Thursday, January 29, 2015

Real People, Real Results: Maria's 21 Day Fix Experience

Today, I'd like to introduce you to Maria! I've known Maria since high school, and we were fortunate enough to reconnect after the birth of our daughters. She joined my Mommy Makeover group a few months ago using the 21 Day Fix program, and she hasn't looked back since! She's a full-time working mom with a crazy schedule and she doesn't really have the time but she MAKES the time to take care of her health every. single. day. for her family. She is such an inspiration and I'm so happy to share her story with you.




"Before I started the 21 Day Fix, I was 'skinny fat.' I was somewhere close to my pre-baby weight but I was not toned at all and I felt so sluggish. I was working out regularly on my own, but I hadn’t changed my eating habits - so while my clothes fit ok, I still didn't feel good in them. I wasn't very confident in the way I looked and I had lost a sense of who I was (other than being a working mom and a wife).

I went to high school with Cheyenne. I knew she was a Beachbody coach and I trusted her. So when she posted on Facebook about a 21 Day Fix Mommy Makeover group, I was IN. The workouts looked my like 'my kind' of workout and I knew the containers would help with my portion control - I ate WAY TOO MUCH rice!

It wasn't hard getting into a routine because I was on summer break and I was pretty used to following a workout routine. The portion control was a little hard at first because the decrease in bread and rice was drastic (for me). But, I stayed strong! Though it was difficult for me (I LOVE carbs!) I stuck to my meal plan and drank Shakeology every day for lunch.

I appreciated how Cheyenne’s group kept me accountable. There was no judgment and I was encouraged when the other members of the group liked my posts and even thought of me as motivation! The group really helped give me my confidence back. And I LOVE the 21 Day Fix! I love the variety, the use of weights. The moves are simple but VERY effective. I appreciate being able to eat anything as long as it fits in those containers. I really love that I'm now in my eighth round and I still feel sore the day after a workout.

I was already close to my goal weight when I started, but now I'm more toned and have built muscle, and I’ve maintained my results (I lost 4 pounds and 11 inches). I feel more confident and I think I look more confident. I look thinner and I like when someone tells me I look great, lol! I'm also not as tired and I feel like I can do anything after I get through a workout.

Being a working mom, I wake up at 4:30am to get my workout done first thing in the morning. I bring a Fix-approved breakfast to work, have my Shakeology for lunch and I eat a Fix-approved dinner with snacks in between. I would honestly recommend this program to ANYONE – beginner to advanced. There's a modifier for all the moves, so I can see people in their 20's and people in their 60's doing this program! I'd recommend this program to anyone from my bestie to my mother-in-law."


I think her face here says it all!

She is such an inspiration and she's dedicated herself to paying it forward as a coach herself, so that she can share her passion with others. If you'd like to support her on her fitness journey, check out her Instagram page @marifit86! She's got some awesome videos up there ladies!!



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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Clean Eating: Weekday Roast Chicken w/ Lemon & Garlic


What I love about this recipe is how quick and easy it is to prepare -- prefect for a weeknight dinner! The original recipe called for a whole 3 pound chicken, butterflied (so it can lie flat on the baking sheet, which helps it roast faster), but I opted to make things even easier and used a chicken that was already cut into pieces. 

Ingredients: 


  • 1 3-lb chicken (preferably organic and free-range), butterflied
  • Salt
  • EVOO for baking sheet, plus 1 Tbsp. for the potatoes and 1 1/2 Tbsp. for the bird
  • 1 lb small potatoes
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices

Directions:

Sprinkle the chicken with 2 teaspoons salt as soon as you get it home. The earlier you salt the chicken (even as far as two days in advance), the moister and more flavorful it will be. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Grease a rimmed baking sheet with oil. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt, the garlic, and the lemon slices. Arrange them on the center of the baking sheet and cook for five minutes. Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Rub all over with 1½ tablespoons olive oil. Remove the potatoes from the oven and arrange the chicken on top of them, tucking any stray potatoes and garlic under the chicken to prevent them from burning. Roast 40 to 45 minutes until the juices run clear when the joint between a thigh and drumstick is pricked with a knife, or when a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees F. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest, and return the potatoes to the oven to crisp up, five to 10 minutes more. Arrange the potatoes on a platter, top with the chicken, and squeeze a few of the roasted lemon slices over the dish before serving.

[Recipe credit: Experience L!fe Magazine]


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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Healthy Recipe: Quick n' Easy Greek Omelette

I enjoy drinking chocolate Shakeology for breakfast on most days, but I have always been a lover of breakfast foods. So every once in a while, I make breakfast for lunch. Because you know what? I do what I want!

Here's a perfectly easy-to-make omelette I threw together with ingredients I already had in my kitchen.


Ingredients 

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 Cup of cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. of feta cheese crumbles
  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

Heat coconut oil in pan over medium heat, add cherry tomato halves and spinach leaves and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. While veggies are cooking, beat 2 eggs a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. When Veggies are soft, pour eggs into pan and let cook until bottom is solid enough to fold the omelette in half. Before folding the omelette, spring feta cheese on top. Fold in half and let it cook until egg liquid stops dripping out, then flip it over and cook the other side until done. Serve with one slice of whole wheat toast smeared with coconut oil.

This was my first time cooking my eggs in coconut oil as well as using the oil as a butter substitute on my toast, and I gotta say, I was pleasantly surprised! This is a 21 Day Fix approved recipe just use your green container for the spinach and tomatoes and your blue container for the cheese. And I know it is approved for a fact because Ms. Autumn Calabrese herself liked my post about it on Facebook!



You see, me and Autumn go way back - lol.

At Beachbody Coach Summit 2014 in Las Vegas.
Let me know how you like the omelette in the comments! And if you have other great meals using coconut oil, I'd love to hear them!

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Healthy Snack: Fresh & Fruity Porridge Parfait



If you are anything like me, you like to snack... all. day. long. I think I actually eat more than my husband on most days. So what's the key to keeping the snacking in check? I make sure I have lots of healthy options on hand to choose from during the day. And I don't mean celery sticks and carrots. I like snacks that taste like dessert :)

This parfait is a good one because you can make a batch of 6 servings on Sunday night and have it for the week. The hardest part is grating the apples, but even that only takes a few minutes. Apparently, the photo below is what this was supposed to look like, but even though mine was lacking in presentation, it definitely wasn't lacking in flavor!



Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 cups plain yogurt (I cheated and used vanilla because that's what I had in the house)
  • 3 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
  • 2 large apples, grated 
  • 1 cup of mixed fruit (I used blueberries and chopped strawberries)

Directions

Combine the dry oats, yogurt, honey or syrup, grated apples, and mixed fruit in a bowl. Divide evenly  among six 8-oz mason jars or other small containers, cover with lids, and refrigerate over night.

[Recipe credit: Experience L!fe Magazine]

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Beachbody Now Offering Military Veteran Discount!!


Here's a little fact you may not know about me. I was once a military spouse. For the first seven years of our marriage, my husband was an Active Duty Army officer. So there is a special place in my heart for organizations that support our military -- both active duty and veterans.

Which is why I was ECSTATIC when Beachbody announced a few days ago that they are expanding their military discount (originally available for active duty service members, veterans injured in the course of service, or their spouses) to include our MILITARY VETERANS as well!





So, what does this mean for Veterans that would like to become Beachbody coaches (or existing coaches who are veterans)?


Military veterans are now eligible for Beachbody's military coach waiver, which means you can sign up as a coach and once your veteran status is confirmed (you'll just submit a copy of your DD214), your sign-up fee of $39.95 will be refunded to you and the standard $15.95 monthly coach business service fee will be waived for you indefinitely. You can enjoy all of the benefits of being a Beachbody coach -- including a 25% discount on all purchases -- without having to pay anything.


But I don't want to be a coach... I just want to be eligible for the discount. 


That's totally fine! As a Beachbody coach, you are not under any obligation to sell any products or coach anyone else on their fitness journey. You can simply sign up as a veteran coach, pay nothing, and receive the benefit of a 25% coach discount. As a veteran, you've earned it! If you are a member of the military or a military veteran, there is absolutely NO REASON you should be paying full prices for Beachbody products! 

How do I get the veteran waiver?


The two-step process is simple and only takes a minute! (If you are already a Beachbody coach and would like to receive the new waiver, skip to step 2).

  1. Enroll online now as a Beachbody coach (during the sign up process you will have the option to add items to your cart at the discounted coach rate).
  2. Within 31 days of enrollment, simply submit the Military Waiver Fax Cover Sheet with your full name, social security number, date of birth, date active duty service started, date of separation, and a copy of your DD214 to Beachbody coach relations via fax (213) 201-7225 or via email to coachrelations@teambeachbody.com. Your $39.95 coach sign-up fee will be refunded and the standard $15.95 monthly coach business service fee will be waived for you indefinitely. 

I am a veteran and I would like to learn more about earning money as a Beachbody coach. 


Even better! I'd love to take some time to chat with you about coaching and answer any questions you might have. We can determine if coaching might be a good fit for you, and I can tell you about the free training programs I offer to help you get set up for success. If you'd like me to contact you with more information, simply fill out my team application, and I will get back to you as soon as possible. 

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Quick and Easy 21 Day Fix Lunch Salad



I love using the 21 Day Fix containers -- especially for preparing my salads because I know I'm getting the right balance of foods throughout the day. Here's a tasty salad I whipped up yesterday in about a minute.

  • 1 green container - Baby Spinach
  • 1 purple container - Seedless Red Grapes
  • 1 red container - Grilled Chicken Breast 
  • 1 blue container - Crumbled Feta
  • 1 orange container - Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette (see recipe below) 

Whenever we make chicken for dinner, I always throw a couple of extra pieces on the grill and keep them in the fridge to add to salads during the week, which makes everything so much easier! I love this salad for a couple of reasons. Not only does it have the perfect balance of sweet (grapes) and tangy (dressing), it's the right balance of wet foods (grapes & spinach) to dry foods (grilled chicken & feta). Yea... as weird as it sounds, the texture of my foods is really important to me and I often find myself craving "wet" foods -- most likely because I don't drink as much water as I should during the day. Does that make me weird?! Does anyone else crave wet foods? lol


Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 6 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. raw honey
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 6 Tbsp. EVOO
Combine vingar, lemon juice, and honey in a medium bowl; whisk to blend. Stir in mustard; mix well.  Slowly add in oil while whisking; mix well. 


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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Healthy Recipe: One-Pot Pasta

I have another healthy, easy AND TASTY dinner recipe for you all today! Anything that I can cook in one pot for a super easy clean up gets major points from me! Even the dry pasta cooks right in the sauce with the rest of the ingredients! Easy-peesy!



I thought it was delicious and my husband enjoyed it despite the "earthy" taste - as he described it. For a pasta dish, it wasn't very "saucy" so the next time I cook it, I'll probably add in a little tomato sauce or a spoonful of pesto. I also realized (the next day) that I only used a 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes instead of the 28 oz. can the recipe calls for. Oh well, I still thought it was great and we had plenty of left-overs for the next day!

This recipe makes about 6 servings and takes less than 30 minutes to make.

Ingredients 

3 Tbs. EVOO
4 cloves of garlic (or more to taste), chopped
1 small onion, diced
About 4 cups of water
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes (or 3 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes with their juices)
1 bunch kale, chopped (cut out the stems -- or "ribs" first and discard)
2 sprigs fresh basil, chopped, plus a few whole leaves for garnish
1 lb. whole grain or whole wheat pasta (shells, penne, fusilli, etc.)
Salt
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions

Heat large pot over high heat, and drizzle in the oil. Add the garlic and let it et nice and golden; it'll only take about 30 seconds. Add the onion and cook until it is translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the water, then the tomatoes, kale, basil, pasta and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the pasta is al dente, giving it a good stir every couple of minutes. If it starts looking too dry, add some more water. Once the pasta is cooked, fold in the cheese and red pepper flakes, if desired. Top with the reserved basil. 

[Recipe credit: Experience L!fe Magazine]


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Monday, January 5, 2015

Healthy Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup



It's so easy to get into a rut when it comes to planning dinners. For me, meals need to be easy and they need to be healthy and I don't like to spend a lot of time researching new ideas so I tend to rotate through the same dishes week after week after week.

One of the things I want to do more of in 2015 is to change things up. I want to do more. I want to try more. I want to expose myself to more. And yes, that even includes my home menu. I'm reading a book by John C. Maxwell right now called How Successful People Think, and in it he writes:
"When was the last time you did something for the first time? Do you avoid taking risks or trying new things? One of the best ways to get out of the rut of your own thinking is to innovate. You can do that in little, everyday ways: drive to work a different way from normal. Order an unfamiliar dish at your favorite restaurant. Ask a different colleague to help you with a familiar project. Take yourself off of autopilot." 
So with that in mind, I tried a new recipe for dinner last night, a Paleo slow-cooker enchilada soup. I don't often make soups for dinner but it was a cold night in Minneapolis and soup -- i dunno -- just... felt right. Plus, anything that I can easily throw into the slow cooker and forget about for 8 hours always gets extra points in my book. I didn't have very high expectations for this one, but OMG you guys -- it was SO GOOD!! It was tasty and filling and even my hubby loved it (he even took the leftovers to work today for lunch) and he's not even a soup person. This recipe could easily be used with the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan, and if you wanted to add a carb or starch (yellow container) you could easily add in some whole grain pasta, a cut up ear of corn on the cob or some brown rice and it would taste equally amazing.

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

Ingredients 

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, pitted and sliced

Instructions


Add the chicken breasts to the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, and garlic on top of the chicken. Pour the diced tomatoes and chicken stock over the top. Sprinkle with chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours (or I cooked mine on high heat for about 3 1/2 hours and it was perfect) . Use a fork to shred chicken before serving. Garnish with cilantro and avocado. Makes 4 servings.


[Recipe credit: paleogrubs.com]

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

2015 Intentions of a Beachbody Coach

If I'm being totally honest, I struggled BIG TIME over the holidays to stay on track -- both with my nutrition and my workouts. Between traveling and get-togethers, my husband being home from work for an extended period of time, and the winter days feeling much, MUCH shorter -- my normal routine went out the window. I wasn't even drinking my shakeology {gasp!} every day like I normally do.

I'm really not a fan of making "New Year's Resolutions" because think that, generally, they are made on a whim... an arbitrary promise to do what we think we should be doing for no reason other than that it's a new year... so why not? Change is hard, and in my opinion, bringing about any real change  "just because" is a long shot and that's why most resolutions don't stick.

But, I do believe in the power of INTENTION and that a key element in living a successful and fulfilling life is to reflect on the past and identify ways to improve going forward. I also believe that the new year is the perfect time to envision goals and DREAMS for the future, and plan out your roadmap to make those a reality. I even bought a bunch of magazines and poster board today so I can create my 2015 vision board.

So, while I will not be making a "New Year's Resolution" to be healthier -- because that is something I strive for constantly -- I will be identifying ways to grow and add value to others through my own journey. I will do a better job of leading by example because one of the best ways to stay accountable is to know that other people are depending on me! So stay tuned my friends... there's a lot more to come in 2015. And if you're ready to forget about those tired old resolutions and make a meaningful change in your life -- if you know that in 2015 you want to find more joy in your daily life, be a better parent, partner or friend, and just be generally HAPPIER, I want to help you. Just fill out the application here: http://goo.gl/forms/rrNpF2mDE7 and we can start chatting about ideas.

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