the oven, let cool for 1-2 min, then drizzle melted chocolate on top and spread. Top with almonds and dried fruit.
-Place in the fridge to set for 1-2 hours. Once set, the crack will be completely hard. Pull pan from the fridge or freezer, peel away foil and break into pieces. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019


This simple exercise is the simplest, meanest exercise you have ever done.  As easy as it sounds, you'll feel muscles you may have never felt before! :)



 (This exercise is shown from the side, but should be done with your back against the wall, to ensure proper form.)

Proper Form: Sit on the ground with your back against a wall, and legs straight in front of you. (A). Squeeze your quads tight enough to pick your heels up off the floor. Raise the heel of your one foot as high as you can over the toe of the other leg (without bringing it in towards the middle). (B). Lower your leg, without letting this leg go all the way back to the floor, as your mobility increases, so will your range of motion for this exercise. Do 10-15 reps on this leg, then repeat on the other leg. 

Muscles engaged: This exercise works your leg muscles primarily, and lower back/core secondarily.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019


With the holidays in full swing, be sure your food safety skills are up to pare.  Simple preventative measures can help keep your guests healthy! Fight BAC with these 3 simple tips:

Hand washing is a simple way to prevent bacterial growth.  Did you know 65% of consumers don't wash their hands before meal preparation? Avoid this habit and spend 20 seconds washing to prevent bacterial contamination.  

 Keep your scene clean by cleaning and sanitizing surfaces.  Bacteria that can cause illness can survive in many places around your kitchen. Keeping countertops clean can prevent food contamination. 

  • CLEAN SURFACES with hot water and soap, do this after prep-ing each food item.

Rinse produce under running water just before eating, even if you plan to cut or peel them. Bacteria can spread from the outside to the inside during cutting and peeling.
  • FIRM SKIN PRODUCE should be rubbed by hand or scrubbed with a cleaning brush.
  • PACKAGED PRODUCE labeled "ready to eat" should not be washed.
  • DRY PRODUCE with a paper towel, rather than dish towel to prevent re-contamination.

Monday, December 9, 2019



Sign up for the popular FREE Kane County Healthy Living Challenge by CLICKING HERE



Target your glute muscles with this simple, well known exercise. With proper form you will see increased muscle growth and positive outcome.

Proper Form: Get on all fours (hands under shoulders, knees under hips, spine long and lengthened). Keeping your right knee bent at 90 degrees, flex your right foot and lift your knee back to hip level. (Pay attention to your core and upper body, be sure to keep it solid and avoid movement.) Lower your knee without touching the floor. Continue until your reach 15-20 reps, repeat on the opposite leg.

Muscle Impact: This exercise impacts your glute muscles. As a secondary muscle impact you will feel results in your core and shoulder regions IF you keep your body solid and avoid movement, aside from your working leg.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019


Healthy eating doesn't have to be difficult! In fact, it can be quite simple.  Rather than setting unrealistic goals start small, with a "Simple Swap", and build from there.  You'll be surprised how simple healthy eating can actually be!


Decrease neck and back pain when you build strength and develop muscle to provide support and longevity to those main muscle regions. 


Proper Form: Begin with your feet hip width apart. Holding weights or other alternative down at your side. Keeping them straight, breathe out as you raise both arms to the side, (to shoulder height). Hold the position for 1 second, breathe in as you slowly lower your arms. Repeat this motion to the front, returning to the lowered position. Aim for 10-15 reps, rest and repeat. 
**TIP- try to keep your shoulders pressing down away from your ears to avoid muscle straining. 

Muscles Impacted: Shoulder muscles receive maximum impact in this exercise, as well as strengthening your neck and upper back muscles. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019


The tensor facia lata muscle may not ring a bell.. but "saddlebags" /"outer thigh" fat likely does! This area can be difficult to target and more difficult to see change.  
This exercise targets this very muscle group, the results speak for themselves!


Proper form: Lie on your left side. Bend your bottom (left) leg back to a 90 degree angle while resting your head on your left palm. This is your starting point. Keeping your right leg straight slowly lift your leg approx. 45 degrees from the floor. Hold this position for a few seconds, then slowly lower to the ground. Repeat this exercise for desired reps, then complete on the alternate side!

Muscles impacted: Your outer thigh muscles will feel the impact on this exercise!

Thursday, November 21, 2019


Nothing soothes the soul on a cold day like a warm bowl of soup.  Many popular recipes are heavy on cheeses, creams, and calories. 

Here are some simple swaps, and tips for healthy soup making. Update your family favorites with "health-ier" alternatives this winter season.

Tip #1: Ditch the cream- Cream can easily be swapped out for half-and-half, whole milk, or even better low-fat milk.  This doesn't alter the flavor much, but can impact the thickness of the stock.  FIX THAT by adding a potato, 1 pureed potato easily thickens and makes soup creamy and thick- cauliflower can also be used

Tip #2: Crunch-less veggies- If you family despises the crunch of an onion or unfamiliar veggie; saute´ your veggies before adding them to your soup.  This allows the flavors to develop, with no crunchy texture.

Tip #3: Use the whole vegetable- To get the perfect soup, your base liquid needs flavor. Stems and tops from veggies become tender when cooked. You'll get all those extra flavor, nutrients and fiber while reducing food waste.  

Tip #4: Rinse the beans- Here is an instant way to make your soup healthier. Rinsing your beans instantly reduces sodium content!

Tip #5: Simmer never boil- Low and slow cooking instead of a rapid boil can improve soup flavor and texture. Boiling causes veggies to break apart and meat to become hard and chewy. Simmering allows the soup to develop richer flavors, which decreases the need for added salt. Keeping flavors high and sodium low!


Want to try a new recipe? Skip a trip to the store and CREATE a soup recipe with ingredients you have at home!

Monday, November 18, 2019


Did you know building muscle in your glutes can decrease hip pain? The glute muscles work to stabilize the pelvis and keep the hip joint centered. When they're strong, your lower back doesn't need to compensate. Say goodbye to lower back and hip pain, with this simple glute exercise!


Proper Form: Lie on your side, with your legs stacked and knees bent at a 45-degree angle.  Rest your head on your lower arm and use your top arm to steady your frame. Be sure your hipbones are stacked on top of one another, and avoid rocking backwards.  Stabilize your spine and pelvis by engaging your abs (imagine pulling your belly button in). Keep your feet touching while raising your upper knee, without moving your hips or lower leg. Pause and then return to your starting position. Do 20 reps on each side. 

Muscles Impacted: Glutes, hips and lower back.

Monday, November 11, 2019


Activate your entire core with this ab blasting exercise. 

Tic-Tock ABS

Proper Form: Begin laying on your back. Lift your legs up straight into the air. Keep your lower back and core engaged (belly button to spine) as you rotate your straightened legs in a large circle like motion.  Imagining a clock, circle between 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, 9:00 back to 12:00. Keeping your legs straight and toes pointed.

Muscles Engaged: Entire core!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019


Spending time outdoors can improve your overall health and wellness. Regular sun exposure is the most natural way to get enough Vitamin D. 

How does it work?? 
Sunlight hitting your skin begins an internal process that leads to the creation and activation of Vitamin D in your body.
Vitamin D role??
Vitamin D absorbs calcium into your bones, which promotes bone growth. Too little Vitamin D can cause soft bones in children and fragile bones in adults. Vitamin D's primary role, is calcium absorption, but it doesn't stop there. It also plays a vital role in regulating your immune system and neurological system.

To maintain a healthy Vitamin D level in your body, aim for 10-30 min of midday sunlight, several times per week. This effort will not only increase your body's internal health, but will dramatically impact your health and happiness. 

**Fun fact: the lighter your skin color, the faster Vitamin D absorption occurs; 10 min is usually all a fair skinned person needs for adequate intake. The darker the skin, the longer the absorption; leaning more towards 20-30 min for adequate exposure.

Even with winter quickly approaching, strive to make time outdoors a priority! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019


This exercise activates your glutes in a unique way. It targets your abductor muscles more than a standard lunge. Which works more muscle groups, which increasing your muscle toning outcome!

Curtsy Lunge

Proper Form: Begin standing up straight, legs hip width apart. Step your left leg behind you (so your thighs cross) bending both knees; as if you were curtsying. Be sure your front knee is aligned with your front ankle, as to not hurt your knee. Return to standing and switch to your left leg. Do 3 sets of 12-15 reps.

Muscles Engaged: This exercise primarily works your glutes, but also engages your quads, abs and hamstrings. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


Toning and strengthening your glutes not only improves appearance but also can decrease lower back pain.  For these benefits you may need to work them more than once a week.  Here is a simple exercise for maximum results.

Bend-Knee Hydrant

Proper Form: Start on your hands and knees, with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Keeping your arms straight and feet flexed, raise your right leg out to the side to a 90 degree angle (leg parallel to the ground). Hold this position for 1-2 seconds, then slowly lower back to the starting position. Begin with 10 reps, on each side, then increase as necessary!


Wednesday, October 23, 2019


If you have an apple filled apple tree, or LOVE warm cinnamon applesauce.. This post is for you. Easy, healthy, delicious and CHEAP applesauce to your table in no time!

***Ground cinnamon can be used in place of a cinnamon stick.

Monday, October 21, 2019


Fall break is upon us. Hopefully you are out hiking enjoying the great outdoors! Not only can hiking be beautiful and mentally rewarding it can also lower stress levels, improve mood, bone density, and improve control over a healthy weight. 
Were lucky to live in a community with many hiking opportunities, from beginner to advanced in just minutes from your door.  If your goal is to take a leisurely stroll consider these easier trail options:
     -Cottonwood Trail
     -K-hill Trail
     -Squaw Trail
**These maps can be located online or at the local Kanab tourism office.

To improve your hiking endurance, consider these simple exercises to build muscle and increase stamina for your next outdoor adventure.


1.GOBLET SQUAT: This exercise targets your bigger leg muscles (quads, hamstrings, & glutes). These are your main muscles needed when hiking. 
   How to: Grab a weight OR alternative option, hold it between your hands and near your sternum. Place your feet hip width apart (keeping weight in your heels). Slowly descend until your thighs are parallel to your floor. Next, power-up through your heels to standing until your hips are fully extended.

2.STEP-UPS: This targets your quads and glutes which are important muscles when climbing. These can be done on a sturdy box, bleachers, staircase or other elevated surface.
   How to: Stand facing your box OR other elevated surface. Raise one foot to the top of the box and use your muscles to step up onto the "box". Fully extend your hips at the top, so you are standing upright with both legs. Use the same leg to step down, switching your starting leg with each rep.

3.DOWNHILL LUNGES: Lunges on their own make and excellent hiking exercise. However, one common mistake is underestimating how much the downhill effects your quads on the descent! Prep your quads with this improved lunge version. 
   How to: Find a gradual downhill, keep your upper body straight, your shoulders back and your chin relaxed. Engage your core and step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until your front knee is bent at 90-degrees. Keep your weight in your heels as your stand back up, returning to two feet. Repeat on the other side for desired reps.

4.HANGING KNEE RAISE: This exercise is quite different from those previously mentioned, as it focuses on strengthening your core. A strong core is important for many things while hiking, including balance and supporting a heavy backpack during a long hike.
   How to: Find a pull-up bar OR something you can hang on (monkey bars or a jungle gym at the park are great alternatives). Hang from the bar with your arms fully extended. From a dead hang, engage your ab muscles and pull your knees toward your chest. Maintain control while lowering them back down to the hanging position. Repeat!

5.DEADLIFT: This exercise is another must-have for a hiking workout routine. Deadlifts generally target the hamstrings which are crucial muscles used in hiking.
   How to: Begin with a lightweight, increase to a heavier weight as your stamina improves. Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your toes pointed forward. Hold the weight in both hands so that it is resting between your thighs while standing. Maintain a neutral spine and hinge at the hips, slightly sticking your butt out. Then, gently lower into a squat until the weight touches the ground between your feet. End with straightening your knees as you hinging your hips back to the starting position.

*STRETCHING IS A MUST, to ensure you avoid injury and recover as quickly as possible. 
Before exercising and hiking focus on, 
Dynamic stretching, (stretching while moving, like: warm-up jog, jumping jacks, high knees, and butt kicks). This stretching gets your heart rate up while warming up your muscles.  Static stretching (stretches where you hold one position for a certain amount of time) are best done with muscles are already warm. This type is also very important to prevent injury and improve flexibility. 

With these muscle building exercises you'll  be ready to attempt your hiking goals in no time!

Monday, October 14, 2019


Aside from getting a killer cardio workout, this exercise works your booty surprisingly well. 

No equipment is needed, aside from some type of slider. Such as a paper plate (if on carpet), OR towel, washcloth or other sliding item (if on a hard floor). Ignite your inner thighs, quads and glutes with this simple exercise. 

Lateral Pistol Squats
(A) (B)


Proper Form: Stand up straight with both legs on your slider of choice (wash cloth, carpet piece, etc) (A). Tighten your core and slowly slide your left leg to the side (B), pause for a moment and slowly squeeze back up to the starting position (C). Next repeat slowly going forward (D), finishing in your starting position. Repeat with alternate side, continue for desired reps.

Muscles Engaged: Work your inner thighs, quads and glutes with this engaging exercise!

Thursday, October 10, 2019


Spaghetti is always a family favorite! Here is a seasonal rendition with fewer calories and loads of flavor.


1 Spaghetti Squash

1 Jar Spaghetti Sauce (low-sodium preferred)
1/2 lb Ground Turkey 
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Garlic Powder
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut squash in half, remove seeds. Place on a cookie sheet (upside down), and bake at 425, for 30-40 min or until tender.

2. Meanwhile, brown your meat with the spices. Feel free to add or alternate with spices your family prefers. 

3. Once meat is cooked throughly add the pasta sauce and simmer for 8-10 min.

4. When squash is finished cooking, remove from the oven and shred with a fork.  Top with sauce and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019


This exercise incorporates a pushing motion which strengthens your chest, shoulders and triceps. While your core and hips must engage to maintain a straight back and keep you balanced.




PROPER FORM: Assume a push-up position on a hard floored surface, with your foot on a plate (a paper plate or other object that slides will also work). Drive your right arm forward to push your body backwards, repeat with your left arm. Continue pushing with alternating arms. (You should be walking/ sliding backward)
***TIPS: Keep your abs tight, and body flat. Stretch your arms as far as possible. Use 2 plates for increased difficulty. 

MUSCLES ENGAGED: This exercise strengthens your chest, shoulders and triceps.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019


Nothing screams dinner like a hardy meal of roasted potatoes.  Highlight the lovable pair of broccoli and cheese in this easy dish, for a cheesy soup spin-off to welcome fall into your home!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019


Strong calves don't only help balance out your appearance, they're also key to gaining power and strength for explosive movements. 

Tight calf muscles can limit your ankle mobility, which can increase potential injuries.  

Here is a simple exercise to build calf strength and muscle mass!

Week 37:

Proper Form: Keep your shoulders down and core engaged, lift your heels so you're standing on your toes. Squat back, keeping your knees behind your toes. Alternate your legs in a pedal like motion. 
**To increase difficulty, when your heel lowers avoid touching the ground allowing it to hover above the ground. 

Muscles Engaged: Calf muscles