Sunday, December 29, 2013

How to Stick to Your New Years Resolution.



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New Year, New You Challenge

 

I’m sure if you are reading this, one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to get fit and healthy. CONGRATULATIONS.
                                                      That first step is huge!!! But the REAL hard work lies ahead...
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In the past, have you ever made a “get healthy & fit” resolution, only to burn out a month or two in? Have you started out strong and inspired, and then lost motivation? It’s not at all uncommon! But I’m here to HELP you make THIS YEAR’S resolution STICK!!!

Part of the reason people burn out so fast is because they set themselves up for failure from the start. I know that sounds harsh, but hear me out! While it is absolutely wonderful and commendable that so many people resolve to exercise and eat healthier, they often times put too much pressure on themselves and try to change everything at once, without taking any time to adjust. They swiftly become exhausted from their new lifestyle and go back to their old ways. Believe it or not, simply making new DECISIONS is tiring in itself, let alone breaking out of your comfort zone and eat well and exercising!
 
Sara Stakeley

Here are my TOP TIPS for sticking to that New Year’s Resolution YEAR ROUND!
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  • Make it a LIFESTYLE change, not a diet. The moment you tell yourself you "can't" have this or that, is the same moment you confine yourself to the drudgery of a "diet". If that is something you can picture yourself doing for all eternity, than by all means go for it. But be honest with yourself. Will you be able to resist eating cake or pizza forever? Probably not. So rather than condemn yourself to chicken and asparagus forever and always, make a change that you can maintain for the LONG TERM. Think about all the healthy, delicious foods you CAN have and the treats that you CAN have on occasion! Being healthy and fit is a MARATHON, not a sprint. Make it a lifestyle that you can maintain for the long term, otherwise you will gain all the weight back PLUS MORE.

  • Transform at your own pace! Just because someone else is able to eat chicken and broccoli every day or do two-a-days at the gym, doesn’t mean you have to do that too! If you don’t like chicken and broccoli, there are other options! If you don’t have time to go to the gym twice, go once! Don’t follow cookie cutter routines that you hate… create something you enjoy so that it will LAST!
  • Set realistic goals. Things like drinking more water each day, cutting down your 3 sodas-a-day to 1-a-day, including more vegetables at dinner, increasing the weight you lift on a particular exercise, or adding an extra ten minutes to your cardio are all attainable, healthy goals. Once you succeed at these, make new ones and continue to build and expand on the solid foundation you’ve lain.
  • Challenge yourself, don’t overwhelm yourself! Just because the fitness models you see in the magazines can bench or squat a certain amount of weight, doesn’t mean you will be able to do that too. It took these people months and years of training to get to the point they’re at. Build up at your own pace!

  • Do a little research. One of the best ways to stick to a healthy eating plan or exercise schedule is to keep it interesting! There are SO MANY fantastic, free resources for recipes and workouts! Try googling "Clean eating *fill in the blank favorite food*". Check out websites like Team Beachbody for workouts, nutrition plans and a support network! Don't be afraid to use your Google search engine to find motivating bloggers & nutritious chefs!
  • Be patient. It took more than a day to put it on and it’s going to take more than a day to take it off. Transforming your lifestyle and your physique will take time. The sooner you recognize and accept this, the better! You WILL have set-backs and losing weight/getting fit WILL take time. You will occasionally eat something unhealthy, you will miss a workout, you will stumble, you will make mistakes… you’re human! Nothing worth having ever comes easily… if it WERE that easy, everyone would be in shape! Know that you are only a failure if you QUIT. So don’t quit! You will regret it in the long run!

  • Be positive.  Instead of beating yourself up over mistakes, try doing the opposite. For example, if you slip and eat a slice of cake, don’t tell yourself cruel things like “I’m a pig” or “I can’t do this”. Instead swap those negative affirmations out for positive mantras like: “I can do this”, “I had a treat and now I’m getting back on track”… and MEAN IT!

  • Start exercising! The trick is to find something you enjoy so that you will actually DO IT. There are SO MANY options, some of which include: weight lifting, pilates, yoga, cross fit, kickboxing, mixed martial arts, powerlifting, olympic lifting, jogging, cycling, spin, zumba, interval training, jazzercise, jumping rope, dancing, running, hiking, mountain climbing, swimming… the list goes on!!  Some of my favorite and most motivating workouts are Les Mills Pump, Turbofire, Chalean Extreme, Body Combat, 30 minutes or less a day P90X3 and Focus T25 !!!

  • Surround yourself with people who support you. There is nothing worse than having negative and/or jealous people around when you are trying to make a healthy, positive change to your life. There WILL be people you THOUGHT were your friends try to drag you back to your old, unhealthy ways. They might tease, taunt or grill you for your new habits. Some people can’t handle change. If you find that your healthy habits are being mocked or demeaned by those around you … ask yourself why your ‘friends’ would want you to go back to being unhealthy. Do they not understand the sudden change? If so, explain to them why you’re doing it… Or, are those friends just jealous? If so, CUT THEM OUT OF YOUR LIFE!

  • Plan ahead! If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Prepare your meals and workouts in advance. Always keep workout clothes, a water bottle and protein powder with a shaker cup in your car so you never have an excuse not to hit the gym. Always carry an apple, a serving of almonds in a ziploc baggy and a packet of tuna with you.. that way you never have an excuse to hit the vending machines or burger joint!

You can do anything you set your mind to. Believe in yourself, don’t give up and you will get there <3 strong="strong">
New Years Resolution

You can always join my 12 week health and fitness program to be surrounded by constant motivation, support, guidance, meal planning and recipes to keep your head in the game and you body working towards your goals!

Sara Stakeley


 
 

 
 

 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Left over Ham Hock Soup Recipe a after Christmas PA Dutch tradition!!

Anytime you have a bone in this house we save a create a wonderful soup!! I always remember having some pretty tasty soups after a Holiday in the house from turkey and rice after Thanksgiving to my all time favorite ham, green bean and potatoes after Christmas!! The funny part is as a "adult cook" it is pretty hard to find a bone to make a homemade stock in the local grocery stores. I usually have to call head or go to a local butcher.




A cold day at home here in PA is a perfect day to relax and let the house fill with aroma of homemade soup.

My sister is staying with us and here dog Chino would agree!! Every time I step into the kitchen he right by my side wondering what is cooking !!


 


String Bean, and Potato Soup 
1 pot, soup, leftovers, Christmas, Ham, Ham bone, cold weather, cold weather food, freeze well, Sara Stakeley, greens, potatoes, green beans, slow cook, hearty, PA, PA Dutch, family tradition,


1 ham hock
6 average-size potatoes
2 cups string beans
Salt and pepper to taste
Makes 4 to 5 servings
1. Put at least one ham hock in a stockpot and add about 10 cups of water (until the hock is covered). The more hocks you add, the more water you add. Cook on medium to low heat for HOURS. At minimum, two hours, at most, all day. As the water evaporates and the hock starts to fall apart, add more water if you need to. You want to end up with enough broth for at least four people to have a full serving.
2. When the broth seems done and the ham hock is falling apart, either strain the broth or remove the hock, and after it cools a bit, remove the meat from the hock and add it back into the soup. If you want to add lots of ham and make it a more meaty soup, add either cold ham cut off the bone or a ham steak cut into cubes.
3. Wash and clean (peel if you so desire) the potatoes, cube them, and put them into the simmering broth.
4. Add the string beans, too. (Traditionally, this soup used dried string beans, which have a stronger flavor and aren’t required.)
5. Cook until the potatoes are done, and serve with drop biscuits or other crusty bread.

I think my grandmother added celery salt, but that’s the kind of thing I can never find in an organic version, so I just skip it. If you want to add celery, you can, but don’t get too creative because the Pennsylvania Dutch are notoriously resistant to new ideas! Definitely salt and pepper to taste (some ham hocks are saltier than others).


Do you like a heartier veggie filled soup you have to try this!!!.
You can use up your leftover ham bone to make this cozy, hearty soup loaded with tons of veggies and chunks of sweet ham!

Leftover Ham bone Soup
 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour, 15 minutes
Yield 6 servings
 
Ingredients:

1 pot, soup, leftovers, Christmas, Ham, Ham bone, cold weather, cold weather food, freeze well, Sara Stakeley, greens, potatoes, green beans, slow cook, hearty, PA, PA Dutch, family tradition,
Leftover Ham soup
 
  • 1 leftover ham bone
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup white kidney beans
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 3/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups leftover diced ham
Instructions
  • Place leftover ham bone in a large stockpot or Dutch oven and add enough water to cover the bone halfway, about 6-7 cups. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until very fragrant, about 30 minutes to 1 hour; remove and discard ham bone.
  • Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, carrots and potato. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in ham stock, beans, corn, thyme and bay leaves; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in ham until heated through, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.
Meals that can be created from leftovers are my favorite! When you can use something twice and even better create a freezer friendly soup!! Winning!!
 
Enjoy!!
Sara
 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

My Christmas Menu

Christmas is here and I can't wait to celebrate with my family!! This time of the year can be filled with Holiday traditions and many are surrounded by food!! This year my Grandma wanted ham and who am I to deny a 87 year old women what she wants! So we will have ham but I will clean up the traditional sides that go with as my way of keeping everyone healthy in secret for the Holiday!! I am cooking today and I love to cook I have everything cut up and ready to go in the oven, the tree lights are on and the candles are lite. No off to make my very first holiday feast....

Here's what we are having!!

Merry Christmas!!  

 

Glazed Baked Ham

Most baked ham recipes call for heating the ham to an internal temp of 140°F. But you can heat it to a lower temp, you just want it to be warm enough to eat. The higher the internal temp, the more risk there is of drying out the ham. So the guideline here is 110°F to 120°F, but heat it to a higher temp if you want. Remember, the ham is already cooked, so you're not cooking it here, you're just heating it. If you are working with a partially cooked ham, and not a ready-to-eat ham, follow the cooking directions on the package, most suggest cooking a partially cooked ham to 150°F


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Strawberry Salad
Strawberry Spinach Salad
 
This salad is festive with it's red and green color and very tasty!! It is on of my family favorites!!
I am making this for Christmas day at my house

Strawberry Spinach salad Ingredients:
1/2 cup all natural poppy seed dressing 
2 tbs. toasted almonds
2 tbs. of minced onion
2 bunches of spinach, washed, dried, and torn in pieced
2-3 cups of strawberries, sliced with stems removed
OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup of slivered almonds, crunchy chow mien noodles, or feta.


Italian Wedding Soup

Saraestakeley.blogspot.com

Ingredients (12-18 servings)
  • 5 split chicken breasts (bone in and skin on) or a whole chicken
  • 1 bunch of celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Organic Chicken Better Than Bouillon
  • Mini meatballs
  • 4 boxes chopped spinach, frozen
  • ½ box Acini Di Pepe, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cups Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Ground pepper, to taste
For the Meatballs
  • 2 lbs. 93% lean ground beef
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, handful
  • 2 tablespoons parsley flakes
  • Bread crumbs
Instructions
In a large Stock pot (12 qt. or larger) bring chicken, celery, and bouillon to a boil then simmer until chicken is cooked.
Remove chicken and add spinach, mini meatballs, and acini di pepe until cooked.
Cut up chicken, removing skin and bones and add to the soup.
Add salt, pepper and Romano cheese to broth. The Romano cheese blends into the broth. Stir as you pour so it does not melt together. It is optional but gives the broth a better flavor.
Serve hot or freeze.
For the Meatballs
Mix all ingredients. Add breadcrumbs until mixture is no longer sticky and form into bite size balls.


 

Garlicky Green Beans

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Garlicky Green Beans

Ingredients


  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place a large bowl of ice water next to the stove.
  2. Add half the green beans to the boiling water and cook until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer the beans with a slotted spoon to the ice water to cool. Repeat with the remaining beans. Place a kitchen towel on a baking sheet and use a slotted spoon to transfer the beans from the ice water; blot dry with another towel.
  3. Just before serving, heat oil in a large Dutch oven or large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the green beans and stir. Add parsley, tarragon, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 3 minutes.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2 and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day

 

Healthy Carrot Soufflé   
Saraestakeley.blogspot.com
Healthy Carrot Soufflé

Ingredients

2 1/2 pounds of peeled, cut carrots
1/3 cup of plain Greek yogurt
2 eggs and 1 egg white, beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 tablespoons wheat flour
    (3 tablespoons white flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
Pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Steam carrots until tender, about 20 - 25 minutes.
  3. Place carrots in a food processor or blender and mix until smooth.
  4. Combine yogurt, eggs, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract into the carrots.
  5. Pulse in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt to the mixture.
  6. Transfer mixture to a 2-quart baking dish that has been lightly coated with cooking spray or butter.
  7. Bake in oven for 45 minutes or until set and firm.

  8. Makes 8 to 10 servings


    Goat Cheese With Pistachios and Cranberries
     
    Ingredients
      Saraestakeley.blogspot.com
    • 2 tablespoons roasted pistachios, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped
    • 1 8- to 10-ounce log fresh goat cheese
    • crackers or bread, for serving

    Directions

    On a large plate, combine the pistachios and cranberries. Roll the goat cheese in the fruit-and-nut mixture to coat. Serve with the crackers or bread. Super Easy!!





    Dried Cherries, Pecans & Rosemary Brie en Croute
    It's easy to impress your guests with this elegant appetizer that features creamy Brie cheese topped with an unexpected combination of sweet and savory ingredients, all wrapped up in flaky puff pastry.
    Saraestakeley.blogspot.com
    Brie Baked
     

    Thaw: 40 minutes
    Prep: 15 minutes
    Bake: 25 minutes
    Stand: 45 minutes
    Serves: 14



    ingredients 1egg                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
    1 tbsp. water
    1/3 cup dried cherries, softened
    1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
    1/4 cup honey
    1/2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1/4 tsp. dried rosemary leaves, crushed
    1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
    1 (15-ounce) Président® Brie cheese round
    1 pkg. (13 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Cracker Favorites

    directions

    Heat the oven to 400°F.  Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork or whisk.  Stir the cherries, pecans, honey and rosemary in a small bowl.

    Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 14-inch square.  Cut off the corners to make a circle.  Spoon the cherry mixture in the center of the circle.  Top with the cheese.  Brush the edge of the circle with the egg mixture.  Fold the pastry up over the cheese to cover.  Trim the excess pastry and press to seal.  Brush the seam with the egg mixture.  Place seam-side down onto a baking sheet.  Decorate the top with the pastry scraps and additional rosemary, if desired.  Brush with the egg mixture.

    Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Let stand for 45 minutes.  Serve with the crackers.

    Ingredient Note: To soften the cherries, stir the cherries and 1/2 cup hot water in a small bowl.  Let stand for 1 minute. Drain the cherries and pat dry.




    Bacon Wrapped Dates with Almonds
    Saraestakeley.blogspot.com
    Makes 24

     

    Ingredients

    24 large moist dates, such as medjool
    12 not-too-thick slices of bacon
    2 oz. softened goat cheese
    24 whole toasted unsalted almonds

     

    Instructions

    1. Move oven rack to upper third of oven and preheat oven to 500°. Pit dates, tearing them open as little as possible. Set dates aside. Halve the 12 slices of bacon crosswise. Put the goat cheese into a pastry bag fitted with a round, plain ¼" tip.

    2. Stuff cavity of each date with 1 almond. Pipe goat cheese into the opening of each stuffed date. Wrap 1 half-piece of bacon around width of each date and put dates, seam side down, on a baking sheet, at least ½" apart. Bake until bacon is golden and crisp, 6-8 minutes. Set aside to cool briefly before serving.

    Saraestakeley.blogspot.com



Monday, December 23, 2013

Freedom from Emotional Eating


Food and Emotions should NOT BE ALLOWED  to be in the same room at the same time!!!  Seriously, can I get you to raise your hand if you consider yourself an emotional eater?  Right now I can guess that 99% of you are putting up a hand!  But I am here to tell you that you can control that!  It is just another excuse in the laundry list of reasons why you cannot lose weight.  You need food for fuel, for nourishment, and as the raw material for building your muscles, tissues and cells.  Not for any other reason!!  It's not to comfort you after the kids drove you nuts all day long, after a bad meeting with your boss or a sitting in traffic!  It's not for easing the pain of a break up or after a fight with your husband!  It's all about fueling your body so that it can work as a well oiled machine!  You would put more gas in your gas tank if the gauge said it was full!  So why would you do the same to your body!

Do you associate food with love, warmth, caring, nurturing and family, at least on an unconscious level at some point?  Denying yourself completely of the positive feelings and social benefits that food can provide is counterproductive in the long term.  So my guess is that you want to be lean and happy, not lean and miserable!!!  So you are not going to completely give up all of your favorite foods or become a social outcast but you need to demand just enough compliance in order to get the results that you want, RIGHT?!?!?

Using food for nonphysical reasons only becomes a problem when you do it as a way to cope with stress or negative emotions.  Here are 3 primary reasons why you emotionally eat:

1.  You eat mindlessly and impulsively, without thinking first.  For example, someone once posted in my challenge groups at Easter that the peep just flew in their mouth before they could even realize what they were doing.  She called it the attach of the peeps!  Once she realized what happened she immediately threw them in the garbage!

2.  You eat for reasons other than your physiological needs.  You eat because you are at a party and it's right there where you are socializing.  You eat because you are watching a movie and everyone eats popcorn while watching a movie.  You eat birthday cake because that's just what you do at a birthday party.

3.  You hold beliefs about food that don't advance you towards your goals.  You don't believe that sugar is addictive or that cutting sugar out of your diet is going to help you lose weight.  You don't believe that hunger can be mistaken for thirst or that eating 5-6 small meals a day is going to help you lose weight.

So the first steps to combating this issue is becoming aware of when and why you eat!!!

I want you to read through this list of reasons why people eat other than hunger and put a check mark by the ones that apply to you.
1.  To alleviate boredom
2.  To socialize
3.  To recapture a feeling or memory
4.  To celebrate a special occasion
5.  To fill a void or missing need
6.  To feel good
7.  To feel safe
8.  To feel comforted
9.  As a reward
10.  out of habit or ritual (for example, bedtime snacking and eating in front of the TV).

The first 2 things you need to do is (1) Identify the right reasons to eat- for fuel, nutrition, health and building muscle (2) find alternative ways for you to get the good feelings you are after.

So first I want you to write down 3 things that you do in the list above and then I want you to write a positive affirmation on the other side to counteract the negative.
For example:

1.  I have to eat something sweet after my dinner---------> I only want something sweet because that is how I always grew up.  Having dessert after dinner.  I can satisfy that with a bowl of fresh fruit.

2.  I deserve to have a piece of chocolate cake because I am celebrating my new job---------> Just because I got a new job it doesn't mean that I should throw my hard work at the gym out the window.  Instead I am going to buy myself a new outfit for my new job!  That way I still get a reward and I feel great about my body.

3.  I always have popcorn at the movies------------> I have worked so hard all week long is this bag of popcorn going to make me enjoy the movie any more or less?  I am here for entertainment not for mindless eating.

So every time you start to feel yourself saying, I deserve this!  Stop yourself and really question if it is worth it!  You are working so hard not to get the results that you DESERVE and TRULY want!  Think about whether or not that cake, popcorn or beer is going to be the long term solution.  Or is it just a band-aid to your bad day!  I want you to list things that you can do instead of eating.  It's all about changing the way you think!  Making a lifestyle change is not about a fad diet or starving yourself.  It's about re thinking the way you live and think about food!  It's when you can make changes deep down to the core of your being that you can live like this forever!
It starts with AWARENESS!!!!


How to tell the difference between Physical and Emotional Hunger
Physical hunger builds up gradually, starting with a tiny grumble in the stomach, growing to full blown hunger pangs.  Emotional hunger develops suddenly.

With physical hunger you can wait to have it.  Emotional hunger seems to demand immediate satisfaction.

Physical hunger usually appears about 3 hours after the last meal or snack.  Emotional hunger can happen at any time.

Physical hunger is usually a general desire for food.  Emotional hunger is usually a desire for a specific food.

After eating for physical hunger, the hunger goes away.  After emotional eating the hunger persists.

After eating for physical hunger, you get a sense of satisfaction.  After eating for emotional reasons, you feel guilty!

Tips:
 
How to determine physical versus emotional hunger.  If you are hungry then drink a big glass of water.  Quite often hunger is disguised as thirst.  Wait 20 minutes and if you are still hungry then ask yourself.  "Has it been 2 1/2 to 3 hrs since I ate last?"  If it has then go ahead and have a small meal.  If it hasn't been that long reach for some fresh veggies!
Try keeping your mind busy, go outside, play with the kids, take a walk, read a book or call a friend!  Keep you mind out of the kitchen and on other more important tasks!
When you do eat, eat slowly and take your time.  You want to eat until you are 80% full.  How are you going to know when that is if you gobble it down before you stomach even realizes that food is coming its way!

We make as many as 200 decisions about food every day, ranging from what to have for breakfast, to whether to eat every time you pass a candy dish.  If you make the decisions about food emotionally, the impact on your weight and health can be destructive over time. 
 

Make the choice today to end emotional eating!  Join a group for support like mine and together we can work through emotional eating, what to eat and how much food to eat!  You are not alone in this battle and it doesn't matter how little or much weight you have to lose it can be done!!!

What do you choose?  Are you going to live your life in guilt over everything you eat or are you going to feel confident in your decisions about food and ultimately the way you look in the mirror?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Butternut Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

This is a great winter salad and would be awesome for a Holiday Party!!


Serves 4
30 minutes or fewer
 
This salad previews late fall flavors. To speed things up, look for peeled butternut squash cubes in your supermarket’s refrigerated section.
  • 1 ½ lb. butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, divided
  • 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 1 10-oz. pkg. mixed baby greens
1. Steam butternut squash cubes 7 to 10 minutes, or until tender.
2. Place 1/4 cup dried cranberries in bowl, and cover with boiling water. Steep 2 minutes, then drain. Transfer to blender with vinegar, oil, mustard, garlic, salt, and 1/4 cup water. Blend until very smooth.
3. Toast almond slivers in small skillet 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat, shaking pan often. Set aside.
4. Toss greens with dressing in large bowl. Top with warm squash, almonds, and remaining 1/4 cup cranberries

YUMMY!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Funny ways that you burn calories!!

There are many ways to burn calories, an average sized human will burn about 2400 Calories per day without doing any exercise. Below are the funniest, most bizarre ways of losing calories. The results are based on an average 150 pound human.




1. Singing in the shower can burn an extra 10-20 Calories per song, depending on the volume and pitch of your voice.

2. Laughing for 10 minutes can make you loose between 20 and 40 Calories.

3. You burn about 200 Calories during 30 minutes of active sex .

4. Banging your head against a wall uses 150 Calories an
hour.

5. On average, brushing your teeth for three minutes will burn 10 Calories.

6. Pushing a shopping cart
 up the aisles for half an hour will burn over 100 Calories, this number increases with the amount you put in your trolley and the heavier it gets.

Do you have your Christmas shopping done?



7. One hour spent sitting in front of the TV burns around 65 Calories.

8. Smoking a cigarette burns roughly 10 Calories. Totally not worth the risks!!

9. Dancing on a Dance Mat for 10 minutes will burn 50-60 Calories.

10. Hugging for one hour can burn 70 Calories.

11. If you whip your head back and forth to Willow Smiths song, you will burn up to 50 Calories, depending on how crazy you go.

12. A one minute kiss can burn between 2 and 4 Calories, depending on how intimate it is.

13. A person will burn 7 percent more calories if they walk on hard dirt compared to
pavement.

14. You burn more calories than you consume when you eat celery.

15. On average, if you walk your dog for 30 minutes, you burn 100 Calories.

16. You burn more calories sitting in the cold, than heat.

17. Chewing gum
 burns 11 Calories per hour.

18. You can burn up to 350 more Calories per day if you fidget, rather than someone who remains stationary.

19. Missing a night of sleepcauses the body to burn about an extra 161 calories.

20. Constant texting can burn 40 Calories per hour


How many Calories did you burn today?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Caprese Chicken



Chicken, dinner, eat clean, basil, tomatoes, Caprese Chicken, Yummy, Sara Stakeley, recipe,
Caprese Chicken



 Ingredients:

Chicken:
1 (8 ounce) container plain yogurt...
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
8 thin-cut boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds total)

Tomato-Mozzarella Topping:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium-size onion, cut into 16 wedges
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 pound plum tomatoes, cored, seeded and chopped (about 4 cups)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese (usually packed in water), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped

Instructions:
1. For the Chicken: In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and balsamic vinegar until blended. In a plastic food-storage bag, combine chicken and yogurt mixture. Seal and turn the bag to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat a gas grill or grill pan to medium-high.
3. For the Tomato-Mozzarella Topping: In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute about 5 minutes or until onion is slightly softened and the wedges fall into pieces. Add the balsamic vinegar and water. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook about 7 minutes until liquid is reduced and onion is tender.
4. Increase heat to medium-high and add tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes and remove from the heat. Let mixture cool for 2-3 minutes then stir in mozzarella cubes and basil gently.
5. Remove chicken from bag. Discard marinade. Gently rinse chicken and pat it dry with paper towels.
6. Spray grill with cooking spray or coat with oil. Grill for 6-8 minutes per side. Serve immediately. Serve chicken on platter with topping in the center and let guests spoon their topping on.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

P90X3 Secret Sauce!! Do you have a Coach?




http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/BCPX3205?referringRepId=253733
P90X3 Results
How many of you have tried P90X?? If you have you will know that when that DVD started and the timer says 45:00 or 80:00 on yoga days you think I AM GOING TO DIE!!
Well P90X3 is here and on sale for the first time ever today ready to purchase!!
 Just 30 minutes 6 days a week and I have tried it and it is over before you know it!!
I love Tony and his one liners! And this DVD set has 16 new amazing workouts and a meal plan to go with it! Now I did P90X and in 90 days I was able to lose 30 pounds with the help of shakeology and the motivation I got from my Challenge Group.
The Secret Sauce!! Is a Coach!! Do you have a Coach?
Beachbody has found that you can buy a product from a store and take it home and never finish it!
So what they do instead is have coaches that work with people to find the best product for them to get results!! Even better as a Coach I run Challenge Groups and they are closed Facebook groups for accountability and support, meal ideas, motivation, and weekly mindset videos all from the comfort of your home on your smart phone or PC !!
Crazy as it may sound I have had success in a challenge group and I have been able to help others do the same!! Finish the workout, lose weight and feel amazing and healthy!
  
Are you ready to join me in my test group and do my P90X3 CHALLENGE??
 
 
www.Sarastakeley.com, Tony Horton Bobble Head
Tony Horton Bobble Head
 You can score your very own P90X3 TODAY!! December 10th.  P90X3 will be released on my site in which you have a couple of options.  There will be an introductory price of $180 vs $205 for the Challenge Pack which includes the 90 day workout, the nutrition guide, program manual, schedule of workouts, shakeology, free 30 day trial of the club membership, free shipping and a discounted price when you get the package.
 
http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/BCPX3205?referringRepId=253733
P90X3 Challenge Pack
 
You will save $88.00 when you order the Challenge pack in December with the special and have a quick and easy healthy meal everyday to help you have success!! 
 
Click here to purchase: P90X3 Challenge Pack 
(let me know when you order so I can add you to the closed private group)
 
The P90X3 Challenge Pack comes with free swag!!
A P90X3 Hat!!
 
www.saraestakeley.blogspot.com
Free P90X3 Hat with purchase
 
 Or your second option is to purchase the program alone.  That is $119.00, and the equipment needed are weights, bands and an optional pull up bar but you can use a band with an over the door attachment if you don't have one!  I did my whole first round of P90X with the bands and got amazing results.
http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/X3Base?referringRepId=253733
P90X3 Workout
Click here to purchase: P90X workout  
So I have decided to do an Exclusive P90X3 test group!  
I am only accepting a select number of individuals who purchase a Challenge pack and  would like to get my support, motivation and accountability to start and finish this program.  The point is to get in the best shape of your life in 90 days!!!  I will walk you through every single step of the program using the nutrition guide, the workouts and the 24/7 support of me as your coach in a private closed group.  I will teach you how to meal plan, prep, and set yourself up for success!  This group will begin on December 30th, 2013 and will run for 90 days.  Just in time for your new years resolution!!!  Start the new year in the very best shape of your life.
Registration closes on December 23rd 2013.


 


Monday, December 9, 2013

Signature Holiday Cocktails and Party Punch!!

Holiday party 's are best when served with a signature party drink!! Here are some of my favorites from my bar tending days! I love to mix up a punch for a larger party or some fun drinks if just having a few friends. Now cocktails can be packed full of calories so I tried to lighten them up a bit and not kill the holiday "spirit"!!

Simple syrup is a mix of white sugar and water so I was thinking I sweeten my tea with honey why not use it in my drinks!!

Say hello to honey simple syrup!!


Honey Simple Syrup

Holidays, drinks, clean, eat clean, new years, Christmas, Parties, entertainment, cocktails, punches, ice ring, Sara Stakeley, Honey simple syrup, festive, gatherings,
Honey Simple Syrup
 Ingredients
  • ¼ cup honey (Raw is best)
  • ¼ cup filtered water
Instructions
  1. Place both honey and water into a medium saucepan.
  2. Heat over medium, stirring or swirling just until the honey dissolves.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Store in an airtight container in fridge.
Notes
This can easily be cut in half, or doubled. Or tripled. (You get the picture.)

Chic Holiday Cocktail Favorites 

Holidays, drinks, clean, eat clean, new years, Christmas, Parties, entertainment, cocktails, punches, ice ring, Sara Stakeley, Honey simple syrup, festive, gatherings,
Gingerbread Apple Cocktail
2 oz. Domaine de Canton or ginger-flavored liqueur
1 oz. vanilla vodka
2.5 oz. apple cider
A few drops of lemon juice
Orange zest
honey simple syrup







Line a chilled martini glass lightly with honey simple syrup on a dish followed by spiced graham cracker crumbs. Place all ingredients except for orange zest in a shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into glass. Freshly grate orange zest on drink and serve immediately.


Holidays, drinks, clean, eat clean, new years, Christmas, Parties, entertainment, cocktails, punches, ice ring, Sara Stakeley, Honey simple syrup, festive, gatherings, Basil Mojito
Both ancient Egyptians and ancient Greeks believed basil could open the gates of heaven. The good news is we don't have to wait until our souls leave our bodies to enjoy basil's sensitive warmth and subtle sweetness.

4 parts  Vodka
3 parts fresh lime juice
3 fresh basil sprigs
4 tsp. honey simple syrup
Soda water

Muddle the basil and honey syrup  in a highball glass. Fill with ice, add vodka and lime juice, and stir. Finish with a dash of soda and garnish with a sprig of basil.

Holidays, drinks, clean, eat clean, new years, Christmas, Parties, entertainment, cocktails, punches, ice ring, Sara Stakeley, Honey simple syrup, festive, gatherings,




French Martini
1.5 oz vodka
1/2 oz Chambord
2 oz. Organic Pure pineapple juice

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge or a leaf from the pineapple for a sleek modern look.

 


Holidays, drinks, clean, eat clean, new years, Christmas, Parties, entertainment, cocktails, punches, ice ring, Sara Stakeley, Honey simple syrup, festive, gatherings,


Winter Mojito
8-10 mint leaves
6-8 cranberries
1/4 oz. fresh lime juice
1 1/2 oz. honey simple syrup
1 3/4 oz. 10 Cane Rum (No Bacardi!! Cane rum is better)

Mix ingredients in a cocktails shaker with ice and shake vigorously. The cranberries will deliver the reddish color as they break open during the shaking. Strain the contents into a tall highball glass that contains fresh ice. Add a few whole cranberries. Garnish with a mint sprig.


Holidays, drinks, clean, eat clean, new years, Christmas, Parties, entertainment, cocktails, punches, ice ring, Sara Stakeley, Honey simple syrup, festive, gatherings,
Holiday Cocktail

Cranberry Spice
1 oz. Domaine de Canton or ginger-flavored liqueur
1/2 oz. Cabernet Sauvignon
1/2 oz. Chambord
2 oz. cranberry juice

Shake well with ice. Use 3 cranberries for garnish


Holidays, drinks, clean, eat clean, new years, Christmas, Parties, entertainment, cocktails, punches, ice ring, Sara Stakeley, Honey simple syrup, festive, gatherings,
Clean Flirtini



The Flirtini
1 1/2 oz. Grey Goose L'Orange
1 oz. organic Pure pineapple juice
Splash of Champagne

Serve in a martini glass. Once poured, finish with Champagne. 










Holidays, drinks, clean, eat clean, new years, Christmas, Parties, entertainment, cocktails, punches, ice ring, Sara Stakeley, Honey simple syrup, festive, gatherings,
Holiday Party Punch
Yuletide Punch
750 ml Vodka
4 cups Chi tea (sweetened according to taste with honey)
4 cups clear apple juice (100% juice)
2 whole orange cut in slices
2 whole red apples cut in slices
1-2 tsp. orange bitters (optional)

16 servings




For a Christmas Brunch

Holidays, drinks, clean, eat clean, new years, Christmas, Parties, entertainment, cocktails, punches, ice ring, Sara Stakeley, Honey simple syrup, festive, gatherings,
Poinsettia

Poinsettia
Half Champagne half Cranberry Juice

Holidays, drinks, clean, eat clean, new years, Christmas, Parties, entertainment, cocktails, punches, ice ring, Sara Stakeley, Honey simple syrup, festive, gatherings,
Holiday Brunch Martini

Bloody Martini This cocktail is perfect for a holiday brunch!

1.5 oz. Belvedere Cytrus
Dash honey simple syrup
Dash lemon juice
Dash Tabasco
6 cherry tomatoes

In a shaker glass, muddle tomatoes with the lemon juice and simple syrup. Add rest of ingredients and shake with cubed ice. Fine strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a cherry tomato speared with a basil leaf.


New Years Eve
 
Holidays, drinks, clean, eat clean, new years, Christmas, Parties, entertainment, cocktails, punches, ice ring, Sara Stakeley, Honey simple syrup, festive, gatherings,
Pretty Cocktail

 Tinsel Bellini  
2 oz. HPNOTIQ
1 oz. limoncello
1 oz. Champagne
Splash of lime juice

Rim the Champagne flute with a light coat of sugar. Pour chilled HPNOTIQ, limoncello, and Champagne into the champagne flute. Add a splash of lime juice.


Holidays, drinks, clean, eat clean, new years, Christmas, Parties, entertainment, cocktails, punches, ice ring, Sara Stakeley, Honey simple syrup, festive, gatherings,
Party Punch

Royal Pomme Punch
1/4 bottle Dubonnet Rouge
12 oz. apple brandy (such as Laird's Bonded or Calvados)
24 dashes of  bitters
3 oz. fresh-squeezed orange juice
12 oz. Champagne

 
Add Dubonnet, apple brandy, orange juice, and bitters to a pitcher filled with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled punch bowl. Garnish with a block of ice. Top with champagne and serve
 

Holidays, drinks, clean, eat clean, new years, Christmas, Parties, entertainment, cocktails, punches, ice ring, Sara Stakeley, Honey simple syrup, festive, gatherings,
Champagne Toast

Ruby Sipper
This modern beverage lends itself perfectly to being the signature cocktail at a holiday gathering or to putting a spin on the traditional New Year's toast.
1 1/4 oz. citrus vodka
3/4 oz. peach liqueur
2 oz. white cranberry juice (100% juice)
1 1/2 oz. Barefoot Bubbly Premium Extra Dry Champagne
Pomegranate seeds

Place spoonful of pomegranate seeds in a chilled martini glass. In a cocktail shaker, combine the vodka, peach liqueur, and white cranberry juice with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into chilled martini glass. Top with Barefoot Bubbly and serve.

Holidays, drinks, clean, eat clean, new years, Christmas, Parties, entertainment, cocktails, punches, ice ring, Sara Stakeley, Honey simple syrup, festive, gatherings,
New Years toast
 Chambord & Champagne
2 1/2 oz. Chambord
Champagne
Raspberries, for garnish

Add Chambord to bottom of flute glass and top with champagne. Drop in a raspberry for garnish. Quick and easy but glamorous all the same.


To make a punch really party pretty make a ice ring!! It is super easy to do and creates a big WOW for your guests plus it keeps your drinks cool for the party!!

Holidays, drinks, clean, eat clean, new years, Christmas, Parties, entertainment, cocktails, punches, ice ring, Sara Stakeley, Honey simple syrup, festive, gatherings,
Holiday Ice Ring


Ingredients:
1 large freezer-safe Bundt® pan or ring mold
1 12-oz. bag of Ocean Spray® Fresh Cranberries
Fresh mint leaves, if desired
Water *

 
Directions:
Rinse cranberries in cold water. Drain.

Fill pan 1/2 inch to 1 inch deep with water. Place on even surface in freezer and freeze until solid. Remove pan from freezer. Add an additional 1/4 inch water over the ice surface. Arrange cranberries and mint leaves in desired pattern then return pan to freezer. Once set, add an additional 1/2 inch to 1 inch of water and freeze until solid.

Note: Cranberries float, so if you add all the water at once, the cranberries will float to the surface. When you unmold the frozen ring, the decoration will be on the bottom of the ring.

To unmold, run briefly under warm water to loosen.

* Note: Ice ring can also be made with pre made Drink of punch instead of water so it doesn't lose its flavor!!
 
Happy Holidays!! Enjoy!!
Enjoy fun Holiday Drinks
 
 
 
Remember the key is to plan out your drinks,  for every cocktail have a glass of water.
Everything in moderation!!
For more tips or help with your Holiday Clean party message me s_bucuren@hotmail.com
Happy Holidays!! Enjoy!!
 
Sara Stakeley