Wednesday, August 31, 2011

P90X2: Pre-orders available until 9/5/11 - Don't miss this boat!

WHAT!?!?!  P90X2 - YES!!!

Click HERE to order P90X2

It's almost here.  The waiting, the's coming to an end.  P90X2 can be in your hands by Christmas...but ONLY if you pre-order through me, your Beachbody Coach, between September 1st and 5th.  That's 5 days, folks.  After that, you likely will not see the program on your doorstep until sometime in 2012.  There's a palpable excitement buzzing through the Beachbody coaching community.  You can guarantee that a majority of my teammates, a majority of Beachbody Coaches will be pre-ordering this program.  There's over 50,000 of us.  We want it BADLY

Pre-order it HERE on my Beachbody site

I also want YOU to be able to get it and start it as soon as possible.  The number of pre-order copies is limited due to the demand in time for the holidays and it is projected to sell out in record time.  This long awaited program is OFF THE HOOK.  Josh & I had the pleasure (we were grunting and swearing, but still, it was a pleasure) of working out twice with Tony Horton in L.A. in June.  We did portions of the P90X2 workouts and let me tell you...they are challenging, difficult, and amazing.  You will use your core like never before.  You will perform exercises you never thought possible, much less considered trying on your own.  I left Summit with rug burns on my elbows from Tony's workout...and a super sore core.

Our core is the center of our body.  It powers us through everything we do, and it allows us to sustain the other workouts we do whether it be running, weight lifting, cardio, TurboKick, Zumba, ab exercises, TRX, BodyPump, etc.  We NEED to have a strong core - not only to workout, but to lift our children, to work in the yard, to clean the house, in everything we do that involves moving our bodies.

The good stuff...If you order P90X through me, your coach, I'll tell you the bonuses you'll receive and the benefit to you. 

Oh wait - I'm not your coach yet?  You have another coach who's never contacted you?  Not sure if you have a coach or not?
  Here's your first step ~ Make me your coach by signing up for a FREE Beachbody account by clicking this link:  Make Debi My Coach - be sure to choose the free account as opposed to the Club Membership. 

Not sure if you have a coach or have you purchased a Beachbody product from Beachbody, an infomercial or Amazon at some point in the past?
  Email and tell them you'd like to switch your current coach to CoachDebiM/Debi Mikolowsky.  Give your full name, mailing address, email and if you happen to have it, your customer ID number.  Also, CC me on this email to so that I can follow up accordingly.

Okay NOW the good stuff.  Really!

If you order through me, your coach, you are privy to a few extras that you WILL NOT receive if you order through Beachbody, Amazon or if you wait for the infomercial.  I'm not exaggerating or spewing forth fluff.  This is the real deal.
  • FREE shipping on your preorder.  This saves you between $15 and $40.
  • Automatic sweepstakes entry to win P90X2 prizes.  The earlier you place your order, the more chances you have to win!  Grand Prize - Tony Horton will deliver your prize to your door!
  • A chance to be featured in an upcoming P90X2 infomercial.  Folks who wait to order in 2012 will likely lose this opportunity.
  • TWO additional FREE bonus Tony Horton workout dvd's to compliment the P90X2 program
  • Your order will arrive prior to December 25th
  • Your credit card will not be charged until your order ships.

Here's a preview - don't be scared...get PUMPED UP!

This, friends, is a REVOLUTION in at home workout programs.  You have not seen anything like this before.  These workouts are cutting edge and the intensity is cranked up from what you have experienced with P90X.  P90X2 demands balance, agility and strength.

There are three phases:
Phase 1 ~ Foundation & Core, Balance & Power
Phase 2 ~ Strength, Coordination, Balance
Phase 3 ~ Performance

With the base program, you will receive
  • 12 workouts on 13 DVDs or 4 Blu-ray discs
  • Fitness & program guide
  • Nutritional Guide (with fabulous recipes contributed by Missy Costello!)
  • 90 day workout calendar
  • 2 bonus workouts: P90X One on One: 4 Legs and P90X One on One: Upper Body Balance

Get P90X2 HERE

Taking my Coach hat off for a moment - this is not a program for beginners.  This program is for people who want to take their workouts to the next level.  You *WILL* be a ROCKSTAR after completing the program.  I cannot wait to cheer you on as you hurdle through these 90 days. 

JOIN ME!  I WILL be starting this program right after Christmas.  I assure you I am pre-ordering today (9/1/11)

Questions?  Email me!

Find me on Facebook and ask me there: Fit & Healthy Mommy

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Easy Peasy Personal Pizza ~ Lunch is served!

Today has been all about greens for me.  I am experimenting a little bit with food for a few days to see how I feel when I eliminate or reduce some things, and add in more of other things.  I am reducing (not eliminating) dairy and gluten - although today's lunch had both.  But, it was still pretty healthy, considering the alternatives.  Oh, and I should add, to keep it real, that I did also have a square of endangered species Supreme Dark Chocolate (72% cocoa) to round out my lunch.  Why not, right?  Antioxidants!!

Breakfast was leftovers from last night's dinner:  sauteed rainbow chard with baby bok choy and onions in a little bit of evoo with a pinch of salt.  I was really hungry this morning because I ate late, so no pictures of this...sorry!

I wanted something hearty for lunch, but still wanted to get my greens in.  I did opt to have a little cheese and whole wheat because I am not at a point where I can eliminate those things for good.  I really wanted pizza, so I made up a little personal pizza - and then devoured it.  I served it with chopped romaine and shredded carrots, with a splash of Bragg's Healthy Vinaigrette dressing.

For the pizza:
  • 1 whole wheat pita
  • 1 small orange pepper
  • 1 or 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 wedge Laughing Cow Light cheese (I used garlic & herb)
  • A sprinkle (scant 2T) shredded mozzarella (I used organic)
  • 1 medium ripe red tomato
  • A few leaves of basil, finely chopped
In a small saucepan, saute the sliced orange pepper.  When that is partially cooked, remove it from the pan and add the spinach - just to wilt it, don't overcook.  Spread the Laughing Cow cheese onto the pita, layer the tomatoes, then add the basil, peppers, spinach and mozzarella.  Put on a pizza stone or tray and place in 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes, give or take.

Be prepared to not want to share.  Thankfully my girls were in their rooms for quiet time.

I really didn't need the whole thing, but it was so good!

Not a ton of cheese, but gooey nonetheless! 

Look at the colors!  So beautiful - Eat a Rainbow People!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

My first juice...and I used the pulp - no waste here!

Yeah Yeah!!!  ::Happy Dance::

I made my first juice today in my new juicer (thank you again to Josh for letting me keep it!)  I have to say, all things considered, it was not at all bad.  I took a cue from my good friend Dana, and I added a couple of ice cubes, which definitely added a smoothness to the juice.  I had no idea what to expect, but I think I might get the hang of this fairly quickly.  I'm looking forward to making all sorts of juicy recipes!

Today I felt like veggies.  Straight veggies.  I had already had an apple for breakfast, so I didn't want to add that for sweetness.  I opted instead for beets & carrots which have their own sugars & sweetness.  So, what could I add to beets & carrots?  Celery and Romaine looked good!

  • One medium organic beet, peeled
  • 3 organic carrots, greens and tops removed
  • 2 large organic stalks celery with leafy greens
  • large handful red Romaine lettuce (not shown)
  • 4 ice cubes

This is after adding the romaine to the celery

This is after adding the beet

The final product - my beet, celery, romaine, carrot juice!!

I missed getting a picture of the pulp!!  ARGH!  For anyone who is new to juicing, like me, the pulp was all ground up and extremely dry (makes sense, right, we juiced it!)  When I took the top off of the juicer, there was this beautiful pulp leftover.  There are lots of things I could do with this pulp, rather than toss it in the garbage disposal or into the trash can.  If I was into composting, I could add it to the compost pile.  But, since I don't compost, I wanted to find another use for it.  I read that I can stir it into batters for muffins (good way to sneak fiber into my kids!) or add it to casseroles.

For dinner tonight, I wanted a grain, so I made quinoa.  While the quinoa was simmering, I took a carnival squash (it's small, like an acorn squash), sliced it in half from top to bottom and scooped out the seeds & strings.  I sprinkled the halves with dried herbs and roasted at 425 for about 25 minutes.  When the quinoa was done, I fluffed it with a fork and added the pulp from the juice, bean sprouts and Bragg's Liquid Aminos (like a healthy soy sauce).  I added this mixture to the squash halves to stuff them, topped with a sprinkle of Daiya non-dairy cheese and baked for about 10 minutes longer.  I served this with roasted Brussels sprouts that I topped with a little Wayfare cheddar "cheese" sauce.  I got my protein (quinoa), fiber (pulp), veggies - plus some extra yumminess from the Daiya & Wayfare without using dairy products.

Stuffed squash with  Brussels sprouts

Isn't it pretty?  So colorful due to the beet pulp!

Mouth watering bite - squash, quinoa, pulp and a little bit of Daiya

Another bite of fabulousness!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

School Lunch Ideas 101

I'm fairly certain you are all seeing blog posts, online articles, emailed newsletters, Facebook links and tweets with school lunch ideas.  However, if you haven't yet, then read on.  Actually, read on anyway - you might find some ideas here that you haven't seen yet.  I do have three kids so that puts me at a level somewhere between expert and all-knowing.

Let's start with sandwiches.  Sandwiches are a staple in a majority of lunchboxes in schools across our nation.  I have a few ideas for making the sandwich healthier and more exciting for kiddos. 

Bread & bread alternatives
  • Whole wheat sandwich bread (look for no high fructose corn syrup)
  • Whole wheat sandwich wraps or flat breads
  • Flavored (and colorful) tortilla wraps - spinach, sun dried tomato
  • Whole wheat bagels or bagel thins
  • Whole wheat Goldfish brand sandwich breads - bread shaped like a fish, how fun - and no hfcs!
  • Whole wheat pita bread - Trader Joe's makes cute mini pitas
  • Whole wheat english muffins
  • Whole wheat potato rolls - Martin's makes fabulous, little whole wheat potato rolls
  • Whole wheat waffles or mini waffles
  • For kids with gluten sensitivities, there are wraps made with brown rice or teff
  • Lettuce leaves can make a great alternative for sandwich bread
 Sandwich stuffin' fun:
  • Natural, organic peanut butter (no sugar added)
  • Cashew or Almond butter (you can make it yourself in your blender!)
  • Fresh fruit as a jelly/jam alternative - mash the fruit with a fork and spread
  • Sliced strawberries or bananas
  • Cream cheese - mix it with a teaspoon or tablespoon of that mashed fruit, honey or maple syrup
  • Cheese - have you tried Laughing Cow Light spreadable cheese?
  • Hummus or mock tuna salad made with chick peas or mashed white beans
Super snackin' suggestions:
  • Make your own snack mix using organic, whole grain, low sugar cereal, unsalted pretzels, raisins or other no-sugar dried fruit, non-dairy or dark chocolate chips.  You can even dehydrate your own fruits to add into the mix.
  • Fruit kabobs with a honey yogurt dip
  • Veggie kabobs with hummus or salsa
  • Veggie slices (use a mandolin on the crinkle cut setting) with a mix of greek yogurt and fresh salsa for dipping
  • Mini muffins (sneak in canned pumpkin, applesauce, mashed banana, or pureed vegetables like zucchini, carrots or spinach for added fiber and nutrients)
  • Bars - my kids LOVE bars!  I give them Clif Kids' bars in Peanut Butter, S'Mores, Chocolate Chip, Honey Graham or Blueberry
  • Tortilla roll ups - add a nut butter or cream cheese, add sliced banana or strawberries and a drizzle of maple syrup; slice into pinwheels or leave as logs
  • Pasta salad - use mini cheese ravioli or tortellini with diced veggies and chick peas or beans
Other fun ideas to keep the kids happy:
  • Have a lunch theme one day per week.  For example - Lunch At Sea.  Pack the whole wheat Goldfish bread with tuna salad, green lettuce (as seaweed), whole grain gold fish crackers, celery with cream cheese and cucumber triangles (sail boats)
  • Choose a color theme.  Let's use red as our example.  Thinly spread cream cheese, nut butter or a spread of your choice with mashed raspberries and roll up, then slice into pinwheels so the read shows through.  Also offer sliced strawberries, watermelon and red pepper strips.
  • Have a dippin' day.  Provide several colorful sliced veggies with a dip or two (hummus, salsa, bean dip, yogurt based dressing) and a few sliced fruits with a yogurt/honey dip.  Throw in a few unsalted pretzel sticks too.
A few things to make the lunchbox more fun and eco-friendly:
  • Colorful reusable containers.  I have seen them pretty much everywhere this year.  Colorful containers with contrasting color lids - some with locking tabs for spill proof toting.
  • Sandwich and snack sack bags.  You can find these at some stores and online as well.  Some have a zip closure, some snap and some have velcro.  There are multitudes of patterns to choose from, and they're lined on the inside.  All are washable by hand or machine and can greatly reduce the need for plastic sandwich or snack baggies.
  • Aluminum water bottles - what better way to get kids to drink their water then by giving them a water bottle with a fun design; one that can be washed over and over again, and help eliminate plastic water bottles and juice boxes from piling up in the cafeteria trash cans.
  • Don't forget the note!  I always put some kind of note in my daughter's lunch box to let her know I love her and I want her to have a fantastic day.  I think this year I will get a mini dry erase board so we can write back and forth.  I'll write her a note in the morning and she can write one back at lunch time.  That'll save some note paper!
Share with us: What have you been planning or thinking about making for your kids' lunches?  We have a lot of school lunches to pack this year, so let's hear your suggestions! 

Packing lunch & snacks for three kids!

Whole wheat tortilla roll ups

Snacks: raw cashews, raisins, strawberries, grapes (all 3 like don't like the same things)

Our reusable goodies: lunch boxes, plastic containers, sandwich/snack pouches, SIGG aluminum water bottles

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Colors of Summer: Eat a Rainbow

When I think of the colors of summer, in terms of fresh produce, one word sums it up for me.


Summer produces such an array of colorful produce.  While the vibrancy is beautiful and pleasing to the eye, there are other benefits to choosing produce in a variety of colors.  Have you heard to "Eat a Rainbow"?  We're not talking Lucky Charms here folks...or Skittles.  While those are colorful and sweet, there's no health benefit there.  Kids like colorful things - crayons, candy, play doh, etc.  Why not let them pick some colorful veggies to try?  Here's a fun & interactive PDF Eat a Rainbow Chart from Wegmans that can help children to try and eat an assortment of colors each day.

There are health benefits linked to certain colors in foods.  This is really interesting if you're learning about these properties for the first time.
  • Greens, including: spinach, collards, kale, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, avocados, cauliflower, artichokes, asparagus, cucumbers, honeydew, kiwi, peas, green peppers, zucchini

    Greens boast an array of positive health benefits.  They contain dietary fiber, folic acid, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium, as well as a host of phytochemicals.  They also provide antioxidants that assist the circulatory system. Studies show that greens reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers. 

  • Yellows & Oranges, including: sweet potatoes, carrots, mangoes, apricots, butternut squash, papaya, pineapple, pumpkin, squash, peaches, tangerines, oranges, yellow peppers

    Most yellow fruits and vegetables are rich in beta-carotene, carotenoids, vitamin C and minerals. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that helps make the immune system strong. Orange fruits and vegetables also have vitamin C and folate to improve circulation, prevent inflammation, prevent cancer by repairing DNA and reduce the risk of heart disease.

  • Reds, including: tomatoes, watermelon, strawberries, cherries, rhubarb, red peppers, pomegranates, radishes, apples

    Most red fruits and vegetables contain lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant that helps fight heart disease and some types of cancer, particularly prostate cancer. It also reduces the effects of sun damage on the skin.

  • Blues & Purples, including: blueberries, purple grapes, red cabbage, beets, plums, blackberries, figs, eggplant, prunes

    Blue and purple fruits and vegetables have antioxidants called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins protect against heart disease by improving circulation and preventing blood clots.  They have also been linked to healthy aging and improved memory function.

  • Whites, including: garlic, onions, bananas, cauliflower, ginger, jicama, mushrooms, parsnips, turnips, potatoes

    White fruits and vegetables have allicin, which helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Allicin also can act as a poor man's antibiotic and reduce the risk of stomach cancer.

Getting back to VIBRANT for a moment, check out some of my Farmers Market and Organic finds from this summer:

Baby Eggplant - Fell's Point Farmers Market

Heirloom Tomatoes - Towson Farmers Market

Apple, Carrots, Spinach - for a smoothie!

White onion, organic carrots, organic beets - MOMs (My Organic Market)

Organic Asparagus - MOMs

Local white corn - Richardson Farms

Organic Carnival Squash - MOMs

*Color facts courtesy of Alvina Begay, R.D., Flagstaff Medical Center, Flagstaff AZ
* Photos are my own

Monday, August 8, 2011

"You Choose" Combo - Vegan Eggplant & Millet "Casserole"

Tonight I combined a "You Choose" Summer Challenge ingredient (Eggplant, chosen by Wendy) and a meal idea a friend and fellow Institute for Integrative Nutrition student, Nadia, shared with our Facebook group (millet polenta with garden herbs).  I took the eggplant and added it with other veggies to the millet, along with a few other ingredients, and came up with a veggie/millet casserole.  It was really good!

Scroll down below the pictures to learn more about millet.

I found these awesome locally grown baby eggplants at Wegmans yesterday.  I had no idea what I would do with them but they were so stinkin' cute I just had to get them.  Now let me tell you, the last time I tried cooking with eggplant - last summer - it was disastrous.  I don't even remember what it was I was trying to make, but it was not good.  Therefore, I haven't tried it since.

When Nadia posted the picture of her millet polenta my stomach growled.  It looked fantastic!  I had a package of organic millet in my pantry from a few months ago, and I had never opened it so I thought it might be nice to incorporate the eggplant along with other fresh veggies into the millet to make it more like a veggie/grain casserole and serve that for dinner tonight.  It's always a good feeling to use things out of the pantry while incorporating fresh produce.  Josh likes that too because there's some things that have been in the pantry since we moved here (ick!)

I know, you want the recipe and less yapping.  Forgive me because I did not measure anything except for the millet & water, so please bear with me on this one folks.  All of the measurements are approximate.

~ 1 cup organic millet, prepared according to package
(mine was with 3 cups cold water, bring to boil, reduce heat & simmer 30 minutes, then fluff it like rice)
~ 2 cups chopped eggplant
~ 1.5 cups chopped eggplant
~ 1.5 cups chopped broccoli
~ 1.5 cups chopped onion
~ 1.5 cups chopped mushrooms
~ 1/3 - 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
~ dash of sea salt
~ garlic & herb spice blend (Simply Organic brand)
~ 1/2T cumin
~ Earth Balance vegan butter substitute (about 1T) *optional
~ almond oil (about 1T)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees when millet is almost done cooking. Saute the eggplant, mushrooms, onion & broccoli in the almond oil.  At end of saute, sprinkle with sea salt, garlic & herb spice and cumin.  Stir in the Earth Balance.  Add to millet in mixing bowl and stir together to combine all ingredients.  Stir in the nutritional yeast.  Spray or grease 9x13 baking dish (I used a little more Earth Balance to grease the dish) and add the millet/veggie mixture.  Spread evenly with spatula and pop in the oven for about 30 minutes.  All done - enjoy!!

I served mine with sauteed spinach & arugala - and then I had a second helping.  Josh liked it too, but he thought it was better with Tamari added to his.

The baby eggplants - aren't they cute?

chopped onions, broccoli, eggplant & mushrooms

Earth Balance & organic millet

Sauteed veggies

After baking!  (Yes, I really have a Fit & Healthy spoon rest)


More about millet...

Millet is a gluten-free grain (well, actually it's a seed, but it looks and feels like a grain).  It has been used for centuries in ancient diets and because it is hardy, it can survive drought.  It's also extremely versatile - it can be used as a breakfast "porridge", served savory or sweet, made into a flat bread, used as one might use other pastas or grains, and used in soups.  Nursing mothers have relied on millet soups to aid in breast milk production and to recover more quickly after childbirth.  Millet is a good source of protein and also contains B vitamins, especially niacin, B6 & folic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc & potassium.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

National Farmers Market Week ~ August 7-13, 2011

Today kicked off National Farmers Market Week across the country.  This week, let's recognize and thank our local farmers for the produce, livestock, dairy, poultry, herbs, plants & flowers they provide to us through their hard work and dedication to our communities.

It's important that we support our local farmers.  Not only are we buying fresher foods that have been picked just recently (sometimes the very day we visit the farmers market), but we're aiding in sustainability by promoting local farmland preservation.  Farmers markets offer us the convenience of one-stop shopping for our produce as well as a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and many other locally made products.  Oftentimes, the pricing for these goods is incredibly economical.  Buying at farmers markets can decrease a consumer's weekly produce budget and save money.  Who wouldn't want to save extra cash these days?

You can find farmers markets open on various days of the week.  Chances are, you can find one that operates at a time when you are available to peruse the stands, tents, trucks and tables. 

Here's a great listing of Maryland farmers markets, posted by county: Maryland Farmers Market Directory

If you are not local to Maryland, here's a national farmers market search: National Farmers Markets Listing

When you visit a farmers market this week, take some time to peruse the offerings and speak with the farmers about their produce or products.  Thank them for providing us with fresh foods.  Lastly, don't forget your reusable shopping bags!

What fruits & veggies are you looking for this week?  What recipes do you have planned?

Monday, August 1, 2011

How can we get motivated to move?

You might be saying, "Debi, you've posted about how finding time for you has changed your life.  You gave us some tips on how to fit exercise into our busy lives.  But, what about finding the motivation to get started?"

Believe me, I was once the queen of excuses.  "I'm tired, it's been a long day."  "The kids wore me out today." "It's early, I want to stay in bed, it's comfy here."  Let's not forget one that many of us may have used this past week, "It's way too hot outside, and I am already sweating as it is, why make it worse?"  I will confess, sometimes I still don my tiara and I let excuses keep me from working out.  Do you notice how you feel when you don't exercise regularly or when you take a few extra rest days?  I know that when I take a few days off, I feel sluggish, more tired, and a bit irritable.  I talked myself out of my excuses the other day and thought since it was so hot and I was already sweating, I might as well add to the sweatfest by getting in my workout.  At least I'd be sweating due to being productive.

What else can we do to break through those motivational barriers when the excuses squash the desire to get moving?  Have you found that sometimes simply telling the justifications to take a hike just isn't enough?  Here are a few tips to boost motivation and put those excuses to rest:
  • Think about your goals and make sure they're realistic  Write out your fitness intentions and read them each morning & night.  Keeping these affirmations in mind every day will encourage you to take the steps needed to succeed.
  • Picture yourself ten years from now.  Do you want to be strong, resilient and healthy?  Keep that mental picture in mind when you don't feel like exercising. 
  • Does the number on the scale frustrate you and cause you to throw in the towel?  Perhaps staying away from the scale for a few weeks would prove beneficial.
  • Surround yourself with inspiring people, blogs, Facebook pages or magazine articles.  Post a note on your mirror so that you see it every day (I have one on my bedroom mirror and my bathroom mirror).  I have a magnet on my fridge that says "Be the change you wish to see in the world."
  • When the alarm goes off, get up and put on your workout clothes right away.  Wearing those duds can encourage you to get moving.  Heck, I have slept in my workout clothes on occasion.  No excuses there!
  • Create an accountability group, or find a partner.  Encourage a friend or loved one to be your support.  Email, text or call each other every day and cheer each other on.  Workout together or do the same workouts if you are not in close proximity.  Talk about how many reps you did and what your goals are for your next workout.
  • Blog about it!  When you put yourself out there and tell people that you have specific goal in mind in terms of your workouts (or anything else), you might feel obligated to follow through because you know people will be looking forward to your next blog post.
  • Put on some upbeat music or whatever you like to listen to.  It'll get your heart pumping before you even start your workout.
  • Set your goals and reward yourself when you reach each one.  If you work out for X number of days in one month, treat yourself to a new (insert item here).  You don't need to break the bank, but you should reward yourself with something that's worth working for.

Now get to it!!  I'm happy to answer any questions:  Have a great (and productive) week!
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