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Be N Shape Fitness & Nutrition Tips
Chaffee County Times Articles:

By Julie Wilson

10 Best Workouts for Weight Loss

The World's Most Unhealthy Health Foods

Surviving Summit #8
Make your Metabolism your Best Friend
By Julie Wilson

Surviving Summit #7

Skin-yasa: Better skin through Yoga

By Julie Wilson




Surviving Summit #6
Eat your way to Brighter more Beautiful
By Julie Wilson

Surviving Summit #5

Toughest Winter sports

By Julie Wilson

Surviving Summit #4

Top 5 Calorie Burning Mountain Sports

By Julie Wilson




Surviving Summit #2
5 Simple Protein Sources for a Vegan Athlete Diet:
By Julie Wilson

Surviving Summit #3

Find Happiness Through Fitness

By Julie Wilson


The Healthiest Meal of the Day

  •  Stop Cravings

  •  Lose Weight

  •  Increase Energy

Acts like a salad, Tastes like a Dessert!

For more info:



Online training videos available at

















7 Excellent Sources of Plant Based Protein:



Watch: The Sustainability secert.  -  The film that environmental organizations don't want you to see!









Reducing Toxings & Inflammation


-Eat whole, unprocessed, fresh and organic local, seasonal foods to avoid pesticides, herbicides, hormones, and antibiotics.

-Water IN - Drink plety of water. Water OUT - flush toxins by regular sweating.

-Good sources of fiber to help carry toxins from the body: beans, whole grains, whole fruits not fruit juices), nuts seeds, legumes, spinach.

-Cruciferous vegetables: Brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower. Steaming is a good way to retain their valuable nutrients and their disease-fighting phytochemicals.

-Garlic, onions, ginger, eggs (these supply sulfur to support healthy liver function).

-Sea vegetables, dulse, nori, miso.

-Celery as a natural diuretic for toxin release in urine.

-Spices: tumeric, curry, and ginger for antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits.

-Probiotics: friendly baceria for healthy gut function.

-Green tea, flax seeds, and acai berries (the highest levels of antioxidants of any fruit or vegetable to date).

(Murray, J Agricultural & Food Chem 2006).


Burn Calories On The Treadmill By Increasing Workout Intensity

The average adult walks at a speed of about 4.79 feet per second, with older adults walking around 4.11 feet per second. In terms of miles per hour, this translates into 3.25 mph for adults and 2.80 mph for older adults.

For every mile you walk, you burn off 100 calories. With this in mind, the average adult burns 325 calories an hour from walking, while the average older adult burns 280 calories per hour.

To increase the amount of calories you burn per 20 minute cardio session, increase your rate of speed and gradient (degree of incline).

  • Normal Speed (3.25 mph) and Zero % Incline – Baseline calories burned, as noted above.

  • 4 mph and 1% Incline – Burns 24% more calories than baseline levels.

  • 4 mph and 2% Incline - Burns 28% more calories than baseline levels.

  • 4 mph and 3% Incline - Burns 33% more calories than baseline levels.

  • 4 mph and 4% Incline - Burns 38% more calories than baseline levels.

  • 4 mph and 5% Incline - Burns 42% more calories than baseline levels.

  • 4 mph and 6% Incline - Burns 47% more calories than baseline levels.

  • 5 mph and 2% Incline – Burns 56% more calories than baseline levels.

  • 5 mph and 4% Incline - Burns 68% more calories than baseline levels.

  • 5 mph and 6% Incline - Burns 79% more calories than baseline levels.

  • 6 mph and 2% Incline - Burns 84% more calories than baseline levels.

  • 6 mph and 4% Incline - Burns 98% more calories than baseline levels.

  • 6 mph and 6% Incline - Burns 112% more calories than baseline levels.



Quick & Easy Indian Curry Quinoa


Vegan & Gluten-Free! 



  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed & drained

  • 1 can (400ml) coconut milk

  • 1 can (400ml) diced tomatoes

  • 2-3 tbsp curry powder

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)

  • 1 large onion

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 carrot, diced

  • 1 12-14oz package extra firm organic tofu (or shrimp)

  • 2 large handfuls of chopped spinach or kale

  • ½ tsp crushed red chili pepper

  • salt and pepper

  • cilantro (fresh coriander) (optional)



  • In a medium saucepan, mix quinoa, coconut milk, diced tomatoes (with juice), curry powder and bring to boil. Lower heat to lowest setting, cover saucepan and simmer until quinoa is ready, about 15 minutes.

  • While quinoa is cooking: in a frying pan, heat oil over medium heat and stir-fry the garlic, carrot, onion and tofu until translucent.

  • Add the spinach/kale and cook until wilted, about a minute.

  • Mix the veggies with the quinoa, season with salt, pepper and crushed red chili pepper, and garnish with cilantro before serving.


Weight Training For Weight Loss


As a female in the exercise science field for the past 12 years, I have learned a thing or two about the importance of weight training. When the end goal is weight loss (or pretty much any end goal), a weight-training program is a must. 

Let’s get real. Sure, you can cut your calories in half, or spend your morning or evenings doing cardio to lose some pounds, but I can promise you both will not last nor will they give you a healthy looking and functioning body. 

When it comes to weight training for weight loss, it is important to put a few key points out there. First, you will not get BIG from lifting weights. You get “big” from overconsumption of energy (calories), which can be converted into fat or muscle based on the types of foods you eat and the exercise you do. Second, you can lift more than you think—and you should (with the help of a spotter, if necessary). And finally, if weight training is done properly you will likely be sore the day or two after your workouts (especially if you are new to resistance exercise). This is called delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, and it is a normal response to weight training. Be sure to stretch, drink plenty of water and incorporate sound nutrition to help your body recover quickly between workouts. 

Here are five key points to keep in mind while working toward your weight- or fat-loss goals. After all, weight is just a number and doesn’t say a whole lot about your body. I’m 5’2” and weigh about 135 pounds, while my mom is 5’2” and weighs around 113 pounds—the biggest difference is the amount of muscle we each have. Keep that in mind as you work toward your goals. 

1. Lift heavy weights. I have trained a lot of individuals over the years and I cannot tell you how many have sold themselves short. You won’t get results lifting the same weights you’ve been lifting (if you’ve been lifting). You have to go up in weight. Increase weight and you’ll increase your strength and muscle mass. Increase your muscle mass and you’ll increase your metabolic rate. Increase your metabolic rate and you will burn more calories. Burn more calories than you consume and you will lose weight. If you want to lose weight and not look “skinny fat,” you need to lift HEAVY weights.

2. Intensity. You don’t have to spend more than 30 to 45 minutes on your weight workouts. In fact, you could cut this down to 20 minutes. I love training with my powerlifting friends, but I do NOT have the focus or the time to lift weights for more than two hours. The key is to work hard throughout the entire workout, minimizing rest and keeping your heart rate elevated.  

3. I want you to fail. If you want your body to change, you have to push past your comfort zone. You can’t expect results doing the same thing you’ve always done—that’s called insanity, right? So when I say I want you to fail, I mean I want you to have to rest. I want you to not be able to finish that last rep or two, because you picked up the heavier weights. By pushing your body out of its comfort zone, you are forcing it to respond and to change. Your body has to use energy to repair and recover. Make your body work for you, and don’t be afraid to fail.

4. Do supersets and hybrids. A superset involves doing two or more exercises that target the same muscle group, back to back with minimal rest in between. For example, doing a set of 12 heavy squats followed by a set of 12 heavy lunges is a superset. A hybrid involves combining two or more movements into one movement. Combining a squat with a shoulder press or a lunge with a squat followed by a lunge are examples of hybrid exercises. Incorporating these into your weight-training workouts can increase the intensity of your training, which is ideal for losing weight.

5. Circuit Training. Circuit training is a great way to get in multiple exercises. You can focus on your upper body, lower body, or total body, all while keeping the intensity up. Of course, you still want to focus on using heavy weights. Move quickly from exercise to exercise and rest for a minute at the end of each round. Don’t be afraid to rest during a set, recover quickly, and then get back after it. 

By Kelley Vargo



Chopped Green Garden Salad




  • 1 cup of green peas – cooked

  • 1 small head of romaine lettuce – chopped

  • 2 cups of chopped spinach

  • 2 cups of chopped kale

  • 1 cup of chopped broccoli

  • 1 green apple – chopped

  • ¼ cup pepita seeds


Creamy Avocado & Lime Dressing

  • 1 avocado

  • Juice from 2 limes

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

  • ½ teaspoon of salt

  • ½ teaspoon of oregano

  • ½ teaspoon of celery salt

  • 1 cup of water




  • Fill a large bowl with the vegetables, apple, and pepita seeds. Make the dressing.

  • For the dressing add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

  • Put the dressing on the salad and toss well.



Good to know before you pick up that margherita...Get Drunk Not Fat:




Can I Really Speed Up My Metabolism?

Losing fat and boosting muscle mass can make a big difference in how you burn calories.














Yes, you really can speed up your metabolism, though likely not significantly, and certainly not with diet pills, green tea, or any other quick-fix products. There's only real way to make a difference in how your body burns calories: increase your lean muscle mass.

To get why, you have to understand a bit of the science behind metabolism. Your metabolic rate is essentially the speed at which your body expends energy, and it depends on many different factors. Your age, weight, health history, organ function, oxygen capacity, and even your height can all influence how many calories you burn during exercise, but also (and more importantly) during sedentary times of day.

Most of your resting metabolism is taken up by your organs—brain, heart, liver, etc. But the biggest factor affecting your metabolism that you can control is your ratio of body fat to lean muscle mass. "Muscle burns more calories than fat tissue, because muscle requires more energy to maintain," says Harold Gibbons, New York State Director of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. "The more fat you have, the slower your metabolism will be."

Just dropping pounds probably won't help, though, since most weight loss is a combination of fat and muscle tissue. "Usually, when people lose weight, their metabolism actually goes down," says Kim Sasso, a nutritionist at Loyola University Health System. That makes sense; you don’t need as much food to maintain a lower bodyweight. But if your goal is simply to up your metabolism, Sasso says, "it's not until you start decreasing your percentage of body fat and replacing it with increased muscle mass, do you start to see a difference in your resting metabolic rate."


You can see where this is going: To speed up your metabolism, you need to strength-train. And since the two biggest muscles in the body are the glutes and the thighs, lower-body exercises like squats and lunges are a great place to start, according to Sasso.

"Just by increasing their muscle mass on those two areas, you can burn more energy when you're exercising," says Sasso.

Plus, strength workouts have an additional metabolism-boosting benefit. Because this type of anaerobic training involves breaking down and building back up of muscle tissue, the body needs to burn more calories in the 24 to 48 hours after each session—a phenomenon known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, EPOC, or, informally, "afterburn.” Researchers, however, are currently debating how intense that afterburn really is. 

Cardio is still important, too. "Respiratory function is another big part of metabolism, and to increase that you need to be regularly getting your heart rate up," says Sasso. She recommends extended periods of walking, jogging, or some other form of moderate to intense aerobic activity, as well as body-weight circuit training with no rest between sets. Gibbons points out that cardio workouts generally burn more calories during exercise than strength-training—also important if your overall goal is weight loss or weight maintenance.

As far as foods and supplements go, nothing's been shown to have a meaningful impact on metabolic rate. "Green tea has a reputation for being a metabolism booster because it has compounds like caffeine, but the effect is so tiny, it's negligible," Sasso says. Protein also gets branded as metabolism-boosting, because the body uses more energy to digest it than it does for fat and carbs. But this effect is only temporary and, again, not big enough to make a real difference on its own.

Poor dietary and lifestyle choices can, on the other hand, slow down a healthy metabolism. Specifically, not eating every few hours or consuming too few calories overall, can put your body into starvation mode, so it hangs onto energy (and fat) as long as it can. Not getting enough sleep has also been shown to cause metabolic dysregulation.

Bottom line: Reduce body fat, build lean muscle mass, get plenty of sleep, and don't skip meals, so your body may burn a few more calories at rest. If you're really interested in the numbers, metabolic testing, which gauges your resting metabolic rate, can help you track your progress.


Pomegranate Oatmeal Muffins



  • 1 small banana

  • 2 large organic eggs

  • 1/3 cup 100% pomegranate juice

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or walnut milk

  • 2 cups quick cooking oatmeal

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/3 cup pomegranate arils

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, partly melted

Optional garnish

  • Pomegranate arils (about 1/4 cup)

  • Nut butter



First, preheat oven to 350ºF and spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

Then, place banana in a medium size bowl and mash until smooth. Add the eggs, pomegranate juice, vanilla extract, and unsweetened almond milk. Whisk until combined.

Add the oatmeal, baking powder, 1/3 cup pomegranate arils, coconut oil, and mix until smooth.

Fill muffin tin about 1/3 to 1/2 way full. Sprinkle additional pomegranate arils (1/4 cup) on top.

Bake at 350ºF for about 20 minutes.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 6 |  Serving Size: 2 snack cups

Per serving: Calories: 200; Total Fat: 8g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 71mg; Sodium: 464mg; Carbohydrate: 26g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 6g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 141mg; Iron: 9%; Vitamin A: 3%; Vitamin C: 3%; Calcium: 6% 



5 Reasons You're Not Losing Fat & How To Supercharge Fat Loss


There are 5 reasons you have bodyfat, so let’s break it down and get right to the point:


You eat too much.

You eat the wrong way.

You’re not exercising.

You’re not exercising the right way.

You have a higher priority health issue going on in your body.

When push comes to shove, it all boils down to one or more of these 5 reasons. Instead of trying to solve all five at once, I’d recommend you tackle them in order. Without doing this, it’s an uphill battle you don’t deserve to fight.

Do you eat too much?

This isn’t about counting calories, necessarily, but that’s important. In general, you should be eating between 1,500 and 2,500 calories per day, depending on your body size and gender. The best metric for determining this is your BMR (basal metabolic rate.) Here’s the formula — figure out how much you should be eating and stick to it:


English BMR Formula

  • Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)

  • Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)

Metric BMR Formula

  • Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kilos) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)

  • Men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kilos) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in years)


It’s important to note that lean body mass has a direct correlation to caloric consumption. In other words, if you are leaner, you should eat more calories, and you will be underestimating the caloric intake you should have. This really only applies to anyone who is less than 15% bodyfat. The contrary is also true (if you are obese, you need to eat less calories, because you don’t have muscle consuming the calories.)

Once you know your BMR, it’s time to associate this # of calories to your activity level and adjust accordingly. Your BMR is the number of calories your body will naturally burn throughout its day.

So, for example:
BMR = 1800 calories

This means that my body will naturally burn 1,800 calories every single day, without increasing my activity level. Therefore, in order to maintain my weight, I should consume 1,800 calories and I will not need to exercise beyond activities of daily living.

However, if you’d like to lose weight, you will have one of two choices:

  • Eat less calories than your BMR per day.

  • Exercise more than your normal activities of daily living (includes parking your car far away and walking — this does not count.)

Important metric: One pound = 3,500 calories

So, if I want to lose 1 pound per week, I’ll need to create a caloric deficit of 3,500 calories over the course of the week, or 500 calories per day. This means that a mere 500 calories of exercise per day will accomplish my goal, so long as I don’t overeat on any one day.

When you exercise more, you’ll lose weight faster; when you eat less, you’ll also lose weight faster. The big question becomes: how much food can you sacrifice before you actually harm your metabolism?

Anything below about 1,300 calories (tiny frame, female) and 1,500 calories (tiny frame, male) will be dangerous for your metabolism. You’re simply not allowing your body the required energy to function, so it slows down and begins to migrate into a hibernation-like state. Your metabolism plummets, and so do your weight loss results. You may lose weight, but you’ll have a heck of a time keeping it off.

This is why increasing the amount of exercise is much smarter than caloric restriction. Eat at least your BMR and then exercise your bodyfat away.

Do you eat the wrong way?

Forget the food pyramid — sorry, but it’s crap. It’s meant well, but it’s misguided. I’ve seen example after example of a high fat, high protein, low carbohydrate diet winning for fat loss and overall health. In extreme cases, I’ve seen heart disease completely reversed in 90-180 days after a heart attack by modifying your diet to high fat, low carb. The reverse has equal potential to sabotage your health and damage the inside of your body. Many times, your bodyfat is an indication of the overall health of your body, on the inside.

When you see unwanted bodyfat, your body is trying to tell you something — you’re not as healthy as you should be. Weight is one consideration, but depositing fat is a red flag that something is wrong.

Get your bodyfat down, as follows, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM):

  • Men – 10-20% bodyfat

  • Women – 12-25% bodyfat

If you’re over 20% bodyfat as a man, or 25% bodyfat as a woman, you’re unhealthy.

Your blood work may be ok, and your doctor may be telling you that everything is fine, but your body is experiencing a downward spiral; it’s only a matter of time until it all comes crashing down. Get your bodyfat where it belongs, and then become concerned with your BMI (Body Mass Index.)

Body Mass Index Formula: [Weight (kg) / Height (meters squared)]

BMI over 25 is considered overweight. Over 30 is considered obese, and it gets worse from there, in increments of 5. (level II obesity, level III, etc.)

Yes, this matters for risk of cardiac disease, even if your bodyfat is low, because your heart is working too hard to pump blood to your body. But, the fact of the matter is that this affects about 1% of the population. The rest of us should be concerned with bodyfat %.

Let’s get back to eating the ‘right’ kinds of food. Here’s the scoop:

High fat diets produce sustained energy and they fill you — low fat diets destroy your energy levels and create massive carb cravings — protein feeds muscle, so if you’re building muscle to lose fat, you’re going to need protein to keep your results flowing.

A lot of people ask me about ‘carb crankiness’ and that’s an important question to answer. Consider the ‘quality’ of the food you’re eating, rather than just the macronutrient classification. Here are some simple rules to help you defend against carb crankiness:

  • Make sure you are taking some sort of supplement that will fulfill all of your micronutrient needs.

  • Never eat trans-fats. The inflammation caused by trans fats and preservatives that are in your food are changing the way your body absorbs the nutrients you eat, and in all likelihood, you are getting a small percentage of caloric density from the food you chose wisely as a result of these compromised food choices.

  • Remove sugar from your diet. Sounds hard, but that’s only because you are addicted. I hate sugar. There, I said it, and I’m just as addicted as you are. I hate it because it owns me, in some way, shape or form. It’s worse than the tobacco industry, in that sugar addiction reaches populations that tobacco never will. We’re trained to believe that sugar is a reward from a very young age, and we associate it with positivity and good behavior and experiences. You have to hate sugar for doing this to you, or you’ll never conquer it. Sugar is destroying your body, and you’re letting it happen, whether you mean to or not.

  • Eat veggies for carbs, and stay away from more than 1-2 servings of fruit per day (better yet, once every few days.) Starchy foods, flour, and wheat all suck. They’re not meant for our bodies, and they are messing with our digestive systems in a totally uncool way.

  • Avoid grains, soy, and corn. They mess with your hormones and affect your digestive tract in an ungodly way. That’s all I have to say about that.

Follow these 5 rules and you’ll easily transition into a healthy diet that ‘feels’ great and rewards you every day of your life with better health and longevity. Plus, you’ll shed fat ridiculously fast.

One important point here — only make this commitment for 3 weeks to start, and then re-evaluate. You’ll stand a much higher chance of success.

Do you exercise, regularly?

Be honest. Are you resistance training at least 2-3 days per week? If you’re not, there’s a huge gap in your fat loss and health journey that’s keeping you from success. As a summary of what works, here’s what I recommend:

  • ‘Traditional Cardio’ (i.e. running, walking, swimming, etc. at a moderate and sustained pace for 40-60 minutes) has a lot of benefits, such as endorphin modification and regulation, stress relief, improved circulation, and oxygenation to muscles, ligaments, and other tissues.

  • ‘Interval Training’ has a great fat-burning effect, but it’s tough on your body and it doesn’t build any muscle unless you incorporate resistance training to your interval-based workouts. You’ll need muscle to avoid plateau.

  • ‘Resistance Training’ has great ‘muscle building’ and ‘muscular endurance’ benefits. When you do this while alternating high and low intensity work periods (i.e. metabolic resistance training), you’re able to create a massive fat-burning effect and progress your muscle to fat ratio, which will raise your BMI.



10 Colorful Salad Recipes!




Flourless Almond Butter Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies with sea salt {paleo, gluten free}




  • 1 cup all natural creamy or chunky almond butter

  • 1/3 cup honey or pure maple syrup

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 3.5 oz dark chocolate bar coarsely chopped and divided

  • sea salt, for sprinkling

  • about 18 almonds for topping, if desired




  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat together almond butter, honey (or maple syrup), egg, vanilla, baking soda, and salt until smooth and creamy; about 2 minutes. Fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chunks.

  • Drop tablespoon sized balls of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parachment paper, top each cookies with extra chocolate chunks and an almond if desired. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies turn a slight golden brown underneath; they will be puffy! Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Makes 18 cookies.




The 4-Hour Body - Timothy Ferriss

An Uncommon Guide to rapid fat-loss, incredible sex, and becoming superhuman


Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle - Tom Venuto

Transform your body forever using the secrets of the leanest people in the world


The Conscious Cleanse - Jo Schaalman and Julie Pelaez

Lose weight, heal your body, and transform your life in 14 days


The Beauty Detox Foods - Kimberly Snyder

Discover the top 50 beauty foods that will transform your body and reveal a more beautiful you


Strong Curves - Bret Contreras & Kellie Davis

A women's guide to building a better butt and body


The China Study - T. Colin Campbell

The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted


Sweet Potato Black Bean Casserole



















Ingredients (Vegan and Gluten-free)

-1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (cook in the microwave for about 3-5 minutes, to soften)

-1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed

-1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained

-½ an onion, chopped

-1 red or green bell pepper, chopped

-1 teaspoon chili powder

-1 teaspoon garlic salt

-½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

-1 cup salsa, divided

-2-4 tortillas, depending on size (corn, sprouted, gluten-free or whole wheat)

-4 oz. shredded cheese, use vegan as desired (optional)

-Salt & pepper to taste



-Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with a natural cooking spray; set aside.

-In a large bowl, combine diced sweet potato, black beans, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, chili powder, garlic salt, and cinnamon.

-Spread ½ cup salsa on the bottom of the baking dish. Arrange a tortilla on top, ripping into strips to get the right fit. -Spoon a large layer of sweet potato/black bean mixture over tortilla strips. Spread the remaining ½ cup salsa over the sweet potato/black bean layer.

-Add one more layer of tortillas and then add the rest of the sweet potato/black bean mixture over the tortilla layer. Top with cheese, if using.

-Bake, uncovered, 20-25 minutes and until cheese is melted and top is slightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut into squares and serve. Top with additional salsa, cilantro, and/or avocado, if desired.

-Enjoy! I know you will!



Chickpea Veggie Burgers


Servings: Makes 4 burgers


1/4 white, yellow, or red onion
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 medium carrot, shredded
1/3 medium zucchini, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
black pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1 TB nutritional yeast (optional)
2/3 cup instant oats
EVOO cooking spray


1. Finely chop all veggies.

2. In a food processor or blender pulse the chickpeas until blended (can also be mashed without one).

3. Remove the chickpeas from the food processor and add them to the bowl of diced vegetables.

4. Add the spices and extra virgin olive oil to the bowl.  Stir until all of the ingredients are well-combined.

5. Stir in the instant oats.  You may want to add more or less than specified, depending on your preference and how well the mixture holds together.

6. Separate the chickpea/vegetable/oats mixture into four equal-sized portions.  Form these portions into patties.

7. Spray a large skillet with EVOO cooking spray (or you can use a bit of EVOO).  Heat the skillet over medium heat until warm.

8. Add the burger patties to the pan and cook for approximately 6-8 minutes, or until the first side becomes golden brown and begins to get crispy.

9. Carefully flip the burgers (this is the most difficult part of the recipe) and cook an additional 6-8 minutes.  You may need to continue cooking each of the sides for a few more minutes until the burgers meet your desired crispiness.

10. Serve your burgers alone or on a whole wheat bun or sandwich thin.  You could also serve these in whole wheat pitas.  Add your favorite burger toppings and eat!



Rev up your cardio with this 15 minute drill:



Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Casserole



  • 1 medium spaghetti squash (about 4 cups cooked)

  • 1 and ½ cups lowfat ricotta cheese

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 and ½ cups thick marinara sauce

  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach

  • ½ cup part-skim Mozzarella cheese

  • Garnish: grape tomatoes, red pepper flakes



  • Slice spaghetti squash in half, remove the seeds, and bake it flesh side down for 40 minutes at 350 degrees (I have factored this into the prep time quoted).

  • To make this recipe quickly, use leftover spaghetti squash. Run a fork into the spaghetti squash to create strands, and throw away the skin. Use a paper towel to pat away excess moisture.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  • Combine the ricotta with the egg, basil, oregano, and garlic powder.

  • Begin layering by placing ½ cup of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a greased 8x8 or 9x9 pan. Continue with 2 cups of cooked spaghetti squash, ¾ of a cup of the ricotta mixture, 2 cups of torn fresh spinach, ½ cup marinara sauce, and a ¼ cup mozzarella. Repeat the process once with those same amounts (layering spaghetti squash, ricotta, spinach, pasta sauce, and finally mozzarella).

  • Garnish with sliced grape tomatoes, any additional chopped spinach or mozzarella, and red pepper flakes.

  • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, until bubbling.

  • Let it sit for 10 minutes before slicing. To serve immediately, use a slotted spoon and allow any excess liquid to drain out of the pan. Leftovers will be even firmer and slice into nice squares.

















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