Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fit Family Savory Low Calorie Beanless Chili

My mom used to cook chili for over 100 people once a year. She started a week of preparation for the project so we had dried beans stewing on the stove for days. The house was always full of delicious smells. People would often say they dreamed of her chili the entire year before. When I got married and had kids I was disappointed that I couldn't make chili for my family since we had bean issues and since it took a couple of days of preparation. But last night I adapted my mom's super chili recipe to make it low calorie, bean-less and quick. It was a winner! We loved it as a family and one of my 8 year old twins earnestly asked me if I had written the recipe down so that I could reproduce it. He knows me all to well.

I did get the recipe and even took  a picture this time

Savory Low Calorie Beanless Chili
Healthy and delicious!
Serves 12

1 lb Extra lean hamburger,
2 medium zucchini chopped small,
1 TBs canola or olive oil,
1 medium yellow onion,
1 yellow, 1 red and 1 orange mini bell peppers ,
1 large can tomato juice (46 oz), 1/2 cup vinegar,
1 can diced tomatoes, 1 can cilantro and lime stewed tomatoes (plain is fine),
Mild Chili Seasoning Packet (just because I am lazy),

Instructions: Chop onion finely and cook with 1 tbs of olive or canola oil in large sauce pan. Cook until onion is soft add chopped zucchini and saute together. Add hamburger meat and chopped peppers with stems and cores removed. Let hamburger cook fully then add chili seasoning packet and stir in with meat and vegetable mixture. Add tomatoes. Watch closely for burning and add tomato sauce slowly. Add Vinegar and 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper. Stir and bring to a slow boil. Add more salt and vinegar to preferred taste. Let simmer for an hour for more flavor. It is delicious fresh but always best the day after. I'm not sure on the servings we all ate it so quickly but I think it was about 12.

Bulk prep.

Happy Healthy Eating!

- Susan

For my free clean eating meal plans go here and enter your name and email. The printable pdfs come with shopping lists, bulk prep, the meal plan and recipes.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

More "Smeals" please! A Weight Loss Secret!

Do you start the day with solid determination to eat healthy but by lunch you begin to lose control and by dinner you decide that you can start again tomorrow? You just may need more "smeals".

What are smeals? Well since I am terming them and I haven't found anyone else who uses that word yet besides me, I can write my own definition:


Smeal - [s-meel]
noun a mix between a snack and a meal or in other words a small meal. It has all the nutrients of a substantial meal such as proteins, carbs and healthy fats but has the quickness and ease of a snack.

There ya go.

In my opinion, we need to readjust our thinking as a society. When I use the term "snack" people often think of granola bars or an apple. When I use the term "meal" people, especially moms, associate that word with slaving over a hot stove for an hour and taking a half hour to eat. I used to cringe at the thought of 6 meals because I had that mental association.

Smeals isn't just about what we eat but it is rethinking the whole process. A person can loose weight on 3 meals a day. Lets be clear about that. The reason why we hear 6 meals a day is because the meals tend to be closer together and people have more success with this especially if they are on a calorie deficiet diet. Blood glucose stays more level for those who have swing issues especially when carbohydrates are controlled and protein is consumed with each meal.

The beauty of smeals is that they can be made ahead of time in bulk or they can be made on the spot quickly. The key is in the planning.

Happy Healthy Eating!

- Susan

More about smeals to come later...if you were waiting for the perfect time to start eating clean with your family, the time is now. Sign up for your free meal plan today.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fit Pumpkin French Toast

The leaves are changing outside and that means it's fall again. That means fall recipes!

I celebrate anytime I can feed my kids vegetables for breakfast and pumpkin is the perfect way to do that. Here is a post from a couple of years back. A great filling recipe. 

Pumpkin is beautiful. It is packed with antioxidants and fiber. You may have read my sweet potato french toast post a few months back and this morning I tried the same treat but with pumpkin instead of sweet potatoes. I varied the recipe and made it super easy for me to do.

3 eggs whites
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 slice p28 protein bread (or whole wheat)
1/8 cup sugar free syrup or a gallop of plain Greek yogurt mixed with pumpkin and sweetened with truvia.

Combine first 3 ingredients and whip with a fork. Set left over canned pumpkin aside for the treat below. Add other ingredients except bread and whip. Put in shallow dish. Put bread in mixture and flip. Cook on heated pan and flip when ready. Cook both sides until slightly brown.

Total calories depends on bread and syrup used. We love agave and I must admit we use my own homemade syrup that is not low calorie.

Breakfast Totals (with p28 protein bread and sugar free syrup the Greek yogurt will adds protein to regular whole wheat bread.)
Calories 244.5
Fat 3.75
Chol 1.25
sodium 507.5
carbs 26.4
Fiber 4.5
Protein 29
Sugars 13

As for the kids, they loved it. I suspect they like it even more than regular french toast. The pumpkin does not change flavor too much but if anything it enhances it's flavor and apperance. This dish passed the kid-taste-test!

Now with the left over canned pumpkin I dine on it for days. I keep it in the fridge and then when I want something extra sweet I put some in a bowl and sprinkle it with nutmeg and cinnamon then put it in the microwave to warm it. I then top it off with a few pinches of a brown sugar Splendida mix. (You can use whatever sweetener you prefer. My preferences continue to change as the sweetener debates rage on.) It is warm and although I know it is all mental I feel somewhat healthier after eating pumpkin.

Happy Healthy Eating!

- Susan

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Number 5...

Life has changed significantly for me in the past while. You may have noticed the absence of posts and the slower response to emails regarding fit family meal plans. Don't worry I will be back on track soon but a couple of life changing events have occurred which have derailed me a bit.

First of all we bought another home and moved in. And also, sorry to my friends that are finding out this news on my blog first, but I am expecting my 5th child. I won't say how far a long I am but lets just say I am still REALLY sick. I wasn't even this sick with my twins!

This of course has changed my eating significantly.  I can't cook meat without gagging and as for my regular morning egg white breakfast...forget it! I can't even think about eggs without getting woozy. My poor little family has been adapting. They have been getting cold cereal and sandwiches which they don't mind.

The exercise has been good. I have had a few days where I have woke up so sick that I couldn't exercise but for the most part I have been able to keep a type of schedule. I am craving carbs ALOT. I banned pasta a while ago in our home but have brought it back with the pregnancy because it is easy for me to get down. My kids love it but we still have a substitute for my husband since he is still actively losing weight. Pasta for dinner is definitely a weight loss stopper.

Even with the sickness I have gained and will continue to gain throughout my pregnancy it is just what happens. I embrace it and focus on overall health instead of a more extreme fitness.  I keep in mind that one day my before and after pictures will rock!

If you know my history I am a believer in pregnancy and exercise at least for me. To make a long story short my pregnancies go significantly better, my babies are healthier and I feel so much better when I am engaged in moderate and frequent exercise while pregnant. I have done both the sedentary pregnancies and exerciser pregnancies and there was 100% difference in the way I felt through them. I would not say that I am an advocate for all women to exercise while pregnant. I think that every woman is different and that is something for individuals and their doctors to consider but it has proved to be useful to me.

The current recommendations for exercise and pregnancy are for women not to do back laying exercises in the last trimester (the weight of the baby can cut of blood circulation in that position especially during strenuous activity in which the body needs more blood flow) also to avoid any possible moves that may cause trauma or balance issues resulting in trauma to the abdominal. On my own, I also take out plyometric moves (jumping) because I don't feel right about it for me. I also don't race. I am too stinking competitve and want to avoid the temptation of over exertion. During pregnancy woman also have more of the hormone flexin which loosens the joints in preparation for delivery so it is easier to pull muscles. So I try to be careful in that regard as well.

This will be the first pregnancy in which I will lift heavy. I have already adapted that part and definitely have gone easier on certain moves. I can always rebuild my muscles but just have one chance to create this little baby so despite much of the literature that says it is ok to lift heavy I will use great caution.

So with all this craziness in my life please be patient with the emails of the pdfs. This is a free service that I do but I am finding that it is taking a lot more time than anticipated. I will continue to do this as long as I am able. In the mean time may I send you a free meal plan? There is no obligation attached to my offer, get it today!

I now have a way to email you the pdf files automatically without me having to manually do it all.  Just enter your information below!
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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Apologies for clean eating meal plan requests

I want to apologize to all you wonderful followers who have requested meal plans in the last week. I save up the emails and usually send them out in one hit but this week has been crazy. If you don't get them by Monday feel free to re-email me.

We bought a home and are in the middle of moving so I am still working on getting the replies and PDFs out.

Thanks also to those of you who report back. I love to hear your success! I lost count at 200 pounds lost using these plans. I am sure it is in the thousands now. Not bad.

Have patience with me for the next two weeks. I will probably post some older posts that I have sitting in my drafts folder. My computer access will be limited. 

Have a Happy Healthy Week!

For your free copy please email We send the emails out once, sometimes twice a day, so just be patient with us and we'll get it to you. 

- Susan

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Fight for Fitness

Don't focus on the finish line, focus on loving the race

Don't focus on the pain but focus on the thrill

Don't focus on what you can't have, focus on making what you can the best it can be

Don't say "This is too hard", say "I choose to do this" and do it until it becomes habit

Don't focus on conforming to the "diet", focus on making it a lifestyle

Don't listen to the voice inside that says "I can't do this", listen to the voice that says "I want this".

Don't try something healthy once and decide it isn't for you try to make it differently several times to suit your taste. Make it for you.

Don't believe it is a drag, believe it is wonderful.

Don't let one mistake derail you, plan for mistakes, allow for cheats but not triggers.

Don't stew over the things you hate to eat, find new things that you love and eat them often.

Don't forget to plan, Planning is will power.

Pray for help in this and give help to others in this and you will become strong in your conviction.

Take before and after photos even if you hate the before. You will not regret having them when you reach your goals.

Don't doubt who you are or what you are doing, dig in your heels and make it through the hard times.

When all else fails put your head down and run. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and do this for as long as you can. When you do finally look up you will be a different person.

Happy Healthy Eating!
- Susan

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Friday, June 8, 2012

Total Body Playground Workout

Here is one of my own playground workouts. It is a total body workout focusing on the larger muscle groups first. It also incorporates the principle of active rest with a series of strength training movements. All you need is playground equipment and a jump rope.

*When jump roping always stay facing children and never jump rope too close to them. Move quickly from one movement to the next in order to keep the heart rate elevated. With each exercise you will repeat a high intensity, active rest movement with a strength training movement. Repeat one after the other to complete one set.

Warm up 
  • Break a sweat by walking around the playground. Move the arms as you walk so that blood is pumping through the lower body and upper body for 3-5 minutes. 
  • Once you are warmed up and breaking a sweat you can move to the next phase of the workout.
Muscle group-legs/movement-squat
  • jump rope 50 times
  • 12 deep squats (knees behind the toes all the weight is on the heels as if sitting in a chair)
  • repeat both movements 3 sets total
Muscle group-legs/movement-lunge
  • jump rope 50 times
  • walking lunges 6 on each side
  • repeat 3 sets total
Muscle group-back/movement-pull ups
  • jump rope 50 times
  • pull ups to fatigue, hands wide palms away from face gripping the monkey bar (not a chin up) most women can only do one, give it a good try. Use legs if needed to push off the ground with a controlled raise.
  • repeat 3 sets total
Muscle group-chest/movement-push ups
  • jump rope 100 times
  • 12 push ups on flat surface (knees ok if needed)
  • repeat 3 sets total
Muscle group-shoulders and back/movement-reverse lateral raise
  • jump rope 100 times
  • Reverse lateral raise - stand to the side of a piece of sturdy equipment that is about hip height. Put your arm out to the side and rest your hand on the equipment. Feet are shoulder width apart ready to do a squat. Slowly and carefully lower your body in squatting position and use your shoulder to slow the squat down so that resistance is added to the shoulder. Then slowly push the body back to a standing position with the back/lats. Have your shoulder do as much of the work as possible. 12 on each side.
  • jump rope 25 times in between sides
  • repeat 3 sets total (you will be doing each side 6 times)
Muscle group-biceps/movement-pull up
  • 50 jumping jacks
  • bicep pull up/chin up- hands on monkey bar palms facing your face. Grip the monkey bar. If your feet touch use the ground the least amount possible. Using biceps to raise and lower body. Do as many as you can.
  • repeat 3 sets total
Muscle group-triceps/movement-tricep dip
  • 50 jumping jacks
  • Triceps dips on steps of playground stairs. Place hands on step finger tips are toward your back elbows are pointing away from the body. Feet are on the ground. Slowly lower the body down to the ground then raise it up again. 12-15 repetitions.
  • repeat 3 sets
Muscle group-abdominals/movement-hanging abs
  • 50 jumping jacks
  • Hanging from a monkey bar pull your knees in to your chest and lower slowly 6-8 times
  • repeat 3 sets
Cool Down
Take a moment to walk around and let everything return to normal after the workout. Stretch all the muscles that have been incorporated. Most of all enjoy those kids and keep and eye on them. They grow too fast!

Here are some links to other sites and playground workouts

If you're interested in Fat Burning Exercises for women. Here's a great article about the best way to lose belly fat!

Happy Healthy Eating!

- Susan

I am guessing you're a busy mom like me so please take advantage of my free meal plans and save yourself time and money.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Mommy Moment

I had a mommy moment yesterday.

As a mom of 4 boys under 7 I felt overwhelmed, inadequate, and a little robbed of humanity. I  had a pity party. I had to rush out of the house leaving my husband in charge of the little boys so that I could fix something that only I could do. I was frustrated that things don't seem to work out as planned. The house is rarely clean or in order these days. It is difficult with four little boys to keep things tidy and when things are tidy I find that I am a bit of a grouch. I cringe and growl whenever anyone begins to make a mess which is instantly and constantly.

I was at a stop light and I am sure that my face was in a complete grimace as I contemplated my state of being when a small miracle happened. I am sure that some would not consider it that but it was a moment that will forever change me.

As I sat waiting at a stop light another mom in a minivan crossed the intersection in front of me. In the brief seconds that she was in my view I noticed a few things about her. First she was a girl that I recognized. She used to come to my aerobics classes and I would sometimes see her out and about with her little ones in tow. I had 4 children under 6 at the time and she had 5 under 7 and was pregnant! She was one of the few people that I knew had it harder than me. I was never sure how she did what she did. She volunteered in the kids class room as I did. I barely managed and brought my little ones with me. She did the same.

As she passed by in a mini van yesterday I also noticed that she had one hand on the steering wheel with her head back. She looked relaxed and easy going which was in much contrast to my death grip on the steering wheel and the frown that I had dug into my skull.

The last and most important thing that I noticed is that she had on a den mother uniform for cub scouts with the little flag on the sleeve indicating that she was on her way to some function that she probably didn't have time for but organized her life in a way so that she could serve either her son that age or other kids in the community.

So three things, I knew she was a busy mom, even busier than I am, she was driving around relaxed and unfrazzled and she had on a den leader's boy scout shirt.

For some reason the image of her driving so perfectly while serving and busy did not make me feel bad or jealous or more inadequate It just made me feel inspired. We are probably under the same or near same amount of stress but her attitude was completely different than mine in that moment. She was sucking it in and enjoying life while I was pondering my imperfections. Although we have the same amount of craziness in our lives, because of our difference in attitude we were having different mommy moments. I approached the rest of my day differently. I was determined to be more graceful as a mother. I wanted to stop worrying about all the details but start drinking in the moments. I had a light go on in my head about who I wanted to be and would choose to be no matter what the circumstance.

It does go to show that you can change someone without knowing it and without doing anything special but just by driving in your car. One day maybe I will tell her about my experience :0) 

Happy Healthy Eating!

- Susan

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Ways to trick your self into exercising

I will admit there are times when I don't want to exercise especially since I wake up several hours before the sun rises. Although it is habit now and I feel a little lost if I don't do it there are times when the alarms goes off and I want to roll over and go back to bed instead of go workout.

I have learned how to "trick my self into exercising" over the years. (Thanks Jackie for keying this phrase)

Get dressed-When your alarm goes off or when you are getting ready to go, get dressed all the way down to your shoes. Also don't forget to brush your teeth. I tell myself some mornings that if I still feel like a zombie after that process then I will lay back down and sleep for a few minutes. I never do.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Turkey Roll-UP - Dee-licious!

Turkey Roll-UP
I need to confess something. I have been trying to get a picture of this turkey roll up for some time. The first time I made it I was experimenting and didn't expect it to be so good but it was!!! I didn't get a pic. After I took one bite I devoured it. I have made it three times since and wanted to get picture but I have no self control and I would eat them before I could get my camera out.

I finally took a picture today before eating it.

This is really delicious! I haven't tried it with my kiddos yet but my husband LOVED it!

This recipe is for one person and one roll up. I eat it for both breakfast or lunch. I count it as a protein and usually add a fruit or complex carbohydrate to make it a nice metabolism building meal for the beginning of the day.

1 half small stalk of green onion
2 egg whites
9 slices of Oscar Meyer smoked shaved turkey breast (or ground turkey breast this will lower sodium)
Mrs Dash Tomato Basil Spice
1 Tbs fat free cream cheese
1 tsp of olive oil

Chop green onion and saute with tsp of olive oil in a stick free pan on the stove top. Let cook. Add chopped up sliced turkey or ground turkey to mixture. Combine ingredients. Add Mrs. Dash tomato basil spice to turkey mixture (I do two shakes). Remove from heat and set mixture to the side. In a small no stick  frying pan spray a dusting of canola oil on pan. Add two egg whites carefully so they form a circle (this is best done in a small pan where the eggs fill up the bottom of the pan) Carefully flip eggs to the other side. When done it looks much like a tortilla shell. Turn the heat off but while it is still hot add 1 tbs fat free cream cheese to the egg white tortilla. Let it sit there then spread when hot. Add the other ingredients on top and roll up like a tortilla. Enjoy!

Nutrition: (For turkey roll up only)
Calories 154, Fat 5, Chol 32, Sodium 902, Carbs 3, Fiber .5, Protein 22, Sugars 2

Some people do not consider fat free cream cheese or any dairy clean foods. But the nutrition of it works well with the macro nutrient levels that I like so you can be the judge on this one. Love me anyway no matter what :)

Happy eating healthy!
- Susan

Don't forget to please take advantage of my free meal plans and save yourself time and money.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

One of my darling little boys! 

Happy Mothers day! 

Being a mom is a beautiful blessing and a sacred responsibility.

I am a builder of secure minds who will be the future of our nation. What kind of company or factory can produce such a product? I look into the eyes of my children and I see greatness. My role is essential to their reaching their full potential! What I do, although very undervalued by some, will impact generations to come!

I am HONORED to be a Mother!

Happy Healthy Eating!
- Susan

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Common "Mom Habits" that Sabotage Weight Loss

Our bodies are much like a house.

When things are running smoothly the occupants can occasionally handle a mess to clean up. But when things get busy and more and more mess is coming into the house, the mess starts to pile up and build. Our bodies can eat junk food once in a while without much disturbance but when it becomes habit our bodies become efficient at storing it instead of using it.

Although these bad habits that I am about to list apply to everyone, Moms are the call out here. To great moms the term "motherhood" means sacrifice and selflessness. Giving up something for the ones we love seems noble but if it is our health that we are sacrificing then lets be very clear, It is not best for them or us...not even in the name of motherhood. Its effect is just the opposite. It takes us from them, either by an early demise or by making it so that we cannot fully participate in their childhood in ways that we could otherwise.

Here are 4 common "Mom Habits" that sabotage weight loss:

Staying up late.
Moms don't get a minute to themselves during the day so they often find a little down time after everyone is bed. If you are like me at times I just get tired of being required. A few minutes to myself brings a little sanity back into my life. But if mom is up too late it can affect her fitness and nutrition goals. 

Sleep deprived people crave carbs, lose muscle and eat more calories than those that get 71/2 hours of sleep. Analyze what you do at night and decided how important it is. I find that my own productivity goes down. I surf the web, play on facebook and perhaps flip through non important TV shows. Our bodies want rest and we will get a bigger bang out of our next day and eat better by going to bed earlier preferably before 10:00 pm.

Not eating breakfast
Many moms skip breakfast. They get themselves, kids and husbands dressed and lunches packed. They also make breakfast for everyone else but in their rush they neglect eating their own most important meal of the day. 

A breakfast with a nice punch of protein and fiber will keep mom's tank full for much longer and kick start her metabolism. It is never a good idea to skip a meal and the worst meal to skip is often the hardest one to get in - breakfast.

Not planning meals
If you don't plan ahead and counter hunger in the moment with good foods then you are much more influenced by the advertising of the multimillion dollar fast/junk food industry that has hoards of scientists, marketers and other experts who dedicate all their time to delivering subconscious messages to you and your family on what you should be eating so that you can make them rich. Sounds like a conspiracy right? It is! 

They know what shows we watch, they know the colors and faces that they should put on billboards so that we will look at them. They even put toys that compliment the latest box office hits in their kids meals. They spent millions of dollars on real estate locations that are strategically placed so that when you are on your way home from work you will pass right by them and if you don't have a plan you are much more likely to stop even if you hate that you are doing it. 

Some people think that a "diet" or "meal planning" enslaves them but it is the other way around. It frees us from these other influences that have no interest in us or our children's well being. Only our pocket books. Planning is will power. Find a good program or healthy eating philosophy and stick to it. Plan ahead a week, a day or even a few meals in advance. It will help you eat healthy and save money too.

Skipping post workout meal
Eating a light meal with a lean protein and a fast absorbing carbohydrate right after a workout is not only good for the bodies repair process but is also good to counter hunger throughout the day. Many women think that they should skip the post workout meal because of the calories they consume in the post workout (which I like to keep under 250 calories). 

 Also they may not feel hungry after vigorous or moderate exercise. Those who eat a post workout meal, however, tend to eat less calories in the following meals because they are not as hungry or caloricly deprived and therefore have positive decision making skills still intact when it comes to food choices and portion control.

Happy Healthy Eating!

- Susan

For my FREE clean eating meal plans please go here and enter your name and email.  You will be sent my printable pdf files with the shopping lists, bulk prep, meal plan and the recipes!  

Friday, April 27, 2012

Creamy Strawberry Protein Oatmeal

Creamy Strawberry Protein Oatmeal 
Delicious recipe for protein oatmeal. 
Serves 1 

1/3 cup of old fashioned oats
1/2 cup water
3 Tbs Greek Yogurt
4 medium sized strawberries
1/2 scoop vanilla protein whey
1 Packet Truvia Sweetner

Instructions: Cut strawberries into small pieces. Mix all ingredients but one cut strawberry in a large bowl. Put in the microwave for approximately 3 minutes. Watch closely so that it doesn't boil over. Stir again before serving and garnish the top with the remaining cut strawberries. An additional truvia packet can be added to the top of the oatmeal.

Calories 179
Fat 1.8
Chol 30
Sodium 50
Carbs 26
Fiber 3
Protein 19
Sugars 11
Happy Healthy Eating!

- Susan

For my FREE clean eating meal plans please go here and enter your name and email.  You will be sent my printable pdf files with the shopping lists, bulk prep, meal plan and the recipes! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Finding Balance and Sticking to it

Balance is hard to find. 
It is harder to keep but as we strengthen our core (values) we can always find it and come back to it even when we lose it for a time.

Here is a pic with me and my third child. It says it all. I am so in love with my little family. Clean eating is proving to be one of the best things for them as well as for me.

I keep this blog not because eating is my strength but because it is my weakness.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fit Philly Steak Sandwich: Healthy and Flavorful!

One of my favorite meals is the Philly Steak Sandwich. But the real sandwich tops 1000 calories!  I have tried multiple low calorie versions of this and each time it came out tasting..less than desirable. But today I made it! It was delicious! The kids loved it! The husband loved it and it was BELOW 300 calories (287 to be exact!) I can't even tell you how awesome that is! The only problem is that it was so good that even though I was full I wanted more! But I resisted! There it always tomorrow and I can eat the left overs then! I made it using my mom's leftover Sunday roast which is an art in itself but I will do my best to explain.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Seared Lemon Chicken

I had the most incredible chicken this week! It is a simple recipe but the way it is cooked is delicious! The recipe is for 1 person.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Marathon Mom vs Weights Mom

These pictures were taken at different times.

You can choose which one looks best in your mind but I know which one feels best and it is definitely the weight training.

It takes a lot less time and has a greater visual result but was not as euphoric as the running. While running I could never get full but with lifting and eating clean I was full all of the time.

Right now I am trying to once again mix the two. I will let you know how that one goes : )

Happy Healthy Eating!

- Susan

For my FREE clean eating meal plans please go here and enter your name and email.  You will be sent my printable pdf files with the shopping lists, bulk prep, meal plan and the recipes! 

We are currently in the middle of creating a 7 Day Weight Lifting Guide for Women. If you would like to be one of the first to receive this FREE pdf file, just enter your name and email below!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

10 Ways to Eat Vegetables for Breakfast

"If it's your job to eat a frog it is best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest [ugliest] one first." - Mark Twain
It is a good thing that the things we are talking about in this post aren't really frogs. They are vegetables and they are not always green.

For some reason most of us view vegetables as non-breakfast foods. Our American diets declare that syrup smothered waffles (basically sugar with sugar on top) are acceptable breakfast foods instead.

We even see fruit as acceptable but don't consider the thought of vegetables for breakfast as normal.

But think of how much healthier we could be if we changed our thinking and made nutrient, vitamin, fiber rich vegetables part of our morning every day for the rest of our lives. Vegetables are cancer, diabetes and heart disease fighters. It would give them that much more of an opportunity to work their magic in us.

Just imagine if we were to start out on a journey going the wrong direction we would loose a lot of precious time and focus. Breakfast is the same idea. Every day is a journey in our lives. Do we want to start it walking backwards?

Here is a dare for vegetables at breakfast for an entire week and see how you feel!

Here are 10 ways to do it:

1- Green smoothies- Vegetable + fruit + ice + liquid. These are becoming very popular and rightfully so. If you have a good blender the family will never know that these yummy tasting shakes are good for them. True green smoothies are supposed to have a higher percentage ofvegetables compared to fruit but many people also enjoy them in the opposite proportion. Some brands like Sun Warrior offer rice proteins that can add a natural punch of protein to these smoothies.

2- Eggs- As long as these are not drenched in cheese and other fats, omelets can be a healthy choice and great host to vegetables. An egg white omelet with spinach and a dust of feta cheese was a nice new food introduced to me at the beginning of my journey. I was surprised at how much I liked it. Also garden vegetables cooked then scrambled with eggs and topped with salsa can add flavor, color and excitement to a drab egg breakfast. I love cooked vegetable in crepes by they way! Delicious!

3- Eat them raw- Raw vegetables are a great way to fill up the tummy in the morning. They feel so fresh and light. A mix of cucumbers, olives and carrots is a delicious treat. It is such a simple combination and yet the black canned olives seem to marinate the cucumbers and carrots. This is also a delicious and surprisingly popular party mix. Try it I bet you will take home an empty dish!

3- Black Beans- Yes I know what you are thinking. "Black Beans are a legume" or you may be in the "Black Beans are a vegetable camp" but if you know French you will recognize that the word legume actually means dried fruit. So did the French get it right? Are they considered a fruit in our language as well? Either way they are plant based, protein packed and are very good for breakfast. Black beans can be part of an omelet, can be eaten on their own or even made into a delicious breakfast hummus.

4- Cooked-Despite popular belief vegetables can be eaten cooked and added to the breakfast meal as a side dish just as they are cooked for other meals throughout the day.

5- Juiced- Some vegetables are made for juicing. Carrots for example can be made into a delicious juice that can add a great flavor to other drinks or a tasty drink on its own. But like fruit juices, although they are vitamin rich, they should be used with caution since they lack the fiber benefits of whole foods.

6- Hide them- I LOVE this one especially for my family. You can hide several vegetables in breakfast foods and your family will only notice that breakfast just got better! For examplesweet potato or pumpkin in french toast, cauliflower in eggs (yes believe it or not it is delicious) and zucchini in almost any waffle or pancake. Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Sienfield is an entire book dedicated to sneaking in vegetables to the family's diet without them knowing.

7-Soup- I know sounds a little odd for breakfast but I lived in Spain for a year and a half and these people have mastered the art of a cold soup named Gazpacho. It was strange for me at first but I got to the point where I crave it and love the taste. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Vegetables can also be served as a hot soup for breakfast.

8- Yogurt- Adding cooked and purred vegetables to a low calorie Greek yogurt can also prove to be a filling and nutrient dense meal without the calories. Sweeter vegetables such as purred pumpkin can be mixed in with the yogurt and topped with toasted oatmeal for a pumpkin pie taste. I like an artificial sweetener or a calorie free sugar free pumpkin pie syrup on mine or just cinnamon.

9-Other ideas- Sliced Tomatoes on whole wheat toast or an English muffin with a lean turkey can be a yummy and filling breakfast. Also an egg and potato breakfast casserole with green peppers used to be popular at my house.

10- Fried- No I am totally joking on this one! No fried veggies. Ever!

The real 10-Breakfast pizza. I am not joking on this one. A healthier version of breakfast pizza can be made. A tomato sauce on top of whole wheat flat bread, dusted with mozzarella cheese and topped with garden veggies can be cooked to tasty perfection. Not to mention the delicious smell that your family will wake up to!

So take the challenge: vegetables at breakfast for one week! Any way you can get them in... (Except for fried. Remember never fried ;)

Good luck! Happy Healthy Eating!
- Susan
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