4 guilt-free pasta recipes

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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:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. In a small bowl combine 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon honey and a dash of sea salt and black pepper.
  3. 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.
  4. Serve the noodles warm and garnish with fresh dill. Enjoy!
  5. 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!

 

3 Dinners You Can Throw Together After Work

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Having a busy day with work and errands and meetings? You aren’t alone. Most of my clients complain of simply not having enough time at the end of their day to cook a healthy dinner.

This I’m-too-busy-to-cook mentality leads to unhealthy dinner choices from restaurants and fast food chains. And like I’ve told you before, you can exercise every day but if you eat too many calories then you won’t achieve the results that you want.

Today I have 3 quick dinner solutions for you to use on those busy weeknights when you’re tempted to grab a less-than-healthy dinner from a to-go joint. These dinners are both tasty and fitness friendly, so you can stay on track with your results.

Go-To Quick Dinner #1: Honey Mustard Chicken

  • 4 large bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Rinse the chicken and pat dry.
  2. Combine the mustard, garlic, marjoram and honey together and evenly spread the mixture over each chicken thigh. Place the chicken in a glass casserole pan.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes, or until cooked through. Enjoy!

Go-To Quick Dinner #2: Leftovers Frittata

  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk or broth
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup chopped and cooked meat and/or veggies (use leftovers!)
  • Olive oil spray
  1. In a large bowl beat the eggs, milk, thyme, and meat and/or veggies.
  2. Place an 8-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat until hot and coat with the olive oil spray. Pour in the egg mixture.
  3. Cook over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes until the eggs are set. Place under a broiler for 3-4 minutes, until the top is golden. Cut into wedges and serve. Enjoy!

Go-To Quick Dinner #3: Pan Fried Salmon

  • 4 (6 oz) skin-on salmon fillets
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  1. Dry the salmon fillets with paper towels and season on all sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Reduce the heat to medium-low and press the salmon fillets in the pan, skin down. Press down firmly for 10 seconds on each fillet.
  3. Cook for about 7 minutes, until it lifts easily out of the pan without sticking. Flip and sear the other side for 20 seconds. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy these quick-n-healthy dinner recipes that are designed to keep you on track and eating healthy even on the busiest of days.

Remember that exercise is vital to getting and staying in phenomenal shape – and I’m here to help you do just that. Call or email me now to get started on my best fitness plan.

Yours In Health,

Brian

Never Miss A Monday.. Here’s Why

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Mondays matter more than any other day of the week.

This is because your actions on Monday set the tone for your entire week. Start out on the wrong foot and it could take days to get back on track.

Mondays are like mornings. If you win your mornings, you’re usually going to win your day.

Starting out with a healthy, balanced breakfast that avoids sugar and is full of fiber and protein gets you primed to eat healthy again at lunch, and again at dinner.

Likewise, when you exercise on Monday, you’re going to set yourself up to have an active and fit week. When you show up prepared and rested on a Monday, the rest of the week flows with successes and wins.

Fact: When you get that Monday workout in, you’re 4 times more likely to get in a Tuesday workout… and that Tuesday workout leads to getting workouts in the rest of the week.

On the flip side, when you don’t show up on a Monday with your A-game then you’re left chasing the rest of the week and playing a game of catch up.

This is true for your fitness, health, mindset and work.

When you choose to skip your workout Monday morning, and eat whatever is quick and available rather than what’s healthy, then you’ve started the week on the wrong foot, and you will spend the next several days backsliding away from your goals.

The fastest way to the top in fitness and health is to show up Mondays rested, prepared, and ready to dominate. Never miss a Monday again. Embrace Monday with enthusiasm and vigor.

Yours In Health,

Brian

7 Secrets to Maintain Weight Loss

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If you’ve ever lost weight, you know how hard it is to keep it off.

Ever wonder why some people are able to keep weight off, while others put it right back on? Read on for the 7 Secrets to Maintain Weight Loss. (And if you still have pounds to lose, these 7 secrets will help you too.)

Image result for keep movingSecret #1: Keep on Moving
If you’re serious about keeping the weight off, you need to be serious about your workouts. Keep your activity level high, both in and out of the gym. Your workouts should consist of both cardiovascular training and strength training. While out of the gym make an effort to move as much as possible by taking the stairs, going for walks or jogs and participating in recreational activities.

Secret #2: Be a Healthy Eater
Sorry, you can’t go back to eating at the drive thru and expect to maintain your weight loss. Focus on these 3 aspects of healthy eating:

  1. Keep calories low. Gone are the days of eating mindlessly. Be aware of everything that goes into your mouth, whether by journaling or simply keeping a mental tally.
  2. Be careful. Eat small portions, avoid high-calorie foods and check nutrition labels. You don’t have to swear off chocolate forever, just eat it occasionally with portion control.
  3. Eat a balanced diet. Include a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean meats and whole grains.

Secret #3: Turn off the TV
The average person watches a whopping 35 hours of television each week. People who successfully maintain weight loss, on the other hand, watch an average of 7 hours or less. TV watching encourages snacking and puts you in a sedentary position on the couch. Spend less time in front of the TV and enjoy longer lasting weight loss.

Image result for keep it simpleSecret #4: Keep it Simple
While it is important to keep a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet, your diet should be fairly simple. Create a repertoire of basic whole foods: fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, beans and nuts. When you cut down on your options it becomes easier to stick to your plan, making weight loss guaranteed.

Secret #5: Track Yourself
Your biggest fear is gaining back every solitary lost pound, but don’t be afraid of your scale. Weigh yourself at least once each week to monitor any gains. If the numbers begin to climb then reduce calories and increase your exercise.

Secret #6: Eat for the Right Reason
Emotional eating is one of the top reasons that people are overweight. It’s very important that you view food as fuel, not as an answer to deeper emotional needs. When food becomes more than just fuel, the pounds quickly add up. If you want to keep your weight under control, you’re going to have to eliminate emotional eating.

Image result for all or nothingSecret #7: Forget All-Or-Nothing
No one is perfect – not even you! There will be days when you eat more calories than you should have. There will also be days when you miss a workout. Don’t let small slipups send you into a tailspin of all-or-nothing sabotage. Simply get back to your healthy lifestyle rather than letting yourself backslide into your old habits.

Don’t be one of the many who skip these 7 secrets and instead return to life pre-weight loss. You worked hard to be where you are – you deserve to keep it.

Yours In Health,

Brian

Don’t Be Fooled

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Yesterday morning I was in line for coffee with a friend when I noticed the “healthy” pop tarts on display. The packaging was deceptive to give it a wholesome look that would make you believe the snack was a healthy one.

I flipped it over and read the ingredients: Refined flour. Refined sugar. Additives. Loads of simple carbs and sugars.

There was nothing remotely healthy about it!

A snack like that causes weight gain and further poor food choices…and yet people are being fooled into thinking that it’s healthy and good for them.

Looking around the coffee shop I realized that the new trend is to present processed snack foods in packaging that suggests that it’s healthy. The one or two benefits of the product are displayed prominently so that we forget to check the rest of the ingredients…

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“Gluten Free!” (but filled with other refined grains AND sugar)

“Organic!” (but filled with refined sugar)

“Vegan!” (but filled with unhealthy fats and refined sugars)

“Sugar Free!” (but filled with artificial sweeteners)

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What really upsets me about this deceptive marketing is that good people who truly want to make healthy choices are being duped. They are eating these packaged foods with the misconception that it’s healthy and beneficial, when in reality they may as well be eating the cheaper packaged snacks from a gas station. The weight gain and nutritional hazards are the same.

Big food knows that we want to eat healthier, so their marketing is getting more clever than ever to keep us coming back to purchase their packaged, processed, toxic foods. And we pay the price in pounds gained, and in health diminished.

Let’s fight back.

  • Pass by the packaged snack foods, no matter how enticing and comforting the words on it may be.
  • ALWAYS read the ingredient list of foods you purchase.
  • Stick with real, whole foods instead of processed foods.
  • Join my life-changing fitness program to bring your results to the next level.

Yours In Health,

Brian