Beef Stew

The perfect cozy, cold weather dish.

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What you will need.

  • 2 lbs. Lean Stew Beef
  • 1/4 cup flour of choice (or omit)
  • 3 potatoes, cubed
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 1.5 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1.5 cups Low Sodium, Fat Free Beef Broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 cloves of garlic (or 3 teaspoons minced garlic)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 Bay Leaf

Directions

1. Toss beef, salt, pepper, and flour in a zip lock freezer bag. Once coated, dump floured beef into your crockpot.

2. Add your chopped vegetables

3. Combine paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and beef broth and pour over your ingredients.  Place bay leaf on top.

4. Cover and Cook on high for 5-6 hours, or on low for 10 hours.

Real Food Fast

Working in the Fitness field, I am always bombarded with constant complaints about how hard it is to eat healthy on the go.

While I understand that it takes time to make a bunch of chicken breasts, cook up some Quinoa, roast sweet potatoes and chop veggies for the week, some things are just worth taking the time to do. And if you truly want to see results, this is one of those tasks that you must be willing to take on for the sake of your health, and all of your hard work in the gym.

However, for clients of mine who just can’t seem to find the motivation to do this (shame on you) I offer some helpful alternatives that make eating healthy seem a bit easier.

Wherever your day may lead, these are all great choices to take on the go. So grab a lunch box, shopping bag or purse, and pack it with these nutritious and filling foods that will keep your diet clean, lean, and on the right track.

Fruit: Bananas, Apples, Kiwi, and Citrus fruits..anything with Skin. You can also pack a small Tupperware container with Berries, Pineapple, Watermelon, etc.

Veggies: Celery sticks, Carrot Sticks, Sliced Bell Peppers, Grape Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Snap Peas, Asparagus Spears, Ziploc bags of Baby Spinach as a base for a salad, or Collard Greens used as a wrap.

Complex Carbs: Individual cups of Brown Rice. Rolled Oats. Whole Grain Wraps for a sandwich, Brown Rice Cakes, Microwave ready Sweet Potatoes

Protein: Can or Packet of Tuna/Salmon. Low Sodium Sliced Turkey Breast, Beans, Greek Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, Hard boiled eggs, Whey/Brown Rice Protein Powder.

Healthy Fats and Energy Boosting Snacks: Natural Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios, Hemp/Flax/Chia/Sunflower seeds, Nut Butters, Hummus, Avocado, Coconut Oil/Flakes.

Combine a few to make a delicious Trail Mix that wards off afternoon hunger!

Bars: Lara Bar, Kind Bar, Think Thin Bar, Luna Bar

Hydration: Water, Green Tea, Seltzer Water.

Add Lemon, Lime, Mint, Cucumber, or frozen fruit for a natural sweetener throughout the day.

Instead of filling your fridge, pantry, and body with empty calories, choose nutrient packed foods that will keep you feeling fuller, longer!

“Grab and Go” does not have to mean fast food. It can mean healthy food…fast!

What’s On Your Plate?

Before we get to the wonderful world of food, here is a glimpse of this weeks Spin Playlist for you to rock out to during your next cardio session.

spin list

Yup, Ricky Martin is back and ready to help me push you through a killer workout!

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Woohoo!

Now let’s fuel shall we?…

Oats of all flavors…

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  • Oatmeal with egg whites, banana, cinnamon and peanut flour
  • Oat Bran with egg whites, chopped apple and Sunflower seed butter

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so addictive.

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Blueberry scone oats: mix raw oats, peanut flour, vanilla Sunwarrior (or protein of choice) and enough water to combine. Leave in the fridge overnight, and in the morning, top with blueberries.

Add more water if necessary. Heat or serve cold.

Ground Turkey with jalapenos and red bell pepper

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Sweet potatoes, my fav!

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Rainbow salads with kale, tilapia, veggies and hemp seeds. Topped with Rice Vinegar.

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And my go-to dessert…

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Hershey’s Dark chocolate cocoa powder mixed with water and stevia in the raw, poured over 1/2 cup of frozen mixed berries.

Top with a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt and slivered almonds or walnuts for extra staying power while you sleep!

Complex carbs, healthy fats, proteins and greens…I’ve got it covered!

So..What’s on your plate?

Peas and Crayons

If & I Can’t…

Is anyone else’s Instagram acting up? Mine won’t allow me to take pictures, and my camera keeps shutting off every time I try to use it.

help!

So it’s been a pretty busy week, and it’s only getting busier. I’m grateful for the opportunities that are coming my way, and I’m learning to push past my fears and go after what I want.

Once I let go of any fears, or “what if’s” that creep into my mind, confidence comes pouring out of me and I am FINE.

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oats, ground flax, vanilla Sunwarrior, pumpkin pie spice and blueberries.

It’s easy to get lost in a routine that feels “safe”, and we often end up stuck in one place for way too long. Recognizing when the time is right to finally turn the page and begin a new chapter is the first step towards reaching our “happy place”.

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It’s an intimidating process, especially when it regards concurring something that we’ve always wanted and possibly failing at it. 

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grilled broccoli and asparagus with marinated lemon pepper chicken tenders.

At the end of the day, it’s often our own insecurities that hold us back.

All you need is one chance to prove to yourself that you can do whatever you put your mind to, and once you take that first step, the sky is the limit.

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Don’t Be Afraid

What I’m Loving Wednesday

I’ll get to that, but first, I want to start off with what I am NOT loving.

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Um…seriously!?

Knee’s do NOT go over your toes. Period!

If needed, put a chair behind you for support through the motion, or place a stability ball between you and the wall.

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When I come across articles like this in fitness magazines, it infuriates me. Mostly because young women, who are in search of a healthy and accurate approach to exercise and eating, are the main audience.

And don’t even get me started on the 1,500 calorie a day diets that these magazines try to play off as healthy. They neglect the fact that everyone’s body is different and has different needs depending on an abundance of factors.

children’s size bowl of Special K with skim milk and one strawberry anyone?

Bottom line, exercise enhances your diet’s results, and your diet enhances your energy to workout. It’s a team effort.

Eat real food, eat real food often, workout smart, and drink plenty of water.

OK…Moving on Smile

My family and I threw my father a surprise 60th birthday dinner at The Capital Grille this past weekend, and one of our favorite appetizers to order on the menu is the Cold Shellfish Platter.

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one pound lobster, crab meat, jumbo shrimp, and fresh shucked oysters served over ice.

It’s basically a seafood lovers dream, and at $100 dollars per tower, you better believe this thing is worth the splurge.

Along with 3 towers dispersed throughout the table, we also had prosciutto wrapped mozzarella, choice of soup or salad, and any choice of entrée and sides.

I ordered the grilled swordfish, which is my favorite entrée on the menu.

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And for dessert, we has an assortment of hazelnut chocolate cake, coconut cream pie, crème boule, cheesecake, and my all time favorite…

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Flourless chocolate cake. It’s not even right how good this thing is.

I swear I’m loving other things besides The Capital Grille..such as the shirt that I wore there Smile

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 Black + Flowy = Hiding my seafood and chocolate cake filled belly.

It’s every woman’s fashion trick Winking smile

Other loves include…

Peanut flour, which I ordered fromiHerb.com.

use my code VOZ131, for $5.00 off of your first purchase!

One of my favorite ways to use peanut flour is as a dip

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So delicious. So satisfying

By the way!

I added a link to my sidebar for anyone interested in purchasing Sunwarrior Protein. It’s the only protein powder that I use, and the link will take your directly to their Website for easy access.

Here’s some information about my #1 protein choice.

  • A great tasting plant-based protein with a silky smooth texture that blends easily without the chalky or grainy texture found in other vegetable based proteins.
  • A 98% correlation rate to Mother’s Milk and a 98.2% digestion efficiency, one of the highest digestibility and efficiency ratings of any other protein sources (compared to whey and soy).
  • Highest Net Protein Utilization score of any plant-based protein and the highest ratio of amino acids converted to proteins.
  • Uses neither chemicals nor acid hydrolysis. Uses organic enzymes and the process is 100% Organic Compliant.
  • Naturally rich in vitamins and minerals, contains high amounts of antioxidants, tocopherols, tocotrienols, and other essential nutrients such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorous, iron, and potassium.
  • Increases absorption and effectiveness of vitamins and minerals.
  • Easily digested by infants, the elderly, and adults. The World Health Organization may be using Sunwarrior Classic Protein in the future to feed malnourished individuals.
  • Clinical studies show the balanced nutritional profile of rice helps to maintain and control insulin levels.
  • Additional clinical studies show that Sunwarrior Classic Protein has cholesterol lowering potential and the USDA is currently using Sunwarrior Classic Protein in trials to see if it may help control high blood pressure.

Pick your favorite flavor and release your inner warrior!

………………………

My ACV filled water bottle and daily cup of Green Tea has helped me power through the first half of my day.

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  • 1tbsp acv
  • 1 packet of Stevia (or a few drops of liquid Stevia)
  • fresh lemon juice
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 3 cups water.

And easy to prepare Lean Ground Turkey has been one of the most versatile proteins to leave in the fridge for use throughout the week.

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tacos, salad topper, chili. The options are endless!

I haven’t used my crock pot yet, however I’ve been researching some delicious recipes that I’m excited to make.

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See my Pintrest for what I plan on making in the near future.

So..What are you loving lately?

Peas and Crayons

What I’m Loving Wednesday

Look what came in the mail!

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It always feels good to accomplish the goals that I set for myself, and I’m excited for the  plans that I have in store for my future.287878601150744435_LtxRrp8f_b[1]

Matt and I celebrated with a colorful powerhouse of clean eats in the form of chicken stir fry.

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We melted some coconut oil in our Wok, and loaded it up with bell peppers, snow peas, Brussels sprouts, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms and a chopped sweet potato; all seasoned with black pepper and a dash of ginger for an explosion of flavor.

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Brussels sprouts are quickly becoming one of my favorite vegetables. They’re just really fun to eat.

…Did I really just say that?

Dessert was 1/2 a container of plain Greek yogurt, topped with fresh berries and a sprinkle of dark chocolate cocoa powder.

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Eaten while starting my new book, which I had heard rave reviews about!

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I also gave in and did a little decorating…

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It now feels a bit more like Autumn in the Decicco/Vozzella household, rather than just smelling like a cinnamon spiced pumpkin exploded all over the living room.

p.s Kitchen Spice from Yankee Candle smells unreal.

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I think that’s all for now?..

What’s new with you?

Peas and Crayons

Honey, I’m Home.

Honey Crisp apples are back in the produce aisle, and I made sure to snag a few before everyone caught on.

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Besides Gala and Fuji, Honey Crisp apples are my absolute favorite.

They are crunchy, sweet, and perfect for dipping in almond butter, which I eagerly opened a new jar of today.

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Although I’m excited about my Honey’s return, my breakfast has been overflowing with ripe peachs, fresh blueberries, and chopped raw almonds with plain Greek yogurt.

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I mean, it is going to be in the 80’s for the rest of the week, so I’m enjoying every bite of Summer fruit till the very last day.

blueberries…don’t go!

Pre Workout Snack

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  • 1/2 cooked and cooled sweet potato with coconut oil and cinnamon.
  • 1/2 cup egg whites on the side

Workout

-20 minute Elliptical HIIT-

1 minute fast; 1 minute recovery @ level 8

Followed by a quick lower body burner

  • 10 squats w/ 20lb barbell
  • 10 squat jumps (no weight)
  • 10 second squat hold
  • 10 squats (bodyweight)

rest 45 seconds to 1 minute and repeat 2-3x

Abs

  • 20 bicycle crunch
  • 20 reverse crunch
  • 20 toe touches
  • 20 plank crossovers (knee to opposite elbow)

repeat 2-3x

Post workout, I craved a refreshing tuna salad, so I topped of some bib lettuce and spinach with a can of Albacore tuna mixed with 1 tbsp. Greek yogurt and a dash of black pepper. On the side, corn on the cob and the other half of my sweet potato, all drizzled with sriracha for a spicy and delicious combo.

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easy, filling salads are the best :)

Peas and Crayons

Come Fall, What’s your favorite type of apple?

Seafood Festival 2012

Matt and I are back earlier then expected, but we had an awesome time at Hampton Beach’s Annual Seafood Festival.

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And it. was. packed!

On our drive up to New Hampshire, knowing that I may not find any stomach friendly foods, I made sure to have a protein rich snack to hold me over for a while.

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And it’s a that good thing that I did.

Of course I expected the usual fried clams, lobster rolls and seafood chowder, but it being a festival celebrating Seafood, I thought I would see more fish options such as salmon, haddock, and scallop plates.

All of the stands pretty much had the same fried foods available, but I still searched long and hard for something I could eat that wouldn’t cause me to hobble back to the beach house with cramps and indigestion.

Enter Sesame encrusted Ahi Tuna skewers

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And Grilled Shrimp and Swordfish

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I also split a shrimp cocktail and corn on the cobb with Matt, while he enjoyed his fried clam strips and baked lobster mac and cheese

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It was the perfect amount of picky foods before heading down to the beach for live music and drinks

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The band reggae band, Hot Like Fire, brought one last taste of Summer as the cool Autumn breeze filled the beach front tent.

Everyone was having a great time dancing, drinking, and singing along to the familiar songs that the band performed.

As the evening rolled in, so did the down pouring rain clouds. This cancelled our plans of walking to the Sea Ketch for dinner, and instead, we took a drive to North Hampton to a lively Italian Restaurant, Ron Jillian’s.

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We ordered one the best antipasto plates that I’ve ever had, followed by Herb encrusted Cod with a side of steamed broccoli, which I swapped in place of lobster cream risotto,

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Matt also ordered Pasta Bolognese, a favorite of his whenever we eat out at an Italian restaurant.

It was a perfect “rained out dinner”, and we spent the rest of the night back at the beach house watching TV in our adorable loft bedroom

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It feels like Fall today, and now it’s time for the Pat’s game and Sunday dinner at my parents.

Enjoy the rest of your day! xoxo

What I’m Loving Wednesday

White peaches have taken over, and I’m not even mad about it.

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mixed with Greek yogurt, kashi and cinnamon

Giant vegetables are always a good thing.

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If anyone has a family of 6 or more, call me.

I smile every time I look at these two bags Smile

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I’m burning a new fall scent as we speak Smile

A luscious combination of juicy pears, plums, and grapes with parts of spice and cardamom.

You know how overly excited I get when it’s time to burn “The Fall Collection”, and this year’s scents did not disappoint.

spiced cinnamon and pumpkin, baked apples, fresh leaves and sweet desserts.

How excited are you all!?

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I must say that the “Whoopie Pie” scent was not my favorite, nor was the atrociously strong “Witches’ Brew”, which literally made me try to jump away from my own nose.

Maybe it smells better while it’s burning. I hope.

I think I’ll stick to “Candy Corn” instead Smile

OK enough talk about Halloween, it’s August 8th!

Back to Summer heat…

I’ve been adding Sriracha to my eggs, salads ..pretty much anything that I can

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Just a teaspoon of this spicy sauce adds the perfect kick to any meal, so if you’re a fan of spicy foods, pick up a bottle now!

They are on sale 2 for $5 at Stop and Shop

I also picked up another carton of coconut love for my Protein Oats and Shakes.

Click here to enter the “Get Your Good Going” Sweepstakes, thrown by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze. By doing so, you earn a chance to win a years supply of Almond Breeze, as well as a $1000 home store gift card, all for sharing a positive message about a Facebook friend.

Not a bad idea.  Spread the love people Smile

Today’s Leg Workout

Warm up: 20 minute treadmill jog

  • Squats: 4 sets, 15 slow reps. 40lb EZ Bar
  • Deadlifts: 4 sets, 15 slow reps, 40lb Ez Bar
  • Bench Hip Bridges: 3 sets, 12 slow reps, 25lb plate resting on lap
  • One Legged Leg Press: 4 sets (2 sets per leg), 15 slow reps, 40lbs
  • Leg extension: 4 sets, 15 slow reps, 40lbs

Stretch and feed those muscles!

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  • 1 scoop Sunwarrior Vanilla
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup almond coconut milk
  • cinnamon
  • water and ice

What are you loving this week?

Peas and Crayons