Sunday, September 18, 2016

Skinny Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak

I have been wanting to skinny-fy and health-up this recipe for a while now. And finally this week, I happened to have all the ingredients on hand! It was super simple, tasty, and the macros are superb!

In other news, I found a coconut washed up on the beach during my run this week. I ran about a mile back to the car with it in a football hold. It was heavy, like 10 pounds lol Cross training maybe? I want to see if I can grow it into a coconut palm 🌴My husband thinks I'm ridiculous!

I have been busy in the gym too. Bulgarian split squat followed by seated banded hip abductions this morning. This superset really burned the booty 🔥🍑🍑🔥 I did 3 sets of 8 BSS (each leg) followed by 15 abductions. This combo is sure to make you sore!

Latest personal record attempt was a success! 120 lbs for 3 reps on row! Made for a great start to my day :)

...So onto the recipe, since that is what you came for ha! My kids enjoyed this on a regular hamburger bun. I just don't like to waste calories on buns when a thin one will do the trick. Serve alongside a fresh vibrant salad for volume!

Skinny Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak

Serves 6

1 Medium Onion (148 grams), Onion (sliced)
1.33 lbs, Eye of Round Steak (cut into thin strips)
1 Bell Pepper, Green Bell Pepper (sliced)
1/2 tsp Ground Pepper
1 tsp Garlic powder
2 Beef Bullion Cubes
4 oz Hot water
6 slice (1 oz), Cheese, provolone
6 roll, Whole Wheat Thinwich

Spray your crockpot with nonstick spray, and lay in your onion slices. Top with your eye of round steak and bell pepper slices. Sprinkle in the pepper and garlic powder. Then mix your hot water and bullion cubes and pour in. Cook on high 3-4 hours or low for 8 hours. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information

per serving (includes bun and cheese)

Nutrition Facts
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 379
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17 g27 %
Saturated Fat 8 g39 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 77 mg26 %
Sodium 467 mg19 %
Potassium 442 mg13 %
Total Carbohydrate 27 g9 %
Dietary Fiber 7 g26 %
Sugars 3 g
Protein 33 g67 %
Vitamin A9 %
Vitamin C73 %
Calcium27 %
Iron15 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Malissa's Crack Chicken

Over the past 4 years of working for Venus Index / Venus Factor, I have gotten to know a lot of our clients both in person and online, and am honored to call many of them personal friends. We are all women who are driven and share a mutual love of lifting and nutrition. So when one of my Venus girls shares a recipe, I usually have to try it. We tend to like the same things, remember?

My beautiful friend Malissa 

That is the case with this recipe. My sweet friend Malissa shared it on her instagram account, and we have featured it in several posts on our Venus social media as well. Malissa has the best sense of humor and loves to eat all the things like me ;) we both have busy husbands, kids, and dogs running around. It is only a matter of time before we finally get to meet in person!

Speaking of Venus friends, Coach Jenny recommended that I try this Kodiak Cakes protein pancake mix a few weeks ago. Then another one of my Venus girls, Rhonda, shared about it on her social media too. So I finally got my giant 4.5 lbs box of @kodiakcakes in! The kidlets and hubby were super impressed, tasted like IHOP pancakes! We tried all 3 recipe variations and our favorite was just the mix with water. I heated up 1/2 cups of frozen mixed berries and drizzled 1 tbsp PB2 over mine, with 1 slice of Wrights bacon. All for 293 cals! Excited to make waffles and pizza crust next!

8 weeks out from my next shoot, so practicing a pose instead of flexing haha! I have been lifting 4-5 days a week along with some airbike intervals on the gym front. Going on long distance runs 2-3 days per week. Of course, hitting my calorie and protein goals are paramount and my number one concern, as is good sleep.

So Malissa's recipe was just the thing to hit my nutrition and protein goals. And I knew I had to try it! My family was super impressed. We have only made 1 variation so far, but planning on trying the others soon! It stores well for a few days, I think it actually might get better! We enjoyed it in quesadillas and as salad topping too, very versatile!

Malissa's Crack Chicken

6 large chicken breasts
1 block of cream cheese
2 packets of taco seasoning (or 2x1/4 cup bulk taco seasoning)

Chicken breast, cream cheese and 1st packet baked (covered) at 425 for 45. Take out cut up chicken and put in 2nd packet. Place back in oven at 275 for 2 hours shred and serve. (I also tried it in the crockpot with good success. Cooked on high 4 hours, shredded, then added remaining taco seasoning.)

Nutrition facts are per ounce

Other Crack Chicken Variations From Malissa

Tonight we decided to spin a little Italian flare on the #crackchicken some went for the roll, some went for the noodles. I chose the zoodles with some @mias_kitchen bistro marinara my absolute favorite #thesauceisthebestpart

(This is the original variation) Crack chicken I saw this on a tasty video so easy, so good, and great on protein. The calorie and macro info is per serving I got 12 servings out of 6 chicken breasts

When you have multi-purpose chicken you must put it to good use ;)

Thanks for the recipe sweet friend!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Pizza Chicken

I ran across this idea the other day on Pinterest and thought to myself how clever it was! I am always down for recipes that my kids and husband will enjoy but will fit into my calorie budget. I am being particularly conscientious of that because my next shoot is 9 weeks from today, so I need to be consistent. So expect lots of lower calorie and higher protein meals in the upcoming weeks ;)

My standard poodle Olive Marie and I have been increasing our mileage this week. We worked our way up in time until I hit my max (60 minutes) and now are slowly increasing our pace which increases mileage. We are down to consistent 11 min/miles with a few 10 min/miles, for running on the sand barefoot, I am very pleased. This week on a run, the herons were out in mass. I think we ran across 4 different birds, which is unusual. I stopped and captured this heron taking flight.The ocean and light was just stunning! I think I need these on canvas for my house, love how they look.

I am still gaining strength in the gym too even while in a deficit. This week I achieved a new personal best for deadlift! 205 pounds for 1 rep max woohoo! My back should have stayed more neutral but hey, I will work on it ;) Working hard in the gym day in and day out pays off! I am on the 12th week of Hourglass Extreme, and it is paying off in PR's.

I have been making lots of chopped salads with homemade vinaigrette dressings lately. They are super filling when you are watching your calories and they pack a lot of nutritional punch. The best part is that they last for a few days so you can prep a big bowl and eat off of it! This is one I made to pair with the pizza chicken. I just use whatever veggies I have on hand, this happens to be a chopped cucumber, handful of grape tomatoes, half a red bell pepper, half of a yellow bell pepper, handful of chopped carrots (gave them a whirl in the Ninja), a little onion, and some thinly sliced Brussels sprouts. For the dressing, I did a tablespoon of olive oil, a tablespoon on balsamic vinegar, teaspoon of yellow mustard, teaspoon of honey, a half teaspoon of tarragon, and salt/pepper. Taste and adjust then shake the dressing in a jar then toss the chopped salad with it.

So let's get to this chicken...

Pizza Chicken

Serves 6

2 lb(s), Chicken Breast (approx 6 - pound them thin or butterfly them)
14.50 oz, 100% Natural Diced Tomatoes, 1 Can 
1 small can (10 tbsp ea.), Tomato Paste (could sub storebought pizza sauce for the 2 cans of tomato)
2 tbsp Italian seasoning (I used a greens blend my friend makes)
1.50 cup, shredded, Cheese, mozzarella, whole milk
1 bag Turkey Pepperoni Slices

Preheat oven to 400*F. Spray a large casserole dish (I used a 9x13) with nonstick spray and lay out your chicken breasts. Mix up the 2 cans of tomatoes and Italian seasoning and spread on top your chicken. Top with mozzarella cheese, then the bag of pepperoni. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes covered, Then, take off the foil 15 more minutes of cooking time.  Enjoy! This reheats very well, by the way.

Nutritional information

per serving

Nutrition Facts
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 437
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15 g23 %
Saturated Fat 6 g32 %
Monounsaturated Fat 4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 185 mg62 %
Sodium 1013 mg42 %
Potassium 479 mg14 %
Total Carbohydrate 10 g3 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g12 %
Sugars 5 g
Protein 62 g125 %
Vitamin A15 %
Vitamin C18 %
Calcium17 %
Iron17 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Pulled Pork and Sweet Potato Hash PLUS a Review of Halo Top

This hash is my latest obsession. I have eaten for dinner several days in a row, that is how I know this is a shareable recipe haha!

Sooooo Halo Top where have you been all my life???!!! ðŸ˜ #soinlove #lookatthosemacros #yum 

I had TWO different friends tell me recently that I had to this stuff ASAP. I finally listened and made a run for it after looking for stores who carry it in my area on their website. Boy howdy, I am so glad that I did go get it. I have been telling everyone who will listen since I tried it last night. Guys, this is like the holy grail of dietdom. Perfect timing, since my shoot is 10 weeks from today!

You know that I had to go back for more ;) not sure whether I like #halotop birthday cake or vanilla bean the best? How about a tie for first? 💜

Sadly our HEB does not carry any other flavors... I might have to order all the other flavors from ASAP!

My Olive Marie ran free for 4 miles on a beach run this week. You can literally see her smiling, she loved it! And keeping up with her made my pace go up a bit too! My last mile was 10 min/mile! Getting closer to my old half marathon pace ;)

New squat PR today! And during a cut too 💪love lifting heavy! It is built into Hourglass Extreme (my workout which you can get HERE). 

To work PR into your existing Venus routine, pick 1 heavy lift per routine (row, deadlift, squat, benchpress, shoulder press) and cit it down to 3-5 reps; on your PR set, you may only be able to get 1 rep out in good form.

Each set, work your way up in weight. For this squat, I did 25 lbs plates, then 35 lbs plates, then added 52.5 lbs to each end for final PR set. 

That was my pulled pork and sweet potato hash for dinner with pulled pork and sweet potato leftovers with a side of apple slaw.

My dear husband, God bless him, ordered a giant pizza to eat off for the week. Not something he would do normally and I just cannot. After 1 maintenance day of pizza, I am over it. I can be 1000 calories into a pizza and be hungry still. 

So I made up a huge Crockpot of pulled pork the other night for me to eat off of for the week, and baked a bunch of sweet potatoes. I made this slaw with diced apples, some plain Greek yogurt, and lemon juice. 

Here are some of my favorite uses for cooking 1 meat and re-mixing it throughout the week:

  • Straight 
  • Salad
  • Omelet or frittata
  • Hash
  • Stuffed into a potato
  • Stuffed into a pepper
  • Refried rice or stir fry
  • Nacho, taquito, or burrito
  • Soup
  • Casseroles

First night was the meat, potato, and slaw all separate on the plate. The next night was this hash which is amazing BTW, with some zucchini. The next night was all of it stuffed into the potato. Tonight was hash again. Thinking tomorrow night I might try a stuffed pepper variation ;) the kids enjoy it separate or as pulled pork nachos. It freezes well too if you get tired of it before you can get through it all.

Pulled Pork and Sweet Potato Hash

Serves 1

1 baked sweet potato (approx 1 cup, you could totally sub regular potatoes)
4 oz pulled pork (Recipe HERE - I used pork shoulder this time but sometimes I used pork loin or pork butt; I think shredded chicken, brisket, or ground beef would be good too!)
1 egg

In a pan, cook the pulled pork to reheat and dry it out a bit. Place aside. Cube sweet potato and put into pan. Top with pork, allow all to saute for a couple of minutes. Crack an egg over the top and cover for 1-2 minutes. I topped with a little cinnamon, salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy! P.S. this would be divine with avocado on top too!

I am loving this marinade right now for everything from chicken to pork to beef

Nutritional info

1 serving

538 calories
38 g carbs
25 g fat
36 g protein

I am going to get back to my hash dinners and Halo Top dessert ;)
X- Liss

Friday, August 19, 2016

Funfetti Protein Cake Batter

I don't know about you, but I love me some cake batter... and cookie dough. I am officially 11 weeks out from my next shoot, so I am having to tighten down to be ready for the camera. So obviously, I thought the real deal was not the best idea last night haha!

In other news, I have a new records board going in the gym.

Earlier this week, I hit over 200 pounds for the first time on any lift in my life! I did 205 lbs for 3 reps of hip thrusts, and it felt EASY!

Still running on the beach a few times a week on off days from lifting. After about 8 weeks of effort of running barefoot in sand, I have worked up from a couple of 16 minute miles to 4 x 11-12 min miles today! Time to add another mile next run. I am nowhere close to my previous half marathon times, but not sure that is comparable!

So, this recipe is just the start of my ideas for this protein batter/dough. I love funfetti cake so I wanted to start there. The texture is not quite as dense as the real deal, and the yogurt gives it that bit of tang. But other than that, it is on the money. And you cannot beat quick to make with 4 ingredients!!! And those macros too!

Funfetti Protein Cake Batter

Serves 3


  • 0.25 cup, Homeground Oat Flour
  • 1 cup (227g), Yogurt Nonfat Plain Greek
  • 1.50 Scoop, Whey Protein (Vanilla) (I used Premiere Protein in Vanilla Milkshake; it has a bigger scoop than most so you may need 2 scoops of normal sized)
  • 1 tbsp(s), Sprinkles

In a blender or food processor (I used my Nutribullet), blend 0.25 cups of oats to a flour. Dump those into a mixing bowl and stir in the whey protein and Greek yogurt. Then stir in sprinkles and enjoy!

Nutritional Information

Nutrition Facts
Servings 3.0

Amount Per Serving
calories 235
Total Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 51 mg
Sodium 107 mg
Potassium 1817 mg
Total Carbohydrate 22 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 4 g
Protein 25 g

What is your favorite flavor of batter or dough?
X- Liss