Vegan Vegetable Soup: HOMEMADE

Vegetable soup has been a comfort food for me and my family for a while now, we live in Pittsburgh, PA and it gets COLD HERE!!!!! Some staple warmer uppers are soup and hot chocolate- so yes I needed to find a healthy recipe so my family still could get warmed up after sled riding and being in the cold!!!


So every time I make my vegetable soup the Veggies vary! I tend to just use what is looking SAD in my refrigerator!

The base is low sodium, organic, Vegetable Broth and water with garlic-himalayna salt- and a few other spices all to taste (I use parsley, cayenne pepper, and any other herb that is in front!)

The major vegetables that are a constant in my soup is 1 onion, 3 carrots, and 3 stalks of celery (i cook for the whole family so my batch is larger and we have left overs for a few days)

Then I add 2 zucchini’s, a small head of broccoli, a cup of tomatoes, and a pepper

I let that boil and when it comes to a constant boil (20 minutes) I then add 3 cups of spinach and kale then let it simmer for an hour!


***Optional and I love this, i add a lb of beans (usually kidney or black) gives it flavor and your protein!




Sometimes you don’t realize how important vegetables are or even just a well balance meal! I have a protein and complex carb with every meal! It keeps me full and I know I have the proper nutrition!!!


Please give me your feedback when you try this recipe =) Also if there is anything you would like me to try, make clean, or give you feedback on please contact me!

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5 Benefits of Grapefruit

ONE OF MY FAVORITE SNACKS!!!!!! I love the sweet and sour taste and it totally helps with my sweet tooth!

Grapefruit is a large subtropical citrus fruit generally recognized for its slightly bitter and sour taste. It was first produced in Barbados as a hybrid fruit that resulted from a cross between pomelo and sweet orange. Grapefruit was named after the grape, because grapefruits grow in clusters like grapes.

Many grapefruit varieties are being cultivated in different countries such as the United States and China. The well-known varieties include those with red, pink and white pulp. Like all other citrus fruits, grapefruit is loaded with vitamin C, although this is not the only benefit that you can get from grapefruit. Here are five other health benefits of grapefruit.


1. Grapefruit Helps in Losing Weight

Grapefruit is high in enzymes that burn fats, has high water content and has less sodium. A combination of these three characteristics make grapefruit a perfect food for increasing your body’s metabolism. Try eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice every day and you will notice how quickly you lose those extra pounds.

2. Prevents Arthritis and Works as an Antiseptic

Grapefruit contains salicylic acid that helps break down the body’s inorganic calcium, which builds up in the cartilage of joints and may lead to arthritis. If you have arthritis, try drinking grapefruit juice with apple cider vinegar. You will notice a reduction in your arthritis symptoms.

The salicylic acid in grapefruit also works as a powerful antiseptic. In addition, grapefruit seed extracts can be added to water to make an antiseptic spray for treating bacterial and fungal infections.

3. Grapefruit Helps in Cancer Prevention

Lycopene is a carotenoid pigment that is responsible for the red color of grapefruit. It is a powerful agent against tumors and cancers as it acts as a scavenger of cancer-causing free radicals. Lycopene works best with vitamins A and C, which are also found in grapefruit.

An antioxidant compound, called naringenin, is also found in grapefruit. Naringenin helps repair damaged DNA in prostate cancer cells. DNA repair contributes to cancer prevention as it impedes the reproduction of cancer cells.

4. Grapefruit Helps Lower Cholesterol Levels

The antioxidants found in grapefruit are effective in reducing cholesterol levels. However, if you are on prescription drugs, do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice. Grapefruit has a negative reaction against many prescription drugs such as those used in treating depression, allergies, high blood pressure, seizures, impotence, heart palpitations and even HIV. Inform your physician if you want to use grapefruit as a regular form of treatment.

5. Grapefruit Treats Common Ailments

Eating grapefruit or drinking its juice helps treat common cold and fever, dissolve gallstones, boost liver function and enhance immunity against infections. As grapefruit contains a dietary fiber called pectin, it thus promotes better digestion. In addition, if you want to have a healthy and smooth skin, try including grapefruit in your diet.

You can get many other benefits from grapefruit because it also contains essential elements such as iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, folic acid and B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin and niacin). You can even extract oil from grapefruit peel for use in

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What is a Beachbody Challenge and How can I benefit?

Do you need change in your life? Need more energy, to get healthy, or to just get fit!? Then please continue to read and watch the videos!

If you are not ready to change- I would keep scrolling! 


What is a Beachbody Challenge???? Watch this 4 1/2 minute review on what is it!


Now is this something you would like to join??? Well you might be thinking, this is not for me! I could never do this… Well have you ever felt like this?


If you can relate to any or all of this above I would LOVE to help you reach your goals- feel good, lose weight, or even just get healthy! Message me NOW @



I run a challenge group a month so even if this one is not going to work for you- message me and I will get you on the waiting list for the next one! 


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BEACHBODY Chalean Extreme + Shakeology Success Story!

Anna Marie Lost 19lbs and 4 pants sizes in just 90 days!!! HOW AMAZING! By Changing her ways, she changed her life! To drink 1 shake a day and workout TOPS an hour a day and get results like these in just 3 months is fantastic! She started her journey @ 174lbs, and a size 12… on day 90 she weighed in at 155lbs and a size 8!!! CRAZY =)


How would your life change if you would be able to get to where you wanted to be in just 3 months? I know my life changed dramatically when I completed P90X and Shakeology! I was in a better mood, felt better in my skin, and got complements when I went out!



  • You can permanently and safely lose more than 100 pounds in just 9 to 10 months.
  • You can cut body fat by 50% in less than 90 days.
  • You can drop a pant size in one month.
  • You can lose 5 pounds this week.
  • You can change the way you feel and increased energy in just 3 days.
Your mental disposition greatly impacts your success. Instead of focusing on how far away you feel, focus your attention on how close you are to your very short term measurable goals. You’re closer than you think! Set some goals for the next 3 days, 5 days, 1 week.

Sometimes it feels like we will never hit our mark. So instead of asking “are we there yet?” Continue to tell yourself you are closer than you think! You can do it!



Do you need a change? Are you waiting for the SIGN? WELL THIS IS IT NOW!



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Kati Heifner’s BOOTY LIFT in 6 weeks with Brazil Butt LIft!!!

Kati Heifner, who is MY AMAZING COACH, shows us how to lift your bum bum in only 6 weeks with Beachbody’s Brazil Butt Lift (She actually did doubles with ChaLEAN Extreme and BBL).  She took on the Challenge and gave 100% everyday to her workouts, her nutrition (Including Shakeology), and holding herself accountable in a Challenge Group.  All it takes is a believing in yourself and using the tools that we have to create success.


Nutrition + Fitness + Support = SUCCESS!!!

Want to know how you can lift your BUM BUM or get into a small accountability group?!?! MESSAGE ME NOW

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Nikki’s Beachbody Challenges: FITNESS + NUTRITION + SUPPORT = SUCCESS


It’s all about what you are ready to COMMIT to! I have been doing Beachbody for 9 months now and LOVE IT, I have completed P90X, Insanity, and now onto P90X2.  Before I started Beachbody I was going to the gym- had a personal trainer, I tried EVERY Diet out there- whether it was a Diet pill, starving myself, or bingeing.  NOTHING WORKED FOR ME! I got to the point I was disgusted with my body, It was 18 months after I had my son, second child, and I was FED UP! I got so depressed that is was interfering with my marriage, my family, and me being a good mother! I knew I needed CHANGE! So, My coach Kati had talked to me previously and I finally said I AM IN! Within the First Month we started a Summer Slim Down Challenge which helped me stay accountable and on track, if I needed help with nutrition they were there! I have never thought there would be as much SUPPORT from a group of strangers than THIS TEAM! The motivation is INSANE!!! This is where my Journey started and I want to Pay it Forward and Help those out there that need help staying accountable, getting motivated, and having the support. YOU are WORTH IT! It is YOUR Life and YOU DESERVE THE BEST!!!


I’m  forming a Challenge group based on the Beachbody Challenge.   Here’s the deal . . . it’s simple!


The commitment is 90 days of a Beachbody® workout program , Shakeology®, and the Challenge Group accountability page. You commit to the Beachbody workout program of your choice , Shakeology once a day, and a Challenge Group spot for accountability and support. We all work together and help each other WIN!

This is a proven and simple formula, and those who commit are much more likely to finish and GET THE ABSOLUTE BEST RESULTS!

—You do everything at home, on your time and your schedule. No in-person meetings or group workouts. (unless you come to fit club!!)
—Group interaction is all done on Facebook, so you can post along with the team each day.

So if you are SERIOUS about taking the Challenge MESSAGE ME NOW, so we can get you into the group and all of the commitments sorted out!!! I will help you the through the WHOLE Process!

I will give you the LEAD- YOU HAVE TO RUN WITH IT!

Vegan Eating 101: Vital Vitamins

Vegan Eating 101: Vital Vitamins

When it comes to getting many of the vitamins essential to human life, vegans win. Fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds are packed with these fabulous micronutrients so vegans, by definition, consume a lot of them. There are studies indicating vegans average a vitamin C intake that’s 50% higher than non-vegetarians. Folate checks in at 20% to 50% higher. So unless you’re one of those misguided vegans who sustain themselves on potato chips and Mr. Pibb, you’re mostly good.

“Mostly?” you mutter. Yes, there are a couple standout vitamins that all the apples and almonds in the world aren’t going to help you with: vitamin B12 and vitamin D. The easiest way to get both of these essential nutrients is from animal products – but you don’t play that way. Luckily, there are ways of getting around this dilemma.

Vitamin B12. When vitamins were first discovered, researchers assumed there were two kinds: fat-soluble vitamins, which they called vitamin A; and water-soluble vitamins, which they called vitamin B. When they discovered that there are more than those two, they came up with vitamins C, D, E, et al. However, to make things more complex, they realized that, even after this alphabetical expansion, Vitamin B was still several different vitamins. To correct this, they subdivided B into the B complex: B1, B2, B3, and all the others, including our friend vitamin B12, also known in fancy circles as cobalamin due to the fact that it contains cobalt and nitrogen atoms. 

B12 plays a vital role in our energy metabolism, meaning it’s essential for breaking down the nutrients we eat into cellular energy. Insufficient vitamin B12 intake can lead to a form of anemia with symptoms including fatigue, difficulty sleeping, memory loss and other brain malfunctions.

While primary sources of B12 include meat, fish, and dairy, it doesn’t actually originate from these products. In fact, it comes from bacteria and fungi that the animals being eaten have consumed. Back in the old days, you could get non-animal B12 more-or-less by accident, from the dirt on unwashed foods or from foods like sauerkraut or tempeh that had been fermented in less-than-sterile, bacteria-rich environments. In this day and age, this is a bit risky just for a cobalamin, so you’re better off either eating fortified foods or investing in a good multivitamin.

If you’re like me, you may lean towards whole grains and fresh-squeezed juices. This limits your exposure to fortified (and refined) grains as well as mass-produced cartons of OJ, so you’re better off with the daily multi.


The RDA for vitamin B12 for adults is 2.4mcg or 2.6mcg if you’re pregnant. There’s no tolerable upper intake level because B12 is water-soluble, so you’ll just pass it in your urine if you take too much.

Vitamin D. This one is tricky. Yes, you can get it from sunshine. Yes, you can get it from fortified foods. But both of these strategies are rife with complications. D is crucial in calcium absorption. In other words, you can consume calcium until you moo, but it’s not going to do much for your bones if you’re not getting enough vitamin D. It also plays an important role in cell growth.

Technically, the body will make its own D if you get enough sunshine – about 15 minutes, three times a week. Unfortunately, a rather exacting set of parameters needs to fall into place for this to happen properly.  Sunscreen blocks D absorption, as does clothing and the melanin found in darker skin. Vitamin D accessibility is also dependent on geography, time of year, and time of day. Basically, the best times to sun tan (and sun burn) are also the best times to soak in the sunny D. Given many of us are concerned about skin damage and cancer, this can be problematic.

If you’re absolutely determined to get your vitamin D from sunlight, an ultraviolet sunlamp might be a good option. 

If you’re taking the dietary route, animal products are out of the question. Some plants produce vitamin D, but you’re limited to a few mushrooms, including shitake; some seaweed, including kelp; and some yeast. Your best bet is fortified foods – but you need to read the label. Plant-based vitamin D is D2, or ergocalciferol. Animal-based vitamin D is D3, or cholecalciferol. Consult the nutrition facts on your box of Über Organic Sprouted Flax Bran. If the vitamin D comes from cholecalferol, you’re eating animals. Weird, huh? I even know a few carnivores who might question eating meat-based cereal.

If you get plenty of sunshine every day, you’re probably okay without vitamin D supplements, but it’s recommended that you still take 200 IU, just to be safe. Once you hit age 50, jump up to 400 IU. At 70, consume 600 IU. Vitamin D toxicity is rare, but you should stay below 2000 IU, just to be safe. It might take a little mindfulness, but you can get all the micronutrients a body needs and still stay cruelty-free. So grab yourself a sunlamp or a good multivitamin. It’s time to declare vegan vitamin victory!


By Denis Faye • January 12th, 2012

Lack of Protein and Causing Weight Gain

Lack Of Protein And Difficulty Losing Weight. High-Protein Low-Carb Diet Review.

The more active you are, the more protein you need, explains Melinda Manore, Ph.D., chairwoman and professor of the department of nutrition and food management at Oregon State University. Protein can help you build your body and burn calories quite an effective one-two punch! But all too often, especially recently, people tend to overlook the benefits of protein, especially as a way of keeping weight in check. The significance of protein for healthy weight loss is extremely high. Not only does protein helps to develop muscle and boost metabolism, it also fills you up and curbs your appetite.

lack Of Protein And Difficulty Losing Weigh

Protein for health and weight loss

Protein also increases your metabolic rate. Protein requires the greatest expenditure of energy and therefore has the highest thermic effect. You burn more calories consuming and digesting protein than fat or carbs. Higher protein and lower carb food intake is also associated with a more lasting benefit in keeping the fat and weight off. The advantages of a high-protein diet for fat loss are well supported by research. Eating more protein and less unhealthy carbs, can give you another edge in a healthy fat loss program.

Proteins play crucial roles in the body. They provide structural features of body tissue and serve as immune system antibodies/signaling molecules. In the form of enzymes and hormones, proteins help regulate sleep, digestion and ovulation. In recent years, the emphasis has been on high-carbohydrate eating. Books and doctors extolled the virtues of carbs and claimed that a high carbo diet was the best thing for you. But the pendulum is shifting back, and more books have been coming out asserting that high protein/low carb is the way to go.

Regardless of whom you believe, there is no question that protein is a necessity in your diet. It is made from amino acids, some of which your body makes and others of which you can only get by eating protein. Protein comprises 20 building blocks called amino acids. Of those 20, the body makes 11 called nonessential amino acids. The other nine, called essential amino acids, must be supplied by food, or dietary protein, explains Julie Burns, M.S., R.D., owner of SportFuel Inc., a sports-nutrition company in Western Springs, III.

It is, in one form or another, present in every cell of your body. It makes, maintains and repairs cells from muscle to other tissues. It is a crucial ingredient in everything from your bones to your hair; and makes up such vital substances as hormones (such as insulin) and disease-fighting antibodies.

As a macronutrient, protein helps curb your appetite, which may help you lose weight. Compared to carbs and fats which are primarily energy sources proteins play crucial roles in the body. It’s clear, then, that protein is a must in anyone’s diet. But it’s especially important if you’re going through premature menopause and here’s the big reason why:

You can actually jump-start your metabolism with protein. Protein’s thermic effect is higher than that of carbohydrates or fats. In other words, you burn more calories when you digest a high protein meal than one high in fats or carbs. So you’re getting more bang for your buck when you eat protein. One other big plus: because it is used in the manufacture of insulin, protein helps keep blood sugar levels stable a big plus when it comes to preventing both mood swings and food cravings.

“How is protein helpful ion shedding the excess fat from your body? As proteins are rich in amino acids it ensures that the metabolism rate of your body increases. Thus, increased rate of metabolism helps you body to burn the excess fat at a steady pace.”

The association between protein intake and a trimmer waist was confirmed in a study published in the Journal of Nutrition.(8) Individuals consuming more protein instead of carbohydrate were associated with less abdominal obesity independent of age, sex, height, smoking, physical activity, intakes of alcohol and other factors.

Overall, the research indicates that higher protein intake can benefit weight and fat loss in 4 way

  1. Increased satiety from higher protein meals
  2. Increased thermic effect of higher protein meals
  3. Higher conjugated linoleic acid in the diet
  4. Increased insulin sensitivity from a higher protein diet and an improved resting metabolic rate

Adults need a minimum of one gram of protein for every 2.2 pounds of body weight. If you don’t get that protein, your body begins to slowly break down its own tissue in order to get what it needs. So, for the average 140lbs woman, it is necessary to eat about 63 grams of protein every day.

What happens if I’m not getting enough protein?
Eating too little protein means your body can’t perform all the functions for which protein is required, at least not at peak levels. At highest risk are women on low-calorie diets (less than 1,200 calories a day), competitive athletes who restrict calories and burn protein instead of fat, and vegans and macrobiotic diners who don’t get enough of the amino-acid building blocks needed to synthesize complete proteins.

Too much protein isn’t the only problem with the popular high-protein diets. Think high protein means high fat? Preparing meals with an emphasis on protein doesn’t mean opting for foods high in saturated fat. Better choices, including skinless chicken and turkey, fish, shellfish, egg whites, nuts, seeds and beans, are crammed with high-quality protein, yet they’re virtually saturated-fat free.

Is it a problem if my protein intake is higher than the RDA?
If you consume more protein than you really need, you risk several negative consequences. First, you could gain weight. Consuming more calories than you need in a day, even if they’re protein calories, will cause your body to store the extra calories as fat. In addition, eating protein at the expense of vegetables, grains and other healthy foods can deprive your body of essential nutrients. Plus, it can cause dehydration because it takes a lot of water to eliminate extra protein.

A high-protein diet is often recommended by bodybuilders and nutritionists to help efforts to build muscle and lose fat. It should not be confused with low-carb diets such as the Atkins Diet, which are not calorie-controlled and which often contain large amounts of fat. By eating a healthy, balanced diet containing 15-20 percent lean protein, 55-60 percent carbs and 20-30 percent fat, you’ll have no trouble achieving a healthy weight and staying well.

Advantages of Protein

There are many great reasons to make sure you are getting enough protein in your diet every day.

  • Foods that contain high levels of protein, like chicken, beef, fish and beans, tend to be digested more slowly from the stomach to the intestine, thereby making you feel full longer. Additionally, protein has a gentle stabilizing effect on blood sugar, unlike a highly refined carbohydrate, which can cause a sudden spike and decline in blood sugar.
  • There is evidence to support the claim that consuming protein low in saturated fat, such as beans, soy, nuts and whole grains, and cutting back on highly processed carbohydrates improves blood triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein. These changes could reduce your chances of heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular disease.
  • Protein-rich foods like beans, soy, nuts and whole grains also offer healthy fibers and nutrients that are important in a well-rounded diet.
  • A lack of protein in the diet can lead to growth loss, weakening of the muscles, heart and respiratory system, decreased immunity and death.

Low Protein Levels: Symptoms
When the body has low protein levels, it shows up in the form of some very characteristic symptoms.

  • Edema: Also known as water retention, edema is one of the prime symptoms of low protein levels in the body. Commonly occurring in the hands, ankles, and feet, edema occurs when protein levels are low, because of which water flows out of the blood stream and collects in the tissues. This results in bloating and swelling in the body. Edema also occurs when the kidney is affected and protein is lost through urine. This condition may cause weight gain, an indirect symptom of low protein levels.
  • Bruising: Because protein is responsible for the blood to remain within the blood vessels, when there is a lack of this nutrient in the body, it is likely to cause easy bruising.
  • Blood Clotting Problems: If one is injured it is likely that the person may bleed continuously because of low protein levels in the blood. This is likely when the protein levels are low due to liver disease.
  • Wasting of Muscle: Since proteins are extremely important in the development of muscles, a lack of protein in the body will cause the body to deplete the existing reservoir of protein stored in the muscles. This causes a condition known as muscle wasting and reduces energy levels.

Protein Supplements
Individuals having troubles meeting their protein needs may want to consider using protein supplements. Made from soy or dairy sources, protein supplements come in a variety of forms including protein bars, protein powder (which you use to make into a drink) and already prepared protein shakes.

Using a protein supplement like All Natural Pure Liquid Egg Whites once in a while is a great way to make sure you keep up your protein intake. However, avoid using them as a daily meal replacement.

References :

  1. Protein Intake Is Inversely Associated with Abdominal Obesity in a Multi-Ethnic Population; Anwar T. Merchant, Sonia S. Anand, Vlad Vuksan, Ruby Jacobs, Bonnie Davis, Koon Teo, Salim Yusuf.  The American Society for Nutritional Sciences J. Nutr. 135:1196-1201, May 2005
  2. A High-Whey-Protein Diet Reduces Body Weight Gain and Alters Insulin Sensitivity Relative to Red Meat in Wistar Rats; Damien P. Belobrajdic, Graeme H. McIntosh, and Julie A. Owens; The American Society for Nutritional Sciences J. Nutr. 134:1454-1458, June 2004
  3. Protein (g) Content of Selected Foods per Common Measure, sorted alphabetically, USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 20, 2002. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
  4. Protein: Nutrition Source, Harvard School of Public Health,
  5. High-Protein Diets – Do they really help to lose weight? – by Dr. Katlen Zenmen, MPH, RD, LD,