Thursday, May 29, 2014

5 Day Sneak Peek into Life of a Beachbody Coach

Have you ever wondered what on Earth a Beachbody coach really does?  Maybe you were afraid to ask.  Maybe you asked but were afraid to commit.  Maybe you thought, "there's no way this can be real. How are all these people so happy & motivated?"

Beachbody has totally transformed my life, first as a customer / challenger & now as a coach.  Read more about my story here.  Are you ready to transform your life?  Not only get into the best shape of your life, but also help others, set your own work hours, control your income, have the opportunity to be the CEO of your life!?!?

In any case, if you are curious about becoming a Beachbody coach or how coaches help others or how coaches make money or how coaches quit their 9 to 5 jobs to work from can find out, no strings attached, in a 5 Day Sneak Peek into Life as a Beachbody Coach!  You do not have to be a challenger, customer, nothing.  All you have to do is ask & I will be happy to add you to the closed group that will be run via Facebook.  Simply send me an email at & I will send you the link to join!  You could also send me a friend request on Facebook (Jessica Cipollone Hrbek) & a message asking to join.

Read more about the coaching opportunity here & even fill out an application if you are ready to change your life!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

DIY Flavored Seltzer Water

This morning started with my toddler climbing on the kitchen counter & hurling a cantaloupe on the floor.  Luckily it didn't make too much of a mess, but it did make me realize that it was time to eat this melon.  About half of the melon was a little beyond prime ripeness (or maybe it was the impact with the kitchen floor that caused the excess squishiness).  So I sliced the cantaloupe & put the over-ripe pieces in the blender.  I gave it a few quick pulses & then poured the liquid cantaloupe into ice cube trays.  A few hours later I was looking to mix up my afternoon water, so I threw a few of the cantaloupe cubes into my cup & topped them with some plain seltzer water.  YUM, YUM, YUM!  I have recently fallen in love with La Crouix naturally flavored seltzer water & this is a fresh twist on this tasty concept & more cost effective!  Bingo!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Homemade Frozen Fruit Pops

As the weather gets warmer the kids will want to reach for a frozen treat to cool down.  Unfortunately most store-bought ice pops are full of dyes, artificial flavors, added sugars, & other questionable ingredients.  It is quick & easy to make these frozen fruit pops at home.  All you need is a blender, some popsicle molds, or dixie cups & popsicle sticks!  These are so yummy the grown ups will be sneaking a treat as well.

You could use pretty much any combination of fruit that you like, but I will share what I put into this tasty concoction that you see my little man enjoying above.

8 oz. orange juice
4 oz. coconut water
2 cups fresh fruit (watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries)
2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I like Muscle Milk brand) or 1 scoop vanilla Shakeology

Pulse a few times in the blender until everything is combined.  Divide evenly into popsicle molds (this makes about 8 frozen fruit pops).  Place in freezer for at least 3 hours before enjoying.

Monday, May 26, 2014

21 Day Fix update - half on the wagon, half off

So I completed my first round of the 21 Day Fix....sort off.  I stayed consistent with my workouts, but during the third week my eating habits got a bit off track.  I didn't totally fall off the wagon, but I had several days that I did not eat enough & I was not on the regular schedule of eating every 2 1/2 -3 hours.  I allowed life to get in the way & didn't plan very well for a few days.  Then came this past weekend.  My hubby turned 40 this past week & being the good wife I am, I planned a surprise party for him on Saturday.  I couldn't bring a bunch of extra food into the house without him getting suspicious, so we had the event catered.  Needless to say, it was not clean eating....the food was DELICIOUS, but I did not take my own best advice & let the food get the best of me.  It would have been all fine & good to get back on track on Sunday...but there were all the leftovers...I couldn't let all that yumminess go to waste!  Long story short, I had cheats on Saturday & Sunday.

Today I felt all puffy, bloated & disappointed that I had not stuck to the practices that I know are best.  I have Coach Summit in Las Vegas in 23 days & I want to be looking my could I let this happen?!?!  Well, it happened & I am not going to beat myself up over it.  Round 2 of the 21 Day Fix started this morning with my Total Body Fix workout & making a meal plan that will help get me back on track!

All in all my first round of the Fix was still a success. I am feeling stronger & more toned.  I have upped the weights I am using in my workouts & I am still down in weight from where I started on day 1.  This second round I am going to be more consistent, despite some obstacles that are in my path (like a girls' trip to Charleston, SC for 5 days!).  I have big goals to reach & I am working hard to make them happen.

21 Day Fix - Day 1 of Round 1                                                        21 Day Fix - Day 21 of Round 1

Thursday, May 15, 2014

21 Day Fix Progress Report

On May 5 I started a new workout program that to be honest, I was skeptical about.  I know that you can get a new workout in 30 minutes, heck, Tony Horton handed my butt to me in 30 minutes with P90X3.  But this program has a new trainer...I wasn't sure I would like the Autumn Calabrese or if I would find her workouts challenging enough after just finishing X3.  Well, I am 10 day into the 21 Day Fix & you may be wondering how I'm doing.


I am seriously loving this workout program & eating plan!  This is the first time in a long while that I have gone 10 days straight & not missed a workout or missed a day & doubled up the next.  I have done my workout even on the days where I was tired or my schedule got mixed up because these 21 Day Workouts are challenging, dynamic, and make me feel awesome!  I have been sore in the best way possible for the past 10 days...more-so in the first week, but still getting some nice sore muscles in week 2 as well.

The combination of weights, cardio, & active recovery days really hits the spot & all the muscle groups that I want to tone up for summertime!  I am already seeing a difference in my arms & abs.  

I have been eating clean for almost two years now, so I am familiar with the concept.  But the reminder to adhere to proper portion sizes through the use of the color-coded food containers has given me a reality check that I was sneaking in a few to many starchy carbs some days & not quite enough veggies other days.  The formula to figure out how many servings I have from each container in a day is simple & I have come up with this little system in the notes section of my phone to help me keep track of what I have eaten each day.

I start out with a little icon for each container I have allotted to eat each day.  As the day goes on & I eat a serving, I delete an icon from the corresponding food group.  I do my best to spread out my containers throughout the day & eat about every 2 1/2 to 3 hours to keep my metabolism burning all day long.

This is just an example of a lunch or dinner salad that I have enjoyed on the 21 Day Fix.  I am NOT going hungry by any stretch of the imagination.  I am eating tons of healthy foods & drinking lots of water. 

I aim to drink 70 oz. of water each day.
140 lbs. / 2 = 70 oz. of water each day

My typical breakfast of old fashioned oats, 1/2 scoop of vanilla Shakeology, a splash of unsweetened almond milk, & lots of yummy fresh berries!  All 21 Day Fix approved!  
Oatmeal = 1 yellow container
1/2 scoop Shakeology = 1/2 red container
berries = 1 purple container

You can even have a chocolate treat on the 21 Day Fix.  It is all about portion control!  I had 1 orange container worth of dark chocolate covered raisins & it hit the spot!

Now it's time for the drum 10 days of the 21 Day Fix I am down 6 lbs!  I have not taken measurements yet (I'm saving that for day 21), but I'm feeling tighter in the tummy & seeing more tone in my arms & booty area too.  So stay tuned folks.  11 Days to go!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Fat is NOT a Four-Letter Word

Growing up in the 1980's every time we turned around there was a new "fat-free" this or "low-fat" that.  I mean, who doesn't remember the magical "Snack-well" cookies that were fat-free, sugar-free, everything-free...what the heck were those things made of anyway?  Answer: a chemical sh*t-storm!
Who remembers these???

Folks really thought they were doing something good for themselves by  reaching for all these fat-free "foods," but really they were depriving their bodies of something each & every one of us NEEDS for proper functioning....FAT!  Yes!  We NEED FAT in our diets for proper brain function, for internal organ protection, to produce tissue & hormones.  Fat is part of every cell membrane in our bodies!

Now I'm not saying go out there & eat a greasy burger & fries every day.  You must find HEALTHY sources of fat & adhering to the PROPER PORTION SIZE.  That is where most people get tripped up.  We live in a super-sized, triple-scoop world.  Learning to eat the appropriate size portion is vital for good health.

Where can you find these HEALTHY FATS?
*fatty fish -salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, trout - palm size portion
*nuts -peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, pecans, almonds (go for raw, unsalted varieties) -10-12 nuts
*nut butters - peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter (look for all-natural varieties where the ONLY ingredient is nuts!  NO added salt, sugars, or oils) - 1-2 Tablespoons
*flax seed -  1-2 Tablespoons
*hemp seed -  1-2 Tablespoons
*extra virgin olive oil
*coconut oil
*avocado - 1/2 avocado
*hummus - 2 Tablespoons
*coconut milk -1/2 cup
*cheese (yes, you can have REAL cheese, none of that processed cheese-like junk) - thumb size piece
*pumpkin seeds - 2 Tablespoons
*unsweetened coconut flakes - 1-2 Tablespoons

Fats to avoid:
*deep fried foods
*vegetable shortening
*packaged snack foods
*candy bars

Here are a few of my favorite recipes that incorporate some of these healthy fats:

Avocado Chicken Salad

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

No Bake Shakeology Balls

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Homemade Hummus

Whole Wheat Flax Seed Bread

For more clean eating recipes click here.

Want to learn more about clean eating?  Contact me about joining one of my clean eating accountability groups.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This quinoa dish is a hit each & every time I make it.  It is easy to prepare & tastes awesome with everything from grilled chicken to turkey burgers to steak....or fabulous all on its own!

Step 1: Prepare the Quinoa
I always purchase a pre-rinsed variety of quinoa, but if you cannot find pre-rinsed quinoa be sure to rinse it well before cooking.  Quinoa has an outer layer or husk that can taste bitter & earthy if not rinsed before cooking.

In a 2 quart sauce pan place 2 cups water, the juice of one lemon, 2 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. garlic powder, & a sprinkle of sea salt.  Stir in 1 cup pre-rinsed quino & bring to a boil.  Lower heat, cover, & simmer for approximately 10 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.

Fluff quinoa with a fork & allow to cool

Step 2: Prepare the Salad Dressing
I prefer to make this dressing in a larger than needed batch in a shaker & keep the extra on hand for salads throughout the week.

In a shaker combine 1/2 cup red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 Tbls. basil, 1 Tbls. oregano, 1 Tbls. black pepper, 1 Tbls. garlic powder, a sprinkle of sea salt, & a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.  Shake well.

Step 3: Make your Mediterranean Quinoa Salad!
Chop 1 cucumber into bite-size pieces.  Cut 1 pint grape tomatoes into halves.  Crumble 4 oz. feta cheese.  *Optional: slice 6-8 sun-dried tomatoes.  Combine all of these ingredients with the cooled quinoa & 1/3 of the salad dressing.  Stir well & refrigerate in a sealed container.

This recipe easily doubles for special events or to be eaten throughout the week.

For more delicious clean eating recipes click here.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Avocado Chicken Salad

The picture does not do this DELICIOUS dish justice.  It has all the tastiness & creaminess of chicken salad, but none of the guilt!  I replaced the mayo with creamy, dreamy avocado (healthy fat, HOORAY!)...I'm never going back to old school chicken salad again!

1 lb. thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 quarts water (for poaching)
1 lemon
1 lime
2 ripe avocados
sea salt
black pepper
 garlic powder
red pepper flakes

1. In a large pot bring water, the juice of the lemon, 1 Tbls. black pepper, a sprinkle of sea salt, & 1 tsp. garlic powder to a boil.

2. Add chicken breasts & allow to poach for 8-10 minutes.

3. Remove chicken from poaching liquid & use two forks to shred chicken in a large bowl.  Allow to cool for approx. 5 mins.

4. Dice avocados & add to shredded chicken.  Mix & smash avocado at the same time.  You can make it totally smooth or leave some chunks of avocado if yo like.

5. Add 1 Tbls. black pepper, 1 tsp. sea salt, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, & a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.  Mix well.

I put my avocado chicken salad on top of romaine lettuce & fresh veggies. Then I topped it with some clean eating salsa.  DE-LISH!!  This would also be great on a wrap or some toasted Ezekiel bread.

Homemade Corn & Black Bean Salsa

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Who remembers Beef-a-roni?  Macaroni noodles, beef, tomato sauce, cheese....yes children of the 80's let me hear you.  We were never fans of the canned stuff growing up, but my mom made an amazing homemade version that we looked forward to.

Last night I had a flash back to those days & decided to try cleaning up this old favorite.  It turned out pretty darn tasty...even the kids agree that it was yummy.

I started by sauteeing 1/2 of a diced onion.  Then I browned 1 1/2 lb. lean ground turkey with 1 tsp. sea salt, 2 tsp. black pepper, & 2 tsp. garlic powder.  Then I added in 1 cup diced tomatoes & 1/2 cup sliced sweet peppers.  

*This mixture would be great on tortillas, mixed with brown rice, or on top of salads!*

Then I boiled up some organic whole wheat macaroni & mixed in the meat & veggie mixture. 
BAM!  Turkey-roni was born!
To add that cheesy element I shredded a little fresh Italian cheese that we snagged down at the farmers' market.  YUM!

Monday, May 5, 2014

21 Day Fix - the journey begins!

Now that I have completed P90X3 it is time to move on to the next challenge...the 21 Day Fix!

Today was my day 1.  I completed Total Body Cardio Fix this morning & really enjoyed the workout.  It reminded me of the CVX workout from P90X3, but with some added abs work.  And what Momma doesn't love a little extra attention in the ab area?  I'm loving that I get to continue on my 30 minute workout schedule since all the Fix workouts are just half an hour, just like P90X3.  However, the cool down time was included in the Total Body Cardio Fix, where the X3 cool downs were an extra 2 or 3 minutes in addition to your 30 min. workout.

My food choices were pretty on-point today, though my timing did get off a little bit & I wound up having an evening snack of fresh veggies after dinner because I still had one green container remaining.  You see, the 21 Day Fix comes with these handy-dandy color-coded containers for each food group that teach you proper portion sizes.  Then the nutrition guide helps you calculate your caloric needs & tells you how many of each container to eat each day.  Additionally, the nutrition guide gives you a list of ideas of what to eat from each food group.  

Tomorrow I am looking forward to the Upper Fix workout.  I will be checking in periodically with my progress with this program.  If you would like more information about the 21 Day Fix email me at or you are interested in joining my 21 Day Fix Challenge Group beginning May 26 click here to submit an application.

Interested in the Beachbody Coaching Opportunity?  Click here to learn more & submit an application to join my team.