Wednesday, November 27, 2013

'Tis the Season (for me to miss working retail, shop like crazy and score some deals)

Not only is Thanksgiving completely overlooked in leu of Christmas by most places, yes Christmas
decor in the mall prior to Halloween, I am looking at you. But now Black Friday sales seem to extend the entire week of Thanksgiving. And while I am appalled at the amount of places open on Thanksgiving and as a former 8 year resident of the retail world, refuse to set foot in any of those places on said holiday (including the midnight sales--technically it isn't Thanksgiving anymore but that means employees need to be there by at least 10 to be ready to open at midnight!) I do love shopping on Black Friday.

I love waking up early and heading out. Scoping out places that don't have lines (because I never want a big tv, I wouldn't wait out in the cold for one no matter how cheap it is and those places only have like two of them. Totally not worth it.) Walking through the mall when it is still dark out, a big cup of coffee in hand. It is nostalgia for the days when I was there early to work. I loved working on Black Friday. I loved the crazy. I loved how fast the day went, how many of my employees I got to work with at once, the race of who could ring customers the fastest or who could keep sweaters in stock on the tables. It was such an awesome rush and one of the few days I really really miss my former job. So shopping that day allows me back a little piece of that. It isn't about the deals (although I do love getting some new jeans and workout pants when entire stores are 50% off for the day, I'm not gonna lie.) but it is really about that feeling, seeing some of my people, getting that feeling back for just a minute in the pit of my stomach -- the excitement is contagious.

But it's the Wednesday before Thanksgiving -- why am I talking about missing Black Friday when I should be prepping food for tomorrow?

Because if you can't beat 'em, join 'em so Beachbody is starting their Black Friday sale today at 12 noon PST.

Here is a round up of what you can score --

If you are my customer (to sign up for free click here) I am offering additional specials from noon today, November 27 through midnight on Saturday the 30th.

The Challenge Pack Special:

If you order a challenge pack Beachbody is giving you a $20 gift card back that is good on a future $30 purchase. There are a ton of ways to use this! But I am going to sweeten the deal by throwing in a $25 gift card from me. So you will get $55 to shop and the chance to enroll in one of my upcoming challenge groups where you get meal planning, recipes, accountability and all the tips and tricks I have learned this year.

What is a challenge pack?

A challenge pack is a bundle that includes a 30 day supply of Shakeology, a workout program, a 30 day trial of the Beachbody Club membership plus me as your coach. In addition to that you get the chance to enroll in one of my challenge groups on Facebook. They are a closed group where you get tips on meal planning, recipes, accountability and all the help and support you may need (and who doesn't need that during the holidays!)

The Shakeology Home Direct Deal:

For any new customer who signs up for Shakeology home direct, I am offering $10 cash back.  No strings attached. You place the order and I give you $10. 

Just looking for a workout program? 

Beachbody is offering some pretty awesome deals on a few of those too....

Here are a few of what I think are the best deals. To see all the Black Friday holiday promos click here

TurboFire: Complete System -- $99.95 (Regular price $239.40 --you save $139.45)

TurboFire is probably one of my favorite workouts of all time. If you follow me on Facebook, you have seen me rave about this over and over. So I am super stoked that they are offering it at such a great price. This is such an amazing deal and I am super jealous it wasn't available when I ordered my copy of Turbofire! You are saving of 58% on my favorite program. 

So here is what you get:

Chalene Johnson’s TurboFire: The Complete System includes 17 total workouts that range from 10 minutes to 55 minutes. Here is what you get:

Fire Starter Class: Master the TurboFire moves as Chalene breaks them down for you at a slower pace, so you can be ready for the HIIT classes.
Low HIITs: Low HIIT 20 / Low HIIT 25 Classes Don't let the "low" (as in low-impact) fool you-these high-intensity workouts ignite the AfterBurn Effect to help you keep burning calories.

Fire HIITs: Fire 30/Fire 40 /Fire 45 /Fire 55 Classes Actively recover from the HIIT classes while melting the fat away with these longer cardio classes, which include the HIITs you love, created by Chalene.

Extreme HIITS: HIIT 15/ HIIT 20/ HIIT 25 Classes Give your max for up to 1-minute intervals during these classes, and you can burn calories for up to 24 hours AFTER your workout's over!

Sculpt 30 Class/Tone 30 Class: Develop shapely muscles with Chalene's challenging resistance classes.

Core 20: Chalene's most popular class targets your tummy with moves that deliver incredible abs.

Stretch 40/ Stretch 10 Classes: Increase your flexibility, reduce soreness, and lengthen your hardworking muscles by warming down after your HIIT and Fire classes.

And because it is the Complete Program -- you also get the Deluxe DVD's listed below. 

TurboFire Deluxe DVD's + Tracker Journal -- $29.95 (Regular price $59.70--you save $29.75)

These are the add on DVD's that don't come with the base kit. There are 6 DVD's including:

  • Fire 60 Class: Whip roundhouse kicks and watch those extra pounds sizzle away.
  • HIIT 25 Class: Experience the most intense fire drills yet with Chalene.
  • HIIT 30 Class: Push yourself even farther with 11 fire drills in this intense class.
  • Lower 20 Class: Get the lean, shapely legs, butt, and core of your dreams.
  • Upper 20 Class: Looking for lean, “don’t mess with me” arms? Then this class is for you.
  • Abs 10 Class: Get tight, flat abs in no time with this short, efficient core workout.

For more info on TurboFire click here

Insanity: The Asylum + Free Chin Up Bar -- $89.85 (Regular Price $149.95 -- you save $60.10)

This is a 30 day program that utilizes sports specific training to build speed, agility, coordination and power. 

You get 6 intense workout DVD's: 

  • Speed & Agility: Get quick on your feet—fast, with this intense cardio workout. (45 minutes)
  • Vertical Plyo: Jump higher than ever with this lower-body training routine. (40 minutes)
  • Relief: Stretch out to build long, lean muscle and increase your flexibility. (25 minutes)
  • Strength: Increase your strength and power by cross-training with weights and resistance. (50 minutes)
  • Back to Core: Build the rock-solid core, glutes, and hamstrings for the explosive power you'll need to play and dominate at an elite level. (45 minutes)
  • Game Day: Put your new sports skills to the test with this cross-training workout. (60 minutes)
You also get an agility ladder, speed rope, the nutrition plan, guide book, a workout calendar and two bonus workouts: 
  • The Sports Performance Assessment: Discover the improvements you've made in your fitness and skills with this performance measurement tool. (25 minutes) 
  • Overtime: Add this 15-minute monster to any Asylum workout to see if you've still got game.

For more info on The Asylum click here

P90X + Free Chin Up Bar-- $119.85 (Regular Price $179.70 -- you save $59.85)

P90X includes 12 sweat-inducing, muscle-pumping workouts, designed to transform your body from regular to ripped in just 90 days. The secret is an advanced training technique called Muscle Confusion, which accelerates your results by constantly introducing new moves and routines so your body never plateaus.
Here's what you get with P90X:

12 Diverse and Intense Workouts:
  • P90X - 01 Chest & Back. Targeted strength and definition workout emphasizes two classic upper-body exercises.

  • P90X - 02 Plyometrics. Explosive jumping cardio routine, proven to dramatically improve athletic performance.

  • P90X - 03 Shoulders & Arms. A potent combination of pressing, curling, and fly movements that will leave you stronger and more defined.

  • P90X - 04 Yoga X. Combines strength, balance, flexibility, and breath work to enhance your physique and calm your mind.

  • P90X - 05 Legs & Back. Squat, lunge, and pull in a total-body workout like no other.

  • P90X - 06 Kenpo X. Intense cardiovascular workout includes punching and kicking for endurance, balance, and coordination.

  • P90X - 07 X Stretch. Achieve a higher level of athleticism, prevent injuries, and avoid plateaus.

  • P90X - 08 Core Synergistics. Build and support the core while conditioning your body.

  • P90X - 09 Chest, Shoulders & Triceps. Targeted strength and definition workout emphasizing two classic upper-body exercises.

  • P90X - 10 Back & Biceps. Flex your powerful biceps, and focus on toning and tightening those showcase upper-body muscles.

  • P90X - 11 Cardio X. Low-impact, fat-burning cardio routine.

  • P90X - 12 Ab Ripper X. Sculpt an incredible six-pack and improve your physical performance.
You also get 5 P90X Plus Advanced Workouts (on 4 DVDs):
  • Interval X Plus. Propel your heart rate up and down with 3 speeds: recovery, medium, and full-out, creating the most dramatic change in the shortest period of time.

  • Kenpo Cardio Plus. This advanced-level Kenpo, with new moves, will shred the most stubborn layer of fat with an all-out self-defense workout.

  • Upper Plus. This monster upper-body workout will defy the plateau phenomenon by blasting all the muscles from the hips on up.

  • Total Body Plus. By adding new synergistic moves, your muscles get pumped, then recuperate in stages until you've got nothing left.

  • Abs/Core Plus. This workout adds 4 different positions (hanging, sitting, standing, and plank positions) to intensify your ab work and shred your midsection even faster.
Plus, get these informative tools:
  • 3-Phase Nutrition Plan. Designed to help you lose fat, build lean muscle, and maintain high energy levels through each part of the program.

  • P90X Fitness Guide. Packed with information and tools to help you set your workout goals, track your progress, and stay inspired.

  • How to Bring It Video. Get a quick overview of the complete P90X Extreme Home Fitness training system.
And get these tools to keep you motivated:
  • P90X Calendar. Lets you know exactly what to do each day, set your workout goals, track your progress, and stay motivated.

  • Online Support. You'll have access to Tony and other fitness experts, and peer support from your fellow P90Xers.

For more info on P90x click here.

Wow that  is a lot of info and those are only four of the promo's available. There are great deals on other things too so make sure you check it out (for a sneak peek check out the image below!) And of course I am always here if you have any questions or need anything. Just shoot me a message or send me an email to

Happy Shopping! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Bowl Full of Green (And this green bowl of pasta and veggies was awesome!)

If I told you I found a recipe that was super easy, yummy and healthy (also vegan and with the potential to be even gluten free -- if that's your jam--) who would call this girl a liar? Yeah, I would too. So I was super psyched when I tried a recipe buried in Chloe Coscarelli's cookbook. She is pretty much a kick a$$ vegan chef whose food is always amazing but not always clean.

easy vegan recipes, clean eating, quick and easy dinners, Chloe CoscarelliI found this recipe and was shocked I never paid it much attention -- probably because it didn't have a picture, let's be honest here. I tend to cook things that have nice pictures. It's what I do (don't judge me.) Recipes sans picture tend to get overlooked and never cooked. But as I was flipping through Chloe's Kitchen looking something easy I could have prepped and ready to go for my dear friend who offered to stay at my house and watch my child and my dogs for a weekend, I stumbled upon this recipe.

So I bought a giant tub of baby spinach, busted out my food processor and made three goes of the sauce (and froze two of them for later.) All she had to do was boil noodles and add some veggies to the same pot for the last few minutes of cooking and add the pre-made spinach pesto. I also just had her use a whole bag of frozen green beans that were already cut into small pieces and the entire bag of frozen lima beans. I figured the more veggies the better. Bulking up a pasta dish with veggies is a super easy calorie saver.

And the entire thing takes maybe 20 minutes. Quicker if your pesto is pre-made. Easy-peasy.

So here is the actual recipe:

1 lb of whole wheat pasta*
4 oz frozen green beans, cut into bite size pieces (about 1 inch)
10 oz frozen lima beans

5 oz fresh baby spinach
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions but with 5-3 minutes left on cook time add green beans and lima beans to the water. (Vary based on how crunch you like your veggies. I lean toward less time in the water and crunch veggies.) Let cook until veggies are tender and pasta is ready. Drain.

For the sauce, combine spinach, garlic, olive oil, water, lemon juice, salt and pepper. (I skipped the salt and pepper in the sauce just because I tend to like to add it to taste. After having it once I would go ahead and add both right into the sauce.) Pulse until combined.

Put the cooked pasta and veggies into a bowl and toss with the sauce.

And you have your bowl of amazing green goodness.

*the original recipe called for oreccheitte pasta -- I used spirals because I like how they grip the pesto.

**If you aren't looking to make this vegan, a little bit of fresh grated parmesan on top is yummy! I have to watch my dairy intake so depending on how my week has been, I skip this or add it. 


Making the most of the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas (at least 21 of them)

This year there are 26 days in between Thanksgiving and New Years.

holiday weight loss, avoiding holiday weight gain26 days between two different events that can be a nightmare if you are trying your best to eat healthy
and make the best choices. There is something about wine, gravy and sprinkle cookies that make me want to just throw it all out the window.

And that doesn't even take into account all the celebrations in between. Work parties, extended family parties that are scheduled early so the maximum amount of people can be there, parties with is so easy to have every weekend fully booked in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Or even between Thanksgiving and New Years.

Dear Santa, what I would like for Christmas this year is not to gain weight.

So this is how I am going to arm myself to have a totally healthy holiday season (and still enjoy all the family, friends, and fun Christmas themed cocktails that are available) and rock the little black dress I haven't worn in 4 years for New Year's Eve.

I am going to do a 21 day Holiday Shred.

Here is how it would work:

For 21 days I would put you in a closed Facebook group with others trying to achieve the same goal (including me! yay!) We will talk about clean eating, meal preparation, meal planning and everything you need to get set up for success. We will measure progress by not just using the scale but by measurements and photos (I know. Super scary but when you think you aren't making any progress it is amazing to see what you actually done in the photos. Believe me. I've been there!) Because this challenge is so short we will do this at the start of the challenge and again on day 21. 
holiday weight gain, holiday weight loss challenge
We will post daily in the group and rate our day on a scale of 1-5, 5 being the best and 1 being the worst. We will rate our diet and our exercise (basically how hard you brought it!) and whether or not we had our Shakeology.

We will commit to trying out Shakeology for the duration of the challenge. I know once I did it, I fell in love with the energy I had and how great I felt.  (*Side note* my nails look awesome. Better than when I was on prenatal vitamins. It is my current obsession since I have struggled with weak and peeling nails forever! One of the perks I didn't know I was going to get.) So Shakeology is going to fuel your body (key word fuel) with the vitamins and nutrients you need throughout the day. And there is a 30 day guarantee on Shakeology so if it isn't working for you, we'll talk (and you get your money back.) --For more on my experience Shakeology read this.

We will eat clean. (For more info on what that means read this.) But basically just strive to eat real, whole food. No chemicals and no processed food. I will provide you with recipe ideas, meal planning and all the tools that have worked so far for me on this journey.

We will also commit to working out 5-6 days a week. I don't care if you run, walk or lift. Just get that body moving! If you already workout regularly think about stepping up your game. Adding some weight training to your cardio. If you don't have an exercise regimen we can talk about options. If you are interested in trying a Beachbody program, we can talk about that too and get you set up with something that totally works for you. There are so many options outside of P90x and Insanity (which I feel gets all the love) so if hard core intensity isn't for you, we can totally find something that is. I am currently doing a combination of Chalene Extreme and TurboFire and am in LOVE with with both. TurboFire really gives my inner cheerleader some much needed attention. And Chalene Extreme makes me feel super strong and like a total bad a$$ -- because that is what lifting weights does to me. I have found success with the at home programs from BeachBody because they are a killer workout and they all come with a schedule. So I can wake up, get my toddler some breakfast and toss in a movie, look at the schedule, pop in a DVD and press play. I don't have to worry about getting her ready to go to the gym with me or what series of exercises I am going to do that day. I know me and I need that schedule. I get really freaked out if I am going to miss a day and "mess up" the schedule or the order. But whatever works for you, we will make it happen.

Plus I will give you daily motivation, tips and tricks and share all the research I have accrued over the last few months.

But there are so many parties and it will be so hard....

Yes. Parties are hard to navigate. I have always had the fear of missing out on food and wanting to make sure I get to taste everything. I mean what if I miss the very best thing at this party? What if I never get to have it ever again? 

The goal of doing this is not avoiding temptation and saying no to every party invitation that comes in the mail this year. It is about learning how to navigate those situations so you still get to enjoy everything about the holidays. (Because isn't the point really about seeing friends and family and not so much about eating so many cookies it would put Santa to shame?) We will talk about dealing with the hustle and bustle -- some of the best ways to deal with having so much to do and so many places to go that it makes the entire holiday season just seem like a whirlwind (and makes me just want to lay on the couch to take a nap!) 

But there is something so nice about having a group of people with a common goal to help get you though it. There will be bad days and bad choices but you always have somewhere to come back to that gets you right back on the wagon. 

Taking it up a notch....

I am also going to kick it up a notch by starting my 21 day shred with a Shakeology cleanse. This is not required for the group but it is something I have found to really start things off strong. It totally gives me the motivation to bring it for the duration of the challenge. (And after the four Thanksgiving dinners I have to eat this year, it is something I really need to do.) For more info on the cleanse read this or for my first cleanse experience you can click here. If you are interested in the cleanse (and only the cleanse) give me a shout. I have cleanse kits available that come with instructions and all the Shakeology you need. 

So how do I make this happen?

This is going to kick off December 2nd -- the Monday after Thanksgiving. 

Enrollment is open now. Send me a message or an email to with any questions or to get signed up! 

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