Friday, January 25, 2013

Plan to Eat Clean

I just wanted you all to know that even though I haven't had as much time to blog due to my current work load, I have been adding plenty of Clean Eating recipes on my Plan to Eat! I have found this to be the best way to eat healthy and stay on track and organized. If you would like to have access to all of my recipes just click on the link, find me "The Fitness Freak" and bam!, you get all of my recipes :-) The best thing is that you can get it free for 30 days with no credit card info needed, just decide if you want it longer and then pay.

I access my list and planner on my mobile so no more lost paper grocery/ meal plan lists!! That's the best part for me!

I have lots of Clean Eating, Gluten-Free, Vegan and Paleo recipes in my recipe box. Just go to the right side of the main recipe page and get to the Clean Eating and other specific recipes by using the drop down filters under "cuisine" and "tag". I also have lots of not so clean recipes but my family likes variety so they're in there. I hope you enjoy!


Plan To Eat

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Clean Eating Recipe of the Week: Roasted Carrot & Red Quinoa Salad

I made this delightful salad for Thanksgiving to take a break from the normal Thanksgiving fare. It has delicious Middle-Eastern flavors that made my mouth happy! I liked it so much I thought I would share it with you.

Click HERE for the recipe!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are gearing up for a fantastic Christmas : )


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Workouts in Review: 10 Pounds Down Cardio Abs

Okay, okay, don't let the name fool you! It sounds like an infomercial workout title doesn't it? Well, you'll be happy to know that 10 Pounds Down:Cardio Abs is not a campy or easy workout, it's great!  Get in, get out, just the way I like it!

I was searching for some quick kickboxing workouts because I am such a kickboxing fan and 122 workout DVD's just aren't enough;) I love Collage Video because they have clips of all the videos they carry and I love video clips! Anyways, I came across 10 Pounds Down and loved the look of it and that it was a kickboxing workout. I also liked that it could be a 28-minute workout, a 56-minute workout or even an 88-minute workout if I wanted it to be. Versatile? Yes mam!

This morning I did the Cardio Abs and Concentrated Abs sections. The workout ended up being 56-minutes and it was just perfect! I already feel my abs as well as my shoulders, yippee!! Here's how the workout breaks down:

Cardio Abs- 28 minutes
Total Body Abs Transformer- 28 minutes
Concentrated Abs- 28 minutes
Bonus Workout: Tummy Torching Tabata- 4 minutes

The Cardio Abs section is all cardio with lots of fun kickboxing moves that require your core to show up for. Oh, mine showed up all right!

The Total Body Abs Transformer section includes cardio as well as compound weight moves. This is great for the days you need to get it all in in a short amount of time. Think squats with dumbell curls and leg abductions, push ups with mountain climbers, lunges with rows, etc.

The Concentrated Abs section includes both standing and floorwork. I like that she incorporated some balance moves into this section because that always fires up the core!

The Tummy Torching Tabata section is a great add-on to any of the sections because you'll need to be warmed up before you do it. Lots of plyo, yippee!

I love the "set" in this workout. I love it because it's not a set!! It's filmed in a real group fitness room in a big city. I can't tell what city but there is an elevated train that runs by in the background which is cool. I also love that there is natural sunlight. I know these are little things but when you have to look at a screen and get motivated, real life is always better than a set, IMO.

I also am a fan of Jessica Smith. She is so beautiful and has a very motivating personality. I also like the fact that she used to weigh 40 pounds more than she does now and lost it. I feel like if you've lived through weight issues you have more empathy for people who are trying to lose weight and you are better equipped to help them do the same.

I also bought her 10 Pounds Down Better Body Blast. I'll let you know what I think of that one after I do it.

Try it, you won't regret it!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Paleo, Is it All That?

Yep, I am going to think out loud right now. I have been tossing this post around in my head for awhile knowing that I won't agree with everyone on this.

Here's a little back story:

As many of you know, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism over 12 years ago. Looking back I think my doctor put me on thyroid meds because I wanted an "easy" way out of my struggles with maintaining my weight. I think if I hadn't pushed it I would not have started down the path that I am on. Fast forward 5 years later and my hypothyroidism had developed into Hashimoto's, an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks your thyroid. In short, my body thinks my thyroid is a disease. This is not a convenient situation as my body desperately needs my thyroid to regulate my mood, weight, body temperature, my digestion, memory, hair growth and blood sugar, to name a few. As you can imagine it has been very frustrating to have it functioning so poorly for the last 12 years.

Over this course of time I have tried so many different ways to take the stress off my thyroid with dreams of one day curing my disease. I became a Raw vegan because I had heard of several people that cured their Hashimoto's with this lifestyle. After 2 years I had lost about 30 lbs. but my weight started to go up again so I decided to add cooked grains and vegetables to my diet hoping the change would shock my system. I usually find that changing things up a bit helps my weight go back down but this time it didn't. I was desperate so I went to an Ayurvedic endocrinologist to get his opinion. He did an expanded blood panel on me and said everything looked fantastic and that I "should" be feeling great. Yeah, I'm glad the tests said that, now if I could just feel that way!

Well, a few months ago I decided to get the opinion of yet another health professional. This time I went to a Naturopath that my sister had her son going to. The only problem is that he was in Kansas. I had an hour consultation with him over the phone and we decided that it was best for me to add fish into my diet. He is a firm believer in healthy fats and he felt that I was not getting enough in my current diet. He also wanted me to avoid all grains and corn. My sister and her family were on a Paleo diet so I knew the basic parameters and it sounded like the diet he wanted me to do was a loose version of Paleo. "No problem", I said. I figured I've been strictly following these other eating plans, I can do this. And it wasn't a problem, still isn't. This is because I follow it loosely! Oh this doesn't mean I'm not completely rigid with what I eat, I am (It's called OCD!). I just don't subscribe to every detail of the Paleo mindset, and here's my top 10 reasons why:

1. I don't think eating excessive amounts of bacon will ever be healthy.
2. I don't think a lot of society has the money to eat the high quality meats that would be a "healthier"  option so they just eat the commercially available, grain-fed, junk meat.
3. I don't think being Paleo should be an excuse to eat way too much meat.
4. Just because they call it Paleo doesn't mean it's not just another low-carb diet.
5. This diet/ lifestyle, like others, can be abused and contorted to an unhealthy one.
6. I don't think alcohol should be encouraged on any healthy eating plan.
7. I have a problem with beans not being allowed. (my vegan tendencies:)
8. I don't think cavemen should be an example of healthy living.
9. I like peanut butter too much. (organic, of course)
10. I can't afford Cross Fit so I feel like less of a person....

I know, I know, I just really annoyed some of my readers!! This is not intentional and as I said in most of my reasons, these are just my personal thoughts about the whole Paleo idea. I encourage you to respond to my thoughts. Go for it!

BTW, my thoughts on the whole meat issue do not stem from my being vegan, that was a choice I made NOT for animal rights reasons but for my personal quest to heal my body. Guess what? It didn't work for me. There is not a diet/ lifestyle out there that works for every single person. There never will be.

In August I went to Kansas and met with my Naturopath in person. What a helpful meeting this was! After a biofeedback test as well as several other tests, he concluded that my thyroid was functioning wonderfully. Halleluiah! Wait. If it's functioning fabulously, why am I still feeling crappy? Oh, that's what I found the answer to. Turns out my hypothalamus and pituitary gland are not functioning so fabulously. Here are some of the symptoms: hair loss, weight gain, moodiness, bad digestion, depression, fatigue. Hey, wait a minute. That sounds like the same symptoms as a malfunctioning thyroid! Heavens to Betsy, it is!! Maybe there is a light at the end of this really long tunnel! I was put on a natural medication to combat the hypothalamus/ pituitary gland problem. Here goes nothing!

What is my current food plan? Here it is:

Eggs (limited)
Beans (limited)
Vegetables (kale, spinach, zucchini, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, etc.)
Fruit (berries, melons)
Smoothies(coconut milk, Sun Warrior Warrior Blend protein powder, fruit)
Coconut Milk
Coconut Oil
Goat's milk yogurt
Goat's milk cheese
Kombucha (yum!)
Nuts & Seeds(limited)
Honey Mints(from Trader Joe's) Yep, it's a food group!
Chocolate(for a special treat)

It sounds limited and at times it can be, but I am so used to it that I don't mind at all.

Okay, go ahead, I want to hear what you have to say : )


Sunday, July 8, 2012

And the Winner Is.....

Christina! Christina, send me your mailing address and I'll get this out to you. My e-mail:

Thanks to all of you who entered!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Eat-Clean Review & GIVEAWAY: Tosca Reno's The Eat-Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook

Guess what arrived in the mail today? A copy of Tosca Reno's latest cookbook, The Eat-Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook. I was honored to receive a copy to give away to one of my wonderful readers!
Look at the bottom of this post to see how you could win this great cookbook!

As most of you know I have been a Vegan for a bit over 3 years now. I was sad to see many of my Eat-Clean cookbooks just sitting there because a lot of the recipes had meat and animal products in them. Well, when I saw that Tosca was coming out with a vegetarian cookbook I promptly pre-ordered a copy for myself!

I have made several of the recipes and are they delicious! There are a lot of Vegan options in the book as well as a few fish recipes which I think is a great addition. Although Vegans and Vegetarians don't eat fish, there are many flexitarians and pescetarians who do. If you have a family with meat and non-meat eaters alike this is a great book to get you all eating clean and eating less red meat and meat products in general. The great thing about having meat-free meals as a main course, even for a few meals, is that these meals are easy on the budget, and these days that is so very important!

One of my favorite dishes, which is great for gatherings and parties, is the Smoky Eggplant and Chickpea Spread. Think of it as hummus meets Baba Ganoush, yum : )

Here are a few recipes you will find in the book:

Blueberry and Citrus Breakfast Parfaits
Dried Fruit and Nut Bars
Spring Fling Pasta Salad
Late Summer Spelt with Crunchy Vegetables
Chilaquiles (another fave of mine)
Herb Grilled Shrimp Skewers w/ Avocado Linguini
Red Quinoa Pilaf
Grilled Gourmet Bella Burgers
Skillet Cornbread
Banana Cupcakes w/ Peanut Butter Yogurt Frosting
Pineapple Carrot Bread... or Cake?

And so many more.....

Another reason why this new cookbook appealed to me is that although there were some soy dishes, it wasn't all soy like so many of it's counterparts. As a person suffering with thyroid disease the soy issue is huge! I am not allowed to have any soy and trying to find Vegan/vegetarian cookbooks that are not soy from beginning to end is very difficult. I mean, can't we get a bit more creative than tofu, tofu, tofu? I didn't even hit a tofu recipe until page 75! There are only 10 recipes that make tofu center stage and this was music to my little ears : ) If soy milk or cheese were used I substituted unsweetened low-fat coconut milk and Daiya cheese. It takes creativity and hard work to make a vegetarian/Vegan cookbook without a ton of soy and my hats of to Tosca and her team for successfully doing just that! Thank you!!

Now, let's get down to business! I am excited to be able to giveaway one copy of Tosca's new The Eat-Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook. All you have to do to win, is leave a reply on this blog post. I will draw one winner on Sunday, July 8th, 2012. Last day for entry is July 7th at midnight PST. If you want an extra entry just tweet, post or pin this giveaway and then let me know you did that in another comment here on this post. Thanks for entering and good luck!!

Thank you Abigail for sending me a copy for this giveaway!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Plan to Eat and Plan to Eat Well!

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to EatI have added a ton of new recipes to my Plan to Eat. Feel free to try it out for 30 days free and if you like it, it's only $39/year. What a deal! Become friends with me (The FitnessFreak) and get access to all of my recipes. I have Clean Eating, Regular, Raw, Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free and Ayurvedic recipes. Check it out!!

This program really does help me stay consistent with family dinners, lunches and snacks. It also helps me stay on my budget. It is an easy platform to work with and if you have any questions about it don't hesitate to e-mail me,



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