Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The HCG Diet: Does It Work?

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone that is produced by the placenta when a woman becomes pregnant. It is the hormone that shows up on a pregnancy test when the test is positive. This hormone increases each trimester a woman is pregnant.

To everyone out there who thinks the HCG hormone aids in weight loss, it's most likely the 500 calorie diet you are on that is making you lose weight, not HCG. If you normally eat approximately 2,000 calories a day and then all of a sudden start eating only 500 calories a day your body will start quickly shedding the pounds off. It takes eating 500 calories less per day to lose 1 pound per week, 1,000 calories less per day to lose 2 pounds per week, and 1,500 calories less per day to lose 3 pounds per week. So 1,500 calories less per week for 6 weeks will give you a 18 pound weight loss over the course of 6 weeks. Don't inject something you don't need to inject!

If you want to lose weight the best thing to do is eat a healthy, well balanced diet, exercise for at least 20-30 minutes a day for 5-6 days a week (incorporating both cardio and weight training), and eat less than you normally do (500-800 calories less). Taking the weight off slowly will help you better maintain your weight loss in the future.

A great article posted on the ADA's website: http://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/0310/hcg-diet-controversy-strikes-again.aspx

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Breakfast Pizza

  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 package of white button mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons of Philadelphia Cooking Cream (Italian Cheese & Herb flavor)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 pound of lean turkey sausage
  • 6 whole wheat pitas
  • 8 oz. bag of reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
  • Salsa (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large non-stick skillet, crumble and cook the turkey sausage until it is no longer pink. When the sausage is finished cooking, place it in a small bowl and set aside. In the same skillet, add the diced pepper, onion, mushroom, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper and saute on medium-high heat until the mixture is soft and carmelized. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the cooking cream. Stir in the cooking cream until it is well incorporated with the vegetable mixture and simmer on low. While the veggies are simmering, in a medium non-stick skillet, add the eggs and scramble (the eggs can be slightly under cooked because they continue to cook in the oven at a later point). Add the scrambled eggs and cooked turkey sausage to the veggies and stir all the ingredients together. Place all 6 of the pitas on a baking sheet and top each pita with the sausage, egg, and veggies mixture. Sprinkle the top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Once they are finished cooking you can top it off with a tablespoon of salsa if desired. Enjoy!

Asian Coleslaw Salad

  • Salad
    • 1 1/2 (24 oz.) bags of coleslaw mix
    • 1 cup of fresh spinach, chopped
    • 1 green or red bell pepper, diced
    • 3 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
    • 1 small can of mandarin oranges, drained
    • 3/4 cup of chowmein noodles
    • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
    • 1/4 cup of peanuts, chopped
  • Dressing
    • 1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons of canola oil
    • 1/3 cup of rice vinegar
    • 2 Tablespoons of Splenda
    • 1 Tablespoon of reduced-fat peanut butter or PB2
    • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
    • 3/4 teaspoon of pepper

Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Then, in a small bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk together until they are well incorporated. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss. Enjoy!

*Recipe inspired by http://www.eatbetteramerica.com/*

Friday, June 17, 2011

Recipe for Life!

  • GOD
  • PRAY
Dear Lord:

For now, I know everything that I go through here on Earth is worth it if in the end I am granted the Kingdom of Heaven. Every thought, worry, fear, frusteration, hurt, pain, battle, and temptation is worth what Christ will unveil in Heaven.

"For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears." 1 Cor 13:9-10

"Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." Rev 7:16-17

I have to continually preach to myself, "God is my hope, my hope is in you, my hope does not lie in my accomplishments, what I look like, what people think about me, etc." So I pray, " Lord help me to place my hope ONLY in You, and help me to know in my heart You are all that matters in the end."

"Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you." Psalm 25:20

Thank you Lord that you hear the prayers of the righteous!

"You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness." Romans 6:18

"The Lord is far from the wicked but he hears from the prayers of the righteous." Proverbs 15:29

Listen: Your Great Name

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"No Carb" Lasagna


  • 20 oz. of lean ground turkey meat
  • 4 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 cup of marinara sauce (I used a tomato basil flavor)
  • 2 large purple eggplants, sliced (about a 1/4 inch thick)
  • 4 yellow squash, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 package of white button mushrooms
  • 12 oz. jar of roasted red bell pepper, diced  
  • 1 cup of part skim ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz. package of reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground black pepper

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the ground turkey meat and cook until it is no longer pink. While the turkey is cooking, heat a large, non-stick grill pan and place about 6-7 eggplant slices on the grill at a time. Grill the eggplant in batches for about 3-4 minutes on each side (medium to medium-high heat). Once the turkey is finished cooking transfer it to a medium sized bowl and set aside.
2.  In the same skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, diced onion, and mushrooms. Saute for about 6-8 minutes on medium-high heat. Season onions and mushrooms with a dash of salt and 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Add the onion and mushroom mixture to the ground turkey in the medium sized bowl and stir until well incorporated.
3.  Next, add the sliced yellow squash in the same skillet where you cooked the turkey, onion, and mushrooms. Saute the sqaush on medium-high heat for about 8-10 minutes or until it is soft and lightly browned. Reduce heat to low once they are finished cooking. In a small bowl, add the ricotta, fresh basil, dried oregano, garlic powder, paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Stir until well incorporated. Place the diced roasted red bell pepper in a small bowl so it is ready to add to the assembly.
4.  In a 9x13 in. casserole dish add about 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce to line the bottom of the baking dish. Next add half of the grilled eggplant slices, sauteed squash, roasted red bell pepper, and turkey, mushroom, and onion mixture. Spread all of the ricotta cheese mixture and half of the mozarella cheese over the top of the first half of veggies. Lastly, add another 1/2 cup of marinara sauce, the other half of all of the veggies, and top with the remaining half of mozzarella cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes. Let it set for about 10 minutes to cool and set. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sweet Potato Casserole


  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon of light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of mandarin orange juice (I used the juice from a can of mandarin oranges)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of mini marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot of boiling water add the peeled, cubed sweet potatoes and boil for about 20-25 minutes on medium-high heat. Drain and place the potatoes back into the pot. Mash the potatoes either with a wire potato masher or with a fork. Add the butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, light brown sugar, mandarin orange juice, and walnuts to the mashed potatoes and stir to combine all of the ingredients. In a 8x8 square baking dish, add the potatoes and top them with the mini marshmallows. Bake for 35 minutes. Enjoy!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Asian Lettuce Wraps

  • 20 oz. of lean (93/7) ground turkey (on sale - $1.99)
  • 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped ($2.00)
  • 1 package (about 12 oz.) of shredded carrots ($1.49)
  • 1 package (about 10-12 oz.) of bean sprouts ($1.49)
  • 3-4 green onions (use the whole onion) ($1.19)
  • 1/2 cup of light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper
  • Juice of one small lime ($0.49) 
  • 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro leaves ($1.00)
  • 1 head of boston leaf lettuce ($0.99)
  • 1 bottle of Thai Peanut Sauce (I bought the Target brand) ($3.69)

In a large non-stick saute pan, cook the ground turkey until it is slightly browned and no longer pink. Once it is finished cooking, remove from the pan and place in a small bowl. In the same pan, on medium to medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil and red bell pepper and saute until the bell pepper is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the shredded carrots, bean sprouts, green onion, and soy sauce to the the bell pepper and stir together until the ingredients are well incorporated. Cook this mixture until it decreases in size by about a third (about 8-10 minutes). Add the ground ginger, garlic powder, black pepper, lime juice, and chopped cilantro to the cooked mixture and stir. Add the ground turkey back into the pan and stir again until all the ingredients are combined together. Cover and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
While the mixture is simmering, rinse the boston lettuce and dry with a kitchen towel. Pull leaves off one at a time and place in a small bowl. Place 1/4-1/2 cup of mixture into each lettuce leaf and finish it off with a drizzle of peanut sauce. Makes around 10-12 lettuce wraps. Enjoy!!



Italian Chicken Sausage Crustless Quiche

  • 1 package of Aidells Chicken Sausage, chopped (Flavor: Italian Style with Mozzarella Cheese-located in the lunch meat/breakfast sausage section of the grocery store)
  • 1 dozen eggs 
  • 1 yellow, orange, and red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil 
  • 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper
  • 3 oz. of crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 cup of low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese  
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large saute pan, cook the chopped chicken sausage on medium-high heat until it is lightly brown on each side, about 4-6 minutes. Once it is finished cooking, remove the sausage from the pan and place in small bowl to the side. In the mean time, add the chopped peppers, onion, and olive oil in the same pan you cooked the sausage in and saute until softened, about 6-8 minutes on medium-high heat. When they are finished cooking, remove from heat and season with ground black pepper.

In a large bowl, crack one dozen eggs and whisk together in the bowl. Add the chicken sausage and the pepper/onion mixture to the eggs and whisk together quickly so the eggs do not scramble. Pour this mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish and top with crumbled goat cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, fresh basil and oregano. Bake for about 35-45 minutes or until it is no longer runny in the middle. Let it set for about 5 minutes before you cut into it. Enjoy!