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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Healthy Ranch Dressing - Fix Approved

Healthy Ranch Dressing -- 21 Day Fix Approved!

I just LOVE ranch dressing, so I really had to figure out a way that I could eat it on the 21 Day Fix meal plan!  I love to dip almost anything and everything in ranch and it is by far the most superior salad dressing in existence! So, I had my work cut out for me to find a tasty and healthy alternative to Ranch dressing that was Fix Approved.  Well, look no further because here it is....

Simple and Easy.....

1/3 cup non fat plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 tbsp ranch seasoning

Now, it really doesn't get much simpler than that, now does it??

I like to make my own ranch seasoning, but you can use any store bought brand.  In the spirit of eating clean, I do make my own. I do oftentimes quadruple the below recipe to make a larger batch and I store it in old spice bottles that have been emptied. Here is my recipe for the seasoning:

1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp dill

That's it! That is all there is to it!! Now.... Go forth and dip!!! Enjoy!!

Would you like to join in my next FREE healthy eating fitness challenge? Just fill out the below form and let's get started!!

What is Clean Eating?

What is Clean Eating?

What does clean eating really mean??

The phrase “clean eating” has been rising in popularity these days. It’s such a vague phrase, so what does it really mean?

Let's talk first about what it is NOT......It is not a defined diet– there are many ways to interpret “clean eating”. Clean eating is not  necessarily a diet for weight loss, although it can have those effects.  Clean eating is not about your food being dirty. It’s about avoiding the processed foods with a million ingredients. 

Here’s my short and sweet definition:

Clean eating: eating the healthiest options in the food groups, like fresh vegetables, fruit, dairy, whole grains and lean proteins, and avoiding processed junk food and fast food.

So basically, clean eating is healthy, fresh, well-rounded meals. This is definitely a trend I can get behind! You don’t have to be a vegetarian to eat clean, and you don’t have to cook fancy meals or go on a cleanse.  The easiest way to eat clean is to shop the perimeter of your grocery store.

Below are some tips for shopping each section.
Fresh Fruit & Veggies: Anything in this section is basically a free-for-all. Load up on anything and everything that you like. Kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, oranges and berries are delicious, nutrition-packed options.

Deli: Here’s where label reading will come into play. Look for meats that are nitrate-free, and lower in sodium.  Buy straight from the deli rather than purchasing the pre-packaged deli meats.  Try to buy cheeses with less than 150mg of sodium per serving.

Meat/Poultry/Seafood: Aim for grass-fed and pasture raised meats. Those without these labels were probably raised in filthy environments. It’s more expensive, but cutting down on your meat consumption can help the environment and your waistline. 

Dairy/Eggs: Choose cage-free eggs and low-fat dairy products like milk, low-sodium cottage cheese, and light sour cream.  *I like Egglands Best for eggs.
Frozen Fruit & Veggies: Make sure you’re choosing those without added sodium or sauces. 

Fresh Breads:  Check the labels and try to find those with less than 150mg of sodium per serving. Look for whole grain bread.

Center Aisles: Go in for the toilet paper and then GET OUT! Just kidding… you can stay in the middle for a little longer, for items such as low-sodium canned beans, canned tomatoes, plain pasta and rice, nuts and seeds, nut butters, high fiber/protein cereal, and of course any cleaning or household products you may need.  

So how can you start eating clean?

First, reading labels is KEY!! Check out the ingredient lists for everything with a label. Look at sodium, sugar, and how many ingredients the product has. Does it have a long list of ingredients with unrecognizable names? If foods have more than FIVE items on their ingredient list, they’re probably not clean.

Second, PLAN! I cannot stress how important meal planning is to a healthy diet. It will make such a huge difference. If you don’t know what you’re eating for dinner, and it’s already 4:00pm, what are you more likely to do? Scramble together a meal at home, or just pick up food on the way home? 

Do you eat clean? What are some of your favorite clean eating recipes? Please feel free to leave comments and let’s help each other!

Most of all, please remember the 80/20 Rule!!  What is the 80/20 Rule you ask??  The 80/20 principle is no diet — it's a lifestyle change that can lead to sustainable weight loss. Folks who have suffered on rigid, limiting diets in the past find that this new rule teaches them about balance and moderation, a concept that does not exist with fad diets.  The breakdown is simple: 80 percent of the time you focus on eating clean, good-for-you foods, and 20 percent of the time you have the freedom to indulge as you please. Don't be concerned about the math, but it's simple: if you eat three square meals a day, three of those meals every week are your 20 percent cheat meals; if you eat five small meals a day, then seven of those meals could be up for grabs as a cheat meal.  The point is build a lifestyle change that you can stick to and live with for the long haul!!  

Because think about it.... You can't be 100% ALL of the time, but you can be 80% ALL of the time!! Right??

Would you like to learn more about Shakeology?? (Shakeology is the healthiest meal of the day and is the ultimate in CLEAN EATING!!)

Do you want to join my next FREE clean eating fitness group?  Just fill out the below form:

Friday, April 1, 2016

Ten Tips for Eating Out

Ten Tips For Eating Out

The decision is yours!!

1. Plan ahead!

Check out the menu ahead of time to plan your healthy choice. Chain restaurants often have nutrition information on their websites, which can further guide your decision. This is a critical step!!

2. Make your own rules!

Choose your dining-out rules and then STICK TO THEM!! Some common rules include: deciding to review only certain sections of a menu, choosing only non-fried foods, refusing the bread basket, leaving 1/3 of your food on your plate or eating dessert only when shared by the family. Be creative with this and make rules that you can live with!

3. Review the menu!

Look for menu items that are steamed, broiled, grilled, stir-fried (with broth or water), roasted or poached while avoiding foods that are described as buttery or buttered; crispy, sautéed, fried or pan-fried; and creamed, scalloped or au gratin.

4. Order it “dry”

Request foods prepared “dry” or without oil/butter. A food may be prepared in a healthful manner and yet have plenty of “hidden” fats added which rack up the calories. Broth, lemon, wine, herbs, spices and salsa can provide plenty of flavor without concentrated fat calories and can be ordered on the side or requested.

5. Make substitutions and skip the bread basket!

Substitute a vegetable, side salad or fruit cup for a potato, pasta or rice. This one substitution can save you a couple of hundred calories!!  

6. Be careful at the salad bar!

Although salad bars sound healthy....steer clear of cheeses, creamy potato/macaroni salads, bacon bits, croutons and sweetened dried fruits while choosing a plethora of vegetables with some lean protein such as chicken, egg or beans, which will also help fill you up!

7. Watch the dressing!

Opt for fat-free or “light” salad dressings. For extra wellness points, ditch the dressing altogether and use balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice on your salad...Or ask for oil/vinegar.

8. Take it with you!

When your food arrives at the table...immediately ask for a to-go container. Pack up a portion of your meal, close the lid and enjoy the rest of your meal another day. Better yet, request that half your meal be packaged in the kitchen prior to it being served.

9. Savor it!

Eat slowly and mindfully, savoring each bite and stopping when satisfied. Your feeling of fullness will increase over the next half hour after eating. Have a healthy snack planned in a couple of hours so you do not feel the need to overeat in order to carry you to the next meal.

10. Avoid sugary soda and sweet tea!

You really do not want to drink your calories... you want to EAT your calories, so don't waste them on sugary drinks!! Choose sugar-free beverages such as water with lemon or a cup of coffee. Soda calories add up quickly, especially when refilled automatically.

Would you like to join my next FREE healthy eating fitness challenge? Just fill out the below form and let's get started!!

Roasted Chick Peas

Fix Approved Roasted Chick Peas

One of my biggest struggles is my constant need to snack!!  Whether it be sitting at my desk or at night on the couch watching TV... all I want to do is snack and snack and snack some more!! Needless to say, I am always on the lookout for sweet and salty snacks that will actually taste like a snack (I’m looking at you veggies). That is why these roasted chickpeas are PERFECT! This one lets you actually feel like you are really indulging in a delicious snack!! Really satisfies the urge for popcorn and chips!! They have everything you want in a recipe:

  • cheap
  • easy
  • fast
  • scrumptious

These are best made with cooked chickpeas, but can also be made with canned (I actually used canned in these pictures). If you are going to use canned chick peas, please make sure you get a brand with no added sodium. Cooked chickpeas do actually have more nutrients than canned chick peas.

You can flavor these with almost anything! I am sharing 2 recipes here (Garlic Parmesan and Honey Cinnamon - Honey cinnamon chick peas are pictured, fyi) but the possibilities are endless. Just use the base recipe and go from there! Here are just a few other ideas that would be tasty: Soy Sesame, Taco, Peanut Butter and Salt and Vinegar.
It’s imperative that you let these dry after cooking, or after rinsing from the can. The wetter they are the less crunchy they will be and their crunchiness is definitely the draw.... what tricks your mind into thinking that you are eating potato chips or peanuts!! 

After they cool from the oven, they become slightly crunchier. So, take them out of the oven just before you think they are perfect. Also, some may jump and pop around when in the oven (like popcorn)...It’s surprising and can catch you off guard, lol! You have been warned! :)

21 Day Fix Approved Roasted Chick Peas


4 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 cans of chickpeas
2 tbsp olive oil
seasonings (see below)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Rinse chickpeas (if using canned) and lay on and cover with paper towels to dry.
  3. Place parchment paper on cookie sheet and spread dry chickpeas on it.
  4. Roast chickpeas in the oven for 35 minutes, shaking around half way through.
  5. Remove from oven and immediately put into a bowl.
  6. Mix with oil and seasonings until all chickpeas are covered.
  7. Spread back out on cookie sheet and roast for 5 more minutes.
  8. Take one chick pea out of oven, let cool, and taste. If it's just almost crunchy enough, remove all from oven and allow to cool.
  9. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Garlic Parmesan: 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, 2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2                              tsp salt
Honey Cinnamon: 1.5 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tbsp                                  honey

21 Day Fix Container Count:    

Yellow: 1 (chickpeas) 
teaspoon: 1 (olive oil) 

Do you want to join my next FREE fun fitness and clean eating group?  Just fill out the below form: