NurtiFit Lust

Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determine how well you do it. Start somewhere and you shall suceed!

Making Time is Necessary. And Your Weekly Recipes!

Alright folks, so the first week back into your fitness and nutrition journey after the holiday season, well my dying burning question: HOW ARE YOU DOING?!! Are you overwhelmed again? Or have you been sticking to your plan and slowly improving? In any case, I hope that you still know that if you believe in yourself the change will happen. It will be challenging but if you are not taking that first step and challenging yourself then what are you doing to make that change and how do you expect to change if you don’t put the effort in? Just remember no one else can do this for you, yes the tools are there and the help is there, but you are the one that has to put everything you can into it and morph into that beautiful butterfly you are and gain what you really want out of it not what you stand to lose. Think about that; the confidence, the sexiness, the life lesson, the value in yourself, the friends, the community, and the lifestyle worth living, all of it is what you will gain. Take a moment and really write it out in front of you, your goals, what you want to see, what you want to gain, and how to get there. Make it your priority and you will be surprised how fast the motivation will sneak up into your life every day and how fast you will encourage yourself to your own success.
Now, for a little nutrition talk. How is the meal planning coming along. Are you following up on some of the ideas that I have posted? Has any of it helped? Are there any suggestions you can give me to really help you get on track with your nutrition or are we just talking the lack of time to prepare and willingness? How about this; here is a common statement among many people looking to get healthy, or start a new lifestyle.
Statement:
I’m too busy to cook and I end up eating a lot of fast food, although I try to order healthier options. I realize that I do want to eat better, but the reality is that I don’t have a lot of time to cook or bring foods with me to work or outside of home. What can I do?
Answer:
First off I would like to ask do you cook meals at home at all? If yes, then next time you are cooking your dinner, throw a couple extra chicken breasts (or other proteins) on the grill or in the oven and make a little extra of the side dish you are preparing and Tupperware it up just like you would for left overs and you will be amazing that you just created at least two extra meals for yourself for the week. Now, I do want to tackle the eating out. Eating out is fine once and a while, there are plenty of restaurants that have healthy options available and even have nutrition guides to help navigate you to their best options, but remember having a fast food diet is not the key to happiness nor the key to a slimmer waist line. It’s all about timing and prioritizing your life, if it is important to you to make this change in your life, then you will do it and succeed at it. Will it take a while? Yes. Will you fail? Sometimes, but don’t look at it negatively and keep it positive and learn from your mistakes rather than dwell on them. Remember you have a body that is made primarily of food, so consider how you can invest a little more time in nourishing it. I encourage you to demonstrate self-love by deciding that it’s okay to take the time to seek out healthy nutrition. It is all about believing in you and dedicating your time to YOU and YOUR LIFE. The time is now, so why not? No more excuses. Remember you have all the tools in front of you, use them and ask for help.
So, now onto the weekly recipes and fun Kylan and I have been up to!
Breakfast:
Have time for a quick scramble? Try this one out for a change. In a pan put a little olive oil or coconut oil over medium-high heat, scramble 3 egg whites, a small handful of spinach leaves, some black beans and pre-cooked lean meat of your choice . Season it with pepper or your desired seasonings. Wrap mixture in an 8-inch whole-wheat tortilla or top a whole wheat slice of toast and finish it off with salsa and avocado.
Lunch:
Since we are all about the quick and easy; yet satisfying, try this lunch idea out! Grab a whole-wheat pita and spread one side with 2 tbsp. hummus. Add 1 large roasted and sliced ( you may opt for it to be fresh, cold and crisp) red pepper, 1 tbsp. crumbled feta, 1 tbsp. black olives, a few slices cucumber, and a small handful of mixed greens or baby spinach. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and black pepper if you prefer and enjoy!

Dinner:
Thinking hot and spicy to really get that metabolism going? Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil or coconut oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper and ¼ sliced and diced onion and cook for about 4 minutes. At this point you can add fresh garlic if you want, do use a garlic press for this option and one clove. Add ½ a red bell pepper (again sliced and diced), ½ cup zucchini and squash (sliced and diced; yet again), and ¼ cup corn (fresh, frozen or canned) and cook for a good 5 minutes. Add ¼ lb. shelled and de-veined shrimp and cook until shrimp are pink in color and opaque. You may top with avocadoes and salsa if desired! Or even lay it in a bed of steamed brown rice, quinoa, or white rice.
How about that? Sound good? It is my favorite time again, here is what Kylan and I have been cooking up!
As usual our week always involves a little prep-cooking. We decided on a little steak and pork chops smoke grilled with a couple sweet potatoes rubbed with coconut oil and garlic.

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Of course, Kylan loves putting together his dinners so why not have a little fruit on the side and a pudding with sprinkles as a desert? Haha.

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Next, since the rainy days are usually the best days to cook a crockpot meal we decided on a pot roast with sweet potatoes, onions, and carrots. Yes it was simple and delicious!

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And as I am sure you know by now, I love to make Kylan laugh and enjoy special treats, I surprised my sick lil’ guy with some “car” pancakes! Check them out!

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Well, there you have it. Just a simple and sweet moment in the life Kylan and I live. Do not forget to surround yourself by the positives in life and really take time for a laugh or two a day. We do! 🙂

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Feeling the Stress of the Holidays? Plus your Weekly Recipes!

Good Afternoon Folks!

How are the holidays treating you? Has it been tough to stay on track or are you enjoying the moderations you’re allowing yourself to have while still busting your behind in your workouts? In any case, do remember to take time for yourself and relax a bit. I wanted to share a few quick tips on relaxation in the form of mediation.

  1. Mediation can restore the optimism, self-esteem, confidence, and motivation you can be forgetting you had through stressful and worrisome times. Therefore you doubting yourself is something of the past!
  2. It lowers blood pressure and slows down your cardiovascular system to a calm and easy to manage state of mind throughout your nervous system too.
  3. It also can release and diminish any fears you have going on in your own thoughts and as well as reduce the anxiety that may be running your life.
  4. Mediation also can restore balance to your digestive system and aid in the absorption of the nutrients your body needs and craves.
  5. It can help with relieving the muscle tension you may have throughout your body from the hard training you have been doing or simply from a bad night’s sleep or even stress.
  6. Yes, speaking of bad night’s sleep, mediation can relieve you from insomnia as well as those headaches or migraines you may acquire.
  7. Finally, one great thing about mediation is with the confidence, relieved stress, relaxed mind and body; it can all help in improving depression if you have traveled that pathway.

Now that you know how mediation can help you, where do you begin?

  1. Begin with the basics like “Quiet Mind.”

This would mean your thinking becomes quiet. You simply stop focusing on all the stresses, negatives, worries, ect and just let the voice within you be quiet. Yes it is easier said than done but just like the fitness and nutrition journey you are on, everything starts with that first step. So quiet your mind, literally think of nothing. Take five minutes each day and practice this technique and soon you can master it.

  1. Secondly, Focus on NOW.

This would mean rather than focusing on the past or the future, focus on right now. This involves experiencing each moment and letting it go, experiencing the next. This is just like quieting the mind; it will take time to master but give it a try and don’t look to your future nor look behind at your past, sit exactly at this moment and experience it then let it go.

  1. Thirdly, Alter your Consciousness.

This would mean that with time, maintaining a quiet mind and focus on the present can lead to an altered level of consciousness that isn’t a sleeping state but isn’t quite your average wakeful state, either. But it brings you fully into mediation and helping with the list mentioned above and improving your overall well-being.

Ok, now that those basics are reviewed simply sit in a comfortable position and begin to think of yourself as an ‘observer of your thoughts,’ just noticing what the narrative voice in your head says, but not engaging it. As thoughts materialize in your mind, just let them go.

Or you can sit and focus on something intently, but don’t engage your thoughts about it. It can be something visual, like a cup on your countertop, or listening to some soothing sounds or even your own breathing. Just slip into that altered consciousness with your quiet mind and “now” state of mind.

You may also find that yoga or even spiritual mediation can be forms of mediation that are easier to slip into and completely feel relaxed by the end of the session or moment you create. Whichever meditative techniques you use, the potential benefits are clear and numerous, making it one of the more commonly recommended stress management practices. So what are you waiting for? Take this helpful note and try it at least once a week and see the benefits for yourself.

Alright, now that I have explained a quick important note crucial to your overall well-being especially during the holidays and even on fitness and nutrition journeys let’s dive into how you are doing and the weekly recipes and fun stuff Kylan and I have been up to.

I do hope that you are keeping up on your journal and have been reaching your goals along the way. Is there anything I can help with? Maybe some new workout ideas or suggestions on concerns you may have about your journal you are keeping? Make sure you contact me I am here to help and enjoy making fitness and nutrition part of your life!

Alright, for the recipes.

Breakfast:

Blend together ½ cup frozen strawberries, ½ cup frozen blueberries, 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt or greek yogurt, 2 tsp. honey or cinnamon, and ¼ cup milk of choice. You can add any frozen fruit you desire!

No blender? Easy enough:

Layer together: 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt or greek yogurt sweetened with 1 tsp. honey or cinnamon, ½ cup granola (homemade or store bought), and ½ cup frozen blueberries and strawberries (or desired frozen fruits).

Lunch:

Simple and easy. Tear ¼ head of romaine lettuce into bite-sized pieces or if you have it available grab a few handfuls of either spring mix or baby spinach. Top the leafy greens you desire with ½ tomato, ½ avocado, 2 slices deli turkey or desired meat (you can even use canned tuna), ¼ sliced red onion, 1/8 cup shaved Parmesan, 1 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper (or desired seasonings) to taste.

Dinner:

It almost is winter and the temps outside are dropping, warm up your night with this simple soup. In a medium saucepan, combine ¾ cup vegetable broth, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, and ½ tbsp. olive oil. When it reaches a boil, stir in 1/8 cup uncooked couscous, ¼ cup broccoli, and ¼ cup cauliflower (or desired vegetables) and cook until tender. A quicker version you may use frozen vegetables of your liking, but fresh is always the best! Serve topped with sun-dried tomato pieces and 1 thinly sliced scallion.

Ready for some fun? Check out what we have been up to this week!

We began this week with a little craving for breakfast food, yes we are talking pancakes, eggs and ham. We came up with a “sweet” idea of red velvet pancakes mixed with blueberries. Turned out quiet yummy!

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Next, as part of our countdown to Christmas activities we decided that homemade chicken, garlic, mushroom, and tomato pizza! Kylan enjoyed that a lot!

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We also put together a pork shoulder with onions and mushrooms in the crockpot overnight. Though, if your like me and eat like a horse, the smell of food cooking all night can keep your mouth watering and you may end up with lack of sleep thinking it is dinner time every couple of hours. But, hey it was ever so tender and delicious! Pair it with a side of veggies and sweet potato and your set!

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We also had another chance to cater and make a big fun meal. We barbequed up some bison burgers with portabella mushrooms. I choose to make a lettuce wrap out of my “works” burger but Kylan did enjoy his cheese burger with pickles! We also paired it with homemade potato salad and even threw in some homemade fudge!

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Also to my surprise as we were catering, Kylan decided he was going to put his kitchen to use for his own lunch. Teach them while their young and they will thank you later!

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December Already?! Are You Ready for Month 3?

Good morning folks! Can you believe its December already?! Wow how fast this year has flown. But that just means another year of great goals, amazing dreams, happiness and laughter is right in front of you! Speaking of December that means you are on month three of your fitness journey! Well, how is it going now? By this time it should be a habit for you and a fun habit at that! I really hope your enjoying your journey and it is brining you greatness into your life as well as your confidence and waste line.

So on to the good stuff, month three is here and you need your next month, well here it is.

Coming into the third month can be tough if it’s not a habit by now for you; keep going, this isn’t the time to start to give up. Remind yourself why you are doing this. Weigh yourself and take your measurements again. The progress you should see is in your muscle tone, even if the scale shows no weight loss. Remember, muscle weighs more than fat, so you might have gained a few pounds, but you’ve most likely turned some of that fat into muscle. Again note the changes you see in yourself and in your energy in your journal. Have you met any goals? Make sure you are setting some goals, and they don’t have to just be in measurements or pounds lost, make them in distance or speed with your cardio activities or maybe how well you are sticking to your nutrition plan. Be creative and reward yourself at least once a month.

Ok, so we are into the third month. This month doesn’t vary in cardio activity, still, at 40 minutes three times a week; all month long. But for the first two weeks of this month do increase your toning exercises by doing 3 sets of 10 abdominal exercises. (Remember there are plenty of them out there, so pick and choose wisely and complete them with good form.) Also, after the abdominal exercises preform 2 sets of 10 push-ups. Then finish off with 1 set of 10 squats. You may grab your hand weights here (Holding them with your arms at 90 degree angles starting at shoulder height and work those glutes out!)

How To

Squats:

Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight. Bend your knees and lower your rear as if you were sitting down in a chair, keeping your knees over your ankles. Then rise back up and squeeze your glutes. You may perform this with or without weights. Squats work multiple muscle groups; the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, at the same time.

How does that sound? Yes we are increasing the tempo again but it will be well worth it! Alright, keep up the amazing work and do let me know if you need anything or want different options for your workouts or even nutrition. I am here to help you J

How about some recipes! And of course the recipes Kylan and I would like to share with you. Enjoy folks!!

Breakfast:

Toast 1 slice whole-grain bread or bagel and top with 1 tbsp. crunchy almond butter or peanut butter and ½ a sliced banana. Mmm so delicious! You can even sprinkle a little cinnamon on top or drizzle some honey on top!

Not feeling the quick and easy toast idea? How about this: Coat a pan with olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Pour in 3 egg whites mixed with 1 tsp. water (or milk for a fluffier omelet) and salt, pepper or other desired seasonings (to taste). When eggs begin to set, top half with 2 tbsp. goat cheese, ½ cup fresh spinach, and 2 tbsp. chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Fold in half and cook 2 more minutes, or until egg whites are set, veggies are warmed through, and cheese is melted. Of course you can make your omelet to your liking but adding some ground turkey or cooked chicken cut in pieces in to this recipe is one heck of a party in your tummy! Yum!

Lunch:

Mash ¼ can rinsed and drained white beans with 1 tsp. olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper or other desired seasonings. Toast 1 slice of whole-grain bread and spread with the bean mixture. Top with 1 slice red onion, cucumber slices, and ¼ avocado (sliced). Not feeling the bean idea? Try tuna or chicken salad instead, just mix the avocado (you will need a whole avocado for this option) and tuna or chicken plus olive oil and seasonings in a bowl first then spread on your bread and top with onion and cucumber.

Dinner:

Cold winter days and nights are upon us. Warm up with a soup idea. Try this one: In a medium saucepan, combine ¾ cup vegetable broth, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, and ½ tbsp. olive oil. When it reaches a boil, stir in 1/8 cup uncooked couscous, ¼ cup broccoli, and ¼ cup cauliflower (both chopped into small florets). Cook until tender. Optional: Serve topped with 1 oil-packed sun-dried tomato (chopped)and 1 scallion (thinly sliced).

Don’t forget to share your tips, ideas and recipes with me! Here is our fun for the week to share with you!

2012-11-29_09-41-37_70 Had a big breakfast that included yummy blueberry packed pancakes and egg white omelet with avocado, tomatoes, sweet peppers and swiss cheese!

ResizedImage_1354544423620 Kylan enjoyed mini blueberry pancakes and sausage 🙂 filled his belly up just right!

ResizedImage_1354544457122 Of course we prep-cooked and this week it included some chicken breasts with summer savory seasonings and our favorite steaks grilled up deliciously and even barbequed in the rain 🙂 Just something about grilling in the rain and cold weather just makes it so much fun and totally worth it!

2012-12-01_17-06-12_128 And he even got to enjoy his favorite meal, steak with mac and cheese! Growing boy!

2012120195183912 Finally, don’t forget to treat yourself once and a while. Rootbeer floats anyone?

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Almost Done with Month 2! Weekly Check Up and Sharing Recipes!

Good afternoon folks! It is that time of the week again; your weekly check up on how you are doing on your fitness and nutrition journey as well as weekly recipes and ideas to share with you all!

So how are you doing? You are about a week away from wrapping up your second month of this program and I would love to hear some great feedback. Now, I do realize that this time of the year can be the most difficult time to stay on track and focused but it also can be great fuel for pushing yourself even harder to stay focused and determined in your workouts because well that pecan, pumpkin, apple, cherry pie was soooooo delicious. Remember to reflect back on a few articles I have written as well as my blogs to keep you motivated and successful through the holidays. And if you need any help on what to make or eat or extra workouts just shoot me a quick message and I will be glad to help.

I wanted to quickly review a topic I have been asked a few times over the last couple weeks. This topic is what to eat BEFORE a workout. Here is a great list of ideal pre-workout snacks to keep you in “the zone” throughout your workout.

  1. Chocolate milk
  2. Cottage Cheese
  3. Banana
  4. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, mixed berries, even cranberries
  5. Oranges
  6. Eggs
  7. Carrots
  8. Whole grain bagel
  9. Whole grain cereal
  10. Flaxseed
  11. Peanuts, Almonds, Walnuts, even Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
  12. Salmon
  13. Chicken
  14. Hummus

Of course this is just a few of the items you can enjoy in a small serving before you work out. Don’t overdo it and make yourself sick during your workout. And in the above list you can mix and match items, like peanut butter on half a bagel, carrots with hummus, or even a small bowl of whole grain cereal with milk and flaxseed added. Just be cautious of the serving size and eat it at least 30mins prior to working out. It will boost your energy levels and give you enough of a pump to really enjoy your workout. Go hard or go home folks!

Ok, now for the weekly recipes. And of course the recipes Kylan and I would like to share with y’all.

Breakfast

Grab your blender and smooth together 1 packet chocolate breakfast powder (Carnation Breakfast Essentials), 1 cup milk, chocolate milk, almond milk, coconut milk or even soy milk, and ½ banana (frozen is best, if not available add ice cubes). If you need or want to, add a scoop of protein powder (vanilla or chocolate) for improved muscle recovery.

Not feeling the shake idea? Try this:

In a frying pan over medium-high heat combine 2-3 large egg whites, a handful of spinach, ¼ cup chopped red peppers, 1/8 cup chopped onion, 1/8 cup chopped vegetarian bacon or turkey bacon, and a few dashes of paprika or seasons of your choice. Sauté until veggies are cooked and egg whites are heated through. Top with sliced avocado if desired.

Lunch

Preheat the broiler. Spread 2 tbsp. pesto(homemade or store bought) on 1 whole-grain 8-inch tortilla. Sprinkle with 2 tbsp. chopped broccoli florets, a large handful of spinach, 4 sliced baby bella mushrooms, 2 tbsp. chopped onions, and 2 tbsp. part-skim mozzarella. Broil until cheese is lightly browned, about 4 minutes.

Need a on the go lunch idea?

Takes only a few minutes to through together and put it on a paper towel and run out the door!

On a plate, layer 1 slice deli turkey, ham, chicken or roast beef and 1 slice provolone, cheddar, or swiss cheese. Spread the cheese with 1 tsp. pesto (again, homemade or store bought) and top with 2 slices avocado. Roll up the turkey and repeat 2 more times. Guess what.. it is LOW-CARB!!

Dinner

Combine 5 asparagus spears (do cut to desired length), ½ cup snow peas, ½ cup broccoli florets, and 1 cup mixed bell peppers in a pan with olive oil, and heat over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes. Instead of using pre-made sauce, heat another 2 tbsp. olive oil with ½ tsp. grated ginger and 1 chopped scallion and 1 cup mushrooms (sliced and desired kind) , and toss with cooking veggies. Cook for an additional 3 minutes or until veggies are softened but still crisp inside. Serve with brown rice or quinoa.

Need a protein packed dinner idea instead?

Prepare 1 serving of whole wheat pasta according to package instructions. Heat ½ tbsp. olive oil in a frying pan and cook ½ lb. peeled and de-veined shrimp seasoned with desired seasonings for 3 to 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Remove shrimp and add 1 tbsp. chopped olives or pickled peppers, 1 tbsp. chopped parsley, and 1 clove minced garlic. Cook 1 minute and add 1 cup fresh baby spinach, ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes, ¼ cup chicken broth, and 1/8 cup white wine. Cover and cook 3 minutes. Stir in shrimp and serve with pasta.

How about those ideas? Do you have any homemade or favorite recipes you would like to share? Well, share them with me and I’ll be more than happy to try and blog about them! Ok, here is what Kylan and I came up with to share with you!!

So we decided to cook up some steak and pork chops. Yum!

 Of course I paired my pork chop with a baked sweet potato and some asparagus.

 Next time I paired my steak with a bed of mixed green, tomato slices and avocado slices along with another baked sweet potato.

 Another time I chopped my pork chop up and tossed it with a salad of mixed greens, carrots, tomatoes, sweet peppers and a nice greek dressing.

Of course I do have to mention Kylan is definitely a steak and pork chop boy with ranch dressing on the side, fruit or veggie as a side dish and sometimes mac and cheese. Just depends on his mood. Haha!

Now, because he loves his special treats I have to post a couple pictures in honor of his Hostess Donuts. RIP fluffy white donuts, Kylan will miss you. 🙂

  MMM.. Yumm.. Now where is my chocolate milk?   Ahh.. better! 🙂

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Ahh, the Holidays are Coming up! Weekly Recipes and Tips to Keep You Going!

Good afternoon folks! How is the month of November going for you? Is this 2nd month of your fitness journey doing well? How is the journal or logs you are keeping going? Hopefully it is progressing, even if it is slow progression, it is still progress!

Just as a reminder, for the remainder of the month two, keep the 40 minutes of cardio 3x a week, but do increase your added abdominal exercises to 3 sets of 10 and your pushups of 10 to 2 sets.

Don’t forget there are several exercises that you can perform for your abdominals. Ask away, and I can share and help you.

Now that you have the rest of the month planned out, let’s again go over this coming week holiday THANKSGIVING! I would like to again share what I previously blogged about for the holidays and cooking tips.

The top most nutritious holiday foods you must not skimp out on!

1. Cranberries: The antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties of the cranberry are recognized in improving cardiovascular health and possibly offering protection against certain cancers. They are naturally tart, but if you add a fresh orange or fresh apples, they can be sweeten up perfectly for that Turkey you are roasting or added on top of your oatmeal.

2. Speaking of turkey, turkey is part of many holiday celebrations. It is high in protein and a source of iron, B vitamins, zinc and potassium. The white breast meat is lower in fat than the dark meat and the skin. Just make sure you bake it or smoke it verses deep frying it! And there are always leftovers to enjoy on sandwiches or as meals for the next few days.

3. Along with the turkey is the potatoes and gravy. If you can, choose sweet potatoes. The sweet potato is a very good source of dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin A and C and calcium. It can be baked, pureed or roasted with other vegetables. Skip out on the brown sugar or marshmallows and either add a little butter or some olive oil and black pepper or other spices of your choice.

4. Of course, there is always that green bean casserole, but sometimes that can be packed with way too much, umm should we say love? Anyway reach for some Brussels sprouts instead. Those little sprouts are low in calories but rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C and K, and potassium. Steamed or stir fried, you can dress them up with crispy cooked bacon or pancetta or toss with a dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Don’t worry; you can still have your green beans, just try to have them tossed with olive oil and spices to protect the fact that they are too highly nutritious.  They are considered an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K , manganese, vitamin A, dietary fiber, potassium, and folate. They are also rich in the antioxidant vitamin C, which may protect against the development of cancer, heart disease, as well as helps to boost the immune system.

5.Your Christmas ham: Though, it has been thought to be an unhealthy food, ham is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid which helps to increase good cholesterol and decreases bad cholesterol that causes the buildup of plaques in the arteries that leads to a stroke or heart attacks. Welcome back Christmas ham!

6. Drinks to warm up with! Cocoa and fresh cider. Chocoholics, rejoice! Yes, eating small amounts of chocolate, as in a serving, lowers blood pressure and in turn may lower your risk of stroke or coronary heart disease. Of course, choose wisely. Choose dark chocolate containing at least 70 percent cocoa solids. Those contain higher levels of the antioxidant flavonoids responsible for its health benefits, like helping lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol). And for the fresh cider, you can’t go wrong with freshly squeezed apples. Apple cider or apple juice can reduce the risk of heart disease and the antioxidants called flavonoids in apples also inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer cells. Not bad to warm your soul with?!

Ok, enough of the review right? I just want to stress to you that you need to keep in mind that even if you relax a little this week it is ok. Take the time and enjoy your holiday week. Best part of that is your body and mind appreciates it and you will come back even stronger and more determined. It always is best to take your rest days and even one week a month just to focus on body weight exercises instead of always hitting up the weights. This gives your body a chance to rest and full recovery mode of your muscles to hit your next three weeks hard again.

Anyway don’t forget to include yourself in your THANKS this week, after all, YOU ARE THE ONE IS PUSHING YOURSELF AND BELIEVES IN YOUR GOALS. If it wasn’t for YOU, YOU wouldn’t be where you are. So keep up the hard work and dedication; success is yours!!

Ok for this week I thought Kylan and I would share our catering skills on top of the usual breakfast, lunch and dinner idea recipes that we share with you weekly. Hope you enjoy it and don’t forget to share your ideas and tips with us! Thank you!

Ps- HAVE A LOVELY WEEK AND HAPPY THANKSGIVING! My thanks goes out to all of you; thanks for following Kylan and I we defiantly enjoy y’all!

Breakfast:

Heat a pan over medium heat. Season 1 egg with salt and pepper if you want, scramble, and cook to desired consistency. Top egg with 1 slice cheddar cheese or swiss cheese; allowing it to melt. Pile egg and cheese on 1 toasted whole-wheat English muffin or slice of whole grain/wheat bread and add 1 slice of desired meat protein, make sure it is cooked. A good idea is Canadian bacon, turkey, chicken, or even lunchmeat.

Lunch:

Spread 1 8-inch, whole-wheat tortilla with 1/8 cup mango chutney (if you don’t have any simply heat up some frozen mango chunks in microwave and top the tortilla with it). Add 2 slices deli ham or turkey, 1/8 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese, and 1 tbsp. chopped scallion. You may add honey, salt, pepper or other seasonings if desired. Fold in half and grill 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Cut into quarters and serve.

Dinner:

Cook 1 serving angel hair pasta (or desired pasta, whole wheat or protein packed are good options!) according to package instructions. Meanwhile, combine the juice from ½ a lemon, 1 garlic clove, 1 tbsp. olive oil, ½ of an avocado and 1/8 cup basilin a food processor and puree. Toss together pasta and sauce and season with salt to taste, if desired. If you want add some ground turkey, chicken, and mixed veggies if you want for a complete meal!

Ok here is what Kylan and I did for our catering over the weekend for the UFC fight. Great food, Great fun, Amazing fights!

We started our day out with baking some homemade SNICKER-DOODLES!

  He couldn’t wait.. gobbled them up! 🙂

 On to making HOMEMADE CORNBREAD MUFFINS!

  On to the RIBS!!

  We made HOMEMADE PLAY-DOUGH while the ribs were smoking n cooking.

  As the ribs finished up we made ULTIMATE TWICE BAKED POTATOES!

  Everything turned out GREAT! Best thing was it was Kylan APPROVED and of course BENTLEY approved too!

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Nutrition, Nutrition, Nutrition.. still confused?

So a few have asked, and though I have blogged in the past I would like to once again tackle the topic on nutrition, well because its really important in your fitness journey and a key role in succeeding.

To begin, again we will take a good look through your kitchen and of course this means your eating habits too on a daily basis. So to begin, how about we state the obvious and remove all the artificial ingredient items like chips, cookies, processed foods, ect. You know the ones that are not whole food items. Yes this means getting rid of the boxed meals and frozen meals that are loaded with nothing but sodium and unwanted trans fats and even high fructose corn syrup. Go ahead read the labels on things that you are unsure of, and really examine what is hiding in your kitchen. Of course, you may still have a “treat,” but best to purchase that as a single serving on your cheat day and not have it laying around your kitchen, car, purse or office taunting you. Do also remember if you have something you love, like jarred or canned fruits, veggies or even some sauces, go for organic or even better reach for the fresh items, they are packed with real nutrition and have a better chance at helping your body use the ingredients for everyday health. Do beware of the “100 calorie” or “low fat” packaged, these are always ways to trick you into thinking they are good for you, it still is best to buy real whole foods and limiting your servings yourself rather than relying on a packaged food to tell you. If you must have a sugar fix, reach for fresh fruit or even honey, it’s a natural sweetener and satisfier! With that, by switching to wholesome snacks in small quantities, like almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and dried fruits.  Keeping a small snack with you during the day will provide an alternative to chips and high sugar snacks when cravings arise. Finally, look at your grains; do you have whole foods like brown rice, wheat pasta, quinoa, whole grain bread, or rolled oats? If not, then think about it and add it to your list. These are all stapes to a fresh start in the kitchen. Do not forget to write out your list each week before hitting up the grocery store and properly planning your meals; this is critical when planning for success and really only you can succeed. So you have got to decide and commit. So what are you waiting for??

Now, for some fun! Here are two recipes for each category to catch you up on some healthy options to add to your fitness and nutrition journey and of course, a couple recipes Kylan and I have been working on adding to our lives in the past few weeks.

Breakfast:

Preheat broiler and grab a grapefruit. Cut in half and drizzle each half with honey and ¼ tsp. cinnamon. Broil both halves on a baking sheet for 3-5 minutes. You my serve with 1 slice of whole-wheat toast or bagel topped with 1 tbsp. of almond butter or peanut butter for a complete breakfast. (Not feeling the grapefruit, you can still broil your bread or bagel with almond butter or peanut butter but top it with frozen fruit like blueberries or mixed berries and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Yes, it’s a yummy and messy treat for breakfast.)

Next breakfast item is a Grandma classic!

Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Grab 1 slice of whole-grain bread with and spray the pan with olive oil pam or just use paper towel to wipe olive oil in the pan to prevent sticking. Use a cookie or biscuit-cutter to cut a hole in the center of the bread. Place the bread in the pan and crack 1 egg into the hole. Cook until egg sets, about 2 to 4 minutes. You may flip the bread with the egg over to have a well done egg; otherwise it will be over easy. Once cooked to your liking you may enjoy it by itself or place it on your plate, on top of a bed of baby spinach, sliced tomatoes and Swiss cheese to enjoy a complete meal. Of course you can choose your pairing options.

Lunch:

Let’s face it sometimes we need something quick for lunch. Here are a couple simple examples.

Spread 1 oz. light cream cheese or guacamole and ½ tbsp. horseradish, mustard, or salsa on 1 whole-wheat wrap. Layer on roast beef, turkey, chicken or ham, 1 oz. sliced cheese of your liking, and a handful of romaine lettuce or better yet baby spinach. Roll up and enjoy.

Grab 2 slices of whole-grain bread or a whole grain bagel, layer 1 to 2 slices sharp cheddar cheese and ½ of a thinly sliced green apple. Spread one slice of the bread with mustard. Grill in a nonstick pan for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until cheese is melted. Need a little more protein? Add some turkey or even tuna!

Dinner:

Because kid recipes work too; here are a couple yummy kid traditions for you to try!

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice 16-oz. cod or salmon filet into 6 strips. Season your chosen fish with 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar, 1/8 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. paprika. Bread each by dipping into one beaten egg and then ½ cup seasoned whole-wheat breadcrumbs. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cooked throughout. Serve with a baby spinach salad or steamed mixed veggies for a complete meal. (You may also use this recipe to make chicken nuggets, just replace the seasoning recipe for a more suited chicken seasoning like summer savory spice, or even grab a hidden valley ranch packet and use half of the packet paired with parmesan cheese. Use your best judgment on seasoning, light enough to taste your chicken but enough to have a spice to it.)

Begin by preparing a serving or two of brown rice according to package instructions. Sauté cooked rice with ¼ diced zucchini, ¼ cups halved cherry tomatoes, and ¼ can drained and rinsed black beans. Add 1/8 cup vegetable broth and cook 5 to 7 minutes. Push the veggies and rice to outer edges of pan and scramble in one or two eggs in the center of the pan until cooked, about 3 minutes. Serve the fried rice topped with egg and ½ tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese. Not feeling the selected veggies? You can always use a mixed frozen pack of veggies, like carrots, peas, and corn or even a frozen stir fry mix. And to up your carbohydrate and protein in this meal you can use quinoa instead of brown rice. Mix it up and enjoy to your liking! Get creative folks.

Ok, onto my favorite part of the recipe blog! Our own creations and pictures!

We decided to make a good hearty breakfast. Here is the recipe we went off of; but of course we tweaked it a bit to our liking! Enjoy!!

http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=335552

  

MMM.. blueberry and pumpkin whole wheat pancakes with Eggs on the side!

 

Smoothies anyone? How about this delicious fresh strawberries one?

 

Next, we decided to make Grilled Salmon with garlic, black pepper, and lemon! Of course, Kylan had to have his cheesy mac and cheese as his side dish!

And, last a little taste of those baked white sweet potato slices I have blogged about before, paired with a simple steak stir fry! It’s a definite kid pleaser; heck, Kylan approves!!

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Month two.. yes YOU have made it to MONTH TWO!

Alright ladies and gentlemen, I do want to first and foremost apologize for the delay of the game here. I recently had to get a new computer, due to my old computer crashing a couple weeks ago and somehow I figured I could fix it but, unfortunately I could not and thank god for angels, I got a new one and it all updated and fixed to the top of its game. Thanks Staples! lol.  Anyway I wanted to take time and update you all on your MONTH TWO of your fitness journey! Then I will blog about nutrition and recipes for the last two weeks I have missed! Feels like forever but please, please do not forget to let me know how you are doing and if there is anything I can help you with!!

Well now that you have made it through the first 4 weeks, go ahead and get out that measuring tape and scale. How are things coming along? Do you notice an increase in energy and feeling good about yourself? Though losing weight is the key focus in your goal, you are just starting off so don’t get discouraged if the scale isn’t showing a loss. Just keep up writing in your journal, and writing how you feel, what your measurements are now, and what you think your next goals are. Also, did you reach any goals? If not still take time to reward yourself, this can be in the form of a nice massage, trip to the salon, or invite a few friends over just to have a fun game night. You may treat yourself to good snack or some dark chocolate, just keep in mind you don’t want to go backwards; so, moderation is crucial.

Month Two

Continue with your cardio activity 3x a week, but increase the time to 40 minutes. Also add in at least two sets of abdominal exercises like: 10 reverse crunches and 10 leg-raises. (You may choose from several different abdominal exercises; if you need help, just ask.)

How To

Reverse Crunches:

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor. Place hands on the floor or behind the head. Bring your knees up towards the chest so they bend about 90 degrees then contract your abdominals and lift your hips off the floor in a very small movement. Lower and repeat. For advanced, you may place a weight or medicine ball between your knees.

Leg Raises Lying down:

Lie on your back. Extend your legs straight, your arms will be firmly at your side palms towards the ground. Lift and lower your legs alternately off of the ground as high as you can simultaneously. For advanced, hold a weight or medicine ball  between your knees and lift and lower your legs off the ground as high as you can together; holding the weight and medicine ball in place.

Following your abdominal sets; preform at least one set of push-ups.

Pushups:

Start face-down, place hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Place toes or knees on the floor, creating a smooth line with your body, from shoulders to knees or feet. Keeping butt muscles and abdominals engaged; lower and lift your body by bending and straightening your elbows, keeping your torso stable throughout the move. Do them on your knees, instead of keeping your legs straight. Or, do them standing up against a wall. You will be building up arm strength and working out muscles in your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles.

For the remainder of the month two, keep the 40 minutes of cardio 3x a week, but do increase your added abdominal exercises to 3 sets of 10 and your pushups of 10 to 2 sets.

Don’t forget there are several exercises that you can perform for your abdominals. Ask away, and I can share and help you.

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Week 3 Already?!

Good afternoon y’all! What is it about fall days; with the clouds just hanging around and the sun is poking out, that you just love to sit and sip on a big ol’ cup of coffee or tea and just stare at all the beauty around you? Ahh, tranquility.

Anyway! Folks it is now week three! How are you doing on your journeys? Do you understand all the workouts you are looking at, doing, or thinking of doing? I took a few minutes out of my day yesterday and reviewed a few with my dad and my mom; and it was a great feeling that they are serious about getting the proper form and techniques down before even beginning a program. I certainly enjoyed it! So, do you all need help? Ask questions and I will be here to help you every step of the way, even post pictures and videos if you need.

Also, I wanted to share a tip a friend gave me the other day. Actually two tips. If you are having a bad stressful headache kind of day, relieve your tension by massaging the “web” between your pointer fingers and thumbs alternating between hands for a few minutes. Also another tip for a great massage after a workout is, first get a golf ball (or something to that nature) then stand up with your feet together, about hip width apart, try and touch the ground. Do you notice how it feels? How tight you feel? Or how far down you can go? If your sore and need a little stretching, place the golf ball (or something to that nature) and roll the bottoms of your feet on it; switching side to side. Focusing on the tight and painful knots by putting pressure on them for a few seconds and rolling around on the bottom of your foot for a few minutes or until they feel better. Then try bending over again and see how you feel, repeat the golf ball massage if you need. Go ahead try these out, I did and loved them!

Back to your journey. How about the nutrition part of your plan? Any new recipes to share or did you try any I have posted yet? Have you tried to “prep cook” yet? Remember you do not need to cut everything out of your life at once, take your time and enjoy it in moderation if you need. Food is meant to fuel your body, heart and soul. It is meant to be enjoyed and make you happier and healthier.

Here are a few ideas to add to your week, whether it be busy and crazy or just an “I don’t feel like cooking,” type of week. Enjoy! And don’t forget to share your tips and ideas with me; I always welcome feedback and creativity!

Breakfast:

Get healthy with your oatmeal in a hurry. Combine ½ cup rolled oats, 1 cup milk, soy or water, and a pinch of salt, and microwave for 3 minutes. Stir in toppings of choice, like sliced almonds, dried fruit or even frozen fruit to cool your hot oatmeal down so you can eat it quickly!

Lunch:

Tuna is the name and sandwich is the game. In a bowl, combine one 6-oz. can tuna, ½ cup chopped cherry tomatoes, ¼ cup chopped and pitted black olives and 1 tbsp. olive oil.  Open a whole-wheat bagel or grab two pieces of whole wheat bread and fill with the tuna mixture and a handful of baby spinach leaves. You may add black pepper or any other spices as well as even avocado or cucumber slices to the tuna mixture. This is a quick and easy lunch!

Dinner:

Cook 1 serving quinoa according to instructions. While quinoa is cooking, heat ½ tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Grab some chicken sausage and remove it from the casein and add meat to the pan. Add ¼ cup chopped onion (white or red) and sauté while making sure the meat is ground up into small pieces. When the meat is no longer pink; maybe 5 minutes, add 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes or chop up some a couple fresh large tomatoes, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/8 cup fresh and chopped basil, and salt and black pepper to taste. Cook about 2 minutes to warm through and toss with quinoa. Makes a wonderful protein, good carb, and good fat meal!

 

Here are this week’s recipes that Kylan and I tried out together. Enjoy!

First is our experiment with freshly shot Mallard Duck. We altered the recipe a bit for our liking, but here are the guidelines we went off of. http://www.freecookingrecipes.net/duck/roast-mallard-with-root-vegetables-country

We used apple juice instead of cranberry juice and added mushrooms instead of parsnips, replaced the pears with peaches and pineapple, and took out the sugar, butter and cloves.  It was yummy. Here are the pictures!

And I got the best comment from Kylan this week, I was making my grilled chicken and mixed vegetables and asked him what he wanted for lunch. He could have peanut butter and jelly, pizza, ham or turkey sandwich, mac and cheese, ect. He looked at me, then looked at my plate and said “Mom, always what you’re having!” So here’s our healthy lunch meal J Grilled chicken, vegetables and apples. He of course loves his ranch!

 

 

 

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Week 2 update and recipes: your fitness journey!

Hello folks! How was week 2? Are you tuning in better with how you want to incorporate your new lifestyle into your life? Not there yet? It is totally ok, things do take time. The best thing is that you took a step in the right direction and are trying to make your life better, healthier, and happier for yourself, family and friends. And to me, that is absolutely great. Keep up the great work and believe in yourself, you have this, keep going!

How is your kitchen looking? Is your refrigerator packed full of yummy foods? How did this last week go for “prep-cooking?” Did you try any of last week’s recipes? And of course do you have any to share? I have a few recipe ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plus, the fun recipe or two Kylan and I did this week. Don’t forget today is a great day for “prep-cooking.” Remember it is when you literally cook for a small football team on a day you can spend a few hours in the kitchen, at the grill, or however your recipe calls for, and cook several servings for easy access meals to stay on track.

And don’t forget a great tip is to cook up your protein choice, enough to last you three days, and cut it into serving sizes and store in a Tupperware. Same for your carbohydrates, as well as your “greens,” if you can (you may even steam up some broccoli put it in container and then put your spinach or mixed greens salads in container too!).

Ok, ok, enough of the talk! Here are the recipes and ideas. Thanks so much for following me and sharing your stories with me. I am so excited and honored to be a part of your journey. Again, if you have ANY QUESTIONS AT ALL, feel free to message me and ASK!!

Breakfast:

Replace the traditional cereal and milk in a bowl for 1 cup plain or vanilla low-fat yogurt (or greek yogurt for 2x the protein) with 1/8 tsp. lemon zest or cinnamon and 1 tsp. honey. Add ½ cup bran flakes or granola and ¼ cup fresh or frozen berries or 1 tbsp. sliced almonds. Don’t forget your spoon! (This is great to mix up the night before and store in your fridge for a quick grab in the morning!)

Lunch:

Begin with 2 cups baby spinach or spring mix, ½ thinly sliced celery, 1 chopped scallion or green onions, 1 tbsp. chopped black olives, 2 tbsp. corn (frozen or fresh), and ¼ cup drained and rinsed black beans. Toast up a tortilla (whole wheat) and cut into strips and toss in salad. It doesn’t have to be a whole tortilla, half works great. Then top with a combination of 2 tbsp. salsa, 1 tbsp. low-fat plain greek yogurt, 1 tsp. olive oil, and 1 tsp. chili powder. You may add cooked chicken, steak, fish or ground turkey or beef for a great protein addition.

Dinner:

Because I have had a craving for some type of burger this week, try this recipe out! Preheat a grill or grill pan. Mix together 1 clove garlic (minced), ½ tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp. olive oil, and ½ tsp. fresh finely chopped basil. Once it is mixed, lightly pour half it over 1 Portobello mushroom cap. Grill the mushroom for 3 to 4 minutes per side, covered. Meanwhile, combine the remaining sauce with ½ tbsp. light mayo or even cream cheese and spread on 1 whole-wheat toasted bun. Place the mushroom cap, with a slice of tomato and/or some avocado slices and some spinach leaves or spring mix on the bun. You can serve with sweet potato fries for a great combination meal!

Now, my favorite time! Here are a couple recipes to share that Kylan and I made together.

Because the season here for our plentiful garden has come to an end, we decided to whip up some homemade salsa! Here is the link we got the recipe off of: http://www.mommyhatescooking.com/2012/01/homemade-chunky-salsa.html

And of course, not only does Kylan love cooking with me we are able to eat almost the same meals. It is very convenient for us both. And sometimes I let him create his own meals, picture below shows a bit of his creativity, but he always has a fruit and veggie with his choice of food! Keep them healthy and strong, they have a bright future ahead of themselves!

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Week One, almost done. Recipes Time!

So, how was your first week so for? If it wasn’t exactly how you pictured it, don’t worry it all takes time. The best thing is that you took a step in the right direction and are trying to make your life better, healthier, and happier for yourself, family and friends. And to me, that is absolutely great. Keep up the great work and believe in yourself, you have this, keep going!

Ok, like I said I am going to post a few recipe ideas each week to give you some ideas on what to cook, I am sure you all are great in the kitchen and DID clean out your kitchen for a successful journey, so here are a couple ideas, one for breakfast, one for lunch, and one for dinner.

Plus, Ill share a fun recipe that Kylan and I did. Don’t forget today is a great day for “prep-cooking.” What’s that you ask? It is when you literally cook for a small football team on a day you can spend a few hours in the kitchen, at the grill, or however your recipe calls for, and cook several servings for easy access meals to stay on track. I love it and typically pick Sunday nights and Wednesday nights doing this. That way my food is fresh and I have great options to choose from on the go or just when I have 5 minutes to take a break from playing with Kylan to eat. A great tip is to cook up your protein choice, enough to last you three days, and cut it into serving sizes and store in a Tupperware. Same for your carbohydrates, as well as your “greens,” if you can (you may even steam up some broccoli put it in container and then put your spinach or mixed greens salads in container too!). Yes that is a lot of Tupperware, but once you’re finished, go ahead and try to give me an excuse not to have a healthy meal.

Sound about right? Well, try it out, you will get addicted to the idea of “pre-cooking” and never want to go back to cooking several times a day, every day. As, promised here are the recipes and ideas. Thanks so much for following me and sharing your stories with me. I am so excited and honored to be a part of your journey. Again, if you have ANY QUESTIONS AT ALL, feel free to message me and ASK!!

Breakfast (on-the-go):

Toast 1 whole-grain waffle and smear with 1 tbsp. natural peanut butter. Drizzle with 1 tsp. honey and sprinkle with 1 tsp. flax seeds or blueberries or banana.

Lunch:

Microwave ½ cup quinoa (rinsed) and 1 cup water for 5 minutes at full power. Reduce to 70 percent power and microwave another 5 minutes. Fluff and stir in: 1 tbsp. chopped walnuts, ¼ cup rinsed and drained chick peas, 1 tbsp. chopped parsley, 1 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Optional: add chicken, steak, fish, or even hard boiled eggs for an even more protein packed meal.

Dinner:

Preheat the broiler and combine ½ tbsp. honey with ½ tsp. soy sauce. Season 1 5-oz. salmon filet with salt and pepper and broil for five minutes. Drizzle with honey-soy sauce and broil an additional 2-5 minutes. Serve with brown rice and steamed broccoli, asparagus, or greens of your choice.

 

Here is the Recipe of the Week from Kylan and I!

This is a simple White Sweet Potato Recipe.

We altered it so that we sliced the white sweet potatoes in circles (Kylan loves circles and he is my helper after all!) and instead of salt, we added garlic powder (you can add fresh garlic about 3 cloves minced) and black pepper (a good amount to cover the tops). Turned out so yummy! And don’t worry the “sweetness” from the potatoes is a great pair with the spices added, go ahead add any flavors you want on top! Get creatively healthy! http://www.cookstr.com/recipes/white-or-sweet-potato-oven-ldquofriesrdquo

    

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