Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Basil and Peach Pork Chops

I have a new found love for the combination of peaches and fresh basil. It started by subbing peaches for tomatoes in a caprese salad before all the peaches I had on my counter began to rot. It was truly one of the best things I've ever thrown together to see what might happen in the kitchen.  And now I don't want to eat anything peaches without some fresh basil.

We have been getting a lot of pork from our meat share at 1st Generation Farms and I am thrilled to have found a new summer goto recipe for them since my previous pork goto included a crock pot and sauerkraut and typically tasted best with a side of Sunday afternoon football. Add in the fact that I used the peaches and basil from my CSA and I feel like a true locavore, supporting local farms and eating fresh and in season. It makes my heart sing.

So I've done cooked down peaches over pork before and it's pretty complimentary. BUT this time I added some basil and it took it to the next level. Not to toot my own horn but *toot toot* this may have been one of the best dinners I ever made.  So far I've made it twice. Once with the bourbon butter sauce and once with some Paleo substitutions to make it compliant for my Whole 30.

The substitutions didn't really alter the awesomeness of this recipe, even if saying a bourbon butter sauce makes it sound so much tastier. (Because it does. I've gone over it in my head and will always want to choose the one with the bourbon and butter sauce.) Truth be told,  it wasn't as sweet (skipped adding a little maple syrup) and it didn't have quite the depth of flavor from the bourbon but it was still summery and glorious. I subbed ghee in for the butter so there was still a buttery sauce even if ghee doesn't sound quite as delicious and buttery as butter. But really WHY HAVE I NOT BEEN TOLD ABOUT THE GLORIOUSNESS OF GHEE AS A COOKING FAT BEFORE NOW. Or why have I not paid attention. Because it rocks my socks.

I am going to post both variations below.

Happy Eats!

Peach & Basil Pork Chops

  • 4 bone in pork chops (or whatever you have on hand)
  • salt & pepper - to taste
  • dried basil - to taste
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ghee (or other cooking fat)

  • 1/2 small onion, diced*
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 fresh peaches, sliced
  • 1/2 cup homemade chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup**
  • a handful of fresh basil, cut into long thin strips (chiffonade)
  • 2 TBS bourbon**
  • 2 TBS grass fed butter (or ghee)

Sprinkle pork with salt, pepper and dried basil.

Add 1-2 teaspoons ghee to a large skillet. Add pork to skillet and cook until browned on both sides. About 3 minutes each side.

Remove from pan and keep warm.

Add onion and garlic. Saute until onion begins to become translucent. Add peaches and broth and maple syrup. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally for another 3-5 minutes. I like to make sure the peaches are getting good and cooked down. Add bourbon, ghee and fresh basil. Cook for 5 minutes until sauce looks like it is beginning to thicken.

Pour on top of pork chops and garnish with more fresh basil if desired.

Enjoy and marvel at the healthy, fancy pants dinner you just made.


*I think green onion or glamming it up with some shallots here would be amazing but I only had a small yellow onion on hand. It is what it is.

**skip for 21 Day Fix or Paleo/Whole 30 (trust me it's still good)
** sub apple cider vinegar for 21 Day Fix or Paleo/Whole 30

21 Day Fix Containers:
1 red
1 purple
2 Teaspoons

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Quick and Easy Watermelon Frozen Yogurt Pops

I have been toying with the idea of getting popsicle molds for a while. And I look at some. And add them to my Amazon cart. And delete them from my Amazon cart and figure I will just wait and get some when I need them.

Well I recently moved into an area where the ice cream truck comes multiple times a day. Playing it's Pied Piper music that drives my four year old to the place where she has to have a popsicle or she is going to lose it. (She is just slightly dramatic.) And since we weren't even close to summer when this started happening, I figured I needed to bit the bullet and finally commit to some ice pop molds.

And in my best fashion, I continued to put it off. We found ourselves in mid-July when I finally gave in and ordered some molds. And then a few weeks later I ordered another set because they were awesome. And I was kicking myself for waiting that long in the first place.

The molds we ended up with were FoodWorks Silicone Popsicle Molds and I fell in love with them for a few reasons.

  • They weren't a drippy mess. I had visions of my four year old coming in the house or standing in my kitchen with popsicle goo dripping on my floors and down the front of here. With these, even if she takes forever to eat them they are a squeezy tube. No drippy messes.

  • The caps seal really well. I was a little bit afraid to just stick the cap on and throw them into the freezer on their sides or wherever I could stick them. But no problems. And B can recap hers, stick it back in the freezer and finish it another day (that doesn't typically happen but at least its an option.)

  • I can stick them anywhere I want in the freezer. I don't need to have space for a stand or holder or a flat area where they need to be chilled so they don't spill everywhere. 

  • Dishwasher safe. Enough said. 

For the past month we have been playing with recipes. This one is my absolute favorite. 

Watermelon Lime Yogurt Pops

What you need:

2 cups of cubed watermelon
3/4 cup greek yogurt* 
Juice of 2 limes (about 1 TBS)
Sweetener of choice to taste**

Blend it all together. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze and enjoy! 

* to make them dairy free I have also used coconut milk yogurt
**I used about a tablespoon of raw honey to sweeten ours

21 Day Fix Conversion: (For 2 popsicles)

2/3 Purple
1/3 Red 
1/2 Teaspoon (if using honey)

(Truthfully...there is so little greek yogurt per serving that I tend to not count it. Especially if I only have one. Because 1/6 of that container is like an extra bite of chicken. I would be a little more concerned if it was something I ate everyday.) 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Grain Free Lamb Meatballs (with Greek Yogurt Tzatziki Sauce)

I kind of have a Greek food obsession. If I was going to move overseas I would want to head to Greece and just eat olives and feta and stuffed grape leaves all day long. I also look forward to all the summer food festivals that include gyro stands and the especially the festivals put on by the local Greek churches. I could go crazy. So this little gem of a recipe also helps fill that I need some Greek food now and can't possibly wait until summer craving. It is seriously handy in January.

So this is what I did:


For the meatballs:

1 1/2 lbs ground meat (I used a mix of grass fed beef and lamb feel free to use all lamb)
Juice of half a lemon
1 1/2 TBS coconut oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp dried rosemary (or 1 1/2 tsp fresh)
1/2 tsp dried oregano (or 1 1/2 tsp fresh)
1 tsp salt (I used Himalayan Salt)
1/4 tsp black pepper

For the tzatziki sauce:

3/4 cup greek yogurt*
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
Juice of 1/4 of a lemon (about 1 TBS)
1/2 tsp dried dill (or 1 1/2 tsp fresh)
1/3 tsp dried mint (or 1 tsp fresh)
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp salt

Grab a large bowl and mix together all of the meatball ingredients. (I use my hands. It works the best even if it does have an ewww factor.) You can let this marinade at room temp for 20-30 minutes or skip it if you don't have time. The flavor is better if you let it marinade but it's not a make it or break it factor for me.

Roll the meat into small meatballs (about 2"). Place on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes or until no longer pink in the middle.

While baking, make the sauce by placing all ingredients in a bowl and whisking together. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

I always serve this over Zoodle Salad.

*when I am avoiding dairy I sub with coconut milk yogurt

21 Day Fix Container Breakdown:

1 red (1/2 for sauce and 1/2 3 meatballs*)
2 green** (if adding zoodle pasta)

*varies based on what size you make your meatballs
** you can also measure out one green container here instead of two. I went for two because green is what I always tend to have left.

For more info on zoodles and why I am obsessed check this out.

The BEST Zoodle Salad (that you can top with just about anything!)

This is another one of my go to make a whole big batch to eat all week recipes. Why? Because it is super easy, has very few ingredients and tastes awesome alone or with pretty much anything on top of it. Shrimp, chicken, quinoa, lamb meatballs and tzatziki sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil and balsamic drizzle. You name it and it will probably work. Sometimes I switch up the herbs based on what I have (hello fresh cilantro or basil) and it still works.

AND I get to bust out my favorite kitchen tool to make it.

I have not been shy about the fact that I am in LOVE with my spiralizer and use it for everything from zucchini and summer squash to sweet potatoes and parsnips but I will tell you that this recipe may be my absolute FAVORITE from now on.

I have been following Danielle Walker on social media and  reading her cookbooks, Against All Grain and  Meals Made Simple (both of which are awesome by the way) and have been really just trying to cut back on the amount of grain that is in our diets. It's one of those things (like dairy) that until you really start to think about it you don't notice how much of it is everywhere. And too much of anything is not a good thing, so if I can make a yummy sub for noodles in a recipe with a veggie that offers way more nutrition, it's a win for everyone. Even my four year old gobbles them up and loves to help me turn the crank. She thinks watching the zucchini go from a whole zucchini to noodles is the coolest. And she likes feeding my puppies the "core" that gets left behind.

Here's what I did:


2 large zucchini
2 medium/large yellow summer squash
1 TBS cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano (or 1 1/2 tsp fresh)*
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 red onion sliced **

Using a spiralizer or julienne peeler, make noodles from the zucchini and summer squash. Toss with lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and salt. Allow to marinade for 15-20 minutes.

If I have tomatoes on hand I toss those in sometimes too.

And that's it. Super easy.

*I have also subbed in fresh cilantro, fresh basil or any other herb I have on hand depending on what I am serving the salad with and the direction I want to go. The oregano works well with lamb meatballs and tzatziki sauce, the cilantro works well with shrimp and chicken. And I like to add basil, tomato and fresh mozzarella for a different spin on a caprese salad.

** I have used almost any kind of onion in this salad (sweet, red, green, basically whatever I have on hand) and it is always amazing.

21 Day Fix:

2 green
1 spoon

(plus measure containers for any extras like quinoa, shrimp, chicken, cheese, etc)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Dinner in Fifteen Minutes - Shrimp Quinoa Bowl with White Wine Butter Sauce

am a big big fan of easy, especially when it comes to the kitchen. Yes I love healthy. Yes I love trying new things. BUT if there are a million steps or it takes me three hours odds are I am never going to try making it ever again. There are many other things I want to be doing (or need to be--like vacuuming.)
I have really really tried to put way more effort in when it comes to meal prep. I am at home all day with my kids so I don't need to prep the way someone who works a million hours a week needs to prep...but it never fails that when it comes to dinner time there is one disaster after another. Pretty soon we are all eating cereal or eggs (or I am frantically calling my husband telling him it's his turn to cook...which is code for pick up a pizza.) 

I have been adding in little meal prep ways here and there to make my week run more smoothly and it works. I will shout it from the rooftops that over the past two weeks making a few small changes has saved me what feels like hours in the kitchen. 

So far this is what I've done: 

1. Washed and cut fruit and veggies as soon as I get them from the store or the farm. 

2. Cooked a big batch of chicken instead of enough for one night. We have been tossing it on top of salads all week for easy lunches. 

3. Hard boiled a dozen and a half of eggs at a time. This is about what my largish sized pot holds (without having to bust out the giant soup pot that doesn't fit in the dishwasher!) We grab these all week for snacks or for a quick breakfast. 

4. Double or triple the amount of quinoa I need for a recipe. I love using this cold on my salads for extra protein (and to fill my yellow containers) but I usually have enough handy to toss into those recipes where having an already cooked grain saves loads of time. (This goes for rice or any other grain we are eating for the week.)

That's it. Four simple steps that helped me throw this together for dinner in under fifteen minutes. 

So here is what I did: 


1 16 ounce bag of frozen shrimp- thawed
1 cup of quinoa - cooked (I used truRoots Organic Quinoa )
1 bunch of asparagus (or whatever veggie you have on hand)
1 bunch of rainbow chard (or any type of green)
1 small bunch of garlic scapes - minced
3 small spring onions-minced
6 TBS dry white wine
4 TBS grass fed butter - divided**
salt and pepper to taste

Melt 1 TBS of butter in the bottom of a large pot or skillet. Add thawed shrimp, minced scapes and onion. Cook until shrimp is almost cooked through, stirring occasionally.

Add white wine, 2 TBS butter asparagus and chard stems. Cook a few more minutes.

Add cooked quinoa, stir.

Once almost all the liquid is absorbed (a minute or two) add chard leaves and last TBS of butter. Cook until slightly wilted* (about another minute.)

And dinner is done.

Yes. It was that easy and it tasted awesome.

*I prefer my greens barely cooked and a little bit crunchy. I think it helps keep them from becoming too bitter. Cook however you prefer your greens to taste.

21 Day Fix: 

I counted a cup and a half as a serving

1 yellow
1 green
1 red
3 spoons**

** I use grass fed butter once a week or so even on the Fix. You can sub with coconut oil or another healthy fat

Monday, June 1, 2015

Fixate - Another 21 Day Fix Tool for Success

One of the biggest challenges many of my clients come to me with when doing the 21 Day Fix or the Fix Extreme is recipes. And I know I have struggled with this as well. I have clocked many hours in the kitchen trying to fit my standby recipes into those Fix containers. Many times they end up being a big old failure but sometimes they totally rock. Either way it still adds up to lots of time in the kitchen. Now that I am juggling two kiddos my time to devote to such activities has been cut way
way down.

I was super pleased to wake up this morning to an announcement that will really change the game when it comes to the 21 Day Fix (and take A LOT of the work out of meal planning.) Autumn is coming out with a cookbook to work with the 21 Day Fix. She has taken 101 of her family recipes and made them container friendly. AND there are recipes in there that are vegan, vegetarian, paleo, and gluten free. 

"This book is for everybody," says Autumn. "You don't have to be graduates of 21 Day Fix or 21 Day Fix EXTREME®. You also don't have to be a chef or great in the kitchen. It's for anyone who wants to make healthier versions of the foods they love."  In addition to all of the recipes, Autumn also included a detailed checklist for her must-have kitchen and pantry staples, as well as the basic utensils and tools that every cook needs. So if you aren't familiar with cooking at home, this is a great tool to add to your healthy eats arsenal. 

Fixate will include sections for breakfast lunch and dinner, as well as snacks, desserts and even some Shakeology recipes. For a free sneak peek at some of the recipes click here.

Can't wait to get your hands on it? Fixate is going to be available mid-July.

Can it get any better?

Of course it can! Purchase one of the following from me this month and I will send you a FREE copy of Autumn's cookbook once it is released.

To join my June 21 Day Fix accountability group fill out the application below. 

Preseason begins begins June 22st with our official kick off date on June 29. I will be providing accountability, meal prep tips and tricks, recipes and MY 21 Day Fix and Fix Extreme meal plans including a 7 day Countdown to Competition plan.

I am so excited to help you achieve your goals! 

Fill out my online form.
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Monday, May 4, 2015

Clean Crock Pot Pork Roast with Pineapple Slaw

I like to make a lot of barbeque stuff in my crock pot and I am always drawn to recipes that include liquid smoke as an ingredient. This is something I never really heard of so I figured I would throw it on my list and check it out in the store. When I did, I decided that it was not something I was comfortable feeding to my kiddos. It was full of corn syrup, caramel color and a bunch of other stuff I try to avoid as much as possible. I figured I would just make do without it. Because I never really used it, I never really missed it.

But lo and behold another thing I was dying to make and there it was again. Liquid smoke. Ugh. So I decided to first figure out if it was possible to get liquid smoke that wasn't just chemicals made to add smoke flavor to your food. I stumbled upon this little clip (skip ahead to 9:07 for the bit about liquid smoke) showing how Alton Brown actually made his own. So if it can be made....it can be made without chemicals and gross stuff right? In theory. So since I didn't have a smoker to collect smoke drippings from, I set out to try and find a liquid smoke that didn't make me gag reading the label. The stores here really only carried one or two options so to the internet I went. After some searching I ended up ordering some Cedarhouse liquid smoke from Amazon. It only had three ingredients: water, mesquite smoke and hickory smoke.

It turned out pretty awesome. The smokey flavor was really subtle and didn't overwhelm the flavors of the dry rub.

Here's what I did:

For the pork--

1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups stock (I used homemade chicken stock)
1/2 of my pork dry rub mix recipe (or your favorite dry rub)
Pork Roast (I used a 2 lb roast)

For the slaw--

3 cups of shredded cabbage
1 cup of broccoli slaw mix
1/2 cup of homemade mayo (or a clean mayonnaise)
1 1/2 TBS apple cider vinegar
2 cups finely chopped pineapple
salt and pepper to taste

Rub the pork roast down with the dry rub. Place in slow cooker. Add stock, vinegar and liquid smoke. Cover and let cook 8 hours on low or 4 1/2 hours on high or until pork is cooked through.

Combine cabbage,slaw mix and pineapple in a large bowl. In a small bowl mix apple cider vinegar and mayonnaise.  Add to cabbage mix until it is evenly coated. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I served the pork alongside the slaw but it really and truly would make a really awesome sandwich.

21 Day Fix Containers used:

1 red
1 blue
1 green
1 purple

Saturday, May 2, 2015

My Very Favorite Pork Rub

Before I started reading and learning about food and where it comes from, my spice cabinet was pretty basic. Salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, basil maybe some paprika or rosemary. In the summertime, maybe some cilantro. I didn't branch out too much and I rarely used enough of a spice before it was brown and sad looking in its little jar.

Since then I have discovered things like that I love turmeric, cumin and coriander and that I would much rather have fresh herbs then dried. BUT those dried herbs do have an awesome place (other than being super handy when I can't find fresh ones or am feeling too lazy to mess with chopping them.) They can all come together to make a killer dry rub.

I have typically use this dry rub on pork but have used it on everything from pork tenderloin on the grill to a pork roast in the slow cooker. It is killer and totally my favorite.

Plus if I am following the 21 Day Fix I just cut the salt way back.

Here's what I did:

1 TBS coriander
1 TBS cumin
1 TBS ground fennel
1 TBS ground mustard
1 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS dried oregano
1 TBS onion powder
1 TBS salt (I use pink himalayan salt)
2 TBS paprika
1/2 TBS black pepper

Mix all spices together in a small bowl. Rub all over the meat.

This blend usually makes enough that I can halve it and store the rest in an airtight container for next time.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Being My Own Inspiration (or how I am getting my postpartum sh*t together)

Four Five Six weeks.

Of newborn stuff. Sleep deprivation. Middle of the night feedings. Night and day confusion.

Four weeks  Five weeks Six weeks of postpartum recovery.

For me that meant c-section recovery. Which was lot of sitting terrified that everything that can go wrong with my incision would. Again. Because last time that happened. All of it. I don't think I felt "normal" again for at least 3 months. So suffice to say I am babying this recovery as much as I can.

And four weeks five weeks six weeks of not really worrying (or caring) about what I was eating.

Some Easter candy here. A pizza or two there. Whatever was easy and available that was what I ate. To be totally truthful, I did balance this a little bit more than I thought I could. Shakeology is super easy so at least I was getting that in every day. AND thanks to some amazing and wonderful ladies we had some dinners dropped off too. Otherwise I am pretty sure we would have had takeout EVERY night for the last month. Because newborns are hard. And recovering from a c-section is hard too. I spent a lot of my time sitting. Not allowed to go up and down steps multiple times a day. Not getting up and down from my comfy chair too many times a day. More worried about making sure everyone was getting what they needed in terms of much more basic needs (like food, water and bathing although the bathing was sometimes overlooked) than making sure I had a very balanced, color coded happy Fix meal plan on the fridge. AND considering it has taken me an additional two weeks to even start to finish this little blog post I started, it is suffice to say that I have been more than overwhelmed.

In the last three months we bought a house, moved, had a second child, attempted to unpack and live in the new house, dealt with the stomach flu, newborn night confusion, constipation and general fussiness on top of normal crazy springtime stuff (and when your husband works in the construction industry springtime is FULL of crazy stuff. Crazy stuff we call normal.)

I am in fact sitting at my dining room table, looking at my neighbor's gorgeous flowering trees and wondering where in the world did the snow go? Because through the bleary eyes, midnight feedings and projectile vomiting springtime officially sprung. I made it through the requisite "recovery period" and am trying to come up with a plan to get myself and two small children to my 6 week postpartum appointment. While I sit in the midst of my half unpacked boxes, the weather has changed, preschool is wrapping up and I am waiting for inspiration to hit me.

Except it won't.

I know it won't. Because it didn't hit me last time.

Truthfully, I don't know that I had a good night's sleep in the first year of my daughter's life. With two I am guessing that is an ever rarer occurrence than seeing a unicorn prance down my sidewalk. Waiting for me not to be tired, to have the TIME and the ENERGY, waiting for someone else to inspire me to get my postpartum shit together is NEVER going to happen.

Because the only person who can make it happen is me.

I was trying to remember the last time I felt good. Felt great. Felt super awesome like I could do anything and I came up with two instances.

This past November between 20-25 weeks prego. Working out like crazy. Eating well. All the first
trimester yuck had been gone for long enough and the third trimester of aches and pains and nothing fits hadn't yet started. I was proud of how much I was able to do in this pregnancy compared to my first pregnancy. I had awesome energy and felt pretty damn amazing.


A little less than a year ago from today. The day we went outlet shopping and I bought some bright obnoxious hot pink workout pants that I absolutely loved. And I could pull them off. The day I really came to terms with accepting what non scale victories were and how important they were.

I know without a doubt I want to get back there and the only person who is going to get me there is me.

Six weeks until I know I am ready to start the well traveled road back to where I was with a little extra baggage. (Because now I have two girls and we don't pack light!) I know I will have to start slow. I know I will be frustrated because things won't move as fast as I want them to. I know I will have to keep myself from pushing through until I am really and truly recovered from this surgery.  I know that I will struggle to look at this as a recovery, doing a little more each day than jumping in headfirst.

So I am starting now. This week with a brand new 21 Day Fix approved meal plan and whatever the doctor clears me for after my appointment later this week.

And accountability is something that has to happen. So along with my super awesome, Insanity certified, now expecting and due in October sister, I am co-running a 21 Day Fix accountability group. 21 Day fix veterans, beginners, 21 Day Fix extremers or even 21 Day Fix dropouts (and we both fall into that category!)

Not only will we be there for accountability but you will have access to all of my Fix meal planning tools including my 3 weeks of meal plans and recipes.

We are kicking off on Monday May 11th!

To join us fill out the application below:

Fill out my online form.
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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Beachbody On Demand - Now Available

One thing many people don't know is that when you join Team Beachbody, there are two options for membership. The free account and the Club Membership. Most people opt for the free account and why wouldn't you? You get access to your coach (me!) and can contact me at the click of a button, access to the message boards in case you have a question or need some help from other team members, and you can use the supergym to log and track your workouts. I always tell my customers that the biggest benefit to the Club membership is the access to custom meal planning and recipes. BUT if you are like me, you may enjoy perusing Pinterest and cookbooks and coming up with a meal plan for the week. If that is the case there really isn't that much more to the Club membership besides the 10% discount on products. If you order supplements or things regularly, the discount may be worth it (but when that is the case, discount coaching typically is the most bang for your buck there.) Truthfully, I never really encouraged joining with the Club membership because I didn't see the benefit. 

Well that has all changed with the rollout of Beachbody On Demand. 

What does Beachbody on Demand Even Mean?

It means that Club membership that was kind of blah before is now worth it's weight in awesome. Now any workout that is in the Beachbody Member Library is available to stream to any of your devices. All you need is an internet connection. 

The digital versions of the program guides and workout calendars are also available. 

And the programs available for streaming in the Member Library aren't just the old workouts no one loves or uses or has never heard of (because that would be tricky and mean) but includes some of the biggest workouts available like P90X and Insanity. It also has two of my very favorite programs, TurboFire and Chalean Extreme. (No more having to pack those when I travel. Yay!)

Plus it offers a sneak peek into some of the newest programs Beachbody has to offer through the New and Noteworthy section so you can check them out BEFORE you commit. Curious about the new 21 Day Fix Extreme or PiYO? There are sample workouts there for you to try.  

There will also be a Purchased Programs section available soon. This will give you digital access to programs you have already purchased through TeamBeachody.com or Beachbody.com as they become available digitally. So there really is no need to pack all those discs anymore (unless you are headed to somewhere without internet connection.) 

Is Beachbody on Demand for me?

  • If you are on the fence about a program and like to try it before you buy it, the Club membership might be for you. 

  • Or if are you like me and you have a little bit of workout ADD and want to be able to switch it up between programs 

  • If you are someone who travels a lot and doesn't want the hassle of packing a program to bring along (or have to make the decision about WHICH program to bring!)

  • Or you want to be able to switch between programs to help keep your body guessing and maintain results 

How Much Does it Cost?

For what Beachbody is providing through the Member Library, I would expect the cost of this to be quite a bit. But the breakdown of this is about  $2.99 a week. This is billed quarterly for a total of $38.87. Your membership can also be canceled or changed at anytime so you aren't locked in for any set period. There are no contracts.  Plus you get all the additional Club membership benefits: the customizable meal planning (including printable grocery lists), celebrity trainer chats, access to me as your coach and my support groups, AND 10% off all Beachbody products including Shakeology. 

AND this month there is an extra special way to try the new On Demand feature, through a challenge pack. This will give you a month's supply of Shakeology (a $129.95 value) and THREE months worth of Beachbody on Demand (a $38.87 value) for $140.00. If you currently drink Shakeology or have been wanting to try it, this is definitely the way to go

How Do I Sign Up? 

Easy. If you have a free Team Beachbody account, log in and go to the Beachbody on Demand tab and select upgrade. 

If you don't have an account, no worries. You can sign up for one here

And always feel free to contact me with any questions! 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Molly's 21 Day Fix Transformation

I decided I wanted to start doing a new series that features REAL people. My people. My coaches and challengers who have worked their tails off to change their lifestyles and achieve some pretty impressive transformations.

I know there are lots of articles and things out there that show you how to "fake" a transformation picture when it comes to weight loss. And that just makes me so sad (and angry and annoyed but the rollercoaster of emotions is the name of the game at 33 weeks pregnant.) We should be celebrating people's hard work and dedication to make their live's better not trying to fake something to get social media attention or sales. It is just terrible to take advantage of people especially preying on their weakness and insecurity. It is THOSE posts that really inspired me to make this as REAL as possible. Not using pics with professional lighting and celebrating the people I have walked this journey side by side, talking about their reasons, their struggles and how to keep going. (Because there are struggles everyday. Cake may be one of them.)

Now I firmly believe that transformations are WAY more than just the picture of what happens in someone's physical appearance. There is a shift in our attitude, the way we think and the way we feel. Some people are naturally small (and I may hate them a little bit...kidding!) but not healthy. Some people have a lot of weight to lose but are generally healthier than others. We ALL have our different struggles and this isn't a place to judge but to encourage and inspire.

So this is Molly's story:

"Since college I have always been about 150 no matter what changes I made to my diet. In my eyes I wasn't 'fat' but I was uncomfortable and lacked confidence. I found out I was pregnant with my first son in May of 2012 and my starting weight was 150, by the time he was 6 months old I was down to 140 without diet or exercise- just by not eating cookies and milk (my weakness) and I'm sure nursing also helped. I was happier with my body but I was tired all the time!!

When he was 9 months old we found out I was pregnant with our second son!  By the end of my pregnancy I was almost 195 and had a tough time walking or doing any sort of activity. I knew I was pregnant but my weight gain was excessive and all I wanted to do was eat. Once he entered the world I knew I needed to do something to lose the weight. 

I heard about Shakeology and saw amazing transformations of people who I am friends with on Facebook. So I decide to take part in a 7 day shakeology and clean eating group to see what it was all about. Clean eating was something I had never heard of before and really this whole realm of  nutrition and fitness was foreign to me. I decided to get the 21 day fix and sign up as a coach. I was still a little skeptical but it didn't take long for me to become a firm believer it the whole system through Beachbody. Once I discover a recipe that I loved with my Shakeology I was unstoppable! I love the workouts and how not only my body but my mind was changing. 

I have always had back pain ever since I was in my teens, and have been seeing chiropractor for a very long time but working out changed all of that and I was virtually pain free and only need to see a chiropractor once a month as apposed to 3-4 times! My craving dropped significantly and I notice that my mind was clearer and I felt happier and less tired and frazzled all the time! I'm 21 short days I lost 14 lbs and 13 1/4 inches of my body! Since I joined Beachbody on September 27, 2014,  I have lost 32 pounds and I am happy to say I am back down to 150! I still have a way to go until I reach my goal weight and the body I want but with the different workout programs shakeology and the challenge groups I know I will get there very soon."

You can follow Molly and her story on Facebook 

I you have any questions or want to learn more about the 21 Day Fix or 21 Day Fix Extreme please feel free to comment below or contact me on Facebook

Monday, February 2, 2015

Why I am Super Excited to Get Extreme

So today I had a little bit of the can't-sleep-super-excited-ness going on. Because finally (FINALLY!!!) the 21 Day Fix Extreme is available. Whoo hoo! I can not wait to get my hands on this. (Even if I can't actually do it for another month or three. Welcome to the middle of the third trimester, when just getting out of bed and putting on your shoes can be really hard.)

But the reality is that the next five weeks are going to FLY by and this baby is coming whether I am ready or not and the typical six week waiting period for exercise post baby is going to be a total blur. With B I remember writing down the details of every feeding, nap, diaper change, medication (for me not her) and anything else that required me to remember something that happened at a certain time with a certain amount. That little system was a lifesaver because I'm not sure I remembered my name during those weeks (let alone the last time I took a pain pill or changed the baby.)

SO...ordering a new program and coming up with meal plans aren't going to happen post baby (at least for a while). That can be HARD. Especially when you are trying to meal plan with a whole new set of rules. It took me a good 3-4 weeks to get my 21 Day Fix meal planning to run smoothly. And quite frankly, I am not going to have the energy or the patience to go through that again.

My make it happen plan? Having those things ready to go so when May gets here, I can hit the ground running. I am planning on getting my meal plans and grocery lists ready to go. I may have to start with the 21 Day Fix workouts but I will be following the Extreme meal plan from the get go. Having a baby in the spring does have the unfortunate downside of summer being right around the corner so I want to be as ready as I can be.

What exactly is the Fix Extreme? 

It's amazing to think that a year ago Beachbody launched one of the most successful at home workout programs of all time,  The 21 Day Fix.  30 minute workouts (with modifications) were paired with an absolute fool proof container and portion system and the RESULTS did not lie. 

With the 21 Day Fix Extreme, Autumn is back with a brand new set of moves and is taking the meal plan to the next level! 

The goal with the 21 Day Fix Extreme is to create killer results, more muscle tone, definition, tightened up nutrition plan and advanced moves. This worked is truly meant to get you shredded. Autumn actually shares her competition meal plan with you to help you finally lose those pesky pounds that many of us hold. (I for one am super excited to try the countdown to competition plan!) 

At the beginning of January, I was able to attend a Beachbody event here in Pittsburgh, meet Autumn and get to hear her talk about the Fix Extreme live (which was really cool.) We even got to do a live Fix Extreme workout with Autumn and let me tell you....it was no joke and isn't something I would recommend for beginners (especially when the Fix is so great!) But if you're like me and need to start out with a major challenge (because I am the girl who went from the couch to doing Insanity as her first workout in many years) and go ALL IN to really commit to a change, the Fix Extreme might be the ticket.

I was also super geeked to find out that EVERY workout uses weights or resistance. (I LOVE LOVE LOVE weights.) 

The Fix Extreme is still 21 days. 7 days a week. (I like to double up a day and still take a day off. I just tack yoga on a morning I have the extra time, like Saturdays.) The seven workouts include: Plyo Fix Extreme, Upper Fix Extreme, Lower Fix Extreme, Pilates Fix Extreme, Cardio Fix Extreme, Dirty 30 Fix Extreme and Yoga Fix Extreme. Plus when you order through a coach you get a bonus workout. 

And you still get the awesome portion control containers that make meal planning a little tricky at first but once you get the hang of it I swear it will change the way you look at food. I used to look at food and evaluate it in my head as healthy or not BUT the big piece I was missing was making sure I was balancing my food groups. Sure fruit and complex carbs are good for you but if that is all you are eating....you probably aren't getting the results you want. At least that was my problem. I did great choosing clean and healthy foods but not balancing them....the green and red containers (veggies and protein) were a lot harder to fill for me than my purples and yellows (fruits and complex carbs). Planning so I had all of these in balance made a HUGE difference in my nutrition and results. 

To take the meal plan up a notch, there are no "treats" allowed on the Fix Extreme. No allowances for wine or chocolate this time (unless you are drinking chocolate Shakeology!) BUT if you want the best results possible this is going to get you there. You can do anything for 21 days. I know I am planning on going Extreme with the meal plan for the first 21 days and then adding back in a glass of wine or two for the second round. Life is all about balance after all. 

Ready to get Extreme? 

The Fix Extreme is available now! You can check it out here 

And if you want to be a part of my Fixin' in February group fill out the application below. You get to do YOUR choice. Dust off your copy of the 21 Day Fix and rock that or choose to go Extreme. Either way you will get my 1:1 support, meal plans, recipes, shopping tips and a crash course on clean eating to make the most of the 21 Days. 

And as always if you need any help reaching your health and fitness goals I would love to be a part of your journey! Contact me on Facebook or click here to make me your FREE coach

Fill out my online form.
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Friday, January 30, 2015

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

I have posted this dressing recipe before in conjunction with other recipes like my Quinoa Asparagus Salad but it really is good enough to have a post of it's own. I found myself tired of digging through other posts just to find this little gem so here it is....standing alone and easy to find.

I eat this on everything from salads to fish to tacos. I am slightly obsessed with the cilantro lime combination and this is like summer in a bowl (which truthfully I need a dose of during the lovely gray Pittsburgh winters.)


1/2 cup cold pressed olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (I juiced 2 1/2 limes)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard (I use Annie'S Naturals Organic Horseradish Mustard)
1-2 tablespoons honey to taste (I prefer to use raw honey.)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or fresh minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
A large handful of fresh cilantro


Combine all ingredients and blend.

And then try not to drink it right from the blender cup.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Turkey Quinoa Enchilada Bake with Homemade Enchilada Sauce (in a slow cooker!)

It is one of my 2015 goals to start running a free group every month on Facebook. One that will focus on health in various ways. Providing support and meal planning and sharing recipes and other things I have learned so far on this journey to being the healthiest, awesomest me I can be.

So to kick it all off, this month I am doing a Rock your Crock group. It is a ten day crash course on clean eating with the focus being on crock pot meals....because (as I have admitted many times in the past) I am a lazy cook and the crock pot is my dream come true.

Walking in the door late from coaching cheer practice or a busy day out and about, it is nice to have dinner ready to go. And with so many of the recipes being of the dump in the crock pot and turn it on variety, it has really become my very favorite appliance.

So today I am bringing you a really yummy recipe that fit the bill for my I want Mexican food cravings. I wouldn't say it is a "true" crock pot recipe as you can't really throw it all together and leave the house for the entire day (it only took 2 hours for mine to be done) BUT there is something to be said for the fact that you don't' even have to turn on the oven. And what I can do with the 2-3 hours it is in the crock pot vs the 30-40 minutes it is in the oven. But it is nice to have a quicker option in case you need to get dinner on the table faster.

Because I do think this would also make an awesome casserole. I would probably bake it at 350 for 30-45 minutes, add the cheese and then bake until the cheese is melted. I would also make sure the quinoa is cooked first, eliminating the extra water.

For this recipe I also made my own enchilada sauce. I had no idea what was in enchilada sauce and how to make it but after about 30 seconds of research I found tons of recipes. And they were so easy. So easy. Add this to the list of things I will probably never buy again because the homemade version is easier and better. Plus in the way I always tend to do things fashion, I was missing some of the ingredients so I subbed what was in my fridge and things still turned out pretty great. You've got to love when that happens.

So here is what I did:

1 lb ground turkey (or you can skip this to make it vegetarian friendly)
1 can rinsed black beans
1 can corn (or you can use frozen corn - about 1 cup)
1 1/2 cups rinsed quinoa
1 sweet bell pepper
2 cups fresh salsa
1/2 large onion (red or sweet) minced
1 cup water
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried cilantro
1 go of homemade enchilada sauce (or 1 can)

Plus any toppings you like. For us this included limes, shredded cheese, avocado and fresh cilantro. You may want to add plain greek yogurt (a great protein packed sub for sour cream), minced green onion or anything else you like in or on your enchiladas.

** optional add ins: chili powder, small diced jalapeno, chilis

You can also add some spicy. I can't do spicy and I like to make my meals preschooler friendly so I allow my husband to add his own spicy-ness level which works out really well for us.

First melt about a teaspoon of coconut oil in a skillet and brown the turkey. (I seasoned with a little salt and pepper.)

Then put everything into the crock pot. Turn it onto high. Cook for 2-3 hours or until all the liquid is gone and the turkey is cooked through.

Easy Peasy.

I served mine over a mixed green salad with cilantro lime vinaigrette (which is pretty much my favorite dressing of all time.) And it was awesome.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

This was one of those things I had no idea I could make at home. (Kind of like mayonnaise) and once I actually made it, my mind was blown. First it was super easy. And second it tastes so much better. So this enchilada sauce is getting added to the list of things I will never actually buy again.

Another reason making my own is totally worth it? I can also control things like the spicy level and the flavor (which when you live in a house divided over how spicy food should be....this is an awesome thing.) I can make it mild enough that my preschooler and I can eat it and my hubby can add his extra spicy to his hearts content.

When I decided to try this out, I was doing so because I was working with what was in my fridge. So I made a few tweaks and it all worked out really great.

This is what I did:


1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup brown rice flour *
16 oz fresh mild salsa **
1 cup water
1 tablespoon of chili powder (adjust to the level of spicy you like)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste


Heat the oil in a saucepan until melted. Whisk in the flour until combined.

Stir in salsa (or tomatoes), water, spices and syrup (so all the remaining ingredients). Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened (about 10 minutes).

And that's it. Super easy.

* I used brown rice flour to make this gluten free (and because I had it on hand.) If you are not avoiding gluten feel free to use all-purpose flour

**This is a perfect example of using what I had in my fridge. I really want to try this again using roasted tomatoes and onions from my farm share this summer.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Shakeology and Pregnancy: The great Vitamin A debate

The biggest question I have received since I made my pregnancy public (at least for those who don't see me everyday and kind of figured it out) is "What are you doing about your shakes?"

And that question plagued me the minute I saw two little lines pop up on the pregnancy test. So I put my advanced English degree to use and started doing research. I started with my friend Katy who I knew drank shakeo during her second pregnancy. I asked her how she approached her doctor and her doctor's response. I wanted to make sure I had all the information I needed when I headed to my first appointment.

The other thing I really wanted to figure out WHY some doctors were clearing it as totally fine and
others were telling women to hold off and not drink it during pregnancy.  Was it that some doctors aren't familiar with the product and ALL the ingredients and really didn't have the time to dig into it so they were saying no just in case? Or were there real issues to be concerned about and maybe these doctors knew more about that. Because dealing with certain herbs and other ingredients we don't normally use can be tricky. Studies aren't done on pregnant women so when there is a question and no one really knows the answer, everyone aires on the side of caution....which makes sense.

BUT if shakeology was so good for me daily before, why shouldn't it be amazing for me during pregnancy?

And should I wait until my doctor's appointment to see if they are cleared or keep taking them until I can talk to my doctor?

So many questions....so many possible answers and reasons. Seriously....motherhood starts the minute you pee on a stick and it says pregnant. And it doesn't get any easier.

So I dug in and this is what I found:

When I asked my previously pregnant colleagues, those that had doctors that said no to shakeology during pregnancy did so due to the levels of Vitamin A. And for good reason....too much vitamin A has been linked to birth defects like cleft lip, cleft palate,  hydrocephalus (water on the brain) or major heart malformations.  (For more information on Vitamin A and the study done at the Boston University School of Medicine click here.) 

BUT there is a difference in the type of vitamin A you are getting (which the above article also states.) Vitamin A from animal sources (liver is the biggest source and is not recommended to eat during pregnancy but it is also found in fish oil, fish and seafood, dairy and fortified cereal.) and preformed vitamin A (which your body uses directly and is also known as retinol) is responsible for the birth defects while vitamin A derived from carotenoids (which your body converts to vitamin A and includes beta carotene) is not....so you can munch carrots and other vitamin A rich fruits and veggies to your hearts content. 

With all the scary problems listed above why not avoid vitamin A altogether? Well it is kind of important for mom and baby. It helps with embryonic growth (source). It's important for mom because it helps with tissue repair (important post partum!) and also supports vision and a healthy immune system.

So what kind of vitamin A is in shakeology? 

The whey blends of shakeology (Chocolate, Vanilla, Greenberry and Strawberry) are fortified which makes it easy to list all the vitamin amounts. (Yay consistency!) Chocolate, Greenberry and Strawberry all contain 5,000 IU of vitamin A sourced from beta-carotene and Vanilla has 500 IU. This is only so it doesn't cause issues in the coloration due to it being derived from beta-carotene (which is what makes carrots and pumpkins orange.)

Below is the nutritional label from chocolate shakeology. I circled the vitamin A content in pink so it was easy to find.

But I drink vegan shakeology and it isn't fortified....

And I do. I don't do well with diary so I drink the vegan formula which made this whole thing a lot trickier.

Well it did and only at first.

The reason that vegan shakeology does not have the vitamins and minerals listed on the packaging is because those are derived from whole foods. Which, was one of the reasons I loved the vegan formula so much in the first place.

Just because there aren't added vitamins, doesn't mean there aren't any vitamins at all. I have been drinking vegan shakeology for almost two years and have noticed many benefits, one being that I don't get sick as often as I used to.

So what did my* doctor say....

She pretty much told me all I need to do is add a folate supplement (or folic acid, I chose to take folate because it is the natural form of folic acid. Folate is what is found in food where folic acid is the synthetic version. I found a pretty reputable brand on Amazon that wasn't very expensive.)

She also told me that since I had issues with prenatals making me sick during my last pregnancy, Shakeology may even be a better option for me than a prenatal would. I really had to play with when to take my prenatal last time. It would make me extremely nauseous. This time I didn't have that issue at all. I made sure I took my shake everyday. I did make it more of a snack though instead of having
it as a meal replacement. I found that I was hungrier (I mean growing a whole new person does require a lot of energy and this way I was getting the extra calories I needed for a healthy pregnancy.)

Interested in talking to your doctor about Shakeology? Here is a great resource to get the conversation started. Click here to download.

* This was MY doctor's opinion for MY pregnancy. Everyone is different and has different circumstances which make all of our pregnancies different. If you are curious about Vitamin A in pregnancy, Shakeology during pregnancy or have any pregnancy questions you need to talk to YOUR doctor(s). They know your history and what will be best for you and your growing family. I am not a doctor and this post is just strictly for sharing my experience.





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