Cookie Dough Quest Bar Cereal

If you haven’t realized, I’ve recently become an unofficial spokesperson for Quest Bars. I talk about them almost daily, I recommend them to those with a sweet tooth, and I just generally praise their existence. Almost as much as peanut butter, but that’s pushing it.

Okay, so Quest Bars are no chocolate lava cake, but they are the closest thing you will get to that while still keeping your diet clean. They don’t taste like any ordinary-100 ingredient list-high calorie-no protein-just carbs-diet bar. Each flavor tastes amazing, you almost feel like you’re cheating on your diet! But don’t worry, you’re not. Each Quest Bar has 160-190 calories, 4 net carbs, a ridiculous amount of fiber (rock on), and a weird amount of protein. Weird, as in freakin’ awesome, that is. Where does the protein come from? I’ll list the ingredients for the Cookie Dough Quest Bar, and then you’ll see.

-Protein Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Milk Protein Isolate)
-Isomalto-Oligosaccharides (100% Natural Prebiotic Fiber)
-Almonds
-Water
– Unsweetened Chocolate
-Cocoa Butter
-Erythritol

It may look like I skimped on the ingredient list, but I’ll give you some proof.

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The first time I heard about Quest Bars I could have sworn they were going to taste like plastic. I got a Cinnamon Roll Quest Bar and ate it. It was delicious, but I was still not THAT impressed. Why was everyone raving about them? I then realized that my quest bar was practically frozen, so it was a little harder than it should have been. I put it in the microwave, and it’s all a blur from there.

Quest Bar Nutrition’s instagram posts 15 second recipe videos, which can also be found on youtube. I want to start trying almost all of them! Which takes me to my first experiment. Quest Bar Cereal. Who doesn’t love cereal? The other day I saw someone eating Reeses Cereal and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. My inner fat girl was crying to come out. Anywho, this happened:

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-1 Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Quest Bar
-1 Rice Cake
-1 Small Banana
-1/2 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk

The instructions are also very simple. Set your oven to 350 degrees. Cut your Quest Bar into tiny pieces. I’d say bite size but, I take big bites. I cut my quest bar into pieces the size of peanut M&M’s (yum). Lay your quest bar pieces on a cookie sheet, or a piece of tin foil¬†(I didn’t feel like doing dishes). Once your oven is preheated, put your quest bar in your oven and set your timer for 4 MINUTES. No more, no less. Once that 4 minutes is up, take out your quest bar and “stir”. Put your quest bar back in the over for another 4 MINUTES. No more, no less. Once my four minutes were up I put my quest bar pieces directly in the freezer for another four minutes. I chopped up my rice cake into cereal-like pieces, cut up my banana, and took my Quest Bar Cereal out of the freezer and added it to the bowl! Add your milk and enjoy ūüôā¬†

Yours Truly,

Stef

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For a video of how to do this, click here!

Quick Meals & Sweet Snacks

Before you read; This post isn’t all about chicken. But naturally, I rant about it for a solid half hour.

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Chicken is a pretty touchy subject for those who eat it all the time. When I first started becoming more aware of my eating habits, my focus was mostly on counting calories. Chicken seemed to be something that fit my macros appropriately. I could also eat a larger portion of chicken for a lower amount of calories than, say, ground beef. I always favored chicken… chicken breast, chicken thighs. I’d have chicken for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Chicken for days. And I mean…DAYS. So here I am, making my grocery list, and realizing that I have to buy some chicken. Buzzkill of the century. It’s more the thought of chicken that’s been pissing me off. In reality, when I sit down and eat it, it’s not that bad. I go through stages with my diet. Sometimes my go-to is chicken and sometimes it isn’t. I realized it’s because I never really experimented enough with chicken. Pictured above is chicken I seasoned with Lemon Juice, Mrs. Dash Chicken Seasoning & Mrs. Dash Spicy Seasoning. The lemon juice adds some moisture to it, and the mix of seasonings keep it exciting.

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Pictured above is a dish that looks a lot more fancy that it is. It is, simply, 5 cups of Kale, 2 cups of Mushrooms, under 1 pound of chicken, seasoned with Lemon Juice & Mrs. Dash Chicken Seasoning.

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I cooked this dish on 400 degrees for I don’t know how long. Estimate 25-30 minutes. Depending on the intensity of your oven. Anywho, I cut the chicken up into slices, added more lemon juice, and put it back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes to ensure that the chicken was fully cooked.¬†(I realize I need to start writing things down when I cook them so I don’t forget how to cook them. On my way to be the number one cooking blog in America..)

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I served my dish over a mixture of brown & wild rice and quinoa. It was very tasty and the chicken kept it’s moisture! Nobody likes dry chicken.

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This chicken dish was prepared in my cute little crockpot. I stared at my chicken for a solid ten minutes because I couldn’t figure out how to cook it and the last thing I wanted to do was cook these babies whole. Shredded chicken was my best bet. I put a pound and a half of chicken in my crock pot with 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth. I added Lemon Juice (obvi), Basil leaves, and Mrs. Dash Italian Blend seasoning. You haven’t lived until you’ve used Mrs. Dash Italian Blend seasoning… it’s a game changer. I let it cook on low for about 8 hours. I then changed it to warm and let it sit, which is something I’m never gonna do again because it wasn’t nearly as juicy as it should have been. So, next time, I’ll probably cook it on high for about 5 hours max and take it out. In the middle of the day, I slowly started shredding the chicken. Once it was cooked through, I shredded it completely and let it sit. The flavor was perfect but the chicken was slightly overcooked. I think I’m gonna try again today. I would have taken pictures of the finishing project but it was gone in 60 seconds or less. I’ll document when I’m more successful.

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Oh, tilapia. I have the same opinion about tilapia as I do with chicken. I cooked 7 ounces of Tilapia in Mrs. Dash Italian Blend seasoning and lemon juice. I put my tilapia over sliced celery, and a delicious slaw I’ve been buying from Kroger! I added lemon juice, hot sauce and horseradish mustard to the top and mixed it like a salad. It was delicious! I’ve been doing this with my tuna, too. The slaw adds a perfect crunch!

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I cooked about 3 pounds of Ground Turkey meat with Lemon Juice, Basil Leaves and a blend of italian seasonings that my mother gave me while I was home last weekend. The seasoning is delicious and has no sodium! Pictured above is just 6 oz of Ground Turkey with asparagus and carrots. I added hot sauce to my ground turkey. Perfectly portioned meal. Meat & veggies, you can’t go wrong!

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Pictured above is the same ground turkey meat I cooked, over rice and veggies, and a little bit of Mia’s Basil Marinara sauce! This meal gave me my italian fix, without the splurge! This was about 6 oz Ground Turkey, 3/4 cup rice, and two cups veggies! When I eat rice I typically eat 1/2 cup (measured cooked) brown rice.

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Onto some more “sweeter” options. Everybody likes a sweet every now and then. We’re only human. Sweet potatoes aren’t exactly a “sweet”, but they taste like candy when cooked to perfection! I turn my oven on 400 degrees and let my sweet potato sit for about an hour. I take it out when it starts oozing. (Oozing? Ew.) I haven’t made sweet potatoes in awhile, but I’m back on that bandwagon.

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Rice cakes have been my go-to snack lately. It may be one of those obsessions that I will soon get tired of, but right now I’m on a roll. I have been limiting my nut butter to, barely, twice a week. Rice cakes are also a great snack choice when eating nut butter because you are less likely to overeat. I just spread one tablespoon of nut butter on one rice cake, add some jelly, and I get my peanut butter and jelly fix! I haven’t been eating nut butter because it is so easy to overeat. You’d be lying if you said you’ve never sat there with a spoon and your jar of peanut or almond butter. Once I stop eating nut butter for a week or two, I stop craving it. Allowing myself to have it every now and then keeps me disciplined. I know I can eat it, but the less I have it, the more likely I am to have it in moderation. Portion control.

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I might do a whole blog post about Quest Bars, so I’m going to keep this light. This is a Cinnamon Roll Quest Bar, baked in the oven on 350 for 6 minutes, with 1 tbsp Nut Butter & 1 tbsp Jelly on top. I’d talk about it, but all you have to do is look, and you get the picture.

IMG_5296Last but not least… Cucumbers? As many of you know, there is a huge community of “fitness freaks” on the social media site, instagram. #FitFam #EatClean #InstaFit I recently saw someone post a bowl of cucumbers with…cinnamon? I thought it was weird, but then I heard from a friend how delicious it really was. So I cut up my cucumbers, added cinnamon and liquid stevia, and holy crap it was good!

As you can see, all of these meals are very healthy, easy, and diet friendly! Eating healthy doesn’t have to be a chore. It can be fun! You just have to get in the right mindset and you’re halfway there. Enjoy!

Yours Truly,

Stef

IIFYM, Eat Clean, Paleo – What’s Next?

I recently got a little made fun of for my “Clean Eating” mantra, which inspired me to briefly go over what it means to #eatclean. So there are a million different ways of eating out there, and I’ve tried a few of them.

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I started dieting with an IIFYM approach. At the time, I had no idea that I was even following this fad. For those of you who are out of the loop, IIFYM stands for If It Fits Your Macros. I don’t like to get all scientific, but this ones science. You need a caloric deficit, Calories in, calories out, yadda yadda… “science”. Anyways, IIFYM promotes flexible dieting. It is a GREAT approach for beginner dieters, and those who are just starting their journey towards awesomeness. ¬†IIFYM was the main reason I was so successful with my weightloss journey. I counted my calories on an app called My Net Diary. In my About Me, I listed a few foods I ate that helped me get in the groove and drop a few pounds. Because I wasn’t completely restricted to chicken and broccoli, dieting became fun. I have undiagnosed OCD, and my diet was something I had complete control over, and I liked that. I fit Special K cereal into my diet, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and a healthy serving of pasta and chicken for dinner, all as long as it fit into my available macronutrients! I was not limiting myself, but I was controlling my portions and measuring serving sizes to make sure I was on track. Paleo people cringe at the thought of IIFYM. That’s because it technically allows processed foods, dairy, gluten, anything and everything. If you really wanted, you could have a pop tart for dinner. If it fits your macros. Fitness competitors also use IIFYM to make “gains” in their off season. From my research (brought to you by Instagram, Twitter, etc), IIFYM seems to be commonly used by those with an already fast metabolism and those who are just discovering the calorie counting process and benefits of changing your diet. It seems that many people start with IIFYM, and move on to a cleaner diet eventually when they want to reach some serious goals. Though IIFYM is often abused, I have no negative thing to say about this diet strategy because it is all about what works for you. If Pop Tarts and Reeses get you to where you need to be, so be it.

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And this is where my thoughts collide. I’ve recently been trying to find a balance in my diet and mind about food. As I said before, I started with an IIFYM approach. Now, I often find myself cringing at the thought of processed foods. Not to mention, I am gluten and dairy intolerant, so IIFYM would make me just as limited. So yeah, you’re following science. You might be eating chicken and veggies for lunch, but Reeses and ice cream for dinner. Ah! Filling your body with chemicals you can’t even pronounce? You might be fitting in your calories, but your insides are not thanking you. There is actual research that proves that these foods are poisonous to your body. They are also very addictive, as well as chemically made. Not real food.

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So you opt for a bowl of cereal instead of a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Yeah, they might have the same macronutrients, but there are more cons than pros. One including, those processed foods increase your serotonin levels (I’m talkin’ science, people). Serotonin causes you to be drowsy, tired, and lazy. When I follow my #eatclean way of eating, which is as close to Paleo as possible, everything gets better. And yeah, I mean everything. I feel energized. My skin shines, my hair looks healthier, my thoughts are positive and clear, and my body just feels right. But also, who the hell can eat one serving of Reeses cereal without going for round two? Not me. Reeses are the bomb dot com. Anyways, what I was trying to mention in the top of this paragraph was that I’m trying not to be so gosh darn anal about what I put in ¬†my body. Yes, it’ll help me in the long run, but sometimes you have to throw your chicken and broccoli out the window and stop at Taco Bell. Also, nobody wants to go out to eat with someone who isn’t going to eat. For example, Friday night we went to a Burlesque show at one of my favorite local restaurants, Jackie O’s. They have an unbelievable gluten free menu. I was wondering all week about what I was going to eat there, because I am really trying to follow my plan! There’s a difference between a healthy lifestyle and trying to lose weight. When you’re trying to lose weight, you can’t throw out your chicken and broccoli for Taco Bell. It is important to follow your diet to the best of your ability, your body will thank you later.

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I thought maybe I would just eat dinner before we went, but then I thought about how not fun it would be watching everybody chow down on pizza. They have burgers, so I ordered the morning burger, which is a burger with an egg on top! No bun, no cheese. And yeah, I ate the chips, thanks Chardonnay.

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Okay, back to clean eating. Clean eating doesn’t mean you spray your food with windex. Clean eating means you opt for food with as little ingredients as possible.

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I started getting into the #eatclean fad when Instagram became more popular. Sophomore year I would follow all these profiles with great clean eating recipes that looked delicious. I was in the dorms, so I started #eatingclean with the best of my ability. Our market at school sucked. There were no fresh fruits, veggies, or meats. So I bought what I could at the market and the rest at the grocery store. When I went to the dining hall, which wasn’t that often, I would get a salad or a deli sandwich on wheat bread. I was lucky if they had chicken and brown rice. In my dorm room I would have oatmeal for breakfast, or Smart Start cereal with added FiberOne cereal and fruit. I also got egg beaters and microwaved them with broccoli and would make sandwiches with those Whole Wheat Flat Out wraps and thins. ¬†I was obsessed with Wasa Crackers and the Laughing Cow Cheese wedges. I would spread those on the Wasa crackers with some Deli Turkey meat and have a baggie of carrots and broccoli for lunch. My snacks were apples, veggies, bananas, or granola bars. I was trying to follow a low-fat diet at the time, so I didn’t have peanut butter as much. But when I did I would make peanut butter and banana sandwiches. For dinner I would have the One Minute Ready Rice cups, with microwavable chicken and veggies. I steamed my veggies by putting them in a microwavable bowl with water for about five minutes.

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My body slowly started craving more fresh foods, and by junior year I was in full force with my clean eating lifestyle. Not to mention, I actually had a kitchen to cook in. Perks. So I started really cooking for myself my junior year. Breakfast was omelets, with Feta cheese! (Oh how I miss cheese sometimes) Sometimes I just had oatmeal or yogurt with granola. That was before I got into putting protein in almost every meal. For instance, sometimes for dinner I’d have soup and salad. Sometimes the salad would have a protein in it, sometimes it wouldn’t. I still would enjoy a nice sandwich every now and then (I may or ¬†may not have just started drooling because I really want a sandwich now, it’s the little things). ¬†My junior year is also when I started getting a lot more into Crossfit and lifting. I was gaining a little muscle and getting stronger without even realizing it. I started researching how to eat for performance, and started eating like an athlete. For instance, I started making protein and vegetables my main focus, and keeping carbs involved for performance and recovery.

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Once I started noticing the gains I was making from Crossfit, I couldn’t stop! And that’s how I got into Paleo.¬†Somehow, Crossfit and Paleo are paired up. After my research (also brought to you by Instagram, Twitter, etc) I now realize that most crossfit athletes don’t even eat a Paleo diet. Anyways, I grew a girl-crush on Juli Baurer’s PaleOMG website, and really thought Paleo would help me lose weight!

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You figure if you’re eating meats and veggies, nuts and seeds, fruit and fish, and healthy fats, you would lose weight, fast! Well I didn’t exactly lose weight. I’ve heard of many successful weightloss stories from the Paleo diet, but my results were not consistent and I learned that it was not for me. My body changed though. I realized what it actually felt like to be happy, mentally and physically. My physique changed. My booty lifted, my shoulders broadened. I started to actually look like I at least worked out from time to time. (Which is all why my diet is still mostly Paleo, anyway) Any fitness nerd has that goal in mind. You want everyone to see how hard you work, and your body is a reflection of that. I think that’s my biggest frustration with my body. I kill my workouts, but my stubborn body is not giving me the results I KNOW I can get. Hence my recent diet change. I’m putting everything I know that has worked together. Lifting, HIIT, Cardio, a clean diet, a meal plan, counting calories, and a few moderate treat meals here and there! I know that I have accomplished a lot, and I am more than proud of myself for doing so! I’m hopefully on the road to the body that I have worked so hard for.

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I know I’ve mentioned this a million times throughout my blog, but I can’t stress this enough. It’s not what you’re friends are doing, not what your instagram idol is doing, and sometimes… it’s not even 100% what your nutritionist is telling you to do. It’s what works for you. You have to be well rounded. You aren’t going to get anywhere by depriving yourself, but you also aren’t going to get anywhere by constantly rewarding yourself with food. I’ve shot and missed a million times, and eventually you start knowing your body better than any advice column can tell you.

Yours Truly,

Stef

Mushroom & Basil Turkey Muffins – Simple & Healthy!

Plain ground turkey meat is not all that appetizing. What makes it so delicious is the seasonings, flavors, and salt that you can add to it! But what do you do if you’re like me and you’re trying to keep your salt to a minimum and your diet as clean as possible (without going stir crazy)? So I’ve been following a very strict “plan” and am ready to experiment just how strict I can stay while still adding loads of flavor. Below is the ingredients & cooking instructions for my delicious mushroom and basil turkey muffins! Before you scroll down, keep in mind this was during one of my cooking binges. Anyone else go on cooking binges? I was bored, in general and with my diet, so all of the sudden I cooked up everything I just bought at the grocery store into three GREAT dishes, this one included, that I will be sharing with you all! When I go on these cooking “binges”, I typically just eye everything. I have become very good at eye-ing ingredients, so don’t be worried – you can trust me.

Mushroom & Basil Turkey Muffins!

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Approx. 1 pound Ground Turkey Meat
2 cups cut up Mushrooms

Mrs. Dash Italian Medley Seasoning
Lemon Juice
Basil

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Combine all ingredients into a bowl (or your meat container, I honestly just didn’t want to do dishes). This is where eye-ing your ingredients comes in handy. Do you want the flavor overloaded with Basil? Go ahead, girl, sprinkle as much as you want! The same goes for the lemon juice and italian medley seasoning. (I know I said “girl” but, dudes can make this recipe too, in case you were wondering)

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Mush (professional cooking terms) your ingredients together until everything looks portioned. This is a good time to decide if you need to add more basil, lemon juice, or Mrs. Dash.

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Portion your “mush” into muffin tins. Mine fit perfectly into six muffin cups! (Don’t forget to use Pam!)
Cook on 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes! Cooking time may vary, as my oven is pretty strong.

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To make sure they are done, place your fork in them, if they slide right out and are nice and firm – they are finished! If not, put them in for another 5 minutes.

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Makes 3 Servings
Serving Size: 4 oz (two muffins)
Approx. 170 Calories, 9 g Fat, 1 Carb, 23 g Protein

You really can’t go wrong with this recipe! If you prefer ground beef, go for it! These muffins are great on-the-go and portioned perfectly! For all of you heavy lifters, all six of these muffins may be your whole dinner. For some, two muffins is just enough! I ate my portion with 1/2 cup Brown Rice and 2 cups of broccoli. Hash tag eat clean, hash tag meat for dayz.

Yours Truly,

Stef

 

Passion vs. Dramatics

Have you ever woken up feeling like someone was pumping an IV of Extra Bold coffee into your system? Well, that’s how I woke up today. I was casually scrolling through my twitter feed when I came across a ton of positive and uplifting tweets. Who would have thought twitter would “uplift” me? The typical tweets on a twenty-one year old year olds feed are complaints of hangovers, celebrations of starbucks, and people dreading gym time. “I was gonna go to the gym but I hung out with my friend Jim instead”. That’s something I specifically remember tweeting freshman year of college. I actually live for the overdramatic tweets in todays society, and I am quite the culprit of them. There are many that are not a fan, but sometimes overdramatizing or overemphasizing is not as much of a negative thing as you might think. How else are we supposed to¬†make it happen?¬†Think of it in terms of olympic lifting. You are told every day to exaggerate the movements. The only way you’re going to get your true PR on your snatch is if you take every step and overemphasize it. That is my problem. Some might be thinking, “There is no way Stefani has a problem with making something dramatic”. Well, yes, as dramatic as I am, my olympic lifts are not dramatic enough. As much as I try to SNAP my feet, I make no noise. As much as I try to burst my hips in the air… I don’t. My hips are the strongest part of my body, they are the only reason why I can clean a heavy weight, and handle those heavy back squats. If you take your hips out of a movement, you don’t have a movement. This also goes for twerking.

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The only reason Miley Cyrus has been talked about so much in the last year is because she’s dramatic. Yeah, I think she is absolutely ridiculous, though I can’t lie about jamming out to her songs sometimes. More people bought her album because they were curious, not because they were fans. What led their curiosity was her overdramatic public appearance and performances. Miley made it happen by making every little thing overdramatic, which led her to the twerk. The twerk has been around for some time but it recently made its big break. It is now a word in the dictionary, and being practiced by five year olds everywhere. That is something we can thank Miley Cyrus for, not.

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A lot of times people mistake passion for dramatics. Sometimes you’re so passionate about something that you just want to paint the town with it. Apparently, Miley Cyrus is passionate about twerking and, of course, music, so she has done everything in her power to let those two things reach audiences around the world. I, for example, am passionate about health and fitness. I’m passionate about feeling good, and feeling healthy. I’m passionate about helping others to feel their best, and motivating them enough to make them realize that they CAN do it. I’m passionate about results. I feel uplifted when those who read my blog tell me how much they enjoy it. I am passionate about writing, and humor. I overemphasize it all. I post, I comment, I snoop. It’s because I have a passion for being involved. I want adventure, friendships, a clear mind and a purpose. I’m passionate about my friendships, and will always put them first. But most of all, I’ve learned that I’m passionate about myself. So passionate about myself and my character, that I often never put myself first, which is something I’m learning to do. One day, someone will put me first. But I’m passionate enough to know that right now all I need is what is around me, and what is around me is all that matters.

Passion. Friendships. Family. Results. Happiness. Surround yourself with it.

This post is to help you make it happen. Whatever “it” may be. Whether it be PRing your snatch, nailing a new dance move, going on a ¬†run, or losing weight. You can’t just sit back and think you can watch it happen. You have to go out and DO something. You have to overemphasize every strategy you have, because playing it safe is not going to get you anywhere.

Yours Truly,

Stef

Paleo Pesto Meatloaf

So we all know that ground turkey meat and turkey burgers are many first-time dieters first step towards greatness. When I started dieting, I lived off turkey burgers. Almost every day was a plain turkey burger, or ground turkey with veggies. That’s boring. I do not want to eat that every day. So when I get bored I try to make the most delicious and nutritious meal possible. Here’s another simple-as-pie tip from me to spice up your ground turkey.

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I found these amazing mini-meatloaf tins to make my meatloaf in. I used 14 oz of ground turkey meat and mixed it with about 1/3 cup of my homemade pesto. I did my meatloaf in layers, to ensure it had the best flavor. I put a layer of meat on the bottom, then placed a thin layer of pesto. I continued that process until the meatloaf pan was filled, and placed another smaller layer of pesto on the top. I cooked this on 375 degrees for about twenty minutes. I checked my meatloaf, then kept it in for another 15 minutes. (This may vary depending on the quality of your oven.)

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There we go! Completely paleo. Try not to eat the whole thing…unless your diet calls for 14 oz of ground meat. Otherwise, go for it. I’ve made this with ground beef before, and it is just as delicious. The flavor of the turkey meat is a little more plain, therefore the pesto is more potent. That was my goal, I love pesto. I paired my meatloaf with some sweet potato fries. I have to make those in servings, as I go, because I have a hard time not eating the whole tray of sweet potato fries… Not afraid to admit that. Five minutes later they will absolutely be gone. Sweet potato’s are by far my favorite carb source. Here are my two favorite ways to eat them.

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Fries! Yum. Lather them with olive oil and salt. Add garlic, or any other spices. If you’re a cheese eater, add parmesan cheese. Do your thing. I put mine in the oven differently every time, it depends how you cut them. I believe these were on 350 for about 20 minutes.

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A very well done sweet potato with cinnamon and cashew butter. If you’ve never tried this you’re in for a treat. Perfect combination of carbs and fats, and the cashew butter melts right on. I’m waiting for the moment I try it with peanut butter… we’ll see.

Crabcakes, Paleo Mayo & Lara Bars; A Must Read!!

Okay so the title of this blog is a little dramatic. I may or may not have just wanted your complete attention. You would think I had some sort of awesome give away prize or contest or the president just dropped dead but no this is not that kind of blog. All 12 of you that read my blog, you’re in for a treat. And the rest that are just dropping by, consider yourself lucky.
I had to restock on meats the other day. While at roots I saw they had lump Maryland crab meat. It was one pound. My first thought was crab cakes, my second thought was hell yes, and there were zero thoughts going through my head about the $30 price tag on this purchase. My total for this grocery trip was absurd, but I deserve it, I mean look what else I bought…
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As if I needed more reason to eat Lara bars, I bought almost every flavor. Two, in my favorite flavors. I’m actually not a big fan of the more “dessert” themed lara bars. They are a little sweet and make my stomach hurt. Nonetheless, they are still delicious and will fix your sweet tooth if necessary. My favorites are cashew cookie, coconut cream pie, banana bread, pecan pie, che….okay I’m done. But in all seriousness, try Lara bars out. If you are looking for a healthy on the go snack, or just love granola bars, they are your best bet. The ingredients is beyond perfection. For example, the ingredient for cashew cookie is cashews and dates. Yes, I’m done…cashews and dates. No syrup, sugar, oil, flour. There is no granola in this “granola” bar. Just all natural goodness. Yes, you look at the sugar and notice it’s a little high. It’s natural sugar, sugar your bodies are actually “supposed” to consume. They might have the same sugar content as your typical granola bar, but you will notice the sugar in those crazy bars are added. Why add sugar? The lara bars are delicious the way they are. I’m waiting for the day that I can buy my favorite flavors by the box… but for now, I’ll try to show some control. Go out and buy some!

And now for this crab meat business I was so eager to share with everyone. After browsing recipes for crab cakes all week I decided I wanted to ditch those recipes and just wing it. I knew what was needed, and the recipe is quite simple. And holy crap, they were perfect.

First, we must make the Paleo Mayonnaise.
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In a food processor, combine 1 egg, 1/2 squeezed lemon (for juice), and about 1/2 tsp of Sea Salt. Process for about 20 seconds. Next you will need 1/2 cup Olive Oil and 1/2 cup Coconut Oil. Slowly add your oil into your food processor. I was told to literally do this slow. Not a slow pour, like one drop at a time. You need some serious patience to do this because I failed miserably. I added one drop at a time and the only thing I did slowly was start adding the oil in faster. So the consistency wasn’t exactly identical to mayo, and I forgot to take a picture, but it was perfect for the crab cakes. Not sure if I’d spread this stuff on a sandwich though…

OKAY! Crab Cakes!
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Preheat your oven to 400 degrees – You will also be using a skillet.
-1 pound lumb crab meat
-1 Egg
-1/4 cup Coconut Flour
-1/4 cup Gluten Free Baking flour
-2 tsp Dijon Mustard (you may add more)
-2 tsp parsley
-1/2 squeezed lemon (for juice)
-1 tsp Garlic Powder
-1/2 cup Paleo Mayo
-1 tsp Hot Sauce
-Salt & Pepper to taste
-As much Old Bay as you damn well please!
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Combine all ingredients into a bowl.
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Make into patties
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Melt 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil in a bowl. Measure 1/3 cup Coconut Flour, mix with sprinkle of Old Bay & Salt. Dip your patties in the coconut oil (lightly) and then dip them in the flour mixture. Place them on your stone and put them in the oven for 12 minutes on 400 degrees.
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Once you take them out of the oven, start heating your skillet on medium heat. Place a tablespoon of coconut oil on your skillet and your crab cakes. I used a small skillet and did two at a time.
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Keep on skillet for about 2-4 minutes, or until golden brown. I ate one right away and it was so delicious! I was worried they were going to be dry, but they were perfectly moist. (Does anyone else hate the word moist?) I didn’t use any sauce, nor did I have to add any salt. These crab cakes would be delicious with guacamole, or my homemade ketchup!

Get your chemicals here!

Get your chemicals here!

I am so grossed out.¬† Read the link above through and realize what you are putting in your bodies! I was at a gas station driving home from Ohio yesterday and needed something to eat. I was going straight to crossfit and hadn’t had a substantial meal since breakfast. There was NOTHING to eat at that gas station. Every packet of mixed nuts had a list of fifty ingredients. Why do they have to make it so complicated. People buy nuts because they want to eat nuts, not 100 oils and 100 chemicals. The ingredients could simply be almonds, cashews, pecans, but of course America loves chemicals so it couldn’t stop there. I needed food so I picked the one with the least ingredients. It had vegetable oil in it, not so hot but the only option! I think the brand was Frito-Lay. Anyways, there were hard boiled eggs near the sandwich section. I nearly vomited while purchasing them, but I did. My mother and I tasted one of the eggs and could just tell it was not fresh, and ridiculously processed with chemicals. We had to throw those away. As if we were expecting anything different.

 

Come on amurrica!

 

I didn’t fail completely though. We stopped at a farmers market before we left and I picked up two huge Bacon Peanut Butter Cups. One for my brother, and one for my coaches. I do this thing where I buy things for people that I want them to eat because I can’t eat it. SOMEONE has to enjoy this bacon peanut butter cup situation I stumbled upon, and unfortunately it can’t be me. I also¬†picked up¬†fig infused olive oil, garlic olive oil, and a mason jar wine class. They called it a redneck wine glass. I’m ready to get classy.

Goals, Almond Butter & The Color Pink

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Okay so let’s recap. I officially have 7 days of Whole Life Challenge left. Crunch time, because I want to see some decent results! (I know it’s only 30 days, but little results matter) I’m going to keep it as CLEAN as possible. I’ve been measuring my body and am hoping for some loss in inches. I’ve felt great at Crossfit, and I see some decent muscle tone! And strange veins that I’ve never seen before. I just hope the vein thing is normal… Anywho. I have finally succeeded at upping my cardio, which always seems to help me. Some people believe that cardio is not the way to go, but I look and feel better when it comes into my life more than once a week. Last week I did a two, three, and four mile run. Not to mention we did “Nancy” last week.

“Nancy”
6 rounds for time of:
400m Run
15 OH Squats (95/65)

I was proud to say I did all of the overhead squats unbroken, but unfortunately my speed ruins every opportunity for a decent PR in those kinds of WODs. I am desperately trying to get faster. Last year, before I was very into Crossfit, I would do tabata drills on the treadmill. I decreased my 5K time by five minutes in a few short weeks and it prepared me for the half marathon races. Without the constant cardio my speed has decreased so much that it doesn’t even feel right saying the word speed when discussing me running. Speed, running, and Stefani, three things that don’t match up. I ran 5.4 miles on Monday, it took me an hour. I was just glad to finally run more than 3 miles again. It felt amazing. Hopefully I’ll keep increasing my cardio and get back to the tabata drills! They seriously work!
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Boom. So glad that’s planned out. More goals; continue Whole Life Challenge until I get to school. There’s no reason why I can’t make it another three weeks, and I know once I get back to school I’ll be too excited to celebrate my 21st birthday to stop myself from having a few drinks and a celebratory cupcake. Guilty! It’s happening. I deserve it.
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Roots & Costco also had some serious sales. I stocked up on Coconut Water, coconut oil, and Vitamin D & Protein Powder to take back to school.
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I was looking for a protein powder to make smoothies with and this one is perfect! It has great fiber and digestive enzymes in it. Stevia is added. I also bought this amazing almond butter;
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This was seven freakin dollars at Costco. They are huge, I bought two. I usually am an idiot and pay twelve dollars for other brands but even those jars are smaller than this. The ingredients is perfect, aka only almonds. The problem is I was supposed to be limiting almond butter. I hadn’t had it in three weeks, and all the sudden I’ve had it four times in two days. Shit…Now that I say that I realize that’s bad. So basically after I had almond butter & banana tonight I realized I needed to get rid of it before I consumed the whole jar. I told my mom to hide it somewhere I couldn’t find it… pathetic, but necessary.
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I did a lot of shopping this week. And it’s only Tuesday. I went to Walgreens with the intentions of buying a three dollar pumice stone. Next thing you know I’m walking out with a stupid amount of items from that stupid little drug store. I bought a pumice stone, a crock pot, a pill box & hair dye (two items I can’t explain), two packs of my probiotic, a lotion set, mouthwash… and band aids. Pink band aids. Dammit. Why do I keep buying pink things? I’m in need of some more Wednesdays…
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I went to Marshalls to do some returns and bought a pink dress, and wedges with pink in them. I found a gift card from Forever 21 in my room. Not sure where my mind was when I purchased another pink maxi dress. I also bought pink lip gloss. If I say pink one more time, you have my permission to stop reading my blog.
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On Tuesdays I buy pink dresses. On Wednesdays, I return pink dresses.

My beautifully Paleo lunch:
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7 oz Chicken
5 oz Sweet Potato
1 cup Collard Greens and Onions

Yum.

High School Parties & Chicken

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Something you eat a LOT of on your typical healthy diet is chicken. And I’m not talkin chicken nuggets. Just like you, I sometimes wish chicken nuggets were a part of my every day life. Plain chicken gets boring. Chicken nuggets make you feel young again. Young as in the sense of drunken high school nights at Jenna’s house, with the main concern being that we had dinosaur chicken nuggets to eat after our “party” filled with stolen Absolute Vodka and Mikes Hard Lemonade from our parents. Nights that made me think it was funny to stick my head in a mailbox outside of the royal farms?
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Nights like New Years senior year. These nights made us think it would be funny to post pictures of our guy friends who wore elephant thongs at midnight, to only be found by our high school principle. I’m not sure if they were our friends anymore after that.
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But, 500 dinosaur chicken nuggets and a few stupid nights later we did in-fact graduate.
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And now I’m sitting on my computer trying to write a blog about chicken. Chicken has great protein, almost nonexistent fat, and decent calories. It’s the go-to for a quick healthy meal, and it is largely chosen over most meats. I recently discovered chicken thighs, and haven’t let myself turn back. Buuuut now I’ve been moving back to the usual chicken breasts. They pack a little more protein and are generally less expensive… You can also have more chicken breast for the same macro’s as a serving of chicken thighs offer. Not a bad switch.
In my opinion, chicken is boring. Yes, it’s delicious, but to eat it 2-3 times every damn day? No, nike, I will not just do it. That’s why people favor red meat so often, the flavor is already there. If you want a crazy good chicken dinner, it requires trying. And nobody has time for that. So we go with simple. Or at least I do. Little spices, oils, or herbs can go a LONG way with chicken. Eating plain chicken will eventually turn into eating cardboard. Nobody has time for that, either.
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Garlic & Basil Chicken Breasts
Yeah, that’s chicken in a bag. I didn’t get to capture this cooking process so that’s all you’re gonna get.
I put a pound of chicken in a zip lock bag. Added garlic olive oil. The garlic olive oil is a game changer. I chopped up some basil and put it all in a bag, mixed it up, and let it sit for about 15 minutes before I cooked it. Talk about a mouth watering smell, and a simple mouth watering lunch.

Next, Homemade Guacamole Stuffed Chicken Breast.
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Simple. One pound chicken breast, and 1-2 tbsp of homemade, or store bought, Guacamole. I’d recommend buying the thick chicken breasts. Slice your chicken in the middle as deep as you can without poking through. Measure your guacamole and stuff it in your sliced chicken. Fold the chicken back over. Cook for about 25 minutes on 400 degrees. Does that not look delicious? And it took almost zero effort. Fun times.
Something else I enjoy making is soup. Chop up some chicken, cook with salt and pepper. Chop up veggies of your choice. You can use your typical carrots, green beans, celery. Use organic (no salt added?) chicken broth. What’s pictured is this soup I made with gluten free noodles. You can leave out the noodles…but it’s whatever you’re into.
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And then you can simply add spices to your chicken. That’s self explanatory. Mrs. Dash is my go to. Garlic powder. Salt and pepper adds a kick, though that still gets a little plain after awhile. I’d start experimenting. That’s all I do. This simple lunch pictured at the beginning of this post could have turned out very boring. Instead, I added Mrs. Dash Italian seasoning and some meat tenderizer. On the sweet potato I added 1 tbsp of cashew butter and some raspberries. The broccoli, well, it’s just broccoli. There’s really not much you can do about that one. Sorry everyone.