Saturday, February 28, 2015

21 Day Fix Round 2!!!

Sooooo these were my round 1 results with the 21 Day Fix! I can't lie I'm pretty proud of them...the after pic was about 3 months postpartum.  Unfortunately once I completed the program I felt that I had earned a break so to speak.  All that earned me was landing myself right back at ground zero plus an additional 2 lbs.  Today is day 6 of my second round of this program, and boy am I fired up about this!!  We all mess up here and there what's important is realizing what happened and having the strength to pick yourself up and get back in the game.  Lesson learned I need the challenge groups that I host to hold myself accountable!!  I need the the motivation and support that the groups offer, changing your whole lifestyle isn't easy!! Having others to go through the transformation (mentally and physically) with gives you an extra reason to show up each day and make the very most of this journey. :)  I love the portion control aspect of the 21 Day Fix and I've been having a blast coming up recipes that fit with the nutrition plan!  Make sure you look through this blog for yummy 21 Day Fix Approved recipes!  I also really like the workouts they're only 30 minutes long and perfect for me to do during Paige's nap time.  Bonus they're not too challenging and they have a modifier if you're just starting your journey.  For this round I've decided to bump up my weights LOL take things to the next level if you will!  I can honestly say that quitting and then starting back up again was painful...not just on the waistline.  I have been so sore these past few of days, thankfully it's starting to fade.  Today is going to be the Dirty 30!  It's challenging don't get me wrong but I love the feeling of accomplishment when I'm done!  Tomorrow I will be doing the Yoga Fix and then week 1 is's so crazy to believe and super exciting!! I'll keep updating this journey and post some progress pics as soon as I have some more to share!! :)  If you feel like this program is something that would fit with your goals and lifestyle fill out the form below and I'll get in touch with you, I love having new people in our accountability groups!! Cheers :)

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Friday, February 20, 2015

I started working out...WHY am I gaining weight?!

I ADORE Chalene Johnson!! If you're not familiar with this amazing woman you need to check out her website here!  Also make sure you listen to her podcast it is full of great advise that you didn't even know you needed LOL!! Not going to lie I listen to her daily :)  The following article is from and it is a great one!  Chalene discusses why so many of us experience some weight gain when we begin a new fitness program...believe it or not it happens all the time you can't let it stop you!!  Keep on pushing towards your goals and enjoy Chalene's WORDS OF WISDOM!! :)

By Chalene Johnson

Probably the most common question I get when I release a new exercise program is, "Help! I'm gaining weight! Am I doing something wrong?" This is a common phenomenon with any new exercise program.

The motivation to start a new exercise program is almost always to lose weight. However, what most personal trainers know--and most at-home exercisers do not--is that a new exercise program often can cause an immediate (and temporary) increase on the scale. (Notice I didn't say weight gain! I'll explain.) This common increase in the scale is also the reason why perhaps millions of people start and then quickly quit their resolution to get fit.

The temporary weight gain explained:
When someone starts a new exercise program, they often experience muscle soreness. The more intense and "unfamiliar" the program, the more intense the muscle soreness. This soreness is most prevalent 24 to 48 hours after each workout. In the first few weeks of a new program, soreness is the body trying to "protect and defend" the effected or targeted tissue. Exercise physiologists refer to this as delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS.

This type of soreness is thought to be caused by tissue breakdown or microscopic tears in muscle tissue. When this happens, the body protects the tissue. The muscle becomes inflamed and slightly swollen due to fluid retention. This temporary retention of fluid can result in a 3- to 4-pound weight gain within a few weeks of a new program. Keep in mind that muscle soreness is not necessarily a reflection of how hard you worked. In fact, some people feel no signs of muscle soreness, yet will experience the muscle protection mechanisms of water retention and slight swelling.

Most people are motivated enough to put up with this temporary muscle soreness. Yet, many, especially those who really need immediate weight loss to keep them motivated, become discouraged and quit!

When I worked with a group of 70 test participants during the development stages of ChaLEAN Extreme, this happened. Who was the most upset and discouraged? You guessed it... the women! I'm happy to report absolutely for every single woman (and man) in our group, the weight increase was temporary and never lasted more than two weeks before they started to see a major drop in the scale. However, these people had the advantage of working with someone who was able to explain to them why this was happening and assure them the weight would come off if they stuck to the nutrition plan and stayed true to the program.

If you follow a multi-phase exercise plan, such as ChaLEAN Extreme, keep in mind that when you start each phase, your body will be "in shock" again. Don't be surprised or discouraged if you experience a temporary gain on the scale the first week of each phase.

My own personal example of this is running 10Ks. I don't do it very often, maybe once or twice a year. Even though I run on a regular basis, when you run a race, you push much harder. It's natural for me to be insanely sore the next day. It’s also very common for me to see the scale jump 4 pounds the next day from forcing fluids post race and the resulting DOMS. Even though I know the cause of it, it's still a bummer. We're all human and hard work should mean results. Hard work equals results, but our bodies are amazing machines and they know how to protect us from hurting ourselves. Soreness forces you to give those muscles a break. Ultimately you will lose the weight and you will change your metabolism in the process.

The key is understanding that this is a normal and temporary and stick with the program!

When to be concerned:
If you experience a significant weight gain (exceeding 5 pounds) that does not begin to decrease rapidly after the second week, guess what it is? I'll give you one hint... you put it in your mouth and chew it. You know it! Your food (or calorie-laden beverages). News flash, friends… exercise doesn't make you gain weight. Consuming more food than you burn makes you gain weight!

So if after two weeks you are not losing weight and have gained weight that's not coming off, it's time to take a close and honest look at your food intake.

Moral of the story:
Be patient young grass hopper. You'll be lean and mean in no time!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Amazing Turkey Chili

There are few things better than a delicious bowl of warm and comforting, not to mention easy and healthy!  This is my go to recipe for chili and it's a hit with all ages :) I like to let mine come together in a slow cooker on low heat, if you don't have one however a large pot on the stove will do the trick!  As you already know I'm a fan of spicy food!  LOL if you are not please feel free to omit or decrease the amount jalapenos and cayenne pepper.  This chili really is crowd pleaser and perfect for get's been a great addition to our Football Sundays!  One extra thing that I love is that it freezes beautifully, just put your leftovers in a freezer bag pop in the freezer and you have an easy and healthy dinner ready to go when you're short on time!!  Alright so with no further ado I give AMAZING turkey chili recipe!! :)

Amazing Turkey Chili

20oz Cooked Ground Turkey
3 Cups Butternut Squash (chopped)
1 Sweet Onion (diced)
3 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
2 Bell Peppers (chopped)...I like red and yellow for this recipe :)
2 Jalapenos (diced)
1-16oz Can Kidney Beans (low sodium drained & rinsed)
1-16oz Can Black Beans (low sodium drained & rinsed)
1-28oz Can of Diced Tomatoes (low sodium if available)
1-14oz Can of Tomato Sauce (low sodium if available)
1-6oz Can of Tomato Paste (low sodium if available)
4 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
*Optional plain greek yogurt and chopped green onion for garnish

Turn heat on slow cooker to low add sweet onion and cover.  Once your onions begin to sweat add your bell peppers and squash and cover once more.  While your ingriedients are beginning to heat up start cooking your ground turkey on the stove.  When your turkey is cooked all the way through and crumbled add to slow cooker and mix well with chili powder and cayenne pepper.  Add all remaining ingredients to slow cooker stir to combine everything and reduce heat to low.  Allow to simmer for 4 hours before serving.  Dish up chili and top with a dollop of plain greek yogurt and a sprinkle of chopped green onion if you would like :)  Serving size for the 21 Day Fix is 1 1/2 cups and counts as 1/2 Red, 1 Green, 1 Purple and 1 Yellow... ENJOY!!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

There's nothing better than a tasty homemade sauce.  And this one never fails to impress company :)  It's extremely versitail too!! Not only is it a great spaghetti is awesome for pasta bakes (check out my pasta bake recipe here!) and amazing as a pizza sauce!  I love tossing this lovey sauce on top of some zucchini noodles.  You'll notice that the recipe calls for 16 oz of Italian turkey sausage, I've also used Italian chicken sausage and it turned out great...just go with whatever is available to you.  I like to make this in the slow cooker, it makes the house smell wonderful and lets the flavors really come together.  This makes quite a bit I always freeze most of the leftovers that way we can have a quick, healthy, and tasty meal ready at the drop of a hat!  Serving size for 21 Day Fix is 3/4 cup and counts as 1/2 Purple, 1/2 Red, and 1/2 Green. ENJOY!! :)

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour

20oz Ground Turkey 
16oz Ground Italian Turkey
1 Large Sweet Onion Diced
16oz Mushrooms Chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic Minced
2-28oz Can Crushed Tomatoes (low sodium and organic if available)
1-14oz Can Tomato Sauce (low sodium and organic if available)
2 Tbsp Dried Oregano
1 Tbsp Dried Basil
1 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 Go ahead and get your slow cooker set up and put the temp on high.  Pour your olive oil over the bottom, toss in your diced onions, and cover with the lid so the onions can sweat and soften.  Stir the onions every 5 minutes or so to prevent sticking.  Once the onions start to soften add in the chopped mushrooms and garlic.  Meanwhile in a large skillet over medium heat saute all of the ground turkey until it is cooked all the way through.  Drain the meat and add to your slow cooker.  Add in all of your spices and stir until well mixed.  Slowly pour in crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce stirring in between each can.  Cover and leave on high heat for about 1 hour until sauce is heated all the way through, taste sauce and add more spice if you'd like (if you like heat add in some cayenne).  Reduce heat to low until you are ready to serve...ENJOY!! :)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken

I loooooove shredded chicken!!  This chicken is perfect to throw on top of your salad, use for a quick wrap, or just enjoy it as is with a little dijon mustard :) And I really love that this is cooked in the slow cooker with frozen chicken...I'm a weirdo and hate handling raw meat!!  You can change up the spices however you would like, I like the combination that I've used here because it's not overwhelming and just gives the chicken a little flavor boost!  Also you'll notice that I use water for my liquid...feel free to use chicken or veggie stock if you would like.  I just try to eliminate salt wherever I can and store bought stocks (even the low sodium ones) are packed to the brim with salt!  Plus most chicken has some sort of sodium injection to preserve the meat...whatever it is what it is!  Anyways here are the details...I hope you enjoy and remember this recipe is 100% customizable!!  If you have a favorite spice blend go ahead and toss that in :)  I'm following the 21 Day Fix meal plan so I like to portion my chicken out into easy to grab bags, that way I know I'm eating the right amount!

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 3 Hours
4 Frozen Chicken Breasts
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tsp Onion Powder
1/2 Tsp Cayenne
1/4 Cup Water

Get out your slow cooker and pour in the water.  Mix all of your spices together.  Place two of your chicken breasts in your slow cooker and sprinkle half of your spice mix over the chicken.  Put in the remaining chicken and top with the rest of your spices.  Cook on high for 3 hours, turn chicken halfway through cooking time.  When chicken is cooked all the way through (internal temp of 165) remove from the slow cooker and shred using two forks.  Portion out your chicken and you're all set!! Enjoy :)