Thursday, January 30, 2014

Need a Great Snack for the Big Game? Try This!!

My mom found this incredible recipe and shared it with me, and I did what I always do... I tweaked it. Lol! While the original is great, it's also higher fat and carb than (I think) is necessary. So... I reduced the fat, reduced the starchy carbs, increased protein and flavor. And here is the resulting (amazing) recipe. Enjoy!

Artichoke Nachos
photo of original recipe

serves 8
recipe tweaked by Chelle Stafford

2 large artichokes
1/2 lb ground chicken breast
1/2 tsp Mrs Dash Southwest Chipotle
1/2 cup black refried beans, lower sodium
1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1/2 cup salsa, all natural
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup plain 0% greek  yogurt

Boil or steam artichokes. They're done when a fork easily pierces the stem, and leaves open readily.
While artichokes cook, brown the ground chicken with Mrs Dash Southwest Chipotle (or any other flavor). As meat cooks, continue to break up pieces until they're all crumbled.
Place cooked cooled Artichoke leaves in a single layer on a large platter. Place 1/4 teaspoon of warm refried  beans on each leaf. Top with ground chicken. Add a small dollop of greek yogurt to each leaf, then sprinkle with grated cheese, tomatoes, green onions, salsa, and cilantro.
Cook artichokes and set aside to cool. Once chicken is cooked, mix all other ingredients together in a large bowl. Remove leaves from cooled artichoke, placing on a large platter. Divide chicken mixture among the artichoke leaves. (Does it get any easier??)

per serving: 142 calories, 14 grams protein, 10 grams carbs, 5 grams fat, 4 grams fiber, 238 mg sodium. 6 grams net carbs.

Original recipe:
How To Video (original recipe)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Did you see us in USA Today??

When USA Today Tech Editor Jon Swartz was writing his article on GoDaddy and their new branding and direction, he asked them for a customer to interview - they gave him my name. :-) Today the article was published, and I'm thrilled to have been included! GoDaddy has provided excellent resources and services that help stay up and running, and I am honored to represent, and grateful for the PR!

Check it out here...
USA Today - GoDaddy's New Image Emerges in New Super Bowl Ad

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Champion Performance Recipe of the Week - Grilled Chicken with Roasted Kale

Since most of my kitchen (ok, almost ALL) is packed up awaiting the final move-in to our new home, I'm limited on what I can prepare and develop. You know what that leads to? A whole lot more magazine, cookbook and internet recipe searching. ;-) I have tons of recipes that I've collected - to use, to tweak, to scratch my head at. In fact, I have no less than 5 book boxes of just cookbooks. I'm not going to tell you how many magazines I have currently boxed up (don't believe me? scroll to the very end of this post). I'm always on the lookout for a good recipe, and sometimes I even stumble across one that doesn't need to be tweaked ;-) Today's recipe is exactly that. Athlete / Competition Diet friendly - clean, tasty, fabulous. This recipe is one of the reasons why I comb through those books, magazines and websites. It's a jewel. AND... if you're looking at it for a no-carb night, just eliminate the red potatoes (I've calculated the nutrition info with and without them at the end of the recipe).

Just because we're athletes, it doesn't mean we can't also be foodies. Enjoy!

Grilled Chicken with Roasted Kale
Food Network (see link below)
Serves 4.  Prep time 10 minutes. Cook time 30 minutes. Skill Level: EASY

1/2 pound small red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 large bunch kale, stems removed, leaves torn (about 10 cups)
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
4 cups mixed salad greens
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the potatoes with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet; spread in a single layer and roast 5 minutes. Toss the kale in a large bowl with the garlic, 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Add to the baking sheet with the potatoes and toss. Roast until the kale is crisp and the potatoes are tender, stirring once, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat a grill or grill pan to medium and brush with olive oil. Slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally to make 4 cutlets. Coat evenly with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken until well marked and cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Toss the kale, potatoes, the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, the salad greens, tomatoes, parmesan, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Divide the chicken among plates and top with any collected juices. Serve with the kale salad.

NUTRITION Per serving:
WITH potatoes: Calories 418; Fat 14 g (Saturated 3g); Sodium 467 mg; Carbohydrate 30 g; Fiber 5 g; Protein 45 g. Net carbs 25 g.
WITHOUT potatoes: Calories 378; Fat 14 g; Sodium 463 mg; Carbohydrate 21 g; Fiber 4 g; Protein 44 g. Net carbs 17 g.

Photograph by Antonis Achilleos
Original recipe: HERE

Don't believe me about how many books I have? Here's a peek (and this isn't all of them. I've got about 6 more boxes waiting to be moved - including 2 more boxes of cookbooks). Yeah. It's a sickness. Lol!
And here's a peek at the new kitchen... almost ready!! And that island in the bottom right of the pic? It's 12ft by 5ft. Oh yeah!! :-)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

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

What's that I hear? That powerful, growly, rumble tearing down the road? It's Melanie's metabolism! Oh yeah! She's still kickin' arse and takin' names! BEAST MODE ON! ;-) Melanie had a great week, recovering completely from her minor slow down, and lost 1.4 lbs! Woohooo!!! That's a grand total of 14 lbs so far!!

Melanie is making such amazing progress! She's consistent and disciplined, and is reaping the rewards. One thing I find funny is how surprised she is by how far she's come. This is a woman who, when she was ready to make change happen, embraced it with everything in her - no matter how busy or chaotic life got, no matter how tired or sore - she gives it her all. She shared with me how exited she is that she's learned that she can live without her formerly beloved 5-hour energy drinks, haha, but there's so much more!

Here's a peek at Melanie's before/after lifestyle...

So Don asked me a great question that I wanted to share with you.   "Looking back at your diet prior to Chelle what were you doing then that you are not doing now,  what have you changed?"  So I got out the 3 day menu's I sent to you and reviewed them!!!!! BOY I HAVE COME A LONG WAY BABY!!!!!  [prior to beginning her journey, I had Melanie send me 3 days of food logs so I could see what her food lifestyle was like]
Unbalance meals, hardly any vegetables or fruits . I was eating every couple of hours BUT it was what I was eating  that would make my sugar levels  high and then low.  My sugar intake was completely out of control. I was stopping at Tim Horton's daily around 2pm for a Chocolate Chip cookie and taking 5 hour energy's. I was working out but couldn't get anywhere with my weight .  
AND NOW:  Knowing the importance of eating small nutritious meals every few hours.  Protein and water intake is vital in weight control. The importance of sugar levels this can make you OR break you!!!! 
As I look back at those menu's - I have changed....Don's response was WOW look how far you have come! 
I have come a long way during this's far from over BUT it's a damn good beginning!!!!
So... you can see how far Melanie has come. How about you?? Where are you at? Are you making a damn good beginning, or are you starting to falter? What do you need to make the transition to a healthy lifestyle? Take a look at my website, there are tons of (free) resources there to help you. And if you're looking for a ready-to-go meal plan to help you reach your goals, check out my store - For the month of January, they're all 20% off. 

Champion Performance Recipe of the Week - White Bean & Tuna Filling

When you're tired of chicken, tuna is an easy and quick alternative. Available in ready to eat packets or cans, you can keep several handy for those times when you just can't handle one more bite of clucker. This recipe comes together very quickly and is great for snacks or full meals. It's also easily modified for your macro needs. Increase the tuna or decrease the beans, add fat... make it your own. Further, you'll see several tips below to add flavor and 'substance' to this tasty recipe!

White Bean & Tuna Filling
Chelle Stafford
makes 5 servings

1 15-oz can white beans (great northern, cannellini, etc), drained and rinsed.
10 oz chunk white tuna in water, drained
1 stalk celery, diced
1 Tbsp finely chopped shallot (or onion)
1 handful parsley, finely chopped (or cilantro)
1/4 cup dill pickle, finely chopped
2 Tbsp plain fat-free Greek Yogurt
1/4 tsp Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb
ground black or white pepper to taste

Drain and rinse beans.
Place in large bowl and mash with fork.
Add tuna, celery, shallot, parsley, pickles, Mrs. Dash, and Greek Yogurt. Mix well.
Add pepper to taste.

Use as filling in celery stalks or lettuce wraps, in a green salad, or as dip for pita chips. Additionally, you can make boats out of cucumbers - slice them lengthwise and scoop out seeds, then fill with white bean & tuna mixture.

** Add-ins: diced green onion, minced garlic, diced tomato, chopped jalapeno, diced roasted red pepper, minced raw colored peppers, sprouts, etc. Also, feel free to play with the spices - replace the Garlic & Herb with any other flavor, or individual herbs.
*** For healthy fat, add in diced avocado or crumbled feta.

Nutrition per serving: 143 calories, 17 grams protein, 15 grams carbs, 2 grams fat, 361 mg sodium, 6 grams fiber. 9 grams net carbs.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Q & A With Chelle... How'd You Get Started In The Kitchen?

I get a lot of questions, via facebook, this blog, emails, or in person. One of the most common is... Chelle, how did you get started in the kitchen?

Well, I think it started in junior high - a home economics class that included a brief stint in cooking/baking (which I was more successful in than the macrame and cross-stitch, lol). We'd cook in class then take recipes home to test on our (brave) families. Once a week, I'd cook dinner for my (again, BRAVE) family, testing out my skills and innovations. That class taught me two things:

1. Chicken should never be pink.
2. I love to cook.

Pretty simplistic, but there it is. I've always loved food, the process, the colors, scents, textures, tastes. From my Dad's "you've never had better" barbecue (and fyi, you haven't), to Mom's cucumber dip, Gramma Anne's goulash & dolmas, Gramma Turner's divinity & open face tuna melts, and so on, I've always loved it. And I've worked hard to re-create those family recipes (not always successfully - I'm convinced Gramma Anne left out ingredients on her recipe cards, lol), and to create new ones that comfort, nourish, and engage.

There's something about feeding people that makes me feel good inside. It always has. During my "dark years", cooking/baking became a compulsion - it was one of the few things I could do to earn approval (since being a strong, independent woman wasn't allowed), and so the kitchen became my sanctuary. And where I gained weight and lost myself. Today, the compulsion has been replaced by passion - it's a whole new root system. I feed people - I love it, I love to see folks experience and enjoy the food I create. That process nourishes my soul. I don't do it for approval, acceptance or validation; I do it because I'm a strong, independent woman who's wings are spread wide.

There's something exciting to me, when I find a new recipe to try, or develop one that hits rave reviews, or even prepare a comforting favorite. The kitchen has become an extension of who I am, and a tool to reach out into the world with healthy, nutritious and fun food.  It's no longer my sanctuary, but my well lit and noisy arena. And just like in the arena, when my food bombs, it's boo'd. Hahaha. My family isn't subtle.

I've never been to culinary school, or taken cooking classes. I'm family and self-taught. I'm what's called an intuitive cook... which is a nice way of saying that it's almost impossible for me to follow a recipe. Call it kitchen-ADD. Lol. I throw a little of this in, a bit of that, a chunk of the other, and oooh, wouldn't this be tasty? toss, toss, shake, shake... which is why developing recipes has also helped me developed discipline. I have to write it all down as I go, as I adjust, then I have to reproduce the exact same recipe a few times to be sure someone else can get the same results.

The kitchen is also where I develop alter-egos (or, personalities, as my children would say). George likes sharp things ;-) Francoise is pretty snobby and particular about his ingredients. Jimmy just likes sugar. Bwahahaha. What I'm saying, before you call the men with butterfly nets, is that the kitchen is fun for me.

Now, I realize that it's NOT fun for some folks, which is why companies like My Fit Foods and Midwestern Meats Fitness exist. But... part of my work here at is to take away some of the fear and pain the "I hate the kitchen" people experience. I've developed easy recipes, quick, and tasty. I've laid out a single-day food prep that saves you hours throughout the week. And I've provided meal plans that give structure, nutrition, and flavor.

All because I love the kitchen.
Even if you don't.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What Day Is It??? Melanie's Check-in...

We've officially completed 8 weeks of Melanie's Transformation Journey! In the first month, Melanie learned new habits, and that she could live without 5-Hour Energy drinks ;-) She also reached, and surpassed, the goals we set. In the second month, she continued to implement her new lifestyle and branched out into taking more control over her daily food life - planning her own meals, finding and tweaking recipes, working and working hard. And now - it's weigh in day. How'd she do??

Starting Weight, November 4: 176.6 lbs
Total Lost in Month One: 7.2 lbs
Month Two Starting Weight: 169.4 lbs

Week 1:  166.6 lbs
Week 2:  165.2 lbs
Week 3:  165 lbs
Week 4: 163.8 lbs.
Week 5: 164 lbs
Total Lost: 5.4 lbs

Melanie has lost a total of 12.6 lbs - through the toughest 'diet' time of the year! That deserves a pretty rambunctious round of applause!!!  Life doesn't always make things easy on us, and the holidays are particularly fraught with food temptations, crazy schedules, and too often an inclination to postpone workouts. Throughout the season, Melanie continued to make progress and ROCK.

Melanie's numbers slowed down as her life sped up this last month, but she didn't give up and she didn't let a few stumbles take her out of the race. As we enter Month Three, she's gunning for her next goal, and I don't know about you, but I'm certain she's going to hit it and ring that bell.

Because she's awesome like that. ;-)

As we skyped this week to talk about everything, Melanie admitted to feeling a bit "lost" this week. Out of her routine, not eating properly, not exercising - she's been in survival mode. And that's ok. Really, it is. The important thing is that she didn't derail, didn't walk away. She slowed down, that's all. That .2 lb gain from week 4 to week 5? That's just water - probably from higher sodium foods than she's used to. And it'll go away.

Tomorrow marks Melanie returning to routine, to plan. As she gets back to her healthful and mindful eating, drinking the water her body needs, and exercising, she'll kick that metabolism back to high burn and see results next week.

What about you? Has your pursuit of your goals slowed down? Are you still on the road or are you sitting beside it feeling lost? GET UP. GET BACK TO IT. YOU CAN DO IT!!! Even through a tumultuous and busy month, Melanie still lost 5.4 lbs!! That's victory!! You can have that victory, too! Don't put off getting back in the game... don't wait for tomorrow or next week. Start with your very next meal. There's no reason to delay, and every reason to jump on it! You deserve it.

I'd like to recommend a couple of resources (apart from my entire website, lol) that can help you.

The first is Tosca Reno's new book, The Start Here Diet. I got my copy and let me just say, WOW! It's fantastic! If you're just beginning your journey, this is the book to pick up! If you're farther in your journey - there's a lot in there for you, too! I'm celebrating 5 years of maintaining my goal weight, and in the first chapter I had to stop and think, recognize that some of my former-fatty mentalities are still here. This is truly a wonderful resource, and I encourage you to pick it up.

The second resource is my downloadable meal plans. I've done everything for you except cook your food! Each plan comes with a comprehensive getting started guide, the meal plan (6 meals a day, 7 days a week) a one-day food prep guide, grocery shopping list, and all the recipes (with nutritional information). It's all there. The food tastes great, it's easy, it's family friendly, and I even give you a treat meal once a week! If you're serious about eating clean and reaching your weight loss goals, take a look at my plans. For the month of January, they're all 20% off.

You've absolutely got this. And I'm here to help.
Best Wishes!!

Champion Performance Recipe of the Week - Protein Zucchini Muffins

There's so much you can do with protein powder! I love to play with it in the kitchen, and while shakes are quick, easy, and portable, so are... Muffins! I developed this recipe while prepping for the Figure stage to fit my snack macros - and they taste GREAT! PLUS... they're versatile - swap out the zucchini for carrot, apple or blueberries to change things up! You CAN enjoy terrific tasting food while sticking to your goals! 

Chelle's Protein Zucchini Muffins
makes 6 muffins

1/4 cup dry oatmeal/rolled outs - ground to flour (in a coffee grinder, or just use 1/4 cup oat flour)
1/4 cup Coconut Flour
2 Tbsp ground flax seed
1/4 tsp sea-salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg white
1 Tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
8 drops Capella Flavor Drops Apple Pie (optional)
1 tsp vanilla (pure extract)
1 cup shredded zucchini (skin included)

Mix together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients, then blend together with the dry. When nearly blended, add the cup of shredded zucchini and mix together.

Spray a muffin tin with oil (I use coconut). Divide the batter into 6 muffin cups. Bake at 350 for about 20-24 minutes. (At 15 minutes I start checking them every 3 minutes until they're just starting to go gold/brown on top - don't over-bake these! You'll end up with a dry nasty rock.) Remove from oven when a knife inserted comes out clean (even if they don't look done). Set on cooling rack.

Mix frosting:

In a small bowl, mix 2 Tbsp vanilla unsweetened almond milk with 1/2 tsp vanilla. If you like, add 4 drops of your favorite Capella flavor drop (I like either Caramel or Apple Pie with these muffins). Slowly add liquid to 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, stirring constantly. When all liquid is incorporated, you can add a few drops of coconut oil to "smooth" out the icing. Divide icing among the six cooled muffins.

Store in airtight container in fridge.

Nutrition info is per muffin. Recipe makes six full-size muffins, frosted.
119 calories; 13 grams protein, 9 grams carbs, 3 grams fat, 4 grams fiber. 5 grams net carbs.
These are super snacks that are easily portable! Just toss 'em in your cooler and go!

Special Note... CERTAIN PRODUCT LINKS THAT APPEAR ON THIS PAGE COME FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.  “Recipe for Fitness is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to”

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Hanging with Danica (Patrick, that is!)

While the first day of the New Year was a bit shaky for us, it's been flowing fun and fabulous since (knock on wood). I am super-duper excited to share with you one of the exciting fun and fabulous events coming up... On Monday, January 6th I will be participating in a GoDaddy, Danica Patrick, and Google+ Hangout! Danica will be answering questions from those of us on the panel, and the whole event will stream live!

Danica is an inspiration and a true "Go-Getter". She's a fabulous role model for eating clean and staying fit, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to interact with her! I'm very grateful for the opportunity!! Lisa Stone, the founder of BlogHer will be moderating the Hangout, and it sounds like it's going to be a really fun event! I hope you'll join us!!

WHEN:  Monday, January 6th at 4:15 pm
HOW:  Google+ Hangout. Video 'chat'.
ABOUT THE EVENT:  Join GoDaddy Driver and NASCAR star Danica Patrick on Monday, January 6th. Danica Patrick is a woman thriving in the male-dominated sport of NASCAR and a long-time GoDaddy spokeswoman. Her inspirational story began when she was a young girl dreaming of competing at the highest level of racing. Today, her list of accomplishments are unmatched and she is a star both on and off track. Danica is proof-positive of the power in following your passion and relentlessly pursuing your dreams. Together, Danica and GoDaddy are focused on helping small businesses ‘get found’ online so they can beat the odds and achieve their goals.

I also can't wait to see the GoDaddy Super Bowl commercial this year! Danica is in it (of course) but something's a little different about her...
You can read about her new look and get a sneak peak at the new commercial here:

As some of you may be aware, GoDaddy is working hard to creatively rebrand themselves. It's an exciting process and I, personally, love the new direction. You can read more about it here:

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year, Rough Start...

The house is packed, noisy, and full of love and fun. Through the holidays, we've managed to get all of our kids back home and are even now enjoying the chaos and company :-)  At this moment, while Sadie naps while I work, there are 6 loved ones taking turns in the shower, playing with the dogs and/or the xbox, and generally filling the house with sound and energy. I love it.

Our New Year's Eve was great... we hit a local bar in Chandler with friends and enjoyed a killer warmup with a band from School of Rock (those kids are seriously talented), then a Led Zeppelin tribute, lol. After, we headed to their house to watch the ball drop, then drove back home to Scottsdale where Sadie, Winnie, and Bear were waiting. The older kids had all gone to an overnight party, and Bethany had gone camping with friends. Our victory this year was being awake to watch the ball drop. ;-)

The next morning, the older kids were all home safe (and tired, haha), sleeping anywhere and everywhere, but I couldn't reach Bethany. Spotty cell service, I thought, and ignored the mommy-fear.

Bill and I headed out to (where else) Home Depot for a few odds and ends, then looked at furniture. I still couldn't reach Bethany. Finally, just before one, I got a message.

"There was an accident."

With an incredibly grateful heart, I can tell you that somebody's guardian angel deserves a big fat raise. And a medal. Each of the four kids are lucky to be alive. They were off-roading and having their usual fun, when they took a corner too fast and rolled the truck three times. Three passengers were belted in, including my daughter who was wearing only a lap belt, center front seat. The driver was not seat-belted and was thrown from the vehicle after the first roll. Apart from the driver, who received 7 staples in his head, the others have very minor injuries - mostly bruises and cuts from glass from the crash and cactus from searching for the driver.

This morning Bethany is very sore, but alive. Here are some of the photos...

There are simply no words to express my thankfulness. I am overwhelmed. And isn't it funny how the human body responds to stress... once she was home safely, the remaining blood washed away, and tucked up sleeping, I got sick as a dog and stayed that way all through this morning. Crazy. Bethany is very stiff and sore, and we're dealing with a few tiny cuts, but she's alive, she's safe. I'm having a hard time not chaining her to my side and simply hugging her constantly. I'm changing the subject now so I don't cry.

Ok. Remodel...

We're in a kind of lull, as there was a crack in the foundation that has to be ground down and filled so the flooring can be finished up, but meanwhile, Dad has put in all the cabinetry hardware (45 door pulls, plus 7 in the bathroom), he and Mom sealed the tile/grout in the bathroom, and done a million other things to help move it along. Today the grinding will take place, so hopefully tomorrow the floor will start up again. Additional delays include my counter tops. The rock we needed was ordered incorrectly by the vendor - twice, and we're crossing our fingers it'll be in today. We're hoping by next week it'll be poured and curing so the rest of the cabinetry can go in, then the crown molding. We finally found the baseboards we wanted... and at almost a 1/4 of the price!!! If you're looking for doors, trim, windows, etc, in the Phoenix metro area - look up  When you're shopping for 300 linear feet of trim, 1/4 of the price is NICE!  We also found the interior door knobs we wanted - 11 sets. Lol! Anyway, it's all amazing to watch, and incredible to look around and say, "My Dad did that", "My Mom did that", "Jordan did that". We are well and truly blessed. Here are some more photos...

Bathroom, just waiting for shower glass and the toilet to be put back (lol), then the countertops poured, then my gorgeous vessel sinks. :-)

Laundry room cabinet...

Kitchen cabinetry - hardware on!

It's all super exciting, and we can't wait to see it finished. We both wish, very much, we were more... umm, skilled, lol, so that we could help more. I may not be able to work power tools (safely), but I can mad shop! lol!

So... there's the news in our world. On another note, it's incredible to me that 7 years ago today I walked into a gym and changed my life. I'm proof - it can be done, and it can be maintained. The power is yours to transform. And remember that I'm here to help.

Visit for tons of free tools, and if you're looking for a tasty and easy to follow meal plan, check out our 20% off sale!

Happy New Year!!