Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thrifty Thursday

Today CBS Moneywatch put out a very good article about things you should never put on your credit card.  They are:  college tuition, taxes (particularly timely as we head into the home stretch of tax time), a big wedding, a vacation and medical bills.  The original posting appeared on

Frankly, after painful firsthand experience of digging out of the credit card slippery slope of financial debtor's prison of despair, may I recommend that – unless you can pay it off at the end of the month – you should tow the hard line and never put anything on a credit card!  Pay with cash.  If you don’t have the cash, don’t buy it! 

If you have credit card(s) debt, do everything you can to pay it off NOW.  Scrimp, save and get debt free as soon as you possibly can. 

Exercise your ability to lose the incredible weight of credit card debt on your shoulders, and do everything you can to keep a tight, lean budget.  Scroll down on the left column of this blog site for a credit card calculator that will be a real eye-opener to find out what it will take to pay off your credit card debt.  Then visit sites like Dave or Crown and make it a priority to learn how to budget, how to save (for the future, for emergencies, for a rainy day), how to manage your money and create a fit and frugal financial future!  DEBT FREE IS SEXY!  These two websites offer all kinds of tools, charts, information and articles that can help you dig yourself out of debt and STAY out of debt.

Start today to be debt-free in 2-0-1-3!!!!!!!!



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wild Woman Wednesday

Wild women make other wild women smile – we bless one another, intentionally, mindfully… on purpose.  In last Wednesday’s Wild Woman post (click HERE if you missed it), I wrote about our gal pals and how important it is to stay in touch with them, be there for them, etc.

I gotta tell ya, Wild Women, today has not in my top ten list of “Oh let’s live this bad boy over again” days.  I’ve received some sad news from a family member, I’ve been chewed out by someone (not because of what I did, but just because she is overwhelmed/super-stressed and in my impeccable timing I wound up smack dab in the line of fire for her projectile vomit of words).  A team project that has been one of my babies has had some revamping and rejuggling that I’m not thrilled about but it’s not in my “circle of influence” so I need to learn to hold my tongue and let it go.  (I feel like a contortionist holding this and letting that go – I’m more twisted than Dee Snyder!). I’m still dealing with my pity party of “will Spring EVER EVER EVVVAHHHHH get here?” blues. I’m trying to figure out my time in the next few days to shop, bake and cook so we can get ready to celebrate Easter/Resurrection Day.  But here I am feeling grumpy, stressed out and crabby as a Maryland crab cake!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear… but a friend approaching with these bee-oooo-teee-ful flowers!!!!  I had done an ever-so-insignificant favor for her, and she brought these to me as a thank you.  What a blessing.  It was just what I needed to kick my butt into the reality of how good a day can be.  It helped me adjust my attitude and mood (my ‘tude ‘mood), and lifted my spirits so now instead of being a budding hot mess I’m blossoming into a happier mood.  Okay, it’s not exactly poetic and certainly on the far side of corny, but it had to be said!

Why not exercise your “bless your sistah” muscle and take time to do some supportive, loving random act of kindness for one of the women in your life today?  Not only will it prove to be a mood ‘tude adjustment for both of you, it may be the brightest spot in her day… even her week.  


Coach Linda

And just remember:  

"A friend is like a good bra: hard to find, comfortable, supportive, always lifts you up, makes you look better, never lets you down or leaves you hanging, and always close to your heart." 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Toss ‘n Turn Tuesday

Do you wake up feeling as if you haven’t slept at all?  Are you cutting away at sleeping hours because you need more time to get things done?  You’re not alone.  About 20% of Americans report getting less than six (6) hours of sleep on average.  Recent studies show that health risks like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity have all been linked with chronic sleep loss.  Driving while drowsy is as bad as driving while intoxicated!  28% of working adults report having missed work, events, activities or made errors at work because of sleep-related issues in the previous three months.  We have slower reaction time, weaker memory and other thinking impairments.

Outside of having some type of medical sleep disorder, for which you should consult medical help, what are some tips you can use for getting a better night’s sleep?

  • 1.       Set out everything the night before:  clothes, breakfast, pack your lunch, and put everything you need right next to the door so you don’t have to think about it before bed.  It also gives you extra time in the morning.
  • 2.       Get into a regular bedtime routine about an hour before you SHOULD go to bed that can include a warm bubble bath or shower, a cup of herbal tea, 10-15 minutes of light stretching (not heavy exercise).  However, do exercise daily to help your sleeping, but do it a few hours before bedtime.
  • 3.       Have a very light snack (oatmeal is good for helping you sleep), but don’t go to bed either too hungry or too full.  Avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime!
  • 4.       Eliminate the use of your laptop, TV and cell phone an hour before bed – the light from them will help keep you up.  This means those bright clock lights as well!  Keep the room as dark as possible.
  • 5.       If outside noise bothers you, try a white nose machine – I especially like the sound of waves on the beach!
  • 6.       Keep the bedroom on the cooler side and snuggle down with an extra blanket instead.
  • 7.       Turn off the lights every night at the same time, and get up at the same time each morning.  Train your body to get into a routine.
  • 8.       If you find you can’t sleep, get up and out of the bedroom, and go do something like reading quietly, or journaling.  But try to do something that doesn’t get your brain going 100 miles an hour.
  • 9.       Keep a notepad next to your bed so that, if you need to, you can jot down something you need to remember for the next day.  Once you do a brain dump, you know you won’t forget it because it’s written down.
  • 10.   Pray and/or meditate before bed.

For more information about sleeping, check out the National Sleep Foundation’s website at, and I also recommend a book by Dr. Archibald D. Hart entitled, “Sleep, It does a Family Good:  How Busy Families Can Overcome Sleep Deprivation.”

I think I was born sleep-deprived, and I am the worst when it comes to cutting into sleep time to do one or two more things before bed.  To tell you the truth, I have always resented sleep because I felt like I could be doing SO much more!  But I have come to realize how critical it is to get a good night’s sleep – consistently – and I now cherish those beautiful little 20 minute cat-naps that on rare occasions I sneek into my schedule.  I know what it’s like to drive so tired that the road is blurry, or to desperately try and keep my eyes open during a meeting and fight the “sleepy head drop whiplash” move. 

Today, exercise your right to a healthy and restful, restorative and recuperative time of sleep.  Make it a treat – get some new pretty jammies, or sheets.  Grab some bubble bath, put on some soft music and grab that herbal tea, and soak for 30 minutes in the tub.  Then get yourself ready quietly and calmly and ease yourself into bed.  Take good care, and nighty-night!



Monday, March 25, 2013

Freshly out of the shower, hair still up in a towel, I was standing in the kitchen looking out the window and sipping my beloved morning cup of tea.  It was a day off for me, and instead of scheduling an early dark-thirty appointment and embarking on my normal furious “must get it all done yesterday” pace, I uncharacteristically and most intentionally chose to protect the boundaries of this precious 24 hours and elect to make it a day of slowing down.  Naturally, my inner chaotic-loving voice chided me in a nagging, high-pitched voice at the speed of sound – listing all the “undones”:  rooms to clean and organize, shopping to be done, laundry to be schlepped down to the basement and washed/dried/put away – and that was just scratching the surface of the household chores.  I felt my guilt rising (along with my blood pressure) as I was reminded of the umpteen other errands and tasks that faced me once I jumped in the car. 

Mind you, these days I never walk to the car. I either waddle while juggling bags, pocketbooks and a 20 oz cup of tea threatening to spill (yet again), or I make the mad dash (late again) from back door to porch through open garage door to awaiting car door in a single bound.  Trust me, Superman would be jealous… until he couldn’t stop laughing when my book bag loop catches the screen door handle (yet again) and I am snapped back like the fly fisherman’s rod!  It’s not pretty, and I think my neighbors are starting to sell tickets.  But I digress…

So here I stand in the quiet of my kitchen, and I suddenly am aware of my tea.  It tastes wonderful, and the heat deliciously warms my throat and stomach.  I savor the moment.  Outside my window, the leftover winter leaves are gently dancing across the back yard, as if they are excited about the coming of spring.  I find myself smiling at their antics as if I were watching a group of children scampering around a playground.  As I take a deep breath, I am aware of how fresh my body feels after being in the hot shower, something I rarely notice in my morning race against time in the life that I now refer to as another episode of Beat the Clock. 

This space of time in my life is suddenly, yet unhurriedly, the most precious of gifts.  I am in the moment, drinking in the sights, smells and feelings of NOW.  I whisper a prayer of gratitude to God for giving me this day and all that it holds, and ask His forgiveness for rushing past His many blessings in my driven days.  I ask Him for eyes to see and ears to hear, and thank Him for helping me to have the fortitude to stop my rushing for this one day and just BE. 

Oh, I know I need to hasten to the day, but I’m going to do it just a bit more mindfully, and with a slower and more gentle pace.  I carefully grab my teacup as I smile at the screen door’s handle (not today, my friend), and get ready to embrace the rest of today, one moment at a time.

Exercise your slow down muscles, your intentional/mindful muscles this week, wild women.  Be gentle with yourselves, remember to seek out/look for/and count your many blessings and rejoice in the NOW of your day.

Coach Linda

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fit Friday

The next time someone says you are dense, take it as a compliment… as long as they’re referring to your bones, that is!  Did you know that for the 8 million wild women over age 50 who have osteoporosis, the fear of breaking a bone is a daily reality?  It causes two million bone breaks every year! 

Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones. It happens when you lose too much bone, make too little bone or both. As a result, bones become weak and can break from a minor fall or, in serious cases, even from simple actions, like sneezing or bumping into furniture.  Your bones are made up of three major components that make them both flexible and strong:

·        Collagen, a protein that gives bones a flexible framework
·         Calcium-phosphate mineral complexes that make bones hard and strong
·         Living bone cells that remove and replace weakened sections of bone

After you reach peak bone mass, the balance between bone formation and bone loss might start to change. In other words, you may start to slowly lose more bone than you form. In midlife, bone loss usually speeds up in both men and women. For most women, bone loss increases after menopause, when estrogen levels drop sharply. In fact, in the five to seven years after menopause, women can lose up to 20 percent or more of their bone density.

·         Of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, about eight million or 80% are women.
·         Approximately one in two women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.
·         A woman's risk of breaking a hip is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.

There are multiple reasons why women are more like to get osteoporosis than men, including:

·         Women tend to have smaller, thinner bones than men.
·         Estrogen, a hormone in women that protects bones, decreases sharply when women reach menopause, which can cause bone loss. This is why the chance of developing osteoporosis increases as women reach menopause.

Here are some factors that can increase your risk:

·         You have a family history of osteoporosis
·         You’ve had a low-impact fracture
·         You were treated for at least 3 months with oral steroids
·         You have a bone-robbing disease like rheumatoid arthritis
·         You had an early or abrupt menopause
·         You consume 4 or more cups of coffee a day or more than one drink a day
·         You smoke

This is a very near and dear subject to my own heart, wild women friends, because I have osteoporosis in my lower back and hip.  I’m in the higher risk category to begin with, and had a hysterectomy at a young age.  So I’m fighting this every step of the way.  How?  Here are some recommendation published by Prevention Magazine:

Take Calcium, Vitamin D and Protein
·         What You Need: 1,000 mg a day of calcium for women 19-50; 1,200 mg a day for women over 50
·         Where To Get It: Dairy products; canned sardines and salmon; cheddar cheese; tofu
·         What You Need: 600 IU daily of Vitamin D for people ages 1 to 70; 800 IU daily for those above age 70
·         Where To Get It: Dairy products; salmon and mackerel; egg yolks; D-fortified breakfast cereals.
·         What You Need: Up to 77 g a day of Protein for a 154 pound woman
·         Where To Get It: Poultry; lean meats; fish; beans; tofu; fat-free or low-fat dairy products

Get Tested:  The gold standard of bone tests is called DXA, which measures bone density in the hip and spine. A score of 0 is normal; anywhere from –1 to –2.5 points to osteopenia; –2.6 or below is a diagnosis of full-blown osteoporosis. Unless you’re at high risk, you can wait till age 65 to first have the procedure.

There are various medications in the marketplace to treat osteoporosis as well, and you can find information on them at the National Osteoporosis Foundation at:

Of course, ALWAYS ALWAYS check with your doctor first before taking any kind of medication (even over the counter products) and before beginning any exercise program. 

In addition to eating healthy foods and making sure I get enough calcium, Vitamin D and protein, I do weight-bearing exercises that help by exercising, I strengthen muscles and stronger muscles also help protect my bones.

These types of activities are often recommended for people with osteoporosis:
·         Strength training exercises, especially those for the back
·         Weight-bearing aerobic activities
·         Flexibility exercises
·         Stability and balance exercises

The Mayo Clinic recommends NOT DOING these exercises:

·         High-impact exercises, such as jumping, running or jogging. These activities increase compression in your spine and lower extremities and can lead to fractures in weakened bones. Avoid jerky, rapid movements in general. Choose exercises with slow, controlled movements.
·         Exercises in which you bend forward and twist your waist, such as touching your toes or doing sit-ups. These movements put pressure on the bones in your spine, increasing your risk of compression fractures. Other activities that may require you to bend or twist forcefully at the waist are golf, tennis, bowling and some yoga poses.

As a certified Pilates and Pilates Reformer instructor, I love doing Pilates to help me stay bone-healthy!  Here are a few links that discuss pilates and bone health:

And here’s a new site I found that encourages mini-wild women (i.e., girls) to start early to build and maintain healthy bones:

Are you taking measures to ensure that you have the best bones possible? Exercise your skeleton beginning today, and find a program that will keep you strong and healthy for life!


Coach Linda


National Osteoporosis Foundation:

NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ~ National Resource Center:

Copyright 2013, "Coach Linda Bush" All Rights Reserved. The materials contained on this website are provided for general information only and do not constitute any form of medical or health care advice. We assume no responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement and accept no liability for any loss or damage that may arise from reliance on the information contained on this site. Links to other websites from these pages are for information only and we accept no responsibility or liability for access to or the material on any website which is linked from or to this website. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tell Me, Tickle Me Thursday

Even though yesterday was the first day of spring, I’m still battling the occasional winter blues.  I HATE walking from my car to my office where it’s gray and cold and the air just seeps through to chill the very marrow in your bones!  The older I get, and as much as I love the changing of the seasons, the better the Carolinas and southward are looking to me!  Any other Jersey tomato wild women feel the same way?

Today I’d like to hear from YOU!  Send me your comments on how YOU beat the winter blahs/blues!  Share your best ideas here!  Tell me… tell me… 

And as a little tickle in the dreariness, here’s a really funny video a friend sent me yesterday.  You will especially enjoy it if you are still a lover of paper and not technology!  Check it out at:

So write back on how you beat the winter blues after your giggle fest from the video. I’m off to get a pot of pansies that are finally being sold at the local market – I need the bright happy faces promising me that warm weather will soon be here!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wild Woman Wednesday

Wild women need their gal pals!!!  There’s just nothing like getting together with the FABULOUS female friends in your life to laugh, cry, commiserate, celebrate, hope, reminisce, dream and restore your sense of well-being and camaraderie.  I have been incredibly blessed to have the most amazing wild women in my life, from my Mom and my daughter to all my friends in between who have been there for me in good, in bad, to rejoice, to talk me off the ledge, and just to lend support and a hug. 

The problem is that it seems to get harder and harder to get together face-to-face.  Between crazy schedules, commitments and the daily chores of living, I struggle to grab time with friends who live only a few miles away!  We get so wrapped up in the minutia of busyness that before we know it, months and seasons have passed and the “oh, I need to call so-and-so” is back burnered for an unnamed date that never seems to get put on the calendar.  Wild women can easily feel isolated and overwhelmed with all we juggle, and we need the loving support of our friends.

So… today I want you to exercise your “I love my gal pals” muscle.  For the next week, seven days, I want you to make it a priority to contact your friends, one a day.  If you read yesterday’s post you know how important it is to not put things off.  So write down one gal pal’s name on each day of your planner for the next seven days and get in touch with her.  Maybe it’s been years, maybe it’s just been a few days or weeks… doesn’t matter – reach out!!!

Send a text, check her out on Facebook and post to her wall or send a message, email her, write a letter or send a card (yes, the post office still is running, Hallmark is still in business and you do still know how to write on paper), IM her, Skype.  Call and make a date!!!  

One set of my friends and I make it a point to schedule dinner 2-3 times a year, meeting at one person’s house each time.  Everyone brings something to eat/drink, and we have a blast just hanging out and talking and laughing till our sides hurt and our make-up is ruined by the tears of laughter running down our cheeks!    One of my best friends in the entire planet lives in England, but we manage to email regularly during the week.  Several of my dear friends have abandoned me moved to North Carolina, and we email – I’m also hoping to plan a trip this summer to see them.  I just downloaded an app called “WhatsUpp" to see if I can touch base with friends even faster.  Anyone else using it?

Something else I’ve been thinking of doing is having a party this summer for all my local girl friends so they can cross-pollinate!  I love introducing my friends!! 

Wild women are creative – so think in/out/around the box to make sure you stay connected, not only for yourself but for your friends.  They need YOU!  It’s too easy to drift away after a move or a job change, or a life change.  I know you’re thinking of several women right this minute – and they’ve been put on your heart and in your mind on purpose (I don’t believe in coincidence or "cowinky-dinks" as I call them).  You need her, she needs you – make it happen.  Carve out time in your schedule for your beloved friends… never ever ever take it for granted that they will always be there.  Just do it… don’t let them become buried treasure.

Gotta run – having lunch with a friend – yippee!!!!!!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Target Tuesday

You are 24 hours older than you were yesterday.  Hopefully, tomorrow at this time you will be another 24 hours older.  What did you accomplish?  What do you want to accomplish?  What are you targeting towards today?  Whether you are 15, 50 or 105, each of us is given 24 hours a day in which to live. While we don’t want to dwell in the past or bypass today as we obsess about the future, it’s important to make plans and daily celebrate little victories along the way.  It’s those daily steps towards your future that make up the heartbreaking, joyous, amazingly beautiful journey.  

I’d like to share with you a beautiful poem that was written by Linda Ellis called “The Dash”.  While I’m not at liberty for copyright reasons to cut and paste the poem here for your reading pleasure, you can read it at her website at:  However, I did find a picture representation of the poem on pinterest as you can see (hope I’m not breaking any laws here)!

Today, just read the poem and let it sink it.  Absorb it, let it sink in slowly and deeply.  That’s all, just ruminate over it, meditate/pray about it, write in your journal about it… plant the seed and see what grows.

Ready?  Aim?  Dash!  


Monday, March 18, 2013

Movements Monday

It’s the beginning of the week, and time to get moving!  So, here’s an exercise for your muscles, and one for your mouth.  Your mouth?  Stay tuned and read below after the exercise.

This is a very simple exercise for your arms/back/shoulders.  It’s not hard, nor is it time-consuming.  In fact, what I recommend is that you do it every time you go to the bathroom.  The bathroom?  Yep!  Every time throughout the day when you visit the ladies’ room, stand in front of the sink.  

Firmly grip your hands on the front of the sink and do 25 standing push-ups.  (It looks a bit different from the wall push-up above, but you get the idea.)  Naturally, you want to be sure you have a stable connection between the sink and your hands, because you don’t want to slip and wind up face down in your sink with a missing tooth!  Make sure your hands the sink surface are dry.  Then position yourself in a standing plank (body straight as an arrow, no hunching over of the shoulders or curving of the lower back – stand up straight and lean forward with your chest when doing the push up).  By doing this about four times during the course of your day, you can accomplish 100 push-ups!  It’s quick, easy and will work those arms as you get ready for the almost-here short-sleeve/sleeveless spring and summer seasons. 

Now… what’s the whole mouth movement thing I mentioned earlier?  This week let’s monitor our mouths.  Too often we aren’t mindful of what we say, and words slip through our lips carelessly.  We gossip, we say things in anger, or in sarcasm… and these words are harder to forget and lose than 10 pounds of chocolate!  I’m sure you all can think of some unkind/hurtful comment that was spoken to you years ago in your childhood – and STILL it lingers in your heart!  So remember to use the acronym in the image below.

Have a terrific day!


Friday, March 15, 2013

Festive Frugal Friday

Happy Early St. Patrick's Day!  Since it's frugal Friday, I thought I would blend the two occasions and bring you a recipe for the traditional serving of the Corned Beef and Cabbage... a very inexpensive meal at only $2.23 per serving!  Aye, Lassie, a hearty and frugal feast that will leave some lucky pennies in your purse and a smile on the lips of all who taste it.  You can hit your local Dollar Tree or whatever dollar store you may have locally, pick up some inexpensive decorations and have fun with the day.  Toss everything in the good ol' crock pot Sunday morning, enjoy your day, and then have a relaxing and fun Sunday dinner with family and friends.  What a great Sunday!

If you'd like more information on St. Patrick, click HERE!

Life is too short not to celebrate whenever possible, so seize the day, put on some Irish music, clog around the house and exercise your right to be Irish for the day!


Coach Linda


Dark beer is the twist in this old favorite. Serve with grainy mustard or horseradish and rye bread; $2.23 per serving.
Servings: 8

1 1/4 lb sm red-skinned potatoes, halved
3 med carrots, peeled and cut into 2" pieces
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 bay leaf
2 1/2-3 lb corned beef brisket
3 c water
1 bottle (12 oz) dark beer
1 sm green cabbage, cut into 8 wedges


1. Combine potatoes, carrots, garlic, sugar, and bay leaf in large slow cooker. Put brisket on top of vegetables and add water and beer. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours. Add cabbage for last 1 1/2 hours.

2. Remove beef from slow cooker. Let rest, loosely covered, 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Remove and discard bay leaf. Remove vegetables with slotted spoon and serve with corned beef.

Nutrition (per serving): 322 cal, 18 g pro, 23 g carb, 4 g fiber, 16.5 g fat, 5.5 g sat fat, 999 mg sodium

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Tricked You Thin Temptations Thursday

I have an outrageous sweet tooth.  There, I’ve said it and it’s out there globally, no take backs!  I do not understand the meaning of “this is too sweet and gooey”  Those words have never passed these lips.  There have been days when my cravings have had no bounds.  Believe me, I may be a personal trainer and Pilates Reformer coach and lover of fitness and all things veggie and healthy, but please understand I do not have broccoli-covered angel wings or wear a halo of raw cauliflower florets!  I love me some warm gooey brownies right out of the oven, chocolate anything, Italian pastries, cream puffs, heavy sweetened freshly whipped cream and ICE CREAM just to scratch the surface of my endless pit of sweet passions.

So what’s a girl to do?  EAT THEM!  Okay, get back up on your chair.  Yes, that’s right.  Every once in awhile, go ahead and indulge… but (ah, you knew that was coming, right?)  But… maintain a healthy daily clean eating nutrition fuel intake and regularly exercise so you can splurge on occasion.  It’s like financial fitness:  budgeting and savings.  You have to stay on track with your money and put that pocket change and bills into your mad money jar, so that when you REALLY want something, you will have a reserve of cash with which you can obtain said lusted-after item without the guilt of blowing your budget.  

It’s the same principle.  You eat lots of fruits, veggies, fish, chicken, and all the healthy items.  That’s the key.  Then you can afford to indulge in a little sumin-sumin – but not a HUGE supersaver portion.  Serve yourself or order one portion only – never eat out of the original container.  If you’re out, split your dessert.  Eat it S-L-O-W-L-Y, savor every morsel, every crumb, and every spoonful.  Be in the moment for sure!  If you’re going to have it, enjoy it without guilt.  I have actually slowed myself down when eating a donut by using a knife and fork and not scoffing it down in three bites without every really tasting it!  Take time to notice the smell, the texture, the temperature of it in your mouth, how the flavors dance on your tongue.  Oh yeah, now you’re understanding, yes?  

Even better – here’s a little recipe that I found that will help keep you on the straight and narrow while satisfying your sweet tooth.  It’s one of my favorites, so exercise your sweet tooth options by making it (which only takes minutes) and ENJOY in moderation! And remember - NEVER EVER use food as a "treat" or "reward" - you're not a dog.  Have one because you want one... end of story.

Blessings and health,
Coach Linda

Linda’s Favorite Mousse Recipe (Generic)
16 oz. fat-free Cool-Whip
1 package (9 oz.) JELL-O gelatin – your flavor choice
1 8 0z container fat-free yogurt – your flavor choice

Thaw Cool Whip (save about ½ cup for topping dessert).  Stir in yogurt and JELLO.  Spoon into dessert dishes and refrigerate 20 minutes.  Top with a dollop of the reserved Cool Whip.  Serve.  

The beauty of this recipe is that you can add lemon yogurt and lemon jello and have a lovely lemon mousse, or add strawberry yogurt, strawberry JELL-O and spread into a premade graham cracker pie shell, top with strawberries, and have a no-bake strawberry pie in an hour!  Or, you can take berry JELLO, blueberry yogurt, and layer fresh blueberries, the mousse mixture into a pretty parfait dessert glass.  Voila!  Beautiful, classy and deeeelish!

I recently made this dessert for a special Valentine’s Day dinner (I LOVE pumpkin):


What You Need
3 cups cold fat-free milk
2 pkg. (1.5 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Fat Free Sugar Free Instant Pudding
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 cup thawed COOL WHIP LITE or COOL WHIP Sugar Free Whipped Topping

Make It!
Beat milk and pudding mix in medium bowl with whisk 2 min. Blend in pumpkin and spice. 
Stir in COOL WHIP. 
Refrigerate 1 hour.

Calories 60 
Total fat 1g  
Saturated fat 1g  
Cholesterol 0mg  
Sodium 240mg  
Carbohydrate 12g  
Dietary fiber 1g  
Sugars 5g  
Protein 3g  
Vitamin A 110%DV  
Vitamin C 2%DV  
Calcium 8%DV  
Iron 4%DV  

As a special St. Patrick’s Day dessert, here’s another recipe I got from  It’s a little more calorie-laden, but again, once in awhile you can indulge:

Irish Cream Chocolate Mousse

What You Need
1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
1-1/4 cups cold milk
1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided
1/2 cup fresh raspberries

Make It!
Beat pudding mix, milk and liqueur in medium bowl with whisk 2 min. Stir in 1-1/2 cups COOL WHIP.

Spoon into dessert dishes. Refrigerate 20 min.  Top with remaining COOL WHIP and berries. 

Kraft Kitchen Tips
One serving of this chocolate mousse goes a long way on flavor.
Non-Alcoholic Version
Omit liqueur. Prepare using 1-1/2 cups milk.


Calories 200 
Total fat 7g  
Saturated fat 6g  
Cholesterol 5mg  
Sodium 310mg  
Carbohydrate 29g  
Dietary fiber 1g  
Sugars 21g  
Protein 3g  
Vitamin A 2%DV  
Vitamin C 4%DV  
Calcium 6%DV  
Iron 2%DV  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wild Woman Wednesday

Wild women need to take care of our bodies.  We need to have annual checkups, visit our dentist, have bone density test as we get “more seasoned” in years, and of course, the two dreaded visits:  having the “I feel like an IHOP pancake” mammogram, and the mother of all annuals, the Pap smear.  My friends, anyone who tells you it’s easier to bend over and cough… well… they just don’t have the ovaries to understand it now, do they?

Last Friday, bright and early, I jump in the shower and get ready for my appointment.  Naturally, one MUST ensure one’s legs are utterly hairless.  It’s just too embarrassing to have unsightly stubble when you’re lying there with your feet in the stirrups – giddyap, buttercup!  Showered?  Check.  Shaved?  Check.  Pretty matching undies and not-too-goofy socks?  Check.  Oh c’mon now, you know your Mama taught you to always wear pretty, clean undies in case you ever had an accident!  But I digress…

I open my back door and lo and behold, I’m in the middle of a freak snowstorm that looks like it’s about to become a full-blown blizzard.  Sigh… my day off, when I could have been asleep in bed or snuggled up reading a good book with a steaming cup of tea, and I’m trudging out for the glorious “schooch on down” anticipated-for-a-year appointment.  Do I know how to party or what?

Fast forward to the doctor’s office.  I am very blessed to have the coolest, female primary care physician who also does “the annual”.  She’s beautiful, hysterically funny and the kind of gal pal you’d like to have at your girls’ night out parties.  I can’t tell you what a difference that makes at times like this.  Well, she’s just moved into new offices, and her adorable and young assistant walks me into “the room”, where she takes my vitals and gives me one of those FABulous designer paper gowns with the oh-so-so peek-a-boo fronts.  Fredericks of Hollywood (remember them) ain’t got nuthin’ on whoever cut these things out of the leftover roll of cheap paper towels, let me tell you!  So there I am, waiting patiently in nothing more than my little socks, my tres chic paper gown (hmmm… maybe I’ll take it home and save it for the next big party), and a smile. 

A soft knock at the door… and in walks my friend Dr. Fabulous with her light-up-the-room personality and smile, and we start joking and laughing as we rearrange the table for me to “assume the position” (and you KNOW what I mean).  Well, you know that little tray-like silver thingie they pull out from the bottom of the table (what, are we going to serve mimosas during this… hmmm.. well, if anyone is getting this close to me, I would think a drink would be in order, wouldn’t you)  But again, I digress…  So back to this little silver tray thingie.  Doc is having a bit of a problem getting it to work, so just as I get into position, she says to her assistant, (I kid you not)… “Hey, can you go get me the WD-40”  SERIOUSLY?  WHAT?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Naturally, I have to comment so I ask her, “WD-40?  Has it come to that?  Exactly how big is that speculum?”  At this point I suddenly feel like a car about to get jacked up so the wheel can be changed!  By this time the three of us (no, no… her assistant and us, not the speculum) are howling with laughter, tears pouring down our faces.  “Yep… yep… yep… that’s one I’ve never heard in a doctor or OB/GYN’s office before, Doc!” I exclaim.  

As you may have guessed, the WD40 was for the silver tray thingie, by the way. And as a side note, have you ever really looked at one of those specula-thing-ah-ma-bobs?  They look strangly similar to either two shoe horns stuck together back-to-back or the beak of a duck!  No wonder you have the urge to scream something that sounds like AAAAAflak! when one of those bad boys is slipped into place!

We settle in to finish up the job (I think I’ll refer to her office as my local Jiffy Lube center from now on) and I think she got me back because I’m sure she put that speculum in the freezer before she made use of it!  Can you spell “peel me off the ceiling”?  I warned her I was going to write about this, but am not naming names although I would love to recommend her to all my wild women friends because she is just the BEST!  So, as I ever-so-elegantly dressed and waddled out of her office, ouch-ouch-ouch…. we parted ways for another year, still laughing.  I think she should send me flowers, don’t you?

The point, my dearest wild women, is that (1) be sure you get your annuals this year, because it’s the only body you have and you need to take care of it; and (2) there is joy and funny moments in even the most mundane or bizarre moments in life.  So try to find the humor wherever you go today.  Laughter is the best medicine!