Category: Healthy Lifestyle

Hatch Chili Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini – Plus a Giveaway!

Fresh Hatch Chiles_Fotor If you have been a reader of my blog for at least a year you know about the Hatch Chili.  If not, here is a quick history/biography of the only chili that can be purchased in three different heat scales, mild, medium and hot. a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Hatch Chili has a very short season, which starts in August and ends in September.  They are only grown in Hatch, New Mexico, where the climate is perfect for this species of chili.  The chilies resemble a poblano, but have a deeper flavor.  Whether used roasted, fresh or in powder form the chili goes well with so many flavor profiles. Hatch Chili Roasting IEFB_Fotor The smell of the roasted chills is pretty incredible though.  I should know that scent incredibly well after recently going to a Hatch Chili Roasting event at the Bristol Farms located in Palm Desert.  I was lucky enough to attend with my fellow IEFB friends, Sara from My Imperfect Kitchen and Natalie from The Devil Wears Parsley.  Sue from It’s Okay to Eat the Cupcake was there in spirit with us! Hatch Chili Salsas I tried Hatch Chili everything that day!  From savory dishes like, pizza, sushi, grilled cheese, salsa, macaroni and cheese, guacamole, and chorizo.  My sweet tooth was invited to the party with the juices, smoothies and cupcakes spiked withe versatile chili. Hatch Chilis Roasted_Fotor   I had never been to a Hatch Chili Roasting or a Bristol Farms before.  Both were worth the drive to the desert!  The smell of the hatch chilis wafted through the parking lot when we pulled up and filled the car on our drive home.  We bought a case and split it amongst the four of us.  I would highly recommend doing this.  Since the season is so short it’s one of the only ways to have access to them in the off season.  If you would like to find a roasting near you click here. IMG_3727_Fotor After you have purchased your chills make sure you peel and freeze them within 24 hours of the roasting.  I separated my 1/4 case into smaller freezer bags, flattened them, and stacked them in the freezer.  I left a portion fresh and have been eating them in eggs, soups, meat loaf and then came up with the recipe below with items I already had on hand. Hatch Zucchi_Fotor Hatch Chili Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini is a quick protein filled meal that satisfies.  The mild bite from the mixture of hatch chills and curry powder gives the zucchini a flavorful punch.  Low carb, vegetarian, gluten free, diabetic friendly and tastes amazing.  (recipe below) Want your own Hatch Chili Cook Book from the produce experts at Melissa’s Produce?  Enter to win your own copy here!  You may even win one of the signed copies from the author!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are even more great hatch chili recipes from my friends:

Hatch Chili Breakfast Sausage from Natalie at The Devil Wears Parsley


Hatch Chili Pesto from Sue at It’s Okay to Eat the Cupcake

Hatch Chile Pesto Sauce_Fotor

Hatch Chili & Chicken Pockets from Sara at My Imperfect Kitchen


4.8 from 4 reviews
Hatch Chili Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini - Plus a Giveaway!
Recipe type: Main Dish
  • 4 zucchini, split in half
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ cup greek yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • 3 roasted hatch chilis, peeled, and diced
  • 8 tablespoons cheddar cheese (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Remove the insides of the zucchini, leaving an edge all the way around the zucchini to hold in the filling. Roughly chop the insides and set aside in a medium size mixing bowl
  3. Saute the red onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes or until translucent.
  4. Add the red onion to the mixing bowl, along with the quinoa, curry, yogurt, salt, and chills. Mix to combine.
  5. Place the zucchini on a cookie sheet, then scoop the quinoa filling into each zucchini boat.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, then top with cheese if desired. Bake another 5 minutes to melt cheese.
  7. Serve immediately.

 Disclosures:  All opinions in this post are my own.  Bristol Farms did not sponsor this post.  Melissa’s Produce has generously supplied the cookbooks in the giveaway, and hatch chili ingredients.  

Perfection Fitness Studio – Best Gym Alternatives

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The Perfection Fitness Team: Bottom – Karen, and owner, Melissa. Top – Marissa, Sherwin, Jason, Codean, & Jessica.

I have had a personal trainer twice in my lifetime, both from 24 hour fitness.  One I hired after my cervical fusion (neck surgery) to act as continued physical therapy.  The other time was 6 months before my wedding.  I, like many other brides, wanted to be in the best shape of my life and look incredible in my wedding photos.  Both times I thought the training experience was o.k.  But, six months with a 24 Hour Fitness trainer was 5 months too long. I used the trainer for motivation, rather than results.

A friend of mine and her husband have been clients at Perfection Fitness for quite some time.  My friend initially started training there for their expertise on post baby body revamping and continued through another pregnancy.  Her husband went to bulk up and help with a neck injury.  After seeing their results, two of their family members have started training there as well.  Positive reviews and visible results from each one.

I’ll be honest, I’ve seen the beginning, middle and end of each person and their progress is pretty incredible.  Even during my friend’s third pregnancy she was fit and healthy.  We went out one night after her baby shower and a man stopped her to tell her how wonderful she looked.  I know she is beautiful, but I think the fact that she was incredibly fit and 9 months pregnant made her stand out even more.

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I needed to have Perfection Fitness in my gym alternatives series.  If you are like me and have only experienced the 24 Hour fitness trainers, you need to give private training a try.  It’s a whole new world.  I’m not trying to knock the corporate gym trainers, but there is something different about the personal attention and knowledge of the Perfection Team.

In 2004 Melissa Maher opened Perfection Fitness to make a difference in people’s lives.  She grew up watching close family members struggle with extreme health conditions, including cancer.  She knew that many of these conditions could be prevented by diet and exercise and committed her life to helping herself and others beat the odds.

Ten years later, Perfection is going strong and our community continues to benefit from her passion. Not only does Melissa help clients through her studio, she also teaches workshops, heads a Relay for Life Team, partners with our local Healthy RC News and was a trainer to a contestant on Extreme Makeover:  Weight Loss Edition.

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Owner & Trainer, Melissa Maher.

Each of the six trainers at the studio brings an educational background in their field, including a Masters in Kinesiology.  They are all experts and it shows in their training style and client results.  To read about what each trainer brings to the table, click here.

From the moment you walk into Perfection you know customer service is their number one priority.  From the fresh flowers to the fruit infused water, to the smiling helpful faces everywhere and complimentary towels.

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When I trained with Jason at Perfection I was the only client there, which is a typical experience.  He gave me a tour of the space and then sat down with me to address my needs and goals.  With a regular client he would take measurements and do an initial weigh in.  This information is used to create meal plans and decide which exercises will help clients reach their goal.


Not only do I work out regularly, but I push myself pretty hard.  I worked out with Jason for an hour, and could not walk for 5 days afterwards.  I had what is called a workout hangover.  I loved it.  Since I work out regularly my body has been in a plateau for quite some time, not changing.  In that one session with Jason he broke the plateau and my body reacted by changing.  My sore muscles proved it.

Thank God Melissa, invited me back two days later for an hour of the Ultimate Stretch, PNF stretching.  What is PNF stretching?  Ashley Black, a fasciologist, describes it this way, “PNF causes the brain to go ‘I don’t want that muscle to tear’ and sends a message to let the muscle relax a little more than it would normally”.   Stretching is essential to not injuring your body when you work out, but PNF takes it one step further.  You feel a release that regular stretching doesn’t do.

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Enjoying my ultimate stretch with Melissa.

At Perfection they offer PNF stretching to their regular clients, but you can also go in and have an hour-long PNF session just like receiving a massage.  Even if you don’t feel you need a personal trainer, you should go to Perfection for their PNF stretching.  After the workout hangover Jason created, I needed that stretch badly.  After the stretch my body would have yelled “hallelujah!” if it could.

My experience at Perfection Fitness was what I had hoped for in the two training experiences I had previously.  There is an innate difference in the two.  I believe their experience and education has everything to do with it.  If you are looking for motivation, or to make a change, big or small in your physique, I would highly recommend visiting Perfection Fitness.

What it is:  A private personal training studio staffed with six fit and knowledgeable trainers.

What to bring:  Yourself.  This is an all-encompassing experience.  They have water, towels, butt kicking trainers and all the equipment you will need.

Where:  9125 Archibald Avenue, Suite D
              Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
              Phone: (909) 477-3000

When:  All private training sessions are by appointment only.  Some group classes are drop in, others you must RSVP for.  Please click here to find out more information.

What I love:  That every trainer is an expert in their field.  Your goal is their mission.  They will get you there through training, nutrition, stretching and will help you eliminate mental road blocks.  Even if private training isn’t in your budget, their group training is another option. Their groups are not the large standard gym class sizes either.  You still receive personal attention with this option.

Bonus:  Mention this blog post and you will receive two complimentary training sessions!  Click here or call Melissa at (909) 477-3000 to schedule.

Disclosure:  I was not compensated for any portion of this post.  I was given one free training session and one free stretch session to gain information for this review.  All opinions expressed are my own.




Super D Training & Fitness Center – Best Gym Alternatives

super d cape_FotorBoot camps are extremely popular these days.  Every time I open my email there is another Groupon, or Living Social deal for the next best boot camp.  I personally have jumped on that bandwagon a couple times, trying them out, hoping for that boost of fitness motivation, and friendly competition.

Boot camps are a great place to gain motivation, but you have to be careful in choosing one.  A few years back I went to one that I purchased on Groupon.  It started at 5:30 a.m., you could go three days a week if you wanted.  When I first got there I was in shock of the amount of people that got up that early to work out.

Although it’s wonderful that many people were enthusiastic about this boot camp, the sheer number of people became a huge disadvantage. Due to the high number of attendees there were not enough trainers to make sure each boot camper’s form was correct.  Being new to the exercises we did, I hurt myself using incorrect form on my third day there.  Not only would they not refund my money, but they made me feel like it was my fault.

Since then I have attended a few more boot camps.  Each has been a much better experience than the first.  My favorite by far is Super D Training & Fitness Center in Rancho Cucamonga.  Not only does it have it’s own facility (no park or mall used here), it comes with the fabulous owner and trainer Danielle.  She is such a badass she was recently picked to be on the show Steve Austin’s Broken Skulls Ranch.

super d team photo_Fotor

The picture above shows the incredible fit team at Super D’s.  (left) Jan is an ACE and Crossfit certified trainer.  He specializes in obstacle course training.  (middle) Super D, Danielle, is also an ACE certified trainer, along with being obstacle course trainer certified. (right) Dan, has an extensive background in fitness, ranging from team sports to Crossfit/obstacle races, running, and holds a black belt in Kajukimbo.

Upon arriving on my first day at 4:50 a.m. I was greeted by a smiling, cheerful Danielle.  The large warehouse type facility echoed the sounds of upbeat music.  It was stripped of the branded frills of an overcrowded gym.  Instead it screamed passion.  The vibe from the other boot campers reached every corner of the facility.  It motivated me to give my best, whatever it was at 5 a.m.

Each class starts with a warm up directly outside the facility in the parking lot.  Once our muscles were warm each boot camper took off into a 5 minute run around the adjacent buildings.  Don’t worry if you aren’t a runner.  Yes, some of the members took off like they were racing, but you go at your own pace, and no one judges.

Upon returning from the run, each workout station is explained by the trainer, proper form shown.  It depends on the day, but there are anywhere from 6 to 8 stations for each class.  Campers distribute themselves into each station, 3 to a station.  Each work out lasts a fat burning, muscle building 1 minute.  Everyone does each station twice with bonus muscle targeting exercises in between sets.

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All stations are designed to give you the an effective fast blasting burn in a short time span.  We did things from lifting tires to swinging kettle bells, and crawling backwards like a crab. Each 45 minute class ends with a great stretch and a team building affirmation with your fellow boot campers.

super Ds team chant_Fotor

Just like my experience at Pure Barre, there were campers that were all on different levels.  There was a newcomer that day, so I was able to see the camaraderie surround her from a genuine perspective.

I felt in my element at Super D.’s.  There is no one checking you out or sizing you up.  Everyone is there for the same reason, to get stronger and reach whatever goal they have set out for themselves, while cheering you on.  Danielle has set the tone for her gym.  It’s not about being cute, it’s about becoming a stronger version of you.

What it is:   A gym that provides boot camp classes, personal training, and specialized training for obstacle course races.

What to bring:  Just your willingness to compete with yourself and a bottle of water.  During the winter months, you may want a head band to cover your ears and a light jacket.

Where:  Super D Training & Fitness Center, 9360 Baseline Rd., Suite N, Rancho Cucamonga, CA.



 Cost:  Get ready for this…it’s only $84 a month, for unlimited access.  It’s the cheapest price in the area, and one of the BEST!  Great bang for your buck here!  To sign up click here.

What’s new: Super D now has targeted obstacle course training for hard core fitness individuals that want to compete in the Spartan Race or Tough Mudder type races.  Whether you are a beginner or seasoned health nut, there is a place for you at Super D’s.

Why I really love it:  Super D’s had me at hello with their camaraderie.  It is a comfortable, results driven way to workout in a short period of time.  I loved the affordability factor and the variety of class times.  I love, love, love that there is a kids version too.

Disclosures:  I was not compensated in any way to write a review about Super D Training & Fitness Center.  I was invited to attend 5 classes in order to get the feel of the boot camp experience for the facility.  All opinions expressed are my own.


Pure Barre Review – The Best Gym Alternatives Series


It’s that time of year where the resolutions have been broken and you might be contemplating never making one again.  Chances are, working out or eating healthy was one of those resolutions.  Before you give up, you should figure out the reason you are giving up.  For instance, maybe getting up at 4:15 a.m. isn’t for you.  Or a gym membership is too expensive.  Even better, you don’t want to be a part of the meat market atmosphere in a standard gym.

I stopped my gym membership last year.  Not only did I hate the meat market atmosphere, but also waiting for a treadmill, and fighting for a spin bike.  I’ve been working out at home since then. Trying to figure out what I wanted to trade the gym out for.

In December I had a brilliant idea, a metaphorical lightbulb went off.  Why not try all of the different options out there?  From there I can decide what works best for me, my schedule and my body.

I know I am not the only one trying to figure out what works for me.  I’m sure everyone reading this has the same issue.  The guilt from a stagnant gym membership is probably killing you.  Your unkept resolution still haunting you.  I’m sure you would love to find your ‘thing’.  So why not share my experiences with all of you, making your decision easier as well.

In this series of posts I will write about my experience at each of the non-gym establishments I visited.  I will give you an idea of what to expect, the price point and my take on it.  I have and will be attending a full variety of establishments from barre classes to personal trainers to free options.


The first non-gym facility I checked out was the new Pure Barre located in Rancho Cucamonga.  Lets just say I was ecstatic when owner Ashley Sinkeldam enthusiastically agreed to be a part of this series.  Ever since I heard there was a Pure Barre opening five minutes from my house I’ve been dying to try it out.

Ashley recently opened the Rancho location in October of 2014.  Even though the gorgeous studio is still in it’s infancy, she and her instructors are well seasoned vets to the Pure Barre way of life.  They are a cohesive unit of *ledge sculptors that take their job seriously.

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The Pure Barre Rancho Team – top: Courtney, Ashley (owner), Michelle R. , bottom: Jamie, Michelle G.

I’ll be honest, I had pre-conceived notions about what to expect.  Almost all of them were completely wrong.  I thought the fact that there was ballet barre in the room meant that there was some ballet involved.  Technically, no.  I thought that it would not be as hard as it was.  It was harder than I could have ever expected, and I LOVED that.

Each class is 55 minutes of booty burning, lifting, toning goodness.  There are no breaks, so you are getting more than your moneys worth for the short time you are there.  It takes a class or two to get used to the lingo and the movements, but once you do, you will be tucking, shaking and squeezing to perfection. There is a ‘Breaking Down the Barre’ class once a month that I would suggest to all newbies, (next one is January 17th @11 a.m.).

tuck pure barre

Don’t be scared to try this out, yes the pictures above show every girl in Lululemon attire, but that is only because the entire Lululemon staff came in to take a class together the day I was taking pictures.  I have been to four classes so far, and there are all shapes and sizes in each class.

Don’t be scared to get the technique right away.  The amazing instructors are very hands on and will correct you in a loving way.  No one will even notice.  All the other members are too busy embracing their shake (it means change is happening), and maintaining their own technique.  There are modifications for newbies.

pure barre squeeze

Do make sure you go in early on your first class to talk with the instructor about the lingo.  Knowing how to tuck properly makes a huge difference.

Do ask questions if you have them.  Like “when you say to move an inch is it really an inch?”. Small isometric moves people.

Do keep going even though the first class might be overwhelming.  You will get stronger and more knowledgeable with each class. Set a goal for yourself, to hold a move longer, or lose the modifications eventually.

Do go at your own pace, everyone has different skill levels and strength.  You are only in competition with yourself.  Repeat that to yourself.

pure barre jamie

What it is:  Pure Barre is a mesh of pilates, and yoga, utilizing isometric movements to “lift, tone, and burn” (#LTB) every inch of your body without any high impact moves.

What to bring:  Just yourself in pants (no shorts allowed) and a tank, socks and some water.  They sell grippy socks for $12, which I would recommend, so you don’t slide all over the place.  All the equipment is provided.

What to expect:  Each class starts out with a warm up, then stretching.  From there you will head to the barre where you will earn your shake.  Figuratively and literally.  Expect to stretch right when you need it most.  After the barre you will head to the floor for targeted excercises. that will lift your ledge and tone your abs.  All followed by a much needed final stretch.

Where:  8792 19th Street, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91701.  Click here for a location nearest you (there are 200 locations).  To call the Rancho location, dial (909) 944-4978.

When:  There are classes seven days a week.  Click here to find a time that works for you.

Cost:  $25 a class, if you buy them as a single class.  Each studio has a special price your first month $99 unlimited classes, this is what I reccomend..  It’s a an awesome deal!   BONUS:  If you mention Decadently Fit you will get a bonus week free**!  Click here to sign up!

Why I really love it:  Pure Barre targets muscles that I never work out on my own.  I was extremely sore the first time, and I work out quite a lot.  In just four classes I am are already seeing signs of the infamous *ledge.  I love the fact that all of the exercises are low impact.  I can’t wait to see what a month of classes will do!

Ready to join me at the barre?

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*ledgeadjective –  the lack of space between your booty and the top of your thigh.  a.k.a. an extremely lifted and toned booty.  LOVE.

**Must purchase one month before adding the free week on.

Disclosure:  I was not compensated to review the classes at Pure Barre.  The fee for four classes was waived so that I could experience and review them for purposes pertaining to my blog series.  My absolute love for this type of exercise and the opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own.

The 10 Best Recipes of 2014

2015_FotorAnother year in the books.  Another year that went by at warp speed.  Is it just me, or does every year seem to go by faster and faster?  It feels like I live in a constant whirlwind.

2014 was a great year for Decadently Fit!  I learned a lot about how to be a healthier me, in turn sharing it with all of you.  I reviewed two handfuls of wonderful healthy cookbooks and was able to give them away to my wonderful readers.

I spent a ton of time with the amazing people at Melissa’s Produce sampling their stunning produce and eating the best food prepared by their chefs.

I started working with some wonderful brands that support healthy goals, such as Kitchen Aid, Latortilla Factory, Luna Olivo, Kerrygold Cheese and Butter, Klondike, Oroweat Organic, & Bob’s Red Mill.

I am so excited to start a new year blogging in 2015!  I have many changes coming to streamline my approach.  New philosophies that I want to try out, and new goals.

Speaking of goals here are a few of mine related to health and fitness:

1.  Conquer my sweet tooth once and for all

2.  Lose fat and gain muscle

3.  Do a Spartan Race or Tough Mudder

4.  Run a half marathon

5.  Start teaching healthy cooking classes

6.  Inspire as many people as I can to become the best versions of themselves, whatever that is to them.

What are your goals?  Use the comment section below to make it official by telling us what you want to achieve in 2015.  You are 45% more likely to complete a goal if you write it down.  Come on, tell me, I would love to encourage you!

Without further ado, here is the 10 best recipes of 2014:


 Number One:  Cauliflower Crust Pizza

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Number Two:  Peach Pie Protein Smoothie


Number Three:  Paleo Carrot Cake


Number Four:  Red Chili Chicken

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Number Five:  Broccoli Slaw Salad

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Number Six:  Zucchini Lasagna

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Number Seven:  Strawberry Hot Wings

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Number Eight:  Chia Banana Pudding

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Number Nine:  Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Torte

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Number Ten:  Mediterranean Dip

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Good Cheap Eats & October Unprocessed

good-cheap-eats-coverThe most frequent complaint I hear about eating healthy or even just eating clean is how expensive it can be.  I do a lot of work to make our grocery bill fit within the budget.  I wrote Top 12 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget in March to give my readers an insight into how I do it.  But honestly, it takes a lot of planning.  For those of my readers who need, “healthy, yet frugal” meals in one book, Good Cheap Eats is for you.

This book could not have come at a better time for me.  October 1st marked the first day of the “October Unprocessed” Challenge.  If you are unfamiliar with it, click here to read the official guide.  In summary, each person who pledges to go through all of October eating only food with whole ingredients.  If you can’t pronounce it, you don’t eat it.

October Unprocessed 2014

Each individual can make their own exceptions and rules so they don’t set themselves up for failure.  For instance, last weekend I did a mud run and camped all weekend with 30 other people.  I am made exceptions because of this.  They are my own personal exceptions.  But I am writing them down and making clear rules for myself to abide by.  For you that might look like giving up soda.  Or not eating blue box mac n’ cheese.  For everyone it will be different.

Although Good Cheap Eats does not solely focus on unprocessed foods, Jessica Fisher is a huge proponent of making meals from scratch, using whole ingredients.  Jessica defines this book best in her about section.  She says, “This book is a road map toward shopping wisely, choosing ingredients carefully, and planning meals that your family will enjoy; and of course, it’s full of recipes to help you do it with taste and style, all while staying under budget”.  Each dinner for four people is $10 or less.  Music to a healthy frugalista’s ears.
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There are a few recipes that stand out to me the most for my unprocessed challenge.  The first one is the Homemade Corn Tortillas.  Tortillas have been on my ‘make my own’ list for quite some time.  For some reason they seem so daunting.  Thanks to the 30 day challenge I can add these to the list of must have home-made pantry items.
Another recipe that immediately caught my eye and was super easy to make was her Skillet Poached Eggs with Spinach.  The picture alone should sell you on its pure awesomeness.  Protein paired with detoxifying greens, makes for a perfect breakfast, lunch or dinner for the super busy individual.  I’ve posted the recipe below to give you a taste of Good Cheap Eats.
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Not only do you get 200 money-saving, clean recipes, but also advice on how to eat out on the cheap, and how to make your menu even more budget friendly.  She also offers tips to save you time and a list of kitchen equipment that will ‘set you up for success’.
Like I said, this book could not come at a better time.  I have used it multiple times this week alone for unprocessed meal ideas.  Not only do I love these meals, but my family does too.  They are simple yet awesome eats.
Click here to purchase your copy.  Not only will you be purchasing valuable recipes, and ideas, but supporting an awesome mom.  Win, win!
Click here to purchase!

Disclosure:  I was not compensated in any way to review Good Cheap Eats.  I was given the book, that I will happily keep in my cookbook collection.  All opinions and comments are my own.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Skillet Poached Eggs with Spinach
Nutrition Information
  • Serving size: 4
  • Calories: 234
  • Fat: 17.1
  • Saturated fat: 4
  • Unsaturated fat: .7
  • Carbohydrates: 7.6
  • Sugar: 1.8
  • Sodium: 164
  • Fiber: 2
  • Protein: 13.9
  • Cholesterol: 390
Recipe type: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
You can adjust the greens to ones that you prefer, and add ingredients like mushrooms and peppers or bacon. Use whatever you have on hand.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 leeks, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise into half-moons
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 8 large eggs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. In a large skillet with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the leeks and sauté until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the spinach. Stir gently and cook until slightly wilted.
  2. Spread out the spinach mixture to create 8 small wells. Crack an egg into each well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Cover and cook until the desired doneness is reached for the eggs, 5 to 8 minutes.