Realistic Cooking Ideas

for Busy People! And sharing our life adventures along the way!


Recently I joined Beachbody as a Coach since I appreciate their holistic approach to living. This past weekend I attended the local Buffalo Super Saturday that is held on a quarterly basis. Almost 300 coaches and guests in the Buffalo New York area got together to hear inspirational stories on how people are transforming their lives through Beachbody programs and support networks.

super saturday

We learned more about new products that have just been released that includes Boost (I am already trying this new line), a new performance line for supporting workouts, and Shaun T’s new CIZE dance workout (my deluxe package has already arrived!). And I almost forgot to mention the raffles for great products like Autumn’s new cookbook FIXATE!


One of the first things I noticed about Beachbody coaches is they are normal, everyday people trying to improve their lifestyle. A few are in excellent shape and look like personal trainers – but that was not the norm. People are attracted to Beachbody because their holistic approach works and most of us has experienced failed programs or promises that it is refreshing when something actually works!!

At the end of the event, we did a CIZE workout together! Shaun T is an excellent trainer and motivator. He teaches you each dance, step by step and slowly brings it all together. Then at the end you CIZE IT UP which means you are dancing at a much faster pace – or what you can do! For these dance routines if you find it hard to learn the arms and footwork together start with the foot steps – then add the arms. Plus on the workout CD, Shaun T has a reverse angle demo to help you! But do what you can and keep moving! Below is a video from our Buffalo Super Saturday. There is a glimpse of me in the far back, to the right, in the yellow Shakeology shirt! I am not going as fast as the girls in front who are much younger than me! Don’t you feel like working out after watching the video – a lot of great energy!

Click here for Buffalo Super Saturday CIZE workout!

Body Beast Hat
Below are a few takeaways from the event. I hope a few of them speak to you and what changes would you like to make in your lifestyle? For me it is to lose some weight, lose inches, put on more muscle and have the endurance to do INSANITY (that is next year’s goal!)

  1. Be an advocate for yourself! Put yourself first!
  2. Personal development is important. Beachbody is a holistic approach that includes healing your personal life if it is needed.
  3. Beachbody is a lifestyle change. Not a diet or a fad. You are making healthy changes day by day and changing your life for the better!
  4. I love this one – You have nothing to lose – but weight! You have to want to change more than stay the same. It is up to you.
  5. Beachbody challenges us to help people meet their goals and live healthier lives!
  6. For the next 12-months you need to be ambitious! Everyone matters. Workouts and nutrition need to have intensity!
  7. Be a Beachbody coach – there is no catch. You do not need to sell – you can be a Discount coach for the 25% reduction on products.
  8. Sharing your story is important – you never know whose life you might change!
  9. You may not need to lose a lot of weight but need to transform your body. The 21-day challenge can help you put on muscle and fine tune your eating habits.
  10. Know the ingredients in your shake. Are the ingredients healthy- is there a lot of added sugars or chemicals? Or do you purchase it because of taste or cost?

I do have a Facebook page called “The Fitness Edge” and you can follow it by clicking this link. The Fitness Edge will share information about Beachbody but also general healthy tips, motivational tips, and some of our daily adventures! I post 2 – 3 times a day.

This fall, maybe late September I will be starting a CIZE challenge group if anyone is interested. You do not need to live in WNY – but you do need to purchase the CIZE challenge pack – more information in another posting. But as a teaser… we will have a closed Facebook group where on a daily basis you can share how you are progressing and if you are struggling we are all in this together to help each other! The support network is important so you are not on your own trying to meet your goals. That is when we get frustrated and give up!

Gingery Nectarine and Plum Cake - closeup of sideview of the cake copy

This is a beautiful cake that is nice for a special occasion or whenever you need a dessert that is a bit different and not covered in a sweet icing. It is a small cake, which means servings are small and pretty much guilt free!

Gingery Nectarine and Plum Cake served on plate

I adore ginger, which means there is a lot and you could use a combination of fresh and ground if you run out of the fresh ginger or do not have fresh ginger. But remember fresh ginger has an aroma that ground ginger loses! The lower end of the measurement will provide a flavor of ginger but if you like a more prominent ginger flavor you should definitely add more! Serve with a side of whipped cream topped with cinnamon for an added burst of deliciousness! This is a rustic cake so do not be concern about placing the sliced fruit perfectly! Doesn’t it look delicious and beautiful!

Gingery Nectarine and Plum Cake - closeup of cake copy

I adapted this recipe from Fine Cooking Appetizers: 200 Recipes for Small Bites with Big Flavor.

You bake the cake partially before adding the fruit topping.
Gingery Nectarine and Plum Cake - out of the oven before adding fruit

Then add the fruit topping and return to the oven to finish baking.
Gingery Nectarine and Plum Cake - fruit topped on cake before baking

Then it comes out of the oven looking gorgeous!!
Gingery Nectarine and Plum Cake - baked cake out of the oven

Serve warm or at room temperate. A bit of warmth is nice to bring out the flavors!
Gingery Nectarine and Plum Cake served on plate with whipped cream

Cake Dry Ingredients:
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. to 1 tbsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Cake Wet Ingredients:
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla
2/3 cup sour cream, light

Topping Ingredients:
1 Plum halved, pitted, and cut into 1/8- to 1/4-inch slices
1 Nectarine halved, pitted, and cut into 1/8- to 1/4-inch slices
1 – 2 tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger
3 tbsp. firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
Whipped cream, for garnish (optional)

Cake Directions:
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9×2-inch round cake pan with non-stick spray. Lightly flour the side, shaking out any excess flour. Then line the bottom with a parchment circle cut to fit the pan. I like to turn the pan over a piece of parchment paper to trace the outside of the pan to make it easier to cut out and fit.

In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients. In a mixer cream the butter and then add the brown sugar blending until well incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just blended and then adding the vanilla.

Fold in half the dry ingredients, then the sour cream, and finally the remaining dry ingredients. Spoon the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 15 minutes.

Topping Directions:
Make the topping by combining the sliced fruit and the grated ginger in a medium bowl. Toss until the ginger is well distributed. Then add the sugar and flour. Mix the ingredients to evenly coat the fruit. Remove the cake from the oven after it has baked for 15 minutes. Place the topping evenly over the cake. Work quickly and do not worry about being perfect. Return the cake to the oven and bake for about 35 – 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool the cake on a rack for about 15 minutes. Then run a knife around the inside edge of the pan to make it easier to remove. Place a cookie rack on top of the cake pan and holding onto both the pan and cookie rack flip the cake. The pan should easily remove from the cake. Remove the parchment paper and then lay a flat serving plate that you intend on using to serve the cake on the bottom of the cake and flip the cake so that the fruit is on top. Serve warm or at room temperature. Add whipped cream if you like.

Zucchini and Walnut Bread - Plated 2

Today is day 6 of the 21-Day Challenge! I have been eating clean all week with the exception of a small piece of ice cream cake for a co-worker’s birthday. By keeping the portion small I could join in the celebration without adding too many calories! Monday through Thursday included a 30-minute workout: Total Body Cardio Fix, Upper Fix, Lower Fix, and Pilates Fix. The workouts were tough and I often have to follow the modified version but I feel stronger each and every day!


Friday was 10-minute Fix for ABS and rest. But I added a 60-minute walk on the treadmill to burn another 200-calories. Today is a rest day but some of us in my challenge group are doing a bonus intense 15-minute workout and then I will add something else maybe CIZE or T-25. Today I am sharing a healthy recipe for a Zucchini and Walnut Bread that is an approved snack as part of the 21-Day Fix. But first I want to share today’s breakfast and lunch. Breakfast was a wonderful Chocolate Shakeology with Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, a small banana, 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa, and 1 scoop of Vanilla Shakeology powder. I blend it in my Ninja and I have a healthy breakfast to start my day!

Banana and Almond Shakeology in Shakeology Shaker

For lunch I had a simple but delicious Baby Spinach Salad with strawberries, pecans topped with Macadamia Nut Oil and Balsamic Vinegar. I added 1 whole hard boiled egg and 3 hard boiled egg whites. I absolutely love this salad! My preference is a nut oil over olive oil for a salad.

Spinach Strawberry salad

Do you enjoy muffins? This recipe is part of the 21-Day Fix plan as a snack!! I got this recipe from Beachbody and if you are doing the 21-Day Fix you will want to refer to their recipe to ensure your ingredients are correct for the container conversion. Click here for the official Beachbody recipe.

I like to make this ahead, cut it into 20-slices (the approved serving), wrap tightly with saran wrap and then freeze. I prepare my lunch ingredients the night before and I take a serving out of the freezer to work into my food plan.

Zucchini and Walnut Bread - sliced and ready for the freezer

I use unrefined coconut oil since it has a smoke point of 350 degrees that is perfect for this recipe. Unrefined coconut oil is made from coconut meat and goes through a quicker process than refined coconut retaining the coconut flavor. Refined coconut oil has a smoke point of 450. For more information click here.

Zucchini and Walnut Bread - out of the oven

Zucchini and Walnut Bread - out of the pan
Dry Ingredients:
1/3 cup sugar
¾ cups all-purpose flour
1¾ cups whole-wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cloves

Wet Ingredients:
6 large egg whites
¼ cup melted coconut oil
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Other Ingredients:
Nonstick cooking spray
2½ cups grated zucchini
½ cup chopped raw walnuts

Preheat your oven to 350 and lightly spray two 9×5-inch loaf pans with a non-stick spray and flour.

Combine your wet and dry ingredients in two different bowls. Slowly add and mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Then fold in the zucchini and walnuts. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake for about 45-minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Cool for a few minutes, remove the bread from the pan and completely cool. Then divide it into 20-slices to get ready for your 21-Day Challenge!!

Blueberry and Banana Oatmeal Muffins closeup

This is a delicious recipe if you like muffins and would like a healthier alternative. One muffin can often be several hundred calories and even as high as 500 calories! For this recipe the muffin is about 100 calories! I would recommend eating the muffins in a couple of days or making a half recipe if that is not possible. I did find the blueberries started to ferment since I had them on the counter top. I am not sure how they would be if you placed them in the refrigerator. If you do refrigerate yours, let me know how they tasted!

Blueberry and Banana Oatmeal Muffins in a basket

Often people think when you are eating healthier that you are eating rabbit food. Do you enjoy muffins? This recipe is part of the 21-Day Fit plan as a snack!! I got this recipe from Beachbody and if you are doing the 21-Day Fix you will want to refer to their recipe to ensure your ingredients are correct for the container conversion. Plus they have other options instead of blueberries if you want to try a different combination! Click here for Beachbody’s recipe.

Blueberry and Banana Oatmeal Muffins in paper liners

Blueberry and Banana Oatmeal Muffins going into the oven

Blueberry and Banana Oatmeal Muffins going out of the oven

Dry Ingredients:
2½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ cup walnuts, chopped

Wet Ingredients:
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract, homemade
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 Tbsp. raw local honey

Final Ingredients:
1½ cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 cup fresh blueberries (or raspberries)

Preheat your oven to 350. Use a 12-muffin pan and place your paper liners into the cups. I prefer this to spraying the cups with non-stick spray – but use what you prefer.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and then add the almond milk. Add mixture to the muffin cups, top with fresh blueberries and bake for about 25-minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out fairly clean.

Greenberry shakeology Final

I found this recipe while reading through Beachbody’s website and since I love basil it was a great shake to try with my sample pack of different Shakeology flavors. (The six-pack included: chocolate, vanilla, greenberry, strawberry, tropical strawberry, and vegan chocolate.) This is a lighter shake since there is not any fruit. It has a refreshing taste with the lime juice and ice. The basil came out of our container gardens! If you do not like basil then try mint and watermelon for the basil and lime juice. I have not tried this version but it sounds good.

6 pack variety shakeology

On Monday I start the 21-Day Fix also known as the 21-Day Challenge! If you have not heard about the program, it is a holistic approach to making healthier changes to your lifestyle. Every day you have a different 30-minute workout designed to provide an overall workout from cardio to upper and lower body. The food plan is excellent! Instead of counting calories you have different containers for: protein, carbs, fruit, vegetables, healthy fats, seeds and dressings. Based upon your weight goal determines how many containers you enjoy each day. Where this becomes different than counting calories is you are trying to make sure you include the right ratio of food from the different food groups. When I am counting calories I might stay within my allotted calories but I might be eating too many carbs, which impacts my ability to lose weight and gain muscle!

Beachbody 21 day fix package

The above picture shows what is included with the 21-Day Fix package and since I signed up as a coach I also received the Welcome package. Plus I got a sneak preview of Shaun T’s upcoming CIZE dance fitness program and it is a lot of fun! I will keep you updated on my progress! Let me know if you completed the 21-Day Challenge!

Greenberry shakeology ingredients
Greenberry shakeology in ninja

4 Large Basil Leaves
1 Cup Spring Water
1 tbsp. Lime Juice
1 cup ice
1 Scoop Greenberry Shakeology®

Add all ingredients to a blender that can chop frozen fruit. Pour in your Shakeology Shaker Cup that you can take on the run to enjoy a healthy breakfast or replacement meal!


1 Red

Note: Container measurements are approximate and may change based upon how you prepare this recipe.

Watkins Glen Burial Vault

During our hike back to the parking lot at Watkins Glen State Park, we encountered a cemetery on Indian Trail. We saw this old building that Greg suspected is an old burial vault. Unfortunately I cannot discover any information on this old building but I thought it was interesting and a good fit for Thursday Doors!! I like the color and how there is another story below the ground level. Please stop by Norm’s website for his door selection!

Watkins Glen Burial Vault 2

Watkins Glen Burial Vault 3

Watkins Glen Burial Vault 4


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