Healthy Taco Soup

Robust Recipe: Healthy Taco Soup!

It’s that time of year for football, hockey, and basketball parties. Taco soup is a easy and tasty meal to serve that’s sure to please all of your guests no matter what team wins or loses. Being high in protein, fiber, iron, and vitamin C, it will leave you feeling satisfied. It also freezes nicely so if you have left-overs you can save some for a lazy day.



My lovely friend Jenna made this Healthy Taco Soup ! She made it look absolutely delicious with avocado for a topping!!
Thanks for the pic JT!


1) 1lb lean ground turkey (93% or 95%)

2) 1-2 can(s) black beans, low sodium

3) 1-2 can(s) pinto beans, low sodium

4) 1 bag frozen corn (16oz)

5) 2 fresh tomatoes (optional)

6) 20 oz Pace Picante sauce or 20 oz salsa (mild, medium or spicy)

7) 1-2 green. yellow or red pepper(s), chopped up

8) 1-2 can(s) Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chili’s) (mild, original or spicy)

9) Small onion, chopped

10) Preferably homemade taco seasoning ( 1 tbs chili powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp red crushed pepper, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp black pepper). You can use taco seasoning packet as well however it tastes WAY better and, not to mention, MUCH healthier when you make your own.

11) Whole grain tortilla chips

12) Light sour cream

13) Colby jack cheese, shredded

14) Black olives (optional)

15) Avocado, sliced (optional)



1) Cook ground turkey using non-stick pan or cooking spray


2) Add cooked ground turkey and all other ingredients, add liquid from the canned beans-do not drain. (except chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, black olives, avocado) in crock pot on low and cook for 2-6 hours. You can also use a soup kettle over the stove, simmer for 2-3 hours.


3) Serve topped with light sour cream, whole grain tortilla chips, shredded cheese, avocado and black olives.

Share and Enjoy!

Let’s Be Robust!

Here is Justin (the bearded one) and our friend Josh enjoying their helping of Healthy Taco Soup over football! Boys, really love this soup 😉

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Tips For Getting Up To Workout

Robust Fitness Tip: Getting Out of Bed

I often plan to get up before work to get my activity in before the day begins… However, I’d guess that happens about 50% of the time. That snooze button or my heavy eyes take over a lot of my willpower that I thought I was going to have the night before. Although, I’ve noticed that my success rate increases when I do a few simple things before I go to bed the night before… Hopefully you can take some of these suggestions and make them you’re own if you so aspire to start your day off with a morning calorie burn.

1) The night before, set your workout clothes next to your bed. This way when you wake up you can just lean over your bed and start getting dressed. I usually make sure to have a sweatshirt just in case the house is a little chilly and a hair binder to throw my hair back. Another idea is to sleep in your clothes if that’s comfortable for you.

2) Set your alarm for 15 minutes before you want to workout. This gives you time to dress, brush your teeth, drink some water, drive to the gym or leave for a jog outside.
3) Go to bed earlier than you normally would. More sleep = easier to get up in the AM… I’ve started to set a “go to bed” alarm on my phone, it helps me at least start thinking about wrapping whatever evening activity I am caught up in, to start getting ready for bed.

4) Assess your week. If you know you have plans after work a couple days that week, plan to workout before work on those days. Knowing my weekly schedule gives me more motivation to get up and get my workout in if I know it will be difficult that week.
5) Check the weather. If it’s weather you’re comfortable with, plan on doing your workout outside instead of taking the time to go to the gym. This allows for a little bit longer time in bed. 🙂
6) Don’t press the snooze! Snooze makes it so much easier to stay in bed and a lot more difficult to reward yourself with healthy activity.
7) Set your thermostat to start warming up the house about 10-15 minutes before you want to get up. This way it’s not freezing and you’re not tempted to stay cuddled up in your warm comforter.
8) If you share a bed with someone, let your significant other know you’d like to get up early and workout. They might want to join and/or may make it less difficult for you to get out of bed!

Good luck! I’d love to hear other ideas you have for starting your day off with some movement!

Here’s to happy AM activity!!!

Let’s Be Robust!

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Crock Pot Apple Honey Pork Tenderloin

Robust Recipe: Crock Pot Apple Honey Pork Tenderloin 




1) Pork tenderloin- I only had a 0.8lb pork tenderloin

2) 1 Apple- 1 apple for every pound of pork tenderloin (2lbs pork tenderloin, 2 apples)

3) Cinnamon

4) Honey


1) Cut up and slice apple(s) into wedges.

2) Slice pork tenderloin for places to fit in apple slices, do not cut all the way through.

3) Lay a few apple slices on bottom of crock pot.

4) Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with honey.

5) Place thawed tenderloin on top of apple slices and put more apple slices into sliced pork tenderloin.


6) Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon.

7) Cook on high for ~6 hours in crock pot (minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit) .

This Apple Honey Pork Tenderloin is a lean and easy to prepare meal. Great for a dinner party, busy week night or just a lazy Saturday afternoon.

Justin and I paired this with some baked sweet potato fries (keep tuned for a post on baked sweet potato fries). To be honest, I really shouldn’t take credit for this because Justin prepared this whole meal, I just took pictures!

Share and Enjoy!

Let’s Be Robust!

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Crock Pot Honey Glazed Carrots

Robust Recipe: Honey Glazed Carrots 

I’m often told to bring a vegetable to family functions. I think it might have something to do with the fact that I’m a dietitian ;)…. Anywho, this Thanksgiving I brought crock pot honey glazed carrots. The family loved them so much they wanted them again less than a month later for our family Christmas! It’s a great easy side dish to add to most meals.


1-2 lbs carrots (I’ve used baby carrots and large garden carrots- I liked the garden carrots better)

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4-1/2 cup honey

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp ground ginger

Salt and Pepper to taste



1) Cut carrots into bite size pieces.

2) Mix in honey, orange juice, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

3) Cook in crock pot on low for ~6 hours.

Share and Enjoy!

Let’s Be Robust!

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Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to wish all you Robust followers and readers a very Merry and Blessed Christmas. I hope you have been able to spend time with the people you love and reflect on the real reason for this Holy day.

Thank you for being a part of my new adventure with this blog. I’ve truly enjoyed putting things together. Please feel free to ask me questions or give me recommendations for what topics you’d like me to write about!

Happy Birthday Jesus!


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Crock Pot Pumpkin Craisin Chocolate Bread

Robust Treat: Crock Pot Craisin Chocolate Pumpkin Bread



1) 1 can of pumpkin

2) 1/2 cup brown sugar

3) 1/2 cup sugar

4) 1/2 cup canola oil

5) 2 eggs ( use 4 egg whites to make healthier)

6) 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

7) 1 tsp baking soda

8) 1 tsp cinnamon

9) 1 tsp nutmeg

10) 1/2 cup craisins (optional)

11) 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

12) <1/2 tsp salt


1) Mix sugar and oil together.

2) Mix eggs into sugar and oil mixture.

3) Mix in pumpkin, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, chocolate chips and craisins.

4) Spray bread pan with cooking spray.

5) Pour mixture into bread pan.

6) Pour 2 cups water into crock pot.wpid-IMAG1016.jpg

7) Place bread pan into crock pot. Place paper towels or hand towels between the lid and crock pot to prevent condensation from dripping onto bread.


8) Cook on high for 2 1/2- 3 hours.


Let’s Be Robust!

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Peppermint Chocolate Popcorn

Peppermint Chocolate Popcorn

peppermint popcorn in martini glass


peppermint popcorn ingredients

1)4-7 Cups Popped Popcorn (Made in your own popcorn maker- none of this microwave stuff)

2)Butter Flavored Cooking Spray

3) 1/2-3/4 Milk Chocolate Chips (or White or Dark!)

4) 2-4 Candy Canes Crushed

5) Sea Salt to Taste


1) Pop popcorn in popcorn maker using butter flavored cooking spray instead of using additional butter and oil


popped popcorn

2) After popcorn has popped spray with butter flavored cooking spray and sprinkle with some sea salt

3) Melt handful of chocolate chips in the microwave for ~45 seconds

melted chocolate

4) Mix melted chocolate into popcorn and coat all kernels


5) Mix in crushed candy canes in with the popcorn


6) Let cool completely or enjoy semi-warm (this will be messy!!!)

7) Package in airtight container- Makes a great holiday snack to bring to a party and share with your friends and family.

peppermint popcorn with candy cane

Let’s Be Robust!

Justin Loves the Popcorn:)

Justin Loves the Popcorn:)

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Chocolate Craisin Oatmeal No-Bakes

Robust Treat: Chocolate Craisin Oatmeal No-Bakes


This sweet treat is great to share during the holiday season or bring to a party anytime of year. These no-bakes have plenty of fiber from the flax seed, oatmeal and craisins. Also, a bonus omega 3 fatty acid is found in the flax to make them heart healthy!



1 cup oatmeal (old fashion oats)

1/2 cup honey

2/3 cup natural peanut butter

1/2 cup flax seed (milled or ground)

1-2 tsp vanilla extract

2/3 cup craisins (soak in water for 5-10 min to bring out additional flavor and make them softer)

1/2 cup chocolate chips (dark, milk, semi-sweet)


1) Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

2) Refrigerate for 20 min to help the mixture hold together better.

3) Roll into balls (you can decide the size; smaller are easier to eat, also the recipe will therefore yield more).

4) Store in air tight container and refrigerate to help keep their shape.


Share and Enjoy!

Let’s Be Robust!

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African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew

Healthy Recipe: African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew

I’m warning you, this stew is delicious….However, it is not the most attractive stew one could photograph (especially because I use my cell phone camera!). None the less, it is full of flavor, is vegetarian, gluten free and lactose free. It’s also a great source of fiber and protein. This recipe is originally from “Today’s Diet and Nutrition” magazine in one of their 2011 issues (October I think?), however I have tweaked it a tad to my and Justin’s  liking.


3 TBS Water

1-2 Medium yellow onions (chopped)

3 Garlic cloves (minced)

2 Red bell peppers (cut into bite sized squares)

3 TBS Brown sugar

2 TBS Cinnamon

1-3 TSP Grated fresh ginger (buy a ginger root, cut away outside skin and use a grater)

1-3 TSP Ground cumin

1 TSP Cayenne pepper (add more for a kick)

3/4 Cup Natural peanut butter  (crunchy works great too!)

3-4 Sweet potatoes (yams work too) (cut in bite size pieces and keep the skins (so much fiber and nutrients!))

15 oz Kidney beans- rinsed and drained from can

2 Fresh tomatoes or 15 oz diced canned tomatoes

4 Cups Vegetable stock (low sodium)

1/2-1 Cup Peanuts- chopped as a garnish

Cilantro- garnish


1) Heat water over medium heat in a large soup kettle

2) Add onions, garlic and cook for 5 minutes

3) Add bell pepper and cover and cook for 5 minutes

4) Stir in brown sugar, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper

5) Stir in natural peanut butter until evenly distributed

6) Add sweet potatoes, kidney beans, tomatoes and stir (also you can add the chopped peanuts if you don’t want to bother using it as a garnish)

7) Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil

8) Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30-90 minutes

9) Serve in individual bowls with cilantro and chopped peanuts


Hope you love it!

My lovely friend, Bethany, made this soup at 3am (don't worry she is not crazy, she works nights). From what I hear she loved it!

My lovely friend, Bethany, made this soup at 3am (don’t worry she is not crazy, she works nights). From what I hear she loved it!

Let’s Be Robust!

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Winter Workouts

Fitness Tip: Winter Workouts 

If you’re like me and really dislike cold weather, getting outside to be active can be difficult. Here are some ideas to make the frigid winter air not seem so repulsive.

1) Make a Snowman -Grab a friend, family member, significant other or kid (hopefully not a random one;) and make the biggest snowman that you can!

2) Snow Shoe-I’ve gone a few times when I was younger and it was really fun, however we had to rent the shoes- see if you can rent shoes somewhere near your place!

3) Ice Skate-There are always lots of free places to go ice skating in a city! My dad used to make an ice skating rank in our back yard when we were little…that made for some really fun times.

4) Cross Country Ski-What a great way to explore the country side!

5) Downhill Ski-Or of course snowboard….Skiing is so much better though.;)

6) Snowball Fight -Grab some friends or even just one other person and start a war!!

7) Sled -Run up the hill and get an even better calorie burning sledding session.

8) Winter Hike or Jog-Bundle up at take a walk! Who doesn’t like a winter wonderland stroll? Be careful of ice!

Justin and Tango coming back from a winter run!

Justin and Tango coming back from a winter run!

On a jog with Tango.

9) Build a Snow Fort-You’re never too old to make a fort.

10) Shovel Snow -Your driveway and your neighbor’s! None of this snow blower stuff…

My first "robust" winter workout of the year...

My first “robust” winter workout of the year…

These pictures were taken right after I shoveled! Justin shoveled a couple more inches a few hours after me and I had to shovel another couple inches the next morning! Gotta love MN snow storms!

Hope you can enjoy some of these chilly weather activities this season! Don’t let the cold winter blues keep you from staying robust!!

Let’s Be Robust!

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