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February 2013

DIY organic pizza as easy as pie

Rustic crust pizza
Feast your eyes on my (sorta) homemade Oscar-Night Pizza.

Rustic Crust Organic Pizza LogoWhen I was pregnant, one of my go-to foods was homemade pizza with a little bit of cheese and a whole lot of fresh tomato slices. I was craving that so much that I kept a stack of premade pizza crusts in the kitchen at all times.

If you keep the pizza components at the ready in your kitchen, it can be quicker than a delivery pie (and cheaper and healthier).

It can even be organic.

Rustic Crust wanted to know whether I would check out its line of pizza crusts, and that was a no-brainer -- I regularly buy them and appreciate the fact that it offers an organic crust, made without artificial preservatives, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, GMOs, or added sugar. It also has gluten-free and whole grain crusts in its line as well as a "clean" pizza sauce.

Last night's pizza was a nod to my love of vegetables and my guys' love of pepperoni. I had some reduced-fat Italian blend shredded cheese already in the fridge, and I picked up some sliced portobellos, part-skim ricotta and Applegate uncured pepperoni (only 20 calories for a huge piece) at the grocery store.

After I squirted out the sauce (Rustic Crust's come in pizza-sized pouches), I added just a few dollops of ricotta and swirled it into the sauce. Then I added the shredded cheese, pepperoni and finally the mushrooms. Super-quick and really tasty.

Two slices of my Oscar-Night Pizza added up to 470 calories (1/3 of the pizza), which isn't bad for a pepperoni-ricotta-portobello pizza. Just for comparison, I checked for a similarly topped pizza, and it was twice the calories.

You can find Rustic Crust products at most grocery stores and some natural food stores. You also can buy its products online. And if you click on the Rustic Crust logo, you can print out a $1-off coupon.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Rustic Crust.

A 'detox diet' for your electronics

I'm not a big fan of detox diets or cleanses, unless it has to do with clutter. The human body has a very efficient way of ridding itself of toxins all on its own (yeah, that), but on the outside, we humans tend to hold onto old junk a little too long.

I'm a big fan of Peter Walsh, who wrote the book "Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat." In it, he says that a cluttered, messy home can have a negative effect on weight loss.

So what do you do with all your old, out-of-date electronic stuff? You can't throw it in the regular trash.

Live near a Best Buy? You can take all your old e-stuff there for electronics recycling, even stuff you didn't buy there, and no matter how old the items are. (You should have seen the collection of old Palm PDAs we had growing in the spare room!)

I'm always a little wary of bringing old electronics to recycling places because I have no idea what will become of my personal information, but Best Buy makes sure the hard drives are wiped clean and destroyed before they are recycled.

Want to find out more about the recycling program? Check out the video below:


Watch live streaming video from thebby at

Disclosure: I have been compensated with a Best Buy Gift Card for this post.

These are a few of my favorite things

Haven’t done one of these in awhile, but I’ve been compiling a list of things I really like that are all fitnessy and health-related.

I am eating one now, as I type.

Power Crunch bars
: I’m usually a chocolate-chocolate-CHOCOLATE kind of person when it comes to protein powders and bars – the darker the better. But French Vanilla Crème Power Crunch bars are fantastic. They have 14 grams of whey protein, only 5 grams of sugars and 205 calories. They’re exactly like those sugar wafer cookies so they’re light and crunchy, but since they have 14 grams of fiber, they have staying power.

Bar_mini_boxBalance Bar Minis: Way better than any 100-calorie pack of cookies or crackers or candy. Each sawed-off bar is 100 calories with 7 grams of protein and come in cookie dough and chocolate brownie flavors. They're great to keep in your gym bag, purse or desk drawer when snack time rolls around.


Taste the rainbow! (On second thought, that's a bad phrase to describe socks, but you get my drift.)

Thorlo Experia socks:
I have big feet (and I cannot lie, you other brothers can’t deny … sorry, got carried away). All the cute socks come in ladies sizes, which I outgrew in middle school. Dude socks are usually white, black and gray, but Thorlos come in a rainbow of colors. More importantly, the arch support and cushioning are amazing, which I find especially important if you’re walking or jogging in minimalist sneakers. They’re not the kind of sock you buy in a giant bag at the sporting goods store, so I treat mine nicely and wash them inside out to keep the padded parts extra fluffy.


Jillian+Michaels+jm__podcast_iconJillian Michaels podcasts: If you think Jillian is just some screaming trainer on “The Biggest Loser,” you obviously haven’t listened to her podcasts. There, she uncovers her more laid-back, supportive and even goofy side. And did I mention that her podcasts are FREE? All you need to do is subscribe to them on iTunes, or you can also find them on the TuneIn radio app.

Quaker oatsOld-school oatmeal: Publix was having a buy-one-get-one-free sale on Quaker oatmeal, so I went old school and bought the old-fashioned oats. Turns out, they cook just as quickly as the quick-cooking ones, as long as you don’t mind a little extra oaty chewiness. But that was exactly what I was looking for – I figured that the less processed oats would stick with me a bit longer and I was right. Oatmeal is one of those foods I need to eat more of, as it keeps me full for ages, which I can’t say for many other foods. Tuesday’s oatmeal contained a banana, cinnamon, a tablespoon of almond butter, half a cup of lowfat milk and a teaspoon of honey. I had it at 9 a.m. and as of noon, I still was full. Perhaps I need to eat oatmeal for dinner …

Crystal light pure lemonadeCrystal Light Pure lemonade: I’m adding this as the finale because I truly love the artificial color and sweetener-free lemonade mix and to ask “WHERE THE HELL DID ALL THE CRYSTAL LIGHT PURE GO?” Ominous clouds were forming on my horizon when I saw the dreaded “clearance” tag on the shelf at Publix a couple months ago. Then – poof! – gone. Can’t find it at Target or Winn-Dixie either. The Crystal Light Facebook page also contains queries by quaffers wondering where it went, with a cryptic “it’s not completely discontinued” reply from the Crystal Light Facebook page manager. Then, on Monday, this message from the Crystal Light genie: “We don't want to give anything away, but we will be making an announcement about it later this week. We assure you that it will be available for purchase in the near future, so hang tight!”

Produce of the month: Cherry tomatoes

Grapetomatoes_406Anyone who has ever visited my kitchen knows that there is always a big bowl of tiny tomatoes on the counter. (Just not right now because I ate 'em all.) They're great for when the hungries strike or to grab a handful and dump into a salad or pasta dish.

I am most definitely not deficient in lycopene -- that's for sure.

One of my favorite ways to use them is to oven-roast them with a tiny scattering of salt. Put them on a rimmed cookie sheet at 400 degrees until they get all good and shriveled. They're great as a warm salad tossed with fresh basil leaves and balsamic vinegar or smooshed on top of chicken breasts or in pasta.

My usual way of "processing" them is to wait until they've cooked down a bit and then smash them with the back of a spoon, but I have been scalded/stained by boiling tomato pulp one too many times.

Then I discovered a genius video from The TV in the office isn't hooked up to cable or satellite, but I did buy a Roku on Black Friday, and it allows me to watch cool channels like CNN International, Ustream and Chow.

As soon as I stock up again on tomatoes, I'm going to try this trick -- it sure beats slicing a pint of tomatoes one by one.