Monday, February 28, 2011

Rachael Ray and USA Today Kindness Challenge Update #6

Now you have the opportunity to support me further by voting for me at this link:

This week I did a cooking demonstration at an event with the C.H.O.I.C.E.S. organization: Center Helping Obesity In Children End Successfully. C.H.O.I.C.E.S. is a wonderful group of people who have had tons of success in helping families and children reduce obesity. The event was a lot of fun; kids played football and different games. I hope to do it again next year.

I also had a great opportunity to be on 2 radio shows to talk about the Kindness Challenge. I never thought I'd be on the radio! It was a lot of fun, and I hope I can do it again.

Throughout the Kindness Challenge, I've met a lot of amazing people and had a lot of wonderful opportunities. Even though my cookbook isn’t completely finished, I've been able to make a lot of progress on it. So much great advice has come my way, and I'm really thankful for all of it.

I want to thank USA Today, Do Something and Rachael Ray for allowing me to be a part of the Kindness Challenge. I'll never forget how much fun I've had over the past few weeks. I've learned that the rewards are endless when you’re doing what you love for the good of others.

I also want to congratulate the other contestants; all of their goals are brilliant and I know more opportunities will come their way.

Now you have the opportunity to support me further by voting for me at this link:

I'm asking America to vote for me because I'm working to reduce the number of people that die every day, more than 300, from poor lifestyle choices that cause obesity which is the #2 preventable cause of death in the United States. For the past five years (I'm now 11 years old) I've focused on making a difference where it matters most; starting with families, and working with kids by teaching them how to have a delicious time making fresh, fun and healthy meals. Remember, it doesn't matter how old you are to do something! Thank you for watching my progress and for your support. I hope I've inspired you to make a healthy change in your life.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rachael Ray and USA Today Kindness Challenge Update #5

Hi everyone, Lizzie here! This week I visited the Bluebird CSA in Griffin, Georgia to learn more about CSAs and pick up a vegetable box.

Did you catch today's update on the Rachael Ray Show? If not, you can check it out at this link. You can also read about this update online at USA Today.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Farmers sell a portion of their crops through the CSA program to people who buy boxes full of fresh and local fruits and veggies. The items in the boxes change seasonally.

CSAs are a great way to support local farmers and are a fun way to try new produce you may have never heard of before like rainbow carrots. I used some of the vegetables from my box to make lentil stew with my dad. It was yummy and the fresh veggies were delish!

Do you remember learning how to read labels when shopping for healthy foods in my Week 2 video? Have fun making a game reading labels with your family to see who can find the healthiest juice, pasta etc.

Did you know that some TV cable companies offer free workout videos? They're a great way to try different programs that work best for you. See if your cable company has a Sport/Fitness channel.

I hope you have been getting a "taste" of what my cookbook will offer with my weekly video topics. Discover how to have fun shopping for healthy items outside the grocery store by watching my Week 5 video at my website. Click on the Downloads & Tools tab and click on the CSA link to find a CSA near you.

See you next week!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rachael Ray and USA Today Kindness Challenge Update #4

I had a very busy week starting with me participating in the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women Connect Event and ended with me attending the First Lady Michelle Obama's First Anniversary Event of the Let's Move campaign to fight obesity.

During the month of February, the American Heart Association is doing their Go Red for Women campaign which teaches women how to keep their hearts healthy. I had a lot of fun demonstrating how to make AB&J Sushi Rolls which are a great heart healthy snack; recipe is on my site. Did you know obesity actually increases your risk of heart disease?

The Let's Move campaign helps communities in America get motivated to live healthier. The First Lady talked about achievements in the past year, and all she hoped to happen in coming years. It was very inspirational and I was so excited! It was amazing to hear about the accomplishments that happened this past year. I can't wait to see what happens in 2011!

An easy way to keep your heart healthy is to do cardio. Cardio exercises are great because they exercise your heart. Jumping jacks and riding a bike are some simple exercises. What’s your favorite cardio exercise? Send me a Tweet @TheLizzieMarie.

On February 14th I’m doing an event with the C.H.O.I.C.E.S group: 'Center Helping Obesity in Children End Successfully' in Atlanta. Details are coming soon to our site so be on the lookout!

I hope I’ve motivated you to keep your heart healthy. Be sure to watch a Kindness Challenge update on the Rachael Ray show on Feb 18th. Click this link to find the air time on your local station:

This week's video update:

Friday, February 4, 2011

Rachael Ray and USA Today Kindness Challenge Update #3

This week I visited a restaurant near my house, named Featherstone's Grille, to show you how to eat healthy away from home. In fact, since Featherstone's Grille is so close to my house, I decided to walk there. If a restaurant is near your house, walk! It's a great exercise and you work up an appetite. A chapter I worked on this week explains three tips you want to remember when eating out of the house: portion control, soda and fried foods. Be sure to watch my Week #3 update video at to learn more about these tips.

Cut large meals in half and save a meal for the next day

People ask how I know so much about cooking healthy. I've been cooking since I was 2 years old! That means I've been cooking for about 9 years. I ask lots of questions about healthy foods, and my parents almost always have the answer; however, my family hasn't always been healthy. My parents used to be overweight, but as a family, we decided to live healthier. My parents lost over 100 pounds! They're definitely a big inspiration of mine. So, if you have any questions about food, cooking or me, twitter me @TheLizzieMarie.

Ordering healthy meals at a fast food restaurant is possible! (The meal above was ordered from a popular fast food place).

My interview with Natalie Coughlin, an 11 time Olympic Medalist, is on It was so fun speaking with her and I am sure you will learn some great tips from Natalie.

Join me Saturday, February 5th for the American Heart Association's 2011 Go Red for Women CONNECT Event where I will show people how to make a heart healthy snack. There will also be free screenings and information on how to keep your heart healthy. The event will be at Macy's (in the Intimates department) Lenox Mall, 3393 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA from 1p - 4p. I'll serve some tasty snacks at 1p and 3p.

Hope to see you there!

Lizzie Marie

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Interview: 11 Time Olympic Medalist Natalie Coughlin

Natalie Coughlin is a World Champion swimmer and Olympic gold medalist. Recently she took time out of her schedule to talk with Lizzie. Learn more about Natalie and her pursuit of healthy living, then browse the website for some recipes that Natalie was willing to share. Also, when you hear Natalie mention Community Supported Agriculture, flip over to the Tools and Downloads tab for a handy way to find a CSA near you!

Recipe: Natalie's California Dried Plum Snack Bars

Guest Natalie Coughlin shared this recipe:

World Champion swimmer Natalie Coughlin uses California Dried Plum purée to turn a simple snack bar into a nutritional powerhouse. Loaded with healthy grains, and nuts and sweetened with a touch of honey, these bars are perfect for tucking into your gym bag or lunch box.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Serves 8


  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup California Dried
  • Plum purée
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup soy flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds


Heat oven to 325ºF. Spray an 8- X 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving the paper overhanging on 2 sides. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together dried plum purée, honey, orange juice, egg white and orange zest. In small bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon and baking powder. Fold flour mixture, oats, almonds, coconut, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds into dried plum mixture.

Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Bake about 30 minutes or until firm to the touch. Cool on rack; remove from pan, using paper to lift it out. Cut in four, then cut across in half to make 8 bars.

Only 212 calories per bar.

Recipe: Moist and Fudgy Brownies with California Dried Plums

Guest Natalie Coughlin shared this recipe:

California Dried Plum purée can make your favorite baked treats healthier, by adding moisture while decreasing the amount of sugar and fat in a standard brownie recipe. And the scrumptious flavor of dried plums is truly indulgent!

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Serves 16


  • Cooking spray
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup California Dried Plum purée
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts


Heat oven to 325ºF. Spray an 8- X 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving the paper overhanging on 2 sides; spray paper with cooking spray. In large heatproof bowl, melt chocolate with oil over simmering water. Whisk in sugar and dried plum purée until mixed; whisk in eggs and vanilla. Fold in flour and salt just until blended; fold in walnuts. Scrape batter into prepared pan, spreading it evenly. Bake about 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the brownies comes out clean. Cool in pan at least 10 minutes; remove from pan and cut into 2-inch squares.

Each brownie is only 176 calories!

Recipe: California Dried Plums Swedish Meatballs

Guest Natalie Couglin shared this recipe:

California Dried Plums give flavor and moisture to these delicately spiced meatballs without adding extra fat. If fresh dill is hard to find, substitute one-half tablespoon of dried dill in the sauce.

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 25 minutes

Serves 5


  • 1 slice white sandwich bread
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup California Dried Plum purée
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 1 1/2tablespoons chopped fresh dill


Tear bread into 1-inch pieces. Soak in milk with salt, allspice, nutmeg and pepper. While bread is soaking, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a sauté pan; add onion and sauté about 5 minutes or until soft and translucent; cool. In a large bowl, mix pork, bread mixture, onion and dried plum purée. Chill for 30 minutes to make it easier to form into balls.

Heat oven to 350°F. Divide meatball mixture into 20 portions. Moisten your fingers with water and gently roll mixture into balls. Place on rimmed baking sheet. Bake meatballs about 15 minutes or until cooked through.

While meatballs are cooking, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a sauté pan. Add flour and whisk for about 2 minutes; add broth and sour cream and simmer, whisking constantly, until lightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Add dill, return meatballs to pan and bring to a simmer.

Serving is 348 calories.

Recipe: Vietnamese Turkey Meatball California Dried Plum Banh Mi Sandwich

Guest Natalie Coughlin shared this recipe:

Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches have hit the mainstream, and this version with turkey meatballs is sure to become one of your favorites. California Dried Plum purée gives these spicy meatballs their moist texture, without adding fat.

Prep Time 25 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Serves 5


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup California Dried Plum purée
  • 1/4 cup chopped canned water chestnuts
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 baguette sandwich rolls (8-10 inches long) or 4 (8-10-inch) pieces baguette
  • 2 jalapeño chiles, thinly sliced (seed if desired)
  • 20 sprigs cilantro
  • Sriracha mayonnaise*
  • Carrot and daikon pickles**


In a large bowl, mix turkey, dried plum purée, water chestnuts, green onions, fish sauce, garlic, sriracha sauce and salt. Chill for 30 minutes to make it easier to form into balls.

Heat oven to 350°F. Divide meatball mixture into 20 portions. Moisten your fingers with water and gently roll mixture into balls. Place on rimmed baking sheet. Bake meatballs about 15 minutes or until cooked through.

Cut rolls in half horizontally and remove some of the crumb to make room for the filling. For each sandwich, spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on insides of 1 roll. In bottom half of roll, layer a few slices of jalapeño, 4 meatballs, 4 sprigs cilantro and 2 tablespoons pickles. Cover with top half of roll.

*To make sriracha mayonnaise, stir together 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce. Refrigerate, covered.

**To make carrot and daikon pickles, place 1/2 cup julienned carrots and 1/2 cup julienned daikon in a nonreactive bowl. In a small saucepan, heat 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon kosher salt just until sugar dissolves. Cool to room temperature and pour over carrots and daikon. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or refrigerate, covered, overnight. Drain before using.

403 calories per serving!