5 Guilt-Free Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Cinco de Mayo is a day full of celebration and great food. Like most holidays, it’s hard not to stray from your diet. However, there is a way to still celebrate without all the added guilt. Try out these 5 Cinco de Mayo recipes that are going to be a bit healthier than your typical Cinco de Mayo dishes.

Ranch Guacamole


What’s a fiesta without some guacamole? Enjoy this fast ranch guacamole recipe to share with your friends. You won’t be disappointed!


  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 ripe peeled avocado, seeded
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 chopped, seeded, tomato
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red or sweet onion
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 to 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1. Slightly thaw frozen peas at room temperature.

2. Place peas in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Set aside.

3. Mash avocado with a fork or potato masher in a medium bowl. Add in the lemon juice, tomato, onion, jalapeño, garlic, and cilantro. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Add prepared peas and mix well.

4. Cover tightly and refrigerate for several hours. Serve with an array of fresh vegetables such as bell pepper strips, jicama, summer squash, and cherry tomatoes.

Oh and the bonus? It’s only 49 calories per serving!

Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas


Fajitas have to be one of the best foods to ever exist. They are also often a guilty pleasure. However, with this recipe, you get to enjoy fajitas without the guilt because it’s healthier!


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt 1.


1. Lime wedges, cilantro, sour cream, avocado and/or pico de gallo for serving

2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray

3. Cut chicken breasts in half horizontally, then slice crosswise into strips. Combine oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat with the spice mixture. Add bell peppers and onion and stir to combine. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to the prepared baking sheet and spread in an even layer

4. Roast on the middle rack for 15 minutes. Leave the pan there and turn the broiler to high. Broil until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are browning in spots, about 5 minutes more. Remove from oven. Stir in lime juice.

5. Serve the chicken and vegetables in warmed tortillas accompanied by lime wedges and topped with cilantro, sour cream, avocado and/or pico de gallo, if desired.


Baked Churros


Churros are a Cinco de Mayo staple. With this specific recipe, they are going to be baked instead of fried! While these obviously aren’t the healthiest thing in the world for you, at least you won’t be eating them fried!


  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour


  • Parchment paper or baking mat
  • Pastry bag with 3/4-in open-star tip or 1-quart sealable plastic bag 1.


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.

2. Combine water, butter, brown sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until the butter is melted and the mixture starts to boil. Remove from heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour until completely incorporated and the mixture starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let cool for 5 minutes.

3. Whisk eggs and vanilla in a small bowl. Add to the dough and stir until completely incorporated. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a ¾-inch open-star tip. (Alternatively, if using a 1-quart sealable plastic bag, fill it with dough and seal almost completely, leaving a small opening for air to escape from the top as you squeeze. Snip off a bottom corner, making a ¾-inch-wide opening.) Pipe the dough onto the prepared baking sheet to make 12 churros, each 4 inches long.

4. Bake the churros, turning once halfway, until puffed and browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

5. Combine sugar and cinnamon on a shallow plate. Roll the hot churros in the mixture and transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.


Chicken Quesadillas with Roasted Corn Salsachkn-quesadilla-hl-1084376-x

Quesadillas are a classic finger food that not many people can turn away. When veggies are added to the mix like in this case, they can even have nutritious value!



  • 1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
  • 3/4 cup chunky bottled salsa
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup grated queso fresco or Monterey Jack cheese


1. Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn; cook 5 minutes, stirring until lightly charred. Remove from heat; wipe skillet clean.

2. Combine corn, salsa, cilantro, and 2 tablespoons lime juice in bowl.

3. Place chicken in medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoon lime juice, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper; stir well and set aside.

4. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in skillet over medium heat. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes or until it is heated through, stirring occasionally. Add garlic during last 30 seconds of cooking. Transfer chicken to a plate; wipe skillet clean.

5. Wrap tortillas in a paper towel; microwave on HIGH about 15 seconds or until warm. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over half of each tortilla; top each with chicken and 2 tablespoons salsa. Fold tortillas in half; brush tops with remaining oil; sprinkle with salt, if desired.

6. Heat skillet over medium-low heat. Add 2 quesadillas, oiled sides down, pressing to flatten. Cook 1 minute or until lightly browned. Flip; cook 45 seconds and transfer to a cutting board. Repeat procedure with remaining quesadillas.

7. Cut quesadillas into wedges; serve hot with remaining salsa.

Salsa Cruda


Last but not least, the most important thing you will need for your Cinco de Mayo feast, is a delicious salsa.


  • 1 1/2 pounds cherry or grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 jalapeno chile peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 serrano chile pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 pinch white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt to taste


1. Drain tomatoes in a strainer for 15 minutes.

2. Combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeno pepper, serrano pepper, and garlic in a large bowl.

3. Pour lime juice over the top.

4. Stir in oregano, cayenne pepper, salt, sugar, mint, and cilantro.

5. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

6. Season with salt to taste.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!



30-Minute Workouts You Must Try

With the school year rapidly coming to a close, it can be hard to fit in an exercise routine. You spend a lot of your time in the library and eat whatever is fast. It’s easy to skip working out because you feel like you can’t afford to take any time off from studying to hit the gym.

Lucky for all the exhausted college students out there, there are many exercise routines that can take just 30 minutes. You can burn calories quickly and get back to studying.

1. Treadmill Interval Workout


Thanks to this article found on Popsugar, they broke down an interval schedule for us to use on the treadmill. They even broke it down by speed and incline. This program will be sure to incorporate cardio to burn calories while toning the glutes at the same time.

2. Upper Body Dumbbell Workout1b298c0ac052011075707e9f10854679.jpg

If you are wanting to use dumbbells to tone your upper body, this one is for you. This article even gives a more thorough description of the exercises and a suggested Spotify playlist, so be sure to check it out!

3. 30 Minute Bootcamp


This 30 minute bootcamp routine is broken down into one minute intervals. Push yourself during this half hour and you’re sure to see results!

4. 30 Minute Yoga


Attention everyone who loves yoga! This one is for you. This incorporates several different yoga positions to hold for 30 seconds at a time. You’ll have to repeat them to use the whole 30 minutes and for maximum results. To get the workout, click here.

5. Spell Your Name


This workout is just a little combination of everything. It can be done quickly, but is still challenging.

6. No-Equipment Workout


If you can’t make it to the gym but still want to exercise from the comfort of your own home, this one is for you. These exercises are sure to tone your body without the hassle of equipment.

I hope that you all decide to give these a try! Good luck!

5 Things Frequent Gym Users are Tired of Hearing

Everyone who goes to the gym has their pet peeves. Maybe it’s when the gym is too crowded or when people don’t put away the dumbbells when they’re done. Whatever it may be, everyone has one pet peeve in common. Excuses!

To (hopefully) help eliminate this, I’ve come up with 5 things frequent gym users are tired of hearing.

1. “I don’t have time.”


This is one big excuse. Even if it is just one 30 minute workout thrown in a few times a week, it’s better than nothing. You can squeeze in a quick gym session if you try hard enough. It helps if you think ahead and write down in your planner when you will go.

2. “Exercise is boring.”


What? Exercise can be fun! You just have to find something that you like to do. Try a little bit of everything. There are so many different things you can do, ranging from group classes to exercise videos. You can even join an intramural sport! Surely there is something out there that you will enjoy.

3. “The rec is intimidating.”


I’ll give it to you, the rec can be very intimidating. Especially if you are a beginner or are shy, it can be particularly tough when it’s crowded. If that’s the case, try to find times that aren’t super busy like the early morning or late afternoon. The best thing to do is keep in mind that everyone is there for the same reason that you are.

4. “I have no motivation.”


This is easy to fix. Just think of all the health benefits exercise can bring you and that should be enough motivation in itself. If you need an extra push, go with a friend or wear a fitness tracker. Nobody feels motivated 24/7 but that’s okay. You have to power through. Once you start seeing results, that will motivate you even further. If you don’t have motivation, find some!

5. “I’m not sure if I’m doing it right.”


I understand being concerned that you’re not doing it right. However, everybody had to start somewhere. Most people have gone through this at some point. Ask a trainer, an experienced friend, or even turn to the Internet for help! There are so many resources and people out there that can help. It’s silly to let that stop you from achieving your goals.

With this said, there’s no more room for excuses! Next time someone approaches you with an excuse, give them one of these solutions.

Congratulations to Addie!

We are overjoyed to announce that our very own Addie Douglas has received the 2016 Excellence in Community Service Award. Addie is our Custodial Foreman at the Foster Recreation Center and works very hard to make sure the facility is in the best shape every single day.

To give you an idea of who Addie is, she is the person who is always ready to welcome you with a smile and warm greeting when you come into the office. If you truly know Addie, you know that she genuinely cares about the people around her and wants to know what is happening in their lives. Addie has even helped the Foster Recreation staff become more proactive when it comes to volunteering by gathering information and educating us on the different events happening arouIMG_1009.jpgnd southwest Missouri.

When I was informed Addie won the award for Excellence in Community Service, it was not a surprise. This award is presented annually to two individuals who are considered faculty or staff and are recognized for their excellence in volunteer work with charitable, nonprofit, church, or similar organizations within the community. The criteria for this aware comes down to selecting someone who; has personal action to service community causes, significant and sustained record of volunteer service, significant contribution to improve the quality of life, promotion of values consistent with the betterment of society, in good standing with the University, and employment with the University for a minimum of three years.

Addie is truly one of the friendliest, generous, and compassionate people I have ever met in my entire life. We are grateful to have Addie working in our facility and cannot wait to see what other amazing achievements are in her future.


Holiday Tips to Avoid Weight Gain

Winter Break is almost upon us. Finals are wrapping up and the stress is beginning to melt away as the snow will soon be piling up. Everyone will head home or gather with friends and celebrate the holidays. Which means holiday parties, holiday treats and the worst of the three, holiday weight gain. Between sugary treats and holiday cocktails (if you’re of age of course), your body will be on sugar overload. But that’s why I’m here to help you enjoy the holidays without hating your waist size afterwards.

The Hawaiian Rolls do not make a Hawaiian Beach Body


I adored Hawaiian rolls at every holiday dinner. This sweet-bread-goodness is amazing but they are carb central and will for sure throw you off your diet goals. Focusing on proteins will help fill you up and make you less roll-hungry so you can be beach body ready come spring.

Besides it’s called a roll for a reason; it’s meant for bread not your belly.

Avoid the Beer and “Mix” it Up


Avoiding a Santa belly is relatively simple; avoid the beer. If you’re going to enjoy holiday adult beverages, it’s better to avoid beer and go for more hard liquors mixed with either water with a touch of lime or diet mixes. This greatly reduces carb and caloric intake. Essentially it does the job without giving you the belly to deal with. So drink responsibly, and definitely don’t drink and sleigh unless someone else is manning the sleigh.

Chow Down on Fruit


Your grandma was onto something when she brought fruitcake to family gatherings. There are always fruit trays at every holiday party, so take advantage of that and fill up on a sweet and healthy alternative to dessert. This can also keep you from drifting over to the dessert table.  So get it while you can, especially strawberries. Those are the first to go.

Put a Spin on the Nog


Eggnog is my jam. Seriously I need it every time December rolls around. But as we all know that liquidy goodness does come at a price….or does it? Thanks to Almond milk; a great and tasty alternative is available.


  • 6 organic eggs, separated
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup*
  • ¾ cup coconut milk, canned
  • 1 ½ cups almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • ground nutmeg


  1. Beat the egg whites in a large bowl just until stiff.
  2. If you used a stand mixer, remove the egg whites from the stand mixer bowl into a separate bowl. (Otherwise just set aside and use another large bowl for the next steps.)
  3. In a large bowl (either your stand mixer bowl or a different bowl), whisk the egg yolks with the maple syrup until thick and creamy. Slowly add the almond milk as you continue to whisk. Then slowly add the coconut milk, again as you whisk. Whisk until the mixture is smooth, then add the vanilla.
  4. Lastly, gently whisk in the egg whites until your eggnog is nice and smooth.
  5. Pour into 2 quart-sized mason jars, cover tightly, and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight until it’s very cold.
  6. When you’re ready to enjoy, shake up the mason jars well before serving – you could even put your eggnog in the blender and blend for a few seconds to get a nice froth on top.
  7. Top each glass with a little ground nutmeg.


*You may substitute your favorite natural sweetener, such as honey. However, I’ve found that maple syrup offers the best taste.

It’s yummy, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free. It takes around 10 to 15 minutes and bam! Eggnog for days.

Switch the Mashed with the Sweet


There are 5000 different ways to make mashed potatoes. Garlic mashed potatoes, buttered mashed potatoes, chipotle-mashed potatoes, brown gravy mashed potatoes, if there’s a style, there’s a mashed potato to go with it. But regular potatoes are loaded with starch and aren’t exactly the best for you. Surprisingly though, sweet potatoes are much better for you. I’ve found baking them with a little brown sugar is the best. But there are tons of other recipes online that are delicious and healthy. So ditch the mashed and sweeten things up a bit.

We hope these few tips help you out this holiday season and that your finals go great. Be safe bears, and we hope to see you next year.

6 Smartphone Apps That Will Benefit Your Health

Sometimes trying to get healthy can be intimidating. You look around the gym and see it packed with people targeting a specific muscle lifting three times as much as you can. It seems as if  they know exactly what they are doing.

Meanwhile, you stare at your treadmill and just hope that you don’t fall off while you run. You want to tone your arms but don’t know how so you settle for a cardio machine. If only you were like those people who knew exactly what to do to target those problem areas.

You are not alone. Those people who seem to know what they are doing had to start somewhere. People who have been in the same boat came up with the genius idea of utilizing technology to improve fitness and health. There are many apps that can be downloaded that will tell you exactly what to do and for how long.

Try these apps out and trust me when I say that your daily routine will never be the same.

1. Nike+ Training Club


Nike+ Training was one of the best things to happen to my fitness routine. What is so nice about this app is there are so many different settings for all different skill levels. It allows you to customize your training plan based on your needs and what you want to accomplish. There are even different workouts so you can choose what you want to work on that day, such as core or arms.

Your plan is customized and can constantly change so no more punishing yourself and going back to square one when you skip a couple days. If you don’t know what a move is, you can watch a short video from the trainers themselves teaching you how to do it using proper form. A lot of these exercises are dumbbells or body weight exercises, so you can do them in the comfort of your own home. You can even connect the app to Nike+ Run Club and incorporate that to your weekly plan.

2. Lose It

This app isn’t just for people who want to lose weight. While it is very helpful if that is your goal, it has other features too. It just makes you conscious on what you are putting in your body each day and how much exercise you are actually getting. Especially as a college student, it is easy to underestimate how much time you spend sitting in a day while studying.

Tracking this makes you aware of what you are doing and even how much water you are consuming. After just a few days using this app I quickly realized I needed to put the Diet Coke away and start drinking way more water. I also realized that eating macaroni and cheese 3 times a week wasn’t getting me anywhere and I should probably start eating something with more nutrients.

3. Couch to 5kcouchto5k-multiple-screens.png

Who says that you can’t become a runner? I wanted to start running because I have been told multiple times that it reduces stress because of endorphins. The problem was, I hated running. I had the tennis shoes. I had the playlist. I even had the Fitbit. I just didn’t like it and pushed myself too hard too fast and ended up quitting and going home feeling defeated because of how worn out I was. The problem was that I wasn’t taking the correct approach. Couch to 5k is again an app that can be customized to your needs.

I started on the beginner plan and rolled my eyes because I thought it was way too easy so I bumped it up. Big mistake. I was sore for like 4 days then I just missed more workouts. Even if you think it’s too easy at first, it may be, but don’t overdo it. Maybe you can handle a little step up but going easy at first isn’t bad. It gets your body used to it and even if you think you already have endurance built up, the slow pace really gets you ready for what is to come. You’ll be running that 5k in no time!

4. Fitbit

I know many of the fitness trackers are similar and have similar apps, I’m just partial to Fitbit. I think it’s easy to use and has many wonderful features. Yes this does require you to have a Fitbit to get the full benefits, but I think it’s worth the price you pay.

For me, I knew I was always tired and not sleeping well. However, my Fitbit proved to me that I was really not sleeping well and needed to do something about it. I actually showed my doctor my charts that it tracked and we worked out a plan. By no means is my sleep schedule perfect, but it has improved tremendously. I think that tracking your sleep is an amazing feature and us college students underestimate how important a good night sleep is to our health.

Along with the sleep tracker, you can track your food, steps, stairs, physical activity, etc. Some Fitbits even calculate your heart rate which is awesome. Another cool thing about this app is you can connect it with other apps as well such as Lose It and Weight Watchers. There’s also a feature that allows for friendly competition with your friends and family to see who took the most steps in a day. Talk about motivation!

5. MyPlate Calorie Tracker myplate

MyPlate is another one of those tracker apps. It helps you set goals, gives you healthy recipes by the website, and gives you exercises if you are unsure what to do. It helps you know what to change based on the information you put in such as height, weight, physical activity, diet, and water intake. This app focuses on customized plans whether it’s to lose weight, gain weight, be fit, or lower your blood pressure for better cardiovascular health.

This app also has a community feature which is my favorite thing and it’s where people in the same situation can chat and I find it really motivating.

6. Headspace

Headspace is an app that walks you through guided meditations and claims to improve focus, relieve anxiety, reduce stress, and help exercise mindfulness. It claims that another benefit of meditation is an improvement in training, eating, sleeping, focus, and relationships. I figured it was worth a shot.

I first heard about Headspace through my aunt. I have been lectured time and time again about how beneficial yoga and meditation is for your health because of how much it reduces stress. I never listened because I thought that meditation could never help me. I didn’t feel like I had the time or patience.

However, when I logged on and saw that there were over 43,000 people meditating at that moment using the app and the fact that it had 5 stars and praise from celebrities and trustworthy companies, I started getting excited.

This app is incredible. They have so many sessions for everything you could ever need in life. They are broken down into series or single sessions. Some of the topics include sports, foundation, beginning, health, relationships, commuting, eating, walking, cooking, sleeping, fear of flying, sos (which is if you are in dire need right then), running, and the list goes on and on. There’s even a section for kids!

Some of them do cost extra, but I recommend downloading and see what route you decide to take. It has saved my sleep and I really do see a difference in how stressed I get about school and my study habits and I haven’t even been using it that long. I’m excited to try out more sessions and see what happens.

With all of these resources plus many more out there, there is no more “I don’t know what to do” excuse that is valid! You can finally achieve your goals and the best part is, you can do so on the go.

Download these as a start, get out there, and start working on becoming the best you that you can possibly be.



10 Reasons to Choose Campus Rec

10. You’ll feel like you can do anything.


9. You can’t GTL without the gym.


8. And there’s that love/hate relationship with being sore.


7. But then all that hard work starts to pay off and you notice them gains.


6. People watching. Let’s be honest.. we all do it and we all love it. Who hasn’t made that awkward eye contact before?


5. Everyone looks good in gym clothes. Ugh, why is business casual even a thing?


4. Where else is log rolling a socially acceptable exercise?


3. Exercise equals endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people don’t fail finals, they just don’t.


2. You never know who you might run into


1. You can totally justify that box of Hurts Donuts you ate the other night.

We’ve all been there. brb drooling..


Tips and Tricks on Staying Fit in an Office

If you are stuck sitting in an office chair all day – I feel your pain.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my job but as a young professional I am always looking for ways to keep active throughout the day.

People always comment on how cool it is that I work at a gym and I definitely agree, however; sometimes motivation to work out here because I’ve already been here all day. I know many of my coworkers feel the same way and I wanted to find out if they had any tips and tricks to share about staying fit in an office.

They did not disappoint.

Walk, walk, walk

You’ve heard this one plenty of times before but let me just reiterate.. walk, walk, walk.

Starting your morning off with a walk is a great way to relax and clear your head before the day begins. If walking or riding a bike to work is not an option for you then try to park further away. You can always bring extra shoes to change into once you get to the office.

Try not to take the elevator either and take advantage of those stairs. If you need to start off small, do so. Take the elevator up halfway and walk the rest until you get comfortable to walk the entire way. Stairs are awesome cardio and great for those legs!

Workout during your lunch hour

Let’s face it, after an exhausting day at work it’s hard to find motivation to make it to the gym so setting aside time during lunch is a great alternative.

Honestly, who needs an hour to eat anyway? #amiright

Try to take that time to go for a run, brisk walk, or head to the gym for a quit workout. Better yet, grab someone from the office to go with you. By finding a workout buddy you can keep each other accountable.

Did you know that exercising with a partner improves weight-loss results? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Packing your lunch

Bring your lunch and quit eating out. Sometimes easier said than done, but by bringing a lunch you are able to keep an eye on what you eat and can avoid the pressure to go out somewhere that may not be the healthiest. Sometimes it may be tempting to go out with everyone but you will be able to save a lot of money AND you can go to the gym because you won’t need an hour to eat. Win-win.

Okay, okay. I realize birthday and holidays happen, and then desserts are brought into the office. If you work or have worked in an office I’m sure at one point you’ve told yourself that you were going to eat healthy and then someone brings in donuts.. or cake.. or cookies (Insomnia Cookies and Hurt’s Donuts shout-out). Don’t worry, it happens to all of us. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to enjoy life! You just don’t need to enjoy that whole box of donuts 😉

Get up and stretch

Make sure you remember to take a break every 1 to 2 hours. Take this time to stretch, do a quick circuit, or take a walk to a bathroom {the furthest one from you}.

Circuit Training is a mixture of cardio and strength training. It helps improve your metabolism and challenges your whole body. It’s easy to do a quick set of squats, pushups, and kettle-bell swings if you have enough space.

Or you can always do what Jarrad does and use an exercise ball as an office chair to help improve your stability. Research shows that stability balls are great resources for burning calories and keeps you moving but should be used for only 20-30 minutes at a time to avoid bad posture.

Remembering some of these tips and tricks can help you stay fit in the office and gives everyone around you motivation to follow suit.