Turkey Muffins – the Perfect Protein Snack!

Making a big batch of healthy eats for the entire week is critical to getting thru the busy week. These Turkey Muffins by Jamie Eason have been a staple in my diet, as well as my clients when they are competing in the Ohio Body Transformation Challenge. It packs in protein, hides some veggies and is low in calories – makes for the perfect afternoon snack or even an appetizer at a holiday party – in which you use a mini muffin tin instead!

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Ingredients:


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray muffin pan with canola or olive oil.
  3. Mix all your ingredients together in one large bowl.
  4. Roll the mixture into balls and place in muffin pan. Muffins should be about the size of a racquetball.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes.

ENJOY! ❤

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Hosting Healthy [on a budget]

This past week was Jeremy’s 31st birthday. If you have a healthy and selfless individual in your life, this is the post for you to read. I faced [[and ultimately conquered]] how to host a healthy get together and give a gift that keeps on giving.

 

A few facts about Jeremy: He adores time with his family, hates getting presents, prefers to give gifts instead, and pays very close attention to each and every ingredient in food, and loves marinated mushrooms. ❤

I’m awful at keeping secrets from Jer, so hiding birthday surprises is crazy hard. So I let him know that we had dinner reservations at a Milestone 229 [a swanky restaurant in downtown Columbus with a n appealing gluten-free menu] and would be heading there after we ate a few appetizers at home. What he didn’t know was that his sister, brother-in-law, brother, nephew, and cousins would be joining us!

I should have taken more photos, because everything worked out perfect! I themed everything around the feel of autumn. Warm colors and smells, and savory flavors. I updated our Wallflowers to the yummy smelling scents of Pumpkin Cupcake and Vanilla Chai. Picked up a few decorations from the $3 section at Target [a pumpkin, lantern, scarecrow and a wreath] to give our tiny place a warm autumn feel.

The Menu [Everything is Gluten-Free]

  1. Marinated Mushrooms [Jeremy’s favorite!]
  2. Tomato-Basil Soup
  3. Organic Tortilla Chips with Spinach Dip
  4. Mini Flatbreads [a sturdy gluten-free, organic cracker] with Applewood Chicken Sausage, tomato sauce and parmesan sprinkled on top
  5. Green Apple Slices with Cinnamon or a caramel

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Recipes

I did most of my shopping at Wal-Mart and Target. I picked up a 72 piece appetizer kit from Wal-Mart for only $7 and got tons of tiny dishes, plates and silverware, that we wouldn’t have to wash after!

I used mushrooms that were already marinated for Jeremy’s favorite appetizer. I placed 4 mushrooms on each plate alongside a fork.

I used the [Simply Balanced] Tomato-Basil soup [from Target & it’s gluten-free] – placed 1/2 cup of soup into a small clear cup and topped with finely cut fresh basil leaves.

I used a premade Spinach Dip due to lack of time, but here’s a great video on how to make healthy spinach from R.D. Susan Bowerman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAlQDPBQ-R4 – I then placed dip into a mini bowl and stuck in 4 healthy rolled tortilla chips [Simply Balanced brand from Target]

I also made mini flatbreads. I started with creating a healthy pizza/pasta sauce by mixing together { 1 can [Hunt’s] Fire Roasted Tomatoes + 1 can [Hunt’s] Tomato Sauce + 1 can [Hunt’s] Tomato Paste + lots of diced garlic + Italian Seasoning } – I placed 1/2 tablespoon of sauce on top of each cracker [Simply Balanced, Brown Rice and Chia Seed] and then used 2 chopped applewood chicken sausages [also from Target] that I briefly cooked on medium high heat to brown the sausage and finally sprinkled the top with a shredded Parmesan Blend. I placed the entire plate of mini flatbreads in the microwave just long enough to melt the cheese and served immediately.

Last was a green apple [Granny Smith], thinly sliced [3 slices per mini plate] and either topped with cinnamon or with a caramel candy.

Hot [non-alcoholic] Apple Cider Bar 

Jeremy had picked up fresh milled cider from the store and thought that an apple cider bar would be perfect! I set out the cider, alongside mugs, and self serve dishes with caramels, red hots, and cinnamon sticks…if you really enjoy other spices in your cider feel free to use Rosemary, Orange Slices, Lemon Slices, or even honey.

[Portion Controlled] Dessert & Wine

I made sure Jeremy knew that I had a special idea for us planned for post dinner. I had purchased a really sweet Raspberry Wine from Cooper’s Hawk [it seriously tasted like Raspberry Jam] along side a homemade label kit that was a chalkboard label. I skipped buying a card and instead wrote my Happy Birthday love note on his own personal bottle of wine and served it with Brownie Cake Pops. They were super sweet so the easy portion control in individual dishes were a great way to go!

 

Gifting Giving

Since I knew Jeremy didn’t want anything, but he has a generous heart, I gave him a challenge of doing 31 acts of kindness. I put together 31 challenges, in a small photo book so he is able to document and reflect on everything that he did in the 31 days. It included:

  • I started him off by anonymously vacuuming everyone’s rugs in our [indoor] apartment complex and buying air fresheners
  • [5] pre-packaged meals to give to homeless members in our community – each meal included a vegetable style soup, crackers, and clean drinking water
  • [5] Thank You notes to fill out
  • Books to donate to Nationwide Children’s Hospital
  • [5] $5 gift cards to various stores to either pass on to the person after him at the grocery store, buy someone’s coffee at Starbucks, or just to give a gift
  • [5] challenges to help someone take groceries to their car
  • Organize a shoe drive thru Soles for Souls
  • Organize a community clean up in Dublin
  • Organize a neighborhood clean up at our apartment and park
  • Set up the ALS walk in Columbus
  • Volunteer at the Mustache Dash to create awareness of men’s health
  • Make a clothing donation of winter clothes to out community
  • Volunteer with the Mid-Ohio Food Bank
  • Buy flowers for a stranger that needs a pick me up

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These are the meal packs he now has in his card to give to someone asking for assistance.

Jerem’y birthday went great! Everyone arrived, we enjoyed a delicious array of appetizers and then out to dinner. At one point, I looked around and saw Jeremy’s 6 year old nephew sitting on his lap, and everyone chatting and laughing, and Jeremy grinning ear to ear – it definitely filled my heart with joy to see him so happy! Jeremy has an awesome family and it was so great to spend time all together! Best Healthy Birthday [EVER] ❤

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Happy Autmun & A Not-So-Happy PSL

I am not a fan of cold weather in the least bit. I am however, I am giant fan of leggings, boots, sweaters, soup, and magical pumpkin everything! ❤ ❤ ❤ I squeal with excitement every time my Washington-born coffee shop releases their autumn menu. With learning more about nutrition and ingredients, I was interested in what actually goes into a Pumpkin Spice Latte, or PSL, as the hipsters may refers to it. Food Babe is a popular food blog that dissected an American Staple. I was surprised, but not surprised all in the same breath. With a society that is driven by taste over nutrition quality, of course Starbucks would want to make sure their drink surpasses anything you could make at home, and with the ingredients I found, it’s definitely NOT something I can duplicate in my kitchen [[I do have a Healthy Breakfast Challenge PSL Smoothie after all of this that is delicious, includes real pumpkin, and jump starts your day]]!!

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What’s In A Pumpkin Spice Latte?

  • Espresso: water, brewed espresso coffee
  • Pumpkin Spice Flavored Sauce: Sugar, Condensed Nonfat Milk, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Annatto (food color), Natural & Artificial Flavors, Caramel Color (Class IV), Salt, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative)
  • Whipped Cream: Whipping Cream, Starbucks Vanilla Syrup (sugar, water, natural flavors, potassium sorbate, citric acid, caramel color)
  • Pumpkin Topping: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Sulfites

If you get dairy:

  • Starbucks serves Monsanto Milk – these cows are raised on GMO corn, soy, and cottonseeds and treated with antibiotics

Scary Facts:

  • Caramel Color IV is made with ammonia & considered a carcinogen
  • Absolutely no real pumpkin is used in the drink
  • Starbucks Soy Milk contains “Carrageenan” which is a stabilizer linked to intestinal inflammation and cancer
  • A grande PSL contains over 50 grams of sugar
  • The term natural flavors is ambiguous and can contain anything found on earth
  • The pumpkin spice flavor contains condensed nonfat milk, making this drink not vegan friendly even if ordered with soy milk

You can catch all of Food Babe’s blog on her Starbucks PSL discovery here:

 

I really try to pay attention to the ingredients that I fuel my body with and make smarter choices as much as possible. Obviously, the ingredients in the Starbucks Staple, PSL, are not ideal on a regular basis. Starbucks in general, has become a very very occasional event in my life. As apart of the Healthy Breakfast Challenge, I wanted to develop a yummy, fall-oriented, smoothie that embodied everything wonderful about autumn.

Healthy Breakfast Challenge PSL

 

Healthy Breakfast Pumpkin Spice Latte Smoothie

  • 8-10oz cold water
  • 1 scoop Café Latte Formula 1
  • 1 scoop Dulce de Leche Formula 1
  • Vanilla Protein Drink Mix (made your protein needs)
  • 1/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp decaf instant coffee
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • cloves
  • 3 ice cubes

Blend up everything in your blender, and ENJOY! ❤ ❤ ❤

 

If you try a healthy twist on an autumn favorite, snap a photo and share it – feel free to tag me on facebook! 🙂

 

I do have 6 more spots available for the 30 day Healthy Breakfast Challenge. Contact me if you’d like to register!

 

Healthy Breakfast Challenge

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We all have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day…but let’s be real here – How many of us skip breakfast because we are trying to lose weight and don’t want to take in the extra calories?!?! I was totally this girl! I knew how important it was, yet I still struggled. That is, until I committed to living a healthier life to inspire others. And it’s a good thing too! Here’s one of the many things I have read on WebMD. It states “Some people skip breakfast in an effort to lose weight, but that’s not a good idea — it can backfire.

Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can actually make weight control more difficult. Breakfast skippers tend to eat more food than usual at the next meal, or nibble on high-calorie snacks to stave off hunger.

Several studies suggest that people tend to add more body fat when they eat fewer, larger meals than when they eat the same number of calories in smaller, more frequent meals.”

WedMD continues, “Not only does it give you energy to start a new day, but breakfast is linked to many health benefits, including weight control and improved performance. 

Studies show that eating a healthy breakfast (as opposed to the kind containing doughnuts) can help give you:

  • A more nutritionally complete diet, higher in nutrients, vitamins and minerals
  • Improved concentration and performance in the classroom or the boardroom
  • More strength and endurance to engage in physical activity
  • Lower cholesterol levels

Eating breakfast is important for everyone, but is especially so for children and adolescents. According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat breakfast perform better in the classroom and on the playground, with better concentration, problem-solving skills, and eye-hand coordination.”

So now we can all agree that there are many benefits to a healthy breakfast, and let’s just clarify, coffee and a pastry do not count as “healthy” – we are talking food with real colors, not dye, vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber! But there are still so many people that skip this critical part of their day that jump starts their metabolism and activates their brain power. So I have started

The Healthy Breakfast Challenge

for the month of September!!! And it is going full force – It’s not too late! You can still become apart of the challenge and score FREE nutrition products! Send me an email if you’re interested!

Here’s how it works:
1) Order YOUR personalized program from me in September 
2) Stick to YOUR personalized plan (1-2 shakes a day, but 1 shake has to be for breakfast
3) Snap ONE photo every week. Post on your Facebook page and tag me
4) Get friends to join you for FREE products!

 

It’s pretty simple! I enjoyed a delicious smoothie this morning that packed in 24g Protein, good-for-me fiber, vitamin A + E + C + D and important minerals like Calcium + Iron + Magnesium + Folate! [nom nom nom] In fact, I loved it so much, I wanted to share the recipe with you! I call this one the

Fruity [& Veggie] Pebble Smoothie

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  • 8oz purified water
  • 2 scoops Orange Cream Formula 1 (contact me to order yours)
  • 2 scoops Vanilla Protein Drink Mix (contact me to order yours)
  • 1 handful mixed green (I like a baby Kale & Chard blend)
  • 1/4 sliced banana
  • 1/4 tsp raspberry extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia seeds
  • 3 ice cubes

Blend it all up and ENJOY the power of a great, healthy smoothie to kick start your metabolism and help you kick your day square in the teeth! ❤