Sunday, September 21, 2014

Southwestern Slowcooker Chicken Cups

This recipe was a hit when I posted our dinner one night to my social media, so I thought I would share it here :) it is pretty fantastic (if I do say so myself!) haha

Prickly Pear Limeade

I made this limeade to accompany the southwestern chicken cups. I had some prickly pear fruit in my Bountiful Basket (produce co-op) that I needed to use. I made it with the juice of 7 prickly pears, 3 limes then filled the pitcher up to the top. I added stevia to taste. It was a hit!

Out on the roads there is fitness and self-discovery and the persons we were destined to be.Dr. George Sheehan

My sister-in-law and I have been upping our runs on the weekends. I have a half marathon in December with Jenny- Saint Jude's in Memphis! Cannot wait. Erin has one in Houston in January. So we have been running Saturdays and sometimes on Sunday. This hilly path called the Old Soncy Trail just outside of town is a great workout and 6 miles down & back.

Baby Gus
        I all got my baby needs met this past weekend. One of my dearest friends from school days came back into town with her super adorable son. Ain't he darlin?

Southwestern Chicken Cups

Serves 4

* 1 lbs chicken breasts (2-3) frozen
*1 can diced tomatoes (I like the ones with green chilis added)
*1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
*1 can corn, drained and rinsed

*Lettuce leaves

Put the chicken and tomatoes (not drained) in low in crockpot for 5-8 hours. Drain most of the liquid then shred. Add beans and corn. Serve in lettuce cups. I like to top mine with a little plain greek yogurt. My fam like avocado and cheese on theirs too!

Nutritional Stats

per serving
  • 300 cals
  • 5 f fat
  • 311 mg sodium
  • 23g carbs
  • 41g protein
  • 4g sugars
7.5 weight watchers plus points per serving

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Bacon Broccoli Salad

My Grandmommie is a fantastic cook. So is my mother. It is in our blood! So it is only natural I blog about cooking food, right?

Here is my Grandmommie featured in a cooking article in a local magazine this month, along with a handful of her recipes. So proud of her!

When I was pregnant with my youngest, she brought over this fabulous broccoli salad. Sounds boring, but this dish is FANTASTIC. I ate it all the time. It was ridiculous, I was making a dish of it every few days for a while.

It is slightly sweet, but tangy and savory. It is creamy but it has crunch.  It just crosses the T in every flavor and texture category. This is one of those dishes that I can take to any get together and people want the recipe.

So summer just ended and we were having a back to school block pool party.

Kidlets and back to school swimming block party

First day back to school
I decided that I would take this salad and some strawberry angelfood cake trifle. Guess which recipe they wanted? Yup. Haha! So here it is.

Bacon Broccoli Salad

Adapted from my Grandmommie Finney

Serves 8
*3 heads broccoli crowns, cut into florest (or you can do 1 lbs broccoli florets in pkg)
*1/2 cup craisins (or raisins)
*2 slices bacon, crispy and chopped (or 1/3 cup bacon bits)
*1/2 red onion, finely diced
*1/4 cup slivered almonds (or sunflower kernals)
Toss that with coleslaw dressing (8 oz) but I use the healthified and lower cal recipe below. Keeps overnight if you want to make ahead.

Coleslaw dressing

*1/2 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
*1/2 cup mayo (you can do all mayo as well)
*2 tbsp vinegar (I prefer apple cider but any will do)
*2 tbsp sweetener of choice (I used splenda this time but sugar or stevia is fine)





Nutritional Stats

1 serving prepared, 1/8th of recipe

  • Cals 160
  • Carbs 8
  • Fat 13   
  • Protein 5             
  • Sodium 142        
  • Sugars 4
  • 4 weight watchers plus points


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Keeping Your Motivation Up

Coach Jenny knows what it takes to win a Venus Contest.
As we start out this latest Venus Contest- VT12, expectation and motivation run high. It is so exciting to think of the possible change you can drive in 12 short weeks with consistency and hard work!
For some the newness will wear down after a few weeks; challenges will inevitably present themselves and motivation will wane. What you will be left with is a choice to continue on with the commitment you made or to throw in the towel. Many will choose the latter. Do not be one of them.  You can do this!
Here are some practical tips to keep up your motivation-

1) Refocus and reflect

I like to look over how I did the day before and plan out the day ahead for both calories and workouts. I then take my daily goals and turn them into weekly goals. Those become a weekly journal where I can reflect on what went good or bad.  It is from this weekly feedback that we learn what works.

On scene at my last shoot, photographers and timelines are motivating for me.

2) Try a new tool

There are many to choose from, and how well they work for you will change with the seasons. Being open to trying new things and to changing something 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Vegetarian High Protein Meal Ideas

One of my best friends is vegetarian/vegan so this topic interests me as it comes up with clients on occasion. It is challenging to get your protein macros within your calorie limit when you are vegan or vegetarian.

Planning for success

My first tip is to plan your meals ahead of time and have calorie and protein chunks planned out for each meal- e.g. 300 cals and 30 g protein

Know your sources

An easy way to sort out best protein sources is by percentage =  ((protein in g) / (total cals)) * 100 per serving. E.g. a 4 oz chicken breast is 25 g protein per 142 cals or 17.6% which is pretty high compared to most foods thus it is a diet staple for the fit crowd.

Here are some high protein vegetarian food ideas in order from highest to lowest percentage protein:
-Egg 78 cals and 6.3g protein which is 12.4% protein (egg whites are even higher at 1 cup 126 cals and 26.5g protein 21.0%)

-Rice and pea protein powders 1 scoop is 120 cals and 24g protein or 20.0%

-Plain Greek yogurt 1 cup is  120 cals and 20 g protein or 16.7%

-Tofu 100g (3.5 oz) is 55 cal and 7.4 g protein or 13.45%

-Beans ( highest % is soy) 173 cal and 16.5g protein at 9.5%
Followed up by kidney, white, lima, fava, black, mung

-Ricotta cheese (no rennet so it is vegetarian) 0.5 cup is 171 cals and 14 g protein  or 8.2%

-Nuts and seeds (hightest % is pumpkin) 0.25 cups or 28 g 151 cals and 8.4 g protein 5.2%
Followed up by peanuts, almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, flax, mixed nuts

Other ideas- cottage cheese, quinoa, soy milk, nut butter, tempeh, vegetarian protein bars (aim for 200 cals and 20g protein per bar (Vega and Rise are good store bought ones... or make your own), Quorn, hempseed, buckwheat flour, chia seeds, Ezekiel bread, spirulina
I scaled the following meal plan example down (by 2/3rds) from the following website-

This site was featured in Brad Pilon's article here-

Vegan Sample Meal Plan

(You can combine meals as preferred)

Meal 1:
0.5 cups oatmeal
Protein shake with 0.33 serving of Plant Fusion, 0.33 cup soymilk, 0.33 banana

Meal 2:
1/6 block of extra firm tofu, scrambled with spinach and peppers
1/3 grapefruit
1 almond butter sandwich: 1 slices of whole grain bread, 1 tbsp almond butter

Meal 3:
Black bean chili with 0.33 can black beans, 1/6 pack seitan, and veggies
1/3 baked sweet potato
1/12 avocado

Meal 4 (post workout):
1/3 apple
Protein shake with 0.5 scoops SunWarrior protein, 0.33 cup soymilk, 0.33 banana

Meal 5:
1 large spinach salad
1/6 cup lentils, cooked with veggies and spices over 1/6 cup brown rice
1/6 pound steamed broccoli

Meal 6:
1 tbsp almond butter spread on celery sticks

Approximate totals for the day:
1128 calories, 69g protein, 171g carbs, 25g fat

X- Liss

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Commitment and Starbucks Blendicano

The most successful transformations 1) identify a clear goal 2) find a lifestyle plan that works with a nutrition and lifting component 3) stick to the plan- even when the going gets tough <- that is the hard part

A Venus coach can help you navigate steps 1 through 3. We are currently accepting clients in conjunction with the next transformation contest that starts September 1st. You can find out more about our coaching program and sign up here:   If you want me, you will have to request it in your form :)


 I found the recipe on how to order a Starbucks Blendicano on IG a few weeks back and finally tried one while travelling. SO GOOD and something that will not suck all your cals up!


Starbucks Blendicano

How to order
  • Quad espresso
  • 6 pumps sugar-free vanilla syrup
  • Venti ice
  • Blend
Over at the self service counter, add a couple of packets of Splenda if you want. It is already sweet, so taste first. Then hit it with some cinnamon!

This thing is like 20 cals. Yup.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Venus Meets up in Vegas

Enjoying a night out on the town

This past weekend, Venus members from around the world met up in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada on the strip. We enjoy each other so much in the community, so we knew we would have a blast in real life! We put a heads up in the forum about 6 months ago, and I could hardly wait until it was time to go!

Continue reading HERE

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Venus takes on Vegas

Venus Coaches: Liss, Jenny, and Lita

This past weekend was a Venus meet-up in Vegas. I had the privilege of meeting several ladies who I have gotten to know well over the past 2 years in the Venus community, as well as spend some quality time in person with several others I have already met.

From L- Kimberly, Beth, Tammy, Lou Ann, Lita, me, Madonna
As crazy as it sounds, we make some pretty tight bonds in the Venus forum. Most of our relationships start as we go through challenges in our nutrition and fitness. And someone helps us through that via replies and private messages in the forum. Many of us even email, call, and text one another- making bonds deeper than just diet and fitness. We can lean on each other for family, relationship, work, and emotional issues. We KNOW each other. So getting together in person, we just click like we have always been “real life” friends.

From L- Eri, me, Kimberly, Julie, Lita, Beth, and Jenny


Our time together was special. Everyone always looks betterin 3D as I have said before. I knew to expect that. What I enjoy the most is getting to see the facial expressions, eye contact, and vocal tone. Also the hugs!


From L- Jenny, Elizabeth, Lita, Roberta, Lou Ann, Beth, me

While in Vegas, I also got a DEXA done at a clinic. My results shocked me. I was at my ideal Venus metrics and liked my look. Most women who are at VI have a BF (by DEXA) of 18-22%. I was guessing low 20’s based on my look. Mine came out at 27% which I was not prepared to hear.  I was upset for a while until I got a chance to talk it out with Coach John and the Venus girls.  Again, my Venus friends assisted me through the trial. I attribute much of my personal growth in the past couple of years to them.

Post lifting pic in the ring at the Cosmo gym. From L- me, Jenny, Roly, Lita, Kimberly

Body fat percentage is just another number to fixate on. Similar to scale weight, it is irrelevant. Just like two women at 135 pounds can look completely different based on their height and musculature- two different women at 25% body fat can look different also.  It was another mental hurdle for me to get past. I like my look, I have worked hard to get here. I am content. That is all that matters.


Venii from L- Jenny, Liss, Beth, Tammy