Tina’s Cardiometabolic Protein Smoothie, and a Sale!

DSCN9310-2It’s the time of year where you want something quick, refreshing and satisfying. I combined dark cherries with Fit Food Complete and coconut milk with a added boost of quercetin to help with seasonal allergies. Why call it Cardiometabolic? It has the perfect balance of protein, carbohydrate and fat along with fiber to help stabilize the blood sugar and to make it heart healthy!

Quercetin became a popular and widely used remedy for sinus congestion, sneezing, and the pollen season. I have been using it daily and so far sneezing, nasal congestion and headaches have been low!

For the next two weeks (April 23rd-May 6th) we will be offering 10% off of Fit Food Complete. When you come into the office or call please mention it and we will gladly apply the discount!


1 cup fresh spinach

2 scoops Fit Food Complete

1/2  cup unsweetened coconut milk

1/4 tsp. Quercetin (I use Designs for Health)

12 frozen cherries

Add coconut milk with 1/2 cup water to your blender. Add 1 cup fresh spinach and the quercetin and blend on high. Add protein powder and cherries and blend until you have a creamy smoothie.



Chicken Chinese Cabbage Fajatas with Black Bean Toasted Pumpkin Seed Salsa

This dish is full of color and flavor and is super easy. It is packed with fiber, antioxidant nutrients as well as protein and low glycemic index carbohydrates.
You can use the salsa on any salad or just for a dip!
 3 (4 oz.) chicken breast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot chopped
1 teaspoon roasted garlic (I use Penzey’s)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon coriander
ground black pepper
1 lime
1 blood orange
1 head of savoy cabbage to use for wraps
Add a chicken breast to a glass pan along with 1 tablespoon olive oil, shallot, roasted garlic, turmeric, coriander, black pepper, juice of 1 lime and juice of 1 blood orange. Allow to marinade for at least 1 hour in refrigerator. Heat a pan over low heat, add olive oil and add chicken and cook until cooked through.
Black Bean Salsa:
1 can black beans drained
2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
1 red pepper chopped
1 orange pepper chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
6 sprigs of cilantro chopped
1/4 serrena pepper chopped
1 lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pepper to taste
1 avocado
Toast pumpkin seeds in 1 tsp. coconut oil.
Place black beans, peppers, garlic in a bowl. Add dressing. Add cilantro and mix. Top with toasted pumpkin seeds.
Place a few pieces of chicken in one of the cabbage leafs and top with black bean salsa!

My Manakin Market Cooking Demo and Giveaway

This Saturday, May 18th, Tina and Stephanie will be at My Manakin Market in Manakin-Sabot from 10am to noon!  Today is actually Food Revolution Day (be sure to click the link and learn more about that!), so tomorrow we’ll be celebrating with our friend and client Lisa Dearden with a cooking demo at the market.

RVA Rev!

Lisa wrote the following on her blog:

“In honor of RVA Food Revolution Day, we are pleased to have Tina Shiver, MS of Lighten Up provide us with a chef’s demo!  Tina will be mixing quinoa (pronounced [“keen-wah”]), an ancient grain, with fresh veggies from the market to create a beautiful, healthy and easy-to-prepare dish.  […]  ChiknEGG’s Lisa Dearden has been working with Tina for years and has seen significant health changes due to the individual guidance and advice she has received using Tina’s unique functional food approach.”

There you have it!  We’ll be giving away samples of our tasty dish, you can talk to Tina and even win a free dietary consult.  The recipe made at the market will be posted for all you long-distance readers on Monday.  We look forward to seeing you Richmonders there!

Happy Food Revolution Day!

For more information on Lisa Dearden and ChicknEGG Productions, click here.

Fore more information on My Manakin Market, click here.

Cranberry Orange Zest Salad

We’ve noticed here at Lighten Up that Spring seems to be our busiest season.  Whether the motivation is to increase training over the summer or to look good in a bikini, we don’t know- or care!  We’re just glad to have clients who are excited about getting healthy, whatever their reasons.

However, this yearly influx of new clients leaves us staring at each other at the end of the day wondering where the time has gone.  Many of our clients seem to be suffering from the same experience.  Has Spring always been this busy?

It’s more important during busy times than any other to keep energy high, maintain focus, and take care of yourself.  Don’t skip lunch, and make sure you’re eating foods that are nourishing.  Today we have the perfect “recipe” for on-the-go lunches: Cranberry Orange Zest Salad!  Prepare it in the morning, store it in the office fridge and bring it out for a quick energy-boosting lunch.

The walnuts in this salad are full of omega-3 fatty acid, and veggies are always a good source of antioxidants.  Beets provide iron, folate, vitamin C and a rich source of a phytochemical compound called glycine betaine (which can help with lowering homocysteine levels in the blood).  The root of the beet, too, is a rich source of b-complex vitamins- niacin (B-3), pantothenic acid (B-5), pyridoxine (B-6)- and minerals such as iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium.  And don’t forget that salads have a healthy dose of fiber, too.

Zest Salad


1 cup arugula
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/4 cucumber, sliced
1 radish, chopped
1 fresh beet (cooked in boiling water until soft, then peeled and chopped)
8 walnuts halves
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1/2 teaspoon dried orange zest (I use Penzey’s)
1/8 teaspoon Szechuan salt
fresh ground peppercorns, to taste

Mix together in a bowl and add some reduced balsamic vinegar to taste with two teaspoons olive oil.


Tina often brings this salad in for lunch and adds fresh salmon from the previous night’s dinner, or a can of Wild Planet Tuna, which is aluminum free.  If you’re vegan, add black beans instead.  Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Tortilla Pizza

Living with food allergies/intolerances is hard.  Restricted diets can sometimes make it difficult to feel as though you have a normal life.  There are those who choose to live healthier lifestyles, and then there are those who have found out about a medical condition that requires them to change their eating habits drastically.  Suddenly needing to bring your own food to social events surrounding eating is a strange adjustment to make, and while those who love you won’t mind, it’s still discouraging to have to make those preparations.

Fortunately, there’s becoming an increased awareness of the variety of dietary needs among restaurant-goers.  We now see more establishments offering gluten-free options.  Servers are no longer surprised when you ask for dairy-free adjustments to menu items.  Still, those of us who live with restricted diets want to have it become second-nature, something we don’t have to think or worry about any more.

There are options, and lots of them.  Once you learn which kind of gluten-free pasta alternative you like best, you suddenly find yourself developing new favorite recipes around that.  You start to pick up your favorite kind of almond milk without thinking twice.  You reach for different sorts of produce and try new things.

Here is one of those recipes that will become a family favorite.  It’s important that we allow ourselves to enjoy treats of old, while adjusting them to our nutritional needs.  No one wants to give up pizza.  So, today we have a FODMAP-friendly gluten-free tortilla pizza that will nourish your body and relieve your desire for your old ways!



1 Rudi’s tortilla
1 tablespoon tomato paste or 1 tablespoon pesto or 1 tablespoon cashew cream
2 cups Baby kale, spinach, bok choy chopped
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh chives
1 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese (Organic Valley)
Sliced sweet red pepper

Place tortilla on a baking sheet.  Spread either the tomato paste, pesto or cashew butter on the tortilla.

Saute the vegetables in the olive oil.  Place the vegetables on top of the sauce.  Add grated cheese or nutritional yeast to the top of the vegetables.  Place under broiler and toast until the tortilla is golden-brown.

Slice it up and enjoy!

Garlicky Cannellini Bean Chicken Soup

Continuing with our cold-and-flu-season theme, the recipe for today is a comforting and flavorful soup for when you’re feeling under the weather (or really for any time!).  This recipe can be adjusted easily for a vegan diet, and is just what you’ll want on that inevitable sick-day from work.  Start this recipe the night before, and you’ll be ready to cuddle up with this, a blanket, slippers and your favorite movie in no time.

Garlicky Cannellini Bean Chicken Soup

2 cups dried cannellini beans (soak overnight)
32 oz. container of chicken stock
2 cups chopped chicken (can omit if you want to make this vegan)
4 stalks celery, sliced very thin
4 carrots, sliced very thin
1 large red onion sliced thin and then chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. marjoram
1 tsp. oregano
Salt and pepper to taste (I use smoked salt)
4 cups chopped kale

Soak beans overnight.  In the morning, add beans to a crockpot with enough water to cover and cook on low all day.


Over medium heat, add oil to a soup pot and heat, then add garlic.  Cook until toasted.  Add onion, celery, carrot, thyme, marjoram and oregano.  Allow the onions to become translucent.  Add the kale and sauté until kale is cooked through.

Add chicken or vegetable broth (I prefer Trader Joe’s Organic Vegetable Broth), beans and chicken.  Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Add more spices according to taste.

ImageImageFill a bowl and get comfy!


Serves:            8
Serving Size:  1 ½ cups
Protein:          12 grams
Fiber:              8 grams