Monthly Archives: July 2013

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

This dip is incredible! Plus, it is low calorie and delicious! You can’t go wrong with making this dip. I did a post on using Greek yogurt as a substitute in recipes last Monday and told you I would share my favorite. Well, this is it.

I am not a huge vegetable eater so for me to like this dip says a lot! I replaced the mayonnaise and/or sour cream with a nonfat Greek yogurt. The yogurt provides more protein and fewer calories than the alternative.

So, I hope you try it and enjoy. I broke down the serving size to 1/4th cup. Each 1/4th cup is only 46 calories. This dish makes about 11 servings.

Craig likes to eat his dip with pretzels, but I prefer tortilla chips. I usually eat mine with the multigrain tortilla chips. 🙂

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Spinach and Artichoke Dip

14 oz. can of artichoke harts (packed in water), drained

1 1/4th cup of spinach

5-6 small green onions

1 tsp. of minced garlic

8 oz. nonfat Greek yogurt

1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese

Salt and pepper to season

Preheat over to 375.

Chop the artichokes (I use a small food processor). Chop the green onions. Place in a medium bowl together.

Add all the remaining ingredients in the bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

Spray an oven proof pan with spray oil and place all ingredients in the pan. Place pan in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes. Make sure the dip is hot and the cheese has melted. Serve and enjoy!

15 Minute Workouts for Traveling

We have all been there when we travel. We go down to the hotel gym to workout and every cardio and weight machine is being used. Or, you decide to sleep in a bit but then feel guilty you didn’t get up. So what do you do? You don’t have time to come back, you can’t wait for a machine, and you don’t have an extra hour in the day to workout. You do an effective hotel room workout. In other words, a short high intense circuit workout.

The beauty about these 15 minute circuit workouts are that you don’t even have to leave your room. Put those sneakers on and get to sweating. These workouts don’t need a lot of equipment and if they do, it is already in your room. Score!

While I was reading my Oxygen workout magazine, this specific issue highlighted some effective short workouts. I have incorporated some of their exercises with my own. If you are unclear what the move is, just click on the exercise and a demo video will open-forgive my husbands fingers and my dog in some of them. 😉

So next time you sleep in, can’t find a machine to workout on, don’t have time to workout later on your hotel stay, then I encourage you to try one of these 15 minute exercises. If you happen to get a treadmill at the hotel and want to do a HIIT then check out this post here.

I have listed three different workouts. Which means, you can do a different workout three different days. The rules are, you have to preform each exercise for 30-45 seconds (no breaks unless you absolutely need one). After you finish with all the exercises in that workout, take a 30 second break and repeat the same set you just did. You will want to do a total of three sets.

P.S. I actually had my twin sister do this while we stayed in a hotel back in Feb and it kicked her rear. She almost threw up. SO YOU CAN DO IT!!!! 🙂

15-Minute-Workouts

Workout #1

Squat Jacks

Towel Jump

In and Out

Hip Dips

Tricep Dips

Mountain Climbers

Squat Kicks

 

Workout #2

Jump Lunges

Ski Downs

Suicides

Scissor Run

Plyo Jumps

One Leg Tricep Dip remember to switch legs!

Side Plank Under and Over remember to switch sides!

 

Workout # 3

Prisoner Squat

Side lunges – No video here, just lunge to the left and then right.

Push Ups- No video here. You can also do these on your knees as well.

Side In & Outs

Plank

Basketball Jumps

One Leg Tricep Dip remember to switch legs!

 

Good Luck and get your workout on!

 

Get Your Greek On

When I am cooking and/or baking, I am always trying to figure out how I can cut calories in my dishes. It is like a game to me so I am always trying to swap out the higher calorie ingredient for a more nutrient rich one. There is one ingredient now that I use in a majority of my recipes….Greek yogurt!

The beauty of Greek yogurt is that it is lower in calories than mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese, and much more. It also provides extra protein which is definitely a bonus! You can’t go wrong with substituting greek yogurt in recipes, trust me.

I don’t have a recipe this week, but I will be cooking one of my favorite recipes for next Monday. It has greek yogurt as a substitute and I know you all will enjoy it! If you have not tried to substitute Greek yogurt before, you should try it and see what you think. Nothing is better than switching out an ingredient in a recipe for something that provides fewer calories, more protein, and more nutrients.

Here is a conversion chart Chobani has came up with to help use Greek yogurt in place of other ingredients! I hope you enjoy and try making the switch!

Chobani-Greek-Yogurt-Conversion-Chart

Nike Giftcard Winner!!

Thank you to everyone who shared and entered in the giveaway. I drew names and the lucky winner is Danielle James! Congrats! If you send your address to cohennutrition@gmail.com, I will ship your gift card to you.

Thank you for all who entered! I appreciate it!

When Should You Change Up Your Workout Routine?

I know in the beginning when you decided to make changes to your lifestyle it was easy to get up or make time for exercise. You were motivated and so exercising was fun and new. Then, over time things started to change. Maybe you don’t get up as often to workout, maybe you decide you need a break from working out, or maybe you just don’t “feel” it anymore. Whatever the reason is, it is most likely your workout needs a change. Something new, something different, something fresh. Here are a few signs for when it is time to add variety and change up your workout.

1. Your workout becomes boring.

Workouts should be challenging and keep you engaged. You should never dread a workout (well, you might dread it because it is going to kick your rear), but you should never dread it because you are bored with it. If you are bored with your routine now, then change it. Add more resistance in weight training, work out in a group class, take a friend walking with you, add more incline into your walks, speed up your walking/jogging pace, or add music to your workout. Sometimes, changes as these are not enough. If you have tried some of these changes and are still bored, then I would recommend trying an entire new activity. Go to a new gym class, try something you have never done, or just do something different. Whatever you do, it shouldn’t bore you-remember to keep it fun!

2. Your workout is not challenging.

Workouts are made to make you sweat and give it all you have. You should feel different after your workout. If you don’t feel challenged in your workout, then try to intensify it. During your workouts, you want to increase your heart rate. If your heart rate is not in it’s target zone, then you are not challenging yourself and you will most likely not see the results you want from your workout routine.

3. You are not seeing the results you want.

Some of the reason while you are working out is because you want to lose weight and or maintain your weight. Some of you may workout because you want to build more muscle or for overall health benefits. However, when you still watch what you eat, stay within your appropriate calorie range, and exercise, but not see the results you want; then it may be time to change up the exercise routine. You are more likely to plateau with your weight when you don’t have variety in your workout. Just like we get bored with things in life, your body get’s bored with the same routine over and over again. Once your body gets used to the same workout it is not a challenged so it stops changing. It stops responding like it used too. So add some new variety to your workout. Try different intensities, ranges, classes, inclines, HIITs, etc. Variety is key to fight through plateaus and get the results you desire.

4. You are weak and tired.

Exercise should make you feel better. You should feel energized after your workouts. If you aren’t and you feel weak, then you are probably overtraining. Take some time to rest and recharge. This is completely normal and happens frequently. Everyone needs a break so make sure you take one. You need to be physically and mentally ready to commit to your new workout when the time is ready. Remember, you should feel good after your workout, not like you need to nap.

If you think any of these apply to you, then you should reevaluate your workout routine and see how you can add variety to it. Workouts should be challenging, hard, and leave you energized. You are working hard to get the results you want so do yourself a favor and change things when they stop working for you. You deserve it.

Challenge You

—***—GIVEAWAY WINNER—***—GIVEAWAY WINNER—***—GIVEAWAY WINNER—***–
I had my husband pick a number and the lucky winner for the giveaway is Danielle James! Just send me your address to cohennutrition@gmail.com and I will ship the card to you!

Thank you for those who entered! I appreciate it!!

Stuffed Jalapeños Lightened Up

One of my great friends Angie always posts these amazing looking recipes on facebook. This past week while Craig was on facebook, Angie posted a recipe for stuffed jalapenos and they looked amazing! Craig asked me to make them this weekend and we are always willing to try out new recipes so I decided I would and thank goodness I did. They were fantastic!

As I was reading the recipe, I knew I could definitely swap out some ingredients for “lower calorie” ingredients. So I did. And they were incredible! The flavor and texture of these jalapeños are perfect. The jalapeños are not hot, so if you are sensitive to spicy/hot foods, don’t worry. You will definitely be able to handle these with no problems…just make sure you get all the seeds out of the peppers. J

Stuffed Jalapeños

22 Jalapenos

1 lb of Jennie-O Breakfast Turkey Sausage

8 oz Reduced Fat Cream Cheese

1 cup Parmesan Cheese

Preheat the oven to 425. Cook the turkey sausage until brown. Mix cream cheese and Parmesan cheese together. Add the cooked turkey sausage to the cream cheese mixture and mix well. Wash the jalapenos and then cut the jalapenos in half. Spoon the sausage-cheese mixture into the jalapenos (I used about 1 Tbs in each jalapeno-sometimes less and sometimes more depending on the size of the pepper.).  Line a baking sheet with foil and place stuffed peppers on the pan. Cook the peppers for 20 minutes. Let peppers cool and enjoy!

The original recipe called for regular hot sausage and regular cream cheese. By swapping out for turkey sausage and reduced fat cream cheese, you save 890 calories overall! Each pepper that has been lightened up is only 36 calories.

I know some people may be thinking turkey sausage is not the same as regular sausage; but trust me, the flavor/texture of turkey sausage is not that different. You will not be disappointed with these peppers. These are packed with flavor and with the bonus of fewer calories. I hope you try them out and enjoy them just as much as we did.

Also, if you got to this post because you saw Giveaway listed on the title, then you will want to click here and enter for the giveaway. Just “like”/share my page and comment back where you shared it! Thanks!

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Giveaway, Giveaway, Giveaway!

I want to thank everyone who has “liked”, shared, and posted about Cohen Nutrition and Fitness. I appreciate it more than you know. So, to say thank you I would love to do a giveaway! Who doesn’t like free stuff?!

So, all you have to do to be entered into this giveaway is share my page either on twitter, facebook, and or other social media. Come back here and comment where you shared it and I will enter you in the giveaway. Also, I get a lot of spam as comments so I have to approve the comments as they come it. So if you are looking for your comment to show up immediately, it won’t be there until I approve it. 🙂

For the giveaway prize, I am giving away a $25 Nike gift card. You can use to help pay for some new, sweet Nikes, clothes, socks….whatever you want!

Thank you again for all the support and love! I appreciate it!

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Do YOU Have It In You?

I really enjoy watching other people change their lifestyle. I love it when The Biggest Loser, Extreme Weight Loss Edition, or any other program that showcases those who have changed to a healthier lifestyle is in season. I can’t help but feel inspired. I also feel that way about others who I socialize with everyday. People who surround you may even inspire you.  They may inspire you to lose some weight, become more active, try a new exercise class, try new recipes, etc. It is nice to have people who make you want to try new things and help you reach your goal(s). However, it is not those people who ultimately help you succeed. It. Is. YOU.

YOU have to have the determination, drive, and will power to help yourself. Only so many people can motivate, encourage, and support you. I firmly believe having a support system is crucial in making lifestyle changes, but you and you only can help yourself. Being in the career that I am, I see several people who think they are ready to make a change. They are pumped up about changing their diet, exercise habits, and much more. However, what some of these people don’t know is that losing weight and becoming more active is not short term, you need to be in it for the long haul. You are making a lifestyle change. You are not just losing some weight just to gain it back. You are changing, and hopefully it is for good. I understand change can be scary and frightening, but it can also be rewarding as well.

In order for change to happen, you have to dedicate yourself to it. Know things are not going to always be the same. You have to honestly want it more than anyone else. Becoming “healthier” is a way of life. It takes sacrifice and time. If you are not willing to dedicate yourself and give up sleep/tv time for exercise, begin counting calories, and changing your eating habits, then don’t start. Don’t set yourself up for failure before you have even begun. When you do fail because you were not mentally ready for the change, you become even more resistant to give it another shot. Remember, I discussed in an earlier post; small goals are the key to long term success.

I am not trying to discourage anyone from changing his or her habits; I am just being completely honest. I want to see people succeed and feel better about themselves. If I can help inspire, encourage, motivate, and be a part of their success, then sign me up! I have been able to work with people who go at it 110%. They start off small and then accomplish great things in life. They surpass goals they never thought they could even reach. It’s incredible; but it had nothing to do with me yet everything to do with them and the commitment they made to their self when they began their journey. People can help you and encourage you, but no one can help you if you don’t want to help yourself.

So, do you have what it takes? Are you ready to commit yourself to change?

Succeed

Dark Chocolate Mint Bark

It is Monday again…which means time for a new recipe! Though this one is not really “lightened” up like my previous recipes, I changed some ingredients so it can be more nutrient rich and beneficial for our bodies. I switched out the milk chocolate for dark chocolate and topped the bark off with walnuts instead of mint pieces. Changing those two ingredients made the recipe lighter in calories and more nutrient rich. Dark Chocolate has several health benefits- more so than milk chocolate. You can’t go wrong with eating dark chocolate!

Some of you may be thinking dark chocolate is bitter and nasty. I used to think the same thing! However, there was a girl across the hall from me in college who kept a candy dish in her room. The sad part was that she only stocked it with Dove Dark Chocolate. I wasn’t going to walk across campus just to buy some chocolate when I could get it for free across the hall; and that is when I developed a taste for dark chocolate.

🙂

In this recipe, the dark chocolate is not overwhelming. It is a perfect mix with the Andes baking chips and walnuts. Craig and I can not stop eating this (we had this past weekend and devoured it). The one we had this weekend was topped off with almonds and not walnuts. I had walnuts at home so that is why I used them. You can use whatever nuts you like,  just don’t forget to keep track of the calories.

Mint Chocolate Bark

1 bag of Hersheys Dark Chocolate Morsals

1 bag of Andes Mint Baking Chips

1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (or whatever other nuts you prefer)

I took a 9×13 pan and lined it with parchment paper. I poured the entire bag of the dark chocolate morsels and the andes mint chips and mix them around on the pan together. Place in the oven at 250 degrees until melted*** (mine took about 25 minutes). Pull the pan of melted chocolate out of the oven and sprinkle with your choice of nuts. Make sure the nuts are secured in the chocolate so they will stick when it is time to “break” the bark.

Place the pan of chocolate in the refrigerator to cool. When the bark is finally cool, you can cut or break the bark. I prefer to cut the bark so I know how many calories are in each piece.

Chocolate Bark

My batch was an entire 9×13 pan and I cut 40 squares. Therefore, each square came out to be about 88 calories a square. I leave my chocolate in the fridge so it doesn’t get soft while sitting out in room temp.

*** You can melt the chocolate over the stove or in the microwave. I always do mine in the oven so that’s why I did it that way.

I hope you try out the recipe and enjoy!

Fitness Apps for Your Phone

We use our phones for everything. We make lists, videos, take pictures, post status updates, communicate, and much more. Your phone can also help you lose weight and stay on track with your health and fitness goals. There are several apps available to you whether it is for tracking calories, lifting weights, or going out for a run.

Since this post is a fitness post, I will be only talking about the workout apps today. If you would like to find more health and fitness apps, then I would check them out here. This website has a list of some of the greatest health and fitness apps out there. You should take a look! Most of them are free! All of my information comes from the website greatist.com (listed above). I have some of these apps and I love them. If you are interested in learning more about the app, just click on the name or picture and it will take you to the website.

NTCNike Training Club The Nike Training Club app lets you pick your goal and fitness level. It will then choose over 100 workouts for you to choose from. Workouts range from 15, 30, 45 minutes. Cost: Free. Available for iOS and Android.

NRNike+ Running This app tracks your distance, time, calories, and pace while jogging/running. This app also allows you to connect and share your success through social media sites. Cost: Free. Available for iOS and Android.

 

C25KCouch to 5k This app is used by several of my friends. It is an app that is made for those who want to run a 5K but don’t know where to start or for those wanting to get back into running. It gives you workouts to preform each week to get you ready for a 5K in three months! Cost: Free. Available for iOS and Android.

RKRunKeeper RunKeeper tracks the duration, calories burned, length when you are walking, running, jogging, or doing any outside activity. Cost: Free. Available for iOS and Android

 

RT

Runtastic is a personal tracking app for running, biking, and other fitness activities that allows users to analyze and share data. Cost: Free. Available for iOS and Android.

 

MMF MapMyFitness Craig and I actually have this app and we both love it. It has a GPS in it to track our workout. You can walk, jog, or run and it will keep track of your pace, distance, length, speed, and calories burned. It will log your route as well, which is helpful! Cost: Free. Avaialble for iOS, Android, and Blackberry.

SWSworkit This app is a circuit training app and you can either make your own circuit or let the app choose it for you. It also shows you how to do the exercises. There are several exercises to choose from so you can do anything from strength training to cardio. Cost: Free. Available for iOS and Android

MovesMoves This app is like a pedometer. It tracks all your moves throughout the day and then will compile them into miles walked. In order for it to work though, you need to have your phone with you while walking. Cost: Free. Available for iOS.

 

As I said before, you phone can do a lot of things so why don’t you let it help you reach your goals? I only listed the fitness apps today, but if you have more that are not listed above, please feel free to comment what app it is and why you like it.

Now download some apps and check them out! These apps are there to help you reach your fitness and health goals. Let me know what you think and happy exercising!

fitness-apps