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!

For more recipes, click here!

Follow me on Instagram:  @FitnessElements4Life

And of course I’m on Facebook.  Connect with me here!

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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

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken

Want a delicious dinner that practically makes itself?   Wow your friends at your next party or bring this dish over to the next football party you’re invited to.  Just a warning though – it will disappear and they will ask you to make it each and every time you come back.

1415572554957LEMON CHICKEN

1 3-4lb whole chicken, fat trimmed, giblets removed, rinsed and dried
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 lemon, halved
1/4 tsp paprika
2-3 rosemary sprigs (optional)
3 TBL parsley, finely chopped
1 large onion, cut into wedges
2-3 garlic cloves
2 TBL reduced sodium soy sauce
8-10 small red potatoes

Place 1 bouillon cube inside chicken.  Squeeze lemon, reserving juice and put rinds and 1 garlic clove inside chicken.

Place chicken, breast-side up, in slow cooker.  Sprinkle paprika and parsley.  Add onions and remaining garlic, then pour soy sauce and lemon juice over chicken.  Crumble remaining bouillon cube over chicken and line the sides of the cooker with potatoes.

Cook on high 3-4 1/2 hours.  Discard lemon rinds, skin and bones.

Half potatoes and serve.

 

fitness screenshotFor more low carb recipes, click here.

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Or on Facebook!

November 9, 2014 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, Family, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Summer! Are You Bikini Ready?

This used to be a dreaded time of year for me.  It starts to get warm and you don’t realize how out of shape you are until you go try on bathing suits!  You start to remember all the holiday parties, Super Bowl parties, St Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, food you ate off your kids’ plate because they were full (I’m guilty!!), and every other party that put those extra pounds on.  If that sounds like where you’re at it’s not too late to make a change.

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The first day of summer is June 21st!   The only motivation you need is knowing that being fit feels better than any piece of junk food or soda you’re craving!!  Do you want to look better?  Are you tired of feeling sick and tired??

For me, this is the 4th year in a row I have been able to buy a bikini for the summer season… and I’ve had 3 children so that’s a huge accomplishment for me.   I also gained 60 lbs with my first and didnt lose it til after my 2nd was born so… there’s no excuse!  You can do it too.  Women tend to believe their bodies deteriorate after giving birth and that’s JUST NOT THE CASE!    It can… but ONLY if you let it happen!

If you are overweight or even if you’re just struggling with 10-15 pounds I highly recommend The Shakeology 3 Day Cleanse along with P90x, Insanity or any other program you can stick to at least 3-4 times a week.

I’ve done both P90X and Insanity and now instead of P90X cardio days I do Insanity workouts.  The hybrid of the two give phenomenal results.

Your 6 pack is there too!  It’s just hiding.   It’s 70% nutrition and 30% exercise.  Staying away from white sugar, white flour, junk food, dairy products, carbonated drinks and alcohol all help get you those abs.  If you want more ways to do that look the right and click on Nutrition for my Recipes or you can visit me at Team Beachbody, Facebook or Instagram (@FitnessElements4Life).  I share tips, tricks and new recipes for stuffed peppers or this delicious “pot roast” made with turkey instead of beef!!

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I also write daily meal plans for those that have a hard time putting together grocery lists, let alone their meals.  Contact me today  for more information.  The meal plans I write are customized to you and your taste buds and they are only $25-$40 depending on how much guidance you need.  We also will have you keep a food diary and they adjust your meal plans each month.

It all takes time and hard work, just as any venture does.   Holler at me and lets get moving!

 

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Come check out my blog:  www.amothersmemoir.com

or Instagram at @FitnessElements4Life

 

 

 

 

May 28, 2014 Posted by | About Me, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Clean, Exercise, Insanity, P90X, Products That Work, Women Today, Women's Health, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stuffed Peppers

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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

Is Lunch One of Your Difficult Meals to Eat Healthy?

Lunch is definitely one of those meals where people often have the best intentions, but things often go off track. If you don’t prep and pack your lunch in the morning for the day, and instead, rely on your ability to make good decisions when you are starving and faced with multiple opportunities to stray from your usual intake, you will be in trouble.

While some people do have an iron will, and are good at resisting temptation and making good choices, that is not true for most of us!  This is where packing your own delicious and healthy lunch can come necessary and will prevent that time of day from ever being an issue.

Since time is always an issue, here are 5 quick lunch recipes that you can make in 10 minutes or less before you head off to work and take with you.

One quick note is that many of these recipes call for pre-cooked chicken breasts, as this can be a HUGE timesaver. In a large glass dish, cook chicken breasts that have been cut in half (so they are half as thick) or chopped at about 350°F for approximately 20 minutes, or until done.

To retain moisture, cover dish with tin foil.  Season these breasts to taste with sea salt, garlic powder, Montreal chicken seasoning, or anything you like prior to cooking.

1.    Chicken, Pesto & Guacamole Wrap: This is a quick and delicious wrap that is loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats, vegetables, protein, and quality carbs.  You can make this in less than 5 minutes!

  Ingredients:
•    1 cooked chicken breast, chopped and seasoned to taste
•    1 sprouted-grain or whole-grain wrap
•    1-2 large handfuls baby spinach
•    1/4 cup chopped cucumbers
•    2 tbsp basil evoo pesto
•    2 tbsp guacamole
•    1 plum or other small piece of fruit

Directions: Evenly spread pesto onto wrap. Lay spinach on top in an even layer.  Then lay down chicken breast on top of spinach.  Spread guacamole on top of chicken breast and toss in diced cucumbers.

Enjoy with carrots and hummus or other produce of choice.  Makes 1 serving for men, and 2 for women.

2.    Spinach, Chicken & Feta Salad: This is a quick and delicious salad that is loaded with protein, vegetables, monounsaturated fats, and blood sugar-controlling vinegar.

Ingredients:
•    1 chicken breast, chopped and seasoned to taste
•    2 cups baby spinach
•    ½ cup red onion, chopped
•    1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
•    1 tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
•    2 tbsp feta cheese
•    4 large kalamata olives (optional)
•    ¼ cup black beans (optional)

Directions: Mix all ingredients together to make this delicious salad!

For some people, salads don’t seem to hold them over as long as other meals, so adding ¼ cup of black beans can add a small amount of starchy carbs and fiber to keep you fuller, longer. Makes 1 serving.

3.    Tuna Salad Sandwich: Tuna salad is usually made from regular mayonnaise (which is made with low-quality vegetable oils) and higher-mercury tuna.  Making it yourself allows you to use a mayonnaise made from healthier oils and wild-caught tuna that is lower in mercury.  This meal can also be made into a wrap if preferred.

 

  Ingredients:
•    1 can wild-caught tuna
•    1 tbsp expeller pressed canola oil mayonnaise
•    1/4 cup chopped onions
•    1/4 cup chopped cucumbers
•    1/4 mashed avocado (or 2 tbsp guacamole)
•    1 handful baby spinach
•    2 slices sprouted-grain or whole-grain bread, toasted
•    sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Toast bread.  In a large bowl mix tuna, expeller pressed canola oil mayonnaise, onions, cucumbers, and avocado (or guacamole).  Set aside.  Lay spinach on top of toasted bread.  Spoon tuna salad onto bed of spinach.  Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy with sliced peppers or other produce of choice.  Makes 1 serving for men, and 2 for women.

4.    Vanilla, Fruit & Yogurt Parfait: While most people think of yogurt as a simple snack food or addition to your lunch, in a pinch it can make a delicious and nutritious lunch by itself.  Do be aware that fruit flavored yogurts are either loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners, and you want no part of either one.

This recipe provides plenty of high-quality protein, probiotics, healthy fats, fiber, and berries to keep you full until dinner!

Ingredients:
•    6-8oz 2% plain Greek yogurt or whole-fat regular yogurt
•    ½ to 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
•    ½ to 1 tbsp milled flax or chia seeds
•    1 to 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
•    ½ to 1 cup fresh or frozen berries of choice

Directions: Mix the protein powder and seeds in with the yogurt until evenly distributed.  Add in fruit and sprinkle chopped walnuts on top.  For women use the smaller portion sizes, for men the larger.  Makes 1 serving.

5.    Lunch Portion of Dinner Leftovers or Large Batch of Chili, Stew, etc.: A simple way to have a healthy lunch is to make an extra large dinner the night before.  Purposefully make your dinner with an extra serving that you simply refrigerate.  Come the next morning, you have a healthy lunch already made and packed!

Another option is to make a large batch of chili or beef stew, which can provide you with several lunch servings throughout the week.  This is a perfect meal to make on Sunday, providing you lunch for most of the work week!

Here is a delicious fat burning chili recipe that fits the bill nicely.

September 24, 2011 Posted by | Being a Mom, Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Low Fat Recipes, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, Organic, P90X Recipes, Women's Health, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tips for the Grocery Store

Ever notice there’s no windows or clocks in the grocery stores?  That’s because they want your undivided attention.  The commercialized grocery chain is exactly that: a commercial.  “Deals” are around every corner designed to give the everyday shopper the greatest shopping experience ever.

Supermarkets are the best places to get most of the foods that we need to live, but
sometimes stepping into the store can create a lot of anxiety with all those fancy signs and, sometimes, dim lighting.

Also around every corner are the common pitfalls that face every dieter or person
looking to shed a few pounds. Deceptive labeling techniques have made it hard
for shoppers to really know the difference between healthy and unhealthy. Most
shoppers go into a store with no set agenda but what they think they want for
food for the next week. This can create a cart full of products that you do not
need and that are more than likely not good for you. If it is in your cart, then it is in your house. If it is in your house, then it WILL be in your mouth.

Here are six ways to make your shopping experience better,   and help you trim your waistline by watching what is going into your cart:

Have a menu planned for the week

Having planned meals that you can cook and freeze ahead of time takes the pressure off of you by knowing exactly what you are going to have for meals throughout the
week. Buy extra ingredients for your favorite healthy meals and cook in bulk.
This way you can save those healthy meals for the next day’s leftovers. Making
a menu also enables you to shop for the ingredients that you need and leave those high-calorie snacks on the shelf where they belong.

Start smart: Create a list from your menu

Knowing what you are going to have for meals ahead of time makes the shopping
experience easier. Having your list, you are armed with the information you
need to go through the store without falling into the pitfalls of high-calorie,
nutrient-lacking foods. Not only will this help you shop with ease knowing that
you are putting only the necessities in your cart, but also it helps to cut down on your budget by buying ingredients in bulk, and not putting extra snacks or treats in your cart that sometimes come with an out-of-the-world price tag.

Shop around the perimeter and avoid the inner aisles of stores

Think about those inner aisles: alcohol, processed foods, cookies, chips, etc. On the
perimeter you’ll find produce, bakery, seafood, meat, dairy, and the frozen section are usually areas that you find along the perimeter of the store.  Shopping around the perimeter of the store provides you with the opportunity to shop for fresh or frozen fruits, vegetables, fish, and meat that are leaner and will provide you with the best selection of foods available. You get to choose from the leaner cuts of meat to skim or lower fat milk that have fresh expiration dates on them. This can help you plan meals better by choosing fresh chicken, meat, or fish, giving you more whole food options and sometimes better deals from the person behind the counter.

Learn to read labels

Learning to read the labels can be a far better use of your time then walking around
aimlessly looking for healthy products. Pay close attention to the serving
size, amount of fats (in particular, saturated fats), and if there are trans
fats on the label. Also look for sodium content, fiber, sugars, and calories
per serving. The most important aspect of label reading is making sure that you
look at the ingredients. If you are looking for a whole wheat product, for
example, the first ingredient should be stone ground or whole wheat flour. If
the first ingredient happens to be unbleached, enriched whole wheat flour, then
the product has been stripped of the natural fiber that comes from whole wheat.
If whole wheat is found somewhere besides the first ingredient, then there is a
lesser amount of that in the product.

Deceptive labeling is making headlines as manufacturers are allowed to put certain
phrases on products if they meet certain guidelines set by the FDA. Learning to
read the labels will help you to fight back and be armed with the knowledge to
pick healthy and nutritious foods.

 

Buy store brand and not name brand

Name brand products do only one thing to you: they kill your wallet. Buying no-name
brand products not only provide you with the same fresh, quality ingredients,
but they are also just as nutritious as the name brand products at half the
price. Shop smarter by buying store name brands, and you will find that not
only are you lighter around the waist, but also a little heavier in the wallet.

 

Shop at local Farmers’ Markets

The produce that you find in the stores is packed full of nutrients and sometimes
something else: pesticides. Pesticides are typically used to keep bugs and rodents away from the plants in order for us to enjoy them when they get to the supermarket. On most weekends throughout the year, you can find Farmers’ markets someplace in your town. This is where local farmers come and sell their goods. The markets are usually packed with produce that has not been treated with heavy pesticides so you can enjoy the nutrient-packed food right away.

Also, farmers that grow this great produce are willing to answer any questions
you might have about pesticides, preparation, and other things you might find
useful. It might be more money, but rest assured you are buying products that
are good for you without pesticides, and you are helping your local economy
grow.

These steps will help make your shopping experience more enjoyable by eliminating the high pressure of walking around all the processed food found in the supermarket.  By using these tips you’ll shrink your waistline and the amount you spend grocery shopping.

See more healthy blog posts on my Team Beachbody website where I am a contributing author. 

For recipes and grocery list ideas for clean eating click here.

June 16, 2011 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Nutrition, Organic, P90X Recipes, Women's Health | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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