Elements of Fitness – A Mother's Memoir

Slow Cooker Thai Beef and Linguine

I wish Smell-O’vision existed… because if you walked into my house right now and smelled this Thai Beef cooking you’d probably pay me for this recipe!   I love my slow cooker.  I enjoy it so much I’ve considered buying 1 more!  I needed an extra one today because I also made Black Bean Soup at the same time as this recipe.   I will post that recipe next’ish.

Anyways, when someone talks about using their slow cooker or crock pot we usually think of pot roast, variations of chili or stews.  But this Thai Beef is to die for and its SO EASY!

Thai Beef and Linguine

thai beef slow cooker recipe1 large white onion
1-2lbs flank steak, fat trimmed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Stevia, (Truvia brand cooking/baking sugar alternative)
1/4 cup + 4 tsp low sodium soy sauce
the juice of 3 limes
2 TBL fresh ginger, finely chopped (reserving 1 tsp of juice)
1 TBL toasted sesame oil
1 pkg shitake mushroom linguine
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
4 tsp thai sweet chili sauce
Optional — 1/4 cup cilantro
Optional — 1 head of butter lettucce (Romaine lettuce will work as well)
Optional — chopped peanuts

If your slow cooker is not non-stick, spray with cooking spray.  Slice onion into rings and lay flat in the cooker.  Pat meat dry and cut shallow horizontal slits against grain on the top.  Place meat on top of onions.

In a med size bowl, combine garlic, stevia, 1/4 cup of the soy sauce, 3 TBL of the lime juice, ginger and oil.  Season with freshly ground black pepper.  Pour sauce over steak to coat.

Cover.  Cook on low for 4 1/2 to 6 hours.  While meat is cooking, mix reserved ginger juice, vinegar, chili sauce and remaining soy sauce and lime juice in medium bowl.  Cover and refrigerate. 

Cook pasta according to package instructions. 

Toss pasta into bowl of ginger dressing.  Remove meat from cooker, cover in foil and let stand for 10 minutes.  Cut steak into 1/2″ thick slices.  Serve pasta over optional lettuce and then place meat on top.  Garnish with cilantro and peanuts, if so desired. 

 

Please try it and let me know what you and your family think.  I bet it will be asked for often once they taste it!

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November 12, 2014 Posted by | Being a Mom, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, Low Fat Recipes, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tired of Eggs for Breakfast?

I love eggs for breakfast… but there’s mornings where I don’t have enough time and just want to grab something fast.

These are healthy, delicious and simple to make.  I made a batch this morning and I wish you could taste them!   Oh wait-  YOU CAN!   Here you go:

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Ingredients:

  • ½ cup oat flour (can be made by grinding whole oats in a blender or food processor)
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ¾ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 medium banana (mashed)
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries (optional)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted walnuts or almonds (optional)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. honey

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a non-stick cookie sheet with zero-calorie cooking spray (i.e. Pam).  Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and fold mixture together until well combined (**important to mix by hand and not in a blender**).  Scoop batter onto cookie sheet into ¼” balls.  Bake 12-14 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

October 4, 2014 Posted by | Being a Mom, Children, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Family Friendly Restaurants, Low Fat Recipes, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zucchini Lasagne with a Twist

 

This new version of my vegetarian lasagna recipe has a layer of quinoa to make it even healthier and adds a good amount of protein to each serving.   I’m not a big fan of quinoa by itself just like I’m not crazy about kale either, so if you don’t know anything about what I do, I take ordinarily unhealthy recipes and make them into metabolism boosting, healthy, fat burning recipes such as my much-loved, delicious, lean turkey chili.

Try them out.  You won’t be disappointed!

ZUCCHINI QUINOA LASAGNE

It tastes like comfort food but its not heavy.  And to save time, you can use your favorite jarred tomato sauce (just make sure there’s no hidden sugars or unwanted ingredients).

lasagneINGREDIENTS

2 cups water

1 cup quinoa (Easy Quinoa brand basil and garlic flavored)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup sliced mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups tomato sauce or prepared pasta sauce

2 cups no-salt-added low-fat cottage cheese

1 large egg, beaten

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 1/2 tsp dried

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 cups sliced zucchini

2 cups packed fresh spinach, tough stems removed

1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

 

PREPARATION

Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Evenly spread the quinoa in the prepared dish.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wipe out the saucepan, then add oil and heat over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, until transparent and starting to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are softened and very little moisture is left in the pan, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauce. Stir until hot. Remove from heat.

Combine cottage cheese and egg in a medium bowl; mix well. Stir in Parmesan, basil and oregano.

Spread one-third of the sauce over the quinoa. Make a layer of all the zucchini, then all the cottage cheese mixture, then half the remaining sauce, then all the spinach. Finish with the remaining sauce and spread mozzarella on top.

Bake the lasagna until it is hot and the cheese is melted, bubbling and slightly browned around the edges, 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

NUTRITION

Per serving:  267 calories; 11 g fat; 23 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein; 3 g fiber.

 

June 1, 2014 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Low Fat Recipes, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stuffed Peppers

frankie

It’s a classic recipe that’s very simple to make healthy!   See here for more of your favorite recipes I’ve made healthy (like chicken parmesan, lasagne, and chicken Dijon).

 

 

With a couple changes (i.e. replace ground beef, white rice), you can eat clean and have a delicious meal.  Even sneak a few bites to the kids, that is if you want to share.   😉

 

peppers cooking

 

Fat Burning Stuffed Peppers

1-1.5 pounds ground turkey

1/2 cup of Uncle Ben’s brown rice (or u can use long grain wild)

6 green bell peppers

2 (8 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon fresh minced garlic

1 -1/2 cup diced onion

sea salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Avocado and shredded cheddar cheese to top, if desired.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F .
  2. Saute ground fresh garlic and onions in 1 TBL of olive oil until onions are clear.  Add in ground turkey and cook over medium heat, cook until evenly browned.
  3. Remove and discard the tops, seeds, and membranes of the bell peppers. Arrange peppers in a baking dish with the hollowed sides facing upward. (A LITTLE SECRET:  Slice the bottoms of the peppers if necessary so that they will stand upright.)
  4. Add the cooked rice, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to the turkey and onions.  Stir.   Spoon an equal amount of the mixture into each hollowed pepper. Mix the remaining tomato sauce and Italian seasoning in a bowl, and pour over the stuffed peppers.
  5. Bake 45 min to 1 hour, basting with sauce every 15 minutes, until the peppers are tender.

peppers IG

 

April 7, 2014 Posted by | Being a Mom, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Discipline, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Low Fat Recipes, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes, P90X3, Products That Work, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The All New 21-Day FIX

21If I could provide you with a 21 day work out program that was just 30 mins daily and a meal plan that is easy to follow, uses a simple portion control system and tells you exactly what to eat (without resulting in you being starving)…and you could lose 10+ lbs in just these 21 days would you be interested?? If so HIT LIKE and comment below saying you want info!

You already know that 70% of your health and fitness is what you eat.  This program is designed to shrink your stomach using portion control and workouts that are easy to follow you won’t even realize how HARD you are actually working!

It’s that easy!!   The 21-Day Fix is comprised of 7 varied workouts, 30 minutes each for three weeks, correctly portioned containers, a meal plan and fitness calendar so you know which workout to do each day… PLUS an entire month’s supply of Shakeology – The Healthiest Meal of the Day is included as well!!!

We have literally made it so easy and very affordable now too!  If you choose to take the Beachbody Challenge with this program you will not only be entered to win cash, vacations and prizes but you will also have the chance to be the next featured Beachbody Success Story!!

We are very excited that Autumn Calabrese has decided to team up with us at Beachbody to design a program that’s easy to stick with for 21 days.  You know the old adage:   ‘Just stick with it for 21 days to make it a habit’… that goes for anything you set your mind to doing!

21_day-fixOptimize your health and fitness to reach your desired results in 21-days instead of 60 or 90-days AND eat good AND clean food!  It’s that simple!  This program comes with containers for each meal of the day so there is no more guessing and calorie counting.

This program will be available in February!  Be the first to know when its available to buy by subscribing to my blog below!  🙂

Contact me for details!  I will be starting a Challenge Group for people who want to do this together!  You can holler at me on Instagram:  FitnessElementsForLife or Facebook/ChristyPourciau

You can even go to my website and hear what everyone else is saying about it on the message boards here!

2014 has big things in store!!  Let’s keep your health a top priority!!

Shakeology

January 30, 2014 Posted by | Beauty, Being a Mom, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Discipline, Eating Clean, Exercise, Low Fat Recipes, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X, P90X Recipes, P90X2, P90X3, Products That Work, Shakeology, Women Today, Women's Health, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some of My Favorite Clean Eating Recipes

Kids in the fallBeing a Mom in the fitness and nutrition industry, the 2 most common questions I get asked are to share my recipes and “what diet should I be on?”.   A very close third is “how many grams of protein should I eat?”. 

I’ve already given my theory on ‘diets’ and what people should choose based on their lifestyle.  So I’ve decided to compile a few recipes that my kids love (and request often) that are also high in protein. 

So, what better time to share recipes then this time of year!  We live in Arizona, so the summer I am usually not found slaving away over a stove!   It’s finally starting to cool off which means also means more baking and cooking.  Our summers here in Arizona are not good for baking and slaving over a stove.  So, when fall arrives, thats when I start cooking!

No matter what your fitness goals are, eating a high protein diet will help you burn fat and lose weight.   When most people think of high protein diets,  they also equate that with lacking carbs.   While I tend to scale back on the carbs after 2-3pm, I don’t make my kids do the same.  

We do good carbs.  Carbs from vegetables or brown rice.  P.S.  I have gotten my kiddos to eat brown rice just by throwing in black beans or kidney beans with some cilantro (find that recipe here under Spice Up Your Rice).

lean proteinThe best sources for protein are typically lean meats, but surprisingly they also include plant sources such as tofu, beans, nuts and quinoa.  For animal protein sources I always suggest chicken breast, lean fish such as Tuna, ‘fatty’ Omega-3 fish such as salmon, egg whites, turkey, skim dairy products, shrimp, veal or lean cuts of pork.  Depending on your dietary preferences you might decide to eat only a few of these options, but all will provide you with healthy servings of protein!  

However, not all sources of protein are equal. Here’s a list from the United States Department of Agriculture describing the differences in amounts for some of the foods listed above.

Protein Source

Grams of Protein

1 ounce meat, fish, poultry

7

1 large egg

6

4 ounces milk

4

4 ounces low-fat yogurt

6

4 ounces soy milk

5

3 ounces tofu, firm

13

1 ounce cheese

7

1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese

14

1/2 cup cooked kidney beans

7

1/2 cup lentils

9

1 ounce nuts

7

2 tablespoons peanut butter

8

1/2 cup vegetables

2

1 slice bread

2

1/2 cup of most grains/pastas

2

Here are a few healthy, high protein, lowfat chicken recipes:

Chicken Dijon

Chicken Dijon

 Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 six-ounce chicken breasts

Preparation:

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place a rack on top and spray with cooking spray.

-Combine honey, mustard, oil, curry powder, and pepper in a small bowl. Brush chicken pieces all over with the honey mustard mixture, then place chicken breasts on the rack.

-Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning half way through. Baste every 10 minutes or so with the remaining honey mustard glaze.

Per serving: Calories 268, Total Fat  approx 5.9g Carbohydrate 21g,  Protein 32.9g

 

Basil Chicken

Ingredients: 

  • 4 5-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ounce basil, slivered
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes

Preparation:

Basil Chicken-Preheat broiler and spray pan with cooking spray and place chicken breats on broiler pan

-Whisk oil, vinegar and garlic together

-Brush half of vinaigrette on to chicken breasts, and sprinkle half the slivered basil on top of chicken.

-Broil 5-6 minutes, then turn over. Brush second side with remaining vinaigrette and sprinkle remaining basil.

-Add tomatoes to broiler pan, surrounding chicken.

-Broil for 5-6 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Serving: Calories 198, Total Fat 5.4g, Carbohydrate 4g, Protein 33.5g 

 

Chicken & Wild Rice

CHicken and RiceIngredients: 

  • (4) 5-6 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup long grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped (1/2 a six-ounce bag)

Preparation:

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

-Place chicken breasts in a single layer in baking dish that can accommodate the chicken in one layer.

-Combine uncooked rice, chicken broth, tomatoes, onion, garlic and oregano in a medium bowl. Stir in chopped spinach. Spoon mixture over chicken. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 35-40-minutes, until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender.

Serves 4.

Per Serving: Calories 372, Total Fat 2.5g, Carbohydrate 48.3g, Protein 38.9g

 

Here are some High Protein Vegetarian Recipes

 

Mexican Vegetarian Casserole

mexican casseroleIngredients: 

  • 2 cups chopped onion, fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped red pepper, fresh or frozen
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 15.8 ounce cans black beans, drained
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack and Cheddar blend cheese shredded
  • 3 tomatoes chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives and/or chives (optional)

Preparation:

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

-Combine onion pepper, garlic, salsa, cumin and black beans in a large skillet and bring to simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes.

-Arrange 6 tortillas in bottom of 9″ x 13″ baking dish overlapping them as necessary. -Spread half of bean mixture over tortillas and sprinkle with half of cheese. Repeat layering process with remaining tortillas, bean mixture and cheese.

-Cover dish with foil and bake 15 minutes. Carefully remove foil and serve warm.

-Garnish with tomatoes, sour cream, olives and chives.

Nutritional Information per Serving excluding the optional ingredients: (*you can save the calories by using less cheese*)
Calories: 605*,  Fat: 11.5g, Protein: 35g

 

Easy Whole Wheat Vegetarian Lasagna

wholewheatlasagnaIngredients: 

  • 1 8 ounce package whole wheat lasagne noodles, cooked slightly (al dente)
  • 1 9 ounce package frozen raw spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups low-fat cottage cheese
  • 3 cups pre-made or store-bought pasta sauce
  • 3 cups grated low-moisture part skim mozzarella cheese

Preparation:

-Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

-In medium mixing bowl, beat eggs; add cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese. Spray a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

-Put one layer of slightly cooked lasagna noodles flat across the bottom of the baking dish. Add 1/2 the leaf spinach, pressing down lightly and evenly over noodles. Top with another layer of lasagna noodles. Top this layer of noodles with the cottage cheese mixture; add the remaining spinach. Then add the last of the lasagna noodles laid evenly on top of spinach. Spread pasta sauce evenly over the top; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Press down lightly.

-Cover baking dish with foil, using foil sprayed with cooking spray and keeping foil off the center of the lasagna. Secure sides tightly over baking dish.

-Bake about 1 hour 15 minutes in oven. To lightly brown the top, remove foil for a few minutes at the end of baking time.

-Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Servings: Provides 10 servings

Nutrition Per Serving:  Calories: 373, Protein: 33g,  Carbohydrates:  33, 12 g fat

 

Try some of these recipes yourself and tell me what you and YOUR family thinks!  And please share with your friends anf family!

 

Macro Nutrients are approximate based on the brand you choose and how you choose to measure ingredients.

 

September 27, 2013 Posted by | About Me, Being a Mom, Children, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Low Fat Recipes, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

52 Easy Ways To Shred Inches Off Your Belly With Very Little Effort

Woman standing pulling measuring tape around waist.

With 52 different ideas to try, you can implement one a week, and I guarantee you will look healthier and be shredding inches before the end of the year without even realizing it!  You may already be doing some of these small things.   But put them all together and they will work wonders!

 

 

 

BREAKFAST

ADD CHEESE TO BREAKFAST

Grate hard, flavorful cheese, such as fresh parmesan, on eggs and oatmeal for added protein and flavor.  The key is to add protein to all meals, as it fills you up faster and helps you burn more calories.  Fresh parmesan cheese is almost fat free, has more protein and very little calories.  Mozzarella made with skim milk is also a good substitute instead of cheddar.

GIVE YOUR PANCAKES A NUTRITIONAL BOOST

Next time you make pancakes, replace 1⁄4 cup of whole wheat flour with 1⁄4 cup of vanilla whey protein powder.  I even tried this idea with mixing my Vanilla Shakeology with this trick this morning and my little guy was mad that I didnt make more!!  Just this one little substitute adds lots of protein, fiber, along with great texture to an otherwise nutritionally vacant breakfast.

MAKE COWS HAPPY

Try milk alternatives.  It took a while but my kids don’t even miss cow’s milk anymore.  I buy almond milk.   Unsweetened for the kids and for my protein shakes and Whole Foods also carries the chocolate almond milk which can hardly last a day in our fridge!   Almond milk has less calories than cow’s milk and its more easily digestible.  It’s also good for protein shakes and makes cereal a bit healthier!  And we all love a bowl of cereal from time to time.   To get all the vitamins out of your cereal, drink the milk left in the bowl. You’ve admirably resisted the Frosted Flakes in favor of a less sugary breakfast cereal that’s fortified with vitamins, but that doesn’t mean you’re actually getting all the nutrients listed on the side of the box. Up to 40 percent of the vitamins in your cereal dissolve into that orphaned puddle of milk.

FREEZE YOUR BANANAS

That way they will always be on hand for use in a smoothie. And because they are naturally sweet, you won’t need any sugar.

SNACKS and SIDES

MAKE LEANER BUFFALO WINGS

Cook up some spicy low-fat buffalo wings. Instead of using chicken wings, make them with skinless chicken-breast tenders. Marinate them overnight in a mixture of Louisiana hot sauce or sriracha, olive oil, lots of garlic powder, and red wine vinegar. (Experiment with the amounts to suit your taste.) Then roast the chicken “wings” at 400°F for 15 minutes.

GIVE IN TO CHOCOLATE CRAVINGS

You don’t have to deprive yourself of the sweet stuff.  Every day I “indulge” in a dark chocolatey treat.  It’s dark chocolate peanutPeanut-Butter-And-Co-Dark-Chocolate-Dreams-851087000069 butter.  OR if that doesn’t sound appetizing, try shaving dark chocolate into savory dishes like chili and barbecue sauces—you’ll add a rich flavor along with anti-oxidants. They can lower your risk of heart disease and keep your cholesterol in check. And shaving ensures you don’t go overboard on the dark. Or try this for a nighttime snack: Melt 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips in the microwave and swirl that into 4 ounces of plain greek vanilla yogurt. Top with a tablespoon of slivered almonds.

CREATE YOUR OWN DIPS

Make dips healthier by using fat-free sour cream or greek plain yogurt. Mix in an equal part of salsa, the hotter the better. Jazz it up with lemon, dried herbs, etc.

CHOOSE THE BLUES

Use blue corn tortillas in your next batch of nachos, fajitas, or quesadillas for more effective weight loss.  Tortillas made from blue corn have a lower glycemic load than white corn tortillas do, so they won’t raise your blood sugar as quickly. The blue variety also has more protein and less starch.

SHELL YOUR NUTS

Buy nuts in their shells. More time shelling equals less time shoveling handfuls into your mouth.

…BUT TRY BOILING THEM FIRST

Boil your peanuts (in their shells) for about 3 hours. Researchers at Alabama A&M University found that boiled peanuts—a popular snack food in China, Southeast Asia, Australia, and the southern United States—have up to four times more antioxidants than raw, dry, or roasted peanuts.

TOP A TATER

If you love baked potatoes, you don’t have to give them up just because of their high glycemic load rating. Keep your blood sugar levels balanced by adding a topping, such as Cheddar cheese, mushrooms, broccoli, or spinach.   Try to exchange the red or brown potatoes for sweet potatoes.  They’re healthier and you can top them too with your faves to make them just as delicious too.

RINSE YOUR BEANS

Canned beans—kidney, black, cannellini, chickpeas—are a quick and easy way to add protein and fiber to your meals. But they can also spike your daily sodium intake, increasing your risk of stomach cancer and high blood pressure. Simply rinsing them, however, will shed one-third of their sodium.

CREATE THE BEST STEAM ROOM FOR YOUR BROCCOLI

For perfectly cooked and nutrient-rich vegetables, rinse them first and then throw them in a sealed container, and microwave for 3 or 4 minutes. Boiling, blanching, or oversteaming zaps vegetables of their nutrients—the only water you need is the drops that cling after rinsing.

 SPICE YOUR RICE

Don’t buy white rice.  Buy brown rice.  And to add a ton of flavor to brown rice, just add a can of black beans or dark red kidney beans and some fresh cilantro.  If you like spicy then mix in some hot sauce.  The beans will lessen the effect that the starchy rice will have on your blood sugar and the hot sauce increases your metabolism.

THICKEN YOUR SIDE DISHES

Replace the milk in your mashed potatoes with evaporated fat-free milk (or almond milk).  It’s lower in fat and higher in calcium per cup, and still manages to add richness to your mash.

AT WORK DURING THE DAY

START A MEAL WITH A WATER APPETIZER

Drink two glasses of water before every meal. This will keep you hydrated and make you feel less hungry, while reducing your food intake and aiding weight loss.

GO HALFSIES

Here’s a simple rule for buffet eating at a party that’ll help you keep your meal balanced for weight loss: Fill half of your plate with vegetables and fruit. Fill the rest of your plate with equal amounts of whole grains and other high-fiber carbs, and lean protein.

SHAKE ON OREGANO

One tablespoon of fresh oregano has the same antioxidant power as an entire apple!  Mexican oregano has the highest count, but Italian oregano and Greek mountain oregano trail closely behind. One of the most versatile herbs, oregano can be added to anything from noodles to meats to salad dressings.

BRING THE HEAT

Scientists at the University of Tasmania Australia found that overweight people are more likely to slim down after consuming a meal that contains chile peppers than after one that isn’t on fire. Capsaicin, the chemical that makes chiles hot, may help the liver clear insulin—the hormone that tells your body to store fat—from the bloodstream after a meal.

KEEP YOUR ABS HARD WITH SOFT CHEESE

Use softer cheeses like goat, feta, and ricotta on pizzas and sandwiches because they’re naturally about a third lower in fat and calories than harder cheeses. And when you need the full-fat cheeses, go for strong flavors like Parmesan, blue, and extra-sharp Cheddar—you’ll get the same great taste with less cheese.

PREVENT BLOOD SUGAR SPIKES WITH VINEGAR

Start a meal with a salad or vegetables drizzled with a vinaigrette dressing. Arizona State University nutritionists believe that the acetic acid in vinegar interferes with enzymes that break down carbohydrates. A few teaspoons of vinegar per meal can keep blood sugar levels from rising quickly.

KEEP A LITTLE SHRIMP ON HAND

For an easy way to add lean protein to your meals, stock up on frozen shrimp. It defrosts in just 15 minutes under cold running water. And with the cooked variety, you have an instant healthy snack. If uncooked, throw it into your pasta sauces, stir-fries, or noodle soups in the last 5 minutes.

PUT THE SODA DOWN 

Eliminate SODA including ALL caffeinated beverages like energy drinks from your diet.  They bloat your stomach with all that carbonation (AIR!) and soda literally depletes your bones of the ability to absorb calcium, not to mention they have NO nutritional value whatsoever.  Drink ice cold water and add sliced cucumbers or lemons.

DINNER

STOP ADDING BUTTER

Instead of sauteeing with butter, try flavored olive oils.   Specialty stores like Whole Foods or Sprouts carry these delicious olive oils such as garlic and chile or cilantro lime.  They are a great way to add some flavor from the get go and there’s no need for the fattening butter!

STIR FRY RIGHT

With the idea above, if you don’t have those flavored oils yet, you can add a few drops of regular extra virgin olive oil to start, and then use water rather than more oil as you’re stir-frying.

WARM UP YOUR OIL

Remember to heat your skillet before adding oil.  This way, less fat will be absorbed by the food.  Warm oil cooks more efficiently; cold oil tends to soak into meats and vegetables.

SLICE YOUR STEAK, EAT LESS

Slicing thinly will make your portions seem bigger and more satisfying.   When you believe you’re eating a larger portion of food, you may trick yourself into feeling more satisfied with fewer calories.

EMBARGO THE OIL

When grilling chicken, try this oil-free marinade: Combine 3 cups of apple juice and two cloves of pressed garlic with 1 cup of reduced-sodium soy sauce.

STUFF YOUR BURGERS

Scoop a hole in the middle of your burger before grilling, and fill it with olives, mushrooms, or any vegetable you like. This makes the recommended serving of beef (3 ounces) look and feel like a massive hunk of burger, when it’s much leaner than that.

CATCH UP ON YOUR LYCOPENE

Squirt some organic ketchup on that bun.  Organic ketchups have about twice as much cancer-fighting lycopene as the regular varieties. A simple visual clue you’ve got the correct ketchup? Organic ones are a slightly darker shade of red than regular ketchups.

CURRY FAVOR WITH YOGURT

Replace the high-fat coconut milk in your curries with low-fat plain yogurt. The yogurt adds that creamy texture without the extra fat from the coconut.

BUILD A BETTER PIZZA

Can’t resist pepperoni?  Go for it, but help offset the damage by ordering two or more vegetable toppings for every meat topping. Since the carcinogens in processed meats such as pepperoni and sausage increase your cancer risk with every serving, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, load on a variety of vegetables–green peppers, onions–that can help protect against cancer.

BULK UP YOUR MEATBALLS

Grate carrots, squash, or zucchini into any meatball mixture. They add bulk, moisture, and vitamins but don’t alter that meaty flavor you’re after.

SWAP RED MEAT FOR RED LENTILS

To make a low-fat, antioxidant-packed lasagna, use half the usual amount of ground meat and make up the difference with red lentils. They’re still protein packed, but lentils are fat-free and high in fiber, making them more filling, too. And since red lentils have a neutral taste, they’ll simply soak up the flavors in your sauce. You won’t even notice them. Promise.

TRADE CRACKERS FOR OATS

In any meat recipe that calls for crackers or bread crumbs, use an equal amount of rolled oats instead. This ramps up your soluble fiber intake, which can help lower your cholesterol. Use the quick-cooking variety of oatmeal, because it retains moisture well and doesn’t alter the meaty taste.

GO FRY A COD

Buy fillets or loins of white fish such as haddock or cod, and cut into strips.  Make a light tempura-like batter by mixing iced sparkling water with self-rising flour.  Dust the fish strips with self-rising flour and roll in the tempura batter.   Shallow fry the strips in hot canola oil, which is loaded with good fats.   Fill one-third of your pan with oil and heat it to about 350 degrees F. (Use a thermometer!) and fry the fish until crispy.   For chips with your fish: Cut sweet potatoes into your preferred size and toss them in to the remaining oil in the pan.  If no remaining oil, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of canola oil with salt, herbs, garlic—anything you want, really.  Then put them on a cookie sheet and bake them at 450 degrees F for about 30 minutes.

EAT THE CRUMBS

If you’re baking something with a topping of grated cheese, cut fat by halving the cheese and replacing it with whole-wheat bread crumbs. This mimics the crispy texture of baked cheese and adds fiber.

KNOW YOUR DELI MEATS

Sandwiches are the architecture of the common lunch-eater, but you need to start with a solid foundation.

  1. – The hierarchy of health, in descending order:
  2. – Turkey and chicken
  3. – Roast beef- Ham
  4. – Weird processed things like salami and olive loaf

For example, instead of an Italian submarine sandwich with cheese and mixed cold cuts like salami and bologna, choose turkey or even roast beef and you can trim your fat intake by up to 30 percent.

DON’T RUIN A TUNA

Mayonnaise will turn your tuna sandwich into a fatty disaster. Instead of mixing in a lot of mayo, add balsamic vinaigrette, cracked pepper, hot sauce, and some fresh lemon juice to your tuna. It tastes great.

GET GRATER TASTE FROM LESS CHEESE

Buy yourself a good grater. Use it to grate a piece of Parmesan or other hard cheese on your sandwich, and you’ll save a lot of calories of fat compared with standard sliced fare, as long as you add a sprinkling for flavor rather than an avalanche of grated cheese.

MAKE IT MEATLESS

Next time you’re hankering for a spicy italian sandwich with all the fixins, try this vegetarian hot Italian sub. Brown some cubed eggplant pieces under a broiler with a little olive oil. Then mix with tomato sauce and capers. Place in a kaiser roll. Top with grated Parmesan. Fat serving SAVINGS: 28 grams!!!

SQUASH THE FAT

Replace half of the Cheddar in quesadillas, mac ‘n’ cheese, or grilled cheese sandwiches with pureed butternut squash. This significantly lowers the fat and calorie counts, won’t compromise the taste, and gives you a slew of added vitamins and heart-healthy potassium.

PACK A PITA

Add extra vegetables to your next sandwich by packing them in a whole-wheat pita pocket rather than between conventional slices of bread. Pitas simply hold more.

WRAP MEATS IN GREENS

To cut carbs, ditch the sandwich bread and do as the Koreans do: Wrap spicy cooked beef or chicken with leafy greens. Try Chinese cabbage, bok choy, or romaine lettuce. Replacing two slices of bread with one large lettuce leaf saves you about 30 grams of carbohydrate.

BE SLICK WITH YOUR OIL

Who knew there was so much behind oil?!   Avoid splashing ‘light’ olive oils over your salads—light varieties have fewer cancer-fighting antioxidants than the extra-virgin kind, plus they have a less intense flavor. Not sure if your oil’s up to snuff?  Good-quality extra-virgin olive oil should have a fruity, peppery, slightly bitter taste and leave a faint burning sensation on the throat.

TURN YOUR SANDWICHES GREEN

Replace mayo with a spread of ripe avocado to moisten a dry sandwich. Avocados are packed with monounsaturated (good) fat to help lower your cholesterol. Plus, avocados are said to prevent a variety of cancers.

TRY THIS SPIN ON A GYRO

For a low-fat gyro, mix some fat-free yogurt with chopped or sliced cucumbers, add a squeeze of lemon juice, and pour over a pita stuffed with grilled chicken or beef strips.

REVISE YOUR REUBEN

Simulate a cheese Reuben by replacing fatty corned beef with turkey and topping it with low-fat mozzarella, mustard, spicy shredded cabbage, and pickles. Slap all that on traditional rye bread and broil until the cheese melts. Fat savings: 10 grams.

SLIM YOUR CHICKEN SALAD

Use thick, Greek-style plain yogurt to cut down on the amount of mayo you need to make chicken, tuna, or egg salad sandwiches.

Woman standing pulling measuring tape around waist.

We all have different ideas on how to prepare cook things… but following these tricks will make some of your traditional meals healthier and shred inches without you even realizing it!   It may even make you realize one small step in your preparation of meals that you didn’t think of like rinsing canned beans before cooking them… read more below.

July 4, 2013 Posted by | About Me, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, Low Fat Recipes, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, Organic, P90X Recipes, Pregnancy, Products That Work, Shakeology, Women's Health | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

BodyBeast for Women!

I have been getting a lot of women asking me, “Is Body Beast just for men?”   The answer is NO!  Women are so afraid of “bulking” or getting “big” and no longer looking like a woman.  You will not look like the HULK type of female bodybuilder unless you are taking steroids or other illegal substances.   Muscle EATS fat!   If you want to lose weight and tone up then you need to add muscle!   The program comes with a calendar for men (HUGE Beast) and one for women (LEAN Beast) and it’s easy to follow.

Body Beast is for anyone and you will feel absolutely amazing with the results you get from the 90 day program.  Don’t be afraid of the BANNERS that say BULK UP or GET HUGE.  This won’t happen for you unless you have huge amounts of testosterone already AND you eat some SERIOUS, I mean SERIOUS calories and lift VERY heavy weights.  If you follow the lean schedule below and give it everything you have you WILL have an amazing transformation like my friend Jenna.  She was able to change the way her Body looked in 90 days and did it together with her husband.  Do you want to be our next Female Body Beast Transformation?

body_beast_girl

“When I first started Body Beast, I was hoping to gain a little muscle and build. I’ve always been naturally small and wanted to bulk up a bit. When I heard this program was coming out I was ecstatic because I knew it was something my husband and I could do together. When starting this program I was at 25% body fat, and about 120 lbs. When I completed this program (bulk phase) I was 15% body fat and about 127 lbs. IT is amazing and I am the smallest I’ve ever been, at the heaviest weight I’ve ever been. This is an amazing muscle gain program, with a fantastic nutrition plan. Ladies, please don’t be intimidated by this program, it makes you lean, strong and toned!”   – Jenna

girl-body-beast- results

girl body beast results 2

Click here for the LEAN BEAST schedule:

Lean-Beast-schedule

Lean Beast

There’s even more exciting news.  Now you can order Body Beast and Shakeology at the same time for only $180.   That is a huge discount As you all know,  I drink Shakeology every day and I also just started the Body Beast program this past Monday so the fact that Beachbody has combined the two is very exciting.

body_beast_challenge_pack

The nutrition plan for Body Beast is pretty difficult.  At least for me, because I have not counted calories for a very long time.  But now I’m making sure that I get the correct amount of servings of fruits, veggies, protein, fats, legumes and even starches!   Eating often is my biggest difficulty because I’m just not hungry for all these meals!  I now need to eat 2200 calories a day!  But Shakeology actually counts as 2 servings of the 10 I need a day for protein, and 1 fruit portion of the 5.   So it’s quite helpful.

BodyBeast_Extreme_NutritionI am also using the Body Beast supplements to make sure that all this hard work is for good reason!   So I’m taking the Body Beast base shake, Fuel Shot, creatine monohydrate and the SUMA.   I didnt buy them initially when I bought the program so I bought them all together for the discount this past Monday.  I’ve noticed a big difference especially in my energy levels so far!

If you want some one on one help with your journey then feel free to contact me below and leave me a way to reach you and we will come up with a game plan to help you with YOUR transformation!   We can even discuss what foods can be substituted if there is something you absolutely will not eat.

May 31, 2013 Posted by | Body Beast, Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, Insanity, Low Fat Recipes, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X, P90X Recipes, P90X2, Products That Work, Shakeology, Women's Health | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Protein Banana Pancakes

My kiddos call these Mommy’s Banana cakes but what they dont know is they are getting a huge amounts of protein, fruit and fiber!

Protein Banana Pancakesbanana cakes

(Makes 2 servings, 3 pancakes each)

1 scoop protein powder

1/4 cup rolled oats

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 dash sea salt

2 large eggs

1 small ripe banana, mashed

2 TBL unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp safflower oil

sliced bananas and/or assorted berries for garnish (or yours or your kids favorite fruits)

Mix protein powder, oats, flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.   In a separate bowl, beat eggs, and stir in mashed bananas and almond milk. 

Mix in the oats and stir well.

Heat half the tsp of oil into skillet over med heat.  Pour 1/4 of the batter for each pancake.  You should be able to fit 2 or 3 at once.  Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until bubbles form on top and then flip them over and cook for another 30 seconds.  Remove from skillet if cooked through and set aside.

Add the remaining oil, and the remaining batter and repeat.

Serve with garnish of your choice.   Now prepare for your kids to ask for these every morning.   And you can make a lot more and just freeze them and then warm them up in the toaster oven.

Nutritional Information (per serving):   Calories: 315   Protein:  20g  Fat:  10g  Carbs:  39g

***** You can also substitute the protein powder with Chocolate Shakeology.  Order Some Today! *****

For more recipe ideas click here.

Enjoy!  🙂  And let me know how yours turn out!

May 29, 2013 Posted by | Being a Mom, Children, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Family, Low Fat Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes, Products That Work, Shakeology, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All American Burgers

What I love about cooking is finding foods that are known to be calorie dense and otherwise unhealthy and create a way to make them healthy but still delicious.

Burgers are such an American classic but instead of fattening ground beef, ground turkey or ground chicken is just as flavorful.  And I guarantee you won’t miss the alternative!  And just like the beef burgers you can throw in anything to kick it up even more…. i.e. jalapenos, cilantro, onions, etc.

 

 

 

Turkey Burgers (Makes 6 burgers)

Basic Ingredients

1.5 lbs. lean ground turkey

1 egg white

2 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning

Directions

Step 1 – Mix all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

Step 2 – Form 6 patties and place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Step 3 – Bake at 350 degrees F. for approximately 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Step 4 – Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

Step 5 – Build your burger with whatever you want!  Use whole grain buns or wrap it up in romaine lettuce, throw some tomatoes inside with some sugar free ketchup and/or mustard.

 

Eat and Enjoy!

Nutritional Content 1 serving = 1 patty (just the meat patty)

Calories: 174 Total Fat: 9 gm Saturated Fats: 3 gm Trans Fats: 0 gm Cholesterol: 90 mg Sodium: 116 mg Carbohydrates: 1 gm Dietary fiber: 0 gm Sugars: 0 gm Protein: 20 gm Estimated Glycemic Load: 0

Nutritional Information estimated at Nutritiondata.com. Data may not be exact.

Enjoyed this recipe? Like it, Share it, Tweet it and leave a comment below!

September 8, 2012 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Low Fat Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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