Diet Soda Controversy



  So, we’re in the very first week of 52 weeks to a new you and here’s what’s happening so far:

     I have decided to forego diet soft drinks due to the controversy associated with them.  I say controversy because some health reports recommend diet soft drinks as opposed to regular ones to save calories and others demonize them saying they do many horrible things including:

Fill the body with artificial sweeteners and harmful chemicals

Cause bone and teeth loss over time

Bloat the belly.  Yes, you read right, bloat your belly since those chemicals clog it up and slow digestion

Create weight gain. Saw what, no way? Well, yes way. The artifical sweetener is sweeter than sugar promoting hunger instead of reducing it

     As you can see by this, not exhaustive list, of claimed problems with diet soft drinks, that the risk outweighs the benefits of a few missed calories so that’s why I chose to forego diet soda in week one.

     Will I ever have another soda? Probably when I’m out in a social setting occasionally but regularly, heck no.  Next time I’ll post what chef has decided to change in week one!

     Meanwhile, how’s your first week going so far? What have you decided to work on?  What change did you make this week towards your goals?  We’d love to hear from you in our comments section and cheer each other on.





  So, not many of you know my Chef husband and I both left corporate America over the past year.  (That’s us on the left with our children and granddaughter) We tired of the rat race even though it did pay each rat almost six figures to run.  I left my job first, June 7, 2015, to be exact, and my hubby left his seven months later on January 22, 2016.
     What were two income less fools to do?   So glad you asked! We had prayed about it for some time and were feeling drawn to expand my then small, private practice into a full fledged wellness center and that’s exactly what we have done.
     Who’d have thought a chef and a counselor would be working together, side by side, after all these years of marriage; yet,  that’s exactly what has happened. We’re just getting started. We both feel this is gonna be the ride of a lifetime.
     Hold on to your hats as we begin this journey together and see where God takes us. Oh, and remind us to hold onto our purse strings for a bit, we don’t have that rat race income anymore! Here’s to running our own race!




      52 weeks, 52 opportunities, 52 steps closer to your goals. This is the simplicity behind “52 Weeks to a New You”.  Before we begin; however, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

     Where would you like to be a year from now?
     How do you plan to get there? 
    What’s the biggest hurdle to your success? 
     Who can help you achieve your goals?

     While these and other questions may be difficult to answer, the challenge itself is pretty simple. Decide what your working on and then make one change weekly towards your goals.  It’s that simple!
     Chef and I decided to work on expanding and improving our wellness in all areas and to document our progress. We will continue to post what we discover along the way including new recipes, resources, and health tips of any kind: physical, emotional, psychological, social, relational, spiritual, etc., etc.   We will post our progress also!.  Meanwhile, here’s to being WELL because your health is your W-E-A-Lth!

The Journey Continues

      As our journey continues beyond the 30 day wellness challenge, it’s safe to say Chef and I have officially become health junkies. I wouldn’t say we’re fanatics (yet, hahaha), but we’re definitely junkies. 
     How do I know that, you ask? I’m not sure. Maybe it was the moment chef said he basically uses the outside of the grocery store now or when we decided to use zucchini for pizza crust or some other pivotal turning point.  Anyhow, it’s official. We’re health junkies.

     So, from one health junkie to another, here’s a couple recipes we tried and liked today.  See for yourself what you think….

Healthy Cherry Pie Smoothie


7 ounces vanilla protein shake
1 cup cherries
1 T oats
1/2 T maple syrup
1 cup ice

Mix in blender and enjoy

Green Leaf Mixed Salad


Green Leaf Mixed Salad Recipe

Green Leaf Lettuce
Vidala Onion
Feta Cheese

Mix as much as you prefer of each item and serve with your favorite dressing (we chose Italian) amd protein (we chose crabcakes)


Home Stretch Strides

     With 5 days left on the 30 day wellness challenge, here’s the results. Drum roll please: Boom, Bang, Boom! 

      Chef has lost 9, unwanted pounds and I have lost 6.  How did this happen, you ask, in a few weeks? Simply by making lifestyle changes replacing foods we love with healthier ones.

     For example, instead of snacking on high calorie, low nutritional value potato chips, chef tweaked a recipe for Zucchini Chips


     This satisfies the desire to crunch and the craving for salt without breaking the health bank.

     He also made Zucchini Parmesan Sticks as opposed to Cheesy Breads sticks. 


      And, the coolest thing by far about the wellnesss challenge, it’s  PERMANENT. Diets, on the other hand, are TEMPORARY.

     Not that we’ve arrived! We’ve been unable to fully rise to challenge as we haven’t been able to eliminate soda from our day to day diet. BOOOOOOO!   Yet, the hunt is on for a homemade healthy alternative I hope to love and share with you!

     Meanwhile, here’s the Zucchini Chips recipe for your palettes pleasure while we hunt for homemade soda:

Zucchini Chips Recipe


1 large Zucchini
1/3 C Panko
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese
1/4 t Black Pepper
1/4 t Sea Salt
1/8 t Old Bay
3 t Skim Milk


Preheat oven 425
Cut zucchini in 1/8 inch slices
Mix panko, cheese, pepper, salt, old bay
Dip zucchini in milk, the dip in mix
Place on sheet tray in single layer
Bake on 425 for 15 minutes
Turn over, bake til golden brown
Remove to cool
Chips crisp as they cool

Enjoy and wish us luck on our hunt!

Half way 15 days

Yesterday marked the midpoint to our couples wellness challenge so Chef and I snuck away for a few hours at lunchtime to downtown Annapolis to enjoy some time alone in this wonderful capitol of Maryland together.


With it’s cobblestone streets,  darling shops, and peaceful waterfront cafés, charm surely awaits anytime Annapolis is the destination and yesterday was no exception.  The weather was in the mid 70’s with a slight breeze and we parked near a small roadside cafe we had wandered upon. Of course, being foodies and it being lunch, we HAD to try this quaint, roadside cafe, “Cafe and Groceries”, and, oh, we’re so glad we did. 


(Of course, we had to mind our wellness restrictions and I’m happy to say we easily did).

We shared a Greek Salad & Spicy Peruvian chicken sandwich topped with spinach, onion, tomato, and spicy mustard plus unsweetened iced tea and ice water. (Did I mention, the total bill was only
$20 bucks).

The food was fresh and delicious, the portions were fantastic, the owner Michelle was friendly, and the little table outside the cafe on the Annapolis side street we lingered at gave us plenty to observe and enjoy on these stolen moments together.

It was an altogether lovely afternoon that led to an altogether wonderful evening celebrating our baby daughters 22nd bday. For this event, chef made a whole wheat vegetable pizza for us and cheese and pepperoni pizzas for those who don’t object to white flour.  Here’s the whole wheat dough recipe for other health fans who happen to love pizza, as much as we do, yet, desire to limit white flour from their diet

4 cups of whole wheat flour
2 packets of yeast
2 T honey
1 T salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 T Olive oil

Mix all ingredients
Knead for 10 minutes
Allow to rise for one hour in cool location covered

Top as desired, cook and serve

PS. Chef made homemade pizza sauce as well and topped with many veggies, basil, and oregeno.

Day 10- Say Whattttt?

WOW! Today Chef and I are officially 1/3 of the way into the 30 Day Wellness Challenge and, praise God, we are enjoying most of it.  I’m going to shake things up today and simply post a recipe from one of yesterday’s meals. It was a Vegetable and Brown Rice Frittata and here goes:  This serves 4.


1 cup fresh, mixed veggies (choose your fav’s)

1/2 cup cooked brown rice

1/4 cup cheese (choose your favorite  again)

3 jumbo eggs beaten

2 T salsa

1 sprig Cilantro

1/4 T Olive Oil

This one had asparagus, zucchini, squash, onion, and feta cheese.


Saute vegetables briefly in olive oil

Mix in half cup of rice in saute pan on lower heat

Add in beaten eggs and mix well

Cook for 3 minutes then  flip and cook for 3 more minutes

Cut into quarters

Garnish with Fresh salsa and cilantro





7th Day- Couples Wellness Challenge

So, we’re a week into this monthly wellness challenge and there are definitely some things we miss, Chef and I. He misses a good old bag of Utz Potato Chips so we’re gonna make some Zucchini chips and our own potato chips today. HOORAY, I’M EXCITED!  I miss the carbonation of soda so I’m hunting for a delicious, homemade recipe.

Meanwhile, yesterday Chef outdid himself and made the most delicious spicy, chicken & vegetable burritos with black beans and his own, homemade, whole wheat multi grain chips! What a fantastic dinner!

Lunch was a good old fashioned turkey sandwich on rye amd I sure did miss the mayo so I will work on that problem!

Breakfast was a repeat from the day before as we loved it so much.

Oh, and don’t forget the drinks which were lemon water, detox water, green tea, iced coffee without added flavors and oops, we did it again, we drank a small can of soda, man! (Hence, the hunt for homemade, carbonated, drinks so we can have the fizz without the fuss)

We also learned that Dave will be profiled in cozymeal and the photo shoot is the 24th so exciting things are in store.

Stay tuned.


Ps. Feel free to comment on any recipes you’d like us to post and we surely will!








Day 4 Couples Wellness Challenge

Chef and I attended a 25th wedding anniversary party yesterday that had all of the bells and whistles. Some of the bells were a pit beef, ham, and turkey station, a dessert table, a snack table with every imaginable goodie and a table full of salads, kids favorite foods, etc. Some of the whistles were a huge cooler full of a variety of beers and wine coolers and bottled water, a table stocked full of every imaginable soda, and an open bar with drinks like a bay breeze, mohitos, margaritas, and on and on. Needless to say, today was a real challenge for Chef and I for a number of reasons; yet,  I’m happy to report we didn’t do to badly, however, we did learn a few invaluable lessons.

We started the day with smoothies made from Greek yogurt, watermelon, red raspberries and blueberries. After all, we were going to a celebration with lots of food so we’d eat there.

Chef was working at the celebration with a friend of his running the pit so I made us a pit beef and ham sandwich, sliced thin on rye with lettuce, tomato, horseradish, and mustard and we shared it.  I also had a deviled egg, and some watermelon and pineapple slices which were divine as it was an outdoor party and really humid and hot for part of the day! I was actually sweating for a while!

To round off my plate, with a choice of the oodles of desserts, I had a handful of tostidos with taco dip.  Chef had another sandwich later that evening of pit turkey and I did have a few bites.

We also drank water the entire day however, we also had that one darn, diet coke (people pray for us please, the struggle is real, hahaha) and we enjoyed a few alcoholic drinks.

Which brings us to our lessons learned. The challenge we’re doing allows for one alcoholic drink per week (as elimination of sugar is part of the challenge and alcohol contains a lot of sugar) and clearly a few isn’t one! So, we learned that when there is a huge event occurring we need to plan our drinks, not just our food.

Be on the lookout for some cool posts on a variery of fresh drinks as we now know we need to plan those too since soda and alcohol aren’t really allowed!