Clean Eating, Diet, Recipes, Weight Loss

5 Steps to Making a Perfect Green Smoothie

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When I’m not drinking my daily dose of nutrition with Shakeology, I also like to incorporate Green Smoothies into my day as a way to ensure that I get more greens into my diet.   These smoothies are a great way to incorporate more nutrition into your diet in a tasty way. Most people, however, make one crucial mistake when they make their smoothie – they add way too much fruit (which means way too much sugar) and they don’t add a healthy fat.
 
Here is what I would recommend for making a Green Smoothie that is filling, tasty, and has a good balance of nutrition.
  1. Add 2 cups of leafy greens into a blender. I like using Kale, but if it is too bitter, you can use spinach.
  2. Add 2 cups of liquid to the blender with the leafy greens. I like using coconut water or unsweetened almond milk.
  3. Blend the leafy greens and liquid until they are purified…THEN ADD YOUR FRUIT & HEALTHY FATS to the blender.
  4. Add 1-2 cups of fruit to the blender – I am a fan of adding a banana and a cup of frozen berries.
  5. Add a Tablespoon of Coconut Oil or Nut Butter or even a 1/4 of an avocado to the blender and mix it all up!
Bonus: I like to add in ginger, herbs, spices, nuts, or oats to my smoothies to add more oomph and create a more power packed or satisfying smoothie.
 
The benefit of adding the healthy fats to the smoothie is that it provides some satiety, making you feel fuller longer, plus healthy fats help with fat loss. Also, by limiting the servings of fruit to two, it keeps your blood sugar balanced, especially when you combine the healthy fats.
 
The beauty of blending the greens and liquids first, makes sure that there are no clumps and that the greens are blended perfectly.
 
Hopefully, this helps you with creating the best green smoothie you can make! 
Motivation, Personal Development, Self Care

5 Self Care Tips to Reduce Anxiety

When you find yourself stressed out and full of anxiety, life becomes harder and can make every day activities like your job, your sleep, your interaction with your loved ones and community, debilitating and may create even more stress.

Here are 5 tips that I have applies to my life and have shared with my clients to help them to reduce their own stress and anxiety and I hope that one or all five of these help you as well!

  1. Focus on your Breathing: Your breath is the key to your balance and can make a huge difference in how your body responds.  I’ve found that most people don’t even know how to properly breathe.  One exercise that I would encourage you to do is to place one hand on your chest/heart and one hand on your belly.  Inhale for 5 seconds, focusing on filling your belly/diaphragm with as much air as possible, then exhale completely for 10 seconds. Repeat this pattern for 2 minutes, working your way up to 5 minutes at a time.  Trust me, this one is a game changer! I do it before I go to bed after a long and stressful day.
  2. Listen to Music that Creates Good Vibes & Feelings: Music is such an emotive thing and can evoke positive feeling or negative feelings. You can change how you feel by listening to music and I’d suggest that you listen to songs that make you feel happy or that evoke happy memories. Create a playlist and listen to it daily, especially on your way into stressful situations/environments like a meeting or even family dinners (in the event that all of your family dinners come with a side of family drama :))
  3. Exercise and Move Your Body: Sometimes transferring the heavy, stressful, and anxious energy that you are holding inside into something physical can be an amazing thing.  Physical activity can release feel good hormones that combat stress and make you feel better, even if your situation doesn’t change. Try going for a walk or taking a workout class or just putting on some music and dance like no one is watching!
  4. Spend Time with Good People:  Do you have people in your life who make you smile or laugh until you almost pee your pants? Do you have people in your life who make you feel better and loved by simply being in their presence? FIND THOSE PEOPLE AND SPEND AS MUCH TIME WITH THEM! Don’t use this quality time with them to whine and complain, instead focus on the good – laugh until you pee your pants, embrace and hug until you release your tears, enjoy a meal that fills your heart and your belly.
  5. Fill and Fuel your Body with Healthy Food: When you’re stressed, your body and digestive system may not be working as properly as you would want and I know it may feel good to indulge in foods that don’t support and fuel your body, but try your best to eat healthier options.  Support your body and help it to maintain balance by fueling it with healthy foods. Check out  my free Clean Eating Guide ebook for recipes and ideas and you’ll also get access to my free Clean Eating Accountability Facebook group where I share some of my healthiest recipes.

Hopefully, these tips will be helpful for you in managing your stress and anxiety.

Diet, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Weight Loss

Fall Harvest Crockpot Chili 

Fall is officially here and I am thrilled about it! It’s my favorite season mainly because most of my favorite foods are fall staples!

Last week, I made Mashed Sweet Potatoes in the crockpot and had A little bit extra so I decided why not throw the rest into my Crockpot Chili?!?

I must say I was pleasantly surprised by how it came out. It was filling and delicious. I also added some green peas for an extra dose of protein and Zuchinni, which along with the peas, adds some extra immunity boosting phytonutrients.

Here is the recipe below:

  • 1 pound of Ground Turkey
  • 8 ounces of Fresh Salsa
  • 8 ounces of Fresh Pico De Gallo
  • 8 Ounces of Green Peas
  • 8 ounces of Frozen Corn
  • 8 ounces of Frozen Bell Peppers & Onions Mix (or 1/2 cup of each fresh)
  • 1 Zuchinni, Chopped
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can of kidney beans, rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons of Taco Seasoning
  • 8 ounces of Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Throw it all in the crockpot and and let it cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

I served mine with Green Chili Cornbread. (Hint: Add 2 tablespoons of Green Chili Salsa to cornered mix and enjoy the sweet heat!)

Clean Eating, Fitness, Health, Healthy Eating, Motivation, Personal Development, Self Care, Weight Loss

3 Tips to Get Out of Your Funk

I don’t know what is going on these days, but I’ve been speaking with a lot of my clients and friends who have said they are feeling “Blah!” when it comes to their jobs, their relationships (or lack thereof), their finances, their family, and their health/fitness. I don’t what it is, but I wanted to share my 3 tips that have helped me and I’ve already heard back from a few who have said my tips have helped them.

In the video below, I break it down into the following:

  1. Get Clarity in what you want.  If you are unhappy, it’s important to know exactly you are unhappy about and what exactly you want to change.
  2. Get Organized and clear the clutter. When our life, house, minds, fridge, etc is packed with clutter, it can create more anxiety and stress about the current situation and it can prevent us from seeing opportunities and possibilities to change ourselves, our situation or our perspective.
  3. Get a Goal that you can use to focus your attention and energy.  Once you know what you want to change and you have created space for change to happen, you have to take action by moving forward in a positive direction.

Watch the video to get a bit more about these tips and to help you get on track to getting out of your funk!

Health, Personal Development, Self Care

10 Tips to Successful Self Care

Happy girlHappy September, did you know that this month has been dubbed #SelfCareSeptember? I personally thought that this was so fitting as this month, I am focusing on Self Care and doing a the new online yoga program, 3 Week Yoga Retreat, and the 21 Day Ultimate Reset detox program. So, I figured that I would also do my best to focus on other areas of Self Care and want to challenge you to do the same.

You don’t have to do all 10 of these, but you should definitely think about adding a few these into your daily regimen, because taking care of yourself is critical.  Most people think that “Self Care” means being selfish, but I promise you, it’s the complete opposite. If you are stressed out that opens up the door to a bunch of things like poor sleeping patterns, poor eating and fitness habits, negative emotions, strained relationships and finances, and the list goes on and on. When you make self care a priority, you will find that your life is more balanced, you have more energy, and you are finding that your health, finances, relationships, and everything in between will improve!

Here are my tips for Successful Self Care

  1. Start your day with Gratitude: Gratitude is a big part of living an abundant life, when we focus on things to be grateful for, I believe, that we receive more things to be grateful for.  Find 3 things each day that you can be grateful for and if you can’t think of anything, simply waking up, having a sound mind, and an opportunity to make a positive impact in the world.
  2. Take a Morning Moment: Each morning, I take a moment to reflect on the day ahead, it helps to remove any anxiety about what is to come, but it gives me a chance to plan a head, set my intentions, and remove any negativity. My morning moment typically includes prayer, journaling, meditation, or reading the bible. Try to do one thin
  3. Eat Healthy & Nourishing Meals: The food that you put into your body is the fuel that runs your body and if you are putting junk and crap into your body, you can’t expect to have high energy to run your day.  I personally ensure that every morning my breakfast is healthy and nourishing, because that sets the tone for the rest of the day. Try adding more greens, lean protein, whole grains to your diet and limiting the processed, refined junk food for September.
  4. Fill your brain with Positivity: There is so much “crap” on the news, media, and on social media that can bog us down, but I am challenging you to fill your mind with positivity.  Each day, I read or listen to Personal Development to make sure that I’m developing myself.  You can find a podcast or audio book to listen to on the way to work or while you’re walking the dog, you can read 10 pages of a book, or even watching more positive movies and TV and listening to more positive radio stations.
  5. Drink Water: Hydration is a big part to feeling and looking great, your body uses water for a ton of reasons and a few years ago when I struggling, drinking water was a big part of feeling better.  You should aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. To spice it up, add fresh fruit to your water.
  6. Move your body for at least 30 Minutes: The idea of being holed up in a gym for hours is not necessary for getting great results, I tell my clients to simply move your body doing anything that gets your heart rate up and that you enjoy, can have the same benefits.  Find a dance or zumba class, go for a walk with a friend, or try a new fitness program. Exercise helps to reduce stress, blood pressure, and increase bone density, improve your mood, and make you feel better.
  7. Spend some time alone: In a time where we are always connected, it’s nice to be able to disconnect and spend some time with yourself to check in with yourself. It doesn’t have to be a long time, even 5 minutes of alone time can help to clear your mind and provide a bit of peace in a stressful day.  I like to sit outside and have a green tea or take a bath for 20 minutes or sometimes I take myself out on a date, yup a movie or dinner for one and just enjoy myself!
  8. Spend quality time with loved ones:  There is emphasis on the world “quality” when you are spending time with your family, friends, spouse, etc, it’s important that you are present in that moment. Solid connection with people, when you are present in the moment, can lift your spirits like none other. So put the phone away, let work be done with for the day (or at least that moment) and focus on the people that you are spending time with.  Take time to share about your day (the highlights), laugh over funny moments and memories, eat dinner together, or lay on the couch and watch a funny show together. Call up a friend and chat for a bit and be focused on enjoying the moment.
  9.  Spend Time In Nature: Nature recharges me and living in San Francisco, with so many beautiful hikes and trails and the bay surrounding me, has done wonders for my peace of mine.  But even if you don’t have access to a breathtaking trail, you can find a nice park or take the scenic route home and roll the windows down to enjoy nature.  One of my clients, before coming into the house after work, she sits on the hood of her car for 5 minutes to simply listen to nature – birds chirping, the insects buzzing.  Another one of my clients can witness the most perfect sunsets in the WalMart parking lot by her house. Find your way to connect with nature and let it recharge you.
  10. End your day with Peace: How you start your day and end your day matter. Ending your day with peace is a surefire way to have a restful night of sleep where your body can regenerate and you wake up feeling ready to tackle the day.  Set a “shut down” time where you turn off the TV, the phone interactions, and other connections with electronics.  Start to unwind and relax. You may want to lay out your clothes for the next day, or create your to do list for the next day so your mind isn’t buzzing about what you have to do, because you can have peace that you have a plan for tomorrow, or simply lay in bed and read a book or do a guided meditation.

Give one or all of these a try for the month of #SelfCareSeptember and see how your life changes!

Clean Eating, Diet, Healthy Eating, Recipes

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. 

Clean Eating, Diet, Health, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Weight Loss

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. 

Clean Eating, Diet, Healthy Eating, Recipes

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. 

Diet, Health, Healthy Eating, Weight Loss

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. 🙂

Clean Eating, Diet, Fitness, Health, Healthy Eating, Motivation, Weight Loss, Workout

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.