May 16, 2016

Chocolate Banana Yogurt Bark


A delicious and healthy snack made with just four simple ingredients. A great alternative to ice cream for kids and perfect for the summer!

Serves: 10
* 2 cups plain full fat greek yogurt
* 2 tbsp honey
* 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
* 2 ripe bananas

1. Mix the yogurt, honey and cocoa powder together in a bowl until well combined.
2. Chop the banana into round bite sized slices.
3. Pour half of the yogurt mixture into a dish lined with parchment paper. Add a layer of banana on top. Spread the remaining yogurt on top and then finish with more banana slices.
4. Freeze for 2 to 3 hours or overnight until solid.
5. Remove from the freezer and cut into chunks with a sharp knife.
6. Serve immediately or put the pieces of bark into a freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Recipe/photo credit: My Fussy Eater

I think this would be incredible with peanut butter added! I'll try that next! 

Strawberry Yogurt Bark


Your child's after school snack time just got exciting! Boost their late afternoon energy with this Frozen Yogurt Bark. And healthy to make mama happy! 

Serves: 8
* Yogurt Bark:
* 2 cups greek yogurt
* 2 tbsp honey
* 1 tbsp cranberries
* 1 tbsp raisins
* Toppings:
* 5-6 large fresh strawberries, chopped
* 1 tbsp dark chocolate chips
* 1 tsp shredded coconut

1. Mix the yogurt and honey together until well combined. Add the cranberries and raisins and stir again.
2. Line a baking tray with foil and pour the yogurt mixture on top. Spread it depending on how thick or thin you want your bark to be. Mine was approx ½ inch thick.
3. Sprinkle the strawberries, chocolate chips and desiccated coconut on top and place in the freezer for 2-4 hours or until it is completely frozen.
4. Remove from the freezer and use a sharp knife to break the bark into pieces. The bark can be stored in the freezer in food bags.

Recipe/photo credit: My Fussy Eater

I have no time!


Are you trapped in the constant battle between wanting to get into or stay in better shape and not having enough time to do it? I'm a firm believer in making small adjustments to see big changes! For example, meal planning and prepping saves me a huge chunk of time! The time you save by focusing on nutrition strategies can be better spent elsewhere! I’ve put together a list of 5-minute workouts that you can use to start your day right. No matter how busy you are, there’s always enough time to spend 5 minutes focusing on yourself. No one else can make time for yourself but you. So start now and make it a priority! 

5-Minute Plank Workout:

Full body intense timesaving workout. 
1 minute full plank
30 seconds elbow plank
10-12 plank up plank up downs 
10-12 reps spider plank right side
10-12 reps spider plank left side 
20 second elbow plank

5-Minute Yoga:

Relax and stretch with this short and effective 5-minute yoga session.
1 minute child pose
1 minute downward facing dog
Take that into a chatturanga and then continuously into upward dog for 30 seconds 
10-12 reps of cat/cow posture
1 minute chair position 

5-Minute Arm Workout:

Define your arms for your tank tops this summer with this 5-minute arm workout. 
1 minute tricep kickback with Dumbbells
1 minute tricep dips
1 minute shoulder press with Dumbbells 
1 minute push ups
30 second elbow plank
30 second tricep push ups 

5-Minute Booty Workout

This workout will work the booty in just 5 minutes. 
30 seconds traditional squat 
30 seconds side lunges alternating legs
30 sumo squat 
1 minute scissor kicks
1 minute bridges 
30 seconds squat with a kick back
30 seconds donkey kicks
30 seconds Bulgarian split squats 

5-Minute Cardio

Energize the day ahead with this high intensity cardio jam. 
1 minute jumping jacks
1 minute jog in place 
30 second push ups
1 minute jump squats 
30 second push ups 
1 minute jumping jacks

May 7, 2016


Let's talk about food! One of my favorite subjects! On a dedicated meal plan like the ones that come along with a Beachbody fitness program, you won't ever be hungry. It's more likely that you'll be telling me you have TOO much food to eat and you can't get it all in! That's because these programs teach you the RIGHT foods to eat and when to eat them! Nothing can sabotage weight loss more than hunger! Who wants to be hungry?! 

Hunger leads to overeating, and when we overeat, it's usually the wrong foods! You can't overeat broccoli!!

To control hunger:

1. Make sure your meal plan has the appropriate number of calories for your body and your goals. It is not one size fits all! I can't have a woman or man that is naturally thin but wanting to tone up eating the same calories as someone who has 50+ pounds they want to lose. I always see women eating 1200 calories (cause that's he least amount you can eat and still function well) but not every one of you is going to have a calorie target of 1200 because not every one of you is the same or has the same goals.  

2. Drink lots of water - Water is a an appetite suppressant, and a super healthy one! Always drink a full 8 ounces of water with every meal. And you should be drinking at least half your body weight in water each day. 

3. Eat 5 Meals a Day - Eating smaller, more frequent meals helps to stabilize hunger by regulating blood sugar. If you don't get that "I'm starving!!!!" sensation, then you won't feel the push to overeat and eat junk. 

4. Protein and fiber- you need these! They are essential to your body, muscles, and weight loss. They also curb hunger! Get a great nutrition supplement, like Shakeology, to ensure you're getting good protein and lots of fiber. Good protein, that's the key word here. 

5. Load Up On Free Foods - remember when I said you can't overeat broccoli!? Dark leafy greens, onions, and fibrous vegetables like broccoli are often called "free foods" because you can eat a bunch of them without adding a bunch of calories! Curbs the hunger without the guilt. 

Don't let hunger be the reason you don't meet a goal!

May 5, 2016

What do moms really want for Mother's Day?

What does mom really want on Mother's Day? Well, speaking for myself, a 30 something mom, here we go: 

1. Sleep. I really want to sleep in. And I don't want to hear screaming downstairs while I'm doing it. 


2. Coffee. A glorious cup of Starbucks coffee, preferably something with 9 million calories, served to me in bed.


3. A gift card for a clothing store that ONLY carries my size. Cause let's face it, if the store has kid size, I'm gonna spend it on the little rascals. 

4. Alone time to use said gift card. Not ON Mother's Day, but a dedicated date that you'll watch the kids and I'll shop with my free money. 

5. A handmade card from my kids to tell me they APPRECIATE me. I already know they love me, I'm awesome. Appreciation, that's the key. 

6. A handcut flower from the yard. I don't need a special bouquet, in fact I would rather money be spent elsewhere! Snip me a flower from outside and call it a day! 


7. A clean house. Just pick up all your stuff and put it away, where it belongs, without whining. Leave the house this way for 3 hours. Just 3 beautiful hours of cleanliness. 


8. Handprint art. Mommies love handprint art, or something equally sentimental. 

9. Any gift that shows thought. Genuine thoughtfulness. 

10. A relaxing day complete with hugs and snuggles from my sweet babies. Oh, and I'm not cooking. 



May 2, 2016

Treats and Rewards

TREATS and REWARDS! They still motivate us very well, like when we were kids, wouldn't you say?! But I don't want to give myself food as a treat! First off, I'm not my dog! And second, bad food as a reward is not helping me reach my goals. It is just giving me an excuse to eat poorly. And teaching my mind that treats are food so I must be otherwise deprived. A healthy diet is not a deprivation diet and we shouldn't train our minds to think that way.

Having trouble sticking to your training program? Put your money where your motivation is! Invest in a program, a real program, not a YouTube routine that you throw together. Making that investment is hard, just hard enough to get you to stick with it! 

Also, think about betting with yourself. Put a new outfit at stake for reaching your fitness goal, you reach the goal, you get the outfit. Make these goals SMALL GOALS. You want to give yourself a win! Each time you achieve a small goal, you get a reward, and it keeps you motivated until the next large goal. 

It would be super motivating to reward yourself with things that are only going to help your continue on your goal! Women are more likely to workout when they feel good about themselves. A new pair of workout leggings or a new sports bra can definitely make you feel good when pressing play on your workout DVD. A new set of perfectly stacking Tupperware can make your meal prepping so much more pleasant! Treating yourself with a Shakeology shipment is a great reward to keep you motivated as well as keep you on track with your nutrition, it's a win win! I love Shakeology, so I bargain with myself. If I do my workout that day, I get to have my chocolate shake. But, no worky, no shakey. This small reward gives me a daily WIN that I can accomplish! 

Here's a list of things you can reward yourself with that do not involve food! 

1. Buy a new book.

2. Get a manicure.

3. Buy yourself a new outfit, in a smaller size! 

4. Go see a movie.

5. A massage. Yes, please! 

6. Girl's night out.

7. A new nail polish. 

8. New workout clothes. 

9. Buy that home decor piece you've been wanting. 

10. Buy a new cookbook.

11. Buy yourself flowers.

12. Take a day off work.

13. Try a Spray Tan. 

14. Pay yourself! Give yourself a dollar for each workout you do each month. 

15. Date night! 


Are you sore?

Are you SORE from your workout? Or do you think you didn't push hard enough because you AREN'T sore? Did you know, the quality of a workout is not based on how sore you are the next day. In fact, it's really only good to be sore a few days in a row, you don't want to be constantly sore, that's a sign that you are pushing yourself too hard and too fast. Did you know, the faster your muscles can recover the better results you will get!  This is just one of the reasons I love Shakeology, it aids in muscle recovery! 

If you're not sore today, don't be discouraged, it just means that you're getting better at your workouts! They don't get easier, it's the same challenging workout that nearly killed you two weeks ago, you just got better at it. How great is that?! 

Did you skip your workout today because you were too sore? Don't go that route! Get your workout in and stretch out those muscles, it's good for them! 

Here's a quick arm workout to try!

12-15 reps of each move, with no less than 5 pound weights for the weighted moves. In between every set do 25 jumping jacks.

-Push ups then 25 Jumping Jacks 
-Bent over row with Tricep extension then 25 jumping jacks 
-Tricep dips then 25 jumping jacks.
-Overhead shoulder press then 25 jumping jacks
-Repeat circuit one time 

Burn the Belly Fat

Let's talk Belly Fat. You cannot really target one area of your body. Don't fall into that mindset of working abs 7 days a week so you can eliminate belly fat. It cannot be done this way. You need to focus on a whole body approach. And your whole body approach HAS to start with nutrition and taking care of yourself. A balanced, healthy lifestyle is the only way to achieve this goal.

Ever heard "abs are made in the kitchen?" I'm sure you have. It's 100 percent true.

The belly is one of the toughest spots to tone, for many people regardless of gender or age. I've got 5 things you can do to give yourself a head start on reducing the belly fat!

5 keys to reduce belly fat:
1. Clean up your nutrition. Practice and 80-90% clean rule. Some people even take it up to 95% to reach a 6 pack goal! The cleaner the diet, the tighter the abs.
2. Get more sleep! You need 7-8 hours of sleep on average. Don't skimp out on the sleep when trying to lose weight and get healthy!
3. Reduce stress. Working out is a great way to do it! Get in some "me time" focusing on the things you love doing!
4. Change your workout style. Many people automatically associate cardio with weight or fat loss. While steady state cardio (such as walking, running or cycling) can most certainly burn a lot of calories, cardio on its own is not the most effective way to reduce overall fat and belly fat. Other types of training, such as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and resistance/weight training, can provide you with an “afterburn” effect where your body may continue to burn fat hours after your workout. Bottom line: if you wanna "tone" you gotta lift some weights!
5. Guzzle down that water! Make sure you are getting at least half your body weight in water every day!

May 1, 2016

Shakeology while pregnant or nursing

Welcome expecting mommies! And congratulations on the new birth of your baby nursing mommies! You're here because you want to do the best for your baby, but you also want to continue to feel the way Shakeology makes you feel! Not sure you want to give it up, correct?! I've been there. So your question is, Can I drink Shakeology if I’m pregnant or nursing?

As with everything these days, opinions differ, and you should always check with your OB doctor for any supplements, nutrition changes, diet changes, etc. For your convenience, I have a letter HERE for you to print out and show your doctor. It includes the ingredients in Shakeology! When you look at the Shakeology container, you will notice their disclaimer: “Consult with a healthcare professional if pregnant, breast feeding, or if you have any other unique or special needs.”
Please remember to tell your doctor that you are not drinking Shakeology to lose weight (the cover letter suggests that). Just let your doctor know that you love the nutrition and the way you feel, and you would like to continue to received this superfood nutrition while pregnant/nursing.

Mommies, You've probably heard a bunch of opinions from other moms...

Some say that they’ve drank Shakeology all the way through pregnancy. Loved it!
Some are drinking it instead of taking their prenatal vitamins.
Some drink it along with folic acid supplements.
Some drink the vegan Shakeology.
Some drink it on the recommendation of their doctor.

There are many different health and wellness experts.

A friend’s doctor said that every pregnant and nursing woman should drink Shakeology because of the dense nutrition it contains. Another friend's doctor told her to drink the Vegan formula because it is not fortified with vitamins. Some ask that mommies drink it, but not along with prenatal vitamins as the Vitamin A content in both supplements is too high. Some doctors don't recommend it because they do not know enough about it. Some doctors say that you should be able to take it, provided that you get sufficient calories every day. They don't want you dieting while pregnant, after all!

Why the Differing Opinions?

Meal replacement shakes are generally not advised for nursing or pregnant women, for the reason of NO DIETING while pregnant or nursing, you need those extra calories! Also, meal replacement shakes usually contain harmful fillers and artificial ingredients. However, Shakeology is a different kind of meal replacement shake. There is nothing harmful or artificial in Shakeology, and it is more of a nutrition supplement shake versus a weight loss shake. We want to have the best nutrition while pregnant, and Shakeology will supply that! But you need to get your calories in as expected.

Pregnant and breastfeeding mommies should consume an additional 500 calories every day, and that’s where Shakeology comes in handy. In addition to your healthy balanced meals, also take Shakeology for the dense nutrition it provides.

By eating enough of the right foods and then supplementing your nutrition with Shakeology, you may just get the healthiest pregnancy you've had yet! And the nutrition in Shakeology makes for some fortified super milk breast milk!

Shakeology During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Concerns

Some doctors don’t want patients to take Shakeology during pregnancy and nursing due to the following concerns:

1. Shakeology is Not Approved by the FDA

Some doctors will only approve supplements that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. However, the FDA does not approve any dietary supplements. Which is why YOU need to be diligent to look into the ingredients in ANY dietary supplements and shakes.

2. Vitamin A

Too much Vitamin A (in retinol form, from animal sources) has been linked to birth defects. However, the Vitamin A in Shakeology is beta-carotene, with which there are no correlating issues of any kind. In my pregnancy, I would alternate days, Shakeology one day, prenatal vitamin the next, just to eliminate any concern whatsoever about the Vitamin A.

3. Herbs

Shakeology contains small doses of certain herbs, which taken in large doses can induce labor. However, your doctor should be able to note the dosage, which would not have an effect in your pregnancy.

Shakeology’s Official Answer: Can I take Shakeology when I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

“Shakeology should only be taken by pregnant women and nursing mothers under the direction of their physicians. As with all of our supplements; we recommend that you consult with a healthcare professional if you are pregnant, breast feeding, or if you have any medical conditions. SPECIAL NOTE FOR VEGAN FORMULATIONS: Shakeology is dietary supplement in a food form, and since our vegan formulas are not fortified, the levels of any one nutrient should not be an issue for anyone or for a pregnant woman. Pregnant women need to careful about levels of Vitamin A (10,000 IU is the upper limit), but the amounts we have at unfortified levels are similar to those found in unfortified foods and in fruits and vegetables. Accordingly, pregnant women should consider their intake of vegan Shakeology as part of their normal diet, but should not rely solely on Shakeology to meet the needs of pregnancy for nutrients like, iron, folate, Vitamin A, or calcium.”

Nursing moms, I would absolutely introduce Shakeology slowly to your new bundle of joy. Start with 1/4 scoop and work your way to a full scoop over a month of time. Shakeology has many ingredients, some may bother your baby's tummy. For example, green leafy veggies can give your baby gas, and every baby is different. If you find that your baby cannot tolerate it, just wait until baby is 4 months old and then try again. The digestive system matures around 4 months and you may find that while it didn't work for your baby at one month, it might at 4!

I know if I would have had to completely stop with Shakeology while pregnant, and for the next year plus that I'm nursing, I would be extremely sad! Shakeology does so much for me besides the nutrition, it curbs junky cravings, improves my hair, skin, and nails, gives me energy that is caffeine free, and makes my digestive system function at it's best. But don’t just take it from me! Check out some actual real-life testimonials!

“I have been drinking shakeology for 15 months and nursing my daughter the entire time! In the beginning, I was worried about my milk supply with a complete diet change and adding this in but I actually noticed an increase since I was fueling my body with proper nutrition and vitamins! I drank original chocolate for a year and just switched to vegan because I’m trying to cut dairy.” Keleigh Gates

“When I had my youngest son I dried up at 6 months. I have been drinking shakeo with my daughter since she was 4 months old and I am still going. She is almost 8 months now. I have PCOS and shakeo has helped me to keep my supply when it would have otherwise been gone.” Alex Stuck

“I started drinking it while breastfeeding my son and noticed an increase in supply. I am now currently drinking it while pregnant and love it. I can let you know how amazing she turns out in a couple of weeks.” Katie Dyer

“The first 2 months of breastfeeding I started to actually have supply problems… I ordered my first bag of Shakeology around 6 weeks after my little was born, and once I started drinking I had no issues. We did find out he was lactose intolerant, so I switch to vegan. And no issues and for a while {when I actually did pump} I have a nice stock in the freezer, its been used up now, but we are 1 year strong {almost 2 weeks short}.” Sarah Sullivan

“I’m 29 weeks pregnant and have been drinking it every day for the past month and a half and I am sooooo much more energized than I was before I started drinking it! I also have been able to maintain/slow down my weight gain because it really curbs my cravings for junk!” Lola Yossi Azari

“I started drinking shakeology while nursing my 15 month old, no issues for her, as for me more energy and increased supply. I breast fed till she turned 2, and drank Shakeology daily.” Ana Jacome

“I’m breastfeeding AND pregnant and it’s made a total difference in my milk supply and energy. My supply was dropping with pregnancy hormones (which wasn’t an issue since Lucas is almost two), but since drinking it regularly, my supply has definitely increased. Breastfeeding while pregnant definitely drained my energy too, and that’s increased as well. My midwife and lactation consultant were both totally cool with me drinking it.” Candace Musselwhite

“I’ve been drinking shakeo for over a year now. I drank it off and on throughout my pregnancy without any issues. And I recently started drinking it again consistently for 3 months while nursing and I have had no negative results. In fact, I have only seen an increase in my milk supply. With my other 2 children I had always had a hard time producing enough milk and would have to supplement with formula. It’s such a relief not having to worry about that now!” Katie Raymond

“I have been drinking Shakeology for a month and a half and I am EBF my LO. I have noticed no change in my milk supply…. Still pumping volume on top of breastfeeding throughout the day. My LO had no adverse side effects from me drinking it. She is thriving and a happy 3 month old! I also got the green light from my Cleveland clinic pediatrician before I ordered the shakes.” Nathan-Justine Hitchcock

“I had my wisdom tooth pulled and was drinking 2 shakes a day and Greek yogurt for over a week. I was super nervous about my milk supply getting low because I wasn’t having solid food but my supply actually INCREASED from having 2 Shakeology smoothies a day.” Rachelle Lynn

“I started drinking it when I was 5 months pp. It increased my supply and restored my energy that I had lost. I used to feel so drained from breastfeeding, I rarely ever even had the energy to get off the couch. Now I’m almost 11 months pp and I’m able to keep up with my daughter, do intensive cardio exercises and still not feel drained. I can’t go a day without drinking it or I majorly feel the difference. Oh and tmi but it also helped me become regular which was also such a lifesaver because I had horrible constipation from giving birth up until I started drinking it regularly.” Bryanna Noelle Newell

“I started drinking Shakeology while breastfeeding my (then) 6 month old son. My milk supply was great and I felt amazing vs being exhausted most of the time prior to starting it. It also helped with the constant hunger which was especially great in the mornings as I’ve never been a breakfast person. My son was healthy and continued to grow like a weed. It was nice knowing that I was putting something in my body that wasn’t laden with chemicals and sugar and I knew those nutrients I was benefiting from were also going to my son.” Elizabeth Smith

Dark Chocolate Avocado Brownie Cookies

You know the inner most piece of the brownie, the ooey gooey, oh so chewy and moist piece that everyone fights over? Well, unless you're weird and like the crunchy edge part. Haha, jk edge peeps.

You've got to try these ooey gooey brownie cookies. This recipe makes 10, but you'll only need one or two, they are super rich.

Ripe flesh of 1 medium avocado
½ cup coconut palm sugar
1 egg
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup dark chocolate chips
1 tbsp water
½ tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350* and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Place avocado flesh and coconut sugar in a medium mixing bowl. With a hand mixer, cream them together. Add egg and beat until well combined.
Then add cocoa powder beat again, and finally add chocolate chips, beat until well combined.

In a small dish, dissolve baking soda in water then add to batter and, you guessed it, mix well.

Spoon batter onto baking sheet in cookie form, about 1-2 tablespoons each and keep them about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Remember, they are gooey, so they are going to fall apart in your hand.