Thursday, August 9, 2018

Summer Shakeology Ice Cream

There is nothing I love more than ice cream on hot summer nights, but truth be told ice cream and my stomach do not get along.  Honestly, too much dairy or sugar and I completely regret and almost hate ice cream.  But I'm a woman and occasionally my sweet tooth has a hankering, so I conjured up my own Summer Shakeology Ice Cream recipe to share with you.  In fact, this is one my whole family will eat too.


Summer Shakeology Ice Cream

Ingredients
- 1 scoop vegan vanilla Shakeology
- 1/2 cup coconut milk (or milk of choice)
- splash of water, to help it blend
- a pinch of Xanthum gum (you do not need much!)
- 3 drops stevia-based caramel extract
- lots of ice (I use two handfuls)
- stevia based chocolate sauce (optional)

Directions
- I combine all of these ingredients in my blender
- Blend on med-high for 45 seconds to 1 minute
- You may need to occasionally pause and open the blender and help the ice move

Serve ice cream in a dish.  Toppings are optional.  I couldn't help but drizzle a bit of chocolate sauce onto my ice cream to make it really feel like a summer treat though!

ENJOY.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Gansevoort Turks & Caicos: Our Most Romantic Trip

Considering Jeff and I are already in the works of planning our 15th Anniversary trip for next fall (Oct 2019) I figured I should get to writing this long over-due blog post about our very romantic 12th anniversary trip to Turks & Caicos.

We were actually scheduled to stay in the Bahamas at the One & Only Club for that anniversary trip, but a devastating hurricane had hit near Nassau, Bahamas leaving our selected resort damaged and therefore closed during our stay.  So with a week to go until we were scheduled to depart we called the airline to see if we could book another tropical destination and quickly find a hotel.  Thankfully traveling in the Caribbean during hurricane season can be tricky, but also a steal of a deal too.  We were able to re-book tickets to Providenciales, Turks & Caicos for a small change fee and after a quick pass-thru on TripAdvisor.com we decided to stay at the Gansevoort Turks & Caicos for our anniversary getaway.

Flying into Turks & Caicos just past the Exumas

This hotel is drop-dead gorgeous.  I've shared with numerous couples that it is hands down one of the sexiest hotels I've ever stayed at before.  Gorgeous, tropical, private, and you basically feel like royalty when you roll-up.  Your luggage is whisked away and you're comfortably placed on a comfy sofa with warm towels and a welcome drink.  After a long morning of travel, sign me up!  This is where the pampering began.


The Gansevoort Pool looking towards the lobby
This resort feels small and intimate.  And during late October the resort was definitely not full.  We were one of a dozen or so couples enjoying the resort.  And the walk to our room was nothing short of breathtaking.  The posh pool is gorgeous, although daily we opted for the beach.  Grace Bay is consistently rated as one of the top beaches in the world, so we were not going to pass that up.  Our room was located just on the other side of the pool on the top floor.  We had a huge balcony overlooking the ocean where we could hear the waves crash.  The room was well appointed and for just 4 nights, a king bed facing the ocean, a small sitting area, luxe master ensuite and an expansive terrace filled with comfy outdoor furniture, it was perfect.  Had we stayed longer a more upgraded room with kitchen might have been better for preparing simple meals or snacks.

The view from our room balcony, taken by our luggage attendant

From our balcony... THAT WATER.

I cannot believe this sunset is real, no filter needed.

We chose to eat at the resort often.  The food was good and fresh, albeit expensive, but you most remember you're on an island and you are at the Gansevoort.  The Ceviche was amazing and the fresh garden salad at Zest! was one of my daily favorites along with the Rum Punch and the Funky Monkey.  And if the beach bar wasn't enough there were always beach attendants ready to set up plush beach chairs for you equipped with a remote to buzz for your next beverage.  And a visit to the beach bar in the evenings was typically filled with a casual musician on the guitar, a fire in the roaring fire pit, umbrella drinks and if you were lucky, a visit from GiGi, the Gansevoort adopted island kitty.

A Funky Monkey

After a long and rough day at the beach we often opted for relaxing on our balcony, watching the sunset and hearing the waves crash ashore.  It was so peaceful and romantic.  Two different evenings we opted to have dinner at the resort's restaurant, Stelle, which was wonderful.  The fresh rock lobsters were outstanding and reasonable considering local in-season prices.  For our anniversary we dined at La Coco Bistro, an island favorite named after their adopted island kitty, Coco, under the palms.  Again, I had the in-season rock lobster, plus we split a dessert which was divine.

Sunrise from our balcony


We had one partially rainy day while in Provo, so we opted to take a taxi into town to shop and walk around. Taxis around the island are about $15-20 one-way.  All drivers were friendly and very knowledgable of the area and quite eager to welcome you to their island.  Shopping was typical island shopping with lots of jewelry and t-shirts, but we did happen upon Potcake Place, a re-homing shelter for island pups in need and they seriously love tourists to come in to socialize and play with the puppies.  In fact, you can even take a puppy to play on the beach or go for a walk.  If it had not been raining I might have made it out the door with this guy.  It's no surprise, that many of these pups go home to live in the US with new owners after visiting Potcake Place.  I mean, I could hardly say "no" to this face and we had just met!


On our last night on the island we splurged and chartered a boat out of the marina for a sunset cruise. Our boat captain was super friendly and knowledgable, taking the time to show us around his island.  He even let us off the boat onto a private island and nature preserve giving us instructions to "walk across to the other side of the island" so we could see where the Atlantic Ocean met the Caribbean on Half Moon Bay.  It was quite possibly the most gorgeous water I have ever seen.

Walking out into Half Moon Bay



All-in-all, the Gaansevort Turks & Caicos was one of our favorite and most romantic vacations.  We haven't done a lot of anniversary trips, but hands down this was the best so far.  The views, the water, the people, the low-key pace, it was just perfect.  If you're planning a future tropical anniversary getaway this magical place should be on the very top of your list!







Tuesday, July 3, 2018

4th of July: Food Favorites

Our favorite summer holiday has got to be 4th of July.  Extended time with family, enjoying the small town patriotic parade, time at the lake lighting off fireworks and making s'mores, plus my favorite part... barbecues, fresh fruit & veggies in season and making some of my favorites recipes for family. I love summer cooking.  Perhaps because most of it can be done without the oven or just because it's so fresh and often straight out of the garden, but I wanted to share just a few of my favorite 4th of July recipes with you.





recipe via Pinterest

FRESH WATERMELON CAKE


| Serves 12 |

Ingredients:
- one whole seedless watermelon
-3 cups heavy whipping cream
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
-2 tablespoons Swerve or confections sugar
-assorted fresh berries

Directions:
1. First whip your cream with your sugar and vanilla.  
Whip until you have nice stiff peaks, then refrigerate newly made whip cream in bowl.
2. Wash and dry your whole watermelon
3. With a sharp knife slice the top and bottom off of your watermelon.
4. Standing your watermelon up trim off the dark green rind from the sides.
5. Keep trimming off the sides and all of the light green rind until you have a nice cylinder shape.
6. Pat your watermelon with paper towel to remove excess moisture.
7. Place your prepared watermelon on a cake plate.
8. Spread cold whip cream all over the watermelon cake with a rubber spatula.
9. Garnish with berries
10. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve your cake!


prouditaliancook.com




recipe via Pinterest

FRESH WATERMELON POPSICLES


| Makes a lot! |

Ingredients:
-small seedless watermelon, cut into triangles
-1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
-1-2tsp coconut oil
-flaked sea salt
-dried rose petals

Directions:
1. Pierce watermelon slices with popsicle stick, place on a wire rack over a large cookie sheet.
2. In a double boiler over low heat, melt the chocolate & coconut oil.  
Use a spoon to drizzle chocolate over the watermelon triangles.
3. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt and dried rose petals.  Place in freezer for 20m to harden.
4. Keep covered in freezer for up to a week!
5. Enjoy


bromabakery.com





recipe via Pinterest

STAR SPANGLED FRUIT KABOBS


| Make as many as you Need |

Ingredients:
-one seedless watermelon
-mini marshmallows
-blueberries
-wooden skewers
-star shaped cookie cutter

Directions:
1. Start by slicing your watermelon in several circular slices
2. Use your star shaped cookie cutter to make your watermelon stars
3. Alternate blueberries & mini marshmallows on your skewers
4. Top your skewers with watermelon star
5. Repeat, eat, enjoy!

almostsupermom.com

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Bone Broth French Onion Soup

On a chilly winter day there's nothing I love more than making soup and my husband's favorite soup just happen to be French Onion, which he loves to order while dining out.  The thing is... it's always so salty and probably not the healthiest choice, so I decided to start making my own at home.  And well, this soup is now his favorite.  Go me.

And yes, of course, you can make your own bone broth in advance for this soup and it's wonderful.  I love making beef bone broth and even freezing the extras in 16oz containers, but just in case you do not have homemade bone broth on hand this recipe will give you my tried & true shortcut.  Yes, I have made it this way  and it still tastes amazing!

I also do not top my French onion soup with bread or toast either since I'm grain-free, but obviously you could top it with bread and then cheese.





Ingredients:
1tbsp avocado or olive oil
1 white onion, sliced
2-3 yellow onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
16 oz organic beef bone broth
1 packet organic beef broth concentrate
8 oz water
sea salt to taste
Havarti cheese to top

Directions:
1. Heat a large stock or dutch oven over medium heat with olive oil

2. Slice all onions and begin to cook over medium heat, stirring frequently so they do not burn

3. Once the onions begin to soften add garlic,  Worcestershire sauce, then bone broth, water & additional beef broth concentrate for taste


The soup ready to cook down.

4. Stir, then cover the pot to let the soup begin to cook down a bit and infuse flavor into all the onions

5. After 30-40 minutes check your onions and stock.  The soup should have reduced a bit.  At this point do a taste test, add sea salt, if needed.

6. Ladle bowls and top with a slice of Havarti cheese, which will just melt.

Note:  If you'd like to add a slice of bread to the top of your soup then use an oven safe bowl.  Ladle in your soup, add slice of bread and then top with havarti and place in a hot oven for 3-5 minutes to melt cheese.

Serve with a side salad for an easy weekend dinner!
Bone Broth French Onion Soup

Ready to eat, ENJOY.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Chocolate Shakeology Mug Cake

Have a sweet tooth but want to stay on track?   Did we just become best friends?!  I swear I have the biggest sweet tooth, especially for all things chocolate or cake.  But if you're a girl who has healthy goals you can't exactly each cake often and get results.  Or can you?!  Well, I've got good news!  If you have 10 minutes and a bag of Shakeology on hand you can create this amazing chocolatey gooey mug cake.

Chocolate Shakeology Mug Cake

Ingredients:
-1 scoop vegan chocolate Shakeology
-1/8th tsp baking powder
-1/8th tsp baking soda
-few drops of pure vanilla extract
-1 packet of Sweet Leaf Stevia
-1 large egg
-almond, cashew or coconut milk
-dark chocolate chips

Directions:
1. In a small pyrex bowl combine 1 scoop of Shakeology plus baking powder, baking soda and packet of stevia.  Mix thoroughly. 

2. Add in a few drops of pure vanilla extract, 1 large egg and a splash of almond milk.  Then stir.  Add more almond milk, if needed.  This should have a cake batter like consistency and you should be able to stir it easily.  

3. Add in a teaspoon of dark chocolate chips. Stir.

4.  Divide mug cake batter between two ramekins.  Microwave one ramekin at a time on high for 1 minute, 10 seconds.  Every microwave is different, so please keep an eye on your cake.  Yes, it will rise.  And then fall once you remove it.


5. Cake will be cooked through, but still warm & fudgey in the middle.  Top with coconut whip cream if you wish, ENJOY!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A New Lease on Life



If you haven’t been following me for the past 11m or so you probably don’t know my WHOLE story. Or the whole journey I’ve been on. Phew! 2017 was a year. A year of learning, growth, loss and transformation. And I feel like I’m headed into 2018 with even more fire in my belly for truly living MY best life.🔥
So, that pic on the left, I hate it, BUT…. damn, I’m glad I didn’t delete it. Honestly, without struggle, where’s the story, right?! And shit, in the left pic I was struggling just like so many other women do. Struggling with binge eating after restrictive dieting, which had become this vicious cycle, dealing with major inflammation due to grains, I was always finding excuses to not workout, had justified my wine & drink indulgences as “mommy needs it” and I just was basically treating my body like crap. I was already gluten-free, so I just ate gluten-free junk food, indulged in things like GF pizza and cookies and donut-y treats ALL THE TIME. I loathed water. I was abusing caffeine in coffee form ALL DAY, because it was the ONLY way I could get thru the day.
At some point, perhaps it was that impending 39th birthday (and subsequent 40th birthday I knew was coming), but I literally woke up one day and said, “Enough of this shit.” I’m tired of feeling like shit, looking like shit (my version, of course) and eating like shit, so I’m gonna do this for ME, my health, to fit into all the damn clothes in my closet that I own that currently DO NOT FIT, and because I’m freakin’ worth it. Hallelujah! I was like, “I only get one life, so why the fuck am I living it like this?!” And it was pretty shitty. It’s like I just kept waiting for someone to flip the switch in me. When in reality, I was going to have to do it for myself.
In that right pic, that’s a girl who’s been drinking ALL the water, having ONE coffee a day, who eats all whole foods (think… salmon, grass fed meats, fresh eggs, lots of organic veggies, loads of berries, salads, olive oil, nuts, avocado, sweet potatoes, my whole food-based shake, no alcohol except for an occasional glass of champagne to CELEBRATE life, sometimes dark chocolate, cuz life, and on very rare occasion, a grain-based treat like a GF donut!) and ya know what, I started to WANT to workout. In fact, what started as just a few times a week morphed into I feel so good I want to workout ALL the time. Suddenly, I was kicking my own ass 5-6x a week in our home gym! And OMG, my clothes started to fit again. My “fat jeans” were falling off of me, I had to buy new, smaller jeans. Hell, I wanted to wear jeans!! I even donated a whole pile of clothes that were too big! And it all felt amazing.
Sure, no, not every day was perfect, but there was progress. And I decided in those harder moments when the thoughts of binge eating would creep back in because sometimes life is hard, that I would never quit on myself again. I might have a bad day or a MEH week, but no… I wasn’t going to stop because the life I’m living now feels SOOO amazing compared to where I was a year ago. I feel like a new woman. A mom who has enough energy to keep up with her kids and a housewife who’s got the energy to build her biz, clean her house (who am I kidding, pay her cleaning gal), do laundry (see previous) and chill confidently poolside in her bikini! HELL YES. 
2018 I hope you’re ready because THIS mama has got some GOALS before that big 4-0!!!!  Do you have some goals you'd love to hit before spring break, this summer or heck, just before the year is over?   Use the Contact Me form to msg me today.  I'd love to help you live your best life too.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Brazil Butt Lift + Shift Shop Hybrid

After sharing my Shift Shop transformation with you here and after having such awesome results with the program I decided I'd like to turn this program into a few hybrids.  My first hybrid with Shift Shop was with PiYo, which I blogged about here.  But one of my all-time favorite booty sculpting programs has always been Brazil Butt Lift, so I knew pairing the two could be a lot of fun.  And between you and me, I think the
Brazil Butt Lift core work is some of our most comprehensive, so I added that in too.

I mixed the fun and booty burn from Brazil Butt Lift with the killer cardio and strength work from Shift Shop.  If you try this hybrid I'd love to hear your thoughts, but ultimately after doing this hybrid for three rounds I was pretty pumped with my results.



I've always had a booty.  Like even from my teen years I remember being picked on for having curves.  And let's just saying, having babies and getting older definitely filled out those curves, which were fairly lumpy there for awhile, but now I knew I had to shape them.  I may have been blessed with a booty, but what's the point if it's not perky and not dimpled.

I took this picture part-way thru the 2rd round of my BBL/SS hybrid and I've been so pleased with it truly helping to shape my core and glutes.  I feel like even my legs look more sculpted and lean.

So, fire up your Beachbody On Demand and try my hybrid before spring break is here.  And if you don't have a Beachbody On Demand subscription yet or you'd like to try Shakeology, then make sure to use my "Contact Me" form and let's chat.  I'd love to help you build your best body yet!