Zucchini Corn Soup + Crispy Bacon


This month, our family decided to do a little home cooking-challenge. For the next 4 weeks, we'll be researching, prepping and taste-testing some new healthy recipes that come highly rated.

I would chalk this first recipe up to a family success! It was easy, fun to make and delicious to eat. Even our 2 year old daughter, Chloe, was able to get in on the action (I think she earned the award for cutest corn husker). 

3 ears of corn (or 1.5 cups frozen corn), 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1.5 tsp. thyme, 1/2 fresh ground black pepper, 2 minced garlic cloves, 5 cups low sodium chicken broth, 1 bay leaf, two zucchini (quartered, 1/2in. thick), 4 slices of bacon (cooked & crumbled)

Remove husks from ears of corn, clean, and cut kernels from cob. In a 4qt dutch oven heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, salt, pepper and cook about 5 minutes. Next, stir in thyme and garlic until fragrant then slowly add broth, bay leaf and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. Stir in zucchini and corn kernels and let simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve soup into bowls and sprinkle the crumbled bacon on the top. 

TIP: for a Veggie option, substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth and bacon for kidney beans. Let us know what you think! 

172 Calories, 20g carbs, 3g fiber, 9g protein (no joke!), 35 minutes to make.


Eat to Lose - The Fixate Cookbook


I'll be the first to admit (and my family can verify) that I am not the most creative in the kitchen and tend to cycle through my "go-to" meals weekly, but I know I am not alone in saying that I am craving a little more variety when it comes to healthy eating options. As a work-at-home mom, I would love to be the Top Chef of my family, but I struggle with finding time to come up with new ideas on my own that everyone will enjoy.

This month I will put Autumn's new FIXATE cookbook in the hot seat by testing out her 21 Day Fix® approved recipes. Join me on my quest to find more affordable healthy, "foodie-quality" meals, that aren't boring. I'll be posting honest feedback about which recipes are a must try, as well as images, tips, and new suggestions. Follow my feedback here, or on Instagram @SandiOhBrien


21 Day Fix® creator Autumn Calabrese takes her simple color-coded container system for measuring perfect portions and applies it to 101 of her favorite family recipes to give you Fixate, a delicious approach to healthy weight loss. So you're not just eating healthy foods-you're eating just the right amount. Each Fixate recipe lists color-coded container equivalents and nutrition  facts, so you can use Autumn's system for measuring portions and make sure your nutrition is on track when you begin 21 Day Fix®, 21 Day Fix EXTREME®, or any other fitness program.


  • Easy-to-follow recipes (each marked with their color-coded container equivalents) designed to work with 21 Day Fix®, 21 Day Fix EXTREME®, and Portion Fix™—or use the deliciously nutritious recipes to create balanced meals for any other Beachbody® program.
  • Seven  color-coded containers to help you keep your portions in check and nutrition on track
  • 101 perfectly portioned FIXATE™ RECIPES
  • Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and paleo recipes available.


Enjoy a sneak peak at some recipes included in the FIXATE™ Cookbook (click to enlarge) :

all images and recipes are provided by Autumn Calabrese's FIXATE™ Cookbook and Beachbody®.


Superhuman Superfood

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You want me to drink WHAT, a meal replacement shake?!!  Ha! There's only one drink I could have regularly and it doesn't involve superfoods or protein. (but if you ask me, I think wine should count -it contains antioxidants, right?)

Clearly I was not 100% on board with the idea of drinking Shakeology, but I signed up for my first Challenge Group and part of the commitment was to drink it daily. I was a little uneasy about agreeing to this because for those who know me, I tend to like variety. It's rare to catch me eating the same thing twice in one week, let alone every day. Well, rules are rules and I was determined to hit my goal weight so I reluctantly placed my order for a variety pack of Shakeology - I figured there had to be a least one flavor I could tolerate. Besides, if Oprah is a fan, I guess it's worth a try. 

A few days after placing an order my program arrived along with my packets of Shakeology. I read the start up guide cover-to-cover, took my before pictures, and on Day 1 of the challenge group it was time to experiment with the different flavors. My husband tested out the Chocolate while I went for the Strawberry... A little Ice, some water, a banana, one packet of Shakeology...and viola! I squinted my nose, tipped my shaker cup back and prepared myself to hate it. But wait, hummm... I better taste it again. Um, maybe one more sip. Before I knew it I had guzzled down my glass. I was totally convinced that it wasn't going to be for me because I had tried a few different protein shakes in the past and didn't care at all for the texture or taste. To my surprise, I actually didn't mind it, and it's a good thing because 3 months after we said "I do" we found out we were pregnant. My happy hour glass of chardonnay was no longer, for the next 9 months I would be chugging back my frothy mug of Strawberry Shakeology. Thanks to this protein-packed superfood superhero, we gave birth to a very healthy 8lb 1oz baby girl. To this day our pediatrician jokes about my "muscle diet" during my pregnancy because she has never seen a baby as strong as Chloe.


So could you just make smoothies at home and get the same basic thing? Well, you could, if you have the money and time to prep the 70+ fancy-pants ingredients that are included in each Shakeology shake--if you were to purchase all the ingredients and supplements in one packet of Shakeology it would cost around $700-eep! But let’s be honest with ourselves, even if you had the money, who really has the time to find and prepare all those ingredients? Or even the room to store and use those ingredients before they go bad? There’s just no getting around the incredible combination of nutritious ingredients that Beachbody has fine tuned to provide a multi-faceted benefit to your body: 

• proteins, vitamins and minerals: fairly self-explanatory--helps your body function at top-performance, helps reduce hunger and food cravings.
• anti-oxidents and phytonutrients: these help detoxify and protect your body against free radical damage.
• adaptogen herbs: would you know how to get this into a shake at home? Because I sure wouldn’t! ha. These herbs are sometimes called ‘nature’s anti-stress and fatigue fighters.’ They increase your energy and help reduce anxiety, so you feel like the best version of yourself.
• Prebiotics, Probiotics, Fiber, and Digestive Enzymes: Promotes regularity and good digestion. Need I say more?

And the best part?? Shakeology comes in at only $4 a serving -compare that to all those trendy ‘cold-pressed’ juiceries that are selling one glass of juice for a whopping $8! Or worse, think about all those Starbucks latte's you've consumed over the last few months...yikes! (scary, I know) Replacing a meal every day with Shakeology will not only save you money but provide your body with all the daily vitamins and nutrients it needs to increase your energy and boost your metabolism so that you can hit your goal weight without ever feeling rundown. 

If you're interested in reading more about the ingredients and benefits of Shakeology, click here.