Portugese Kale Soup {Healthy Comfort Food}


Fall is the official beginning of comfort food season. The temperatures drop, we dig out the sweaters and there is something about casseroles, soups and baked pastas that just warms our soul as we kick off fall.

This time of year also tends to be the start of weight gain season for many. The sweaters hide the bulge, the leggings have give and stretch along with us as we indulge in these comfort foods and baking season, which isn’t far behind.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be featuring healthy comfort foods that will help you to combat the cold weather weight gain. These hearty meals will satisfy your cravings while keep your waist line in check. PLUS if you’re doing the 21 Day Fix, they will also be plan approved!

There are so many reasons to love this Portuguese-inspired kale and sausage soup. As with many soups, this recipe tastes even better on the second day. For that reason, this soup is great for meal prep. It makes enough for a whole week of lunches or dinners, and freezes well.

Portuguese Kale Soup

Total Time: 48 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 38 min.
Yield: 6 servings, about 1¼ cups each

1 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. turkey kielbasa sausage, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 to 3 medium leeks, chopped, just white and light-green parts
1 bunch kale, stems removed and discarded, torn (about 4 cups)
1 (15-oz.) can kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes, no added salt
6 cups low-sodium organic chicken (or vegetable) broth
Ground black pepper (to taste; optional)

1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Add kielbasa; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned.
3. Add garlic, leeks, and kale; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until soft.
4. Add kidney beans, tomatoes, broth, and pepper (if desired). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.


Doesn’t that look and sound delicious?!

Personally, I think the best part about this recipe is that it is meal prep friendly. If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know I am big on meal planning and meal prep, especially when doing the 21 Day Fix. It truly is the key to staying on plan and avoiding temptation during the week, when things can get hectic.

If you’re new to the 21 Day Fix, be sure to check out my 21 Day Fix Planning tools.

Been thinking about trying 21 Day Fix but have questions? Feel free to contact me with them! I’d be more than happy to help you figure out if it would be a good fix for you….plus it’s on special this month and I have a new accountability group beginning on October 26th! 

What’s your favorite comfort food once the temps start cooling down? 

blog sig

So Long Comfort Zone: Periscoping With Purpose

Hey everyone! Thank you for stopping by blog and for checking out my latest Periscope: So Long Comfort Zone: Periscoping With Purpose. I’m just guessing that there is where you came from since I just finished Scoping about this. While I’m at it, thanks for the heart love…cause you give show me heart love, right?!

As I mentioned in my scope, video is not my thing.

I avoid it like the plague, even though I know that it is a key component to my business and I could help more people by having an active YouTube channel. Typing that out actually just made me feel kinda selfish, because my goal is to help people with their health and fitness goals, but I let my issues with video stand in the way from doing that. Whoa. Sometimes being human totally sucks!

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the jail I’ve locked myself in to with all of my fears. It’s not a cool place to hang out at all. Fear keeps me from doing things I would like to do. It keeps me from trying new things and reaching goals that I have set for myself. Now more than ever, I want to break free of fear and see what’s on the other side of my comfort zone. Is this a scary thing, hell yeah! However it is necessary and I know that now.

If you believe in higher powers or the Universe guiding you through life, then we could totally hang out. I’m not a religious person at all, but I do believe that people come into your life and things happen for a reason.

Recently, I had someone come into my life who introduced me to “Ooola Life” via a post on Facebook. Upon some conversation, she told me about their website and I was in love as soon as I checked it out. I even ordered their book and devoured it in about 48 hours. (I’m currently on the worksheet section and feeling more inspired than I have in a long time!)

I began following them on Periscope and something they spoke about struck a cord with me. They spoke about fear and how it’s just a feeling that you need push through. How you need to take a deep breath, process the feeling for 20 seconds and just push forward. This Periscope got me thinking about my fear of video and made me realize that I need to get over it. I began thinking that Periscope was the perfect place to start, despite being a live broadcast with no second chance. The reason why this was appealing to me? It’s not permanent. It’s not up forever for people to see. It’s there for 24 hours and then it’s gone! I like that. I’m not 100% sure why just yet…but I do and I’m going with it.

Fast forward a few hours and I was scrolling around Pinterest when this graphic caught my eye:

Periscope With Purpose

I immediately clicked on it and read what it was all about. Right then, right there, the Universe was guiding me toward what I needed most. A guide to conquer my fear of video. I no longer had the excuse of “I don’t know what to Periscope about”….it was all right in front of me.

With a click of a button and a little bit of typing, I signed up for the challenge and saved the graphic so I would be able to plan out some scopes. Not bad for a first step!

Today is the official kick-off date for the challenge and I’ll be doing a scope shortly, but it’s not my first scope! The other day I couldn’t get the thought of Periscope out of my mind and I had just finished a chapter from the Oola book on fear, so I decided to just hit broadcast and go for it!

It was a terrifying 5 minutes for me, but I am so grateful for the friends who hopped on to the broadcast, showed me some heart love and commented in support of my first scope!

I know this post doesn’t have much to do with health & fitness in the nutrition and exercise sense, but conquering fear is part of mental health and I am ALL for that! As a matter of fact, it’s something I have been really been working on myself and will be posting about more often. But don’t worry, I’ll be sharing lots of recipes, more updates on my journey and other fitness related info soon. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter. It’s the best way to stay in the loop about new groups coming up and other specials!

Are you on Periscope? If so, please let me know what your username is and I’ll stop by to see your most recent scopes! You can find me here.

Not on Periscope yet? Check it out and maybe join me in 31 days of Scoping! I promise you we will not die from talking on video (even though we might feel like we will). I’m sure I will flub, lose my train of thought or totally bomb on a scope or two, but you know what…it’s okay. It shows that I’m a real person. I’m not perfect, I don’t have my shit together, I have fears, I’m a little weird and I sometimes forget what I was doing and as I watch more scopes I’m realizing I’m not alone!

So head on over to Blog Clarity to sign up for daily reminders and tips to go along with this challenge…then comment below to let me know if you’re in!

blog sig


Football Snacks to Keep You on Track


Are you ready for some football?!

I know I am!

This month I was going to run a 7 day group focused on football snacks to keep you on track, but I didn’t have any takers for it (insert sad Nikki face here). As a result, I decided to turn my idea into a blog post that might help some football fans who I have not personally connected with on Facebook yet.

(Hint Hint…you can like my Facebook page OR leave a comment below so we can connect!)

Fall equals football season, there is no denying that. Some of us can’t wait for Saturdays, so we can cheer on our favorite college teams, some are die hard NFL fans, some are into both and let’s face it…there are people who don’t care about who’s playing or who wins, they’re just in it for the snacks and the beer. I don’t know many of them, but I hear they do exist.

Personally I have always been into the NFL more (Go Broncos!) but over the last few years, I’ve been watching more Big 10 games and trying to keep all of the college rules and teams straight. I married into a family who takes football very seriously and likes to trash talk, which is really a lot of fun. Getting together with others on a Sunday to talk smack and drink a few beers is a great way to catch up and socialize, but the food that is typically served at these gathering can really screw up your week if you are trying to be healthier.

Below are some links to recipes that I love to make, as well as some that I plan on trying the football season. The goal is to help myself stay on track, while not feeling like an outcast who only eats steamed chicken and broccoli. I hope you give them a try and if YOU have any favorites that I did not list, I would LOVE to hear about them in the comments section below!

 Football Appetizers

Healthy Football Appetizers:

Football Main Dish

Healthy Football Main Dishes:

Chili, Pizza and Taco’s just come to mind when I hear football. For you, it might be burgers or sausage subs. When you select your main dishes for game day, just keep a few things in mind:

  1. Keep it lean. (Sub turkey for beef or go 90% or leaner with ground beef. Turkey sausage is also super yummy!)
  2. Keep it hand held or easy to eat. (Sliders are a perfect way to enjoy burgers on game day!)
  3. Keep it simple. (You’ll want to watch the game, not be chained to the kitchen!)

As you can see, I kept things simple and flavorful. Good fun doesn’t have to be fried, full of fat or time consuming to make. These recipes are just the tip of iceberg and I encourage everyone to search Pinterest for more ideas, share some your favorite healthy game day snacks or even share an unhealthy favorite that you might need help cleaning up!

Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box by using cauliflower pizza crusts, offering Energy Bites or Cookie Dough Dip as a sweet treat instead of cookies or using mini peppers to make some Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers!

My final tip is something that you already know…… LIMIT EMPTY CALORIES FROM BEER AND ALCOHOL! I know having a beer while watching football makes the experience feel complete, and it’s okay to have one or two. It’s when you begin drinking to excess that you run into problems. As with everything in life, moderation is key!

Have fun with your food this football season and best of luck to your team!

blog sig

FIXATE Cookbook Revisions

Long time no post…I know, I know. Bad blogger!

The summer is a crazy time of year, as everyone knows. The kids are home, you sleep in (if you’re lucky), you move at a slower pace and there really isn’t much structure or a schedule to stick to. As a result, I didn’t have much time to write and tried to stayed focused on my nutrition and activity as best I could (I’ll do an post on what I’ve been up to shortly…I promise!)

Today, I wanted to share some revisions to the 21 Day Fix companion cookbook, FIXATE.

Myself, as well as all of my clients were filled with joyed when the announcement for this book was made. I ordered a copy as soon as it was available and I snagged a few copies while I was in Nashville for the annual Beachbody Coach Summit, to pass along to future clients. During the flight home I cracked it open and begin making a list of everything I was going to make when I got home and that’s when I realize something wasn’t right.

If you have been doing 21 Day Fix for awhile and are comfortable with the container system, you can tell by looking at a recipe roughly what the container counts should be and certain recipes just weren’t adding up. Thankfully, Autumn Calabrese (creator of 21 Day Fix) addressed the issue on message boards and they began answer questions regarding the container counts for the recipes in the book. Hence this post featuring FIXATE Cookbook revisions!

Below, is a .PDF revision for the book, so if you own it, be sure to save this, print it out or use it to manually change the container counts/colors in your FIXATE book.

Fixate Revisions

FIXATE Revisions

Another great resource that Autumn supplied to us, was this video which explains WHY certain foods become counted as a purple or orange container, even though the food items is actually on the green or blue container list.



I hope these revisions and video help you on your 21 Day Fix journey! If you have any other questions about the cookbook and or the 21 Day Fix program, please feel free to ask them below! I have monthly support groups each month and would love to have you join my next one.

blog sig

{21 Day Fix} Beach Friendly Snacks

Pool SnacksLet’s talk beach & pool food!

You’re working out hard, doing great with your meals and then your friends or family want to hit the pool or the beach to cool off and enjoy the summer weather. You begin to freak out because this is out of your norm and you don’t want to ruin your progress with the 21 Day Fix or your fitness routine.

Don’t worry! Here are some healthy options to pack and take with you for a little fun in the sun.

21 Day Fix Beach Friendly Snacks:

  • Fruit & veggies teamed up with some hummus, PB, guacamole or yogurt dip are all quick, simple & nutritious option to prepare the night before.
  • Clean out old PB jars or use a mason jar to pack celery, apples it baby carrots with some PB or hummus. (This will also help to reduce getting sand in your food at the beach)
  • Plastic soda cups with lids make awesome salad containers. Just layer your ingredients (put your dressing on the bottom) and stick a fork in the top, for easy grab and go lunch!
  • Wraps are another great option. One of my favorites is nitrate-free turkey or ham with hummus, lettuce, tomato and a little broccoli slaw for crunch. Want something lower carb? Ditch the tortilla and use romaine lettuce as a wrap instead.

All you need is a cooler with some ice-packs, a little prep time the night before or the morning before you leave and you’ll be on track to avoid buying a hot dog, pretzel of other junk options that you typically find at either location.

Do you have a favorite pool or beach snack? If so, please share below!

blog sig

Crazy Cups: How I Conquer My Sweet Tooth

Crazy Cups PostDisclaimer: As a Crazy Cups Ambassador, I was sent a package of coffee to review. and no compensation was exchanged. All opinions stated are my own.

I have sweet tooth bigger than my head. Cookies, cinnamon rolls, ice-cream…you name it! I have a hard time saying no to them. I also have a hard time saying no to coffee, so this is where Crazy Cups becomes my saving grace!

Now, if you follow me on Instagram or if we are friends on Facebook, you know that I LOVE me some coffee! I am always picking up new flavors of K-cups to try and my morning posts typically have something to do with coffee, especially dessert flavored coffees. Knowing this about me, it will come as no surprise that when Crazy Cups reached out to me and asked me to become an ambassador for them, I said YES!

In case you have not heard of Crazy Cups before, here is a little info about them:

  • They have recyclable K-cups.
  • They are known for their flavored K-cups. (you’ll see why as you read on)
  • Their products are organic and fair trade.
  • Their cups have 13g coffee grounds, which is 30% more than the competition.
  • Get notifications about new flavors and become part of their Flavor Nation with their app: (Click Here)

I am not a stranger to the Crazy Cups line of coffee  and I have tried many of their flavors, including their Hot Cocoa line. (FYI: the Maple French Toast is hands down my favorite!)  They have a list of flavors that will make your mouth drool:

Crazy Cups

  • Chocolate Coconut Dream
  • Frosted Oatmeal Cookie
  • Italian Chocolate Cheesecake
  • Pumpkin Vanilla Creme
  • Cinnamon Churro
  • Caramel Truffle Sundae
  • Bananas Foster Flambe
  • Salted Caramel

…and more! Don’t those sound good?!

Coffee flavors like these have been the key to keeping my sweet tooth in check while doing my workouts and sticking to clean eating. They feel like a cheat to me and help me to curb my cravings without shoving a calorie-filled treat into my face and regretting it later. I also get the energy I need to feel human through caffeine instead of processed sugar. (Remember, always say no to processed sugar and enjoy your caffeine in moderation, while drinking lots of water because it can dehydrate you!)

Plus their dedication to flavored coffee brings a tear to my eye…

ode to flavor

Speaking of Death By Chocolate…it’s my new obsession!

This flavor can cure just about any chocolate craving with the smell alone. My entire kitchen smelled like a chocolate cake as this little pod brewed, it was absolutely heavenly!

Now, I drink my coffee iced and black (which is why this is a basically a calorie free treat for me) and the flavor of this was perfectly balanced. It was chocolaty but not so sweet that you forgot you were drinking a cup of coffee. 

Want to try some Death by Chocolate for yourself? Enter my GIVEAWAY below for a chance to win a box of your very own!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

blog sig

{Summer Beauty} Coconut Lime Scrub

Can you believe it is July already?!

Sorry I’ve been MIA again lately. With the end of the school year, two kids graduation from their schools and getting into the summer routine, I’ve been a little lost. On the bright side, my brain has been going non-stop about new posts to s

We’re been having some strange weather here in New Jersey. Warm one minute, fall the next, however my skin is a constant reminder of winter. It’s dry and itchy and just not summer ready. I decide to quit relying on just lotion and I whipped up some exfoliating scrub after hitting Pinterest for some winter skin solutions.

This stuff smells ah-mazing and left me skin feeling smooth, hydrated and ready to slip into a pair of short or sundress.

Coconut Lime Scrub

Coconut Lime Scrub
1/4 cup Unrefined Coconut Oil
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
2 Tbsp Lime Juice
Lime Zest
Lime Essential Oil (if desired)

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Store in a mason jar and use while you shower!

You can use the base recipe of coconut oil & sugar and change the scent if you’d like. Essential oils are very popular these days, so get creative and have fun! Lavender would be a great option to help you relax if you like to shower before bed.

Do you have a summer beauty tip that you can’t live without? Please share below so I can give it a try!

blog sig