Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Stuffed Zucchini

A challenger of mine posted this recipe in our group and I thought I'd give it a try. I don't make a lot of zucchini recipes and had some to spare from my parents garden this week, so it's definitely been a zucchini week!  My husband is a non-vegetable person and really liked this dinner!  So....it's a keeper! 

Clean Eating, Stuffed Zucchini, Zucchini Recipes, Meal Planning, Healthy Dinner Ideas,
Stuffed Zucchini 

  • 3 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, diced
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp whole-wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 2 zucchini, halved, seeds and pulp removed (I did use some of the pulp to mix in with the other vegetables)
  • 1 Red, Yellow, or Green Bell pepper (I used a combination of all three!)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare stuffing: In a large pan on medium-high, heat 1 tsp oil. Add garlic, peppers, onion and mushrooms. Sauté until vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add remaining 2 tsp oil, vinegar, bread crumbs and Parmesan. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Spoon an equal amount of stuffing into each zucchini half. Bake on a foil-lined cookie sheet for 15 minutes.

Recipe Source: Clean Eating Magazine 

Monday, July 28, 2014

PiYO Week 3 Women's Progress Update

PiYO Workout, Fitness Motivation
PiYO Buns Workout! 

Happy Monday!  So, as of yesterday afternoon, I have officially completed Week 3 of Beachbody's newest program, PiYO!  If you follow me at all, then you may have wondered why it took me so long (2 weeks) to finish week 3.  Well, all I can say is I'M HUMAN! Just because I am a Beachbody Coach doesn't mean I don't have slip ups too.  So, here are my excuses.  Yes, I am calling them excuses because quite frankly, I could have made time and done better at making sure I was sticking to the program.  BUT, I was on my family vacation.  The week leading up to vacation was CRAZY!  I wasn't feeling well and had to take a couple of days off, then, I had to get my family packed, which involves a 2 and 4 year old.  I swear we ended up taking everything but the kitchen sink!  So, once we got to the beach I had my workout schedule in place and it just didn't work out.  I was able to get 3 PiYO workouts in; however, we did go bike riding one more and we walked....a ton!  We didn't even get in our car the entire week!  So, when I returned home I wanted to get back on track and the best way for me to do so was to just re-do week 3.  I do want to add that my eating through all of this was pretty much spot on.  I didn't cave and I stuck with my meal plan. 

So, let me tell you a little about week 3 since I spent so much time with it!  Week 3 is seriously NO JOKE!  I've had several friends, customers, and/or challengers questioning the effectiveness of PiYO.  For the first two weeks it is a little frustrating because you are trying to learn the moves and you aren't necessarily dripping in sweat all week.  It is so different from any other Beachbody workout because you aren't jumping around and doing fast intense moves.  PiYO is all low impact but high intensity.  My first realization of this was when I did the Sweat workout.  Again, no jumping, no running, no weights, and I was a sweaty mess!!  And you better believe I was sore! It was GREAT!
PiYO Workout

So, my workouts for Week 3 were as follows:
Monday: Upper Body - I enjoy this workout because it gives my arms/shoulders a great workout!  It's only 18 minutes long and since I am still really working on defining my abs, I did add in the 21 Day 10 Minute Ab Fix workout.
Tuesday: Buns - This was a first time workout for me.  I wasn't sure what to expect other than a sore lower half, and boy was I right!  This 26 minute workout was FABULOUS!
Wednesday: Core - This is one of my favorite workouts.  Coming in at around 30 minutes, Core really works the entire body, and especially  your core area (obviously).  It definitely makes me work up a good sweat!
PiYO Workouts, Fitness Motivation
Thursday: Lower Body - Yet another great workout, Lower Body does just that, works the lower body!  Now that I am familiar with the moves and workout, I am able to push myself for that extra burn.
Friday: Sweat - As I mentioned before, every time I do this workout I am a sweaty mess!!!
Saturday: I took Saturday as my rest day, which was much needed.  I was out sore, and out of town, so my body was definitely in need of a break!
Sunday: Strength Intervals - This is another new workout to week 3.  I, again, wasn't sure what to expect and was quite surprised!  First of all, this workout is only 26 minutes, which is great for busy moms like me! Secondly, it was cardio!  Low impact, high intensity was exactly what this workout was!  There was some light jumping (that can be modified if needed) and I couldn't believe how sweaty I was in such a short amount of time.  I am definitely feeling it today!

OK, let's talk  nutrition! More specifically, meal planning and prep! 

PiYO meal planning, Meal Planning, Clean Eating, Meal Prep
Meal Planning and Prep

 For starters, here is the meal plan that I followed last week: 
PiYO meal planning, Meal Planning, Clean Eating, Meal Prep
PiYO Week 3 Meal Plan

I am typically a plain Jane eater and tend to eat the same foods each week (until I get sick of them) so, I switched things up a bit and tried out a couple of new recipes.  They were fantastic and have been added to my meal planning rotation!  I love doing meal plans because I truly believe that they keep me on track.  Every week I print it out and put it right on my kitchen counter!  There is no point in doing a fitness program is you aren't going to track your nutrition.  If you want results, you need to be all in! Speaking from experience, you can work out until you can barely breathe every single day; however, if you aren't watching what you are eating then there is no point!  Progress happens in the kitchen.  ABS are made in the kitchen!  Staying away from processed, packaged food is key.  Of course, my daily does of Shakeology helps to keep me on track too. It is the one meal that I know is super healthy, giving me my daily dose of dense nutrition, fueling my body with nutrition that will give me energy and curb my cravings. I have now been drinking Shakeology daily for over a year and it is not only still effective, but I am not sick of it!  I have the option to switch up recipes when I want and it is seriously the main meal that I look forward to every single day.  I would feel lost if I didn't have 
Salsa  Chicken, Clean Eating
Salsa Chicken 
it for breakfast! 

Clean Eating, Balsamic Garlic Asparagus
Balsamic Garlic Asparagus
As for the new recipes I tried, first was Salsa Chicken. I loved this recipe because all I had to do was throw a few things in my crock pot and turn it on for the day!  It doesn't get much easier! I also tried a new side dish.  I typically just put a little olive oil and sea salt on my asparagus and cook them in a skillet; however, I came across this Balsamic Garlic Asparagus recipe and gave it a try.  After all, I pretty much LOVE anything with balsamic vinegar!  No surprise to me, they were delicious!  My husband even ate them, which is a big deal in this house!  

Overall, I am really looking forward to beginning Week 4 today!  In just three weeks of doing PiYO, I can definitely tell a difference in my strength, flexibility, and balance.  I am certainly not grabbing for the chair as often as I was the first week!  I'm still a work in progress and can't wait to see where this program takes me within the next few weeks! 

Health and Fitness Online Accountability Groups

I am opening up spots for my August Accountability groups and would LOVE for you to join me!  I will be starting various groups that include PiYo, 21 Day Fix3 Day Refresh, and more!

If you are in need of some support, accountability, and motivation to help keep you on track, then fill out the form below and I will be in touch.  All of my groups run similar in that I incorporate a meal planning component where I teach a bit about clean eating and help with customized meal planning.  I share all of my meal plans and tips that help to keep me and my family on track to a healthy lifestyle! 

If you would like more information about any of my August groups, please fill out the application below and I will get back to you!  I do limit the spots in my groups so that everyone gets necessary individual support. They are on a first come first serve basis. Please note, a requirement for the group is that I am your Beachbody Coach.  

Have a WONDERFUL week and I hope to hear from you soon! 

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Clean Eating Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

One word.....WOW!  My 2 year old stood at the oven for the last few baking minutes because they smelled so good! Sure enough, she ate them right after they cooled down a bit.  HUGE success in this house! 

Clean Eating Chocolate Zucchini Muffins, Clean Eating


(I was able to get 18 muffins from the ingredients below)
Clean Eating Chocolate Zucchini Muffins, Clean Eating

  • 2 1/2 cups oats (I used old fashioned oats)
  • 1 tbsp.  baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup milk - I used Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 2 bananas (mashed)
  • 1 cup zucchini (grated)
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl and stir to combine. 
3. Divide mixture in to 15-18 baking cups or you can use a muffin tin that is sprayed with olive oil spray. 
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
5. Serve warm or allow to cool and then store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. 

Recipe Source: Whole Foods New Body 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Balsamic Garlic Asparagus

FINALLY!!  A good way to enjoy my asparagus! 

Clean Eating, Balsamic Garlic Asparagus, Asparagus Recipes
Balsamic Garlic Asparagus 
*One bunch of Asparagus
*Olive Oil
*Balsamic Vinegar
*Sea Salt
*Black Pepper
*Minced Garlic or Garlic Powder

1. Preheat oven to 405 degrees
2. Wash and prepare asparagus
3. Place asparagus on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (for easy clean-up)
4. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper, and minced garlic or garlic powder.
5. Cook for 8-10 minutes

Monday, July 21, 2014

Salsa Chicken

I was in need of a new recipe so I spent some time searching on my favorite websites.  I came across this one from HeandSheEatClean.com and figured I'd give it a try!  I LOVE crock pot meals, especially ones that don't have a lot of ingredients!  I have to say, it made my kitchen smell fantastic all day long and was absolutely delicious!  I sum it up as bruschetta chicken with a bit of sass!  


1-2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 large diced tomatoes
Clean Eating Recipes, Salsa Chicken, Healthy Dinner Recipes
Salsa Chicken
1.5 cups (roughly) of your favorite salsa.  (I actually pre-made Homemade Salsa to keep it a bit cleaner)
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper (if you want to make it spicy)

1. Place the chicken in a crock pop, as well as all of the other remaining ingredients.
2. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.
3. After 7 hours, shred the chicken in the crock pot and allow it to cool down before serving.   

**Before serving, I added some diced onions, red and green bell peppers, and a little lime to enhance the flavor!  

This meal makes for GREAT leftovers!  You can serve it with brown rice (which is what I did), wrap it up in a whole wheat tortilla, serve in salad, or even eat it as a lettuce wrap!  
Clean Eating Recipes, Salsa Chicken, Healthy Dinner Recipes


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Staying healthy while on vacation!

Healthy Vacation Tips

 Happy Sunday!  It's been a week since I've posted anything because I was on my family vacation!  So, what better topic to blog about than my tips to staying healthy while traveling!  This is a touchy subject because it truly is hard to stay on track.  Yes, I had TONS of temptations and YES, I did given in to some ice cream and candy, but I did not over indulge, which is the most important part! Today I am going to share with you the way I prepared for my busy week and how I handled the temptations that came my way.  

For starters, I completed a meal plan BEFORE we left for vacation.  Since we were staying in a condo with a full kitchen, I knew I could stick to a similar schedule as if I were home.   My big stipulation is I don't want to cook!  Yes, we go out to dinner every night so it does make things a little more difficult when it comes to staying on track. Let's face it, some restaurants just don't always have the healthiest options!  My family vacations at the same beach every year (because we love it so much!) so we have our favorite spots to eat, which makes meal planning a bit easier.

Healthy Vacation Tips

It takes about 5 1/2 to 6 hours to get to our destination, so, preparing on-the-go meals is essential.  In the past, it was common to just stop at a convenience store or do a quick drive thru for something fast, but, NOT THIS YEAR! For myself, I made sure I had my breakfast shake before we left and took along an extra shake to have around lunch time.  In addition, an apple and almonds are a go-to for me.  And finally, the classic  peanut butter banana roll up is a favorite!  This was going to be more than enough food to last until we got to the grocery store so it worked out perfectly!  I did the same thing while traveling home! As fort he rest of my family, I  had snacks and yogurt packed for my girls and my hubby actually stuck with the same snacks as me!  

So here is my meal plan that I followed throughout the week:
Healthy Vacation Tips, Clean Eating Meal Plan

 Here is what I did....

Healthy Vacation Tips, ShakeologyI knew that I would be bringing along my blender and Shakeology so that I could stick with my normal routine of having a shake for breakfast.  I also knew that I would be tempted quite a bit throughout the week, so, I did schedule to have 2 shakes on some days.  As for my lunches and snacks, I stuck with what I felt was the easiest and also economical.  I stuck with similar snacks each day because I didn't want to have to spend a fortune getting a variety of foods at the grocery store once we were there and end up coming home with a trunk full of leftovers! I also wanted to pick things that my entire family eats as well. Yogurt is a quick and easy lunch or snack, so, I made some homemade granola before vacation and took it along to mix with my yogurt and strawberries! As I made my meal plan, I made my grocery list too!  Then, when we got to the beach, we stopped by a farmers market for some fresh fruit and then to a local grocery store to grab the rest of the stuff. 

My husband and I sat down and figured out exactly where we were going to eat throughout the week and because I am very familiar with the menus, I was able to figure out ahead of time what I wanted to eat.  I did Google each menu to make sure it did not change from the last time we were there. I have to say that although we switched up when we went to each restaurant, we did go to everywhere planned AND I stuck with my food choices! 

Healthy Vacation Tips, Clean Eating SnacksThese were a couple of my easy snack and lunch choices: Plain Greek yogurt with strawberries and homemade granola
Healthy Vacation Tips, Clean Eating Snacksor
an apple and serving of almonds.  I chose the cocoa roasted almonds. 

So what happened as I walked past the delicious smelling boardwalk french fries, or had some yummy snacks for my girls that I knew I didn't want to indulge in?  Well, I did a couple of things.  One, I stretched that will power muscle!  My husband knew that I didn't want to eat completely off track and unhealthy for the week, so he kept me in check :) As I said earlier, I did give in to a little ice cream, Gelato to be exact, and also had some of my favorite candy - coconut strips- from the candy store. What I DIDN'T do was over indulge to the point where I felt full and couldn't move.  It was actually the opposite! I had small portion sizes of the cheats that I planned and didn't go back for more.

As for working out....

Healthy Vacation Tips, PIYOBecause I didn't know  if we would have a working DVD player, I did have my laptop as well as a little handheld video player so that I could play my PiYO workout.  One of the great things about PiYO is that there is no equipment needed so all I had to bring along were the DVD's themselves.  

Confession time....I did not stick with my PiYO workout every single day!  Yes, it was on my schedule and yes, I was a little disappointed in myself on the days that I didn't squeeze it in, but other forms of exercise were definitely happening.  We went biking one morning and there certainly wasn't a lack of walking throughout the week.  We parked our car last Saturday and didn't get back in to it until the following Saturday when we left to go home.  We walked EVERYWHERE!  At the very least, I was able to add in a daily 10 minute ab workout from the 21 Day Fix workout program.  

Healthy Vacation Tips

So, there you have it!  That is how I planned for a week away from my kitchen!  I used to have the mindset of "it's vacation, anything goes!"  That mindset has definitely changed.  I didn't like always coming home a pound or two heavier; but I did like stepping on the scale this morning and seeing that I didn't gain anything, not even an ounce!  Living a healthy lifestyle can be challenging; however, being overweight and having health problems is no way to live.  If you make your health a priority, you will have the time to plan and prep.  Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day.  It's how you spend those 24 hours that matter.  

Healthy Vacation Tips

I hope that by reading my plan, you have come up with some ideas of your own for your next family vacation! It's all about planning for success! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

PiYO Week 2 Progress Update and Meal Plan

PIYO Meal Plan, PIYO Workouts
PIYO Upper Body

Happy Wednesday!!!  So, Week 2 of PiYO is, and was, completed several days ago!!  I'm just super late on my update!  Between the holidays and a little stomach bug going on in my house, I haven't had the chance to do an update.  Having said that, I was a bit out of commission for a few days, so, my Week 3 did not start as planned.  I am happy to report that I am feeling great and back on track!  So, what do I think about PiYO so far? 

PIYO Meal Plan, PIYOI have to say that I am truly loving it!  It is such a nice change of pace from the intense cardio workouts that I have been doing for the past several months.  A few of the moves in PiYO give me quite a challenge.  I feel pretty good with my leg balance; however, when slowing things down and really focusing on your core, it can become challenging! Only being two weeks in, I can already see and feel a difference !  I haven't gotten through every workout in the program, but, I have to say, I really like the Sweat workout.  It is crazy to me that I was sweating more in those 30 minutes than I was after a 21 Day Fix or T25 workout!  I'm not saying that those are not effective, but with the PiYO Sweat workout, I wasn't doing any sort of running or jumping!  It's crazy how a slow paced, low impact/high intensity workout can REALLY work your muscles! 

I am enjoying the other workouts as well.  The Core workout really tested my core strength, which is something that I like to continually work on.  In addition, the upper and low body workouts have been super effective for me.  I will say that with the upper body workout being so short, I've added in a 10 minute ab workout from another program.  No, you certainly don't have to add anything to your day; however, I just wanted a little extra calorie burn. 

PIYO Meal Plan, PIYO Workouts

So how is the meal planning going?  Actually, really well!  I have found that the nutrition plan for PiYO is very similar to the 21 day fix, minus the containers. I am still incorporating my daily Shakeology, of course! I have to say, Shakeology has been a blessing for me!  When I wasn't feeling well, it was so nice to have a shake, knowing that my body was getting replenished with dense nutrition that includes 70+ super foods and numerous vitamins and minerals.  I definitely wasn't able to eat much solid food so this was a great way to make sure my body was getting what it needs. 

Shakeology, PIYO

My meal plan for last week was pretty simple.  I actually decided to incorporate the new 3-Day Refresh and had GREAT results!  I had zero loss of energy so I was able to continue with my PiYO workouts.  In addition, I added a new recipe to my dinner rotations! I enjoy eating salads and the typical chicken or steak salad gets a bit old, so, I found a great Spinach Summer Salad recipe that was a hit with my entire family! I was also able to stay on track, for the most part, throughout the holiday weekend.  No, I wasn't 100%.  Yes, I did have a delicious chocolate/cool whip dessert, but I did not over indulge.  I stuck with a proper portion and didn't feel guilty afterwards.  

Clean Eating, Healthy Meal
Spinach Summer Salad

PIYO Meal Plan, PIYO
PIYO Week 2 Meal Plan

Since my Week 3 did not start off as planned, plus we are already half way through,  I am also including my Week 3 meal plan.  Although I wasn't eating much, my family still was so I did stick with the dinners.  Since I am finally feeling better and able to work out, I am beginning my Week 3 workouts today.  
PIYO Meal Plan, PIYO
PIYO Week 3 Meal Plan

Overall I am pleasantly surprised with how much I am enjoying PiYo.  To be able to already see and feel results in my strength and flexibility after just two weeks is awesome! I can't wait to see how much better I get and the results that will happen among both me and my current challengers in my exclusive PiYO test group when the 60 days is up. 

If you are interested in learning more about PiYO, or joining in my next PiYO accountability group, please fill out the form below. Within my groups I provide support through daily tips, motivation, customized meal planning, recipes, and more!  

Fill out my online form.
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Sunday, July 6, 2014

30 Day Clean Eating Refresh Group - Opening Spots NOW!

3 Day Refresh, Clean Eating Groups, 3 Day Refresh Results
30 Day Clean Eating Refresh Group

Happy Sunday!  Now that the 4th of July holiday weekend is over, we've got a little time before another holiday weekend approaches.  Are you in need of a little cleanse?  Do you have an upcoming vacation or event, such as a wedding, that you'd love to lose a few pounds for? Let's face it, all of the exercising that you may be doing isn't going to cut it if you aren't fueling your body with proper nutrition.  So, I've got a GREAT plan that I think you may be interested in! 

It's a little something called, the 3-Day Refresh.

The 3-Day Refresh was designed to help people lose weight fast...in a HEALTHY way!  Having said that, it does something more important.  It helps build your fat-burning metabolism.  By nourishing your body and helping you break the cycle of bad eating habits, it can help you go on feeling those benefits for weeks to come!
3 Day Refresh, Clean Eating Groups, 3 Day Refresh Results
3 Day Refresh Results

Often times people do not want to change their exercise routine.  Some people love a particular home fitness program, others enjoy just walking in the evenings, and then others just like to go to a gym. While a gym isn't for me, millions of people attend gyms every day!  So, if this is you, then this group will be the PERFECT match!  

The 3-Day Refresh is a healthy diet that is going to give your body nutrition vs starvation. 

The 3-Day Refresh consists of 3 shakes a day, a fiber drink, plenty of water, fresh fruits, veggies, and healthy fats so that you keep your energy and your metabolism going. 

Click HERE to read about my 3-Day Refresh results!

Here is the breakdown:

3 Day Refresh, Clean Eating Groups, 3 Day Refresh Results
3 Day Refresh Breakdown

So, how is this 30 day Clean Eating group going to work? 

On July 18th, 19th, and 20th I am going to teach a select group of challengers exactly how to prepare for the 3-Day Refresh.  Then, day 1 will begin on July 21st.  The group will do the refresh together and jump start weight loss by creating new, healthy habits.  Here's the deal... I was worried that by JUST doing the refresh, people would end up going back to their old ways and bad habits.  So, I've decided that once the 3-Day Refresh is over, I will spend the remaining 27 days teaching about clean eating, meal planning/prep, replacing one meal per day with Shakeology, I will share healthy recipes for you and your family, tips on dealing with those late night cravings, emotional eating, and the importance of proper nutrition. In addition, since it is the summer season, I will also be sharing vacation/traveling tips. While all of this is occurring, I will keep you motivated and hold you accountable to staying on track.  Each day you will log in to the group for your daily tip/motivation and you will also be held accountable by rating how your day was.  I don't want you to just lose weight from the refresh, I want to help you create permanent healthy habits so that you can maintain and make progress!  At the end of the 30 days we will measure our progress and you can decide what the next steps will be.  

3 Day Refresh, Clean Eating Groups, 3 Day Refresh Results
3 Day Refresh

The requirements of the group will be that I am your Team Beachbody Coach and your commitment is to purchasing the 3-Day Refresh Challenge pack.  In doing so, you will then be accepted in to my closed online accountability group that will begin prep on July 18th, with Day 1 on July 21st.  Although a Beachbody home fitness program is not required, I do strongly encourage you to do some sort of physical activity at least 5 days per week.  This can be in the form of a program you already have, walking/running, or even going to the gym.

Does this sound like something you'd be interested in doing?

Please fill out the form below and I will get back to you with the next steps!  

If you are anxious in getting started, then click on the image below.  Be sure to email me at lisamariedecker@yahoo.com and I will get you added to the group and up and running! 
3 Day Refresh, Clean Eating Groups, 3 Day Refresh Results
3 Day Refresh

Registration for this group is going to end on July 16th!  Don't miss out on this opportunity to truly transform your life!

3 Day Refresh, Clean Eating Groups, 3 Day Refresh Results

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Friday, July 4, 2014

Clean Eating Spinach Summer Salad

I know, it's a salad!  But seriously, it was REALLY good!  This is definitely a PERFECT summer salad!

Spinach Summer Salad
Spinach Summer Salad
(For 2 Servings): 
* 2 cups raw spinach
* 1 cup fresh strawberries
* 1 cup fresh raspberries
* 1/4 cup almonds
* 1 cup sliced carrots
* 1/2 avocado, cubed
* 1/3 cup dried cranberries
* 1/4 small red onion, sliced or chopped
* 1 cup shredded chicken (optional)

* Mix together and serve with your favorite salad dressing.  I prefer balsamic vinegar and oil.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

3 Day Refresh - What is it? Check out my Results!

3 Day Refresh, 3 Day Refresh Results, 3 Day Refresh Meal Planning and Prep, 3 Day Refresh Meals
3 Day Refresh

Whew!  What a 3 days I just had!  So, if you follow me at all then I'm sure you read all about me going to Las Vegas in June for Coach Summit, which is like a big conference full of training's for coaches.  ANYWAYS, while we were there a surprise new product was announced.  The 3 Day Refresh! At first I was a bit skeptical because I have done the 3 Day Shakeology Cleanses and they have been tough for me! So, I listened to the details and figured that I would purchase it and give it a try.  The kit sat on my dinning room table for about a week before I decided to give it a go.  I was a bit quiet about doing it.  I really wanted to stay focused, give it my all, and complete it!  So, let me tell you a little about what exactly it is, and then share with you my results!

Who should do it?
This program is good for anyone who wants a fast, clean break - to drop a few pounds in a hurry or break some bad habits.

What does it consist of?
The 3-Day Refresh consists of 3 daily shakes (not all Shakeology), a fiber drink, plenty of filtered water, a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. By incorporating all of these components throughout the day, your energy and metabolism will stay consistent.  There are several options for your lunch, snacks and dinner so you are not limited to the same thing every day.

3 Day Refresh, 3 Day Refresh Results, 3 Day Refresh Meal Planning and Prep, 3 Day Refresh Meals
Shakeology for Breakfast!
Shakeology - You are required to drink Shakeology for your breakfast each day.  Shakeology is a nutritionally dense shake (not a protein shake) that will provide you with energy, curb your cravings, help with regulation, and aide in weight loss. It is loaded with vitamins/minerals and 70+ Super Foods. You are allowed to mix is with water, a serving of fruit (optional), and any of the guilt-free flavorings (optional).

Fiber Sweep - The mid-morning snack throughout the 3 days is called Fiber Sweep.  It is a blend of soluble and insoluble fibers and is meant to gently and naturally eliminate waste from your digestive system.  It is created from whole-ground flax, chia, and psyllium seed husks.  Psyllium can help naturally lower cholesterol, support healthy blood sugar levels, and may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
3 Day Refresh, 3 Day Refresh Results, 3 Day Refresh Meal Planning and Prep, 3 Day Refresh Meals
Fiber Sweep
Flax and chia are sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

3 Day Refresh, 3 Day Refresh Results, 3 Day Refresh Meal Planning and Prep, 3 Day Refresh Meals
Vanilla Fresh Shake
Vanilla Fresh - For lunch and dinner (along with fruits and vegetables) you blend a Vanilla Fresh shake.  This is a high-protein shake that not only helps satisfy your hunger throughout the refresh, but it delivers the essential nutrition your body needs for healthy weight loss.  It is also an excellent source of fiber.  It is both dairy and soy-free. A few facts about Vanilla Fresh include: 20 grams of wholesome plant protein to maintain lean muscle, 22 essential vitamins and minerals, probiotics to help promote digestive and immune health, clinically tested potato protein extract to help curb hunger, and NO artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or sweeteners. In MY personal opinion, it tasted a bit like cake batter!

So what do you eat for 3 days?

Here are the specifics from the 3-Day Refresh that you should follow, daily, for 3 days:

*Upon Waking - drink 8-10 oz of filtered water
*Breakfast - Shakeology (blended in 1/14 cups filtered water) + 1 serving of fruit from the provided Refresh list (you can blend it with your Shakeology or eat a la carte).
* Optional: Morning Tea-Stevia allowed. (I was fine with my water)
* Mid-Morning Snack - Fiber Sweep mixed in 1 cup of filtered water
* Lunch -  Vanilla Fresh blended with 1 1/4 cup filtered water + 1 serving from the fruit list, +1 serving from the Vegetable list, +1 serving from the Healthy Fats list
* Afternoon Snack - +1 serving from Vegetable list, +1 serving from Healthy Fats list
* Optional: Afternoon Tea (I was fine with my water)
* Dinner - Vanilla Fresh blended in 1 1/4 cups water, +1 serving from the Dinner list
* Optional: Evening Tea

There are "guilt free" flavorings that you can use in your shakes or on your food, if desired.  They include, but are not limited to: ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, fresh herbs, pure flavor extracts, red wine vinegar.

Now that you know a little about the program, let me share with you how MY 3-Day Refresh went! 
3 Day Refresh, 3 Day Refresh Results, 3 Day Refresh Meal Planning and Prep, 3 Day Refresh Meals
3 Day Refresh Results

First thing first, I sat down and figured out what all I wanted to eat for my fruits, veggies, and dinners.  

Here is the way I planned out my 3 days:
3 Day Refresh, 3 Day Refresh Results, 3 Day Refresh Meal Planning and Prep, 3 Day Refresh Meals
3 Day Refresh Meal Plan

And here is a grocery list covering what I needed for the 3 days:
3 Day Refresh, 3 Day Refresh Results, 3 Day Refresh Meal Planning and Prep, 3 Day Refresh Meals
3 Day Refresh Grocery List

Once I went grocery shopping, I came home and prepped EVERYTHING!  I didn't want to be thrown off AT ALL, so, I wanted to be sure everything was in the fridge ready to go!

3 Day Refresh, 3 Day Refresh Results, 3 Day Refresh Meal Planning and Prep, 3 Day Refresh Meals
3 Day Refresh Planning and Prep

3 Day Refresh, 3 Day Refresh Results, 3 Day Refresh Meal Planning and Prep, 3 Day Refresh Meals
3 Day Refresh Snacks

3 Day Refresh, 3 Day Refresh Results, 3 Day Refresh Meal Planning and Prep, 3 Day Refresh Meals
3 Day Refresh Dinners

I was VERY happy with how my 3-Day Refresh went.  I lost 5.5 pounds by the third morning!!!  I can honestly say that my energy level did NOT drop! That was what I was most afraid about.  I was able to continue with my PiYO workouts without a problem.  I also didn't feel hungry all day.  Everything that I ate was satisfying.  I will say, the first night I did get that typical late night hunger; however, I stuck with my tea and didn't give in. In addition, the fiber sweep was a bit tough for me.  It isn't the best tasting drink, especially for someone who primarily drinks water; however, I knew it had to be done to complete the Refresh, so I did it!  Overall, I feel great!  I am one day post refresh and have not had any sort of cravings.  I did not find that I wanted to binge on food when I woke up this morning (unlike other cleanses that I have done).

3 Day Refresh, 3 Day Refresh Results, 3 Day Refresh Meal Planning and Prep, 3 Day Refresh Meals
3 Day Refresh Results

Due to my love of this new program, I have decided to kick off a BRAND NEW CLEAN EATING REFRESH GROUP on Friday, July 18th!  We will spend the weekend prepping for the 3 Day Refresh and everyone will go through it together on July 21, 22, and 23.  Then, I will spend the remaining 27 days teaching about clean eating and how to keep those lost pounds off, and then some!  You will replace one meal per day with Shakeology for the remainder of the group!  At the end of the group we will measure progress and you will decide which path you want to take from there. 

So, are you in?  Do you have any special events or vacations coming up that you'd like to lose a few extra pounds for? Do you want to use the Refresh to kick off a healthy lifestyle or break some of those bad habits?  This just may be for you!  Fill out the form below to reserve your spot or get more information!

Fill out my online form.
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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

4th of July Picnic Ideas without the extra Guilt

Healthy 4th of July Recipes
Happy 4th of July!
Happy 4th of July!  Well...almost.  So who all has that big 4th of July picnic coming up?  Are you hosting or attending one?  Let me guess, the annual picnic that you either host or attend consists of hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, macaroni salad, chips, pretzels, alcohol, maybe some cupcakes or cake! What did I miss??!  Surely I don't have the only family picnic that consists of all of this food, right?

So, heading in to this holiday weekend one of two things is probably going to happen.
1. You stay on track, maybe pick at a few cheats for your holiday meal, and don't feel too guilty when the weekend is over.
2. You end up over indulging on anything and everything, drink a few too many drinks, and end the weekend a couple pounds heavier feeling guilty.

Does anyone else usually end up like #2?

Holiday picnics can be so tough.  I swear all of the socializing makes you hungry!   I personally will be heading to my parents for a pretty big family picnic that will last all day long. All of the traditional picnic food, and then some, will be staring me right in the face! So, I have a few tips for you consider following this weekend whether you are hosting or attending a party.

  • Use small plates. Did you know that research shows that people who use small plates actually eat less without even noticing? 
Healthy 4th of July Recipes
  • Eat the healthiest foods first. Stick with salad, fruits, and veggies.  These types of foods are typically low in calories. In addition, add some lean protein to your plate too.  This will help to keep you felling fuller, longer.  
  • Skip the bread, chips, and crackers.  Refined carbohydrates offer very little satisfaction, not to mention the calories.    
  • Limit your dessert. If you can pass on the dessert, then do it!  If not, keep it SMALL. The difference between a a big slice of dessert and a small piece could literally be hundreds of calories.  So, if you are planning to cheat a little with a dessert, stick with small portion sizes.
  • Think before you drink. You definitely want to stay hydrated throughout the day so be sure you are drinking enough water.  You should aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces.  But, this wasn't the "drink" that I was referring to.  If you are planning to have alcohol, chose wisely.  I know a big strawberry daiquiri or margarita looks and tastes delicious, but, they can have as much as 500+ calories!  Drink a few of those and you've max out what you should consume in an entire day!  So, use a smaller sized glass for the sugary drinks, stick with wine, lite beer, or at the very least, limit (and be cautious) about how much your are drinking.  The same goes for soda/pop.  Aside from the nutrients (or lack of), drinking your calories away isn't a great idea. 
  •  While you are socializing do yourself a favor.  DON'T SIT IN FRONT OF THE CHIPS!  If you do, you may fall in to that trap of mindlessly eating.  What does that mean?  Think about it.  When you sit around a table talking with friends and family is there usually some sort of snack laying on the table?  What happens? Do you notice the hands dipping in the bowl, everyone eating while talking and not even thinking about it?  Yep, that's it.   Mindlessly eating at its best!  Don't worry, I've fallen in to that trap too.  
So, if you are hosting a picnic, then you have complete control over the menu.  Sure, friends and family may bring a sweet temptation, but, you can control the main dish and even some side dishes.  BUT, what if you are attending a party and you know there will be NO healthy options?  Simple, bring something that you YOU can eat!  No, it doesn't have to be something like carrots and celery.  There are several delicious side dishes, and even desserts, that are actually healthy!  Fool those around you.  Bring something delicious and don't tell anyone that it is actually healthy!

Here are some suggestions:

You can certainly check out the side dishes under the Clean Eating Recipes tab right here on my blog. The Bean Salsa and Southwestern Salad are always a huge hit! 

I came across this idea through the 21 Day Fix Facebook page, but found the full recipe on my favorite site, The Gracious Pantry. 

Clean Eating 4th of July Watermelon Cake

Watermelon Cake, Healthy 4th of July Recipes
Watermelon Cake
* 1 pint clean, organic whipping cream or full fat coconut milk
* 3 tbsp. honey
* 1 watermelon
* 1 pint fresh strawberries
* 1 pint fresh blueberries
* I've also see sliced kiwi used too!

1. In a large mixing bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.
2. Quickly blend in the honey at the last minute.  Do not over beat!  Just beat it for a few seconds to incorporate the honey evenly.
3. Peel the watermelon, leaving it whole.  Cut the bottom and top to flatten them. 
4. Using a spatula, spread the whip cream over the watermelon, covering it completely.
5. Decorate with berries. 

Here is a great side dish recipe that will definitely be a hit!

Patriotic Quinoa Salad

* 1 cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup uncooked)
* 1 cup fresh blueberries
* 8 ounces fresh strawberries, diced

Ingredients for Citrus Dressing:
* 2 ounces EVOO
Quinoa Salad, Healthy 4th of July Recipes
Patriotic Quinoa Salad
* 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
* Juice of one medium orange - about 3 Tbsp.
* 3 Tbsp lime juice
* 2 tsp Dijon mustard
* 1 Tbsp raw honey

1. Cook Quinoa according to the package directions and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
2. Add the blueberries, strawberries and set aside.
3. In a small bowl or blender, add oil, vinegar, orange juice, lime juice, honey, and mustard. Whisk or blend until combined.  
4. Pour over Quinoa and fruit and use a spoon to toss.
5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving so that all flavors can blend together. 

Sea Salt & Vinegar Sweet Potato Chips  

Sweet Potato Chips, Healthy 4th of July Recipes
Sweet Potato Chips

* 1 Tbsp Malt Vinegar
* 1 tsp sea salt
* 2 small sweet potatoes

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Slice sweet potatoes into thin slices.
3. Place the slices on a non-stick baking sheet.
4. Bake for approx. 10-12 minutes, flip, then an additional 10-12 minutes (or until extra crisp).
5. Place and shake sweet potato slices in a large Zip-Lock bag with Sea Sale and Vinegar. 

Enjoy your holiday weekend and have a safe and wonderful 4th of July!!

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