Monday, November 25, 2013

Clean Eating Meatballs

I am making these tonight for us to have all week as lunches! They are delicious, healthy and easy to make. They are so quick and we will have them as a meatball sandwich or even as a side to a nice salad. I will put some low sodium tomato sauce and a tiny sprinkle of low fat mozzarella cheese with some lettuce all on a whole wheat pita or whole wheat bun!!!! I am always looking for quick and easy ways to serve my family meals and this one is a hit! I really encourage you to make them and I am pretty sure that everyone in the fam will gobble them up!! And, let’s face it.. we all like a quick, tasty meal that is already cooked and ready to go!!

Clean Eating Meatballs
1 1/2 lbs lean ground turkey or chicken.
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 egg lightly beaten
1 cup oat bran or ezekiel bread crumbs
2 tbsp fresh parsely, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh oregano finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl place egg and breadcrumbs or oat bran.  Add spices and mix well.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Using an ice cream scoop make meatballs and place on prepared cookie sheet.  Place in hot oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Week 1: Body Beast/ T25 Hybrid

Week 1: Body Beast/T25 Hybrid
I am so excited to be changing up the routine this week! I was planning to start Body Beast last Monday, but I hurt my back on Sunday morning, so that idea flew out the window! So, I have mended myself back to normal and I am so excited to get started!  So, I was going to just do Body Beast, but I decided that since we are going into the peak of the holiday season, I will do a hybrid so I can really focus on getting my lifting in and on those few days a week when time is of the essence, I will do a T25 workout! WIN WIN! I have never done Body Beast, so this is really exciting for me! I have a few friends who are in the second phase and they LOVE IT and are getting INSANE results! I can’t wait to really pump my muscles. 
This week I am going to be focusing solely on perfect form and also staying spot on with my meal plan. It is the start of the holiday season and I refuse to put on any extra holiday fluff! That is not going to happen to this girl and I don’t want it to happen to you either! This is a joyous time to spend with friends and family! To be thankful for everything and to know that we are all so blessed! With that being said, let’s not allow this season to get the bets of us! Don’t allow your season to revolve around FOOD! Food is not that special! I know, I know.. we all get excited about Grandma’s special pumpkin pie and Aunt Sally’s famous sugar cookies! That is perfectly okay!! BUT, what we don’t want to do is focus so much on them that we end up eating the whole tray of cookies ourselves!

 I want to give you a suggestion. Set a number of cookies that you are going to allow yourself to have this holiday season. From now until January 1st, what is an acceptable number of treats you can give yourself that will make you feel satisfied, but not stuffed? Is that number 12? 15? 20? Choose your number and write it down! PUT IT IN YOUR PHONE!!! And after each sweet treat you eat, cross of a 1,2,3… etc! That will really make you be aware of what is going into your mouth!! AND I bet that you will find yourself being more mindful of which treat goes to your lips. Is it worth eating that walmart cooking when you know next weekend Grannie will have her homemade goodies?? NO! It’s all about eating what you want in moderation and also paying attention to what you are eating 🙂 Hope that little tip helps!

HERE IS MY SCHEDULE THIS WEEK!!!! November 25th- December 1st 🙂 
Body Beast Build Week / Focus T25

  • Day 1: BB Build: Chest/Tris + Fit Club in the Evening- T25: Cardio
  • Day 2: BB Build: Legs
  • Day 3: BB Build: Back/Bis 
  • Day 4: T25: Speed 2.0
  • Day 5: BB: Build: Shoulders / T25: Lower Focus
  • Day 6: BB Build: Chest/Tris + Ab Intervals
  • Day 7: Rest OR T25: Stretch OR T25: Core Speed
Back to the meal planning. It is really important to me to make sure that I am fueling my body properly. I like how I feel when I am getting in all of my veggies and fruits, when I am drinking my Shakeology everyday and when I am exercising! My body thanks me! Shoot, I have abs I didn’t know existed! I EAT and I DON’T FEEL DEPRIVED!! EVER!! I plan my cheat meals each week and I enjoy my life! 
I do want you guys to focus on eating at least every 3 hours! It is so important to your body that you are eating because that is what gets your metabolism up and up!! Are you someone who says “I’m never hungry?” Well, that is probably because you are eating too many calories at one sitting and also your metabolism is not as fast as it could or possibly should be! Check out my meal plan to see how I plan my days of meals 🙂 

So, I will be checking in with you all on my progress this week! I can’t wait to start getting my muscles really pumping and see what a difference I can make in my body! I like change and I can’t wait to share this with you! Stay tuned!!  And I have made a lot of progress so far!! I can’t wait to go further!! 🙂 

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Saturday, November 23, 2013


This was always a staple around our house as a kid. I think that my mom made this dish at least every other week!! It is a great way to get a ton of vitamins and nutrients without going way overboard on calories. This is a ‘hearty’ dish without giving you a hearty waistline!!  My family eats it up and it is perfect for a cold winter night!!

Clean Eating Chicken And Dumplings
(Makes approximately 5 quarts)
Stew Ingredients:
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth (no sugar/dextrose added)
1 tablespoon marjoram
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion – peeled and diced
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
4 stalks celery, cleaned and sliced
1 cup peas, frozen works fine
1/2 cup corn, frozen is what I use
Dumpling Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup milk (any milk you typically use is fine. I use unsweetened almond milk.
Stew Directions:
Pour the broth into your crock pot (or into a large soup pot if cooking on a stove top).
Add the marjoram and garlic powder to the broth and turn the crock pot to high (stove top, bring to a slow boil)
In a pan, combine the olive oil, onion, carrots and celery. Saute until the onions are translucent.
Add the veggies and cut up chicken to the crock pot (or soup pot).
Dumpling Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk to blend well.
Pour in the oil and milk and mix with a wooden spoon.
(Be sure the broth is hot before adding the dumplings to the pot) Using two teaspoons, scoop up and round off your dumplings and scrap into your pot. (Just like making drop cookies)
Stove Top Directions:
Boil until the dumplings and chicken are cooked.
Slow Cooker Directions:
Cook this on high for about 3-1/2 hours. But if you need to cook it longer because you are leaving for the day (or cooking overnight), turn the slow cooker to low and cook until the dumplings and chicken are cooked through. (My guess is about 6 hours). It’s important to know how your slow cooker cooks here. Every slow cooker is slightly different.
Also, the dumplings will look a little odd after they have been cooking at the top of the stew all day. They create a sort of “crust-like” cover. Just break them up with a wooden spoon and stir them into the stew to finish cooking. Simply break one open to be sure it’s cooked all the way through.

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Eat. Drink. Be FIT and HEALTHY This Holiday Season!

Eat. Drink. Be FIT and HEALTHY This Holiday Season!
Are you already stressing about the holidays? Are you thinking.. “Oh my GOSH, it is already November 23rd and I have NOTHING ready for Christmas?”  Well, I have totally been that person in the past! The one who literally stresses for six weeks leading up to Christmas and then stresses after Christmas wondering how in the world we are going to pay off what we spent for Christmas! YIKES!!!
I can honestly say at this point that I have overcome that feeling of craziness and this year I am already planned, prepped and ready to go!! My calendar is set. I have my gift guide written out with exact items on it for each person I have to buy for! I have some things bought and some are ALREADY WRAPPED! That is huge for me! I am usually the mom sitting on the living room floor at midnight on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day trying to finish wrapping presents to get them under the tree and get to bed! NOT THIS YEAR! I am so happy that I literally do not have an ounce of stress!! 
I get all of my shopping DONE by December 5th. That is just the date that I set on my calendar and I will stick to it! I get all of my shopping done in the stores before black Friday because I am NOT A BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPER!  

I don’t venture out in the crowds!! I like the behind the scenes action, so I swear by online shopping! It’s stress free, I can sit in my yoga pants and hoodie with no makeup and shop for my fam! Then, the best part.. My packages are delivered straight to my doorstep! WOHOOO!! Can’t beat that kind of service! Oh, and I’m a huge discount shopper, so I google coupon codes for everything and ALWAYS use a discount code! Works great!

SO, anyways!! MY POINT!!! Along with the stress of the holidays can come the stress of holiday eating! Eating can become mindless and with that will come extra weight. And who wants to start the new year overweight? NOT ME! And I’m sure NOT YOU! So, have you thought about how you are going to overcome the extra pounds this year? You don’t want to be hiding behind a bulky sweater! You don’t want to have to stress about hiding your muffin top and using the rubber band trick! (You know what I’m talking about.. where you have to literally use a rubber band to put through the button hole of your jeans and wrap it around the button to get your pants to ‘fit’!!!) Been there, done that and WON’T GO THERE AGAIN! 
I want to help you survive the holidays! I want to teach you how you can overcome the pressure of eating nonstop! I want to teach you how to plan your meals and still indulge, but just in moderation instead of gorging yourself to the point of being sick!! I want to keep you accountable to your workouts!! Don’t have a workout program? I’m your girl! 25 minutes a day, 5 days a week.. We all have time for that! And we all FEEL BETTER after getting a workout done! So, why stress for the holidays? You DON’T HAVE TO!! I’m here to get you through! I’m here to help you focus on YOU!! 

Are you wondering what my Holiday Fitness, Clean Eating and Shakeology Challenge is?
Well it is a 30 day group in which I am going to teach you basic strategies for how to plan out your meals, give you recipes, tips and all the tricks that have helped me be successful in my weight loss journey.   Last year at this time I was surviving a deployment. My husband was deployed to Africa, I was holding down the fort with two small girls and just trying to keep afloat. We had just moved into a brand new house 5 months prior. we were in the process of selling our previous home in Pennsylvania, I was 1200 miles away from my family and I still managed to make it through with little stress and I stayed on track with my health and fitness. I wasn’t perfect, sometimes I messed up and I indulged in a few sweets.  

But what I did was take everything in moderation, found a way to work my workouts in and still stay focused on the goal I had for myself.  Looking back, I was FINE! I wasn’t deprived, I enjoyed the holidays with my babies, we spent a few days with my in-laws and had a BLAST!!!  I wasn’t bloated, sluggish or tired.  I felt confident going shopping the day after Christmas to buy some cute new clothes and I wasn’t looking at a big ‘spare tire’ around my waist from overdoing it!!   I was proud of my decisions and my body.  This has been how I have almost always lived my life. I just want to show you all how to do it for yourselves! I am so confident that you will love this program and see how planning your days will WORK in more ways than one!! You will not gain the dreaded holiday weight and I will be your biggest fan!! I want to teach you my ‘tricks’ and help you set and meet goals! Let’s do this.. TOGETHER!

Are you wondering how in the heck I am going to do this? Well I am taking on a 30 day fitness and Shakeology support/ accountability group.  It is all done via Facebook. I create a closed group so no one can see what is posted but the people in the group.  Each day you will get a post from me.  It will be a tip, motivation, recipe or meal plan.  Each day you are required to just check in and rate your day.  My goal is to teach you how to make smart choices, how to create a happy, healthy lifestyle and not do a ‘diet’.  This is a positive change and not one that you will be calling a fad diet! NO WAY!  We will learn how to have balance over the holidays, handle eating out, parties, social events, cravings and more!  I have lots of tricks up my sleeves and I will share them all with you! I seriously just can’t wait to share with you how I do this and how you can do it too!
Soooo, what are the REQUIREMENTS?! 
You must commit to being an active participant in the group.  This is NOT HARD! I mean it is literally less than 5 minutes a day! This is the best part because you get to chat with the others in the group and stay on track!
You must commit to a Beachbody workout program and replacing one meal a day with Shakeology.  Why?  Because Shakeology is by far the easiest and healthiest meal of the day.  Lets face it, especially now more than ever we are busy, on the go and pulled in a million different directions.  Sometimes we just don’t have time or energy left to cook. 80% of your results come from the food you put into your mouth! I was so against a ‘meal replacement shake’ when I first started.

It literally took me over a month to commit because I was like “NO WAY!! I’m NOT doing that!!’ I didn’t want to be dependent on a meal replacement to help them lose weight and I certainly didn’t want to pay money for it!!  But trust me, this is unlike anything else out there!  I fell in love with it and I literally have used it EVERY SINGLE DAY for 7 months!! LOVE IT! This is 1 meal a day and then my goal is to teach you how to eat the other meals of the day!  When the group is over you can choose to continue with Shakeology or not!  So Shakeology becomes that 1 meal a day that you do not have to worry about.  You know it has the right combination of protein and carbs to keep you full for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  Plus it will help to decrease your cravings for sweets, give you natural energy and help you lose weight! Trust me, it’s worth every penny!  Give it a try, what do you have to lose???

I am also requiring a workout program for this challenge. I am recommending the T25 program during this time of year because there will be much less excuse about finding time! This program is literally 25 minutes a day! EVERYONE HAS 25 MINUTES!! You can literally get up a little earlier, go to bed a little later, or squeeze in some time during your day! I have a challenger who literally takes her program to work with her and does it in her office on her lunch break!!! She’s a little sweaty, but says she just cleans up a little in the bathroom and she’s back in action!! Dedication is key!! And exercise will HELP YOU FEEL BETTER!! So, It takes 21 days to create a habit. Let’s go a full 30 to make it stick!!  And the best part!! You will make new friends and who knows where that will take you!! When you want to make a change you have to surround yourself with like minded people! We are YOUR PEOPLE!! 
  I must be your assigned coach! We can work together to get everything set up!! 
We are starting on DECEMBER 2nd!!! Email me at or find me on Facebook @ You can also find me on instagram @ valbfitness!!! 


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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Clean Eating Sloppy Joes

I have been a lover of sloppy joes since I was a kid! But, my mom’s recipe is definitely not the ‘cleanest’ and I have cut out added sugars in my family’s food 🙂 So, this is the best sloppy joe recipe I have found and I don’t miss all of the other add ins!!

Clean Eating Sloppy Joe’s
These make about 8 sloppy Joes 🙂 
1 tbsp. olive oil
1-1/2 lbs. lean ground turkey meat 
1 (15 oz.) can organic tomato sauce, no sugar added
1/2 cup clean ketchup (I use simply heinz)
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
2 tsp. raw honey
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 medium green bell pepper
1 medium red bell pepper
Step 1 – Put your olive oil in a large pan, add the turkey meat and cook over medium heat.
Step 2 – Once the meat is cooked, add everything else. Stir until well blended and heated through.
Step 3 – Scoop however much you want onto a clean hamburger bun or ezekiel english muffin!!

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