Healthy Holiday Recipes!

These 4 recipes will get you started toward healthier holidays!

Remember, portion control is your #1 line of defense :)



Pumpkin Muffins

¾ cup whole wheat flour

¾ cup oat bran cereal (found over on top of the oatmeal and is super cheap)

½ teaspoon baking soda

1-2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (to your taste)

½ cup natural sugar (sugar in the raw works)

½ teaspoon salt


Wet ingredients

1 mashed banana

½ cup kefir (or plain nonfat yogurt will work)

1 egg white + 1 whole egg, beaten

2 tablespoons pumpkin puree (in the can, make sure it says pure pumpkin)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 carrot, peeled and grated

½ cup pitted dates (optional)

½ cup walnuts (optional)

Mix the dry ingredients in 1 bowl, wet in another then gently mix together. Spoon into muffin tins (the silver liners work best) and pop into an oven preheated to 425 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.




Leftover Turkey Soup


Post Thanksgiving

2 cups skinless turkey breasts (white meat has less fat than dark meat)

1 cup diced celery

1 diced onion

4 minced garlic cloves

2 chopped sweet potatoes

1 diced sweet pepper (red, yellow, orange)

1 handful chopped cilantro

Dash of sea salt

Pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons chili powder

2 Teaspoons ground ginger

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1-2 cups turkey or chicken broth (no fat)



Using a large soup pot, place olive oil, onion, garlic, celery and sweet potatoes and cook until onion becomes transparent in color. Then add the rest of the ingredients, adding enough water to cover; bring to a boil and cook on medium heat until the veggies are cooked through. Enjoy!




 Mexican Soup

6 cups low sodium chicken stock

1 large purple onion

2 red bell peppers, seeded

2 chili peppers, chopped

5 plum tomatoes, chopped

1 cup corn kernels

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 bouillon cubes

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons taco seasoning

1 teaspoon paprika

1 can red kidney beans, rinsed

Throw all ingredients into your Crockpot and cook on medium heat.




1 onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground turkey breast, lean beef, or bison

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

Dash of cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 poblano pepper

1 green bell pepper

2 cups low sodium chicken stock

1 cup chopped cilantro

1 and ½ teaspoon ground cumin seeds

Ancho chilis

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 can rinsed red kidney beans


Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil

Add ground meat and brown

Season with cocoa powder, cayenne and chili powder

Add fresh peppers (poblano, bell etc)


In soup pot boil broth or stock

Add chopped cilantro, cumin seed, ancho chile, chopped tomatoes (or paste or sauce)


Transfer meat to soup pot and simmer down to your preferred consistency.

Add beans if you want.


Motivation Monday: Deeply Rooted


You know, in my world I get the “I have no motivation” saying MANY times a day. I think it should be stated that when it comes to weight loss and fitness, motivation is NOT a factor at all.

Why do I say that? Well, motivation is a fleeting thing. Motivation happens when we see a picture of ourselves and want to change the exterior. Motivation comes when the doctor gives us bad news. Motivation is a factor when we watch the athletes battle for status and gold. Motivation will forsake you. Motivation will leave you. Motivation is NOT the deciding factor and therefore it is an excuse you should drop: RIGHT NOW.

What is the main factor in reaching your goals then? Preparation, planning, consistency and ultimately, habits. In order to change your life into what you want it to be, you must first change the habits that got your life right where it is now. If you fail to believe that, success is no longer an option but rather just a dream.

Habits keep your roots firm no matter what happens in life. There are few people in the fitness world who have firmly rooted habits. I have known many competitors who torture their bodies for a specific look only to binge after a show. I have seen athletes train for a specific distance, only to become true couch potatoes afterwards. These are people who are only driven by motivation. It is far worse to punish the body and then binge than it would be to carry that extra 10-15 pounds. Motivation can drive you further from your goals, not closer.

The picture above was taken on our family hike in Nashville. What struck me as beautiful is the fact that this tree was nearly uprooted, yet still very much alive. It’s roots were so firm that when the tree began to be forced over (most likely through a storm) the roots held it tight to the ground. Did the tree change? Indeed! It has become a refuge of strength for smaller animals and a fortress of hope for those seeking protection from the very elements which sought to uproot this grand oak. And here you thought it was just a tree….

When you depend on motivation, life will inevitably get in the way. Then it is far too easy to use the “unmotivated” excuse and get on the pity party band wagon. Find your roots! It takes decades for an oak tree to establish a root system, but it cannot grow up until it gets grounded. Set a firm foundation and stick to it. If you are trying to lose weight or increase your fitness level, find a program and believe in it. Don’t skip around and try to plant roots everywhere. Find YOUR root system, establish your foundation and let your goals grow from that point.

Set aside silly notions that only the motivated meet their goals! It is not the motivated at all, but the determined and rooted that reach each goal they have set for themselves.