Tag Archives: healthy eating

Health Coaching: what to expect after you’ve hired one

What should I expect if I hire a health coach?

You made the commitment and hired a health coach. What happens now? I’ve tried to provide you with a brief description of what the experience is like based on my personal experience or how its been described to me by health coaches and others who have used the services of a heath coach and were satisfied with those services. Continue reading Health Coaching: what to expect after you’ve hired one

Vegetarian Minestrone Soup

When I know I won’t be home until later in the day, and I can anticipate that making dinner will not be one of the things I am going to want to do when I get home, I try and meal plan something using my slow cooker or dutch oven. This way I can just get home and not worry too much that dinner is going to be pizza. And since my back is recuperating again, I’ve been trying some new fitness classes. Monday I tried a “Muscle” group class (at Mountainside Fitness) taught by Dana. It didn’t start until 6, which meant I wouldn’t be home until 7:30. For what  it’s worth, two days later and my calves are still mad at me! If you are reluctant to strength train on the weight floor like me, I really recommend group fitness classes like this. Dana was great, and offered several modifications.

Continue reading Vegetarian Minestrone Soup

Rainbow BBQ Chopped Salad

I recently sat in on a talk about flexible macro counting by the Lululemon Scottsdale Quarter ambassador, Kacey Luvi ; avid cross fitter, busy mom and fellow blogger (if you are interested in macro counting click on her name above and she gives a pretty good explanation and how to on her blog). She reminded me of the need to be consuming enough calories to fuel your body. As a woman, I believe our society rewards us for eating “like birds” and as we integrate that habit into our daily lives, the desire to cut calories in order to lose weight becomes second nature to us. Personally, I can find myself falling into the same trap often. Kacey talks about “reverse dieting” on her blog as well.  Continue reading Rainbow BBQ Chopped Salad

Buddha Stir Fry

It’s still January, and it’s been pretty cold and rainy. Not as cold as it can get in other parts of the country, but for this area… it’s our version of winter. With it being so gray and overcast (which I love, for what it’s worth), sometimes I just crave a bright and vibrant meal, filled with fresh flavors and bursting with color. This recipe is a go to for me for just those moments. Continue reading Buddha Stir Fry

Healthy Fish and Chips

Friday night fish fry was always a thing growing up, but these days I try to avoid anything fried. This recipe is a healthier, low fat version of fish and chips. The chips are crispy and the fish is still breaded, but they are oven baked, reducing the overall fat content. I usually make a batch of vinegar based coleslaw to serve along side.

I use a clean towel to completely dry the cut potatoes after they’ve soaked for a few hours


Toss with olive oil and seasonings


Turn out in a single layer onto prepared baking sheet, bake for 30-35 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes

The fish usually comes in one giant piece, which I cut into smaller more manageable pieces.


After it’s been cut up, dredge through flour, then beaten egg, then finish coating with a breadcrumb/panko mixture. Cook on wire rack over a baking sheet for 20 min.


Oven Fried Fish and Chips 


1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
4 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning (or just salt and pepper to taste)
1 cup panko
1 cup breadcrumbs or crushed corn flakes
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 pound pacific cod, haddock or other mild white fish


  1. position oven racks in upper and lower third of oven; preheat to 425 degrees. Either use parchment paper or coat large baking sheet with non-stick spray. Set a wire rack on second backing sheet, spray rack with non-stick spray.
  2. CHIPS: slice potatoes into uniform strips, place in a large bowl covered with cold, salted water for 1 to 3 hours. Rinse using a colander and place onto a towel to dry (to get crispy chips, it is important that the potatoes are very dry before moving on). Toss the potatoes with olive oil, and seasoning of your choice in a large bowl, turn the potatoes onto the prepared baking sheet (without the rack), ensuring there is a single layer. Bake on lower rack for 30-35 minutes, turning every 10 minutes, until potatoes are brown and golden.
  3. FISH: using 3 separate shallow dishes, flour in one, eggs mixed up in second and cornflake/breadcrumbs mixed with panko in the last one. Dredge fish pieces in flour, then eggs then coat in crumbs/panko. Place on rack on second baking sheet. Spray both sides of fish with cooking spray (I like to use a misto for this). Bake fish in upper rack of oven for about 20 min, or until fish is golden brown on the outside, opaque and flaky on the inside.

Serves 4

Calories 442 * Fat 7g (Saturated 1g) * Carbohydrates 72g (fiber 5g * sugar 3g) * Protein 27g

Lighter Cabbage Roll Soup

Monday was Canadian Thanksgiving, and being that I am married to Canadian immigrant, we do a pseudo-celebration of the holiday and I whip up the most Canadian foods I know, pirogies. Those little pasta pillows filled with potatoes and onion, and topped with sour cream, cartelized onions and bacon are amazing. This year I was looking to add something new and I really like cabbage rolls, but that seemed like a lot of work and since they are usually stuffed with ground beef and pork, a little too fatty. I had a brilliant idea to deconstruct them into a soup, cut the meat in half and replace the beef with ground white meat turkey.  The result was fabulous. Low calorie, low fat, and best of all, super filling.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Lighter Cabbage Roll  Soup

1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 pound ground turkey breast
1/4 pound lean ground pork
3/4 cup long grain brown rice. uncooked
1 medium head of cabbage, core removed, chopped
28 ounces diced tomatoes
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups vegetable juice
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon thyme
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste


  1. In large pot, over medium high heat, sauté onions and garlic until just softened; add turkey and pork, breaking up with a spoon and cook until browned
  2. Stir in chopped cabbage, cook until it just starts to soften (3-4 minutes)
  3. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and cover. Allow soup to simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 30-40 minutes

**To prepare in a crockpot, brown meat and add to slow cooker with remaining ingredients, set to low for 5 hours.

Serves 8

Calories 211 * fat 3g * Cholesterol 35mg * Carbohydrates 22 (fiber 5g, sugar 5g) * Protein 16g


Simple Tomato & Meat Sauce

I love me some pasta. People get so down on carbohydrates, but theres a huge difference between carbohydrates that are bad for you (like french fries) and carbohydrates that actually fuel your body (like an actual potato or pasta). Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for your body, and your diet should consist of at least 50% carbs from sources such as vegetable, fruits, and whole grains.

I’ve been putting together variations of this dish for years, its simple, yet the flavors are complex enough to feel like a gourmet dinner. I like to pair it with a kale caesar salad, and maybe some fresh garlic bread (did i mention I love carbs!)

Simple Tomato & Meat Sauce

3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, diced
2 ounces prosciutto
1 T extra virgin olive oil
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 t each: dried thyme, dried oregano and dried basil
1/2 cup red wine

In medium frying pan, cook prosciutto over medium high heat until crispy, remove from pan, drain on paper towels

In same pan, add olive oil, onions and red pepper flakes; sauté until onions are near translucent then add diced tomatoes. Turn down heat and simmer for 15-20 min.

Mince crispy prosciutto and add to sauce, stir. Add pasta of your choice, toss and serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.


Serves 4


Buffalo Chickpea Salad

My husband loves buffalo chicken salad, and it’s a great entree salad that comes together fairly quickly, which is great for busy weeknights!! Also, there are only a few ingredients, so less prep and less expensive. I wanted to change it up and try it with chickpeas instead of chicken to reduce the cholesterol but still maintain the protein. Chickpeas to the rescue!! I love chickpeas because they are so versatile; they can be prepared a multitude of ways and have a mild enough flavor to work well as a protein substitute in a variety of different cuisines!

While I prefer to soak my own beans, from a can (or now a days you can get beans in a box, which is just fabulous) are easier and quicker. Here I just added buffalo sauce to the chickpeas in a small saucepan and heated thoroughly. You could easily season them with garlic powder, and chili, bake them and then coat them with the buffalo sauce to add some additional crunch.

Buffalo Chickpea Salad

3 cups iceberg lettuce (about 1/2 medium head), torn into bite sized pieces

1 cup red leaf lettuce (about 4-5 outer leafs), torn into bite sized pieces

2 medium celery stalks, sliced

1 medium carrot, sliced

1 cup chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained

1/4 cup wing sauce

1/4 cup ranch dressing

Divide lettuces, celery and carrots into 2 plates

Put chickpeas into small sauce pan, add wing sauce. Over medium heat until heated through (approximately 5 minutes)

Divide chickpeas between the two servings and top with equal amount of ranch dressing


Nutrition Facts
Servings 2.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 289 
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11 g 16 %
Saturated Fat 1 g 5 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 3 mg 1 %
Sodium 316 mg 13 %
Potassium 777 mg 22 %
Total Carbohydrate 43 g 14 %
Dietary Fiber 13 g 50 %
Sugars 5 g
Protein 10 g 20 %
Vitamin A  169 %
Vitamin C  8 %
Calcium  13 %
Iron  19 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


Rules for Eating Healthy



Here’s some quick tips to keep in mind to help you eat healthier:

  • avoid foods that are fried, sauteed, and/or breaded; instead choose foods that are baked, steamed or grilled
  • avoid fake foods like margarine or non-diary creamers; instead choose real butter, milk, etc. in moderate amounts
  • replace meats with other plant based sources of protein like beans, oatmeal, quinoa
  • if you choose meats, make sure they are lean cuts like filet, loins, or breasts.
  • when choosing ground meats, make sure they are 92% or higher fat-free (including ground poultry)
  • a serving of meat is 4-6 ounces; that is approximately the size of your palm.
  • eat more fish. Keep in mind shellfish are low in fat, but may contain cholesterol, so consume in moderation.
  • produce like fruit and vegetables should make up 3/4 of your plate.
  • avoid creamy salad dressings like caeser and ranch; instead opt for vinegar based dressing
  • when eating out, order a salad instead of fries with your meal, and ask for the vinaigrette on the side
  • skip croutons, cheese and any salad topping listed as “crispy’
  • smoothies are better than juicing; they retain the fiber found naturally in the fruit which helps to slow down the absorption of the naturally occurring sugar in the fruit.
  • if you choose to have a smoothie, try to avoid consuming any more fruit that day, stick to vegetables
  • choose brown foods over white foods; brown rice/bread contain the outer bran which adds fiber and other healthy vitamins and minerals that are stripped away when creating white flour and/or rice.
  • white potatoes are still good for you and are a good source of potassium; eat the skin to get all the benefits!
  • artificial sweeteners are still sweeteners, treat them as you would any other added sugar
  • Added sugar is added sugar, agave nectar, honey, sugar in the raw, they are all added sweeteners. try to avoid, but if you must, consume infreuently