Italian Tabouleh Salad


Someone might say that I should not even have  the name tabouleh in the title, but really it is a lot like tabouleh but tastes very different – and better, in my opinion. I don’t know why but I keep trying to like tabouleh and I just don’t like it! SO, this recipe came from that. It is super healthy and actually inexpensive if you have fresh basil on hand (buy a plant at the beginning of summer. It will last you ALL season!!) I like to get a few of these things from Trader Joes as well, such as the Quick Quinoa and Kalamata Olives. Buying the quick quinoa is SO worth it. It turns this recipe into a sub 10 minute meal and for me that is important for lunch. I just don’t have much time for lunch at all and I know most of you are the same. This is a great make-ahead dish to bring to work and can be served warm or cold. Also, check out my first ever video!! I did this because of a cooking challenge with a friend, Insanity Instructor and beachbody coach – Nate Lott. So thanks for  the challenge!



1 packet of Trader Joe’s Quick Quinoa (OR 1.5 cups cooked quinoa)

5 -6 grape/cherry tomatoes – diced

5 sprigs of basil, washed and chopped

1/2 cucumber, diced

handful of Kalamata Olives

1/2 TBS Olive Oil

1 garlic clove, minced




Combine all the above ingredients in a serving bowl (or tupperware) and stir. Serve warm immediately or chill in the fridge for later…. That’s it!






Slow-Cooker Hoppin’ Johns

In my best Paula Deen voice, “This one’s Southern Ya’ll”

Although, I’m not sure Paula Deen ever made this because it is super healthy. I like this recipe as an addition to any fitness plan because it has a ton of lean protein, vegetables and can even be kept vegan by omitting the Worcestershire and subbing vegetable broth. I made this for my neighbor and she loved it and asked for the recipe! This makes a LOT – so freeze some for another dinner or feed the troops!

** You can skip dicing onions, green peppers and celery if you can find a fresh or frozen mirepoix mix!** 


3 cups dried black-eyed peas (or 3 cans of beans, drained and rinsed)

1 green pepper diced

1/2 onion diced

2 ribs of celery diced

1 can diced tomatoes and green chilis

1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1tsp thyme

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 bay leaf

2 dashes of tabasco sauce

1/4 cup chicken broth (use 3/4 cup if using dried beans. They will soak up extra moisture)

pan seared smoked turkey sausage, chopped

cooked brown rice



If using dried beans think a day ahead and soak beans overnight. (Just put them in a large bowl and fill with water. You want the water to be two inches above the beans. They will soak up all this water!)

Rinse dried/canned beans and add them to the crockpot. Add the remaining ingredients excluding the turkey sausage and rice. Set on low and simmer for 8 hrs, or high for 4. About 30 minutes before eating, chop the turkey sausage and sear over medium-high heat. Add to the crockpot, stir and let it incorporate for about 15 minutes. Adjust spices as necessary and serve over brown rice!

Also, serve with hot sauce and jalapeno peppers for those that like it spicy!!






Get REAL: Take Mike’s Shredded Summer Challenge and win 1,000$

This guy has something say… “Get REAL.” (and hey, if you look like that…most of us are going to listen!)

I’m pretty sure if Mike Matthews could have a mantra, this would be it…and is why I love him as a fitness inspiration.

Mike Matthews is one of my favorites because he takes a NO B.S. approach to the fitness industry – using scientific research to bust common misconceptions that many of us are drowning in. He’ll give you a fresh perspective on supplementation and exercise that will leave you feeling jipped from what you currently believe about getting in shape. (What? I’ve been doing 100 squats per day on a gluten free diet!! You mean I have to change everything??)

Matthews reiterates so many ideas that we were all thinking (you’ll be saying “BAM that’s what I thought!!)  but didn’t know how to prove such as:

  • Carbs are NOT bad for you.
  • Gluten is NOT bad for you.
  • You can not get lean, defined muscles by doing a lot of reps with low weight.
  • You DO need to watch your calorie intake.
  • You don’t have to stop eating after 6pm to lose weight.
  • You don’t need to take a million supplements and crazy weight loss conncotions.
  • If it sounds too good to be true…it probably is….
  • Get REAL with your fitness. Get REAL with your body. Treat it right and it will show!

– Mike Matthews – “Muscle For Life”

Here’s the link for Mike’s Shredded Summer Program! Follow the instructions to get in the running for a 1,000$ prize! The FREE e-book download will give you a crash course in everything you need to know, from weight lifting to what to eat. At the very end (p.100ish) you’ll get free calender print outs and sample meal plans…unfortunately none that I could see for women. BUT you can still get a good idea of how to plan out your meals to lose weight, gain muscle and NOT feel totally drained of energy and starving. It was encouraging for me to see that this is how I already eat and how I’ve been telling all of you is the best way to get in shape losing 1 pound per week while including HIIT workouts. Matthews has inspired me to rekindle that point I made in “Getting In Shape Post-Pregnancy” – to work out like a dude. So find guy friend and get him to show you how to work out – for REALS. I’m probably going to start posting some videos of the compound exercises I’ve been learning from a great friend; incorporating weights, kettle bells and other compound exercises. These exercises WILL get you in shape.

Meal Timing 

MEAL 1: (ET 7am )- breakfast – egg white scramble with veggies + coffee

– (unless doing fasted cardio that day. Then = 1 glass of OJ mixed with water.)


MEAL 2: (ET 11am-12 ) Post-Workout Refresher Smoothie (Fast Absorbing Protein)

MEAL 3: (ET 1-2pm) LUNCH

** 3pm 100 calorie snack or coffee

MEAL 4: (5-6pm) – DINNER

** 10-11pm Before bed snack – 100-150 calories