December 20, 2015

Getting Pregnant

Since getting pregnant with my second, it's been on my heart to think about those that struggle with infertility. With my first daughter, my husband and I got a little *surprise* as she was totally unexpected. You never realize how many people get pregnant while taking birth control until it happens to you! Not really "happened to me," she's a total welcomed blessing! But it was truly shocking. When my husband and I FINALLY (as all the family says) decided it was time for our second, I thought it was going to be a piece of cake! First try right?!? I mean we conceived the first without even trying, truly this must be easy when you're actually trying? Right? Wrong.

It took us 4 months to conceive our second. And trust me friends, I KNOW that this is by no means a "long time." Anything under a year is totally normal. And some of your have been trying for multiple years. But wow, each time that test read negative or I started my period, the disappointment was tangible. It was downright painful.

So to those who have been trying for so very long, my prayer for you is that God blesses you with a baby this Christmas. I can't imagine waiting longer than my brief four months. So for you superstars, you are amazing. You are strong.

December 17, 2015

31 Day of Fitness

It's almost the New Year! I am going to have some kick butt challenge groups for you, so stay tuned for all the details to be released!

To start, I am kicking off 2016 with a fun and FREE challenge. The challenge will be 3 fold! You will get a daily workout circuit, a daily fitness tip, and a recipe to try on your own time!

To participate, just join our private facebook group. I ask that there be only positive vibes shared and be respectful to other participants. That you post daily in the group when your workout is completed so that we can cheer you on, and that you have a good time!

The private support group will run via Facebook. You can join the group by logging into your facebook and requesting to join! Just click here!

The group will start on January 1, 2016.

What to Eat BEFORE your morning workout?

I'm asked this question a lot. And there's a general rule of thumb, NOTHING. But there's also exceptions that I'll outline for you!

First off, the reason I say "nothing" is because you really don't want to make yourself sick if you eat too much and then challenge yourself on a tough workout. Challengers have been known to have to vomit half way through, it's not fun. But yes, there are some exceptions. If you are eating regularly, you probably have enough glycogen stored from the day before to get you through an early morning workout. Drink a big glass of water and get going! An early morning workout is NOT a workout that takes place more than an hour after you wake. Your body slows itself on burning up glycogen while you are sleeping, but resumes once you are awake. Also, if you are eating super lean because you are training, you likely DO NOT have the glycogen stored from the day before. If you are not sure, do a little experiment. Chomp down a small banana before your workout, then get moving. Did you feel better than when you don't eat, especially toward the end of your workout? Then you're using your glycogen overnight and need that little pre-workout snack, keep eating your banana daily. You can also add about 100 calories of CARBS to your evening meal the night before, that glycogen will save up for the morning workout. After workout, grab a small meal of carbs of protein, like yogurt with fruit. Or drink your Shakeology!

Another exception, cardio workouts! Cardio workouts having your booty moving, moving, moving. Personally, I don't eat before cardio because it eliminates the chance of me getting sick, or getting side cramps! Again, RIGHT when you wake up!

Here's Autumn Calabrese's SEVEN tips for pre-workout! Check it out, she's got some great stuff and you know she's one of my favorite trainers and I believe the most effective trainer out there!

If you are choosing the "nothing" option, you may feel like you don't have the energy to get through your workout. To fuel your workouts, you can add in the new ENERGIZE formula from the Performance Line Up! Energize will help you blast through your toughest workouts with a surge of energy to sharpen your focus, push harder, and last longer—because every ounce of extra energy means better results. Energize contains key ingredients scientifically shown to buffer lactic acid buildup and delay exercise-induced muscle fatigue, improve performance, and help you push with maximum intensity.

Autumn talks PERFORMANCE LINE! Check it out!

A few notes about Energize, because these are the questions that I would ask if I were you!

Why is Energize better than other energy products?

You get a safe boost of energy (without jittery side effects). Thank goodness, I hate that jittery feeling.

It's a powerful combination of ergogenic (performance-enhancing) ingredients and phytonutrients (plant-based nutrients) that are scientifically shown to help improve exercise performance, sharpen focus, and delay exercise-induced muscle fatigue.

It contains functional ingredients that have been scientifically shown to work. Other products include gimmicky ingredients with no evidence that they work.

Key ingredients are included at their clinically established effective dosage levels.

-----> No artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, or preservatives <----- What are the key ingredients in Energize? Why is it better, more state of the art, than my other pre-workout formula?

Dr. Nima discusses the ingredients, efficacy, body comfort, color, and the science behind Energize and compares it to other products. Always be educated and informed on your products. It's just a few minutes, give it a watch!

This amino acid helps reduce lactic acid buildup in your muscles, which helps to delay exercise-induced muscle fatigue so you can push harder and last longer. Numerous scientific studies show that beta-alanine is especially effective at helping to improve performance during intense exercise.

Low-dose caffeine (from green tea)
Low-dose caffeine has been shown to be ergogenic, which means it helps enhance performance, improve reaction time and focus, and reduces exercise-induced muscle fatigue. From recreational exercisers to elite athletes, studies show that it can give you both a mental and physical boost.

This powerful performance-enhancing phytonutrient gets a lot of attention in leading exercise physiology-nutrition laboratories because it can help improve endurance and delay exercise-induced muscle fatigue to help you get through your workouts and give you a competitive edge.

You can order Energize by the tub here.

December 16, 2015

Chocolate Superfood Bites

There's a few qualities that I look for in snacks...

1. Healthy
2. EASY to prepare
3. Contains chocolate!
4. Versatile

This one ticks off every box! I love it because you can use different toppings, just whatever toppings you may have on hand really! And you could even serve these at a potluck, how great is that?

Chocolate Superfood Bites

Total Time: 17 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 2 min.
Yield: 24 servings, 1 bite each

8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
12 Tbsp. raw pistachio pieces
12 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
12 Tbsp. unsweetened dried cranberries
1 tsp. coarse sea salt (or Himalayan salt) (optional)

1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe glass measuring cup. Microwave for 60 seconds on 50%; stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds on 50%; stir. Repeat until chocolate is completely melted. If needed, microwave for an additional 30 seconds on 50%. Do not overcook. Chocolate will melt as you stir it.
3. Use a spoon to make twenty four small rounds of chocolate onto the parchment paper.
4. Working while chocolate is still warm, sprinkle chocolate rounds evenly with nuts, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, and salt (if desired).
5. Let the chocolate set in the refrigerator.

Tip: The higher the percentage of cacao in chocolate the better. Look for chocolate that is at least 70% cacao.

21 Day Fix: 1 yellow, 1/2 orange.

• The following raw nuts (alone or in combination) can be substituted for pistachios: almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, or walnuts.
• The following seeds (alone or in combination) can be substituted for pumpkin seeds: chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, or sunflower seeds.
• The following unsweetened dried fruits (alone or in combination) can be substituted for cranberries: apricots, blueberries, mangoes, raisins, or tart red cherries.
• Substitute unsweetened shredded coconut for seeds.

You can make this recipe however you like! Just use what you have in the pantry.

This is a TeamBeachbody recipe, for the entire recipe description and photo process, click here!

Homemade Candy Cane Sugar Scrub

It's gift time! This Candy Cane Sugar Scrub is useful, easy to make, pretty, and festive! You probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry already, score!

1. White Granulated Sugar (the regular stuff)
2. Coconut Oil
3. Red fruit juice
4. Peppermint Essential Oil
5. Mason Jar

First, you want to mix a bowl of about 2 cups of sugar with about 1/2 a cup of melted coconut oil. Here's the thing, I'm Italian, we don't measure, so this is a guestimate. You want your mixture to look like the consistency of wet sand, the kind that is perfect for sand castle building!

Next, mix sugar with juice! I used cranberry, but any red juice, such as raspberry will work also. You can also use a food coloring, but that makes me nervous since it's going on skin! You want equal amounts of white and red mixtures.

In each mixture, add about 10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil. I use Young Living, because I think it's the best there is! Peppermint is soothing, refreshing and a natural anti-inflammatory.

Open your mason jar and layer the white and red sugar mixtures. At the very top, I add about 2 teaspoons of melted coconut oil to blend down to the bottom. Next, you can decorate your jar, add a little homemade tag, or leave as is! Perfect gift that shows you've really put some thought and time into creating it, since it's handmade!

And enjoy!

December 15, 2015

Today's Exercise- Act like a Toddler

I mean seriously, do kids not have the most energy you've ever seen? And not teenagers, they act like they are old and decrepit half the time, toddler energy is where it's at! Bottle that stuff! So for today's exercise, wouldn't it be so super fun if for 30 minutes we acted like toddlers? Just go crazy! Have fun!

Doesn't she just scream ENERGY?!?!?

December 14, 2015


Hi Friends, you may have been wondering where I went?! I'm always actively posting on my Facebook page, but my blogging has taken a bit of a backseat lately. I gotta tell you, this pregnancy has really been taking a toll on me. I don't know if this little bundle of joy is possibly a boy (stay tuned later this month!) or maybe it's just that I'm 5 years older now and have a 4 year old to chase around, but this pregnancy has been MUCH harder on me than my first. It's the best reason to feel awful, right?!?

Fitness wise, I've been struggling a bit. First, I'm just very very very tired. Being a mom of a 4 and 14 year old in my home, I'm busy! No time for the occasional nap like my first pregnancy. And sometimes the tired-ness bring me down, down to the couch that is! Plus, I had a scare in my first trimester and I am just a little nervous about working out too hard with the baby. I know deep down that it will be okay, but a pregnant mommy still lets the worry get the best of her! Also, this kiddo wants CARBS, and LOTS of them. I've been doing pretty good with my nutrition, and keeping up with my Shakeology of course, but I have indulged in some foods that I wouldn't normally. And I'm giving myself a break on that! Pregnancy cravings are no joke, and it's really a good time to eat some carbs and not feel guilty, so I'm not letting myself feel guilty about it! My pregnancy is a healthy one, so I'm okay with the occasional donut (gasp!)

Thanks for letting me be real! 19 weeks and counting! Baby will arrive early May.

Healthy Holiday Treats

Whether you are bringing a dish to a potluck, looking for something to serve at your own holiday party, or just looking to satisfy an itch without going too far off the grid, I've got just the treat for you!

1. Gingerbread Balls And Gluten Free!

2. Apple Pie

3. Peanut Butter Truffles

4. Veggie Christmas Tree

5. Kiwi Fruit Christmas Tree

6. Strawberry Banana Candy Canes

I love the ease of the Strawberry Banana Candy Canes, this is one that my daughter will be able to make with me! Enjoy the holiday season, friends!

December 13, 2015

Holiday Showdown

Its you versus the holiday treat and potluck table! Who will win this showdown?

The next three weeks are just going to be crazy, amiright? How do you plan stay on track with healthy habits during the yummiest three weeks of the year? I will be the first to say, ENJOY THE SEASON! Accept the fact that you are not going to be 100%, and if you are, be honest, did you truly enjoy it? Wink, wink.

Here's my 8 best tips that ANYONE can do to stay the course.

1. Back away from the Pumpkin Spice
. Non dairy creamers introduce their holiday coffee creamer line up, and they look delicious. But remember, they are filled with CHEMICALS that will hinder your progress and probably make you feel junky at the same time. Reach for more health friendly options like Silk's Vanilla Almond creamer or an assortment of Califia farms coffee beverages. You can even stick to the basics with some almond milk, stevia and pumpkin pie spice, yes, the actual spices that you will put into a pie, just sprinkle some right in your coffee.

2. Make and Take! Bring a dish to the holiday potluck. YOU can control what you bring, so make it a healthy option and you'll know have at least one healthy option to choose from.

3. Serve yourself a small plate of treats then WALK AWAY. Do not sit at the treat table and graze. Instead, serve yourself some treats and back away, don't revisit.

4. Look for homemade foods.
Homemade treats, real butter for your dinner roll, almond milk for your coffee... REAL food, not processed food with chemicals included.

5. Eat at home. Before you go to a holiday party, serve yourself some healthy snacks so you aren't famished when you arrive.

6. Drink water! Fill up on water so you have less room for less healthy options.

7. Workout before you go! You aren't going to do it at home after the party, don't let the busy season take you away from your routine.

8. Give yourself some treat options so you won't feel deprived and end up splurging.

Happiest of Holidays to you and yours!