Heather Hirsh – Transforming Health from the Inside Out

Before: 143 lbs. After: 113lbs.

Before: 143 lbs. After: 113lbs.

This February, one area I will be focusing on is heart health.  My friend, Heather Hirsh, is a great example of someone who cared enough to put her long-term health back on course.  She was a mom like you and I who faced days of fatigue and was frustrated not knowing how to fix it.  At the time, Heather was 143 lbs and a size 8.  She recalls feeling that “the simple act of getting dressed each day was a big hassle that always resulted in [her] entire wardrobe thrown all over [her] bed and complaining that nothing [she] owned fit or looked right.”

I think EVERY woman can identify with Heather’s plight!  I also know that no one would judge her in her situation – but probably sympathize with her – because we have all been there.  And most of us would accept it as our new life.

But not Heather.  Heather began the Shaklee 180 program along with the Vitalizer pack, included in the program.  Soon after, she stated:

I quickly noticed a remarkable difference in both my energy level and mood. Fast forward several months and I was down to 113 lbs. and wearing a size 2! I never dreamed that I could even be that size, especially after having two kids. I’m so thankful that a dear friend introduced me to this amazing program!

Her story doesn’t stop there!  Her adventure led her to be the new face of Shaklee 180.  If you see a beautiful girl in a pink dress or tank top on the products – that is my friend Heather!  And not only did she achieve her goal, other problems, like alopecia disappeared from her life.  After being scared to not attempt a 3rd child when the first two were high risk and laden with bed rest and ER visits, she is now 8 months pregnant with her third child – no bed rest or restrictions.

It can happen for you!  2013 can be your year!  Take Heather’s advice, “If you want to gain confidence, feel better about yourself, have more energy, and kick fatigue to the curb forever, I highly recommend you starting the Shaklee 180 program and BurstClub.com now!”

Heather - After

Heather – New Jersey


Florentine Bacon Wrapped Chicken —>> Chicken Manicotti


, , ,

Photo Courtesy of Food Network

Since my son was born this April, cooking with two kids has been HARD.  Although I have always loved baking – the honest truth is that I am not a great cook.  So these past nine months, my hubby rose up like a fine man and decided to do the cooking.  You can imagine what I was thinking then when he went out of town last week and I was left to feed us by myself.  Here’s what that looked like:

It was 3 o’ clock.  The time when I know I must defrost some form of meat and make it into a meal.  Having NO idea what would be for dinner in the next few hours, I decided it would be chicken thighs.  I defrosted some chicken and prayed and asked God that there be something good on my cooking DVR shows that would involve chicken!

I turned on my DVR around 4 o’ clock and was very happy to find Rachael Ray make a recipe in.. yes 30 minutes!… with chicken!  And looked yummy!  Florentine Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken.  Except I hate prosciutto… but I had some bacon to substitute.  And she used ricotta cheese in her recipe… and I didn’t have that.  A quick google search fixed that – I could substitute tofu instead!  And I had that!  Phew. That was settled.  Now we could eat.

Can I just say it was amazing?  My daughter gave it 10 stars and 10 thumbs up!  On top of that – Rachael Ray’s filling made way more than I could stuff my chicken.  So I saved the filling and made Chicken Manicotti (recipe below) the next night – which was double yum!  Manicotti has been a childhood favorite of mine, but this time I found a way to make it my own.  My parents came in and loved both dishes too!  They didn’t even know there was tofu inside, replacing the fat of ricotta cheese with 7 grams of protein!

My kinda meal!  Great one night and transformed as another meal the next!

Here’s the recipe for:

Florentine Bacon Wrapped Chicken


  • 1 box frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup tofu
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A few grates nutmeg
  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Wring out defrosted spinach in clean kitchen towel.

Toast nuts and combine with spinach in a bowl, mix in cheeses, garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Cut into and across but not all the way through the chicken breasts, opening them up like a book with a sharp knife. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Fill each with a small mound of stuffing. Flap chicken breasts back over stuffing and wrap each breast with prosciutto to seal them, carefully covering the whole breast. Brush chicken all over with some extra-virgin olive oil and roast 18 to 20 minutes until cooked through.

Chicken Manicotti


6 Chicken Thighs

12 Manicotti Shells

Spinach, Tofu, Pine Nut, Parmesean Cheese Filling from Above Recipe

Tomato Sauce

Fresh mozzarella (optional)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Get a medium sized bowl filled with shallow ice (prevents shells from breaking).

Boil Manicotti Shells for about 8 minutes or until al dente.

Carefully remove each shell from water with tongs and place in ice to cool for approx. 5 min.

Stuff shells with filling.

Pour tomato sauce over top of shells.  Put strips of mozzarella cheese over top (optional).

Bake for 30 minutes.  Yum!




Deel of the Week: RELAXAMAT

I discovered a new website today called, tanga.com.  It’s pretty useful.  They have sales ranging in all different categories for men, women, and children containing just about anything you can think of.  Featured today in their Health and Beauty section for only $17.99 (originally $69.99) plus $4.99 S&H is a quality looking Acupressure Relaxation Mat.

If the pointed plastic looks uncomfortable to you, the effect is actually the opposite.  The company claims that when the product is used “regularly for 20 to 40 minutes, you enable your body to release endorphins which in turn stimulates the release of oxytocin, the feel-good hormone. As a result, your body relaxes and releases stress, promoting restful sleep as a result of relief from stressful back and neck pain.”

My husband’s cousin introduced acupressure devices to me last year.  Knowing first hand that acupuncture works, I know that acupressure works too.  I have seen other mats such as these sold frequently and have always been intrigued.  This brand states that they use no glue and no chemicals to manufacture the RELAXAMAT – and it has a 5 year warranty.

For $23 (incl. S&H), I’d say it is a great deal if you suffer from excess stress and/or back and neck pain.  Try it out and let me know if you did!

Source: tanga.com via Vanessa on Pinterest

Tasting Ancient Africa – Classical Conversations Week 13


, , , , , ,

Ancient Africa Recipes

Date Protein Chewies

It’s an exciting time whenever a homeschool project brings together multiple subjects we are studying all into one and uses my daughter’s gift of creativity.  But when all of this happens by ACCIDENT?  Oh my word!  It is an absolute wonderful miracle that only God can be given the credit for!

It all started with a great week back at Classical Conversations as we entered Week 13 and the Age of Exploration.  Two moments in our timeline song include “Slave Trade in Africa” and “Songhai in Africa” – which are two of the most fun parts of the week to sing.  Naturally, then, I decided we would study about Africa in our Story of the World curriculum.  At the end of the lesson were two recipes using ingredients found in Africa – dates and plantains (we used bananas).  I thought to myself… “Do I really want to do this?”  “Will it be a good use of my time if they don’t turn out?”  I debated and debated.  Finally, I decided since we have been memorizing also in Classical Conversations, mathematical measurement conversions used in baking, that we would go ahead and try it.  Something inside me told me I wouldn’t regret it.

Wow!  Was I ever right!  Both recipes were not only delicious, but my daughter and I bonded SO well.  She was intently interested in how many teaspoons were in a tablespoon and in mixing thoroughly every ingredient.  We laughed, we talked about so many topics that we wouldn’t normally have.  It was WONDERFUL.  As we baked, I knew it was moments like these that are why I homeschool.  What time would I have with a baby to do extra baking if she were in school?  How would I ever know ahead of time what she was learning to coordinate our activities at home to reinforce her learning?  I just plain old wouldn’t.  Date and Banana barsAn added element for me as a mom was being able to substitute a third of the flour with Instant Soy Protein so I knew both of these treats were not only healthy with fruits, but also that the carbohydrates were dramatically cut and I know my little sweetie will be growing while enjoying.

It was so nice to serve these to my ladies who gathered at my house later that evening.  Baking, math, Africa, memorizing our Timeline, Science, hearts connecting… does it get any better than this?  I treasure these years dearly.

Here are the Recipes:


Date and Banana Protein Bars:


*1/4 cup butter

*3/4 cup sugar

*1 egg

*1tsp. vanilla

*2 medium bananas

*2/3 c. flour

*1/3 c. Instant Soy Protein

*1/4 tsp. baking soda

*1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

*1/2 cup chopped dates

*(Optional:  1/4 cup almonds)

*2 tablespoons butter

* 1 tablespoon lemon juice

*1/2 teaspoon vanilla

*3/4 c. powdered sugar


1. Cream together the butter and sugar.

2. Add the egg and vanilla.

3. Stir in the bananas and dry ingredients

4. Add the dates and almonds.

5. Bake in an 8″ x 8″ pan at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until edges are turning brown.


Date Protein Chewies:


* 1 c. chopped dates

* 2 eggs

*1 c. sugar

*1/2 c. flour

*1/4 c. Instant Soy Protein

*1 tsp. baking powder

*1 c. pecans, ground

*1/4 c. powdered sugar


1. In a blender, blend eggs and dates together.  Set aside.

2. In mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking powder, and pecans.  Add in egg mixture.

3. Pour into ungreased cookie sheets.  Press the mixture down so it will be as thin as possible.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from oven and cut into bars while hot.

5. Roll into balls and then roll in the powdered sugar as soon as the chewies are cool enough to handle.

I would love any comments on how you reduce the sugar.  Next time I will try agave syrup and see what happens!  Who knows what other great things will happen because of an accident?

A New Year. A New Healthy You.


, , , ,

Before (March 2012) and After (November 2012)

How could I be wearing the clothes I had not worn since high school just three months after having my second baby?  People began asking me what I was doing to lose the weight so fast.  It was then I realized that health program I had been on really prepared my body to do what it should before, during, and after pregnancy.

Pregnancy with my firstborn was a different story – I gained more weight and it did not come of quickly. This time, Shaklee helped me lose 38 pounds.

I am so thankful a friend introduced me to Shaklee or my son would not be here today.  Not only was I able to manage my hypothyrodism, overcome fatigue, and become pregnant because of Shaklee, but I know that the program I used helped my baby to be nourished with nothing but health, and I gained no extra weight than what was necessary to bring him to health.

I truly see a difference in the healthy start between my children. My body is just a bonus.  They only see the doctor for well checkups.  Neither child has ever been on an antibiotic, and my oldest is six years old.

It can happen for you!  Join me! Make the New Year right!  You will lose weight, or your money back.  If you help 3 people, you get yours free!

Learn more at http://www.takeitoff4good.myshaklee.com.

A Christmas Carol


, , , , ,

NIK_9364This Christmas I was so excited that our daughter was finally old enough to watch A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens with me.  When my husband and I first married, one of the first ornaments I found for our tree was one of Bob Cratchit holding up Tiny Tim on his shoulder with his crutch.  I was pleased to see when our daughter reached preschool age, that this ornament also made her happy.  Every year she would ask who Tiny Tim was and I never could quite explain to her the true meaning.  Until this year.  At six years old, I wasn’t sure if she could keep her attention for the whole movie (at least it was the color version!), but amazingly, she DID!  She loved seeing what happened in Old Mr. Scrooge’s past that made him so crabby.  She didn’t know how he could be so cold but got a huge grin when she realized that HE was the one who paid for the biggest prize turkey and that he would give it to Tiny Tim’s family!  She saw how his heart changed and even wanted to watch it again (that’s my girl!).

This picture of us all above with our baby brother getting his first experience with a Christmas tree really got me thinking about how I have lived Christmases past and where I am going with my future.  This year was an incredible change for us.  A new baby, my husband began a new territory in his company, and the first year of homeschooling.  I am so thankful for it all.  Just last year, everyone seemed to be operating on individual planes.  Yet, this year all of the change has caused us to need each other and to become closer as one unit family.  If you had asked me last year at this time if I would be homeschooling, I would have told you my goal in mind was to earn my teaching certificate and become a third grade English teacher.  Yet, God clearly made me see just a month later that I would be teaching my own children.  And what a great learning year for all of us it has been!  More friends than before, new things we would never have learned otherwise.

One thing 2012 has taught me is that life continues to spin faster.  This has made me improve my planning and number my moments.  Literally.  In a perfect world, I would like everything organized.  But this year I have literally planned as much as I can and have gone day by day in God’s grace to appreciate each moment.  So, as I prepare for Christmas futures, I have decided that to appreciate life more, I must improve my fitness.  The only problem is, as a full-time teacher and mom managing a business, where is the time to take care of ME?

The truth is, there will be no time if I don’t make time.  So this year, I’m going to be gathering a group of moms to exercise and take care of our bodies.  Ladies with no time, but with a decision to MAKE time and take care of themselves, so that they can be better equipped to care for a family (or whatever stage of life they are in).  So, rather than beginning my 2013 on January 1st, I’m going to start now, so that I’ll be sailing on into the new year with a new mind and a new me.

What about you?  What are your goals?  Will you join me?  More details on that in my next post…