Friday, March 29, 2013

Paleo Chili

It was extremely cold over here in Florida today...well, in the high 40s at least at night time (yeah...I've lived in California and Florida my entire life..that's cold!)

Nothing is better on a cold night than warming up by the fire, drinking a cup of hot chocolate, and enjoying a nice hot soup for dinner. Unfortunately, I live in fireplace. Hot chocolate is not my favorite, unless made from scratch. So, I went for the hot soup.

As you know, the Fiance is still on his Paleo diet. But I really wanted to make a chili, so I made up a bean-less version of it! Now, this isn't spicy, I do no spice right now since I'm breastfeeding, but it was still delicious!

Paleo Chili
serves 6-8 


1lb ground turkey
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2tbsp. butter
2tbsp. garlic, minced or powder
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 orange/yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 large sweet potato, chopped
4 tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 container chicken stock
1c. water
4tbsp. chili powder
4tsp. cinnamon
2tbsp. salt


1. In a large pot over medium heat, mix your tomato paste and chicken stock together, until smooth. Chop the tomatoes, and add to the pot. Set it to simmer.
2. In a large pan, melt your butter on medium-high heat, and sauté onion for a minute. Add ground turkey, and brown it. Once browned, add your turkey and onion to the pot, as well as the rest of your ingredients. Let simmer for at least 30 minutes. (The longer it cooks, the better the flavor).

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Keeping Thin During Pregnancy

Many of women's biggest fear during pregnancy (besides the fear of actually giving birth!), is weight gain. I know that right when I found out I was pregnant, I started watching everything that I was eating even more carefully, and weighing myself night and day. I was pretty disappointed when I realized that I was going to gain weight no matter what, because I had been on such a healthy track, and shedding pounds like it was nothing.

During my 41 week pregnancy, I managed to gain 38 pounds, most of that happening at the very end of the 2nd trimester and the 3rd. Here's me at 40weeks pregnant, and then me at 2 weeks postpartum. I've lost 25 pounds so far!

I think the trick to not having gained a lot of weight during pregnancy, and then losing so much weight so fast, boils down to a couple of things...

1. You are NOT eating for 2.
     It drove me crazy when people complained that I wasn't eating enough. No, I was eating just the right amount for me. When you get pregnant, this is not an allowance to just eat whatever you want... I've read that you can eat up to 300 calories more than you normally eat. And think about the beginning, you're feeding a baby that's the size of a blueberry...and at the end, you're feeding a baby that's the size of a small pumpkin. He/She does NOT need all that much. They will get the nutrients they need from you no matter what, just make sure you're eating well for yourself.

2. SPLURGE...every once in a while.
     I was so careful about watching what I ate, but I would still get the every now and then craving for chocolate, or ice cream. My go to favorite snack was Publix Sorbet, it didn't matter what flavor. But when I tried to hold myself off from eating those cravings, all I found was that I thought about that craving more than ever! So splurge, you soon to be mommy. Don't deny yourself those goodies every now and then.

3. Eat what you want! 
    The key to this is moderation! Now, I'm not saying eat only Little Debbie snacks, or pizza all the time. But I never calorie counted throughout my pregnancy, I just ate what I felt like eating, but listened to my body. One of the tricks to eating in moderation, is to eat slowly. Listen to your stomach, your body will let you know when you're full, but when you scarf your food down, it's harder to hear what your stomach is saying until it's too late...we've all had those nights, where after we eat, we need a wheelchair to even get around ;)

Now for losing the weight after baby....

4. Remember to Eat!'re going to be tired. Way tired than you've ever been in your entire life. Of course, it's all worth it when you get that little smile at 4am after your baby feeds...
My little booger smiling after his 4am feeding..
But one of the most important things to remember is to eat, even if it's something you grab on your trip around the house while you rock your baby to sleep. When you're reaching in the fridge though, grab an apple, or a handful of nuts. If you go for a cinnamon roll or a quick cookie, you won't lose that weight, your body will hang on to those calories because it doesn't know when it's going to eat again. Having a baby is stressful, but you've got to remember to take care of your body :)

5. Walk!
     As soon as you can, start going for walks. It's one of the easiest exercises, and it feels AMAZING to get out of your house! Even if it's just a 20-30 minute stroll around the neighborhood, anything is better than sitting on the couch. And it always gives me that boost of energy that I need at 2 in the afternoon.

6. Breastfeed.
    Now, I completely understand that it doesn't work for's hard as crap! Sometimes I feel like there isn't enough lanolin in the world to keep my nipples from constantly feeling so sore (sorry, maybe TMI?), but if you can, do it. Breastfeeding can burn up to 600 calories a day. I've read online (I found it online, so it MUST be true, haha), that you burn about 3 calories a minute breastfeeding. And it's so good for your baby! Also, I feel extremely close to my baby boy while breastfeeding him, it's our own special time that he doesn't get with anyone else....

So these are just a few tricks that I used. Of course, I'm not perfect, and I'm not doctor, but these are just what I've tested and what has worked for me. Good luck, and congratulations on becoming a new mom :)

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

So I haven't posted in over a month...and this is why :))

This is Oliver, the new love of my life. But having this beautiful new addition to our lives leaves little time for anything else...and leaves me extremely tired!!

Ever since he was born, my cravings for foods have been slightly odd. In the hospital, I wouldn't even eat any room service. Instead, I ate the free graham crackers they offered, day and night. Lately, I've had a craving for chocolate and peanut butter. I'm not a fan of chocolate candies, but thoughts of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups have been floating in my head for days, and I knew I had to do something about it before I sank my teeth into one of those 210 calorie, articifical preservative laden, delicious I made my own!

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
makes 6 peanut butter cups

2c. dark chocolate
4tbsp. milk
1.5tbsp. peanut butter
1tsp. honey
1 crushed graham cracker


1. Place chocolate chips and milk into a microwave safe bowl, and heat for 30 seconds, stirring after the first 15seconds. Chocolate may not be melted all the way, but stir continuously, and it will melt perfectly.

2. Pour a thin layer of chocolate into muffin/cupcake tins in a cupcake or muffin pan. Refrigerate to let the chocolate harden.

3. While chocolate cools, mix peanut butter, graham cracker and honey together. Spoon peanut butter on top of chocolate, and spread. Add the rest of the chocolate on top of the peanut butter (you may need to melt chocolate for another 15 seconds). Let cool for at least 10-15 minutes, then serve.

I used dark chocolate because it's much better for you than milk chocolate. These are amazing though, not super sweet, but enough to fill that chocolate craving. Enjoy :))

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Eggplant Manicotti

Last night, we had a dinner night with one of our couple friends, who are vegetarians! For me, picking out vegetarian meals are so difficult...I couldn't imagine a life without chicken..seafood...and nice, juicy, medium rare steak (I can NOT wait till I get enjoy these little things in life again...43 more days till Ollie's here, god willing).

Since I've been in the mood for a nice italian dish lately, I decided to switch it up a bit. My favorite italian dish is manicotti, I used to love when my mom made this, it was my favorite meal when I was little. Except this time, I made it with Eggplant, and it turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Eggplant Manicotti


3 eggplants
1/2 container mushrooms
Pasta Sauce
about 8-10oz of Ricotta Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese
Salt, Pepper
Minced Garlic
Olive Oil
1c. Heavy Cream


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Slice eggplant into long thin slices. If you have a mandolin, I'd suggest using this to get your slices perfect, but I just used a knife and my keen slicing techniques...haha.
3. Brush eggplant with olive oil, place on a well oiled pan, and bake in the oven about 10 minutes, or until eggplant is tender and pliable. Let cool for a couple of minutes.
4. While eggplant is baking, chop your mushrooms and basil, and mix it into a bowl with the ricotta cheese, and a handful of mozzarella. Here, add any seasonings you want, but I just added some salt and pepper.
5. In a baking dish, place a thin layer of pasta sauce at the bottom, until it just covers it, and set aside.
6. On a plate or a cutting board, lay out a couple of slices of eggplant. Take a spoonful of your ricotta mixture, and place it at the widest end of your eggplant. Roll the eggplant up, tucking and making sure not too much ricotta mixture comes out of the sides. Lay the eggplant roll in the Pasta sauce, seam side down. Repeat with the rest of your eggplant.

7. Once pan is full, pour a tablespoon of heavy cream over each of your eggplant rolls, then sprinkle with cheese.
8. Bake your manicotti for about 20 minutes, and serve!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sausage, Butternut Squash, and Brussel Sprouts

This weekend was a CRAAZZZYY weekend for Gus and me, between family, our "winter cleaning", and finishing up baby Ollie's room. Last night, he took me to the movies to watch the Hobbit (I have to admit, despite all of my protesting, it wasn't THAT bad), and by the time we got home from the never-ending movie, it was already 9, so I whipped up something real fast for us. And lo and behold, I tried out this recipe I found last week from this lady's paleo website, Jen's Gone Paleo. It was quite easy, and delicious!

Sausage, Butternut Squash, and Brussel Sprouts


1 container of Pork Sausage (I used the Jimmy Dean in the roll sausage)
1 medium butternut squash
10oz Brussel Sprouts


1. Preheat oven to 375degrees F.
2. In a medium pan on medium heat, cook the sausage until browned (Doesn't need to be fully cooked, as it will cook in the oven). Drain and set aside.
3. Peel, de-seed, and chop the butternut squash into bite sized cubes.
4. Mix the butternut squash, brussel sprouts, and sausage onto one large baking pan, then cook for about an hour, or until the veggies are fully cooked.

Afterwards, I sprinkled some salt, pepper, and italian seasoning on it. And of course, Gus sprinkled cheese, because "No meal is complete without cheese"! Enjoy :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thai Chicken Curry Soup

This past Sunday, Gus and I were in food heaven...or Sam's Club, as most people call it. I've had a card for quite a while, but only to get the cheaper gas, or to run and grab random items for parties. But that day, we decided to walk...the ENTIRE store, after my 40 minute yoga session. Talk about a prego workout haha.

So we browsed for a while...and sampled, a lot...and browsed some more. Then got to the grocery section, and found nice, quality chicken breasts for $1.77/lb! And we bought enough to last the entire week haha.

So when I got home, I pondered meal plans and ideas I'd use for this week. I've been in a Chinese-wanting phase, and decided to go with a healthy asian, and did this...Thai Chicken Curry Soup. Delicious! And it was Paleo friendly... now don't get discouraged, you can make it as spicy as you'd like, or not spicy at all, just be prepared for an amazing, healthy and filling dinner.

Thai Chicken Curry Soup


3 chicken breasts, chopped
1 green or red pepper
1/2 an onion
3tbsp minced garlic
6oz mushrooms
Red curry paste
1tbsp. Yellow Curry powder
1 bag of fresh spinach
2 cans Coconut Milk
2c. Chicken Broth
Olive Oil
1tbsp. Salt
1tbsp. Pepper
2tbsp. lime juice
Green onions


1. Chop all the vegetables into bite sized pieces, then set aside.
2. Heat a small amount, about 1tbsp, of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, and add 1tbsp of red curry paste, 2tbsp if you'd like it a little spicier. Saute onion and garlic until fragrant, then add chicken and brown for about 4-5 minutes. Add peppers and mushrooms, and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.
3. Add chicken broth, coconut milk, curry powder, salt, and pepper, and lime juice, and let simmer for at least 30 minutes on low-medium heat. The longer you let it cook, the more flavorful it will become, and the thicker it will become. **If soup is not desired thickness, add a cup of hot soup to 1tbsp of flour, mix well until dissolved, then add to soup, and let cook at least ten minutes longer to get rid of any flour taste**
4. At the last moment, stir in spinach, so it won't become too wilted, then top with chopped green onions. Serve as desired. We added a dollop of sour cream to the mix, made it even more delicious!

Enjoy :)