**

**

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Clean Eating Picnic Ideas


 
I’m sure many of us will be socializing at picnics with families and friends this weekend.  Hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, fried chicken, pasta salad, chips, dip, beer…and the list goes on!  While I enjoy many of these foods in moderation, indulging all of them in one sitting would leave me feeling guilty, bloated, tired and sick in my stomach!  I understand how tempting it can be when you are sitting around and that bowl of chips is just sitting there in front of you!  Whether it is Labor Day or Christmas day, I always used to come home on holidays feeling so full, yet still hungry for more!  I know you know what I’m talking about!  The key is moderation, portion sizes, and smart decisions. 

Here are some tips to help you get through those Labor Day picnics without feeling so guilty afterwards! 

1.   Whether you are hosting or bringing along an appetizer or side dish, consider making a big vegetable platter!  The more unique the veggies, the more appealing the dish!  Rather than serving a ranch or veggie dip, use Greek Yogurt Herb Dip!

2. How about a yummy fruit tray!  Don’t feel like cutting up all of that fruit?? End the summer season with a big bowl of watermelon!
3.  If you insist on going for the typical hamburger or hot dog meal, substitute wheat bread for white bread!

4. As for the dessert??? Rather than brownies and cakes topped with frosting, consider serving, or bringing along, angel food cake with fresh strawberries!

 
Here are a couple of clean eating recipes that you could use while either hosting or attending your picnic this weekend!

 
Clean Eating Spinach Dip: (Makes approximately 6 cups)

* 1 (6 ounce) container low-fat cottage cheese

* 10 ounce container frozen spinach, thawed

* 8 ounce can water chestnuts, chopped fine

* 2 tbsp onion powder

* 1 tsp dried parsley

* 2 tsp garlic powder

* ½ tsp salt

Directions:

1. Using a blender, blend the cottage cheese until it is smooth and creamy.

2. Put the cottage cheese in a large mixing bowl, and add all other ingredients. 
Stir well! (I like to heat mine up a little bit before serving).

How much easier can it get?!


Recipe: The Gracious Pantry

 

 

Light and Fresh Potato Salad

Dressing:

* ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar

“ 2 tbsp canola oil

* ¼ tsp salt

* 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Salad:

* 5 cups cubed red potato (about 2 pounds)

* ½ tsp salt

* 1 cup chopped peeled cucumber

* ¾ cup sliced grape of cherry tomatoes

* ¾ cup chopped green bell pepper

* ½ cup chopped orange bell pepper

* ¼ cup chopped green onions

* 1 (2 ¼ ounce) can sliced ripe olives, drained

Directions:

1. To prepare dressing, combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.

2. To prepare salad, place potato and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Cover with water to 2 inches above potato; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until tender; drain.

3. Add potato to dressing in bowl, tossing gently to coat; let stand 15 minutes. Stir in cucumber and remaining ingredients; toss well. Cover and chill

 

Recipe from: Cooking Light

 


Just remember, holiday picnics don’t have to be about eating all day and regretting it the next, especially if you step on that scale! Are you going to a party where you know you won’t find anything healthy?   The best solution to that situation is to bring a clean eating appetizer / side dish with you!  That way you know you have something to fall back on! By making a few substitutions, your day can end much healthier! 

Enjoy your picnics this weekend! 

 

 

Oats and Banana Balls

A tasty treat! 


Ingredients:
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 spoonful of all natural peanut butter


Directions:
1.Preheat over to 350 degrees.
2.Mix all ingredients thoroughly.
3 Plop spoonful's onto a baking sheet.
4 Bake for 15 minutes.


Enjoy!
 
 
 
 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

August Promotions Coming to an End!

  
 Time is always a factor when it comes to exercising.  It was for me too!  Did you know that a one hour workout is 4% of your day? Just think if your workout was less than an hour!  Can you spare less than 4% of your day to getting healthy? Beachbody has some GREAT sales going on for 2 MORE DAYS!!! All 3 of the workouts listed below are an hour or less!  In fact, T25 consists of ALL 25 MINUTE WORKOUTS!  I am currently doing Turbo Fire, which I LOVE, and there are even 10, 15, and 20 minute workouts!  Afraid that’s too short and you won’t get results?  Trust me…you will!

 
 

 
 
Why buy a challenge pack?  Because challenge packs off the "complete solution" of Fitness + Nutrition + Support + Rewards = Success!
 
  Buy purchasing a challenge pack you receive:

·         Fitness – Any Beachbody fitness program of your choice

·         Nutrition – Shakeology

·         Support – Me, your Coach

·         Rewards – The Beachbody Challenge contest

·         Success – Achieving their goals in your Challenge Group


You can’t get all that at the local gym for the cost of one of our Challenge Packs!  There's even an added bonus of a free 30 day trial Club Membership where you will have access to a wide range of support including customized meal plans!  Oh yea, and FREE SHIPPING!
 

 
 
 
Message or email me at lisamariedecker@yahoo.com for details!
 
 

Granola

Who doesn't love granola?!  Here is a great homemade recipe to make your own! This isn't something to make all the time, but when you do, you can use 1/4 cup in plain Greek yogurt, or eat 1/2 cup by itself!  DELICIOUS!


Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract


  • Directions:
    1. Preheat over to 300 degrees.
    2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until evenly blended. 
    3. Press mixture into a baking pan and bake for 40 minutes. 


     
    Enjoy!
     
     
     

    Cinnamon Dusted Apples with Cottage Cheese

    This is a great fulfilling snack!  A benefit from purchasing fitness programs are the nutritional guides that come along with them.  This snack is from the TurboFire nutritional guide. It's delicious!


    Ingredients:
    • 1 medium apple
    • 2 tbsp of water
    • 1 tsp of cinnamon
    • 1 tbsp of chopped walnuts or sliced almonds
    • 1/2 cup of 2% cottage cheese
     
    Directions:
     
    Slice apple into thin pieces, removing the core. Saute the sliced apples in the water, until tender, yet crispy. Place cottage cheese in a bowl, place sauteed apples on top, sprinkle cinnamon and nuts on top.
     
    Enjoy!
     

    Oatmeal Recipes

    What do you prefer to eat for breakfast?  Ever try a warm bowl of oatmeal with some fresh fruit?  Oats provide the body with many benefits.  Oatmeal is a whole grain, and by eating whole grains, you can lower your risk for several diseases that include high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.  When purchasing oatmeal, avoid prepackaged oatmeal that may be high in both sodium and sugar.  Your food label on your package of oats should list one ingredient: whole grain oats.  Oats are also a great source of iron, magnesium and B vitamins, and it can also help in lowering your LDL, or “bad” cholesterol!
    Oatmeal is also a great source of fiber, which means that you’re going to feel full for a longer period of time, as opposed to eating breakfast foods that are high in sugar and fat.
    Not a big fan of plain oatmeal? I have to admit, I'm a cereal junkie and giving up sugary cereal has been one of my greatest accomplishments!  In the past, if I ate oatmeal, it was the prepackaged Maple and Brown Sugar flavor!  Although I tend to drink my Shakeology for breakfast, I do try and switch my mornings up and eat some oatmeal instead.  There are tons of ways to make it better!  You can add fresh fruit or spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to give it great flavor.  I usually cook my oats in the microwave with some water and then add all of the yummy ingredients!
     
    As I expand my oatmeal recipes, I will be sure to add them in!  Here are a couple that I have already tried and love!
     
    Clean Eating Triple Berry Oatmeal (from The Gracious Pantry)
    • 1/2 cup Quaker Old Fashioned oatmeal
    • 1/2 cup "Triple Berries" (Blueberries, Raspberries and Blackberries (I like to use strawberries))
    • 2 Tablespoons flaxseed
    • 1/4 cup skim milk (non-dairy works too)
     
     
     
     
    Banana Oat Bran  Oatmeal (from The Gracious Pantry)
    • 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1 banana
    • 1/2 cup soy milk (almond milk or skim milk work too)
    • 1 tbsp. oat bran 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Wednesday, August 28, 2013

    Clean Eating Parmesan Chicken

    Chicken is the main meat source that my entire family eats; so, I'm always looking for new ways to switch things up!  This recipe is a keeper!

    Ingredients:
    • 2 pounds chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
    • 1/4 cup gluten free bread crumbs or whole wheat panko crumbs (not gluten free)
    • 2 tbsp fresh grated Parmesan cheese
    • 2 egg whites
    • 1/4 tsp sea salt
    • 1/8 tsp black pepper
    • 1/8 tsp lemon pepper
    • 1/8 tsp oregano
     
    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Break open eggs into a shallow dish and scramble well.
    3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, sea salt, black pepper, lemon pepper and oregano.
    4. Dip each side of chicken breast into the egg and then into bread crumb mixture.
    5. Place in a large baking dish.
    6. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

     
    Serve with some brown rice and steamed veggies and you are set!
     
     
    Enjoy!
     
     
     
     

    Chicken Fajitas

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Chicken Fajitas!

    Ingredients:
    • 16 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts 
    • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
    • 1 green pepper, cut into strips
    • 1 medium onion, cut into strips
    • 3 tbsp lime juice
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • Mexican chile powder,  to taste
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 tsp olive oil
    • 8 low carb whole wheat flour tortillas
    • reduced fat Mexican cheese

    Directions:

    1. Marinate the chicken with lime juice, and season with Chile powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cumin.
    2. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and toss them with olive oil.
    3. In a skillet, cover and cook the onions and peppers over medium heat until soft (about 16-18 minutes).
    4. Grill chicken until cooked through.  Transfer to cutting board and cut into strips.
    5. Combine the chicken, peppers, and onions. Serve immediately with warmed tortillas and a pinch of cheese topping. 


    This makes approximately 4 cups of chicken and vegetables. 

    Serving size: 2 Fajitas
    Calories: 299
    Fat: 10.5 grams
    Protein: 39 grams
    Carbs: 27 grams
    Fiber: 15.5 grams



    Recipe from: Skinnytaste

    Citrus Grilled Chicken

    Ingredients:
    • 1 orange
    • 1 lime
    • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 2 (6 ounce) boneless chicken breasts
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper

    Directions:
    1. Zest orange and lime into a large bowl.
    2. Squeeze orange juice into bowl.
    3. Add oil, garlic, and chicken, tossing to coat.
    4. Cover and refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
    5. Prepare grill, or grill pan over medium-high heat.
    6. Remove chicken from marinade and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    7. Cook chicken approximately 6 minutes per side or until done.

    If you like the zesty flavor, feel free to squeeze some lime juice over your chicken while it is cooking!

    Note: You can also use a Ziplock bag to marinate the chicken in.




    Recipe from: The Gracious Pantry


    Baked Chicken Fingers

    My girls LOVE chicken fingers!  I used to buy a big bag of frozen chicken nuggets / chicken fingers but now have found this tasty recipe!  Better yet, my girls love them!

    Ingredients:

  • 8 strips Chicken
  • 1 cup Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Crumbled Dried Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Black Pepper



  • Directions:

    1. Preheat the over to 400 degrees.  Spray your pan with cooking spray.
    2. Cut each of the chicken breasts into long strips, creating "fingers."  I prefer to buy tenderloins and skip this step!
    3. Place chicken in a bowl and add oil. Coat breasts thoroughly.
    4. In a separate bowl, stir together bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, oregano, chili powder, salt and pepper.
    5. Add bread crumb mixture to chicken and mix to coat thoroughly.  You could even place the chicken and bread crumb mixture in a Ziploc bag and shake. Once all chicken is coated, arrange them on your baking sheet.
    6. Bake for approximate 10-12 minutes, then turn each finger over and bake for an additional 10 minutes.  Cook until they are browned and cooked through. 

    Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce!



    I like to serve these with homemade sweet potato fries!  Cut up sweet potatoes length wise into steak fry strips.  Place them in a Ziplock bag.  Add some Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Season Salt.  Close and shake the bag.  Lay the fries on a baking sheet and cook until crispy (about 25-30 minutes)!




     




    Slow Cooker Mexican Dinner

    My family is not big into Mexican food; however, this looked appealing so I gave it a try!  To our surprise, it was delicious!  The best part was that all I had to do was throw everything in a crock pot and let it cook for the day!

    Ingredients:
    • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • 1 cup / 240 ml black beans
    • 1 cup / 240 ml corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
    • 1 small jar salsa (your favorite variety)
    • 1 Tbsp / 15 ml cumin
    • 1 Tbsp / 15 ml chili powder
    • 2 cups / 480 ml cooked brown rice


    Directions:
    1. Add to slow cooker: chicken breast, beans, corn, salsa, cumin and chili powder. Mix and cook on low 8 to 10 hours. Serve with cooked brown rice.

    Enjoy!



     
     
     
     
     

    Chicken Caesar Salad Pizza

    Ingredients for Caesar Dressing:
    • !/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • 1 tsp dijon mustard
    • 1/4 cup fat free parmesan cheese, grated
    • 1 clove garlic, through garlic press
    • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
    • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
    • sprinkle of sea salt
    Directions:
    1. Blend all ingredients together.
    2. Pour into jar or other container suitable for storage.
    3. Enjoy right away or refrigerate for 24hrs so all the pepper and oregano flavor can come through!
    4. Shake before each use.


    Ingredients for Pizzas:
    • 2 cups cooked chicken breast cut into chunks
    • 4 100% Whole Wheat Mini Pitas
    • 6 cups romaine lettuce
    • 1 1/2 cups tomatoes, chopped
    • approximately 1/2 cup Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
    Directions:
    1. Preheat over to 450 degrees.
    2. Spread each pita with a tablespoon of homemade Caesar Dressing. 
    3. Sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped chicken evenly over the dressing.
    4. Sprinkle 2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan Cheese evenly over the chicken.
    5. Line a baking pan with foil.  Place the 4 pita pizzas on the pan.
    6. Bake for about 8 minutes, until the pita is golden and cheese is melted.
    7. While the pitas are in the over, mix the lettuce, tomato, and homemade dressing in a bowl.
    8. Place each pizza on a plate and top with salad mixture and 1 tbsp. of cheese.
    Enjoy!




    Caesar Dressing Recipe and photo from: The Eat Clean Diet
    Chicken Caesar Salad Pizza Recipe adapted from: skinnykitchen


    Chicken Quesadillas

    Loaded with approximately 37 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber, these Quesadillas are delicious!

    Ingredients:
    • 16 oz skinless chicken breast
    • cumin
    • oregano
    • garlic powder
    • salt and fresh pepper
    • cooking spray
    • 1/2 small onion, cut into strips
    • 1 bell pepper (red or green) cut into strips
    • 1 clove minced garlic
    • 1 tbsp. oil
    • 1-1/3 cup Weight Watchers Mexican blend shredded cheese
    • 1 cup avocado-mango salsa
    • 8 low-carb whole wheat tortillas
    Directions:
    1. Slice chicken breast in half so you have 4 cutlets.  Season chicken generously with salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, and garlic powder.
    2. Lightly spray skillet on medium heat with oil and cook chicken until cooked on both sides.
    3. Remove from  heat and cut chicken into strips (set aside).
    4. To the skillet, add 1 tbsp. oil and cook onions and peppers, season with salt and pepper.
    5. Cook about 2 minutes, add garlic and continue cooking until vegetables are soft (be careful not to burn the garlic!).
    6. Heat another skillet on medium heat and lightly spray with oil. 
    7. Add tortilla, top with cheese, chicken, onions, peppers, and pico de gallo or avocado-mango salsa.
    8. Top with the other tortilla.  Cheese should be melted and the bottom of the tortilla should be golden brown. 
    9.  Put a plate on top of the quesadilla to flip it over onto the plate. Then slide the other side onto the skillet.  Cook another minute and remove with a spatula. 
    10. Cut into wedges and enjoy! 


    Recipe from: skinnytaste


    Whole Wheat Pasta Primavera

    Ingredients:
    • 1 lb whole wheat pasta
    • 1/2 zucchini, sliced
    • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
    • 1 bag fresh mixed precut carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli
    • 1/2 cup frozen peas
    • 2 tbsp. Parmesan Cheese
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 1 tbsp. olive oil


    Directions:
    1. Boil water and cook pasta.
    2. In a second pan, steam zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli until heated through but slightly crisp.
    3. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and sauté garlic.
    3. Add red bell peppers and peas to garlic and cook for about 3 minutes over medium heat.
    4. Drain pasta and vegetables.
    5. Add both to frying pan and toss. 
    6. Sprinkle with cheese.

    **I add a little bit of all natural pasta sauce to give it some more flavor!



    Balsamic Salmon

    I'm not a big seafood eater but occasionally like salmon.  I tried this recipe and cooked salmon for the first time!  It was delicious!

    Ingredients:
    • 2 salmon fillets (about 3-4 oz each)
    • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
    • 1/2 Tablespoon honey
    • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • Sea Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

    Directions:
    1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium to high heat.  Season both sides of salmon with salt and pepper.  Add salmon to skillet and cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, until golden brown.

    2. While the salmon is cooking, whisk together honey, vinegar, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.  Add the vinegar mixture to the skillet and simmer until the fish is fork-tender and liquid reduces and thickens.  This should take approximately 5 minutes. The longer you simmer, the thicker the sauce.


    Enjoy!


    Lemon Grilled Chicken Breast

    A simply way to spruce up grilled chicken!

    Ingredients:
    • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 7 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • Cooking Spray

    Directions:

    1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal.  Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, turning occasionally. 
    2. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade.  Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper.
    3. Place chicken on grill or skillet coated with cooking spray.  Grill approximately 6 minutes on each side or until done.

    Tastes great served with brown rice or quinoa and fresh vegetable.  Also tastes great in salads! 


    Recipe and Photo from: myrecipes

    Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken

    This is a great alternative to preparing it in the skillet!

    Ingredients:
    • 4-6 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
    • 1 Medium Onion thinly sliced
    • 4 Garlic Cloves
    • 1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
    • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
    • 1 tsp each: dried oregano, basil, and rosemary
    • 1/2 tsp thyme
    • Ground Black Pepper and Salt to taste

    Directions:
    1. Pour the olive oil on the bottom of slow cooker.
    2. Add chicken breasts, salt and pepper each breast..
    3. Put slicked onion on top of chicken then put in all of the dried herbs and garlic cloves.
    4. Pour vinegar.
    5. Cook on high for 4 hours.

    This is served great over whole wheat angel hair pasta, brown rice, or quinoa!

    Save the leftovers to make a chicken wrap with a whole wheat tortilla for lunch the next day!

    Recipe from: skinnyms

    Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms

    This is an all-time favorite at this house!


    Ingredients:
    • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • 1/2 tsp sea salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
    • 1 package button mushrooms washed, patted, dry, and sliced
    • 3 tsp, minced garlic
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
    • cooking spray
    Directions:

    1. Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Spray non stick skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium high.
    2. Add the chicken and sauté until brown on one side.
    3. Add garlic and flip over chicken breasts and add mushrooms.
    4. Continue cooking while stirring mushrooms.
    5. Cook for about 3 minutes then add vinegar, broth, bay leaf, and thyme.
    6. Cover and simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    7. Remove chicken, set aside and keep warm.
    8. Continue simmering sauce, uncovered for about 7 minutes.
    9. Discard bay lead and pour mixture over chicken and serve!

    Make extra and use for your salad or lunch the next day!



    Clean Eating Blueberry French Toast Casserole

    This recipe is DELICIOUS!  We are a breakfast for dinner kind of family and both my husband and kids LOVE when I make this!  It actually makes 12 servings!  Yes, that's too much for my family, but the good news is that leftovers can be put in the freezer!

    Ingredients                                                                                                                
    • 6 cups cubed, whole grain bread
    • 8 egg whites
    • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 2 tsp. almond extract
    • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 2 cups fresh blueberries
    Directions
    Step 1 – In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg whites, almond milk, honey, extracts and cinnamon. Whisk well.
    Step 2 – Oil a baking dish (about 9 x 13), and fill it with the bread.
    Step 3 – Pour the liquid mixture over the bread and allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes, mixing once or twice to be sure all parts of the bread are moistened.
    Step 4 – Mix in the blueberries.
    Step 5 – Bake the casserole at 350 F. for about 45 minutes or until there is no longer any liquid between the bread.
    Step 6 – Allow to cool a bit and serve.
     
    Enjoy!
     
     
     
    Recipe from: The Gracious Pantry


     

    Tuesday, August 27, 2013

    Mini Pita Pizza

    My family LOVES pizza, and I'll admit, sometimes we do order out for pizza; however, mini pita pizzas are a great substitute for a healthy alternative. They can be customized for each member of the family!  If you have kids, this is a great way to get them involved in helping in the kitchen! 

    Ingredients:
    • 100% Whole Wheat Mini Pitas
    • Olive Oil
    • Shredded Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese
    • Natural Pizza Sauce
    • Add whatever and as many veggies as you want!

    Arrange pitas on a cookie sheet and lightly brush with oil.  Top with pizza sauce, mozzarella, and veggies.  Bake until cheese is melted.  Enjoy as an appetizer, snack or meal!

    I prefer to serve this with a side salad!



























    Chicken and Pear Salad



    Ingredients:

    1. 2 Grilled Chicken Breasts (sliced)
    2. 3 Cups fresh spinach (or lettuce of your choice)
    3. 1 Peeled and sliced fresh pear
    4.  A handful of walnuts
    5. 1 Cup Graded Parmesan Cheese


    Dressing:
    1. 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
    2. 1/2 cup olive oil
    3. 2 Tbsp. honey


    In a large salad bowl, mix freshly wasted spinach, pear, and chopped walnuts.  Add the sliced chicken breasts. 

    Whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey.  Pour over top of salad bowl mixture.  Top with Parmesan!

    Chicken Bake

    Easy, Simple, Delicious!


    Ingredients:
    1. 4 Skinless chicken breasts chopped into 2 inch cubes
    2. 1 lb red potatoes chopped into 2 inch cubes
    3. 1/2 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces. 
    4. Red and yellow peppers sliced into 1 inch pieces.
    5. 1 onion sliced
    6. 1/3 cup fresh basil
    7. 4 garlic cloves sliced thin
    8. 1.5 tbsp olive oil
    9. 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
    10. Ground pepper to taste
    11. 1/2 cup chicken broth if desired - I typically use it to add juice and flavor
    Directions:
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees and add chicken, potatoes, veggies, basil, garlic, chicken broth and olive oil.  Sprinkle with rosemary add pepper if desired.  Bake for approximately 55 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender!  SERVE!!!




    Shakeology Fudge Pops

    My girls not only loved eating these, but they loved helping me make them too!  So easy and such a better alternative to store bought Fudgesicles! 




    1 - 1 1/2 tsp Chocolate Shakeology
    1 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
    1 Cup of Skim or Almond Milk


    Mix ingredients in blender, pour into popsicle molds and freeze!

    It doesn't get much easier, or healthier!
     

     

    Beachbody Challenge

     






    Do you feel like you need to lose weight but just don't have the motivation to do so?  Do you start to "eat healthy" and then give up after a week?  Have you ever started to exercise and after a month, or even a week, you stopped because you're too busy?  I can tell you that I could answer yes to all of these questions.  I let this cycle happen for quite a while.  I decided to do something about it.  I joined a Beachbody Challenge Group under a friend of mine.  I wasn't really sure what to expect, but I saw so many success stories posted on Facebook, so I figured it wouldn't hurt, right?! 

    I was nervous for the group to start, even more nervous to take my "before" pictures!  Once the group started, I was really committed to making this work.  I was held accountable within a closed Facebook group and didn't want to have to post I didn't do my workout that day, or if I cheated on my food or skipped my Shakeology.  As a result, I went in full force and stuck with the program!  Yes, I had some days, especially at the beginning where my eating habits weren't that great.  My will-power was TERRIBLE at the beginning and has, and still is, getting better and better.  After only a couple of weeks, I was amazed at how different I felt.  When I took my 30 day pictures I couldn't believe it!  I don't consider myself to be on a "diet."  Yes, I changed my eating habits.  Yes, I take more precaution on my portion sizes.  Yes, I take a closer look at food labels and put thought into weekly meal planning and preparation.  I consider that to be a lifestyle change.  As a result, my families eating habits, even my two toddlers, have changed for the better!  My daughter actually asks me for "healthy snacks!"  I could not have been able to stay motivated and stick with this change without the support, help, accountability, and motivation from the Beachbody Challenge Group. 

     

    So you may be thinking, ok, good for you!  So what is a Challenge Group and what kind of commitment does it require?  Check out the video below!
     



    Sounds exciting, doesn't it?!?! 
     
    So I ask...
    Are you ready to gain self confidence?
    Are you ready to fit back into those smaller sized cloths that are in the back of your closet?
    Are you interested in setting a positive example for your children, family, and friends? 
    Are you ready to get some energy back that you have been lacking?
    Are you ready to make a healthy lifestyle change? 
     
    If so, then a Beachbody Challenge Group is for YOU! 
     
    The good news is, I've gone through it.  I'm still going through it!  I know that support, motivation, and accountability aid in better results!  Within a Beachbody Challenge Group, I can provide what you need once you are ready to make the commitment! I know it is a decision that you will not regret! 
     
     
     
     
     
    Are you ready?
     
    Step 1:  Once you make the commitment, TOGETHER, we will discuss your health goals and decide which Beachbody Fitness program is right for you. 
     
    Step 2: You commit to replacing one meal a day with Shakeology.  It doesn't matter which meal you choose.  Believe it or not, obtaining and maintaining a healthy body is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise.  By drinking Shakeology, you are getting the nutrients that your body needs for the day.  Check out the Shakeology Tab for all of the great health benefits! 
     
    Step 3: Sign up for a free Beachbody account.  From there, I can help guide you in purchasing a Challenge Pack! 
     
    Step 4:  Once you make the commitment and the purchase, you will be included in a closed Facebook group with a small group of people doing the same thing as you!  A group that is committed to making a healthy lifestyle change!  It is this group that will continually support, motivate, and keep each other accountable in getting through the 60 or 90 day challenge!   Along our journey, I will provide you with nutritional and fitness tips, which will include meal planning and meal preparation ideas.  I will even share my weekly meal plan that I follow!  Don't worry!  If you aren't familiar with closed Facebook groups, only the people within the group will be able to see your posts and what's going on! 
     
     
     
    
    So what's the catch?
    There is no catch!  If you make the commitment, you WILL get the results that you are looking for!


    I plan to begin one new challenge group per month.  Because I like to keep the groups small and personal, spots will be limited each month!  You can message or email me at lisamariedecker@yahoo.com. I look forward to hearing from you! 











    Shakeology


    I get asked a lot about Shakeology and how it compares to other shakes that are much cheaper in price.  The truth is, yes, other shakes are cheaper.  Other shakes; however, do not have what Shakeology has.  So I ask, would you rather spend the money to get something that you know is good for you? Or would you rather spend less money on something that may not be as satisfying and nutritional?  The other approach that people tend to take is the whole, drinking a shake for a meal.  I will be the first to admit that I was an anti-shake person.  I thought people were CRAZY for drinking a shake to replace a meal!  There have been many times at lunch where I would watch my co-workers slurp down a shake while I sat there and ate my food.   I felt so bad for eating in front of them and the look on their faces said it all!  So when I joined a Summer Slim Down Challenge group, I knew that I would have to give it a try.  The only reason why I was ok with it was because I'm not a big fan of cooking, and this would take at least one meal away from having to be in the kitchen! 
     
    So when I got my Chocolate Shakeology, I figured I'd give it a try before the first day of the challenge group.  I took the advice from my coach and mixed one scoop of Shakeology with 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk, and Ice.  I bought myself a handy blender from Target and blended away!  I was pleasantly surprised at the taste!  I'm pretty sure within five minutes the entire glass was gone!  I almost felt guilty for enjoying what tasted like a chocolate milkshake for breakfast!  What was even more amazing to me was that I felt full!  I was typically a bagel or sugary cereal type of person and even after I'd eat either, I felt like I could still eat more.  Worse yet was I felt starving within the next hour!   So it was nothing short of a miracle that I not only drank a chocolate shake for breakfast, but I wasn't even hungry for at least 2 1/2 hour or so later!  As my challenge group continued I experimented with different recipes.  I found that adding a half banana was delicious; however, my favorite it add a small amount of mint extract.  I love the chocolate mint taste! I owe Shakeology to a large portion of my success on getting fit and healthy.  It is my go-to if I know I'm going to be somewhere that won't have healthy choices for me.  It is my go-to for my sweet tooth, which I definitely have.  And it is my go-to for my healthiest meal of the day.  Needless to say, the only regret I have it not trying it sooner! 
     
     
     
     
     

    So, now that you know my story behind drinking Shakeology, you are probably thinking, what makes it so healthy?  
     
    What is Shakeology?
     
    Shakeology is a nutritional protein shake that provides a wide spectrum of healthy nutrients in a low-calorie formula.  Whether you use it as a meal replacement for weight loss or simply to ensure your body gets all the nutrients it needs for optimal health, Shakeology takes the guesswork out of nutrition.

    What's in it?
    Shakeology contains over 70 ultra high-quality ingredients conveniently located in one glass, to deliver nearly all the nutrients you need to maintain a healthy diet.  It's good for you, and good for everyone, because everyone's diet is deficient in some of the key nutrient groups packed into just one Shakeology serving.


     Click Image to Enlarge!
     
     
    Protein from whey, which is highly absorbable, gives you 8 essential amino acids that help you build muscle, lose weight, support brain function, and keep your skin and bones healthy.
    Vitamins and minerals support optimum health.
    Antioxidants boost the immune system and help reduce free radical damage that can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, blood pressure, and stroke.
    Phytonutrients support immune function and have anit-inflammatory properties. 
    Prebiotics support digestive and immune health.
    Digestive enzymes help in the digestion of foods and increase the absorption rate of those foods for optimum health.


    What can Shakeology do for you?

    • Helps you lose weight
    • Increases your energy
    • Reduces your cravings
    • Improves your digestion and regularity
    • Reduces your total cholesterol
    • Reduces LDL cholesterol
    • Reduces cardiovascular risk


    Why Shakeology?

    Shakeology is an easy meal that ensures you are getting the nutrients you need for the day.  It is equivalent to 5 trips to the salad bar! Everyone is busy in one way or another.  Everyone has hectic days.  Why not have a quick meal that you can shake or blend up in less than two minutes? A meal that can give you the energy you need to keep up with your daily schedule! A meal that you can take on-the-go for those busy days!  There are various recipes that you can try and you have the ability to make the consistency the way you like it!  Personally, I LOVE milkshakes, so, I blend my Shakeology with a little bit of ice to have a thicker creamier texture.  Delicious!

    Hilarious Video!  Check it Out!
     
     
     
     
      

    Worried that you may not like it?

    I doubt that will happen; however, in the event that it does, you can cancel at any time for no fee. Shakeology also has a 30 day Bottom-of-the-Bag guarantee!  You can return your empty bag for a full refund! 



    Are you interested in trying Shakeology or getting more information?                                
    Here are a some ways you can go about in doing that...

    1. Message or email me at lisamariedecker@yahoo.com
    2. Check out my Shakeology site: www.shakeology.com/ldecker (this is where it can be purchased as well)
    3. You can PayPal me to purchase individual servings for $5 per packet!  Please email or message me to check in-stock availability. 
    4. Order either a 30 day supply bag (1 flavor of your choice), or a box of 24 individual packets in a variety of flavors. By choosing the Home Direct (HD) option, you will not only receive free shipping, but it will automatically arrive at your door step each month!





     

     
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