Homemade Chocolate Popsicles

Every week when I plan and prepare my meals for the week, I try to do one thing new.  Before starting my Clean Eating lifestyle, I used to eat one sugar free fudge pop a day.  I now know that although it is only 20 calories, it is probably not the healthiest choice.  But I have been missing that little treat at night. So I decided to make my own.

IMG_5408

So I set out on Pinterest to find a recipe and found this Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Banana Yogurt Pop

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk or milk of choice
  • 3/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 large ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon raw or organic honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

IMG_5404

IMG_5405

  • Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze for 30 minutes before inserting the popsicle sticks.

IMG_5406

  • Freeze the popsicles until they are frozen solid, about 4 hours.

IMG_5408

I followed the instructions explicitly.  But when I tried to remove the popsicle, they would NOT come out.  So my husband gave it a try and broke the whole mold right off!

He suggested running it under water, so I gave it a try.  Just about 5 seconds under slightly luke warm water did the trick and the popsicles came right out.

Macon enjoyed his for about 3 minutes then gave it up.  Jonathan and I really enjoyed our little ice cream treat.  The flavor was good but it did taste a little more yogurt-y than chocolate-y so I may need to adjust the amounts of some of the ingredients next time.  But all in all, this is a great replacement to my nightly fudge pop!

Lasagna Boats

When I was searching for different recipe ideas to prepare for this week’s meals, I stumbled upon a Zucchini Lasagna Boat recipe that looked delicious.  I decided to give it a try.  We had this cleaned up and healthier comfort food for dinner last night and it was a HIT!  My husband made it a point to tell me that he thought it was delicious.

Here is my recipe for Lasagna Boats adapted from the original:

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium zucchini (2 1/2 lbs), sliced into halves through the length*
  • 1 cup (8.6 oz) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz lean ground turkey
  • 4 tsp olive oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 3/4 cup clean tomato sauce (I used this clean 21 Day Fix Approved Tomato Sauce)

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a spoon, scoop centers from zucchini while leaving a 1/4-inch rim to create boats. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl stir together ricotta cheese, egg and 1 1/2 Tbsp of the parsley. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese.  The original recipe also called for 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese but I completely forgot it!.  Set aside.
  • Heat 2 tsp of the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble turkey into pan, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up when stirring, until browned. Stir in tomato sauce and ;let simmer for a few minutes, remove from heat.
  • To assemble boats, brush both sides of of zucchini lightly with remaining 2 tsp olive oil and place in two baking pans (I used a 13 by 9 and a 9 by 9). Divide cheese mixture among zucchini spooning about 2 1/2 Tbsp into each, then spread cheese mixture into and even layer. Divide sauce among zucchini adding a few heaping spoonfuls to each. Cover baking dishes with foil and place in oven side by side and bake in preheated oven 30 minutes.

IMG_5509

  • Remove from oven, sprinkle tops with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella (again, cooking too quickly, I mixed the mozzarella cheese into the cheese mixture and cooked all together instead of adding it at the end, still delish!), return to oven and bake until cheese has melted and zucchini is tender, about 5 minutes.

IMG_5510

Next time you’re in the mood for some warm and delicious comfort food but want to keep it healthy, try this recipe out and let me know what you think!

My 3 Day Refresh Recap

If you follow me on Facebook, then you may know that I completed the Beachbody 3 Day Refresh on May 31-June 2.  I’m here today to tell you a little more about that experience.

I had several friends from work and from my coaching world who had completed the Refresh and were extremely happy with their results.  I was already curious about trying it and then Beachbody put it on sale!  What?!  About the same time, my sister-in-law was telling me that she wanted to try it.  We decided to do it together– knowing someone else is going through the same thing really makes you stick to it!

3 Day Refresh is a 3 day program of special shakes, snacks, and simple meals designed to help you lose weight and break the cycle of bad eating while helping you improve the way you feel.

3DR_125x125_NEW

I had been on vacation and while I was still eating clean the majority of the time, I found myself eating a little more than I should and having a few too many treats.  I thought this would be the perfect way to reset my body and get me back on track and ready for continued progress with my 21 Day Fix meal plan and workouts.

I’m sure you have all heard about different clenses or juice fasts and wonder how Beachbody’s 3 Day Refresh is different.  Well here is an explanation direct from the source:

Unlike juice fasts or liquid cleanses that are high in sugar and low in protein (which can leave you feeling weak and sluggish), the 3-Day Refresh is scientifically designed to help support your metabolism while nourishing your vital organs.  Plus, you actually get to eat delicious, real food during this program.
Why Refresh?
  • You need a clean break from a period of unhealthy eating.
  • You used to eat pretty well but have recently fallen off the wagon and need some help getting back on.
  • You want to jump-start healthy eating habits for a new workout program.
  • You want to quickly lose a few pounds for an upcoming event.
  • You’ve never been a healthy eater, but are ready to kick-start better nutrition for the first time.
  • You want your clothes to fit better.
  • You want more energy.
  • You love food and want to be satisfied while you lose weight and get healthier.
  • You’ve tried liquid fasts or other fad diets and they simply don’t work.

Please remember that I am NOT a doctor, nutritionist and nothing I am saying or sharing from Beachbody’s website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease!

Now are you ready for my experience??

You can get the 3 Day Refresh with our without Shakeology.  Since I already drink Shakeology on a daily basis, I purchases the pack without Shakeology.  The package comes with:

  • 6 packets of Vanilla Fresh (high-protein shake)
  • 3 packets of Fiber Sweet (digestive drink)
  • 1 Program Guide

The eating plan for the 3 days is extremely simple, but it is crucial that you follow it exactly.  You are on a low calorie diet for those 3 days so you need to space the meals out evenly.

  • Wake up: 8-10 ounces of Water
  • Breakfast: Shakeology and a serving of fruit
    • The first day I had my fruit in my blended Shakeology. But for the second two days, I opted to have it plain so I could eat my fruit and slow that meal down some
  • Morning Tea: 1 cup unsweetened herbal or green tea (I opted for green tea and sweetened with stevia- which is allowed)
  • Late morning: Fiber Sweep.  Now let me tell you.  This is not very good. It just isn’t.  Does the name sound like it would be?  No!  But when you remember that you are only doing this for 3 days and that it is supposed to reset your body and your digestion, you realize you can take one for the team.  It has a really nice, refreshing lemon aroma and flavor which makes it nice.  You mix this with 8 ounces of water and drink IMMEDIATELY.  Read that- immediately.  It thickens as it sits so it is important to drink right away.  I just chugged it in less than a minute and it was over and done with!  I did read somewhere that someone suggested you blend it with ice to make a shake but I just felt that chugging it and getting it done was better.

13327554_766482855870_6900230933660426591_n

  • Lunch: Vanilla Fresh shake plus 1 serving of fruit, 1 serving of vegetables and 1 healthy fat serving.  The program guide tells you exactly what fruits, vegetables and healthy fats to choose from and the specific amounts.  The first day I just considered the little olive oil on my broccoli to be my healthy fat but when I was super hungry later, I realized that I probably should have had something else. So for the next two days, I had almond butter with my fruit.  The Vanilla Fresh shake is really delicious!  It is a different formulation than Shakeology but it has a really nice vanilla flavor and fills you up!

13325480_766943013710_8083879688240015271_n

  • Afternoon Snack: 1 vegetable serving and 1 healthy fat option.  Each day I had cucumbers with hummus.  If you haven’t tried hummus before- you should, it is delicious!!
  • Afternoon tea: 1 cup of unsweetened herbal tea (I didn’t have the afternoon and evening tea)
  • Dinner: Vanilla Fresh shake and 1 Dinner Recipe servings.  The dinner recipes include things like a salad with lemon and olive oil drizzle, stir fry vegetables, asparagus and slivered almonds.  You may also have 1 cup of organic vegetable broth.
  • Evening Tea: 1 cup of unsweetened herbal tea

Throughout the day you need to be drinking a ton of water- half of your body weight in ounces of water on top of the water you are having in your shakes and teas.

Only light exercise is recommended during the 3 days since you are on a reduced calorie diet.  On day 1, I did yoga as soon as I woke up.  By the end of the day, I was pretty hungry and went to sleep with my stomach growling.  On day 2, I did about 10 minutes of yoga and then decided I was just too tired.  Now, full disclosure- I really don’t think this is related to the 3 Day Refresh.  I happened to get strep throat at the same time!!  I was really sore from an intense chiropractic adjustment and my throat hurt from the inside out.  At the end of day 2, I wasn’t as hungry as day 1 but was just pooped out and was ready to eat more food!  Day 3 was about the same as day 2.  I didn’t try to do any exercising and went to the doctor to get on antibiotics for my strep throat.  The fiber sweep was particularly difficult that day because my throat hurt so bad.  But by the end of the day, I was not hungry at all. And then I woke up the next day feeling great!  I slept great, wasn’t hungry at all!  As the day went on, I found myself feeling more satisfied after each meal, not as hungry in between and was able to be more active.

No for my results:

13319943_767045747830_6795069264711217951_n

I lost 4.5 pounds and 1 inch in my belly!!  I didn’t measure my legs and arms before or after so I don’t know if I lost any there or not.  My sister-in-law lost 5.2 pounds and 2.5 inches around her waist!

Now on to the question I know most people are wondering about…..  Would I do it again?

YES.  I would.  Under the right circumstances.

I learned a few things about myself during these 3 days and know that if I ever go off track a little too much that I can take a few days to reset myself, eat smaller and more simple meals, maybe even leave out meat.

But next year after I go on my cruise and indulge a little too much, I definitely see 3 Day Refresh in my future to get me back on track!

If you’re interested in trying 3 Day Refresh, TODAY is the last day that it is on sale!  BUT you can get it at any time just by contacting me or click on the graphic below.  Also, if you want to start a Beachbody Challenge where you complete a full workout and meal plan along with Shakeology and participate in my Challenge group for support and motivation, you can add the 3 Day Refresh to most of the challenge packs as a way to Kickstart your Challenge and set you up for greater success!!

3DR_125x125_NEW

Taco Tuesday

My husband and I love Mexican food. We usually go out to eat it probably once a week then I fix some version of Southwest or Mexican another 2-3 times a week.

I did a survey on Facebook last week asking what is the favorite- Pizza or Mexican.  Mexican won by a landslide. Earlier this week, I gave you a healthier alternative to pizza with my Healthy Pizza full of veggies and NO carbs!   Now I want to share with you one of my favorite quick Mexican dishes.

I typically cook most of my meals for the week on Sundays.  Some weeks I have more time than others.  On the weeks when I don’t have quite as much time, I will cook a bunch of grilled chicken then heat it up and add to it later in the week.  This week, I knew I wanted tacos so I fixed ground turkey taco meat.  Last night I wanted chicken too!  So I diced some of the pre-cooked grilled chicken, warmed in pan and added taco sauce and spices and you would have never known that it was just plain ole chicken a few minutes before!

I also LOVE fresh guacamole!  Several years ago, I went to New York with a friend and we wandered into Dos Caminos Mexican Cantina.  I had never had guacamole before then but I fell in love with it. They had magnetic recipes that you could take home and I have been making a version of that recipe since!  My husband and I went to New York on vacation in May, so we just had to go by Dos Caminos and get more guacamole!  Now I will say that my food is no where near as fancy as theirs, but it is good, clean, and home cooked!

Misty’s Tacos with Fresh Guacamole:

Ingredients:

  • Lean Ground Turkey and/or Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Mexican taco sauce
  • Ground chili powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Garlic powder
  • Fresh ground salt and pepper
  • Reduced fat mexican cheese
  • Corn or whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 Avocados
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • Olive oil

Directions

  • Drizzle a little olive oil in your pan.  Brown your ground turkey or chicken. Or if you want both, use two pans.  You can grill your chicken in advance then dice up, add a little oil to pan, then continue from here.
  • Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder and cumin (to taste).  We like it spicy.
  • Add Mexican taco sauce and a little water.  Mix well and turn down to medium low and let simmer.

IMG_5309

  • Scoop out the avocado into a bowl and mash with potato masher or fork.

IMG_5307

  • Add juice from 1 fresh squeeze lime
  • Add diced Roma tomato
  • Add cumin, chili powder, and salt to taste
  • Finley chop fresh cilantro and add.
  • Mix together.  Flavor combines if you let sit in fridge for about 30 minutes.

Serve on warm corn or whole wheat tortillas and top with cheese and guacamole!  You can even top with some greek yogurt!

IMG_5310

Hope you enjoy this recipe!  If you try it on your next Taco Tuesday, please comment or share!!

Healthy Pizza

Last week on Facebook I took a poll to see what was the top pick- Mexican or Pizza. Well Mexican overwhelmingly won.  I LOVE both but definitely eat Mexican-ish food 3-4 times a week!  Macon even loves to go get his cheesy quesadilla.

I prepared some food for Taco Tuesday tomorrow night and will share that with you later this week.  But yesterday, we wanted pizza.  Ooey gooey good old pizza.   Except that I didn’t want to eat all the crust.  We often fix pizzas on whole wheat thin pizza crust or even on low carb, high fiber, whole wheat tortillas.  But I saw something recently that I wanted to give a try.

Do you like cauliflower?  I never really ate it growing up.  It wasn’t until the past couple years that I have even tried it.  I do not like it raw.  But I absolutely LOVE it roasted.  Way less pungent than broccoli but with similar health benefits!  You can even make “rice” out of it and cook with chicken stir fry and you seriously do not even know that you don’t have rice and you are getting in tons of really healthy veggies!

So what about cauliflower pizza crust?  Sounds crazy right?  Nope.  It was totally delicious!!

IMG_5288

Cauliflower Pizza Crust Pizza (original recipe here)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup riced, then cooked cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp italian seasonings
  • 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (for topping)
  • pizza sauce (I used this Clean Homemade Tomato Sauce) & additional toppings of your choice

Directions:

1. To rice the cauliflower, cut florets into chunks and pulse in a food processor until you see rice-like bits. You could also use a cheese grater to produce the tiny pieces. Do not over process, you don’t want mush.

IMG_5283

2. Microwave the riced cauliflower in a bowl for 5-8 minutes depending on your microwave. No need to add water. After microwaving, transfer riced cauliflower to a fine mesh strainer and drain completely, gently pressing out excess water. Once drained, transfer riced cauliflower to a clean dish towel and wrap the sides around the cauliflower while gently pressing out excess water. This drying process is important!  My cauliflower was pretty dry after I microwaved it but I still was able to squeeze excess water out of the riced cauliflower.

3. One large head of cauliflower will yield about 3 cups of riced cauliflower. Use it to make more pizzas immediately, or store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup riced, cooked cauliflower, 1 egg and your parmesan cheese. Next, add Italian seasonings, crushed garlic and salt. Making sure everything is well mixed, place your “dough” on the cookie sheet and pat out a 9″ round. Be sure not to press it too thin as it’s easy to create holes.

IMG_5284

5. Bake your dough at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

IMG_5285

6. Remove from oven. Add sauce, mozzarella cheese, and your favorite pre-cooked toppings to your pizza.  We did one with turkey pepperoni and mushrooms (pictured here) and one with turkey pepperoni and fresh parsley.  Also I had cooked my tomato sauce with mixed peppers and onions so I already had that kick added to the sauce! Place pizza under broiler just until cheese is melted, be sure to keep an eye on it!

IMG_5288

Be sure to bake the crust on a sheet that will allow it to get crispy like pizza crust and your dough needs to be thin (but not too thin).

I hope you enjoy it!