Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Lovely "Inevitable" Holiday Weight Gain

"My Winter Coat", "It's just because I'm not tan anymore", "It's not like I have to wear anything tight", "I love comfort food too much", "I'd rather stay bundled up then go to the gym".

Don't we all make these excuses from time to time? I will be the first to admit that I do. The holidays are here, and it is really easy to pack on the pounds in such a short window of time. The temptations seriously seem like they SPEAK to me, how about you? Pastries, baked goods, sugary coffees, heavy meals, and carbs all seem like they are in close vicinity. BUT lets take a step back and remember why we don't need all these things (or as much of them as we are tempted to eat).

I definitely know that when I eat too much of something I know is bad for me, it not only effects my stomach (literally sick to my stomach) it also effects my mood (I become disappointed I "let myself go").I have realized life is about balance, and indulging in yummy food (even if it isn't 100% nutritious) is alright to do from time to time. The key is not OVER-INDULGING and also NOT indulging too frequently.

Make sure you are working out, but don't think that working out 4-5 times a week means you can eat everything in sight. Make all your meals you know you can plan, that you choose wisely (lean proteins/veggies/healthy fats/etc.) If you plan your week around healthy meals then a treat or two won't kill you.

The best part about this all is you can sort of "have your cake and eat it too", because if you plan for a treat at a Christmas party then it won't effect your weight. One treat or even 3 can keep you in maintenance.

Enjoy your life, you only have one to live.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sugar-Free Pumpkin Pudding

I wanted to make a "lighter" dessert this year for an after thanksgiving turkey sandwich party we had at our house. We have had enough food to fill us, no pies needed! I made this easy 4 minute recipe, because my mom needed something quick! Try it out and see if you like it too!

1 Big Can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) (you can use two smaller cans also)
2 Big Boxes of sugar-free butterscotch pudding (or 4 small boxes)
3 Cups Unsweetened almond milk (or soy milk/ non-fat milk)
1/2 C. Crushed walnuts
1 Tub fat-free whipped topping

1. Mix all ingredients in big bowl.
2. Refrigerate at least 1 hr.
3. Serve and enjoy.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thea's Thanksgiving Tips:

Thea's Thanksgiving Tips:
1. Start your day with a morning workout. A run, hike, or walk with
your family could be fun!
2. Drink tons of water! This helps you recognize real hunger versus
3. Eat veggies and protein first then go on to bite at the heavier
foods. (ie. By filling up on tons of mashed potatoes/gravy/bread rolls/
stuffing you are more likely to consume more and get less nutrients
from these).
4. Grab a smaller plate and utensils. (this helps you not overSTACK
and slow down when you eat).
5. Bring healthier options that still taste amazing (sugar-free mousse
or pudding, homemade healthy cake, cookies, dark chocolate)
6. Eat throughout the day, and don't eat like you've never seen food
before ( most likely there will be leftovers tomorrow).
7. Enjoy your meal and a slice of desert(don't deprive yourself,
hopefully you've been eating clean and deserve a holiday treat).
8. If you're planning on drinking. Sip on water between beverages. Also stay away from high-calorie add-ins if you are making mixed drinks. TRY: Brut Champagne, Unsweetened Cranberry Juice, With a few cranberries in the glass.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thea's Turkey Stuffed Baked Acorn Squash

It's about to be thanksgiving. To me I think of cranberry, squash, turkey, cinnamon, apple cider, etc. I thought I would take a risk and try a "out of the ordinary" recipe. These flavors of Thanksgiving all in one turned out to mix extremely well. This is a comforting, and filling meal. This meal is so nutritious, you would never expect all that flavor to come through so well!

1 Medium Acorn squash
10 Oz. Extra Lean Ground Turkey
1 1/2 C. Spinach
1/4 White onion chopped
1/2 C. Chopped mushroom
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Garlic
1/4 C. Unsweetened Apple Juice
1/4 C. Unsweetened cranberries (dried are ok as well)
2 Tbsp. Slivered almonds

1.Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2.Using a strong chef's knife, cut the acorn squash in half, lengthwise, from stem to end. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff in the center of each half.
3. On baking pan fill with 1/4 in. water, then place each half in a baking pan, cut side down.
4. bake for about 25-30 minutes or until soft.


1. In large pan on the stove top, add spinach, garlic, onion, mushroom, cinnamon, unsweetened apple juice, cranberries, and almonds.
2. Let them reduce until spinach and mushrooms are cooked.
3. Add Turkey and stir until cooked through.


1. Take acorn squash out of the oven.
2. Drain the water, and flip open sides of squash up.
3. Spoon turkey mixture into acorn squash and fill squash.

4. Add in to oven for about 8-10 minutes.
5. Remove from oven, plate up, and serve.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thea's Healthy Ahi Burger with Avocado and Cilantro Lime spread

Thea's Healthy Ahi Burger with Avocado and Cilantro Lime spread

I got a little tired of turkey, chicken, and egg whites this week! I decided to take a little risk and try a little something new. AHI BURGERS:) I usually put hummus or something as a spread, or an aoili (but aoili is super unhealthy loaded w trans fats). I made up a recipe that ended up amazing. To be honest, one of the best recipe's I've made yet!

Serves 2

2 4-5 Oz. portions of Ahi Tuna (wild caught)
Mrs. Dash lemon pepper seasoning
4 Slices bread (I used 50 calorie Flaxseed bread from Sprouts Market)
1/2 Avocado

1/3 C. 0% plain greek yogurt
1/2 Tbsp. Garlic
1 tsp. grated ginger
1/5 Chopped white onion
Juice from 1/2 lime
1/4 C. chopped cilantro (parsley works too)
Pepper and salt to taste

1. In small bowl mix all "spread" ingredients.
2. Spray large pan with olive oil spray and set to medium/high heat.
3. Add salt free lemon pepper seasoning to Ahi.
4. Sear ahi for about 2 minutes, flip and sear for 2 more minutes.
5. Toast bread.
6. Spread "spread" on one piece of toast for each person, spread other halves with fresh avocado.
7. Add ahi, make in to a sandwich, and take a BIG BITE:)

The best thing about this recipe, is it is not only healthy, but just as juicy and flavorful as ANY high end restaurant (just with a way cheaper price).

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thea's Clean Eating Peanut Butter Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thea's Clean Eating Peanut Butter Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

The holidays are right around the corner. Who says you can't enjoy yourself without de-railing your diet. I was playing around and made up a DELICIOUS yet uber-healthy cookie recipe that is too tasty to keep to myself. I'm sharing it and hope you can all try and enjoy it!

1 1/4 C. Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 C. Unsweetened Coconut
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
1 C. Dark Chocolate Chips
2 Egg Whites
1/2 C. Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1 C. Agave Nectar
1/2 C. Unsalted Peanut Butter
1/4 C. Unsweetened Almond Milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In medium bowl mix dry ingredients (first 6 ingredients)
3. In large seperate bowl mix wet ingredients(last 5 ingredients)
4. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet mixture.
5. Spray 2 cookie sheets with non-stick spray.
6. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes (until golden-brown).
7. Eat and enjoy

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thea's Pistachio Butter Recipe

MMMMMmmmmm. Don't we all love nut butters?! I love peanut butter (as you all know), almond butter is super tasty, and I thought making pistachio butter would be just as delicious. A simple recipe I was curious to try, became a hit! I LOVE pistachio butter now:) Enjoy with some whole grain crackers, on whole wheat toeast, paired with cheeses, or even on fruit!

Thea's Pistachio Butter Recipe


1 Cup pistachios
1/4 C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 C. Lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In food processor mix pistachios.
2. Slowly add in oil and lemon.

3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Don't Let People Bring You Down

This blog is touching a pretty sensitive topic for many. Whether your friends/family are supportive of your habits is pretty reflective on their attitudes towards you. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Sometimes family and the people we love can bring on road blocks in the way of our goals without us knowing. Usually we think random people can bring us down, but what I realized is that the people closest to me whom are the people whose comments and actions towards me hit the hardest, Confused? Let me share a few stories to explain.
When I went on a journey to lose weight after gaining the freshman + sophomore 20(ish). I realized I needed to do this for me. I wasn't feeling confident, I didn't feel like I was living in a body I was proud of, or even comfortable in. It was time for me to make some BIG changes. This started with a overhaul on my pantry/fridge. I increased my workout durations to 1hour+ a day at least once sometimes twice a day. This unhappiness I felt, needed to end. I wanted to get my life back on track.
I changed the way I ate, worked out, and even socialized. I removed myself from situations where I became uncomfortable. I cut back on consuming alcohol, reduced stress by walking and yoga, as well as sleeping more. When people would invite me out and I didn't want to go (usually partying till 3am) I would simply decline. I never stopped seeing my friends, but would in return invite them for a cup of coffee, movie, or dinner at my house. I felt comfortable in these settings.
I began getting horrible responses to my new healthy lifestyle. People couldn't understand my reasoning with not going to Taco Tuesday, Wine Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, TGIFriday, and Saturday evening partying.
People started making snide comments to me when I did go out, "why don't you want to drink?" "It's only beer, like 100 calories". I remember being offended, because I didn't like that people couldn't understand that it wasn't about the calories. It was about the principle, making choices to help me reach my goals. My goal was to get my confidence back, and feel great. Drinking beer wasn't a priority at this time to me.
Some friends stopped calling.. Some we became closer. When friends or family hadn't seen me in a while, and saw me after my weight loss they all reacted different. Some positive, you look great! Some "What happened to your ass", some said, "what is your trick" I even had some people call me "bobble-head" "anorexic" "bulimic". All these responses definitely triggered emotions. I knew that I was the only one who knew my life. NO I wasn't anorexic or bulimic. I did lose a significant amount of weight (I also had salmonella -a food-born illness- which I lost weight from and was ill for almost a month) that being said no one took that in to account or cared. I felt bullied, but for once didn't take it too bad. I finally built the confidence I was searching for in my lifestyle and healthy habits. At this point no one knew my life but me.
My family (especially my mom) showed concern, they knew me as a skinny girl growing up. They also (in my surprise) didn't say anything to me when I gained so much weight freshman year ( fast food + alcohol), and showed more concern when I jumped on the health train. I had people trying to sabotage my ways, but once people realized I changed my lifestyle all the sudden I earned support.
Now everyone in my life knows the way I am. I love to eat good, cook, be active, and healthy. I try to stay positive throughout my journey, and help other people on theirs. I know I am not perfect and don't preach to be. I am trying to create habits which make me feel most energized and excited about life. I think I have found what works. Food doesn't rule me. I LOVE great foods, flavors, and spices. I just want whoever that is reading this (extremely long post) to know that whatever you want in life and whatever goals you set are made for you. Do not let people in your life suffocate that dream, stay positive and even if you have setbacks you can still persevere!
Don't let people bring you down!