Sunday, July 27

5 Snacks You Can Eat on the 3 Day Refresh

3DAYREFRESHAPPROVEDSNACKS

Have you tried the 3 Day Refresh yet? It's Beachbody's answer to things like the Master Cleanse or Juice Fasts. Why? Because liquid only fasts are really hard and they don't give your body the nutrition it really needs. So you end up feeling groggy and miserable and usually end up ordering a pizza out of desperation and spite the day after you finish it. (No? Is that only me?)

I tried the 3 Day Refresh when I got back from my vacation in Vegas and I LOVED it! I lost about 4 pounds in the three days, got rid of all my travel bloat, felt more clear-headed and energized, and more than anything it helped jumpstart my healthy habits again and get my brain and body back in the right mode for healthy living. You can read my 3 Day Refresh Review here if you're interested!

I know that things like this can be daunting and when you get your kit in the mail you may be flipping through the manual that comes with it looking at the lists of Refresh-approved foods and wondering how are you going to make this work? Well fear not. I went through the booklet's lists of approved foods and came up with 5 tasty, filling, and not-at-all-weird-or-healthfood-ish snacks you can have on the 3 Day Refresh!

1. 1/2 Medium Apple sprinkled with Cinnamon
2. Cilantro and Lime Seasoned Cauliflower Rice
3. 4-5 Baby Carrots with 2 Tbs. Hummus
4. Melon Skewers made with a total of 1 cup of Watermelon, Honeydew, and Cantelope Melons.
5. Frozen Banana Bites made with 1/2 Banana and 1.5 Tbs. Almond Butter

Try them and let me know what you think! If you try the 3 Day Refresh, come and leave me a comment on my community page and let me know your results!

(You can also get the 3 Day Refresh with a whole month of Shakeology by clicking here. That way when your REFRESH is done you are still supporting your body, getting healthier, and potentially losing more weight!)

Saturday, July 26

How To Go Paleo With the 21 Day Fix (Mealplan and Shopping List!)


A few months ago, after a fair bit of research, I decided to give "Paleo" a try. If you follow me on instagram you may have seen me post my meals and feelings about it each day. For me, it was a simple transition in my daily mealplan (since I was already gluten free) and after the first week I fell into a pretty good rhythm with it. Since then I've had a lot of people ask me for tips on "going paleo" so I thought I'd put together a big blog post for you in case you are one of those people! Let's dig right in. Starting with "What is Paleo?" Paleo is taken from the word "Paleolithic" referring to the period of time before the development of agriculture. This was a time when ancient humans were believed to live on what they could hunt or gather. So it is believed that these ancient humans lived on fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and the meat and fish they hunted. From this, we get the modern "Paleolithic Diet" or "Paleo Diet". 

But I don't like to call it a diet. Because that implies that we are doing it for a limited time with the sole purpose of losing weight. While that might be some people's motivation, mine was more of a lifestyle shift with the purpose of feeling better and being healthier overall. So for the purpose of explaining what I do, I'm going to call it the "Paleo Template" ;)

TEAMBTFP_WHATISPALEO

A common misconception about eating Paleo is that all you eat is meat all day every day. It's easy to be confused. You see lots of meat-heavy dishes if you search for Paleo on Pinterest or google and this nutritional template is very popular among men who like the idea of a "meat and potatoes" type of mealplan. (Except white potatoes, aren't paleo... sorry dudes.) But the key to the success (and nutritional benefits) of eating Paleo is like anything else: balance and moderation. Hunter/Gatherers didn't live on bacon and french fries, and neither should you.


To make sure that I ate in a balanced way when I went Paleo, and how I suggest others begin their Paleo journey, I decided to enlist the help of the 21 Day Fix Mealplan that I love so much! This plan gives you colored containers for each food group. You are allotted a certain number of servings of each container a day (based on your height/weight/activity/goals) and you just fill up the container and eat what fits. It's so easy that I think every single person needs to abide by it! I digress...

I followed the 21 Day Fix mealplan guidelines and TWEAKED them to work with Paleo guidelines. What are those guidelines? Put very simply, you eat what you could hunt or gather back in the Paleolithic day. So... lean meats, fish, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruits. What is not accepted as Paleo?

FOODS TO AVOID ON THE PALEO TEMPLATE:
Refined Sugars & Artificial Sweeteners
Grains
Legumes
Artificial Ingredients
White Potatoes
Processed Foods (including Junk Food)
Hydrogenated Oils/Vegetable Oils
Alcohol

FRINGE FOODS
Dairy
White Potatoes
Cashews
Pseudograins (like buckwheat or quinoa)
Shakeology

Okay let's talk about these for a minute. Obviously paleolithic man didn't have sugar or sugar substitutes so those are easy to understand. Grains came with agriculture so those are out too. Legumes came with agriculture too so you'll have to pass on the beans and peanuts. Processed foods weren't around so count them out, same with vegetable and hydrogenated oils (if it says anything like "buttery spread" just don't even touch it) and alcohol came later too. Now there are a few foods I like to call "fringe foods" which means that they are debated among Paleo participants. These are dairy, cashews, white potatoes, and pseudograins.

Why did I include Shakeology in the fringe foods? Well it's because regular Shakeology contains whey protein. Which is technically a dairy derivative. Vegan Shakeology contains oat protein which is technically a grain derivative. In my opinion, either one is still waaaaaayyyyyy better for you than anything else you could do so the positives outweigh the fringe technicalities. I have stayed on it and still seen INCREDIBLE results since going paleo.

You will have to make your own decision reguarding these items. People who subscribe to a paleo diet but eat dairy are called "Primal" if you want to do some research. The reason dairy is left out is because while animals were around, Paleolithic humans did not have the tools or capacity to be making anything like butter or cheeses or creams. White potatoes are a plant so why can't you eat them? Well you can, obviously, no one is forcing you to do anything. But the reason they aren't considered paleo is because of the labor involved in harvesting them. They are more likely a crop then something that Paleolithic humans stumbled upon. Also, if nothing else, they don't have a lot of nutritional benefits so it's worth it to avoid them. Cashews are a nut right? So why are they a problem? Technically, cashews are a legume (like peanuts) so to a strict Paleo person they'd be out. Make your own decision on this one. And lastly, pseudograins like quinoa and buckwheat. These are technically not grains, but they behave like them inside your body. So the choice is yours.

"What's left?!" You might be thinking. What can I eat? A LOT actually! Here's some of my meals...

TEAMBTFPPALEO

Okay, so maybe you're thinking about giving this whole Paleo thing a try. But you're so confused. Where do you start? How do you figure out what to eat? And how do stay balanced and avoid living on bacon and steak alone? Don't worry friends, I've got you covered! Here is a sample week's mealplan using the 21 Day Fix as a guide. These are all meals I have eaten since going Paleo so you know they are actually good! This is based on my serving allowances in 21 Day Fix. If you're in a higher bracket and have more servings you would just either eat bigger meals or add in more food in your day. I wrote out each meal's ingredients in the color container they would correspond to so you can easily see VISUALLY how to combine your containers into a day's worth of amazing meals!
PALEO21DAYFIXWEEKLYMEALPLAN
It is super simple to tweak the 21 Day Fix to work with a Paleo mealplan. All you have to do is replace your YELLOW container with something Paleo-friendly. On the 21 Day Fix, yellow is your carbs/grains. So to make an easy swap what I did is to replace 1 serving of yellow a day with sweet potatoes. And my 2nd serving of yellow with almond milk in my smoothie. See how delicious and amazing your week can be? And you can see here that a day in the Paleo life is not all meat all the time. In fact, it's actually a LOT of vegetables! I even included a few Chipotle runs to show you that you can make this work and not be chained to your kitchen! Here are the recipes needed for the mealplan above:

PALEO PANCAKES (just substitute almond meal/flour for cashew meal if you like)
DRESSING 1: combine 3 parts olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar
DRESSING 2: combine 3 parts olive oil to 1 part champagne vinegar, add in diced shallots, and pepper
DRESSING 3: combine 3 parts olive oil to 1 part champagne vinegar, add in some dill if you like

Now to make things even EASIER for you, I put together a grocery shopping list for you based off this mealplan (who loves ya?!) Just print it out and take it with you to the store. Now here's the secret. Don't feel chained to this. If you don't like something I listed (like spinach) swap it out for something you do like (like spring mix). Make it work for YOU and your tastes.

TEAMBTFP21DAYFIXPALEOGROCERYLIST
Want to do this with my help, with the full 21 Day Fix program (daily workouts and Shakeology) and with the support of my online fitness challenge group where you'll have daily coaching from me, daily motivation and accountability, and the opportunity to ask me questions as you go? You're in luck! My August challenge group starts workouts on August 4th! Click the banner below to register.*

AUGUSTCHALLENGEGROUPREGISTRATION

If you already have a Beachbody coach that you are currently working with, or if you are already a coach outside of TeamBTFP, you are unfortunately not eligible to join my August challenge group. But please feel free to connect with me here, on Instagram, and on FB for more paleo fix inspiration! 

Friday, July 25

I Can't Afford To Be Healthy | Shakeology is Too Expensive

wealthishealth

I get countless messages from people each month asking about joining one of my challenge groups and even about joining my team as a coach! They are exciting messages for me to get because I feel like they are an open door for me to help spark some positive change in someone's life who might really need it. I see so much potential for happiness and confidence and freedom in these people who I speak to. And every now and then someone drops the bomb, the sentence that I hate to see because I know it's going to be their roadblock, the stop sign on the road to their success...

"I can't afford all that. I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing."

Well, there's a reason you reached out. And I'm going to guess that what you've been doing hasn't been getting you the results you want. As Einstein would say, "Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them." (click to tweet that!) So going back to what you've been trying is probably not the solution for you. Do some research. Trust your gut. Ask me how I make it work in our family budget!

"If you think wellness is expensive, try illness."

It's not just about looking good in a bikini on a paddleboard. It's about improving your quality of life. It's about caring about yourself and those you love enough to invest in your own body and it's continued maintenance. Did you know that 1/3 of premature deaths in the United States are attributed to poor nutrition and physical inactivity?* In the last 20 years, obesity rates have doubled in adults and TRIPLED in kids. IN KIDS.** We can't afford to not be investing in our health. For ourselves, and for our children! We are their examples. It's shameful that we aren't prioritizing our and their health more. And for what? So we can afford that latte every morning? So we can buy more clothes we don't even like because we don't like how our body looks under it? So we can eat ourselves into an early grave due to all kinds of diseases and illnesses related to bad nutrition and not working out?

KIDSBTFP

If You Really Want It, You'll Make It Work...

I'm a coach. I'm not a cheerleader. And as such, it is my job to tell you when you are full of crap. And sometimes you are (looovveeee you!). There have been times in my life when I wanted something I couldn't afford. And I found a way to make it work. We humans are fantastically gifted at rationalizing things and figuring out how to get what we want. Sell something, skip the lattes for a month, pass on the pedicure, make it work. I've been there.

Sometimes it's not worth it, it's not worth the risk, the reward. The comfort of secure finances is more worth it to you than trying something new. And that's fine too. But you didn't reach out to me for nothing. 


...Except When You Can't

Sometimes it's really just not there. You don't have the funds. You can't spend the money. I 100% understand. Believe me. I was there! Here's some tips for you, if you're serious about making a change, to help you even now start to move closer to your goals!

1. Take an Honest Look at Things: Sit down with your bank statement and find where you can trim. Starbucks every Tuesday? Are you willing to give that up to get closer to your long term goals? Dinners out every weekend? Going overboard at Target on your weekly errand run? If you really need help, visit a financial planner. Tell them your goals and have them help you make it happen!

2. Get Active in a Community: Connect with some health and fitness blogs that inspire you. Follow some of my food boards for healthy recipe ideas. Connect on facebook with me for inspiration in healthy living. There's free info out there for you! There are FREE fit clubs in almost every big city where you can go do free workouts with Beachbody coaches! Get connected!

3. Set Concrete Goals: If you really want to make a change but finances are honestly standing in your way, come up with a game plan! Don't just sit around doing the same things you've always done expecting different results. Make some real steps that you can do to move you closer to your goals like...
1. I will cut back 1 latte a week and put that $5 into a jar to save $20 a month!
2. I will ask for a Challenge Pack for my birthday from my mom/friend/husband
3. I will sell that camping gear we never use on Craigslist
4. I will be open to unexpected blessings
5. I will return those shoes I just bought on impulse that I don't really need.

Look, it's really not as hard as you might think to make it work. I'm happy to help you sort out a plan. I'm happy to share with you how we make it work in our family budget. I'll leave you with one last bit of perspective. Here is a quick graphic showing how the price of Shakeology compares to the price of other frozen treats. Remember, Shakeology has the equivalent of FIVE bowls of fruits, veggies, and superfoods as well as probiotics and adaptagens, the others just have empty calories and chemicals....

SHAKEOLOGYVSPRICE







Thursday, July 24

DIG OR DITCH | HIMALAYAN SALT ROCKS


Have you seen these pretty little votives and lamps around? You might see one in an interior pinned on Pinterest or even on the shelf at your local health foods store. That's where I had seen them. And they looked so warm and glowy and crystalline that I was intrigued. I bought my first Himalayan Salt Rock at the grocery store. It's small enough to hold a single vote candle. And it looks beautiful when the lights are dim and it's glowing a flickering orange. I was smitten.

So I went online to see if I could find more in other sizes and I was surprised to find a plethora of salt rock pieces from candle holders to huge lamps in all different shapes! Little did I know that Himalayan Salt Rock lamps are totally a thing. Did you know that? You probably did. I'm always the last to know. Apparently they have some supposed health benefits above just being relaxing and pretty to look at...


Salt has long been a mineral recognized for it's various benefits. Salt mines and salt springs are often used for rejuvenation and relaxation. Why? Because it is believed that salt mines and salt springs have a negative ion environment.

Say what?

So have you ever breathed in deep by a waterfall? Or felt like singing in the shower? Or sat and marveled in calm bliss by the seashore? You probably have. But what you might not realize is why these areas have such an effect on you. These forces of nature (and shower) create negative ions in the air. Why does that matter? It's natures way of cleansing! So negative and positive ions exist all in the air around you all the time. Negative ions are generally a molecule of oxygen that has gained an electron (stay with me!) These ions attract particles in the air and give them a negative charge forcing them to seek an electrical "ground" which usually means falling out of the air and to the ground. So, in essence, negative ions clean the air. That is why when you walk outside after a rainstorm the air feels so fresh!

How are negative ions produced? 
➳ Ions cannot be produced without an energy source like...
➳ Heat/flames
➳ Electricity
➳ Evaporation
➳ Friction
➳ Radioactivity

Okay, so how do these salt rocks actually help clean the air in your house?

How do Himilayan salt rock lamps work? 
➳ The salt crystals cannot create negative ions, you need energy for that. BUT....
➳ Salt attracts water molecules in the air...
➳ When the water comes to the salt, the heat of the candle inside or the bulb warms it up...
➳ The water molecules heat up and begin to evaporate
➳ Evaporation produces negative ions in the air! Ba-zing!

So what do you think? Try it and let me know... Dig or Ditch? 



Wednesday, July 23

BITS + PIECES | VOTE FOR SUMMER



This is the first summer in... well ever... that I've felt confident enough about my body to enjoy the summertime season. I've lived in Florida my whole life and I've always HATED summer. I hated it because I like to dress in dark skinny jeans and black tops and wear boots and summer in Florida is not conducive to that sort of thing. But, this year I'm realizing that particular style is not just because I dig the chic look, but also because I was trying to hide myself for so long. But not this year! Even though there are still areas I want to improve, I feel so much stronger and leaner and confident enjoying the heat and the sunshine and letting my skin get kissed by the sun!

We have been trying to make the most of this summer season (when it isn't thunder storming, that is). So we took the Boga Yoga up to St. Augustine for a weekend at the beach and we've been filling up the inflatable pool in the shade of the front yard so Bubs can splash around. The kid is OBSESSED with water. And his new favorite phrase? "It's too bright, Mama!" Good thing we just found him the cutest turquoise toddler sunglasses from H&M. Vote for summer!


My Current Obsessions:
Vegan Chocolate Shakeology
Wearing Pink shorties out in public as bathing suit bottoms (see top photo)
Lip Balm Collecting
Answering questions with the phrase, "Because I said so."

Bubs' Current Obsessions:
Trains
Pools
Ice Cream
Answering questions with the phrase, "Because I said so."

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