Shrimp & Mango Skewers with Blackberry Sauce 

Every month my friends and I have a themed dinner night. We draw two cards out of a bag full of different themes and this month was Seafood and Your Favorite Color. My favorite color is purple, so here is this recipe. 

Spicy Shrimp & Mango Skewers with Blackberry Glaze 

1 pound of Shrimp, deveined & raw

1 Mango, diced 

3 Tablespoons of seedless blackberry jam 

4 Tablespoons of soy sauce 

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 Tbsp of Sriracha 

Old Bay Seasoning 


1. Alternate Shrimp and Mango on a soaked skewer and lay on a cookie sheet. Pat the skewers dry. 

2. Season skewers with Old Bay Seasoning 

3. In a bowl, combine blackberry jam, soy sauce, garlic and Sriracha into a bowl and brush on skewers on both slides. Save any left over sauce and place in a saucepan. 


4. Broil skewers on high for 4-5 minutes on each side. 

5. While the skewers are cooking, reduce the remaining sauce in a pan on medium heat until it thickens. 

6. Once skewers are done, drizzle the thickened sauce over the skewers and top with green onions and serve with orange slices. 

7. Squeeze orange slices over the skewers and enjoy! 

I saved the leftovers and combined with brown rice for a tasty and healthy lunch. 

How to eat healthy as a “Picky Eater” 

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I hear this all the time from clients, when we move on to talking about their diet and nutrition. And to be honest, I can’t relate, because I literally love all types of foods!  There is a very small list of foods that I don’t like to eat, which creates a completely different problem. (We will get into that in another blog post! LOL)

When I start working with a “picky eater”, my focus with them is to help them change their mindset and find solutions that will help them stay on track. Nutrition is a huge part of the transformation process and you can’t out exercise a bad diet. So, you have to get this under control if you want to get lasting results.

1.Focus on the foods that you like: I think that a lot of people get so caught up on what “healthy eating” is, and they believe that in order to be healthy they have to stick to a strict list of foods that are acceptable. I once had a client say that she couldn’t eat healthy, because she didn’t like spinach. In her mind, if she couldn’t eat what her friends were eating on their diet, it was pointless for her to even start.  So I asked her, “What foods do you like?” From there we came up with a list of foods that she does like and started to focus on creating a meal plan that included those things. So, if you don’t like kale, don’t eat kale, there are many other healthy vegetables that you can eat to stay on track.🙂

2. Experiment with new recipes and new preparation techniques. It’s 2016, which means there is an unlimited amount of resources available to find recipes. Once you have an idea of what foods you do like, go to Google or Pinterest and type if “[FOOD YOU LIKE] Healthy Recipes” and voila! You will have a list of options that you can start to work into your daily routine. Also, try new preparation techniques, like using a Crock Pot or trying grilling your chicken instead of baking it.

3. Expand your horizons: Once you have a hang of trying new things with the foods that you like, take a step further and start to add new foods into the mix.  I don’t mean a huge overhaul, but maybe trying one new vegetable, or grain, or new way to prepare your meal.  This is one of the best ways to keep things from getting boring or stale, unless you like that (some people do like eating the same thing, because it helps to keep them on track and relieves some stress).

At the end of the day, just because you are a “picky eater”, it doesn’t mean that you are doomed when it comes to getting a handle on your nutrition.  Try these 3 tips and give it a shot!

If you are looking for a way to get a better handle on Clean Eating, check out my free Clean Eating Guide, which includes a sample meal play and grocery list that you can check out.  Click here to download the guide. 

Mini Meatloaf Muffins 


Mini Meatloaf Muffins are a perfect way to meal prep and watch your portions.  I make the meatloaf mixture then portion then off into 12 balls and bake in a muffin tin. The great thing about them is that they also freeze well! 

Here is the recipe: 

  • 2 Pounds of Ground Turkey, Beef, or other lean meat
  • One bell pepper, chopped
  • One small onion, chopped
  • 10 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • One cup of rolled oats
  • 21 seasoning salute
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients and form into 12 balls. 
  2. Place each ball into a section of a muffin tin. 
  3. Bake on 400 degrees for 30 minutes. 

Top with low sugar ketchup or tomato sauce and enjoy with a side of veggies. I typically eat 2 muffins per serving. 

How to Stay Healthy at Restaurants

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Eating out at a restaurant can sabotage your health and fitness goals, mainly because most restaurants serve HUGE portions and typically use tons of oils, processed ingredients and tons of salt.  While I do believe that you should cook most of your meals, I also do know that we are all human and there are many of amazing restaurants out there.

I tend to take the 80/20 Rule with my eating, where I cook 80% of my meals and go out 20% of the time.  I may not have time to cook or get invited out to eat with friends or family, or sometimes I am just craving a burger from my favorite Pub down the street. However, your progress doesn’t have to ruined, especially if you follow some of these tips that I share with my clients and practice myself:

  1. Preview the Menu before you Arrive: When you are aware of what to expect before you go, you can manage your expectations and set boundaries on what you will order.
  2. Decide on your Indulgence: If you preview the menu and see that they are famous for their Salted Caramel Cake with Cardamom Ice Cream, and you cannot pass that up, then don’t! Just make sure that you stay focused on skipping the appetizers and eating a healthier option for dinner. Think lean protein and veggies, since you’re going to indulge in the sweets/carbs.
  3. Skip the Bread: Seriously, it’s simply a waste! You will fill yourself with bread, rather than enjoying a nice meal out with friends or family.
  4. Eat Veggies Before You Go: Typically, most people don’t get adequate amounts of vegetables when they go out. Each week, I make Veggie Snack Bags, and I like to eat one before I head out to eat. This way, I’m ensuring that I”m eating the veggies I need and it also helps to make sure that I don’t overeat while I’m out.
  5. Drink a Glass of Water Ordering: This just makes sure that you don’t mistake hunger for thirst, plus it helps to prep the body for digestion.
  6. Cut your portions in half: When you order, ask the waiter to serve half of the meal on the plate and to box up the rest immediately.  It’s a great way for you to manage portions and not overeat, plus you have another meal that you can enjoy later.  Or you can share a meal with someone, trust me, restaurants serve huge portions that are meant for two people, not one.
  7. Slow Down: Going out to eat is a social and fun thing, and you should be present with your company and your food (that you didn’t have to cook!)So take your time to enjoy each bite, put the phone away, enjoy the conversations, and chew slowly.  The brain takes 20 minutes realize that you are full. So take your time to avoid overeating.
  8. Listen To Your Body: This piggy backs off of #7, but it’s important to listen to your body. Once you are full, put the fork down.  I repeat, put the fork down. Another thing to keep alert on, if you are full, don’t let anyone guilt you into “sharing” anything or “just one bite”. Also, this is not the time to hear mom or dad’s voice in your head from childhood admonishing you to finish your plate before you can leave the table. Put the fork down.🙂
  9. Practice Grace: Now, if you ended up ignoring all of the aforementioned tips, then this one is KEY! Remember, tomorrow is brand new day and you can get back on track tomorrow and start over.  Don’t let one meal determine your success on this journey.

I hope this tips help you and give you a bit more of comfort in knowing that you can do this and be successful.🙂

10 Sneaky Ways to Get Healthy

shutterstock_217194712Most people don’t realize that can actually be pretty easy to get healthy, the key is to remember that small changes compounded over time can lead to big results.  This is a concept I learned from reading The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. So, I wanted to share a few ways that you can actually “sneak” in healthier habits into your day.

  1. Keep Healthy Snacks EVERYWHERE: If you are surrounded by junk food, you’ll eat it when hunger strikes.  If you keep healthy foods stocked in your desk at work, glove compartment, and in your house, you will be sure to avoid giving in to junk food.
  2. Do something physical during mundane tasks: One of my clients likes to respond to emails while she is on the treadmill, it’s easy for her to do both and kills two bird with one stone.
  3. Set reminders in your phone: If you have a super busy day, it may be in your best interest to set reminders in your phone to alert you to “Get up and walk around” so you don’t sit for too long or to “drink a glass of water”.  A lot of times our days get the best of us and we simply get stuck at our desk.
  4. Schedule your workouts and meals: Piggy backing off of #3, if you plan your days and schedule your workouts and meals into your calendar, you are more inclined to respect that as a meeting with yourself and will take the time to go workout or eat a real meal.
  5. Keep a pair of sneakers nearby: If you have your Sneakers under your desk at work or in your trunk, if you find that you have some free time that comes up, you can swap out your shoes and go for a nice stroll during that break.  “Not having shoes” can no longer be your excuse!
  6. Keep Bottles of Water Visible: I tend to not drink enough water during the day, so I started to keep water bottles in visible places – on my desk, on my night stand, in my cup holder in my car, and next to the couch. This way, when I see it I’m prompted to drink more water.
  7. Create a Fitness Inducing Playlist: One of my clients needs tons of motivation to work out, so I had her create a playlist of her favorite mood boosting, booty shaking tunes. I then had her to listen to it not only when she works out, but also 30 minutes she is scheduled to work out with me so she is pumped.  She says she now listens to the playlist when she feels sluggish or unmotivated in other areas of her life.
  8. Drink Your Fruits & Veggies: If you follow me on Social Media, you know that I love Shakeology, because it gives me everything I need to get my fruits, vegetables, minerals, vitamins and more.  You can also make a Superfood Smoothie at home, here is a list of Green Smoothies that you can try.
  9. Make Fitness Social: If you are typically meeting up with your friends or having date nights that are centered around food and cocktails, maybe try to switch things up and do something physical together. Maybe date night can be a hike or ice skating, or you can swap out happy hour for going bowling or rock climbing.  It’s the perfect way to make fitness fun and it’s always better when you have a partner to do it with you!
  10. Cook More Meals at Home: Each month I run a 5 Day Clean Eating Group via Facebook and typically my challengers lose 3 – 5 pounds during that challenge. The kicker about those groups is that everyone cooks all of their meals, because I provide a meal plan with a grocery list and recipes.  When you cook your meals, you can control what goes into them and the portion sizes (which are always too big when you eat out).

When I share these tips with my clients and they begin to implement them, they find that they are more consistent with their workouts and eating clean, but also find that they feel better, tend to lose weight, and feel empowered by developing healthier habits.

If you are looking to get a better handle on developing healthy habits, send me a note on Facebook or comment below.

 

3 Things You Can Do Right Now to Reach Your Weight Loss Goals 


Many people think that there is a perfect time to get on track to lose weight and get healthy, but the reality is, “someday” usually never comes. If you are infamous for saying “I’ll start someday”, I want to give you 3 things you can do today that will get you into action to start your successful journey of losing weight and hopefully keeping it off for good! 

  1. Do a Kitchen Audit: This is one thing I do with my clients, because it forces them to take immediate action and it eliminates temptation to fall off track. We pull out everything from their fridge and pantry and go through each item to determine if we keep it, throw it away or donate it. We keep the foods that are clean and not overly processed. We throw away any expired or extremely unhealthy foods, and we donate any non-perishable goods that are not going to help them reach their goals. If there is no junk in the house, you won’t be tempted to eat it. 
  2. Start Tracking Your Food: When my clients start working with me, I ask them to write down everything the put into their mouth from breakfast to a breath mint. This helps me to get a better idea of what they are eating and to help me develop a better meal plan for them, but for the client it gives them a clear picture of how healthy they truly are eating. I find that most people believe that they eat healthier than they really do, which causes them to not take their nutrition as seriously as they should when making changes. 
  3. Make a commitment to yourself and share it with someone: We bend over backwards to make and keep our commitments to others but tend to flake on ourselves. Take a moment and think about one thing you plan to do that will lead to you being healthier and happier. Once you figure it out, write it down and then share it with someone or even better post it on Social Media and ask your network to hold you accountable. When you put it out into the open, it holds you accountable and it allows for others to support you. It can be hard to stay on track if you feel like you’re doing it alone. My most successful clients are those who have a strong support system. 

You don’t have to make big changes, to get amazing results, but you do have to take action! Give these tips a try and if you need more help with getting on track to reach your goals, connect with me on Facebook. 

Try this goal setting technique to reach your weight loss goals

64186-we-are-what-we-repeatedly-doMany of my clients come to me with very specific goals, like “I want to lose 15 pounds in one month” or “I want to lose my stomach flab by my trip to Maui in a few months”. While I commend my clients for setting SMART Goals, which are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Specific, I often have to have a conversation with them about how “Realistic and Attainable” their goals are. Is it possible to lose 15 pounds in one month? Absolutely. Will it be easy and will they enjoy the process? Absolutely not. Typically, when I lay out the plan of action, their eyes glaze over and they are hit with the reality that the goal they want may require more than they are willing to do to reach that goal in that amount of time.

One thing that I work on with my clients is setting goals that are motivating and actually make them excited to push for. How do I do that? We change the focus from achieving a specific result to adopting a specific habit, which will ultimately lead to their desired results. There is power in forming healthy habits, mainly because once you form those habits, naturally they will lead to results of getting healthier, losing weight, feeling better and more.

When I task my clients to set goals, I give them these specifics and I call them SMART 2.0 Goals: 

  • Specific
  • Meaningful & Motivating
  • Action Oriented
  • Realistic
  • Time Framed

For example, instead of saying, “I want to lose 15 pounds in one month”, your goal would look something like this:

Weight Loss SMART Goal 2.0: I will lose 15 pounds by developing the habit of eating a healthy breakfast and taking my dog on a 30 minute walk every morning for the next 4 weeks.

This type of goal setting provides you with a better aim and focus on developing habits, also it gives you a better idea of what you need to do each day to make that goal become a reality.   You are no longer focusing on the 15 pounds, instead you are focusing on creating a habit to eat a healthier breakfast and to use your dog walking time to be active.  By the end of the month, will you have reached your goal of 15 pounds of weight loss? Maybe or maybe not, but will you be well on your way? Absolutely! Will you feel good about yourself if you are able to make two small adjustments to your daily routine that will lead to feeling better, looking better, having more energy, fueling your body, and spending more quality time with your dog? Absolutely!   If you keep this habit up and make it a lifestyle change, will you eventually lose those 15 pounds? HECK YES!

This type of goal setting is great because at the end of the day you are forming habits that will lead to a healthier lifestyle and the bonus will be the weight loss or whatever result you are looking for.   Aristotle nailed it when he said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” 

If you would like to learn more about how to set better goals to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle, connect with me on Facebook and send me a message. 

3 questions to ask to motivate you to get healthy!

b2ap3_thumbnail_new-mindset-istock_000082628207_mediumMost people think that all it takes to lose weight is to workout and eat healthy, in theory yes. These are the two things that you should do, everyone should do these things. However, as easy as it is to eat healthy and workout, I find that most of my clients struggle with doing these things consistently.   They are easy to do, but also easy not to do, and it what it really boils down to is your MINDSET! 

I know it may sound hokey, but it’s true  and with every client I’ve worked with who has struggled with developing the proper habits, has seen improvements when we took a step back and focused on their mindset around fitness and nutrition.  To break it down, your mindset is simply a compilation of your own past experiences and beliefs, as well as those of others who influence you.  This also include your (and their) successes, failures, and fears.    I had one client who was convinced that she would always be overweight and was destined to have diabetes because everyone in her family had it or died of complications from diabetes.  Her mindset had already set her up for failure and she didn’t even feel the need to try to eat healthy or workout, so she stuck with being sedentary and eating junk food.

When we first started working together, I must admit, I was heart broken at her approach at life and how she had given up and decided to let diabetes win and claim her life.  During our first meeting, I assigned her 3 tasks to do for a week and it really set the tone for the rest of time together and helped her to lose over 75 pounds, reverse her diabetes and start to help her family members do the same!

I gave her a blank notebook and gave her 3 writing assignments:

 

  • Assignment #1: In a perfect world, what would your life look like? How would you feel look? How would you feel? What would your health look like? What would your relationships, career, free time, finances look like?
  • Assignment #2: If you could change one thing about your current health and fitness status, what would it be and why? What is your current health and fitness status costing you? What is it costing your relationships, career, finances, happiness, etc?
  • Assignment #3: What do you believe your purpose in life is? Who are you supposed to serve? What difference are you supposed to make in this world?

During our next coaching session, my client came back to me and she looked different, already in one week, she had began to make changes in her life, without me even giving her any other tasks. When I asked her what changed, she said that realized that she had allowed her mindset to hold her back. She had always dreamed of starting a non-profit to help with homeless children and she realized that her current body and health would prevent that from happening. She knew that she would have to be healthy in order to do what she felt she was put on this earth to do, she also knew that if she allowed diabetes to rule her life, she would never be able to start the non-profit. She thought about all of the people she could help and how she could help her family to get healthy and realize their dreams and goals to. Ultimately, she said “I want to break the curse of diabetes over my family and help us to rise up!”

That was a turning point for her and it made our coaching and training sessions easy, because now she had the right mindset and wasn’t afraid to try new things, she didn’t make excuses when it came to changing her diet or starting a new workout program. She was in it to win it and it was all because she had her mindset in the right place. 

I encourage you to take some time today and answer those same questions and really think about how your mindset may need to shift a bit in order to help you get focused and committed to getting on track with your health and fitness.

To learn more, connect with me on Facebook and send me a message! 

How I lost 3 lbs on a 8 day all inclusive vacation in Mexico!

13754460_10111174801729644_1663793885540118672_nWhen most people think of all inclusive vacations, they immediately are drawn to the allure of the all you can eat and all you can drink portion of that package.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to eat and I love my Margaritas, but this time around, I had to be very intentional about what I ate and drank on my 8 day vacation at the Now Sapphire Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

On July 6th, I started the 21 Day Fix Extreme program which also included replacing one meal a day with Shakeology.  This 21 day program focuses on 30 minute workouts which vary from upper body, lower body, total body, plyometric, pilates, cardio, and yoga. On top of that you have a very simple nutrition plan that you follow that incorporates portion control containers and a list of foods that you are able to eat.  The whole thought of this program is simplicity, it takes out calorie counting or spending endless hours working out, yet yields pretty amazing results, because you do the program for 21 days without rest days or cheat meals.  In my mind, you can do anything for 21 days, but I will say when 8 of those days are spent abroad, I was a bit nervous, but I am happy to report that I actually lost 3 pounds while on vacation and feel like a total rockstar for staying on track.

Here are a few things that I did, that made this possible and actually pretty doable for the vacation:

  1. SHAKEOLOGY EVERY SINGLE DAY!: I made sure that every morning, before leaving my hotel room, I used one of the ice cold bottles of water and mixed it with one serving of Cafe Latte Shakeology. It was like my morning Iced Coffee that I didn’t feel guilty about.  Shakeology is packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, protein, and has 9 servings of fruits and vegetables. This was my morning fuel.
  2. Beachbody OnDemand & the Gym: Since the resort had free wifi, I was able to bring my phone or laptop to the resort gym and do my 30 minute workouts each morning. Since the program uses dumbbells and resistance bands and doesn’t take up a lot of space, I was able to get the workouts done. Plus, the gym area with the weights was pretty empty, as most people either stuck to the cardio machines or used the cable weight machines.
  3. Make Friends with the Chefs & Wait Staff: The chefs and waitstaff were pretty regular and I made it a point to make friends and explain my dietary needs on day one.  This way, it was easy for me over the course of the 8 days to get foods that I could eat. I frequented the grill area, where I could order a piece of fish, steak, or chicken to be grilled for me on the spot. I brought over the olive oil that was near the salad bar and asked them to use that instead of the oil that was next to the grill, which wasn’t olive oil and didn’t have any additional additives. I also, brought over fresh veggies from the salad bar and asked them grill or sauté them for me and they did without blinking an eye.  I opted out of the fried foods or foods drenched in salty sauces, and ate mostly grilled protein and veggies at each meal.  I also indulged in tropical fruits that we don’t typically have here in the states like Mexican Papaya with a squeeze of lime juice, dragon fruit, and tons of melon, pineapples and mangos. For breakfast, I stuck with egg white omelets with a bit of cheese and tons of veggies.
  4. SKIP THE ALCOHOL: The 21 Day Fix Extreme doesn’t allow for alcohol, which was a bit of bummer, especially seeing all of the cool concoctions being served in pineapples or hearing people order a “Dirty Monkey” from the pool bar.  However, I was able to still have a refreshing “mocktail” – Sparkling Water with muddled mint and lime with a pineapple slice. It was the perfect drink and still felt fancy and tropical. I actually didn’t even miss the alcohol, being that it was so hot and humid, my drink was perfect and I could drink them all day! Which was helpful, since I needed to make sure that I drink at least 10 glasses of water.
  5. Challenge Tracker App & 21 Day Fix Tracker App: To help me stay on track, as when I am on vacation I rarely know what day it is, so having a tool to ensure that I was eating on track and doing the correct workouts for the day, was key.  Plus, I was a part of a Challenge Group, where I was able to see everyone else checking in with their meals and workouts, it was a great reminder when I didn’t want to workout or wanted to pig out at the buffet, that I had goals and made commitments and that I wasn’t alone on this journey.

I am pleased with myself and my results so far, especially because I didn’t make excuses and stayed on track.  If I can do it, that means that anyone else can.  This just proves the power of having a true system and plan for your nutrition and fitness that is simple and sustainable, coupled with an accountability system and tracking tools.  If you are interested in trying the 21 Day Fix or the 21 Day Fix Extreme, I have a Challenge Group starting soon and I’d love to have you join me and the rest of the group.

Click here to learn more!

3 Reasons Why You Should Lift Weights

20140806-160924-58164893.jpgWhen I start working with most of my female clients, one of the top things that they say is that they want to lose weight and reduce body fat and they automatically assume that they need more cardio. While cardiovascular training is important, if you want to burn fat and tone up the body, you will need to add strength training at least 3 times a week.  Most of the time their mouths fly open and they immediately protest stating that they simply want to tone and that they will get too bulky.  However, after 6 weeks of a strength training program with me, that focuses on body fat reduction and body toning, they are happy that they listened and trusted me to add weight lifting to their regimen.

Here are the 3 reasons that I share and that my clients experience:

  1. Muscles Burn Fat: When you create a regimen of weight training and cardiovascular training, you have the ability to lose 40% more fat, than if you just did cardiovascular training? I’m not saying skip the cardio, I’m simply saying that cardio alone is not the only answer.  Adding weight training will turn you into a fat burning machine! 
  2. Muscles Burn Calories: One pound of muscle uses more than twice the amount of energy than one pound of fat, which means that you could be burning more calories by simply sitting at your desk, just because you have more muscle mass. More muscles means burning more calories throughout the day, which means a great opportunity for weight loss, especially when you add in a healthy and balanced diet.
  3. Muscles are key for Toning: If you have areas that you want to tone, adding muscle mass to those areas will help firm and tighten those areas – think bye bye love handles and the under arm jiggle.  Not only will you burn that fat away, but you will be able to tone that area. Cardio, can’t do that for you.

As you can see, adding weight lifting to your fitness regimen, can be a great way to burn more calories, burn more fat, and tone your body, all without bulking up! They key is to focus on using light to moderate weights and doing 12 – 15 reps of the exercises.  For starters, grab a pair of dumbbells and hold one in each hand, do a set of squats, lunges, shoulder presses, and chest presses.  Add in a set of crunches and a plank hold and you have a full body workout that uses weights.    Keep it simple, but definitely make sure to add in the weights! #StrongIsTheNewSkinny

For more information on weight training or at home workouts, send me a message via Facebook! I have tons of resources that can help you!