Homemade Plantain Chips

Does anybody else love being snowed in as much as I do? A good excuse to dive into a book, organizing the house, watch a movie AND play in the kitchen! When else do you have a whole day to do all of these things?  Savor it!

Speaking of playing in the kitchen, here is another favorite recipe of mine.  Homemade plantain chips.  Do you have a weakness for salty things like potato chips?  This is a great healthy alternative and all you need are some bananas (or plantains which are basically the same thing), olive oil and salt.  If you don’t feel like making them, march yourself over to Trader Joe’s and buy a few bags!  Warning, they are addicting…especially when you dip them in hummus or TJ’s cilantro yogurt dip. YUM.

Here is the recipe, enjoy!



Plantain Chips

Slice up 4-6 bananas/plantains- the thinner the better

Put all slices in a big bowl/container (one you can put a lid on preferably) and drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil-shake up container so olive oil gets on all of them.

Sprinkle salt a few times and shake again

Spread out on large baking pan- avoid any layers.  Use two pans if necessary

Cook at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, depending on how crispy you want them




Hash It Your Way

Just because you need to put in extra time to prepare healthy food, does not mean the recipes need to be hard.  I have little patience for long complicated recipes and no creativity when it comes to experimenting on my own.  For the most part, everything I make is super simple.  Which is why I want to share with you one of my weekly go to meals that anybody can modify.  HASH.

My personal definition for hash: A random concoction of your favorite things (healthy favorite things of course, otherwise these recipes would include sour patch kids and Nutella).

Take some meat, your favorite vegetables, your favorite seasonings, maybe some eggs.  Cook your meat first,  once your meat is cooked add in your veggies, seasonings etc and cook covered on low for 10-15 min.  That is it.  When I use meat I cook about 1.5-2lbs of it which gives me anywhere from 4-6 meals for the week.  For seasonings you can use 1-2 tablespoons, depending on your flavor preference.  Load up on some brown rice (cook beforehand) if you you need some extra fuel and add as many or as little veggies as you please.  If you are feeling scandalous, throw a teensy bit of cheese on top.

Store in several small containers, put in freezer or fridge and you have a quick meals ready to go.  Truth be told, this is one of my husband’s least favorite things that I make because I make it perhaps a little too often.  What can I say, I am a creature of habit.  Below are some of my favorite combinations, would love to hear some of the combos you come up with!


2lbs ground turkey, mushrooms, chopped spinach, chopped sweet potatoes (cook beforehand to soften), Eggs (throw in or scramble before up to you, pesto, salt and pepper


 Shredded Chicken (I used rotisserie to make it easier), Broccoli, 1 cup brown rice (cooked beforehand), pesto, salt and pepper. 

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2lbs of Venison (my favorite meat),  eggs, Broccoli, mushrooms, basil, rosemary, salt and pepper


Egg Bite Recipe

2015 is the year.  I can feel it.  For what exactly I am not sure, but I feel good about this year.  My mind and heart are open to the new opportunities that will knock on my door, I am ready for some changes.  2014 was a great year yes, but this year will be better. It is the year I work harder and play harder.

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How are your goals coming along?  Are you dreaming big in 2015? Or are you keeping it simple?  Just remember, ANYTHING is possible.  Anything, just put it out there.

Below is another favorite recipe for you to make this week if you desire.  And as promised, it is easy!  Cook over the weekend and then use it as a ‘running out the door’ breakfast, an afternoon snack or even on the side of a meal.  My husband and I use these as our pre-workout fuel before we hit the gym at 5am.

Egg Bites

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You will need:

7 eggs

1-2 of your choice of veggies or meat (I usually cut up bacon and spinach/broccoli)  If you use meat, it will take a little longer as you need to pre-cook it before adding it in.  Use as much of it as you like, I typically use 1 cup chopped broccoli and 1 cup chopped spinach and 3-4 slices of chopped bacon, or even some green onion. Make it your own!

1 and 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

Olive oil for muffin pan


Preheat your oven to 400

Put olive oil in paper towel and dab each spot in muffin tin (more is better to avoid eggs sticking)

Whisk your eggs in large bowl

Chop up all your meat or veggies, whatever you chose to use

Add all ingredients (veggies/meat and cheese) and mix together

Pour mixture into muffin tin and cook for 30 minutes.


How to set goals and SUCCEED

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University of Scranton research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals. Thank you University of Scranton for that bit of motivation, I am sure you are also going to tell me my marriage has a 50% chance of ending in divorce too, huh?   There are all kinds of stats out there that tell you horrifying numbers.  There are all kinds of people out there that will tell you it is a waste to make resolutions. You will hear a lot of complaints about all the ‘newbies’ at the gym this time of year (I have a separate post for those haters that I wrote two years ago).  What I am here to tellI you is that all those numbers and that negative energy does not matter.  What matters is how bad you want your goals, resolutions whatever you want to call them, to come true. That is it.

I do not mess around when it comes to setting goals, the art of making yourself a better person and going after the life you want is serious business and takes commitment every single day. My specific goals for 2015 can be found here.  I truly enjoy helping others set goals as well so in light of the new year, I wanted to share with you some of my tools and guidelines I use for myself to make the things I want happen and keep me on track.  There is also a little bonus recipe at the bottom for your enjoyment!

  • Write goals in the present form. Example: “I lost weight this year” instead of “I will lose weight this year” Writing them in this form starts the manifestation process and they are that more likely to happen. First step is BELIEVING you can do this. Even if it means you have to convince yourself. Fake it til you make it (you will make it).
  • Make goals SPECIFIC. Instead of “I lost weight this year” it should be ” I lost 20 pounds this year!”. Making a goal specific makes it easier to achieve…and again manifest (I am big into manifesting as you will learn).
  • Have an ACTION PLAN for each of your goals.  HOW are you going to lose 20 pounds?  ” I have lost 20 pounds by committing to the gym at least 3 days a week”.
  • TELL AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN. Why? For accountability of course!  If you tell everyone you know that you are giving up shopping for a year, limiting your sweets, committing to the gym or not drinking anymore…people will notice when you are not holding true to these things. Sometimes this might be embarrassing, sometimes you will wish you didn’t tell anybody so that you could drown your sorrows on your bad day and eat that whole box of girl scout cookies like it was your job.  But it will be harder to do that if people are watching and asking you how things are going.

Anytime I make big goals for myself, I also write them out and I hang them on my mirror in my room. This way I can see them every day, read them, believe them and visualize them happening in my mind. Everything I have put on that mirror has come true.  From job promotions, to savings account goals to getting a Boston qualifying marathon time.

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When we were told several times our dog needed an expensive second surgery after a bad injury he had a month ago, I put a note up on my mirror (and our fridge) that said “Wyatt does not need a second surgery and is all healed up!”  It came true, he didn’t need it. Manifesting is a real thing, friends. And it can be for the simplest things, try it out.  Make your own magic mirror in your house.

Another key to keeping your goals is situational preparation.  Set your self up for success no matter what you run in to. If your goal is to save more money, don’t just make a plan. Make a situational plan.  “If an emergency comes up, instead of using my savings I will go without _____for a month.” If your goal is to eat better, pick one day a week where you plan your meals out and cook for the week to be ready for those busy days when you thought you would have time to cook but did not.  Preparation is KEY.  Because you will run into roadblocks or situations that will make your goals harder to stick to…but don’t use them as an excuses.  Have a back up plan to keep you on track.

I don’t have to know what you are going after this year to tell you that you WILL DO IT.  You will succeed.  Because I believe in you.  You should believe in you. I would love to hear your goals for 2015 in the comments below!

For those of you trying to take better care of yourselves and eat cleaner in 2015.  Below is one of my favorite and easiest winter recipes. One of my many goals for this blog specifically is to share one easy clean eating recipe a week, enjoy!

Salsa Chicken Chili


You will need:

One whole cooked rotisserie chicken

3 cans of your favorite salsa

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 cans red kidney beans

Shred up the rotisserie chicken, take off skin if desired.

Dump chicken and rest of ingredient in crockpot, let it heat up stirring occasionally for about 15-20 min (or just leave on low/warm for a few hours to let the taste really settle in). Sprinkle a teensy bit of cheese and plantain chips on top and boom you are done. Easy peasy right?  You of course can sub out the rotisserie chicken and cook your own chicken breasts and shred, but this is my go to method when I am feeling lazy or short on time, still just as healthy.

Stay blessed in the mess!

Week 4!

So who are my challengers that are still out there?  Anybody?  Bueller?  Bueller?  Next week is the last week!  But here is the kicker, this week there is no grocery list or meal plan for you.  I know, I am sorry.  It is not because I am too lazy to make one for you OR that I want you to fail.  This next week is about testing your ability to plan for yourself.  I know you can do it.  But I won’t hang you out to dry completely…below are some more of my favorite recipes to check out:)

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Picture above is low sodium tomato soup from Trader Joes and whole grain tortillas with some shredded chicken, Colby jack cheese and black beans.  Easy peasy and YUMMY!

Speaking of challenges, remember how I told you Shain and I were doing our own challenge?  Well, technically it was supposed to end today but Friday night we called a truce.  Both of us had a bit of a rough week and I came home to him eating pizza and drinking beer…and I could not even be mad because I caved and had a fair amount of sweets that day AND had full intentions of downing a bottle of wine.  I know, weak sauce.  So we called an “even truce” and agreed to still eat extra clean the rest of the time.  Both of us have seen some pretty good gains still, or losses depending on how you look at it.  Truth is, you cannot be perfect all of the time.  Why?  Because we are HUMAN.  But it is still important to be consistent.  80% clean, 20% of the time have that beer and pizza you deserve.  Sometimes, greasy carbs and alcohol really do make everything better.  It is when you start telling yourself you “deserve” it all the time that you get into trouble.  Allow your self a couple cheat meals a week, but stay on track with everything else and you will be golden.

Pizza Pie

Cauliflower Casserole

Meat Crust Quiche

Tomato Soup

Oatmeal Breakfast Casserole

Sorry for the lack of posts these past two weeks, I know how exciting my life is to read about and all (sarcasm).  February has kicked my royal behind.   More to come!

Stay BLESSED in the mess!

Week 3!

Happy Thursday, everybody!  This week I bring you another set of meal ideas!  If you bought everything in week one then good news, your grocery list should be getting cheaper. As you may already have noticed, there are many different ingredients that you will re-use over and over again.  Truth: you can NEVER have too many spices in the cabinet.

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Have you guys been watching the Olympics? Shain and I almost never watch television,  but we have been glued to it lately.  SO inspiring!  The talent of these athletes is just insane and as weird as it is…the ones that mess up are even more amazing.  We are talking the highest caliber of athletes here and even THEY screw up sometimes.  But they keep getting up time and time again.

In other news, I am so sick of the treadmill.  I have been bundling up and going outside for a run maybe once or twice a week but I am still on the treadmill way more than I like for the rest of my runs.  It is fun at first to play around with the speed and blast some jams in your ears but it gets old after a while.  I signed up for the Starved Rock Marathon on May 10th as a way to keep myself motivated to keep running through the winter months (and to be able to fit into my wedding dress, duh).  Thank GOD I signed up for that, this polar vortex nonsense makes it hard to get out of bed!  This particular marathon is not goal oriented, I will not be trying to pace myself or shoot for any time I just need to do one more marathon for “fun” before I dive into speed training again this summer.  I need remember what it was like to have fun during a race and simply take it all in.  And what better way than to run through beautiful nature.  AND at this point I will have a little over a month until the wedding, so lord knows I will need to run the stress away.

Next week is technically the last week of the challenge between Shain and I, surprisingly he is holding strong.  We have both had our mini cheats here and there but for the most part we are both on track so it is really going to come down to these last few days!  It is amazing what a man will do to get out of cleaning the house…

Grocery list week 3

Week 3 Meal Ideas

Italian Pasta Salad

Crispy Chicken Dippers

Avocado Pudding

Challenge- Week 2.

Hey challengers, It is time to start thinking about next week!  Yes, I know it is only Thursday but tomorrow is Friday which means it is almost the weekend which means it is almost next week…so you need to start PLANNING.

I have heard a lot of good feedback so far and I am so excited that so many of you have actually taken this on!  I want to remind you again, this is YOUR challenge.  So don’t beat yourself up if you don’t follow these recipes exactly or need to tweak some things to work better for you and your schedule.

My role here is to simply provide you with ideas (aka all my favorite food blogs).   You might love some of these ideas and other ones you might hate, that is okay! If I get you to try one new thing, that is a success!


While I will continue to provide new recipes to try, feel free to do repeats on anything you really liked from the previous week.  For example, if you put together a breakfast smoothie recipe you love, stick with it!  I will still give new breakfast options in case you get sick of smoothies or want something different.  But I on the other hand am a creature of habit and tend to repeat many of my favorites quite often.  I have been drinking the same smoothie recipe for almost 4 years now and I still get excited about it, but I am weird 🙂

The point of this challenge is to try out some new food you maybe never thought of and work on building better habits.  I am not a big believer in counting calories or weighing food BUT portion control IS important.  If you take your TIME when eating and eat GOOD clean food, you will be surprised that you do feel full.  Now…there may be times when you are hungry and that is okay. I am not telling you to starve yourself BUT  If you are trying to lose weight, just remember you are trying to shrink your stomach which means you need to shrink your appetite and that takes time, will power, and patience.  So if you feel hungry after a meal, try taking down some water or going for a walk before you decide to dig in for seconds.

It can be hard to kick the “eating whatever you want, whenever you want” habit.  But in the long run..being more CONSCIOUS about what you are putting in your body is going to have many many rewards.  I promise!  Keep pushing yourself one day a time!

 Week Two Meal Ideas

 Grocery list Week 2

Sweet Potato Hash and Eggs

Southwest Meatloaf

Crock pot Turkey Chili



Are you ready? Did you prepare all your food and plan how you are going to dominate your week??  If you are like me and feeling groggy from the weekend, then starting fresh is exactly what you need today.  So let’s get to it.  Now is always the best time to start and I am here to help you along the way if you need it.  This challenge is simple and many of you might be tweaking it to work better for you and that is great, as long as your are pushing yourself to change habits.  The habit of eating late at night or eating too much sugar or too much salt etc.  Whatever it is, make the choice to be a better you. Not because you want to look good for summer or for that big event coming up…but because this is YOUR body and you only get ONE.  So why not take care of it and feel your best?  When you take better care of yourself, you feel like you can conquer the world.

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Some questions that came up over the last few days….

Is Dairy bad?  Why  Almond Milk?

I have nothing against Dairy, but I am lactose intolerant,  so Almond milk is a great alternative and is SO good in smoothies, with granola etc.  I get the unsweetened kind from Aldi.  Sweetened is fine, but just keep in mind there is added sugar.  So if you are switching over, Vanilla might be a good choice and then work your way to having unsweetened.  The cool thing about clean eating is that your taste buds will literally change.  And the sugary, fatty things you used to crave will eventually go away!

I have to give up coffee creamer??

I know, I KNOW this was really hard for me when I first did it.  I love coffee with my creamer.  BUT I now use coconut milk creamer or soy milk creamer and it does the trick.  I get these at Woodmans, Whole Foods and Fruitful yield and they are delish.  Take a look on the back of your coffee creamer ingredients and tell me you know what any of those ingredients are, I bet you don’t.  Not clean.

I know you said no processed food, but what about cereal?

Most cereal is sugary and processed, pay attention to ingredients.  There are many “clean” cereal choices out there, but I am sorry to say Coco Puffs is not one of them.   Just remember this is YOUR challenge, so don’t give up everything at once just a little at a time.  If having a bowl of cereal after dinner is what curbs you wanting to eat the whole pantry, then by all  means go for it.  Just don’t have 5 bowls, make a rule for yourself.

What if I don’t get home until 6pm to eat dinner?

When I say no food after 6pm, this is because I am usually in bed around 9pm. As a general rule you should avoid eating 2 hours before you go to bed.  So it does not HAVE to be 6pm, but just as a way to kick the late night munching which I always struggle with.


Remember this is a CHALLENGE, it is supposed to be hard!  If making truly healthy choices was easy, we would not have an epidemic of diseases or obesity in our society.  You can do this, but you have to DECIDE you will do it first.  You are either all in or not.  No fuzzy lines.

My apologies for not posting workouts, this weekend was a little crazy.  Try to get 4-6 workouts in a week, does not have to be an hour.  It can be 20 minutes.  Here is a workout I use with clients all the time and is super easy and quick to do on your own…only takes 20 minutes!

Circuit style workout, do as many repetitions as you can in 1 minute of each of these exercises.  Rest for one minute at the end of the 4 minutes (no resting between each set) and repeat 4 times total:

1 minute of burpees

1 minute of air squats

1 minute of pushups

1 minute plank

1 minute rest


Other ideas for exercises to do in this same format:  mountain climbers, jumping jacks, tricep dips off your couch or bed,  1 minute of going up and down your stairs, jogging in place,  jump rope or high knees.

Easy peasy right? Set your clock for 20 minutes, put on some good tunes and boom you have a 20 minute workout done.


February Challenge!

It is time for the first official challenge of the year! WOO!  I wanted to give some time in advance to plan ahead and SET YOURSELF UP for success.  Planning is KEY people, KEY!   This challenge will officially begin on Monday Feb 3rd and will end Friday Feb 28th.  So not quite 30 days, but enough to give your self a good kick in the butt.  After this challenge, I will continue to post little challenges to build off of this one.  Keep it simple, baby steps.  No need to make a bunch of crazy changes at once.

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No this is NOT a Paleo Challenge, more so of a general- clean eating/watching what you eat/having boundaries/not being a total piggy-challenge.  The cool thing is you can tweak it however you want!  For example, if you are not such a sweets monster like I am, maybe substitute no sweets for no fast food or no alcohol etc.  Something that you have a hard time moderating, give it up for this month.  You will not regret it.  Shain and I have been doing this challenge together for almost 2 weeks now, so far so good.  We are logging our food and keeping  each other accountable and at the end of the 30 days we will decide on the winner and here is the kicker…the LOSER has to do ALL the house chores for a month (we split them in half usually).  I mean, talk about motivation.  I won’t have to clean for an entire month if I stick to the challenge??  It’s on Shain, it is ON.  So, let’s get to it! Here  are the rules:

  • All CLEAN foods.  If eating something “processed” it must have 5 ingredients or LESS on the label.  None of that paragraph of words you cannot pronounce crap.
  • Get 6 workouts in a week.  Even if it is a quick 20 minutes of cardio, aim to MOVE at least 6 days out of the week.
  • No eating after 6pm (big weakness for me).
  • No sweets (ugh).
  • ONE carbohydrate based meal a day and no more than that (pasta, rice, bread etc).  Avoid those meals for dinner if possible.
  • AT LEAST one meat based meal a day.
  • 6-8 glasses of water a day.

So, that is not so bad right?  Again, feel free to tweak as needed.  Or twerk…you can do that too if you want and count it as cardio.

eatcleanEach week of this challenge I will post some recipes for you to try out as well as some quick workouts anybody can do at home.  NO EXCUSES.  Let’s do this! I have already been suffering for 2 weeks so it is only right you join me?!

Food for the week: typically for two of us I make 3 meals a week that serve 4-6 and that can get us through until Friday.  So if you see the attached document, it has 4 meals to prepare and then some quick breakfast and snack ideas.   If you are only making food for yourself this week, the attached list will probably be too much…BUT you can also freeze it for the next week!  I put more than necessary just in case you are cooking for more than two.  Creating healthy habits should be a FAMILY affair you know!

See attached and start planning!  When will you cook this week?  When will you get your workouts in? Speaking of, workouts for the week will come tomorrow 🙂   Happy Thursday!

Week 1 Meal Ideas

Week 1 Groceries

Meatza Recipe

White Chicken Chili Recipe


Arrreee youuuu reaaddddddddyyy??!  Okay sorry, been watching too many Chicago Bulls games lately.   So this is a post where I impress you with my amazing ability to come up with healthy recipes every week all on my own, because I am just so awesome like that.  Just kidding, I actually suck at coming up with my own recipes and following recipes for that matter.  You know those box cake recipes where all you have to add are eggs, oil and water?  One time in college, I somehow managed to mix up the oil and water measurements and low and behold my cake did not turn out so hot.  Yeah, I am that bad.  So when Shain and I first moved in together, I really wanted to become a better cook (go ahead feminists, shake your head at me I don’t care).   MAN, talk about trial and error.  I am still surprised he is with me after some of the horrid recipes I made him try.

So anyway, it took me quite some time to learn how to actually follow a recipe and maybe even deviate (gasp) from it a little without messing the whole thing up.  I am no expert, but I have gotten A LOT better.  So that being said, I come up with ZERO recipes on my own. zip.  Unless you count Greek yogurt with strawberries and granola a recipe, because I have eaten that everyday since I was 14.  Pretty sure that does not count as a recipe, though.

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Since starting Crossfit I have experimented with a lot of Paleo recipes and become obsessed with the blog PaleOMG.  She has such awesome recipes and her blog is a riot to read.  I am not a 100% Paleo purist, but since adding more meat into my diet my energy levels have literally sky rocketed and I feel so much better in my workouts.  So I have stuck with it. This week I made:

  • Paleo Quichehttp://paleomg.com/meat-crust-quiche/
  • Taco Salad (Ground Turkey, black beans, mushrooms, green chiles- throw it together with some spinach)
  • Cuban Chile:  Tomato Soup, Cuban style black beans & an array of veggies

Some of my go to recipes:


I also get many recipes from Clean Eating Magazine, highly recommend subscribing to them.  They have a lot of good tips on things that are in season, how to get your family to eat clean,  what foods to avoid etc.

Because my weekdays are absolute insanity,  I do all my cooking on either Saturday or Sunday each week.  Then I break everything into serving size Tupperware and BAM I am good to go, no excuses.

To see a typical day of what I eat pre-workout, post-workout, snacks etc.  Check out my “Food” tab.  Happy Monday! 🙂