Monday, December 30, 2013

What Day Is It????? Melanie Weighs In...

You know the phrase, "Kicking ass and taking names"? Well if you look it up, you'll find Melanie's photo. ;-) This woman has taken control and is thriving! I am so thankful she's brave enough to share her journey with you, and I'm so thrilled with her success. To date, Melanie has lost 12.8 lbs and like her weight, her BMI is dropping - every single week. Oh - and did I mention she's doing all this through the holiday season???? Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's. Yeah. She's that awesome.

Here are the most recent numbers...
Last week: 165 lbs
This week: 163.8 lbs
Total Lost This Week: 1.2 lbs. WOOOHOOO!

Here's what Mel has to say...
Don and I have been following your clean eating recipes mostly of Chicken and pork.... (still working on the fish recipes).....We have been making our own shake & bake seasonings using Mrs. Dash and we love it...they never fail us. We are using the steamed veggie bags and fresh items as much as we can. (mostly organic) I have been making salads and my veggie bags for juicing. This routine alone gets me out the door faster on those days I work. It's a routine we are becoming accustom to. Would you believe I have even started checking out new pots and pans....(my new routine when we shop...hit the exercise clothes then to the kitchen isle) It's my new sickness....    
Over the past week my exercise routine has been very little. I will be hitting the gym again tomorrow morning.
It's time for me to start thinking about a goal...I may sign up for a sprint Triathlon or GOBA which is the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure which will be actually riding through Mount Vernon this year. It's a week of bicycling. We have never done this adventure and it is in June.  I am just starting to think about these things. Actually It's the challenge I am excited about!!!!
We have not celebrated Christmas yet. Our oldest daughter will be home around the 4th so, I have not made my Moms roll out Christmas Cookies yet. So we made the Protein Cookie Dough Balls and they are delicious. Actually I have not done any baking for the holidays so this week will be a good test for me. But again I am not missing the "sugar" cravings I once had. The other day while at the office I did not even feel tempted to check out the Christmas items in the kitchen. THIS IS HUGE FOR ME. This is definitely making me feel good not only mentally but physically as well.
So today I am going to the store with a list in hand. Meals planned out ahead and looking forward to spending the evening with friends.

Melanie has transitioned from me determining her every meal and snack, to taking the reins and doing it on her own. And clearly - she's doing it well!

What's the difference between Melanie and the typical 'dieter'? Why is she succeeding while others fall back into unhealthy habits? Melanie has FOCUS. COMMITMENT. DETERMINATION. GOALS.

I saw this week on another of my incredible client's post about throwing away too big pants (WOOOHOOO), someone said this... "How did you do it?? And don't tell me willpower, because I don't have any."

Well, then don't expect to see any results. Of course, I didn't post that, lol, but I am sharing it here because I feel it's important. Stef didn't throw away pants that are now 5 sizes too big because she has super-hero powers to resist temptation and laziness. Melanie doesn't have any super-powers either. What these incredible women have is focus, commitment, determination, and goals. They were ready for the change. Ready to take control and responsibility. And look at them go!!

If you don't want it, you won't get it. Both Mel and Stef want it. Both Mel and Stef are getting it. How about you??  We're approaching the biggest selling season for weight loss gimmicks and fads. It's right around the corner - actually it's this week. New gym memberships will be purchased, and shortly thereafter discarded. New diets will be started, and shortly thereafter abandoned. New goals will be set, and shortly thereafter forgotten. Will you be part of this sad trend?

Or will you develop Focus, Commitment, Determination, and REACH YOUR GOALS?? Is this your year? Are you ready for change? Do you want it?

If the answers are YES, then please, please, steer clear of the crap of the fitness industry designed to separate you from your money. www.RecipeForFitness.com offers tons of FREE support and tools to help you transform your life. You don't need to pay me a penny. And you can succeed. I'm proof. Mel is proof. Stef is proof.

If you want more - more structure, accountability and support, then consider purchasing one of my downloadable meal plans, or even becoming a custom plan client. Due to the time and energy intensive aspects of the custom plans, I cannot offer discounts on them. However, that said... for the next month, all my downloadable meal plans are 20% off. This discount is my holiday gift to you. My own personal investment in helping you reach your goals in the New Year. If you want it.

Ready to follow in Melanie's footsteps? Then don't wait until January 1. Start now. Start today. You ABSOLUTELY can reach your goals. I'm here to help.




Clean Eating... For Dogs

Because I've been getting so many emails and questions, I wanted to take a post to address, specifically, Sadie's nutrition. Ya'll know I eat clean, that I help YOU eat clean ;-) and believe 100% in the power of nutrition - for weight loss (and maintenance), as well as for health and wellness. I'm a certified nutritionist, certified nutritionist for Elite Athletes, an Eat Clean Diet Ambassador, and am proudly sponsored by Champion Performance. It all adds up to whole, clean, healthy food.

If you've been around awhile, you remember our sweet Nakki. When we learned she had cancer, we made changes in her diet - I started reading her food and treat labels. Then when it progressed to her inability to swallow her own kibble, I switched her over to a fresh dog food. The fact that she thrived through her struggle for many months I credit in part to the food switch. And I beat myself up, after her death, for not considering clean eating for her. It was just one of those things... you feed a dog dog-food. But like human food, dog food isn't what it used to be. Additives, artificial ingredients, sub-par ingredients... and don't get me started. lol.

So then came Sadie.

When I saw the photos of her at my sister's house I was horrified at her malnourished, starved state. When we picked her up, and she looked like this (see right), I wept, but I knew... I KNEW... she needed me. Me with all my nutritional craziness ;-). And I knew I'd cook for her. Regular dog food wasn't going to cut it. I thought of Nakki and how she lasted longer than she was "supposed" to after we switched her food, and I knew I was going to do everything in my power to give this beautiful, sweet Mastiff every chance at health that was possible.

And so I cook.
For Sadie.

And yes... I take much guff over it ;-) But all I have to do is look at her and I know that I'm doing the right thing. She's thriving.

The questions I'm receiving from so many, boil down to basically two...
A) what am I feeding her, and
B) how do I know what to feed her.

I'll start with B.  For the most part, my food choices for Sadie are instinctive and based on research, much like my cooking for my family. I know what's healthy and figure out how to incorporate it. For instance, in my home, both my daughter and I have serious inflammatory issues, so our foods are high in antioxidants, healthy capsaicin, turmeric, coconut oil, etc., and low in nasty inflammation causing fats and substances. Another example... when I'm in a 'build' phase with my physique, I increase my casein protein (greek yogurt, cottage cheese, etc), and high iron foods (hellooooo spinach!). So I look at Sadie, an English Mastiff, a breed prone to inflammatory disease, and she needs to build muscle. So I feed her the same foods I give my family, myself.

However... there are some exceptions. There are foods that are powerhouses of nutrition for humans which do not have the same effect on canines - and in fact are toxic. I do a ton of research so that I can offer Sadie the best, and safest, nutrition. What I've learned (and continue to learn) is that while there are some hard fast rules, there are a lot of foods that the jury is still out on.

The hard and fast (at this date) are: No onions, no chocolate, no grapes or raisins, no xylitol.
The jury is out on... tomatoes, garlic, mushrooms (brown mushrooms such as porcini, crimini, portabella, white button, and oyster, reishi, maitake, and shiitake; no wild mushrooms), avocado (flesh only), and grains - particularly wheat.

Just like with humans, dogs have food sensitivities and allergies. Some dogs adore tomatoes, picking them straight off the vine and gobbling them down, while others get digestive distress. Same with avocado. The keys are to know your breed and any food restrictions specific to it, and to test foods on your pet the same as you would yourself - take notes, be watchful, and test new foods in small amounts. And, as always, research.

Which leads me to...

A.  What do I feed her? I break her food down into macros, just like my own, just like my clients. Protein, Veggie/Fruit Carbs, Starchy Carbs, and Fats. Here's what's working for her (us):
Protein: ground chicken or ground turkey mixed with ground (lean) beef or chopped steak (stew meat). In addition, I'll periodically add in plain greek yogurt, 2% cottage cheese and egg whites. She also loves shrimp.
Veggie/Fruit Carbs: Standards include spinach, zucchini, carrot, red/yellow/orange peppers, celery, green beans, peas, apples. I've also given her broccoli and cauliflower, but that has to be in MODERATION as the butt-burps are stupendous. Lol.
Starchy Carbs: Standards are oatmeal and banana. In addition, I'll sub in or adjust to include: sweet potato, red potato, white potato, brown rice, quinoa, black beans, and beets (which are like crack-candy to her!).
Fats: Standard is whole eggs (complete protein and healthy fats). In addition, I'll add in small amounts: coconut oil/butter, cheese, avocado (flesh
only), and fresh peanut butter.
Extras: Depending on how she's doing (hello, flatulence), I add in the following as needed: ground flax seed, apple cider vinegar, chia seed. Oh, and I discovered last night that she loves raw almonds. She actually chews them, individually. LOL! She also adores it when I add chicken or beef livers.

From those options, I build her meals. I cook hers daily, right now, and that'll change once I get into my "real" kitchen - hehehe. I've already packed up most of my house, so it's actually easier to cook for her daily - sort of easier. Once we move in to the new place, I'm anxious to switch that out to my weekly food prep (hello, timesaver!). I just don't have the room to do more than a batch at a time right now.  Each feeding, she receives between 2 and 3 cups of 'casserole', and her feedings are about 3-4 hours apart.

You know what response I hear the most about her food? "That dog eats better than I do."
You know what I think about that? Yeah, I bet you know me well enough to guess ;-)
"So EAT BETTER". Duh. Lol. Actually, around here, they've started sneaking Sadie's food into their own bowls. Ha! Good thing I warn them when I add in chicken or beef livers!

Seriously though... I'm not saying you have to, or should, prep your pet's food. It's definitely not for everyone (and again - I can't wait to be able to save time by incorporating it into my weekly food prep!). All I'm doing is sharing what I'm doing, why, and how it's working out. For us, it's the right choice. For anyone else for whom it's also the right choice, you can expect to see more canine recipes here on the blog, and... I'll be launching a new recipes section soon, just for 'Fido'. ;-) And for all of you Paleo folk... I'm doing quite a bit of research on the raw canine diet ;-).  We'll see where it goes.

Additionally, there are several options available nowadays if you want to provide fresh, whole food for your pet without taking the time to cook it yourself. FYI, those same options are also available for humans, see recommendations below.

Fresh Pet Food: 
FreshPet - http://freshpet.com/our-foods/our-brands/  (this is the brand we gave Nakki)
The Honest Kitchen - http://www.thehonestkitchen.com/dog-food
Farm Fresh Pet - http://www.farmfreshpet.com/farm-fresh-dog-food-ingredients

Fresh Pre-Made Human Food:
My Fit Foods - https://www.myfitfoods.com/
Midwestern Meats Fitness - http://www.midwesternfitness.com/
Bodybuilding.com - http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/healthy-food-and-meal-plan-delivery.html

I hope this post helps answer the questions, and as always - I'm right here so if you have more questions or want clarification on something - just let me know! ;-)


Monday, December 23, 2013

Got Christmas?

Ya'll ready for the big holiday? Got your tree up, lights, decorations? Sugar cookies & egg nog? Bully for you. Lol! Seriously though, I've got a wee bit of Christmas envy going on. No lights here, no decorations (I bought a very cool light up Darth Santa but his light saber was broken - boo!), no tree, no sugar cookies. I do have egg-nog in the fridge for Christmas Eve and Christmas day. That's a start, right? With the house we're in mostly packed up, and the house we're moving into not quite ready for us yet, I'm relying on neighbors and shopping centers for my sparkly light fix. ;-) We're not sure yet if we'll pick up a tree or not. And really...

It doesn't matter.

Tree or not, I've got Christmas. I have a roof over my head, wheels to get me from point A to point B, a job/business I love, amazing friends, and family who loves and accepts me. My blessings exceed my expectations - and I can expect a lot ;-)  Though this year's holiday celebration is more low-key, there will be no lack of fun, love and joy.

Christmas Eve we'll hold our annual junk food and poker fest - while they all try to skin each other, I'll be working on food prep for the big day. I'll make up a batch of my breakfast burritos, then prep the cucumber dip, the spinach - artichoke dip, chop the veggies, check on my roast, figure out the glaze for the ham, get the bacon-wrapped green beans ready, and finalize my cooking timeline. On the WOOOHOO side, this will be the last year I have to prepare a big meal on this stove with only 1 1/2 working burners and an oven that can't keep a consistent temperature. Say it with me - WOOOOOHOOOO!!  ;-)

Christmas day food... what do you serve? Here's our lineup... I've got breakfast burritos for the morning, then spiced olives, cheese and crackers, cucumber dip with chips and veggies, spinach - artichoke dip with sourdough bread for munching. Dinner is roasted prime rib, honey glazed ham, bacon-wrapped green beans, mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy, rolls, and a green salad. Dessert is choice of pie: dutch apple and razzleberry. If you've followed my blog for long, you know that normally, dessert is my homemade caramel apple pie and my killer white chocolate, raspberry, fudge cheesecake (takes 2 1/2 days to make). But, since most of my equipment is packed, I went store-bought this year.

Here are some photo updates on what's happening here...

Sadie doesn't fight the barrier in the car, she just wiggles her head around it to lay it on Bill's shoulder...
Mom and I had a fun girl's day and got our hair done by the amazing Daniel...
We ran out of trim for the shower, and learned that it's been discontinued... ARGH! After 4 trips to home depots, 2 lowes, and back to a final home depot we snagged the last 5 pieces in existence. LOL!

My incredible bath tub is in!!!

The kitchen is looking amazing!!! The counter tops should be poured this week, then the rest of the cabinetry can go in, then the crown molding and hardware. The two under-counter refrigerators are sitting in the garage waiting for the flooring to go in, then they'll be installed (see the empty space at the end of the counter? That's where they go). And... my Dad got this incredible button for my in-sink disposal... it'll sit right next to the sink, built into the counter top! No switch to accidentally flip, lol, and he pointed out that it's air-pressure where I'll be touching it so I don't need to worry about electrocuting myself. Huh. Think he knows me, eh? ;-)

12 ft x 5 ft counter. YES!!!!
Here's a view from the back door in...

Getting closer!!! The tile guy is finishing up today, and the paint should also be done this week. Then flooring!

Then of course... we have our resident reindeer...
Sadie is doing great! While she didn't gain any weight in the last two weeks, she did fill out and firm up. The vet saw a visible difference in her, so I'll take that as a victory. Her body is becoming accustomed to healthy, regular food and her coat just glows and is so soft! She's such a love, and spends the majority of her time staying close to mama ;-) We definitely need to work on leash skills, lol, and her ability to be around other animals, but overall, she's adjusted well and loves fully. Can't imagine being without her!

FYI, if you're interested in such things... her current diet is a 'casserole' of meat, chopped veggies, eggs, rolled oats, and fruit. She loves it! We found that the oatmeal helped reduce her, ummm, stanky butt burps. ;-) Sometimes I mix in, depending on the day, coconut butter and/or apple cider vinegar, ground flax seed, or cheese.  I might add...This is also quite tasty human food, lol, as Bill discovered when he snuck a few bites. I think it's funny that my dog is on a bulking diet. ;-) bwahahahaha!!!  Seriously though, once she reaches her ideal weight, I'll adjust the foods I give her and the amounts. In the meantime though, here's her current food...

Sadie's Casserole

by Chelle Stafford

1.25 lb extra lean ground turkey
1/2 lb lean ground beef*
6 eggs
1 zucchini*
6 mini colored peppers*
2 cups baby spinach
1 banana
1 apple
2 cups rolled oats

In a skillet, brown the turkey and beef until nearly cooked through.
In a food processor, chop the zucchini and peppers until fine (small pieces).
Add the zucchini/peppers to the skillet and continue cooking until turkey is no longer pink.
While the meat & veggies are cooking...
Chop spinach.
Mash banana.
Core (discard) and dice apple (with skin).
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, spinach, banana and apple.
Stir in cooked meat/veggie mixture.
In skillet, scramble 6 eggs.
Add eggs to bowl and stir until well blended.
Allow to cool, then store in airtight container.

Sadie size serving (she weighs 130 lbs) - 2 cups every 3-4 hours.

*Feel free to substitute veggies. I've also done frozen green beans, peas, carrots, and beets. I've also subbed stew meat for the ground beef. Other additions she's enjoyed include chopped chicken or beef liver (1/4 cup added to ground meat).

Thursday, December 19, 2013

What Day Is It???? Melanie's Weigh-In... Week 6

Here we are, with Week 5 behind us, and Melanie's journey continues. Here's a little background on the last week for her... she was on vacation. Yep. Holiday getaway - cabin, hubby, pup - wine, cheese, and quality relaxing. While she and Don packed their own food for the trip, they enjoyed themselves without worrying overmuch about it. The weather wasn't the best, so they pretty much stayed in the whole time. She did some yoga, took a walk, and just enjoyed the break. Sounds like a recipe for weight loss disaster, doesn't it?

Not for Melanie!!

Melanie weighed in at 165.2 lbs - that's 1.4 lbs down from last week. Woooohooo!!! Here's what she has to say...
Chelle I think it is so important that people understand its okay to get away. You can still manage your intake do some light exercising and continue to stay on track.......So many people I have spoken to say..... "I fell off the wagon so why even continue to try the rest of the day".....Or "it's vacation and I'm doing it all and eating anything I want". They end up gaining weight and never going back to their clean eating habits and end up in the same old routine.... I used to feel this way but its a mind game at times and you just have to push yourself through it. Know what? I AM WORTH IT!!!!!

Through your program you have taught me its 80% clean eating and 20% exercising which is also vital to losing weight...If we can get one person to say "yes that's how I'm going to view this and I am going to improve my eating habits and improve my health"  That's one more person who will live a healthy life......AWESOME.....WE ARE WORTH IT, WE DESERVE TO BE HEALTHY AND TO LIVE THE LIFE WE WANT.
Are you guilty of facing the holidays with a devil-may-care food attitude? I've done it. I spent years doing it - and it landed me 200+ lbs in a 5'2" body. If you followed my own journey, you know just how hard I worked to shed that weight, to learn how to eat and exercise, how to live healthy. And Melanie is right...  She's worth it. I'm worth it. You're worth it.

One of the things I say often (ok, I harp on) is that EVERY bite, EVERY sip, EVERY step, EVERY rep counts. If you screw one up, put it behind you and make the next one count. It's really that simple. And there's room for fun! You can enjoy holiday treats, weekly date nights, office lunches and so on... and still reach your goals! And... you can enjoy a getaway and still reach your goals - how? You're riding on the momentum of all the hard work and clean eating you've been doing prior to your trip! That's right! When you jump your metabolism into hyperdrive, you can relax during your vacation - and still be on track. Nice, right? ;-) Just one of the many perks of healthy living.

As Melanie and I chatted tonight, we talked about cravings and temptations. She's not really tempted by foods now... she's stunned she's gone 5 1/2 weeks without a 5-hour energy drink, lol. She's learned how nice it is to not face the office break-room with fear during the holiday (aka cookie) season. Those sugary treats just don't appeal when she's working (and making progress) toward her goal. She did share that as we approach Christmas, she's missing her mother's roll-out cookies. Every year she makes them, it's a recipe and a treat steeped in tradition and memories.

So what'd the mean nutritionist tell her?  I told her to make up a batch of her mother's roll-out cookies. She'll enjoy the traditional treat with her girls, and keep the rest of her food clean and on track. And she will. Melanie is rocking her journey. Each and every week she's made amazing progress. She's learned how important nutrition is, how crucial it is to be prepared. And she's learned how incredibly capable she is at reaching her own goals. She's taken back control of her life, her food, and she's reaping the results - even through vacations and holidays.

And guess what? You can, too. If you want it. 

If you do... here's a little incentive... Recipe For Fitness is offering 20% off all downloads (meal plans, nutrition tools, and recipe e-books) today through January 31st. Get started strong! Set and reach your goals, and enjoy your food while you're doing it! Our meal plans are different from anyone else's... in fact, it pretty much does everything but cook the food for you! Check them out by clicking here: http://shop.recipeforfitness.com/?coupon=Holiday20




Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Champion Performance Recipe of the Week - Bacon Orange Chicken

Everything is better with bacon. Right? Typically though, bacon isn't high on the athlete's acceptable foods list. I'm changing that. You're welcome.

There are a lot of brands available now that are uncured - meaning no added nitrites or nitrates, and they're much healthier than the standard turkey bacon (see note below). The brand I like is also low sodium (Mike - this is for you!).

This recipe is quick and easy, plus you get to live with that wonderful cooked bacon smell in your kitchen. Again - you're welcome ;-) Enjoy great flavor on your chicken without going off track! Seriously - scroll down and look at the nutritional info... low sodium, low fat, low carb, high protein, and no added sugars.

Chelle's Bacon Orange Chicken
serves 2. 4 oz portions (increase chicken portion size as needed)

INGREDIENTS
2 4-oz portions of chicken breast, raw (skinless, boneless)*
2 Tbsp Sugar Free Orange Marmalade**
2 slices Uncured Natural Bacon***
cooking spray oil

*look for all natural chicken - no solution added, no hormones or antibiotics
**look for fruit only preserves, like Polaner brand
***I prefer Applegate Farms Uncured Reduced Sodium Bacon. Look for a brand with no nitrites or nitrates added, and lower sodium. MUCH healthier than typical turkey bacon (unless you go for Applegate's version)!

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Heat skillet over medium high heat and cook bacon about halfway (cook until just starting to crisp, then flip. Bacon should still be soft, just nicely browned. It will finish cooking and crisping in the oven).
  • Spray a baking dish with cooking oil.
  • Trim chicken breasts of visible fat. Place in baking dish.
  • Spoon a Tablespoon of orange marmalade over each breast and spread out to cover.
  • Cut partially cooked bacon strips into three pieces each. Top each breast with 3 pieces.
  • Bake at 350 until cooked through, or internal thermometer reaches 170 degrees. 
  • Allow chicken to rest 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with steamed asparagus or other vegetable of choice. Pictured with steamed asparagus and steamed red potatoes with rosemary, oregano and garlic.

NUTRITION
per 4 oz serving of bacon orange chicken: 194 calories, 26 grams protein, 10 grams carbs, 5 grams fat, 3 grams fiber, 6 grams sugar, 232 mg sodium. Net carbs 7 grams.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

In The Go Daddy House!

Who knows how to throw a holiday party? GoDaddy. Holy cow! I was surprised and honored to be invited to the 2013 Phoenix GoDaddy Holiday party at Chase Field last night. Bill and I dressed up and headed out for a night of fun. And it was! We parked, stood in line for entry, then discovered we were in the wrong line, lol, we were supposed to be in the VIP line! What??? Yep. So we got our VIP bracelets then went inside, where the first thing we saw was the ticker stating "Welcome GoDaddy Customer Recipe For Fitness"!!! I tell you, it was a moment! Wow!!
we kept trying to catch it with the full message, but you can see part of it.
We wandered around and ate great food (the shrimp tacos were BOMB!), had a few drinks, and enjoyed the festivities. They seriously know how to throw a party - they had video game stations, including VR games, there was ping pong and pool, photo booths like I've never seen before (video bobble-head yourself, lol!), more games, and Danica Patrick's car. Yes, we took a pic. ;-)
Even with the heat blowers on, it was pretty chilly in spots.
I stayed bundled up, lol. 
The entertainment ranged from a fun party band to Kurt Elling, then Bob Parson's and Blake Irving gave away about a gazillion dollars. Seriously. They donated $2 Million to the Semper Fi Fund, then gave away tons of bonuses to employees ranging from $1,000 to $25,000. TONS. Tax Free. That's an accounting nightmare, by the way, but they did it because they wanted the employees to get the full bonus, so they paid up over the taxes. Impressive.

Danica Patrick was funny and energetic, the whole crew was phenomenal and created such a great environment. Just before the main entertainment hit the stage, we ran into Billy Nahn and his beautiful wife. Billy is the Executive Producer for Go Daddy who came to my house to film for their advertising and the Indy 500 spot. He let me know they're already using me in their stuff and promised to send me  some of it this coming week :-) Woot!!

Next up was.... Ke$ha! We had no idea what to expect from the night, but it wasn't her! LOL! I sent several snapchat videos to my daughter, Bethany, who loves Ke$ha. She was a wee bit jealous. She got more so when she found out who the next artist up was... Snoop Dogg. Can you imagine a company party that brings in Ke$ha and Snoop??? Wowser!! Because we're old fogies, we didn't stay for the whole Snoop show (it was already pretty late), but the Ke$ha show was great! It was fun, funny, and phenomenal!

The whole night was terrific, and I'm so grateful GoDaddy invited me! I was a GoDaddy VIP for the night - how freaking cool is that?? :-)





In other news....
Prior to the big night, Friday Mom and Dad started laying the flooring in the house. We're getting closer!!!!! You can see them here signing the floor :-)


Sadie isn't quite sure what to think of the flooring. Lol.

Saturday I hit the mall to find a dress for the event (long story, suffice it to say that Macy's online screwed up BIG). While I was there, I learned that in anticipation of holiday shopping, the mall has taken mercy upon long-suffering husbands and installed this...
Yes. That is a bar. In the food court. Men, you may now "shop" with your wives. Lol.

And now that my cinderella night is done ;-) I'm off to do laundry, grocery shop, and christmas shop (thank goodness for amazon!). You know, I do a lot more laundry now that we have Sadie. A LOT! ;-) Mastiff slobber. Hahaha!

Happy Sunday!!



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Home for the Holidays?

Like most of you, we've got sooo much going on! Holiday season is always busy, but this year has some differences for our family. Like usual, I'm super busy with Recipe For Fitness and my awesome custom clients, I'm whipping up new recipes and testing them on hapless family and visitors, I'm building meal plans, planning future services to offer, and pumping up the holiday tunes. In addition, we're still remodeling, integrating Sadie (who loves to ride in the car), Bill is swamped at work, Bethany is about to graduate early, and there are always a million things to do. But... what's unusual for us, is that we have no tree up. No decorations. I do have a bowl of cinnamon pine cones on the table for that lovely scent, but.... everything is packed, ready for the big move into the new house. Ya'll know I love my Holiday decorations, lol. I'm a little sad that Darth Santa is packed away. But - we're rolling with it :-)

The remodel is coming along beautifully! My Dad is a true master-craftsman and everything he touches comes out stunningly! Even when I throw in a monkey wrench. This last week, he had the cabinets for the island all set up and was beginning the wiring when I pulled out the dimensions of my two under counter refrigerators. Ummmm. Might should have done that before. They're too wide. So we had to find replacements, and Dad will modify the space to suit.  BTW, mine have smoked glass fronts, not the stainless you see in the picture.

Next up, we decided to go ahead and get our sink since Bill is about to begin the countertops. Off to IKEA we go. We get the slip, and head to check out. Bill says, "How much does it weigh? Do we need a cart?" I say, "It only weighs 46 lbs but it's bulky and awkward and YES you need a cart. YOU WILL NOT DROP MY NEW SINK." lol. "Ok, ok, we'll get a cart."

Good thing, as I forgot where I was (IKEA). And the weight on the box was not in lbs. Oops! ;-) So he hauls the big-ass sink into the truck and back to the house we go. We pull it out of the box to show everyone and that's when we realize. Should have gotten to those specs. ;-) Ummmm. It's a mite too big for the space. Who knew?? But... Dad figured out how to modify the cabinetry to make room. Seriously, what would we do without him??? And... since I wanted a gazillion outlets in the island - for personal use, for teaching cooking classes, etc. Dad got it done and I have them all.  I don't think the Culinary Institute has more outlets than I do now! LOL!! Me and SRP are going to be on a first name basis, lol!

He also thought that just plain outlets on the island weren't kind on the eye, so he figured out this ingenious door panel deal that covers them up. Seriously awesome!! And he gave me more outlets in my window seat, too! :-)

And look!!! My pendant lights are in!! Aren't they gorgeous???

Jordan has been hard at work in the master bath... they'll probably set in my tub this week! Woot! Isn't the tile design pretty? There's still a lot of work to do, but we can "see" it now and we're thrilled!
Yeah, that's Sadie - photo bombing. Lol!
So... the house is coming along. We're hoping to be in before Christmas, but we'll see. If we're not, we'll probably pick up a Charlie Brown tree, lol, and just roll with it. :-) The holiday is about family and loved ones, not decorations.

Sadie is also coming right along. She had her first Vet appointment on Sunday and we were thrilled to learn she'd gained 11 lbs in two weeks! Wooohooo! Look at this...
Here's the day we got her from the shelter:
And here's two weeks later:

Pretty amazing, right?? :-) She's such a happy dog! And of course, she loves my cooking ;-) Lol! Seriously though, I do cook all her food. I supplement a bit with dry dog food, but the bulk of her meals are fresh whole foods. And it's working! With the proper blend of protein, carbs and healthy fats, she's absolutely blooming!

What am I feeding her? Turkey burgers with banana, beef liver, and pureed vegetables; casseroles with steak or chicken or turkey, liver, whole eggs, lots of veggies, beans or quinoa or brown rice or potato, and healthy fats like coconut oil or butter, or peanut butter or cheese. Today I'll be seeing if she likes butternut squash ;-) It's as much fun to cook for her as it is to cook for the rest of us, and there's a ton of crossover. Minus the livers, lol, we eat so many of the same foods. And ironically, her macro needs are pretty darn close to my own. But I'll still skip the liver. ;-)

In other news, today is my baby's 18th birthday. How the hell did I get so old? LOL! She's so happy and excited, another Stafford family member who's blooming. Her bff sent her off to school today wearing a rhinestone tiara, lol! Tonight, at her request, we're chilling at home with family and friends. Also at her request, the food will be Panda Express. Lol. Not the normal for our home, I assure you, but that's what she wants for her special day. Tomorrow night, another friend is throwing her a party on his property, bonfire and all. How fun is that? It is wonderful in so many ways to see her excited and happy. It's been a rough year for her, health-wise.

So. That's the update from here :-) Hope the holiday season is bringing you joy and peace, and lots of time with family and loved ones.



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Champion Performance Recipe of the Week - Cookie Dough Protein Bites!

Here's a fun recipe that you can enjoy guilt free this holiday season! Apple Pie Cookie Dough Protein Bites! That's a mouthful, isn't it? Yes, as a matter of fact it is! You'll want a mouth full of this yummy treat! And... it's not JUST a treat! For you fitness buffs, this makes an awesome post-workout snack! Because you need an excuse to eat cookie dough, right? You're welcome ;-)

Apple Pie Cookie Dough Protein Bites
by Chelle Stafford
makes 30 bites
*see  notes at end of page.

INGREDIENTS

Cookie Dough:
4 scoops Champion Performance Pure Whey Plus, Vanilla
1 cup Almond Butter, Smooth
2 tsp Apple Pie Spice
4 Tbsp Honey

Frosting:
2 oz lowfat Cream Cheese
1/4 cup 0% plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 Tbsp Honey
1/4 tsp Apple Pie Spice

DIRECTIONS
In a medium bowl, mix together the almond butter, 4 Tbsp honey*, protein powder and 2 tsp apple pie spice**.
Continue to mix until it resembles a smooth cookie dough.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll rounded spoonfulls of dough and place on cookie sheet. You should have 30.
Place in refrigerator to chill until your frosting is ready.
Blend 1/4 cup greek yogurt, 1/2 Tbsp honey*,  2 oz cream cheese and 1/4 tsp apple pie spice** until smooth (no lumps).
Remove cookie dough balls from fridge and dip each in the frosting, returning to the cookie sheet.
When all balls are frosted, return to refrigerator for 20 minutes or until frosting hardens.
Sprinkle with more apple pie spice if desired.
Store refrigerated up to a week.

NUTRITION
per frosted bite: 85 calories, 6 grams protein, 6 grams carbs, 5 grams fat, 24 mg sodium, 1 gram fiber, 4 grams sugars (natural).

A few notes on this recipe... the honey is optional. If you don't want "sweet" then reduce or eliminate it. If you prefer a different sweetener, go for it. Secondly, Apple Pie Spice is readily available - if not at your grocer, then certainly online (HERE). The spice I used is from Penzey's. Additionally, at the end of the page, I share with you how to make your own spice to have on hand. And third... your canine buddy will love this treat! Seriously! My Sadie gobbled up several and begged for more! It is dog-friendly but is a treat.








Sorry, pup! The rest are for the humans!


Make your own Apple Pie Spice
1/4 cup ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground allspice
2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
Mix together and store in airtight container with other spices.