Clean Eating, Diet, Recipes, Weight Loss

5 Steps to Making a Perfect Green Smoothie

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When I’m not drinking my daily dose of nutrition with Shakeology, I also like to incorporate Green Smoothies into my day as a way to ensure that I get more greens into my diet.   These smoothies are a great way to incorporate more nutrition into your diet in a tasty way. Most people, however, make one crucial mistake when they make their smoothie – they add way too much fruit (which means way too much sugar) and they don’t add a healthy fat.
 
Here is what I would recommend for making a Green Smoothie that is filling, tasty, and has a good balance of nutrition.
  1. Add 2 cups of leafy greens into a blender. I like using Kale, but if it is too bitter, you can use spinach.
  2. Add 2 cups of liquid to the blender with the leafy greens. I like using coconut water or unsweetened almond milk.
  3. Blend the leafy greens and liquid until they are purified…THEN ADD YOUR FRUIT & HEALTHY FATS to the blender.
  4. Add 1-2 cups of fruit to the blender – I am a fan of adding a banana and a cup of frozen berries.
  5. Add a Tablespoon of Coconut Oil or Nut Butter or even a 1/4 of an avocado to the blender and mix it all up!
Bonus: I like to add in ginger, herbs, spices, nuts, or oats to my smoothies to add more oomph and create a more power packed or satisfying smoothie.
 
The benefit of adding the healthy fats to the smoothie is that it provides some satiety, making you feel fuller longer, plus healthy fats help with fat loss. Also, by limiting the servings of fruit to two, it keeps your blood sugar balanced, especially when you combine the healthy fats.
 
The beauty of blending the greens and liquids first, makes sure that there are no clumps and that the greens are blended perfectly.
 
Hopefully, this helps you with creating the best green smoothie you can make! 
Clean Eating, Diet, Healthy Eating, Recipes

Shrimp & Mango Skewers with Blackberry Sauce 

Every month my friends and I have a themed dinner night. We draw two cards out of a bag full of different themes and this month was Seafood and Your Favorite Color. My favorite color is purple, so here is this recipe. 

Spicy Shrimp & Mango Skewers with Blackberry Glaze 

1 pound of Shrimp, deveined & raw

1 Mango, diced 

3 Tablespoons of seedless blackberry jam 

4 Tablespoons of soy sauce 

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 Tbsp of Sriracha 

Old Bay Seasoning 


1. Alternate Shrimp and Mango on a soaked skewer and lay on a cookie sheet. Pat the skewers dry. 

2. Season skewers with Old Bay Seasoning 

3. In a bowl, combine blackberry jam, soy sauce, garlic and Sriracha into a bowl and brush on skewers on both slides. Save any left over sauce and place in a saucepan. 


4. Broil skewers on high for 4-5 minutes on each side. 

5. While the skewers are cooking, reduce the remaining sauce in a pan on medium heat until it thickens. 

6. Once skewers are done, drizzle the thickened sauce over the skewers and top with green onions and serve with orange slices. 

7. Squeeze orange slices over the skewers and enjoy! 

I saved the leftovers and combined with brown rice for a tasty and healthy lunch. 

Clean Eating, Diet, Health, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Weight Loss

How to eat healthy as a “Picky Eater” 

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I hear this all the time from clients, when we move on to talking about their diet and nutrition. And to be honest, I can’t relate, because I literally love all types of foods!  There is a very small list of foods that I don’t like to eat, which creates a completely different problem. (We will get into that in another blog post! LOL)

When I start working with a “picky eater”, my focus with them is to help them change their mindset and find solutions that will help them stay on track. Nutrition is a huge part of the transformation process and you can’t out exercise a bad diet. So, you have to get this under control if you want to get lasting results.

1.Focus on the foods that you like: I think that a lot of people get so caught up on what “healthy eating” is, and they believe that in order to be healthy they have to stick to a strict list of foods that are acceptable. I once had a client say that she couldn’t eat healthy, because she didn’t like spinach. In her mind, if she couldn’t eat what her friends were eating on their diet, it was pointless for her to even start.  So I asked her, “What foods do you like?” From there we came up with a list of foods that she does like and started to focus on creating a meal plan that included those things. So, if you don’t like kale, don’t eat kale, there are many other healthy vegetables that you can eat to stay on track. 🙂

2. Experiment with new recipes and new preparation techniques. It’s 2016, which means there is an unlimited amount of resources available to find recipes. Once you have an idea of what foods you do like, go to Google or Pinterest and type if “[FOOD YOU LIKE] Healthy Recipes” and voila! You will have a list of options that you can start to work into your daily routine. Also, try new preparation techniques, like using a Crock Pot or trying grilling your chicken instead of baking it.

3. Expand your horizons: Once you have a hang of trying new things with the foods that you like, take a step further and start to add new foods into the mix.  I don’t mean a huge overhaul, but maybe trying one new vegetable, or grain, or new way to prepare your meal.  This is one of the best ways to keep things from getting boring or stale, unless you like that (some people do like eating the same thing, because it helps to keep them on track and relieves some stress).

At the end of the day, just because you are a “picky eater”, it doesn’t mean that you are doomed when it comes to getting a handle on your nutrition.  Try these 3 tips and give it a shot!

If you are looking for a way to get a better handle on Clean Eating, check out my free Clean Eating Guide, which includes a sample meal play and grocery list that you can check out.  Click here to download the guide. 

Diet, Health, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Weight Loss, Workout

Sweet & Savory Post Workout Parfaits

Many people ask me about what to eat after a good workout and yes, protein is important, but many of the protein shakes on the market are not the cleanest of healthiest for you.  Here is an option, that I have fallen in love with and it’s a perfect recipe that you can meal prep a few in advance for a nice grab and go snack, that’s as filling as it is fancy!

I typically use plain greek yogurt for my parfaits, but I wanted to try something a little different, especially since my basil plant, Peter (yes, I named him), was started to wilt so I wanted to make use of the basil I had on hand.  So, I figured I’d swap out the yogurt for cottage cheese, which I have never been a real fan of, until now, and figured that strawberries would be a nice pair with the lemony basil.   For added sweetness and depth of flavor, balsamic vinegar and honey round out this recipe.

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  • 1/2 Cup of Cottage Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup of Diced Strawberries
  • 1 Tablespoon of Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar 
  • 1 Drizzle of Honey
  1. Place cottage cheese at the bottom of a bowl or a mason jar.
  2. In a small bowl, combine Strawberries, Basil and Balsamic together and add to cottage cheese. 
  3. Drizzle with honey and enjoy!

For more of my recipes, I now have a Clean Eating Instagram account – www.Instagram.com/iCookClean. Follow for more recipes and meal prep ideas!

Clean Eating, Diet, Fitness, Health, Healthy Eating, Recipes

Happy & Healthy Cinco De Mayo

It just hit me that today is Cinco De Mayo, mainly because many of my Friday clients have asked to train later in the day to recover from tonight’s festivities. I wanted to share some of the tips that I shared with them and some recipes that I found that can be a great alternative to still celebrate!

This week I made Creamy Stuffed Bell Peppers and they came out delicious (see photo below), so I figured that you could do the same thing and make Bell Pepper Stuffed Tacos. Just skip the tortilla and use a bell pepper. Genius, right?!

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Also, for my Margarita loving friends, your best bet is to aim for a Skinny Version where you keep it simple with Platinum Tequila, Lime Juice & Agave Syrup. Feel free to add fresh fruit puree or a slice of jalapeno for extra punch!

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Lastly, remember one meal won’t ruin your progress, so tomorrow will be a brand new day and you can get right back on track.  I still have 3 spots left in my Make It Happen in May Fitness Challenge, if you want more info just respond to this email and we can chat more about it!

**Click the highlighted links to get the recipes. :)**

Clean Eating, Diet, Health, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Weight Loss

DIY: Fruit-at-the-Bottom Yogurt

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I remember growing up and seeing all of the commercials of women in active gear eating “Light” and “Fat Free” yogurt, claiming it was a big part of their “diet” and plan to lose weight.  In my teens, I started to follow suit and eat all types of yogurts that were artificially sweetened and flavored to taste like pies, cakes, and chocolate mousses, with the same hopes of being skinny and thin.  Unfortunately, those yogurts tend to be full of tons of preservatives, chemicals, and other additives that aren’t the best for the body and truth be told, do not provide much nutritional value to help create a healthy body.

Now, I love making my own yogurt cups for an easy grab and go breakfast, snack or dessert.  I add this to my weekly Meal Prep time and because it’s so simple, you can mix it up and never get bored.

Here’s my basic recipe:

  1. Choose your fruit(s) of choice.  I like using fresh berries, but also frozen fruits work well, because as they thaw out, they release juices that provide more flavor.
  2. Sweeten with a 1/2 teaspoon of pure maple syrup, agave nectar or honey.
  3. Top with Plain Greek Yogurt (you can add a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla beans if you want more flavor.  Another option is to mix in your favorite Vanilla Protein powder, sometimes I use Shakeology to give it a nutritional boost and make it more of a meal)
  4. I like to use a Mason Jar because it easy to fill, easy to store and easy to clean. Plus it looks cool 🙂
  5. Store in the fridge for up to 2-3 days, especially if you are using fresh fruit.

Here are some of my favorite ideas for flavors

  • Fresh Strawberries with Orange Zest
  • Pineapples & Mangos
  • Frozen Peaches and Frozen Blueberries
  • Cinnamon Apples or Pears (Sauté an apple or a pear in one teaspoon of coconut oil and add cinnamon)
  • Frozen Mixed Berries

 

Toppings – You can also add some additional toppings for more flavor:

  • Nuts
  • Homemade Granola
  • Rolled Oats
  • Cinnamon or Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Coconut Flakes
  • Flax or Chia Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds

The moral of the story is that the possibilities are endless and it’s a great way to save calories, save money and save yourself from eating yogurts filled with artificial flavors, sweeteners and chemicals.  Your body will thank you!

Clean Eating, Diet, Health, Recipes, Self Care

Holiday Recovery Tea

 
The holidays are a time of family, friends, festivities and food. Along with that can come stress, colds, and the body needing some serious TLC. Here’s a simple drink that is perfect to drink first thing in the morning, after a big meal, or before going to bed.   

I call it Holiday Recovery Tea, because it is packed with detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bloating ingredients that will boost your immune system and soothe your body.  

Here is the recipe: 

  • 1/2 of a lemon, sliced 
  • 1 teaspoon of raw honey 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of tumeric 
  • 1 marble size knot of ginger
  • 2 dashes of cayenne pepper 

 

  1. Heat water in a kettle. 
  2. Combine honey, cinnamon, tumeric, and cayenne pepper into a teacup with a spoon.
  3. Add ginger and lemon to the honey and spice mixture. 
  4. Once the water is hot, pour on top of the mixture and let steep for 3-4 minutes. 
  5. Enjoy. Once, you’ve finished, you can add more hot water to keep enjoying.     

 

Clean Eating, Diet, Health, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Weight Loss

Easy, Quick & Healthy Dinner: Italian Chicken & Veggies 

So I have been on this kick with experimenting various ways to eat clean, without spending a lot of money and without a lot of time to cook or clean up.  Trader Joe’s has been my go to of the past few weeks when it comes to my “Meal Prep Sundays” and today I made another “One Dish Wonder” that rocked my socks – Italian Chicken & Veggies.  It’s simply so easy and delicious! 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pound of Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast Tenders, diced into chunks
  • 1 Container of Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Pack of Asparagus, diced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Container of Sliced Crimini or Baby Bella mushrooms
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, minced/crushed
  • 1/2 Onion, diced
  • Olive Oil, to be used sparingly
  • Italian Seasoning – I used Tastefully Simple’s – Dried Tomato & Garlic Pesto Mix (Click Here for more info)

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Assemble a baking dish with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, asparagus, and chicken (see above).
  3. Sprinkle minced garlic over the entire spread of food
  4. Drizzle a olive oil over the veggies and add seasoning to the entire dish
  5. Bake for 25 minutes – until chicken is done and juice run clear and the tomatoes begin to burst
  6. Mix together and cook for 5 more minutes to get all of the flavors to combine.

 There are many options of how to enjoy this dish: 

  • Serve on it’s on as it’s a great one dish wonder – protein and veggies
  • Serve on top of pasta – I’m going to enjoy mine with a new Edamame Pasta I got from Costco
  • Serve on top of brown rice
  • Serve on top of mashed potatoes (I know, but keep the portions small)
  • This is also a great option for your weekly meal prep – place into tupperware containers for grab and go lunches or dinners that are healthy, tasty, and easy to enjoy! 

I’d love to know what other ideas or questions you have when it comes to easy meal prep/easy dinner ideas.  Comment below and I will give them a try and share with you!  For more information about Clean Eating click here to get my free Clean Eating Guide!

Clean Eating, Diet, Gluten Free, Health, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Weight Loss

5 Ingredient Burrito Bowl Recipe

IMG_4537I have been trying to experiment with Meal Prep recipes that are 5 ingredients or less, healthy, and that are easy to make ahead and freeze if needed. I’ve had some complete failures, but this Burrito Bowl is a SLAM DUNK!

It’s super easy to make, I got everything from Trader Joe’s (but you can get these ingredients from any grocery store)  I made this  in less than 5 minutes and made enough for two meals this week and then froze two more for later in the month. This is the perfect dish if you are short on time and cash, but want a great meal.

Ingredients

  • Frozen Organic Brown Rice (in the freezer section)
  • Can of Cuban Style Black Beans (in the canned food section)
  • Just Chicken Pre-cooked Chicken Breast Slices (in deli section or you can bake/grill your own)
  • TJ’s Mild Pico de Gallo salsa (in the deli section)
  • Natural Shredded Cheese

Steps: 

  1. Microwave the frozen brown rice and divide the packet into two portions. Place one portion into a plastic container (or a bowl if you are eating it right away)
  2. Open the can of black beans  and divide the can into two portions, place the beans on top of the rice.
  3. Dice about 1/2 – 3/4 cup of chicken breast and place on top of rice and beans
  4. Pour one-half of the container of pico on to each of the containers or bowls
  5. Top with a sprinkle of cheese

Either freeze or eat right away….serve it with avocado, sprinkle on some green onions,  and add a dollop Salsa for more kick and flavor.  You can also use ground turkey or beef for this recipe or regular salsa.  Let me know how you spice it up!

Enjoy!

Clean Eating, Diet, Health, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Weight Loss

Fall Into Clean Eating 5 Day Challenge

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Well, the holiday season is officially upon us! This means that we have to stay even more focused to stay on track.  Now, I will be 100% honest, I plan on going NUTS on Thanksgiving, but I am also 100% confident that I will not gain weight during this holiday season.  How do I know, because I have been focusing on eating clean during these few weeks, drinking my Shakeology daily, and working out with the 21 Day Fix.

Starting on Monday, the 17th, the full week before the week of Thanksgiving, I will be hosting a FREE 5 Day Fall Into Clean Eating Challenge. During this challenge we will focus on eating clean and to help you, I have created a 5 Day Meal Plan and Guide to help you stay on track.  If you want to join in on the fun and get access to the meal plan and guide, you can access it by joining the private Fall Into Clean Eating Group that will start on Monday.

***The group is officially closed, but you can purchase the  5 Day Clean Eating Guide, complete with meal plans, recipes, and a grocery list***

Click here to purchase.