Sunday, December 22, 2013

How to Avoid Over-Indulging During the Holidays

OR

Happy Holidays!  This week is going to be filled with celebrations, traveling, family dinners, get-togethers with friends, & FOOD.  Lots & lots of food.  So how will you deal with the vast array of delectable temptations put before you this holiday?  Here are a few tips that will help you avoid over-stuffing your stocking:
*Make a meal plan!  You know you have a busy schedule between now & New Years, so take a few minutes today to plan out your meals & snacks, identify the events that will have the biggest temptations & build a plan of attack!  Schedule healthy meals & snacks for yourself, as well as planning your cheat meal (and let's be honest, this week it will most likely be more than one, so take it easy & don't go hog-wild!)

*Watch your portions.  There are going to be lots of tempting foods around you  - choose wisely & keep your portions reasonable.  Remember to fill at least half your plate with vegetables & fruits!  Fill up on the good, HEALTHY stuff!


*Bring a healthy option to share!  Check out some of my clean eating recipes and take a dish to share with your loved ones.  Then you can load up on something you know is healthy & minimize your portions of foods that will derail your progress.

*Drink lots of water!  People often confuse thirst for hunger.  Ideally you should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water & being properly hydrated will help you avoid hunger pangs & keep you from grazing the appetizer table.  In that same vein - Don't drink your calories.  Alcohol, egg nog, soda...they may all be tasty treats, but those calories will add up quickly.  Choose your beverages wisely.

*Do not hang out by the food. Grab your water & your healthy snack & WALK AWAY FROM THE FOOD TABLE!  Socializing by the food table will lead to mindless grazing.  When dinner is over, help clear the table, do the dishes, play with the kids...do not hang out & keep picking away at the food.

*Beware of the dessert table!  This is my personal downfall.  I LOVE sweets & could easily go down the table sampling each & every delectable morsel.  But I know that all that extra sugar will just turn into belly fat...no thank you!  So I will plan my dessert wisely, carefully choosing the ONE dessert item to indulge in & I will keep my portion reasonable.  Then I will grab a mug of hot green tea & walk far, far away from the dessert table.

*Make your workouts a priority! You know you will be consuming extra calories this week.  Be sure not to miss a workout, even though you are extra busy.  Get your sweat on, make it count, & get that metabolism burning!

*If all else fails, eat only when you are actually HUNGRY.  You forgot your healthy dish at home, you are traveling & have no real control over the foods that are served, your will-power is low....even if you do not follow any of these other tips, stick to this one.  Only eat during your regular meal times / only eat when you are actually hungry.  Don't just grab a cookie or a hand-full of candy because "it's there & it tastes good."

I hope you have a very happy & healthy holiday & enjoy many blessed times with loved ones & friends.

Looking to improve your health in 2014?  Check out my New Year, New You Challenge Group.

Want to help others reach their health & fitness goals as a Beachbody coach? Complete this application to join my team: https://jhrbek.wufoo.com/forms/coaching-application/

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I made this Chicken Tortilla Soup in the crock pot the other night & we have been enjoying the left-overs ever since. It is a hit with the whole family & SO SIMPLE. Love it!! 
In a large crock pot combine:
-2 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes with mild green chiles
-2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes (no salt added)
-32 oz (one box) low sodium chicken stock
-2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-1-2 tsp. ground cumin (depending on your taste)
-1 tsp black pepper
-1-2 tsp. oregano
-4 cloves minced garlic (or substitute garlic powder)
-1 large Onion, diced
-2 bell peppers, diced (choose your favorite color- I had red on hand)
-2 cups frozen corn
Cook in crockpot on low for approx 8 hours or high for 4 hours. When soup is almost ready, remove chicken & shred with two forks. Then return shredded chicken to the crockpot & stir.
*when serving, as a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt to add a little creaminess.
*I think a can of black beans would be a nice addition as well. I plan on trying that next time I make this. And I WILL be making this again!!


Click here for more clean eating recipes!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

New Year, New You Fitness & Clean Eating Challenge

It's that time of year again when we sit down to reflect on the past year & accomplishments and start making plans & resolutions for the new year.  Do you have improving your health & fitness on your list of goals for 2014?

In July 2012 I made one of the most important decisions of my life...I took control of my health & wellness, I joined a Beachbody challenge group with my friend & coach, Melanie.  My initial goal was to fit into my non-maternity pants when I returned back to my teaching job after the birth of my fourth child.  By incorporating regular exercise, clean eating, & drinking Shakeology daily I achieved the goal of wearing my old pants, but gained so much more....increased self-confidence, increased energy (I can keep up with the kids now!), and a healthy lifestyle for my entire family!  In 90 days I dropped 40 lbs. & 20 inches and learned how to set a healthy example for my family.  Are you ready to take the leap and gain a new lease on life?

In the New Year, New You Fitness & Clean Eating challenge group you will receive personal support from me, your coach.  You will get daily motivation, accountability, health & fitness tips, and access to a community of like-minded people whom are all striving to get fit & healthy for the new year.  You will learn about clean eating & be provided with sample meal plans, clean eating recipes, tips for navigating the grocery store, how to eat clean on a budget, guidance on how to make healthier restaurant choices, & more!

If you are ready to take control of your health & fitness and feel your very best fill out an application to join the challenge here: https://jhrbek.wufoo.com/forms/challenge-group-application/ 

If you have any questions or would like to get more info email me at jessicahrbek@gmail.com

Friday, December 6, 2013

Clean Eating on a Budget

You can't eat from the dollar menu & have a million dollar body! Ever hear that? But I surely know that buying fresh, healthy foods isn't always easy on your wallet! Consider the long-term effects of how you are fueling your body. Consider the medical bills you could potentially AVOID by eating healthy, avoiding obesity, avoiding high blood pressure & high cholesterol. Sounds like a huge savings to me.
But for the immediate money saving, here are a few tips I abide by to get the biggest bang for my buck in the grocery store.
*Before making your weekly meal plan, refer to your grocery store sales fliers for the week & see which meats, fish, & produce are on sale. Incorporate those items into your weekly menu.
*Plan to eat & buy produce that is in season in your area. Not only will it be fresh & locally grown, it will cost less because it is in season & abundant.
*Make your meal plan before going shopping & use your meal plan as a shopping list. Only buy those items needed for your weekly meals & snack.
*Don't go to the grocery store hungry. This will make you more likely to go off-list & over budget.
*Eat less meat. Depend on less costly forms of protein like eggs, legumes, & beans.
*Keep your left-overs & eat them for another meal! In the picture above I used leftover chicken to make a wrap for lunch. Yum!
*When making items like soup, stew or chili make a large batch & freeze extras for future meals.
*Look for sales expensive items (like boneless skinless chicken breasts) & buy several packages. Break them down into family size portions & freeze for future use!
*Eat in more often. My family wanted pizza the other night. To order take out it would've been over $20. I made HEALTHIER pizzas for the entire family for about $10!
*Skip dessert! Your waistline & pocketbook will thank you. Have a cup of green tea to stave off that after dinner craving.

For some family-pleasing clean eating click here!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Gingerbread Vanilla Shakeology

This was lunch today! I did a little experiment & I turned out DELICIOUS!!
Gingerbread Vanilla Shakeology
Ice
6 oz water
6 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scoop vanilla Shakeology
1 Tbls. pure maple syrup
1/2 - 1 tsp. ground ginger (depends on your taste)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon


Click here to check out my other favorite Shakology recipes!
Click here for clean eating recipes!

14 Day of Christmas Shakeology Shake-Off

Looking to try out Shakeology but not ready to commit to a full month? The 14 Day Shakeology Shake-Off is your perfect opportunity to learn the benefits of Shakeology first hand, get the tastiest recipes, and get health & fitness tips too! The Shake-Off group will be held in a closed group on Facebook that can only be accessed by Shake-Off participants.  

Sound good?  Spots are limited, so don't wait! The Shake-off begins December 9.

Your first step is to go to www.beachbodycoach.com/JESSHRBEK& set up a FREE membership to have me as your coach.

Then you have two options for the Shake-Off:
1. Get 14 single serving packets that I can ship to you. I have chocolate & a few vanilla. You can get all one chocolate or chocolate with a few vanilla. It is $5 per packet, so that is $70 for the 14 days, plus $5 for shipping.

2. You can order Shakeology HD through my web site which gives you a bag with a 30 day supply. This method breaks down to about $4 per serving, gives you free shipping, plus I'll send you a free shaker cup. In addition, there is a "bottom of the bag guarantee" with Shakeology HD. If you try it & decide it's not for you, you can return it (even an empty bag!) for a full refund. 

Which will work best for you?  Email me at jessicahrbek@gmail.com or send me a message at www.facebook.com/FitMommaOfFour to secure your spot in the 14 Day Shakeology Shake-Off.

Shakeology is an all- natural health shake that is used to replace one meal or snack a day to promote better over-all health, digestive balance, curb cravings, increase energy, & aide in weight loss. It's like 6 trips to the salad bar in a glass.  With chocolate, vanilla, tropical strawberry (vegan), greenberry, & vegan chocolate to choose from you are sure to find a flavor you will love!

Click here to check out my favorite Shakeology recipes.

P90X3 Exclusive Test Group!

Is this Exclusive P90X3 test group the right fit for you?  Read on to find out!

*Are you a P90X or P90X2 graduate & hungry for some more Tony Horton?
*Did you try P90X or X2 & quit because the workouts were to long or because you were not good at keeping yourself accountable?
*Have you be interested in trying P90X but knew you could never find 1 - 1 1/2 hours a day to workout?
*Do you need some extra accountability, motivation, support, and help with healthy meal plan & recipe ideas?
*Are you interested in getting in the best shape of your life in just 30 minutes a day?

If you answered YES! to any of these questions then this Exclusive P90X3 Test Group just could be the answer to your workout woes!

What is P90X3?
*P90X3 is a 90 day fitness program with world-renowned trainer, Tony Horton.
*16 new 30 minute workouts on 8 DVDs.
*The P90X3 program is split into 3 Blocks.  Block 1 & 2 are each four weeks long.  Block 3 is five weeks long.
*Workout ranging from cardio, strength, pilates, yoga, MMX & more...you'll never get board!  P90X3 is full of new moves & exercises to maximize your results in just 30 minutes a day.
*As Tony Horton says himself, "It's not easier, it's just faster!"

What are the BENEFITS of being part of the Exclusive P90X3 Test Group?
*Individualized support from me, your coach!
*Support, motivation, & accountability in the closed P90X3 Test Group Facebook Group.
*Clean eating recipes & meal plans.
*Shakeology recipes
*Working with a support system makes you 80% more likely to stick to new fitness programs!

What are the requirements to be part of the Exclusive P90X3 Test Group?
*Test Group participants must commit to completing the P90X3 program, beginning your workouts on December 30, 2013.
*You must replace one meal a day with Shakeology.
*You must commit to incorporating clean eating during the 90 days of the test group (trust me, you'll never want to go back to your old ways of eating!)
*Sign up to have me as your coach.  Please go to www.beachbodycoach.com/JESSHRBEK to set up your free membership now!

How can I get P90X3?
*P90X3 will be available for purchase on Tuesday, December 10.  To be the first to know when X3 is available for purchase sign up for your free membership with the above link.  You will receive an email as soon as the sale is open!  December 10-31 only, the P90X3 challenge pack will be on sale at the introductory price of $180 (the challenge pack price will go up to $205 Jan. 1).  In the challenge pack  you will receive the 90 day P90X3 workout program, nutrition guide, program manual, schedule of workouts, a 30 day supply of Shakeology, free 30 day club membership, and FREE SHIPPING.  You save over $65  when you buy the P90X3 challenge pack versus buying the program & Shakeology separately.
*If you are looking to purchase P90X3 for a loved one's Christmas gift, be sure to place your order by Dec. 15 to ensure delivery by Christmas.

What are the benefits of purchasing through me, your Beachbody coach?
*You secure your spot in the Exclusive P90X3 Test Group, beginning Dec. 30, 2013.
*By purchasing P90X3 through me, your Beachbody coach, you will get a FREE P90X3 hat.  What better way to show everyone that you are doing the newest, hottest workout in town?

**Click here to purchase your P90X3 Challenge Pack now! http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/BCPX3205?referringRepId=215391

To purchase the P90X3 Workout onlyhttp://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/X3Base?referringRepId=215391

Ready to join?  Complete this application to join the Exclusive P90X3 Test Group TODAY!   https://jhrbek.wufoo.com/forms/challenge-group-application/

These are some of the results from folks who tested out P90X3 while this program was being developed.





Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Black Friday Deals

I want to help you get healthy this holiday season!  Give yourself the gift of health & fitness!  Between now & midnight tonight I will give you $10 cash back on any challenge pack order, plus a spot in my Holiday Survival Challenge, & a $20 coupon to use on a future Beachbody purchase.  You will get accountability, motivation, and my personal support to get healthy this holiday season.  Send me a message at jessicahrbek@gmail.com for more information!  Or click on this link to buy your challenge pack now! https://teambeachbody.com/checkout/-/bbcheckout/challengepack?referringRepId=215391
Act fast, this is offer is limited to the first 5 orders.



In addition to my personal special deals, Beachbody has some amazing sales that go live at 3PM/EST today (Wed., Nov. 27).  Quantities are limited & some items will sell out fast.  Check out the deals below.  If you see something your like, simply click on the link below the item description to make your purchase!

Workout Programs: 
Turbo Fire: My personal FAVORITE workout of all time with my favorite trainer, Chalene Johnson.  If you love to shake your booty & want to get in seriously good shape at the same time, this is the program for you!
Turbo Fire deluxe DVDs $29.95 (50% savings)

Turbo Fire Complete System $99.95 (58% savings)

Insanity:The Asylum: Maximize your sports performance in just 30 days with Shaun T. & build your speed, coordination, agility, & power with drills inspired by pro athletes! Plus you will get a FREE chin-up bar with your order.
Insanity: The Asylum $89.85 (40% savings)

P90X : Go from regular to ripped in just 90 days with the man himself, Tony Horton!  Plus you will get a FREE chin-up bar with your order.
P90X $199.85 (33% savings)

Tai Cheng: Great for those looking to build core strength, work on stability, & balance.
 Tai Cheng $53.87 (50% savings)

Hip Hop Abs Dance Party Series: If you are looking for two super-fun abs workouts for one great price, this is the deal for you.  You will get the Rockin' Abs & Hard Body workouts on one DVD & you'll be ready to dance your way to some rockin' hot abs with Shaun T.
Hip Hop Abs Dance Party Series $9.95 (50% savings)

Supplements:
Fuel Shot: Kick start your energy & recovery with this deal. Buy one, get one FREE 
Fuel Shot $49.95 (50% savings)

M.A.X. Creatine : Gives you a blast of extra strength & builds muscle.  Buy one, get one FREE
M.A.X. Creatine $29.95 (50% savings)

Energy & Endurance 90 day Tub: Improve your energy, strength, endurance, & focus with all-natural energizers, electrolytes, essential B vitamins, amino acids, and advanced nitric oxide boosters.
Energy & Endurance 90 day Tub $39.95 ($50 savings)

Gear:
Beachbody Jump Mat: Get high-impact results without high-impact injuries.  Save your joints with this awesome jump mat!
Beachbody Jump Mat $24.95 (59% savings)

Stability + Medicine Ball Combo Pack: Strengthen your core with these great tools!
Stability + Medicine Ball Combo Pack $49.95 (61% savings)

Beachbody Squishy Ball: Tighten & tone your abs & sculpt your inner thighs with this awesome little resistance tool.
Beachbody Squishy Ball: $3.95 (69% savings)

Step with 4 Risers: Weight bench, cardio-conditioning tool, and targeted sculpting tool all in one piece of equiptment!
Step with 4 Risers $49.95 (50% savings)

Skin Care:
Derm Exclusive: Micro Peel Resurfacing Pads + Jar: $18.55 (38% savings)

Derm Exclusive: Intensive Repair Serum: $14.95 (38% savings)

Derm Exclusive: Collagen Lift Moisturizer : $19.95 (38% savings)

Derm Exclusive: Fill & Freeze Treatment Pen 5-pack: $39.95 (64% savings)

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

In an effort to clean up some Thanksgiving favorites the kids & I made this AMAZING pumpkin cranberry bread.  Not only did the kiddos love helping me in the kitchen to make this bread, they loved gobbling up this yummy holiday treat.

1. Preheat oven to 350 & grease bottoms of loaf pans with coconut oil.  (2 loaf pans - 8 1/2x 4 1/2x 2 1/2)

2. Mix 15 ounces (1 can) pure pumpkin puree, 1 cup raw honey, 2/3 cup stevia, 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce, 2 teaspoons vanilla, & 4 eggs in a large bowl.

3. Stir in 3 cups whole wheat flour (you could also use spelt flour, quinoa flour, unbleached all purpose flour, or the flour of your choice), 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground all spice, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.

4. Stir in 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries & 1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional).

5. Divide batter evenly between loaf pans & bake 50-60 minutes.

6. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes in the pans.  Then loosen the loaves from the sides of the pan with a butter knife, remove from pans, & allow to continue cooling on a wire rack.

*Wrap tightly & store at room temperature for about 4 days or refrigerate up to 10 days.  You could also make several loaves & freeze this for use throughout the holiday season.

Click here for more clean eating recipes!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Black Bean Brownies

With the holiday season upon us my brain & stomach automatically seek out baked goods!  That can spell trouble for a clean eater.  But I am doing my best to seek out clean baked goods, or clean up old classics, testing them out & then passing the successful recipes on to you!  Our first baked good adventure was Black Bean Brownies.  As you can see, they are kid tested & Fit Momma approved.  Try out this recipe, share it with friends & family & let me know if they can figure out the "secret ingredient."  Annie's guess for the secret ingredient was LOVE!  Awwww...isn't she sweet?!?

Black Bean Brownies
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed well)
1/2 cup 100% cocoa
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup raw honey
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 cup spelt flour (you could use almond or quinoa flour as well)
1/4 tsp. sea salt

*Optional: unsweetened coconut flakes, sliced raw almonds, or 2 Tbls. dark chocolate chips to sprinkle on top.

Directions: Rinse the beans WELL! Put all ingredients into the blender & blend for approx. 2 mins.  Pour batter into a greased 8x8 pan.  If desired, top with coconut, almonds, or dark chocolate chips.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.
Enjoy!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Holiday Survival Challenge - Maintain, Don't Gain!

Did you know that the average woman gains 2 lbs. during the holiday season?  That may not sound like much, but it's enough to make your favorite jeans too tight, or give you a little muffin top.  I don't know about you, but that's not what I want Santa to leave in my stocking!

Tis the season for parties, get-togethers, and office snacks galore. Cookies, pie, and a nice glass of wine...these are a few of my favorite holiday treats & I still have them.  What's different now?  I use moderation, portion control, and good planning to enjoy the occasional treat & avoid the dreaded "holiday spread."  Would you like to enter the holiday season with a plan for success?  Would you like to have the healthiest holiday yet?  The Holiday Survival Challenge can help you with just that!

What are the benefits of joining a challenge group?
*Individual support from me, your coach!  I have been there before, I started out just like you, looking to get healthy and stay accountable through the holidays.
*Motivation
*Clean Eating tips, recipes, & meal plans - learn how the clean eating lifestyle can change you body, increase your energy level, and can be a positive change for your entire family!
*Accountability - you will have an online community of people who are all there for the same purpose - to have a healthy holiday season.  We will all check in to the group each day & support each other to keep making healthy choices.
*Holiday party tips, recipes, and how to navigate the grocery store.

Interested in joining?  Complete this application: https://jhrbek.wufoo.com/forms/challenge-group-application/
Send me a message at jessicahrbek@gmail.com or find me on Facebook www.facebook.com/FitMommaOfFour . I look forward to helping you have the healthiest holiday yet!



Monday, November 18, 2013

Meal planning, the secret to my healthy success!

It took me a long time to see the value of meal planning.  I thought, why take the extra time to plan out my meals when I can just wing it & do just fine.  Right?  WRONG!  Because when I wing it & leave my food to chance I leave too much room for laziness, cheats, and quick-fix junk.  That is NOT going to help me reach my goals, it is not going to make my family healthy, & it's not going to teach my kids the healthy habits I want them to have in life.
Now I make a meal plan every Sunday.  But to me, it's more than just a meal plan, it's a plan for success!  I keep all of our weekly activities & schedules in mind & then map out all of our meals & snacks to match our time constraints for the week.  I then use my meal plan as a guide to my grocery shopping.  I stick to the perimeter of the store - grabbing my fresh fruits & veggies, stocking up on the lean proteins, some eggs & almond milk from the dairy isle - avoiding all the highly process, chemical sh*t storm in the middle isles.
When I get home I clean & prep veggies for easy snacking & place them at eye-level so they are the first thing we see when we open the fridge.
So what does a clean eating meal plan look like?  We eat 5-6 small meals/snacks each day, eating every 2 1/2 - 3 hours.  I pair a lean protein with a complex carb (fruit or veggie) to keep my metabolism burning.  Highly processed foods with lots of chemical junk that I can't pronounce is off limits.  Starchy carbs are used sparingly & refined sugars are little to none.  This healthy eating lifestyle is one that my entire family has been following for over a year now.  It is sustainable, affordable, and makes us feel GREAT!
Would you like more tips on how to make a meal plan or to learn more about clean eating?  Drop me a line at jessicahrbek@gmail.com or find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FitMommaOfFour . I'd love to help your family start living a healthy lifestyle.

Looking for some clean eating recipes?  Click here to check out my family's favorites.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Make clean eating snacks easliy accessible


Put healthy snacks in a visible location where the whole family can easily grab something to fuel their body. Keep fruit on the counter top or right at eye level in the fridge. Don't hide those veggies in a drawer! Have them prepped & where you can see them so that is what your eye goes to when you open your fridge. Set your family up for quick, easy, healthy snacking.
Some of my families favorite clean eating snacks are:
*cuties (clementines)
*apples & all-natural peanut butter
*cashews & dried cranberries
*unsalted brown rice cakes with all-natural peanut butter & raisins
*carrot & celery sticks with Laughing Cow cheese
*cucumbers & hummus
*clean eating egg salad on a whole wheat tortilla with lettuce & red peppers
*plain Greek yogurt with berries & a drizzle of raw honey

Egg White Oatmeal


You may already know that I LOVE oatmeal, but this takes my obsession to a whole new level. It is creamy, delicious, clean, & healthy!
*This recipe makes 2 servings. Make the whole thing & share with the kids or refrigerate the second serving for the next morning.
Egg White Oatmeal
1. Bring 2 cups of water to a rapid boil.
2. Add 2/3 cup old fashioned oats, stir well, & lower to medium heat. Cook oats approx. 8 mins., stirring frequently. 
3. While oats cook whip 4 egg whites in a bowl until fluffy/ small bubbles form around the edges of the bowl.
4. Turn down heat to low & slowly pour in egg whites, little by little. Stir oats & egg whites quickly until the oats look creamy, then add a little more egg whites. Continue to stir quickly until all egg whites are incorporated.
5. Remove pot from heat. Stir in 2 Tbls. pure maple syrup & 1/2 - 3/4 cup fruit of your choice. Here I added mixed berries.
*Stir in a sprinkle of cinnamon if you like. I topped mine with pomegranate seeds & a few walnuts for crunch.
***Enjoy! Let me know what you think of this recipe. Please feel free to share.

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Shakeology


Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Shakeology
6 oz water
6 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Ice
1 scoop chocolate #Shakeology
2 Tbls. pure pumpkin purée
A sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice
Blend well & you are off!!!

For other delicious Shakeology recipes, click here!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Zucchini "Lasagna"

I did a little experiment for dinner tonight. It didn't turn out to be beautiful looking, but it sure was DELICIOUS! I made a "lasagna" with zucchini & eggplant slices. 
1) Preheat oven to 425
2) Slice thinly 1 large eggplant & 3 medium/large zucchini
3) Season eggplant & zucchini slices with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, & garlic powder
4) place a can of diced tomatoes (no salt added) in the bottom of a glass baking dish & season with oregano, sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, & garlic powder
5) place rows of zucchini & eggplant slices on top of tomatoes
6) top with approx. 1/2 part skim ricotta cheese & 1/2 shredded mozzarella cheese
7) repeat layers again & top with any remaining zucchini & eggplant slices
 cover tightly with aluminum foil & bake 30 mins.
9) uncover & bake an additional 15 mins.
It does not stay together as well as a conventional lasagna when you cut into it, but the flavor is AMAZING! 


To find more healthy & delicious recipes click here!

Clean Dirty Rice

One of my favorite places to visit is New Orleans. The music, the fun, the food! But it is definitely not figure-friendly down on the bayou. So I cleaned things up & my family LOVED this Big Easy-inspired dish. 
Clean Dirty Rice
Prepare 1 cup brown rice with 2 1/2 cups water or low sodium chicken broth, 1 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. chili powder, & 1 tsp. cumin.
Brown 1 - 1 1/2 lbs. extra lean ground turkey seasoned with black pepper, sea salt, & garlic powder.
To the meat add 1 onion (diced), 1 bell pepper (diced - green, yellow, orange, or red - it's your preference), 1 large tomato (diced) OR a small can of diced tomatoes (no salt added, drained) & 2 Tbls. Cajun seasoning. Sauté until veggies soften a bit. Add 1 can black beans OR pinto beans (drained & rinsed) & cook til beans are warmed through. Add rice to meat & veggie mixture & combine well.
Serve with a salad or your favorite veggie for a complete meal!


Click here for more delicious clean eats!

Apple Nachos


Looking for a fun, delicious, clean eating snack that the whole family will LOVE? Try this!

Apple Nachos
Slice your favorite apple into thin slices - we love gala apples. 
Drizzle one Tablespoon all-natural peanut butter over top. 
Sprinkle one Tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes & about 1/4 cup raisins on top.

Quick, easy, clean, & DELICIOUS!!

Want some more clean eating recipes?  Click here! 

Homemade Hummus

Pairing a complex carb (fruit or veggie) with a protein at every meal keeps you full longer & your metabolism burning! Try this awesome homemade hummus recipe I got from a friend!
2 cans chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained
2-3 cloves garlic (depending on taste), smashed 
4 Tbls. tahini paste
4 Tbls. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
Mix in the food processor until smooth.
Top with toasted sesame seeds & enjoy!

For more clean recipes, click here! 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

How to eat clean while eating out at a restaurant.


Eating OUT! It's something that we all do and should enjoy. I don't want it to be a source of frustration or anxiety. When I was trying to find the balance between clean eating & when to allow a cheat meal I became "no fun to go out with anymore" according to my husband because I would stress so much about a restaurant menu. But once I learned a coping skills eating out became much easier for me again.
*If possible, check out the menu online before every leaving the house. Look for the most "clean" menu item. That way when you walk in the restaurant you won't even have to open up the menu & be tempted by those pictures & scrumptious-sounding descriptions.
*Look for words like BAKED, GRILLED, BROILED. Avoid words like smothered, fried, scampi, creamy.
*If a dish comes with sauce request to leave the sauce off or have it served on the side.
*Opt for oil & vinegar for your salad or a vinegrette. Bypass the creamy dressings & don't be fooled by "fat-free"...that just means "filled with chemicals"....blah!
*Pass the bread basket - it's just empty calories!
*Skip the soda or sweet tea...get a big glass of WATER with a nice wedge of lemon. If you want some tea go for the unsweetened variety. I actually carry packets of Stevia in my purse now to sweeten my own tea & coffee on the occasion that I get it when I'm out.
*Look for half-portions or order from the appetizer menu. If that's not an option, don't be afraid to leave some on your plate or take home a doggy bag. I know I was brought up to be part of the "clean plate club"& not to waste food. Eat slowly & listen to your body. Don't keep stuffing yourself just because it tastes good. Eat what you know is an appropriate portion & push the plate away.
*If you REALLY want a bite of something sweet after dinner share a dessert & adhere to the "three bite rule"...three bites should be enough to satisfy that sweet tooth. Then put down your fork & walk away!

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Southwest Quinoa Salad


I love quinoa & am always trying it in new recipes. Today I was feeling the flavors of the Southwest. It turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. 
Southwest Quinoa Salad
Bring 2 cups water & 1 cup quinoa to a boil. Lower heat to low .& simmer about 10 mins. Remove from heat & allow to cool.
In a bowl whisk together 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 tsp. chili powder, 2 tsp. cumin, black pepper & sea salt to taste, & 1 tsp. blackstrap molasses.
Dice 1 small onion, 1 cucumber, 1 cup cherry tomatoes. Drain & rinse 1 can black beans. Thaw 1 cup frozen corn in a colander by running hot water over it.
Combine all ingredients & mix well.
Ole!


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Friday, September 13, 2013

Baked Fajitas


Dinner is prepped & ready to pop in the oven. I have been looking forward to this meal all week! 
Baked Fajitas
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1 inch strips
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 - 2 onions, sliced
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbls. chili powder
2 Tbls. Cumin
1 Tbls. Garlic powder
1 - 2 Tbls. extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste.
Cover & allow to marinate at least 1 hour.
Bake at 375 for approx. 35 mins. or until chicken is cooked through.
Serve on whole wheat tortillas with fresh chopped tomatoes, avocado, & plain Greek yogurt (in place of sour cream)
Ole!


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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Turkey Chili

Football season is upon us!  One of my favorite times of the year.  One food that I always think of when I'm watching football is chili.  I have taken this family favorite & made it healthier with lean ground turkey & loading it up with tons of veggie goodness.  It is full of flavor & aims to please all the hungry football fans in your house!

Turkey Chili
1. Brown 1 lb. extra lean ground turkey seasoned with 1 tsp. sea salt, 1 Tbls. garlic powder OR 1 crushed clove of fresh garlic, & fresh ground black pepper to taste.
2. Add 1 chopped bell pepper (any color you like) & 1 diced onion.  Allow to soften slightly.
3. Add one can diced tomatoes (no salt added) & one can tomato sauce (no salt added).  Stir in 1 cup frozen (or fresh if in season) corn kernels, 1 can black beans (drained & rinsed).  If you want to amp up the spice, add a diced banana or jalepeno pepper.
4. Add 2 Tbls. no salt added chili powder, 1 Tbls. cumin, black pepper to taste, 2 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. sea salt.  If you want some more spice add some red pepper flakes & / or some paprika.
5. Simmer on low heat for at least 1 hour to let the flavors develop.  Top with a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt in place of the traditional sour cream & a sprinkle of freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese.  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Focus T25 Beta begins!

Well, it took me six weeks to get through the Alpha phase of Focus T25 instead of five (I re-did week 3) & I have finally started the Beta phase yesterday!  Focus T25 is such a well-built workout.  Shaun T has set it up so that you really build the foundation in Alpha before you move onto Beta.  Yesterday I did Core Cardio - it had many familiar moves from Alpha Cardio, but kicked up a notch & a few new moves thrown in there.  Today I did Speed 2.0 - once again, many familiar moves from Speed 1.0, but taken to the next level.  No stretch "breaks" in this workout!  I did find it hard to move my feet fast enough at some points, so I would take a few steps with the modifier, Tania, and then get back to full-force with Shaun T & the rest of the crew.
Are you looking to take your fitness to the next level?  How are you challenging yourself?  I'd love to help you reach your health & fitness goals!  Contact me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FitMommaOfFour

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Chocolate Maple Cheesecake Shakeology



Snack time! I'm sticking with the fall theme today & went with maple this time!
Chocolate Maple Cheesecake Shakeology
Ice
8 oz water
4 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 Tbls. plain Greek yogurt
2 tsps. pure maple syrup
1 scoop chocolate #Shakeology
Blend & enjoy the flavors of fall!


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