If I had to sum up my most popular blog posts of 2012, I could do it in 6 words or less… Jamie Eason’s Live Fit and Oatmeal.
Oatmeal is featured so often on my blog that reader searches lead to several popular posts on my blog including tutorials on How to Make Oatmeal and How to Make Steel-Cut Oats and recipes for Baked Oatmeal, Oat Bran Muffins and Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. However, the Live Fit Trainer is hands down the most searched topic on my blog.
Top 3 Most Viewed Posts of 2012
Last January, as a way to kick-start my New Year fitness routine, I started Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer 12-week workout program. After my review of the first week, I planned to do a review at the end of each of the three phases. The first two weeks are deceptively easy but by week 9 I was having trouble fitting in the daily 1 1/2 hour workouts into my schedule so I quit the program early. Because of the popularity of Jamie and her workout program, my review of Phase 1 of Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer is easily the most searched and viewed post on my blog.
I originally wrote this post for my husband, after he admitted he did not know how to make oatmeal for our daughter in the mornings before she left for school. Apparently he was not the only one of my readers who needed a tutorial, because my post on How to Make Oatmeal is the second most-searched post on the blog. Oatmeal is one of my favorite healthy breakfast options and can be made in advance (so you can’t use the excuse that you don’t have time for a good breakfast).
It is never easy to admit that something is just not working for you, especially when you have committed to a workout program that you believe can be successful. However I finally allowed myself to quit the Live Fit Trainer when I realized it did not fit in my schedule. I would like to try the program again but I am currently signed up for two months of boot camp and in training for a half marathon. Maybe after March?
Top 3 Recipes of 2012
I created this recipe when I wanted to break in my new mini donut pan and was craving the maple frosted donuts I used to eat when I was a little girl. My kids and I gobbled up the first batch before I could even take a picture of them, so we had to make a second batch right away. These still remain one of my husbands most requested donut recipes and my family’s favorite indulgent weekend breakfast. This recipe was also featured in the DailyBuzz Food Top 9 Doughnut recipes.
In an effort to enjoy my favorite foods while sticking to my healthy living lifestyle, I often start with my favorite recipes and try to “healthify” them. I baked these cookies to hand out at Bloggy Boot Camp in Dallas in September and they were a big hit with everyone I met at the conference. Not only are these cookies great as dessert, they are also healthy enough to eat for breakfast or to give to your kids as an after school snack.
Part muffin and part bowl of oatmeal, this recipe combines so many of my favorite things in one portable breakfast. The added crunch of the chopped pecans and sprinkle of sugar on top make it taste extra special and I love to make these in advance and freeze them. They taste best when they are re-heated and drizzled with a little agave nectar or honey.
Top 3 Healthy Living/Fitness Posts of 2012
Oh, the debate between focusing on weight loss or overall health when it comes to diet and exercise. This post explains my point of view in the ongoing debate in the healthy living blogging world. Take time to read this post and give me your feedback on what you believe is more important.
It can be confusing to read all of the food labels at the grocery store, especially if you are just starting to change your eating habits. A few years ago, I thought that eating organic was a healthier choice but I could not tell you why. After doing some research, I defined some common labels on meat, poultry and eggs in “Learning the Facts About Food Labels”. In Part 2, I talk about why eating gluten-free products are not necessarily healthier or necessary unless you have celiac disease or if you have a gluten sensitivity/intolerance.
After reading about so many other bloggers and runners competing in obstacle style races, I knew that I wanted to sign up for one myself. It has been on my race wish-list for over a year so I convinced my husband that it would be a fun race for us to run together. It ended up being my first and only race of the spring and summer, and easily my most fun race of 2012. My favorite part was the fact that it challenged me both physically and mentally. In 2013, I plan to run a women’s only obstacle course style race called the Shape Diva Dash, which is at the end of my spring race schedule.
My Top 3 Favorite Posts of 2012
This recent post features 7 different healthy breakfast ideas that you can serve to out-of-town guests that come to visit during the holidays, but are really good any time during the year. It also includes the recipe for Baked Banana Walnut Oatmeal which I also like to serve for brunch with my friends.
You need to check out this post just so you can drool over the amazing food pictures from Italy. I visited northern Italy for a business trip over the summer and was able to experience some amazingly delicious and beautiful food. Fried squash blossoms, prosciutto and melon, seafood risotto, bruschetta and tiramisu… My mouth is watering just thinking about everything I tasted that week.
When I heard that BlogHer Food was going to be held in Seattle, I think I bought my ticket in 6 seconds flat. It was my first time to attend a BlogHer conference and I was impressed! Not only with the food, the sessions and the tour of Pike Market but with the fact that I got to meet Ree Drummond during the last night of the conference! Check out this post for pictures to prove it! Today is the last day you can buy your ticket for BlogHer Food 2013 before the prices go up! It will be in Austin, TX this year so I do not have to fly across the country to get there.
2012 was an amazing year for Food and Fitness 4 Real. I finally found my voice on my blog, started focusing more on food and recipe development and took a break from running. This year I am excited to get back to participating in fun races and to attend more blogging and social media conferences. I have registered for BlissDom, BlogHer Food and FitBloggin‘ in 2013! Be prepared for fitness advice, clean eating recipes and tips on how to balance real life with a healthy lifestyle!