Monthly Archives: November 2013

Dairy-Free Tuna Salad

Dairy-Free Tuna Salad!


I love having this homemade dish for lunch! As long as I have a 3 oz package of Wild Albacore Tuna in my pantry, this is a guaranteed easy and delicious meal! For all of these ingredients I’d like you to use organic and local whenever possible.



  • 3 oz package of Wild Albacore Tuna
  • 1 celery stalk, deveined, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (i.e. champagne, rice, white balsamic)
  • fresh lemon Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • himalayan salt
  • black pepper
  • lemon pepper (or substitute another seasoning of your choice)
  • 4-6 leaves of kale (or any leafy greens of your choice, i.e.  spinach, butter lettuce, romaine, etc)
  • 2 -3 medium sized heirloom tomatoes (feel free to change the amount based on much you want!), chopped
  • 1/2 of a cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • sauteed mushrooms (I like to sauté about 4 ounces with a little broth in a pan for a few minutes on medium heat)
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons (and more as needed) of low sodium broth
  • 6-8 marcona almonds


  • Using low sodium broth (or even water) saute about 4 ounces of mushrooms in a pan over medium heat for approximately 6 – 8 minutes. If you like to multi-task then go ahead and get this started while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  • Open the package of tuna and use a fork to scrape it out into a large bowl. Then squirt lemon juice, about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and a dash of himalayan salt and pepper onto the tuna and mash it altogether.
  • Next, add the chopped and deveined celery to the tuna mixture. A simple way to devein the celery is to use a peeler to peel off the top layer of the stalk. This step is particularly helpful for people who do not care for the taste of raw celery.


  • Either make space in the bowl or remove the tuna and set aside to make room to whisk together my favorite dressing! The dressing is made with the following ingredients: 3 tbs. olive oil, 2 tbs. vinegar, a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp. mustard, and a sprinkle of himalayan salt and lemon pepper seasoning. I simply use my  fork and whisk away!
  • Next I like to add my greens to the bowl, typically kale. The sooner the kale is in the dressing the better, so the bitterness can be broken down. If you are using kale, remove the leafy part from the stems (either discard or save for another use). As I’m adding more chopped kale to the bowl I like to constantly whisk it around to coat it thoroughly with the dressing.
  • Next I tend to chop up the more water-based veggies to the salad  (again I feel like it helps to break down the bitterness of the kale). So I would typically add the heirloom tomatoes, and then cucumbers before adding root vegetables like carrots or radishes.
  • Before serving I like to sprinkle on a handful of marcona almonds for some crunch! Feel to substitute any nut or seed that you prefer or of course you can omit this step altogether!
  • Serve and enjoy!!!

Servings: 1


If it sounds too good to be true…..

We’ve all heard the phrase, “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.” I’ve been thinking lately about how much this phrase really applies to our modern day society. There seems to be an easy fix for just about every need we have today. Can’t sleep? No worries, just take a pill! Need an afternoon pick-me-up? Just chug down a shot of 5 Hour Energy! Do you want to be heart healthy? Sure, just grab a box of highly-processed cereal with a cute cartoon character and we’ll fix that heart right up with all those “heart healthy grains.” Trying to cut back on sugar? That’s easy, just choose a “sugar-free” artificial syrup to put in your coffee! Watching your calories? Why not go for the lowfat cookies or salad dressings? With these wonderful modern conveniences, all of our problems are solved right? Well, with obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and many other diseases on the rise – I think not.

Sugar free - chemical shit storm

Every day we are so bombarded with tons of information and clever advertising that it’s no wonder that most Americans just accept the status quo and get duped into thinking that there is an easy fix for just about every need. The food industry is first and foremost, a $money-making$ business. These big companies that comprise the majority of commercials we see on TV are not looking out for your health. And unfortunately, a lot of what we see on the front side of food packaging labels are really outright lies. It is the responsibility of the consumers to be diligent about reading the entire package. To really get a clear picture of what you are eating, pay attention to serving size, the ingredient list, and where the item is coming from, etc.


What about all of these trendy catchphrases such as “lowfat,” “sugar-free” and “gluten-free” that confuse people into thinking they are making healthy choices? Gluten-free in particular has really become a popular topic recently and most people have no idea what that means or if they should be consuming it or not. I recently had a discussion with friend who declared that she wants to start eating gluten-free. When I asked if she had a known intolerance to gluten, she looked at me and said, “oh, I don’t know?” I told her that if she wanted to find out she could get tested or better yet eliminate it for at least 30 days and to see how she feels as a result. Unless you have a gluten intolerance or celiac disease, there are no benefits to consuming gluten-free processed food products. According to Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist and author of the book, Wheat Belly, most of these products are made with starches (i.e. potato starch or tapioca starch) that will raise blood sugar levels just as high or in some cases even higher than products made with gluten. This of course, can lead to diabetes among other inflammatory causing diseases.


I implore consumers to not get swayed by catchy “sounds too good to be true” phrases such as “lowfat,” “sugar-free,” and “gluten-free.” While it sounds like a great idea at first glance – just think about what is being substituted instead. Companies still need their products to taste good and to still pass as a real looking cookie or piece of bread for example. So think about what kind of chemical additive or high-glycemic ingredient are they using to put back into the food? Products that claim to be free of High Fructose Corn Syrup most likely still contain another form of sugar (maltodextrin, dextrose, and sorbitol for example are among the list of 50 other names for sugar: Also, watch out for the free of trans fat labels because you might still catch hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils on the ingredient list.


So what’s the answer? I think it is to stick to foods in their purest, most whole form. Try to make your own protein/granola bars instead of buying ones with loads of scary looking ingredients. Get away from boxed foods as much as possible at the grocery store. At a restaurant, swap that trendy, more expensive gluten-free bun for a lettuce wrap instead. When in doubt, repeat the mantra “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is” and I hope this helps the decision-making process!

Here’s an example of homemade “larabars” that you can make at home with 4 to 5 simple ingredients! Original recipe here: For this batch I actually modified the Cashew Cookie bar by swapping soaked almonds + 2 tablespoons of cacao nibs!


Fall 2013 Weight Loss Journey with Team Beachbody

2013 has really had it’s ups and downs for me. Unfortunately one of my ups was my weight. It just so happens that I did a significant amount of travel this year and I guess I had way too much fun haha! It is ironic to me that the very year I start my blog and Facebook page, is also the year that I hit my highest weight ever for me personally. I realize now that it’s okay though because I have learned from my mistakes and I have experienced a great deal of success this past Fall!

My last trip was to New York in September to visit friends and family. I knew that once I got off the plane on September 19 that things were going to change. I was going to be focused, dedicated, and work extremely hard to get myself back into shape. I had a few incentives to keep me going including feeling better in my own clothes, looking fabulous in my Halloween costume, being ready for my Women’s Half marathon November 3, and to be in a healthy state for my annual physical at the doctor.

When I got on the scale on September 20, I weighed in at 144 pounds. I am 5’4 which meant my BMI was 24.7, indicating I was is in the Normal category for adults my height. And for my height, a normal weight range would be from 108 to 145 pounds. So by now some of you may be thinking – what’s the big deal? Isn’t normal perfectly fine? For a majority of people, it absolutely is and there is nothing wrong with that! So why did I need to lose weight and change my ways? I know that my weight at that time wasn’t that bad, but I was at the top of the normal range and was only 1 pound away from being considered in the overweight category. I know that I feel comfortable being in the mid to high 120’s. It’s a personal preference, its keep me feeling good in my clothes and comfortable in my own skin.  I wanted to really nip my weight gain in the bud, just so it wouldn’t continue to get worse.

Here’s a picture of me from my New York trip on September 16th.


So how did I reach success these past 7 weeks? A variety of things actually! First of all, my friend Corine Green aka Zucchini Runner (another blogger like myself, check her page here: got me involved in one her Shakeology Challenge Groups via Facebook. She sent all of the 6 group members a week’s worth of samples of different Shakeology flavors. She also sent us a recipe packet and lots of great information on Shakeology – which I have learned is an incredibly nutrient dense meal replacement. The company behind Shakeology is Beachbody. Beachbody has also put out many other popular products such as Turbo Jam, P90X, and Insanity, among others. They searched the planet (literally) for 70 different super foods from only sustainable sources. There are a variety of flavors (vanilla, strawberry, greenberry, and chocolate) and they have non-vegan and vegan options.



I really enjoyed the support from the Facebook Challenge Group hosted by Corine which lasted from September 23 – 30. We had a private group where we could share our recipes, successes and mistakes, and really keep each other accountable. It got me started on the right track again! I was making healthy meals again at home, keeping a food journal, and working out consistently.  I was eager to continue my healthy habits and just so happens that Corine informed us of another Shakeology Challenge group that was going to start on October 7th! It was a 30 Day Sugar Detox!! I was so thrilled to continue that I immediately signed up! This time our group had over 60 members! By the time the 30 Day Sugar Detox Challenge started I was down to 141 pounds. Here are my photos from October 7th:

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To help us prepare for the 30 Day Sugar Detox the group leaders sent us a shopping list and a meal plan for the week. Here’s an idea of some of the goodies that I purchased to prepare:


Here’s me on Day 4 (October 10th) enjoying a Pumpkin Shake for breakfast! Using my Vegan Chocolate Shakeology, I blended, half banana, about 10 pecans, 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Spice Blend, 1 teaspoon homemade vanilla extract (thanks Jennifer V!), 1 teaspoon local raw honey, 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, ice, and homemade almond milk! YUM!!!



Now even though it was a Sugar Detox, we were still allowed to have small amounts of raw honey and maple syrup to make our own treats. The main focus was to avoid the hidden sugar in a great deal of processed foods and even to avoid sugar substitutes such as aspartame. Here are some of the yummy examples that I made for dessert during the 30 days which includes apple slices with almond butter, chia seed pudding, and homemade peanut butter cups:

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During the 30 Day Detox Challenge I had a blast sharing and learning with the group! I made daily posts on my Facebook page to keep myself accountable to my followers and I also shared as many articles and recipes as I could. For me it was SO MUCH FUN!! Corine could see that I was having a blast with the challenge group and she contacted me about being a Beachbody Coach. At first I thought I wouldn’t have the time. But between her belief in me and the success I was feeling with getting healthy I decided to give it a try! I’m still a brand new coach and I’m learning all about Beachbody, but I am so eager to see where it takes me! I am trying to grow my Facebook page and my blog, and I feel that becoming a Beachbody Coach will only propel me into the right direction!

So how did I do at the end of my 30 Day Sugar Detox? I feel great inside and out! I accomplished all of my goals! Check out my Halloween costume (so you be the judge)!


Oh and I actually participated in not one, but 2 races the first weekend of November! First was the ROC (Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge) 5k Race (even Evan participated!!) and the Women’s Half Marathon.

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The Women’s Half Marathon was a huge success! I ran my 2nd fastest time ever at exactly 1:48:00 minutes! Hopefully for my next one I’ll be ready to break my PR and get under 1:45:00 minutes!

Here are my final results at the end of the 30 Day Sugar Detox Challenge:

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Here are also my measurements:



I am thrilled that I have lost 7 pounds since the 3rd week in September! I know that my journey is not over and I will be facing upcoming challenges that have to with travel again, but this time I feel more prepared and very focused to continue my results! I will be bringing my bag of Shakeology, my Magic Bullet blender, and my workout gear with me each and every time I go away so that I know I’ll keep on track even when I’m on vacation. I want to make sure that I have the right amount of fun from now on haha!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post about my most recent weight loss success! If you want advice pertaining to recipes and/or exercise or Shakeology, please do not hesitate to contact me and follow me via my Facebook page:

Here is my Shakeology website where you can order the product directly from me:

As a new coach I actually purchased what Beachbody calls a challenge pack! I’ll be getting Shakeology shipped directly to my door each month and I also received an exercise DVD set called Focus T25. T25 offers an hour’s results in only 25 minutes so I’m excited to try it!