Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Banana Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Snacks - Kid Friendly

This kid friendly recipe is so easy my daughter helped to make it and enjoyed eating it even a little more :)  With only 3 ingredients it is quick and nutritious as well.

You start with one banana, I cut it into half, one for me and one for Emma, then spread peanut butter onto one end. 

Next comes the Kid Friendly part!  I let my daughter scoop up mini semi sweet chocolate chips (I am partial to Hershey's growing up 30 minutes away it's hard not to be)  and then she sprinkles them all over both of our bananas.

She sprinkles some more :)  And then some more :) Until I tell her o.k. o.k. that's enough.  If it were up to her she would dump the whole bag on top!

She did a great job!  And look at that smile for some reason a smile and chocolate are almost guaranteed :)

Now for the fun part, actually eating it.  As you can see they are very finger friendly and not hard for little hands to pick up at all.  I asked her if she would like to make this again sometime and of course her answer was Yes!!  I hope you enjoy making this recipe with your kids, are there any variations you have tried with this recipe?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Weight Watchers Body Fat Analysis Scale

I am throwing out my old scale and going with a new scale that doesn't just show me my weight.  That alone is extremely frustrating!  So I looked online for one that would tell me my BMI and of course Water weight.  I browsed through some pretty pricey scales until I found this inpaticular scale.  Don't let the name Weight Watchers fool you.  I am not doing any plans with Weight Watchers or any other program for that matter.  This just happens to be the scale I need. 

So this took me a coupl eminutes to setup (very user friendly) I set it up, took me 2 minutes including the time to read the instructions.  All you need to know is your age and height.  That was easy enough.  I programmed myself as user 1 and plugged in all my info.  Next I stepped on the scale with my clothes on.  I was wearing workout clothes including sports bra, Yoga Pants and jacket and a simple t-shirt from the Gap.  V-Neck with a small pocket if you need to know specifics, LOL!  I am sure you don't but thought it would be funny to some. 

Back to the scale.  It read 184.4 with all my clothes on.  I told you I was between 179 and 190 to begin with right??  Well I was always told you should weigh yourself in the morning before you do anything and weigh yourself naked.  Since it was 7:00 until I received the scale I had to play with right away, so I decided to check my naked weight.  Would you believe it said 182 lbs exact.  Who knew clothes weighed that much!?!  Anyway, I am weighing myself in the morning and then I am done for the week.  So I will be updating my weight every Friday morning for those who are interested.  Like I said in earlier posts I am not interested in weighing myself everyday.  That only leads to frustration.  So keep checking in to see what I am eating and how i am doing with keeping the weight off.  Hopefully you will catch me in a couple months when I fit into my "Skinny Jeans"  :)

If you would like to purchase the exact scale I bought you can check it out here

Weight Watchers Body Analysis and Weight Tracker Scale 

Don't forget to take off your socks when weighing yourself :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Nuts About Granola - Perfect "To Go" Snack for Healthy Eating

(Don't worry, No Granola was wasted during or after the Photo Shoot!  I snacked on the Yummy "Johnny Appleseed" Granola the whole time.) 

I have found that one thing always stays true when trying to lose weight the Healthy Way.  Staying Hungry is a disaster for grabbing Calorie and Fat Loaded snacks.  So I always carry a little travel sized bag of Nuts About Granola along with me in my purse.  It is like a staple right next to the Lip Gloss :) 

I consider it my secret weapon in fighting crime, ok, maybe I went a little too far........More like my secret weapon to Healthy Weight Loss.  It never fails when I run to the store to grab something "quick" I am hit with a huge hunger attack.  Having three kids doesn't make it any easier.  All I hear in the car is "I'm hungry" or "Can I have a Snack" or my personal favorite "my belly hurts".  So I need to be prepared with something healthy and good for the whole family to enjoy.  Otherwise I will have three kids, with empty stomachs. all yelling, whining, and screaming at each other in the car.  Any mother knows this is not a good time and can probably relate. 

So I am Super Thankful for these adorable Snack Sized Packs of Granola from Nuts About Granola to help me fight crime...I mean Hunger, and get back into my "Skinny Jeans" :)  Giving me the perfect Healthy Snack to control my hunger and get through the day!


Check out the Website where you can Order Granola Online to be shipped to your door!  Check Out the Awesome flavors too :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Banana Puree Instructions

 Believe it or not a Banana Puree actually starts out using bananas!  I know it's a no brainer but these are the Instructions so I have to say "Start with Bananas" somewhere.  :)  So you Start with 3 small bananas (this will make Approx. 1 cup of Puree) and I simply broke them up with my fingers and placed them into a bowl. 

Next you take a Fork and Mash the Banana down until it looks like the Picture Above. 
Yep, Mashed Bananas look like that  :)

Then you place your Mashed Bananas into your Food Processor (Love this thing) and turn it on for about two minutes.  I actually add a tiny amount of water about 1 tsp - 1 tbsp after it has run for a couple of seconds.  This helps it to really become liquid.

I pour it into a Measuring Cup, use it my recipe and store any leftovers in the Freezer labeled Banana Puree and I also include the Date.  This makes it easy to pull out and thaw for a later recipe.  Do not get scared if your bananas get a little darker while sitting in the measuring cup waiting to go into the recipe.  This is natural :)

Deceptively Delicious - Peanut Butter and Banana Muffin Recipe! With Nutrition Facts

It sounds innocent, right?  Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins.  My kids thought so.  Which is all that matters.  Shhhh.....don't tell them that these muffins are actually good for them! 

Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins - Deceptively Delicious By: Jessica Seinfeld

  • Non Stick Cooking Spray ( I just used Cupcake Liners so this wasn't necessary)
  • 1 Cup Firmly packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Natural Peanut Butter ( I actually used J.I.F. Creamy because that is what I had on hand so Nutrition Facts below will reflect this change)
  • 1/2 Cup Cauliflower Puree or Carrot Puree (I used Cauliflower which protects against Cancer, and Strengthens your Immune System.  Perfect for Flu Season)
  • 1 Large Egg White (Instead of using a whole egg, this cuts out 4g of fat)
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt (I use Pure Ocean Sea Salt Ground Fine not Coarse)


 Instructions Found on LiveStrong.com
Using Skinny Jeans Amy's Personal Photos

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix 1/2 cup of the brown sugar with the peanut butter, the vegetable and banana purees, and the egg white, using a wooden spoon.

3. Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt (or Sea Salt) in a bowl or zipper-lock bag and stir or shake to mix. Add to the bowl with the peanut butter mixture and stir just to combine (the batter will be a little lumpy-do not over mix). Add the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar and stir once or twice.

4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake until the muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in to the center, 15 to 20 minutes. (they took me about 22 minutes)Turn the muffins out onto a rack to cool.

5. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or wrap individually and freeze for up to 1 month.

Nutrition Facts using all of the Specific Ingredients I used listed above.

Makes 12 Muffins.  Nutritional Facts Based on 1 Muffin.
  • Total Fat:            5.6g
  • Carbs:                 28.4g
  • Dietary Fiber:     2.21g 
  • Protein:               4.6g
  • Sodium:               151.25
  • Calories:             175
  • Potassium:          49mg
Compare Nutrition Facts to this Peanut Butter Banana Muffins Recipe found at AllRecipes which uses Vegetable Oil, Whole egg, and Milk, and Butter.

The not as Healthy Version has 11g of Fat per Muffin, 226 Calories, 27g Carbs

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tuna Fish and Egg Salad Fish Shaped Sandwich Recipes for Healthy Kids!

Having 3 kids isn't always easy especially when 1 of them is a picky eater, 2 of them will pretty much eat anything, and then there is me "Mom" trying to eat Healthy while having a husband who loves Carbs, Carbs, and More Carbs. 

Yes this is my battle everyday, so you can imagine my relief when the 1 picky eater, 1 good eater, and the Carb loving Husband are at school or work for the day.  Then it is Emma (1 good eater) and I left to tackle Lunch :)  While she is with me I really try to involve her in my cooking, and cleaning for the day.  So we came up with this great Kid Friendly Recipe that is probably a favorite in your home as well.  She doesn't care for Tuna and for me it is one of the Healthiest things for me to eat while trying to Lose Weight.  So Emma makes her Egg Salad Fishy Shaped Sandwich while I eat my Yummy Tuna Salad, in a Joseph's Wrap, of course :)

Here's the Recipe:

Egg Salad Fishy Sandwich Recipe For Kids

  • 3-4 Large Hard Boiled Eggs (Remove Shells and Chop egg whites into small pieces and mashing yolks with a fork)
  • 2Tbsp. Low Fat Mayo or Miracle Whip
  • Little Squirt of Mustard (yes this is how I measure sometimes)
  • 2% Reduced Fat Shredded Cheese (We used a mexican cheese blend because we had it on hand)
  • Tiny bit of Tuna (This is where I sneak in a little Tuna just for the added nutrients) I use the leftover tuna for my lunch
  • 1 Tbsp. Puree of Choice (I like to use Squash because the color and taste aren't so noticeable, you could use Cauliflower as well.)
  • 1 slice of Whole Wheat Bread
  • 1 Fish Shaped Cookie Cutter

Mix together the Mayo, Mustard and Puree into a seperate bowl.  I then put the remaining ingredients into seperate bowls (hiding the tuna, to add after the next step) 

My daughter stands on her stool at the counter and I let her mix the Mayo mixture in with the Egg Mixture (diced Egg white and Mashed Egg Yolk).  I then take the bowl out of site and add a tiny amount of tuna (and I mean slightest amount, maybe a 1/2 Tbsp.)

Next you can toast the Whole Wheat bread slice or leave it plain if your child doesn't like toast (mine does).

Then use the fishy cookie cutter and cut out two shapes from the one slice.

Then I let my daughter spoon some of the Egg Salad onto one bread slice and she then sprinkles some cheese onto it and places the top piece of toast on. 

I dice up some Carrots for her to snack on with her sandwich, set her at the table, and mix up the rest of the tuna with 1-2 Tbsp of the Reduced Fat mayo for myself.  Place on a Joseph's Pita and add some Romaine Lettuce. 

Eat and Enjoy the fact that you are both eating healthy :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

BodyMedia FIT Arm Bands for Weight Loss

I have been researching these BodyMedia Arm Bands for a little while now.  In my opinion it is kind of like the GPS to Weight Loss.  It monitors some key things for successful weight loss meaning it makes your job a whole lot easier.  I thought o.k. sure, when first reading it, tell me how many calories you "think" I burned, and how many "steps" you think I have taken?

I kept on reading and come to find out that the BodyMedia Arm Bands are actually 90% accurate.  They not only monitor "How Active You Are" and "Your Calories Burned" but "Quantity and Quality of Sleep" as well.  I just posted about Sleep in Healthy Weight Loss the other day, so this was a great solution for me.  I really want to see how well I am sleeping.  Between my husband snoring and my youngest sneaking into our bed (always on my side) around 4 or 5 a.m. I am thinking my sleep is pretty interrupted.  So the days I am getting a good nights sleep, I feel I should reward myself for working harder :)

Until I receive one of these things I will have to keep manually tracking my calories and excercise which works for now.  Although I cannot wait to Buy a BodyMedia FIT Arm Band or magically receive one in the mail :)  Until then, I am keeping my fingers crossed just incase it magically appears in the mail one day. I will keep everyone posted if either of those happen and just how much I Love It or Not so much??

If you would like to Buy BodyMedia Arm Bands visit there website and check it our for yourself.  You might be surprised!  Please Share if you Like it, Love it, or Not So Much, I would love to hear any feedback especially if you are reading this and already own one!

BodyMedia Arm Bands have "Apps available for iPhone® and Android™ smartphones".

You can also Follow BodyMedia FIT on Facebook!  While you are there don't forget to Follow Skinny Jeans Amy on Facebook too!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How Important is Sleep in Weight Loss?

I don't know about everyone else but for me no sleep = hungry!?!?  I don't know why but if I don't get enough sleep I feel like eating constantly the next day.  I wake up and just want to grab the nearest "Snack" in the cupboard.  We all know this is not a Healthy Way to lose weight so what causes it and what do you do about?  Blame it on leptin and ghrelinLeptin who, and Ghrelin what you ask? 

That is what I said.  I knew nothing about these Hormones.  I know, I said it "Hormones" the dreaded word for any woman.  I feel like I am constantly battling Hormones throughout the day and now come to find out I need to battle them while sleeping as well......I am no feminist but can't us woman ever get a break?

So I did some research to find out just what is going on and this is what I found at Web MD .

"Leptin and ghrelin work in a kind of "checks and balances" system to control feelings of hunger and fullness, explains Michael Breus, PhD, a faculty member of the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine and director of The Sleep Disorders Centers of Southeastern Lung Care in Atlanta. Ghrelin, which is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates appetite, while leptin, produced in fat cells, sends a signal to the brain when you are full.
So what's the connection to sleep? "When you don't get enough sleep, it drives leptin levels down, which means you don't feel as satisfied after you eat. Lack of sleep also causes ghrelin levels to rise, which means your appetite is stimulated, so you want more food," Breus tells WebMD.
The two combined, he says, can set the stage for overeating, which in turn may lead to weight gain."

O.k. so I need to get a better nights sleep, but how?

I found this great blog Awake and Living where she goes into exactly what will set you up for a lifetime of Good Zzzzzz's!  No magic pills here.  Just some good advice on getting into a good routine.  And only saving your bed for two S's.....even sneaking in a nap every now and again :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Mac & Cheese Cupcake Recipe for kids!

So just what are Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes?  I wondered the same thing when I first saw the previews for Giada De Laurentiis on Food Network one morning.  I yelled for my kids to come quick knowing if they hear Mac & Cheese there interest would spike.  Put it together with the word Cupcakes and they would sit through the whole episode :)  The recipe is pretty simple and can be changed in many ways.  If you would like the original recipe it can be found here Baked Macaroni and Cheese CupcakesThis is the original Food Network Recipe and here are the changes I made, keeping my "skinny jeans" in mind.

Our Recipe Used: 

  • Summer Squash 
  • Zucchini
  • Red Pepper
  • Diced Roma Tomatoes
  • Fresh Spinach (chopped) 
  • Part Skim Mozzarella
  • Reduced Fat Mild Cheddar Cheese
  • Chopped Ham
  • Pepperoni (cut into small triangles)
  • Elbow Noodles (tossed with Summer Squash Puree, see below)
  • Italian Style Breadcrumbs
  • Olive Oil
I used the Mozzarella because my son isn't too crazy about baked macaroni and cheese to begin with so I wanted to put a milder twist on the cheese in these cupcakes.  Again the "picky eater" my son, will not eat meat so I diced up tomatoes (his comfort zone) and added a Summer Squash Puree to the elbow noodles after they had been cooked and cooled for added nutrition.  The Summer Squash Puree Recipe is posted on another blog post and can be found here Summer Squash Puree Recipe.

The kids put the elbow noodles into the Cupcake pans a spoonful at a time, eating some elbow noodles here and there.  Sprinkled some cheese and veggies and whatever choice of meat the preferred, or none, if you can guess which one that was :)  We sprinkled breadcrumbs on top, some more generously than others, then drizzled the olive oil on top.  With the oven preheated to 350 degrees F we let the Mac & Cheese Cupackes bake for about 7-8 minutes.  They came out looking like this!

Very Colorful and not quite as full as they could have been.  This was the first time making this recipe and I am thinking we could have been a little more generous about packing the ingredients in so we will be prepared for next time.  I hope you enjoy making them with your kids!

Summer Squash Puree Recipe

I first learned about purees while reading "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld.  I was looking for a way to add more nutrients to my kids diet without them always knowing it.  My kids will eat pretty well however my son will not eat meat.  He is 6 years old and has even come out of his mouth with "I am a Vegetarian."  I'm o.k. with that.  I like vegetables alot and would love to support him in whatever path he chooses for food.  However, I do know there are some nutrients he is missing with his insisting on Peanut Butter and Jelly for lunch everyday.  With an occasional salad here and there.  So I decided to look into alternatives.  I found this book on the web, and well, lets just say it was perfect for what I needed :)

I had a bamboo steamer on hand, thanks to my husband and his new found addiction to Korean Food.  So I set up the Bamboo Steamer and sliced the Summer Squash.  Put a plate inside and in about 6-8 minutes the squash was fully cooked!  Yes it was that easy.  Added it to the food processor with a little water and in about 2 minutes you have your puree.  Label, date, and freeze for later use or use right away.

Check out the Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts on Summer Squash!