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Simply Amazing Pitas
By: Brie Atherton On: 02:03PM / Wednesday April 20, 2011
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How have I never eaten a pita?

These things are magical! The ones that I got were these whole wheat, multi grain, high in Omega, healthy blah blah blah. They are way healthier for me than bread, and they keep all of the juiciness from whatever I am eating from falling out and landing on my lap!! These are the best-designed things since...well...sliced bread!

I have tried filling these little gems with all sorts of stuff, like hummus, tomatoes, tofu, lettuce, roasted red peppers and cheese, which is amazing.

I also tried these with a roasted red pepper and garlic mayo chicken salad (which is delicious), along with tomatoes and butter lettuce...sooo amazing! But I think the best part for me is  that the juices from the tomatoes, red peppers, etc doesn't end up either on my shirt, or in my lap. I am notorious for spilling something on myself, almost once a meal! These are just amazing. I know that all of you have probably already tried these, but I just had to say that if you haven't, you should.

Stuff them with whatever you want, and then tell me what you love the most!



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Quick Stress Relieving Yoga Routine
By: Brie Atherton On: 01:02PM / Monday April 18, 2011
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 If you follow my blog, you will have noticed that I have been trying to live a healthier life. I have been editing (most) of my meals to be healthier, and have created a 5 -6 day workout schedule. I love yoga because it is an amazing workout that also doesn't bother my asthma issues. Yoga is also great because it tends to start and finish with some mediation and leaves you very relaxed.

I don't know about anyone else, but I feel like some days/weeks are insanely stressful for me. Life hands you curves balls and lemons...and I know I should be making lemonade, but sometimes that seems almost impossible. With that said, I found this quick (10 minute) Yoga routine, that is pretty easy and is meant to reduce stress. This may be something to keep in mind that you could do almost anywhere. You don't need a ton of space, so although your co-workers may look at you strange, you could theoretically do this at work, or you could close the door to your bedroom and do it at home.

http://www.thatsfit.com/2011/03/30/stress-reducing-yoga/

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Happy Relaxing!



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Padella il Pollo Alla Parmigiana
By: Brie Atherton On: 03:01PM / Saturday April 16, 2011
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 Padella il Pollo Alla Parmigiana = Skillet Chicken Parm. (in Italian) = Super Deliciousness (delizioso!)

 

I have been studying up on some Italian, trying to get back to my roots. My grandmother is from Italy and of course, speaks fluent Italian. Unfortunately, I do not get to spend too much time with her, and my dad never picked up on the language so he can't teach me either. Thank goodness for Google translate! They also have a Listen feature so I can hear how its pronounced. I want to start learning a word a day and a complete phrase per week!!

With that said, my phrase this week is Padella il Polla Alla Parmigiana! My husband is a huge fan of chicken parm, and I always feel like its a lot of steps for one meal, and honestly, it could be a little healthier! So, I decided to make a one skillet, semi healthier version. It is quick, painless and delicious. (E 'veloce, indolore e delizioso!)

I start off with heating some olive oil in a skillet (you will need a skillet that has a top). After the oil is heated, add 1 small chopped onion, and a handful of sliced mushrooms. Saute these for a couple of minutes, and then add a glove (or 2) of garlic. Then add in a couple of chicken breasts and cook until they form a nice crust on one side. Right after you turn them, add in about 3/4 of a jar of sauce, and cover to simmer. The chicken breasts will finish cooking by almost steaming in the sauce. After about 15 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken breasts) you can remove the top and add a little bit of shredded Mozzarella cheese! Cover and cook for another 2 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Serve over some multi grain or whole wheat pasta!



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With All This Food, A Workout Routine is Necessary!
By: Brie Atherton On: 12:00PM / Thursday April 14, 2011
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 As we all know by now, I love to cook and I love to eat! With all the sweets that I make for Gabriella's Goodies, I really need to workout to keep my weight under control. Now let me just start off with 2 very important things.

1. I do NOT eat everything that I cook. I usually either have my hubby taste test things, or I will bring them into work and have someone else try them :)

2. I do NOT like to workout. In fact, I (half) jokingly told my husband that the only reason we were getting married was so that I could let myself go. However, right after we got married, he decided to get his ass to the gym and start this crazy workout routine, so now I feel like I need to keep up with him.

OK, now that that's out of the way, I can tell you that I have been trying to find workout routines that are easy on my asthma and fun so that I won't get bored. I feel like I am now in a groove that I can share with you. I don't belong to a gym, and I don't own too much workout stuff, so if you are interested in getting in shape, I think this is an easy routine to get into. You also do not need to work out 5 days a week, but if I don't then I get used to not working out and I fall off the workout wagon.

So here is what I do:

Monday: 30 mins of yoga, 20 mins of running/jogging, 10 mins of weights. There is one station on youtube that has amazing full yoga sessions: http://www.youtube.com/user/yogayak

Tuesday: 30 mins of Belly Dancing (who knew it was such a cardio workout?) I use youtube.com for this, and they are all pretty cheesy, but if you can get past the cheesiness of them, they really do give you a good workout. Here is an example of a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In1bptHtm0I

Wednesday: 40 mins of Zumba (20 mins of which was solely abs) (sorry no good links here, I actually got the DVDs for my birthday last year.)

Thursday: 30 mins of Zumba

Friday: 20 mins of running/jogging, 10 mins of weights, and then either Zumba or Yoga

Weekends: FREE!! I typically don't schedule something for my weekends, but if I am feeling especially tight or stressed I will do some yoga

I just thought that this would be something fun to share (non foodie related). I want to start doing some work with a punching bag and more weights, because I really want to focus on upper body strength as well as getting rid of some flabby areas :)

I will try to convince the hubby to do a little post with the workout regime that he sticks to(for those men who read this), but I think it's very similar to this: http://stronglifts.com/stronglifts-5x5-beginner-strength-training-program/

Enjoy! :)



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Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cookies
By: Brie Atherton On: 02:58PM / Wednesday April 13, 2011
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Let me just start off by saying that I am not a cookie person. I feel like it takes a certain finesse to make cookies. The batter has to be made just right, and then if you leave the cookies in the oven for 30 seconds too long, they are horribly hard and gross. When I make cookies, they almost always come out being too hard.


Yesterday, I got to thinking about how much my husband loves cookies, and that I never make them. I also was thinking that I rarely bake anything that isn't chocolate, so I kind of wanted to surprise him. I made a special dinner (which I will blog later), and just as we were finishing up dinner, the cookies were ready, and we got to eat them fresh out of the oven! I have to say that I was pretty impressed withself for not only cooking a marvelous dinner on a Monday night, but for also making dessert!  :)

These cookies turned out wonderfully! I made about half of the cookies with just sugar, and half with both cinnamon and sugar, and guess what? They were perfectly sweetened and nice and chewy! The cinnamon that I decided to add to the sugar that I rolled them in before baking, turned out to be just a perfect blend of spices!

Brown Sugar Cookies
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar (any kind)
2 large eggs
 2 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp of Cinnamon and Sugar to roll cookies in

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Once the mixture is light and fluffy, add the eggs, one at a time. Once the eggs are incorporated, add in the vanilla extract. Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Do not over mix.

Form about 1 inch balls and roll between the palms of your hands. Once the balls are formed you want to roll them in the sugar and cinnamon mixture before placing on a parchment covered baking sheet. Once you have formed all of the balls, place the baking sheets in a 350 degree preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Allow them to cool 2-4 mins on the baking sheets before transferring them to cooling racks.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies. This recipe can be halved.



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