Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jonelle - Version 4.0

Hey fitness friends! It's been a few weeks now, Christmas has come and gone and a new year is approaching. I want to say a belated "Merry Christmas!" Hope you had a wonderful time sharing lots of love & laughs with you and yours. I also want to wish everyone an early Happy New Year! I wish for nothing but joy & happiness for us all in the upcoming year! Lots of exciting things have been happening in my life lately and I have a feeling 2011 is going to be one awesome year (personally as well as professionally)! Some of you know and some of you don't, but I've been working a new fitness site,, which I hope to launch the first week of January. Don't worry, I'm going to still continue to write in Confessions Of A Fit Girl (I love this blog!), the site and my blog will all work together to hopefully help anyone whose interested in succeeding at fitness, mind, body & spirit!

With the new year approaching, it's got me thinking about where I was this time of year last year, and I can honestly say, I'm not the same person I was then as I am now. That was an older version. I've evolved since then. I am now smarter, wiser, and stronger - stronger not just on the outside but the inside, too! I know a lot of times on this blog I talk about physical change but emotional/mental change is just as important. I've found that the two work hand in hand. As I've said before, after I lost the weight a couple of years ago, I changed. My self-confidence grew leaps and bounds! And it wasn't just because I "looked better", it was because I had set a goal and achieved it. I began to realize that I have the power within me to achieve ANYTHING! That's a major self-esteem booster!

Nothing survives without change. I know some people claim to not like change but change is the only constant thing that you can count on, good or bad. And I am living proof that not all change is bad. So with the new year coming in just a day, I urge you to embrace the new you that's about to emerge! Whether you've been working out for years or just starting your journey, we're all constantly evolving! In 2011 it will be 4 years since I've started this weight loss journey, so I'm getting ready for Jonelle - Version 4.0, how about you? :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Diet-Friendly Fast Foods

Okay, you read the title and I already know what some of you nutrition freaks, like myself, are thinking, "Diet-friendly fast food?! Get real! No such thing!" Believe me, I know where you're coming from. I'm a big believer in not eating out. The fact remains that the majority of fast foods are processed foods filled with fats, preservatives, sugars, and lots of other bad for you words. But to my surprise, after doing a little research, I discovered that there are actually a fair amount of healthy, low-calorie, diet-friendly fast food options out there. Now don't get me wrong, I'm still not a real fan of eating fast-food. Cooking your own healthy dishes is definitely the best option. But I do realize that not everyone has the time to invest in cooking due to busy schedules. Some would argue that you have to make the time, but what happens when there simply is no time? Some people's schedules are really that jam packed! Also, everyone gets tired of cooking from time to time, including myself, and even if you love cooking there are going to be times when you're tired of eating your own home cooked foods. In other words, eating fast-food from time to time is inevitable. Personally, I allow myself one "cheat day" a week, 6 days out of the week I cook at home but there's one day that I eat out. I usually limit it to healthier options, such as Subway or certain Chinese food dishes, but now after discovering these new diet-friendly fast food options I can now add some variety to my menu! So here goes...

The 22 Healthiest Fast Foods

What to Order at America's Top 10 Fast Food Joints

No one can say that McDonald’s isn’t convenient—you can find one on just about every corner in some cities. But can it be healthy, too? I wouldn't have thought so, but it all depends on what you choose.
  • Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich: When you hold the mayo, you'll save calories and fat.
    370 calorie
    Publish Post
    s, 4.5g fat, 1g sat. fat, 65mg cholesterol, 1,110mg sodium, 50g carbs, 3g fiber, 32g protein
  • Premium Asian Salad with Grilled Chicken: The majority of the fat in this flavorful salad comes from the almonds, and the Asian Blend contains veggies and soybeans, making it heart-healthy.
    300 calories, 10g fat, 1g sat. fat, 65mg cholesterol, 890mg sodium, 23g carbs, 5g fiber, 32g protein
  • Fruit and Yogurt Parfait: If you’re looking for a sweet treat, this is a winner. Made with low-fat yogurt and topped with low fat granola, strawberries and blueberries, it’s far less sinful but just as tasty as ice cream.
    160 calories, 2g fat, 1g sat. fat, 5mg cholesterol, 85mg sodium, 31g carbs, 1g fiber, 4g protein 
Visit for more healthy ideas. 

    Who would have ever though Wendy's could be healthy? Not me! Well, I was wrong. Try these best picks for your next lunch on the run.
    • Mandarin Chicken Salad: A variety of lettuces and toppings, like roasted almonds and crispy noodles, make this salad a flavor-packed meal. Most of the fat is unsaturated.
      540 calories, 25g fat, 3g sat. fat, 65mg cholesterol, 1,260mg sodium, 50g carbs, 5g fiber, 31g protein
    • Ultimate Chicken Grill: Order it with lettuce, tomatoes, and honey mustard sauce.
      320 calories, 7g fat, 1.5g sat. fat, 70mg cholesterol, 950mg sodium, 36g carbs, 2g fiber, 28g protein 
    Get more nutrition facts at

      Burger King
      A salad and veggie burger top the healthy list at Burger King.
      • Tendergrill Chicken Garden Salad: Hold the cheese and top with the Light Italian dressing:
        300 calories, 16g fat, 2.5g sat. fat, 70mg cholesterol, 1,050mg sodium, 13g carbs, 5g fiber, 33g protein
      • BK Veggie Burger: Say "no mayo" to enjoy this healthy, cholesterol-free vegetarian delight.
        340 calories, 8g fat, 1g sat. fat, 0mg cholesterol, 1,030mg sodium, 46g carbs, 7g fiber, 23g protein 
      Their website,, offers more nutrition information. 

        Taco Bell
        When you order it “fresco style”, the regular cheese and sauce are replaced by a flavorful combo of tomatoes, onions, and cilantro, all fresh (and much healthier).
        • Fresco Style Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco:
          170 calories, 4g fat, 1.5g sat. fat, 25mg cholesterol, 730mg sodium, 21g carbs, 3g fiber, 12g protein
        • Fresco Crunchy Taco: This menu item is much lower in sodium but still loaded with flavor.
          150 calories, 8g fat, 2.5g sat. fat, 20mg cholesterol, 370mg sodium, 13g carbs, 3g fiber, 7g protein. 
        More nutrition facts are available at

          Subway (my personal fav!)
          Good old Jared and his subway diet brought Subway restaurants recognition as one fast food joint with lots of healthy options. Sandwiches from the Subway "Fresh Fit" menu each have fewer than 6 grams of fat.
          • 6" Oven-Roasted Chicken Breast:
            310 calories, 5g fat, 25mg cholesterol, 830mg sodium, 5g fiber
          • 6" Veggie Delite: A great option for vegetarian diners or for those watching their cholesterol. Order it on Italian bread and it’s vegan, too.
            230 calories, 3g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 500mg sodium, 5g fiber
          • Soups: If you’re really hungry, pair your sandwich with one of the healthier Subway Soups. Each restaurant features two soups daily, and the ones listed below each contain 160 calories or fewer: Cream of Broccoli, Minestrone, New England Style Clam Chowder, Roasted Chicken Noodle, Spanish Style Chicken with Rice, Tomato Garden Vegetable with Rotini, and Vegetable Beef. 
          Visit for more information. 

            A lot of people are led to believe that Arby's, in general, is a pretty healthy choice for fast food, but for the healthiest fare, steer clear of the roast beef sandwiches altogether.
            • Martha’s Vineyard Salad:
              466 calories, 23g fat, 6g sat. fat, 61mg cholesterol, 996mg sodium, 43g carbs, 4g fiber, 22g protein 
            Visit their website, to see more choices. 

              Although their fried chicken isn’t health food (not even by a long shot), KFC does have some healthy options on their menu.
              • Honey BBQ Sandwich:
                280 calories, 3.5g fat, 1g sat. fat, 60mg cholesterol, 780mg sodium, 40g carbs, 3g fiber, 22g protein
              • Tender Roast Sandwich: Hold the sauce.
                300 calories, 4.5g fat, 1.5g sat. fat, 70mg cholesterol, 1,060mg sodium, 28g carbs, 2g fiber, 37g protein
              • Roasted Caesar Salad: Hold the croutons, and top it with fat-free ranch dressing.
                250 calories, 8g fat, 4.5g sat. fat, 70mg cholesterol, 1,240 mg sodium, 14g carbs, 3g fiber, 31g protein 
              Get more nutrition facts at

                Just because it isn't beef doesn't mean it's always better—especially when the chicken is breaded and fried. Try the items below.
                • Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich:
                  270 calories, 3g fat, 1g sat. fat, 50mg cholesterol, 1,260mg sodium, 37g carbs, 4g fiber, 28g protein
                • Chargrilled and Fruit Salad: Top with reduced fat berry balsamic vinaigrette.
                  290 calories, 8g fat, 3.5g sat. fat, 65mg cholesterol, 760mg sodium, 32g carbs, 5g fiber, 22g protein 
                See all the facts at

                  Jack in the Box
                  Now Jack in the Box has to be one of the worst fast food places out there, who would ever believe it could contain anything healthy?!? Whole grains, from this fast food joint? Believe it! 
                  • Asian Chicken Salad with Grilled Chicken Strips:
                    160 calories, 1.5g fat, 0g sat. fat, 65mg cholesterol, 380mg sodium, 18g carbs, 5g fiber, 22g protein
                  • Chicken Fajita Pita: The pita is made with whole grains, which are rarely seen at fast food restaurants. Hold the salsa.
                    300 calories, 9g fat, 3.5g sat. fat,60mg cholesterol, 1,090mg sodium, 33g carbs, 4g fiber, 23g protein 
                  Visit for more menu items. 

                    Carl’s Jr.
                    Steer clear of big, meaty burgers and try these chicken options instead.
                    • Charbroiled BBQ Chicken Sandwich:
                      360 calories, 4.5g fat, 1g sat. fat, 60mg cholesterol, 1,150mg sodium, 48g carbs, 4g fiber, 34g protein
                    • Charbroiled Chicken Salad: Choose the low-fat balsamic dressing.
                      295 calories, 8.5g fat, 3.5g sat. fat, 75mg cholesterol, 1,190mg sodium, 21g carbs, 5g fiber, 34g protein 
                    See the Carl's Jr. Website, for more nutrition information.

                    So it turns out that dining at a fast food restaurant doesn’t have to be a diet disaster. Use this list as a guide, or visit the websites provided to tally up totals for your preferred favorites. Just remember that these selections are healthier options for the occasional fast-food meal, but they may have other nutritional flaws (like high sodium), so you might not want to make it a regular part of your nutrition plan. So every once in awhile, enjoy eating some fast-food! Diet-friendly fast-food... who knew? :)

                    Source(s): "The 22 HealthiestFast Foods: What to Order at America's Top Fast Food Joints" by Liza Barnes, Health Educator, article - 

                      Sunday, December 5, 2010

                      Breaking The Myths

                      Hello fitness lovers! And soon-to-be fitness lovers! (Hey, I'm not discriminative and I don't want to leave anyone out! I'm sure sooner or later if you keep reading this blog I'll convert you to the healthier side of the road! :) ) It's December 2010, we've got less than 30 days before the new year and whether you're just recently new to healthy living (i.e. - eating a healthy diet and incorporating a regular fitness routine), you've been doing it for years or you've decided to make getting healthy your new year's resolution for 2011, I'm sure you've already been a victim to believing some common myths or misconceptions of dieting. Don't worry, you're not alone, I was a victim of hearing and believing the hype, too. From downing your weight in water to loading up on grapefruit, there's a long list of tricks and tips that promise to help you drop those extra pounds. It's now time to separate the fact from fiction and be a victim no longer! This post will be all about stating and breaking common diet myths in order to help you end this year and start the new upcoming year right! 

                      10 Diet Myths That Won't Go Away

                      1. Myth: Calories eaten after 8 p.m. turn to fat. This has to be the number one, biggest myth out there! I can't tell you how many times I've heard this!
                      Fact: The reality is this is an urban legend and the fact of the matter is, if you eat more calories than your body burns in a day, the excess calories will be stored as fat. Whether you consume them during 'Good Morning America' or 'Letterman' doesn't matter; there is no connection between calories and the clock. I know a lot of people have been taught the opposite, but I'm hear to tell you, don't believe the hype! I am now maintaining my weight but even while I was in the process of eating less in order to lose weight, I often ate at 9, 10 or even 11 p.m. (still do to this day) and NEVER GAINED WEIGHT! The idea that anything eaten after 8 p.m. will turn into fat is ridiculous and just not true!  The key to losing weight is counting calories and burning more than you consume in a 24 hour period. In other words, it doesn't matter what time during that 24 hours that you eat, as long as you're keeping track of your calories and only eating the certain amount you've allowed for yourself YOU CAN EAT ANYTIME YOU WANT! I get so sick of people spreading this myth around. A lot of people go to bed starving and wake up eating way more calories than should be consumed believing this myth. Now, I don't want to knock whatever eating routine you have going. If not eating after 8 p.m. works for you, keep with it, but just know, if you happen to have to eat after 8 p.m. it's NOT going to harm your diet in anyway!

                      2. Myth: To jump-start your diet, you should fast.
                      Fact: The truth? Skipping meals for extended periods of time is actually the best way to sabotage a diet. Though fasting may temporarily help you lose weight, it's predominantly water weight. Fasting is not recommended because not eating for extended periods can cause fatigue and dizziness. Ultimately, fasting usually accomplishes two things, It makes you hungry and leaves you feeling deprived. Once you become over-hungry, all common sense is lost, and you're bound to make high-calorie, high-fat choices in that state of mind. Furthermore, feeling deprived tends to lead to binging when you do eat again. So really, the more you don't eat, the more likely you are to overeat in the end.

                      3. Myth: Low-carb (high protein) diets are the most effective route to weight loss. I'll be the first to admit, I believed and adopted this myth into my diet for a long time. Whenever I stopped bread and anything "white" (pasta, potatoes, ... you know the deal) I always lost weight, so I just assumed this was true.
                      Fact: Before you ban bread altogether, consider this: Although preliminary research suggests that obese people can lose more weight on a low-carb diet than on a conventional low-fat diet, the benefits appear to be small and may be short-lived. One year long study comparing low-carb dieters to low-fat dieters found that low-carbers began regaining the weight they lost after six months. By the end of the year, they were no better off than the low-fat group. What's more,
                      the dropout rate among both groups was extremely high. It really is about the calories and striking a balance between what you consume and what you burn. To do that for the long haul, you have to choose a diet that is sustainable. And permanently cutting out entire food groups doesn't qualify.

                      4. Myth: Eating white foods is bad for you. Ha, ha! As I said in the above myth, I believed this to be true, too, but the joke was on me!
                      Fact: Don't judge a food by its color. Some of the best foods for you are actually white. The color of a food has nothing to do with its nutritional value and it's not always an indication of how processed the food is either. Think bananas, pears and garlic, all of which pack a nutritional punch and are also naturally white. Instead of focusing on the color of the food, you need to consider what else it delivers in deciding whether to eat it. Find out what nutrients and vitamins it has. And look at the list of ingredients to determine how highly processed it is. Even a processed food, such as cake mix, doesn't have to be a diet wrecker as long as you eat it in moderation.

                      5. Myth: Drinking lots of water will help you lose weight. Now this is a biggie! We've all heard it a billion times and almost every diet or nutrition book suggests this.
                      Fact: It's true that if your daily drinking habits consist of sweetened teas, juice drinks and sodas, then replacing them with water can result in consuming fewer calories, which can lead to weight loss. But simply upping your water intake WILL NOT help you shed pounds! Though drinking water may make your belly temporarily feel fuller, you have to remember that hunger is not simply a function of your stomach - your body is crying out for nutrients in food, so filling up on water won't satisfy you for long. Of course staying hydrated is important for maintaining your overall energy and body functioning, but contrary to popular belief, drinking it in excess won't boost your metabolism or flush away fat.

                      6. Myth: When you're on a diet, drinking juice is a no-no. Gotta' admit, I subscribed to this one for a long time.
                      Juice gets such a bad rap these days, but the truth is, juice isn't inherently bad for you, provided you're actually drinking 100% JUICE - NOT A JUICE DRINK. Juice drinks are loaded with added sugar and preservatives. So check the label to be sure you're only reaching for 100% juice. Because juice is much more concentrated than fruit, you need much less of it. Limit yourself to 4-ounce servings of juice. And whenever possible, choose whole fruit over juice because fruit contains fiber, which fills you up and is left behind when you extract the juice.

                      7. Myth: All sugar is bad for you.
                      Fact: When it comes to the sweet stuff, not all sugar is created equal. Food labels don't distinguish between added sugar and sugar that was naturally in the food to begin with. For example, most dieters wouldn't consider eating canned fruit because of the grams of sugar listed on the label. However, if it's packaged in its own juice, then you're just eating the sugar that was already in the fruit. Lots of good-for-you foods naturally have sugar in them, such as low-fat milk. Instead of looking at the grams of sugar on the nutrition label, read the ingredient list. Foods containing items like high fructose corn syrup should be kept to a minimum.

                      8. Myth: Exercising on an empty stomach burns more fat.
                      Fact: If only it were that easy! The real deal? When you do aerobic exercise, your body is burning fat as well as carbohydrate stores from food you've recently eaten. So if you skip your pre-workout meal or snack, you won't have carb stores to burn. But that doesn't mean you'll burn all fat, instead, your body starts to burn its own muscle for fuel. And less muscle means lower metabolism - not the goal of any dieter. Not to mention that exercising on empty means you'll probably be too tired to go all out, which translates into burning fewer calories during your workout than if you had properly fueled up beforehand. Ideally, you should have a meal three or four hours before a workout, or a snack one to two hours before exercising.

                      9. Myth: Drinking liquid meal replacements will help shrink your stomach.
                      Fact: No way! Any shrinking that happens from a liquid diet is likely to be in your imagination, NOT in your stomach! Why? Your stomach is a muscular organ that will stretch temporarily when you eat, and then return back to its normal size. There is nothing you can eat or drink that will "shrink" your stomach.

                      10. Myth: Eating grapefruit will help you burn fat.
                      Fact: That eating grapefruits will help you lose weight is one of the most persistent among diet myths -- and just when you think it's gone, it resurfaces and becomes all the rage again every few years. There is no food that has intrinsic "fat-burning enzymes" that magically melt fat from your body. If you want to eat grapefruit as part of a well-rounded diet, go for it, they're rich in lycopene - an antioxidant that protects against heart disease and breast cancer. Incorporate it and other lycopene-rich foods, such as tomatoes and watermelon, into your diet each day, but don't expect it to help you burn any fat.

                      So that's it! 10 common diet myths, BROKEN! How many were you a victim of believing? For me, quite a few. And this is only 10 myths but there are many, many more! With so much misleading diet/nutrition information out there it's easy to get confused, but now ya' know the truth! So keep this in mind when continuing or starting your healthy lifestyle!

                      Source(s): "10 Diet Myths That Won't Go Away" from

                      Thursday, November 18, 2010

                      How To Have A Guilt-Free Thanksgiving

                      Well, it's about that time of the year again, folks, my favorite holiday: THANKSGIVING!!! A time to give thanks and have fun with family & friends. It's also around that time of the year where most people's healthy eating habits take a major nose dive. Don't feel too bad, it's totally understandable, one of my favorite parts about Thanksgiving is the food! What other time of the year are you not only allowed but expected to stuff yourself with turkey, ham, macaroni & cheese, mashed potatoes & gravy, pumpkin and pecan pies... the list goes on and on! With all those temptations, gaining weight over the holidays is inevitable, right? WRONG! I can proudly say that for the last 2 years I've not only maintained my weight but have even managed to lose a couple of pounds. How? Well, first, I maintain my exercise routine. I can't stress enough how important exercise is to losing and maintaining weight. A lot of people fall into the trick of thinking that once they've met their weight loss goal, they can now stop exercising but you've gotta' keep burning those calories! Not only for maintenance but for your overall health. And if you've been lucky enough to find your soul-mate workout (Team Turbo all the way, baby! :) ) you should have little to no problem in that area. Secondly, the real key to having a guilt-free Thanksgiving is realizing that a lot of those wonderful foods that you love around this time of year are still within your reach, it's knowing which ones are good for you and which ones aren't, and also, having healthy recipes and alternatives.

                      10 Surprisingly Healthy Holiday Foods

                      Turkey is a dynamite healthy protein source – that is, unless it's deep fried and slathered with gravy. A serving of turkey provides almost half of the recommended daily allowance of folic acid and is a good source of vitamin B, zinc, and potassium. These nutrients have been found to keep blood cholesterol down, protect against cancer and heart disease, and boost the immune system. A normal portion size is usually 3 to 4 ounces -- and if you stick to white meat and peel the skin off, you'll literally save hundreds of calories at the Thanksgiving table. Fortunately, turkey is one of those dieter's dream foods that will fill you up when you eat just a little.

                      Sweet Potatoes
                      Sweet potatoes are among the healthiest vegetables around, just as long as you don't douse them with butter, marshmallows, or some other high-calorie holiday sabotage. If roasted, which keeps the flavor very intense without adding fat, sweet potatoes burst with fiber, vitamin A, potassium, and phytochemicals, which stave off aging, cancer, and arthritis. Plus, they're very filling, so you don't have to overload your plate with them.

                      Few people realize that cranberries are loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants and their fiber content helps to lower "bad" cholesterol levels. However, because these beautiful berries are naturally low in sugar, many recipes call for large doses of added sweetener. Steer clear of all that sugar and instead try adding a sugar substitute like Splenda to keep this side dish healthy.

                      Power to the pomegranate! This gorgeous fruit is proving its worth as one of the richest sources of antioxidants around, and it's popping up more and more in holiday dishes. You can indulge in the pomegranate's benefits by simply buying a bottle of its juice to add to your favorite recipe, or sprinkling the seeds over a salad.

                      Talk about a healthy food in need of a name change. This fluffy side is often regarded as one of the most fattening holiday dishes, but with only a few minor adjustments it can actually be a healthy standout. Pack it with nuts, dried fruits, carrots, and celery, and you'll benefit from fiber and a range of vitamins, recommends Krieger. Also, and this is crucial: Use low sodium chicken broth instead of butter to keep the dish moist and low in fat.

                      For me, it's not Thanksgiving without a slice of pumpkin pie and luckily this veggie is packed with heart-healthy fiber and vitamin A! Plus, pumpkin is very moist, you don't have to add lots of unhealthy ingredients to make it taste flavorful yet still be low-fat (sub in skim and egg substitutes to make any recipe healthier). A guaranteed way to avoid accidentally gorging on a high-fat dessert? Bring your own pie, so you know what's in it.

                      Prefer pecans to pumpkin? Instead of plunging into a heap of high-fat pie, try sprinkling this star nut over salads, add it to your stuffing, or snack on a few as a precursor to the meal. Pecans are a great source of vitamin E and magnesium, which supports muscle strength. Plus, they're packed with protein, fiber, and the same "good" fats as olive oil.

                      Collard Greens
                      Collards are ultra-healthy – except when sabotaged by greasy fat sources like pork, a popular additive in many holiday recipes, which I know I'm guilty of. If you just can't give up flavoring your greens, like me, use turkey bacon or saute the veggie in olive oil. Also, by preparing these leafy greens in a steamer, you'll leave out the unnecessary calories and gain a ton of vitamins and antioxidants.

                      Nutmeg and Cinnamon
                      More and more research is being conducted on the health benefits of spices. Nutmeg, with its nutty, earthy flavor, and cinnamon, which shines with its sweetness, can do a whole lot more than garnish eggnog. Mixing these spices into fruit or vegetable sides can help you lower your cholesterol and maintain insulin levels in the blood. So I say, load up!

                      Red Wine
                      While wine and cocktails can add needless calories to an already over-the-top meal, wine delivers heart-healthy properties in exchange for its calorie count (about 100 calories per 5-ounce serving). All wine is naturally heart-healthy, but red wines will provide the most antioxidant bang for your calorie buck. And take note: the dryer the wine, the higher the concentration of those disease-fighting properties. To keep your calorie count to a minimum, ask your host for a spritzer -- half wine, half calorie-free seltzer water.

                      I hope this list of healthy foods and tips helps you out through the Thanksgiving holiday! Have A Happy Guilt-Free Thanksgiving! 

                      Sunday, November 14, 2010

                      Climbing Air

                      Hello fitness & nutrition lovers! It's review time!!! I've got a fitness product to share with you that may be new to some, old to others but definitely worth mentioning! Now those of you who know me or who have been reading this blog for awhile know that although I love to workout I'm not a gym rat. I've exercised in a gym 2 or 3 times, but all my weight loss has been accomplished from working out at home. I'm a self-professed "exercise video queen" so the majority of my at home workouts come from a variety of exercise videos (Turbo Jam, Leslie Sansone, and The FIRM just to name a few) but I also have a few pieces of workout equipment in my fitness arsenal as well and the product I am about to introduce to you is one of them. Quick question first, "Have you ever thought about how if would feel to climb air?" I'm sure you're sitting there after just reading that question and thinking "What?!? What is she talking about?" Well, the product that I'm about to discuss uses this very principle of "climbing air" in order to workout. This product is The Total Body AirClimber by Brenda DyGraf.

                      So What Is The AirClimber? And How Does It Work?

                      The AirClimber is a fun workout which allows you to get cardio, weight loss, and tighter abs & core while you step on air! The system uses air to eliminate impact while each step lifts and shapes toned legs. Only the AirClimber has Air Power Technology which actually helps you workout! With every step, air flows from pedal to pedal, inflating the bellows and eliminating jarring impact to your joints. This same air power also helps you workout by lifting your legs to keep you moving.

                      Along with the actual Airclimber, this total body system includes:

                      • Resistance Cord
                      • Easy Air Express DVD with four workouts which include: 20-minute "Easy Air Express" workout, 30-minute "Super 7 Pump" workout, 20-minute "AirTight Abs" workout and 20-minute "Platinum Burn & Firm"
                      • The Eating Right Now meal plan
                      • Jump Start meal plan
                      • Owner's Manual & Training Guide

                      The AirClimber supports up to 300lbs and is fairly small, measuring  22"L x 19-1/4"W x 10"H, so it's perfect if you don't have a lot of space or live in an apartment.

                      To see exactly how the AirClimber works and preview the 4 workouts that are included, click here to see video!

                      My Review...

                      The Pros
                      Well, as stated above, it's small and that's a major plus for me. I live in an apartment and don't have much room for big exercise equipment. This can easily be taken from room to room without a problem. Which reminds me of another pro, it's portable. I love the fact that it comes with a resistance cord so you can work your arms and really get a total body workout. The 4 workouts are a big plus. And while I like the exercise workouts that come with the AirClimber system, another major pro is that you're not stuck with only working out from a DVD, you can do this workout while listening to music or even watching TV. Which leads me to another pro, it's fairly quite, so it's not something that would wake up the whole house or your neighbors when you decide to use it. The whole "climbing on air" concept really is pretty cool. I've worked out on regular steppers before and the difference is night and day. Regular steppers can have a big impact on your joints but I honestly don't think anyone would have a problem with the AirClimber. It's light and easy, but can also provide a challenge. There are different levels you can set the system to from 1 to 5 with 1 being the easiest and 5 being the toughest and depending on your personal fitness level and the speed at which you're stepping, you can work up quite a sweat! It's totally possible to get that feeling of soreness the next day - letting you know that you've definitely worked your muscles in a way that you hadn't worked them before and slim, toned results will soon follow! :)

                      Overall I'm very pleased with this product. It's super easy but effective. I've had it for around 2 years with no problems at all. It's great when I feel like doing something different and low-impact.

                      The Cons
                      To be honest, I really only have 2 cons with this product but they're a matter of personal choice so I'm not sure if they could even be considered cons. I'm a high-impact, cardio loving type of girl and this machine, while it's great for toning it's most definitely low-impact. You're not going to burn a lot of calories doing this - especially if you're already in pretty good shape. My other con is that it can get kind of boring which is why it's not something I do everyday. I think as exercise equipment goes it's "fun" but I'm not a big exercise equipment fan period, for example, walking on a treadmill or working out on an eliptical is boring for me, so that's kind of a personal opinion con.

                      Would I recommend The AirClimber? Most definitely! It's a great piece of small exercise equipment if you're looking for something new and different. And one pro that I neglected to mention above is that it's cheap! I got mine for $99 and I just recently found it on for $79! When it comes to exercise equipment that is super cheap! Plus, it lasts! I've heard some complaints of the air not lasting in the bellows but one warning that is stated in the owner's manual that I will also give you here now: always deflate the air while not using! I've always done this since the day 1 and have had absolutely no problems. So if you've got a little extra money and this sounds like something that you might be interested in, I say, give it a try!

                      Friday, November 5, 2010

                      The Four-Letter Word

                      Hello fitness peeps! I think it's time we talked about that dreaded four-letter word that we all know and have come to despise. There's no point in me beating around the bush about it, I'm just going to say it. Get ready... here it comes... DIET.

                      "It's called 'DIET' because all the other four-letter words were taken."
                      The word diet simply defines the food we ingest each day, but now it has become a four-letter word that has different meanings for different people. For some, "diet" has become synonymous with failure. They've tried every diet you could name and while some of those diets equaled a few pounds lost, they never seemed to work out for them in the long run. Me? I have a love/hate type of relationship with the word. You see, I've found that it's not that a lot of the diets you hear about don't work, in fact, it's quite the opposite, the majority of diets out there do work. The key to any diet being labeled as a success or failure is actually sticking to it, that's the part I always had a hard time with and that's the part that the majority of our population has a hard time with as well. Dieting has become a national pastime, with everyone waiting in line for the next diet of the month. There are some very valid diets out there: diets for diabetics, for stroke victims, for ulcer patients, and so forth, but when I say "diet of the month" I'm talking about the kinds of diets that require that you only eat in a prescribed way. The reality is, the idea of only eating one type of way, maybe only eating one type of food or cutting out an entire food group, is just not something most people can stick to for long term, and more importantly, can actually be very unhealthy for your body. Diet is actually a good word; it's dieting that starts the trouble. As I stated above, diet means the food we consume that fuels our bodies, while "dieting" offers only the two d's: deprivation and depression.

                      So how do we bring the word diet back to its original meaning? How about simply viewing diet as the fuel we give our bodies? The better grade of fuel we put in our bodies, the better our bodies will run! Sticking with the gasoline analogy: Your "regular" fuel is sweets, dairy, and fats. Your "unleaded" fuel is carbs and proteins. Your "premium" is fruits and veggies. Most of the time you want your body to be running on a mixture of premium and unleaded, with limited amounts of regular. Moderation is key! I'll be the first to admit, portion control has always been a big problem for me (I come from a family, as most of us do, where eating seconds was just a natural thing to do if the food was good), but I'm hear to tell you, it doesn't matter what type of foods your eating, if you're eating too many calories you're going to gain weight! Eating healthier helps. Once you start a more healthier diet, you become more aware and concerned with what you're feeding yourself, and therefore how much you actually need. You see, a diet that consists of healthful eating is forever!  

                      That's why personally I don't like to think of myself as ever being on a "diet" or "dieting", but instead, I have developed a new healthy way of eating for life!

                      Thursday, October 28, 2010

                      Have A Healthy Halloween!

                      Happy Halloween! It's Halloween season and you know what that means... candy, candy, and MORE CANDY! For you ladies & gents out there who have a sweet tooth this is possibly one of the worst times of the year for you to try and stick to eating healthy. Or is it? The key to losing weight is burning more calories than you take in (or if you're trying to maintain your current weight, burning as much calories as you take in) and if you do that on a consistent basis you should have some wiggle room to "cheat" from time to time. I actually hate to use that word ("cheat") because it implies that you're on a diet and diets aren't meant to last forever, what I hope for you is that you are now living a new healthier lifestyle that will involve exercising and eating healthy for life, but that's a whole other discussion I'll leave for another post at another time. So anyway, you may feel the urge to "cheat" this Halloween season and snack on a little candy (in moderation, of course) and wouldn't you like to know what candies are the healthiest? Now the words "healthy candy" are a little bit of an oxymoron but I can definitely give you some info. and tips that will give you the most bang for your calorie buck! So here it goes:

                      Top 10 "Healthiest" Halloween Candy

                      #10 3 Musketeers

                      1/2 a bar
                      100 calories, 3g fat, 17.5g carbs, 15g sugar, .5g protein

                       #9 Heath Bar
                      1/2 a bar
                      110 calories, 6.5g fat, 12g carbs, 12g sugar, .5g protein

                      #8 Butter Finger
                      1/2 a bar
                      115 calories, 4.5g fat, 19g carbs, 12g sugar, 1.5g protein

                      #7 Kit Kat
                      1 two-piece bar
                      115 calories, 6g fat, 14.5g carbs, 11g sugar, 1.5g protein

                      #6 Hershey Bar
                      1/2 a bar
                      115 calories, 6.5g fat, 12.5g carbs, 11g sugar, 1.5g protein

                      #5 Almond Joy
                      1/2 a bar
                      135 calories, 8g fat, 16g carbs, 12.5g sugar, 1g protein

                      #4 Snickers
                      1/2 a bar
                      140 calories, 7g fat, 17.5g carbs, 15g sugar, 3g protein
                      #3 Baby Ruth
                      1/2 a bar
                      140 calories, 6g fat, 16.5g carbs, 13.5g sugar, 2g protein

                      #2 Peanut M&M's
                      1/2 a bag
                      120 calories, 6g fat, 14g carbs, 11.5g sugar, 2g protein

                      #1 Pay Day
                      1/2 a bar
                      155 calories, 8g fat, 17.5g carbs, 15g sugar, 3g protein

                      Quick Candy Tips
                      • Divide and conquer. Often, nutrition information for candy is based on more than one mini-sized bag. For example, one serving of peanut M&Ms contains 180 calories and 9 grams of fat, and one serving of Skittles contains 160 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. But, these numbers are based on TWO bags. When you have treats, stick to one bag, even though the serving size may be two bags. Then, cut the nutrition information in half on the label to calculate how much you are consuming. 

                      • Craving minty? Treat yourself. Besides the fresh-breath advantage, mint candies are usually low-calorie and may chill you out. Studies have shown that just smelling peppermint reduces anxiety and fatigue.

                      • Portion Control Issues? One trick to keep from going overboard on bite size goodies. Choose hard candies, which you can't possibly polish off as quickly as a bag of sour gummy bears. My personal favs are Jolly Ranchers, which I actually eat off and on all year long - at 20 calories a piece with a serving size of 3 for 60 calories, you can't beat it! 

                      So that's all I have for you! Hope this list and tips help you stay as healthy as possible this Halloween! Have a good one!

                      Sources: "Top 10 'Healthiest' Halloween Candy" list comes from and "Quick Candy Tips" from "Women's Health".

                          Wednesday, October 13, 2010

                          Gettin' On The Bell!

                          What would you say if someone asked you to try a method of strength training that would not only decrease body fat but increase stamina, increase flexibility, increase overall daily energy, help you develop lean muscle, and on top of all that, help you spend more time on the things you love by spending less time working out? I can't answer for you but I know I would be all over it! So I know what you're thinking, "exactly what is this 'miracle workout'?" and "what's the catch?" No catch! The answer is simple: Kettlebell Training.

                          Over the last 6 months I have been adding in kettlebell workouts to my regular workout routine and the difference I've seen in my body has been amazing! By nature I'm a cardio girl. I love any workout that gets me jumping and drenching with sweat! But no one can deny the many benefits of strength training (fat burning being a major one). I try to add in strength training 2 or 3 times a week and have actually become a big fan of working with weights. I enjoy "feeling the burn" and believe me, I drip just as much sweat lifting weights (maybe even more) as with my cardio workouts. So in an effort to add some variety to my weight training, I decided to try something new: kettlebell training. Now some of you who are reading this may be long time kettlebell users and some of you may have no idea what a "kettlebell" even is, so let's start from the beginning.

                          What Is A Kettlebell?
                          The kettlebell, also known as a "girya", was originally developed as a strength, power and cardio training aid in Russia. Most kettlebells are one solid piece of metal, a ball-shaped weight and a larger curved handle that should be large enough to accommodate both of your hands. Best physical description? Imagine a cannonball with a handle. Kettlebell exercises build strength and endurance, particularly in the lower back, legs, and shoulders, and increase grip strength. While kettlebells can be used like dumbbells in relatively static, controlled motions, they are best suited to powerful swinging exercises. The basic movements, such as the "swing", "snatch", and the "clean and jerk", engage the entire body at once, and in a way mimics real world activities such as shoveling or farm work.

                          GoFit kettlebells range from 7 to 45 pounds
                          Kettlebell sizes range from 5 to 175 pounds. If you are in between kettlebell sizes or are unsure what size weight to use, it is always best to opt for the lighter size and work your way up as you develop confidence and technique. I actually started with a 4lb kettlebell (this is not a normal size, this was a specialty bell created and used for a particular workout program which I talk about in detail below), now I am using a 10lb bell. You may think that's a far jump from 4 to 10 pounds, but it actually was no big deal. The movements used in kettlebell workouts don't really require a lot of strength. While you are most definitely building your muscle strength and endurance, the movements rely a lot on momentum so going from a 4 to 10 pound bell was no problem at all. I got my 10lb bell from Target but the actual company that makes the bell is GoFit. They have a good variety of sizes and are reasonably priced.

                          6 Benefits To Kettlebell Training
                          So why should you get on the bell? Let's go over the benefits one more time:
                          1. Increase Stamina. Many kettlebell users experience an increase in endurance when doing activities like sports. There have even been reports of kettlebell users who have run marathons without training for marathons but by only using kettlebells! Now while I would definitely recommend training properly for a marathon before hand, adding kettlebell training couldn't hurt, in fact it could only help, so all you runners out there may just wanna' get on the bell!
                          2. Increase Overall Daily Energy. Feeling good is very important to having a productive life. Kettlebell users from all over the world report having increased energy and even feel like they can reverse the hands of time, often fixing injuries that have nagged them for years. This allows them to participate in activities they had stopped doing because of the injuries.
                          3. A Decrease In Body Fat. Now this is a biggie and the one that everyone wants to know more about! Kettlebell exercises can be very demanding from an energy standpoint. Some exercises like the swing and the snatch burn up to twice as many calories per minute than traditional aerobic activities like spinning and kickboxing. One of the benefits of this is that kettlebell training forces your body to burn calories long after your exercise session is over (the "afterburn effect").
                          4. The Development of Lean, Hard, "Bulk-Free" Muscles. I've said it before and I'll say it again, lifting weights (which is essentially what kettlebells are) will not make you big and bulky! Especially if you are a woman. Woman or man, you really have to try if you want to look like a bodybuilder. Exercising with kettlebells has produced the following noticeable effects - those who are overweight, lean out; those who are skinny put on just the right amount of muscle in the right places.
                          5. Increase Flexibility. One of the wonderful "side effects" of using kettlebells is what appears to be automatic increases in flexibility. That's because this style of workout strengthens weak muscle groups while simultaneously loosening (and strengthening) tight muscle groups, restoring the body's default settings for flexibility, alignment, and muscle harmony.
                          6. More Time To Do The Things You Love and Less Time Working Out. That pretty much sums it all up in my mind. What if you could work out and get twice the results in half the time? Kettlebells provide the very real option to see this occur in your life. 
                          These are just 6 benefits to a type of training that has dozens! So what are you waiting for? Go enjoy the wonderful benefits of kettlebell training today!

                            Kettlebell Workouts That I Love
                            So now that I've peaked your interest and you're maybe willing to give kettlebell training a try, I've got a few kettlebell workout dvds that I recommend. Check 'em out!

                            My first kettlebell workout was a program called "Kettlenetics". Created by international fitness instructor Michelle Khai, Kettlenetics is a dance-inspired kettlebell exercise program that swings, slims, and sculpts your entire body. Kettlenetics is a fun and fast way to develop a stronger and more slender body. The Kettlenetics Slim and Tone Kit includes three Kettlenetics Slim and Tone Workouts on one DVD. The first two 20-minute workouts teach you the Kettlenetics basics, KB Elements teaches everything you need to know to get the most from your kBell and FlowMotion Basics gives you 360-degree body sculpting workout with unique standing and floor exercises. The 40-minute Cardio Balanced workout is a powerful fat burner that takes the kBell workout to the next level.

                            The uniquely designed four-pound Kettlenetics kBell included in the kit is curved, sleek, and fits easily in your hand for smooth 360-degree full body-slimming movements. The kBell has an offset, sure-grip handle to better maneuver through creator Michelle Khai's innovative flowMotion movement patterns. Weighing just four pounds, the kBell is light enough to swing without undue stress, yet heavy enough to provide body-shaping resistance.

                            Benefits of Kettlenetics:
                            • 360-degree workouts for "full circle" body toning
                            • Around-the-clock calorie burning
                            • Whole-body resistance training
                            • Maximum strengthening, cardio conditioning, and fat burning
                            • Minimum workout time
                            • Improved endurance and stamina
                            • Boosted metabolism for quick calorie burning
                            • Sculpts and tones the entire body
                            Kettlenetics is a great introduction to kettlebell training. Standard kettlebell moves are featured in each workout, so you are introduced to typical kettlebell exercises as well. And the 4lb bell eases you right into the swing of things. At first I thought 4 pounds wouldn't really give me a good workout but by the end of the 40 minute workout I was dripping sweat. Kettlenetics really does work your entire body and gives a great workout!  The results were quick, too! I noticed my abs getting flatter and my thighs more toned after only week! To buy or find out more, click here.  /  RATING: 4 OUT OF 5

                            Gin Miller's Calorie Burning Workout with Kettlebells
                            Another great kettelbell workout which I use my 10lb kettlebell for is Gin Miller's Calorie Burning Workout with Kettlebells. Award-winning fitness professional, Gin Miller, introduces a new dimension in strength with the dynamics of kettlebell training. The results of this reactive-type of training are a higher caloric burn, enhanced core and joint stability and firmly sculpted muscles. This program is designed specifically to improve fitness conditioning and add a new variable in resistance training with contemporary modifications to traditional power techniques.  With an emphasis on neutral spine, a tight stable core, and attention paid to proper joint extension, Gin recommends the use of light to moderate kettlebells for this particular workout.

                            Novice (new to kettlebell training): less than or up to 9lbs
                            Practiced: less than or up to 12 lbs
                            Expert: less than or up to 15 pounds

                            This was my first time doing a workout instructed by Gin Miller and I was really impressed. Not only did she give a good workout but she made sure give good instruction by marking every move before we did it together. There are 3 workouts on this one dvd, with options of doing either Workout 1, 2 or 3 separately or doing all 3 together - no matter what option you choose, Gin gives you a good warmup before each workout. I really feel like my body is being taken care of every time I do this workout and I can't say that for all workout dvds that I have. To buy or find out more, click here.  /  RATING: 4 OUT OF 5

                            Power Body: Kettlebell Bootcamp with Angie Miller 
                            Last but certainly not least is Power Body: Kettlebell Bootcamp with Angie Miller. This workout is NO JOKE! And if you're a newbie I would definitely recommend you work your way up to this one! I do this one with my 10lb bell as well and I'm telling you, newbie or not, don't be surprised if you are sore for days! Presenter, educator, group fitness instructor and personal trainer Angie Miller looks sweet enough but this woman gives one mean workout!

                            Blast calories, build endurance and optimize your workout time with Power Body Kettlebell Bootcamp! This workout is designed to have a quick learning curve while burning maximum calories. The key to getting the most out of this workout is to learn how to do the exercises properly and safely by following Angie's easy-to-learn tutorial. You can practice the exercises until you are comfortable and confident. You'll boost your metabolism and burn fat even while practicing! Power Body Kettlebell Bootcamp is designed for all fitness levels Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Throughout the workout, Angie uses a 15 pound kettlebell, but as said before, it's always best to opt for the lighter size and work your way up as you develop confidence and technique. This will allow you to experience continued improvement in your strength and overall fitness level. There is also a modifier who will show variations to the exercises that might require more flexibility, balance, or strength. To buy or find out more, click here.  /  RATING: 5 OUT OF 5

                            I hope this has helped anyone who was either on the fence about trying kettlebell training or wanting to find more. It's an entirely different weight training workout like no other and the results you can achieve are amazing so I urge you, wait no longer, GET ON THE BELL!

                            Sunday, September 26, 2010

                            Some Of My Favorite Healthy Recipes

                            Hello ladies and gents! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Just want to quickly take this time out to thank all of you who follow "Confessions of a Fit Girl". I really enjoy sharing my love of fitness & nutrition with the online world, and you'll never really know how much it means to me that people are actually interested in what I have to say. I also really enjoy writing (I used to think I was going to be a writer one day) so this whole blogging experience so far has been a great way to get back to writing and hopefully sharpen my skills. So I say all that to say, whether you're reading my blog for the first time today or you've been following me for a while now, THANK YOU!!! :)

                            Now on to the subject of this post... A list of some of my favorite healthy recipes, courtesy of Hungry Girl, a.k.a - Lisa Lillien. Lisa Lillien, self-anointed "foodoligist", is a New York Times bestselling author and creator of the Hungry Girl brand. She is the founder of, a free daily email service that entertains and informs hungry people, like me, everywhere! If you've never heard of Hungry Girl, you'll have to go to the website and get hooked up, but in the mean time, check out my favorite Hungry Girl Recipes below. (Hungry Girl always likes to give the Weight Watcher points for all you Weight Watchers out there so I'll do the same. Even though I've never been on WW, I actually like seeing the point value as well, gives me an even better idea of how healthy the particular food is. WW's point value system is from 1-10, the lower the number the better.)

                            All of the following have been tried and proven by me (and of course the whole Hungry Girl crew) to be delicious so enjoy! :) 

                            Cinnamonlicious French Toast
                            French toast is one of those breakfasts you dream about.  It's decadent, delicious, warm, doughy, and just plain AWESOME!  It's also something you think you need to avoid if you're counting calories.  Wrong!  Hungry Girl has created a super-delicious and extremely guilt-free french toast. 

                            3 slices Wonder Light White Bread
                            1/3 cup Egg Beaters, Original
                            1/2 oz. Torani Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup OR 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
                            1/2 tsp. cinnamon (divided)
                            1 packet SPLENDA

                            Combine Egg Beaters with vanilla syrup (or extract) and half of the cinnamon. Use the egg mixture as an egg wash, and dip your bread into it. Cook in a pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
                            When both sides are brown, plate those suckers and sprinkle ‘em with Splenda and the remaining cinnamon. Feel free to serve it up with sugar-free maple syrup, sugar-free jelly, some fresh berries, and/or some Fat Free Cool Whip/Reddi-wip. (Of course your nutritionals will vary accordingly, but with such low calorie and fat counts, you can afford to splurge a little.)
                            Serving Size: Entire recipe
                            Calories: 170
                            Fat: 1g
                            Sodium: 545mg
                            Carbs: 31g
                            Fiber: 8g
                            Sugars: 2.5g
                            Protein: 14g
                            3 Points

                            Yummilicious Veggie Burger Wrap
                            I literally make this meal all the time! Great for lunch or dinner!

                            1 medium low-fat flour tortilla (about 110 calories with at least 6g fiber)
                            1 veggie burger patty (veggie-based rather than the imitation-meat kind)
                            1 wedge of The Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss cheese
                            3 tablespoons chopped onions
                            1 tablespoon chopped onions
                            Optional condiments: ketchup, mustard, fat-free mayonnaise, salsa

                            Microwave tortilla until slightly warm. Lay the tortilla out and spread the cheese wedge evenly on top of it.
                            In a pan sprayed with nonstick spray, cook the veggie patty over medium heat. (Refer to the package for exact cooking time.) Once patty is half-cooked, remove it from the pan and chop into bite-sized pieces. Place the onions and patty pieces in the pan and continue cooking for 1 minute. Then add mushrooms, stir, and cook for 2 additional minutes or until veggies are fully cooked. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool slightly.
                            Evenly spoon mixture into the center of the cheese-covered tortilla. If desired, top with guilt-free condiments.
                            Fold in the sides of the tortilla and roll it up. Place on a microwave-safe plate, seam-side down, and heat for 30 seconds.

                            Serving Size: 1 Wrap
                            Calories: 253

                            Fat: 6.5g
                            Sodium: 941mg
                            Carbs: 35g
                            Fiber: 13g
                            Sugars: 4g
                            Protein: 18g
                            5 Points

                            Lord of the Onion Rings
                            Who says you can't have onion rings while watching your diet? I love onion rings and this recipe is GREAT! Who would have ever thought of using Fiber One with onions?!? Well, Hungry Girl did and this lady has amazing taste buds because the combination works! You've gotta' check this one out! 

                            1 large onion
                            1/2 cup Fiber One bran cereal (original)
                            1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute
                            1/4 tsp. garlic powder, or more to taste
                            1/8 tsp. onion powder, or more to taste
                            1/8 tsp. salt, or more to taste
                            Black pepper, to taste

                            Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
                            Slice the ends off the onion and remove its outer layer. Cut onion into 1/2-inch-wide slices, and separate into rings. Set aside.

                            Using a blender or food processor, grind Fiber One to a breadcrumb-like consistency. Season the crumbs with spices and transfer to a plate.
                            Fill a small bowl with egg substitute. Prepare a baking sheet (or two, if you have a lot of rings) by spraying with nonstick spray. Set aside.

                            Pop-Up Tip! For this next step, try using tongs or a fork to dip the rings into the egg substitute and cereal crumbs -- it'll keep your fingers from getting eggy & crumb-covered. (Don't pierce the rings with the fork; just balance them on it.)

                            One at a time, dunk each ring in egg substitute, give it a shake to remove any excess, and then coat it in the seasoned crumbs. Evenly place rings on the baking sheet(s).
                            Bake in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes, carefully flipping rings over about halfway through. Enjoy! 

                            Serving Size: Entire recipe
                            Calories: 155

                            Fat: 1g
                            Sodium: 515mg
                            Carbs: 41g
                            Fiber: 16g
                            Sugars: 7g
                            Protein: 9g
                            2 Points

                            Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla
                            Another one of my favorite lunches/dinners. I can actually have Mexican food and still be in control of my diet! This simple recipe lets you make low cal quesadillas that could be easily mistaken for the fat-filled real thing. Try it out!

                            1 La Tortilla Factory Low Carb, Low Fat Whole Wheat Tortilla
                            (small size)
                            1/4 cup shredded fat free cheddar cheese (or fat-free mozzarella, fat-free american, fat-free jack
                            2 oz. chicken breast, grilled and sliced
                            1 Tbsp. green onion, diced
                            1 Tbsp. salsa
                            1 tsp. light sour cream

                            In a pan lightly spritzed with nonstick cooking spray, set down your tortilla. Spread the cheese, chicken and green onion evenly on top. Let set (cheese will just be beginning to melt), then fold over. Cook on medium heat for a minute or so, flipping quesadilla halfway in between. Slide your quesadilla onto a plate and serve with the salsa and sour cream. Enjoy!

                            Serving Size: 1 quesadilla
                            Calories: 155
                            Fat: 4g
                            Sodium: 680mg
                            Carbs: 15.5g
                            Fiber: 8.5g
                            Sugars: 1g
                            Protein: 22.5g

                            Wayne's Pumpkin Smash
                            With the Fall season here, I am sure to make this one: crustless, sugarless pumpkin pie! It's my substitute for the real thing. The crazy thing is, it really does taste just as good! This one actually wasn't created by Hungry Girl herself but by Wayne, an HG subscriber. 

                            Ingredients:One 15-oz. can pure pumpkin
                            One 12-oz. can evaporated fat-free milk
                            1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
                            3/4 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
                            2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

                            Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
                            Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix thoroughly.
                            Place mixture in a baking dish (8" X 8" works well) sprayed lightly with nonstick spray, and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. (It will remain a little soft, like pie filling.)
                            Once ready to serve (it's delicious eaten hot or cold), cut into 9 pieces.
                            Serve and enjoy!

                            Makes 9 servings
                            Calories: 65
                            Fat: <0.5g
                            Sodium: 81mg
                            Carbs: 12g
                            Fiber: 1g
                            Sugars: 7g
                            Protein: 5g
                            1 point!

                            So that's it for now my friends, 5 awesome recipes for you to try. I'll be back with more but in the meantime be sure to check Hungry Girl out! What I love about her recipes are they are all quick and simple and you don't have to buy foods that you ordinarily wouldn't buy. While the recipes do call for certain brands at times, you know you can always substitute with a brand of your choice with the same nutrition values - if you are off a little just realize that will change the calories, fat, fiber... etc. and overall Weight Watchers point value, of course. These recipes prove that eating healthy and still enjoying the taste really is possible! It's all about experimenting and finding out what works!

                            All of these recipes came from Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-Free Eating in the Real World.