Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Food Prep 101 with the 21 Day Fix

When it comes to eating right, getting in shape and making a change to your lifestyle, food preparation is KEY! A lot of people try to lose weight by trying to find a quick fix such as a pill, a cleanse that eliminates all solid foods, a program that supplies microwaveable meals, etc. That may work in helping you lose weight but you will not be able to keep it off because you did not establish healthy habits!

In order to eat right and establish healthy habits, you have to first practice it on a regular basis and this usually involves food prep. When you prepare ahead of time, you help avoid temptations and falling victim to hunger. I've been food prepping for as long as I can remember and below are some of the ways I try to prepare for the week in order to avoid eating foods that will not make me feel better and will not help me reach my goals.

In my opinion, the easiest way to prep is using the 21 Day Fix idea. You first choose a protein such as chicken, ground turkey, or fish and make enough for the week. You can choose two of them if you need variety or make just one type of protein if you want to keep it simple. I usually make either balsamic chicken, salsa chicken, ground turkey or tuna salad (made w greek yogurt & egg whites). I also make salmon or chicken salad but it depends on what's in my fridge or what's on sale that week! I make enough for the week and portion it out in containers for lunches and dinners. That way, when I have to eat it, I just put it on a plate and heat it up. I combine it with a carbohydrate and a veggie ( see below ).

Ideas for a good carbohydrate are quinoa, brown rice, ezekiel bread or sweet potato. I prepare one or two of these and pair them with my protein and my veggie as described above. Then pick your choices of fruit for a snack or dessert & veggies to pair with your meals. For fruit, I almost always stick to frozen berries in my shake and maybe an apple for a snack later in the day. I also like grapefruits, oranges, melons and kiwi. This is the easy part to prep because it usually doesn't involve any cooking.  

Veggies are something I eat A LOT of so I always keep certain ones in stock. I always have lettuce for salads and spinach for my omelets and my Shakeology. I also like to eat grilled veggies and my faves for those are bell peppers, eggplant, asparagus, squash and onions. Since I can't always grill either because of time or the weather, I make sure to have steamed veggies ready to eat in my fridge at all times. My faves are steamed broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and squash (they come all together in the Normandy Blend at Costco). 

I'm a snacker so I always have healthy things to eat that are easy to just grab and munch on. I usually have my little man in my arms or hanging from a leg so doing this helps me avoid going a long time without a meal and/or eating something that I shouldn't (such as kid's snakcs!). Some of the snacks I like to keep handy are hard boiled eggs, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, nitrate free deli meats, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts, sliced fresh veggies such as peppers, brown rice cakes, PB2 and almonds.

For breakfast, I always have my Shakeology. I have half of it before I leave to drop my daughter off at school, then do my workout and have the other half when I get home as my post-workout recovery snack. It is VERY filling and, because of all of the spinach I add to it, I make A LOT and it keeps me full until lunch time! A lot of people say they don't have time to prep their shakes in the morning but when you prepare, there WILL be time. I put all of the ingredients for my Shakeology in the blender the night before (except for the ice) and put it in the fridge. Then when I wake up in the morning, I just pop it on the blender and it's ready in one minute! I put it in my huge insulated Bubba Keg mug and it stays thick, cold and with the consistency of a Jamba Juice all morning! Even when I take it to work and work patrol, I keep it in the car and drink it throughout my shift .

And condiments, condiments are important when it comes to food prep because they help give food flavor. And flavor is important so you keep eating the healthy stuff and steer clear of the not so good choices! One of my favorites is the Costco Kirkland Brand No Salt Organic Seasoning. I always have that in my kitchen. Another favorite is the Flavor God seasonings. Those come in a wide variety and can be added to literally anything. I have the Kirkland and Flavor God and add them to my eggs, chicken, fish, salads, veggies and anything else I eat.

I also l like to use salsa! Salsa is low cal and adds a bit of flavor and spice to any food. I put salsa on my scrambled eggs, veggies and make my Crock Pot Salsa chicken with it too :)

As far as portions are concerned, that all depends on what your goals are, what your current weight is, what you want your weight to be and what your activity level is. This is exactly why the 21 Day Fix is so helpful. It tells you exactly how many servings of protein, carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats to eat in order to reach that goal and it gives you containers to help you understand what a healthy serving size should look like :). At first glance, the containers seem small and difficult to understand but, after you use it for a few weeks, you build healthy habits and, within about 3 weeks, you can eyeball your portion sizes, you know what you SHOULD be eating because you've been prepping your meals and you can eat anywhere while making healthy choices.... hence the name "21 Day Fix". It isn't called that because it guarantees that you'll reach your weight loss goals in 21 days. That would not be realistic nor would it be credible. It's called because it takes the average individual 21 days to establish a habit and, if you've been in any of my challenge groups and followed the plan as I've presented it, you'd agree!

Hope this has helped you! If you have any questions about food prep, portion size, my challenge groups or the 21 Day Fix, feel free to comment below or, better yet, shoot me an email at info@FitFluentialMom.com.

Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

This is one of my go-to lunch favorites! I prepare plenty of it to last me through the week and eat it for meals and snacks.  Low carb, clean, paleo friendly and easy to eat for moms on the go!  You can use any type of chicken salad, yogurt and seasoning that you'd like but I added the ones I use below. I'm also not very good at measuring but you can follow the recipe as is and add more or less depending on the consistency that you like for your chicken and/or tuna salad.  You can sub the chicken for canned tuna or salmon as well! And you can also use a fresh rotisserie chicken but I didn't have one on hand this week so I used the canned chicken instead.  I make enough for the week and it makes about 7 servings. The recipe below is for 4 servings.


4 cans of Kirkland chicken breast (or 1/2 rotisserie chicken pulled apart)
4 chopped hard boiled egg whites (minus the yolk)
1/2 cup of non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 chopped onion
2 chopped tomatos
1 chopped bunch of cilantro

Add the chicken to a bowl.  Mash it up to get rid of the chunks and make it as pulled apart as possible so it resembles the consistency of canned tuna.

Add the remainder of the ingredients to a bowl, blend and refrigerate (or eat it right away)

Place it inside a romaine lettuce leaf and eat them like a taco!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Double Chocolate Shakeology Ball Cookies

      2 scoops of Chocolate Shakeology
      3 tablespoons of oats
      2 tablespoon coconut sugar
    4 tablespoons coconut flour
    4 tablespoons coconut oil melted
    2 heaping tablespoons natural nut butter (almond or peanut)
    4 tablespoons water
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    pinch of salt
    6 tablespoons mini chocolate chips


    1. In a bowl, mix together Shakeology, coconut sugar, and coconut flour.
    2. Then add coconut oil, peanut butter, water, vanilla extract and a tiny bit of salt.
    3. Fold in chocolate chips and oats.
    4. Use a cookie scoop to make 16 balls. 
    5. Firmly roll them keep them from falling apart.
    6. Place in the refrigerator to set and store in the fridge.

    Serving Size: Makes 16 balls

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Power Breakfast Scramble

It's going to be a hectic day today with Shae and Evan's birthday party and over 100 people coming! Getting my workout in AND a power breakfast to help me make it through the day...... Another Frozen party but good thing Anna and Elsa will be there to entertain😆❄⛄

Now...for the recipe! Super easy!
✅Egg whites
✅Chopped onions
✅No salt seasoning of your choice
✅Turkey breast deli meat
✅A lil bit of cheese

1. Brown the onions first a little bit. Then add the turkey, tomatoes and  then add the raw spinach and cook until it shrinks down.

2. Add the tomatoes & turkey (I didn't have much turkey or tomato left so you can't really see it in the picture but it's there :-).

3. Cook them a little bit then add the egg whites and seasoning.

4. When the eggs are just about how you like them, sprinkle with yiur favorite cheese.

Done! ;-)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Benefits of Drinking Warm Lemon Water in the Morning!

How many of you wake up and go straight for your coffee or tea?  I know I  used to! And still do sometimes if I'm exhausted and don't think about it. BUT a better habit is drinking a glass of warm lemon water when you wake up before eating or drinking anything else!  SO many health benefits AND weight loss benefits too!

HOW TO DO IT: You should be using purified water and it should be lukewarm not scalding hot. You want to avoid ice cold water, since that can be a lot for your body to process and it takes more energy to process ice cold water than the warm. Always use fresh lemons, organic if possible, never bottled lemon juice. I squeeze 1/2 a lemon with each glass and I drink it down first thing before I eat a single thing, or workout, etc.

10 Benefits to Drinking Warm Lemon Water Every Morning
1) Aids Digestion. Lemon juice flushes out unwanted materials and toxins from the body. It’s atomic composition is similar to saliva and the hydrochloric acid of digestive juices. It encourages the liver to produce bile which is an acid that is required for digestion. Lemons are also high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract. The digestive qualities of lemon juice help to relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as heartburn, belching and bloating. The American Cancer Society actually recommends offering warm lemon water to cancer sufferers to help stimulate bowel movements.
2) Cleanses Your System / is a Diuretic. Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials in part because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Therefore toxins are released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy. The citric acid in lemons helps maximize enzyme function, which stimulates the liver and aids in detoxification.
3) Boosts Your Immune System. Lemons are high in vitamin C, which is great for fighting colds.  They’re high in potassium, which stimulates brain and nerve function. Potassium also helps control blood pressure. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) found in lemons demonstrates anti-inflammatory effects, and is used as complementary support for asthma and other respiratory symptoms plus it enhances iron absorption in the body; iron plays an important role in immune function. Lemons also contain saponins, which show antimicrobial properties that may help keep cold and flu at bay. Lemons also reduce the amount of phlegm produced by the body.
4) Balances pH Levels. Lemons are one of the most alkalizing foods for the body. Sure, they are acidic on their own, but inside our bodies they’re alkaline (the citric acid does not create acidity in the body once metabolized). Lemons contain both citric and ascorbic acid, weak acids easily metabolized from the body allowing the mineral content of lemons to help alkalize the blood. Disease states only occur when the body pH is acidic. Drinking lemon water regularly can help to remove overall acidity in the body, including uric acid in the joints, which is one of the primary causes of pain and inflammation.
5) Clears Skin. The vitamin C component as well as other antioxidants helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes and it helps to combat free radical damage. Vitamin C is vital for healthy glowing skin while its alkaline nature kills some types of bacteria known to cause acne. It can actually be applied directly to scars or age spots to help reduce their appearance. Since lemon water purges toxins from your blood, it would also be helping to keep your skin clear of blemishes from the inside out. The vitamin C contained in the lemon rejuvenates the skin from within your body.
6) Energizes You and Enhances Your Mood. The energy a human receives from food comes from the atoms and molecules in your food. A reaction occurs when the positive charged ions from food enter the digestive tract and interact with the negative charged enzymes. Lemon is one of the few foods that contain more negative charged ions, providing your body with more energy when it enters the digestive tract. The scent of lemon also has mood enhancing and energizing properties. The smell of lemon juice can brighten your mood and help clear your mind. Lemon can also help reduce anxiety and depression.
7) Promotes Healing. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C), found in abundance in lemons, promotes wound healing, and is an essential nutrient in the maintenance of healthy bones, connective tissue, and cartilage. As noted previously, vitamin C also displays anti-inflammatory properties. Combined, vitamin C is an essential nutrient in the maintenance of good health and recovery from stress and injury.
8) Freshens Breath. Besides fresher breath, lemons have  been known to help relieve tooth pain and gingivitis. Be aware that citric acid can erode tooth enamel, so you should be mindful of this. No not brush your teeth just after drinking your lemon water. It is best to brush your teeth first, then drink your lemon water, or wait a significant amount of time after to brush your teeth. Additionally, you can rinse your mouth with purified water after you finish your lemon water.
9) Hydrates Your Lymph System. Warm water and lemon juice supports the immune system by hydrating and replacing fluids lost by your body. When your body is deprived of water, you can definitely feel the side effects, which include: feeling tired, sluggish, decreased immune function, constipation, lack of energy, low/high blood pressure, lack of sleep, lack of mental clarity and feeling stressed, just to name a few.
10) Aids in Weight Loss. Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. Studies have shown people who maintain a more alkaline diet, do in fact lose weight faster. I personally find myself making better choices throughout the day, if I start my day off right, by making a health conscious choice to drink warm lemon water first thing every morning.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Homemade Version of Trader Joe's Chili Lime Turkey Burgers!

I love Trader Joe's and I especially love turkey burgers!  The Chili Lime burgers are my fave so I was ecstatic when I was able to make them at home! Here's the recipe if you want to try!

Chili Lime Chicken Burgers

1lb ground chicken
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 lime, cut in half
4 slices pepper jack cheese
4 buns, toasted
For the guacamole:
1 avocado
garlic powder
salt & pepper
  1.  Combine chicken, green onions, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and juice of half a lime in a large bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined, then form into 4 patties and spray each side generously with non-stick spray.
  2. Heat a large grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Grill burgers for 3-4 minutes a side, or until cooked all the way through. Place a slice of cheese on top of each burger, then cover with a large pot lid, and allow to melt for about a minute. Remove burgers to a plate, tent with foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Place each burger on a toasted thin bun, then top with guacamole.
  3. For the guacamole: Mash all ingredients together with a potato masher or fork.
Recipe courtesy of Iowagirleats.com

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A New Perico Family Fave: Zucchini Turkey Boats

Yes, they are Low calorie, low carb and low fat but they are YUMMY!

 Ok so, I know there are lots of recipes for these online but I hadn't seen them before trying them. I saw zucchini squash on sale next to the bell peppers at the store and decided to buy them and try to make them with turkey vs. my usual stuffed peppers recipe. And, let me tell ya, they were a HIT with the fambam! Husband LOVED them and ate 6! My six year old at 3 and my 1 year old at 2!  So, make them and enjoy! I made a lot so I could have some leftover and snack on throughout the week so I used large quantities. I cut the recipe down to serve 
4 to 6 instead though :) 
6 medium zucchini
Seasoning of choice (I mix some Costco taco seasoning with no salt seasoning)
1 pound ground turkey
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
No salt seasoning to taste
1/2 small onion, minced
1 can of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup (or so) shredded cheese of your choice or 12 slices of sliced cheese of your choice.
1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
2.  Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise then with a small spoon, grapefruit spoon or melon baller.  Then hollow out the zucchini pieces but leave 1/4″ rim. Save 3/4 cup of the zucchini flesh and either add it into the turkey mix later or save it and make it with egg whites :) .

Drop the zucchini halves into the boiling water and cook for one minute. Remove from water and place into a rectangular pyrex baking dish.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large skillet, brown the ground turkey, breaking it up while it cooks. When it’s no longer pink, add in the seasoning and mix well.
Then add in the chopped onion, reserved zucchini you hollowed out if desired, and chopped tomatoes. Stir it up then cover and simmer on low for 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, arrange the boiled zucchini halves into the bottom of the 9×13 dish.
Once the meat mixture is done, spoon the mixture into the zucchini boats evenly. Press down so the filling stays in the boats.
Top each half with a sprinkle or slice of cheese.
Cover the pan with foil and bake for approximately 30 minutes until the zucchini is fully cooked and the cheese is melted.
Serve with plain greek yogurt on top vs sour cream and add your favorite salsa if you desire as well! 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Easy Peasy Balsamic Chicken

Easy Balsamic Chicken
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt 
  • 1/2 tsp pepper 
  • 3 tsp, minced bottled garlic 
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinager 
  • 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme 
  • cooking spray 
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Spray non stick skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium high. Add the chicken and saute until brown on one side. Add garlic and flip over chicken breasts.  Cook for about 3 minutes then add vinegar, broth, bay leaf, and thyme. 
  2. Cover and simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove chicken, set aside and keep warm. Continue simmering sauce, uncovered for about 7 minutes. Discard bay leaf and pour mixture over chicken and serve. 
  3. Make extra and use for your salad or lunch the next day, tastes yummy after it has been sitting in that juice all nig

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

This is an easy recipe of Turkey Meatloaf Muffins and it freezes well, so you can have it handy if you need a protein snack.  My husband loves these muffins when he gets hungry in the late afternoon.
2 lbs ground turkey
3 egg whites
1 cup quick cooking oats
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dry yellow mustard
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp chipotle pepper spice
1 tsp salt
1 – 2 tbsp garlic powder (or to taste)
2 tbsp ground coriander (optional)
1 tbsp McCormick Rotisserie Chicken spice (optional)
1tsp Herbes De Provence spice (optional)
1 small onion (finely chopped)
2 celery stalks (finely chopped)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray muffin pan with olive oil.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. Roll the mixture into 12 even sized balls and place in muffin pan.
  5. Bake 40 minutes or till done.
  6. Serve warm or freeze in a Ziploc freezer bag.

Note: Credit goes to Jamie Eason.

Clean Fish Tacos

One of my favorite dinners!
  • 8 oz of tilapia
  • 1 tbsp of cumin
  • 1 tbsp of chili powder
  • 4 whole grain tortillas or I used whole grain corn tortillas for the crunch
  • 1/2 c grated cucumber
  • 1/2 c grated carrots
  • 1/2 c shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 c chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup non fat greek yogurt (costco kirkland brand)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
  • Chili powder to taste

  1. Rub fish with cumin and chili powder
  2. Heat pan to medium and spray with cooking spray.
  3. While fish is cooking grate cucumber, carrots, cabbage and cilantro
  4. Break fish into pieces and divide into tacos
  5. Mix some chili powder with greek yogurt and lime juice and spread on top of fish
  6. Top with the grated veggies

Crock Pot Salsa Chicken


All you need are 2 simple ingredients to make this slow cooker shredded chicken -- good salsa and chicken!


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts*
  • 2 cups favorite salsa
  • salt and pepper
  • (optional: fresh lime wedges for serving)


Place chicken breasts in a slow cooker and cover with salsa. Toss until the chicken is covered.
Cover and cook on high for 4 hours (or low for 6-8 hours), or until the chicken shreds easily with a fork. Shred the chicken in the slow cooker and toss with the remaining salsa and juices until well-mixed. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days. (This chicken also freezes well.)
*You can really use just about any cut of chicken for this recipe. For easy shredding though (so that you don't have to mess with bones), I recommend boneless chicken breasts or thighs.

Recipe courtesy of Gimmesomeoven.com

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Kale Chips!

Have you seen kale chips at the store and wondered, "Can these really taste good?" Well, they CAN! And they're SO easy to make! Here's an easy recipe for them and they're ready in 10 minutes!
1 bunch kale (I used curly kale, but Lascinato "dino" kale also works too!)
2 Tbsp. vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt, more/less to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Wash and dry kale leaves. Using a knife, separate the green kale leaves from the thick ribs, and discard the ribs. Cut or tear the kale leaves into your desired size of chips, knowing that they will shrink a bit while baking.
Combine the kale leaves, vinegar, oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Then use your hands to toss and massage the kale for 1-2 minutes until it is soft and slightly darker.
Spread out the kale in a single layer on a parchment-covered baking sheet (or two). Then sprinkle on the remaining salt. Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the kale is crunchy and no longer soft. Remove and serve immediately, or store in a sealed container for up to 1 week.