Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Honey Curry Pineapple

Honey Curry Pineapple
Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast Cookbook

This recipe is SO easy and so yummy. Don't turn your nose up at it because it is curry and pineapple.. I promise you will wish you doubled the recipe. This is a great side dish, would be great as a dessert if you are craving something sweet, or even for breakfast. I served this with fish tostadas. 

3 cups diced fresh pineapple
1 Tablespoon of butter (yes I did use the butter in this situation.. you do need the flavor of it) 
1 tsp curry powder
1 Tablespoon of honey

 Melt butter in a pan. (my pan looks dirty, its just because I had just cooked another part of the meal in it) 
 Add in pineapple, curry, and honey and stir. Cook on medium low for 5-7 minutes until the sauce gets a bit thickened. 
Once the sauce has thickened, it is ready. This is a great way to add in a fruit as a side dish. 

This counts as 1 Purple, 1 tsp (because of the butter)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


We all get cravings.. its part of life. Right now I am craving a huge slice of coconut cake from Brickstreet Cafe, but I know that I will not be getting a piece of this cake until August 23rd... My 32nd birthday and the one huge splurge that I am allowing myself.  We have to live, we have to splurge and we can't beat ourselves up over it. There will always be situations where we have to make a choice to fight the urge or to give in. Sometimes that urge is stronger than other times and we are weak, so we eat something that is not on plan. Other times we are so strong and not tempted by the things that will only bring us down in the long run.

I get cravings mostly at night. When the kids are in bed, i am vegging on the couch or blogging, and then that sneaky little thought comes into my mind... "what can I eat?" "I am hungry... what containers do I have left?" Usually its green and then I decide I don't want veggies at 10pm.  I work hard to fight off the temptation to eat at night. One of my biggest downfalls is cereal. Not the healthy kind, the sugar packed, put you in a diabetic coma type of cereal. I love a bowl of cereal at night, but I have to fight the urge. I also don't buy a lot of sugary cereal because sugar really affects my boys. I try to keep to to 10 grams of sugar or less, but it is still sugar.

Anyway.. we all have cravings and things we battle when it comes to eating. We are all human and we are all on a journey to become a better version of ourselves. So keep up the good work! YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Oh My Delicious!

Let me just tell you that you will LOVE this meal! It is a WINNER. If you are a meat and potatoes person, or your husband or significant other is, this is a meal for them.
My littles love this meal for a few reasons. 1. It is called cowboy steak and the first time I made it, we told them that real cowboys ate it. They ate every bit of it because they were eating like cowboys! 2. Its just delicious and even kids love it.
This is a fairly quick meal! It was not quick for me due to taking pictures etc., but overall it can be made within 30 minutes including prep time.

Cowboy Steak, Garlic Cheddar Potatoes and Asparagus with a Lemon Vinaigrette
Recipes courtesy of Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast Weeknight Meals, and Food Network's Ten Dollar Dinners 

1 london broil or flank steak (I prefer london broil for this) 
Asparagus (1 bunch)
1 lemon
1 clove garlic
1-2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp instant coffee (I use the pre-packaged servings, which are exactly 1 tsp)
fingerling potatoes or any small potato
Cheddar cheese
garlic powder
olive oil
chopped chives for garnish
(butter is pictured, but i didn't use it and don't feel that you need it) 
 Making the Spice Rub.  Mix 2 tsp. of chili powder, 1/2 tsp of cumin, 1/2 tsp of brown sugar, and 1 tsp of instant coffee. Wisk together so it is well mixed. 

Once your spice rub is mixed salt and pepper one side of your meat. 

Spread 1/2 of the spice rub on the meat, and pat it into the meat, making sure to cover it well with the spice rub. 
Flip it over and repeat with salt, pepper and spice rub. At this point get your grill heated to high while you get the rest of your meal prepped. Go ahead and heat your oven to 400 degrees as well. Set the meat aside until ready to cook it. 
Trim your asparagus and spread out over half of a sheet pan. 
Drizzle with approximately 1/2 tsp. of olive oil and toss so the oil covers the asparagus. Lightly salt and pepper the asparagus. Set aside until ready to cook.  
Now you want to slice your potatoes in half and place into a microwave safe bowl. Put into the microwave for 6 minutes. This is going to precook the potatoes to allow everything to cook evenly and finish at the same time. 
While the potatoes are cooking you will start your vinaigrette that will go over the asparagus. Start by adding 1 to 2 tsp of dijon mustard to a small bowl.
use a garlic press to press 1 clove of garlic and add it to the mustard. 
Next you want to add in the juice from 1/2 a lemon. 

Add in a touch of salt and a generous amount of pepper. This will disperse over all of the asparagus, so it is ok to add a lot of pepper. 
Wisk all the ingredients together while adding in approximately 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. The mixture will become smooth. 
Set the vinaigrette aside so flavors combine.
Once the potatoes are done, place them on the other half of the sheet pan. Spray with PAM spray, lightly salt and pepper the potatoes then lightly sprinkle with garlic powder. 
You are now ready to start cooking! Place the pan into the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes. Once the pan is in the oven immediately put the london broil onto the grill. You only want to cook the london broil for 4 to 5 minutes per side. DO NOT COOK ANY LONGER!! I promise it will be perfectly cooked. Once the meat is done, put it on a plate and cover it with foil until ready to slice. This allows the meat to rest and the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. It also will give you some great juice to pour over the meat when you plate it. 

Pull the pan out of the oven flip your heat to broil and move the rack to the top slot in the oven. Remove the asparagus to a plate to cool slightly. Now you can top each potato with cheddar cheese. 
Place back in the oven on the top rack under the broiler for 2 minutes. This will melt the cheese and slightly brown the top. 
While the potatoes are cooking for the last few minutes, remove the meat from the plate and place on a cutting board to slice.  (you can see the remaining juice) 
The meat is nicely browned and there is a wonderful crust that has formed on the outside from the rub. 
To slice you want to slice diagonally and slice thinly. As you can see below the meat is perfectly cooked. It is still a little pink, but cooked through. If you cook this longer, the meat will be really tough. London broil and flank steak are a tougher cut of meat anyway. 
Sprinkle potatoes with some chopped chives before serving. 
To serve, slice the meat and add potatoes to the plate. Pour the vinaigrette over the asparagus and toss before putting it on the plate. ENJOY!! 

Now lets talk about the containers... 
For this recipe here is how I would count it. 

1 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 Green, 2 tsp, 1 Blue 

I debated on counting the dressing for the asparagus as an orange. There is such a small amount of it on the asparagus I didn't feel like it should count as an entire orange container. You could count it as orange, or just as a teaspoon. 

Enjoy this meal, it is truly wonderful! 

4 Days Post 3 Day Refresh

Because I posted my results and experience doing the 3 day refresh, I wanted to update after 4 days. I lost 7 lbs on the refresh (which is amazing) and I wanted to see if any of it immediately came back due to water weight. I am happy to say that 4 days later, I am still down 7 lbs! I am amazed and so excited. I have been consistent with my exercise (right now I am doing PiYo and eating from the 21 day fix meal plan). I am really pleased with my results! It really is amazing to have kept off the 7 lbs for 4 days after. I am so motivated to keep pushing and lose more! I am considering doing it again towards the end of August and then once again after our family returns from Disney World.

I am really excited that for the first time in 21 months, I am wearing my wedding rings. I also got into a dress, that I bought last October and was not able to wear because it was just a little too tight. I bought it because I knew I would be able to wear it. My clothes are loose on me and I am only going to get thinner! Woo Hoo!

I am just excited about this refresh.

If you want to join in and experience this I would love to have you along side me. Check it out.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Pork Tostadas

Pork Tostadas
Picture and recipe courtesy of Lauren Buczkowski

Sometimes you just feel like something easy and quick for dinner that doesn't take a lot of prep time. Tostadas are something that can be very versatile. You can make them with fish, you can make them with pork, you can make them with turkey or chicken. This is one I made with pork. It is such a simple recipe and a good, filling meal. It is also something that you get to cook all day in a crock pot and forget about. 

Pork loin is something that you can buy really inexpensively. It usually comes in large portions as well, allowing you to freeze part of it for another meal. Buy them when they are on sale. 

·       6” corn tortillas (I like to use white corn tortillas) 
·       1 lb pork loin roast
·       ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
·       2 Tablespoons honey
·       ½ cup water
·       Salt
·       Pepper
·       Garlic 2 cloves minced
·       Tomatoes
·       Avocado
·       Plain nonfat greek yogurt 1 cup
·       Cilantro 1/4 cup
·       Chives 1 tablespoon
·       Cheddar cheese
·       Limes

Place the pork loin into a crock pot. Lightly salt and pepper the pork loin. Add in apple cider vinegar, honey, 1 clove of garlic and water into the crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. 

When the meat is done, use two forks to shred it and then let it sit in the liquid until you are ready to serve. 

Get your toppings ready: Cheddar Cheese, chop tomatoes, dice avocado, Slice limes. 

To make the sauce to go on top of the tostadas, mix yogurt, remaining garlic clove, Chopped cilantro, chives, salt to taste and the juice of 1/2 a lime. 

Heat broiler and place tortillas onto a baking pan. Spray with cooking spray. Place under the broiler and watch them because they can burn quickly. Usually only cook for a minute or two. Flip them over and toast the other side. 

To put them together use 2 tortillas, 1 red container of meat, 1/2 blue of cheese split between the two, 1/2 blue of avocado, top with tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of sauce (one for each tostada) Sprinkle with cilantro if wanted and a squeeze of lime. 

Here is how I would count this meal: 
1 Red  (for the meat and sauce) 1 Blue, 1 Yellow

You don't use enough tomatoes to count it as a full green container.  

Chicken in Wine Sauce

Chicken and Wine Sauce
Pictures and Recipe courtesy of Lauren Buczkowski
serves 4
This is a recipe I grew up watching my mom make. The real recipe includes butter and more flour, I wanted to somewhat recreate this recipe to fit into the 21DF. Now I will say this picture is not typically how this looks. It usually had a nice sauce over it and also has potatoes in it. While I was cooking I also turned into Doc. McStuffins. My son has a special "doggie" and his nose fell off and I had to come to the rescue to sew a new nose on doggie. While I was searching for thread I forgot I was also cooking and my sauce burned and there was not much left. I will make this again in the next few weeks with better pictures of how its really supposed to look. I also didn't have potatoes, so I used carrots. 

This is a good one pot meal. (well I guess really 2 because you have to cook the rice) 


·       Chicken (1 piece per person)
·       Chicken or veggie broth (around 3 cups)
·       2 tsp flour (whole wheat or coconut flour)
·       1 cup white wine (I use the small 1 serving bottles from the store)
·       1 cup diced carrots
·       2-3 small white or red potatoes diced into 1” chunks
·       1 medium onion diced
·       2 cloves of garlic (use a garlic press)
·       Salt
·       Pepper
·       1 sprig of fresh rosemary
·       2 teaspoons olive oil
·       Brown rice

Step 1: 
Start your rice (I use a rice cooker) I used 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water for 4 people. 
Add olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Let it get hot. Salt and pepper chicken lightly and place into hot pan. Cook on each side about 4 minutes (until nicely browned) Once chicken is browned remove from pan. 

Step 2: Add carrots, onion, and garlic to the remaining oil in the pan and cook for 5 minutes. If it starts to burn add a little water until the onions start to caramelize and become a bit translucent. 

 Step 4: Add the broth to the pan then mix together flour and wine (this will keep the flour from clumping in the pan) Pour wine mixture into the pan and stir. 
Step5: Stir and bring the mixture to a boil. 
 Step 6: Add chicken and Potatoes to the liquid. Turn heat down to medium low. Let it simmer until potatoes are soft. 

To serve: Use 1/2 a yellow container of rice and place 1 piece of chicken on top of the rice. Use the other 1/2 yellow container for potatoes and carrots and fill in the yellow container with sauce. Pour over the top of the chicken. Top with a little fresh parsley if wanted. Serve with steamed broccoli or green beans.

In this case again I don't really count the chicken broth. I figure it goes along with the chicken and it is part of the sauce which goes into your yellow container. So it does get counted. As far as the wine goes, I went back and fourth trying to decide on how to count this. Because the alcohol gets cooked out and becomes part of the sauce, which goes into your yellow container, I still count this towards the 1 yellow container. (if anyone thinks differently please let me know.)

Here is how I would count this: 1 Yellow, 1 Red, 1 tsp, 1/2 Green

Crockpot Minestrone Soup

Crockpot Minestrone Soup
Above picture and recipe courtesy of

I am going to be honest, I am not a huge fan of veggie filled soup... I am more of a chowder/thick soup person. (Like baked potato soup) However this one is one I really love. This is not a typical summer recipe for me, I usually don't make a lot of soup in the summer, just because it is so hot. I also only make this recipe when I have Parmesan rind. So my husbands grandmother is 94 and has not been feeling well. She thinks I am the most amazing cook in the world and I try every few weeks to make her a meal. She loves soup, and this soup is her absolute favorite. So that is why I made it yesterday. I kept a little for myself for lunch today. 
So minestrone soup is a classic Italian soup and is very hearty with white beans, tomatoes, zucchini and pasta. It cooks down with the rind of pamesan which infuses the flavor throughout the soup, giving it a richness that is delicious. 

Here is what you will need: (A few things not pictured, but noted below, I had to change it up a little) 
 You will need:
  • 1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained, rinsed (cannellini or navy) (not pictured above) 
  • 32 oz container reduced sodium chicken broth or veggie broth
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced celery (Not pictured above) 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 oz) can petite diced tomatoes (i used (1) (14oz can of diced tomatoes and the rest were fresh cherry tomatoes I cut up) 
  • Parmesan cheese rind (optional) (I keep these in my freezer when i have used up all the cheese) 
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (not pictured) 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley (not pictured)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt and fresh black pepper
  • 1 medium 8 oz zucchini, diced
  • 2 cups chopped fresh (or frozen defrosted) spinach, kale, swiss chard whatever you prefer.  (I did not use greens because it can change coumadin levels and his grandmother is on coumadin) 
  • 2 cups cooked small pasta such as ditalini or elbows (al dente)- use what you have on hand, try whole wheat pasta as well. 
  • This is also good with ground turkey or make little mini meatballs, chicken would also be good added to this soup to add in some protein. 
  • extra parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
Step 1: Turn crockpot on low. Drain and rinse beans and put into a blender or food processor. Add in 1 cup of broth. Blend well. Add mixture to the crockpot, followed by the remining broth. Add in basil, parsley, bay leaves, rosemary, parmasean rind, salt, and pepper.
 Next add in your tomatoes. Give it a good stir. 
 Step 3: Chop up your onion, carrots, celery, and mince your garlic. Add oil to the pan and saute veggies until soft. Around 8-10 minutes.
Transfer veggies to the crock pot, mix it all together and put the lid on and cook on low 6-8 hours. Forty minutes before you are ready to serve, add in your zucchini and greens (spinach, kale, or swiss chard) Let it cook for 30 minutes. At this time you can also cook your pasta, so it will be ready to serve with the soup.

To serve: add 1 yellow container 3/4 full of pasta (preferably whole wheat) to your bowl. (remember you used a can of white beans in this, so don't fill your yellow up completely. The beans will count towards some of your yellow also. Top with 1 Green container of soup. Get lots of good veggies in your container. Add a little broth if needed. Top with Parmesan cheese. Remove the Parmesan rind from the soup (this tastes amazing, but the added calories of eating it do not fit into the plan)

This soup is a great way to add in some green containters. It is filled with good veggies. I also don't tend to count broth in my containers. I figure the amount of broth used, fills in the gaps between the veggies in the container. (i used veggie broth) I may be incorrect in this thinking, so if anyone knows the answer to this please let me know.

I would count this as follows:  1 Yellow, 1 Green, 1 Blue, and 1 tsp.
** if you were to add in chicken or turkey meatballs, then I would also count it as a 1 Red

Refresh Results and Thoughts

I wanted to share on here about the 3 day refresh and my honest thoughts about it. First of all  I am not a huge fan of cleanses. I remember my brother doing the lemon water with Cayenne pepper and honey cleanse a long time ago and I remember thinking it just sounded awful. My first cleanse was a 3 day Shakeology cleanse and it was fine. I was pretty hungry when I did it and couldn't wait for dinner time! Beachbody created the 3 Day Refresh program and I immediately ordered it to use after my trip to Florida. I didn't stay on track in Florida and knew I needed something to get back on track and to help me get over the plateau I was stuck on.

Day 1: Day 1 was fine. I was not overly hungry (I got a little hungry before dinner) The only thing I made a mistake with was the fiber sweep. The fiber sweep has ground chia in it, and if you have ever used or eaten chia you know that when it is mixed with liquid it almost turns to gel. It gets thick and a little slimy. Well the fiber sweep says to drink immediately and I thought I was, but it really needs to say "Mix and Chug" I waited too long and it turned thick. It was like trying to drink cream of wheat. The flavor is not bad on the fiber sweep, almost a little citrus tasting.    For lunch you have the vanilla fresh which to me is not very tasty. (hopefully they will create a chocolate one sometime in the future) You have the option to mix in fruit with it, so I did that sometimes and it helped. I also added a little extract to help with the taste. I used coconut or orange extract. Its not horrible, just not my chocolate shakeology.

 Day 1: Breakfast: Shakeology with 1/2 banana                                         Day 1:  Fiber Sweep

                     Day 1: Lunch: Pineapple, Hummus, Carrots                       
    Day 1: Dinner Stir Fry Veggies, Veggie Broth,Vanilla Fresh

Day 2: I went to bed with the start of a headache and woke up to an even worse headache. I had to take some migraine medicine and then had my shakeology and the headache was gone. I assume it is part of the detox and you body getting rid of bad junk, but also due to it being before the start of my cycle (sorry for the info) I always get a headache before that.  I chugged the fiber sweep which was a lot easier this time and day 2 went well.
                   Day 2: Lunch: Avocado, carrots, 1/2 of the pineapple serving, the other half is in the vanilla fresh. 
Day 2: Dinner  Lemony Green Beans and Veggie Broth - Vanilla Fresh not pictured. 
Day 3: I was jealous of all the people who started the day before me and were already eating food.  I just had the desire to eat more than veggies. Its ok I stuck with it and moved on. Day 3 went well. I had a bit of a hard time getting the vanilla fresh down, so I just drank it quickly. Again it isnt horrible but just not my favorite. Day 3 I had to bake a cake, blueberry muffins and dinner for my husband and kids and was never tempted once to eat it. I dont know why it was easy for me to resist it. I had made it too far and there was no reason to blow it. I was excited when I went to bed, knowing that in the morning I could drink my black coffee and eat my eggs and fruit.
                                         Day 3: Dinner (my lunch and snacks were the same each day)
So overall I would absolutely do the refresh again!  I may do it once a month for a little while, just to keep a jumpstart on my weight loss, or to get over places I seem stuck. Now I have great results (results at the bottom) but it was not just about weight loss. The biggest thing for me in doing this is that I know I have the ability to resist snacking at night. I do it out of being bored or just sitting and watching tv. This is something i have to really work hard at from now on.

So now for my results: Unfortunately I didn't get pictures before and after. Not sure why I didn't take them, I always do them. I did measure my waist though.

                          Before:                       After 3 Day Refresh:                Totals:
Weight:                 174lbs                               167lbs                          7lbs lost!
Waist:                  37.5"                                   36.5"                            1 inch lost!

I am so happy with my results.
                                             Post Refresh Meal 1: Eggs, Pineapple and Coffee
Want to do your own 3 day refresh? Contact me at or