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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Banana Oatmeal Cookies (21 Day Fix Style!)

As you probably know, I am currently going through the 21 Day Fix program. Believe it or not, you have the flexibility to eat drinks and drink wine!  So, this morning I thought I'd make one of the treat recipes, Banana Oatmeal Cookies.  They turned out delicious and better yet, my 2 and 4 year old love them as well!  

If you are doing the 21 Day Fix, one serving of these treats replaces 1 Yellow Container.

Ingredients: (Makes 8 servings, 2 cookies each)

Banana Oatmeal Cookies
  • Nonstick Cooking Spray
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 ripe medium bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts


Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lightly coat baking sheet with spray. Set aside.
  3. Combine oats, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl; mix well.
  4. Add bananas, raisins, and walnuts; mix well.
  5. Drop spoonfuls (1 Tbsp each) onto baking sheet and flatten cookies with a spatula. 
  6. Bake for about 14-15 minutes or until firm.
Simple as that!  



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

21 Day Fix Week One Progress Update!

21 Day Fix Planning and Prep


I'm a little behind on my progress update!  I completed Week 1 of the 21 Day Fix and started Week 2 yesterday!  I can not express how much I am LOVING this program!  It is super easy to follow and the workouts are perfect!  So I thought I would share what I learned in my first week of the program, as well as give you an update on my planning for Week 2.  

21 Day Fix, Fitness Motivation
Week 1 went pretty well for me.  Although I was planned and prepped, I did face a couple of dinner changes due to unexpected plans.  I did; however, stick with my portion sizes and containers.  It's great because the containers can fit right in your purse if you are heading out and are committed to sticking to the plan.  After experiencing the first day, I did realize that I overeat on healthy food! I'm not going to lie.  I felt hungry the first couple of days while my body adjusted to the portion sizes.  It was a small test of willpower, but now I'm good to go! I've been pretty close to my goal weight but have struggled a bit to lose those last several pounds.  I exercise every day and eat clean, but those stubborn pounds just didn't want to budge! I now see that I have been overeating on a few foods as well as having a larger portion than I should of my carbs.   

Perfect 21 Day Fix Breakfast: Egg Whites, Spinach, Peppers, Ezekiel Bread
I think the container idea is simply genius! It is so helpful to put my food into the containers, dump them on to my plate, and really see how much a true portion size is.  For the most part, I have been sticking to the same variety of foods.  It's easier and cheaper that way!  Egg Whites, grilled spinach and peppers, and a piece of Ezekiel bread make for the perfect breakfast or mid-morning snack for me.  I've incorporated this into my meal plan several days a week and it uses up 3 containers for the day.  I am left feeling completely satisfied and am good to go until my next snack/meal.  


21 Day Fix Snack or Lunch, Greek Yogurt, Strawberries
Something that I didn't want to give up is my yogurt. And guess what?  I didn't!  The only thing that I did give up was the drizzle of honey or Agave Nectar that I used to put on top.  It worked out well because the amount of fruit that I can put on (according to the purple fruit container) is more than I used to use.  So the honey/Agave Nectar isn't necessary anymore! 

21 Day Fix Lunch, Grilled Chicken Salad, Meal Planning and PrepI've incorporated more grilled chicken salads (using spinach) into my meal plans.  Once I saw how much spinach and veggies that I could use I knew this would be a great option that would still keep be satisfied for a few hours.  I do have to admit that the salads keep me fuller than the yogurt, but I like to rotate between the two.  Vegetables are something that I don't always get enough of.  When eating a grilled chicken salad I am able to get 2 green (veggie) containers out of it!



So, overall I am very happy with how I am feeling after Week 1.  I lost 2 pounds and can already feel my body changing from both the nutrition plan and the workouts.

I did incorporate a new dinner into my plan last week.  The 21 Day Fix meal plan has several recipes that are simple for someone who doesn't exactly enjoy cooking!  I tried the Baked Chicken Breast and it was a hit! I actually forgot to snap a picture of my plate before I ate it all, so I will be sure to take one next time I make it.
21 Day Fix, Shakeology
And of course, I can't forget about my Shakeology!  I am continuing to drink it as my first meal of the day.  I switched it up this month and have been drinking Strawberry.  It is delicious but I am chocolate girl at heart, so I'm looking forward to my new bag of chocolate, which should be arriving by the end of the week!


So here is my plan for Week 2! I've learned that my grapes and cashews that I had for a snack last week were NOT enough to keep me feeling full.  So, I scrapped that snack and moved on! Due to the unexpected changes, I was able to move a couple of dinners over.
21 Day Fix Meal Plan



 As for the workouts....

21 Day Fix WorkoutsI completed T25 right before Christmas and was in the middle of P90X3 before pausing it and doing the 21 Day Fix.  I was worried that the 21 Day Fix workouts weren't going to be as intense as what I was used to and boy was I WRONG!  I seriously could not believe how sore I was!  It was great!  That is definitely a sign that the program is working.  It's a no-brainer that a huge perk of the workouts is that they are only 30 minutes; however, I think that the thing I like best is that there are modifications. This program truly is for ANYONE.
21 Day Fix Cardio


So I am almost two days in to Week 2 and am feeling fantastic!  My meal plan is on my counter, my food is prepped for the week, and I have completed two more workouts.  

My current 21 Day Fix group consists of 8 challengers who are getting the motivation, accountability, and support to stick with the program. I can honestly say that they are all loving it!  The motivation within the group is AMAZING and the conversations are flowing!  

I have decided to begin another 21 Day Fix Challenge Group beginning on March 10, 2014! The good news is, the challenge packs (which include the complete 21 Day Fix program as well as a month supply of Shakeology) are no longer on back order!  

The spots are filling up so you don't want to wait!  If you are interested in applying to be in the March 10 group, please fill out the form below!  NOTE:  I will contact you within 24 hours of you filling out the form.  Some of my emails have been going to junk mail, so please be sure you check all folders so that you receive my message!

Here's to Week 2!!!!







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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

21 Day Fix Baked Chicken Breast

I am at the beginning of my 21 Day Fix journey and was anxious to give some of the recipes a try. Tonight, I make the 21 Day Fix Baked Chicken Breast and it was fantastic!  It was a different way to season a boring piece of chicken!  As luck would have it, I forgot to take a picture of my plate before I ate it!  

Note: This recipe uses 1 Red 21 Day Fix Container and 1 Teaspoon

21 Day Fix Baked Chicken Breast, 21 Day Fix, Meal PlanningIngredients:
(Makes 4 servings) 
  • 4 4oz raw chicken breasts, bonelss, skinless
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 21 Day Fix All purpose Seasoning or Smoky Southwestern Seasoning (optional)
All-Purpose Seasoning:
* 4 tsp onion powder
* 2 tsp garlic powder
* 2 tsp mustard powder
* 1/4 tsp dried thyme
* 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
* 1 tsp. sea salt

Directions:
1. Preheat over to 375 degrees F.
2. Place chicken in ovenproof dish.
3. Drizzle with oil and season with seasoning.
4. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle.  
Cooking may vary depending on thickness and weight of the chicken breasts.


I served it with a sweet potato and green beans.  All-in-all, I used 1 red, 1 green, and 1 yellow container, as well as a teaspoon.  I'm anxious to try the Southwestern Seasoning next time!





Sunday, February 16, 2014

A SNEAK PEEK into the planning and prepping of Week 1 of the 21 Day Fix!

21 Day FixI am super excited to begin my 21 Day Fix journey!  I have been testing some different meal options and workouts for several days now; however, I am officially beginning with my 21 Day Fix test group tomorrow!  So by  now you may have seen Facebook posts or have "googled" some information about the 21 Day Fix.  You may have some questions about what it is and how it works. What I plan to do right now, is to explain the components of the program, as well as how I began my prep work in order to be prepared for Day 1.

What is the 21 Day Fix? 
The 21 Day Fix program takes the guesswork out of weight loss.  It's a unique portion-control system combined with easy-to-follow workouts that fit into anyone's busy schedule.  The trainer, Autumn Calabrese shares her passion for food and fitness as she shows you how to make simple choices that add up to life-changing results. This fitness AND nutrition program can help you lose up to 15 pounds in 21 days.  Each workout is approximately 30 minutes a day, 7 days a week.  There are modifications within the workouts so even a beginner can do this!  The unique nutrition plan uses specifically portioned food storage containers that eliminate the guesswork from portion control.  There is no weighing, measuring, or counting calories, carbs, or points.  If it fits in the container, you can eat it!
21 Day Fix storage containers

How to get started....
To begin the program, you first have to figure out the calorie range that you fall in to.  This number is based on your weight.  For me, I fall in to the 1,200-1,499 calorie range.  That means I get to eat 3 Green, 2 Purple, 4 Red, 2 Yellow, 1 Blue, and 1 Orange container per day.  I also get 2 teaspoons of oils/nut butters.  Although the containers seem small when at first glance, you'd be surprised at how much you can stuff in there!

Once you figure out your containers, you get to begin your meal plan.  In the detailed Eating Plan book, there is a page for each colored container that specifies what you can put in it.  Then, you place anything from that list in the container and whatever fits, you can eat! It's pretty simple.   Shakeology is included within the program as well! You don't have to worry about counting your calories because the containers keep your portion sizes in check.  What I did was go through each container and hand write a list of all of the foods that I like.  Then, I planned out my meals, being sure to come as close as possible to the recommended number of containers that I was to eat.

So here is my meal plan that I am sticking to this week!  It isn't TOO much different from other plans that I have done but I did realize one thing.  I definitely OVEREAT my healthy foods!  All natural peanut butter, for example was something that I incorporated into my day almost daily.  I also stuck with 1 to 2 Tbsp. on my rice cakes or whole wheat tortillas. Within this plan, I can have a TEASPOON!  Yikes!  I know it isn't that much less, but when you add it up over the span of a week, that was just one food that I was definitely over indulging on.
21 Day Fix meal plan, clean eating meal plan
























So now that I  have my meal plan completed I had to do some prep work.  This is something that I have incorporated into my weekly weekend routine for several months now.  I have found that if I have my fruits and veggies washed, cut, and ready to go for the week, I am much more likely to stick to my meal plan and stay on track.  If I am having chicken early in the week then I also like to prepare that and store it in the refrigerator as well.  I'm not going to lie, my first meal plan for the 21 Day Fix took me quite a long time to complete!  I wanted to make sure I was doing it correctly and getting the containers that I needed each day.  Now that I have my first plan done, I know that the planning end will definitely get easier. The Eating Plan comes with several optional recipes that you can use, which include sweet treats as well!  There is even a restaurant guide so that you are not stuck when you eat out!
21 day fix meal plan and prep, 21 day fix containers
















21 Day Fix tracking sheetYou  have so many options when planning out your meals.  YOU get to bargain with yourself on what you want to eat.  For example, if you decide that you want to make and eat the Banana Oatmeal Cookies, then you will be giving up one of your yellow containers.  In fact, in order to use my unsweetened Almond milk in my Shakeology, I have given up a yellow carb container for 3 days this week.  It's all about give and take.  You CAN have a balance between nutritious, healthy food and sweet treats, including wine!  Yes, I said WINE too!  In addition, I've been making myself a new 21 Day Fix salad dressing that is delicious as well!

So you might be wondering how in the heck you are going to keep track of all of these containers.  Have no fear!  There is an awesome tracking sheet that you can keep with you so that you are sure you are getting the foods you need.  It's so simple! All you do is check off the containers that you use at each meal/snack.  It is a GREAT visual and you can evaluate your day, and even week to see how well you are doing!


OK let's talk about the workouts!


21 Day Fix Workouts

 The best part, I believe, is that all of the workouts are 30 minutes each!  They are completely doable for any busy schedule!

The workouts include:

  • Cardio Fix
  • Dirty 30
  • Yoga Fix
  • Total Body Cardio Fix
  • Upper Fix
  • Lower Fix
  • Pilates Fix
  • There is even a 10 minute Fix for Abs that will be incorporated the final week.
As a bonus, you also get a Plyo Fix Workout which could be used for additional cardio!  To make things even better, there is a modifier in the workouts so even a beginner can do this!

There is a layout of the workouts within the informational pamphlet; however, I also created a check off workout calendar that could be used as well.  I love being able to check off my workouts as I complete them so this was a must for me!
21 day fix tracking sheet, 21 day fix workouts























I am anxious to do a progress update on me and my challengers in a week, because I know there will already be some amazing results happening!  Stay tuned!


If you are thinking of giving the 21 Day Fix a try, or would like more information on it, fill out the form below.  My next 21 Day Fix exclusive group begins on March 10, 2014!  Within this closed Facebook group, I will provide you with my meal planning tips, meal plans, recipes, one-on-one support, accountability, motivation, and more! 

I'm looking forward to hearing from you! 




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Thursday, February 13, 2014

21 Day Fix Dressings Right Here!!

Ok so I don't want to give away EVERYTHING in the 21 Day Fix plan, but I do plan to share some great recipes, as well as my progress and meal  plans.  So, first up are the salad dressings that are recommended in the program.  You certainly don't have to do the program to make them!  I've tried the Balsamic Vinaigrette and it was awesome!



Note: You can store leftover dressings in a covered container in the refrigerator.  Some of the dressings may thicken when cold, so, place in room temperature for about 30 minutes and stir before serving.

Balsamic Vinaigrette (Makes 8 servings at 6 tsp. each)
  • 6 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar 
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp raw honey or pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 6 Tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
* Combine and whisk vinegar, lemon juice, and honey in a medium bowl. Stir in the mustard then slowly add oil while whisking.  Be sure to mix well.

Creamy Herb Dressing (Makes 12 servings, about 6 tsp each)
  • 1 medium avocado, cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek Yogurt (nonfat)
  • 4 Tbsp finely chopped herbs (ex: tarragon, parsley, mint, or cilantro)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 dash ground white pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


*Place avocado, yogurt herbs, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.  Continue blending mixture and slow add oil until well blended. 

Lemon Tarragon Vinaigrette (Makes 6 servings, about 6 tsp each)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
  • 6 fresh tarragon sprigs, leaves removed and chopped, stem discarded
  • 4 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

* Whisk lemon juice, shallot, tarragon, mustard, salt, and pepper in medium bowl.  Slowly add oil while whisking, mix well.

Dijon Vinaigrette (Makes 8 servings, about 6 tsp each)
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
* Whisk vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.  Slowly add the oil while whisking and mix well.

Asian Citrus Vinaigrette (Makes 6 servings, about 6 tsp each)
  • 1/4 cup 100% orange juice
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
* Whisk orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and ginger in a medium bowl. Slow add the oil while whisking, mix well.





Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Why the Scale Should NOT be your Best Measure of Progress

weight loss, non-scale victories, healthy eating

When it comes to weight loss, using a scale to measure your progress seems to be the best option. After all, you want to lose weight, right?  All my life I worried about that number on the scale.  I dreaded going to the doctors for any type of visit because I didn't want people knowing that number.  Even when I would exercise my heart out, the number wouldn't change and it got to be extremely frustrating.  I know that there are people out there who can relate to me.


weight loss, non-scale victories, healthy eatingWhen I learned how to eat properly, I started noticing small changes.  I joined a 60 day Summer Slim Down challenge group in June of 2013 and promised my group, as well as myself, that I wouldn't not step on that scale until we had to re-do our  measurements on Day 30.  So I spent a solid 30 days changing my eating habits and cleaning up what I was eating.  I incorporated exercise and Shakeology into my daily routine and was feeling fantastic!  Being that it was summer and I was home with my girls all day, I typically wore yoga pants and a tank each day, so, I didn't exactly feel a difference in my clothes.  I remember going to the beach for our family vacation a week before the big "Day 30" was about to hit.  My husband and I spent an afternoon shopping at the outlets and much to my surprise, I purchased a pair of shorts in a smaller size!  I was pretty pumped up about it.

weight loss, non-scale victories, healthy eating, weight loss success story, shakeology success story
 So, when day 30 finally came I stepped on that scale and wanted to cry.  And I'm not talking about tears of joy.  I was SO disappointed.  I put all of this hard work in and I only lost 3 pounds.  Yes, I felt great and yes I finally felt my clothes were starting to get big, but I was so concerned with that number.  As part of my group I had to re-take my measurements and do
another set of transformation pictures.  In doing so, I learned that I lost 6 total inches!  I then took my second round of transformation pictures and did a little comparison. I was shocked!  That was my "ah-ha" moment.  It FINALLY sunk in that I wasn't doing a quick fix.  I wasn't on a crash diet.  I was on my way to a healthy lifestyle.  While I do still step on the scale and want to see that number go down, I don't base my progress on it.  I base my progress on my measurements and proof in the pictures.
weight loss, non-scale victories, healthy eating
It is so easy to get caught up in how others look and wishing you could look the same.  It's easy to get frustrated when you hear about how much weight others are losing and  you aren't.  So many weight lose competitions are based solely on weight, and that isn't right!  Weight loss is different for everyone.

A great way to get, and stay,  motivated is to celebrate those small successes.  Maybe you have created a new habit of exercising 4 days a week.  Maybe those pants that were a bit snug can button comfortably! Maybe you started meal planning and you have been sticking to that plan, or maybe you have been consistent with drinking enough water each day.  Take some time to sit down and think about your journey.  What small successes have occurred?  Think of how far you have come and how much further you will be a month, or even a year, from now!  A recent small success that I had was finally being able to do the Crow in my P90X3 workouts!  I couldn't do it for the life of me for the first few weeks!  My girls got a good laugh at me too!
weight loss, non-scale victories, healthy eating, P90X3 transformation
Just remember, everyone makes mistakes. We ARE human!  I'm not perfect in what I eat and I know there are changes that I could make.  My willpower sometimes gets the best of me too.  The key is to make sure you have more good than bad days.  So, before you consider yourself to be struggling with your weight loss, take your pictures and measurements!  If you are still finding that you are not losing, start keeping a journal of what you eat, as well as how much you exercise. Then at the end of the week you can sit down and look at where you made some slip-ups.  You can re-evaluate and  create a better plan of attack for the following week.
weight loss, non-scale victories, healthy eating, what the scale says


You know that saying, "Slow and steady wins the race"?  That totally applies to weight loss.  When you focus on eating healthy rather than counting points and calories, IT WILL naturally happen!  Sure, it may not be as fast as the latest "quick fix" your friends are doing, but guess what, your change is benefiting you AND your family in the long-term.
weight loss, non-scale victories, healthy eating, weight loss motivation


Enjoy your Day!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Shakeology Power Balls

If you are looking for a quick and clean dessert that won't leave you feeling guilty, look no further! 

Shakeology Power Balls!

You can even pop these in the freezer and save them as a guilt-free treat when needed.  

Ingredients:

  • 8 Tbsp PB2 (powder peanut butter that is low fat and high protein)
  • 3 Tbsp All Natural Peanut Butter (the  only ingredient should be peanuts)
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Shakeology
  • 3 Tbsp raw Honey
  • 1/2 cup Quick Oats

Directions:
  1. Mix PB2 with water until it's a paste like consistency.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients, including the PB2 mixture, together in a mixing bowl.  It will take some time to blend all of the ingredients together.  If it's too sticky, sprinkle some additional Shakeology so that it's a dry and/or crumbly texture.
  3. Roll the mixture into small individual balls (about the size of a ping-pong ball and place on a piece of wax paper.
  4. Place the Shakeology balls into the freezer until they are firm.
  5. You can store in the freezer for up to a week or you can serve immediately while they are still frozen. 


This recipe will make approximately 12 ball with each ball being around 1 oz.  The nutritional data may vary depending on the specific ingredients you use. 

1 serving = 1 ball
Calories = 82
Carbs = 10
Fat = 3
Protein = 4
Calcium = 5
Sugar = 5

Enjoy!

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