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Tortilla-less Tortilla Soup

This is another one of my favorite dishes from my first week of Phase 1. I know I keep saying it, but the worst part of getting fit and losing weight is awful food. Far too often the choices are sodium laden TV dinners or “diet” food filled with artificial flavorings and sweeteners/poison. How do you maintain motivation to lose weight and get healthy if your food is toxic and tasteless? This soup is everything but tasteless. It’s fabulously flavorful and low in fat and carbohydrates. One quick time saving tip is to use Purdue Short Cuts Southwestern flavor. I used them in a pinch and it was terrific!

Tortilla-less Tortilla Soup Recipe

1 tablespoon coconut oil

3 clove(s) garlic minced

1 teaspoon cumin, ground

1 pinch pepper, cayenne

1/2 medium onion(s), red finely chopped

3 1/2 cup(s) broth, chicken, fat-free, low-sodium

14 1/2 ounce(s) tomatoes, diced with juice

3/4 pounds chicken, breast, boneless, skinless cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chili peppers (optional)

 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained (optional)

1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or mild cheddar)

3 tablespoon lime(s) juice

Salt to taste

Ground Black pepper to taste

1/4 cup(s) chopped fresh cilantro


1 In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic, cumin, and cayenne. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, about 4 minutes. Add the broth and tomatoes and their juice. Bring to a boil.

2 Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the chicken, chilies, and beans if you’re using them, and return to a simmer. Cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. 3 Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into 4 bowls and sprinkle with the cilantro and cheese. 

Grab the ingredients and try this great soup for dinner tonight.

Then leave me a comment and let me know how you liked it!


¡Bueno Provecho!

~Ana María


Shrimp and Crab Bisque (Low Carb)

Finding motivation to lose weight is HARD. Delicious food makes loosing weight fun and getting fit, easy. Here’s one of my all time favorite dishes. Note, add only enough shrimp for your current meal. Refrigerate or freeze the remaining shimp and add to leftovers when you are ready to eat. Overcooked shrimp are not a good thing. 😉


Shrimp and Crab Bisque

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

28 oz seafood stock

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1 cup fat free evaporated milk

1/2 pound medium shrimp – peeled and deveined

1/2 pound crabmeat

1/4 – 1/2 cup white wine


In a 2 quart saucepan, sauté onion until tender. Add flour and stir until slightly brown. Add seafood stock and let simmer until it has thickened enough based on your preferences.

Add half of the milk and crab meat; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it thickens sufficiently again. Stir in remaining milk, shrimp and wine. Cook until the shrimp are pink.  Serve hot.

Leave me a note and let me know how you like it!


Buen provecho!

~Ana María

Happy 8th Anniversary!!! NOT!

Eight years ago this month I started getting fit. My daughter was 13 months old and my aching knees and a glimpse in the stray store window were all the motivation to lose weight that I needed. Losing weight after pregnancy is always a worry and a challenge. I felt like after a year it was time to get it back together. My first step was to get a terrific eating plan, South Beach Diet. My next goal was to start researching workout plans and I discovered Windsor Pilates and Slim in 6. However, the thing that really got the scale moving was my eating plan.

If you ask anyone, and they are honest, the real key to changing your body is nutrition. I’m standing here as a true testament to the truth of that. Since November, I have been doing a Brazil Butt Lift/ TurboFire challenge. In the beginning, I was logging my food religiously and getting my workouts done without fail. I was energized and shrinking, slowly but surely. I have learned to accept that with hypothyroidism, my progress is never going to be a get fit fast type of thing; it is slow and steady winning the race in my world. Then the holidays and some extreme life stressors kicked in. I was working out a little more sporadically because I was TIRED. In my stress I was also overdosing on carbs which created the tiredness that fueled my craving for more carbs. The pitfall for me was that they were healthy carbs, oatmeal primarily, but carbs nonetheless. My caloric intake was sky high, my activity level was decreased and my body was getting the kind of fuel it loves to store as fat. O_o I stopped logging my food and just believed in the power of the TurboFire and Brazil Butt Lift to get me fit despite my carb addiction. The reality was I didn’t want to face my caloric intake. I was cheating. But as they say

Last week, I finally stepped on the scale. It was not voluntary. I stay away from the scale and the nerousis it causes. I watch too many clients cry and bemoan the lack of movement of those numbers and I have myself called on God asking why I had been abandoned because it appeared all my hard work was not paying off in less poundage. Nevertheless, my jeans were telling me that it was time, no; it was PAST time for me to face what was happening. My “healthy carb” addiction, severe hypothyroidism and sporadic workout schedule had created a 20 gain in 3 months! This confession is so hard to do publicly. However, I’m owning the choices that messed me up, while sharing how I’m taking control of my eating again. I know I am not alone in any of these experiences, so it is what it is. Getting fit is not the issue for me. I’m very fit, but my weight is not what I want it to be. My doctor has never ever had an issue with my weight because all of my other measures of health say I’m top notch. My weight loss goals are purely about my personal aesthetic tastes.

What to do, what to do…

I know what works. I work with people teaching them to do what works. Shoot, I did it myself before I started telling anyone how to do it! Therefore, last week I realized it was time to do what I know works for my body. There is an increasing body of research that says carbs really are the devil. Well not really, but you get my point. It’s not that we can never eat carbs, but they should be consumed at a much lower percentage than has been recommended. I know that my body does not do well with an abundance of carbs. Fruit is healthy, but it is sugar and for my slow digestive system and metabolism, it equals stalled weight loss or weight gain. The same applies to grains and all other varieties of starches. Over the past week, I implemented a strict no sugar and no starch eating plan. In other words, I returned to South Beach Diet Phase 1. From January 7th – January 23rd, the planned start date for my Ultimate Reset challenge group, I am forgoing fruits, grains, and any other forms of sugar. I have been eating 1200 calories per day, logging my food in My Fitness Pal and posting pics of my food on Brooklyn Fit Mami for personal accountability. I have a long term goal to lose 45 pounds.

Week 1, I lost 7 pounds!

Want to talk about high power motivation to lose weight! The pace of weight loss will slow down, but the beauty of South Beach is that you get fit fast and healthfully. So now, my goal is to lose 38 pounds by June. 🙂 I will be chronicling my journey to my dream size here. My tools will be Shakeology, South Beach Diet protocol, The Ultimate Reset, a variety of yoga dvds (Rodney Yee and Shiva Rea primarily), Slim in 6, Insanity, Brazil Butt Lift and TurboFire.

If you are on your journey to improve your health, increase satisfaction with your body, lose weight after pregnancy or just get toned, embrace the fact that it is an individual journey. You may reach your goal quickly or slowly, you may have times when you take 3 steps forward and 2 back. It is ALL good. It is all about learning and as long as you don’t give up on yourself, it is all a positive adventure.

Subscribe to my newsletter and posts to keep up with my journey and the great recipes I will be sharing each week.

Also, please join me on FB and Twitter.

Wishing you the best!

~Ana María

Shiitake Mushroom and Swiss Cheese Quiche

Baby Bella, Shiitake Mushroom, Sweet Onion, and Swiss Cheese Quiche

4 eggs

6 egg whites

2-3 oz. fat free evaporated milk *

4 slices low fat Swiss cheese

4 ounces Vidalia onion, chopped, 1 medium

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, baby portabellas and shiitake or your favorite variety, sliced

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

Dash pepper

Sauté the onion in the coconut oil until caramelized. Add mushrooms and continue to cook until tender and slightly browned. Beat the eggs and evaporated milk with the salt and pepper. Put the cheese in the bottom of a greased quiche pan or an individual frittata pan. This is what I used Round Mini Server. Top the cheese with the mushrooms, then pour the egg mixture evenly over all. Bake at 350º for 35 minutes or 45 minutes for an extra crispy top crust.

*Note – Make sure to get evaporated milk and not sweetened condensed milk!

 Keep Your Motivation

When your motivation to lose weight is fading, it’s delicious food that can keep you on track. Please leave me a comment after you have enjoyed this recipe and let me know your thoughts!

¡Buen provecho!


~Ana María

Confessions of a Serial Cheater

I confess. I’m a cheater. I’ve been a cheater for most of my life. I don’t like rules and limits. I’m only slightly ashamed of my errant behavior though. Most people I know are cheaters. Everyone gets comfortable in a routine and starts taking things for granted. I know I’m not alone. It begins when you get away with little cheats, little flirtations (with cheesecake) and then, before you know it, your self control is blown! Hopefully you’ve figured out that I’m talking fitness and diet infidelity here. 😉 But in 2013, I am committed to being a better woman.

I think back to when my fitness journey began. I still have the calendar that came with Slim in 6 at that time. I didn’t miss a single day! I have my diet logs. I was obsessively mindful of every morsel. I wrote down EVERYTHING and not a stray carb passed these lips. I continued these behaviors to the tune of a 40+ pound weight loss. I kept up *most* of the behaviors over the years and gained enough knowledge and experience to make it my livelihood. Funny thing happened along the way though… I got too comfortable. I got comfortable in my success. I got confident in my ability to skip a workout here and have a treat there. I modified myself back up to my starting weight.

Have you ever worked really hard to achieve a goal and then gotten inexplicably lazy?

In life we are often focused on a set point. The wedding. Getting the job. Achieving goal weight. There is a tendency to forget that these events mark the beginning of a different kind of work, not the beginning of resting on your laurels. After the wedding, comes the marriage. Marriage is constant work. When you get the job you are no longer selling your self, the time has come to show and prove you were the right choice. Reaching goal weight marks Day 1 of working to maintain. This reality why it’s important to focus on BEHAVIORS and not NUMBERS.

If you are mindful about what you eat and increasing your activity levels, the by-product will be healthfulness. You may or may not lose weight, depending on where you are starting out and what your goals are, but you will be healthier. By focusing on creating healthy habits, you will be less likely to be unfaithful to your new, healthier lifestyle when you reach milestones. It’s the difference between taking pride in your skills in your profession versus simply working for the check. 

As for me, I’m refocused. I’m in the middle of a carb detox right now. I needed to shake off my carb cravings and redefine my relationship with food. I started in earnest on 01/08/2013. On Monday, my cheating ways voided the day, but since then I haven’t cheated even a little. No ignoring the corn syrup on the ingredient list in my favorite coconut milk. No “this bit of Coffee-Mate won’t hurt”. My carb cravings have subsided, my urticaria isn’t flaring and my energy is up. But this carb detox is just the beginning of my refocused wellness mission. My challenge group is starting the Ultimate Reset on January 23, 2013. I’m very much looking forward to taking my body to an even healthier place. 

If you’re a recovering cheater interested in support, drop me a line!!

If you’re interesting in more info on The Ultimate Reset drop me a line!!! Or click here.  

 All the best to you!

Ana María

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