Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Anti-process Series: Fabulous Fall "French (turnip) Fries!"

I have to apologize in advance because I don't have any pictures of this recipe right now 
(because someone, a-hem, forgot to take them!!!).

(...ok it was me...)

So let's just dive right in!

This recipe needs just six simple ingredients:
  • Turnips - 3 lbs, peeled & cut into sticks the size of homemade french fries (about 1/3" wide x 3" long)
    • (turnips that are more than 3-inches in diameter tend to get too fibrous for this  recipe; so be sure to buy turnips less than 3-inches around!)
  • Vegetable Oil - 2 Tbsp 
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese - 2/3 cup 
    • (fresh is best! ...if you have the time, I mean.)
  • Garlic Salt - 1 & 1/2 tsp
  • Paprika - 2 tsp
  • Onion Powder - 2 tsp


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with aluminum foil & coat lightly with oil (I like to use coconut oil here, just rubbed on using a paper towel, because coconut oil is simply wonderful, isn't it?)

2. Place oil & turnips in a large bowl & toss to coat. Next, add parmesan & the spices to a large, resealable bag & mix well. Add the turnips to the bag & give it all a shake until the turnips are evenly covered with spices. Spread in a single layer on the baking sheets.

3. Bake in upper & lower thirds of oven until crisp on the outside & tender on the inside (usually around 30 minutes, but everyone's oven is different!).


In each 3/4 cup serving, these have only 100 calories, 5.5g fat, 3.5g protein, 10g carbs, 3g fiber, 390mg sodium & 5.8mg cholesterol.

Turnips have less starch than potatoes, which is one of the reasons they are a much better carb, but this also means that your fries won't be exactly as "crispy" as potato fries.

My Very Favorite DETOX Water!

This is a fairly simple post, but I just wanted to share my very favorite detox water. Remember to always use glass pitchers or jars when adding essential oils because the oils can break down the phthalates in the plastics (more on phthalates here); & who wants to drink up those yummy man-made chemicals? Mmm, mmm, good...


 I have an infusion pitcher & I fill the infusing sleeve with mint leaves & oranges without the peel, but with plenty of pith. The pith is where the nutrients are, people!

Then I add Young Living's lemon essential oil, about 1-2 drops per cup of water. Let it sit for an hour or two & it is ready to go! The longer it sits, the more the water becomes infused.

I personally like to make some infused green tea instead of water, otherwise using the same recipe. 
And I'm not talking about hot tea from a plastic pod in a machine! Did you know you can make your own tea from boiling water, tea bags 
& a pot lid? I know, right?!? CRAZY TOWN!

Just in case you don't know how to "steep" your own tea (which not everyone does! No judgment here!), you just bring water to boiling, remove from heat, add your tea bags & put the lid on the pot. Your tea should be ready in just a few minutes, but I tend to let mine sit there for awhile because I like my green tea cold most of the time anyway.

When you add the green tea, you not only have water that is


but now you have also filled it with


And those little guys get rid of free-radicals in your cells. 
And those little bastards are responsible for speeding up your aging process! 
Ummm, no thank you!

Here are some variations to the recipe:

To switch it up to a weight - loss boosting water, you can add Young Living's grapefruit, lemon & peppermint essential oils to the water. I do leave the peppermint out 
if I'm already diffusing mint in the pitcher itself, though.

Why do these boost weight loss????

Lemon - detoxes fat from your cells & alkalinizes the body*
Grapefruit - boosts metabolism
Peppermint - curbs appetite & reduces sugar cravings

* People always ask me how/why lemons & apple cider vinegar make the body more alkaline when they are so acidic themselves? I mean, the chemical name for vinegar is acetic acid. Could a name BE anymore acidic sounding? {side bar, you're supposed to say that like Chandler Bing.} The answer is really quite simple. The reason that foods are acidic or alkaline have NOTHING to do with the state of the food itself when it's outside of the body. It is determined to be either acidic or alkaline by the way the food is broken down & reacts inside the body. So while lemons & vinegar are acidic when you put them in your mouth, they become alkaline in your body, which balances your pH.

An acidic body is more prone to sickness, disease, cancer, AGING (if the other reasons weren't enough for you, ladies ;)...), hormonal imbalances (can you say 'mood swings?') & mental health issues such as depression & anxiety. Alkaline foods help to restore pH levels & oxygenate your body.

This has made me realize that I need to do a post on pH balance in the body, why it's important & how to regulate by what you eat. So I'll shut up for now & do that later because this is getting off-track!!! hahaha

I hope you enjoyed this post & trying out the recipes! 

And if you have any questions about how to get Young Living Essential Oils, please contact me. I'd love to help you on your journey to good health!

With much compassion & respect,

~ Natalie ~
Stay FNT!

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Anti-process Series: The Best Breakfast for Your Human Body

            I've been meaning to get more recipes on here for cooking from scratch with your family. I haven't made any breakfast posts & I figured that needed to be the next project! I have included a recipe that really nails every aspect of the basic daily dietary need for the HUMAN BODY. 

            This is what your body NEEDS! Not what we want to stick in our mouths, but what you need to rewire your brain to realize is actually food -- real, minimally processed, whole food that your body recognizes, absorbs & can change the way you feel, think & act. So many of the negative aspects in our society can be fixed by simply treating your body for what it is & what IT needs. I know I say this a lot, but I don't think it can be emphasized enough: 

you only get one body!!!! 

            Ok, so I'm going to use the "F-word" a lot in this post. FIBER. Fiber is so important! Whether you are trying to get healthy, stay healthy or even lose weight, fiber should be something you eat & eat LOTS of; but the  majority of Americans hardly ever reach their daily requirement! It is a very small minority that even does this fiber thing right. VERY, VERY SMALL!!!

            The reason we have trouble getting our fiber is because this comes from carbohydrates. When most people think carbohydrates, they think bread, pasta, cereal & other things along these lines; but most of the carbohydrates in these items come from SUGAR, not the necessary dietary fiber that is what our body actually needs. 

            Actually, I just deleted a lot of what I had written because I didn't mean for this to turn into a fiber rant. I'll do that in another post to help you debunk what actually has fiber & what is sugary crap! 

On to breakfast!!!!

            Breakfast is the best place to start your day off with fiber because it's like your body's health insurance for the rest of the day. You want to shoot for somewhere between 10 & 15 grams of fiber in your breakfast. If I ever find a (ahem, still yummy) way to get above 10 while still staying at a proper caloric level, I will let you know; but for now, I have two variations on the same recipe with all the proper nutrition. Ready to get started? OK!

The FNT Miracle Oatmeal of Your Dreams!


Prep Time:   just enough time to grab the ingredients & boil water.
Cook Time:  30 minutes (if you use steel cut oats -- much less if you use quicker cooking oats. The original 30-minute stuff is the best, but the five minute stuff certainly won't kill you, haha. Because I know the steel cut are the best for me, I like to make a batch the night before & refrigerate in small serving containers.)

First Variation Ingredients:
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 2 scoops vanilla-flavored whey protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 whole medium banana
  1. Bring the water to a boil. Slowly stir in the oats & reduce the heat to a medium/medium-high, depending on your stove. (Just low enough so that the pot doesn't boil over.) Let it cook for five minutes or until the oats are starting to really thicken (it usually is five minutes).
  2. Reduce heat & let it simmer (uncovered) for 30 minutes (or to whatever consistency you prefer. I just do the 30 minutes).
  3. Turn off your burner & stir the oatmeal. Then, while it is still very hot, add the protein powder, stirring in one scoop at a time. Stir & then taste to make sure there isn't any undissolved powder.
  4. Stir in the chia seeds one tablespoon at a time. Really give it a few good stirs to distribute all the ingredients as evenly as possible & then just let it sit for about a minute.
  5. This is where I get out four containers & separate the oatmeal into four 3/4 cup servings. Any little extra in the pan I will distribute evenly to the four. Refrigerate or if you want to eat right away, move on to the final step.
  6. When you're ready to eat it, either fresh & still hot or just reheated, top with the banana. I like to slice up the banana & just put it on top, but you can also mash the banana into the oatmeal itself if you like!
  7. Go eat!
Second Variation Ingredients:
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 2 scoops vanilla-flavored protein powder
  • 8 almonds, crushed into pieces (like you put them in a plastic bag & smashed them with your kitchen mallet)
  • 1/2 medium banana (a HALF of the banana this time!!!!!)

Follow the instructions above, but top now with the almonds & only half of the banana this time.

Nutrition Information:
Both variations have pretty similar nutrition, except for the fat; but the fat is healthy fats from almonds that your body needs & ups the fiber to exactly 10 grams, so that can be easily overlooked at this point.

First Variation:
  • Calories 350
  • Fat 5
  • Carbohydrates 55g
    • Dietary Fiber 9.6g
      • Soluble Fiber 3g
      • Insoluble Fiber 6.6g
    • Sugar 16g
  • Protein 24g
Second Variation:
  • Calories 353
  • Fat 9.8g
  • Carbohydrates 57g
    • Dietary Fiber 10g
      • Soluble Fiber 3g
      • Insoluble Fiber 7g
    • Sugar 16g
  • Protein 25g

*If you are adding fiber to your diet, you are doing something really awesome for your body & any of it's icky symptoms; but when you are increasing fiber, you certainly want to increase your water intake as well. 


.....ok, whoops. Sorry about that. ANYway, I've said it on this blog a hundred times, but I'll say it again. We are supposed to drink half of our bodyweight in ounces each day. So if a woman weighs 130 pounds, she needs 65 ounces, or 8.25 8-oz glasses, of water (AT LEAST) to keep her body operating optimally. For anyone who didn't catch that math, I wrote out the instructions below. Just remember that this is the minimal amount. Drinking about two extra glasses is even more ideal.

  1. Find your bodyweight in pounds
  2. Divide it by 2
  3. Divide that by 8 (as in ounces of water in an 8-oz glass)
  4. The number you get is the number of 8-oz  glasses of water you should be drinking a day.

Thank you all & I hope you enjoy!
Stay FNT,

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Anti-process Series: Simple & Delicious Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Refrigerator Dill Pickles:
Simple & Delicious!

We have a ton of cucumbers this year in our garden so I decided to find a recipe for pickles.
I wanted it to be simple & delicious, use whole ingredients, & keep the nutrients in the food.

By making this type of refrigerator pickle, the ingredients go to work pickling the cucumbers in the refrigerator so that there is no cooking involved. By limiting the process of the pickle, more nutrients are left in the jar for you to eat; & the pickles stay crispy & fresh-tasting!

I found two cucumbers suitable for pickling (generally 2-3 cucumbers will do the trick).
I cut the cucumbers into long diagonal slices but you can 
leave them whole or cut spears, circle chips, etc. 

(I cut them this way because, let's face it, I'm going to fry some of these suckers! 
NO, fried pickles are NOT good for you!)

Put the cucumbers in the jar with five sprigs of fresh dill.

(You can use 1 Tbsp. dried dill instead, but why?)

3 Tbsp. white vinegar
3 garlic cloves, crushed & minced
15-20 peppercorns
1/2 Tbsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

This is just a picture of my ingredients.

Then top off the jar with distilled water, enough to fill the jar.

Let them sit for 12 hours, then flip the jars upside down for 12 hours.
Finally, store in the refrigerator & enjoy for up to three months.

TA-DA! See how easy that was? Enjoy!

Stay FNT, Natalie

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Preview of Fittsburgh's Review of Dietary Weight Loss Supplements: Taking Control & Supporting Each Other.

I am so excited to announce Fittsburgh's upcoming post

Dietary Weight Loss Supplements: 
What Works, & What's a Waste of Time & Money... & Possibly Your Health.

In preparation for this post I want to give people an idea 
of what they can do to begin to take control of their own lives; 
& also just how important it is to be supportive of the people about whom you care.

This is a very exciting post for me because things like this are the reason I do what I do now. I love helping people better understand the science behind their bodies so that they can take control of their personal health journey. When people gain knowledge, they develop that control; and, in turn, gain power over the decisions that affect their health.

Like I always say, you only have this one body -- this one life. Don't waste another minute feeling helpless. I know I have wasted many moments in my life, but everyday is a chance to start over. Your body -- your life -- is a work in progress. Just because you live your life a certain way one day does not mean that you do not have the right to change your mind the next.

And speaking of taking control, take a look at the people with whom you are surrounding yourself. Please, please, PLEASE... support each other! When you see a friend post on Facebook that they are at the gym, 'like' that post! If you see a friend trying to reach a goal, help them reach as high as they can! I am saying this especially to the women out there. I see, even in families, where the other women involved are almost rooting for the others to fail; & that makes me shake my head in disbelief because something was lost in those relationships along the way.

If you look within yourself & see this sort of behavior, take a minute to recognize that you feel this way. Has someone achieved or created something & you simply glazed over it? What made you decide not to support them? At the American Council on Exercise, trainers are taught to encourage any positive behavior they see. Praising friends on social media & being a shoulder to lean on in real life are great ways to do this.

I have made a considerable effort in my own life to squash any negativity creeping into my own head before it even has a voice. I decided to support any healthy or positive behavior that I see -- not because I have all of this "free time" to be concerned with what other people are out there trying to achieve, but because if they are truly my friends or people about which I actually care, it is important that I make the time. Finally, if you truly love or care about someone, never tear them down; but build them up!

Say hi to other women at the gym! Ask your family for support! Meet healthy friends who can aid you in your own journey! Finally, you do not have to ban people from your life; but sort of take an inventory of who is your mental & emotional support out there. They do not have to be family or even people you would usually think of aligning with yourself. I hope this makes someone out there rethink how they want to be treated & how to treat other people, in turn.

I am really looking forward to this post, but it has a lot of research in it & I want it presented in an appropriate manner. In the meantime, take care of each other!!!

Stay FNT! ~ Natalie

*****SIDE NOTE*****
While I was typing this, I received a text from a friend. It simply stated:

"GO YOU on getting back into training at the gym! I'm so proud of you, lady! It's great to have friends like you in my life to help motivate me to better myself. You're taking on so much right now & I'm just in awe at how far you've come! And so grateful to call you a friend."

You know who you are! And I'm so grateful you're in my life, too!

See how something so small can help boost someone & show them how much you care?
I can guarantee this will make me smile all night.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Anti-process Series: Making Egg Noodles

REMEMBER: Anything that you make at home yourself is better than even the "healthiest" (processed) alternative at the store. KNOW YOUR FOOD! BE AWARE!

So let's just dive right in...

I start with:

4 cups flour
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
A cup with warm water nearby

Mix salt into the flour. 
Then make a nest with the flour, like a mountain with a hole in the middle. 
Pour the oil into the center.
Crack the eggs into the center as well. 
Start working the dry flour into the liquid center & 
add water while kneading as necessary to get a consistency of tough dough. 

It looks like this:

*****SIDE NOTE!*****
You can't really screw up this recipe. If you add too much liquid, you just add more flour & vice-versa. Just knead until you have the right consistency. Noodles are not made from fluffy dough like pizza crust. They do not contain yeast so they will be tough & flat. 

Also, live & learn!!! The more you make them, the easier it is to gauge proper consistency. 
So practice, practice, practice!

OK, now to roll out the noodles. 
Use your fists to flatten out the dough ball as much as you can. I usually break the dough into two or three smaller balls first so I can work with smaller batches. 

Take a rolling pin & just start rolling the dough flat. 

I get it as thin as I can & then put the dough through my pasta machine, but I didn't always have a pasta machine so I used a rolling pin for the whole thing. 

It turns out great either way, so don't worry about the machine if you don't have one.

 Either way, this is the machine I use:


Rolling Pin: just roll out the dough as thin as you can, adding flour so that they don't stick to the surface. 
Machine: Crank the dough through the machine.

Both Rolling Pin & Machine:
Fold the dough over itself as shown below.

Put it through the machine or roll out again.

Repeat step three until the dough looks smooth. 
It doesn't have to be perfect, that's what makes homemade taste so good!

It usually takes me about three times, 
adjusting the thickness of the machine roller each time to a smaller level.


Cut the noodles to the size you desire or is necessary for your dish.

*****SIDE NOTE*****
Yes, yes, yes... I could have used a noodle attachment to make all of the noodles uniform, which I would have done if this batch had been for pasta; but if I'm using them for something like chicken noodle soup (as I am here), I really love to cut them by hand. 
I still try to keep them a similar size because you want them to cook uniformly, but I like the noodles just the way my Grandmother made!


Either cook or store. 
To cook, bring your water or broth to a rolling boil & drop the noodles in one at a time
This keeps them from getting stuck together. 

Boil for 5-7 minutes or until the noodles are thoroughly cooked, but still chewy.

Finished homemade chicken noodle soup, just like my Mam used to make, 
paired with a delicious serving of homemade bread!

Stay FNT, people!


Fittsburgh is BACK at Fitness 19!

I am so excited to be BACK at Fitness 19 in McIntyre Square (3380 McKnight Rd) 
in the fabulous North Hills of Pittsburgh!

        For those of you who are in the blogosphere & don't know me in person, I went & had another baby in 2013! (You can see her beautiful face on an earlier post.) Anyway, I had to make a few sacrifices in order to make my goal of nursing for 9 months, but now that we are weaned it was time to get back out of the house & stretch my legs. I've kept my certifications active, which means I've continued learning new courses, so this is an easy transition back to the gym life.

        I've been focusing a lot on nutrition at this point & get to share nutrition counseling to my clients at the gym. Stop in today or call Fitness 19 at (412) 366-9919 for more information. You can sign up for the gym now online & even get a free guest pass to come & get in a free workout!

        I stopped in today to do some paperwork & see how the baby would do in the Kids Club. She did ok at first... then she cried for ten minutes straight before I came to get her! I'm not super excited about that, but I'm sure she will get the hang of it after a few tries. It is the best feeling in the world to have a job where my baby is around the corner at all times. Give me a break --- I just love that little girl! My son is FOUR years old now (!!!!!!!) and is in preschool but will be joining us at the Kids Club once school is out. Plus, my schedule will still be a little choppy for the next month because of that.

        I look forward to seeing everybody & please contact me privately if you have any questions or wish to gather some more information about working with me or just about getting healthy in general. This life is a journey & I would love the chance to take part in yours. Thanks everybody & once again, 

Stop in today or call Fitness 19 at 
(412) 366-9919 for more information. 

In Good Health & With Much Love
~Natalie *FNT*~