Skinny Dijon Thyme Pork with Quick Sauteed Brussel Sprouts

I’ve made this dish many times since Alex and I have gotten married and it’s always been a favorite. With a couple changes, this recipe is super healthy and satisfying. The original recipe calls for 1 TBS of butter and is still only 220cal (not including the sprouts) With all the changes this meal will land you at 350 calories at the most. You can even add on a small glass of wine and still be under 500 calories for dinner!  It’s a healthy, low fat meal that is a great break from chicken.

 Photo coming this week!! 

  Tip: Buy a large peice of pork tenderloin and slice into 1 inch peices. Use 4  for this recipe and store the rest in plastic baggies in the freezer for another day!


1/2 pound pork tenderloin sliced into 1 inch filets (4)

1 TBS Dijon Mustard

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

vegetable oil cooking spray

1/4 cup dry white wine (chardonnay) + extra for sprouts

  1 TBS  fat  free half and half

flour (optional)

splash of chicken broth

3 cups brussel sprouts, washed and halved

Serves 2 (350 calories)

In a medium sized saute pan over medium hight heat spray evenly with cooking spray. Add brussel sprouts and cook until slightly browned. Add a splash of white wine, a little salt and freshly cracked black pepper and stir . Lower the heat to medium and  cover with a lid and cook until tender (5-8 minutes) Transfer to a bowl with a lid.

In a medium bowl combine the mustard, thyme, and garlic. Add the pork and coat evenly.

In the same pan coat with a little cooking spray and add pork to the pan on medium heat. Cook roughly 4-5 minutes on each side until browned and add a little chicken broth if any drying occurs.

Combine milk and  wine and pour over the pork. Cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly reduced. Add a sprinkle of flour and wisk vigorously if sauce is too thin.

Serve 2 pork filets over sprouts and top with sauce. I usually serve this with brown rice as well, but if you are using the meal plan then no rice for you! ;)


Grandfather Marino’s Traditional Italian Meatballs over Braised Fennel (FLOUR FREE)

It breaks my heart to eat a bad meatball.

It breaks my heart even more to see people go through life never eating a good one.

If you think a meatball is simply, meat rolled into a ball with minimal seasonings, parmesan and bread crumbs, try these and become enlightened!

I could eat these everyday. I like to make LOT and put a bunch in the freezer for quick meal.  Paired over braised, sliced fennel changes things up a bit and feel so classy even though the real reason is to avoid simple starches and flour products.

Why avoid simple starches? Go {HERE}


All this is missing is a little parsley…

YES, these are pan fried. But you can bake them too. Fried in a little EVOO is the true Italian way, though, so I would recommend sticking to the traditional version.

**Tip:   This makes a lot so throw extra in a freezer bag for a quick snack or meal another day!

Pop-pop-sir Marino’s Traditional Italian Meatballs

“Pop-pop-sir is my Italian grandfather who taught me how to make REAL meatballs. The original recipe calls for lightly frying in olive oil, using 100% ground beef and veal while simmering them in homemade marinara for hours”

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 pound ground beef 95% lean (organic if possible. Cheapest frozen!)
  • 1/4 green pepper, finely minced
  • 1/4 yellow onion, finely minced
  • 1 tsp rosemary crushed in your hand (this is the secret ingredient!)
  • 2 TBS Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ or wheat bran
  • 1 egg
  • 2 fennel bulbs, sliced  Julienne
  • Olive Oil
  • White Wine
  • Parsley, chopped

(I like to use my mini crock pot and put a bunch of frozen meatballs in it and pour a jar of Newman’s Own or Trader Joe’s Marinara over top, on low for 6-8 hours. This is a super quick and amazing meal!!!)

 Marinara di Marino

Toast 3 garlic cloves and 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes in olive oil. Add ONE 24oz can crushed tomatoes and 1 24 ounce can of drained and hand crushed whole Roma tomatoes. (Make sure you drain or you will have to simmer the sauce for a LONG time) Add 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper. Simmer on low for 1 hour while you make the meatballs. 


  1. Fill a large pan with olive oil about 1/2 inch high. Turn up the heat to medium-high.
  2. Meanwhile, combine first 11 ingredients in a large bowl and mix with hands. Mixture should adhere to itself so that you can form balls. If mixture is too wet add a couple even sprinkles of breadcrumbs to get it to hold together. Roll into meatballs (slightly bigger than a golf ball).
  3. Test the oil by sprinkling a little water in the pan. If it pops, it’s ready! Add meatballs as you form them and cook in 2 batches. Put meatballs on a paper towel lined plate and cover so they don’t dry out.
  4. Add as many meatballs to the sauce as you want and simmer on low for at least 1 hour. If you want to, you can add a few seared Italian sausage links (my grandfather always did)
  5. 20 minutes before serving, slice fennel and add to a hot pan that has been sprayed with cooking oil or a drizzle of EVOO. Saute for 5 minutes until browned and add a splash of white wine to deglaze the pan. Add 1/4 cup of water and turn the heat to med- low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes until soft.
  6. Top with shave parm or mozzarella and some chopped parsley. ENJOY!

This meal sounds complicated but mostly it’s just preparing the meatballs that take time. The meatballs can be made hours or days ahead and make enough for more than just one meal so it is worth it!! Buon Appetito!


Easy Asian Chicken Salad

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A friend of mine gave me this recipe and I LOVE it because it’s very versatile, ridiculously easy, inexpensive and oh, did I mention light??  The almonds give you a dose of those fat fighting “good” fats aka “unsaturated fats”. (More info HERE) Also, cabbage is such an underrated veggie. It has only 22 calories  PER CUP, and when eaten raw, it has been dubbed as “nature’s broom” by Paul and Patricia Bragg. This is one of my go to healthy lunches!!

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2  trimmed chicken breasts

approx. 2 cups fat free low sodium chicken broth

1/2 small head of cabbage thinly sliced

2-3 green onions thinly sliced, white and parts only

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted in the pan or oven

   1/4 cup sesame dressing ( I’ve used Lemon Sesame Ginger dressing from Target and Kraft Lite Toasted Sesame)

Sprinkle of toasted sesame and flax seeds (optional)

***Add in some oranges if you have them on hand! ***

(Makes 4 servings – approx 300 calories)

In a small crockpot, pour chicken broth over chicken breasts until barely covered. (If you have some bay leaf, garlic or extra diced onion, throw it in! It will give the chicken extra flavor)  Cook on low for 5-6 hrs or HIGH for 3. (Can start it in the morning and it will be ready by lunchtime on HIGH!)

Remove chicken and pull apart with a fork. Combine remaining ingredients in a large dish until thoroughly incorporated and refrigerate to marinate.  Serve chilled and enjoy for up to 4 days covered in the refrigerator. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and flax seeds over top for extra beauty points and yumminess.

Protein Shakes


Ok this page is changing! BiG TIME!

A few months ago I had a talk with someone about Shakeology. My first question, as is most was – how much does it cost?

“129 Dollars” He replied.

My reaction – the same as most people’s – “HAHAHAHA. Thanks but NO. I drink BSN”

He asked, “What is in BSN”

I replied shortly that it was natural and tasted amazing.


Later, I went home and looked at the ingredients….

An entire list of things I don’t even understand and others I did – Canola Oil and Sucralose.

Was that something I wanted to put in my body everyday?? Because I was!

As a fitness professional and group fitness instructor I want to practice what I preach – and that is losing weight and maintaining it naturally. Ah the pang of guilt!!!

Then I looked at Shakeology’s Ingredients (Click HERE)

I was FLOORED. Spirulina and Chlorella? Goji Berries?? WHATTT??

These are things I try to incorporate in my diet but have to sparingly because they are so expensive!

THIS is when the light clicked.

Yes. Shakeology seems expensive at first. But when you realize that it is going to replace one meal per day, something people spend MORE than 4$ a day on, it’s value becomes more apparent.

Put that together with what’s IN IT, and you have the makings of something that could CHANGE the trend of obesity in America. When I saw the value of what I was getting, the price made more sense. And guess what – my monthly budget HASN’T changed!

Further, if you take the Shakeology challenge and get results, people will come to you and this can help make shakeology FREE or even make you money. Once again – just another reason why this makes me happy. Good health should be affordable and with this, it IS.



Tip : Buy a bunch of bananas and if they start to get spotty before you can eat them all peel and cut them into 2 inch pieces. Put in a plastic bag and store in the freezer for quick shakes later!

** Shakeology also goes in line with the nutritional plan in 90/10 Nutrition.

Check it out!


Veggie Fiesta Frittata

Veggie Fiesta Frittata

 (The veggies in this frittata were from a bag labeled “Fiesta Blend” It was the worst fiesta blend EVER. Broccoli,  kidney beans and chickpeas?? I won’t fall for that again!!)


1/2 16oz bag of fiesta mixed  veggies (or make your own and store in the freezer! Ex: Mix diced red and green pepper, poblano, corn, black beans )

1 tsp Mrs. Dash Chipotle Seasoning

Splash of fat free low sodium chicken broth

1 and 1/2 cup egg whites

1/2 cup unsweetened almond  milk or skim milk

1 TBS fat free sour cream

sprinkle of cheddar cheese (optional)

 1 TBS fresh salsa (I used Mango Peach Salsa found in the refrigerated section)

 (300 cal. & makes 4 servings)

 Preheat oven to 350.

In a 6-8 inch non-stick oven safe skillet cook frozen vegetables on medium-high heat. Halfway through cooking add the Chipolte seasoning. Use a little splash of chicken broth if needed but let the liquid evaporate and brown veggies slightly. While the veggies are cooking combine the egg whites, milk, and sour cream in a large bowl and wisk with an ELECTRIC hand mixer (This gives the frittata that fluffy texture that you want!!)

Pour the egg mixture over the veggies and sprinkle cheese on top if you want. (I left out the cheese and it was still really good!) Pop the skillet in the oven for 30 minutes until cooked through.

Serve with 1 TBS fresh salsa

Turkey Sausage Maple Muffin

The first time I made this sandwich I was like…hmm ok pretty good but bland. So I put about 1 tsp of maple syrup on the english muffin before putting the sausage and egg on top. It was the perfect combination of sweet and savory for only and additional 25 calories at the MOST.  This recipe is probably the least “clean” out of all of them in that it uses sausage I bought from the freezer section. I like this recipe in the meal plan though because sometimes you just gotta have a good ol’egg and sausage muffin!! It helps satisfy cravings and keeps you away from eating less healthy breakfast sandwiches elsewhere.

(I know there are both halves of the english muffin in this photo. I changed it after because it actually made me too full!!)


1 Turkey Sausage Patty (or soy sausage)

1/4 cup egg whites


Maple Syrup

1/2 wheat english muffin

small sprinkle low fat cheddar cheese (optional)

1/2 banana (cut in half length wise)

Approx – 350 calories (less if you use soy)

Microwave Sausage Patty in a paper towel for 1 minute. Meanwhile drizzle a little drop (1tsp) of maple syrup onto the english muffin. Place cooked patty on top.

In a small ramican or microwave safe coffee cup pour in egg whites and top with some freshly ground black pepper. Microwave for 1 minute. (I tried with and without using cooking spray and came out with the same results)

Turn egg over onto your sausage patty and sprinkle with cheese. Microwave for about 25 seconds to melt the cheese and warm the english muffin. Serve with banana slices and enjoy!