Thursday, November 29, 2012

Food, Wedding, and Playlists... it's Random Day! Woot!

What a day! Whew! Ok, back up.

Last night... Wednesday is our bowling league night... not a good night for me. I suggested halfway through the 2nd game that we switch sports ;-) Lol. My clean eats went with me, and since we're there so long, I also packed snacky foods... I made a batch of my protein popcorn - YUM! Everyone loved it, thought it tasted like kettle corn - of course, I didn't tell anyone what it was until after they devoured it. Mwahahaha!  Told ya healthy could be tasty! Ha! ;-)

Back home, we chatted with Shiloh about wedding stuff. Namely that we can't set a date yet. Jared doesn't get his orders until somewhere between March and May, so we have to work around that little "date" detail. Oy! Anyway, Shi and I agreed to meet up today at Home Depot after she got off work to peruse the paint chips to start planning her color scheme (great idea! Hers!). So....

Today, after Bill left for work, I hit the gym for my hour of pain, lol - which was made unusually cruel because my amazing December playlist got jumbled when I sync'd the iPod last night. I very specifically order my tunes for the grueling work I'm doing... having stuff out of order was NOT ok. Yes, it messed with my CDO (that's OCD, but alphabetical like it should be). I made it through the workout, then spent some much needed time stretching, then headed home to ice the shoulder and knees and eat my breakfast. At which point, I emphatically fixed my iPod. Lol. So then I worked away the morning (yes, I did take a shower, haha), then headed out to meet Shiloh.

I parked my car in the Home Depot parking lot. Locked it. Walked toward the entrance and called her.

"Marco" I said
"Polo", she replied.
"Where are you?"
"I'm in the paint, where are you?"
"Parking lot, I'm heading in."
"I'm walking to the door to meet you..... where are you?"
"Shiloh."
"Mom."
"Are you at the Home Depot on Hayden? The one behind your work?"
"....."
"Where are you?"
"The Home Depot by Fry's."
"Why?"
"Cuz I didn't know there was a Home Depot by my work...?"

UGH. I hopped back in the car and drove to the OTHER Home Depot. The root of this little irritation? I ASSUMED. Lol.  Oops!

After she chose her color scheme, we hit the bookstore and this was our haul... of course, this is AFTER we got her organizer (The Anti-Bride Wedding Planner - it's pretty cool!, The Everything Father of the Bride book, The Everything Mother of the Bride book, The Knot Bridesmaid Handbook, and several other wedding books... yeesh! My Barnes and Noble membership totally paid for itself and then some!)

The Color Scheme...


I'm still a bit shocked that we're planning our daughter's wedding. ???? Sigh. She's downstairs right now clipping photos and creating her organizational Binder. Nakki is helping her, lol.

Ok, I'm getting emotional. Back to the Workout / Cardio Playlists... lol.

 The December lists are up! Woot! The first one is the playlist that has kept me seriously fired up all week! I don't want to stop because the beats are pushing me! I LOVE this list!! I have a second December list, but haven't even used it yet, lol, because I've only been listening to this one. I'm tellin' ya... start it off with LL Cool J, throw in some Manafest, Linkin Park, Def Leppard, Pitbull... this is a kickin' playlist! FUN!

What are you listening too? What tunes drive you?






Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Champion Nutrition Recipe of the Week - Crockpot Chili

Here in AZ, we don't really get what you'd call "weather". At least not here in Scottsdale/Phoenix. BUT... the temperature is dropping and I have officially dubbed this Chili Season. It's cool enough that I can justify using my car-heater (ok, only at 6am, but still!), and therefore it's time to bring back chili!

This is my absolute favorite recipe for chili! High in protein, packed full of energy giving complex carbs, and sooo versatile! Around our house, chili goes a long way... Bowls of chili, chili topped nachos, chili topped salads, chili topped potatoes, chili topped hot dogs (uncured!), chili quesadillas, chili burritos, chili burgers, pasta, spaghetti squash... Yum!


I love to use Bison for my chili, as it's lean but still high in CLA, but you can also use ground beef, ground chicken breast, ground turkey breast, ground lean pork, or whatever!


Chelle's Chili
Makes 11 cups.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lb's ground beef (or other meat) - tip: I often use 1 lb of beef or bison, and 1 lb of chicken breast to reduce the fat
  • 3 15-oz cans various beans, low sodium or no salt added - drain & rinse well. (I use pinto, black, kidney, & cannelini beans)
  • 2 large(28 oz) cans Muir Glen Organic Crushed Tomatoes (Fire Roasted) - Do not drain
  • 1 Can (14.5 oz) Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted with Chipotle, diced tomatoes - Do not drain
  • 2 tsp dehydrated onion or finely chopped shallot
  • 2 Tbsp Mrs Dash Southwest Chipotle
  • 2 Tbsp Mrs Dash Fiesta Lime (and if you want it hotter, you can use Mrs Dash Spicy)

DIRECTIONS

  • Brown the meat with the seasoning, drain (if there's a lot of grease, run hot water over the meat in a sieve/colander to really reduce the fat). 
  • Drain all the beans & rinse well (this will drastically reduce the sodium)
  • Put beans & meat in crockpot, add the canned tomatoes (don't drain), onion/shallot, spices and stir. 
  • Cook on Low for 4-6 hours, or High for 2 hours.


Toppings...
Pico de gallo
Plain greek yogurt (in place of sour cream)
Sharp shredded cheddar (a little goes a long way)
Reduced Fat Feta
Diced Onion
Sliced Green Onion
Diced fresh jalapeno

NUTRITION 

Recipe makes 11 cups of chili.  1 cup serving = 332 calories; 33.8 g carbs; 9.4 g fiber; 35 g protein; 643 mg sodium; 8.3 g sugar; 5.1 g fat. 26 grams net carbs.





Saturday, November 24, 2012

Small Business Saturday! 25% Coupon Code for our Meal Plans!!

http://shop.recipeforfitness.com/?coupon=SMALLBIZ
In honor of Small Business Saturday, we're offering you additional incentive to support small business ;-) DISCOUNT! Woot!

Today and tomorrow only, enjoy 25% off any meal plan (one week or one month!). Each plan includes a comprehensive Getting Started and FAQ Guide, along with the plan, shopping list, recipes and  more!

Take control of your diet and reach your goals! Nutrition is 80% of reaching and maintaining your goal weight - we make that 80% easy! Tasty food, lifestyle tips and resources, and support. Every meal plan comes with email support. You have questions? We have answers. You can absolutely change your life! We're here to help.

Check out our plans, and don't forget that discount! :-)

http://shop.recipeforfitness.com/?coupon=SMALLBIZ

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's Official!

It's an especially beautiful holiday! My beloved Shiloh is now engaged! Back in September when we visited San Diego for her boyfriend's Marine boot-camp graduation, (and I had my close encounter with a duck), he (Jared) had "the talk" with my husband...

...to ask for Shiloh's hand in marriage. Awww! 

Bill was disappointed that he couldn't have one of his nice swords to "clean" while the talk took place, but transporting weapons across state lines is frowned upon ;-) Haha! I'm sure he'll pull that out for at least one of our other girls when the time comes.

Be warned Ariel and Bethany!

Jared is currently stationed in Florida, and Shiloh and his Mom flew out to spend the holiday with him. He surprised her on the beach today with his Grandmother's ring, and she's now officially on Cloud 9. ;-)




Wasn't it just yesterday, my little girl was, well, a little girl?  Time truly does fly. We are so proud of the woman she's become and she continues to bring us joy.


We approve whole-heartedly of Jared - he's a wonderful young man and we're proud to welcome him into our family. May the gods have mercy on him, lol.


He and Shiloh bring out the best in each other, and we look forward to seeing what life has in store for them.
Congratulations!








Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Turkey-Day! Meandering Musings...

With all that our family has gone through in the last year, I am most thankful that we're still here, still together, a family. I love my family, and I'm grateful for their love. I am thankful for each wonderful member, those near and far.  I'm also thankful to you - you guys keep me going. Thank you for your support, your emails and posts. Thank you for visiting my blog and site - for laughing with me, and sometimes crying with me, too.

How's your holiday? Ours is nice and quiet ;-)  The dishes are done, the food put away (yay for leftovers!), and the kids have all scattered. We're minus Shiloh this holiday, as she's in Florida with her boyfriend and his family (that's where he's stationed right now), and now that dinner is over, the other two oldest have taken off for whatever young-adult entertainment, and the youngest is chilling on her computer (probably facebook, lol). Bill is watching tv, flipping between the game and Moonshiners (haha), and I'm trying to keep my eyes open.

The turkey tasted great - which was a relief as I'd had a couple mishaps. The first, no surprise, was when I tried to turn it around in the brine bucket. It wobbled, bobbled, slipped and splashed - I was soaked. Boooo. I'm really, really glad there was no one around with a camera. Not my most graceful moment. Lol.

The second mishap caused me some panic today... My plan was to get the bird in the oven by 8am so it would be done by 1:30-2:00. Because we were having T-day at my father in law's house, I was concerned about transporting the turkey - then I found this awesome turkey-roaster at WalMart! It's like a crockpot for the turkey! Woot! I was sooo excited! Ya'll know how I feel about crockpots! I own 7! And yes, I use them all.  

Anyway... I opened up the box last night, cleaned it, set it up, then finished up my prep. This morning, I preheated the roaster, pulled the bird out of the brine (no splashing this time!), set it in and worked on the rest of the food. I basted every 30 minutes, like normal, for 2 hours. Then, I lifted the lid to discover the meat pulling away from the leg bones... WHAT??? It was nearly done. In fact, by 11am, that 20 lb bird was cooked. Are you kidding me? How? Why? The roaster was at the right temp, why did it cook so freakishly fast?? I have no idea. None. Stumped. Flummoxed. I lowered it to warm, and just kept basting it until it was time to take the food over.

Terrified that the bird would be overcooked, I made extra gravy ;-) hahaha! Turns out, the meat was moist and flavorful - not as moist as usual, but still good. I don't know what went wrong with my roaster, but at least the damage was minimal.

We had the traditional roasted turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, dressing, cranberry sauce and yams.  There were a variety of pies, and I made my Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cookie Skillet - YUM! As we drove home, we were talking about the skillet, and my hubby says, "you know why they loved it? Because they didn't know it was healthy."  LOL. I'm sure he's right. We'll just keep that little secret to ourselves, shall we? ;-)  Did you sneak in any healthy options at your celebration?

So, with my turkey drama behind me, and a full weekend ahead, I am ready to relax. No black friday shopping for me - at least not in public. I'll stick with my online specials and leave the crowds to those far braver than me. ;-)

Happy Holiday!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Champion Nutrition Recipe of the Week - Protein Cinnamon Rolls!

How about a holiday treat that won't take you off track? This recipe takes a bit more time than my usual, but it's worth it! Especially if you choose the frosted option ;-)

Cinnamon Protein Rolls
by Chelle Stafford
makes 9 rolls

INGREDIENTS

Tea:
2 spiced chai tea bags
1/2 cup boiling water

Filling:
4 oz softened fat free cream cheese
2 Tbsp coconut butter (not solid coconut oil, real coconut butter which is the ground flesh of the coconut - I use Artisan brand)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp Truvia Baking Blend
2 Tbsp ground flax seed
1/4 tsp sea salt

Dough:
1 cup whole wheat white, bread flour
1 cup coconut flour
1 heaping cup Champion Nutrition Pure Whey Protein Powder, Vanilla
2 packets Stevia
2 tsp baking powder
1 egg, plus 1 egg white
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tbsp vanilla

DIRECTIONS


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a muffin pan with cooking oil

In a cup, add 1/2 cup boiling water to 2 chai tea bags, let steep.

In a small bowl, combine 4 oz cream cheese, 2 Tbsp coconut butter (not oil, actual coconut butter which is the ground flesh of the coconut), 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 Tbsp of the tea. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp Truvia Baking Blend with 2 Tbsp ground flax and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup whole wheat white bread flour, 1 cup coconut flour, 1 heaping cup protein powder, 2 packets Stevia, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp baking powder. Whisk together.

Add 1 egg, 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, 1 Tbsp vanilla extract, and the rest of the tea (squeeze out the bags into the bowl).

Mix well. Cover and chill in refrigerator 20 minutes.

Sprinkle flour on countertop and rolling pin.

Flatten dough and roll out, sprinkling with flour as needed. When dough is about 1/3 - 1/2" thick, spread cream cheese mixture across it. Sprinkle with the flax/truvia/cinnamon blend. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Roll up dough, short end to short end. Cut off and discard uneven ends.Mark 9 even pieces with a knife.

Slice the roll into 9 pieces, and place each into a well of the muffin tin.

Mix 1 tsp water with 1 egg white and brush over the tops and visible sides of the rolls.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, then turn off oven and leave rolls inside for another 5 minutes.

Remove to cooling rack.  Serve warm, or refrigerate until needed.

**If desired, mix 4 oz cream cheese with 2 packets stevia (or 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup), adding just enough milk or almond milk (unsweetened) to make it thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle topping over rolls.

NUTRITION
Unfrosted:  
212 ccalories, 15 grams protein, 25 grams carbs, 6 grams fat, 9 grams fiber. 16 grams net carbs.
Frosted:    
235 calories, 16 grams protein, 29 grams carbs, 6 grams fat, 9 grams fiber. 20 grams net carbs.

Roll out the chilled dough and spread cream cheese mix.
Sprinkle on the flax/trivia mixture, then sprinkle sea salt.
Roll it up, starting with the short end.
Place slices in the muffin wells.

Cool slightly. Frost if desired.



Monday, November 19, 2012

A Remote, An IRONMAN, And a Turkey

Friday night, I got a rare treat - No one was home. Just me and the dogs. Bill had poker night with the guys, the girls were either at work or hanging with friends, and I was alone. Gloriously alone! I took possession of the remote control (I might have done a 'I have the remote' boogie) and booted up Disney-Pixar's Brave! Then Tangled. ;-) It was wonderful! While enjoying my movies, I worked (and worked) on more Meal Plans and other RecipeForFitness.com tasks, then drove over to pick up the hubby - who has been crowned Poker King, to the distress (and disgust) of more than a few. Something about "runner-runner" though I have no idea what that means.

Though I'd vowed to stay safely at home since my banana-peel incident, I snuck out again on Saturday to visit with a friend. Angela was here in AZ to compete in the AZ IRONMAN - and lemme tell ya, she ROCKED it! Woooohooo! Her hubby kept us posted throughout the day with photos and updates, and we watched the Athlete Tracker on the IRONMAN website - it was so fun! I loved being able to 'see' her through each checkpoint, and cheer on her progress.

She swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles, then ran a full marathon - 26.2 miles! It is absolutely incredible what the body and mind are capable of, and she has truly earned the title of IRONMAN. I am honored to count this amazing elite athlete as my friend. Way to go, Angela!!! Wooooohoooo!!!!

Throughout her race, I was doing my non-endurance activities ;-) Sunday Food Prep, and I'm set for the week, including the holiday. We'll be heading to my father-in-law's, and I'm in charge of the turkey and such. I'm brining it, per my usual - it seems like brining would make the turkey higher in sodium, but it doesn't. Just one of those mysteries, lol. So tomorrow, I'll be waging war with a floppy bird, a 5 gallon bucket and a few gallons of both boiling and ice cold liquid. Last year I had no problem, but the year before... well, it wasn't pretty.

So, speaking of the holiday - and all that food... 

Unfortunately, the holiday season has become synonymous with gluttony and weight gain. It doesn't have to be that way. Yes, you can enjoy your holiday meals, the treats, and you can still stay on track! I've posted about this before, and thought I'd share it again here. If you're trying to lose or maintain your weight, the holiday season does not have to strike fear in your heart.

YOU are in control. Always.

Here are my tips ;-)

Solving the Dilemma of Holiday Eating

It's Almost Thanksgiving

And, just 'cuz I'm a geek ;-) here's a little Turkey-Day humor (no offense intended to you vegetarians out there!)


Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Banana Peel?? Really????

You know, I thought the whole slipping on a banana peel was an urban legend. I mean, really, who does that? Well, let me tell you who... ME. Yep, that's right. I slipped on a banana peel. Does my klutz know no bounds? Indeed.

Here's how it, haha, went down.

I'd spent the morning working to get the shopping cart on the new Recipe For Fitness storefront finished - I'd spent much time on the phone with GoDaddy figuring out the many nuances, I'd uploaded and downloaded, and worked until my eyes were crossed. Ready for a break, I dashed out the door to run my errands. WalMart finished (and that is NEVER an easy trip - people really are crazy, seriously), and having given in to the lure of the extra large turkey, I had a trunk full of perishables, but needed to make two more stops.

Bank first - I pulled in, and aware of a thawing turkey, knew I had to make this quick. I grabbed my wallet, keys, and the new bank card to activate, threw open my door, stepped out and though something caught my eye, I was focused on the task at hand and sprinted for the bank doors. Inside I was informed that, No, Sorry, We can't activate here on site. You have to call the number on the card. 

Really? I'd left my cell phone in the car. RATS!

Back out to the car. I get in and close my door (wouldn't want another bank patron to pull into the space next to me and take off my door - I've seen that commercial on tv!). As the car got stuffy, and warm (ummm, thawing turkey!), I dialed and heard a message: "This number has been changed. Please call...."  Argh! I didn't have anything to write with handy, so had to dig through my purse, grab a notepad and pen, then redial to hear the number again.

Car is getting warmer. I call the new number and punched my way through the automated prompts only to be told by a snarky computer that my information was incorrect and I needed to hold for a real person.

Warming Car. I can't turn it now on to get the AC because the bluetooth is finicky and disconnects if I'm already on a call. Finally, I am connected to a representative, who runs me through the process then says, "Ok, next we need your  EIN."  I don't have my EIN handy. "Sorry. Call back when you do."

Visions of salmonella are dancing in my head.

I hang up. Pull up my email app - I know I sent the form to myself at one point. I run the search, get the number, dial back and go through the whole thing all over again. Successful this time, now I just need to go back inside the bank, pick the pin and I can head back out. The turkey will be saved!

I grab my wallet, my phone, my keys, and my newly activated card. I throw open the door, stepped down, swung my other leg out, stood, and went WOOOSH! Looking like a surfer hallucinating in a parking lot, I scrambled for my balance. What the heck just happened??? Remember that blur I noticed in my hurry to get into the bank? Should have paid attention.

I look down, and there, on the ground, with my heel print in it and a smear across the pavement is a banana peel.

Are you kidding me? 

This is when it occurs to me, my next stop needs to be home. Where it's safe. Where there are no banana peels on the ground. Where I can put my turkey safely in the refrigerator.

I haven't left the house since. ;-)


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

We're Open For Business!!

I am doing the happy dance. You know, the one that mortifies my family and friends? That one. Yes, yes I am. Why? Because the Recipe For Fitness Store is finally (FINALLY) open!!! 
We're OPEN!!!!
Woot, woot! C'mon now... join me in my happy dance! :-) 

I've fought with code, with gateway-dogma, with irrelevant templates - it's been a battle, but I have prevailed! Ummm, maybe I'm a wee bit giddy. Lol! While the current "look" of the store still doesn't mesh with the site (I am currently waging war on that front), the store itself is up, secure, and ready for business! Woohoooo!!!!

You'll find meal plans for 1400 calories/day, 1600, 1800 and 2000. Each calorie range includes 4 unique one-week plans, plus a one-month plan (which comprises all four).

What's included: 
Introduction explaining the plan and helpful tips to get you started.
FAQ
Single-Day Food Prep Guide
Food Log / Journal - a blank journal page so you can log your food in a similar format to your meal plan.
Meal Plan - 1 week of meals, from breakfast through dinner, and all three snacks (plans are designed to be followed for multiple weeks).
Shopping List - based on the meal plan
Recipes - Every recipe in the meal plan is provided, along with nutritional information

Email Support - Every purchase gives you email support - if you've got questions, we're here for you!

The ONE-MONTH plan includes all four week-long plans for that calorie range in one PDF.

Each meal plan is comprehensive - from basic info to prep to meals to shopping lists and recipes, it's all at your fingertips! There's a LOT of info in there, more than just a simple meal plan. My goal is to provide folks with affordable resources to help them gain control over their nutrition and reach (and maintain) their goal weight. You've heard that nutrition is 80% of reaching goal weight, with exercise being 10% and genetics being the remaining 10%... well these plans are designed to make the 80% make sense - and make it doable.

There are a variety of plans available - from 1400 calories/day to 2000 calories/day, each with several plans to choose from. In addition, I'm also offering several levels of custom meal plans - though the Custom Plans are still "coming soon" as I've got to catch my breath! LOL! 


Head on over, take a peek, and as always, feel free to contact me with feedback! :-)  



Champion Nutrition Recipe of the Week - TMT Sauce


The inspiration for this recipe came from the May/June 2010 issue of Clean Eating Magazine. The flavors were good, but the nutritional profile and texture weren't what I wanted... I tweaked and tweaked until this TMT Sauce was given a round of thumbs-up. High protein, and packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, this training-friendly sauce is a meal by itself!

Pair it with Quinoa or Whole Wheat pasta, a baked potato, jasmine or brown rice... it's versatile and incredibly filling!


TMT Sauce
Turkey, Mushroom and Tomato Sauce

by Chelle Stafford
Makes 6 servings

INGREDIENTS:

1.25 lb 99% lean Ground Turkey Breast
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Medium Red Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
12 oz Portabello or Crimini Mushrooms
1/2 tsp Thyme
2 15-oz cans Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1 26-oz can Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes, undrained
Sea-Salt to taste
Cracked Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Heat olive oil in a large pan and sauté onions until lightly browned, 3-4 min. Stirring often.

Add garlic, sauté for 1 min, then stir in mushrooms and thyme. Continue to cook over high heat until the mushrooms have softened and given off their juices.

Add tomatoes (undrained) and cook until the mixture is thick, about 10 minutes.*

TIP: *For stronger flavors, simmer on low for 45 minutes.

NUTRITION  Per serving: 250 calories, 27 g protein, 20 g carbs, 6 g fat, 4 g fiber.  16 g net carbs.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

FDA Warning - Bee Pollen Supplement

As a nutritionist, I keep my ear to the ground where supplements are concerned. I wanted to share with you a notice that just came across my desk. Recently the FDA warned consumers about a specific Bee Pollen supplement which was found to contain a banned drug. The supplement company has voluntarily issued a recall, but anyone who has this supplement needs to stop taking it immediately, due to potential life-threatening side effects. 

Again, this is not a wholesale Bee Pollen warning - it is limited to the specific brand. I've pasted the warning notice below, and encourage you to check the label on your bee pollen supplement, if you're taking one.

In addition, please read the notice below the bee pollen warning, for two more products found containing the same dangerous drug.

Recall of "Bee Pollen" Supplement Found to Contain Drug
(Date Posted: 11/6/2012)On October 24, 2012, Zi Xiu Tang Success, LLC issued a voluntary recall of Classic Zi Xiu Tang Bee Pollen Capsules and Ultimate Formula Capsules because the supplements contain the undeclared drug sibutramine. On the same day, the FDA warned consumers not to take Zi Xiu Tang Bee Pollen Capsules because the agency had confirmed the presence of the undeclared drug.
Sibutramine is a controlled substance which was removed from the prescription drug market in 2010 due to the potential for life-threatening side-effects and interactions with other medications. This substance can increase blood pressure and pulse rate, and may present a significant risk for individuals with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure and arrhythmias.
Both supplements were distributed nationwide to consumers and distributors from May 1, 2012 to October 17, 2012.
Consumers who have purchased this product should stop taking it immediately and consult their healthcare provider if they have any concerns or experience any side-effects.
Consumers and their healthcare providers are encouraged to report adverse events to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.
See ConsumerLab.com's Review of Weight Loss Supplements for tests of related products.
For more information about this recall, use the red link below.
http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm326267.htm?source=govdelivery

Latest News:  FDA Warns Consumers of Two Weight Loss Supplements Containing a Drug 
(Date Posted: 11/9/2012)
On November 8, 2012, the FDA warned consumers not to buy or use weight loss supplements Beautiful Body Slim and Japan Hokkaido Slimming Weight Loss Pills after FDA testing found these products contain the drug sibutramine.
Sibutramine is a controlled substance which was removed from the prescription drug market in 2010 due to the potential for life-threatening side-effects and interactions with other medications. This substance can increase blood pressure and pulse rate, and may present a significant risk for individuals with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure and arrhythmias.
Consumers who have purchased this product should stop taking it immediately and consult their healthcare provider if they have any concerns or experience any side-effects.
Consumers and their healthcare providers are encouraged to report adverse events to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.
Beautiful Body Slim may have been sold in retail stores and online on various websites, including www.houseofmonet.com. (Click here to see the FDA’s consumer warning about this product).
Japan Hokkaido Slimming Weight Loss Pills may have been sold in retail stores and on various websites including www.ebay.com. (Click here or use the red link below to see the FDA’s consumer warning about this product.)
See ConsumerLab.com’s Review of Weight Loss Supplements for tests of related products.
http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/MedicationHealthFraud/ucm327451.htm?source=govdelivery

Friday, November 9, 2012

It Was a Dark and Crazy Night...

It looked like we were in for a quiet, restful evening.

The dogs fed, and medicated (Nakki), human dinner was enjoyed and put away, the dishes washed, the counters wiped, computers shut down and work put away for the night (finished another set of meal plans!), and on went the jammies. With the hubby watching the game from (what used to be) my comfy recliner (he commandeered it after my recovery from surgery. Drat!), I settled onto the bed with my dog, my iBook and a glass of Disaronno.

I got one sip, cuz that peaceful interlude lasted 15 minutes.

Shiloh (19) had stayed home from work that day, significant in that she's discovered Mom & Dad don't pay for fun anymore, lol, and a job is the answer to her financial desires. No fever, but very much in pain. We dealt with it throughout the day, but after dinner, after everyone was all snug & comfy, it got worse. Common sense (and a quick spin through Dr. Google and WebMD) indicated a trip to the E.R. was in order.

Back into clothes, we dashed to the car and headed down the road. Quick registration (I've never been in an emergency room that moved that efficiently!), then Triage, then into a room to meet with the doctor.


An ultrasound, much bloodwork (Shi is convinced there's a resident vampire in the hospital dependent on her blood), and a CT scan later, the diagnosis was in... a double whammy for my girl... appendicitis and a burst cyst. As we are the sarcastic type, the hubby looked over at Shi and said, "Well, I guess that's good 'cuz I'd have been pissed if we came here and it was just gas." ;-)

As the worst is behind her with the cyst, and the appendicitis is not acute, we were sent home, with prescriptions and instructions to keep an eye out for fevers and/or increased pain. We spent 3 hours in the E.R. Probably the shortest stint we've had over the many years, though I'm quite sure the bill we receive in the mail will not represent that. Ouch. It stings already.

Today she's resting, still hurting, but it's easing. Well, at least it was until the puppy decided to express his undying love and jump onto her belly. That wasn't pleasant. For any of us, lol. The doctor from last night called her first thing this morning to check on her, and all is so-far, so-good.

I have to say, it was a bit odd not having to be the one filling out the paperwork, (and with 4 kids, we've filled out a LOT of hospital paperwork, haha)... as she's an adult, she gets the honors. She's still my little girl, so yeah, it was odd. Seems a strange milestone, I suppose, watching her sign hospital admittance papers as an adult, but there it is. Sigh. Makes me feel a little old, lol. And nostalgic, which Shiloh did NOT appreciate ;-)  But one of the joys of motherhood is embarrassing your children - grown or otherwise. hehehe.

So, here we are. It's Friday, right?  ;-) Ohmygosh... I just realized how close we are to Black Friday! YIKES!

In rare form, I managed to get photos of every meal yesterday! Woot! Those are up on the Recent Coolers page. And now, I am heading back to those meal plans. Nearly there! I have the 2000 and 1800 calorie plans done, am halfway through the 1600's, then will do the 1400 plans then another batch of super-simple plans. Once they're all plugged into the shopping cart, we'll go live! Wooohoo! In the meantime, there are several FREE sample plans available, along with lots of resources to help you eat clean and take control of your nutrition. Check it out! http://recipeforfitness.com/services/downloads.html


Thursday, November 8, 2012

FUN New Cookbook and Recipe-Fail Prevention

Many of you know that I am a cookbook-addict. You might be rendered speechless, should you ever see just how many I actually have - let alone, recipes I've printed off the internet, or magazine recipes. It could be an episode of Hoarders. Just sayin'.  Anyway, I found myself in Barnes and Noble yesterday - I went there for 3 specific reasons - the new Nora Roberts book, the new Eating Clean Cookbook 3, and the Nov/Dec issue of Clean Eating Magazine. Well, the Nora Roberts and Clean Eating Magazine were right where they belonged, but the cookbook was out of stock. I checked the inventory in my area - out of stock within a 20 mile range. Boooo.

So what's a girl to do? Peruse the other cookbooks, of course. ;-) I'm always on the lookout for what is "hot" - the trends in diet and non-diet resources. As I meandered through the stacks, I spied a title that stopped me cold. No way. Really? I read it again - nope, hadn't mis-read it - and HAD to pull it out and give it a look-see.

It's called LooneySpoons - and it's HYSTERICAL! These two sisters are fabulous! Healthy recipes with great nutrition info and tips - plus the puns. Oh, the puns! I was rolling! Especially, once I found the recipe to the right... When you can work Darth Vader into a recipe title, you have earned my respect! LOL! Here's a link to their book info: http://janetandgreta.com/cookbook/the-looneyspoons-collection/


There are several (and I mean SEVERAL) recipes that made it to my 'must try' list, and I really love the sense of balance they portray. Plus, they have a recipe called Obi Wonton Kenobi ;-)   How can I go wrong?? hehehe! (SciFi Geeks UNITE!)

As I finished up the book (yes, I went through every page last night), I found a poem right at the end. As I read it (and re-read it) my husband thought I'd lost my mind. I was laughing so hard I was crying, and just kept gasping, "Yeah! What SHE said!"

What was this mirth that stole my breath? 

Well, see, here's the backstory... I'm a recipe developer. That's a very, very big part of what I do. I create recipes for Champion Nutrition USA (facebook), I create recipes for World Physique Magazine Women, I create recipes for www.RecipeForFitness.com. Like any recipe developer, I get emails from people who have made my recipes. The vast majority are positive. But then there are those few (and thankfully far between) that are... well, peeved. The recipe didn't work, they tell me. They tried it twice, and there's something wrong with it.


Fix it, they say.

Hmmmm. Let's chat, I say.

Back and forth we go as I try to pinpoint the problem.

Ahhhh, there it is. Yes, I see now. It's actually quite simple... You didn't follow the recipe.

Eh? Yes, I did, and it didn't work!! 

No. You didn't. You substituted X for Y. You eliminated Z. You added A, B, and C. And you used a different pan. That's not my recipe. 

Silence.

Try it again, this time following the recipe, and let me know how it comes out.

Silence.

Typically, at this point, I don't ever hear back.

Recipes are specific. While there's room to tweak them and make them your own (which I encourage), drastically changing them will drastically change the outcome. Period. It's like math. 2+2=4. If you make one of the 2's into a 3, you do NOT get 4. While 5 might be nice, it's still not 4. Or 5 might be a flat, tasteless, hard blob instead of the round, flavorful, cookie/muffin that 4 is. Make sense?

Again, I'm not saying don't tweak - A perfect example of how tweaking a recipes can result in success is BeneficialBento's meatballs based on my Chicken Loaves. She did a great job and created her own tasty recipe!  So what am I saying? What I'm sayin' is follow the recipe or don't blame me for the results ;-)

So what are some of the usual suspects? 

Flour is first and foremost. Typically, in a recipe calling for coconut flour, someone will substitute a different choice. Here's the problem. Coconut flour has a unique personality. It absorbs liquid like there's no tomorrow, and it bakes up into a density that is all its own. Switch the flour, change the personality. Go ahead and experiment if you like - but if you do, and the recipe falls flat, remember that you didn't follow my recipe.

Protein Powder is next. In my recipes, I use either Champion Nutrition Pure Whey or Beverly International Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP). The Pure Whey is, of course, pure whey protein. The UMP is a blend of casein and whey (80:20). Each powder has individual properties, and results can vary. For instance, protein pudding is best made with a whey/casein blend. It's the casein that causes it to swell and get creamy. Fudgy sauce is best made with whey, as it stays thinner and richer. Another important point is that each of these products contains a minimum of 20 grams protein and less than 4 grams carbs per scoop, with a scoop being about 1/3 cup. When you're dealing with a recipe, volume (the size of the scoop) matters. When you're dealing with nutrition, those grams of protein and carbs matter. A lot. If you use a Meal Replacement powder instead of a Protein Powder, you've just changed the entire nutritional profile of the recipe.

Baking Soda vs Baking Powder.  Ahhh, yes. This one rears up quite often. If you are kitchen-savvy, you know that there are specific reasons for the usage of either ingredient and they are NOT interchangeable (I learned that the hard way, lol). So, if my recipe calls for Baking Soda - use baking soda. If it calls for Baking Powder - use baking powder. Want to know more? Here's some info.

So there it is in a nutshell, a few tips and pointers to help you reach success with my recipes ;-)  And... as always, if you have questions, don't hesitate to email me. Unless, of course, you've changed the whole recipe, it didn't work, and now you're blaming me. ;-)

Now I'd like to share with you the poem that began my descent into hysteria. Without further ado, I bring you Greta's Recipe For Disaster (original can be found here):


You didn't have the pasta so you substituted rice
You didn't have the curry so you used another spice
You didn't add the onions plus you used a different pan
Forgot to buy tomatoes so you used them from a can
You simmered it too long because your mom called on the phone
The chicken that you bought was not the kind without the bone
“There must be something wrong with it, I couldn't even eat it!”
Well what do you expect when all the good stuff’s been deleted?
Oh tell me, upset cookbook fan, whatever can I do
To make you follow recipes so that they’ll “work” for you?

The end.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

STRESS... What is it good for?

We all experience it. We learn to cope with it, or ignore it, or implode with it. Stress is so negative, isn't it? Or is it?

Recent weeks have been quite stressful, for myself and my family. We're grieving the inevitable loss of our beloved family pet, we're dealing with business and family challenges, along with individual challenges we each face. As there are six of us, between the bunch, we've got a lot of stress ;-) And that's not even counting the events of this last year.

One of the ways stress makes itself known with me is eczema. A delightful condition which causes swelling, broken skin and misery. I've had it since I was a teenager and burned my hand on a pizza oven. The result was intense medical therapy for the next six months as my family and doctors tried to bring it under control. Why that event triggered what would become a lifelong condition - no idea, but it's there, and it's not going away. When I get super-stressed, it pops back out. Thankfully, 99% of the time, it's limited to my hands. Unfortunately, it hit my ring finger this time. My wedding ring finger. UGH. I detest removing my wedding set. I really do. Especially when I spend so much time in the gym where there are creepers. You know, those guys that follow you around, stare, grin like maniacs whenever you lift a weight, and make googly eyes at you. EW.
The photo doesn't show how bad this flare up was...
my finger was covered in little tiny itchy bumps and
swollen so that my rings didn't fit. Boooo.

Anywho... Stress. It's bad, right? It causes flareups like my eczema, or someone's GI upset, or headaches, etc. Physical distress is a very common result of stress. But while that's true, there's more to stress than just pain and suffering. That physical response is our bodies' way of saying, "Hey, pay attention! Time for change!" Not dealing with stress is the problem, not necessarily the stress itself. Life is full of stress, and unless we're going to live in a bubble, it's going to touch us. The challenge then, is to use the stress, rather than being at its mercy.

How do you do that? Great question. I'm still trying to figure it out (hence the eczema flareup <three-stooges laugh - nuk, nuk, nuk>).   :-)

One positive thing I am doing is using the stress to force myself to be more confrontational. Not in a bad way, just that I'm standing up for myself more. There are areas in my life where my passivity has created stress - things I do have control over, that I haven't controlled previously. There are some areas in my life and job where I'm recently taking the proverbial bull by the horns, and it is stressful. Let me repeat that: IT IS STRESSFUL. But the end result will be worth the emotional pressure cooker I'm experiencing now. Stress is what makes a lump of coal a diamond (ok, that's super oversimplifying it, but you get the idea). Stress is what makes us sharper, stronger, smarter.. if we face it in a healthy way.

I'm doing my best to be healthy. To face the challenges instead of ignoring them. To recognize the signs of stress, and adjust and evaluate accordingly. Our bodies are amazing warning systems. When those first little blisters start pushing up, I know that I have to stop and think about what's going on (and reduce sugar so it has less fuel!). It's a sure-fire sign that I am pushing stress down, instead of dealing with it.

What are your stress-symptoms and how do you deal with them?

Stress-Relieving Tips...
Music - You've heard the adage, 'music soothes the savage beast', right? It's true. My music collection is crazy-eclectic. When I get stressed, I turn off the power gym-tunes and switch to soothing music by Loreena McKennitt, Dido, Enya, David Arkenstone, Diane Arkenstone, Sarah McLachlan... those other-wordly notes calm my heart and mind.
Exercise - You knew that was going to hit the list, didn't you? ;-) Seriously though, exercise is an incredible stress-reliever. It's an outlet. A place for you to pour every bit of emotion out and leave it on the floor. Whether you're angry, scared, worried... whatever, you can use that and purge it with a hard workout and/or cardio session. There are physiological responses to exercise that result in improved mood and stabilized emotions. But it's temporary, you say - sure it is. That's why you make it a habit. Every day, give yourself the gift of that outlet.
Food - Wait, what? Am I encouraging you to stress eat? No, but there is a comfort we receive from food. Whether it's related to childhood memories, or something else, the textures, tastes, scents all reach out to us and offer an easing in our souls. Rather than being derailed by it, take control of it. Create a file of clean-eating comfort food recipes that you can turn to when things get stressful.
Find #BeatStress tips at the Eat Clean Diet website! Keep an eye on the site and Tosca's blog this month as they share tips for beating stress. 
http://www.eatcleandiet.com/the_kitchen_table/
http://www.eatcleandiet.com/you_tell_us/
http://toscareno.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Champion Nutrition Recipe of the Week - Crockpot Pork Verde with Salty & Sweet Potatoes!


Ever get a craving for spicy, sweet and salty - all at the same time? Then this recipe is for you! It's super easy and amazingly flavorful! Tender, spicy pork served alongside sweet & salty baked sweet potatoes...

It's clean and healthy, and best of all, athlete / training friendly (though it tastes so good, you'll think it's a cheat meal!)!



Slow Cooker Pork Verde with Baked Salty & Sweet Potatoes

by Chelle Stafford
Makes 12 servings of pork-verde

INGREDIENTS:
FOR THE PORK VERDE:
3 lb lean pork roast (like tenderloin or as lean as you can find)
1 jar Salsa Verde (24 oz) (look for low sodium, low sugar)

FOR THE POTATOES:
1 small sweet potato per person - about 4 oz (white fleshed)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cinnamon per potato
1/2 packet powdered Stevia per potato
Spray oil (I used coconut)
Sea Salt

DIRECTIONS:
FOR THE PORK VERDE:
Place roast in slow-cooker, add 1/2 jar of salsa verde.
Cook on high 4-6 hours, or until meat shreds easily with a fork.
Drain liquid, remove roast to a shallow dish and shred.
Add remaining 1/2 jar of salsa verde, mix well.
TIP: Serve over a bed of chopped cabbage, cilantro, romaine & carrots! (as pictured).

FOR THE POTATOES:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking oil (I used coconut).
Dice potato(es), place in a small bowl and spray with cooking oil.
Add cinnamon and stevia, mix well.
Spread potato chunks on cookie sheet and sprinkle with sea-salt.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until a knife easily pierces the chunks.
Serve.

NUTRITION
Pork Verde: 156 calories, 26 g protein, 4 g carbs, 3 g fat.
Baked Sweet Potatoes: 116 calories, 2 g protein, 28 g carb, 1 g fat, 5 g fiber. 23 g net carbs.




View this and many more recipes on my main website: www.RecipeForFitness.com 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Moving Day & Thank You!

This last weekend was wonderful! The hubby had a meeting in L.A., so he took me with, and we spent the weekend in San Diego by ourselves (all by ourselves! Woot!)!  We stayed in the Gaslamp Quarter - I'm a horrible San Diegan, in that I lived there for several years and NEVER once set foot in the Gaslamp! It was worth the wait (and visiting with the right person, lol). We had a blast.

We started out relaxing on the rooftop bar of the Marriott (Altitude)... What a view! And a stunning sunset, too!


The next day, we visited Seaport Village... and were disappointed. It seemed bigger than the last time (many, many years ago) but also seemed full of... nothing. At least nothing that appealed to us. We headed back to the hotel, took a nap (ahhhhh, luxury!), then headed out for the Quarter.

The Betty Page Store... How cool is this???
They had the greatest stuff!

My score from the Betty Page store! Woot!
We also came across a new store/business (open 2 months) called Green Health and it was really fun to explore... everything is dehydrated. I bought several items to test, and hope they taste as good as the products sound! http://greenhealthstores.com/

After a fabulous weekend, today was moving day at work. We moved, shuffled, packed, and eventually, my 'office' found itself in the middle of my family room. As soon as the hubby gets home, we're moving furniture and setting me up. I'll still be working part-time, but now it's for two separate companies, and my hours will be more random than what I've been doing (8:30 - 12:30). Hopefully, it won't take me long to set a routine.


After I unloaded my stuff, I headed back out to grocery shop. Food prep completed, I threw a pork roast in the crockpot, and have sweet potatoes (the white fleshed ones) ready to go in the oven. Watch for the recipe tomorrow! :-)  Laundry is done, and I'm ready for the week. Feels very weird to not have to go in to the office tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone who voted in the Smart Balance Blogger Recipe Challenge on Facebook! My Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cookie Skillet came in a very respectable 7th Place! Woot! The winner of the contest, The Fountain Avenue Kitchen (with a tasty baked oatmeal!), graciously shared my recipe on her facebook page and her blog (which I encourage you to check out!)! I got quite a kick out of reading her story of serving my cookie skillet (click here)! Thanks, Ann!!

Happy Monday!!






Thursday, November 1, 2012

They're Nearly Here!!

What a week! Is anyone else ready for the weekend? ;-)

Along with packing up my office (with all the transition, I'm being moved to work from home, where I'll continue my job but be doing it for two companies. I went part time to cut back, didn't I? lol.), dealing with a virus that won't die (been to the doctor twice in a week), keeping a close eye on Nakki, plus all my usual, I'm happy to say that I am nearly ready to launch the new Meal Plans for purchase on www.RecipeForFitness.com! I've just printed out the (hopefully) final draft and as long as there are no more changes (I keep adding info!), I should have them available within a week! Wooohooo!!!

Here's a sneak peek at what's coming...
What's included: 
Introduction explaining the plan and helpful tips to get you started.
FAQ
Single-Day Food Prep Guide
Food Log / Journal - a blank journal page so you can log your food in a similar format to your meal plan.
Meal Plan - 1 week of meals, from breakfast through dinner, and all three snacks (plans are designed to be followed for multiple weeks).
Shopping List - based on the meal plan
Recipes - Every recipe in the meal plan is provided, along with nutritional information

Each meal plan is comprehensive - from basic info to prep to meals to shopping lists and recipes, it's all at your fingertips! The first one I completed totaled 32 pages (they'll range in page number depending on how many recipes are involved). There's a LOT of info in there, more than just a simple meal plan. My goal is to provide folks with affordable resources to help them gain control over their nutrition and reach (and maintain) their goal weight. You've heard that nutrition is 80% of reaching goal weight, with exercise being 10% and genetics being the remaining 10%... well these plans are designed to make the 80% make sense - and make it doable.

There will be a variety of plans available - from 1400 calories/day to 2000 calories/day, each with several plans to choose from. In addition, I'm also offering several levels of custom meal plans! I'm so excited to have this ready! :-) Almost there! Woot!!

In other news... 

Today is the last day for voting in the Smart Balance Blogger Recipe Challenge! Voting ends at noon Eastern time tomorrow. Click on the picture to the left to view the challenge and vote.

It's been a great experience, and a lot of fun. I'm so grateful to have been invited to participate! If you haven't already, please vote for my Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cookie Skillet recipe! It's clean and yummy!  This recipe would look great on your holiday table! :-)

You can read all about the challenge on my post here:

http://blog.recipeforfitness.com/2012/10/recipe-contest-vote-pumpkin-peanut.html


The Daily Cooler is updated, too. If you're wondering what it looks like to Eat Clean every day, you can view my daily food including pictures. I'm a visual gal, so it helps me to "see" how something works... if you're the same way, take a peek inside my daily coolers! :-) On the Daily Cooler page, there's a link under today's cooler to view more recent coolers.

Also up today are the new November Cardio and Workout playlists! Cardio has a Pop emphasis and the Workout is Rock based. I'll warn you now, before you click over to view the lists... I'm pretty ecclectic, lol! To view more of my playlists, go here: http://recipeforfitness.com/workout_music/index.html