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Mediterranean Chicken Salad

This week, I’m hosting a 5 Day No Sugar Challenge in my Clean Eating Accountability Group on Facebook, so I’ve been trying to find easy recipes that will keep us on track. 


This salad is so flavorful and filling, you don’t even think about how healthy it is for you! One of the keys to this salad is skipping the salad dressing which typically has sugar, by using a cucumber and tomato salad, olive hummus, and lemon juice to add flavor! 

First let’s talk about the Cucumber Tomato Salad. 

  • 1 Cup of Cucumber, Diced 
  • 1 Cup of Tomatoes, Diced 
  • 1/2 Cup of Red Onion, Chopped 
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 1 Tbsp of 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe’s (or any Salt Free Seasoning) 
  • 1/2 Tbsp of Garlic Powder 
  • 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil 
  1. Add all ingredients to a plastic container and mix together . 
  2. Store in the fridge while you are preparing the rest of the salad. 

Now let’s talk about the Seasoning for the Chicken, which was so flavorful! 

  • 1 Tbsp of Dried Oregano 
  • 1 Tbsp of Dried Thyme 
  • 1 Tbsp of Dried Basil 
  • 1 Tbsp of 21 Seasoning Salute (or salt free Seasoning 
  • 1 Tbsp of Garlic Powder 
  • 1/2 Tbsp of Pink Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt 
  1. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. This will go on the Chicken. 


I then sautéed 1.5 pounds of boneless skinless chicken Breast and the Seasoning mixture  in 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil in a pan until cooked through. 


From there you assemble your salad. I used kale, because it can handle the acidity of the Cucumber Tomato salad and the hummus, and the heat of the Chicken. 


I used the 21 Day Fix containers to portion out everything, but the basics are: 

  • 2 Cups of Kale 
  • 1 Cup of Cucumber Tomato Salad 
  • 3/4 Cup of Chicken 
  • 1/3 Cup of Hummus 
  • 1 Tbsp Cup of Feta 
  • 1 lemon wedge 


It was a perfect and filling lunch! If you want more information on Clean Eating and my free Clean Eating Accountability Group, go to www.CleanEatingGuide.com

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Crockpot Curried Lentils with Ground Turkey & Spinach 

Hold the phone! How come no one told me about how good lentils are?!? I’ve always wanted to cook with Lentils but wasn’t sure how to incorporate them or how to cook them properly. This time around I used Trader Joe’s ready to eat Lentils and they worked out great in the crockpot. 

Since it was cold and rainy, I added ground beef for additional meatiness and the spices to warm me up. It was the perfect comfort food and confession, I went to bed dreaming about how good they were that I ate them for breakfast! 


Here’s the recipe: 

  • 1 package of cooked lentils (I used Trader Joe’s brand) 
  • 1 pound of ground Turkey 
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes 
  • 1/2 bag of Frozen Peppers & Onions 
  • 1 bag of Chopped frozen spinach 
  • 3 Cloves of garlic, chopped 
  • 1 cup of water 
  • 3 Tbsp of Curry Powder 
  • 1 Tbsp of Cumin 
  • 1 Tbsp of Pumpkin Pie Spice 
  • 1 Tbsp of Tumeric 
  • 2 Tbsp of Salt 
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of ground Cayenne – depends on heat preference 

Throw into a crockpot and cook on low for 6-7 hours. 

Serve with whole wheat naan, chopped jalepeños for more heat and a dollop of Mango Ginger Chutney.

Clean Eating, Uncategorized

5 Ways to Avoid Winter Weight Gain

funny-pictures-winter-weight-loss-snowmanDid you know that the average American gains 5 – 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve? That’s not too surprising given all of the festivities and holiday indulgences, plus added stress with work, family, and travel.  Our schedules are out of whack and then there is always that one co-worker who brings in the treats and sweets!

This time of year, can wreck havoc on your current fitness and clean eating regimen and can also set you back in your goals for 2017. A lot of my clients have been asking me how to help them, so I wanted to put all of my best tips that have worked for my clients and me.

  1. Just Say No: This is definitely a no-brainer, but it just has to be said.  Many times, it’s all about having the willpower to simply say no to full indulgence.  For example, do you need to eat that piece of cake or indulge in a second plate of appetizers at the company holiday party? Probably, not.  One thing that I do to make it easier, if I know that i’ll be in a place where I’ll be tempted, is to eat a healthy snack or meal before attending an event. That way I won’t be starving and less likely to overindulge.
  2. Focus on Healthy Snacks: Remember, “FOOD IS FUEL” and if you are not able to have healthy meals for lunch or dinner, focus on making your snacks healthy.  Aim for foods that are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, lean protein and healthy fats.  Lately, I’ve been snacking on an apple with a tablespoon of almond butter or whole grain pita with hummus and cucumber. I also keep Kind Bars and healthy trail mix in my bag for an easy grab and go option while I am out and about.  Protein shakes or green smoothies are also a great in the clutch snack. The focus is to find snacks that can fill you up, fuel you up, and help to keep your metabolism revved up.
  3. Find Healthy Alternatives: Tis the season to be creative and opt for healthier alternatives to your holiday favorites.  You might be surprised at how tasty and delicious an apple crumble can be in place of a traditional apple pie or even swapping a mixed drink or beer for a glass of champagne (which is lower in calories and carbs). It’s all about balance, but if you are looking for more options, check out my Healthy Holiday Recipe Pinterest Board. 
  4. Commit with a Buddy: People who have an accountability system in place can help them stay on track with their health and fitness goals.  Connect with a co-worker or a family member or your best friend and commit to taking a fitness class a few times a week or committing to logging your food in MyFitnessPal or even committing to eating a healthy breakfast and snacks each day.  Knowing that you have someone else in the same boat as you and that you have to check in with them, will help you to be more mindful in what you are doing and what you are eating, which sometimes is all you need to make better decisions.
  5. Establish a Reward: I don’t know about you, but I am all up for the new “Treat Yo’Self” movement and I have been very good about rewarding my good behavior.  One of my clients just told me that she booked a trip to Puerto Rico because she made a commitment that she would get a trainer and workout 3 times a week for 6 months. Not only did she meet that commitment, but she has lost 23 pounds since we started training and she has definitely earned her trip! Think of a reward that you can do for the beginning of the year if you avoid gaining weight by making the best decisions. Maybe it’s a trip, a new dress to wear on New Year’s Eve or a new toy or appliance!

Hopefully, these will help you to stay on track this year and if you have any other questions, feel free to contact me.  I am hosting a January Fitness & Clean Eating Challenge starting in the New Year and if you are interested in joining click here to submit an application! 

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3 Reasons Why You Should Lift Weights

20140806-160924-58164893.jpgWhen I start working with most of my female clients, one of the top things that they say is that they want to lose weight and reduce body fat and they automatically assume that they need more cardio. While cardiovascular training is important, if you want to burn fat and tone up the body, you will need to add strength training at least 3 times a week.  Most of the time their mouths fly open and they immediately protest stating that they simply want to tone and that they will get too bulky.  However, after 6 weeks of a strength training program with me, that focuses on body fat reduction and body toning, they are happy that they listened and trusted me to add weight lifting to their regimen.

Here are the 3 reasons that I share and that my clients experience:

  1. Muscles Burn Fat: When you create a regimen of weight training and cardiovascular training, you have the ability to lose 40% more fat, than if you just did cardiovascular training? I’m not saying skip the cardio, I’m simply saying that cardio alone is not the only answer.  Adding weight training will turn you into a fat burning machine! 
  2. Muscles Burn Calories: One pound of muscle uses more than twice the amount of energy than one pound of fat, which means that you could be burning more calories by simply sitting at your desk, just because you have more muscle mass. More muscles means burning more calories throughout the day, which means a great opportunity for weight loss, especially when you add in a healthy and balanced diet.
  3. Muscles are key for Toning: If you have areas that you want to tone, adding muscle mass to those areas will help firm and tighten those areas – think bye bye love handles and the under arm jiggle.  Not only will you burn that fat away, but you will be able to tone that area. Cardio, can’t do that for you.

As you can see, adding weight lifting to your fitness regimen, can be a great way to burn more calories, burn more fat, and tone your body, all without bulking up! They key is to focus on using light to moderate weights and doing 12 – 15 reps of the exercises.  For starters, grab a pair of dumbbells and hold one in each hand, do a set of squats, lunges, shoulder presses, and chest presses.  Add in a set of crunches and a plank hold and you have a full body workout that uses weights.    Keep it simple, but definitely make sure to add in the weights! #StrongIsTheNewSkinny

For more information on weight training or at home workouts, send me a message via Facebook! I have tons of resources that can help you!

 

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Crockpot Southwest Chicken Bowls 

I love my crockpot and this is a perfect version for Taco Tuesday and quick to assemble.   
In a crockpot, add 

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Container of Pico De Gallo 
  • 1 Cup of Sliced Bell Pepper 
  • 1 Medium Onion diced 
  • 1 Cup of Corn 
  • 1/2 cup of scallions 
  1. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and garlic powder. 
  2. Let it cook on low for 8-10 hours. 
  3. When ready to serve, shred chicken with forks (in crockpot). 

I made my bowls with brown rice, the chicken mixture, cheese, avocado, salsa and more green onions. But can also be a great filling for tacos, burritos or enchiladas.

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Banana Nut & Oat Pancakes 

I saw one of my coaches make these morning and I had to try them and I loved them!   
The beauty of these pancakes is that they are made in the blender with simple ingredients and taste great! 

  
Here’s my version: 

  • 2 Ripe, almost overly ripe, bananas 
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup of Rolled Oats 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Powder 
  • Pinch of Salt 
  • 1/2 Cup of Pecan Pieces (optional) 

  
Directions: 

  1. Add all of the ingredients, except the pecans, into a blender. I used a Ninja. 
  2. Blend for about 60 seconds and let batter sit for 10 minutes. 
  3. Add the nuts to the batter.
  4. Heat a pan or griddle on medium high heat and add coconut oil. 
  5. Spoon 1/2 cup of the batter into the pan and flip after 1 minute. Cook for another minute. 
  6. Top with Cinnamon and heated Cashew Butter or even more bananas and strawberries. 😋
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5 Ways to Enjoy Cantaloupe 

  
Today I had a busy and long day, hosting a quarterly event with Beachbody in Danville, CA. We tried Tony Horton’s new program 22 Minute Hard Corps and now I’m at home exhausted, but craving something sweet. I forgot that I had a cantaloupe in the fridge and thought it would be a perfect post dinner snack or dessert, to help satisfy my sweet tooth and fill me up! 

As I was snacking away, I decided to do some research on the benefits of Cantaloupe and I was pretty impressed! 

It’s packed with Potassium, Beta Carotene, Vitamin A and Fiber, along with many other antioxidants. It also has a high water content, which is perfect for a post workout snack. 

Did you know that it helps with hydration, digestion, inflammation, blood pressure, asthma and even cancer prevention? 
Here are some ways that you can add more to your diet. 

  1. Eat them plain, seriously I love to chop it up and eat them just as they are. 
  2. Make a fruit salad. My favorite combo is with watermelon, strawberries, and mint leaves with a squeeze of lime. 
  3. Mix it with Plain Greek Yogurt or Cottage Cheese
  4. Drink it. Add thin slices to your water or I even have a friend who grates it and adds it to her water. 
  5. Use it as a condiment. Mix it in with mango, jalapeños, red onion, garlic and cilantro with a touch of lime juice for a sweet and spicy salsa. (Here’s a hint, it goes great with fish tacos!) 

How do you like your Cantaloupe?!

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Bacon & Green Onion Egg Muffins

Breakfast Egg Muffins are a perfect grab and go option! The best part about this recipe is that it’s quick to make, easy to clean, and stores and freezes well. 

I eat 2 for one serving and if you want to make it a more hearty breakfast, like for a weekend brunch,  serve with whole grain toast, fruit salad and sweet potato home fries. 

  

Recipe: 

4 Eggs 

8 Egg Whites 

1 Cup of diced Turkey Bacon 

1/2 Cup of Shredded Cheese 

1 Handful of Green Onions 

Salt & Pepper 

Directions: 

Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine eggs and egg whites into a bowl. Add salt, pepper and green onions. Set aside. 

Grease muffin tin with coconut oil and spoon in equal parts of diced turkey bacon and cheese into each cup. 

Pour egg mixture into each cup and full 2/3. 

Bake for 20 minutes on 375 degrees. Let cool and store 2-3 cups into a container for your meal or snack. 

They freeze well and reheat well.

  

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Fail Proof Way to Reach your Weight Loss Goal

20140705-102502-37502606.jpgHave you ever found yourself wondering why you have trouble reaching your health and fitness goals? Chances are, you may need to revisit your goals and look at them a different way.  For example, when it comes to your goals do you say “I need to lose 10 pounds!”  If you have ever said that, you may be setting yourself up for failure because it is outcome based.

One method that I’ve done recently with a few clients who have been struggling, is to focus on the behaviors and habits that are formed.  Why is this important? Because the outcome (losing 10 pounds) will be dependent on consistent behaviors and habits, like working out 5 times a week or eating clean during the week. If you are able to workout for 5 days a week and eat clean during the week, the natural outcome will be weight loss. If you develop a habit of working out and eating clean each week, you will ultimately reach your goal of 10 pounds.

However, let’s take it a step further, not only will you eventually reach your outcome, but on your journey you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are now more disciplined with your fitness and nutrition, you will feel better, have more energy, and perform your daily activities better.  The weight loss of 10 pounds will be a “bonus”.

If you are you struggling to reach your weight loss goals, try switching from an outcome based approach to a behavior based approach.   For more help or assistance with reaching your goals, comment below or fill out this contact form and we can chat more in a 30 Minute Coaching Session.

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Try This Healthy Dinner Under 10 Minutes

  
Short on time to make a healthy dinner? Try Quinoa Pasta with Veggies & Tomato Sauce. 

I always keep a few bags of frozen veggies in the freezer and I always have a can diced tomatoes on hand, in the event that I need a quick and healthy dinner. 

In one pot, boil your pasta. In the other pot, add the tomatoes, a handful of the frozen veggies, a splash of olive oil and tons of herbs and let it cook until the veggies thaw out. Combine and enjoy!