Figge’s Favorite Things (Part One)

Julie Andrews has her raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Oprah endorses her list of goodies and gifts to give during the holiday season. Here is my personal list of favorite things to keep you happy and healthy this season.

pigeon pose1. Yoga Mat Back Pain. Does it need any more of an introduction? After years of putting up with my chronic back pain, I decided to see a physical therapist. I learned that I have extremely tight quads, hamstrings and hip flexors (mainly from sitting all day long at work) and my remedy was a simple, daily stretching routine. Since that visit, I am now stretching those muscles on a regular basis and my back hasn’t been complaining since. Using a yoga mat, my favorite stretches to perform are the couch stretch, pigeon pose and a deep runner’s lunge which all target my hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps muscles. You can usually find yoga mats for a cheaper price at stores like TJ Maxx or Gordmans.

2. Garlic Press This is a kitchen utensil that is used quite frequently in our household. It’s a quick, convenient way to add flavor to meat and vegetables dishes. In addition to flavor, garlic provides health benefits such as reducing cholesterol, helps prevent blood clots and has anti-cancer benefits.

ch-4dcFood processor I love my Cuisinart food processor. It’s a fantastic way to puree nutritious vegetables into soups and sauces.  

LW6A33S_011432_14. Lululemon Journey Crop  The Lululemon journey crop pants are by far my favorite workout pants I’ve ever had and they are perfect for any type of workout. The quality of the fabric far surpasses other brands of fitness attire and I’ve had some of my Lululemon pants for as long as 6 years.

bbcl_28_bk_15. Blender Bottle This is a perfect way to consume your protein shake after a great workout. I purchased my blender bottle from Bed Bath and Beyond and was able to use my 20% off coupon on it.

51BMhLEFqwL._SX258_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_6. Against All Grain cookbook  This is one of my favorite cookbooks and my favorite website to go to for grain-free and dairy-free meals. These meals are great for individuals with food allergies to dairy or gluten or for those looking to create dishes that use minimally processed food ingredients.

Check out Part 2 of Figge’s Favorite things.

Boo! Mom Picks Worst Halloween Costume!

An alarm clock, it’s what most people see as their worst enemy on Monday morning. But, my mom saw it as the most adorable Halloween costume she could make her children dress up as. Why couldn’t I have been a princess or a unicorn like my best friend? Instead, I went trick or treating that year in what felt like a sumo wrestler suit with a woman’s brassiere attached to my head.


Halloween is a holiday celebrated by many with costumes, spooks and treats. As a child, I remember Halloween candy lasting up until Thanksgiving and then the candy kept coming through Christmas…and Valentine’s Day…and Easter. When you look at it that way, candy is celebrated with many of our holidays. While I do feel items like candy, cookies and pizza can be a part of everyone’s diet, moderation definitely needs to be enforced.

Essential calories are those that come from foods of high nutritional status such as low-fat dairy products, fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, whole grains, healthy fats and oils. Discretionary or “empty” calories are calories that come from foods that are of low-nutrient value. Halloween candy is a perfect example of discretionary calories. According to these are the recommended amount of calories that can be used for discretionary calories.

Most children should only be allowed 120-265 of empty calories. One fun-sized Snickers bar is 80 calories and a fun-sized Twix bar, my childhood favorite, ranks in at 125 calories. A good way to put moderation into practice is to allow your children to choose 2-3 mini candy bars that they may consume each day, if desired. Remember the saying “out of sight-out of mind”? Do this with the candy bowl. Keeping it out of sight verses on the kitchen counter will decrease the temptation of grabbing a small treat every time you walk by the kitchen.

fake apple bites

Celebrating the Halloween season doesn’t always have to revolve around sugar and candy corn. You can make boo-ful bananas by cutting a peeled banana in half and create a ghost face by adding 3 small chocolate chips for the eyes and mouth. Draw jack-o-lantern faces on clementines and serve them as mini fruity-pumpkins. Cut and peel an apple to create delicious and fun, fake teeth for kids to snack on. You can always offer Halloween-themed pencils, erasers, stickers or bouncy balls as non-food alternatives to trick-or-treaters.

Wherever your ghostly adventures take you this year, may you have a happy, safe and healthy Halloween.

banana ghost2