Soft, Healthy, Dairy & Gluten -free Oatmeal Cookies

Experiments, Experiments. Seems like I am always trying to find a way to think up healthy good for you alternatives to some of my favorite meals and treats.

So, let’s start off with me heading to the store on my bike; I only had to get a few things some fruit and veggies. Like most of the time I ended up buying way more than I planned, not thinking much of it I got this heavy bag put it on the back of my bike and secured it with the latch. I started riding my bike and I could feel as though it might be a bit too heavy and without even giving me the chance to stop the bag flies out of the bike onto the middle of the street, argh……. so I stop start picking up my bananas, melon, nuts, and so forth put them back on the bike and try to hold onto them while trying to pedal and maneuver this bike to the house at the same time; as if one time weren’t enough the bag flies out onto the middle of the street for a second time bringing a car to a screeching halt, eyes rolling at me as if I were some idiot (which I guess I sorta was). I raise my hand politely saying sorry and pick up my fruit again. This time I put some on the side bags and then the rest in my basket up front. Got home without any other unbearable embarrassment. Phew!!

I’m sure you can guess at this point that my bananas were completely bruised 😦
Although thankfully enough the rest wasn’t really damaged, I lost a good portion of my nuts, but I guess that’s what I get for not thinking this grocery run through correctly. (BTW I like to go to the grocery store on my bike, but I generally get just a few things and this sorta sh@#t doesn’t happen.)

Well I had to figure out a way to use these poor, poor bananas (no way in hell I was going to throw them out after all I had been through!)
Ummmm, well what is great with bananas none other than our friend oats?!
I decided that I would try to make healthy oatmeal cookies adding a nice alternative to my breakfast or a snack. They actually turned out quite tasty. And to top it off healthy, so what more could one want. I’d say they are a breakfasty, protein packed, pre-workout or just anytime cookies. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
Makes about 6 cookies

1 Banana

1/4 cup Peanut Butter, (all natural)

1/2 cup Oats

1/2 tbsp. Sucant Sugar, Or raw

1 tsp. Baking soda

1 tsp. Vanilla extract

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1/4 cup Raisins or Dried Cranberries

Preheat your oven at 350°F (180°C)

Mash up your banana and mix in a bowl along with peanut butter.

Add baking soda, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar mix well. Now add the oats and raisins. Mix thoroughly.

Spoon onto baking sheet and cook for about 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!

Mazzancolle al Sale Marino – Sea Salt & Peppercorn Prawns (A Skinny Girl Dish)

We all know how good seafood is for you. It’s a healthy and good for you protein. I myself am a huge fan of anything fish/seafood. One of my favorites are prawns or shrimp. Seafood should be a healthy part of your diet. Prawns health benefits are many one of them being its rich content of selenium and 100 g mineral content per serving which prevents the growth of cancer cells therefore protecting the body from cancer.

One serving of prawns only contains 1.73 g of total fat, with less than 1 g of that being saturated. Prawns also contain .49 g of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, the fatty acids in prawns reduces and prevents the body against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

A serving of prawns supplies you with 20.3 g of protein. Proteins in prawns provides body with growth and development. The calories in prawns are less when compared to meat and beef. Moreover the nutritional benefits of prawns make it healthy for the body while adding taste to the food. This is why prawns have nutritional benefits.

Loaded with protein, vitamin D, vitamin B3, and zinc, Prawns are an excellent, carbohydrate-free food for anyone determined to shed off pounds. Zinc supplementation of zinc deficient subjects has been shown to increase the levels of circulating leptin. Leptin is a hormone that plays a key role in regulating the body’s energy expenditure, fat storage, and appetite. Insufficient leptin levels are believed to be the primary cause of food cravings, overeating, and obsession with food. The iodine in shrimp is good for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland which controls the basal metabolic rate, or the rate at which the body consumes energy at rest. Iodine deficiency can result in sluggish thyroid activity which in turn can lead to weight gain or hinder weight loss.

Enjoy the nutritional and health benefits of prawn.
I went to the store the other day and they had these beautiful looking prawns. I had to buy them. Other than the obvious delicious ways I enjoy making them (grilled, steamed, lightly sauteed and of course boiled and added to a salad) I decided that I would go ahead and try this more than famous Italian recipe.
I didn’t have obviously enough salt in the house to completely cover them so I used what I had and added a few extra twists of my own (as always), but the result was to die for. I hope that you Enjoy.
Ingredients:
Serves 2
  • 10 Prawns or Large Shrimp
  • 1 cup Sea Salt
  • A bunch of mixed dried Herbs, rosemary, thyme, and whatever you like
  • 1/4 cup mixed whole Peppercorns
Preheat your oven at 200°C (400°F)
Wash your Prawns and dry them with a paper towel. Mix the salt together with herbs and peppercorns. Pour half of the flavored salt in the bottom of your baking dish and arrange the prawns evenly.
Coat the shrimp with the rest of the flavored salt and cook for 15-20 min at 200°C, when color changes.
Rinse salt off before serving this way you don’t eat too much salt and you don’t get bloated, but you have the amazing flavor. Ha! Enjoy!

Light, Healthy, Skinny Recipes to help you get that Summer Body

Summer is right around the corner and if you are scrambling to get that latest diet or what have you to help you get in shape I suggest you to just start eating healthy.
This means more seasonal fresh foods, like vegetables, fruits, lean meats and nuts. I live and eat these food groups; and I seem to be doing just fine. The thing about this lifestyle is that you don’t have to constantly be thinking about what you can eat  and what you can’t, how you are going to feel the next day, if your shorts are a bit too tight (or if you’re bulging out of your bikini).
The summer is tough enough already trying to keep yourself hydrated, cool, comfortable, tanning, hair, skin, etc… the last thing you need is to be stressed out about some sort of diet! How many calories, carbs, fat, non-fat, this n’ that. Just eat healthy fresh foods. They provide you with the energy, hydration and beautiful radiant skin to show off; not to mention a smaller waist.

I have a lot of different salads and ways I like to eat my vegetables and of course it’s not hot yet so a salad might not be something that you want to eat. If you start eating healthy now and leave out as much junk food as possible (i.e. artificial sweeteners, sodas, chips, fried foods, prepackaged foods & sweets, along with anything you can’t pronounce) you are going to be in fantastic shape by the summer. It’s really simple you just need to train your body to eat healthy. It’s a chain reaction; once you cut out the bad stuff your body will not crave it anymore. Trust me!

There are billions of ways you can make salads or healthy foods. They aren’t complicated and they don’t have to be boring. I know that the winter isn’t quite over yet and I know a salad might not always give you that warmth of comfort food that you are craving so I have a nice warm healthy recipes here that are simple and delicious.

Warm Bibb Salad w/ Roasted Asparagus and Feta

  • 1 medium head of Bibb salad, washed and pulled apart
  • 10 Asparagus
  • 1/2 lb Feta
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • E.V. Olive oil
  • Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Pre-heat your oven at 400°F (200°C). Get a baking dish lay out your Asparagus, drizzle with a little e.v.o. and sprinkle salt and pepper and red chili flakes. Place baking tray in oven and bake for 15 min.
In a medium pan, drizzle some olive oil, allow to heat over medium heat and then add your garlic; once golden add your bibb lettuce season with salt and pepper and carefully mix. You don’t want it to burn or break, just allow it to wilt and then turn off.

Let’s begin plating. Lay your asparagus, top with some wilted lettuce and then sprinkle feta evenly on top and enjoy!

Warm bibb salad with roasted asaragus and feta

Pulled Chicken Breast with Pinto Beans and Avocado
Serves 2

  • 1 Avocado
  • 2 cups Pinto Beans, boiled *
  • 2 Chicken Breasts, steamed & shredded**
  • 1 Tomato, diced
  • 1 Chilli, fresh & diced (optional)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • Handful Parsley and Cilantro, washed
  • 2 tbsp. E.V.O oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a medium pan add the e.v.o. heat over medium flame and then add the garlic; cook to golden add your tomatoes, chili and beans. Simmer for about 5 minutes then add about 1/2 of your parsley and cilantro then salt, pepper and continue to cook for about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.

Let’s begin plating. Lay your chicken and add the beans on the side. Cut your avocado in half and slice lay on top of food and serve with remaining parsley and cilantro. Sprinkle some salt over avocado. Enjoy!

*You can use a canned beans, just make sure to drain and rinse well. ** For the Chicken, Place in steamer and cook until fork inserted and liquid runs clear. Cool and pull apart. You can boil it too. Season with some salt and pepper.

Pulled Chicken w/ Pinto beans and avocado

Sesame Crusted Tuna on a bed of Cucumber & Arugula topped w/ Avocado
Serves 2

  • 2 6-8 oz Tuna Steaks
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 2 cups Arugula
  • Sesame seeds, (enough to coat tuna)
  • E.V.O. oil
  • 1/2 Lemon, squeezed
  • Drizzle of Light Soy sauce (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Salt and Pepper your Tuna steaks, now coat in sesame seeds and set aside.
Grab a mandolin and slice you cucumber, peel and all. (You can peel if you want I liked the texture of it on). Place on the plate one by one creating a nice flat base pattern.

Place a medium pan over medium flame, drizzle some e.v.o and when hot add the tuna steaks, cook for about 2 minutes on each side and quickly on the corners as well. Remove allow to sit for 2 min and then slice or leave whole.

Get you Arugula and toss in some e.v.o, 2 tbsp. of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Place a bit at the center of each dish. Place the Tuna steak on the bed of arugula.
Slice Avocado in half, slice again into thin pieces and place on top of tuna topping with a drizzle of soy and remaining lemon. Enjoy!

Sesame crusted Tuna over cucmber and arugula topped with avocado

Shaved Asparagus & Radish w/ Shrimp in a Multi-Lettuce Salad
Serves 2

  • 1/2 lb Shrimp, cooked and deveined
  • 8 Asparagus, washed
  • Handful Radishes, washed
  • 4 Mushrooms, cleaned
  • 5 cups Italian lettuce, (radicchio, romaine, arugula, etc…)
  • 4 tbsp. E.V.O. oil
  • 1 lemon, squeezed
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Place your salad in a large bowl. Grab a mandolin start slicing your asparagus long-wise, now start slicing your radishes and mushrooms, add all these ingredients to salad bowl as well as shrimp.

Whisk together last 4 ingredients, drizzle over salad and toss until completely combined and serve. Enjoy!

Shaved Asparagus and Shrimp salad

And there you have it. Options for your healthy eating. It seems so hard to eat healthy, but in all reality it’s easy and a pleasure. I hope that you enjoy these recipes and feel free to substitute with other vegetables or protein. They are simple, fun, delicious but most of all light and nutritious. They will give you energy and help you feel great and ready for the summer. Happy cooking. Let me know what you think and also try to incorporate a little physical activity to give you that extra boost you need to get you feeling sexy. Ciao

P.s. remember I am not a nutritionist, dietician so please consult your doctor before you go on any diet or change any lifestyle.

Stay Thin & get all your Omega-3, Iron & More with this Amazing Dish

I’ve missed you guys these past weeks. I had a wonderful time visiting friends and family in the USA and really enjoyed this much need vacation.
As you all know the USA is trying to start a health revolution (well it has been for awhile) but it’s taking sometime to get people on board with it. Even though it has come long ways it still seems that habits are hard to break. And although they are trying to get people to eat more organic and healthy foods they seem to constantly come up with new healthy products that are supposed to replace the unhealthy products, I like to call them ‘healthy junk food’. That’s what it is. Instead of stopping to produce say potato chips, they come up with a healthier potato chip, made with flax seeds, chia seeds, rice flour, bean flour, natural flavorings, etc…it’s still a freaking chip; albeit healthier still a chip. Why not reach for a handful of almonds, or some fresh fruit, or veggies, some yogurt, an egg or even a piece of parmigiano reggiano cheese?! These are healthy, whole and organic replacements to junk foods. I am not saying that those better for you chips aren’t better for you but why do they have to have a whole aisle and a half in a grocery store full of chips. It’s too much!

I am lucky that I have learned early on in life what eating healthy is all about and that here in Italy it’s so easy to do that. Healthy tastes so good! I am one of those people who will always opt to eat something healthy over something that has no nutritional value but may sound good.
For Me, healthy does sound good. I know people often times relate this word ‘healthy’, to boring, tasteless, unworthy, complicated and uninviting. Total opposite for me. I relate it to delicious, flavorful, easy, worth it, inviting with a wonderful array of options and colors.

I love knowing that what I am putting into my body is helping me stay healthy and I’m not putting crap in my body that is actually going to cost me my health, weak bone density, tooth decay, dull and unhealthy hair, wrinkles and ugly skin, GI problems, illnesses, etc….
Eating healthy is a habit but a good one to form. I have wrote about Healthy Eating habits and the wonderful effects it as on your body from weight-loss to feeling fantastic and how to do it here and here.

This next recipe is super simple and so good for you and trust me you will not be disappointed with the flavor it has. To top it all off it packed of healthy Nutrients, Vitamins and it’s Delicious. Enjoy!

Ingredients:Serves 2

2 6-oz Salmon fillets

1/2 lb of Spinach

1 cup of Lentils

1 1/2 cup of Veggie broth, low sodium

1 Shallot, chopped finely

1-2 dried Chili peppers, whole (optional)

Extra virgin Olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

In a small pot add 1 drizzle of olive oil, allow to heat and then add 1/2 the chopped shallot. Once shallot has reached cooking time, needs to be translucent you may throw in your lentils, salt and pepper then add your chili’s and broth. Cover and allow to cook at medium low heat for about 15-20 minutes.

In a separate pan add some olive oil place over medium heat and add the shallot, following cooking instructions same as for lentils. Now add your spinach, followed by salt and pepper; lower heat and cover. Cooking time may vary, it needs to wilt so when you see that it has wilted continue to cook for about 5 minutes and then turn off.

For the Salmon you are going to salt and pepper both sides. Place a pan over high heat add a small drizzle of olive oil, allow to heat completely and then carefully add your salmon. Cook for about 5 minutes and then flip over cooking for another 5 minutes.

Everything at this point should be cooked. So you may serve.

Healthy Eating New Years Resolutions – My Thoughts and Life

As I was surfing the net today and yesterday; I noticed how many posts were about losing the Holiday weight, getting back in shape, cleansing, dieting, detoxying; etc.

I started thinking about when was the last time that I have felt like that after the Holidays. I think that it’s maybe because I am so busy, hosting, prepping and running around that I really don’t actually gain weight during the Holidays. Don’t get me wrong I can’t wait to go back to eating healthier foods, eating at decent times, drinking a little less and staying at home a little more after the Holidays; but gross to the point of having to do a hardcore detox just hasn’t been on my to-do list.
But, I do know what it feels like and I do know what a nice detox does to the body. I’ve been there, done that and stressed about it just like everyone else. The thing that got me to writing this post is that once you start that detox/cleanse/diet you get back on track lose the weight and then reward yourself by going back to the same eating habits that brought you to do this in the first place. So, you go right back to square one.  Hence beginning a yo-yo effect. Then your body gets used to you doing this every so often that you don’t get the same results that you did the first time so you have to be a little more drastic each time and be more strict even while rewarding yourself.
So, I thought that I would give you some insight on how to get back on track and what I do to feel good again. It’s nothing crazy and it isn’t unachievable, you don’t have to sacrifice on the important foods and no you don’t have to blend everything.
You can eat and be thin too!

Often times too many we can’t wait to eat that piece of cake that’s in front of us. We can’t wait to have that huge plate of fries with that bigger than life burger. We think about eating that whole bag of chips (because we were good). Well I have news for you; I’m not saying that you can’t do that. I’m not saying that you’re a failure if you do that. And I am not even going to say that you’re an alien for even considering something like that. What I am going to say is that you need to reconsider if that’s what you really want to do? If that’s really what you’re body is craving? Is that something that is going to give you the energy to do something positive for yourself? Is it going to make you want to workout harder? Is it going to make you feel proud for making that decision? Is it going to give you the energy to go outside and play with your children for a bit? Is it going to give you the inner peace of mind that everything is going to be all right? Is it going to make that zipper on your favorite jeans go up? Is it going to make you feel light and healthy? Is it going to give you pure and utter satisfaction that when you are done you’ll want to get cozy with your husband, boyfriend or lover because you look and feel fine f@&king-tastic? If you don’t have one is it going to make you want to go out and find one?

Well if it doesn’t then why do it? Why even go there? I know sometimes we just really are craving it and one little piece won’t hurt; well that’s true one bite or piece won’t hurt. But do you have the willpower to say that’s enough! Do you have the will power to stop at that one piece or that one bite? Or are you going to excuse yourself every single time this situation presents itself? First; it’ll be because you were really good and ate really healthy so reward yourself. Then it’s because it’s the weekend. Then it’s going to be because it’s your friend’s birthday. Then it’s girl’s night. Then because it’s Easter, Memorial day, Summer Vacation, Independence Day, Winter, Christmas, NYE and there you have it a whole year of pure excuses that you seem to have no control over because you never told yourself that you don’t need that in order to be happy. It’s food! Not Eternal Salvation!

Ok, now those words were hard for me to say because I love food. I have and will always love food, and yes I’m going to saying it: Food Makes Me Happy!
But food makes me happy because my relationship with food is: eat to feel good, not eat to feel bad.
When I eat, it’s to have a positive effect on my body not the negative effect. I like to eat, indulge, know my limits and walk away. I’m not saying that you can’t eat that cake, or fries or whatever. I am saying that you shouldn’t look at it and say “that’s bad for me and I’m going to feel bloated in the morning” and then eat it anyways this way creating a negative effect with food because now you can only relate it to bad, and thus using it to punish yourself when you feel like you have gone too far. Instead of saying that is going to make me feel fantastic tomorrow and give you the energy you are lacking.  I eat and I know what is going to make me feel one way or the other. Say I don’t like Burgers, I’m not saying they aren’t good for you but they aren’t the best option either; so I’m not going out to eat one and I’m not going to eat it if it’s in front of me just because I am at a friend’s house or feel peer pressured. I don’t feel like I nourished my body and don’t like the after effects. I like pasta but I don’t eat it at every meal and I certainly don’t eat it when I feel like crap. I eat it when I feel good this way I look at it as a friend and not the enemy, this way I don’t have to eat it always. I know I can have it whenever I want; it’s a friendly food and I just don’t need it all the time.

What I know that I do need all the time is Vegetables, Fruits, Lean Proteins and Healthy fats and this is what consistently live off of. The rests are just fillers. I have lasagna, pasta, bread; I have cake, cookies, gelato; I don’t ever have sodas of any sort. I don’t have canned foods (besides beans and tuna). I don’t have white sugar in the house. I only cook with Olive oil. I try to eat only whole grain. I don’t eat processed foods if I can at all help it, so none of that is in the house.
I have formed healthy habits that I just will not touch certain foods, but because they literally disgust me. And for the rest I just eat them on occasion and when presented more often (like say the Holidays) I just eat a small portion and fill up on my veggies because I literally cannot live without them. That’s all. If you just cut back on the stuff that really doesn’t fill your heart, and just gives you a bloated belly. And start eating more whole; you can have miracles happen to your body.
Make your own salad dressing: 2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil, some fresh squeezed Lemon (or Vinegar I like Apple cider) some salt and pepper. That’s delicious and great for you and you’ll really enjoy it.

You’ll notice that your body won’t ever crave those foods anymore. And yes, you will be able to make all types of foods your friend and not cause you to feel so miserable after enjoying it.
Your New Years resolution should be about rediscovering yourself and changing your eating habits one step at a time. Food is good you just need to know when no is no. It’s obvious that if you are going to a party and you know you’ll have say a burger and fries, or pizza; well then start your day with fresh fruit, eat a nice salad with chicken or salmon for lunch and avoid eating crappy. You’ll fill up on good for you foods and won’t be starving for dinner and you’ll probably not even want to eat that dinner because your body is in ‘healthy mode’ all day it’ll know what it wants for dinner. Trust me. Your body is so freaking intelligent you don’t always have to over ride the cravings. If you feed it healthy it craves healthy.

As for drinking I know everyone says not to drink. I can’t do that! I like drinking and I’m married and my Husband likes to drink. What to do? Well, drinking isn’t bad you just have to watch what you drink. I love wine, I enjoy it and my Husband loves wine as well, so we drink wine. Not every night and not a bottle each time. We enjoy it, we can have it whenever and a glass isn’t going to damage anything. I don’t really drink anything else besides the occasional Skinnygirl Margarita or a Vodka Soda with 2 pieces of Lime squeezed in it. They are light and I still enjoy them if wine isn’t available.
I do like Mojitos, Caipirinha, Caipiroska, Pina Colada, Americano, Spritz, etc; but the thing with these drinks is that they are so sugary that you can really only drink one of them occasionally to not have negative effects on the body that I just opt out and prefer to stick to my glass of wine. Gives me more satisfaction. Period! I do give my body a break sometimes I tell my Husband that I am not going to drink for 2 weeks or something like that but it has to be an achievable goal and when drinking I try to limit 1-2 glasses a night. I’m not perfect I have those nights when I drink way too much, but it’s ok I am aware and I am having a good time. What is life without the occasional slip up. Just don’t regret it and punish yourself. It’s life move on. Make healthy choices and don’t put it off till tomorrow.

I can’t stand when people say. I feel like shit. I ate like shit, I need to start a diet or to eat healthy, but today I already started out unhealthy so I’ll do it tomorrow; oh wait after tomorrow because tomorrow I have to go out or blah, blah, blah. It’s an excuse! Just because you go out doesn’t mean you can’t make a healthy choice. So what if your friends are ordering crap. You’re paying for your food; eat what you want. Order a nice piece of salmon with roasted veggies and a glass of crisp white wine. Or do you really want that Burger with fries and a beer? If you do, go for it. You see I know how I would feel the minute I finished something like that and that’s gross! Unless I’m not making it at home with grass-fed meat, fresh veggies, a nice whole grain bun, some real cheese; then I don’t care for it. And especially not if I’m trying to be healthy.  You control your body and what goes in it. Healthy is so delicious. Start making small changes now and next year you won’t have to go on a diet after the Holidays. Yes You Can Do It!

Here’s a small list of my all-time favorites for a healthier lifestyle:

  • Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning
    (if you can squeeze 1/2 a lemon even better)
  • Eat fresh Fruit for breakfast (have an apple cut it into pieces and sprinkle cinnamon on it, or a nice fruit salad)
  • Serve yourself a ramekin of Almonds for a snack (or whatever nuts you like)
  • Eat a vegetable at every meal, and pick one night a week where it’s the star of the dish.
  • Don’t buy junk, you won’t eat junk.
  • Make healthy snacks and keep them around for when you get that hunger pang.
  • Don’t drink Sodas, and unless it’s completely 100% natural try to eat your fruit not drink it.
  • Eat a square of Dark pure Chocolate instead of dessert, and absolutely no Candy.
  • Make your own salad dressing, I don’t care if what you’re buying says low-fat, fat-free, all-natural, whatever make your own.
  • Avoid fried foods. Try roasted, baked, steamed, sautéed, grilled or boiled. Just top off with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt and pepper if it’s bland. It’ll be Delish!
  • Drink hot herbal or green teas throughout the day, and don’t put sugar. If you must a drizzle of honey, or brown sugar.
  • No artificial flavorings, foods, ingredients or drinks. If you can’t spell it out don’t ingest it.
  • Try to eat whole grains. Not wheat, whole-grain.
  • Incorporate more Lean proteins a.k.a Fish, Veal, Chicken, Turkey and some lean Red meat.
  • Eggs aren’t your enemy eating them at least once a week is good for you.
  • Eat Natural, Organic and try to stay away from anything in a box or can.
  • Drink wine instead of hard liquor, and if you drink hard liquor make sure it’s at least clear.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t over season or flavor your food. Leave out all those sauces. Stay all-natural, need some pizzaz use Extra Virgin olive oil.
  • Listen to your body, if you don’t like Soy or feel good when you drink it then don’t. Just because people say it’s better or good for you doesn’t mean you have to have it. I feel horrible and bloated when I drink Soy so I drink Lactose-free milk now and feel great.
  • Workout. You have to get off your butt and move that gorgeous body of yours. You have 24 hours in a day – 8 for sleeping = 16 hrs – 8 for work = 8 – 3 for meals = 5 -1 for working out still leaves you 3 hours. And if you don’t work that means taking out the 8 hrs for sleep, 3 hrs for meals = 13 hours left to work out. Do it! Find what you like and incorporate it in your long term lifestyle. Whether it be running, aerobics, yoga, pilates, kickboxing, rowing, cycling you need to find what you like and enjoy doing it because that the only way it’s going to last it you actually like the way it makes you feel.

I’m not a nutritionist or doctor. And please consult a specialist before stopping or starting anything new in your life. What I am is a girl that is 28 going on 29 and am in the best shape that I have ever been in my life after experimenting with all the possible, cleanses, detoxes, and trying a lot of different things I always went back to what I was trying to change. I finally figured it out. It’s a journey, a lifestyle and it doesn’t happen overnight but it does stay. And yes, you are going to look and feel much better forever.

Be healthy + eating healthy = Happy and Happy = Gorgeous body! Happy New Years.

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Sage wrapped Low-Fat stuffed Chicken Breasts

The winter is well on its way and I feel like heart-warming meals without all the added calories and heavy ingredients. As you all know by now there are 2 things that I absolutely love 1. Chicken (especially my husband, he literally could eat chicken everyday) 2. Veggies (I will find a way to incorporate them in all my meals).

During the summer it’s always grilled chicken. It’s light , tastes delicious and most of all easy and fast. However in the winter I feel more like staying inside away from the cold and also don’t really crave a grilled anything for that matter. It’s hard sometimes to try to make chicken inside on the stove top without it tasting absolutely boring. I’ve decided that no matter what I won’t cave in to millions of ingredients in one dish just to give it flavor, there are so many natural herbs and spices that can give your meals incredible flavor and bring out the best of your meals, without overpowering a dish.
The other morning I was craving stuffed chicken breasts and thought that I would need to go to the store for some cheese and whatever else inspired me to put in it. However, the thought became an absolute ‘no way am I going out in this cold for some cheese and stuff’, like always I opened the fridge and saw that I had some sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, some artichokes in olive oil and some fresh sliced mushrooms. Perfect this was going to work. I will say that I did have some Parmigiano Reggiano but I opted to leave out the cheese and see how a stuffed chicken breast with no cheese would taste.

I also have a wonderful Sage plant outside and I love the warming, eloquent, subtle flavor it gives when added to food. It has wonderful health benefits, it helps cure gastrointestinal disorders, muscle spasms and cramps, gingivitis, it helps regulate blood sugar and improves digestion. It’s full of Antioxidants that help with the aging process. And it’s an Anti-inflammatory agent for people with inflammatory issues such as but not limited to Rheumatoid arthritis. So yeah, it’s good for ya; and I decided that it would be the only seasoning herb for the chicken.
Here in Italy people incorporate it to meals quite a bit, whether its soups, sauces, meats, stews, etc… let me say that it really does compliment a dish when used correctly.

I hope that you enjoy this recipe it’s really simple and so delicious. Accompany it with whatever you like, a salad, roasted vegetables, steamed vegetables, rice, quinoa, couscous, potatoes or anything else you can come up with. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 boneless skinless Chicken breasts

8 Sun-dried Tomatoes, in Extra Virgin Olive OIl

8 Artichoke quarters, in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

8 slices of Mushrooms

2-3 fresh sprigs of Sage, or 14 leaves

2 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 pieces Parchment paper, big enough to wrap each breast individually

8 pieces cooking Twine, about 4in. long

 

Preheat your oven at 350°.

Grab your chicken breasts and butterfly. Sprinkle some salt and pepper.  Now layer 4 pc. of sun-dried Tomatoes, followed by 4 slices of Mushrooms, followed by 4 pc. of Artichokes. Now close your chicken, cover the top nicely with half the sage leaves, salt and pepper.
Get 4 pc. of Twine and carefully slide one by one under the breast and then tieing at the top until the whole breast is securely tied. Lay one piece of parchment paper out and place your chicken in the center, drizzle 1 tsp of Olive oil and then close your parchment paper as if making a little doggie bag. Place in baking tray and repeat the same with other breast.

Bake for 25 minutes and then carefully open the paper, start with sides as some steam may leave and you’ll get burnt. Cut twine off and place nicely on dish. Buon Appetito

My Healthy Veggie Stir-fry for Meatless Monday

Sometimes you just have to think outside the box and go back to things that you loved eating as a kid or at a friends house / restaurant but never made it yourself.

Stir-fry is something that I always find tastes delicious when you eat it at a Asian restaurant. It just seems that sometimes when you eat it at home it either lacks flavor or there is too much flavor or it’s mushy or it just doesn’t taste the same. I figured I would try this out as it would make a perfect meatless Monday meal. I mean Veggies with brown rice??? What more could you want.

Now, I have never in my life or as far as I can remember ever cooked a stir-fry so this was gonna be tricky. I know; I can make a lasagna from scratch but a stir-fry frightens me. Crazy.

Of course I know that you generally put broccoli and some other array of veggies. I also know that you use soy sauce but to be honest I try to use as little soy as possible; after all it is high in sodium and so unfriendly to the woman figure, it really has crazy day after bloating effects which cause so much discomfort, nothing like eating a healthy meal but having your pants fit you too tight because of the MSG you just inhaled. So, I kept a close watch on that one.

This was going to be a test of my culinary skills per se, because I wanted to see if I could achieve the deliciousness and still keep it healthy. The health benefits of this dish are many.
Broccoli is so good for you and high in so many great nutrients, it’s high in potassium, magnesium, calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, which benefits anywhere from brain function to the common cold.
Ginger is another great natural remedy especially for this cold weather, it’s an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antiseptic, anti-viral, circulation-stimulating, detoxifying, digestive, lymph-cleansing and warming.
Mushrooms are another fantastic source of nutrients and amazing for the following niacin, selenium, riboflavin, vitamin D, potassium. They are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free and extremely low in sodium.

So the above are the ingredients I used to make my veggie stir-fry accompanied of course by non other than delicious brown rice. I hope that you enjoy it as much as we did.

Ingredients

1 medium head of Broccoli

1/4 lb. Mushroom Pleurotos *

3 Celery stalks

2 garlic clove, minced

1/2 tbsp. fresh Ginger, Minced

3 drizzle count Extra Virgin Olive oil

4 drizzle count Soy Sauce**

Salt and Pepper to taste

Start  by slicing your broccoli into thin florets set aside on separate dish. Then move on to your mushrooms cut longwise and in-between thick and thin set aside on separate dish. Get your celery stalk and cut longwise as thinly as possible and 2 inches long set aside on separate dish. Move on to you ginger, chop up very thin and set aside. And now mince your garlic.

Heat a wok over medium heat, drizzle your olive oil and add the garlic and ginger at the same time. Allow your garlic to get golden and throw in your celery, mix well and then throw in your broccoli. Sprinkle some pepper and add 2 count drizzle of soy. Mix all the ingredients well allow to cook for another 3 minutes and then add your mushrooms. Mix again well with all the ingredients and then add the remaining 2 drizzles of soy. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes mixing ingredients in between. I like my veggies a bit crunchy but if you want to cook more feel free.
Serve over brown rice.

* Use whatever mushroom you like, shitake, portobello, porcini or champignon.

** If you can find Light soy, use that otherwise feel free to use the regular kind.

**If you feel like you need to, you can add a little water to help the cooking process.