What’s Inside: Cracked Pepper Encrusted Sirloin Topped with Blue Cheese, Paired with Garlicky Cauliflower Saute

Beef and I have had a complicated relationship. Most days, it’s just not for me. But every once in awhile, I physically crave it. But even when I do- I lean more towards a lean, juicy burger than a large piece of steak.

The other night, the hubs picked up some delicious looking grass fed sirloin steaks from Whole Foods. I was stumped. I am more of a slap it on the grill beef girl and it was snowing out. Instead, I decided to improvise off a couple recipes I’d seen on Pinterest.

The result:


What’s Inside: Cracked Pepper Encrusted Sirloin Topped with Blue Cheese, Paired with Garlicky Cauliflower Saute


    • 2 grass fed beef sirloin steaks
    • whole black pepper
    • sea salt
    • Grapeseed Oil


Using a mortar and pestle crush a couple teaspoons of whole black peppercorns. The amount will vary based on the size of your steak. I would suggest not going to heavy on this, a little goes a long way. Once crushed, mix in a dash of sea salt. Rub this mix all over the steaks and set them aside. I then got moving on the cauliflower but for the sake of easy reading- here is how I finished the steaks:

Heat a teaspoon of grapeseed oil in a large pan- use just enough to keep the steaks from burning, but not enough to coat them. I pan seared them to 135-140 degrees because I like thinks about medium rare, but cook to your desired finish. Then, top each steak with a tablespoon of crumbled goat cheese. Voila.


What’s Inside: Garlicky (did I make this word up?) Cauliflower


      • One head of cauliflower
      • Half of one onion
      • 4 cloves of garlic
      • Macadamia nut oil
      • salt and pepper

Mince the garlic and chop the onion into thin slices and set aside. Then clean and chop the cauliflower into small florets. In a medium pot, bring a small amount of water to boil and then place the cauliflower in for a couple of minutes, until it just starts to become tender. Then, drain the cauliflower and set it aside. In a large saucepan, heat up about 2 teaspoons of the Macadamia nut oil and then sautee the garlic for a minute or so until it became fragrant, then add in the onions. Sautee them for about 4-5 minutes. You want them to be well cooked, but not quite to the point of caramelizing. Then add in the cauliflower and let the flavors cook together for another few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and you are done.

As long as you are using lean beef, this is overall a healthy meal. Of course with beef, oil and cheese, it is higher in calorie than some of my usual dinners but it is a nice change from lean chickens and fish! Enjoy!



Rocking out with POUND

Holy Crap.

There are really no other words to describe POUND Rockout Workout. I tried a class this past weekend with the wonderful Ando from Mind Body Barre at Barre N9ne in Danvers. It’s been two days and I can still feel the workout my body got drumming to the music. My thighs are screaming, my shoulders are aching- and it feels amazing.

The class uses weighted drumsticks to work your arms, legs, and core to a pounding rhythym. I have always loved music. For me, the best workouts are the ones I can count along to the music to. When beats are off, it drives me crazy. So basically, POUND is perfect for me. I loved how each set was timed along to a song. It was fantastic.

Take a look at this craziness.

POUND Rockout Workout

I NEED to do this again.

What’s Inside: Pesto Pulled Chicken Flatbread

Who says you can’t eat healthy and still eat deliciously.

Behold my dinner a few nights ago. Pesto chicken pizza with fresh
mozzarella and pecorino Romano cheese. Delicious. Proof positive you can still enjoy comfort food and eat healthy. This meal came in around 380 calories and consisted of fresh ingredients.


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Has anyone seen my toddler?

I may be home sick with some vague flu-like mystery illness (it cannot be the flu, I got my flu shot dammit! Grr), but I’ve been smiling all day.

Why? Because today I officially lost myself a toddler. No it’s not the cold medicine talking….

Even though I am not supposed to weigh-in during my Barre challenge, I got curious this morning (the scale called to me, blame it). I was brushing my teeth and there it sat on the floor, all sleek and shiny and lonely. I figured stepping on quickly was harmless. No one would know. Only I could tell, right??

Welp- now it’s out there. I weighed in. And guess what? Today I am officially 30 pounds less than I was on January 5, 2010, the day I officially started losing weight for my wedding.

BAM. 30. Pounds.


Yes, this photo is from 2009 and I talk about losing 30 from Jan 2010. I cannot seem to find a photo from Jan 2010. However, I know that between the Florida trip (above) and when I started my weight loss journey, i only gained. Probably around 2-5 pounds. So the photo is mostly accurate 🙂

A Spot of Tea

When did tea sets go out of style? I had play ones as a kid (at least I have a vague memory of this. Maybe I imagined it?), but as an adult, if you have one you are “that girl in the office with the weird tea fettish.”

I have a tea set at work and yes, it is shaped like a cat.. In my defense, I did not buy it for myself. But less in my defense, I kind of adore it. We had a Secret Santa and my awesome SS knew I loved tea and I kinda/sorta enjoyed cats (understatement). With those two facts in hands- she found this bit of awesomeness:


You can bet your pants I use it often. As if I wasn’t strange enough for brewing loose leaf tea at work all the time, I’ve become even weirder by now drinking it not out of the typical office travel tumbler, but out of a real tea cup with a saucer. You can all blame the hubs for that one.

So since it’s only 10 degrees out, I am going to embrace the weirdness and settle back to do my work with a little spot of tea..


Raising the Barre

I mean.. what could really happen in 30 days? In 60 days even?

Apparently a lot when you work really hard.

Like I said before, I may have lost the extra weight but even as late as last summer, I still wasn’t feeling healthy or strong. Then in September, I stumbled across an amazing fitness method- Barre. My office was offering classes one day a week in house, after work, with the incredibly talented owner of Mind Body Barre.

Within a class or two, I knew I had hit gold for me. This program worked for me, not because it was working my body, but because it was challenging it! The more I challenged my body, the more I challenged my mind. It was an odd realization- for me, peace of mind, release of stress, came through pouring sweat once a week in my office’s cafeteria. I needed more. Stat.

Because I work so far from home, I needed to find more classes closer to home. And I really lucked out. My wonderful instructor from Mind Body Barre was great friends with the owner of a similar studio just 15 minutes from my house. Within a week or two, I was up to 2-3 classes a week between work and home.

Starting on December 1, I decided to up the ante, not to lose weight or tone, but to see simply if I could do it. I signed up for a 60 day challenge- 4 classes a week for 60 days at the amazing Barre N9ne Studio. In addition to classes, we were challenged to try and get in 10,000 steps a day and to watch our calories. This part scared me. I was sure this meant I would be starving and on some crazy diet. To my surprise, the calorie count I was given led to me eating more every day! I was thrilled!

Of course, this has been a lot of work, but it hasn’t been stressful, or boring, or taxing. Instead it has been rejuvenating, exciting, and massively effective. It has caused me to stop stressing about what I eat, but instead enjoy myself and my food again. I find myself wanting to make healthier choices because the more healthy choices I make, the better I feel. My acid reflux and stomach issues? Nearly gone. My old stress induced insomnia? Going away. My inability to relax? Fading.

In 30 days… I dropped 4.4 pounds, 7.5 inches… and years of body stress.

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I have to stress this next point: The peace has not come because of the scale or tape measure. The peace came when I realized that I could do it. I could push myself. I could run 2 miles without giving up. I could drop and give you 10 (not 20 yet) without falling over.

I. Can. Do. It.

Because I want to.

It’s an incredibly empowering feeling.

Beginning at the Beginning.. How I started down the rabbit hole to health.

I am a procrastinator. Plain and Simple.

Just over 35 days ago I started an incredible experience and swore I would blog about it. Well, I missed the mark a tad, but better late than never right?

Most of my life I’ve been a yo-yo dieter. Weight watchers, South Beach, P90x, and countless other names rolled off my lips in an obsessive manner for a few weeks at a time- sometimes a few months- before I gave up. I would give it my best shot and often lose a lot of weight, before I rolled back in to my old bad habits. Typical story for many people.

Now I am only 5′ and I’ve never been incredibly heavy by most people’s standards. However at my highest weight, which I hit in 2010, I was overweight for my height by about 25-30 pounds.



I was engaged at the time and knew I wanted to get the weight off. A combination of weight watchers and working with a personal trainer helped me get about 20 of those pounds off.


And I kept most of it off until now. But about a year ago, I decided it was time to get the rest off. I got myself a fitbit (more about that in another post) and started counting my calories. And I loved this method. It allowed me to really eat what I wanted, when I wanted, with just more awareness of what I was eating.

But losing weight doesn’t make you healthy. That part of my journey only came along a few months ago, when I signed up for a Barre class after hours at work. The first class felt like a puzzle piece clicking in to place. I had never felt my own body work that way. For me, Barre was the perfect combination- a physical and mental challenge with a physical and mental release.

From that class, I started taking more and more close to home. And on December 1st, I signed up for a 60 day challenge…….

Since starting Barre in September, I am stronger and leaner than I’ve ever been. I can do a real push-up and I can finally hold my planks. But even more exciting than the physical challenges are the mental.

I am centered, I am happy and I am enjoying food again. That’s right- I am eating more, losing more, and gaining more muscle.

This blog will hopefully serve as my record of this change……. Project Happier, Healthier Stephanie is underway.