Thursday, August 28, 2014

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal

While this breakfast is great right out of the oven, I often find myself making it the night before a big day and re-heating it in the morning. The last thing I want to worry about at 5am is what to eat..If you do go the re-heat route, make sure to add 2-3 tbsp. of almond milk to your bowl before sticking it in the microwave (the oats tend to dry out a bit overnight).



Ingredients:


2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 egg (whisked)
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups old fashion whole grain oats (or steel cut)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2.5 cups blueberries

Directions:
In a medium bowl, combine and mix the oats, berries, baking powder and cinnamon.
Pour the oat mixture into a 8x8in baking pan and spread evenly.
In a separate bowl, combine and mix the milk, egg, honey and vanilla thoroughly.
Pour the milk mixture over the oats and slowly shimmy the pan to ensure that everything is evenly distributed and coated.
Bake at 350F for 30-35min.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Quinoa Pizza Bites



Do you have Friday night pizza nights? These are so fun and are great for a guilt free snack!




Ingredients...

2 cups cooked quinoa
2 large eggs
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 cup chopped pepperoni slices (~1/2 of a 7 oz bag)
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried crushed oregano
pizza sauce for dipping

Instructions


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together all ingredients, except pizza sauce, in a medium mixing bowl.
Distribute mixture into a greased mini muffin tin, filling each cup to the top (1 heaping Tbs each), and press down gently to compact.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken

This recipe is perfect for busy family's during that back to school time of year. You can set it and forget til dinner time. We're having it for dinner tonight!! You could even make it ahead of time and freeze...


Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed you can go less on the chicken
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions


Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or on HIGH for 2-3 hours.  (Note: each crock pot is a little different so just keep an eye on your chicken and make sure it doesn't dry out).


Serve as taco's or topped with guacamole


To freeze

Place all ingredients in a  gallon-sized freezer bag. Mix together and zip bag closed.

When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours.
Enjoy!!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Reignite your Spark Challenge: Couples Edition!!

Are you competitive by nature?


Do you need a little extra motivation to get your butt in gear and get into shape?


Are you crazy busy and can't begin to comprehend how you can add fitness and healthy living into your life??


What if I told you that you team up with your significant other and compete with other couples while simultaneously growing your relationship with your spouse!?!?


Its true! Inferno Fitness presents the "Reignite your Spark            Challenge:
 Couples Edition"


How many of us get into a routine, and it seems like you are just going through the motions in life, in your relationship?? I know that's where Jared and I were. Neither one of us were particularly happy with our routines, and we certainly were not leading healthy, active lives. Here's a little insight in how we got it together as a couple!

Over the past year, Jared and I have made our health/fitness a priority.  We work out daily, we eat clean 80% of the time, and we make time for one another. Have your ever heard, the couple that SWEATS together STAYS together! We agree whole-heartedly!

Here's a little more about our journey. 

In July of 2013, I was 4 months postpartum after my 4th child, and at an all time high weight. In a nutshell, I was miserable. I hated everything about myself, I was lazy, and I had little hope for improvement. As a result, my relationship with Jared suffered. Not only our intimacy, or should I say lack there of, but any connection really. We both did our own thing, pouring all of our energy into our children and work. Our relationship was rather Blah!! I decided enough was enough, and I joined a challenge group on Facebook with a girl I barely even knew. I started with TurboFire and eating clean, while also drinking Shakeology daily. I decided this was it, if I was going to change, this was the means to do it. The right way, the healthy way. Forget the fad diets, pills, wraps, etc...it was time for some good ol' hard work.  I committed to press play everyday and the results were amazing. A few months in, I asked Jared to join me and we changed, together!!

We changed our eating, we pressed play together, and our relationship grew stronger in the process. WE encouraged one another, and we connected on a whole new level with a new common interest to bring us back together. We feel amazing, with more energy to play with our kids and more confidence. Through all the sweat, training, and tears, we just celebrated our 10 year anniversary last month, and we are truly closer than ever. WE WANT TO SHARE THAT WITH YOU!



So What is this Couple's Challenge all about?

As a couple, you select a challenge pack.  This is your toolkit with everything you need for the challenge. Jared and I recommend P90X3 ChallengePack or T25 ChallengePack  with 30 minutes or less for workouts and meal plans provided.  
Each challenge pack includes:
  • Your workout
  • Meal plan
  • First month of shakeology (you select the flavor), 
  • Daily accountability and motivation from us, your coaches.   

In some cases, couples select different workouts- this is completely your choice and Jared and I will help you select the workout that is going to best fit your goals! 

You will be added, as a couple, to a closed group on FACEBOOK to receive tips, recipes, meal plans, motivation and the essentials for understanding how to rock results LONG TERM!

Together you will workout (Jared and I workout together when we can, but sometimes our schedule doesn't allow it!),  you will complete a kitchen overhaul, and push one another to reach your own weight-loss goals.  Jared and I will also be sharing some of the obstacles we've faced, our tips for overcoming them, and the specific benefits we've seen by creating this lifestyle together.  

If you would like to be added to this group,  CLICK HERE! 
If you would like to be added to the group but need more information, CLICK HERE!

















Holy 3 Day Refresh!!


Have you been thinking of trying the new 3 Day Refresh from Beachbody?? We all know that nutrition is where the money is and that's the hardest part of maintaining or even loosing, keeping your clean eating in check. Let's face it anyone can workout an hour a day, but its the other 23 hours that are hard controlling what you put into your mouth.

My nutrition has not been where it needs to be especially in the last few weeks so I felt I needed something to give me that extra push or restart to get me back in the nutrition grind (um, hello 12 weeks out from my npc comp should have been motivation enough though, right?!?)
I had been thinking of trying the 3 Day Refresh since hearing about in Las Vegas at the end of June.  After seeing a ton of my friends results, and taking a look at what all was entailed and how it worked I knew it was just what I needed to break the code and jump back into taking my nutrition more serious. But before we dig in I feel inclined to give a little detail on what this program is all about.

Why Do The Refresh? Does any of these sound familiar?
• You need a clean break from a period of unhealthy eating.
• You used to eat pretty well but have recently fallen off the wagon and need some help getting back on.
• You want to jump-start healthy eating habits for a new workout program.
• You want to quickly lose a few pounds for an upcoming event.
• You’ve never been a healthy eater, but are ready to kick-start better nutrition for the first time.
• You want your clothes to fit better.
• You want more energy.
• You love food and want to be satisfied while you lose weight and get healthier.
• You’ve tried liquid fasts or other fad diets and they simply don’t work.

But What Exactly is the 3 Day Refresh?

It’s a 3-day program of Shakeology®, high-protein shakes, and digestive drinks, that is supplemented with an array of fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats that’ll keep your energy and metabolism up, while your weight goes down. 

 The 3-Day Refresh Complete Kit Includes:

During the Refresh you'll be drinking 4 Shakes/Drinks per day. And here they are:

SHAKEOLOGY for breakfast – Packed with potent superfoods, Shakeology starts each day of your Refresh with Your Daily Dose of Dense Nutrition® to help improve and support all your body’s vital functions, while also helping to maximize energy and maintain healthy blood sugar levels (available in your choice of 6 flavors, including vegan options—recommended).*

VANILLA FRESH shakes for lunch and dinner – This patent-pending, delicious, and protein-rich formula helps curb your hunger with more than 20 grams of wholesome plant-based protein, 22 essential vitamins and minerals, probiotics for digestive health, and a patented potato protein extract clinically tested to satisfy your appetite.*

FIBER SWEEP drink – Gently and naturally eliminates waste from your digestive system with its patent-pending blend of whole ground flax, chia, and psyllium seed husks.* As part of a healthy diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, Fiber Sweep can help lower cholesterol, support healthy blood sugar levels, and may even reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.*

PROGRAM GUIDE – This comprehensive guide walks you through how this program works, what to expect, and how to prepare your shopping list, as well as your body, for the 3-Day Refresh. It also contains a menu planner with numerous easy-to-make, nutritious, and delicious meals, a list of fruit and veggie options, guilt-free flavorings, and recipes for fresh-pressed juices.

My 3 Day Refresh Review & Results

Now that we have some of the details out-of-the-way, how did I do with the program? I have to say I was so excited to try this system and couldn't wait to see my results. I mean come on, it’s only 3 days. Anyone can do this for 3 days, but it’s the ones that will continue on that will feel even better for it.
I even did it with my friend Melissa for added accountability.


Here we go! The Refresh is designed to amp up my metabolism while helping me lose weight. The structure of the program is fairly simplistic and easy to follow. First we have our eating schedule (meal timing).
3 day refresh eating schedule
Meal Timing

Now that we have our meal timing [image above] we can start to lay the foundation to what we want to eat over the next 3 days. Each fruit, veggie and healthy fat options are given in a list in the program guide. Simply pick the ones you like.  Pretty cut and dry huh, below you’ll find our fruit, veggie and fat options to use on our refresh.
3 Day Fix Fruit Options
3 Day Fix Fruit Options
3 Day Fix Veggie Options
3 Day Fix Veggie Options
3 Day Fix Fat Options
3 Day Fix Fat Options

You can work out during the refresh but I wouldn’t recommend anything intense since we will be at a very low calories intake for the next 3 days. For me, I found a 10 minute ab workout from the 21 Day Fix program to be enough. It’s just been such a habit to workout that I didn’t want to lose that momentum. 

I started the 3 day refresh at a weight of 144.8 pounds which is higher than I have been in some time, but I attribute that to the last few days of “pigging” out. I lost control of my eating and started eating things that are terrible. Ugh, That’s one thing I wanted to accomplish with this program, getting over my sweets cravings. My other goal with this program is to break that weight loss plateau I hit awhile back.



Day 1 of 3 Day Refresh

Day 1 of my 3 day refresh review and I have to say I am pretty excited to get this thing going. I started my day with the large glass of cold water to get my water intake started right off the bat. They recommend us drinking 1/2 our weight in ounces so that was about 1 gallon for me. I woke up feeling a little hungry and was ready to get my first 3 day refresh program started.
For breakfast I could have shakeology and 1 serving of fruit, which you could blend together or eat separately. One thing I should mention is they recommend to do the VEGAN options for Shakeology as they are easier on your digestive system compared to the regular. For me, I went with the Vegan chocolate, (my first time trying it and it is delicious. Taste just like a fudgsicle to me!!) As for the fruit, I went with my favorite, strawberries. 
3 Day Refresh Day 1 Breakfast

The mid morning snack calls for another one of the refresh supplements called Fiber Sweep. While looking at the ingredients I noticed there is a lot of Omega 3′s. The directions say to mix well and drink promptly. I found out why very fast, as you mix the Fiber Sweep it thickens up rather fast, almost to an oil state. And if I’m honest it didn’t taste good either, but looking at it, I knew that already. It’s only 8 oz so I chugged it fairly fast and got it over with. We only drink the Fiber Sweep once per day for the 3 days so it’s definitely doable, just glad it’s only 8 oz.
3 Day Refresh Fiber Sweep

Lunch called for the next supplement, the Vanilla Refresh which is basically a vanilla protein powder. The taste of the Vanilla refresh was pretty good. It’s very similar to a vanilla bean flavor. I was excited to have lunch because it was another meal we get to actually eat some more food. I was allowed the Vanilla Refresh shake, 1 serving of fruit, 1 serving of veggie and 1 serving of healthy fats. They give us a list (image above) to choose from each category in the 3 day refresh guide so it’s really simple to plan out the meals. My lunch consisted of watermelon, celery sticks with almond butter and of course the shake.
3 day refresh day 1 lunch with Vanilla fresh


The afternoon snack time came around and this is where I could have a single serving of veggies and fats. My snack on day 1 was an avocado and a cucumber. Simple clean eating at it’s best.

Dinner time! At dinner we take our last shake in the form of the Vanilla Refresh and we can have a serving of one of the dinner recipes provided. For my day 1 dinner I went with the Roasted Asparagus Almonds. It was very tasty!!!

Day 1 Refresh Review

As day 1 of my 3 Day Refresh review came to a close I completed all my supplements and meals, and I met my water goals. Day 1 went well and I would call it a success. This system is easy to follow, probably the easiest nutrition plan I have ever tried to follow. I’m ready for day 2!

Day 2 of 3 Day Refresh

For day 2 of the 3 Day Refresh Review --I stuck to the guidelines and only used what was listed in the refresh program guide. I weighed in this morning, and I have already started to drop some weight, 142.8 lbs.



I started day 2 breakfast with my Vegan chocolate Shakeology and some pineapple slices.
By the time the mid morning snack came around I wasn’t feeling hungry which was a good sign. The Fiber Sweep is my scheduled mid morning snack and today it was much easier to drink. Maybe because I knew what to expect, either way it seemed better, but still not very good.
I have to admit that lunch time is becoming my favorite meal time during the Refresh. Today’s lunch included a full serving of strawberries, cucumbers and 1/2 an avocado and of course the Vanilla Fresh protein supplement.
refresh day 2 lunch
Snack time for day 2 came at the right time. I kept it easy peasy and had a tomato and 1/2 an avocado. Looking forward to my dinner.


Dinner on day 2 of my 3 Day Refresh review was great. I was torn between a few different recipes. I wasn’t in the mood to boil or bake anything so I decided on the “Cucumber and Tomato Salad” recipe from the program guide. Not a big fan of vinegar and this recipe calls for a few different kinds of vinegar, but hey I was willing to try it. I have to say it was AMAZING! In fear of possibly being hungry later this evening I saved the Vanilla Fresh shake for a little later in the evening and that seemed to really help battle any possible hunger issues.
Cucumber & Tomato Salad

Day 2 Refresh Review

Day 2 of my 3 Day Refresh Review went much better than day 1. I was a little more in control of what I was going to eat and knew what to expect. Day 1 came with a headache that I’m reading is caused from the body detoxing and low-calorie intake. I was glad to not have to deal with a headache on day 2.  Taking the last Vanilla Fresh shake later in the day also seemed to help. I have to say this was a big win for me, no headache, and no hunger for the win.

Day 3 of 3 Day Refresh 

Day 3 of my 3 Day Refresh Review is here and I will admit that I’m glad. I’m ready to eat some “real food” again, you know, like meat! This 3 day challenge has been great I have to admit that as well. It has really helped me get my nutrition back under control and I’m blown away by the results.


My day 3 breakfast mirrored my breakfast from yesterday. Vegan Chocolate Shakeology, pineapple slices and 1/2 a banana. Nothing like starting the day off right. This is such a good tasting and nutritious breakfast it almost feels like a “cheat meal”.
Day 3 breakfast


Mid morning snack time and you know what that means…Fiber Sweep time! Glad this was the last time I had to drink this, even though by the 3rd day it’s not as hard to drink today, but it still doesn’t taste that great.


For my final lunch (still my favorite meal of the refresh) I went with the Vanilla Fresh, which is really turning out to be tasty, a serving of cantaloupe for my fruit, celery as my veggie and 1/2 an avocado for my healthy fats.


I kind of screwed up my mid afternoon snack. I thought I had this 3 day refresh meal schedule down pat. I ate a serving of peppers and hummus, Yum!!


At dinner I had to try another recipe from the program guide. This time I chose the Kale and Pine Nuts recipe.  This was also the time for my final supplement (Vanilla Fresh) during the 3 Day Refresh. (forgot to take a pic of my dinner!!)

Day 3 Refresh Review

I have to say that day 3 was definitely the best day overall. No headaches, no hunger pains, no bloating. I actually feel really great right now. I feel thinner too, if that makes sense. I feel AMAZING.  Final weigh in is was 139.1 lbs Boom!!!!!!



Final Thoughts On Refresh

Pre-Refresh: Some people find doing a challenge like this easier by clearing out the fridge and pantry of any tempting food that my keep you from finishing. By doing this it will definitely take out the possibility of wavering.
During Refresh:  This is short and condensed version of the Ultimate Reset which is 21 days. Even though this is only 3 days you should notice your energy level increase ever so slightly (in the least) and your digestion will improve (making you more regular). And best of all, craving those certain “naughty” foods may dissappear…SCORE!
Post-Refresh: You should expect improved digestion, energy and some weight loss. The goal of this program is to jump-start you into better overall health wellness. It will help you break those poor eating habits and kick-start some healthy ones. For me, it also cracked a plateau I have been stuck in for months. After finishing the 3 days you will feel thinner, lighter and just healthier. I dropped 5.1 pounds and 4 inches with this program!!  My girlfriend also lost 5 lbs, not too shabby :)



My 3 Day Refresh Tips

 Be prepared! You may feel hungry at the end of the day (especially day 1), and you may have a headache. This is normal, many people deal with this, as I did. If you don’t feel you can make it through the night don’t be scared to add an extra serving of fruit or veggies. It’s not a big deal, we’re only talking about an extra 75-150 calories.
Don’t over do it! Don’t try to do the refresh while doing intense workouts like Insanity, T25 or P90X. I did some of the shorter ab/core workout from various Team Beachbody Workouts.
Chug It! The Fiber Sweep is not tasty at all (not too awful by day 3). Prepare it, mix it, close your eyes and CHUG IT. You only drink it 3 times.
 ** SPECIAL Tip **  For ongoing maintenance and continued progress, I HIGHLY recommend purchasing the 3 Day Refresh WITH the full supply of Shakeology which is known as the Challenge Pack.  You are saving money when it is bundled together AND you get to continue your progress long after the Refresh ends.  Win – win for YOU!