Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tempeh Sloppy Joes

I tried another great Vegan recipe the other night, this one might sneak in as a family recipe if they didn't see me making it ;)  I would rate it a 9 out of 10.  Prep was easy to do while I made turkey burgers for my kids... next time I will share with them!

Here is the recipe from the P90X2 cookbook:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 lb. organic tempeh, crumbled
3 tbsp chili powder blend
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
1 15-oz can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
2-3 tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar
1 tbsp yellow mustard
4 sprouted- grain buns or Sandwich thins

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium  heat.
2. Saute onion, garlic, and bell pepper until soft.
3. Add crumbled tempeh and stir together to mix well.  Cook for another 2 minutes.
4. Add chili powder, oregano, salt, tomatoes, tomato paste, maple syrup or agave and mustard.  Stir well to blend together.
5. Cook for another 10 minutes with lid on to steam the tempeh.
6. Turn off heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes for flavors to blend together.
7. Serve on buns.

I heated up leftovers along with some kale and served them over brown rice pasta the following night and served my family meat sauce!

Just because it is Vegan does not mean it is low calorie!  This is 4 portions and 1 portion has 535 calories, 18 g of fat, 72 g of carbs, 33 g of protein and 11 g of fiber.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Can you maintain healthy eating while camping?

It is now one week since I completed the Ultimate Reset.  I decided before I was done that I would stick with the meal plan for at least a few more weeks and avoid animal protein for a little bit longer.  I did great last week.  I didn't even add coffee back in, no desserts, just a little bit of dried fruit when I needed a treat.  This weekend I went camping with my family and ran into some complications.  The boy scout camp was set up for meat lovers... or simply, people who think that animal protein plays a part in every meal... kind of like I thought until 4 weeks ago :)  First meal I turned down the meat and added extra chick peas to my salad which worked really well.  Second meal I asked for chick peas for breakfast... not bad with some fruit cut on top, but not delicious!  I was offered Vegetarian options for future meals.  This did cover the meat and chicken part but not the cheese and milk part which pretty much became my protein source in the rest of the meals.  I decided that I would go with it, I would stick with part of my plan, and when I got home I would get back to where I wanted to be.  I made sure I got my Tropical Shakeology in each day and I stayed strong in avoiding sugar... I even turned down campfire Smores two days in a row :)
I will be vacationing with family next week and I plan to introduce a few Vegan recipes to the group but, I suspect my "flexitarian" eating will need to be pretty flexible as I cannot make extra meals for myself for the duration of our trip. Yes, I know I could, but a happy family vacation is key combined with the best I can do!

I promised to start sharing some of my favorite recipes:
Black Beans and Rice 
3/4 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup canned low sodium black beans
1/4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp ground chili powder
1 pinch ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp Bragg liquid aminos (in place of soy sauce)
Himalayan Sea Salt (to taste) - get at Trader Joe's
While rice is cooking, heat beans gently in saucepan until very hot.  Drain and return to pan.  Add oil, spices, aminos and salt.  Stir well.  Gently fold beans into cooked rice.  Serves 1
Serve with, 1/4 cup fresh corn, 2 tbsp salsa, 1/4 cup guacamole, 1 6" corn tortilla and a side salad or Kale steamed and squirted with fresh lemon juice, a sprinkling of Himalayan sea salt and 1 tbsp of pine nuts! (recipe from the Ultimate Reset week one)

That is a good sized meal, plenty of protein and delicious!  Let me know what you think.
Please join me at for weekly emails on health and fitness.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Ultimate Reset - 21 days of much needed nutritional intervention!

Wow!  What a learning experience the past 21 days have been for me!  I have known for a long time that the reason I hadn't found my hidden 6-pack was not because I wasn't fit enough, it was because I treated myself a little too often!  I suspected that addiction to cereal had something to do with it... the love of nuts and dried fruit in the afternoon... the vanilla yogurt.  The Ultimate Reset involved cutting out all animal products, all processed foods, and even most grains and proteins in the final week.  I was not overly hungry due to the volume of veggies and fruit I was consuming, combined with healthy fats and fresh herbs for seasoning.  I did not feel deprived as my family enjoyed steak for dinner and ice cream for dessert last weekend, I felt refreshed, unbloated and rejuvenated.  I tried on a few pairs of shorts that a few weeks ago I struggled to close and now fit perfectly.  Upon completion I am still not drawn to the forbidden foods. I am slowly going to add some foods back into my diet... maybe some plain greek yogurt to go with my fruit for breakfast, perhaps some eggs and definitely some fish to enjoy with the family later this week!  and in a few short weeks I will surely find myself with a glass of red wine and perhaps an occasional morning coffee!
Something was causing a lot of belly bloat in the afternoons for me... I will try to figure that combination out so I can avoid future discomfort.

All in all I would highly recommend the Ultimate Reset to anyone who is trying to get their nutrition in order and to anyone who is interested in taking their body to another level in fitness and health.
Vegan meals will be a permanent fixture in my diet plan and I look forward to adjusting my families eating towards a similar focus as mine!

Are you looking for some simple ideas of how to eat a little more along the "Reset" lines?  Start with simple steps like making your own salad dressings... easy and delicious!
Creamy Garlic Dressing
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 3 cloves crushed garlic, 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, 1 tsp Himalayan salt, 1/2 tsp dijon, 1 tbsp honey or agave nectar.  Place ingredients in a blender and mix on medium high for 30 seconds or until well mixed.  Store in airtight container in refrigerator.  If dressing solidifies when cold, let sit at room temp until liquid, then stir.  Makes 8-10 servings.

Pick up some vegetables at a farmer's market and ask the farmer or google on how to prepare them!

Buy a packet of quinoa at Trader Joe's and follow the recipe on the back!  I have bought two different kinds there and LOVE both of the recipes! 

Buy a bag of Shakeology, drink it once a day for breakfast and see how much better you feel... if you aren't feeling better by day 20 I will help you get your money back!

Now is the time to make some changes... your body will thank you, your waist line will thank you, and your wallet will thank you when you save it major medical bills down the road!  YOU are the only one holding you back!

Join me at and let me help you work towards a healthier and happier you!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Focused and streamlined

I can not believe how much I am loving the Ultimate Reset.  The food is delicious, the timing rules for taking supplements are exactly what I needed to realign my snacking habits (sometimes you just have to wait), the guidelines for food choices along with the supplements are somehow helping me to burn away the stubborn weight that has been sitting on my lower belly, butt and thighs for way too many years.
I have 2 1/2 more days left on the Reset but I know I will not return to some of the eating habits I had before I began.  Meat will now be an option, not a requirement!  I have officially divorced cereal... there, I said it out loud!  Maybe some homemade granola, definitely oatmeal, but no more highly processed cereal (someone should tell the pantry that I just restocked with 6 new boxes)!  No more thinking that too much fruit is too much sugar.  If it grows it is probably good!  No more waiting until 4pm to pull something (meat) out of the freezer for dinner... advance prep is key to success!
I would imagine that the Reset meal plan would be pretty challenging for someone who is not entering it with some healthy food choices already in place.  There are lot of vegetables involved, a lot of meal prep and planning ahead to stay on track, a lot of sacrifices if you are used to pulling through the drive through a few days/ week... plus no coffee and no added sugar!

I am excited to take my final measurements on Monday and share my results. I am excited to see how my healthier body will fare in workouts as I amp them back up next week.  I am excited to work more with my family to make good clean eating habits a practice in ALL of our daily meals!

If you are interested in learning more about the Ultimate Reset, watch the video below and join my challenge group set to start in early June!  I will help you work through the plan, stay on track and reach as much success as I have!

Monday, May 14, 2012

14 of 21 days complete! 8 pounds gone!!!

When Beachbody started leaking information about the Ultimate Reset last year I was pretty sure it wasn't for me.  A cleanse?  Is that really necessary?  Some people say it is vital to clear toxins that accumulate in our bodies from the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat!  Others seem unsure that it is really necessary.  Here is what Beachbody has to say about the need.
This Spring as Beachbody prepared to release the Reset I realized that I have been in a rut for awhile.  My fitness is great- I recently completed P90X2 which I LOVED followed by Brazil Butt Lift and I enjoyed both programs.  I followed the food plans to a degree but I feel I make pretty healthy food choices and stock my home with great food.  Why then was I not losing the weight around my middle, why was I so easily irritated, why was I reaching for too many cups of coffee and waiting for that 5pm glass of wine?  It was time to take action.
Choosing a start date for the Reset was another challenge.  3 weeks where I could be in control of almost all of the meals I ate and little to no exercise!  The exercise one was a challenge as I teach Turbo Kick (very similar to TurboFire) and it requires a lot of moving - I realized I am away too much this summer to sub out my class so we have switched to low intensity for 3 weeks and we will make it work.  When it came to meals though, once June hits I am crazy for most of the summer so I backed my start date up to April 30th and it was ready, set, go...
Last week I wrote about the first 7 days, Phase 1 which you can read about here.

So, how has Phase 2 been?  Pretty darn good!  The Reset requires supplements (all natural) 4 times per day, with time gaps between eating to make sure your body gets ample time to absorb on an empty stomach.  This means if you are on the go, you need to plan!  This week we added detox... I heard so many comments about how hard this is to drink yet I kind of enjoyed it!  Tastes a little like Detox tea but it has some solids in it... swish and gulp, follow with more water!  Helped fill me up until my meal which I had to then wait 30 minutes for!
At the beginning of this week I was a little tired.  I had one day at the beginning where I was feeling a little foggy and again on day 14 I was lacking in energy.  Today I feel great!!!

What has changed for me since day 1?  8 pounds is gone and my summer shorts are all fitting great!  I am waking up feeling more refreshed in the morning... haven't had any of those big bags under my eyes that was not an uncommon sight 2 weeks ago.  My digestion is great.  No afternoon bloating that has been an occasional problem in the past. My mind is somehow clearer.  I am feeling the need to get things in order, not put things off until later, I have more focus.  I am less irritable.  Maybe it is not having to squeeze a workout into my schedule, maybe it is the focus I put into my meal creations, whatever it is, I am a little more calm and collected through the afternoon and evening.  I am truly enjoying making meals.  The recipes that come with the Reset are amazing.  I have followed every one of them, I have even incorporated a few into a Tea I hosted last week so I could enjoy eating with my friends... they loved it too!  I am truly excited to carry over my new passion for creating great meals rather than taking unhealthy short cuts and adding in even more fruits and vegetables.

In my final week I am looking to create even more peace in my life.  To get my office in a little better order and to make a plan for the next few months for my fitness, for keeping up my nutrition, for helping others with their nutrition and fitness and for helping my kids have an amazing summer!

What steps are you doing to move forward with your health and fitness?  I would love to help you find the tools to make your journey fun and efficient as well!

I am a SAHM to an 8 and 6 year old.  I volunteer, I do the accounting for my husband's business and I work hard to stay fit and healthy.  Beachbody allows me to work from home and helps me stay accountable to my own health and fitness while I work hard to help others focus on their health and fitness.  It is about paying it forward, spending a little time to better ourselves and enjoying the process.  I would love to help you, and I invite you to join me in helping me help others!  Learn more about Beachbody coaching here.

My Favorite Recipe in Phase 2 was the Sweet Potato & Roasted Red Pepper Bisque:
1 sweet potato
1/4 red bell pepper
1 cup vegetable broth or water
1 tsp finely grated peeled ginger root
1 1/2 tsp Extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp miso paste
Tamari or Bragg Liquid Aminos, Himalayan salt & herbal seasoning to taste.
Peel and cube sweet potato.  Cook in boiling water until tender.  Drain and set aside.  Roast red pepper so you can remove skin.
Place potato, pepper, broth, ginger, oil and miso in blender, add liquid if necessary, reheat and voila!  Serves 1.
Big portion, healthy goodness, not too many ingredients.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

1/3 of the way through the Ultimate Reset

Wow, I can't believe how quickly week 1 of the Ultimate Reset flew by!  I immersed myself in the cooking... new recipes every day, some advanced prep to keep track of, cooking extra rice for future meals... it is amazing what you can accomplish with a little planning.  One of the big things I will take away from this Reset is what you can create for your family if you plan a little.  I pride myself on being able to pull 5 things out of the fridge and creating a meal, BUT trying new things, adding extra nutrition, cutting out some meat and dairy can be advantageous to our health as well!

So, how did week 1 go?  Pretty well!  A key item many people look for when they feel they are "sacrificing" for their health is weight loss.  I lost 5 pounds in one week with no starvation!  In fact, as you will read below, I ate more than recommended on a few days! I finished the week feeling pretty good!  My energy is good but am still waiting for it to be great!  I am rested and content and ready to take on phase 2!!!
I approached the Reset knowing there would be changes and sacrifices.  No more coffee, no more chocolate, no more cereal and random snacking throughout the day!!!
Day 1 - 3 were very uneventful for me.  I was fine without my coffee, I drank over a gallon of "distilled" water each day, I shot back my "alkalinize" (which is salty, seaweedy, a little sweet - overall not too bad), I timed my eating around the  supplements and the recipes laid out in the book.  The end of day 3 I went to bed really tired and sore... sore like I had been doing P90X and hadn't hydrated and then had run a marathon sore... I had trouble sleeping and woke up tired on day 4.  Day 4 I was sore, had a bath with epsom salts to help myself detox a little faster as the muscle aches are a sign of your body detoxing.  Following the bath I tried to nap... epic fail.  I dozed on and off (I have never been a great napper), and got up feeling like I had the flu.  Cold, achy, fuzzy brain... AND I was scheduled to teach my Turbo Kick class at 7pm (which was already planned to be at low intensity).  I got some fresh air, ate my snack and drank lots of water, gradually the fog lifted and by 6pm I was excited about my class.  I exerted myself a little more than I was probably supposed to but the idea is that you don't cause muscle to need repairing... I think I was within the parameters!!!

Days 5 - 7 were pretty good.  I added strawberries after my dinner as I couldn't resist the basket of fresh berries on my counter and they ARE in the Reset allowed foods!  On Saturday and Sunday I ate my snacks later in the day due to scheduling with the family... then was tight at dinner time on time allowances between eating... PLUS I found I hadn't really needed the snacks after all!  Made me remember that I don't need to eat just because it is time, I need to focus more on what my body needs and if it is truly hungry!

Regardless, I found some amazing new recipes that I will share along the way.

My favorite meals so far were the Black beans and rice tortilla and the Quinoa salad... with the microgreen salad close behind!

Here is a photo of the microgreen salad which is a pile of greens topped with shredded carrot, chopped cucumber, sliced red bell pepper, sprouts (I used TJs microgreens), chopped tomato, chopped jicama, fresh herbs, toasted nuts + dressing - I used the basic vinaigrette.

and the Quinoa salad was delicious and nutritious!

1/2 cup cook quinoa
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Himalayan salt or Bragg Liquid Aminos to taste
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp finely minced fresh parsley
1 tbsp finely minced fresh mint
1/4 large tomato, diced
1/4 large cucumber, peeled and diced
2 tbsp chopped, pitted kalamata olives
Gently combine ingredients, cover and chill for 1 hour. Serves 1
Thought it was going to be too heavy on the herbs but it was perfect, refreshing and delicious!

For me the Ultimate Reset has been an opportunity to refocus on my nutrition.  I exercise well and I enjoy healthy food.  I just needed to get a grip on portion, frequency and overall volume of food I was consuming each day!  I suspect I will be on a great course in two weeks when I have completed this journey!  It isn't easy when there are temptations around every corner, but I see it as a challenge that I am willing to stick to for me!

Let me know if you would like to learn more about the Ultimate Reset, I would love to discuss it with you.  This is a process that is a great lead in to starting a healthy lifestyle or, as I am doing, to complement your current lifestyle and just make it all a little better!
Find more info at

Learn more about the Ultimate Reset with the following video: