Saturday, December 26, 2015

Why I am NOT Joining a Gym in January

Well, here we are, the day after Christmas. This is the time of year where we usually reflect back on our day filled with family and friends and remember the delicious food we ate and the memories that we made. Some of us round out the holiday season with a little holiday weight with the best intentions to make 2016 the year that we will lose the weight, take control of our health, and be bikini ready for summer. And we are REALLY dedicated on our New Year's Resolution for the first few weeks of the new year, but then it's April and we are back right where we started.

Knowing that the majority of people have the desire to lose weight at the New Year, local gyms run specials and promotions in hopes that people will take control of their health and fitness.

I used to join a gym (or try another system) every year  until I decided to LIFESTYLE instead of DIET.

There are three components that make up a healthy lifestyle: nutrition, exercise, and accountability. Your gym membership will give you only ONE of those components --- the exercise. But what about the other two? Nutrition is KEY to your success! The majority of your results will come from the kitchen, not exercise. And the accountability --- you know the thing that helps you go back after week three --- is a crucial component that gyms just don't have.

I have a solution for you that gives you the three components to a healthy lifestyle AND the support necessary after the New Year's Resolution hype and adrenaline goes away. Join a Challenge Group!

First, what is a challenge group?
challenge group is a closed, private online support group for people who are looking to learn the basics of a healthy lifestyle. It provides support, accountability, and motivation. In order to be in a challenge group, you need three things: (1) ME as your Beachbody Coach, (2) a Beachbody program that I will help you choose, and (3) Shakeology.


So here are my top five reasons as to why YOU should join me in a Challenge Group instead of joining th
e gym:

1. A Challenge Group takes the GUESSWORK out
By utilizing an in-home fitness program, you are given a program that was created by professional trainers and nutritionists. They have outlined for you which workout to do on which given day. No more walking on a treadmill or staring at the rack of weights, trying to figure out what to do! Also, my fitness program is mine forever. I get to keep the amazing program and everything that came with it! It belongs to me, not the gym!

2. A Customizable Nutriton Plan
Every Beachbody program comes with a meal plan that is easy to follow, customizable, and utilizes REAL food that is easy to find in your local grocery store. Also, with me as your coach I will provide you with sample meal plans to set you up for success right away in the kitchen.

3. No Commute
When I belonged to the gym, it was a 15 minute commute both ways. That is 30 minutes just in driving to the gym. By the time I would get a decent workout in, my total gym time with commute was pushing two hours. NOW, I workout in 30 minutes or less and never had to fight traffic, find childcare, or fight the crowd at the gym.

4. No Awkward Stares
Judgement is all around us, everywhere we turn, and the gym is not exempt! By working out in my living room during my kids' naps, I am able to really focus on what I'm doing and not have to be ogled at or judged. The only one witnessing my flexibility (or lack-there-of) and yoga poses are my curtains.

5. Support and Accountability
The gym is a great place to get a great workout, as long as you stick with it. If you are anything like me, you are really good at going to the gym for about a week, and then you fall off of the wagon. The support and accountability that my coach and challenge group provided me was what got me into the best shape of my life. The group members picked me up when I failed and triumphed with me when I succeeded. They pushed me and helped me turn my healthy week into a healthy life.


So are you ready to take the plunge and give a challenge group a try? I have a group kicking off on January 4th. Let me help YOU make 2016 YOUR year!!


Use Wufoo integrations and get your data to your favorite apps.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

The one vegetable that my husband will eat with NO question is squash -- any kind of squash! :) He loves it and I love it, so in the fall especially, it makes an appearance A LOT. We stumbled upon this recipe and couldn't wait to make it! It did not disappoint and it will be made again for sure.

This was the first time that I had an acorn squash in a savory way, and I think I am over the usual cinnamon. This was the best way, hands down, that I have ever had acorn squash. I hope that you love it as much as we did!

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • 1 pound turkey sausage, casing removed
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium apples, chopped
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut off ends of acorn squash and cut each squash in half (like a hamburger!)
  3. Hollow out each squash half.
  4. Drizzle each squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  5. Bake for 40 minutes.
  6. Place 1 tbsp of olive oil in skillet over medium heat.
  7. Add onions and celery; cook until tender.
  8. Add rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  9. Add sausage and cook until no longer pink.
  10. Add apple and cook until heated through, but not to where the apple breaks down.
  11. Stir in parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs
  12. Once squash has baked for 40 minutes, remove and fill each squash with sausage mixture.
  13. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  14. Remove and add mozzarella cheese.
  15. Bake for 10 minutes.
  16. Enjoy!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sautéed Kale with Onions and Turkey Bacon

Kale is one of those foods that you always hear you should eat and then you try it and you aren't that impressed; at least that is how it was for me! What I realized was that I just wasn't making it right!

Kale is an amazing superfood that, when made correctly, is fantastic. I made this last night with our pork and quinoa dinner and my husband and I both gobbled it up.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw kale, removed from stem
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 slices low sodium turkey bacon
  • 1/2 tsp all purpose seasoning (recipe below)
Directions:
  1. Precook turkey bacon; crumble when cool.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Cook onions until translucent.
  4. Add Kale and seasoning, stirring occasionally.
  5. Once kale has wilted, stir in turkey bacon.
  6. Enjoy!
All Purpose Seasoning:
  • 4 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
For my 21 Day Fixers and Hammer and Chiselers: 1 green, 1/2 red, 1 spoon

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Creamy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a staple at our house. We buy the big 10 pound bag at Costco every two weeks. I love them, my husband loves them, and my kiddos love them!

Our absolute favorite way to have them is when they are mashed --- especially when you make them this way!

I discovered this way of making mashed sweet potatoes when I was making my daughter's baby food. This method produces the smoothest mashed sweet potatoes! Better yet, they have absolutely NOTHING added to them. Just sprinkle with a little cinnamon and you're good to go!

Ingredients/Materials:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • aluminum foil
  • food processor
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Wash sweet potatoes and poke several times with a fork. 
  3. Wrap each potato up in aluminum foil.
  4. Place foiled potatoes on a cookie sheet (make sure it is one with a lip; some sweet potatoes may leak out)
  5. Bake potatoes for 45 minutes or until soft when squeezed with a pair of tongs.
  6. Remove potatoes.
  7. Open foil and slice open the potatoes. (they should be REALLY soft and the skins should pull away easily!)
  8. Scoop the potatoes into a food processor.
  9. Puree in your food processor to desired smoothness. 
  10. Enjoy with cinnamon :) 
This is are our favorite way to have sweet potatoes. We love to make a big batch and enjoy them all week. 

For my 21 Day Fixers and Hammer and Chiselers, 1 yellow container :)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Hammer and Chisel Recap: Days 1 and 2

Today Matt and I finished up DAY TWO of Hammer and Chisel ---- and let me tell you, this whole program is shaping up to be fantastic! I think I have truly found my soul mate workout. It is like Christmas came early in our house! We purchased the program on Tuesday night --- and even though we have yet to receive our package, the program was up on Beachbody On Demand by Wednesday evening! We couldn't wait to dive into the guides and tackle this program.

Hammer and Chisel is the culmination of two rock star trainers --- Sagi Kalev and Autumn Calabrese --- who created Body Beast and The 21 Day Fix. It combines their best practices with a dialed in nutrition plan that helps achieve fantastic results. There are several plans to choose from in one, depending on what you want to achieve.

My Day One and Day Two Review:

Day One: For day one the first workout was Chisel Balance. Autumn did not disappoint in this workout --- she combined weights, balance, and some great moves to make us both burn! It was definitely tough, but it hit all of the places that Matt and I both want to get toned up! I absolutely loved the workout!

Day Two we tackled our first workout with Sagi --- Hammer Plyometrics. Now, Matt and I both experienced plyometrics when we did P90X, so we knew what we were getting into. Sagi was not messing around in this 25 minute workout. We worked HARD for that time and we were killed at the end. It was definitely hard, but we pushed through! We both know that we have to work hard (even when it's tough) to get great results!

It is safe to say that Day three (thank goodness Day four is a rest day) will be just as hard -- and you know what? That's ok! We are up for the challenge!

The Nutrition Guide

The first thing I did when I accessed the program on Beachbody On Demand was dig into the nutrition guide --- I am a total foodie at heart and I wanted to make sure I wasn't starving ;) Good news --- the nutrition guide is very similar to Autumn's 21 Day Fix. The main difference is that it does not allow for as many cheats --- after all, you are doing this program to get chiseled!

What is great is that you are able to choose which way you want to take your nutrition based on your goals. You can base your nutrition off of wanting to lose weight, tone up, or build muscle. Matt and I both would like to lose weight, but since I am nursing our little boy, I am using the meal plan to maintain my weight --- I need those extra calories! Weight loss should happen still, but I know that I need to be very focused on my diet for my milk supply.

For me, Plan B is where it is at! It is the perfect amount of food -- on some heavy cardio days, I add in an extra protein and vegetable for my milk supply. My plan is below. I am a total creature of habit and I don't mind eating the same things day after day. I make sure to buy fruit that is in season and have a stockpile of frozen fruit and veggies in the freezer.
Plan B for The Master's Hammer and Chisel

Matt is following the same meal plan as a guide, but adding more food to fit his caloric needs. Our kids? Well, our 2 1/2 year old eats the same things as us! She loves good food :)

Bottom line, this program is FANTASTIC! You can expect to get great results if you put the time and energy into your nutrition and fitness! You can expect weekly updates from me on my own progress as well as Matt's.

It is not too late to join us! I still have TWO spots open in my Challenge group! I will accept people into the grow through Wednesday the 9th. I also have a group kicking off on January 4th if it is better time frame.

Either way, fill out the application below if you are interested. I would love to work with you as you get hammered and chiseled!

Online contact and registration forms from Wufoo.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Master's Hammer and Chisel

To say that I am excited about the newest program launch is a TOTAL understatement! At Summit this summer, Beachbody let us know that this amazing program, The Master's Hammer and Chisel, would be dropping this December. The program is 60 days long and will feature the two trainers Autumn Calabrese and Sagi Kalev. I absolutely LOVE Autumn's 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme and Sagi's Body Beast program also does not disappoint. Launch day is on December 1st and I will be purchasing as soon as I am able!

For me personally, I cannot wait to tackle this program with my husband. I am almost 3 months postpartum from having our son and this will be the perfect program to really get back in shape! Having my husband supporting me through this program will be an added benefit :)

So let's talk DETAILS!

The Master's Hammer and Chisel is the expert workout system that delivers breathtaking, body-changing results in as little as 60 days. Trainers Sagi Kalev and Autumn Calabrese are sought-after experts at sculpting spectacular physiques, and they have shelves full of competition prizes to prove it! In The Master's Hammer and Chisel, they share their winning strategies in this breakthrough system of resistance training to shape powerful muscle, shed body fat, and build a ripped, statue-perfect physique.

While I am not trying to be a fitness competitor, I DO want to get back into my pre-pregnancy jeans and feel my absolute best going into the New Year. I'm excited that these workouts are 30-40 minutes long and that it is only 60 days. As a mama who is limited on when I can workout, this time frame is perfect!

What Equipment is Necessary?

You do not need an in home gym for this program! I will be working out in my living room :) A ton of space is not necessary, but you do need some equipment. You will need some dumbbells (5-20 pounds), a pull up bar or resistance band with door attachment, and a weight bench or stability ball.

Some optional equipment would be the Team Beachbody Club Membership so you can access on Demand live streaming, The Beachbody Performance Line Supplements so that you can maximize your muscle recovery, performance and results.

So What do You Need in Order to be in My Test Group on December 7th?

1) ME as your assigned coach. If you are not working with a coach already that is great, head over to my site and create a FREE ACCOUNT.
(if you already have an assigned coach please reach out to your coach to see what groups they will be running)

2) Complete the application below so that I can gather more information about you and to see if this would be a good fit for you!

3) The requirements to participate in this exclusive test group are that you commit to the Hammer and Chisel Challenge pack which includes the 60 day workout program, nutrition guide, program manual, schedule of workouts to follow, Shakeology, discounted shipping and price!  **Price to be announced**

4) You need to commit to being an active member of the online challenge group. You must be willing to show up daily and rate your nutrition, workout, and water intake. In return, I will be there to support you, provide assistance with meal planning and prepping. I will help to make it simple to get long, lasting results!  

So are you in?! Fill out the application below and let's get started!


The easy to use Wufoo form builder helps you make forms easy, fast, and fun.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

What is Coaching on Classically Fit?

When I joined my first challenge group, I was ready to make a big change in my life --- I was so tired of feeling disappointed when I looked into the mirror or when I went shopping and clothes did not fit. I wanted to change more than I wanted to stay the same; and the drive was there to make it happen!

In my first week of my challenge group I lost 4 pounds --- something it took me 4 months to lose before. So what was I doing wrong? I had no support and I had NO clue about nutrition. My challenge group gave me both of those things and success was instantly achieved.

By the end of that challenge group -- down a total of 6 pounds and 7 inches, I wanted to shout it from the rooftop about what I was doing and the success I was having. Coaching was the next step --- I was ready to HELP others have the same success as me. I felt SO darn good that I wanted others to experience it too.

When I agreed to coach, I had NO idea that in just 15 months I would be able to create a full blown business from my kitchen table during my daughter's naps.

In just 15 months, I have fully replaced my full time teaching salary, pay for our mortgage and car payment every month, and I have helped many people not only on their health and fitness journey, but also build their own successful business!

On my team, I have dialed in training groups that allow you to be confident in building your business. I share with you my tips, tricks, and ways to be successful! I will not leave you floundering and I will do everything I can to help you build a successful business.

If you are at ALL interested in what I do as a coach, how I make money, how I find people, how I make full time earnings on a part time workload, then please email me at alisonvanars@gmail.com.

I have a 5 Day Sneak Peek into WHAT I do as a coach that I would LOVE to have you be a part of. I will answer all of your questions and let you see into my organization and HOW I run my team.

Shoot me over an email. What do you have to lose? But more importantly -- what are you willing to GAIN?

Friday, October 23, 2015

Operation Skinny Jeans Challenge Group

With the crisp air of fall comes out our sweaters, boots, scarves, and those skinny jeans! Every year we always work our time up for our summer bodies, but then September comes and we start to get soft --- we indulge in pumpkin everything and we can hide it behind our bulky sweaters and chunky scarves.

But why do that? Why put on holiday weight to just stress about it after the holidays with a New Year's Resolution?

This year I have a bigger motivation than ever to get into my skinny jeans --- I just had a baby and my motivation is high to get back into my regular pants. There is truly nothing more devastating than wearing maternity pants when you are not pregnant!

Beginning on Monday, October 26th, I will be starting a challenge group. I have committed to doing the 21 Day Fix from beginning to end and I am looking for some ladies to join me in the journey!

When I started the 21 Day Fix last summer, I had amazing success and when I found out I was pregnant with my son that December I was in great shape. I'm determined to get back there!
My results from last fall.

In the challenge group I will be providing you with accountability, support, meal plans, recipes, and tips and tricks for having the best success that you can. I will be supporting you on your journey as you get back into those skinny jeans!

My goals for this challenge group is to get back into my regular pants, of course, but I also want to maintain my supply since I am exclusively nursing my son. So my goals are to workout everyday, stick to my meal plan, and drink a gallon of water everyday! While I know that some of these things will not happen EVERY day, I set my goals high and know that I will have great success if I proceed to live my 80/20 lifestyle!

If you are at all interested in joining me on my journey with the 21 Day Fix in my Operation Skinny Jeans Challenge, please fill out the application below :)

Use Wufoo templates to make your own HTML forms.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

I can remember being a newlywed, frantically calling my mother asking her how to hard boil eggs. I had promised to take macaroni salad to a potluck and I was clueless where to begin with hard boiled eggs.

Fast forward five years, and I have 100% perfected the art of making hard boiled eggs. Now, they are a staple in my weekly meal plan. They are the perfect snack and an amazing protein source.

Ingredients:
Eggs!!!

Directions:

  1. Place the desired number of eggs into a pot.
  2. Cover the eggs with water.
  3. place on stove and bring the water to a boil.
  4. Once the water has reached a boil, turn the heat OFF or remove pot from heat.
  5. Cover with a lid for 10 minutes.
  6. After 10 minutes, transfer eggs into a bowl of cold water.
  7. Enjoy! :)
For easy peeling, peel your eggs under cold, running water. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Clean Eating Sloppy Joes

For years I bought Sloppy Joe sauce in a can --- never thinking about the ingredients in it. When I started my clean eating habits, this was definitely a family favorite that we missed.

I came across this recipe and it was a HUGE hit! My daughter, who rarely eats meat, gobbled this up, and my husband had two sandwiches. A definite crowd pleaser!

Better yet, it was VERY easy. I could kick myself for not making these sooner!

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds lead ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1, 15 oz can of tomato sauce (no sugar added)
Directions:
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add turkey meat and cook.
  2. Add in all other ingredients, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Let simmer on stove until serving.
**Yields about 8 sloppy joes, depending on how "sloppy" you like them :) 

We like to use sandwich thins for our hamburger buns, but these also make great open face sandwiches. Sprinkle with a little cheddar cheese for some added flavor!

For all of my 21 Day Fixers --- one serving equals 1 red and 1/2 a purple! :) (not including your bun or cheese!)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Beachbody Summer BLOWOUT Sale!


Is anyone else a huge SUCKER for sales? I know I am for sure! Then, when it is health and fitness related, I am ALL about it.

Beachbody's Summer Sale is going on NOW. (I've already stocked up on some great things, at great prices!) Beachbody has put some of their best products, programs and supplements on sale for up to 85% off. You know I never make a post about "salesy" things, but I don't want to you miss out on these deals!

A Word of Advice: These things will sell out FAST. So if you're even thinking of it, you gotta make your decision quickly.

Over the next few hours, everything will be going live on the site --- so keep checking back! :)


What's on sale:
  • 10 Minute Trainer 43% off
  • Brazil Butt Lift + the Green Band 16% off
  • Hip Hop Abs & Dance Party Series DVD 68% off
  • Hip Hop Abs Dance Party Series DVD and weighted gloves 57%
  • Insanity Deluxe Workouts 49% off
  • Insanity The Asylum Volume 1+ Equipment Buddy Kit 53% off
  • Les Miss Combat + Combat Gloves (Medium and Large Only) 55% off
  • Les Mills Combat Gloves (Medium and Large only) 84% off
  • Les Mills Pump 32% off
  • Les Mills Pump with no weights or barbells 
  • Les Mills Pump Deluxe DVDs 66% off
  • P90X Free P90X Plus 53%
  • P90X Plus 62% off
  • P90X2 and Stability Ball 53% off
  • Slim in 6 29% off
  • Tai Cheng 43% off
  • Squishy Ball 59% off
  • Stability Ball +Medicine Ball combo 62% off
  • Team Beachbody Apparel Up to 65% off
  • Rumbleroller is 16% off
  • Ankle Weights 45% off
  • The Black Resistance band with the over the door attachment 56% off
  • Jump Mat 44% off

That's a lot to choose from, right? So what do I suggest?

Les Mills Combat and Pump will be discontinued soon. So if you are even SLIGHTLY considered them, get them while you can :)

If you're a Tony Horton fan, P90X2 is the way to go! It's a great program that really works your core and you will get amazing results!

Brazil Butt Lift is harder than you would expect! It will really tone up your entire body, not just your bum bum! 

Really, you can't go wrong with anything, but I'm telling you, stuff will go quickly. These things would make great Father's Day gifts, birthday gifts, you name it! :)


If you already have a Beachbody Coach, please get in contact with them about the Sale items. If you do not have a coach I am more than willing to help and guide you make your fitness goals a reality. 

Summer is here and if you want a more personalized approach and some help kicking off your goals, please get in touch with me and we will get you squared away with a program that is best for YOU.


Join my Summer Slimdown Challenge Group today! :)

There are tons of Wufoo features to help make your forms awesome.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Spaghetti Squash Baked Ziti

Any type of pasta dish always goes well in our house. Lately, we have been cutting back on our pasta and replacing it with Spaghetti Squash. It is a GREAT way to get some veggies in (especially for your kids!).

This baked spaghetti squash reminded me SO much of how I make our baked ziti, that the name is very fitting. It is a family favorite and one that is made over and over again.

Ingredients

  • 1 jar marinara sauce (I used Newman's Own Organic)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound turkey sausage or ground turkey
  • 1 large spaghetti squash or two small
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
  • parmesan cheese to taste
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
Directions
  1. Prepare the spaghetti squash. 
    1. Cut in half long ways (like a hot dog!) and hollow out the inside. 
    2. Place face down in a baking dish. 
    3. Add water to the pan, just enough to fill the bottom. 
    4. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until a fork goes easily through the outside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, basil and oregano. Cook onions until translucent. 
  3. If you have turkey sausage that is cased, remove the casing. 
  4. Add turkey sausage to onions in skillet and brown. Drain off any excess grease.
  5. Add jar of marinara sauce and let simmer on stove.
  6. Remove spaghetti squash from oven and hollow out the inside into a colander. (this will allow excess water to exit!) *You may have to help this along by stirring the squash in the colander*
  7. Combine spaghetti squash with sauce.
  8. Scoop half of the mixture into a baking dish.
  9. Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella and sprinkle with parmesan. 
  10. Scoop the remaining spaghetti squash and sauce on top.
  11. Top with remaining cheese. 
  12. Bake at 350 degrees for an additional 25-30 minutes.
  13. Enjoy!
For all of my 21 Day Fixers, a 1 cup serving is equal to 1/2 green, 1/2 red, 1/2 purple, 1 blue :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Oven Baked Fajitas

My family and I absolutely love any type of taco and fajita. When we normally make fajitas, I usually cook them on the stovetop, but then I found this! Now, I can have delicious fajitas right out out of the oven. For all of my other moms out there -- this is a HUGE benefit! No more standing by the stove cooking dinner. I just threw it in the oven and it was good to go! This was husband and kid approved :)

Ingredients

  • 2 medium bell peppers (I used red and yellow)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 pound chicken, cut into thin strips
  • 1 packet fajita seasoning
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • any fajita toppings you desire :)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut onions and peppers into 1/4 inch wedges.
  3. Spread the onions and peppers out in a  9x13 baking dish.
  4. Add chicken to dish. Make sure the chicken is cut into thin strips!
  5. Drizzle olive oil over food in dish.
  6. Sprink seasoning over food.
  7. Using your hands, make sure oil and seasoning is well mixed, covering all food evenly.
  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring once during baking.
  9. Serve with your favorite fajita toppings!
A great side is Black Beans and Quinoa!




Friday, May 15, 2015

Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt

Does anyone else get a sweet tooth --- usually late at night? I have found that during this pregnancy, I don't necessarily get cravings, but I am easily persuaded! If I go to Pinterest, I am all of a sudden craving lasagna, buffalo chicken, cookie dough, and I feel the need to be crafty. HA! Can anyone else relate?

In order to combat that sweet tooth, I always have this healthy alternative on hand. It is my go-to when I'm craving something sweet and it always hits the spot!

Ingredients

  • 1 container of plain Greek yogurt (or 1 red)
  • 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter or 2 tbsp of PB2
  • 1 tsp of natural, raw honey
  • 1 tbsp of mini chocolate chips
Blend them all together and enjoy! :) 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

22 Weeks Pregnant --- and Still Coaching!

I will say, being pregnant has certainly put a spin on being a Beachbody Coach. Not in a bad way at all, but in a completely wonderful way! I have been able to connect with all kinds of different women. We are able to share our struggles and triumphs of our growing bellies and our fears of how our bodies will react after our little ones make their debut.

This is my second pregnancy and I have noticed some definite positive changes from this time compared to the last.

I have MORE energy.
I would be lying if I said I was not exhausted during my first trimester, because I definitely was! As a personal choice for my pregnancy, I do not drink caffeine. In order to combat the fatigue that sets in, I have managed to maintain good, healthy eating habits. I eat every 2-3 hours and that always helps boost my energy. I also exercise at least 5 days per week. Those endorphins really do wonders! Lastly, I make sure to get my Shakeology in daily. It is as delicious as ever and keeps my nutrition and energy on point!

I have LESS cravings.
Nothing super exciting to report here. It is the healthy diet and the daily workouts and Shakeology. All three keep me in check and I have never felt better!

I have gained LESS weight.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, at this time in my pregnancy I gained 15 pounds, this time, 9 pounds. A healthy weight gain is good. As long as my doctor says my weight is good, I'm good with it!

My LIFESTYLE is different.
During my first pregnancy, my idea of a quick dinner was ordering some takeout pizza and watching TV. Now, my weekly meal plan has been my saving grace. I prep my food and make sure to have healthy options available in the house. I never grocery shop on an empty stomach! Likewise, I have worked out more during the first half of this pregnancy than I did during my ENTIRE pregnancy with my daughter. That is proof that this is a lifestyle! :) I modify my workouts to fit my baby bump and I am still able to get a great burn where I can! My go-to programs while pregnant have been PiYo, 21 Day Fix, and TurboJam. Beachbody On Demand has been AMAZING!



Remember, these are just MY thoughts on pregnancy and how leading a healthy lifestyle has helped me.

If you are interested in hearing more about what I do as a coach or would like to be in a challenge group, please fill out the application below. I would love to share more information with you!!


HTML Forms powered by Wufoo.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Five 21 Day Fix Approved Salads

The Beachbody program that forever changed my life is the 21 Day Fix. It simplified clean eating, gave me effective 30 minute workouts, and has shaped my life to have some amazing habits.

One of the biggest mistakes that I made BEFORE the 21 Day Fix was thinking that salads should only have vegetables on them. I was SO wrong!! I have since learn to pack the protein into those salads to help them to be a MEAL. No more starving for me!!

Here are my five go-to salads for lunch and dinner. They are husband approved as well ;)



1. Chicken Quinoa Salad
I could seriously eat this salad everyday!! It is that good.

  • Ingredients: 2 greens of lettuce (NOT iceberg!) and other chopped veggies, 1 yellow of quinoa, 1 red of grilled chicken, 1 orange of Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar salad dressing, and a few sprinkles of the 21 Day Fix Smokey Southwestern Seasoning

2. The Pittsburgher! 
I am originally from Pittsburgh, PA and in Pittsburgh, we put steak and french fries on our salads! It is AWESOME and this is my husbands favorite salad. 
  • Ingredients: 2 greens of lettuce (NOT iceberg!) and other chopped veggies, 1 yellow of natural french fries (try these!), 1 red of steak, 1 blue of cheddar cheese, 1 orange of Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar salad dressing.
3. Egg and Cheese
This is my go-to salad when I haven't prepped out my chicken yet or it is right around grocery shopping time. Hard boiled eggs are an excellent source of protein and are a staple in our refrigerator!
  • Ingredients: 2 greens of lettuce (NOT iceberg!) and other chopped veggies, 2 hard boiled eggs, 1 blue of cheese, 1 orange of Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar salad dressing, and a few sprinkles of the 21 Day Fix Smokey Southwestern Seasoning
4. Taco Salad
This salad makes its appearance when I have left over taco meat to use up from dinner the night before. It is a great, refreshing salad! With the plain Greek yogurt and salsa, dressing isn't even needed!
  • Ingredients: 2 greens of lettuce (NOT iceberg!) and other chopped veggies, 3/4 red of taco meat and 1/4 red plain Greek yogurt (in lieu of sour cream!), 1/2 blue of cheddar cheese and 1/2 blue of avocado, 1/2 purple fresh salsa.

5. Strawberry and Blue Cheese
I am a sucker for berries and blue cheese. I could eat both plain and a lot of it! This salad couples them together and it is a very refreshing, light salad that will make you want to lick the plate!

  • Ingredients: 2 greens of lettuce (NOT iceberg!) and other chopped veggies, 1 red of grilled chicken, 1/2 purple of sliced strawberries, 1 blue of blue cheese, some chopped pecans (optional), 1 orange of Newman's Own Raspberry Walnut salad dressing. 

All of these salads will give you variety in your diet as you go about implementing a healthy lifestyle!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A 17 Week Pregnant Beachbody Coach

Back in July of 2014 I began my journey in my first challenge group. Joining my challenge group was my last effort to lose the weight that I had gained during my pregnancy with my then 18 month old daughter.

I never thought that my life would be changed SO profoundly by purchasing the 21 Day Fix challenge pack. Looking back over the past nine months, it has been the best money I have spent, without a doubt. My results were AMAZING :)

During my challenge group, my coach asked us to share our why --- why are you doing this challenge? Mine was simple --- lose the baby weight. But there was something deeper there. My husband and I wanted to have another baby, and I was not comfortable carrying another child before I felt comfortable in my own skin.

Well, here I am, 9 months later, carrying our second child, due in September.

To say that I ONLY achieved my initial why --- to lose the baby weight --- would be an understatement. Over the past nine months I have gained so much more from being a Beachbody Coach.

I am more confident. I feel great. By keeping up with a  healthy lifestyle before and DURING this pregnancy, I have more energy (which is necessary with a  toddler to run after!) and my weight gain has been gradual. At 17 weeks, I just got into my maternity clothes.

I am more patient. I am happier with myself. I take time everyday to have some time ONLY for me. Whether that time is a 30 minute workout during nap time or a long shower without my daughter pulling everything out of the drawers, I make the time to take care of me.



I am happier. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I was miserable before, but transitioning from a full-time teacher to a full-time mommy was hard for me. I truly believe that I was made to be a Mommy, but I am a mommy that needs something for just me too. Beachbody has given me that. I run a successful business from my kitchen island. I interact with other people (adults!) on a daily basis.

So here I am. A 17 week pregnant Beachbody Coach.
Maybe you are in the same situation.
Maybe you are in the same situation that I was in nine months ago.
Maybe you just need a change.
Maybe you just want YOU back.

I encourage you to join a challenge group, just like I did, and really give this a shot. Discover your WHY and commit to change with me. You will not regret it.



Online contact and registration forms from Wufoo.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

5 Healthy Alternatives to RANCH Veggie Dip

I've been there. You go to a party and there is a veggie tray --- your one saving grace (usually) for your healthy lifestyle. But the only option to dip those carrot sticks is a fat filled ranch dressing. Sound familiar?

I absolutely love veggies, but I also love my ranch dressing --- NOT the light stuff either! It has to be Hidden Valley, buttermilk!

Throughout my clean eating journey, I have come up with some other alternatives to Ranch to not only dip my veggies in, but sometime have a fantastic alternative to a  salad dressing.

Here are my Top 5 Dips for Veggies.

1. Avocado and Balsamic Vinegar
Avocado is a staple in our house. When you mash it in with a little balsamic vinegar, it makes a GREAT dip! I absolutely love it with red peppers --- or any veggie, really!

2. Hummus
I absolutely love hummus and it is available practically everywhere! There are lots of great flavors and it not only makes a delicious dip, but I love it on wraps and sandwiches too.

3. Plain Greek Yogurt and Salsa
When you mix these two together, oh it is delicious!! The yogurt gives the salsa some thickness so that it sticks on your veggies. I also love this on a taco salad. It is the perfect alternative to a dressing.

4. Avocado and Boiled Eggs
Avocado makes an appearance again on this list because I just love it so much! Try mashing together some avocado and a hard boiled egg. It is delicious, protein packed, and works amazing with veggies or is a great alternative to a healthy egg salad sandwich.

5. Buffalo Dip
Mix together plain Greek yogurt and some hot sauce (I like Frank's Red Hot). If it's too spicy for you, add in a LITTLE bit of a ranch seasoning packet. this is amazing to dip celery in (or any veggie!) To add in some extra protein, some shredded chicken makes this fantastic.

So there you have it FIVE healthy alternatives to Ranch dressing. Liven up your veggie trays at your next potluck or spice up your salad without the calories.

Strawberry Cheesecake Shakeology

I am a chocolate Shakeology girl through-and-through. I know I like it, and I rarely find a recipe to use with the chocolate that I don't like.

Vanilla has always been tricky for me to find a recipe with. BUT I have finally found one that is very good! My version of a Strawberry Cheesecake can be substituted with any fruit to make it any flavor cheesecake you would like. I will say, this shake has a bit of a texture, but if that doesn't bother you, then you will love this!

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
  • 1 cup strawberries (or fruit of your choice)
  • 1 cup almond milk (or water)
  • 1/2 cup crushed ice (optional)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup, dry rolled oats
  • 1 tsp fat free sugar free cheesecake pudding mix
Blend all together and enjoy! :) For a thicker shake, add more ice, for a thinner one, add more water. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Parmesan Roasted Green Beans

Veggies are a MUST in our household and I am always looking for some new, creative ways to make them. These are a favorite in our house for sure!

Ingredients

  • Fresh Green Beans, ends chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Parmesan Cheese
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Toss raw green beans in olive oil.
  3. Spread out on a cookie sheet.
  4. Season with sea salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes. 
  6. Remove and shake pan.
  7. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until tender crisp.
  8. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Shamrock Shake Shakeology

Those of you that know me, know that I am not the biggest fan of Greenberry Shakeology. It is good, I mean, there really isn't a bad flavor of Shakeology, BUT I have had a hard time finding a way to make it so that I like it.

Until TODAY. In celebration of St. Patrick's Day, I decided to give a Shakeology Shamrock Shake a go. And let me tell you --- it was pretty good! :)

Ingredients

  • 1 scoop Greenberry Shakeology
  • 10 oz of Almond Milk or Water
  • 1 drop or 2 of peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp of natural peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp of Vanilla pudding mix
  • ice to taste
Blend and Enjoy! :)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

2-Ingredient Applesauce

Applesauce is such a delicious treat that I forget about. When buying it in the store, I always snag up the natural Mott's. But even that has some unnecessary ingredients!

Here is an easy way to make your own applesauce at home --- and it tastes SO much better! :)

Ingredients
  • Apples - any kind**
  • cinnamon 
**Green apples make for a more "sour" applesauce, red apples make a sweeter applesauce**

Directions
  1. Skin, core, and chop apples.
  2. Place in a  big pot on the stove.
  3. Simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. The apples will begin to breakdown ---- add your cinnamon.
  5. For a thicker applesauce, leave do not mush :) For a thinner applesauce, run through  food processor or blender.
  6. Enjoy!
This is delicious paired with pork chops or over greek yogurt.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mexican Stuffed Shells

This recipe is one of my family's favorites. My husband and daughter gobble this up every time I make it. I always pray for leftovers, but it rarely happens. This recipe can be made healthy. I am going to share the way that I made it in the pictures, as well as how you can adapt the recipe to make it even cleaner.

Ingredients (Italics = cleaner version)

  • 20 jumbo pasta shells (use whole wheat pasta)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
  • 1/4 brick of cream cheese
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1/2 jar of salsa (make fresh)
  • 1 cup taco sauce (use salsa instead)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • plain Greek yogurt
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare shells according to package instructions. After draining, place shells on a non-stick cookie sheet or a sprayed cookie sheet to prevent sticking.
  3. Prepare ground beef according to taco seasoning instructions. Drain off fat and stir in cream cheese.
  4. Line the bottom of a 9x13 pan with salsa.
  5. Spoon beef into shells and place shells into pan.
  6. Drizzle taco sauce over shells.
  7. Bake, covered, for 20-25 minutes.
  8. Remove cover, top with cheese, and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  9. Serve with plain Greek yogurt in lieu of sour cream and top with green onions.
  10. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What is the 21 Day Fix Extreme?

In June of 2014, I took a leap of faith and messaged a friend from college about an upcoming challenge group that she was holding on Facebook. I had struggled to lose the weight that I had gained during my pregnancy and this was the last thing that I would try before accepting my new body. The Beachbody program that I used during that challenge group was the 21 Day Fix by Autumn Calabrese. It has forever changed my outlook on health and fitness.

Looking back, it was the BEST message that I ever sent! Being a part of the challenge group was a pivotal moment, not just in my health and fitness, but also in my life. It gave me back my confidence, my pre-pregnancy body, and MYSELF. The portioned controlled containers, easy to follow food list and 30 minute workouts gave me the success story that I am today!

Autumn is now releasing a NEW workout program called the 21 Day Fix Extreme --- and I cannot wait to get my hands on it! It is a different, yet similar, approach to the 21 Day Fix, except this time it is extreme fitness. It's about taking your body to its limit and seeing just how far you can go in 21 days.

Let's take a look at the basics of the 21 Day Fix Extreme and what it is all about.



Who is the 21 Day Fix Extreme for?

21 Day Fix EXTREME is ideal for those with a dramatic short-term weight loss deadline--such as an upcoming vacation, photo shoot, or other big event. It's an excellent next step for 21 Day Fix graduates ready for a new challenge or graduates of other extreme programs like P90X, Insanity, and FOCUS T25. Fix EXTREME is also great for those who don't have much weight to lose, but want to get shredded and see abs; those with a "no BS" attitude toward workouts and nutrition; or anyone who doesn't want to count calories, weigh their food, or follow complicated recipes.

I MUST note that I would NOT recommend this program for beginners. This is an intense program meant for people who already have a solid base of health and nutrition. If you are like the sounds of the Fix, then let's chat about some similar options that would be great precursors for the 21 Day Fix Extreme -- such as the original 21 Day Fix.

What are the DETAILS about the program?
  • 1 30 minute workout each day
  • 21 total days
  • You will not lead a lot of space; just allow 6 square feet of space (push that coffee table out of the way!)
  • Cross training shoes are recommended for the workouts
What workouts are included with the program?
Plyo Fix Extreme, Upper Fix Extreme, Lower Fix Extreme, Pilates Fix Extreme, Cardio Fix Extreme, Dirty 30 Fix Extreme  and 
Yoga Fix Extreme. 

If you order through a coach, you will receive a bonus workout. PLUS there are two additional workouts available for purchase: Power Strength Extreme and ABC Extreme.

Workout Details


Plyo Fix Extreme 
An explosive lower-body workout that uses jumping and resistance to torch calories and sculpt
muscles. 
Upper Fix Extreme 
By alternating opposing muscle groups, this no-rest upper-body workout will shred the chest, back, 
shoulders, and arms. 
Pilates Fix Extreme 
Using a resistance band for every exercise, this intense mat workout works the entire body, placing 
emphasis on the core. 
Lower Fix Extreme 
Glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves will get stronger, leaner, and more defined with 30 minutes
of challenging resistance work. 
Cardio Fix Extreme Combining weighted cardio moves with traditional metabolic training intervals keeps the heart rate
soaring. 
Dirty 30 Extreme 
Using only seven compound moves focusing on multiple body parts at a time, this workout will burn
extra calories while defining muscles. Get down and dirty, and get it done. 
Yoga Fix Extreme A fast-paced flow yoga class, combining strength, balance, flexibility, and power. 
Power Strength Extreme 
Based on functional movement patterns, these nine total-body exercises will change the way the 
body moves, increasing strength, endurance, and power.
ABC Extreme 
A 30-minute workout that targets common problem areas by pushing abs, butt, and cardio to 
the extreme.  It'll get that competition body ready for the stage.
The Fix Challenge Keep things interesting and burn off calories with this quick resistance workout!



Results from the Test Group


Nutrition Details
Just like the 21 Day Fix, the basis of this nutrition plan is clean eating and portion control. However, where the 21 Day Fix allowed for wine and chocolate, the EXTREME does NOT. As Autumn says in her workouts --- if you want something you've never had, you've got to do something you've never done! ANYONE can cut out wine and chocolate for 21 days. I am 100% positive that your results will be worth the sacrifice. Remember, abs are made in the kitchen!

Your portioned containers come with the program when you purchase it.


Are you READY yet??
The launch date for the 21 Day Fix Extreme is set for February 2nd. I will have an exclusive 21 Day Fix Extreme challenge group that I will be running. If you are interested, please fill out the application below. As I receive applications, I will keep you informed about the launch details and ordering information.

It takes 21 Days to break a habit. Ready to break some habits with me?



The easy to use Wufoo form builder helps you make forms easy, fast, and fun.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

In our house, Sweet Potatoes are a staple. We only have white potatoes on special occasions, so pretty  much on Thanksgiving. To us, sweet potatoes just taste better.

These sweet potato fries are easy and delicious! I hope that you and your family enjoy them as much as we do.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, skinned
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • spice mixture (recipe below)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Slice potatoes like fries.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with olive oil and seasoning mixture.
  5. Bake for 10 -15 minutes, toss, and bake until crispy or desired texture.
  6. Enjoy!
Spice Mixture:
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, cracked
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Pittsburgh Super Weekend

Photo courtesy of Kelly Walbush Photography
This past weekend I had the privilege of attending Beachbody's Super Saturday event in Pittsburgh, PA. Being originally from Pittsburgh, it was a GREAT excuse to come back into town! This event was extra special because Carl Daikeler, the CEO of Beachbody, and Autumn Calabrese, the creator of the 21 Day Fix, attended the event.

The weekend started off on Friday night with a White Out event. At the event, everyone dressed in ALL white. We toasted Shakeology, listened to some amazing success stories, received motivation from Carl, and recognized some amazing leaders on the Dream Team. Beachbody also shared with us some exciting news about the
Photo courtesy of Kelly Walbush Photography
new things in store for us in 2015 --- including Beachbody On Demand. This On Demand feature will allow club members to live stream specific workout programs from the internet. I am THRILLED to have access to some amazing programs!




Photo courtesy of Kelly Walbush Photography










To top off the night, Autumn Calabrese did a LIVE workout with us from her new program, 21 Day Fix Extreme. I am a lover of the 21 Day Fix, and let me tell you, the 21 Day Fix Extreme is an AMAZING program! The workout that we tried was top notch and had us ALL sweating! It was a phenomenal teaser and is one that really excites me about getting 21 Day Fix Extreme.



Photo courtesy of Kelly Walbush Photography

An amazing group of women!
After an amazing Friday night that left standards pretty high for the rest of the weekend, Saturday did not disappoint! The day started with a  LIVE Insanity workout. This was the first time that I tried this workout, and while it is not my favorite, I definitely got a good burn out of it.
For the remainder of the morning, I got the privilege of learning from some Top Coaches on the Dream Team. They shared their tips for success and reiterated that ANYONE can make it in this business. They reignited my fire and I am ready to tackle 2015!

Saturday concluded with an amazing party hosted by Melanie Mitro, the 2014 Top Coach and founder of The Dream Team. It was an honor to meet her in person as well as meet all of the coaches on my team!
My coach, Missy, and me.
With the wonderful Melanie Mitro




















The whole weekend was amazing and truly reinforced that I am a Beachbody Coach because I have a passion for helping others achieve their goals. If you share this passion, then I want YOU to be on my team.

I will set you up for success to work from home, build a business, and get in the best shape of your life. If you are ready to take the plunge or if you want some more information, fill out the application below!

 
Use Wufoo templates to make your own HTML forms.