Friday, March 30, 2012

I Said Yes ;)

As of March 17 I am now someones fiance..!!!! And that someone is a gorgeous, God loving man who brings my heart such contentment. He is pretty much awesome at everything he does and he loves me, just the way I am :)

When this stud and I started dating 5 1/2 years ago I am not sure that I would believed you if you told me we would be getting married in 2012...I know I know, that's what they all say, or all don't say?
Either way it's the truth.                          
Mitch and I fell in love after our first date. He was Mitch Lobdell, an untouchable soccer god on the fields of Liberty High School. Every guy wanted calfs like his and every girl wanted to be kissed by his luscious lips. But I was the girl lucky enough, or should I say brave enough, to nab his number from another lassie and send a text that would lead me into the greatest love I have ever known. {besides Jesus :)} But I'm guna be real..we had some hard years there. We went to colleges miles and miles AND miles apart. Long distance was killer. {I would like to insert here that if you are contemplating long distance and need to talk to someone who has done it I would be more than happy to be that girl. I have a lot to say about it and I would love to share my heart on this topic.} In the end, it was all worth it for us.

Well anyway here we are. Engaged. In love. And in the planning process.
O, did I mention that he proposed in a helicopter overlooking Pikes Peak as the sun was setting??? Straight out of a movie... and that "movie scene" is something I always dreamed of and hoped for. Mitch FaR exceeded any and every expectation I had or could have ever had for a proposal. Needless to say it was, to this day, the most romantic night of my life. Thank you Mitch for giving that to me.. and asking me to be yours forever :)

Here a few pictures of MItch and I over the past 5 1/2 years. I love you Quinny!

I love You Mitchal Quinn Lobdell.... I can not wait to marry you :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Skinny Broccoli Chicken Alfredo

Alright, I found another FANTASTIC recipe using my favorite substitute ingredient, plain greek yogurt. This was one was to die for! Like most people on this planet, I love me a heaping plate of pasta. But with a few substitutions, this plate is guilt-free! No fat-laden cream sauce and carb-loaded noodles.

I modified the recipe I found here.

Skinny Broccoli Chicken Alfredo
This stuff is delicious!
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and cut into chunks (about 2 cups)
2 cups roasted broccoli florets (roast at 375 for 8-10 minutes)
8 ounces Ronzoni Garden Delight fettucine
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used 0% Greek Gods)
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pinch ground nutmeg
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

-In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
-While pasta is cooking, roast the broccoli.
-In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
-Whisk in the flour until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth, Greek yogurt, milk, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring gently, until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.
-Stir in 3/4 cup Parmesan.
-Add cooked chicken and broccoli to sauce mixture, followed by the cooked pasta. Toss to combine and serve with more Parmesan, if desired.

This recipe was also husband-approved! He asked me to keep it on the recipe rotation :) Try it out for a healthy comfort food-type meal!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

California and Coconuts

In honor of my trip {last weekend} to the City of Angels {which was experiencing 80' weather!.. not to rub it in or anything} I was feeling the need to get in touch with my summer lovin' side.. which is about 97.9% of me.. and talk about a very summery topic.. Coconuts :)

Coconuts not only carry a sweet aroma, they taste yummy, AND are SO stinkin' good for you!!! Their benefits far outreach food and health but the oils in coconuts are even good for hair, skin, and nails! Now, what other food has all those benefits in one round hairy fruit!? Hmmm.. NoNe.

Here are 8 Beauty Benefits of Coconut Oil: 

1. Your dry or damaged hair will love you after you treat it with coconut oil. Rub it into your hair a half hour before you shower on dry or damaged ends, wash, and repeat each time you hop into your shower!

2.  To help give your hair a glossy shine and reduce frizz apply coconut oil to your hair after you have showered and have styled or in the process of styling your hair. Let it do its magic till the next time you wash those trestles.

3. For an exfoliating facial scrub mix together equal parts baking soda and coconut oil. Massage it on your face and rinse with warm water. Hello eskimo kisses!

4. Sick of those dark dry elbows? Well just apply straight coconut oil to those dry elbows each morning and night until you see and feel a difference.

5. For those of you who suffer from a dry scalp, coconut oil is here to help... massage oil into the roots of your hair for a few minutes before going to bed, put on a shower cap, and cover your pillow with a towel if you're worried about it getting messy. When you wake up wash your hair as usual. Repeat this until you see results you are happy with.

6. If you have severe dry spots on your body or rashes massage coconut oil onto the infected area and allow it to soak in. Do this daily until skin is silky smooth.

7. Acne spots can be zapped away by applying a light layer of coconut oil onto your face after you wash it at night. Give the oil around 15 minutes to soak in before going to bed. Those of you with sensitive skin are okay to do this but be mindful, just pay attention to how your skin reacts to it. We used it on my baby niece and she was ok, but I'm just sayin..

8. Nobody likes a case of athletes foot so asap, rub coconut oil onto the problem area two times daily until it is a goner.

---You can find pure coconut oil at your local natural grocers/ Whole Foods. Organic is best but make sure it is a pure coconut oil. It has a 2 year shelf life and is not as expensive as you may think!!

Quote for the Heart: "Dear God...Today I woke up, I am healthy, I am alive. Thank You." 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Switch this, for that

If your anything like me I try to cut corners and save calories anywhere I can. As an aspiring chief in my own kitchen I have learned new ways to make some of my favorite foods by substituting for healthier alternatives. Since I have this desire to learn everything I can about cooking I want to learn from the best, which is none better than my mom. Easter is right around the corner and I wanted to be a part of preparing the meal. I was talking over the holiday dinner plans with my mom and realized that I can’t go an Easter without having deviled eggs. But my mom always makes it with mayo which totally grosses me out! This year I am excited to bring the same family favorite side this year with a new healthier twist :)  
Healthy Deviled Eggs
12 large hard-boiled eggs , (see Tip), peeled
1/3 cup nonfat cottage cheese
1/4 cup greek yogurt
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives , or scallion greens
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
Paprika , for garnish
1. Halve eggs lengthwise with a sharp knife. Gently remove the yolks. Place 16 yolk halves in a food processor (discard the remaining 8 yolk halves). Add cottage cheese, mayonnaise, chives (or scallion greens), relish, mustard and salt; process until smooth.
2. Spoon about 2 teaspoons yolk mixture into each egg white half. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.
1. Halve eggs lengthwise with a sharp knife. Gently remove the yolks. Place 16 yolk halves in a food processor (discard the remaining 8 yolk halves). Add cottage cheese, mayonnaise, chives (or scallion greens), relish, mustard and salt; process until smooth.
Spoon about 2 teaspoons yolk mixture into each egg white half. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.
Switch this, for that...
When baking you can substitute a can of rinsed and drained black beans for flour. This is especially good for people who are gluten free.

Substitute unsweetened applesauce for sugar. This is an important switch for baking when you are trying to limit sugar intake and cut calorie. While 1 cup of applesauce has 100 calories, a single cup of sugar packs more than 770 calories! You won’t regret this switch. 

Switch out butter for avocado puree. They are both fats, but VERY different kinds of fats but have nearly the same consistency at room temperature. Because of the subtle avocado flavor, it is best used in rich baking recipes, like dark chocolate brownies. 


When making frostings substitute marshmallow fluff for sugar and butter. It makes the perfect consistency for frosting while saving you tons of fat and calories. The fluff only has 40 calories and 6 grams of sugar in 2 tablespoons (and NO FAT!) while the same amount of regular frosting can pack up to 100 calories, 14 grams of sugar and 5 grams of fat. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Plyometrics is a method of exercise also called jump training. It uses workout moves combined with height, gravity, and resistance to get your heart rate up and burn lots of calories fast. 

Try these three moves. Repeat the three as many times as you can in 1 minute three to four days a week. 
Plyo-Pushups: Drop into a pushup and from the low end of the movement shoot yourself up as high as you can, lifting your hands off the floor. Fall forward again and land back into a pushup position. Lower down. You can do this exercise in a modified pushup position on your knees.
Plié Jumps: With your legs wider than hips width apart in a plié position, turn toes out to a 45-degree angle. When bent, knees should track over the heel or shoelaces. Sink the legs down into a plié, then jump straight up into the air. Point the toes, straighten the legs, and sink right into the plié upon landing.

Squat Jacks: Jump wide into a jumping jack position, then lower into a wide-leg squat with your arms raised over your head or resting at the back of your head. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

8 New Superfoods

I recently read an article in Women's Health Magazine about 8 new superfoods that women (and men) should try to incorporate into their diet. So what is a superfood exactly? Besides a health buzz-word that many people all too often throw around, a superfood refers to a food that is "low in calories but high in nutrients" according to So basically, its an uber-healthy item with little to no negative characterstics! Here are some great superfoods to try:


A yogurt-like substance, but has more protein and less sugar than regular yogurt. Some benefits include it being a natural immune system enhancer and helps protect against colon cancer.

How to use it:
In smoothies or salad dressings in place of yogurt.
Green Goddess Kefir Dressing/Dip


Pronounced hi-ca-ma, this root vegetable is rich in fiber which helps eliminate belly fat by acting as a prebiotic to promote helpful bacteria. Also an excellent source in vitmain C which fights wrinkles and boosts collagen.

How to use it:
Can be eaten cooked or raw. Use in slaws, salads, tacos, or eat plain!

Chia Seeds

The CoreFour girls' recent addiction. See Mekenzie's post here for additional information about the healthy seeds.They have as much fiber as a bowl of oatmeal, and  plenty of calcium, omega-3s, and iron (a nutrient many women dont get enough of). I have been aiming for 1 tablespoon a day in my oatmeal or smoothies.

How to use it:
On cereal, salads, in smoothies, oatmeal, or to thicken pudding and stir-fries.


A more common food item, these healthy greens contain the anticancer agent sulforaphane.

How to use it:
On sandwiches, wraps, pizza, tacos, omelets, etc.

Black Garlic

This type of garlic is new to me, but is said to have a "sweet clove and caramel" flavor, and has nearly double the antioxidants as that of a raw bulb of garlic. It helps to lower cholesterol and can help decrease your risk of cancer.

How to use it:
In fondue, sauces, and even cookies, cakes, and brownies!

It may sound scary to eat an ocean plant, but kelp is loaded with viatmin K, calcium, and other essential nutrients.

How to use it:
The easiest way is to buy it in powdered form, and mix into meatballs, meatloaf, or soups. Also can be used in sheets as wraps.

Nutritional Yeast

These cheese-like flakes have a whopping nine grams of protein in a single serving, and provide your daily dose of B vitamins to decrease risk for chronic diseases, decrease stress, and boost energy.

How to use it:
Sprinkle on potatoes, popcorn, pasta or eggs.


This supergrain is high in niacin (for healthy hair and skin) and helps keep cholesterol levels healthy.

How to use it:
In place of oatmeal, pasta or rice.

Your challenge: Try to incorporate at least one of these superfoods into your meals this week! Your body will thank you.

Leave a comment if you try a new recipe!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Pour Over: The method of perfection.

Pour over coffee is the perfect method of coffee brewing for you if A) You only drink one cup a day B) If you are partial to the "kick you in the butt" kind of cup C) Enjoy a smooth brew D) Like your cup full of flavor E) Could go without the acidity and grit left in your cup from a french press. 

Here is what you will need: 

1) Coffee Grinder
2) A single drip coffee cone (Sold on, Starbucks, or the cupboard if your in Fort Collins) 
3) A single cup  cone coffee filter
4) Coffee
5) Half and half 
6) Coffee mug



1. Boil the Water- Fill a kettle with cold water and set it to boil.
  • Meanwhile, put the paper coffee filter inside the cone and rinse it with hot water. This helps get rid of any paper tastes and also helps the coffee filter more easily.

  • Set the cone with the moistened filter on top of your coffee mug. 

2. Grind the Coffee - Measure out your coffee beans and coarsely grind them. The grounds should resemble sand, not powder, when you're done. Pour the grounds into the filter
3. Bloom the Coffee - Pour hot water over the grounds, using a circular motion to be sure the grounds become evenly saturated. Let this sit for one minute. This step allows the coffee to degas, ensuring better flavor in the resulting cup of coffee
4. Continue Brewing the Coffee - After the one-minute bloom, start adding more water. Pour in a slow and steady stream, concentrating on the middle of the grounds.
5. Wait for the Coffee to Filter - The coffee should filter in about 2 - 2 1/2 minutes. Once the stream of coffee slows to a drip, your lovely cup of coffee is finished brewing. 
6. Make room- Leave some room in your cup for half and half. You can shake or blend your half and half to create steamed milk latte style. Try adding caramel syrup to the top if you have a caffeine sweet  tooth.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Salads "Un-dressed"

Ok, I am a salad freakI love salad... and to make a salad that much better all depends on the dressing...And I am an Olive Oil N' Vinegar lover..Hands down, and the winner is.... NO competition! Olive Oil N' Vinegar wins EvErY time.
But lets get real.. you can turn a healthy, fresh, nutritious meal south in a matter of seconds. Just pour on that dressing and 'Hello artery clogger!'

Salads are extremely good for you, and that is probably what's gong through your head when you order a salad for dinner, or better yet a house salad, hold the croutons (wink) but bring on the ranch dressing! 

I am not here to spoil your meal or rock your salad ways.. but I am here to help you make an informed decision on what you're "dressing" your salad in.

Let's take the three top salad dressings; Italian, Ranch, and Bleu Cheese.. and heck i'll throw in Caesar cause i know there are caesar salad lovers out there...



Bleu Cheese:

Now, this is a lot to take in.. I understand. So, the most important things to note are total fat, saturated fat, and the ingredients. 

Doing Your Part:

-When ordering salad at a restaurant get the dressing on the side, that way you can control the amount that goes on your salad. 

-When you have creamy dressings that are egg based {Caesar} know that eggs are the main ingredient to make it creamy. Eggs are a good source of protein but too much has the risk of carrying salmonella when you eat out.

-Oil based dressings {Olive Oil N' Vinegar} get an A on this post! Use plant oils such as canola and olive. These dressings are rich in heart healthy unsaturated fats, and help reduce inflammation, blood cholesterol, and stabilize heart rhythms. 

-Vinegar based dressings {Balsamic Vinaigrettes} have a lot goin' on that mostly add up to no nutritional value but add good taste. So when making your own make sure vinegar is not your base but a supplement. 

-Cream based dressings (Ranch) add unnecessary dairy and a lot of artery clogging saturated fats. If you are a Ranch LoVeR I suggest finding an organic recipe and sticking to it!.. or if you are not into making your own, use only 1 Tbsp per serving, as opposed to the recommended 2 Tbsp.

-Make your own dressing!

           Here's a Recipe for your own salad dressing:
                            1/2 C Olive Oil
                            1/4 C Balsamic Vinegar 
                            1 tsp Garlic Powder 
                            2 Tbsps of your favorite spice~ I like to use Capitol Hill or Curry from Savory Spice  Shop           
                            1 dash of Turmeric 
                            ~Feel free to play around with the measurements to your liking... Enjoy! 

Quote for the Heart: "Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I'M POSSIBLE!" -Audrey Hepburn