Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How I Did It...How I Lost 35lbs...Grilled Chicken Recipe

Grilled Chicken Recipe

Grilled chicken was a staple for me during my cleanse.  It isn't rocket science and although I was able to cook mine on our Big Green Egg, this could be done on any grill or even in the oven.  (BUT, I will make a note that the smokey BGE goodness is definitely my favorite way to cook it!!!)

3 chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 real lime juiced
lime zest

  • Coat chicken breast with olive oil
  • Mix all seasonings together, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, pepper and sprinkle on chicken breast.
  • Add lime zest to chicken breast.
  • Cook on BGE at 350 degrees with plate setter in(diffused heat) grill directly on grate for about 20 mins or until chicken internal temp reaches 160.  (I added Apple wood chips to my charcoal for extra flavor in the smoked taste!)
  • Bring in off grill and allow to cool for 5mins.  This allows the juices to redistribute back into chicken.  
  • Squeeze 1/2 lime over top of chicken before serving.

I used this chicken during my cleanse for healthy protein.  I added it to my salads or ate it fresh with hot veggies.  Either way it was great.  I tried to cook ahead a few to have on hand to easily reheat too.  Otherwise to make in oven, use same directions.  Heat oven to 350.  Be careful to not OVER COOK in oven this will dry it out.  I would even recommend under cooking to 155 internal temp in oven and allowing it to sit out of oven for 5-8 mins until it reaches the internal temp of 165.  Remember food continues to cook when removed from oven.  So plan accordingly.  

So simple and yummy.  If you don't have a BGE, same directions will work on any grill.  

Want to know more about How I Lost 35lbs?  Check out my two part series here:
Continue to check back this week.  I will continue to share more recipes that have helped me lose weight.  


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How I Did It...How I Lost 35lbs! Part Two

Today I promised you the details of my cleanse.  So here goes.  (View PART ONE here.)  

First, the products I used are from Market America's  
The website explains what is in those products better than I can.  But bottom line is I couldn't have done it without those products.  If you would like to try these products, please EMAIL me, and I will happily set you up with a link to purchase them.  

Now what did I eat during my cleanse you ask?  WELL...what I didn't eat is easier for starters.


  • wheat products at all!
  • Pasta, rice, etc!
  • Dairy (NO Milk, cream, butter, yogurt, cheese, etc!!!)
  • Refined Sugars...anything processed with sugar. (Even salad dressing with sugar...I stayed away from them all week!)
  • Caffeine
  • Processed foods (Even no lunchmeat!)
  • Starchy veggies (like potatoes, corn, etc)
That's the basics of it, but I could go on all day with specific examples.  But above are these basis for what I avoided.


  • Fresh veggies!!! (As many and as much as I wanted to fill me up!)
    • Cucumbers
    • Broccoli 
    • Peas
    • Brussel Sprouts
    • Peppers (red, yellow or green)
    • Tomatoes (I preferred the grape or cherry tomatoes, because I could use as a snack too.)
    • Spinach
    • Arugula
    • Romaine Lettuce
    • Kale
    • Onions (my favorite is Vidalia)
    • Scallions
    • Snap Peas
    • Asparagus
    • Zucchini
    • Fresh Herbs
    • Dried Herbs too
    • Cabbage
    • Garlic
    • Mushrooms
    • Radishes
    • Avocado
  • Fresh Healthy Proteins
    • Grilled or baked Chicken (cooked yourself!)
    • Grilled or baked Turkey (cook yourself)
    • Seafood (Fish, shrimp, etc)
    • Tofu
    • Eggs
  • Staples
    • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • Grape Seed Oil, Flax Oil, Avocado Oil or Walnut Oil OK too.
    • Nuts (Walnuts, Almonds, Pecans, Macadamia)
    • Seeds (Chia, Flax, Pumpkin, Sesame)
    • Unsweetened Almond Milk 
    • Apple Cider Vinegar
    • Balsamic Vinegar (actual vinegar, not salad dressing remember NO sugars)
    • Low sodium broths (chicken or vegetable)
    • Dijon Mustard
    • Hot Sauce (without sugar)
    • Sea Salt
    • Black Pepper (preferably peppercorns that you can grind fresh)
    • Detoxifying and anti-inflammatory herbs
      • Turmeric
      • Cayenne Pepper
      • Thyme
      • Rosemary
      • Chili Powder
      • Cumin
      • Sage
      • Oregano
      • Onion Powder
      • Cinnamon
      • Coriander
      • Cilantro
      • Paprika
      • Parsley
  • Fresh Fruits (In moderation, due to natural sugars, but 2-3 servings a day worked fine for me)
    • Lemons
    • Limes
    • Oranges
    • Blueberries
    • Grapes
    • Strawberries
    • Bananas
    • Cranberries
    • Kiwi
    • Grapefruit
    • Watermelon
OK...that is the basics, but keep in mind it's what I ate and what worked for me.  

A few tips to go along with this list of foods:
  • DRINK LOTS OF WATER, I can't stress this enough.  Find a large insulated cup you love and keep it full of water (whether you like your water ice cold or room temperature, it doesn't matter.  What does matter is you suck it up, literally, and drink plain water whether you like it or not.)  If you are a numbers person and need a goal of how much to drink, take your body weight and half it.  So if you weigh 200lbs, you need to drink 100oz of water a day!  
  • If you are worried about cravings, cleanse your house of those things you crave before you start the cleanse.  My will power wasn't really an issue, so I didn't really do this, but many sites highly recommend it.
  • Make sure you shop ahead of time and meal plan.  Have a plan as to what you will eat for all 7 days before you start.  Can you switch things around during, sure!  But having a plan cuts down on feeling like you crave something else and needing to decide what healthy item to cook.  
  • If you find you are hungry, eat MORE veggies.  Especially those high in fiber.  This will help curb your cravings especially in the first few days.  IF you are eating clean from the foods above forget calorie counting for 7 days.  Just eat extra veggies to fill yourself up.  
  • BUT DO keep a food log.  I did keep mine on the Lose It App, because I was already using this app, and it does count calories, but it also counts all the other nutrients as well.  For me reducing my salt intake was needed in the cleanse too.
  • Eat more veggies IF you:
    • Crave sweets
    • Get light-headed or fatigued
    • Crave coffee
    • Have difficulty concentrating
    • Feel moody
  • Healthy snacks are a must.  Keep yourself full....I promise it is important.
  • For salad dressings, I used Apple Cider Vinegar and or Balsamic Vinegar.  My absolute FAVORITE Balsamic is from William Sonoma (NO I am NOT being paid to say is truly my favorite).  My favorite Balsamic has a sweet taste that really helped me get through my sweet cravings this week!!!
  • Steam veggies for dinner with a tsp of Olive Oil instead of butter.  And I added fresh herbs or garlic and onion to help taste without butter.  You will find that you don't miss the butter after a few servings.  
  • Pre-chop veggies and fruits and get them ready for quick snacks.  I find it so much easier to make good choices when I am craving food, if those good choices are ready to go.  (Yes sometimes I get lazy...which is why I would have made a poor choice before.)  Or have walnuts, almonds, etc on hand for a quick snack too.
  • I'll add some protein recipes for you to try, but the basics for me was Olive Oil, fresh herbs and grilling on my Big Green Egg!!!  
Other NON-Food tips that helped me this week too.
  • Detox baths every night.
    • Add 2 cups of Epsom Salt
    • Add 1 cup of baking soda
    • Add 2-3 drops of favorite scented oils
    • Fill tub with as hot of water as you can stand and soak for at least 30 mins. 
  • don't have to do anything fancy for exercise, just walk at least a mile every day.  If you can afford a step counter like a Fit Bit, I highly recommend it.  It will give you concrete numbers of how active or not you are each day.  You might be surprised.  My step goal was 8,000-10,000 steps a day!  
  • Tell your family what you are doing and ask for one week of support.  SO that means they don't bring home pizza or doughnuts, etc!  
  • Do this with a friend!  Sharing the experience is much more fun.  You can both pull each other through it.
  • Stay off of the scale for 7 days.  Weigh and measure the day before you cleanse and don't do it again (resist the urge) until the 8th day!  
Now that you know how I did the cleanse, make note of this....

  • It did re-set my metabolism
  • I did feel clearer (didn't even realize I was foggy)
  • My cravings went away within first two days
  • I felt better and had no more headaches!
  • AND I lost 10.5 pounds in seven days.  AMAZING!!!
I challenge you to give it a try.  Tomorrow in Part three I will share some of the recipes that not only helped me through the cleanse but also that I used throughout my entire weight loss.  

Long term, things that also got better, my leg nerve pain slowly went away.  It took about 6 weeks on the liquid OPC3, Vitamin B, and Multivitamins(from Market America) that I take to make a true difference, but it was almost like one day I realized as I was walking a 4 mile route in FL on vacation, that my legs were not hurting or going numb.  This part is almost as thrilling as my weight loss this summer.  If you would like more information or a shopping link, please EMAIL me and I will happily supply you with that information!

Also for long term weight loss, I continued to eat just like the cleanse.  Would I splurge every now and then?  Sure.  But usually on days where I knew I was working out a lot.  And I only gently added the things that I took away during the cleanse.  Meaning I was still extremely cautious about eating bread, pasta, rice, dairy products, etc.  Only treating myself once or twice a week to a small serving, if I was really craving it.  I did add back in potatoes, corn etc, when I wanted, but I still don't eat a lot of those things either.  I rounded out my summer with about a 35lb weight loss total from late April to mid Sept.  About a 5 month time period.  I'm now maintaining and I feel great!  

Take a look at one of the recipes I used during my cleanse:
Big Green Egg Grilled Chicken
Click on Photo for link!


Monday, December 15, 2014

How I Did It....How I lost 35lbs! Part One

This past year has been a year of learning for me.  For years, I have struggled with my weight.  And no matter what diet or fitness plan I tried, I always continued to gain weight slowly, about a pound or less a month.  And honestly I wasn't over eating or going overboard all the time.  My doctor even tested me for diabetes, thyroid issues, and etc.  Nothing ever came out as truly having one of those issues, although I was borderline for a few issues.  

So long story short, last spring, my doctor prescribed a medicine that is basically an appetite suppressant.  I began eating about 1000 calories a day.  I lost about 5-6 pounds in two months, but then found my weight slowly starting to creep back on, and I was charting everything that I ate.  I also was going to the gym 3-4 times a week and working out at least an hour each time, usually 1.5-2 hours each time.  

In case you are wondering, I use the Lose It app on my iPhone & iPad to chart my food daily.  I really love this app, they make it SO easy to chart.  You can NOT only scan your food in, but also their data base is huge, for supermarket food, fresh food and even restaurant foods.  BUT my very favorite part (because we could a lot of our own homemade recipes) is the personalized recipes.  You can create your recipe in the app and it will give you the nutritional facts for that recipe and then store your recipes for easy selection each time you eat that item.  LOVE this app!!!  (I promise one day in this series I will do a detailed tutorial on the app!!!)

OK, back to my weight loss.  One day after being frustrated with my struggles, I had lunch with a girlfriend who is a fitness instructor and we chatted about my struggles.  She asked if I had ever tried doing a cleanse.  I said no, tell me more about it.  Well, after hearing about it, I truthfully thought what do I have to lose literally.  Haha...well I was pretty desperate and was willing to give it a shot.  

I went home and researched about all kinds of cleanses.  I read books, I went to websites, and basically read more about it than I probably cared to.  Searching for wisdom.  What I found was stories of how it re-set metabolism (which I was already feeling like my metabolism was not really working) and how it would make people feel SO much better.  Some described their cleanse as coming out of a fog.  Well I didn't feel like I was in a fog.  My brain was working just fine, look at all the researching I was doing.  I hardly forget anything.  And I am the only person in the house that can find anything!!!  But I was hooked on the resetting of my metabolism.  

So for the next week, I planned for my cleanse.  I ordered cleanse products that my fitness friend suggested.  You can find the cleanse products that I used HERE!  I also began using the liquid vitamins from the same company, and I am no longer vitamin B & D deficient.  I also need to share at this point one of the other things that I was struggling with was leg nerve issues.  When I exercise my legs would go thru pain to a numbness that would last for hours after exercise, from walking, riding a bike, and etc.  It was really hurting my workouts.  My trainer felt that my doctor needed to find out what the issue was.  And my doctor was testing for everything, but everything she tested for came back as normal.  Healthy heart, healthy back, etc.  I was pretty vitamin B & D deficient, so she had treated those with Vit B shots and extra Vit D thru prescriptions, but I was now at the point of maintenance vitamins needed and my leg issues still weren't resolved.  If anything I was further diagnosed with Restless Leg syndrome in addition.  (Getting old stinks!)  

So now you get an idea of my struggles.  Tomorrow I will post Part Two of this series and talk in detail about my cleanse.  What I did, products I used and how it worked for me.  

Come back for Part Two!!!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

I'm back!

Life Happens...

Well what can I say...It's been since March of 2014 since I have posted.  Many things have happened in this time.  And one major thing is that I have worked on getting myself healthier.  I have lost over 35 pounds and feel amazing!  This next week is my birthday and for my birthday week, I plan to post about how I lost so much weight and share a few healthier recipes with you guys.  

I hope you stay turned for my "How I Did It" series.  

Today I wanted to take a moment to also tell you about a great company called Influenster.  If you have never heard of it, it is basically where you can review products, and read reviews of other products.  Its becoming a great go-to place to find out what others think of a product before you buy it.  They also allow you to participate in certain Campaigns and sometimes even will send you a VOXBOX totally FREE so you can try out and tell others on your Social Media what you thought of the products that they sent you.  

I had the pleasure recently of receiving a VOXBOX from Influenster for FREE.  And I would like to say it came at a great time.  I received a Vaseline box with their Intensive Care Advanced Repair.  Living in CT in winter means needing advanced repair.  

Well after using this for over 3 weeks, I have found that I really do like it.  And here is why:

1.  Fragrance Free was a big PLUS for me...I really don't like smelly lotions.
2.  NOT greasy.  I love how my skin absorbed this without a greasy feeling.  
3.  Healed!  My husband has a bald head and during the winter months it gets dry from the cold weather, heat on and hats worn on his noggin'.  He also uses this Vaseline now and it has repaired his scalp too.  No more dry skin.

So all in all, I would give this product a two thumbs up!!!
I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.
If you are looking for a good moisturizing lotion this winter be sure to check out this newer Vaseline product.  I have enjoyed it.  

Well I hope everyone is having a great December.  Be sure to check back with me next week for my "How I Did It" series about how I lost over 35 lbs this summer!