Friday, February 10, 2012

Lemon Chia Bread

Sunday is my typical day for R&R but I like to set aside a couple hours to ready myself for the coming week. This normally includes chopping veggies or bagging up Crockpot dinners to pop into the freezer for later in the month. I also like to bake muffins of a loaf of bread to nibble on through the week as a snack or in addition to my breakfast. This helps me to make sure I'm eating a well-rounded meal (veggies, protein, & carb!) without having to fuss in the kitchen when I don't have the time. Or maybe just when I feel like I don't have the time.

I've been spending plenty of time transforming old favorites into cleaner, healthier favorites. This Lemon Chia Bread is a twist on one of my favorite spring treats: Lemon Poppyseed. Much like the poppyseed version, this batter can be made into muffins or a loaf.

Serving Size: 12

  • 2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds (I get mine from!)
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Soy Milk (or other milk)
  • 1/2 Cup Olive-Oil Based Margarine
  • 1/3 Cup Agave Nectar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Lemon Extract
  • 1 1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  1. In a small bowl, combine chia seeds, lemon juice, and milk. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix together margarine and agave nectar. Slowly add chia seed mixture, blending well.
  4. Combine dry ingrients, then slowly add dry ingredients to chia seed mixture. Blend until just combined.
  5. Pour batter into a 8-inch loaf pan and bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow the bread to cool for a few minutes, slice, serve, and ENJOY!

  7. *This bread keeps well in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Did you know Chia seeds have more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other plant food, including flax seeds?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Crockpot Pork Chops with Peppers

The smell of this dinner will have you drooling all day.

Every once in a while I have to throw some meat into my diet aside from chicken and fish. The fiance truly appreciates those nights, and I like him better when he's happy - and full! This super easy Crockpot recipe is prepared in mere minutes and simmers all day, making for a delicious and easy dinner. The best part is you can play with the seasonings and veggies to your taste and what's in season.

Serving Size: 2

  • 2 Lean Boneless Pork Chops
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, julienned
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 White Onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Cup Baby Carrots
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
  1. If possible, marinate pork chops with pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar in a zip-lock bag. In a separate bag, do the same with the peppers and carrots.
  2. Assemble half of the carrots, peppers, and onions on the bottom of the Crockpot.
  3. Place marinated pork chops atop the bed of veggies.
  4. Cover pork chops with remaining vegetables.
  5. Cook on high for 6 hours, depending on your slow cooker. Pork chops should reach 160 degrees F.
  6. Serve with brown rice or quinoa and ENJOY!

Happy eating!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake Protein Shake

Protein shakes are so easy to spruce up without a fuss and I've had fun trying to come up with fun additions to mimic my favorite desserts. I love pumpkin any time of year and pumpkin cheesecake has made its way into my heart. But since I can't indulge in that too often, I've made a still-sweet counterpart that will satisfy your sweet-tooth without ruining your diet.

  • 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Cheesecake Pudding Mix*
  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Breeze (or other milk)
  • 1/4 Cup Canned Pumpkin
  • 4 Drops of Vanilla Stevia
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Ice
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

  4. *I use an all-natural pudding mix from Whole Foods instead of the Jell-O brand to keep with my clean diet.

Cheesecake not your thing? Try my pumpkin pie protein shake!

What are some of your favorite additions to your protein shake?

50 Snack & Small Meal Ideas

Snacks! My weakness. You may have noticed I'm a sucker for sweets and snacks, hence my list of 50 snacks I frequently rummage in my cabinets for. It doesn't matter whether I've curled up with a book or joined the man for a movie night I want something to munch on...that isn't going to go straight to my ass and make me instantly regret allowing it to enter my mouth, of course.

It can be extremely difficult to find a "healthy" snack that won't offset your awesome day of clean eating and it can be even harder to find a snack that is a good choice for your diet. No, super-expensive 100 calorie snack packs are not always a good choice (if they ever are). So without further a due here's yet another list of go-to munchies:

1. Low-Fat Cottage Cheese (top with sliced tomato, cucumber, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper)
2. Wasa Crispbread Topped with Cottage Cheese and Bell Pepper Slice
3. Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese Stick with Olives
4. Low-Fat Whole Wheat Crackers with Olive Spread
5. Cherry Tomatoes Tossed with Feta Cheese, Balsamic Vinegar, Sea Salt & Pepper
6. Vegetarian Jerky (enjoy with veggies)
7. Unsalted Pistachios
8. Dill Pickle
9. Roasted Almonds with Lemon & Salt (there's a great recipe here)
10. Virgin Bloody Mary (tomato juice with a celery stick - and perhaps a pickle?)
11. Parmesan Cheese Wedge (small) Drizzled with Balsamic Vinegar
12. Citrus Shrimp Cocktail (Boiled Shrimp, Cucumber Slices, 1/4 Diced Avocado, with Fresh Lime Juice)
13. Zucchini Fries (Zucchini Sticks Coated with All-Natural Bread Crumbs and Parmesan, Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees F)
14. Deviled Eggs (substitute cottage cheese for mayo, one makes a great snack)
15. Veggies with White Bean Dip
16. Spicy Pumpkin Seeds (I like Eden's variety)
17. Plantain Chips
18. Zucchini Oven Chips (recipe here)
19. Sliced Hard-boiled Egg & Tomato on Ezekial Bread
20. Miso Vegetable Soup
21. Veggie Chips (I get mine from
22. Zucchini Slices Topped with Goat Cheese & Sun Dried Tomatoes
23. Cucumber (or any veggie) Slices with Tzatziki
24. Open-faced Tuna Salad Sandwich
25. Veggie Salad with Ranch Greek Yogurt Dip and Pita Chips

26. Sliced Pear with Almond Butter
27. Pina Colada Protein Shake
28. Halved Red Grapes Drizzled with Honey
29. All-Natural Licorice (careful with portion control!)
30. Grilled Peach (I cut into slices and grill for about 4-6 minutes) Drizzled with Agave Nectar
31. Funky Monkey Freeze Dried Fruit
32. Oskri Organic Dessert Bars
33. Whole Wheat Toast with Apple Butter & Fruit
34. Dark Chocolate Espresso Beans
35. Mango Parfait (Layer honey Greek yogurt with mango chunks, top with pineapple chunks)
36. Peanut Butter Energy Mix (Banana Chips, Barbara's Bakery PB & Chocolate Puffins)
37. Broiled Grapefruit
38. Bumblebar Tropical Treat (pineapple & coconut bar)
39. Tangerine Slices Dipped in Dark Chocolate (2 tbsp dark cocoa powder, Stevia, 1 1/2 tbsp water)
40. Apple Slices with Lemon Yogurt Dip (Greek yogurt mixed with 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice)
41. Clif Energy Bars
42. Clementine Parfait (Layer Greek Yogurt with Clementine Slices, Top with Yogurt & Unsalted, Chopped Pistachios)
43. Banana & Grapefruit Salad (Grapefruit Sections, Banana Slices, & Spearmint, Drizzled with Honey)
44. Dried Apple Slices with Cinnamon Yogurt Dip (1 tbsp yogurt with 1/4 tsp cinnamon)
45. Yogavive Yoga Chips
46. Tropical Energy Mix
47. Sweet Potato Protein Shake
48. Chia Jam on Protein Pancake
49. Energy Squares (I love the mixed berry kind!)
50. Homemade Granola Bar with fruit

Keep in mind that if you're shooting for a meal instead of a snack to include plenty of veggies, a carb, and a protein for a well-rounded meal.

Happy Snacking!

Sweet Potato Protein Shake

Carbs, oh how I love them. I have no problem adding a carbohydrate element to every meal. The veggies can be a little bothersome at times, but never my beloved carbs.

This protein shake combines your carb - the sweet potato - and your protein in a deliciously sweet shake. You can even sneak some veggies in there to round it out as a meal if you need to.

  • 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Breeze (or other milk)
  • 1 Small Sweet Potato Canned Pumpkin, cooked
  • 6 Drops of Vanilla Stevia
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • Ice
  • Chia Seeds (optional)
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

What are some of your favorite protein shake recipes?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Broiled Grapefruit

Broiled grapefruit is a fun way to sweeten up your day with some fresh citrus and a Vitamin C boost. But the traditional preparation of broiling grapefruits uses butter and refined sugars. So I've cleaned it up a bit so you can enjoy a broiled grapefruit as a snack or in addition to your breakfast. Broiling this fruit takes out the bitterness and most of the sour flavor a grapefruit normally has, making it a sweet treat!

Did you know? Grapefruits are low in calories (a large one has around 42 calories) and is full or Vitamin A and antioxidants. They also contain a large amount of pectin, which is a dietary fiber that helps remove toxins from the colon.

Serving Size: 1

  • 1 Cup Grapefruit, cut in half
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey or Agave Nectar (or Stevia)
  1. Preheat your broiler to high.
  2. Place grapefruit halves on a baking sheet.
  3. Broil for 10-12 minutes or until charring begins.
  4. Let grapefruit cool for about 5 minutes or until it's cooled off enough to eat and top with sweetener of choice. Enjoy!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Find: Brown Cow Yogurt

I'm always on the look out for new, healthy products that make you feel good about your waistline and about the company you're handing your money over to.  Obviously, I love eating natural, wholesome foods.  But I also have a major soft spot for animals of any kind.  Yes, this includes cows.  That is why this week's Friday Find is especially sweet.

Brown Cow All Natural Yogurts are delicious and clean: made with only the best ingredients.  I just tried one for the first time last week and I couldn't help but stock up the next time I went to the grocery store.  They have different kinds to meet all your yogurt needs.  Cream top, fruit on the bottom, low fat, nonfat, and even Greek!  I especially love the coffee cream top and the low fat boysenberry.  I can't wait to try them all...chocolate on the bottom here I come!

Putting deliciousness aside, Brown Cow vows to only use only natural ingredients, wholesome milk, and fresh fruits.  No preservatives, artificial colors and sweeteners, or refined sugar here!  It's also free of artificial growth hormones, gluten-free, and Kosher.  All that and we still haven't gotten down to the real reason why I love Brown Cow Yogurts.

They treat their cows well.  Yes, this little tidbit of knowledge makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.  Making the choice to abandon being a vegetarian after 6 years was difficult and I take comfort in the smaller things now, like how the animals are treated that are providing the milk for my yogurt.  Don't you ever open a yogurt cup and think about all those cute little cows that provided their precious fluid?  Maybe I'm crazy, but I do.  You can read more about the Brown Cow Difference here.

So, thank you, Brown Cow, for providing me with an all-natural yogurt that I can eat without guilt of any kind - and enjoy!