Friday, December 16, 2016

Navigating The Holiday Food & "Swedish Butter Horn" Cookies with Ultragrain

It’s the Holidays!  The music, the food, giving to others, and the visiting with friends and family are all things I absolutely love about the season. 

We are especially excited about the holidays this year with Emma’s arrival.  

Mom in particular, can’t wait to dress her up in cute, but partially uncomfortable, outfits adorned with beaded Christmas trees and let her sit on Santa’s lap so we can take her picture (where she will most likely be screaming)! 

Some of my clients really dread the holidays.  They fear their weight will creep up as they attend events with a decedent display of goodies.  It doesn’t have to be that way!  People can still enjoy family events, work parties and baking without sacrificing their health and nutrition goals.  As with anything, you must be smart, determined and have a plan.  A few quick tips to help you navigate the holiday food frenzy and a recipe for my Mother-in-law’s famous “Swedish Butter Horn” cookies made with Ultragrain® flour are below.  

Tips to Save You from Dreaded Weight Gain this Holiday Season:
1.       Never attend an event hungry.  NEVER!  If you do, you’ll be much more likely to overindulge in foods that aren’t consistent with your goals.

2.       Fill Up On a powerful protein / fiber combo before you arrive!  These two key nutrition superstars will help you curb cravings and keep you to just one plate at the buffet.  For protein, a 3oz portion of meat, meat substitute, chicken or fish or even some low-fat dairy like Greek yogurt is a perfect amount to keep you satisfied.  Pair your protein with some vegetables and fruit and you’ll be feeling full and making good decisions all night long!

3.       Bring your favorite healthy dish!  You can fill up on something you know and trust prior to hitting the cookie tray.  This will help you keep your portion sizes in check. 

4.       Don’t skip your must-have’s!  If your Aunt Suzie only makes her famous red velvet cake once a year, make sure you partake!  Just be sure to only have one slice of her wonderful treat, not three.  Research has shown that the pleasure centers in our brain that are activated when we have desserts are at their peak after only a few bites.  After that time, no additional satisfaction is achieved with additional intake.  You can enjoy the right portion size and not feel a bit guilty.   Savor those first bites, have a reasonable serving and then put the fork down and move on. 

I hope everyone adds some healthy whole grain nutrition to their favorite cookies this year with Ultragrain®!  It feels good to know you’re getting (and giving on your cookie tray) fiber, antioxidants and nutrients with the same taste and texture you already love.  Have a great Holiday and give the recipe below a try!  These cookies will NOT disappoint!

“Swedish Butter Horns”

1 cup Crisco.  
½ cup sugar
4 cups Ultragrain® All Purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
2 packages dry active yeast
1 cup warm milk
2 beaten eggs

Blend the first four ingredients together as you would pie dough (pie cutter or fork).
Dissolve the dry yeast in the WARM (not hot) milk and add to beaten eggs, then stir.  Add to dry ingredients, stirring only until the flour is absorbed.  Cover with a damp cloth and refrigerate at least four hours or overnight. 

¾ cup margarine (1 and ½ stick)
1 ½ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Blend the four ingredients together (briefly microwave the filling to make it easier to spread on the dough.  It should be a pasty consistency).

Take cooled dough (about the size of a tennis ball) and roll it into a circle on a floured surface.  Slice the dough like the spokes of a wheel into twelve identical pieces.  Spread some filling on each piece (don’t be afraid to use your fingers) and roll from the wide end to make a croissant.  Place on a cookie sheet and let rise for about 20 minutes.  Bake at 350°F (10-15 minutes) until the tops of the cookies are turning lightly brown.  Remove and cool on wire racks.  While cooking, drizzle with mixture of powdered sugar and milk.  Sprinkle with finely chopped nuts.

·         Make sure you put a sheet of foil under the wire racks while drizzling as it’s a bit messy!

·         Save the residual nuts and frosting for the oatmeal in the morning. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Mercuryman Triathlon Camp January 14th-15th 2017

Announcing.. The First Ever Mercuryman Triathlon Camp January 2017

If you've been dreaming of a family getaway, would love to learn new skills and end the week with a half (relay or full distance) or international (relay or full distance) race on Sunday, we have the perfect place for you - Grand Cayman Island!

 The view from our room at the Wyndum Grand Cayman, which offers two person suites or individual rooms

Last year I didn't race, but I spectated while Rachel Joyce (2nd at the Ironman World Championships twice!) and the other athletes had a spectacular experience! 

This triathlon camp is skills-based.  It offers information that can assist the athlete that has been training for years, or is just starting within the sport.  You'll have personal interaction with the coaches since the total number of athletes will be limited to 20, providing a maximum of 6-7 athletes per coach.  

There will be small group or individual sessions on swimming, biking, running, nutrition and mental training offered with athletes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday January 16th - 18th.   In addition, a pre-race session on Saturday will be offered taking athletes through their final swim, bike, run and transition preparation.  A special VIP transition area for camp athletes will be available and a pre-race pep-talk for athletes race morning provides a great team atmosphere and chance for final questions.  

Tentative Schedule

Saturday January 14th 

Introduction Meeting
Pool Arrival
Pool Swim Stroke Video
Nutrition Discussion
Lunch Q & A with the Pro’s
Run Discussion
Run Video and Run Skills / Drills Session
Swim & Run Video Review
Finish / Discuss tomorrow’s Schedule

Sunday January 15th

Beach Meeting
Open Water Swim Skills
Open Water Swim
Mental Training Discussion
Lunch Q & A with the Pro’s
Bike Discussion
Bike Skills / Drills Session
Training Plan Design

Schedule a Trip to Stingray City to Get a Close Encounter With a Friendly Creature!

Enjoy a Post Race Dip In the Sea!  

For more information on the race, visit the Mecuryman Race Website, Camp Registration Page or email me at 

Rachel, Dennis and I will see you in the warm sunny Cayman Islands on January 15th!

Kim's Bio:

Career Highlights
  • §    Professional Triathlete, 22nd in the World, 9th American in 2014 at the IRONMAN World Championships
  • §    Starred on MTV "Made" Triathlon & Nutrition Coach
  • §    Certified Sports Dietitian quoted in National publications & local media WTAE Channel 11 Pittsburgh
  • §    Professional Speaker (500+ attendees)
  • §    Commercial and Fitness Model for clients including Gatorade, Fisher Price, Dick's Sporting Goods and other national clients

A graduate of Penn State University’s Nutrition & Dietetic Internship program, Kim started her career as a registered dietitian with a special focus on the sports community. With a running background, and experience as captain of her Cross Country and Track teams at Penn State University, Kim successfully transitioned into the sport of Triathlon in 2005.

Today she retains certifications as a USA Level One Triathlon Coach, Professional Triathlete and runs her own personal sports nutrition counseling and endurance coaching business “Fuel Your Passion”. Kim is a dynamic speaker with venues on a national scale including The School Nutrition Association (500+ attendees). She’s appeared on national television as a registered dietitian and coach for the hit TV show, MTV “Made”, was a featured Dietitian on Zonya’s Healthbites on PBS and appears regularly as an expert dietitian on local Pittsburgh News Stations WPXI and WTAE. Kim also models on a national scale for companies such as Gatorade, Fisher Price, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Pilates Power Gym and Giant Eagle.  

Kim's mantra is "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". 

Rachel’s Bio:

Career Highlights

- Two time runner up at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, 6 time top ten finisher and 1 of 5 women ever to go sub-9hrs

Winner: IM Cozumel, IM Lanzarote, Challenge Roth, IM Texas (course record)

- Age Group 70.3 World Champion 

-  Serving on the Women for Tri Board of Advisors in 2016 and into 2017(

- Founding member of and coach for its Equally Inspiring initiative

Rachel has raced triathlon professionally since 2008 having started the sport as an age grouper in 2005. As an age grouper, Rachel combined the demands of her job as an attorney with her new found hobby of triathlon.  This experience is something she has taken with her into her role as coach to age groupers:  understanding that triathlon training must fit in and work with an athlete’s  work and family commitments. 
In 2009, Rachel decided to take a break from her career with Taylor Wessing to give professional triathlon a real go.  Within a year Rachel finished 6th in her first Ironman World Championships in Kona.  Since then Rachel has finished on the podium in Kona three times at the Ironman World Championships, moved from London to Boulder, CO and really embraced the tri life.  Rachel has shared her experiences in triathlon through a monthly column in Triathlete Europe, is a contributor to the website, and is a Level 1 certified coach with the British Triathlon Federation. In the past year Rachel has expanded her coaching role, keen to share her knowledge and experience in the sport with others.