Sunday, August 30, 2015

What's next? My 21 Day Fix and Cize hybrid!

 21 Day Fix and Cize Hybrid!


Last weekend I completed my 2nd round of Insanity where I also added in the 21 Day Fix meal plan into the 2nd month of my workouts, and many people wonder what's next?  I saw fantastic results but still have a long way to go to get to where I want to be and stopping now is not an option.

This past week I decided to switch things up and try a different workout each day to give myself variety, try some of the programs I've had but haven't had a chance to complete yet and go back to some old favorite workouts.  This is what my schedule looked like:


Tomorrow I begin my next round of the 21 Day Fix but this time I'll be doing a hybrid of the program with Shaun T's new dance program, Cize.  I will be subbing out 2 Fix Cardio workouts a week and adding in Cize workouts in their place.  For the next 21 days I'll be doing 30 minute workouts, 7 days a week (Sunday's are yoga) and tracking my results.

21 Day Fix and Cize Hybrid Schedule
21 Day Fix and Cize Hybrid Schedule

The week highlighted in pink is the optional doubles week that the 21 Day Fix offers.  I also like to occasionally take a lunchtime yoga class at work but leave those up to what my schedule looks like that day and how I'm feeling so they are optional.  To prepare for this first week I completed a meal plan on Friday, grocery shopped on Saturday and spent some time on Sunday preparing food for the week.  This is a great help to me as my evenings are busy and after a long day at work it's helpful to come home and be able to throw dinner together quickly!

Meal Plan Week 1, 21 Day Fix and Cize Hybrid
Meal Plan Week 1, 21 Day Fix and Cize Hybrid

Meal Prep Week 1, 21 Day Fix and Cize Hybrid

I'm excited to try out some new recipes from Autumn Calabrese's cookbook Fixate this week and kick butt with my first time experiencing the workouts from the 21 Day Fix program.  I hope you'll follow along with my progress through my blog or Facebook!

If you have an interest in trying out the 21 Day Fix program but could use some support, guidance and accountability, my next private online support group begins on Sept 7th.  Click here to complete my challenge group application form to tell me a little bit more about yourself, your goals and we can see if this would be a fit for you!



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Summer Chicken Taco's

21 Day Fix recipe
Summer Chicken Taco's



Without a doubt this is one of my all time FAVORITE summer recipes!!! Anything colorful and delicious that satisfies my sight, smell and taste buds all in one go is a complete winner to me!  I came across a version of this recipe online months ago before I began the 21 day fix meal plan and had to try it.  The original recipe is completely vegetarian but being a meat lover I had to add some chicken.  It's incredibly versatile, you can choose whatever veggies suit your palate and switch things up as much as you'd like.  We recently purchased a griddle so we can do more outdoor cooking, but I've made these inside in a large pan too. 


21 day fix recipes
Summer taco's on the griddle!


Oh, and did I mention that they are 21 day fix approved!  Pretty sure I did, so when I realized that little bonus I was thrilled! Just remove the cheddar cheese from inside the taco's if it doesn't fit within your daily blue container.

Serves 5-6
Serving size 2 tortillas

Ingredients
1 zucchini
1 summer squash
1 red bell pepper
1/2 green pepper
1 small red onion
1/2 cup frozen sweet corn
3 fresh jalapenos, diced, seeds and stems discarded
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup Spanish grated cotija cheese (could use Parmesan or feta if you can't find this)
3-4 tbsp EVOO
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
10-12 small corn tortilla's
10-12 thin slices cheddar cheese (leave out if following the 21 DF)
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp red pepper flakes (more to taste if desired)
Salt & pepper to taste


Preparation
1. Chop zucchini, squash, peppers and chicken breasts into small pieces (keep chicken separate)
2.  Heat up griddle or large frying pan (a wok would also work)
3. Add 1-2 tbsp EVOO and cook zucchini, squash, bell peppers, onion, sweet corn, jalapeno and garlic until cooked to your liking. Sprinkle with cumin, italian seasoning and pepper flakes. Add more or less seasonings to suit your tastes. 
4.  Salt and pepper your chopped chicken. In a separate pan or separate part of the griddle, while the veggies are cooking add 1 tbsp EVOO and cook through until no longer pink.
5. There are 3 ways to prepare your tortilla's depending on your method of cooking:

A.  Preparing tortilla's on a griddle- Heat them through on the griddle while your chicken and veggies are cooking.  Simply clear some space at the side, and depending on how many fit at one time, spray the griddle with a little oil, place the tortilla on and place a slice of cheddar cheese on one side. Heat until cheese is melting and little bubbles of air pockets form on the tortilla's.  Fold in half and set aside until the rest are done.
B. Preparing tortillas on the stove-top- Heat a dollop of olive oil in a large cast iron frying pan, on medium high. Add tortilla to the pan, moving it around a bit, and turning it over, so that it spreads around the oil. Let the tortilla heat until it develops little bubbles of air pockets. Then place a piece of cheddar cheese on one side of the tortilla, and use a metal spatula to fold the other side of the tortilla over the cheese. Heat until cheese is melted, then remove from pan.
21 day fix recipes
Dad approved!
C. Preparing tortillas in the microwave- Pleace a paper towel (or half the paper towel) on the heating surface of your microwave. Spread out 2 tortillas on the paper towels.  Cook on high heat for 20 seconds per tortilla, in the case of 2 tortillas, 40 seconds.  The tortillas should develop little air pockets (you may need to adjust the time depending on your microwave). Then place a slice of cheddar cheese on one side of the tortilla and told over the cheese.  Cook for an additional 10 seconds per tortilla until cheese is melted.

6.  Once all your veggies, chicken and tortilla's are done, serve with a little cotija cheese and devour!  I cooked these for my family and they are definitely Mum and Dad approved! :-D


21 DF container equivalents
1 yellow
1 green
1/2 red
1/2 blue (minus the cheddar cheese)
1 spoon


21 day fix recipes
Summer chicken taco's




Saturday, August 22, 2015

My Insanity Round 2 & 21 Day Fix Results!

"What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals."

As I'm writing this post and thinking about how I want to share my results with the world, it's an incredible feeling to sit here and reflect back on the last 9 weeks. This is my second experience completing Insanity. The toughest workout program I've ever completed. Knowing what was to come the second time around you would think I would have been prepared for the intensity but I wasn't. The one thing I was prepared for, was knowing I could do it. I had after all done it before.

Insanity is a tough program. I think we all know that from it's reputation and the infomercials. It is definitely geared towards those with experience working out, however I have seen some pretty amazing transformations from those who are novices to the workout world, taking on this amazing challenge anyway.  The thing to know about Insanity is that it is not impossible.  Hard, but not impossible.  My key thing when going through this program is simply, as P90X creator Tony Horton would say, "Do your best, and forget the rest".  I may not always have perfect form, or be able to get in the same amount of repetitions as the fantastically fit and toned individuals in the video, but I give it my all and that's all that matters.  Yes I take more breaks than Shaun T gives you.  No I can't do every workout.  Push up jacks are my Nemesis, but I modify. Nothing wrong with regular push ups. Hey, even I get on my knees sometimes for them. I guess what I'm trying to say is if you're looking for a challenge, don't let me scare you away from this program.

Give it a shot and you may surprise yourself. I sure as heck did. Twice.

My first round of Insanity I completed during the summer of 2013.  Click here to read more about it and see my results from then. I began my 2nd round of Insanity on June 22nd, 2015 and completed on August 22nd. I knew August was going to be a challenging month for me. I had a long weekend trip to Miami planned with some girlfriends, a Bridal shower and Bachelorette party, my Mum's birthday and my birthday all within the same month.  In an effort to not ruin my results from Month 1 and be proactive in month 2 I decided to start following the 21 Day Fix meal plan for a week leading up to Miami and continue with it when I returned. Once I came back from Miami I completed 1 round of the 3 day fix from the 21 day fix program and a second round of it my last 3 days of Insanity.

3 Day Fix, what's that you ask?----> The 3 day fix is a bonus program that Autumn Calabrese includes with her 21 day fix program. The 3 day fix is a 3 day clean eating program where you eat 6 meals a day spaced about 2 hours apart. It is designed for those who need a little reboot after a weekend like mine in Miami, or someone preparing for a special event like a wedding or fitness competition.  If you'd like more information on the 21 Day Fix and the 3 Day Fix instructions that come with it, please contact me using the "How can I help you" contact box to the left of my page.

My Results!

So without further ado, here are my results! This is for one full round of Insanity and drinking Shakeology daily. I lost a total of 15lb and 12 inches, but what I gained is SO much more!

You can click on these images to see them larger if you'd like.










How did I do this?

I could not be happier with the hard work I put into this program and the results I achieved because of it.  Did I have a few cheat meals, absolutely. Did I overindulge? No. I did cut back on alcohol, drank a lot of water, herbal tea and followed the 21 day fix meal plan for the second month with 2 rounds of the 3 day fix within that. For the 1st month I simply ate as clean as I could.  I could NOT have gotten through this program without the love, support and motivation of my challenge group. If you aren't familiar with what a challenge group is, in a nutshell it is a small closed, private group on Facebook where you receive free coaching on clean eating recipes, tips for success, motivation, support and accountability throughout your Beachbody workout program. You replace 1 meal a day for the duration of your challenge with Shakeology which is packed full of nutrients and super foods (and tastes just delicious). Challenge groups are a great place to vent frustrations, celebrate successes and ask questions.  Having participated in quite a number, and hosted them I can say without a doubt that they make a massive difference in the success of many individual's health and fitness journeys.

If you need help with your health and fitness goals, please don't hesitate to reach out to me by completing the coach application below.

With all my love,

Julie



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Starting over


I’M BACK!

Thank you for taking the time to check out my new, improved, sprinkled with a little sparkle blog! I am so excited to be back in action and ready to share my health and fitness journey with you all.

2013 - Insanity Round 1

My introduction to Beachbody came back in the Summer of 2013 when I decided to give Insanity a shot. Up to that point my weight had fluctuated. I gained weight in college and had a hard time getting it off until I received the help of a personal trainer in 2011. For 3 months leading up to my family’s annual NYE vacation to the Dominican Republic he whipped my butt into shape and I had never looked or felt better. Unfortunately keeping up with a personal trainer costs too much moolah $$$ and after a while, being left to my own devices, the weight crept back on again. I needed something new.

I think every one of us at some point has seen the Insanity infomercials on TV and if you haven’t you’re bound to have seen something online about it. I decided this was the challenge for me….but boy was I scared! After some research online I joined a challenge group through my coach Melanie. This woman seriously changed my life! For 9 weeks I worked my way through Insanity, I drank Shakeology and I participated daily in this private online group entirely through Facebook, cheering others on in their own journey, venting frustrations through mine, asking question, seeking help, encouraging, motivating and celebrating milestones with other like-minded individuals who had their own health and fitness goals. I LOVED it. I have no doubt I would have struggled to stick with this program without the help a challenge group provided. I lost almost 10lb and over 16inches during that first round. You can read more about my first experience in a challenge group and my results with Insanity here.

When Melanie approached me about becoming a coach myself, sharing what I had been through, how I had success achieving my goals and helping others to do the same, I knew I wanted a part in it. So I began my coaching business. I started my blog, got my Facebook page up and running and for many months things were going well. It truly is a special feeling to be a part of someone’s journey to bettering themselves whatever that looks like to them. I was juggling this business with a full time job, but other stresses and changes in my life were creeping in. I could write a novel explaining why I didn’t keep up with coaching, but ultimately what it comes down to is I wasn’t ready and it wasn't the right time for me.

Fast forward a little over a year and a half, with my blog on hold and my coaching Facebook page taken down I had fallen into old habits. As a credit to myself working out had become a part of my life and it was something I am proud to say I kept up with consistently. I did at home workout programs, I worked with a remote personal trainer who created workouts for me at home, and again for 3 months leading up to our annual NYE vacation I worked out rigorously. I went to morning and evening spin classes, body pump classes and sought out new ways to challenge myself. Running has always been a struggle for me so I started a Couch to 5k program and completed not only my first but my second 5k’s in the same weekend back to back. I always seemed to be able to motivate myself to work out so I could not seem to understand why I was not getting the results I wanted. Throughout this entire time I consistently drank Shakeology every day, I simply love it and I am a huge believer in its health benefit.

2015 - Insanity round 2

Food is something I love. I mean I LOVE FOOD! Can you hear me shouting that from the rooftops. “I LOVE FOOD!!!”…..I think you get the picture that I think food is pretty awesome. Over the years I have spent COUNTLESS hours researching clean eating recipes, trying to figure out how to make some of my favorite recipes less calorific without compromising flavor. I cook A LOT. I try out new recipes all the time. Some successful, some not so much! But hey, it’s all trial and error. So it was pretty easy to convince myself that for the most part I was eating healthy….and truth be told I probably was but what I hadn't grasped was portion sizes. I indulged here and there. Sometimes more than I should, other times not, but I told myself that I was a healthy person. I worked out often enough, I tried to watch what I would eat. I didn’t feel like I indulged enough to gain weight…but apparently I was. So, when all else fails, go back to what has worked before. For me that was Insanity. Except this time I knew what I was in for! I also knew, realistically, that I could use some extra help.

I NEED HELP!

I reached back out to my coach Melanie who I had lost touch with during my “hiatus” from my own coaching and asked her if she could help me and if she had any challenge groups starting soon. Thankfully she welcomed me back with open arms! I was already 1 week into Insanity but I started in her 6 week Summer Survival Group at the end of June and fell in love with this process all over again.

This is something that I had missed. Why had I stopped? I started asking myself a lot of questions and it was hard not to reflect back on the “What If’s”:.
  • What if I had stuck with Beachbody challenge groups a year and a half previously? 
  • What shape would I be in now? 
  • What if I had persisted with my coaching? 
  • How many others could I have helped? 
  • What knowledge would I have gained at this point? 
  • Where could coaching have taken me and others? 


We all live with regret, but I’ve decided to put this regret behind me and move forward.

  No more “what if’s”, this time it’s what will be!

I wasn’t ready to stick with coaching when I first gave it a shot, but DAMN I’m ready now! If there is one thing I have learned over the last year and a half….well longer than that actually, it’s that Beachbody is for real. It’s easy to hop on websites and social media sites and see many people bash this industry, but they just don’t get it. There are many, many ways out there to get fit, healthy, lose weight, gain muscle, prepare for fitness competitions or simply get a control of your health so you don’t end up in an early grave. I’m not on here to preach that Beachbody is the only way, but Beachbody is what has worked for me and hundred’s of thousands of other people. I’m here to share my journey, my experiences, my tips and advice and hopefully inspire others to take their first step to achieve their own goals.  Perhaps you’ve tried already, maybe many times, and need some motivation to try again. Believe me….our lives would be a lot less interesting if we didn’t make a few mistakes along the way. It’s how we learn.


I hope you’ll join me not only on my own journey through this crazy thing we call life, but I hope you’ll reach out to me for help if and when you feel ready to take your own leap of faith!

Next post coming up today….my Insanity Round 2 RESULTS!!!

If you’d like to learn about my upcoming challenge groups, please fill in the application below.

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