Foodie Friday

Happy Friday Friends!

Its been awhile but I’m finally posting a new installment of Foodie Friday and it feels GREAT!! rocco-227x300I have been wanting to share some of the delicious bites for a bit and today’s the day! Inspired by Rocco Dispirito’s Now Eat This! I have made my own mildly healthy version of Jalapeno poppers. While I do love a good healthy alternative, I try to steer clear of some non-fat or low fat versions of things because the process of removing the fat adds more harmful chemicals than its worth in calorie savings…..ANYWAY!!!! Below is my recipe, with a lot of help from Rocco, for Jalapeno poppers – perfect for Labor Day Weekend! Also, check out all the other amazing recipe’s he shares in his book – there are some great tips!!

Jalapeno Poppers

  • 6 Jalapenos – halved and seeded
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1 small bunch green onions finely diced
  • 1-2 cups whole wheat panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 whole egg + 3 whites
  • Spray Oil – from your own spritzer or from grocery story
  • Salt and Pepper

  Allow cream cheese to soften by sitting out for a bit before beginning the recipe. Preheat the oven to 475 and begin to prep the jalapenos. Once halved and seeded, place peppers on a metal rack on a sheet pan in the oven for 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. In a bowl mix cheddar cheese, cream cheese, green onions, and salt/pepper to taste. Spoon mixture into the jalapeno halves and prepare your eggs, panko, and flour for breading. Carefully dip each jalapeno (with filling) into the flour, then egg, then panko, before resting on the rack to go back in the oven. Once all 12 are complete, spray with cooking oil and bake for 15-20 minutes.

While they’re not super healthy, they’re a lot better for you than their fried friends on most pub menus and perfect for a bit of guilt-less indulgence.

Until next time, keep smiling! 🙂


Foodie Friday

Happy Friday folks!

Today’s foodie Friday post has a Thai twist. For Christmas I was given Rocco Disprito’s cookbook Eat This, Now! Each recipe in this book breaks down comfort foods and creative ways to make them healthier!

This delicious shrimp pad Thai recipe is under 300 calories, incredibly flavorful and oh so comforting after a long day!


The recipe is a bit long, so I’ll be adding it soon, but I was so surprised by how well it turned out, I has to share!

Who needs to order out and wonder what you’re eating?!? Roll up your sleeves, get in the kitchen and see what you can create!


Getting over the hump!

ImageIts the half way mark! If you’re feeling stressed, tired, or frustrated, just remember, the weekend is almost here!

For me, there are a few Wednesday traditions that help get me through the week! Admittedly, I tend to move a little slower on Wednesday but I try to do these few simple things to make the day breeze by!

1) Sleep in a little! I am fortunate enough to make my own schedule, so I usually give myself an extra 30-60 minutes of sleep on Wednesdays.

2) Bump the tunes! Most days I listen to lectures for school on my way into work but Wednesdays I turn the volume up on the tunes and sing along.

3) Tea Time! No matter what I take 5 minutes to do nothing but sip some tea and stare into space. If its nice out I will take it outside but if not, the simple little mid-day break does wonders to improve my mood.

4) Pre-make Dinner! While I LOVE to cook, I am under motivated most Wednesdays and find heating something I made earlier in the week to be the most effort I can muster; so, I try to make some yummy stir fry, soup, etc… that reheats well and save it for Wednesday nights!

5) Early Bedtime! Even with a little extra sleep in the morning, I am totally shot by days end, so I make an effort to get in bed an hour earlier than usual. 9 times outa 10 I am out like a light!

Taking even just one of these steps are guaranteed to help with the hump day blues!

Smile folks…you’re almost there!!!

Spicy Salmon Burgers and Soy Stir Fry

salLooking for a little Wednesday night dinner inspiration?!?! With minimal effort and some awesome ingredients, you can make a healthy, delicious dinner packed with protein, omega-3s and a whole host of incredible vitamins!

Since I coach a few evenings a week I don’t get home until just before 9pm, which doesn’t leave much time to cook a meal, let my food digest and sleep. While I am a HUGE advocate for fresh/homemade I do use prepared, frozen salmon burgers which I season myself with soy sauce, chili powder, cayenne, ginger, garlic and fresh herbs. These burgers just need a few minutes a side and they’re SOO yummy!

To pump up the protein I use quinoa, which also takes very little time to make! Throwing some onion, garlic, bell pepper, carrot ribbons and spinach in a skillet with a little EVOO on medium heat makes a quick veggie stir fry to toss with the quinoa. I finish the mix with some soy sauce, fresh ginger, herbs, salt and pepper for a flavorful, vitamin packed, palate pleasing plate!

This takes about 20 minutes to prepare and is as delicious as dishes that take me hours! If you’re looking for something that takes no time to prepare but is still healthy, give this fish and fry a try!


Seasonal Muffins for Monday

Happy Monday wordpress world! In keeping with my pumptastic seasonal sensations I give you my pumpkin protein muffins!ImageIf I could recall the recipe for these magnificently moist morsels I would absolutely share it but I sort of threw some stuff together and crossed my fingers! They’re perfectly pumpkiny with just the right amount of sweet to start your day or treat yourself when the mid-afternoon munchies strike!

In general, I used a can of pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup applesauce, two egg whites, vanilla extract, 1 cup old fashioned oats, a few tablespoons of flax, 1/4 almond meal, 1/4 vanilla protein powder, a few tablespoons of pumpkin spice and somewhere around a tsp of baking power, baking soda and salt. Keep in mind I am guessing at these amounts but next time I whip up a batch (which will likely been soon) I will be sure to write it down! I mixed the wet ingredients in a bowl, mixed the dry ingredients in a bowl and then combined the two…spooned the beautiful batter into my muffin tins and baked for about 20 minutes at 350.

The sweet smell of the fabulously fragrant batter filled my whole apartment and while I might bake them a little longer next time, they turned our terrific!

I hope these muffins get you into the seasonal spirit…enjoy!

‘Tis the Season..

…FOR PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!ImageI am totally on the pumpkin bandwagon this and most every fall! Forget the fact its chock-full of vitamins and minerals that help your vision, skin, heart, metabolism and immune system, its DeLiCiOuS!!!!

Simply adding pumpkin to some of your everyday favorites, like oatmeal, can make for a yummy spin on an old time favorite. I like to use almond milk instead of water so I mix 3/4c almond milk with 1/4c pumpkin puree and 1/2c quick oats. Heat mixture until thick and creamy, stir in some pumpkin spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon, clove) and a little sugar if you’re so inclined to treat yourself to something that is both devilishly delicious and delightfully nutritious!

‘Tis the season to enjoy!

Weddings, Travel and Post Juice Cleanse feelings

Happy Tuesday!

So I finished my juice cleanse Thursday and I loved it!! I felt more at peace, I was headache free, I had no digestive issues and I lost 8lbs. Sure I put a few of those back on over the weekend but that was primarily because I ate and drank amazing food and delicious champagne at my close college friends wedding! While I did ease back into solid foods to make the transition easier on my digestive system, I wasn’t prepared for how sensitive I would be to alcohol. The few glasses of champagne I had went straight to my head and gave me a terrible headache/stomach ache the next day. Next time I will try to ease back into alcohol consumption after a handful days!ImageI was one of the bridesmaids and it was an incredible weekend! Not only was the weather amazing but Maryem looked stunning! I have never spent any time in Boston, so it was awesome to explore the gorgeous city, enjoy fine food and drink, and share in the most important day of my close friend’s life!

Since I have my sister’s wedding this coming weekend it was a great ‘warm up’ for when I am the maid of honor. Nicole did a wonderful job supporting/helping Maryem and I just hope I am able to be as strong a support for my sister as she was for Maryem!

The ONLY downside of the whole weekend…flying! haha! I don’t like flying very much, so having my boyfriend there to calm my nerves was hugely beneficial! Unfortunately, he isn’t superman and he can’t control everything. Our flight into Logan Airport (Boston) was fairly seamless, but our flight out was my nightmare! To make a long story short there were multiple boardings, deboardings, delays, mechanical troubles and of course they made me check my bag (which threw me into the worst panic because I just knew they were going to lose my stuff).

I wish I could say I handled it with grace, but I didn’t! I was a bit of a baby, cursed a few times and I think I even cried a little bit but at least this was all only to my boyfriend. While I did feel a bit guilty for putting him in the position of having to deal with my fits, he understood the anxiety I have around the whole flying thing in general and was a great support!

One thing I take away from all three of these connected but seemingly random experiences is that there is success in everything, if you know how to look for it!

My cleanse was a kick start to shedding some extra pounds, exploring potential food sensitivities and renewing my commitment to healthy eating/living. My ability to breath through the anxiety of our traveling fiasco, even with some minor freak outs, was still a successful step into becoming more comfortable with flying. Lastly, my friends wedding was, among a lot of things, a learning step to prepare myself for my sister’s wedding this weekend!

Whether its a minor victory that brings you closer to tackling a huge hurdle, a return to positive habits, or preparing for something to come, there are always positives, successes and victories to be taken away from life experiences.

In some instances its very easy to see the happy/positives (like a wedding) and in some instances its a little harder (like traveling) but they’re always there if you look!


Great Goddess Gifts of Goodness!


I am so blessed to have such amazing people in my life who inspire me and encourage me to pursue passions and practice self care! One such lovely lady is my IIN peer coach Elizabeth who also is a District Manager for Arbonne.

After chatting recently about all the amazing benefits this bountiful brand provides for both its staff and clientele, I had to give it a try. While I am all about goodness from the inside out, I like to indulge my inner Goddess and take care of my outward appearance as well!

Arbonne has been in business for over 30 years and is all natural…and when I say all natural, I mean European guidelines NOT FDA guidelines. Turns out the FDA allows hundreds of perfumes, dies and chemicals in their “all natural” products that EU does not!

I am terrifically tickled to try the products provided and can’t wait to see what I am confident will be fabulous results!

Banana Walnut Bliss

banana walnut 2I don’t know about anyone else but I love pancakes! Perhaps that can be blamed on my father and our Sunday breakfast before or after mass.

Family togetherness at meal times was something my folks emphasized in my youth and something we try to do as much as possible now that my siblings and I are ‘grown.’ Problem is, Daddy used to fry those puppies in bacon fat and use white flour, sugar, butter and regular milk for the batter.

Since my system still craves those cakes, I’ve toyed with different recipes and think these are some of the best! Sure, they’re not ‘traditional’ (though I have a plain recipe too), these treats are oh so tasty and take very little time to make!

All you’ll need is a 1 mashed banana, 1 cup almond milk, 1 heavy TBSP honey, 1/4 cup apple sauce, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 2 TSP baking powder, a pinch of salt and 1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts. Mix the wet together, mix the dry together and combine! banana walnut

Using a cooking spray, a small pad of butter, a little oil or a good non-stick pan, fry on both sides under medium heat. You should flip your cakes after you start to see little bubbles rising to the top – usually a few minutes. With maybe 15 minutes prep and 15 minutes total cook time, you’ve got delicious, guilt free pancakes and I SWEAR you can’t even tell the difference!

If you want to be a little more indulgent you can make a bananas foster style topping with butter, sugar and bananas, or you can use sliced bananas and honey, or eat them plain since they’re so stinkin’ moist and delicious!

Bite into a little banana walnut bliss…enjoy!!

Better Butter

Meet Butter Lettuce!
butterBoston and Bibb lettuce fall under the butter-head family and these lovely leaves are known for being very delicate but versatile!

When I first started snagging this stuff at the farmers market I was pretty peeved to watch the wonderful leaves wilt in less than 48 hours…WTF?!?! Well, my fridge was too cold and I hadn’t carefully packed the produce in an airtight container. ANYWAY, once I figured out how to properly care of it, I was able to use my butter lettuce for delicious salads and so much more.

With its subtle flavor and lovely shape, I’ve found butter lettuce to be perfect for wraps or cups, replacing carbohydrate heavy breads and tortillas. Lower in calories and carbs, replacing breads with butter lettuce can help keep you satisfied without weighing you down.

cupsI love bread! As you can see I have still included some whole wheat baguette slices with my meal, and think whole wheat options in moderation are fantastic for you! However, when breads are used as a vehicle for our yummy meals, we sometimes forget just how much we’re consuming and WAY overdo it – bummer for the belly!

Forget just knocking out some extra calories, butter lettuce is a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Potassium and has anti-inflammatory properties…not bad huh?

Bypass breads for butter lettuce and enjoy!!