Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ready to MAX out?

Shaun T is back again! As one of the most motivating trainers there are, Shaun T delivers again. Remember the at home workout program Insanity? Remember how LONG and BRUTAL those workouts were? Remember when T-25 came out and was a GODSEND!? Well in our love/hate relationship we are back on the LOVE side with him and his new 30 minute, Insanity Max 30 program. I used to love cardio workouts like Turbo Fire and Focus T-25, but I get bored FAST with programs, so it's nice to have a new one to try. We got a sneak peek at our leadership retreat and let me tell you, this one is going to be a challenge BUT an amazing one! The key is to compete with yourself and to push yourself further each day and achieve some super sick results doing so!

What is INSANITY MAX: 30?
INSANITY MAX:30 is a 60-day in home workout program that pushes people to their personal max in just 30 minutes a day without the use of equipment. It makes people push as hard as they can for as long as they can until they MAX OUT ((the loin when they just can't do any more or they begin to lose good form)). They'll note their MAX OUT time and finish the rest of the workout. Every day they'll push to increase their previous MAX OUT time so they constantly progress, improving their fitness and get the full body results that are VISIBLE! The best part, unlike Insanity, MAX:30 has a low-impact modifier in each workout that is always shown so anyone at any level can modify ever move and MAX OUT without the impact to their joints.
Who is INSANITY MAX: 30 For?
This is for anyone who is looking to lose weight, tone up and get in awesome shape. It's perfect for any cardio lover, short on time and wants to feel better all around. The low impact modifier makes this program approachable to people of all skill and fitness levels. It's also amazing for anyone who wants a flexible eating plan, or anyone who does not have fitness equipment available to them!
Common Questions:
How long are the workouts?          30 Minutes
What is the schedule?                    1 workout a day, 5 days a week
How much space do I need?          Enough space to step side to side, front to back 
What shoes should I wear?            Cross trainers, tennis, barefoot or socks on carpet (NOT running shoes)
What's Included?
Base Kit:
12 Workouts on 10 Discs, workout calendar, bonus workout, simple nutrition guide, the MAX out guide, and ME as your Free Coach! Click here to order your Base Kit NOW!

Deluxe Kit:
Everything in the Base Kit PLUS three deluxe workouts, the 21 Day Fix portion control container system (a key component to success with nutrition), a Shakeology shaker cup, comfort mat, body fat caliper, ab workout and ab maximizer. Click here to order your Deluxe Kit NOW!

Challenge Pack:
Everything in the Base Kit PLUS a 30 day supply of Shakeology, a 30 day club membership, free shipping, and free instant access to My Online Accountability Support Group! Click here to order your challenge pack NOW!






Friday, October 17, 2014

I have been doing some research lately about the importance of the quality of food, and let me tell you it has been a WAKE-UP CALL! I know it can be hard to eat organic and buy the BEST quality foods possible but there are definitely some foods that you should really invest in the quality! If you can't afford to buy organic for all of your items, at least buy organic versions of these 14 foods! These fruits and vegetables rank the highest in pesticide load- hence the name the Dirty Dozen (+)

Grapes
Apples
Peaches
Celery
Hot Peppers
Kale/Collards
Strawberries
Summer Squash
Nectarines
Cucumbers
Potatoes (Sweet potatoes are considered clean)
Spinach
Cherry Tomatoes
Bell Peppers

Also, don't forget to wash your produce! Here's a simple guide to washing your fruits and veggies and making them last longer: http://bit.ly/1pMmEqA

Monday, September 15, 2014


There are so many foods that are part of a new health power-food craze like Maca, Chia Seeds and Teff, that it can be overwhelming and a little intimidating to venture out with this uncommon foods. If you're a little hesitant to trying these strange named foods but want a diet that's power packed with nutrients you can still get it with the more common foods we all know and love. It's even been proven that some of our regular go-to's are healthier and cheaper than the trendier options!

TOMATOES: Low calorie and are one of the highest sources of cancer-fighting antioxidants-lycopene. Slice them up and sprinkle them with some pepper, salt, and EVOO.

RED BELL PEPPERS: One cup has triple the amount of our daily need of vitamin C, which helps with skin and powers up your immune system. They are loaded with antioxidants and ant-inflamtory benefits. Add them to any dish, grill them up, or slice them and dip in your favorite hummus or guacamole.

BROCCOLI: We all know that Broccoli has a PLETHORA of health benefits.  It contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and even aids in better heart health and bone strength. Did you know that one cup of broccoli contains as much protein, but half the calories as a cup of rice or corn? This veggie also aids in digestion and detoxification and helps alkalinize your body. (Click here to learn more about eating for balance and an alkaline vs acidic body) 

PUMPKIN: Packed with fiber, this fall veggie has 3 grams of the beneficial nutrient per 1 cup serving and clocks in at only 50 calories. This keeps you fuller and satisfied longer. Their seeds can even help your heart health and boost our mood too! But here's the real kicker, pumpkin contain more potassium than a banana making them a great post workout snack with way less sugar.

BEETS: This purple veggie helps lower blood pressure Beets are full of phytonutrients that help fight cancer, aid in inflammation and detox your body. They also help increase your stamina, so throw one in your pre-workout shake next time for an extra boost during your WOD. Don't forget to eat the greens too! Beet greens can help fight Alzheimer's and osteoporosis and boost your immune system by producing antibodies and white blood cells. Sautee the greens with spinach and Swiss chard or add them raw to your Shakeology or juice.


The bottom line is you don't have to break the bank buying into the latest and greatest power-food fads. Head to the produce section and grab what's in season and organic if possible. Don't forget to wash your produce first! Don't get me wrong, these new super-foods have incredible benefits for your body, but if you're intimidated or overwhelmed- stick to the basics and remember- the more wholesome the food, the healthier your body will be. Take care of your temple ✌️

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pavement Progress Proof


Although it's what got me into fitness in the first place, I haven't thought about going for a run in a LONG time.  I had been overweight for almost all of my life, except for the years I struggled with anorexia. When I made it to the other side of recovery, I had gained a lot more weight than just the recommended amount. I went from underweight to overweight, (you can imagine what that does to a girls self esteem). It was then that I decided to register for my first race.

My brother and sister-in-law had been living in Texas for three years at the time and invited me to run a half marathon in Austin. It was a great idea to get me out of my recovery funk and get me involved more in running. I began training and fell in love. The best part about races, to me at least, is that it's not about competing with other runners, it's competing with yourself. For the first time I wasn't comparing myself to others, I was comparing myself to my previous time. (Hence the term: Personal Best). Since that first 13.1 mile race, I have ran in eight other half marathons. For years I considered myself a runner. I loved everything about it, especially being outdoors. BUT anyone who runs long distance knows how time consuming training can be. 

Between being a student, working full time, becoming a coach, and still having time for personal relationships, carving out more than an hour for fitness wasn't doable. That's when I really dove in to my at home workouts. They were short, effective and ANYTHING but boring. I've used programs like P90X3, Focus T25, The 21 Day Fix and now PiYo. All of them are effective but I've still had the itch to run.  Now that we're heading into the fall (my favorite running season in Michigan), I know that I'll want to hit the pavement more.

Today's weather was perfect to head out. So I laced up my trusty Brooks Running Shoes, grabbed my favorite Nalgene water bottle (in Empowered Blue of course), my headphones and headed up to my favorite running spot across from my old High School. (Insert thoughts of nostalgia) This was my first time running in 16 months. Yes, over a year. I clicked on Map My Run, pressed play on my Spotify playlist and started my LONG overdue run. I started off strong. To be honest, my main goal was to get through a mile without stopping. Before I knew it I was 2.5 miles in and felt great. I didn't want to strain my muscles, after all it's been over a year since I ran, so I decided to stop at a 5k (3.1 miles). I pressed stop on the app and checked how I did. Turns out my at home programs have been paying off. I managed to pull off an 8:42 pace, not too shabby! That's faster than I have ever ran in my years of me considering myself a runner. 

It's crazy to think that working out at home, no gym- no running, has exponentially helped me in all aspects of my fitness and endurance. It felt great to get back out on the pavement and just run. I can already tell that my quads are sore and that my tendonitis in my ankle is acting up, so I'm definitely going to be doing PiYo tonight to keep from being sore tomorrow. As I've come to learn, flexibility and strength training are any athletes best friend.  With that being said I think it's time to find balance with my life and favorite fitness activities, Running in the morning with some PiYo in the evenings. Needless to say, I am one happy athlete, and even better, I'm one happy runner. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Tips to surviving your first week of T25


There are a couple reasons why I chose T25 as my latest cardio routine. Since I consider myself cardio challenged I knew that 25 minutes would be the perfect amount of time and leave me with no excuses to not getting it done. Plus it's pretty fun and Shaun T is amazing.

Starting a new workout program is first of all, awesome (congratulations!), but can be a little daunting at first. Especially if you're not used to working out regularly your first week at it can be overwhelming, BUT don't get discouraged! Here or some tips that I have found to help me stay focused during my T25 workouts and get the most out of them....without wanting to die in the first week of the program.

USE PROPER FOOTWEAR! Wearing the proper shoes or knowing how to go barefoot when necessary is so important in this kind of program. Being conscious of the right kind of footwear will keep you injury free and ensure you're not putting any added strain on your joints and muscles. The biggest no-no with this program (or any of the other programs like InsanityP90x3, and Turbo Fire) is wearing running shoes. I repeat, do NOT wear running shoes for these workouts. You want shoes that have a sole that promote lateral movement, where running shoes only promote a forward motion. There is a lot of agility work (quick movements in all directions) in T25 and other programs, and if you are wearing running shoes you could get an injury! If I'm working out on a smooth surface typically go completely barefoot. I have really flat feet so shoes can hurt my arches during faster paced agility workouts.  If I do wear shoes, I wear Reebok Crossfit 2.0 Shoes. They are just what have worked the best for me and my flat feet.

PRO TIP: If you're working out on carpet, try doing your workouts in socks. I've found that working out in shoes on carpet can be strenuous on my feet and calves. I ditch my shoes when pressing play on agility type workouts because the traction from the carpet is counterproductive to the movements I'm doing. Total Body Circuit and Ab Intervals are the only workouts I go barefoot on carpet or wear my crossfit shoes to give me some traction and stability while working in plank. These Under Armour 

GRAB A HEADBAND! The workouts are only 25 minutes so you don't want to spend half of your workout wiping sweat from your face. T25 is not the kind of workout that allows you to be pretty while you do it. Throw your hair back and grab a headband. This 2-pack Asics Hera headband I got on Amazon . It's hard for me to find headbands that don't slip off of my head while I work out because my hair is so fine, but have found that these headbands stay in great and keep the sweat from dripping down my face!

PRO TIP: If you're anything like me, sweat is inevitable. Have a towel handy because you WILL use it! If you're not a super sweat person, chances are you're still going to sweat during this program so at least have a headband to keep your hair out of your face, and sweat from trickling down in your eyes.

AVOID THE "PAUSE" BUTTON: Confession: I'm not a fan of cardio, but I know that it needs to be a part of my fitness routine. Although the workouts are only 25 minutes, the pause button can be VERY tempting. Know your limits, but do your best to power through. Modify when you need it, stop and catch your breath when you need to, but don't push pause. Even if that means you only have done 10 minutes of working out during the 25 minutes. The object is to build up to the full workout. If you're constantly stopping, not only do you not build your endurance, but you're allowing your muscles to cool down leaving the chance of an injury likely to happen. Rather than pressing pause, rest if you need to and jump back in when you're ready.

PRO TIP: Aint no shame in modifying your game. Don't get down on yourself if you need to stick with Tania, that's what she's there for. Modifying your workouts is a lot better than not pressing play at all. Don't get discouraged if you have to hang with her for the 25 minutes. Each time you do a workout see how much you can do without modifying and build up to Shaun's pace. Keep in mind they have been doing this a LOT longer than us, no one expects you to go full throttle your first week. **Strive for progress, not perfection**

DRINK MORE WATER: I know I sound like a broken record when it comes to preaching about water intake but ESPECIALLY when you start a new routine you want to make sure you're replenishing your body with what it needs to rebuild your muscles and to keep you hydrated. If you're a sweaty Betty like me, you need to put that water back in (minus the salt ;) ). Opt for half your weight in ounces a day and if you're super active, add in an extra couple of glasses.

PRO TIP: Add fruit like raspberries, lemons, or strawberries to a pitcher and put it in the fridge overnight. It's a natural way to add flavor without added sugar or other chemicals.

DOUBLE DAY: Everyone's favorite day in the program ;) There's two ways you can do double day, 1. Do them back to back or 2. Split them up. I personally split them up only because I have a schedule that allows me the time to do two separate workouts a day. I also feel I put more effort into each of them when they are split up. However you choose to do it is great- the key is to getting them done. Remember if it's too much to start out with two a day, save one for Saturday. If you do move one to Saturday, try for a double workout the following week. Sticking with the program, how it's designed will yield the best results :)

Bottom line is you've made an awesome decision to start a new program and start developing healthier habits. I've never been a big cardio junkie but have found that T25 is a program that allows me to get it done without dreading it. By the time I'm ready to give up there's only a couple minutes left to go. We can all afford 25 minutes in our day and if you'd like some added support, motivation and accountability in sticking with this program or any of the other programs found in my Shop and you'll automatically be registered in our next online accountability group. Now let's raise our Shakeology and toast to a completed week 1 of Focus T25.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Spinach Turkey Meatballs



This is by far my favorite Paleo recipe that I have made yet! It's filling and delicious!

Serves 3-4

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

What you need:
1 lb ground turkey
1 cup fresh spinach
1 egg
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp himalayan salt
1/2 tsp cumin

How to make 'em:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Chop spinach in food processor. In a bowl combine spinach, ground turkey, egg and spices
3. Mix ingredients with your hands until they are well combined
4. Form meatballs with 1-2 tbsp scoops of mixture (makes about 12 meatballs) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (I sprayed a little nonstick spray just to be safe)
5. Bake for 20 minutes or until turkey is cooked through

I couldn't tell you the calorie count because I don't count calories anymore, I use the 21 Day Fix program. If you're a fellow 21 Day Fixer, about 4 meatballs = 1 Red Container. 

These meatballs are a great addition to any dish. Today I placed them over grilled zucchini "noodles" that I made with my veggetti and added some grilled artichokes with a drizzle of EVOO. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Goal Survival Guide For The Holiday Weekend Ahead


Holiday weekends in the summer can derail a healthy eating plan in a minute. Actually, any Holiday can knock you off track in an instant. The good news is you can and you will survive! Better yet, you will stay on course to reach your goals IF you follow the simple guidelines of portion control. We've all heard it a million times, "You can enjoy anything, as long as it's in moderation." We know it but the key is actually DOING it!

1. PORTION CONTROL: Stick to proper serving sizes! You can still enjoy ALL of the foods at your cook out just don't over indulge! Also remember you can overeat on healthy foods. If portion control is something you really struggle with you should check out the 21 Day Fix. The challenge pack is on special all weekend long in my shop! This portion control system allows you to enjoy brats, pasta salad and even wine. Just keep in mind that the healthier your food choices, the quicker you reach your results!

2. SKIP THE BUNS: Unnecessary processed breads can set you back big time. Grab a fork and knife and enjoy your burger or brat without taking in empty calories. This will also slow you down while eating, allowing your body to recognize the nourishment.

3. MORE VEGGIES PLEASE: Grab your plate and head to the salad and veggie side of the table first! This will fill you up with the delicious healthy foods leaving little room for the not-so-great-for-you options. (Natural portion control ;) )

4. DRINK MORE WATER: You should be taking in half of your body weight in ounces a day already, but when you add in being outside in the heat and alcohol to the mix you need even more! It'd be best to skip the alcohol, but if you are enjoying some spirits, make sure to drink plenty of water. It will help keep you full and satiated and also keep you hydrated throughout the rest of the day. 

5. DON'T OVERTHINK IT: You know the foods that are beneficial to your body and that one's that work against you reaching your goals. If you are going to partake in the latter, think back to portion control. If it's a "cheat treat" savor it, every bite of it BUT do NOT beat yourself up over it.

So this weekend enjoy the barbecues and enjoy the last weekend of summer! Just be smart about it!

If anything at all remember this,  Everything is permissible, but everything is NOT beneficial.

For more support and accountability reaching your fitness and nutrition goals fill out an application to join my next online challenge group!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Did you know that in Asian countries the strawberry has been deemed "the queen of fruits" because it is PACKED with numerous health benefits. Compared to other fruits, strawberries have the highest amount of nutrients in them! Thats not all though- Strawberries...

1. Help burn stored fat
2. Boost short term memory
3. Low in Calories-High in Fiber
4. Ease inflammation
5. Lower cardiovascular disease
6. Promote bone health
7. Prevent esophageal cancer
8. Contain anti-aging properties
9. Great for weight loss (in proper portion sizes of course #21DayFix
10. Promote eye health

Now you know why they are always at the TOP of the list of fruits to reach for! **Feel Free To Share**

(Don't forget to wash them first! Head here for an easy & effective way to clean fruits/veggies and make them last)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Downward Dogging 101

Ever hear of the yoga move "Down Dog" and try it and think to yourself, 'This isn't even doing anything, how is this a workout move? Am I supposed to feel something?' Chances are you are doing it wrong! But don't you fret my friends, I am here to help! Follow these steps and you will FEEL the BURN!

Step 1: Get in plank position. 
Your hands should be directly under your shoulders, feet separated, core tight, heels pressing towards the wall behind you and legs tight! Your head should be in a neutral spine. ((Think of how your head is when you're standing and looking forward. Your head isn't tilted back or forward--do the same while in plank- no bent necks!))
((Just holding plank you should be feeling it, if you're not: focus on tightening that core i.e butt down, pelvis slightly tucked under and squeeze those booty cheeks))

Step 2: Down Dog.
Push your body up and back using your hands. Your hands and feet should stay in the same place as they are in plank. Lift your tailbone to the ceiling while pressing your heels towards the floor. Your head should be framed by your arms. Spread your fingers to help keep you in place and to keep your arms straight. Suck your belly in keeping your core tight and lift your tailbone..if that's too much have a slight bend in your knees 

Focus on what you are doing with your body! 

You should feel this in your back, core, shoulders and HAMSTRINGS!!

Give it a try.. NOW do you feel it?! Let me know!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Are you losing the can't-fall-asleep, can't-stay-asleep battle every night? The bags and dark circles under my eyes speak for themselves for my answer to that question. I have had the hardest time getting to sleep, then staying asleep, and then getting out of bed in the morning is a struggle too. I'm giving these tips a try and hoping that in a few days, I'll have a rhythm going and will be much more well rested. After all, good sleep is the secret to better skin, weight loss, better energy and a better mood.

>IN THE MORNING
>>Turn on the lights as soon as you wake! This helps your body get a jumpstart on the day.  Staying in the dark produces a constant production of melatonin (the sleepiness hormone) in your body.

>>Work out first thing. Whether it's a brisk walk, a PIYO workout or getting right down to P90X3 business, has been proven to help people sleep longer and better throughout the night following the exercise than those who did the same workout later in the day.  Getting it done not only keeps you energized and on track with your nutrition the rest of the day, but will keep the Z's going longer!

>DURING THE DAY
>>Keep your blinds open.  We need light exposure and those who get it can sleep longer by 47 minutes.  It also helps you from getting drowsy throughout your day.

>>Add salmon to your meal rotation. Omega-3 rich foods, when eaten regularly, may boost the effects of melatonin.  Salmon is the best source of the heart-healthy fats, but it is also found in flaxseed and grass-fed beef.

>AT BEDTIME
>>Don't eat unhealthy fatty foods before you head to bed. This means skip the pizza, nachos, and fried anything.  Your body has to work overtime to digest these high fat foods, which can keep you up. If you need a midnight snack grab about 6 almonds. It's a healthy snack with protein and fats that will help stabilize your blood sugar through the night.

>>Ban bright electronics at least 90 minutes before bed. Yeah, I said it. No phone, computer or TV. Our eyes associate that kind of brightness with daylight.  This signals the body to stay awake.  Grab a book and unwind. If you insist on electronics, make sure the screen settings are dim.

>>Write down anything that's bothering you, especially your to-do list.  I personally keep a notebook and pen in my bedside table. This lets me get them out of my head and calms my mind.

>>Hit the sack at the same time you did yesterday. Our bodies needs routine when it comes to sleep. This gets us on a natural sleep cycle and allows our bodies to get proper rest. A regular schedule can help you find your natural rhythm.

>>Just go tot sleep! Don't stay up later than you intend for no reason. Turn off Netflix, Game of Thrones will be there again tomorrow, Orange Is The New Black isn't going anywhere. Enough with the bedtime procrastination. Set yourself a bedtime and stick to your schedule. Snapchat can wait and you can reorganize your drawers this weekend ;)

I've implemented a few of these already but I am the WORST about sticking with a sleep schedule.  I'm going to give all of these a try and I'll let you know how it goes! Give them a try and let me know if they work for you! Feel free to email me your new sleep habit results or some extra sleep better suggestions at EmpoweredDynasty@gmail.com Don't let the bedbugs bite ;) xoxo, A

Monday, August 11, 2014

Know your nuts

Raw nuts are a great source of healthy fats, protein, fiber and plant sterols.  They contain a ton of vitamins and minerals and have shown to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.  Nuts are a perfect snack and a great addition to any salad.  Although they have amazing benefits, raw nuts need to be eaten in moderation! 

Raw nuts are a domino food, meaning that once you start eating them it's hard to stop and are very easy to over eat. Here is a simple guide to break down the most popular and beneficial nuts into 100 calorie servings!




Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My Clean Costco Cart


Eating healthy, wholesome food isn't as hard as people make it out to be.  It's also not that expensive either.  I know how expensive it can be to feed a family, I also know that you can nourish your family without breaking the bank. Thankfully, Costco makes eating clean a LOT easier! I eat a Paleo based diet, so I eat fresh foods constantly! I know that it adds up and I'd rather not go shopping all the time, so I look to Costco for all of my favorites!
One thing I have learned from eating a nutritious diet is to utilize all of the resources available. Buy in bulk, clean your produce properly (here is a great way to make fruits and veggies last), and meal prep as much as possible!

Eggs: I eat eggs daily. I'll have them for breakfast and I keep hard boiled eggs on hand for a quick protein snack! Did you know that whole eggs contain almost every single nutrient we need? 

Spinach: I eat the stuff like it's going out of style. Loaded with nutrients these leafy greens are best organic (they are smothered with pesticides otherwise). Look for packages closest to the light, the brighter the green the better.  If the leaves look pale- the nutrients are fading and the package isn't going to be beneficial. Saute or steam it and add it to any meal or throw it in your blender with your shakeology or prep a salad with it!

Himalayan Salt: This pink salt is hand mined from the Himalayan mountains.  The crystalized sea salt beds, which are now deep within the Himalayans, were once covered by lava a couple hundred million years ago. Aside from being kept in a pristine environment that was surrounded by snow and ice year round, the lava is thought to have protected the salts from modern-day pollution. This has lead to the belief that Pink Himalayan salt is the purest salt found on earth. So when using salt, make sure it's pretty in pink. ;) Costco has a big grinder of it for less than $5!

Unsweetened Almond Milk:  Specifically, Silk brand! This stuff is great for those of us whose bodies can't handle dairy, or if you are trying to be healthier. Also if you are cutting out sugars, unsweetened almond milk is a great replacement for your regular dairy milk. BUT keep your eyes peeled when buying any dairy substitute.  Carrageenan is a carcinogen found in these kinds of products as well s other processed foods.  It can lead to colon and gut inflammation. Keep your eyes peeled for this in your ingredient list on ANY packaged food you consume, organic or not. Thankfully, the unsweetened almond milk by Silk does NOT contain carrageenan! Cheers for being dairy and carcinogen free :) I just picked up 3 cartons totaling less than $8. typically it's around $4 just for one in a general supermarket. 

Frozen Fruit: Great for adding to smoothies or your Shakeology without breaking the bank. Fresh berries can be a hit to your wallet, especially if you eat clean regularly like me. Costco has awesome large frozen bags or organic frozen fruits that are the same price as a bag of regular frozen fruit at Meijer. What. A. Steal. Frozen fruits are also fun to snack on in the summer, they are like a popsicle and are great to that and put in your oatmeal (very kid friendly).

Avocado: One of the healthiest fats there are so they are very easy to over eat! I love these mini guacamole cups.  They are the perfect portion size to spread on a burger or dip some carrot sticks in!

There are tons of products that Costco carries that aren't even pictured! The majority of the foods they carry are organic too! Hooray for high quality at a good price!! 

Other healthy Costco favorites:
LaCroix sparkling water
Frozen Organic Vegetables
Frozen/Fresh Wild Caught Tilapia, Cod, Salmon (wild varieties are healthiest)
Anything and Everything in the produce section
Quinoa
Greek Yogurt
Nuts
Hummus (they even have single servings like the guacamole!)
Coconut Oil
EVOO
Skinny Pop (not the healthiest but it's my favorite treat to eat without feeling guilty after eating it!)

In no way am I affiliated with Costco, but I know a good deal when I see it and believe it should be shared.  I believe that eating a healthy, clean, nutritious diet should be priority for anyone, especially families. Eating better doesn't mean breaking the bank, it means taking advantage of savings every where you turn.

One of the best tips I can offer is when looking for recipes to cook for yourself or your family, look up ingredients you already buy and consume frequently so you can buy in bulk.  Find recipes based off of those foods- don't look for recipes based on foods you need to go out and buy.  Use fun twists on your favorite goods. It really does save!!

Always remember to keep your focus on healthy foods like fresh produce, eggs, and organic/grass fed animal products. Pay attention to your ingredient lists on food labels! And most of all, treat your body with kindness and love and it will treat you kindly back! 

And don't forget to grab a big box to carry all your stuff to your car and inside easily ;)

xoxo, A

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Get 'em clean, make 'em last

I had never been one to really wash my fruits and veggies really well (I know, I'm horrible). BUT while I was visiting my family in Texas, my sister-in-law shared a tip with me that she learned from her neighbor (Thanks Heather!).  It's so simple and not only gets your produce clean, but it makes them last longer too!

What you need:

A clean sink
1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

What you do:

Fill your sink up with cold water (leave enough room for your produce to fit without water overflowing)
Stir in 1 cup ACV
Add fruits and veggies
Let your produce soak for 10 minutes
Rinse and place on a towel to dry

Voila! Clean fruits and veggies that will last longer than usual!  Remember to care for your produce specific to it's needs so that it lasts longer!

Monday, July 21, 2014

PiYo meets Paleo: Week One

I've been asked two questions a LOT lately, 1. What is my honest opinion on PiYo? and 2. Can you make the nutrition guide paleo friendly? SO here are my answers to both of those! I believe that PiYo is one of the best programs to come out of Beachbody.  It focuses on what our bodies crave and need these days--> flexibility and strength training.  We beat our bodies up CONSTANTLY and need to start taking care of them.  This kind of athletic strength training is awesome for any age, any gender, and ANY fitness level.  It's low impact but high intensity.  As a PiYo live instructor I know that this kind of exercise does wonders for the body, but to be honest, a few days into the at home version, I thought it was going to be too easy of a program and that I'd have to add it into a schedule like P90X3 or T25 to see results. I was SOOOOO wrong!  Here is what you can expect from the first week of PiYo and if you want to see my Paleo based meal plan that I followed it's here for you too! (Recipes can be found in this section or in the Nourish page.)

Monday:  The fundamentals disc breaks down the basic PiYo moves and terminology to get you ready for the workouts to come.  To get the most out of your PiYo workout it's CRITICAL to have proper alignment!  Chalene covers everything from her Pilates and Yoga inspired moves and how to properly move through them. This was the longest of the workouts but don't skip it! I LOVE this meal plan! I kept it simple throughout the week and enjoyed a couple of my favorites Monday including my turkey burger tostada!

Turkey Burger Tostada: Ground turkey, seasoned as desired (preferably no salt), grilled. Place on half a bell pepper, top with lettuce, onions, and 2 tsp guacamole.  For an extra kick add crushed red pepper to guac! So light, filling and satisfying and pairs perfectly with some crunchy Kale chips! 

Kale Chips: Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Remove Kale from stem, tear apart into 1- 1.5 inch pieces and place in large bowl.  Toss with 1 tsp EVOO and seasonings to taste (I just use a little bit of Himalayan salt).  Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, turning leaves over halfway through baking.Tuesday: After completing the lower body workout I honestly thought the program was going to be too easy. The workout wasn't extremely challenging and was only 20 minutes long.  I could tell that it was definitely going to help with my flexibility but as far as results went, I was skeptical of what it would do for the shape of my body. I kept eating light on Tuesday since the workout wasn't too intense.  My go to for a quick, simple and light meal is a simple chicken salad.  Just grill up some chicken, put it over some greens with cucumber, tomato and onion and you're set! I top mine with a home-made balsamic vinaigrette!Wednesday: Define Upper Body was a little more challenging than lower body.  There was a lot of body weight resistance like push-ups, planks and a move called "The Beast" which was an intense one but great total body move! I started off the day with a higher protein meal mixing some diced chicken, diced broccoli and bell pepper, scrambled together with some eggs! I have always been the type of person who likes yoga but doesn't have the ability to hold poses.  My balance has never been the best and I get BORED doing those kinds of workouts.  PiYo changes that. I feel like a yoga rebel doing it haha.  No disrespect to yoga, I am just the kind of person that if I'm not moving, I don't feel like I'm getting a good workout! It's nice to get the flexibility training, while still MOVING! With that being said I started having a much more positive attitude towards PiYo at home after today! 
Thursday: Every single doubt I had about this program was GONE by this point! The Sweat workout was NO JOKE.  I was dripping by the time it was over! PiYo definitely eases you in to the workouts and moves and gets your body ready and prepared for more difficult workouts. Sweat isn't crazy hard, but it is definitely intense.  Don't fear it though.  It's just more intense compared to the first few workouts on the schedule. For lunch I enjoyed one of my favorite salads! The Strawberry Fields salad is one of my favorite lunches this time of year!Friday: Rest Day thank goodness! After the first few days I woke up SORE! I wasn't in pain, however I could feel muscles in my body that I didn't even know I had were being worked.  PiYo was delivering a total body workout that hit deep in the muscle fibers.  The best part was during the workouts I'm not struggling to complete them or dreading getting them done.  Because it's low impact, I'm looking forward to the workouts and it gives me the chance to focus on my alignment to properly engage each muscle to get the most out of the workouts.  Being able to do that really REALLY helps zero in on the specific muscle group being targeted! When you're able to focus you engage all over which in turn means TONS of core work! (Who doesn't love that?!) After completing the first workouts and the way my body feels on rest day, I know that PiYo is living up to the hype and is going to deliver some awesome results!Saturday:Back to Define Lower Body! I was actually looking forward to doing this one again! Even though I wasn't out of breath this time I got an even better workout.  I paid attention to my alignment and went deeper in the lunges and squats and felt even better! Lunch was my favorite! Fiesta stuffed sweet potato!  For the Paleo version replace the black beans with grilled chicken!Sunday: Define Upper Body was back in the rotation and while doing this one again I could already tell that I was getting stronger and that more core was getting tighter. I can confidently say that I am no longer a PiYo at home skeptic and I can't wait to see what week two brings!
PiYo just proves the point that our bodies need this kind of exercise! We spend our days beating our bodies up from our jobs to the other high impact kinds of workouts we're used to, we're missing a key ingredient to our health and fitness success! I truly believe that PiYo is the answer.  You can get amazing results while creating a stronger, more flexible body! Check out PiYo in the shop to get yours today and join one of our online accountability groups to ensure that you get the best results possible with tons of support and motivation doing it! Don't forget to add me on Facebook! Xo!Check out this video for a full overview on what PiYo is and what it can do for YOU!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summit 2014 Throwback Recap

It's been a month since I traveled to Las Vegas for my first Beachbody Coach Summit and it still gives me chills looking back at the pictures, realizing what an incredible experience it was.  Tons of training, motivation, inspiration, recognition and most of all CELEBRATION! In case you missed it, here's what happened...

Wednesday: The week kicked off with PiYo LIVE certification! It was such a fun training! PiYo is athletic strength and flexibility training.  It's all about taking care of your body, while defining it and becoming more flexible. Certification was 8 hours of hanging out with awesome people and getting one incredible workout done! The best part was getting certified with a few of my success partners that I finally got to meet that morning.  Oh, and Chalene Johnson stopped by for another segment of the workout and training too. It was an unforgettable start to this life changing trip! 







That night my entire success group was all together for the very first time.  It was a surreal feeling to be able to sit at a table with some of the most intelligent, uplifting, like minded people I have ever known and actually be with them IN PERSON.  I can honestly say these women are some of my very best friends and we have a bond that everyone should experience.  These are my sisters...






Thursday: The next morning Jenny finally got in and we headed off to my coach Lindsay's *SHINE* event. There we heard some of the top coaches in the company and in our organization speak.  They shared their best tips for success and even the CEO of Beachbody and creator of The 21 Day Fix stopped in for extra training and a Q&A session. After that we headed to opening general session where new products were announced and Summit was officially KICKED OFF!





The MGM Garden Arena PACKED full of coaches! So awesome!


P90
Think of it as an 'on ramp' to fitness :)

PiYo

 3-Day Refresh

After general session was over it was time to head back to the room and get ready for a night of celebration!  It was the Sequins & Studs party and in order to attend, you had to qualify! There me and my success buddies mingled with the Elite and got to meet some awesome people.  It was a great night..

 





This photo means the world to me! This gorgeous and intelligent group of women inspire me and give me drive that I didn't even know was in me.  I'm so grateful for their friendships and continued support and push through this journey.  Seriously, it's such an honor to be a part of something so amazing with these fearless trailblazers...

 Friday: Woke up bright and early to head down to the CORE, which is essentially a giant Beachbody mall.  Tons of clothes, accessories, products..you name it- they had it. I definitely did some damage there...Next up was general session where Darren Hardy, the author of  The Compound Effect and creator of Success Magazine gave an incredibly powerful and inspiring presentation. It was a day full of breakout sessions with TONS of valuable training. In the middle of it all, I got to sit down with Lindsay and fellow leaders on the team for some good conversation, brainstorming and just enjoying each others company. Then it was off to more training and then spent the evening relaxing at dinner with my success group and then we headed to The Beachbody Classic and Beachbody's Got Talent shows.







Found a Golden Ticket for a free gift hidden in my 3-Day Refresh 


All of the contestants in this figure competition got their bodies by using only at home Beachbody fitness programs.



 Saturday: It was bittersweet waking up knowing that this was our last day all together, but there was no time to sit around.  Day four of Coach Summit began with the Super Workout.  Everyone gathered on the back lot of the MGM for a workout with all of the Beachbody trainers.  After that our team met for breakfast and then it was time to head to general session.  They announced that Team Beachbody is heading to Canada! Then Diana Nyad, the most incredible long distance swimmer, came on stage as the keynote speaker! Listening to her story and drive definitely gives you a good kick in the pants and motivates the hell out of you! That night was celebration night!  The Beachbody Challenge winners were chosen and two people walked away with $100,000 and 6 others received $25,000 all for getting healthier! It was also the top coach celebration! What a night to be able to watch Lindsay be awarded for such an incredibly well earned achievement!


International Expansion Coming mid August 2014



The Beachbody Challenge helps people stay on track to reach their goals with an added incentive of winning some SERIOUS cash!

I love being a part of something BIGGER! Where people are changed physically, emotionally & financially and are rewarded for it all!

They had a surprise in store for Lindsay! A bunch of us got to go on stage to help celebrate!


 My message on the big screen for Lindsay!!!! Xo!


What an honor to be able to be a part of this! This group of people is so uplifting & inspiring and I am so so blessed to be a part of such an incredible organization and team!

That's a wrap on Beachbody Coach Summit 2014. Next stop: Summit 2015 NASHVILLE! 

The week of Summit was by far one of the most memorable experiences of my life. There is nothing more inspiring than being surrounded by 10,000 people who share the same values, goals and drive.  I knew I was always made for more but never knew what it was until I began my coaching journey.  Summit helped me discover more of that. I always knew the possibilities with this coaching opportunity but seeing it in person was incredible. I now have a greater sense of who I am, who I want to be, and where my team is going.  

Do you feel like you were made for more? Do you want to experience a culture like this? Do you want to start feeling empowered and help others feel empowered too? Becoming a coach was the best decision I ever made. If you're ready to start coaching click the button below and we can get started making your dreams a reality!






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