PUMPKIN ALMOND FRUIT SPREAD [no added sugar, paleo friendly, tastes like pie]

It’s fall. Officially. There are leaves all over my yard, I’ve worn a cardigan at least 3 days this week, and every-other photo on instagram and tweet on twitter mention pumpkin spiced lattes. Truth: I binge drank pumpkin spiced lattes for 4 days… pure heaven! Seriously though, have you seen the calorie count and amounts of sugar in those things? I order mine grande with Soy Milk… a whopping 300 calories and 48 grams of sugar. Well, thanks for completely CRUSHING my diet Starbucks. After 4 days of being so strung out on sugar and caffeine that I couldn’t sleep, I decided to call it quits. But I REFUSE to let go of my pumpkin addiction. It’s the best damn part of fall (well, second best–fashion is pretty great during the fall). To feed my addiction I made this little fruit spread. It was an experiment gone way right. It’s amazing, and tastes just like pie, minus all the carbs, sugar, gluten and other crap. This is also safe for all my paleo friends:)



Keep in mind that I made this for one. Just add to the ingredients if you plan on sharing. I’m a pig and refuse to share with anybody;)



1 Tablespoon of organic almond butter

1 Tablespoon of organic pumpkin straight from the can

1/4 Teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Simply mix the ingredients in a small bowl. I use creamy almond butter, chunky makes the mixture an odd texture. This spread is GREAT on apples, another yummy fall staple. I would also imagine it would taste great on graham crackers.

Welcome our newest addition-Acadia!

There’s nothing I love  more in life than my dog Tucker. Yes, you could say I’m obsessed. For the past month or so, it has seemed as if he was getting very bored with me. My wild & crazy antics just don’t seem to amuse him anymore (wah!!!). A few weeks ago Coleman and I decided it was time to get him a new friend to keep him company. That’s where Acadia comes in! She’s the newest addition to our little fam. She’s a 2-year-old golden retriever who is SUCH a lovebug. Her favorite thing in the world is to be petted. Her and Tucker are obsessed with each other and it’s the most precious thing ever. She fits into our family perfectly and is adjusting so well to her new home and active lifestyle. Unfortunately, she’s a little chunky monkey and can’t really make it on a run with me and Tucker yet, but we’re walking a few times a day. She’ll get there soon;)


Acadia & Tucker snuggling in the car


Watching the game:)


Sad to say she loves Coleman more than me already lol


They love me:)


Serious snuggle nuggets




The Chelsea, Fairfield, CT…. OMG YUMM!

Ok, I’m a sucker for food. I like to eat clean and feel good about what I eat. Therefor, I typically only go out to eat once per week. I don’t even eat-out for lunch (yes, I’m that annoying girl carrying around a lunchbox everywhere I go). That being said, I feel sacrilegious saying that I’ve gone to The Chelsea in Fairfield for dinner twice this week. (CHECK OUT THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE FOR A FULL MENU!!!) It’s just that good. And when I say good I mean my mouth is watering as I’m writing about it. I can’t get it out of my head. I’ve now indulged in multiple drinks, appetizers, and entrees from this glorious new hot spot and they were all amazing. Although the restaurant just opened in July of this year, they’ve already got quite the following. They do not take reservations, so show up early. Don’t be scared of the wait, tables move pretty quickly and their drinks are so good you HAVE to order one at the bar before you’re seated. As far as the food, the portions are perfect, the ingredients are of good quality, and you can order around food allergies. Here is a brief glimpse into our adventures thus far at The Chelsea. Sorry about the picture quality. Some of these pictures were taken later at night, post-Penfield Beach Martinis. I’m not going to add the pictures of our entrees due to what I now like to call the Martini Effect. Plus, it gives me an excuse to go back. :)

The Chelsea Mason & Penfield Beach Martini–our new beverages of choice.

Most delicious appetizers ever. I think this was my favorite part of the meal.

The run that almost killed me and Tucker

What is up with the Olympics airing so late at night? Don’t they know that I’m obsessed with watching? Don’t they know that a girl has GOT to get some sleep? I’m usually not a huge fan of watching the Olympics (I think this can be contributed to the fact that I can’t sit still for more than 20 minutes at a time). However, this year the Olympics have been a HUGE motivation for me. This morning I woke up thinking “If Gabby Douglas and Missy Franklin can kick so much butt as teenagers, competing against the best in the world, in front of millions… I should be able to run 5 miles”. Without giving myself time to think of a dozen excuses not to run, I hopped out of bed, put on my running shoes, and got ready to go. I decided to take my trusty training partner, Tucker, with me. [Tucker is my dog. He’s legit woman’s best friend. He never complains about the meals I cook, loves to snuggle, and will workout with me whenever I need him to. He’s a dream.] Surrounding our house is all hills. There is NO way you can go for a run and avoid them. But, we were up for the challenge and set out on our journey.

Silly me didn’t check the weather before leaving our comfortably air conditioned house. About halfway down our first hill I realized just how hot and humid it is today. I was already sweating. And when I say sweating I mean the dripping off your eyebrows, rolling down your back, shorts are soaked, embarrassing kind of sweat. I just kept telling myself “Gabby could do it, you lazy ass”. Turns out this was enough motivation to finish the run. Not that I had much of a choice, once I ran down the first gigantic hill there was no way I was going to turn around and run back up it.

About 5 miles and 5 lbs of sweat later we arrived home. I was both proud of myself & felt like I might just die. Poor Tucker felt the same. Here’s a pic of him sprawled out on our kitchen floor. I’d like to point out that he was so tired he couldn’t even hold his tongue in his mouth anymore. BUT-HE’S STILL SMILING-SUCH A TROOPER :)


Moral of the story? If I can get over my hate of cardio, so can you! Check the weather before you run! And, follow your run with this healthy meal to give you enough energy to make it through the rest of your day :)


1 package of chicken breasts

1 squash-diced

1 sweet potato-diced

1/4 onion-diced

Boil sweet potato until soft. Cook vegetables in a sauce pan on medium high heat until warmed through. Cut chicken 3/4 of the way through (you don’t want to end up with 2 separate pieces). Using a spoon, fill the chicken with the veggies and sweet potato. Top with spices of your choice. Cook in a 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes.



Place your leftover vegetables from the chicken recipe into a large bowl. Add 1  tablespoon of liquid aminos, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. Stir until all veggies are coated. VERY yummy potato salad :)


Great workout, my favorite protein shake, & to-die-for turkey lettuce wraps

Yesterday was a great day for me. Part of me wants to just end my week now so I can finish on a REALLLYYYY high note. I have to admit, the beginning of the day was super lazy. I spent the entire morning and beginning of the afternoon stalking out new blogs to follow. (I’m thankful I did because I found a bunch of new foodie, fitness, and CT-based blogs.)

Once I finally got the motivation to pull myself away from the laptop, it was off to the gym. My workout was a great success. I worked chest, hamstrings, and a little bit of traps along with 40 minutes of cardio. Honestly, I HATE cardio. And when I say hate, I mean don’t ask me to do it, I don’t want to, you can’t pay me to. Lucky for me my gym has individual TVs on every cardio machine which allowed me to watch the Olympics and get a little extra motivation. Since I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it home for a few hours after hitting the gym, I brought my post-workout protein shake with me. I swear by this protein powder. It’s gluten-free, has less than 1 gram of sugar, and has 17 grams of protein. It’s a little chalky, so I mix it with about 7 oz of unsweetened almond milk and half a frozen banana.

The makings for a great gym session

After a very long trip to the grocery store, it was finally time to cook dinner. Lately I’ve been making really great meals, if I must say so myself. My dinner inspiration came from a local sushi restaurant, Kiraku, in Fairfield, CT. I used to work down the street from this place and me and my friend Caitlin would frequently drop by for drinks and sashimi after work. Their chicken lettuce wraps are GREAT. Of course my version was much leaner, way less carbs, and YUMMY YUMMY!!!

Turkey lettuce wraps

1/2 red pepper-diced

1/2 orange pepper-diced

1/4 onion-diced

approximately 1 cup of mushrooms-diced

1 package of all natural thin sliced turkey breasts-diced

1 table spoon of liquid aminos

1 tablespoon of honest mustard

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

cayenne pepper, paprika, chili powder, ginger–all to taste (I used about 1 tsp of each)

Place all ingredients except mushrooms into a medium saucepan and medium-high heat. When ingredients are almost entirely cooked, add mushrooms. Use a slotted spoon to portion onto pieces of romaine lettuce. Roll-up and eat like a taco. :)

There WILL be extra sauce. Simply place into a container and store in your fridge. It’s perfect for dipping for vegetables, especially cucumbers!!!

Day-to-night style: The foodie version

Every girl needs a good “day-to-night” outfit. You know the ones, they typically consist of an above the knee skirt with tights and a sparkly top covered up by a nice blazer for work. Once 5 o’clock hits the blazer and tights come off and home girl is ready to hit the closest happy hour. I appreciate good fashion almost as much as good food. So, I decided to put a little foodie twist on the “day-to-night” concept and make a meal that can easily be taken from “dinner-to-breakfast” with one quick change.

For the dinner portion of this meal I decided to try something new. I absolutely love the look of an open-faced sandwich but hate the unnecessary carbs and calories they usually include. Tomatoes. TOMATOES!!! Tomatoes are a great substitute for bread! Simply cook diced chicken, broccoli, and onion in a pan with coconut oil and your favorite spices. Roast sweet potato (seasoned with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper) and carrots (seasoned with pumpkin spice) in the oven at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. Cook thick sliced tomato in a pan until warmed through. Pile your chicken in between the tomato slabs! Tastes like ketchup (sans sugar)!

Finished product: chicken & tomato “sandwiches”, spicy sweet potato rounds, pumpkin roasted carrots

The leftovers from dinner could not be more perfect for a crossover to breakfast the next morning. And, since you’re cooking them right after dinner you won’t have to wake up early to cook breakfast (THANK GOD! I hate mornings even more than I hate having to do cardio). Put your leftover chicken and sweet potato into a muffin tin. Simply add whisked egg to fill the tins until they’re about ¾ of the way full. Place into a 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Let sit, and once they’ve cooled place them in a sandwich baggy for tomorrow’s breakfast.

Breakfast of champions

PS: If you live in CT, you HAVE to get those eggs! Being local they’re always fresh, taste great, organic, AND you’re supporting local farms! The best part is you can get them right at Stop & Shop.

Just like that you have dinner and breakfast! Scrumptious and it only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.

Hungry Hungry Hippo, SNACK TIME

Confession: I am a snackaholic. Sometimes I feel like I need to attend a support group. I love food SO much, but eating clean really does leave me feeling hungry a few hours after I just had a meal. Which, in the long run, is the whole point…. eat smaller meals more frequently to increase your metabolism. Many times I find myself in a bind an hour or so before my workout and I’m starving. It’s too close to my workout to eat a full meal (my stomach digests REALLY slowly) but if I don’t eat I just know I won’t be able to power through lifting. That’s the perfect time for one of these mini snacks. That being said, here are a few of my favorite yummy snacks that will leave you feeling full enough to last until your next meal.

Apple with almonds (go easy on the almonds, especially if you’ve already had fat that day)

Bananas & blueberries (I usually have fruit for a morning snack to give me the opportunity to burn off their natural sugars)

Homemade coconut sorbet (This has become my new favorite, thanks to Coleman’s mom. Made with organic coconut milk, no-sugar added coconut shavings, and honey rather than sugar! I’ve found that later at night I get a sweet tooth. This sorbet is a great way to curb it without adding unnecessary sugar to your diet.)

Celery and cucumbers with hummus (Great crunch, little calories!!!)

Low-sodium turkey meet wrapped up in lettuce


What are some of your favorite healthy snacks?!?!

Back on my fitness grind… Pre-workout meal!

It’s time to get back on my grind. The last few weeks have been overly hectic for me (hence the lack of posts). My real estate classes began a few weeks ago. They’re very long and come with HOURS upon HOURS of reading and research, but I absolutely LOVE it and can’t wait to finish up and get started as a real estate agent. On top of classes, Coleman and I have had the pleasure of hosting our family from the west coast at our house all last week. I absolutely LOVEEEE when family comes to visit. We spent lots of time at the beach, relaxing, eating good food, and enjoying each other’s company. It was Coleman’s mom’s first time visiting our home so we tried to pack as many of our favorite things into the few days that she was here. Although it was a bit crazy at times, I wish they could be here everyday!


But, enough about my personal life. It’s definitely time to get back to my workout routine and tighten up on the nutrition. My workout with my trainer on Friday was just what I needed to give me that extra bit of motivation I was lacking. We did all new exercises that I had never done before. I typically don’t get sore from workouts since my body is used to working hard, but today I’m still feeling a little tight in my ribs, triceps, and chest (YAY!). I LOVE being sore!!!! And, I’m sure today’s workout will leave me just as sore. Today I’m working out Quads, Calves, and Abs plus cardio… wish me luck!!!!   My pre-workout meal looks a little something like this: 2 egg whites 1/2 cup of oatmeal 1 cup of coffee with Stevia in the Raw and a touch of Almond Milk

Simple, energy-packed fuel pre-workout

Oats are fiber-rich and low on the Glycemic Index. This means the carbs will release slowly into the bloodstream and keep you level during your workout.

Eggs are full of protein. Protein pre-workout is important in the contraction of muscles. It also boosts your metabolic rate, results of fat loss.

Caffeine!!! My personal favorite part of the meal. Yes, I admit, I may have an addiction. But, it could be worse right? Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, resulting in energy & mental focus. Two things that I definitely need before a workout!

Move over toaster strudel, Egg Muffins are the new, delicious, quick breakfast choice!

So, you don’t have time for breakfast? I call your bluff. EVERYBODY has time for breakfast. Everybody has time for every meal. And if you “don’t have time”, make time. Maybe it’s just because I’m a fat kid at heart, but I don’t think I could ever skip a meal. Not only would I be hungry, I turn into a BEAR when I’m hungry. Seriously, if you’ve ever spent a full day with me you know it’s extremely necessary that I eat at least every 3-4 hours. If not, watch out! It’s about to get ugly! (Coleman can vouch for me on this. Poor guy has suffered the rath of “Low blood sugar Katrina” a few too many times… Sorry CoCo!)

Ok, enough with my rant and back to those of you who are about to start making time for breakfast. The only explanation I can think of for not having time for breakfast is that you’re a lazy ass in the morning like myself. I absolutely HATE waking up in the morning. If it’s before 9 am, it’s best to just avoid me at all costs. And even then I don’t function properly until about noon. I know, I’m an adult, I need to wake up early… yada yada yada.

My solution to the problem? Don’t wake up early. Yes, sleep in, hit snooze, hide under the covers, snuggle with your pooch for an extra few minutes. Simply cook breakfast before. I know, I know… “I don’t like cold breakfast”. Enough with the excuses. I PROMISE you will like this cold breakfast. And, by eating breakfast you’re going to jumpstart your metabolism. (Yes ladies, that means you have a really big chance of LOSING WEIGHT! As long as your not stuffing your face full of crap for the rest of the day.)

It’s really simple, I promise! This recipe will change based on how many egg muffins you’d like to make. I made about 6. I put 2 in a sandwich baggy for Coleman every morning because he HATES waking up to eat breakfast. They’re so easy you can eat them in the car on the way to work.

Nom nom nom, egg muffins sans carbs!


6 eggs (I prefer egg whites, but it’s really up to you)

4 oz. no-salt added Boar’s Head turkey cut into small pieces

1/4 of a tomato diced

1/4 of an onion diced

1/2 cup Broccoli diced

3 mushrooms diced

Cayenne pepper to taste

Garlic powder to taste


Step-by-step: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk eggs in a medium-sized bowl. I prefer to cook my vegetables in a small saucepan for about 5 minutes before adding them to my eggs, but it’s completely up to you. Pour eggs into a muffin tin. Only fill halfway, you’re going to need room for your other ingredients and the eggs will rise a bit in the oven. Add vegetables to each tin. Top with turkey. Place in oven for about 15 minutes, or until egg is fully cooked. Allow to cool before placing in sandwich baggies for tomorrow’s breakfast :)


Best Tilapia EVERRRRR!

While trying to eat healthy I’ve found that I always revert back to the same meals. I know it gets boring for me, but for my boyfriend Coleman as well. So, I decided to break the monotony and make my own dish:) And what better protein to do this with than tilapia! Tilapia is great for workout-enthusiasts in search of a lean source of protein, those trying to lose weight, or those who just want a nice tasting fish that isn’t too “fishy”. There are 29.5 grams of protein and just 108 calories in a 4 oz serving. Tilapia is great on its own, but I found that it paired  extremely well  with almonds. The almonds get super crunchy, giving the fish an almost fried texture. So without further adieu, here’s the recipe… and don’t worry, it made the list for Coleman’s Top 5 Favorite Dinners. I also gave the recipe for the green beans. They’re super simple, yummy, and I added lemon juice to them rather than to the fish because the fish is already so juicy.


The most scrumptious, lean dinner:)




While oven is preheating to 350 degrees, whisk one large egg in a medium bowl. Add 1 cup of almond slivers into a separate bowl. Dip tilapia fillets into the egg wash. Be sure that the entire fillet is covered, with no excess (your piece of fish shouldn’t be dripping all over your counters). Place fillet into the dish with the almond slivers and be sure a majority of the fillet is covered (see picture above). Place into your oven safe dish. Season your fish with salt, pepper, and lemon & herb spice to taste. Cook in oven UNCOVERED for approximately 15 minutes or until fish is flaky. If you cover the fish, it will be too moist and the almonds won’t get crunchy.


Add 1/2 cup of water to a medium size saucepan. Add green beans and cook on medium-high heat for approximately 4 minutes. In a separate pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the juice of 1/4 of a lemon. Add chopped onion and cook until the onion is almost clear. Add cooked onion into the same pan as the green beans. Also add chopped mushroom and tomato and cook for 2 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste if desired.