Category Archives: Recipes

Start at the Beginning

Let’s say you are at the book store.  You’ve got your coffee in one hand and the newest, just released, thriller from the hottest New York Times Best Selling Author in your other hand.

Document

You sit down in a cushioned chair (that has an awful floral pattern on it).  You  put on your reading glasses.  And you turn to….

The middle section?

To the 40th chapter?

To the last page?

NO!  Of course not.

You begin…at the beginning.

the

Everything else in life is no different than this…starting a new career, a new relationship, a new fitness program, a new hobby…no matter what it is….you have to begin at the beginning.

So why is it, then, that after spending, let’s say, a week, exercising religiously and following a meal plan to the exact number of carrots we are allotted per day, we throw in the towel because we aren’t seeing results?  Because the scale hasn’t moved?  Because that dress still doesn’t fit?

Y’all!  It takes TIME.

We are a society of instant gratification.  We (and I am definitely including myself in this “we”) want it NOW.

You can’t expect to start doing a fitness program by doing 100 burpees when you’ve never even done one.  You can’t expect to look good in that bikini after a week of exercise.  You can’t expect to have end results when you are still at the beginning.

Everyone has to start somewhere.  The MOST important thing is that you just START.

If you want to start exercising…than just START.

If you want to eat healthier….than just START.

If you want to switch careers…than just START looking for a new job.

The month of August has just begun.  A new month.  A new  start.  A new chance.

192156-Hello-August

What will YOU do to START working on your dreams?

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In honor of new beginnings and a new school year already starting in some areas, I wanted to share some tips on how to pack a healthy lunch for your kids!

  1. Skip the juice box!  It has tons of added sugar and unnecessary calories.  Pack milk or water.
  2. Pack a balanced meal.  Include fruits, veggies and protein
  3. Breakfast for lunch is always a hit!  Pack a hard-boiled egg, turkey sausage and a multi-grain waffle with berries.
  4. Make your own lunchables.  Bento boxes are a fun way to pack a variety of foods into your kid’s lunch.  Here’s an example – you can find tons more on Pinterest.

lunch 1

5. Dessert is okay – in moderation!  Give them one cookie instead of a whole package.  Better yet, make your own cookies at home, with your kids, and put one in their lunch – they will be proud of their contribution!

 

 

This is Summer

Summer time can be wonderful.

The word Summer written on a sandy beach, with beach towel, starfish and flip flops (studio shot - warm color and directional light are intentional).  Note: extreme wide angle shot with curvature of field and focus on the word Summer.

The kids are home from school, the sun is shining, the pools are open and there’s plenty of time to do family activities that may not be possible during the busy school year.  There’s time to play together, eat together, vacation together….

But summer time can also be CRAZY!  Did I mention that the kids are home from school?  All the time?  Like every day?

Did I mention there’s plenty of time?  Plenty of time…for them to fight with each other because they are bored.  Plenty of time to get on each other’s nerves…and to get on my nerves because they don’t know what to do with themselves…plenty of time to whine about being bored and plenty of time to drive me to drink wine nightly.

bored

Summer time can be especially crazy for people in the military because it’s PCS season (permanent change of station).  Not only is school over and your routine is shot, but you are having to pack up and move.  Sometimes across the country.  Sometimes to another country – as is the case with our family!

This summer has been especially crazy for us – moving out of our house, our house that we brought our third child home to, a house on a street where the neighbors were absolutely wonderful to living out of suitcases while visiting family for several months as we prepare to move overseas.

moving-day

This life is CRAZY.  Being a military spouse is crazy.  Having little kids ages 5 and under is crazy (and exhausting) BUT…as I played with the kids in the pool this afternoon…as I watched them splashing and laughing…an overwhelming wave of something came over me.  It’s a feeling I’m not really sure how to describe but I found myself thinking – This is what summer is all about.  Just being together.  Playing outside.  Laughing together.

And for those moments that we were in the pool together…for those moments that they were smiling from ear to ear as they took turns jumping to me- I realized – this is summer.  This is what it’s all about.

Hell, this is what LIFE is about- moments of pure joy, of being in the now, of being present with your kids and the people you love…only to be broken by the sounds of the kids bickering over a ball and whining over whose turn it is with said ball.

Life is filled with GOOD things.  Life is filled with BAD things.  But…get this…

The beautiful thing is you get to CHOOSE which things you dwell on.  You get to CHOOSE which things matter in your life.  You get to CHOOSE which things to remember, and which things to discard.

lifeisbeautiful-e1458411303728

CHOOSE wisely, my friends.  You only get to live once.


In honor of summer boredom…I’m going to share some of my favorite, HEALTHY summer treats to make with the kids!

Chunky Monkey Banana Ice Cream

chunky-monkey-banana-ice-cream-vegan-gluten-free-7

http://www.emilieeats.com/chunky-monkey-banana-ice-cream/

Healthier Fruit Pizza

FRUIT-PIZZA-1-220x280

http://www.layersofhappiness.com/fruit-pizza/

Healthy Pineapple Dole Whip

Healthy-Tropical-Dole-Whip

http://www.chelseasmessyapron.com/healthy-dole-whip-smoothie/

The Best of the Ultimate Reset

I am on Day 21(of 21) of the Ultimate Reset!  Do you know what that means???  After tonight, I’m DONE!!!

I can’t WAIT to share my results with you!!  (Stay tuned)

ULTIMATE-RESET

I did have to do some things differently since I’m currently breastfeeding, though.  The first week I was following the plan exactly as prescribed but my milk supply started to suffer and we can’t have that!  I did have to add a few more snacks than what the meal plan allows and I had to add in some extra protein.

However, with that being said, I found some recipes that I REALLY liked and will continue to make!!  And because they were so yummy, I wanted to share them with you!!

Yes, the Ultimate Reset takes a good amount of planning, meal prepping and mental effort BUT I will say that all of the recipes in the meal plan guide are VERY simple to make!

Each recipe below can be a main meal or a side dish.  (During the Ultimate Reset these are the main meal).  Each recipe serves 1 so adjust accordingly!

Microgreen Salad

microgreen salad
3 cups baby salad greens
1/4 medium carrot, shredded
1/2 medium cucumber, chopped
1/2 medium red bell pepper, sliced
1/4 cup sprouts (like radish, alfalfa, or broccoli)
1/2 tomato, chopped
1/4 cup chopped jicama
1 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro (optional)

Add 1/4 cup to a 1/3 cup Toasted Pumpkin Seeds to the salad.

Add 2 Tbsp of dressing of your choice.  (During the Ultimate Reset I made my own from the dressing choices in the meal plan guide)

Combine everything together in a large bowl and toss gently to blend!  ENJOY!

*This salad is GREAT for lunch!

*Meal Prep Tip:  Quadruple this recipe, chop everything up, divide it evenly into meal prep containers and eat it throughout the week!

Kabocha Squash with Garlic-Tahini Sauce

Kabocha

  1.  Kabocha squash, seeds removed
  2. 2 Tbsp. sesame tahini
  3. 1 Tsp. miso paste
  4. 1/4 Tsp. finely chopped garlic
  5. 1 Tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  7. Place squash on baking sheet lined with foil.   Bake for 30 minutes or until tender.
  8. Mix together tahini, miso, garlic, and oil
  9. Cut the squash into fourths, pour the sauce on top and ENJOY!

*1/4 of the squash is 1 serving.  This is very filling (surprisingly) because of the Tahini sauce

Pinto Beans and Rice

pinto

1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup canned pinto beans (with liquid)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Bragg liquid aminos
Himalayan salt to taste

Directions:
Heat beans gently in saucepan over medium high heat until simmering.  Drain and return to pan.   Add oil, spices, aminos, and salt.  Stir well.  Gently fold cooked rice into beans.

*This would make a great side for tacos, enchiladas, or other Mexican dishes

*I ate a 1/2 serving of this with a Microgreen Salad and that is by far, one of my FAVORITE meals on the reset!

Roasted Root Medley

roasted

1/4 medium yam, washed, peeled & cut into 1 inch chunks

1/2 large carrot, washed & cut into 1 inch chunks

1/2 large beet, washed & cut into 1 inch chunks

1/4 yellow onion, peeled & cut into large wedges

2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

Himalayan salt (to taste)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, toss all ingredients together. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake for 40-50 minutes or until tender, turning once or twice to preventing burning.

*This is a great side for steak or chicken!

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I did!  Share this blog with others, make the recipes, share the food with others and leave comments because I love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Chocolate, please

So, I am on Day 1, Week 2 of the Ultimate Reset and maybe you’re curious as to how it is going.   (If you’re not, I’m going to tell you anyway).

I’m not going to sugar coat it for you- it isn’t easy.  There are some days I want to stop.  (Thank goodness I have my online accountability group to keep me going!)  There’s a lot of prep work involved and there are a TON of cucumbers to eat and I am having to make 2 meals for dinner – one for me and one for the rest of the fam.

BUT am I glad I’m doing it?  YES!  I’ve discovered some new foods like jimaca and I have discovered some delicious new recipes like Zucchini Cashew Soup!  I’ve already lost some weight and some inches!  I have my eye on the prize – my favorite pair of jeans and a bikini.

Despite the fact that I love a good challenge and I am NOT going to stop, there is something I REALLY miss – chocolate!!!

choc

Since I have chocolate on my mind, I thought I’d share some HEALTHY recipes that have chocolate in them.

Pick your favorite, make it, and have some chocolate for me!

FLOURLESS BROWNIE MUFFINS

Beachbody-Blog-Flourless-Chocolate-Muffin_iivlht

Ingredients
  • 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Prepare 12 muffin cups by lining with muffin papers or coating with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  3. Place chickpeas, eggs, maple syrup, cocoa powder, baking soda, coconut oil, and extract in blender or food processor; cover. Blend until smooth.
  4. Divide batter among 12 prepared muffin cups.
  5. Top each muffin with about four chocolate chips; push into batter.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Cool completely and enjoy!

21 Day Fix Containers
1½ Yellow
1 tsp

source: https://www.beachbody.com/beachbodyblog/recipes/flourless-brownie-muffins

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

chocolate-chip-cookie-FIXATE

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup raw maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites (1/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet or dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  2. Combine almond flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl, mix well, set aside.
  3. Beat oil and maple syrup in large mixer bowl until creamy, 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add egg, egg whites and extract and beat for 2 more minutes.
  5. Add almond flour mixture to egg mixture and mix until blended. Add chocolate chips. 
  6. Drop rounded teaspoons onto parchment paper and bake 14-16 minutes. Enjoy! 

21 Day Fix Container:  1 cookie is equal to 1.5 yellow

Source: http://ellisandpage.com/2015/12/21-day-fix-approved-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

 VANILLA CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE FROSTING

Fixate-Chocolate-Cake-5

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup unsalted organic butter, room temperature, divided use
1 cup of honey (or maple syrup), divided use
4 large eggs
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk, divided use
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.  Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and mix well.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together 1/2 cup butter and 3/4 cup honey for 1 minute.  Add eggs 1 at a time, beat until blended.  Add 1/4 cup almond milk and extract, beat until blended.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until creamy.

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool on a baking rack.

To make the frosting: beat the remaining 1/4 cup butter in a medium bowl for 1 to 2 minutes or until creamy.  Add remaining 3 tablespoons of almond milk to butter and beat until blended.  Add cocoa powder, beat until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup honey while beating on medium speed.  Once cake is cooled, evenly spread with frosting and cut into 12 slices.

21 Day Fix Containers: 2 yellows and 1 1/2 blues

Source:  http://simplycleanandfitmom.com/chocolate/21-day-fix-approved-vanilla-cake-with-chocolate-frosting/

COCONUT TRUFFLES

coconuttruffles5-780x521

coconut flour-1/4 Cups

cacao powder-2 Teaspoons

raw, local honey- 2 Teaspoons

raw almond butter- 1/2 Cups

virgin coconut oil -1/4 Cups

Preparation mode:

1. In a bowl, mix together the coconut flour and cocoa powder (or carob). In another small bowl, microwave the almond butter and coconut oil until melted and smooth.

2. Pour in the honey and stir until mixture is creamy. Slowly dump the coconut oil mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir well until both dry and wet ingredients are incorporated completely.

3. Line a 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper and pour the coconut mixture into it. Chill in the fridge for two hours. Once set, use a tablespoon to scoop out the mixture.

4. Roll into balls, one tablespoon in size, then roll in unsweetened coconut shreds if using.

5. If making fudge, use a smaller pan in order to achieve a thicker fudge piece. Serving size will vary depending on the size of the pan and how large you slice the pieces.

21 Day Fix Containers (for one truffle): 1 yellow, 1 tsp

Source: http://cleaneatingfix.com/recipes/coconut-fudge-truffles/

I hope you try all of these!  I hope you LOVE them!  I hope you share this blog and these recipes with your friends and loved ones!

All About the Veggies

In 6 days I will be embarking on my Ultimate Reset journey.  This 21 day program is designed to reset your body to it’s “factory settings” (so to speak).  There’s a complete guidebook on how this is to be done.  Essentially you end up eating a vegan diet (which is totally fine with me since I could care less about meat!)

After the 21 days, it’s recommended to ease back into regular eating habits…so…in light of that…I thought I’d share some delicious 21 Day Fix Approved vegetarian recipes!

EGGPLANT ROLL-UPS

EGG

 

Ingredients
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into ¼ inch oblong pieces from end to end.
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced, or 1 tsp garlic power
  • 1 cup of organic spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup of 2% cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • 4 tbs of goat cheese to sprinkle on top
  • 2 tbs oil
  • salt
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and place middle rack in the oven.
  2. Take eggplant pieces and place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Salt the eggplant and set aside for 30 minutes.
  3. Roast in the oven for 12 minutes and baste with oil.
  4. Take the chopped onion, minced garlic and olive oil and place into a skillet to saute until both the garlic and onion become translucent and soft, do this while the eggplant is roasting.
  5. In another small mixing bowl add in the cottage cheese, chopped spinach, basil, oregano, parsley, sauteed garlic and onion to mix thoroughly.
  6. Take a ½ cup of marinara sauce and using a spoon spread evenly on the bottom of the 2 qt glass Pyrex casserole dish.
  7. Pat your eggplant strips dry and place 2 tablespoons full of the cottage cheese mixture into the top of the eggplant and roll up. Place the eggplant roll up into the dish with the seam facing down.
  8. Repeat this process until you have no more eggplant and cottage cheese.
  9. Take 2.5 cups left of the marinara sauce and spread over the top of the eggplant roll ups.
  10. Sprinkle the 4 tablespoons of goat cheese over the top of the roll ups and place in the oven.
  11. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.
  12. serving = 1 eggplant medium sized eggplant rollup (some are smaller due to the end of the eggplant so the largest size you make I consider 1 serving)
  13. The 21 Day Fix containers = 1 green container, ½ red container, ½ blue container, ½ purple and 2 tsps

Source: http://www.inspiredhousewife.com/eggplant-roll-ups/

CHEESY SPAGHETTI SQUASH

SQUASH

Ingredients:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 16oz container of lowfat cottage cheese
  • 1 jar of no sugar added marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup of cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees while you cook your spaghetti squash. We typically slice the spaghetti squash in half, place it on a platter with a small amount of water and steam it in the microwave for 10-12 minutes until cooked.
  2. Scoop out the seeds, then use a fork to pull the spaghetti squash from the sides so it resembles spaghetti and place it into a bowl
  3. Add one container of cottage cheese, Italian herbs and one jar of marinara sauce to the bowl.
  4. Mix until well combined and then add to an 8×10 banking dish.
  5. Top with one cup of cheese and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, until the dish is warm throughout and the cheese is bubbly.
  6. Slice casserole into 6 portions.

One slice counts as 2 green, 1/2 red, and 1 blue container. (serves 6)

Source: http://www.coupleinthekitchen.com/blog/2016/2/1/cheesy-spaghetti-squash-casserole

STUFFED PEPPERS

stuffed

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup whole, peeled canned tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Herbs of your choice (we usedHerbs de Provance and oregeno)
  • 4 bell peppers, tops cut off and insides removed
  • 2/3 cups shredded cheese

Directions:

  1. To start, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and also start to make up your quinoa. Upon cooking, it usually doubles in size so keep that in mind while making your quinoa. Once cooked, remove from heat.
  2. In a saucepan, sautee sliced mushrooms until soft.
  3. Add garlic until fragrant then add the can of tomatoes. Use your spoon to break them up a bit.
  4. Mix in quinoa and your herbs.
  5. Scoop filling into each bell pepper.
  6. Pop them into a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
  8. Put your oven on broil and place the peppers back in for about 3 minutes or until the cheese is toasted and bubbly.

This recipe counts as 2 green containers, 1 yellow, and 1/2 of a blue container. (serves 4)

Source: http://www.coupleinthekitchen.com/blog/2016/1/17/stuffed-peppers

CHUNKY VEGETABLE CHILI

chili

Ingredients:
2 tsp. olive oil
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. chile powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes, undrained
1 (15-oz) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed
1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained, rinsed
1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce, no sugar added
1 medium zucchini, cubed
6 Tbsp. nonfat plain yogurt

Preparation:
1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Add sweet potatoes, onion, and bell pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
3. Add chile powder, cumin, tomatoes, chickpeas, beans, and tomato sauce. Stir to combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; gently boil, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
4. Add zucchini; cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 10 minutes, or until zucchini is tender.
5. Top each serving with 1 Tbsp. yogurt.

container counts: 1/2 green, 2 yellow

Source: https://www.beachbody.com/beachbodyblog/recipes/chunky-vegetable-chili