Author Archives: Better Together Fitness

BTFit Recipe: Chicken and Brown Rice Muffins

Chicken and Brown Rice Muffins

Chicken and Brown Rice Muffins

Servings: 10 Muffins

Ingredients:
10 ounces (2 Large Breasts) Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, shredded or chopped
2 cups Brown Rice, cooked
½ Medium Red Bell Pepper, diced
½ cup Carrots, shredded
¼ cup Scallions, chopped
½ cup Plain Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
1 ½ tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 Egg Whites
2 tsp Sea Salt
½ tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Mrs. Dash or other No Salt Seasoning

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
Fill muffin cups with mixture.
Bake for 35 minutes.

Nutrition: 1 Muffin

89 Calories/1 g Fat/211mg Sodium/10g Carbohydrates/2g Sugar/2g Fiber/10g Protein

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BTFit Recipe: Mexican Quinoa Bowl

Mexican Quinoa Bowl

Skip the extra calories and fat from Taco Bell and Chipotle this weekend and instead try our Mexican Quinoa Bowl.  Quinoa…you might be wondering what this is and how you pronounce it??  Quinoa, pronounced “KEEN-wah,” looks like a grain, but is technically a seed that is high in protein and fiber.  It is prepared like rice and other grains and can be used in place of rice in some recipes.  We love it because it offers a nice substitute for brown rice and packs more protein than any other whole grain.  Try it…we promise you won’t be disappointed!

Quinoa Bowl

Servings: 1 Bowl

Ingredients:

4 ounces cooked Lean Ground Turkey Meat (93/7%)
½ cup Quinoa, cooked (Brown Rice can be substituted)
2 tablespoon Black Beans (Low Sodium)
¼ cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved
¼ cup Green Pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon Red Onion, chopped
1 tablespoon Cilantro, chopped
¼ Avocado, cubed
1 tablespoon Salsa

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients and enjoy…it’s that easy!

Nutrition :

376 Calories / 16g Fat / 188mg Sodium / 37g Carbohydrates / 4g Sugar / 9g Fiber / 24 g Protein

Produce: To Be Or Not To Be Organic

What does “organic” mean?

 Organic foods are foods produced without the use of pesticides and chemicals.  Sounds pretty good to us!! We realize that most organic foods found in your local grocery stores can be a little bit more expensive.  One way to save some money on organic produce is to scout out local farmers stands and markets.  To help your body and your wallets we are providing you with some tips for when you should go organic and when to save your money when buying produce.  A good rule to follow is to go organic if skin is thin or edible.  If the food item contains a thicker skin (not edible) this will provide a better barrier to pesticides and chemicals.

How do I know if something is organic?

 Look for this USDA Organic label on produce packaging and stickers on individual pieces of fruit and vegetables.

USDA

The USDA has identified three categories of labeling organic products:

100% Organic: Made with 100% organic ingredients

Organic: Made with at least 95% organic ingredients

Made With Organic Ingredients: Made with a minimum of 70% organic ingredients with strict restrictions on the remaining 30% including no GMOs (genetically modified organisms)

**You will see this on processed and packaged organic products.

When should I buy organic produce?

Go Organic:
apples
berries
cherries
carrots
celery
grapes
lettuce
nectarines
peaches
pears
peppers
potatoes
spinach

Save Your $$$:
asparagus
avocados
bananas
broccoli
cabbage
cauliflower
corn
eggplant
grapefruit
kiwi
mangoes
melons
onions
oranges
papaya
pineapples
squash
sweet peas
sweet potatoes

We hope that you found this information useful.  Food shopping can be confusing at times…eat this and not that…ahhh…what to buy???  Our goal is to help make life a little easier by providing you with tips for filling your cart with healthy fuel.  As we mentioned before foods produced without the use of pesticides and chemicals sounds like a pretty good fit for leading a healthy lifestyle and with these tips you will know when to “go organic” and when to save some money.

Happy Healthy Eating!

Fruits and Veggie Basket

BTFit Recipe: Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

What we love about this recipe…

These peppers are stuffed with nutrients…lean protein, whole grains and lots of veggies!  Feel free to get creative when you make your stuffed peppers…try adding black beans, chicken breast and even salsa to mix it up a bit.

Servings: 2

Ingredients:

2 Red Peppers, halved vertically
½ lb Lean Ground Turkey Meat (93/7%)
¼ Sweet Onion, chopped
2-4 Garlic Cloves, chopped
2 cups Spinach, chopped
½ tsp Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb
1 tbsp Grated Parmesan Cheese
¾ cup *Quinoa, cooked
1/4 cup Reduced Fat Italian Blend Shredded Cheese

*Quinoa can be found in most grocery stores.  If you can’t find it or are not a fan of quinoa you can substitute brown rice.

Preparation

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut peppers in half vertically, remove seeds, rinse and dry with a paper towel.
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
Add onion to skillet and cook for 2 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another minute.
Add ground turkey meat to skillet and cook until meat is no longer pink.
Remove from skillet and place contents in a large bowl.
Add all remaining ingredients except the shredded cheese.
Stuff peppers with meat mixture and top each pepper half with 1 tbsp shredded cheese.
Bake for 30-40 minutes (until peppers are tender).

Nutrition: 1 Whole Pepper

334 Calories / 7g Fat / 264mg Sodium / 30g Carbohydrates / 6g Fiber / 8g Sugar / 38g Protein

*Nutrition Facts do not include Garlic Bread as pictured above.

 

BTFit Recipe: Super Food Salad


Super Food Salad

Superfoods


Spring has sprung!  We are loving this beautiful weather, which has inspired this refreshing salad.  You get a little bit of everything…sweet, salty and crunch!  AND it’s loaded with super foods including spinach, blueberries, red peppers, walnuts and avocado that provide our bodies with a ton of nutrients needed to lead a healthier lifestyle!

Servings: 1 Salad

Ingredients:

3 cups Baby Spinach
2 ounces Chicken Breast, cooked and cubed
¼ cup Blueberries
¼ cup Red Pepper, chopped
¼ cup Cucumber, chopped
2 tbsp Walnut Pieces
1 tbsp Part Skim Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
¼ Avocado, cubed
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinaigrette*

*Not included in Nutrition information below.

Preparation:

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl and enjoy!

Nutrition:

315 Calories / 20g Fat / 150mg Sodium / 17g Carbohydrates / 8g Fiber / 6g Sugar / 21g Protein

Superfoods 2

Eat More Fruits and Veggies Challenge

Eat More Fruits and Veggies Challenge

Fruit and Veggies Heart 2

Here at Better Together Fitness we are not only challenging ourselves, but we are also asking YOU to step up to the challenge and eat more fruit and veggies.  Check out the information below on the daily recommendations and a variety of tips to help you add more fruits and veggies to your diet.

Recommendation:

Just how many servings should you eat each day?  A simple way to think about this is to fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables each time you eat.  Every time you eat ask yourself “did I have a fruit and/or a vegetable?”

Choose My Plate

According to http://www.choosemyplate.gov/ the daily recommendation for fruit is as follows:

Women
19-30 years old = 2 cups
31-50 years old = 1 ½ cups
51+ years old = 1 ½ cups

 Men
19-30 years old = 2 cups
31-50 years old = 2 cups
51+ years old = 2 cups

According to http://www.choosemyplate.gov/the daily recommendation for vegetables is as follows:

Women
19-30 years old = 2 ½ cups
31-50 years old = 2 ½ cups
51+ years old = 2 cups

 Men
19-30 years old = 3 cups
31-50 years old = 3 cups
51+ years old = 2 ½ cups

Individuals who are more physically active (30 minutes or more per day) may be able to consume more fruits and vegetables as long as they stay within their caloric needs.

Tips for adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet:

There are so many creative ways to add fruits and veggies to your day. 

Here are a few of our suggestions…

  • Add veggies to sandwiches (spinach, cucumbers, sprouts, tomatoes, etc)
  • Add sliced fruit to your morning bowl of cereal or yogurt
  • Add veggies to omelets and stir fry
  • Add fruit and veggies to a smoothie

Click on the link below for more suggestions.

http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/quick-guide-to-getting-more-fruits-and-vegetables

Choose seasonal fruits and vegetables:

Click on the link below for a list of what’s in season for spring.  Not only will seasonal fruit and veggies taste great because they are at their peak, but they will probably be less expensive.

http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/whats-in-season-spring

Try something NEW!

Star Fruit 2

In addition to challenging ourselves to more we are taking on the challenge of trying a new fruit and/or vegetable each week.  Maybe…Brussel Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Kale, Pomegranates or Star Fruit just to name a few.  Don’t be afraid to try something new and if you are not quite sure how to prepare something just ask.  We are here to help.  Who knows you might be pleasantly surprised!

BTFit Recipe: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

The BTFit Cooks are back in the kitchen!!  As we are sure you have noticed by now we like muffins.  Why?  Muffins are a great grab and go snack and they help with proper portion control.

If you like Banana Bread these muffins are for YOU without the unwanted fat and sugar!

Enjoy this treat filled with fit ingredients to fuel your body!

Servings: 9 Muffins

Serving Size: 1 Muffin

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups Almond Flour *
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 8 Stevia Packets
  • 1 cup Mashed Banana
  • 1/4 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Egg Whites (You can use Liquid Egg Whites)
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Dark Chocolate Chips (5 per muffin)

* The Almond Flour gives these muffins great flavor and it is a great substitute for making recipes gluten free. Almond Flour can be found at a variety of stores including Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and you may even find it in your local grocery store.  It can also be made by processing raw almonds in a food processor until flour is formed.

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a non-stick muffin pan with cooking spray.
  • Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Mix all wet ingredients together in a small bowl.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  • Fill muffins cups ¾ of the way full.
  • Add 5 dark chocolate chips to the top of each muffin then use a straw to press the chips down into the muffin.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Allow to sit in pan for 5 minutes after baking.
  • Remove and place on cooling rack.

Nutrition (per muffin):  

182 Calories / 13g Fat / 195mg Sodium / 15g Carbohydrates / 6g Sugars / 3g Fiber / 7g Protein

BTFit Recipe: Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin MuffinsPumpkin-Muffin

Tis the season for adding pumpkin to our recipes…packed with great flavor and healthy nutrients! These are great for a between meal snack or as great addition to a meal.  And with the great nutrition value of these muffins, you will feel like you are getting a treat without the guilt!

Enjoy…let us know what you think!

Servings: 9 Muffins

Serving Size: 1 Muffin

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups Almond Flour *
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Sea Salt
  • 10 Stevia Packets
  • 1 cup Pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • ½ tsp Vanilla
  • Dark Chocolate Chips (5 per muffin)

* The Almond Flour gives these muffins great flavor and it is a great substitute for making recipes gluten free. Almond Flour can be found at a variety of stores including Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and you may even find it in your local grocery store.  It can also be made by processing raw almonds in a food processor until flour is formed.

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a non-stick muffin pan with cooking spray.
  • Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Mix all wet ingredients together in a small bowl.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  • Fill muffins cups ¾ of the way full.
  • Add 5 dark chocolate chips to the top of each muffin then use a straw to press the chips down into the muffin.  Smooth the batter so that chips are not showing.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Allow to sit in pan for 5 minutes after baking.
  • Remove and place on cooling rack.

Nutrition (per muffin):  

167Calories / 12g Fat / 195mg Sodium / 10g Carbohydrates / 6g Sugars / 4g Fiber / 7g Protein

Inspiring Fitness Interview with Eddy Horn

We would like to share an interview we recently had with an inspiring individual, Eddy Horn.  He is currently attempting an impressive fitness quest. We have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Eddy for a few years now, and we thought his motivational story would be a great one to share with our readers.

Better Together Fitness: So you have recently started running again with an impressive marathon running goal, but before we get into all that…let’s get the first question out of the way, because we think this will set the stage a little bit. How old are you Eddy?

Eddy:   50

Better Together Fitness: Impressive! Many people out there are not thinking about setting lofty fitness goals at that age. I think most people are thinking once they hit that age it is sort of the start of the downhill slide…they feel like they are over the hill, so to speak. What inspired you to take on running, and not just running but marathon running at this point?

Eddy:   I first picked up running back in 2000 to lose weight.  I was about 45-50 pounds over weight and with the health problems in my family I new I needed to do something.  In fact, back in 1981, I lost an uncle to obesity.  I ran two marathons (2001 and 2004) and then sort of stopped running from 2006 – 2009 and of course gained the 50 pounds back.  I was trying to find the motivation to get back into running, but was struggling.  Two of my friends told me they were running the FrederickMarathon in May 2009.  I told them I was in.  Set up a quick training plan and ran my third marathon.  Having the goal of completing marathons has helped me stay motivated to keep running and stay in shape.

Better Together Fitness: So true, having a goal is so important to keep a person motivated. We understand that your original goal of running a marathon has evolved in to something much bigger, especially for this year (2012). Can you tell us a little about this goal and how you arrived at choosing this for a goal?

Eddy: In 2009 I ran 3 marathons, followed by 4 in 2010 and 6 in 2011.  Since I was turning 50 in 2012, I decided to establish a motto of “12 in 2012”, running 12 marathons in one year.

Better Together Fitness: Wow! 12 marathons in 1 year…that’s a lot of marathons!  So clearly running is your sport of choice. There must be something that you truly enjoy about it to be able to do it as much as you do. What is it about running that you find most enjoyable?

Eddy:  Up until this year, I had been running on my own and was alright with that.  After establishing my goal for 2012, I joined the Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club (FSRC).  My enjoyment level rose tremendously after being able to train and run races with friends.  It is fun sharing my accomplishments with others who have the same goals.

Better Together Fitness: We couldn’t agree more with you Eddy! That sentiment is one of our foundations here at Better Together Fitness…Everything is better when you have others to share your goals and achievements with, or have someone that can guide you to achieving success. So there is only a few weeks left in 2012, how close are you to achieving your goal of “12 in 2012”?

Eddy:   So far, I have completed 11 marathons (on of which was a 50k).  I will complete #12 on Sunday, October 28 at the Marine Corps Marathon.  I did make a minor change to my goal.  I will be running the JFK 50 Miler on November 17 giving me a total of 13 races of marathon distance or further this year.

Better Together Fitness: So you decided to up the stakes, huh? 12 marathons in one year felt too easy, so you figured you would throw in a double marathon? Now that is serious work…amazing, truly! Out of all the races you have completed so far, which ones would you say were a couple of your favorites and why?

Eddy:   The Blue RidgeMountainMarathon (America’s Toughest RoadMarathon) for its scenery and course support was a lot of fun.  My last two marathons (the first two marathons I ran after turning 50) gave me back to back PR’s in 6 days:  Steamtown Marathon in 4:07:09 and the Freedom’s Run Marathon in 3:55:03.  I feel like I am getting stronger and faster as I get older.

Better Together Fitness: Wouldn’t that be something if we could all say that…”I am getting stronger and faster as I get older.” It is great to see someone proving that age is only obstacle if you let it be. With that many marathons in a year you must spend a lot of time training, which equates to what we can imagine to be A LOT of running! What does a typical training week look like for you? How do you stay motivated to keep up with your training and all that running?

Eddy:   I average 45 – 55 miles a week.  My week day runs are anywhere from 5 – 10 miles.  Weekends are longer runs ranging from 8 – 22 miles (and with the JFK 50 coming up, back to back long runs).  I stay motivated with the training schedule since I know it is needed to finish each race…and crossing the finish line and getting awarded a finisher’s medal is a big part of the enjoyment.

Better Together Fitness: Have you noticed any improvements in your health or other aspects of your life since you have taken on this new running lifestyle?

Eddy:   From 2009 to the first part of 2012 I was maintaining a weight of 155 – 158.  After tackling this goal of 12 marathons and joining the running club, I am down to 140.  I have found I run better/faster at this lower weight, which motivates me to watch what I eat to maintain that weight.  I also find that I have a lot more energy.

Better Together Fitness: For our readers out there that are contemplating becoming a runner, or for those of them that are already running and want to take it to the next level…Do you have any training tips or advice you can share?

Eddy:   I was talking to a friend who had lost a lot of weight running back in 2000.  I asked him if he always liked running.  He said when he first started he hated it, but after about 6 weeks he loved it.  I told myself, I will give it two months and if I don’t like it I will chose something different.  I stuck with it and have loved every moment of it.  My advice, start a plan and give it some time.  For those wanting to take it to a new level, google marathon training plans (or other race distances).  There are a lot of good training plans.  Chose one and stick to it – and you will see great results.

Better Together Fitness: And as you mentioned earlier finding a support group can be a big help…and of course the obvious option of finding a qualified trainer. We may know one or two good ones. 🙂 We understand that your goal has also been partnered with helping an important charity program. Can you tell us about this program?

Eddy:   This year, I chose Team Fisher House.  Fisher House is an organization that offers free housing right next to the hospital to families who are supporting their loved ones recovering from combat related injuries.  This allows them to focus on their loved ones and not have to worry about hotel costs. 

Better Together Fitness: If people out there reading this story want to contribute to this cause…is there a way for them to give to the program in your name?

Eddy:   Yes, they can click on the following link to read more about Fisher House.  They can also make a donation as well.

 http://www.active.com/donate/FisherHouse2012MCM/EHorn40

Better Together Fitness: Not sure how you could go beyond your goal you set for 2012…but we have to ask…have you set any goals for 2013 yet?

Eddy:   Well, some of my running club friends are asking me to train for an upcoming 100 Mile Race.  I told them to talk to me on November 18 (the day after running my first 50 miler).

Better Together Fitness: 100 miles in one race?!? That sounds like crazy talk to us. J Eddy, your story is truly inspiring. We wish you the best of luck on reaching your goal for 2012 and beyond.  Definitely keep us posted on your goal and let us know how the 50 miler goes too. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today. We know you wish you could chat longer…but you probably got to run (pun intended). 🙂

BTFit Recipe: Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

What we love about this Better Together Fitness Recipe of the Week…

Tis the season for adding pumpkin to our recipes.  Pumpkin is full off vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.  Full of goodness for you body!  We also love that this breakfast/snack is portable.  We are all busy, but with this easy grab and go item you have no excuses not to eat.

Servings: 20 Muffins

Serving Size: 1 Muffin

 Ingredients: 

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1 cup Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 Banana, mashed
  • 6 packets of Stevia
  • 5 cups, Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup Skim Milk
  • 1 ¾ Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • (Can use all Skim Milk if you don’t have Almond Milk)
  • 1/4 cup Flaxseed Meal
  • 1 tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • Optional toppings: raisins, walnuts, almonds, dark chocolate chips

Preparation: 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, pumpkin, banana and Stevia together in a bowl.
  • Add in oats, salt, baking powder, flax and cinnamon and mix well with wet ingredients.
  • Finally pour in milk and combine.
  • Spray a 12 and 8 capacity muffin tin with cooking spray or use cupcake liners.
  • Pour mixture evenly into muffin tin cups.
  • If using toppings add them onto the tops of muffins now. If using fresh or frozen fruit, drop it right into the batter.
  • Bake 28-30 minutes until a toothpick in center comes out clean.
  • Cool and enjoy or freeze them in gallon freezer bags.
  • To thaw just pull out the muffin and refrigerate overnight.

Nutrition Info: (Per Muffin)

(Includes 4 Dark Chocolate Chips and 1 tsp Ground Almonds per Muffin )

  • 145 Calories
  • 5g Fat
  • 221mg Sodium
  • 21g Carbohydrates
  • 4g Sugars
  • 4g Fiber
  • 4g Protein