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

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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

Low Carb Swedish Meatballs – Another Recipe Made to Fit a Healthy Lifestyle

20090128swedishmeatballswithnutmeggravyWhen you think of getting lean and trim you’re probably not thinking of Swedish Meatballs for dinner.  However, thanks to me you CAN!  🙂   Of course, not every night, but every so often YES!  And if you have followed me on Facebook or Instagram (@FitnessElements4Life) for a while you know that I LOVE food!  I especially hold a special place in my heart for comfort foods.  Although that usually means fatty foods combined with carbs.  However, as I teach my clients, its ok to eat fatty healthy foods… just not at the SAME TIME as carbs.

Carbs, like oats and veggies, ARE our friends!!  The carbs that are NOT our friends are the cupcakes, ice cream and the junk food alike!   The key to eating carbs is the TIMING.  You don’t eat oatmeal before bed, you eat it in the morning when you WANT your blood sugar to ‘wake’ up.  Same thing with lunch and dinner.  Take for example:  Pot Roast or Beef Stew which is usually cooked with cornstarch or flour for a thickening agent and is usually served with potatoes or noodles .   But to make these great recipes high protein/low carb you just exclude those things.  ***Or you can eat dinner early and only serve it with a few red potatoes (skin-on so the fiber content is higher)***.   You don’t ever want to eat carbs with fat because it spikes your blood sugar causing your body to store the fat (in this case the red meat), and burn the carbs (potatoes).

So what I do, is take my favorite recipes like pot roast, beef stew, meatloaf, chili, etc and I exclude the carbs.   I am constantly trying new recipes, tweaking them to accommodate a healthy lifestyle  especially the likes of comfort foods, and making them healthy so that you can enjoy them and still lose weight!  You don’t always have to eat just grilled chicken and steamed vegetables!

You’re welcome.

 

Meatballs:

  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Add the onion, garlic, egg, parsley, salt and pepper to a large bowl and blend. Mix in the turkey. Shape the turkey mixture into 1 1/4-inch-diameter meatballs.

Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and saute until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pour off any excess oil and pat dry the meatballs so there’s no unnecessary grease.

Transfer the meatballs to your slow cooker.

Sauce:

  • 1 TBL butter
  • minced garlic
  • diced onion (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (or cream of chicken)
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • dash of nutmeg
  • parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Loganberry or red currant jam (optional)
  • Dreamfields Low Carb Rotini pasta (optional)

In a small skillet, sauté onions in butter and garlic.  Once caramelized, pour over meatballs.   Add the remaining ingredients and stir.  Let simmer in the slow cooker for at least 2 hours.  Serve alone or on top of low carb rotini.

For more of my low carb recipes click here.

 

October 16, 2014 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, Products That Work | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 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

Healthy Sour Cream Substitute

If you’ve followed my blog for a while now, you know that I love making recipes healthy that would otherwise not be “allowed” on ANY diet.  And I do it by just swapping out a few things.   Check out my protein pancakes or all my healthy alternatives for snacks, chili and casseroles.

 Today I was talking to a client who has the hardest time giving up the fatty foods she loves and occasionally gives in to.   Like me, she loves anything with cheese, or bacon and absolutely loves sour cream whether to dip or dollop.  So I started to tell her about my sour cream substitute and she immediately started with how she doesn’t like greek yogurt.  But guess what?!  There’s something even better to use than greek yogurt…… its cottage cheese!!

cottage cheeseIt may not sound very appetizing at first but neither did the greek yogurt idea when I first heard that!   But cottage cheese is LOWER in carbs and HIGHER in protein than greek yogurt!   All you have to do is blend it up with a splash of lemon juice and white vinegar and VOILA!…. a sour cream alternative that is healthy and you can barely notice a difference!

If you don’t like the hint of lemon, try it without it and just use white vinegar.   Nutritionally, this sour cream copycat recipe is considerably healthier than regular sour cream.  The only issue with using cottage cheese is that it is very high in sodium; so I recommend using a low sodium cottage cheese to eliminate that problem. 

Put the cottage cheese, lemon juice or vinegar, in a blender or food processor and blend until it’s smooth like sour cream. Depending on your blending appliance, you may need to stop blending periodically, scrape down the sides, stir, and blend some more until it’s smooth.  An immersion blender works faster and better.   Check Amazon for the Kitchenaid immersion blender.  It’s the best for small quantities like this.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup cottage cheese (whole, low, or no fat; use low-sodium, if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar*
Directions
*Use white vinegar for a taste that is most similar to sour cream. Use lemon juice if you prefer a faint hint of lemon taste.

Combine ingredients in blender, food processor or with immersion blender. Blend on high until smooth, stopping and scraping down sides as needed.

Serve a dollop on baked potatoes, chili, nachos, enchiladas, or stir into recipes in place of sour cream. Great for sour cream based dips.

Store in refrigerator.   Makes 1 cup.  Recipe may be doubled.

 

Throw a dollop (or 2) on chili, nachos, enchiladas, burritos, or tacos. Use it in recipes that call for sour cream. It’s an especially good substitute in sour cream based dips.  Tastes like the real thing.

(Guiltlessly) Enjoy! 

🙂

 

 

September 5, 2013 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, Organic, P90X Recipes, Products That Work, The Critic, Things To Do, Women's Health, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 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

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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