Friday, November 20, 2015

Turkey Cutlets what to do with them...Tomato Basil Turkey Cutlets

I bought Turkey Breast Cutlets at the grocery store this week and I honestly didn't even have a recipe to go with it!  But I really wanted to try something new.  I stick to chicken, fish and turkey for the most part for my sources of protein.  The leaner the better!!!  So I figured I would just google a recipe and figure it out!

Well, I was not expecting to find a meal that my husband raved about and actually asked me to cook again for my in laws while we are staying with them next week!!!  So of course I can't keep my secrets to myself and I want to share them with you!!! 

This recipe is not only delicious but the most simple recipe to make!  So if you are new to cooking and or clean eating then this is a perfect one to try!

  • Dried Basil
  • Garlic Powder
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatos (low sodium)
  • Turkey Breast Cutlets (3)
  • 1/4 cup low fat mozzarella cheese
Place a piece of foil in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.  Place turkey cutlets on top.  Then, sprinkle with basil, garlic powder,  chopped onion, diced tomatoes and then top with mozzarella cheese.

Then, cover the dish with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until cooked through.

I served the Turkey with a side of brown rice and steamed broccoli.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Time for some comfort food ~ Baked Apples!


2 apples
2 tsp agave and/or maple syrup depending on personal taste
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup raisins
Ginger, cinnamon, cloves to taste

Preheat oven to 375 
Core apples 
Mix agave, maple syrup, walnuts and raisins 
Stuff into cored apples 
Put 3/4 cup boiling water in shallow baking dish 
Place apples in dish
Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes 

I had extra stuffing so I put it in the oven in a separate dish for the last ten minutes then poured it on top when I was plating. Delicious!

Yield: 2 servings 
Preparation Time: 5 minutes 
Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Pasta Sauce ~ Clean Eating Style

I am looking to spice up my meal plans for the upcoming week!  I am going to be spending a few days with the in laws in transition to our new house!  So I am looking for quick easy meals that I can serve to them and they will enjoy!!!  And I absolutely love my crock pot so this is a must!

So this is one that is going on the list!!!!  

Who doesn't love a great Italian Dinner?!?!

This recipe is just as easy but a few ingredients are changed/added to give it an Italian flair!!!  You can add some extra pasta sauce, sliced veggies, and/or quinoa pasta noodles to have a deliciously healthy spaghetti dinner ready in minutes!

3-4 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 medium tomatoes
3/4 cup chopped onion (we use Vidalia/Sweet)
3 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey

Dry Ingredients/Spices:
1 Tbsp basil
1 Tbsp thyme
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp bay leaves

1.  Mix all ingredients (not including the chicken breasts) together in a blender/food processor (must hold at least 5 cups) and blend for about 30 seconds until ingredients are mixed well.

2.  Place blended pasta sauce in sauce pan and simmer on low/medium heat for about 10-15 minutes until sauce takes on a thicker consistency and a dark shade of red.

3.  Mix chicken breasts and pasta sauce in crock pot and cook on low heat for at least 7 hours.

4.  After 7 hours, you will notice the sauce looks very runny, this is normal.  Remove crock pot from heating base, shred chicken with a wooden spoon or spatula and as it cools, the shredded chicken will absorb the juices from the pasta sauce.

Macros (based on a 6 oz serving):
Calories: 160
Fat: 2g
Carbs: 2g
Protein: 36g

  • I like to make my own pasta sauce at home so that I can avoid the added sugars and other unwanted ingredients.  You can use the store-bought pasta sauce but try to avoid the brands with a lot of added sugar, preservatives, etc.  Muir Glen is usually a pretty good choice if your store carries it.
  • This recipe is very versatile so we sometimes add chopped zucchini, celery, red bell pepper, and sliced onion.
  • I haven't tried it yet, but you can add some red wine to the sauce.
  • You can simplify this recipe by adding 3-4 Tbsp of Italian seasoning rather most of the individual spices listed above...I just like to experiment with different ingredient amounts.
Enjoy and keep it clean!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

To eat or not to eat before bed???

Ask the Expert: When Should I Stop Eating at Night?

Recently, the media branded the "Don't Eat Before Bedtime" rule as a myth. As usual, they've taken a complex topic, distilled it down to a catchy headline, and gotten it completely wrong. The correct answer is much more nuanced.

The short answer is that sometimes it's okay to eat before bed, but mostly, it's probably a bad idea.
Woman in front of refrigerator, woman eating chocolate and woman eating late at night

The old thinking was that when you ate before bed, your body would be more prone to store food as adipose tissue—in other words, as fat. This might be an oversimplification, but current research indicates there's truth to this supposed myth. A 2009 Northwestern University study separated mice into two groups and fed them both high-fat diets. They allowed half the mice to eat at night, which happens to be the normal feeding time for the nocturnal rodents. The other group ate during the day, when they'd normally be sleeping. By the end of the study, the night eaters had a 20% weight increase and the day eaters weight went up 48%.(1)

The researchers credited the weight gain to a domino effect that began with the disruption of circadian rhythms (the biological clock that indicates what your body needs and when it needs it every 24 hours). Knocking these rhythms out of whack caused an imbalance of leptin—a satiety-regulating hormone that's heavily influenced by the amount you sleep.

In 2011, Northwestern published another study that further supported the results of the first. This one tracked 52 human subjects over a week. The results indicated that "caloric intake after 8:00 PM may increase the risk of obesity, independent of sleep timing and duration."(2) While neither of these studies is conclusive (one wasn't on human subjects, and the other worked with a limited sample size), they're both compelling.

That said, there are a couple times when eating before bed is okay. If you're trying to build muscle, casein protein (found in dairy but available in pure, powdered form) before bed might be worth trying. According to a study in the August 2012 issue of the Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, men who strength-trained for an hour, consumed 40 grams of casein, and then hit the sack experienced a 22% rise in amino acid circulation for the full 7.5 hours of sleep. In other words, the protocol gave their muscles better access to the building blocks they need to recover and grow.(3)

Also, consider those hectic days when you just haven't had time to eat during the day. (Not ideal, but we don't live in an ideal world.) Add to this the hard workout you did. In these situations, your priority should probably be to replenish lost nutrients such as electrolytes and make sure your body has all the protein (among other things) it needs for recovery. You don't need a four-course dinner, but a light, balanced meal would be to your benefit.

Finally, there's the psychological factor to consider. Last night, my 8-year-old said she couldn't sleep because she was hungry. I chopped her up an apple. We chatted as she ate half of it. Then, she shuffled off to bed and slept just fine, circadian rhythms be darned. We all have an inner 8-year-old, so sometimes, you're going to find it easier to sleep with a little somethin'-somethin' in your tummy. I wouldn't suggest institutionalizing the nighttime snack, but if you need the occasional piece of fruit or air-popped popcorn to detangle your nerves and send you off to dreamland, it's not the end of the world.

In general, though, here's what I recommend: If you're trying to lose weight, stack the deck in your favor and go to bed on a relatively empty stomach. You can follow the 8 PM rule of the second study or, if that's just not going to work with your schedule, then avoid eating within 3 hours of going to bed. Or, if you're trying to build mass, supplement with casein before bedtime.

For me the late night snacking is my worst feature!  So here are my tips:

1.  Close off the kitchen.  It's closed for business.  I get busy with my kids, go in another room and even take it so far as to watch TV upstairs (I typically will do this after I finish up my work, the kids are in bed and hubby isn't here).

2.  I drink a cup of tea or coffee to stave off hunger.

3.  I'll make a half size Shakeology shake for my late night snack to curb that sugar craving.

4. I dig into pinterest and find my fitness motivation and support from my Beachbody community!!!!     

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Loved this idea of the switch witch!!  Now that Halloween is over and you are left with way more candy than any child or adult should ever consume what do you do with it?

Do you feel guilty for throwing away your kids halloween candy because they might get upset?  Do you feel like they deserve it?  Do you feel like YOU deserve it?  Well, let's be honest.  Do you really want your kids bouncing off the wall from a sugar high, refusing to go to bed at night or take a nap because they have had to many sweets?  I know my kids tend to act out or become defiant when they eat to much sugar!  So this Halloween I am not completely deprieving them of Halloween candy but it's definitely limited!!!  They get 2 pieces of candy a day.  The rest goes in a ziplock bag on top of the fridge.  For most kids, when the candy is out of sight, it is also out of mind too! And after a month, I usually toss out what is left or let my husband have it, LOL.

Don't feel guilty or beat yourself up because you threw it away!  You are only teaching your kids healthy habits and eating sweets in moderation is the way to go!  If you look around kids everywhere are obese, it's becoming out of hand!  Instead take matters into your own hands and teach your kids healthy habits!!! 

I loved the idea of the switch witch!  My kids are into cars, trucks and super hero's.  So a brand new matchbox car, or a super hero figurine would do just fine for them! 

I would love to know how you are handling the halloween candy overflow in your house???
Please post below!!!!

Even if you went totally over board, it's not the end of the world.  You just decide that it is not going to define you and that you will start over today!!!! 

Until tomorrow,
Eat Clean & Train MEAN!!!!!


Mandy Irizarry
Independent Beachbody Coach & Personal Trainer