Friday, February 27, 2015

No-Bake Chocolate Covered Graham Cracker Crumb Cookies Recipe

Every week I bake or make some type of cookies or cookie bars for my family to enjoy throughout the week. Last week I decided to go with a batch of no-bake cookies and made these super easy & very delicious chocolate covered graham cracker crumb cookies. Needless to say, they didn't last long and the family devoured them within three days! We will definitely be making them again soon!

No-Bake Chocolate Covered Graham Cracker Crumb Cookies Recipe

3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth not chunky
1 cup confectioner's sugar (10X sugar)
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup semi-sweet milk chocolate chips

Line your baking sheets with waxed paper or parchment paper. You will be dropping the cookies onto them once you have them prepared.

In a large mixing bowl cream together the softened butter, creamy peanut butter and the confectioner's sugar until well-blended and creamy. Beat in the graham cracker crumbs and beat well until all ingredients are blended together. Shape mixture into 1 1/2" diameter balls using your hands. Place the balls onto your prepared baking sheets. Place the sheets into your refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes or until firm.

Melt the semi-sweet milk chocolate chips in a double boiler or in your microwave (at 30 second intervals, stirring often) until melted. Be careful to not scorch the chocolate! Once it is smooth and melted, dip the balls into the melted chocolate and roll until all sides of the balls are covered. I like to use mini tongs for this. Hold the balls above the bowl and let the chocolate drain back into the bowl. Place the chocolate graham cracker crumb balls back onto the baking sheet. When you have the sheet filled, place it back into the refrigerator until the chocolate sets. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

5 Myths About Losing Weight This Year

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More than a third of adults in the United States, 35.1 percent, are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Nearly 70 percent are at least overweight, and obesity in adolescents has quadrupled in the past three decades.

“Despite all the attention, an unhealthy amount of body fat remains an insidious problem,” says Dr. Eleazar Kadile, who specializes in treating patients with obesity and associated chronic disease.

“Most of us know we’re facing a national health crisis, yet diets for millions of Americans continue to be based in heavily processed foods. Obese people often live in perpetual shame, and many others believe they are right to blame the overweight and obese for their problem.”

Dr. Kadile, director of the Center for Integrative Medicine and author of “Stop Dying Fat” (, says poor attitudes and lack of understanding contribute significantly to this national crisis, which contributes to our national healthcare difficulties. He debunks five myths about being overweight and obese.

• “It’s your fault that you’re fat.” Obesity is caused by complex imbalances within a person’s body and his or her environment. Some imbalances are exacerbated by poor dietary choices based on bad dietary information, personal history and psychological patterns. Together, the physiological, psychological, social and environmental causes of the disease of obesity create a predicament that obese people are drawn into and unable to get out of.

• Obese people are among the “fat and happy.” Large people can be masters at suppressing the indignities they suffer in society. The obese often have to pay first-class fare since cheaper seats for transportation are designed for thinner people. Most advertisements employ beautiful people who are thin, and rarely attractive actors who are larger. National campaigns to battle obesity do not focus on the factors beyond diet and exercise that keep people overweight. Obese patients also spend an average of nearly $1,500 more each year on medical care than other Americans.

• Obese and overweight people just need the right diet. There’s no shortage of diets promoted by beautiful people who promise amazing results. If only overweight people eat what they eat, then they’ll be beautiful, too. But that’s just not true. What and how one eats is just a part of an excessive body mass index level. Other important factors to achieving a healthy BMI include good information regarding one’s health, sustained motivation to change, continuous learning, vigilance and an ability to be extremely honest.

• Food is not an obese individual’s friend; exercise is. Eat less; exercise more; lose weight – those have been the commandments in the religion of weight loss. But most obese people have tried this and it hasn’t worked. More than being a source of pleasure, comfort and survival, food is medicine.

“I’ve developed a complementary set of protocols that target an obese person’s specific set of problems,” Dr. Kadile says. “Sometimes, you need to eat fat – the right kind – in order to burn fat. And, many exercises can actually harm an obese person. You can’t impose cookie-cutter solutions to this complex problem and expect them to work.”

• Fat people need to “just do it” – lose weight. This attitude is not based in reality; it’s an over-simplistic response for a frustrating problem.

“Morbidly obese patients need plenty of preparation,” he says. “When a patient comes to me, I go through a rigorous list of questions regarding medical and family history. I ask about eating, sleeping and activity patterns, as well as medical conditions, emotional patterns, stress histories, good times and bad times, etc. I also have them go through an extensive battery of medical tests. That’s the effective and safe way of doing it.”

In other words, “just do it” just doesn’t cover it.

About Eleazar Kadile, M.D. - Dr. Eleazar Kadile is a complementary physician who specializes in treating patients with obesity, who may suffer from heart disease, hypertension, type-2 diabetes, arthritis, depression or ADHD. With decades of medical experience throughout the United States, he has been developing a comprehensive and systematic approach to battling obesity. He is the director of the Center for Integrative Medicine in Green Bay, Wis. (

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

BIRDMAN or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance DVD

This Tuesday - February 17th, 2015 you will find a brand new DVD release for BIRDMAN! My husband has been patiently waiting for this release for the past few months and finally release day is here! See below for some additional information about this great film that you will want to add to your DVD collection.

* Nominated for Nine Academy Awards® Including “Best Picture”
* Winner of a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
* Winner of two Golden Globes® Including Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, Best Screenplay
* Winner of Darryl F. Zanuck PGA Award for Best Feature Film

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Regency Enterprises invite audiences to take flight with a New Regency / M Productions / Le Grisbi production, BIRDMAN or (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE) – winner of two Golden Globes® Awards and 9 Academy Awards nominations, including Best Picture, the critically-acclaimed film soars onto Blu-ray™ and DVD February 17 and is now available on Digital HD™. “Daring, devastating, and howlingly funny; [with] Michael Keaton delivering the best performance of his career” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone), BIRDMAN has been hailed as one of the most exciting and talked about films of 2014.

Directed, written and produced by Alejandro González Iñárritu, BIRDMAN tells the story of Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), (Batman, Robocop, Need For Speed) – famous for portraying an iconic superhero – as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself. The film has enamoured critics and audiences alike with its technical achievements using a single shot concept and captivating performances from an all-star ensemble cast, which include Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover, Due Date, Dinner for Schmucks), Edward Norton (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Primal Fear, American History X), Andrea Riseborough (Oblivion, Shadow Dancer), Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone, Win Win), Emma Stone (The Help; Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Amazing Spiderman franchise) Naomi Watts (St. Vincent, The Impossible, King Kong) as well as breath-taking cinematography from Academy Award-winner Emmanuel Lubezki.

Featured on over 168 Top Ten lists, BIRDMAN has garnered attention worldwide and has received more than 200 nominations from such esteemed groups as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, receiving nine Academy Award nominations, including “Best Picture,” won two Golden Globe awards (“Best Performance by an Actor,” “Best Screenplay”), recipient of the Darryl F. Zanuck, Producer of the Year Award for Best Motion Picture as well as a Screen Actors Guild award (“Best Ensemble,”) and has also been nominated for six Spirit Awards, including “Best Feature.”) BIRDMAN has also earned nods from the American Film Institute, the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Online.

TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT - Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, LLC (TCFHE) is a recognized global industry leader and a subsidiary of Twentieth Century Fox Film, a News Corporation company. Representing over 75 years of innovative and award-winning filmmaking from Twentieth Century Fox, TCFHE is the worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox film and television programming, acquisitions and original productions as well as all third party distribution partners on DVD, Blu-ray™, Digital Copy, Digital HD™, and VOD (video-on-demand). Each year TCFHE introduces hundreds of new and newly enhanced products, which it services to retail outlets from mass merchants and warehouse clubs to specialty stores and e-commerce throughout the world.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine’s Day Red Salad Recipe

To support Women’s Cardiovascular Health Awareness and of course, Valentine’s Day, the Valentine’s Day Red Salad is a tasty treat packed with-tons of flavor! It would be a great recipe for anyone who’s trying to eat healthier with their sweetheart for 2015.

Photo and recipe is courtesy of: Paulding & Company, a full catering kitchen based in San Francisco, boasting vast opportunities for bonding and excitement founded by mother-daughter duo Tracy and Terry Paulding.

Valentine’s Day Red Salad Recipe

Yield: 2 servings
1 small red beet
1 small “cocktail size” grapefruit
1 small blood orange
1small head Treviso (red chicory)
½ cup finely shaved fresh fennel
grated zest from the orange
1 tsp. finely minced shallot
1/8 tsp. dry mustard
2 tsp. sherry vinegar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. salt, or more to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Steam the beet until tender, ½ hour for medium sized. When the beet is tender, cool, peel and cut julienne (if you slice it on a mandoline and then sliver the slices, you’ll get even size pieces). Place in a bowl large enough for all the salad ingredients.

Zest the orange and set aside in a bowl. Completely peel the grapefruit and orange: first slice off the top and bottom, then stand the fruit on the cutting board and pare away the skin and pith in broad swaths. Slice or segment the orange, and segment the grapefruit (do this over a bowl, to catch the juice for the dressing). Place the segments in the bowl with the beets.

Carefully wash and dry the treviso leaves, then slice cross-wise into slivers. Place in the bowl with the beets and citrus.

Wash the fennel, trim off any brown spots and surfaces. Using the stalks as a handle, thinly shave the fennel bulbs on a mandoline, being very careful of your fingers; if you don’t have a mandoline, simply slice as thinly as possible with a sharp knife. Add the fennel to the chicories.

Make the dressing: combine the zest, minced shallot, mustard, vinegar, lemon, salt and pepper in the bowl with your captured grapefruit and orange juice. Whisk in the oil. Taste the dressing, adjust balance as needed with more vinegar, salt, etc. Since the beets and fruit are sweet, you want the dressing a little more tart than a regular salad dressing.

Just before serving, toss the salad with some of the dressing, to taste. Finish with a light grinding of black pepper from the mill.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Behr DeckOver - Perfect to Refinish the Front Porch Surface

Five and a half years ago my husband and I purchased an older home. It is quite large and has a lot of great charm. However, the previous home owners never got around to modernizing it and many of the home's features date back to the 1960's and 70's.

Over the past 5 1/2 years we have been going from room to room remodeling it and updating it. It is a big work in progress which is taking us quite some time to complete. As we go along, we are falling more in-love with our older home each and every day.

Back in early Fall of 2014 we finally found the time to refinish and resurface one of our two front porches. Both of them are flat cement but neither one of them have been touched for 40+ years. There were areas that were weather-stained and two smaller areas that were starting to crumble. On top of that, we had some surface cracks too.

Hubby got busy filling in the cracks and fixing up the surface of our large front porch. Once he had that all done we headed to Lowe's and got ourselves 2 gallons of Behr DeckOver in a light beige/natural color. We also picked up the chemical that was needed to treat the surface before we applied the Behr Deckover and a few paint brushes & rollers.

Treating the surface with the recommended chemical was a 2 day process. Follow the instructions on the DeckOver can. We treated it one day and then treated it a second day, 24 hours later. We then waited an entire 48 hours before we used the DeckOver product.

For our personal needs, we found that we needed two coats of the DeckOver, allowing it to thoroughly dry in-between each coat. It was a super easy process and we are totally pleased with the final results. We highly recommend this product if you need to refinish a front porch, back porch, deck, etc. I can be used on cement or wood surfaces and is super easy to use! In the photo above you can see our before on the left and our after on the right. Fantastic!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

10 Ways To Burn 200 Calories In Less Than An Hour

10 Ways To Burn 200 Calories In Less Than An Hour
Celebrity Personal Trainer Gives His Favorite Activities To Burn Calories

It may not be surprising that the number one New Years resolution is to lose weight/ get into shape. What is shocking is that by the end of January most people have already given up on this resolution!

To many, weight loss can seem like a daunting battle, especially if you are not seeing the results you want and doing activities you don’t like to do! Celebrity personal trainer, Joey Thurman, encourages those who have made this resolution to stick with their journey and find activities that are fun.

Here are Joey’s 10 activities that will torch 200 calories in less than an hour:

1. Biking- Jump on your bike and take a ride around the neighborhood! “This is a great activity for everyone! Biking for 30 minutes at 10-12 mph will burn 210 calories! Great activity for when you want to bring the family along for the workout.”
2. Jump Rope- Feel like a kid again and jump rope!- “Jumping rope is a great way to get your heart pumping and great work out if you don’t have a lot of time. You can burn those 200 calories in just 10-15 minutes.”
3. Climbing stairs- Climb your way to killer legs! “Climbing stairs doesn’t have to be done at the gym. You can do this activity at home, at the gym or at a park. Climbing stairs for 30 minutes will burn 200 calories.”
4. Dancing- Just Dance! “For those who love to dance around their room while no one is watching…keep it up! Dancing for 40 minutes will burn 216 calories.”
5. Bowling- Make your workout a perfect game- “When coming up with date night ideas don’t forget about bowling! Hitting the lanes for an hour will burn 200 calories.”
6. Basketball- For love of the game- “Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition? Gather your friends, (or look for a pickup game,) and hit the court. While you only have to play for 20 minutes to burn 200 calories, I am sure you will play much longer!”
7. Jogging-Lace up your shoes and take a quick 25 minute jog. “If you are a morning person, jogging for 25 minutes in the AM is a great way to start your day! If you like to hit the snooze button, running after your day is a fantastic way to release your office tension. Best part, a 25 minute jog will have you burning 218 calories.”
8. Swimming - Take a Dive- “Taking a swim is a favorite for many and a great low impact activity. Taking a 30 minute swim can burn 215 calories.”
9. Tennis- Game, set, match! “You don’t need to have skills like a Williams sister or Andy Roddick to see results from this game. Hitting the courts for 25 minutes will burn 218 calories.”
10. Basic training – Are you army strong? - “If you are looking for a killer workout, try a basic training workout. A 30 minute workout of pushups, sit-ups and timed sprints running will burn 200 calories.”

“Working out shouldn’t be a chore, you should love what you are doing and feel great after,” says Thurman. “These activities are able to be done with a friend or on your own. The best part of these activities, they are gym free! You don’t have to go to a gym to see results, just find an activity that you love to do!”

About Joey Thurman: Joey Thurman is a health, fitness, and nutrition expert and the creator of The Lifestyle Renovation, a website dedicated to helping people achieve their health and fitness goals. He has appeared on CBS, FOX, ABC, and WCIU sharing his insights as a celebrity fitness trainer and published author. Joey’s work has been featured in publications such as, Racked, TimeOut Chicago, RedEye, and American Global Traveler. Joey is a fashion model represented by Chosen Model Management where he works with brands including Neiman Marcus, Abercrombie, Jockey, and Carson Pirie Scott. He has also appeared on the covers of Healthy for Men and TimeOut Chicago. Joey is a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) with the American Council on Exercise, a Fitness Nutrition Specialist (FNS) and a FITchef. For more information, please visit and follow Joey on Instagram and Twitter at @JoeyThurmanFit.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Healthy Baked Oatmeal Bars Recipe

Healthy Snacks Can Keep New Year's Resolutions on Track during Super Bowl Watch Parties ~ 'The Daniel Plan' Offers a Tasty Alternative.

The Super Bowl is the second highest day of food consumption all year long. Yet, many individuals this time of year are still clinging to his or her New Year's resolutions and lifestyle changes. Parties and special events can often be the hardest times to stick to those changes. The Daniel Plan is a healthy lifestyle program developed by Drs. Rick Warren, Daniel Amen, and Mark Hyman and based on the five essential principles of food, fitness, focus, faith and friends.

The No. 1 New York Times bestselling book, "The Daniel Plan" and the supplemental "The Daniel Plan Cookbook" offer readers easy-to-implement guidelines to develop a healthier lifestyle, including choosing easy-to-prepare, great-tasting dishes like this tasty Baked Oatmeal Bars recipe.

Baked Oatmeal Bars Recipe

2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
1 ½ t. baking powder
½ t. salt
2 ½ t. cinnamon
4 t. of liquid stevia extract
1 c. unsweetened coconut milk
1 egg white
½ c. unsweetened applesauce
1 ¼ t vanilla
1 c. 70 percent bitter sweet chocolate chunks, finely chooped

Preheat oven to 350; spray coconut oil on 8×8 pan. Combine oats, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a food processor and pulse to mix well. Add milk, egg white, applesauce, stevia and vanilla to dry ingredients. Mix well. Gently fold in chocolate chunks. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly before cutting into squares. Makes 8 large squares or 16 smaller squares. Can substitute raisins, cranberries, dried cherries, etc, or reduce amount of milk and add Peanut butter.

Taken from "The Daniel Plan Cookbook: Healthy Eating for Life" / Rick Warren, D. Min., Daniel Amen, M.D., Mark Hyman, M.D., Copyright © 2014 by The Daniel Plan. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. Product available at ---> HERE.