Monthly Archives: May 2016

I Woke Up Today at 5:55am!

I must say – I woke up at 5:55am this morning.  WHAT?  Everyone who knows me will think the world is coming to an end…and, that was with NO alarm.  Again, WHAT?!  Maybe it was the impending doom of the track workout I have to do today, or maybe it’s Whole30…  We may never know.

It’s Day 12 of Whole30.  So far, so good on this new plan.  Honestly, it’s not too far from how I already ate (minus all of the healthy baking I do/did).  I think the coconut sugar and chocolate chips are getting lonely.  But, they aren’t calling my name from the shelves…yet.  I’m still waiting on that.

Am I following it to a “t”?  No.  Do I have too much fruit and eat too often.  Ummm..yes.  But – I’m not eating donuts.  I just keep saying that – I’m not eating donuts.  I haven’t had any intentional slip-ups, but I’m planning on doing another blog later this week about giving yourself grace.  I had a little slip-up and didn’t realize one “vegetable” was not Whole30 compliant.  I definitely have some things to say about this.  🙂

The best things about this program, and really any healthy dietary challenge that you find yourself in, is finding new ways to eat, new foods you enjoy, and a new way of approaching food.  Although you’re not supposed to have a ton of fruit, I haven’t been feeling great the last couple of days, and all I’ve been able to stomach are smoothie bowls. I’m also on the hunt for dragon fruit – looks like I’ll be making a trip to Whole Foods today!

Look at these beauties –

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Check out the “treats” section for these recipes!  The first one is a Green Smoothie Bowl, and the second is a Banana Mango Smoothie Bowl!  (If they aren’t up exactly when you read this blog – they will be up soon!)

One other quick and easy trick for you sweet potato lovers out there…  food process your potato to dice finely, heat up your waffle iron and spray with coconut oil spray, then put those puppies in, and let the iron do the work.  In a few minutes, you’ll have sweet potato hash browns!  Top with a fried egg, and a side of fruit, and it’s a breakfast you won’t be mad at!  I promise if you eat this amazing, natural, whole food – it WILL satisfy you.  Just keep telling yourself “at least I’m not eating donuts.”  🙂

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Week One Whole30

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Welllllllll – I’ve realized a few things after this week of Whole30.

  1. Preparation is key.
  2. I eat too much.
  3. I like sugar – A LOT.
  4. I eat too often.
  5. I eat because I’m bored.
  6. You can’t chew gum, therefore – I brush my teeth more.  Win/win.
  7. La Croix is good.
  8. I like to cook.
  9. I don’t really miss chocolate…yet.
  10. I had a dream about pizza.
  11. If you can make it through Days 3 and 4 – you’re golden.

As I head into week 2…I think that I need to change a few things.  I really need to PREP.  I’m creative, so I like to cook and find different, new ways of approaching food.  Instead of prepping, I like to make this or that in the evening or even at lunch if I have time, but then I end up snacking on everything I’m making, but I have make some YUMMY things so far…

Breakfast for dinner – sweet potato “toast” with chicken sausage, avocado and a poached egg

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Seared salmon with peach, mango and avocado salsa –

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I discovered sweet potato noodles at Whole Foods and made a breakfast bowl and then made the Sunshine Sauces from the Whole30 book and stir fry then added chicken for dinner!

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Salmon cake with cauliflower mash and brussels sprouts.  The mash was AMAZING!!!

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So, there you have it.  Week one is down.  I definitely eat way too often – especially for this program.  I’m home, and therefore have access to food ALL of the time, so I need to figure out how to reign that in.  I truly believe any time you challenge yourself – physically, mentally and emotionally – you’re going to learn something about yourself.  Maybe you learn you eat too often, and maybe you learn something deeper – like you actually CAN commit to something, like you’re actually WORTH putting time, effort and money into to make yourself better.  It’s crazy that something as simple as changing your diet can bring out some of the best things about yourself.

Seared Tuna Over Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice with an Orange Balsamic Glaze

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If every Whole30 meal is as good as this one – I’M IN FOR LIFE!!!

I had a tuna steak that I bought at Kroger for $4.40, and after Day 1’s roasted veggies with balsamic glaze and this cauliflower rice – I did a spin on the glaze, and made the rice again!!

I’m not going to bore you with a lot of mumbo jumbo – I’m just going to get right to the food!!

Seared Tuna Steak

  1. Warm a burner to medium heat and add a little ghee into the pan to coat the bottom.
  2. Season your tuna steak with salt and pepper.
  3. Once the pan has heated up, sear the tuna on both sides 1/2-4 minutes each side depending on how you like it cooked.

 

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice 

I found the original recipe on Skinny Taste, but changed a few things.  Check the original though!

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium head (about 24 oz) cauliflower, rinsed
  • coconut oil spray
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-1/2 limes
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  1. Chop or food process 1 head of cauliflower.  (Trader Joe’s carries bags of cauliflower rice now!!)
  2. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat, oil or spray, onions and garlic and sauté about 3 to 4 minutes, or until soft.
  3.  Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the cauliflower “rice” to the saute pan. Cover and cook approximately 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower is slightly crispy on the outside but tender on the inside. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4.  Remove from heat and place in a medium bowl; toss with fresh cilantro and lime juice to taste.

Orange Balsamic Glaze 

  1. For 1-2 servings – bring 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar and 1/2 cup white vinegar to a boil.
  2. Boil and then turn to medium heat and simmer until it reduces to a glaze.
  3. Squeeze the juice of 1/4-1/2 of an orange and mix into the glaze before serving.

My Whole30 Journey

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If you know me AT ALL, you know I like to eat.  You also know that I love sweets, and basically if chocolate were a man, we’d be happily married with 2 kids and one on the way. Another thing about me is that I pride myself on talking to my clients about not restricting  their diets, balance, giving yourself grace if you “fall off the wagon,” and if you want that piece of cake – HAVE IT.

Now, my views have not taken a drastic turn, so don’t worry… but as I’m getting older, I’m noticing changes…and things just aren’t as easy as they used to be.  I always heard people say that, but I don’t think it ever truly sank in that it would inevitably happen to me.  Well, it’s happening.

I’m also not a fan of “diets,” but for some reason Whole30 has been IN MY FACE lately… clients asking about it, fellow musicians doing it…  So, I thought – let me look into this, and let me ask around.  To my surprise, I heard ZERO bad from ANYONE who has done it.  ZERO.  I thought – wow.  I mean, it’s eating whole, natural foods for 30 days – it’s probably going to be pretty great.  It just so happens that I’m doing a Summer Shape-Up with my clients, and gave them the option of hopping on the Whole30 bandwagon.  Success in numbers, eh?!  And because I’m leading the pack – I decided to start 3 days before they do to report how it’s going.  Here’s how it’s going…

Day 1 rocked.  I felt satisfied all day, and didn’t miss sugar at all.  The “bulletproof” coffee is the bomb.com!  All you do is take your black coffee, put it in the blender with 2-3 TBS of coconut milk and 1-2 tsp of coconut oil – blend it up until a little frothy, and BAM – Life. Changed.  No sugar needed!

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Dinner was also awesome.  I invited my friend Liz Derck over who also started Whole30 with me.  We decided to have our first and last meal together.  I made steak with roasted carrots and brussels sprouts with a balsamic glaze and cilantro cauliflower rice.  NOT MAD AT THAT.  It was delicious.  And look at the pretty rainbow carrots!  Talk about taste the rainbow…

I have to say…day 2, and it’s not terribly different from how I normally eat, minus the SUGAR.  It’s also super fun to find new recipes!  I loved the balsamic glaze so much from last night and the “rice” that I made them again (with a little twist on the glaze), with seared tuna.  I’m going to post the recipe after I finish this post, so stay tuned!  So far, the recipes are super simple and DELISH.

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When taking on any goal – I feel like you’ll learn some things about yourself.  It’s been about 48 hours, and I’ve learned a few of those already, and also a few things that I think will be helpful if you decide to take this on.  Here you go:

  • Lara Bars are only $1 at Kroger!!  Make sure to check out which are Whole30 approved though – the ones with chocolate unfortunately aren’t approved.
  • You can’t chew gum.  (I didn’t realize this day 1 – I had a piece of sugar free gum so I wouldn’t breathe dragon breath on my clients, but this is a no-no.)
  • Think about what you CAN have rather than what you can’t.
  • Be creative!  Have fun with your favorite foods.  Really everything you love, there’s a way to make it healthy and Whole30 approved.
  • If you “need” something like a soda or a draaaank – try a St. Criox.  They have tons of flavors, and all are Whole30 approved!
  • Trader Joe’s has cauliflower rice in bags!!  AMAZING!  This saves so much time.  They also have a lot of prepped veggies – chopped onions and garlic, ready to sauté asparagus and so much other goodness!
  • I definitely have sweet cravings after dinner.  It could also be that my special time decided to show up on Day 2… but I’m hoping that the more the sugar gets out of my system, the less I’ll have these cravings.  At this point – fruit is better than a cookie.

So, that’s it for now…  Wish me luck, pray to the sugar gods that I stay on the train, and come on and follow me on this journey!  I’ll be posting along the way, and sharing some of the recipes as well.  Here’s to the next 28 days!

Client Spotlight – Kayla Staubi and Her Amazing Results in 2 Months!!

kayla1This is one incredibly inspiring gal!  From the short amount of time that Kayla has come into my life and started working with me – she has seen some HUGE results!  She’s just one of those gals that comes in every single time, NO COMPLAINTS, and KILLS IT.  No matter what I ask her to do – she will give it 110%.

Kayla started coming 3-4 times a week for 45 minutes, (and if you know me – you know you’re going to get your bootie handed to you in 45 minutes).  She’s a brave soul.  🙂  But, it’s paid off.  Her Bodpod results were so inspiring that it has reminded me of how truly important lifting weights is, and how having a consistent structure to your workouts really makes a huge difference.  In about 2 MONTHS look what this girl did…

She lost 5% body fat and almost 10lbs, and gained 5lbs in muscle!!!!!!!!  WHAT?!!  AMAZING.  That’s what.  

IMG_7869Kayla is the example of what dedication and hard work can do in a SHORT amount of time!!

Kayla, if you’ve done this in 2 months, I can’t imagine what you’re going to do for the rest of your life.  I’m so proud of you, honored that you’re a client and friend, and grateful to have worked with you.  Here’s to a bright future and many more BURPEES ahead!!!  Zoe and I love you!!!

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I asked Kayla  few questions about herself, training and her future, and here is what she had to say…

Tell me about you – your new job, what you majored in…

Hi! I’m a senior, almost graduate from Vanderbilt University, and I double majored in Medicine Health & Society, and Human & Organizational Development. I can’t believe I am graduating in a short week, and come July I am starting work at Huron Consulting Group in Chicago. I will be an entry level Analyst in the Education department and I will be working on any projects that higher education institutions hire me for.

What will you miss most about college?

I will miss Nashville as a city the most – it was such a treat to be able to attend a university located inside such a fun city to explore and enjoy. I also will miss dancing, one of the passions I’ve been able to keep up with throughout college in Momentum Dance company. Being able to dance is such a fun way to express yourself (Let alone a good workout).

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How has personal training helped you?

Personal training has helped bring structure to the chaos that is college. College has been an unbelievable 4 years, but it definitely is stressful at times and unpredictable. Having personal training to come to every day has been a great way to keep myself accountable for working out while relieving some stress.  It has helped bring some organization to the craziness that is college.

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What are your future plans?
My future plans, thats a tough one. I will probably be exploring and living a new life in Chicago for the next 1-2 years at least. My consulting job will involve a lot of traveling so I hopefully will get to see some new cities and meet people from all over. Eventually I may want to move back to my home in New York. Whatever I do hopefully I be able to keep dancing and working out along the way, and hopefully one day have a dog of my own as cute as Zoe.
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If you could pass on anything inspiring to those thinking of starting training – what would you say?
I would advise to not be intimidated because the hardest part is starting. Once you get into the swing of things, getting your ass kicked regularly becomes the norm. And it ends up weirdly feeling great.  Thank you Megan for helping me get back into shape and helping me achieve all the progress I’ve made so far! I couldn’t have done it without you (and Zoe)!
What are your fitness goals as you enter into adulting?  🙂  
My fitness goals center around being able to maintain a consistent work out schedule throughout the week that is integrated into my heavy traveling. I will probably be in and out of hotels and different cities, but I want to maintain all of the progress I’ve made and even build upon it.
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Decadent Chocolate Black Bean Mexican Brownies

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I didn’t get a good picture of these before I called my neighbor to come down and try these spicy little gems. They ain’t pretty and are super delicate, so I would suggest possibly making them in a muffin tine, or it could even pass as a cake.  OR you could let them bake longer than I did and then let them sit longer than I did before cutting into them.  Oops.  They smelled ridiculous, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them.  They also have NO flour in them so if you don’t let them rest, they will fall apart.  Side note:  usually healthy little things like this taste even better the next day.  So, just be PATIENT.  It’s hard for me.  It’s just hard for me when it comes to chocolate.  I will say – they actually looked very pretty before I cut into them.  🙂

I had a half a can of black beans left over from my tempeh tacos, so I decided to put them to good use!  I started with a vegan, gluten free recipe from the Minimalist Baker, but I really changed a few things and made them not vegan and spicy.  (Again, oops.)  You could use a flax egg instead of a real egg if you want to keep it vegan.  Feel free to add more or less cinnamon and spice to your liking.

I hope you enjoy these delicate little decadent chocolate morsels!!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 15 oz can of black beans
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 Tbs of coconut oil melted
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup  coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper or chili powder or combo – read the star below*
  • chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Lightly grease a 12-slot standard size muffin pan or brownie tin.  Make sure you’ve rinsed and thoroughly drained your black beans at this point.
  3. Add remaining ingredients besides the chocolate chips – and puree – about 3 minutes – scraping down sides as needed. You want it pretty smooth. *with the spices – I added a dash of both and kept adding because I really wanted to taste the spice.  Make sure to start with a little and taste before you bake to get the right amount of spice.
  4. If the batter appears too thick, add a Tbsp or two of water and pulse again. It should be slightly less thick than chocolate frosting but nowhere close to runny.
  5. Evenly distribute the batter into tin.
  6. Optional: Sprinkle with crushed walnuts, pecans or chocolate chips.
  7. Bake for 20-26 minutes or until the tops are dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides. I
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan. They will be tender, so remove gently with a fork. The insides are meant to be very fudgy, so don’t be concerned if they seem too moist – that’s the point.
  9. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. Refrigerate to keep longer.

 

 

Tempeh Black Bean Tacos

IMG_7838.JPGTomorrow is Cinco de Mayo!  The Mexican restaurants will be INSANE.  I mean, I wonder how many lbs of guacamole are eaten on Cinco de Mayo?  Google…here I come!  :)

So, if you’re feeling like a little Mexican food, but don’t want to fight the crowds, you may want to try out homemade tacos.  Vegetarian tacos, you say?  Trust me – you won’t miss the meat in this taco!  I bought some tempeh this week at the grocery knowing that I wanted to do something with it – but not sure of what yet.  Tonight, it dawned on me that tempeh makes a GREAT taco “meat.”

I found the base of this recipe on Oh My Veggies, and added a few things to suit my taste and to what I had available.  SAVE THE OTHER HALF OF THE CAN OF BLACK BEANS!!!  I took them and made dessert – Black Bean Mexican Brownies – SO GOOD!!  (And you’re not being wasteful!).  Mosey on over to the “Treats” section, and you’ll find that recipe there!

Happy Cinco de Mayo y’all!

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 (8-ounce) package tempeh
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c. cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 3 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. chipotle pepper chile pepper
  • 1/4 c. coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 c. of bell peppers diced
  • 1/2 can of black beans
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 6-8 soft tacos
  • toppings (optional):  cheese, guacamole, salsa, avocado, cilantro, hot sauce, Greek yogurt  and lime wedges for serving

Instructions

  1. Crumble your tempeh into a large mixing bowl. Then, using a large spoon, mix in the garlic, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, lime juice, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, chipotle pepper, and aminos. Once your tempeh is completely mixed into the spices, mix in the onion and peppers. Then drizzle the water 1 tablespoon at a time into your mix while stirring your ingredients continuously. Taste a little bit of your tempeh and add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Spray your favorite cast-iron skillet or frying pan with a good coating of olive or coconut oil cooking spray, and then heat over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, toss in the tempeh mixture. Flip your tempeh-vegetable mixture a few times so that it browns evenly. You’ll know it’s ready when your vegetables are tender and your tempeh has crispy edges. It should take about 10 minutes.  About halfway in I threw in the black beans as well – totally optional.
  3. While your tempeh is cooking, heat your tacos slightly in the oven.
  4. Once your tacos are warm, fill them with the tempeh and vegetable mixture.
  5. Serve with guacamole, salsa, hot sauce, cilantro, black olives, lime wedges and anything else you like on your tacos!