P90X On Demand!

Remember that time I did something crazy and sent my information into a casting call for a Beachbody On Demand Challenge Du Jour featuring the workout I TEACH, P90X Live?

On June 30, I found out I was picked!

And on July 1, I booked flights.

And on July 8?

I got on a plane and flew to L.A.

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Philly Airport at Foolish o’Clock AM

FOR THE SAME WORKOUT.  WHAT!?!The best part of this whole surreal experience was that not only was I picked for P90X Live (out of Insanity, TurboKick and Piyo) – which is my favorite new group exercise format – my girl, my partner in crime, my UPLINE COACH and the REASON I dove into Beachbody, Amanda, was picked too!

So, naturally, I did what any good friend would do and I flew to Denver to pick her up.

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Wifi? Check!

Well, my connection in Denver was purely coincidental.  But off we went, headed for Burbank.

Sleep deprivation started to set in but once we got to the studio for the dress rehearsal?? Adrenaline.  Nothin’ but adrenaline.

A quick rehearsal and an early call time….we headed back to our not-so-swanky-but-perfectly-functional motel.  And by perfectly functional, we had exactly what we needed.

Shower. Bed. Check.

Up EARLY and over to the studio…to be greeted by the Master Trainer leading our workout, Rawlins Apilado. We chatted with him and our castmates and after learning more about each other, Rawlins used the perfect word…serendipitous.  Not only were Amanda and I partners in fitness, life and tattoos, our castmates had a strong friendship too.  Similar personalities and ideas about our businesses….clearly, we were chosen because we are just that awesome.
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Then Rawlins brought us some of the new Beachbody Performance Energize – an awesome pre-workout.  Energy, focus and some adrenaline and we were READY to go!

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Love me some pre-workout!

The workout, P90X Live, was shot continuously, with no takes to make it look and feel like a REAL class.  That meant we were dripping sweat, grunting, cheering…that’s all real, folks!  We were pushing!

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Rawlins and I working the P90X guns.

After the shoot, we were free to go….so we did what anyone in L.A. would do….and drove up a mountain, gawking at mansions and went looking for the Hollywood sign.

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Welcome to Hollywood, baby.

We got to experience the tourist spots of L.A. in a matter of 8 hours or so.  Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive….we were productive.

Back to the airport for our red-eyes…and we were quite literally bleary eyed.

Time for some tea….some reflection…WHAT JUST HAPPENED IN THE PAST 24 HOURS?!?!

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To say that the experience was surreal would be a great understatement. To say I’m thankful would not even come close expressing how amazingly lucky I feel.

But is it luck? I don’t think so.  I work hard every day, putting my dreams into plans, my plans into actions and taking risks.

This may have been the first shoot….but it won’t be the last.

Amanda and I have already picked out a better hotel.

 

That time I got picked to be in a workout video?? Yeah, that. Click To Tweet
>Related: Goal Setting & Goal Getting

Taco Tuesday – 21 Day Fix Style!

Ok, it IS Wednesday but this post is to help you with ALL your upcoming Taco Tuesdays!

I polled some of my challengers for their favorite 21 Day Fix-friendly taco recipes and they are AMAZING!!

Add these options to your meal planning and taco nights, ASAP!

Your “reds” are easy – stick with lean options like ground turkey, chicken and beef.  Use the Fix taco blend!

Are you a “yellow” saver?  If you are good at saving up those yellows, choose whole wheat tortillas or brown rice for a taco bowl.  Otherwise, try some “alternative” yellows like cauliflower rice!  Season it up with lime and cilantro!

Other ways to get that crunch or carb-feeling are diced bell peppers at the base of your taco bowl or simply using lettuce leaves as your wraps!

We love to maximize that blue so save up your cheese and avocado on taco night! If you miss sour cream, add in some Greek yogurt or do a quick puree of avocado and Greek yogurt to make a smooth and creamy avocado sauce – add some lime juice, salt and cilantro for a little more flavor!
Taco night is also a great way to sneak in the veggies – if you use lettuce wraps or bell peppers, you are good to go!  Add in some tomatoes, onions, spinach or cabbage and boost up that taco!
We didn’t even touch on the options for fish tacos or explore the idea of homemade tortillas!  The possibilities are really endless!
How do YOU do Taco Tuesday??

Turkey Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers

It was rainy and yuck on Monday morning so I decided that I would throw an old stand-by into the Crock Pot. 

And then, miraculously, the sun came out, it was warm and lovely and all of a sudden, Turkey Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili just didn’t seem like the right dinner.

At this point, I did what anyone would do….I asked my kindergartner what we should do with the ingredients.

And the little genius said “MAKE IT INTO A BURGER!!”

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So, that’s what we did!

These burgers were delicious! I baked them to make sure they didn’t dry out but you could cook them in the pan or grill them!

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Turkey Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers
(aka Brixon’s Chili Burgers)
Makes 6-7 patties

Ingredients
16oz ground turkey
1 small/medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed (softened in microwave or baked briefly)
1 can black beans, lightly mashed with fork
4 slices turkey bacon, chopped (optional, but, bacon!)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients in large bowl.
3. Form into patties and bake on lightly greased baking sheet for 18-22 minutes, flipping halfway.  Make sure internal temp has reached 165 degrees.

Enjoy!

The 21 Day Fix conversion is roughly 1 red and 1 yellow, with a calorie count of 180 calories per burger, if preparing 7 patties.

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Turkey Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers...sounds like a mess, but so good! #kidapproved #recipes Click To Tweet

 

Making Money as a Stay At Home Mom

I don’t like to get into the SAHM versus working mom debate.  Every family does what works for that family.  I’m not touching that topic at all because I don’t believe its up for discussion.

“You stay home with your kids?”

Does that question irk anyone else as it does me??

Because, while technically, my kids aren’t in someone else’s care, other than preschool and kindergarten time, I am a “stay at home mom.”

But, no.  I’m not. Because I don’t.  I don’t “stay at home.”

I’m also not a working mom.  And I’m not a “work at home mom” though I run a home-based business.

I’m a work on the run mom.  A present mom when my kids need presence. A work in the home mom when I have 20 minutes of downtime. A mom who tries her best to keep up a clean(ish) house while also leading a team of other amazing women.

I definitely don’t stay at home.

My work isn’t a job.

My jobs aren’t work.

I don’t have a title.  I don’t want a label.

I’m doing the things that I love.  Living the most fulfilling life I can live.

All of this is me.

Finding Myself Again

Do you remember me?

Frankly, I barely remember who I was…what made me tick, what inspired me. The past 6 years have been consumed by pregnancy, toddlers, play groups, pick ups, drop offs, cutting over 11 million grapes and changing enough diapers to earn a Pampers reward to Cancun.


For a while now (and maybe still, to a degree, I mean, they give me a LOT of material), I let my kids identify me. And before them? Well, I really don’t even remember.

But this is me now:

* legitimately confident, not faking it till I make it

* a work in progress, not a final product that is outdated and unchanging

* healthy, energized and strong, not “skinny fat” or struggling with being comfortable in a post-partum body (x3) body

* being an example, not looking for one

* knowing what I’m meant to be doing and earning an income from what I love and working with a team of inspired and supportive partners, not filling in the gap for a paycheck earned by work I’m just *doing*.

I have a CLEAR as day view of ME now. It just took a while to get here.

Do you remember you? Who are you NOW? Do you need help getting there? Maybe I can help.

Meal Prep in 30 Minutes

One thing that I absolutely rely on to stick with my meal plans and not be caught starving and staring aimlessly into the fridge is PREPPING!

Part of meal planning means thinking ahead, portioning out your staples so they are grab and eat (or grab and go, if you work out of the house).  The time spent on planning, prepping and portioning is time saved during the week!  


Sometimes, the prepping process can be long, especially if you are planning whole meals for the freezer.

But, I have four staples that I can prep and portion in 30 minutes!

First, I put 2-3 frozen or fresh chicken breasts right into my Crock Pot with olive oil and a little water to cover the bottom of the pot.  I toss in my favorite seasoning blends (I rotate between Mexican/Southwest flavors orclassic garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and parsley) and I let the chicken cook until I can shred it easily to use over salads or in wraps.
 
As soon the chicken is in, I put my eggs on the stove to hard boil them. I boil 6-8 at a time.  
Next up is the quinoa.  Rinse it and cook per the instructions.
 
While the eggs and quinoa are on the stove, I turn to my bell peppers.  I like to chop them so that I can throw them in salads and I leave a few slices for things like hummus.  These get portioned right into containers. My favorites containers are the Rubbermaid LunchBlox!
 
After the quinoa has cooled, I portion it into my containers and the excess in my smaller Lunch Blox.
 
This gives me 4 containers of chopped peppers and 4 containers of quinoa which equals 2 days of lunches for my husband and me to eat with the chicken!  By keeping the ingredients separate, I can have a little variety with how I choose to eat them.  The boiled eggs go with my husband to work and also into my kids’ lunches too.
 
Don’t forget to shred your chicken and portion it into your containers!  4oz is a typical serving of protein so if you have a scale, weigh it and divide up!
 
If you need more meal planning and prepping tips or want to join my next challenge group, email me!

 

21 Day Fix Tracker

The containers! AAAH! 

So many of my challengers are initially intimated by the 21 Day Fix container system.  But rest assured, with a little planning, prep and practice, the container system ends up being second nature!

This is one of my FAVORITE tips for tracking containers!

My Fitness Pal has been one of my favorite food diary apps for a while now.  But how can you make it work for 21 Day Fix??

Here is how!

If you log into the desktop site of My Fitness Pal, and click on Settings, then Diary Settings, you can go right into the Meal Names and change them to coordinate with your containers and counts!

Easy right??

Once you have the meal names updated, you can go into your mobile app and see your AMAZINGLY organized way to track your containers!

Here is how it looks once it is set up!

Any questions?  Let me know! Shoot me an email or drop a note in the comments!


What is Clean Eating?

You might be sick of hearing the phrase “clean eating” by now!!  But, I’ve found along this fitness and wellness journey, is that the key to my successful weight loss (and keeping it off) was and is not exercising religiously – it is all what I eat! I’ve been following the principles of clean eating (I actually prefer to call it conscious eating and I’ll more into that later) for almost 4 years now.

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But, what is clean or conscious eating?

Clean/conscious eating is eating food in its simplest form. Veg, fruit, nuts, “good” fats. Minimal processing, minimal ingredients, not a lot of added sugar. Cooking, prepping and planning more and eating out less, making boxed meals less, etc. You’ll also find that in a lot of cases, you’ll actually save money on certain things by making them yourself!

This change in thinking doesn’t happen overnight and it is best done literally one ingredient, household staple or recipe.

I need to stress that it is not healthy to obsess over the ingredients.  When you can choose “clean” – do it.  But things like breads and tortillas are hard to find with minimal ingredients simply because they need to stay fresh.  Pick the whole grain option, the less sugar added option, etc.  We don’t want your mindset swinging the other way to obsession. This is why I prefer the term “conscious eating” over “clean eating”….make the best choices when available, within your budget and time constraints, and you will still improve your health.

Live by the 80/20 rule and you can’t go wrong!  80% of the time choose healthy and 20% indulgences will create a nice balance and a great habit without obsessing or negative relationships with food.

But, will I lose weight just by eating “clean”?

The short answer? Possibly.  You’ll like stay fuller longer from fiber-rich food and quality proteins but you’ll still need to be eating the right amount of calories to create the deficit needed for weight loss. The hotly debated “Calories in, calories out” vs “all calories are not created equal” is a topic for another blog post.  That said, hopping on My Fitness Pal or a similar app and tracking your food (either briefly for an idea, or longer term) is a great way to find out if you are eating too much for your goals.

Related: How Many Calories Should I Be Eating?

If you would like to join my free clean eating group on Facebook, please email me and I can add you!  We share lots of recipes, do mini-challenges and offer tips on meal prep and planning too!

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Clean Eating Basics! Click To Tweet

Chicken Sausage Quinoa & Spinach Skillet

This recipe was an accident! A yummy chicken sausage, quinoa and spinach skillet came from a happy accident that was a direct result of some simple meal prep.

I had cooked off some Trader Joe’s Sundried Tomato Basil chicken sausages the day before as well as a big batch of quinoa for my husband to bring to work with his fajita chicken lettuce wraps.

If you are planning lunches at work, you can easily prep and portion this out and reheat it. I think this would be amazing cold too but I’m also a cold pizza person!

In a moment of creativity, I now have a new weekday lunch staple.  

Chicken Sausage, Quinoa & Spinach Skillet
(serves one)

1 chicken sausage, cooked and chopped
2 cups raw spinach
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1. Heat oil in small pan.
2. Add spinach and sauté for about a minute over medium heat.
3. Add cooked sausage and quinoa and cook for 1-2 minutes until spinach is cooked through and all ingredients are warm.

Note: The sausage is not 21 Day Fix friendly however if you subbed in ground turkey, it would still be great!

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EASY Chicken Sausage, Quinoa & Spinach Skillet - great for leftover quinoa! #recipes #iifym Click To Tweet

Be the Example.

It has been a long day.

It has been a long week.

I’m sitting here unwinding, thinking about everything I do on a daily basis. 

I’m getting even more exhausted just thinking about it.

I don’t need to list out the things because if you are a mom reading this, whether you stay at home or work out of the home or work AT home (like me), then you know.

You know how it feels to try and hold on to the ONE thing that you can do for you.  For some, it is taking 20 minutes during a rare moment of quiet and reading a book.  For others, maybe its catching up on a mindless reality show.  

For me?  It is hands down, without question, my workout.

Sometimes, I second guess myself and think that it might be presumed to be a selfISH action.  To have a personal fitness goal.  But I forget and I have to remind myself – they are watching.  

My workout isn’t selfish. While it benefits me in all the physical ways that we know exercise is proven to do, it also clears my head.  It gives me focus to move on to the mile long to-do list.  My workout benefits this whole household. And those small people? They see how important it is, to me, for me, for them.

I’m lucky if I get to squeeze in an extra 10 minute ab workout.  I’m even luckier if I get to make it to the gym to actually TAKE a class, rather than just teaching one.  

Its easy to lose focus on those personal interests and goals when everyone around you needs something – food, drink, attention, extra time.  Those things all come first, all the needs are always met….but the non-negotiable is still my workout.  Whether it is squeezed in during nap or while the littlest one helps “sweep” the floor, once there is a moment of still, I press play.

And after I’m done?  I’m refocused.  Recharged.  Happier.  

I know that it takes a big mental change, especially for moms, to come to the decision to make a lifestyle change.  To be healthier, to set an example, to feel better overall.  I can’t tell you do “just do it” or “schedule it” because we know that isn’t always the reality.  

But I will tell you to take it one day at a time.  Make it non-negotiable. 

“I will work out twice this week.”

“I will go for a run on Saturday.”

“I will take a strength class at the gym this week.”

Set the small goals, achieve them, feel successful and build the habit.  A habit is just like a muscle – you need to work at it to make it strong.

You deserve it.  Because it isn’t just for you.