How to Lose Weight on a Cruise

Yes, it is possible! Losing weight on vacation can be done. These tips will help prevent you from gaining weight or even losing weight while you are on vacation.

Did you know? Most people gain at least 5 pounds while cruising or vacationing.

It can be simple to stay on track while enjoying yourself.

1. Take the stairs everywhere and WALK. 

All cruises have stairs, lots of them. Take advantage of the calories you can burn by taking the stairs. Try and wear a step tracking device and aim for at least 10,000 steps per day.

2. Keep breakfast healthy. Most cruises have a restaurant option and buffet option. Choose healthy choices since breakfast is starting your day. Start right with; 

- Omelets (egg whites are best) add lots of vegetables and avoid the cheese, sausage and bacon.

- Oatmeal is a great option. Avoid dried fruits and brown sugar. Add splenda or stevia, add fresh fruit and nuts.

- Yogurt is a great way to keep your gut filled with a little “good” bacteria. Add fresh fruit and nuts to your yogurt.

- Boiled eggs and toast are another great option. Make sure your toast is whole wheat and limit the butter.

- Fresh fruit is a great start to your day, avoid the juice.

Broccoli quiche without cheese and dry toast

Broccoli quiche without cheese and dry toast

Lunch on a cruise ship is usually buffet style. Choose healthy options when picking your mid-day meal. 

Salad is a great option, add beans, fresh vegetables, boiled eggs, seeds, nuts and your favorite protein. Limit the dressing and choose a vinegar based dressing.

Ask for other options. 

- Recently when my family and I went on a cruise they had hamburgers and french fries. I asked for a vegetable burger….. guess what? They had it. I had mine without the bun with plenty of healthy toppings.

Bunless Vegetable patty with fresh tomatoes and shredded lettuce

Bunless Vegetable patty with fresh tomatoes and shredded lettuce

- Look for lean proteins and side dishes without mayo and cream sauces. Look for foods in their most natural state.

- If you have dessert, have it at lunch rather than dinner. The body will have a chance to burn those extra calories during the day.

3. Request a “special” dinner menu

My first dinner on my cruise and requested no oil, butter or cream sauces, the chef was able to provide me with the menu the day before and I ordered my food. Special requests are something that the cruise is happy to accomodate. It was great to have a healthy dinner each night.

Vegetables without oil, fresh fish

Vegetables without oil, fresh fish

4. Take advantage of the cruise gym. 

Did you know that most cruise ships have fitness centers? Plan out time to go and get your workout on. This will keep you on track and prevent weight gain during your vacation.

5. Get plenty of sleep. 

Plan on getting to bed at a reasonable time. Sleep is an important part of making healthy food decisions and being able to wake up and workout. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

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5 Instapot Recipes to Try TODAY!!!

The Instapot has been around for the last couple of years but has gotten popular over the last several month. More and more people are eager to make easy and healthy meals. The Instapot is a multi-cooker, similar to a slow cooker, but also acts as an electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, saute and browning pan, and warming pot. An instapot offers faster meals and a programmable starting feature.

6 minute Instapot Boiled Eggs

Keep it basic with boiled eggs.

desired number of eggs

1 cup water

1. Place stainless steel insert into the instapot base, along with the included steamer. Pour in 1 cup of water.

2. Arrange the number of egg, cold from the fridge on top of the steamer insert.

3. Lock the lid on the instapot and make sure the steam release knob is turning to “sealing”.

4. Press the “manual” button on the front. High pressure should automatically be selected.

5. Use the minutes button, to back the time down to 6 minutes. Wait a few seconds and you will hear a beep. Once it comes to pressure, it will start cooking for 6 minutes. Sometimes it can take 9-10 minutes before the pressure comes up. Once the timer goes off, use a thick towel or pair of tongs to turn the steam release knob to vent. Allow the steam to escape from the pot.

Immediately place the eggs in a water and ice bath. Enjoy eggs, refrigerated for one week.

Chocolate and Banana Steel cut Breakfast Oats 

1 cup steel cut oats

2 medium bananas

3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa

2 1/2 cups (milk of choice) or water

1. Mash bananas with fork until baby food consistency, a few small chunks are ok.

2. Add bananas, oats, milk or water and cocoa to instapot and stir well. Place the lid on and make sure the steam vent is sealed. Set to manual, high pressure, for 9 minutes. Then leave the pressure to release naturally. Remove the lid and stir the oats.

Fun add in’s: Walnuts, almonds or pecans. 1-2 tsp. brown sugar or stevia or splenda. 2-3 dark chocolate chips to add sweetness to your oatmeal bowl.

choc oats

Potato Curry Soup

1 medium onion chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

5 cups (heaping) potatoes (new potatoes or regular potatoes) bite size pieces

2 Tbsp. Curry powder

3 Tbsp. corn starch

2 cups water or vegetable broth

2 cups (heaping) green beans, cut into bite size pieces. Fresh or frozen.

400ml can light coconut milk

1 Tbsp. sugar, stevia or splenda (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp. chili powder flakes (optional, this will add a little heat)

1. Set up the instapot to saute. Once pot is heated, add a few drops of water, and cook the onions until translucent, then add garlic and cook a minute longer with the onions. Then press warm/cancel button.

2. Add everything else to the pot except the green beans and liquid. Stir in the cornstarch and combine with other ingredients, including the liquid.  The green beans will get added at the end. Set the instapot to 20 minutes on manual high pressure. Allow the pressure to naturally release after cooking.

3. Add the salt and pepper and the green beans, allow the green beans to heat up for about 5 minutes. Serve hot!!!

Cook a Frozen Chicken

5lbs. whole chicken

1 cup water or broth

1 bay leaf

2 Tbsp. smart balance light or butter blend

1 tsp. dried rosemary

1 tsp. dried sage

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

1. Remove chicken from packaging and rinse off, pat dry with paper towel.

2. Add 1 cup water to the bottom of the instapot with the bay leaf. Place the trivet in the bottom.

3. In a small bowl, combine, butter, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Run mixture over the top of the chicken. Place the chicken, breast side up, on the trivet.

4. Cover the instapot and set timer for manual for 50 minutes. Allow the cooker to naturally release the pressure. Check the temperature of the chicken and make sure the inside reaches at least 165.

Enjoy!! Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.

Winter Lentil and Spinach Soup

2 tsp. olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, diced

2 large carrots, peeled and diced

1-2 celery stalks, diced

4 medium garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground tumeric

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 cup lentils, rinsed well in cold water

4 cups low sodium vegetable broth

6 cups baby spinach

1. Hit Saute button on the instapot. Add oil, when hot, add onions, carrots, and celery. Saute, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, tumeric, thyme, salt and pepper.

2. Add lentils and pour in the broth and stir.

3. Place the lid on the pot and make sure thd is in the sealing position. Press manual button and cook for 12 minutes. Allow to vent naturally. Once done venting, remove lid and add spinach. Flavor with any additional salt and pepper.

lentil soup

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5 Winter Smoothies to Stay Healthier this Winter

Smoothies can be a quick and easy way to get a few extra fruits and vegetables in the morning. A smoothie for lunch can be a great substitute for a meal.  Or consider a smoothie for a post exercise snack. Check out these 5 delicious and healthy smoothie options:

Carrot cake smoothie

5oz. carrot, scrubbed and chopped

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup ice

1 small banana, peeled

3 Tbsp. walnuts

1 cup water or unsweetened almond milk

1 scoop (20 gram protein) protein powder (whey or pea protein)

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!!

Butternut Chai Smoothie

Small handful of baby spinach

1 small banana, peeled

3 Tbsp. almonds

1 cup ice

1/2 cup butternut squash

1/2 tsp. chai spice

1 cup water or unsweetened almond milk

1/2 scoop protein powder (about 10 grams protein)

Place all ingredients in blender. Blend and enjoy!

Winter Cranberry Smoothie

Handful of  baby spinach

1/4 cup cranberries

1 cup water or unsweetened almond milk

1 pear, chopped

1 Tbsp. hempseeds

1 cup ice

1/2 scoop protein powder (10 grams protein)

Place all ingredients in blender, blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Apricot Lemon Delight Smoothie

1 zucchini, chopped

1 apricot, remove seed

3 Tbsp. almonds

1 cup ice

8-10 small grapes

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 cup water

Place all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth.

Green Almond Apple Delight Smoothie

Large handful spinach

1 persian cucumber, chopped

1 lemon, juiced

1 cup water

1 apple, chopped

10-12 almonds

1 Tbsp. hemp seeds

1 cup ice

Place all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!!



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The healthy choices at a Breakfast Buffet

Vacation is a time to relax and have fun. Many people work months and months to get “vacation ready” prior to vacation. Dieting is common before a vacation as well as increased exercise to be fit and ready.

Recently I took vacation to an all-inclusive resort. I must say the buffet was well stocked and offered an abundance of foods.  Buffets and access to “free” foods can bring out bad eating behaviors. You get to choose, what type of foods your will eat. A healthy choice? A high fat choice? A high sugar choice? Or a mixture of healthy and unhealthy choices? Does eating unhealthy for a week on vacation matter?

In my opinion, it does matter. Eating unhealthy foods during vacation can expose you to foods that you don’t normally eat, therefore, when you get home you crave these foods. Over time, unhealthy foods can cause inflammation in the body. The body can respond with higher than normal blood sugars leading to mood changes. Most importantly, a dramatic change in diet can upset your gastrointestinal (GI) system. If the GI system not accustomed to high sugar and fat may cause diarrhea and stomach pain. Prevent inflammation and decrease negative symptoms by eating healthy when you are on vacation.

Here are simple steps to follow to enjoy a healthy meal at a buffet.


  1. Take a walk around the buffet to check out your options. Look at the quality of foods offered and decide which protein and which healthy grains you will choose.
  2. Try and make a meal rather than have a variety of foods that don’t go together.
  3. Fill 1/2 your plate with salad. But beware of the salad dressing.

buffet 1


buffet 5

buffet 11

buffet 15

Bread and refined carbohydrates can be tempting. Try and only choose whole grain foods. Refined carbohydrates will leave you feeling sluggish and hungry again in a few hours.

DID you know…. One small donut can contain 10-15 grams sugar? That is the same as eating 4 tsp. of sugar. 


buffet 10

Another food to avoid is cereal. There are limited “healthy” cereals. It will take a lot of cereal to fill you up. Stick with oatmeal if you choose to have a “cereal”. Sweeten your oatmeal with stevia or splenda, add toasted nuts and fresh fruit to make your oatmeal delicious and healthy.

DID you know….. 1 cup of cereal averages 15 grams of sugar? That is the same as eating 4 tsp. of sugar on top of “refined” grains. YIKES!! 


buffet 6

Yogurt can be a great choice. Choose the plain or vanilla yogurt and flavor it yourself. The flavored yogurts are very high in sugar and lack protein. At this particular buffet they had “no sugar added” fruit preserves. This was a great way to flavor plain yogurt. Top with fresh fruit and chopped nuts for a perfect breakfast treat.

buffet 8

buffet 9

buffet 16

Eggs can be a great choice. However, most eggs are cooked with oil. Stick with boiled eggs. At this buffet I choose an egg white omelet and requested only a little oil and lots of vegetables. Beware of eggs with bacon, sausage and cheese. These high fat protein add lots of extra fat.

Boiled eggs and toast with fruit is a great option. Scrambled egg whites with vegetables and corn tortillas with salsa and fruit is another perfect option. Be smart about your choices!!!

buffet 7

Avoid high fat meat choices. Sticking to eggs, ham, lean turkey breast or smoked salmon would be a better option. These foods are cheap. You’re worth way more than this JUNKY food. You pay good money for an all inclusive resort…. get your money worth, choose high quality healthy options.

buffet 14

Always choose fruit!! About 1 cup is a perfect portion. Fruit is high in antioxidants and fiber. Fruit is refreshing and will help keep you feeling full.

buffet 13

AVOID all types of juice. It is full of sugar. Fresh fruit should always be your option. Stick with water, iced tea or coffee.

When dining out at a buffet, choose quality or quantity. Fresh foods with limited food preparation is ideal. Make smart choices and remember, YOU’RE WORTH IT!!!


Enjoy your new vacation!

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A to Z healthy Eating

Are you getting all the vitamins and minerals you needs to keep your body healthy? To keep the body moving healthy and thriving, it needs to proper balance of nutrients . Although you can get most of these nutrients from supplements, it is better to get them from foods. Check out which foods you should eat to get the nutrients your body needs.

Vitamin A: plays a huge role in immunity, reproductive health, and vision. The highest amount of vitamin A comes from yams. Other foods that have vitamin A, include, spinach, fish, milk, eggs and carrots.

B6: Helps to metabolize foods, stabilize blood sugars, help form hemoglobin, and makes antibodies to fight disease. One of the richest foods with B6 is garbanzo beans. Other foods include, sunflower seeds, pistachio nuts, fish, chicken, dried fruit and bananas.

B12: This vitamin is very important for the nervous system, formation of DNA and red blood cells. Animal products are usually the best source of B12, such as, clams, salmon and tuna. However, there are other sources of B12, such as, nutritional yeast, fortified breakfast cereals and fermented foods, such as, algae, spirulina, seaweed and nori.

Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant. It is also important for protein metabolism and synthesis of neurotransmitters. Sweet bell peppers are the greatest source of vitamin C. Citrus is also high in vitamin C, kiwi, broccoli, brussels sprouts and cantaloupe.

Calcium: The most abundant mineral in the body. It helps to fortify teeth and bones, blood vessel and muscle function, and cell communication. Dairy foods contain the most calcium. Choose low fat dairy that are fortified with calcium, or dark leafy, such as, kale and chinese cabbage, and fortified cereals.

Vitamin D: The sunshine vitamin, helps to absorb calcium. It is also very important for immunity and mental wellness. Best derived from fatty fish, such as, swordfish, salmon, and mackerel. You can also get vitamin D from fortified dairy (yogurt and milk), and fortified breakfast cereals.

*make sure the breakfast cereal you choose is whole grain and has less than 8 grams sugar per serving.

Vitamin E: Powerful antioxidant. Protects the cells from free radicals, Improves immune function and healthy blood vessel function. Wheat germ is an excellent source of vitamin E. Sunflower seeds and almonds are also high in vitamin E.

*Only a few Tbsp. of nuts and seeds are necessary. Eating too much nuts and seeds can cause weight gain due to excess calories and fat.

Folate: Most important for pregnant women or women of childbearing age. It also helps form new tissues and protein formation. Folate is found in most green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts and dairy foods.

Iron: Proteins in the body use iron for transport of oxygen and cell growth. Most of the body’s iron is found in hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to ALL the cells in the body. Heme iron is found in animal products, non-heme iron is found in lentils and beans.

Vitamin K: Very important for coagulation or blood clotting. Without it your body would not be able to stop bleeding. Green leafy vegetables are the best source.

Lycopene: Important antioxidant. May guard against cancer if eaten on a regular basis. Tomatoes are the best source, however, they must be cooked tomatoes. Watermelon is also a great source.

Lysine: Amino acid that helps the body absorb calcium and form collagen for bones and connective tissue. Protein rich foods, such as animal products, as well as, nuts, legumes and soybeans.

Magnesium: Important for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Some of these include, muscle and nerve function, keeping heart rate strong and keeping bones strong. Wheat bran has the highest amount of magnesium. When you process grains you lose the magnesium benefit. Choosing whole grains is your best option. Cashews and green vegetables are also high in magnesium.

Niacin: A B vitamin. Helps convert food into energy, aids in the digestive system, and allows the nerves to function properly. Dried yeast is the best way to get niacin, however, PB, or peanuts, and chicken are great sources.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Very important for brain health and reducing inflammation. There are two categories of Omega 3 fatty acids, alpha-linolenic (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA). ALA is found in vegetable oils, green vegetables, nuts and seeds. EPA and DHA is commonly found in fatty fish.

Potassium: Essential electrolyte, needed to control activity of the heart. Also used to build protein and muscle and helps break down carbohydrates into energy. Potassium is found is many plant foods, including, melon, avocado, strawberries, bananas, potatoes and many more.

Riboflavin: Also part of the B family. An antioxidant that helps the body fight disease, create energy and produce red blood cells. Breakfast cereal is very high in this vitamin, make sure you choose a lower sugar variety.

Selenium: A mineral with antioxidant properties. Helps regulate thyroid and improve the immune system. Brazil nuts are a great source, and you only need about 8 nuts. 3oz tuna is also a great source. Take caution not to over eat selenium, or over supplement, too much can cause selenosis, which can cause, fingernail loss, skin rash, hair loss, fatigue and irritability.

Thiamin: Actually called B1, thiamin is important for turning carbohydrate into energy. Dried yeast is an excellent source of thiamin, also high is pine nuts.

Zinc: Helps with immune function, also important for helping improve taste and smell function. Most zinc is found in animal products, such as, beef and chicken, oysters have the most zinc then any other food.



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Keeping Meal Prep Simple

Meal preparation is the key to healthy eating. Too many people get overwhelmed with how to meal prep.  Meal prep should be simple, healthy and doable, week after week.

Follow these guidelines for healthy meal prep: 

Have a plan of action: This means know what you are going to need to prepare, therefore, you can go to the store and purchase what you need.

Batch cooking works best: My family and I batch cook. This means we cook several different foods and then put these foods together to create meals throughout the week.

Cook the foods that take the longest first.  For example, if you are baking rice that takes 45 minutes to cook, put it together and throw it in the oven so it cooks while you prep the other foods.

Avoid spending more than 90 minutes in the kitchen 2 times per week. My goal is to prep for 60 minutes, 2 days per week. It is doable and it does not get old. Spending too much time takes away from your day. Eventually, you will get burned out and stop food prepping.



  • Buy in season.
  • Prepare the vegetables: Wash them, peel/cut, if needed (such as carrots)
  • Cut into bite size or cooking size pieces. Place vegetables in quarter or gallon bags for easy grab and go snacks.
  • Roast vegetables. Heat oven to 450. Place assorted veggies on baking sheets with olive oil spray, salt and pepper. Bake until desired tenderness.
  • BBQ vegetables: If you are BBQ-ing chicken or fish, grill vegetables as the same time. Use lower heat for the vegetables or place vegetables on the top baking rack of the BBQ.
  • Steam vegetables: Clean, cut and throw vegetables in pan with a steamer basket and steam until slightly tender.

* Store all vegetables separate in individual containers or pre package vegetables with your meals. Cooked vegetables are good for up to 3 days.

Prepping Grains

  • Grains usually require stove top or oven or rice cooker. Most grains take any where from 10-45 minutes to prepare.
  • Figure out  which grains you need for the week.

- Easy Oatmeal: Soak oats in containers or glass jars for up to 3 days. Place oats, cinnamon, vanilla, protein powder and your favorite variety or milk or use water. This is a great grab and go! Add you favorite fruit and/or nuts and you will have an easy and healthy breakfast.

- Boil whole-wheat pasta al dente. Place cooked pasta in covered container or place cooked and cooled pasta into a ziplock bag and freeze. Toss pasta in olive oil and when you are ready to enjoy take frozen pasta out of bag and add to hot water for a few minutes.

- Baked rice: This is a great idea for a quick and easy side dish.

1 1/2 cups brown rice

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. olive oil

2 1/3 cup water or broth

Bring broth or water with oil and salt to a boil. Add rice to pre sprayed casserole dish, once water starts to boil, add water mixture to rice in casserole dish. Cover with 2 layers of foil and bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes.

Quinoa: Easy to prepare. 1 part quinoa, 2 parts water. Combine, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and allow liquid to be absorbed. Quinoa is great for veggie bowls or chicken and vegetable bowls. Quinoa and eggs is a great breakfast idea, just scramble the two together and add your favorite veggie.

Keep healthy homemade muffins on hand. These are great as an addition to a breakfast meal, use as a snack or use for after a workout. Use applesauce in a recipe instead of oil. Reduce flour a bit and add a scoop or two of protein powder.

Beans: Dry beans are so inexpensive and very simple to prepare. Rinse and soak overnight. If I meal prep on Monday, I will rinse and soak my beans on Sunday evening. Soaking the beans will give them a more tender texture it will also decrease the enzyme, making the beans less likely to cause gas.

Place soaked beans in slow cooker, add water or broth until the beans are covered by about 1/2-1 inch. I love adding garlic powder and cumin. Place on high and cook for about 4-5 hours or until tender.

Place cooked beans in a shallow container. Allow beans to cool and store in fridge for up to 3-4 days or freeze for about 2 weeks.

These beans can be used for burritos, a side dish, quinoa/bean bowl, mash and make into a mexican pizza, add to chili or other casserole type dishes.


  • Purchase protein that is on sale.
  • Figure out which proteins you need to go with your meals for the week.


 Grill or roast or pan cook. Cut into smaller sizes. This will make cooking quicker. If the chicken is super thick, filet out and cook. Keep your seasoning simple. Salt and pepper works great. You can also grab Italian dressing and marinate the night before.

Keep chicken in ziplock bags or individual containers. Cooked chicken can also be frozen. Freeze and when you are ready to eat, place in fridge to allow to thaw about 8 hours before eating.


Ground turkey can be cooked in a skillet. Ground turkey can be added to chili, casserole type dishes or add to spaghetti sauce for an easy Italian meal.

Prepare turkey patties and use during the week. Add whole oats and a bit of egg and your favorite Italian seasoning to spice up. Dice patty and add to a rice and vegetable bowl or use the patty on a whole wheat sandwich flat or wrap in butter lettuce. Patties are a great grab for an easy meal.


Bake fish: Bake at 350 until fish is cooked through. Allow fish to cook while your grains are cooking and your vegetables are steaming. Fish is best seasoned with lemon and fresh herbs.

Grill fish: While you are grilling your vegetables, grill your fish. Pre portion your fish and keep in small containers. Use grilled fish on top of your favorite salad, use for fish tacos or enjoy fish with quinoa or rice with roasted vegetables.

Pan “fry”: Heat skillet pan and spray with nonstick spray or add a touch of canola oil. Pan cook your fish with onions and bell peppers. Fish will cook this way about 5 minutes each side.

Boiled eggs: Boiled eggs are a great snack, great addition to breakfast or easy to make into egg salad on whole grain bread for lunch. I also like to use boiled eggs on top of a salad with beans and leftover vegetables.

Other Tips:

  • Keep fresh fruit on hand. Wash and pre portion your fruit.
  • Keep unsalted nuts in small containers. Portion nuts into 1/4 cup serving sizes.
  • Greek yogurt is a great grab and go snack or an easy breakfast. Toss in your favorite frozen fruit and enjoy with a homemade muffin.
  • Whole wheat or organic corn tortillas are great to keep on hand. Add your favorite protein or spread with hummus and add vegetables. My favorite is a whole wheat tortilla with natural nut butter and sliced bananas for a grab and go breakfast.
  • Keep canned beans and 90 second brown rice packets on hand for easy meals.
  • Try ONE new recipe per week. Look for recipes that have 10 ingredients or less and take less than 30 minutes to prepare.

healthy pantry

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Throwing a Healthier Super Bowl Party

Throwing a Healthier Super Bowl Party


January 1st has come and gone.  With the New Year usually come promises to make the “new year” healthier. However, Super Bowl is only a week away and the last thing you want to do is let go of your healthy habits.   Try and maintain your healthy eating habits at your super bowl party.

Prepare to eat healthy while enjoying your favorite team with the following healthier ideas:



Whole-wheat crackers with spinach and artichoke dip (see recipe below)

Raw vegetables with a spicy hummus dip

Baked mozzarella cheese bites with spaghetti sauce

White bean dip (see recipe) with baked pita slices

Baked sweet potato fries with chipotle ketchup

Raw vegetables and Guac-aedamole (see recipe)

Shrimp cocktail with whole-wheat crackers spread with laughing cow light cheese

Fruit skewers with yogurt dip

Layer dip with mini corn tortillas

Kale chips

Garbanzo shooters (see recipe)

Sweet potato chips (see recipe) (serve with any healthy dip)


Mini turkey or vegetarian burgers (serve on whole-wheat dinner rolls)

Pita pizza’s with vegetables and reduced fat feta cheese

Chili (lean turkey or beef or vegetarian) (serve on top of baked chips)

Mini tacos (fish, ground turkey, lean ground beef or chicken) A vegetarian option would be bean tacos

Quinoa pizza bites (see recipe)

Cauliflower buffalo bites (see recipe)

Chicken Salad (made with light mayo, mustard and fat free Greek yogurt, diced celery, dried cranberries) serve with butter lettuce

Spinach salad with sliced eggs, white or kidney beans, sliced tomatoes, sliced black olives (drizzle with Italian dressing)

Mini Hummus sandwiches on whole-wheat or sprouted bread, dress with fresh lettuce and tomato slices


Infused water: Infuse your water with a variety of fruits. You can also infuse water with lemon slices and mint leaves.

Flavored teas. Purchase flavored hot tea. Brew tea and serve over ice.

Kombuchua (a healthy beer alternative)

Iced coffee drinks: Brew coffee and flavor with vanilla and almond milk. Serve coffee over ice.

If you drink alcohol, choose a mixer without sugar. Try and use seltzer water or a light soda with splenda or stevia.


Spinach and Artichoke dip (2 options)


1 1/2 cups white beans (or 15 oz. can, rinsed and drained)

1/4 c sesame seeds

1/2 c steamed spinach, chopped (thawed if using frozen)

1 15 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed

2 t Italian Seasoning herbs

2 T olive oil

1-3 cloves garlic, minced

Juice of 1 Lemon

1/4 t salt



1. In bowl layer sesame seeds then white beans (Important to put sesame seeds on bottom so they don’t fling everywhere), use immersion blender to mash beans and seeds together.

2. Add remaining ingredients and blend with immersion blender.


or Try this versions

Creamy Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 heaping cup artichoke hearts, marinated and sold in glass jars + reserved some of liquid (about 2-3 Tablespoons)

1 1/2 c white beans

1/4 c sesame seeds

1/2 c steamed spinach, chopped (thawed if using frozen)

1/4 t Salt

Blend all ingredients following directions above.

White bean dip

  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Place cannellini beans in bowl, and mash with fork; set aside. Heat a small pan over medium heat; add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, and let it warm. Add garlic, and chopped fresh sage leaves. Stir constantly for 4 minutes or until garlic is brown and sage is crispy. Pour hot oil over beans; stir. Garnish with 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, and add salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and store in fridge up to 1 week.

Layer dip

Layer the following ingredients

1-2 cups mashed beans or canned fat free refried beans

½ cup reduced fat cheese

½ cup homemade guacamole

1-cup fat free plain Greek yogurt

1 cup salsa

2 cups diced tomatoes

¼ cup scallions

¼ cup sliced black olives


  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (like Cholula)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced


  • Combine all ingredients except for the tomato in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Add the diced tomato and stir gently.
  • Cover and chill.

Serve with toasted pieces of pita, whole-wheat crackers, or veggies.


Baked mozzarella bites

  • 12 sticks part-skim mozzarella string cheese (cut in half)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Marinara sauce, for serving


Remove wrappers and cut cheese in half to give you 24 pieces. Freeze cheese until hard and frozen, about 30 minutes.

In three separate shallow dishes, place egg, flour and breadcrumbs, each in their own dish. Whisk egg. To breadcrumbs dish, add panko, parmesan and parsley.

Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Dip frozen cheese sticks in flour, shaking off excess, then into the egg, then coat with the crumbs. Repeat for each cheese stick, placing them on the lined baking sheet. Freeze on sheet at least 15 minutes, or until ready to bake (this is a must or they will melt before the crumbs get golden).

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange oven rack in the bottom third of your oven.

Bake 4 to 5 minutes, turn sticks over, and bake an additional 4-5 minutes, watching sticks closely so they don’t melt. Serve hot with marinara sauce

Kale Chips

  • 1 large bunch Tuscan kale (10 to 12 leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon oilve oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 275°F.
  • Remove stalks and ribs from kale. Rinse and dry leaves.
  • Toss leaves in a large bowl with olive oil. Sprinkle leaves with sea salt and ground pepper.
  • Arrange leaves in a single layer onto a baking sheet.
  • Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until crisp.

Transfer and let cool onto a wire rack or paper towels.

Garbanzo Shooters

  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons of spice mixture (a curry, Morrocan, or Mexican spice mixture works well)


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Drain and rinse chickpeas in a colander. Pat dry.
  • Toss chickpeas in a medium-sized bowl with olive oil, sea salt, and spices.
  • Arrange chickpeas on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until crispy. While baking, shake pan or stir chickpeas to avoid burning.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl.

If desired, sprinkle and toss with more spices.


Sweet potato chips

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Cumin, paprika, and sea salt to taste
    • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
    • Using two baking sheets, toss the sweet potato slices with the oil, cumin, paprika, and sea salt.

Spread the slices evenly over the trays, and bake for 10 minutes. Flip them over, and cook for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are golden brown.


Fruit skewers with yogurt dip

Place assorted fruit on mini skewer sticks. Flavor plain fat free Greek yogurt with honey or agave, cinnamon and a dash of vanilla.


Quinoa Pizza Bites

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped (or 2 tablespoons dried)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Spaghetti sauce for dipping


  • Place the quinoa and two cups of water in a covered pot. Bring to boil and then simmer for 20 minutes or until quinoa is tender.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix together all ingredients, except pizza sauce, in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Distribute mixture into a greased mini muffin tin, filling each cup to the top (one heaping tablespoon each), and press down gently to compact.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Serve warm with sauce for dipping.

Makes 24 mini muffin bites.

Cauliflower bites

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter
  • 2/3 cup hot sauce


  • Preheat oven to 450ºF. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, water, garlic powder, and salt. Whisk together until smooth.
  • Toss cauliflower into garbanzo batter, making sure to coat each piece completely, then place battered cauliflower on a lightly greased, nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, tossing halfway through.

In the meantime, combine melted butter and hot sauce in a large bowl, regularly stirring. When cauliflower is done, remove it from the oven and gently toss it in the hot sauce mixture. Place cauliflower back on the baking sheet and cook for an additional 25 minutes until it becomes crispy. Allow cauliflower to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

healthy super bowl

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Baked Banana Oatmeal

Want to try baked oatmeal? This is a great recipe on the go. You can make it ahead of time, cut and enjoy! This recipe makes 4 servings. Enjoy!

  • 2-3 large bananas (about 1 1/2 cups/350g mashed banana)
  • 1 cup milk of choice (I used 60 calorie almond milk)
  • 1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups oats
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Optional: add in ~1/4 cup honey/maple syrup/agave if you like things sweet or whatever mix ins you like! (I added in 1 Tbsp. agave)

Heat oven to 350. Add liquid ingredients, then add dry ingredients. Allow mixture to sit for about 15 minutes to thicken. Pour into 8×8 pan and bake 25-30 minutes.


banana slices

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Healthy and Easy side Dishes

Ok, so you are making chicken or fish for dinner… but what are you going to pair with these foods? A lot of times people end up eating chicken and vegetables because it is easy and they do not know what else to pair with their “main” dish.

Let’s be honest, are you planning? Are you preparing? Are you really ready to be healthy and embrace nutrient dense foods? Most people will eat a light and healthy dinner and then end up over eating “snacks” or “treats” after dinner because they did not balance their meal well.

Check out some of these side dishes that are easy and delicious and can even be made into the main course.

Green bean and Potato Salad with mustard thyme dressing

  • 2/3 lb. redskin potatoes (about 4), clean and dice
  • 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. minced red onion
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions: Fill a pot with 1 inch water and fit with steamer basket. Add potatoes to steamer basket and bring water to boil. Cover and steam for about 10 minutes. Add beans and then steam for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, mustard, onion, thyme, salt and pepper. Transfer, beans and potatoes into a large bowl, toss with mustard mixture. Add fresh parsley.

*Makes 2 servings

Smoky Black Bean Salad

  • 3 1/2 cups black beans (no salt added canned) or fresh cooked beans
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. grape seed or olive oil

Directions: Preheat broiler and bring the oven rack to the highest position. Place peppers in a pan lined with foil. Place peppers on rack, broil, turn often, until skin is blistered and blackened, about 10-15 minutes.

Transfer peppers to a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside, until cool enough to handle. Hold pepper under running water and carefully peel off the pepper skin. Dicd pepper into 1 inch pieces.

In a large bowl, combine, peppers, beans, carrots and cilantro. In a separate bowl, mix together lime juice, dijon, and salt, slowly whisk in the oil. Pour on top of pepper and bean mixture. Stir to combine and garnish with cilantro.

* serving size 1 cup

Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Mash

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 pound of cauliflower florets
  • 3 Tbsp. milk of choice
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Fresh chopped parsley


Peel and cut sweet potato into 1 inch cubes. In a large steam basket, steam sweet potato and cauliflower. Vegetables and potatoes will take about 10-12 minutes to steam.

Place cauliflower and potatoes in a large bowl and smash with milk. Stir in the Greek yogurt, garlic powder, salt and pepper. If too thick, add in 1 Tbsp. milk at a time until desired thickness. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Garlic Mushroom Quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. parmesan cheese (optional)


Add 2 cups of water to a large sauce pan. Add quinoa and cook according to package directions. Set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet pan, add mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Stir occasionally, season with salt and pepper. Stir in Quinoa and serve immediately. Garnish with parmesan cheese.

quinoa spoon

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The different types of vinegar

There are quite a few types of vinegar on the market and most people do not know which vinegar to purchase. Hopefully you find the following vinegar information helpful.

Vinegar is a great calorie way to add flavor to your meals

Apple cider: Adds a tart, slightly fruit flavor. Really great for salad dressings, marinades, and chutneys. Great to keep on hand. May slightly discolor vegetables.

Homemade apple cider vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. agave
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. shallots (diced)

Combine first 6 ingredients, whisk together. Slowly add the oil and whisk as you pour the oil into the vinegar ingredients. Lastly, mix in shallots.

Red and white wine: Red wine is a great way to marinate beef or pork, white wine is great for chicken and fish. Great for making salsas, vinaigrettes and sauces.

Balsamic: Sweet and sour flavor. Compliments salty food, such as, feta or parmesan cheese. Great with sweet foods, such as, strawberries and blackberries. Makes a great dressing for dark leafy greens.

Mustard balsamic marinade:

  • 2 Tbsp. mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. paprika

Combine all ingredients, use as a marinade.

Coconut: sharp flavor and slightly yeasty flavor. Used in Thai and Indian cooking for marinades and sauces.

Malt: Very strong in flavor, slightly lemony. Great for pickling.

White: Strong and tangy flavor, commonly used for pickling. Also, used as a cleaning agent. Does not work well for cooking.

Ume Plum: Used in Japanese cooking, salty and fruity flavor. Best used in salad dressings and dipping sauces.

Chili Plum Sauce: 

  • 1 1/2 cups plum sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups Thai style chili sauce
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce or liquid amino acids

Whisk together until blended. Makes about 4 cups.

Rice: Asian cooking staple. Light flavor, perfect for salads, or on sushi. Read the label carefully, some may have high sugar content.

vinegar variety

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