Mind Body and Cake

Keeping fit in a college lifestyle

Archive for the category “Food Fun”

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!


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!

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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“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?

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?

Spinach & Feta Pasta

Last night I got crazy in the kitchen and cooked a pasta dish I found from Sparkrecipes.com

I was craving pasta but wanted a healthier option compared to most high calorie pasta dishes.

After running to the grocery store to grab a few ingredients I stated cooking…and so did my roommate…

So here I am doing work on the stove.

And then my roommate in the process of making the most amazing “brownie cookies” or is it “cookie brownies”? We still don’t know. But what we do know is that they are amazing!

I am very happy to tell you that the pasta tasted great! Next time I may make a little more of the sauce though.


  • 12 ounces uncooked whole-wheat pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes or 1 can diced tomatoes drained
  • 3/4 cup fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup crumbled reduced fat feta cheese


  • Cook pasta according to package, no salt
  • Warm the olive oil in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook a minute. Add tomatoes and broth and bring to a simmer, and cook 5 minutes until tomatoes soften and some liquid evaporates. Slowly stir in spinach or arugula: cook until all leaves wilt.
  • Drain pasta and toss pasta with warm tomato-spinach sauce. Garnish with cheese.

I added mushrooms to my sauce! I also think this would taste great with grilled chicken on top.

Enjoy 🙂

Farmers Market On Campus

Yesterday walking through campus I noticed several tents and tables set up on the road. As I got closer I realized it was the farmers market!

How cool is that! Local produce brought to campus for students is so convenient!

I was so excited and went around to each tent to see what was offered.

This tent had fresh tomatoes that looked incredible. I love making tomato sandwiches.

But when I found this tent I knew I hit the jack pot.

I am a huge seafood person and love shrimp! Salmon is my favorite fish to get when out to dinner, and shrimp is such an easy snack to grab out of the fridge with very few calories.

Unfortunately I had to rush to my next class and didn’t get the chance to buy anything to take home. 😦 I plan on being more prepared for the next time the farmers market comes to campus.

Seeing all the yummy food made me hungry, so to hold me over until classes were over I ate my favorite Luna bar.

Nuts Over Chocolate! With 9g of protein and 4g of fiber It was a yummy snack to keep me satisfied until I got home.

By the way, the dog we found on the side of the road is back with his owner! He was such a good dog, but my roommates and I are happy he is back home. He was a fun guest to have for a few days 🙂

  • Does your school or town provide a local farmers market?
  • What’s your favorite produce to buy there?

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Banana Flax seed Crackers

What do you do with a ton of flaxseeds and a banana your about to toss out….

You make Banana Flax seed Crackers of course!

I found this idea on Taralynn Mcnitts blog.

I was very Leery about this recipe, but they turned out so good!

Mash up 1 banana and add 1/2 cup of flax seeds. Mix well together and drop about a spoon full for each cracker on a baking sheet.

Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes…your kitchen will smell like banana bread 🙂

And I’m serious when I say they really do taste like banana bread.

These crackers are so healthy and full of fiber to fill you up. I think I’m going to keep some in my purse to take tailgating at the football game tomorrow!

If you try making these tell me what you think!

“I Don’t Cook” Tuesday

Tuesdays seem to always be the busiest day of the week for me. Knowing I am going to having a long day ahead of me, I make sure and get a good nights sleep.

One thing I have had to learn while being in college is I have to manage my time and get my ZZZZ’s in! (Getting enough sleep helps keep your metabolism stable, making it easier to maintain or lose weight.)

Last night my roommates and I all had the same thing in mind and stayed in. We got our “ZEN” on with a ton of candles in the living room. We created some what of a fire place since ours is fake… nifty.

And I had a cup of Green tea.

Waking up at 8:15 for my morning classes was much easier than normal. I am NOT a morning person FYI.

Breakfast is my favorite meal, and I am a sucker for cereal, but Cheerios with a sliced banana on top actually keeps me feeling full longer than other cereals.

By the way, I tried the Carrot Cake yogurt from when I went grocery shopping the other day. I also tried the Black Forest Cake too.


They are DELICIOUS. I have to say I prefer the Carrot Cake more but both are yummy and only 100 calories.

After a long day of classes and teaching a Body Pump class at the gym, I am worn out. 

Not being much of a cook..yet..I opted for something easy to throw together. 

Corn and Veggie Burger dinner!

Always have to be careful when buying frozen food. I always check to find low sodium options. This meal was so good and literally took 5 minutes to put together! This dinner is perfect for all the “I don’t cook!” people out there, or students with a busy schedule who need something easy!

What’s your favorite easy “throw together” meal to make?

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