Chocolate Cappuccino Smoothie

My good friend Chevette tipped me off to this recipe (thanks Chevette!).  I’m not a coffee drinker AT ALL but this smoothie is delicious with just a hint of coffee flavor.  I enjoyed mine in a coffee cup

1/2 can organic coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoons organic cocoa powder
2 packets Stevia (or adjust to your taste)
3-5 organic coffee beans (if you have a powerful blender like a Vita-mix, you can just throw them in…otherwise grind with a coffee grinder or small spice grinder)
1/2 cup ice

OPTIONAL:  for an extra healthy boost, you can add greens powder, fresh greens, or cabbage

Blend everything up until frothy and the coffee beans and ice are incorporated.


PS – People always ask me if coffee is OK…my answer is that coffee, in moderation, is OK.  However, everyone’s definition of moderation is different.  1 cup of coffee a day would be moderate.  Obviously, organic is better than regular and stay away from decaffinated (dangerous processing) and instant coffee.

The only caveat to that is that we never want to see anyone “addicted” or “slave to” any food or substance.  You never want to have to rely on something like caffeine to get started in the morning.  If you feel like you HAVE to have your coffee in order to make it through the day, that is more of an addiction and should be overcome.


Fresh Green Beans from the Garden

My son and I went out to the garden yesterday and hunted through the tangled bean vines and came in with a whole pot full.  There is nothing more satisfying than eating food that was grown in your own back yard.  My husband graciously build up a fenced in garden area so that the monstrous rabbits that co-habitate with us can’t eat everything.  My mother in law runs the planting operation, and my kids and I are on picking duty.  Even if you just grow 1 tomato plant, it is worth it!

I steamed these beans and put some salt and butter just before serving.  Delicious!

Kale Chips- Unbelievably Yummy!

I’m not sure I would have ever believed that Kale chips would be a good replacement for potato chips but these things are awesome.  The trick is to use a dehydrator to get the crispy texture.  I made these as samples at our Total Food Makeover last Saturday and I had so many comments about how good they were.  Here you see my kids “massaging” the kale to get it prepared for the dehydrator.

Dehydrated Kale Chips

2-3 bunches of fresh kale (lacinato/tuscan or curly)

1/4-1/2 cup olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Sea Salt to taste

Any other spices you would like:  garlic powder, chili powder, red pepper, etc.

#1 – Prepare the kale – I prefer to leave most of the stems in but if you are preparing for kids or skeptics, you may want to cut out the hard stems.  Chop into bite sized pieces and put in a big bowl.

#2 – Add the rest of the ingredients and here’s the trick:  massage the kale to incorporate all of the flavors and to soften the texture.  It should be about 1/2 the size of where you started.

#3 – Spread on the sheets of a dehydrator.  (I use an Excalibur that I bought refurbished for about $150- it has 9 dehydrating shelves).  Set dehydrator for 115 degrees – this keeps all of the enzymes in tact meaning it is still considered a raw food.  The dehydration process takes about 8 hours.  I usually put it in before bed and it is ready to go first thing in the morning.

ALTERNATE METHOD:  You can bake them in a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes but you lose the raw status and they are definitely not as crispy.

Another week of Advanced Plan meals

We are over the halfway mark with our Lighten Up Weight Loss Challenge group.  I am LOVING hearing about all of the weight loss and how people are spending more and more time in their kitchen, experimenting with recipes, and realizing that healthy food can actually taste great!  After this post, I will be posting some recipes that accompany some of the meals.  So be on the lookout and give them a try.  Some of them have come from Lighten Up participants! 

  Breakfast Lunch Dinner Snack
Monday K- Greens Smoothie K- Salmon salad K- Cabbage sauteed with chopped turkey bacon , pickles and dijon mustard K- Chocolate Bark
  F- Mixed Berry Smoothie & Almond Power Bar F- Bison burger, asparagus, 1/2 avocado F- leftovers F- pistachios, coconut flakes
Tuesday K-Chocolate Blueberry Smoothie K- Maggiano’s salad with olive oil and vinegar K- Chicken Artichoke Crock Pot (see recipe!) K- almonds and walnuts
  F- same F- Maggianos roasted half chicken and green beans F- Rotisserie Chicken and broccoli F- celery with peanut butter
Wednesday K- scrambled eggs with fresh strawberries K- Bison burger, asparagus, avocado K- Leftover chicken artichoke dish K- Chocolate Cupcake (see recipe!)
  F- same F- same F – same F- same
Thursday K – smoothie with flax and greens powder K- Salad and minestrone soup (without pasta) K- spinach meatballs (see recipe) & broccoli/squash K- red peppers with guacamole
  F- scrambled eggs and fresh strawberries F – Spinach Salad & bowl of chicken soup F- same  
Friday K- Chocolate- Mint smoothie K- Stir fried veggies with salsa and guacamole K- Carribean Chicken and broccoli K- chocolate cupcake
  F- Spinach Omlette F- Mexican chicken salad F- same F- pistachios
At a wrestling tournament for 2 days straight- had to pack EVERYTHING!
Saturday K- berry smoothie K- Grilled chicken salad w/ avocado  K- veggie fajitas w/ guacamole K- nutty trail mix (see recipe!)
  F- same F- same F – Chicken salad and bowl of chicken soup F- same
Sunday K- chocolate cupcake & fresh raspberries K – trail mix & granny smith apple K- bison burger, asparagus, 1/2 avocado K- almond power bar
  F- same F- Same F- same F- almond power bar

Another week of Advanced Plan Meals

Here are our meals for the week.  We have received a lot of feedback that they are very helpful for people new to the Maximized Living Advanced Nutrition Plan.  These are not just ideas…this is EXACTLY what we ate all week.  You should notice that the meals are easy to pull off- no exotic ingredients or difficult recipes.  Anyone can do this!

You will also notice that we were out of town on Thursday through Sunday of this week.  Many people think that this nutrition plan is not possible when travelling but you will see that it can be done.  I did whip up a couple of snack items to take with us but other than that, everything else was purchased at restaurants.   Alas, it can be done! 

Week ending 2/1/10      
  Breakfast Lunch Dinner Snack
Monday K- Ground Flax Seeds & Almonds w/ Cinnamon, Mint Flakes, & Stevia w/ Coconut Milk K- Hummus w/ Celery, turkey/cheese roll up, Kombucha K-Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Bibb lettuce, brococli K-Celery w/ almond butter, Chocolate Bark
  F- Spinach w/ Egg Whites F- Chicken & Broccoli F- same F- same
Tuesday K-Turkey bacon w/ Fried Egg K-Ted’s –  Bison burger, Asparagus, Side Salad K- Mixed Green Salad  
  F- same F- Ted’s Bison Burger, avocado, egg white, double asparagus  F- Leftover Taco Salad  
Wednesday K- Omlette Muffin – recipe to come, green tea K- Salad with hummus & roasted veggies K-Turkey/Cheese roll ups, iced tea K- Apple Flax Muffin (recipe in book)
  F- same F- Chicken w/ broccoli & asparagus F –   
We were out of town Thurs – Sunday        
Thursday K- 2 Omelette muffins, Flax seed muffin K- Roasted eggplant salad w/ grilled chicken K- Sea Bass w/ Mushrooms & Asparagus K- pumpkin seeds
  F- sane F – Bowl of soup & salad F – 8oz filet, asparagus, garden salad F – almond power bar, chocolate bark
Friday K- Veggie Omelette, tea K- Greek Salad w/ roasted eggplant, olives, roasted peppers, greens, oil/vinegar K- Bison Chili, Smoked Salmon stuffed avocado K- almond power bar, chocolate bark
  F- Spinach Omlette F- Salad & 2 small chicken breasts F- 6 oz filet, asparagus F- pistachios
Saturday K- egg whites w/ grilled squash/zucchini K- Grilled chicken salad w/ avocado  K- Greens w/ Roasted Vegetables , Roasted Cauliflower K- pistachios & pumpkin seeds
  F- Egg whites w/ grilled zucchini F- Greek salad F – Chicken salad, chicken wings (not breaded & fried) F – coconut flakes, pistachios
Sunday K- Mixed berry smoothie K- Chicken w/ lemon and oregano, steamed veggies, sm. Salad K- Mexican chicken soup, grilled veggies K- chocolate bark
  F- same F- Same F – Mexican grilled chicken salad – salad w/ avocado, black olives, cabbage, salsa F- raw cashews

Weekly Meals

As part of our Lighten Up Weight Loss challenge, my husband and I promised to post what we eat daily.   Most of the people in the challenge are going with the Advanced Plan so that is what we are following so everything listed is approved fare.  Hopefully this will help people get additional meal ideas and to see how easy it is to apply to a busy life.    (F=Fred and K=Kim)

Wednesday Day 1 of the Weight Loss Challenge


F- 3 egg whites

K- Onions/spinach w/ fried eggs (I sauté the veggies and crack the eggs right in the pan with them.  I usually break the yolk but you can leave them sunny side up.


F- Chicken over spinach salad with olives

K- Salmon with pesto cauliflower (I put it right in my vitamix and it comes out the consistency of risotto then add pesto sauce and salt)


F&K- Grilled chicken with asparagus


F-AM -Coconut Flakes, PM- Almonds

K-PM- Celery w/ Almond Butter



F & K- Chocolate & Blueberry smoothie made with frozen blueberries, cocoa powder, chocolate NaturePro (available at the office soon or order from, and coconut milk


F & K – bowl of coconut soup and plate of stir fried vegetables w/ tamari


F&K Grass fed steak with sautéed zucchini and green salad w/ olive & vinegar


F- 2 hard boiled eggs

K- handful of almonds & walnuts



F&K- Blueberry chocolate smoothie


F&K – grass fed steak fajitas w/ avocado – grassfed flank steak (purchased from  Marinated in apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, spike seasoning overnight.  Cooked on cast iron grill pan.  Sauteed sliced red bell pepper, onion, and celery in butter in a cast iron pan, added spinach at the last minute.


F&K- Grilled Chicken Salad – organic chicken put between parchment and pounded to about ½” thickness.  Seasoned with organic seasoning mix, salt, and black pepper.  Grilled on cast iron grill pan.  Salad- red leaf lettuce, black olives, ½ tomato (tomatoes in moderation), cucumber, celery, onion, hearts of palm, slivered almonds with oil & vinegar.


F – Almond Power Bar (recipe in boos), Coconut Flakes

K- green tea



F&K – Berry smoothie


F&K – at a wrestling tournament all day- packed leftover grilled chicken salad and almond power bars


You CAN still eat out during your 30 day challenge,  you just have to be very careful what you order- here is what we did…

F- La Parrilla Mexican Restaurant – Monterrey Chicken Salad with no bacon, no cheese, no tortillas, salsa for dressing.  Chicken soup with no rice.  Unsweetened iced tea with stevia

K- Monterrey Chicken Salad, no bacon, no cheese, no tortillas, added extra avocado, salsa for dressing.  Unsweet tea


F- handful almonds & cashews

K- almond power bar



F- 3 scrambled eggs

K- Scrambled eggs with onions and mushrooms


F- spinach/romaine salad w/ cucumbers, zucchini, black olives, oil&vinegar and 2 cups of chicken soup

K- romaine with cucumbers, zucchini, red onion, black olives, broccoli, celery, oil&vinegar and bowl of vegetable soup.


F & K- taco salad- grass fed ground beef (from Publix) + taco seasoning recipe from the book with shredded raw cheddar cheese (from Nature’s Corner Market), whole avocado, black olives, cucumbers, salsa for  dressing.


F&K- chocolate bark (recipe in the book), almonds