Freekeh with Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, and Garlic

So this happened last night.

I got some swiss chard in our CSA share this week, and it is one vegetable I haven’t cooked before. Of course I went to Pinterest to see what to do with it, and it seemed that most recipes called for it to be sauteed or wilted and served with other veggies for flavor. So that’s what I did!

It’s kind of pretty, right?

So I washed the swiss chard, and removed the leaves from the stems. I chopped the stems into small pieces and roughly chopped the leaves as I would kale or collard greens.

I decided to use my last bag of freekeh with this dish, because it’s what I had on hand. You could easily substitute rice, quinoa, or couscous and have a very similar recipe.

I sauteed the chopped stems and onions in some olive oil first, then added some jarred tomatoes we got from a previous CSA share. Fresh tomatoes would work as well – about 2 or 3 if they are small or Roma tomato size. Just dice them up and toss them in!

After the tomatoes are warm and the stems and onions are softened, add in the garlic and swiss chard leaves. Cook until garlic is fragrant and leaves are wilted. Then serve over a bed of freekeh and eat!

This is a super yummy meal with plenty of protein and slow-digesting carbs, not to mention the nutrition from the veggies! You can play around with the ingredients and add some extra veggies like mushrooms, zucchini, or carrots, or maybe add different spices. If you do, please leave a comment and let me know how it tastes!  

Here’s the recipe for your viewing (and cooking) pleasure.

Swiss Chard Recipe card

Summer Vanilla Shakeology

I wasn’t really sure what to name this recipe, but it seems like a great drink for summertime – so there you go!

For this recipe, I used:

  • One container of coconut water
  • Half a banana
  • Half of a watermelon Chobani  yogurt (you could use the full cup)
  • Vanilla Shakeology
  • Ice

I blended it all up with some ice – DONE! It was pretty tasty!

A friend recommended a similar recipe, but she added fresh mint leaves before blending. I didn’t have any fresh mint — and I checked by biting some of the herbs I had in my fridge. Definitely NOT mint leaves. Yuck.

If you try this one, I’d love to hear what you think! Drop a comment or send me a message on Facebook. Enjoy!

21 Day Fix Extreme Countdown to Competition Meal Plan

21dfx wood

Oh Autumn, you really wanted to see how hard you could push me, didn’t you? As if meal planning for the original 21 Day Fix wasn’t enough of a challenge, you go and throw the C2C plan at me and just rock my world!!

That’s ok because I got this.

I figured out that the most difficult part of planning for C2C was going to be fitting in #allthereds – because I never eat that much protein!! But, I think I have this meal planning thing down pat. Here’s my plan for this past week:

C2C plan March 2-8

You’ll see I am NOT eating cod 2829 times per day. Can’t. Just can’t do that. Props to Autumn and any other competitor who has that kind of dedication. I have goals and I have drive but I also don’t intend to make myself completely miserable haha. I know my limits.

I absolutely hate plain egg whites. Even hot sauce doesn't make it better. Bleech.

I absolutely hate plain egg whites. Even hot sauce doesn’t make it better. Blargh.

I also don’t strictly eat the + foods that Autumn has tagged in the C2C eating guide. I am avoiding dairy for the most part, but I am drinking regular Shakeology instead of vegan, and I am including some whey protein. I’d rather throw in a little whey and reach my protein goals for my red containers than try to choke down another serving of meat during the day. Again – I am doing what works best for me. My goal is to do better, not be perfect. 😉

As for my dinners – the chicken chili is modified from the turkey chili recipe that’s in the book. I am not a huge fan of ground turkey so I opted to use shredded chicken breast in place of the ground turkey here. The poached tilapia, beef and squash stew, and turkey meatballs are all found in the 21DFX eating plan recipes.

Today is day 6 for me, and I have stuck with this plan about 95%!! I had an issue with my lunch on Wednesday and ended up eating a bagel. And I may have had an extra carb or two today. Oops. However, I’ve had NO wine or beer this week, NO chocolate, and I’ve been eating ALL my reds! I am going to attempt to get 7 reds on my C2C days next week, since I am not really trying to lose any weight at this point. I just want to drop fat and gain muscle. I’m already down a couple of pounds and my muscles are super sore so I know I’m retaining water. Plus it’s my time of the month, so who knows what tricks my uterus is playing on me. She and my bathroom scale do not get along.

Do you have any awesome 21DFX recipes you’d like to share? Creative ways to get in all those dreaded reds? Please share! Drop a note below or email me!


Family Friendly Meals for the 21 Day Fix

“How can I eat according to the 21 Day Fix meal plan without having to cook separate meals for myself and my family?” “What foods can I eat?” “I have no idea what to make for dinner!”

These are things that I hear often from my challengers who are trying to follow their plan with the 21 Day Fix, as well as from some friends who just want to try to eat healthier foods. But what about the husband and the kids? What do they eat? Easy…I’ll show you how I do it.

Honestly, you can continue eating most of the same foods you already eat, or at least cooking many of the same dinners that your family enjoys. As I have shown in my previous post on how to meal plan for the Fix, I always plan my dinners first. Those are the most complicated because that is the meal each day when our family all eats the same thing. I don’t enjoy eating a salad every night, and I am certainly not going to cook multiple meals for my family, so I just cook something that I know everyone is going to enjoy.

Some of our typical meals before I started following the 21 Day Fix were:

  • burgers and homemade fries
  • tacos, burritos, or fajitas
  • brinner (breakfast for dinner)
  • pizza
  • enchiladas
  • spaghetti
  • fish tacos
  • barbecue pork
  • buffalo chicken
  • grilled steak and potatoes
  • hot dogs or sausage and macaroni and cheese (that’s a bad one, haha!)
  • chili

And honestly, we still eat most of these meals now! The only thing I do differently is clean up some of my recipes. I use fresh ingredients and lean meats. I usually forego the bun or tortilla with burgers and tacos, but my family eats them if they want. I typically opt out of cheese and any sauces that contain sugar. I make my own spaghetti sauce and use whole wheat noodles. Even pizza can be a fun meal at home — just use pita bread or some other type of crust and everyone can make their own individual pizza! The only meal I have cut out is the hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. Oh and did we LOVE to eat that. On rare occasion, I’ll let the kids have Applegate hot dogs and Annie’s organic mac and cheese, but that’s usually a weekend treat. I use that time to either eat leftovers or make myself a salad.

We have also discovered some new meals we enjoy, and surprisingly my kids have adapted to eating “healthier” style foods! Baked chicken or fish, sweet potato fries, roasted broccoli, kale chips, sliced berries on whole wheat pancakes (and minimal real maple syrup needed, if at all!), even a Cobb salad is a family favorite.

red, yellow, green, and blue

red, yellow, green, and blue

What are your favorite family meals on the Fix? Or what are your favorite family meals, and you want to know how to incorporate them into your Fix plan? Drop a comment below or email me at and I’ll be happy to help you clean it up and work it into your plan! 😉


Egg Turkey Muffin Recipe

Protein, anyone?

I often get tired of cooking (heh heh, what mom doesn’t?) and I am always on the lookout for ways to cut down my time in the kitchen. I mean, I LIKE to cook and I LIKE to provide nutritious food for my family, but sometimes I want to spend my time doing other things. And what’s wrong with efficiency anyway?

So I made this recipe the other day, thinking it would be easy to pop some leftover protein-packed muffins in the microwave for a quick snack the next day. In theory, yes…but these things were so popular they didn’t even last the whole night!!


So here is the recipe I used. I will most likely double it next time!

6 whole eggs, lightly scrambled in a bowl
1/4 lb lean ground turkey, cooked (I cooked the whole pound and reserved the rest for tacos/spaghetti)
1 cup chopped kale/spinach/broccoli
1/4 cup chopped onions (optional)
Salt and pepper

With a fork, beat up the eggs in a bowl. Spray a muffin pan generously (this stuff sticks!!) Use a tablespoon to spoon the egg into the muffin slots, filling each slot about half full. I had enough egg to go in 8 muffin slots.


Ignore those boiled eggs. Those were pre-cooking for breakfast. 😉

Then put a spoonful or two of the ground turkey into each slot with the egg. Add chopped onion and veggies as desired. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper to taste and bake at 400 degrees for about 18 minutes.


If the egg starts to brown around the edges, it is definitely done. I served mine with a little drizzle of Frank’s Buffalo Sauce on top. As the commercial says, “I put that sh*t on everything.” True story.


Chicken Fajita Salad

This is one of the simplest, quickest, and most frequently eaten meals at our house. Seriously, I married a former Taco Bell employee. The guy loves Mexican food.

It wasn’t very hard to clean up this meal – I just ditched the flour tortilla and I don’t usually add cheese. Tonight I splurged and added a dollop of sour cream. Still not too bad. 😉


So here’s what I use-

*Chicken breasts (I usually get the bag of frozen breasts so I can take out as many or few as I want)
*bell peppers, any color
*One onion
*salsa (fresh is best, no sugar added)

I slice the chicken into pieces and put in a pan with a little olive oil. I cook them until they are pretty done, using whatever seasonings I have – usually a homemade taco seasoning or just some Cajun spice and cumin.

Then I add the sliced peppers and onions to the pan, cover with a kid lid (really, autocorrect?) and cook until they are a little wilty. Then I take the lid off and continue cooking until the onions begin to caramelize.

Then I tear up some lettuce in my bowl, add the hot chicken and veggies, and too with salsa and avocado slices. So yummy!

You can totally alter this recipe to suit your dietary preferences and likes/dislikes. The meat can also be changed to steak, ground beef, or shrimp. Mix it up and make it fun.

My Whole 30 Meal Plan, Week 1

First off, Merry belated Christmas to all of you out there! I had a wonderful month (yes, month) with visits from my dad and sister, followed up with a visit from the in-laws. We ate, had fun, ate, watched movies, ate, drank, ate, drove up a mountain (what, did you expect us to HIKE?!), ate, drank, ate, slept,…you get the picture. While this holiday season was especially relaxing and enjoyable, it has done nothing for this fab figure of mine. 



Even more troublesome than my sincere concern that my pants won’t fit when I go back to work in a week, is how I feel. UGH. Yesterday I actually thought I was getting sick. Since I woke up today feeling much better, and without all the tummy gurgling, I can only assume it was what I ate. Maybe that 48th jelly bean was one too many? Or maybe it was the third mini Toblerone.

ImageIronically enough, while stuffing my face full of the yummiest cookies and foods I could find, I read the book “It Starts With Food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. It explains the science behind Paleo eating and gives you all the information you need to do the Whole 30 program. The point of the Whole 30 is to take away all of the foods that are inflammatory to your body, foods that cause a negative response that you may not be aware of. After the 30 days, you can reintroduce those foods (grains, legumes, etc) to see how your body tolerates them. It’s like a science experiment in your kitchen, with YOU as the subject!

At the same time, while eliminating non-Paleo foods from your diet, you should notice a few things:

-> falling asleep faster and waking up more rested

-> reduced cravings after the first couple of weeks

-> feeling full between meals

-> improved mood (my family will enjoy this one)

-> weight loss, specifically FAT


So I am ready! I have created my meal plan for the first week, and I am all set to start my Whole 30 eating tomorrow! Here’s what I plan to eat:


Breakfast – Shakeology (the one not-quite-paleo food I refuse to give up, due to the unmatched nutritional benefits) with almond milk, banana, and a boiled egg on the side
Snack – 2 bell peppers, sliced, with cashews
Lunch – salad with chicken breast and a variety of veggies, olives, and topped with salsa
Snack – shakeology with spinach, water, and mint extract (I could use the extra shakeology to flush toxins)
Dinner – baked curry porkchops, shredded cabbage/carrots/romaine salad topped with avocado and paleo dressing


Breakfast – 1 whole egg plus one white, scrambled with spinach, mushrooms, onions, peppers, jalapenos, and salsa
Snack – 1 cup berries, 2 Tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
Lunch – leftover porkchop, kale salad, and a Cutie
Snack – shakeology with almond milk
Dinner – Slow cooker pulled pork, sweet potato with cinnamon and 2 tsp butter (I use Kerrygold)


Breakfast – 4 oz ground turkey with cumin and chili powder, 2 c spinach, avocado slices, and a cutie (doesn’t this sound like a TON of food?!)
Snack – apple slices with almond butter
Lunch – leftover pulled pork, bowl of veggie salad with paleo dressing
Snack – shakeology with almond milk
Dinner – chicken fajitas with peppers and onions over a bed of lettuce, topped with avocado and salsa


Breakfast – 2 eggs scrambled, with a side of rosemary steamed sweet potatoes
Snack – grapefruit and avocado salad 
Lunch – leftover chicken fajitas over salad with paleo dressing
Snack – shakeology with almond milk
Dinner – bunless burgers with lettuce, tomato, onion, and a side of carrot fries


Breakfast – shakeology with almond milk, banana, and almond butter
Snack – fruit and nuts
Lunch – leftover burger, small salad with paleo dressing
Snack – deli ham (nitrate free) and grape tomatoes
Dinner – Thai coconut soup 


Breakfast – shakeology with water, fruit bowl topped with almond slivers and shredded coconut
Snack – apple with almond butter
Lunch – leftover soup, small salad
Snack – sliced turkey and peppers
Dinner – Cajun chicken


Breakfast – shakeology with almond milk, avocado (for creaminess), and fruit
Snack – cutie and cashews
Lunch – leftover cajun chicken
Snack – sliced turkey and peppers
Dinner – ultimate paleo chili over salad

In case you are wondering why I have SO MUCH FOOD at my meals, there are two reasons…

1) I don’t want to be hungry. Being hungry makes me want to munch. This isn’t about starving. This is about avoiding foods that cause a negative response in my body. I plan to eat myself silly on all of the GOOD stuff, especially veggies and healthy proteins.

2) I am starting P90X3 next week, and while I am following the Whole30 plan, I am ALSO following the nutrition guide for X3. That means I eat a specified amount of carbs, proteins, and fats at each meal. I am also aiming to eat around 1500 calories per day, so that my body doesn’t think it is getting too little nutrition, causing me to stall or plateau. After doing this plan for a week or two, I will see how I feel and see what’s going on with my body – then I will reassess caloric limits as needed.

I’d love for you to join me! Even if you don’t decide to follow the Whole 30 plan for a month, try out some of the meals I’ve listed and let me know what you think. 😉




Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup

Well, since I’m full from eating last night’s leftovers (two bowls actually), I guess I should go ahead and tell y’all about the recipe like I promised.

If you’ve ever had Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden, you probably won’t be all that surprised by what I’m about to tell you. However, I haven’t had much soup from the OG, and I haven’t even been there in quite some time. The amount of fat and sodium in the food kinda made me sick the last time. I love their salad and breadsticks, but I have to make it an occasional thing.

So anyway, about this recipe.

I took my inspiration from The Pioneer Woman, genius that she is. Her recipe called for some ingredients that aren’t readily available in my kitchen. And I’m just not a believer in buying certain things just to use in a recipe when I don’t necessarily need them. So I made a few adjustments.

Here’s my version:


  • 1 bunch Kale, Picked Over, Cleaned, And Torn Into Bite Sized Pieces
  • 6 whole Red Potatoes, Sliced Thin
  • 1 small Onion, Chopped
  • 1-1/2 pound Italian Sausage
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (more To Taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 2 cups Low Sodium Vegetable or Chicken Broth
  • 2 – 2.5 cups Whole Milk
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  •  Splash Of Heavy Cream (you don’t HAVE to use this, hubby just happened to grab some from the store while I was cooking)

Preparation Instructions

Prepare the kale and set it aside.

In a medium pot, boil sliced potatoes until tender (or just less than tender). Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, crumble and brown the Italian sausage and chopped onion. Drain as much of the fat as you can (I really didn’t have any fat to drain). Stir in the red pepper flakes, oregano, chicken broth, milk, and butter. Simmer for 30 minutes (or 20 if you are impatient like me).

Give it a taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add the potatoes, a splash of heavy cream for richness (only if you have it or feel like using it), then stir in the kale. Simmer an additional 10-15 minutes, then serve.

This was enough to serve two bowls for myself, two for my daughter, one or two for my husband, and a very small bowl for my son. He told me I was a terrible cook, but everyone else raved haha. His opinion is invalid. There was also enough leftover for 4 more servings tonight! And if you think kale and potatoes might not be good in a leftover soup – you’re wrong. It was just as good tonight, if not better.

If you’re leaning paleo, you may want to make a few adjustments. Different milk of course, although grassfed butter is generally accepted. Other than that, you’re pretty good to go!

If you decide to make this yummy winter soup, please comment here or on my Healthy and Fit page on Facebook and let me know what you think!

Stay warm!

Paleo Squash and Sausage Bake

Wow, the weather turned FRIGID today. I did not want to get out of bed, did not want to get dressed, and did not want to go to work. And while at work, I was still cold! I really wish the fire marshal didn’t frown on space heaters under teachers’ desks. Humph.

But that’s ok because tonight I made a delicious fall meal! Yummy squash, sausage, and protein-packed eggs all in one dish. The best part? I forgot to do any planning for dinner, and I was still able to make this with little fuss and preparation. WIN!

I got the idea for this meal from PaleOMG, one of my favorite places to go for paleo recipes. I’ve actually had the acorn squash on my counter for a while now – and slightly surprised it hasn’t gone to rot. Nope, it was still good! I also had a butternut squash that I never made into soup, so I decided to throw that into the mix as well. Here is the recipe with my own modifications:

Paleo Squash and Sausage Bake
Prep time:  25 mins
Cook time:  15 mins
Total time:  40 mins

Serves: 4

  • 1lb chicken sausage (I got the “cleanest” sausage I could find)
  • 1 acorn squash, cut in half, seeds removed
  • 1 butternut squash, cut in half, seeds removed
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place both squash cut-side down onto your baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the squash is soft when you press on the skin.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool.
  5. While your squash is cooking, add a tablespoon of some kind of fat to a large pan over medium heat (I used bacon fat) then add your minced garlic and diced onion.
  6. Stir around to keep from burning.
  7. Once your onions become translucent, add your breakfast sausage to the pan.
  8. Cook down, breaking up the sausage as it cooks. If you forget to thaw your sausage and it is still mostly frozen when you start cooking (you at least attempted to thaw it under water in the sink, right?), just dump it in the pan frozen. It will thaw as it cooks and you can break it up into pieces. But this is tedious. Just don’t forget to thaw the sausage next time.
  9. Once the breakfast sausage is almost all the way cooked through, turn your heat to low and add your inside of your acorn and butternut squash. Do this by using a spoon to scoop out the insides. Toss the skin.
  10. Mix the squash and the breakfast sausage together, then scoop it into 4 piles in your baking pan.
  11. Once you have divided your squash-sausage mixture in the pan, press into the middle with a spoon to breakfast a little resting spot for your egg.
  12. Crack an egg on top of each pile. Some whites may run off the sides if your hole wasn’t deep enough. That’s ok.
  13. Place back in the oven to cook for 10-15 minutes or until egg-cooked preference.
  14. Serve!

squash sausage 2

This was pretty yummy! The kids were excited about having an egg on top of their food, so they hardly noticed the squash and onions. HA! Sneaky mom.

This would also probably taste realllly good with some sage flavored sausage. I may try that next time. Until then – stay warm!


A few quick recipes!

I can’t believe it has been almost a MONTH since my last post! With school starting up and all of the stress and craziness that goes with it, I have been absolutely slammed. So busy, even, that my eating has gotten off track. Life got in the way, I didn’t plan as well as I would’ve liked, and I fell back into some old habits. I have not fallen off of the workout train! But my eating has been less than stellar.

Because of that, I have recommitted to planning my meals and surrounding myself with healthy choices! If I have good food in the house and a plan for what we can eat each night, I’m not so tempted to run to the drive-thru. Today I did my food shopping for the week, and made enough food for dinner so we don’t even have to think about what to eat tomorrow – planned leftovers!

One new recipe that I tried this week was Shakeology Balls. They are also called No-Bake Shakeology Cookies, because they taste so much like no-bake cookies that most people are probably used to. These things are delicious! My 4-year old gobbled up as many as I would give him the first time I made them, and then begged me to make more after that batch was gone. The best part – he is getting a TON of nutrition when he eats his “treat.” SCORE!

shakeology balls

Shakeology Balls

Total Time: 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Yield: 25 cookies


• 1 cup natural peanut butter or almond butter
• 1 cup rolled oats
• ½ cup honey
• 1 cup Chocolate Shakeology
1. Combine peanut butter, honey, oats and Shakeology in medium bowl. Mix well.
2. Roll 24 balls, each the size of 1 tbsp.
3. Flatten each slightly so takes on the shape of a traditional cookie. (I skip this step, and I also sometimes add a little water to make it mix better.)

Nutritional Information (per serving):

Calories: 112
Fat: 6g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 2 mg
Sodium: 13 mg
Carbohydrate: 12 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sugar: 7 g
Protein: 5 g
Another of my current favorite recipes is Mint Chocolate Shakeology – otherwise known as a Thin Mint Cookie Shake! Seriously, if you love Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies, this recipe is for you. It is my absolute favorite drink to make right now, and I can gulp it down faster than any other shakeology recipe I’ve found.
mint shakeo
1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
1 cup cold water or unsweetened almond milk (plain or vanilla)
3 to 4 drops peppermint extract (it doesn’t take much, trust me!!)
Ice to taste
I have also made this with coffee instead of milk, and with a banana for extra calories and to make it more filling. The mint just makes it great, no matter what.
I have some new workout videos that I plan to post soon, so keep looking out for those. I actually made a video today, but my cameragirl was a little off her game with the iphone. 😉 Didn’t turn out so great, so we need to have a re-do.  Until then, keep living healthy!