Monday, April 30, 2012

Chilled Roasted Vegetable Salad

I LOVE this salad!  I made it this past weekend for a BBQ get together with friends as a side dish and it is delicious and simple! The flavorings are North African and add that bit of heat that makes the perfect side dish to sweet BBQ!

2 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into pieces
4 Zucchini, chopped into rounds
4 yellow squash chopped into rounds
4 Bell Peppers, seeded and chopped
1 Medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeño seeded and halved
6 garlic cloves, peeled

(Will add the garlic cloves once they are roasted)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup cilantro
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp red chili flakes

Heat oven to 425.  Spray 2 cookie sheets with olive oil cooking spray.  Place eggplant, zucchini and squash on sheets and spray lightly with cooking spray over veggies.  Roast 15 minutes and remove from oven.  Add onion, bell peppers, jalepeno halves and garlic cloves on sheets (place garlic in a corner all together so it is easily accessible).  Roast 25 more minutes.  Remove from oven and remove jalapeño and garlic cloves.  Drain roasted veggies in colander and place in large mixing bowl.  Chop jalapeño and place in bowl - then place in fridge for 1 hour to chill.

To make the dressing:  Combine the roasted garlic, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro and spices in a magic bullet, blender or food processor and pulse until combined.

Pull chilled veggies out of the fridge and pour dressing over.  Stir to combine and chill in the fridge one more hour.

Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Info:
Serving Size:
1 Cup of Veggies

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Just like school days - bring your lunch!

Think you are choosing healthy items when you go to lunch everyday with your co-workers?  Odds aren't.

Hard news to swallow but as I've said before many times - its exceedingly difficult to eat healthy at restaurants.  Sure you can choose better alternatives but this doesn't make what you are ordering healthy nor will it help you reach your goals.

Most restaurants cook with butter, margarine, more oil than is a healthy serving and lots and lots of sodium.  Can you order things 'dry' and 'grilled'?  Sure - but what is put on the grill or flat top before putting your food down?  What is your food soaked in as a preservative or marinade?  Not something you want on your food I can assure you of that.

The typical lunch at an American 'Bistro' style restaurant (think salads, sandwiches, etc) is 800 calories and 30g of fat - about half of the calories you need for the entire day and ALL of the fat for the typical woman trying to eat healthy.  Keep in mind you need to eat every 3 hours so 5-6 meals per day to keep your metabolism fired up and blood sugar eating one meal at 800 calories and thinking 'I can just eat one more meal of the same amount and be fine' - will not work if you are working towards a goal.

Your body can only process a limited amount of calories, fats, proteins and carbohydrates at a time so when you overload it with excessive nutrients like an 800 calorie lunch and 30g of fat - it won't be able to process this all correctly and may store some as fat.

Not to mention - the average lunch is anywhere from $10-$20 ...per day!  If you eat out each day, you are spending $200-$400 a month - just on lunches!  And your waistline probably isn't seeing any benefit either.

Take for example the 'quick' salad restaurants where they pre-mix your salad - you think you are making a great decision by ordering a salad right?  Not when the average salad is 35g of fat and at least 600 calories.  Keep in mind you NEED carbohydrates with your lunch and most of your meals during the day to give you energy (get past that 3pm slump!), fiber to keep you full and low fat nutrients that will help you stave off hunger that are lower in caloric density.  Cutting carbs will only make you lose temporarily and won't result in that lean, fit body most people desire.  Carbs are essential!

So what can you do?  The BEST thing you can do is pack your lunch - at least try 4 days a week and go to lunch as a treat on Fridays with co-workers.  Pack a healthy lunch and 2 snacks for your work day that consist of a complex carbohydrate, a serving of healthy fat and lean protein.  Take your lunch outside to a park or on errands so you can get out of the office without sacrificing your pocketbook and waistline.  Some good home packed options all between 250-300 calories, 7-8g of healthy fat and 20-25g protein:

Tuna Nicoise Salad:
2 cup spinach
3 oz very low sodium tuna
3 oz red potatoes
asparagus, tomato
1 tsp olive oil/vinegar

Turkey Pasta:
1/2 cup whole grain pasta
1/2 cup Ragu Light No Sugar Added Pasta Sauce
4 ounces extra lean gorund turkey
1 tsp olive oil in the pasta
1/2 cup zucchini and red pepper (in the pasta or on the side)

Teryaki Rice Bowl:
1/2 cup brown rice cooked in water (can even buy pre cooked without added sodium/fats!)
4 ounces chicken breast
1 cup bell peppers and onions (can buy frozen and steam 2 mins)
1 TBS sugar free Teryaki sauce
1 tsp all natural almond or peanut butter (heat up with the teriyaki and stir in for a yummy Thai taste)

Going out to lunch?  Make healthy choices at restaurants first and foremost:

Tokyo Joes:
'Build your Own Rice Bowl- Regular Size'
White Meat Chicken, brown rice, mushrooms, zucchini and red pepper
425 calories, 5.3g fat, 50g carbs, 30g protein, 232g of sodium (BEWARE of sauces - laden with sodium!)

Mad Greens:
'Create Your Own Salad - Regular Size'
Citrus Grilled Chicken, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, garbanzo beans, edamame with spice yogurt dressing done 'Light'
366 calories, 11g of fat, 30g carbs, 40g protein, 453mg sodium

'Burrito Bowl'
Brown Rice, Steak, green tomatillo salsa, shredded lettuce
325 calories, 8.5g fat, 28g carbs, 33g protein, 700mg sodium (on the high side)

A good tip: Log on to websites prior to going to lunch to make the best possible selection - otherwise you could be making a B-I-G mistake that will affect your progress and dedication to health as well as leave you feeling lethargic and the late afternoon 'slump' from high calories, fats and excess of sodium and carbohydrates.  Take your typical sub sandwich shop where a turkey sandwich alone is 550 calories, 22g of fat, 1,094mg of sodium and 38g of cholesterol!  NO thank you!

Be an informed consumer.  Make the commitment to bringing your lunch at least 4 days in the workweek (and ALWAYS bring your snacks)

Be good to your body - it will thank you!

In Health,

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Summer BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches and the Perfect Compliments!

Its Summer time and who doesn't love sitting outdoors enjoying Summer-time fare and a cool beverage?!

This is a great lean and healthy recipe that is SO simple it's silly.  Just throw it all in a crock pot and leave it alone!

Lean BBQ Pulled Pork

2 Raw Lean Pork Tenderloin Roasts
½ bottle Stubb’s Texas Barbecue Sauce – Mesquite (low in sodium, sugar, gluten free)
½ cup water
2 bell peppers, sliced
½ medium onion, sliced

Combine all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low 8 hours or high 4 hours.  Pull apart with 2 forks and keep in sauce to store.

Serve on a whole wheat bun with 2 TBS of shredded cabbage or cole slaw mix (just the cabbage mix - NOT the mayo and creamy stuff!)  Tastes great with a slice of grilled pineapple on it also!!

Nutrition Info
Serving Size:
4 ounces of pulled pork (fist size) on a whole wheat bun with 2 TBS cabbage slaw and 1 pineapple slice


The perfect compliment to delicious BBQ?  Grilled Veggies!  Grilled asparagus and corn salad is an awesome side dish - all you need is a grill pan and veggies!

Grilled Corn and Asparagus Salad

3 cups frozen corn, thawed
20 asparagus spears, trimmed and chopped into pieces
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
½ red onion chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lime, juiced (or ¼ cup lime juice)
Black pepper to taste
Combine all in sprayed grill pan and place on grill for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally with a spatula

Nutrition Info
Serving Size:
1 cup


And don't forget the margaritas!  WHAT?  I can have a margarita?  Yup - sugar free and delicious without all the nasty chemical laden mixes.  Just remember - everything in moderation.  Alcohol is ok in small doses but anymore than 1-2 can wreak havoc on your waistline because it depletes an enzyme in your stomach that breaks down carbohydrates, fats and proteins!

Tarrah's Ultimate Skinny Margarita

1 ounce (shot) of Silver Tequila
1 Cup ‘Squeezed’ Lemon Vitamin Water Zero
1 Cup Canada Dry Lemon/Lime flavored Club Soda
½ Lime, squeezed
1 Packet Stevia (optional if need more sweetness)

Pour all ingredients into a shaker glass filled with ice, shake and pour into a margarita glass with a Stevia coated rim!

Nutrition Info:
Serving Size:
1 drink

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Extreme Dieting - why it DOESN'T work

You HAVE to get it out of your head that losing weight is quick and painless - that there are no magic pills out there or magic sprinkle you can put over your food that will make you just doesn't exist.

If you want to lose weight, get tone, get fit and STAY that way - it takes time, determination, sweat, tears - it's literally a battle.  But you CAN win - and you will be so much stronger a person for going through that battle and WORKING hard!

Ever wonder why that woman you know at work who is always 'dieting' never seems to reach her goals?  Why Oprah has been on every single diet known to man and chronicled it on her show and yo-yo's constantly - never getting to her ultimate weight goal?  Because 'dieting' is crap.  It's a HUGE multi-million dollar industry full of processed, chemically laden so-called food that people fall for every single day.

There is no trick, no smoke and mirrors and nothing complicated - it's all in food intake and calories burned.  You have to burn more than you intake and the QUALITY of the food you intake must be good, clean, lean and choc full of nutrients like fiber, healthy fats, lean proteins, whole grains, veggies and fruits.  It's SO easy that we have overlooked it.

The problems are the marketing ploys of the 'dieting' industry and our society that have driven into our heads that in order to lose weight, you have to starve yourself - you have to eat as little as possible and go to extremes.  Underconsuming - What does this do:

  • Leads to overeating and binging because your body is starving
  • Causes your metabolism to slow 
  • Causes your blood sugar to dip and then spike when you eat again, thus causing you to overeat
  • Causes your body to go into FAT STORAGE MODE where it will hold on for dear life to all fat stores because you are not feeding it enough - YOU WILL NOT HIT YOUR GOAL THIS WAY!
A good friend and physician sent me a link that absolutely disgusted me at some of the so-called 'medical' professionals that administer extreme weight loss scams in this world.  Take a look at the link below when you get time but the gist of it is that women who are getting married are looking for the next 'quick fix' to ensure they don't look fat on their wedding day and taking part in the 'K-E' diet.  You may have seen this on Good Morning America.  The women are hooked up to a feeding tube for 2 weeks through their nose and are administered calories through this tube - 800 or less.  

They are guaranteed to lose 20lbs in 10 days this way.  This is DANGEROUS and TEMPORARY!  The majority of the weight that comes off is WATER - yes thats right, water weight that will come back.  The body is starving and once you return to eating your 'normal' way - and most of these women aren't eating correctly or healthy to begin with - you will gain the weight double time as your body will cling on to the influx of calories coming in.

Most people will overeat after severely restricting their caloric intake for a period of time.  What happens when you overeat?  Your system cannot digest all of these calories, fats, proteins and carbohydrates at once and many of them will turn into FAT STORES!

So what's the point?  If you are getting married, want to lose weight, have a health and fitness goal - you can lose those 20lbs HEALTHILY and keep them off in 2 months by eating clean, eating often, exercising all the while building a lean, tone body to boot!  Best part - it won't cost you an arm and a leg like these extreme weight loss 'solutions' that will only be temporary.

Women should NEVER consume less than 1200 calories a day and should be eating every 3 hours with a combination of proteins, healthy fats and complex carbs (whole grains).  If you are under consuming or even over consuming and eating a lot of fast foods, processed foods and foods full of saturated fats (bacon, eggs, food in a box, drive-through, etc) - switching to eating clean and non processed AND more often will trigger your metabolism and you WILL DROP WEIGHT!  It's amazing - eat more to lose- but you must eat the right foods!

Great example:
1/2 cup old fashioned oats cooked in water with 1/2 cup unsweet almond milk and stevia/cinnamon
1/2 cup berries in oatmeal
4 egg whites on side 

Whole grain tortilla with hummus, ground turkey, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes - wrap!

'Homemade Burrito Bowl'
1/2 cup brown rice with 4 ounces of chicken (fist size), 1/2 cup bell peppers and onions and 2 TBS salsa

15 raw almonds
1/2 cup berries
3 ounces white meat rotisserie chicken

Grilled Salmon with grilled asparagus and tomatoes

Creamy Protein Shake with 1/2 cup unsweet almond milk and ice in a blender (1 scoop)

How can you ever be hungry eating this often and this yummy of food?  You CAN'T!  Who says eating clean has to be boring, difficult and a struggle - it just doesn't.  It's simple.

Stay the course - don't be tricked by these extreme diets!  Remember - your metabolism only has one life!  Yo-yo diet enough, and you can burn it out - DON'T do it!

Make your week a healthy one!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sante Fe Shrimp Dip - MMMMM!

This one is a total crowd pleaser and GREAT for get-togethers.  I love hosting parties and making clean, healthy and delicious appetizers for everyone.  Party food does't have to be a waistline killer (just say NO to the velveta queso with ground beef - sodium and saturated fat OVERLOAD)

This is a simple, quick recipe you can whip up in 2 minutes - literally!  It came from a meal plan I was building for a clint that told me she loved hummus and needed a snack with hummus.  It was lacking the protein she needed with only the hummus, thus this yummy dip!

Tarrah's Sante Fe Shrimp Dip:


  • (2) 10oz. containers of hummus (try to get a regular flavor or blended flavor but not one with added oils, nuts, etc - these just add calories)
  • (1) 8oz jar of salsa - I LOVE World Table's 'Roasted Tomato Chipotle Rioja (from WalMart!) - adds an amazing flavor to the dip!
  • (1) 12oz bag frozen, pre-cooked shrimp (deveined and tails removed) can find at any grocer store
  • 1 avocado, chopped 
  • Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime Seasoning
  • Bell Peppers and Cucumbers for Dipping

Thaw shrimp under cold water for 3 minutes.  Drain in a colander and dry on paper towels.  Combine the hummus, salsa and shrimp in a mixing bowl and stir until combined.  Add avocado and fold into hummus mixture.  Sprinkle with Mrs. Dash seasoning and serve with peppers and cucumbers - or 'Guiltless Gourmet Baked, no Sodium Added Tortilla Chips' - mmmm!

Nutrition Facts:
Serving = 1/2 cup of dip

Calories 174
Fat 5.4g
Carbs 14.9g
Protein 10.4g

Monday, April 2, 2012

Does this make me gain weight?

I have heard it time and time again:

'my new meds make me gain weight', 'birth control makes me gain weight', 'my surgery made me gain weight'

There is one thing and one thing only you must realize - the ONLY thing that makes you gain weight, is overconsumption.  The only think that makes you lose weight is burning more than you consume and the quality of what you consume.

So why have you gained weight with your new meds?  Certain medications cause your hormone levels to increase or decrease which can directly affect your cortisol levels - making you feel hungry.  Birth control is one of these that affects your hormone levels and causes cravings.

Other medications, like anti-depressants, help people feel better emotionally and can cause them to consume more.

A good rule of thumb: don't stray off your normal meal plan on meds, post surgery, etc.  Stay on plan, eat clean, eat often, keep the metabolism burning, drink LOTS of water and realize that your hunger pains are just that - cravings that you can sustain.

Eat a combo of lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats in each meal and you will be sure the protein, fiber and healthy fat combo will keep you full until your next meal 3 hours later (example: a 'burrito bowl' with 1/2 cup of brown rice, 4 ounces of chicken, 1/2 cup bell peppers and 2 TBS avocado).  In this way, medications, surgery - nothing can stop you!

I always harp on my clients to plan, prepare and pack (the 3 P's to LIVE by!).  Emergencies happen and having your food prepared will help you stay on track and not gain unwanted weight.  Emergency meeting?  You can resist the doughnuts the boss brings when you have your food packed and ready with you.  Bring EVERYTHING everyday just in case.

Last week, after a 20 hour drive to CO with my fiancé, I was rushed to the ER with severe abdominal pains.  an hour later I was in the OR being prepped for emergency appendectomy surgery.  Luckily - I had all my meals prepped for the new week and was able to stay on plan, recover and not gain a pound.  The mistake many make after surgery or a hospital visit is emotional eating for comfort - DONT do it!  All this will do is cause weight gain with decreased activity and affect your mental and physical well being.  Depending on the type of surgery you have had, eating unhealthy foods can harm your health as well.  For example - when your gall bladder is removed, your bodies ability to process fats is decreased.  Consuming high amounts of fats will indeed cause weight gain after this surgery as your body cannot process the fats and thus store them.

Remember if you are taking daily meds or recovering from a procedure, your health is affected by something that has called for the med or the surgery.  Stay focused on your health - if you put good in, you will receive good in return - your body will thank you!

In Health,