Healthy & Delicious Recipes I’ve Been Loving

At the beginning of the year I decided I wanted to start cooking more. I’ve never really been much of a cook. And when I do cook it’s so basic and boring I don’t enjoy it. In 2020 I got into a bad habit of ordering take-out for dinner almost every night. Although I was ordering “healthy” most nights, how healthy is it really? That’s the question I asked myself when I was killing it in the gym and still couldn’t loose weight.

I wanted to take control over all the food I’m eating, be more healthy and loose weight. In the last year and a half I’ve gained about 25 pounds. I can’t stand gaining weight and looking in the mirror and feeling like my body isn’t mine. I didn’t want to do some crazy crash diet. I want to create a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable.

For the last 7 weeks I have cooked healthy and delicious meals. Dinners that are full of flavor that I enjoy eating and look forward to! With the change in cooking my own healthy meals and working out, I have lost 8 pounds. More important than that, I feel so much healthier and stronger!

I want to share a couple of my favorite recipes that I have made. These are recipes that I have sent to my friends and have made multiple times because they are that good! They have tons of flavor, are not boring, and are great left over the next day. I will also share my tweaks and tips that I find helpful for each recipe. If I can make these meals, you can too!

Roasted Broccoli Quinoa Salad

I got this recipe off Eating Bird Food, you can see the entire recipe here. This recipe was a huge surprise to me how amazing it is! When I read the recipe nothing about it seemed like it was be so delicious. But the flavors are all so incredible I enjoy every bite and want to keep eating.

My changes: I always need a protein with every meal. The first time I made this bowl I added steak. The second time I made it I added chicken. Both are equally as delicious. The rest of the recipe I made as is. This recipe is what got me obsessed with roasting my vegetables, especially kale. I now roast kale almost every day and put it with everything. It’s great in a salad to add a crunch.

Avocado Shrimp Quinoa Bowl

This recipe comes from What’s Gaby Cooking. I have been following her on Instagram for years and have baked many of her yummy desserts and they are always so delicious!! (check out her chocolate chip banana bread and snickerdoodle cookies!) This is the first dinner recipe of hers that I have tried and it did not fail me. You can find the recipe here.

My changes: This is the first time I have made shrimp. All I can say is do not be intimidated. It was so simple! The same as grilling chicken. The recipe calls for 1/2 pound of shrimp. I made a whole pound and I was glad I did. The flavor on the shrimp is delicious, but everyone who ate it (except me) said it was a little too spicy. Unless you like very spicy food, I would cut back on the cayenne and chipotle pepper.

The homemade Pico de Gallo is very delicious, but also time consuming. If you are able to make it the day before or earlier in the day it will save a ton of time when cooking dinner. Or if you don’t want to do all that chopping and dicing you can buy one already made at the grocery store.

This dish is incredible left over. I stored all the ingredients separate from each other to keep them fresh. The bowl tasted the same the next day.

Lemon Herb Salmon

I got this recipe from YouTube channel More Seasoning. You can find the recipe here. He shows 3 different versions of how to make salmon, they all look amazing. I have only made the lemon herb salmon and it is delicious!

My changes: I made the salmon just like the recipe and I would not change anything about it. It was so delicious! I absolutely love the tip on how to wrap up each salmon filet individually in foil. It keeps the salmon so tender and there is no mess to clean up.

I made roasted green beans and kale to go with me. As my friend and I ate the salmon and veggies we couldn’t get over the flavor and how good it is! We kept saying it tastes way too good to be completely healthy. And, I made an extra salmon filet and ate it for lunch the next day. So happy I did!

Extra Cooking Tips that Have Helped Me

Make extra of every dinner. My days are very busy and I never want to spend time making lunch. Having healthy leftovers I can grab quickly keeps me on track to being healthy.

Always have cooked chicken in the fridge. I cook chicken 2-3 times a week for dinner. I lightly season it and cook about a pound extra. I cut it up the extra and keep it in my fridge. Chicken is so diverse, I can throw together a salad, mix it with salsa for tacos, etc.

Get a George Forman grill. I purchased one the beginning of January and I use it almost every night!! I purchased this one. It makes grilling soooo quick and easy! Then the grill plates remove and I put them in my dishwasher. I don’t know how I’ve lived without one.

Try new foods, new recipes, don’t be intimidated and have fun! I have began to enjoy cooking and I now look forward to it! I turn on music or my favorite tv show and zone out. It’s also a great time for my kids to come talk to me about their day. And there is great satisfaction in serving my family eating a delicious meal that I cooked!

How I Use My Waist Trainer & the Results I See

waist trainer


I’ve been using a waist trainer for about 2 years now.  I swear by it!  It really works!!  There are several different ways, or reasons, I like to wear it.

  • I wear it several hours a day a few days a week for “maintenance”.  It helps cinch in my waist, giving that hourglass look and make it flat.  I’m not always that consistent with this.  Some times I will forget and go weeks without wearing it.  I really notice a difference (in a negative way) that I’m not wearing it.  The more I wear it the more I notice an hourglass shape to my body and flatter tummy.   It also helps me throughout the day to not over eat and to only eat when I actually need to.
  • When I have a special event that evening, I wear it all day- like the minute I wake up I put it on and don’t take it off all day.  It eliminates all bloating and excess water weight in my mid section.  I can see a noticeable difference in the size of my waist line and the flatness of my tummy.
  • I wear it while I work out, especially when doing cardio.  I’ve only done this a few times.  This will make you sweat so much in your midsection and make your tummy very flat.  One time I lost 4 pounds doing the stair master and wearing my waist trainer.  Now this is just temporary water weight loss.  But my tummy was very flat that evening!
  • You can wear it under clothes for a cinched, curvy look.  I personally have never done this for a special event.  But I have friends that have and they love it.  They will wear it under a fitted dress to give them that curvy cinched flat midsection.
  • It gives me better posture.  While wearing this waist trainer it forces me to sit upright and stand straight.  It’s almost impossible to slump over my shoulders because it’s not comfortable.  I love wearing it while sitting at my desk working because I have to sit up straight with my shoulders back.  I notice at the end of the day I don’t have as much back and neck pain because I’ve been sitting with better posture all day.

Losing Holiday Weight : Small Changes that Make a BIG Difference!


JACKET: Nike | TANK: Topshop (best basic tank!) | LEGGINGS: Alo | SNEAKERS: Adidas | BAG: Givenchy, similar for Less | SUNGLASSES: Quay

I had a lot of fun over the holidays!  From Thanksgiving to after New Years Eve I didn’t work out one time, and I ate and drank everything I wanted to.  No joke, I did not hold back at all!!  If I wanted to eat Christmas cookies all day long I did.  If I wanted to eat a huge dinner and a bottle of wine at 11:00pm then have dessert after I did.  Let me just say, I enjoyed myself and I don’t regret it! :)

All that fun caught up to me and when I stepped on the scale on January 2nd and I had gained 9 pounds.  More importantly than the scale going up, I saw a noticeable difference when I looked in the mirror and my clothes didn’t fit the same (meaning I could barely button my jeans).  In additional to my body changes, I didn’t feel my best.  My head was cloudy, I was always tired, bloated, overall just yuck!

I used to love doing an intense diet or cleanse or detox to get immediate results and shock my body back into where it was.  As I get older that does not appeal to me.  I’d rather take it easy on my body and make a few small changes at a time that I can actually do and maintain, and not feel like garbage from it being so drastic.

Here are the few things I always start with that I can start seeing results within 2 weeks.  They are small adjustments that make a big change in my life.  So far, I have lost 5 of the 9 pounds.  Then after I have made these things my lifestyle I can build on them; tighten up my diet even more or add more to my work outs.

  1. Eat dinner at least 4 hours before bed and do not eat anything after dinner.  This makes a huge difference!  Late night snacking is the worst thing you can do.  It adds weight quickly and makes you bloated.  It can be hard the first couple of nights not eating after dinner, I usually go to bed hungry.  But my body adjusts after about 5 days and I don’t feel hungry any more at bed time.
  2. Do not eat candy or anything sugary all day long.  I have a major sweet tooth!  And when I let myself eat anything and everything I want, I snack on candy and cookies all day long.  When I say all day I really mean it.  Like breakfast, lunch, dinner, after dinner and snacks all day long.  This constant intake of sugar is so unhealthy.  Since I have such an intense sweet tooth I still allow myself to have something each day.  I have a small portion only once a day and I eat it in the morning or early afternoon.
  3. Move your body for at least 30 minutes, 3 times a week.  Ideally this would be going to the gym or some kind of work out.  If you have slacked at the gym or your work outs then get back to them!  But if you’re not a gym/work out person, trying to add that to your lifestyle may be something you can’t commit to long term.  Instead, do something you can stick with.  Make this a walk outside or doing something active with your kids, go on a bike ride.  Do anything that moves your body.
  4. Switch your alcohol drink to vodka or tequila.  Red wine, beer and dark liquors have a lot of sugar and/or carbs.  If you want to have an alcoholic drink, have vodka or tequila with as little sugar added to the drink as possible.  I loooooove red wine!  I used to drink it every night at the end of the day.  But I learned drinking red wine every night adds weight to my waistline.  I switched my drink to vodka, soda with lemon or lime (no sugar) and my waist stays slim.  I drink Tito’s vodka, its very clean and gluten free.
  5. Drink lots of water.  Lack of water or being dehydrated makes your body bloat and stay swollen.  The body thinks it’s going thru a drought and holds onto all the water it has.  Drinking a lot of water flushes out the body and helps with weight loss.  And the added bonus, drinking a lot of water hydrates the skin and gives you a healthy glow.
  6. Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night.  Getting adequate rest is everything!  Our bodies need enough sleep to reset and recharge.  I’m sure we have all seen the commercials about cortisol being flushed out of our system when we sleep.  And if we don’t get enough sleep the cortisol isn’t fully flushed out and it causes weight gain.  Well, it’s true!  Our bodies need sleep to reset our systems and wake up with energy.  That energy helps us make healthier food choices and get some exercise.
  7. Eat healthy during the week, splurge on the weekends.  Eating healthy makes me feel great, and the food tastes delicious.  But some times it feels like a job and I just want a piece of pizza or a burger and a milkshake.  This is why I allow myself to splurge and eat what I want on the weekends.  This mentally makes it easier to make healthy food choices during the week.  If I’m craving chocolate cake, I know I can have it this Saturday.  It makes it much easier to eat healthy now.  Plus, it’s all about balance.  I want to be able to enjoy my life and not feel like a slave to a diet.

alo ripped leggings

red sneakers

holiday weight loss

Full Body Workout Routine

full body workout routine

TANK: Carbon38 | SPORTS BRA: Victoria’s Secret | LEGGINGS: Lululemon (old style) | SHOES: Nike | WATER BOTTLE: Hydro Flask

My workout routine is one of the most requested posts ever!  Instead of sharing everything all at once (because that would be a bit overwhelming!), I am going to break it down into what I do on different days.  On a typical week I do 2 days of full body work outs, 2 leg days, and 1 arms/abs day.  Cardio gets thrown in on whatever day I have the most time.  2-3 days a week I will go on the stairmaster for 15-40 minutes (depends on how much time I have that day) at the end of my workout.

Leg day and arm/abs day to come soon! :)

If you are first starting a work out routine, I would do 2 full body work outs a week.  And include some abs on those days.  Once you’ve got that down, then you can add a leg day, then add an arm/abs day.  If you are beginning a new work out routine and need inspiration, check out my post on how to start a work out routine for success.

A full body work out is great!  It will hit every body part.  And if you move at a quick pace you will also get some cardio!

I have a list of work outs I do on my full body days.  Each time I go in I pick 5 or 6 of them to do. This keeps my work outs different each time I go in so I won’t get bored.  Even just changing up the order in which I do them can make it more interesting.

Full Body work outs:
*Pick 5 or 6 to do each day, change it up every time.
*Lower weight, higher reps.  Do 20-25 reps of each exercise, 2-3 sets.

-Squat with overhead press (I use free weights)
-Walking lunges with bicep curls
-Sumo squat with upright rows (I use a kettle bell)
-Squat with row (I do this on the cable machine)
-Jump squats (I do 25-30)
-Split squat jumps
-Lunge with shoulder press
-Leg press machine, then rows or lat pull down machine
-Forward jump squats

full body workout routine

full body workout routine

full body workout routine

full body workout routine

full body workout routine

full body workout routine

full body workout routine

full body workout routine

How to Start a Workout Routine For SUCCESS!




JACKET: Ivy Park | SPORTS BRA: Zella | LEGGINGS: Lululemon (style no longer available) | SHOES: Nike

It is that time of year where so many of us make resolutions to start working out more, eat better and be more healthy.  These are all great goals, I know I have made them more times than I can count.  But in order to create healthy lifestyle habits and keep them, you have to set yourself up for success.

My fitness journey has been up and down my entire adult life.  My weight has fluctuated a lot over the last 10-12 years.  I have gone thru seasons where I work out a lot, then I won’t see the inside of a gym for an entire year.  It wasn’t until 2017 that I started a new routine and actually stuck with it.  This is the longest I have ever routinely worked out, and it has become a lifestyle for me; I can’t live without it!  Plus I lost 20 pounds in 2017!!

So what are my secrets?  I’m sharing everything that helped me when I began my fitness journey and stick with it!!

Start slow then build.  Set a goal for yourself that you can accomplish.  Do it for an entire month then add to it.  I first started with working out 2 days a week and not eating anything after dinner.  Trust me, I was so sore after my work outs.  2 days felt like a lot, that’s all I could do at first.  And not eating after dinner was a big deal for me.  I was used to a late night snack before bed.

I did that for a whole month.  Then I added a 3rd day to my work out routine.  Several weeks later I added a 4th day and tightened up my diet really strict.  Setting these goals in increments gives me a sense of accomplishment.  It feels good to accomplish the goals you set for yourself.   This was the motivation I needed to keep going.  I’m now at the point where I work out 5-6 days a week.  And on the rare weeks that I can only do 4 times I miss the extra days.

If you start to much all at once you are setting yourself up for failure.  It’s very difficult to maintain that.  It’s very challenging to go from not working out and eating everything you want, to working out 4 days a week and a strict healthy diet.  It’s not sustainable at first and will be very easy to give into cravings and old habits. And this is when most people give up completely.  Start with something you can maintain long term, then add to it a little at a time.


Don’t look for results right away.  It takes time for the body to show results of all the hard work you are doing.  In my experience it takes a good 2 months to see real results that you are happy about.  At first you have to focus on other reasons and results for your work outs.  I always focus on being more healthy.  Results you can see in your body or not, working out makes you a healthier person on the inside.  You will live a longer healthy life because of it.

I also focus on the mental clarity & stress relief I get from a work out.  Nothing gets rid of my stress and clears my mind more than a really good work out.  In return, I am a calmer nicer person to everyone around me :)

These 2 reasons are enough for me to work out.  I think about myself and also my family.  I am making myself a healthier person inside and out.  This benefits me and my family.  I think about my children and how I want to be in good shape to do physical activities with them now and have lots of energy.  And I also think about the future, I want to be a healthy Mom as I age.  I don’t want to have health problems as I age because I didn’t take care of myself.



You might gain weight before you lose it.  This was true for me!  I gained several pounds when I first started working out.  My body held onto it and it took more than a month to lose those pounds.  Even as I was losing weight, it was an up and down process.  I would lose 3 pounds gain 1, lose 4 pounds gain 2.  It’s best to look at your overall results in a 4-6 week time period, not day to day.

Don’t quit because you fall off the wagon once.  Everyone needs a cheat meal (or day), everyone makes bad food choices, everyone sleeps in late instead of going to the gym.  Don’t throw your entire fitness journey away and give up because you made 1 unhealthy choice.

Enjoy your cheat, don’t feel bad.  Then get back at it hard the next day.  1 cheat meal or day will not break your fitness goals.  The most important thing is consistency.  Keep working out and making healthy food choices most of the time.  If you keep it up, you will see results!

Have accountability. Find a friend to work out with, or a group or class, or a trainer.  You need someone who is counting on you to be there and will notice if you don’t show up.  It’s really easy to skip work outs when no one will know but you.  Especially at first when you are forming a new habit of working out.

I found working out with a trainer is what works best for me.  It’s an appointment that I am paying for.  If I don’t show up he will call me and ask where I am, plus I will still have to pay for the session.  So I always show up!  If you don’t want to pay for a trainer every time you work out, try working out with a trainer 1 time a week.  Then go to a class or work out on your own (or with a friend) the other days.  Most trainers will give you a work out routine if you ask them.  Then once a week you can check in with them and still have that accountability.



Find something you like and have fun.  There are sooooo many different ways to work out.  Try different things until you find what is fun for you.  If you find it fun you will be more excited to keep going.

I love to mix it up and keep it interesting.  I love to lift weights, but I never do the same workout twice.  It’s always different each time.  I also do boxing once a week because I love it!  It’s an amazing work out, plus it helps me to get out any pent up stress that I might have.  It’s like a work out without me realizing I’m working out.

Get a new workout outfit.  If I’m ever feeling unmotivated I get myself a new cute workout outfit.  It might sound silly, but it works.  I can’t wait to put it on and wear it.  It gives me an extra pep in my step when I go to the gym.  Which makes me work out harder.  As they say… Dress the part.

Don’t give up/consistency.  It takes 3-4 weeks to form a new habit.  At first it will truly be miserable! I won’t lie to you.  The first couple weeks will really suck! I always felt so out of shape, so sore, so stupid, such a waste of time, it’s not working, why am I doing this, so uncoordinated, so miserable, so much work!!! Then after several weeks I would have a break thru.  I would start to enjoy it more.  Then if you keep going, after 2-3 months you can’t live without it and you feel amazing!

weight loss

I lost 20 pounds in 2017.  I have so much more energy and feel so much better!  These tips I’m giving really work because it’s what helped me!  A couple months ago I shared my diet that I followed.  Keep in mind, I started this diet 2 months after I started my journey to better fitness and health.  I started with small steps and progressed.  You can see my diet I followed here in this post.

My full fitness routine to come soon :)