Elements of Fitness – A Mother's Memoir

Overweight Becomes a Lean and Mean Mom of 3

I may not have introduced myself.  Some of you know me, some of you don’t…  some of you I have been friends with for YEARS and some we’ve never met but have only connected online.  I don’t like to post pictures of the kiddos and I’m not all about the selfies as much as others, but you may be able to relate better knowing that I’m a single Mom of 3 and they are my world.  We are just as busy as you and we still make the time to work out.  I keep the kids in sports to make sure they stay busy and aren’t home creating unhealthy habits.  I post a lot about fitness and nutrition but have you ever wondered why I do what I do?

Examples

Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, AZ

Have you ever wondered what exactly I do as a fitness coach?  Have you wondered how I got here?  Have I always been  shape?  (uhhhh no – I haven’t.)  How did a stay at home Mom turn working Mom with a fitness business?

I haven’t always been into fitness.  But I have always been an athlete.  I lived and breathed gymnastics until I was about 14, then I wanted to do team sports for my school (soccer, tennis, volleyball).   I was in shape but working out was not the fun part of my day.   I used to hate running.  I would do it because a lot of sports needed the cardio conditioning but I didn’t like it, and I didn’t eat right, etc.

Before kids, I could eat whatever I wanted just like when I was a teenager and not gain a pound!  But now, that’s not so much the case.  Once I had my first child, Kaitlyn (with whom I gained 64 pounds!), I could not lose that weight.  I tried every diet under the sun, got a gym membership thinking that would help, etc.

Pregnant but still overweight

Pregnant but still overweight

But I didn’t stick with it.  My husband at the time could still eat whatever he wanted and the scale would not be affected so I would gradually go back to eating like he and I always did.  Then 7 months after giving birth we were pregnant again.  It was what we wanted because I always wanted to have my kids close in age and we knew we weren’t done, HOWEVER, I never got back to my pre-pregnancy weight first.

With baby #2, I was determined not to gain another 64 lbs!  (BTW, this before pic ——–>      was really hard to post!) I did a little working out while I was pregnant with her and I ate a lot better.  Not good, like I do now but better.  I only gained 24 lbs with Britney.

After she was born was right around the time that low carb diets were the thing.  And I was sold when I read that I didn’t need to work out, I could just eat low carb.  HA!  I dropped all the baby weight and then some!  Then it became that the only time I would work out was when I ate really bad the day before.  So now that I knew I could just eat low carb whenever I had some weight to lose I went back to eating atrociously!  Then I would work out twice a week if that.

Well as the girls were getting older, I decided to start cooking and making more home cooked meals at home.  I was a huge advocate for nursing since formulas were getting so much criticism for their ingredients and I was reading more and more about baby foods and how easy it was to make at home AND this way you knew what was going in to your child’s mouth.

That lead me to start watching and learning about the foods I was eating.  All the crap sold in the supermarket were 90% chemicals!  I started trading in the commercialized grocery stores for farmers markets and Trader Joe’s (Whole Foods wasn’t in Phoenix yet).  I also started buying organic whenever we could afford to.  I started with vegetables that grew in the ground and then meats was next.

After seeing and FEELING the results of just eating right it motivated me to want to get toned and in shape especially since I knew how to eat now!  Food was fuel now, not comfort.

Now comes the year 2007, I was in better shape then I was when I was a teenager, even had more energy then I did then.  We were running, biking, I had a gym membership where I would do spin class 2- 3 times a week, my girls and my ex and I all belonged to a dojo where we were all there at least 3 times a week.  I even taught yoga there for a while for some of the moms that had kids in the karate classes.  In June I found out that I was 4 1/2 months pregnant with Baby # 3, my son Frankie!  He was due in December!   So I had 4 short months to plan to have a baby!  But I didn’t want to stop working out.  I was mostly doing cardio anyways:  running, hiking, rollerblading, spin class, kickboxing and yoga at the dojo.

Frankie was born and I ended up only gaining 22 lbs.  My doctor towards the end was concerned that I hadn’t gained enough weight.

Then I started to want to help other Moms!  My girls started cheer and would have regular practices in a park, their Coach asked me if I would be the squad’s conditioning coach so now I started doing that every Tuesday and Thursday.  Soon after, some of the Moms of the girls recommended I do a fitness bootcamp where they could come work out.  We did and soon more and more moms showed up.  I would get the girls warmed up for cheer and then I would move over to the Moms!  It was fun.  We all created a close bond and I even helped some of them get ready to run their first marathons.

I started a blog, THIS ONE, hence why its name is Mom-related and not fitness related.  🙂  When I first created it, I started talking about tips to help breastfeeding Moms and nutrition was one of the most common posts because the questions were all closely related to the Mom being able to produce enough milk for a growing baby, etc. and then it started connecting me with women who were likeminded all across the country.

2008It was about this time that my neighbor introduced me to P90X.  Frankie was not even 2, Britney was 7 and Kaitlyn was 8 1/2.  My hands were full.  I was in shape but not getting toned.  I was still doing a ton of cardio.  P90X had weights and I knew I had to add that in.  I was always afraid of weights, always thought I would like a man, etc.  I was ready for a change.  I always wanted a personal trainer and now I had my own in MY HOUSE!!  It was amazing.

1st round of P90X

1st round of P90X

 

This was me in Cabo after the 1st round P90X.  I did the lean program and I refused to eat the P90X way.  I thought I knew more about what my body needed than this nutrition ‘guide’ telling me to eat 100 carbs a day!  At that point, I would barely eat 100 carbs in 4 days!!  I thought I had this whole fitness thing down and all I needed was to add weights.  HAHA.  I would be exhausted half way into the workout, or getting really bad headaches right after.  So I knew something was wrong.

 

 

90 days later 2nd Round P90X results

90 days later 2nd Round P90X results

The lack of carbs is why my first round didn’t get me the results I anticipated.   I added a little muscle but nowhere near everyone else’s 90 day results.  This got me so mad!  So then right away, I started the classic program and I ate exactly how it told me to, even bought Shakeology.  I was posting my results pics on Facebook and friends and family were the first to notice.  Then I started helping other people get through their first round of P90X.

After 3 rounds of P90X, I decided to switch it up with Insanity.  I loved Insanity because it was a more intense version of P90X’s cardio days and guess what I started thinking P90X was too EASY!!  On the P90X cardio days, (Tuesdays and Saturdays) I would do the Max Cardio Circuit from Insanity instead of PlyoX.

I started connecting with people on the Facebook P90X message boards and through my blog.  I was helping people get through the programs but not getting paid for it!  And then Tony Horton shared my blog post of How you know You’re Addicted to P90X.

I knew I could help other Moms too… and realize everyone can do this too.   Being a Coach has been one of the greatest blessings in my life.  It got me in the best shape of my life, I have a healthy relationship with food, I have spent more time learning about myself, learning about others, and learning ways to better help YOU.

You do not have to be a fitness expert or nutritionist to be a successful Coach.  All you need is the desire in your heart to help others.  Beachbody is all about helping others.  They provide the tools you need to change your body, the nutrition your body is craving, a Coach who is always there for you… (ME!) and the network of likeminded people that you can connect with on Team Beachbody.

If you are interested on learning more please contact me.   We do a very brief 15-20 min webinar once a week and you will see how it easy it is to do the same thing I do!

Let’s get in touch and work on You together!  What do you have to lose??  You never know, it could be supplemental income for you too OR even become your main source of income!

 

Send me an email:  at CoachChristysElementsofFitness@gmail.com

OR an Instagram:  @FitnessElements4Life

November 16, 2014 Posted by | About Me, Being a Mom, Children, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Divorce, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Family, Insanity, Me, My Low Carb Recipes, Nursing, Nutrition, P90X, P90X Recipes, P90X2, P90X3, Phoenix AZ, Pregnancy, Products That Work, Shakeology, Women Today, Women's Health, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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!

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.

Follow me on Instagram:  @FitnessElements4Life

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

How Can Beef Stroganoff Be Low Carb? Simple.

beef stroganoff editedWith fall right around the corner, you may be ready to start making your favorite soups, stews and other comfort foods.   I hate mushrooms but the best part about designing your own recipes is making it your own way.  Beef Stroganoff is one of my all time favorite comfort foods and I think you’ll enjoy the recipe as much as we do!

If you’ve been a subscriber of mine for a while you know I believe eating carbs is ok so long as they’re ‘good carbs’ AND that you’re not eating a lot of fat at the same time.   The same is true in reverse:  eating fat is ok (think good fats as in avocado, banana, red meats on occasion) so long as you’re not combining it with high amounts of carbs at the same time (like bread or starchy carbs like potatoes).  Also, make sure to eat protein at every meal so you’re not hungry again an hour later!

With all that in mind and a couple of key alternatives, take this recipe and try it out!

wineIngredients:
  • 1 ¼ pounds choice premium stewing meat, tenderized and cut into 2 x 1 cubes
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 box Dreamfields low carb rotini pasta
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup finely chopped Spanish onion
  • 3 ounce small white mushrooms (if you like that sort of thing!)
  • ¼ cup dry red wine (cabernet sauvignon)
  • 1 cup beef broth (not low sodium)
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
Directions:
  1. Turn crock pot to high setting.  Add meat and sprinkle with salt and pepper and splash the meat with a little wine and a little beef broth and set the rest aside.  Cook meat for 3-4 hours stirring occasionally, the last 2 hours turn temperature down to low.
  2. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, start preparing in a pot the low carb rotini pasta.
  3. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add garlic.
  4. Add butter and onions to skillet and cook 3 minutes, until softened.
  5. Add mushrooms. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushroom liquid evaporates.
  6. Add the rest of the wine; cook 5 minutes. Stir in the rest of the beef broth and cook 10 minutes, until mushrooms are coated with a thick sauce. Stir in sour cream and mustard. Add mixture to meat and accumulated juices.
  7. By now, pasta should be done.  Drain and add as much pasta as you want or keep it separated and serve as much as you would like of each per serving.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

For more low carb recipes, click here.

Follow me on Instagram:  @FitnessElements4Life

On Facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elements-of-Fitness/368805504301?ref=hl

 

September 21, 2014 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Low Carb, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, Products That Work | , , , , , , , , , | 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

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.

1401294166939

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!!

IMG_20140323_121501[1]

 

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

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

Clean Eating – Parmesan Crusted Chicken

You’re not going to believe how easy this is to make and how GOOOOOD it turns out until you make it – and it’s HEALTHY!   The chicken comes out so tender and juicy!

Parmesan Crusted Chicken:

  • 3/4 cup grated and/or shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Mix the first 5 ingredients and then spread mixture over chicken on both sides.  Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes

parmesan crusted chicken

January 13, 2014 Posted by | Being a Mom, Children, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Discipline, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes, P90X2, P90X3, Products That Work, Women's Health, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Healthy Sour Cream Substitute

If you’ve followed my blog for a while now, you know that I love making recipes healthy that would otherwise not be “allowed” on ANY diet.  And I do it by just swapping out a few things.   Check out my protein pancakes or all my healthy alternatives for snacks, chili and casseroles.

 Today I was talking to a client who has the hardest time giving up the fatty foods she loves and occasionally gives in to.   Like me, she loves anything with cheese, or bacon and absolutely loves sour cream whether to dip or dollop.  So I started to tell her about my sour cream substitute and she immediately started with how she doesn’t like greek yogurt.  But guess what?!  There’s something even better to use than greek yogurt…… its cottage cheese!!

cottage cheeseIt may not sound very appetizing at first but neither did the greek yogurt idea when I first heard that!   But cottage cheese is LOWER in carbs and HIGHER in protein than greek yogurt!   All you have to do is blend it up with a splash of lemon juice and white vinegar and VOILA!…. a sour cream alternative that is healthy and you can barely notice a difference!

If you don’t like the hint of lemon, try it without it and just use white vinegar.   Nutritionally, this sour cream copycat recipe is considerably healthier than regular sour cream.  The only issue with using cottage cheese is that it is very high in sodium; so I recommend using a low sodium cottage cheese to eliminate that problem. 

Put the cottage cheese, lemon juice or vinegar, in a blender or food processor and blend until it’s smooth like sour cream. Depending on your blending appliance, you may need to stop blending periodically, scrape down the sides, stir, and blend some more until it’s smooth.  An immersion blender works faster and better.   Check Amazon for the Kitchenaid immersion blender.  It’s the best for small quantities like this.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup cottage cheese (whole, low, or no fat; use low-sodium, if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar*
Directions
*Use white vinegar for a taste that is most similar to sour cream. Use lemon juice if you prefer a faint hint of lemon taste.

Combine ingredients in blender, food processor or with immersion blender. Blend on high until smooth, stopping and scraping down sides as needed.

Serve a dollop on baked potatoes, chili, nachos, enchiladas, or stir into recipes in place of sour cream. Great for sour cream based dips.

Store in refrigerator.   Makes 1 cup.  Recipe may be doubled.

 

Throw a dollop (or 2) on chili, nachos, enchiladas, burritos, or tacos. Use it in recipes that call for sour cream. It’s an especially good substitute in sour cream based dips.  Tastes like the real thing.

(Guiltlessly) Enjoy! 

🙂

 

 

September 5, 2013 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, Organic, P90X Recipes, Products That Work, The Critic, Things To Do, Women's Health, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All Vegetarian Minestrone Soup

Who loves Olive Garden?  Out of all the chain restaurants out there I think Olive Garden is the best!  It’s really the only one that doesn’t make people cringe.  After all, who doesn’t love soup, salad and breadsticks??!!  YUM!

I just went to Olive Garden for my daughter’s birthday (her fave place) and while ordering any entrees can throw you off any diet you are on, your plan doesnt have to go awry if you stick with their salad and soup (skip the breadsticks if you can!)

And if going there is too tempting then make their soup at home.  I am pretty positive you will think this soup came from Olive Garden’s kitchen.  Give it a try and this recipe makes enough to serve a dinner party of 10-12 plus more for anyone who wants seconds!  🙂

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small white onion diced small
  • 1/2 cup chopped zucchini (skin on)
  • 1/2 cup frozen cut green beans
  • 1/2 large stalk celery
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cans (15 oz) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans (15 oz) great northern or small white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (fresh for more aromatics while it cooks)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup small whole grain shell pasta

Measure olive oil into a large stock pot and heat on medium and saute the next 5 ingredients for about 5-7 minutes or until the onions become see-through.

Add the vegetable broth, drained tomatoes, beans, carrots, hot water and spices to the pot.

Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the spinach leaves and the pasta and cook for an additional 20 minutes.

ENJOY!

December 27, 2011 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Clean, Family Friendly Restaurants, Low Fat Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes, P90X2 | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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