Fit and Free Weekly Playlist - Hip Hop Throwback

I have so many posts I'm in the middle of working on. I'm hoping that I'll feel rejuvenated and inspired to write more in Mexico, or at least when I return. I leave on Tuesday from LAX for one of my dear friend's wedding in Yelapa. This will be my first international trip in two years. As someone who was constantly jet setting for about a five year period, this is incredibly exciting and also bringing up some interesting feelings. Excitement, nervous, happy, uncertain. You name it, I'm feeling it.  

It's the first time I've traveled internationally by myself in a long time. But its time. It is so time. 

So cheers to being wild and free! This is what I've been striving for ever since I stepped into this new life of mine and I'm excited that it's finally starting to happen again. 

I'll be sharing more for sure. 

And now for what I'm sure you've all been waiting for...

I feel like this week's playlist needs a little explanation. So, here's a little secret about me not many know: I have always been a huge hip hop fan. I'm not sure anything else gets me quite as worked up as Biggie bustin' his Biggie Smalls rhymes. Except for maybe Nelly riding dirty. 

But be warned, there are definitely some explicit and inappropriate lyrics on this playlist. If you are sensitive to that, maybe check out last weeks playlist or wait for next weeks. I'll make it more user friendly.

Oh, and no laughing at the last song. I stand by my man. Team Joey forever.  

Time of Our Lives - Pitbull, Ne-Yo
Stay - Rihanna, Mikky Ekko
Ride Wit Me - Nelly , City Spud
Country Grammar - Nelly
Air Force Ones - Nelly, Murphy Lee
Right Thurr - Chingy
One Call Away - Chingy
Smack That - Akon, Eminem
So Sick - Ne-Yo
Because of You - Ne-Yo
Closer - Ne-Yo
Cupid - 112
Anywhere -112
Dance With Me - 112
Only You (Bad Boy Remix) - 112, The Notorious B.I.G
Let's Get Married -Jagged Edge
Old Thing Back - Matoma, The Notorious B.I.G
Juicy - The Notorious B.I.G
Notorious Things - The Notorious B.I.G
In Da Club - 50 Cent
21 Questions - 50 Cent, Nate Dogg
Wanna Get To Know You - G-Unit, Joe
Poppin' Them Thangs - G-Unit
Don't Cha - The Pussycat Dolls
Still Not a Player - Big Pun, Joe
I'm Not a Player - Big Pun, Joe
The Seed (2.0) - The Roots
Vivrant Thing - Q-Tip
If I Ruled The World - Mas, Ms. Layryn Hill
Lose Yourself - Eminem
The Monster - Eminem, Rihanna
Love The Way You Life - Eminem, Rihana
Without Me - Eminem
Please Don't Go Girl - New Kids On The Block

You say you want to feel good again.
You say the time is now.
You say you want a good relationship with food. 
You say something just has to change. 
You say you want to feel good in your skin again. 
You say you really want it bad. 

So what's stopping you? 

I use to say all these things until I realized it was really all up to me. That all the little things I did every single day added up to big things in my life. These things either lead me closer to or further from my goals. 

And in some areas, things needed to change. (It's a process) 

And I needed help. 

I was stubborn though and hated admitting that. I hated asking for help. But it was the only way. 

And you know what? It's actually very brave to say, "hey, I need some help. I don't think I can do this alone." So it's not complicated but it does have to be your choice and you do have to be the one to say yes.

 I'll take it from there.

Join me, May 1st to May 5th and we commit to eating clean for a better life (and booty). 


What you get:

+ Grocery list to plan and prep with
+ My tools and tips for lasting success
+ 5 days of delicious recipes
+ Daily videos to keep you focused and motivated
+ FREE accountability group
+ Muah as your fearless food loving leader

BONUS: MY secret weapon that has helped with cravings, regulate my blood sugar, helped with my adult acne and provides long lasting energy!

Cost: Nothing, this ones on me!

Join the movement to feeling fit and free!

Registration closes April 25th. 

whipped honey-garlic tahini dressing

I'm pretty sure this recipe came out of desperation. I have a deep love for any kind of dressing that is plain not good for you: Ranch, Blue Cheese, Thousand Island, rich and creamy burger sauces, you name it and I want to smother, not lightly coat, everything in the stuff. It's one of the reasons I can't eat pizza (even the gluten-free kind) very often because I'm a dipper and usually it's more like, "I'll have a slice of pizza with my dip, thank you! However, because I believe everything should be done in moderation, I reserve my dip and pizza for special occasions.  And I know it's okay to have some every now and then but one little tablespoon (the recommended serving) well, that's a tease for someone like me. 

However, desperate times call for me getting my hands dirty in the kitchen, which is fine by me because I love cooking and making healthier alternative to those 'naughty' old time favorites. And a girl needs her dip! 

So one day I was desperate for something creamy for my kale salad and I had a pretty barren cupboard but I did have tahini, garlic, honey, lemon and salt. "Alrighty," I thought. "I need my dip." And thus, this came into creation. 

Just a word to the wise though, if you aren't too keen on a super garlicy flavor OR you have a hot date in the same day that you decide to eat this dressing/dip, maybe go a little lighter on the garlic. So now you've been warned. 

whipped honey-garlic tahini dressing {dip}


1 cup tahini
1 tsp honey
1-2 cloves garlic (roasted or not)
1/2 a lemon
pink sea salt
water to thin 

How to Make:

1. Blend all ingredients until well combined. It may thicken up a bit. This is why I add water. Add about 1/2 cup of water and continue to blend on high. This is where you get the whipped affect and it becomes super creamy. Continue adding a little water until it is smooth and creamy. 

2. Serve and Enjoy. 

Yep, it's really that easy!

Christmas Traditions + Rosemary Bacon, Apple and Hazelnut Mince Mini Pies with Date Caramel Sauce


As I gear up to spend this Christmas away from my family back in Seattle, I've been feeling a little homesick and nostalgic which always results in me cooking...a lot. Cooking reminds me of my family, my mom, sister-in-laws and I love spending time in the kitchen, surrounded by the ones we love, cooking up a feast that we will all share as we drink and laugh and snuggle into to the warmth that is family. I'm one of those lucky ones that loves spending time with my family, not only just during the holidays but any opportunity I get. But during the holidays, well, let me just tell you that my family are a little nutty for Christmas. 

Being so far away from them leaves me thinking about those little family Christmas traditions that I long for and adore. Like how my mom always places this driftwood Christmas decoration I made in preschool in her kitchen window. It's been there, every single Christmas for thirty-three years. Or how my brothers and I would eagerly wake every morning to open the next window of our Chocolate Christmas advent calendar and snack on my mom's homemade Christmas toffee. Every year we knew it was the start of the Christmas season when my mom made the first batch of Christmas toffee. It's the only time of year we will allow her to make it. My brother's and I are very strict about this. Don't be tryin' to make us any Christmas toffee in October, Ma!  And, she knows better. Oh does she know better. And now her toffee is known all around town. Everyone waits all year for Teri's Terrific Toffee. 

And my favorite memories, how I would turn off all the lights in the living room and dance around the Christmas tree listening to the Carpenter's Christmas album as the lights twinkled in the background. It's memories like these that make Christmas so special. These memories fill me with so much joy and happiness. If I am lucky enough to have kids one day, I hope I can pass some of these down to them and make many more that they will remember well into their adult years.

As I cook and reminisce on Christmas pasts, I'm filled with so much gratitude for having a family that cherishes tradition. I think tradition is the foundation of family. As much as I wish I could be with my family this Christmas, I won't be. However, you better believe I'll be dancing around my tiny tree listening to the soft haunting voice of Karen Carpenter. Some habits die hard. 

Rosemary Bacon, Apple and Hazelnut Mince Mini Pies with Caramel-Date Sauce. 

When I was younger, maybe around the seventh grade or so, we were required to research a part of our lineage and write a report on our findings. With my dad being born in England, and knowing very little about that side of my family, I decided to look deeper and do my report on our English roots. 

Part of this report was to create a traditional and culturally relevant dish and share it with the class in a potluck.  I knew enough to know that British cuisine isn't exactly looked upon as something to be desired when trying to decided what to make for dinner so when the time came to decide on what to make I called my grandmother and asked her a bit about some traditional foods and we decided on Mincemeat Pie. The name alone lacks something to be desired but when it was all said and done and my grandmother and I had completed the little decadent treats, they weren't half bad. 

These little treats are a mix of savory and sweet, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free. A little word of warning though, if you love super traditional pie crust and haven't ventured into the world of gluten-free eating, keep an open mind. 


Pie Filling
1/2 lbs. black forest bacon (I get mine at Whole Foods)
1 apple, chopped
1 pear, chopped
1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped
1/2 cup dried figs, chopped
1/4 cup goji berries
1 tbsp chopped rosemary
1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves

Pie Crust
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 tsp chia seeds (mix with 2 tbsp cold water)
6-8 tbsp cold water

Date Caramel Sauce
8 dates (soaked in water or at least 10-15 minutes)
2 tbsp coconut butter
2 tbsp cold water

how to make

Makes 12-16

Make the pie crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix the chia seeds in a small bowl with 2 tbsp of water and set aside.
  3. In a food processor, add oats and salt. Blend until the oats have broken down into flour.
  4. Add in the chia mixture, buckwheat flour and olive oil and pulse in until combined.
  5. Drizzle in the remaining water a tablespoon at a time while pulsing the mixture until a dough forms (you might not need all of the water). Roll the pastry out on a piece of baking paper until it's only a few mm thick. Using a small glass, cut out circles and form to the bottle of greased (butter or vegetable shortening) muffin tin. Bake for 12 minutes until dry. Leave to cool.

For the rosemary bacon, apple and hazelnut filling: 

  1. In a sauté pan or cast iron skillet, cook bacon. As bacon cooks, chop up rosemary and add to pan towards the end. The rosemary is to give a hint of flavor. 
  2. Remove bacon and set aside. Add chopped apple, pear and fig to bacon pan and cook until tender. Add in goji berries, honey and spices and cook for another 3-5 minutes. 
  3. Chop bacon and add to pan along with the chopped hazelnuts. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. 

For the caramel-date sauce:

  1. Pit the soaked dates and place into a blender with the coconut butter, boiling water, salt and vanilla extract. Blend until completely smooth.

To assemble:

  1.  Add 1-2 tbsp of apple mixture to each pie cup and top with a dollop of the caramel date sauce. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon to finish. 
  2. Enjoy!