Spaghetti squash pizza crust

                                               SPAGHETTI SQUASH PIZZA CRUST

                  

INGREDIENTS:

-1 medium spaghetti squash
-2 eggs
-1 ½ cups of shredded mozzarella
-¼ parmesan
-1 tsp garlic powder
-2 tsp italian seasoning
-1 ½ cups of sauce
-Pepperoni or veggies for topping

DIRECTIONS:
1. Cut your squash lengthwise, remove seeds and bake in a sprayed 9×13 pan. Cook 35-40 minutes on 400 degrees until it is soft. I pierce mine and microwave it first for 2-3 minutes so it’s easier to cut.

2. Scoop out squash and squeeze out as much moisture as possible either with a nut bag or cheese cloth. This is important or it will be too watery and not hold together well.

3. Stir together the flesh of squash, 2 eggs, ½ cup of shredded cheese and parmesan.

4. Spread out the mixture on parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes on 400 degrees.

5. Top with sauce, cheese, and whatever other veggies or pepperoni you would like. Broil until cheese is melted. enjoy!

I spend a lot of time focusing on weight loss stategies..why I can’t promote fad diets

I SPEND A LOT OF TIME FOCUSING ON WEIGHT LOSS STRATEGIES AND HABITS..WHY I CAN’T PROMOTE FAD DIETS

It’s my job as a Health coach and personal trainer to promote a healthy lifestyle-long term. It’s not about how quickly you can lose weight ( fad diets), it’s about losing weight slowly & healthy and maintaining it.

Let’s face it we are all experts in “dieting” and weight loss programs. If they worked why are you STILL struggling to lose weight? Through experience and research I myself have maintained over a 120 pound weight loss & have found a good balance between eating and exercise. I have also helped many clients that struggle with weight issues. It always comes back to the same way of eating. So the magic question- “Are you able to eat this way for the rest of your life?” If you can’t answer yes to that, then you will most likely revert to old habits and gain the weight back. It is impossible to be regimented for weeks or months at a time then go back to eating pizza and cookies and not regain weight. Most of us can be disciplined for short periods of time, that’s why fad diets work and you can lose a lot of weight at first. Don’t get me wrong I certainly tried my share, weight watchers, adkins, back to weight watchers, until the next one came out.

What I started focusing on & why I can’t promote fad diets:

  1. I almost always knew WHAT to do, but it didn’t always mean I did it. All diets sound great at first, they promise quick ( not always healthy) weight loss. Someone you know is doing it and they have lost a ton of weight. It always seems like the easy answer!

2. I couldn’t maintain these diets long term. Like most, as soon as I was “allowed” to eat chips and cake I did. This usually lead back to old habits, along with discouragement and failure. Even as a teenager my parents tried helping me by putting me on different exercise and eating programs. They would work for a only a short time.

3. Think about the last time you really achieved a long term goal. It takes time and patience to be successful, and it feels great when you can do it! I can now say that I am content, finally, with my accomplishments and achievements.

4. I started focusing on the WHY and not necessarily how to lose weight. Fad diets don’t teach you how to change your behaviors. This is the most important lesson is maintaining weight loss, and should be your ultimate goal!

Low carb pizza-almond flour crust

LOW CARB PIZZA- ALMOND FLOUR CRUST

INGREDIENTS:
For dough

-2 cups of almond flour
-3 eggs
-½ tsp baking soda
-1 tsp apple cider vinegar
-4 tablespoons of butter
-3 tablespoons of cream cheese or ½ cup of ricotta
-½ cup of shredded mozzarella

For toppings
-2 cups of sauce
-Shredded cheese- about 11/2- 2 cups
-Pepperoni, Olives, peppers, mushrooms- whatever toppings you prefer!
-½ -1 cup of ricotta-optional

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
    2. Combine dry ingredients for the dough
    3. Mix in softened butter, cream cheese ( or ricotta), apple cider vinegar, and shredded cheese. Combine well.
    4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, spread dough out to the length of the pan.
    5. Bake for 8-10 minutes
    6. Let cool, if using ricotta spread on dough then add toppings!
    7. Place back in oven on broil for approximately 5-7 minutes.

How I stopped sabotaging my weekend

HOW I STOPPED SABOTAGING MY WEEKEND

I would be “good” all weekend but then Friday night would come and ordering pizza became a ritual. I really didn’t feel like cooking, my kids were younger and it was just easier. Let’s face it, we all have that weekend mentality. So why do we feel like we have free range of eating and drinking just because it’s a certain day of the week? Possibly…

-Social aspect of going for dinner or breakfast=drinks and bigger portions
-Stressful week= drinks, food, dessert and convenience of take out
-habit= pizza every Friday or big Sunday dinners
-relaxation= no cooking= ordering or eating out

After a while, Monday’s started to suck, especially having to get on the scale!
Now you are paying the consequences. I believe 2 major reasons we have hard time with control on the weekends.

Give ourselves too much permission to eat and drink- feel we “deserve” it
Out of our normal weekday routine-during the week we tend to eat basically the same things for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When the weekend comes we don’t have a plan.

TIPS FOR HAVING CONTROL OVER YOUR WEEKEND:

  1. Stick to “normal habits” as much as possible. Try to eat and exercise routinely. Stay on schedule with breakfast, lunch and dinner.

2. Choose “better” not perfect. When you’re out to eat choose eggs and ham or bacon. Pick to have either toast or pancakes one day, not both.

3. Listen to your body. Chances are if you eat well during the week you will not want to overeat or make poor choices on the weekend. You will probably not feel good afterwards.

4. Pick one meal to “ splurge”. Instead of indulging in pizza on Friday, burgers and fries on Saturday and a big Sunday breakfast, pick one of those meals to “treat” yourself. Believe me it will be well worth it Monday morning!

5. Weigh in on Monday morning. This will help you stay on track and make better choices over the weekend. Even though you might be up on the scale after a couple of days of overeating, it will keep you accountable!

Strawberrry avocado pancakes

    STRAWBERRY AVOCADO PANCAKES

If you don’t mind a little green, these are delicious,moist, and low carb!

INGREDIENTS:

-1 mashed avocado
-3 eggs or 2 eggs and “ flax seed egg” ( tablespoon ground flaxseed and tbls water)
-¼ cup almond or peanut butter
-¼ cup almond flour
-1 tsp apple cider vinegar
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp vanilla
-¼ cup cut up strawberries or blueberries
-1 tablespoon of protein powder-optional
-Mini chocolate chips-optional

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine avocado and peanut butter, beat eggs and add to avocado mixture.
    2. Add apple cider vinegar, vanilla, and almond flour. Stir in strawberries and/or chocolate chips. Combine well.
    3. Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a skillet. Scoop ¼ cups of batter into the pan and cook on high until bubbly.

A letter to my younger overweight self

A LETTER TO MY YOUNGER OVERWEIGHT SELF

I am writing this blog ( letter) to my younger self as part of a self healing process as well as to encourage others to maybe do the same. As I was growing up my addiction was food. I would sneak it, hide it and eat when nobody was around. With any addiction whether it be alcohol, drugs, or smoking, we all have to learn how to deal with the situation we are put in. This can be extremely challenging to be at a party, at a bar, or around others with addictions. Eventually we learn how to deal with these situations. I believe “when you are in control of a situation~you are healed”

Dear Rachel,

You look so happy and always smiling, but I know now that deep down that’s not the case. I’m not sure why, you have a good life, amazing parents, 3 great siblings, a caring grandmother and an awesome fun loving aunt. There are many that care so much about you.
I love seeing you swim, you enjoy the friends and the competitiveness of your team. It’s an awful feeling every time you have get fitted for bathing suits especially since you are the biggest girl on the team. Being an overweight teenager is tough. I don’t like when the kids at school would make comments behind your back. High school was worse, it’s so upsetting when you couldn’t find a prom date or boyfriend because nobody wants to date a fat girl.
You will never forget the unkind words from friends and family. Even though they are hurtful they are only trying to help you. It’s hard to understand and embarrassing when they suggested diets, weight loss classes, and diet camps. It never seems better when everyone including doctors are constantly telling you that you must lose weight. You know you have to lose weight,you think about it everyday. You have tried a couple of things but mentally you weren’t ready I guess.

Even all that shopping at “plus” stores was hard back then but I do know that someday you will love to buy clothes ( at any store) and finally be proud of how you look in them.
You will be comfortable eating in front of people and order what you want. Nobody will judge you when you order french fries instead of a salad.

You are “in it for the long run”…
Amazing things happen in the future! I love that you are so committed to walk or do your Tae bo video for just 30 minutes a day.You do whatever it takes, rain or shine, getting up early, or squeeze it in during lunch.Those walks eventually turn into runs, those runs turn into 5 mile runs. These will change your life. You become super motivated as you slowly start to lose weight. You start preparing some meals and give up Burger King’s chicken sandwich’s, fries, and diet cokes. You start cutting down on your portions. You will try different diets, weight watchers, atkins, etc. in hopes that something will work for you.

It will take some time, motivation, and a lot of confidence. You will have to dig deep and work hard. You stick with it, there are definitely ups and downs but eventually it pays off!
The best part is you get to help other people in your same situation. You will be inspiring, happy and confident. Hang in there, you can do this and you will be so proud of what you’ve accomplished.

Love,
More confident Rachel

P.S. you won’t believe what kind of desserts you will be eating 😉

Cauliflower & cheese crisps

CAULIFLOWER CRISPS

INGREDIENTS:
-2 bags of frozen riced cauliflower- you can make half the recipe
-½ -1 cup of cheddar cheese
-1 egg-slightly beaten
-Garlic powder-optional
-½ tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
    2. Cook your cauliflower and squeeze out all the moisture with a cheese cloth or
    Nut bag. I bought one from amazon “bigger better nut bag”.
    3. Combine all the ingredients together and scoop using a ¼ measure cup onto a
    parchment paper lined baking sheet
    4. Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes or until crisp.

My 20 year old weight loss plan- I realized I had the power all along

MY 20 YEAR OLD WEIGHT LOSS PLAN-I REALIZED I HAD THE POWER ALL ALONG

I believe it’s the lack of confidence that prevents us from losing weight or reaching our goals. I know this was holding me back for years, I was self conscience and had no confidence in myself. It’s very empowering when you are making progress and know the changes YOU are making are working!

MY OLD “TYPICAL” WEIGHT LOSS PLAN ( 20 YEARS AGO)
1.Make a decision to lose weight ( again) because I’m unhappy
2. Try to resist sweets and fast food- but I feel stressed and eat M&M’s
3. Feel regret and upset at the end of the day because I feel that I have failed-again
4. Get up the next day and do the same thing
5. Try something different…
How I realized I was in control:

  1. THE ONLY THING THAT COULD CHANGE WAS ( IS) ME- No excuses!! We can all admit, including myself have blamed others or made excuses for not losing weight. The only person who can change this is YOU. You have to do the work and put the effort in. There are no quick fixes- I’ve tried!

2. PATIENCE ( NOT MY FORTE)- We all get frustrated when your weight doesn’t come off quickly. The reality is we spend years developing bad habits that has led us to gain 5 pounds or 50 pounds. We can’t expect to take it off in a couple of weeks or even months. Our goal should be sustainable weight loss- a new lifestyle, it’s a process with lots of ups and downs.

3. SELF-DISCIPLINE & SITUATION- Since we cannot always control the situation we must learn how to deal with it. For example, if you are at a party with lots of food around or out to dinner with lots of options. This is where you have to dig a little deeper and be disciplined and decide how badly you want this. However, there are many situations that we CAN control like packing a lunch for work, grocery shopping, exercise, meal prep so we don’t stop to order pizza on the way home, etc. Even though this could be a pain or time consuming it helps you stay on track and it’s easier to make healthier choices.

4. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! – practice makes perfect ( or almost perfect) right? When you practice something everyday you get better at it.
Practice making your lunch
Practice cutting up your veggies
Practice reading labels
Practice ordering veggies instead of fries
Practice cutting up your veggies
It’s all about repetition that helps you make progress towards your goals.

Cauliflower ( and broccoli) taco bake

CAULIFLOWER ( AND BROCCOLI) TACO BAKE

INGREDIENTS:
-1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
-Broccoli crowns- optional- I used about 3 cups
-1 pound of ground beef
-Packet of taco seasoning
-½-1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
-spray for baking dish

DIRECTIONS :

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a skillet, brown your beef until no longer pink. Drain, place beef back on the stove. Add ¼ cup of water and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Cut up your cauliflower and broccoli and place them on a sprayed 9×13 baking dish. Roast until soft, about 15-20 minutes.

3. Remove from oven and spread the seasoned ground beef over the cauliflower and broccoli. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake until cheese is melted or you can put it on broil.

4. top with sour cream and or guacamole

Zucchini fries- almond flour and parmesan breading

ZUCCHINI FRIES- ALMOND FLOUR BREADING

INGREDIENTS:

-2 large zucchini-peeled and sliced lengthwise
-½ cup of almond flour
-¼ cup parmesan cheese
-2 tsp garlic powder
-3 eggs
-Everything bagel seasoning-optional

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl. Combine cheese, flour and garlic powder in another mixing bowl.

3. Dip each zucchini piece in the egg and then slightly bread them in the almond flour mixture. Place them in rows on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

4. I added some everything bagel seasoning to mine.