Monday, November 24, 2014

Winter Staples - Yummy 21 Day Fix Tomato Soup!

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is this week! Just yesterday it seemed like summer had finally arrived and now across the US we are experiencing snow, ice, and a lot cold weather. Although I absolutely love the Holidays and the family time I get this time of year I could really do without the weather! There is just something about a chilly house that makes me want to do nothing more then lay around the house in sweats and not work out. 

Even though I would rather do nothing more then stay cozy on the couch I have managed to stay motivated and have kept up with my workouts. I have got to say a lot of it has to do with the progress I am seeing in my body and the small gains I have seen through using Pump. Who knew that a girl like myself so against weight lifting would fall in love with it!

Besides staying on track with my workouts I have also been keeping up with my flex dieting and 21 Day Fix plan. Through experience I have realized that it is the right combination of exercise and diet that retrieves the best results. With the cold weather I have noticed that I have been wanting to eat more "comfort" foods especially soups. One of my winter staples (besides chili) has been tomato soup. Luckily after a lot of research I found a recipe online that I made a few tweaks to and it is Fix Approved. I found this recipe on FineCooking.com. To view the original recipe simply click HERE

21 Day Fix Tomato Soup
makes 8 servings and each serving counts as: 1 Green, 2 tsp (+ 1 tsp from coffee section)

Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp organic butter (yes it is allowed on the fix! See Autumn's video below)
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 2 Tbsp wheat flour (can omit for any other fix approved flour)
  • 2 cups organic, low sodium chicken broth
  • 28-oz can of whole peeled plum tomatoes (puree)
  • 1 1/2 tsp organic sugar
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp of basil, chives, and dill mixture 
Instructions
  1. In a dutch oven heat the oil and butter over medium heat until the butter melts. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but now browned, about 8 minutes. Add the four and stir to coat the onion and garlic. 
  2. Add the broth, tomatoes, sugar, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat while stirring the mixture to make sure that the flour is not sticking to the bottom of the plan. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes. 
  3. Discard the thyme sprig. Let cool and then puree in two or three batches in a bender or food processor. Rinse the pot and return the soup to the pot and season more with salt and pepper if desired. Keep warm and serve. 
As mentioned above in the recipe, YES butter is allowed in the 21 Day Fix even though it is not mentioned in the books (at least the original books released for the 21 Day Fix).  Organic chicken broth (low sodium) is also allowed. If you check out Autumn's videos on YouTube you gives you better insight into the Fix and offers some great recipe ideas as well. If you want to watch the video where autumn talks about butter you can watch it below!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

21 Day Fix Approved Condiments!

I apologize for not posting last week but it was just one of those weeks you feel really drained. Too tell you the truth I completely underestimated the toll a trip down to South Carolina and back within one weekend would take on me. Pretty much the rest of the week I spent trying to catch up and energize myself. Although the trip was well worth it since I got to see a close friend of mine, it is definitely a trip I will only make again if I am staying for more then just a short weekend. 

Finally towards the end of this week I caught up and am finally not feeling so exhausted. This weekend I was also able to get back on track with my workouts and healthy eating. I will admit that going off of the fix for a week and then going back on did make me realize how much I miss certain foods like condiments. With that said it made me think as to why we can't create a balance and come up with some more flavorful toppings for our food. So this weekend I scoured the internet and found some recipes for homemade condiments that were either already fixed approved or close enough that I could alter them for the 21 Day Fix. 

The first recipe I found was from FoodNetwork.com for a Caesar Dressing. The only thing I switched out was mayo for plain greek yogurt:


Caesar Salad Dressing
1 teaspoon

Ingredients
  • 6 gloves of garlic, mashed and minced
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Combine garlic, mustard, vinegar, and two pinches of salt into a blender and mix well. Add in greek yogurt and parmesan and mix well. Add pepper to taste if desired. 

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When I was looking through the Beachbody website and saw a 21 Day Fix approved Ketchup recipe I got really excited - especially after I saw that it counts as 1 green!

Just keep in mind this recipe makes 10 servings (about 2 tbsp each). Original Recipe

Ketchup
1 green (2 tbsp)

Ingredients
1 (15oz) can of organic tomato sauce no salt or sugar added
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of coconut sugar (or pure maple sugar)

Directions
  1. Heat all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil while stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. Place into container and chill for at least 2 hours. 
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Another recipe I found on the Beachbody site was Ranch, which tends to be a food staple here in Ohio for some. Original Recipe

Ranch Dressing
1/2 blue (Recipe makes 5 servings, about 2 tablespoons each)

Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup of low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon of ranch seasoning
Directions
  1. Combine yogurt, buttermilk, and seasoning in a bowl and mix well. Serve & enjoy!
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The final condiment recipe I found that is 21 Day Fixed approved is BBQ sauce. I found this recipe on CleanEatingOnline.com. Original Recipe


BBQ Sauce
1 orange container

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
Directions
  1. In a medium sauce pan whisk together 1/2 cup of water, tomato paste, vinegar, maple syrup, worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper flakes. 
  2. Bring sauce to a boil on medium high heat and continue to boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in oil. 



Monday, November 3, 2014

Pumping Some Iron...

Last week an extra early Christmas gift came in the mail for me. Since the Les Mills Pump set was on sale and I have been wanting it for a very long time my husband decided to be extra sweet and bought it for me. The best part is, he didn't even make me wait until Christmas to open it! So last Tuesday I started Pump and I have got to say that I am in LOVE with the results I am seeing already. 

I knew that lifting weights was the key to reaching my next fitness goal but I wasn't quite sure about how I wanted to start my resistance training. The rep effects within Les Mills really gets a good burn going and the program has so many modifications that anyone can get started on this program. Pump has me more then excited to see where I will be in 90 days :)

To keep on target with my goals I also need to make sure that I am getting proper nutrition. I will continue to follow the 21 Day Fix meal plan but I have decided to mix it up and start to play around with flex dieting. Although I will be starting flex dieting, more Fix recipes/meal ideas will keep on coming each week. Instead of posting the meals on Sundays I have decided that Monday nights actually fit my schedule better so I will continue to post weekly on Monday night from now on.

This weekend I wasn't in much of a mood for cooking large meals so I decided to be lazy and create a 21 Day Fix approved pizza. This recipe can be so versatile and you can mix it up a lot!

21 Day Fix Pizza

1 yellow, 1 purple, 1 blue

Ingredients
  • 1 whole wheat sandwich thin (you can also mix this up with flatbread, a tortilla shell, or any type of whole wheat approved yellow. What's great is you can even omit yellow all together and make your own cauliflower crust!)
  • 1/4 cup of pizza sauce (purple - or make your own sauce and count it as a green)
  • 1 blue container of mozzarella (or whatever cheese you prefer)
  • OPTIONAL: Add veggies for a green, or even chicken, turkey sausage, or lean ground hamburger for a red!
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. On a nonstick baking sheet place each half of the sandwich, top with sauce, cheese, and toppings if desired.
  3. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Enjoy!