DIY Butterbeer

I was thinking about the Butterbeer Starbuck’s offers and figured out the EASIEST solution to making your very own at home without worrying about going to Starbucks.


Starbucks recreated this drink by mixing a bunch of syrups together. I enjoyed it, but it was way too sweet to finish. By making it yourself, you can control how sweet it is and make it into hot chocolate, latte’s, frappuccino’s, smoothies, etc.  Butterbeer tastes like butterscotch, right? So…

butterscotch syrup

Problem solved! I found this on amazon and will be buying some shortly. I have a variety of their syrup’s and they are all very good. I did a quick search for some recipes and most use butterscotch ice cream topping. I say, get this, it’s made for drinks. Making this is just as easy as making your own pumpkin spice latte!

Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing

If you ever been to Cafe Rio, you know this dressing. It tastes like heaven when you add it to your taco salads. Well, I no longer live near one so I decided to make my own.

Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing

This is the EASIEST recipe ever. I’ve seen a lot of recipes online that add hot peppers and tomatillos or green salsa, but I used none of it and I still think it turned out delicious.






DIY Pumpkin Spiced Latte



If there is one drink I love that Starbucks releases every year it is the Pumpkin Spiced Latte. What I do not like is the calories or the cost. Not to mention, it might be meteorological fall, but it’s still hot as Hades where I live. To solve all my problems, I found a way to make this drink at home.



  • Pumpkin Spiced syrup (I ordered mine from amazon)
  • coffee (hot or iced, depending on your preference)
  • SF vanilla creamer (substitute soy, almond, coconut, or skim milk to reduce calories)


Pumpkin Spice SyrupSF CreamerCoffee

Add as many pumps as you want to make this have a strong or weak a pumpkin flavor. Next add your milk product and stir the two, then add your coffee. Cheers!

Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet

Most people tend to think that because you are “dieting” you can’t eat any of the foods that you want. That is DEFINITELY not the case. The point behind phase 1 of this diet is to actually purge your body of sugars. People, ESPECIALLY Americans, consume mass quantities of sugars without even thinking twice. With this diet, or lifestyle change – as I am calling it, there is a period where you avoid the foods you crave the most – those high in sugars.
If for any reason this blog does not follow any logic order it’s because I am being forced
against my will to watch Phineas & Ferb with my sick 4-year-old!
I declare insanity!

During this phase you are taking out foods like breads, pastas, fruits, alcoholic beverages, etc. Keep in mind you are only doing this for 2 weeks. After the 2-week time period you are adding them back into your diet. But in small amounts! Don’t focus on the foods you can’t have during this phase and focus on all the foods you CAN have!! THERE ARE A TON!
Foods to Eat


  • bottom, round
  • eye of round
  • flank steak
  • ground beef (extra lean, lean sirloin)
  • london broil
  • lean pastrami
  • sirloin steak
  • t-bone
  • filet mignon
  • top loin
  • top round


  • cornish hen
  • ground breast of chicken & turkey
  • turkey sausage
  • turkey bacon
  • turkey or chicken breast


  • limit those high in mercury and other contaminants, such as swordfish, titlefish, albacore tuna – use light tuna instead – and shark


  • Boiled ham
  • canadian bacon
  • Loin, chop/roast
  • tenderloin

Lamb (leg, center cut – loin, chop or roast)
Game Meats (buffalo, elk, ostrich, venison)

Cold Cuts

  • boiled ham
  • deli-sliced turkey breast
  • smoked ham
  • smoked turkey breast

Soy-based Meat Substitutes

  • Seiten
  • soy bacon
  • soy burger
  • soy chicken, unbreaded
  • soy crumbles – 1/4 cup (2 oz)
  • soy hot dogs
  • soy sausage patties & links
  • Tempeh – 1/4 cup
  • Tofu (all variations) 1/2 cup
  • Yuba (bean curd on sheet)


  • use fat-free or reduced fat
  • american
  • blue cheese
  • cheddar
  • cottage cheese, 1%, 2%, or fat-free
  • feta
  • mozzerella
  • parmesean
  • part-skim ricotta
  • part-skim string
  • provolone
  • swiss


  • these things will save your life during phase 1
  • eat as many as you want 🙂


  • except for half-and-half, 2 cups allowed daily, including nofat or low-fat plain yogurt
  • buttermilk, 1% or fat free
  • greek yogurt, nonfat
  • half-and-half, fat free (2 tbsp)
  • milk, 1% or fat free
  • Soymilk, low-fat plain, vanilla, or artificially sweetened
  • yogurt, low–fat or nonfat plain


  • fresh, frozen, or canned
  • adzuki beans
  • black beans
  • black-eyed peas
  • braod beans
  • butter beans
  • cannellini beans
  • chickpeas
  • edamame
  • fava beans (Clarice…sorry Silence of the Lambs flashback)
  • great northern beans
  • italian beans
  • kidney beans
  • lentils
  • lima beans
  • mung beans
  • navy beans
  • pigeon beans
  • pinto beans
  • refried beans, fat-free, canned
  • soy beans
  • split peas
  • white beans


  • fresh, frozen, canned
  • artichoke hearts
  • artichokes
  • arugula
  • asparagus
  • bok choy
  • broccoli
  • broccoli rabe
  • broccoli sprouts
  • brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • capers
  • cauliflower
  • celeriac (celery root)
  • celery
  • chayote
  • collard greens
  • cucumbers
  • daikon radish
  • eggplant
  • endive
  • escarole
  • fennel
  • fiddlehead ferns
  • garlic
  • grape leaves
  • green beans
  • hearts of palm
  • jicama
  • kale
  • kohlrabi
  • leeks
  • lettuce (all kinds)
  • mushrooms (all kinds)
  • mustard greens
  • okra
  • onions
  • parsley
  • pepperoncini
  • peppers (all)
  • pickels (dill or artificially sweetened)
  • pimientos
  • radicchio
  • radishes
  • rhubarb
  • sauerkraut
  • scallions
  • sea vegetables
  • shallots
  • snap peas
  • snow peas
  • spinach
  • sprouts
  • squash (spaghetti, summer, yellow, zucchini)
  • swiss chard
  • tomatoes
  • tomato juice
  • turnip greens
  • V8
  • water chestnuts
  • watercress
  • wax beans

Sweet Treats

  • candies, hard, sugar-free (called SF on here and twitter)
  • Chocolate powder, no sugar added
  • Chocolate syrup, SF
  • cocoa powder, unsweetened baking type
  • drink mix, SF
  • Fudgsicles, no sugar added (HEAVEN!!!)
  • Gelatin, SF
  • Gum, SF
  • Jams and jellies, SF
  • Popsicles, SF
  • Syrups, SF


  • caffeinated & decaf coffee/tea
  • diet, caffeine/decaf SF sodas/drinks
  • herbal teas (peppermint & chamomile)
  • milk, 1% or fat free
  • low-fat plain, vanilla, or artificially sweetened
  • SF powdered drink mixes
  • tomato juice
  • V8
Foods to AVOID
  • Alcohol *
  • Baked Goods **
  • Beef (brisket, liver, rib steaks, fatty cuts)
  • Bread **
  • Breast of Veal
  • Cereal (all kinds) **
  • Cheese (full fat, brie, edam)
  • Crackers **
  • Fruit
  • Fruit Juice
  • Honey-Baked Ham
  • Ice Cream
  • Matzo **
  • Milk (whole, low-fat)
  • Oatmeal **
  • Pasta **
  • Pastries **
  • Poultry (chicken wings, legs, thighs, wings, duck, goose, poultry products)
  • Soy
  • Vegetables (barley, beets, black-eyed peas, carrots, corn, pinto beans, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, yams)
  • Yogurt

* Includes beer, hard alcohol, wine (wine will be introduced in Phase 2 in moderation)

** Includes all starchy foods

Shopping List for Phase 1

  • A lot of eggs! (at least two dozen. I ate 3 a day)
  • Turkey and Canadian bacon
  • Sugar free Jell-O and Pudding (I still eat this daily)
  • Sugar free Kool-whip (I still eat this daily)
  • Lettuce & whatever else you want in your salads (buy enough for the week)
  • Salad dressing (Hidden Valley Light Ranch is my fav – avoid dressings like Catalina)
  • Veggies (no carrots) (broccoli & zucchini are good)
  • Chicken breasts and whatever other meat you like
  • Nuts (for snacks)
  • Low fat string cheese, cubed, and shredded cheese (I use it on my salads and they make GREAT snacks)
  • Part-skim ricotta cheese Splenda or other sugar substitute(you can make dessert out of this)



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