Wants, Wishes and Weight

by Sara on June 14, 2012

I WISH I’d discovered sweet potato nachos years ago.

The thought of eating yet another peanut butter-topped sweet potato and plain chicken breast for lunch wasn’t doing much for me on Tuesday. Don’t get me wrong, I adore both peanut butter and sweet potatoes, but I adore them just a little too much. This week I realized I’ve reached my overdose point. 😉

And that’s just how sweet potato nachos were born.

Sweet potato nachos are the yuppie’s answer to queso and corn chips. 😉

They bring together some of the best foods on earth (in my opinion): guacamole, salsa,roasted chicken, goat cheese, black beans, and sweet potatoes, of course.

Food boredom: gone!

I WANT the fitness motivation of this 75-year-old.


Ernestine Shepherd wakes up at 3am every morning to run and lift weights! This year she earned the Guinness World Record title of Oldest Female Bodybuilder.


If that’s not inspiring (and slightly guilt-inducing), I’m not sure what is! :)

I WISH that somehow, someway this hot chocolate could be clasified as “clean eating.”

The recipes in Peanut Butter and Co.’s cookbook are soooo seductive.

But, really. How bad can peanut butter (healthy fats!), chocolate (antioxidants!) and cream (calcium?) really be? 😉

Whatever. This cup of cocoa is going to be made.

I WANT to run away to Italy right now and join this culinary bike tour.

Imagine biking through Tuscany! Heaven!

Food and fitness wrapped into one incredible vacation? My bags are packed! :)

I’m  in the process of creating a fitness adventure bucket list. Maybe I need a culinary one too?

I WISH this milk could make an unnoticeable healthy stand-in for the cream called for in the aforementioned peanut butter hot chocolate.

Dream Blends Almond Cashew Hazelnut milk is a product I’ve been searching for, and finally found, in Whole Foods last weekend. The verdict: I like it better than unsweetened Almond Breeze, but not quite as much as unsweetened Silk almond milk. It’s pretty creamy, but obviously not as creamy as cream!

 I WANT recommendations for great restaurants and fun things to do in Boston! I snagged a ticket to the Healthy Living Summit Tuesday night, which means I’m now officially headed to Beantown in August!

If you’re from the area, know of any awesome restaurants there, or have a ticket too, let me know!

I WISH I could find these new egg white frittatas at Whole Foods.


When I’m not cooking at home, there’s a 99% chance I’m eating out of a brown salad box from Whole Foods. However, like peanut butter-topped sweet potatoes, you can only eat so much salad bar. These veggie and cheese-packed frittatas sound like a fantastic (and cheap!) alternative.

I WANT to update you!

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about my training program, so it’s time to fill you guys in. When I started working with Tara nine weeks ago, I had one lofty goal: to gain 10 pounds of (mostly) muscle. At the time, I realized that insane amounts of cardio were seriously compromising my efforts to gain. In fact, coupling 6-7 days of running or ellipticizing with strength training was resulting in unintentional muscle loss. I was over-training and had to change something.

I knew what I needed to do, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. When it comes to fitness, the more is better mentality is one I’ve embraced with gusto for years. The realization that I was off-base—that my body truly did need rest—was hard to accept.

I finally did accept it though, and took a HUGE leap of faith. I cut out cardio for several weeks and reset my body. I reset my approach to exercise. I kicked my addiction to the curb.

It was one of the toughest decisions I’ve made, but surprisingly, I realized that I was completely okay without long sweaty gym sessions. I’d anticipated feeling antsy, but actually the opposite happened: I was more relaxed; more able to enjoy the day without feeling as though I needed to constantly be moving.

Of course, I didn’t become completely sedentary. Heck to the no! In place of the cardio, Tara designed a pretty kick ass 5-day split weight lifting regimen. To say it’s hardcore is definitely an understatement (I lift heavy!), but her program has brought big results. I’ve packed on over 5 pounds of muscle over the past 8 weeks. :)

A year ago this would have terrified me, but this time around I’m really embracing the change. I feel stronger than I’ve ever felt in my life. I’m not just talking about physical strength though; the progress on the outside is reflective of the more important changes on the inside. I can now confidently say that I truly accept, embrace and love my body, imperfections and all.



 If you want to make a change in your life, don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. The desire has been placed on your heart for a reason! 

We have one life; don’t let anything hold you back. <3

Questions for you:

What are you wanting and wishing for today?

What’s on your adventure bucket list? Culinary bucket list?

Tell me something you love about your body!







  • http://www.juliegolean.com/ julie

    so EXCIITINGGG!! tara totally knows what shes doing!! i’m so jeal you’re going to HLS! I wanted to go but i have a wedding that weekend :( :( I’m actually thiiiinking about going to fitbloggin! its expensive though :( :( we need to get together xoxox so you cna make me those sweeet tater nachos!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I’ll make you sweet potato nachos any day, girlfran!! Come visit me in DC!! When/where is fitbloggin? <3

  • http://cleanfoodcreativefitness.com/ Danielle

    I’m go to HLS too!!!! So excited to meet everyone! Those sweet potatoes look amazing! I will definitely be trying that soon! And good for you for making some major changes. I had to “step away” from the cardio a while ago and I have never looked back. Once I started CrossFit I haven’t stepped on an elliptical in 2 years and I am 100% okay with it! Who would’ve thought?!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I’m so excited I’ll get to meet you at HLS! CrossFit is on my bucket list for next year; I’ve heard such good things (and the results speak for themselves!). It’s amazing how much more satisfying strength training is than cardio, isn’t it? You get that instant high with cardio, but when you see progress from lifting, it’s something you can feel good about all the time. :)

  • http://onehealthymunchkin.blogspot.com/ Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin

    I have so much to say to this post!

    1. Those sweet potato nachos are genius! I’m definitely making those soon!

    2. That culinary bike tour in Italy sounds like my dream vacation! Let’s go?! 😉

    3. Congrats on the awesome results you’ve achieved from weight lifting! Changing your routine like that takes such courage and dedication. You’re so inspiring hun!

    4. I’m going to HLS too!!!! I can’t wait to meet you! :)

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I’m ready to fly to Italy whenever you are! 😉 Maybe we can jet out from Boston, after HLS? Can’t wait to meet you too! <3

  • http://twitter.com/AfterDin Caroline

    I love sweet potato in Mexican food. I feel like it’s one of those things that you never think to do and when you do, you fall in love! Way to go on all that muscle! That’s amazing! Wish I were going to HLS – stupid grad school!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Yeah, sweet potatoes in Mexican food haven’t gone mainstream yet, but I bet they will soon! The sweet/savory combination is so good!

      I’m really bummed you won’t be at HLS! You should seriously come to DC before you head back to Texas!

  • Gothextramileblog

    Holy moly, I need to make those sweet potato nachos! I am DYING to go to HLS!!!! and congrats with your muscle gain! You are amazing!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Thanks, girl! You definitely should go to HLS!! I want to meet you! <3

  • http://www.myfoodnfitnessdiaries.com/ Ash @ My FNF Diaries

    oh my, i need to try out those sweet potato nachos PRONTO! and i’m SO proud of you with your fitness/muscle weight gain efforts! you look awesome girl! xoxo

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Thanks, Ash! Let me know if you try the sweet potato nachos! They’re easy to make, and pretty tasty. 😉

  • Daniella Piccirilli

    In Boston you need to go to Pizzeria Regina in the North End for the best pizza. It is a hole in the wall but has by far the best pizza around.

  • Daniella Piccirilli

    In Boston you need to go to Pizzeria Regina in the North End for the best pizza. It is a hole in the wall but has by far the best pizza around.

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Thanks so much for the recommendation, Daniella! I’ll definitely check out Pizzeria Regina! Hole in the walls always have the best food. 😉

  • http://www.hungrymeetshealthy.com/ Christina

    Congrats on the muscles baby!!!!! You’re looking great. You always have a glow though! :) Sweet potato nachos? GENIUS!! xoxoox

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Thanks, doll! Did you make a decision about HLS?! <3

  • http://freckledlifter.wordpress.com/ Alexandra

    That 75 year old lady is one of my HUGEST inspirations, I love her!!! I saw her on the news a few years ago and was like, “dang when I’m that old, I wanna be buff and healthy like that” haha!
    When I saw your sweet tater nachos on instagram, I almost died drooling– you are a culinary GENIUS my friend!!! :)
    And HUGE HOORAY on your muscle gain, love!! All of your hard work is really paying off, you should be so so so so proud! Love ya pretty lady and hope you have a gorgeous day! <3

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Thanks so much, love!! Your positive comments always warm my heart! <3 I think you'll love the sweet potato nachos—they're even Paleo-friendly (without the black beans)! xoxo

  • http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/ Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    Aww Sara <3 I'm so happy to read this! You have progressed a lot over these past nine weeks, both physically and mentally. I love watching your journey, and I'm so proud of you for how far you've come!

    I can only hope I'm that fit when I'm 75! As for the hot chocolate, it would be perfectly acceptable without the 1/2 cup of sugar. I actually have hot chocolates three times a week or so, made with almond milk. Yum!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Thanks, Tara!! I know I’ve told you a million times, but you’re amazing. I couldn’t have done any of this without your guidance and support! <3

      I'm a hot chocolate lover too. I used to buy the diet hot chocolate packets (when I lived in London, I discovered Cadbury's version and brought back 5 boxes to the States, haha), but I think it's time to start making my own. :)

      • http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/ Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

        LOL! I was devastated when I got to London and found out that Cadbury’s wasn’t, as I had thought, an Australian brand. That happens to me with a lot of things haha it’s about a third of the price here so I can’t really complain too much, although it’s not like I eat it very often anyway!

  • Miranda

    I AM MAKING THESE NACHOS TONIGHT!!! Did you bake the sweet potatoes first!?
    <3 Miranda, mirawink on instagram :)

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I hope you loved them!! Yes, I baked the sweet potato and then sliced it. Easy peasy! You could also slice it, and then bake it–either way works! <3

  • Christina Molinski

    of course the first summer i’m no where near boston they have the healthy living summit there! ah oh well. have a fun time! I wish I could tell you a good place to go out to eat but honestly I didn’t go out for dinner very much while I was there – not to any places that stuck out as amazing at least.

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Oh, bummer!! Where are you living now? <3

  • http://redvelvetlife.com/ Kristen

    Congrats, Sara! So proud of you for identifying your goal and achieving it! I recently achieved a personal goal as well … it feels amazing!! And I totes need to try those sweet potato nachos…very creative!! :)

    Something I’m wishing for . . . I’m seriously craving carrot cake! Not just any carrot cake — it has to be AMAZING! Might have to track some down this weekend! My adventure bucket list is pretty long, so I’ll spare you the deets on that! And I love my eyes :)

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Congrats to you for achieving your goal too, Kristen! I’m toasting you! 😉

      Carrot cake is one of God’s greatest gifts to the culinary world. I bet there are plenty of amazing bakeries in LA that will be able to satisfy your craving quite nicely. 😀

      And I completely agree–your eyes ARE beautiful! <3

  • janetha [meals & moves]

    I wish we were gonna hang out sometime this year. ANd I want those SP nachos. :)

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Umm, I want to hang out with you too! I’m going to be in Boise from July 6th-August 17th…Maybe I’ll pop down to SLC for a weekend!

  • http://lisalately.com/ Lisa

    What a great idea for sweet potato nachos!! Love that. I can easily overdose on those two foods as well! Holy moly, she looks absolutely incredible for 75 years old! Amazing. Haha, totally agree with that hot chocolate. If only that was clean eating. Whatever, we all deserve a lovely treat once in a while! :) I am SOOOOO excited to meet you!!! Seriously! I can’t wait! I am so so incredible happy for you that you kicked out that nasty cardio addiction. Its something I’m working on right now! I love that you are feeling more relaxed and feel better over all! Yay, you are inspiring me with your changes! I still have to e-mail you!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I love you, Lisa! <3 I can't believe I'll be able to give you a big hug in just two months! Eee! Thanks for your support, girl, it means so much. And please email me any time!! <3

  • http://thisitalianfamily.wordpress.com/ Rach

    Peanut butter hot chocolate?! Are you kidding me? Amazing! Also, sweet potato nachos is a brilliant idea! And I would love to be in Italy right now…

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I know, right?! The folks at PB & Co. are pretty genius. 😉 I’m ready to fly to Italy when you are!

  • http://theladyslife.wordpress.com/ Angela

    Those sweet potatoes are pretty much genius!!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Thanks, girl! They’re pretty tasty!

  • http://annasadventuresinhealth.com/ Anna

    Those sweet potato nachos look so good! Congrats on gaining that muscle girl!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Thanks, Anna! <3

  • http://www.cottercrunch.com lindsay cotter

    i tried that milk to. It’s good! but almond breeze is still my favorite. and yea for 5lbs! i just put on 12lbs so i totally can relate. scary feeling but good!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I wish I could clink glasses with you and celebrate together! Congrats, Lindsay!! Gaining weight is a bit scary, but the satisfaction of reaching a goal beats fear any day!

  • Meg Doll

    This is an amazing post sis. I am in tears and just so proud of you. To be honest, I have been emailing Tara telling her how amazing you look. Your results are just amazing. I am so proud of you. Please give yourself a HUGE hug from ME! xoxoxo

    I have so much to say about this post, but most of all I am just so proud of you! I just cannot express that enough!

    Also, sweet potato nachos? Not only are you a heavy lifting hottie, but you’re also a genius 😉

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I love you so much, sis!! You’ve been such an inspiration to me, and your support through tweets and emails has made a huge difference! I can’t wait to give you a HUGE hug in person!! <3 xoxo

  • amy

    yay congrats on gaining some muscle!! you look great and im sure feel good as well which is so important. congrats girl!

  • Sally

    Whoa…sweet potato nachos! You come up with some amazingly good ideas!! I love the quotes at the end of this post…so inspiring! Bravo girl!! xoxo

  • http://peacelovenutrition.wordpress.com/category/quotespoems/ Jocelyn @ Peace Love Nutrition

    I’m going to HLS also!! Can’t wait this is my first time : )

    And those sweet potato nachos are genius!!!! GENIUS- they are going to be my new favorite snack

  • http://livingchel.com/ Chelsa

    Those nachos look so good. I have to make them! I wish that I could eat tons of bread and butter at restaurants and not get a stomach ache. I can’t wait to see your fitness bucket list, even though it’ll probably make me feel like an unmotivated lazy ass haha.

    Congrats on gaining that muscle. Now you just have to take a beach vacation to show it off :-) Have a great weekend!!

  • http://caffeinatedrunner.wordpress.com/ Kailey

    5 pounds of muscle – that is AMAZING!! I’ll admit I am a cardio queen and get ancy if I don’t get my run in…thats something I am really trying to work on but its good to hear that taking some time off really benefited you in the long run!

    P.S – I am dying to try those egg white frittatas too!

  • Linnae Nelson

    Congratulations on your new fitness program and easing up on the cardio….sounds like you are having nice results. Good work!

  • http://twitter.com/LiveLearnEat Live Learn Eat

    Yay you! Congrats on the strength and muscle gain! You’ve inspired me :)


  • Carly Damman

    Reading your blog has inspired me. I’ve struggled with the same problems as a college student. I’ve become an avid runner and I want to gain muscle but am struggling to cut cardio from my workout. Reading your story has helped me realize that cutting cardio can be good for my body.

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