Easy Recipes: Healthy Arepas

These arepas were so delicious! When we had our Miami retreat, Katsnibs was so kind to come and do a LIVE cooking video with us. You can watch it here.
These arepas can be stuffed with eggs or chicken. If you would like to consume less carbs, make the patties smaller 🙂
1/2 cup PAN flour (to adjust consistency of dough add up to 1/4 cup flour)
1/2 cup baked sweet potato
1 scoop of pea protein powder
Salt to taste
2 tbs of chia seeds
4 tbs flax meal
Warm water for texture
8 Chicken Thighs
Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
Poultry Seasoning
Preheat oven 375° F. Mix all ingredients together except the water. Slowly add in the water as you mix to get a dough-like texture. Use the extra 1/4 cup of flour in case you overwater the mix and need to dry it up. Consistency should be like pizza dough.
Form dough into I do usual patties. Place on a hot grill or hot pan until they are dry and crispy on the outside to the touch. Remove from the grill or pan and place in the oven for about 7 to 10 minutes.
For chicken:
Mix 8 chicken thighs, one can of fire roasted diced tomatoes and poultry spice in a slow cooker for five hours.
Serve and enjoy!

Organic! Pasta with Turkey Sausage and Brussels Sprouts

Hi NEMs!!!
Gosh!  It has been a while since my last recipe blog post but I have a great dish for the summer!   This Pasta with Turkey Sausage & Brussels Sprouts is made with mostly ORGANIC ingredients (it would have been entirely organic, but I didn’t have any organic olive oil…ooops!) 

  • 1bag of Organic Pasta
  • 1pkg of Organic Turkey Sausage – I used Applegate Natural & Organic Meats that you can find at your local grocery store
  • 2/3lb. Organic Brussel Sprouts
  • 3 tbsp. organic olive oil
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • Salt & Pepper


  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees
  • Wash the brussel sprouts
  • Cut the dark flat ends off

  • In a mixing bowl, add the minced garlic and olive oil
  • Toss the brussel sprouts a few times to evenly coat

  • Cover a baking pan with foil
  • Spread the brussel sprouts around the baking pan


  • Bake for 30-40 minutes checking at 20 minutes and shake the sprouts around in order to brown
  • Next, boil water in order to cook the pasta (according to package)
  • While you are waiting for the water to boil, chop the turkey sausage in halves
    • If you don’t eat meat, you can substitute with tofu – just brown the tofu with your favorite sweet marinade like light teriyaki sauce

  • In a pan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and cook the turkey sausage according to the package instructions.  I like my turkey sausage a little more on the brown side so I cook it a little longer! 😉

  • Don’t forget to put the pasta into the boiling water and set your timer
  • Once the brussel sprouts are cooked, add to the turkey sausage pan and stir

  • Drain the pasta and you can add a pat of organic butter or 1tsp. olive oil
  • Top off the pasta with the turkey sausage/brussel sprouts

  • ENJOY!

If you make this, I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts, suggestions or if you added your own special ingredient(s).  Leave a comment or email me!  Meeshie@NoExcuseMom.com
And…if YOU have a recipe that you’d like to share and be featured on our NEM website, contact me.
~ Meeshie 🙂
NEM Leader San Diego County & NEM Recipe Blogger


Tasty Recipes By Nutritionist Felicia Newell!

Low Glycemic Index Recipes

April 16, 2017

Felicia Newell, RD(c), BScAHN, MScAHN(c)


For the past 6 months I have been working on a 107 Recipe Low Glycemic Index eCookbook – Everyday Cooking for Health and today I’m giving you a sneak peak! The eCookbook is to help people reach sustainable healthy eating based on low glycemic index foods with down-to-earth, easy-to-follow, quick-to-prepare recipes.

I’ve picked 5 recipes to highlight in this blog post, although it was hard to choose which ones!

The power-packed collection of healthful recipes will help you eat to feel great. You’ll be able to maintain a healthy weight, lose weight, reduce the risk of and better manage diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and so much more. Best of all, you will still enjoy your food!

All recipes include nutritional info for: calories, carbohydrates, net carbohydrates, protein, fats, saturated fats, net carbs, sodium, sugar and fibre!

But first you may be thinking… “What the heck is the glycemic index, and why is it important to my health?”

You may have heard that low carbohydrate diets are good for us. People rave about low carb diets like they are the best thing since…sliced bread (sorry, couldn’t help myself). “Carbs are evil.” “Carbs wreak havoc on our health.” You hear it all. However, you may also start to see more and more health professionals stand up for carbohydrates. Carbohydrates alone do not wreak havoc on our health. What does tend to wreak havoc, is the OVER-consumption of calories in general, but in particular, refined carbohydrates (e.g., white flour, sugar, etc.), that tend to be high on the glycemic index (GI).

The Glycemic Index

The GI is a list of carbohydrate-containing foods and how quickly they are processed through our bodies and thus raise blood glucose (sugar) levels compared to a standard food. Foods that are high on the GI scale produce a large fluctuation in our blood glucose levels.  When our glucose levels spike, our bodies have to work extra hard to get them back into balance. Foods high on the GI scale also tend to be high in calories and low in nutrients…which is what we call empty calories, and something we don’t want to be eating too much of. They also tend to be very easily accessible, and highly palatable (aka tasty), which is why we have to be mindful of not over-doing it.

Low GI foods, on the other hand, produce a slower and more even rate of absorption when digestion occurs, which means the foods are more gradually broken down in our digestive tract. This is typically because there are more nutrients in these foods, such as protein and/or fibre (and other nutrients as well) Low GI foods include things like fresh veggies, eggs, lean meat, whole grains, and many fresh fruits. As a rule of thumb, you want to have low GI foods most of the time, medium GI foods sometimes, and high GI foods occasionally.

For more information, check out my e-Cookbook!

Here are 5 recipes from the book!

Breakfast Casserole

Serves 6


  • 1 cup milk of choice

  • 6 large eggs

  • 3 egg whites

  • 3/4 cup cheese

  • 2 slices 100% whole wheat whole grain, or sprouted grain bread, cubed

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 teaspoon regular mustard

  • 1/4 cup green pepper, diced

  • 1/4 cup mushrooms, chopped

  • 1 cup onion

  • 1 tsp oil of choice, or nonstick cooking spray


Whisk together milk, eggs and egg whites. Add remaining ingredients and pour into an 8×8 pan that has been lightly coated with oil or nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories: 267 | Carbohydrate: 10g | Sugar: 4g | Fiber: 1g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 16g |

Sat Fat: 7g | Net Carbohydrate: 9g

Garden Fresh Vegetable Pizza

Serves 4


  • 4 whole wheat pitas or ‘Flat Out’ wraps

  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed

  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (preferably light)

  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (preferably light)

  • 2 small tomatoes, thinly sliced

  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

  • 1/4 teaspoon each: fresh or dried basil, oregano, and parsley


Preheat oven to 425°F. Sprinkle cheeses and garlic over whole wheat pitas. Add garlic, then layer tomato, zucchini and red onion. Top with Parmesan cheese and herbs. Bake for 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories: 274 | Carbohydrate: 20g | Sugar: 2g | Fiber: 4g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 13g |

Sat Fat: 6 | Sodium: 631mg | Net Carbohydrate: 16g

Simple Nicoise Style Salad


  • 1 can light tuna (or black beans)

  • 1 hard boiled egg, chopped

  • 2 small new potatoes, cooked

  • 2 small tomatoes

  • 1 cup green beans, lightly steamed or cooked

  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, or mixed greens

  • Optional: Any other veggies or low calorie topping of choice, e.g. olives


  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 2 tbsp cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic, minced


Prepare vinaigrette by mixing vinegar, mustard and garlic.  Slowly drizzle in olive oil until smooth. For salad, place lettuce on 2 plates and place remaining ingredients in small groups on top. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories: 381 | Carbohydrate: 30g | Sugar: 6g | Fiber: 5g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 18g |

Sat Fat: 3g | Sodium: 543mg | Net Carbohydrate: 25g

Knock Your Socks Off Chili

  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef, chicken or turkey (omit beef to make vegan)

  • 4 cans tomatoes (with green chilies if desired)

  • 1 can tomato sauce

  • 2 cans low sodium black beans (e.g. Eden foods), drained and rinsed

  • 4 medium zucchini, diced

  • 1 medium green pepper, diced

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 4 stalks celery, diced

  • 2 containers low sodium beef, or vegetable broth

  • 1 tablespoon cumin

  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic

  • 3 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


Brown meat, onion, pepper, celery and garlic. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer until veggies are tender. Serve with a side green salad for added fullness and a complete meal.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories: 306 | Carbohydrate: 27g | Sugar: 9g | Fiber: 8g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 10g |

Sat Fat: 3g | Sodium: 650mg | Net Carbohydrate: 1g

Balsamic-Marinated Chicken with Sautéed Mushrooms

Serves 4


  • 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 4 four ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to ¼” thick

  • 2 cups mushrooms, halved

  • 1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme


In a plastic bag, mix 2 tablespoons vinegar, mustard and garlic. Marinate for

2 hours.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil on medium heat to hot but not smoking. Add chicken and sauté until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to platter and cover to keep warm. Heat remaining oil in skillet; add mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes. Add broth, thyme, and remaining vinegar. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are cooked and sauce has reduced by half. Serve chicken topped with


Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories: 290 | Carbohydrate: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Fiber: 0g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 1g | Sat Fat: 3g | Sodium: 413mg | Net Carbohydrate: 5g

Easy as Pie Applesauce Cake

Serves 8


  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour

  • 1/2 cup SPLENDA® or Truvia® no calorie sweetener, granular

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons oil of choice

  • 1 cup applesauce


Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat cake pan with oil or nonstick cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl. Mix them together (do not over stir).  Spoon into prepared pan and bake 35-40 minutes.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories: 154 | Carbohydrate: 21g | Sugar: 3g | Fiber: 4g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g |

Sat Fat: 0g | Sodium: 295mg | Net Carbohydrate: 17g

For access to all 107 recipes with nutritional info get the e-Cookbook here!

Felicia Newell is a Nutritionist, Dietitian-Candidate, Food and Nutrition Expert, Health Coach, and a mom of 4 boys under 6! She is also the owner of Sustain Nutrition. Felicia wears many hats, and knows what it is like to try and live healthy in a busy world, where our environments aren’t always supportive of making healthy choices.

Life is busy, confusing at times, and full of contradictions, especially in the world of health and wellness. Felicia is passionate in helping others fight through the misinformation out there, and to navigate life and health, but most importantly, to enjoy it while doing it.
She has over 11 years of education and experience in Nutritional Sciences. Between completing her Bachelor and Masters in Nutritional Sciences, working at a research center, teaching university courses, years of nutrition counseling helping people crush their goals, and being a busy mom of 4 young boys, she has the passion, skills, education, and experience to help you reach your health and wellness in a way that works for YOU.

12 Best Healthy Snacks to Prevent Being ‘Hangry’

12 Healthy Snacks (4)
Note: This post is brought to you by Official No Excuse Mom Nutritionist-Dietitian Felicia Newell, and is also posted on her website.
Do we all know the dreaded feeling of being ‘hangry’? I think we do, but just in case…
Urban Dictionary definition (because that counts right?): “When you are so hungry that your lack of food causes you to become angry, frustrated or both. An amalgum of hungry and angry invented to describe that feeling when you get when you are out at a restaurant and have been waiting over an hour to get the meal that you have ordered”.
My definition of being hangry:
That point where you’ve been so busy, you keep telling yourself…“I’ll get something to eat after I finish this task…”
(one hour later) “I’ll eat after I complete this other task…”
(two hours later) “I don’t care, don’t talk to me, I’m freaking starving.” (or some variation)
Co-worker/Friend/Anyone: “I have a box of donuts, would you like to have 1…or 6?” (again, or some variation)
You: “For the love of god, give me the whole box.”
Anyway, you get the point, right? We’ve all been there. Lost track of time, didn’t get a chance to eat, and now we are at the point where it doesn’t matter if it’s a bag of Doritos or a baby donkey (kidding of course…just a metaphor) put in front of us, either way we’re going to eat it.
Well here are some of the best nutrient-packed healthy snack foods, to either grab on the go or pack for lunch, to avoid the case of those ‘hangries’.
1. Hard-boiled Eggs
I know this ones not overly exciting (it gets better, I promise), but one egg contains a measly 78 calories and six grams of protein (more protein = more full). They’re also packed with Vitamin B, which helps break down that fat for instant energy. Have some nice crunchy veggies along with it, and boom. As long as you keep hard-boiled eggs stored inside the shell, they’ll last in the fridge for up to a week. Alternatively, mash it up, and add some sliced pickles, olives, and feta cheese, and your taste buds certainly won’t be bored.

Best Healthy Snacks | Energy Bars | Protein Bars | Eggs | Weight Loss
2. Homemade Protein/Energy Bar

I think protein bars are great because they are an excellent on-the-go snack, that can really help tie you over until your next meal or snack, especially if they have a decent amount of protein (10g or more), and fibre (3g or more, but ideally 5-10g). I say homemade, because you can control what goes in them. Check out my blog post here, which contains some homemade protein bar/ball recipes, and you’ll find 10 more protein bar recipes here in this blog. If you do opt for a pre-packaged protein bar, aim for one that is around 200 calories, less than 5% DV saturated fats, and with the above protein and fibre recommendations. A great example is Genuine Health’s Fermented Protein Bars.
3. Frozen Yogurt Pops with Nuts and Berries

Dietitian St. John's | Nutritionist St. John's | Best Healthy Snacks | Energy Bars | Frozen Yogurt Pop | Weight Loss
To cool yourself during those summer afternoons you may be tempted to grab sugar-filled ice-cream and popsicles. Which is okay sometimes of course, but to help with overdoing it, try this tasty frozen treat as a lower sugar, nutrient-packed option. Chop up berries and nuts of choice (strawberries and almonds and/or walnuts are great choices), and mix in a bowl with your favourite  yogurt and some lemon or lime juice (optional). Pour the mixture in a popsicle molds and freeze for four hours. Delish! Alternatively, you can pour the mixture in a glass dish, freeze, and then break into pieces of ‘bark’, and store in a container in the freezer.
4. Smoked Wild Salmon with Crackers or Cucumber (lower calorie/carb option) and Goat Cheese

Dietitian St. John's | Nutritionist St. John's | Best Healthy Snacks | Energy Bars | Smoked Salmon | Weight Loss
I mean yum, who doesn’t love the whole smoked salmon and goat cheese combo? Okay sure, some people might not like fish, or cheese, but who are these people and how do they exist? (Again, kidding! If you use crackers, aim for 3g of fibre for more and stick to one serving, and a small amount of salmon and goat cheese on each. For a lower carb/calorie option (because I’m all for reducing carbs and calories sometimes, because we do tend overdo it on those guys at times, let’s be honest), use cucumber instead of crackers. Still delish, and great for entertaining as well!
5. Watermelon with Feta, Dill and Hemp Seeds

Dietitian St. John's | Nutritionist St. John's | Best Healthy Snacks | Energy Bars | Watermelon | Weight Loss
Watermelon on its own contains 86 calories and less than 1 gram of fat making it an excellent fruit to those working on losing some weight. Cut the fruit into cubes and place it in a bowl with some crumbled feta cheese (a little goes a long way for flava). Add a tablespoon or two of hemp seeds for added protein, fibre, and Omega 3s and other nutrients (if you haven’t tried hemp seeds before, you seriously should), sprinkle with some chopped dill and/or red onion (optional) and enjoy!
6. Nuts, Seeds, and Nut Butters
Nuts and seeds (unsalted), and nut butters such as no sugar-added almond butter, or low sugar peanut butter. They’re great to eat because they’re rich in healthy fats, protein, and fibre. They also contain nutrients and hard-to-get minerals like magnesium, which can help regulate sleep, digestive issues, and stress (magnesium is all the rage lately, and for good reason). Keep in mind that portion control is key with this type of food; ¼ cup nuts per serving, or one to two teaspoons of nut butter at a time. Have an apple or another type of fruit with your nuts, and you’re good to go!
7. Oatmeal with Fruit and Seeds
Oatmeal is specially served as a breakfast meal but having a smaller portion (e.g., ½ cup), and using toppings such as: chopped fruit, dates, honey, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, chia/hemp/flax seeds, etc. (the list really can go on), you can prepare a fibre and protein rich snack. Oatmeal has fibre, which has been shown to cholesterol levels and to help manage blood sugars.
8. Roasted Chickpeas
Another delicious low-calorie, high-fibre snack. It is the ‘International Year of the Pulses’, and chickpeas are a member of the pulse family! Pulses are a cost-effective, sustainable protein source that are rich in fibre, and have high levels of minerals such as iron, zinc, and phosphorous as well as folate and other B-vitamins. Drain and pat dry a can of chickpeas, mix in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, chili powder, salt and pepper (or any seasonings of choice). Pour the coated chickpeas onto a baking tray, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) and bake for 30-40 minutes, until brown and crunchy. Alternatively, there are some delicious, pre-packaged roasted chickpeas on the market, such as The Good Bean Chickpeas.

Dietitian St. John's | Nutritionist St. John's | Best Healthy Snacks | Energy Bars | Roasted Chickpeas | Weight Loss9. Chicken (or Chickpea for vegetarians), and Greek Yogurt Spread on Crackers or Cucumber
This is a simple one. Chicken, or chickpeas are a great source of protein, and chickpeas even have added fibre. Greek yogurt is also a good protein source. In a bowl add 1 small cup of leftover cooked chicken or chickpeas and 3 tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt (optional: add pepper and lemon juice to taste). Mix the ingredients together and spread it on crackers or sliced cucumber.
10. Sweet Potato Protein Cookies

Dietitian St. John's | Nutritionist St. John's | Best Healthy Snacks | Sweet Potato Protein Cookies | Weight Loss
Got a hankering for a cookie? Give these bad-boys a try (not sure why they would be considered ‘bad-boys’, it just felt right, and it’s midnight and I might be a little loopy at this point). Filled with good-for-you ingredients, pack these cookies for the perfect on-the-go alternative to candy bars or other less healthy baked goods (aka donuts). Recipe here.
11. Sweet Potato Chips

Dietitian St. John's | Nutritionist St. John's | Best Healthy Snacks | Sweet Potato Chips | Weight Loss
Can’t live without chips? Don’t lie to me you, I know all you chip-lovers out there would never give up your chips! And you shouldn’t have to, let’s be real. There are no ‘bad’ foods, just overall ‘bad’ diets. Do your best to eat healthy 80% of the time, and include some less healthy foods in there as well (that’s where that whole moderation thing that we dietitian’s like to talk about). Getting off track a little, but ‘anywho’, these sweet potato chips aren’t exactly healthy, but making them yourself means you know exactly what goes into them. Plus, they taste better than the bagged kind, trust me. Recipe here. Have a couple unsalted nuts, and/or one serving of fruit with these, so you’re less likely to eat 3 servings of chips.
12. Healthier 4 U Popcorn
Approximately 87% of the population enjoys popcorn (disclaimer: completely made-up statistic). Instead of drenching popcorn in butter, flavour it with a creative mix of herbs and spices. Think of homemade popcorn as a canvas for pretty much whatever flavour combination you’re craving. Check out the awesome infographic below for proof. Learn more here.

Dietitian St. John's | Nutritionist St. John's | Weight Loss | Healthy Eating | Best Healthy Snacks | Popcorn
Do you struggle with knowing exactly what foods will help you reach your goals? Download the exact grocery list that I provide for my clients to help them reach their goals, for free here!
Want answers to your food, nutrition and wellness questions? Join Sustain Nutrition’s free online Facebook wellness community! Link to access the group is here.
For more information on the healthy weight management and nutrition services Sustain Nutrition offers, visit here.

Dietitian St. John's | Nutritionist St. John's Weight Loss | Healthy Eating | Best Healthy Snacks

Healthy Weight Management | Nutrition Counselling | Sustain Nutrition | Nutritionist | Dietitian | Weight loss | Best Healthy Snacks

Felicia Newell is our Official NEM Nutritionist. She has a Bachelor of Science in Applien Human Nutrition, and is currently working on completing a Master of Science. Felicia is a Dietitian (candidate) and a mom of 4 boys under 6. She wears many hats, and knows what it is like to live healthy in a busy world, where our environments aren’t always supportive of making healthy choices. Felicia has over 10 years of education and experience in Nutrition, and is passionate about helping others.
For the past several years, Felicia has worked at a university research centre with a focus on food security, food access, and policies relating to food; she has taught university level nutrition courses; she has recently started her own nutrition counselling business titled ‘Sustain Nutrition’; and she is currently working at a large chain grocery store helping her community make healthier choices. One of Felicia’s passions is helping others fight through the confusing misinformation that is out there in the ever-changing and growing world of food and nutrition. Felicia has published a paper in the Canadian Journal of Public Health titled, ‘Is the Minimum Enough: Affordability of a Nutritious Diet for Minimum Wage Earners in Nova Scotia’. You can view it here.
Read more about her story here, and on her Facebook page,  visit here website here, and follow her on Instagram: @sustain.nutritionClick here for more NEM experts.

Asian ChowFun! (Gluten Free Option)

Here’s a very tasty recipe that is also a #glutenfree option! 🙂
Don’t forget – if you have a recipe you would like to share and be FEATURED on our No Excuse Mom website, email me at:  Meeshie@NoExcuseMom.com


  • (1)  Pack of Rice Noodles (found at any Asian Market)
  • (1lb.) Fliet Mignon (or you can use chicken or sub more veggies for a #vegetarian dish)
  • (1cup)  Oyster Sauce
  • (2)  Sticks of carrots
  • (1)  Sweet Onion
  • (3-4) bunces of Baby Bok Choy
  • Olive Oil
  • Minced Garlic – I like the jar that has the minced chopped garlic because saves me cooking time 😉
  • (2 pats)  Sweet Cream Butter



  • Wash the Baby Bok Choy
  • Peel and slice carrots
  • Peel and slice onions

  • Add Olive oil to skillet on high temperature
  • Separate the rice noodles and place into the skillet with the flat side down


  • Brown both sides to your liking ( I like my noodles extra crispy!)

  • Remove from skillet
  • In same skillet, add a pat of butter and garlic, mix
  • Add in onions and carrots & cook to desired softness
  • In another skillet (or you can remove the onions & carrots and place in a bowl), add (1 tbsp.) olive oil & the Baby Bok Choy (VEGETARIAN OPTION:  you can add other veggies at this step)

  • Next, add a few tablespoons of the oyster sauce (this sauce can be a little salty, so add slowly) and cook to desired softness (remember that this veggie cooks quick!)

  • In skillet, add (2) pats of butter, garlic and the Filet Mignon (or chicken) and drizzle with the oyster sauce
  • Cook to desired meat temperature ( I tend to cook filet medium rare)


  • Once all the ingredients are cooked, COMBINE them all into your biggest skillet and mix together for 2-3 minutes
  • PLATING:  Place some of the rice noodles on a plate, and pour the meal over the noodles – don’t forget to add some of the sauce!  It’s the BEST PART! 🙂

~  Meeshie
NEM Leader San Diego County & NEM Recipe Blogger


NEM Healthy Breakfast Option

With 6 easy steps you can have a delicious breakfast prepared! Here’s a great recipe from NEM Kelsey Becker!
Ingredients :
Ghee (or coconut oil)
2 eggs
Onion -chopped
Sweet potato- diced or 1 beet -peeled and diced (which ever I have on hand that day)
About a cup of chopped kale (washed)
1. Sautéed chopped onion and sweet potato/beet on ghee until soft .
2. Add kale on top and cover until kale starts to soften a bit.
3. Remove from pan
4 . Then “fry ” two eggs over easy (add tad bit more ghee of needed)
5. Top veggie combo with eggs .
6. Serve with 1/4 avocado slices

Asian Style Garlic Tofu with Rice (Vegetarian)

Here is a tasty TOFU dish that’s quick and easy to make & is great for those who are vegetarians! You’ll need to prep steps 1-5 to let the tofu marinate for about 20-30 minutes.   🙂

  • (1) lb. of extra firm Tofu
  • Rice of your choice (1) cup or more depending on the # of eaters
    • You can sub Quinoa
  • 4-5 Green Onions
  • (2) Tbsp. Sesame Oil (or Olive Oil)
  • (1/4) cup Hoisin sauce
  • (2) Tbsp. Soy sauce
  • (2-3) cloves of minced garlic (You can also just buy the minced garlic in a jar)

1.  In a bowl, add the 3 ingredients for the sauce. Stir to combine
file_000     file_001
2.  Press the tofu between towels to remove excess moisture.
3.  Cut into about 1 inch cubes.  Now, if your “helper” (in my case, my boyfriend Andrew , who is also a #noexcuseDAD of THREE TEENAGERS 🙂 ) wants to help you line up the tofu cubes…. just let him.  LOL!!!
andrew-lining-up     tofu-no-sauce
4.  Add to the sauce and gently toss until thoroughly coated.
5.  Cover and place in fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
6.  Cook rice or Quinoa according to directions
7.  Slice green onions.
8.  In a skillet, heat 1-2 Tbsp. oil over medium heat.
9.  Add the marinated tofu and spread out in a single layer.
10.  Cook without stirring for 5 minutes or until browned on one side.
11.  Flip them, and cook for another few minutes.
12.  Add the green onions for the last minute or two of cooking.  You can add more Hoisin if your tofu looks too dry.  (I didn’t have to add any when making this dish.)
13.  Serve over a hot bed of rice (or quinoa), add a few sprinkles of sesame seeds!
If you like this recipe or have a recipe that you’d like to share & be featured on the NEM website, leave a comment below OR email me at:  Meeshie@noexcusemom.com.
(Recipe Credit:  http://www.thegardengrazer.com)

Make Your Own Protein/Energy Bars!

Protein bars used to be more aimed for hikers who are on the go for long periods of time, or extreme athletes on the go. Now they are becoming more mainstream and used as snacks, and that’s okay, it’s just important to choose the right ones, and use them in the right way depending on your goals.
The protein and fibre in these bars, can help keep you full and satisfied if you need something quick to tie you over until your next meal. You can eat them on the go to help prevent you from getting too hangry…we all know how we can make bad decisions when we’re hangry. These types of bars are also going to manage your blood sugars and energy levels much better than a sugary chocolate bar alone, where you get a spike and energy, and then a crash, whereas the protein and fibre in the energy bars will help delay digestion and help manage blood sugar and energy levels).
If you’re choosing a store bought protein bar it should ideally be: high in protein (10g or more), high in fibre (3g or more), low in calories (150-250 cals, depending on your goals and if you’re male or female), low in saturated fat (1.5g or less), low in sugar (around 10g or less), and low in total net carb (ideally 15-30g, again depending on your goals and if you’re male or female). If you get more vitamins and minerals in there such as calcium or iron, then that’s even more nutritional bang for your buck! You also want to consider your ingredients list for things like where your protein is coming from and the types of ingredients in the bar.
Now for the recipes! The best thing? None of them have to be baked, and all can be kept in the freezer!
Chocolate Espresso Protein Balls
‌• 1 cup oats (gluten free, if needed)
‌• 2 Tbsp Chocolate Vega One Nutritional Shake
‌• ¼ cup chocolate chips
‌• 10 chopped dark chocolate covered espresso beans, OR, two tsp espresso coffee powder
‌• ½ cup almond butter
‌• ½ cup flaxseed meal
‌• 1 Tbsp chia seeds
‌• ⅓ cup maple syrup
‌• 1 tsp vanilla extract
‌• 1 pinch of salt
Mix all ingredients together (By hand or stand mixer) in a bowl and then refrigerate for 20-45 minutes to set (optional).
Remove and make into balls, with a small scooper or your hands.
Note: You can also roll these into toasted coconut flakes or raw cacao powder, and you can also press these into a pan, chill, and then cut into bars.
Place in an airtight container to refrigerate. Will last 5-7 days but most likely they will be long gone before that!
Recipe courtesy of: Vega
Lemon Coconut Energy Balls
‌• 8 pitted Medjool dates
‌• ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
‌• Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
‌• ½ tsp vanilla extract
‌• ½ cup coconut flour
‌• 1 serving Vanilla Vega Protein & Greens, OR, Vanilla Vega One Nutritional Shake
‌• Pinch of salt
‌• 1-2 Tbsp almond milk, if needed
‌• Unsweetened shredded coconut (I used toasted coconut), for rolling
Place dates, applesauce, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla in a large food processor. Process until dates look nearly pureed and mixture is very-well combined.
Add coconut flour, protein powder, and salt. Process until mixture forms a smooth ball of “dough.” (If mixture looks too dry, add almond milk.)
Roll into 12 balls (or more).
Place about ½ cup coconut in a small bowl and roll balls in coconut, if desired. I rolled the balls in almond milk first to make coconut stick better. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, or freezer. You can also press these into a pan, chill, and then cut into bars.
Recipe Courtesy of: Vega
Raw Hemp Chia Seed Bars
‌• 3 1/2 cups oats (gluten-free, if needed)
• 1/2 cup Hemp Hearts
• 1/2 cup chia seeds
• 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
• 3/4 cups almonds (ground in tiny pieces), or almond meal
• 1/2 cup agave syrup, honey, or maple syrup
• 1/2 cup applesauce
• 3/4 cups almond or peanut butter
• 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted/liquid)
• 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together (oats, hemp seeds, chia seeds, ground flax seed meal, ground almonds or almond meal).
In a medium sized bowl, mix all wet ingredients together (honey or other liquid sweetener, applesauce, almond butter, melted coconut oil and vanilla extract).
Take the wet ingredient mixture and combine in the large bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until well combined, using your hands if needed.
Put the mixture in an 8 x 8 glass baking dish and press the mixture firmly. Put in the refrigerator or freezer to chill or until the mixture is firm.bCut into even size bars or smaller sized squares.
Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve because they will get soft if left out at room temperature.
Recipe courtesy of: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts
Felicia Newell is our Official NEM Nutritionist and has a Bachelor of Science in Applied Human Nutrition, as well as a Master of Science in Applied Human Nutrition. She is also a Registered Dietitian (candidate). For the past several years, Felicia has worked at a university research centre with a focus on food security, food access, and policies relating to food; she has taught university level nutrition courses; and she is currently working at a large chain grocery store helping her community make healthier choices. One of Felicia’s passions is helping others fight through the confusing misinformation that is out there in the ever-changing and growing world of food and nutrition. Another one of her passions lies in working toward a future where everyone has access to enough affordable, healthy, safe and culturally appropriate food, that is produced, processed and distributed in socially, economically and ecologically sustainable ways. Felicia has published a paper in the Canadian Journal of Public Health titled, ‘Is the Minimum Enough: Affordability of a Nutritious Diet for Minimum Wage Earners in Nova Scotia’.
Read more about her story here, and on her Facebook page, or follow her on Instagram: @felicianewellnutrition. Click here for more NEM experts.

Make Your Own Smoothies!

Let me first tell you…you may or may not know this…but you do not need smoothies, shakes, protein drinks, meal replacement smoothies – whatever you want to call them – to lose weight, or gain muscle, etc. Okay…now that’s out of the way…but let me explain why.
All of the nutrients (and more) found in smoothies, can be also included in regular snacks and meals. In other words, a smoothie is no better than a bowl of Greek yogurt, berries, and mixed nuts and seeds; or a piece of baked chicken, ½ cup of quinoa, and half plate of veggies, etc., etc. However, smoothies are a great way to get in nutrients if you are busy, on the go, and need something quick and convenient, or if you simply enjoy having one!
What I do recommend as a healthy diet for the general population, and one that supports weight loss, is one that emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains or other complex carbohydrates, dairy products or dairy alternatives, seafood, lean proteins, legumes and nuts while reducing red and processed meat, refined grains, and sugary foods and beverages. While also – and these are just some examples – moving more, reducing the amount of calories you eat/eating at a caloric deficit (for weight loss; which means you figure out your Total Daily Energy Requirement (TDEE) – from a professional, or a reputable online site – and eat about 5-600 less than that per day), gaining help and support from a professional if necessary (or even a supportive friend or group), getting adequate sleep, trying to manage stress, working on becoming more organized, and reducing the negativity in your life (weight loss has a psychological component as well, and when we feel better in other aspects of life, we can be more successful in reaching our goals).
Another thing I want you to know, is that you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on shakes per month if you would like to use smoothies/protein shakes. They can be made with as many or little ingredients as you have access to, and still pack an extreme nutrient punch and keep you full until your next meal.
Here is a list of smoothie ingredients to chose from. All you need is at least one from each category (ideally), and you will have a great smoothie!

  • Plain yogurt
  • Plain, chocolate or vanilla unsweetened milk (cows, goats, almond, soy, cashew, or rice, depending on preference)
  • Plain kefir (high in probiotics)
  • Natural peanut butter
  • Almond butter
  • Tofu
  • Protein powder (whether you go for the most nutritious out there, or a more cost effective one – do what works for you and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it!)
  • Almonds, or any other type of nuts (small amount)

Fruits: (can be fresh or frozen, if fresh it is best to use some ice)

  • Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Peach
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Melon
  • Cherries
  • Apricot
  • Pomegranate seeds

Vegetables: (I find these are the best to use)

  • Carrot
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber

Flavour and Added Nutrition:

  • Flaxseed
  • Chia seed
  • Hemp hearts
  • Old-fashioned oats (will add complex carbs and fibre to keep you full longer)
  • Spices (e.g., cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cayenne)
  • Vanilla extract
  • Coconut water
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Mint leaves
  • If you must have added sweetness, use a small amount (1 tsp or less) of your choice of sweetener or sugar (however, the fruit, vanilla beverages and extract, and cinnamon will usually add enough): stevia, Splenda, sugar, cane sugar honey, pure maple syrup
  • Completely optional and not necessary if you’re adding your own nutrients, but some other options for added flavor and nutrients are:

Note: blend ingredients in a blender or magic bullet (easiest for cleanup).
Tips on Purchasing Smoothie Ingredients:
Any time you make healthy swaps in your pantry, it doesn’t have to happen overnight. You may not be used to buying all of these ingredients, and you may not the means or access to get everything right away. Here are some general tips for stocking up the pantry in general, and for smoothies:

  • Purchase 1-2 new ingredients at a time.
  • Check local flyers for sales. More and more grocery stores are having sales on healthier items such as chia, flax and hemp seeds. There are also apps such as ‘Flipp’ that check local flyers for you when you search for a specific ingredient.
  • The larger you can buy of the item the better (if possible), it will last you longer and give you more time to add other staples to the pantry. However, certain items will also have sample sizes you can buy or find (e.g., Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts small package for $2.99, and Vega One Single Protein Packages for $3.99),
  • Frozen is better for smoothies than fresh in my opinion, as they keep for a long time in your freezer, and won’t go bad in your fridge within the week.
  • Even a smoothie with 5-6 ingredients from the list above (1-2 from each category), will be delicious and nutritious.

For more tips on eating healthy on a budget, see my previous post.
Protein Powder Examples:
Vega One (My personal favourite, as it is high in fibre, protein, and many other nutrients; made from all natural, nutritious foods; vegan; gluten-free; 6 servings of greens; also includes probiotics and digestive enzymes)
Kaizen Naturals
Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal
LeanFit Complete Green or Whey Isolate Protein (available in some grocery stores or at Costco)
Tips When Choosing a Cost-Effective Protein Powder: 
Look for:

  • Low sugar (ideally 3g or less; make sure it is not top 3 in the ingredient list)
  • Low saturated fat (ideally 1.5g or less)
  • High protein (ideally 15-30g, depending on goals)
  • High fibre (ideally 3-5g)
  • Nutrients such as vitamins and minerals (calcium, vitamin D, iron, magnesium, etc., are an added bonus).
  • Whey Protein Isolate is better than ‘Whey’ only
  • For Vegans: hemp and soy protein powders are great because they contain complete proteins, however, other options such as brown rice protein and pea protein are still great, as long as you are getting other protein sources throughout the day.

Smoothie Recipes:
Kale and Berry Power Smoothie

  • 1/3 cup of blueberries
  • 1/3 cup of strawberries
  • 1/2 cup of spinach or kale leaves (remove the hard parts of the kale stalks)
  • 1/3 of a cup of unsweetened vanilla milk of choice, or water (kefir for greatest nutrition and digestive benefits)
  • 1/3 cup yogurt of choice (Greek for highest protein)
  • 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon of hemp powder or seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened vanilla milk of choice, or water (kefir for greatest nutrition benefits)
  • 1/3 cup yogurt of choice (Greek for highest protein)
  • 1/2 of a frozen banana
  • 1/2 to 1 scoop protein, or 1-2 tbsp hemp, chia, or flax seeds, or 1-2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

 I hope this helps some of you with making your own smoothies, and not feeling like you have to buy expensive smoothies or products to work towards a healthier lifestyle! 
Felicia Newell is our Official NEM Nutritionist and has a Bachelor of Science in Applied Human Nutrition, as well as a Master of Science in Applied Human Nutrition. For the past several years, Felicia has worked at a university research centre with a focus on food security, food access, and policies relating to food; she has taught university level nutrition courses; and she is currently working at a large chain grocery store helping her community make healthier choices. One of Felicia’s passions is helping others fight through the confusing misinformation that is out there in the ever-changing and growing world of food and nutrition. Another one of her passions lies in working toward a future where everyone has access to enough affordable, healthy, safe and culturally appropriate food, that is produced, processed and distributed in socially, economically and ecologically sustainable ways. Felicia has published a paper in the Canadian Journal of Public Health titled, ‘Is the Minimum Enough: Affordability of a Nutritious Diet for Minimum Wage Earners in Nova Scotia’.
Read more about her story here, and on her Facebook page, or follow her on Instagram: @felicianewellnutrition. Click here for more NEM experts.

Egg Cupcakes! (OK OK OK, they are Muffins)

No Excuse Moms!

First, let me start by wishing you ALL a HAPPY and HEALTHY NEW YEAR in 2016!   There are going to be a lot of new updates and changes this year for NEM and I’m so excited!  

It’s been a while since I’ve put up a recipe – but that’s all going to change with 2016!  🙂

I would like to introduce to you one of the most awesome Moms that I’ve “virtually” met through NEM.  She is so positive and my inspiration….please meet JESS DOVA,  NEM REGION VIII Leader,  NEM Pueblo, CO Leader & NEM Pueblo West Leader!   She is also the mother of 3 kiddies!  As you can see…she’s one busy mama and that’s why NEM loves her!

jess in nem jacket

Before I share her Quick & Easy Egg Muffins recipe, let’s get to know Jess just a little better…


Meeshie:  ​How many kids do you have?

JESS:  I have three amazing kiddos!  A girl 9, boy 5, boy 2.

jess and family

Meeshie:  How did you get involved in NEM?

​JESS:  Over a year ago I was looking for an outlet for my beautiful daughter and I. She was going through a difficult time, and struggled with self confidence stemming from being bullied. I wanted to shower her a strong leader, and continue to be a role model and empower her throughout the process.  I sent in my application in hopes that she ​​would feed off of the positive energy of other likeminded women and children! Today she loves attending the meetups and playing/working out with her new friends. She rocks the NEM hat and proudly calls herself our local NEM assistant manager.


Meeshie:  What are your fave foods to indulge in???

JESS:  I’m a lover of all things peanut butter!

Meeshie:  What is your favorite workout?

JESS:  All things glutes! I try to incorporate them into every workout! Make sure to hit weighted lunges, squats, step ups, hip thrusters and kickbacks. Go Heavy!

jess yoga

Meeshie:  How do you find time for the gym?

JESS:  Workouts can take place anywhere! I workout in my garage, at a local high school bleachers, at my NEM group or various outdoor activities that my little ones can attend as well. We make everything a game to keep them interested whether its a race, soccer or even who can squat jump the highest. We also love our yoga right before bedtime!

Meeshie:  What is your go to meal for the kids?

JESS:  If it’s not my famous cottage cheese eggs in the mornings, it’s anything and everything spaghetti squash. My kids actually beg for the leftovers in their lunchbox! I just throw mine in the crockpot! You can use it in and dish to replace pasta, which means unlimited options, even for picky eaters!


Meeshie:  Anything else you would like to share with our NEMs?

JESS:  No matter where your fitness journey starts, you can be your child’s first role model. Show them drive, determination and clean eating – they are always watching. Keep going mommas!


 Now let’s get to that recipe! 🙂

JESS:  Such a great and versatile recipe! Make it your own and keep them in the refrigerator for a ready to go breakfast for the whole family! Next time I may even bake them in liners for my school aged children for mornings! 😉

 What You’ll Need

  • About 12 eggs (choose your egg white to whole egg ratio. I use 2 egg whites to 1 whole egg ?

  • can garbanzo beans

  • 1 cup chopped spinach

  • 1 med red bell pepper

  • Mrs Dash to taste, any flavor!


How to Cook It

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  • Combine and scramble ingredients in bowl then use a ladle to proportion in pan

eggs scrambled

  • Make sure pan is generously sprayed beforehand

eggs in pan

  • Bake for 20 minutes!

  • Simple and delicious! Next time you can add cottage cheese, which is what JESS love about this, pick and choose your favorite breakfast go-to’s! Enjoy!

eggs kinda cooked

FOLLOW JESS on IG @coloradofitmom

Well NEMs, hoped you enjoyed getting to know one of our NEM Leaders and the first recipe blog of 2016!  Be ready for more to come!!!

~ Meeshie 😉 ,  NEM Leader San Diego County & NEM Blogger

Meeshie LOGO w Maddox - website

Follow Meeshie
IG:  @meeshie_livelifeshredded
FB:  www.facebook.com/MeeshieFive