Baked Zucchini Boats


Hosting a BBQ this weekend? Here is the perfect recipe to serve up! I am going to try it out for myself!  I found this recipe on “The Zucchini Diaries” website. ( )

You’ll need:

4 large zucchinis, washed
About 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated extra fine
About 2 tbsp of breadcrumbs 
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
Fresh chopped basil
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
 Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Make about a 1/2 inch slice vertically down the side of each zucchini, then using a melon baller, scoop out the insides of the zucchini until you’ve created about a 1/4 inch trough. 
  3. Brush the zucchini inside and out with a little olive oil, then place 4 cherry tomato halves inside each zucchini boat, sprinkle with cheese, top with the breadcrumbs, and add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for roughly 25 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender.
  5. Top with fresh chopped basil.

What exactly are processed foods?

Processed foods are a major contributor to weight gain, and they can harm your health in many ways, which is why it is imperative that you know how to spot them and avoid them.

Processed food is anything that has been altered from its natural state. It can be fruit that has been canned and blasted with chemical preservatives to make it last longer; it can be dehydrated fruits or vegetables, canned soda, or oils that have been chemically altered (hydrogenated) to increase their shelf life and enhance their flavor. It’s also those pesky refined grains. Regardless of how they are used, most of the time these processed foods have been stripped of a large part of their true nutritional content. Some processed foods, however — like frozen or prechopped veggies — can be a godsend, saving us time when cooking. They may not be as ideal as food bought in season from a local farmers’ market, but I’m a realist, and whole processed foods help us walk the right path to healthier lives.

The bad processed foods are those that are made with refined grains, vegetable oils, and added sugar. The thing about processed foods is that they can be harmful in many different ways. For example, you might think you’re eating healthy by having a salad with bottled fat-free ranch dressing, and you’d never even think about the fact that the dressing contains chemical flavor enhancers, such as MSG. Nonorganic processed meats often contain sodium nitrate and nitrite, which may contribute to colon cancer and metabolic syndrome. But you probably don’t think about that as you patiently wait for your number to be called at the deli counter. Are you starting to see the big picture?

The reality is, it’s a lot easier to talk about avoiding processed foods than to actually avoid them! Look at it positively: Eating more whole foods means eating the things we were meant to eat in the first place — things that have a real life and have a “mother.” We should be eating fresh fruits, vegetables, organic lean meats, organic dairy, and whole grains. All that other stuff is full of empty calories that will do nothing but hinder our ability to reach a state of maximum health and wellness.

If you shop at an all-organic market or food co-op, you’re already taking a step in the right direction; however, you still need to look out for processed foods. Check the labels on all the foods you buy. If you see any ingredients that look questionable, don’t buy the food! If you see an unpronounceable list of ingredients that look like gibberish, put the item back on the shelf! Go with foods that are truly natural and contain minimal ingredients. More specifically, don’t buy anything containing:

  • Anything not 100 percent whole wheat
  • Trans fats or hydrogenated oils
  • Corn syrup or high-fructose corn syrup
  • A chemical
  • MSG
  • Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
  • Sodium nitrate or nitrite
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Potassium benzoate

It’s December 1st

To tell you the truth, I’m terrified.  This is why it’s December 1st and I’m finally starting my Fit by 30.  I originally started November 25th.  But with different things happening, I easily got off track and back into my normal habits.

As many of you know, I’ve made a goal to be Fit By 30.  Sure, I still have a goal weight in mind, but my main focus in this journey is to become physically fit.

I want to be able to run without being short of breath.  I want to be able to keep up with my son when we’re outside playing.  I want to go to the gym and not feel intimidated by those around me.  I need tunnel vision when at the gym.  I find I easily get distracted while at the gym.  I’m constantly looking at other girls wishing I was their size.  Why do I do that?  Why am I so consumed with worry?  I’m constantly worried about what others think of me when they look at me.  I struggle with my own self image.

But it’s going to stop.  Today was an off day with foods – not that I ate horribly, I didn’t have an appetite.  So I didn’t really eat.  I ate an apple and dinner.  I’m heading to the gym later tonight.  Will ensure I have a good post workout snack afterwards.

I’m excited for this journey though.  I haven’t weighed myself.  I’m unsure if I’m going to weigh myself or not.  It could be that I’m simply in denial that I’ve gained A LOT of weight back.  It could be that I’m quite scared to see the number on the scale knowing that I once got down to 169lbs.

But why does it matter?  Seriously.  I need to ask myself why it matters.  I’ve come along way, I need to be happy.  I need to accept that this year has been full of bumps in the road.

January I lost my Aunt to cancer.
July I lost my Nan – my best friend – to conditions still unknown.
Unfortunately, I’m still grieving the loss of my Nan.  I have accepted she’s no longer here, but it doesn’t make it any easier.  Since July, I’ve been trying and trying to stay on track and make good choices.  But unfortunately, sometimes I truly just say to myself “fuck it”

HOWEVER…. in my heart there’s still that voice that says “Danielle, you’ve come so far, why are you giving up.  Your Nan would NOT want you to give up.”  So, with that, I keep going.

So, it’s December 1st.  My 30th Birthday is March 28th.  I’m going to do it – you watch!!  I’m going to utilize this blog to keep you all updated on my progress.  I’m still going to post advice, workouts and other blabbings I feel like to keep you all entertained.

The ones reading this mainly are the ones who have been supporting me along the way.  Yeah, it’s been a long time coming.  But 2014 is going to be my fittest year yet.  No more “I’ll start tomorrow” or “I’ll get back on track next week.”  All of that ends today.

It’s only me who I’m hurting.  My close friends and family don’t care what size I am – they love me either way.  It’s me that is unhappy with the way I look.  It’s myself who wakes up each morning and looks in the mirror and disappointment immediately showers over me.  I know it shouldn’t be that way… but that’s just what happens.  It’s time I get back to my old self.  It’s time I realize my potential once again.

My career goals are to become an actual health coach.  Any one can call themselves a health coach, it’s hard work and dedication that actually makes you one.  So here I go.  I’m going to put forward the work that will help me become the health coach I know I can be.

I know my potential… just time to dig down deep and bring it to the surface.  I want to shine!!!!

I was born to MOTIVATE! I was born to INSPIRE! I was born to LEAD!
I wasn’t born to give up.  My Nan would not let me give up if she were still here, so I’m sure she’s rooting for me up in heaven.  I know she’s that little voice inside my head saying “give it one more chance”

Proud to be a Loser

Every season of The Biggest Loser, I found myself saying “Alright Danielle! This is it! We’re going to lose the weight right along with the contestants.”

However, every episode I found myself eating chips and dips, ice cream and popcorn while watching “The Biggest Loser.” So instead of losing the weight along with the contestants… I was gaining weight while putting my health in jeopardy.  I was happy and content eating this junk food and and sitting on the couch.  I would cry, but obviously deep down I was okay with what I was doing, because it kept happening week after week.

Until a two years ago.  I had finally smartened up.  Last year during “The Biggest Loser” I felt pride.  I felt a sense of accomplishment.  I had written my own weight loss story.  I watched that season knowing I had won the battle against obesity.  Sure, I still have a little ways to go… but I no longer have over 100lbs to lose.. I’m at my last 40lbs! It’s exciting.

I’m sitting here tonight feeling a little intimidated knowing what I’m up against.  I know the hard work that’s going to be taking place to achieve my goals.  But ITS GOING TO BE WORTH IT!! This is what I love love love about what I do.  I want everyone to know that every bit of hard work, every tear, every drip of sweat.. is WORTH IT! We are truly all in it together.

So.. what a better way for you to start your weight loss journey than with an inspiring first episode of “The Biggest Loser!” 
I know I’m sitting here excited.  Something about Bob and Jill gets my adrenaline going.  I’m heading to the gym after this episode.  I know I’m going to be in for a great workout.  Something about watching this show gets me more and more inspired and READY!  

We’re all embarking on these journey’s.  I’m here to ensure you stay motivated.  I’m here to remind you of WHY you’re choosing to save your life.  I’m here to help plan your daily meals.  I’m here for you, remember that.  I will probably make you mad sometimes.. telling you something you don’t want to hear — no, not because I’m trying to be Jillian, Bob or a bitch.  It’s because I personally know the hard work and tears that come along with weight loss success.  I know sometimes we need to hear the things we don’t want to hear.  

I’m not going to promise that you’re not going to have days where you wake up and feel that you can’t do this.  You’ll probably wake up tomorrow thinking this exact thing.  Heck, I still have those days.  But what I live by… is you CAN.. hense why it’s tattooed on my wrist along with my start weight.  Remember, I’ve BEEN there.. I’ve done that.. I’m STILL doing this.

Guys… obesity sucks.  Being overweight sucks.  Eating that Big Mac and french fries may taste good at the time, but the aftermath SUCKS.

But it’s going to be worth it.  When you’re at your goal weight.. or when you achieve that chin up you never thought you could do, you’re going to be so proud.  I’m going to be proud….. I’ve never been able to do a chin up ..EVER.  So I know once I can do chin ups.. it’ll be a small, but meaningful victory.

So tonight, think of something you’ve always wanted to do, but your weight has stopped you.  Write that down.  Remember it.  Use that as fuel.. keep going.. we can do this.  You can do this. 

I care, I’m here every step of the way.

I’ll leave you with a couple of quotes from the episode 🙂 Have a great evening my lovelies..

“Use your pain for your benefit.” – Dovette

“If you do not have that thing you are here to fight for,  every single day will feel like a punishment.  If you have that WHY, you can tolerate any HOW.” – Jillian