Friday, August 30, 2013

30-Day Ab Challenge!

Hello beautiful people!

If you want to get lean and mean in 2013 – I WANT YOU ON MY TEAM! My 30-Day Squat Challengers are halfway through the month and they are kicking serious booty!!! I will be starting a 30-Day Ab Challenge on September 12th and I have a few spaces available for people who are ready to LOSE WEIGHT, HAVE FUN, TONE UP and WORK HARD! This challenge will only take a few minutes of your time each day, is completed in the comfort of your own home, requires no special equipment, and is FREE!!!

Here are some awesome testimonials from my current fitness challengers:

* I began doing 25 squats at a time. I just completed 100 at one time – after only 15 days!

* I have re-discovered, even at my advanced age, if you start slowly, you will improve. The operative work is START!

* 80 done at one time!!! Go me!!! I could hardly do 20 at a time when I started and had to hold onto something!! Balance is better!

* Cool thing from yesterday was that I upped it to sets of 30 instead of sets of 20. Oh yeah!

Want to join our fitness journey in a private accountability group on Facebook? You can join from anywhere at any time before September 12th! Send me a friend request on Facebook at and I’ll give you all the details! I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Roasted Tomato Soup with Saffron Cream and Basil

Hi everyone! I hope your week is going well! I have been busy in the kitchen tweaking my favorite tomato soup recipe and I’d like to present you with the final product! This soup is so luxurious and rich you completely forget about the requisite grilled cheese sandwich that goes alongside it!

Roasted Tomato Soup with Saffron Cream and Basil
Serves 2-4

3 tbsp olive oil
2 lb tomatoes (preferably Campari or Roma)
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups chicken stock
½ tbsp sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup fresh basil leaves
1/8 tsp saffron threads
½ cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 325˚.

Cut the tomatoes in half and toss with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and sprinkle with a few pinches of salt. Roast for 2 hours.

In a Dutch oven (or large pot) heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their juices, salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Add the basil leaves and stir to combine.

Meanwhile, heat the cream over low heat until warm. Add the saffron threads and stir constantly, until they have dissolved and the cream has thickened and taken on a warm yellow color.

Place the tomato mixture plus half the saffron-cream mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. (I always strain the soup at this stage but it’s not absolutely necessary.) At this point you can refrigerate for a day or two – just reheat gently before serving.

Ladle into soup bowls and top with additional saffron cream and basil.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Crockpot Stuffed Peppers

Looking for a new low-carb recipe with infinite variations? Here it is!!

I love stuffed peppers and I love my crockpot. This recipe is a match made in heaven as far as I’m concerned! Not to mention crazy healthy and delicious! And do you want to know a secret? You make “rice” out of cauliflower – so no carbs at all in this yet it’s very, very filling. And if you don’t like cauliflower, don’t worry! You can’t taste it! Win, win? Yes, yes!      

I’m linking you to the original recipe, but I will tell you to play with it. No, don’t toss it a ball – I mean try different meats and seasoning. I read reviews that the original recipe was a little bland, so I omitted the Worcestershire sauce and added ½ a packet of Fajita Seasoning. Try other seasoning blends (try ground chicken with McCormick’s Italian Herb Chicken Seasoning Mix, or ground pork with rib spices). And cook them for 5 hours on high in your crockpot – then you can pull the skins right off and the peppers are like butter.

I am planning to roast a ton of peppers this way because the skins come RIGHT OFF and that’s the part I hate most about roasting peppers! I love adding roasted peppers to just about EVERYthing!

This is the before picture - I'm still working on getting a good after picture so stay tuned!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Grilled Curried Salmon

Hi! I hope everyone is having a great weekend! I have been slowly making my way through all the fresh fish available near our new home. Literally. Salmon was on sale last week so I bought a ton of it. (Did you know salmon freezes just beautifully? Just blot it dry and wrap lovingly in freezer paper.) Indulging in my new-found love of curry, I decided to try something new. My entire family enjoyed it and there were plenty of leftovers as I cooked an entire side of salmon. Breakfast the next day was scrambled eggs with crème fraîche and salmon. Lunch was salmon salad. Oh the indulgence!

Grilled Curried Salmon
Serves 4-8

½ salmon (1 side), cut into 6-8 pieces (You can cut it into 4 pieces if your family loves seafood and just cleaned the entire house for you.)
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
1 small onion, cut in half and sliced thinly
3-4 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped

As always, I recommend gathering all your ingredients together. Professionals call this mise en place – harried housewives call this So very glad I did this ahead of time, as the curry powder was under the couch with Buzz Lightyear.

Combine the garlic powder, pepper, curry powder, salt and lemon zest in a small bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Take heavy-duty foil and fold it in half to create a square or rectangle (about 12 x 12 inches). Pat salmon dry on both sides and place in center of foil, skin side down. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the flesh and top with onions and tomatoes.

Fold the foil over fish to form a packet and seal tightly.

Have your helpful husband grill the packets, covered, over medium heat for 10-15 minutes (depending on the size of your fillets) until fish flakes easily with a fork. Then allow him to open the packets so if anyone’s fingers get steamed, they’re his. Unless you need a facial.

Serve with steamed or grilled vegetables. Or as in this picture, with rice if your husband threatens to riot without getting any carbs. But no need for you to eat rice! Enjoy!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Chili Lime Shrimp Salad

Hello beautiful people! I hope you are having a wonderful Friday and have plans for an exciting weekend!! We are having another heat wave here on the shore, so last night I was craving something easy to make for dinner that could be served chilled. This recipe fit the bill perfectly, and if I do say so myself, was quite outstanding!

I only made one modification – I added about 1.5 tbsp of finely chopped cilantro. I think it added lovely flavor and green color (my jalapenos are red). I hope your family loves this recipe as much as we do!

Non-Low-Carb Option: Feel free to cook some farfalle pasta according to package directions, drain and chill. Toss with salad before serving.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Garlic-Lemon Rotisserie Chicken

Good morning!! I hope everyone is having a great day! I've been up since 6 a.m., drank a delicious Orange-Vanilla Shakeology that tasted like a Creamsicle (recipe will be up tomorrow!) and have done 50 of my 105 squats. Phew! This squat challenge is starting to get crazy - I can't believe we'll be doing more than 200 a day by the end of the 30 day challenge!

I love this end-of-summer weather, when it's cool enough outside in the evening to grill without melting. We have a rotisserie attachment to our grill and make this gorgeous bird about once a week. It’s A-Maz-Ing. I don’t know much about chemistry, but something absolutely magical happens when you but these ingredients together. We are not wing fans, but we fight mercilessly over the wings on this bird. Next on the agenda – buying a smoker so we can make 45 lbs of wings with this recipe!

Here is the divine recipe!

And here is a picture of ours - don't you want to lick the screen?

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Low-Carb Lifestyle - Canadian Bacon Baked Eggs.

Hi! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! We were travelling and I still managed to eat well - very proud of myself!

When we arrived home and I had time to catch up on Facebook, I saw a friend of mine's post about these beautiful baked eggs. So natch, I had to try them, tweak them, and share them with you! They were really, really delicious and super easy to make! Plus they're Paleo-friendly!

Canadian Bacon Baked Eggs
Serves 4-6      

12 pieces Canadian bacon
12 large eggs
2 green onions, sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
Coconut oil spray (can use olive or canola)
Optional: Freshly grated cheese, chopped tomatoes, herbs, peppers, etc.

Preheat the oven to 375˚ and place a rack in the center.

Carefully spray a 12-cup muffin pan with the cooking oil spray. Place a piece of Canadian bacon into each greased cup so it creates a little holder for the egg. Gently crack one egg into each cup. Top with freshly ground pepper and scallions. (You can add anything else your heart desires at this step – cheese, tomatoes, etc.)

Place in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. You want the whites to be set and the yolk to be runny so check often to ensure they’re cooked perfectly to your liking. Let cool 5 minutes and serve. Enjoy!

Editor's Note: Cooking for one? No problem! Simply refrigerate extras and snack on them for a few days!

Friday, August 16, 2013

My Favorite Shakeology Recipes

Hi everyone and happy Friday!! I love Friday mornings (ok ok, I know I love every morning!) – and I love to start them out right! This is my absolutely favorite Shakeology recipe – not only are you giving your body an overload of everything that is healthy and good in this world, but it tastes like carrot cake. No lie!! Imagine starting out your day with dessert and knowing it’s the best thing you can do for yourself!

Carrot Cake Shakeology
1 packet Vanilla Shakeology
1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
½ cup juiced carrots, or if you have a really good blender, ½ cup steamed carrots
1/8 tsp Cinnamon

Whip everything up in the blender and enjoy! 

Want to know more about Shakeology? Just ask! I’m on Facebook at, e-mail at or visit!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Satisfying Low-Carb Breakfasts

I am so excited today - I have 13 people signed up for my private Facebook 30-Day Squat Challenge! It's such a fun group and they're all starting off with a bang! If you are looking for a way to start moving a little bit on a daily basis, join us! You will get in shape and have fun along the way! Just message me at and we'll get started!

So back to yummy food ... we had such a light dinner last night I literally felt like I was starving to death this morning. Luckily for me, I had a few extra minutes free to make this delicious, healthy and very filling breakfast! We had grilled buffalo burgers last night (I had no bun with mine, thank you very much!) with sliced tomatoes. I had a bunch of fresh spinach sitting in the fridge, so I threw it together with some onions, garlic and mushrooms as a second side dish. If you need more structure than that, you can use this recipe as a guide:

So anyhow, this morning I’m like hungry-hungry-hippo hungry. I thought – how lovely would the leftover spinach concoction be in an omelette? Very lovely! Topped it with some sour cream and then I thought – how lovely would some salmon be with this very lovely omelette? Very very lovely! You see how it goes.

As you get accustomed to eating low-carb, you will get much more creative with your meals and therefore be much more satisfied with your way of eating. Need ideas? Just ask me!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Seared Sea Scallops with Asparagus and Leeks

Ohhh, I missed posting yesterday! My apologies – it’s always a little hectic around here on the weekends. But at it again today – was up early and completed my workout and 30-Day Challenge. I am a few weeks into FOCUS: T25 and I just started a 30-Day Squat Challenge. 30-Day Challenges are a great way to get moving for a short few minutes a day – ever participated in one online? I have a private Facebook group set up for my challengers – we all support and encourage each other while sharing daily anecdotes and inspiration! It’s awesome! Everyone is welcome to join from anywhere in the world! You can find me on Facebook at if you're interested!

We made this last night for dinner and the whole family loved it! The husband didn’t even complain about the lack of rice and/or potatoes … and of course my two-year-old son will eat anything! I love how summery this dish is – that lovely kick of spice, lemon and briny scallops. Decadent – you’ll feel full and satisfied. And that’s what we’re after, isn’t it?

I’ll be back tomorrow – is there anything YOU would like me to post about?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Low-Carb Chicken Fajitas with Chunky Guacamole

Happy Saturday!

Well, I promised you an amazing low-carb Mexican treat and here it is! I call this Deconstructed Chicken Fajitas. They couldn’t be easier – just follow the recipe for fajitas and prepare without the flour tortillas. And for the guacamole, I swear by Ina’s recipe and method! You can find links to both recipes on my cooking blog, The Helpful Husband! Isn't it beautiful?

See how easy that is?

On a side note – how many of you workout on a daily basis? I am currently doing FOCUS: T25 (I love Shaun T!) but I took a break today and did 100 squats. Oof!! I know there is a 30-day Squat Challenge floating around out there – I might have to take that on next month!

Another great recipe will be posted tomorrow - stay tuned!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Shakeology - Your Daily Dose of Dense Superfood Nutrition

Now that you’re on your way to eating healthier, would you like to know how to really analyze everything that’s going into your mouth? There are two things I do absolutely every single day. I use to log all my meals and exercise. And I drink Shakeology for breakfast every single morning. EVERY day. I have been drinking Shakeology for 8 months and I am a convert. An addict. Whichever you prefer. Not only does it give me energy all day long, it is delicious! You can make a different shake every morning by simply adding vegetables, fruits, extracts, etc. I’ll be sharing my favorite recipes with you over the next few weeks but the variations are endless.

One very hot morning not long ago, I was sitting outside just dying for a Café Mocha from Starbucks. When inspiration hit, I went inside and blended Chocolate Shakeology, ½ cup of decaf coffee, 1 cup Unsweetened Silk Almond Milk (almond milk has less than 1 gram of carbohydrates/serving!). I topped the beauty with just a dollop of whipped cream. Amazing taste, completely refreshing and less than a venti Café Mocha! Win win win!

Can’t get enough of me here? Join me on Facebook for healthy recipes and daily motivation!

Stay tuned tomorrow for a fabulously decadent low-carb dinner twist on a popular Mexican dish!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Low-Carb Lifestyle

You’re back! Welcome! I bet you are here because you want to know a little bit more about low-carb eating. Well, I’ll tell you what – it’s easy! For the first 30 days, you want to avoid just about everything! (Kidding!) Here is a list of foods to avoid – but simply, we are talking about omitting ALL refined carbohydrates and sugars.

Absolutely NO, none, nada: Rice, bread, potatoes (this means any kind, including sweet), pasta, flour, beans (except green).
·       Some fruits and vegetables are very high in starch, such as bananas and corn. Avoid these for the first 30 days!

It is crucial to also avoid anything, including vegetables, high in sugar:

Say NO to: Beets, carrots, sugar in any form (maple syrup, molasses, sugar and all sugar substitutes, corn syrup, honey).


Ready for the good news? I bet you are!

MEAT - shrimp, fish, all shellfish, chicken, pork, BACON, sausage, turkey, beef, buffalo, rabbit, capon … you get the picture. Knock yourself out!

CHEESE is ok! Try cheddar, goat, feta, blue, fontina, mozzarella – you name it!

NUTS! Eat nuts and nut butters! Raw, unsalted almonds are amazing for you! (But if you’re like me, you’ll enjoy half a handful of roasted pistachios or cashews every day.)

Say YES! to: Salads and all vegetables not previously mentioned. Use your imagination - or ask me for ideas!

Coffee or Tea Drinkers: Please drink your coffee black or with half-and-half. You can always use a drop or two of real extracts, lemon, and spices such as cinnamon to spiff up your cup.
·      I have read that nixing caffeine helps the weight-loss process. I quit caffeine about 11 many years ago and have never looked back. I’m not going to ask that you do that – but I’m throwing it out there in case you’re interested!

So, here is an example of what I ate for dinner last night. A gorgeous marinated Delmonico steak with roasted zucchini and a boiled egg/avocado/tomato salad. Easy peasy right?

Follow me here and I’ll show you how easy it is! And by all means, do some research on your own – I learn something new every day on my quest for better nutrition. Share what you learn here – we can all lose [weight!] together!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Introduction - Get to know me!

I have been battling my weight for almost 15 years. It goes up … it goes down, and with it my self-esteem. After trying a million fad diets and exercises (that’s not an exaggeration!) I discovered Shakeology. In combination with moderate exercise 5-times a week and low-carb eating, I have watched my weight fall away. I am so over the moon about this trifecta that I wanted to share it with everyone! I have a long way to go, but what’s the point of a journey if it’s not an enjoyable one?!

Perhaps you’ve already heard of Shakeology. It’s that delicious dense daily dose of superfood nutrition by Beachbody. I’ve been drinking it for breakfast every day for 6 months and I. LOVE. IT. I have more energy than I ever thought possible – and you better believe I need it with my 2-year-old son underfoot! It’s given me the energy and focus to pursue one of my biggest passions – cooking! I’ve become a recipe tester for a very popular periodical and the amazing, fantabulous website, Leite’s Culinaria! Next year, I may even attend cooking school!

(You guessed it! You'll find a ton of savory and healthy recipes here!)

You will you discover that getting in shape and losing weight can actually be fun! Stop by tomorrow when I will share a little information about the low-carb way of eating. It's easy AND delicious!

What’s stopping you from achieving everything you have ever wanted? What is standing in your way? Let’s do this together!