Monthly Archives: September 2011 &

I wanted to write a blog about a certain exercise routine that has inspired me lately. is excited about health – and exercise is certainly a part of that!

The exercises I follow are all on This is a blog/community led by Zuzanna and Freddy. Freddy films Zuzanna doing workouts for their followers, Body Rockers, to perform as well. They post new workouts a few times a week and there are seemingly endless archives of past workouts to try at any time.

The workouts they provide are “high intensity interval training” (HIIT) workouts. They involve a series of different timed exercises with high and low intensity intervals. The workouts are normally between 10 and 20 minutes long but they will rock your body! You are supposed to push your very hardest for those few minutes and your metabolism will stay elevated for the whole day. Trust me, those 12 minutes will make you work and sweat like you wouldn’t believe.

Zuzanna and Freddy to try post about all aspects about health. They post about self-image,  relationships, and they post all the time about eating healthy. One way of getting their followers to follow a good diet is by creating Diet Challenges. They’ve had challenges to drink enough water, cut out sweets, to eat more tomatoes, and more. These exercise gurus know that eating well is just as important as exercising hard and frequently.

The core of Zuzanna and Freddy’s diet plan is to eat 5 small meals per day and include a serving of lean protein (chicken, fish, low-fat dairy, lean beef, wild game, etc) and veggies in each one. They only approve of eating carbs other than veggies and legumes after working out. Fruits are encouraged in moderation for their vitamin and antioxidant benefits. And of course, drink plenty of water. You may drink green tea with meals and have one black coffee before working out.

Here’s an example of a typical day on their diet and exercise program:


MagicKitchen Vegetable Omelet

1 C Strawberries


½ C Lowfat cottage cheese

2 C Green salad with romaine, carrots, celery, and mushrooms

1 T Oil and balsamic vinegar dressing


12 Minute “What You Want Workout”

1  Protein shake


MK Penne with Meatballs & Marinara

6 oz Raw carrots and tomatoes



1 Grilled chicken breast with pesto sauce

MK Beets with Feta

MK Spinach Italiano


2 Stalks Celery

2 T Garlic hummus

MK Bone-in Pork Shank in Bordelaise Sauce

The community on is extremely supportive and involved. They post recipe ideas, inspirational stories, and videos of workouts. It is a very well-rounded blog and community. I would definitely suggest that anyone looking to improve their physical fitness and composition should check it out. One video and you’ll be hooked by Zuzanna’s appearance and attitude. Body Rockers everywhere are feeling the improvements to their lives. Don’t you want to give it a try?

Mindy, Blogger


The ultimate sandwich

There’s a new Food Network Star, Jeff Mauro the Sandwich King.  This guy can really make a sandwich out of anything. A couple of the sandwiches he featured on the show were:

Greek Taco: Ground Lamb with feta mint tzatziki on grilled non-pocket pitas.

Jamon Jibarito: He mashes up some plantains and fries them, then adds ham, cheese, mayo and tomato and uses the plantains for the bread.

Complicated! But you can make easy sandwiches that snap crackle and pop!

Try this: Buy a loaf of dark rye bread, unsliced. Mix together Dijon mustard and light mayonnaise to taste (about a half cup of mayo to 2 Tbsp of Dijon should do it).  Cut the bread in half and slather both sides  with the mixture.

Meanwhile, heat up’s Meatloaf. Slice it up while hot and lay along the bottom slice of bread. Cover it with the top slice of bread and slice into four pieces. Serves 4.

You can make a great turkey sandwich with some kaiser rolls and our Roasted Turkey Breast, or slice up some sourdough bread and lay some hot Pot Roast on it for a terrific open face sandwich, but here’s one I made as a teenager and still consider the ultimate:

First you need to find some good oatmeal or porridge bread- this is important. Thick slices of that, cover both sides with mayonnaise. Then lay on thin slices of crisp cucumber, thin slices of sharp cheddar cheese, and then some thin(very thin) slices of green bell pepper. Incredible.

Melody, blogger


Fast Healthy Meals for Fall

With fall’s arrival, your busy schedule means you need to start finding the right meal planning ideas that will work for your family.  Here are five ideas for Fast Healthy Meals.

1. Set up a meal exchange with five families each month. On a certain day, everyone in the exchange group meets at rotating homes and brings along a box full of frozen meals, one for each family (It’s a good idea to have reheating instructions taped to the lid). The members swap the meals so that everyone takes home one of each meal that they didn’t prepare. (Example: I make five pans of my favorite inexpensive recipe, say pepper steak. My four other exchange families make five pans of their favorites. When we exchange, I have one pepper steak and four other family-sized dinners.) The benefit is that you can but in bulk but you don’t have to eat the same dinner over and over.( An alternative is’s Family Size meals)

2. If you want to go out to eat, but it’s not in the budget right now, you can cook your favorite Carrabbas Chicken Bryan or Healthy Choice Traditional Pasta Sauce recipe. Just do an online search for “copy cat recipes” or “secret restaurant recipes.” Your family will love the meals.

3. Consider trying a meal preparation service like Dream Dinners. For a set price, you go in and choose meals based on your family’s likes, dislikes, eating restrictions, and budget. Then you prepare the meals right there and package them up to bring them home to your freezer. The result? Fast healthy dinner plans and finished meals. The cost may be a bit more than if you did it in your own kitchen, but it’s significantly less than eating out and much healthier. It’s a good chance to learn how to cook better too.

4. Avoid the temptation to buy entire meals of take-out. Instead, mix part of a meal from your favorite restaurant with a partially prepared meal at home. For example, buy a loaf of French bread and heat it up in the oven wrapped in foil. Slice it and pass around margarine. Make a large salad. Then order a large order of pasta from your favorite Italian restaurant and split it. You’ll get more value for your money and also have a fresh meal of something you typically would not make at home.

5. Get organized with meal planning by deciding what works best for your schedule. Can you make a double batch of meat loaf and freeze half for another evening? Hearty soups make great dinners and can be made on the weekend. They freeze well and are filling and healthy.

Here’s a 1950’s take on having a “Dinner Date” with your family. What a time traveling piece of film!!


Melody, Blogger


What are Employees Reading?

We want you to get to know us a little better, so here are a couple of comments from employees about the books they’re reading right now:

My latest read is Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. I wouldn’t normally open up a fantasy story (besides something Harry Potter related) but this book is a deserving exception.

What brought me to buy this book was the TV series on HBO. I’ve always been one of those people to read the story before seeing the movie and then be horrified by all the important things left out in the movie. However, the way HBO fixed this problem was by creating an entire season of a show dedicated to one book. That way they could retain the integrity of the book and not diminish any sort of character development or anything else of great importance to a reader. I applaud HBO for doing such a fabulous job on this project.

When I was finished watching the season and complaining that the next season wouldn’t be out until next year, I went to find the book. My boyfriend, who never reads anything besides car magazines, wanted to read it too so we got it on my Kindle to read when the other person was away at work.

Game of Thrones is such a great read. It’s a very dark story set in a time and place that doesn’t exist but it is incredibly real. The time is similar to medieval times in that everyone wears chainmail when they joust and drinks wine out of some kind of animal’s horn. There are seven different lands in the kingdom that all have their own Lord but there is one King who rules over all. Needless to say, there is much conflict in the kingdom over land, money, relationships, and hidden, oncoming dangers that everyone is worrying about in the back of their minds. There is a touch of ancient magic in the story which brings it out of reality of bit, but I think it adds another dimension of interest. I mean, who wouldn’t want to read about the living dead, dragons, and wolves with extremely loyal personalities?

What really impressed me after seeing the story on TV and also reading it was the fact that almost every single detail was in the TV series. Most of the dialogue was word-for-word and even the color of the knights clothing was the same. I kind of feel like an HBO advertiser, but seriously, their huge budget went to great use on this project.

I haven’t finished the first book yet, but since I already know what a cliffhanger it will be I know I’ll be wanting the second book right away. The only question is… should I wait until I watch the series on HBO in 2012 or should I go ahead and devour the entire book collection before it is aired?



Melody says:  I’m reading “The Help” right now, thanks to a friend of mine who is vacationing down here and finished it!  I’m of an age that remembers the civil rights movement pretty clearly, and this book is un-put-downable!

Great characters speaking in authentic voices, and a fresh idea on how to portray that era is what makes the book so enjoyable. I saw that the movie is out, and that made me want to read the book. When I saw my friend reading it avidly, I hoped she’d be leaving it behind, and bingo!