3 Tips for a Happy, Healthy Christmas

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I have no doubt in my mind that you’ll be revving up your tummies for some serious feasting, so I’m going to give you 3 tips for realistic things you can do without cramping your feasting festivities too much:

  1. Don’t go into dinner starving: If you don’t eat anything all day in preparation for your big meal, you may be setting yourself up for Binge fest 2013. When we don’t eat all day, it sets our hormones all out of whack, and our brain tells our bodies, “Quick! I need nourishment NOW.” You inevitably eat more than your mean to, feel uncomfortably full, and then crash. To help avoid this, eat a healthy lunch of greens and a protein and eat slowly at dinner. This will allow your brain time to catch up with your stomach, so you know when you’re feeling full and energized– not full and ready to pass out.
  2. Drink lots of water: Drink water all day. As healthy as you try to be around the holidays (but really?), you’re going to be consuming a rich assortment of food– food higher in sodium and sugar than your body may be used to. By consuming water, you do your body a favor and help it balance out all these rich foods. And balance means you’ll have more energy, focus, and better judgment. Later when you’ve got a cocktail (or eggnog) in your paws, keep a water next to it, and alternate water and cocktail sips.
  3. Get ready to cleanse: You came, you ate, you were merry, and now you can feel your jeans are a bit snugger than before the holidays. You want to get back on track after the holidays but where do you begin? Try starting with a clean-eating cleanse, where you eliminate irritants like sugar, gluten, and dairy for 7 days. You’ll allow your digestion a chance to heal, reduce inflammation (causing bloating and fatigue) in your body, and quickly shed those extra lbs you gained this past holiday season. You can check out my 7-Day Cleanse & Reboot here, where everything is laid out for you in detail. Plus you can get 50% off with the coupon code: lightscamerakale!
How to BBQ a Turkey

How to BBQ a Turkey

Step up your game this Christmas and BBQ that turkey bird!It’s that time again to start shopping for Christmas dinner. Not in the mood for ham? Does turkey feel a little redundant? Well, why not change things up a bit by giving your oven a rest and put a turkey on the BBQ instead!Sounds delicious right?

I’ve got the perfect recipe for you! Last month when I discovered on Thanksgiving morning that our oven was broken I had to quickly improvise. Thankfully, my parents had recently purchased a tiny Webster gas grill and I was determined to make it work. Talk about Iron Chef survival skills kicking in. Not only did it work, it was also the best turkey I ever tasted. Check out my bird!

Still not convinced? Well what if I told you that:

  1. You don’t have to stuff the bird
  2. It won’t take as long to cook on the grill
  3. The oven is free for you to make more side and dessert dishes
  4. Your bird will get that crispy skin and tender meat you thought you could only get at restaurants
  5. There will be less mess and dishes to clean up

Now do you want to make some BBQ turkey magic for Christmas this year? Here are my easy to follow instructions.

What you will need:

  • Digital thermometer
  • String
  • Aluminum foil
  • Basting tool
  • Full tank of propane gas (it’s going to be cooking for awhile)
  • 1 fresh turkey, any size (completely thawed)
  • Salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil OR vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 3 large twigs of fresh sage, thyme and rosemary
  • 4 tablespoons of Simon and Garfunkel Rub (minus the sugar)

What to do:

1. Preheat your BBQ/grill to the highest heat.

2. Strip off the plastic bag from your turkey and remove the organs and neck from inside. Toss them in the garbage or put them aside if you plan on making gravy.

3. Cut off the extra flaps of skin near the neck.

4. Don’t wash your turkey! Rinsing it will not get rid of salmonella. On the contrary, rinsing it will splatter contamination onto the sink and counters.

5. Dry Brining – sprinkle the skin of the turkey with salt. BUT only do this if your turkey has NOT been injected with salt solution nor was it koshered. Salting the turkey will help make crispy skin, as well as, season the meat and boost the flavor. Keep the turkey uncovered and let it sit for at least 1 hour so the skin can dry out. Best to do this the day before and leave in the fridge overnight night. No plastic cover.

6. Now you’re going to get your hands dirty. Loosen up the skin around the turkey. Really get under it and pull it up to make space for your wet rub.

7. Prepare the Simon and Garfunkel rub recipe. I do not use sugar. No need for it. Also, you don’t want to add anymore salt. You can always add salt later, but you can’t take it away. When your rub mixture is ready add a good amount of oil to it to form a wet rub. Mix well.

8. Let’s get our hands dirty again by scooping the wet rub and working it under the skin of the turkey. Cover as much of the turkey as you can. Spread any left over wet rub and/or more olive oil to the outside of the skin. At this time you can sprinkle some more salt and pepper on the skin to help it crisp when it hits the grill.

9. Sprinkle salt and pepper inside the bird and throw in your chopped garlic cloves and twigs of sage, thyme and rosemary.

10. Let the turkey sit for 45 minutes to allow time for the seasonings to absorb into the skin.

10. Do not tie the legs together, but do tie a piece of string around the wings of the turkey to keep them up. If you let them hang loose they will burn on the grill.

11. Time to sear the bird on the grill to jumpstart the browning process. Place all four sides of the bird on the grill for 2-3 minutes. If the skin is sticking that means it needs to brown a little longer on that side. It’s ready to flip to the next side when it stops sticking. When you have finished browning all sides remove the bird from the grill.

12. Place a piece of aluminum foil on the grill. This will protect the bird from burning. Put the bird in the center of the foil (breast side up). Fold up the edges of the foil because this will capture all of the juices.

13. Insert a digital meat thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey breast, at least 1 inch deep. The turkey is done when the thermometer reads 160ºF.

14. Close the lid and adjust the heat until it stabilizes at 325ºF. Do not open the lid for at least 1 hour. This means no basting. So if you wont crispy skin then keep the lid closed. After an hour you can check on the bird and baste the bird with the juices collected.

15. The cooking time will be about 1 hour per 5lbs of bird. Outside temperature will effect the time of the heat so make sure you are watching your thermometers. Check the BBQ temperature every 10 minutes and make adjustments accordingly to ensure the temp continues to stay at 325ºF.

16. Remove the bird from the grill once its’ internal temperature has reached 160ºF. Let it cool off for 10 minutes and then start carving away. It’s time to eat!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Recipe courtesy of the lovely Mackenzie Hawkins!

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3 Bean Turkey Chili

3 Bean Turkey Chili

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Spices, oh spices…just where do we begin? Spices are used all around the world and for many different purposes. In India, spicy curry dishes are made to help the people of the town sweat when they eat so they cool off when a breeze comes by. Did you know that spices also provide a wide range of health benefits from reduced inflammation to weight loss? Spices also provide warming benefits which is a main reason why stews are so enjoyable over a cold day.

One of my favorite recipes during these cold upcoming days is my 3 bean chili with ground turkey. The recipe is as follows:

3 Bean Turkey Chili

  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can pink beans
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 8oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 dashes of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup stock or water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tbs cumin (helps maintain glucose levels)
  • 3 tbs paprika (provides vitamin A and carotenoids)
  • 3 tbs cinnamon (Great anti-inflammatory)
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper (aids in weight loss)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  1. In a wide pot, heat enough olive oil over medium high heat to just coat the bottom of the pot. Add the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, some salt and cook for about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Once vegetables are translucent, add ground turkey, a pinch salt and half the cumin, paprika, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
  3. Once the turkey is cooked through, add your 3 beans, apple cider vinegar, diced tomatoes, and the other half of the spices.
  4. Once you can smell the spices, add your stock or water, bay leaf and a pinch more salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 min. Serve over a roasted spaghetti squash with a pinch of cinnamon and you have yourself a nice warming bowl of chili. Enjoy!

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Want to revamp your health with a coach who’s ALSO a chef? You can email Farrah at farrah@jenniefagen.com, and set up a FREE More Energy, Less Stress Breakthrough Session. It only takes about 30 minutes over the phone and is a chance for you to ask questions, discuss your own health history, and the best way to reach your personal goals based on your body type, lifestyle, and preferences! You can learn more about Farrah here.


Food Scale for Guilt-free Eating?

Food Scale for Guilt-free Eating?

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One of the things I have come to learn and accept about myself is that my EYES are completely broken! By that I mean I can’t tell the difference between 2oz and 10oz of food. I’ve tried the whole “eyeballing it” thing, and using the palm of my hand or a deck of cards as a reference point, but each time I’m left feeling unsure about my guesstimation. The uncertainty then fuels a tiresome food conversation in my head that goes something like this:

“Am I full? I don’t feel full, but that looked like a lot of food. I feel like I should feel full. Maybe I should skip dessert just in case. Actually, I still feel hungry so I probably didn’t eat as much as I think I did. [So and so] ate less than me and she’s not getting dessert. But then again I skipped lunch so dessert can now be my lunch. I mean I think I’m hungry. I’ll just have a few bites and share the rest. And I’ll make sure to go on a long run tomorrow to balance everything out.”

Ugh it’s exhausting just thinking about it! Then I’ll come home wishing I had better self control because I of course ate the whole piece of cheesecake and not just a few bites like I told myself I would. And that run the next day? Yeah that never happened…

So when it comes to PORTION CONTROL I really have no idea what’s a healthy vs. unhealthy amount of food. I’m better off leaving it up to the gods to decide.

I’m also horrible at gauging my HUNGER LEVELS. It’s über difficult for me to decipher between physical and emotional hunger. I used to start picking at something and then swear I’d stop when I had enough. But guess what? I never felt like there was enough! You can only imagine what eating like this looked like for me: binging all the time, grazing in and out of the kitchen and employee snack room, compulsively exercising, brain fog from eating too much sugar and refined carbohydrates, no energy, lack of motivation, low self-esteem, weight gain, isolation, etc. All this bad stuff stemming from the fact that I could not figure out how to control my portion sizes.

So what WAS my solution to all this?

My food scale!

Miraculously, my food scale solved the problem! What on earth is a food scale? It’s a small sized scale that fits comfortably on your kitchen countertop and that can accurately weigh ingredients. For example, if I want 4 oz of chicken, I simply put my plate on the scale, press the tare button to zero out the scale, and then add chicken onto the plate until it reaches the number 4 oz. That’s it. Now and I don’t have to worry in my head about under or overeating.

Such a simple tool and yet such a profound significance in my life. I discovered that by weighing my food on a scale and following a food plan, I no longer had to entertainment the food committee in between my ears. The food scale eliminates the guesstimation from the equation and leaves me with PEACE OF MIND! The tiresome chatter stops and I can enjoy GUILT FREE EATING!

I never in my life thought I’d be able to utter those words. I am no longer trying to figure out how much to eat, fight sugar blues, burn off extra calories from binging, get over feeling depressed and guilty about eating too much, or worrying if I’ll be able to fit into the same pair of jeans I wore last month. Instead, I’m living life in between my meals. I have a food plan that tells me how much and when to eat, and my scale solves my “broken eyes syndrome.” My mind is clear of all that toxic food talk /crap and I can confidently say that my food scale has brought more joy into my life then I could have ever possibly imagined.

So whether you can relate to my portion control issues, the mind chatter or you simply want to have a better idea of how much food you are actually eating, a scale can benefit you. Why not try it out for 30 days and see how you feel. It can’t hurt! I have a huge collection of scales and listed below are links to some of my favorites. The smaller ones are great for traveling with. I even bring mine to restaurants. If anyone asks questions, I simply say “This is just what I do to take care of myself.” Give it a try and see what you think! Happy measuring!

Hugs and Health,


Got questions? You can email Mackenzie at mackenzie@jenniefagen.com, and set up a FREE More Energy, Less Stress Breakthrough Session. It only takes about 30 minutes over the phone and is a chance for you to ask questions, discuss your own health history, and the best way to reach your personal goals based on your body type, lifestyle, and preferences! You can learn more about Mackenzie here.

You can also post questions on our Facebook wall here! And don’t forget to like us for fun nutrition tips and savvy articles!

Some scales we love in various price ranges:

Awesome pull-out display makes it easy to measure with big plates

OXO Grips Pull-Out Display

Another OXO with pull-out display, but mini. Great for traveling and dining out with


OXO Grips Pull-Out Display Mini Scale


Perfect for your kitchen counter

EatSmart-Precision-Retro-Mechanical-Kitchen

I love these fun colors

Escali-Digital-Multifunctional

Escali-Pound-Kilogram-Digital-Scale

8 Natural Cold Busters

8 Natural Cold Busters

It’s that time of year again. Maybe you’ve noticed a little tickle in your throat, or you’ve got a case of the sniffles, or maybe you just want to supercharge your immune system before you get sick in the first place!

As reassuring as your friendly neighborhood pharmacy can seem, the underlying fact is, if you get sick it’s because something is out of balance in your body.

Maybe you’re not getting the nutrients you need, or maybe it’s the stress of the changing seasons, but one thing remains:

Something is out of balance and maybe your immune system needs a little boost to help get back in balance.

Here are some easy ways to kick your immune system into gear and give your body a little TLC:

  1. Take an absorbable multivitamin: Let’s face it: not all vitamins are created equal, and if you’re taking Centrum, Walgreen’s vitamins, or really any vitamin in pill form, chances are you are absorbing a very tiny percentage, and are actually doing more harm than good. This is why you read all these articles saying that vitamins don’t do anything– certain ones don’t! Here are the ones I take so you can try them yourself: Multivitamin. They are delicious (you drink them) and super absorbable!
  2. Raw apple cider vinegar: Raw apple cider vinegar has been used throughout the centuries for its cleansing properties. It has been shown to stimulate circulation, purify the blood, and aid in detoxification of the liver. Try starting off your morning by waking up your body with a glass of water and a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar.
  3. Probiotics: Probiotics can be thought of, in simple terms, as “good bacteria.” Well, guess what? Good bacteria fights off bad bacteria. And the more good microflora you have, the more effective your body is in fighting off potential sicknesses, colds, and pesky allergies. Where can you get probiotics? Just like vitamins, be careful to not buy just any probiotic. Since it is technically alive, many of the probiotics on the shelf are dead from processing and travel time by the time they get to the store. I take these every night before I go to bed. Give them a try!
  4. Water, Water, Water: The average adult is 50 to 65 percent water, and it is estimated that the brain and nerve tissues are 80 percent water. Our organs need water to function properly, and to rid our body of toxins, waste, and unwanted bacteria. Make things easier on your body and drink it.
  5. Sleep: Sleep is a time for your body to rest, repair itself, and flush out unwanted toxins. Try not eating within three hours of going to sleep. It eases your body into repair mode, and allows your body to focus on flushing and repairing itself, instead of what the heck it’s going to do with your evening snack (probably let it chill on your hips ;)).
  6. Ginger tea with lemon and honey: Ginger warms and stimulates good digestion, and guess what? 70% of your immune sytem can be found in your digestive track! Lemons are powerful antiseptics, destroying bacteria in your mouth and intestines, while clearing mucous build up. Try using raw, local honey. Because it’s been collected from flowers in your area (thanks, bees!), it gives the body a natural defense against seasonal allergies!
  7. Cayenne pepper: Hello, spice. Cayenne pepper rocks because it clears up mucous, aids in digestion and elimination, stimulates circulation in our lymphatic system, and has strong anti-bacterial properties.
  8. Shower and brush your teeth: I know this sounds like common sense, but I’m going to say it anyway. We’ve all been there. “I’m sick, I feel gross, and I’m going to lay in my bed and do nothing until I feel better.” As comforting as that may sound, resting to repair does not entail you sitting in your own filth. When you’re sick, you are a feeding ground for bacteria, and the best thing you can do is wash, wash, wash it away, and keep a clean, healthy, happy environment.

Aren’t you feeling better already?

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