Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Win at Dinner with Stuffed Squash

Hey there party people. Who's ready for another week? This gal! That's right. Life's great. Work is great and I FINALLY launched a passion project. Even if I'm still working on a name. So what did yours truly launch? Well, I'm a certified Nutritionist and I'm coaching people how to create a healthy and balanced lifestyle! No, it's not an MLM (and I have nothing against them). I studied my little but off all summer and acquired my cert through Precision Nutrition!

So what's next you ask? I've been working one on one with clients since July and am currently running a 6-week macro challenge.  Everyone is killing it and I couldn't be happier. You can find more details and sign up to work with me here.

I LOVE showing folks how to eat the food they love while still achieving their goals. I'm a goal based nutrition coach who believes everything starts with FOOD. Sorry, but you can't out exercise a bad diet.


Personally, I eat to fuel my training. It's that simple. If I dive a little deeper I'm trying to focus on eating all the seasonal fruits and veggies like squash. While my hubby may disagree there's nothing better than stuffed squash this time of year. Last week I ate all the squash -- acorn, delicata and spaghetti squash! However, I want to talk about the Southwest Stuffed Delicata Squash I made because not only was it uber easy to make it was delicious especially if you like Mexican food or chili (hubs note).


Southwest Chili Stuffed Delicata Squash
Serves 4-8

Ingredients 

2-4 delicata squash halved lengthwise, seeds removed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 tbsp Trader Joe's chili lime powder
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
250g corn
15 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 chopped cilantro
1/2  lime
1/2 - 1 cup cheese

Directions 

Squash: Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly spray squash with the olive oil, and sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a lined baking sheet and roast for 20ish minutes, or until soft. Set aside.

Chili: Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and spices cook until fragrant.

Add the ground turkey and coat with the spice mixture. Cook until no longer pink.

Add the corn, diced tomatoes, and black beans, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low for roughly 5-10 minutes. When ready fill the delicata squash with the chili. Return stuffed squash to the oven and cook for additional 10-15 minutes. Top with cheese, cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime (if desired).

FYI, the above directions will fill 4 whole delicata squash. If you cook less expect leftover chili filling. ;)

What's your favorite squash?

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Chocolate Oatmeal Protein Bars

Hello, my name is Tiara and I'm passing on my love for food and cooking to this tiny human one baked good at a time. 

This kid loves to help in the kitchen especially when chocolate is involved. Sometimes she wants to skip the "cooking" part and go straight to the "eating" part. She's clearly a kid after my own heart.

RUGHAND MIXER

Ever  Sunday I typically spend a few hours meal planning and prepping for the week. Last weekend Emerson decided she would help me make our go-to oatmeal protein bars, among other things, with a chocolate twist. Emerson calls these figgy bars. BTW, they are made with zero figs. Either way, they're a meal prep staple!

STEP STOOL

I'm not going to lie, but making them with chocolate Kodiak Pancake Mix is like eating a healthy brownie at breakfast. I'm totally ok with that too. This is a perfect way to use up a few ripe bananas and they freeze well if you have a ton of bananas to use!


You're probably thinking there's no way you actually eat these bars. Well, my friend, I do and they are delicious with a cup of coffee. I'm all for recipes pulling double duty. These bars are an ideal grab-and-go breakfast or snack. For breakfast, I say pair it with a hard-boiled egg for a little extra protein, but enjoy as is for an afternoon snack. Next time I might add white chocolate chips, because why not!

CHOCOLATE OATMEAL PROTEIN BARS

Ingredients 
1 cup Kodiak Cakes Dark Chocolate Pancake mix 
125g ripe banana
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 medium egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups oats
1/4 cup walnuts, almond, chocolate chips or a scoop of protein powder (optional)

Directions 
Combine all ingredients, pour into a greased 8×8 baking dish. Bake at 350 until golden brown 20-30 minutes.

Do you meal prep? What are a few of your weekly staples?

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

All Things Cozy for Fall in Lake Tahoe


Happy Fall!

The temps are official lower than I like in Tahoe, but that's ok. I'm talking mid 40's for the majority of the day, eek. We're enjoying all things Fall like apple picking and leaf peeping! But with cooler weather comes more layers, cozy jackets and warm fires among other things. While I might not be a fashion blogger I know a thing or two about dressing for Lake Tahoe temps.

Here are my 5 Lake Tahoe Fall Essentials 

Vest For Layering
I love a good vest for layering over a sweater. Truth be told I have 5 vests, but really only where 3. What can I say I'm a creature of habit. You'll want a basic quilted vest, puffy and a furry number like the one I'm wearing. Vests are perfect on days that are a bit brisk in the morning, but warmer in the afternoon. It will give you the extra warmth you're looking for.  I'm currently eying this NAU Ellipsis Down Vest.

Puffy Jack
If you walk around Tahoe for more than 5 minutes you'll notice the majority of folks are wearing a puffy. Why? Well, my friend because they are super warm and easy to pack. I'll tell you right now they are also worth the investment. There are only two I recommend the Patagonia Down Sweater Full-Zip Hooded Jacket (it also comes without a hood) and The North Face ThermoBall™ Full Zip Jacket

A cute pair of Jeans
Trust me ladies leggings aren't going to cut it. Right now I'm digging Levi's 721's. That's it :)

Boots 
While I love my cozy uggs they don't really cut it when it comes to rain and snow. While Hunter boots seem to be stylish they are not going to keep your feet warm. I suggest investing in a pair of Sorel boots. I'm currently leaning towards these or these!

Mid-weight Sweater
A good sweater is perfect for layering in the morning, but still light enough for warmer afternoons. I recently purchased this Lou & Grey Sweater (FYI, I bought a small so it was a tad oversized) and this Lou & Grey Sweater is sitting in my cart. Call me crazy, but A&F has decent layering sweaters too. This A&F asymmetrical pullover was my favorite purchase last fall! I'm kind of digging this A&F Quilted Sherpa Jacket.

Oh and always pack a scarf! You never know when it might come in handy.

There you have it, folks, my key essentials for fall in Lake Tahoe!

Friday, October 5, 2018

5 Ways to Start Eating More Protein

Happy FriYAY! Anyone else planning on all things Fall this weekend? I'm kicking off the week with stuffed acorn squash for dinner! The recipe I use tastes like Thanksgiving. It's delicious if that's your jam. Anyway, I had a meeting of the minds this morning to discuss the 6-week Nutrition Challenge starting Monday and thought I would give you a sneak peek of some of the things you might learn during the challenge.


Most Americas don't eat enough protein so when someone is just starting to count/track macros/food, in general, it's usually the hardest macronutrient to hit. At least it was for me and a number of clients I've worked with. But after a few weeks, it gets easier and easier to hit number within 4/5 grams. So instead of spinning your wheels, here are some quick and easy ways to eat more protein.

5 Ways to Add more Protein to your Day

Coffee + Protein
If I'm not planning on a protein shake or smoothie I love adding a scoop of unflavored collagen peptides to my coffee. Not only are you upping your protein, but collagen also has great benefits such as flowy locks and stronger nails. It's a win-win in my book.

Add extra meat to your meal
Adding a little bit of chicken at lunch or dinner will give you the extra boost of protein you need.

Oatmeal + Protein
If you're not an egg person I suggest making protein-packed oatmeal. Just add a scoop of your favorite protein powder, a dash of nut milk and top with berries. BOOM you just had 20+ grams of protein and will likely be full till lunch :) This is also a super easy way to get in protein when traveling.

Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt + Berries
Plain Greek Yogurt is such a simple way to add extra protein. Add a few berries, maybe some powdered PB and a dash of honey and you have a "healthy" sweet treat! Those who know me well know I have this EVERY night. Sometimes with granola if I have the carbs and fats to spare.

All the Egg Whites 
Breakfast scrambles are the easiest way to increase your daily protein. Makes egg whites with all the leftover roasted veggies and ta-da you have a filling protein packed breakfast.

There you have it, folks, a few simple ways to increase your daily protein. Want to join the 6-week Nutrition Challenge?  Click HERE to get started.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

10 Rugs I'm Currently Digging

Hey, hey! Day two of sitting down and hammering out a blog post for you all! Whoop whoop! Today it's all about rugs because it has been the great debate in our household for the last few years. As in I've bought and returned various rugs and then there's the fact my husband and I can't agree on a style. He's waived the white flag. So at this point, I'm just looking for something I like and that is also kid, dog, and husband friendly.

I recently updated our kitchen runner (because the old one never really worked) and I absolutely LOVE it. It's made of recycled plastic and you would never know it. The hubby said order it in an 8x10 for the living room, but I don't think we need to be matchy, matchy.


My next goal is to order a rug for under the couch. Here's the question do I order an 8x10 or 9x12? Do I go with a neutral or jazz it up with color? There are so many decisions and ordering online makes it even harder.

BTW, we've had our mid-priced Macy's Couch for over a year and we're still extremely happy with our purchase. It's perfect for this chapter of our lives - looks decent, is in the right price range, comfy and kid, dog and hubby friendly. Do you see a theme here?


I could totally spruce it up with a few pillows and change up the art on the wall for some contrast, but  I'm not too worried about it. maybe in a few years haha because honestly, it's not a priority if I'm being brutally honest here.

10 Rugs I'm Currently Digging

1. Boho Kilim Nagar Indoor Outdoor Rug
2. Taupe Double Diamond Woven Kilim Astrid Indoor Outdoor Rug
3. Pietro Terrazzo Grey Geometric Rug
4. Thea Hand Hooked Wool Rug
5. Mixed Stripes Cotton Dhurrie - Multi
6. Meadow Rug
7. Valley Ridge Rug
8. Mid-Century Geo Wool Kilim
9. Multi Facet Rug
10. Kenya Fleece Area Washable Rug

Decisions, decisions.

Which rug would you pick? Once I pick a rug I can replace our 1970 oak coffee table!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Cooking at home and a Healthier YOU!

Hello, my name is Tiara and I make all the foods... (yes, I know that is grammatically incorrect).  Warning, tough love and a bit of rambling coming at you today :)


Growing up I loved food, but I was picky. What's funny is even as a child I gravitated towards healthier options. I mean I didn't like hot dogs, lucky charms, etc. I was the kid who picked out Special K. Where did these habits come from? Who knows? My mother reminded me that we ate "farm food," but the funny thing is no one was working on a farm... I guess old habits die hard.

Over time I've learned the most successful people in life have a plan. They might not follow it to a T, but it serves as a roadmap. The same can be said about creating a healthy life. Start with a plan and go from there.


I don't like donuts and even gave up soda, although I only drank spirit, and red meat when I was in High School. Because of sports. I had a coach tell me you are what you eat and it stuck.

In the era of quick and easy, I prefer to make 99% of my meals. Yes, I do occasionally purchase packaged products out of convenience, but that's life. It's about being consistent over time verse perfection. The fun part is I've gone as far as to make sourdough bread, almond milk, and even kombucha!

BUT, let's talk about being healthy. Yes, you can eat all the pre-made foods, but you don't truly know what's in them. I mean check out the extra stuff and sodium levels -- eek. You don't have to make elaborate meals either to be healthy. I save the "fun" more labor intensive meals for Saturday/Sunday! Otherwise, M-F our meals are super basic.


You can't out exercise a bad diet. Let me repeat you can't out exercise a bad diet. And you need to eat.  Been there done that. Then wised up and learned how to create a balanced diet that aligns with my goals. Ok, so let me break it down. You're likely hitting spin, HIIT, CrossFit, or yoga, etc. 5+ days a week and you haven't seen the needle move or maybe 1-2 pounds (which is likely water weight) this means your diet needs to change. Sorry but it's the truth. So what are you going to do about it?

Enter actually cooking your own food and really paying attention to what food is made up of.


Then doing it again and again until it becomes habit. By this point, you might have shed some weight, but I guarantee you're feeling better, sleeping better, etc.

And when all those things happen they carry over in other aspects of your life. Maybe you're a bit more confient, a better friend, wife, mother, etc.


Here's the thing, you just have to start. Don't worry about what others think. People judge me ALL the time and I don't care. True friends will support your crazy ideas and will be your biggest cheerleader when you succeed. You'll likely lose a few along the way too... that's life.


Be ok with experimenting in the kitchen. These enchiladas are made with greek yogurt! Not kidding.


At the end of the day, if you want to be a healthier version of yourself you have to work at it daily. Give up soda for 30 days, limit your alcohol intake, go to bed earlier, only eat a 1/4 avocado, track your food to make sure your eating in balance. Whatever it is start TODAY!

I could go on and on, but I won't since this post is already all over the place.

Love YA!