Monday, December 31, 2012

Grain Mill

Happy New Year's Eve! 
To kick off the new year I have a great workout for you (coming Thursday).  You'll love it.  It's gonna tone your butt, abs, and legs.

For now I wanted to continue about whole grains.  The best and most nutritious way to eat grains is to mill them yourself.  This method is also the cheapest. (yea!)  And don't be alarmed it's not hard to do.  My 4-year-old could do it.

These seem to be the top two on the market right now:

The Wonder Mill

And the Nutrimill.

The Wonder is known for its LG motor, small design, and ease of use
 The Nurtimill brags very fine flours, ultra quiet, and large capacity of 22 cups of flour.

But deepening my research on the two and which one I should get I discovered many things:
  1. Both are quiet (for a mill) only 1-2 debacle difference between the two.
  2. The small design of the Wonder Mill is only a few inches shorter (2.5") than the Nurtimill, but the Nutrimill has lots more depth due to it's large capacity.
  3. Watching the Wonder Mill in action I concluded that it's not that easy to use.  The demonstrators had to put substantial effort into connecting and disconnecting the parts together. Then one lady was knocking her mill over because it was so light weight.
  4. The Wonder Mill can only be used in the following order: Turn on, mill completely, then turn off.  If you turn off the mill during the process it will break, and won't be covered under warranty.  I didn't think that would be a bid deal but a lots of people said that if the hose wasn't connected properly then flour would spill every where and they'd panic and turn off the mill thus breaking it.
  5. The Wonder Mill is faster on the "fine" grain setting, but the Nutrimill was finer on the "fine" setting.
  6. Nurtimill brags a low temperature process, as to not kill as much nutrients as others, but the Wonder Mill kept up with this and actually beat it by a small amount in an at home test.
  7. Nirtimill seemed to produced a bit more mess than the Wonder Mill.
  8. The Wondermill comes with a lid so you can store your flour in the container it was milled in.*note: fresh flour has to be refrigerated or frozen.  Fresh flour will otherwise go rancid. So only mill what you'll use in a few days or freeze the rest.

Both seem to be good mills.  I don't think I could go bad either way, it just comes down to preferance and what works for you.


Wonder Mill:
Pros: quiet, compact, low heat, fine mill. Cons: Complicated design.
Pros: quiet, low heat, simple design, very fine mill, large capacity. Cons: bulky, slightly messy.

Next time I'll let you know what mill I chose.
May you have a healthy New Year!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A New Year, a New You

Operation Catwoman is long over and I had plans for a new and grand operation but alas my plans have been set back.  Which is quite timely because the New Year is upon us.  90% of Americans seem to all have the same resolution: Be healtiher.

So let's do it!  Operation New You is here.  The second thing I always tell people when starting our is: exercise and start eating whole grains.  What's so bad about the "white stuff"?  Let me tell you:

Flours, pastas, baked goods etc. that use refined flours are deficient in MANY essential vitamins and minerals.  Sure when their done with the refining process the toss in a few select vitamins but that's no where near what it should be and it's usually a scientific derivative.  This leads to diseases such as celiacs (gluten intolerance), diabetes and others.

So WHY?  Why did all food companies decide to cross over to the dark side?  Well, it was unintentional.   Scientist found that by removing parts of the grain such as the Germ and the Bran from wheat that it could be preserved longer.  So they did it, and loved it.  Less spoilage meant more profits and less stress when things were shipped.  What they didn't know then is that they would be causing lots of grief for the next generations.

Now that this is known there has been a major push to whole grains.  About two-three years ago General Mills cereals started labeling their boxes "made with whole grains."  Lots of people flocked to Lucky Charms, and Frosted Flakes because of it.  Well people got smarter.  Yes it had whole grains in it, but not much!  As health advocates lectured on this deception. General Mills finally stepped it up and they now read "whole grain first ingredient." Which is a lot better.  I'll save wither they're good for you or not for another day.

These refined grains are known as "empty calories."  Think of it this way a tablespoon of sugar has the same number of calories as an orange.  But what's the difference?  For one the orange has natural sugars in it and two, it's filled with valuable nutrients.  So empty calories is just putting calories into your body with nothing else going for ya.

This is a brief summery of the importance of whole grains. (not to mention the anti-parasitic and caner properties)
So try to make the switch, do it gradually so you can get accustom to the new taste and texture. Try mixed blends of white and wheat first.  We'll talk more about this.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Healthy Holidays 101

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year!

 May your days be Merry...

And Bright!

Healthy holidays 101:
 Enjoy your time together. Keep the TV and video games to a minimum.  Play games! (you'll burn more calories and have more fun doing it).  Even young ones can get involved with games such as Uno, Gestures or Phase 10.  Read lots of books, or have a snowball fight.
Start the day off with a great home cooked meal: pumpkin waffles, omelets, or parfaits.  Then later get every one to join you in some exercise.  Try doing core conditioning and I bet it will end up in laughter, as everyone will try to out do each other just cracking up at the sight of them trying;)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Fitness 2 Fashion

Truly the number #1 excuse for not staying healthy is time.  I deal with this constantly.  I need to workout and be somewhere in a flash!  I love to be cute and do fun things with my clothes and hair.   So today I'm going to level with you and show you me, post work out, no makeup!  And take you through the hair and getting dressed for going out.

This outfit and hair is pretty simple and is cute for a 7 min job, then 3 min. for makeup (which I did after filming).  If you have more time like 10-15 min. -oh the things I could show you! Sadly I didn't show you the best job in the video.  I forgot the moose and other things being in a rush and filming.  So use moose before you twist and that will prevent any fuzz.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Triceps Tone Up

I have a friend who has nice slender yet firm arms...until you get to the top head of the triceps.   She asked me what she could do to fix that.  I told her with a little deltoid and triceps toning she is going to have stunning arms.  Here are the exercises that I gave her to work on.

But do remember this will only tone up the muscles.  No matter how much toning she or anyone does the firm muscle you build won't be seen under all the fat.  So it needs to be combined with fat burning exercises and eating right.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Count Down

It's almost here.  Do you have all of your gifts wrapped, in the mail, and under the tree.

If not I'd thought I'd give you some help.  Here are fitness gifts under $20.

Marika Tek Capris $12 -Sams Club
The spandex and ploy blend makes for perfect combination for workout wear; breathable, comfortable and less likely to stretch out or shrink like cotton blends.

CamelBak water bottle $15-Dicks Sporting Goods, Target
This is really truly one of the best water bottles out there in my opinion.  It's spill proof and has one handed access.  They used to make a sicker on the bottles that said "Makes you drink more water."  It did for me.  It's weird to say but it's actually fun to drink out of.  Nathan is a brand that makes water bottle similar as is just as good.
Adidas Workout Headbands $10.00-Dicks Sporting Goods
These are fun to add a bit of style and color to your athletic wear.

Hope this helps keep your stress down.  Stay fit this holiday.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I'm addicted to workout clothes!  I love them.  How the feel, the flexible fabrics, fun colors and designs.  The only thing I don't love is the price.  They can be quite expensive.  And as a fitness professional I really have to have a wardrobe of fitness clothes. It can add up quick.

But I found an AMAZING deal.  $11.98 bought me a two pack of capris!!! And they are so comfy.  I bought a shirt from the same company last year and it shrunk on me, so I was a little nervous about these.  I've only washed them once but so far so good.

You wouldn't believe where I found them.  This is not a door buster or an on-line only thing.  I got these pants at Sam's Club.  Crazy huh?

So If you want to treat yourself to a new outfit or nudge someone for a x-mas gift for you.  That's were to get 'em.  If your not a member, then find a friend who is.  They allow guests to come along.
Stay motivated!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Healthy-er Pot Pies

So there are recipes that are unhealthy, full of white flour or other refined ingredients and things that are down right bad for you.  Then we get into a class that is what I call healthy-er, things that are a lot better for you but just short of top notch. lastly, we have things that are great for you with nothing added to hold you back from being a lean and mean machine.

Today I want to share with you a recipe that is healthier.  We will remake the famous comfort food, the "Chicken Pot Pie."  Who doesn't love a good pot pie?  Warm, creamy sauces, chunks of meat? Love it!

But have you seen how much sodium, fat, and calories are in these things? And if you buy the pre-made ones, they are so tiny and not filling at all.

To cut out empty calories we will not use a pastry crust, but we will use a modified Bisquick topping.  Instead of making an actual pie we will put in into small ceramic dishes and put the crust just on top.

Then we load it with veggies and low in fat meat like chicken breasts.  Mix it with a cream soup and Viola! We've reduced the calories nearly in half.  Cut out tons of perverseness, and now are left with meal that the whole family can enjoy and is not half bad for you.  Also you can do what I did and use the rest of the Thanksgiving turkey.
I didn't put the dark meat in. Just the white.  I left the dark for my hubby;)

Here's the recipie:

A Healthier Chicken Pot Pie

2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can Cream of Celery Soup
2 C. of Milk
4 Chicken Breasts, cooked and shredded
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1/4 Season Salt
1 med. onion, minced
1 C. Peas
2.5 C. Carrots
2.5 C Broccoli
1 can of white corn

Breaded Topping:
2 C. Bisquick
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 C. + 4 TB Milk
1 egg
*beat all ingredients together

Here is one made in a large pie dish. This recipe will make at least two.
Mix soups, milk, season salt and pepper together.  Add vegetables, mixing well.  Pour into 8 individual oven safe containers. (or one large )  Pour a portion of topping onto each one.  Cook on 350 for 30-35 minutes until topping is golden.

Notes: Most of the time I add more veggies than noted above.  Just make it a consistency you will enjoy.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Link up -round 2

Empower Me Healthy!

For me this week I shared a short kettlebell sequence. Kettles make you feel so strong and you can get cardio and strength at the same time.

I also want to share with you Joy from Joy's Book Blog.
Joy Weese Moll
Joy linked up last week about how to she modified Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred workout.  What I love about this is that Joy took a NO EXCUSES approach.  She has arthritis in her knees, and for a lot of people that would stop them from exercising all together.  Not joy.  So the modified options Jillian gave in her video weren't stimulating enough for Joy.  They just weren't a challenge and her heart rate would drop.  So Joy made her own modifications!  No Excuses there, way to go joy! Here is her link to that post.

Your turn.  Share what you know, what you do, anything to be a bit more healthy and active.

In linking up:
1. Make sure you link to a specific post
2. Grab my button or link up somewhere on your blog (party page, sidebar, text link, in the body of the post, whatever works for you).

3. Visit the link ahead of you in the line up as well as one of choice. -don't forget to leave a comment.
4. Keep it "G" rated

(And If your feeling extra healthy follow The EfficientBody Diary;)

Let's have fun and be healthy.
This link up party was inspired by Emily from Dirt and Pearls, check out this fabulous woman.

Monday, December 3, 2012


So this weekend was a bust for filming:(   The Flue, pink eye, and colds struck my team.  I do hope they recover quickly.

I went to our filming location just to do a test to make sure when we do film everything will be perfect.  We filmed a Kettlebell routine while there, and I though you guys might enjoy some of it.  So below is the practice run through I did of some of the routine.

 If you don't have Kettles you can substitute for dumbbells.  A Kettle is more versatile and more fun I think.  I absolutely love Kettles!  They are at the top of my "favorites" for work outs.

And on Wed. we will have another link up.  I had requests for those who did not get a chance to participate to do it again.  So If you follow by e-mail you'll want to check the actually web page periodically during the day to see what has been posted.

Repeat video twice, you can skip the warm up on the second go.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


 Last week I participated in a blog cookie swap. Man, did I revive some devilishly good cookies from Caryn at the Mid Life Guru.
Now I am everything health here at The EfficientBody Diary so I could NOT send her ordinary cookies!  I decided to send her 3 kinds of cookies. One had no added sugar, one was a recipe made over "healthy," and the third was just ordinary cookies.  (I had to be true to my style and have some fun with it.)
Oatmeal Crasin
Chocolate Chip and Coconut Cookie Bar

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
Here are the pics, can you tell which is which?  I also did a taste test with some friends of mine and they could not tell.-yea!  I just wish you guys could taste them.
Okay, did you decide?
Really pick which is which....

The answers:  The oatmeal is normal unhealthy, despite it's misleading title. The Triple Chocolate (my favorite) has no added sugar.  This again is misleading because it's made with pudding and cake mix.  Both of which already have sugar in them. (see how easily those marketers can manipulate things so they appear healthy?)  Lastly, the Chocolate Coconut has been made over.  I took out the shortening, the white sugar and the refined flour.  This one you would never guess (when tasting) that it was made over.  Everyone gobbles them up every time I make them.

But here is the thing.  I'm notorious for not writing down my recipes.  I just make it and usually it turns out.  So I will give you what I remember of the Cookie Bar recipe. So take it with a grain of salt.  And I will work on my flaws.

Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookie Bars:
1/2 C. Margerin
1/2 C. Low Fat Cream Cheese
*blend until smooth
1 C. Brown Sugar
1/4 C Honey
2 Eggs
1.5 tsp. Vanila
*blend until smooth
1.5 tsp. Baking Soda
3 C. Oatmeal Flour (you can make this in your blender)
12oz. Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
*Mix by hand

Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread out evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle desired amount of coconut on top and bake 350 until done.

Ha!- I remembered it all except the honey I'm not positive but I'm pretty sure that's it.  The baking time though? Traditionally only 9 minutes but these have a lot more moisture so cook them until slightly golden.
Give these a try, you can't go wrong.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Link up!

Our goal is to go beyond inspiration, we want to go for empowered.  Giving you the knowledge you need for action.  Everything you need for a healthier lifestyle: make a change, try something new, or keeping it fresh.  So every Wednesday link up here at the EfficientBody Diary to share what you do to be healthy.

In linking up:
1. Make sure you link to a specific post
2. Grab my button or link up somewhere on your blog (party page, sidebar, text link, in the body of the post, whatever works for you).
3. Visit the link ahead of you in the line up as well as one of choice. -don't forget to leave a comment.
4. Keep it "G" rated

(And If your feeling extra healthy follow The EfficientBody Diary;)

Evey Wednesday I will feature one of you from the previous week's link party.
Today's feature is one of my quick workout routines. This one is super easy, a "recovery" from Thanksgiving.

Let's have fun and be healthy.
This link up party was inspired by Emily from Dirt and Pearls, check out this fabulous woman.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Catching Up

Happy Cyber Monday everyone!
FYI EfficientBody is having a huge sale. $50 off all of their battling/fitness ropes, and workouts. Plus free shipping.  Amazing deal!

Also exciting, we start filming this week for our new home fitness program.-Yea! There are a few obstacles that need overcome but other than that were set.  I'm so glad were almost there.  In celebration of this mile stone we will be hosting a link up party right here on Wednesday.

People from everywhere and anywhere will be able to link in what they do or are planning to do to be healthy.  Anything from recipes, to workout routines, how to stay away from junk.  Anything related to living a healthy lifestyle.  The link will be open all day so check back in often to see what's been posted.

As a kick off to our "Empower Me Healthy" link up I will have a new workout posted for you on Wednesday also.  Lots of fun be sure to check it out.
-Till Wednesday...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

How to Prep a Healthy Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving! Here is how I prep my turkey, a healthy and no-fuss way.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

How to have your pie and eat it too

Thanksgiving is upon us, yea!  BUT we've been working so hard to get our bodies in shape, be better about our eating and reap the benefits of health.  So what are we to do when the averaged turkey dinner is over 1,000 calories?  That is a normal turkey dinner not a Thanksgiving dinner.  T-day dinner has well let's just leave it at "more."

We all want health but who wants to nibble on salad on the day of feasting? I'm with you, not me.  With 3 easy steps we can enjoy the meal with less guilt. 

Here is the plan:
1. Exercise.  As soon as you get up.  This will get the metabolism going.  Ideally your doing some High Intensity Interval Training, also known as HIIT.  HIIT, is the most efficient way of exercising and will burn tons of calories well after you've completed the routine.

2. Eat.  After exercise keep that metabolism going with food.  Eat a small meal that includes a complete source of protein. Eggs are ideal.  My choice would be one egg cooked with whole wheat toast and a slice of cheese.

3. Snack.  Every two hours eat a small snack.  Or snitch on what your preparing.  Eat apples with skins on, some turkey, veggies, wheat roll.  Try and keep it healthy but keep the snacks coming.  This again aims at the metabolism to stay fired up. Keep snacking, rather than eating meals (every two-three hours) until the feast is to begin.

At feast time get a modest plate full and enjoy.  Talk, laugh, relax.  Then go for more! You have trained your body to handle food every couple of hours.  So feel free to eat seconds and thirds in those intervals.  Just be mindful of what your eating.  Pick a well balanced plateful, so it doesn't back fire on you.

Then to pies.  If your health conscious choose one with less sugar and junk like Pumpkin rather than Lemon Meringue. Stick to one slice though.  If there are leftovers you can have another slice the next day.  More than one is a quick way to pack on the pounds.

But that's it.  Easy 3 steps: Exercise, Eat, Snack.  Hope you enjoy the day!