Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How I became a Morning Person (It's not as hard as you think!)




Let me start of by saying I LOVE SLEEP. If I don't get 8 hours of sleep at night, I'm kind of a mess the next day. I think God knows this, because I was blessed with a daughter who sleeps through the night from 7:30 pm to 7:30 am ever since she was a few months old. But sleeping for a full 8 hours has its drawbacks. The most obvious being that I only have 16 hours of "awake time" to get sh*t done. As an entrepreneur, wife and mom of a toddler who also likes to workout -- this can also be described as "impossible."

When Sofia was younger and two naps a day, I was able to squeeze in my workout during her first nap, and my dinner prep during her second nap. Work for my online business was done after she went to bed, and unfortunately -- alone time with my hubby was put on the back burner. But now that she's on a single-nap schedule, it became even harder to cram everything in. I was trying to do my workouts in the middle of the day during an unpredictable nap time (so many workouts were getting missed) or I'd run out of time -- getting in my workout but not finishing dinner prep (take-out it is... again!). Plus, she is SO much more active now as a toddler that I found myself exhausted by the evenings. I was trying to do work at night , but I was simply not at my best at 9pm.

So I did something crazy -- well, crazy for ME at least. I committed to waking up an hour earlier in the mornings. (Notice I didn't say sleep for an hour less -- I still get my 8 hours, only I rearranged things a bit.) I was starting a new fitness program, 21 Day Fix (you can read about it here and here) so I used that as my excuse to try out a new schedule and wake up at 6:30 am everyday.

I'll be honest, Day 1 was a challenge, especially since the first workout was Cardio Fix (I despise cardio) so I really struggled through my workout -- but I did it! And guess what? I felt great after! Being able to workout, shower and get dressed before my daughter woke up was actually AMAZING! Day 2 was just as difficult. I didn't want to drag my butt out of bed and I was sore all over from my workout the day before. But I didn't let my excuses get in my way. I forced myself to get up and go workout.

By Day 3, something strange happened. I actually woke up before my alarm went off! It was actually (dare I say it?) easy to get out of bed and exercise. And the trend continued.... They say it takes 21 Days to build a new habit -- but in my case it more like 3. But I knew the key was sticking with it consistently whether I felt like it that day or not. Whether I got to bed later the night before or not. Whether I was sore or not. If I skipped a day, I knew I would be starting over from square one. So even on the weekends, I woke up early and did my workout first thing in the morning.

I found that this allowed me to use Sofia's nap time in the afternoon to focus on my business before I was too tired to think straight. I was able to come up with better ideas and work more efficiently, so I still had enough time to prepare a healthy dinner. So now, when my husband gets home from work -- I'm not totally ignoring him either. Yes, I am still tired by the evening because I'm a mom... of a TODDLER... and of course because I'm waking up an hour earlier, BUT it's ok because I'm not trying to do anything more than spend time with my love -- which I don't have to think too hard about.


Here are my top 5 tips for making sure your morning workouts happen: 


1 - Prepare everything you will need the night before (workout clothes, hair tie, equipment, DVD, fill a water bottle and put it in the fridge, etc.) so you don't have to go looking for stuff in your half-awake zombie state.

2 - What scares you most about your workouts? For me it's cardio. Any kind of cardio. So I don't check my workout schedule until I wake up. Because if I know it's cardio day, it will be that much harder to pull myself out of bed. Plus I'll probably spend more time in bed thinking about my dreaded cardio than actually sleeping.

3 - Go to bed at a decent time. If you know you need at least 8 hours of sleep to function -- get in bed when you're supposed to!

4 - Don't eat anything before. As a matter of fact, don't do anything before your workout -- just roll outta bed, put on your workout clothes, and GO! You'll be half way through your workout before you really start to wake up and realize what's going on :)

5 - And most importantly, don't forget to set your alarm(!!!) and keep it just out of reach so you have to move to turn it off.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What if...? (Do you have a Plan B?!)



It seems like nothing is guaranteed these days... especially a job! Friends with not only one but TWO master's level degrees are unemployed for years at a time. Many, if not most, of us are under-employed, over-worked and under-appreciated. Yet, we stick to the same struggle and grind it out day after day just to make ends meet. And as smart as we are, and as common sense as it sounds, most of us don't have a Plan B! Do you?!?




But What if? ...

Even if you've been climbing that corporate ladder year after year, do you still have that “what if” in the back of your mind? What IF you lost your job tomorrow? I have friends that have been laid off not once, not twice, but THREE times in recent years -- and through no fault of their own! … Do you have a Plan B in place?

In one short year I was able to turn my love of health and fitness into my Plan B and leave the corporate world behind. I have more time to focus on my family and spend my time doing the things I love and I work for myself, building my own dreams -- no one else's. I am currently looking for 5 individuals who have a passion for fitness and who are looking not only for their plan B, but for something that will be fulfilling and allow you to truly make a difference in the lives of others. I will mentor you and show you how you can turn your passion for fitness into a business that will be a sustainable back up plan for the future.

Do you want to turn that “What if?” into “I’ve got it covered!”? I'm hosting a *FREE* 5-Day online group starting Monday, November 10th that will cover the basics of what I do and how I make an income as a Beachbody coach. Spaces are filling up quickly so Apply today for more information and to reserve your spot. 

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Recipe: Pecorino Crusted Chicken with Kale Quinoa Pilaf


Have you ever tried one of those fresh food box home delivery services like Plated or Blue Apron? I typically avoid them because I still find the recipes to include a bit more prep work than I would like as a busy mom (even though the food is already measured out -- which I LOVE!) and the available options don't always fit in nicely with my nutrition plan. But this week I had a meal delivered from Plated that I really enjoyed making and wanted to share with you all.



Ingredients

2 boneless chicken breasts
1 tsp. olive oil
2 egg whites
1 cup water
1 bunch kale
1/2 bunch scallions
1 lemon
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. honey
2/4 cup almond meal
1 Tbsp spice mixture:
  - garlic powder
  - onion powder
  - dried oregano
  - dried basil
1 Tbsp. grated pecorino cheese
2 Tbsp. slivered almonds
kosher salt
black pepper

Directions

1. Prepare Ingredients: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towel. Cut crosswise into 1-inch strips. Rinse kale and tear leaves into bite-size pieces, discarding stems. Rinse scallions, trip and discard roots, and thinly slice. Zest lemon, then halve. In a small bowl, combine Dijon mustard and honey. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. 

2. Crust Chicken: In a shallow bowl, whisk together 2 egg whites with salt and pepper. In a separate large shallow bowl, combine almond meal, spice mixture, and grated pecorino. Dip chicken into egg whites, turning to coat, then remove, allowing excess to drip off. Transfer to almond meal mixture, turning to coat and pressing to adhere. Shake off any excess. 

3. Bake Chicken: On a foil-lined baking sheet, arrange chicken in a single layer. Bake until crust is golden and chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, about 14 minutes, flipping 1/2 way through. 

4. Cook Quinoa: While chicken bakes, bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a medium pot over high heat. When water is boiling, add quinoa and a pinch of salt. Cover, reduce heat to medium high, and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. 

5. Cook Kale: Add kale to pot with quinoa, cover, and continue cooking until kale is bright green, 1-2 minutes. Remove pot from heat and stir in scallion, lemon zest, juice of 1/2 lemon, slivered almonds, and olive oil. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Discard remaining lemon. 

6. Plate Chicken: Divide kale quinoa pilaf and chicken fingers evenly between 2 plates. Serve with honey mustard alongside for dipping.  

Have you tried this one? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

[Recipe credit: Plated]

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