Monday, November 23, 2015

Sweet Potato and Pecan Casserole

INGREDIENTS:

Cooking spray

3 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1/3 cup honey

1 large egg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

Salt

1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar

1/3 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.

Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a pot with a large steamer basket in place. Put the sweet potatoes in the 

basket, cover and steam until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and let cool slightly. Add

the honey, egg, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the nutmeg, ginger and 1/3 teaspoon salt; whip with an electric mixer 

until smooth. Spread the sweet potato mixture in the prepared baking dish.

Mix the brown sugar, pecans and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl; sprinkle over the potatoes. 

Bake until hot and beginning to brown around the edges, 40 to 45 minutes.




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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Surviving The Holidays- One Cookie At A Time

Who else out there looks at November and December and thinks “holy cow!! These couple of months are going to just be fitness and nutrition survival months!”  Like come on- the amount of food that most of us are exposed to is through the roof and every time we turn a corner– another Christmas cookie is trying to hop into our mouths 😉 This is where I just want to say STOP the excuses- realize that you can have a FEW treats, eat holiday dinner, but you DO NOT have to sacrifice your waistline at the same time. I know for a 100% fact that if you have a desire and a drive to stay motivated, to NOT gain 10-20 pounds this holiday season and to really just stay true to yourself— then you will find a way to make good choices and NOT allow excuses to take over. I for one will allow myself to have 12 cookies from Thanksgiving to Christmas! Yes- I set a number of how many cookies I will eat over the holidays! THAT WAY- when I am at a party and I catch myself reaching for a store bought cookie that really isn’t that good anyways- I will remind myself “HEY! Aunt Sally is making her sugar cookies next weekend! I’m going to wait for those!”

For the last 2 1/2 years of coaching I have heard every excuse in the books! Seriously- people will try almost anything to get themselves to believe in these nonsense excuses of why their health and fitness has to wait until January… WHAT?!! Ummm… no. by that time- motivation is gone. 20 pounds have been packed on. Blood pressure and cholesterol levels are increasing, your mood is icky, you feel depressed and TIRED all the time and your self confidence is down the toilet. I LOVE to see and work with people who are determined to at least maintain and keep health a priority all year long!

My Top 4 Successful Weight Loss Tips:

1.  You have to have a WHY. A reason that will allow you to go strong even when you don’t feel like it. You can’t just sorta kinda want to change, you have to REALLY WANT TO CHANGE MORE THAN YOU WANT TO STAY THE SAME!  After the novelty of the new program wears off, what is going to keep you going?  It’s internal motivation to change more than you want to stay the same!

2.  Commitment.  Successful people are those who stay committed long after the ‘fun’ of something has worn off. They learn to be driven. They are willing to do whatever it takes to be successful and they are not QUITTERS. They are committed to believing in the process and starting and finishing the fitness program exactly as it is laid out and they will evaluate and tweak their program as they go.  Success means you are ALL IN! When we fall off the wagon- we get back up, brush ourselves off and continue to drive forward!

3.  FAITH and VISION.  People who succeed at their goals have faith!  They believe that what they are doing WILL work, some way, they will be successful at this weight loss game. It’s not a simple task. It is a process and successful people are ready to go the distance. It’s not about working out for 4 hours a day and starving yourself- nothing is acheived by that. It is about believing in the trainers, in your program, following the nutrition plan as best as you can and it will all work. Do not second guess!!! It is designed the way it is for a reason! TRUST me- do it and get results.

 



4. Successful people follow the nutrition plan.  I tried to fight this for YEARS. I’m telling you. I would say all the time “I’m already thin and my body just needs to hold onto that extra 10 pounds bc it’s the way im meant to be… or, i’m skinny fat and I workout- im not meant to have definition… OR this one– I can eat fast food everyday because I will just workout after.”  Those are things I said and did for years. Until one day- I opened my eyes and got tired of feeling ICKY! Nutrition is SO IMPORTANT. If you aim to eat. If you track your food in a journal, you track your water intake, you allow yourself 1 or 2 treats per week you will make great steady and healthy progress!  You can have your cake and eat it too!

My mission this holiday season is to help you succeed. I want to see you through the good times and the bad! I want to keep you ACCOUNTABLE and MOTIVATED to either start or continue on your journey! I will NOT ask you to be super strict these next two months. Hardly- I am going to help you stay accountable and just TRY.

It’s time to end 2015 with a bang instead of starting 2016 10-20 pounds heavier and feeling miserable!!!!
 

Think about how much more energy you could have this season. You could enjoy wrapping Christmas presents, shopping, going from party to party, hanging out with friends and totally making time to do all of the things you enjoy! All that you need to do is eat healthier and workout 30 minutes a day. That’s it! I do it- so can you 🙂

 

I am going to run a 30 day HOLIDAY SURVIVAL guide support group starting on November 30th and running until the end of the year!  

Here is what you can expect from this group:

1.  A health and fitness program to fit your needs in 30 minutes or less each day.

2.  Sample meal plans and recipes to help you stay accountable, to help you with quick easy meals and snacks to fit your lifestyle.

3.  Daily accountability through a closed online support group.

4.  Tips on handling holiday parties, a restaurant guide, traveling tips, healthy alternatives to holiday favorites.

5.  Motivation, Accountability every single day to help you end the year stronger than you started.  

What if you could lose a few pounds this holiday season, rock in the New Year feeling confident and not defeated yet HAVE A REALLY GREAT AND ENJOYABLE HOLIDAY SEASON?  

So what are the requirements to participate in this group, because I know that is what you are thinking!!

1.  You must be a customer of mine on TeamBeachbody, which means that I am assigned as your FREE coach.  If you already have a coach please reach out to the person you work with.  If you do not have an account, complete the application below.

2.  You must commit to a  fitness program and nutrition plan in which we will discuss options that are best for you, your ability level, your time constraints and your needs.  

3.  You must commit to checking into the accountability group daily and reporting progress.

Are you in?  Does this sound like something you would like to do?
Let’s do this together!!!


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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Ways To Get Motivated

Ways to get Motivated!

How do you find the motivation to exercise when you just don’t feel like it?!!? When getting up early or exercising when you get home just feels like the biggest chore you’ve ever ad to do and you just don’t want to do it!?! We have all had days where the motivation is left in the dust and the bag of Oreos becomes the better plan!. It is really important to continue to motivate yourself to reach your goals everyday. 

Below I have made a list of some of the best ways I know how to get motivated and to stay motivated. One of the most important ways- hands down- is to find an accountability partner. Find someone that you can workout with that will hold you to your goal and scream at you if needed. Who is that person that will call you out when you are making bad food choices or skipping workouts. A few other important things that I do EVERYDAY is to log your workouts, read magazines, books and websites along with rewarding myself. It is so important to surround yourself with positive people who are supporting your goal. I constantly read blogs from people who are trying to eat clean and lose weight. I love Oxygen magazine– their magazine is based on the eat clean principles. 

So here are some ways to stay motivated below:

1. How you feel after a workout. I always feel great after a good workout. It’s a high. And I let that motivate me the next time: “You know how good you’re going to feel, Melanie!” I am always pumped for the rest of the day.

2. Time for you. While many people make time to take care of others (kids, spouse, other family, co-workers, boss), they don’t often make time to take care of themselves. Instead, make your “you” time a priority, and don’t miss that exercise appointment. I had to actually sit down and talk with my husband about not giving me a hard time when I needed to exercise. Now he is very supportive.

3. Calories burned. If you count calories (and it’s really one of the most effective ways to lose weight), you know that the more you exercise, the more calories you burn — and the bigger your calorie deficit. Personally I do not do this one but you have to do what works for you. They have a great little invention out there called the body bug and I encourage you to check it out. It makes exercise and eating a game by tracking all your movements and the food you eat and it tells you how many calories you burned vs. how many you took in! I would love this!

4. Having fun. Exercise should be fun. If it isn’t, try a different kind of activity that you enjoy. As long as you’re moving, it’s good for you. Don’t feel pressured into doing a certain type of exercise, do what’s right for you and most importantly do what you will stick with. You have to LOVE your workout routine, otherwise it feels like a chore. Exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore it should feel like a reward.


5. How you’re going to look. Imagine a slimmer, fitter you. Now let that visualization drive you. I go through the Oxygen magazine and rip out pictures of models that I would like to look like and then I hang them on my wall where I exercise. It reminds me that I am working towards my “best” body. Now that I have achieved my weight loss goal, I still am trying to achieve that “best” body with strength training and toning. Another suggestion is to create a dream/motivation board. Cut out pictures that are motivating to you and put on a poster board and keep in a place that you will be reminded of every day!

6. Magazines. It motivates me to read fitness magazines. Not sure why, but it works. I secretly would love to do a bikini competition! I’m just too chicken to commit!
7. Cover models. Sure, they’re genetically freaky, and probably Photoshopped to look perfect. But for some reason, looking at how good a cover model looks helps motivate me to work harder.

8. Blogs. I enjoy reading blogs about people who are into running, or losing weight. It can show the ups and downs they go through, and you can learn from their experiences.  

9. Success stories. I find the success stories of others incredibly inspirational. If a fitness website has success stories, I’ll almost always read them. I also search the beachbody facebook support groups for good transformation pictures to use as my motivation.


10. Forums. Do the monthly challenge on the beachbody facebook group with your coach, or join another forum full of like-minded or like-goaled peopled. Check in daily. It really helps. It is really important to be an active member of the forums, the more you post the more comments you will get to keep you motivated.  Message me if you want in on a new challenge, starting Oct 5th!  


11. Rewards. If you exercise for a few days, give yourself a reward! A week? Another reward. Do it often in the beginning. Don’t always make it food! I bought myself a new outfit and allowed myself to purchase another exercise program!

12. Fitting into new clothes. Wanna look good in a smaller size? Work out!

13. Being attractive. That’s always a good motivator, as I’m sure we all know. I hate that I used to run into the bathroom to change because I didn’t want my husband to see me naked! Now at least I let him get a glimpse of the body that is hiding under those clothes!!
14. Adrenaline rush. I get a rush when I exercise. Ride that rush to complete the workout.
15. Stress relief. Wound up after a long day at the office? Get out and work off that stress. It makes a world of difference. I know its hard to get yourself to that point but that’s where your accountability partner comes into play. Keep each other in check even when you have a long day!

16. Time for contemplation. I love, love the quiet time of exercise for thinking about things. Most of this post was written in my head as I exercised.

17. A workout partner. Best thing I’ve done. Has totally helped me reach my goals. The Beachbody support groups have been the deal breaker.

18. An exercise class. Sign up for a class, perhaps with a friend, and you’ll be motivated to get there and work out. Coast Life Fit Club is calling your name baby!!!  
19. A coach or trainer. Worth the money, just for the motivation. How about FREE, I am a beachbody coach and I help motivate people to reach their health and fitness goals. I can also help you with meal planning and staying accountable to your workout plan.  

20. An exercise log/graph. For some reason, writing it down is extremely important. Really. Do it for a week and you’ll see what I mean.

21. Your before picture. You often don’t realize how far you’ve come. Take pictures. I have taken pictures and I hide them on my computer so no one can find them. I always take pictures in a sports bra and shorts and then some with form fitting clothes on. That way you can eventually share some pictures!
22. A 5K race or triathlon. Just sign up for one, and you’ll be motivated to train. I’m still working on this one!
23. The dread of feeling “yuck” from not exercising. I hate how I feel after not exercising. So I remind myself of that when I feel tired.
24. Living long enough to see your grandkids … and play with them.
25. The scale. It’s not motivating to weigh yourself every day, as your weight fluctuates. But if you weigh yourself once a week, you’ll be motivated to have it keep going down, instead of up. Combine the scale with the measuring tape, and measure your waist. I haven’t weighed myself in a week and today I got on the scale and it was down 2 lbs!
26. Reaching a goal. Set a goal for weight, or your waist measurement, or a number of days to work out, or a number of miles to run this week. Setting and tracking a goal helps motivate you to complete that goal. Make it easily achievable.
27. Posting it on your blog. Tell people you’re going to lose weight or exercise daily, and report to them. You’ll make it happen.

28. Motivational quotes. I like to print them out or put them on my computer desktop. You can always take what I’ve posted, print it out or re-post it!

29. Books. I just bought a strength-training book as a reward. It makes me want to hit the weights! I love love love Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean books. I am also reading the Abs Diet now!

30. Others commenting on how good you look. When someone notices the changes in your body, it feels good. And it makes you want to work out more.

31. An upcoming day at the beach, or a reunion. Nuff said.
Other motivational groups out there that I sponsor:
Interested in joining one of my health and fitness support groups? 
Please fill out the application below and I will be sure to message you asap!


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Monday, May 25, 2015

BBQ Chicken Drumsticks with Sweet Potato Fries

Do you have a meal that everyone in your family LOVES?! One that all of the kids ask for and everyone is happy and satisfied when you are all finished eating? 
Well- this is it for us! And this is what we are cooking up for our Memorial Day dinner!

Grilled Chicken Drumsticks-

Organic Chicken Legs- I get mine from Sam’s Club in bulk!
Grill over charcoal for approximately 30 minutes or until cooked all the way through. 
Remove from grill and place in a large tupperware container. Add 1/4 cup Organicville BBQ sauce (or any clean eating BBQ sauce of your choice). Put the lid on the container and SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE!!!!
Remove lid and VIOLA!! Chicken is ready!
While cooking the chicken- bake the sweet potato fries
You can make your own or do like I do– I buy ALEXIA BRAND SWEET POTATO FRIES! They are in the freezer section and they are clean as well. 
Bake about 25 minutes on 425 degrees! I drizzle a little bit of EVOO onto the cookie sheet before placing the fries on it! Makes them a little crispier when baking. 
SALAD-
Organic spring mix (again- I buy mine from Sam’s Club)
slice up some baby sweet peppers and we top ours with a little bit of oil and vinegar! 
And- there you have it! A dinner that takes less than 30 minutes that everyone will LOVE!!!
Give it a try and let me know what you think!


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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Worlds BEST Taco Salad

I want to share this amazing recipe with you all! It is literally the best taco salad I have ever made and it is HEALTHY! Yes- no guilt, but the taste makes it feel like I’m totally cheating! What makes it even better- it is 100% 21 Day Fix APPROVED!!!

So- this is also kid tested and hubby approved! Can’t get much better than that!

Ingredients:
1 Green Container (1 Cup) baby spinach or spring mix lettuce
1 Green Container (1 Cup) sliced peppers- I use baby sweet peppers and onions
1 blue container (about 1/4 cup) of avocado and mexican cheese
1 Red Container (3/4 cup) of ground turkey with taco seasoning
1 Yellow Container — I improved and guessed it would be about 8 blue corn organic chips
And I used hot sauce or salsa as the dressing!!!
SO MUCH FLAVOR!! And this is out of this world amazing!!!
Try it and let me know what you think!


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