Ready for an EASY way to portion out your meals at the speed of LIGHT?!

Seriously, this 4-part method is exactly how I portion out every single one of my meals, and you don’t need a food scale or measuring cups or any other fancy tool to use it. 

 
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All you need is your HAND!

Check it out below

1.  PROTEIN — 1-2 Palm-sized servings at each meal 🍗⁣
2.  VEGGIES — 1-2 Fist-sized servings at each meal 🥦⁣
3.  HEALTHY FATS — 1 Thumb-sized serving at each meal 🥑⁣
4.  SMART CARBS — 0.5-1 Fist-sized serving at each meal 🍠⁣

I PROMISE, if you use this system precisely you CAN lose weight without ever counting a calorie or macro! ;)

Do YOU have an easy way to portion out your meals that works?  If so, drop it in the comments below! 🍴

Food Cravings are NOT your problem!!!!

We’re often taught that food cravings are EVIL, and that we must AVOID the foods we crave at all costs.

 
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Women come to me asking “How do I get rid of my food cravings?” OR “What do I do when a serious food cravings hits?!” ⁣

The truth is that ALL of us have food cravings at times. ⁣

For some of us, it comes from the pure satisfaction of enjoying a particular food… And for others of us, cravings hit because we use food as a coping mechanism for stress and emotions. ⁣

When we fight our food cravings, we only WORSEN our relationship with food, because we try to completely eliminate and avoid the unhealthy foods that we crave... Which tends to lead to a late-night binge session... ⁣

Can you relate⁣?!

So, back to the GOLDEN question... ⁣

WHAT do you do when a food craving hits?! ⁣

You remember that YOU always have POWER over your decisions with food.  YOU ARE IN CONTROL of your choices. ⁣

Stop allowing your food cravings to control you. ⁣
Stop thinking that foods are “bad” and “good” ⁣
Stop letting your emotions and fear take control over your eating.

START TRUSTING YOURSELF.

Instead of fighting your food cravings, be mindful, make a PLAN to help you navigate your cravings, and learn to TRUST YOURSELF to take power over your food choices. 👍🏻⁣

I promise that THIS is one way to help heal your relationship with food. ⁣

Tag a friend in the comments below who needs to hear this message today! 

How many times have you “fallen off the bandwagon” when eating healthy or losing weight?

1?  10?  50?  1000?⁣

 
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Here’s the truth—It doesn’t matter HOW many times you stumble on your journey.

Seriously… ALL that matters is that you pick yourself back up, LEARN from your falls, and continue to make progress.

I was reminded of this lesson during my winter vacation to Utah.  Brad and I were skiing at Snowbird and Snowbasin, and we got SLAMMED with a blizzard overnight… I’m talking 15 inches of fresh snow!

I’ve NEVER skied that much powder in my life.  Can you guess what happened? ⁣

I spent half the morning on my butt as I made my way down the mountain, but guess what… I LEARNED from each fall. ⁣

By the end of the day, I was able to ENJOY skiing the powder, and had a super fun day! ⁣

It would’ve been EASY for me to give up after falling the first time… To tell myself that I suck at skiing powder, and to just spend the rest of the day feeling miserable about myself inside of the ski lodge.  The HARDER choice was to continue practicing, even though I struggled. ⁣

But where would that get me?! ⁣

In the Freedom with Food Formula, I teach my clients how to LEARN from their setbacks, instead of giving up on themselves... So they can continue losing weight and creating a healthy life, no matter HOW many times they stumble.

Do you have any tips that help you make a comeback after a setback?  Share one below!

Ready to IMPROVE your confidence and really SHINE?

On a scale from 1-10, how CONFIDENT and RADIANT do you FEEL in your life right now? 

 
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If it’s anything less than a 10, you’re selling yourself short. You deserve MORE.

You see, almost every woman I work with comes to me because they want to simply “lose weight.” While using the scale is a great tool to measure progress, it surprises me that so few women understand how creating a healthier life will make them FEEL!

How would you FEEL if you slept 7-9 hours a night? ⁣

How would you FEEL if you fueled your body with the nutrients it craves? ⁣

How would you FEEL if you consciously chose to ate dessert simply because you WANTED it, without any strings attached or without using it as a comfort for stress or emotions?

So... how do you bump your confidence up to a level 10?

You remember that you always have a CHOICE, and that is your POWER. Decide to take action. ⁣

If you’re not happy with how you FEEL, share in the comments below… How can you change your daily actions (which directly changes your feelings)?

My BEST Secret about how to exercise to lose weight!

Want to know my SECRET for exercising to LOSE WEIGHT?!

 
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Find something you ENJOY doing, and GO with it! ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Some of my clients love yoga, while others love running. Others like walking their dog, and others lift weights.
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Exercise should NEVER be a punishment, nor should it be something you dread. It doesn’t mean spending hours in the gym... Heck, I can kick my own ass in 20 minutes in the gym.⁣

At the end of the day, exercise should be something that you enjoy and do consistently. It empowers you and leaves you feeling stronger than you thought possible.
⁣⁣
In my weight loss coaching program, the Freedom with Food Formula, I help my clients create an exercise routine that is FUN, safe, effective, and unique to each woman!
⁣⁣
Share YOUR favorite workout in the comments below!

Results? Or Excuses?

Being totally honest, I’ve been slacking when it comes to running lately.

I’ve used the terrible Michigan winter and “hating the treadmill” as an excuse to NOT run. I went from running 100+ miles a month in November and December to 11 miles in January. YIKES.

 
 

One of my goals for 2019 is to run another marathon and to break 4 hours (I finished my first in 4 hours and 11 minutes).

Guess what though?! That WON’T HAPPEN if I don’t start incorporating a mix of running AND strength training. More importantly, if I don’t start preparing now, I’ll end up getting injured like I did last year. ⁣

This past weekend, I hopped on the treadmill and instead of focusing on how much I hate running in the same place, I shifted my mindset and focused on how grateful I am that I’m healthy enough to run. And guess what? I survived and I WAS NOT MISERABLE. ⁣

Would I rather run outside? You bet, but I don’t take those risks when the sidewalks are snowy or icy. ⁣

I don’t care if you’re trying to lose weight, or run a marathon, or start dating, or make a career change... IF YOUR EXCUSES HOLD YOU BACK, YOU WILL NEVER REACH YOUR GOALS.

“I’m too busy…”

“I don’t have time…”

“It’s too much work…”

“I’ll never be able to succeed.”

ALL OF THESE ARE EXCUSES.

Yes, there are times that we have VALID reasons for not taking action towards our goals. For example, if I am injured I WILL NOT RUN. Or, if you’re trying to lose weight but the ONLY option for lunch at an all-day work seminar is pizza, you NEED TO EAT THE PIZZA..

Chances are though, OUR EXCUSES are the biggest reasons that we aren’t achieving our goals.

Can you think of any excuses that have been stopping YOU from achieving your goals?!

Drop them in the comments below!

The Top 3 Reasons Women Struggle to Lose Weight

 

Losing weight is HARD work. I won’t deny it. I won’t pretend it’s as easy as eating one salad.

With that being said, there are many reasons that 95% of women who are on a journey to become healthier struggle to lose weight.

Check out the top 3 reasons that most women struggle to lose weight:

  1. Consistency and patience are KEY!

 
 
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When it comes to weight loss, consistency has two meanings.

First, let’s talk about consistency in regards to eating nutritious foods (protein, lots of veggies, smart carbs, and healthy fats). It is 1000000% possible to lose weight while still eating chocolate and drinking wine.

My current clients have lost over 220 pounds while still enjoying their favorite foods and drinking wine.

The KEY is to enjoy those indulgences seldomly. Maybe that means once a week, maybe twice a week, or maybe once every two weeks! It’s really different for every woman, and comes down to your bodies’ metabolism and physical properties.

Second, consistency means waiting a few WEEKS and sometimes MONTHS to see results. Often times, women start to eat very nutritiously and expect to see results THAT WEEK. It takes the body time to adapt to being in a calorie deficit, so you have to give yourself time to see results. Again, how long varies from woman to woman. Be patient, be consistent, and the results will come!

2. Getting back on track is CRUCIAL to success!

When it comes to losing weight, there WILL be events where you’ll eat non-nutritious foods, and that’s OKAY!!! For example, let’s look at family pizza parties. Do you really expect to bring your own nutritious foods, or never enjoy the pizza? Of course not! Just because you eat non-nutritious foods (especially when it’s out of your control) does NOT mean you can’t lose weight.

What’s MOST important is to getting right back on track after you eat non-nutritious foods. One of my personal mottos is “never miss a healthy meal twice in a row.” When I eat foods I love that aren’t the most nutritious (for example, I ate tacos, rice, and beans for dinner last night), I make SURE that my next meal (and the ones that follow that) consists of lean protein and loads of veggies.

Many women fail to lose weight because they allow one not-so-nutritious meals turn into a not-so-nutritious day, week, etc.

3. Mindful eating is EXTREMELY important and often overlooked.

What does eating mindfully mean? Eating mindfully means only eat when you feel hungry, eating slowly, and paying attention to your fullness levels after each bite.

Are YOU an emotional or stress eater? SO many women use food as a way to escape emotions or stress.

At the end of the day, food rarely helps the root cause of the emotions or stress.

If you struggle from emotional or stress eating, keep telling yourself that your struggles are NOT related to food... Meaning that eating food won’t help the cause of your stress or emotions (unless it’s true hunger). Honor and FEEL your feelings, but don’t use food as a way to try to escape them.

Eating mindfully also means paying attention to how slowly you eat, and how you feel WHILE eating. Ideally, you want to STOP eating as soon as you feel satisfied and before you feel stuffed.

Losing weight while enjoying your favorite foods and drinks is 100000% possible. I’ve helped my current clients lose 225 POUNDS while enjoying their favorite foods AND while feeling satisfied (no 800 calorie/day crash diets needed!)

Have you struggled from any of these 3 weight loss roadblocks before? Are you struggling to lose weight because of another roadblock? Share with me in the comments below!

Stop "SHOULD-ING" on yourself! 💩

 

I SHOULD eat healthier.

I SHOULDN’T eat this pizza.

I SHOULD go exercise

I SHOULDN’T drink this glass of wine.

 
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Anytime you tell yourself you “should” or “shouldn’t” do something, you’re asking for a speeding ticket on the highway to the city of Guilt, located in the country of I’M NOT ENOUGH.

Whatever action you “should” or “shouldn’t” be doing makes your current task or behavior seem WRONG… Which automatically leads to feelings of anger, resentment, failure, shame, lack of control, etc.

What happens when we SHOULD on ourselves? We create a ton of pressure within ourselves to do or be something which we feel we’re supposed to do. Basically we are telling ourselves that we’re not good enough, we’re not healthy enough, we’re not smart enough, etc.

If we don’t do what we “should” do, or if we do what we “shouldn’t” do, we feel wrong or guilty for our choices. SHOULD-ING strengthens our belief that we can’t trust ourselves, or that we don’t have enough willpower to reach our goals… Both of which are huge piles of POOP.

Many of us use the words SHOULD and SHOULD’T so frequently that the words that follow these phrases (I should workout, I should eat healthy, I shouldn’t eat pizza, etc.) become MORE POWERFUL in our minds than our actual desires.

In other words, our minds’ preconceived ideas about pizza, exercise, eating healthy and glasses of wine make the decisions FOR us, as opposed to what we really want.

Feeling overwhelmed, guilty, anger, or resentful of the things you SHOULD do keeps you feeling stuck… The more you feel you SHOULD do something, the less likely you are to actually DO IT.

SHOULD-ING is often tied into foods because we label foods as “good” or “bad” in our minds (which unconsciously leads to feelings of either happiness or anger/resentment).  On a nutritious level, foods can’t be labelled as good or bad because foods don’t have power over their actions.  Think about it: good humans are those who help others around them and are kind and loving.  Bad humans murder, commit crimes, and take advantage of those around them.  Foods can’t do EITHER of those things.  Now I understand that you can have “bad” pizza at a restaurant, but that is because of how the restaurant prepared and made the pizza, not because of the pizza itself.  

All foods are simply more-nutritious or less nutritious for our bodies.  At a biological level, our bodies CRAVE healthy foods because we need those nutrients to survive.  A donut may have 500 calories but has little nutrients for it’s caloric count, compared to a chicken breast with veggies that has the same 500 calories but is loaded with nutrients.  The calorie count is the exact same, so does it matter which one we eat? YES!  

Because the donut contains little nutrients, it won’t keep us feeling full and satisfied for very long.  We will quickly feel hungry, and eat MORE foods than we don’t actually need. Because the chicken and veggies contain more nutrients, they will do a better job of keeping our bodies’ satisfied and feeling full for a longer time. 

Ultimately, when we associate foods as being “good” or “bad” instead of “nutritious” or “not-so-nutritious”, we feel we have messed up when we eat something “bad,” or we feel better about ourselves when we eat something “good.” In other words, research suggests that we feel BAD about ourselves when we eat “bad” foods, and we feel good about ourselves when we eat “good” foods.

Remember that food is just food. It has no power over us UNLESS we give it power.

So here is the golden question: How do we STOP should-ing on ourselves?!

First, we become aware that it is happening. Start to notice your feelings and HOW you choose the foods you eat. Are you telling yourselves you “SHOULD” or “SHOULDN’T” eat certain foods, or are you taking control over food and consciously choosing to eat foods that you WANT to eat?

In the moment, ask yourself some of these questions: Why should I choose this? Who says that I should choose this? Will this help me reach my goals? Does the BEST, HEALTHIEST version of me want to enjoy this?

Next, try to get as specific as you can with your goals AND your wants. In other words, what not-so-nutritous foods do you truly LOVE? What goals are you hoping to achieve and what’s realistic for YOUR lifestyle? For example, I absolutely LOVE pasta. When I was on my own personal weight loss journey (you can read more about it HERE), I wasn’t willing to give pasta up in order to lose weight… So I decided to eat more nutritious foods MOST of the time, but to still consciously CHOOSE to eat pasta on special occasions (simply because I loved it!)

Lastly, start to replace the word SHOULD with I WILL… I CAN… I CHOOSE… I AM... I WANT.

It’s a complete mindset shift that takes the pressure off of you. It takes the power away from the food and gives YOU the power to make the decision about what to eat without the emotional strings attached to it.

Instead of telling yourself “I should eat more veggies,” try telling yourself “I will choose more veggies.” Or, instead of telling yourself “I want to be someone who exercises regularly,” try telling yourself “I am someone who exercises regularly. I promise that small mindset shift will help you think twice about your nutrition AND your exercise choices.

By slowing shifting your mindset, you take back your power and you OWN your decisions.

This doesn’t mean you never enjoy pizza, but it means that you can CHOOSE when you enjoy the pizza, which is extremely powerful. You also get to CHOOSE to eat more protein and veggies so that you lose weight and reach your goals.

If you can stop SHOULD-ING on yourself, you can remove the stress and emotions associated with foods, and you can take back the power to choose what YOU want to eat.

Does this post resonate with you? Do you struggle with SHOULD-ING on yourself, whether it comes in the form of eating healthy OR any other goal you’re trying to achieve? Drop a comment below!

 

Ready to measure portions WITHOUT counting calories?!

 

SO many women believe that in order to lose weight, they have to strictly count calories. In reality, calorie counting isn’t the best long-term strategy to leading a healthy life. What happens when you go over to a friend’s house for dinner and she doesn’t have the calorie count? Or, what happens when you go to a restaurant and there are no calorie counts on the menu?

Here’s the truth:

YOU DON’T NEED TO COUNT CALORIES IN ORDER TO LOSE WEIGHT!

SERIOUSLY! My system of measuring portions helps my clients to lose weight without ever counting a single calories. And NO, my system doesn’t mean that you feel hungry all the time either!

The only tool you need to correctly measure out portion sizes is your HAND!

Your hand goes with you everywhere, so you’ll be able to keep your portions in-check while eating at your friends’ house AND while dining out at restaurants!

 
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Here’s how it works:

  1. PROTEIN: Every meal you eat should contain 1-2 PALM-SIZED servings of protein

  2. VEGGIES/FRUIT: Every meal you eat should contain 1-2 FIST-SIZED servings of veggies & fruit

  3. SMART CARBS: Every meal you eat should contain 0.5-1 FIST-SIZED serving of smart (whole grain) carbs

  4. HEALTHY FATS/CONDIMENTS: Each meal you eat should contain about 1 THUMB-SIZED serving of healthy fats (like nuts or avocado) and/or condiments.

Especially if you’re trying to lose weight, be aware of your carb and fat portion sizes. If you need, cut back on those portion sizes and add 1-2 portions of veggies to your meals.

I’d love for you to try out this system to help you portion your meals, and then comment below and share how it works for you!

 

3 AT-HOME workouts that require NO equipment!

 

When it comes to losing weight and maintaining your weight loss, it’s probably not shocking to hear that exercise is important.

Exercise helps us to strength our bones and build stronger muscles. The more muscle mass we have, the more calories our bodies burn! Plus, exercise is a fantastic way to relieve stress!

Just because exercise is important DOESN’T mean you need to spend hours a day sweating away in the gym!

Check out these 3 workouts that require NO equipment and can be done anywhere, anytime.

Ready to burn your core?! Check out this AMAZING AB WORKOUT!

 
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Ready to get your heart rate up and get sweaty?!

Try this Cardio Countdown Workout!

 
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Ready to strengthen your muscles and rev your metabolism?!

Try this strength workout!

 
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Do you have questions about these workout? Drop them in the comments below and I’ll answer!

 

Expectations vs. Reality of Weight Loss

 

In October, I ran my first marathon (26.2 miles). While I EXPECTED the race to be a challenge, I expected to finish and feel amazing. What I DIDN’T expect was the reality of those last 6 miles.

The first 20 miles I felt strong and quick. The last 6 were a completely different story. They were the HARDEST 6 miles I have ever run in my life. My legs were screaming at me in pain. I was physically and emotionally drained. I cried at Mile 22, where I called myself stupid and wanted to quit. Needless to say, my expectations of running a marathon and the reality of running a marathon were VERY DIFFERENT.

 
How I expected to cross the finish line…   Versus the reality of how I felt at Mile 25.

How I expected to cross the finish line…

Versus the reality of how I felt at Mile 25.

 

In a similar way, almost every woman I work with must come to terms with the reality of weight loss, versus her own expectations.

After helping hundreds of women lose weight throughout the course of my career, I’ve learned many things about the expectations of weight loss, versus what REALLY happens. Be sure to set yourself up for weight loss success by using these tips to help you become realistic about your goals.

EXPECTATION #1: Losing weight will make you happier.

  • REALITY: Current research suggests that while losing weight can lead to feelings of satisfaction and will make you temporarily happier, your overall happiness depends on MANY other factors in your life. As you lose weight and become healthier, focus on creating healthy work relationships, personal relationships, and hobbies too.

EXPECTATION #2: The scale will immediately start to change the second you begin implementing new habits into your routine.

  • REALITY: It probably comes as no surprise that changing your daily habits is one of the biggest determinants of long-term weight loss success. However, because habit change often starts off slowly, it takes TIME for results to happen. Expect that it might take weeks or months for the scale to change, and that’s NORMAL. Instead of focusing on instant results, focus on consistency and patience.

EXPECTATION #3: Weight loss will be perfect & linear.

  • Reality: Once you start seeing results, many of us expect the scale to change every single week. In reality, it’s NORMAL for results to vary! Some weeks, depending on the types of foods we eat, the last time we used the restroom, or even our hormones, the scale might go up before it drops more. Expect the scale to sometimes go up and other times go down... Daily fluctuations are healthy and normal.

EXPECTATION #4: THE NUMBER ON THE SCALE IS THE ONLY WAY TO MEASURE PROGRESS.

  • REALITY: There are literally hundreds of ways to measure progress as you begin to eat healthier and exercise. Are you more energized? How are you sleeping? How are your clothes fitting? How are your workouts feeling? Do you get tired and “crash” in the afternoon? How is your skin looking? There are just SOME of the questions you need to ask yourself as you strive to lose weight. Remember the scale is only ONE way to measure progress.

These examples I give are only the tip of the iceberg. As you begin your journey to lose weight, give yourself some extra love when reality differs from your expectations. And whatever happens, DO NOT give up on yourself. Now that I know the reality of running a marathon, instead of giving up on running completely, I can better prepare myself for the next one!

Share in the comments below… Have you ever experienced something where your expectations differ from reality? What was it, and how did you react?

 

Do you suffer from black and white thinking when it comes to eating healthy?

MANY women that I encounter struggle with black and white thinking when it comes to eating healthy.

Black and white thinking, or the all-or-nothing mentality, refers to eating one not-so-nutritious food and feeling like you are a complete failure…

And then sabotaging yourself by continuing to eat unhealthy.

The next time you find yourself struggling with the all-or-nothing mentality, remember the examples in this video… And remember that you DO have the power to change your behaviors and mindset!

4 Ways to Stay Healthy on Thanksgiving

 
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YIKES!!! That is a TON of calories to consume within the span of 24 hours!

Even though Thanksgiving revolves around eating, there are ways to navigate your day so that you still ENJOY your favorite foods without going overboard! Check out my 4 best tips on how to stay healthy (yet still ENJOY) your Thanksgiving!

  1. Eat Breakfast. It may sound counterintuitive, but eating breakfast can help prevent you from snacking all day. “Saving up” for the big meal rarely works because you end up becoming SO hungry throughout the day, that you overeat before the main meal is even served.

  2. Pitch in and Bring Something Healthy! What makes Thanksgiving amazing is the number of options to choose from! Most Thanksgiving options are high in fats and carbs (ahem stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy). Be SURE there is a healthy choice at dinner or as an appetizer by bringing along a veggie tray or veggies as a side dish.

  3. Fill HALF of your dinner plate with veggies and protein. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that I’m a believer in ENJOYING your favorite foods and drinks on special occasions. And for most of us, Thanksgiving is a special occasion! That doesn’t mean you can eat 5 servings of stuffing and expect to lose weight. Set yourself up for success by filling at least HALF of your plate with veggies & turkey, and allowing yourself to indulge in smaller portions of your favorite, heavier foods.

  4. Pay attention to your hunger and fullness levels! This one is harder than it sounds, but really try to eat ONLY when you feel hungry on Thanksgiving. Often times, this day turns into a “grazing day” when food is available to eat all day. Instead of mindlessly eating everything that is offered to you, focus on eating ONLY when you feel hungry. When you feel full, politely pass on food or take some home as leftovers!

Thanksgiving is a tricky holiday to stay on track, but it’s possible with a little planning and knowledge. Most importantly, when it comes to appetizer and overall food choices, decide what you are COMMITTING to do, and what you’re NOT willing to do before Thanksgiving arrives!

Do you have any other tips that help you stay healthy on Thanksgiving? Share them in the comments below!

 

EASY & DELICIOUS Turkey and Egg Casserole

 

Often times, the women I work with struggle to make healthy breakfast choices that keep them feeling full and satisfied all morning long.

Today's recipe is a fantastic option to meal prep for breakfast, lunch, OR dinner!  Plus, it’s EASY! Seriously — it takes about 5-10 minutes of prep work, and once you put it in the oven, you’re free to do other things! Make this on a Sunday and have breakfast or lunches ready-to-go all week long!

Turkey & Egg Breakfast Casserole 

 
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Ingredients: 

- 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil + more for coating the pan
- 1 lb Ground Turkey
- 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
- /2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 12 Large Eggs
- 1 small Sweet Potato (peeled and sliced thin)
- 1 cup Baby Spinach
- Salt & Pepper for Seasoning
- Additional Veggie Toppings: Tomatoes (Diced Onions, Mushrooms, Bell Peppers, Broccoli)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 x 9 baking dish with Coconut Oil as well as heat the 1 tablespoon in a medium sized skillet set to medium-high heat. Once the oil has melted add in the Ground Turkey and season with the Chili Powder, and Salt and Pepper. Continue to cook the meat until it begins to brown.
2. While the turkey is cooking peel and slice your Sweet Potato. Make sure your slices are fairly thin because if they’re too thick they won’t be as tender. Line the bottom of the greased baking dish with the sliced potatoes. In a medium bowl beat the Eggs with a whisk and season with salt and pepper.
3. Top the potatoes with the turkey and then pour the eggs on top. Layer the Spinach on top of the eggs as well as any additional toppings you’d like to add.
4. Place the dish in the oven and cook for 35 to 40 minutes or until the edges of the egg begin to brown and the casserole is firm throughout. Check the dish with about 5 minutes to go to see if you need to add any time.

ENJOY!

Note: If you want to make this as part of your meal prep (or the night before serving) and freeze it for later go ahead and fully prepare the dish then place in the freezer. To cook, let it defrost and then reheat at 275 to 300 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes.

 

Festive Fall *HEALTHIER* Pumpkin Brownies!

 

As the weather turns chilly, fall is a festive season for some HEALTHIER brownies! Today’s recipe is SUPER easy (seriously — it only uses 2 ingredients), and removes the egg, butter, and oil from traditional brownies.

 
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Pumpkin Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of 100% pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

  • 1 box of any brownie mix you’d like to use

Directions:

  1. Mix the ingredients together well.

  2. Bake according to the box instructions; NOTE: you may need to add more time (I usually do). Cook until a toothpick comes out clean

  3. Allow them to cool and ENJOY!

 

26.2 Lessons I Learned from Running a Marathon

 

On October 7, 2018, I ran my FIRST marathon, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon! It was an amazing journey that taught me SO many lessons about reaching your goals and living life.

 
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The smile and the medal represent SO MUCH MORE than the race itself. They represent a journey that includes months of hard work, dedication, learning, and sacrifice. 

Here are 26.2 lessons my first marathon taught me:

1. Your weaknesses often turn into strengths. 
2. What once seemed impossible is now a goal achieved.
3. Only you have the power to take action over your choices and your life.
4. You are stronger (mentally and physically) than you give yourself credit for.
5. If you give up every time doubt crosses your mind, you’ll never achieve anything. 
6. The best things in life are never easy to achieve, but are always worth it.
7. Don’t sweat over things you can’t control (like the weather), focus your energy on what you CAN control 
8. You get out what you put into it. Put in the work and see the results.
9. Whatever pain you are in WILL subside.
10. Listen to your body. If something is wrong, get it checked out & take care of it.
11. Focus on the path ahead of you, not your obstacles.
12. Don’t compare yourself to another’s journey. You do you.
13. There’s enough room for everyone to cross the finish line. 
14. Your mind is powerful and your body listens to it.  
15. Setbacks (and injuries) happen. Learn from them and move on.
16. If you’re constantly competing with others, you’ll never find happiness within yourself.
17. Every day (or every mile) is the chance for a fresh start
18. Shortcuts never work. There are no shortcuts in marathon training.
19. Achieving goals takes patience and consistency. Results never happen overnight. 
20. Ignore the haters. They’re always going to be there, don’t let them stop you.
21. Have fun—life is too short to take seriously. 
22. Don’t be afraid to try a new strategy. You never know what will work for you until you try.
23. Be thankful that you have a body that is healthy and strong enough to carry you through 26.2 miles (and life in general)
24. Mental and physical exhaustion leads to emotions you don’t expect. Honor them but don’t let them stop you. 
25. Nothing will ever be perfect. Focus on trying to make progress instead.
26. There will be bumps (or puddles) in the road... you can either go around them or through them but you can’t turn around and run from them.
26.2 Don't focus on how far you have to go. Focus on taking one step at a time!

Share with me in the comments below… Do any of these life lessons resonate with you? Have you achieved a goal that taught you life lessons?

 

How do you overcome a weight loss plateau?

 

What happens when you start losing weight, and then all of a sudden, the scale stops moving?

 
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You've been putting in the hard work:  You're paying attention to eat nutritious foods MOST of the time, you've started consistently exercising, and you're starting to see results... But then what happens when the scale stops moving?

Whatever you do, DON'T feel discouraged!  Weight loss is never linear, it always tends to ebb, flow, and even pause at times.  When your weight loss stalls, it's probably due to a weight loss plateau.  These plateaus happen when your body adapts to the new habits you've created, like eating nutrient-dense food and exercising more.  

Check out 5 tips to help you burst through your next weight loss plateau:

1. Reassess your habits and be honest with yourself. 

Often times when you stop losing weight, it's because old nutrition and exercise habits are starting to creep back into your life.  Maybe you added an extra dessert this week, or maybe you felt tired so you skipped the 3rd set of weights at the gym.  The first step to overcoming your weight loss plateau is to be honest with yourself about your habits.  If you ARE losing sight of your nutrition habits, take a week or two to tighten them back up.

2.  Replace one serving of carbs with an extra serving of veggies everyday.

Replacing one of your daily carb servings with an additional serving of veggies will help you eat less calories while still feeling full and satisfied.

 3.  Try a new type of exercise

Don't be afraid to shake up your workout routine!  Challenge your body by trying a brand new type of exercise!  You never know what types of exercise you might enjoy that might transform your body unless you try them!  

4.  Don't forget to include strength training!

It's simple: our muscle cells burn more calories than our fat cells do.  If you're looking to increase your metabolism, try to increase your muscle mass by lifting heavy weights that challenge you (but that aren't too heavy you risk injuring yourself!)  Aim to incorporate 2-3 strength workouts into each week.  

5.  Increase your activity throughout the day!

Sitting at your desk from 9am-5pm every day doesn't mean you can't stay active.  Take 2 minutes every hour and run up and down a few flights of stairs.  Walk around the office while on a phone call.  Hold a 1 minute plank in-between meetings.  Take the long way to the bathroom.  It doesn't matter how or what you do, just find ways to MOVE throughout your busy work day!

As frustrating as weight loss plateaus can be, remember that these small changes can help the scale to move in the right direction.  Whatever you do, DON'T let yourself give up and revert to your old habits.  Celebrate the success you've had on your journey, and commit to being consistent so you can break through the plateau!

 

4 Ways to CONQUER Meal Prep!

 
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When I say the words "meal prep," do you imagine spending five hours on a Sunday in your kitchen measuring out about 30 ingredients, and having at least 20 reusable storage containers to hold your meals?

Newsflash: meal prep does NOT need to be time consuming more complicated!

Meal prep isn’t rocket science, but it’s also not very intuitive. 

Check out these 4 hacks to help you ace your meal prep game WITHOUT wasting your entire Sunday measuring out ingredients in the kitchen!

1. Spend money on the right storage containers.

Please note, this does NOT mean that you need to buy the most expensive food storage containers from a high-end department store! Wherever you shop, I encourage you to invest in some glass storage containers that can easily go from the oven, the refrigerator, to the freezer, or even to the microwave. In addition, you can buy special produce storage containers that keep fruits and veggies fresh for longer. I HIGHLY recommend using these! 

2. Focus on preparing ingredients instead of meals.

Do you ever find that eating the exact same thing for a few meals becomes boring and bland? Instead of preparing a casserole or soup that will last you the entire week, focus on preparing ingredients that you can have multiple uses. For example, cook and chop up chicken breasts so that you can use it in salads and in wraps. Or, wash and chop up veggies that you can add to salads or sauté as a side for dinners. 

3. Try to follow the 4/2/1 rule. 

Every week, try to prepare 4 different vegetables, 2 different proteins (such as chicken and eggs), and 1 starch (such as potatoes) ahead of time. By preparing mostly proteins and veggies, you’re automatically setting yourself up to lose weight or simply eat healthy, balanced meals. 

4. Don’t be afraid to cook different ingredients on a single pan.

If you’re looking to save time, cook all of your proteins, starches, and vegetables all at once. Simply toss your vegetables and a dash of olive oil and spread them on the pan along side the protein and roast everything together. Add different spices and sauces when you go to eat your meals to add flavor and variety.

Planning healthy meals doesn’t need to take up your entire weekend, but it DOES require a little bit of planning. Give yourself at least 30 minutes to prep/cut the food, and another 30 minutes to bake everything. Remember though, you can multi-task while your ingredients are baking! 😉

If you’re looking for other healthy and easy meal ideas, be sure to join my FREE Facebook group for women here!

 

5 Easy Ways to Quit the Weekend BINGE!

 

How many times have you worked SO hard during the week to eat healthy and exercise, only to blow it on the weekends? 

 
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If you've fallen culprit to the weekend binge, don't worry, YOU'RE NOT ALONE!  Heck, even sometimes I can have weekends that are the opposite of healthy!  

However, if you're trying to lose weight, keeping your weekends in-check is CRUCIAL to reaching your goals!  Check out these tips to help you stay on track, even during the most fun weekend events!

1. Focus on being CONSISTENT instead of being PERFECT.

Let's be real--the weekends are the time we should be ENJOYING our days without work!  It is 100% possible to lose weight and still enjoy meals at restaurants, and even a special dessert or drink on the weekends.  Instead of focusing on eating and exercising "perfectly," because that doesn't even exist, focus on making consistent, healthy choices when you CAN!  Don't restrict yourself, but control how much unhealthy food you're eating.  Eating a salad with veggies and chicken followed by ice cream cone won't cause you to gain weight, but eating pizza, burgers, fries, AND ice cream could cause you to gain weight.

2.  Forget about "good" and "bad" food, and focus on portions.

Here's the truth: Eating too much of the HEALTHIEST foods can cause you to gain weight.  

Instead of focusing on eating "good" or "bad" food, focus on the portions of ALL foods you eat on the weekends.  It's definitely important that most of the foods you choose are nutritious, but use your hand to help you portion out each meal.  For women looking to lose weight, include a palm size protein, fistful of vegetable, a small cupped hand of carbohydrates and a thumb size amount of fat in each meal, 3 or 4 times a day.

3.  Plan ahead and be prepared!

Often times, we know our weekend plans well ahead of the actual weekend.  If you have an upcoming party or BBQ to attend, or if you know you plan on getting ice cream on a hot summer day, try to eat healthy, nutritious foods for MOST of the day leading up to your event.  Then, when you arrive at the party or BBQ, you can enjoy some treats because you've stayed on track so far.  On the flip, if you have brunch plans, enjoy your brunch and mimosas, but then get back on track immediately after brunch by having a healthy lunch or dinner planned.

4.  Drink 1-2 glasses of water in between each alcoholic beverage!

It's not uncommon for many women to enjoy a few cocktails on the weekends.  Heck, that's one of MY favorite parts of the weekend!  However, it's easy to over-do it with the booze, especially when you know you can sleep all day tomorrow!  

In between each alcoholic beverage, be sure to drink at least 1-2 glasses of water.  Not only will this help control how many calories you're drinking, but it will also help prevent the dreaded hangover (which usually leads to poor nutrition choices.) 

5.  Accept responsibility for your decisions

The first thing I want to stress is that there's no "BAD" or "GOOD" food choices.  There are only more nutritious food choices, and less nutritious choices.  Eating is a simple cause and effect situation.  Everything we eat and drink takes us a little closer or a little further away from our health & fitness goals.  

Accepting the consequence is a great way to enjoy your food.  Plus, accepting the consequences helps to to really hone in on exactly WHAT less nutritious food choices are worth eating and drinking.  

If you're looking to lose weight or simply lead a healthier life, use these suggestions to help you stay on track!  I promise that you CAN lose weight and still enjoy weekends.  It just takes some mindfulness and planning ahead! ;) 

 

3 Healthy Meal Choices for when you're feeling LAZY!

 

Often times as women, we assume that cooking healthy meals means spending hours a day prepping and cooking in the kitchen. 

What happens when you want to cook healthy meals on a limited budget or with a limited amount of time?

 
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There's nothing worse than getting home from a long day at work, only to feel uninspired to cook ANYTHING.  It's moments like this where a frozen pizza may sound appealing, but if you're trying to lose weight or eat healthy choices, what else is there to eat?

Good news!  There are PLENTY of healthy meal options that are delicious and can be made quickly.  In fact, enjoying a laid-back, healthy meal is a great way to establish a healthier relationship with food and cooking.  

What do these quick meals have in common?  

First, they're nutritious and can help you to lose weight.  Second, they help to keep you feeling full for a longer period of time.  Lastly, when you fill up on the good stuff, there's less room in your stomach for the not-so-healthy stuff (like cookies, chips, and ice cream).  

Check out my 3 FAVORITE healthy recipes for when I'm feeling lazy:

1. Stir-Fry

Stir-fry can be made in a matter of minutes, it contains plenty of nutrients, and they are filling.  Keep frozen veggies in your freezer and quinoa or brown rice on hand in your pantry.  Chop up chicken breasts to mix with the veggies.  Throw all ingredients into a sauté pan, add your favorite seasonings, and saute with a bit of oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon, low-sodium soy sauce, or your favorite chili sauce.  

2. Omelettes

Omelettes are one of my FAVORITE go-to meals for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Grab plenty of your favorite veggies, scramble with eggs or egg whites, add a tiny bit cheese if you'd like, and cook in a frying pan.  Omelettes are loaded with protein, healthy fats, veggies, AND they keep you feeling full for hours!

3. Pasta with Tuna and Beans

When you're tempted to make a box of macaroni and cheese for dinner, take these few extra steps and I promise that you won't regret it!  Cook a cup or two of whole wheat pasta.  Drain a can of tuna fish and garbanzo beans (or any other beans of your choice).  Toss the pasta, tuna, and beans in a dash of olive oil and fresh lemon juice, and top with a bit of parmesan cheese.  If you're looking for extra flavor AND fiber, add a can of artichoke hearts!

Cooking healthy meals at home doesn't always mean spending hours every day prepping healthy meals.  Always remember that spending 5 minutes a day or spending 95 minutes a day doesn't change the QUALITY of meals that you cook.  

If you're looking for more easy, healthy meal options, be sure to join my free Facebook group for women here!