Dietitian Store Tour

I’ve been working my way through task after task of a highly motivating Nutrition Scavenger Hunt this month, created by dietitians at my local gym. One of the suggested activities on the list is to attend a grocery shopping tour with a dietitian at Hy-Vee.

I knew Hy-Vee stores employed dietitians, but have never really known what they do there. I recently emailed Sara from one of our Rochester locations to schedule my shopping tour. She met with me earlier this week with her intern, Deanna, to give me a store tour from a dietitian’s perspective. Here, they introduced me to Bolthouse dressings (I brought home the mango chipotle…YUM).

In my 4 1/2 year get-healthy journey, I thought I knew a great deal about the multitude of products available to those who care to make more mindful choices. I’d like to think I know my way around a grocery store too. But this store is a giagantic recent addition to Rochester, and having been intimidated by its size, I shied away from it. Until now!

I mean, check out this bulk area for instance…it houses 997 items. I stood there wondering where a person would even start. But with Sara by my side, she zeroed in on one of her favorites…

Organic red lentil beans, something I never knew existed, but was glad she pointed out, because some of those went home with me!

Spending hours in a store on your own, attempting to make healthy discoveries can seem overwhelming. I know, I’ve been there so many times. But strolling through the isles with these knowledgeable ladies was a treat. They pointed out so many products that offer lower calories, lower sodium content and a cleaner list of ingredients! Take for instance this awesome tomato sauce, it contains tomatoes…and that’s it! Better yet, only 10 mg of sodium!!!

Yup, that went home with me too!

As Sara and Deanna steered me down the chip isle, I joked (actually quite seriously) there couldn’t be anything healthy in that isle! But Sara led me straight to these…

Although the calorie range is equivalent to other chips, these contain only a few ingredients, the first of which is whole navy beans! Must be why they have 5 grams of protein and fiber in each serving. I went home with the white bean chips with hint of lime flavor. I ate some last night…delish!

Snacks can sometimes get me in trouble, but these flackers were developed by a doctor to promote health in a multitude of ways…how cool is that?!?

The tour lasted an hour, but Sara and Deanna’s recommendation list went far beyond! I’ve become aware of so many new super food items, many with convenience in mind…like this ready-made quinoa.

And these amazing cauliflower crumbles that save time and mess!

I’d show you the spiralized veggies that intrigued me, but I can’t; when I went back to choose some, they were sold out!

I’m happy to know there are some great products out there to replace others that didn’t fit well in my diet, like these seasonings to help me avoid salt.

And how about these instead of tortillas? At 60 calories and a plethora of flavors, I’d reach for these every time!

It was eye-opening what I learned in an hour. Sara, many thanks for your expertise and willingness to spend an hour with me, so glad Deanna accompanied us too. I’ve gained much valuable insight!

I’m freshly inspired knowing there’s even an ice cream out there that aligns with my goals!

Shout out to the Rochester Athletic Club dietitians for such an innovative way to observe National Nutrition Month; I’m off to complete another task on the scavenger hunt!

Win-It Wednesday OOFOS Winners

Happy Win-It Wednesday!

Friends, your response to the FIT BFFs OOFOS giveaway was amazing! I’d like to thank my generous friends at OOFOS for another opportunity to educate and reward my readers with their fantastic products.

I’m excited to announce our three winners:

Suzanne G, Hope C-R & Rhonda M!!!

Congratulations! I’ll email you for shipping details.

Many thanks to all who entered…I wish I had a pair to give each and every one of you because I know you’d love them too. Why not stop by the OOFOS website to take a look, because treating our feet is a soothing way to literally put our Best Foot Forward!

What Makes You Happy?

I find it no coincidence that the first day of spring and International Day of Happiness fall on the same day…spring and happiness are one in the same for me!

The notion of an international day of happiness threw me into reflection mode. Friends, if you want to get straight to the heart of what brings you happiness, grab a sheet of paper, or do what I do, keep a journal of things that make you happy. The thoughts that end up recorded there might surprise you. But something else that may occur as you take time to put your happy to paper, is the sheer feeling that begins to surround you…HAPPY!

On a day I need a pick-me-up, I open the pages, begin to remind myself and soon I’m right back in the zone. Another way to boost my happy is looking at photos, memories of joy.

When I look years back, I’m reminded of the millions of little things I did with my parents and brother, later my husband, then our babies and on to our growing boys with so many relatives and friends. It was a streak of lovely, happy chaos. But now, as the years have passed and my kids reach beyond needing me, I’ve carved out a new niche of happiness.

Thankfully, I’ve captured this more recent time in pictures too, because my memory isn’t what it used to be. Immediately, as I flip through these photos, the happiness floods back. I realize it has become something quite different. It’s quieter now…

It’s calmer…

But doesn’t lack adventure. Rather, happiness finds me bolting clear out of my comfort zone again and again!

 

Climbing new heights…

Gaining new perspectives…

 Reaching for new dreams.

Embracing the here and now…

Wherever I go…

Whatever I do…

Pretty soon it becomes easier and easier to find.

Because happiness isn’t a place.

It’s a joyful sense deep within, when I’m doing what I love.

And once a person figures out what that is, they can easily reach for it again and again!

In observance of International Day of Happiness, I invite you to take a quiet moment, take a deep breath and jot down what makes you happy. Then get busy doing that which makes you feel that way!

Friends, I’d love for you to leave a comment below sharing something that makes you happy…let’s light this happiness thing on fire; heck…I’ll even start!

Win-It Wednesday OOFOS Sandals

Happy Win-It Wednesday, fellow FIT BFFs! Yesterday I reviewed a wonderful pair of OOFOS OOlala Sandals here, in case you missed it.

As promised, OOFOS has partnered with FIT BFFs by generously providing some OOlove for us this week…how awesome is that?!?

Three lucky winners will each win a pair of OOFOS OOlala Sandals, OOriginal Sandals or Sport Sandals of their choice; that means both men and women can get in on the giveaway action!

 

To read more about this amazing footwear, to select style/color/size you hope to win, or to order your own because you simply can’t wait to see if you won, stop by the OOFOS website here.

To enter, simply leave a comment below stating which sandal style, color and size (men’s or women’s whole sizes only) you hope to win between now and Tuesday, March 21st, midnight central time.

You may enter only once on the blog, but can earn one extra entry for doing each of the following:

  • LIKE the FIT BFFs Facebook page if you are new to the page
  • LIKE the Win-It Wednesday post on the FIT BFFs Facebook page
  • COMMENT on the Win-It Wednesday post
  • SHARE the Win-It Wednesday post

Giveaway open to US residents only. Randomly selected winners will be announced here on Win-It Wednesday, March 22nd. Good luck!

OOFOS OOlala Sandal Review

Friends, I couldn’t be more excited about sharing with you something that arrived in my mail recently.

My friends at OOFOS provided me with a pair of their amazing recovery technology for feet in one of their amazing new colors! Although it may seem ironic these arrived while snow still blankets much of Minnesota, I couldn’t be happier to have them here right now! Why? Because I am breaking them in at the indoor pool, dreaming of warmer weather.

I already know what magic OOFOS footwear performs on my feet and legs. I am no stranger to the much-needed comfort they provide post marathons and half marathons. Here are some fun post-race pics from some recent events…

 

 

OOFOS footwear looks like an ordinary flip flop or slide or clog, but the instant you slip a pair on, you know you are dealing with something entirely different. That’s because OOFOS designs their footwear to enable a more natural motion, to absorb shock with every step, to cradle your arches. And that’s great news because after a long run, bike ride or strength/weight training session, I yearn to eleviate the stress placed on my feet, knees and back.

This new pair of OOlala sandals is working overtime for me. I’ve been dealing with issues resulting from injury…a temperamental meniscus and patellofemoral pain syndrome in my left knee and some angry arthritis in both for several months. Even though it’s not quite time for these outside…

they’ve been providing some pretty impressive relief from all three issues as I wear them around the house. I may have recommended my sports med doc start writing an RX for these for his other patients lol!

Friends, I’m pretty much addicted to this company’s footwear and I know you’ll love them too. But don’t take my word for it, stop by their website and check them out for yourself; your feet earned it! While you’re there, you’ll notice all their classics as well as some scrumptious new colors too!

Readers, if you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know how generous OOFOS is, so I recommend you all stop back tomorrow for an exciting little somethin’ somthin’…wink, wink!

 

The Garbacado Sandwich

Hey, Fellow FIT BFFs, I’m working on a cool Nutrition Scavenger Hunt that’s taking place at my gym this month. One of the tasks included is to prepare one new recipe a week from the in-house dieticians’ cookbook. I opted to modify the recipe to include the Seedtastic bread I found at Aldi last week. If you missed my excitement over that bread, you can read about it here.

It’s no secret…I LOVE avocados; this is a great meatless recipe that incorporates that love! Here’s my modified version…

The Garbacado Sandwich

Ingredients:

1 slice Aldi Seedtastic bread, toasted

1/4 avocado

1/4 cup garbanzo beans

1/4 cup chopped cucumber

salt to taste (I used Himalayan salt)

 

Directions:

Mash together garbanzo beans, avocado and salt, mix in chopped cucumber. Cut toasted bread in half. Place garbacao mixture on bread, enjoy open-faced or classic sandwich-style.

Contains 232 calories, 36 grams carbs, 8 grams fat, 9 grams protein, 11 grams fiber

Found Another Favorite!

Friends, are you hungry for something spectacularly healthy? I sure was recently when I dined at Applebee’s. I found a spectacular entree that is both a flavor and nutritional thumbs up!

But that’s nothing new, I’ve been happily dining off Applebee’s Lighter Fare menu section for years; the calorie information is right there on the menu. I know I can easily stay within my calorie range and that’s why I’ll return again and again. Plus, I’m kind of partial to a very friendly, young conscienctious server named Logan.

I’ve learned that by trying new things often, I find new favorites that help me stay motivated to keep on track. When Logan served up this plate of awesome, I knew I’d found a new love!

Friends, this generously portioned (Lent-friendly) Shrimp Wonton Stir-Fry contains a mere 580 calories, yet supplies a whopping 24 grams of protein. And, as delicious and satisfying as it was, I have a new favorite; I can’t wait to order it again! Applebee’s, you just keep doing it…you make eating out so simple for my FIT BFFs and me!

Goals Get Things DONE!

Friends, we are a full week into March. How are you coming along with your goals? I’d love to hear what you’re working on and how it’s going. Leave a comment!

Remember when I told you last week about my integrated goals for March? If you missed it, you can catch up here.

In setting some simple, succinct goals that were designed to go hand in hand, I motivated the heck out of myself. Check it out…

As of yesterday, here are 7 days worth of donation receipts from Goodwill. I’ve spent this first full week finding all kinds of items that our family has outgrown, treasures we no longer use; I bagged them up and dropped them off, a bag every day on my way to the gym. I’m excited to announce I was able to close the door to my very organized closet for the first time in years…this thing is working!

This morning I received this notification that (as of yesterday) I’ve accrued 7 gym check-ins. It has become habit, and that’s a very good thing because I’m more driven in my workouts than ever!

Today, Day 8, is continued success…I even got my workout in first because I got such an early start…had to wait for Goodwill to open haha.

Friends, this is how goals are supposed to work! The more I chip away at them, the better I feel about what I’m accomplishing. I can’t help but think of what little I would have done if I hadn’t set them. The bottom line here is elementary; goals get things done!

Fantastic Friday Find: Seedtastic Bread

Happy Friday, fellow FIT BFFs! You know how much I LOVE trying new things and when I discovered this latest find, I couldn’t wait to share it with you!

Let me back up a moment to inform newer readers and remind returning folks that I make it my mission to try at least one new item every time I grocery shop. This keeps me from falling into food boredom and helps me stumble upon my new favorites. I should also mention that I am a fan of the incredibly low prices and wide selection of healthy options Aldi offers…makes eating healthy so simple!

Speaking of simple, Aldi carries their own line of organic products called SimplyNature. Yesterday I discovered this Seedtastic bread containing an impressive 21 whole grains and seeds! I’ve been in the mood for avocado toast, so that’s exactly what I thought of when I spotted this bread.

Friends, it did NOT disappoint! It was so good, in fact, that I decided to take the avocado one step further today. For those of us observing meatless Fridays, check out this little avocado toast/egg salad number I created for lunch.

It was so easy…toast a slice of Seedtastic bread, slice up 1/4 avocado, mash a hard boiled egg and mix with 2 tbsp light mayo, place over the avocado, sprinkle with paprika and voila…a nutritional powerhouse containing a mere 285 calories.

I’m so glad to have found this bread, I’m already looking forward to tomorrow morning’s peanut butter toast!

Friends, next time you’re in the grocery store, challenge yourself to purchase at least one new item. I’d love to hear what you choose, so leave a comment when you do! And remember, trying new things is one more great way we can all put our Best Foot Forward!

 

New Month New Goals

Happy March, fellow FIT BFFs! With a new month comes unlimited opportunity for focus, improvement and growth. If you’ve set any goals for this month, I’d love to hear about them…leave a comment below!

As I thought about what I wanted to accomplish this month, I realized it was quite a list, so I attempted to streamline it a bit to make it more realistic, more manageable. I took a few health/fitness, spiritual and housekeeping goals and rolled them into a bit of a multidiciplined approach for the month…here’s what I mean.

Of course I want to continue to push myself physically this month to not only maintain but increase my strength and endurance. I’m committing to a trip to the gym daily in the month of March.

Incidentally, today begins the tradition of Lent in my faith life, it is a time of prayer, sacrifice and good works. I’ve been intrigued by a challenge posted on Facebook of donating a bag of items daily for the 40 day duration of Lent.

Quite coincidentally, I’ve noticed my house seems to be bursting at the seams and in need of an early spring spruce-up. Those who know me know I love simplicity…I’m not about the stuff at all, so the clutter is kind of suffocating. I recently ordered this…

Although I’m only 34 pages in, I am ready to employ some of the strategies recommended to enjoy the breathing room decluttering would afford. I was taken by a quote by Kondo, “When we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.”

I LOVE that because, since I’ve become a champion for living in the present, I am both a fan of dropping the useless guilt of the past and the senseless worry of the future. It’s the stuff that bogs me down, and it’s time for it to go!

So here’s where the integration of my goals is taking me this month. I plan to bag up a pile of unnecessary belongings every day, deposit them at the donation center of the nearby Goodwill and immediately proceed to my gym across the street for my daily workout.

I love the simplicity of this plan. Later each day, I will return home to sift and sort through another category of the house that deserves attention, providing further discards for the next day’s bag. As space frees up, it will be easier to straighten those places, thus reaping the rewards of my three targets this month…exercising daily, giving to others and tidying/calming my home.

Here’s today’s bag of motivation, which means I’m also off to the gym! I can’t wait to see what this process does to me this month. I’m excited about the propects and love this Kondo quote, “The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”

I’m so done being weighed down and ready to let it all go…one more way to put my Best Foot Forward!