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21 Day Fix “Baked Ziti”

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Wednesday is Italian Night at our house and I have been wanting to make a 21 Day Fix version of one of my favorite dishes, baked ziti.  Using my portions as a guide and only subbing out the spaghetti squash for ziti pasta it turned out incredible!

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Ingredients:

1 heaping green container of cooked spaghetti squash (details below on how to prepare that)

2/3 of a purple container of pureed tomatoes or homemade marinara (1 full purple is too much sauce, trust me :) )

1 Red Container filled 3/4 full with cooked lean ground beef, topped with ricotta cheese

1 Blue Container of Mozzarella

Don’t forget your seasonings. I used Oregano, Basil, Garlic and Onion Powder

Directions:

To cook your spaghetti squash ~ carefully slice in half and scoop out seeds and pulp. Place on a microwaveable plate, cover and cook on high for 5 minutes.  Make sure you have a little vent with your plastic wrap or lid. After the 5 minutes check and then microwave for another 4-5 minutes based on size until you can pierce with fork.

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Once you have cooked your spaghetti squash combine your containers (except for blue container) in an oven safe dish, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and cook at 350 for about 15 minutes, broiling that last minute or two if you want your cheese browned.

This is one of my favorite dinners and I am so excited I was able to make a “cleaner” version that tastes really good. Try it and let me know how it goes!

If you are interested in finding out more about the 21 Day Fix click HERE. If you are interseted in joining our next online fitness and nutrition accountability group click HERE

 

 

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Quick & Clean Chicken Salad

 

IMG_9511.JPGHere is a recipe for a quick chicken salad that is 21 Day Fix approved and is not only super yummy but fills you up!

1 red container of cooked chicken

1 blue container of your choice of hummus (I used roasted red pepper)

Chopped pickled jalapenos for crunch (you can buy ones the are not spicy if you don’t like the heat)

1 Green Container of English Cucumber (to place the chicken salad on top of)

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I love how the 21 Day Fix helps me take the guess work out of clean eating. During a homeschool day I don’t have a ton of time to count calories, etc.

If you would like more information on the 21 Day Fix click HERE or if you would like information about joining our next accountability group for free click HERE

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Paleo Pumpkin Cake

IMG_9039.JPGSo as I was looking through my 21 Day Fix book I noticed under the Green Containers it listed “Winter Squash”! Do you know what that means? Pumpkin can be used as a green container!

So for breakfast I decided to have Pumpkin Cake because I could and it would use one of my green containers. :) Start to finish this take less than 10 minutes.

Ingredients:

1 Green Container of Canned Pumpkin

1 Egg

2 tsp of pure maple syrup or stevia

1-2 tsp of Pumpkin Pie Spice

Directions:

Simply beat ingredients all together and place in a ramekin or mug sprayed with coconut oil spray and microwave for 5 minutes or until set. Be careful when you remove it because it will be hot!  Enjoy!!!

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IMG_9021IMG_9022IMG_9027The 21 Day Fix has been such a huge help to me to not only loose weight but to figure out how to eat to fuel my body and give me energy to keep up with my life! If you want to know more about the 21 Day Fix head on over HERE

 

5 Reasons Why PiYo is NOT right for you

1. You are entering a body building competition in the next month or two

2. Your motto is “no pain, no gain”

3. You love the same old same old workout routines

4. You love paying for a gym membership that you rarely use

5. You like to use tons of equipment when you workout

If you answered yes to any of the above statements PiYo is not the right workout for you. I hear Hanz and Franz are back in the personal training business. :) If you didn’t check out this info-graphic on the top 10 Reasons why PiYo would be a great choice for you.

 

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My favorite part about PiYo?  Being able to be a part of a Challenge Group!  It’s where a group of us go through the program together and touch base daily in a private Facebook group. It’s a place where you can ask questions and get lots of great tips, even help with meal planning and recipes. After my round of PiYo I lost inches (especially in my legs and booty!) gained a ton of flexibility and strengthened my core enough to where I am made some significant progress on my handstands! My husband has seen a dramatic DECREASE in his back pain and hasn’t had to go the the chiropractor in months!

So what are you waiting for? Head over to my PiYo page for more information or head HERE to register for my next challenge group!

Image credit Beachbody via Pinterest

Clean & Healthy Labor Day Picnic Recipes

cleanlabordayLabor Day Weekend is here and it is super important is to enjoy this wonderful holiday with your family and friends while not using it as an excuse to overindulge. Here are some tips to help you stay on track:

* Hydrate: drink plenty of water our bodies often mistake dehydration for hunger. {true story}

* Skip the chips: enjoy your favorite dips with veggies. You will consume a lot less sodium and fat.

* Leaf the bun: yes pun intended. Use a lettuce leaf as a bun instead of bread.

* Get sweaty: Burn some calories. Play pool or beach volleyball or any other game that gets your heart pumping.

* Bring the sweet treat or healthy dish: if you’re concerned it will be all junk food at the BBQ bring something healthy that can be your go to.

Here are some recipes that would be a great addition to you Labor Day Picnic:

1. Layered Fruit Salad

2. Tomato, Basil and Feta Salad

3. Marinated Grilled Veggie Skewers

4. Southwest Quinoa Salad

5. Watermelon Sticks

If you would like to know more information about the 21 Day Fix or to Join a Challenge Group click HERE

21 Day Fix Meal Planner

21 Day Fix Planner PreviewPlanning is KEY when you are making healthy changes into habits! Click HERE to download a Free Printable 21 Day Fix Daily Planner (for the lowest calorie bracket) This has helped me so much I decided to laminate it so I can just use a dry erase marker each day. I personalize these for all of my challengers based on what bracket they fall in.  If you are interested in finding out more about the 21 Day Fix or what Challenge Groups are all about click HERE Happy Planning!

5 Clean Snacks 21 Day Fix Approved

cleansnacksfinalHere are 5 super quick super clean snacks that will fuel your body. I try to keep a few of these on hand in the fridge portioned out to help me make better choices and keep my fingers out of the goldfish bag!

1. Greek Yogurt with Berries

2. Apples and Almond Butter

3. Turkey Roll Up (Boar’s Head Deli Meat is nitrate free)

4. Veggies and Hummus

5. Hard Boiled Eggs

Want to find out more about upcoming challenge groups?  Click HERE

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PiYo Meal Planner Printable

PiYo CoverHere is a Free Printable PiYo Daily Planner to help you on your PiYo journey.  I am currently plugging along on month two and really really am loving it. I am so much stronger {and leaner} than I was a month ago and can’t wait to see how the next month shapes up. It has been fun to be in a challenge group with others who are experiencing great results!

On the portion checklist, check off the portions you do not need. (See your guide for details) Click HERE to download a PDF version to print off for yourself.  You could even print off,laminate, and use a dry erase marker to make this re-usable!

In the guide that comes with the program you are given a list of healthy, wholesome, “real” foods to choose from. At the same time, you have the flexibility to eat what YOU want. I’ve tried following other’s meal plans and this is so much easier for me. It can be challenging for those of us who have a busy schedule or trying to integrate healthy eating into a tight food budget. The PiYo Get Lean Eating Plan gives you FREEDOM.

You are provided lists of food choices for each of the different food types which are:

  • Primary veggies (leafy greens and low calorie veggies)
  •  Secondary veggies and grains (starches like potatoes, rice, oatmeal, tortillas, quinoa, etc.)
  •  Fresh fruit
  •  Lean protein
  •  Healthy fats (avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut, cheese)
  •  Free foods ( herbs, seasonings and unsweetened coffee)

PiYoMealPlannerPreview Interested in jumping in to my next challenge group? Click HERE

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5 clean lunches – 10 minutes or less – 21 day fix approved

 

cleanlunchHere are some quick and easy lunches that are 21 Day Fix approved

1 Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps

2 Colorful Quick Quinoa Grecian Salad (hold the olives)

3 Tomato and Cumber Salad (add apple cider vinegar for a kick!)

4 Zucchini Noodles with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil (here is some info on how to make your own zucchini noodles)

5 Grilled Chicken Salad with Blueberries and Pecans (make sure you use your containers for the pecans and the dressing)

Interested in more information on the 21 Day Fix or Joining a Challenge Group? Click HERE

 

 

21 Day Fix Grocery List – on a budget

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So you are ready to get ready for the 21 Day Fix.  When you first sit down it can be a little overwhelming, but I am here to help make things simple for you.  You also may be like me in that you have a tight food budget and cannot afford to spend tons of moolah on your food for the 21 days.

If you don’t mind having not having a lot of variety just pick a few from each category and replenish when you are running low. Think of your food as fuel ~ there are lots of foods on the list that are “allowed” but I am looking for things that are going to keep me full and on track.

Here are some ideas from each of the groups to give you some ideas and to hopefully make it simple for you and help you get started to crushing your goals!

90caf1cc9c94a4e8ab640e772f31ae8eProteins (Red)
 
Fresh Chicken Breast
Eggs
Lean Ground Turkey or Beef
Fish- Salmon & Tilapia
Turkey Breast
Veggie Burgers
Shakeology!
Fruits (Purple)
 
Apples
Bananas
Pears
Strawberries
Grapes
Oranges
Watermelon
Vegetables (Green)
 
Green Beans
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Spinach
Peppers
Onions
Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Romaine Lettuce
Complex Carbohydrates (Yellow) 
Brown Rice
Quinoa
Oatmeal (not instant in the packet) Steel Cut Oats
Sweet Potatoes
Black Beans
Ezekiel Bread or Whole Grain Tortillas
Blue
 
Hummus
Raw Unsalted Almonds
Raw Unsalted Cashews
Feta Cheese
Avocado

Other Ideas:

Greek Yogurt (plain-non fat)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Coconut Oil
All Natural Peanut Butter, only ingredients are peanuts and a little salt.
Almond Butter
Unsweetened Almond Milk
Honey
La Croix sparking water
So I hope this grocery list helps you as you begin your journey. For more tips and ideas you can follow me on Facebook at the Inspired Simply Fitness Project If you are interested in more information on the 21 Day Fix or to join a challenge group click HERE

 

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Zucchini Carbonara

20140626-065329-24809987.jpgSo I really need to go to the grocery store, but this week I have been putting it off because #1 it is finals week (grateful I am only taking 2 classes this summer) and #2 eating from the pantry seems to make my grocery budget go further.  Grateful once again for the 21 Day Fix and even when you are eating from your pantry you can eat clean and be healthy! This recipe serves one and for your 21 Day Fixers it is one green and 1 red!  It is so rich it is hard to believe that it is super healthy.  Enjoy!

Zucchini Carbonara {gluten free/dairy free}

1 zucchini julienned (or spiralized using THIS)

2 cloves of minced garlic

2 strips of bacon

1 egg yolk

1/4 cup water (or chicken broth)

Red Pepper Flakes

Ground Black Pepper

Place zucchini in a colander set over the sink. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes. After it sweats rinse off the salt and pat dry with paper towels or clean dishtowel so your “noodles” aren’t soggy.20140626-065507-24907131.jpg

After your zucchini is done sweating, cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Cut bacon with kitchen shears. Lower the heat and add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring to thoroughly coat garlic in bacon fat. Don’t let the garlic burn. Add water (or broth) and allow to cook for a couple of minutes until the liquid reduces by about half.

Add zucchini to skillet and stir, seasoning with black pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes until zucchini has softened.

While the zucchini is cooking, whisk the egg yolk in a small bowl with a large splash of hot water. Remove skillet from heat and pour in egg. Stir to coat zucchini with egg.

Looking for more information on the 21 Day Fix or want to join a challenge group?  Click HERE for more information.

 

 

 

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Sweet Potato Waffle

20140620-073806-27486505.jpgSometimes you need more than a romaine lettuce “bun” for your burger or something a little different with your breakfast.  These waffles taste amazing on their own or used as a sandwich bread! Oh and 1/2 a waffle is a yellow container on the 21 Day Fix!

Sweet Potato Waffle

ingredients

1 sweet potato spiralized

1 egg, beaten

Seasoning of choice (salt/pepper/onion powder for savory salt/cinnamon for sweet)

directions

Saute your sweet potato for about 8 minutes until tender. While cooking potatoes, preheat your waffle iron.  After sauteing, gently mix the potatoes with 1 egg and seasoning.  Spray waffle iron with cooking spray and evenly place potato mixture and close the lid. Cook until brown then enjoy with maple syrup or with your favorite sandwich.  The possibilities are endless!

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Interested in joining a challenge group?  Click HERE for more info and to register.

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Paleo Coffee Creamer

20140616-065746-25066472.jpgSo giving up coffee creamer has been the hardest for me even though I know all of those nasty chemicals are so bad for me. A splash of milk or almond milk just doesn’t cut it for me and I’ve tried so hard but I really don’t like the taste of coconut milk in my coffee.
I’m happy to report that I have found the solution and my coffee this morning was as creamy and CLEAN as ever! 

I’m also happy to report that this recipe is super simple with 1-3 ingredients depending on how you like your creamer flavored.

Almond Milk Creamer {dairy free}

1 cup of almonds

1 1/2 cups of water

maple syrup (optional)

vanilla extract

Directions:

The key here is to soak the almonds for 24-36 hours changing out the water every 12 hours or less.

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After soaking the almonds rinse well and place in blender with 1 1/2 cups of water and blend at a high speed until combined.  No need to peel! I was so nervous because the mixture seemed so thick that I wasn’t sure if I would get alot of creamer.

 

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Now take a Nut Milk Bag (cheesecloth will not work, trust me on this one) and place the almond mixture in the bag and gently squeeze all of the yummy creamer out of the pulp.  Take your time with this, it took me about 10 minutes to make sure I got every last drop I could.  Save the pulp for another recipe ~ still looking for a good one, let me know if you have suggestions.

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Wisk in your desired flavoring ~ I used pure maple syrup this time with vanilla, but the possibilities are endless. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Makes approximately 2 cups.

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Enjoy your clean and creamy cup of coffee!

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Interested in the 21 Day Fix or joining in on my next challenge group?  Click here for more details and to register!

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{paleo} avocado ranch

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This recipe makes a great salad dressing or dip for veggies or even sweet potato fries. For those of you on the 21 Day Fix this would go in an orange container. You can use either or blender or food processor to whip this up in a jiffy!

{paleo} avocado ranch

ingredients:
1 Ripe Avocado
2 tsp minced garlic
1 can Full-Fat Coconut Milk
1 T Lemon Juice
¼ t Salt
¼ t Black Pepper
2 T Fresh Dill and/or Chives
¼ t Cayenne Pepper
Dash of hot sauce

directions:
Blend the avocados until broken up.  

Add the remaining ingredients.Pulse to combine, then puree till smooth.

Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.

Interested in finding out more about the 21 Day Fix or joining a Challenge Group?  Click Here

 

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{paleo} Sweet Potato Noodles

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Looking for a different twist on Sweet Potatoes? Here is a super quick recipe that opens the door to endless possibilities. If you are following a Paleo version of the 21 Day Fix, this is a great way to use your yellow containers!

Sweet Potato Noodles

1 large sweet potato

olive or avocado oil for sautéing

salt

pepper

cayenne pepper (optional)

Simply spiral slice your sweet potato.  I found my Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer on Amazon last year. It works great for Zucchini as well.  Once your potato is sliced you can either sauté the “noodles”, boil them gently for 3-4 for a more pasta-like texture, OR bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or so for shoestring sweet potato fries!!!  Either way these are delicious and you won’t be disappointed!

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What other kinds of ways do you like to use sweet potatoes?

Interested in the 21 Day Fix or Joining a Challenge Group? Simply fill out the form below:

 

 

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21 Day Fix ||fried bananas||

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So I started Round 3 of the 21 Day Fix yesterday. May was a good month. I made a little progress, but with a lot if traveling I am ready to buckle down and work on my nutrition. I am in the habit of getting my 30 minute workout in a day, but don’t want to undo all of that hard work in the kitchen!

Here is an easy recipe that takes steal cut oats (or yogurt) from drab to fab.

1/2 banana
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp honey
1 tsp of water

Heat oil in non stick pan and add sliced bananas
Once browned flip gently and add teaspoon of honey and water
Let bubble for 30 seconds or so and pour over Oatmeal or Greek Yogurt

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20140603-062509-23109361.jpgInterested in finding out more about the 21 Day Fix or joining a challenge group? Fill out this simple form below:

 

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Sweet Potato ||paleo|| Hashbrowns

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Here is a simple recipe for sweet potato hash-browns

1 sweet potato, peeled
1 small onion diced
2 tsp olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Dash of Cayenne Pepper (optional)

1. Grate sweet potato
2. Heat olive oil in the pan and sauté onions until soft
3. Add sweet potatoes, stir to combine, sprinkle with spices, then cover and cook on medium for about 5 minutes until tender.
4. If you want yours extra crispy stir and let brown after you remove the lid.

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Peanut Butter Strawberry Shakeology

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Most mornings I try and get my workout in before my little people rise and shine. If they are still sleeping I break out my shaker cup instead of the blender. Here is another great recipe that tastes great without the blender.

Peanut Butter Strawberry Shakeology

8 ounces unsweetened almond milk or water
1 scoop of Strawberry Shakeology
1-3 tsp of PB2 (depending on how much peanut butter flavor you enjoy)
6 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in shaker cup or blender
Combine and enjoy!

20140526-082933-30573460.jpgIf you are interested in more information on Shakeology or a Challenge Group fill out the form below:

 

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Almond Joy Shakeology

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Our blender gets quite a bit of daily use and this week I had to order a replacement jar. No blender? No problem! I have been trying different Shakeology recipes that you can prepare in a shaker cup and have found a couple that are becoming my new favorites.

Almond Joy Shakeology

1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
8 ounces un sweetened almond milk
1 tsp. Almond Extract
1 tsp. coconut oil (see picture below, I found this at my local warehouse club)
6 cubes of ice

1. Place all Ingredients in shaker cup
2. Shake
3. Enjoy!

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20140524-081240-29560715.jpgInterested in more information on the Shakeology, the 21 Day Fix, or joining a challenge group?  Fill out the form below:

 

 

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21 Day Fix ||paleo|| Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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During this round of the 21 Day Fix I am trying to stick to a more Paleo Style which so far has been easier than I thought. Instead of my brown rice or quinoa each day I am swapping it out for sweet potatoes.

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Here is a yummy recipe for Roasted Sweet Potatoes

2 Sweet Potatoes Washed

2 tsp Olive Oil

2 tsp of Raw Honey

Salt and Pepper

Dash of Cayenne Pepper (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Chop sweet potatoes into cubes

3. Combine sweet potatoes, oil, honey, & spices in a medium sized bow and stir until potatoes are evenly coated.

4. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray and spread sweet potato cubes on cookies sheet making sure there is one layer.

5. Bake for 35 minutes or until fork tender, stirring occasionally during cooking.

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Interested in joining my next challenge group?  Just fill out this simple form for more information!

 

 

 

Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference

 

imageI recently made the decision to become a Coach with Beachbody. You know, the company that brought P90X along? They have SO many programs and coaching has changed my life. I’m happier and healthier than I have EVER been.

A few months ago my tank ran out of gas. I am a mother of four, homeschooling while working part-time and being in college full time. My days were fueled by energy drinks and Starbucks, but I was still barely making it by. During my late night study sessions and paper writing it was like I was experiencing the “freshman fifteen” all over again. I knew something had to change.

I saw advertisement for the 21 Day Fix and because the fastest way to get it was to sign up as a coach I jumped on board knowing I would enjoy the discount on Shakeology. Within those 21 days big changes were happening in my life. Eating clean and exercising were transforming my body all with the help of Shakeology. Cravings went down and my energy went up. I knew right away that this was something I wanted to share with the people around me that I loved. I wanted to become more than just a coach for the discount.

I am a Beachbody coach not from selling, but by sharing my own journey and inspiring and helping others in their own.
It is a win win situation for me – I am getting into the best shape of my life while helping others.

 

What does coaching look like for me? I wake up, spend 30 minutes or less getting my workout in, have my Shakeology, and hop onto Facebook to reach out to my challengers, contribute to the accountability and support groups I’m in. I love motivating other people and hearing daily from people who have the SAME goals as I do.

 

I have NEVER been surrounded by such supportive and positive people before!

 

I am looking for TWO motivated people to mentor and who want to take advantage of this AMAZING opportunity!
Here are a few things to take into consideration.
1. You MUST be willing to get into the best shape of your life with one of Beachbody’s many programs and Shakeology
2. Read 10 minutes a day of personal development. Any book that you like is fine, but I can also provide recommendations
3. Be ready to put yourself outside of your comfort zone, But i promise it’ll be worth it!
4. You will get out of this what you put in.
All I ask in return is that you meet me half way and want, work towards, and believe in your success as much as I do.

 

Now my Starbucks is a fun treat to enjoy, not a necessity to make it through my day. I smiled today at my cup because this is my life motto right now!

“Live from the heart of yourself. Seek to be whole, not perfect.”

To be considered for my June Coach Training Group just fill out the simple form below:

 

 

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21 Day Fix Sample Meal Plan

Round 2 is complete! I lost another 8 inches, but more importantly I feel so much stronger and healthier. I am still following the 21 Day Fix Meal plan but have started doing the P90x3 workouts. Something that I thought I would never be able to physically do – the workouts are super tough, but I love them!

A lot of people have been asking me about meal plans for the 21 Day Fix and I wanted to share with you what a typical day might look like for me:

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Now you can see why I am never hungry! And guess what? During the month of September the 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack is on sale! Fill out the form HERE for more information or to register for my next Challenge Group!

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Shakeology Recipes

At the beginning of March I knew I needed to make a change.  I was so run down even with lots of coffee and lots of energy drinks per day.  A friend told me about a challenge group where you commit to working out 30 minutes a day for 21 days while eating healthy and drinking one Shakeology per day.

I was pretty skeptical of the Shakeology, but since they offered a refund if I didn’t like I thought I could at least try it.  After just a few days I noticed my cravings gone. The need for Energy Drinks and even Coffee had vanished! My skin cleared up and my nails never looked better.  I could not believe it! I loved the results I was getting so much I ended up continuing working out and drinking Shakeology even after the challenge group was over.  In 21 days I lost 7 pounds and 16 inches.

Below are a couple of my favorite recipes using Shakeology, but my favorite part was that I could just drink it with water and ice if I was short on time.

You can find more info here about Shakeology and if you are interested in a challenge group email me at inspired simply at gmail dot com I will be honest – it is not cheap, but when you factor in that I haven’t had a Red Bull since February, I am off of all of my prescriptions, and have more energy to love on my family it pays for itself and then some. :)

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 Peppermint Mocha “Frappe”

* 1 scoop of Chocolate Shakeology

* 8 ounces of black coffee, cooled

* 1 packet of stevia

* 2-3 DROPS of peppermint extract

* 6-8 ice cubes

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Strawberry Lemonade

* 1 Scoop of Strawberry Shakeology

* 1 TBS of Lemon Juice,

* 1 tsp of pure Maple Syrup

* 8 ounces of water

* 6-8 ice cubes

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Strawberry Chocolate Peanut Butter

*1 scoop of Strawberry Shakeology

* 2 tsp of Chocolate PB2

* 8 ounces of water

* 6-8 ice cubes

 

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Green Monster Smoothie

* 1 scoop of Strawberry Shakeology

* 1/2 banana

* green container of spinach

* 2 tsp of PB2

* 8 ounces of water

* 6-8 cubes of ice

 

 

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{remember}

 

You will be most remembered by what brought you the most joy.

I will be remembered most for what brought me the most joy.

What will they remember?

Joy in the Lord?

Joy in my comfort?

Joy in their obedience?

Joy in a clean floor?

Joy in the gifts?

Joy in the giver?

Will they see joy in the mourning?

Will they see me fighting the good fight?

Will they see me singing in the evening?

Will they see me rejoice in hope?

Yes.

And one day when they are in the valley I pray that they would {remember}

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When you can’t see the {beauty} in the mess…

..or even a glimmer of hope in the darkness.

When you can’t imagine how these momentary afflictions are preparing you for a weight of eternal glory any more than you can imagine what you are making for dinner tonight.

When you don’t want to read that one of the primary purposes of being shaken by suffering is to make our faith more unshakeable.

When you can’t understand how this can work for your good.

When trials come wave after wave and you can’t swim, you can barely breathe.

When you are tired of being still and waiting.

When you feel like a ping pong ball bouncing back and forth between anger, guilt, condemnation, self-pity, anger, self-pity.

When you are afraid that you won’t hear His voice.

Be reminded: {and remind me}

God’s writing your story

and He never leaves you alone in your story,

and His perfect love absorbs all your fear

and His perfect grace carries all your burdens,

and your story is a happily ever after

because Christ bought your happily ever after

so you always know how this story ends:

You’re going to be okay.

“Our bad things turn out for good. Our good things can never be lost. And the best things are yet to come.” – Keller

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when.silence.falls

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you’ll be the song that’s in my heart

I saw the sun set over Nova Scotia and rise over Ireland. In the span of six hours

It was one of the more amazing and beautiful things I have ever seen. Completely magnificent and so kind of God.

And its still yesterday.

Brilliant.

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here.we.go

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856 days ago I opened a Christmas gift from my husband. Things were super strapped with our finances so we had a $25 budget. I also was super sick – pregnant with our 4th little one, suffering with a bad case of hypermesis. I had to be careful because the IV had to be in my hand because there was nowhere left to poke in my arms. The kids were all giggles because they had helped him search high and low for my gift.

A piggy bank – a pink one. Underneath was a small book. “Top 25 Things to do in Paris.” I smiled and just looked at Kyle. He told me that day we were going to make it happen.
And we did. Slowly but surely. Scrimped and saved. Lots of coins, lots.
Then when I turned 30, a surprise birthday party. My gifts were monies to put towards this trip. It was a lot, enough to pay for the flat we are on our way to right now. :)
When the economy was tanking, Kyle got a promotion at his job. And then a bonus. Can you believe it?
Honestly, I just want everyone reading this to know how much I appreciate how you have loved us and dreamed with us. It’s made it that much sweeter.
I get to go to Paris with my best friend. :)

au revior