Milwaukee Fight for Air Climb 2012

On March 17th, I will be participating in Milwaukee's 2012 Fight for Air Climb. The next day I will be unable to move on my sofa, crippled from just running up 47 floors of stairs, which is equal to 94 flights or 1,034 steps. Or this entire building...

But I don't get to wait until then to start suffering.  Between now and then, I will be getting my body in shape by getting in as many squats and lunges as possible and running myself ragged up as many stairwells as I can find. All in the name of charity!!!

Hopefully I've made you feel guilty/inspired enough, because I need to raise at least $100 as part of my entry. To support me and the American Lung Association's fight against lung cancer, emphysema, asthma, and air pollution, you may donate here at the following link:


Thank you and wish me luck!


Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto

Risotto is the perfect meal for nights when you have a little extra time to make dinner and are craving a hot, comforting meal. Although you will have to stand at the stove and continuously stir the rice for about 20 minutes, the resulting creamy texture is well worth the effort. This recipe includes asparagus, mushrooms, and spinach, although you can adapt the recipe to include your favorite vegetables such as peppers, broccoli, peas, tomatoes, or artichokes. You can also try including ham or sausage, and swap the Parmesan cheese for feta or Gorgonzola.


1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup arborio rice
6 oz white wine (1 normal glass)
3 cups water or broth
10-15 stalks asparagus, cut into thirds
20 mushroom slices
1 cup spinach
Salt and pepper

30 g (about 1/4 cup) freshly shredded parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon butter


1. Add olive oil to non-stick pan. Set to medium high heat.
2. Once oil is hot, add diced onions. Saute for 2-3 minutes until they have softened a little.
3. In a seperate saucepan, heat 3 cups water or broth until steaming hot, but not boiling
4. Add rice to pan with onions and mix well. Allow rice to roast for 2-3 minutes. Do not allow rice to develop color.
5. Add wine, 1/2 a cup at a time, to the rice. Stir until wine is fully absorbed.
6. Start adding hot broth or water to the wine 1/2 cup a time. Continue to stir the liquid into the rice and only add more broth or water once the last addition was mostly absorbed (should take a minute or two). This process of adding liquid and stirring should take about 20 minutes (add the vegetables at 10 minutes). Over time, the starch from the rice will start to leave the rice and form a creamy sauce around the rice.
8. Add salt and pepper, butter, and Parmesan cheese and stir well until creamy.


Crockpot Veggie Chili

If you are like most people, you probably find it difficult to cook a healthy meal at the end of a long day. Maybe you feel this way every night, maybe it's only after really stressful days, but everyone feels this way at least once in awhile.

To prepare for those nights where you'd rather call for pizza delivery or stop at the drive-thru, it's important to keep an arsenal of easy and quick dinner options on hand. This super easy, super nutritious, and super cheap vegetarian chili is perfect for days when you already know in the morning that you are not going to want to cook that night. Just throw the following ingredients in a crock-pot, set it to low, and cook for 6-8 hours (or on high from 3-4 hours). Then go to work and return to the smell of good home cooking.

2 (14 oz) can diced or whole tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained
2 medium to large zucchini, thinly sliced
1 onion
2 stalks celery
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 green chile pepper, diced (no seeds for a milder chili, add seeds for hotter chili)
1/3 cup chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt

Add a sprinkle of cheese on top if desired

Adapted from All Recipes

Makes 6 servings, 150 calories per serving

My favorite things: Amy's Spinach Feta Pocket

For mornings when I forgot to pack my lunch for the next day and need to quickly grab something nutritious, one of my favorite meal options are Amy's Spinach Feta Pockets. This combination of whole wheat crust, creamy spinach, and feta cheese is a perfect way to get a dose of vegetables into your lunch.
Each pocket contains 260 cals, 9g fat, 590mg sodium, 11g protein, and ample amounts of calcium and iron. 83% of the ingredients are organic, and all of them are natural. There is a bit of tofu in here too, which increases the amount of protein, but I promise you can't taste it!

Compare to this:



My favorite things: Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt

I enjoy my desserts, so whenever I'm craving a sweet treat, Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurts are on the top of my list as a healthy option.


They are super creamy and packed with flavor. Each bar is only 70 calories and contains 6g of protein and 15% of your daily calcium requirement. There is no added sugar or corn syrup in these, which makes these WAY healthier than other "fruit" bars. They come in three flavors: strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry, all of which taste great. They also have a new line of smoothie packs, which are currently at Costco, and hopefully will be coming to more stores soon. Each box of 4 bars retails for a little less than $5, and in the Madison area, I know you can find them at Copps.

See how they stack up against competitors:

Yasso Strawberry Frozen Greek Yogurt Bar: 70 cals, 10g sugar, 6g protein, 15% calcium

Dole Strawberry Fruit Bar: 90 cals, 22g sugar, 0 protein, 0% calcium

Blue Bunny Strawberry Banana Frozen Yogurt, 1/2 cup: 110 cals, 18g sugar, 3g protein, 10% calcium

Find more information at www.teamyasso.com