Saturday, April 19, 2014

21 Day Fix Day 6

I have my menus all planned out for the week, but I like having the freedom to change them if I want to or need to. Today has been one of those days. It is cold and dreary and rainy, which makes me lazy. I got up at 7:30 but curled up on the couch and snoozed off and on until 11 this morning. ( I was up a lot last night with my little one and at 2:30 woke up out of a dead sleep to feel something crawling across my hand. Not sure if it was a spider or what, but it freaked me out and I couldn't sleep in our bed and then I couldn't fall back to sleep.) All that to say I have been lazy. It is almost 4:30 and I am still waiting to press play on my DVD player to do dirty 30. My kids have the TV occupied, so I am using that as an excuse.
 Don't worry I will get it done.

So anyway I didn't eat breakfast until 11. I had my usual 2 eggs ( i am seriously on an egg kick lately) and fruit (today was just pineapple)  1 RED, 1 PURPLE

Snack: Sunflower seeds (1 ORANGE

Lunch: leftover chili from the chili cheese fries from last night. (1 RED)

Snack: Hot Tea with 1 tsp honey, and 1 apple with 1 tsp peanutbutter (1 PURPLE, 1 TEASPOON

Dinner: Honey Shrimp Stir Fry: 1 YELLOW, 1 GREEN, 1 RED
Sncak: A breakfast burrito (somehow I had a lot of containers left) 

I still have 2 greens left for today and I just felt it was too late to eat, so I skipped them. I need to get my green containers in earlier in the day. 

Honey Shrimp Stir Fry

Honey Shrimp Stir Fry
Recipe: Lauren Buczkowski

 What you will need:
This serves 4
1 lb Shrimp- peeled and devained
Good olive oil
1/4 cup Honey
1 1/2 cups Red Cabbage
1 1/2 cups Colored peppers sliced
1 cup cut green beans
1/2 to 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger diced
2 cloves of garlic minced
Rice wine Vinegar ( not pictured) I used brown rice vinegar

Step 1. Put 2 teaspoons olive oil into a pan on high heat and allow it to get very hot.. If it starts smoking it is too hot, just set it off the burner for a minute. Place Peppers, Cabbage and green beans into hot pan. Listen for that really good sizzle. Stir it often so that everything gets coated in the oil and so it doesn't burn. 
Keep stirring.  Cook between 5 and 10 minutes depending on how crispy you want your veggies. 
Take off the heat and place veggies into a bowl. Retun pan to stove. 

 Step 2: Put a little more oil (1-2 tsp) into the pan. Add the shrimp, ginger and garlic. 
Stir and don't let the shrimp overcook. Cook about 3 minutes. Shrimp will turn pink when cooked. 
 Step 3: In a bowl combine 1/4 cup honey, 2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar, and 1/4 cup water. Mix it all together and pour it over the shrimp. Let it cook down for a minute and add the veggies back to the pan. 
 Mix everything together and let it cook a minute or two so the sauce thickens slightly. 

Serve over brown jasmine rice ( i found mine at Trader Joes) 


Chili Cheese Fries


This recipe is my own

1-3 Medium baking potatoes 
1 yellow or white onion diced
1 can of diced tomatoes (make sure it is just tomatoes and no added sugar)
1 can of organic tomato paste (again just tomatoes) 
1 lb lean ground beef 
1-2 cloves garlic diced
1 Tablespoon chili powder
 2 tsp cumin
1 tsp olive oil
olive oil spray
1 1/2 cups Chicken broth 
1/2 cup water
grated cheese
greek yogurt
parsley or cilantro (optional) 

 Preheat oven to 425 degrees
To make fries: Peel potatoes and slice length wise into 4 sections. Then cut those sections lengthwise into fries. (try to keep them the same thickness) 
Place fries in a bowl of cold water and let it sit 20 minutes. 
(while it is sitting, start your chili) 
After 20 minutes, pour out the water and pat potatoes dry on paper towels.
Lightly spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray and spread fries out on the pan. 
Lightly spray the top of the fries with spray and lightly salt 
Put into an oven for 15 minutes
after 15 minutes you will flip them over an cook for 10 to 15 minutes longer. They shoul be nice and brown, crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. Your time may vary depending on the thickness of your fries. 

In a pan heat your oil on medium- high 
add your onion and garlic and cook down until translucent
Add ground beef and cook all the way through. There should not be a lot of grease in the pan if you are using lean beef. 
Add in tomatoes and tomato paste 
Add in chicken broth and water
cumin, and chili powder

Cook for a few minutes on medium high. Turn heat down to medium and let it simmer. As this cooks its going to get thick. You don't want it runny or it will really make the fries soggy. 

When everything is cooked, Place fries on a plate, top with 1 Red of chili (leave space for 2 Tablespoons of greek yogurt in place of sour cream) 1 blue of cheese. Put it in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt the cheese. Top with greek yogurt and parsley or cilantro. 

This counts as 1 YELLOW (uness using both yellows, which I would recommend doing or it is very few fries) 1 RED, 1 BLUE
If you want to serve this with a side salad or some veggie side you can do that as well. 

** I debated on how to count the chili. In the book chili is counted as 1 red and 1 yellow, but there are no beans in it, so I did not count it as a yellow. I also did not count it as a green (tomatoes) because the chili in the book doesn't count it as green. **

21 Fix Day 5

Today ended up being a little off from my schedule. I was out and didn't get all my snacks in and had to make up for it later at night.

I started my day with my favorite breakfast: 2 Eggs, Fruit and Coffee. Today was watermelon and pineapple ( 1 RED, 1 PURPLE)

Snack: Sunflower seeds (1 Orange) Not pictured here, but I took my raw sunflower seeds and toasted them. (does anyone know if this is ok?) I didn't add oil or salt, just put them under the broiler to brown them up a little, which also gives them a lot of flavor.
I met a friend at the park with my kids, so I made my shake to take with me. ( 1 RED, 1 PURPLE )
I had strawberry with pineapple and it was delicious.

I missed my second snack because i didn't bring anything. I was really tired when I got home and did not feel like making the dinner I planned, but I got the kids fed and made it anyway. I am so glad I did, because it was DELICIOUS!! I felt so wrong eating it, like I wasn't following the plan, but it was completely on the plan. 

Dinner: Chili Cheese Fries with a 2 sides of steamed broccoli. 
(This was VERY FILLING) 
One serving is (1 RED, 1 BLUE, 1 YELLOW, 1 TEASPOON) ( i would recommend using both yellows here or its not very many fries) 

Snack: I still had 1 RED, 1 GREEN left after dinner, so I had one more serving of chili with greek yogurt as sour cream and 1 green of  sliced colored peppers. 

Sea Bass With Tomato Vinaigrette

Sea Bass with Tomato Vinaigrette over Barley Rissoto
 This recipe could not be any easier! If you are afraid to cook fish this would be a good recipe to start with. You can't get it wrong! 
This recipe comes from

Here is what you will need: 
1 Piece of fish per person around 1 1/2 inches in thickness (this recipe is a serving for 4, I personally would use it more for a serving of 2, if you want to consider the tomatoes as a side as well. 
1 cup of cherry tomatoes sliced in half. I used both yellow and red
Chives diced
2 green onions
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 of a fresh lemon
1 Tablespoon of sherry vinegar ( I didn't have this, so I used white wine vinegar and a splash of vermouth) The alcahol cooks out
1 tsp salt
Quinoa, couscous, or barley (whichever you prefer.) 

Step 1:  cook couscous or quinoa according to package. I just boiled mine in water and set it aside when it was done.  (I have made this recipe with quinoa and with barley risotto) I will post the recipe for risotto at the end.  Couscous only takes moments to cook and quinoa takes around 15 to 20 minutes to cook.
 Sept 2: While the above is cooking heat your oven to 350 degrees, and start your vinaigrette. Dice up the green onions, garlic, tomatoes, and chives. Have a lemon ready to use.
 Step 3: Heat a pan over medium heat and add the garlic (sorry about the big black spot on my pan) Brown garlic around 30 seconds.
 Step 4: Reduce heat to medium and add onions and tomatoes. Cook down a few minutes. They will start to look a little wilty and soft.
 Step 5: Take the pan off the heat, squeeze as much juice as you can out of 1/2 a lemon, add the sherry vinegar and stir it around.
 You will want to set this aside and keep it warm. The sauce is going to thicken slightly and the flavors meld together well as it sits.
 (I wanted to include this picture just so you can see what sea bass looks like. It has really pretty skin and is just a nice thick white fish. It is very mild in taste and almost tastes like it is cooked in butter. When it is ready if you use a fork it will flake apart without much pressure.
 Step 6: Salt and Peper your fish ( I was only cooking for 1, but do this to all your pieces)
 Step 7: Add 1/2 tsp of olive oil to a pan (more if cooking many pieces). You want to heat your pan at Medium High and let the oil get hot. Place the fish in the pan and it should have a really good sizzle sound when you put it in the pan. This is how you know your pan is nice and hot. Cook for just a few minutes to crisp the skin. (I do not eat the skin, but this also allows it to seperate easily from the skin when it is cooked.)
 Step 8: Place the other lemon in slices in the pan with the fish. Put the pan in the oven (if it is safe for your pan to go in the oven) and you want to cook the fish for 20 minutes. This fish seems to almost puff up a little as it cooks. I promise you that your fish is going to be cooked through.
 About 1 minute before the fish is done cooking, get your quinoa, couscous, or barley risotto onto the plate. Place the fish on the plate and top with 1/4 cup of sauce. Sprinkle with chives and serve. (the picture at the top is the dinner with the risotto, and below is with quinoa)
(1 RED, 1/2 GREEN, 1 YELLOW) if serving with quinoa or couscous. The sauce will mix in with the grain and flavor it, so I don't add anything to the grain for flavor.
How to make the Risotto: 
Trader Joes has these wonderful little bags of 10 minute barley, farro, and bulgar wheat. 
 on the side of the package there are directions for how to cook the barley as risotto.
1 quart chicken stock
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 diced onion
1 clove of garlic diced
(I left the mushrooms out becuase i didn't have any)
1/2 cup white wine
2 Tablespoons butter (I used half)
4 Tablespoons parmasean cheese shredded
1/4 cup parsley if you want it
This is something I would count as (1 YELLOW, 1 BLUE) I probably would not count the wine in it because the alcahol cooks out and that is where the fat and calories are going to come from with wine. There are not enough mushrooms or onions to count this as a veggie serving either.

**If anyone thinks this should count differently please comment on it and let me know. Sometimes I have to figure it out the best way I can and how I count it. I am sure sometimes I will be wrong**

21 Day Fix: Day 4

Day 4: This program is so great! Today was my first day eating out and I took my containers with me to make sure that I would stay on track. So I started my morning out a little different. I figured I needed to mix up my breakfast routine.

I made Oatmeal. I have this yummy oats and quinoa mix from Target that I like to cook when I have oatmeal. I filled my yellow container and topped it with 1 tsp honey and 1/2 a banana. (1 YELLOW, 1 PURPLE)

 Snack: Sunflower seeds

Lunch: I went out to lunch with my mom and boys to Zoe's Kitchen. First of all it was delicious! Second, there were MANY things on the menu that go perfectly with 21 day fix! I ordered the Salmon Kabob plate. It came with grilled salmon pieces, and zucchini, hummus, and a salad. It also had a tiziki sauce and pita which I didn't eat, because I was not sure what was in it. I should have asked how it was made. I just wasnt sure if it was mayonase based or if it was greek yogurt. I measured out my salmon and it fit perfectly in my red container. I visually estimated the salad at 2 green containers and the hummus and little bit of feta on top of the salad as 1 blue. So it counted as (1 RED, 1 BLUE, and 2 GREEN) I was very pleased with myself for my first time eating out.
When I did my meal planning for the week, I didn't realize that my husband had a dinner to go to on Thursday and I would be on my own for dinner. I decided to "treat" myself to one of my favorite fish dishes. Sea Bass... YUM!  I came across this recipe and have made it several times. It goes well with chicken if you are not a fish person. I served my sea bass with tomato relish and tricolored quinoa (from Trader Joe's). Recipe for the fish to follow. I also had a serving of fruit with it. THIS RECIPE IS VERY VERY EASY!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Flank Steak Roll


This recipe comes from The Best of Clean Eating Cookbook
(not the best picture) 

This is a really delicious way to do something unique, yet easy with Flank Steak. 

You will need: 
Olive oil cooking spray
1/4 c. whole wheat panko crumbs (these are not on 21 day fix so you can make your own bread crumbs using whole wheat bread dried out and crumbled.) 
1 Tablespoon pine nuts ( pine nuts are not on 21 Day Fix so feel free to use pistachios or another nut that is listed) 
2 tsp of red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 (1 lb) flank steak, trim off visible fat
3 oz. spinach or arugula

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a cooking rack on a baking pan and coat with cooking spray. 

In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs, nuts, vinegar, garlic, salt and set aside. 

Next you want to cut the flank steak in half lengthwise. To do this lay it flat and slice it parallel to the work surface. This will make it open up like a book. (don't slice all the way through the end, you want it to stay attached) 

Lay the meat open and sprinkle it with the panko mixture. (don't place mixture all the way to the edges of the meat) Add spincah over the top of it. Start from one end and begin to roll the meat gently pressing down on the spinach, so the roll is tight. You can tie the meat if you want or just place it seam side down on the baking rack. Salt the outside of the roast. 

Bake for 40 minutes. Once it comes out, cover it in tinfoil and let it rest for 10 minutes. Remove foil and cut into slices. 

I served this with a sweet potato and crispy broccoli. 

For 21 Day Fix, I would count this just as 1 RED. There is not enough of the panko nut mixture to count as a container or even half of one. Same for the spinach. 
If someone thinks differently please let me know, I am always up for suggestions. 

(I will post pictures of the process when I make this again) 

Little Debbie...

I love food.. I love to go out to a nice restaurant and if I tried or wanted to I could be a serious foodie. I also love to cook and bake and have done some pretty amazing cakes over the last 6 years. I also LOVE junk food. Everything that is terrible for you, I love it. Things like little debbie snack cakes.. I would buy them for my kids. Put them in their lunch one time and next thing I know I had eaten the rest of the box in a few days time. I saw this picture the other day and couldn't help but love it. It made me think about doing this 21 day fix and how much healthier I am eating. If I keep eating little debbies it will catch up to me and I will end up being big deborah.
I like the way I feel being healthy and eating well. I like that I am starting to LOVE eating breakfast and enjoying black coffee, instead of coffee filled with cream and sugar. 
This picture above is the other reason I have a hard time being strong and not giving in to my temptation. I love my mother in law and she is a wonderful person, so I am not saying anything bad about her, but today THIS showed up at my house. Why? well my 5 year old told Gramma that we were all out of doughnuts! This temptation is so hard for me to resist! I have not touched it, but I wanted to dig into those doughnuts. 
I have to remember and remind myself why I am doing this. I need to be reminded why I am on this journey and that I am worth the fight. I have 43 lbs to lose. Most of that was gained from one of 3 pregnancies and the rest from unhealthy eating. 

I will fight my temptation so that I do not become BIG DEBORAH (is it considence my mother in law is named Deborah and she is tiny and thin) 
I will fight my temptation! 
Thank you 21 Day Fix! 

21 Day Fix Food: Day 3

Day 3- Plugging along and loving to eat. Here is my menu today.

Breakfast: I started with my favorite meal of the day... breakfast!
Today I had 2 eggs and I just fried them with a spray of olive oil, and had the leftover ginger peach salsa from dinner last night- it was just peaches, mint, and fresh ginger, so I used it as my fruit. It looks like a huge portion, but the peaches were just cut up really small. It was just 1 purple container. Then I had black coffee. (1 RED, 1 PURPLE) 

I did my exercise of Lower Fix and 10 minute Ab fix and I was ready to eat! 

Snack 1: 10 baby carrots, 1/2 container of hummus, 1 yellow container of my leftover grilled corn and black bean salad, and 1 orange container of sunflower seeds.  (1 GREEN, 1BLUE, 1 YELLOW, 1 ORANGE) 
Let me note, there was queso fresco cheese in the corn salad, so I counted my blue as a full container.
Lunch: I kind of skipped lunch ( I know i shouldn't, but I usually have my shakology for lunch and today I was just not in the mood for a shake.

Tonight I was craving Breakfast for dinner... I had extra containers to eat around dinner time becuase I didn't use up my lunch so I had breakfast for dinner. It was a HUGE meal, but I enjoyed it all.

Dinner tonight was Mixed Fruit (1 PURPLE) 6 slices of   turkeybacon and 3 eggs ( 3 RED) 1 whole wheat waffle with 1 Tsp natural peanut butter (1YELLOW, 1 TEASPOON) Sauteed peppers (1 TEASPOON, 1 GREEN

Today was probably a little heavy on eggs as I had them for breakfast and dinner. My original planned meal was to have grilled gremolata chicken (recipe coming) however, our grill ran out of gas and I couldn't grill, so I made my husband eat leftovers from last night and I made Peanut Butter and Jelly for my kiddos. It is always good to be flexible and adapt to our day or whatever is going on. I love that about this plan! 

Crockpot Braised Short Ribs

I have always wanted to make short ribs but have never done them. I saw some delicious looking short ribs at our store and decided it was time to try. This recipe came from here at I only did a tiny bit of editing for this recipe. 

Here is what you will need: 
Good olive oil 
short ribs (i realized that mine were boneless, next time I will get bone in for added flavor) I ended up only using 1 package. 
1 softball sized yellow onion
1 piece of celery
1 or 2 carrots
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp thyme
1 cup red wine
1 cup beef broth
2 Tablespoons of honey
salt and pepper

The recipe is simple. 

1. put olive oil in a pan on medium high heat- aproximately 2 tsp. 
2. salt and pepper the short ribs. 
3. Once the pan is hot put the ribs into the pan (there should be a really good sizzle going on) 

4. While these get golden brown chop up the onion into slices, the carrots and the celery and place into the crock pot on low heat. 
5. Flip the short ribs on each side and make sure it gets browned all the way around. (you are not cooking them, just getting color and sealing in the juices. ) 
6. Sprinkle thyme over the veggies and put the bay leaf into the crockpot. 
7. Place the short ribs over the veggies. 
8. Mix the wine, beef broth, and honey together, mix it to dissolve the honey a bit and pour it over the meat into the crockpot.  
9. Cover and cook on low 8-12 hours. (I did about 9 hours and they were perfect) They will be tender and delicious and absolutely fall apart. 

I am serving mine with Trader Joes 10 minute barley. (on the side of the package it tells how to make it into risotto by slowly cooking it with chicken broth.) Then i will add parmasean cheese. 

I will also sautee some zucchini and squash with garlic, rosemary and a little olive oil and then do a side salad. 

This dinner will count as the following containers
2 red (i am eating 2 servings of beef, you can do one if you want) 1 yellow, 1 blue, 3 green, 1 orange, and 1 tsp. 
This is how it looked after slowly cooking all day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad

Recipe courtesy of Clean Eating Magazine
Here is what you are going to need to make this DELICIOUS salad. 

 3 ears of corn out of the husk
1 can of organic black beans
1 cup sliced grape tomatoes (I had yellow and red) 
1/4 cup Cilantro
1 11/2 tsp. Apple Cider Viengar
Sea Salt
Olive oil cooking spray
 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
1 clove minced Garlic
2 oz. Queso Fresco or Feta Cheese
Tin Foil

1. Heat your grill to medium- high

2. Spray corn with a little olive oil spray

3. Wrap each piece of corn in a piece of tin foil.

4. Place corn on grill and grill for 20 minutes. Turn it occasionally to get it nice and browned on all sides

5. While corn is cooking mix black beans (rinsed), tomatoes, cilantro, vinegar, oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
When corn is done cooking let it sit and cool off a bit. Then cut it off the cob and add to the bowl. 
Toss everything together and top with the cheese. Lighly toss. Refridgerate until ready to serve. This is best cold and eaten the day it is made. 

For 21 Day Fix: I counted this as 1 YELLOW and 1 TEASPOON and if you really want to get technical 1/4 BLUE

Grilled Bacon Asparagus

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

 This recipe could not be any easier. I got this recipe off of a pinterest picture that I saw. 

You will need 
Turkey Bacon
 ( I used real bacon for my husband's)
I had very thin asparagus and would recommend medium to large spears. 

Rinse your asparagus with water and lightly salt and pepper them. You can also sprinkle with garlic powder if you want. Take 3-5 asparagus and wrap in 1 slice of bacon. 
Place on the grill and remember to rotate so the bacon gets crisp. 

These do not take very long. Watch them so the bacon doesn't burn. 

For 21 Day Fix remember that 10 Large asparagus count as 1 GREEN and 4 Slices of Turkey bacon count as 1 RED Try and wrap your asparagus according to what you need for your containers. 

Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin With Peach Salsa

This recipe is from Clean Eating Magazine

This recipe could not be any easier. Unfotunately I didn't take any pictures until it was on the plates. 

You will need: 
olive oil
pork tenderloin (mine was about 1 lb)

For the peach salsa:
1 large peach ( I used 5 small peaches- I wanted extra for the morning)
1/4 cup fresh mint chopped fine
1 Tablespoon fresh minced ginger

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Salt and pepper all sides of the tenderloin. Then pat the outside with allspice. Drizzle oil in a pan and heat over medium- high heat. 
Place tenderloin in the hot pan and let it brown on both sides. Transfer to a pan and put in the oven for 20 minutes per pound. 

Take it out and let it sit a few minutes before slicing.

To Make the salsa:
Peel and dice peaches into small chunks
mix ginger and mint with the peaches and stir. Let it sit for a little while to bring out the flavors.

Top your pork tenderloin with the peach salsa or eat it on the side. 

The meat counts as 1 RED for 21 Day Fix and I used 1 full container for the peach salsa. I ate some on top of my tenderloin and the rest I ate as a side. (1 PURPLE)