Posts tagged with "Christmas"

Join me for the Holiday Sweat Challenge!

Posted November 13, 2014 in FitApproach, SweatPink, Run to the Finish and 8 more

Staying active and healthy during the holidays can be tough! There is a constant flow of food, your schedule gets packed with parties and family gatherings and lounging on the couch in flannel pajamas watching holiday movies just sounds so much more inviting than going out in the cold to workout!

But there's nothing worse than starting a new year with the goal of losing a bunch of weight you gained during the holidays or having to get in shape all over again because you skipped out on workouts for a couple of months.

For the past few years, I've created a holiday weight management program on Sweet Success. It's been a great way (for me!) to to stay on track during the holidays. But it's not happening this year. I don't have time to get it together.

Luckily, there's another great way for us to stay in shape this holiday season! The Holiday Sweat Challenge.

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No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Posted November 19, 2014 in Hy-Vee, cookies, powdered peanut butter and 5 more

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*My local Hy-Vee provided me with Hy-Vee brand Powdered Peanut Butter, but all opinions are my own.

Chocolate and peanut butter is probably my favorite sweet combination. My favorite candy of all time is Reece's Peanut Butter Cups! So I'm always looking for ways to enjoy my fave sweet combo without all the icky ingredients and crazy amounts of sugar that is in packaged candy. 

When Hy-Vee gave me their Powdered Peanut Butter in Chocolate, I knew I wanted to create some kind of cookie using a natural sweetener. 

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Healthy Holiday Party Cook-Off + Quick Thanksgiving Recipes

Posted November 25, 2014 in healthy cooking, healthy eating, cooking challenge and 4 more

I don't really think of myself as a competitive person. 

But when I received an email at work about the Healthy Holiday Party Cook-Off Challenge organized by the Kinesiology and Sports Sciences Department, the Employee Health and Wellness Program and the Physical Activity and Wellness Lab (at the University of Nebraska at Kearney), I was intrigued. Then before I knew it, my office neighbors were forming a team, and I was on it!

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Gingerbread Pancakes {gluten-free}

Posted December 17, 2014 in breakfast, pancakes, Christmas and 8 more

*My local HyVee provided me with a package of their HealthMarket Natural Blanched Almond Flour. All opinions are my own.

One of my favorite holiday food memories is the French toast casserole my mom used to make on Christmas morning. 

My brother and I would open the gifts that were in our stockings (from Santa), and then we would eat the delicious breakfast casserole. Gift opening would then resume after eating. Just to clarify, this is a memory from my early to mid-20's, not my childhood. Yes, Santa still delivers gifts to my brother and I at our parent's house.

But I loved having a special breakfast to enjoy on Christmas morning. 

When HyVee gave me their almond flour, I knew I wanted to make something sweet and delicious that could be enjoyed on Christmas morning or around the holidays. I've also been a bit obsessed with anything gingerbread, so I knew that was the direction I needed to go.

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Weekend Recap {Dec. 19-21}

Posted December 22, 2014 in Weekend Recap, weekend, Christmas and 8 more

Merry Monday before Christmas! I hope your weekend was festive.

I definitely felt festive over the weekend! The BF and I celebrated the holiday with friends at a gingerbread house making party, and we finished up our Christmas shopping and gift wrapping.

I celebrated the Winter Solstice with 108 Sun Salutations! And we ate some absolutely delicious food (inclduing gingerbread house ingredients).

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Nutty Cranberry Oatmeal

Posted December 4, 2015 in breakfast, oatmeal, Thanksgiving leftovers and 6 more


I made my Super Healthy Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving just so I could eat the leftovers in my oatmeal. This is my favorite!

You could use any cranberry sauce, but I prefer my recipe because it's made without refined sugar. I used honey and coconut sugar to sweeten it. I also added chia seeds to give it a little nutrition boost.

Oatmeal is my favorite breakfast. I usually crave something sweet in the morning, and oatmeal satisfies my craving while giving me long lasting energy. I always add nut butter or nuts (or both) to add some protein. 

You could also add an egg to the oatmeal while it's cooking and stir frequently to cook the egg through to add more protein. 

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The Ultimate Healthy Holiday Gift Guide

Posted December 11, 2015 in Christmas, Healthy Holiday Gift Guide, holiday shopping and 6 more


I just love buying gifts for the people that I love! I always try to find unique and personal items that I think they will enjoy.

I'm nearly done with my holiday shopping, but I still have a few more things to order or pick up. 

Do you have more shopping to do?

Some of the best gifts are ones that will help loved ones continue their healthy living journey or maybe even jumpstart a new healthy lifestyle. I created a HUGE Healthy Holiday Gift Guide on Pinterest, but I thought I would share some of my favorites here. 

If you have some people left to buy for, you will definitely find something here! (or you could add a few more things to your own wish list!)

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Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Cups {just 3 ingredients}

Posted December 15, 2015 in chocolate, pomegranate seeds, holidays and 9 more


I'm getting so excited for Christmas baking. I love spending a day in the kitchen with my KitchenAid mixer making delicious sweet treats. 

Baking during the holidays always brings back great memories of baking Christmas cookies with my mom and dad, brother, aunt and cousins. Some of my favorite holiday cookies from my childhood include peanut butter blossoms, peanut butter balls (for some reason my family calls them zit crunchies), cherry mash and homemade Mounds. When my grandfather was alive, he would make homemade fudge and chess pies. So delicious!

Although I have lots of great memories from the baking process and from enjoying my family's treats, I also remember overindulging in sweets and feeling sick, lethargic, bloated and gross. So a few years ago, I started making some of my own healthier sweet treats using less sugar or natural sweeteners. I found that I didn't indulge in as many cookies, but I still felt like I was getting a special holiday treat. 

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Weekend Recap {Dec. 18-20, 2015}

Posted December 21, 2015 in weekend, Weekend Recap, Christmas and 9 more

I can't believe it was the last weekend before Christmas!!

This time of year always feels like it flies by. I spent most of the weekend doing things to get into the holiday spirit. I watched Christmas movies, I Christmas shopped, I did Christmas crafts and I baked Christmas cookies. 

It was exactly what I needed to create all those good holiday feels.

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Christmas 2015 Recap

Posted December 28, 2015 in Christmas, wine, champagne and 10 more

I hope you had a wonderful holiday, and that you got to spend Christmas with the people that you love!

My Christmas, while different than years past, was still memorable and fun. 

Today I'm sharing a quick recap of my holiday, but the rest of the week will be all about getting ready for the new year! I'll be sharing lots of tips on setting goals, having a successful year and more! 

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How to eat mindfully during the holidays

Posted November 22, 2016 in healthy eating, mindful eating, mindfullness and 5 more

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Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention to the present, according to Psychology Today. Being mindful means you observe your thoughts, feelings and body without judgment. 

When it comes to food, we often eat mindlessly, not thinking about how our body feels, what our emotions are or even what our food tastes like. We rehash the past, beating ourselves up over eating "bad" foods. Or we focus on the future and what we can and can't eat. 

Eating mindfully allows us to tune into what we're experiencing in the present moment. It allows us to savor the food we eat, notice how our body feels before, during and after we eat, and release the judgment we have about ourselves when it comes to food choices. 

Practicing mindful eating can be especially helpful during the holidays, a time that can bring up feelings of shame about food and our bodies. 

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What I'm reading, wearing, watching, eating and listening to

Posted December 15, 2016 in green smoothie, plant protein, Cuddl Duds and 10 more

I wrote a post like this in January and fully intended to make it a monthly thing because I thought it was so fun. 

Ummmm, that didn't happen. It's now December and I'm finally writing the second post in this series.

But I'm bringing it back this week because I need something fun and light amidst my annoyingly long to do list. So here we go!

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Peppermint Mocha {with protein}

Posted December 15, 2016 in Peppermint Mocha, coffee, chocolate and 5 more

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It has been so cold lately that all I want to do is cuddle up under a blanket and drink something warm. 

I don't normally go for sweet coffee drinks, but I was craving something warm and sweet one cold afternoon and this peppermint mocha happened.

Most coffee shop versions are high in calories, and are full of sugar and syrups made with artificial ingredients. But my recipe is full of good-for-you nutrition and doesn't contain any sugar. 

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Weekend Recap {Dec. 16-18, 2016}

Posted December 20, 2016 in Weekend Recap, yoga, gingerbread energy balls and 8 more

It's Christmas week! I love this time of year, and I'm really grateful that I've been able to do some of my favorite holiday things - make gingerbread houses, drive around and look at Christmas lights, watch cheesy Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas movies, decorate sugar cookies and more. 

I have just a few more days of work and then I'm off work until the New Year! Getting time off during Christmas is definitely a great perk of working at a university. 

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Gingerbread Protein Energy Balls

Posted December 21, 2016 in gingerbread energy balls, gingerbread, plant protein and 5 more

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These energy balls might just be my favorite yet!

I had a craving for gingerbread cookies, but I didn't want to go to all the work of finding a dairy-free gingerbread cookie recipe, making sure I had all of the ingredients and baking. 

So I threw together these energy balls in about 10 minutes and I got to enjoy all the flavors of gingerbread cookies! These even contain good-for-you plant protein. 

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