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!


  • 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
  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.


  • 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)
  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!


  • Sweet potatoes
  • aluminum foil
  • food processor
  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.