Friday, September 28, 2012

Easy Tamale Pie


Serves 4

2.5 cups low sodium veggie broth
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 chopped onion
8 oz lean ground chicken breast or seitan
1 15-oz can cooked black beans, no salt added, rinsed and drained
1 4-oz can mild green chilies, diced
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1.5 cups fresh baby spinach, thinly shredded
1 tsp chili powder
.5 tsp cumin
PINCH cayenne pepper
1 TB lime juice
.5 cup of instant polenta
.25 tsp salt
.5 cup chopped cilantro
.5 cup mild salsa

Heat 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth in a nonstick saute pan over medium high heat, add the onion and garlic and steam saute for 3-4 minutes until onions are translucent.

Add the ground chicken and cook for 6-8 minutes until cooked through (if using seitan, cook just 4-6 minutes).

Add the crushed tomates, spinach, cumin, cayenne, chili powder, diced green chilies, beans, spinach and lime juice.  Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, bring the remaining 2 cups of vegetable brother with the salt to a boil, sitr in polenta and cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.

Spray an 8 x 8 baking pan with nonstick spray (coconut oil, preferably); place the bean mixture in the pan.  Spread the polenta evenly over the bean mixture, then top with the salsa and spread evenly  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sweater Weather!

That's right guys and gals...go ahead and break 'em out.  Temperatures are dropping as spirits lift.  I, for one, think we ALL look marvelous in more clothing.  Now is the time when peeps are needing a little something extra to warm their bods.  Guess what this can lead to?  You guessed it, CREEPIN'.  I don't mean peeping tom action, I mean getting more relaxed and finding larger pants and XL sweaters to cover some questionable foodie decisions.

We all know, for warmer temps we need to shed the layers otherwise we'll pass out in the heat.  But as the temps fall and the frost appears, we get to wrap ourselves in yummy warmness.  I'm not suggesting you freeze your savvy booties in midriffs in November.

I will, however, insist you stay fit and savvy through the next few months.  Otherwise, you'll likely regain control of your senses and find yourself hoofin' it with the others on Jan. 2, the gym.  There is NO need to beat yourself up (and down) at the beginning of the new year.

Start your resolutions NOW and stay strong.  There is no reason to let yourself go simply because you're celebrating.  Ask any fit and savvy person what the secret to their success is and I'll bet you'll hear "90/10" as the answer.  90% of the time they are eating sensibly and 10% they eat what they want.  This is the key to long term weight management.  Let yourself off the hook some of the time, but not all the time.

I have found it INCREDIBLY beneficial to follow these rules:
1- If you don't have the time, don't do the crime.  If I know I can't make it to the gym for a few days, I will make sure I watch it.
2- Fail to plan, plan to fail.  I know I'm going to the fam's for dinner and they usually don't have savvy options.  I make sure to eat before I arrive. I can achieve this by means of a protein packed green smoothie.  This can help me avoid making unsavvy decisions.
3- Give up the processed non-food, food.  Eat 'treats' I have personally made and KNOW what they contain.
4- Enjoy your "90/10".  I like what I eat.  The '90' is creative and tasty.  The '10' is savored.  Savvy eating is not depriving at all.  One has to get used to the way certain foods taste that contain less fat, salt, sugar, etc.  But it's all good.

This Fall leading into the Holiday season will not change my eating patterns.  I just have to stay savvy and eat in keeping with my goals.  I have worked so hard to get back into my skinny jeans and I'm not going back.  I love my sweaters and I can't wait to stay strong this season.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

C'mon get happy :-)

Did you know that by just smiling you relax the 40+ muscles in your face?'s true!  I double dog dare you not to smile while watching this YouTube clip for the documentary 'HAPPY'.  You can watch the entire movie on Netflix, for free, if you have a subscription.  

I became inspired to write this blog after watching the movie.  They talked about the release of dopamine in the brain after an aerobic workout.  It's completely true.  When you're good to your body, you feel better.  I think when you do something that makes you happy, you can alleviate stress, anxiety and depression.

Here are a few of my favorite things!
Standing on the head really helps spark creativity. If you have hit a writer's block, get on your head and get the creative juices flowing.
Right on!

Dancing always makes me happy.

'Funny Face' is one of my favorite movies.  Audrey in ANY movie always makes me smile!

Puppies having fun always gets me!

Kittens....'nuff said.

Honest to God...nothing cuter than little ones in their leotards! Look at those tummies!!!!

If you couldn't tell, I'm a total girlie girl.  These are things that make me smile and thus make me happy!  Release some dopamine today, tomorrow and the next day.  You can thank me later!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

We're having fish tonight!

In honor of my favorite animated movie being re-released, I grabbed some fish and thought of the shark saying "We're having fish tonight!!!".  Yes, much like the ocean's top predator...I, too, will be dining on fish.

Here's how I cook it up.
Heat a pan with just enough butter to coat the bottom.
Take a fillet of Salmon or Tilapia (if you're not wild about salmon, tilapia is a GREAT non-fishy, fish).  
Generously sprinkle lemon all over both sides.
Pour a few splashes of Martini and Rossi dry vermouth.
Season with Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper.
Cook until fish is flaky and hard to pick up on one chunk.

This is a great meal and goes well with beans, broccoli, brown rice or some quinoa and hummus.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Be Strong

Today I'm feeling exceptionally inspired.  I think the coolest thing is strength.  Without it we'd all just be little piles of people on the ground.  We all posses it emotional, physical or both!  It's not an organic trait, but it's one we can cultivate and build.

Our bodies need muscle.  When we break it down, tear it apart and repair it our strength increases.  No pain, no gain...quite literally.  I used to hate sweating, now I live for it!  Sweat is fat leaving my body!  I love sore muscles because I know I'm changing the shape of 'em.  TAKE THAT CELLULITE!!!  HOW YOU LIKE THEM APPLES, GIGGLY THIGHS?!?!?

Keep improving your strength and watch your body magically take form into something you can be proud of.

When getting your exercise 'on' remember form is WAY more important than reps.  If you're not doing it correctly to begin with, your brain will think you are and it will be hard to re-train your brain.  Also, you'll be more likely to injure yourself and therefore NOT enjoy the workout.

Don't worry if you can't do many to start with...this is not a competition.  Do what you can and take it day by day.  The most critical thing - enjoyment!  If you don't enjoy the form of exercise you most likely will not want to return to it.

Here's a good beginners video from YouTube.  I am in no way affiliated with this group, but I like their instruction and routine!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Delish fish!

Here's the recipe:
1 tilapia filet (per savvy foodie)
1 lemon
Splash of dry white wine
2 Tbl of Fresh Basil
2 Tbl of Fresh Parsley
Dash of Herbs d'Provence (can be purchased at Williams-Sonoma)
Sea Salt to taste
Ground Black Pepper to taste
Olive Oil

1.  Preheat oven to bake at 375 degrees.  Place the lemon slices in a baking dish (2 slices per filet).
2.  Rub the fish on both sides with olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley, herbs d'Provence.  
3.  Place the tilapia over the lemons and bake for about 20-25 minutes.  When the fish is done, it will remain white in color but will break apart with the greatest of ease.

I just made this delicious lemon and herb baked tilapia.  It was incredibly easy to prepare and I'm left feeling satisfied and light!  Two adjectives I strive to achieve after eating dinner.  What is tilapia you may be asking?  It's a white fish that is easy to gril and/or bake.  Both of these methods of preparation are very savvy.  It's a mild tasting fish with little to no odor.  Even if you're not usually a fish fan, this one will make you go MMMMMMM.  Whatever you decide to decorate the fish with (i.e. lemons, herbs, etc.) this fish tends to take on your chosen flavors.  

Can I just say, I love fuel that burns!!  When I put this protein packed little number in my 'engine' it helps rev it up and burn, baby, burn.  "One serving of tilapia (4 ounces) has 29.5 grams of protein, which is more than 50% of your daily value of protein, meaning your body will be burning fat like crazy trying to process the protein!"
This fish contains vitamin B12 along with omega-3 fatty acids, which let's face it...we need!  Omega-3's help keep our blood pressure under control and ward off heart disease.  The carb count is incredibly low, there is no sugar and such low amounts of fat making this dish super savvy!!  
I originally found this recipe in a book called Boost Your Metabolism Cookbook.  I changed a few things, like using Tilapia instead of Halibut (due to the relative ease of purchasing tilapia) and mixed up the spices.  
Bon Appetit!