Monthly Archives: March 2016


A few weeks ago on Intstagram I shared that I have been making my own almond milk kefir and a few people asked me to write a post about how I make it.

I am a fan of eating probiotics because they do wonders for you gut.  A few months ago I tried adding dairy based lactose-free kefir in to my diet and to be honest it constipated me in the worst way.  Because of that I began to research dairy-free kefir alternatives and came across The Cultured Food Life blog which is a wealth of information.

I was and still am shocked at how easy it is to make kefir if you follow a few key steps and avoid using anything metal. ¬†When I first started making kefir my results were hit and miss and I couldn’t figure out why until I realized that I was either stirring the mixture with one of my metal chopsticks or using mason jars with metal lids…I later learned that using metal is a no no because the kefir culture reacts poorly to it.

In order to avoid metal lids I ordered THESE jars from The Jar Store (such good prices) and haven’t had a problem since, though I will say that pouring the kefir out of these jars can be a little messy (live and learn).

Almond Milk Kefir How to Recipe Numbered


¬†(IMAGE 1) Pour 4 cups non-dairy milk (I use almond milk) into your glass vessel along with 1 packet of freeze dried Kefir starter (like THIS one) and 1 tsp of sugar. ¬†Since we are not using dairy based milk that contains sugars, you need to add some, but don’t worry about any extra carbs because the culture will eat the sugar. ¬†Stir using a wooden or plastic spoon.

 (IMAGE 2) Place the lid on the vessel and allow it to sit on the counter for 12-24 hours until it looks like image 2.  How long it takes for the kefir to mature will depend on how warm it is, etc.  Once the kefir is done place it in the fridge.

 (IMAGE 3) This is what the kefir looks like after it has been in the fridge for a day (it thoroughly disgusts my kids!).

 (IMAGE 4) Stir-up the kefir and you are good to go.  I use it mostly in smoothies, but have also used it in my homemade protein bars.


It is really simple to make more kefir.  When you have about 1/2c of kefir remaining, add 1 tsp of sugar, 4 cups of non-dairy milk, and leave it out on the counter again.  It will take a few hours more for the kefir to cure since it started out cold from having been in the refrigerator.  I can make kefir this way 5-6 more times before starting the process all over again with a new packet of freeze dried starter.

I have used several brands of yogurt/kefir starter and they all have worked well.

I am interested in trying to make kefir with real kefir grains because once you have those you can use them indefinitely.

Happy culturing!



image above of different types of non-dairy kefir is from Cultured Food Life.

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Filed under Breakfast, Drinks, Gluten Free, Nuts, Recipes, Smoothie, Smoothie / Shake, Vegan


I came across these Paleo Chicken Taco Burgers on Pinterest and knew I had to try them.  The recipe was posted to and created by the Cheeky Kitchen. 

I made the patties for dinner last night and my daughter raved about them. ¬†She isn’t naturally drawn to protein and last night she ate 4 and I had to cut her off!

This morning when I came up from my workout she was eating the patties for breakfast! ¬†I’d say this recipe is a clear winner and will definitely be making another appearance on my table.

I didn’t prepare the recipe exactly as written. ¬†Here are the modifications I made:

  • I used 2lbs of lean ground chicken (vs. 3lbs)
  • I still used the entire packet of taco seasoning (I used THIS¬†Simply Organic Southwest Taco Seasoning)
  • I added 2 eggs and 1TBS cornstarch
  • I used 1/2 a lemon (vs. lime…I didn’t have any limes)
  • I seeded the jalapeno so it wouldn’t be so spicy
  • I used olive oil (vs. coconut oil)

Click HERE to be taken to the recipe.



Images from

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Filed under Appetizers, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Main Dish, Paleo, Recipes


Wk1 vs Wk20 Reverse Diet FitQuestmom with Stats BAbove you will see a picture comparison as well as stats comparing week 1 (November 2, 2015) versus week 20 (March 14, 2016) of my Reverse Diet.  As promised, I have documented this entire experience with the intention of demystifying the process as well as showing that it IS possible to significantly increase your daily caloric intake while maintaining virtually the same body composition.

I am eating on average over 400 calories more per day now than I was when I began this journey and I can assure you that this is a very maintainable lifestyle, whereas eating 1555 calories was much more difficult for me to get by on…I have no earthly clue how people are able to eat 1000 calories a day.

If nothing else I hope this encourages other women (and men) to EAT.

Date:  3/14/16

Height: 5’8 3/4″

Weight: 136.3 this morning (135.1lb the first week of my Reverse Diet).

I am not bothering to include my latest weight chart in this post because in all honesty I rarely weigh myself anymore, so it wouldn’t be a very good graphic. ¬†My clothes fit, I feel good, and I just don’t think about the scale that often at all.

Last Week of CUT Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1555 calories 125C / 140P / 55F

Friday 1792 calories 190C / 150P / 48F (heaviest weight lifting day)

Sunday 1562 calories 106C / 145P / 62F (rest day)

Week 18 Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1951 calories 220C / 135P / 59F

Friday 2161 calories 290C / 140P / 49F (Refeed day)

Sunday 1925 calories 200C / 135P / 65F (Rest day)

Week 20 Macros:

Monday -Thursday & Saturday 1991 calories 230C / 135P / 59F

Friday 2161 calories 290C / 140P / 49F (Refeed day) *I somehow forgot to increase 10C

Sunday 1965 calories 210C / 135P / 65F (Rest day)


Monday -Thursday & Saturday +436 calories +105C / -5P / +4F

Friday +369 calories +100C / -10P / +1F (Refeed day.  Heaviest Lifting Day)

Sunday +403 calories +116C / -10P / +3F (Rest Day)

Wk 20 Reverse Diet Fitquestmom (ab2)

Workout Plan:

I am now on week 12 of Jessie Hilgenberg’s Muscle Building program and the focus the past few weeks has been on lighter weight / higher rep.

I’m on the lookout for my next program and am considering Amber Dodzweit’s The Total Transformation Package,¬†Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body Guide, or I may just go back to planning my own workouts again with either the help of the Muscle and Strength Pyramids spearheaded by Eric Helms or Mind Pump’s MAPS Anabolic Program. ¬†I plan on taking some time off at the end of this week and will figure out my next fitness move. ¬†

I enjoy mixing it up and setting new goals for myself.  My FitQuest Team and I have a pull-up challenge going on right now thanks to one of my clients and I am joining in on the goal of working toward 5 unassisted pull-ups.  I am happy to report that last week was the first week since my bout with Rhabdo that I have not had ANY Rhabdo symptoms in my arms!!!  I am convinced that the hyperthermic conditioning (using my far infrared sauna) 3 times a week is helping, so I will be continuing that.


Bottom line is that I am thrilled I Reverse Dieted for the past 5 months. ¬†It isn’t an easy process because there are times when you get really hungry as your metabolism increases and have to restrain yourself from going over your macros, but the restraint is so very worth it in the end.

I am going to continue my Reverse Diet, but will no longer be documenting it on the blog.  I plan to focus on increasing my fats a bit more because I really enjoy good healthy fats and would like to see mine higher than they are right now.  I do not have a timeline as to how much longer I will Reverse Diet, rather I plan on continuing until I am completely satisfied with my macros.

This is an on-going process and could change depending upon the type of training I do (I may get into some racing or I may not….time will tell) or if my physique goals change.

Thanks for coming along on the journey.

If you are interested in my help with Reverse Dieting or any of your nutrition needs, click HERE for more information on my programs.



Click HERE to see the weekly logs of my 8 Weeks to 40 Cut

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 1 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 2 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 3 & 4 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 5 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 6 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 7 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Week 8 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Weeks 9 & 10 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Weeks 11 & 12 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Weeks 13 & 14 of my Reverse Diet

Click HERE to see the recap of Weeks 15-17 of my Reverse Diet


Filed under Education, Exercise, IIFYM and Macros, Nutrition, Reverse Dieting, Weight Issues, Weight Lifting