Elements of Fitness – A Mother's Memoir

Overweight Becomes a Lean and Mean Mom of 3

I may not have introduced myself.  Some of you know me, some of you don’t…  some of you I have been friends with for YEARS and some we’ve never met but have only connected online.  I don’t like to post pictures of the kiddos and I’m not all about the selfies as much as others, but you may be able to relate better knowing that I’m a single Mom of 3 and they are my world.  We are just as busy as you and we still make the time to work out.  I keep the kids in sports to make sure they stay busy and aren’t home creating unhealthy habits.  I post a lot about fitness and nutrition but have you ever wondered why I do what I do?

Examples

Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, AZ

Have you ever wondered what exactly I do as a fitness coach?  Have you wondered how I got here?  Have I always been  shape?  (uhhhh no – I haven’t.)  How did a stay at home Mom turn working Mom with a fitness business?

I haven’t always been into fitness.  But I have always been an athlete.  I lived and breathed gymnastics until I was about 14, then I wanted to do team sports for my school (soccer, tennis, volleyball).   I was in shape but working out was not the fun part of my day.   I used to hate running.  I would do it because a lot of sports needed the cardio conditioning but I didn’t like it, and I didn’t eat right, etc.

Before kids, I could eat whatever I wanted just like when I was a teenager and not gain a pound!  But now, that’s not so much the case.  Once I had my first child, Kaitlyn (with whom I gained 64 pounds!), I could not lose that weight.  I tried every diet under the sun, got a gym membership thinking that would help, etc.

Pregnant but still overweight

Pregnant but still overweight

But I didn’t stick with it.  My husband at the time could still eat whatever he wanted and the scale would not be affected so I would gradually go back to eating like he and I always did.  Then 7 months after giving birth we were pregnant again.  It was what we wanted because I always wanted to have my kids close in age and we knew we weren’t done, HOWEVER, I never got back to my pre-pregnancy weight first.

With baby #2, I was determined not to gain another 64 lbs!  (BTW, this before pic ——–>      was really hard to post!) I did a little working out while I was pregnant with her and I ate a lot better.  Not good, like I do now but better.  I only gained 24 lbs with Britney.

After she was born was right around the time that low carb diets were the thing.  And I was sold when I read that I didn’t need to work out, I could just eat low carb.  HA!  I dropped all the baby weight and then some!  Then it became that the only time I would work out was when I ate really bad the day before.  So now that I knew I could just eat low carb whenever I had some weight to lose I went back to eating atrociously!  Then I would work out twice a week if that.

Well as the girls were getting older, I decided to start cooking and making more home cooked meals at home.  I was a huge advocate for nursing since formulas were getting so much criticism for their ingredients and I was reading more and more about baby foods and how easy it was to make at home AND this way you knew what was going in to your child’s mouth.

That lead me to start watching and learning about the foods I was eating.  All the crap sold in the supermarket were 90% chemicals!  I started trading in the commercialized grocery stores for farmers markets and Trader Joe’s (Whole Foods wasn’t in Phoenix yet).  I also started buying organic whenever we could afford to.  I started with vegetables that grew in the ground and then meats was next.

After seeing and FEELING the results of just eating right it motivated me to want to get toned and in shape especially since I knew how to eat now!  Food was fuel now, not comfort.

Now comes the year 2007, I was in better shape then I was when I was a teenager, even had more energy then I did then.  We were running, biking, I had a gym membership where I would do spin class 2- 3 times a week, my girls and my ex and I all belonged to a dojo where we were all there at least 3 times a week.  I even taught yoga there for a while for some of the moms that had kids in the karate classes.  In June I found out that I was 4 1/2 months pregnant with Baby # 3, my son Frankie!  He was due in December!   So I had 4 short months to plan to have a baby!  But I didn’t want to stop working out.  I was mostly doing cardio anyways:  running, hiking, rollerblading, spin class, kickboxing and yoga at the dojo.

Frankie was born and I ended up only gaining 22 lbs.  My doctor towards the end was concerned that I hadn’t gained enough weight.

Then I started to want to help other Moms!  My girls started cheer and would have regular practices in a park, their Coach asked me if I would be the squad’s conditioning coach so now I started doing that every Tuesday and Thursday.  Soon after, some of the Moms of the girls recommended I do a fitness bootcamp where they could come work out.  We did and soon more and more moms showed up.  I would get the girls warmed up for cheer and then I would move over to the Moms!  It was fun.  We all created a close bond and I even helped some of them get ready to run their first marathons.

I started a blog, THIS ONE, hence why its name is Mom-related and not fitness related.  🙂  When I first created it, I started talking about tips to help breastfeeding Moms and nutrition was one of the most common posts because the questions were all closely related to the Mom being able to produce enough milk for a growing baby, etc. and then it started connecting me with women who were likeminded all across the country.

2008It was about this time that my neighbor introduced me to P90X.  Frankie was not even 2, Britney was 7 and Kaitlyn was 8 1/2.  My hands were full.  I was in shape but not getting toned.  I was still doing a ton of cardio.  P90X had weights and I knew I had to add that in.  I was always afraid of weights, always thought I would like a man, etc.  I was ready for a change.  I always wanted a personal trainer and now I had my own in MY HOUSE!!  It was amazing.

1st round of P90X

1st round of P90X

 

This was me in Cabo after the 1st round P90X.  I did the lean program and I refused to eat the P90X way.  I thought I knew more about what my body needed than this nutrition ‘guide’ telling me to eat 100 carbs a day!  At that point, I would barely eat 100 carbs in 4 days!!  I thought I had this whole fitness thing down and all I needed was to add weights.  HAHA.  I would be exhausted half way into the workout, or getting really bad headaches right after.  So I knew something was wrong.

 

 

90 days later 2nd Round P90X results

90 days later 2nd Round P90X results

The lack of carbs is why my first round didn’t get me the results I anticipated.   I added a little muscle but nowhere near everyone else’s 90 day results.  This got me so mad!  So then right away, I started the classic program and I ate exactly how it told me to, even bought Shakeology.  I was posting my results pics on Facebook and friends and family were the first to notice.  Then I started helping other people get through their first round of P90X.

After 3 rounds of P90X, I decided to switch it up with Insanity.  I loved Insanity because it was a more intense version of P90X’s cardio days and guess what I started thinking P90X was too EASY!!  On the P90X cardio days, (Tuesdays and Saturdays) I would do the Max Cardio Circuit from Insanity instead of PlyoX.

I started connecting with people on the Facebook P90X message boards and through my blog.  I was helping people get through the programs but not getting paid for it!  And then Tony Horton shared my blog post of How you know You’re Addicted to P90X.

I knew I could help other Moms too… and realize everyone can do this too.   Being a Coach has been one of the greatest blessings in my life.  It got me in the best shape of my life, I have a healthy relationship with food, I have spent more time learning about myself, learning about others, and learning ways to better help YOU.

You do not have to be a fitness expert or nutritionist to be a successful Coach.  All you need is the desire in your heart to help others.  Beachbody is all about helping others.  They provide the tools you need to change your body, the nutrition your body is craving, a Coach who is always there for you… (ME!) and the network of likeminded people that you can connect with on Team Beachbody.

If you are interested on learning more please contact me.   We do a very brief 15-20 min webinar once a week and you will see how it easy it is to do the same thing I do!

Let’s get in touch and work on You together!  What do you have to lose??  You never know, it could be supplemental income for you too OR even become your main source of income!

 

Send me an email:  at CoachChristysElementsofFitness@gmail.com

OR an Instagram:  @FitnessElements4Life

November 16, 2014 Posted by | About Me, Being a Mom, Children, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Divorce, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Family, Insanity, Me, My Low Carb Recipes, Nursing, Nutrition, P90X, P90X Recipes, P90X2, P90X3, Phoenix AZ, Pregnancy, Products That Work, Shakeology, Women Today, Women's Health, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

P90X3 is HERE! Join My Test Group!

Guess what….. it’s that time of year again:  Time to set New Year’s Resolutions. The #1 resolution made each year is to lose weight and if that’s you then you’re in luck!

P90X3 is HERE and this program is amazing!! The people who were in the original test group got amazing results (watch the video above to see)!!

And the reason you’re in luck is because I am forming my own TEST GROUP starting Monday January 13th! My group is going to start eating clean on January 1st and some, including myself, have already started eating cleaner today! We are all anxious to start and be a part of this group.

We will be doing P90X3 together, eating clean, keeping each accountable, provide motivation (especially on those days where the last thing you want to do is work out) and ALSO sharing ideas on what works and what doesn’t.

In order to be in my test group, you must place your order by clicking here.

From there, click on Fitness Programs and you will see the different options for P90X3.

**Note:  the best value is the Challenge Pack, which includes P90X3 and a monthly supply of Shakeology.  (Click on the link to learn more of what Shakeology can do for you.)  The price will go up to from $180 to $205 in December. Bought separately, you would pay $240!

You will receive the entire P90X3 program which includes a complete nutrition guide, grocery list, a calendar with the specific workouts to do each day and the meals to eat on those days PLUS your Shakeology.   With this deal you are getting a month’s supply of Shakeology for only $51 (and FREE shipping that will end 1/1/2014)!   That’s only $1.70/meal for superfood nutrition and all the vegetables you need each day and it tastes delicious!

me and TonyHere’s Tony and I at the Beachbody Coach Summit June of this year!

The opportunity to be in my January Test Group is open to folks who order through me and to my existing clients. It is not  available to folks who are already working with another Beachbody coach. You can message me and/or add me on facebook at www.facebook.com/christy.pourciau should you have any questions about the test group.

Have P90X3 related questions?  Below is a list of the most commonly asked questions.

Where is P90X3 available for purchase? Find it in the TBB Store and take advantage of free shipping until 12/31.  If you order from me,  at www.beachbodycoach.com/amothersmemoir, I will become your coach for FREE. :)

What special offer is associated with the release of P90X3? All orders of P90X3, purchased on TeamBeachbody.com, through a Coach or through a Challenge Pack by 12/31/13 will include a free P90X3 hat. There are no hats for P90X or P90X2 orders at this time.

Is there an App available? The P90X App will be available for Android and the Android version will include the ability to track P90X3 workouts. The functionality to track your P90X3 workouts will be available soon for the iPhone App.

Is there a vegan meal plan option available for P90X3? There will be vegan options included in the new P90X3 Nutrition Guide.

For tips and ideas on how to modify the P90X3 meal plan to be more vegan friendly, we encourage customers to post the topic on the Team Beachbody message boards (http://www.teambeachbody.com/connect/message-boards/-/message_boards/category/19535469). We have dietary experts that monitor the posts and provide some great ideas and direction.

How long does it take to complete P90X3? P90X3 is a 90 day program, split into 3 Blocks. Blocks 1 & 2 each consist of 4 weeks, while Block 3 lasts 5 weeks.

Additionally, the Elite Block calendar, which is an optional block to be completed AFTER the initial 90 days, lasts 4 weeks.

The Elite Block includes 3 workouts not included within the P90X3 Base Kit. These workouts and calendar can be found within the P90X3 Deluxe and Ultimate Kits. In addition, they can also be purchased separately.

How long are the workouts for P90X3? All P90X3 workouts are 30 minutes. The lone exception is the X3 Ab Ripper workout (15 minutes), included within the Deluxe Kit. Most workouts include a 2-3 minute cool down period.

What is included in P90X3?

P90X3 Base Kit Includes:

  • 16 unique and brand new workouts on 8 DVDs
  • Plus, 5 Free Gifts
  • Fitness Guide
  • Nutrition Guide
  • 90 Day Workout Calendar
  • How to Accelerate Intro DVD
  • 24/7 Online Support
  • Network Exclusive P90X One on One: On One Leg DVD
  • Network Exclusive Premium P90X3 Hat ($24.95 value) – December Only!

Base Kit Pricing

  • Retail           $119.85 + S&H
  • Club             $107.87
  • Coach          $89.89

P90X3 Deluxe Kit Includes everything in the Base Kit PLUS:

  • 3 Elite Extreme workouts on 1 DVD
  • Includes free Elite Block Calendar
  • 1-Month E&E Tub
  • 3 B-Lines Resistance Bands

Deluxe Kit Pricing

  • Retail           $239.70 + S&H
  • Club             $215.73
  • Coach          $179.78 (180 PV)

P90X3 Ultimate Kit Includes everything in the Base & Deluxe Kits PLUS:

  • 1-Month R&R Tub
  • Gym-Quality P90X® Chin-Up Bar
  • P90X® Chin-Up Max
  • Premium Beachbody Jump Mat

Ultimate Kit Pricing

  • Retail           $329.55 + S&H
  • Club             $296.60
  • Coach          $247.16 (247 PV)

P90X3 Challenge Pack Retail Price: $205 (December Promotional Price: $180)

  • P90X3 Base Kit
  • 30-Day Supply of Shakeology HD
  • 30-Day VIP Team Beachbody Club Membership

If you know someone that would be interested in doing this program with me, even if you are not, and you think they would strongly benefit from my Coaching, please share this link with them or send them my email address given above.  I would be happy to help.

2014

Happy NEW YEAR everyone!!  Let’s make 2014 our best yet! 

December 30, 2013 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Exercise, Nutrition, P90X, P90X Recipes, P90X3, Products That Work, Shakeology, Things To Do, Women's Health, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Control Your Blood Sugar

appleYou probably already know that controlling your blood sugar levels with the foods that you eat is VERY important for controlling your ability to burn fat, balance your hormones, and also prevent diabetes.    Society has become dependent on fast foods, pre-packaged and/or quick meals that they can grab on the go.  Problem is, these foods are the last thing we should be putting in our bodies. 

I tell my clients, especially the ones who own luxury vehicles:  “you pay for premium fuel for your car because you know it performs better on better quality ingredients, yet the fuel you put in your body is garbage!”  Guess what?  Your body needs to outlive your car!!  So give it what it needs.  Every system in our bodies (from neurological to circulatory)  relies so heavily on the food we fuel it with.

 

Stay away from white rice, white bread, white sugar, soda, red meat, fast food, whole milk and any processed foods.  Think about it like this:  stay away from the inner aisles of the grocery store.  That’s where all these foods are sitting.  They have a shelf life of about 3-6 months.  Red meat is ok just try to limit it to once or twice a month. 

Foods that help control blood sugar are going to be the opposite of the foods above.  They are the nutritious whole foods, vegetables, fruits, lean meats and nuts.  Buy fresh foods whenever you can.   There are also some other nutritious ingredients that you can add to your meals that naturally control blood sugar and insulin response!  One is cocoa powder with no added sugars.  Pure cocoa – not hot chocolate!   Pure cocoa contains flavanols which are powerful antioxidants that can help improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control.  You can add it to your favorite protein shake or smoothie for an added benefit.   I actually add a heaping spoonful of cocoa powder to my Vanilla Shakeology with some frozen berries.    You can even add a spoonful to the milk of your choice and add a little Stevia for a sweet treat.  You can even heat it to make a healthy, low in sugar, and high in fiber hot chocolate.  🙂

The second thing that helps control blood sugar is green tea.   Green tea and oolong tea can help to control the blood sugar response from a meal due to their unique antioxidants.  According to a study I reviewed, animals given the green-tea based antioxidant, EGCG, had a 50% lower blood sugar after eating starch than the animals that didn’t get the EGCG but ate the same amount of starch.  You can even add lemon and honey to it to create a powerful antioxidant trifecta!   Drink this at the same time you eat carbs and you can protect yourself from the blood sugar spike.

Another thing you can start adding to your diet is apple cider vinegar.  It may not be the most appealing choice, however, apple cider vinegar, when taken with a meal can slow the digestion of carbohydrates in that meal, therefore slowing the rate of absorption of sugar into the blood.  Since the idea of drinking this with water doesn’t sound very tantalizing to the taste buds, what I do is add it to my olive oil and red wine vinegar combo and then poor over my salad.  You don’t even taste the difference!  And don’t think you can substitute balsamic or white vinegar… it has to be the apple cider vinegar!    

Lastly, Shakeology is a delicious choice and has been certified low-glycemic.  Meaning it will not spike your blood sugar.  It truly is the Healthiest Meal of the Day.    Are you ready to try a sample?  SImply comment below if interested or contact me through my contact page

If you are ready to buy click here. 

 

As always, stay tuned for more Lean Body secrets from me!

 

 

August 8, 2013 Posted by | Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, Organic, Products That Work, Shakeology, Things To Do, Women's Health | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are Morning Workouts More Effective?

I have to say this is one of the most frequently asked questions I get.

  • Should you workout in the morning in a fasted state?
  • Should you workout in the morning after eating something to have more energy?
  • Or should you workout later in the day for the best results?
  • What about for different goals… fat loss vs muscle, for example?

insta back picMy answer?  ‘IT DEPENDS’.  Why the vague answer?  Because there is no ONE way that works for everyone.   As with anything, it’s about weighing the PROS and CONS and using common sense.

You’ve probably heard many times that morning workouts on an empty stomach is the fastest and most effective way to lose weight.  And while it IS true, that training first thing in the morning on an empty stomach has been shown to increase fat burning by 300%, the problem is, you also increase the potential for burning up muscle at the same time.

The reason fat loss is increased at that time of day is due to blood sugar.  Your blood sugar is at it’s very lowest (after fasting all night), the theory is training at this time will force your body to rely more on bodyfat than on blood sugar to fuel activity.

This is true, but the problem is protein (as is found in muscles) can be converted into glucose to fuel activity as well. So the question then becomes, is the extra fat burning you get worth the potential loss of muscle protein?

CONFUSED YET?  Because another thing to consider is Growth Hormone. When you train on low-blood sugar conditions, your body releases increased amounts of GH. It sees these conditions as an emergency and responds with GH and GH is not secreted in response to low-intensity activity – it’s only significantly released by high intensity activity.

So, in theory, training with high intensity on an empty stomach first thing in the morning can result in increased GH secretion, which means greater fat loss and reduced loss of muscle mass. This directly contradicts the theory of training burning up your muscle tissue if you don’t eat.

READY FOR ANOTHER VARIABLE?  Cortisol.  Your cortisol levels are generally higher in the morning, simply because you’ve
been fasting during the whole time you’ve been sleeping.  Cortisol burns up muscle tissue and promotes fat storage.

And lastly, it’s really hard to get an intense workout first thing in the morning!   Being a fitness trainer I always encourage people to do high intensity INTERVAL TRAINING and if you’re not a morning person (which I AM NOT!) it will be TOUGH to do cardio with enough intensity to take full advantage of the GH release!

SOLUTION:

If your primary goal is fat loss and you aren’t too worried about losing a
little muscle, go with empty stomach, moderate-to-high-intensity cardio training
first thing in the morning. You will probably see increased fat loss, though you
may lose a little muscle from it. Train with weights, and it probably won’t be
much muscle loss at all.

If your goal is fat loss while preserving muscle as much as possible, take a small protein shake right after you wake up (a low-carb protein shake so you don’t increase blood sugar too much) and THEN go do your cardio training. The protein will help spare your muscle tissue while not raising your blood sugar significantly enough to cause a
problem.

AND

If you can’t do your cardio with intensity first thing in the morning, do it later in the day.

side profileBecause truly, the absolute best time to do cardio is when you’re energetic enough and alert enough to give it your best effort.  THAT is when you’ll really see results. Doesn’t really matter what time of day that is.
When you get right down to it, getting the most from your training, whether it be cardio or weights, is not about worry about the details that won’t make a difference in the long run. It’s about digging in with intensity and consistency.

Now, if you’re interested in a fat-loss program that has a primary goal of preserving muscle mass while dropping fat, I’d definitely recommend trying out my CHALLENGE GROUP!  Right now we are getting ready to start Shaun T’s FocusT25 in combination with Shakeology.   We are all excited.  We keep each other motivated, and share recipes, or ideas on how we modify exercises if they can’t do the higher intensity ones right away.

group photo

FocusT25 is just like Insanity except its only 25 minutes for 5 days a week!  So more people are wanting to do it over Insanity to save time!   It also comes with a workout calendar, nutrition guide and then I have also been writing people a daily meal plan for people if they want it.  Here’s a short clip on T25!

If you want to join us – get YOURS today here!  And then send me a message on Facebook so I can add you to our group!

SEE YOU SOON!

July 13, 2013 Posted by | About Me, Body Beast, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, Insanity, Products That Work, Shakeology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

52 Easy Ways To Shred Inches Off Your Belly With Very Little Effort

Woman standing pulling measuring tape around waist.

With 52 different ideas to try, you can implement one a week, and I guarantee you will look healthier and be shredding inches before the end of the year without even realizing it!  You may already be doing some of these small things.   But put them all together and they will work wonders!

 

 

 

BREAKFAST

ADD CHEESE TO BREAKFAST

Grate hard, flavorful cheese, such as fresh parmesan, on eggs and oatmeal for added protein and flavor.  The key is to add protein to all meals, as it fills you up faster and helps you burn more calories.  Fresh parmesan cheese is almost fat free, has more protein and very little calories.  Mozzarella made with skim milk is also a good substitute instead of cheddar.

GIVE YOUR PANCAKES A NUTRITIONAL BOOST

Next time you make pancakes, replace 1⁄4 cup of whole wheat flour with 1⁄4 cup of vanilla whey protein powder.  I even tried this idea with mixing my Vanilla Shakeology with this trick this morning and my little guy was mad that I didnt make more!!  Just this one little substitute adds lots of protein, fiber, along with great texture to an otherwise nutritionally vacant breakfast.

MAKE COWS HAPPY

Try milk alternatives.  It took a while but my kids don’t even miss cow’s milk anymore.  I buy almond milk.   Unsweetened for the kids and for my protein shakes and Whole Foods also carries the chocolate almond milk which can hardly last a day in our fridge!   Almond milk has less calories than cow’s milk and its more easily digestible.  It’s also good for protein shakes and makes cereal a bit healthier!  And we all love a bowl of cereal from time to time.   To get all the vitamins out of your cereal, drink the milk left in the bowl. You’ve admirably resisted the Frosted Flakes in favor of a less sugary breakfast cereal that’s fortified with vitamins, but that doesn’t mean you’re actually getting all the nutrients listed on the side of the box. Up to 40 percent of the vitamins in your cereal dissolve into that orphaned puddle of milk.

FREEZE YOUR BANANAS

That way they will always be on hand for use in a smoothie. And because they are naturally sweet, you won’t need any sugar.

SNACKS and SIDES

MAKE LEANER BUFFALO WINGS

Cook up some spicy low-fat buffalo wings. Instead of using chicken wings, make them with skinless chicken-breast tenders. Marinate them overnight in a mixture of Louisiana hot sauce or sriracha, olive oil, lots of garlic powder, and red wine vinegar. (Experiment with the amounts to suit your taste.) Then roast the chicken “wings” at 400°F for 15 minutes.

GIVE IN TO CHOCOLATE CRAVINGS

You don’t have to deprive yourself of the sweet stuff.  Every day I “indulge” in a dark chocolatey treat.  It’s dark chocolate peanutPeanut-Butter-And-Co-Dark-Chocolate-Dreams-851087000069 butter.  OR if that doesn’t sound appetizing, try shaving dark chocolate into savory dishes like chili and barbecue sauces—you’ll add a rich flavor along with anti-oxidants. They can lower your risk of heart disease and keep your cholesterol in check. And shaving ensures you don’t go overboard on the dark. Or try this for a nighttime snack: Melt 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips in the microwave and swirl that into 4 ounces of plain greek vanilla yogurt. Top with a tablespoon of slivered almonds.

CREATE YOUR OWN DIPS

Make dips healthier by using fat-free sour cream or greek plain yogurt. Mix in an equal part of salsa, the hotter the better. Jazz it up with lemon, dried herbs, etc.

CHOOSE THE BLUES

Use blue corn tortillas in your next batch of nachos, fajitas, or quesadillas for more effective weight loss.  Tortillas made from blue corn have a lower glycemic load than white corn tortillas do, so they won’t raise your blood sugar as quickly. The blue variety also has more protein and less starch.

SHELL YOUR NUTS

Buy nuts in their shells. More time shelling equals less time shoveling handfuls into your mouth.

…BUT TRY BOILING THEM FIRST

Boil your peanuts (in their shells) for about 3 hours. Researchers at Alabama A&M University found that boiled peanuts—a popular snack food in China, Southeast Asia, Australia, and the southern United States—have up to four times more antioxidants than raw, dry, or roasted peanuts.

TOP A TATER

If you love baked potatoes, you don’t have to give them up just because of their high glycemic load rating. Keep your blood sugar levels balanced by adding a topping, such as Cheddar cheese, mushrooms, broccoli, or spinach.   Try to exchange the red or brown potatoes for sweet potatoes.  They’re healthier and you can top them too with your faves to make them just as delicious too.

RINSE YOUR BEANS

Canned beans—kidney, black, cannellini, chickpeas—are a quick and easy way to add protein and fiber to your meals. But they can also spike your daily sodium intake, increasing your risk of stomach cancer and high blood pressure. Simply rinsing them, however, will shed one-third of their sodium.

CREATE THE BEST STEAM ROOM FOR YOUR BROCCOLI

For perfectly cooked and nutrient-rich vegetables, rinse them first and then throw them in a sealed container, and microwave for 3 or 4 minutes. Boiling, blanching, or oversteaming zaps vegetables of their nutrients—the only water you need is the drops that cling after rinsing.

 SPICE YOUR RICE

Don’t buy white rice.  Buy brown rice.  And to add a ton of flavor to brown rice, just add a can of black beans or dark red kidney beans and some fresh cilantro.  If you like spicy then mix in some hot sauce.  The beans will lessen the effect that the starchy rice will have on your blood sugar and the hot sauce increases your metabolism.

THICKEN YOUR SIDE DISHES

Replace the milk in your mashed potatoes with evaporated fat-free milk (or almond milk).  It’s lower in fat and higher in calcium per cup, and still manages to add richness to your mash.

AT WORK DURING THE DAY

START A MEAL WITH A WATER APPETIZER

Drink two glasses of water before every meal. This will keep you hydrated and make you feel less hungry, while reducing your food intake and aiding weight loss.

GO HALFSIES

Here’s a simple rule for buffet eating at a party that’ll help you keep your meal balanced for weight loss: Fill half of your plate with vegetables and fruit. Fill the rest of your plate with equal amounts of whole grains and other high-fiber carbs, and lean protein.

SHAKE ON OREGANO

One tablespoon of fresh oregano has the same antioxidant power as an entire apple!  Mexican oregano has the highest count, but Italian oregano and Greek mountain oregano trail closely behind. One of the most versatile herbs, oregano can be added to anything from noodles to meats to salad dressings.

BRING THE HEAT

Scientists at the University of Tasmania Australia found that overweight people are more likely to slim down after consuming a meal that contains chile peppers than after one that isn’t on fire. Capsaicin, the chemical that makes chiles hot, may help the liver clear insulin—the hormone that tells your body to store fat—from the bloodstream after a meal.

KEEP YOUR ABS HARD WITH SOFT CHEESE

Use softer cheeses like goat, feta, and ricotta on pizzas and sandwiches because they’re naturally about a third lower in fat and calories than harder cheeses. And when you need the full-fat cheeses, go for strong flavors like Parmesan, blue, and extra-sharp Cheddar—you’ll get the same great taste with less cheese.

PREVENT BLOOD SUGAR SPIKES WITH VINEGAR

Start a meal with a salad or vegetables drizzled with a vinaigrette dressing. Arizona State University nutritionists believe that the acetic acid in vinegar interferes with enzymes that break down carbohydrates. A few teaspoons of vinegar per meal can keep blood sugar levels from rising quickly.

KEEP A LITTLE SHRIMP ON HAND

For an easy way to add lean protein to your meals, stock up on frozen shrimp. It defrosts in just 15 minutes under cold running water. And with the cooked variety, you have an instant healthy snack. If uncooked, throw it into your pasta sauces, stir-fries, or noodle soups in the last 5 minutes.

PUT THE SODA DOWN 

Eliminate SODA including ALL caffeinated beverages like energy drinks from your diet.  They bloat your stomach with all that carbonation (AIR!) and soda literally depletes your bones of the ability to absorb calcium, not to mention they have NO nutritional value whatsoever.  Drink ice cold water and add sliced cucumbers or lemons.

DINNER

STOP ADDING BUTTER

Instead of sauteeing with butter, try flavored olive oils.   Specialty stores like Whole Foods or Sprouts carry these delicious olive oils such as garlic and chile or cilantro lime.  They are a great way to add some flavor from the get go and there’s no need for the fattening butter!

STIR FRY RIGHT

With the idea above, if you don’t have those flavored oils yet, you can add a few drops of regular extra virgin olive oil to start, and then use water rather than more oil as you’re stir-frying.

WARM UP YOUR OIL

Remember to heat your skillet before adding oil.  This way, less fat will be absorbed by the food.  Warm oil cooks more efficiently; cold oil tends to soak into meats and vegetables.

SLICE YOUR STEAK, EAT LESS

Slicing thinly will make your portions seem bigger and more satisfying.   When you believe you’re eating a larger portion of food, you may trick yourself into feeling more satisfied with fewer calories.

EMBARGO THE OIL

When grilling chicken, try this oil-free marinade: Combine 3 cups of apple juice and two cloves of pressed garlic with 1 cup of reduced-sodium soy sauce.

STUFF YOUR BURGERS

Scoop a hole in the middle of your burger before grilling, and fill it with olives, mushrooms, or any vegetable you like. This makes the recommended serving of beef (3 ounces) look and feel like a massive hunk of burger, when it’s much leaner than that.

CATCH UP ON YOUR LYCOPENE

Squirt some organic ketchup on that bun.  Organic ketchups have about twice as much cancer-fighting lycopene as the regular varieties. A simple visual clue you’ve got the correct ketchup? Organic ones are a slightly darker shade of red than regular ketchups.

CURRY FAVOR WITH YOGURT

Replace the high-fat coconut milk in your curries with low-fat plain yogurt. The yogurt adds that creamy texture without the extra fat from the coconut.

BUILD A BETTER PIZZA

Can’t resist pepperoni?  Go for it, but help offset the damage by ordering two or more vegetable toppings for every meat topping. Since the carcinogens in processed meats such as pepperoni and sausage increase your cancer risk with every serving, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, load on a variety of vegetables–green peppers, onions–that can help protect against cancer.

BULK UP YOUR MEATBALLS

Grate carrots, squash, or zucchini into any meatball mixture. They add bulk, moisture, and vitamins but don’t alter that meaty flavor you’re after.

SWAP RED MEAT FOR RED LENTILS

To make a low-fat, antioxidant-packed lasagna, use half the usual amount of ground meat and make up the difference with red lentils. They’re still protein packed, but lentils are fat-free and high in fiber, making them more filling, too. And since red lentils have a neutral taste, they’ll simply soak up the flavors in your sauce. You won’t even notice them. Promise.

TRADE CRACKERS FOR OATS

In any meat recipe that calls for crackers or bread crumbs, use an equal amount of rolled oats instead. This ramps up your soluble fiber intake, which can help lower your cholesterol. Use the quick-cooking variety of oatmeal, because it retains moisture well and doesn’t alter the meaty taste.

GO FRY A COD

Buy fillets or loins of white fish such as haddock or cod, and cut into strips.  Make a light tempura-like batter by mixing iced sparkling water with self-rising flour.  Dust the fish strips with self-rising flour and roll in the tempura batter.   Shallow fry the strips in hot canola oil, which is loaded with good fats.   Fill one-third of your pan with oil and heat it to about 350 degrees F. (Use a thermometer!) and fry the fish until crispy.   For chips with your fish: Cut sweet potatoes into your preferred size and toss them in to the remaining oil in the pan.  If no remaining oil, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of canola oil with salt, herbs, garlic—anything you want, really.  Then put them on a cookie sheet and bake them at 450 degrees F for about 30 minutes.

EAT THE CRUMBS

If you’re baking something with a topping of grated cheese, cut fat by halving the cheese and replacing it with whole-wheat bread crumbs. This mimics the crispy texture of baked cheese and adds fiber.

KNOW YOUR DELI MEATS

Sandwiches are the architecture of the common lunch-eater, but you need to start with a solid foundation.

  1. – The hierarchy of health, in descending order:
  2. – Turkey and chicken
  3. – Roast beef- Ham
  4. – Weird processed things like salami and olive loaf

For example, instead of an Italian submarine sandwich with cheese and mixed cold cuts like salami and bologna, choose turkey or even roast beef and you can trim your fat intake by up to 30 percent.

DON’T RUIN A TUNA

Mayonnaise will turn your tuna sandwich into a fatty disaster. Instead of mixing in a lot of mayo, add balsamic vinaigrette, cracked pepper, hot sauce, and some fresh lemon juice to your tuna. It tastes great.

GET GRATER TASTE FROM LESS CHEESE

Buy yourself a good grater. Use it to grate a piece of Parmesan or other hard cheese on your sandwich, and you’ll save a lot of calories of fat compared with standard sliced fare, as long as you add a sprinkling for flavor rather than an avalanche of grated cheese.

MAKE IT MEATLESS

Next time you’re hankering for a spicy italian sandwich with all the fixins, try this vegetarian hot Italian sub. Brown some cubed eggplant pieces under a broiler with a little olive oil. Then mix with tomato sauce and capers. Place in a kaiser roll. Top with grated Parmesan. Fat serving SAVINGS: 28 grams!!!

SQUASH THE FAT

Replace half of the Cheddar in quesadillas, mac ‘n’ cheese, or grilled cheese sandwiches with pureed butternut squash. This significantly lowers the fat and calorie counts, won’t compromise the taste, and gives you a slew of added vitamins and heart-healthy potassium.

PACK A PITA

Add extra vegetables to your next sandwich by packing them in a whole-wheat pita pocket rather than between conventional slices of bread. Pitas simply hold more.

WRAP MEATS IN GREENS

To cut carbs, ditch the sandwich bread and do as the Koreans do: Wrap spicy cooked beef or chicken with leafy greens. Try Chinese cabbage, bok choy, or romaine lettuce. Replacing two slices of bread with one large lettuce leaf saves you about 30 grams of carbohydrate.

BE SLICK WITH YOUR OIL

Who knew there was so much behind oil?!   Avoid splashing ‘light’ olive oils over your salads—light varieties have fewer cancer-fighting antioxidants than the extra-virgin kind, plus they have a less intense flavor. Not sure if your oil’s up to snuff?  Good-quality extra-virgin olive oil should have a fruity, peppery, slightly bitter taste and leave a faint burning sensation on the throat.

TURN YOUR SANDWICHES GREEN

Replace mayo with a spread of ripe avocado to moisten a dry sandwich. Avocados are packed with monounsaturated (good) fat to help lower your cholesterol. Plus, avocados are said to prevent a variety of cancers.

TRY THIS SPIN ON A GYRO

For a low-fat gyro, mix some fat-free yogurt with chopped or sliced cucumbers, add a squeeze of lemon juice, and pour over a pita stuffed with grilled chicken or beef strips.

REVISE YOUR REUBEN

Simulate a cheese Reuben by replacing fatty corned beef with turkey and topping it with low-fat mozzarella, mustard, spicy shredded cabbage, and pickles. Slap all that on traditional rye bread and broil until the cheese melts. Fat savings: 10 grams.

SLIM YOUR CHICKEN SALAD

Use thick, Greek-style plain yogurt to cut down on the amount of mayo you need to make chicken, tuna, or egg salad sandwiches.

Woman standing pulling measuring tape around waist.

We all have different ideas on how to prepare cook things… but following these tricks will make some of your traditional meals healthier and shred inches without you even realizing it!   It may even make you realize one small step in your preparation of meals that you didn’t think of like rinsing canned beans before cooking them… read more below.

July 4, 2013 Posted by | About Me, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, Low Fat Recipes, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, Organic, P90X Recipes, Pregnancy, Products That Work, Shakeology, Women's Health | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Autumn: the Symbol of Change

I’m not sure what it is about fall that makes me reflect and evaluate all aspects of my life.   It could be an instilled association from childhood that when summer’s over it’s time to focus on school.  Or maybe, as an adult, it’s more of a last minute chance to find success in something before the year comes to a close.

Whatever reason it may be, I am grateful.  Grateful because it gives me a refreshed focus.  A determination.  And a desire to want a change.

I get a lot of heat from family and friends because I talk so much about eating healthy and living a fit and healthy life, yet on Facebook I only ever seem to be having fun travelling and hanging out with friends.

But for me, September thru May is my time to focus.  Mostly because the children are in school so we absolutely have to be regimented and structured.  If not, our schedule goes awry and then everything falls apart.  I am an all or nothing type of person so I can’t be one foot in and one foot out in regards to anything.  It just doesn’t work for me.

Summer, for me, means kids don’t have to be in bed at a certain time, and we can stay up later without paying the exhausting consequences in the morning.  It means I can sleep in a little more and only be concerned with getting myself to work.

Summers ARE ABOUT travelling, maybe escaping the summer heat to go camping and making s’mores with the kids and enjoy laughs and a drink or two around the campfire with friends.  It could be barbecuing with friends and sitting by the pool.  Here in Phoenix, sitting by the pool is necessary when it’s 115 degrees.  This also means that a blender with a nice, refreshing frozen concoction isn’t too far out of reach!  My friends know that I mix up some delicious margaritas!

For the most part, I understand what people say about my status updates and pictures posted of travels to Vegas for friend’s birthdays, or drinking mai tai’s on the beach and going out to restaurants and work functions.  However, I know my body.  I know what I can and can’t handle.  I also know that if I gain 5-8 pounds that I know what I need to do to lose those 5-8 pounds!  But, albeit maybe as a Coach and a motivator I should probably refrain from posting those indulgences.

Anyways, this explains why I lose a little grip of my fitness level.  I eat right, maintain a low body fat percentage and barely miss a workout from September to May.  And I KNOW… it’s completely backwards!  Most people work hard to get in shape for summer so they can wear a bikini, which I do too, but then I lose the bikini body by the end of June!  It’s like athletes that train religiously for their sport during the off season and during the regular season they are seen living it up like rock stars.

As the seasons change for you what do you see are your areas of opportunity?  Do your goals shift focus too?  Think about where you started at the beginning of 2012 and the direction you’re going now.  The good, the bad, the what, where, and why’s.  Will you have the same goals for 2013 that you had for 2012 or are you going to bring those to life through execution to make way for new and better goals?

Cheers,
Christy

P.S.  Whether you’re like me and get off track or not, I can help you.  It’s not just about calories in and calories out that we’ve all been taught for years.  It’s the “right” calories in and “track” your calories out.  Follow me here to learn more.

September 13, 2012 Posted by | About Me, Being a Mom, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Discipline, Eating Clean, Exercise, Nutrition, Traveling | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Choose Shakeology?

Simplify your nutrition with Shakeology, the Healthiest Meal of the Day®. Replace one meal a day with Chocolate, Greenberry, or Tropical Strawberry (Vegan) to increase your energy, reduce cravings, lose weight, and feel great.  When you choose Home Direct, our monthly autoship program, you get FREE basic shipping every month, plus a FREE gift.   

Enjoy healthy nutrition RISK FREE for 30 days with our Bottom-of-the-Bag Guarantee

  • If you don’t feel healthier, more energized, and simply amazing, you won’t pay. You can return Shakeology for any reason and get your money back (less s&h)—even if the bag is empty!
  • To return, simply make a short call to our friendly Customer Service team, rated “A” by the better Business Bureau®.
  • Get FREE standard shipping with Home Direct**
  • Plus get online access to 2 FREE workouts as a thank-you gift for choosing Home Direct. Just follow the link in your order confirmation email.**

Shakeology. The Healthiest Meal of the Day.

Why you need Shakeology now*

Shakeology can help you:*

  • Lose weight
  • Reduce cravings
  • Increase energy and stamina
  • Promote healthy digestion and regularity
  • Lower cholesterol1

Tastes delicious, too.

How Shakeology works

  • Ingredients derived from whole-food sources deliver the daily vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your body needs to curb cravings, allowing it to shed stored fat.
  • More than 20 different antioxidants and phytonutrients help reduce free radical damage that can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and stroke.
  • Fiber, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes help your body gently eliminate toxins more efficiently and promote better absorption of nutrients.*

What’s in Shakeology

  • Protein and essential amino acids help build muscles and reduce food cravings.
  • Prebiotics and digestive enzymes aid in improving digestion, regularity, and nutrient absorption.
  • Antioxidants and phytonutrients help counteract free radical damage that can lead to degenerative diseases.
  • A daily dose of vitamins and minerals provides your body what it needs to function for optimal health.

Choose how to purchase Shakeology

  • The Shakeology Convenience Pack contains 24 single-serving packets you can take anywhere.
  • Choose the 30-day supply in a bag to keep in your kitchen.

FREE gifts when you sign up for Home Direct, the monthly autoship program

  • FREE standard shipping every month†
  • Online access to 2 FREE workouts

30-Day Money Back Guarantee If you don’t start to see and feel the benefits of Shakeology within the first month of using it, or if you’re not 100% satisfied for any reason, just return it within 30 days for a full refund of the purchase price, less s&h—guaranteed. That’s our promise to you.

Send me a message or comment here if you have any questions.

ORDER NOW

1In a 90-day study, participants replaced one meal per day with Shakeology, ate a balanced diet, and exercised moderately three times per week. Total cholesterol was reduced on average by 30% and LDL cholesterol reduced on average by 38%.

2Participants followed the Shakeology Program, which included replacing one meal per day with Shakeology, exercising three times a week, and eating a balanced diet.

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© 2009 Beachbody. All rights reserved. All trademarks, copyrights, and proprietary rights in and to Shakeology and Beachbody are owned by Product Partners, LLC, Santa Monica, CA 90404

February 18, 2012 Posted by | Beauty, Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, Insanity, Nutrition, P90X, P90X2, Products That Work, Shakeology, Skin Care | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tips to Stay Motivated, Stay on Track for 2012 and Beyond

I get asked all the time where I find the time to work out and stay on top of my nutrition.  But it’s not about finding the time, it’s about making the time.  You hear that response all the time too.  But it’s true!  I currently have a full time job and one part time job and if I know my evenings will be jam packed then I know I can at least get cardio done on my lunch hour.  When I was home with the kids I knew my only chance to work out was when the baby was napping.

You just plan your day accordingly.

It’s an all-day, every day mindset.  I don’t just think about fitness and nutrition when I’m working out or eating a meal.  It is all inclusive in everything I do.  I may have to wake up earlier on a day when I know 5am will be the only chance I get to work out.  (Believe me that’s not often because I love my sleep!)

Below are tips from myself and from people I work with who are VERY fit and work out at least 6 days a week.  These are not difficult things to incorporate into your day but they are probably things you’re not doing now.

1.  Make sure water is next to you all day and drink from it often.  Water must be your drink of choice.

2.  View exercise as a pleasure and privilege, not a burden or chore.  There are people in wheelchairs who wish they could move and do new things.  Always think of the results you will see with every workout you complete.

3.  Think twice before deciding what to eat and why, making sure that it is healthy and will provide you good nutrition, fill you up, and give you long-term energy.   This is so important.  For example, there is no nutritional value in corn therefore, it provides no nutrients and no satisfaction of feeling full.  Another example is diet soda.  There are no calories and there’s nothing in that can that your body needs NOR wants!

4.  Plan your meals according to your planned exercise activity that day.  Don’t just have a cheeseburger and then tell yourself you can run it off on the treadmill later that evening.  Don’t be tempted by your hunger, your present mood, emotion, or the company you’re keeping.

5.  Eat well-balanced meals and remember that excessive calories, even if they are “fat-free” and high protein will turn to excess weight!  No matter what the latest fad diet, extra calories equals extra weight!   Read more here for more nutritional tips.

6.  Limit caffeine and exposure to even secondhand smoke.  That may sound silly but secondhand smoke will hurt your lungs especially lungs that are not used to smoking at all.  Why challenge those lungs when you’ll need them strong and ready  for your next run, or your next challenging workout.

7.  Focus on short-term fitness goals with an emphasis on completing daily exercise.

8.  Keep a journal of what you’re actually eating.  YES this includes the last couple of bites of macaroni and cheese that your child didn’t finish or that little cookie you had at work, AND all your snacking!  Also, read the ingredients on everything you put in your mouth!  If something has 45 ingredients in it then you shouldn’t be eating it.  Keep your meals to 6-7 ingredients total (4 oz chicken, 1 sweet potato and 1 1/2 cups of your fave vegetable = 3 ingredients).  The less your body has to digest, the quicker it will be converted in to energy.

9.  Enjoy an occasional (once a week) “unhealthy” treat, but never take an “unhealthy” week or unhealthy vacation.   Work out on your vacations.  When I went to Hawaii I could not WAIT to run on the beach in the mornings.  If you don’t want to pack weights for obvious reasons then look for a hotel that has a gym.  Run on the treadmill for 20-30 min and then use whatever machines they might have for another 30 min without taking more than a minute of rest inbetween.

10.  Savor the feeling of accomplishment you have after completing an intense workout. Remember that feeling and use it to motivate you when you don’t feel like exercising.

11.  Work out with someone and recruit others who desire to feel better and have more energy. Have a neighbor who walks every morning? Ask if you can join in!  Accountability is motivation!

12.  Switch up your routines and learn new ways and new techniques for exercising.   If you have a favorite sport do it on your rest day or depending the exertion level, trade that for your normal cardio workout every now and then.

13.  Avoid monotony by using things that keep you motivated and inspired, like new shoes or great music.

14.  Subscribe to fitness magazines to keep focused on health as an overall way of life.

15.  Invest in the right tools—good shoes, a health club membership, a portable MP3 player or iPod, fitness equipment, a new series of DVDs, etc.

16.  Make it your goal to do some form of exercise 6 days a week. If you’re eating right and exercising 6 days a week it will feel strange on day 7 to not get up and move or do something!

17.  Don’t compare your body to others. Instead, work to be your OWN personal best.

18.  If your diet is unbalanced, take daily vitamin and mineral supplements for total health.

19.  Gradually progress to take your exercise to new levels of intensity and make them more and more challenging to avoid your body plateauing.   If you can now do, let’s say, 25 (real and not girly) push ups when before you couldn’t even do 4 or 5 consider getting push up bars that allow you to go deeper and work even more muscles.

20.  Create an exercise schedule the day before, instead of leaving it to chance or waiting to “find” the time.

21.  Move beyond the boundaries of weight loss and into total fitness. Measure success by the way your clothes fit, and not a number on a scale.  I only step on to the scale at my doctor’s office!

22.  Remember that no matter how hard you’re working out, if you’re consuming too many calories, you’ll never see the muscles that lie beneath layers of fatty tissue.

23.  Remove all tempting foods from your house.  If you have kids, show them healthy foods that are just as satisfying.  My kids loved all the junk foods but it’s not good habits for them either having that stuff laying around.

24.  Get adequate amounts of sleep.  Before you roll your eyes, remember that people who exercise regularly fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.  You will definitely be tired by the end of your day!

25.  Limit alcohol intake to special occasions.

Remember 21 days to create a new habit.  Just give your new journey 21 days and by then you will have figured out how to keep these good habits going.  And even after years have gone by of your new lifestyle you will find different ways of doing things that WORK for YOU!

Message me with your questions.  I enjoy helping others achieve their personal best and I can help you too!  On Facebook I offer recipes like these, daily tips like these and accountability posts if you want them!  🙂

December 17, 2011 Posted by | Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Exercise, Nutrition, P90X Recipes, Women's Health | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is Lunch One of Your Difficult Meals to Eat Healthy?

Lunch is definitely one of those meals where people often have the best intentions, but things often go off track. If you don’t prep and pack your lunch in the morning for the day, and instead, rely on your ability to make good decisions when you are starving and faced with multiple opportunities to stray from your usual intake, you will be in trouble.

While some people do have an iron will, and are good at resisting temptation and making good choices, that is not true for most of us!  This is where packing your own delicious and healthy lunch can come necessary and will prevent that time of day from ever being an issue.

Since time is always an issue, here are 5 quick lunch recipes that you can make in 10 minutes or less before you head off to work and take with you.

One quick note is that many of these recipes call for pre-cooked chicken breasts, as this can be a HUGE timesaver. In a large glass dish, cook chicken breasts that have been cut in half (so they are half as thick) or chopped at about 350°F for approximately 20 minutes, or until done.

To retain moisture, cover dish with tin foil.  Season these breasts to taste with sea salt, garlic powder, Montreal chicken seasoning, or anything you like prior to cooking.

1.    Chicken, Pesto & Guacamole Wrap: This is a quick and delicious wrap that is loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats, vegetables, protein, and quality carbs.  You can make this in less than 5 minutes!

  Ingredients:
•    1 cooked chicken breast, chopped and seasoned to taste
•    1 sprouted-grain or whole-grain wrap
•    1-2 large handfuls baby spinach
•    1/4 cup chopped cucumbers
•    2 tbsp basil evoo pesto
•    2 tbsp guacamole
•    1 plum or other small piece of fruit

Directions: Evenly spread pesto onto wrap. Lay spinach on top in an even layer.  Then lay down chicken breast on top of spinach.  Spread guacamole on top of chicken breast and toss in diced cucumbers.

Enjoy with carrots and hummus or other produce of choice.  Makes 1 serving for men, and 2 for women.

2.    Spinach, Chicken & Feta Salad: This is a quick and delicious salad that is loaded with protein, vegetables, monounsaturated fats, and blood sugar-controlling vinegar.

Ingredients:
•    1 chicken breast, chopped and seasoned to taste
•    2 cups baby spinach
•    ½ cup red onion, chopped
•    1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
•    1 tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
•    2 tbsp feta cheese
•    4 large kalamata olives (optional)
•    ¼ cup black beans (optional)

Directions: Mix all ingredients together to make this delicious salad!

For some people, salads don’t seem to hold them over as long as other meals, so adding ¼ cup of black beans can add a small amount of starchy carbs and fiber to keep you fuller, longer. Makes 1 serving.

3.    Tuna Salad Sandwich: Tuna salad is usually made from regular mayonnaise (which is made with low-quality vegetable oils) and higher-mercury tuna.  Making it yourself allows you to use a mayonnaise made from healthier oils and wild-caught tuna that is lower in mercury.  This meal can also be made into a wrap if preferred.

 

  Ingredients:
•    1 can wild-caught tuna
•    1 tbsp expeller pressed canola oil mayonnaise
•    1/4 cup chopped onions
•    1/4 cup chopped cucumbers
•    1/4 mashed avocado (or 2 tbsp guacamole)
•    1 handful baby spinach
•    2 slices sprouted-grain or whole-grain bread, toasted
•    sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Toast bread.  In a large bowl mix tuna, expeller pressed canola oil mayonnaise, onions, cucumbers, and avocado (or guacamole).  Set aside.  Lay spinach on top of toasted bread.  Spoon tuna salad onto bed of spinach.  Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy with sliced peppers or other produce of choice.  Makes 1 serving for men, and 2 for women.

4.    Vanilla, Fruit & Yogurt Parfait: While most people think of yogurt as a simple snack food or addition to your lunch, in a pinch it can make a delicious and nutritious lunch by itself.  Do be aware that fruit flavored yogurts are either loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners, and you want no part of either one.

This recipe provides plenty of high-quality protein, probiotics, healthy fats, fiber, and berries to keep you full until dinner!

Ingredients:
•    6-8oz 2% plain Greek yogurt or whole-fat regular yogurt
•    ½ to 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
•    ½ to 1 tbsp milled flax or chia seeds
•    1 to 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
•    ½ to 1 cup fresh or frozen berries of choice

Directions: Mix the protein powder and seeds in with the yogurt until evenly distributed.  Add in fruit and sprinkle chopped walnuts on top.  For women use the smaller portion sizes, for men the larger.  Makes 1 serving.

5.    Lunch Portion of Dinner Leftovers or Large Batch of Chili, Stew, etc.: A simple way to have a healthy lunch is to make an extra large dinner the night before.  Purposefully make your dinner with an extra serving that you simply refrigerate.  Come the next morning, you have a healthy lunch already made and packed!

Another option is to make a large batch of chili or beef stew, which can provide you with several lunch servings throughout the week.  This is a perfect meal to make on Sunday, providing you lunch for most of the work week!

Here is a delicious fat burning chili recipe that fits the bill nicely.

September 24, 2011 Posted by | Being a Mom, Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Low Fat Recipes, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, Organic, P90X Recipes, Women's Health, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Shakeology 3 Day Cleanse

Today is day 2 of the 3 day cleanse and I already feel amazing.   Each serving of Shakeology (1 shake) is the equivalent of 3-4 servings of the vegetables we need every day.    During the cleanse you have 3 shakes a day.  Not to mention this cleans out the body of all the toxins we carry with us. 

Some people have lost 5-10 pounds in this 3 day cleanse.  I’ve already lost 4 pounds and I am anxious to weigh in again tomorrow!

I stopped drinking coffee yesterday (the first day) and I still have the nasty caffeine withdrawal headaches but other than that I feel really good.  In the past when I’ve quit caffeine cold turkey it’s been 2 days of headaches so I’m hoping tomorrow it will have finally subsided.  After the cleanse I plan to use it as a recovery drink after Insanity!

If you’re wondering what this entails, here it is:

THE 3 DAY CLEANSE

3 SHAKEOLOGY Shakes a day (blended with water and ice)
2 Cups of Green Tea a Day (Triple Leaf Detox Tea is good choice)
1 piece of fruit a day (Apple, pear, orange, banana, mango, etc)
1 salad for dinner (lettuce, veggies, lean protein)
– 4 oz lean protein in salad (WHITE poultry or fish)
– Only Low Fat Dressings.

NO: Dairy (no almond, soy, or rice milk) or extra sugars. If it’s not on the list, don’t eat it!

Sample Menu (Repeat all three days):

1 cup of green tea

BREAKFAST:
Shakeology – 1 scoop, blended with ice & 8-10 oz of water
Optional: ½ cup of fruit (only for the super conditioned – not the weight challenged)

SNACK:
1 piece of fruit

LUNCH:
Shakeology – 1 scoop, blended with ice & 8-10 oz of water

1 cup of green tea

SNACK:
Shakeology – 1 scoop, blended with ice & 8-10 oz of water
(This snack can be before or after dinner)

DINNER:
Salad
– Lettuce/veggies
– 4 oz lean protein (WHITE fish or poultry)
– Light Dressing

And listen to what doctors are saying:   What Doctors are Saying

I wish I could somehow share the high I get from being fit.   If you want to know what it feels like to really live then get healthy.  There is no drug on this Earth that compares to it.

I’m getting paid to be healthy and help others do the same.  You can too and you can save 25% on all things Beachbody has to offer just by becoming a Coach

If you have any questions at all please message me.

August 15, 2010 Posted by | Diet and Exercise, Insanity, Nutrition, P90X, P90X Recipes, Shakeology, The Critic, Women's Health | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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