Happy 2016 Friends!!!

HAPPY 2016!

Let’s talk GOALS.

It is said that if people share their goals with others, they have a better chance of sticking to their goals. I’ve never been one to set a New Year’s Resolution, but I do set a lot of goals hourly, daily, weekly, monthly etc. But, in honor of the blog and the New Year, I’m game to create some and share.

If you recall my earlier blog, I discussed goal setting, remember, goals need to be realistic and timely, it helps that they are attainable. There should be a “pinnacle goal” but then also “step goals” to reach that pinnacle goal. In our goals, there needs to be some room to fail. We are HUMAN so there’s going to be a day where we all of a sudden remember that we are hungry and reach for a Snickers….

So here we go…

  1. My sleeping pattern is absolutely terrible from Sunday – Thursday. I seem to finally hit the pillow around 11 give or take 20 minutes, which then leads to a final run through of every social media distraction possible. A final refresh of my emails. A quick check of the texts I didn’t respond to and to make myself sound less cool, the texts that say read, or in my brother’s case, delivered. Thanks Brady. To be fair, mine also say delivered even after I read them, because Brady knows best. I skipped out Friday…because really when I go and retrieve my pup from my parents’ house to take her home, I regularly fall asleep on one of their recliners at around 7pm. I am so much fun. Sometimes, I don’t even take off my shoes.

But…to be fair I really like shoes.

So with this, I have three issues. First, I’d like to be in bed around 10pm, 10:30 at the latest. Here’s how I plan on fixing the first…I have some odd emotional connection with the 10pm news, I don’t really watch it, but having it on in the background is nostalgic for me. Guess what, problem fixed, I no longer have anything but Hulu and Netflix. So see ya later News Channel 8…but really, I miss you and will get cable again. So I’ll have to figure out this issue later this year.

Two, I need to chill out with needing to be connected to my phone. This I will struggle with, for those that know me, know that delivered really means I read the message. So, I think I’m going to do 1 of 2 options, once I get to my bed, set my alarm and be done, cold turkey. Or 2: use a different outlet to charge my phone from the one right by my bed.  The second option isn’t really viable because I like hitting snooze once. Which, I should change but STOP IT I’M NOT GOING TO CHANGE EVERYTHING. So, here’s my room to fail goal: snoozing is ok.


Side goal: delete emails.


Lastly, let my dog stay alone in my house and not go to puppy day care at my parents, this one is never happening. Soph gets what she wants.


She wins.

I did say we need to allow room to fail and stepping stone goals. Well here are my stepping stone goals. The Packers might play on Sunday, Monday, or Thursday Night. I’m going to watch those, even last night’s gem of a game versus the Vikings…

But seriously, Micha Hyde’s interception was incredible…the rest not so great. And this is the time when I chant, “Abby, Abby, Abby.” Yes, Jared Abbrederis. SO with that being said there will be instances where a 10pm bedtime isn’t viable.

So here is my wording of my goal: Sunday through Thursday average a before 10:30 bedtime. That allows each day to being a stepping stone goal.

Side note I did not stay up and watch the Badger Holiday Bowl game.  I watched our first 3 points and decided I needed to sleep. A 9:30 start time on a weekday???? COME ON DO BETTER COLLEGE FOOTBALL.

  1. Yep. I am terrible at being remotely active in my kitchen. When I originally moved in, I panicked the night before because I didn’t have a crock pot. So my mother to calm my crock pot nerves, bought me one that week. I have since not taken the crock pot out of the box. I have been moved in since October.  I also really needed a toaster because I was toast sensitive. Earlier that week Hollie questioned the lack of toast intake…and I realized I had no idea when the last time I had toast. I have since used my toaster twice…but for bagels.


    Here’s my kitchen, sans bread. Just lots of paint.

I do have a game plan. Throw out the full loaf of bread that I haven’t opened since I moved in. Replace the bread, because if you have been keeping up, I used to make pb&j sandwiches on the regular. And buy other groceries.


See, my love is real.

I was recently gifted the coolest gift I’ve ever received, a new fridge. I feel like my excitement level has to be comparable to when my brother found out he was getting a little sister, or at least what his excitement level should have been. So, I’m going to get to grocery shopping like a normal human.

I do actually like cooking, I’m not good at it, so I’ve found out the best method for me is the crockpot or Traeger Grill method. Because really the Traeger is just a giant crockpot that makes everything taste delicious.

For the record, I don’t really snack; I just really like Papa Murphy’s take n bake, specifically Taco (which is back for this month) and Spinach, Bacon Artichoke. Both on thin, because I’ve already told you earlier that dough in general is just filler to me. And as you found out earlier…I go over and get my pup from my parents every night just around supper time.

I do have some great resources from the moments I did cook.

  1. http://www.chef-in-training.com/ Yes, Chef in Training, that’s me. I’ve never had a recipe from here that I didn’t love. Like seriously, try them all, and give me your leftovers. My favorite meal is the Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken. Try it.
  2. http://www.skinnytaste.com/ This site is awesome so many ideas, I’ve never tried any but I’ve written several down and proceeded to forget about them. They even have weekly meal plans…if you’re trying to cook every day and not just twice. I mean look at this beaut.
  3. I’m also a huge fan of soup. Check out Tidymom. Scroll to the bottom…235 soup links all on one page.

Yes. I’m looking to cook two meals a week. Judge that. BUT I’m one person, I eat like a bird. I’d also like to really have a family meal with my parents more often. I gifted my Pops the Traeger for his birthday and they struggle with google.  So, really I’d like to use that around three times a month. And who knows, maybe this will take off and I’ll get fancy and freeze things and cook more often…but come on now. DON’T PUSH IT.

So when you are evaluating and creating your goals, make sure you don’t just evaluate the long haul, but also the hourly, daily, weekly goals, because that will make the process so much easier.

So if your goal is to lose weight. Change it, to becoming healthier. Let’s start off by what are your hourly goals? Yes, hourly goals for losing weight are necessary. So, if you are going to work at 8. You need to set a goal of have breakfast. I won’t pick your breakfast for you, but it should be high in protein and low in sugar.

Then you are going to need to set a goal for pre-lunch hunger. A goal without a plan is headed straight to nowhere. So, plan on packing something to snack on: vegetables WITHOUT DIP, fruit, almonds, protein shakes that has recognizable ingredients…low sugars, granola, SOMETHING HEALTHY. I also think planning on drinking a certain amount of water by lunch is also super helpful. You can learn why I think that here. Then have a lunch prepared so you aren’t feeling those hunger kicks and have that urge to drive to a drive thru or a quick convenient store lunch.


Things you shouldn’t have on your desk:  a Snickers bar the size of your arm. Thanks Shelly.

Also set an afternoon goal of more water and a second snack just until you figure out your habits and what you need. It’s better to be prepared with a snack then to have to look elsewhere. Boom, there is a detailed goal with a plan. We are human so, allow yourself fails, it shouldn’t be a huge day of cheat, but cheat meals, or half cheat meals, or cheat snack, which ever works best for you, while staying honest to your goals. Don’t get disappointed, plan for fails, then get right back at it the next day.

Adding exercise to any health related goal is also crucial. BUT again, do it in steps. Going to the gym every day for a beginner…is too much. Plan a daily exercise that includes some form of movement; walking for a certain distance, mix in jogging, and even times of sprinting, biking, hiking, so you don’t have to spend all of your time in the gym.

Weight training is crucial, muscle mass and muscle tissue burn more calories than fat. And after your body starts building muscle that will increase your basal metabolic rate (BMR) which is really how many calories you would burn a day without leaving your bed. The more muscle mass the higher the BMR. Yes, burning calories just because you’re you.


But…to be fair I really like shoes.

Set a goal of exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, with 3 of those days being more intense and make sure you mix in weights!!!! I like to do weights three times a week. Don’t be afraid to get creative!


Yes, I even hike in clean shoes.

I’ll post another blog about some of my favorite exercises in a future blog.  For the time being, bodybuilding.com, google, and youtube are great resources!


I mean I really like shoes.

I’ll take a progress pic of my fridge and maybe even a meal or two! My fridge isn’t in yet. BUT once it is, be prepared for the inside view, like MTV Cribs, and pictures of meals!

Again, HAPPY 2016! Let yourself fail, have fun with your goals, and work for them.

In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…” SO GET WORKING!


It’s Thanksgiving Time!!

First look at what all of us Mill Haven Foods folk received today from Brian and Hollie! Yes, they like us. We like them too.Thanksgiving

Now, let’s talk Thanksgiving!

I think I’m so programmed at this point that I now get hungry just at the word Thanksgiving. Not really my problem, my family is capable of throwing down. Seriously, I anticipate my Aunt Lori’s vegetable bake like a sneaker release. It’s that good.

But, with that being said there are a lot of claims out there that we tend to pack on the pounds during this holiday season. There are a few ways to curb that fourth plate extra weight.

Let’s start with a “Ricki” 5 ways to curb the gain…

  1. Skip the bun. Yes, I call the bun, filler…and empty filler at that, like the salad line at a buffet, SKIP IT. Unless it’s a homemade one that is still warm, then you’re on your own.buns
  2. At the family gatherings, you really don’t need to try everything. I’m sorry mom, I love you very much, but we both know you aren’t Betty Crocker or even a distant cousin. And I’m ok with that, you taught me other things, like how to order a pizza.
  3. Drink less, I’m not talking about less water here friends…I mean the extra cheerful calories in a bottle. I’m boring, I’ll have an occasional watered down beer, but my pops usually finishes it, as in normally more than half. So, if you’re near my dad this holiday season, offer the rest to him. He is a super hero.
  4. Don’t buy plates. Yes, I just bought a house, and still only have 1 real plate, of my parents. They also don’t know I have it.
  5. If the turkey isn’t great, don’t try to save it with gravy. Just power through the not great turkey. The protein is still there.

Ok moving on to maybe some actual helpful advice…

  1. Don’t skip breakfast to be extra hungry for Thanksgiving Lunch/Dinner. I am guilty of this, I fully understand the importance of breakfast, but I’m telling you right now, DON’T GO HUNGRY. You’ll then fill up on the pre meal snacks. And snacking on non-healthy snack foods isn’t the best plan. Just extra calories that aren’t your Aunt’s stellar vegetable bake.
  2. Pace yourself. Eating shouldn’t be considered a sprint! Our brains tell our body we are full after about 20 minutes of eating. THAT DOES NOT MEAN CRAM ALL YOU CAN ONTO 8 PLATES AND PROCEED TO DOMINATE YOUR FOOD IN 20 MINUTES!! Take your time. Enjoy the vegetable bake.
  3. Hey, maybe just one round of the dessert table. Yes, I’m aware there is probably going to be 18 different desserts on the dessert table. My family is even bringing cake to celebrate two birthdays. I can understand and appreciate wanting to try everything…but be selective and try smaller portions if you really want to try everything.Thanksgiving Pie
  4. Leftovers…I get it, they are awesome. That 9pm hunger hits, boom you have 8 GladWare containers full of joy, and a full belly by 9:21pm, yes, I accounted for the 1 minute of luke warm microwaved food that you couldn’t wait for a fully warm plate. But maybe, skip them. Don’t take 8 containers, maybe 1; give away your 18 pie slices. Be creative on dodging an extra container.Pumpkin Pie
  5. Get moving! Yes, we are all excited about a turkey nap. BUT, we should also be excited about exercising afterwards. If you have a sibling like I do, who sends a text of “CAN WE EXERCISE A LOT THIS WEEKEND” use their excitement and join them.

THANKSGIVING is meant to be a time of being THANKFUL! Enjoy your plate, enjoy your family/friends/whoever you are blessed to be spending your time with, and also enjoy the process of trying to cancel out the holiday season food!


Rick, let me guess, a Snickers?

Hi friends.

It’s blog time. It’s been several daysweeks…eh months, since our last blog. In case you are wondering, I did not get fired or get taller.

Let’s talk candy bars and nutrition value.  I make a lot of claims in real life that I have accepted as truth and therefore attempt to pass on to my friends as truth.  For blogging purposes, I’m ok with debunking my half-truths.

So, I guess this is where I tell you one of my half-truths that I live by… judge away cruel world judge away.

It’s wrestling season, which means a lot of early Saturday morning tournaments.  I do not have my life together on Saturdays. I do a great job at fully functioning five days a week…but weekends are wildcards.  And for those that are assuming I’m crazy and enjoy the night life the town of 2,531 has to offer, I don’t, I’m boring. I’m 26 going on 80. I enjoy puzzles, I dedicate a night a week to cleaning my sneakers, I enjoy the Gameshow Network, and absolutely fancy surprise naps.  With all that being said, I don’t plan breakfast if I have to be up before 7.  Yes, I’m fully aware breakfast is the most important meal of the day, blah blah blah. GOT IT MOM.  Side note, 1,003 of the population isn’t allowed to leave their temporary residence at the prison.

I'm serious about clean sneaker night.

I’m serious about clean sneaker night.

So when we finally arrive at the tournament, I grab my ol’ reliable breakfast bar, a Snickers.  I dislike chocolate, I dislike peanuts, and if it’s afternoon my taste buds wake up and I no longer want anything to do with a Snickers.

I ate a snickers here.

I ate a snickers here.

But for some reason, a breakfast Snickers is absolutely delicious and I validate my choice by saying it is a meal and has protein.

I never actually looked at the Snickers’ wrapper before making this statement…and now looking at the wrapper I feel like I should have chosen my words a bit better. But I will defend it to the end.

Candy bar sizes have been getting smaller and smaller. The current Snickers bar is 52.7g. It has 250 calories, 110 of those being from fat. It has 12 grams of fat, 4.5 grams being saturated fat, 120mg of sodium, 27 grams of sugar, 33 grams of carbohydrates, and finally my bright side, 4 grams of protein.

The culprit…NOT from today, but from a Saturday. I just saved the wrapper. PROMISE.

Although I got more and more depressed while typing those, I am stubborn, and will fight to the end.

Let’s start with calories! If this was not used as a meal and an extra intake, I’d have to run 2.5 miles.  I’m using an uber simplified method of 1 mile = 100 calories. BUT, I claim it’s a meal, so I don’t have to run. Point, me.  (YES I UNDERSTAND IT IS NOT HASHBROWNS AND EGGS MOM)

Now to the fats, I’m going to assume I’m going to take a loss. But let’s do this, they made the new Snickers smaller, they used to be 25% of your daily fat value, now it’s only 18%. So there’s that. Saturated fats are particularly bad for people; they raise cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease.  But to be fair on my part, it’s early morning, I most likely lose crumbs, and by crumbs I mean all of the saturated fat probably falls to bleachers.  And it’s safe to say that Snickers also contain monounsaturated fats, because of the peanuts.  Monounsaturated fats are good fats, they are good for the heart and lowers cholesterol.

Oh, salt. ALL SODIUM IS NOT TERRIBLE. Excess sodium yes, not great, it makes the kidneys retain extra water which causes bloat and strains the heart and blood vessels. And high salt intake sometimes leads to an elevated blood pressure. BUT! Salt helps the body send messages to and from the brain. Salt is also important for work outs…it helps prevent muscle cramping. And luckily it is listed as just 5% of the daily value.

Ok. Sugar. I’m just going to throw the benefit out there right away, energy. Boom. Ok, now let’s get real. Sugar gives you energy, then there’s a sugar crash. But past energy, sugar really is just an empty calorie.  It contains no proteins, no vitamins, no minerals, and no essential fats, really just nada.  I’m also a big fan of teeth, and well, teeth hate sugar.

PROTEIN, the giant upside of a Snickers bar.  Ok, to be fair to my friends, 4 grams of protein isn’t a lot. BUT, when talking protein in candy bars, Snickers is kind of king. Skittles and Starburst have zero grams of protein. In chocolatey comparisons, Three Musketeers 1 gram, Milky Way 2 grams, and Twix 2 grams. Again to summarize previous blogs, protein is good, keeps us full, our body uses protein to build and repair muscle tissue, helps our hair and nails, and READ OUR OTHER BLOG POSTS.

“You’re not you when you’re hungry.” Snickers absolutely nailed it with this slogan.  When I’m hungry I’m a person that wants a Snickers. When I’m full, I don’t even like Snickers.

So DECISION TIME, Snickers won’t make a person healthier. BUT really, in moderation and with a healthy overall diet and exercise, Snickers also won’t destroy a person.

Here's me doing something athletic.

Here’s me doing something athletic.

No-Bake Energy Bites

Here’s a great quick recipe to kick start your Monday!


Lori whipped these up today!

1 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy)

1/3 cup honey

1 cup coconut flakes

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

2 scoops of protein (pick whatever you like, vanilla is always a good go to)

1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients, roll into balls, put them in the fridge to chill, then devour them…I mean eat them.

Happy Monday!

The Benefits of Natural Whey Protein

A spoon full of acesulfame potassium helps the medicine go down…wait.. no.

There are a lot of different flavored version of protein powder out there; from Ice Cream to Cinnamon Bun. But does the flavor add anything valuable, besides taste, to the protein?


Long story short. No.

One of the major components to being physically fit starts with what we use as fuel. Nutritionists/dietitians, trainers, athletes, fit enthusiasts, all believe in the notion of clean eating.

I was a dietitian major when I transferred colleges to play basketball. Oddly enough, I went to one meeting with the majors and they were discussing baking apple pies for a fundraiser. I had one question during this meeting, “how do I transfer back?” I transferred for less than 24 hours.

Clean eating is semi simple, eat the good stuff. The less processed the better the food. Many clean eaters are trying to remove all the chemicals from their diets.

  1. Clean eaters eat lots of greens that haven’t been altered.
  2. They eat meats that are straight from the butcher.
  3. Grains that haven’t been broken down. 
  4. They read and reread labels to make sure they understand what they are eating.

So many bodybuilders, health enthusiasts, athletes, etc. abide by these rules, but then fail to read the labels of their protein powder.  Fact is, sweetened protein powder is altered. The less ingredients the better.

Many protein powders contain artificial sweeteners. For years artificial sweeteners have been under attack with many critics believing that they can lead to cancer. The National Cancer Institute has said that there is no sound scientific evidence that any approved artificial sweeteners in the U.S. cause cancer. But, the song does go, “A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down” not “A spoon full of acesulfame potassium helps the medicine go down.” And if you’re going to believe anyone, believe a woman that can pull an umbrella out of her purse, before umbrellas were collapsible.

And the fact is, it’s easy to add non flavored proteins to natural items that will flavor them. One of my go to shakes is a glass of almond milk, peanut butter, a banana, and a scoop of protein. Delicious.

And natural protein powder is great to add while baking. It easily addable to pancakes, muffins, and some people even put it into sauces. Be creative and try.

So, if you eat clean and take all the time to prep out meals for the week, really consider drinking clean.


My Favorite Season.

Thin Mint Season is Fast Approaching, Let’s Prepare

True Beauty.

True Beauty.

Remember, Girl Scout Cookies are still cookies they have calories, very low nutritional value, and aren’t meant to be dominated. But, they are for a good cause and taste pretty darn good.

First, let’s start with the only Girl Scout Cookie I personally recognize, the Thin Mint. Obviously the Thin Mint is the best. I can inhale an entire sleeve in one setting. To be honest, I probably could destroy the box, but I judge myself before tearing into the second sleeve. And if you dare, try the without cookie shakes, still delicious, and have a higher nutritional value. Also, all of these have to be BLENDED.

Thin Mint Protein Shake(WITH COOKIES)

12 oz Vanilla Almond Milk (or Plain Almond Milk or Regular Milk)

1-2 Scoops Chocolate Protein (or Vanilla, I dislike Chocolate)

4 or 5 Ice Cubes

4 Thin Mint Cookies

Thin Mint Protein Shake(WITHOUT COOKIES)

12 oz Vanilla Almond Milk (or Milk)

1-2 Scoops Chocolate Protein

2 Handfuls of Spinach (Yes SPINACH)

1/2 Teaspoon of Peppermint Extract (Don’t go crazy it’s strong)

4 or 5 Ice Cubes

The color will be terrifying. But, it’s still tasty.

Then there are the Samoa Girl Scout Cookies. One of my best friends from college, Teresa (shout out to UW-Eau Claire), loved Samoas.

Samoa Protein Shake (WITH COOKIES)

12 oz Vanilla Almond Milk (or Milk)

1-2 Scoops of Vanilla Protein Powder

4-5 Ice Cubes

3 Samoa Cookies

For extra presentation points, crush up one more Samoa and top the shake after blended.

Samoa Protein Shake (WITHOUT COOKIES)

12 oz Coconut Almond Milk (or any flavor of Almond Milk Or Milk)

1 Scoop Vanilla Protein

1 Squeeze* of Caramel Sauce

1 Squeeze* of Chocolate Sauce

*Remember, the greater the squeeze the greater the taste…but also the greater chance of “this is no longer remotely healthy”

Chia Seeds

Coconut Flakes

4 or 5 Ice Cubes

If you want you can add Stevia

After thinking about what my friends actually prefer in Girl Scout Cookies I can’t remember if it was Samoas or Tagalongs. I feel like Megan might have liked Tagalongs. Either way, I’ll ask both of them soon. This cookie recipe will basically be a treat, it includes ice cream.

Tagalong Protein Shake (WITH COOKIES)  

6 oz Almond Milk (or Milk)

1 – 2 Scoops of Ice Chocolate Cream

1 Scoop Peanut Butter Protein Powder (or Chocolate)

2 Tagalongs

Tagalong Protein Shake (WITHOUT COOKIES)

12 oz Almond Milk (or Milk)

1 – 2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter (Creamy)

1 – 2 Scoops of Chocolate Protein Powder

4-5 Ice Cubes


For reference, Teresa is the giant on the right, Megan is right next to her. And I have 4 eyes.

But How Much Protein???? (continued) WITH PICTURES

Last week we discussed how much protein was necessary to maintain, lose weight, and to build muscles. Let’s dive further into that conversation and match those grams to food intake.

Today for lunch I brought a peanut butter and jelly. I’m a terrible cook but can make a mean pb&j. So, first let’s think in pb&j’s. I’m a Reduced Fat Skippy Peanut Butter girl. I appreciate the color of the lid and the name Skippy, so automatically it tastes better than Jif. The serving size is 2 tablespoons and that gets me 7 grams of protein.  For the J part I go “rustic” and select Jam. Unfortunately, Smucker’s Strawberry Jam has 0 grams of protein per serving. I put it on a low calorie bread, Village Hearth Light Italian. For two pieces of bread I get 5 grams of protein. Thus, my sandwich totals 12 grams of protein.


To maintain my body composition I would need to eat 3 and a half of a diagonal slice. (.36 x 106 = 38.16, yes I’m the size of a 3rd grader) A 140 pound person would have to eat 4 and a half of a diagonal slice. (.36 x 140 = 50.4 grams)


To lose weight while being active I would need to eat 4 to 6 sandwiches.  (.45 – 0.68 x 106 = 47.7 – 72.08, no I’m not trying to lose weight mom) A 140 pound person would have to eat 5 and a half of a diagonal to 8 sandwiches.  (.45 – 0.68 x 140 = 63 – 95.2 grams)


To gain muscle while being active I would need to eat 5 and a half of a diagonal to almost 10 sandwiches. (.6 – 1.1 x 106 = 63.6 -116.6 grams) A 140 pound person would have to eat 7 to almost 13 sandwiches.  (.6 – 1.1 x 140 = 84 – 154 grams)



Click here to use the site I used to calculate my protein grams for your own meals!