Goodbye 2016

Hours until we ring in 2017. Time for a quick reflection of 2016. Lots of lessons and what felt like backwards progress at times. However, its not time for regret. Instead, its time to learn and plan for next year. I started at ASU, in pursuit of a degree. Overall, that has gone very well and I’m looking forward to the progress I will make next year. I gained weight after an awesome fitness start in 2016. Plenty of reasons why, but what’s important is the plan to get things back on track next year.

It’s not a new year new me. It’s still the same me, but with renewed focus. To start, I found a quote I love for this year – Make 2017 mean something. To achieve this, it starts with execution. I had plenty of ideas last year, but failed to execute on them. That will be different in 2017. Wishing you all the best to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017!

Fish Tacos

A few weeks ago, I finally tried Coconuts– a Hawaiian fish taco place in Scottsdale.  Amazing for sure, so I had to try at home.  Not quite the same, but good enough to post here for you to try!

Fish tacos, coconut milk coleslaw and mango salsa!

Fish tacos, coconut milk coleslaw and mango salsa!

Start with 2 corn tortillas.  I tried a small bit of cheese, and grilled up like a quesdilla.  Not too long- you want flexible tortillas for the tacos!

Next comes the fish.  I used Mahi Mahi.  Very simple- salt and white pepper with garlic powder.  Then pan fried with avocado oil over medium high heat.

Next is coconut milk coleslaw.  I used this recipe.

Finally, mango avocado salsa, put right on top!

2 diced mango without the skin, chives diced up, 1 avocado and cilantro .  Small bit of salt, mix, and then top on the tacos.  Enjoy!  They are delicious!

 

Burrito Bowls – low carb!

I love me some Chipolte, but we don’t have one in the town I live in.  So, we make burrito bowls at home.  The big difference is  cilantro lime cauliflower, rather than rice.  Easy to make substitutions where you want on this!

Healthy burrito bowls! Recipe coming soon!

Start with Cilantro Lime Rice!

“Rice” the cauliflower, by blending in the Ninja or food processor.  Microwave for 8 minutes, with no additional water.  Then mix in chopped cilantro, fresh squeezed lime and kosher salt to taste.

I love vegetarian refried beans (mix in a little coconut milk to make the creamy!

Then build your salad.  Start with the beans on the bottom, and layer on the cauliflower.  Next comes field greens (or any lettuce of your choice.  Spinach or romaine work well too).

Then top with your favorite toppings.  We like black beans, corn, salsa, grilled chicken, mozzarella cheese, jicama, tomatoes and avocado.  Top with salsa dressing, your favorite vinaigrette or just hot sauce!

Cauliflower Grilled Cheese

I tried this about a month ago, and its amazing.  Used the ninja blender to chopped up the cauliflower first.  Then, without water, microwaved the cauliflower for 8 minutes.  Then squeezed all the liquid out, prior to forming and baking.  So good!!!

Cauliflower grilled cheese. Recipe coming soon!

 

Check out the full recipe here!

Fitness Bands

So, I’m on my 3rd fitness band.  I first tried a JawBone UP. You had to plug it in each time to use (no bluetooth).  It tracked steps and sleep, which was cool.  The app on the phone was easy to use, but the band was a bit bulky.  My first one lasted about 2 months, before it would no longer sync.  Their customer service was fantastic, and they sent me out a new one right away.  It lasted about a month, before I just gave up on them.  Still under warranty, but if you can only use it half the time, what is the point?

Second one I used was called MisFit.  The size of about a quarter, there were multiple ways you could use it.  First, as a wrist band like most other bands.  It also had a clip to wear almost anywhere, and a necklace if you wanted.  Powered by a watch battery, you didn’t have to charge it, which was a plus.  It also sync’d via bluetooth, which was great.  It did work on android for management, but at the time, the function was limited compared to use with a iphone.

Currently, I have the Nike Fuel Band. My favorite so far, even if I don’t understand what a Fuel point is.  It will display the points, steps, time, hours won and calories burnt on the band.  It syncs via bluetooth and stays charged for over a week (then you charge via USB).  Until recently, the app only worked on iphone or ipad.  I just downloaded the app on my Samsung, so I’ll update my thoughts there later. My fuel band is also the waterfi one, so you can swim and shower with it.  I like that for sure being a swimmer, however, it doesn’t have an activity tracker for swimming, so I don’t think I get all my points.  None the less, it still pushes me.  I always ensure I hit my 2750 points each day.  If its bedtime and I’m under, time for a quick walk, some trips up the stairs, or rocking the baby to sleep while pacing the house.  The add does award badges or rewards for hitting certain things, like double points.  For me at least, it keeps me motivated to hit that next milestone, or ensure I hit my points every day.

The fuel band runs about $150, or add another $100 for a waterproof one.

The New Me!

It’s been 12 months and the result is a brand new me! I want to share how I’ve transformed myself this year. But first, the back story. We had been trying for some time to get pregnant with our second child, for about 14 months. In developing what the fertility plan would be, we each took a look at our own health. For me, 314 lbs. was way over where I should be, even if I “wore it well”. I knew I needed a change. Getting winded by climbing a flight of stairs isn’t good at any age, and it’s embarrassing at 30 years old. You would think this would be motivation enough for a change to my health, however, it only sparked a few diet changes with little result. On the pregnancy front we started Clomid, and luckily we got pregnant on the first round in the summer of 2013. Then in the fall, we found out what we were having, a 2nd boy! I took a serious look at our lifestyle and decided that during the time I spend at home I didn’t want to sit on the couch and eat junk food all day. What a poor example for my children. I want my boys to be active, enjoy the outdoors, and I want to keep up with them. Finally, I found my motivation: An active lifestyle with my boys!

Next, the plan. How was I going to reach the goals I had? I have seen so many people reach some success (myself included), to only crash off of it and gain even more weight. I knew I would have to find a workout program that kept my interest and wasn’t time consuming. I have no desire to run or use an elliptical machine for an hour every day. I have a full time career and a family that was growing. Where would I find the time? I also knew that I would have to love what I was eating. Although that is what originally got me in trouble, I would have to find a way to balance my love to cook and eat with my desire to be healthy for my family.

Luckily, I had found out about P90X3. Intense workouts, but only 30 minutes per day. Anyone can do that, commit 30 minutes per day! So, I purchased myself the gift of health. I got the full package with workouts, resistance bands, supplements and jump mat. Best investment I have ever made. I pre ordered it, and started my transformation the Saturday after Christmas in 2013 when I returned back home from the holidays. Don’t get me wrong, it was work. In my first round, I modified every move, and was lucky to get through half of each set before gasping for air. At the same time I started to focus on organic food, cutting out the processed junk and soda, and started to learn a lot more about where our “food” comes from. I’ll save my thoughts there for another post.

Best. Decision. Ever. It’s been a ton of work, but the payoff is huge. I’ve lost 90 pounds, 39 inches, and feel better than I ever have. I’m back up 6 pounds, with a goal of gaining 9 more the right way. My focus currently is muscle gain, which has been more difficult than losing the weight! I am also training for the Tough Mudder this spring!

I decided to start this new website to share how I got here. I hope that if you want a change in your life, my story will inspire you to do the same. I do resell the beach body products I use through this site. They work, I’m walking proof of it. But, that isn’t what it’s all about. You have to find what works for you. Beach body has a number of different programs to match your goals. If you have a plan outside of something they offer, that is awesome too! Please just think about sustaining for the long term!

I never knew the impact I could have by making a change; for myself, my family and my friends. Instead of being couch potatoes, we have a healthy family. Will joined us early, but healthy on April 1st of this year. Jack started tee ball and football this year, and Chrissy has lost an incredible amount of weight as well. I could not be more proud!

When people ask about my changes, here is what I tell them. Find your motivation, pick a workout plan that you enjoy, and find a diet plan you won’t crash from. “Eat less, move more” as Chrissy puts it. On this site and through my social media profiles, you will find diet and nutrition information along with recipes, workout options that work for different people and product reviews. I also post some videos and stories that inspired me along the way. I hope you find the information helpful.

I’m not a certified nutritionist or a personal trainer or a doctor. So, consult those experts if you wish. Good luck in your own journey and please share what works for you!

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Stuffed Peppers, easy dinner!

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There might not be an easier dinner to make. Part of my weekly food prep includes a large batch of quinoa, some turkey sausages and organic free range chicken breasts. From there, it’s less than 10 minutes prep and about an hour in the oven, depending on how you like the peppers.

The mix is very simple. About 2 cups cooked quinoa, 3 turkey sausages chopped, a can of organic black beans and a can of stewed tomatoes. Mix together, then stuff into cored and cleaned organic bell peppers. Add your favorite cheese on top, then bake! They are great right out of the oven or leftover for lunch the next day!

 

Oatmeal and Quinoa

Oatmeal and Quinoa

Here is my favorite new breakfast! A mix of steel cut oatmeal and quinoa, its the perfect protein to start the day. Add in coconut milk, vanilla, organic maple syrup, with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg, there is nothing better as the weather starts to cool down.

To make the mornings easy, I precook both the oatmeal and quinoa. I cook separately for the week and store in the refrigerator in tuber ware. There are then countless ways to heat in the morning, add your favorite toppings and have a healthy breakfast on the go!

Meatless Green Enchildas

Meatless Green Enchildas

These are one of our new favorites. With Fresh Salsa, beans and a beverage! Full recipe is here!

Golden Beet, Toasted Almonds and Goat Cheese Salad

Eating clean is the key, and why not enjoy what you eat! Check out the basic recipe- which is easy to improvise depending on what you have available!

Bowl of fresh greens (spring mix, spinach, kale mix)
1 Cup candied nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans) recipe is below
3 Small roasted beets (Golden or Red) preparation guide is below
1/2 Cup Cheese (goat, blue, asiago)
Dressing as needed (your favorite low fat vinaigrette)
If desired, protein (Quinoa is our favorite, free range chicken or tofu are also options)



Candied nuts

1 cup of your favorite nuts
¼ cup sugar
1 Tbsp butter

Instructions

1.Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat, add nuts, sugar and butter.
2.Heat over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently so your mixture doesn’t burn (especially towards the end). When the sugar mixture starts melting, stir constantly until all sugar is melted and nuts are coated.
3.Transfer immediately onto a sheet of parchment paper and separate the nuts right away. Don’t allow them to cool together- it will be a mess!
4.Once the coating sets (5-7 minutes), you can transfer them to a bowl and enjoy!

Roasted Beets

1 bunch of organic beets (your choice on color)
Olive Oil to coat
Salt and White Pepper to taste

Instructions

1.Remove beet greens and wash
2.Peel with vegetable peeler
3.Toss in enough olive oil to coat, then dust with salt and pepper to taste
4.Please on foil lined pan, or wrap individually in foil
5.Roast in 375 degree oven for an hour, just soft with fork
6.Cool in refrigerator. Saves for up to week.