Sunday, July 29, 2012

Honey Garlic Chicken

So this one, I actually don't have a picture of, as I am out of town, but really wanted to share this with you guys. But the next time I make it, I will take a pic. Again, another recipe I got off Pinterest and tweaked. This one is a little more complicated, but I swapped out regular flour for almond flour.

Honey Garlic Chicken

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half

1/2 cup of almond flour/meal

4 tsp of black pepper

2 tsp of salt-free garlic and herb seasoning

Honey Garlic sauce

1/2 cup of low/reduced sodium Tamari (gluten free soy sauce)

1/2 cup raw wildflower honey

2 tbsp minced garlic

2 tsp of black pepper

In a bowl, mix the almond flour, black pepper, and garlic and herb seasoning. After cutting the chicken breasts in half (or buying the thin cut breasts), place the breasts in the almond flour mix, coating each side well. Broil the chicken for approximately 8-10 mins on each side.

While the chicken is cooking, in a small sauce pan, over medium heat, add all the ingredients listed for the sauce and stir until the honey thins out and blends. Remove from heat. When the chicken is finished cooking, place the chicken in a bowl and pour the sauce over the chicken breasts. You're probably going to want to turn the chicken breasts and pour more over the other side. I wouldn't suggest you just dump the entire sauce on the chicken, as it does not need a lot and you will have excess.

What I really like about this recipe is the nice kick the chicken gets from all the black pepper. And it's very tasty. This was boyfriend approved! This pairs very nicely with the Mango Cucumber salad I posted previously. Just saying. Thanks for being healthy!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Skinny Protein Pancakes

Another recipe I got off Pinterest (get use to it, there's more to come), that was already healthy but I tweaked it a little. These pancakes are simple and have only 7 ingredients. Not to mention, they're freaking DELICIOUS!! As well as low carb. Those of you that have had whole wheat pancakes, these taste very similar, but without all the carbs. Just don't smother them in butter and pancake syrup, ok?

Skinny Protein Pancakes

1/2 cup uncooked rolled or whole oats

2 egg whites

1/2 cup vanilla almond milk

1/2 banana

1/2 tsp vanilla extract (McCormick has no high fructose corn syrup)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 scoop protein powder

Combine all the ingredients listed above in a blender and blend on high until well blended, approx. 15-20 secs. Cook over medium heat until you see a few little bubbles appear, then flip and repeat. This recipe yields about 5-6 pancakes. The recipe I made this morning yielded 5. Needless to say, I ate them all...The original recipe for this does not include the protein or the almond milk, but it's so much better with it. Even if you don't consume protein powder, eliminate it from the recipe and just use the other 6 ingredients. The protein powder adds sweetness to it, so if you choose not to use it, you may want to add some agave nectar or honey to sweeten the deal.

I use Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Natural 100% Whey, because it is all natural and does not have any artificial sweeteners in it. It's pretty fantastic actually. And it's the best tasting protein powder I've had. You could also make this a gluten free meal by using almond flour instead of oats, and eliminating the protein powder.  If you choose to use almond flour, there's no need to put this mix in the blender.

Pair these with some egg whites and extra lean turkey bacon, and you're good to go! Oh and here are the nutrition facts per pancake. Thanks for being healthy!

Skinny Protein Pancakes Nutrition:

  • Calories: 86
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Sodium: 72.3 mg
  • Carb: 10.5 g
  • Sugar: 3.8 g
  • Protein: 8.5 g
Again, this is PER PANCAKE. Please keep that in consideration, because you probably won't eat just 2 of these ;) 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mango Cucumber Salad

I made this one day after getting a similar recipe from Whole Foods. It's super easy and it's yummy! This posts gonna be short and sweet:
Mango Cucumber Salad

3 slightly under ripe mangoes

1 seedless cucumber, peeled

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

2-3 tbsp of lime juice

Pinch of black pepper

Cut the mangoes and cucumber, after peeling, into chunks and place in a bowl. Chop the cilantro and add to mango cucumber mix. Add lime juice and black pepper and stir salad. Serve and enjoy! This salad is also amazing with pineapple instead of mango. This is a great side to seafood btw. Thanks for eating healthy!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dark Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins

So I found this recipe on Pinterest, where I find many recipes, and it was already healthy so there really isn't much I tweaked about it. The only things I did to make it mine is, I added cinnamon to the recipe and used 60% Cacao dark chocolate chips (Ghiradelli) instead of using mini milk chocolate chips. Gotta get my antioxidant's! This recipe is courtesy of

Dark Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins

  • 3 cups Old Fashion of Rolled Oats
  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 1 cup vanilla Almond milk (I use Silk Pure Almond milk)
  • 2 eggs (I use cage free brown eggs)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I used the McCormick brand because it has no High Fructose Corn Syrup in it)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp 60% Cacao dark chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli)

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease the inside of the muffin cups, or you could use the paper cupcake cups. Mix together all of the ingredients, adding the chocolate chips last. Place the mixture in the cups, filling them and 1/2-2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool and enjoy! It should make a dozen muffins with no problem. What I love about this recipe is, it's dairy free and there's no sugar added!! You could even make it gluten-free by using gluten-free oats instead. Those of you that are use to eating really sweet things, may think they are bland. But they get sweetness from the chocolate chips as well. Also, you could swap out chocolate chips for blueberries.
She actually has the nutrition information listed on her website, BUT she makes 15 muffins, so her nutrition information is for 15. I did some math and came up with the nutrition information for the recipe that makes 12. Now this is approximate.

Servings: 12. Amount per serving: 1 muffin
Calories: 143
Fat: 3.75g
Carbs: 26g
Sugar: 7.5g
Protein: 5g

I hope you enjoy this as much as I am right now! Thanks for being healthy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I love pizza! But it's just so damn fattening. So I had to find a better way to turn a not-so-good for you food, into a lower fat and calorie food. I started making these from the suggestion of a coworker (Melissa), who turned me on to Ezekiel tortillas, which I use as the crust. I tweaked it to whatever toppings I wanted.

Ezekiel tortillas can be found in the FREEZER SECTION of Whole Foods or Publix. And I emphasize FREEZER because, not only does it say on the package to store in the refrigerator or freezer, it lasts a hell of a lot longer. They come in 2 different sizes. The smaller ones are the perfect size for those of you that have kids who love pizza. They're made with sprouted organic grains, which is awesome. And they're thin. Love them! Check out all of the Ezekiel products and gluten-free products they offer:

Pizza time!

1 Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla (whichever size you choose)
2 tbsp Muir Glen Organic tomato sauce (I suggest a low sodium sauce)
1/4 cup Mozzarella style Almond cheese (I use Lisanatti brand from Whole Foods)
Whatever toppings you want. I like Hormel Turkey Pepperoni because it has 70% less fat than regular pepperoni, onions and green bell peppers.

Preheat oven to 420 degrees. Spread the tomato sauce in a thin layer on the tortilla. Sprinkle the almond cheese on top of the sauce and place toppings over it. Veggies are ALWAYS a good idea ;) Place pizza in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Cut and serve!

I am a big fan of Lisanatti Mozzarella style Almond cheese (another suggestion from Melissa, thanks!) because it's lactose free, which is perfect for all those lactose intolerant people out there. You could also use the Kraft Natural Shredded Mozzarella, as that is also lactose free. I know some of you are reading this and are still saying to yourself,"Almond cheese? WTF?" But with the almond cheese you get all those good fats that you get from eating almonds. It tastes just like regular cheese (some of you are like,"Yeah right...") and it melts. Does it melt EXACTLY like regular mozzarella? No. But it sure is close enough. You could even mix half almond cheese and half Kraft natural mozzarella if you wanted to.

I do want to suggest that if you use veggies, that you use fresh veggies, because canned or bottled veggies, tend to be high in sodium. As with pretty much most canned and bottled items. Anyways, I hope you enjoy these little pizzas as much as I do. And if you make them for the kiddos, let me know if they like them...which they will...cuz they're awesome. Thanks for being healthy! 

P.S. this makes a GREAT late night snack ;)

Lo-cal Boozing

I am all about eating healthy, but that doesn't mean I don't eat junk food sometimes or don't drink alcohol. And there's tons of calories in alcohol. But I have come up with lower calorie ways to get your drink on, without adding too many more calories into your diet. Because those who know me, know I like my alcohol. It's so much easier to control what you consume, when you make it yourself. That goes for drinking alcohol as well. So let's get started!

I recently discovered this lovely and refreshing drink while grocery shopping at Whole Foods one day. This sparkling water is amazing and the best part is, it has nothing in it! No calories, no fat, no sugar, no CARBS!! And it's organic! It's just flavored carbonated water, so it has just a hint of flavor. And lemon is not the only flavor it comes in. It also comes in cucumber (my fav), mint, and blueberry. I've only had the cucumber and lemon flavors, so those are all I can vouch for. Unlike other sparkling waters, ex. Pellegrino, there's not a butt load of sodium in it, because it has zero sodium. This water is great paired with vodka. Especially the lemon flavor with citron vodka. And 2 ounces of vodka has only 128 calories, which is the amount typically put in a mixed drink when purchased at a bar. You can check out the company website if you'd like:

Another great mixer that can be used that has nothing in it is club soda. And club soda can be used in place of tonic, with certain alcohol (ex. vodka), because tonic actually has 124 calories in a 12 fl oz can. Which would be fine if you were drinking that by itself. But add that to the 128 calories per 2 fl oz in vodka, and now your over 300 EMPTY calories. You could use diet tonic water instead, which saves the calories and sugar, but I'm not a huge fan of artificial sweeteners lately. I actually have 4 cans of diet tonic water in my fridge I'm seriously debating opening and pouring down the sink, but Patrick drinks Gin and tonic, so I digress. Anyway, club soda + vodka (which I keep using as an example because it has fewer calories) + lime or lemon juice/wedges and you've got a good drink my friends. And the calories are solely coming from the booze. 

In general, clear liquors have fewer calories and such than the darker ones, or so I was once told anyways. But every now I then I like me some Captain Morgan!   
And what goes great with Captain? COKE! But definitely not regular Coca-Cola or Pepsi. Way too much sugar in that crap! I don't even know the last time I drank a regular soda. And again, since I have been TRYING to stay away from artificial sweeteners, when possible, a great substitution for regular coke is the Zevia brand cola. Which can be purchased at Whole Foods. The Zevia brand of sodas are sweetened with Stevia instead of sugar, or high fructose corn syrup, which has no calories. Zevia cola has no calories or fat in it. Again, not adding any additional empty calories or fat to the already 120 empty calories per 2 fl oz of Captain Morgan, you're already going to be consuming. You can check out the Zevia website at:

Another way to keep the calories low when drinking alcohol is to drink any of the Skinnygirl brand products. Now I have NOT had any of these products, BUT I have had a few women tell me they have tried, specifically the Skinnygirl Margarita, and that it was very good. You can check out their many Skinnygirl options at:

But my absolute favorite drink, whether I'm out or at home is a lemon drop martini. So I found a healthier way to make it. 2 fl oz of vodka (I like Grey Goose Citron), 2 tbsp of lemon juice, 1 packet of Truvia sweetener. You really have to shake this one up good to dissolve the Truvia, but Truvia has nothing in it because it comes from the Stevia plant, which is awesome! So once again, I'm not adding anything to the calories that are already coming from the alcohol. Obviously, if you're out and order this drink, it's not going to be anywhere near as healthy. So, it's better to just make this one at home.

But the best way to keep the calories low is to drink in moderation! Which I'm still working on. When you get to 4 or 5 drinks deep, you're looking at somewhere around 1000 EMPTY calories (which is so easy to do when you're out at a bar or club dancing freely drunk-Gulity!). Just in case you didn't realize that, by the way. I only really mentioned the things I actually drink here, because I can't vouch any other alcohol or mixer combination, except the Skinnygirl brand. But for those of you that drink other mixed drinks, hopefully, I inspired you to come up with lower calorie ways to enjoy your favorites.

Oh and for the wine drinkers out there, like myself, white wine typically has 121 calories per 5 fl oz and red wine typically has 125 calories per 5 fl oz. Just had to add that last one in. Didn't want the wine drinkers to feel left out! Thanks for boozing healthy!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Fit to be tried

And now, for the fitness portion of my blog. I really want this blog to be more about nutrition than fitness, but, they both go hand in hand, skipping down the street together. And I wouldn't be doing anyone that takes the time out of their day to read these posts, any justice, if I didn't talk about fitness. This picture to the left cracks me up, because honestly, that's pretty much what I think when I'm running. Even though, I know it's not true. And it's probably what most of us think, especially women, when we're exercising. Even though, you know it's not true. But, you gotta have a sense of humor with this stuff, because no one's perfect.

What I'd like to do is talk about some of the tools I use to help me with, not only choosing what exercises I'm going to do, but help get me through my workout. The first thing I want to let you guys know about is my secret weapon. I discovered it while renewing a subscription to Women's Health magazine, which is my favorite and the best health magazine around that relates to real women, I think so anyways. But you can choose whatever health magazine strikes your fancy, whether it's Women's Health or maybe Self, Shape, or even Oxygen. They're all good, honestly. I've read at least one issue of them all. And all have great workouts and eating plans as well as healthy recipes in them. I love to see a food that I eat on a daily basis, listed in my Women's Health magazine. It makes me feel like I'm ahead of the game! 

Now back to my secret weapon...are you ready? TA-DA! That's a picture of it directly to the right! This book was the best $30 I've ever spent! This book has so many different exercises in it and different actual workout's in it, it's mind boggling. I carry this book with me every time I go to the gym. I've had it for so long, I know the majority of the exercises and the variations of exercises by heart. But, I keep it with me when I workout as a reference. Women's Health did a fantastic job with this book. And I've suggested it to several people, and I've never had one person tell me they didn't like it. It even has nutrition suggestions and cardio suggestions in the back, The Big Chapter of Nutrition Secrets and The Best Cardio workouts. 

I know, you're like,"Buying this book isn't going to make me workout." You're right, it might not. Because, ultimately, you have to want to make a change and see a difference in yourself. But when I got this book, I couldn't want to get to the gym and do all of the exercises and workouts AT ONCE! Now this book is really good for people that are SELF-MOTIVATED, like myself. If you are not self-motivated, then this would not be a good investment for you. Maybe you'd do better with a personal trainer (if you can afford that), or in a group training session. I happen to know a very good personal trainer, should you want that to be your option. But for the folks that are self-motivated, this is the key! 

What I love about this book are the variations. Say, you decide you don't want to do an exercise because it's too difficulty for you (or you think that's the case anyways), fear not! There is an easier version of that exercise listed.

Let's take the push-up, for example. You may feel a regular push-up is too difficult, or maybe you've never even done one before. Well don't let that deter you, because you can do an incline or modified push-up instead! Think a regular push-up is too easy? Then go with a weighted or stacked feet push-up. The point is, there's no room for excuses. And you do not need a gym membership, to do the majority of these exercises or workouts either. Live next to or near a park? Great! Take your book and get to work!

I could go on for hours about this book honestly, but I won't. Because the reality is, you can workout all you want, but if you're diet isn't healthy, it doesn't matter. Yup, it doesn't matter.
And so, we tie it back into diet and eating healthy. Because, as I said in the beginning, they go hand in hand, skipping down the street, waving at you as they pass you by. Another tool that I use to help me maintain my diet and goals, is an app called Lose it! Need to track your caloric intake, exercise, and weight? There's an app for that! I love the Lose it! app for all of the reasons I just stated. I get to track the food and drinks I intake (including alcohol), the workouts and calories I've burned, and my weight. And what's cool is, you create a program for yourself when you first download the app stating what your current weight is and what your goal weight is. And voila! It automatically tells you how many calories you can eat a day! The program can be modified as well. And I'll tell you what, once you see how many calories and fat are in some of the stuff you record in the app, it makes you think twice about eating it again. Even with alcohol (GASP!). I have an iPhone, so I know it's available in the app store, but not sure about Android or iPad. But don't worry, they have a website, Check it out, if you like! Or use whatever other app, you'd like. Or maybe even just a notebook and a pen. Or if you're employer offers services like that (as my employer does with Shape up and Go!), take advantage of it. Especially if it's free or at a discounted rate, if it works out for you anyways.

The next thing I want to mention is invest in a heart rate monitor. I have one by Nike and I love it! It keeps track of your heart rate while you're exercising, has a stop watch and keeps track of the calories you've burned. Talk about instant gratification! Seeing that you burned 975 calories in a 55 minute workout sure does make you feel good! And it makes you want to continue doing what you're doing, including eating healthy.

The final thing I want to mention, what's a good workout without some good MUSIC!! I love motivation, and listening to some of my favorite songs is very motivating. I love high energy dance music to listen to when I workout, but maybe you like heavy metal or rock. Whatever gets you going, use it! Don't have an MP3 player? That's cool. Just use your phone. Invest in an arm strap for your particular phone, and listen to music on your phone while you workout. Too worried that you'll be on your phone responding to texts or posting on Facebook or Twitter (cuz you gotta let EVERYONE know you're working on your fitness and all) when you're suppose to be working out? Put it on airplane mode, my friends. Or just don't pay attention to it. Don't want music taking up memory on your phone? Download Pandora. It's free and you can listen to whatever artist or genre you'd like. No excuses. Here are my top 10 most favorite songs I gotta hear when I'm working out, what are yours?

  1. 212 (Tommie Sunshine remix)-Azealia Banks feat. Lazy Jay
  2. Feel So Close-Calvin Harris
  3. Lights (Bassnectar Remix)-Ellie Goulding
  4. I Got You (Antillas & Dankin Club Cut) feat. Maxoc-Cristian Marchi
  5. You and I-Medina
  6. Titanium feat. Sia- David Guetta
  7. Sun is Up-Inna
  8. Turn it Down-Kaskade
  9. I'm in Love (I Wanna Do It)-Alex Gaudino
  10. Gold-Antoine Clamaran
My point is people, find your motivation and run with it. You'll only benefit from it. Get out there and do something active. Ride a bike, rollarblade, swim, or paddle board (my personal fav). And more than going by what the scale says, go by how your clothes fit. The scale might not move or even be moving in the direction you'd like it to in the beginning (and this can be disappointing, I know), but your clothes might fit looser. And no matter what, no amount of exercise can outweigh a bad diet. Think about it. Let me know your thoughts, but no excuses please. Thanks for being healthy!

Getting Started

My name is Monique. I'm 28 yrs old and I live in South Florida. I wanted to start a blog about eating healthy because, it's something that I try very hard to do and live by. But mostly, I love food and I love to eat! I don't believe that eating healthy has to include consuming, rabbit food, tree bark, and leaves. I believe eating healthy should taste good and make you WANT to continue to eat that way. Not because you feel like you have to, or society says so.

I am not a fitness instructor or a dietician. I'm an ER nurse. BUT, I do know what's healthy and how to stay healthy. And I continue to learn new ways to keep healthy. I feel the need to share what I have learned along the way so that you can feel as passionate about eating and cooking healthy, as I do.  I love to experiment and modify traditional recipes to make them more healthy. For example, did you know that you can swap out regular flour for almond flour in a recipe that calls for breading chicken or meat? And it doesn't taste any different but has a lot less calories and carbs? This is the type of information I want to share.

Now, I want to clear something up. The word 'Diet' does not necessarily mean that you have to be starving yourself. It seems like when people hear the word 'Diet' or that someone is 'Dieting' they respond,"Oh, so you're starving yourself and depriving yourself of anything good..." NOT! The definition of Diet is as follows: the foods eaten, as by a particular person or group; food or feed habitually eaten or provided; anything that is habitually provided or partaken of. Well, I like to partake in some good tasting HEALTHY food! 

I will try to suggest food and recipes that are as affordable as possible, but eating healthy, for the most part, ain't cheap! And I think that deters a lot of people that think they can't afford it. But fear not! I will help you. I want to, not only include healthy meals, but snacks as well. So, without further ado, let's get this party started and begin with my most favoritest and loved recipe by all who have consumed it: BBQ CHICKEN BURGERS!! Now the original recipe I got from and it is Rachel Ray's recipe, but I tweaked it a little. These taste good whether they are grilled, broiled or cooked on the stove top. Here we go:

BBQ Chicken Burgers:

1 lb ground chicken (I use Perdue, but obviously free range chicken is better)
1/2 can of tomato paste (I use Muir Glen organic tomato paste)
2 tbsp minced garlic (fresh or bottled)
1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
1 tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of dried cranberries (I use Craisins)

Coleslaw (optional to place on top of burgers):

1/2 a package of coleslaw mix (found in the produce section)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp honey

Sautee the minced garlic and onions, on medium heat, until the onions begin to turn clear. Add the tomato paste to the onion and garlic mixture, to soften the tomato paste, appr. 2-3 minutes. Place the tomato paste mixture in a large bowl where you'll add the remaining ingredients for the burgers and mix well. Place the ground chicken in the bowl with the tomato paste mixture and, now this is where it gets messy, use your hands to incorporate all of the ingredients until the chicken appears to be blended well with the other ingredients. 

Form patties and choose your form of cooking them. Cooking times are different for each form. 

  • Broil: approximately 10 minutes per side.
  • Stove top: same time as broiling, but you may have to flip them        more frequently as not to burn them.
  • Grill: 8-11 minutes per side (Per Patrick because I don't touch the grill).
 Most importantly, use your eye to judge whether it looks cooked or not. Now, if you're going to make the coleslaw, it's as follows:

Mix the lemon juice and honey together in a bowl and place the coleslaw in the bowl once it's mixed. Toss the coleslaw with the honey lemon juice concoction and place on top of the burgers. 

Now, I don't eat buns, or even purchase them, but if you do, a whole wheat one would be my bun of choice. These burgers go great with any side. Spaghetti squash is what's pictured with the burgers above. Cooking spaghetti squash is easy and is accomplished as follows:

1 spaghetti squash
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of pepper and/or salt to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, which is hard so be careful. Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil on the inside of each half of the squash. Place each half, flat side down, on a cookie sheet and place in the oven for approximately 45 minutes. To check for doneness, poke the outer portion with a fork, if it's still hard, put it back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes until it's soft. When it's not longer hard when poked, remove it from the oven.

Let the sqaush COOL down before you attempt to do anything, approximately 20-30 minutes. After it's cool enough to touch, remove the seeds first. After the seeds have been removed, using a fork, start scraping the inside of the squash until you have scooped it all out into a bowl, and just the skin remains. Do the same on the other half. When I made this the other day, Patrick suggested I strain the scooped out squash prior to serving next time as it was a little watery. Will do next time! Season as desired with pepper and/or salt (I say and/or because I don't own or cook with salt) or whatever you desire. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do, and can maybe even suggest little tweaks of your own (healthy ones, of course)! If you end up trying it, I'd love to hear how it came out and if you liked it or not! Thanks for eating healthy!