Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen: Good eats
Showing posts with label Good eats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Good eats. Show all posts

Friday, January 13, 2017

Homemade German Chocolate Cake

For my husband's birthday I make him a german chocolate cake from scratch. It is a tradition that his mom started when he was younger and one that I continued and have continued for the last 14 years. I will say that the main killer ingredient that has to be made homemade, in my humble opinion, is the frosting. Yeah, the canned variety is great, but I have found that I LOVE the homemade frosting so much more! So regardless if I use a box for the cake, because some years I just haven't had the time or the willpower to make a homemade chocolate cake, I will always make the frosting by hand.

This year I did something different though. I didn't have any evaporated milk on hand. I thought I did but when I got home. I didn't. And I could have gone to the store to get it, but after researching how easy it was to make, although a little time consuming, I knew I could do it myself. Plus, one thing I learned is that the shelf life on the canned evaporated milk is YEARS! However, homemade evap milk is only a day or two, in the fridge, only. It made me think...what the heck makes the canned version last so long? I get it. It is sealed in a can but still, it didn't sit right with me for whatever reason yesterday so...I made the evaporated milk myself! Yes, I am crazy but, when I indulge in foods, I want them to be AMAZING and still as healthy and clean (no preservatives) as possible.

WAIT!!! I thought I came here for healthy eating and not junk food...Well, a healthy lifestyle is all about balance. Or at least allowing yourself to still have indulgences. I firmly believe in eating clean and healthy 80% of the time and allow myself to enjoy other types of foods, that I don't eat very often 20% of the time.

Foods I eat less of / less often: sweets, treats like ice cream, cake, doughnuts, even pasta with cream sauce.

Foods I eat more of / more often: veggies, fruit, brown rice, lean protein, oatmeal.

Foods I avoid: processed foods, preservative laden foods.

General rule of thumb is to have an indulgent meal a week, or every other week, or once a month. It depends on how you want to think about it so that you can still enjoy life and avoid having major binge episodes. Think about it, in the past when you denied yourself having treats or whatnot, the diet didn't last long and often would end in a binge episode. Since I am not on a diet, but a lifestyle change, I need to allow myself those treats so that I don't deprive myself of the things that my mind wants or those fun meals with my family. My goal, to usually have an indulgent meal once a month for a birthday, Valentine's day. Holiday, family get together. If you can use those days as the day that you indulge and enjoy foods you don't have very often you are more likely to succeed and reach your healthy natural weight. Healthy living is not about depriving yourself. It is about creating healthy habits!



1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup coco powder plus 1 tablespoons more for pans
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra large eggs (or 3 large eggs) at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter 2 8-inch round cake pans. Spray with cooking spray then dust the pans with coco powder. shaking it all over the pans to coat.
Sift flour, sugar, coco, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment. mix on low speed until combined.
In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla.
with mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry until just combined. Scape the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans, dividing equally.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean
Cool in pans.
Frost as desired.


12 ounces of homemade evaporated milk
1 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups (6 ounces) sweetened flaked coconut
1 1/2 cup (6 ounces) pecans

In a large pot combine evaporated milk, brown sugar and butter and bring to a boil.
Once at a boil remove from heat.
Add salt, coconut and pecans and stir
once evenly coated, transfer to a medium bowl and let cool before frosting.

makes 12 ounces (equal to 1 can) of evaporated milk

30 ounces whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring milk to a simmer, stirring frequently (do not let boil, because it will boil over very quickly and make a HUGE mess)

Once simmering lower temperature to medium low heat and now the waiting begins. Stir with a spatula every 5 minutes for about 40 minutes to break up the skim on the top to allow the milk to steam / evaporate the water in the milk and also to help avoid burning the milk on the bottom of the pan. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the pan with every pass.

Using a strainer over your measuring cup, be sure to strain the milk before use. You may have to measure a couple times to make sure you have the desired amount of 12 ounces.

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! Don't forget to follow me on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK!

Friday, May 27, 2016

FIXATE Turkey Sloppy Joes

My nutrition has been not good lately. I have been craving all things carbs. And sadly I have started giving in. I have noticed two things from it. 1) My body doesn't like carbs and reacts negativity to them. I am bloated and just feel sluggish. And my body just doesn't digest them too well. 2) The more I eat of them the MORE I WANT THEM! It is not good. So it is time to cut back and get back to what I know I should be doing, and DO IT! NO EXCUSES!
I am already planning and prepping for next weeks meals. I need to get back on track and switch up the same old, same old meals with some different ones. I went digging in my cupboards and pulled out FIXATE! I love this book, and I can't believe it has been up in my shelves for so long. Everything tastes amazing and it is so easy to follow! This coming week I am making these Turkey Sloppy Joes. I think of this more sweet and savory because of the maple syrup. It just makes it so good! Check out the recipe, give it a try! And hey, if you want 100 other yummy, easy recipes, you can ORDER YOUR VERY OWN COPY TOO!

COOL THING: There are so many ways you can eat them! Check out the serving suggestions below!

Serving Suggestions: 
1) Serve open-faced on one slice of low-sodium whole-grain sprouted bread.
containers: 3.5 greens, 1 yellow, 1 red, 1 tsp
2) Serve over 1 cup Zoodles.
containers: 5 greens 1 red, 1/2 purple, 1 tsp
3) Serve over 1 cup cooked whole wheat pasta or quinoa
containers: 3.5 greens, 2 yellow, 1 red, 1 tsp
4) Serve in 2 large romain lettuce leaves
containers: 4 greens, 1 red, 1 tsp
5) Serve on 2 corn tortillas
containers: 3.5 greens, 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 tsp

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Cinco de Mayo: Mango Red Pepper Salsa

Cinco de Mayo is just a few days away! Personally we celebrate Cinco de Mayo here in the Allen household every year. It brings up back home to Arizona a little bit. So this year, why not make it even healthier and enjoy great tasting foods.

Back in the Phoenix area (Gilbert/Mesa) there is my very favorite restaurant called Rancho de Tia Rosa's. And every time I go I always get salmon tacos (even though I do not like seafood) and it topped with a mango salsa. It is AMAZING! (just like everything there) So...let's recreate it just a little bit...

I know that the salmon is marinated in a sweet marinade with honey, but the salsa topping totally covers taste of seafood for me enough that I will EAT IT! So check out this mango red pepper salsa I found that is pretty close to it. This would be great on top of chicken or salmon as tacos! Serve with brown rice with some fajita seasoning on top and some black beans too for a super healthy, yummy dinner!

2 ripe mangos, peeled and diced
1 red pepper, diced
Half red onion, chopped
3 tomatoes
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Juice of half an orange
Dash of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
Cover and allow to sit in the fridge for at least one hour (overnight is better.)
Serve with chips, or on top of tacos! 

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich

A couple of weeks ago, one of the ladies in my Fit Pregnancy groups mentioned she had egg salad for lunch. Ever since I have been craving a yummy egg salad. For pregnancy reason I need it to be fresh because it contains mayo. And bad mayo and pregnancy. NO BUENO! Check out this awesome egg salad without mayo. Using an avocado as the "glue" that holds the sandwich together instead of the mayo. Plus you are getting a healthy fat so, WIN WIN!

Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich
Yield: 4 servings
8 large hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
1 ripe medium avocado, slightly mashed
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
4 slices low-sodium sprouted whole-grain bread, toasted
1 cup watercress (need your greesn!)
Pepper and paprika to taste

1. Combine eggs, avocado, lemon juice, and salt in a medium bowl; mix well.2. Spread ¼ of egg mixture onto each slice of toast.
3. Top evenly with watercress.
4. Sprinkle Fresh cracked pepper and paprika to taste on top.
5. Enjoy!

Serve with a side of fruit, and some carrots and sliced bell peppers.

How to boil the perfect eggs:

8 eggs
Large saucepan

Place 8 eggs in the large saucepan.
Cover eggs with water, about 2 inches above.
Bring to a boil.
Once at a boil, cover and turn off heat. 
Set timer for 10-12 minutes. 
Drain hot water and cover with very cold water right away. (I use water and throw in some ice to stop the cooking process).
Let sit until the eggs chill enough to handle. 
Peel and they will be perfectly done, every time! 

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Hawaiian Haystacks

I was craving Hawaiian Haystacks like nobody's business. It hit me like a semi-truck and man, I HAD TO HAVE THEM! So I checked my pantry and used what I had! And I made my own homemade cream of chicken soup using homemade chicken stock. I knew EVERY SINGLE INGREDIENT that went into my meal. Now that is what I call CLEAN EATING!

I love this recipe by Six Sisters Stuff, but I modified my version so it is just a little different than theirs. You can't go wrong with these. Just use whatever you want. I went heavy on the veggies though. I used a whole bell pepper just for me, throw on some mushrooms that I still had. YUM!

Hawaiian Haystacks:
4-6 cups rice, cooked
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced, well seasoned with pepper and a little salt
1 can cream of chicken soup (see below for homemade recipe instead of canned)
1/4 cup milk
Toppings- Whatever you have in your fridge or pantry! 
Chow Mein Noodles (omit for gluten free and use Halved Cashews for the crunch)
Cheese (omit for lactose free)
Green Peppers
Halved Cashews

Mix cream of chicken soup and milk in a sauce pan until smooth. Add diced chicken and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve hot over rice, and top with your favorite toppings!

I didn't have any cream of chicken soup so I made my own by scratch! It was so easy. I went scouring on the internet and decided to do do the most basic and easiest one and it was super easy! 
Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup
2½ cups chicken broth (I used homemade chicken stock) 
1½ cups milk
¾ cup flour
1 tablespoon seasoning mix (or on your own, ½ tsp. onion powder, ½ tsp. garlic powder, ½ tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. salt, ½ tsp. parsley, etc)

  1. Combine the chicken broth and ½ cup of the milk in a large saucepan. Bring to a low boil.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour and seasonings into the remaining 1 cup milk until a smooth, thick mixture forms.
  3. Pour the flour and milk mixture into the saucepan with the broth mixture over low heat and stir continuously, whisking as the mixture simmers. Continue to simmer and stir/whisk until the mixture is smooth and thick, 5-10 minutes. The mixture will thicken a bit as it cools. 

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! 

Monday, February 29, 2016

HEALTHY Crockpot Turkey Meatballs!

Made this last night and they were so easy and YUMMY! PERFECT!

Crockpot Turkey Meatballs:

-1.25lbs of ground turkey (93% lean)
-¼ Cup of Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs
-2TBSP of Italian Seasoning
-1 Egg
-1 Clove of Garlic (crushed)
-Salt and Pepper to Taste
-Low Sodium, no Sugar Added Pasta Sauce (Ragu has a light, no sugar added sauce) or make your own! (My hubs wanted extra sauce so you might want more sauce if you like it saucy!)
-zucchini noodles, or we used whole wheat noodles

1. Combine turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, seasonings, and garlic into a bowl and mix together.
2. Form small meatballs, about 1 tablespoon each
3. Add meatballs to crockpot
4. Add sauce on top of meatballs (add enough to just about cover the meatballs.
5. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
6. Serve with Zucchini Noodles or just stick a toothpick in there. Or heat up some whole wheat pasta
7. Enjoy!

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Easy Meal Prep Containers

Meal prep, food prep, is the #1 way you are going to succeed with a healthy lifestyle. Why? Because when something is already done and ready to go you are going to grab for it. Easy. Imagine this:

Around 5pm start thinking about what to have for dinner. You have 2 kids asking when dinner is going to be ready. You have cleaned as much of the house as you can and then the kids just made a disaster zone of your house since their school work is done and they are HUNGRY! Go to the fridge and look in there and find:

Scenario #1:

Chicken still partially frozen that you put from the freezer to the fridge this morning and it will take more time to defrost.

Scenario #2:

Pre-packaged meals that are already done and ready to go just need to be heated up and that will take less than 5 minutes!

Scenario #3:

Nothing really in there is calling to you so it is an instant Pizza night or fast food because it is too late to start making something now!

I have been there with all 3 of these scenarios. At 6 I am beyond that point in my day of trying to think of things to do to make dinner. (I say 6 because 3 days a week I teach until 6pm.) And often for those days, if I don't have anything all ready to eat before 6 then it is a boxed Mac n Cheese, or a pizza night for us. Which neither of those things are good for us.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. 

Sunday nights I make my rice in my rice cooker. Season it with fajita seasoning to give it some kick and a yummy taste. And I also just cook up some chicken on the stove. I am going to try this week to make a kind of stir fry with broccoli. Cook the chicken and then add some broccoli florets in the pan near the very end. And I just got these awesome Meal Prep Containers on Amazon to help me sort them out for each day. Dishwasher safe and microwave safe too, however, for personal reasons I don't really use my microwave.

I am going back into my stricter eating habits for the next 8 weeks. This is one of my resolutions. Challenge myself to eat a super clean, healthy lifestyle for 8 weeks, and honestly see what it does for me and my body. So for me, these containers will be perfect. Mine and my husband's meals will be done and ready each day of the week. Just heat it up and go!

Here is what I am planning for my week!

Meal 1 (Breakfast): Egg scramble with onion and bell peppers. Apple 1 slice of GF bread – 1.5 red, 1 green, 1 purple, 1 yellow

Meal 2 (Snack): Quinoa Berry Parfait – 1 purple, 1 red, 1 yellow,

Meal 3 (Lunch): Chocolate Shakeology with almond milk, peanut butter, 1 banana, 1 kale shot. 
– 1 red, 1 purple, 2 green, 1 tsp

Meal 4 (Snack M/W/F/Su): 3 tsp. peanut butter and an apple, cucumber – 1 purple, 3 tsp 1 green.

Meal 4 (Snack T/Th/Sa): carrots and bell peppers with hummus- 1 green, 1 blue, 1 orange

Meal 5 (Dinner M/W/F/Su): Chili Spiced Chicken Salad. zucchini sautéed with ground cumin and 1 tsp. olive oil, salad of black beans, quinoa, cilantro, tomatoes, cotija cheese, lime juice, and 1 tsp. olive oil – 1.5 red, 2 green, 2 yellow, 1 blue, 2 tsp 1 orange.

Meal 5 (Dinner: T/Th/Sa): Baked chicken breast, fajita seasoned brown rice, broccoli roasted with 1 tsp. olive oil, bell peppers and onions sautéed in 1 tsp. olive oil – 1.5 red, 2 green, 2 yellow, 2 tsp. 

Meal 6 (Snack M/W/F/Su): Cottage Cheese – 1 red

Meal 6 (Snack T/Th/Sa): Greek Yogurt with blueberries – 1 red, 1 purple.

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

How Do You Know If You Have A Gluten Allergy

Well, I think my battle with gluten is finally over. This past weekend I went out with some gals. I had a great weekend and ate out. I thought I made some smart choices. Didn't get anything too crazy, (like I would have years ago) but I am day 2 into tummy troubles, and bloating. It is not fun.

Here is what I ate:

Saturday lunch- Jerk Chicken quesadillas with mango salsa, I ate 2 of the 4 slices.
Saturday Dinner-Club Pita with side of grilled veggies- had ham in it and that might be where most of my problem is combined with the gluten.
Sunday Breakfast-vegan cinnamon rolls
Sunday Lunch-Chicken Kabobs, salad, rice, and 1.5 slices of Naan. (I ate the whole thing. It was amazing!)

My problem,  I ate some sort of gluten at every meal. And it was just too much for my body to handle and be able to process. I think I got the message body! Ease up on the gluten. And save it, if I really have to have it, for special occasions. But not on a regular basis. :( So sad. But it will be a good thing in the end for my body because I just function better when I reduce the amount of gluten I eat on a daily basis.
How do you know if you have a gluten intolerance? 

First step, you can talk to your doctor about getting tested. But there are some signs to watch out for and if you feel like you have these signs you can talk with your doctor.
  • Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and even constipation.
  • Fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.
  • Inflammation or swelling in your joins, fingers, knees and hips
  • dizziness or a feeling of being off balance
  • Bumps or "Chicken skin" on the back of your arms
Gluten is in so many things these days even down to being in some extracts. It is so hard to completely eliminate it from your every day life, unless you have Celiacs Disease where you HAVE TO CUT IT OUT. One of the best ways to help figure out if you do have a gluten allergy is to eliminate as much gluten from your diet as possible. Don't eat processed foods, boxed foods, pre-packaged meals, freezer meals. And eat whole fruits and grains. Oatmeal, over toast in the morning. Quinoa, rice or zoodles instead of pasta. Eating plenty of veggies and fruits that have fiber in them to help your body be regular. 

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Chocolate Dipped Pear Bites - EASY Holiday Tasty Treats

Who says you can't enjoy the holidays just a little. I know I didn't! I would be a hypocrite if I said that. 80/20 peeps! live your life in 80/20. 80% of the time I am eating clean. 20% of the time I allow myself to indulge just a little. You know what that does, it keeps me from binge eating like I used to do during a diet. I would say, "no, No, NO!" too long to myself on a treat or sweet and then one day I would just SNAP and I would binge eat. I would feel terrible and put myself down. I felt like a failure. (Can you relate?)

Now I don't feel like that at all. I am still losing weight even though I am eating a sweet treat during the week. Not everyday but in moderation! So for today's I found this killer dessert over at The Gracious Pantry! Make sure you check out their site for even more clean eating recipes! Check it out! Oh and this would be a fun and healthy option to your next Cookie Exchange!

Chocolate Dipped Pear Bites


2 tsp. lemon juice 
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3 pears 
1/2 cup walnuts, ground into crumbs 

candy canes or sprinkles would be great too (optional)
1 box toothpicks


Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and have your toothpicks handy. 

Set out a small to medium bowl of water with the lemon juice in it. 

Melt the chocolate chips in a small slow cooker or microwave them, 1 minute at a time, stirring between each minute until fully melted.

Using a melon baller, scoop the balls out of your ripe pairs. Put the balls in the lemon water temporarily to keep them from browning. 

When you are ready to dip them in chocolate, place them on a paper towel to remove most of the water first.  

Using a toothpick, pick up one ball, roll in the chocolate and then sprinkle some crushed walnuts over the chocolate while it's still warm. 

Set the ball on a parchment lined cookie sheet, leaving the toothpick in the ball. 
After dipping all of the pear balls, place the entire cookie sheet in the fridge until the chocolate is hard and you are ready to serve them (at least an hour). 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Post Thanksgiving Homemade Turkey Stock

Don't throw away that turkey carcass from Thanksgiving! Use it to make a flavorful homemade stock that you can freeze and use for months! This year I am finally going to bite the bullet and DO IT! This recipe is salt free! BONUS! And from everything I have read, it is SOOOOOOO easy! Now you will know, when a recipe calls for chicken stock or veggie stock, you made your own and you know exactly what went into it! Clean eating at it's finest! 

Homemade Turkey Stock


Turkey carcass and bones from 14-pound turkey
1 large yellow onion, halved (unpeeled)
1 carrot, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 celery stalks, cut into large chunks
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
5 sprigs fresh parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme


1. Place the turkey carcass and bones in a large stockpot and cover with at least 5 quarts of water, or enough to ensure that the water covers it by at least 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim off any fat or foam that rises to the surface.
2. Add the onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf and peppercorns. Reduce the heat to low so that the stock is at a very slow simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours.
3. Add the parsley and thyme to the stock and simmer for an additional 2 hours.
4. Pour the stock into a large bowl through a fine-mesh sieve and discard all of the solids. Allow to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or until a noticeable skin forms on the surface. Using a spoon, skim off the layer of fat, then let the stock cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
5. The next day, remove the layer of fat that has collected on the top of the stock, then portion out the stock into quart-size containers or freezer-safe ziploc bags and store. The stock can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for up 6 months.

What do you think? Do you think you will try this out this year? Recipe found at Brown Eyed Baker

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Leftover Turkey Tostadas

Recipe time! So after Thanksgiving we all tend to have LEFTOVERS! Here is an awesome recipe for your Turkey Leftovers! (Matt is super excited for this one!) 

Leftover Turkey Tostadas

1 14-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, preferably with jalapeños
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 cups shredded cooked turkey, or chicken (12 ounces; see Tip)
8 corn tortillas
Canola or olive oil cooking spray
1 avocado, pitted
1/4 cup prepared salsa
2 tablespoons Fage greek yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese or pepper jack


Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 375°F.
Bring tomatoes and their juice to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. Add turkey (or chicken) and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, coat tortillas on both sides with cooking spray. Divide the tortillas between 2 large baking sheets. Bake, turning once, until crisped and lightly brown, about 10 minutes.

Mash avocado in a bowl. Stir in salsa, sour cream and cilantro until combined.

To assemble tostadas, spread each crisped tortilla with some of the avocado mixture. Top with the turkey (or chicken) mixture, lettuce and cheese.

Who wants to give this one a try?

modified from

Staying On Track For Thanksgiving

Check out my tips for staying on track this Thanksgiving. Many of us will be having a buffet style dinner. Here are my tips to keep Thanksgiving healthy but still enjoying many of the foods you want to eat for Thanksgiving!

Tips to Conquer The Buffet
Scope It out
Before taking your plate through the buffet line, check out the options and pick what you like. Having a plan will keep you from going overboard.

Top it with Turkey
Grab a plate of salad, (or bringer own) and top it with some turkey. When your plate is full of delicious veggies you won’t have room to over-do it with the other sides.

Be Mindful About Added Butter, Salt and Sugar
yes those dishes may taste incredible, but most Thanksgiving sides are packed with those things that aren’t the best for you. Try getting smaller portions or avoiding some of the choices.

Choose Water
There are probably lots of options filled with sugar. Stick with WATER! You will be well hydrated and feel great after!

Stick To One Trip
As tempting as all that food just laying around is, try to get everything you’d like in your first trip. et smaller portions of sides so you can have a variety.

Greens Over Yellows
Get more veggies than carbs. Obviously we love those potatoes, but we don’t need a plate full!

Bring Food to Share
Bring your own healthier options to share! Then you know exactly what went into it!

Be Selective About Desserts
there are often tons of desserts. Remember your goals and only get one small choice (or none if you’re feeling extremely controlled!) 

And, of course, be sure to like our FACEBOOK page and follow us on PINTEREST for motivation, clean eating tips, and healthy lifestyle resources.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Perfect Holiday Spinach Salad

It's RECIPE time. And this one is coming straight from the Allen home to you! This is my mom's AMAZING Spinach Salad with homemade poppyseed dressing. To me, it is not a holiday without this salad. 

Spinach Leaf Salad with Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing

~2 bunches fresh spinach leaves, stemmed and washed (pat dry with paper towels.) OR 2 bags of baby spinach leaves
~1/4 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
~1/2 lb bacon (8 slices), cooked and crumbled (optional)
~1/4 lb swiss cheese, grated
~1/4 red onion, thin half moons
~6 boiled eggs, sliced
~croutons (optional)

Dressing: Combine in a Blender
~1 cup salad oil
~1/3 cup cider vinegar
~3/4 cup brown sugar
~1 tablespoon dry mustard
~1/2 teaspoon salt
~1 tablespoon red onion (from the salad)
~1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Assemble salad in a large bowel. Combine dressing ingredients in the blender and blend together. (If you pre make the dressing store it in the fridge and blend it together just before serving because the oil will separate.) Just before serving, pour dressing over salad and stir well. Top with croutons.

I personally do not use the croutons or the bacon. Neither like me much so I just leave them out!

One trick I do, I don't douce the salad in the dressing unless I am serving it to a HUGE crowd. I put the dressing in a mason jar and just drizzle a little on. And whatever leftover salad there is I still have dressing left! Enjoy!

What do you think of this salad. You all know I do not like salads but I do love this one!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween Recipe!

It's Halloween! What are you dressing up as for halloween? 

I will have our family picture up tomorrow for you to enjoy our Jurassic World Themed costumes! Hope you guys have a happy and safe day!

How about a perfectly yummy healthy seasonal recipe to celebrate the day!!! 


(Makes approximately 4 servings)


1 lb. chopped/cubed, peeled butternut squash
2 large apples, peeled and cored
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1 tbsp. olive oil (or coconut oil in liquid state)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 scant tsp. ground cloves (optional if you like cloves


Place all ingredients in a 1 gallon-sized ziplock bag or a large container with a tight-fitting lid.
Shake well to coat everything in spices and maple syrup.
Pour out into baking dish (Mine was 9×13) and bake at 350 F. for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Note that if you have a smaller, deeper baking dish that this will take longer in the oven. The bigger and more shallow the dish is, the quicker this will cook. (I do not recommend a cookie sheet due to the cranberries)
Add salt to taste after cooking if needed.

Modified From The Gracious Pantry

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! Don't forget to follow me on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK!
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