Friday, February 16, 2018

Fit Friday - Mini Pizzas and Healthy Heart Tips

It has been a great week at my house. The kids have been hyped up on sugar and parties. And I have been running around just trying to keep up with them. But we have made it through the week and Fit Friday is here.

Mini BBQ Chicken Pizza is a quick and easy dinner that your kids will love!  Mini BBQ Chicken Pizza is a quick and easy dinner that your kids will love! www.cookingwithruthie.com Yum!! Mini BBQ Chicken Pizza is so fun to make! Get your kids in on the creation of these cute little pizzas! Mini BBQ Chicken Pizza is a quick and easy dinner that your kids will love! www.cookingwithruthie.com My kids used to love to help me make french bread pizza and I know they would of loved to help me make these Mini BBQ Chicken Pizza as well! Also check out these different kinds of french bread pizzas for another fun kids dinner... Alfredo Chicken French Bread Pizza and BBQ Chicken French Bread Pizza!! :) Mini BBQ Chicken Pizza is a quick and easy dinner that your kids will love! www.cookingwithruthie.com   Mini BBQ Chicken Pizza is a quick and easy dinner that your kids will love! www.cookingwithruthie.com

Mini BBQ Chicken Pizza

Recipe Type: Main
Author: Ruthie A Knudsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • BBQ Chicken Slow Cooker:
  • 4-5 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle of your favorite bbq sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Mini Pizza's:
  • 8 whole grain sandwich thins, separated in two (16 halves)
  • olive oil
  • 3-4 cups BBQ chicken, prepared as directed
  • 1-2 cups lowfat mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red onion, small diced
  • 1/2 cup spinach leaves, rough chopped
  • serve with additional bbq sauce and cilantro leaves if desired
Instructions
  1. Coat ceramic insert of slow cooker with cooking spray, turn to high.
  2. Add chicken breasts, combine remaining ingredients in mixing bowl, pour over chicken.
  3. Cover with lid and cook for 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.
  4. Shred with 2 forks, place chicken back in the juices in slow cooker so it remains moist.
  5. Mini Pizzas:
  6. Preheat oven to high broil.
  7. Place 6 sandwich thins on cookie sheet, drizzle with small amount olive oil, toast for 1-2 minutes watching carefully so as not to burn.
  8. (repeat for additional pizza's or reserve and make two meals out of it)
  9. Place 1/2 cup prepared bbq chicken on each pizza, sprinkle with cheese, return to broil 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted and lightly browned.
  10. Top with remaining ingredients.
  11. Serve with addtional BBQ sauce and cilantro if desired
  12. Enjoy!
 Mini BBQ Chicken Pizza make your weekend dinner simple and healthy!
   


Its Valentines week, a week all about the heart, so let's talk about some fit tips for your heart. We all know how important a healthy heart is, we also all know the downside of an unhealthy heart. Your heart is not something to be dismissed or ignored.










1) Find a form of exercise that you like. Exercise can not be avoided for a strong healthy heart. And I don't mean a 30 minute stroll a couple times of week. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. That is 2.5 hours for those of you that don't want to take the extra brain power to stop and figure that out. 

2) Embrace the power of 10. No more using the excuse that you don't have time. Make time! Even if 30 minutes isn't happening all at once you can find 10 minutes a couple times a day. If you still are struggling to wrap your brain around 10 minutes you need to rethink some priorities...or get a dog.

3) It's not just about cardio, strength training is good for your heart too. 

4) De-stress! Find a healthy form of relaxation and embrace it.

5) Enjoy a heart healthy diet. This includes healthy fats, lots of veggies, whole grains, and low fat proteins.

Take care of your heart!

Happy Fit Friday! 
Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie

Friday, February 9, 2018

Fit Friday - Protein Smoothies and Track Circuits

We are here for another edition of our fantastic Fit Friday! Enjoy!

Chocolate Raspberry Protein Smoothie is a healthy combination of flavors that your body will thank you for... AND so will your family and friends!  Celebrate Valentines Day with your sweeties in a deliciously healthy way this weekend!!  Chocolate Raspberry Protein Smoothie is a healthy combination of flavors that your body will thank you for! www.cookingwithruthie.com Mmmm... we can not get enough of this Chocolate Raspberry Protein Smoothie at our house! It's delightfully yummy and your kids will never be able to guess that it's so nutritious! Chocolate Raspberry Protein Smoothie is a healthy combination of flavors that your body will thank you for! www.cookingwithruthie.com Chocolate Raspberry Protein Smoothie has a few of my favorite things! Raspberries, chocolate protein, and chia seeds!! In our house, we love to add chia seeds to just about any beverage-- it's especially good in flavored water and smoothies! Chia seeds are an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber! We LOVE chia seeds!!! We hope to spread that love to all of you and your families as well. :) Chocolate Raspberry Protein Smoothie is a healthy combination of flavors that your body will thank you for! www.cookingwithruthie.com   Chocolate Raspberry Protein Smoothie is a healthy combination of flavors that your body will thank you for! www.cookingwithruthie.com



Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie
Recipe Type: beverage
Author: Ruthie A Knudsen
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup chocolate almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • cocoa powder for garnish
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in blender (minus cocoa powder).
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into serving glasses and dust with cocoa powder if desired.
  4. Enjoy! 

Chocolate Raspberry Protein Smoothie is a festive, fun, and pink smoothie for Valentine's Day!

  If you live in our neck of the woods you are hopefully outside basking in some very unusual warmth and sunshine. If you are a skier or snowboarder.....I am sorry. But for those of you who are enjoying the sunshine let's talk about the awesomeness of the track. The track is one of my favorite outdoor gyms, yes there are many others to choose from but today our favorite is the track.

We are hitting the track to work on some speed, some stairs, and throw in some resistance moves. Yep, we are going to do it all. That is the best way to do it!


Have an amazing Fit Friday!!    
Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie

Friday, February 2, 2018

Fit Friday - Salad and Speed

I love a yummy salad! And with artichokes in it I can totally get my girls to grub as well. My little guy is hopeless though, he doesn't eat foods that are mixed, only can handle one food on his plate, and won't try anything new unless under extreme duress. So, I will try this recipe out for the girls in our family. After killing it on the treadmill with some solid speed work!

Artichoke, Sun-dried Tomato, Hummus Salad is reminiscent of the Mediterranean cuisine, packed with flavor, and fabulously healthy!  Artichoke, Sun-dried Tomato, Hummus Salad is reminiscent of the Mediterranean cuisine and fabulously healthy! www.cookingwithruthie.com Artichoke, Sun-dried Tomato, Hummus Salad has all of my absolute FAVORITE things in one salad! I'm obsessed with artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, and hummus! I wish I could eat hummus for every meal-- it's just that delicious to me! Artichoke, Sun-dried Tomato, Hummus Salad is reminiscent of the Mediterranean cuisine and fabulously healthy! www.cookingwithruthie.com Artichoke, Sun-dried Tomato, Hummus Salad is a healthy and easy salad to throw together! I like to make a few of these ahead of time and take one to work with me for lunch! This salad reminds me a lot of some other lunches I like to take to work!! BBQ Chicken Spinach Salad is just to die for as well as Apple Cucumber Tossed Salad and Peach Cucumber Mint Salad!! Artichoke, Sun-dried Tomato, Hummus Salad is reminiscent of the Mediterranean cuisine and fabulously healthy! www.cookingwithruthie.com



Artichoke, Sun-dried Tomato, Hummus Salad
Recipe Type: Salad
Author: Ruthie A Knudsen
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 3 cups mixed power greens
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • 1/4 cup cooked turkey bacon, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup light feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoon olive tapenade
  • Crackers or pita bread wedges for serving
Instructions
  1. Divide greens between 2 serving plates.
  2. Divide remaining ingredients between plates, arranging in a circular pattern with hummus in the center.
  3. Serve with crackers or pita bread wedges.
  4. Enjoy!

Artichoke, Sun-dried Tomato, Hummus Salad will make your work day!

  Wintertime is a great time to jump on the treadmill. The mornings are cold and dark, its a little safer and a lot warmer to head inside and jump on the treadmill. I am one of those individuals that has to get it done early, which means in the winter time I am definitely on the treadmill. Especially after last years conversation with my husband in which I agreed not to run outside by myself in the dark, not the safest thing for this klutz.

So today we are hitting the treadmill with an awesome speed workout. This is a longer one if you do all of the reps, so feel free to do less reps if you are just getting started or if you are a little short on time.

Run hard. Work hard.


Happy Fit Friday! 
Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie

Friday, January 26, 2018

Fit Friday - Soup and Sleep....MMMMMMM

Happy Fit Friday! Miss Ruthie is here with a yummy and winter perfect soup for you on this cold Friday. And I am talking sleep. If you follow me at all you know that it has been a rough week for sleep. My little guy has been an amazing sleeper since he was 2 months old. His baby sister has not been and certainly is not. She didn't sleep through the night until she was almost one. And even still most nights she wakes up at least 2x and cries for a minute. This weekend my husband and I are getting away for a night, I am so excited for a night of sleep without any crying.

Chicken Tomatillo Soup is a simple slow cooker dinner that everyone will love!  Chicken Tomatillo Soup is a simple slow cooker dinner that everyone will love! www.cookingwithruthie.com Chicken Tomatillo Soup is a yummy soup for these cold winter months before spring hits! We love this soup at my house. I put it in the crock pot in the morning, go about my busy day, and come home to this warm soup ready for my son and I to enjoy together!  Chicken Tomatillo Soup is a simple slow cooker dinner that everyone will love! www.cookingwithruthie.com Chicken Tomatillo Soup is filled with great protein: chicken, beans, and cotija cheese!! If you love all types of warmth like my kids and I do, enjoy this delicious soup in front of a fireplace wrapped up in a cozy blanket! Don't forget to try our other favorite winter slow cooker soups... Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup, Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup, Slow Cooker Vegetable Beef Soup!! Chicken Tomatillo Soup is a simple slow cooker dinner that everyone will love! www.cookingwithruthie.com


 
Chicken Tomatillo Soup
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Ruthie A Knudsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, thawed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar of tomatillo salsa
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of black beans
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 ounce cotija cheese crumbles
  • tortilla chips
Instructions
  1. Spray the ceramic insert of slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Turn on, add all ingredients; stir.
  3. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, low 6-7 hours.
  4. Shred chicken and serve with a sprinkle of cotija cheese crumbles and tortilla chips.
  5. Enjoy! 

Chicken Tomatillo Soup will keep those winter blues from setting in!! 

There is more to fitness besides nutrition and getting in the gym, a component that is often disregarded but rarely forgotten; SLEEP.  We all need it, we all strive for it, but are we all getting it? I know that I am not getting all of the sleep that I need, I can't wait until my youngest sleeps through the night. The goal should be seven hours of sleep a night, seven hours of good sleep.

Signs that you aren't getting enough sleep:

*Foggy brain; We all push our kiddos to get more sleep so that they are awake and alert for school. It is the same thing for us. We should be striving for enough sleep in order to focus on all of the things required of us on a daily basis.

* Unhappy; My kids all know that mom is a grump when sleep has been lacking.

*Workouts hard; Runs a bit slower than normal, weights feeling heavy even though you have breezed through those workouts before?

*Struggling with weight; If you have ever tried to lose weight you know that everything has to come together just right; sleep is definitely a necessary block.

Recognizing that you need sleep is a good first start. Now let's talk about what we need to be doing to get a good nights sleep:


Now you need to get it all put together. Eat right, move your body, and sleep!

Happy Fit Friday! :) 
Much Love and Peace~ Nichole & Ruthie

Friday, January 19, 2018

Fit Friday - Mushroom Soup and Jump Rope Circuit

Fit Friday is here to rock your weekend! Ruthie has brought us some warm soup (I think it may finally snow in Utah) and I am keeping the heat flowing with a jump rope circuit. Enjoy! And stay warm this January weekend.

Creamy Mushroom Soup is flavorful and filling with 3 different kinds of mushrooms AND of course we like to make it healthier around here too!  Creamy Mushroom Soup is flavorful and filling with 3 different kinds of mushrooms! www.cookingwithruthie.com Creamy Mushroom Soup sometimes a creamy bowl of hot soup is the best medicine for those January winter nights!  Although I have to admit that our January has been more like April weather- 55 degrees and sunshine is SO strange for us.  But we are supposed to be getting snow this weekend, so it's time to pull out those stock pots.   Creamy Mushroom Soup is flavorful and filling with 3 different kinds of mushrooms! www.cookingwithruthie.com Creamy Mushroom Soup is one of the many delicious vegetarian soups we love, you'll also enjoy Greek Fasolatha SoupRoasted Cauliflower Cheese Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons, and French Onion Soup with Baguette! Creamy Mushroom Soup is flavorful and filling with 3 different kinds of mushrooms! www.cookingwithruthie.com   Creamy Mushroom Soup is flavorful and filling with 3 different kinds of mushrooms! www.cookingwithruthie.com



Cream of Mushroom Soup
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Ruthie A Knudsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 pound button mushrooms, stems reserved
  • 2 pounds combination of shiitake and oyster mushrooms, stems reserved
  • 2 red onions- 1 medium diced and 1 thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 2 cups sherry
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons mushroom base
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon pepper
  • 5 teaspoons cold water and arrowroot to thicken
  • 1 cup fat free half and half
  • ½ cup chopped chives or parsley, to garnish
Instructions
  1. In heavy bottom stock pot combine water, sherry, mushroom stems, 1 chopped red onion, carrots, celery, bay leaves, and peppercorns; simmer until reduced by ⅓ (approx 20 minutes), strain; set aside.
  2. Cut mushroom caps into ¼ inch slices.
  3. In stock pot melt butter, saute thinly slice red onion for 2 minutes.
  4. Add mushroom caps; cook 2-3 minutes or until tender.
  5. Add brandy; stir and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Add reserved broth, mushroom base, worchershire, sea salt, and pepper; bring to simmer.
  7. Thicken with arrowroot slurry by slowly whisking into simmering soup.
  8. In a small bowl slowly whisk together half and half and 1 cup of soup; stirring add back into pot.
  9. To serve: each bowl of soup garnished with chopped chives or parsley.
 Creamy Mushroom Soup is a comfy-cozy and mouth-watering delight! 
 There are so many different styles of working out. I have get asked which is the best, well the best is which ever style you are going to do. I am one that likes to mix it up with a few different approaches, it helps me from getting bored. One style of workout that I incorporate often into my workout is circuit training.

What is circuit training? Circuit training is simply a workout style in which you are constantly moving from movement to movement. When I use circuit training in my classes we set up stations. At each station we are there for 30-60 seconds, never long enough to get bored. This is generally a full body workout with plenty of cardio opportunities mixed in as well.

The biggest benefit for me is the constant change. It is a great workout when I am not really in the mood to workout or when there isn't one thing that I am really wanting to work. It is also great when I am short on time, mixing in cardio and weights means that I am not trying to fit in both of them separately. 

With all that being said, let's do it!
You will need a jump rope and dumbbells for this workout.


Happy Fit Friday!! 
Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie

Friday, January 12, 2018

Fit Friday - Soup and HIIT....Let's Do This!

Fit Friday here! We are so happy to have Cooking with Ruthie share and awesome soup recipe for your cold January days. I am also sharing a sweet HIIT workout to get that heart rate up and heat you up from the inside out.

Chicken Tomatillo Soup is a simple slow cooker dinner that everyone will love!  Chicken Tomatillo Soup is a simple slow cooker dinner that everyone will love! www.cookingwithruthie.com Chicken Tomatillo Soup is a yummy soup for these cold winter months before spring hits! We love this soup at my house. I put it in the crock pot in the morning, go about my busy day, and come home to this warm soup ready for my son and I to enjoy together!  Chicken Tomatillo Soup is a simple slow cooker dinner that everyone will love! www.cookingwithruthie.com Chicken Tomatillo Soup is filled with great protein: chicken, beans, and cotija cheese!! If you love all types of warmth like my kids and I do, enjoy this delicious soup in front of a fireplace wrapped up in a cozy blanket! Don't forget to try our other favorite winter slow cooker soups... Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup, Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup, Slow Cooker Vegetable Beef Soup!! Chicken Tomatillo Soup is a simple slow cooker dinner that everyone will love! www.cookingwithruthie.com

Chicken Tomatillo Soup

Recipe Type: Main
Author: Ruthie A Knudsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, thawed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar of tomatillo salsa
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of black beans
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 ounce cotija cheese crumbles
  • tortilla chips
Instructions
  1. Spray the ceramic insert of slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Turn on, add all ingredients; stir.
  3. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, low 6-7 hours.
  4. Shred chicken and serve with a sprinkle of cotija cheese crumbles and tortilla chips.
  5. Enjoy!
 Chicken Tomatillo Soup will keep those winter blues from setting in!! 

  We are starting the New Year returning to the basics. I do this every year with my classes and clients. It gives us a chance to double check that we are doing everything as we should be. That means that we are getting low in our squats and watching our leg placement, taking pushups to the ground in order to make them effective, etc. Back to the basics doesn't mean it is going to be an easy workout. Today we are going to be doing a HIIT workout, the goal is to focus on quality not quantity.

During the first round you will complete each move for 45 seconds with a 10-15 second recovery. It is much better to get 10 squat hops that include a LOW squat rather than 30 squats hops only dipping your hips an inch or two. In order to make your workout most effective you need to focus on strong, complete movements.


At the beginning of every remind I tell my spin to have a goal. Go into every workout with a goal and focus on the goal. If your goal is simply to finish then focus on finishing strong. If you have a race in the spring and your are working on building strong muscles to carry you through that finish line then focus on that. Have a goal to push you when you are tired, distracted, or simply just not feeling it.

Happy Fit Friday! :) 
Much Love and Peace~ Nichole & Ruthie 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Fit Friday is back for another awesome year!

BBQ Chicken Spinach Salad is a healthy and quick meal that tastes just delightful!  BBQ Chicken Spinach Salad is a healthy and quick meal to keep you full and happy! www.cookingwithruthie.com
 BBQ Chicken Spinach Salad is a packed with lots of fabulous flavors and plenty of great nutrition too!  The BBQ chicken is a simple slow cooker recipe and the rest of it whips together in no time at all.   If you have left over chicken just toss it in a ziplock freezer bag and into the freezer.  It stays good for up to two months and reheats really well, it's always nice to have a protein ready to go in a pinch.   January seems to be the month we all get back to our healthy eating so here are few of our other favorite salad recipes to inspire you. . . Heirloom Tomato, Steak, Blue Cheese Salad, Sun-dried Tomato and Olive Tuna Salad in Avocado, and Salmon Avocado Salad with Sweet Vinegar Dressing.  BBQ Chicken Spinach Salad is a healthy and quick meal to keep you full and happy! www.cookingwithruthie.com   BBQ Chicken Spinach Salad is a healthy and quick meal to keep you full and happy! www.cookingwithruthie.com

BBQ Chicken Spinach Salad 

Recipe Type: Salad
Author: Ruthie A Knudsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4-5 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle of your favorite bbq sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salad:
  • 4 cups spinach leaves
  • 2-3 slices red onion, separated into rings
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • additional bbq sauce and lite ranch dressing for serving
Instructions
  1. Coat ceramic insert of slow cooker with cooking spray, turn to high.
  2. Add chicken breasts, combine remaining ingredients in mixing bowl, pour over chicken.
  3. Cover with lid and cook for 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.
  4. Shred with 2 forks, place chicken back in the juices in slow cooker so it remains moist.
  5. To serve salad:
  6. Divide spinach, red onion, and 1 cup of shredded BBQ chicken on serving plates.
  7. Top with tomatoes, cilantro, and pumpkin seeds.
  8. Serve with additional bbq sauce and lite ranch dressing

BBQ Chicken Spinach Salad is simple to make for a week night dinner! 

  Happy New Year! I hope that have had a wonderful beginning of the year thus far. Last week we took a little time away to rejuvenate and get ready for the New Year. I headed down south with my family, no computer and no work. It was a very needed few days. But we are back and ready to get this new year started right, as I am sure many of you are.

I like to start each year refocusing on the basics, bringing my mind and body back to the small things that have sometimes gotten lost towards the end of the year. I kept that in mind as I planned out my January Challenge for my boot camp. Every month we have a new challenge, a new goal, a new focus for both nutrition and fitness. This month we are focusing on getting our water.

We all know we are supposed to drink it, we are taught that from an early age, yet that is one of the things so many of my clients struggle with consistently. I know it will make you have to pee more for the first little bit, but I promise your body gets used to it and you won't be running to the bathroom every 30 minutes forever. 

It has been proven over and over again, you will look and feel better if you are getting your water. That doesn't mean you have to drink a gallon of water every day. My clients aim to get half their body weight in ounces (150lb = 75oz). This does require you to plan a bit on your part. Keep a water bottle with you! 

Drink up!

Happy first Fit Friday of 2018!! 
 Much Love and Peace~ Nichole and Ruthie