Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Twist in the Trail...

I know, I know. I haven't posted in WAY too long. I'm sorry. I promised, when I began this blog (way back on the original website in 2008!) to share my journey with you, transparently, and I've fallen down on that in recent months. While I'm not at liberty to share everything that's been going on, I will give you as much info as I can.

Over the last few years, my husband's mother has battled cancer. Successfully, thankfully, but it's been a scary journey. Early this year, his sister also had a devastating cancer diagnosis. She has been successful in the fight. A couple months ago, my husband found a lump, too. Because of the family history, he immediately sought medical attention. Something he might not have done, otherwise.

Over the last weeks, we've been in and out of the doctor's office, he's been poked, prodded, and scanned until he was ready to beat the next tech who came near him, lol. We finally got a surgery date for removal & biopsy, and were assured that this was no big deal. 10 minute surgery, though they'd have to put him under general anesthesia due to the location of the mass. Off to the hospital we went, and away they whisked him. I sat in the waiting room. And sat. And sat. 10 minute surgery took more than 4 times that. Which is a lifetime, by the way, when you're expecting 10 minutes.

He's fine, let me lead with that. He's fine. The mass was benign. However, they found a few things when they got inside and the testing continues. The incision that was supposed to be tiny is much larger, and his recovery is ongoing. What should have been a 24 hour recovery has turned into weeks. Being a man, this does not sit well with him.

And so, we continue to run tests and await results. And I continue to browbeat him into resting and taking his meds. Lol. That's my job, right? We've faced it all with our trademark sarcasm, and a lot of hugs. And I cook. A lot. ;-) Boy have I got a lot of recipes to share with you guys when I get my schedule more stable!!

So that's one aspect of what's been happening. The other isn't my story to tell, but I can share that due to a series of events, two of my kids have been tested and discovered to have genetic mutations (yes, we're calling them x-men now, lol). While we continue to pursue information for one, and hope that we've caught it in time to prevent future tragedy,  the other has completed her testing and is facing a challenge that I would take from her if I could. I so wish I could.

For months, her situation has been fraught with heartbreak, repeated disappointments, confusing tests, crushing diagnosis', and now, finally, we see a light at the end of the tunnel. We are pursuing that light with everything we've got. Over the next months, I will be spending a significant amount of time helping to take care of her, while she undergoes a process that we hope will provide the resolution she so very much wants.

As a woman - a wife and a mom, my heart and all my energies have been directed toward my family through this time. I handle life fairly flexibly. I've learned to roll and bend when necessary, to fight when required, but most of all, to realize that life happens and no amount of anguish, worry or fear on my part can change it. I live my life in a state of joy - and I've worked hard to do that. That joy has been challenged this year, but not defeated.

We will face these twists in the trail. We will continue to hold tight to each other and BELIEVE for the future.

I hope you'll be patient with me, as I walk this new path of life. I will continue with my blog, recipes, and work, but my focus is first for my family.

Oh - and I could really use an assistant, lol! If anyone has some free time on their hands and wants to help out with the newsletter, PLEASE let me know!! :-)

So... to answer some questions I've been repeatedly asked recently...

Will you compete this year? NO. Lol. Not happening. I have, however been pursuing (when scheduling allows) test judging, which will eventually allow me to become a competition judge. Will I compete in the future? Undecided. It's just not on my radar right now. Show prep is all-consuming, and I've no room for that in my life in the foreseeable future.

Are you working out?? Sort of. I have Coach Kayla three times a week (2 Pilates, 1 weights), but as the schedule becomes more and more erratic, that's having to flex, a lot. Other than meeting with her, I am not in the gym. And I am unapologetic. Given the choice between an hour and a half there, or that same time with my husband and/or kids, my family wins every time. Life is short and there are no guarantees.

Are you eating clean? Have you gained weight?  Mostly, and no. Being in maintenance mode (meaning not in show prep, lol), my food is clean, healthy, and tasty - because that's my lifestyle. But because of all the scheduling challenges, there are some "non-clean" choices happening. I'm not going to stress over it. At all. I focus on high protein, healthy fats, and nourishing carbs. I drink my water, and some wine ;-)  I fuel my body as best I can, and I don't worry about the rest. And no, I have not gained weight. I'm in the same jeans I wore post-show. They fit a bit differently, lol, but my weight is right where it should be. I'm a little soft, but with my high protein diet, I've maintained more muscle mass than I anticipated - I'm good with that.

Are you still taking Custom Clients? No. I am committed to the ones I have now, and will continue to work with them, but that aspect of my business is being phased out. I will be expanding my Evaluation Services, along with the Downloadable Meal Plans, and the Recipes. I have further plans for expansion and FUN things to come, too. :-)

If there's a question I haven't answered, just ask :-)

Thanks for sharing the journey with me. You are just awesome!!!! :-)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tasty Tuesday!! Carne Asada Street Tacos

Time for some amazing food!! This recipe is so easy, and you can make it with beef, chicken... whatever you like! It's so good, we actually made this 3 nights in a row last week! And I never have leftovers! I didn't make many changes to the original recipe (found on Pinterest), but tweaked it enough to make sure the flavors really popped! Give it a try and let me know what you think!! And here's an extra tip... make them with these fajita veggies!! OMG, so good!!!!

Carne Asada Street Tacos

"Craving street tacos? Got ya' covered!! These come together quickly, taste phenomenal, and are a real crowd pleaser! Plus, gluten free! They can be dairy free, too, just replace the cheese with a dairy-free alternative, or eliminate it."

Serves 4
Prep Time:
Cook Time: 15


  • 1 lb steak, sliced thin (*see note below)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 1-2 jalepenos, minced*
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp sugar (or honey)
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • sea-salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 kiwi, pureed (I just scoop it out and use a fork to mash it)



  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl or large baggie.
  2. Add meat. Cover or seal.
  3. Refrigerate 1 hour, but not overnight. The kiwi will break down the steak and turn it to mush if you marinate overnight.
  4. Allow meat to come to room temp (about 30 minutes)
  5. When ready, heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  6. Cook in batches, using minimal marinade - this will give you that beautiful street taco char. If you use too much marinade in the pan, it'll still taste amazing, it just won't have that browned char.
  7. Serve with corn tortillas, shredded cabbage, shredded cotija and/or cheddar cheese, plain greek yogurt (in place of sour cream), taco sauce, pico de gallo, lime juice... whatever you like.
  8. Serve.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving (Meat only)  Calories: 199 | Total Protein: 25 g | Total Carbohydrate: 7 g | Total Fat: 7 g | Total Fiber: 1 g | Total Sodium: 190 mg 

**Prepare this with these fajita veggies! YUMMY!!! And this pico de gallo.
**Prepare this with lean steak, or with chicken - or both! I used london broil, as it's an inexpensive but lean cut.
**Chilies... I like to use a combination of jalapeno and pasilla, but use whatever kind you like. Remember to carefully wash your hands after handling chilies, or wear gloves. Lol.
**TIP: Bake the tortillas and have tostadas! Look HERE for directions.
** original recipe found

Let's get cookin'!

Marinate your meat. I made a double batch of marinade and split it between a pound of beef and a pound of chicken, all thinly sliced.

Use the link above for the recipe to make these incredible fajita veggies!

Cook the chicken in the marinade for extra juicy meat!

Cook the beef with minimal marinade to get that beautiful char on the meat!

Serve it up!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tasty Tuesday!! Comfort Food that's Dairy & Gluten Free!

During Competition Prep, I had to avoid a few things in my diet (food sensitivities) - including chicken and dairy. Fortunately, turkey wasn't an issue, so guess what I ate a lot of? Lol! One night, my family sat down to eat a lovely, glory-smelling lasagna. Now, I'm not much of a lasagna person myself, but at that moment it was the only thing on the planet I wanted. Been there? My desire, drove me to the fridge... what do I have on hand, could I...? And Yes, I could. Wow! 

In fact, my dinner was so pretty, so yummy smelling, that they all wanted some, too! And you know what? They didn't know there was no "real" cheese in it! Ha! Sneaky Chelle strikes again!  But the very best part of this recipe is that it comes together in about 15 minutes!! Woot!! If you don't have precooked turkey or chicken breast, grab a rotisserie chicken on the way home and whip this one up tonight. You will NOT be disappointed!! 

"NOT" Lasagna

Gluten & Dairy Free Comfort Food! Lasagna style casserole that'll satisfy, and help you reach your goals! Ready in 15 minutes! Gluten & Dairy Free Lasagna Style Casserole
Preparation Time: 5 minutes Total time: 15 minutes
By , June 3, 2014 
Serves 1

6 oz cooked Turkey Breast, diced into cubes (I roast a couple turkey breasts in my one-day food prep to have on hand throughout the week. You can use rotisserie chicken breast, too.)
5 sliced brown mushrooms
1 cup baby spinach
1/4 cup diced onion (I like red)
1/4 tsp Mrs Dash Garlic and Herb or Italian Blend
Olive Oil cooking spray
1/4 cup Marinara sauce (I used Newman's Own)
1/4 cup Daiya Mozzarella shreds

Instructions: (see step by step photos below)
Wash and chop mushrooms and onion.
Heat non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with olive oil cooking spray.
Add mushrooms, onions and Mrs Dash. Cook until softened.
Add spinach and cooked turkey breast, spray with oil again if needed.
Stir, cooking until spinach is wilted and turkey is warmed.
Remove from heat.
Immediately add marinara and "cheese", stirring to combine.
Allow to rest 1 minute for "cheese" to melt.

This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, corn free, and chicken free. You may replace the turkey with chicken breast, if you prefer.
If you can tolerate dairy, replace the Daiya cheese with mozzarella, but be aware that the nutritional information will change.
I encourage you tot try this recipe as it is written. It's super creamy, melty-cheesy, and full of "lasagna" flavor! My family had no idea there was no "real" cheese in it, and they LOVED it!!
Daiya products are gluten free, dairy free, and soy free. You can learn more about them here: http://us.daiyafoods.com/

Nutrition facts per serving: 355 calories | 45 grams protein | 22 grams carbs (net 19g carbs) | 9 grams fat | 3 grams fiber

Prep the veggies and gather ingredients
Saute the onions, mushrooms, and seasoning until veggies are softened.
Add spinach and turkey (or chicken)

Cook, stirring, until spinach is wilted and meat is heated through.

Remove from heat and add marinara and "cheese". Stir until melted and blended

Serve and Enjoy!!

You might also be interested in our other Main Dish recipes.