#WeeklyWisdom and Top 5 "To the Beach' Nutrition Noshes

Nosh One.

Beach (n):  Place where salt doesn't raise your blood pressure.

Where do you like to go when you need a little TLC and time for yourself?

My first choice (and easiest to get to) is my big comfy white chair.  My second choice will always be the beach. I don't care where, as long as there is sand between my toes, sun on my skin, the smell of salt in the air and the therapeutic sounds of waves.  I am in a total state of bliss. It is even better when shared with my heartbeats because I am getting to share my happiest place with people I love. 

In reality, we can really take ourselves to our favorite place whenever we need it by indulging yourself in a few mindful minutes a day. Closing your eyes, going to that place and just doing some deep breathing for 1 minute at least 3 times a day. This will help you increase oxygen in the body, slowing down your heart rate and inducing the feelings of calmness and relaxation. Exactly what happens to me when I am at the beach and breathing normally. 

Someday, I will own a tiny house, ok small house on the beach.  Until then, I will schedule my bi-annual beach getaways and my mini getaways in my head during the day. 

Nosh Two. Weekly Conversation. 

Conversations with Anne Elizabeth Podcast featuring Registered Dietitian and owner of Meal Squeeze, Tonya Huenink

Today’s conversation is with Tonya Huenink, a registered dietitian who has worked in all areas of dietetics and has started her own meal planning business called Meal Squeeze.

Tonya is native to my favorite state of Iowa and at one point worked for the same company as I did. Throughout her adventures as a Registered Dietitian, she has worked in many different areas of dietetics including clinical, outpatient, food service and school nutrition. Tonya has developed a passion over the years for equipping families of all sizes to sit down for a balanced meal together which has lead to her creating her own business. Not only is this meal planning service great for families but it is also great for other registered dietitians to use with their own clients. Tonya shares some great insight of how she created her business, marketing and a few business tools she has discovered along the way.

Connect with Tonya on her Meal Squeeze Website, Facebook, and Instagram

Nosh Three. Weekly #Hellyeah.

Right after had I the joy to speak at the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting, I whisked away for quick mini-beach vacation with my heartbeat Brenda and her significant other Jason. There were a few changes in the flight situation right before I left, but we got it figured out and we were going to make the most out of our time away. This was my first trip to Panama City Beach, Florida and it was beautiful! We stayed in the presidential suite of their timeshare and had some awesome views. 

Panama City Beach, Florida

Bestie time in Panama City Beach, Florida

The weather was a little chilly (which I laugh now because 60 degrees seems tropical as it is 27 degrees here in Iowa) but the minute we got there we dumped our bags and we headed to the beach. 

Sunset in Panama City Beach, Florida

Tropical cocktails for a beach vacation

The sand is so white and soft, it is amazing. There were only a few other people out, so it was like having it all to ourselves. There was a great little place to have a tropical drink and some eats right by the hotel that we could walk to, Sharky's Beachfront Restaurant


We didn't care how chilly it was, we wanted to sit outside, sip a cocktail and watch the sunset. My favorite quote from the weekend was from Brenda:  "Some people like sunrises, I like sunsets." I think I would have to agree. A sunset it the perfect way to end an amazing day. 

Raw Oysters Sharky's Beachfront Restaurant

As far as food, I had 2 missions:  eat raw oysters and as much key lime pie as possible. Thank goodness Sharky's came through on both. I started with my raw oysters and Brenda was a total sport to try them. 

Traditional Baked Oysters Sharky's Beachfront Restaurant

I also got some baked ones, which I really enjoyed too. These reminded me of the smoked oysters we would eat at home. My Dad would get cans of smoked oysters and as a treat on a weekend, we would eat them with saltines. It might sound a little crazy, but don't knock it until you try it. These had Parmesan baked on top and were perfect on top of a saltine. 

Key Lime Pie Sharky's Beachfront Restaurant

And of course, the key lime pie finisher. Pure yum!

Morning coffee and the ocean, priceless

The next day, it was going to be a lot warmer, so we were ready for some beach time adventures. But first, coffee. 

Panama City Beach, Florida

And then brunch...

The Donut Hole, Inlet Beach, Florida

Which took us to our favorite place, The Donut Hole

The Donut Hole, Inlet Beach, Florida

The atmosphere just radiates brunch. It is light and airy and smells of sweet yummy goodness tickle your nose the minute you walk in. If there is a wait, you can play yard games or sit and relax outside. We got there at the perfect time with barely a wait. 

The Donut Hole, Inlet Beach, Florida

Right when you walk in is the donut and pastry madness. At that time, I wanted one of each. 

The Donut Hole, Inlet Beach, Florida

Then there was the cake case. Dead stop. Cheesecakes, layer cakes, brownies, all of the goodies you could want. All made in-house, so again, how do you choose?

The Donut Hole, Inlet Beach, Florida

The Donut Hole, Inlet Beach, Florida

The Donut Hole, Inlet Beach, Florida

They have an extensive menu from breakfast items, to sandwiches and salads. It was very hard to choose but I think the "Diet" Plate seemed like the only logical choice for this Dietitian. It seriously was everything I loved about brunch in one dish. 

The Diet Plate at The Donut Hole, Inlet Beach, Florida

I will take another please!  Jason got the same thing and I think I ate more than he did, almost cleaned my plate. 

Small Chocolate Chip Pancake at The Donut Hole, Inlet Beach, Florida

Brenda ordered the chocolate chip pancakes and of course I had to try these too. This was a short stack and were stellar. 

Seaside, Florida

We then drove along the ocean and stopped a few places, including the cute little town of Seaside for a drink and a little shopping. The views are what I channel when I take my mini breathing breaks throughout the day. I definitely want to go back here when we have more time. Highly recommend as a great place to go on your Florida vacation. 

Key Lime Pie at Andy's Flour Power Cafe and Bakery Panama City Beach, Florida.

And of course I had to end the night with my to-go key lime pie from The Donut Hole. 

Key Lime Martini at Andy's Flour Power Cafe and Bakery Panama City Beach, Florida.

The last day started out with more key lime pie. I started the morning (ha, yes the morning) with a key lime martini at Andy's Flour Power Cafe & Bakery oh and we had brunch too but this was the most delicious part of the meal in my eyes. I am so mad I didn't get their key lime pie because Jason did and said it was awesome. Next time Andy, I am coming for ya!

Another check off the bucket list in Panama City, Florida with my Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics shirt

We went on a little walking tour of Panama City Beach. I think what I like most about it, is it is not a city with a lot of hustle and bustle this time of year. It was a little chilly but I enjoyed the fact we had the beach to ourselves and we didn't have to fight any crowds while we were there. I am looking forward to another trip back for more sun, beach, ocean, oysters and key lime pie. 

Nosh Four. Weekly Soundtrack. 

PCB Weekly Soundtrack on AppleMusic and Spotify.
PCB Weekly Soundtrack is available on Apple Music and Spotify. 

Nosh Five. What I Love Right Now. 

Cake by the ocean, Panama City Beach, Florida

What I loved the most about this trip is our evening on the beach, watching the sunset, feeling the sand in our toes and the water on our feet. We chatted for hours and had cake by the ocean. There is nothing more precious than time with people you love. Those are moments you never get back but will live on forever. Brenda and I have started a new thing, so I will be sharing many more "cake by the ocean" adventures we will be having. 


*All views and opinions on products, food and businesses in this blog post are my own and are not sponsored in any way. I just love to share great things!


#WeeklyWisdom and Top 5 "You Can Do Hard Things" Nutrition Noshes

Nosh One. Wisdom.

#WeeklyWisdom: You can do hard things.

When was the last time you did something really hard?

I am not talking mildly hard, like opening a jar of pickles without assistance. I'm talking giving you a headache, making you nauseous, nervous sweats, increased heart rate, burst into ugly tears - hard. Take yourself back to this moment for just second. Think of all the madness happening in your head and heart at this time. Think of how your body was reacting to "this hard thing" you were doing or contemplating. How do you feel about it now?  You got through it and you are still here today. 

You can do hard things. 

You can come out of the other side, remember how it changed you and still keep moving along. Hard things come in all shapes and sizes and present themselves at different stages in our lives. They are a very personal part of our journey. When we choose to face those challenges head on, we take control of what scares the shit out of us. For my friend Stacey this year, it was a half Iron Man. For my friend Carrie this week, it was deep cleaning her sons bathroom and signing up for an aerial yoga class. For me, it is always and ever will be, making big life decisions. We all place ourselves in front of tall mountains and it is only ourselves who can make the decision to climb over them. 

Nosh Two. Weekly Conversation.

Conversations with Anne Elizabeth Podcast featuring Registered Dietitian, Stephanie Miezin

Today’s conversation is with Stephanie Miezen, a registered dietitian who has found joy in combining culinary and sports nutrition into working for Team USA.

I found Stephanie on Instagram with a photo that caught my eye in one of my favorite cities, Colorado Springs. Then I started to look more at her feed and it is filled with amazing food photos, easy nutrition information for fueling your body and video with culinary tips from her kitchen. After making one of her recipes for dates and almond butter that she had posted, she was in Korea for the Olympics with Team USA. Stephanie has had some amazing experiences so far in culinary and sports nutrition, including traveling abroad a few times to share her expertise. I know you will enjoy learning about her journey so far.

Connect with Stephanie on her Website, Facebook, and Instagram

Nosh Three. Weekly #HellYeah!

Do you ever have days where you are just so proud of what you do for a living?  Like "bursting from the seams" proud? When I attend the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting each year, this is exactly how I feel. It is beyond amazing to be in a room full with Registered Dietitians. It might not sound that exciting to everyone, I get it, but to me it is two thumbs up.  The other reason I loved it even more this year is because I got to be the keynote speaker in my home state and share my passion for our profession. After going to Utah, Idaho, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan, it was awesome to come home.

Always choose joy

I never do a presentation without this sweet gift from my friend Amanda. She gave this to me a year ago and now it goes with me when I do speaking engagements, which bring me so much joy. 

Keynote Speaker at the 2018 Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting

Keynote Speaker at the 2018 Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting

The theme of the meeting this year was "A Field of Opportunity to Improve the Health of Iowans." All the sessions will be available at www.eatrightiowa.org to watch for CPEU credit, so if you still need some credits or are interested in the sessions, look for them in 2019. The program was pretty crafty as it resembled the Farmer's Almanac. I have always been a fan of the Farmers Almanac because my sister loved it. She got a new one every year. 

Registered Dietitian friends are the best!

What was even more exciting is my dietitian friend Sylvia Klinger was there to present as well. She and I met a few years ago at a Midwest Dairy Nutrition Communicator conference. Sylvia is the queen of media and is doing such great things with nutrition education for the Hispanic community. She travels the world sharing her expertise and we were so lucky for her to be part of our meeting. 

Best roast beef ever!

It was also bittersweet as I received my last certificate of service as the outgoing Marketing Chair and Media Spokesperson. Who knows, there may be a comeback after a little break. We also had the best food. It's a dietitian conference right?  There has to be amazing food! This was my favorite, the best roast beef (so happy to see beef on the menu), mashed potatoes, roasted veggies and gravy. A good, wholesome Iowa meal. 

Dietitian friends are the greatest gift!

Another reason why it was so great to be presenting back in my home state, was to include my friends in my presentation. Jenny was one of the first people I met when I started my internship over almost 19 years ago and we have been friends ever since. She is the person who helped me find the job of my dreams and share her sister Stacey with me as another member of my tribe. This is why I was bursting at the seams proud of our profession, because of these kind of connections. They are priceless. 

Nosh Four. Weekly Music Playlist. 

You Can Do Hard Things Music Playlist on Apple Music and Spotify
This weeks "You Can Do Hard Things" Playlist can be found on Apple Music and Spotify. 

Nosh Five. What I Love Right Now.

AE's Daily Hellyeah Smoothie Mix and first reviews

I have created this new thing and it is still in the infancy stages but I really love it. Every morning, I combine an Anne Elizabeth approved smoothie mix of powders to blend with milk, frozen spinach and frozen berries or cacao and mint extract. My counter top looks like a disaster with all the bags and containers on it. So....I decided to have them blended all together into one product. I was able to give out samples at our meeting and got some great feedback from some friends and people who attended the conference. Ashley, Lyndi and Anita all shared some fun photos with me too so I had to share them with you as well. It is the real deal and is really delicious, cannot wait to share it with you and the rest of the world...very soon!


*All views and opinions on products, food and businesses in this blog post are my own and are not sponsored in any way. I just love to share great things!


#WeeklyWisdom and Top 5 Gift Giving Ideas Nutrition Noshes

Nosh One. Wisdom.

#WeeklyWisdom:  Be 1% better everyday. The Kaizen Method.
How are you striving to be 1% better everyday?

Each Monday, we have a department manager meeting with our store director, Ryan. We discuss the week ahead and our plan of action. At the end, he always shares something to inspire us, to give us purpose. A few weeks ago, he discussed this idea:  be 1% better everyday. 


I have never thought of conquering the day in this way before.  I have always "thought" bigger. How could 1% be enough?  If I am only striving for 1%, am I selling myself short?  I can do more than that...or so I thought. I would try too hard and then not even get close to 1% better in 365 days. I didn't see it as a commendable goal. 

When we make goals tangible and within our reach, it is much easier for us to change our mindset and decreased being overwhelmed by the big picture. We shift into "what can I do today" to reach my goals instead of "what do I need to do this entire year" to reach my goals. When we narrow it down, make it more specific and achievable, it is much less overwhelming therefore resulting in recognizable success. The daily success make a lifetime of success. 

At the end of our meeting, Ryan left us with this:  “When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. When you improve conditioning a little each day, eventually you have a big improvement in conditioning. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens — and when it happens, it lasts.” —John Wooden

Make it last, aim for 1% better everyday. 

 Nosh Two. Weekly Conversation.

Conversations with Anne Elizabeth Podcast, November 2018 Top 5 in 5

Each week, I put out my Weekly Wisdom Blog which includes my Top 5 Nutrition Noshes: my Weekly Wisdom, my Weekly Conversations, my Weekly #Hellyeah, my Weekly Kick Ass Jams and What I Love Right Now. At the end of each month, I want to get more up close and personal with you all on the other side of the airwaves. I will be recapping my crazy, delicious and random #hellyeah adventures in my  Top 5 in 5. November kicks off the holiday madness and I am chatting with you about being grateful and thankful all year long, while embracing the #hellyeah.

Nosh Three. Weekly #Hellyeah!

Hy-Vee Service Awards

At the end of October, I celebrated 10 years with Hy-Vee as a retail dietitian. 10 years, wowza. I will honestly say it truly does not seem that long. I am not kidding either!  I have said in the past, this work experience was one of the best decisions I have ever made and I continue to not feel like I am at "work" because I do love my job. I also love the company I work for, especially the amazing store, the Fleur Hy-Vee. Hy-Vee celebrates all employees starting at year 5, up to years 45 and up. I think it is mind-blowing to have people celebrate work anniversaries of those years. It speaks to how great the company I work for is. 

Ron Pearson Conference Center, West Des Moines, IA

We were honored at the Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines, with a lovely dinner. There were at least 13 other individuals from my store and at least 100 individuals from other stores in the Des Moines metro. This chocolate cake and wine was divine. 

My Mom

The best part of the evening was my date. I was very honored to have my Mom there. I remember back to when I told her and my Dad I was applying for a job in Des Moines at the kitchen table. It was a crossroads in my life and I know she was worried about the outcome. It was a joy to be able to celebrate this milestone together and the positive outcome resulting from the move. It a way, I must thank my first boss, Wes and my corporate dietitian at the time, Rochelle, for choosing me and offering me the job. It was the beginning of a better and happier life. I wouldn't have celebrated 10 years without them believing in me as retail dietitian. Looking forward to what there is to come in the next 10 years. 

Nosh Four. Weekly Music Playlist. 

1% Better Everyday Playlist of the Week on Apple Music and Spotify
1% Better Everyday Playlist of the Week on Apple Music and Spotify

Nosh Five. What I Love Right Now. 

Embarking on a #lessstuffmorelife mantra is still kind of hard for a lot of people to wrap their heads around, especially during this time of year. Just because it is how I choose to live my life, doesn't mean it is for everyone. I do like to give gifts to the special people in my life, all year round. Working in retail, I get to walk by a lot of things that catch my eye for gifts annnddd for myself. It is hard to resist temptation sometimes. When I do purchase a variety of things, I have a rule that it must come from the store I work in. I do not go after the best deals or drive to 15 different places for 15 different items. Shopping in one place helps me continue my devotion to less stuff more life. In honor of the upcoming holiday, I picked my favorites from around my store and I hope it will inspire you to think of gift giving in a different way. 

Top 5 #GiftGiving Ideas from AE and the Fleur Hy-Vee

Gift Giving Idea #1:  Make something from scratch
Gift Giving Idea #1:  Make something from scratch. There is nothing more special than spending time in your kitchen cooking or baking something you know one of your heartbeats will love. I had to purchase these very Anne Elizabeth appropriate bags for some sweet and savory goodies I plan to make. I will paper punch the top of the bags and tie them off with a pretty bow. Food is love.

Russell Stover Large Chocolate box
Gift Giving Idea #2:  Give something sweet. You can also give something sweet in #1 but if time is not on your side, there is a huge variety of sweets available during the holidays. I believe you can never go wrong with chocolate which is why this large box of Russell Stover's made my list. I gave this as a gift to my cousin Denis a couple of years ago and it was a hit. It  is a HUGE box of chocolates so it is a great conversation starter and you can share with everyone. The box does tell you which chocolate is what, so your friends and family can choose the one they like. 

Two Left Feet Sock Co
Gift Giving Idea #3:  Give the gift of warm feet.  I know, I know, socks are practical and is something we often get for a gift but I cannot think of anything better than cute designs to warm my piggies. You don't have to buy the boring and lame socks, pick out a pair matching the personality of your receiver (I am eyeing the egg ones for my friend Carlena). This is a great way to put some thought into your heartbeat and wish them warm, cozy and fashionable feet during the cold months.

Duke Cannon personal products
Gift Giving Idea #4:  For the men in your life. I love walking by this section of the store because is smells dreamy. Duke Cannon products, inspired by the products issued to G.I.'s during the Korean War and produced in the same U.S. based and family-owned company plant in Minnesota that supplied it during that era, is one of my favorite lines to purchase from for all the men in my life. Grandpas, Dads, brothers, boyfriends, husbands, nephews or your paper boy would love anything from this collection. There are body soaps, facial soaps, beard oils and balms, shave and aftershave products and body lotions.  My favorite is the Big Ass Brick of Soap. The best part, Duke Cannon is committed to giving back and a portion of their proceeds directly supports Veteran causes. Give your guy a laugh and help them smell good this year. 

Fur sweater from F&F Clothing
Gift Giving Idea #5:  For the women in your life. I still cannot believe inside my grocery store is a rockstar clothing store. F&F has so many fashionable and reasonably priced pieces of clothing for all shapes and sizes. There are jeans, pants, blouses, tees, coats, workout clothing, accessories, and #1 on my list: sweaters. When it comes to an article of clothing, an awesome cozy sweater can't be beat. Why I chose this as a great gift idea for all my girls is the fur. Just a touch of fur adds the right amount of glam to make it even more special. This sweater would look great on all my family and friends, even Gramma Alice who wears fur like celebrity. 

There you have my Top 5 Gift Giving ideas for 2018. Keep it simple, give from the heart and make sure it has purpose. People do not need more stuff, they need things to give more meaning to their lives. 


*All views and opinions on products, food and businesses in this blog post are my own and are not sponsored in any way. I just love to share great things!