Friday, June 30, 2017

Five favorite kitchen gadgets

HIIII Friends!  I'm making a splash back into the blogging world after an unintended break.  I even got some personal blogging done in an attempt to catch up to get some posts written for all three of my kid's birthdays (poor third kid has a delay {potential lapse} on his monthly posts!).

I'm just going to jump right in with a fun and easy post about five things that I use in the kitchen very frequently, if not every day!  While I know I'm always curious about other people's tips and tricks to eating healthy but not spending hours in the kitchen prepping food OR cleaning up  OR emptying dishes (because sometimes that sure feels like life, right?).  So here are five of my every day favs.



ONE:

These containers from Amazon!  You can also get the three compartment ones here.  I like the two and usually when I'm taking leftovers for lunch the next day, I just stick my veggies, protein and carb in here and call it good.  No need to rush around packing my lunch.  I'll also put like turkey and cheese wraps and then veggies - these are easy to pack, easy to transport and easy to wash (aka dishwasher).  Plus I'm a freak and don't like my food to touch.  Gross. Do yourself a favor and get you some of these (FYI these aren't the EXACT ones, but they are 20 for $16.99 - STEAL!).


TWO:

This might look like a random pair of things ---- because it is.  Haha.  But a SHARP knife is key in general to do chopping, cutting, etc., but when I do things like half zucchini and then carve the middle out (you know, making taco and lasagna zucchini boats - YUM!), I pull out the amazing grapefruit spoon to do the carving after I've scored where I want to cut with the sharp knife.

Yes, this duo will make your meal prepping life easier.  Just you wait.


THREE:

This one is a no brainer, but I literally carry my insulated cup all over.  And it's not even a fancy YETI...it's a knock off I randomly picked up at WalMart for $10 (similar item linked - and it's in rose gold color....fancy!).

My cup requirements: 1) spot for a straw 2) MUST keep drinks cold (or warm), but really cold when ice is put in 3) can close it 4) doesn't spill

This one fits the bill and was not expensive.  I can fill it up with ice at the beginning of the day and it keeps it ice cold.  As long as you get the rubber thing set up right, it won't spill, but sometimes I don't and it does and I secretly cuss to myself.  Oops.


FOUR:
Oh my Ninja Professional blender WITH single serve (BL740).  How I love thee.  Yes, I put the full name because I have had a few people ask because they see it so often on my IG stories.  It's wonderful and makes mixing up my superfood shakes SO easy.  I love the single serve cups because Jimmy and I make different flavors and concoctions every morning...so we bought 2 extra from Bed Bath and Beyond and it is TOTALLY worth it having 4.  Just make sure you get the right number of prongs for the blade on the single serve to fit it.  If you make protein or meal replacement shakes - you need a good blender because it does make a huge difference!


FIVE:

Last, but not least....these awesome herb scissors.  Sound weird right?  Well, if you eat fresh herbs and chop them up...these are a GAME CHANGER from time and clean up.  Seriously.  We eat cilantro a lot and this week had some fresh basil to eat and it's so easy.  You just use exactly like scissors and the herbs are cut so fine and just perfect! For $7 you can't go wrong.


There you have it! Five of my favorites that I really think make our family's healthy eating life more manageable (I know that is a HUGE concern to many folks because it can seem overwhelming at first!).  You don't have to go out and buy all these right now, but having the right tools and ingredients in the kitchen will help you make the experience of meal prepping and cooking easier and therefore, more enjoyable.

Any favorite random kitchen devices you cannot live without!??

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Challenger feedback - love it!!!!

Ashley and I are taking folks to add NOW to our challenge group starting on Monday, March 27.  You guys - THIS is the time to join.  Why?  While the weather has gotten colder, we are almost to SPRING and then SUMMER.  Tanktops and shorts weather will be here in no time.  And the pool and lake and ocean...all of those fun summer time activities - don't you want to feel AWESOME rocking your swimsuit!?  I know for the first time in YEARS I am actually not dreading putting on a swimsuit or buying shorts or putting on my tanktops.  I literally can't wait to bust them out and show off my body (as much as a mom of 3 does - ha!).  I feel GREAT!

But don't take my word for it!  As I think this is the best part of this coaching side gig and really one of the main reasons I took a leap and decided to be a Beachbody coach.  Here is what some of my challengers have sent me.  I can't even tell you how happy this makes me getting messages like this from them.  CAN YOU BELIEVE ALL THESE RESULTS AND AMAZING MENTAL SHIFTS?



- They are losing weight and inches
- They are LOOKING forward to working out
- They are excited about their results, which is making them excited for the future!
- They are learning how to incorporate healthy eating
- They are CRUSHING their personal goals
- They are MOTIVATED and love the accountability our groups provide.

Read them for yourself:

"Love your dance moves!!  Country Heat is the best. I've lost 9lbs and 7"!!! My stomach, the area I want to lose in, is shrinking at a very slow rate. But my legs/arms/boobs/butt/face are all thinner. I'm excited though, I know it will get there eventually.  Kids are starting to feel better and I'm getting over a nasty cold, but I think I can get a workout in today!"...SAHM of two little kiddos


"I know I'm only 2 days in, but I am loving this Brit! You have my permission if I fade to remind me of this message and how good I feel after only 48 hours :) I'm looking forward to my workout tomorrow!"...working professional bad *ss woman!

"actually weighed today (have been avoiding it b/c I was nervous I'd be up lbs instead of down!), and I'm shocked to be down 14 lbs from when I started at Thanksgiving. Pretty freaking excited."...working professional bad *ss woman!

"I am still breastfeeding and no supply issues there.  Also still managing to eat healthier.  I'm also almost back in my pre-pregnancy jeans!!!  Yay!  I tried a pair on this morning and I was able to get them up and buttoned, but they were a bit too tight for my liking, so I changed.  But I'm getting there!"  ....working mom of two little kiddos


"I lost 5 pounds and 9.7 inches!  I’m pretty pleased about that.  I want to lose more weight so I am definitely down for the next challenge.  Please count me in....
  
I really enjoyed the challenge, it really kept me accountable to work out every day and I know I wouldn’t have otherwise.  Thanks Brittany!!!!" ....working mom of three little kiddos


NOW is the time to start these good habits and this combo of at home workouts + portion controlled eating plan + online accountability group = could be the key to your success too!!  I LOVE having this group of ladies as a daily part of my life so much.  I'm continuing to push myself and see results of my own thanks to them every day!  I'm guessing you can find a sense of community with us too.

If you're interested - contact me NOW!!  We can talk through your goals and the programs that Beachbody has to offer and get you on your way to crushing your own goals like these ladies have before summer is officially here!  Contact me at yourparadisefitness@gmail.com or by completing this form.  

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Sweet tooth solutions

Have a sweet tooth? MEEEE TOOOO!!!  Ah.

In the 21 day fix portion controlled eating that we use at our house that goes with most of the beachbody programs...sugar isn't included.  Which is a good thing - but sometimes you get a sweet craving right?

So here are a few things that I do to help me curb those cravings.

1 - SHAKEOLOGY.  Not kidding.  Not try to sell you on it.  Just being honest.  Hands down, when I'm craving something sweet or chocolate, I whip out my bag of chocolate vegan and make a reese's style shake (at ) OR I make some shakeology chocolate pudding, which is also becoming my new obsession.

Reese's shake:

  • tsp peanut butter
  • scoop of shakeology
  • cup/handful of spinach - can't taste it
  • 1/2 banana
  • 8 oz water
  • some ice
  • blend and enjoy!!!


Shakeology Chocolate pudding:


  • scoop of shakeology
  • 4 tbspns of unsweetened almond milk
  • tspn of vanilla 
  • milk
  • let sit in the fridge for a bit to set 
  • ENJOY (I like to add fresh strawberries if I have them)

2 - Clean cookies.  Yes, these exist and we make them a lot at our house.  Especially because I buy bananas every week and we don't eat them all (I freeze the rest for my above shake) or use them to make recipes like this!
21 day fix.....sweet fix!!!:

Here was how ours turned out - they were awesome and I loved having them as a sweet treat especially after lunch at work!!!




They were really delicious actually and kept well for a while!!  At least a week :)


Any other tips and tricks you have for avoiding sugar?  It's SO addictive and I realize once I start with something sweet, I crave it more and more!!!  I'm sticking strong this last week of our challenge group to get my abs to POP!!!



Sunday, February 12, 2017

Results AND what's next?

All right--- I hate to write this because it feels like I'm almost quitting on 22 minute hard corp--- but I'm coming clean, being honest with myself and starting FRESH tomorrow. And will be blogging each week here on my progress.  Mainly to held myself accountable and KNOW that I will be posting not only a progress update for anyone who wants to read it here, but also a picture.  Because guess what....we booked our tickets to Puerto Vallarta /Sayulita for a week of fun and celebrating Ashley and BJ's wedding!

So what about my 22 MHC results?  Well - see for yourself.  I lost 4.5lbs and 5 inches - 2 from my waist!!  That was doing the program for 5 weeks. So that's pretty awesome.  Let's just say, I loved it - even with all the burpees.  I would love to do it for the full 8 weeks - but I've pretty much gone out of control on my nutrition already and haven't been as motivated to do the workouts because there is some intense cardio in some of them (#somanyburpees) and I'm borderline sick (mainly just a cough, but trouble catching my breath at times..).  So I'm going to call it a success and move on for now and get the "full" results of 8 weeks at a later time.  But the good news is?  I'm at a great place in my strength to tackle what's next.....


I totally debated on what to start next - because all access BOD = SO many choices.  There is a group in our coaching group that is starting to do Body Beast and Hammer and Chisel.  Jimmy does Body Beast and LOVES it.  He says I would like it, so I do need to give it a try!  I have been really wanting to try Hammer and Chisel too because I love lifting and LOVE Autumn.

But alas, our group is 21 days.  And I am going to do what my co-coach, Ashley, has been telling me I need to do for awhile - 21 day fix extreme!  You guys - I bought this program in 2015 after I finished a few rounds of doing 21 day fix and it was HARD.  I don't remember why I quit, but I did.  I'm not quitting this time - I'm pushing through and I can't wait!!  Ashley saw awesome results and so many of our challengers have with it too!  And it meets my 30 minute requirement for my mornings :)

Here's the crazy thing - right now, I weigh the same weight (140) that I have before I got pregnant with all three of my kids - like seriously.  I know that's weird, but I really think that is my body's comfortable weight.  Like it knows that and goes there. So, I'm there - pre-pregnancy weight...but here's what is even better.  Last night - we were out shopping for jeans because I seriously can't fit in so many of them ---- because they are TOO big.  Yes, you read that right.  I'm the same weight, but the jeans I wore pre baby don't fit.  How can that be the case?  It's because I've lost inches.  Lots of them.  In all the RIGHT places.  Like my hips and my waist and my legs.  And I've gained muscles all over.  It's amazing!!!!

And I actually like doing push ups.  I'm still not that good at them - but I like them.  Because they challenge me and make me push my body harder.  Plush - who doesn't like buff arms!!



So I'm kicking off the 21 days right along with our AWESOME challengers.  And I got my meal plan ready to go (you can find it here, if you're interested!) and did shopping together - so LET'S DO THIS!!!!!


Thanks for hanging in there during a major blog absence  :)  Work is crazy, kids are sick, momma's not sleeping --- which means we are pretty much in survival mode and that means no time to blog and all the time to SLEEP.  Because I need sleep to get good results too!!!!

Can't wait for this group - have some amazing new folks already and they ready to see success!

Friday, January 20, 2017

My TOP 10 favorite (and healthy) freezer meals

Ok, per my friend and neighbor, Leslie's request ---- here they are!!  My top 10 freezer meals that my family and I love to eat and they are NOT hard to make.  Best yet, most are 21 day fix approved and won't expand your waistline.  I put most of the recipes into a google sheet that you can download HERE.  Two are not in the spreadsheet (as noted below). Most of these in the spreadsheet I used from HyVee freezer meal group and end up prepping myself after!




1.Pork Carnitas - we LOVE this one.  I have served it a few times for friends (and going to with our neighbors that are coming over next Monday) and it's a HUGE hit!!


2. Salsa shredded chicken - there is no specific recipe to this one, so it's not in the spreadsheet.  It's that easy.  Frozen or thawed chicken, sprinkle on some taco seasoning (mine here is homemade from the 21 day fix spice recipe) + salsa and cook in the crock-pot from 6-8 hours on low.  Shred when done and serve on tacos, in burritos, on a salad, the possibilities (and leftovers - yum!) are endless with this one!

3. Buffalo Lime chicken (not in the spreadsheet!) - I love this one so much (and so does my family), that it has it's OWN post from a while back.


4. Italian stir fry with turkey sausage - this one seems weird (and this is a horrible picture) but we all love this one!  And so easy to prep.




5. Beef and broccoli - I don't have a picture of this one, but who doesn't love a good beef and broccoli.  Again, with this one, I think I have also cooked in the crock pot!

6. Pork chops with dipping sauce - THIS.  Not healthy with the mayo.  But maybe use like mayo with olive oil and it will be a bit more healthy?  #tryinghardhere The grilled pork chops are SO simple but the dipping sauce is to die for.  But you can't freeze it - because it's mayo.  So it is a freezer meal, but kinda sorta not really.

7. French Dip - I like to pair with mashed califlower and add some sauteed mushrooms - oh and make super fancy with a paper plate - ha! #reallife

8. Chicken Noodle Soup - this recipe says you can cook on the stove top, but I've noted, I usually just throw in the crockpot and then add the cooked noodles at the end - SO good!  Must try for winter!

9. Ultimate Chicken Fingers - these aren't super healthy because #butter, but they aren't bad and they are fast, easy AND kid friendly.  I really like the leftovers and throw in salads!!

10. Chicken Tortilla Soup - my fabulous picture of this.  I swear it is delicious and add in avocado and a little bit of cheese - YUM!



SO there you have it.  Our top 10 favorites.  Like I mentioned, lots of these I've gotten from doing the HyVee freezer meal prep.  It's been fun to find healthy meal options that you can prepare through them and then I take the recipes home and make on my own too because our family loves them so much.  Don't be intimidated by freezer meal cooking - seriously!  You don't need a whole day dedicated to freezer meal cooking.












Thursday, December 22, 2016

BIG NEWS!

Ok people - I'm not the salesperson type, but I MUST share this...mainly because Beachbody is only offering this for a limited time.  Starting next week, there will be the chance to get an ALL ACCESS pass for a whole year to Beachbody on Demand (think Netflix, but for fitness). 

WHY is this a big deal?  Yes, yes, you can currently get BOD access and pay $39.95 each quarter - which includes a library of Beachbody fitness programs - but there are still a few of the new and favorites that you have to purchase to have access to.  So it's great, but not amazing.



THIS.IS.AMAZING.  I promise.  I am a BOD user right now and love being able to stream my workouts from my phone, iPad, stream to my TV through google chrome...the options are endless.  But the fact that you now have access to every single program - including anything new that they launch in 2017 is pretty incredible.  I'm getting it ASAP and am so excited.  I love switching up my workouts and not having to worry about finding the DVD for it.  Trust me, you will too!!

So here it is - don't worry I'm giving you an awesome breakdown:  

  • BOD all access challenge pack is available next week and ONLY through the end of February.  It includes a 30 day supply of Shakeology + 12 months of unlimited streaming access to ALL Beachbody workouts (and an awesome cooking show too!) and anything new that they launch in 2017. For $199.  Ok - did you get sticker shock thinking "wow, that's a lot of money".  Well, it is, but it's really not and let me break it down for you why.
  • Challenge packs that are on sale this month = $140.  That includes 30 day supply of shakeology (so really 30 meals - that's a steal if you're looking at by meal pricing) + the workout program of your choice + portion controlled containers + shaker bottle.  
  • Shakeology on it's own = $130 -- that's why the challenge pack is seriously such a good deal
  • But let me break it down for you -- if you pay $199 for the all access challenge pack that means you are getting a month of Shakeology (that also has a 30 day money back guarantee) and then FULL ACCESS to all of Beachbody programs for only $5.75/month.  (take $199 - $130 for the shake = $69 / 12 months = $5.75)  


YOU GUYS.  This is ridiculous.  Right now, I'm paying $13.32 per month for BOD.  So I'm SOOOO excited!  And hopefully you are too!!

Don't worry though, if you already have BOD or recently bought a challenge pack ---- good NEWS.  Contact me (or current folks that are already working with me - I will get in touch with you on options) because there are pro-rated options for you!  It's so awesome and I can't wait - this is even more incentive to step out and meet your goals in 2017 AND get healthy.

The reason Beachbody is doing this is because it's so important to not just be 21 days or 30 days to reach your goals - let's get set for the whole year and think of these as long term lifestyle changes.  I have LOVED seeing people that have joined Ashley and my challenge group already see amazing results and improvements to their LIFE!!!  This goes along with everything that I believe about these programs and Beachbody and the reason I became a coach.  Ongoing lifestyle changes and a commitment to be healthy long term for me and my entire family!

YES YES YES!!  

Contact me at yourparadisefitness@gmail.com or fill out this form here and I'll get in touch with you!!!!  Best Christmas present ever - make that investment and commitment to yourself.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Quick meal prep recipes

First off - HAPPY FRIDAY.  Second, get ready for some awesome recipes!

Time.  We all get the same amount of hours in the day/week/year.  But we are all yearning for more of it!!  Most people when they hear the term "meal prepping" cringe and say "nope, don't have time for that".  Well, this post is meant to inspire you to realize one thing.

MEAL PREPPING DOES NOT HAVE TO BE TIME CONSUMING, EXPENSIVE OR HARD!!

This past weekend we had two nights out for holiday parties.  That meant two nights of going to bed after midnight.  Let's just say that never happens for me.  While I loved the parties and company, come Sunday, I was DRAGGING.  But I had a challenge group kicking off on Monday and I'm all like "meal prep- key to success", "who is meal prepping?", "show me your healthy grocery choices" in the challenge group....while I'm laying on the couch pretty much falling asleep.  Ha. #truth

So I obviously know that the success to a beachbody coach does not involve laying on the couch, it absolutely involves practicing what you preach.  After the kids were all asleep, even though I wanted to go to bed so bad...I drug my butt downstairs and made the following:

5 lunches
4 snacks
3 freezer meal dinners

....in an HOUR and FIFTEEN minutes.  No joke.  Started at 8:15 and was almost done cleaning up at 9:29. I even took a picture of my oven clock because I was so impressed!!!




That is 12 meals in one hour and fifteen minutes.  Yes please!!

Here's what I had to start with:

5 lbs chicken breast  
Pork ribs
Jar of pesto
Whole wheat pasta
Cherry (yellow) tomatoes
1 lb fresh green beans
Olive oil
Whole lemon
1 cup of chicken broth (low sodium)
Bisquick mixture (bisquick, parmesan cheese (I omitted), paprika & garlic salt/powder)
3 tablespoons of butter
8 eggs

THAT'S IT.

I made the following recipes:



Cooking and into my containers!


While I was cooking the beans/chicken/tomatoes/pesto in one pan (YES only ONE pan!), I was boiling 8 eggs for snacks and then some whole wheat pasta for my yellow.


After I got all of those portioned out, I still had lots of chicken left.  What to do with that since I had to either use or freeze and I cannot just leave it in there frozen (without any meal in mind...).  I had 1/2 a jar of pesto leftover (per the recipe, I only used 1/2 of the jar in the lunch prep)...and I found this:


I literally trimmed the remaining fat off of the chicken, put the rest of the jar of pesto, the lemon juice and DONE.  Sealed it up and in the fridge - awesome meal for later and no wasted ingredients!

Second freezer meal?  I made the Ultimate Chicken fingers - not 21 day fix friendly necessarily, but it's one of my kids favorites and they are WAY more healthy than chicken fingers from sonic or arby's.  Plus throwing them in salads as leftovers throughout the week will not kill your clean eating.  Here is a link to the recipe that I used (which I got from my HyVee freezer meals).  Jimmy helped me out and mixed the bisquick, paprika and garlic powder in a baggie (it calls for parmesan cheese too - but I'm not eating dairy right now, so I omitted).  Then I three tablespoons of butter and the quarter sized freezer bag of cut up chicken in a big bag and DONE.

Third dinner was just taking the pork ribs out of the packaging and putting them into a freezer bag.  I plan on using them in the instant pot with this recipe at a later time.  (PS do you have an instant pot - they are awesome!).



And DONE.  By 9:29PM and prepped for the week.  I also already had some cut veggie and fruit in the fridge - otherwise I would have likely added that because I have to have them in a container, as it makes it so much easier to eat for me!

Seriously you guys - this takes a little bit of planning but you can do it too!!  I was running on empty, but am committed to my group, myself and my team - I know this works and while I'm not perfect in my eating, I do know that I need to make excellent decisions 80% of the time and the only way that is going to happen is if I plan ahead!!  

Contact me if you want to know more about our groups, meal planning, at home workouts OR if you are interested in coaching.  I'd love to share more!  yourparadisefitness@gmail.com