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Keep Your Resolution Goals on Track – Recipe Time!

23 Jan

Can you believe it?  We’re now 4 weeks into our new year and almost into February.  This is generally when the times get rough trying to stick to your health and fitness routines.  The weather is chilly, making us gravitate towards heavier comfort food.  The year begins to get busier with school starting again and upcoming holidays.  For most people (including me), the answer to keeping my healthy lifestyle on track starts and ends with my meals. But who has the time to do major food prep and spend hours on end in the kitchen?  Yeah, me either.  You need recipes that are quick, stress free and that you can rely on.

Here’s a little recipe from my playbook to help you keep on track and moving forward. Creating something that is warm, comforting, filling, and easy doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor or nutrients:



1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Additional salt and pepper, to taste


Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute more. Add the cooked onion to a 3-quart or larger slow cooker.

Add the jalapeño, tomatoes, black beans, corn, broth, chili powder, cumin, coriander, bay leaf, 1?2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1?2 teaspoon black pepper to the slow cooker. Stir. Cook on low 8–10 hours, or high 4-6 hours. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with tortilla strips, avocado, non-fat greek yogurt, and fresh cilantro and any other toppings you like.


CRISPY TORTILLA STRIPS: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Using a pizza cutter or large chef’s knife, cut 8 corn tortillas into several 1/2-inch-wide by 3-inch-long strips. Spread tortilla strips in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake, turning once, for 10-12 minutes, just until hard and crunchy. Remove from oven and let cool.

Remember:  YOU CAN DO THIS!!!   Stay on track and reach those goals!  See you at the Studio!

PX Studio

Recipe originally adapted from:
Oh My Veggies (

Make Lemon Water Your “New Year, New You” Go-To!

16 Jan

two-glasses-of-lemon-waterTwo simple ingredients – lemon and water.  You might wonder how that could possibly have any effect on your health and your body – and you would be surprised!  Simply adding lemon juice to your water has a variety of benefits.  Try it once and you’ll never go back!

What Is It?
Lemon water is simply the juice from lemons mixed with water.  The amount of lemon you use depends on your personal preference, and this drink can be enjoyed either cold or hot. Some people also choose to add lemon rind, mint leaf or other ingredients.

How Much?
For those who weigh less than 150 pounds, squeeze half a lemon’s worth of juice into a glass of water. If over 150 pounds, use an entire lemon’s juice. You can of course dilute the lemon juice more, depending on your personal taste.

When Do I Drink It?
Start your morning with a cup of luke warm lemon water, and keep a pitcher of water infused with a few sliced, whole lemons in your refrigerator to drink throughout the day. The key time however, is drinking a glass first thing in the morning – and about 10-15 minutes before you eat breakfast.

Nutrient Breakdown

  • Calories: 9.
  • Sugars: Less than 1 gram.
  • Vitamin C: 25% of the RDI.
  • Folate: 1% of the RDI.
  • Potassium: 1% of the RDI.

Additionally, remember that the exact nutritional value depends on how much lemon juice you add, as well as any other ingredients.

What Does It Do?
1. It promotes hydration.

According to the Food and Nutrition Board, the dietary reference intake for water is 91 to 125 ounces. This includes water from food and drinks.  Water is the best beverage for hydration, but some people don’t like the taste of it on its own. Adding lemon enhances water’s flavor, which may help you drink more.

2. It’s a good source of vitamin C.

Citrus fruits like lemons are high in vitamin C, which is a primary antioxidant that helps protect cells from damaging free radicals.  Vitamin C may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, and lower blood pressure. Research published in Stroke showed that people with low vitamin C levels, especially obese men with high blood pressure, have a higher risk of stroke. Vitamin C may also help prevent or limit the duration of the common cold in some people, although studies are conflicting.

While lemons don’t top the list of citrus fruits high in vitamin C, they’re still a good source. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 1/4 cup raw lemon juice provides about 23.6 grams of vitamin C. That’s over 30 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA).

3. It improves your skin quality.

Vitamin C found in lemons may help reduce skin wrinkling. A study published in the American Society for Clinical Nutrition concluded that people who consumed more vitamin C have less risk of wrinkled and dry skin.  How water improves skin is controversial, but one thing is certain. If your skin loses moisture, it becomes dry and wrinkle-prone. Whether it’s better to apply moisturizer to the skin or drink more water isn’t clear, but UW Health recommends drinking at least eight glasses of water daily to stay hydrated and rid the skin of toxins.

4. It supports weight loss.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition showed that polyphenol antioxidants found in lemons significantly reduced weight gain caused by a high-fat diet in mice. In addition, insulin resistance was improved.

While the same results need to be proven in humans, anecdotal evidence is strong that lemon water supports weight loss. Whether this is due to an increase in water intake and fullness or the lemons remains to be seen.

5. It aids digestion.

Some people drink lemon water as a daily morning laxative to help prevent constipation. Drinking warm or hot lemon water when you wake up may help get your digestive system moving.

6. It freshens breath.

Have you ever rubbed a lemon on your hands to remove a powerful stench? It’s thought to neutralize odors. The same folk remedy may apply to bad breath caused by eating foods with strong smells like garlic, onions, or fish.  Keep your breath sweeter by drinking a glass of lemon water after meals and first thing in the morning. Lemon is thought to stimulate saliva, and water helps prevent a dry mouth, which leads to bad breath caused by excess bacteria growth.

7. It helps prevent kidney stones.

The citric acid in lemons may help prevent calcium kidney stones. UW Health recommends increasing citric acid intake to decrease your risk of getting new calcium stones. Drinking lemon water not only helps you get more citric acid, but also the water you need to prevent stones.  Having 1/2 cup of lemon juice provides the same amount of citric acid you’d find in prescription varieties.

Research shows lemon water has potential health benefits.  Adding lemon to your water may help you drink more throughout the day to help you stay hydrated, which is critical to good health.  If you drink it hot, lemon water is a comforting alternative to other hot beverages. If you drink it cold, it’s refreshing and energizing.  No matter how you enjoy it, lemon water will give you a wellness boost.

See you at the Studio – with your lemons water bottles full and ready to go!

PX Studio


Article Sources:
Life Hack (
Health Line (
Authority Nutrition (



Post-Holiday Detox… Pancakes?!

26 Dec

Yep, you read that right – detox PANCAKES!!!  But first of all,  I hope you had a wonderful and restful holiday. Secondly, I hope we all didn’t indulge too much.  It can be so difficult to come back from all of the festivities and get back on track – but YOU CAN DO IT!   You might think to yourself, “I absolutely cannot do another protein smoothie or juice cleanse – and I’m just not ready to steer clear of ALL sugar all the time.”  Well, you’re in luck!  Just because you’re detoxing, doesn’t mean you need to be starving or eating food that doesn’t taste good.  Here’s a delicious way to ease yourself back into the routine and start fresh and clean this upcoming New Year!  post-christmas-detox-pancakes-title

Post-Holiday Detox Pancakes


  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax
  • 1/2 teaspoon sodium-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups, packed raw spinach
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 medium ripe banana
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


-Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat and coat with cooking spray.
-In a small blender or food processor, blend oats into flour.
-Empty oat flour into a medium-sized bowl, add other dry ingredients and stir to mix.
-Combine spinach, egg whites, banana, and vanilla in the blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
-Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until flour is incorporated.
-Spoon batter into skillet forming 4 medium pancakes.
-Cook 4-6 minutes per side or until the edges start to brown (batter will not bubble).
-Transfer to a plate and top with yogurt, fresh fruit, and/or nuts.

Note:  If you don’t like the green color, just add a tablespoon or two of cocoa!

Here’s to jump starting your healthy lifestyle!  See you in 2017!!!

PX Studio

Recipe adapted from Kiss My Broccoli



Happy Healthy Holidays!

12 Dec

spinach-dipThe holidays are in full swing and if your schedule is anything like mine, then the gatherings, dinners, parties and other festivities are lining up on the calendar.  Whether you’re hosting or just bringing a dish, you don’t have to let your healthy lifestyle suffer! Exercise both your body and your self control and you’ll make it through!  

If you are hosting, you have much more say over the food offerings at your party.  Even if you aren’t hosting though, you still have the option of bringing a delicious and nutritious side dish – at least if there’s nothing else, you know you can have that and be safe! Prep one (or more than one!) of these wholesome nibbles to keep you sated without feeling like Santa.  My go-to party guilty pleasure is always chips and dips – so here are a couple of healthy versions of my crowd pleasing favorites:


1 small shallot, peeled
1 5-ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed
1/2 cup reduced-fat cream cheese, (Neufchâtel)
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces baby spinach
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Pulse shallot and water chestnuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add cream cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper and pulse until just combined. Add spinach and chives and pulse until incorporated.  Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.  Stir before serving.


2 garlic cloves
1 (15-ounce) can of garbanzo beans
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 tablespoon tahini
2 avocados
Olive Oil

Place garlic cloves, garbanzo beans, lemon zest and juice from the lemon and tahini in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Salt to taste.

Add two avocados and blend just until smooth. Salt to taste once more. Transfer to a bowl, pour a few tablespoons of olive oil on top, and sprinkle a few dashes of paprika. Serve with whatever you like, whether it be pita chips, warm slices of pita or crackers.

Remember:  Make smart choices and you’ll cruise through this dietary challenge!  See you at the Studio!

PX Studio

Recipes Adapted From:
Eating Well (
A Cozy Kitchen (



Perfect Post-Thanksgiving Detox Smoothie

28 Nov

detox21Happy Post-Thanksgiving!  I hope you had a wonderful time with friends and family!  If you’re like most of us, you may have “slightly” overindulged for a day, a few days… okay fine, the whole week.  Well, today is the start of a new week and time to push the reset button on your body!  If your system is sluggish from a few days of excess, this green detox smoothie will kick start the tune up and clear out the stored toxins overwhelming your system.

“Detoxing is not rocket science. It’s not about complicated diets, food restrictions, deprivations or strict schedules. Your body has its own ways to heal and detox, and it does so every single day through perspiration, respiration, bowel elimination and urination – it only needs the right foods to help clear out the stored toxins. And the good news is that most of them are perfect smoothie ingredients.”

These ingredients are total super stars when it comes to detoxing and the best thing of all is that they all go perfectly into one easy smoothie that you can drink at home or on-the-go!

  • Lemons – stimulate digestion and the release of enzymes that neutralize toxins, converting them in a water-soluble form
  • Apples – contain pectin, which is a soluble fiber that retains the toxins in the colon and flushes them out;
  • Green Veggies  and Sea Algae – the magic word is chlorophyll, the powerful nutrient that starts the detox process, cleaning your body of heavy metals, pesticides and other environmental toxins; the most powerful green veggies are: cucumber, broccoli and dandelions, as for the sea algae consider chlorella and spirulina;
  • Green Leafy Vegetables – are high in fibers, potassium and antioxidants, the main ingredients for a healthy liver and digestive system; make sure you eat plenty of kale, spinach, celery, chard, turnips, romaine, mangold;
  • Green Tea – contains nutrients called polyphenols, with a strong antioxidant effect, helping your body to fight against free-radicals
  • Bee Pollen – is packed with nutrients that nourish the liver and reinstate your body’s natural equilibrium, helping it to naturally detox

Now how about that smoothie recipe:


1 ripe banana (you can substitute mango or avocado if bananas aren’t your thing)
1 tablespoon bee pollen
2 teaspoons spirulina powder
1 green apple, cut in cubes
½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup spinach leaves
1 cucumber, cut in cubes
½ cup almond milk (or soy, depending on your tastes)

-Add all ingredients in the blender and process until creamy.
-Drink right away! (Serves 2)

Enjoy and let’s get your system back in fighting condition!  See you at the Studio (after you drink your smoothie, of course)!

PX Studio 

Hello Glow (

Black Bean Salad w/ Chipotle-Honey Vinaigrette

5 Sep

Happy Labor Day!  It’s time to say goodbye to the summer and what better way to do it than with a Labor Day party!  Whether you’re hosting or simply attending, this crowd-pleasing, quick and easy recipe that everyone loves, will make your summer send-off one to remember!

Black Bean & Corn Salad with Chipotle-Honey Vinaigrette


For the Salad

  • 2 ears fresh corn
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh chopped cilantro (plus a bit more for garnish, if desired)
  • 1 avocado

For the Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from 1-2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 canned chipotle peppers (2 peppers, not 2 cans)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the corn, cover, and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the corn from the water and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, place the chopped red onions in a small bowl and cover with water. Let sit about ten minutes, then drain completely in a sieve and set aside.
  3. Place the beans in a sieve; run under cold water to rinse well. Let drain completely and set aside.
  4. Holding the cooled corn upright in a large bowl, cut the kernels off the cob in strips. Add the beans, red onion, red bell pepper and cilantro.
  5. Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a blender or mini food processor; process until smooth.
  6. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or, preferably, overnight.
  7. Right before serving, slice the avocado in half. Remove the pit; using a butter knife, cut a grid in each half. Holding the avocado halves over the salad, use a spoon to scoop out the diced flesh. Toss the salad gently, then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (I usually add a squeeze of fresh lime to freshen it up). Garnish with a bit of fresh chopped cilantro if desired. Serve cold.  Serves 6 (as a side dish)

Have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday!  🙂

PX Studio


Meatless Monday Dinner Idea!

11 Jul

So, here you are.  You had a glorious weekend – the weather cooperated, maybe you even managed to relax a little, but now Monday is here.  After a long day of work, chores, and errands, you look at the time – only to realize that you still need dinner.  You want something quick and easy, but also healthy AND tasty.  Let me help you!


RAINBOW PIZZA (because who doesn’t love pizza!?)

  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup broccolini
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 large zucchini, thinly sliced
  • Red, orange, and yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2-1 cup pizza sauce
  • Pre-made pizza dough or homemade
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh parmesan for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Chop all of your veggies.

Brush the pizza dough with a little olive oil (1-2 Tbsp). Then, using a ladle swirl the pizza sauce around the dough right up until you reach the edges of the pizza. Then sprinkle with cheese.

Arrange your veggies on the pizza. Start with a small amount of onion in the middle, then make rings around the with the remaining veggies. Order: onion, red bell, orange bell, yellow bell, zucchini topped with broccolini, and layer the perimeter of the pizza with the halved tomatoes.

Cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Enjoy with fresh Parmesan on top!

NOTE:  You can swap any veggies that you want for the ones listed.  Don’t like bell pepper?  Try rocking some mushrooms and asparagus instead!

PX Studio