Recipe: My Trainer Alex’s pH Balancing Anti-Inflammatory Tonic

My awesome trainer, Alex, shared his pH balancing/anti-flammatory tonic recipe with me. Although he didn’t spell out the exact proportions, I decided to take the plunge, make it my own, and see what happens.

This tonic came at the perfect time. I was not only fighting an allergy/cold, but recovering from spraining my foot. (I was wrestling with the vacuum hose while cleaning the stairs, and the hose won.) As much as I was tempted to nurse my wounds and ill-health with a fruity martini, I opted to try Alex’s pH balancing tonic instead. Wow.

I think it helped me recover from my injury and illness sooner than expected. I also felt less congested after drinking the tonic. It helped break up the gunk in my respiratory system.  Continue reading


Recipe: Mama Sophia’s Healthier Tex-Mex Corned Beef Hash (Dairy-Free)

One of my food challenges that my trainer has for me is to come up with new breakfast ideas that incorporate protein and veggies, is low in sugar, and has no grain involved. It’s tough because most of my breakfast go-to’s involve grain or fruit. Though most people would consider my choices healthy, they haven’t been helping in my efforts to get back down to my ideal weight, which is about 15 pounds away.

MamaSoph_CBeefHashRawI love corned beef. It was a grown-up discovery and not something I grew up on, but it was an instant love. My daughter loves corned beef, too, which is strange because she doesn’t like boiled beef.

In any case, I had made some corned beef in my slow-cooker recently and had some leftovers, along with fingerling potatoes. I thought why not add some vegetables and make it into a Tex-Mex corned beef hash skillet with a fried egg on top. To make it Tex-Mex, I served it with medium-spicy salsa, and it was so good, I didn’t mind the vegetables that happened to be there. ;-P

What I like most about this dish is that it keeps me full with the protein and fiber. Plus, I’m getting some veggies in without too much effort.

Recipe: Mama Sophia’s Healthier Tex-Mex Corned Beef Hash (Dairy-Free, Grain-Free)
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Mama Sophia’s Magic Feather: How to Lose Vacation Weight-Gain in a Snap

I dreaded stepping on the scale after coming home from our Spring Break vacation to Orlando. Although I walked more than I have in a long time (20+k steps daily), I also ate lots of food that are weight-loss no-no’s—fried fast foods, sweets, alcoholic beverages, dairy. It was no big surprise that I gained 5 lbs. over the course of six days.

With a heavy heart, I headed back to the gym and got back to my training and exercise classes. I’d asked my trainer, Alex, if he had any Orenda Burn-Clean-Shape packets for a jump-start, but he had run out. I was on my own.

First two days of hardcore exercise—nada. Then I decided to try something else—something which I’d always had in the back of my mind. Why not cut out refined sugar and limit grains to one meal and see what happens?

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Change Diet, Lose Weight (Go Figure!)

In addition to working with a personal trainer, one of the major factors that has contributed to helping me lose weight is changing my eating habits. What I’ve realized is that no matter how much I exercise, it doesn’t matter if I keep eating crap.

The turning point for me was having a Google Sheet where I record what I eat each day and the fitness activities/steps taken. I haven’t gotten to the point of recording portion-sizes and estimated calories yet. I know there are apps out there that do that, but it’s a pain to go through the lists and guesstimate if the portions/calories are correct.

Instead, I’ve opted to make healthier food choices and trust that my body will tell me when I am full. Note: it’s still a work in progress. I have days when my tummy-is-full sensor is malfunctioning. Or maybe I’m just doing a good job of ignoring it.

What I find amusing is that the idea of having to record what I eat sometimes makes me NOT want to eat. There is something good to be said about laziness. 😉

Anyway, here are some diet tips that have worked in helping me lose weight: Continue reading

Recipe: Mama Sophia’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts (for the Reluctant Veggie Eater)

MamaSoph_RoastedBrussSproutsConfession time: I never had a Brussels sprout in my life until last year. First, my mom never made it while I was growing up. Second, I never had the compulsion to try it because I associated it with a chorus of kids complaining, “Brussels sprouts—ewwww!” (Note: these are the same brats who think tuna salad is disgusting, and I adore tuna salad. Lesson: one should pay no attention them.)

A day came to pass as I walked through the produce section and wondered, “Could I make Brussels sprouts and have my family enjoy them?” And most importantly, “Could it be easy to make?” Miracles of miracles, I found the answer to be “yes.” Continue reading

Recipe: Mama Sophia’s Dairy-Free Lasagna

The Princess is not a fan of meat sauce for spaghetti, but when it’s in lasagna, that’s another story. She can literally finish half a pan in one sitting. Lately she’s been in a lasagna feeding binge, requesting it for dinner each week. I’d like to believe it’s due to my culinary prowess, but she could also be undergoing a growth spurt.

One of the challenges in being a dairy-free household is finding substitutions for ingredients that are not readily accessible. I keep telling myself to stock up when I see a sale on our favorite dairy-free staples or happen to find a hard-to-find ingredient, but sometimes I forget my good intentions. This has been the case for Tofutti’s Ricotta.

Yesterday, when the Princess requested lasagna for dinner, I ended up having to wing it because my go-to store didn’t have any Tofutti’s Ricotta in stock. I used firm tofu that I had on hand, nutritional yeast, and Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese.

Fortunately, it turned out fine. Evidence—Princess was inches from licking her plate.

Recipe: Mama Sophia’s Dairy-Free Lasagna

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Recipe: Mama Sophia’s Turkey Taco

The Princess likes her meat, but it has gotten to the point that I can’t look at a slab of steak, package of ground beef, or chicken with an inward cringe and muttering “not again.”

When the nutritionist at my health club recommended that I look toward increasing my protein intake and decreasing my carbs, I was feeling bummed out. Gimme bread and pasta; I can give up meat. She explained that carbs create sugar roller coasters which make me crave more carbs, and if I really wanted to work on losing weight and getting fit, I need to rebalance what I eat so I have more protein, healthy fats, and less of the carbs. Plus, I need protein to help build the muscles which will help burn the fat.

Armed with this info, I gave myself a cooking challenge to use ground turkey, a protein source that we don’t usually have at home.

I decided to make my own turkey taco using ground turkey, and it turned out great. I even had it for lunch in a salad today without tortilla. Surprisingly enough, I found myself not craving sweets during my usual 2 to 3 pm window. Go figure—the nutritionist might be on to something.

Recipe: Mama Sophia’s Turkey Taco (dairy-free)
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