Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Recipe} Clean Mashed Sweet Potatoes

I'm on a mission to remodel Thanksgiving. We're removing the guilt, but keeping the flavor!! When I think of Thanksgiving dinner, I first think of turkey and then I think of mashed potatoes and then sweet potato casserole. My family fights over these items every year. But seriously, the thought of all the carbs, sugar, fat and calories… ugh it's killer. So, I decided to take two traditional favorites and put them together. 

You can read about the nutrition of White Potatoes vs Sweet Potatoes in my previous post.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes


Serves 4 You can easily double, or triple this recipe for a larger group!

2 large Sweet Potatoes
1/4 C Almond Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Cinnamon 
1 Tbsp Organic Maple Syrup
Himalayan salt to taste

Wash potatoes well and then cut them into large chunks and place inside of a pot, then cover with water. **You can remove skin or leave it, it's up to you.

Bring to boil, on medium heat and let cook until potatoes are tender.  The potatoes are done once you can easily stab the potato with a fork. 

Drain water and place potatoes into a food processor.

Add maple syrup, vanilla, almond milk, cinnamon and himalayan salt.

Blend until smooth and serve warm.

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Nutrition Battle: White Potatoes vs. Sweet Potatoes

The debate has been on for years, white potatoes vs. sweet potatoes. Which is better for you? Courtesy of the Cleveland Clinic, here the breakdown! Winner is (drumroll please)...

So, which one is your favorite, which do you eat more often? How do you prepare yours?

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Monday, November 25, 2013

6 Tips to Stay on Track this Thanksgiving

Everyone always gets nervous around the holiday's. They wonder how it's possible to NOT blow their diet and stay on track. Some just throw their hands in the air and give up before they even started. I'm here to remind you that one bad meal or bad day, won't make you fat or undo all of the hard work you've put in. 

Here are my six tips on how to stay on track while still enjoying your holiday meal!

1.) Start your day with a workout
Workout in the morning. You might be traveling, you might be hosting. Whichever it is, get your workout in. It can be a video, going to the gym, taking a walk in your neighborhood  Just do it. You'll jumpstart your metabolism and feel good about yourself, also bringing down your stress level. It's been proven that when you work out in the morning, you're more likely to make positive and healthier choices the rest of the day. 

2.) Drink LOTS of water
Water is the biggest tip I can give, all day, every day. Make sure you start drinking it in the morning and continue filling up all day long. You'll eat less and feel better if you do this!

3.) Mama's NOT always right!
What I mean by that is I was ALWAYS told to stop snacking, because it would fill me up before our meal. However, so many times people starve themselves all day in anticipation of the big turkey meal and then they are so hungry, they BINGE when it's time to actually sit down and eat. 

4.) You don't HAVE to clean your plate
You do NOT need to clean your plate. Make sure you eat slowly and actually taste what you are eating. Be conscious about what you are consuming and if you feel full, it's okay to STOP eating. I heard through my entire childhood that some child in Africa or China was starving, and that I needed to finish the food on my plate. The older I grew, I started realizing that as unfortunate as that situation is, there are also children and adults who are dying from obesity. So, when you're full, STOP eating!

5.) Eat it all
Our Thanksgiving feasts are filled with more options than our average meals. You don't have to pass up the "good stuff" because you are worried about the calories or nutrition. During dinner, take a little bit of everything you want and fit it all on ONE plate. This way you'll get a taste of it, without the issue of portion control . 

6.) Find a dessert buddy
Often we deprive ourselves from the foods we crave… like desserts. I'm a firm believer that if you deprive yourself long enough, you'll end up binging and eating 2-3 times more than you would have originally. So, find a buddy (or two!) and take ALL of the desserts and share. This way you are able to taste them all, without the guilt of eating your daily calories in dessert.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

RECIPE} PFM's Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

So let me just say first and foremost. I've never once used a recipe to make these. I'm a big believer in, "use what you have"! So, if you don't have the exact veggies that I mention in the recipe below (try) and use a substitute or whatever veggie you have in your fridge (ie. kale vs spinach, zucchini vs carrots). The same goes for the herbs/seasonings (parsley, oregano). One last thing… I have a lot of picky eaters in my family. When they hear the word turkey, it freaks them out. So, when I first introduced new recipes with ground turkey, I did a 50/50 organic ground turkey and organic ground beef mix.

We absolutely LOVE these muffins. I make them every single week and use them as quick lunches, snacks and dinners. 


1lb organic ground turkey
1/2 C  ground oats
1/4 C flax (optional)
1 organic brown egg
1/4 red pepper, chopped
1/4 yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
2 C fresh, organic spinach, chopped
1/2 C organic carrots, diced
2 Tbsp oregano
2 Tbsp Parsley
himalayan salt and black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, place ground turkey. 

Chop your vegetables, I use a food processor. If you choose to use a food processor, do NOT over process, because it will cause your vegetables to liquify! Place your veggies in the bowl.

Add flax (optional), oats (again, place my rolled oats from oatmeal in a food processor. I use them frequently, so I have them on hand), egg, herbs and seasoning and mix thoroughly, with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.

I spray my muffin tin with Pam with olive oil, (because turkey doesn't have much fat) to prevent sticking. 

Place mixture into muffin tins, just to the top of the pan. I try to keep it level. 

Place in the oven and cook roughly 35-40 minutes. Cooking time will differ, depending on your oven, so make sure to check on these!

Once thoroughly cooked, take out of the oven and let it cool for about 5 minutes before serving. 

Sometimes, I do half of my "batter" in mini-muffin tins. The mini's work GREAT as meatballs!

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

RECIPE} Guilt-Free Cookies

One thing I hate is a sweet tooth! It's almost as though you have no control and want to eat everything in sight, until you just fill the craving. Here is a HEALTHY way to feed your sweet tooth, without killing your diet!

3 Bananas, mashed
1/3 C Unsweetened Applesauce 
2 C Oats
1/4 C Almond Milk
1/2 C Raisins or Craisins (optional)
1/4 C Natural Dark Chocolate Chips (optional)
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 

Mix all ingredients together. 

Place dough on cookie sheet. These will not expand while cooking, so I usually fit 15 on a sheet. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Once done, let cool for 3-4 minutes prior to serving.


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Bottoms Up!

Water, agua, H2O, however you say it, make sure you are drinking it! Whether you are trying to lose weight, gain weight, or just stay healthy, consuming enough water each day, is one of the most important things you can do!

I carry around 75 ounce jugs of water all day, every day. I keep one filled and in the fridge at all times, so there is always cold water ready for me. I encourage all of my clients to drink 8 ounces of water before EVERY meal. I also encourage YOU to do the same. Also, do this when you feel a craving kick in, especially those late night cravings. Try this and you might just be amazed to realize that your craving disappears! 

Our bodies often trick us into believing that we are hungry, when in fact, we are dehydrated and THIRSTY! Fun Fact: Did you know that once you feel thirsty, you're actually already dehydrated?! The feeling of "thirsty" is actually your body in desperation mode.  Now, I say CHEERS and drink up your water for weight loss!!!

Here are some fun facts about water consumption:

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Monday, September 30, 2013

Recipe} Butternut Squash Apple Soup

I first made this soup while I was pregnant and it was perfect for the fall! It's been added to my rotation and now that it's fall and squash is in season it's time to bring it back! I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.

Butternut Squash Apple Soup


1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 rib of celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, chopped
1 tart green apple, peeled, cored, chopped (squash and apple should be at a 3 to 1 ratio)
3 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth if vegetarian)*
1 cup water
Pinches of nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper


Set a large saucepan over medium-high heat and heat the olive oil for 1-2 minutes. Chop and add the onion, celery and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes, taking care to turn the heat down if the vegetables begin to brown (Note, the smaller the vegetables are, the faster they cook).
Add squash, apple, broth and water. Bring to boil. Cover, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until squash and carrots soften. 
Pour into a food processor, puree, and return to a clean pot. You may have to do this a few times, depending on the size of your food processor. 
Add salt and spices to taste, and garnish with chives or parsley.
You can add variation by adding a  couple dashes of smoked paprika and/or swirl in a little sour cream at the end (off the heat).

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

RECIPE} Skinny Italian Quiche

This is a fairly easy breakfast option that tastes like PIZZA! We love pizza for breakfast, so it's a huge hit in our house. Plus, it comes in at only 204 calories per serving!

Skinny Italian Quiche

Yields 4 servings

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 large mushrooms, diced

2 C spinach, chopped
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon himalayan salt

5 large eggs (I use brown, organic)
1/4 cup water
1/8 C whole wheat bread crumbs
2 tablespoons feta cheese
1 tablespoon basil
2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons grated low-fat parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Heat oil in a medium size pan on medium low, add onions and mushrooms and stir occassionally until tender and onions become clear. Then add spinach and tomatoes and salt. Allow to cook for about 1 minute and remove from heat.

In a bowl, add eggs, water, bread crumbs, feta and basil, whisking ingredients together. Add vegetables and fold in. 

Lightly coat pie pan with non-stick spray (I use Pam's Organic Olive Oil Spray).  Pour the egg mixture slowly into the pan. 

Layer the sliced tomatoes around the top of the "pie" and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. 

Place in oven and allow to bake between 40-45 minutes. Once baked through, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes, prior to serving. 

Slice into fourths and enjoy! 

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RECIPE} Healthier Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts

Instead of caving into my husbands cravings and demands for doughnuts, I made them my self. Baked, not friend and filled with healthy ingredients! Plus, these only run you 144 calories EACH! Enjoy without the guilt.
Healthier Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts

Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 7-9 minutes
Total time: 17-19 minutes
Yields: 6 doughnuts
  • 3/4 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup,  brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon, plus 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon himalayan salt
  • 3 tablespoons flax seed (optional)
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (you can use your choice of milk)
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. 
Spray 6-count doughnut pan with non-stick spray.

In a medium-large bowl, add flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, salt and flax seed. Whisk to combine.

In another medium-large bowl, whisk together pumpkin and milk. Whisk in egg. Add vanilla extract and white vinegar and whisk to combine.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and gently mix until just combined (careful to not over-mix).

Evenly distribute in doughnut pan. Note: This dough is pretty thick, so you’ll want to spread the tops as flat as possible using the back of a spoon or spatula.

Tap pan on counter to release air bubbles. Bake for 7-9 minutes, until doughnuts are cooked through (when a toothpick inserted into the doughnut comes out clean).

In a small bowl, whisk together (or stir with fork) the remaining ingredients for the topping. 

When doughnuts are safe to touch, but while they’re still warm, dip the top side into the cinnamon-sugar mixture, pressing and twisting to get good coverage.

Serve and enjoy!

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

RECIPE} Pumpkin Pie Shakeology

Tis the season of pumpkin everything. So why not have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert with a pumpkin pie shakeology? I found this gem on the beachbody Web site. You've got to try it, because it's the best thing to hit shakeology since EVER! 


1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
½ cup canned pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp. coarsely chopped raw pecans
1 tsp. pure maple syrup (or raw honey)
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
½ cup ice (add more to taste)
Place almond milk, pumpkin puree, pecans, maple syrup (or honey), pumpkin pie spice, Shakeology, and ice in blender; cover. Blend until smooth. - Enjoy!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

RECIPE} Cake Batter Energy Bars

So first, there is no actual cake batter in these ;) but they sure TASTE like there could be! These are QUICK and EASY to make. Prep time is only about 5-10 minutes and then they need to set in the cold, for about 30 minutes. My son "helps" me make these all the time!

Cake Batter Energy Bars


  • 1 cup rice crispies (brown or white, or certified gf) 
  • packed 1/2 cup oat flour (Or make your own by grinding rolled oats in the food processor until they turn into a fine powder. Measure after blending.)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp roasted cashew butter (peanut butter CAN be used, but the cashew butter is what gives the cake batter taste)
  • 5 tbsp agave (Honey will work, but is not for strict vegans.)
  • optional: a handful of sprinkles
  • optional: replace up to half of the oat flour with vanilla shakeology
Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. 
In a separate large bowl, combine all wet ingredients and stir. (If your cashew butter is cold, warm it a little for easier mixing.)
Pour about half of the dry ingredients into wet ingredients bowl (not the other way around), stir until evenly coated and then add the rest of the dry ingredients and again stir until coated. 
Place cupcake liners in a cupcake pan and fill about 1/3 full. Use your spoon or spatula to press down. This should make 6 "cupcakes".  Stick in the fridge or freezer to harden before serving. Store in the fridge or freezer. 
**Note** I usually put sprinkles on a couple for my son and husband, but don't put it IN the batter, but on top :)
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Thursday, September 5, 2013

RECIPE} Sweet Potato and Roasted Red Pepper Bisque

This is a recipe from the Beachbody Ultimate Reset, detox and full body cleanse. After a quick glance at the recipe, I wasn't sure this looked like anything that I would actually like. However, in my dedication to try new foods and stick to the plan, I made it and was pleasantly surprised! This recipe will definitely be added to our fall and winter recipe rotation!

Sweet Potato and Roasted Red Pepper Bisque

Serves 1 (You can double or quadruple the recipe, for more servings)

1 C Water
1 Medium Sweet Potato (or yam), peeled and cubed
1/4 Medium red bell pepper
1 tsp. finely grated ginger root
1 1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. Miso paste, mixed with 2 Tbsp. hot water
1 C Vegetable broth 
Himalayan Salt to taste (optional)

Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan, over medium heat; add sweet potato and cook 5-7 minutes. Drain and set to the side.

Roast the pepper on a grill or gas stovetop, turning frequently until the skin is evenly charred. Place the pepper in a medium bowl and cover with a kitchen towel for 10 minutes. Peel the skin of the pepper, while holding under running water. Also be sure to remove the seeds. Chop into 1/2-inch cubes.

Please the sweet potato, bell pepper, ginger, oil, miso and broth in a blender or food processor, in 2 or more batches in necessary and cover with a lid and kitchen towel. Blend until smooth.

If the consistency is too thick, add water. Heat soup in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cook, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes or until hot. 

Serve and ENJOY!

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

RECIPE} Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta

I receive biweekly deliveries of fresh, locally grown, organic produce. I always have the option to swap a few of the items out for things that we use a lot or want more of. Sometimes, I decide to just go for it and TRY something new. This week, I saw eggplant on the list. I've heard great things, but never have I eaten it. So... I was on a mission to find a recipe that used eggplant WITHOUT dairy!

I found a recipe and didn't have all of the ingredients, so I had to do a few swaps and cross my fingers! Good news is, we have NO leftovers AND it wasn't so gross that it got thrown away. I will definitely be making this again. It was DELICIOUS!!

Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium eggplant, (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup chopped pitted green olives
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon of red wine
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 8 ounces of your choice of pasta

  • 1. Put a pot of water on to boil

  • 2.Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add tomatoes, olives, vinegar, salt, pepper and chili powder and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes begin to break down, 5 to 7 minutes more.

  • 3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water until just tender, about 6 minutes or according to package directions. Drain the pasta, place on a plate, spoon the sauce over the pasta and serve.

Let me know what you think, after you have tried it! 

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Friday, August 2, 2013

3 Day Shakeology Cleanse

The Science Behind the Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse” by Steve Edwards, Beachbody Director of Results
I like to call the Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse a “performance cleanse.” This is because it was designed to be done with a workout program. Let’s take a look at how this differs from other cleanses, how to tailor it to your needs, and what to expect if you decide to try it.

First of all, it’s not a true cleanse. It’s a calorie-restricted and nutrient-dense diet plan. Traditional cleanses contain very few calories and nutrients. Compared to the much more popular Master Cleanse, it’s like an all-you-can-eat buffet. Traditional cleansing diets are done to rid your system of toxins and bring it into homeostasis. They also contain a spiritual aspect. This process can take a long time, which is why you may have seen coworkers walking around the office in a zombie-like state for weeks on end—swilling a strange concoction of lemons and maple syrup.

The Shakeology cleanse is nothing like that. Depending on how you decide to do it, you’ll be eating frequently and consuming between 800 and 1,200 calories per day, and it could be even more should you feel the need. The point of this cleanse is not calorie restriction, per se—it’s nutrient efficiency. The aim is to get the most nutrients possible into the fewest number of calories. The goal is to put all of these calories to use as a part of your exercise program, to rid your body of undigested foods and toxins, and to bring your hydration levels into homeostasis. The result you’re after is not weight loss—though it will likely occur—but for your body to be running more efficiently. This should make you feel lighter and more energetic, even though you’re doing an exercise program.
How it Works:
Your eating structure doesn’t change. You still eat every few hours while you’re awake. Each meal should have a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and fiber. And while you’re not eating as much food as you’d normally eat, your calorie-to-nutrient ratio is extremely high. This means that you shouldn’t restrict the actual nutrients you’re getting by too much, so activity can continue as normal.
We recommend you try to keep your shakes to just Shakeology. Adding fruits of any kind, or seeds (for fat and fiber), or the Shakeology Fiber supplement, can and should be done as you see fit.

Ditto for your one solid meal—a salad. As we all know from any salad bar, the definition of salad can be varied. The goal of the salad in the plan is to keep your calories coming from natural sources (no artificial ingredients should be added, including artificial salad dressing). Aside from that, you can add ingredients as necessary. Keep your meat intake to four ounces or less, but add veggies, seeds, nuts, fruits, and legumes in quantities to satiate you.

The goal of the Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse is to optimize your performance. You want to eat enough to fuel your day AND your workout. The foods you’re eating are so high in fiber and nutrients that it’s virtually impossible to overeat. You’ll be consuming so much fiber, along with enzymes and digestive aids, that your body’s ability to flush excess foods quickly will be at its peak.

What You Need:
1) Shakeology: I recommend purchasing a  BAG vs the packets, as you will get 6 free shakes this way. Once you are done with your cleanse I recommend finishing your bag by taking one shake a day until it is gone. As a money saving tip, if you choose auto ship home direct option, you'll receive free shipping, saving you about $10. You can cancel the next shipment with one simple email or phone call! You can order it from my site HERE and I’ll also become your free personal coach!
2) Green Tea:You can buy individual bags of green tea at just about any grocery store. I recommend getting the natural and organic green tea tea bags. I love the Yogi brand for the fun inspirational messages on the little tags!
3) Fruit: NOT bananas! Think low sugar fruits like 1/2 cup of berries, or maybe just an apple if that’s easier. The rule of thumb, is that if you HAVE to peel it, such as banana's and oranges, it's high in sugar.
4) Green Veggies or Salad
5) Chicken or fishFish
6) A TON of Water!
The Plan:
1 cup of green tea to start the day
  • 1 scoop Shakeology (140 calories)
  • 1/2 cup of fruit (60 to 90 calories)—optional
  • Ice to taste
  • 8 to10 oz. of water
Snack 1 (85 calories):
  • 1 piece of fruit (apple, pear, orange, banana mango, etc.)
  • 1 scoop Shakeology (140 calories)
  • Ice to taste 8 to 10 oz. of water
  • 1 cup of green tea or a detox tea
Snack 2: (you can have the second snack before or after dinner)
  • 1 scoop Shakeology (140 calories)
  • Ice to taste
  • 8 to10 oz. of water
    • Salad with grilled white fish or poultry (roughly 340 calories) OR
    • Greens—3 servings of GREEN vegetables (peas are NOT a veggie), plus 4 oz. of grilled white meat (fish or poultry)
    • 2 tablespoons of dressing—no more!
Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse FAQ's:

Q: How many calories per day?
A: 800 to 1,100 calories per day

Q: How often can I do the Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse?
A: Ideally, you should do it once per quarter (every 3 months), 
    As the seasons change
    Before starting a new workout program
    When you feel you need help breaking through a plateau

Q: Should/Can I still do my workouts during the Cleanse?
A: This cleanse was designed so that it can be used during most workout programs. However, it may affect you differently than other and depends on the individual. You’ll have less energy than normal, so consider doing it during a recovery week
Try not to do in the middle of P90X® or INSANITY®

Q: Can I do a 1-day or a 2-day cleanse instead of a 3-day?
A: Yes! Some people will see results with one or two days. 
We recommend against continuing the cleanse for more than three days

Q: Should/Can I take other Beachbody® supplements during the Cleanse?
A: Results and Recovery Formula™ should NOT be used during this cleanse, because they contain too much sugar/calories. Other suppliments such as Omega-3, etc. are not necessary, but won’t hurt.

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