Tuesday, April 30, 2013

buffalo chicken quinoa:.

i'll be honest and let you all know that i saw this recipe on Pinterest - who doesn't get inspiration from Pinterest?

i seriously LOVE anything related to buffalo chicken, so i was excited when i came across this recipe. i changed up a few things to not only make it easier for me (we were trying to watch The Office at the same time......priorities) and i wanted to make sure that i used up some produce that was on the edge of going bad!

so, here is what Pinterest and i came up with.

>> 1 cup quinoa
>> 1 chicken breast
>> broccoli
>> shredded cabbage
>> shredded carrots (i just cut up carrots really thin - who buys shredded carrots?)
>> kale (i have to throw kale in everything....drew hates it)
>> 1/2 cup hot sauce - i used Frank's hot wing sauce because i put that sh!t on everything
>> 1/2 cup olive oil
>> blue cheese crumbles - i skipped this since i was on my last day of .;get balanced:. and also because i hate blue cheese.

cook the quinoa as you normally would (if you need help check this out). cook the chicken in a separate pan with a little bit of olive oil and in another pan or wok, start to cook all of your vegetables - you want them tender, yet still pretty firm because the sauce is going to make them even softer. while everything is cooking, whisk together the hot sauce, olive oil and a dash of salt. when the chicken is almost done cooking, cut it up into bite-size pieces, put it back in the pan with 1/4 of the hot sauce mixture - this will allow the chicken to soak up some of the hot sauce. once the chicken is completely done, the veggies are tender and the quinoa is cooked, combine all of it in either a big wok or bowl and add the rest of the hot sauce. stir until evenly mixed. top with blue cheese crumbles, if you're into that.

as with most of the recipes that i post, please feel free to mix things up - add different veggies, use more or less sauce, add more chicken, use beef or tofu, add ranch seasoning or dressing - literally whatever you think would be good with buffalo sauce (almost anything) would go well with this recipe.

let me know how you've decided to make it your own and as always, enjoy!

always striving for more,
dee b.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

.: almost there:.

ok, so i have 1 1/2 days left until i am finished with .:get balanced:. intended to blog a little bit more about my journey as i went, but i was spending a lot more time in the kitchen trying out new recipes than on the computer. sorry, not sorry.

after 12 1/2 days, i thought i would reflect on the pros, cons, successes and challenges throughout this workshop. my concluding post regarding .:get balanced:. will include LOTS of pictures and a couple of my favorite recipes that i will incorporate into my recipe routine going forward.

let's start with the cons, so i can finish this post on a positive note.


cravings: my cravings have exponentially decreased at this point, but there are still some cravings. like alcohol, i am not big drinker, but i do enjoy a beer while we are out for dinner or a glass of wine at the end of a long day. chocolate - this was a killer at the beginning, but i had the mindset that cheating wasn't an option, so i got over it pretty quickly. coffee was another tough thing for me to give up, not because i NEEDED the caffeine (which i definitely did, as well) but because i simply love the taste. drew and i really enjoy spending time together while drinking coffee whether it's out on a walk, catching up after a long day, reading or sitting around our living room just talking. drinking water or green tea has been just fine (and cheaper).

ease:. eating healthy can be easy and difficult at the same time. it is easy if you prepare and have an appropriate mindset, but difficult if you make excuses. talking specifically about eating while following get balanced, all my go-to snacks were pretty much off limits. for instance, pre-workout and post-workout routines had to be changed. it became easy as i got used to it, but eating an apple with almond butter, does not feel the same after a workout as a protein shake. also, drew and i went on a LONG bike ride (44 miles long) yesterday to soak up the long-forgotten MN sun and i stressed about what i was going to pack in the small bento bag attached to my bike. i ended up bringing a Larabar and a packet of almond butter and things were OK. like i said, eating healthy is only difficult if you make excuses.

hives:. yes, i have had a case of the hives. not horrible, so don't get the picture of me walking around like a leper. at the beginning of the week, i noticed my skin especially on my forearms and legs were itchy and when i scratched, large mosquito-looking bites would appear and itch EVEN more - lotion wouldn't even touch the itchiness. after 3 days, i immediately started to rule out possible topical issues (such as new detergent, lotion, etc), well i buy everything in bulk, so that was easy to rule out. i emailed my get balanced gurus and they asked me to look at what i was eating a lot more of such as nuts or coconut. i was eating exponentially more coconut than before, from flour to butter to milk and flakes. this was something that has been really frustrating the past couple days because i had made several batch recipes with coconut in it and couldn't let it go to waste. while this was extremely irritating, i didn't call it quits - i decided to become amazed at how what you eat can truly influence your body.


feeling:. i feel really, really good at this point! i can tell that my body knows exactly what to do with the food that i am giving it. i have endless amounts of 'natural energy' from the time that i wake up until bed time without coffee. yes, without coffee - if anyone knows drew or i, we rely on coffee whether it is straight espresso or French press and the need for coffee and caffeine was gone, literally overnight. there were even some nights when i couldn't get myself to wind down and needed to resort to Melatonin. while i didn't do this to lose weight, a few people have asked me whether i have lost any weight. no, i literally have not lost a pound which is OK  - i feel better, i feel more fit. i went shopping with my friend last weekend and it was one of those days where everything fit. i even bought 3 pairs of shorts - i HATE my legs (specifically the 3 scars on each knee) so the last time i bought shorts was a couple years ago when i was training for the Twin Cities marathon (do i dare say that these were all a size down?)

portion control:. this could be considered both a pro and a con, but i haven't been mindful of portion control since i started .:get balanced:. everything i eat is basically made from scratch, so there isn't a nutrition label to use as a guide for calories, protein, sugar, etc. i have learned to trust my body with the food that i am giving it - stop eating when i am full and wait to eat until i'm hungry. i feel like my portions are a lot bigger than before, but i am also eating more veggies and fruit, so i suppose that may take a little more to fill me up.
favorites:. i have relied on a few favorite foods - some new, some old.

>> cooked oatmeal or quinoa with raw honey or maple syrup, flaxseed and cinnamon. you can do so many different things with this, it's scary - add dried cranberries, bananas, bake it will apple chunks. you can eat it for breakfast or as a pre or post workout snack.
>> gluten free banana bread - stay tuned for this recipe from the .:get balanced:. gals. this was even hit with drew.
>> quinoa granola - again something that you can really mix up to fit whatever you would like. this should bake similar to regular granola, so if you have a favorite granola recipe, switch up the oats with quinoa for added protein.
>> SPICES! this isn't a recipe, but i have really loved playing around with spices such as basil, rosemary, thyme, red pepper flakes and curry. i literally had to buy all of the spices because we didn't have ANY aside from salt and pepper. you can get some really awesome, low-cal flavoring through spices!

will i continue this lifestyle after the 15 days are over??? no.

i have learned an INCREDIBLE amount through this workshop, not only about food and the science behind it, but my relationship with food and even about me, in general! it has exposed how often i truly 'treat' myself to dessert and how often we go out to eat to make things easier. with that being said, i feel like i had well-rounded diet before. i love dairy, but enjoyed it in moderation, same with bread.  i eat plenty of fruits and veggies and 'clean' meats. however, i will be more mindful of my gluten intake and i will know where to start when (not if) i have that crash and burn effect again.

i miss Chobani yogurt. i miss chips and salsa. i miss our waffle sundays. i miss my protein powder after workouts. i miss having an Izzy's ice cream cone after a 45 mile bike ride.

one. more. day.

always striving for more,
dee b.

Friday, April 19, 2013


i am 1/3 way through .:get balanced:.,  ONE THIRD.....not that i am counting...

there have been a few challenges along the way - for instance, i can't mindlessly eat - i ate a handful of pistachios before i panicked and checked the ingredients (thank God, they are gluten-free). drew and i met some friends in Uptown the other night for drinks - he ordered a burger and french fries, i got a water and i had to mindfully NOT pick at his french fries. it wasn't that hard, but it was something that i had to be mindful of. also, CRAVINGS - sugar cravings, carb cravings, the things i would do for a frozen pizza or a beer right now. i am sure my .:get balanced:. senseis are cringing at this, but i have yet to cheat! i have learned a lot of new coping skills with these cravings and they have worked! i have dreams about cheating and then wake up in a cold sweat (kidding.....kinda).

seriously, things are going really well and i am thoroughly enjoying all of the new recipes and trying new stuff! AND, i have honestly broke my addiction to coffee. i literally RELIED on a French Press or an Americano every morning - high octane stuff and if i didn't, then i was left in a fog with an insane headache.

i posted a picture of our dinner last night on Facebook and Instagram and a few people asked for the recipe, so here we go!

.:grain bowls:.
the idea of grain bowls was in the guidelines of .:get balanced:. so this is where my colorful wok started!

1:. pick a grain - you can use brown rice, but this is a great opportunity to get creative. finally try quinoa, lentils or millet. any of these will work really well as a base.

2:. vegetables - don't overanalyze this part - what do you have in your pantry or fridge that needs to get used up. get out of the box and throw vegetables in that you typically wouldn't put together

3:. want to up the protein? use quinoa or lentils as a base or add some chickpeas and beans. if you are a meat eater, throw in some meat or poultry.

throw it all together! do yourself a favor and buy a massive wok for things like this! i bought mine at IKEA for $30 and it has a lid - i seriously use it 5x a week, well worth it!

worried about it being bland? play around with spices! they are SO many types of herbs and spices out there, you just might be surprised by what you end up liking!

i have mentioned before that steamed veggies, quinoa/rice are staple side dishes for drew and i, but thanks to .:get balanced:. i switched a few things up and ended up with an even more robust and healthy side dish that we both like!

here is my example of a grain bowl from last night:.

FIRST - if i am making any type of stir fry, steaming veggies, etc., i ALWAYS heat up my wok with a few TBS of coconut oil and freshly minced garlic (typically a couple cloves). it seriously smells so good! it also creates a nice, flavorful "environment" for whatever your a cooking!

base:. organic Basmatic brown rice and lentils - these were leftover from big batches that i made earlier in the week, but both are super easy to cook. the grain base needs to be cooked before you throw it in the wok. refer to this post - it mainly focuses on cooking quinoa, but i hav realized that brown rice, quinoa and lentils basically cook the same way!

vegetables:. purple cabbage, brussels sprouts (both whole and shredded), carrots, green pepper, sweet potato, kale and black beans (i know it's not vegetable). some of these were cut fresh, some were leftovers from the grain bowl that i brought for lunch. did i mention that you can just about throw anything into a wok and it works???

i have become obsessed with cajun seasoning and i HATE spicy stuff, but it a nice change-up from the regular sea salt and pepper
sauce:. tahini sauce - i have also become obsessed with this as well thanks to .:get balanced:.

recipe for tahini sauce courtesy of .:get balanced:.>> 2 Tbs tahini
>> 1 Tbs lemon juice
>> 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
>> 1-2 tsp raw honey (depending on sweetness)
>> 3 Tbs water
Hefty pinch of sea salt and pepper
>> 1 clove of garlice, minced
>> 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
>> 1 Tbs finely chopped chives (i skipped these, not a fan of chives)

whisk together tahini, lemon juice, vingar, honey and water. mix in garlic, salt, pepper and drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. add more water if you would like it to be thinner. mix in the chives last. store in the fridge in a jar.

i instantly doubled this recipe because i had a feeling that i would really like it! i have used it mainly in my grain bowls, but it could be use with almost anything - on top of burgers, steaks, porkchops, in sandwiches or wraps!

back to the grain bowl/stir-fry - again, don't overanalyze it! get creative - you can almost put anything in there and it will work:. flax seeds, peas, broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, jicama, the possibilities are literally


always striving for more,
dee b.

p.s. there is still time to join us for .:get balanced:. seriously, with this MN weather, who doesn't need a little help with their energy?! anyone around the WORLD can join by either visiting this website:. https://coursebeyond.com/course/8/30/ or emailing hello@prescribe-nutrition.com.

Monday, April 15, 2013

all about CSAs

some of you may know ALL about CSAs, some of you may know about the idea, while some of you may have NO idea what the heck CSA stands for.

let me break it down for you - CSA stands for community supported agriculture. you can purchase 'shares' from local farmers and receive timely packages that have fresh and responsibly raised (most likely organic) produce, poultry, eggs or meat. i heard a lot about CSAs during my nutrition class last Fall - i always thought it would be a great idea to not only support a local farmer, but receive responsibly raised food. plus, drew and i almost always buy the same stuff from Trader Joe's. this 'spring' (if you can call what we are having here in MN, spring), we decided it was time to get serious about researching and finding one that would work for us, our budget and our diet.

there is a lot to consider when looking into CSAs:

diet:. do you want to do a CSA that offers just produce, meat, a mixture of both, jams/honey, herbs and spices - the combinations are almost endless.

price per share:. some CSAs offer 1/4 share, 1/2 shares or full shares depending on your household size. drew and i decided on 1/2 shares for both the meat and produce. not only because we wanted to make sure we are able to eat it before it goes to waste and plus, the price. we wanted to stay within our regular budget.

seasons:. some CSAs go year round, while others are just during 'growing' season. this may also be dependant on if you have your own garden.

location:. even though they are called 'dropoffs', most CSAs do not actually deliver right to your door. they select several locations around the Twin Cities and MN where you can pickup your 'dropoff'.

i cannot tell you how excited i am about the 2 CSAs we joined!

we joined a meat CSA called Sunshine Harvest Farm. this is a 1/2 share where we receive a monthly dropoff of a dozen eggs, 1 full chicken, 3 lbs of ground beef and 4 lbs of various pork and/or beef cuts. we just picked up our first 'dropoff' last week and i was really impressed. along with what we expected, our various cuts included a steak, BACON and a roast. it was the real deal - good looking, healthy meat! (that's what she said - had to do it. we've been watching a lot of The Office)

for produce, we joined My Minnesota Farmer - they also offered a 1/2 share for a good price. this is a weekly 'dropoff' for 18 weeks. they were unable to give us an exact amount of what we would get each week because you never know what you are going to get especially with the MN weather! the produce will follow with the seasons starting early with kale, spinach and routabagas and ending with squash and 'fall produce'. we will get our first drop off June 17th!

CSAs can be really beneficial whether you have a big family, just a couple or by yourself. the opportunities and varieties are endless! plus, instead of paying Whole Foods prices, you get a better deal - trust me, drew and i (ok, it was all drew), did the math and by joining the CSAs we are saving about $30 a month from the groceries we are currently buying. the fee can seem like a lot at first, but seriously, you are getting MONTHS of food and you are saving time/gas money by not having to go to the grocery store as often! also, i am excited to try and figure out how to incorporate new produce into our diets and my juicers!

check out this great directory for CSAs around MN. http://landstewardshipproject.org/stewardshipfood/csa

for followers outside of MN, 'Google' CSAs near _____ and type in your location. CSA directories seem easy to find, no matter where you are!

support a local farmer - they can never have enough support!

even Women's Health supports CSAs!

random note:. SUPER BIG SHOUT OUT to my Mom who literally just finished the BOSTON MARATHON! i JUST received the text saying that she crossed the finish line at 3:58:52 - unbelievable!!!! (i started and ended this post well before the explosions happened - both of my parents are OK, but they were VERY close to it. my mom finished 12 mins before the first explosion)

always striving for more,
dee b.


ok, again, if you guys follow me on any type of social media, you saw the flood of pictures and posts while i was preparing for the .:get balanced:. work shop which kicks off today!!!

as with any healthy lifestyle, preparation is key - if you fail to plan then you plan to fail! i was feeling slightly overwhelmed when i started to read through the .:get balanced:. materials, so i knew in order to stick to this new plan, i needed to dedicate some serious time and concentration to plan. seriously, once i gave it my full attention, digesting all the information and recipes wasn't bad at all!

i spent about 45 minutes reading through all of the materials and creating a grocery list for several recipes that i thought would be great starting points. being the OCD list maker that i am, i then organized my list by sections:. produce, oils/vinegars, spices, dried fruits and miscs that i had never looked for before and may have to ask for help to find.

armed with my list, i headed to Trader Joe's. i will admit that i was nervous because a lot of stuff i have never bought before, so i didn't know where to even look for it. well, guess what?! they were all REAL THINGS and easy to find! i was impressed with myself when i found almost everything on my list in one place - ok, i realize it also had a lot to do with Trader Joe's set up as well as how everything was set up thanks to .:get balanced:.after Trader Joe's, i headed to Whole Foods to get the rest of my list. thank goodness, drew didn't come with on this grocery trip or i think he would have abandoned me - picture this, i had my organized list and was crossing everything off as soon as i found it, not only to feel accomplished, but to make sure i didn't miss a thing!

with 4 LARGE bags of groceries, i headed for home SO excited to try all of these new recipes.

knowing that i had a busy week and wouldn't have much time to prepare anything, i spent about 4 hours in the kitchen yesterday making several recipes in bulk. some of the recipes that i tried included banana buckwheat muffins, thyme roasted chickpeas, quinoa granola, cooking lentils and quinoa for the week, hard boiling eggs, mustard detox salad dressing and tahini sauce. i also juiced jicama, beets, kale and a green apple - something i have NEVER tried, but am excited to see how it tastes. i LOVE being able to spend an entire day in the kitchen, but i haven't had any motivation to do that lately, so i really enjoyed trying the new recipes and at the same time knowing that i was setting myself up to really succeed throughout .:get balanced:.

a few of you have asked me whether this whole workshop will be 'worth the money', what to expect and how much work it will be. well, here is my final answer - it does take a certain amout of time and dedication, but it is not an overwhelming amount! it would be like any other time when you are trying a new recipe. if you are looking to shake up your every day recipes,  balance your hormes and feel more alive then.:get balanced:.this is an easy plan that is dairy-free, gluten free and essentially sugar free (aside from the natural sugar in the REAL food that you will be eating). you still have until April 24th to join and you wouldn't have missed a thing!

here is a run down of my menu today for my first day of .:get balanced:.
breakfast:. quinoa granola with unsweetend almond milk. this was a really good subsitute to my EVERYDAY oatmeal with brown sugar. it was good and it kept me full for 2 hours.
mid- morning snack:. banana buckwheat muffin - i just had this and it was good, it was a nice substitute to my regular
lunch:. detox salad - kale and cabbage salad with broccoli and dried cranberries mixed with the detox salad dressing. i am hoping to squeeze in my beet, jicama juice here as well.
mid-afternoon snack:. i brought a few things to choose from either a hard boiled egg, dried fruit or roasted chickpeas.
dinner:. dinner is still up in the air, but i am hoping we will have to time to roast a full chicken we recently got from our meat CSA (more information on this in the next post). with the leftovers, i intend to make a healing, gluten-free chicken soup that was a recipe provided.

worth noting - this is NOT a detox or a cleanse. this is a real, whole food approach to balance your body. you will not starve - you are simply helping yourself and your body by being more aware of what you are putting in your body! click here for more information ---> .:get balanced:.

until the next update - here's to willpower!

always striving for more,
dee b.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

.: get balanced :.

you know that light, airy, motivating feeling you get when spring is here and the sun is shining, the windows are open and you feel as fresh as the air coming in??? yea, well if you are anywhere near MN, you know that we have been stripped of that feeling without any hope of getting it soon. blah describes exactly how i have been feeling lately in everything from my mood, motivation towards work, working out, eating well and even cleaning around the house! i think the fact that i haven't posted in over a month, is also a pretty good indication that my creativity and energy is lackng. i need a serious jumpstart to a new season with a new attitude.

**drum roll**

introducing the 'get balanced' nutrition workshop!!! i am SO excited to get started on this workshop and really jumpstart my motivation and that 'spring' feeling. i have said many times before, that life is about balance. balance between work and play, activity and rest, brussel sprouts and ice cream, wine and water - you get the picture. well, lately, i have been feeling SO off balanced. i am eating the same foods that i always have been, getting my regular exercise in and sleeping at least 7-8 hours a night, yet i feel 'off'. like i said, my motivation is lacking, i've been feeling sluggish all the time and i feel completely out of shape even after getting 4 sweat sessions in a week.

i follow Prescribe Nutrition on Facebook (if you don't follow them yet, seriously, wake up and do it!) and they have been promoting this workshop for a few weeks. of course, i was doing the whole 'i can't afford it, it's probably complicated and not applicable to me'. well friends, here was what really made a light go off to take the plunge and truly commit myself to this workshop - this was featured on the homepage of the 'get balanced' workshop:

Any of these sound like you?
•You have the ability to feel tired yet wired at the same time. EVERY DAY!
•You hit the snooze button 6 times on your alarm. Yea, those 6 am yoga classes i was doing so good at attending once a week - non existent at this point.
•You have a 'no speaking to me' rule before your morning caffeine. i speak, but i truly cannot get 'down to work' until my coffee kicks in
•You are eating well, exercising, and the scale will.not.budge. TELL ME ABOUT IT! i feel like i have been hanging on to 5 random lbs that i really would like to get rid of
•4pm strikes and you need sugar. And there is no stopping you. it's more like 2 pm - i usually try a mug of green tea first before the sugar....
•10pm strikes and you feel inexplicably motivated. not quite, just motivated to go to bed.
•2am strikes and you are wide eyed, yet exhausted. this is scary - i have been awake at 3 am the past few mornings, wide awake thinking, "if only there was a yoga class that i could go to right now...i guess i will play with my cats instead"

LIGHTBULB MOMENT! holy crap, where do i sign and how do it pay?!

here's the thing, all of this B.S. is caused by a hormonal imbalance. hormones play a critical role is EVERYTHING from weight to mood to energy and they can really cause a roller coaster of up, down, up, down. listen up men, you also have hormones, so don't start pointing fingers! get balanced is here to help us address this imbalance and get us back on the right track through nutrition! back to the basics, people.

for $168 you get all of this:.
>>24/7 access to awesome nutritionists - Katie & Megan - i have personally worked with Katie and she's a major hottie and really knows her ish! anyone who looks that good and 'glows' on a daily basis - yea, i will take what she's having!

>>3 Live sessions breaking the 3 separate physiological systems involed. sound complicated? take my word, they will 'dummy' it down for peeps like us! also, these sessions will be recorded if you are unable to attend the LIVE version.

>>protocols for each step!

>>a recipe package that is to die for! these will not only follow protocol and target hormone balance, but it is almost guaranteed that they will become part of your regular recipe rotation. your family will also love them!

>>specific supplement recommendations - who isn't curious about this?

>>additional tips and tricks along with unending support and guidance!

it is 15 days, 15 days! that's barely over 2 weeks - you aren't looking at months on end of stripping down your diet and re-introducing foods slowly nor is this a crash diet or cleanse that will torture you into giving up. this a substainable, whole foods, energy boosting, digestive relief, long lasting guidance program!
think you can't participate because you aren't toughing out the snow in MN? did i mention all of this stuff is done online? don't give yourself an excuse not to join - will you miss that $168 in a month? will you wish that you had dropped those lagging lbs, were sleeping soundly and felt better in time for nice weather? weigh your options!

here is the website to join - visit it for more information and to really see how simple and fun this is going to be! https://coursebeyond.com/a/prescribenutrition/get-balanced/

i really hope you join this journey with me - you have until April 24th to join in!

always striving for more,
dee b.