Monday, December 7, 2015

FREE Fitness Challenge

I love the Christmas season but it often comes with busy schedules, stressful days, sweets everywhere you look, and excuses to not exercise. 

I am going to challenge you this season to take 1 week and schedule a 10 minute workout.  What is the workout you might, ask...BURPEES - everyone's favorite ;-) 

What is a burpee challenge?
There will be a schedule to follow with the number of burpees to complete each day.

Type of burpee?
There are many variations of the traditional burpee.  We will start with the traditional burpee and add variations for those who want an extra challenge!

Who can do the challenge?
ANYONE!  There will be modifications for each burpee type.

When do we start?
Monday, December 14 - Sunday, December 20

How can I join?
This challenge is open to my current clients or coaches on my team.  You can join my team or sign up for a FREE account here.

Will anything else be offered in this challenge?
Yes!  I will share my weekly meal plans and clean eating recipes, healthy holiday tips, and other fun exercises.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

My Weekly Meal Plan - 21 Day Fix approved

I'm a creature of habit and tend to eat the same thing all week.  I know what I like!

I used to struggle with my nutrition.  I would eat healthy foods but the portion sizes were incorrect and I was overeating on certain food groups.   I actually purchased the 21 Day Fix and let the containers sit in my pantry for months.  When I finally decided to sit down and figure it all out and take the time to implement the portion control system, everything started to click.

I found that my body responds best when I have 2 servings of fruit each day, not 3 or 4.  I also notice a difference when I eat fruit at night (after 6pm) instead of during the day.

You may be thinking, fruit is healthy so who cares how much you eat. Yes, you're right, however, fruit also contains natural sugar, and sugar is sugar.  Our bodies only need a certain amount of sugar each day.  You can read more about fruit and sugar here.

Once I started focusing more on my portion sizes and not overeating on the fruit and healthy fats (and the delicious, dreaded carbs), my body started to respond better.  I also make sure that I not eating processed, chemical filled foods.  I'm not perfect and I eat things that I probably shouldn't, but I have a plan in place to get back on track.

People often ask what I eat and how often, so I thought I'd share my weekly meal plan.  I try to stick to the 1,200 - 1,499 calorie chart from the 21 Day Fix.  For those who aren't familiar with the container system - each container is a different color and represents a different food group.  Based on the calorie chart (located in the 21 Day Fix guide) you eat that number of containers each day.

I can have:
3 greens - vegetables
2 purples - fruit
4 reds - protein
2 yellows - carbs
1 blue - healthy fat
1 orange - nuts, seeds, dressing
2 teaspoons - oils & nutbutters

I am someone who needs to have a plan.  Things needs to be laid out for the week.  I don't do super well with change.  This is why I love following the workout schedule from the Beachbody programs. I wake up at 4:50am to workout and if I don't have my workout already scheduled, I talk myself into sleeping in.

My nutrition is the same.  I plan my meals out for the week and stick to it the best I can.  My current meal plan for the week is below.  You'll notice that on some days, I might go over a container but that's because I have double workouts scheduled and I know my body needs a few more calories.  You have to play around with your nutrition and do what works best for your body.  The 21 Day Fix is a great place to start!

I hope it helps you plan your snacks and meals.  Please feel free to reach out to me if you need help planning meals or are looking for more recipes!

***My breakfast Shakeology might have a fruit or spinach but I never know until that morning.  If I add fruit, I'm very careful to only eat 1 more serving that day.  

Friday, November 13, 2015

Healthy Holiday Goals

Question for you...What are your fitness and/or nutrition goals for the rest of 2015?

Mine:  To sculpt my body (in particular my legs and abs) and continue to eat clean.

We tend to push these goals aside during the holidays an start over in the new year.  What if we didn't do that?  What if we made ourselves a priority RIGHT NOW and started the new year with a healthier more confident body?  Imagine that!

I know that in order for me to be successful, I need a plan.  I need the proper tools that will help me achieve my goals.  I am grateful that the 21 Day Fix Extreme comes with a set workout plan so I don't have to think of what exercises to do each day.  Shakeology ensures that I have 1 healthy meal every day.

So, what are your goals?  Tell me your goals.  Share them, write them down and post them on the bathroom mirror.   Together, we will work on your goals and make this the best holiday season ever :-)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

FREE Crock Pot Challenge Group

I know the holidays can be stressful and busy with leaving us very little time to cook, healthy, nutritious meals for our family.  I have created a 5 day meal plan with some of my favorite recipes! They are delicious, healthy, easy meals that you can throw together that will allow you to have time to actually spend with your loved ones while not adding on extra weight.

If you'd like to join, just fill out the form below and I will contact you!  It's just that easy :-)

Fill out my online form.
Use Wufoo templates to make your own HTML forms.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Post 3 Day Refresh....feeling like me again!

I finished the 3 Day Refresh last week for the 5th time.  I do the Refresh every 3 - 4 months and I'm so grateful for this clean, safe, gentle detox because I  needed it physically and mentally.  I was in a funk since my marathon on October 11th.  I was still eating like I was training but I wasn't putting in the miles.  I was having a hard time encouraging others because I felt like a blob of crap.

The mind is a powerful tool and unfortunately, it was powering me to feel fat, unworthy, and not myself.  

When I woke up on Day 4 and took my photos, measurements, and weight, I was a bit disappointed.  I only lost 2 pounds and 1 inch around my waist.  I was hoping for a few more of both.  Great, 3 days of not working out, only consuming 900 - 1,000 calories and I only lost 2 pounds.  But then something clicked.  Instead of focusing on those numbers, I decided to focus on what/how I felt. 

  1. I wasn't feeling bloated and I wasn't feeling upset because my clothes didn't fit right.  I felt good all day in my SKIN and never had to unbutton my pants ;-)
  2. I reached for my water bottle before I reached for food.  Instead of munching on something small (which would be fine if I wasn't doing this ALL day), I drank water and kept my body full and hydrated.
  3. I was satisfied with the correct portions at each meal.  I had trouble finishing my breakfast and lunch today.  I have allowed myself to overeat the last few weeks and the 3 days of the Refresh was just what I needed to get my body back on track.  I know I can operate on smaller portions and healthy foods.
  4. I don’t have any desire to drink wine or eat chocolate (I’m sure this will change in the near future!).  My body doesn’t want anything toxic or processed – it’s a great feeling to only crave whole, clean, healthy foods!

I woke up on Day 5 and felt even better.  I weighed myself and I was another 3 pounds and another ½ inch!  3 days of the Refresh and my body is reacting to the correct portions.  I am so proud that I stuck with the 3 Day Refresh and continued to eat clean and reach for water before I reach for a snack. 

The best part is that I am able to push those negatives comments out of my mind.  I'm not where I want to be, but I'm not shoving food in my face every second of the day.  I'm feeling confident, healthy, and only thinking nice things about myself.


What can you do in just 3 simple days?  You won't know unless you try!  

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

2015 Chicago Marathon journey!

October 11, 2015 at 8:05am, I started the journey to my 5th marathon and encountered a few bumps along the way, but overall ran a solid race.

My Garmin watch thought it would like to play games with me.  It was beeping a mile WAAAAYYYY before the actual mile markers which caused my pace to be inaccurate.  I thought we were running too fast, so we slowed down a bit because I wanted my first 10 miles to be an easy pace - 9:30 or a bit faster.  I think the first 5k was a 9:41 pace, not exactly what I wanted.

My watch said I ran 27.48 miles....clearly not doing it's job on Sunday!  It also had a 8:56 per mile pace....I wish.

Not knowing the exact pace was a bit unsettling, but I relied on how I felt and wanted to make sure I had some juice at the end.  Instead of focusing on my time and splits, I decided to pray for different things and people at each mile.  Before I knew it, I was at mile 17 and felt really good, so I tried to pick it up a bit.  My watch was still all over the place so I wasn't exactly sure how much faster I should go.  I did have a tattoo on my arm that gave me splits for a 4 hour marathon and I knew I was too slow for that, so I just tried to focus on how I felt and keep the 2nd half faster than the first.
Looking back, I probably should have pushed the pace a bit more, but I was constantly trying to get around people and got stuck a few times, plus it was starting to get warm, and I grabbed water at almost every stop.  I never stopped to walk but pulling over to grab water and Gatorade probably slowed me down a few seconds.  I'm sure running back to grab my hat didn't help any!  800 meters left (that's 2 laps of a track) and I decide to lift my hat up a bit to get some cooler air on my head. goes the hat and if it wasn't the coveted Top 10% Gate hat, I would have left it on the streets of Chicago!


SplitTime Of DayTimeDiffmin/milemiles/h

I did manage to run a Personal Record of 4:05:16 and I am proud of that time.  I am a little disappointed that I didn't reach my goal of 4 hours or faster, BUT, I completed another marathon and actually enjoyed this one.  

The crowd support was amazing.  This is by far, the best organized and supported marathon I have run.  There was 1 spot that was pretty quiet and not well spectated, but that didn't last long.  The water and Gatorade stops were well manned and was a welcome sight every 1.5 miles!   The expo was pretty darn awesome and plenty of photo ops :-)

Here are a few things that I believe helped me reach my new PR.
1.  Prayer - I do this often when I run, but there was something about choosing a different topic, person, event to pray for each mile that helped keep me stay focused and relaxed.  I highly recommend you giving it a try on your next athletic event :-)

2.  Strength Training - I've said it before and I'll say it must strength train if you are a runner.  I incorporate PiYo and weight training in my daily running schedule.  My friends were talking about how sore their backs/necks were while they ran.  I had 2 brief moments of a tight upper back, but I did a quick stretch while running and was fine.  My core was strong and helped with my form.  Yes, I had aches and pains, but overall, my body is strong and flexible that I was able to run through that pain.  This is the 2nd marathon I have completed since beginning my healthy lifestyle journey with Beachbody and I am proof that the programs work!

3.  Nutrition - I drink Shakeology 6 - 7 days a week.  It strengthens my immune system so I'm not losing training time due to illness, it fuels my body properly so I can workout hard and recover quickly, and it tastes like heaven :-)

4.  Believe in yourself - I know it sounds silly, but it works.  If you don't believe that you can do hard things, who will?  I have crazy pre-race anxiety that begins a week or 2 out and only intensifies as the race nears.  Fortunately for me, I have amazing running friends who can calm me down, but the only one who can truly get me centered is me.  Ok, not true, I had to pray a few times to the Big Guy for my nerves to finally calm down, but I tell myself during the race - You can do this - You are strong enough - You are amazing.  No more self-doubt.  

I know there are so many other people out there who are faster, stronger, and healthier, but this normal Jane over here is doing something right because at the age of 37, I ran the fastest marathon yet.

Yes, yet.....I'm sure there will be another one soon!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Spaghetti Squash Primavera

I tried to make spaghetti from spaghetti squash before and it turned out quite horribly.  I finally bought another squash this week and decided to bite the bullet and make it again.  OH.MY.GOSH!  Delicious!

I used this Spaghetti Squash Primavera recipe as a guide.  

I used the fresh vegetables I had in my fridge.
sweet peppers - red, yellow, and orange

I cut everything and sauteed it in a pan with a dash of olive oil (I don't always measure).  Once the veggies were cooked, I added 1 1/2 cups of Marina sauce (tonight I had Barilla Marina).  

I took the spaghetti squash out of the oven at 50 minutes and it was perfect.  I used a fork to scrape the strands and put them in with my veggies and marina.  I am not a chef, not even close, but this was something you could serve in a restaurant :-)  

Oh, so good.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line your baking sheet.
Cut your squash in half and scrape out the seeds and guts!
Sprinkle salt and pepper and then place face down on the sheet.
Bake for 50 - 60 minutes, depending on size.

Cut your veggies and saute in a pan on medium high heat with a teaspoon or so of olive oil.
Once the veggies are cooked, add the marina sauce.  

Combine the spaghetti and veggie mixture together and devour!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Heaven

I LOVE pumpkin.  Pretty much anything that is made from pumpkin or flavored, I'm all over that.  Before I became dairy free, I would drink a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks every day.  Every day.  Every day I would put that processed garbage in my body and boy was it tasty.

I have decided to try to replicate a pumpkin drink using Chocolate Shakeology.  I think I nailed it today!

It was so good, I want to make another one, but I'm incredibly full so I guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow :-)   Best part,  I just fed my body whole, clean foods, vitamins, and lots of amazing superfoods that fuel my body in a healthy, safe way.  No chemicals, no fake sugar, just whole, clean foods.

Let's compare just a few nutritional facts.

I looked up an Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte from  I used a Grande size, nonfat milk, and no whipped cream.

Calories: 220
Sugar: 43 grams - WHAT?!?!
Protein: 10 grams

My recipe:

Calories: 200
Sugar: 20 grams
Protein: 17 grams

You may be thinking, well, it's a treat and the Starbucks version doesn't have that many more calories.  Remember, that this is for an iced coffee with non-fat milk, no whipped cream.  The numbers drastically change when you alter the ingredients.  The hot Pumpkin Spice Latte is worse.

You are receiving so many amazing, nutritional benefits from drinking Shakeology.  Your body will consume the protein better in Shakeology due to the ingredients.  Plus, you just had an entire meal for about the same price you would have paid for 1 drink at Starbucks. 

For more information on Shakeology, click here.

Here is my amazing recipe :-) 

8 oz. brewed unsweetened black chai tea, cooled
4 oz. cold water
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (I used canned)
1 scoop of Chocolate Vegan Shakeology
1 tsp. of raw honey
1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
6 ice cubes

Blend and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sayonara Summer, Hello Autumn!

I just realized that there are 10 weeks until Thanksgiving, which means 14 until Christmas!  Where did the summer go?

I plan to head into the Fall season feeling strong, healthy, and ready to tackle those holiday parties ;-)

How am I going to do that?  Easy - I'm going to focus on my nutrition and fitness.  I currently use the 21 Day Fix portion control system and plan to do the 21 Day Fix Extreme workout program after the Chicago Marathon.  (October 19th start date!)

I recently had a conversation with a fellow runner about nutrition.  We both realized that we perform better when we eat well balanced meals.  NOT following a certain diet that eliminates specific foods.  We don't eliminate certain foods from our healthy lifestyle meal plan, but instead, watch the portions.

That's what's so amazing about the 21 Day Fix meal system.  You can have chocolate, pizza, fries, etc... as long as you watch the portion size.  I used to eat about 3 - 4 servings of fruit every day.  I LOVE fruit.  The 21 DF showed me that my body should be eating 2 servings a day.  I feel better when I follow that guide.

Autumn Calabrese, the creator of the 21 Day Fix, has recently launched a cookbook, Fixate.  Each recipe is aligned with the portion control container system.  It seriously doesn't get any easier than that!!  She includes gluten free, vegan, and paleo recipes.

So, what exactly does this program entail?  Watch this short video :-)

Are you ready to get yourself in the best shape of your life?
How awesome would it be to go in to the holiday season feeling strong and healthy?!

Join my Sayonara Summer, Hello Autumn accountability group!  We start September 28th.

What are you waiting for?
Take the challenge and change your life! 
Click the photo below to start YOUR journey.

Friday, September 4, 2015

How PiYo and Shakeology improved my running!

I started running in 2004.  I started running 10 minutes on a treadmill and thought I was hot stuff.  I continued incorporating running into my gym routine and was eventually up to 3 miles.  Somewhere around this point I thought it would be a good idea to train for a marathon......not real sure why.

I signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. and joined a training group through a local running store.  I incorporated track workouts and continued going to the gym and cut out sugar from my diet.  I ran my first marathon in 4:26:50.  Not the exact time I wanted, but was happy to be under 4:30.  I was 27 years old.

10 years later I am training for my 5th marathon which is ironic because after Marine Corps, I swore I would never, never, never run another marathon again.   I've completed 4 marathonsand last year I ran a Personal Record with a 4:09:38 at the Philadelphia Marathon. I was 36 years old.

Not only did I have an awesome marathon PR, but I have had multiple Personal Records in most of my races, from a 5k to half marathons.

What has changed?  First off, my nutrition.

I use to think I ate "healthy" by choosing things that said "low fat" or "fat free".  I didn't realize that most of those foods had other ingredients that weren't considered healthy.  I was also eating too much - portion sizes were just ridiculous!

Over the last 2 years, I have focused more on portion control (thank you 21 Day Fix) and moderation.  I don't limit myself to only fruits and vegetables, I eat dark chocolate, I drink red wine, but it's all in moderation and not every day.

I drink Shakeology every day and wish I would have been introduced to this amazing food years ago.  Not only has it helped to fuel my body appropriately for every workout, but it also has boosted my immune system.  I do not need to take days or even weeks off due to a sinus infection or being so congested that I can barely breathe while sleeping let alone with running.

It truly is a 1 stop shop for vitamins, nutrients, amazing superfoods to fuel your body effectively.  It is worth every penny :-) 

I also focused more on cross training and working on my flexibility.  I have issues with my hips (what runner doesn't!) and I have found great success with PiYo!  PiYo is a high-intensity, low-impact workout that uses the very best Pilates and yoga-inspired moves.

PiYo speeds everything up—including your results—by introducing you to dynamic, flowing sequences that can burn serious calories at the same time as they lengthen and tone your muscles and increase your flexibility.  Hello, runners....this is for us!

As a runner training for a long distance race, you do not need to do every workout in the PiYo program.  Chalene Johnson, the creator of PiYo, has given suggestions on which workouts to focus during your training.

Here's 4 weeks of the Strength PiYo calendar.

Here's what my 4 weeks will look like.


Sept. 10

Prep Week

Lower Body

5 miles
Upper Body

8 miles
Strength Intervals


5 miles

Long Run
20 miles

Lower Body


5 miles

Lower Body

6 miles



5 miles


Long Run
12 miles


October 1

4 miles

Or Hardcore on the Floor

5 miles
Upper Body


4 miles


Long Run
8 miles

Lower and Upper Body

Full Body Blast

3 miles


4 miles


Easy 3 miles

Strength Intervals

Lower Body

3 miles EASY


Lower Body


Upper Body

Lower Body

Easy 3 miles

Easy 5 – 6 miles

Strength Intervals

I'm so grateful to have these amazing tools, PiYo and Shakeology,  at my fingertips.  I am 37 and running faster, smarter, and healthier than every before!

I'm offering an accountability group for those who want to take their running to the next level.  We start September 10th.  If you are ready to take this challenge with me or would like more information, please fill out the form below and we will get your started.

Not sure you want to commit just yet?  That's ok!  
You can access PiYo Sweat for FREE for 30 days.