Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Broccoli & Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

2- 12oz Chicken Breasts, pounded to 1/2" thickness
2 cups steamed broccoli (you may have extra but you can eat it with your meal
1 T. Thinly Sliced Fresh Basil
2 oz shredded cheddar cheese (or any type of cheese you prefer)
No salt seasoning of your choice to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Butterfly the chicken breast and lay it flat.  Cut it in half and do one side at a time.  
  3. Sprinkle seasoning according to what you like on it.  
  4. Sprinkle the cheese in the center.  Then add the chopped broccoli on top.  
  5. Make sure you don't put too much or else you won't be able to roll it and keep the ingredients in.  Then I started on one side, rolling it towards the center and tucking the sides in.  
  6. Secure it with twine or a toothpick down the center.  Brush it with olive oil and add a little bit more seasoning on top.
  7. Cook chicken for 25-35 minutes, turning the chicken every 10 minutes to cook evenly on all sides. 
  8. You can add a little more cheese on top the last 10 minutes it cookes if you'd like too.
  9. Remove from oven, transfer to a plate, remove the toothpick or twine and enjoy.
  10. We eat it with steamed veggies, spinach salad, baked sweet potato, quinoa or sweet potato fries.

Almonds are Good AND Good for You Too!

A lot of people eat nuts and love them because of the taste but, did you know how beneficial they are for your health?
Almonds are one of my favorite nuts, along with cashes, peanuts and pistachios. I usually eat about 15 almonds per day with my breakfast or a snack and also add them to my yogurt and salads (sliced).  Read on to find out why you should be eating almonds too!

9 Health Benefits of Almonds
1.  They reduce heart attack risk.
Those who consume nuts five times a week have about a 50 percent reduction in risk of heart attack according to the Loma Linda School of Public Health.
2.  They lower ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Almonds added to the diet have a favorable effect on blood cholesterol levels, according to a clinical study by Dr. Gene Spiller, Director of the Health Research and Studies Center, Inc.
3.  They protects artery walls from damage.
It was found that the flavonoids in almond skins work in synergy with the vitamin E, thus reducing the risk of heart disease (Research at Tufts University).
4.  Almonds help build strong bones and teeth.The phosphorus in almonds helps make this possible.
5.  They provide healthy fats and aid in weight loss:
  • Although nuts are high in fat, frequent nut eaters are thinner on average than those who almost never consume nuts. (Data from the Nurses’ Health Study)
  • Those who ate nuts at least two times per week were 31 percent less likely to gain weight than were those who never or seldom ate them in a study involving 8865 adults. (WHFood’s article on almonds)
6.  Almonds lower the rise in blood sugar and insulin after meals.
7.  They help provide good brain function. 
Almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, nutrients that boost brain activity and may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
8.  They nourish the nervous system.
According to Ayurveda, almonds help increase high intellectual level and longevity.
9.  They alkalize the body.
Almonds are the only nut and one of the few proteins that are alkaline forming.  When your body is not alkaline enough, you risk osteoporosis, poor immune function, low energy and weight gain.
Did you know?
  • Almonds are actually stone fruits related to cherries, plums and peaches.
  • 2.51 million tons of almonds were produced in 2010 according to Food and Agriculture Organization.
  • United States is the largest producer of almonds. Unfortunately, it also demands that almonds are pasteurized or irradiated. 
Read more:

Saturday, December 6, 2014

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Shakeology Balls

Wanna learn how to make these delicious, healthy chocolate peanut butter balls? The kidsAND parents are going to loved them.

8 Tablespoons Natural Peanut Butter
1 Scoop Chocolate Shakeology
¼ cup Steel Cut Oats
¼ cup Dark Chocolate (Melted)

Mix Peanut Butter, Shakeology, and Oatmeal. Form into small balls and place on wax paper on platter.  Place in freezer for approx 30 minutes. Take out of freezer and drizzle melted Dark Chocolate on top. Keep leftovers in airtight container in refrigerator.
Makes approx 25 pieces
61 calories each,  5 gram carbs each, and approx 3 grams protein each

Friday, November 28, 2014

Low Carb Baked Broccoli and Cheese Patties

Low Carb Baked Broccoli & Cheese Patties! Perfect to make ahead and have in the fridgeas a snack for you and the kids. You can change the cheese and use use any kind (swiss, mozzarella, feta, etc) you'd like. 

Makes 12 patties

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
One 12oz bag frozen broccoli, thawed
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten

1 .Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a skillet over medium heat, add oil, garlic, onions, salt, and pepper, and sauté until soft and translucent. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

3. Using a kitchen towel, squeeze out as much water as you can from the broccoli.  Place broccoli in a medium-sized bowl. Add onion mixture, breadcrumbs, cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, and eggs. Stir together until well-combined.

4. Form the mixture into patties, using about 2-3 tablespoons for each patty. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes on each side, or until crispy and golden brown.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Party Cheese Roll

Cheese is definitely one of my favorite foods and I love to serve it as an appetizer at parties!  This is a super easy recipe to make for your next party and it involves VERY little time and ingredient!

Cream Cheese & Feta Dill Cheese Roll

2 packages of cream cheese
1 cup of feta cheese
Dill to your liking

Let the cream cheese soften at room temperature. Blend the cream cheese and feta in a bowl.  Add in some dill (as much or as little as you'd like).  Form into a ball or a longer log type of roll.  Sprinkle more dill on top and place in the refrigerator for an hour.  Serve it with veggies, pita chips, bread or anything else you'd like :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Argentine Chimichurri

Ok being from Argentina, I MAY be a little biased but regardless, this stuff is pretty amazing on just about anything! We eat it on steak, chicken, salads, vegetables and anything else we can think of.  It's a delicious, healthy addition to many different foods and it's not too difficult to make.  This is my mom's recipe so give it a shot and enjoy!

--1 bunch of coarsely chopped parsley
--3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar (if you'd like but not necessary)
--6-8 finely choppled garlic cloves
--2 tablespoons of dried oregano
--2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper
--sea salt and fresh ground pepper to your liking
--1/2 cup oil (sunflower, corn, vegetable, olive, etc)
***** If you use olive, do not make any extra to keep on hand as it will turn a whitish color and not sit well.  Any other oil can be used and the chimichurri can be saved in the fridge for several weeks to a month.

It's suggested that you use a food processor or quality blender.  Blend all of the ingredients in the blender or processor and slowly add in the oil until smooth.  Let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving if desired.

Monday, November 17, 2014

10 Tips on Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

It's no surprise that most people decide on a New Year's Resolution that revolves around weight loss.  It's due in large part because of the weight Americans tend to gain during the holiday season!  The average American gains between 5-10 lbs from Thanksgiving to Christmas alone.  That can and should be avoided since added weight gain has an impact on your health and will carry over into your family's health as well!  Here are 10 tips to integrate into your life to AVOID the holiday weight gain! Don't wait until January 1st to make the commitment to better you! It's almost Thanksgiving! Be thankful for a better, happier you and start NOW!

1. Drink a glass of water immediately after you wake up in the morning. BEFORE you eat or drink anything else!

2.  Drink at least half of your body weight in ounces throughout the day. Water has countless benefits and is responsible for helping every part of your body work efficiently. 

3.  Cut sugars and fake sugars out of your diet unless they exist in the food naturally (fruit, vegetables, dairy, etc)

4.  Do not eat any fast food!  Take your lunch to work and, if you HAVE to eat out, choose a salad with grilled chicken and use balsamic vinegar and lime or lemon juice instead.

5.  Make breakfast your biggest meal of the day.  Enjoy a healthy lunch and eat a balanced, healthy dinner with protein and veggies. Avoid sugars and carbs later in the day when you likely will not burn them off.

6.  Watch your portions!  When you eat out and order a meal, put half of it into a to go container immediately.  Eat the rest on your plate slowly and IF you're still hungry after eating and waiting 10 minutes, eat some more. 90% of the time you won't be AND you'll save half of the calories!

7.  Make these healthy substitutions during meals and while eating snacks.  

8.  Eat MORE vegetables! Eat them with every meal and increase the number of greens especially!

9.  When eating fruits, try to stick to low glycemic or low sugar options.  They will keep your blood sugar regulated and prevent you from increased hunger between meals.

10. STOP drinking soda. Diet or regular.  Drink water and save yourself the calories and harmful effects of the fake sugar! 

21 Day Fix Approved Sweet Treat! Popcorn!

Healthy and Yummy Afterschool Treat for the Kids
AND Sweet Snack for the Adults!

3 cups Non-GMO Popcorn
1 tsp Coconut Oil
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Coconut Oil1/2 tsp Cinnamon1/4 tsp Nutmeg
Blend together and serve!  

Paleo Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Tongue Twister, can you say it?
Paleo Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
I love pumpkin, protein AND pancakes so this is a marriage made in heaven! Enjoy!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 10 pancakes
Serving Size: 1 pancake
Calories per serving: 80 calories, 7 g protein each
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 scoop vanilla Shakeology
  • 2 tbsp organic milled flax
  • 2 tbsp organic honey (or splenda/stevia)
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. stir in/dissolve the pumpkin into the egg whites & add the honey
  2. mix dry ingredients separately & add to the wet ingredients
  3. heat pan or griddle on medium low heat (4 out of 10) and coat with organic coconut oil or coconut oil spray
  4. using a 1/4 cup measure, pour batter onto your cooking surface
  5. once it bubbles up, use a spatula to flip it over & cook for an additional 30 seconds to 1 min on the other side
a griddle is ideal, but when i cook these individually in a pan, i put the pancakes on a piece of foil in the oven on warm as soon as each one is finished so they are all hot & fresh when i'm ready to eat them!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

21 Day Fix Prep: Container Ideas

21-Day Fix Snack Ideas

Green (Veggies)

  • Baby carrots
  • Broccoli florets
  • Cauliflower
  • Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Grape tomatoes
Try Tzatziki dip or homemade hummus with your veggies (red)

Purple (Fruit)

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Banana
  • Pineapple
  • Apples
Dip in Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt or make fruit yogurt bites (combining red and purple)

Red (Protein)

Blue (Healthy Fats & Cheese)

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Walnuts
  • String cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Lowfat cottage cheese

Yellow (Starch/Grain/Treat)

21-Day Fix Snack Ideas - BaggiesContainerize!

Pre-portioning your snacks is a great idea to do at the start of the week.  Target sells colored sandwich bags (pictured here) that are great for color-coding your snacks for the 21-Day Fix.  You can portion them out in advance, and keep them in a handy spot in your refrigerator. They come in yellow, red, blue, and green. There is no purple baggie, but you can use the plain clear sandwich bags in their place.  This will save you money instead of buying extra 21 Day Fix containers :) 

Clean Eating on a Budget

Do you want to eat clean but feel like it will be too expensive? Let’s put that myth to rest! There are lots of ways to incorporate eating clean into your life without busting your budget.
1. Shop at farmer’s markets. Once spring hits, farmer’s markets start back up again. If you happen to live in a temperate climate, they sometimes stay open year round! You will always be able to cut costs by buying directly from the farmer because you cut out the middle man. Plus, it’s always beneficial to actually speak to the person who grew your food. You’re also helping your local economy so it’s a win all the way around!
TIP: You can sometimes get an even better price on items at farmers markets if you shop late in the day.
2. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, buy items that are in season. It’s always cheaper to purchase seasonal produce.
3. Shop your pantry FIRST. Before you head off to the grocery store, shop your pantry and fridge. This will keep you from unintentionally buying duplicate items. I’ve even had times when I was able to throw together a meal with items I forgot I had in the pantry!
4. Have breakfast for dinner once a week. Kids really love this idea. Something about having breakfast at night makes dinner fun for everyone! It sort of shakes up the routine a bit.
5. Join a CSA. CSA stands for community supported agriculture. With a CSA you pay your local farmer up front at the beginning of the growing season and you’ll receive a box of produce every week throughout the entire season. It ends up being a much cheaper way to get your local vegetables every week.
6. Grow your own! Growing your own vegetables is not only economical but it’s  a really satisfying experience. And it doesn’t have to be a big time commitment either. You can grow vegetables in containers if you don’t want to put in the time on an entire garden. If you’re limited on space you can simply use containers to grow your produce.  Every year we grow vegetables in containers and my two kids LOVE it! There’s just something so fantastic about eating something that you grew yourself. 
7.  Make your own trail mix instead of buying the packaged varieties with added sugars, preservatives, etc.
8.  Make your own salad dressings!  Super easy and MUCH healthier too!
9.  Bake your own veggie chips and swap them out for potato chips.  Just chop up the veggie, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with no salt seasoning. Bake and eat!
10.  Wrap your lettuce in paper towels when you bring it home, place it in a zip lock bag and in the crisper. Your lettuce will last a lot longer (about 2-3 weeks) in the fridge!

Baked Bananas

A delicious treat that kids and adults will enjoy! Guilt free too!
For a real treat, top these warm bananas with a scoop of vanilla nondairy frozen dessert.
Makes 2 servings
2 bananas
1 tablespoon maple syrup (do not use this if doing the NO SUGAR CHALLENGE)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Peel bananas, slice lengthwise, and arrange in a single layer in a small baking dish. Drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle with vanilla and cinnamon.
Bake until tender and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes.
Per serving (1 banana): 135 calories; 0.4 g fat; 0.1 g saturated fat; 2.8% calories from fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 1.3 g protein; 34.1 g carbohydrates; 20.5 g sugar; 3.2 g fiber; 2 mg sodium; 16 mg calcium; 0.5 mg iron; 10.4 mg vitamin C; 31 mcg beta-carotene; 0.2 mg vitamin E

Chicken Apple Sausage

Perfect for some protein for lunch or breakfast! 
MUCH better than the fatty, preservative laden store bought versions!

1 medium tart apple, cored, peeled, and chopped
5 green onions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ pounds organic boneless, skinless chicken thighs extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil, for cooking

1. Place the apple, green onions, sage, salt, and pepper into a food processor fitted with the “s” blade; pulse 
    a few times. Then add the chicken and process until the chicken is ground and the mixture starts to form a       ball. It does not take long, only about 30 seconds. 
2. With oiled hands, form mixture into about 8 patties and set onto a plate or cookie sheet. Heat a large cast        iron skillet over medium-low heat, then add about one tablespoon of oil.
3. Add four of the patties to the pan, cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. 

Repeat with remaining patties. Serve.
Yield: 8 sausage patties


Banana Nut Porridge

½ cup raw cashews
½ cup raw almonds
½ cup raw pecans
1 very ripe banana (makes it easier to digest plus adds a little more sweetness)
2 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons cinnamon
dash of sea salt for soaking water

1. Place the nuts in a large bowl and sprinkle the sea salt over them. Fill the bowl with filtered water so the
nuts are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Cover and soak overnight.

2. Drain the nuts and rinse 2 or 3 times, until the water runs clear.

3. Add the drained nuts to a food processor or high­speed blender. Blend the nuts with the banana, coconut
milk, and cinnamon until smooth.

4. Divide it into bowls and microwave for 40 seconds or put all of the porridge in a pot on the stove and
heat over medium­high heat for 5 minutes.

5. Serve with raisins, chopped nuts, and an extra splash of milk if desired.

Coconut Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potato

There are good carbs and bad carbs! Sweet potatoes are good carbs and you can have them when you're craving bread or sweets to get rid of that sweet tooth craving!

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1.     Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2.     Put the sweet potatoes, oil, cinnamon, and sea salt into a large baking dish or rimmed cookie sheet      and mix well to coat with the oil.
3.     Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the yams are very tender.

Yield: 4 servings