Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Sweet Potato Crust Spinach, Feta & Egg Frittata 

2 medium sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1.5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1. Preheat the oven to 350°, then peel and slice sweet potatoes. I sliced mine using a mandoline, but a knife works great as well. The mandoline speeds up the process significantly and gives you even slices. Coat a pie dish with cooking spray, then fill the bottom of the dish with a layer of sweet potato slices. Cut the sweet potato rounds in half and fill around the edges of the pie dish; round side facing up. Once the entire dish is filled, coat one more time with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn heat up to 375°.

2. For the filling, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add spinach; sautΓ© 3 minutes. Remove from heat; cool.

3. Combine milk and next 5 ingredients in a bowl; stir with a whisk. Arrange spinach mixture in crust; pour egg mixture over spinach. Sprinkle with feta. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes; cut into 4 wedges.

Each serving( 4 total) contains the following:
CALORIES 196 FAT 8.5g (sat 3.5g, mono 3.2g, poly 1.2g) PROTEIN: 12g CARB 18g FIBER 4gCHOL 197mg IRON 2mg SODIUM 562mg CALC 155mg
Via Cooking Light 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Healthy Version of Alfredo Sauce 

Who says Alfredo sauce can’t be healthy? It absolutely can! And if you replace the pasta noodles with spaghetti squash it’s even better

Try the alfredo sauce recipe below & let me know howyou like it!

Makes enough for about 4 people. Takes about 5 minutes to prep and 10 minutes to cook so it’s easy to make anytime!

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup broth vegetable or chicken
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup non fat plain greek yogurt room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan

(1) Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
(2) Sprinkle with cornstarch and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
(3) While whisking, slowly add in broth and milk.
(4) Continue whisking to combine until smooth.
(5) Raise heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a simmer.
(6) Once simmering, simmer for about 2 minutes, until it starts to thickened, again, whisking constantly.
(7) Remove from heat and little by little, whisk in greek yogurt.
(8) Once combined, place back on the heat (medium) and stir in Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
(9) Bring to a simmer and simmer for an additional 2 minutes, whisking constantly.
(10) Serve over pasta OR baked spaghetti squash (directions for spaghetti squash below) immediately. If you let it cool, it will thicken up a bit
If not using immediately, store in airtight container in the fridge.

Nutritional information is for 1/4th of the entire sauce recipe.
*This makes enough sauce for about 1/2 - 1 pound of pasta/ spaghetti squash depending on how saucy you like your pasta!

Baked Spaghetti Squash

(1) Preheat oven to 400. Bake spaghetti squash for about 10-15 min to make it easier to cut.
(2) Split/Cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise and remove the seeds
(3) Drizzle the center of each half of split and seeded spaghetti squash with 1/2 tsp olive oil or use olive oil spray. Using your fingers, rub oil evenly into squash. Season with your favorite no salt seasoning.
(4) Place spaghetti squash in a large baking dish center down, and bake for 1 hour. Spray the baking dish or pan so it doesn’t stick
(5) About 30 minutes into baking, begin your sauce (directions above)
(6) When spaghetti squash is finished (center should be tender and come apart when scraped lightly with a fork), use a fork to scrape out the insides. They will come out looking just like spaghetti.
When the sauce is done, either transfer the squash "noodles" to your sauce and toss to coat the squash thoroughly or pour it over the squash.
When ready, serve and top with fresh parsley for garnish.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Skinny Hot Chocolate with Real Cocoa

This is super simple to make! You can spice it up with any other spice you like too (cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spice or any of my fave Flavor God sweet seasonings too! For more servings just multiply the recipe accordingly

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Stevia (Depends on your liking for amount. I use 2 packets per cup)

Add the cocoa powder to a large cup with a little bit of water. Mix it up until well blended then microwave it for about 30 seconds.

Add the almond milk, mix well again and microwave it for about 30 seconds again. The time really depends on how hot you want it and how powerful your microwave is!

When done, take it out, add the stevia and enjoy. I love whipped cream so I add a tiny bit to the top and it’s perfect for chilly days like the ones ahead

Notes: Any milk Can be substituted for the almond milk and any sweetener may be substituted for the stevia BUT almond milk and stevia are the best choices for calorie, sugar and carb control

For those on special diets, this is a vegan, gluten free, low calorie, dairy free recipe

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Benefits of Green Tea

Messy hair, tired eyes but don’t care! What I DO care about though, is feelin’ good! And green tea helps me do that, especially after a late night out

It’s part of my morning routine after my ACV shot & warm water with  lemon. And in the colder months, my afternoon pick me up too

So many benefits to drinking it, not to mention the little boost the caffeine gives you
Below are just a few of them! Pretty sure after reading them you’ll be incorporating it into your daily routine also! You’d seriously be foolish not to!

I buy mine in a box of 100 and it’s green tea + matcha, another very beneficial herbal tea ingredient that I’ll be blogging about next so stay tuned. But in the meantime, here are some of the many benefits of green tea alone

Green tea is loaded with polyphenol antioxidants, including a catechin called EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate). These antioxidants have various beneficial effects on health including helping prevent various types of cancer (i.e., breast, prostate & colorectal), fight cell damage & reduce inflammation

Green tea contains less caffeine than coffee, not making you jittery, but enough to produce an effect and provide more stable energy. It also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which can work together with caffeine to improve brain function. L-theanine increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects

Green tea has been shown to boost physical performance, metabolic rate & fat burning in the short term, although not all studies agree & confirm. It has also been shown to reduce fat in the abdominal area, the most dangerous place to carry excess weight & fat. This varies by individual but it’s yummy & good for you so whether it really does this or not, it’s definitely worth it anyway

Green tea has bioactive compounds that can have various protective effects on the brain. They may reduce the risk of both Alzheimer's & Parkinson's, the two most common neurodegenerative disorders. Studies show that catechin compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on neurons in test tubes & animal models, potentially lowering the risk of Alzheimer's & Parkinson's

Green tea contains catechins that may inhibit the growth of bacteria & some viruses, including influenza. This can lower the risk of infections & lead to improvements in dental health, a lower risk of cavities & reduced bad breath

Green tea has been shown to cause mild reductions in blood sugar levels & improve insulin resistance in several studies, hence helping lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Green tea has been shown to lower triglycerides in the blood as well as total and LDL cholesterol. It has also been shown to dramatically increases the antioxidant capacity of the blood, protecting the LDL particles from oxidation. Studies show that, because of this, green tea drinkers have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease

***See Healthline.com for more detail and additional benefits of green tea

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Zucchini Grilled Cheese

These are amazing! Zucchini Grilled Cheeeeeeese! Delicioussssss! And low carb!



2 c. grated zucchini
1 large egg
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 c. cornstarch
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for cooking
2 c. shredded Cheddar

Squeeze excess moisture out of zucchini with a clean kitchen towel. In a medium bowl, combine zucchini with egg, Parmesan, green onions and cornstarch. Season with salt and pepper.

In large skillet, pour enough vegetable oil to layer the bottom of the pan.

Scoop about 1/4 cup of the zucchini mixture onto one side of the pan and shape into a small square.

Repeat to form another patty on the other side.

Cook until lightly golden on both sides, about 4 minutes per side.

Remove from heat to drain on paper towels and repeat with remaining zucchini mixture.

Wipe skillet clean.

Place two zucchini patties in the same skillet over medium heat.

Top both with shredded cheese, then place two more zucchini patties on top to form two sandwiches.

Cook until the cheese has melted, about 2 minutes per side.

Repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Poached Eggs! On Toast & So Much More!

Poached eggs seem to be the topic of conversation in my groups lately! One of the motivating women in it keeps sharing her yummy pics of poached egg breakfasts & it has us all drooling over them

If you haven't tried it, you may want to. I haven't yet, if you can believe that, but I'm shopping & meal prepping again soon & this is on my list

Here's a How To Poach an Egg with a modified recipe via TheKitchn.com

1 large egg
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or other mild-tasting vinegar

Small saucepan
Small measuring cup
Slotted spoon
Paper towel

Fill the saucepan about 2/3 full w/ water & bring to a boil

Turn heat down & let the water relax into a brisk simmer. You should see bubbles coming up to the surface, but it won't be rolling. (It's easier and quicker to control the simmer if you bring it to a boil first, then reduce the heat rather than trying to get it to the perfect simmer from the get-go.)

Crack the egg into a small measuring cup, preferably one w/ a long handle. This will help you ease the egg into the water

Add vinegar to the water: This step is optional, but many people like to add it to the boiling water because it helps the loose, billowy white cohere to itself & cook into a more compact shape. Taste isn't noticeable, although you might notice a firmer, more "squeaky" texture to the white

Use the measuring cup to carefully lower the egg into the water, then tip it out into the water. Make sure the water is at a bare simmer

The final cooking time for a poached egg is very much up to you. It depends on how well you like your eggs done and how hot the water is. But 4 minutes, give or take, in lightly simmering water, will give you a firm white & a gooey but still runny yolk

Use a slotted spoon to remove the egg from the water

Pat the egg dry: This is optional

Place the egg on toast, salad, lean protein & enjoy. Season as desired

If you want to poach multiple eggs at once, make sure your pan is big enough to accommodate all your eggs without crowding them or poach in batches if necessary. Crack each egg into its own measuring cup before you start & slip them into the water one after the next. Add 30 seconds for each extra egg 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Broccoli Cheese Protein Muffins

Easy peasy way to get your protein in! Egg white, broccoli & cheese muffins! Grab and go, I don't even heat 'em up!

2 pints of egg whites
2 cups steamed broccoli
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chunky salsa of your choice
No salt seasoning if your choice
Smoked paprika (optional)
Non stick cooking spray
12 count muffin tin

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Spray muffin tin with non stick cooking spray
3. Pour egg whites into it leaving a small amount of room in each one for other ingredients
4. Add broccoli. I buy frozen broccoli, steam it and have it ready to go in the fridge
5. Sprinkle cheese on top
6. Add about half to a full teaspoon of salsa
7. Sprinkle seasoning and smoked paprika on top
8. Bake until golden brown. Test them before removing them. If they come out of the tin while and are fully cooked all the way around, they are ready to go. I like my eggs very well done so I wait until they are very golden brown.
9. Let cool and enjoy!  I eat them cold but you can reheat in the microwave if you wish. I sometimes add a slice of baked sweet potato on top OR you can bake them with the sweet potato on the. Ittom, adding it before you add the egg whites to the tin. TONS of options with these

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Can Drinking Water Really Help You Lose Weight?

πŸ’¦πŸ’¦ WATER πŸ’¦πŸ’¦

We ALL need it! But how much AND does it really help you lose weight, lean out, etc? Well here ya go! I watched an excellent video the other day with tons of tips and studies explaining how and why it DOES! Here's a bit of it! I'll be hosting a ⚡️⚡️ FREE⚡️⚡️ Water group in a few weeks to help motivate you to CHUG πŸ’§! If you'd like more info, send me a message through this site, in Facebook, Instagram or via email at ellieperico@aol.com! Now....for the details!

Can drinking water help you lose weight/cut fat?

Here are some studies that have been done that prove YES!

1. Drinking half a liter or 17 oz of water increased metabolism from 24-30% for 1.5 hrs!

2. Drinking water before a meal decreases appetite = you eat less!

3. Half a liter before meals lead to 44% more weightloss than people who didn't drink before meals!

4. All metabolic processes that take place in your body work more efficiently with adequate water intake. Think of it in car terms, as the oil for your engine.

How much water should I drink per day? 

The general rule is half your body weight in ounces. So, if you're 150 lbs you need AT LEAST 75oz. More if you're exercising and/or sweating for any other reason, hence losing extra water. 

What if I'm bloated? Do I drink less? 

If you're bloated, that's an indication that you're bloated. DRINK water. It seems ironic but that's your body's signal to give it H20! It retains any water you have anticipating it may not get any for some time. Similar to when you don't eat.

People think if you don't eat you'll lose weight. Not necessarily. Your body's metabolism will slow down and it will create fat stores. 

Should I drink tap, filtered or bottled water?

Ideally, the best option is getting a good quality filter and drinking filtered water from a BPA free bottle. Stainless steel is a great option. It's been estimated that 205 million Americans are drinking contaminated water, including tap AND bottled water filled with pollutants, fluoride, heavy metals and even prescription drugs! 

Bottled water is no better either! I've been drinking bottled water for years and after reading this, I'll be finishing all of the water bottles I have at home and permanently switching to only BPA free bottles like my kids use
They did a study that women who had higher BPA levels in their body weighed 40 lbs more than women who didn't. The BPAs are coming from bottled water, plastic containers for food, etc.

Water in general will help with weightloss not only to make you eat less but to make the body function better as a whole. Your digestive system will work better, you'll have more energy, skin will improve and you'll have less headaches. 

So remember, water is a CRITICAL part of your weightloss and/or fitness routine. Drinking water alone won't shrink your belly BUT drinking water and combining that with a proper diet and fitness routine will lead to success, NO doubt! 

Remember, if you'd like to join me πŸ’§πŸ’§ WATER ACCOUNTABILITY GROUP πŸ’§πŸ’§ contact me! I may be adding a bonus free meal plan with recipes and snack ideas along with daily nutrition and fitness tips just like I do in my client paid groups! JUST in time for summer πŸŒžπŸ‘™πŸ’¦

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Food Swaps: Shrimp Scampi Pasta vs Shrimp Scampi Zoodles 

Food Swaps! They’re so important to learn when it comes to getting HEALTHY and this Shrimp Scsmpi comparison is one of my faves!

Low Carb vs High Carb! Comparing Zucchini Noodles & Pasta - Shrimp Scampi recipe included also ⬇

A simple swap can make ALL the difference in your carbs! I love pasta but rarely do I just have it. Most typical pasta plates look like the right pic (around 2 cups pasta) and 88+ grams carbs

On the left is what I usually do! There's around 6 oz of zoodles (about 3+ cups) which is only 10 grams of carbs. This means more volume for less cals.  It's important to remember though that carbs are NOT bad - You NEED them! Just be mindful of portion sizes when meal planning depending on your goals AND the types of carbs you eat! Pasta tends to be very heavy, causes bloat and raises insulin leading to cravings

Quick Shrimp Scampi
3-4 zucchini squash
2 bags raw peeled shrimp (about 400 g each)
1-2 cloves of garlic (preference)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper
juice of 2 lemons
2 tbsp butter OR 1 tbsp coconut or olive oil

Use a vegetti or similar to spiralize the noodles. Put zucchini noodles into a colander and salt liberally let sit for 20 minutes (very important!) After 20 minutes, rinse and pat dry with a paper towel
Melt butter/oil and the 1-2 garlic cloves in a skillet or saute pan. Saute noodles over med-high heat for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Sautee shrimp in butter/oil then add spices + lemon juice and simmer until cooked through (usually no more than 5 mins). Add on top of zoodles. Garnish with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese if desired and ENJOY πŸ˜‹

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Squash Lasagna!

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Because we ALL love lasagna but not the ton of carbs that come with it. So here’s a clean and healthy solution. The carbs and sugars will vary depending on the marinara you choose but an estimate is below

 Prep Time 15 mins
 Cook Time 1 hr 17 mins
 Total Time 1 hr 32 mins
 Servings 4 Servings
 Calories 474

1 small spaghetti squash (approx. 3½ to 4 lbs.)
Nonstick cooking spray
4 cups all-natural marinara sauce
3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
3. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and membrane.
4. Place spaghetti squash, cut side down, on baking sheet. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until tender.
5. Reduce oven temperature to 350ΒΊ F.
6. Scrape spaghetti squash flesh into stringy noodles.
7. Lightly coat 4-quart baking dish with spray.
8. Evenly layer half spaghetti squash, half marinara sauce, and half ricotta cheese in baking dish. 9. Repeat with second layer.
10. Evenly top with Parmesan cheese.
11. Bake for 30 to 32 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.
12. Garnish with basil if desired.

Nutrition Info
Portion Fix Containers
1 Green
2 Purple
1 Red
1 Blue

Via Team Beachbody