Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Confession time!!


Feeling Fit and Fabulous.
Best shape EVER on vacation!  Visiting wonderful childhood friends.

So I promised when I started this blog to be perfectly honest with anyone who may be following my progress and that is what I intend to do.  October has definitely been a challenging month for me.  Between my trip to Northern Ireland to visit friends and family, dealing with the week leading up to the trip and trying to get things organized for work, then dealing with the emotions of coming back from a trip where I have to say goodbye to many people I love and will miss is very emotionally draining.  I'm human.  Sometimes I can't do it all too!  I was however able to get a few workouts in here and there, even on vacation and managed to keep healthy snacks on me and eat a good breakfast each day but I still am off track with my workout program and it's thrown me a bit out of wack.

Don't let life knock you down.
Life happens!

The week coming back from vacation was probably the most difficult.  I think it's always hard jumping straight into work and a stressful job the day after you return from holiday and the wheels just kept spinning from there.  Workouts were minimal but I was able to maintain a relatively good eating pattern.  Not 100% but fairly good.  Now it's time to let the excuses go.









Body Beast weight lifting program
Back on the horse!

Phase 2 of my Body Beast/T25 hybrid program was pretty much demolished for me this month so I'm going to re-start it over again.  Beginning yesterday with Body Beast Bulk Chest and today with Bulk Legs!  One of my favorites.  I ALWAYS feel leg day for a couple of days afterwards and it's a great reminder to me of the hard work I put in and my changing body.





Shakeology 3 day Cleanse


Reboot your system and get rid of the toxins in your body.
Shakeology 3 day cleanse

To help get rid of a lot of the toxins and junk I put in my body while on vacation I'm going to be doing the Shakeology 3 day cleanse starting on Monday.  I've chosen Monday for this because I know doing a cleanse would be more difficult for me when I have more time over the weekend to sit at home and think about food!  When I'm at work, my mind is focused on other things.  The great thing about this cleanse though is that it's not an all liquid cleanse.  You still eat substantially well, just entirely clean and substitute 3 of your 6 meals a day with Shakeology.  Considering I love the shakes anyway I don't see this being too much of a problem.  I'm excited to reboot my system though and prepare myself for the best possible eating habits leading up to Thanksgiving (I fully intend to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner in all it's glory).  I'll post the results from my cleanse on here once I've finished!  I also plan on doing this after Thanksgiving and Christmas so if you have an interest in joining my 3 day challenge group for the Shakeology cleanse fill in the form below and I'll notify you closer to the date so you can get your Shakeology supplies for it.

My Committment:  I WILL be in the best shape I've been in by Christmas! Who's with me?

If you're ready to make a change and would like to join one of my upcoming 3 day Shakeology challenge groups or my 60 day clean eating and fitness support groups, fill in the application below.



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Peanut Butter Fudge Bars

I attended a retreat weekend in Deep Creek, Maryland with the BEST bunch of women you could find.  My fellow Dream Team coaches.  Shout out to Melanie for making this weekend happen.  One of the most awesome aspects of coming together with a group of like-minded women to stay in a beautiful cabin on the lake was that everyone cooked for each other and I got to try a bunch of new amazing recipes.  I had to share my favorite one!  I have a raging sweet tooth and love anything chocolate or peanut butter so when one coach whipped out these delicious treats, trust my my will power was very weekend.  It was hard to stop after a couple but these definitely are a treat, one you can feel less guilty about than grabbing a payday or snickers bar though!

Super easy, super quick to make and everyone will love them.  I guarantee it!  Thanks to Nicole for sharing the recipe!  Check out her blog at the link below.

Clean Eating Peanut Butter Fudge Bars.  Clean Eating Desserts!
Clean Eating Desserts!

Ingredients

1 16oz jar of natural creamy Peanut Butter
1 1/4 cups Natural Honey
2 scoops 100% Natural Whey Protein Powder
3 cups rolled oats

Directions


  1. Heat Peanut Butter in the microwave for about 90 seconds
  2. Add in honey and stir
  3. Mix in Protein Powder
  4. Combine Oats with Peanut Butter Mixture
  5. Spread Evenly in a 9x13 pan and refrigerate for at least an hour
  6. Cut into 1 1/2 inch squares and enjoy!




Source: http://nicolekeating24.blogspot.com/2013/10/peanut-butter-fudge-power-bars.html


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Taco Soup

This is probably one of my favorite recipes during the Fall and Winter months.  It is unbelievably easy and can be eaten in 2 different ways, chunky or blended.  I'm not the biggest fan of tomatoes so I discovered the blended version accidentally and it's my favorite way to eat it now!


Taco Soup- Great Clean Eating Fall and Winter Recipe
Taco Soup- Great Clean Eating Fall and Winter Recipe!
Servings- Approx 16 (1 1/2 cups each)

Ingredients


  • 2lb of lean ground turkey or chicken
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (I like Rotel diced tomatoes and chilli's)
  • 3/4 bag of frozen sweetcorn
  • 5-6 cans of your favorite beans. Choose Low-Sodium cans. (Kidney, Pinto, White, Navy, Black beans- you can mix and match but definitely include black beans)
  • 3 packets low sodium taco seasoning(You can also make your own which is preferable and cleaner)
  • Water


Preparation


  • Brown your meat in a large pot.  While meat is cooking, drain your beans into a colander and rinse.
  • Once meat is cooked, add your beans, tomatoes in their juices and sweetcorn.
  • Add water to cover.
  • Mix in taco seasoning
  • Cook on low for 1-2 hours.  If you have the time, cook for 2 hours for flavouring.
Tips:
Once the soup is done you have two options. Eat it chunky, as is, or what I like to do is blend it so that it's almost like a think bean dip.  You can serve with multigrain scoop chips if it fits your dietary goals or leave these out. The soup is incredibly filling without.

Optional is to top with a little shredded cheese and non-fat greek yogurt or light sour cream.


This recipe freezes so well and I usually portion off into freezer baggies for grab on the go meals throughout the fall and winter. 



Taco Soup- Great Clean Eating Fall and Winter Recipe





Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mini Steak and Blue Cheese Pizzas

I don't know about you, but anything with steak and blue cheese in it for me is an absolute go!! I can't wait to try these myself.  To cut down on a little prep time I'm sure you could also use whole wheat pita's for this!



Serves: 4
Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 lb ball whole-wheat pizza dough, room temperature (TIP: Make your own dough with CE’s recipe)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 4 oz top sirloin steak
  • 1/8 tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into thin 10-inch-long slices
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp crumbled blue cheese
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Separate dough into 8 equal balls and flatten each into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Arrange on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake until edges and bottoms are golden, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat vinegar on medium-high. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, mist a grill pan with cooking spray and heat on medium. Season steak with salt and pepper. Add to pan and cook, turning once, until steak reaches desired doneness, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil.
  4. To grill pan, add onion and sauté, stirring often, until golden brown. Remove from heat.
  5. Thinly slice steak against the grain. Top crusts with onion, arugula, steak and cheese. Drizzle with vinegar and bake for 2 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.
Nutrients per serving (2 Mini Steak & Blue Cheese Pizzas): Calories: 443, Total Fat: 17 g, Sat. Fat: 3 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Carbs: 78 g, Fiber: 12 g, Sugars: 9 g, Protein: 24 g, Sodium: 404 mg, Cholesterol: 16 mg

Source: Clean Eating Magazine

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Suck It Up Now, So You Don't Have To Suck It In Later!




I had a great last minute opportunity this month to take a week long vacation back to Northern Ireland to visit my friends and family in Belfast.  Words can honestly not explain how amazing this trip was and how incredibly excited I was to be able to take it.  I've been living in the United States now for a little over 8 years and as much as I love it over here, it's never, ever going to be easy going home to visit and then having to say goodbye to my friends and family not knowing the next time I'll see them, but I'm forever grateful for every opportunity I have to visit!

Traveling can be difficult for someone who lives a healthy lifestyle to deal with.  My life is about balance though.  I've paid many dues to get to where I'm at now, and although I'm still not at my goal and it's a work in progress I fully intend to enjoy life along the way!  It was SO fantastic to be able to go home and enjoy many of the foods I had missed entirely guilt free.  Will they set me back in my goals- a little but this trip absolutely did not derail me!

My plan= Preparation, Preparation, Preparation


Food


Knowing what to expect on this trip I made plans before I traveled to make sure that I could make as many healthy decisions as possible beginning with the flight over.  Nobody likes airplane food, so in preparation I made sure I had my blender bottle with a packet of shakeology stuffed into my carryon luggage along with some healthy cocoa almonds to snack on should I feel peckish!!



My flight also happened to be an overnight flight but there was no mention of breakfast being served, only dinner.  I also knew that by the time the flight landed, I got my luggage and got on the road it would be close to lunchtime, so I packed a paper bowl and a baggie with oatmeal, flaxseed, craisins and some light maple syrup.  To my surprise they did serve breakfast on the plane, but I slept through it so I've no idea what it was and of course when I woke I was starving!  Thankfully, I came prepared!  Little hot water and I was sorted!


When I go home, much of my time is spent running around catching up with people I haven't seen in a long time, my days start early (most of the time) and run late, and trust me that requires energy!  I knew that many of my meals would be eating out and I wasn't being strict with myself on this trip but I made SURE I had a healthy meal each day drinking my Shakeology.  In preparation I purchased a box of the individual serving packets for easy traveling and lucked out that all of my friends and relatives have blenders, but just in case, I had my blender bottle with me!  My aunt went shopping the night before my arrival and picked up some semi-skimmed milk (that would be fat-free to my American friends!) and some all natural peanut butter.

I also made sure I had little packets of cocoa almonds handy and had chopped up some carrot sticks when I got to my aunts house which I threw in a baggie to take with me on the go.

Workouts


Right now I've been doing a combination of Body Beast weight training and adding in T25 for cardio.  Obviously traveling makes it difficult to continue to weight train but I did have my laptop with me and decided to bring T25 for cardio.  It's quick, I knew my time would be limited but 25 minutes is not hard to fit in.  Most of the time it simply require being dedicated and committed to your goals and making it happen.



I also made sure to play the role of tourist much better on this vacation and see many of the things I didn't take advantage of when I lived in the area so plenty of walking took place on this trip!

This trip was not only amazing for me to be able to go home and see friends and family, but it also taught me how important it is for me to be able to continue to maintain my life of balance and take care of myself.  I have never felt better on vacation before.  I'm proud of what I've achieved so far and how my pictures from this trip looked, but not only that I'm proud that I have come far enough to make smart decisions when it comes to taking care of myself without sacrificing having a great time!  Was plenty of wine flowing?  Absolutely!  Did I enjoy food that wasn't clean?  Heck yes!  Has it stopped me from working towards my goals? Not a chance!  I'm back home now and back on track.



Next step- 3 day Shakeology cleanse to help clean the slate and get me back on track!

 






Sunday, October 6, 2013

Phase 1 Body Beast and T25 review




The end of August wrapped up Insanity for me and I was absolutely thrilled with my results from it but wanted to start incorporating more weight training into my life again.  There are a couple of great at home programs to choose from, from Beachbody.  If you're just starting out Chalean Extreme is great, but having had some experience with weight training in the past and a desire to build up my own equipment at home I decided to go with Body Beast and have LOVED every minute of it.   I also decided to check out Shaun T's new T25 workout and incorporate that in for my cardio days with Body Beast.

There are 3 phases to this program.  The first 2 phases are Build phases where you essentially bulk up, build your muscle and strength and then phase 3 is the lean phase where, in lamans terms you cut off some of the fat you put on during the 1st 2 phases to reveal the lovely muscle you've been building underneath.

My Review

I've put together a video of my review of Phase 1 of my Body Beast/T25 hybrid program and included a few of my meal plans below to let you know how I've been planning and eating throughout this phase.



Meal Plans

 


I've also included my schedule for these workouts as I started the program in the middle of the week.  I am about a day off schedule at the moment, which is fine!  For all of us, life happens and you just have to go with the flow, but I'm really loving this program and hoping to see some great results from it.

I have an unexpected last minute trip to Ireland coming up this week which is going to throw a slight wrench in my schedule.  My plan at the moment is to get as much weight training in as possible from friends in Ireland who can bring me to the gym and on the days I can't make it I have my T25 cardio.  I'll keep you posted on how I handle the challenges of eating and working out on vacation.  Having not been home for over a year and a half my plan is to certainly enjoy much of what I've missed but I plan to keep healthy snacks on me and eat a healthy breakfast everyday.  The rest is up in the air at the moment!




Clean Eating Chicken Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 Lb free range chicken breast, cut in chunks
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon (optiional)

Preparation

Saute onions, add garlic, ginger, curry, cinnamon and cumin.
Stir.
Add chicken. Cook for 2 minutes.
Add coconut milk, water and yogurt. Stir to coat.
Let simmer stirring occasionally.
20 minutes or until chicken is cooked.

Add lemon juice (optional)


I simmered for about 30 min and let sit for about 10 and it thickened up a little better. Definitely tastes better when served warm and not overly hot.


Source: Oxygen Magazine, and Tosca Reno Clean Eating Website


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Turbofire Chili




As the weather gets colder and my schedule gets busier, I crave things like soups, stews and chili which are easy to put together, freeze well and last me for ages!  Turbofire Chili is definitely one of my new favorite recipes and I'm actually looking forward to playing around with this each time I make it, switching up the spices and beans and and throwing a little bit of my mum's chili recipe suggestions in there, but still keeping it clean!  I hope you like this and feel free to experiment with the recipe yourself to make it your own.  It is pretty darn good just the way it is right now though!  

SUPER easy to just throw it all in the crockpot and leave it to cook on low overnight.


Ingredients

1 lb lean ground turkey
1 can diced tomatoes
8oz whole kernel corn, canned
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves
8oz black beans, canned 
8oz pinto, chili, and/or kidney beans, canned
1tbsp tomato paste
1 pkg Lawrey's Chili seasoning
4 oz low-fat shredded cheddar cheese (optional)


Preparation

Brown turkey. Drain and discard any fat. Place all ingredients except cheese into a slow cooker. Cook for 4 hours or up to overnight on low, or 2 hours on high. Top with 1 oz. cheese, if desired.

Easy peasey, lemon squeezey! 

 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October Trick-or-Treat Giveaway!





 

Happy 1st October!!

 






Only 3 more months left of this year and we're getting into one of the craziest seasons. This is the time when many of us find ourselves overwhelmed by temptation. Halloween candy, pumpkin pie, thanksgiving dinner, Christmas parties and feasts, and all the holiday candy that comes along with that season too.

I'm all about living a life of balance and I fully intend to stay on track with my health and fitness goals this holiday season but still enjoy much of what the holidays have to offer. 




If you've been looking to make a change in your life, don't wait until the new year to begin the new you. You'll be missing out on 3 months of opportunities to start making small changes and becoming a happier healthier you! You'll also miss out on this AWESOME opportunity I am offering for the month of October!!




Trick-or-Treat Drawing!

YOU could have the chance to win this AMAZING Trick-or-Treat basket to help get you started on your health and fitness journey. But how, you ask!?


 

Get started on your health and fitness journey TODAY!

If you have been looking for the right time to start your health and fitness journey, contact me today and let's talk about your goals.  As a coach I can help you figure out a great at home workout program to suit your interests, ability level and goals.  Through my closed online support groups (optional), I can help personally support and guide you through your program to keep you motivated, inspired and accountable.  Being a part of this group, you'll be working towards your health and fitness goals with a small group of like-minded individuals going through the same challenges you'll face and fighting them together.  As a group, we support each other through our challenges and successes, all the way to the finish line!

So how can I be entered in the drawing?

Purchase a Challenge pack during the month of October, which not only includes an at home work out program chosen for your specific interests and needs, but a 30 day supply of Shakeology, a meal plan, nutrition guide, 30 day free Beachbody Club membership and the opportunity to join my next 60 day support group starting on Oct 14th (optional). Each challenge pack will earn you one ticket into the drawing

OR

If you’ve been thinking about giving Shakeology a shot by itself, now is the time to try it. Sign up for your bag of Shakeology this month and earn yourself one ticket in the drawing also (sample pack excluded).



To learn more about the benefits of Shakeology click here. 

BONUS

Even better- purchase your challenge pack or Shakeology by October 15th and I will DOUBLE your chances by adding an extra ticket with your name in the drawing!

Do you know someone who is looking to make a change in their life and could use some guidance towards the right fitness program, or help with their nutrition?  Refer a friend and if they sign up for a challenge pack or Shakeology and you'll earn yourself another ticket for each person in the drawing! 

So if you are truly ready to make a change in your life, email me now, let’s talk about your goals and how together we can help you achieve them. What have you got to lose?