Friday, February 28, 2014

Thin Mint Shakeology

Yes, I have Girl Scout cookies in my house!  I am human.  I was a Brownie back in the day & was the top cookie-seller in my troop!  *Gasp!* So these tasty morsels are an indulgence that I allow into the house, but they go straight to the big freezer in the garage.  Out of sight, out of mind & helping to prevent anyone from scarfing down a box in 2.2 seconds.  And I personally save them as a treat with my cheat meal.

Last night these little beauties were calling my name from the freezer...I went in, grabbed them, & then thought about it.  I know that I would not be able to stop at just one & it was NOT my scheduled cheat meal.  This indulgence would not help me reach my health & fitness goals.  So I put down the Thin Mints & walked slowly back into the kitchen.  I opened the pantry & got out my Shakeology & started concocting recipe.  Here is the cravings-buster I came up with!

Thin Mint Shakeology
8 oz unsweetened coconut milk
4 oz water
1 scoop chocolate Shakeology
1/4-1/2 tsp mint extract (start with less & add more to fit your taste)
1 Tbls. Unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder

Blend & bust those cravings!!

Check out more Shakeology recipes here!

Click here for family-approved clean eating recipes!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Whole Wheat Flaxseed Bread

My kids LOVE sandwiches, toast, or just a piece of bread...yes, the baby would sometimes just eat bread all day if I allowed him.  So I have been giving a few bread recipes a whirl in the good old bread machine & this one turned out quite yummy.

Be sure to refer to the instructions for your bread machine.  Some say to put in liquids first (like mine), others recommend putting dry ingredients in first.  I put the ingredients below into the bread machine & selected a medium loaf / whole wheat setting.

1 3/4 cups warm water
2 Tbls. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbls. Blackstrap molasses
1 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbls. ground flaxseed
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tbls. active yeast

This bread has a dense, chewy texture.  Hunter really enjoyed it with some all-natural peanut butter.

Click here to check out more family-friendly clean eating recipes.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mini Meatloaf

I was seriously craving some homemade comfort food last night after I got sucked into a country-style cooking show on the Food Network.  The chef made her mom's meatloaf recipe & that's when the hankering hit me...meatloaf!  But I wanted something that would not take an hour to bake & that had a healthier ingredient list than the saltine crackers, mustard, & ketchup that the lady on tv had used.  Then I remembered a turkey "muffin" recipe I had seen floating around the internet & whipped up my own version.  These mini meatloaves were a hit with the kids & will be even better for lunch left-overs today!

Mini Meatloaf
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground turkey
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 large carrot, grated
1 medium onion, grated
1 medium bell pepper (I used red for color)
1 egg
1 Tbls. garlic powder (or one small clove fresh garlic, pressed)
sea salt & pepper to taste

*Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a muffin tin with olive oil cooking spray.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Spoon an equal amount of the meat mixture into each muffin tin.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Pull muffin tin out of the oven & top each meatloaf with one tablespoon homemade "bbq" sauce (below).

Homemade "BBQ"
1/2 cup tomato sauce (you could also use tomato paste for a thicker sauce / richer tomato flavor)
2 Tbls. blackstrap molassas
2 tsp. garlic powder
sea salt & black pepper to taste

*After topping the mini meatloaves with the "bbq," place them back in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

These little beauties make a great dinner & awesome left-overs.  They are compact & easily popped into a tupperware container to pack in the kids' lunches!

Click here to find more kid-approved clean eating recipes here!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Tips for a HEALTHY weekend!

Here are my pre-planning tips to get you through the weekend Fit Momma of Four style!

* If you are going out to a restaurant check out the menu ahead of time. Decide on what you are going eat before you even get there.  That way when you sit down at the restaurant you won't have to fight against temptation and you won't even have to open the menu!  Skip the bread, it has no nutritional value!
When I make my weekly meal plan I consider my schedule for the week - including weekend outings or parties.  If I know that healthy choices may be hard to find, I plan my cheat meal for that outing.  But remember - it is a cheat MEAL, not a cheat day or cheat weekend!  Don't ruin all the hard work you have put in all week by going bonkers all weekend.  

*For parties, pre-eat!  So have a Shakeology on your way to the party.  Offer to bring a clean appetizer or snack.  Then make every social gathering about socializing with others and not about the food.  Stay away from the food table.  I help set up, get the kids food, and then help clean up so I am never forced to have to just sit and stare at everyone else shoving food down their throats. 
Do not hang out by the food table or in the kitchen.  You are more apt to mindlessly graze if the food is within arms reach.  Fix your plate with your healthy apps that you brought along, grab some water, & WALK AWAY from the food!

*Drink lots of water!!!  Just remember that you are not depriving yourself of life, you are giving yourself life!  When everyone is feeling full, sluggish and miserable you are going to be looking fabulous, feeling confident and have more energy!! 
If you choose to indulge in an adult beverage be sure to off-set it with a nice big glass of water.  Want to make your water more special?  Try some plain seltzer with a slice of lemon or lime.  Try to choose lower calorie beverages - try some seltzer water & vodka with a lime.

*Plan it out!  If you are traveling, going to sporting events or just out all day pack a cooler of clean snacks.  Even throw in an extra snack so that you are not caught in a situation where you are out longer than expected and have nothing to eat.  It's easy to throw in a scoop of Shakeology, shaker cup and a bottle of water!
My favorite on-the-go snacks:
+apples & almonds
+fresh veggies & homemade hummus
+string cheese

*Get your workout in and kick some butt!!!

Need some help staying on track each day or want to kick off a healthy lifestyle change?  Check out how I can help you reach your goals in a challenge group.

Friday, February 14, 2014

What is a challenge group?

As a Beachbody coach I get the questions all the time "What is a challenge group?" and "How can a challenge group help me?"

You should first know that I am the product of a challenge group!  After the birth of our fourth child I needed to reclaim my body & feel comfortable in my skin once again.  Not only did I crush my weight loss goals, I gained energy, self-confidence, and a new healthy lifestyle for my family & I.  Find out more about my transformation here.

Before joining a challenge group you & I will chat about your health & fitness goals, and discuss any physical or dietary restrictions you may have.  We will talk about your daily schedule, your level of physical fitness, and how much time you have to devote to exercise.  This will help me find a workout program that you will enjoy & that will help you reach your goals.  

As a participant in a challenge group you are added to a closed Facebook group that can only be accessed by your coach (Me!) & fellow challengers.  Everyone is there for the same purpose - to improve their health & fitness.  It is a supportive community where you can ask questions, get tips on how to lead a healthier lifestyle, celebrate successes daily, and even vent frustrations.  

As you coach & the leader of the challenge group I post daily motivation, healthy recipes, weekly meal plans, fitness tips, and lessons on clean eating.  I answer your questions, give your personal support, and keep you accountable.  

Your role in the challenge group is to check in daily to report on your daily exercise, clean eating, and Shakeology. This keeps you accountable & on-track to reach your goals.  Interaction among challengers builds a community of support & positive energy.  

Watch this to learn more about the benefits of having a Beachbody coach: 

Are you ready to take the challenge?  Complete this challenge group application to get started today:

I would love to be YOUR coach.  Sign up here for a FREE account:

When is my next challenge group starting?  I have multiple groups starting each & every month.  Email me to find out when my next challenge group begins.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

What would Valentine's Day be without a little chocolate?  In Fit Momma form I looked for a healthier alternative & remembered a Black Bean Brownie recipe we used a few months back.  I must give credit where credit is number one kitchen helper, Hunter, came up with the the idea of putting peanut butter in today's brownies.  Now we have Peanut Butter Swirl 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
2 Tbls. all-natural peanut butter
* Don't forget the secret ingredient! LOVE! *

1. Rinse the beans WELL! 
2. Put all ingredients into the blender & blend for approx. 2 mins.  
3. Pour batter into a greased 8x8 pan.
4. Divide peanut butter into several drops around the top of the batter.
5. Use a spatula or knife to swirl the peanut butter through the batter.
6. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Baked Tilapia Curry

I have a tendency to stick to the "old favorites" when it comes to dinner at our house.  You know, the recipes that the kids all love & hubby gobbles down.  But this week I decided to spice things up a bit & throw some new recipes into the meal plan.  I looked through my Eating Well magazines & found some tasty-sounding suppers that were quick & easy looking.

I must say that this recipe was a winner with 3 out of 4 children (#3 thought it was frog & took some coaxing to convince him it was in fact tilapia).  The hubby loved it & I will definitely be putting this on the menu again!
I switched up the Eating Well Magazine recipe a little bit, so here is the Fit Momma of Four version of Baked Tilapia Curry!

1 Tbls. extra virgin olive oil
2 bell peppers sliced - I used orange, but you could use red, orange, or yellow.
1 medium yellow onion or shallot, finely chopped
2 Tbls. curry powder
14 oz. unsweetened coconut milk
the juice of 1/2 lemon (you could also use lime juice)
1 tsp. raw honey
1 - 1 1/4 lbs. tilapia fillets
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Sautee peppers & onions until soft.  Add curry powder, coconut milk, lemon juice, & honey.  Stir well & bring to a boil.  Reduce heat & simmer for 2-3 minutes.

3. Place tilapia in prepared baking dish & sprinkle with sea salt & black pepper.  Pour curry mixture over the fish.

4. Bake until the fish is opaque in the middle, about 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with cilantro.

I served the tilapia curry over brown rice & with some steamed veggies on the side.  Yum, yum, yum!

For more kid-tested, hubby-approved clean eating recipes, click here!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Write down your health & fitness goals for optimal success!

Do you have some health & fitness goals in mind for yourself?  Did you know that you are more likely to achieve your goals if your WRITE THEM DOWN?  Just the simple act of putting them on paper, or sharing your goals with friends and family makes them REAL!  When you write down your goals they aren't just a thought floating around in your head that may or may not happen.  Writing down your goals makes them tangible, achievable, concrete! 

A step beyond writing your goals down is making those goals SMART!  Why SMART goals?  
The more SPECIFIC you make your goal, the better you will be able to track your progress & know if you are on your way to achieving your goal.  If you just say "I want to lose weight," that is too general.  State how many pounds you want to loose.  For example, I will lose 5 lbs. so my favorite jeans will fit better!  

Make your goal MEASURABLE by placing a specific value / unit of measure in your goal.  If you have a goal to become better at running, set a MEASURABLE goal specific to running.  "I will run a 5K without any walking breaks."

While our first instinct is often to shoot for the moon, be sure to keep your goals ATTAINABLE.  You may have a long-term goal to complete an Iron Man competition, but if you have never run a day in your life or you have been on a bicycle since you were 10 years old that goal is not going to be immediately attainable.  Break that goal down into manageable chunks that will eventually lead you to your ultimate goal.  Perhaps start with "I will bicycle 2 miles a day, 5 days a week."  Once you have crushed that goal, move on to another attainable short-term goal that will lead to your ultimate dream of running an Iron Man.

Keep your goals RELEVANT.  If you want to gain muscle & tone, don't write a goal that is all about cardio conditioning or how far you will be able to run.  To gain muscle & tone you will need to lift weights, eat clean, and have a cardio component as well.  A more relevant goal for this will be "I will lift weights three days a week & do cardio and stretching workouts two days a week.  I will reach this goal by following the ChaLean Extreme workout program."

Putting a deadline on your goals give you urgency to TAKE ACTION & keep on moving!  A good example of this is, "I will follow the meal plans and workouts of the 21 Day Fix program so I can rock my favorite dress at the Vacation Gala on March 8."  If you don't make your goals TIME-BOUND you are more likely to push it off, get off track, & procrastinate.  

So now you have written your goals down, the are SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, RELEVANT, & TIME-BOUND.  Ready to go out & crush them?!?!  Need some help staying motivated & on track?  That's where I come me for more information on how I can keep you focused to achieve your goals to get healthy & fit.

Making a healthy U-Turn

This weekend I totally went off-track.  My husband threw a surprise birthday party for my upcoming milestone birthday (mid-thirties, here I come!) and the house was filled with many of my favorite cheat, chips & dips, cake, ice cream...and I over-indulged.  My stomach is not happy with me & I'm feeling kind of blah.  It would be easy to pull the covers over my head & throw in the towel, but I have big goals.  I have four kids who depend on me.  I NEED to be at my best!  I need to be on my A-game!  So I am going to make a HEALTHY U-TURN starting today to get me back on track!
I'm going to Stop, Collaborate, & Listen!  No, I'm not listening to Vanilla Ice (though that does make me want to have an awesome 90's dance party with my boys)....

I'm going to STOP going down the slippery slope of poor food choices & get turned in the right direction.  I am going through the kitchen & getting rid of the temptations.  Left-over cake, half-eaten bags of tortilla chips, and left-over dips....ADIOS!  They are no longer going to be around to tempt me or put the kids on a sugar high!

I will Collaborate with my fellow coaches & challengers for ACCOUNTABILITY!  I will check in with my challenge groups & confess my poor food choices from the weekend.  I will ask for their support to help keep me on track this week & I will be sure to keep them motivated to make good choices as well.  Team work makes the dream work!

I'm going to LISTEN to my own advice.  Last night I made a meal plan for the week & I'm going to stick to it.  My meal plan is filled with clean, healthy foods that will make me feel great & fuel my body for all I need to do this week.  I will get in all my workouts (starting Block 2 of P90X3 today!). I will drink TONS OF WATER to flush out my system & properly hydrate my body.

Do you need help getting on track with your health & fitness?  Want someone to motivate you & keep you accountable?  Send me a message & we'll work together to make your healthy U-Turn today!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

My top 5 reasons to make a clean eating meal plan for your family.

Top five reasons why this Fit Momma of Four makes a meal plan:

5. Meal planning helps us to avoid take-out & the dreaded drive-thru!  Because I plan our meals ahead of time & base our meals around our weekly schedule, I can plan easy crock pot meals on nights we are busy with soccer, guitar, and choir.  I can plan a meal that might take a little longer to prepare for an evening when we don't have any activities scheduled.
4. Meal planning helps me try more new recipes.  Before I made meal plans I made whatever was quick, easy, or whatever I could easily throw together from the random ingredients in my fridge & pantry.  When I meal plan I know what ingredients I need to get before I go to the grocery store & I can do a lot of my prep ahead of time.
3. Meal planning saves me money!  I plan every meal of the day - breakfast, lunch, dinner, & snacks.  If it is not on the meal plan, I don't put it in my cart.  I can look at the grocery store sales flyer for the week before making my meal plan & plan my meals around produce & proteins that are on sale that week.
2. Meal planning saves me time!  When my meal plan is in place at the beginning of the week I can do a lot of the prep work ahead of time (usually on Sunday) & I have a lot less chopping & such to do on those busy week nights.
1. Meal planning keeps me on track to reach my health & fitness goals & keeps my family eating clean, healthy foods!

Breakfast is generally oatmeal with fresh fruit, egg white oatmeal, or an egg white scramble with veggies.

Morning snack is always fruit and a protein - almonds, cashews, all-natural peanut butter, or a hard boiled egg.

Lunch is Shakeology time for this Fit Momma of Four!

Afternoon snack is fresh veggie with a protein - hummus, beans, hard boiled egg, or string cheese.

Dinner is where I get more creative.  Here is an example of a week of dinners in our fit family:

Would you like to learn more about clean eating & start a healthier lifestyle?  Join a clean eating group today by completing this application or email me at

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Tropical Vacation Vanilla Shakeology

Time for a Tropical (Mental) Vacation! Looking at pics from our trip to Los Cabos, Mexico & sipping on this fruity drink. It really deserves an umbrella! 
Combine ice, 4 oz. o.j., 8 oz. almond milk, 1/2 banana, 1/4 mango, 2 Tbls. unsweetened coconut flakes, 1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology, blend & imagine you are on a hot, sandy beach!

Click here for Clean Eating Recipes!
Click here for more Shakeology Recipes!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow Day Coaching - are you ready to work from home?

Snow days have always been happy events for me. Even when I worked outside the home, I was a teacher & it meant another day to be at home with my own kiddos. Today I started thinking about all of those who are not so fortunate. I thought of all the people who had to scramble to find coverage for their school-aged kids & brave the icy roads to get their kids to a sitter & then get to work. Then they probably sit there all day & worry about the road conditions when it was time to go pick up the kids. I am SOOO blessed that I don't have to stress about that & I truly feel for all of you who do.
Today I checked in with my challengers, snuggled with my kiddos & pup. Then we played Sorry & trains. While Luke took his nap Noah & I did a workout, I checked my messages & returned some emails...I even got to hear about a challenger's personal success in fitting into a favorite outfit today!! Happy Dance!!!
We continued our day by having a yummy, home-cooked family dinner together & we are going to unwind with a little family movie now. We never had to brave the icy roads or even put on real clothes!
Would you like to have worry-free snow days full of snuggles, games, & good workout all in your comfy clothes?
I am looking for FIVE highly motivated individuals who are ready to stop the 9-5 grind & start living life on YOUR TERMS!
Complete this application to start living your dreams TODAY!

Monday, February 3, 2014

21 Day Fix, is this the new workout for you?

If you are anything like me you set BIG goals for yourself at the beginning of the year.  Some of those goals were short term, some will be achieved over the span of the year.  Some of my goals were about family, some about personal development, some concerning the growth of my business, but one of the BIGGEST goals I set for myself was about the number of individuals & families I wanted to help to reach their HEALTH & FITNESS GOALS  in 2014.  100...I want to help AT LEAST 100 individuals & families learn how to live healthier lifestyles through clean eating & exercise.  

Today Beachbody has given me an AMAZING new tool to help reach more people & build that foundation of healthy habits.  The 21 Day Fix is a program that focuses on proper nutrition & portion control paired with 30 minute daily workouts to help anyone looking to improve their health & fitness!

Is the 21 Day Fix right for you & your fitness goals?  Let's find out....

*Do you have a special event or trip coming up that you would like to drop a few pounds before attending?  Test groups of the 21 Day Fix have shown that in just one round with this programs folks have lost as much as 10-15 lbs. in just 21 days!

*Do you have 50-100 pounds or more to lose?  
Beachbody ran multiple test groups with individuals with every body type & fitness level out there.  In several groups they used the 21 Day Fix program multiple times back to back & lost upwards of 100lbs. in 11 rounds of the 21 Day Fix.

*Are you looking to kick-start a healthy lifestyle of clean eating & learn how to properly fuel your body?  The 21 Day Fix was developed by Autumn Calabrese, a personal trainer & bikini competition participant.  Through her years of work as a trainer & fitness competitor Autumn found that nutrition was the KEY to getting the results that you want!  She developed this program's nutritional plan to focus on clean eating & PROPER PORTION CONTROL!  The 21 Day Fix even comes with color-coded containers to help you STOP over-eating & learn how to fuel your body in the healthiest way possible.

*Are you a BUSY individual who doesn't have time to drive to the gym or do hour long workouts?
Every workout in the 21 Day Fix is ONLY 30 MINUTES long!  You workout 7 days a week for 21 days for AMAZING SUCCESS.  Fitness, nutrition, coach's a winning combination!

*Are you a self-proclaimed "gym rat" but you want to add something new to your routine & really focus on your nutrition?
Adding a 30 minute workout to your routine is TOTALLY do-able!  Color-coded containers to help you learn the PROPER PORTION to eat from each food group & an awesome nutrition guide with great new recipes to try.

How can a challenge group benefit YOU?
*In this 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! 

Ready to secure your spot in this challenge group?  Follow this link to complete an application now!

Click here to purchase your 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack: 

Interested in joining my team as a Beachbody Coach?  Complete an application here: 

Chunky Salsa with Avocado

The Super Bowl may be over, but this tasty salsa is great for snack time, to put on top of tacos, a family get-together, or to nosh on while you watch the winter Olympics!
I like to serve it with whole grain tortilla chips, pita chips, or even with thick cuts of cucumbers or celery!
To make this I diced 1 ripe avocado, half or quarter 1 pint cherry tomatoes, dice 1/2 red onion, tear a handful of fresh cilantro, & squeeze the juice of a lime or lemon on top. Mix & allow to marinate in fridge for an hour or so before serving.

Need more clean eating recipe ideas that are kid-tested & hubby approved?  Click here! 

Healthier Pancakes for the whole family!

We have had a lot of snow days this winter, allowing us many more leisurely mornings than normal.  When we have extra time in the morning I like to make the kids a special breakfast.  A family favorite in our house is PANCAKES!   This morning I whipped up the tasty cakes above & everyone gobbled them up.  Here are my tips to make your pancakes healthier.
How to make a healthier pancake. 
*Make your own! Skip the pre-made mixes. You only need a few simple ingredients to make a great pancake. 
*Use whole wheat or another alternative flour (spelt, almond, quinoa). 
*Replace oil with unsweetened applesauce. It will eliminate fat, add fiber & a natural sweetness. 
*skip the added sugar. If you want to add a little sweetness to your batter add a little raw honey or Stevia.
*Rethink your toppings. Throw away your brown corn syrup in a log cabin shaped bottle. Get some pure maple syrup (a little will go a long way) or try something different! Unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon, a drizzle of raw honey, fresh fruit, fruit juice sweetened spread, clean eating apple butter...there are tons of healthy alternatives!

Click here for my favorite clean eating recipes!