Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Week 12.....Family Weekend

Had such a great weekend with the family rafting on the Rifle river. Totally blew my clean eating but sometimes you just have to. Back to the gym this morning (and probably every day this week) just to get back on track.

Black Cherry Banana Smoothie
  • 1/2 cup pitted black cherries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 Tbls. ground flax seed
  • Blend and enjoy!

Getting Rid of Back Fat

Salmon with coconut milk and edamame 

This was a delicious salmon recipe made with coconut milk. I had to substitute some things I didn't have on hand like edamame for the green beans, dried cilantro and dried basil for the fresh ones, fresh ginger for the lemongrass and I didn't have red curry paste so I added red pepper for the heat. I will definitely be making this dish again with the original recipe ingredients!

Happy Journey,


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Week 11....Kicking it in Gear!

Kicking it in Gear with a new Ab workout

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal bars

BEWARE...........These are sinfully delicious!!!

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup   honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks (I used a bar of Ghirardelli dark 72% cocoa)
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries chopped
  • 1/2 cup of chopped nuts ( I will be adding them to mine next time)
What to do:
1.  Melt  the coconut oil, peanut butter and honey in a pot over medium to low heat, stirring constantly.  Turn off the burner when melted.
2.  Pour in the cup of oats and the ground flax seed.  Stir till combined.
3.  Stir in the coconut and dark chocolate. Stir till chocolate is melted. 
4.  Pour into foil-lined 8 X 8 pan and stick in the fridge.
5. Once cooled cut into squares and store in air tight container in fridge.
The photo looks like they're large bars but I actually cut them in 2" squares and only ate one a day 
( ok, maybe two). It was just enough to curb the "Sweet Beast" !

I've been doing a lot of research lately on coconut oil and it's benefits over other oils and butter. I'm giving it a try and so far it's working out well replacing recipes that call for butter. I'm also going to add a tablespoon to my smoothies in the morning. Here's one link with many uses for it....very interesting: Coconut oil

 Greek Yogurt Conversions 

Cool Clean Lunch

It's been so hot lately all I want is cold food so I whipped up what I had in the fridge and this is what I came up with....

The green bean and tomato salad recipe: ( my tomatoes were orange)

The cucumber salad recipe:
1 Large cucumber sliced
 1/2 cup cider vinegar
3 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs honey
 1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
 2 dashes of cayenne pepper
Cut up and serve

I want to be in the first row when I'm that age!

Happy Journey,
My Website

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Week 10.....Hot,Hot,Hot!

Seriously, is there anything more funny than monkeys riding dogs???
More summertime festivals in Michigan! As long as I avoid the popcorn and cotton candy it's all good! This was the Stars and Stripes festival in Mt.Clemens. Great music too!

No More Diet Drinks

I've completely given up diet pop and diet teas. It's so easy and so much more affordable to make a jug of green tea, add some fruit and ice and have a nice clean cold drink anytime. Besides all the health benefits from green tea, I also think it tastes better freshly brewed than bottled.

Confetti Quinoa
So I've been on this quinoa kick for a while now and still love it so much. I had a bunch of veggies on hand so I cooked up some quinoa, added some leftover chicken, a can of low sodium black beans, edamame, corn, red pepper, carrots, onion and tomato. All my veggies added were raw, but you could blanch them also before adding.The sauce is real easy and can be combined with a number of different veggies for a flavorful dinner or side dish.


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1/4 teaspoon  salt 
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil ( I didn't have any and it was still delish, cilantro would be yummy too)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Stevia (or sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • Whisk all together and add to cooked quinoa and veggies.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
Nothing new here...
Had a craving for something sweet so I whipped up a chocolate/peanut butter smoothie:

1/2 frozen banana
tablespoon natural peanut butter
tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa
unsweetened almond milk
non fat plain Greek yogurt
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder  

Healthy Skillet Pasta
I wanted to call this"Skillet lasagna" but I didn't have any lasagna noodles, so we're calling it
"Almost skillet lasagna"

1/2 box of whole wheat pasta (whatever you have on hand, but if using lasagna noodles break into pieces)
cook as directed on box, drain and set aside.

In a large skillet add 1 teaspoon olive oil, onion and garlic. I used 1/2 a medium red onion and two cloves of chopped garlic.

Saute till tender and add veggies. I used 2 small yellow squash diced, 1 cup diced carrots, 1/2 red pepper diced.
saute till tender.

Add 2 tablespoons of basil pesto (store bought or homemade).
1 can of diced tomatos with green chiles (gives a nice kick)
1 Jar of favorite pasta sauce (or homemade)
1/2 container of low fat ricotta cheese, stir well till combined.

Add mozzarella and Parmesan ( I used about 1/2 cup each)

Stir, serve and enjoy!

Happy Journey,


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Week 9.....Great Summer!

What a great weekend...being able to go from the big city..... Detroit River days festival .....

This is from the Detroit side of the river looking onto Canada

To the serene and peaceful float down Michigan's Rifle river is good! .....Well, except for the part where I dropped my phone in the water...but it was all worth it, getting to spend a great weekend with friends.

Homemade Greek Dressing
One of my favorite salads is Greek and I decided to create my own homemade version of Greek dressing to try and keep it clean. I wish I had my own home grown oregano and basil for this recipe...maybe next year.
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 Tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 Tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 Tsp. salt
  • 1/2 Tsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbls. Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 Tsp. honey
  • 1 Tbls. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Whisk together in a bowl or shake in a jar and enjoy!

Zucchini Fritters
I'm not a big fan of fried anything but this recipe only uses a small amount of olive oil in a nonstick pan and it was so yummy!

  • 1 large zucchini, grated ( or about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 c. Panko bread crumbs 
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp.garlic powder
  • 1/2 c. fresh Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil  
  • Non fat plain yogurt or sour cream

Remove excess liquid from freshly grated zucchini by placing them between paper towels and squeezing. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except olive oil. Mix thoroughly. Heat a large non stick pan on medium and add olive oil. Shape spoonfuls of the zucchini batter into 2" patties, and drop onto the sizzling pan. Cook each side for about a minute and a half, or until the outside is golden brown. Serve with non fat plain yogurt or sour cream.

Cheesy Chicken Quinoa 

Cook 1 cup of Quinoa in 2 cups of low sodium vegetable broth as directed on package.

Saute in 1 Tbls. extra virgin olive  oil till tender:
1/2 red or green chopped pepper
1/2  small chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup shredded carrots
(Or combo of your favorite sauteed veggies)

 Chop 1 1/2 cups of cooked chicken ( I used a store bought rotisserie chicken)

Add cooked Quinoa and chicken to sauteed veggies.


Cheese sauce:

2 Tbls. extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup whole wheat flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese ( or your favorite)

Add olive oil to medium hot pan, whisk in flour then slowly add vegetable broth.
Add cheese and stir till melted. 
Add cheese sauce to Quinoa, chicken and veggies.
Mix well and transfer to a baking dish.
Add a sprinkle of more cheese on top.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

What should your heart rate be during exercise?
I was wondering this the other day while on the elliptical, so of course had to Google it. I was happy to find out I was right on target.

Q. What should my heart rate be during exercise?

Richard Weil, MEd, CDE, recommends calculating your target heart rate with a formula called the "heart rate reserve" method. Use a watch with a second hand to keep track of how many times your heart beats per minute. You can feel your heartbeat at the underside of your wrist or along the side of your neck.
Here's how to use the formula:
  • Determine your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) by subtracting your age from 220.
  • Then, subtract your resting heart rate (it's best to take this when you first wake up in the morning) from your Maximum Heart Rate to find your Heart Rate Reserve (HRR).
  • Multiply your HRR by the percentage of your MHR at which you wish to train (60% to 85% is the usual range for people looking to increase fitness and health).
  • Add your resting heart rate back to that result to get your target rate.
So, assuming an age of 27, a resting heart rate of 70 beats per minute, and a desired training range of 70%, the calculation would look like this:
220 - 27 = 193
193 - 70 = 123
123 x .70% = 86
86 + 70 = 156
Remember, this is an estimate, not an absolute. Also keep in mind that athletes may exceed the training zone, and even the maximum heart rate, during high-intensity training.

Happy Journey,


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Week 8......Eating healthy during summer

It's not easy to eat healthy with all the summer get togethers and outdoor eateries (especially when my fav is Mexican), so I find myself ordering the healthiest things I can and only eating half the order, saving the rest for lunch the next day. It's working great for not only my waistline but my wallet too!

Chinese Fried Quinoa
I love Chinese fried rice and now I can eat it guilt free using really does taste like the real thing....I think even better! The only thing I swapped was the Quinoa for the brown rice and I used olive oil.....Recipe

Soft Protein Cookies
I mixed up a healthy batch of soft protein cookies to eat after my workouts. They aren't overly sweet but they are really yummy! They would be great for breakfast too, but I still love my smoothies for breakfast.

3 ripe mashed bananas
1/3 cup all natural peanut butter
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup craisins
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
2 scoops of vanilla protein powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 T cinnamon
1 T Stevia
Mix all ingredients together. Spoon the dough by tablespoonful onto a greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Cool and serve. Leftovers can be frozen.

Salmon with Cashews &Yogurt Sauce
This recipe was really simple yet tasted like a gourmet meal. I paired it with a side salad and melon....Yummy!
1 serving of Salmon, salt, pepper and garlic powder placed in a foil pouch with a drizzle of olive oil. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, open pouch and broil for 5 more minutes.
While fish is cooking mix together in a bowl:
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 Tbls. finely diced red onion
2 Tbls. lemon juice
2 Tbls. chopped fresh cilantro or 1 tsp. of dried.
1/2 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper to taste
In a dry saute pan toast 2 Tbls. of chopped raw cashews till lightly brown. Set a side.
Plate salmon, put a dollop of yogurt sauce on top and sprinkle with cashews.....Enjoy!

Lazy Girl Exercises

I love that these can be done at home or when you're out and about.......

Clean Eating Zucchini Bread

This recipe is super moist and not overly sweet. I added the walnuts on top for some added protein and crunch. It made two medium loaf pans and only baked for 45 minutes instead of the 50-60 minutes, I also used pumpkin spice and cinnamon instead of the nutmeg because I didn't have it on hand. I may add some raisins or dried cranberries next time, but it was Delish as is! Hope you try it and enjoy!

I'm so blessed to love my job...

Happy Journey,

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Week 7....Keeping on Track!

With all the graduation partys, outdoor concerts and the beautiful weather in Michigan this month, it's been hard to get to the gym. While kayaking is great for upper body conditioning it doesn't do much for the lower body so I'm determined to start walking in the evenings when I can't get to the gym.

Kayaking Essentials
If you've never kayaked before here are a few things you may want to take along with you:
1.Watertight box ( I bought mine at Walmart in the fishing department for $8.00.
2.Travel size toilet tissue (you never know ;)
3.Whistle ( some rivers require kayaks to have them)
4. Pepper spray ( always a good idea in nature)
5. GPS, phone, car keys, camera, wallet (I always feel safer with my stuff than leaving it locked in my car)
6. Ziplock bags for snacks and dry clothes
7. Small soft cooler for beverages 
8. Dry towel
9. Sunscreen
10. Water shoes ( I don't use them but if you have a mucky place you have to go in, they are good to have)
*Attach your box to your kayak or put in compartment in case you tip, you won't lose your stuff.

My Next Adventure is Zumba

This looks so fun and I don't think I would get bored!

Keeping Strong Bones
The thought of breaking another bone after my ankle fiasco in 2008, sends shivers up my spine (yep,that's my actual xray). I can't imagine the difficulty of healing a broken hip. I've read enough to know that weight training is essential in maintaining good bone strength. Here are some home exercises for when I can't make it to the gym:

Red Quinoa with veggies, raisins and pine nuts

1 cup red Quinoa cooked in 2 cups of vegetable broth according to package.
Roast asparagus, cubed sweet potato and diced green onion in extra virgin olive oil, curry powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Toast pine nuts in a dry saute pan till light brown.
Add 1/2 cup raisins and toss all together in a bowl.
Add juice from half a lemon over everything and enjoy!

I found this cute little juicer at Marshall's for $2.98 and had to have it!!

Chocolate  Cherry Banana Smoothie
This has been my favorite smoothie so reminds me of a chocolate covered cherry with a little banana kick! Yummmmmm!!!
1/2 frozen banana
2 Tbls. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup black cherry juice
1/2 cup plain no fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 scoop ground Chia seeds
1 Tbls. ground Flax
I found this cherry juice at Value Fresh under $6.00. Some I've seen as much as $25.00!!

Happy Journey,