Monday, February 23, 2015

Workout because you love your body, not because you hate it.

'We need to let go of the negativity when it comes to our health and our bodies. We need to learn to love ourselves and believe that our bodies are worth the price it takes to be healthy. Don't let the price of real foods or unprocessed foods determine the nutrition you fuel your body with. Don't let the price of a gym membership, or workout program keep you from getting a healthy body. The more we invest in our own health, the more our body and health gives back to us.'

We need to let go of the negativity when it comes to our health and our bodies. We need to learn to love ourselves and believe that our bodies are worth the price it takes to be healthy. Don't let the price of real foods or unprocessed foods determine the nutrition you fuel your body with. Don't let the price of a gym membership, or workout program keep you from getting a healthy body. The more we invest in our own health, the more our body and health gives back to us.

When we fuel our bodies with crap, our bodies don't work at it's best potential than as if we fuel it with food straight from Mother Earth. Fill your body with artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, chemicals, preservatives, etc., our bodies do not know what to do with it all. Therefore, it stores it as fat as it can not process it properly.  

Fuel our bodies with fresh veggies, fresh fruit, whole grains, lean protein and it will utilize every bit of the nutrients provided to help our bodies run efficiently. We will sleep better, have more energy, feel less pain, swelling, inflammation, and have less bloat. We will have less trips to the doctor. We lessen our chances at diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and oh so many other ailments created by or brought on by the processed foods and the chemicals we consume.

Move each and every day. Whether you go to the gym or workout at home in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Get your heart rate up to create a strong heart, burn the fat, strengthen your core and body. As we age, we really need to focus more on our health. We don't have to let nature take over and lesson our bone density, cause weight gain, etc. We have to work to maintain what our bodies tend to do on it's own when we were younger. Yes, it will talk some time, dedication, and effort, however, in the long run when you are the grandparent out chasing your grandkids in the yard, living an active life while others your age are getting around slowly and taking life easy, you will be enjoying life!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Getting Back On Track

Since my post the other night telling how I have been slacking on my meal prep, I have been eating much better the last couple days even getting my veggies in...and let me tell you, my stomach is thanking me. I am feeling less bloated as my body eliminates the the excess carbs, as I fuel it with healthier high fiber foods and getting the portions and macros back on plan.

We really need to learn to listen to our bodies. Listen to our brain as it tells us that pop you just drank, tasted good in the moment, but not long after, a feeling of bloat  then a sugar crash happened....

That extra large serving of pizza, cake, cookies , icecream, yeah you know, all those foods that tempt us, and sometimes we think we can not pass up. Again, the bloat and discomfort we feel afterward. Oh, and let's not forget the guilt we feel. I'm sure you get it... listen to your body, it knows best what you need....

Tonight I also got in a thirty minute workout. It was NOT one of my Beachbody programs tonight, however, I still put an effort in and said "No Excuses, I WILL workout!"  Tonight I thought an old favorite would be fun, so I pulled out my step and did step aerobics.  It was definitely a challenge tonight as my 12 week old kitten decided to join me. 

Today's Body Blessing:

Breakfast: Brownie Batter Overnight Protein Oatmeal (I will HAVE to share this recipe), Eggsalad

Snack: Homemade BBQ Pork/Beef, (meat only, as my breakfast took up most of my allowed carbs for the day.

Lunch: Salad from the deli at work, mixed lettuce, carrots, cukes, onions, tomatoes, broccoli, cheese, turkey, egg, with Honey Mustard dressing

Dinner: Spaghetti Squash with marinara sauce and cheese. 

Only beverages today, WATER and Plain Iced Tea

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Even coaches fall

Confession time: even coaches can fall off track....

I did some meal prep tonight for the next week. I have still been eating fix approved meals, however. I haven't always gotten the right amounts of each container, and I've had a few cheats here and there because I had not planned my days. Planning is so important in making our health and fitness journey a success.

My biggest problem has been getting in my veggies. So tonight I made up my cucumber and tomato salad with Italian seasoning, olive oil, and vinegar dressing  and some homemade pickles (cukes, onion, dill weed, acv, and water). Now I have my snacks prepared (i did well using these as my morning snack before)or sides to eat with my meals if I don't have time to stop for a break while at work.

I also prepped the overnight oatmeal recipe I shared earlier on my Facebook group.  I got into a habit of eating my Greek yogurt, banana, cinnamon, and honey for breakfast usually adding granola too.... then watching TV at night I would make another. Not that it is bad for me, but I need more of a variety and this gives me a heartier first meal of the day.

The oats will help me feel fuller in the mornings, plus I am getting protein with the added shakeology and I'm still getting a serving of fruit. Overall it is a more rounded and a well balanced breakfast to start my day.

I also boiled up some eggs, and will make egg salad out if them tomorrow after my yogurt is done so I can use those for lunches, or a snack. I do like to use it in the mornings on top of toast too for another breakfast option.

Now to figure out what to do with the left over pork and beef roasts. I already have it shredded. Thinking maybe homemade bbq. I found a really good recipe on pinterest a few weeks ago for sloppy joes. May make it up with the roast.

Now that I have a plan, I can get all my containers in and get back on track...

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Transformation Tuesday

Hi, in honor of Transformation Tuesday I thought I would share something with you all that was a turning point for me. Two summers ago, my boyfriend and I had been dating, for about a year and he had yet to see me in a dress. He is old fashion in some ways and remembers as a child, the women in his life always wore dresses. Even the little girls wore cute dresses with bows and buttons. It was our era. The time we grew up in, the time that was a big impression on who we are today.
I left work one day and decided I wanted to surprise him by buying a cute summer dress so I headed to Kohl's.  I grabbed a handful of super cute dresses and excitedly went to the fitting room to try them on. Though the dresses were cute, when I saw myself in the mirror...where was my waist? My arms and shoulders looked fat! My thighs looked huge! I was sooooo upset! I left Kohl's and got in my car on the verge of tears. Instead of buying a dress, I headed straight to the  Walgreens  and bought a bottle of Hydroxycut. Yes, I was THAT disappointed in myself. I tried the Hydroxycut for 2 months and saw no change whatsoever. Then I joined Beachbody... but it still took time for me to find what worked for break past the disappointment in my failure to maintain the hard work I had done  few years prior when I was in an the best shape of my life.
It wasn't until a year ago that Beachbody came out with The 21 Day Fix. That was it. I wanted to try that program.  I felt that was exactly what I needed.  I didn't have the money I waited til the time was right and we could afford it.
The 21 Day Fix was my magic ticket. It is the program that worked for me and thousands of others are finding success too. I lost 25 lbs and my boyfriend lost 35 doing the program with me.
I am attaching a photo of my before and after. The first taken at my nieces wedding, where I was so uncomfortable wearing a dress. The second a couple months later (almost two complete rounds) dressed for my boyfriend's son's wedding. I felt amazing that day!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Homemade Crockpot Refried Beans

I am convinced. If I can help it, I will NEVER buy another can of refried beans!  This morning while looking through Pinterest, I came across a pin for homemade Refried Beans done in the Crockpot at Pennies and Pancakes blog Needless to say, I headed straight to my local grocer and bought the items I needed to make Homemade Crockpot Refried Beans.

Beans are so healthy for you. They are high in fiber, high in protein, and low in fat. They are simple to prepare and can be easily frozen for future use; and freezer or batch cooking is right up my alley if you have seen a couple of my other posts!

Since beginning the 21 Day Fix, I have used refried beans more than I ever used to. Prior to 21 Day Fix, I used them mainly for tacos.  However, since then, I have found a wonderful recipe for Mexican Lasagna which we make about twice a month. I love them with tostatas, and Mexican layered dips also. I am also planning on making up some beef, been, cheese burritos to freeze for grab and go lunches.

You can find the recipe for Mexican Lasagna on my blog. Just follow this link:

Now back to our scheduled post, Homemade Crockpot Refried Beans. This is the recipe I followed. I hope you enjoy them as much as I know I will. 

Homemade Crockpot Refried Beans


2 lbs dried pinto beans
1 large onion, chopped
4 Tbsp. jarred minced garlic
*Up to 2 1/2 Tbsp salt 
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp cumin
10 cups hot water

* You can use as little as 1 Tbsp. of salt depending on how salty you prefer your beans.


Rinse the beans in a colander. Pick out any bad beans or stones that may have been inadvertently left  behind during the packaging process. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Food Prep Made so much easier with ChopMagic

For Christmas, I got this handy little gadget. I absolutely LOVE it! It's called ChopMagic. It is like having 12 knives in 1. I have used it for making French Fries, Sweet Potato Fries, and today, I used it when doing my meal prep of meatloaf and meatballs. It makes dicing veggies so much faster!

Typically, I would spend quite a bit of time chopping, dicing, slicing the veggies to stuff my meatloaf/meatballs with. Today, however, I ran the carrots, summer squash, and zucchini through the ChopMagic first. I would usually use the ChopMagic to dice my onions in one swift push of the slicer, however, the onion was so big and I had already used half of it on another prep, I just diced it by hand. This gave me the long strips of carrots and squash that you see here:

I was then able to cut them into smaller diced carrots, summer squash, and zucchini with ease and closer to equal sized pieces. This was the result of the carrots

I was then able to toss all my veggies into my big roasting pan along with the meat, eggs, oatmeal, and spices. You can check out a previous blog post I did giving your the recipes and details of how I make my meatloaf/meatballs.

See how pretty and colorful they turn out with all the veggies in it? And oh how healthy and good they are.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Meal Prepping. My Step By Step Process

So many people have been blown away by the pictures I have shared on our 21 Day Fix Recipe/Meal Swap Group, that I have decided to create a blog here and share a file in the group with a Step by step process of how I plan and execute my meal prep.

To begin, find the recipes you want to use. Whatever your heart desires. Well, within reason, we all know there are certain foods that just don't freeze well. Things like potatoes, pasta, gravy, sauces, some produce, etc.  For a full list of foods that do not freeze well, check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation website at:

Once  you have your list of meals gathered, it's good to check the inventory of your pantry, refrigerator, spice racks, etc. Compare your recipe ingredients to what you have on hand. Make a grocery list of everything you will need to buy in preparation of your meal prep day.  Make sure that if you have 2 or more recipes that require like ingredients; say, bell peppers, that you make sure you take into consideration exactly how many will be needed. You don't want to come up short on food prep day.

You will also want to inventory your pots, pans, baking dishes etc. The last thing you want to do is get your meals all prepped and ready to place into the oven, and not have enough baking dishes for everything you planned on cooking.

The next step is a personal preference. I typically do everything on the day of food prep. However, if you have an extra hour or so the day before, by all means, start prepping your veggies needed the night before. Read through your recipes, slice, dice, or chop  up the amounts  needed for each recipe and place in containers or baggies for each recipe. Make sure you label them so you know what goes with what.  By doing it ahead of time, the process of putting together your meals will be a lot smoother and quicker. Like I said though, I don't have time typically to do it ahead of time (I work a full time job, as well as a part time job), so I do it the morning of. Choice is yours.

First thing you want to make sure of when beginning the meal assembly, is that your kitchen is clean and organized. You want to make sure that all the items you need to prep are clean, and available to you. You don't want to have to spend time searching and washing dishes when you are ready to begin.  Though, I do a lot of dish washing as I prep too, as my kitchen is small and I sometimes need to reuse items.

Before beginning your meal assembly, gather your ingredients needed for each recipe. Have them grouped together, so you are not spending a lot of extra time searching through cabinets, pantry, or refrigerator. It makes the process much smoother and quicker having everything in line and ready to go.

You will want to start with the recipes that will take the longest to prepare and cook. If you are using your Crockpot and the recipe says to cook on low 6-8 hours, you don't want to start that last  or you will be waiting long after the other meals are done to finish up the recipes in the Crockpot.  Prepare the meal, place it in the Crockpot, set it, then move on to the next recipe.

The second recipes you will want to do are those that will take time in the oven to bake and lastly the items that you will prepare last are those that are done on the stove top as those are generally quicker to finish.

I have a Kenmore Roaster, which is great for making large batches, or I can use the separate pans to make three separate dishes. I can use it as a slow cooker, roaster, or a steamer, though I have never done the steaming part. It comes in handy for making whole chickens, roasts, and stock.

I also have a Crockpot which has two crocks. A standard crock, and a divided crock, which allows me to make two meals at one time.  I typically use my Crockpot for my Salsa Chicken, Pepper Steak, pork carnitas, etc. Another item I use often is my pressure cooker. My pressure cooker, I typically use for when I cook steaks with mushrooms and onions. It can also be used to cook beef cubes, roasts, etc. It saves a lot of time with meal prep as it's so quick!

Once meals are completely cooked, I measure them out into Rubbermaid or Gladware containers using my 21 Day Fix containers to measure. In meals such as meatloaf or chicken, I will measure out a serving of seasoned brown rice, a baked red skin potato topped with a tsp or so of beef or chicken broth and a bit of real butter for flavor (some may or may not like the texture freezing makes, so choose a carb side of your choice if you don't like the texture). I also measure out a serving of frozen veggies to round out my meal.

I also sometimes make Mac-n-cheese using squash to make it creamy and less cheese. I do the noodles just under done to freeze, so they do not turn to mush when thawing and reheating. Works for me. I do not find them to turn to mush this way. Maybe test a small serving to see how it goes for you before doing a whole batch.

I make both meatloaf and meatballs using the same exact recipe. It just saves me time as I can double or triple the recipe and have two different meals. Meatballs I measure out and cook them right in mini muffin tins. meat loaves can be measured out and baked as a traditional loaf then sliced, or as I like to do, measure out and bake in a jumbo muffin tin.

Here is a link to how I make my Meatloaf, Crockpot Salsa Chicken, as well as my Crockpot Pepper steak (note, I omit the sugar and the cornstarch in the Pepper steak recipe) :

I personally do NOT count the veggies, oatmeal, or eggs, when I make meatballs, meatloaf etc. As they say, we didn't get unhealthy eating veggies! And the eggs are mixed with the meat so counted as part of the red anyway, and the oatmeal, I use 1/2 cup dry, which is equivalent to two servings on the 21 Day Fix.  It's divided between approx 8-10 servings, so really is not much per serving; maybe 1/4 a serving or less.

So there you have it... how I plan and execute my freezer cooking. Please feel free to message me if you have any questions at all. I'd be happy to answer the best I can.

Also Note: If you decide to look through the other recipes on my blog, please realize this blog was started about 5 years ago when I first began my health and fitness journey; long before I knew anything about Beachbody or the 21 Day Fix.  I was successful at losing weight, however, I had not yet learned that there was more to a "diet" than portion control and counting calories. I believed then, that I could eat anything I wanted as long as I kept my portions in control. I have since learned, that is not true. A healthy body means eliminating the C.R.A.P. and eating clean healthy foods that are NOT full of additives, artificial flavoring, artificial colors, and artificial sweeteners.