15-Minute Meat Sauce

Who’s up for a quick and delicious meat sauce? This would be great served over spaghetti squash, and is the perfect weeknight family-pleasing dish! Make ahead tip: Bake your spaghetti squash up to three days prior to serving, and re-heat when ready to serve!

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Portuguese Kale Soup

Pulled from Teambeachbody.com:

There are so many reasons to love this Portuguese-inspired kale and sausage soup. As with many soups, this recipe tastes even better on the second day. For that reason, we love this soup for meal prep. It makes enough for a whole week of lunches or dinners, and freezes well.

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I have chosen to (hopefully) make life a little simpler by creating a 3×5 recipe card (front and back), which includes the nutritional information listed on Beachbody’s site. This is my first try, so feel free to add feedback in the comments section below!

portuguese Kale soup (front)

portuguese Kale soup (back)

Prep Day: Two Week Clean Eating Challenge

I hadn’t thought about sharing this part of my experience until this morning!  Whoopsies!

Sunday, October 11th.  Prep Day.  And, boy, do I mean day!  It’s a good thing I love being in the kitchen, because there was a decent amount of food prep.  Now, you’ll notice that this says “test run”.  I host clean eating challenge groups periodically, and feel that I should experience the curriculum first hand before asking others to participate.  You can send me a message by commenting below if you’re interested in joining!

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On Prep Day, I chopped and roasted veggies, prepared my proteins, and got the majority of foods ready for the next couple of days.

hard boiled eggs, roasted asparagus, roasted fennel and red onion, broiled grapefruit, riced cauliflower.

(l to r) hard boiled eggs, roasted asparagus, roasted fennel and red onion, broiled grapefruit, riced cauliflower.

I did get a little teary-eyed at one point…

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…but it was well worth the effort and I was proud of my fridge when I was done!

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mise en place!

Two Week Clean Eating Challenge… Sans Coffee?

Water and I didn’t mix.  For about 17 years, I always had a cup of coffee in hand.  During that time, I had rampant UTI’s, poor memory, acne, and mental cloudiness.  It wasn’t until I hit 32 that I had chosen to give this “water thing” a go.  It was a challenge at first, but as I started to consume 64 ounces per day, then *WHOA*, a gallon (!)… my energy levels increased, my pore size was reduced, I stopped breaking out, my skin was soft and glowing, I could think clearly, my stress levels were reduced, no more urinary symptoms, my sleep quality improved, and my dark circles were reducing, not to mention that the pounds started melting off!

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In mid-August, I had a road trip to New York that has taken me nearly two months to recover from, since I ate CRAP and didn’t drink much water at all (in addition to having a hubby whose schedule now includes working the overnight shift).  With that one-two punch, my water intake had declined again, with some days being like those of the old me… coffee, yes… water, no.  My pores started to enlarge again, my face was puffy, I had more wrinkles, acne was creeping back in, urinary pain came back, energy levels decreased, and mental fuzzies were present again.  Well, I’m not having it.  None of it.  I love the taste of coffee and the warm feelings that I associate with it, but the truth is, I can live without it.  I can live so much healthier and happier without it.  Well, not totally without it; I’ll still have a cup every now and again, but nothing like before. We give so much power, emotional and otherwise, to food and drink.

When health becomes secondary to consumption, we have to wonder what’s really going on.

I have read tons of articles about sugar, and the havoc it wreaks on the body, how it creates the same neurological responses as cocaine, and creates dependency.  AND, it’s everywhere.  I’d decided that I didn’t like the way my body felt and so chose to re-boot my fitness journey with two weeks of clean eating without coffee.

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My last cup of coffee for two weeks, so I chose a Toasted Graham Latte (half the syrup) from Starbucks. It was damn delicious & a great way to send myself off