Recipes for a Fit Fall!

Join me in avoiding holiday weight gain!

These two recipes are my new favorites. My approach to fitness is a lifestyle change. There is no diet that is going to be a short term effort with lasting results. The best path to healthy living is just that–healthy living. Protein is important, but a balanced plate with appropriate portions will get results you can keep long term without giving up a whole food group.

First, is a one pan easy dish that will make food prep easy!

Turkey Sweet Potato Hash.

I actually love this one. It’s too easy to get it right! It’s a very tasty savory fall flavor with great reheat flavor for several meals throughout the week. The idea here when selecting your sweet potatoes is to target the same weight, peeled, as your turkey. This ensures a fit ratio of enough protein without too much carb.


99% fat free ground turkey. One pound.

3 medium sweet potatoes. About 1 pound peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch cubes.

Chopped White onion. 1 optional

1 eggwhite

Chicken broth. 1 can fat free, low or 0 sodium.

Chopped Frozen kale 2 cups.

Cooking spray.

Cumin 1/2 tsp

Coriander 1/2 tsp

Black pepper to taste.

Spray large skillet with a thin coat of cooking spray. I like coconut oil spray.

Add cubed sweet potatoes and onion at medium heat. Sauté until onion is translucent and potatoes slightly browned.

Prepare turkey by adding your eggwhite and 1/4 cup of the chicken broth and mix well.

Add turkey and seasoning to pan, stir in to crumble meat and cook meat until no longer pink.

Add remaining broth and chopped kale to pan and cover to simmer sweet potatoes until soft.

Divide into 4 portions for approximately 4 ounces of protein with 4 ounces of carbs for a nutritious filling fall fit meal!

Now that you have a warm lunch prepped, you may want to enjoy a fall treat without having to buy a bigger pant size for the new year! Here’s how:

Samantha’s Protein Pumpkin Bread!

I use a personal size loaf pan. I’ve found that it bakes better. What makes this wonderful is the fall flavors, in a sweet treat that is nutritious enough to make a healthy meal like breakfast or mid afternoon snack!


1/2 can of pumpkin purée (refrigerate or freeze remaining pumpkin

1 egg

1 scoop vanilla UMP protein (Beverly International)

2 Tablespoons oat flour

1 tablespoon Quaker old fashion rolled oats

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp coconut oil (slightly melted)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp baking powder


Add mini box of raisins

1/2 ounce walnuts or pecans


Preheat oven 350 degrees

Mix all ingredients well.

Baked in coconut oil greased small non-stick loaf pan for approximately 30 minutes.

Check for using a toothpick. Center should be firm yet moist, but no not soupy edges will look dry but not brown. Cook added 5 minutes if needed but do not over bake.

Enjoy to your health.


Pumpkin Bread Guilt Free 

Pumpkin Bread is great for fall. Who doesn’t have a tough time with baked good temptations in the fall and winter holiday season?

My solution is to make those 250 + calories count for real nutrition rather than most of the calories coming as empty calories from sugars or butter.

This is my original recipe for a pumpkin bread that will double nicely as a healthy breakfast or daytime snack. I say daytime because I typically eat my carbs earlier in the day. Less likely for unused energy to turn to fat during daytime hours.


1 can Pumpkin Puree 15oz

3 cups plain Quaker Old Fashioned oats.

1 cup of egg whites

3 scoops of whey protein powder. (vanilla, toffee, caramel or unflavored variety works: I used Titan Toffee Macchiato)

Optional: 1 cup of zero calorie sugar substitutes for baking (recommend Truvia for baking or Splenda for baking.

1/2 cup of almond meal

2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice

2 teaspoons of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

NUTRITION: full loaf cake is 7 servings. 278 calories: 20 grams of protein, 31.7 grams of carbs, 7.7 grams of fat. Only 4.9 grams of sugars from the pumpkin. No added sugars.

Optional add ins if desired based on your dietary needs:

Chopped pecan pieces: 1/4 cup adds 20 calories per serving and 2 grams of fat.

Two snack boxes of raisins (1/4 cup) adds 25 calories of carbs from natural sugars per serving. Avoid if watching sugars! This little bit doubles the sugar content.


Mix oats in food processor until ground into coarse flour.

Mix all ingredients into large mixing bowl and stir together.

Heat oven to 325 degrees,

Spray loaf pan with a light spray of spray coconut oil. Dust with oat flour for a perfect non-stick if desired.

Pour batter into prepared pan and place in oven to bake 40-50 minutes. Cake should not be shloshy in the middle, but you do want it very moist. Do not over bake!! It should rise and be firm.

Enjoy at breakfast, brunch or even post workout with coffee or hot tea!

This healthy recipe has your heart healthy oats, proteins from whey and eggwhites. Healthy fats from almond meal and maybe pecans. Not to mention lots of vitamin A, plus Vitamins C, calcium, iron and fiber from pumpkin while avoiding empty calories that have no nutritional value from processed enriched flour, butters, sugars etc! Enjoy guilt free if you avoid adding butter or jams! Would it taste good with butter or jam? Sure. If you do add these traditional enhancers is it going to make you fat? Well, in short…yes. Yes it will. Not so much as a second bowl of ice cream and cake, but it does make a difference if you want a healthier lifestyle. Refrigerate and warm in the microwave or oven by the slice.  Eat the healthy.

Protein Review: My top 10 and why.

All of my favorite protein drinks have one thing in common, they are primarily “Just the protein please.” They are not carbs, veggie replacements, or high in fat or sugars.  If you have been following my blogs, you know that I recommend whole food diets, and low sugar foods. I am a women’s Figure Competitor in the National Physique Committee with four shows to my credit including one First Place Overall in a 45 years old and up division. Continue reading

What kind of protein do I need?

The last post Weight Loss Nutrition 101 highlighted the need for additional protein in your diet. Even if you eat 3 or 4 meals a day with a lean protein source, you will likely still come up short of your daily protein needs. There is still room for added protein even with a lean, low fat and non-processed meat high protein diet. That is really the plan here, to get your best nutrition and reach your fitness goals!

There are seemingly no limits to the types of “healthy” protein products on the market. For this review, I am going to stick with protein drinks. Many fear using a protein supplement because they will become bulky or put on muscle or fat. Unlikely if you know what to look for. I have divided protein products into three categories: Gainers, Meal Replacement, and Protein Supplementation. Continue reading

Weight loss nutrition 101.

How to get your nutrition and lose weight 101. I started this blog post as a review, so bear with the next paragraph. I quickly realized that talking about how great a product is would be empty if my readers did not understand why it is important to use a protein!

MyProtein, the number one sports nutrition brand in the UK, is branching into international markets in the US. The folks there were kind enough to send me some of their products to review. I loved them, and want to share that information with you, and most importantly how these nutrition supplements figure into your fitness and weightloss plan. I will do specific product reviews and comparisons against some of my other favorites and how to chose the right protein supplement for you in my next blog. img_5625 Continue reading

New Year’s Fitness Resolution? Don’t forget Your Kitchen

Every resolutioner hits the gym and gets started with exercise. You may even get a new workout outfit. What girl doesn’t get motivated by a new outfit. I know I do!

In 2013 I was determined to lose weight. I was focused on exercise. I was like a hamster on a wheel doing classes a couple of times a week. Same effort as always, no weight loss even though I didn’t miss a class.

What I discovered is that with all this fitness going on it is too easy to lose track of what we are eating. Maybe we are not eating all of the sweets from the holidays, but if you are eating without a plan or eating unconsciously you may be silently defeating all of your hard work in the gym by over doing it in the kitchen. Continue reading

Lean Protein = Lean Body trying to lose weight? Tone up? Fed up with that last bit of belly fat? You may be under the wrong impression that food and calories are the enemy.  While there is truth to that there is a lot of wiggle room.

Here are some facts.

  1. Too many calories above what your body burns in a day is going to make you fat.
  2. The average couch potato burn at least 1000 calories a day at rest.

Wait? How are you not losing weight?? You are eating low calories, and exercising. Right? What gives?

Here is a bit of truth. Lean Protein builds lean bodies. Candy, bread, cakes, and sodas, even high fat salad dressings, build fat.

I am questioned regularly by family and weight loss clients, “Should you/I drink a protein shake if not working out?”


“Samantha, are you going to drink that protein shake when you didn’t workout?”


Oh my gosh yes. Drink a low carb, very low sugar protein drink. Caution: Skip the carbs even fruit and especially juice.

Not all foods are created equal. We know that. That’s why we stay away from sweets.

Some nutrients are better than others. We all know about vitamins in vegetables. However, vitamins are micronutrients. The body needs them in smaller quantities to do very specific jobs. Macronutrients are proteins, carbs, and fats that do the big work. Getting this right is the missing piece of the puzzle in many diets.

While people like to think of all food as fuel it is not as simple as that. It is NOT all just “gas in the tank.” It takes a variety of these nutrients for optimum running. However, you need to be running a higher octane food blend and not a bunch of random low (or high!!!) calorie trash.

For example. Fats are more like the oil in your car. Not gas. You don’t need as much. You use some everyday, but just a little. They keep your body’s hormones straight. They can also be used by the body as energy.

Carbs are energy. This is the fuel. Extra carbs and extra fat are stored as body fat.

Proteins, on the other hand, are building blocks. It is over simplistic to say calories in vs. calories out, or that food is fuel. You body is a living being, not a car. Proteins do the body repairs, the tissue and muscle building. The body breaks down the proteins in foods into amino acids. A car does not have these guys running around inside keeping the structure held up.

The problem with how most people apply an Adkins style, high protein, diet is that they do not take quality of the protein into consideration. Bacon, hotdogs, sausages, and the like, are not lean protein sources. You are getting more salt, fat and chemicals than your body needs. (Stored as fat in your body remember?) To top that off, they often disregard the healthy vitamins and fats in things like broccoli and avocados.

So, should you drink protein shakes?

The truth may be different that you have conditioned yourself to believe, but the summary is, that the protein shake, when made with water, is going to be what you should eat instead of fries, weight watchers ice cream, plain potatoes, rice, wheat breads, wraps, cakes, 100 calorie cookies, candy and other treats if you are not working out.

Should I drink protein when not working out? How is that a question? I have never heard anyone say, “Should I drink a milkshake when not working out?” A milkshake is monstrously more bad for you. A Wendy’s small frosty is 340 calories with 80 calories from fat, 56 grams of carb, and 46 grams of sugar. Compare that to a 130 calorie protein shake with 20 or more grams of protein, less than 2 grams of sugar, and only about 5 grams of carbs!

The good news, there are quite a few proteins that are tasty treats and almost as good as a milkshake as well. Look for one with a low carb or at least a very low sugar content and you can add it to your diet as a treat or snack instead of a meal replacement!!!

A great tasting vanilla protein, like Beast Sports Nutrition Protein, is very versatile.

  • It can sweeten your smoothies.
  • Tastes great on its own with just water.
  • You can make it into a chocolate milkshake with a little unsweetened cocoa, ice chips and a blender.
  • Make an awesome latte by mixing thick, (less than half the water called for) then add to strong iced black coffee and stir or shake in a shaker.
  • Add cinnamon, nutmeg and even an egg yolk, or a small bit of (1/4 cup or less) pasteurized eggbeaters, for an amazing sugar free, low carb, eggnog!
  • All while helping you get the nutrition you need without packing on empty calories of unused energy!

The best skinny drink ever! Just remember, calories still count. Regardless of the source, simply put, too many calories will make you fat. Drink in moderation and skip the “diet” foods that have kept you fat!

Check out the article in “Women’s Health Magazine,” linked below, for more information on weight loss and protein!



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