4 guilt-free pasta recipes

It’s hard to find a dinner more satisfying than a steaming plate of flavorful pasta, but by now you’re well aware of just how fattening that is. Let’s not give up on our favorite pasta dishes…let’s make these dishes lighter, healthier and just as delicious by using noodles made from vegetables, rather than traditional, carb-laden pasta. 
If you’re new to cooking with veggie noodles, have no fear! It’s simple and satisfying to create comforting guilt-free pasta dinners, and I’m going to show you how…
Guilt-Free Pasta Recipe #1: Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is the easiest of all the veggie noodles to prepare since the noodles are already formed in nature. Cut a spaghetti squash in half and you’ll find a mess of seeds and stings in the center of thick, firm, yellow flesh. The seeds and strings are discarded, and that thick, firm, yellow flesh is cooked until tender and scraped off the skin, into a neat pile of soft spaghetti-like noodles. Pretty cool, right?! 
Make Spaghetti Squash Noodles:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.

Rub the inside of each spaghetti squash half with coconut oil and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Place, cut side down, on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until tender.

Serve with your favorite spaghetti sauce and meatballs. Enjoy!
Guilt-Free Pasta Recipe #2: Zucchini

 Zucchini is such a tender squash that it really doesn’t require cooking, and in fact cooking zucchini noodles quickly turns them to mush. I’ve found that pouring hot spaghetti sauce over a pile of zucchini noodles is all that it needs to heat it up without causing it to get mushy. You’ll need a spiral slicer –a little kitchen contraption that spirals zucchini through grating holes to create long, spaghetti-like noodles.

Make Zucchini Noodles:

Wash the zucchini and remove the green skin with a veggie peeler. Run the peeled zucchini through a spiral slicer to create long, thin noodles.

Top with warm spaghetti sauce and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Guilt-Free Pasta Recipe #3: Butternut Squash

While zucchini and spaghetti squash noodles are light and soft, noodles made from butternut squash are a bit heartier. Not only does this translate into a more filling meal, it also means that need to be cooked on their own, before applying the spaghetti sauce, in order to achieve a tender consistency. 
Now there’s a little bit of technique involved with cutting your butternut squash in the best way to run it through a spiral slicer. I’ve found that the narrow part of the squash, that’s completely solid, is the piece that works really well with a spiral slicer. Slice off the skin and then simply run it through the slicer. The part of the squash that’s hollow in the middle is trickier to use with the spiral slicer, since those pieces are pretty thin. A quick option is to simply chop those pieces thinly and use that along with the long noodle strands.
Make Butternut Squash Noodles:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the narrow part of both squash off and peel off the skin. You should have 2 nice solid pieces of squash (no hollow section). Run this through a spiral slicer to create long, thin noodles.

Toss the noodles with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread over a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until tender.

Serve immediately with the spaghetti sauce of your choosing. Enjoy!
Guilt-Free Pasta Recipe #4: Asparagus 

Talk about truly guilt-free pasta – one made from asparagus spears! Rather than serve this one with traditional spaghetti sauce (although you could) I’ve included a dressing to toss the noodles with and I’d recommend serving it with meatballs for some added protein. 
Make Asparagus Noodles:

Wash one bunch of asparagus spears. Resist the urge to chop off the tough stalks, these are your handles! Cut off the asparagus tips and save. Hold onto the tough stalks and use a vegetable peeler to peel long asparagus noodle strands into a large bowl. Mix in a Tablespoon of fresh dill.

In a small bowl combine 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon honey and a dash of sea salt and black pepper.

Heat a Tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the asparagus noodles. Sauté for 2 minutes then remove from heat. If you’d like, sauté the asparagus heads by throwing them in the pan after 1 minute. Toss with the dressing.

Serve the noodles warm and garnish with fresh dill. Enjoy!

Eating healthy, low carb meals like these are what it takes to have that lean, sexy body that you want. But don’t forget that a fit body also requires a consistent, challenging exercise program! Call or email me today and get you started on the fitness plan that’s custom designed for you.

Let’s do this!

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White Belt Nutrition: Quinoa

The next time you decide to opt for white rice, white pasta and regular store-bought breads, you may want to consider choosing carbs that are slowly digested and absorbed.

Why?

These carbohydrates will help control blood sugar, insulin concentrations, energy levels and body composition.

In other words, you’ll burn fat, feel less hungry, and have more energy.

So with that in mind, check out our “White Belt Nutrition: Quinoa” video for more:

5 Super Fast Meals

Most of my clients want to eat healthy – they really do – but a single detrimental factor gets in their way…they simply don’t have the time.

I get it, we all lead busy lives that leave very little extra time for healthy meal prep, but the alternative of fast food meals, frozen dinners and restaurant fare is making us lose in the battle of the bulge.

All too often I see clients exercise hard everyday, and then flush their results away with irresponsible eating. Don’t let this be you!

To get you on the fast track to quick, healthy eating here are 5 healthy meals that take only 5 minutes to prepare:

Fast Meal #1: Traditional pancakes are filled with carbs, grains and a plethora of simple sugars – not something you’d consider healthy. In fact, eat pancakes regularly and you’ll find your fitness results quickly disappear. However, this simple, wholesome, 3-ingredient pancake recipe is the exception. It’s a pancake that you’re able to enjoy without guilt.

3-Ingredient Pancakes

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons almond butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or ground cinnamon *optional
  1. Mash the bananas in a bowl (or blend in a food processor). Add the eggs, almond butter and flavor additions. Mix until smooth.
  2. Preheat a griddle or skillet. Lightly grease with coconut oil. Pour the batter in ¼ cup scoops.
  3. Once you see bubbles form, flip and cook the other side until golden.
  4. Serve with fresh fruit.

Fast Meal #2: Tuna is a wonderful fish that’s packed with muscle-building protein. However, most tuna salad recipes drowned out the benefits with a boatload of calorie-packed mayonnaise. Scroll down for a refreshing tuna salad recipe that, in addition to being quick to prepare, avoids the trap of high-calorie dressing.

Here’s what you need…

  • 2 cans Albacore tuna, packed in water
  • 1/2 cup white bean hummus
  • 1 small apple, finely minced
  • 1 Tbl yellow onion, finely minced
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed
  • dash of Pepper
  • 1 TBL Dijon mustard
  1. Drain and flake the tuna in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Serve in a bowl, on large lettuce leaves or in half of an avocado, garnish with dried dill weed.

Fast Meal #3: Yogurt has often been advertised as a healthy, guilt-free snack or meal replacement. This always bothers me because I know just how many simple carbs and sugars most flavored yogurts contain. Many people are deceived into thinking that the creamy, fruit flavored snack will help them lose fat, while it does just the opposite. Here’s a recipe for a creamy, fruit flavored snack that is actually packed with protein and free of fattening sugars.

Creamy Protein Mousse

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup chopped fruit
  • 1 (13.5oz) can coconut milk, full fat (chilled in the fridge overnight)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 frozen banana, peeled
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup stevia-sweetened vanilla protein powder
  1. Chill the can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Do NOT shake the can up at all! Carefully turn the can over and open from the bottom. Drain out the liquid and scoop the white cream into a food processor. Discard the liquid.
  2. Throw all of the ingredients into a food processor. Blend on high until creamy. Enjoy chilled.

Fast Meal #4: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and not only because it’s the meal that breaks your overnight fast. What you decide to eat for breakfast sets the tone for the rest of your food decisions for the day. A donut or breakfast sandwich grabbed from a drive thru will set you up to eat junk for the rest of the day. On the other hand, a wholesome, nutritious breakfast will get you geared up to eat good-for-you foods all day long. This quick breakfast recipe is packed with amazing, natural flavor as well as protein-filled eggs to power your day.

Zucchini Egg Scramble

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons green onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons chives, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 organic eggs
  1. In a small skillet place the olive oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini, green onion, chives and rosemary. Cook until the zucchini is lightly browned on both sides.
  2. Crack the eggs into the skillet and continue to cook, mixing, until the eggs are set. Remove from heat and enjoy immediately.

Fast Meal #5: I’ve saved the best for last, in this list of 5 Fast Meals. There was a time when most people would turn their nose up at the idea of a salad being a meal, but times are changing, and we are now more aware than ever how traditional meals are too heavy and lead to obesity. I’d like you to consider a ‘Everything Salad’ to be the perfect, quick and guilt-free meal. Sure, there are plenty of ways to take a salad and make it fattening, but that’s not what we want to do. By taking a big bowl of fresh greens and topping it with lean protein, colorful veggies and a light, homemade dressing – you’ve got yourself the perfect meal!

Everything Salad

Here’s what you need:

  • Dark leafy greens (spinach, arugula, kale)
  • Lean protein (chicken, turkey, lamb, hard boiled egg)
  • Colorful veggies, chopped (bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini)
  • Fresh Herbs (basil, rosemary, oregano, mint)
  • Homemade dressing (see recipe below)
  1. Raid your fridge for fresh, organic produce and lean, cooked protein. Add in some fresh veggies and chopped herbs and mix together with a simple, homemade dressing. There you have it, the perfect meal!

While eating healthy, nutritious meals is awesome, don’t forget that exercise is half of the battle when it comes to getting and staying fit. Call or email me today and we will get you started on the exercise program that will reshape your body once and for all!

Fat Burning Meal Hacks

The term ‘hack’ is being used a lot lately. While it used to have a negative connotation, these days to ‘hack’ is to find a quicker, easier and more effective method for achieving a goal.

There are life hacks (like packing Christmas ornaments in empty egg cartons), food hacks (like placing a handful of cherry tomatoes between two plates and using a knife to halve them all in one fell swoop), and as I’ll share with you today, fat loss hacks.

Fat loss hacks are ways of doing everyday things, like eating, in a way that promotes fat loss and blocks fat storage. Sounds pretty great, right?!

Here are my 7 most effective Fat Burning Meal Hacks…

Fat Loss Hack #1: Cauliflower Rice

Serve shredded, sautéed cauliflower as rice, rather than traditional brown or white rice. This simple hack will save you hundreds of calories per meal and will leave you no less satisfied. You can even add your favorite spices and flavor additions as you do with traditional rice.

Fat Loss Hack #2: Vegetable Noodles

There are many ways to create and enjoy noodles made from vegetables, rather than noodles made from grains. The veggie noodles are a hundred times less fattening than grain-based noodles, so what are you waiting for?! Use a spiral slicer to turn zucchini or butternut squash into noodles; bake a spaghetti squash and scrape out those nature-made noodles; or simply use a traditional veggie peeler to create long noodle strips from zucchini.

Fat Loss Hack #3: Lettuce Wrapped

By simply replacing your sliced bread and buns for large pieces of lettuce, you’ll quickly eliminate a couple hundred calories from each meal. Once you get used to the crunch of the lettuce you’ll enjoy your new style of sandwich and burger even more than the traditional way.


Fat Loss Hack #4: Protein Powder


Did you know that protein powder can be used in many recipes to increase the protein and reduce the carbs? Replace a portion of the flour in your pancakes with high quality protein powder and you’ll see how delicious it tastes while being so much healthier for you.

Fat Loss Hack #5: Coconut Oil

Replace the vegetable oil in your kitchen with coconut oil, and enjoy benefits such as increased fat burning and reduced appetite. In addition, you’ll be avoiding the pitfalls of other, less healthy oils and fats. Coconut oil can be used in virtually any recipe – both stove top and baking.

Fat Loss Hack #6: Wholesome Sweeteners

Throw the refined sugar out of your kitchen and replace it with any one of these wholesome sweeteners: coconut sugar, raw honey, pure maple syrup, or pitted dates. By getting your sweet fix from these wholesome, real food sweeteners you’ll be taking in fewer calories and there will be less of an impact on your blood sugar, which will result in less fat stored.

Fat Loss Hack #7: Water

Replace high calorie beverages with crystal clear water. This simple hack could quite possibly change your life. If high calories, sugar-laden beverages make up a significant part of your daily calories then switching to water will swiftly induce fat loss. 

Start using these Fat Burning Meal Hacks today and enjoy a leaner physique. Let me know when your jeans start to feel loose around the waist!

A consistent, challenging exercise program, like the ones that I provide for my clients, is the only way to achieve and maintain your ultimate fat loss goal. If you’re on the fence about starting one of my programs today then call or email for the details.

Let me be your #1 secret weapon in fat loss.