Apr 132015

Hi, everyone!  Just a quick post today to remind you about the 30-Day #ProteinChallenge I’m starting today – and hoping you’re starting today, too!


As a reminder, I’m facing the challenge Partner style with Melissa Joy Dobbins, the Registered Dietitian and Media Specialist behind Sound Bites – the blog AND the podcast. I’m super pumped for the opportunity of having a nutrition science professional on my healthy, happy living team! 


Melissa and I have spent time together on a couple of trips over the past year and I am so thankful to have her in my life!  She is a barrel of fun, kindness and a WEALTH of knowledge. She’s been a great source of encouragement and a wonderful resource when it comes to my nutrition questions and having her by my virtual side to tackle this Protein Challenge feels like the luckiest win of the year!  [You can read Melissa’s take on the challenge here: Join Me on the 30 Day Protein Challenge! ]

We’d love if you joined us in the challenge, too! 


Reminders & Resources:

  • This is not a “perfection” challenge – take a look at the 30 Day calendar layout to see what I mean!  This challenge is really rooted in a lifestyle change that benefits you and YOUR lifestyle. If you ask me, the reflection and rest days are key to evaluating where you are and finding what works best for you, your life, and your body.
  • Are we REALLY getting enough protein?  Are we paying enough attention to protein in our diets? Do we need a reality check when it comes to the some of the assumptions we hear and perpetuate in the media?  Check out Sound Bites Podcast: The Power of Protein – Interview with Doug Paddon-Jones for a great discussion on the macronutrient! 
  • It’s not too late to start the #ProteinChallenge!  You can start at ANY TIME and I love that the first several days take NO effort in changing how your eating. It makes starting [which is often the hardest part] this thing EASY!  And you can do easy!
  • Sign up HERE and check out all the great tools to support your 30 Day journey including a food journal, protein cheat sheet, meal and snack ideas, protein tips and more!

I hope you’ll join us on the #ProteinChallenge <<< I love seeing this hashtag popping up in my TweetDeck and Instagram feed!  If you are participating in the challenge, I’d love to see/read about your experience!

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Beef Expert Bureau.  This post is sponsored by The Beef Checkoff.

Apr 092015

As I mentioned back when I challenged you to join me in trying a new cut of beef in your kitchen this month, I purchased a sirloin tip roast when it was on sale at my local market and had wrapped it and stored in the freezer.

Thanks to the Interactive Beef Counter [a resource I can’t stop raving about because I can’t stop using it!] I knew I wanted to cook this cost-friendly roast slowly in the oven and slice it thin.


Rather than use a metal rack in my pan, I choose to cut some of my veggies purposefully to be used as a edible-rack underneath the roast. [You can start to see my row of carrot slices peaking out underneath the pre-seared piece of roast in the photo above.]

When it comes to the freggies in this recipes, use what you love.  The size and variety of the produce available at the market often helps dictate how much of which ingredients get roasted with dishes like this in my kitchen!


I often double up on veggies in weekend dinner recipes to get extra, easy veggie power for leftovers throughout the week, and this recipe is a great dish in which to try this food prep trick. If you are over crowding the pan due to the amount of veggies you’ve got going on, just add an additional baking dish, sheet, or pan to the oven containing just veggies.

Sirloin Tip Roast with Freggie Medley

Rosemary and Thyme Rubbed Sirloin Tip Roast with Roasted Freggie Medley
1.5 – 2 lbs Sirloin Tip Roast
kosher salt
3 T chopped fresh rosemary
2 T dried thyme
2 tsp pepper
2 T mustard of choice
2 carrots, peeled and cut into long, thick strips [if using as roasting bed]
1 C baby carrots or bite sized chunks of peeled carrots
2 sweet potatoes, diced into large bite-sized pieces
3 red potatoes, diced into large bite-sized pieces
2 pears, cored and diced into bite-sized pieces
2 apples, cored and diced into bite-sized pieces
4-5 T EVOO, divided

[Not required, but I personally find that a little planning and including this step adds an extra bit of juiciness to the roast!…] The night before cooking, salt the roast evenly over all sides before wrapping tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerating overnight.

Remove from fridge an hour before cooking.

Move one of the racks to the center of your oven and preheat to 275°F.

Unwrap the roast and pat away any access moisture with a clean kitchen or paper towel.

In a small dish, toss together rosemary, thyme, and pepper.

Toss apples, carrots, pears, and potatoes in 2-3 T EVOO [depending on the amount of freggies] and half of herb mixture and place in bottom of roasting pan.  If you don’t have a roasting pan, a deep 9 x 13 oven-safe dish can work.

If you plan to place the roast on top of the vegetables, using the larger, long pieces of carrots to create a sort of rack/bed underneath the roast for support while keeping it off the bottom of the pan.

Rub roast with mustard, then rub half of herb mixture evenly over sides of roast.

In a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet with 1 T of oil, sear each side of the roast until browned, which should take about 2-4 minutes each side. I added more oil about half-way through the roast rotation.


After searing each side, place in prepared roasting dish and place in the preheated oven on the center rack.

Cook roast for a little over an hour, or until temperature reaches 115°F on your meat thermometer.  Turn your oven off, leaving the roast in for about 30-40 minutes or until it reaches 140°F for medium rare; 150°F for medium.

Transfer roast to carving board; tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes. [Temperature will continue to rise about 5°-10°F to reach 145°F for medium rare; 160°F for medium.]

Carve roast to deserved thickness.  Serve with roasted veggies and your favorite dinner grain.  I love herb-flavored cous cous or quinoa made in broth!

with freggies

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Beef Expert Bureau.  This post is sponsored by The Beef Checkoff.

Apr 062015

One of the coolest things about being a person who has lost a whole bunch of weight during my lifetime [you know, after gaining a whole bunch of weight during my lifetime] is that when friends and friends-of-friends decide they want to make a change in their own life for the healthier, they sometimes come to me to share their goals. I love getting to be a source of encouragement and sharing my favorite resources with a dose of “you can do it!” – it is one of the best opportunities that has come from sharing my story here on the internet.


It’s not uncommon for me to get an email asking for tips or direction from people who want to lose weight or start running. A lot of the time, people want to know where to start from someone who has experienced starting herself.  Sometimes they ask me “Do I need to re-haul my life?” 

I swear by the simplicity in #make1healthydecision living, and it’s true – healthy living doesn’t need to be hard – but seriously committing yourself to weight loss or starting a fitness program of any kind isn’t necessarily easy. Making your goal your priority takes discipline.  Losing weight, becoming a runner – it all takes work. The good news is that the process in itself is good for you, as are the physical health benefit that occur thanks to the healthy changes you are making.  

What happens after the cause and affects of setting and chasing these sorts of goals is the formation of healthy life habits.  Learning to eat intuitively while trying to cut back on overeating is a tool that will be with you long after you’ve lost the 10 pounds you want to drop.  Choosing a more satisfying afternoon snack rather than your normal candy bar won’t simply go away 5 days a week when you’ve hit your goal once you realize how AWESOME a healthy snack makes you feel at 3:30 PM.  Every foot that has ever crossed a finish line is attached to a person who decided to start running one day. 


There may be something in the air, but it seems like everyone – me included – is on a “happier, healthier” kick these days.  Through conversations with coworkers, emails received from internet pals, invitations to fitness challenges or events, and generally just reading the internet it seems to me that a whole bunch of us are hungry for a change in our lives. 

Last fall I gave a test drive to the 30 Day #ProteinChallenge.  I’m stoked to share about this challenge with you because I think it’s a really great fit for everyone, no matter where you are on your health journey. My friend/Protein Partner Melissa and I have been planning so many fun surprises to go along with our doing the Protein Challenge again, this time at the same time as one another for some built in accountability. 

We are starting next week Monday, April 13th and would LOVE to have you join us, too.

Want to know more about the challenge? Here’s a bunch of details to help you realize you should jump on board the #ProteinChallenge train, Protein Partner style! 


What is the 30 Day Protein Challenge? 

· The #ProteinChallenge is an fun, step-by-step 30-day plan that will help you get a balanced amount of protein at each meal.

· I personally think this challenge is unique in that it doesn’t ask TOO much from people with busy lives.  Check out the calendar to see what I mean: 30 Day Protein Challenge Calendar  Lots of reflection and rest days, and no expectations of perfection. Woot!

Why should you take the Protein Challenge?

· Protein gives you the control you need to take on the day and make the right food choices – all day.

· A growing body of research shows it may be beneficial to spread out your protein intake over the course of the day.  This challenge helps you do that!

· Consuming the right amount of protein helps with weight loss goals by reducing mindless snacking, building muscles after a workout and protecting muscle mass. Learn more about the Benefits of Protein [infographic].

How does the #ProteinChallenge work?

· Take control of your appetite by working your way up to eating 30 grams of protein at every meal for one month.

· You keep track of your food, hunger and moods to see how simple diet changes can make a difference in your overall health and wellness for 30 days and beyond.

· The resources provided by The Beef Checkoff help keep you organized and on track throughout the challenge.  You can find lots of tools online [Getting Protein While Dining Out and this Protein Pantry Cheat Sheet are both super helpful!] and once you officially sign up to start the challenge, you get daily emails to help you easily stay on track with your challenge progress. 

How do you get started?

· You can start the challenge at ANY time, but if you want to start with us for added group and social media accountability, sign-up on March 13. 

· Sign up for the Protein Challenge at BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com to get all the tools you need, plus daily tips to keep you on track. 

· Share your progress and engage with other Protein Challenge participants on social media using #ProteinChallenge.

Why should you take the Protein Challenge along with Melissa and Me, Protein Partner style?

· I’m a firm believer in the power of group accountability and friend challenges. I always do SO MUCH BETTER at keeping with a goal if I have a pal that I’m checking in with through the week, sharing about my progress and my struggles.

· As I mentioned before, we’ve got a bunch of fun Protein-packed surprises for the Protein Partnership that we can’t wait to share with you.  Melissa is the RD behind Sound Bites and I feel extremely lucky to get to benefit from her dietitian expertise while I work my way towards a protein-powered lifestyle shift. 

· Melissa and I will each share a reminder blog post filled with resources on Monday.  The post will remind you that it’s day one of our Protein Partner #ProteinChallenge and that you should sign up for the emails if you want to join us :)  Make sure you are subscribed to our feeds so you don’t miss the reminder!

· Because it’s going to be fun facing the challenge together, of course!  What do you say?  Are you going to be joining us for the #ProteinChallenge starting Monday, March 13?  Please become our Protein Partner!!

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Beef Expert Bureau.  This post is sponsored by The Beef Checkoff.