Author Archives: Hopebundrant

English Toffee Anytime Smoothie

I am all about sweets! The hardest thing about dieting is not having sugar and chocolate! So, I try to create as many ways as possible to get my sweet tooth satisfied but stay the course. The recipe below uses Stevia. I used to absolutely HATE stevia, but after a few days it grew on me.

This is a guilt-free dessert you can drink as a meal. It’s actually a super healthy meal!

1 scoop ON Natural Chocolate Protein Powder (has no sweetenters and tastes great!)
1/2 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder sweetened with Stevia (NOW brand) (Watch out- ON Protein Powder Natural Vanilla has sugar in it- totally sucks!)
1 Tbsp almond butter
1 dopper full Stevia English Toffee liquid
a few shakes of Cinnamon
1/2 cups cold water

In your blender, combine all ingredients. Easy and delicious. Meets your protein and fats for one meal. Have it with a couple rice cakes if you need carbs.

Option: You can also add instant coffee to this!

My Cardio Drink

People ask me all the time how my skin stays so nice. I do tan and am not a spring chicken anymore. For me, keeping nice, tight, smooth skin is really important. Especially when you are losing fat. If your weight goes up and down, you can think about your skin like a balloon that you blow up and let air out over and over. The balloon stops going back to it’s old size and gets kind of saggy.  To combat this, here is a drink I use ever morning when I do my cardio. You can mix it to your own taste.

Hope’s Cardio Drink

1/2 scoop Collagen Peptide powder (it’s flavorless)
32 oz. water (or average sports water bottle)
pure lemon juice (I use Italian Volcano Organic from Costco)
Pure stevia liquid
1 tsp Glutamine

I don’t like mine too tart so I go easy on the lemon juice. Because I drink this on an empty stomach doing my cardio, too much acid from the lemon can give you a yucky stomach. You can also drink this all day (without the collagen). The amount of Collagen powder I use is one full scoop a day, so I have the other 1/2 scoop later in a coffee smoothy.

The Collagen Peptide I use is Dr. Bernd Friedlander. Iti s Hydrolyzed collagen 15g per scoop. It has 54 calories and 13.5g of protein. In this picture I am just about 42 and you can see how tight my skin is.


Shredded Chicken Lettuce Tacos

I love crock pots to slow cook meat all day. It makes cooking a lot of meat simple and easy not to mess up. Cooking in a crock pot allows you to put the meat in with the seasonings in the morning and it will be ready for dinner without having to monitor it all day long. I like meat very tender and a crock pot will get it there.

One good recipe is shredded chicken. You can use fresh or frozen chicken breasts, as much as you want. Cooking in a crock pot will allow the chicken to absorb all the seasonings and be very tender to fall apart as you shred it for other uses.

4 Chicken breasts
16 oz Salsa
Chili powder
Chopped Onion
Sliced Bell Peppers
Romaine Lettuce

Put chicken and all ingredients to taste in crock pot and turn on to high. Usually I cook it at the highest setting for the most amount of time, just to make sure it gets totally tender.

When chicken is cooked, remove chicken from pot and shred with a fork. Then line up romaine lettuce leaves and fill with chicken and top with salsa and avocado. Watch portion size. You still want to make sure you are only eating 4-6 oz of chicken and no more than a 1/2 avocado and not too much salsa! Remember, if you are going for fat loss, don’t use cheese or sour cream.

Another option would be to chop up lettuce and make into a salad.

Chicken with Leeks & Mashed Sweet Potatoes

chicken-leeksThis is a great meal that meets a low-fat and low carb diet. Or at least one meal on a low carb diet. Does not contain anything you can’t have to lose weight or fat. No sugar, no dairy, no wheat. Portion size is super important to losing weight. For women, 4 oz of lean meat is sufficient per meal (based on 5-6 meals per day) 6 oz. is good for men.

Ingredients for chicken:
4 oz chicken breast
1/4 cup sliced leeks
1/4 cup organic, yeast-free chicken broth
4 sprigs fresh basil
1/8 cup green onion
fresh garlic to taste
olive oil

Ingredients for sweet potatoes:
3 oz. sweet potato


First, slice leeks and onions. Next, heat pan on medium high and spray with olive oil to saute saute green onions and garlic for a few minutes. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken breasts and brown both sides (seasoning both sides). Turn down heat to medium and lay leeks and basil in pan with chicken. Pour in chicken broth to cover chicken half way and put on lid. Depending on how thick the chicken is, will depend how long to cook it. You can check that it’s cooked by slicing it and seeing it if it is white in in the thickest part. I like to cut it up prior to cooking so it cooks faster and with more flavor throughout.

Tip: Whenever you are cooking meat pour in a little water or broth to keep it from drying out. Then put on lid to cook faster.

For sweet potatoes:

Cut up potatoes to cook quickly in microwave. Put in a bowl with a little water, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cover with a microwave-safe lid of plastic wrap and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Then, remove the excess water from bowl and mash up with juice from chicken pan.

I’ve added a basic green salad with romaine, bell peppers, avocado, a couple cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Remember to go easy on the bell peppers and tomatoes because they are sugary veggies and light on the avocado- no more than an ounce- because avocado’s are high in fat. If the avocado is the only fat in the meal, use no more than half of one.

Are Your Kids Getting Enough Protein?

kideating-istockKids tend to eat a lot of carbs and little protein. If your kids are like mine, they tend to grab quick snacks such as granola bars, cereal, toast or fruit. Unfortunately, there is not much, if any, protein in these. Getting them to eat the right amount of protein per day is difficult.

Not just kids, but teens are especially in need of protein. My teens are up at 6am and spend the day at school. My daughter is so tired when she gets home, she sleeps for a few hours before dinner and homework time. Being able to cope each day with the pressure of academics, social drama and workload is a lot for a teen, so getting the right amount of amino acids is essential!

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Is Your Relationship a Ping-Pong Match?

ping-pong-coupleI used to tell Mike that it felt as if we were ping-ponging against each other.

I would do something that would cause him to react that would in turn cause me to react, and so on and so on, until somebody “won.”

It was exhausting. I wanted to end the game, but didn’t know how.

Back then, before we knew about psychological attachments, we figured we could solve our issues by simply thinking about it, drawing diagrams of how it looked, and mentally going round and round with it. Then, we would come to a little agreement of what I wouldn’t do and he wouldn’t do.

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Why am I so Insecure?

1383685411000-Jennifer-Aniston“That all started in my 30’s,” Jennifer Aniston admits her insecurities began during her relationship to Brad Pitt.

Jennifer Aniston went through her awkward stage when she was married to Brad Pitt. Instead of experiencing insecurities when she was younger like many women do.

The former Friends star got married to the actor when she was 31 and admits that prior to that she didn’t worry about her image too much.

Why is this? What would trigger her insecurities during this time of her life and not when she was younger?

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Let’s Talk Turkey about Amino Acids

roast-turkey-su-600619-xI used to hate eating turkey. It seemed flavorless compared to chicken and beef. When I started on my transformation diet, I was forced, however, to incorporate turkey into my meals each day.

Suddenly, I began to actually want it. It didn’t matter what seasoning I put on it, it always tasted great.

Pretty soon turkey became my protein of choice. What was turkey doing for my body that made me crave it so much? The answer is in the protein.

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Protein Powders:
The Good, The Bad and The Toxic

Protein-Powders-the-good-the-bad-the-toxicProtein powder is big business. If you’ve been to a health food store lately, you’ve probably been overwhelmed by the selection of protein powders available. I’m not just talking flavors, but different types of protein.

Because we use protein powder as a meal replacement, it’s important to know what we’re really getting. Will it help us or hurt us?

Being in the fitness world as a bodybuilding competitor, I’ve noticed that everyone has a favorite protein type. Of course, they all think theirs is better than the rest. Who do you listen to?

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Top 5 Supplements to Supercharge Fat Burning

How-Your-Hormones-Could-Be-Whipping-You-Up-a-Muffin-Top...Getting rid of body fat can be a long process. You might be eating right and exercise, but the body fat is just not coming off quickly enough.

As we get older, our metabolism slows down, which makes it harder to convert fat into energy. One key to lowering your body fat by boosting the rate at which your body burns calories is to use metabolism boosting supplements. One of the following supplements may even encourage your body to favor fat as your energy source.

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