Some people start a blog to document a wedding, a baby’s growth or a weight-loss journey, then fall off the writing wagon soon after the big event passes or after they reach their goal. Not Anne-Marie Nichols! She has been blogging about her favorite food trends, kitchen tips and recipes on This Mama Cooks! since 2004. In 2007, she added a nutrition focus and tacked on a few extra words to her blogs title (“on a diet”). Now the mom of two hopes to inspire her readers—and their families—to take small steps to live healthier, happier lives.
Here’s what keeps Anne-Marie feeling great, inside and out:
My favorite way to work out: Reformer Pilates. I’ve fallen in love with it thanks to my wonderful instructor, Alisa at Axis of Movement. She’s helped me eliminate my lower back and sciatica pain and improve my core strength. I go twice a week and take a Pilates mat class from her, too.
I’m happiest when I’m: Meeting my health goals for the day—drinking my water, taking my vitamins, exercising, brushing and flossing, and getting eight hours of sleep.
Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: Anything by Duran Duran. I’m stuck in the ‘80s.
My fave fit snack: Larabars. They’re the only snack bar that I can eat since they’re gluten- and sugar-free.
My biggest indulgence: Cheese. Since it’s an indulgence, I splurge on local artisanal and fancy imported cheeses and try not to worry about the price per pound cost.
Speaking of indulging, Anne-Marie shared one of her favorite sweet treat recipes with us, a sugar-free, dairy-free chocolate mousse! Click below for the 411.
All year long, Gina from SkinnyTaste creates and shares low-fat recipes for the whole family. But we really turn to her blog for inspiration as the holidays approach, since she is a pro at designing festive dishes that make us wish we could reach through the screen and set them on our party tables (skinny eggnog or vanilla snowman cupcakes, anyone?).
Here are some quick facts about this kitchen all-star and one of her favorite recipes for any holiday table!
My favorite way to work out: With a friend.
My fave fit snack: Fresh fruit and nuts.
5 things I can’t live without: Friends, family, coffee, camera and my laptop.
My biggest indulgence: Coffee!
I’m happiest when I’m: Enjoying a home cooked meal with family and friends.
- 9 lasagna noodles
- 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
- 15 ounces fat-free cottage cheese (Gina prefers Polly-O)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- salt and fresh pepper
- 32 ounces tomato sauce
- 9 tablespoons (about 3 ounces) part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Ladle about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12-inch baking dish.
- Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.
- Ladle sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 tablespoon mozzarella cheese. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts.
- To serve, ladle a little sauce on the plate and top with lasagna roll.
Nutrition information per serving: 225 calories, 5 g fat
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