Greek Yogurt is a FANTASTIC substitute for fatty oils and butter!

chobani-conversion-chart_web_final1A few weeks ago, I was watching Dr. Oz and he was discussing how Greek yogurt is the best kind of yogurt you can include in your diet. It’s got a taste and texture that will take a while to get used to, but once you do, you’ll never want to eat any other kind of yogurt!

Towards the end of the show, Dr. Oz had a guest explain how she substituted oils and fats in her favorite foods to make it healthier and much more flavorful. She had recipes for some of my favorite indulgences like  chicken alfredo and brownies.

A special thank you to Allyson for the neat conversion chart!

I can’t wait to try this in some of my favorite recipes!

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Honey is a Natural and POWERFUL anti-bacterial agent!

HoneyAbout a year ago, I started drinking tea on a regular basis and I used to put so many packets of artificial sweetener in my tea, it was ridiculous!! Every sip I took, I thought, “Oh! There’s a new cavity…”

My mom suggested I start putting honey in to replace the sugar in my tea and I was flabbergasted by what I noticed after doing that consistently. Not only did I drastically reduce the need for the sweeteners, I noticed that I wouldn’t sniffle as much. Honey.com confirmed my good results.

In addition to that, when I have honey in my tea regularly I don’t have that nasty stuff that builds up around my eyes as I’m sleeping.

One last thing I’ve noticed about honey is how moisturizing it is! When I have leftover oatmeal, I mix ¼ cup of honey with 4tsp of oats and spread it on my skin. I leave it on anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes and as soon as I wash the mixture off, my redness is greatly reduced and my skin is incredibly soft!

Give it a try and let me know what you think 🙂

The 3-1-2-1 Diet

3-1-2-1-diet

A couple of weeks ago I tuned into Bethenny and I was intrigued by her “Diet Debate” segment. She had invited Dolvett Quince from The Biggest Loser to talk about his program, the 3-1-2-1 Diet.

3-1-2-1 is a nice twist on the principle that any changes you make to the way you eat shouldn’t be temporary – 3-1-2-1 adds up to seven (it took me a few minutes to figure that out because I missed the beginning of the segment where he explained the title 🙂 ), but I digress.

Dolvett’s new method reveals how we can eat and cheat our way to lose excess weight (10 pounds in 3 weeks!). It’s a simple principle of body confusion when we reduce our caloric intake. As we all know, the first few weeks of a new diet are fantastic because we are dedicated and we’re seeing results quickly. After a few months, the exasperating plateaus start to kick in and make most of us give up.

This diet is amazing because it borrows from the principle workout rule: you have to constantly change up how you work out to keep seeing results. Our metabolisms are the same way. When we eat the same things over and over and over again, our bodies get used to breaking down those foods and go out of whack when we give ourselves a break and indulge. Dolvett recommends that you eat the “clean” foods like greens, lean meats, or legumes and indulge for:3 days (clean), 1 day (indulge), 2 days (clean), 1 day (indulge). At the beginning Dolvett stresses the importance of counting all of your calories.

Bethenny instantly challenged him by saying that the constant counting will drive a person insane and that we need to escape from that prison. However, when Dolvett agreed that the constant counting is infuriating and explained that the emphasis on counting was just a tool to help you build a solid foundation of what good calories and dense calories are, Bethenny lit up with excitement. Good calories include lean chicken breasts, fish, veggies, egg whites, and so on. Dense calories simply refers to eating foods like spinach because you can eat 2 cups of spinach and use less than 100 of your allotted calories for the day and spinach is packed with vitamins and antioxidants and minerals that will make you healthier long after you finish your meal.

I wholeheartedly agree with Dolvett’s assertion that calorie counting is a great foundation builder, but I’d also add that you should find an accountability partner that you can talk to. This partner can call you out (lovingly!) when the tool is becoming an obsession.

I should point out that Dolvett also included a workout routine to compliment his diet advice, but I didn’t really care for the exercises he recommends.

Tacos

two-grilled-tacos

As a kid, I remember being addicted to fast food joints like McDonald’s and Taco Bell. One of my favorite things from Taco Bell was their beef tacos. Now that I’m almost 30, I want to pass on healthier recipes to my friends and family.

This is my basic taco recipe, but you can make enchiladas, empanadas, etc. the same way!

Tacos

Ingredients:

  • Ground beef, chicken, shrimp, lobster, scallops or tofu
  • Tortillas (multi-grain or whole wheat)
  • Shredded cheese (I like Sargento’s Pepper Jack)
  • Green, red, yellow peppers (diced)
  • White, red, yellow onions (diced)

Directions:

  1. Brown your meat or meat substitute in a saute pan on medium heat (add adobo for seasoning)
  2. Warm up the tortillas in a 2nd saute pan → put water in the pan, place it on a low simmer and let the tortilla sit in the warm water.
  3. After the ground beef is done, saute the peppers and onions
  4. Plate up the tortillas, veggies, and ground beef and ENJOY!!!

Spinach Salad

chicken-bacon-pomegranate-spinach-salad

Like many kids, I absolutely detested vegetables. Even when my mom would say I could have dessert if I ate my vegetables, I found a way to worm my way out of eating them.

Fast forward to my early 20s… after coming home after graduation, I resolved to get more greens my diet. For the first three months, I made good on my promise, but I forgot the wise, old saying goes: “Variety is the spice of life.” I only bought spinach and would incorporate a plain chicken breast to get protein and I drowned it in Caesar dressing to hide the bitter taste of the spinach.

This is my go-to spinach salad recipe. The inclusion of a little bit of feta cheese eliminates my need for dressing and when all is said and done, this meal is about 300 calories and fuels me for the rest of the day!

Spinach Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce of feta cheese
  • 1 cups of spinach
  • 1 Purdue Perfect Portion chicken breast (Italian Style) or 1 scallop

Directions:

  1. Place chicken breast in greased pan burning on medium heat and cook thoroughly, then cut into small pieces
  2. Cut 1 ounce block of feta into desired chunk size
  3. Place spinach in a large bowl
  4. Add cheese and chicken to spinach

Healthy French Toast

french toast

French toast is one of my all-time favorite breakfast recipes. I remember waking up early on Sunday mornings to help my mother make a big batch that would last two or three days. At first my mother used white bread, eggs and whole milk. Slowly, but surely, I noticed that my mom started using healthier options like whole wheat bread and skim milk.

As I moved through mt adolescence and early 20s, I had come to “accept” the fact that French toast was a “forbidden” food because of the carbohydrate content. Then I had an epiphany: carbohydrates exist because we need them! How carbohydrates affect your health revolves around your willingness to educate yourself about the different kinds of carbohydrates and your willingness to experiment with them.

Here’s a basic French toast recipe I use regularly that is under 300 calories (which includes ¼ cup of syrup!) and keeps me full for about 3 hours.

French Toast

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs (Egg Beaters)
  • ¼ cup of soy milk (optional)
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon & 1 tsp of ginger
  • 2-4 slices of you favorite bread (I use whole wheat or multi-grain bread)

Directions:

  1. Mix egg, milk, ginger and cinnamon in a bowl
  2. Dip 1 slice of bread in mixture until covered
  3. Place bread in a pan burning on medium heat and let it brown to taste

My Weight Loss Journey

Weight-Loss-Tips

Like many women I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life and now I’m realizing that weight loss is a journey similar to the story of the tortoise and the hare: slow and steady wins the race.

I’ve tried so many diets, it’s borderline disgusting. Our bodies are temples and we should pamper them every chance we get. However, with the plethora of diet manuals available today it can be very difficult to distill what you feel most comfortable with. Here’s a glimpse into how I developed my Aphrodite Attitude about weight loss.

Last year, I truly committed to changing the way I look at how I nourish my body and my epiphany came about in the most unexpected way. Last spring I was walking to the library and I wasn’t paying attention to the sidewalk in my neighborhood; the people in the community planted trees on the curb and while the theory is awesome, the reality is a total nightmare, but I digress. As I was walking to the library, my sneaker got caught in one of the cracks from a tree that made the sidewalk uneven and I landed really hard on my knees. Not only were my knees swollen, the fall had taken off a good 2 or 3 layers of skin from my right knee. I managed to see a doctor and get a brace to help control the swelling and it took about three weeks for my knees to feel better. Little did I know that my struggle was just beginning…

After I recovered from the fall I started getting back into my old routine of walking around the neighborhood to go to the library or grocery store and get some exercise. One day as I walked home from Rite Aid, my lower back completely gave out. Thank God my dad was already coming to watch football with me and was able to get me to the emergency room. The doctor told me I had a back spasm and sent me home with a prescription for ibuprofen and told me to get at least three days’ bed rest.

I’m the type of person that hates sitting still so after I finished the required bed rest and took the ibuprofen to ease the pain and went back to my normal routine. The first couple of days were great, but when I had to accompany my dad at the hospital for a procedure to prep him for dialysis all hell broke loose! We got to the hospital an hour early and the procedure took about 2½ hours. After the procedure, I met my dad in the recovery room and sat with him for a little while. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dad to death and I would do anything for him, but after looking after him in the recovery room for about 45 minutes, by back started to feel like it was on FIRE!! I tried to brush it off, but the pain just kept getting worse and started spreading to my hips. My dad saw how much pain I was in and told me to go back to the car and lay down. You know that kind of pain where you can barely move and you look like you are 90 years old because you’re moving an inch per minute? That’s an understatement about how severe that back injury was. A specialist told me that when I fell on my knees, my body responded with, “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!?!” and my lower back and hips locked up to protect me.

Long story short, I spent about 8 months recovering (in total) from that injury and the majority of the time I had to lay in bed to ease the pressure (at least 18 hours for about 5½ months). It turns out that my back injury was a blessing in disguise! During the recovery process, I revamped my diet to accommodate the fact that I couldn’t sit or stand for more than 10 minutes at a time.

Subtle changes to my diet like swapping sweet yogurt for Greek yogurt with granola (when I could get myself out of bed) and drinking protein shakes on my bad days. About three months into my recovery, my friends and family started asking me if I was working out against medical advice because I’d apparently lost a considerable amount of weight. When I told them that I had only tweaked what I ate, they told me to keep it up and suggested that I start writing down the changes I made and what results came of them.

I did just that and the results left me flabbergasted! When I went back to the specialist who diagnosed me, she told me that I had lost 30 pounds in those six months and that my back and hips look like nothing ever happened!

This website is dedicated to dissecting and disseminating the crème de la crème of the goddess-related information out there. I’ll cover things like nutrition, exercise, sex, skin care, makeup and any other topics y’all are interested in.

ENJOY!!