Monday, August 31, 2015

BBQ Pulled Pork

I love days where I realize I tell someone I'll make them dinner, and then have to throw it all together at the last minute. Usually this doesn't turn out very well for me, but last night it did! Thank goodness!

My parents have moved out of their home. My husband and I lived there for a month when we first got married. We lived there for a year after my daughter was born while we saved up for a home. If you've read my story, my brother passed away there. Anyway, it has been an emotional weekend helping them move out.

They're temporarily renting a friend's home, so they hadn't unpacked, and hadn't gone grocery shopping, so I offered to make them dinner. Sunday morning before we left for church, I dug through my kitchen knowing I wanted to do something easy in the crock pot.

We had pork roast. That's pretty much it for meat. I was out of potatoes. No whole wheat rolls, or buns or any type of bread product. I need to go grocery shopping.

So brown rice it is! This dinner actually turned out pretty yummy, even the kids liked it!

BBQ Pulled Pork
Pork Loin 
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup water

Place all ingredients in crock pot, cook on Low for 8-10 hours. Meat is ready when it falls apart easily. Shred with two forks, pulling away from each other. 

We put ours on top of brown rice, had cooked carrots, and salad with homemade ranch dressing. I love simple, quick meals. This one will be repeated at least once a month from now on at our house.


Jamie

I don't know how I found Jamie, but she posted the other day about not being asked to prom, and I was like, hey me neither! I decided to check out her story, and I'm so glad that I did. There is so much that she said that hit home. I'll let you read it for yourself:


"I have always struggled with my weight. Big-boned. Plus-size. Thick. Curvy. Voluptuous. Padded. Pick your adjective. Over the years I learned to deal with it in different ways. I learned to ignore it. Compensate for it. Deny it. Dress it up. Cover it over. Like everyone who struggles with something physical, I wear my battle on the outside for the world to see. There’s no running from it, because there is no hiding it. Funny thing about wearing your struggle on the outside: it makes you stronger. It teaches you how to adapt. It forces you to dig deep and do more I have been on the heavier side since I was 7 or 8 years old.When I was 2 or 3 I had several major surgeries which I lost a lot of muscle tissue in my stomach area.( not blaming that in weight gain but it didn't help). School was hard for me not academically but socially. I was teased , bullied , made fun of all the times because I was bigger than Any of the other kids. That teasing started in elementary school and carried in through high school! I remember in 8th grade going on a class field trip, we were camping and doing a ropes course. I was so afraid of not fitting in a harness for the ropes course that I pretended I was sick, I thought I would save my self the embarrassment this way. I still have all my school yearbooks that the kids who did sign it addressed me as Shamu, Miss Piggy, whale and so many other cruel names! After high school the teasing seemed to stop, but I still felt alone. I never felt pretty I never thought positive about myself I had a good group of friends but I was always the "bigger" friend. I was always the third wheel while everyone was dating or had relationships I didn't.
Fast forward to 2006 when I met my husband! He was very athletic in shape and here was me this 300lb girl who was confused to as why this guy was interested in me. He liked me for me not how I looked. His friends didn't quite feel the same way, they couldn't handle their friend being with a "fat girl". The situation with his friends opened my eyes up to a whole new world , I had this amazing man standing by my side no matter and it made me realize I was worth it. I started working out we were eating healthy ,both had decent jobs and life was good. We were together about year when we got engaged , I had just lost about 60 pounds, for the first time in my life I felt good.
2007- Wedding plans were under way , and we were planning our future! We had a very big surprise that changed everything!!! I was pregnant with our first son! It was so nerve-wracking and exciting all at the same time. I remember panicking omg I'm pregnant I just lost this weight and now I'll gain it back! I was determined to have a healthy active pregnancy and not gain 60 pounds! So I walked every day , drank my water  and ate pretty healthy for being pregnant. I didn't gain any weight during my first pregnancy (was normal because I was still heavy to begin with) Oliver was born September 2008 healthy and no issues. Life with a baby was exciting , fun, new and overwhelming. I stayed home and my husband worked. I stayed active and in target with my healthy habits. Our world was in for change come January 2011 , my husbands work was slowing down and at that time in California the job market was terrible. We made the hardest decision and that was to leave California and head to Indiana (where Craig is from) for a new beginning and more opportunity.
I never realized how hard it would be for me to move away from my family , friends and everything I knew to a place where I knew nobody and had to start all over! To add to the chaos we found I was pregnant with our second son Hunter two months after moving. So here I am in a new place no friends or family pregnant and already have a 2 1/2 year old. Indiana weather isn't desirable lol literally our first week in the state there was like 2 inches of ice on the ground! I didn't do anything or go anywhere I was used to sunshine and rainbows.
This pregnancy was hard on me I gained so much weight wasn't active and very depressed. I was thrilled about adding to our family but the thought of not having my mom by my side took a toll on me. January 28,2012 I gave birth to Hunter he was perfect healthy and happy!  However I was suffering depression bad I wasn't happy with my life or myself but I found every excuse under the moon to blame something or someone else. I was so embarrassed by the way I looked I didn't even take family newborn photos to this day I regret that. Months went on my eating habits didn't change I was nursing a baby constantly I didn't ever want to leave the house. We signed Oliver up for soccer , in hopes of him making new friends which he did. Bella was his first friend in Indiana and that's how I met Mandy an important piece to my journey. Every week we had soccer I would chat with Mandy while the kids played soccer , she is a mommy of two girls , a wife , a stay at home mom, a photographer and fitness guru! I seriously admired her for being in shape with two kids and a husband that traveled often for work. I kept thinking to myself how in the world does she do it? How does she keep it all together and make time for herself????
Enter 2014 I had enough of feeling miserable I was tired of feeling depressed and wanted so badly to do something to try to lose weight. Mandy had posted on Facebook for a few months about the 21 day fix and how people were loosing weighty working out at home! I thought to myself ha ha ya right no way can this work. I remember the post exactly that gave me the courage to ask about it, she had posted a photo of herself heavy I was floored! No way did I ever think this girl who is in tip top shape and a fitness instructor could have been heavy. Right then I felt like I had to try something might as well do it with someone who knows the struggle right?!! So I ordered the 21 day fix and Shakeology.
I remember thinking to myself if this doesn't work it's ok at least I tried. My first week into the program I was sore and it took everything I had in me to do it but I lost 8lbs in the first week. I knew then that if I stuck with this program no matter how hard it got I could be successful. At the end of the first 21 days I had lost 18 lbs I was so excited!!! I felt good and for the first time since moving to Indiana I was starting to feel happy. I made the decision at that point to keep going with the program and set goals to try to reach! My first big goal was to lose 100 lbs but I didn't set any kind of deadline , I just  knew that was an amount of weight that I wanted to lose. I decided to sign up as a coach knowing this would be extra accountability for my self. As the months went on I became confident, stronger , and when I looked in the mirror I didn't cringe I looked at my body with all it's imperfections and said your pretty amazing!!
I was changing from the inside out, I finally felt comfortable in my own skin. I started attending live classes a few times a week, still doing my home workouts and drinking my Shakeology. I stayed consistent and used the support from my family and friends to keep me going There was a day my husband was on the computer going through old pictures. He pulled up one of me at my heaviest, my 6-year-old looked at it and said mom who is that? I knew right then that I made the right choice to make myself a priority and make time for me. I was leading a healthy life and being a positive example for my kids there is no greater feeling knowing you're doing the right thing.
February 2014 I started the 21 day fix extreme, thinking it would be a good switch for my body and to help me break the plateau I had hit. Two weeks into the program I noticed my clothes getting looser but was not ready to get on the scale ( I try not to weigh often instead focus on how I feel and my clothes fit). I remember one morning I decided to get on the scale I'll never forget the feeling i felt as I stared at the numbers!! I had reached my goal of 100lbs I was actually at 102lbs loss! I couldn't believe it I felt so proud, I did it I reached my first goal in less than a year all the sweat and hard work was paying off!
I follow the 21 day fix nutrition ,drink my Shakeology , and make sure to do my workout or some activity daily. Do I get treats? Yes but I don't over indulge and I don't crave them like I used to! I'm human we make mistakes but I have learned to not let them derail me from my goals. I would like to lose another 50lbs no deadline just another goal I would like to achieve." 
Jamie is now a health coach, as well. If you'd like to follow along with her journey, just like I will be, you can read more at http://www.adventuresofashrinkingprincess.com/ 
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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti


If you haven't tried spaghetti squash yet, you need to. I love squash! We have zucchini or squash at least twice a week. Once a week we have it as a side, and once a week we have it as a pasta. I have Celiac Disease, and my children have some symptoms that I have, so we try not to have very much gluten in our home. Every once in awhile we have bread or something else, but for the most part we get creative.

Zoodles are a fun way to use zucchini. You can use a potato peeler, there's also a tool from the Pampered Chef that works pretty well, too. There's even a cool tool that makes the zucchini into a twisty thin noodle. Microwave it in a glass bowl for 1-2 minutes depending on how much you have (and until the zoodles are soft) and that's it. Once you add sauce, it's pretty delicious!

Spaghetti squash is easy too! You cut the squash, bake it or boil it, and then use a fork to get the squash off the skin.
If you're in a hurry, cut the spaghetti squash into quarters or smaller to fit your pot. Scrape out the seeds and soft "guts". Add water until the pot is a little less than half full. Bring water to a boil, then turn down to medium-low heat, and cover for 20-25 minutes, or until squash is soft, and comes off the skin easily with a fork. 

If you have more time, you can cut the spaghetti in half, scrape out seeds and soft "guts", drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, place upside down on a cookie sheet, and bake at 450 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, or until done.

There's an excellent sauce recipe in the Fixate cookbook, if you don't have it yet, ask me how you can get it!

We used a jar of organic sauce with no added sugar, it's hard to find and I wish I had taken a picture of the jar last night! Next time I'm at the store I'll grab some more and take a picture. If you look at the labels though, and find one that doesn't have sugar added in the ingredients, get it! 

I added ground turkey, Aidell's sausage, and some chopped onion. We also added some mozzarella on top. It was delicious, and even the most skeptics (we had guests at my mom's last night) loved it. 

Try zoodles or spaghetti squash, and let me know what you think!

Endure it WELL

Something I've been taught my whole life in church and at home is to "Endure it well." It's so easy to be happy and positive when things are going great in our lives. When you get a promotion at work, you'll be more joyful at home. When your children are being angels, you're kinder to others. When you get a great score on a test, you'll be more cheerful with your friends. Whatever the case may be, it's true! But the true test is when things aren't going our way. We are given obstacles no matter who we are. EVERYONE has tough days, moments, weeks...How we treat others, our attitudes, and our choices during these tough times is what really matters.

One thing that has really and truly helped me during the tough times lately (not just the loss of my brother, but also bad days with my children, grumpy days, not getting enough sleep, or a grouchy husband) is exercise. I love my 30 minutes of me time. I've started exercising more because of how great I feel when I'm done. I really want to get into running again, and possibly do a half marathon one day. I can't believe I am posting this, because I feel like now I'll have to actually do it, and people will hold me accountable. I have to repeat, POSSIBLY! I MIGHT, MAYBE, ONE DAY do a half marathon. I haven't committed to that yet. ;)

But back to enduring, there is so much we have to endure. We can choose to grumble, I have grumbled a lot in my life! We can choose to be negative, and bring others down in the process-because negativity is contagious. Or we can be positive and uplift others. We can smile and make the most of it. It's not an easy task to be positive all the time. It's possible though. This is my goal. To not just inspire others to get healthy and active, but to be positive and uplift others. To help them see that we can CHOOSE to be happy, and endure the hard times WELL.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Fall is coming!

I'm getting more than excited about Fall this year! I LOVE layering clothing, hot apple cider, cuddling in blankets, Fall colors, the cool crisp air...I just love it all! In honor of the coming months, I decided to make some Fall shakes. (Really I just wanted to find some healthy shakes to remedy all my upcoming cravings I'm going to have. If you know me, you'll know I could have a caramel apple three times a day!)

Here's my new shake!

Caramel Apple Protein Shake
1 green apple, cored and sliced (keep skin ON)
1 scoop of vanilla Shakeology, or another vanilla protein powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp caramel extract
1/2 cup crushed ice
4 oz unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup water
-you could also add in a dash of salt to make it a Salted Caramel Apple Shake

Blend all ingredients in blender. Enjoy!

Who else is looking forward to the cooler weather?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Banana Muffins


Every morning, my child asks for either pancakes or muffins. This morning happened to be muffins. We hadn't tried making muffins yet, and I'm glad we did! This recipe was pretty simple, and I can adjust it to make bread, and instead of bananas add zucchini. Because zucchini bread always sounds good!

Banana Muffins
2 cups flour ( I used Better Batter-a gluten free all purpose flour blend)
3/4 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
3 ripe bananas
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper liners into muffin tin. Mix dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, set aside. In a seperate bowl, mash bananas until most of the chucks are gone.
Add in yogurt, honey, eggs, coconut oil, cinnamon and vanilla, and mix until well blended. Fold banana mixture into dry mixture, being careful not to over mix. Fill each cup in muffin tin about 3/4 of the way full.
(You can make yours look a lot prettier than mine, we were just hungry and in a hurry!) Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

They don't look pretty, but they were pretty tasty! In fact, I left what muffins were left on the counter, and my daughter has come back and eaten three more of them throughout this morning. She must be growing!

This recipe makes 12 muffins, and 2 muffins equal one yellow


Saturday, August 22, 2015

21 Day Fix Checklist

Are you're anxiously waiting for your package to arrive in the mail? I have some great suggestions to keep you busy and get you started on the right track!

The most important thing to remember is that if you take the time to prepare, you will be more likely to succeed!

You're also given a coach for a reason! Ask questions! Participate in your challenge group. Consider coaching, it's the number one thing that has kept me on track and keeps me motivated.

Here are some pages I find I frequent the most.


Is there anything you'd add to the list? Any other pages you would add? Let me know

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Crockpot Cajun Sausage Soup

My daughter wanted to name this soup "Hot dog Soup," but I refused. I did get her help to make it, though! I love when she wants to help me in the kitchen. I had no interest helping my mom, hence the reason I'm learning everything now!

I decided to start coming up with recipes for all my mom friends who are just sending, or about to send, their kids back to school. I've always thought, "wouldn't you have more time then?" But I've learned while watching my younger siblings during the school year that this isn't so!

This recipe is a little spicy! You could add a different type of sausage and cool it down, skip the green chilis and crushed red peppers, or add more crushed red peppers, cummin and other spicy things to make it more spicy. This was pretty spicy as it was for us, we loved it!

Crockpot Cajun Sausage Soup
1 package of Aidells Cajun Style Sausage
4 potatoes
1/2 yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
1 can black beans, washed and drained
1 can green chili
2 cans chicken broth
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 tbsp crushed red peppers
Pepper to taste

Line crock pot with liner or spray with olive oil. Add chicken broth and tomato paste, stir. Cut sausage, potatoes, onion, and crush garlic, add to crock pot. Add beans, green chili, and seasonings. Cook for 4 hours on high, or 6 hours on low.

This would be 1 red, 1/2 green, and 1 yellow per serving.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Overnight Oats

I can't believe I've gone my whole life without Overnight oatmeal! Like, where have I been? I've always liked oatmeal, and have eaten it nearly every day since 2012 when I had my daughter because oats help your milk supply.

A few weeks ago we went camping and it was a wonderful, much needed break! I didn't have cell reception so I couldn't work, we went hiking, our kids loved being outdoors (it was their first time camping), there were beautiful views.
I was stressed out about food before we left, though. I didn't want to do the normal camping food, hot dogs, marshmallows, chips, and more junk. I planned out all the meals we would need, and packed easy foods, like tin foil dinners with hamburger meat, potatoes, and veggies, lots of fresh fruit and veggies, raw nuts, and overnight oats.




I made the overnight oats shortly before we left our house, and kept them in the cooler until the next morning when we ate them. They were SOOOO good, we ate up both jars pretty quick.

Here's how I made them:

Overnight Oats
1/4 cup oats
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
honey or maple syrup to taste

Add all ingredients to a jar, shake it, and refrigerate overnight. You can eat it cold, or microwave it for 1-2 minutes and eat it warm.
Shaken vs. unshaken

This is a base for overnight oats, below I will give a wide list of different flavors. For our camp out, I added 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice.
It was amazing sitting out in nature, reading a book, and enjoying a delicious and healthy breakfast. It's such an easy breakfast, too. I struggle with forcing myself to eat in the morning, and when you're not hungry, you don't want to put a ton of effort into making food. We will be having a lot more overnight oats in my house!

Other add-ins to try:
* 1 cup of apples and 1/2 tsp cinnamon
* 1 cup apples and raspberries
* 1 cup bananas and 1-2 tsp PB2, or all natural peanut butter
* 1 cup bananas, 1-2 tsp peanut butter and 1 tsp cocoa powder
* 1 cup bananas and blueberries
* 1 cup blueberries and 1/2-1 tbsp lemon juice and zest from lemon
* 1 cup strawberries 
* 1 cup strawberries and 1 scoop chocolate Shakeology (or 1 tsp cocoa powder)
* 1/2 cup strawberries and 1/2 cup bananas
* 1 tbsp chopped almonds, 1 tsp vanilla, and any berry
* 1/2 tbsp ground flax seed
* 1 scoop of vanilla shakeology (or vanilla whey powder) and 1 cup of fruit
* 1 cup pineapple and 1/4 cup coconut 

Do you have any add-in's you could add to the list? Leave me a comment!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How to get rid of that obnoxious tummy fat!

Are you bothered with how your stomach looks? Have you had kids, have bad eating habits, sit at a desk all day, or don't exercise? Are you looking to shed some stomach fat?

I am! I have had a c-section, and a VBak, and my stomach needs some TLC! I figured I'd share some research with anyone who feels the same way I do!

Whether you just want to feel better about your stomach, or have a wedding or big event coming up in a few weeks, this is a great way to improve that troubled area! Obviously, for long term improvement, I have an amazing system you can ask me more about!

Tips to help your middle look smaller:

1) To help with bloating-drink plenty of water! Make sure you're drinking at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 150, you should be drinking at least 75 ounces of water.

2) Cut out alcohol, sugars, and over processed foods. These are some of the top culprits that cause stomach fat.

3) Eat smaller meals every 2-3 hours.

4) Fuel your body with fresh vegetables and fruits, with lots of variety (I think about trying to incorporate as much color as I can). Eat plenty of lean proteins like chicken, turkey, and fish.

5) Incorporate exercise into your daily routine. You don't need to go out and get a gym membership, walk for 30 minutes, do a workout DVD, find a workout routine online.
-You can tone your body, but exercise alone will not flatten your tummy. Nutrition and what you put into your body is about 80% of weight loss.

6) Feed your mind with positive thoughts! Looking great can help you feel good, but being kind to yourself will make you feel even better. You will do even better on eating healthy and exercise when you are loving to yourself. If you want to indulge here or there, don't beat yourself up!

7) Go to bed earlier. Studies have shown that getting enough rest will help your body with functioning properly, including burning those calories! Sleep helps with stress as well, and stress can prevent you from losing weight.

8) Make sure you're digestion is on par. If you are having constant stomach aches, find out what is bothering you. For me, it was gluten. Make sure you have an allergy or intolerance before cutting food you may need out of your diet. Get enough fiber, and if you need to, keep track of bowel movements.

9) Get enough good fats in your diet. Many times, people think they need to completely cut fat out of their diets, but our bodies need fat to help absorb nutrients.

10) Don't eat late at night. It's important that you're fueling your body every few hours, so if you need to stay up late don't go too long without eating. For a normal routine, however, be sure to stop eating within 3 hours of bed time. This can also help with excessive binge before bed. I am definitely one who can put the majority of my food in a day down after I put my kids to bed.

Personally, I have been struggling with the fact that for the most part, I really am loving my body, but my stomach is just not improving as quickly as the rest of me. I've been hesitant to post updated pictures with my stomach in it because I don't feel I'm progressing enough. I've been adding in 10 minute abs nearly every night, and I just get super sore, and then there's still a layer of fat above these awesome abs! I'm definitely going to start making sure I'm completely following my meal plan, and be patient for these last few pounds to be shed from my middle! 
In these pictures, there's a big difference between the one on the left and the one on the middle, but the one on the right I look bigger than the one in the middle. I had started to slack a little on nutrition but I was continuing the work outs 6 days a week, and adding in 10 minute abs almost every day.

I'll work on these 10 tips for myself and update you as I see some progress!


Would you like to see more tips and tricks like this? Let me know!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Cilantro Lime Chicken and Spanish Quinoa

We went to my parents house the other night, and my mom made us dinner. I love when I don't have to cook a homemade meal, and my taste buds were happy! One thing I love about the 21 Day Fix is that you don't have to sacrifice flavor to be healthy. I think we, as a society, have gotten so into quantity over quality that people have forgotten what TRUE delicious food tastes like. I've had several months of retraining my taste buds, and my body is so grateful for it! Anyway, rant over. I had to share these recipes with you!

Cilantro Lime Chicken
4 chicken breasts
2 limes
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp crushed red pepper
1/2 Tbsp oil
Cilantro to taste

Serving size is 1 chicken breast. Counts as 1 red and 1 teaspoon

Zest and juice limes, crush garlic, and add all ingridients to a zip lock bag. Marinade chicken for 2-3 hours. Grill on barbecue, or bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees when inserted into chicken halfway.

Spanish Quinoa
2 cups quinoa
5 cups water
1 Tbps coconut oil
4 tsp chicken buillon
2 cloves garlic
1/2 onion
1 15oz can of tomato sauce
1 small can green chilis
1-2 tsp cummin
Cilantro

Melt coconut oil in a medium to large saucepan om medium high heat. Toast quinoa. Crush galic and chop onion, add to toasted quinoa. Add water, tomato sauce, green chilis, bullion, and cummin, simmer for 10 minutes. Add cilantro to taste.

Serving size 1/2 cup. Counts as 1 yellow and one teaspoon
Roasted Cauliflower
1 head of cauliflower
1/2 onion sliced
Peppers sliced
Coconut oil or Extra virgin olive oil
Pepper and sea salt to taste

Cut Cauliflower into florets, cut onion and peppers. Toss in melted coconut oil or olive oil and place on cookie sheet. Add pepper and sea salt to taste. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Serving size would be 1 1/4 cup. Counts as 1 green
I wish I had more pictures for you guys! I'll have to make it soon, and I'll do step by step pictures. I'd do anything for more of this food!

Daniela

Daniela was a little hesitant to write out her story for me, she hasn't shared her progress with very many people, yet. She was sweet and said that I could share her picture, and answered a few questions for me, so I'll try to tell it for her! Something that really inspired me about Daniela is that she's had two c-sections, and she looks fabulous! She has a 10 year old and a 2 year old, and you would have never guessed she'd had any kids when looking at her tummy! She seriously has my goal stomach, because my one c-section has been an excuse for having a flabby tummy for WAY too long!

How'd she get to where she's at? She's done P90X, Brazilian Butt lift, 21 Day Fix, and is just starting her 3rd round of 21 Day Fix Extreme. She got involved with Beachbody after seeing an infomercial with Tony Horton for P90X 5 years ago. Tony was her first Beachbody love, but now she loves all of the programs that she owns. Her biggest struggle was making exercise a habit. Her advice to you all is, "Just keep going, believe in yourself, and it's hard as hell but it will be worth it."
Some of Daniela's gains!

I'm actually really grateful I got to chat with her today. As a coach, I have to just keep going because people are watching me and I can't let them down. But for myself, I struggle with sticking to the program. I want to be lazy and take a day off, or eat what I want. Missing one workout isn't going to ruin all my hard work. One cheat meal isn't going to make me fat. Missing one workout COULD throw me into a spiral of missing workouts, though. And when is it really just one cheat meal? As soon as we make an excuse, it's easier to make those decisions. It might be hard to start a habit, but once it becomes a habit, stick with it! And you'll get amazing results, just like Daniela has!

Thank you Daniela for sharing a little about your journey with us today!

Did Daniela's story inspire you? Let me know!

Mexican Chili

This morning we woke up and ALL four of us were feeling tired, cranky, and run down. The kids have had coughs and runny noses the last two days, and my husband and I got them now, too. I hate hate hate HATE being sick. I hate not being able to workout. I hate not having energy to play with my kids. I hate that when I open my mouth, my voice becomes this whiny person.

This morning, I thought, wow, it'd be nice not to have to make dinner. We'll just go to my moms. False. My parent's don't want sick people coming over, eating their food, and making them sick. The second best option is pulling my crockpot out and throwing random items in. So that's exactly what I did!
It actually looks pretty colorful and pretty all thrown in like that! It tasted pretty good, too!

This would also be a great meal to help clean out some of those cans when you start a clean eating plan like the 21 Day Fix, and are cleaning out your cupboards! Here's the recipe:

Mexican Chili
4 chicken breasts (mine were about 6-7 ounces each)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can green chilis
1 cup frozen corn
1 can chicken broth
1 onion chopped
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in crock pot, turn on high for 4-6 hours, or low for 7-8 hours. Chicken should fall apart easily. 
I used two forks to shred all the chicken. 
Everyone in my family loved this! It put us in the mood for Fall, which is taking FOREVER to get here! Each serving (1 cup) would be 1 red, 1 yellow, and 1/2 green
You could garnish with cheddar cheese, a small scoop of plain Greek yogurt, or some crushed tortilla chips. 

Try it, and let me know what you think! Here's a picture you can pin to save as well!



Thursday, August 13, 2015

Worthy

Something I've been thinking a lot about lately is struggles. I often go through struggles, as does everyone else, but I usually let them get me down. Not just depressed, I struggle with depression too, just low on myself. I've frequently been hard on myself, my body, my sense of style, my hair, and other physical attributes, and even harder on my personality. I never get enough done in a day, I take too long to make decisions, I lose patience with my kids or husband, I am awkward around others, I'm an emotional spender,etc.
(Within the first year of my marriage vs. today. Which picture looks happier?)

Since I've been working on myself and coaching, I have gained so much confidence. I am not perfect, I still have slinky skin on my stomach, I have stretch marks in places I didn't know people got stretch marks, I still have weight to lose, but I FEEL GREAT! Even more importantly, I'm learning to love myself the way that I love others. I've always thought the best of others, and have seen their worth even when they can't. Many times in my life, I've been amazed at how people don't see how beautiful, smart, kind, strong, talented, and on and on they are. I needed to start being as loving to myself.

I think a lot of people are like that, too. It's easy to be hard on yourself, to look in the mirror and only see the negatives. How much harder is it to look in the mirror and see all of the good things about yourself? I know it's easier said then done, but try it. Try it RIGHT NOW. Go look in the mirror and point out 5 good things about your physical features. And then 5 good attributes or talents you have. I know I sound crazy, but negativity creates more negativity. So what does thinking more positive do?It creates more positive thoughts! Could you use more positive thoughts? EVERYONE could.

Another thought that I've had lately, is to be appreciative of what God gave me. Would he want me to be down on myself? No. I may not be perfect, but he didn't make any flaws when he made me. He made me just the way I was supposed to be made. Does God want you to hate your body? NO!

We are worthy of so much more than we give ourselves. Many times when I talk to people about this program, they feel guilty spending the money on themselves. If your child needed something to feel better about themselves, to love themselves more and gain confidence, would you buy it for them? It sounds silly that way, but what I'm trying to get at is that I wish more people could see that they ARE worthy and deserving of doing something like this for themselves. They are worthy of taking 30 minutes a day to workout and gain those awesome endorphins. They are worthy of healthy food for fuel. They are worthy of feeling better about themselves.

What I can give people is so much more than diet and exercise. But even more, is what you can give yourself.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheescake

I used to have to chug my protein shakes. I've tried several different brands, Whey powder from Costco, some expensive brand from GNC, Isogenix, one I found online targeted for women, but I was sick of chugging them every day. Now, I enjoy my shakes. I can blend them using ice and water. I really like them with frozen strawberries!

But I also like to use my shakes to curb my crazy sugar cravings. I'm talking CRAZZZZZY cravings! I usually cut out sugar and my cravings can be controlled, but I'm human, and they can get the best of me from time to time. Then, I have to cut the sugar out all over again, and I swear I have withdrawls. When this happens, I make dessert like shakes. So that's how this one came to be!


I use the frozen strawberries from Costco that are HUGE so if you're using smaller strawberries you might want to add more than 3. I like using plain Greek yogurt to make it a little bitter like cheesecake, but if you'd rather, you can use 1/2 cup of almond milk, and no water. 

Try it, and let me know what you think!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Frog crunches

video

An ab workout I'd love to share with you is frog crunches. This video doesn't show how I've turned my feet and legs out, but it's important for you hips and makes it a lot more challenging. Lay on your back, put your legs up, and put your heels together, turning your feet and legs out. Bend your legs, and pull your upper body up trying to meet your knees. Do this for 60 seconds, break, and do it again for another 60 seconds. Your whole body is getting worked, and it feels GREAT!  

Do it, and let me know in the comments or message me and let me know what you think of this move!

Kailin

Kailin, a mom of a beautiful little girl, agreed to let me share her story today. She is one of the contestants for a bikini competition for Beachbody, and I saw her on the Beachbody home page the other day and thought, wow! She has completely transformed physically, I'd love to hear her story. Something that I'm learning lately is that the transformation is never just physical, it's also emotional, it can be spiritual, and it takes a mental change.
Kailin is also a very kind person. She was very quick to agree to letting me use her video and share her story. She was helpful with all my questions, and sweet to encourage me on my journey. She's also had a c-section (you can't even tell!). The first thing I thought when watching her video I'm about to share is how amazing she was for taking such a difficult, heart breaking situation, and making the most of it. She turned things around and mad changes for HER. I'll let you see for yourself!
I love that she shows some of her workouts with her daughter, it shows that you really can't make them your excuse, because you can do the work with them. She's such a great example to that little girl!

We all have a story, we all have things holding us back. I love the Beachbody community, the strength and support that I have felt from everyone I've talked to. If you feel like you can't get through it alone, there's so many people willing to help you and guide you. Thank you so much Kailin for sharing your story with us, and being such an inspiration!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Cupcakes and Cheesecake

I know what you're thinking! You really shouldn't have cupcakes and cheesecake. I'm here to tell you that's false. One thing I LOVE about the 21 Day Fix is that it's a well balanced diet. I'm not cutting out an entire food group like carbs or healthy fats. I even get little treats 3 days a week. Okay, I won't lie, I have treats like every day. I often make my Shakeology treat like, and I also save my teaspoons and make little treats. Not every day but most.

So this weekend, my husband told our daughter she could have a cupcake. At like 9 o'clock at night. Of course, I have to take her to the store. Well they don't have just one cupcake, but they do have a dozen mini cupcakes, and that's better than 12 big cupcakes hanging around my house tempting me. I let her have one mini cupcake, and then she went to bed. And I got to pass those dang cupcakes every time I needed a drink of water that night.

The next day, I didn't have as much will power as the night before. I totally had a cupcake before breakfast. One, tiny, mini cupcake. I wasn't going to let myself feel guilty, so I didn't! It was wonderful. I counted it as a yellow container and went on with my day. Well that night, I wanted another cupcake. And they were just sitting on my counter taunting me. I was not going to give in. I googled some recipes, and decided to try birthday cake Shakeology. This is a game changer guys. Next time I crave cake with frosting and sprinkles, like next week, I'm going for this!

Chocolate Birthday Cake
1 scoop chocolate Shakeology
1/2 cup ice
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp non fat cheesecake pudding mix
1/2 tsp imitation butter extract
sprinkles

Blend all ingredients in blender. Add sprinkles!

This week was also my husband's birthday. He's been doing so good with food (except during lunch since he forgets his lunch almost daily. I think he's embarrassed that I make his lunch and snacks for him). When I asked him what kind of cake he wanted, he said he didn't want any cake. Well I kiboshed that because as mentioned early I love cake. We are celebrating tonight, and I plan on having a small piece of cheesecake. This prompted the next recipe. It's delicious too, in fact, it's probably my new favorite.

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake Shakeology
1 scoop chocolate shakeology
1/2 cup crushed ice
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp non fat cheesecake pudding mix
1 tsp caramel extract.


Blend all ingredients in blender. Enjoy.
These were both kid and husband approved! I'd even add some sea salt and make it a salted caramel cheesecake...mmm!


Try these recipes out and let me know what you think!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Chicken Salad Sandwich

It's my night out! Except that I opted to stay in, so my husband took everyone and I have a quiet house to myself! This is very rare, so I better hurry and finish this post and then enjoy it!

I've been craving chicken salad sandwiches and apple Waldorf salads. I just love summer, and fruit, and eating light. Because I don't have to worry about everyone for dinner tonight, I decided to make a simple meal. So tonight I'm having a chicken salad sandwich! Mmmm!

Chicken Salad Sandwich
Pita bread or whole wheat wrap
1 purple container of grapes
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 chicken breast
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
pepper and pink Himalayan or sea salt to taste

Cut grapes in half and chop the veggies, add to mixing bowl.
Shred a chicken breast in Kitchen Aid or with two forks. Add to grapes and veggies.
Stir in yogurt and apple cider vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add salad to pita bread, a wrap, or enjoy it plain!
This counts as 1 1/2 red, 1 green, 1 purple, and 1 yellow
Now I'm going to go take advantage of no kiddos for a little while! Let me know what you think of this recipe!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Fixate

I just wanted to share a little about Fixate, and the awesome opportunity to have it in your own home! This cookbook isn't just for those on the 21 Day Fix, it's for everyone. All of the recipes are fix approved, and I have loved all the ones I've tried so far. There are 101 recipes, and they are simple and easy to follow. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to cook healthier meals for themselves and their families, anyone who already cooks healthy, anyone looking for more ideas in the kitchen, whether you love to cook, or just love to eat!

Autumn Calabrese, the trainer from the 21 Day Fix, created the cookbook to make things in the kitchen a little easier and tastier. I think as we get into healthy eating, we start to get bland, at least I know I did for awhile. I just cared about fueling my body, and was on auto pilot. But we don't have to sacrifice flavor to eat healthy. In fact, I have found food so much more enjoyable now that I am eating this way.

If you'd like to learn more about Fixate, or purchase Fixate, contact me.

Homemade 21 Day Fix approved BBQ sauce

If you haven't been able to tell from future posts, you're about to learn that I'm a little spacey. I have two beautiful children that have taken quite a few brain cells from me. It would help if I was a little more organized, and I'm working on it, but it definitely doesn't come natural to me. In some ways I can be a lot more organized than others. One of the ways I have to try super hard to be organized in is meal planning. I can make a meal plan simple! Sticking to it, eh, I need some work.

The other night I planned to make some baked potatoes, fresh green beans, shredded BBQ chicken, and a green salad. That was what was on my meal plan, so that evening I began making dinner. I had put chicken in the crockpot that morning, and I put it in the Kitchen Aid to get it shredded (neat little trick!). I had started roasting the green beans. The salad was made. Potatoes were in the oven. I opened the fridge to pull out the BBQ sauce, and realized that we threw the BBQ sauce out because since doing the 21 Day Fix, we cleaned our cupboards and fridge out and tossed all non approved foods. I was pretty set on BBQ chicken, because salsa, my friends, would not have gone well with my plans for dinner. Plus I had already had all my purple containers for the day.

So to Google I went, and found an awesome recipe. I was skeptical. To the point where I didn't think any of us would like it, and we might have to just have a big salad and potatoes for dinner. But I was pleasantly surprised, and so was my family. Even the kids ate it! The key is the garlic. I originally forgot it, and the taste was okay, but as soon as I added it in, wow. It was delicious. Here's the recipe!

BBQ Sauce
1 cup water
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Add all ingredients except olive oil into sauce pan, whisk. Bring to boil and keep on heat for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in olive oil.
(This is my husbands plate, he didn't have his purples yet..lucky guy!)

It's pretty simple to make! I had made a little extra chicken to have for lunch the next day and dinner two days from that, and there was enough sauce left over for that. Next time, I'll add it in the crock pot and do it all at once. This is definitely a recipe we will continue to use!

Want more recipes like this? Leave me your email and I'll send you more recipes!

French Toast

It's my handsome husband's birthday today. And I feel like a schmuck, I completely forgot until late last night. Ideally, I would have made him a big (but healthy), complete breakfast. Instead, I made french toast. My daughter and I woke up early and made him a card and a water color picture, her specialty. I'll have to brainstorm this morning and then get him a gift at some point today. I'm usually so on top of gifts because my love language is giving gifts. I LIVE to give gifts. I will spend hours coming up with the perfect gift, or making something special. Ya, I failed this year.

Here's a little story for you, I think I fail every year. His first birthday since we were married, I was hoping I was pregnant. I woke up early, took a pregnancy test, and prayed it was positive so I could wake him up and tell him he'd be a daddy. Nope. No such luck. I had to go out and get cologne or something that year. He also had to console me because I wanted to be pregnant so bad, men hate crying, poor guy. The second birthday I was pregnant, and I was so grouchy and uncomfortable and miserable to be around. I don't even know what I got him that year. I'm sure I've gotten him presents he's liked in the past two years, but I don't even remember. This year, I'm going to make it a great birthday for him! It's my goal!

Anyway, french toast is easy. I can't believe I'm even making a post about it. But maybe there's someone out there who doesn't know how to make french toast? Heck, who knows!

French Toast
2 eggs
bread
coconut oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pure maple syrup
natural peanut butter, optional
fruit, optional

Turn stove top to medium heat, place 1 tsp coconut oil in a pan and heat. Scramble eggs, add cinnamon. Set bread in egg mixture and coat both sides. Let bread sit for a few seconds to soak up the egg. Place egg soaked bread into pan, cook on both sides until golden brown. Add toppings. Enjoy!


My daughter and I brought him the french toast, card and picture to him, and ate in bed with him. Probably not the best idea with the syrup, and sticky kids. But it was fun! We used Killer Dave's sprouted bread, and the Kirkland brand pure maple syrup. I also like to microwave frozen berries, that would be good on top too!

What would you add to your french toast? Leave me a comment!

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