Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin Shakeology

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin Shakeology 

10 ounces of ice
10 ounces of water
4 ounces of vanilla almond milk
1 scoop of vanilla shakeology
1 small ripe banana
1 tablespoon of dark chocolate chips
1 teaspoon of banana extract

Combine liquid ingredients and ice into your cup
Pour into a blender
Add in shakeology, banana, and chocolate chips
Blend for 1 minute
Pour and enjoy!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Chicken Pineapple Salsa Stir Fry

Chicken Pineapple Salsa Stir Fry 

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts – fat trimmed
3 garlic cloves minced
12 oz of fresh medium salsa
1 can of diced pineapples drained (fresh would be great too but I was low on time when I made this recipe and had some canned pineapple on hand. Typically I would always pick fresh over canned but in a pinch this was easier).
Brown rice

Cut chicken into bite size pieces and place into a large skillet to brown
After chicken begins to turn white add in minced garlic and salt and pepper to taste. In a separate pan cook brown rice according to package, I made 2 servings of the rice for this recipe.
After chicken has cooked the whole way thru then add in diced pineapple and the 12 oz of fresh salsa
Cover and let this simmer together for 5 – 8 minutes.
Next add in the cooked rice – mix ingredients together and allow it to “marinate” for a few minutes before serving.

Serves 3 – 4 depending on portion size

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Shakeology

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Shakeology 

"When you are looking for a treat to satisfy your sweet tooth, this is worth a try." Tastes identical to a real slice of chocolate peanut butter cheesecake. 

10 oz of water
10 oz of ice 
4 oz of vanilla almond milk 
1 scoop of chocolate shakeology 
1 tablespoon of PB2 (powdered peanut butter or natural peanut butter)
1 tablespoon of sugar free fat free jello cheesecake mix 

Combine water, ice and almond milk then pour into the blender 
Add in dry ingredients 
Blend for 1 minute 
Pour & enjoy! 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Transformation Tuesday - Round 1 - 21 Day Fix

Transformation Tuesday - Meet Crisinda

Today I am so excited to share with you one of my challengers round 1 results! Crisinda has just completed her first round of the 21- day fix. I want to first share with you how long it took for me to talk her into giving this a chance. She and I went back and forth a lot this summer talking about this but she was already committed to a different product and was a bit unsure about Shakeology and the program in itself. She finally decided to give this a try just a month ago and literally just a few days into this program she called to tell me how fantastic she was feeling and could not believe what Shakeology was going for her colitis. In particular this is why I wanted to share her story with you. Yes, she already looks fantastic and IS seeing results but I think it is amazing to hear what clean eating and Shakeology did for her digestive health in just 21 days! Pretty fantastic and such a relief for her. I wanted those who might be having similar health issues to know that this a potential option for some relief! She is not the first person I have worked with that has had this type of relief.

What made Crisinda’s journey thus far so awesome was that she LOVED every minute of it. I was getting happy messages all the time! She was active in our challenge group and took her journey by the horns and has owned what she wants to accomplish. She knows that there is no magic pill- the secret is hard work, determination and a commitment to what she wants to achieve. Because of this mindset I know she will not only transform her own life but also her families along the way!

I asked her to write a little note about her journey so far and here is what she wanted me to share with everyone:

“As I look at my body over the past 4 weeks I am so amazed of the changes!! I so wish I would of started months and months ago with this program. I have tried a few other programs and my belly just couldn't handle the shakes as a person who has colitis. I was very nervous to start this program but I thought you know what just try it and see what happens. Well it so turned out that my system loves the very healthy eating and the shakes too!!! All the bloating is completely gone and all my other issues have also cleared up!!!! I have never felt this great in years!!! My results are obvious and my determination and attitude are at full force to get the results I want!”

Crinsinda – Thanks for sharing your story! I hope you feel proud of your accomplishments! I could not be happier for you!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Shakeology

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Shakeology 

10 oz of ice
10 oz of water
4 oz of vanilla almond milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 scoop of vanilla Shakeology
2 teaspoons of chocolate chips (dark chocolate chip would be best but I only had milk chocolate on hand)

Combine water, almond milk and ice in a cup
Pour into the blender and then include remaining ingredients
Blend for 1 minute

Clean Chicken Lo Mein

Clean Eating - Chicken Lo Mein

As always, I hit another Pinterest jackpot. Sometimes it a miss but usually Pinterest is a hit for me. This recipe I found was nothing less than awesome! I am not a huge fan of Chinese foods but I really liked this one. My little one also really enjoyed it as well, which is rather surprising since he is two! Aside from the sodium in the soy sauce this recipe is pretty healthy and very filling. Hope you love it as much as we did!

·  ½ lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small chunks
·  1 - 13.25 to 16 oz. box of linguini or fettuccini pasta, broken in half (I used whole wheat)
·  4 medium carrots, peeled and cut in thin 3 inch long strips
·  1 medium red bell pepper, cut in thin 3 inch long strips
·  4 cloves garlic, minced
·  ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
·  1 teaspoon garlic powder
·  1 teaspoon corn starch
·  1 tablespoon sugar
·  ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
·  4 cups organic chicken broth
·  2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1.     Add the chicken, then the pasta, then the remaining ingredients to a large stockpot and cover. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir and reduce the heat to medium-low.
2.     Cook covered for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until most of the liquid is gone and the chicken is cooked through.
3.     Remove the lid and let the dish rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Calories: 332 Fat(g): 4.7 Saturated Fat(g): 0.3 Protein(g): 17.6 Carbohydrate(g): 53.9 Fiber(g): 7.2

Friday, October 17, 2014

Clean Eating Pumpkin Ice Cream

Clean Eating Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

My family on my dad’s side is huge – he is one of 9 and they tend to host the most fabulous thanksgiving! One of the best parts is always dessert. A staple item is this delicious pumpkin ice cream. It is hands down my favorite. Now that version is true ice cream and it also has a piecrust so this is not quite the same. However, this was pretty delicious and reminded me of the ice cream we have there, although this ice cream is probably just a bit healthier. I was amazed how easy this treat was to make! My little boy LOVED it! He actually ate a bowl of it before I even froze it. Enjoy! 

·       1 cup pumpkin puree
1  1/3 cup maple syrup
·       1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
·       4 medium bananas, sliced and frozen overnight

Using a food processor, blend the bananas, pumpkin, maple syrup, and pumpkin spice thoroughly. Couldn’t be any easier! Stick in the freezer and enjoy 12 – 24 hours later!

Serves 6
Calories: 131 per serving
Total Fat: 1 gm
Saturated Fats: 0 gm
Trans Fats: 0 gm
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 5 mg
Carbohydrates: 33 gm
Dietary fiber: 3 gm
Sugars: 23 gm
Protein: 1 gm

Recipe found on The Gracious

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Why I Wear Pink...

Bet you didn't know why I wear pink

Because October is national breast cancer awareness month I decided that while most of my posts are about fitness and clean eating I needed to share something that I am usually very private about. I have decided to share my story with you about WHY I wear pink, not just in October but always. I too have been touched by breast cancer.
"Komen Race - 2008" 

I suppose the best place to start is the beginning so here it is –

In the fall of 2008 I noticed a paintball size lump behind the nipple of my right breast, it moved, it hurt and I knew it was not right. After it did not go away I decided I needed to pursue it. After going to my gynecologist to have it checked out they insisted it was only a fibroadenoma since I was so young. Fibroadenomas are benign and not usually something to worry about.  They sent me home and told me to monitor it. After just a few more weeks I had this gut feeling that I needed to have it out. I scheduled another appointment and wanted them to look at again. My persistence got me the referral to Magee Womens Hospital In Pittsburgh to meet with an oncologist to discuss the option of taking it out.

At Magee, they did ultrasounds and many scans to determine what they were dealing with. The day was so scary. I remember sitting in a room with all of these older women some who had lost their hair, some who were simply getting mamograms and then there was me; the young college girl. I felt so out of place and oh so scared. Since I was young there was no point in doing a mammogram so they did ultrasounds, which confirmed that it was a fibroadenoma. The oncologist met with my parents and I and told me she would take it out if it made me feel better but there was NOTHING to worry about. Everyone kept saying “oh your to young to need to worry about anything.” We decided not to take any chances, I wanted it out.
My surgery was scheduled for the week before Christmas. My fall semester of college had just ended and I knew going into this I had a month to get back to feeling good and recover, plenty of time.

The day of the surgery came and went with the blink of an eye. The procedure went fine, they took it out. I came home that very day. Although I was super sick from all of the anesthesia and the pain of having a surgery, I was FINE and they lump was gone. It was recovery time….

Then I got a call just a few days after Christmas. I will never ever forget that phone call. The oncologist called our house at 7 pm on a Thursday night. My dad answered and said it was for me. His face was covered in sheer panic. Doctors don’t just call you at 7:00 pm at night to tell you everything is “all good."  They call you to tell you they have bad news. Her exact words were “I am really sorry, but I was wrong. What I removed was not a fibroadenoma it was a borderline malagint phyllodes tumor.  We need to see you tomorrow for a follow up and we are scheduling your surgery for Tuesday. I need to perform a partial mastectomy to go in for clear margins." WOW – that call hit me like a ton of bricks. I went downstairs and with tears in my eyes I told my family what the doctor has just told me. My scare became everyone’s scare; my family, my friends everyone around me. They prayed and prayed. They sent cards, flowers; you name it they were in my corner. That Tuesday I went in for surgery number two. While I was scared before, round 2 was real. They were planning to take 1/3 of my right breast and assumed that should get clear enough margins for me to be good to go. The surgery went fine, back home again to heal. This time the healing and the process was much more complex and painful. Emotionally it was harder too. I was scared. But to make matters worse I got a call again with the results. Still no luck, I needed another surgery. You see phyllodes tumors are not typically treated with chemo or radiation they just simply keep taking until the margins are clear. It is a very rare form of breast cancer. That would be the last attempt before they were going to consider doing a full mastectomy. So in I went for surgery number 3 in less than a 30- day window. Luckly for me that was my last one.

When I got the call that the margins were clear from pathology I cried and cried. It was like God gave me a get out of jail free card. I chose not to have another surgery for reconstruction. I didn’t want to go thru the surgery process all over again. While things are not completely symmetrical, I am here and I am healthy and that to me is all that matters. It’s amazing what a good bra can do for you ;)

Race Day - Standing by the flag my parents bought in my honor

To make a long story short, here is what I want you to take from this message. Know your body. Know what seems right so that you can know when things seem wrong. Conduct monthly self -exams and be sure to get your annual checks and mammograms when you are of age. Trust your gut - so what if you’re wrong. Better to be wrong than ignore it.

Spread the word and support women’s health! Sending lots of hugs and prayers to the survivors out there and also to the families who lost a loved one to this disease. 

                                 Some of my family there to support the Komen Foundation 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Orange Zest Cranberry Relish

Fall Harvest Orange Zest Cranberry Relish 

I will be the first to admit when I was younger I hated cranberries. They looked great but I just wasn’t all that in to them ever. I won’t lie I grew up with the circular can of cranberries, we sliced them up, served it on a plate and called it a side dish. I have since learned that cranberries can taste better than this. Now that I am a bit older I decided I wanted to try to make them myself.  Since I love to cook, I decided to take on my own cranberry relish creation. It is a perfect combination of tangy cranberries and sweet orange flavors. Perfect for your upcoming fall dinners.

Makes 32 ounces

12 ounces of fresh cranberries
3 fl ounces of fresh orange juice (freshly squeezed or 100% orange juice)
3 fl ounces of Triple Sec
3 oz of Sugar or Stevia- add in more if the final product is not sweet enough for you
1 oz of orange zest
10 oz of orange supreme’s (diced up scored orange pieces)

1.     Combine the cranberries, orange juice, triple sec sugar, and zest in a saucepan and stir to combine.
2.     Cover the saucepan and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, stir occasionally
3.     When the berries burst and the liquid starts to thicken; remove the saucepan from the heat and add the supreme’s (diced oranges).  Taste and add in more sugar or Stevia if it is not sweet enough for your liking.

4.     Now ready to serve and enjoy. Tastes great warm or cold.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Flourless Apple Cinnamon Raisin Muffins

Flourless Apple Cinnamon Raisin Muffins

I have no words for this recipe other than WOW! This morning, I wanted to make something different that was on the clean side but also felt like a treat for breakfast. I searched Pinterest for a bit and found a few recipes and went for a hybrid of what I have found. The combo was killer! You have to give it a try and let me know if you agree. Be advised you might want to double the batch. I made this for the first time and it only made 9 – I could have ate nine by myself they were so great!

Ingredients – makes 9 muffins
For the muffins:
·  ½ cup organic cinnamon applesauce ( I used a local farm homeade apple sauce) 
·  ¼ cup cashew butter
·  ½ cup oats
·  1 teaspoon of brown sugar
·  1 egg
·  ½ tsp. vanilla extract
·  2 tsp. cinnamon
·  ½ tsp. baking soda
·  ¼ tsp. salt
·  cup raisins
For the streusel topping:
·  2 Tbsp. quick oats
·  1 tsp.  brown sugar
·  1 tsp. coconut oil
·  ¼ tsp. cinnamon

1.    Preheat oven to 375F and prepare a muffin pans with muffin / cupcake wrappers. I used a pretty one just for something fun. These were also more on the petite side.
2.   Next, prepare the streusel topping by combining all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
3.   Add all muffin ingredients except for raisins to a high-speed blender in the order listed and blend on high until oats are broken down and batter is smooth and creamy. Stir in raisins by hand.
4.   I used a cookie scoop to portion each serving out into the muffin wrappers.
5.   Then you will want to bake this for 15 minutes, or until the tops of your muffins are set and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in pan for ~10 minutes before removing.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Chicken & Broccoli Pasta Dinner

"Clean" Chicken & Broccoli Pasta 

In college I worked at Ruby Tuesday as a waitress and one favorite dishes that I would often order after or midway thru shifts was chicken and broccoli pasta. The serving size could feed a family of four. It was loaded with alfredo sauce and enriched white pasta. It was the furthest thing from healthy. I found myself craving it though lately so I decided to take on the recipe and do a “clean” version of it myself. Below you will find the outcome. I won’t lie it was a tiny bit dry in comparison to the cheesy goodness I was craving but this worked and tasted great as the next days lunch for leftovers. I will definitely make it again!

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 medium size cloves of garlic
1 large crown of fresh broccoli or 1 bag of frozen broccoli florets
Sea Salt
Olive Oil
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1 box of 100% whole -wheat penne pasta
Parmesan cheese

Trim any fat from chicken and cut into bite size pieces – after cutting chicken place in a large skillet to sauté – skillet should have a small layer of olive oil in the bottom of the pan.
While cooking the chicken begin to boil water to cook pasta according to the box. Drain and set aside
After chicken begins to turn while from sautéing – press garlic and spread over chicken, season with 1 ½ teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of sea salt
Once chicken is cooked add in the broccoli florets – I added in a splash of olive oil as well as a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cover your skillet and let the broccoli soften and cook on medium heat.
After broccoli is cooked to your liking add in the penne pasta and mix everything together. I added in a tablespoon of unsalted butter then a bit more olive oil and seasoning. Once served, sprinkle with parmesan cheese. 

Enjoy! Serves 4

Caramel Apple Shakeology

(Yes I know I spelled this wrong in my picture, I call it carmel but most say caramel, I guess it depends on where you grew up.) 

I couldn’t resist trying to come up with an alternative to one of my favorite fall snacks. If you know me, you would know that I love caramel apples, candy apples, chocolate dipped apples, Basically I love apples, but those fall treats tend to be my favorite. For the first time, I decided I was going to use an apple in my shake. I tend to stick to bananas or berries but this worked and it turned out pretty spot in regards to the flavor of a caramel apple. Let me know if you end up trying this one yourself!

1 scoop of chocolate shakeology
10 oz of ice
10 oz of water
4 oz of vanilla almond milk (I use the reduced sugar one)
½ apple chopped up
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 quick splash of caramel extract

Portion out the water, ice and almond milk
Dump into the blender
Add in extract, cinnamon and shakeology

Blend for 1 min and enjoy

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fresh and Delicious Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

Above you will find Amanda's step by step pictures for making this fresh Pico de Gallo


2-4 Tomatoes (use less tomatoes for a smaller batch and more tomatoes for a bigger batch)
1 Onion
1 bunch Cilantro (use as much or as little of it as you like)
1-2 Avocado (optional)
Jalapeño (pickled or fresh)
2-3 Limes
Salt to taste


There's no specific amount that you need for any ingredient, it's all about what you like and prefer. These will be the easiest directions you've probably ever read ;-) Chop up your tomatoes, onion, cilantro, avocado, if you're using it, and your jalapeños and throw the ingredients into a bowl as you chop them and mix together. Next, take your limes, cut them in half and squeeze the juice over your mixture, stir and repeat. Sprinkle salt to taste, stir, and repeat if necessary. And that's it! Use as a dip with Tostitos chips, or put on top of a grilled or baked chicken breast or hamburger or just eat as a side dish! Happy eating!!

Shared with me by a fellow instagram friend Amanda B! Thanks Amanda! Loved the recipe! 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pumpkin Streusel Bars

One of my long time challengers was on a cooking spree this weekend and made these clean eating pumpkin streusel bars. After she posted about them in our accountability group, I decided I would give them a try. Even though she warned me, she was right they are dangerously delicious. Portion control went out the window with this fantastic treat. Let me know if you give this fall treat a try! Follow the directions below to create your own version.

Clean Eating Pumpkin Streusel Bars
"Nutritional Facts Below"

Yields: 38 bars | Serving Size: 1 bar | Calories: 150 | Total Fat: 7.9 g | Saturated Fat: 1.9 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 22 mg | Sodium: 83 mg | Carbohydrates: 18.6 g | Dietary Fiber: .6 g | Sugars: g | Protein: 1.6 g | 
§  2 cups white whole wheat flour
§  2 teaspoons baking powder
§  1 teaspoon baking soda
§  1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
§  1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
§  1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
§  1-1/2 cups coconut palm sugar (I used Blonde Coconut Palm Sugar)
§  4 eggs
§  1 cup canola oil
§  1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
§  1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
§  3/4 cup flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
§  1/2 cup coconut palm sugar,
§  1 teaspoon cinnamon
§  1/3 cup coconut oil (melted), optional pure unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk together the first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl, set aside. Add sugar, eggs, oil, pumpkin and vanilla to a large mixing bowl, beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until light. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and continue mixing just until combined.
Streusel: Add all ingredients to a small bowl, using hands or a fork, mix until well combined. (Add 1/2 cup minced pecans to streusel if desired. This option is not calculated in the nutritional data).
Pour batter into a greased 9" x 13" baking pan. Sprinkle streusel evenly over batter. Bake 30 minutes or until a cake tester is inserted in the middle and comes out clean.
Allow to cool to room temperature before cutting into 32 squares.