Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Time for Champagne...

Somebody grab a bottle and whack it on the Nutrition section of the website, cuz that baby is LAUNCHED. I'll be adding and tweaking and so on, as I bring new info and resources to it. But for now - DONE!! Woohooo!!!


There are also a couple of free downloads available if you click over to our Services, and then Downloads. There are more (many, many more) to come!

Next on my list is to complete (finally) the recipe section, then I'll move on to the rest of the downloads.

It's coming together! ;-)


Monday, August 27, 2012

Feta Makes Everything Better... and other random Monday thoughts

Seriously - it does. Feta makes everything better. Try it. I dare ya! Lol.

The morning began with dragging two dogs to the vet at 7am for routine "comprehensive" exams. Somehow they always know this is not a pleasure ride. Nakki (the boxer) fought me. Winnie (the pit) knew something was wrong but no way was he going to be left out - he charged into the car, making a wild jump only to get hung up on the leash and land on his back - on the ground, looking up at me like, "Why'd ya do that???"  Nakki, eventually made it into the car (not only is she stubborn, but she has to have help getting up there). Arriving at the vet, I managed to get them weighed (Nakki lost 5lbs - ??) and checked in, despite tangled leashes (I nearly went down more than once), and I headed back home to dress for the office.

At the office I was swamped with work, when my cell phone rang. It was the vet. There is a problem with Nakki. Turns out the swollen lymph nodes we'd noticed, the teeth grinding lately, the weight loss, and a batch of wonky blood results raised all kinds of red flags. The kind of flags that the owners of a 6 year old pure-bred boxer don't want to see.

After work (I'm part time now, so I'm off at 12:30) I headed back to the vet to pick them up and chat with the doctor. Red flags indeed. And now we're waiting on test results. Tell me this, why - at this wait-for-the-test-results stage, do people think it's going to make you feel better when they say that they can recommend a great oncologist? Because it doesn't. Not at all.

I took the pups home, and despite wanting to curl up and cuddle with Nakki, I changed into my gym-grubbies and headed out - with TWO iPods. Just in case.  I sweated out a ton of worry and what-if's first on the stairmaster (30 minutes is MUCH easier with tunes - just sayin') then on the mat as I ran through a so-grueling-I-can't-think-ab workout. I headed back home and cooked up lunch. Just standard fare, nothing special. Shredded chicken from Sunday's prep, steamed zucchini, steamed brown rice - and then I sprinkled it with feta (reduced fat). Muuuuch better. That fresh salty goodness hit my mouth and yeah, silly, I know, but the cloud over my head lightened - a little. See? Feta makes everything better. Yes, that's said tongue in cheek, lol.

I've been working on my September playlist, actually, it turned into two playlists. I'm spending more time in the gym now, without classes which offer their own tunes, so I'm in need of variety. Anyway, those'll be up on the site this week ;-) Check out our previous playlists if you need some tune-spiration ;-)  I find, for myself, that the lyrics are just as, if not more, important than the beat of the music. For instance - today I'm holding a plank with bent arms on a medicine ball - I'm dyin. I'm shaking. My abs are screaming and cramping. Then the chorus hits... "deny the limitation, deny the limitation". I made it to my mark. Three times. Music drives me. Being sans-trainer, it's even more important for me. I build my playlists for the purpose of pushing myself since no one else is there to do it. What about you? Is your playlist your driving force, or do you prefer to be without music?

More randomness - updates on the site (www.RecipeForFitness.com) have been taking place, quietly and slowly - if you haven't been there lately, be sure to look around in the Recipes section. I'm adding stuff as I can.

And there ya have it. It's a Monday. ;-) Feta and randomness.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Yay for Friday!

Can you believe we're nearly done with August?? Crazy, right? Here in Scottsdale, we're right smack dab in the middle of Monsoon season (wasn't that supposed to be June??) and getting hit with amazing light shows and torrential rains (this is AZ - if it's more than condensation on our windshields, it's considered torrential). While I'm loving the storms, the mugginess can take a hike. No bueno for the hair. Lol.

My efforts to reboot my fitness are in full (and painful) swing. I'm getting the cardio in and improving every session, and though the shoulder is still causing roadblocks, I'm learning there are always other ways to get the muscle work done.

Yesterday's cardio took place in that frame of mind we all detest - total lack of motivation. T.O.T.A.L. Ugh. I very much did not want to do it, but I drug my protesting self to the gym, climbed on the stairmaster, started it up, slid the power button on my iPod and heard... "beep, beeeep, beeeeep". Crudola. Dead. I'm being punished, aren't I? 30 minutes of stairmaster torture without music. Noooooooooooooooo! Yes. But... I got it done. And being me, because I was so mad about not wanting to be there AND not having my tunes, I worked even harder and left with quivering hamstrings and quads. I'm perverse like that. Lol!

Back home I enjoyed my stuffed eggplant and got to work.

Sort of. I got sidetracked playing in Photoshop CS6. Darn those brushes! I learned how to turn text into a brush and spent the rest of the afternoon experimenting. My results are quite amateur, I know, but still... fun! The text you see below are the lyrics to Adelita's Way, Alive, which is one of "our" songs. Fun, right? ;-) Today, though, I seriously will be working. Seriously. I promise.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hatch Chili Here, Hatch Chili There, Hatch Chili EVERYWHERE!

It is that time of year and I am LOVING it!!! Hatch Chili Season!!! NOM NOM NOM!!!!
With as busy as it's been lately, I had completely forgotten about this magical season until my friend Patricia emailed me. She's my Hatch Chili Partner in Crime. Here's what happens. Whole Foods gets their shipment. Then they roast 'em up right there on site. Then they package them. Then Patricia and I sneak in and buy up every package they have. Then we go back when they restock (I've gone back 4 times already).

I'm not saying they don't like folks who do this, but I might be putting together a disguise for my next run - just in case. ;-)

These chilies are so amazing! HOT, flavorful, and you really can put them in anything. Seriously. Anything. I've been eating them for breakfast, snacks, lunch, snacks, dinner, snacks... you get the idea. I buy as many as I can get my grasping little hands on, then I freeze what I know I won't use immediately. I have hatch chilies all year long! Woot!

Moving on... the last couple weeks have been full of recipe development as I near my deadline for the next spread in World Physique Magazine - Women.  Let me start with this - I love recipe development. I really do! I love creating, tweaking, taking pics... the whole bit. BUT. There was one recipe that was giving me fits. As Tabitha put it - I was in Cheesecake Hell. Indeed. It took many tries to get it to cooperate, but I won. Last night. At about 7pm. Argh. Finally! Now I just need to put together the submission packet, fix the pics and send it all off. Whew!

Speaking of recipes... did you see today's Recipe of the Week for Champion Nutrition? Lemme tell ya, it's yummy! I get pretty darn happy when something comes together - the first time! LOL! I felt like I was banging my head against the wall with the Hell-Recipe, and that Grilled Pineapple with Cheesecake Cream just came together like magic. It actually made me mad, haha. It took me about 10 minutes, start to finish - and that darn Hell-Recipe was fighting me in the background. Tab was texting me... "is it safe? are you still in cheesecake hell?"

No. I do not get moody in the kitchen. Not me. HA!! Oh well. It's done.

Today I have (another) appointment with my shoulder doctor. Stupid shoulder. Pfft. As I'm working my way back in the gym, I'm discovering all my boundaries. I can do this, I can't do that. Bah. I was excited, however, to learn that while I can't do traditional planks (boo) I can do straight arm planks, and straight arm planks on the medicine ball. Yay! I can also do Russian Twists with the medicine ball, and Bridges with a body bar.  Ummm, owie, owie, owie! My abs were making themselves known last night, and today? DO.NOT.SNEEZE.  DO.NOT.LAUGH. NO.SUDDEN.MOVEMENTS.   owie, owie, owie!!! LOL! Yay for post-abdominoplasty-ab-workouts!

Champion Nutrition Recipe of the Week - Grilled Pineapple with Cheesecake Cream

A dessert you can eat post-workout? YES. 
A dessert you can serve to guests and seriously impress? YES.

Pineapple, beyond just being pretty, is good for you. It's a great source of Thiamin, B6, Vitamin C, and Manganese, and its bromelain offers anti-inflammatory and digestive benefits, too!

Our family loves pineapple - despite the fact that two of them are mildly allergic. Not carry-an-epi-pen-allergic, just swollen-tongue- allergic. This doesn't stop them from indulging. My hubby was the taste-tester for this one... he's still grinning (and still swollen). 

Grilled Pineapple with Cheesecake Cream
recipe by Chelle Stafford
serves 4

4 pineapple rings, fresh if possible
1 tsp coconut sugar (if you can't find this, palm sugar or a brown-splenda blend will work)
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
4 Tbsp fat free cream cheese
4 Tbsp fat free greek yogurt, plain
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp Truvia-Sugar baking blend (can sub 1-2 pkts stevia)

Preheat grill to medium-high  (I used my Foreman Grill)
Sprinkle coconut sugar over the tops of the pineapple rings. Dust lightly with pumpkin pie spice. 
In small bowl, blend cream cheese, greek yogurt, vanilla, and Truvia-Sugar until smooth.
Spray grill with cooking oil (I prefer coconut oil)
Grill pineapple 2-3 minutes.
Plate pineapple, then divide the cheesecake cream between the 4 rings. 
Sprinkle lightly with pumpkin pie spice.

per serving: 66 calories, 4 grams protein, 12 grams carbs, 0 grams fat, 8 grams sugars.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Not Impressed...

So I'm sure you've all seen the "McKayla is not impressed" images hitting the net... they're hysterical, and I loved the one she herself posted (proving she's got a sense of humor).
McKayla Maroney
Last night, my youngest was perusing the various pics and emailed me a few just for giggles... here are my favorites, the last one being a surprise that got quite the LOL from the hubby and I.

mckayla meme

mckayla meme

mckayla meme


This is my personal fav!
And the final image....
Yep - she' takes after her Mama! LOL!

Dorks of the World UNITE!!!! :-) 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Inspiration for the Day - Olympian Shannon Boxx

Reading through the day's news, I came across an article about Olympic Athlete Shannon Boxx who has Lupus and Sjogren's Syndrome - and she injured her hamstring in Game 1. As someone who battles disease and injury daily, I was inspired by her story, and her outlook. If you have a moment, the article is a great read.

Midfielder Shannon Boxx, top, celebrates with teammates winning gold against Japan on August 9, 2012, in London.
Credit: http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/16/health/olympic-soccer-boxx-lupus/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Studies Show...

I opened up my email this morning to find a newsletter from my medical insurance company. As I perused the articles, one in particular caught my attention. Here's the headline...

"Research finds healthy lifestyle can reduce diabetes onset risk"*

Uhhh, ya think?  But wait! There's more... here is the descriptive blurb:

"Lifestyle factors, when considered in combination, are associated with a substantial reduction in risk for diabetes," according to the conclusion by researchers of study published in the Sept. 6, 2011, Annals of Internal Medicine. [article refers to Type 2 Diabetes. see below for link.]

Ok. Hang on. Lemme get this straight. So what this study is saying is that lifestyle has a direct relationship with the development of disease. OMG! Who knew!?!?  

Yes. Yes, I am being ridiculous. But does it strike anyone else as crazy that this still needs to be said? And said in a manner in which it indicates that this is stunning-new-breakthrough-scientific-data? Haven't we known this for years? Indeed, we have. But we have hard heads. We are stubborn. We are lazy. We want the magic pill. 

We? Yes, we. Me, too. It's just so much easier to be lazy. Who wants to hit the grocery store when the drive through is right there? Why bother going to the gym when my favorite show is on? Why exercise portion control when it's just sooooo yummy? I've been there. Heck, I'm human, sometimes I still visit there! 

Knowing better doesn't make it better, 
and it takes action to change. 

And action can really, really suck.  I know because that's where I'm at right now. Initiating action. With my injuries (back and shoulder) and then surgery recovery (and now the biceps tendinitis and arthritis flaring up), I knew that getting back in the gym would be difficult, at best. Let me tell you, I had NO idea. In many ways I feel like I'm starting over, in other ways it's worse than starting over because I know exactly what's ahead of me. And it sucks. And it hurts. 

I've always been the "Yay! I'm SORE!" type. But what I'm going through recently? This is not the fun sore. This is the "ohmygodIcannotmove" sore. A significant part of that might be because I am apparently incapable of easing into anything. I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'. My hubby was watching me on the stair-master last night thinking what a dumbass I am. He's right. Intervals? Really? I am sucking wind, and I'm doing intervals? Yes. That would be me. Queen Dumbass. I spent last week so sore I could barely move, and when I did, I resembled a 100-year-old woman. This week, I'm on track for a repeat. (Studies show that easing into a routine is a better bet than jumping in with both feet without knowing if there's water in the pool... huh - who knew? Pft! Who reads those studies?)

As I lay in bed this morning wondering how badly I wanted that coffee (bad enough to move through the pain? yep. damn.), I wished for a magic pill. Wouldn't it be nice to just pop a pill and all the hard work is done? Or just wake up and discover you're where you want to be and now all you have to do is maintain it? Wouldn't that be fantastic? Sure, but it's not gonna happen. Why? Because, there are no shortcuts. There is no substitution for a clean diet and regular exercise. None. Maybe if they publish more studies about it, we'll finally catch on. ;-)  In the immortal words of the rock band, Airbourne... 

"There ain't no way but the hard way, get used to it."

*article found here: http://members.arizonablueonline.com/volume1-issue9/the-well-life/research-finds-healthy-lifestyle-can-reduce-diabetes-onset-risk/

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Champion Nutrition Recipe of the Week - Pumpkin Protein Bars

Can you say, "Frosting"?  ;-)  These gems might look small, but small is mighty! They're dense, packed full of moist flavor, chocolate chips, and... Frosting. And they're training friendly. Each one has only 77 calories, 6 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of fat, and 1 gram of fiber. Oh, and only 2 grams of sugar. They're my new favorite fall treat, and I hope you'll enjoy them, too!

Chelle's Pumpkin Protein Bars
makes 18 small bars


  • 1/2 cup oat flour (can grind oatmeal in a coffee grinder if you don't have the flour on hand)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup protein powder (I used Champion Nutrition's Pure Whey Vanilla)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pie mix, just pumpkin)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
For the frosting: 
  • 2 oz fat-free cream cheese
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. With spray oil, coat an 8x8 glass pan.
  3. In large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients except the chocolate chips.
  4. In smaller bowl, mix together the wet ingredients, then add to the large bowl, mixing well.
  5. Gently mix in the chocolate chips.
  6. Press into bottom of pan (it'll be thick, like cookie dough).
  7. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove to wire rack and allow to cool.
  8. Pull cream cheese out of fridge and allow to come to nearly room temperature.
  9. Cut into 18 pieces.
  10. In small bowl, mix the protein powder and almond milk until smooth. Add cream cheese, mixing until smooth.
  11. Frost bars.
  12. Store in refrigerator

per bar: 77 calories; 6 grams protein, 6 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fat, 1 gram fiber, 2 grams sugar, 85 mg sodium.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Attack of the Klutz

After last weekend, we were really looking forward to this weekend. Chill time. Pool time. This was the weekend I was allowed to get in the water. Well, actually, that was last weekend but we were out of town. I'm at 7 weeks post-surgery, and it was time to soak in the pool. We filled the cooler, sprayed ourselves with copious amounts of 80+ sunblock, I slathered clear zinc on my belly button, put on my bikini (woot!) and we headed outside. Where it was 116. Ouch. We've had a heat wave, and this is when we always wonder what the heck we're doing here in AZ, lol. Into the pool we go... I think the water was 100. Ha! Didn't count on that! Regardless, we splashed and played and had a ball! Bethany spent most of the day with us being dorks in the pool - and then we decided to stage our own olympic races.

Bad Idea.
Remember this about me?

Yes, I am graceful.
Thank you, Carlene! This is so me!

Well, it doesn't change simply because I am in the pool. Let's just say that I missed my olympic turn and... yes, yes I did. I went straight into the wall.

I think it still bears my face-print. My face certainly bears the wall print. I have a black eye. Even with icing it for the rest of the night, I still woke with a real shiner. Seriously - my hubby was afraid to let me leave the house with it! He was sure he'd be arrested, lol! Thankfully, I own this...
Benefit Cosmetics - Boi-ing  
It saved my bacon. And my face. When it's on, the bruise is nearly invisible. Industrial strength concealer - yes, I use that. Tools of the Klutz.

So how was your weekend?  ;-)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I'm BACK!!!!

Last week was crazy with trying to get ready and organized for school to start up again, plus prepare for an out of state wedding. We got it done - ok, I got it done, lol, and as today is the first day of school, we're settling back in.

First - the wedding. This was my Father-in-Law's wedding (don't ask what #, lol). It was beautiful, and there were no major glitches. We socialized and had a good time. Until Sunday. Let me give you the back-story.  My hubby... my beloved hubby, was in charge of transportation for the two of us. Awhile back I received an email confirmation of our flight. My first twinge of concern came when I saw the company through whom he had booked. Cheapo Air. Really? My next twinge was when I saw the return date. September 3rd. Ummmmm.... NO. I call him up and point out this tiny little error - we are NOT staying in Oregon for a MONTH.

A few minutes later, I get a 2nd confirmation email. This time, the dates are correct - oh, and it cost an arm, leg and kidney to make the change on dear Cheapo Air. Then I look at the flights themselves. Now, I like to fly. I enjoy it. By flying, I am referring to those HUGE, STABLE, SAFE jumbo jets. NOT a little, tiny prop plane. Those, my friends, are for island hopping and only to be boarded after several mai-tai's.

Here's how it played out... we flew out of Phoenix at 6am (you do realize this means we're in the airport at 5am - our alarm was set for 3am - which after watching the Olympics until 10:30pm, was... rough. Lol). We flew to Seattle, then switched to a puddle-jumper and flew to Redmond, Oregon. Fairly tame, minus the white-knuckles on the 2nd plane - and I use the word 'plane' loosely.

On our return, our ride dropped us off at the airport in Redmond  3 hours before our flight (cuz we weren't spending enough time sitting in an airport, evidently). UGH. And there is NOTHING at the Redmond airport. NOTHING. We watched Shrek in the airport lounge. Twice. Finally, we fly from Redmond on a puddle jumper (this one was even smaller!) to Portland, then FOUR HOURS LATER, fly back home to Phoenix. FYI - it only takes 3 hours to drive from Redmond to Portland. THEN.... the daughter who was supposed to pick us up at 11pm - her phone battery died - she didn't know what flight we were on, or what terminal (cuz they switched our last flight to another airline - nice)... so she sat, in the rain, at Terminal 2, while we stood, in the rain, at Terminal 4. If you're familiar with Phoenix International, you know that 2 and 4 are like a couple of cities apart. Seriously. T-2 isn't even in the airport loop. Not kidding.

One hour later, we finally figured out she was probably at 2, where we had flown out of, and we hopped an airport shuttle over there - yep, sure enough, there she was. We all yelled and grumbled, then drove home. Not a fun time. Got home at 1am, crashed, and were up at 5 to start the week. No grocery shopping, no food prep, no laundry. This is not how my CDO likes things. ;-)

So, Monday, after work, I dashed home to pick up my daughter for high school registration. I ran in, yelled for her, changed my shoes, then we ran out to the car where it was this...
Yes, that does say 116 degrees. We got through registration, then came home to grab a bite to eat then head back out for her appointment in Mesa (a good 30 minutes away at this time of day), and guess what?

The car wouldn't start.

Had radio, had air, had dash lights... did not have engine. Nothing. Silence. Remember the last times this happened? TIMES, not time. http://blog.recipeforfitness.com/2011/07/competitor-must-flex-more-than-just.html  and more recently http://blog.recipeforfitness.com/2012/05/ready-for-week.html

The very nice roadside assistance man came to my home, played around with it, got a funny look on his face, leaned into my car to stare at the gear shift, and.... stepped on the brake, put it in neutral and started it right up. AREYOUKIDDINGME??????  Evidently, it's not a battery problem my car has, it's a sensor problem in the gear shift. Unbelievable. He told me that had I just not gotten it all the way into Park, I wouldn't have been able to remove my key from the ignition (yeah, I can agree with that, not that it's happened to me or anything), so this was definitely a sensor issue, he said.

We made it to the appointment (by the skin of our teeth, I think we had 26 seconds to kill), then I headed over to a store nearby to do my belated grocery shopping. Lemme tell ya, this week it's all about convenience! Frozen pre-cooked brown rice, slaw/stirfry (see yesterday's recipe), cottage cheese, greek yogurt, pre-cooked chicken (low sodium, no filler), pre-chopped veggies (I hate spending the extra $ on that!), and then the usual fresh fruit. I drove back to pick up my daughter and home we went. I spent some time organizing the groceries, then flopped into bed to watch the Olympics. Day over, right?


At 9pm my phone rang. It was my other daughter. Hysterical.

"I lost my car!"  sobbing
You mean, you're lost?
"NO!!! I lost my car!!!"  sobbing
"I did a delivery to an apartment complex, had to walk around to find the apartment, then can't find where I parked! I hate my job!!!!"  sobbing
Where are you?
"A HUGE apartment complex at Frank Lloyd Wright and 90th Street." sobbing
Do you want us to drive over and help you?
"YES!!!!" sobbing
Ok, stay on the line with me, we're heading over right now. driving like mad-people for about a mile...
"I found it!!!!"
You found your car?
Are you in it? Are you safe?
"Yes. I'm going back to work now. Thanks."
Ok. Let me know when you get home tonight.
"Ok. Bye."

Bill and I sat in the car and snickered, then laughed until our belly's hurt and eyes teared. We both agreed to not tease her about it for a few days.

Her time is nearly up  ;-)

Happy Wednesday, folks!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Champion Nutrition Recipe of the Week - Turkey Stir-Fry!

When I first began my weight-loss / fitness journey, my trainer introduced me to this recipe, and because it's so easy, so quick, and so tasty, it has stayed in my regular lineup ever since. The family loves it, I love it, and it's super portable, too! Serve it over a bed of brown rice if you've got room for carbs!

Easy Stirfry
by Tabitha Citro, tweaked by Chelle Stafford ;-)

Makes 6 servings

●  1.25 lb Ground Chicken Breast (* I've also done this with extra lean ground turkey breast, Buffalo, Pork, and Beef - as long as it's EXTRA LEAN it will work!) 
●  1 bag Broccoli Slaw (produce section of grocery store - includes: Shredded broccoli stems, carrots and red cabbage) - 12 oz
●  1 cup chopped peppers, raw (use a variety of colors!)
●  1 cup chopped mushrooms, raw
●  1 can (8 oz) sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
●  Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb
●  *optional - 1/2 tsp fresh minced ginger
●  Bragg's Liquid Aminos (I use the spray bottle)
●  *optional - cooked brown rice (1/2 cup per serving)

● Brown the meat, season with Mrs Dash. Drain and set aside.
● Add Broccoli slaw, mushrooms & peppers to pan, lightly season with Mrs Dash. Add 1/2 cup water (or chicken broth). Cover pan and allow to steam for about 5 minutes.
● Add meat back into pan, add water chestnuts and spray liberally with Bragg's Aminos. Mix well and serve.
● Serve over brown rice if desired (adjust nutrition info accordingly).

NUTRITION: per serving - 146 calories, 23 g protein, 7 g carbohydrate, 3 g fat, 2 g fiber.