May 21, 2018

Healthy Smores Snack Bars


When you just want so enjoy something super special without the guilt... TRY THIS!

Ingredients:

2 whole wheat graham crackers (1 cracker sheet each) broken into large pieces
1 large ripe banana mashed (can omit if you don't like banana)
½ cup all-natural almond butter
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
4 scoops Chocolate Shakeology divided use
¾ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
2 to 3 drops marshmallow flavor (optional)
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin organic coconut oil melted

Instructions:

1. Place graham crackers in food processor (or blender); process continuously until crackers are crushed into fine crumbs. Set aside.
2. Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with plastic wrap (or aluminum foil). Evenly sprinkle ⅓ of graham cracker crumbs in bottom of pan. Set aside.
3. Combine banana, almond butter, cocoa powder, 2 scoops Chocolate Shakeology, and ⅓ of graham cracker crumbs in a medium bowl; mix well with clean hands or a rubber spatula.
4. Press chocolate mixture into prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and press down to flatten into pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour to set.
5. Place cheese, Vanilla Shakeology, and marshmallow flavor in food processor (or blender); process until smooth and well blended.
6. Evenly spread cheese mixture over chocolate mixture. Set aside.
7. Combine remaining 2 scoops Chocolate Shakeology and oil in a small bowl; mix until smooth.
8. Evenly spread Chocolate Shakeology mixture over cheese mixture.
9. Sprinkle top with remaining ⅓ of graham cracker crumbs. Lightly press graham cracker crumbs into top. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until set.
10. Cut into twelve bars (approx. 2½ x 2-inches).

Recipe Notes

You can find marshmallow flavor on-line or in specialty cake decorating stores.
You can substitute pure vanilla extract for marshmallow flavor.
Containers: 1 bar = 1/2 red and 3 tsp 

Avocado Zucchini Alfredo with Shrimp

I know many of us really enjoy a big plate of pasta now and then...but if you're anything like me, it always leaves me feeling bloated and heavy afterwards. 

You might have heard of spaghetti squash, but what about zoodles? Using a spiralizer like this one, to prepare your veggies is a nice change, and one you should definitely try if you are looking for a healthier option to swap out the pasta and use something that's a low-carb, low-calorie alternative. Zucchini works really well, but you can also make carrot "ribbons" as well!

This recipe is a variation from the recipe found in the 2B Mindset nutrition course, and has been a favorite with most all of my customers! If you are looking for a fast, simple but delicious dinner with minimal preparation, this one is a must try!


This recipe makes 2 servings, total time: 22 minutes. Cooking time: 7 minutes.

INGREDIENTS: 

1/2 medium ripe avocado, mashed
1/4 c. reduced-fat (2%) plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper (divided use)
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder (divided use)
1/2 tsp. Onion Powder (divided use)
1/2 tsp. Greek Seasoning
Nonstick cooking spray
24 raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed (approx. 12 oz.)
4 medium zucchini, spiralized (approx. 4 cups)
4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1/2 c. diced roma tomato
2 tsp. grated parmesan cheese

METHOD:

1. Combine avocado, yogurt, half the pepper, garlic powder and onion powder, and the Greek Seasoning in a medium bowl; combine well and set aside.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet, lightly coated with cooking spray, over medium heat. 
3. Add shrimp, season with remaining seasonings and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. 
4. Add the zucchini; cook stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes or until shrimp is firm and opaque, and mixture is heated through. Add in the diced tomatoes during the last minute. Drain excess liquid from skillet. 
5. Stir in avocado mixture. 
6. Evenly divide between two serving plates. Evenly top with grated cheese; serve immediately.

*NOTE: overcooking the zucchini will cause it to be a bit mushy. Take care to stir continuously as it cooks to avoid overcooking. Enjoy! 

If you could benefit from having a free online Health and Wellness Coach for support, and for additional recipes and healthy eating inspiration, contact me HERE. For the 2B Mindset complete course with the complete book of recipes and eating plan, mindset videos, food journal/tracker to help you overcome any challenges with your relationship with food, click HERE.    

Apr 4, 2018

Clean-Eating Cucumber & Tomato Salad

I’m a firm believer that side dishes should be kept simple. Well, anything that I make is pretty simple! I like my main dish to be the star of the show, and who wants to make dinner any more complicated? Not this momma of four! 
So, when I was contemplating a side for my burger last week, I knew I wanted something simple and fresh. This healthy Tomato Cucumber Salad was a perfect match. The light and bright flavors of fresh tomato and cucumber perfectly contrast the deeper flavors of a burger, steak, chicken...pretty much anything!  As we get closer to summer, I know I'll have fresh cucumbers and tomatoes from my garden to use! 
I love showcasing very “basic” recipes like this for the new cooks in my audience. Why are simple recipes like this great? Because they’re SO easy to build on! The salad presented below is bare bones and, while delicious as is, can be taken to the next level with any number of add-ins. Give it a Greek flare with some feta, olives, or even toasted pieces of pita bread to soak up that delicious dressing. If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding some cubed watermelon for a nice sweet-salty contrast. Got fresh herbs? Toss them in there. And of course, you can customize the dressing by using different vinegars or lemon juice, infused oils, or by adding fresh garlic. Learning a basic recipe like this is the first step towards getting creative in the kitchen and adding minor changes to a great recipe to give it a different flare, depending on what mood you're in!


Mar 28, 2018

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

This recipe is so simple and healthy, and with the right kitchen tools, can be literally made in minutes! It's the perfect side dish to nearly any meal, is low-carb and low-calorie, and there are lots of fun variations you can use to change it up so that you don't ever get bored with it!



As a busy mom of 4, I don't spend a ton of time in the kitchen, but that doesn't mean we resort to eating pre-packaged/prepared convenience foods! It just means that over the years, I've gotten smart as to what "gadgets" to have in my kitchen to make food prep a breeze! This Pampered Chef Micro-Cooker for one, is a kitchen essential! Steamed food is not only super yummy, but more nutritious because you're not cooking the nutrients out of your veggies in the water, as with boiling. Plus it's easy to clean, and with the veggie setting on my microwave, it literally takes minutes! 

I use it for potatoes (peel, chop, cook, mash - done!), squash, and pretty much any and every fresh produce, with only a few exceptions (asparagus being one of them - I prefer those roasted :). 

The other kitchen appliance I use every single day is my NutriBullet 900 series. I've had it for over 4 years, and it still works the same as it did on day one. I use it for my health shakes and smoothies, soups, sauces, and recipes like this one! 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/3 head cauliflower (depending on how many servings you're wanting)
  • 1 tsp. Coconut oil
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed and sautéed
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Pepper, Dill Weed (optiona)l, to taste
  • Other optional ingredients: roasted sweet peppers, sun dried tomatoes, sautéed onions, etc.

DIRECTIONS:



  1. Clean cauliflower, break into sections and steam in the microwave in your Micro-Cooker.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté garlic and other veggies in EVOO if using. 
  3. Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor (I love my NutriBullet) along with garlic, seasonings and coconut oil. Puree until smooth and creamy. Stir in any remaining optional veggies. Enjoy! 

Feb 16, 2018

80 Day Obession Meal Plan C

Sometimes no matter how much we plan and prepare, we don't get it right the first time, and we need to take a step back to revisit the plan. That's what happened to me as I started Phase 2 of the newest Beachbody workout program, 80 Day Obsession. I started out thinking I should be in Plan A for my nutrition, but I was feeling super hungry all the time, tired, irritable, and I just felt overall like my body wasn't getting enough nutrition. My results were showing little to no progress in terms of weight loss, so I went back to the start and recalculated my intake. 

Meal #3:Tilapia, Brussels Sprouts/Broccoli, Whole Grains

For the first time ever, I am finding myself veering away from Bracket A, and heading into unknown territory with Plan C. I'm going to stick it out for the duration of the 50-some remaining days of the program to see what my results will yield! A few days in, and I can tell you I already feel like a different person. For the first time EVER, in a meal plan I am eating 4 servings of carbs per day! Talk about feeling SPOILED! Ha!! 

On a side-note, these containers make meal prep a complete breeze! They are dishwasher safe, microwave safe, and stack up so nicely in my fridge! Click HERE to check them out! I first ordered myself a set of 7 (for dinners, one per day for every day of the week), then later decided to order a second set so I now have enough to use for my lunches AND dinners for an entire week. 

So as I begin Phase 2, on meal plan C, here is what I'm eating in case you want to follow along! 


And if you are interested in joining me with a community of other ladies all working towards our health and fitness goals, I am currently taking enrollments for my next virtual support and accountability group that starts on Monday, February 19th!  Don't wait, the spots are filling up fast! Apply here for more information!

Feb 2, 2018

80 Day Obsession Resistance Loops

You might or might not have heard about Beachbody's newest in-home fitness program, 80 Day Obsession. Today I'm on day 19, and just like trainer Autumn Calabrese said, I've already torn through my first set of resistance loops! 

As the replacement loops are not yet available in the product catalog, I resorted to finding a set that will work for these workouts. 


In case you are in the same position as myself and need replacement loops stat, I wanted to share with you what I am using so that you have the equipment you need to keep going with your workouts and keep working towards your fitness goals! This Belus set of 4 loop bands comes in 2 different color options, and have varying options for resistance, from light to extra heavy. 

And if you are interested in joining me with a community of other ladies, I am currently taking enrollments for my next virtual support and accountability group that starts on Monday, February 5th! Apply here for more information!




I have been planning and preparing for weeks for the start of the brand new in-home workout program, 80 Day Obsession created by Super Trainer Autumn Calabrese! If you are familiar with her other previous fitness programs, 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, The Master's Hammer and Chisel, you might also be just as excited as I am! 

If you are someone who already works out regularly and you are looking for a new challenge, this program is going to be right up your alley! As Autumn says, it will challenge you to change you, it will force you outside of your comfort zone, and when you combine the 80 DIFFERENT workout routines with Timed Nutrition, you will really amp up your results! 

I have been working with my customers and coaching team to prepare for this program, both with following A Little Obsessed workouts, and getting a clear understanding about what Timed Nutrition entails!

The program in it's entirety is actually 97 days long total, consisting of 80 workouts, and 17 rest days. I really love that she planned the rest days on Sundays! 

The nutrition portion is spelled out exactly for you, based on your unique and individual goals (weight loss, maintenance, build muscle or weight gain). The plan tells you what containers (aka food groups) to eat at what times, and how much of each to use, along with the specific foods to eat for each food group. It seriously cannot get ANY easier than this! All we need to do is FOLLOW THE PLAN! Sounds pretty simple, right? 

This program is best suited for someone who is already familiar with the Fixate/Portion Fix nutrition plan, and is at an intermediate to advanced fitness level. If you are new to regular exercise and consider yourself a beginner fitness level, or are pregnant, I would suggest joining a fitness accountability group with me and start out with a more entry-level program and work your way up to completing 80 Day Obsession. 

You will need some basic equipment for this program. I recommend light, medium and heavy weights (such as 10's, 15's and 20's), the sliders and resistance loops (they come in light, medium and heavy resistance), a floor mat, and roller (optional). To participate and join into my online support and accountability groups, you will need to have me as your free coach and place your order through me so that I can add you to my next accountability support group! If you are interested in this program, please take a few minutes to fill out my form and I will get back to you with the details ASAP! 

The next 80 Day Obsession is now open for enrollment, and will begin Prep Week on January 29th, with the official day 1 and workouts beginning on Monday, February 5th. 

Hurry and fill out the application before the spots are all gone! 

80 DAY OBSESSION MEAL PLAN

The 80 Day Obsession meal plan is extremely detailed, and at first glance might seem fairly complex. But Autumn designed it super specific so that there wouldn't be much room for doubt or question. Once you take the time to learn it and get the hang of it, you will find yourself sliding right into a new routine and habit with your eating that will be easy to maintain for the long haul!

I wanted to give you a sample of my plan. Each person will use the provided formula to figure out what Plan is right for you, based on weight, goals, and activity level. Then you will simply log into your Beachbody On Demand, download the plan that's right for you, and plug in your foods/meals accordingly! You will notice that I use the Beachbody Performance Line supplements. I strongly recommend using them for the duration of this program, because they will help your body to train and perform at it's best! These workouts will challenge your body, and you will benefit from using the supplements by reducing muscle soreness and decreasing recovery time between your workouts.

I hope that this sample plan gives you some guidance!

1 red (protein), 1/2 green (veggie) per 2 egg muffin cups in this photo


1 red, 1 yellow (carb), 1 green, 1 blue (healthy fat)


1 1/4 green, 1/2 red,  1 blue and 1 tsp.

                                 2 purple (fruit), 1 tsp. 

Here is a sample of a day's meals with my plan. Basically I will eat the same times and containers each day, and I alternate every other day with the main meals (breakfast, lunches and dinners) per week, so I'm prepping 2 different breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners for the whole week, which keeps things super simple and manageable for me!



I tweaked my plan already from the first couple days, to add the shakeology as my pre-workout meal because I just felt like eating eggs and oats right away at 5AM was way too much food that early in the morning, and right before a workout. I just felt way too full and a tad bit sluggish. For people who are waiting the full 60-90 minutes to work out after eating, it would probably work just fine...but for me, with 4 kiddos and a busy schedule, I didn't want to put my workout off past 5:30 or 6:00. 

So far I'm finding that my group is getting the hang of Timed Nutrition, and they are loving the workouts as well! Probably the biggest concern I am getting from people is the length of the workouts. Day 1 and 2 were nearly an hour long, but honestly the time went by super fast, and it sure as heck didn't seem like an hour had passed! I love the routines, they are slow and paced, but effective moves that leave me feeling it the next day...which is always the goal so you know it's working! Am I right? 



I am currently accepting enrollments for my February 80 Day Obsession group, if this is something that you are wanting to do for yourself or better yet, with a friend, share this post and complete my application HERE


Hope to see you in my next online accountability group!!!!