Buffalo Chicken Soup~ Slow Cooker

Buffalo Chicken Soup~ Slow Cooker

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • ¼ cup of cream cheese-softened 
  • ¼ cup of blue cheese
  • ¼ cup of FRANKS hot sauce- or more to taste
  • 1 small onion, diced 
  • 4 stalks of chopped celery
  • 2 large carrots-diced
  • 1 bag of riced cauliflower-cooked with excess liquid squeezed out ( microwaved for 3 minutes)
  • Rotisserie chicken or 4 cooked and shredded chicken breasts
  • Crumbled blue cheese and shredded cheddar cheese for topping
  • A 10 ounce can of crushed tomatoes-optional

Preparation

  1. In a large sprayed pan, sautee the celery, onion and carrots for 5 minutes or until softened. In a sprayed slow cooker, combine the chicken broth, cream cheese, blue cheese,  hot sauce, and celery and carrots. 
  2. Shred the rotisserie chicken. Add the cooked riced cauliflower and the chicken into the slow cooker.
  3. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. 
  4. Top with crumbled blue cheese and/ or shredded cheddar cheese. 

**This is also great served with the almond flour biscuits!

Steak & Pepper Pizza~ With Almond Flour Crust

Steak & Pepper Pizza~ Almond Flour Crust

Ingredients

  • FOR CRUST:
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup of cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • ½ tsp of baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups of almond flour
  • 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
  • Optional ingredients for crust-shredded cheese, garlic powder, seasonings of choice, parmesan or flax seed
  • TOPPINGS:
  • 1 pound  of Shaved steak
  • Mayonnaise 
  • ¾  cup of shredded Mozzarella, pepper jack or cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup of banana peppers

Preparation

FOR THE CRUST:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine cream cheese, butter and eggs in a mixing bowl. Add the baking soda and slowly add in the  almond flour ½ cup at a time. Add in the apple cider vinegar and any other seasonings that you might be using. Combine well.  

2.  Let the dough  sit for about 30 minutes for best results. While you wait, cook your shaved beef in a pan on the stove top until it is no longer pink. 

3. Spread the dough in a rectangle on the baking sheet. You will probably have to wet your hands to prevent the dough from sticking. Bake for 10 minutes.

4. Remove the crust from the oven and spread a thin layer of mayo on the crust. Top with the cooked shaved beef, cheese, and peppers. Put it back in the oven on broil until the cheese is bubbly. 

Why I Am Practicing Gratitude For A Healthy Lifestyle

              Why I Am Practicing Gratitude For A Healthy Lifestyle

 Instead of dwelling on the negative aspects of 2020, I am starting with a positive attitude for this upcoming year. I have done a lot of reflecting on all the good things that came out of the past year.

GRATITUDE is the quality of being thankful as well as possessing a readiness to share appreciation for people, or things, and especially yourself! It’s all about taking time each day to think about the positive things in your life. It doesn’t mean you’re ignoring the negative situations-you’re simply choosing to reframe your perspective and focus on the positive. 

This leads to many physical and mental health benefits including:

  • Enhanced positive emotions and behaviors, such as happiness, appreciation, patience, and empathy
  • Fewer toxic emotions, such as envy, resentment, and regret
  • Better sleep
  • Improved energy, decreased stress, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar control

If 2020 has taught us anything it is appreciation and gratitude!

 * My biggest accomplishment was publishing my first book, “My Weight Loss Journey: Losing over 120 Pounds and keeping it off”. This was also therapeutic for me, which is what I needed. 

* We also took advantage of the large amount of space in our basement and turned into an amazing workout area for my Pilates reformers, dumbbells, kettlebells, mats, etc! We put in new flooring and painted. I couldn’t be happier with the results.

* I also was able to post some Reform with Rachel youtube videos for clients and anyone really could do at home. We all know how important exercise is at this time. 

* I learned a lot about technology! I also incorporated virtual training sessions for my clients via Zoom, and actually still use it.

* I was able to spend a lot of time with my kids at home, even though schooling was a bit challenging for my daughter and also  figuring out a workspace. I was glad I was able to help her the best I could.

I encourage you to focus on your own personal accomplishments and positive aspects of 2020!

My Small Sacrifices Continue To Pay Off! Motivation For Upcoming Weeks.

My Small Sacrifices continue to pay off!  

Motivation for upcoming weeks..

Now that we have gotten through the Holidays for the most part, you might be thinking- or overthinking how you ate over the past few weeks. Regardless if you made some poor decisions or stayed on track, it’s time to move forward with your health goals. It’s a tough time to stay focused and lose weight. As I have expressed in the past, it’s all about having a plan in place. Similar to past Holiday seasons, I was able to stick to the goals that I set for myself, and it worked!

I am not saying that I was perfect or didn’t allow myself some treats but for the most part I stuck with my plan. I exercised everyday and allowed myself a few Christmas cookies. I  made a chicken crust pizza, an almond flour crust breakfast pizza, and ate lots of veggies as I planned. My goal was to maintain my weight, and making sacrifices and planning ahead helped me stick to my goal! I know that if I indulge in too many sweets, snacks, and drinks that I would feel horrible physically and emotionally. Getting on the scale makes resisting certain foods all  worth it! 

I have learned by making the same mistakes over and over in the past!!

Talking with my clients, there are many that “overdid” it over the past couple of weeks and in turn have gained weight, and feel some regret. 

However, now is the time to move forward and don’t look back. There are many lessons to be learned each and every day. 

Some will succeed if they put their mind to it and others, and unfortunately others will not if they give up. Staying motivated is one of the most difficult challenges I find with my clients, especially when they’re starting out-or starting over. 

This is HOW AND WHY I stay motivated ( and so can you)

1. I have been following the same “program” for almost 20 years, trust me it still works! If it’s not broken, don’t fix it right?! I tried many different diets and programs before I found what really works for my clients as well as myself. These plans are motivating at first because it’s new and exciting. As it becomes tougher to stick with you may not see the same results as in the beginning- and it’s harder to stay motivated.

Being the New Year, there are tons of advertisements for weight loss programs, some of them are promoting “new and improved”. There is not a need to continue trying different plans if you know what works already. 

I believe every person is unique in that the same exact diet may not be right for everyone, but for the most part you probably already know what works best for you. I am sure you have lost weight in the past and either kept it off with HARD WORK or regained it back. So what’s your plan moving forward?

2.I am REALLY ready to be committed even when things get stressful. Stress and emotional can really set you back! Life is full of stress and it’s most important  to learn how to handle the situation. I first had to identify my major stressors, at least the ones I connected to food and eating. 

3. I love the results!! Nothing creates motivation like results! We start believing in what we are doing and realize that we can do this. When I started dropping weight it was an amazing feeling. I also had so much more energy and I wasn’t sick and fatigued anymore. This really kept me going and motivated to keep trying. There were days that I didn’t want to workout or wanted to eat pizza, there were also some weeks that I didn’t lose any weight. I knew if I stopped or gave up I would be starting over.

 4. I no longer expect different results from doing the same things over and over!  Motivation is a feeling, it is also uncomfortable to make changes. Our brains like easy and what we did yesterday, it takes a ton of effort and energy to create new habits, cook more, grocery shop and be prepared, research healthy recipes, get up and exercise,etc. You will have to be willing to have a game plan and commit to it. YOU ARE IN CONTROL of the situation. If you’re not, figure out how you can be.

How Journaling Taught Me How To Maintain My Weight & Control My Overall Emotions

How Journaling Taught Me How To Maintain My Weight & Control My   Overall Emotions

There’s something about writing, tracking, or journaling that is extremely satisfying and beneficial. As a Holistic Health Coach, my focus is on the “whole person”, it’s not just about nutrition and exercise. Sleeping well, managing stress & taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally is just as important.

We all want balance in our lives but that is a very difficult thing to achieve. We associate balance with perfection and we have to accept that nothing is perfect. Right now we are dealing with some challenging times! Journaling is a simple form of venting and managing anxiety and depression, alleviating stress, and most importantly being honest with yourself!

I first started journaling when I began my weight loss journey over 20 years ago. At first I would write down what I ate as well as how much I was eating. Doing this made me realize exactly how much I was actually eating, especially how many calories, carbs, and sugar I was consuming.  It was a real eye opener to read all labels, and honestly it still is!  Like many of my clients I don’t really like to write down everything I eat and drink. However, it made me accountable and on track to physically write it down. Also studies have shown that those who kept a food and exercise diary lost 2x the weight compared to those who just mentally tracked it. Writing it down encourages you to eat fewer calories. I often still continue to track and also “reflect” on the day’s journal. I have become more aware of my habits and make necessary improvements. 

A major advantage to journaling is also including your emotions attached to what and when you are eating. I recommend this to all my clients. Emotional eating is so prevalent, especially in women and once you have identified your stressors or triggers you can work on a plan to resolve the issues and also reduce stress. I personally realized that I would eat when I was stressed with my kids, also sometimes just out of habit. 

What I have learned about journaling, not only for weight loss but my overall emotional balance:

  1. I keep better track of my intentions, progress, and growth. It helps when revisiting entries as well.
  1. I gain self confidence by looking back at challenges I have faced and how far I have come. 
  1. I became more honest and truthful with myself, which is very challenging. However I learned how to grow from it and how to better solve problems rather than keeping them bottled up.
  1. I gained more control over my emotional eating. I acknowledged my triggers and  I was able to formulate plans for better habits. It was easier to track my overall development and mistakes, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
  1. When I felt overwhelmed, journaling has helped me to better focus and vent my feelings. I do it for myself!

HOW: Journal entries can be done in many different ways. I personally like to have a notebook. Sometimes I keep them, other times I rip them up and throw them out. 

Alternatively you can use an app on your phone, your Notes section, or even email or text yourself. 

WHAT: It does not have to be detailed or deeply personal, anything is progress. Even if it’s a sentence or two that helps you express how you are feeling. 

Helpful tips when tracking for weight loss:

~ track everything that you are eating and drinking-even if it’s just a bite or spoonful!

~your portion sizes

~your mood or emotions when you eat, how hungry you are on a scale from 1-10

~your water intake

If journaling is something you have never done in the past, I strongly encourage you to give it a try!

DARK CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT BARK

 DARK CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT BARK

 INGREDIENTS:

  • 10 ounces of dark chocolate
  • 3 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 3 tablespoons of organic crushed candy canes
  • 1 tablespoon of protein powder- optional
  • Crushed chocolate mint candies-optional

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl for about 1min 30 sec. Stir in extracts , half of the crushed candy cane pieces and protein powder. 
  1. Pour chocolate mixture into an 8×8 baking dish lined with parchment paper.
  1. Sprinkle on the remainder of the candy canes.
  1. Place in the freezer until solid. Break into pieces and store in the freezer. 

Staying Positive Through December & What Really Makes Me Feel Good About Myself

Staying Positive Through December & What Really Makes Me Feel Good About Myself

   I started writing this blog last week during my morning run. I began contemplating the holiday’s this year, and how it’s a little different from past one’s. Rather than having a negative attitude towards it, I started listing all the positive aspects of the upcoming weeks. 

Every December I try to set goals for myself, I do this mostly because it is a tough time of year all around. I also don’t want to experience that “Holiday remorse” come January. 

It’s amazing how taking a positive approach makes it easier. 

WHAT REALLY MAKES ME FEEL GOOD ABOUT MYSELF:

  1. I AM CONSISTENT WITH MY WORKOUTS! This is one area that has been extremely habit forming for me. It helps stabilize my weight and I love the way it makes me feel. It’s extra important for this time of year especially since it is the # 1 antidepressant. It also burns lots of calories, and like many I tend to consume more calories than usual.
  1. THE ABILITY TO RESIST TEMPTATION~Even after 20 years it’s still not easy to resist temptations, especially Christmas cookies! Typically my goal for December is to maintain my weight. In the past I have worked hard at achieving this. Moderation is key, I do not totally deprive myself of sweets but I do limit them. Personally I do not bake around the Holiday’s, with the exception of low carb alternatives. That doesn’t necessarily mean it is easy, we have been receiving cookies and sweets which makes it more difficult to resist. Having almond flour cookies, or low sugar desserts on hand is a great alternative and helps me stay focused on eating better and resisting the high sugar sweets. 

 I also am in the habit of checking labels and being aware of the carb and sugar content of cookies. 

Some cut out cookies contain 23-31 carbs and up to 12 grams of sugar for 1 cookie, that’s 3 tsp of sugar! Also a Starbucks peppermint mocha~440 calories, 63 carbs, and 54 sugars! Please be aware of labels and what and how much you are consuming. 

  1. POSITIVE VIBES~ Normally there are more parties and get-togethers around Christmas time, however this year is limited for sure. On a positive note I don’t feel overwhelmed with parties and get together’s, and of course the food and drinks that go along with them. Maybe this is the year to start a new tradition. Make this time to focus on you~and your health. 
  1. I TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME & JOURNAL~It can get very overwhelming with everything that needs to be done this time of year. Journaling is something that I have adapted years ago to get me through some rough times. It also helps control your emotions as well as staying on track with your eating. I have learned to take one-day- at -a- time! Set small goals, even if it’s every morning, and write it down! I often tell myself today I will not indulge in sugar or I will try to get in some extra activity. 
  1. I PLAN AHEAD & CELEBRATE MY ACCOMPLISHMENTS~I am proud when I plan ahead for a party or a dinner and stick with my intentions. No matter how small your victories may be, it’s still a win. 
  1. I WANT PREVENT THE JANUARY REMORSE~ this is one of the most important points! It’s easy to tell yourself that you will worry about it after the Holidays, or “start fresh” come January. Believe me it does not become any easier to have to lose that extra weight in the new year.  On top of possibly putting on pounds, you most likely feel sluggish, fatigued, or bloated. When you take care of your body you boost your immune system and feel better about yourself!!

I wish you all a happy and safe Holiday!

Breakfast Pizza With Almond Flour

Almond Four Crust Breakfast Pizza

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil
  • 3 ounces of cream cheese-softened 
  • 2 eggs or “flax” eggs
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar-optional
  • 2 cups of almond flour
  • 8 turkey sausage links- cooked
  • Diced red bell peppers
  • Slices of ham, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese or feta
  • Spinach 
  • Avocado to spread on top-optional

Preparation

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and cream cheese and beat in the eggs.  Slowly add in the almond flour, baking soda and apple cider vinegar if you’re using it.
  3. Refrigerate the dough or let it sit for about 30 minutes for best results. Press the dough into a rectangle or circle on the parchment paper. You will have to wet your hands a bit to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands. 
  4. Bake for about 12 minutes. Let cool and top with your choice of toppings. I used a little cheddar cheese, diced red bell peppers, cut up turkey sausages, ham pieces, and spinach.  Place back in the oven until the cheese melts. 

Why I Use Almond Flour

  Why I Use Almond Flour 

 I have adapted to baking and also cooking with almond flour opposed  to white flour. Almond flour has 5 carbs per ¼ cup compared to approximately 23 carbs per ¼ cup that’s in white flour! Almond flour is rich in fiber, protein, B & E vitamins, it’s gluten free and also contains magnesium and potassium. 

White flour is made of refined carbs ( or simple sugars) that lacks nutrients and fiber. It can create blood sugar and insulin issues. It can also lead to fatty liver, raise bad cholesterol, weight gain, inflammation, digestive issues, and mood swings which progress towards obesity.

When baking with almond flour the amount will differ from white flour.  It’s best to research specific recipes using almond flour.

Almond flour cheddar biscuits

Pumpkin bars with almond flour

Low carb pizza with almond flour crust

Spaghetti Squash Recipes

   SPAGHETTI SQUASH RECIPES/ VARIATIONS

I get so many questions regarding spaghetti squash.

How do I cut it? What do I do with it? 

TIPS FOR CUTTING THE SQUASH:

~You can microwave it for 2 minutes to make it easier to cut.

~You can also cut off the 2 ends so it lays flat.

~Cut your squash lengthwise.

~After it’s cut, scoop out the seeds.

 FOR COOKING:

~Place it upside down in a lined or sprayed baking dish or sheet

~Cook for about 30-40 minutes depending on the size of it.

~It should be soft enough to scoop out of the skins.

~After it’s cooled, squeeze out the moisture.

            BUFFALO STYLE

  •  Hot sauce, blue cheese or ( blue cheese or feta crumbles) ,green onion, olives, can add shredded chicken. 

            MEXICAN

  • Taco seasoning, rotel, beans, taco sauce, ground beef or chicken. Top with sour cream.

           SPAGHETTI PARM

  • Marinara sauce, mozzarella, parmesan, or ricotta

           ITALIAN

  • Onion and peppers, chicken sausage, mushrooms, tomato sauce

            CHEESY GARLIC & SPINACH

  • Spinach, garlic, cream cheese, or sour cream, mushroom, parmesan and/ or mozzarella

           EGGPLANT 

  •  Diced eggplant, tomato sauce, mushrooms, cheese