Monday, January 28, 2013

Chicken Cacciatore

Honestly I have never had Chicken Cacciatore before, well at least that I remember of anyway.  I got this recipe from a friend and decided to give it a try.  Oh my, am I glad I did.  The flavor is amazing, the chicken was so tender, and it was really easy to make (you know me I love the easy to make recipes!).  

By now you know I am the one who does the cooking around here and I do not make separate meals for family members.  What I make to eat either you eat it or you don't eat - simple enough!  So I love when I try a new recipe and it is a hit by the whole family - this is one of those recipes!

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch pieces
Sea Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Paprika, to taste
1/2 cup whole wheat flour, for dredging
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
8 ounces baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes,, with juice
1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup mushrooms (optional)
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons garlic powder
crushed red  pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley

1.  Sprinkle the chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.  Liberally sprinkle the chicken with paprika.  Dredge the chicken pieces in flour to coat lightly. 
2.  In a large heavy saute' pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over a medium-high flame.  Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute' until just brown, about 5 minutes per side.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
3.  Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the same "dirty" pan used to cook the chicken.  Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic.  Saute' over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.  Add the mushrooms and cook 3-4 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
4.  Add the crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes, broth, garlic powder, crushed red peppers, and oregano.  
5.  Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce.  Bring the sauce to a simmer.  Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes.
6. Sprinkle chicken with parsley and serve.

I have now made this several times for my family and each time it is a hit.  I always try to have two vegetables with our dinners, so this particular night from the photo above we had carrots (my kids' favorite) and steamed broccoli.  I have also made paired it with brown rice or whole wheat pasta plus the two veggies.  

See how easy eating healthy can be?  
Want more healthy recipes - visit the Eat Clean Recipes section of my blog or CLICK HERE.  
If you want to start eating healthy but have no clue where to begin, CONTACT ME and I can help you.  I did not learn all of what I know about clean eating myself.  I was lucky enough to have had some amazing people who taught me all they knew.  I feel better, I look better, and most important to me is I am setting a positive example for my family!  

Together we can all lead fit, happy, and healthy lives together!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Les Mills Combat Week 3

Okay Week 3 - in the beginning I wanted to kill you and now that the week is over I love you again!!

This week was tough for me.  I was tired, my house was a mess, and I really did not feel like getting out of bed at 5am.  It was so cold this week, my nice warm bed felt so much better than getting on my workout clothes and heading downstairs.  I could not imagine what my dedication would be like if I had to leave my house to workout.  I am guessing I would not be in the great shape I am now!!!!  Thankfully I found the strength inside me everyday to get myself out of bed and get my workout in and done.  I did miss Friday but I made up for it on Sunday.  

It still drives me crazy that I battle with myself in the morning.  Every time after I am done my workout I feel a thousand times better than when I don't workout in the morning.  I think clearer, I am nicer, I have more patience, I am more productive, I look better, and seriously I could just continue on and on with all the positives my day is filled with when I get my workout in and done first thing in the morning.  Anyone else have this constant struggle with themselves?  You have the Angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other - Good vs. Evil?  

My goal this week is to get out of bed every day on my first alarm (yes I set more than one alarm - ask my husband he will tell you all about it!) 

Okay, okay enough about my battle of getting up in the morning.  Lets talk about the Fight Les Mills Combats threw at me this week.  

Overall Les Mills Combat is still continuing to challenge me on a daily basis.  I am getting more comfortable with the kicks and punches.  It is all about repetition as Dan and Rach tell me on my DVDs.  I also feel my technique is getting better so that means I am getting better and stronger!!  

Here is what was on the schedule this week:
Monday - Combat 60 Extreme Cardio Fighter
Tuesday - Power Hiit 1 and Inner Warrior Stretch and Strengthen
Wednesday - Combat 60 Extreme Cardio Fighter
Thursday - Power Hiit 1 and Inner Warrior Stretch and Strengthen
Friday - Combat 30 Kick Start and Core Attack
Saturday - Combat 45 Power Kata
Sunday - Rest

Monday - Combat 60  Extreme Cardio Fighter
This was my first day of this program.  I was a bit intimidated by the length of this particular program.  Midway through I was starting to feel fatigued because the trainers really kick some butt in this workout.  The workout includes more interval training, new combinations and holy wow KICKS!!!!

If we are going down, we are going down swinging. That's how we roll in Les Mills Combat - Dan Cohen, Les Mills Combat

and then when you thought it could not get any harder it ends with push ups and crunches. My body was screaming!!

Tuesday and Thursday - 
Power Hiit 1 and Inner Warrior Stretch and Strengthen
So you have seen my reviews before regarding Power Hiit 1 and Inner Warrior Stretch and Strengthen.  Power Hiit 1 continues to challenge me.  I still struggle to keep up with the crew on the burpee segments but I am getting better. I keep repeating to myself Enough is never Enough (as Dan and Rach say) and it really gets me moving and pushing harder.  I will be able to keep up by the end of my Combat journey - guaranteed!!!!

Another guarantee - Burpee Jump Squat I will own you when I am finished!!!!

Wednesday - Combat 60 Extreme Cardio Fighter
This day I found Combat 60 Extreme Cardio fighter even more challenging. Oh my, it kicked my ass!! I was feeling fatigued even before I was half way through this time.  We are talking nonstop punches and kicks! I was kicking all over the place so after this one I really need to watch the kicking tutorial again because I was feeling so fatigued I am sure my form was not at its best. With that being said even though I was feeling fatigued you see the trainers moving along and they look fantastic. I want to look fantastic too darn it - so I pushed a little more and finished with the Oh my Goodness PUSH UPS and CRUNCHES at the end again.  Somehow I forgot about these from Mondays session of Combat 60.   

Friday - Combat 30 Kick Start and Core Attack  (swapped today with Sunday)
Friday I did not do any workout, I used it as my rest day.  Instead I swapped Friday's workout with my originally planned rest day of Sunday.  

Combat 30 is by far one of my favorite programs. It is short, sweet, and just the perfect intensity.  There should be no one that cannot squeeze in at least 30 minutes and this workout is the perfect one to squeeze in.  You get an incredible mix of arms, legs, and abs.   

Core attack is also another favorite program because I have really been trying to focus on my own personal technique to really work my abs.  Well this program does just that for me.  It makes me focus on my technique to really feel the abs working.  It then ends with back work which just feels so wonderful and who knew it is great for strengthening your abs!!!!

Saturday - Combat 45 Power Kata
Power Kata was not my favorite the first time around.  This time however I really enjoyed the workout and that just proves you really need to give certain programs a few tries before you can say yes or no.  It all depends on your mood that day, how your body is feeling, etc.  It really is a challenging workout and one of the trainers says during the program, "Stronger on the Outside, stronger on the inside." This is so true!! By gaining strength in my body I really have been able to become that much of a stronger person. I am letting go of the past and moving on quicker and easier.  

So another week in the bag and ready for another week to begin - Week 4 Here I Come!! 

Tomorrow, Monday I am starting of with another dose of Combat 60 Extreme Cardio Fighter!  My goal is to kill it!!!! 

I have my plan in place for the week, I know what I have to do each day, I know what workout needs to be done, and I know what I am eating.  Exercise is important to the healthy life routine but what you eat is even more important.  Do you know what you are eating this week? If I don't have my meal plan done and ready to go for each week I am more likely to make unhealthy decisions.  I make life easier by preparing for the week ahead. I make my meal plan on Sundays, go grocery shopping either Sunday or Monday and then it is all about prepping the food so it is easy to grab and go.  I stay at home with my kids but it is still a challenge to sometimes put meals together even when I am home.  This way if I prep ahead of time it is that much easier, plus it is also convenient for my husband to just grab and go while he is running out the door in the morning.   Here is my meal plan for the week - care to share yours?

If you need help getting started with your own fitness routine or would like more information regarding what I do and how I stay on track or maybe even want to chat about Les Mills Combat - CONTACT ME. I would love to chat and help you get started to living a healthier, happier life.  

Maybe you would even be interested in joining one of my personal challenge groups where a small group of people are all working together to help one another reach their health and fitness goals. 

Here's to another fabulous week - Stay with the Fight my friends.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potatoes never entered our home until I started Eating Clean. Now I am always looking for new recipes that involve Sweet Potatoes - Clean Eating recipes of course.  

Here is one of my latest and I have got to say, I am in love!!!!

It took every ounce of willpower (and the help of my husband) to keep myself from eating the whole pan of these delicious Fries...Yes FRIES!!!! Who knew you could eat healthy and still eat FRIES!!!! Well these are not your typical deep fried soaked with oil type of fries.  These are EVEN BETTER!!!!  They are so delicious you will not even miss the ketchup!!

If you are not a fan of Sweet Potatoes or you have not really eaten much of them before, you have got to try this recipe.  It is soooo goood!


1 tablespoon olive oil
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch long slices, then 1/4 inch wide strips
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, wax paper, or tin foil
3. In a large bowl toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and then add spices and mix until all pieces are coated
4.  Spread sweet potatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, being sure not to overcrowd
5. Bake until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes

Serves 4

New to clean eating? New to healthy eating?  Join me in my new 30 day shakeology and clean eating challenge group.  I teach you all you need to know about healthy eating the clean eating way and I provide you with support, motivation, and help you reach your healthy lifestyle goals (i.e. lose weight, gain energy, improve regularity, decrease blood pressure, etc.) 

MESSAGE ME for more information regarding my 30 day group or if you are interested in working one on one with me.  

Get fit, Get Happier, and Get Healthy

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Want to Lose Weight and Learn about Healthy Eating?

Whether you have been told you need to lose weight by your doctor or you feel you need to lose weight the key to losing weight and keeping it off is simple - Eat Healthy!!!!  

To help lose weight, you should also add in at least 20 minutes of exercise 6 days a week.  If you are looking for a way to start your journey slowly, one step at a time,  I have the answer for you.  
All you have to do is Keep Reading...

Eating healthy is not just something you do until you lose the weight it is a life long journey.  Once you start eating more healthy you will want to do more and more because of the way it makes you feel.  You figure out how you can have natural energy just by fueling your body with the right foods.  You figure out how you can be happier (not only because you lost weight) again by fueling your body with the right foods.You figure out you LOOK, feel, and are healthier by fueling your body with the right foods. 

So how does one eat healthier? 
Do you know? 

Here is your chance to learn how to eat healthier - 
I will be holding a 30 day Shakeology and Clean Eating Group.  

Do you have 30 days to CHANGE your health, increase your ENERGY, improve DIGESTION, and curb your CRAVINGS?   That is all I ask for is 30 days to let me help you learn about Healthy Eating.  Part of my approach to eating healthy is replacing one meal a day with Shakeology.  What is Shakeology? 
Simply put, it is the healthiest meal of the day.  Shakeology is my life saver!! I am a busy mom who feels like I am being pulled in all types of directions.  My Shakeology is my one meal a day that I don't have to prepare or think about.  I just shake and go - it is really that easy and the most nutritious thing I put into my body the entire day!!!!

In order to be a member of this group you must COMMIT to drinking Shakeology at least once a day for the 30 days of the challenge.  I will be there with you every step of the way. In addition to drinking Shakeology you also have to COMMIT to having an open mind and be ready for CHANGE.  I will share with you all that I have learned about eating Healthier.  There are dozens of useful approaches to eating healthier, however the one I have adopted and find the easiest to fit into my life and makes me feel the best is - Clean Eating.  

What is Clean Eating? Well that and a whole bunch more will be discussed in our group!  

In addition to the 30 Day Shakeology and Clean Eating group I am offering optional participation in a 3 day Shakeology Cleanse.  I have now completed the shakeology cleanse two times and both times I have reaped the rewards.  I am now looking to do it again (recommended to complete the cleanse once every quarter) and want to extend an invitation to those individuals who want a Jump Start to their healthy living journey.  To read more about the Shakeology 3 day Cleanse - CLICK HERE.  

Now you may have already decided you want to be apart of this adventure but I have even more to share with you.  There will be a prize at the end of the 30 Day Challenge for one person in the group.  This person will have actively participated in the group, completed all assignments, and went above and beyond any other challenger.  If by chance there is a tie at the end then we will have then have to look at the tie breaker - Who had the most significant transformation!  The prize,  I guarantee will help you continue your New Healthy lifestyle.  I call this particular prize my Healthy Eating Bible!! 

Now is the time to make the change - COMMIT today and tomorrow you will wake up with a new found feeling!  You will be PROUD of yourself for deciding to take this challenge and join my group. 

This is what you need to do:
1.  Create a FREE Membership on by using THIS LINK.  
Once you have signed up for your membership I will be YOUR COACH.  Your journey begins with me by your side!!  I am a hands on coach with an open door policy.  It is all about getting fit and healthy the RIGHT way with the RIGHT support.  
2.  Order your Shakeology Home Direct  HERE 
and give me your COMMITMENT to drink Shakeology once a day throughout the 30 days of the challenge.  If you want the BEST price, ask me how you can save 25% off your Shakeology order and any future purchase from BeachBody.  
3.  DECIDE Yes or No if you want to participate in the Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse. 

of course, any questions you have please CONTACT ME.  

You can do this, You have the power to make the decision, Make the decision for CHANGE!!!!  
I have given you the opportunity, it is in your hands...all you have to do now is TAKE IT!!!!                                                                    

Oh and Shakeology has a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee so there is NO excuse not to take part in this challenge.

Looking forward to starting the journey with you!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Busy Life, Healthy Way Challenge Group

These days is seems harder and harder to get DONE what we need to get DONE, right?!?!  Our to do lists are ever growing and we are constantly being asked to do more and yet we find ourselves saying YES even though we don't know how in the world we will be able to do it.  Anyone with me?  

On top of it all, you know you should be taking care of yourself but really WHO HAS TIME to do that?  By the time you get home from work or have time after the kids are to bed the last thing you want to do is exercise, STILL WITH ME??  

Oh, eating healthy - HA, who has time to do that? and who can afford to buy all that fresh food at all those expensive markets?  


Sorry to be the bearer of bad news people, but we all can find the time to take better care of ourselves.  

Okay so you agree with me that I am right and you are making excuses for not finding the time to take care of yourself.  Well what are you going to do about it?  Do you have any idea where to start?  Yes we all know we should exercise for at least 20 minutes a day and eat healthy but how when life is already so busy, how do you find the time to do this?  

Believe it or not, I too was in this same situation almost a year ago exactly!! I knew what I had to do but didn't know how to do it.  

Luckily I was able to find someone who did know what to do and had done it herself. She was my inspiration and she was able to lay the path for me to a healthier and MUCH happier lifestyle.  Yes, I still struggle with managing everything I need to get done but even that I am getting better at. Having my health on my side and at its peak performance I am able to manage a much tougher schedule and I get a ton more done than I use to.  

Here is what you have to do - TRUST ME!! 
Allow me to show you the path that I was fortunate to learn.
Allow me to share with you the tips and tricks that allow me to eat healthy and stay on a budget.
Allow me to share with you and help you learn how to incorporate exercise into your already booked day.
Allow me to be your COACH!!

Trying to do it by yourself and all at once can set you up for failure.  I am here to set you up for success.  
Join me and CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!!

I am putting together a group of people who already lead busy lives BUT want to make positive changes to their lives.  

The people I am looking for want to incorporate exercise, healthy eating, and better time management into their lives. 

 The people I am looking for can be male, female, working, stay at home, students, etc.  

All I need from these people is their COMMITMENT to be ALL IN and be ready to make changes that will drastically change their future.

I am announcing the Kick off of my 
latest and greatest challenge group!!!!

Okay what is this challenge group all about?  

First this is a small private group of individuals who will all give me their commitment to be an active participant int he group.  The group will be of like minded people who want to lose weight, get in shape, have  more ENERGY, and eat healthier.  I will create a private facebook group for us all to be a part of.  We will be doing this together as a team.  We will be there for each other to support, motivate, and inspire!  I will share with you how you can lose weight, gain muscle, tone your body, meal planning tips, sample meal plans, help you build your very own meal plan, fitness tips and tricks, free coaching by ME, how to shop for healthy foods (and on a budget), how to increase your energy, time management tips, and the list goes on and on.  I am also very  open to suggestions on what topics YOU as a challenger want to be covered.  We all have our own personal obstacles to overcome so voice them to me and we can talk about them individually or as a group - its your call!!  I check in with you on a daily basis in the group.  When you have the daily support, it makes a huge difference in the outcome.  It then becomes a ripple effect of positivity!  You feel better about yourself, you look better, you have more energy, and you start to notice what a difference all of these positive changes are having on your LIFE!!!!  

This is not about working out all day or starving yourself.  This is a program that is proven to get you results that helps teach you about a healthy lifestyle for LASTING results.  I want you to succeed and not give up or bounce back.  

What you need to do is this:
1.  Create a FREE MEMBERSHIP at 

2.  Choose a Beachbody at home Fitness program
I will help you choose which program would work best for YOU if you don't know which one to choose.

3.  Drink SHAKEOLOGY daily
You will be eating 5-6 smaller meals with the healthier eating plans I share with you. Shakeology would replace one of these meals daily.   

4.  Give me your Commitment to stay with us for the 12 weeks of the Challenge. 
You want to lose weight. You want to tone up. You want to finally be happy with the number on the scale.  You can get those things in 90 days but you have to commit!!!!

If you want to save some cash, the best option is for you to order a challenge pack.  This is an a la carte package - it includes the following:
1. One complete BeachBody Workout Program (Insanity, P90x, TurboFire, 10 Minute Trainer, etc).  
2.  Shakeology Home Direct for one month
3. VIP Club Membership which gives you 10% of all products as well as an AWESOME meal planner and diet guide!
4. Me, as your personal one on one coach for FREE!!
Note: You also sometimes get a free workout DVD along with the purchase of a challenge pack so that would be another bonus!!!!

These Challenge Packs are the #1 way to help you lose the weight you want to FINALLY get rid of, get  your healthy eating habits started right, and SAVE MONEY $$

What do you have to lose Besides a few pounds that is?  What do you have to gain?  Hmm, lets see - a slimmer and more toned body, natural energy, regularity, self confidence, and the pure joy of success!!!!

Now is the time to take the first step and decide you want to make the change NOW!!!!

Message me to sign up for this incredible life changing event!!!!

Here's to you and  healthier more fit life

Monday, January 21, 2013

Les Mills Combat First two Weeks 1.7.13-1.20.13


After two weeks of this program I am in LOVE!! I don't know if my favorite workout program (Chalean Extreme) will get replaced yet or not by this one but all I can say is IT IS GOING TO BE CLOSE!!!!  What I love about this program is the mix of martial arts inspired circuits.  HUH, who knew I would find another interest - Martial Arts!! This area I know very little about but after my first week of Combat I was interested in finding out more.

For now, I am going to stick with my BeachBody Fitness Programs and finish out my commitment of 60 day to Les Mills Combat.

I am following the Ultimate Warrior Hybrid Workout Calendar.  You have three different options to choose from when starting the program, this one I just mentioned, the standard Les Mills Combat 60 day calendar, or the Supreme 60 day calendar.  

Here is what my schedule was suppose to be for Week1:
Monday, Day 1:  Combat 30 Kick Start
Tuesday, Day 2: Power HIIT 1 and Inner Warrior Stretch and Strengthen
Wednesday, Day 3: Combat 30 Kick Start and Core Attack  
Thursday, Day 4: Shock Plyo HIIT 2 and Inner Warrior Stretch and Strengthen
Friday, Day 5: Combat 45 Power Kata
Saturday, Day 6: Warrior 2: Lower Body Lean Out
Sunday: Rest Day

so I mentioned this is what my week was suppose to look like however I messed up the schedule in the beginning of the week and then on Friday I got really sick so I switched Friday as my rest day and Sunday I worked out.  

My actual schedule:

Monday, Day 1:  Combat 30 Kick Start
Tuesday, Day 2: Power HIIT 1 
Wednesday, Day 3: Combat 45 Power Kata
Thursday, Day 4: Shock Plyo HIIT 2 and Inner Warrior Stretch and Strengthen
Friday, Day 5: Rest Day  
Saturday, Day 6: Warrior 2: Lower Body Lean Out and Inner Warrior Stretch and Strengthen
Sunday: Combat 30 Kick Start and Core Attack  

Now so I don't mess up again, I have auto-scheduled my workout program into my Wowy SuperGym profile.  So each day all I need to do is log into the supergym and it tells ME what I need to do that day. At 5am I am not always functioning properly, so I am very pleased with the auto-scheduling feature that teambeachbody makes available.

Here is my review:
Combat 30 Kick Start - 
Oh boy, my first program and wow did they give it to me!!!! Squats, punches, and holy kicks!! My legs felt like jelly as did my arms!! Feel the Burn Baby!!!!

My one suggestion is when starting the program you may want to do the workouts without the music option.  I tried it and I couldn't hear the instructors.  Luckily it is a DVD so I was able to stop and restart and choose no music and Voila I could hear everything load and clear!! You can also still hear the music it is just that is it not so loud.  

 Tomorrow you might feel.. SORE. You know what that is??? CHANGE. That is so true we are pushing and changing our bodies and that is a good thing. - Dan Cohen, Les Mills Combat Trainer

Power HIIT 1 - 
The inchworm was one of my favorite moves, the Power Press nearly killed me (I was using 8 pound dumbbells), and then there were the Burpees.  

My goal is to one day be able to keep up with the instructors when they are doing the Burpee circuit.  I am always behind. I pause the DVD just so I can finish my reps!!!!

So for this workout you need barbells or dumbbells.  You can also do the workout without any weights but it will be far more intense if you use weights - so GET WEIGHTS!!!!

What is HIIT?  It is High Intensity Interval Training.  You workout hard and fast and it pays off throughout the day by burning calories continuously.  Some term it as the "after burn" and wow on these HIIT days I am starving!!

You bought this workout to work hard. You knew it would be a challenge so now do the work. Again anything good in life is not easy. You have to work hard. You bought the workout so make the most of it! - Dan Cohen

Combat 45 Power Kata - 

I see the Light alright, HOLY KICKS!!!! 
The combinations in this one take some time to get but luckily again you can pause, rewind, and do it again if need be.  Love that convenience with the At Home Workout Programs!!!!  So we got punches, kicks, and knees and a whole lot of sweat!! 

Shock Plyo HIIT 2 and Inner Warrior Stretch and Strengthen

Wow, after this workout I could not feel my legs!!! This workout was a lot of fun but oh my do you work!!  One of the key components of this program is that the instructors are always switching things up so you don't get bored.  They give you just enough time to catch your breath and then they hit you with MORE!!!! 

Jumping, squats, lunges, push ups, plank, and oh my favorite - BURPEES!!!!

The Inner Warrior Stretch and Strengthen was also on the schedule for today. This is your just as the title states - Stretching.  You are barefoot and you really get to take the time to re-energize your body.  You can literally feel your body lengthening and becoming stronger in this workout.

Lower Body Lean Out and Inner Warrior Stretch and Strengthen
Again another day when I could not feel my legs, butt, or anything in my lower body following this workout.  I can usually walk up my steps at home no problem, however after this day I had to take it a little slower than normal.  Don't get me wrong I am not complaining one bit!! I love this workout!!!!

Combat 30 Kick Start and Core Attack  

Combat 30 I already told you about from Day 1 so nothing new as far as what to expect.  I am sure you know the more you do something the easier it is suppose to get, right?? Well let me tell you first hand, this workout did not get any easier today.  If anything it was harder because my body is so stinkin sore from the previous week.  Regardless I pushed PLAY, worked through my muscle soreness, and got in a killer workout.  

and then there came Core Attack - this was all floor work and oh my does it work the abs!!!! It was the evening following this workout and I wasn't sure if I was having stomach pains or if I was feeling the effects of this workout.  I had those same pains and more the next day and it was all in my core area.  Although this was the first program in the schedule to directly target your Core, Les Mills Combat in each and every one of its days is working your core. If I don't have a rock hard midsection by the end of this program I will be shocked.  Oh that is right there is more to working your core in order to get that six pack.  

Week 2:

Monday, Day 1:  Combat 60 Extreme Cardio Fighter
Tuesday, Day 2: Power HIIT 1 and Inner Warrior Stretch and Strengthen
Wednesday, Day 3: Combat 30 Kick Start and Core Attack  
Thursday, Day 4: Power HIIT 1 and Inner Warrior Stretch and Strengthen
Friday, Day 5: Combat 45 Power Kata
Saturday, Day 6: Warrior 1 Upper Body Blow Out 
Sunday: Rest Day

The only new programs this week were as follows:

Combat 60 Extreme Cardio Fighter
Some of the same moves from Combat 30 and Combat 45 pop up in this one. It does have some of its own combinations too.  Don't worry, Dan and Rach will make your body hurt after this one is over and done!!  It is one of the longer workouts but it is not a full 60 minutes.  I was worried I would not get the full workout in but thankfully I did.  

Warrior 1 Upper Body Blow Out 
My arms were screaming!! I was screaming for a water break!! I started with 8 pound weights and I had to go down to my 3 pounders.  I could NOT lift my arms anymore with the 8 pounders.  Even though this workout is called upper body blow out you still get some lower body and abs mixed in.  Again, one of the things that I love about this program is you are using so many muscles at the same time and you don't even realize it.  

Overall I am very impressed with this Program and I have to add I love Dan and Rachael's accents.  I could listen to them all day long!! I also love that it is a man and woman who are the normal leads for this program.  It is like a sharing of POWER!!  

Always remember, Enough is NEVER Enough...Les Mills Combat Power HIIT 1

Today I started Week 3 and I am still loving this program!! Be sure to check back from my reviews for the next few weeks.  

If you are interested in learning more about this program, MESSAGE ME!  

Become a member for free of the best accountability team out there - teambeachbody!! CLICK HERE for your free membership and this will make me your Coach!!   We can get fit and healthy together!!!!

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Yum, Tonight we tried a new Sweet Potato recipe!  Thankfully my family is always willing (some more than others) to try my new creations.  I have been trying to incorporate Sweet Potatoes into our menu well because they are just so much better for you than regular potatoes. It is the perfect complex carb to add to any meal!

Here is one we will be adding to the recipe box:


(picture to follow, having problems with sending pictures on my phone)

1 sweet potato
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch of sea salt
pinch of black pepper

1.Wash your sweet potato and cut into chunks. You can either leave the skins on or peel them, personally I peeled them.
2. Cover the chunks with water and bring to a boil on the stove top.
3. Boil for 20 minutes or until fork tender.
4. Drain the sweet potato chunks and place them pack into the pot.
5. Add olive oil, sea salt, and pepper.
6. Mash up with fork, and then mix with a hand-held blender until smooth
7. If you feel your potatoes are dry, add a splash of water until they are at your preferred consistency.

Yield: Serves 2

I used a few sweet potatoes tonight as I was feeding my entire family.  I also like to have extra so we can reheat in the oven later in the week for leftovers.  I just simply added the ingredients for the number of potatoes I used.  Simple, quick, and delicious - Perfect!!

Need help eating healthier, want more recipes, need someone to keep you on track - message me and I can help you build your very own meal plan and get you on started right!!

We will always find an excuse not to get started, I say NO MORE EXCUSES!!!! It is hot on your mind, so do it, message me NOW!!!!

Here's to healthier, happier, more fit, more fabulous lives!!!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sore Muscles???? Rest Day or Workout????

So I have been working out intensely for almost a year now and I still experience muscle soreness!! Last week I started a new program - Les Mills Combat and I am in pain all over!! There are areas of my body I have never been sore before.  I usually can walk up our stairs at home no problem but tonight as I was marching up the stairs with my kids I was in pain!! I have been doing punches, kicks, jabs, burpees, etc. and wow does my body feel the difference in this workout as opposed to my previous workouts.  It just goes to show you that when you switch up your workouts you still work your muscles in a different way!  So....instead of taking a rest day when your muscles are sore and using that as your excuse not to workout - get up and GET IT DONE!!!! You need to work the soreness out!!!!

I did some research about working out and muscle soreness since so many of my customers experience it when they start my challenge groups.  I figured it would be well worth sharing.  We all get sore from working out from time to time so why not know how best to handle the discomfort!!!!

It is common for beginners to experience muscle soreness that lasts for a week or two, just as seasoned fitness buffs will be sore after a tough workout.  YES, you should keep working out even though you are sore!  
There is more to it, so keep reading....

Not working out? Well that certainly won't get you that body you envision!!

Muscle Soreness has two primary causes:
1. The soreness you experience happens during your workout ('the burn") and should subside within a couple of hours.  This is caused by lactic acid production.  When you are training and your muscles are not getting enough oxygen (anaerobic glycolysis), lactic acid builds up.  You can break down lactic acid by continuing to move and by doing light aerobic exercise, such as walking, after you workout.  This is why the cool down of all exercise programs is so very important, especially for beginners.  The longer you cool down, the faster that lactic acid will leave the muscles (typically within an hour).

2.  The type of muscle soreness you are experiencing, up to a day or two (and sometimes even three) after your workout is known as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).  DOMS is caused by microscopic tears inside the muscles  resulting from weight-training or fully exhausting the muscles during cardio.  This is normal.  Beginners will probably be more sore and usually for longer.  If you really worked as hard as you should have during your strength training session, you should be somewhat sore for the next day or two as well.  

Ahh, REST...this is the point where you need to rest your muscles you worked for 1-2 days after a workout.  Take at least one day off between strength training sessions, and if you are still very sore, take 2 days off.  (This means form lifting, not from all exercise such as cardio).  If you don't let your muscles recover and repair, they will continue to break down and you will actually get weaker.  

To help prevent soreness in the future, and alleviate some of it now, 
be sure to do the following:
1.  Warm up for 5-10 minutes and cool down for at least 5 minutes.
2.  Stretch after a warm up, during your workout, and after you are done.  Only stretch when your muscles are already warm!
3. Stay Active!! The more your muscles move, the faster they will recover from exercise and soreness.  If you choose to rest completely instead of "active recovery" with light exercise, you will most likely be sore longer.  

Now what to eat to help prevent muscle soreness or the intensity of muscle soreness...

There are some great post workout drinks and foods that you can consume to help reduce the post muscle soreness and help your body to recover faster. 

The most important meal you eat is the one you have directly after your workout.  Approximately an hour after your workout, there is a window of opportunity when your muscles are literally starving for nutrients.  This is called the "Golden Hour" and the meal you eat at this time is the most important for building muscle and replenishing energy sources.

First your body needs a fresh supply of amino acids.  Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are used by your body for making muscles, hormones, neurotransmitter, bones, and all sorts of other important things.  Exercise depletes critical amino acids such as glutamine, valine, isoleucine, and leucine.  The way to replenish your body's supply is with protein - meat, chicken, eggs, fish, or whey protein powder.

Second you need carbohydrates.  Exercise draws upon your body's storage of glycogen, which is the storage form of sugar.  Glycogen waits in the liver and the muscles for a signal that sugar is needed.  Your body can hold about 1800 calories of sugar as glycogen, which is plenty to fuel any workout short of a marathon, but athletes do best when their glycogen stores are full.  So, unless you are on a carb-restricted diet, some slow burning carbs after working out is a good idea.  Try to stick with oatmeal, brown rice, grains like quinoa and amaranth, and all fruits and vegetables. 

Your muscles need protein for repair and growth, and your body needs some carbs to replenish its glycogen stores.  Remember, right before exercise you have to consider the time it takes to digest food, so you need to go light.   Post workout is the ideal time to have a full meal.  

What are the best meals or combination of foods to have post workouts?

Shakeology is a great post workout meal.  It has a perfect combination of protein and carbs along with all the essential amino acids and nutrients you body needs to recover from the workout you just did. You also don't have to ponder what you will have to eat or worse make a bad food choice. Instead have a shake and you get all you need quick and easy.  It is so refreshing and delicious!!!!

Chicken and Mixed Vegetables
Four ounces of skinless, boneless chicken breast contains almost 35 grams of high quality protein as well as small amounts of calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron; 255 mg of phosphorus; 287 mg of heart-healthy potassium; and 75 percent of the recommended dietary intake for niacin, a B Vitamin that's important in energy metabolism.  One large (6-ounce) chicken breast is even more loaded: It contains more potassium than there is in a medium banana, plus a whopping 53 grams of protein.  
The fat in boneless, skinless chicken is most monounsaturated. Only 1.1 grams of the 4 grams of fat in 4 ounces of chicken is saturated fat.  The vegetables provide carbs and fiber. 

Breakfast Anytime: Egg Omelet with Avocado
In our house our kids love having breakfast for dinner!! Thank goodness because eggs are just about the best source of protein on the planet.  Mix with as many vegetables you like for a perfect meal.  Serve with avocado for a nice dose of fiber and monounsaturated fat.

At the Gym: Whey Protein  Shake
Whey protein powder I think is the best protein powder available.  You can mix whey powder with frozen berries and water, or with peanut butter, oatmeal, sliced apple, or just plain 'ole water. The whey provides the protein and the rest depending on what you add can provide the carbs, fiber, or fat. 

The Three S's" Salmon, Spinach, and Sweet Potato
Here's the ideal balanced meal.  Wild salmon for protein and omega 3s, spinach for the cornucopia of vitamins and minerals (including superstar of eye nutrition, lutein), and a sweet potato for slow-burning carbohydrates.  It's an almost perfect meal. You can add a little flaxseed oil to the sweet potato or even sprinkle it with almonds.  Be careful of your portion size though - these options are all brimming with health but they are also high-calorie items.

Bodybuilder's Delight: Tuna, Brown Rice, and Vegetables
You cannot go to a hard core gym without seeing a bodybuilder eating this classic from a Tupperware container.  A single can of light tuna canned in water and drained provides an astonishing 42 grams of high quality protein for under 200 calories.  That same can has more than 100 percent of the daily value of niacin, 29 percent of the daily value of vitamin B6 and 82 percent of the daily value for vitamin B12.  Tuna is a superb source of the vitally important cancer-protective trace mineral selenium.  Add some brown rice for fiber and carbs, and load up with vegetables and you are good to go.

You cannot go wrong with any of these, or variations thereof.  They'll load up your body with energy needed to refuel and the protein needed to rebuild and repair muscle. Couple them with hard, intense and frequent workouts, and you will be on the way to the body of your dreams.

Independent BeachBody Coach