Author: <span>Erin</span>


Marr, K. DiSanto
Chubby Marr and Ken DiSanto, high school.



Ken DiSanto
Ken DiSanto


I was talking with my sister and she mentioned how much she missed pizza. But guess what? There are still some healthier ways to eat them. Let me introduce you to Flatout Pizzas (you can also use tortillas or pitas). These are in my health/fitness program. When baked in the oven, they are like thin crust pizzas and make a perfect serving size. Cravings averted!

Family Fitness/Health Recipes/Cooking


Made this soup tonight and it was INCREDIBLE! I added mushrooms to it also. The broth (from the parmesan rinds) is amazing! Very simple, but very delicious!



A co-worker brought this in to work this past week. It was so good that it was the first thing gone! I had to get the recipe and share it. We are making this as part of our appetizer spread for Christmas Eve… and I may submit this to the cookbook next year.

Scott’s Spinach Dip:

1 packet of Knorr’s Vegetable Soup/Dip Mix
16 ounces of Sour Cream
1 10-12 ounce package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 small can of water chestnuts, diced (or whole and you can chop them)
1 cup mayonnaise (I used Plain Greek Yogurt instead)
1 tablespoon hot sauce (Frank’s or Texas Pete)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 chopped green onion (optional)
2 sourdough bread loves (whole not sliced)

–          Take the thawed spinach and press in between paper towels to remove water

–          Add all the ingredients in a bowl and stir thoroughly

–          Let stand overnight in the refrigerator

–          Before serving, take one loaf of bread and cut an oval out of the top

–          Fill with dip

–          Cut other loaf up in cubes and serve


We’ve had layoffs at work recently and I was feeling very uneasy about the future… until my CMO and VP pulled me aside last Friday to award me with my first 250 points of stock in our company for all the hard work I’ve been giving them! And now I’m officially the only graphic designer at headquarters (and even throughout most of the company after these layoffs). Hard work certainly pays off and I cannot wait for a few days off this upcoming holiday weekend. 🙂

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This weeks meal plan… a lot of the same stuff. I need to work on variety.


Health Recipes/Cooking

The owner of the Windy Hill Orchard told me about a Pumpkin Doughnut Bread Pudding recipe using doughnuts (found here: We decided to modify this and make our own version using our apple cider doughnuts because we often have them leftover. What I came up with is a mixture between bread pudding and apple crisp, to give a nice contrast in texture with the streusel topping. It is totally optional to add the topping and you can change it for some sort of glaze or caramel sauce, if desired. I brought this into to work so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat the whole thing… LOL. I will be trying this with 1-dozen pumpkin doughnuts from the orchard this week.



Apple Doughnut Bread Pudding with a Streusel Topping:

12 apple cider doughnuts, cinnamon sugar kind (I get mine from Windy Hill Orchard – these are more of an old-fashioned cake doughnut)
2 apples (about 1 – 1 1/2 cups), diced
6 eggs
2 1/4 cups milk (I use coconut milk)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch salt
1 stick butter
3 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 cup oatmeal
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Let the apple cider doughnuts get stale for a few days… you want them to become more dense in texture.

Break the doughnuts up into bite-sized pieces and spread in a greased 13 x 9″ pan.

Peel and cut your apples into small squares and sprinkle over the doughnuts.

Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk smooth. Add milk, vanilla, cinnamon and a pinch of salt; whisk together and pour over the doughnut pieces. Let this mixture rest for at least 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the stick of butter and add brown sugar. Continue cooking a few minutes while stirring. Pour this mixture evenly over the doughnut mix.

Now make the topping… mix the dry topping ingredients with 1 cup melted butter, forming a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle over the doughnut mixture and pat down.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until brown. When served, it can be topped with vanilla ice cream.




This weeks meal plan includes some of the following:

  • BREAKFASTS: Green Apple Smoothie (NEW), Orange Smoothie, Mixed Berry Smoothie
  • MID-MORNING SNACK: Hard-boiled eggs
  • LUNCHES: Greek Salads, Garden Salads with leftover soups
  • SNACKS: Carrot sticks, fruit (mostly apples and cantaloupe), nuts, and wheat crackers with cheese
  • DINNERS: Okra Creole (still using up Okra) with field peas, Miso Soup, Green Beans and Tilapia with Dijon Dressing


Family Fitness/Health Recipes/Cooking

21-Day Fix Eating_092615

I made two different soups this past week for the chilly, rainy days we’ve been having in the Carolinas. So far my breakfasts are still smoothies, but I may start making overnight oats again… need something warm in my belly!

This weeks meal plan includes some of the following:


Family Fitness/Health Recipes/Cooking

It’s Workout Wednesday, so who’s up for a challenge?

I have a few people who wanted a little motivation to get started, so let’s do an easy 7-day walking challenge. Walking is wonderful for your body and mind, and it is a low-impact activity to get you moving. Plus, you can get outside and enjoy the beginning of this beautiful fall weather.


Family Fitness/Health


So my mom was proud to tell me last night that she officially fits into a size 14 in pants! WHAT?! That’s incredible and I’m so proud of her! She really wants to start working at this for her health, but she wanted some help on how to prepare and plan healthy food. I choose to make Sunday my meal prep day so that I am ready for the whole week.


Here’s what my prepping looks like for the week:
Apples, cut up cantaloupe, mixed greens for salads (probably with the apples, pecans and Apple Cider Honey Vinegrette I made), hard-boiled eggs, 1 Vietnamese noodle bowl (that’s what the small head of lettuce and brown rice vermicelli are for, with cucumbers, carrots, green onions and dressing that I made), plain Greek yogurt and unsweetened coconut milk for smoothies with the peaches in the back, three large bowls of a creole-styled veg soup with okra, kale and pink-eye peas, and one dinner of sautéed Bok Choy and rice. I forgot to add my carrot sticks and Babybel Gouda cheese in there too. I’m short a few dinners, but they will depend on what I get from my CSA on Thursday. I have homemade pesto to use up so I will most likely include some whole wheat pasta with pesto and a side salad.

  1. Make a list for the grocery store of healthy meals you’d like to have (a list helps you stay on track).
  2. While in the store, stick to the outer perimeter of the store (veggie section, meats, dairy). Enter the center isles only for items like canned vegetable, rice or quinoa, whole wheat pasta, olive oil or baking items, paper goods, etc.
  3. Make sure you get items that are ready to go and make your life easier… I always get carrot sticks, salad greens or spinach, Babybel single-serve cheeses, 100-calorie nut packs (or package your own), and fruit that is easy to carry. They even make pre-made hard-boiled eggs if you don’t have time for that.
  4. Come home and make one big pot of soup or chili or something that will give you leftovers for a few days. Once it finished cooking, portion out your dinners into containers so they are ready to go later in the week (this would be my Creole soup in the pyrex bowls). This way you always have one item ready to go for dinner if you don’t have time to cook.
  5. Hard boil 1 dozen eggs (or more for a larger family). I eat 2 eggs every day since it is a good source of protein for me. These are great to have on hand for snacks since protein helps fill you up.
  6. Look at what fruit you need to prepare… for me, it was cutting my cantaloupe and portioning it into 1-cup servings. Some fruit you might wish to cut and freeze for morning smoothies.
  7. If you don’t buy pre-cut lettuces, you may want to prepare the lettuce in advance. You can portion it out and lay a paper towel on top to soak away moisture. Many salads can be made a week ahead as long as you don’t add wet items, like cut tomatoes or dressing. Keep those items separate.
  8. Make homemade salad dressings to use for the week. The store-bought ones are generally loaded with salt, sugar and chemicals and making your own is simple. I use a ratio of 1/4 vinegar (any kind) or citrus juice, 3/4 cup oil and then seasonings.

And remember:3ac40f176329545cc4d338919f82bb09

Family Fitness/Health


This weeks meal plan includes some of the following:


Family Fitness/Health Recipes/Cooking


I worked a lot at the orchard this past week, so many of my lunches were either in pizza or pretzel form. 🙁  Not the best choices but they are what’s there or what’s provided for us. We also get an apple-cider donut in the morning that is very hard to resist. These are not the best choices and I hope to do better in the future. But I still have lots of good healthy items in my list this week.

This weeks meal plan includes some of the following:

  • BREAKFASTS: Pumpkin Smoothies, Blueberry Smoothies, and Huevos Rancheros
  • MID-MORNING SNACK: Hard-boiled eggs or fruit (hooray apple season)
  • LUNCHES: Egg Spinach Salad with my non-bacon dressing
  • SNACKS: Carrot sticks, fruit, nuts
  • DINNERS: Ceviche, Green Bean Salad and Shrimp, Vitamix Tortilla Soup with black beans


Family Fitness/Health Recipes/Cooking