Monday, June 25, 2012

Confessions of a Healthy Eater

      There are so many articles, infomercials, personalities, and schemes about dieting and exercising, it honestly drives me bonkers.  There is no magic pill, special exercise equipment, or overnight solution to lose weight.  To me, some of the most ridiculous diet solutions include the "gluten free" diet, sprinkling something on your food to curb hunger, leaving out vital food groups like carbohydrates, and drinking shakes rather than eating food. Staying on topic, exercise gimmicks are just as foolish in my opinion, and vibrating belts do not make you skinny.  Being a healthy weight, and having the right amount of body fat is a lifestyle, and requires nothing more than choosing the right foods, and being active in some way.
      I will start with my healthy food theories, because, quite honestly, you cannot be healthy if you eat fast food and chips on a regular basis.  Eating involves colors, textures, flavors, and varieties from all of the important food groups to ensure you get the proper nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.  I believe that one of the best ways to provide yourself with a healthy diet, is to stick to whole foods as much as possible.   My definition of "whole foods" is an edible product that is not altered dramatically on its travel from nature to the supermarket.  Whole foods in my world include: produce, fish, meat, brown rice, whole wheat flour, oats, honey, milk, eggs, and cheese.  I do the best I can to keep my diet as close to whole food choices as I can, however, this is a modern world of convenience, and one must change with the times.
       If I did not eat some packaged products, I would not be realistic with the way of today's fast pace world.  There are of course foods I eat from the other aisles in my grocery store, and I will share with you how I decide that the food fits into a healthy diet.  First I try to purchase food items with as few ingredients as possible, and I prefer to recognize and understand what each ingredient means.  I buy cold cereals for a breakfast choice, and most of them contain between four and eight foods or additives on the ingredient list.  Similarly, my peanut butter contains two ingredients, like my yogurt and rice cakes, and the crackers I buy have three foods in them.  Getting familiar with ingredients helps tremendously, so that I am not ruling out a product without knowing all the information.  For instance, ascorbic acid is simply vitamin C, so when I see it in applesauce, it does not deter me from buying a particular brand.
      Also, the first ingredient should be a whole grain, fruit, vegetable, fish, or meat.  This is an important rule, and I find it most useful in the packaged bread aisle.  There are not many brand choices where bread contains very few ingredients today, so I at least make sure that the first ingredient is a sound choice.  Whole wheat flour is the best choice as the first ingredient.  This rule also works well when choosing granola bars or cereal bars, crackers, and canned goods.
      It would be nice if food alone could keep us healthy, fit, and toned, but in truth, humans need to stay active and flexible in order to maintain a healthy life.  Lucky for me, I love to get moving, but I do understand that this can be difficult, even I can feel lazy at times.  In general, I am a motivated exerciser, and I have developed certain theories over time, which I think help me stay focused, and active.
      Most importantly, one needs to like the exercise in order to stick with it.  Running is not for everyone, in the same way that not everyone wants to learn downward facing dog.  Finding out what your love is can take time, but simple trial and error works well here.  If using this approach, do not spend 500 dollars on the newest workout infomercial guru only to find out you hate that particular exercise.  Personally, I love kickboxing, Pilates, yoga, total body weightlifting, and circuit training; I hate running, the treadmill, dancing, and plyometrics.  It is difficult to get motivated when you do not like the task at hand.  Every person is different, and for some, it might take a little "thinking outside the box" to figure out your workout personality.
      The burst of energy that comes after or during a loved exercise or activity is like being on a natural high.  On days when I am not motivated, it helps enormously if I think of that feeling.  It seems to at least get me started, and once you start, it is likely you will continue.  Another tip that benefits me is to do something everyday.  By this, I mean that if I do not have time, or I am not in the mood, I still make sure to fit in some level of activity for a specified time.  Examples are doing a quick 10 minute workout session, or taking my dog for a long walk.  I do this because it keeps me on track.  For me, completely skipping a day makes it easier to have an excuse for the next day.
      My next tip is somewhat corny, but I find it useful so I will tell the world.  While exercising, I focus on one part of my body that I love.  Many people look in the mirror and stare at some aspect of thyself that is not perfect, and I find that to be demeaning, contradictory to healthy living, and unproductive.  Instead, I find something I like, whatever it may be, and I concentrate on it during my workout.  For example, I like my calves, so if I am doing squats, I watch my calves in the mirror as I complete the exercise.  Doing this makes me feel confident, empowered, and happy, which is the ultimate goal!
      Being healthy is about choices, knowledge, movement, and lifestyle.  Listening to the newest fad will let you down, and decrease your motivation. In any event, it is not a long term solution; you cannot sprinkle a magic solution on your food forever.  In order to be fit, one needs to make smart food choices, and get involved with daily activity.  I am a believer in whole foods, nutritious ingredients, and physical exercise to stay healthy and maintain a healthy life.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"Toy Recycling"

From the time my daughter was a baby, I have been doing something my mother-in-law calls "Toy Recycling."  It was easier to do when she was months old, but I still use this tactic to some degree.  "Toy Recycling" is a great way to decrease boredom, increase brain activity, and save money.  I takes some effort, but not much, and really keeps my daughter engaged.

When my baby was about four months to twelve months old, I kept some of her toys in a closet.  Every month or so, I would take the toys in her closet out for her to use, and put some play things she had out away.  Bringing "new" toys into her world every month was exciting to her, and she gained a new interest in old things.  Also, being at a slightly different developmental level each time she played with one of her toys, she used them differently, and therefore formed new thoughts and skills.

At about a year old, my daughter started to ask for certain toys or activities, and I felt it was inconsiderate to put her toys away at an older age.  Also, at this point, she had too many toys to even keep track of, and hiding some seemed like more trouble than it was worth.  Rather than hiding toys, I rotate them around the house.  I change the location of her toys, books, and dolls.  For example, my daughter has a doll house.  Sometimes the doll house is in my bedroom, and sometimes it is located in my toddler's playroom.  There are also spots for her books in our living room, my daughter's playroom, and her bedroom.  Every so often, I grab a few, and rotate them to different bookshelves in the house.

I find that "Toy Recycling" keeps her interested in her play things and books, and gets her to think of new ways to play with the same toys.  For example, when I brought the doll house upstairs, it made my toddler use rooms of her doll house that she was not interested in before. Not to mention, keeping a toddler interested in the toys she has, means buying less toys.  Since holidays and birthdays only come twice a year, stretching toy enthusiasm definitely helps save money.  Spending a little time each month rotating toys is worth the rewards!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Four Ingredient Chicken

Chicken is the staple in everyone's freezer, and even kitchen novices know at least one chicken recipe.  It is a dinner go-to for almost everyone.  This is one of my favorite go-to recipes.  It literally takes fifteen minutes from start to finish, and that is being generous.  Everyone I have served it to comments on how delicious it is, I even served it to a very picky three year old!  Best of all, anyone can do it; no culinary degree needed.
Just a side note, I started out using Mccormick Montreal Chicken spice, which is still my absolute favorite.  However, I also use lemon pepper, an italian medley of my own, and plain old salt and pepper!
4 thinly sliced chicken breast cutlets
Mccormick Montreal Chicken spice
1 Tbls of olive oil
1 Tbls of butter (I use either "Best of Life" or "Smart Balance")
What to do:
Lie the chicken on a cutting board.  Using a fork, pierce the chicken all over on one side, then flip it, and pierce it all over the other side.  Season both sides generously with Montreal seasoning.
In a skillet that has a cover, heat the oil and butter over medium high heat.  Once the pan is hot, add the chicken.  Let the chicken brown on one side, about one to two minutes.  Turn the chicken over, and sear the other side.  Turn the stove to low heat, and cover the skillet.  Cook chicken for four minutes, then turn the chicken over.  Cook for an additional four minutes covered.  Plate the chicken, and pour the pan sauce over it

Thursday, June 14, 2012

How To Exercise With Your Baby

It has been said over and over, you should exercise while your baby naps. Sometimes that just does not work, so after spending some frustrating thirty minute sessions with my workout DVD’s, I came up with this list of exercises you CAN do with your baby. I have tested them all myself, and they work. I get my exercise, and my daughter absolutely loves all of these activities!
Put your baby in the stroller and go for a walk or a run. If you are feeling really ambitious, put your baby in an infant carrier and you have added weight.
Put on your favorite song playlist, and dance with your baby. Make sure you have enough songs to last at least thirty minutes.
My favorite-push ups! Lie your baby down on his/her back. Get into push up position, either on your knees, or all the way up on your toes. Your baby should be directly beneath you. Bend your elbows and bring your body down towards your baby. Each time you go down toward the floor, kiss one side of your baby’s cheek!
Weighted crunches-Lie down on your back with your knees bent; hold your baby on your chest. Lift up halfway, abs tight, and your arms outreached and holding your baby’s waist. Bring your baby side to side; having his/her feet lightly touch the floor.
Lower Abs-Lie flat on your back, legs together, and knees bent. Place your baby's stomach on your legs, directly below your knees. Hold on to your baby; I like to hold my daughter's hands. Bring your knees in towards your chest, then lower back down without touching the floor.
Arm workout-Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your lower back touching the floor. Hold your baby with bent arms right at your chest. Extend your arms straight up lifting your baby into the air directly above your chest, and then slowly bring your baby back down.

Choose one of the cardio sessions from above. Then, do each move 10-12 times, 2 sets each. If you do not have time to complete all of the moves at once, space them out throughout your day. Make sure you can do each move on your own before you try it with your baby!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Getting Your Toddler Involved in the Kitchen

I love the kitchen and everything it stands for; housing, cooking, and eating food!  I love creating and tasting dishes, and most definitely consider myself an amateur chef, and full fledged foodie.  Having my daughter help me in the kitchen is pure joy for me, and from my observations, she feels the same way.  Getting her involved has far more benefits than the opposite, and the experience is helpful to both of us.

There are many ways I include my daughter when I am in the cookery.  At about 10 months old, I created a drawer just for her.  I use a bottom pull out drawer, and stock it with items that are safe.  Some tools that I put in my daughter's drawer are spatulas, whisks, bowls, plastic cups, plastic food storage containers, plastic jars, and wooden spoons.  When I am in the cook's room, my daughter can open her drawer and play with items she sees me use.  It work fantastically for us.

Besides having her own kitchen accessories, my daughter also helps me cook.  It may seems like a 19 month old is not capable of doing "real" things in the kitchen, but I find the contrary to be true.  She is able to carry light items from the pantry, pour with assistance, and help mix.  She can also press down on batters that need to be in a pan, and place toppings on foods like pizza.  She is also a very good taste tester!

When we need to set the table, I have my daughter put napkins out, as well as spoons.  If I am using paper products, she is able to put those out as well.  Again, my tot is able to carry some items to the table if they are safe and light.  For instance, she can take the plastic ketchup bottle out of the refrigerator and bring it to the dining table.

Cleaning up is fun for my little one also, and I am taking advantage while I still can!  My daughter loves to wipe her highchair, the table, and the floor with a paper towel.  She also throws things in the garbage, and puts items back in the refrigerator.  If I lift her up, she can put safe dishes in the sink, and holds the dustpan for me.  

Though some things take longer when my little one is helping, it is better than not being able to do them all.  I find that if she helps, my daughter does not get bored, and I can actually complete kitchen tasks.  I have a blast watching her learn to do things, and she has fun assisting.  My tot gains so many useful skills and we get to share a passion of mine; it is a win-win in my house.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Homemade Granola

I recently followed a recipe for homemade granola, and instantly fell in love with the results.  What a fabulous snack, topping, or addition.  I used a book called, "The Teen's Vegetarian Cookbook" by Judy Krizmanic, and changed just a few of the ingredients to suit my taste.  The recipe was easy, though there were a decent amount of ingredients, and the cook time was not even 20 minutes.  I have been eating it ever since, and plan to make a second batch as soon as this one is finished.  Here is the recipe, and some ideas on how to use it will follow.

1 cup of sunflower seeds (without the shell)
1/2 cup of sesame seeds
1/4 cup of chopped or slivered almonds
3 cups of rolled oats
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 Tbls veg oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbls vanilla
3 Tbls honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup of dried fruit (I used chopped apricots)

Preheat oven to 350.  In a dry skillet, toast sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and almonds until they become fragrant.  This should be done using low heat, and should be stirred frequently.  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, except the dried fruit. (Yes, the toasted seeds and nuts should be added to the bowl).  Spread the mixture onto cookie sheets, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden.  (My oven took 17 minutes).  Stir the mixture a few times while baking.  Add the dried fruit when you take the granola out of the oven.  Let it cool on the cookie sheet.  Once cool, store in an airtight container.

Granola Uses:
Add 1/4 cup to yogurt
Add to cereal and milk
Mix with berries and cool whip
Use in trail mix
Add to vanilla ice cream/frozen yogurt
Mix with banana and peanut butter

Friday, June 8, 2012

Fall Off the Bone Indoor BBQ Chicken Legs

This is a true story, which will be followed by a real recipe.  Yesterday was one of those days where I could not get my daughter to eat anything.  I offered her all of her favorite foods, and kept suggesting things for her to eat.  Nonetheless, she said "no" to everything, and in fact, refused to even sit in her highchair.  During naptime, I made chicken legs for dinner.  It was still hot, and sitting in a covered pan on the stove when my daughter woke up.  We played together for a little while, and I started offering her some meal ideas.  It was now 4pm, and the only time she had eaten was breakfast.  Still refusing food, I brought her into the kitchen.  When she saw the pan on the stove, she asked to "see" what was in it.  I took the cover off and told my daughter I made chicken for dinner.  She said, "highchair, chicken!"  I was hesitant at first, there were 5 pieces of chicken, and there are 3 of us.  It was the last day before grocery shopping, so there were no other dinner options.  However, I caved and gave her some, out of the pure excitement that she finally showed interest in eating.  Well, here is how the story ends; my little nugget ate two whole chicken drumsticks, along with some corn.  When my husband came home from work, she ate more of his chicken also.  Moral of the story, that was some good chicken!  Here is the incredibly easy recipe:

Serves 3
5 chicken drumsticks, skins removed
one vidalia onion sliced into rings
4-5 Tbls store bought bbq sauce
salt and pepper
canola oil for the pan

Heat a large saute pan over med-high heat.  Add oil, enough to cover the pan.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Once the oil is very hot, add the chicken.  Brown on all sides. Lower the heat to low, add the onions to the pan, and drizzle bbq sauce on chicken.  Cover the pan, and cook on low for about 45 minutes, turning once.  You will know chicken is done when it starts to fall apart.

**I made instant brown rice and frozen broccoli and mixed them together.  When the chicken is finished, put the pieces on top of the rice, and pour the sauce from the pan over everything.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

How I Organize, Track, and Use Coupons

It is common knowledge that clipping coupons can help save money.  Knowing how to institute a coupon system on the other hand, is not as easy.  Before I had a structure to follow, I rarely used the coupons I had.  Most of the time, they sat in my purse, and I forgot I even had them.  When I finally remembered, they had already expired.  Now, I have a solid coupon routine, and it helps enormously.  I save an average of $15 a week on groceries just using the coupons found in the Sunday paper.  I need to add here that I am not one of those coupon clippers that buys a pallet of deodorant just because it was free.  I purchase healthy items that my family needs and likes.  Here is my coupon tools, methods, and strategies:

I have a small binder divided into multiple sections or categories. My divider is called "The Couponizer" and can be found online.  If you want to make your own, you can use a small 3-ring binder, sandwich zip lock bags, and labels.   There is an empty section in the front that I use during my shopping trip to keep the coupons I will need at the register.   The rest of the sections are alphabetically ordered categories, and are as follows:

Baking & Staples
Bread & Bakery
Canned Goods
Condiments, Dressings, & Spices
Frozen Foods
Health & Medicine
Household Cleaning
Household Maintenance
Paper & Plastic
Pasta & Quick Meals
Personal Hygiene & Beauty

I shop the same day every week, Friday, which helps to keep track of what I am doing.  I also keep a running list of items we need on the dry erase board on our refrigerator.  I write down items that are running low a few weeks before we will actually run out.  This gives me time to buy it when it is on sale.

Every Monday, I go through the binder and throw out any coupons that are expired, or will be expired by my next shopping trip.

On Wednesdays, I clip coupons, and put them into the appropriate category of my binder.  I check online to see if there are any coupons I can use, and I check my store website as well, since they have digital coupons that they add directly to my price plus card.

The rest of my week consists of matching coupons to the current store circular.  I go through the circular and circle items that are both on sale, I have coupon for, and my family can/will use.  I put a little "c" in the circled item to remember I have a coupon.  After that, I look through the circular and mark items that are just on sale and are worthwhile.

Next, I make my shopping list using the store advertisement that I marked.  When writing my list, I put the"c" mark next to products I have a coupon for.  When I use my list at the supermarket, I know to find the coupon for the particular item marked with a "c," and I put that coupon in the empty space in the front of the binder.  At the register, I simply pull out all the coupons in the front section, and hand them over!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Purely Sappy, Extra Corny

I am a naturally positive person, and I sometimes wonder if I ever annoy anyone with my attitude.  I can find the good in almost anything, and can always make myself smile.  I am giddy, energetic, and goofy, which at my age can be quite ridiculous (not that I plan on changing, sorry Babe)!

Besides my perky disposition; I am also a dreamer, emotional, and sentimental.  I copy inspirational quotes from a book I have onto the dry erase board on my refrigerator .  I write poetry, and love listening to the lyrics of songs.  I read memoirs because I love people, and I can find the good in everyone.

So here I am rambling on about myself, and I bet you are wondering the topic of this post.  I am giving you a list of some reasons I love life.  Now I am guessing you want to know why.  Well, for one, there is probably at least one love we share, and if not, I bet I can at least get you to think of something.  It is nice to remember things we love, for no other reason than to smile, and reminisce.  Our days are usually ridiculous, busy, stressful, and chaotic.  I am writing this so that for the few minutes it takes you to read this post, you can do nothing but think of something you love and hopefully, smile.

  •   Cool showers on hot summer days, and warm showers on cold winter days
  •   The beach
  •   The smell of coffee first thing in the morning
  •   Playing in the snow
  • . The accomplishment you feel after finishing a good book
  •   Getting together with friends
  •   Days when the weather is your own perfection (for me, that is sunny and 70 degrees!)
  •  There is a good quote to fit whatever mood you are in
  •   A favorite song being played on the radio when you are driving alone (I totally sing and dance by myself)
  •  Seeing my daughter  finally do something she has been practicing for a while
  • Going for a walk on a trail
  • Cooking good food
  • Finding a great new workout DVD
  • Getting cozy at night
  • Hugs
  • Ice-cream
  • Chick-flicks
  • Hammocks
  • Having people to love

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Getting A Toddler to Listen

Let's face it, no matter how good your tactics are, sometimes children do not follow directions.   It is a part of being a child, and it is going to happen.  However, I use several different approaches depending on the situation, and I can happily say that my daughter USUALLY ends up cooperating.  As I have said in a previous post, nothing about being a parent is predictable, so that should always be in the back of one's mind.  Nevertheless, there are strategies that work better than others, and I have been mostly successful.

Before I share these approaches with you, I feel it is necessary to share what toddlers are going through at this particular stage of development.  I think that understanding a toddler's struggles can help when faced with certain situations.

Toddlers are constantly attempting to learn and master new and challenging skills, such as walking, running, and climbing.  Although I do not remember these milestones in my own life, I am watching my daughter go through them.  It is exciting and wonderful, while being frustrating and scary.

Along with physical growth, toddlers are also trying to gain their independence.  I have found that this is the most challenging aspect as a parent.  This toddler mission explains why children of this age use the word "no" so many times in a day, and want to do things their own way.  In learning to be an independent individual, toddlers might test limits, and refuse to do things.  It is hard to balance the need for independence when one is still so dependent on others.

In addition, one and two year old children are learning to talk, but cannot always clearly express their wants and needs.  Toddlers also do not know how to appropriately display emotions, they are still learning.

Keeping all of this in mind, here are some helpful tips to get through this fun and active time in your child's life:
1.  Offer choices as much as you possibly can, even if it seems silly.  Make sure the choices are clear, and keep it simple.  Also, there should be a definite answer, "no" cannot be and option.  Here are some examples of times and ways I offer my daughter choices.
      "Would you like the blue plate or the orange plate?"
      "Who is going to brush teeth with you tonight, Mommy or Daddy?"
      "Are you going to wear your green shirt or your purple shirt?"
      "Do you want to get your diaper changed on the table or the bed?"
2.  Countdowns help end activities, or give warning to upcoming events.  I do five minute countdowns for my daughter.  I remind her how much time is left after each minute.  Examples of how I use this approach:
      "There are five minutes left until bedtime."
      "In five minutes we are leaving the park."
      "We are going into your stroller to walk the dog in five minutes."
3.  This advice was passed down from a very good friend, and a mom of three.  Have your child say "goodbye" to things/places when it is time to leave or stop the activity.   It gives your toddler a sense of closure and control, and it works well for my daughter.  Here are some times I use this method:
      "Say goodbye to the park.  Bye-bye swings, bye-bye slide and sandbox.  See you soon"
      "Time to say goodbye to the bath.  Bye-bye bath, thank you for getting me clean."
4.  Use distraction.  In other words, if your child is doing something you do not care for, try getting their attention on a different activity.  For instance, if your little one is throwing toys, start reading a book to a bunch of his/her dolls.
5.  Try not to use the word "no" or to make negative statements.  Tell your toddler what he/she CAN do, rather than telling what they cannot do.  For instance, if your little one starts to color on the floor you can say, "We can use crayons on paper."  In my daughter's playroom, we have one rack of DVDs.  When she starts to play with them, I say, "You can play with any of the toys in this room."
6.  Set your expectations before starting an activity.  State rules before you begin playing.
      "Let's keep the play dough on the mat."
      "We are going for a walk.  We hold hands outside."

Keep in mind that every child is different, and every day is different.  Sometimes one strategy will work one day, and not the next.  One approach might work for one toddler, but not another.  Experiment, and see which ones work for you and your child, and if you have any advice, please share!


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Convenience Foods that are Worth It

We do not eat many ready made foods.  I buy very few things from the frozen aisles at my supermarket.  However, I am a busy mom, and lets face it, it is 2012.  Some things are just easier, and why mess with that?  I have incorporated some convenience foods into our healthy diets.  These are a list of the ones I feel are truly worth it, keeping both the cost, and ease of use in mind.

Frozen fish fillets that are pre-packaged in the seafood department are usually cheaper, and are de-boned.  Be sure to check the ingredients to make sure the only one is fish, and check the package to be sure it is wild caught.  I will admit that fish does lose some flavor when packed this way, but with the right seasonings and cooking methods, it is still delicious!

I will buy turkey or chicken sausage if I find it on sale.  It can be high in sodium, but I make sure the rest of our meal is fresh.  For example, I will serve the sausage with tons of veggies and baked potato.

One of my FAVORITE convenience foods is instant brown rice.  This is rice that is ready to eat in 10 minutes or less.  You do not lose nutrients, it is a much better option than white rice, and it is super fast.  This is a go to addition to almost any meal.

Jarred pasta sauce is another convenience food that I now buy.  Before becoming a mom, I always made my sauce, however, this was an easy time-saving switch.  Today, you can find jarred sauce that is lower in sodium and contains few ingredients.  One of my favorite choices is Prego Heart Smart.  I can find coupons for it, it goes on sale, and it has few ingredients.  It also tastes good, and has low salt compared to other choices.

Salsa is one of those foods I absolutely LOVE to make, but I also have no problem buying a jar if I do not have the time.  It is versatile, low in calories, and inexpensive.

Last, but most certainly not least, FROZEN VEGGIES!  How can one resist?

Be sure to come back for a future blog, "Convenience Foods that are NOT Worth It!"

Friday, June 1, 2012

Super Easy, Super Fast, and Super Yummy Glazed Chicken with Broccoli

I made this for dinner tonight, and immediately knew I had to share.  This was a cinch to make, and came out delicious!  My toddler ate all of the broccoli on her plate, and asked for seconds!

Serves 3
Ready in 20 min

3 chicken breast cutlets
1 Tbls, plus more for the pan-olive oil
1 Tbls honey
1 Tbls spicy brown mustard
1 Tbls brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
two heads of broccoli crowns cut into bite size pieces

Heat a large skillet over med heat.  Meanwhile, wash and dry chicken.  Using a meat tenderizer, flatten the cutlets.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Add olive oil to the hot pan.  Add the chicken, and brown for about 3 minutes.  Turn chicken over, and brown second side.  Lower heat to low, and cook chicken an additional 3 minutes per side.

While chicken is cooking, whisk together the olive oil, honey, mustard, sugar, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

During the last minute or two of cooking, brush chicken with glaze.

Remove chicken from pan, and keep warm.

Add the broccoli to the same pan, and cover.  Turn the heat up slightly to med-low.  Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.