Mind Body and Cake

Keeping fit in a college lifestyle

Baked Chicken and Pan-seared Brussels Sprouts

After looking at different recipes on several different blogs I ran across one that looked to good to not try.

The world’s Best Chicken and Pan-seared Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries! 

(I apologize in advance for the quality of these photos. Ive been using my phone camera and they didn’t turn out as pretty as I’d like…..)


For the Brussels Sprouts: Cook the brussels sprouts and cranberries with some olive oil for 8-10 minutes on medium heat until the sprouts become tender and cranberries begin to burst. Add in the syrup and balsamic vinegar and then take off heat. Toss in a large bowl with pecans and cheese.

1 pound brussels sprouts, de-stemed and halved
2/3 cup fresh cranberries
1/3 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup pecans
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Salt & pepper


For the Chicken: Preheat oven to 425. Mix together mustard, syrup and vinegar in a bowl. Season chicken with salt and pepper and then spread the mustard mixture on top of each chicken breast. Cook for 30-40 minutes.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper

This meal was extremely easy and did not take a lot of time to prepare. The chicken came out perfect and who new I would enjoy eating brussels sprouts so much! This meal was healthy and super filling!

I found this recipe from Rachel Schultz blog. She has tons of great recipes that I can’t wait to try!


Thomas Rhett Concert

Last night a few friends and I went to go see Thomas Rhett play at Tin Roof! His two most popular songs are “If I could have a beer with Jesus”, and “Something to do with my hands”. He also sang a lot of cover songs that everyone knew and could sing along to. 



He was awesome and really interacted with the crowd. I was lucky enough to snatch a spot to sit on top of one of the restaurant booths and was able to see him…..definitely would not be tall enough to see over anyone if I was standing on the floor. 😉

Because I ended up going to the concert last night I didn’t have time to cook the meal I was planning on making. So tonight I’m going to get fancy in the kitchen! Hopefully it turns out good so I can share it with you guys…ahhhh!

The rest of my day is full of memorizing BodyPump choreography, doing some of Jillian Michaels Yoga DVD workout, and cooking a healthy dinner. Hope your Thursday is going well!

Running Music

I hope you’re having a good Wednesday!

With the weather being so nice today in Columbia I knew I wanted to get out of the house and soak in some sun. I decided to head back to the Riverwalk this morning for a run to start my day off right. I decided to listen to my iPod instead of Pandora on my phone since my phone died 5 minutes into my run yesterday…. I was not happy. 

I find listening to music really helps me push through a run and distracts me when I start to get tired. So here are a couple songs that I liked listening to today.

Because The Night (Manian Bootleg Cut) Cascada 

Welcome To The Jungle Guiltless United 

Shut Up And Kiss Me. Reece Mastin

Once I got home I grabbed half of  the black cherry nonfat Chobani yogurt I bought yesterday for a post workout snack.



I added flax seeds and raspberries to the yogurt to give it some texture. I’m not a fan of the consistency Greek yogurt has by itself. 

One last thing I thought I would share with you is the healthy dessert I made last night! After eating a salad with shrimp and tomato soup, I was craving something yummy. So here you go….

Mini Frozen Banana Peanut Butter Sandwiches 🙂



I found this simple idea on Pinterest. What would I do without that addicting website! I used the honey roasted peanut butter from Whole Foods which made them taste amazing! When frozen it made them taste like peanut butter ice-cream.

If you decide to make them yourself let me know what you think!

Running at the Riverwalk

After waking up this morning I felt like getting some exercise and getting outside for a little while. I laced up my running shoes, grabbed a banana and my iPod and drove across the bridge in Columbia to the Riverwalk. 



The Riverwalk is so pretty which makes the run more enjoyable, and it also challenges me because the path isn’t flat like running on a treadmill!

After 40 minutes at the Riverwalk I got some grocery shopping done at Whole Foods. I could probably spend all day in that place, everything looks so good, I always want to buy everything! I picked up some greek yogurt, soup, baby spinach for salads, and frozen shrimp. I can’t wait to put the shrimp on top of my salads, yumm.

As of now, I am looking over BodyPump 84 choreography while eating a healthy snack of raspberries and celery with peanut butter. Instead of team teaching BodyPump with another instructor I will be instructing by myself this semester. I am super excited and can’t wait to start teaching again when Christmas break is over!


The peanut butter is from Whole Foods. I used one of the small machines to get fresh honey roasted peanut butter……and it is DELICIOUS. If you have never tried it I highly recommend it!

Have a great day!

Spaghetti and Wall Sits

Happy Monday! 

Today has been really yucky outside. The weather has been quite dreary here in Columbia with it being cold and rainy. Since I woke up early before class I decided to take a trip to Starbucks to get a warm drink to sip on. Nonfat Chai Teas = happiness in a cup.

When I walked up to the counter to order my drink the Starbucks guy said, “Hey Michelle, how’s it goin’!”. The Starbucks guy has my name memorized! I was a little shocked because I haven’t been going to this Starbucks as often as others but it made me feel so special! I love how the people at Starbucks work hard to get to know their customers! I need to learn their names now!

Now let’s talk about this past weekend.

My friend Michelle, who works at the gym (and shares my name), and I decided to cook in Friday night before going out with some friends. We decided to cook spaghetti because I stocked up on pasta when it was on sale a few weeks ago.

We threw together a side salad to go along with our meal. It’s always fun to cook with friends and making spaghetti is so easy!

We also got creative with some new workout moves.

Michelle and I love trying out new exercise moves and ways to challenge ourself, so we decided to try Jillian Michaels “standing on your knees wall sit” move. Remember when I attempted to do Sean T’s Wide Tuck Jump?

So here is Jillian…..

And here I am….

I look so happy in this photo. It definitely made holding this position a lot harder!

Now I’m off to class and then to the gym! Having the Workout Log has been really motivating!

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Keeping A Workout Log

I am always trying to find new ways to stay motivated to exercise several times a week. Staying active is really important to me so I have decided to start a daily workout log. Many blogs that I follow do this and I always find it motivating to see what others are doing to exercise and how many times a week they workout.

Right now I am teaching 3 to 4 exercise classes a week. 30/20/10 (A cardio class that incorporates sculpting and core work) and Body Pump. My goal is to work on getting in more exercise during the week on the days I don’t teach classes.

Recently I have been running outside on those days because it’s nice to do something different than always being inside at the gym. The weather has been amazing with the temperature cooling off so evening runs have been really enjoyable.

You can check out my workout log under the Fitness section. I hope keeping track everyday will motivate me to exercise more…. instead of jumping on the couch and watching the food network 😉

“Lite” Carrot Cake

Before I start talking about how entertaining it must have been to see my roommates and I bake a cake, I feel I must address something. Because my blog name incorporates the word “CAKE” many people assume I love to bake, and I have even been asked a few times if I would bake a cake for friends. The thing is, I am actually not a huge baker, and don’t do it very often….but I do like to eat it!

The word CAKE in my blog represents all the yummy foods that usually are not the healthiest. I love to stay fit and healthy while still enjoying treats here and there. Finding balance is what works for me 😉

Now lets talk about this Carrot Cake that my roommates and I created.

Because I rarely ever bake I ran around to several of my friends houses to borrow flour, vanilla…and everything I would need.

Things started out great, until we got to the eggs…

When the recipe says “do not get any egg yolk in the egg whites”, they are serious. So Erika beat the egg whites until they were “frothy”, which took a lot longer than it was supposed to….sorry Erika.

We also ran out of brown sugar and had to google what to use for a substitute. Yes, I know what you’re thinking…there is no way this cake is going to happen.

Well to everyones surprise the cake came out great! We even made our own low fat cream cheese frosting which tasted amazing.

I gave the cake to my mom for her birthday last week and she loved it! I was actually nervous for her to try this cake but thankfully it tasted pretty darn good for a low calorie carrot cake.

I found this recipe from Allrecipes.com. I have been using a lot of healthy recipes from this website!

Now I’m off to teach Body Pump and study for exams this week. Hope your having a good week so far!

  • What’s your favorite kind of cake?

Cookies & Prayers

There is no better feeling than receiving a package in the mail as a college student, and today was my lucky day. As I opened the door and picked up the box with my name on it I freaked out and ran inside to see who sent me something! 

I first read the letter that was on the top when I opened the box. My church Lake Forest, that I have grown up going to and still attend when I am home, sent me the package! I quickly looked inside the box and immediately started drooling…..COOKIES!!!!!

Not just any kind of cookies though, I’m talking about homemade cookies! You can not beat that.

What is even more special about these treats is that they were made by people from the church who are praying specifically for me and all the other college students that attend Lake Forest. The letter sent with the package expressed how even though we may be away, we are still apart of the church and are always being prayed for.

Pastor Mike also gave advice on growing spiritually in college and his experience when he was in school.

Receiving this gift has really made me feel loved and blessed to have people thinking and praying for me.

My roommates and I have tried a few cookies and they taste amazing! Lake Forest really knows how to bake :). I plan on keeping all these goodies in the kitchen to share with others so that I don’t eat them all myself….because they really do taste that good!

  • What’s the best surprised gift you have received from someone?


2 Hour Workout

Tonight I worked a double shift at the gym and taught an hour long Body Pump class and an hour long 30/20/10 class with another instructor. The 30/20/10 class consists of 30 minutes of cardio, 20 minutes of sculpting, and 10 minutes of core work.

Man oh man am I SORE! The first thing I did when I got home was make myself a protein drink. I needed something to help my muscles recover after all that weight lifting. I kept it really simple and mixed vanilla whey protein powder and water. It definitely wasn’t as tasty as the Peanut Butter Protein Shake I made a few weeks ago!

As I sipped on my protein drink I searched through my pantry in hopes to find something easy to put together for dinner. You know me, always looking for convenience!

I found a Healthy Choice chicken with rice soup. I got excited when I saw it had 6g of protein..the more the better!

I like this soup because it tastes good, fills me up so I don’t snack later, and is only 90 calories per serving. The only thing I don’t like as much is the amount of sodium in most soups. I am always trying to find soups with really low sodium.

With this kind of soup, I like to have some kind of crunch. In a lot of restaurants, soup comes with croutons on top…yummy. Instead of croutons I crumbled up a few Wheat Thins on top. It gave me that crunch I was looking for and was also low in calories.

I am definitely worn out and will probably be going to bed early tonight!

  • Questions: What is your favorite soup? Do you know of a good low sodium soup I should try?

Staying Hydrated

Drinking enough water throughout the day is something I need to get better at. It seems so easy to forget about when you’re constantly on the go with classes, work, or just going out with friends.

Today before classes started I decided to take a look in the bookstore to kill some time. I found Bob Harpers book The Skinny Rules. One thing you should know about me is I love Bob Harper and can not get enough of watching him on the biggest loser! He is so inspiring!

His book has a ton of interesting information and a lot of great healthy meal ideas. Because I am trying to stay more hydrated I found this section particularly interesting:  Rule 1- Drink a large glass of water before every meal-no excuses.

While reading through the Rule 1 section he mentioned that staying hydrated is the most crucial part to losing or maintaining your weight. I thought his tips were helpful too. He had so much insight on ways to make eating healthy easy!

I am going to try and get my 8 glasses of water in everyday by keeping a water bottle with me on campus or even doing homework or watching TV.

Lunch Today

Tomato, turkey, fat-free swiss cheese, and lettuce sandwich on wheat bread. Fat-free light Black Forest Cake Yogurt on the side. So yummy and filling. I have been trying several different flavors of this 100 calorie yogurt and so far I like Carrot Cake, Black Forest Cake, Cappuccino and Wild Berry Crumb cake the best. I am not a fan of Key Lime Pie or Cinnamon Bun flavor!

Hope your having a super Monday!

  • Who is your favorite fitness and health celebrity?

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