What are your plans for winter break? I’m sure it has a lot to do with eating your favorite holiday foods, going shopping and sleeping. Everyone needs a break after finals, but if you are thinking about being healthy in 2017, you should make a plan over winter break so you can succeed in the upcoming year.

There are a few ways to plan for your 2017 health plan. Here are a few ways:

  • Have a starting date for your diet.
  • Download a health app.
  • Do Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide.

If you do three things together or just do one of them to ease into it, you are off to a great start.

Have a starting date for your diet.

Setting a starting date for your diet is always helpful and gives you a time to prepare. So eat all the holiday cookies and hot chocolate that you want because once that date comes around, around the New Year, you are eating clean.

My Fitness Pal

My Fitness Pal is a health and fitness app. I have used this app to kick start my diet. It has more than 6 million foods on it that make it easy for you to track your diet and the calories you are taking in everyday. You can set the app to make a meal plan for you or you can just log the food you eat to keep track of your calories. You can also log your workouts to see how many calories you are burning and the app then adjusts your calorie intake to your workouts. I highly recommend getting this app to get you in the mindset of your new, healthy lifestyle.

Bikini Body Guide

Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide is one guide that I have used that has worked for me. Being in my third year of college, I have struggled to find an even balance between my time spent in the library and my time spent in the gym. I tend to not have time for the gym because of my class workload. But Bikini Body Guide has helped me find that balance. I can have a balanced diet, while being able to get in a good workout and go to the library to get all my work done. The workouts require no or minimal equipment. I can workout at home or at the gym. The workout sessions can be as little as 29 minutes long. Bikini Body Guide also provides you with 5 new recipes each day and gives you standard, vegetarian or vegan meal options. And these meal plans also give you options to tailor your meals.

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I hope that you consider doing at least one of these things to start off 2017 healthy and happy.

JMtakecareofU wishes you good luck on finals and a Happy Holidays.

Peace, Love and DDP,



Simple & Cheap: 3 Course Meal

We had an awesome time last night learning how to cook new concoctions on a budget. We had over 20 people come with us to learn easy, effective ways to incorporate healthy ingredients into some of our favorite dishes. If you came and enjoyed the class or want to know what you missed out on, keep reading.

classssAs the class started we got to choose our seats surrounding the demonstration area. We were all welcomed to help with the process and take a closer look at the appliances they used. We began using healthy ingredients right away.  

Starting with a sweet potato hummus, the ingredients in the picture were an combined in the food processor to make a sweet and spicy hummus spread.  This is perfect for an easy appetizer that you can feel good about.

Spiced Sweet Potato Hummus

Below is one large, cooked sweet potato, 2 cups canned chickpeas, and a little bit of tahini, olive oil minced garlic, cumin, sriracha, lemon to squeeze, and then alt and pepper added to taste. Combining these items into the food processor is the key to the quick and easy hummus.


Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Continuing with the Simple and Quick 3 course meal, we moved on to the main entree. This portion of the class was particularly interesting to me because of how informative it was. Because so many people are adapting to different diets, it is always fun to try some of the alternatives to the typical recipes we are accustomed to.  For instance, we made vegan Parmesan cheese spread instead of the typical cheese we used on pasta and in salads.  This cheese was easy and fast to throw together with minimal effort. To make vegan Parmesan cheese, just combine 3/4 cup of raw cashews, 3 tbsp nutritional yeast, 3/4 tsp sea salt and a little garlic powder in a food processor and process until the texture of it mocks regular Parmesan cheese.


Of course, some of us were not used to the taste and stuck to regular grated cheese, but the vegan cheese held its own.  It still had a similar texture and the nutritional yeast did an amazing job making the cashews extra savory and even healthier.

Spaghetti Squash with Pasta Sauces

Since we were making a healthy version of a pasta dish, we needed some tomato sauce. We had a great time learning how to make delicious veggie pasta sauce and tomato sauce with lean beef!  Instead of using the food processor for this component of our meal, they instructed us to stick with the stove top for both sauces. This gives it a better consistency and takes little time. If you are making sauce with ground beef, fully cook the meat before mixing the ingredients in.

Lastly, for the actually pasta, we feasted on both regular pasta and spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is a smart way to decrease how much carbohydrates you are consuming, without sacrificing the flavor.  Mixing the two is a good way to get your veggies in and still enjoy your noodles.


To the right is a picture of the spaghetti squash right after cooking it. You can either make spaghetti squash in an oven with some salt, pepper and olive oil or opt for the microwave squash.  Using the microwave definitely saves a significant amount of time, it depends which you prefer. Be sure to remove all the seeds after carefully cutting the squash in half. After about 50 minutes in the oven or 7 minutes in the microwave, the squash should be ready to serve. Our instructor used a fork to remove the inside of the squash. Then mix it in with your pasta that you prepared on the stove top.

After enjoying our pasta, we moved on to the most important part; dessert. Using simple ingredients, we made S’mores pizza. This surpassed most pizzas because it was covered in chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows.

S’mores Pizza

The only other thinfileg you need to make this pizza is a refrigerated pizza crust in a can. There are many options at every grocery store that would work well with this recipe. As if that sounds too simple, the cooking part is even easier.

While you are heating up your dough in the oven, for about five minutes, prep your toppings. This pizza had 6 crushed graham crackers, 6 Hershey chocolate bars and a bag of marshmallows. Once your dough is ready, assort your toppings and place it back in the oven until the top of the marshmallows are a light brown.

Overall, this class reminded us how easy it can be to make dfile-1elicious food without breaking the bank or consuming precious study time. We hope you learned something from the demonstration and you give some of these recipes a try.


Peace, love & DDP,





This Holiday Season, Eat Mindful, Not Mindless

The holidays coming up in late December are usually a time full of happiness and excitement.  However, sometimes holidays can be stressful. Knowing that it is likely for overeating and eating an excessive amount of unhealthy food can be worrisome.  I’m here to tell you that it is possible to enjoy the holidays and relax about eating healthy.  I have some tips that you and your family can incorporate into your holiday meals that should relive your stress about ruining your healthy eating habits.

Turkey is one food you must eat over the holidays. Try to eat pieces of turkey that are lighter meats, that means that there are fewer calories than dark meat. Another way to cut calories is to take off the skin of the meat you’re eating. Also, keep your serving size in mind. A serving size of meat is about 3 oz., which is the size of a deck of cards. Serving size is important so you can indulge on all the other food you want and not get too full on one food. Also turkey usually comes with gravy, if you can limit the amount of gravy you dump on your food you can limit the amount of fat and sodium you are putting in your mouth.

If you are in charge of bringing one dish there are a ton of ways to bring a tasty dish everyone will enjoy, and make it healthy.

Green Bean Salad:

My mother makes this almost every holiday season and there are never any leftovers. All its takes is:

1 pound of fresh green beans

1 bell pepper

1 small onion

1 ½ tbsp. red wine vinegar

½ tbsp. of thyme and parsley

½ tbsp. of honey

1 glove of garlic

¼ cup olive oil

Mix all these ingredients together for a taste meal that your whole family will enjoy. Offering to make meals to bring to Christmas dinner will reduce the stress of eating unhealthy.

Is sweet potato casserole one of your favorite meals during the holidays? Here is a healthier alternative.

40 oz. canned, chopped sweet potatoes in light syrup

1 ¼ tpsp. Pumpkin spice

1 tpsp. Vanilla extract

2 large eggs

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

2 tbsp. maple syrup

2 tbsp. flour

These ingredients have your casserole coming out to about 250 calories.

Christmas Cookies, Chanukah Cookies and More Cookies

When I think of the Holiday’s I think of all the delicious cookies I am going to bake. I usually deliver plates to my neighbors, cousins across town, my best friend and of course, to my brother in his room. For the past few years, I have been wondering ways to make the cookies still taste good but maybe a little healthier. Adding 4 sticks of butter to a cookie gets pretty disgusting after awhile of baking.

This year I will make my cookies healthier and have chosen the following 4 recipes that I will try. There are flavors and tastes for all so at least one should catch your sweet tooth.

  • Almond Coconut Macaroons
  • Vegan Thin Mints
  • Gingerbread Cookies
  • Thumbprint Cookies

Almond Coconut Macaroons

These cookies are the easiest to make out of the 4 and have a blast of coconut flavor. These are also a perfect dessert cookie for Passover.

What you need:

2/3 cup sugar

2 large egg whites

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

½ cups whole almonds

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (1 teaspoon lemon zest to make it kosher for Passover)

You can find the directions on how to make and bake the cookies here.

Vegan Thin Mints

This recipe is vegan and gluten-free. This cookie reminds me of Girl Scout Thin Mints but even better because gluten-free and vegans can enjoy them too.

What you need:

1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour

1 cup vegan sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup arrowroot

1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup melted refined coconut oil or canola oil

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1 cup vegan gluten-free chocolate chips

3 tablespoons mint extract

You can find the directions on how to make and bake the cookies here.

Gingerbread Cookies

What are the holidays without gingerbread? This recipe has less butter, eggs and sugar than traditional gingerbread recipes.

What you need:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground clove

1 cup granulated sugar

8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature

3/4 cup dark molasses

1 large egg, at room temperature

You can find the directions on how to make and bake the cookies here.

Thumbprint Cookies

These are my absolute favorite holiday cookies to make and I am excited that there is a healthier version especially knowing how much butter goes into them. This recipe is for vegan thumbprint cookies.

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What you need:

1 cup pecans

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup safflower or canola oil

1/2 cup maple syrup or brown rice syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons fruit juice sweetened jam

You can find the directions on how to make and bake the cookies here.

I hope you have found at least one healthy cookie recipe in this list that you will bake this holiday season. Happy Holidays from JM(takecareof)U to you.

Peace, Love and DDP,


Boot Camp Ideas That Are Sure To Spread Holiday Cheer

This is it, 2016 has almost come to an end. As we approach December that also means we are approaching the holiday season which can mean binge eating endless carbs and baked goods. Working out is the last thing on your mind. It may not be fun for you or something that you look forward to. You would much rather be on the couch watching endless holiday movies. But, what if your workouts incorporated the holiday season? Bootcampideas.com has five ideas to make your workouts holiday themed and something to look forward to during this time of the year. The best part about these boot camp style workout ideas is that you don’t have to do them alone, you’re actually encouraged to do this with others, these workouts are a great way to spend time with friends and family during the holiday season.

White Elephant Gift Exchange Workout

A traditional white elephant gift exchange with some fitness add-ons. Here’s how it works: everyone first completes a round of exercises, you all can choose what exercises you would like to do before the boot camp begins. After everyone completes the round you are all now on the “nice list” and may choose any wrapped gift. After everyone has chosen a gift you may steal anyone’s gift but you must complete two exercises from the “naughty list”. If your gift is stolen then you must complete two exercises from the nice list and to get a new wrapped gift. If the person whose gift has been stolen wants someone else’s gift they must complete two exercises off of the naughty list to steal the present. A gift may only be stolen three times before it is off limits. The “nice list” exercises should be fairly easy for each person to complete and the “naughty list” exercises should be on the more difficult side.

Santa’s Workshop Workout

This boot camp will take about 45 minutes and dumbbells, battle ropes and boxes are needed for these workouts so it will need to be completed at the gym. This workout is all about pretending you are assisting Santa in making his deliveries this Christmas so you will need to use a little imagination. For the warm-up each person picks an exercises to do for 10 reps, this should take anywhere from seven to 10 minutes. The first drill is known as “Santa’s Workshop” and is complied of two exercises and eight reps of each. First is the “toymaker” exercise that is actually known as man makers, this exercise is a “plank to push-up to one armed dumbbell row to squat to dumbbell overhead shoulder press” according to bootcampideas.com. The second exercise is a squat jump. The second drill is “Santa’s Bag”, it is now time to load the sled by doing dumbbell suicides. Set up five comes 10 meters apart from one another. At the first cone carry the dumbbells to the second cone and set them down and run back to the first cone as fast as you can. Pick up the dumbbells and the second cone and carry them to the third cone then run back to the first cone. Repeat this exercise until three minutes have elapsed. The third drill you will pretend you are on the sleigh getting the reindeer to fly. This consists of two exercises repeated for eight reps, first is the battle rope slams and then plank up downs. The fourth drill is the “Rudolph Run” which is known as the Indian run in groups of five or six, and this exercise will be repeated until three minutes have elapsed. Drill five is “Down the Chimney” again two exercises for eight reps. First exercise will be “chimney jumps” aka box jumps and the second is walkout to push up. Finally drill six “Ho Ho HIIT” for four minutes with 20 seconds of work and ten seconds of rest repeated four times. The two exercises to be completed are “chimney climbers” which are mountain climbers and then star jumps.

12 Days of Christmas Workout

For this workout the participants are encouraged to dress in Christmas attire and to play Christmas music to get in the spirit. This is a perfect Christmas Eve workout and only takes 25 minutes to complete. Everyone participating will need a pair of dumbbells. The list of workouts will be accumulative just as the song “12 Days of Christmas” goes. Every new exercise you will complete the number said before it and then go back and do the preceding exercise with the number indicated. Here is a list of the exercises to complete thanks to bootcampideas.com, you may use these exercises or come up with your own.

  1. DB snatch (alternate arms each round)
  2. Burpees
  3. DB swing (like a kettle bell swing but with a dumbbell)
  4. Tricep dips
  5. Bicep curls
  6. Pushups
  7. Sea turtles
  8. Deadlifts
  9. Shoulder press
  10. Mountain climbers (each side)
  11. Wood chops (with weight)
  12. Box jumps (adv) or step-ups (beg/int.)

Christmas Tree Workout2014-12-08-05.27.56-e1418345095555.jpghttp://bootcampideas.com/christmas-tree-workout/

A pyramid style workout similar to the 12 days of Christmas workout, it will take about an hour to complete and dumbbells are needed. First to complete will be the base of the tree. Two round for 30 seconds each of glute bridge marches, scapula push-ups, stir the pot and then plank rocks. Next its time to complete the tree of exercises which includes five rounds and five exercises in each round. Round five: 10 reps each, push-ups, alternating bent over dumbbell row, dumbbell walking lunges, jump squats and side plank dumbbell raise. Round four: 20 reps each, push-ups, alternating bent over dumbbell row, dumbbell walking lunges and jump squats. Round three: 30 reps each, alternating bent over dumbbell row, dumbbell walking lunges and jump squats. Round two: 40 reps each, dumbbell walking lunges and jump squats. Round one: 50 reps of alternating bent over dumbbell row. The top of the tree is last with 100 dumbbell jumping jacks. Take a two-minute break and then do the workout again in reverse.

Kris Kringle Workout

The equipment needed for this workout is one Christmas bag and 10 Christmas bows or tags with exercise names written on them. To set up for this workout you need to attach a piece of paper with an exercise to your bow or tags and place it in your Christmas bag. The workout consists of ten different exercises that you may choose yourself. One person will go up to the bag and choose a “present” the exercise pulled out of the bag is then the exercise that everyone must complete. You may either put the present back in or have everyone pull out the different exercises and the workout can be complete when the bag is emptied.

This holiday season grab a few friends and try these different holiday boot camps. Dress up in your favorite ugly Christmas sweaters and blast some holiday music for added holiday cheer.

Peace, Love and DDP,


Another Holiday, Another Holiday Workout

Last time it was a workout to burn those Halloween candy calories and this time it’s a workout for your Thanksgiving Day feast. “The average American eats around 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving. Remember that number for a moment.”


To “undo” the damage of your Thanksgiving feast the average weight training circuit of 8 exercises completed in 8 minutes (when performed at a high-intensity with minimal rest) has the ability to burn approximately 150 to 200 calories.

Check out this article to find out how you can burn off those Thanksgiving Day calories.

Happy Thanksgiving from us to you.

Peace, Love and DDP,


Event with UREC!

Fellow Dukes,

The 6 ladies of JMtakecareofU, have put together an event with UREC for you! The event is  called Simple and Cheap Eats for the College Kid on 11/30 7-8pm.

Cooking nutritious yet filling foods can be difficult, expensive, and time consuming for the busy college student. By taking this class, you will be able to learn how to cook a handful of recipes and also improvise recipes with the foundational skills taught in the course. Versatility in the kitchen allows for more skill-building than perfecting a single dish.

This is a program that the student wellness instructors offer a few times throughout the semester.  All of the demonstration cooking classes are designed by students who are dietetics major to help college students become more comfortable in the kitchen especially when preparing healthy meals. There are enough spots for about 41 students, so be sure to register ASAP through the link below.


We hope to see you there!