Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Shakeology

Pumpkin Spice Shakeology 

ITS BACK!!!!! All of you Starbucks lovers know just what I am talking about when I say that. The sad news is that those amazing PSL drinks (Pumpkin Spice Lattes) at Starbucks are not all that great for your wasteline. I used to be a Starbucks addict - every morning I would hit the drive thru dropping a good $25.00 - $30.00 a week there shortly after my son was born. After a year of expensve trips to Starbucks and a few extra pounds from all the lattes I have since learned how to curb the habit. Rarely do I hit the drive thru there anymore. Of course I did stop in for a Pumpkin Spice Latte this week when they came out just for old time sake. The sad news is that it didn't even taste as good anymore to me - too sweet for my liking. I would rather have had my Shakeology. This left me no choice but to whip up a shake recipie that was similar to the latte. Here is what I came up with. 

Incorporating Coconut Oil Into Your Lifestyle

Incorporating Coconut Oil Into Your Life

The more and more I journey further into my clean eating lifestyle the more I am learning about things I had never thought to use before. Early in the journey I started to use coconut oil in my cooking and also some of my beauty routines. Today I will share with you what I know about it. There is plenty more out there about the benefits of coconut oil but I will share what I myself have learned with you so far.

First I would like to say that I am not a huge fan of coconut flavored things so I was a bit nervous about starting to cook with and leery about what it would do to the flavors of my meals. I can attest that while the flavor is different it is not a bad different and the actual coconut flavor is rather mild and a bit nutty. I really love cooking with it.  My favorite thing to do with it right now is to sauté chicken in it with fresh veggies to make a stir-fry.

Lets talk about why it is good for you -  coconut oil is extracted from the meat of a coconut and is considered a medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), which is a "healthy" form saturated fat compared to trans fat. It is easy to digest and your body quickly converts it to energy. Many also say that it has anti-viral, antibacterial, anit-microbial, and anti-fungal properties. It’s been shown that consuming coconut oil is good for overall immunity, reduces hypertension, helps reduce arterial injury, and helps keep proper cholesterol balance.

When going shopping to buy coconut oil you will want to try your best to find unrefined organic coconut oil. Unrefined oil means that the coconut oil is made from fresh raw coconut meat and has not additives or fillers. This type of processing is the most beneficial for your health in comparison to refined, which sometimes uses chemicals to process it and can reduce some of the benefits. Unrefined with also have more of a rich coconut flavor in comparison to refined. Coconut oil will be in a solid form until you start cooking with it and it will then melt. It has a shelf life of about a year but I doubt it will last you that long if you cook with it frequently. I go thru it pretty quick now that I cook with it more often.

From a cosmetic standpoint I have tried a coconut oil hair mask – I just melted about 5 tablespoons of oil in the microwave and applied to my hair when it was dry then wrapped my in plastic wrap and left it for a few hours. It was by no means an attractive look for me during the process but it did end up making my hair softer. I scared my husband when he saw me with my hair all wrapped up. He was laughing at the things women do for beauty regimens. I have also used it as cuticle cream before giving myself a manicure. If you look into it there are MANY other ways to use this magic oil but that is a quick snapshot of how coconut oil is making its way into the Griffith family! Give it a try next time you are out grocery shopping!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sirlon Steak and Broccoli Stir Fry

Sirlon Steak and Broccoli Stir Fry 

My husband has been doing the Body Beast workout program and it came with a fantastic cookbook like many of the Beachbody programs come with. This evening we decided to give the stir fry a try. It was a nice change from all the chicken we have been enjoying lately! Simple, fast and clean!

Makes 4 servings 
1 cup each 

1/4 cup low - sodium organic tamari soy sauce 
6 tablespoons of water 
2 tablespoons of tapioca startch 
1 tablespoon of raw honey 
1 pound of sirlon beef cut and trimmed 
1 teaspoon of coconut oil 
4 cups of broccoli florets
2 cloves of garlic 
1 teaspoon of fresh ginger root 

1. Cut sirlon into bite size pieces and trim fat
2. In a small bowl combine soy sauce, 4 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon of tapioca starch and honey; mix well; set aside
3. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon tapioca starch and 2 tablespoons water in large bowl; mix well. Add beef: toss to coat
4. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet cover over medium heat and add in sirlon. Cook until meat is no longer pink
5. Add in broccoli, garlic and ginger to pan and cook for 2 - 3 minutes sitrring often. 
6. Add soy sauce mixture to skillet and cook over medium - high heat stirring constantly for 30 seconds or until thickened. 
Remove from heat and enjoy!

Broccoli could be subbed for other veggie options such as zucchini, peppers, snow peas, carrots asparagus or water chestnut. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cinnamon Bun Shakeology

Cinnamon Bun Shakeology 

This morning I woke up craving cinnamon rolls but I didn't have any in the house. Decided to see if I could make a shake that tasted like a cinnamon bun. Mission accomplished. I loved this!!! 

Here Is What You Will Need
10 oz of ice
8 oz of water 
4 oz of vanilla almond milk
1 teaspoon of cinnamon 
1 graham cracker crushed up 
1 scoop of chocolate shakeology 
I also added in a splash of vanilla extract 
Blend and enjoy!! 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Learning To "Eat Clean"

Thinking About Trying Clean Eating? 

Have you been thinking about giving a clean eating lifestyle a try or curious about what all the hype is around this trend? I would like to take the time to educate you just a bit on what it is and why you may want to consider this for your own lifestyle. I have been on my “clean eating” journey now for seven months and I have no intention on ever going back to my old lifestyle. While I will be honest and say that I do occasionally get off track I am much more conscious about what I am feeding my family and myself.  The information that I will share with you is simply information that I have picked up and learned along the way myself. There are certainly other perspectives and approaches but the information below is in alignment with my own personal practices.

You will hear many people who practice this say that it is a lifestyle not a diet. I whole heartily agree. A diet has a date when you plan to stop doing it. Most who practice clean eating will plan to change their entire lifestyle for good. I can say though that if you want to lose any weight at all this is a great starting point. I tell my challengers it is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. You can work out all you want but if you are eating like crap you are wasting your time. You need to fuel your body with whole foods not processed junk. That is a problem I see sometimes – I have people who are working out often and enjoy it but they can’t figure out why they are not losing weight. When I ask them about their habits I quickly learn most are still eating whatever they want whenever they want because they think they can since they exercise. Guess what… all that work in the gym is worthless if you do that and are hoping to slim down. You have to focus on both nutrition and a solid 30 + minutes of exercise per day.

Here is how you can start practicing this by following these simple steps

1.  Clean eating means that you are trying to eat foods in their most natural state. I try to avoid processed foods when possible. If I buy something that is processed I am very conscious about the label and strive to have 5 ingredients or less on the label. If I cannot pronounce it or know it is a chemical it does not make it into our home. I do a lot of cooking and prepping things from scratch but let me tell you what a difference it makes. Everything tastes so much more fresh and delicious. As you transition into a “clean eating lifestyle” you will notice your taste buds actually change.

2. I try to eat a protein with all of my meals to keep me feeling full longer. My “diet” consists of fruits, veggies, carbs, healthy fats, proteins and oils such as coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. When you practice clean eating you tend to eat 5 – 6 small meals during the day every 2 – 3 hrs to keep your metabolism up and running all day long.

3. Cut out your consumption of processed sugar as well as salt. When I want to sweeten things I often use honey or pure maple syrup instead of actual sugar. When seasoning my foods I use sea salt when needed but mostly stick to fresh herbs and spices. Basil is one of my all time favorite dish enhancers. Love the flavor and freshness. What you will find is that the less you consume sugar or processed foods the less you will crave or even enjoy them.

4.  I strive to drink half of my weight everyday in ounces of water. In addition I often have a nightly cup of hot green tea to detox my body from the day.

5. Plan ahead – Every single week I take time on Saturdays to meal plan, write my grocery list and get to the store to shop. I spend Sunday afternoon prepping the foods for the week. I portion them out grill or bake proteins, wash and cut fruits and veggies. Whatever I need to do because I know as well as you do. Fruits and veggies that are not prepped and ready to go are less likely to get eating because it’s a chore to do before you can have it. While the planning and prep are time consuming it does help you to be prepared and also save you money because you are only buying what you need as well as not spending money on take out foods. Which by the way, when did take out get so expensive??? Yikes!!!

6. While clean eating focuses on nutrition I will also mention that each day I make a point to get in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise in addition to my eating habits.

If you would like more support with your clean eating journey please message me and I will gladly introduce you to a clean eating education group. In this group I will further your understanding of clean eating and how to implement it. Please email me today for more information 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pepper Chicken Nachos

Pepper Chicken Nachos 

This is fun appetizer and a healthy alternative to “real” nachos. We made it as a dinner entrée but it would make a fun appetizer for a party if you have people who are coming who would prefer a healthy pick instead of lots of junk food!

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small onions, sliced and chopped
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup salsa
Salt and pepper to taste
4 large bell peppers split into four quarters
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar/monterey jack cheese blend(we were out of that so I went for motzerella) 
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/2 large tomato, diced


Dice the peppers into 4 quarters and coat with olive oil – place in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes to soften the peppers while cooking the chicken
Cut up chicken into bite size pieces and place into a large skillet to sauté
Add in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Once chicken begins to brown mince garlic and add in chili powder and salt and pepper. In addition add in sliced onions and salsa. Let simmer until the peppers are done
Take the peppers from the oven and spoon chicken mixture onto it
Top with cheese tomatoes and olives
Bake until cheese melts

Makes about 16 nacho peppers 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Balsamic Pesto Chicken Pasta

Balsamic Pesto Chicken Pasta

This recipe takes a little bit more prep time than most nights because you will need to make your own pesto sauce. Nothing too major but realize this ahead of time. Or go for store bought but I promise the homemade will taste better.

Here is what you will need
1 box of wheat penne pasta
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves
5 ripe Roma tomatoes
1/3 cup of kalamata olives

First blend your homemade pesto sauce before beginning
In a large skillet cover the bottom of the pan with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and heat on medium high
Cut chicken breast into bite size pieces and place into the skillet
Salt and pepper the chicken and brown the chicken. After 3 minutes place in the fresh minced garlic
You may need to drain the pan if there becomes too much juice from the chicken. This will help speed up the browning process
Aside boil water and prepare the pasta according to the package
Meanwhile add in diced Roma tomatoes and allow them to cook down for about 3 minutes
Next add in the olives (optional) and 1/3 cup of pesto sauce
Allow to simmer for a few minutes
After draining the noodles add in the remaining pesto sauce that you had made earlier.
Combine pasta into the chicken mixture - allow it to sit for a few minutes then enjoy! 

Enjoy! Serves 4

Fresh Pesto

Fresh Pesto Sauce

I have wanted to make homemade pesto sauce for years but never had the time or the excess basil but this summer I planted lots and lots of basil so I could finally make my very own pesto! Tonight I conquered the mission. I was amazed with how quick, easy and fresh it turned out. I had no complaints other than it made my breath stink ha ha.

Here is what you will need
3 cups of fresh basil
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 cloves of garlic minced
½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor add in all ingredients except the last 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Process until smooth. Turn off food processor and scrape the sides. Add in the last 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Process again.

Pesto can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 4 months!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

What you will need
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning
1 cup of mozzarella cheese
Homemade Bruschetta - you will want to make this earlier in the day 

First trim fat from chicken breasts
Baste both sides of the chicken with olive oil and season with ingredients listed above. There are no specific measurements for the seasoning just sprinkle both sides as desired.
Grill until golden brown

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees on BROIL rather than bake
After grilling chicken place in a glass baking dish (I used a 9x13)
Top chicken breasts with homemade bruschetta recipe
Lightly sprinkle each chicken breast with mozzarella cheese
Broil uncovered for 25 minutes or until cheese is golden brown

Makes 4 servings
Brown rice and green beans make a great addition to this meal.

My husband told me this was one of his new favorite recipes. He said it was “guest worthy” Ha ha! If he only knew how much work that dinner was for me to make! It was a crazy night of cooking – small grill fire, pots overflowing on the stove and a toddler running wild thru the house. He was lucky we even had dinner when he got home let alone something so fancy tonight! Enjoy! Hope  your family deems it guest worthy too!

"Perfect and ready to serve"

Monday, August 11, 2014

Transformation Tuesday - Meet Amanda

Meet Amanda - Mom, Wife, Doctor, Runner - Super Woman 

Today I would like to feature Amanda. She is someone who I have been working with since early this summer. Amanda was introduced to me thru one of my other challengers and we have been working together ever since. The funny part about this business is I have never met Amanda but I could tell you all of her struggles, successes and a bit about her because of her involvement in my recent challenge group. I hope that sometime soon we can meet up and toast to her accomplishments but in the mean time I wanted to give her a special shout out and cheer her on. I hope that this will inspire many of you to start your journey no matter where you are in your life, no matter how many pounds you have to lose or how many babies you have at home. She is living proof that you CAN do it!

When I asked her to write me a little story about her journey here is what she told me:
 "I have always been active in life.  I have run 5 half marathons and love trail running.  I also do outdoor boot camps.  But I never could lose all the weight after having my second baby.  I tried weight watchers, Atkins, no sugar diet and nothing worked.  When I found out I was pregnant with my third son at 38, I was very afraid I would hang onto even more weight after this pregnancy (metabolism does drop as you age!).  And being a working mom with three kids... I knew I wouldn't have enough time to do a lot. My friend was doing 21 day fix and loved it so I thought I would try.  My weight loss post pregnancy had stalled despite trying to eat healthy and exercising.  I started at 170 lbs.  I have done 2 rounds of the fix and lost 16 lbs so far and countless inches around my waist /hips.  All my clothes fit now!  And I wore a bikini at the beach for the first time in 8 years (4 months after having my third baby!). More than that-- I feel great and have tons of energy.  I feel in control and I am never hungry.  I recently went on vacation for a week and maintained my weight loss :).  My goal is to lose 5-10 more lbs and tone my stomach area more.  Honestly-- I plan to eat this way for life.

"She is just as busy as the rest of you, but she MAKES the time for what she knows her body needs and what she wants for herself." 

Keep up the fantastic work Amanda!!! You have made me so proud and I cannot wait to see your final afters!!! 

Yes I am Pointing At You

Yes I am Pointing at You

If you are reading this, my picture caught your eye enough to bring you to my blog. That is a good step one. Here is the deal- I want to help you. But I only want to help those who want to be helped. I am looking for men and women who are sick and tired of feeling the way that they do. Those who want to live a better lifestyle but are not doing it for themselves. I want to teach you how to do this. Let me teach you how to make 30 minutes a day for yourself to exercise and make time to eat well. I know you are busy, we all are but if you don’t make the time to be healthy now you will later find you have to make time for sickness. You owe this to yourself and your family.

Those who have hit their breaking point are the ones who see the best results- WHY you ask – because they want to change their live and they want it BAD. I am going to be really honest in order to get thru any of these programs you have to have a WHY and it needs to be pretty big. Those who have it make it and lose the weight those that don’t fall off the wagon.

So here is the deal – I am willing to mentor 5 more people in my upcoming challenge group that starts next Monday. If you are ready and I mean really ready then email me or message me today and we will get you into the group.

We start on Monday August 18th – if you stick with me I could have you living a better lifestyle and weighing around 10 lbs lighter 30 days from now. What do you have to lose? Join me.

Fresh Garden Bruschetta

Fresh Garden Bruschetta

Ahh summer! Nothing beats the freshness of making foods out of the things you grew in your garden. After returning home from the beach I checked out my garden and was excited to find some ripe perfect tomatoes and lots of leafy green basil. My husband and I LOVE fresh bruschetta. We tend to buy it each weak from Wegmans or local grocery store in the deli anti-pasta section. This week I decided I was making my own version and let me just say WOW! I love it!! There is something about FRESH like really FRESH bruschetta! Amazing!! I would recommend that to anyone that shares our love for it!

Needed ingredients
8 ripe roma tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic
½ cup of fresh basil
1 small yellow onion
Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Sea Salt
Ground pepper

Dice tomatoes into small bite size pieces as well as onion
Mince garlic or use a garlic press
Finely chop up basil
Combine tomatoes, onions and garlic as well as the basil in a large bowl
Mix together
Add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil as well as 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of sea set and pepper to taste.
Combine and let it sit for an hour or so in the refrigerator to bring out the flavor.

Tastes great with bagel chips, pita chips -cold or baked in the oven.

Makes about 6 servings
"A look inside the bowl before putting it into the fridge" 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Getting Back on Track After A Vacation

What To Do When The Wheels Fall Off The Wagon 

Well I wish I could say I am returning home from my vacation and am still on track with my goals and healthy lifestyle but I will be completely honest. The wheels fell off the wagon and they fell off in a bad way. I suppose I shall confess now and let it all out there…

The trip started out great- we were packed and prepared. I packed all of my workout clothes, some healthy things that I knew we could not buy at the beach my Shakeology, and best of all a healthy picnic to eat on the way to the beach. We planned to stop at a park to let our son play while we picnicked on a healthy lunch rather than junk drive thru foods. It was a win win in my eyes. That did happen and it was really great.

Now lets talk more – as we passed Harrisburg I realized OH NO…. I forgot my workout DVD’s that I had planned to use while we were there. Step number 1 in the WRONG direction. Of all things to forget this is not something I wanted to not have with me.  I am not a runner otherwise that could have been my backup plan.

When we got there we were greeted by my family and were staying in a fantastic condo with a perfect ocean view, all the makings for a great vacation. At this point I should probably tell you more about my dad who was along with us.  He loves snacks; every kind you can think of he loves them and always has way too much on hand. To make matters worse he insists that you try some of this and here have that.  It is usually a type of chip or dip or candy, a healthy eating nightmare. He does it with a kind heart and means well by it so he is hard to say no to. I knew this going into this trip so that’s why I packed my own stuff. But my will power began to fade by day 2. I spent the trip snacking with the best of them. Chips, dip, pizza, fries, subs from our favorite sub place, boardwalk treats. You name it we ate it. In the moment it tasted great but if you practice clean eating you know that those foods will make you sick if you are not used to them, and that it did.

One of the many snacks

"Snacking, what we did best at the beach this week. At least I had a salad if you can see it in the picture." 

Carter with is snack of choice for the week - Organic Animal Crackers 

All of my snacking and lack of exercise left me tired, bloated and rather grumpy and mad at myself for not sticking to the plan I had for myself. The good news is that everyone gets a new week to start back over. This week is my week. Today I meal planned, found some new fun recipes and grocery shopped. Emptied out the pantry of anything that might get in my way and am ready to get back on track this week. If feels good! I have decided I am going to do a round of the 21 day fix. It is my favorite and has given me the best results out of all of my programs that I have. If you are feeling like I was after my vacation contact me and I will help get you back on track! All it takes is some planning, support and the right mindset! 

"Some of my healthy foods from the store this morning"

"Ready for a great week"

Lesson learned – vacations are so much fun but also oh so hard to stick to your “lifestyle” unless you are really prepared! Kudos to those of you who are able to stick to things while you are vacationing! Next year I will do better. But at least we had a great time and made many fun family memories!! 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Tomato Basil Pasta With Grilled Chicken

Tomato Basil Pasta with Grilled Chicken 

Just within the last few days we have been able to enjoy the fruit of our garden that we planted way back around Memorial Day. I have been waiting all summer to make one of my favorite Tomato Basil Pasta dishes. I picked the fresh basil and tomatoes from the garden and got ready to cook up a favorite. Everything about this dish reminds me of summer and fresh foods from the garden.

Ignore the pepper this is just a picture of some of the harvest from the garden. Not all of the tomatoes you will need to use are pictured. 

*I make this dish without the chicken this time because I was just cooking for myself and wanted to skip a step. That is why you won't see the chicken in the pictures. 

Here is what you will need:

½ lb of wheat penne pasta
1 cup of fresh basil
¾ stick of unsalted butter
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon of garlic salt
¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper
2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 pint of small tomatoes sliced in half
¼ cup of Parmesan cheese

Directions: Makes about 4 servings
Cut the chicken breast up into small bites to sauté in a large skillet
Place ½ of the required allotment of butter into the skillet and melt
Once chicken is cooked add in the tomatoes and olive oil and seasonings, after tomatoes begin to simmer and “pop” add in the fresh basil.
In a separate pan boil water and cook penne pasta according to the box
Once penne pasta is cooked drain it and then pour it into the same pan you have the chicken and tomatoes cooking in. Stir to coat the pasta with the ingredients.
Add in remaining butter – I usually add in a dash more garlic salt and pepper.
Top with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!!

Tastes even better the second day!

Friday, August 1, 2014

August Back to School Clean Eating Group

Back to school has always been one of my favorite times of the year. Everything feels like a fresh start to me during this month. This fall I wanted to help teach you how to change your lifestyle and learn more about clean eating. I will be hosting a 30 -day clean eating challenge group for back to school. This group will run for 30 days and I will teach you how to change your lifestyle and focus on feeding yourself and your family clean meals. We will go thru clean eating education – what is it, where to start, how to get the best deals and secrets of how to be successful with clean eating. Each week I will provide you with daily recipes and a grocery list for the week. We will practice meal planning and meal prep each week to help keep you organized and on track with your new lifestyle. The group will be hosted thru a private group on Facebook where you will get to meet and interact with others who are looking to change their lifestyle just like you are.

Exercise is not required to be in this group however it would certainly be beneficial to your overall health. Participants will need to drink Shakeology during these 30 days. They will get to see how it transformations their body with vitamins and boots your energy.

If you are worried about having time to fit exercise into your crazy schedules this fall this is a great place to start. Most weight loss is 80/20 – 80% nutrition and 20 % exercise.

If you are sick of feeling tired, lethargic and out of shape start here. Start with the lifestyle change and let me teach you how to create a better life for yourself and your family.

Message me or send and email to to reserve your spot. We start on August 19, 2014.