Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I Have Chocolate for Breakfast

Yep, that's right. Pretty much every day for the past few months, I have enjoyed chocolate for breakfast. And I have lost weight and gotten myself back into a fit, healthy and happy place.

How is this possible? Well, I discovered Shakeology. It's dubbed "The Healthiest Meal of the Day," and now I don't go a day without it! Not only do I get my daily chocolate fix, it also helped me get squash those intense junk food cravings I experienced when I first started the 21 Day Fix challenge. I went from Googling whether or not it was a scam to being completely enamored with it once I gave it a shot. I truly believe it was and continues to be a key part to my success in my healthy lifestyle and habits.

So what's in Shakeology? It's basically a protein shake with all kinds of superfoods for a complete nutritional powerhouse - as they sum it up, it's your daily dose of dense nutrition. It has a whole host of benefits, from aiding in digestion to making your skin glow and boosting your energy. No artificial sweeteners in it, either - a big reason why I like it. Well, that and it takes about 5 minutes to make and reminds me of a Wendy's Frosty. Except it's good for me!

The texture and flavor is really pleasant, unlike other protein powders I have tried that I find either too saccharine or chalky. And it's full of all kinds of goodness, too - check out everything you get! It takes care of all of those expensive vitamins and supplements and wraps them up in one delicious package.

One of the first things I always hear is how it is so expensive. I won't deny, yes it is. You pay for quality, don't you? (who's reading this on a top-of-the-line iPhone that you pay dearly for usage of each month without blinking??) When it comes down to it, it's about $4 a serving. We use it as a meal replacement, so it's replacing other food we are not buying. Also, there's the bonus savings we enjoy of not buying all that crappy junk food we didn't need in the first place. Medical bills are a lot more expensive, and this helps motivate me to eat healthy and gives me the energy to stay active. Win win in my book!

For my gluten-free people out there, it is made with gluten-free ingredients. However, it is not certified - here is their statement on the gluten-free status of the product. To summarize, it's manufactured in a shared facility that follows strict standards to prevent cross contamination. I personally have never had a reaction, and I am highly sensitive. I easily run more risk eating at a restaurant than drinking Shakeology.

Shakeology comes in a variety of flavors, including chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, plus two vegan options that are made with plant-based protein. There are also new boosts designed to take your shake to the next level! Not quite ready to commit to a flavor? Go for the sampler pack!

There's a Bottom of the Bag money-back guarantee on Shakeology, so you've got nothing to lose but that extra weight! If you have any questions, let me know in the comments or contact me at

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is
not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fall Into Fitness with the 21 Day Fix!

The holidays are fast approaching - are you ready? I definitely believe for once that I am! Thanks to my experience with the 21 Day Fix, I feel like this year I have firmly established myself in my healthier habits and as a result will be going into the season happy, healthy and full of energy! It's all about the 80/20 lifestyle for me now...I want to be fit, but I don't want to be extreme about it all the time. Good food (and wine!) is and always will be one of my favorite ways to relax and connect with family and friends, so I'm never going to be perfect. But I can be better!

That is one of the biggest mental changes I have experienced - the concept of just being better. You might not always make the best choice, but making the better choice can still get you to your goals. That's what healthy habits are all about! But first, you have to kick start those healthy habits.

That is where the 21 Day Fix challenge comes in! When you've been making the easy choices for awhile, it can be hard to get back on track with exercise and eating right. Ultimately, you have to want it. Me telling you how fantastic it is isn't going to get your butt off the couch. But if you want it, Autumn Calabrese and I can help you get it - and even make it fun!

What you get with the program is a simple, flexible nutrition plan and a set of workouts that are just 30 minutes a day and include a modifier to make them doable for all levels. Together, the plans help you get amazing results in very little time! I have made a few attempts in the past to shed extra weight, and it took me 6 months to lose what I lost in 6 weeks on the Fix plan. It combines muscle building to boost metabolism and clean eating for ultimate fat burning. Check out this video for a quick overview.

So why join me and my group? Support! This is often a big change for most of us who decide to start the plan, and change is hard. Who doesn't need help? I will provide guidance, answer questions, share ideas and tricks I've learned. You'll get to connect with others going through the same experience and learn from them too! Plus, as a bonus gift for joining my group, I will give you your very own FREE exclusive online meal planning tool, complete with a sample week's plan, food lists and recipe links.

Commit to 21 days with me - you have have nothing to lose but inches and self doubt! There's still plenty of time to join and get prepared. Order your challenge pack today to try the full program complete with the super tasty and healthy craving-killer Shakeology for the best results, or you can order just the program to get the workout DVDs, containers, and eating plan. Don't forget to add in your copy of Fixate for even easier meal planning - check out my review here and get a sneak peek recipe!

I really cannot say enough good things about this program. Giving it my all for those 21 days really turned around my unhealthy habits, and I found myself addicted to the results and inspired to keep going and sign up as a coach to inspire and help others too! My energy is sky high, my skin is clear, I am regaining my confidence, and reveling in all the positivity that I have added to my life through my new connections in the Beachbody community.

Just let me know in the comments below or reach out on Facebook to tell me that you're IN and I'll help get you started!


Thursday, September 17, 2015

21 Day Fix - The Fixate Cookbook

One of the things I love most about the 21 Day Fix is how simple the food is. Clean ingredients, simple methods, delicious and healthy results. But I found myself repeating the same things over and over, and craving something different, which would often result in a cheat.

Enter Autumn's new cookbook, Fixate! It is full of new ideas for every kind of meal, from soups and sides to desserts and cocktails. There are also plenty of gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian and vegan options, and a handy index at the back of the book that groups them. There are beautiful illustrations of the recipes to inspire you, and it is truly a pleasure to flip through and explore. It definitely kicked my meal plans into a new gear, and made it a lot easier to keep it interesting and fresh! I make at least 2 new recipes from it a week, usually more, and have had very few that I didn't fully enjoy.

You can get Fixate either by itself or with a full set of the containers, so you can try out the eating plan without buying the whole program.

One of the great things about the book that makes it so much easier to plan is Autumn has linked up a lot of the recipes to use up leftovers in new ways - for example, her Grandma's Tomato Sauce is used in 10 recipes! Plus she provides variations for a lot of the recipes so you can change it up.

My favorite of the entire book so far is the Creamy Chicken Salad. Simple, I know. Who doesn't know how to make chicken salad? The key, though, is the honey mustard dressing. It's light, tangy and flavorful, and lets the clean flavors of the salad shine through. Going to share that recipe with you today!

Honey Mustard Dressing from Fixate

makes 8 servings, 2 tbsp each (1 orange)
  • 1/2 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt (recommended brand: Fage)
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp raw honey
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
Warm the raw honey briefly in the microwave at 50% power to soften, then whisk in the yogurt, mustard and vinegar until well mixed.

Slowly add olive oil, whisking constantly until blended. Season with salt as desired. Then use it to make chicken salad!

There is a recipe for the chicken salad in the book as well, but I basically just toss a little bit of the dressing with chopped cooked chicken, sliced grapes, diced Granny Smith apples, and chopped scallions. I make a good-sized batch on Sundays and it keeps nicely in the fridge all week, and is quick to portion out for my daily lunch prep.

More Fixate reviews to come! Other recipes from the book I have tried and loved:
  • Grandma's Tomato Sauce - this seems to be the universal favorite
  • Protein Waffles
  • Vegetable Egg Cups
  • Toasted Kale Salad
  • Caprese Chicken
  • Italian Meatballs
  • Open Meatball Sub
  • Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites
  • Chunky Monkey Ice Cream
  • Skinny Pina Colada
What recipes do you love from Fixate? Share in the comments so I know what to try next!

Also check out this great post on the Team Beachbody blog - even more delicious pictures of successes from the cookbook!
9 Reasons Fixate Will Help You Cook Like a Pro

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

21 Day Fix Meal Prepping Tips

OK, so you've done your meal planning. Now you have to actually make it happen! I have found that prepping is a great way to keep me motivated to stick to the plan. If the food's ready to go, it becomes the easy option.

Now, I'm not saying you should become one of those people who lines up an entire week's worth of meals with military precision...if this works for you, fantastic. But for me, not so much. I don't mind some repetition, but I do like to vary it up so I don't want 7 days of the same thing. (except Shakeology. Every day. Always.) And I don't mind devoting a little time each evening to the task - in fact, I've started to enjoy it!

Weekly Prep

On the weekends, we shop and spend some time on prep to get us on the right track for the upcoming week. One thing that always involves is cooking a lot of chicken. We cook it, chop it up and use for lunches all week - Hubs favors green salads, and lately I'm a big fan of the Creamy Chicken Salad from the Fixate cookbook so I've been making big batches of that. Also works well to have on hand as a quick protein for dinners and snacks.

Other prep tasks that I do every week:

  • Make a pitcher of cold brew coffee
  • Make a bottle of 21 Day Fix salad dressing
  • Pull out proteins to defrost
  • Wash produce

If I have time, I'll do a big batch of something like Grandma's Tomato Sauce from the Fixate cookbook that I can use in meals all week.

Daily Prep

Every evening before bed, I pull out my meal plan for the next day and take 10-15 minutes to get my lunch and snacks ready to take to work. My containers make it easy to portion and pack.

  • Chop veggies/salad
  • Wash/slice fruit
  • Portion out leftovers

I started out doing it in the morning but I always felt rushed and frazzled. Now all I have do is blend up my Shakeology, which only takes about 5 minutes, pop the containers in my cooler bag, and head out! Mornings went from stressful to easy breezy.

As far as dinners go, I usually prep as I go or take shortcuts at the store. I keep it easy on weekdays - often we just toss meat on the grill and a pan of veggies in the oven to roast. I also always plan at least one night of leftovers. Can't beat a nuke it night when you've had a long day.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to make sure you make sure you plan ahead and shop so you've got what you need on hand to stick to it




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