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31 Days of Motivation: Feel as Good As You Eat

feel as good as you eatSomething I heard once that stuck with me was when my sister said “I never realized how bad unhealthy felt until I discovered how good it felt to be healthy”. This is something I had never thought of at the time, and her insight opened my eyes. She wasn’t talking about feeling good because she looked good, she was talking about feeling even after only a couple of weeks of eating healthy. She basically immediately started having more energy and feeling as healthy as she was eating – way before the weight started coming off.

Not only does unhealthy food not fuel you properly but it weighs you down – literally. Overweight bodies are tired from the weight alone. Then couple that with being tired from the lack of energy from eating foods that lack nutrition, and you’ve got one tired, sluggish, heavy, unmotivated person. Yet, as soon as you start eating healthy, you immediately start benefiting from the nutrients you are putting into your body. People go from having no energy at all, to having TONS of energy when they begin to FUEL their body instead of just feed it.

Nowadays, when I have a period of time where I’ve been cheating or eating poorly (like over the holidays), I truly crave healthy eating because of how it makes me feel. I miss the way my body feels on a higher quality foods.

I challenge you to not just think of healthy eating as “dieting”, but choosing foods that will energize you, and give you the fuel you need to feel your absolute best! You’ll be SO surprised of the difference good fuel makes!!

Hale the Kale Salad

Thank you Offerdahl’s for the inspiration! Loving this salad!!!!

kale salad1/4 cup cooked quinoa (I cooked with a splash of lemon juice, salt & garlic powder)
2 cups chopped kale
4oz diced chicken breast
1 heaping tablespoon of chick peas
1 tablespoon chopped sweet onion
1/2 tablespoon low-sugar Craisins
1/2 tablespoon goat cheese crumbles
Squirt of lemon
1 tablespoon Honey Roasted Almond Accents

Dressing Options:
Honey Lime or Lemon Vinaigrette
Light Honey Dijon dressing (I used Publix brand, but I also make my own)

Toss all the ingredients together with the dressing and top with the roasted almond slices. YUM!!

CLICK HERE for 10 delicious Kale Recipes!!

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Healthy BBQ Chicken Flatbread

Healthy BBQ Pizza

Since Steve LOVES BBQ flatbread pizzas, I thought I’d work on whipping up a healthy version that would satisfy his tastebuds, and his waistline.

Ingredients:
FlatOut Flatbread
1 tbsp Sonny’s Sweet BBQ Sauce
1/4 Onion
4 oz Smoked Chicken
1/8 cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Directions:
Preset the oven to 350. Place the flatbread on a baking sheet and cook for 4 minutes. While the flatbread is cooking, slice the onion up very finely and caramelize in a frying pan with the balsamic vinegar and pam or a little olive oil (optional). Pull the flatbread out of the oven and top with a thin layer of BBQ sauce, cheese, caramelized onions and diced chicken. Cook 8-10 minutes, or until the flatbread is firm and has crispy edges.

 

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 372
Carbs: 38.9g
Protein: 33.5g
Fat: 10.5g

More flatbread recipes to come – including the Balsamic Veggie Flatbread (the flatbread pictured on the right). 🙂

Sweet and Spicy Turkey Quinoa Chili

turkey quinoa chiliAs many of you know, I’m not a huge “recipe follower”. I own measuring cups and spoons but rarely use them. I like to start with a thought and build my creation as I go, with my mind (and tongue) as my only guide. With that said, I decided to make some Chili Sunday. Although I can’t tell you EXACTLY what I put in it (but, don’t fret, I will try!), I can tell you about a discovery I made that was a huge success – RED QUINOA!

I’ve been cooking with quinoa for a while now and have added to meatloaf, salads, burgers, rice and all kinds of stuff – so why not chili right? That’s what I was thinking!! My chili was becoming a little too soupy and I wanted to thicken it up a bit. As I started to think about what I wanted to add to it, quinoa popped in my head.

I cooked up 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water, and added the cooked quinoa to my huge pot of chili. It was AWESOME!! It blended with the ground turkey very well and gave it a great hearty consistency. Here’s (approximately) what I threw in the pot if you’d like to give it a try!

My Un-Recipe Turkey Quinoa Chili Recipe

  • turkey quinoa chili 2.5lbs of ground turkey
  • 2 cans of Rotel diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 large can tomato paste
  • One small onion
  • 3 small sweet peppers (red, yellow & orange)
  • 3 cans of medium chili beans
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • 1 cup of frozen fresh organic corn
  • 1 cup uncooked red quinoa (cooked as directed prior to adding)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • A few shakes of your favorite hot sauce
  • Brown Sugar or Stevia to sweeten (to taste – I used both)
  • Cumin, Chili power, salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper, cayenne pepper & all that jazz. I did my own thing, but you could just use a chili seasoning pack to make it simple.

I cooked this chili nearly all day. I like to serve it the NEXT day! It’s just always SO more flavorful the next day!! Let all those seasonings soak in for a phenomenal chili! Top with light sour cream for a peace of heaven. Yes, I’m literally eating a bowl RIGHT NOW!!!! yummmmmmmmmm

diet tipDIET TIP: Track calories by adding ALL the ingredients up (I use the recipe builder in the LoseIT app, putting the total amount and weight of everything). Add how many servings it will serve (you can do this based on how many ounces or quarts your pot is, and divide it by cups so each cup is a set amount of calories so you can easily track each cup). Once you have the recipe in your app, you will always have the calories for that meal! If you are like me, you stick to the same favorite recipes anyway, so you won’t have to build too many recipes. If it seems too hard to track challenging recipes, stick to whole foods while you are dieting (a meat, a veggie, etc) until you get the swing of managing calories while cooking mutli-ingredient recipes like this one. Remember, just because you don’t  know how many calories something is, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Moderation is key – but in order to know how MUCH you can have, you need to know how MANY calories it has! 🙂

CLICK HERE for more information, recipes and nutrition tips on Quinoa!

Low-Fat Tuna Pasta Salad

I had some extra tuna in the pantry so I decided to make a cold tuna salad to make easy go-to snacks. As you probably know, it’s hard to eat on the go. You don’t always have a microwave handy, so it’s great to have a cold meal that’s travels easily.  While protein bars are always nice to have on hand, sometimes you just want to eat real food. This is a great solution for dieters on the go.

Low-Fat Tuna Pasta Salad

Tuna Pasta SaladIngredients:
3 5oz Cans of  Tuna (I used 3 3oz cans & a 4.5 packet of lemon pepper tuna)
1 Box of Ronzoni Garden Delight Trio Pasta
2 Full Cups of Baby Spinach
1 Chopped Green Pepper
1 Chopped Small Sweet Red Onion
1/2 Box of Frozen Peas
2 Stalks of Celery
1/2 Cup Hellman’s Low Fat Mayo
1 TBS Lemon Juice
1 TBS White Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Stevia
1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
Freshly Ground Pepper

Cook the pasta for 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and run cold water over the pasta in the strainer. Throw the pasta in the bowl, add all the ingredients* and chill for serving.

* NOTE: You can leave out the spinach and mix it together when serving or eating, to keep it super fresh if you plan on eating it as left overs.

Nutrition:

Makes 8 1-Cup Servings for meals or 16 1/2 Cup Servings for snacks. Serve over a bed of greens with balsamic vinegar to turn this into a wonderful salad and to make it even more filling. If you are watching calories, divide the salad into the desired serving sizes to help you manage calories easily.

Nutritional Value

Tuna Pasta Salad

Meal Size – Serving Size: 1 Cup
238 Calories
37.2g Carbohydrates
16.6g Protein
3.2g Fat

Snack Size – Serving Size: 1/2 Cup
119 Calories
18.9 Carbohydrates
8.3 Protein
1.6g Fat

DIET TIP: I hope seeing the nutritional value makes you realize how a tuna salad, which we could easily think is a “high-protein” meal, is not really that high in protein. This is a great snack or meal, but it’s more of a balanced meal – but it’s not truly a high protein meal. If you want to make this salad even lower in calories and higher in protein, use less pasta and more spinach and tuna. 🙂

Fresh & Tangy Whole Grain Pasta Salad

Sometimes you just want a nice cool crisp pasta salad to munch on that isn’t loaded with calories. Yesterday was one of those days, so I whipped this little creation together and it came out super yummy!

Tangy Healthy PastaBox of Rotini Whole Grain Pasta
1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 1/2 Cup Sliced Cherry Tomatoes
1 Cup of Chopped Scallions
1 Chopped Green Pepper
28 Slices of Turkey Pepperoni (14 slices per serving)
1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 Teaspoon of Minced Garlic
Salt & Cracked Pepper (to taste)
Balsamic Vinegar Glaze

Boil the pasta as directed. Drain the pasta and let it cool. Add all the cold ingredients and chill for nibbling later! Drizzle with the balsamic glaze and serve! I added diced grilled chicken (seen here in this pic)! YUM!

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Pork Chops

When you have chicken nearly every single day of your life, you crave change. Since red meat isn’t that healthy to eat too often, I turned to the “other white meat”, pork.

Yesterday I threw some boneless pork chops in my slow roaster to cook up some scrumptious garlic and parm chops – and OMG! They were not only super tasty, they practically fell apart they were so tender.

Garlic Parm Chops

pork chops6 Pork Chops
1/3 a stick of butter or margarine
1 finely sliced onion
1-2 tablespoons minced garlic (or garlic powder)
1 Packet of Instant Soup (onion or cream of chicken, optional)
1 Cup of Water
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Salt to taste

I mixed the water and the soup mix for the liquid base. Then I placed the pork chops and onion into a slow roaster. Lastly, I added the butter and all the seasonings on top.

I cooked it on 325 for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours. I stopped to taste it, and dusted more salt, onion powder (I would have added garlic powder, but i only had minced garlic) and parmesan on top. Then, I cooked it for a few more minutes allowing the flavors to settle in. The end result was pork chops that not only were tasty, but they practically fell apart when I picked them up. TOTALLY YUM!

It’s not quite as good as garlic and parmesan chicken wings, but it’s pretty darn close! Hmmm, that makes me think! I bet dipping it in blue cheese or ranch dressing would be good!! Forget I said that! Baaaad Bonnie! Baaaad!  🙂

Fuel for School: Diet Tips for a Better School Year

Are you giving your kids the right fuel for school, or do their choices consist of PopTarts, Toaster Strudels, Cinnamon Toast Crunch or “leggomyeggo” waffles?

children's cerealsI have to admit, my mom really didn’t know a lot about nutrition when I was young. I pretty much ate whatever I wanted – none of which was healthy. Pop Tarts and sugary cereals with prizes in the box were a staple in our house. I wasn’t a big breakfast eater, and I’m sure my mom was just happen when I ate breakfast period – no matter what it was. However, she had no idea what it was doing to my day at school.

Ironically, my mom must have known a healthy breakfast had it’s advantages because my mom always made me a healthy big breakfast on test day. The problem is, no healthy breakfast in the world could help me get a better grade when I wasn’t paying attention all the other days I ate crap. What a child eats for breakfast greatly determines how they feel at school.

Fuel the Brain

You probably wouldn’t let your kid eat a piece of cake or some brownies for breakfast, but the majority of breakfast foods for kids are as equally unhealthy. They may taste good on the tongue, but they do nothing for the body.

toaster strudelSugary, high-glycemic breakfasts set your child up for failure. They will get your child happily out the door, but in just a couple hours (if that), they will likely lose energy, along with their attention span – unless they are lucky enough to have a stimulating class (like PE) that gets their blood sugar back up mechanically from exercise or activity.

pancake syrup Your child needs healthy low-glycemic foods rich in fiber, with a little healthy fat. Lower glycemic foods deliver an IV drip-like affect of energy throughout the morning. Sugary foods hit the system fast, and also leaves the system fast. Lower glycemic foods and healthy fats take a slower time to break down in our system. The longer it’s in the tummy, the longer the energy will last from the meal. Meals high in fiber keep the tummy full too, as well as regular blood sugar (and a ton of other great stuff too).

looney-tunesAs I look back, I remember eating nice big healthy breakfasts on Saturday mornings or on Holidays because that’s probably when my mom had more time to cook. Yet, that would be a good time to have a “treat” like waffles or french toast, because it’s not like I needed a lot of energy to watch cartoons all morning. But, for school, it’s a different story. Kids need all the help they can get to be alert, feel good and do well in school. A healthy breakfast is a must for your child’s brain – not to mention their waistline!

Eat This, Not That

This info graphic by HowManyCaloriesCounters.com shows what, and what not, to eat before exam day – but I think it’s how all students should eat to perform their best EVERY day.

Eat this, not that

Who’s the Boss?

healthy breakfast

I think back to my school days, and I can’t BELIEVE what I ate. Processed foods and coke were my go-to foods. I didn’t even know what oatmeal was. Whole grains? What is that? Eggs? Yuck! Yogurt? You mean frozen yogurt? Honestly, what kid is going to choose oatmeal over Captain Crunch or Pancakes!? Sure, there are a few kids who like eggs and toast, but most kids would prefer the breakfast that comes in a flashy fun package, complete with a toy.

senior-eating-cerealI remember thinking Special K was for overweight women and Raisin Bran was for old people – I only knew what the commercials taught me. It’s time for parents to be parents. It’s time parents teach their children to eat healthy – and to help them understand why it’s important (other than just being about weight).

You want your child to FEEL good. You want your child to perform their best – and I’m sure you don’t want them to gain weight or struggle with weight related health issues like diabetes. If you wouldn’t let them take drugs in your house, or make other poor choices that are dangerous or unhealthy, don’t let them make poor choices with food. While one poptart won’t hurt here and there, a child who is allowed to eat whatever they want when they are young, could have serious repercussions later in life.

One article in the NY Daily News on this topic said, “Childhood is a critical period in which dietary and lifestyle patterns are initiated, and these habits can have important immediate and long-term implications,” says lead author Dr. Jianghong-Liu, associate professor at Penn Nursing. “Breakfast habits appear to be no exception, and irregular breakfast eating has already been associated with a number of unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, frequent alcohol use, and infrequent exercise.”

Top 10 Sugar-Bomb Cereals

Here are the top 10 sugar-bomb kids’ cereals, ranked by percent weight in sugar by the Environmental Working Group. NOTE: 26% is the recommended MAX.

  1. sugarKellogg’s Honey Smacks: 55.6% sugar
  2. Post Golden Crisp: 51.9% sugar
  3. Kellogg’s Froot Loops Marshmallow:  48.3% sugar
  4. Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries: 46.9% sugar
  5. Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Original:  44.4%  sugar
  6. Quaker Oats Oh!s: 44.4% sugar
  7. Kellogg’s Smorz:  43.3%  sugar
  8. Kellogg’s Apple Jacks: 42.9% sugar
  9. Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries: 42.3% sugar
  10. Kellogg’s Froot Loops Original: 41.4% sugar

Click HERE to get healthy cereal ideas and read the rest of the story on Fitbie.com

FOLLOW my blog (located at the top right of my blog) for more healthy back to school tips this week!

Yummy Lower-Cal Honey Lime Dressing

honey-lime dressingLast night I posted a pic of this salad I made on instagram & facebook and you guys asked me for the recipe for the dressing. As always, I threw this recipe together last night without measuring anything – just making it up as I go. If I had to guess, it went a little like this…

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar (or champagne vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup hellmans 15 calorie light mayo
  • 2 tablespoons honey mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of Stevia (instead of honey)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 4-5 dashes of cayenne pepper (optional)

HoneyNote: This morning I went online and looked at other recipes, just to compare what I did with mainstream recipes. Many recipes called for up to a CUP of honey (ouch on the calories) and up to a CUP of olive oil (double ouch!). I admit, 1/2 cup of olive oil would probably taste better, but is too many calories for me. That’s also why I add the mayo – to thicken it up and richen the taste up, which also helps the dressing stick to the salad better, so less waste.

Here’s what Steve said when he was done eating: “Do you know that roller coaster I really love at Sea World? It’s so fun I don’t want it to end and I’ll happily stand back in line to do it over and over. That’s how I feel about this salad.” So, I guess my lower-cal version did just fine! 🙂

mrs-dash-south-west-chipotle-seasoning-mix-71g-945-p

The Salad:

  • Grilled Southwest Chipotle Chicken
  • Arugula
  • Avocado
  • Vidalia Onion
  • Mango
  • Sliced Almond Accents
  • (and I ended up sprinkling on a few Craisins just for Stevo)

Here’s a pic of Steve’s salad:

chipotle chicken & mango salad

Low-Carb Low-Cal Burrito

healthy burritoI threw this bad boy together yesterday for lunch and it was YUM YUM good! 

5oz Seasoned Ground Turkey
1 LaBanderita Low-Carb Tortilla (only 81 calories)
2 T Light Sour Cream
3 T Ariba’s Fire Roasted Mexican Chipotle Salsa
Diced Onion
Diced Tomato
Kale Super Food Mix (salad greens)
Topped with Taco Bell’s Hot Sauce (it makes me feel like I’m cheating for some reason! ha!)

225 calories
37g protein
9g carbs
4g fat

Need more carbs? Add 1/3 cup Quinoa for 74 more calories (total of 299 calories)

The key to success for me is to already have the main ingredients cooked up ready to go! I cooked this Sunday and have used it in various meals like this one! Personally, if I had more time (I was in a BIG hurry) I would have chopped fresh tomato, used a bunch of romaine lettuce and grilled onions and pepper. But I was in a rush, but it was so yummy and toootally satisfied my Mexican craving (which I get every other day!) 😉

Turkey Taco Meat:
2.5lbs ground turkey
Grilled Chopped Onion
1/4 cup lime juice
2 packets of taco seasoning

Beware of These Burrito Ingredients

Chipotle burritoBurritos can be super high in calories if you aren’t careful. Between the high calories wraps most restaurants use and the popular stuffings like rice, cheese and refried beans, many burritos can rack up the calories quick. I used Chipotle’s ingredients and calories as an example.

Tortillas (290 calories) O…M….G!
Cheese: (100 calories)
Rice: (170/white rice & 160/brown rice)
Beans: (120 calories for black or pinto beans)
Guacamole: (150 calories)
Sour Cream: (120 calories)

toppingsLow-Cal Ingredients:

Corn Salsa: 80 calories (might not be worth it)
Fajita Veggies: 20 calories
Tomato Sals: 20 calories
Tomatillo Green Salsa: 40 calories
Tomatillo Red Salsa: 15 calories
Lettuce: 5 calories

Look how the calories add UP…

1,265 CALORIES: Chipotle Chicken burrito with rice, beans, fajita veggies, corn salsa, cheese, sour cream & guac. (turn it into a bowl and it’s 975 calories – better, but still super high)
785 CALORIES: Chipotle Chicken burrito with brown rice, no beans, salsa and sour cream. (a bowl is 495)
645 CALORIES: Chipotle Chicken burrito with only chicken, fajita veggies, lettuce, sour cream and salsa. (A bowl is only 355)

Healthy Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl:

Chicken, lettuce, fajita veggies, fresh tomato salsa, Tomatillo green salsa and guacamole (for healthy fats to help the meal stay with you longer). 400 calories, 37g protein

Just because you are dieting doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the foods you like. You just need to eat smart and make healthy choices – as well as eat the right portions. 🙂

Food Prep Basics for Healthy Cooking

Bonnie PfiesterMany of you know Sundays are food prep days at the Pfiesters. I love to cook! I also love to eat! But, since I don’t LOVE to workout, that means I need manage what I eat very closely so I don’t have to workout any more than I have to! ha!

If I want to eat healthy, I have to plan well. That starts with shopping and ends with food prep, including measuring everything out and tallying calories so I know exactly how much I can have without packing on the pounds. This is probably the last week of fun cooking for the Pfiesters. After this week, we’ll be cooking even cleaner, plainer and more strict as Steve prepares for his next bodybuilding show. So, this is our last healthy hurrah.

Yesterday, I posted everything I cooked on my facebook and people asked for more details – so here they are!

Food Storage:

First up is storage. When I tell people what I cook for the week, often times people’s first response is “won’t it go bad?” If you don’t have a husband that eats your weight in meat, then you may want to divide your cook days up, freeze some of it, or trim down the food prep a bit. Below are some recommended storage times from Food Safety so you can determine how much you should cook at once.

refridgeratorSafe Storage for Cooked Food

Poultry: 3-4 days (4 months in freezer)
Poultry in broth or gravy: 1-2 days
Ham: 7 days for whole ham, 3-5 days for 1/2, 3-4 sliced
Fish: 3-4 days (4-6 months in freezer)
Smoked Fish: 14 days
Gravy or broth: 1-2 days
Left Over (carry out) 3-4 days if refrigerated within 2 hours of serving
Pasta: 4 days
Beans: Up to a week
Casseroles: 3-4 days
Rice: 3-5 days
Hard Boiled Eggs: 7 days

Food Prep

Ok, say this with me: “If you fail to plan, then plan to fail”. I know, I say this all the time, but it’s SO TRUE! If I want to eat healthy during the week, I have to shop and cook healthy on the weekend. Here’s what I prepared, along with what I plan to serve it with. You’ll notice we eat most of our higher carb meals during the day, when we need the most energy, and save our meat and green veggie meals for dinner since you don’t need a lot of carbs to sleep.

My Meal Plans:

Chicken & Pear Arugula SaladLUNCHES: Turkey Taco Meat for soft tacos using low-carb tortillas or served over a baked potato
LUNCH: Salmon to eat with sweet potato pie
LUNCHES: Turkey Joes to eat alone, on sandwich thins or on top of half a potato
LUNCH OR DINNER: Caribbean Chicken to eat alone, as a burrito or served over rice
DINNER: Turkey Taco Salad
DINNER: Grilled Chicken to eat with asparagus or broccoli or putting on salads
DINNER: Tilapia to eat with a green veggie
SIDES: Steamed Jasmine Rice
SIDES: Sweet Potato Energy Pie
FREEZER: Marinated Orange Chicken (to cook later)
FREEZER: Marinated General Tso’s Chicken (to cook later)

Here are the fresh ingredients I will need later:
Arugula, Spring Mix & Kale
Asparagus
Broccoli
Cabbage
Ingredients for Soft Tacos or Burritos (light Sour Cream, salsa, onion, etc)

The Process:

Marinaded chickenSome of you asked how I could cook everything in less than 2 hours, so here you go! If you don’t care about the process, the short story is I multi-task. I am cooking several things at once and making the most of my time. I had the grill, stove, crockpot and rice steamer all going at once. That’s the short story if you want to skip the next 3 paragraphs and get to the recipes. 🙂

First, I started browning the turkey for the taco meat. Then I started filleting half the chicken for the grill and dicing the other half of the chicken for the Caribbean Chicken dish. I divided up the filleted chicken and threw them in ziplock bags with marinade and through it in the freezer, which I’ll cook later in the week. Then I threw the diced chicken in the crockpot with the rest of the ingredients. By this time, the turkey was done and I put it in a tupperware container to cool. (Let food cool before you place in your refrigerator to prevent your refrigerator from working overtime)

Grilled ChickenOne round of turkey done. Now it was time for the second round. While I had the chicken marinading and the grill heating up, I diced up the onion and threw it in the pan with a little olive oil. While the onion was cooking, I put rice and water in my steamer and the quinoa on the stove. Once the onion was sautéed to my liking, I added the ground turkey and put the chicken on the grill. Then I threw a bag of sweet potatoes in a big pot to boil while I finished the turkey up. By the time the turkey and chicken were done, so was the quinoa. I then added the quinoa, and the rest of the ingredients, to the ground turkey and put everything in containers.

By this time I had the taco meat, Turkey Joes, grilled chicken, rice and quinoa all done. All I had left is the sweet potato and fish. I slapped the tilapia on my grilling pan with some lime juice, olive oil and seasonings and left it on the grill while I cleaned up the kitchen and finished boiling the potatoes. Finally, Steve cooked the salmon while I mixed the sweet potatoes together and my work was done! Later that night the Caribbean chicken was done and ready for storage too. Time for bed!

Recipes

Banana in my earFirst, I need to tell ya – I love to cook, but I’m not a chef. I just want to eat health AND enjoy my food. I am a very creative cook who rarely follows a recipe. I make stuff up as I go along and enjoy the creation process (which admittedly makes it hard for me to share what I make because I’m adding a dash of this and that as I go). I’m working to improve that! I cook as simply as possible to limit ingredients and calories. I LOVE seasonings and I love trying new things. I also know if I make something taste TOO good, we have a hard time eating the correct portion. So, I try to cook smart and I avoid cooking my favorite dishes too often. My goal is to cook food for fuel and not just always for entertainment. Here is what I cooked yesterday.

Turkey Joes RecipeTurkey Joes:
2.5lbs ground turkey
2 Cups Quinoa
1 Cup Anna Mae’s Smokey Sweet Sauce
1 Onion
1 T Stevia
1 Tsp Salt (or more to taste)
2 Slightly Firm Avocado (diced)

This is a 1st-time creation and Steve LOVED it! Steve liked to add avocado to his meals to add quality fat for energy. This is great served over 1/2 a baked regular OR sweet potato! 

Made approximately 7 Cups, 14 1/2 cups servings.
206 calories, 22g protein, 19 carbs, 5gm fat.

Turkey Taco Meat:
2.5lbs ground turkey
1/4 cup lime juice
2 packets of taco seasoning

Makes great taco salads, burritos, low-carb tacos and toppings for a Mexican baked potato with light sour cream. YUM!

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken:
Fileted Chicken Breast
1 Cup Kikkoman Triple Ginger Marinade
1/8 -1/4 Cup Olive Oil

Always a staple in our house! Last night I put a breast over a bed of arugula with slivered pear, onion, turkey bacon bits and honey roasted sliced almonds with plain balsamic vinegar on top.

Caribbean Chicken & BeansCaribbean Chicken:
1.5lb Diced Chicken
1 Small Can Diced Pineapples with juice
1 or 2 Cans Black Beans drained
1 Can Cilantro & Lime RoTel Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Lawry’s Caribbean Marinade
1 T Stevia
1 tsp salt (to taste)

Serve over your preference of rice or quinoa.

8 Servings:
2 Cans of beans – 240 Calories, 23g p, 30g c, 3g f
1 Can of beans – 187 Calories, 19g p, 20g c, 3g f
(2 cans if eating alone, 1 can if you plan on putting it over rice, or putting it in a wrap)

Sweet Potato Energy Pie: 
This is Steve’s preferred carbohydrate source – especially before his workouts. We purposely add nuts to add healthy fat to slow digestion so that it lasts longer (stays with you longer, which helps you feel fuller longer and give you a longer lasting energy). This is NOT going to be like the high-calorie ooey gooey pie grandma makes. It tastes great, and is much tastier than just a plain sweet potato, but this recipe is about making a yummy fuel source that is easy, tasty & healthy.

Mash the following ingredients together
8 Sweet Potatoes, boiled and peeled
1/3-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1-2 T of light butter
2 T Light Maple Syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
2-3 T Sugar Twin Brown Sugar (0 calories)
1-2 tsp Salt (to taste)

After the potatoes cool, I peel them and mix everything in a big tupperware container. I don’t bake it or top it with anything. I eat it as is! 🙂

12 servings: 116 calories
Note: I determine serving size based on # of potatoes used. I don’t want to eat the equivalent of 1 potato, but prefer portions to be 1/2-3/4 a potato. 

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