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

Slow Cooker Thai Beef and Linguine

I wish Smell-O’vision existed… because if you walked into my house right now and smelled this Thai Beef cooking you’d probably pay me for this recipe!   I love my slow cooker.  I enjoy it so much I’ve considered buying 1 more!  I needed an extra one today because I also made Black Bean Soup at the same time as this recipe.   I will post that recipe next’ish.

Anyways, when someone talks about using their slow cooker or crock pot we usually think of pot roast, variations of chili or stews.  But this Thai Beef is to die for and its SO EASY!

Thai Beef and Linguine

thai beef slow cooker recipe1 large white onion
1-2lbs flank steak, fat trimmed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Stevia, (Truvia brand cooking/baking sugar alternative)
1/4 cup + 4 tsp low sodium soy sauce
the juice of 3 limes
2 TBL fresh ginger, finely chopped (reserving 1 tsp of juice)
1 TBL toasted sesame oil
1 pkg shitake mushroom linguine
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
4 tsp thai sweet chili sauce
Optional — 1/4 cup cilantro
Optional — 1 head of butter lettucce (Romaine lettuce will work as well)
Optional — chopped peanuts

If your slow cooker is not non-stick, spray with cooking spray.  Slice onion into rings and lay flat in the cooker.  Pat meat dry and cut shallow horizontal slits against grain on the top.  Place meat on top of onions.

In a med size bowl, combine garlic, stevia, 1/4 cup of the soy sauce, 3 TBL of the lime juice, ginger and oil.  Season with freshly ground black pepper.  Pour sauce over steak to coat.

Cover.  Cook on low for 4 1/2 to 6 hours.  While meat is cooking, mix reserved ginger juice, vinegar, chili sauce and remaining soy sauce and lime juice in medium bowl.  Cover and refrigerate. 

Cook pasta according to package instructions. 

Toss pasta into bowl of ginger dressing.  Remove meat from cooker, cover in foil and let stand for 10 minutes.  Cut steak into 1/2″ thick slices.  Serve pasta over optional lettuce and then place meat on top.  Garnish with cilantro and peanuts, if so desired. 

 

Please try it and let me know what you and your family think.  I bet it will be asked for often once they taste it!

For more recipes, click here!

Follow me on Instagram:  @FitnessElements4Life

And of course I’m on Facebook.  Connect with me here!

November 12, 2014 Posted by | Being a Mom, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, Low Fat Recipes, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken

Want a delicious dinner that practically makes itself?   Wow your friends at your next party or bring this dish over to the next football party you’re invited to.  Just a warning though – it will disappear and they will ask you to make it each and every time you come back.

1415572554957LEMON CHICKEN

1 3-4lb whole chicken, fat trimmed, giblets removed, rinsed and dried
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 lemon, halved
1/4 tsp paprika
2-3 rosemary sprigs (optional)
3 TBL parsley, finely chopped
1 large onion, cut into wedges
2-3 garlic cloves
2 TBL reduced sodium soy sauce
8-10 small red potatoes

Place 1 bouillon cube inside chicken.  Squeeze lemon, reserving juice and put rinds and 1 garlic clove inside chicken.

Place chicken, breast-side up, in slow cooker.  Sprinkle paprika and parsley.  Add onions and remaining garlic, then pour soy sauce and lemon juice over chicken.  Crumble remaining bouillon cube over chicken and line the sides of the cooker with potatoes.

Cook on high 3-4 1/2 hours.  Discard lemon rinds, skin and bones.

Half potatoes and serve.

 

fitness screenshotFor more low carb recipes, click here.

Follow me on Instagram:  @FitnessElements4Life

Or on Facebook!

November 9, 2014 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, Family, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zucchini Lasagne with a Twist

 

This new version of my vegetarian lasagna recipe has a layer of quinoa to make it even healthier and adds a good amount of protein to each serving.   I’m not a big fan of quinoa by itself just like I’m not crazy about kale either, so if you don’t know anything about what I do, I take ordinarily unhealthy recipes and make them into metabolism boosting, healthy, fat burning recipes such as my much-loved, delicious, lean turkey chili.

Try them out.  You won’t be disappointed!

ZUCCHINI QUINOA LASAGNE

It tastes like comfort food but its not heavy.  And to save time, you can use your favorite jarred tomato sauce (just make sure there’s no hidden sugars or unwanted ingredients).

lasagneINGREDIENTS

2 cups water

1 cup quinoa (Easy Quinoa brand basil and garlic flavored)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup sliced mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups tomato sauce or prepared pasta sauce

2 cups no-salt-added low-fat cottage cheese

1 large egg, beaten

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 1/2 tsp dried

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 cups sliced zucchini

2 cups packed fresh spinach, tough stems removed

1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

 

PREPARATION

Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Evenly spread the quinoa in the prepared dish.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wipe out the saucepan, then add oil and heat over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, until transparent and starting to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are softened and very little moisture is left in the pan, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauce. Stir until hot. Remove from heat.

Combine cottage cheese and egg in a medium bowl; mix well. Stir in Parmesan, basil and oregano.

Spread one-third of the sauce over the quinoa. Make a layer of all the zucchini, then all the cottage cheese mixture, then half the remaining sauce, then all the spinach. Finish with the remaining sauce and spread mozzarella on top.

Bake the lasagna until it is hot and the cheese is melted, bubbling and slightly browned around the edges, 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

NUTRITION

Per serving:  267 calories; 11 g fat; 23 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein; 3 g fiber.

 

June 1, 2014 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Low Fat Recipes, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clean Eating – Parmesan Crusted Chicken

You’re not going to believe how easy this is to make and how GOOOOOD it turns out until you make it – and it’s HEALTHY!   The chicken comes out so tender and juicy!

Parmesan Crusted Chicken:

  • 3/4 cup grated and/or shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Mix the first 5 ingredients and then spread mixture over chicken on both sides.  Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes

parmesan crusted chicken

January 13, 2014 Posted by | Being a Mom, Children, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Discipline, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes, P90X2, P90X3, Products That Work, Women's Health, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

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

Protein Banana Pancakes

My kiddos call these Mommy’s Banana cakes but what they dont know is they are getting a huge amounts of protein, fruit and fiber!

Protein Banana Pancakesbanana cakes

(Makes 2 servings, 3 pancakes each)

1 scoop protein powder

1/4 cup rolled oats

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 dash sea salt

2 large eggs

1 small ripe banana, mashed

2 TBL unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp safflower oil

sliced bananas and/or assorted berries for garnish (or yours or your kids favorite fruits)

Mix protein powder, oats, flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.   In a separate bowl, beat eggs, and stir in mashed bananas and almond milk. 

Mix in the oats and stir well.

Heat half the tsp of oil into skillet over med heat.  Pour 1/4 of the batter for each pancake.  You should be able to fit 2 or 3 at once.  Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until bubbles form on top and then flip them over and cook for another 30 seconds.  Remove from skillet if cooked through and set aside.

Add the remaining oil, and the remaining batter and repeat.

Serve with garnish of your choice.   Now prepare for your kids to ask for these every morning.   And you can make a lot more and just freeze them and then warm them up in the toaster oven.

Nutritional Information (per serving):   Calories: 315   Protein:  20g  Fat:  10g  Carbs:  39g

***** You can also substitute the protein powder with Chocolate Shakeology.  Order Some Today! *****

For more recipe ideas click here.

Enjoy!  🙂  And let me know how yours turn out!

May 29, 2013 Posted by | Being a Mom, Children, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Family, Low Fat Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes, Products That Work, Shakeology, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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

Low Fat, All Healthy (P90X Approved) Chicken Cacciatore

When I first started P90X I kept my low carb diet in tact.  But after the first month I wasn’t losing any weight.  I felt better and was definitely a little stronger after that first month but you couldn’t tell just by looking at me.  So I decided to start the fat shredder option of the P90X Nutrition Guide.  From that point on, I started finally seeing the results. 

You’ll notice from my other posts that I love taking good recipes and tweaking them to be acceptable foods my family and I can eat. 

So here goes another one.  I made shredded chicken tacos last week and had diced onions and peppers up to my ears AND 3 pounds of shredded chicken left over and I had no idea what to do with it all.  So I found a can of crushed tomatoes and threw in some different spices to make this wonderful Italian dinner.

Chicken Cacciatore

1 1/2 – 2lbs shredded chicken (from cage free chickens of course)  🙂
2 TBL EVOO
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 med onion diced
3 bell peppers (green, yellow and red)
1 large can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
2-3 bay leaves
1 tsp italian seasoning (or just sprinkle in dried basil, oregano, thyme and sage)
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried ground chipotle peppers (grinder)
1 pckg whole grain rotini or fusilli
pecorino romano as topping (for the kids!)

Saute onions and garlic in EVOO until soft (about 3 min).  Add peppers and continue cooking for 3 more minutes.  Prepare pasta as indicated on box.  Transfer peppers (minus the drippings) into med saucepan, add tomatoes and seasonings and simmer.  Add chicken. Once pasta is done, serve!

March 6, 2010 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Low Fat Recipes, Nutrition, P90X, P90X Recipes | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

   

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