Pumpkin Protein Bites

Arbonne Essentials® Pumpkin Protein Bites
2 scoops Arbonne Essentials Vanilla Protein Shake Mix
¾ cup almond butter
½ cup pumpkin purée
1 ¼ cups old-fashioned oats (gluten-free)
½ cup ground flax seeds
3 tbsp. agave nectar

Add ingredients into medium bowl and stir to combine. Cover bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours (this will make them easier to roll). Roll the mixture into about 12–16 balls (ping pong ball size, or use a melon baller!). Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week.


Meal Plan Days 16-30 Healthy Living Challenge (with recipes!)


Over halfway done and I’ve already learned so much more about how my body responds to food differently and how easy a shift to eating gluten, dairy and sugar free can be, if you let it, and let it become habit. Having a group of people all making the same changes has been super helpful and insightful. Everyone has their own reasons for taking this challenge. Some it’s just to lose weight, when for some it can be a matter of life or death when they have a life threatening allergic reaction to gluten, to those who suffer from diabetes and other health issues. Then for some who already ditched dairy and most of the sugar from their diet, learning to prepare meals without gluten. At first that task is daunting. Gluten is in EVERYTHING we eat. Boxed foods, breads, pastas, etc… And at it’s best gluten bloats tummy’s, creates digestive issues and limits weight loss. At it’s worst, it’s a severe allergic reaction that can be life threatening.

I also decided to do the 30 day challenge to #1 challenge myself, but #2, to test out more of the Arbonne line I had yet to try. And I’m so glad I did! This was not only for myself, but for #3, my future clients so that I can give first hand knowledge of the how the 30 Days To Healthy Living Challenge feels. I now have a wealth of knowledge and know WHY this program can be a vital part of a nutrition plan, weight loss plan or even just eating healthier. The group I’m in (which you would be too if you too the challenge) is a fabulous resource for recipes, tips, motivation, shopping ideas and product finds. I will be in the group permanently for my own nutrition planning and to help my clients who decide they want a change to healthier eating habits.

I’ve taken you all on this journey for the first 15 days, day by day to show you that YOU can do it, anyone can do it. And in my opinion, everyone SHOULD do it. It teaches you a lot about yourself and what you truly are capable of doing once you commit. My daily post on the challenge are getting pretty routine, other than the recipes so I decided to just post my meal plan for the rest of the challenge in one blog post with recipes! We did our beginning of the month shopping and with all the holiday prep and life getting busier I decided to make a simple, healthy menu plan for the next two weeks.

When the challenge is over I’ll blog a post to wrap things up and let you know some final thoughts about my first 30 Day Challenge!!


Arbonne Shake + Arbonne Daily Fiber + Arbonne Daily Greens
I plan to add a fruit of some kind along with this every day, either in the shake, or just to eat with the shake.

On the weekend, greens salads w/roasted chickpeas and other assorted veggies, seeds and nuts w/hummus or apple cider vinegar and EVOO dressing. Or Eggs with wilted spinach and roasted sweet potatoes. On weekdays it will be a smaller version of the salad along with a coconut yogurt. Or hard boiled eggs and veggies to dip in hummus.
30 minutes after lunch, Arbonne Digestion Plus (doubled).

Arbonne Fizz Stick in Pomegranate or Citrus flavor. Arbonne Fit Chew!

Exercise –
Les Mills Bodypump
Run Training
Whatever else we may add in…

Arbonne Daily Protein Shake + Arbonne Protein Boost
This will give me extra protein in my diet on run days which is great for recovery and my muscles!

Arbonne Herbal Detox Tea



DAY 16

Twice Baked Potatoes


2 large sweet potatoes

2 Tbsp. Earth Balance Spread

1 package Beyond Beef Beef Crumbles

taco seasoning (see recipe at freshandcleanrecipes.com)

1 cup spinach

pink Himalayan sea salt & pepper to taste

fresh salsa (see recipe at freshandcleanrecipes.com) – I used store bought

½ avocado


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cook potatoes in oven 30-45 min. (or until easily pierced in the center with fork)
Brown ground turkey with taco seasoning and a few tsp. of water.
Cut potatoes in half and scrape inside into a med size bowl saving the skins.
Mix in earth balance, crumbles, spinach and S+P to taste.
Fill skins with the mixed potato. Place in shallow baking dish (covered in foil for easy cleanup) and broil for 5 min until top is browned.
Add a scoop of your favorite fresh salsa and avocado.

DAY 17

Crock Pot Bean Soup

1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 tbs fresh ginger, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup wild rice
1 green bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped
6 stalks celery, chopped
4 large carrots, chopped
3 cups kale, rough chopped
3 cups organic vegetable stock
1 can organic white beans
Fill to the top of veggies with water

Add everything to crock pot, put on low, leave it for 8 hours.

Serve with Baked Sweet Potato

DAY 18

Vegan Fish(ish) Tacos
Recipe @ Project K

DAY 19

Curried Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard

2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 tbsp curry powder
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional; leave out if you don’t want it spicy)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger root
1 pound red lentils (about 2 1/4 cups), rinsed and picked over to remove any debris
8 cups water, vegetable stock or chicken stock
1 15-oz can coconut milk (stir well before using)
1 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt 
1 bunch Swiss chard, ribs removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, red pepper,
garlic, ginger and spices and saute until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.
Add the water or stock along with the salt, lentils and coconut milk, and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are cooked through, about 10 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, wash and prep the chard and chop the cilantro.
After the lentils have finished cooking, stir the chard and cilantro into the soup — it will
look like a lot of chard for the soup at first, but have no fear. The chard will wilt down as
it heats up. Keep stirring until the chard is bright green and wilted, about another 2
minutes. Taste and season as needed with more salt or pepper, and serve.
Serves 8-10.

Served with a side salad.

DAY 20

Garlicky Greens with Pasta

1 tbsp. salt
2 lbs. broccoli rabe, mustard or dandelion greens, cut into 1” strips
1 lb. uncooked brown rice penne, or other tube pasta
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1-2 tsp. fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
2-4 tbsp. pine nuts (can substitute almonds if you don’t mind a nuttier flavor)
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

In large pot, bring 2-3 quarts of water to a boil. Add salt and toss greens into boiling
water. Cook until almost tender, about 8-10 minutes.
With slotted spoon, remove greens from pot (don’t discard water) and toss them in
large bowl of ice water. Let rest 2 minutes in ice water, then drain greens in colander.
Return pot of water to a boil. Add pasta. Cook according to directions on package.
While pasta is cooking, squeeze greens to remove as much water as possible. Toss to
separate and set aside.
In large sauté pan or wok, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring
constantly with wooden spoon, just until garlic begins to turn golden brown. (Burnt
garlic will turn bitter, so do not overcook.) Add red pepper.
Just before pasta is done, add greens to garlic and oil and cook for about 2 minutes,
stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat.
Drain pasta, leaving a bit of water clinging to it. Immediately add pasta to cooked
greens still in pan; toss well with fresh basil and pine nuts and season to taste with salt
and pepper. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings

Serve with a Side Salad

DAY 21

Linguine with Purple Cabbage

¼ cup olive oil
2 med. red onion, thinly sliced
6 large cloves garlic, minced
1 large head red cabbage, thinly sliced (8 cups)
1 lb. brown rice linguine
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
½ cup pine nuts

In large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onions, cover, and cook,
stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes.
Add garlic and cook about 3 minutes more, uncovered, stirring periodically. Add
cabbage, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender, about 20
While cabbage is cooking, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente.
Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking water in a bowl or cup. Return pasta to empty
Add cabbage-onion mixture to pasta. Pour in reserved pasta cooking water and toss
well to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve in bowls with pine nuts sprinkled on top.
Yield: 4 servings

Serve with a Side Salad or Asparagus

DAY 22

Sweet Potato Tacos

2 lg. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, finely diced
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
8 to 10 small brown rice tortillas
Chopped cilantro for garnish
Salsa for topping

Place a steamer basket in medium saucepan with enough water on the bottom of the
pot to create steam. Place cubed potatoes into the basket, cover and steam over
medium-low heat until for-tender, about 20-25 minutes; drain. Keep an eye on pot to be
sure that water doesn’t evaporate.
Meanwhile, in medium sauté pan over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and bell
peppers and cook about 7 minutes, until vegetables are translucent.
When potatoes are finished cooking, transfer to large bowl. Add garlic, cayenne
pepper, jalapeño, onion and pepper mixture; add salt and pepper to taste. Mash all
ingredients – you can leave them chunky or smooth.
Fill tortillas with filling, sprinkle with cilantro, top with salsa and serve.
Yield: 8-10 servings

DAY 23

Tropical Quinoa & Black Bean Salad

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed drained
1 fresh mango, cubed
1 ripe avocado, cubed
1 cucumber, seeds removed and diced
1⁄2 cup mint, chopped
1⁄2 cup fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
1⁄3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp lime juice
1 clove garlic
Salt and pepper

Place the quinoa along with 2 cups salted water in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring
to a boil, then reduce to the lowest heat setting. Simmer until water is completely
absorbed and quinoa is fluffy, about 20 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive
oil, lime juice, and garlic. Add the remaining ingredients, including the quinoa, and
gently combine. Season with salt and pepper. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes to let the
salad cool and flavors combine. Serve immediately.

Served with a side of broccoli.

DAY 24

Quinoa “Sliders” – Serves 8
Here’s a delicious veggie burger you can whip up from scratch. Stash a few in the freezer for busy weeknight meals. This makes a great lunch or casual family dinner. The butter lettuce is used in place of buns.

½ cup quinoa
1 small onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped (¼ cup)
1½ cups cooked black beans, or 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
2 tsp. dried steak seasonings
Whole butter lettuce leaves

Stir together quinoa and 1½ cups water in small saucepan, and season with salt, if
desired. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes,
or until all liquid is absorbed. (You should have 1½ cups cooked quinoa.) Meanwhile,
place onion and sun-dried tomatoes in medium nonstick skillet, and cook over
medium heat. (The oil left on the tomatoes should be enough to sauté the onion.)
Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until onion has softened. Stir in ¾ cup black beans, garlic,
steak seasoning, and 1½ cups water. Simmer 9 to 11 minutes, or until most of liquid
has evaporated.Transfer bean-onion mixture to food processor, add ¾ cup cooked
quinoa, and process until smooth. Transfer to bowl, and stir in remaining ¾ cup
quinoa and remaining ¾ cup black beans. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and
cool. Preheat oven to 350°F, and generously coat baking sheet with cooking spray.
Shape bean mixture into slider-sized patties and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake
15-20 minutes, or until patties are crisp on top. Flip patties with spatula, and bake 5-
10 minutes more, or until both sides are crisp and brown. Serve on butter lettuce

Served with Baked Sweet Potato

Day 25

Herbed Cod

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
3/4 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 lb cod,or other whitefish
1 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients except the fish and lemon.
Rub the fish with the spices, then place on a lightly-oiled baking sheet.
Bake for 7 minutes, then turn over and bake another 7 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when scraped with a fork.
Drizzle with lemon to serve.

Serve with brown rice or quinoa & broccoli

DAY 26

Wild Rice & Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash

3 medium acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds each), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
2 cups cooked wild rice mix
2/3 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Sea Salt salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place the squash cut-side up on
a baking sheet, brush 1 tablespoon of the melted butter over the tops and insides of the
squash halves, sprinkle with the brown sugar, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in
the oven until just fork tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, place 1 tablespoon of
the melted butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When it foams, add the onion,
shallots, and celery, season with salt and pepper, and stir to coat. Cook, stirring
occasionally, until just softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the thyme and cook until just
fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the rice, pecans, cranberries,
and measured salt and pepper. Divide the rice filling among the roasted squash halves
(about 1/2 cup for each) and drizzle the remaining tablespoon of butter over top.
Continue roasting until the squash is completely fork tender, the edges have started to
brown, and the filling is heated through, about 20 to 25 minutes.

DAY 27

Stuffed Green Peppers

1 PKG Beyond Meat Crumbles
2 c. Cooked Brown Rice
2 cans organic diced Tomatoes
Diced red cabbage
Diced Onions
Pink Himalayan salt, Garlic powder, oregano to taste

Stuff 6 green peppers
Top with organic tomato sauce
Bake on 350 for 45 mins

Served with a side salad

DAY 28

Recipe @ The Minimalist Baker

DAY 29

Eggs with wilted spinach and roasted sweet potatoes

Roasted Sweet Potatoes


2 Sweet Potatoes (medium size)
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil, melted
1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Wash & cut sweet potatoes into cubes
Lay sweet potatoes flat on a baking sheet (in one layer)
Melt coconut oil in microwave (approx 30 sec)
Drizzle sweet potatoes with coconut oil & sprinkle with cinnamon
Bake for 15-20 minutes
Flip sweet potatoes & bake for another 15-20 minutes

DAY 30


2 PKG Beyond Meat Crumbles
1 large organic onion, chopped small
1 large organic red bell pepper, chopped small
10-12 cloves of organic fresh garlic, chopped (if cutting the recipe in half, use 6 cloves of
4 Tbs chili powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
4 tsp ground cumin
2 jars of salsa verde from Trader Joes (12 oz each) (Or you can use other green salsa,
taco sauce
½ cup water
2 cans of organic beans, rinsed, One Kidney, one Pinto.

Cook crumbles, onions and red bell pepper in a large soup pot over medium heat,
crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add garlic, chili powder, cumin and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir
in beans, salsa (or sauce) and water; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and
cook stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and flavors blend, about 20
minutes. Serve with fresh avocado


If you’re interested in more info on the 30 Days To Healthy Living Challenge, just fill out the form below and I will be in touch to help you get started on a road to healthier living!


Days 14 & 15/30 – Healthy Living Challenge

THIS becomes simpler and simpler as the month goes by. It really is a matter of looking at food and nutrition in a new way. It’s not hard, you just need to learn the basics and add some simple nutritional additions. It’s not scary, it’s not as overwhelming as popular diets make it seem!


BREAKFAST: Arbonne Chocolate Shake + Arbonne Daily Fiber

LUNCH: Greens salad w/apple, pecans, shredded cabbage and a balsamic dressing. 30 minutes later, Arbonne Digestion Plus (double).

EXERCISE/SNACK: Yoga + Arbonne Citrus Fizz stick w/water + coconut yogurt with almonds, shredded unsweetened coconut and pumpkin seeds.

DINNER:  Tilapia, pineapple, and french fries. The fries were not a healthy option, but they were sitting in the freezer and I won’t waste food out. So I had them on an otherwise super healthy day to use them up! The tilapia was just baked with a bit of pink Himalayan salt and brushed with a bit of walnut oil.  baked for 20-25 minutes at 350.


BEFORE BED:  Arbonne Herbal Detox Tea + carrots and hummus


BREAKFAST: Arbonne Vanilla Shake w/cinnamon + Arbonne Daily Fiber (not shown)

LUNCH:  Sweet potato chickpea and kale soup. 30 minutes later Arbonne Digestion Plus w/water.

Sweet potato chickpea and kale soup

Sautée onion garlic celery with coconut oil

Add rinsed chickpeas (seasoned w pink salt pepper oregano cayenne and turmeric and garlic powder too- all organic spices)

When chicken is cooked add 3 cups gluten free/organic vegetable broth 

Add chopped sweet potato

Let boil and simmer until potatoes are soft. Add kale 1-2 bunches…the last 5-10 mins. Add more spices to taste. 

EXERCISE/SNACK: 60 minutes Les Mills Bodypump 90 + Arbonne Pomegranate Fizz Stick w/water.

DINNER:  Stuffed Green Peppers + side salad of greens, carrot, and chia seeds topped with cider vinegar and EVOO

Stuffed Green Peppers

1 PKG cooked ground Chicken
2 c. Cooked Brown Rice
2 cans organic diced Tomatoes
Diced red cabbage
Diced Onions
Pink Himalayan salt, Garlic powder, oregano to taste

Stuff 6 green peppers
Top with organic tomato sauce

Bake on 350 for 45 mins


BEFORE BED:  Arbonne Herbal Detox Tea + 1 plum

Day 13/30 – Healthy Living Challenge

We had a stay in day yesterday. I had a morning migraine that lingered halfway through the day. Likely caused by what they were calling a nor’easter. This time of year that translated to rain being pushed by a cold front. Barometer changes like that, big ones, and I get a migraine 😣  I was craving warmth all day even though it was warm outside still. So the menu for the day was very autumn like and comforting but in a healthy way.

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We just kind of hung out at the apartment and binge watched Stranger Things. I love this show. It’s different. And this season is even better than last as we get to know the characters  more and more. The show has flavors of the old Stephen King movie Stand By Me mixed with some of the mystery like It. But it’s completely it’s own story. The kids are becoming pretty talented actors in my opinion. And I’ve always been a big Winona Ryder fan and have a soft spot for Sean Astin from back in the Samwise days of Lord Of The Rings. Shows like open up opportunities to actors and actresses that tend to not fit the normal mold for stardom. I tend to lean towards sci-fi for that reason. 


I’m learning so much from this 30 Day Challenge. Learning about how my body responds to foods and how much more energy I have when I don’t eat wheat/gluten. This is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I would rank this up there with quitting smoking. It’s been a huge help to understanding how my body responds to just good nutrition. 

If you’d like any info, or have any questions feel free to drop a message below or send me a quick email. I’d love to hear from you and help you live a healthier version of yourself!


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BREAKFAST: Arbonne Pumpkin Shake (see recipe – I modified a bit with the brand of pumpkin)

LUNCH: Greens salad w/roasted sweet potato and balsamic vinegar dressing. About 30 minutes later, Arbonne Digestion Plus w/water

EXERCISE/SNACK: Les Mills Bodyflow (It’s dance/yoga) + Arbonne Pomegranate Fizz Stick w/water.

DINNER:  Minestrone Soup w/(not pictured)  a side salad of greens w/beets and nuts w/balsamic dressing

Gluten Free Minestrone Soup

2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
14.5 oz canned whole peeled tomatoes – no salt added, with juice
1 – 6 oz tomato paste
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1-2 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
15.5 oz canned kidney beans low sodium, rinsed and drained
1 cup gluten-free pasta uncooked
ground black pepper and sea salt to taste

Add tomatoes and juice to a large saucepan and break tomatoes into chunks with the edge of a large spoon.
Add vegetable broth, tomato paste, mixed vegetables, garlic, basil and thyme, stir to mix well, cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Reduce heat to medium and simmer partially covered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add kidney beans and pasta and continue to simmer partially covered on medium or medium low heat for about 15 minutes or until veggies and pasta are soft. (Stir every few minutes and be careful not to overcook the pasta.)
Sprinkle individual servings with ground black pepper, salt and/or vegan parmesan cheese to taste.

BEFORE BED:  Arbonne Herbal Detox Tea 

Days 10-11-and-12 of 30 – Healthy Living Challenge and some catching up to do!

I’m gonna start by saying I had a monster of a migraine this morning that I had to suffer through before getting online to catch up, but more on that later….

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We’ve had a HUGE bowl of trick or treat candy sitting in our apartment since last weekend’s Trunk-Or-Treat event we volunteered at. And I swear candy that I don’t even like is calling to me from the bottom of that bowl. Childhood memories can often trigger the want of certain foods. Especially comfort foods. We will all indulge once in a while. But succumbing to bad eating habits FOR comfort is never the solution, instead it adds to the problem! Ps…. neither of us have eaten any of that candy and don’t plan on it. Hopefully we get some trick-or-treaters here at the apartment. But we’ve noticed that it’s not very common for apartments here in Virginia Beach.

BREAKFAST: Arbonne Chocolate Protein Shake w/1/2 scoop Arbonne Daily Fiber + 1 scoop Arbonne Greens Balance + 1 Pear

LUNCH: Coconut Yogurt blended w/cherries and w/blueberries, blackberries & pecans. About 30 minutes later, Arbonne Digestion Plus w/water

EXERCISE/SNACK: 30 Minutes Elliptical + Arbonne Fizz Stick w/water and baby carrots with hummus.

DINNER:  Red lentil pasta with brown lentils, zucchini, and red peppers in a veggie tomato sauce, served with sautéed garlic and spinach. Mixed all together 

BEFORE BED:  Arbonne Herbal Detox Tea

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Last minute Random Act Of Kindness. That morning we had just heard about this food drive to help kids at schools here who can’t afford lunches. NO CHILD should EVER go hungry. Hubby and I are pretty passionate about making sure those who can’t speak for themselves (like animals) and the welfare of children. Children are the future hope of the world. We need to make sure they are given the very best opportunities possible to flourish and grow. And empty belly’s are something no child should have to live with.

BREAKFAST: Arbonne Java Chip Protein Shake w/1/2 scoop Arbonne Daily Fiber (I omitted the cacao nibs) + 1 banana

LUNCH: Steel cut oats (plain) w/coconut milk + blueberries + blackberries.  About 30 minutes later, Arbonne Digestion Plus w/water.

EXERCISE/SNACK: 60 minutes Les Mills Bodypump. Celery + carrots and a Citrus Arbonne Fizz Stick w/water.

DINNER:  Vegan Stuffed Peppers w/side salad of greens + cucumber + shredded carrot w/hummus.

BEFORE BED:  Arbonne Herbal Detox Tea w/half scoop Arbonne Vanilla Protein + coconut milk + cinnamon (this was delicious!)




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I try to be a full disclosure girl. I admit when I make mistakes and admit when I try something and it turns out not as I hoped it would or not as good as it should have. And NO ONE is 100% perfect at all times. So it’s confession time and I’ll tell you what I learned from it.

Yesterday it was a day out with my Virginia Beach besties. And I had decided when I woke up I would experiment a bit. I had been feeling soooooo fabulous since getting over my sinus infection and being on this 30 Day Challenge; plus I knew I would be surrounded by temptation anyway. I’ve already proven to myself that I can have self control when I CHOOSE self control. But I really wanted to test how a change in diet would affect me since I’ve been eating soooooo clean. 

I didn’t photo journal much of the day. The day started at Starbucks where I decided to forgo my cappuccino I had been planning on and opted for their holiday drink. Which I was so distracted talking and glancing around at all the new Starbucks cups, forgot to ask for coconut milk instead of milk 😢. I hate wasting money and the person’s time so I just sucked it up and dealt with it knowing I would suffer with a belly ache/bloating afterwards 😒  I also bought a chocolate croissant which I ate a bite of and tossed it. 

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At first I thought mmmm this is yummy. It does indeed taste like a caramel green apple with chocolate. But as I continued to drink it I realized it was just the fact that I was drinking sugar and coldness that was comforting. About half way through I knew it was a stupid impulse. The milk was like chalk in my mouth. I wish I had ordered my coconut milk cappuccino and been happy with that small dose of sweet. Live and learn…..you don’t always have to follow a trend! It’s not always good for you, and often it doesn’t live up to the hype! This not only didn’t live up the hype but I chose to deprive my body of my healthy shake and opted for a cup of twice the calories and zero nutrition.

We shopped all day long starting at Michael’s for craft supplies and bargain hunting. I bought two covered ramekins for a grand total of $3 and some cents! Then we headed to lunch at Panera and  I had a bowl of their Autumn Squash Soup and afterwards realized I have no clue what their recipe is. I blindly presumed there was no dairy or anything else unhealthy hiding behind the delicious squashiness. So I searched the web for copycat recipes and found some that didn’t have dairy or added sugars but a lot of them did have cream, heavy cream and milk. Yeah I was gonna have a belly ache tonight 🤢 I also indulged in 🥖 Yikes what was I doing????????

By the time we got to our next stop, Marshalls. I was feeling like I had a HUGE balloon 🎈 inflating inside my stomach. And I was getting soooooo tired. I felt like I could head to bed right then and sleep all night 💤 And it was 2pm in the afternoon! 


I met up with Keith a while later and we decided to do even more shopping. Partly because I was ready for bed and if we sat and watched tv or I got on the computer to do this I was going to fall asleep where I sat. He needed a new winter coat and I needed a new dress for two semi-formal events we have coming up. So we walked and walked and walked and walked. Finally headed home for a healthier dinner and 💤💤💤💤💤💤💤💤

Bread seems to be eaten in our society as a huge filler. Both for our tummy and our plate. Why? It’s cheap! We need to make better choices, I needed to make better choices. And we need better choices at restaurants and in many situations we need to make healthy options as inexpensive as tossing a slice of bread to a meal to fill us up!

Lesson learned. I felt like crap all day long, bloated and zero energy. I need to stick with what I’ve learned and even on those days when I indulge in something that’s less than healthy, I need to make the rest of the day healthy. Not just say oh well I screwed up breakfast may as well just keep screwing up. Indulgences should be just that, and indulgence, a decadent moment, not our daily nutrition plan.

BREAKFAST: Starbucks Zombie Frappucino + a bite of a chocolate croissant 

LUNCH: Panera Autumn Squash Soup + evil side of bread  + half a sandwich w/half the bread taken off + tea

EXERCISE/SNACK: Walking…… + coffee

DINNER:  Italian Chicken Sausage + brown rice pasta + huge salad

BEFORE BED:  Arbonne Herbal Detox Tea 




Day 9/30 – Healthy Living Challenge


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Short sweet and simple, had a busy day yesterday, doing what seemed like nothing. You  know, errands…But I grabbed lunch at the Green Cat 😺😉 and that made the day much better! The Green Cat has amazing, healthy smoothies, buddha bowls and smoothie bowls! Plus deliciousness, like this chickpea salad!! Finally over the nasty sinus infection and I have sooooo much energy now!

BREAKFAST: Arbonne Chocolate Protein Shake w/1/2 scoop Arbonne Daily Fiber + Apple (not shown)

LUNCH: Chickpea Salad topped over Lemon & Olive Oil marinated Kale + Purple Cabbage + Arbonne Digestion Plus about 30 minutes later.

EXERCISE/SNACK: 30 Minutes Elliptical + Arbonne Fizz Stick w/water and baby carrots with hummus.

DINNER: Roasted Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Quinoa Salad


  • medium sweet potato (we increased to 2)
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • tablespoon olive oil
  • tablespoon smoked paprika
  • cup cooked grain (brown rice, quinoa, millet, etc) (we had quinoa)
  • 2-3 handfuls spinach
  • ——————-
  • tablespoons lime juice
  • tablespoons honey
  • tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚. Peel sweet potato and cut in to 1/4″ cubes. Toss with 1 tablespoons olive oil, onion, and smoked paprika. Roast until tender, 25-30 minutes.
  2. Cook grain of choice- best done ahead of time or use left over grains. Let cool before using.
  3. Whisk together lime juice, honey,cilantro, and olive oil. Toss cooled grains with desired amount of spinach and dressing. Top with roasted sweet potatoes.

BEFORE BED:  Arbonne Herbal Detox Tea



Day 8/30 – Healthy Living Challenge

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i’ve been on a weight loss plateau for quite a while now and this past week i finally dropped some stubborn pounds, 3 of them! seriously though it’s me that’s stubborn. i know when i look at things like bread i gain weight, gain bloat and and my body doesn’t work as efficiently. and foods that contain gluten sneak into your pantry so easily. i mean even when you decide to not eat bread with every dinner (we used to), it still finds it’s way in. it’s in most bread crumbs, soy sauce, the quicky rice mixes and many candy’s not only contain excessive amounts of sugar, but gluten as well. 

as i’ve said before gluten affects everyone differently. there are people who get sick enough that it’s life threatening. That there is scary stuff. thankfully i only bloat when eat it. but it also helps me keep extra pounds on. what I’ve learned so far to this, day 8 is that i will be a lot more discerning about where I allow gluten into my meals. once you focus on shopping differently for the 30 days to healthy living challenge, you realize the enormous amount of gluten that you consume. the same for sugar. both sugar and gluten can be found as an ingredient in things you wouldn’t quickly thin, “ahhh that has gluten in it”.

so if you’re anywhere on that scale from:

i get bloated when i eat left-arrow-icon-77104.png i get deathly sick when I eat

the 30 days to healthy living challenge may help you see what nutritional changes you can make to have a better digestive system, healthier gut and to simply feel and yes, look better every day.  contact me if you’d like more info!

the zen wellness studio

Mindy’s 30 Day Results

BREAKFAST: arbonne vanilla shake w/arbonne daily fiber + cinnamon + grapes (not all of those)

LUNCH: coconut yogurt w/pumpkin seeds, nuts & cranberries + (double) digestion plus

EXERCISE: 30 minutes yoga w/fizz stick and water + small salad w/ cucumber, shaved carrot, baked crunchy quinoa and apple slices w/ olive oil & apple cider vinegar (not shown)

DINNER: garlic & herb crusted cod w/brown rice and broccoli seasoned with italian seasoning

garlic and herb baked crusted cod


  • 4 cod filiets (not frozen)
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil mayo (I use primal kitchen)
  • 2/3 cup ian’s gluten free panko 
  • 2 tablespoons each chopped fresh parsley and basil
  • 1 medium clove garlic, grated
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Place fish fillets onto prepared baking sheet and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, stir mayo together with panko, fresh herbs, garlic, salt and pepper until combined. Spread evenly over the top of the fillets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until fish starts looking opaque and will flake. Switch oven to broiler and brown the tops of the fish until lightly golden. Remove from oven, cool 3-5 minutes and serve.

BEFORE BED:  arbonne herbal detox tea

Day 6/30 – Healthy Living Challenge


Yesterday was a busssssy day. We shopped all day. We had a lot of small things to pick up for a Trunk-Or-Treat we’re participating in today. Plus we stopped by a thrift shop to look for a couple add on pieces to our costume for the day today (Hogwarts students). A run to the post office and the grocery store topped it off. We had minimum time today but still wanted to eat healthy and according to plan! Sorry no photo’s we really were time crunching. And by dinner we were super hungry and just wanted to dive in. As usual post-race we headed to bed early!

BREAKFAST: arbonne vanilla shake w/cinnamon + daily fiber + arbonne greens balance + 1 green apple & 1 pear

LUNCH: amy’s organic chunky vegetable soup + digestion plus (doubled) (between shopping trips) + added and arbonne nutrition bar while we were driving

SNACK: broccoli, carrots and hummus + pomegranate fizz stick w/water (on the go)

EXERCISE: walking around all day shopping then a 5K (also had a banana post-race)

DINNER:  no cook zoodles w/wakami pesto + roasted garbanzo beans (hefty portion) + garlic roasted quinoa

BEFORE BED:  arbonne herbal detox tea

Day 5/30 – Healthy Living Challenge

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BREAKFAST:  1 egg yolk w/2 egg whites & parsley w/tomatoes

LUNCH: Coconut yogurt with sunflower seeds + arbonne digestion plus

SNACK: arbonne vanilla shake w/arbonne daily fiber

EXERCISE: 60 Minutes Les Mills Body Combat + arbonne fizz stick w/water (before) and then after (arbonne phytosport after workout drink)

DINNER:  Rosemary & Thyme seasoned Beyond Meat Chicken Breast  w/Pear salad w/ pecans & avocado (avocado not pictured)

BEFORE BED:  arbonne herbal detox tea


Soooo, all day I was feeling bloated, which I found odd since I’m eating very well. And by coincidence one of the other consultants was researching some information because one of her clients was having the very same problem. In her research she found some very valuable info!

“In summary, the ingredient inulin found in the Protein, Fiber Boost and the 7-Day Body Cleanse, may be causing these symptoms by feeding the bad bacteria in your gut. Inulin is important food for the bacteria that line our GT tract. We must all have this bacteria in our system to digest our food, absorb nutrients and many other functions.. Ideally we want 85% beneficial and 15% not beneficial bacteria. Inulin is food for the 85% beneficial bacteria. However, due to antibiotics we have taken, many of us do not have this healthy balance and instead have 85% bad bacteria and 15% good bacteria. As a result, the inulin is feeding the bad bacteria. It is not the product’s fault and any of these symptoms are telling you that you have an imbalance in your GI tract.”

The solution is:
– Triple the Digestion Plus (you can’t have enough probiotics)
– Start eating fermented foods like kimchee, sauerkraut, kombucha

Here is Dr Tanda’s video on the benefits of Arbonne Digestion Plus – pre/probiotic plus 11 digestive enzymes.


Day 4/30 – Healthy Living Challenge

Busy weekend ahead!! We’re going to a Halloween Extravaganza at local metaphysical store and have an twilight running event later in the day tomorrow. Then on Sunday we’re participating in a Trunk Or Treat event. And yep, it’s time, 🎃🍂⛄🎄🥂 we’re digging out all our holiday decorations and going through everything! 

I’m one of those people that usually decorate early for the season. If I could I would shuffle October-January on repeat, I love the holidays so much! But I guess I’d miss going to the ⛱🌊 beach Spring-Autumn, so it works out 😉

I admit I do miss big seasonal changes like we had in Ohio, or Keith had in New Jersey. People seem to celebrate the Oct-Jan holidays, bigger, louder and with more enthusiasm. Which in one of the things that I add into the “where will settle down at” equation. Hmm.. I need ocean, beach, and seasonal changes, but not too wintery and not too hot???? Not sure this elusive destination exists lol.

Coming out of this sinus infection with 30 Days To Healthy Living has been kind of awesome. I have a ton of energy now and feel super healthy now. I worried that since our meal planning was already pretty close to the guidelines for the 30 days and it would be kind of silly. I could have very easily just have bought the other supplements I wasn’t already starting to use and just go on my way. But doing a focused length of time has brought me back to pinpointing nutritional gaps and cutting out the sugary stuff that’s been creeping back into our pantry. 

Sugary goodness is everywhere isn’t it? It’s hard to avoid. Especially if you eat out. Being this focused on a plan brings about situational awareness that’s invaluable to staying on track with healthy choices. I’m super happy we are doing this. 

Not to mention allllll the new delicious recipes!!


Yesterdays Menu

BREAKFAST: arbonne chocolate protein shake w/half scoop arbonne greens balance and arbonne daily fiber

MID MORNING SNACK: coconut milk yogurt w/homemade granola & berries

LUNCH: Simple side salad w/ a bowl of mexican spiced butternut squash soup w/sunflower seeds and chia seeds…  Recipe from Chef Tony @ B.Good. Then afterwards I had my digestion plus, straight shooter with just 4oz of water!

SNACK: Carrots w/hummus and grapes + arbonne fizz stick and water

EXERCISE: 60 minute walk




DINNER: Tropical salad with pineapple vinaigrette w/coconut shrimp

Ingredients For The Salad

  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice (can use from can if you use canned pineapple in juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste (use Himalayan salt or sea salt)
  • 10 to 12 oz of greens of your choice
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 1/2 cup chopped and toasted macadamia nuts
  • green onions chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup flaked non sweetened coconut, toasted

Instructions For Salad

Combine pineapple juice, red wine vinegar, oil, pepper and salt in a lidded jar or cruet. Cover and shake well. Toss lettuce, pineapple, macadamia nuts, and green onions together in a large bowl. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Garnish with toasted coconut.

Ingredients For Coconut Shrimp

  • 10-12 oz (10-12 pieces) jumbo shrimp – (peel and de-vein) We made about
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ¾ cup gluten free panko-style bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup gum-free gluten free flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • Egg wash (2 eggs whisked with 1 tablespoon almond or coconut milk)


Instructions For Coconut Shrimp

Preheat your oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the coconut chips on it in a single layer. Bake for 5 minutes in the center of the oven, stir, and bake until the coconut is light golden on the edges about another 5 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.
Crush the coconut chips and place them in a shallow bowl with the panko-style gluten-free crumbs and stir to combine.
Set up a breading station by filling another shallow bowl with the gum-free GF flour mixed with the salt and pepper and a 3rd bowl with the egg wash.
Dip each shrimp in the seasoned flour first. Dust off the extra and then dip on all sides in the egg wash, shaking off the excess. Finally coat each shrimp into the coconut and bread crumbs, pressing gently to adhere. Place on the lined baking sheet and let them sit for 10 minutes.
To Bake
Preheat your oven to 375F.
Place the raw breaded shrimp on a wire rack place on a baking sheet. Spray the tops of the shrimp lightly with cooking spray. Bake until lightly golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Serve warm

From the book Gluten-Free Small Bites: Sweet and Savory Handheld Treats for On-the-Go Lifestyles and Entertaining, by Nicole Hunn.

BEFORE BED: arbonne herbal detox tea