Apple Peanut Butter Granola Rings

Weight Loss No Comments »

Apple Peanut Butter Granola Rings

Click Here to Download the Recipe in PDF Format

  • 1 cup Cinnamon-Pecan Granola (recipe below or use your favorite Granola)
  • 1/4 cup natural-style peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 red or green apples, cored and cut into 6 rings

    Apple Peanut Butter Granola Rings

Cinnamon-Pecan Granola:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup uncooked old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Cooking spray

To make the granola:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Combine brown sugar and 1 Tbsp water in a medium microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave at HIGH 30 seconds or until sugar is dissolved.  Stir in oil and cinnamon.  Add oats and pecans, stirring until coated.  Spread oat mixture on a large rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 300 degrees F for 30 minutes or until browned, stirring twice.  Spread mixture in a single layer on wax paper to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.


For apple rings:

Place 1 cup of the granola mixture in a small dish.  Combine peanut butter and honey in a small bowl, stirring until smooth.  Spread mixture evenly on 1 side of each apple slice.  Sprinkle evenly with granola.  Enjoy!

* Please note, while the picture shows apples cut in half, the recipe calls for making 3 rings per apple.


Servings: 6   Serving Size: 2 Rings   Calories: 179   Fat: 10.1g

Carbs: 20.4 g   Fiber: 2.5 g   Protein: 4.3 g


Recipe courtesy of Eat Yourself Skinny

Recipes for Real People

Healthy Eating No Comments »

Smart Choices for Real People Recipes

A lot of you, who weren’t able to attend our “Smart Choices for Real People” Cooking Class with Renee Chodkowski, have been asking for copies of the recipes. We’ve included some of the highlights below as well as pictures to tempt your taste buds, but make sure to check out Renee’s website, for hundreds of other awesome recipes.

Enjoy the slide show … Click to Download

Gazpacho Dip

8oz Fat Free Cream Cheese         2 Tbsp Fresh Chopped Cilantro

1/4 c Fat Free Sour Cream          1/3 c Salsa

1 or 2 Cloves Pressed Garlic          Chopped Cucumber, Tomato & Green Onion for Garnish

Combine cream cheese, sour cream, garlic, cilantro and salsa, mix well. Spread onto a serving platter. Top with cucumber, tomato and green onion. Serve with pita chips or your favorite.

Kale Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Clean and stem kale – any variety. Thoroughly dry kale with paper towel or in salad spinner. Cut bigger kale leaves into smaller pieces – about the size of a playing card. Spread out on baking sheet – drizzle, brush or spray with a little olive oil; sprinkle with sale and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crispy. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Renee also shared her recipe for Marinated Greek Salad and Michigan Cherry Walnut Cookies (aka Phyto Cookies!)

Visit Renee’s Facebook Page and “like” it as well as her website.

The Great Foodini on 

The Great Foodini Website 

Renee Chodkowski & Lori Murphy

The Importance of Cardio Training

Excersise, Weight Loss No Comments »

The Importance of Cardio Training


I wanted to talk to you this week about the importance of cardio training. I read an article on by Paige Waehner and I thought I would share it.

I get asked the question many times each week. How much cardio should I be doing? You should be doing it at least 5 days a week. This does not mean you have spend hours everyday doing cardio. If you are doing it at home 20 minutes of moderate to high intensity cardio depending on your fitness level. Cardio is not just for weight-loss. It has so many other benefits. You should also cross train. Go to our website and take a look at our current class schedule.

Our Bodies Were Made to Move

People used to have to farm for their food. Hunt for their food. Cook their food all day. So they were getting a workout constantly. Preparing every meal was hard work. Not anymore! Now we drive in the car, go to a restaurant, buy food at the grocery store, and the worst … sit at a desk all day.

If you have one of those sedentary jobs (sit at a desk all day) think about how your body feels at the end of the day. Do you have tight muscles, and aching back, feel exhausted even though you have not done anything physical? Maybe your shoulders burn from tension and your head hurts from staring at a computer screen for too long. Now think about how your body feels after a workout. Your muscles are warm and flexible, the blood is pumping through your body and providing oxygen and energy. You feel energized, confident, and proud of yourself and  ready to take on the world. It’s much different, isn’t it? Our bodies are made to move – not sit around all day and yet, that’s exactly what we’re doing.

Next, take a moment to remember all the benefits of cardio exercise:

  • Weight loss
  • Stronger heart and lungs
  • Increased bone density
  • Reduced stress
  • Reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer
  • Temporary relief from depression and anxiety
  • More confidence about how you feel and look
  • Better sleep
  • More energy
  • Setting a good example for your kids to stay active as they get older

Notice that weight loss, while a big focus for many people, is only one benefit of cardio. Despite that, weight loss is often our only goal and not just for health, but to look good. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good, having that as our only goal can make exercise harder. Why? Because losing weight takes time … what happens if you don’t see results on your timetable? Where will your motivation go if the scale doesn’t cooperate? Open your mind to other reasons to exercise … you might just find new ways to make exercising easier.

Cardio for Better Quality of Life

Appearance is important. That’s why I take a shower every day,


make sure my clothes match and check that I don’t have anything green stuck in my teeth. But I worry that we’ve gotten so obsessed with how we looked that we no longer care about how we feel. If you look at the benefits listed above, all of them translate into feeling good now and in the future. Despite that, we still seem more entranced with getting six-pack abs than feeling good, both physically and mentally.

Have we forgotten that being active can make our lives better? Moving around increases blood flow to our muscles, strengthens the heart and lungs and teaches the heart to work more efficiently. Not only that, when you exercise you set a good example for your kids to do the same which could mean a better future for them.

If all this is true, why isn’t that enough to get moving? Why do so many of us struggle with being active? Part of it might be how we think about ourselves, our bodies and exercise.


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