Category Archives: recipes

Vegan Cafe’ Latte’ Shakeology!

I have been waiting for this since the original version came out!!

Love my morning coffee and I love my Shakeology.  Last year the two were COMBINED!!!! 😍

But, alas, I could not have it because the main protein was whey, and my stomach and whey do not get along 🤢.

I have been finishing up my Vegan Chocolate Shakeology and now my order of Cafe’ Latte’ is on its way 😁

There are a lot of meal replacement and protein shakes available to us now.  And the science behind their development has made vegan versions SO much better in flavor and texture that even non-vegans are switching to vegan proteins for the ease in digestion and increase in plant based protein (i.e. Extra veggies!).

I love this product for myriad reasons,  the main one is convenience.  I get a variety of produce that I don’t usually buy at the store or would have to special order.  I don’t have to think about what is going into the blender to give me a great flavor and texture, that has already been done in the Shakeology labs.  As a parent, it allows me to take care of me quickly, with little effort, while I am busy holding the fort down.

Here’s a little insight into what goes into Shakeology.


This is the ingredient list for Vegan Chocolate Shakeology.  It is a better quality photo of all the ingredients, so imagine no cacao and instead natural coffee flavors!

Every person is different, so their nutritional needs are different.  There is never a one-size-fits-all model, but there are always better starting points.  Many people forget that you cannot out workout a crappy diet, and a true “diet” is not a temporary thing that you do to look good for an event.  A true “Diet” is what you are stuffing in your face on a daily basis.  Is what you are eating helping you with your goals or holding you back from what you want?!?!

If you need help getting your health on track, this is a great place to start

Leave me a comment below or find me on Facebook and Instagram.  Let me know where you are at, what are your goals? What is easy for you, what are your struggles?  The journey is real and it doesn’t have to be alone!

As always, I’ll see you on the other side!

Help reduce exercise-induced inflammation!

“EAT YOUR VEGETABLES!”

We have all heard or said the phrase a million times in our lives.

We all know that produce is good for us, but many people don’t always know “WHY”

I do a lot of research when I am highlighting my favorite foods, and come across many articles that give the information so much better than I could write it.  The following is a portion of one such article written by Trevor Thieme C.S.C.S. A link to Full article below.




… Odds are you, [like many people, have ignored advice to “eat your veggies” at some point or] for even your entire life. Your mom nagged you about eating your broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Your doctor advises you to “eat the rainbow.” And you likely have at least one vegan friend who wants to convert you — or at the very least replace some of the meat in your largely carnivorous diet with plants. Even Michelle Obama has got in on the act, imploring you and every other American to eat more fruits and veggies. And like Murphy (and most other Americans), odds are you don’t listen: Only 1 in 10 people in the United States eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, according to a report from the CDC.

That’s a problem. “If you’re not eating at least two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables per day, you’re not building ‘foundational health,’ which is key for preventing disease and supporting athletic performance,” says Susan Kleiner, PhD, R.D., author of The Powerfood Nutrition Plan. If she had her way, you’d eat eight servings.

While nutritionists have long known about the athletic advantages of increasing protein intake, they’re only just beginning to comprehend the fitness benefits of eating more phytonutrients — bioactive (i.e., body-boosting) compounds found in fruits, vegetables, grains, and other “phyto” (plant) foods.

“One of the most exciting benefits of phytonutrients is their strong antioxidant potential, disarming free radicals that wreak havoc in the body,” says Kleiner. “But it’s also bigger than that—scientists are learning that some phytonutrients seem go deep into the genetic matrix, turning on and off genes that protect us from disease development.”

That potential of phytonutrients to bolster the immune system is hugely important for athletes, who often run themselves down through overtraining. “One of the biggest things that holds athletes back is getting sick, and research shows that some phytonutrients can act as prebiotics, stimulating the growth of bacteria in your gut, thus helping to boost immunity,” says Kleiner.

Polyphenols — found in abundance in green tea — are among them, according to Japanese researchers.

But perhaps the greatest benefit of phytonutrients — especially as far as athletes are concerned — is their ability to fight exercise-induced inflammation. “The nature of training is to tear the body down, and the body is extraordinary in its ability to repair and rebuild its tissues to become stronger,” says Kleiner. “But part of that process involves an inflammatory response — inflammatory cells rush to the damaged tissue, heat it up, and begin repairing it.”

If you’ve ever felt sore a couple of days after a tough workout (a phenomenon known as delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS), you’ve felt the inflammatory process at work. A little inflammation is a good thing — it helps your muscles adapt to the demands of training (and you to become more powerful). “But if you don’t have enough anti-inflammatory factors in your body, the inflammation process can proceed unchecked, which can delay recovery,” says Kleiner.

Fortunately, you don’t have to eat every single plant to reap the benefits; you just have to eat a variety of them, according to Kleiner. “And by variety, I mean not only among food groups, but also within food groups,” she says. In other words, while you might love bananas, Amaranth, and Swiss chard, don’t just eat bananas, Amaranth, and Swiss chard. Becoming stuck in a dietary routine is just as detrimental as getting stuck in training rut.
Click for suggestions on what to eat to stay out of a food rut


In short, your mom, doctor, and vegan friend were right — you should eat a greater number and variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. “And whenever possible, skip pills for whole foods,” says Kleiner. “There’s a lot we have yet to discover about phytonutrients, but one thing we do know is that they’re more potent when they work synergistically with other nutrients in foods than when they’re taken [and working] alone.”

Click Here for the full article by Trevor Theime C.S.C.S

As always leave your comments and questions here, or on Facebook or Instagram

I will see you on the other side.

Meal Prep 101

Here is a great article written by Grant Stoddard.

As a working parent I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to get the best food into myself and my kids without making all of us wait at the end of a long, grueling day.

These are some of the basic tips in his article.  I will link to the full article below!

Why Meal Prep?

Be prepared. It’s a slogan that’s stood the test of time because the relationship between looking ahead and successfully meeting one’s goals is undeniable. When it comes to what you eat and how you eat, preparedness matters if you want to reach your health and fitness goals. And, meal prepping helps you do just that!

What is Meal Prep?

Amy Shapiro, M.S., R.D., C.D.N. of realnutritionnyc defines meal prepping as preparing, cooking, or packaging food for three to four days in advance so you know exactly what and how much you are eating.

Research published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine saw a link between the amount of participants spent on home food preparation and the quality of their diet. What’s more, meal prepping can be a great time-saver. “I think of meal prepping as a way to put lunch, breakfast, or even dinner on autopilot for the week,” says Atlanta-based dietitian nutritionist Marisa Moore M.B.A., R.D.N., L.D. “You do all of the major chopping, cooking and cleaning on one day!”

(Hello!  Leslie here!  Had to add my 2 sense – This is also my way of getting my kids into the kitchen and teaching them life skills like using a knife properly, How to use the stove and oven, food safety, clean-up, and best of all there is less fighting about meals because when they help they get a say in what we eat as a family!)

 

How to Start Meal Prepping

Start Small

If you not calculating calories yet, but just want to make more healthy food choices, start small by meal prepping a few of those! Planning ahead and prepping your meals can be a great way to make more healthy choices and avoid temptation! …

Stock Up on Meal Prep Essentials

Before we talk about a grocery list, you may need to dust off some other items to set yourself up for meal prep success. Check the full article for some meal prep basics you should have before you begin!

Pick a Day to Meal Prep

Moore recommends starting on a Sunday or Monday. Sundays often work well since most people have a little extra time. She adds that people also tend to be more motivated to engage in healthy behaviors at the beginning of the week. “Meal prep is a great way to carry that enthusiasm throughout the week with just a little effort upfront,” she says.

Come up with Easy Meals to Prep

Planning your meals for the week doesn’t have to be complicated. At first it might seem a little daunting, but it’s surprising how many different meals you can make with just a limited number of ingredients. Beachbody offers dozens of free meal preps that have already done all the heavy lifting for you!  Most are five days long, there are vegetarian, vegan, grain-free options, and even no-cook options. The meal preps are divided by calorie level and most include step-by-step instructions and a grocery list.
More Tips to Make Meal Prep Easy:
Include some no-cook recipes in your meal prep. Snacks like Shakeology and foods that don’t require cooking (like salads and overnight oats) can help save time in the prep process.

(Leslie, back again! Here is a link to one of my favorite pre-made meals, Stuffed Peppers.  They freeze well, fill you up and the stuffing can be used for many things!)

Here is the link to the full article

If you would like access to the Team Beachbody library of meals to prep for free, Click here!

As always leave you questions and comments below or find me on Facebook and Instagram

See you on the other side!!

Get Refreshed!!

I would like to start off with, yes this post has a product you can purchase and yes I make a commission if you do!  There my CYA is here and I can get on with it😉


It’s Refresh time again, and I’m putting it out there because any diet change, even a 3 day cleanse can be challenging for some.

I try to do this cleanse about once a quarter, but more often if I feel sluggish or just “off.”

I love it because it’s only 3 days, the meal prep is easy and I feel better when it’s done.

This time I’ve added a video from Carl Daikeler and his wife Isabelle who developed the Refresh, to give a better understanding of why it was made and some of the scientifically proven benefits.

http://videos.coach.teambeachbody.com/share/shared-video.html?lang=en-US&videoId=9E2fSe8TTe4&coachId=313434

To order Click Here.

If you have questions please let me know here or message me on Facebook

As always, I’ll see you on the other side!!

Turkey Bone Broth!

Alright!  It has begun!  My first Bone Broth recipe from the Bare Bones Broth Cookbook by Katherine and Ryan Harvey.

I am rocking the turkey bones left over from Thanksgiving.  I am extremely excited because my kitchen smells amazing and I don’t even have all of the ingredients in yet.

This broth will get immediate use. We are in the midst of holiday productions in my home, including school and dance shows all falling in the same week, beginning this weekend.  We are experiencing longer nights and earlier mornings just keeping up with the schedule. I am excited to have the immune boosting power at my fingertips to keep us all healthy, and frankly to stave off hangriness during our long days!

The first hour has me skimming fat and “scum” off the top!   Yummy!

As this is a time intensive process I will add a new blog post during each phase.  This is (almost) real time people!!!

See you on the other side!!!

Back in Action with Bone Broth!!

I’ve been MIA from the blog taking care of some family priorities!😉

Now I’m back at it and really diving into Bone Broth this round.

Many people think of Broth or stock as the meat flavored liquid that comes in a box and you make soup with.  The truth is it (kind of) is and can be So. Much. More!

It is one of THE simplest things to make from scratch too.  You throw your ingredients in a pot add some good, clean, filtered water and let it simmer!! Done!

Just to give a shout out I am referencing The Bare Bones Broth Cookbook by Katherine and Ryan Harvey.

Yes! that is a chicken foot you see on the cover!

I make Bone broths a few time a year in big batches and then freeze them for when I need them.  I try to reference a new and updated book when I do. I am a nerd and love the science behind things, and  food science is HUGE and ever changing right now. So this is my book of choice fresh from the library! 📚

Bone broth can help support very common health conditions like digestion, asthma, diabetes, joint injuries, colic, osteoarthritis, RA, inflammation, and the list goes on. Bonus!

It is also a sustainable way to consume food.  By using local suppliers and also using parts of the animal that are typically discarded we are supporting responsible and sustainable food pathways. Double Bonus!

This book goes through the many health benefits in more detail and it also has a chapter on Broth 101 to help you get the basics down if you are new to this adventure!

I am very excited too because this book explains how to use a crock pot to make the Broth over a longer period of time.  To get the most nutrient value out of Bone Broth it should simmer it for at least 24 hours. This is one thing I have never done out of fear of leaving my stove on over night or while I’m away.  The longest I have gone is 8-10 hours (if I was prepared enough to start early!😉). I can’t wait to try the slow cooker method!😍

Another great benefit of making Bone Broth at home is that you know what’s in it!! Many commercial broths/stocks have preservatives and MSG in them. Neither is something you want to consume.

As you know I have kids with food allergies and my own body does NOT appreciate it when I consume certain things. We eat as clean as possible while still living in a kids-go-to-school-with-a-birthday-party-every-other-day world 🌎 

I do my best, as many other parents who work with food allergies and sensitivities, to keep my kids as included as possible when it comes to food.  I love the idea that I have another tool in my belt to help prepare (or recover) their digestive system from something that doesn’t agree with their system.  They are both becoming very active in sports and this same tool can help them train, improve and recover better than any sports pill/powder/drink out there.

The nutrition we can get just from consuming Bone Broth is crazy!

  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Glucosamine
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Chondroiton Sulfate
  • Electrolytes
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Silicon
  • Collagen
  • Gelatin
  • Amino Acids

It is definitely with the effort!!

I am getting my shopping list ready and I’ll let you know how my first ever batch of crockpot Bone Broth turns out!!

Healthy Cupcakes!!! WHAT!!😱

I have been drinking Shakeology for 2 years now, and LOVE it!

I have tried a few recipes with Shakeology in it. Like Tony Horton’s Shakeology Balls (yes, they are a thing! Google it!😉)

With 2 kids allergic to dairy, I’m always looking for sweet treats that are quick and simple to make. Cause I get to make them from scratch😁 always!!

Searching for something completely different I came across this recipe from Christa Briggs. It sounded amazing so I decided on a whim, “I’m so making these tonight!”

Because it’s me, I altered the recipe a bit strictly because I didn’t have all the ingredients. So check the link for the original recipe. Mine is below.

Double Chocolate Shakeology Cupcakes

  • 1 c Pamela’s gluten free flour (a staple in my house from Costco)
  • 1 c Vegan Chocolate Shakeology or other Vegan Chocolate protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c honey/agave
  • 1/2 c cooled coffee
  • 1/2 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 2T coconut or grapeseed oil
  • 3 eggs

I did not have applesauce so I added one more egg and 1-2 Tbsp almond milk to thin the mix a bit. Mine was a little dry and thick.  I got it to just wetter than a brownie mix. My 7 year old also suggested using sweetened almond milk “because the sugar is already in it and we don’t have to put more in.”🤔 I agree and wish she wasn’t so much smarter than me😆

  1. Whisk together dry ingredients.
  2. In a separate bowl beat wet ingredients together with hand mixer or standing mixer for about 2 minutes.
  3. Pour wet into dry and beat until completely smooth. (This is where I discovered mine was thick and added some more almond milk)

    Notice the halo surrounding this heavenly mixture!

  4.  Scoop into lined muffin cups or spray the pan well

    I got a little crazy with the scoop

  5. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes until cooked thru. 

    Crazy Looking and DELICIOUS!

 You can add a tsp of nut butter in the center just before baking, because really, who doesn’t LOVE chocolate and nut butter?!?!
These are not overly sweet. If you like your cupcakes sweeter add more honey/agave. I would also venture to do a stronger coffee or use instant coffee to enhance the mocha flavor.

Or, just go for it and use peanut butter as your frosting

The “Post” in Post-Workout

Go Big or Go Home!!  Work your butt off, sweat out the frustrations of the day (and any crap food you ate too! 😉 ) Then What?????

Many people don’t know what to do post-workout, or know what to do but think it irrelevant to the overall picture of health.

We have all been told that stretching is key to longevity, but so many people avoid it like the plague post-workout.  Some sighting “I don’t have time” or “it doesn’t do much for me anyway.”

Stretching allows the body to slowly cool down after a good workout.  It moves body fluids and begins the healing process; making recovery time more efficient and reducing soreness.  The nice thing about stretching is it goes with EVERY workout no matter what your “thing” is.

You can find some basic stretches on my YouTube channel.

Another thing that is often forgotten or blatantly ignored is post-workout nutrition.  The first thing you put in your body after a workout is what your body uses to heal itself.  Now, depending on your health and fitness goals are you putting the right things in your body once you have taken the time and effort of exercising?

One of my favorite things to get in is a shake or smoothie. I am a mom and I spend 90% of my day running around like the rest of the world, but a good shake can be the difference between working with my kids or joining in the tantrums at the end of the day! I get a quick amount of nutrient dense foods in that I don’t have time to sit there and eat.  The blender does the “chewing” for me!

My go-to shake is Vegan Chocolate Shakeology from Beachbody. Just a disclaimer, I am affiliated with Team Beachbody.  Anything purchased through this link I do earn a commission on.  I love the flavor, it curbs my sugar cravings and I’m full for a good 2-3 hours so I don’t get Hangry!  This  shake is also great because it is a powder mix so it truly is a lifesaver when I have seconds to whip something up. Scoop it into a shaker cup with 12 ounces of water and 12 ounces of almond milk, shake (as I run out the door!) and I’m good to go!

When I do have a little more time, or actually plan ahead, I also like to whip up the following recovery shake.  I have adapted this recipe from Power Vegan by Rea Frey.  I stick as close to this recipe as I can because I love all of the nutrition that I get, but I also use what I have in my home, I don’t stress about getting all of the ingredients exactly right.  Also adapt the quantities to your flavor profile.  I like a more tart/sour taste so I use more citrus.  So, feel free to play with this recipe at will.  The benefits of this recipe is the vegan ingredients.  You get a healthy dose of protein and nutrients that are essential to great recovery and in a vegan form which is easier for your body to digest and absorb.

Recovery Shake:

  • Juice of a small organic lemon
  • Juice of half an organic lime
  • 4 medjool dates, pitted*
  • 1 Tablespoon Raw Honey (Agave if vegan)
  • 1 Tbsp vegan protein powder,  Hemp and Rice are the smoothest
  • 1 Tbsp dulse flakes**
  • 1 Tsp Flax oil
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil

Combine all ingredients in a blender and serve!  You can add filtered water to thin the consistency and a handful of ice if your smoothie must be cold.

*If you pit and soak the dates in warm filtered water for about 10 minutes they will soften and blend more smoothly

**Dulse flakes are a red alge full of protein and nutrients, you can find it at a local health food store or order it online.  I also use nori strips if I have them.

 

Roasted Bell Peppers

So I promised this recipe yesterday, failing to remember the schedule that I keep 🙄!  So here goes, and this is one of those recipes where substitutions are completely acceptable and almost a must!😉 So do what you want with with the ingredient list, add and subtract as your families needs require, also if you make extra filing I’ll give you a couple tips at the end on other ways you can use them!

So here’s what I use in mine:

6-10 Large Bell Peppers – tops removed and finely chopped, seeded

1 Cup Cooked Quinoa

1 – 15oz Can of Rinsed and Drained Black Beans

4 celery Stalks, finely chopped

1 Cup Corn Kernels, can be frozen or canned – I prefer frozen

1/2 Cup chopped Cilantro

1/3 Cup chopped Green Onions

2 cloves Garlic minced

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tbsp Sea Salt

2 tsp Black Pepper

Coconut oil for greasing the baking dish

That is where I stop, but you can add some extras!

1/2 tsp Cumin

1/8-1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon juice

2-3 seeded and Chopped Tomatoes 

Also if you would prefer stuffed tomatoes, just switch the Bell Pepper and Tomato quantities. This is how I originally found the recipe from Vegan Celebrity Chef Jason Wrobel.

1. Preheat you oven to 375, I have a gas stove that tends to run hot, if yours runs true crank it to 400!

2. Grease a baking dish (or 2) depending on how many peppers you are filling and stand your de-topped peppers in them.  I like to fit them in tightly, this keeps them from falling over in the oven once they are filled

3. In a large mixing bowl combine all other ingredients and mix well.

4. Stuff those Peppers! Don’t over fill though, the filling just dribbles out of the peppers and burns in the pan.  Don’t worry if you have extra filling, we’ll get to that!😉 

  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top edges of the peppers start to wilt and the top of the filling starts to brown. 

Don’t mind my dirty stove in the background! I’m Human😉

The best thing about this meal is it is completely vegan, but contains a ton of protein with the black beans and quinoa and lots of nutrients with all the vegetables.  This is a great meal for athletes who need to get food in, but don’t want anything heavy sitting in their stomachs while they train.

So now for that left over filling!  Here are a few ways you could use them:

  1. Mix it with rotini noodles, could be served hot or cold
  2. Top some salad greens
  3. Mix it with a couple tablespoons of your favorite salsa and use it as a dip for corn chips
  4. Just eat it as is, hot or cold! Always an “in a hurry” option.

Chicken soup (The Easy Way!)

I love Chicken soup especially this time of year.  It’s great to have around for the inevitable sicknesses that come with having young kids in school and everyone being trapped inside with little to no natural light most of the day.

I also LOVE making stock fresh at home and I have found a couple ways to make it easier.  Homemade bone broth and stock is one of the healthiest things you can get into your body, but it can take time to make so I always try to have some on had in the deep freeze.  I will link to one of my favorite bone broth recipes below.

On to easy home made chicken soup!

I start with home made broth and a store bought rotisserie chicken (that’s right, I cheat!) Having a whole chicken already cooked to perfection halps the process some much especially on those busy nights.  Now the trick is sourcing your chicken well.  I go to our local health food grocer, where I do spend a little more, but the chickens haven’t been pumped full of crap I don’t want, and they have a full deli and rotisserie where the cooking is done for me!  Having the chicken without a bunch of chemicals in it allows me to use the bones to make my next pot of stock.  It’s a beautiful cycle!

The nice thing about soups is you can ad lib at will.  Add what you do like and leave out what you don’t!

Here’s mine! 

 6-8 Cups Homemade Chicken stock

1 whole chicken cooked, meat removed and chopped or shredded

4-6 whole carrots scrubbed well, peeled, chopped

4-6 stocks of celery, washed, trimmed, chopped

1 medium onion – peeled, chopped

1 leek – sliced into rings, green and white parts, then washed thoroughly

3-4 cloves garlic – minced

1 Tbsp dried Parsley

1 Tbsp dried Thyme

Salt and Pepper to taste

***Remember to save the bones, fat and skin from your chicken and the discards from your produce to make stock*** 

 Here’s the really hard part….

Throw everything in a pot, bring to a boil, then lower temp and let simmer until the carrots are tender!
From here there are many options:

Prepare noodles to pour the soup over

Add ginger to add a little spice and a health boost

Chipotle spice is a great addition

Wilt Spinach or Kale to give it an additional greens boost 

I love The Paleo Mom – Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, PhD – she has done some much research on eating healthy and how and WHY our bodies need certain foods and the best ways to get them.  Here is her Chicken bone broth recipe.  Remember to add your produce wastes to this to get more bang for your buck from higher priced but better grown, non-GMO, non-round-up ready food!