Low Carb Diet Underway

OK, OK. Let me start this post off by saying this: I’m a bit of a hypocrite.

I’ve been very good about not stressing my weight for several weeks, and just eating well (for the most part) and exercising, trying not to pay attention to the scale but focusing on how my body feels instead.

Well, after a weekend of binging on junk food and drinking copious amounts of Tequila, the scale was NOT my friend this morning.

And, coincidentally, I’m just 12 days away from my 31st birthday/.

Yeah, so, about that “peace with my body thing” …it’s crunch time.

My husband and I agreed to hold one another accountable to a low carb, moderate-to-high fat diet between now and Friday, July 10th to see if we can undo some of the damage (aka, spare tire chub) caused as a result of our weekend-drinking for the past few months.

We grilled a bunch of lean meats (chicken breasts, turkey burgers, etc) to get us through the work week, and stocked up on spinach, kale, and broccoli to make our meals as healthy as possible.



Between now and July 10th, we’re aiming to eat under 25g carbs per day (easier said than done, by the way — EVERYTHING has carbs!) and stick to 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day.

My lunch pal at work has 4 cups of broccoli, 3 chicken breasts, spicy deli mustard, and 2 cups of spinach.

For breakfast, I actually made my go-to egg muffins, which are just egg whites, whole eggs, turkey bacon, and broccoli mixed together and baked in a muffin pan:


Just five minutes of prep and then 15 minutes in the oven to get a dozen of these little beauties, which are roughly 70 calories each and taste amazing!

My hope is to go from today’s weight (133.2 – yipes) back down to 127-128 in time for my birthday on July 11th.

Now, before you go saying, “Heyyyyy, you can’t safely lose that much weight in 10 days,” please know that I’m expecting to lose 2-3 lbs in the next two days purely from water weight.

My husband and I had a lot of salty and decadent foods this weekend, and it’s pretty normal for me to drop 1-3 lbs between Monday and Wednesday just from the shedding of the salts from my system. So, realistically, I’m aiming to lose about 2-3 lbs in the next 10 days, which is doable with moderate exercise and a clean diet.

I’m not going to go to any extremes; my goal is just to tighten up a bit between now and then to ensure I can enjoy my weekend on the beach, which has become a birthday tradition.

Wish me luck!

~ Tori


Paleo Stuffed Peppers!

OK… everyone has been raging about stuffed peppers in my office this week. For three days in a row, it’s all anyone can talk about.

“Ohhhh, my wife made these ground andouille sausage and quinoa stuffed peppers last night and they were amazing!”

“I saw a recipe on Pinterest for these brown rice and ground pork cheesy stuffed peppers I can’t wait to try!”

“Have I said stuffed peppers yet today? Stuffed peppers! Stuffed peppers! STUFFFFFFED PEPPPPPERS!!”

OK. I get it, Paleo gods, I get it. I need to make some Paleo-friendly stuffed peppers.

However, I work full-time and hate the thought of coming home at 6pm to clean, prep, and bake stuffed peppers for an hour …because, damn it, I’m starving when I get home from work. I want to CHOW DOWN!

So… it’s crockpot time. Time for the magic.


  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 2 bunches of pearl onions
  • 8 large bell peppers
  • 1 cup raw button mushrooms
  • 2 cups of Trader Joe’s organic marinara
  • 1 cup red wine (of your choice)
  • 6 tbsp ground garlic
  • 6 tbsp ground chili powder
  • 4 tbsp dried onion flakes (if you haven’t noticed, I add these to everything I cook)
  • Non-stick Coconut Oil spray (I prefer Trader Joe’s)


In your crockpot, spray a thin layer of coconut oil to prevent searing/sticking. Clean your bell peppers, chopping the tops off and removing the seeds/insides. Place the bell peppers into the crockpot.


Now, in a large pan (I used a wok), spray your coconut spray (to prevent sticking) and put it on medium-high heat. Gentle saute your mushrooms (I chopped mine small), pearl onions, pepper caps (why waste them? dice ’em and add it in!) until they were nice and soft. Once tender, I added the raw ground turkey and seasoning.


After the turkey was cooked through, I added 1 cup of the marinara, mixing well.


While that cooked down, I mixed the remaining cup of marinara and the wine and poured it IN BETWEEN the peppers in the crockpot. The hope is that the fluid would help to poach the bell peppers, making them soft and sweet.

Once the meat mixture cooked down, I used a big spoon and (quite clumsily) stuffed the peppers in the crockpot.


Don’t those look AMAZING? Who needs grains? Not this girl!

Since the meat is cooked and I won’t be home until after 8pm tonight, I set the crockpot to LOW and to cook for three hours, then reset to “warm” so it would still be steamy warm when I get home.

Now, since my husband isn’t devout Paleo, I sprinkled a little low fat mozzarella and Parmesan on four of these to make them extra tasty for him, and I plan to enjoy mine with some freshly mashed avocado.

Needless to say, I can’t wait for my work day to end so I can go inhale these!

Bon appetit, my friends, and I’ll let you know how they turned out tomorrow!

~ Tori

Delicious Paleo Chicken Crockpot Recipe

In a hurry to get to the gym last night, I tossed a bunch of random ingredients into the crockpot and prayed for a miracle. My husband had class (we’re both in grad school), and I wanted something filling, healthy, and effortless, but really didn’t have time to prep anything, so I gathered the following ingredients and crossed my fingers:


  • 2 lbs trimmed, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 jar (16 oz) Newman’s Own Organic Garlic Salsa
  • 1 jar (16 oz) water (use the salsa jar!)
  • 1 bunch (approx 1 oz) of fresh basil
  • 8 tbsp chili powder
  • 6 tbsp dried onion flakes
  • 4 stalks of chives, chopped
  • 1 bag mixed chopped peppers (Publix and Trader Joe’s both have great mixed bags)
  • 1 bag (12 oz) frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 bag raw carrot slices

I literally tossed all of these ingredients into my crockpot (which I sprayed with Coconut Oil non-stick spray from Trader Joe’s first) and stirred well to cover, set the heat to HIGH, and then took off.

I was at the gym a little more than 2.5 hours, stopped at Target on the way home, and eventually returned to the house three hours later to find the house smelled like MEXICAN HEAVEN!

Seriously, it smelled SO good. I was so excited by how it smelled, I didn’t even take a picture. I stirred the contents (holy cow, it looked good) and the chicken completely fell apart. It looked like pulled chicken, only spicy and fragrant like a good set of fajitas.

With perfect timing, my husband arrived from school right as I steamed a spaghetti squash (in the microwave, it takes roughly 7 minutes to steam a halved squash with salt and pepper) and diced up a fresh, ripe avocado.

I served the pulled Mexican chicken over the spaghetti squash (right out of the squash-skin, since it makes an organic, biodegradable bowl!) and topped it off with the avocado and a little more salsa.

Since my husband doesn’t follow a paleo diet, he also added some low-fat sour cream (which some Paleo dieters agree dairy is fine in moderation) and his favorite hot sauce, and we both inhaled our dishes like the ravenous cavemen (and cavewomen!) we are.

The prep time on this dish was honestly less than 5-8 minutes, and you could easily swap out pork, steak, or fish instead of the chicken with equally delicious results. The crockpot is always my go-to on busy days, so if you don’t have one at home …what are you waiting for?!

On that note… I can’t wait for my leftovers today for lunch. Bon appetit, my friends!!

~ Tori

Quick and Easy Avocado Dip!

In an effort to keep my eating clean this week, I sliced up a bunch of fresh veggies to take as snacks while at work. Since munching on veggies alone can get a bit boring, I decided to whip up the following dip (totally made up on the fly) to make my meals a little more exciting.

Check this out:

  • Two whole avocados, peeled and cut into cubes.
  • One 5.3 oz container of fat free, plain Greek Yogurt.
  • Two stalks of fresh green onions, minced small.
  • One jalapeno, diced small.
  • Two tbsp of garlic powder.
  • One tbsp of chili powder.
  • One tbsp diced cilantro.
  • The juice of 1/2 a lime.


I literally blended this in a food processor for less than 30 seconds and, VOILA! A slightly lower fat version of our favorite guacamole! The Greek yogurt adds a protein punch and the chili powder and jalapeno give it a little spice!


I might try to make a bigger batch of this next time (if you keep the pit inside the Tupperware, it can hold for over a week in the fridge!] and I might spice it up by blending in a little Ranch seasoning!


Six Minute Low-Calorie, Low-Carb Pasta!



After a LOOOOONG day (work and school), I didn’t get home last night until 10pm. I was hungry, cranky, and ready to completely blow my diet on some junk food – just because I knew it would be fast.

Fighting the temptation of scarfing down a few Cadbury Creme Eggs, I decided to throw together a “pasta” dish (you’ll understand the quotation marks in a second) before I succumbed to diet temptation.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I’m a huge fan of Miracle Noodles. 

Made of yam flour (non-digestible), they have ZERO CALORIES, ZERO CARBS, and ZERO GUILT. They’re a bit expensive, so I visit my local Asian Market and buy the non-branded version, also known as “Yam Shirataki.”

These noodles, which have the consistency of an al dente rice noodle, pick up the flavor of anything you cook them in. Since they’re pure fiber and don’t digest, you feel VERY full after eating them – which definitely helps with overall calorie consumption. I’ve played around with recipes in the past and decided to just wing it last night and see what I came up with. Surprisingly, I concocted a delicious, simple, low-calorie dish that helped me avoid the chocolate cravings on a Monday night!

Ingredients (approximately FOUR servings):

  • Two 12 oz bags of Shirataki noodles, drained
  • One bag of Steamfresh Garlic Sweet Peas with Mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup of red sauce of your choosing (I happen to love Newman’s Own Roasted Garlic tomato sauce)
  • 2 tbsp of fat free cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp of fresh basil (or basil paste, as I use)
  • 1 tbsp of dried onions

Super Simple Cooking Instructions:

Empty contents of Shirataki noodles into a colander to drain, then rinse with HOT water for about 30 seconds. I cut them up (the noodles are VERY long) into smaller, easier to manage pieces. Place in a deep sauce pan and cook on HIGH – you need to do this to cook off the excess water and get the desired al dente texture.

While the noodles pan-fry, toss the Steamfresh veggies into the microwave and cook accordingly to package directions. I believe it’s about 5 minutes.

While the peas are cooking, toss your seasonings (garlic powder, basil, onions, etc) into the pan with the noodles and stir vigorously. You should see a lot of excess moisture at the bottom of the pan; the steam is probably intense right about now, so enjoy the facial.

Once the water volume has almost fully cooked off (about 3-4 minutes at the HIGH setting), add your red sauce and cream cheese. It’ll mix with the remaining water, thus fully coating the noodles in a thin, but rich, sauce. Add the Steamfresh veggies to the pan (even if they have a few seconds left in the microwave, you’re fine to pull them out now) and stir into the noodles. The garlic sauce from the vegetables will add to the flavor of the pasta (even more!) and you will notice you don’t need to add any salt to get a lot of flavor out of this dish.


Seriously, less than six minutes and you have a FULL meal! I didn’t add any protein to it (I’d had a LOT of meat throughout the day), but you can easily add some leftover cooked chicken breast or leftover burger patty to this for a protein punch with no additional cooking time. I almost always have leftover chopped chicken breast in the fridge (I cook about a dozen breasts at a time to guarantee leftovers, actually), so it wouldn’t have been any effort to add some in. At 10pm at night, though, I didn’t want to add any more weight to my dinner than necessary.

This is NOT a Paleo recipe (Paleo would’ve frowned against the cream cheese and peas) but it made my belly happy, was low calorie, and wasn’t the bowl of chocolate I originally was craving when I got home – so I call that a win.

Bon appetit, my friends, and enjoy this simple dinner recipe! 🙂


Monday Accountability Report

I had class today (as usual on Mondays), so I couldn’t make it to the gym.

Fortunately, I managed to stick to my high protein, low(er) carb diet throughout the day, staying under 1,400 calories.




The peas are a higher sugar/starchy vegetable, but they’re my favorite and I managed to NOT eat a cupcake or chocolate of any kind, which is an achievement all on its own.

Hope everyone had a great Monday!


Super Simple Paleo Breakfast Quiche

Tired of Greek yogurt every day, I decided to throw together these super simple crestless quiches for breakfast during the week.

Seriously, these took less than 5 minutes to prep and only 15 minutes to cook. They are endless customizable and store well in the fridge or freezer.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A cupcake/muffin pan
  • Cupcake liners (these are optional, but the clean-up is MUCH easier)
  • 12 whole eggs (or 6 whole, 8-10 whites whipped together)
  • Chopped turkey bacon, turkey sausage, or meat of your choice.
  • Assorted chopped veggies (onions, peppers, tomatoes, etc)
  • 1/2 cup low fat cheese (or, if you’re strict Paleo and don’t use dairy, Daiya-brand cheese alternative works!)


  • Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  • While it heats, put the cupcake liners into your cupcake pan.
  • At the bottom of the liner, add in crumbled turkey bacon or a few (small) pieces of turkey sausage. I used Jennie-O Turkey Sausage links and could only fit about 1/2 of a link into each tin.
  • If you’re mixing in veggies, make sure they are THAWED or cooked. These cook too quickly to use anything frozen. I’d recommend no more than 1 tbsp of chopped veggies unless you’re using a BIG muffin tray.
  • If you’re using WHOLE eggs, crack a single egg into each cupcake liner. If you’re using the egg white/whole egg blend, fill the tin to 3/4 full.
  • Salt & pepper to taste (I also added a 1/2 tsp of onion flakes, as well, because that’s my thing).
  • Right before you toss in the oven, sprinkle on a tiny bit of cheese/cheese alternative. I didn’t even use the full 1/2 cup I had set aside, but you can be as generous as you’d like.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes. I checked mine a few times, as I was trying to keep my yolk soft and my whites cooked, but you can cook it a little longer (up to 16 minutes) without the egg becoming rubbery. Don’t OVERCOOK them if you plan to store them, as reheating them in the microwave could make them tough if they are already well-done.


Here’s what my finished product looked like:


Using whole eggs and a 1/2 turkey sausage link in each, my crustless quiches were roughly 95 calories each. Not bad! I had two for breakfast this morning and plan to enjoy them over the weekend, as well. I’ll freeze the extras for future enjoyment or a quick and easy snack.

These are great for Paleo dieters, low-carb friends, or anyone that needs a quick, protein-filled breakfast in a hurry.

Bon appetit, my friends!


The Atkins Diet

Sometime in high school, I was introduced to the concept of the Atkins diet. At the time, I was close to 190 pounds and hanging out with the boys on the weightlifting team. My diet was similar to the boys, as well. I’m pretty sure I was consuming close to 5,000 calories a day, plus or minus 1,500. I didn’t count calories so much back then, as I felt I had found a community among my fellow over-eaters.

In science class, I overheard one of the popular girls chatting with a classmate about a new diet. It consisted of eating copious amounts of cheese, beef jerky, sausages, and other mouth-watering items. In fact, I’m quite certain I was drooling on my binder in the row behind them. I had never heard of a diet that allowed you to eat horrifically fatty foods and still lose weight. Had I overheard a discussion on diet Utopia? This couldn’t be true.

When I got home from school, I turned on my computer and signed on to AOL, the cacophonous dial-up a harmonious backdrop to my inhalation of potato chips. I’m dating myself with this one, I’m sure.

I typed into the search engine something along the lines of “cheese and meat diet” and the Internetz poured out information on the hallowed Atkins diet. It existed!

After approximately twelve minutes of intensive research, I declared myself an expert on the subject and a renowned nutritionist. I realized it was time to stage an intervention on the refrigerator, which was packed with unhealthy foods, such as fresh apples, green grapes, whole grain bread, and other vile atrocities of good nutrition. Was my mother trying to kill me? Gah!

I threw away everything that so much as resembled a fruit, a grain, or a starchy vegetable, debating whether or not a call to the DCF was too extreme in this particular case of child abuse. After deciding to let it slide this one time, I pulled some money out of my hidden stash and grabbed my book bag, intent on restocking the fridge.

I biked the two miles to Winn Dixie, the only grocery store in our suburb, and proudly grabbed a cart, prepared to save my family from the path of obesity.

[I should probably interject at this point to note that both my mother and father are thin, healthy, normal people who eat well, exercise, and probably have NO IDEA where my weight obsession came from.]

I stocked up on packages of turkey bacon, ground beef, cheese, sour cream, and gallons of heavy cream. Did you know you can eat whipped cream right from the can as long as you choose the sugar-free kind? This was going to be the best diet of my life. I was going to get skinny AND eat double cheeseburgers? HOORAH!

I returned home with my loot, much to the shock and dismay of my parents. Unfortunately, I was at an age where they couldn’t really regulate or control my diet, as I was old enough to make my own food choices and dumb enough to think I was capable of making these decisions.

I won’t go into too many details about the Atkins diet, but let’s just say its affects on the GI track are less than attractive. In fact, in less than two weeks of a strict diet of melted cheese on top of fried meat and I was in the doctor’s office. I didn’t lose weight, but I definitely learned that moderation is key when it comes to fried, cheese-encrusted anything.

While I do feel a diet low in white, refined sugars is likely a good thing, an extreme low-carb diet, such as Atkins, can be a bit too much for any rational human being. Or at least this one.

Fruits & veggies are a good thing, especially for your intestines,