My Favorite Season

September 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Ah, yes.  This would be my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the year and I must say it was quite delicious!  Fall just wouldn’t be the same without all of those great seasonal foods that start reappearing.  I love using canned pumpkin in everything imaginable! Soups and stews, roast, chili and hot oatmeal also start re-introducing themselves back in my kitchen.

I worked at Starbucks for a summer and even though I am pretty boring when it comes to ordering a drink (I usually stick to brewed coffee or soy lattes), I love treating myself with these tasty seasonal things once in a great while.

Some tips for lightening up your favorites:

  • Nonfat milk (the default is 2% if you don’t request)
  • Half the syrup or sugar-free syrup
  • Lose the whip (which can save around 100 kcals!)
  • Order a smaller size

I wouldn’t recommend drinking any highly sweetened drink on a regular basis, but these are fun once in awhile!

My first fall-ish recipe of the season will be this. My mouth is watering as I type and it’s only 7:00am… Possibly a Saturday kitchen extravaganza? Yum.

Have a great Monday!




How to keep up with healthy habits on vacation.

September 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Welcome back to the grind!

I hope you all had a happy and healthy Labor Day Weekend.  I was actually lucky enough to venture all the way to Kentucky to spend a few days with my boyfriend who goes to grad school out there.

Let me tell you that although a long-distance relationship is really tough, I also love the chance to explore a new part of the country.  Traveling is absolutely one of my favorite things to do in my time away from work, but it can also be difficult to maintain a sense of normalcy in terms of healthy habits.  Is it just me, or does it always seems like just when you get into a groove, a special event or trip comes along and suddenly throws a wrench in your routine?

I used to just say “ah well, it’s vacation” but got tired of coming back and having to start all over.  This is something that I have been seriously trying to work on and so I am here to give you my “Tips to a healthy (but still fabulous) vacation“!  Here we go:

  • Make some plans ahead of time to do at least one fun activity that doesn’t involve sitting.  I know it’s easy to base a vacation on eating out (guilty), but looking into different options ahead of time can get you pumped up for a new a fun activity and it gives you a chance to get moving.

(The boyfriend had this idea of visiting an apple orchard which I loved! )

  • Try to cook a few meals at home if you have the option.  I love eating out, but you really can make a much healthier meal if you control what goes into the dish.
  • Keep moving!  Even though hitting the gym every day may not be an option make a goal to squeeze in one solid workout throughout your trip.  Trust me, you won’t regret it!  In addition, try going for a short, brisk walk on the other days or even doing some pushups and situps inside.  Everything counts!
  • Indulge, but not too much. By this, I mean choose your treats wisely.  I baked a homemade seasonal crisp on Sunday with some of the peaches we picked up from the orchard. Yes, it’s a treat I can’t turn down.  I can, however, turn down the free cookie those nice airline folks try to give me on the plane on the way there.  Maybe next time Frontier… maybe next time!
  • Beware of the airport food! I will admit, there are some solid choices.  There are also traps including fresh cinnamon buns, warm french fries, frozen yogurt bowls the size of your head, and the classic greasy pizza slices.  Pack satisfying snacks to tide you over like trail mix, an apple, and Larabars.  My on-the-go meal staple if needed, a peanut butter and banana sandwich.  Grab a non-fat or soy latte before you board and you have a balanced meal that should keep you going for hours!

Enjoy the short week!

What are your tips for staying healthy on vacation?

Will work for produce

August 30, 2011 2 comments


I had an interesting few days at my dietetic internship last week so I figured I would share.  On Friday I was lucky enough to assist with a Produce & Health Fair where we distributed 500+ tote bags of healthy food including chicken breast, peanut butter, black beans, tuna, lettuce, peaches, bell peppers and tomatoes!  The idea was, attendees had to circulate to different educational booths and get a card stamped at each one before proceeding to the food line.

What a great experience!  I saw people lined up for over an hour to participate and they were all so grateful to have this service provided (donations by a local food bank).  Ages ranged from newborn baby to the elderly population and several cultures were represented.  I really enjoyed being part of it!

If that wasn’t enough, I also got to visit and tour a local farm stand.  Check out the fresh produce they had for sale:

The theme of the week must have been fresh food because on Saturday morning I woke up bright and early to work at a community garden.  Has anyone ever volunteered at one before?  I’m in love with the idea…  By putting in time to harvest/clean-up, people can take home a bag of free fruits and veggies at the end of the day.  How great is that?

I saw young children get excited over finding carrots in the ground and older adults light up at the sight of a white eggplant or purple beans.  There were also recipe exchanges and conversations about cooking techniques.

Who would have thought I would be so happy working for free!

Reasons why buying local is great:

  • Usually less expensive
  • Tastes delicious!
  • Better for the environment (less travel = less exhaust)
  • Fun!

Tell me about the best piece of produce you’ve eaten this summer.

What’s on My iPod

Welcome to another new week!

There’s something about Mondays and Tuesdays that I really love.  Just like the beginning of a new year, or even month, the beginning of a new week is a chance to start fresh and add new goals.

Since sometimes it can be hard to get motivated to exercise after a weekend of relaxation, I decided to post the playlist I have been running to lately.

There’s a pretty good mix of everything on here… Let me know what some of your favorites are right now so I can get some new ideas as well.  I’m open to anything!

September Running

  • Pumped up Kicks, Foster the People
  • Don’t Stop the Party, Black Eyed Peas
  • Adolescence, Incubus
  • Wonderwall, Oasis
  • Vertigo, U2
  • Breathe, The Prodigy
  • No Getting Over, David Guetta (love him!)
  • Love Song, 311
  • C’Mon (Catch ’em by Surprise), Busta Rhymes feat. Diplo and Tiesto
  • Times Like These, The Foo Fighters
  • Where them Girls At, David Guetta feat. Niki Minaj
  • Circus remix, Britney Spears
  • Da Funk, Daft Punk

Hope you enjoy!

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Oatmeal, anyone?


Oatmeal can be interesting, I promise!  I know at first it seems, well, blah.  But, adding toppings like blueberries, flax seed, and peanut butter can transform this inexpensive nutrition staple into a satisfying and tasty way to start your day.

So as you already know if you have read the “About” section of Renew You, I’m currently completing my Dietetic Internship.  I am just finishing up week one, and love everything about it so far!

However, it’s definitely a challenge to adopt a whole new schedule and get into a rhythm with exercise and eating well.  Early mornings, late nights, extra assignments… Think lot’s of on-the-go meals and snacks.

For all of you breakfast haters who say there’s no time, this bowl took about five minutes from start to finish!  Just follow the directions on the oat canister (old fashioned rolled oats) and top with whatever suits your taste.  Voila!

I would love to hear other quick meal ideas!  I also love Kashi GoLean cereal, yogurt with granola and fruit, and peanut butter and bananas on whole grain toast. 

Happy Friday!

Getting Out of a Rut!

Welcome to the Renew Fitness and Nutrition blog!

I hope that you all find this blog helpful and fun.

As we all know–especially while trying to lose weight–sometimes you just get into a food/fitness rut!  The same old breakfast day after day, the same workouts over and again… My goal with posting is to show you some new recipe ideas, fun ways to squeeze in physical activity, and anything else that relates to living a healthier lifestyle.  So really, the topic options are endless!

For my first post, I want to share a smoothie recipe that I stumbled upon through reading blogs and continue to use on a weekly basis.  It’s fresh, creamy and nutritious! Plus it’s simple to make and the ingredients are flexible (depending what you have on hand).

Super-food Smoothie


  • 1 cup milk of choice (I like vanilla soy to add some sweetness)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 large handful of spinach
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed

Blend until well combined and creamy!

I love using the Magic Bullet blender for smoothies because it’s quick and there’s less cleaning involved.  However, these variations with spinach are sometimes hard to squeeze in that little cup so it’s really your choice.

Other things you can substitute/add:

  • Peanut butter (to make it more filling)
  • Other frozen fruits (instead of the banana)
  • Protein powder
  • Raw oats (add a touch more liquid)

Let me know if you try it!