How important is nutrition really? Let me show you!!

color tieing shoe5        Late last year, I suffered an injury in my lower back that permeated pain down the front of my right leg.  Let me back up and say, this does not happen to me very often.  I am a stickler for good form and cross training to avoid just this.  Aside from minor bumps and bruises, a long term injury is not in my repertoire.

Of course injury NEVER comes at a good time, right?  Right!   Neither did this one.  All month long I had my “mojo on” during my workouts, I was making good progress and getting ready for a photo shoot for this website.  So, what’s a girl to do?  I stopped my workouts and rested for a month.  The one thing I could do is continue to eat as clean as possible and keep my portions in check.  Those of you that take my fitness classes know that I was not doing the workouts with you..or very limited work outs.  Certainly not my normal.  Hardest part was being on anti-inflammatory meds and avoiding cravings..sometimes it is the medicine that causes the cravings..keep that in mind before you beat yourself up over it.  That is a whole other topic to cover another time.  I went ahead with the planned photo shoot..ate very clean and cut out all cheats except for 1 meal a week.

Food is healing in many ways and is not for weight loss alone.  I am certain that my efforts to eat clean during my recovery reduced my inflammation, and boosted my immune system to help prevent further illness.  Did I mention it was prime flu season?  By reducing inflammation, I was able to heal quicker than the Dr.s anticipated and was back to my regular routine sooner than expected.  I loss minimal muscle and maintained my current weight, a win-win in my book.

You may ask, what is/was your motivation?  Easy, my family.  I love my kids and man more than anything in the whole world.  I want to be around to enjoy being in their lives for many many years. Making time, for myself, to stay fit is one of the best things I can do for us all. My kids depend on me for many things which makes my schedule hectic and yes it is hard to fit it all in at times.  I see it as two parts of staying fit: not only making time to workout but also eating clean.  This ensures that my body will run at it’s best for as long as possible.  It is worth it for me to gain that time with my family.  Off the soap box now, lol.

So how important is nutrition?  It’s 80% of the battle folks!  I am living proof!

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“Cold Busting” Green Chicken and Veggie Soup

Are you under the weather this time of year?  The vegetables and spices in this recipe are full of cold-busting-immune-boosting power.  Two options in preparation also..the stovetop or crock pot method.  Simple.  You say you don’t cook?  Now you do!!!

Green Chicken + Veggie Soup

by modified by






  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 12 ounces shredded chicken (I like using a rotisserie)
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 1 bunch cilantro, stemmed
  • 1 Serrano pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Heat olive oil in a large pot and add in onions, pepper, carrots, and celery. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the veggies begin to look tender.

While veggies are cooking, blend cilantro, Serrano pepper, 1 clove garlic and 2 cups of broth in the blender. Set aside.

Once veggies are tender, season with cumin, oregano, and a little more salt and pepper, stir well and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add shredded chicken, zucchini, corn, remaining chicken broth and the cilantro broth you blended in the blender. Bring to a boil, reduce down and simmer for 10 more minutes or until your veggies are tender. Enjoy!

Crock Pot version:  Throw ingredients in a crock pot and simmer on low setting for 6-8 hrs.

Nutritional AnalysisNutrients per 1/6th of recipe (about 1.5cups): Calories: 189; Total Fat: 3g; Saturated Fat: 0.9g; Cholesterol: 66mg; Carbohydrate: 11.8g; Dietary Fiber: 1.7g; Sugars: 5.2g; Protein: 27.7g

New Jar Salad – Chopped Taco Salad

Chopped Taco Mason Jar Salad

Prep time    Cook time

15 mins       15 mins
Author: Organize Yourself Skinny
Recipe type: lunch/dinner
Servings: 1 per jar, 5 jars total
  • 5 wide mouth quart size mason jars
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (I use simply organic low salt)
  • 1¼ cups salsa
  • 5 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 quart cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 5 mini cucumbers, sliced
  • 1 small to medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • juice from half of a lime
  • jalapenos diced (optional)
  • 5 cups chopped romain lettuce
  1. in a medium pan cook ground turkey until no longer pink. Add black beans, jalapenos, seasoning packet, and the amount of water stated in seasoning packet directions. Let taco mixture cool.
  2. Divide ingredients among mason jars starting with salsa then adding greek yogurt, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, jalapeños, avocados, taco meat, then lettuce. Place lid on and close tight. No need to vacuum seal.  Store in refridgerator and pull out one each day.
  3. When ready to eat, shake real good, then pour into a bowl and enjoy.

Sugar is working against you! Don’t let it!

Uncovered this article a few months ago.  I am always interested in how sugar and a heavy sugar diet effects our bodies.  You may have seen measurements of how much sugar is hidden in the products we buy and consume.  It is not in the obvious places but in the most hidden spots (for example, see the sources the author refers to below).  I am not even referring to only “white sugar” but the nutrients your body treats as sugar that can overwhelm your blood sugar.  It is important to be aware of all of the things we eat that our bodies treat like “sugar” and limit them.  Nutrient dense foods that are colorful, and packed with vitamins and minerals are the best choices.  Contact me if you want to learn more at  I would love to help you uncover these that are sabotaging your efforts in your own food choices.
In the meantime, check out this Australian study that is eye opening  about how our children are eating these days thinking they are making the healthy choices.

Following in the footsteps of Morgan Spurlock, who ate only McDonald’s food for one month in the film Super Size Me, an Australian man has undergone a sugar-heavy diet for 60 days to explore the ingredient’s impact on his health.

In the upcoming That Sugar Film, Damon Gameau, a filmmaker and TV actor, vows to follow a strict diet of “healthy,” low-fat food with high sugar content, reported.

Within three weeks, the formerly healthy Gameau became moody and sluggish. A doctor gave him the shocking diagnosis: He was beginning to develop fatty liver disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, the most severe outcome for fatty liver disease is liver failure.

“I had no soft drink, chocolate, ice cream or confectionery,” Gameau told Yahoo. “All the sugars that I was eating were found in perceived healthy foods, so low-fat yogurts, and muesli bars, and cereals, and fruit juices, sports drinks … these kind of things that often parents would give their kids thinking they’re doing the right thing.”

RELATED: Family goes for a year without sugar

Gameau reportedly consumed 40 teaspoons of sugar per day, or slightly more than the average teenager worldwide, according to According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the average American consumes 20 teaspoons of sugar daily.

The AHA’s daily recommendations for sugar consumption are 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men.

In That Sugar Film, Gameau observeed that the additive impacted his physical and mental health. Doctors called his mental functioning “unstable,” and the father-to-be reportedly put on nearly four inches of visceral fat around his waist. He was on the fast track to obesity.

Gameau said his sugar-laden diet left him feeling hungry, no matter how much he ate.

His final meal— which consisted of a juice, a jam sandwich, a bar, and a handful of other snacks— is similar to an ordinary child’s school lunchbox.

“Sadly, it was very easy to do and fitted comfortably into the small plastic container,” Gameau wrote on his blog documenting his experiment.

“The last meal was for all the people out there, especially parents, who are led to believe they are doing the right and healthy thing for their children. They are making an effort yet are horribly let down by the lack of integrity in marketing and packaging strategies.”

Gameau told that the experiment’s findings don’t suggest a need to completely cut sugar— but rather a need for more awareness about how much sugar has been added to perceptibly healthy food.

“Sugar’s now in 80 percent of the processed food we’re eating,” he said. “If we can remove that, that’s the first step towards making a change.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3 percent of the population, have diabetes. In adults, type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed diabetes cases.  Research has shown that sugary drinks are linked to type 2 diabetes.

Consuming excess added sugar is also associated with a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease—the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, according to the CDC. Heart disease accounts for one in four deaths in the United States, or about 600,000 annual deaths.

That Sugar Film will be released in Australian movie theaters in February 2015. A U.S. release date has not been listed on the film’s website.