Category Archives: Recipes

Healthy Comfort Food: Turkey Chili

Healthy Comfort Food Turkey Chili 21DF
Just about everyone who knows me, knows I love healthy comfort food and the recipe for Turkey Chili from the Body Beast nutrition guide. I’ve shared it before in my meal prep post and I post photos of it quite often on Instagram. I’ve even been having my 21 Day Fix participants begin using it with their meal prepping. It’s such a simple, versatile and yummy recipe that I think it would be wrong not to share it.

For those of you are not familiar with it, here is the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey meat
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 med white onion, chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes or diced tomatoes with chilis
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce, no salt added
  • 2 TBL chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Directions:
 

1) Heat oil in large saucepan over med/high heat. Add turkey, onion, bell pepper and garlic.
2) Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink.
3) Add cumin, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper; stir and cook another minute.
4) Stir in beans and tomatoes; bring to a boil
5) Reduce heat to low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes or until thickened.
6) Serve warm sprinkled with parsley.

As you can see, it’s really simple to make and uses lots of great, clean ingredients. The beauty of it, is that it’s simple to tweak in order fit into the 21 Day Fix program.

If you have issues fitting in all of your green containers, add spinach, zucchini, extra peppers, kale, eggplant or any other veggie you have on hand to this dish and bump up your veggie intake. You could even serve it over some cauliflower rice or top it with some shredded romaine lettuce.

Are those yellow containers your issue? (Not using enough of them, that is. I know many people feel there are not ENOUGH yellow containers in general, I can’t help with that, sorry. You’ll have to take that up with Autumn.) add extra beans, some corn or peas. You could also serve this over some rice or quinoa – another option is to cash in a “treat” and have a few tortilla chips on the side for dipping.

Unsure of how to use your blue containers? Top your chili with some shredded sharp cheddar cheese or some avocado. Better yet, use both by using half a container or each.

Falling short on red containers? Top this with some plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream for a creamy component that will make your taste buds happy.

Purple containers also fit into this dish! Top your chili with some fresh salsa for an added kick, as well as a color pop. (We eat with our eye, too!)

As you can see this is a very useful recipe to have while doing the 21 Day Fix. You can easily make this into your meal planning and use up just about any container you may be lacking.

Do you have a versatile recipe that would work well with the 21 Day Fix? If so, I would love to learn more about it.

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Tips For Clean Eating During the Holidays

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The holidays are a time of year that are filled with family, dinners, parties, cocktails, cookies, shopping and of course the stress of trying to get it all done. Don’t let the holidays derail you from your fitness goals. It takes a little effort, but you can avoid the weight gain that is oh so commonly associated with this time of year. Check out my tips for clean eating during the holidays and start your new year off ahead of everyone else.

1. Eat Breakfast: Eating a healthy breakfast everyday sets the tone for your day. If you try to skip it and opt for a trip to the local coffee shop for a sugary mega-super-ginormous latte, you’re setting yourself up for overeating later in the day. Having breakfast and eating small, clean meals through out the day is also going to be your key to success on the days you have parties or events to attend. You’ll keep your energy high and your blood sugar stable, which will result in less cravings for caffeine, sugar and fatty foods.

Bonus Tip: If you skip breakfast because you are always short on time in the morning, consider making these Healthy Egg Muffins or adding a nutrient dense smoothie to your morning routine.

2. Be Prepared: On days when you’ll be running around shopping, make sure that you carry healthy snack options with you so you can avoid becoming hangry. A piece of fruit, some homemade trail mix, a nutrition bar or some raw nuts are all great, portable options to keep on hand. Long lines and crowds can be energy draining, so it’s important to have healthy energy boosts on hand. The last thing you want is to be tempted by the candy options while on line to check out.

Bonus Tip: Slow cookers can be a life saver during this time of year. You can find lots of Clean Eating Slow Cooker Recipes on my Pinterest board.

3. Manage Portion Sizes: When attending cocktail parties or buffets, opt for the smallest plate option available. Doing so will keep your portion sizes in check and it will reduce your chances of  over stuffing yourself. Having a smaller plate will also force you to get up to refill it. This will give you time to truly think if you want more and if you do, you’ll at least get a little bit of activity in the process.

Bonus Tip: Carry sugar-free mints or gum with you to holiday parties. The minty flavor will keep you from picking on foods.

4. Indulge Wisely: Don’t overdue it on foods you can have anytime of year. Save the splurges for foods that you only have access to during the holiday season, like grandma’s pecan pie or the first batch of cookies for the season that your children helped to make. By doing so, you won’t feel cheated or like you can’t enjoy the foods that may be linked to childhood memories. When you head into the holidays knowing that these special foods are okay, you’ll reduce the risk of feeling like a failure which can result in binge eating. Strive for balance, not perfection!

Bonus Tip: Make a list of the foods that you only have around the holidays and make sure you balance them out with healthier options. Remember, just because you give yourself permission to have these special foods doesn’t meant it’s okay in gorge yourself on them. 

5. Make It Yourself: If you’re invited to a dinner party, don’t be afraid to call the host or hostess and ask if you could bring a dish. Many times this is very appreciated and it will give you an opportunity to ensure there is a healthy option at the gathering.

Bonus Tip: On days you know you have a special event revolving around food, make sure you get some exercise in. From a 30 minute walk to a short yoga season to help you stay calm and collected. Exercise can help you make wiser food choices.

The holidays don’t have to undo all of the hard work you’ve put into health this year. Just look ahead at your week and make a plan! You may even inspire someone else in the process.

For some more holiday tips, be sure to check out this past post: Here Comes the Holidays

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Quick & Easy Lettuce Roll-Ups

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Looking for a low-carb snack or light lunch/snack? Try these Quick & Easy Lettuce Roll-Ups.

I don’t know about you, but time seems to get away from me during the day. I thought working from home would make staying on track with my nutrition easier, but it really doesn’t. I find that I have a harder time focusing on the task at hand and wherever I look, there is something to be done. From answering e-mails to doing laundry, every moment of my day is filled with something that needs my attention. As a result, time tends to slip away from me and I end up looking for lunch at an odd time, so what I planned on having for lunch doesn’t always work.

As a result of this time management issue, I had to get become proactive. I remembered these lettuce roll-ups that I made a few times over the summer to take to the pool with me. They are light, refreshing and low-carb, which is perfect for those late afternoon lunches. They are also super quick & easy to make and don’t require a lot of ingredients, which is always a plus!

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If you are having these as your lunch, I would include a fruit with it to round things out. You could also change these up by using nitrate-free ham instead of turkey, roasted red pepper hummus in place of the avocado and/or add some sliced yellow or red bell pepper for some added crunch! Play with this…it’s just a simple foundation recipe and the possibilities are endless.

For those of you doing 21 Day Fix, this is a very “fix-friendly” recipe. It’s perfect for when you have lots of errands to run during the day or if you’re a busy mom who spends a lot of time at the ball field, for your kids practices. Just roll them up, put them in an insulated cooler bag with your water (we never forget our water when we’re out and about, right?!) and some fruit, for an easy & balance meal on the go.

Lunch and snack don’t have to be complicated! Keep these quick, clean and simple foods in the house, and you’ll always have a healthy meal on hand…even when you need to run out last minute!

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Quick and Easy Egg Muffins

Quick and Easy Egg MuffinsMornings can be hectic and drive-thru lines can be long! (Let’s not forget they also work against what our health and fitness goals are, for the most part.)

If you are reading this, you are trying to be healthier and stating your day off on the right foot is so important to how the rest of your day plays out. One of the best things I ever started making, were these Quick and Easy Egg Muffins. These egg muffins not only quick and easy, but they are so versatile and can easily be customized to make everyone’s taste buds happy. Thanks to the versatility of them, you won’t get tired of eating them, because you can change the flavor profiles each time you make them.

[yumprint-recipe id=’4′] We like to balance them out, especially while doing the 21 Day Fix, by adding a fruit (purple container) or turning them into a wrap with some salsa or avocado (yellow and blue containers). Balancing your breakfast out also helps to keep you fuller longer, while giving your body the fuel it needs to get you through the beginning of your day.

I typically make these egg muffins on a Sunday, divide them into servings (4 muffins per container) and pop them into the fridge, so we always have breakfast (or lunch) on hand in a pinch.

The other great thing about these, are that they are inexpensive, which is PERFECT for those who want to eat clean, but are on a budget or for those who have a lot of mouths to feed every morning. Even if you get organic, free range, brown eggs at $4 a carton, each serving of eggs is only around .66 cents! The other money saver is since they are packed with veggies, I never have produce going to waste. I just chop up whatever is on hand, add some seasoning and turn it into a quick and easy egg muffin! You can’t wait in line at your local drive-thru and get a nutritious breakfast that cheap! 

Do you already use egg muffins in your meal plan? What are you favorite flavor combinations?

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Gluten-Free Peanut-Butter Banana Muffins

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

There are some days you just crave a muffin, and that’s okay! Just make sure that muffin isn’t the size of your head and loaded with sugar and empty carbs. You know exactly which muffins I’m talking about. They are the ones that look amazing when you walk past the bakery section in the grocery store. The ones that I’m pretty sure have eyes, because I can feel them staring at me, trying to make eye contact and whispering “buy me”, as I walk past as fast as possible, trying to ignore them.

Let’s not even discuss the variety packs of 24 that warehouse stores like Sam’s & Costco sell…. sigh.

Just because we are eating cleaner, avoiding extra sugar and processed flour doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy a muffin with our coffee from time to time. In my most recent 7-Day Clean Eating Jump Start group, one of the members shared a recipe for Peanut Butter Banana muffins so I gave them a shot with a few changes.

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These muffins really hit the spot and you could have fun with them by changing the flavor profile with different nut-butters, using different egg substitutes (I’m not a pumpkin fan, but using the pumpkin puree with some cinnamon would probably make some you very happy) as noted or by adding some mini chocolate chips to them (if you have nut or dairy allergies, I highly recommend the ones by Enjoy Life).

Remember, clean eating doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the things you love. It just means you enjoy them in a smarter way!

If you’re doing 21 Day Fix, you could enjoy these as one of your yellow container swaps!

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Simple Morning Smoothie for Back to School

Today my kids officially started school again. It seems like just yesterday they were excitedly waiting for the bus to half day Kindergarten, yet this morning they were off to 8th and 5th grades. Time sure does fly! Mornings around here can be pretty crazy. There is the battle to wake up the kids, the arguing over who gets the bathroom next (we have two bathrooms mind you, but NO ONE wants to go downstairs….sigh), lunches, clothes, homework, snacks, clock watching for the bus and of course, breakfast! Thankfully both of my kids like smoothies and what they like is easy enough for me to make while waiting for my morning dose of life….caffeine….coffee to brew. The “Simple Morning Smoothie” for them is one of three things, Banana, Chocolate Peanut Butter or Strawberry Banana, which is featured below. I also typically add a half a scoop of protein or Shakeology to their smoothie, depending on how they’ve been eating. (Shakeology is always included in the chocolate peanut butter one).

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In all honesty I used to hate dragging out the blender to make these up, especially because they NEVER agree on which flavor they want, however since Mike got me the Ninja with the single serve blender cups, I don’t mind at all. It’s actually nice to hear them ask for a smoothie for breakfast or an after school snack, instead of a Pop-Tart, some sugary cereal, chips or cookies. PLUS I get to hide things inside of these that are good for them, like protein and ground flax seed …which they would never agree to purposely ingesting.

As parents we need to get creative to ensure our children are getting enough vitamins and minerals. I know I slack in this area from time to time because I get tired of battling every little thing. I end up feeling like a shitty parent because of it, so it’s nice to have some simple & nutritious tricks up my sleeve that leave everyone happy and smiling.

Do your kids like smoothies? I would love to know what flavors they enjoy so I could try them with mine!

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Body Beast Banana Pancakes

Hi my name is Nikki and I am addicted to pancakes!

I have been eating pancakes almost every morning since I started Body Beast back in July and I am not tired of them yet.

There is just something comforting about them to me. They are like a nice warm hug for my soul and who wouldn’t like a nice warm hug to start their morning off, right?

Coffee + Pancakes = Perfection (to me)

Below, is one of my go-to recipes for pancakes, Body Beast Banana Pancakes, which is from the Body Beast “Book of Beast” nutrition guide. I don’t use this exact recipe everyday, but I do make these often. I also make a few variations to them since I have gluten sensitivities. I make sure I buy gluten-free oats and if I don’t have gluten-free flour on hand, I just blend up a cup of oats, until they’re a fine flour-like consistency and I always make sure my baking powder is gluten-free too.

Body Beast Beast Banana Pancakes

This recipe also works AWESOME for meal prepping! I make multiple batches and keep them in the fridge, but you could store them in the freezer too (They just don’t last that long in our house).

Another go-to pancake recipe for me, are the Healthy Pancakes I started making while I was doing the 21 Day Fix. These are super quick and easy to make, plus they make a double batch so you’ll have breakfast for two days, while only cleaning up mixing bowls and pans once! Since I’m doing Body Beast now, I  add a scoop of protein powder to them as well.

Pancakes are really just a blank slate to me, which is probably why I haven’t become bored with them. They can be topped with syrup, fresh fruit, preserves, nut butters, and so much more! You can make a huge batch of them but still enjoy a different flavor profile everyday, which I think is what draws me to them so much. Currently, my favorite way to enjoy them is with some real maple syrup (make sure your syrup is real, people…no maple “flavored” high fructose corn syrup, okay?!) and a sprinkle of unsweetened, shredded coconut. Another favorite of mine is topping them with some peanut butter, sliced banana and a drizzle of raw, local honey.

How do you like to top your pancakes?

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Body Beast Fajitas

Messing around in the kitchen is one of my favorite things to do. It helps to calm me when I’m stressed and it’s actually just become part of my fitness routine. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest looking for new recipes to try. I own a lot of cookbooks and I love that all of the workout programs I own come with nutrition guides and recipe ideas.

So far, the nutrition guide that came with Body Beast, “The Book of Beast” is my favorite. I have tried just about every recipe in it and I have loved them all. As a matter of fact I have shared quite a few of the recipes already. They contain things that are important to me when picking a recipe; they are quick, easy and of course, they all work well for meal prep. This recipe for Body Beast Fajitas is perfect to have on hand for a quick lunch and it packs a lot of flavor!

Body Beast Fajitas

You could also easily substitute steak, shrimp or pork if you want to change things up and keep things interesting! Having basic recipes in your arsenal, that you can make simple changes to is so important when eating clean. Spices are such an important part of keeping things interesting and with a recipe like this, you can easily play around with amounts to suite your tastes. You could add jalapenos, cayenne or use a variety of pepper colors. Little changes like that can completely change the flavor of a dish and keep you from getting bored with your meals.

If you’re like me and LOVE eating at Chipotle, you should definitely try skipping the tortilla and making this with some cilantro-lime rice or as a salad. It would make a super quick dinner option (if for some reason you forgot to meal prep…but we don’t forget to meal prep, right?!) and as an added bonus, you get to skip the drive, looking for a parking spot AND that long ass line! Oh…and when you make it home, guacamole DOESN’T cost extra! SCORE!

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Body Beast ….Whatever It Takes!

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It feels like I just settled in to the 21 Day Fix but it’s over, which means the start of a new program for me! When I started 21 Day Fix in June, I made a deal with Mike that if he joined me for the 3 weeks, I would join him for a round of Body Beast. He kept his end of the deal (with great results) and I’m keeping mine!

In all honesty, I love weight lifting. I would much rather lift weights than do cardio. I feel more accomplished, stronger and like I’m doing something with purpose when I lift. I don’t know…it just makes me happy!

Now, for those of you who have never heard of Body Beast, it’s a 90 day Beachbody program (no surprise there…I adore their workouts and have been doing them for 5 years now) that combines weight lifting workouts, groundbreaking nutrition, and supplementation, all in one neat little package. This program does require a vast collection of dumbbells, a bench and a bar with weight plates but there are limited equipment options that use a stability ball with dumbbells in place of the bench and bar. You’ll also need a pull-up bar or resistance bands.

  • Body Beast includes 12 different cutting-edge workouts that fuse the best of old-school resistance training with a new breakthrough in sports science called Dynamic Set Training.
  • Increases in resistance, power, tempo, and volume lead to greater muscle gain and fast results.
  •  The Body Beast Eating Plan helps you increase in size, maintain new muscle growth, and cut up to be in competition shape.
  • Four new extreme supplements specifically designed to enhance growth and performance. (optional)

The Base Kit for Body Beast includes 12 workouts plus a FREE bonus disc called Lucky 7 when you order through one of the links here. This kit will take you through the 3 phases of Beast which are Build, Bulk and Beast. There is also a Challenge Pack option for this program that includes all of the Body Beast Supplements. I am only using the Hardcore Base Shake and Fuel Shot. Mike has added the Super Suma along with those and decided not to add any M.A.X. Creatine for this round.

In my opinion, one of the best aspects of this program is The Book of Beast, which is the program/nutrition guide. It is packed with information and will give you such a great understanding about fueling your body correctly to get the results you want! It also has some of the best recipes I’ve tried with a Beachbody program. I’ve shared the recipes for Sagi’s Signature Turkey Meatballs, Power Protein Balls and Beast Chili before, but there are so many others, including this Body Beast Power Turkey Meatloaf.

healthy meatloaf

Power Turkey Meatloaf

Total Time: 1 hr. 30 min.
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cooking Time: 1 hr. 10 min.
Yield: 8 servings, ⅛ meatloaf each

Ingredients:
2 lbs. raw 93% lean ground turkey
1 cup all-natural mild salsa
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
Ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
Fresh chopped parsley (for garnish; optional)

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2. Combine turkey, salsa, bread crumbs, eggs, garlic, salt, and pepper (if desired) in a large bowl; mix well with clean hands or a rubber spatula.
3. Shape mixture into shape of a loaf and place on ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
4. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until center is no longer pink and meat is cooked through.
5. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve garnished with parsley.

I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this recipe. I honestly didn’t even want to make it, since I associate meatloaf was colder weather, but I’m really glad I gave it a shot!

Mike and I are almost done with week one and I am really enjoying lifting again. I am as sore as anything….but I really am enjoying it and feeling the changes in my muscles already.

I know I have been a little bit of slacker here the past week, but I hope to post a Fourth of July weekend recap as well as a post of how to Eat Like A Beast soon!

Any ladies out there complete Body Beast of currently doing Body Beast? If so, I would love to know if you are using the supplements and what your thoughts are on the program.

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Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

Philly Cheesesteak stuffed peppers
Stuffed peppers are a favorite of mine and honestly, they make portion control really stinking easy!

While wandering around the grocery store with my husband the other day in search of dinner inspiration, we saw some lean, shaved sirloin steak that is meant for Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches and I instantly wanted one. The problem with that, is we are both doing the 21 Day Fix and neither of us had enough yellow containers left for a hero style sandwich. Yellow containers are for carbs and carbs are my favorite. However, I only get two of them per day right now, so I really have to want something in order to blow both of my allotted containers in one meal. As much as I was craving a cheesesteak, I didn’t want it that badly. After pouting for a few minutes, I remembered a recipe I saw on Pinterest (of course), tossed the shaved sirloin into our basket and headed off to pick out some peppers to stuff it into.

The title of this post gives away what I was up to and you may be thinking to yourself “Another stuffed pepper recipes? She just posted one.”, but the stuffed pepper is your friend when you meal prep. My husband is not a big of fan of them, but when I told what I was planning, he was completely on-board, which was a pleasant surprise.

If you can’t find lean, shaved sirloin, don’t worry! The original recipe called for grass-fed ground beef, which I think would be perfect and let’s face it, we all usually have ground beef in the fridge or freezer and peppers and onions on hand, right?!

Ingredients:
2 Green Peppers
1 Sweet Onion
1 lb Shaved Beef
Thin sliced Provolone Cheese
1 Tb Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Directions:
1. Cut onions into long strings and sauté, on high, in olive oil until they’re translucent
2. Add steak to cooked onions and cook until it’s no longer pink
3. Preheat oven to 375º
4. Cut green peppers length wise. Remove seeds and ribs
4. Fill bottom of the peppers with a layer of shredded cheese
5. Layer on the onion and meat mixture
6. Add a final layer of cheese
7. Cook for 15-20 minutes. Until cheese is melted. If you want a softer pepper, add some water to the bottom of the pan and cover with tin foil.

As you can see, this is a pretty quick recipe that could easily become part of your meal prep routine! If you need more carbs in your life, add some quinoa or rice to the filling to make it more along the lines of a traditional stuffed pepper, or just serve it on the side. I love that I now have another flavorful recipe to add to my arsenal, especially one that is 21 Day Fix friendly!

Are you a fan of stuffed peppers? Why or why not?

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